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Chat: Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday May 01, 2019 12:00 PM ET chat session with Jeffrey Paternostro.


Jeffrey Paternostro is Baseball Prospectus' Lead Prospect Writer and Lead Mitch Garver fan. Please ask him about prospects and also Mitch Garver.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm not saying today's column is a chat prerequisite, but it might help wrt all the weird dynasty fantasy questions already in the queue

Mike (Albany): How excited should I be about Deivi Garcia and will I look like an idiot if I tell my friends I expect him to make a handful of big league starts in the second half of 2020?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Jarrett and Steve like him a bit more than me, but I think he's a major league starter and 2020 is a reasonable timeline. The Yankees aren't gonna lack for options by then though. Assuming they don't trade from their inventory for the next Brandon Drury or James Paxton of course.

Ian (New York): Can Thomas Szapucki be a front-line starter or does his delivery force him into the bullpen?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Got a report that Szapucki wasn't really stretched out in Spring, so I don't know exactly why he went to Columbia OD. He was upper-80s and wasn't there long before heading back to XST, so there may be bigger issues than the delivery at this point.

Dan (AZ): Kristian Robinson a must add dynasty prospect? Big time prospect?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I guess it depends on how many prospects you roster, but yes he is a big time prospect.

boatman44 (Liverpool): Hey Jeff can you tell me when and where George Valera will make his debut this year? Thanks for the chat.

Jeffrey Paternostro: There's always a few guys being held back from MWL until the weather gets better. He could be one of them, although I didn't hear that specifically. I also don't have an update on health or what not, so I can't really speculate on when here.

Steve (Cheyenne, WY): Could you provide a few names of prospectus who have really helped or hurt their value in the first month of the season?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Can and did although I'd be wary of reading too too much into a month. Five on the Rise, April

Ricky (18 and life): Concerned how the Blue Jays got to Canning the second time through?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I definitely wouldn't read too much into one time through the order in one start. I would say generally game durability and season durability is a fair concern to have with Canning given his background though.

Lee (Chi): #1 Prospect in 2021 and 2022?

Jeffrey Paternostro: 2021 is still Wander Franco I'd bet, although he could move faster. 2022 dude may not have even signed yet.

Steve (Cheyenne, WY): Is Clint Frazier finally living up to the hype, or is this a small sample size blip?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I also wrote about this.

Kelvin (Chanahon): Zac Gallen a fantasy 5?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't know what this means. He's probably a Role 5 now though yeah.

Max (NY): Too early to say SWR goes 1st round in a redraft?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He's literally getting hit tits lit as I chat, but more generally yes. The toppling numbers look good and he's young for the league, but it's only been like sit 93-95 as a starter, and the delivery has a some serious reliever markers despite the athleticism. The needle is up some but I wouldn't call it a breakout yet.

David (Col. Springs): Colton Welker is hitting .489 at home (!) and .214 on the road, in the same number of ABs. How hard is it to evaluate Rockies prospects w/ these great hitters' parks? And what do you make of Welker in particular? MLB regular?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Hartford is an absolute bandbox, but I think you just ignore the stats and make the eval. I do try to catch them on the road at least once just to calibrate. Welker can hit though, think he will probably end up a backend 101 guy in the solid regular band, but it's really early and the weather here has been shit.

Jeff (McNeil): I am a true talent .___ hitter ;)

Jeffrey Paternostro: turning a big dial taht says .320-.360 on it and constantly looking back at Jarrett for approval like a contestant on the price is right

HPJoker (SELU): How would you feel about a Dragon Kid gold watch title run?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I was never really a DK guy, and I would have preferred they give longer runs to Susumu or Saito another run instead. I have no real issue with it, but they also need to crown a guy from the next gen soon.

Nick Stellini (New Jersey): How does your favorite application of applejack correspond to the biggest surprise you've encountered on a field so far this season?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Nick you should know I am a Laird's bonded Apple Brandy guy,

Frank the Tank (-): Seeing what you've seen, where would you retroactively put Pete on the 101? (he's still prospect eligible)

Jeffrey Paternostro: So there are two weights to counterbalance here.

1. I don't do monthly lists update
2. Doing it in the majors and it looking right has value

It's looked right for sure, but I think he settles in at like .270/.350/.570.

That's like a bit better than 2018 Jesus Aguilar? A very nice player but not a star. The surety bumps him some I guess, but not like to the top 10 or anything. I'm guessing Jarrett would have him uh, at least top ten based on our Rhys Hoskins conversations in the past.

Garth (Waterloo): Is Corbin Burnes destined for the bullpen or can he turn it around as a SP?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I wonder if he's another guy struggling with feel for the "new" ball. His profile was always going to lend itself to occasional gopher ball issues, but I'd be bullish on him figuring it out. Dunno if that's gonna be in the PCL with the same ball though.

Jemil (Manilla): Has the scouting on Nolan Gorman's hit tool changed this season or is the hit tool still iffy?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I didn't hate the hit tool last year. He's not gonna be a batting title guy, but should hit enough to get the prodigious raw pop into games.

Joey (Galveston): Are the Rangers going to actually find success with all the freaky athletic/questionable hit tool guys they seem to have a deep love for, or is this just going to result in us sitting here in three years with some decent pitchers and a half-baked lineup?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So you really only need to hit on a couple of these guys because you won't have places to play all of them anyway. Which is the argument for collecting a bunch of them and ending up with the next set of Mazara/Gallo/Odor (I don't know if this rebuts your half-baked lineup theory to be fair). And very very rarely Bubba Thompson becomes like Ronald Acuņa. Probably not, but he has better odds than the safer guys.

Greg (ATL): Austin Riley is striking out way less this year. Reasons for optimism? What does his future stat line look like in Atlanta?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Ah, now I'm all nostalgic for the Austin Riley K-rate wars of last season's chats. I was less worried about this than most apparently because of the level of damage he was doing on contact. But more contact can only mean good things. Something like .270, 25ish bombs seems like a decent median. Could see him having a couple big years mixed in there too.

Alex (Austin): How much stock should we put in early season assignments for young prospects? Is someone like Julio Rodriguez (even though he's hurt) that much better than a guy like George Valera since one started in A+ and the other in extended spring training?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It might tell you something if it's within the same org, although not a ton. Comparing two different orgs probably won't tell you much.

Danny (NJ): So I totally get that *most* second round picks don't amount to anything. However, do you think the fact that the Mets have seen *a lot* of success in the second round over last couple years makes them reluctant to part with one this year? (16: Alonso, 17: Vientos, 18: Woods-Richardson)----btw, for all the shit the Mets get, that's some good drafting.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I would hesitate to call Vientos and SWR successes while they are still in A-ball, but yeah it's better than the preceding years. Just don't look at rounds 3-5.

Nils (NY): Is Calvin Mitchell a guy who would make it into back end of a top 100 this year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He made ours last year and has kept hitting so sure.

AJ (Columbus): Is Miguel Vargas (LAD) a dynasty prospect worth dreaming on? Nice hit tool, good genes. Good frame that should add pop. What says you?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Sure, although to throw some cold water on your fantasies, he's likely going to have to move to first and the swing isn't really geared for pop yet.

Jose (Brooklyn): The Mets were hyping Anthony Kay all spring and the results have been pretty good so far (not so much with Peterson). Also, i'd seen reports that his velo had been a bit up. What's the outlook here and is he a possibility for a callup later in the year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, it's good and he's clearly the best pitching prospect in the system now. Now that does speak some to the system, but he's a three pitch lefty with a couple pitches you don't have to squint hard to see 55s. Honestly he might be the best starting pitching depth option RIGHT NOW looking at just guys in the minors, but I don't think pushing him quickly would be good for his development or the Mets 2019 season.

Kelvin (Chanahon): Is Jesse Winker about to add the avg to his newfound power or is he selling out for the power?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The strikeout rate is a bit higher but not egregious and we are still within the constraints of Voros' Law anyway. I'd expect him to not hit 50 bombs or .230, but .280 with 20 maybe? There's always been sneaky raw he could tap into if he was healthy. He might be a big beneficiary of the new ball too. Profile fits.

Brady Childs (KIN 100): Michael Chavis is playing a lot of 2B in Boston. The Brewers are playing Travis Shaw at 2B. Do you see this eventually changing the way you evaluate second basemen?

Jeffrey Paternostro: As someone enjoying this Ajax run I am ready for positionless baseball.

This Guy (Over Here): Yonathan Daza's showing some early progress at AAA. How likely is it he can be more than a fourth outfielder for the Rockies?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Daza is always older than I think he is. A month in ABQ isn't gonna convince me a light bulb has gone off, but the tools are better than fourth outfielder if he has actually made real approach adjustments. I am also not convinced the Rox will find playing time for him given how they have mucked around for years with better prospects.

Kelvin (Chanahon): Worried about Just Soto? Looks like the league has figured him out. Just an average regular now?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's literally May 1st

Steve (Boston): Small sample size, but it looks like Jarren Duran might have a legit hit tool. Is he someone you see as a riser this year or is it an older prospect feasting on younger pitching?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I didn't love him in Lowell last year, but I am vaguely curious how it all plays in CF. I'd guess it's more the latter though.

Vic (Baltimore): Time to pounce on Tyler Beede in a 15 team league? Or wait for his 1st start?

Jeffrey Paternostro: There's a few Tyler Beede questions along these lines, and I have no idea. Not just in a fantasy context, where yeah, I have no idea. It's a wild turnaround.

Old Timer (Raleigh NC): Thoughts on Braden Bishop's callup. Will he stick? Thanks.

Jeffrey Paternostro: There's probably a Spidermen pointing at each other joke about optioning Mallex Smith for Bishop. That's probably a little unfair to Mallex, but outside of his gaudy 2018 which was a little bit BABIP driven I don't know if there's much difference here.

earpbartman (WC): Thanks for the good work. Thoughts on Nate Pearson? Does he start climbing the rankings, or not until he shows what he can do in AA and/or more IP than the 5/2/5/2 show?

Jeffrey Paternostro: A full healthy season probably gets it done even if he's used somewhat conservatively. No one throws a ton of innings in the minors other than Mike Soroka I guess. Anyway the stuff is good enough that just 100 innings in 2019 assuages some of our concerns.

Vince (Staten Island): Over the last couple of years, a lot was made of the *window* that the Mets had, primarily around their pitching with DeGrom, Noah, Matz and Wheeler/Harvey sort of/depending on time. Now, with the emergence of Jeff and Pete (and kinda Nimmo), does this change the trajectory of the franchise? Realistically, if these guys are at least above average regulars with less than 1 year of service time, isn't that like kind of a huge deal ? (considering most would not have predicted that a year ago) Thanks Jeff, I love the pod

Jeffrey Paternostro: There is a certain Metsiness in them finally developing a core of young talented bats right as their TOR starters struggle. It's a PD win for sure, I just don't know if they will be able to capitalize on it for a variety of reasons.

Gary (NY): Would you rather have Jarred Kelenic or Ronny Mauricio?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Kelenic was a fair bit higher preseason, and nothing has really changed there. Both's stocks are up some. Although based on the gchats I got from Jarrett on Kelenic last night the gap may be widening.

Danny (NY): Does David Peterson and Dom Smith get it done for Marcus Stroman?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Nope

Aaron (NY): What kind of trade value does Dom Smith have right now? Can he be the centerpiece of a package for an interesting arm (relief or starter)?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Bouncing off the last one. The Mets should trade him, and probably reasonably soon. The main problem here is you'd need a team that wants to play him everyday to get value, and how many teams would he constitute a clear upgrade for based on a longer view at the profile. Teams with the worst first base situations tend to have immovable contracts there, or there own young players with similar prospect sheen who they are letting try and figure it out. I don't know if they'd want to swap in the Mets version for anything interesting coming back. There's always the Twins I guess.

CubbieBeat (Chi-Town): Very little is written about John Means. What can you tell us about his background and has anything changed recently to help fuel his recent major league success?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Lefty with a good change basically. I wonder if these guys can have sustainable success but also tend to get overly enthused with them at times (Thomas Pannone most recently and wellllllll). Means peripherals really don't back up the early success either.

Gary (Sheepshead Bay): How many MVPs would Jeff McNeil win if you dropped him into the 1940's

Jeffrey Paternostro: 6

Jeffrey Paternostro: Craig will be back next week I will be back the 20th. Perhaps by then we will know more about Tyler Beede.

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