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Chat: Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday August 28, 2019 12:00 PM ET chat session with Jeffrey Paternostro.

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Jeffrey Paternostro is the Lead Prospect Writer for Baseball Prospectus and will actually give you cocktail recommendations this time.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Chat time, let's spill the honey lemon ginger iced tea.

earpbartman (WC): Early in the season I asked for your thoughts on Pearson, and you understandably said you needed to see him go 100 IP this season to help ease your concerns. He's close to that now and has been ripping a hole in AA and AAA since they took the reins off. Should we be believers in him as a viable top tier SP prospect, or should we still see him as a high risk / reliever risk given the profile and history? Thanks!

Jeffrey Paternostro: Let's go with cautiously optimistic. It's all been good to see, but he's still topping out at 75 pitches, and has only spent half the season on a regular starting schedule. There's still significant reliever risk, but he also could be the best reliever in baseball. Not a bad fallback. The overall risk profile is now merely "a bit worse than most pitching prospects," which still counts as high I'd say.

Jon (NY): Is Alexander Mojica is the next Marco Luciano, who was last years Wander Franco, who was the previous years Juan Soto, who was the years before that Ronald Acuna?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Believe it's Jeferson Espinal actually.

Henry P (Go Mets): Francisco Alvarez in Kingsport at age 17 since July 8th: .306/.391/.479 - thats good for a wRC+ of 141 Uhhh, is this a top 3 prospect in the system?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Probably

CubbieBear (Chi-Town): Colton Welker has had a dismal season. Prior to this season he had been a hitting machine. Do you think that was a result of the hitting environments he played in or does he possess physical attributes to be a productive hitter at the big league level?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Hartford is about as nice a park to hit in as Lancaster and Asheville frankly. The bigger issue was the jump to facing Double-A arms. Welker has plenty of bat speed, but he can't really gear down the swing against off speed and that got exploited throughout the year. Ryan McMahon had similar issues his first pass in the Eastern League.

Gary (NY): I know I only saw it on a twitter clip, but is Matt Allan...flashing 80 curves?

Jeffrey Paternostro: If you have to ask if it's an 80 curve, it's probably not an 80 curve.

Fran (NY): Are Andres Gimenez's last two weeks cause for optimism ?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The swing is still kind of borked. I think he's adjusted to it some, but he's really not able to do much more than make occasional hard contact oppo. That's an improvement over earlier in the year, but I wouldn't say I am optimistic no.

jrouth (Pittsburgh, PA): Who has a higher ceiling, Julio Rodriguez or Dylan Carlson?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Fuck, it might be Carlson at this point. You could probably argue Rodriguez, just because of the pure physicality, but at worse it's close.

Stev-amos (Bern): What does it take for an UDFA to start registering as worth noting to a scout? Mike Ford is doing decently enough, but it took him quite some time to get any trust despite pretty consistent numbers in the minors. I've watched a few fairly interesting age-appropriate UDFAs shine in the low-minors (e.g. Devin Sweet) but what does it usually demand to get on your radar?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Jarrett Seidler will yell at me if I don't mention that he always liked Mike Ford. The problem with Ford types is you don't know if the approach and average bat speed will really play against major league arms. He was also more of a medium power guy until this year, and well there's the whole thing about the baseball. Ultimately after a year or so, I am not looking at draft pedigree, although you never get completely rid of it.

Yuri (Israel): Hi Jeff, excited to see that you took Craig's place. Should be a fun chat now. Do you think Wade Miley can perform at the same level in 2020 if he signs somewhere other than Houston this offseason?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Hi Yuri, always good to hear from you. I think as long as teams stay out of his way and let him keep throwing the cutter, it can work for a bit longer.

Dusty (Colorado): Why did you and Craig switch time slots?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Because I decided at the last minute to go see an org guy

Charles (MIller Park): Got anything on Carolina League pitcher of the year Noah Zavolas? Any chance his stuff holds up as he climbs the ladder towards MLB?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's like 86-88 and low spin, so guessing it's an older pitcher dominating the low minors.

easterbrook (ontario canada): Good day .......I have a conamdrum I am in a scoresheet league where 5 rookies are the maximun protection. having Rutschman,wander franco. Drew Waters,kristian robinson jordan grishans and Emerson Hancock which 2 would you toss back tho i have a good idea/ thanks

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm mostly curious how you ended up with Emerson Hancock. Functionally you are picking two out of Robinson, Groshans, and Waters, and I'd probably let Groshans go given how far away he is and the foot issues.

jgaztambide (Louisville): Does it feel like the talent is down in the minors this year? Or does it feel like maybe there haven't been as many pop-up guys as in years past?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, maybe a bit. The top end talent is still really good, and I think the actual depth of interesting dudes is high, but the middle class of Top 101 types feels a little shallow, yeah.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Chances Clint Frazier makes it back to the big club in Sept?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I would assume he is up after roster expansion barring the Yankees being particularly petty, which I suppose isn't impossible

Bailey (MD): I'm the commissioner of a league that I've lost interest in, hoping my minor league team will bring back the passion I'm looking for. It's currently led by future ace Tim Cate. This is a great start right?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I am obligated to rep the fellow CT boys.

Mitch (Chicago): Who is your favorite prospect in AAA, AA, A+, A-?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Favorite doesn't mean best, just so we are clear:

AAA: Harol Gonzalez
AA: Sixto
A+: Lazarito
A: Johan Rojas

Jonny (Los Angeles): What do you guys do in the offseason to kill the time? Once my fantasy season is over, I'm going to be lost. Maybe I should get a life.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Buddy, I write thirty team prospect lists, a Top 101, and org rankings. You should see my Toggl.

Alex (Hoboken): How much do the somewhat unforeseen rise of Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and less so JD Davis mean for the Mets window?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The Mets having a few bits of top end talent has almost never been an issue for 15 years. It's just been building out the rest of the roster. They will probably identify one thing they want to fix it and do a half-ass job of it, ignoring other existing holes and possibly open more in the process.

Hank (White Plains): Does Deivi’s move to the bullpen all but assure he’s coming up soon? Is he throwing the slider or the curve as his second pitch?

Jeffrey Paternostro: We may have prepped a call up for 9/1, yes. The curve is still ahead of the slider last I heard, but he might be throwing the slide piece more for developmental reasons.

Elton (Pacific Northwest): Thought you might want an update on my dynasty rebuild. Reminder, I'm targeting competing in 2021 at the absolute earliest. I'm done with 2020 already though. Keeping that in mind, what are your thoughts on Rico Garcia? I picked him up this week. He looked good despite Coors and I think he can learn every day he pitches there and figure out how to overcome it. Do you think he can be a helpful dynasty piece in the future?

Jeffrey Paternostro: In our senior staff gchat I predicted Devers hitting a 500 foot bomb off him in Coors. Turned out it was JBJ and only 478. Rico is fun, but Coors eats dudes like that alive.

Tim (Minneapolis): Tell me about Bailey Ober. The minor league numbers are staggering going on three years and several levels now and he's got a monster, workhorse frame.

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's mostly extension and deception, fastball is only upper-80s. If it continues to work this well in Double-A though, we may have to revise upwards.

Sammy (Atlanta): Seems like Houston and Atlanta made late pushes to trade for Wheeler...any idea what those offers looked like? Trying to read between the lines I'd guess Houston was offering JBB and Atlanta was offering Wentz/Allard?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I would think that the Mets would have taken JBB 1 for 1 if he was on the table? Then again, the reporting around the deadline suggested they were asking for the same top pieces for Wheeler that were on the table for Syndergaard (if not the quantity)

Bruce (Canada): How close is Francisco Alvarez to being a top 100 dynasty spec? Or is he already there?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He'll be in consideration. Short-season catchers are gonna be a tough sell.

Jake (State Farm): Per the earlier question about next Franco, what about Noelvi Marte?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Franco was ripping the Appy at the same age. Marte is a good prospect though.

Slippery Pete (The deep): What does Jeter Downs's upside look like? Could he be a first-division SS?

Jeffrey Paternostro: That feels a bit lofty for me, although Brandon but an OFP 55 on him earlier this year. https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=549

Slideshow Bob (The Clink): What should, or could, the Cardinals do with Alex Reyes?

Jeffrey Paternostro: At this point I think you just have to try and get him healthy and right.

coffeeguy8806 (Chicagoooo): With what appears to be an International draft on the horizon, how do you think teams that consistently have a poor draft position (Yanks, Rays, Dodgers etc) will adapt? Thanks!

Jeffrey Paternostro: Let's see if I can answer this question without getting Craig a phone call.

There is far more uncertainty in the projection of 16 year old IFAs on a draft big board then there is for the Rule 4 draft where we have much more info about the players in question.

Frank (Bronx): which is better for 2020 and career: M. Gore or L. Patino?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I suspect Gore will be a tier higher on the 2020 list, although it's closer than you might think, and I know of at least one staffer that prefers Patio

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Jazz Chisholm will be...bust? future star? somewhere in between?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Somewhere in between is a big swath of land, but if I had to pick one, I'd go star still.

Steve (New Mexico): I once saw in a BP chat where a dude confessed to trading Fernando Tatis Jr. for Luis Perdomo. It crosses my mind more than it probably should. I wonder where that poor guy is now.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Mostly ranking berries in BP chats probably.

Larry the Lobster (Brooklyn): Looks like Brett Baty has turned it around a little bit after a slow start in Kingsport. Should we read into this at all?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I wouldn't read a ton into Baty's season one way or the other. Ben Ten Pack'd him this week and was cautiously optimistic.

Spotted cow (Rockford ): In the NL Central which of the 3 contending teams Achilles heal is the best/healthiest and will be the reason the win the central?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Functionally at this point in the season I think you have to bet on the team that's three games up, even if they have flaws and play the chasers a bunch down the stretch. I also think the Cards have the most balanced team of the three, even if they aren't much more than "above-average"

Logan (Kennebunk, ME): I just traded D Price, C Hernandez, and J Mateo for W Adames and B Dalbec in a 12 team (240 prospects+26 majors) dynasty. I think I did very well. Mateo seems like a less powerful Andrus (Career 93 drc+), Price is 34 and not projected favorably by DRA, and Cesar is very meh. I already had a surplus of speed anyway. I have a feeling Adames will be on some 2020 breakout lists. What do you think?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Honestly I didn't love Adames even when we were ranking him in the top 20 nationally. You might find another twenty points of BA with commensurate rate gains, but he's definitionally a better real player than fantasy type especially in this era of shortstop production.

Jeffrey Paternostro: All right, I have some podcast stuff to do. Craig will be back for your berry questions soon.


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