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Chat: Mr. President Bret Sayre

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday June 05, 2019 9:00 PM ET chat session with Mr. President Bret Sayre.


Bret Sayre is the President of Baseball Prospectus and Commander in Chief of all fantasy rankings.

Mr. President Bret Sayre: It's the hour of the wolf. Let's do this thing.

Not Wilson (Don't worry about it): I'd love to see you trade Madison Bumgarner to Wilson on the cheap.

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Is this really how we're doing trade negotiations now? I mean, I'm not against it because it props up the queue in my chat and makes me feel important. Also, no.

boatman44 (Liverpool): All the stats are pointing to MacKenzie Gore being a bona fide SP1 in fantasy , do you see any way , barring injury of course , how it won't happen ? cheers pres.

Mr. President Bret Sayre: I mean, of course, but I really like the odds of it happening compared to other pitching prospects. He's the best in the game right now in my opinion despite the fact that we won't see him for another year and a half at least.

Frank (Brooklyn): Where do you see Gavin Lux in 1 year?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Being ranked really highly on the Stash List.

Vic (Baltimore): So Teoscar is back!!!! And he's set to get full time ABs in the Toronto OF. How many HRs and SBs can he produce in the next 100 games? Enough to replace McCutchen?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: In medium sized mixed leagues (14-16 teams) he's a really good replacement for Cutch. I could see him getting to 15 homers the rest of the way, but I don't think he'll surpass five steals. Just hope it's not an OBP league.

Dusty (Colorado): Thoughts on Wander Javier? What's his upside?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: I'm just extremely happy that he's back doing baseball things. In terms of his upside, somewhere between Sauron and Galadriel.

Adam (Durham): When was the last time you were in a fistfight? What was the reason? Did you win? Also, tell me how soon we rank Greg Jones over Vidal Brujan?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: The closest I've ever gotten to being in a fistfight is playing Mike Tyson's Punchout. I was not very good at Mike Tyson's Punchout. I'm really excited about Jones and I think he's got more natural pop than Brujan, but that probably doesn't happen until 2021.

Drew (Baltimore): How many of these guys would you slot into the top 50 prospects right now?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: By these guys, we're talking about 2019 draftees. The answer is likely somewhere between three and five, as the top tier all will be and then Bishop and Abrams will be really close.

Squished (Roadside): Kyle Tucker has been highly touted for several years, and yet, in spite of the outfield injuries in Houston, he still can't seem to crack the Astro's roster. It took him a while to rolling at AAA this year as well. Is the bloom off this rose or are you still comfortable with your preseason rankings on Tucker?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Oh I'm still all in on Tucker. If someone in your league is not, pounce as quickly as possible.

Jojo (SD): Jesus Sanchez, Estevan Floria, Isan Diaz...buy/sell/hold in dynasty points?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: If I had to match up one with each, I'd hold Florial, sell Sanchez (he's the highest valued publicly) and I'd buy Diaz.

slappy123 (Charlotte, NC): How does this year's draft class stack up to last year? Certainly the pitching is nowhere like last year, but how about the hitting? Seems like more buzz last year regarding Gorman, India, Larnach, Kelenic, Groshans, etc. thanks

Mr. President Bret Sayre: The pitching is awful, but that's okay. The hitting is likely the best we've seen in the last five years. The buzz last year was only strong on those guys because it was a weak hitting class. All of these players you mention are somewhat comparable to players who were taken outside the top tier this year, and then you've got the big boys at the top. It's a really fun fantasy class.

Frank (Brooklyn ): Is Naylor the next Vogelbach? If so, can that work in SD?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Unless there's a universal DH, I don't see it working but I do still like Naylor a good bit. He's got less power than Vogelbach but good plate discipline and a slightly better hit tool.

Loria (Milwaukee): Theres an arms race in my deep keeper league where prospects promoted from MilB roster are free keepers for 3 years. I'm chasing Strasberg to complete my rotation and am working a deal with a MI prospect and some picks... how would you rate Hiura, Rodgers, and Kieboom? Which is most expendable?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: I think Kieboom is most expendable, but I'd probably let the other owner choose between Rodgers and Kieboom to try to get the deal done. They'll probably choose Rodgers, but there's not much of a difference between the two.

Drew (Baltimore): If the Orioles pass on Adley for a guy who signs underslot, is that understandable or stupid?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: It's ok, Drew. You can exhale now.

Frank (Brooklyn ): Is Ian Happ dead to you...and the Cubs?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Of course not, and honestly I'm not even overly concerned with his Triple-A performance this year either. If the Cubs call him back up, or he's traded to another org, I expect him to settle right back in as a .240/.330/.440 hitter. Someone will love him like I still love him.

Matt (Fresno, CA): Seems like the American League got most of the really good dynasty prospects out of this year's MLB Draft, but are there any guys headed to the NL that you'd look to stash right away if you could?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Absolutely. The top tier may all be from the AL, but seven of the next eight players on my list are in the NL and they are likely all top 100 prospects by the end of the year. The best of the group are Bishop, Abrams and Bleday.

boatman44 (Liverpool): Sorry El Presidente, but I have one more question ,when do we get to see our love child gorgeous George Valera and where, in your considered opinion? Thanks Bret.

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Just a couple more weeks until we almost certainly see him in the NY-Penn League. It will be glorious.

Chansen8895 (San jose): Thanks for the chat Bret. I’m in a 14tm dynasty league and we’re struggling to keep a number of teams engaged. Do you have any suggestions to keep them in the fold or get them engaged again?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: It depends on what the lack of engagement is stemming from. If there are a number of teams who just aren't making moves, you probably need a few replacements. If there are just a number of teams consistently rebuilding, you just need to change their incentives. Create a draft lottery or some sort of system to get the top picks. You can try to dock picks for lack of engagement. Lots of creative solutions, but you know your fellow owners best.

Phin (WI): Any fringe prospects or young MLB guys you’d recommend chasing in dynasty if I’m rebuilding? I’ve started to target high risk/reward guys in the hopes that I can hit on a few of them.

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Chasing any players in particular isn't generally a great idea, but I like what Scott Kingery has been doing this year and I don't think his value has caught up with his performance because some of it is unsustainable. I like the idea of buying pitchers who have currently muddled roles like Alex Reyes or Josh James. Buying into the down cycle is often the best way to spur a rebuild, especially when you're looking at players with service time or current MLB roles.

Loria (Milwaukee): Dynasty League, 20 team with deep rosters. Made a trade with a rebuilder, what u think? I got Cole, Harper, Arenado and gave him Vladito, Robles, and Buehler. Which side would you prefer?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: I think that's more or less fair, though I probably would have held out for a little extra on the veteran side, especially with Harper's fantasy struggles. Vlad is extraordinarily valuable in a dynasty due to his age, and is the top guy in the deal for me.

AJ (Boston): Do you ever go back and undertake an exercise whereby you review your previous "too early" post-draft dynasty rankings and compare them to your end-of-year/start of year prospect rankings, to see whether there are any trends (e.g. guys with a certain skill set perform better/worse initially in pro ball, general under/over ranks, etc.)?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: I do this every year and it's a great exercise that helps me hopefully get a little better at making these initial lists in future seasons. The toughest thing about doing it this early isn't that you don't know the skills of the player (you really don't learn that much from their brief tastes of pro ball), it's that you don't know how quickly the team is going to move them. Take Andrew Vaughn for example, my guess is that he ends up in High-A relatively quickly after signing, but if the White Sox end up keeping him in short season ball for the full year, it has an effect on his ETA whether he's beating up on those pitchers or not. In terms of trends, it's generally the prep bats/arms who we don't quite have as much information on that move most sharply. Someone like Keoni Cavaco could easily be in the top-10 after his pro debut, or he could fall back into the late teens because everything is notable when you're dealing with a short track record.

Frank (Brooklyn ): Ke’Bryan Hayes eta? Best guess at a 2020 slash line?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: I'd expect him to have more or less the same line that Colin Moran has now, which is to say that the Pirates can let him dominate a little in Triple A first before they give him the call. I think he's up by end of July.

MrWiseGuy (Rake City): Thoughts on Griff Conine? Slugging like crazy, albeit in Aball. But hard to ignore, right, considering he was a Cape Cod MVP

Mr. President Bret Sayre: He's a major conference bat who should not be in Low A. Let's see what happens when he hits the upper minors and those contact issues are really put to the test.

Dirt (Tx): Eduardo Rodriguez straight up for Dylan Carlson in fantasy, who says no?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Probably both owners, to be honest. Which means it feels like a pretty fair trade.

Chansen8895 (San Jose ): Now that you’ve reached cloud nine with vogelbach. Who is the next beefy boy that you’re excited about?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Unfortunately it's a pretty bad time for beefy boys in the minors, but I am very much rooting for Andrew Vaughn to both hit and let his body go a little bit.

sportsguy21792 (madison): Do you see the NL Central division going down to the wire again this year? What does each team need to bolster their rosters for the stretch run?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: I think it will, yea. The Cubs are addressing one of thier biggest concerns by signing Kimbrel. The Brewers have gotten a little lucky so far, but if they can add some pitching, I like their chances the best. Of course, you can't count out the Cardinals who have a couple of potential X-factors the rest of the way, including maybe the biggest one in the National League in Alex Reyes.

boatman44 (Liverpool): Yeah I'm back with another, how long will my beloved Indians take to promote Bobby Bradley, his strikeout % is unseemly I know , but we need some THUMP in the middle of our order surely?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: It's hard to thump when you don't make contact, unfortunately. That said, I think it's worth seeing if he can be better than Jake Bauers or any one of the other three to four replacement level or worse bats they have in their current lineup.

bphil2712 (MO): Time to give up on Nick Williams as a possible solid regular? Seems the Phillies have.

Mr. President Bret Sayre: I wish Williams were with, say, the Marlins or the Blue Jays and was in a position where a team could really give him 400-500 at-bats to see if he can get over the hump against major-league pitching. He's clearly not going to get in in Philly even after the Cutch injury, and he's not well-served by being up in a middling part-time role as he needs reps. I'm not giving up on him, but there's not a ton of reason for optimism at the moment.

MJ (St Paul): Alek Thomas: Top __ fantasy prospect.

Mr. President Bret Sayre: 40. He's been extremely impressive so far in 2019, but I loved him coming out of the draft as well.

Steve (Boston): Cold streak or regression monster: DeJong? Albies? Chavis?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Cold streaks really are just regression monsters of a different name. I don't believe any of these players will lose their fantasy usefulness any time soon, but I also don't think any of them are superstars. Act accordingly.

boatman44 (Liverpool): Congratulations on your appointment Mr.President will we ever hear TINO again, miss it terribly. :(

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Thanks, boatman. I miss it terribly as well. Unfortunately it doesn't look like we will, which does make me very sad as recording those podcasts with Ben and Craig will always be some of my favorite memories of BP.

jessemumm (Minneapolis): How would you rank Rutschman relative to Joey Bart? And will Vaughn be significantly higher than Witt and Rutschman in your top 100 update? Any idea where they would slot in now? Top 25?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Rutschman is far, far better of a fantasy prospect in my book than Bart and I imagine they'll be about 50 spots apart on my rankings right now. Vaughn won't be significantly higher than the other two, as they're all right around that 20-30 range for me right now.

Frank (Brooklyn ): Lucas Sims ready to break out?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: The day I expect a true breakout from a Reds pitcher is the day I relinquish the keys to my fantasy teams. All of them. Sorry, Ohio.

Jake (Boston): What is Jarren Duran’s upside for fantasy? Do you think he’s a top of the order bat?

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Feels like Adam Eaton type upside, so yes he could be a good top of the order bat.

Keaton O. DeRocher (@thespokenkeats): I was not properly cited in this article.

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Sir, this is a Wendy's.

Frank (Brooklyn ): 3 Best Buy low hitters and SP right now? Re-draft.

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Among hitters, I'm buying Rougned Odor, Gregory Polanco and Kyle Seager (if you're in a deeper league). Among pitchers, I'd go after Jack Flaherty, Noah Syndergaard and (braces self) Yu Darvish.

boatman44 (Liverpool): As you haven't answered my question abot TINO,I,m going to presume your podcast days are over, which would be a great shame as I loved listening to your insightful banter, still Presidents have more pressing needs, but thank you for TINO and FLAGS they were brilliant :fawn: haha

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Thank you for the kind words and for listening. That said, I don't believe that my podcast days are over permanentlywe've just got a lot of work to do in order to bring some really fun ideas that we have for BP to life over the next couple of years and that's where my focus is going to be. In the long run, you won't be able to get rid of my ridiculous soliloquies that easily.

Mr. President Bret Sayre: Thanks for the #content, everyone. I'll be back to do another one of these as soon as Craig lets me. Goodnight!

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