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Chat: Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday September 27, 2019 12:00 PM ET chat session with Jeffrey Paternostro.


Jeffrey Paternostro is the Lead Prospect Writer for Baseball Prospectus and co-host of the Three-Quarters Delivery podcast.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Tea, earl grey, hot.

The Colonel (Pasadena): Has BP ever considered rebranding as just "Baseball Prospects"? It's catchy.

Jeffrey Paternostro: If that happens you will get the Sherman statement from me.

Mike (Albany): How would you use your 26th roster spot next year if you're the Mets? A third catcher?

Jeffrey Paternostro: This is actually a reasonable spot for a pure pinch hitting bat, but I expect most teams (and especially the Mets) will use it on a third catcher or extra lefty reliever.

Ed (White Plains): Assuming service time shenanigans, is Jo Adell up immediately after Super 2?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Eh, I don't know if there is a need to wait that long, given the Angels win-now attitude. At worst it should be after the clawback date.

Yuri (Israel): Been waiting for this non-Craig chat all week. Craig's chats are truly the worst. Anyway, how close is Roansy Contreras to the top 101?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He's on the long list. The whole glut of A-ball Yankees arms are in contention, sorting out the order on the team list is annoying enough.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Assuming Maddon gets chopped, who manages the Cubs next year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think it depends on if the front office sticks around as well. If so, you could go one of two ways. Girardi seems like the logical "big name in the locker room" pick, while John Baker seems like the "FO conduit" pick. That's not a knock on Baker btw, who's one of the smarter baseball minds around.

Ron (Texarkana): How far is the offensive drop-off from the 2019 June Draft after Adley Rutschman, Andrew Vaughn, and Bobby Witt,Jr? Who are some other players from this draft worth keeping an eye on for their plate approaches?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Honestly the next three bats are all at least interesting, with Abrams having the scorching pro start. Good reports on Josh Jung as well.

Vic (Baltimore): How many SBs for Hampson next year? What position does he settle in at?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I have no clue how to predict where the Rockies will play guys, or even which guys they will play. Assuming the bat holds steady from the second half performance, no reason he can't keep bouncing around as a Zobrist/McNeil type for 400-500 PA. Might be the best use of him anyway with the Rockies sort of set at his infield spots. That might get him to 30 steals or so.

easterbrook (ontario canada): Thanks for the chat, Looking at Pache and Waters with the braves after the year Waters had. Is it possible he is better?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's possible, but that's a very very aggressive approach, and while I'm not sold on Pache's hit tool either, Waters doesn't have the glove to fall back on.

Sammy (New York): Noah Synergaard and Dom Smith for Mookie Betts?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm always for trades that will make both fanbases incredibly angry

Jack (PA): To follow up on the Waters question, is it fair to say his "very very aggressive approach" gives him a higher bust risk (at least with the bat) than most other top prospects?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Relative to upper minors outfielders in the top 50? Yeah, a fair bit. Maybe even relative to the profile generally. It's also the kind of thing you may not see until he has to deal with major league stuff and sequencing.

Dave (NY): The Mets were criticized last offseason for making more that were more so 'win now' than 'win in the future' (trading kelenic for Diaz, taking on Cano $$, not trading any veterans for prospects, etc.). Do the breakouts of Alonso, McNeil, and to an extent, Rosario change the way you think the Mets should attack this offseason (compared to how you would have expected them to attack this 2019-20 a year ago)? I'd expect that the above breakouts can really change the trajectory of a franchise

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't think they have much of a choice except to push back in a little bit. That said I expect them to make a bunch of weird moves that basically run back an 85 win team but with more years of control. Dealing Syndergaard for a cost-controlled outfielder worse than Conforto, Conforto for a cost-controlled pitcher worse than Syndergaard, adding a couple relievers along the way. Something like that.

The actual play is something like sign Grandal and Cole and try to patch together a bullpen on one-year deals or with minor trades where you lean on your pro scouting.

Amed Rosario (NY): My slash line since the beginning of July is .322/.357/.457 What are your expectations for my slash line next year? With my newly improved defense, am I a 4 WAR player?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'd expect some consolidation. Maybe 5-10% better than league average offense with fringe->average D at short. That's not quite a 4-win player, but it's not that far off either. I would worry that he's a guy that could get hurt badly if they deflate the ball, since the 15 home runs give him at least one passable secondary skill.

Derek (Miami): Who is more likely to be a big league contributor next year Rylan Bannon or Kevin Padlo?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Bannon has the much easier path to playing time, and is more likely to get actual starting reps despite projecting as more of a good bench infielder.

Slippery Pete (The Deep): If they take the happy fun ball out of play, whose stock gets hurt the most?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think it's your random 20-home-run dudes more than you random 40-home-run dudes as I alluded to discussing Rosario. Roberto Perez going back to 2017 Roberto Perez, Danny Santana. Guys like that.

Tom (CA): How high are you on Jeremiah Jackson? There seems to be a lot to like about him and a few things that give some pause.

Jeffrey Paternostro: He's Jazz Chisholm the year before we went in hard on Jazz Chisholm, if that helps.

AJ (Boston): Valera and JRod came into the year as very similarly ranked prospects across most sites. However, after this season, JRod will be ranked much higher. Is that too reactionary, or do you expect JRod to be better than expected and Valera a little worse than expected?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's a full year of new information, during which Rodriguez broke out across two A-ball levels while Valera was just fine in the Penn. I don't know that it changes the long term value play as much as the rankings gap will suggest, but there's going to naturally be a rankings gap. To answer the question better, it's more the former than the latter claim.

Eric (NJ): What kind of upside do you think Deivi Garcia has, and what might his ETA be? Getting to AAA as a 20-year-old is no small feat.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm a little surprised he isn't up now after Germen's suspension, but I imagine they want to be a little cautious with his innings. I assume he will be ready as needed in 2020 and Jarrett Seidler, who has seen and wrote extensively on him in 2019, had him as an OFP 70.

Levi (IL): Aside from some bad luck as far as getting hit by pitches, Brennen Davis seemed to open a lot of eyes this year. Assuming he has better luck staying on the field in 2020, is it fair to think he could be a big riser next year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I suspect he will make our 101 this year, but I could see him jumping further with a full, healthy 2020, yeah.

Brian (Brooklyn): Nimmo, Conforto, Cespedes, Pete, McNeil, Cano, Lowrie, Rosario, Ramos, Davis, Dom, backup catcher, defensive outfielder...how many of those guys are not on the Mets opening day roster?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I assume the Mets are going to carry a backup catcher, seems really hard on the starter otherwise.

Cespedes is an obvious no. And of the bats I'd say the most likely to be dealt are Dom, Conforto, Ramos, McNeil in that order. Only the first two are over like 20% though.

Bob (KC): Jorge Soler has 45 homers this year to go with a .262/.352/.555 triple slash. Do you buy something close to that production going forward? It seems like this is who he was expected to be back in his prospect days

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm guessing the home run total (and thus the slugging) will regress some regardless of the state of the 2020 baseball, but something like .260/.350/.490 seems reasonable.

Dan (San Diego): Taylor Trammell arrow pointing back up? His swing looks different since joining the Padres

Jeffrey Paternostro: He could have done nothing but hit that grand slam in the playoffs and I'd be all the way back in,

Earl (NY): Will the AZ Fall league be a good opportunity for Andres Gimenez to regain his value?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't think we will learn a ton new about him in those launching pads against gassed arms. We are sending 4 or 5 writers down there over the next few weeks, because it's a useful roundup to check in on guys that missed time or we need an extra report on, but I think there is less "scouting value" there than you get just on our comprehensive seasonal coverage. That is to say, I don't think a good Fall League campaign moves the needle off my concerns from this year on Gimenez, unless I hear back from our staff about changes with the swing.

There is always one or two guys that do jump off the AFL though. I just don't expect Gimenez to be one of them.

Mark (Brooklyn): I've been lost since fantasy season has ended. I've been hitting up all my dynasty leaguemates about trades for next year already but they're either ignoring me or have actual stuff to do besides stare at fantasy all the time. What are some hobbies I can take up until fantasy baseball starts again?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Would you like to write 150-200K words for 30 team prospect lists? Other than that, I can always recommend getting really into cocktails.

Tim (Minny): What do you think Miguel Sano will do in 2020? His exit velo and hard hit percentage are among the very best in the game, and his walk rate is surprisingly decent at 12.9 percent. He's gone yard 33 times in just 103 games. His strikeout rate, 36 percent, leaves a lot to be desired and shows no signs of improving. But am I crazy for thinking he might have a 50 homer season in him one of these years? This season was a step in the right direction.

Jeffrey Paternostro: It would just take a full, healthy season with a bit of HR/FB rate luck. It's always been 50 homer raw power.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): What do you expect from Eloy in the next couple years? Does he take a big next step, or is it more of the same---good power, not so good on-base, defense, etc.?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think he takes another step forward next year, and breaks out sometime around 26 for a few years.

Bruce (Atlantic City): Is concern over Casey Mize's health a good reason to trade him in a dynasty league or just an overreaction?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Depends on the deal. But I wouldn't be opposed to selling high if you could get a bat even a prospect tier below him on talent.

Yuri (Israel): Jeff, don't get into cocktail stuff here, please. This is a baseball chat. You don't want to be like Craig.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I will save it for the discord, Yuri.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Would the Braves deal Pache and Swanson in a Javy Baez deal, or is that too rich for their blood?

Jeffrey Paternostro: That seems pretty light for two seasons of Baez, so they should be willing to, but I can't see the Cubs dealing him at all, let alone for that.

Slippy Pete (The Sea): Any under-the-radar 1B prospects (ie not Andrew Vaughan) that you like for next year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It is difficult to talk me into the on the radar first base prospects a lot of the time. Maybe if you think Sherten Apostel is a first baseman. Lewin Diaz is perfectly fine too, but perhaps not under the radar enough

Jake (TX): Will/should the Astros give Josh James another rotation look in 2020? It was kind of a lost year for him this year. He entered ST with a ton of rotation buzz but then hurt his quad, was sent to the pen and stayed there all year.

Jeffrey Paternostro: He's not a bad fallback plan, but they should probably want more of a sure thing in the rotation given their contention window.

Danny (Nyc): How are the early reports on Brett Baty? Maybe not that much of a reach?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay, but not great, which is fine for a prep bat in his first pro summer. I have some overall concerns about the profile, but also a guy that was expected to go in the late teens or early twenties going 12th isn't that much of a reach given the variance in anybody's big board.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Quick follow up to the Baez question...Do you think the Cubs keep him, Bryant, and Contreras this offseason? If so, then they're basically committed to doing nothing more than minor roster tweaking for next year, which arguably might be a good plan.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think Ben covered this well in his hindsight piece today. They were probably somewhat unlucky both on health and results, they do need to figure out something with the pitching staff, but the system is extremely shallow, so a half-measure retool just makes them more likely to be an 85 win team again, and doesn't really change the trajectory of the farm. It's very Metsian, and that's not an adjective you want used for your team most of the time.

The Fonz (Milwaukee): I still predict greatness for Jazz Chisholm. Ayyyyyyyy!

Jeffrey Paternostro: To be clear, I am extremely still in on Jazz Chisholm, as Jarrett Seidler can attest to when I tried to get him on the Midseason 50 when he was hitting under .200.

Arjun (CT): Is Pete Alonso a superstar?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think *realistically* this is about the upper echelon of what you can expect for him going forward and it was a ~5 win season. That's very good, but doesn't feel like a Superstar to me. Maybe he has a weird BABIP year somewhere in there and wins an MVP, and I will have to concede the point. Maybe he actually adjusts further and is *better* next year. But I can't crown him quite yet.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Do you like Girardi as a once and future manager? The last time I saw him on TV he was talking about RBI's, which of course made my head hurt.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think he's perfectly fine for a win-now major market team. The demands of broadcasting are different than the demands of managing.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Are you officially riding the Kyle Lewis train?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's a very cool story, but I have uh concerns about the approach. Would like to see if he can consolidate some stuff in Tacoma next year first, but he might just dinger his way onto the 2020 roster.

Slappy (NC): What kind of BA, HR, K/BB rates can we expect from Shed Long & Keibert Ruiz if/when both get regular major league ABs?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Shed feels like a broad base guy, average hit, average power maybe .260, 15-20 bombs, decent on-base clip. I actually think the shape of his part-time production this year is fairly close to what he can do. Ruiz, man, catchers are weird. I will cite the Bill James thing about once a player shows a skill it means he has the skill, and Ruiz has shown plus hit and plus power potential at various times, but I'm much less bullish on him putting it all together at once. But, catchers are weird.

Bailey (MD): Joey Cantillo or Mackenzie Gore?

Jeffrey Paternostro: That's gonna be Gore for me.

Will (Chicago): WHat are your thoughts on Hoerner's debut so far? obviously small sample size, but he seems to have a very high floor.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Even holding his own given his lack of pro reps is very impressive. He's gonna be a weird rank for the 101.

Alan (Sheboygan): Thanks much for chatting, Jeffrey! Very roughly speaking, where would a 6'2" righty starting pitcher like this rank on a top 100 list: fastball 92-95, good curve, exceptional straight change -- held lefty bats to a sub-.300 *slugging* percentage in 2019 -- and a clean health history for his 4-year pro career. This year at age 21 he had an ERA just over 3.00 in Double-A, with solid peripherals to match. Thanks again!

Jeffrey Paternostro: So based on your stuff description (I and pretty sure I know who this is and it's not this player), that's pretty close to righty Kris Bubic, who I would expect to make the 101 on the back end somewhere. The prospect you are asking about will probably not.

Jeffrey Paternostro: It is time for me to head to the grocery store to pick up some stuff for Saturday brunch. Big things coming on Monday, so keep an eye out.

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