Mark Barry is a fantasy writer for Baseball Prospectus.
Mark Barry: Hey, let's do a chat and/or chat related things.
boatman44 (Liverpool): Has the King in the North hit 5 homers yet!!
Mark Barry: Big weekend for Kings in the North.
Loria (Milwaukee ): What’s Alfaro’s upside @ C this year?
I have Chirinos, any chance I could catch Alfaro @ the start of an uptick? Pedigree vs Floor?
Mark Barry: I think I might just flat prefer Alfaro. Feels like the .280ish average won't stick, but I'd guess he'll add a few more dingers.
Craig (CT): Should I be picking up Adley Rutschman in my dynasty league ASAP?
Mark Barry: If you don't have to wait for a first-year player draft, yep, I'm scooping him up.
Justin (Indianapolis): Thanks for the chat Mark, thoughts on Renato Nunez? Carrying a 122 DRC+, K's and SwStk% trending in the right direction and showing solid EV's. Can he really be a .270/.330 25-30 HR guy?
Mark Barry: Shout out Indianapolis.
I think that's probably a little optimistic. I like that he's hitting the ball in the air a little more, but he's still chasing a lot, so the swinging strike gains might be given back and take his batting average with it. I'd take the under on both, but more so for the average. Maybe .250/.315 with 20-25 homers? Not too bad.
Colin (NY): Ronny Mauricio, upside to be a top 10 prospect? Next Big Thing?
Mark Barry: Top 10 is probably pushing it, but you could make the arugment for top 50 if the power comes around and it doesn't stunt his ability to make contact.
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Any early reports on Mariners' prospect Kyle Lewis? How is the knee holding up?
Mark Barry: He hasn't been especially good so far, but he's been playing every day, so that's probably the most important thing.
Jorge (Natty): Any concerns with Corey Kluber? He has been a fantasy dud so far, but will surely improve. The velo is down and the walks are up, just a rough patch or are there some signs of real decline?
Mark Barry: He's getting more whiffs than he did last season, so I'm not super concerned. He's also giving up similar contact, but opponents are hitting .347 on balls in play and his strand rate is 10 percentage points worse than league average. I'd expect some positive regression for both. I can say I don't appreciate all the walks, though.
Dan (Chicago): Jasson Dominguez the real deal? Next Big Time Prospect?
Mark Barry: It's hard to say with so little to go on. The reports I've read make it sound like he's going to be a freak athlete, if nothing else, but whether that athleticism can translate at the plate will be the biggest question for his upside.
Eric (NYC): Who is this season's Wander Franco - someone that will jump up the rankings by the end of the season?
Mark Barry: I think Yordan Alvarez could've been a good answer for this one, but the way he's raking, he might be in Houston before long. I like Tirso Ornelas a lot, and I wish Julio Rodriguez hadn't already gotten hurt, because I could see him flying up lists pretty quickly. Let's round this one out with Brayan Rocchio, because I'm nothing if not a huge homer.
mordecofe1 (NYC): Miller and Betances - droppable? Drafted 'em for help with ratios (K/9 league) but offense is sputtering. Thinking Christian Walker and Carter Kieboom. 12 team H2H OBP keeper league.
Mark Barry: Rob Silver had a great piece today about middle relievers being less valuable than ever, it's a pretty interesting development. I don't know when Betances will be back, and Miller has been low-key bad aside from the strikeouts, so I'd be cool moving on from both in favor of those guys.
Here's the link to that piece btw: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/article/48833/fantasy-freestyle-the-death-of-fantasy-starting-pitchers/
Kevin (Chanahon): How concerned should I be about Machado not putting up the numbers he did in Baltimore?
Mark Barry: A little? Baltimore is such a good hitter's park, and there are another handful of great parks in the AL East. But Machado is a stud, so I wouldn't be too concerned. And his lineup is fixing to be really, really good.
Ben (TX): Bobby Witt Jr - Next big Thing?
Mark Barry: Ugh, I don't mean to be Debbie Downer about all these "Next Big Thing" dudes, but maybe I have a much narrower definition of the phrase. He's certainly exciting, but at this point, I wouldn't necessarily expect that from him. I think we've probably been spoiled with all the insanely good Jr's that have been soaring through the ranks.
Loria (Milwaukee ): In a pretty deep dynasty league, looking to draft upside. We get to Lee promoted prospects for free for 3 yrs. I’ve been lucky and built my OF on Trout, Acuna, and Soto... since the youngsters are free for 3 years, I traded JDM to re-build my staff.
Tried to draft my next wave and got shares of K. Robinson, Valera, Jordyn Adams and Larnach. Who u think has most value in 3 yrs?
Mark Barry: I'd have Larnach on top, but not by a lot over Robinson. Valera would be next, then a bigger gap, then Adams.
Vic (Baltimore): Do you have an update on David Robertson?
Mark Barry: Sounds like he's pretty close. I read that they're going to take a look at him before last night's game and make a decision from there.
Aaron (CA): Must add for DYnasty - Kristian Robinson?
Mark Barry: Yep. He's another name that could really pop this season and fly up lists, if things fall the right way.
Kelvin (Chanahon): Is Ljay Newsome a must add in deep dynasty leagues?
Mark Barry: It depends on how many prospects you can roster. I'd take a flier on him in deeper leagues since he's just demolishing guys in his second stint at High A. Since this is his first dominant year so far, I'd like to see how he adjusts to Double A before getting too excited.
caseyj15 (Medford. OR): Is Aldaberto Mondesi going to the next level with his speed/power combination?
Mark Barry: I spent most of the winter trying to temper expectations on Mondesi only to come around at the last second before the end of draft season. I think last year was the year to go to another level, I don't even know what another level from here would look like. He's a stud.
boatman44 (Liverpool): Hey Mark,
What do you see the fantasy upside of Caleb Smith being? I have him on all three of my dynasty leagues at present , was wondering if he is a sell high candidate or a legitimate No1/2 fantasy hurler when/if the Marlins improve the cast around him.
Ps Writing this question before he faces Philly ,which might answer it for me :)
Mark Barry: Man, he's good. I started snapping him up everywhere before the shoulder injury last season, and then allowed that injury to scare me off for this year. He's getting whiffs on almost 16 percent of his pitches, and guys are only making contact on 76 percent of pitches in the zone. I don't think the .226 BABIP will hold, so his ERA may tick up a bit, but he might be a star.
Loria (Milwaukee ): Keeper League where promoted ‘spects are kept free for 3 yrs. Need to slot a free, young guy @ 2b soon. Who’s my best hope of B. Rodgers, Kieboom, Hiura, and Louis Garcia (Wash)?? Who do we see first and who sticks @ Keystone?
Mark Barry: I'm going to go out on a limb and say Kieboom will be first :)
I think Hiura is still my favorite as far as those prospects go, but there's a lot to be said for being first. I'll rank them Kieboom, Hiura.....gap.....Rodgers.....gap......Garcia.
Kurt (New Lenox): Is Zac Gallen a future 2?
Mark Barry: If he can strike out 35 percent of guys with a near 55 percent groundball rate in the big leagues, yes, he's at least a 2. I don't think that's ultimately where he winds up, but he's been really good so far in New Orleans. The Marlins rotation is super fun and somehow there's still more on the way.
Vic (Baltimore): Who a waiver wire pitcher in a 15 team league with limited add/drops that may be useful for the next 5 months? Homer?
Mark Barry: Ugh, Homer. He waited until I shouted his name from the mountain tops before he turned back into Homer Bailey. I still like him, though, as the profile has gotten better.
In that range-ish, I'd also take a look at Frankie Montas, Mike Soroka and Pablo Lopez. Jordan Lyles has also been interesting so far in Pittsburgh. Sonny Gray is also somehow available on a lot of sites, and he probably shouldn't be.
Ned (Nabisco): How excited should I be as a Griffin Canning owner?
Mark Barry: You should be 83 percent excited. It's early, but he scaled way back on the walks, which is nice, and hasn't really taken a step back anywhere else. He's probably just an injury or two away, which is also nice, given his organization.
Felix (Chicago): Hunter Dozier or Danny Vogelbach more for real?
Mark Barry: Dozier's been dealing with a barking back, which is troublesome, so I'll say Vogey, just because I can't not pick Vogey.
Rickey H. (Vegas): Gausman or Anibal S. I need one of them to be "pretty good" this year. Am I delusional or is it a good bet? Thanks.
Mark Barry: You're asking the wrong guy about Gausman delusion. I never really understood Sanchez's 2018, and wasn't really on him for this season. I'm always expecting Gausman's breakout, and now is as good a time as any.
sportsguy21792 (Barstool on the end): Got tired of watching Votto underachieve in Scoresheet and having Pete Alonso sitting on my bench so I started platooning them. Should I just pull off the bandaid and use Alonso both ways until Votto shows signs of life?
Mark Barry: I can certainly understand the urge to ride the hot hand, but I'm not giving up on Votto. I'm wary of waiting until signs of life to put him back into the lineup, but it's hard not to toss the keys to Alonso right now.
AJ (Phoenix): Keep forever dynasty, I’m a front runner already in the top 3 (18 teams). Make a move for Stanton and a closer. (I own Mazara, Judge, Gallo, Ozuna), or stand pat and keep my current group and not trade Adell (plus others)?
Mark Barry: It sort of depends on the deal. Stanton's injury, setback and apparent new injury has me a little frightened for this season, but if the saves will put you over the top, I could see moving Adell. I like your outfield, though, and unless you're starting 5 OF, I don't know that you need Stanton.
Red (70s show): Is Giolito a bust?
Mark Barry: Maybe a bust as far as a top-5 prospect, but he was doing some interesting things before this most recent injury, with a swinging strike rate over 12 percent. I think he can still be a middle-back end starter, so still useful.
mordecofe1 (NYC): Thanks for the answer and link! Another Q: Prefer Jorge Polanco or Jean Segura in OBP keeper league? Segura's got the speed but hard to ignore Polanco's early stats, and worried Segura is more a 10 HR hitter than 20.
Mark Barry: Anytime! I'm still going with Segura. I like the lineup and park better, and think we'll start seeing a few more dingers as the weather warms up.
Freddy (Elm Street): Why did the Padres use trade assets for Mejia, a guy they don't like?
Mark Barry: Feels like it has more to do with liking Austin Hedges's defense. It's still really frustrating, though.
Hacek (CPD): Who grabs the Angels closer role? 👼
Mark Barry: Before the season I would've said Buttrey for sure. But Robles has been really good too, although it's possible I'm just clouded by his Undertaker entrance. Push comes to shove, I still say Buttrey.
Eddy (Marionette Park): Can Eickhoff re-establish himself as a fantasy 5 type?
Mark Barry: I think so? He was arguably better than that before dealing with his recent laundry list of injuries. He has also been pretty good so far this season, with most of the ERA damage coming from Coors Field.
Zamzow (Sunset grill): Can Mike Fiers regain last year's form or is he finished?
Mark Barry: We've written off Fiers before, and he came back better, but this time it kind of looks like he might be cooked.
Randy (SummerSlam '90): Lewis Thorpe is pegged by most as a swingman. How does a guy like that dominate with k's like he does?
Mark Barry: It's pretty baffling. Even our prospect guys don't necessarily understand how he gets all those punch outs without a true "out pitch". The last guy I remember like that was Tony Cingrani, which might kinda/sorta be an ok comp?
Btw, I had to go look up Randy's SummerSlam 90 opponent, and saw it was another classic Macho Man/Dusty Rhodes outing.
Felix ferimin (Boston): Is there another gear to Albies someday or is this just who he is?
Mark Barry: This is probably closer to what I imagined Albies would be, with a few more steals and a little higher batting average. He's still only 22 years old, so I don't want to say he's done developing, but I think the torrid start to last season threw us all off the scene a bit.
Mark Barry: That'll do it for today. I appreciate all the questions and thanks for no End Game spoilers. You're all the coolest.