Scott Delp is a fantasy writer for Baseball Prospectus.
Scott Delp: Hey everyone. Happy to be here and to be able to take your fantasy and prospect questions. Let's get it going...
marco (Stuttgart): Do you know of any top prospects that we have heard very little of, those 17-18 year olds that may rise to fame in the next year or two?
Scott Delp: A good place to start for me, though I spend so much time in the depths of the minors I'm not always sure who exactly is am unknown in the real world. I'll avoid to top J2 guys from last year and give you two hitters and two pitchers. I like young hitters who make a lot of contact and have good plate discipline and I tend toward lefty pitchers with command who can also miss some bats. The hitters here are Joerlin de los Santos of the Cardinals and Felix Valerio of the Brewers. Pitchers are the Tigers' Rodolfo Fajardo and Luis Palacios of the Marlins.
Vic (Baltimore): When does Clint Frazier become 15 team relevant?
Scott Delp: Mostly when he figures out how to stay healthy. He'll likely need someone else's injury to make it happen in 2018.
hyprvypr (Seattle): Regarding the Fantasy 101 list, does Ronaldo Hernandez just need to keep hitting as he moves to the high minors, or am I missing something?
Scott Delp: Catchers are just not valued as highly, in general. They play fewer games and it's a defensive position. Hernandez has the offensive foundation to be valuable, but you are correct that he has to show that at higher levels to move the interest needle in fantasy.
Rob (D.C.): Someone asked Rob Mains yesterday about how best to address "pace-of-play challenges." No one asked me, but I wonder why pitchers need on-field warm-up time after they've warmed up in the bullpen. Why couldn't MLB make a rule establishing that incoming relievers commence pitching immediately? Cutting the two-plus-minute pause for every pitching change could eliminate 20 or 30 minutes of downtime from every game. (Of course, that's commercial time eliminated, too....)
Scott Delp: The best answer here is that pitchers do need time to adjust to the game mound. There is no objective standard for pitcher's mounds and there are sometimes big differences between what you find in the bullpen and what is true of the game mound. You might be overstating the impact anyway. The average MLB game uses between 9 and 10 pitchers total and not all of those come in in the middle of an inning. To me, it's a non-issue.
Worm (Down): Tommy Pham yes or Tommy Pham no?
Scott Delp: Fortunately, he won't hear a ton of boos when he first appears at home because..well...he did have a point. He fits the Rays' approach and should be a big part of their offense in 2019. I'll be looking to add him to my teams at the right price.
wennodc (FC, VA): Hey Scott! AL-only, 11 teams, 5x5: Because I’m keeping Mondesi & Buxton (please don’t suck!), as well as Bregman, I’m wondering how to de-value steals going into the auction. Clearly I won’t be bidding on the rabbits, but would you adjust $ projections for SBs across the board, or just maintain a “don’t bid on SBs” mindset? I don’t want to wind up with an SB surplus post-draft, as they’re fairly easy to get in trade.
Scott Delp: Would not bid on SB specifically, but I'd be looking to add the guys with a few steals in cases where all else is equal.
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Kimbrel and the Braves..."Reunited and it feels so good." Maybe?
Scott Delp: There is a school of thought out there that this reunion would be a 'No Brainer', but I'm guessing they'll remain 'One Number Away'.
Kid (Lookin' at Joe Jackson): Your thoughts on Ozzie Albies going forward? Top 5 2B or or top 5 in strikeouts? Both?
Scott Delp: I think Albies is caught in the Acuna vortex and is seen as something of a disappointment in comparison. He was 21 all of last season, didn't strike out a ton and was an efficient base stealer. He's still on the good list for me, though I'll be looking at how he starts after last year's second half.
sportsguy21792 (Madison): Back to back slow offseasons...is this the new norm until a new agreement is reached?
Scott Delp: It's the norm now that almost every front office is bulked up on analytics unless the players go with the flow and realize that the old ways are indeed the old ways.
Mat Hoffman (De Pere, WI): I am beginning a blog on my hometown history. Gale Staley (Cubs 2b) was born in my hometown, De Pere, and he had what seems like a very hot start to his baseball career, at least batting average wise. Despite that fast start his career ended after his rookie season. I am trying to find someone who could give me an all time stat on best batting average to start a career in their first 25 at bats (min 25 at bats). I am thinking Gale will place in the top ten or twenty all time but not positive. Hoping this stat would include other players and their batting average as well. Would you be able to help or at least point me in the right direction? Anything would be appreciated!
Scott Delp: Some of my colleagues might be better able to answer this, but the Baseball Reference site play index might help, though it is a subscription, I think to get that kind of info.
Gary Mack (in the back): Hey Scott, our FYPD (2018 draft picks and J2 guys) is coming up soon, and I have the first pick. Feel like India is a safe pick, but there are also guys like Kristian Robinson and Paddack available. Who would you take?
Scott Delp: Of the guys you mentioned, India is the best of the bunch, but if you have your pick of the 2018 draft, I'd go with Madrigal.
duckdolwick (louisville): How will Quinn's PT be reduce3d with addition of Harper
Scott Delp: Quinn is a tease. Do you know he has never played as many as 100 games in any one season? He either has the worst luck or the most fragile body of anyone. It helps that he's a with hitter, but his best chance at significant time is if the Phillies use him to fill their hole at 3B.PECOTA doesn't like his chances to play in Philly much.
Rickey H. (Vegas, baby): In a shallow mixed re-draft league that allows draft pick trades, I was offered a 1st for my 5th & 8th and then another team offered its 1st for my 6th & 7th. I should take those offers, right? In a shallow league, getting 3 first rounders has to be a big advantage even if I don't have picks in rounds 5-8, right?
Scott Delp: Yeah, you pretty much have to do that. The early advantage should more than make up for the wait later. There are always bargains late anyway if you do your homework.
Steve Yelp (Germany): Yusniel Diaz has looked pretty good this Spring. Do you think he has a chance to breakout and be more than what most of the industry thinks of him?
Scott Delp: Yes, he has a chance. He improved his plate discipline on the move up to AA last season and that may tell us that he can make solid adjustments as he gets more and more experience. I would not go crazy, but he could well get to the 60 ceiling that we set for him in our Orioles list.
Birdman (Earls house): Who would you comp Nate Lowe to? The tap power makes me think of Chris Davis with that swing, but he actually controls the strikezone...
Scott Delp: Off the top of my head, I come up with Adrian Gonzalez. I saw Lowe a couple of times last season and he makes good adjustments and gets to plenty of pop while not selling out for it.
Garth (Toronto): Does Austin Beck make substantial progress in hitting for power this year?
Scott Delp: We never can be sure what kind of offseason work players are doing, but I'd say no right now. He was still too ground ball heavy in 2018 and didn't even really impress with gap power with only 29 doubles in a full season of A-Ball. Lots of work to do to get to the game power.
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Is Ken Giles done as a closer?
Scott Delp: I don't think so and I do think that the overall disappointment that many people feel about him will make him a fantasy bargain this year. He's had his struggles, but peripherals say that he may have been a bit unlucky last year.
Matt (MD): Bret did a great ranking of the new player pool additions (INT/Draft for dynasty). Anything you would personally highlight as my draft is being conducted right now?
Scott Delp: Brett does a great job. We all have guys we like more or less than everyone else. I think that Jordan Groshans and Nico Hoerner are both going to be top 5-10 guys from this class when we look back.
Scary Gary (Leemont ): What are you thoughts on Chris Paddack? He seems to have a ton of helium at this moment and quite frankly he looks incredibly polished.
Scott Delp: It's well earned. The changeup is a difference maker. He could be in San Diego by the end of the season, though it's more likely that he's part of a huge push by that system in 2019.
Cher (San diego): Tatis Jr looks really really polished. I'm sure his upbringing really helped. What do you think of his chances this year in the majors if/when he eventually gets called?
Scott Delp: The thing to watch with Tatis when he hits the majors will be whether MLB pitchers can take advantage of his swing and what adjustments he can make in return if they do. He's young. He'll get some time in AAA to start the season and the Ian Kinsler/Luis Urias combo should hold things down this season. Tatis will be successful, the amount of contact he makes will determine the level of success.
Pleebac Jones (NY): Andrew Vaughn looks like he has the whole Kris Bryant 'dominant college hitter' mold. When he gets drafted this summer, do you think he has a quick rise up the MiLB ladder? The bat seems incredibly advanced.
Scott Delp: The R/R 1B profile will put big pressure on the power tool, but he should certainly hit at the next level. He'll move up as quickly as he is able to get to consistent game power in the pros.
Jim (Chicago): So I started reading "The Club" about the EPL and thought about somenthing.
If we could find a way to work out the player rights issue, I think MLB should consider relegation in the same way Euro soccer leagues do. It would expand interest in the minor league cities (since they have a shot at being in the bigs one day), keeps the basement dwellers from tanking and could likely result address this FA collusion issue. Who knows, maybe some oil Sheik will show interest in the Pirates or Reds. Thoughts?
Scott Delp: The idea is intriguing, but the practical application in MLB would likely prove problematic. I'm not completely convinced that the problems in the game are quite as critical as they are sometime portrayed and the solutions, then, don't need to be to the fundamental structure of the game.
Vic (Baltimore): If given the choice between Freeman and Goldy, or Verlander and Kluber, or Stanton and Benentendi, who would you choose in each instance, and do you think it's smart to take either 1B with a 2nd round pick in my 15 team roto league straight draft?
Scott Delp: They are all close and would somewhat depend on context (eg. keeper or redraft), but I'd go Freeman, Kluber and Benintendi. The second round is still a place to look for the best value still there rather than a specific position, in my mind. That said, either of those two would be appropriate at that spot.
Trax (NJ): When do you expect the Orioles to call Diaz up to the Majors? Do any of O's other young OF's, like Hays or Stewart, offer much upside?
Scott Delp: We're not likely to see much of Diaz this season, though he could get a look late. Not sure that there is huge upside to either of the guys you mentioned beyond what we already expect. McKenna might have the most upside based on his speed.
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Saves leader this year will be...?
Scott Delp: I'll go with the chalk. Edwin Diaz, just like last year.
Vic (Baltimore): In a 15 team keeper league (straight not snake) 5 x 5....I have the best team going in.....deGrom, Story, Baez, Mondesi blah blah blah....I will scoop up Yelich in the 1st, should I take Goldy/Freddie in the 2nd or Verlander/Kluber to pair with deGrom?
Scott Delp: Depends on who the keepers were. deGrom gives you a solid enough foundation that you may be able get some solid pitchers after the second round. Taking the 1B in the second would set you up on offense and my experience has been that there are more useful pitchers available later than there are offensive players.
Derp (UH): What is the equivalence of D1 baseball to MiLB? For instance, is the competition comparable to Rookie-ball MiLB? or higher or lower? How about Korean league and Japanese league? Was thinking about this today and would be really nice to know...
Scott Delp: D1 ball is a huge spectrum, but the best players who come out of the top programs seem able to slide into full season ball and even High-A. Japanese baseball is generally considered to be roughly the equivalent of Triple-A. I'm not as familiar with the Korean league. That's a question for Sung Min Kim.
Vic (Baltimore): 10 team AL only. Have to make decisions on Chris Sale and Buxton. Keep Sale for this year only at $32 or for 2019-2021 for $42. Buxton ..$11 for this year or $21 for 2019-2021. 5 x 5 Roto.
Scott Delp: Sale would scare me at that price. Buxton is a gamble at $21 next year as well. I'd do Buxton at $11 for just one season.
Dusty (Colorado): Thoughts on Twins prospect Wander Javier? What's his upside?
Scott Delp: Dusty...Dusty...we'll end the chat with our obligatory Wander Javier/Dusty appearance. At this point, Dusty, you should start a Wander Javier website and do chats to answer all questions about him. You've gotten opinions from everyone and know more about him than anyone on earth. Let's let him get back on the field and take it from there...
Thanks everyone for coming by and asking great questions. I hope to chat with you again sometime soon. Until then you can send any questions directly to my twitter: @frugalscott. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again!
Charlie (Sunnyvale): What’s your opinion on willians astudillo? Is he more fun than he is actually good?
Scott Delp: Oops..looks like some questions disappeared in the inter webs. Willians is a personal favorite of mine. I drafted him years ago and have followed him through his journey. I think he can contribute, but the unorthodox approach means he has to be productive right away as the Twins have other options. He is amazing at making contact and has made adjustments to get to some power. I'm on the actually good side.
JP (TX): trying to decide on my last two Minor League keepers in my dynasty league. none are top 100 but trying to decide between upside and safety that deep. options are: Varsho, Basabe (CWS), Monte Harrison, Faedo, and Crouse.
which two do you like and why?
Scott Delp: I'm willing to give Harrison one more chance. I can't quit on that kind of athleticism. Beyond that, I will always be drawn to lefty hitting guys who should stick behind the plate who also have power and some speed. Harrison and Varsho for me.
Gary Mack (in the back): You mentioned you all have guys you like more or less than everyone else - who are some prospects you are higher on than the consensus?
Scott Delp: I like the Yankees' Michael King a lot and I like Jordan Yamamoto a good bit as well. I'd likely have both in or near my personal Top 101. On the hitting side, I'm a believer in the adjustments Corey Ray made at AA last season and I liked what I saw of Nate Lowe a lot. They would both be higher for me.
Scott Delp: Well, THAT should do it. Thanks again for all the great questions.