Jeffrey Paternostro is the Lead Prospect Writer for Baseball Prospectus and Co-host of Three Quarters Delivery, a forthcoming prospect-focused podcast.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Chat tea today is lapsang souchong
Not Jordyn Adams (Here): Jordyn Adams didn't have a standout statistical season, but he more than held his own. For a guy with precious little high-level baseball experience, did he actually overachieve? Would you say he's proving to be a real baseball talent rather than "just" a premium athlete?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't know if I'd go with overachieve, but I think we do forget both just how brutal the MWL is to hit in for a 19-year-old and that not everyone is gonna be Jo Adell in the pros from day one (would that it were true). That said, he's still quite raw and it may take some time for the physical projection to, well project. I suspect he's more or less held serve as a prospect for us
The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): My kingdom for a scouting report on Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac! ;)
Jeffrey Paternostro: I suspect the league is going to catchup with Plesac next time around, as it's tough to live in the zone as much as he does with the fastball. There's a collection of fringe->average offerings and he could be useful utility arm, but he's probably not a top five starter for Cleveland long term. Civale I liked a bit as a prospect, I'm obligated to keep track of the CT dudes, and the cutter might be enough to keep his contact profile on the good side of average even if he never misses a ton of bats. I don't think he's quite THIS good, but no reason he can't be an average starter for a bit.
uncasf1 (Raleigh NC): Jared Kelenic had a great year at AA and is 20. Julio Rodriguez just tore up High A in a small sample and is 18 months younger than Kelenic. When comparing the two, how do you factor in the difference in ages and the different pro levels? Thanks.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I find I weight age relative to league less nowadays. It's still important to consider, but we tend to use age as a proxy for physical projection or expected improvement, and player development is rarely that linear. Both players performed while being young for their levels. Kelenic has more present baseball skills and less physical projection, but he's hardly lacking in tools. I often say that statistical performance in the minors exists to be explained by the report, but it's not hard to see on their reports why both had good numbers this year. We have people on staff that prefer both in a head-to-head pick 'em for long term value.
Zack Wheeler (Queens): Do I take a QO?
Jeffrey Paternostro: If I was your agent I would advise you to.
Mike (Albany): Let's say the rumors are true and the Red Sox are really going to be wonderfully stupid and try to trade Mookie Betts. I would imagine the Padres would be the first ones on the phone. What do you think is a ~reasonable~ package from San Diego? I assume Paddack and/or Gore would have to be involved.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'd bet you it's for way less than you'd think because teams have gotten aggressive about years of control. You will hear a lot about how 1/30 doesn't have much surplus value.
Vic (Baltimore): There's certainly a chance M. Gore finishes 2020 in SD? What about T Trammell?
Jeffrey Paternostro: There's certainly a chance the light goes off here and the power starts playing and he just torches the upper minors in 2020, sure. And even barring that he's a useful September roster piece if the Padres are in it even in the short expansion that kicks in next year
Yuri (Israel): Very excited to see you on the schedule today, Jeff. I can't tell you how disheartening it is to see Craig's queued up. Anyway, in one of my dynasty leagues we don't have a trade deadline and I was offered Dylan Carlson for Brendan Rodgers. Good deal?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'd do it with the caveat that I've never really been in on Rodgers, and it might not look good from a purely "dynasty rankings" perspective.
Matt N (Oakland ): Edwin Diaz for Keibert Ruiz and Mitch White?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I really don't see a path for the Mets to get good value for Diaz this offseason, they are better off trying to fix him internally or fix whatever injury issue he might have.
Simple (Question): Is Michael Kopech a top-30 SP next year?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I think the only young pitcher that were that good coming off TJ was Harvey and he had previous established baselines of that type of performance. Oh, maybe Stras is the comp here, but he was a generational pitching prospect, and I also expect the White Sox will be very conservative with Kopech's usage, so you probably aren't getting their on bulk counting stuff.
Matt Allan’s Curve (Denver ): My good sir, I need every single word you can come up with to describe Matthew Allan’s pitching prowess if you don’t mind.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Keanan's eyewitness is a good start. Smith saw basically the same guy in his look last week and Ten Pack'd him. Jarrett just saw him in the playoffs and got the potential above-average change. He's your standard good pitching prospect, OFP 60 with three potential above-average offerings, but a long way away with a lot of risk.
Casey (Penn): Based in early reports, it looks like the Mets got a ____ talent with Matt Allan (ex. Mid-first, early second, etc.)
Jeffrey Paternostro: He's going to be in consideration for the back of the 101, and we usually rank 15ish draft guys or so, so mid-first is about right.
Jake (State Farm): What do you make of Brent Honeywell now? Former top 15-20 prospect, who has now spent 2 years out for injury. Rays will probably slow play him, but is he still that guy?
Jeffrey Paternostro: The honest answer is I have no idea, the closest recent comp to this is Taillon, but his secondary injury wasn't related to the TJ. Wheeler was more of a traditional "bad rehab." Jeremy Hefner did something similar but did blow his UCL a second time and never pitched again. That's your range of outcomes here, and it's the kind of chasm that would qualify as a ninth wonder of the world. We won't really know anything until he steps on a mound again.
ironcityguys (urban area): Keibert Ruiz... what happened in 2019? What's his new (revised?) status?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Catchers are weird, but Ruiz's struggles aren't so much. Kevin saw an overaggressive approach that led to bad contact. This is one where age relative to league does matter a bit, as he had been aggressively pushed and this was his first bit of sustained struggle. I'm down a little on him since the reports aren't as strong, but he's still a very good catching prospect.
Derek (SD): Best hitting and pitching prospects no one is talking about, but should be?
Jeffrey Paternostro: If you look at my chat queue week in and week out, you guys have basically heard of everyone now. There are no new prospects.
The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): What OFP/Likely would you give Jordan Yamamoto now?
Jeffrey Paternostro: So that model breaks down somewhat once you are in the majors, it's meant to project a range of major league outcomes based on future growth/development. That's not to say players don't improve in the majors, they do, but now you have much more useful performance to bake in since major league performance is the ultimate goal. Anyway, I still think Yamamoto is a fourthish starter, somewhere around 45 or 50. Although anytime I see the phrase "right forearm strain" I'm bumping the risk factor.
Will (Chicago): Do you think Brailyn Marquez is more likely destined to be a starter or a reliever? His delivery is said to be rough
Jeffrey Paternostro: Nathan submitted an eyewitness recently and thought he was more likely to be a late-inning arm. https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/52612/eyewitness-accounts-august-22-2019/
Cam (NY): Best story of Mets minors this year has to be Alvarez right ? Can’t be too many minor league catchers with more upside besides Adley and anyone in LAD farm, right?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Sure. I would also throw in like Campusano and Amaya and Huff if we are looking at just upside though. Also says something when your ~3 million dollar IFA having a strong stateside debut is the best story in your system, but it beats the alternative I suppose.
Rob (Alaska): Robel Garcia was kind of a fun story for a while. What do you think he is going forward - a role 4 guy? Something more?
Jeffrey Paternostro: The major league ball may be the same as the AAA one, but the dudes throwing it are extremely not. There might be enough pop to go with the defensive flexibility to get him on the back end of a major league bench, but he's been overmatched for the most part so far.
biscuit (gravy): Did you/anyone get some looks on Cleveland's Carlos Vargas, especially toward the end of the season? Did his strike-throwing measurably improve? He was on a roll to close out the year.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I didn't get great reports early, but that's something I have been meaning to check back in with Spring on.
Vic (Baltimore): I resisted taking Gavin Lux with my last pick in . a 4 yr keeper this year. Do you think in 2020, he can immediately become a top 100 player?
Jeffrey Paternostro: So some names between 90-100 on our position player WARP leaderboard include Scott Kingery, Jean Segura, and David Fletcher. I know this is a fantasy question, but that seems doable for Lux, broadly speaking
Charlie (NY): Heard anything promising on Brett Baty or Josh Wolf?
Jeffrey Paternostro: The Mets appear to have Baty doing opposite field work, which seems very Mets, but he's looked generally fine otherwise with the same pre-draft concerns that he's not a lock to stick at third. Josh Wolf has thrown eight innings and is still healthy, so for a post-draft prep arm, that's promising enough for now.
Will (Chicago): Where does Brennen Davis rank in the Cubs prospect list? Developed faster than expected, though had some unfortunate injuries this year from HBP
Jeffrey Paternostro: He's in the mix with Amaya, Hoerner, Marquez at the top. NL Central is our last division this year so I have yet to develop a strong take on the order.
Mookus Boots (Boston): Could you see Mookie going to MIN for Kiriloff and Gaterol?
Jeffrey Paternostro: The next of these era of "smart" rebuilding teams to push serious prospect capital in for a star on a short-term contract will be the first. The Cubs and Astros did do it to varying degrees, but none of their copycats have yet. Funnily enough the only GM I'm sure would make that kind of deal would be on the other side of this one.
phgold09 (Long Island, NY): Competing now in a 16 team Dynasty, do I cut bait on either Piscotty or Yandy? My 5 DL slots are occupied by Rodon, Taillon, A Hicks, Dom Smith, and Pressly. Have Gavin Lux waiting in the minors.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'd probably dump Piscotty before Yandy, but I also get weird about foot injuries. I'd probably prefer Lux over either of them for 2020. It's perfectly reasonable to drop Rodon or Taillon here too I think depending on your pitching situation. This does not constitute fantasy advice as you are asking the wrong person as always.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Light queue this week, probably because I per usual forgot I was doing this. I am apparently having another chat next week which I may remember before 90 minutes out.