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Chat: Jon Hegglund

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday May 24, 2019 3:00 PM ET chat session with Jon Hegglund.


Jon Hegglund is a fantasy author at Baseball Prospectus and owner of a lustrous beard.

Jon Hegglund: It's raining outside, I've got my BP t-shirt on (was perhaps a *bit* optimistic ordering an M, though), I've got several disappointing Reds to watch on the TV, and my beard is freshly washed and oiled. Let us commence the thing.

Rob (Alaska): This is sort of random, but I occasionally hear broadcasters talk about how batters should "get on top of the ball". Which seems like it would be a recipe for pounding the ball into the dirt. Right? It usually comes from the color commentary types, often former players, so I wonder if this stems from some instructional mantra they learned coming up through the game. It seems misguided but I'm curious as to the origin and what it really means. Any thoughts?

Jon Hegglund: I feel like I hear this less and less, with even some of the more old-school broadcasters at least acknowledging the importance of swing plane and launch angle. But I'm sure there are holdouts. Yeah, this seems like a relic, along with the "Stanford swing." Perhaps (I read somewhere) it comes from the (perceived, anyway) tendency for youth players to hit too many pop-ups when they first encounter velocity. I suspect this advice will quickly go the way of the dinos, if it hasn't already.d

rjblakel (australia): In non-keeper points league, where Wins and QS are weighted heavy, how would you rank the following ROS: Eickhoff, Heaney, Nelson, Mahle, Canning or Strahm?

Jon Hegglund: Ha wow are the Cubs teeing off on DeSclafani.

I'll go Mahle, Canning, Strahm, Eickhoff, Nelson, Heaney. Interested to see how Nelson comes back, though--he's a wild card here.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Does Pedro Strop get the closer job back on day one when he returns from the DL, or IL, or whatever the hell we call it now?

Jon Hegglund: I'll lean "yes" on that, but Cishek has been solid enough that Maddon could quickly turn back to him if Strop has any hiccups. (It's difficult to throw when you have the hiccups.)

sailenac (new york): Jon, I've got a weird one here: 12t keep forever dynasty OPS & k/9 Was offered Rizzo/Eloy for my Scherzer/B.Lowe/D.German/Sano/Winker/N.Lopez My 1B right now is Cron/Vogelbach/Votto Context: I have the best pitching staff by a large margin. Without Scherzer and German my staff is Verlander/deGrom/Sale/Paddack/Beiber. More context: I traded Trout a couple years ago for deGrom and Scherzer and flipped Albies during his unreal start last year for Sale, hence the insane staff. Ultimately, I think I'm still giving up a lot. What do you think?

Jon Hegglund: That trade doesn't make any sense to me, from your perspective. Rizzo/Eloy for Scherzer/BLowe/and maybe one of Sano, Winker, or Lopez is in the ballpark. You're giving up *way* too much here.

Eddy (Prospects Live): How can I be funny like you?

Jon Hegglund: You mean, let me understand this...cuz I...maybe its me, maybe Iím a little f**ked up maybe. Iím funny how? I mean funny, like Iím a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? Iím here to f**kiní amuse you? Whattya you mean funny? Funny how? How am I funny?

No, seriously. The answer is: 1. HGH 2. Whisky 3. Fatherhood.

Jake (State Farm): What are some under the radar OF prospects that will be good for Fantasy purposes?

Jon Hegglund: My "under the radar" is decidedly from a non-prospect-expert standpoint, but I'll give you a couple of names, anyway. Mark and I own Jhon Torres on our TDGX team, so keep your eye on him (although I just checked his numbers in Low-A and, yikes). Also, because I wrote about Royals for the annual, I'm excited about Khalil Lee.

Konan (Minneapolis): Pick two of the following for ROS: Hosmer, C. Walker and Moreland.

Jon Hegglund: Yuck. Hosmer and Moreland, I guess.

Mike G (Seattle): I missed the boat on this latest run of propsect call-ups, but I'm still in a good position for playoffs in my points league. Who is your current late-season stash that I can add and hold?

Jon Hegglund: Weird, I know a "Mike G" in Seattle! Take a look at Monte Harrison, Daz Cameron, Yusniel Diaz, Jorge Mateo, and Christian Pache, for starters. Keep tabs on Bo Bichette's health. Possibly get back on on Carter Kieboom if someone dropped him. I wouldn't necessarily add any of these now, but they should be on your radar.

Pablo Forever (Folsom, CA): The Giants offense is a pathetic mess. Yesterday, Mac Williamson had a platinum (is that even a thing?) sombrero. Was it just a bad day or is he just not good? It’s the latter, isn’t it? Also, do the Giants have an Austin Riley in their farm system? Can you lie to me and tell me Heliot Ramos is going to be better than a very Giants-esque utility player?

Jon Hegglund: Yeah, Mac Williamson will probably never have the contact skills to make the power relevant. I do think Heliot Ramos will be something, someday. Bart is good and close, even with the injury. Marco Luciano and Alexander Canario are going to be fun to watch but are many years away. It's not great, but at least I trust Zaidi with some premium picks in the draft?

Fightingmoose (Manitoba): Luis Arraez off to an amazing MLB start. Seeing lots of people saying swing comps to Tony Gwynn’s. Did he just make his way into top 100 prospects?

Jon Hegglund: Nah, don't think so. But if he could get regular playing time, he could be Slow Nicky Lopez, maybe.

Fightingmoose (Manitoba): Luis Arraez off to an amazing MLB start. Seeing lots of people saying swing comps to Tony Gwynn’s. Did he just make his way into top 100 prospects?

Jon Hegglund: Nah, don't think so. But if he could get regular playing time, he could be Slow Nicky Lopez, maybe.

Rob (Alaska): Who's the more likely #1 pick in dynasty drafts next spring: Adley Rutschman or Andrew Vaughn?

Jon Hegglund: There's no wrong answer, but hoo boy I just checked out Rutschman's year at OSU, and I just don't know how you make any other argument right now. Kinda like the Trout/Betts debates for #1 overall this year: there's absolutely nothing wrong with #2, and yet any argument against the obvious #1 is just trying too hard.

Mark B (Everywhere): Hi Jon, congrats on the beard. Jose Ramirez or Cesar Hernandez ROS? I'm only kind of kidding. What's up with our boy?

Jon Hegglund: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahaahaaaaaaaa *sob*. You should check out the piece that our "Mark B" wrote at Baseball Prospectus on this very question! https://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/article/49556/fantasy-freestyle-the-curious-case-of-jose-ramirez/

Good news: 1. he's still very patient, 2. he's running, 3. he's hitting the ball hard.
Bad news: most of his HR during the power years were to the pull side and he's not getting those pitches anymore.

So, I will project a ROS line of .270/.360/.475 with 18 HR and 25 SB. A not-quite-full recovery.

Wallace (Baltimore): Who are some of the lights-out guys stuck in the middle of a team's bullpen who might start getting higher usage and/or save opps?

Jon Hegglund: I've always liked Reyes Moronta in SF, but Will Smith has been fantastic so far. Scott Barlow in KC has been dominant. Emilio Pagan is a little hidden in the TB pen and will eke out few saves the rest of the way. Robert Stephenson and Amir Garrett in Cincinnati.

Conan (Cimmeria): CRON! What do you think of CRON? Will he solve the Riddle of Steel, crush his enemies and have his stats driven before you? Or do you laugh at him like the Four Winds? He hits home-ahs into the Everlasting Sky! Cron is strong on his mountain! Analysis?

Jon Hegglund: Here's the thing: I legit don't know if you're talking about CJ or Kevin.

Both have real power, but my hot take: Kevin > big brother for the rest of the season.

Donald M (Portland, OR): My love of Chris Paddack grows by the minute, what do you think the odds of MLB hitters figuring him out? Or is he really just as good as he seems so far.

Jon Hegglund: Still would love for him to have a legitimate third pitch, but yes, he is the Real Deal (tm). As with just about any rookie SP, I would expect a rough patch or two over the summer, but he's probably your Opening Day starter for the next half-decade. Congrats, you must feel very proud.

hunterpence4ever (Idaho): Which do you prefer, the Cardinals new powder blue uniform for Saturday road games or the Phillies powder blue alternate? How do you feel about the 15 throwback uniforms for the Reds 150th anniversary?

Jon Hegglund: My internet just crapped the bed so Iím on my phone now. So, lightning round!

Love the powder blues, hate when theyíre worn as a home set.

J Roberts (San Luis Obispo): Buying the Giolito renaissance? Any other forgotten prospects offering under the radar intrigue?

Jon Hegglund: After last night, yes!

Donít forget about AJ Puk.

Alex (Austin): Who's got the best beard in baseball right now? And does it hold a candle to Rollie's stache? And is David Dahl anything but empty average these days? I know he is only 25, but he looks to not be much different than Castellanos.

Jon Hegglund: Justin Turner. Give me that ginger.

AJ (Boston): Do you play mainly redraft or dynasty? Do you have any preference?

Jon Hegglund: Iím currently in 5 redraft, 2 keeper, and 1 dynasty. I like the mix!

BG (Seattle): I have two questions. No. 1: What are the best and worst parts of living in close proximity of the Kibbie Dome? No. 2: If you were the commish, would you implement any changes to the game to either facilitate contact or reduce home runs?

Jon Hegglund: 1. Best: it means Iím in Moscow, which is an amazing place. There is no worst, as long as you stay outside the Kibbie Dome.
2. I mean, letís start with the ball...

Dano (Joisey): Is Keston Hiura here to stay? If so, how locked in is his playing time?

Jon Hegglund: Yes, and pretty locked in. Look for more Shaw at first when he comes back.

ajoustra (Long Beach): Sell high on Josh Bell or hold?

Jon Hegglund: Hold! This is a real & beautiful breakout.

NEIL (GEORGIA): Thoughts on Eloy Jimenez. Is JD Martinez a good comp for him in peak years?

Jon Hegglund: I donít hate that as an 80-90 percentile outcome for Eloy, sure.

Jon Hegglund: Thanks everyone (except you, Time Warner crappy internet)! Enjoy the long weekend, and Iíll see you around the way.

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