Jon Hegglund is a fantasy writer at Baseball Prospectus.
Jon Hegglund: I'm here, you're here, draft season is here, real baseball is (almost) here. Let's talk about it.
Loria (Milwaukee): I needed help with starting pitching and needed to deal from OF strength in a 12 team Dynasty (Acuna, Trout, Soto, JDM, Ozuna and Mazara).....
I traded JDM and Mazara for Snell and DeGrom.....
How did I do??
Jon Hegglund: You had a surplus; you addressed a need. Well done.
Dusty (Colorado): In a dynasty league where somehow somehow someone owns Wander Javier and I don't. Should I give up Mike Trout to get him? Javier passes the eye, name, and age test with flying colors while Trout is starting to smell like old fish. Do you agree with this analysis?
Jon Hegglund: I do not agree with that analysis, but I empathize with your frustration at desiring what you cannot have. We call this "fantasy baseball" but it is intrinsic to the nature of fantasy that it never be fulfilled. We can never be happy. Good luck this year!
Vic (Baltimore): Please rank the following 5 x 5 players on their liklihood of having increasing value over the next 5 years:
Jon Hegglund: Moncada......*big gap*......the other four.
sportsguy21792 (Madison, WI): Keeper league...who do you like between Merrill Kelly, Chase Anderson or Trevor Richards?
Jon Hegglund: Richards, and it's not particularly close. He'll be a liability in wins, but he think he'll out-K the other two by a country mile.
Bismark (South Dakota): How do you see the A's outfield sorting out as the season unfolds? Do Fowler and Canha have the talent to play themselves into significant playing time? Thanks!
Jon Hegglund: Let's assume that Laureano and Piscotty are basically everyday guys. Then you've got folks like Martini, Grossman, Fowler, and Canha battling for scraps. I'd spec on Fowler, since we haven't seen him get extended run. Canha doesn't have much upside other than an end-of-bench bat, but he posts lots of nice food pics on Instagram, so there's that?
edwar288 (Minneapolis): More likely to break out in 2019-- Nomar Mazara or Max Kepler?
Jon Hegglund: I chose Kepler as my "outfielder to target" in our staff piece a few weeks ago, so you know where my sympathies lie. They could end up with similar value this season, but Mazara is going about 80 picks ahead of Kepler, so I'll happily wait on The Astronomer (nod to Chris Liss for that).
Jake (State Farm): Read really good things about JBJ and working with JD and his swing coach. Results were good end of last year with hard hit balls, and triple slash. Think he can have a good year for fantasy purposes? Thanks
Jon Hegglund: This is a good place to caution against overenthusiasm or extreme pessimism for late-season small samples and spring training narratives. JBJ has about 2500 major-league PAs with a DRC+ of 91. Color me skeptical.
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Come on Tampa...Break form, take a chance and sign Kimbrel. Hell, sign Keuchel too. How fun would that be?
Jon Hegglund: Like lots of things that will never happen, it would be extremely fun. But Tampa Bay exists precisely to drive down the price of free agents like Keuchel and Kimbrel, so this fantasy is something along the lines of "what does the inside of a black hole look like?"
bob (pa): What are your thoughts on these three players and their upside for this year: Franchy Cordero, Jeff McNeil and Ian Happ? thx
Jon Hegglund: Cordero: I'm surprised the studios financed a sequel Keon Broxton. McNeil: love him as a utility bat, will have sneaky fantasy value, especially in AVG. Happ: I'm intrigued but will have to wait and see on the plate approach. Like Moncada, he takes too many strikes so should be more, not less, aggressive.
George (Earth): In your dynasty leagues, how do you go about balancing out rostering MLB players as depth compared to using that spot to roster a prospect? I know its contingent on context but wasn't sure if there was a general rule you stuck too?
Jon Hegglund: This is a good question and one I'm not entirely qualified to answer, as I'm just getting my first taste of dynasty league life (co-managing a team with Mark Barry in TDGX). First, depends where you are on the contention cycle. Obviously, prefer productive major leaguers if you're looking to win now. If you're in a rebuilding phase (as Mark and I are), you want to stock with prospects but don't ignore major-league pieces with upside, particularly closers-in-waiting or talented bats in search of a role. In TDGX, it seems like fringe prospects are over-valued so acquiring major-leaguers could be a market inefficiency to exploit, but that of course depends on your league.
Shawn (MN): Can Astudillo carve out a nice role for himself that will make him fantasy relevant?
Jon Hegglund: Not really seeing it, at least since the Twins acquired Marwin for utility purposes, have Nelly locked at DH, and two catchers ahead of Willian on the depth chart. We all want it to happen, but that doesn't mean it will happen.
Flex F Fox (San Diego): Does Pablo Lopez make the Marlins rotation?
Jon Hegglund: You know how you're deep into fantasy? When you're on pins and needles about the selection of the Marlins' rotation. Re: Lopez; it's looking more and more like he makes the cut. PECOTA DRA and ERA have him as the best starter on the staff, and Chen/Straily shouldn't be an obstacle. But teams do weird things...
Jerumiah (Newmakket): Is Frankie Montas the best SP in the Athletics rotation?
Jon Hegglund: I really hope that "Jesus Luzardo" is the answer to that question on March 28. Otherwise, sure, Montas, why not?
Ash (Toronto): Is Ryan Borucki poised for a breakout? His spring training stats look good so far.
Jon Hegglund: If "breakout" means "he can stick at the end of a poor rotation," then absolutely. He can take the next step, but that step will probably not be that exciting...the 3.8 ERA, 1.3 WHIP, 7 K/9-type step.
Newton (Waterloo): When and where do you predict Kimbrel signs?
Jon Hegglund: Starting to come around to the idea that he sits until June. Apparently his price hasn't dropped enough for the Red Sox, Braves, or Cubs to sign him, so I don't know how that gets resolved with a week left before the season starts. I hear lots of Twins chatter, but I'm covering my ears because of my many Trevor May shares.
Adam (Scarborough): Do you think Derek Fisher will have any fantasy utility this year?
Jon Hegglund: Perhaps if the Astros trade him. But beyond the starting three, he's got Tucker, Kemp, Straw, and Marisnick to contend with. Good player, but not a great one, and a very blocked one.
Jemil (Manilla): Will Raimel Tapia eventually take the CF job from Desmond? Is he worth owning if he does?
Jon Hegglund: Last question first: YES OH GOD YES. First question last: The Rockies make some weird decisions, most of which involve locking promising prospects in a closet until they're deep into their 30s.
Nick (Ottawa): Any under the radar fantasy prospects in AAA that you like this year?
Jon Hegglund: Nate Lowe, Yusniel Diaz, Ke'Bryan Hayes?
dzemens (Toledo, OH): Does Yusniel Diaz have the potential to become something useful in deeper dynasties? The profile doesnt seem flashy but it seems he could get a power boost at MLB level as weve seen of late and the park sure wont hurt...I mean the lineup will but the park wont!
Jon Hegglund: Oh, hey, perfect segue to a Diaz question.
Yeah, the prospect dudes will have more to say, but sure seems like he's a polished bat with a high floor. Middling-power/middling-speed bats are always undervalued, it seems, but are eminently useful in both real and fantasy baseball. So I think he's potentially useful in redraft leagues later this season.
boatman44 (Liverpool): Does Sergio Romo close for the Marlins?Thanks for the chat Jon.
Jon Hegglund: You're most welcome!
Yep, I would bet that he grabs that role pretty quickly and holds it until he's traded in July.
Sunny (Israel): How would you rank these players:
10 team HTH points league Thanks!!
Jon Hegglund: Winker, Meadows, Happ, Jones.
jwise224 (PDX): Hey Jon, auction question for you. For the last few years, I've gone with the strategy of nominating players that I DO NOT want in hopes of weakening the budgets and buying power of my competitors. This maybe helps, but it also really drags out the draft for me. Is there something else I should be doing here? (Disclosure: it's a keeper league, so not a full re-draft).
Jon Hegglund: I may be the wrong person to ask, because when I'm in an auction I never want it to end. I think your strategy is fine, but I'd mix it up once in awhile--occasionally nominate players you want close to value so the room doesn't have as much time to think. Also, I like to drain money after I've bought a player at a position/tier by nominating similar players in that tier. If it's early enough, the prices shouldn't be too discounted and you can possibly get an extra few dollars out of the room then.
Gumby (NE): Dynasty. No contracts. OBP/HR/R/RBI/SB.
Jon Hegglund: I want the pros.
Rickey H. (Vegas): Can you shed any light on Padres OF/playing time issues? Thanks.
Jon Hegglund: Our Depth Charts team works SUPER hard on this on a daily basis. They have Myers and Margot pretty well locked in with Reyes/Renfroe basically splitting time and Cordero filling in across all three positions as needed. Yeah, it's a mess.
justarobert (CA): How much stock are you putting in the new and improved Martin Perez?
Jon Hegglund: More intrigued than most spring training stories because of the velo increase. But I think of him as a last-round flier to be waived early on if Martin Perez turns out in fact to be Martin Perez.
nbaumgarten0243 (Philly): Jon - Thanks for the chat - I picked up a couple of decent starters on waivers last season (my team stunk, I had the flexibility to go fishing). As a result, I own German Maquez, Eric Lauer, and Zach Efflin. Obviously, Marquez is a stud. Do you think either of the other 2 is worth keeping at $10 in an NL only keeper league? Thx!
Jon Hegglund: Depends on your keeper inflation, but $10 seems steep for those fringy arms.
The Old Professor (Heavens Dugout): In a keeper league, please rank Paddack Luzardo, Kiriloff and Pete Alonso?
Jon Hegglund: They're all good! If you're anywhere near contention this season, I'll say Luzardo, Paddack, Alonso, Kiriloff.
Jon (Washington): If Correa stays healthy what can we reasonably expect from him? Last years production showed him pulling and elevating the ball a bit more (Hard Hit % was down but I think this was more health related) I feel good about him as a buy low dynasty and 3 year keeper candidate
Jon Hegglund: For the record, I think PECOTA is way light, but I'm a little gunshy still. Let's say .285/.350/.470 with 25/85/90/5.
Jon Hegglund: Thanks, everyone! Apologies if I didn't get to your question (unless you submitted six questions about a certain Twins shortstop). Cheers, and Happy Sort-Of Opening Day on Wednesday!