Jesse Roche is a member of the BP Fantasy Team.
Jesse Roche: TGIF! Another big week here at Baseball Prospectus is in the books with the release of PECOTA (!!!), The Ax (go check it out!), and a deep dive into the hot corner. Now, to the questions!
Dansby (Atlanta): Would you trade a projected top-5 FYPD pick in 2021 for the right to move up from #7 to #5 this year to take JJ Bleday? Ottoneu-style points dynasty, not roto.
Jesse Roche: No, I would not. The top 5 of the 2020 class should be stacked with the likes of Spencer Torkelson, Emerson Hancock, Austin Martin, and Nick Gonzales, all of which should be strong Ottoneu performers. Presumably, another player or two will separate themselves from the pack and round out the top of what should be a strong and deep draft class. I also would hazard a guess that Bleday falls to you at 7, and, if he does not, then you have your pick of Abrams, Witt, Carroll, or Greene, several of which I prefer to Bleday in Ottoneu.
JRMayne (NorCal, Final Table): We see you, you Scoresheet returner. What are common mistakes Scoresheet owners - even good ones - make? How do you make so many strong trades?
Jesse Roche: After 14 long years, I have returned to Scoresheet, a simulation fantasy baseball game: http://www.scoresheet.com/BB_index.php
I recently joined BL Kings, a 24-team industry league with the likes of D.J. Short, Jeff Erickson, Todd Zola, Scott White, Eric Karabell, several of BP's own, and many more. The league keeps a soft 10 (you forfeit a pick for each MLB keeper) and you can keep prospects with picks starting at 35. Since joining about a week ago, I have made a flurry of trades (7):
1. Posey & Archer for picks 18 & 24
2. Belt for pick 16
3. Odorizzi for pick 14
4. Kelenic & pick 45 for Robles, Morton, pick 28 & pick 40 (FYPD round 1)
5. Moustakas for DeJong & pick 45
6. Springer & pick 20 for Donaldson, T. Freeman & pick 11
7. T. Freeman & pick 18 for Hoerner & pick 24
It is important to know defense and range matter in Scoresheet and real-life value matters.
That said, the chief mistake Scoresheet owners make is not properly valuing picks. Picks are gold in Scoresheet. There is no free agency, just whoever you pick in the draft and supplemental drafts (through round 45) and acquire via trade. Picks turns into important depth or prospects. You should be miserly with your picks and always try to get more.
Another common mistake is to fail to adjust to the different format and depth issues it presents. Pitching is far harder to come by and so crucial to success in Scoresheet. Meanwhile, outfielders and first basemen can be found pretty easily. You only start 3 OFs and you can basically play another out of position at 1B or even OF. Horde starting pitching and middle infielders/third basemen! Finally, up the middle defense is important (hence, I acquired Robles and his 2.20 range factor, and DeJong and his 4.85 range factor). Speed also matters a bit less and you want strong OBP/SLG bats.
As for trading, it helps to actively reach out to owners individually rather than post a trade block. Try to start a conversation about who they are interested in. You may be surprised. Hustle is the name of the game in all dynasty leagues.
sykklone (IA): Hey thanks for the chat. How would you rank pitchers S Howard, Lodolo, J Gray, E Cabrera, and B Marquez??
Jesse Roche: Spencer Howard, gap, Josiah Gray, gap, Nick Lodolo / Edward Cabrera / Brailyn Marquez
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Call me crazy...Assuming Graterol is healthy, I actually like what the Red Sox got for Betts (assuming of course that they are certain he wouldn't sign with them).
Jesse Roche: The return was a bit light, but far from terrible for a rental. The issue really is trading Betts and Price decreases their chances to win now by a good bit. That is never going to go over well for a fandom so accustomed to winning over the past two decades.
Vic (Baltimore): I struggle with a decision to keep M Andujar with a 12th round pick in a 15 team league. Is this simply wait and see until Mid March?
Jesse Roche: In our top 500 dynasty players, which will be out soon, we currently have Miguel Andujar at 170, which falls squarely in the 12th round in a 15-team league (166-180). While the value is probably right, I would not blame you for letting him go with a wait-and-see approach, especially if you are trying to win now. His NFBC ADP is 247 so you may be able to get him later for those concerned about his recovery, playing time, and eligibility.
Canary (Birdcage ): Wander Franco. More talk about him, please!
Jesse Roche: I was in the minority pushing for Wander Franco to be the #1 dynasty prospect on the dynasty top 101. Special hit tool with power and speed. The question is how much his power and speed will equate to home runs and stolen bases. His estimated fly ball distance (278.5) over at Minor Graphs is a bit concerning and he does hit plenty of grounders (47.8%). Still, he makes elite contact to all fields with precocious plate discipline and bat-to-ball ability. Those throwing around 80-grade hit tools have a basis for it. We just wonder: if he is a high-average 20-homer/10-steal guy, will that disappoint everyone? More to come from me and Bret Sayre on Franco next week!
In the meantime, you can read more about Franco here: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/55148/2020-prospects-tampa-bay-rays-top-10-prospects/
Flipai (Maryland): I am in a league that counts wins, saves, holds, era, whip and strikeouts. Who would I rather have this season, Clase or Karinchak? Does the answer change if I am looking at the next several seasons?
Jesse Roche: Maryland! I'm originally from MD. Go Terps!
Emmanuel Clase and James Karinchak are two young stud relievers for the Indians. Karinchak ranked 4th and Clase 6th on the Indians' top 10: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/56233/2020-prospects-cleveland-indians-top-10-prospects/
We prefer Karinchak's stuff and he has 3 years on Clase. However, PECOTA prefers Clase in 2020. Jeff Wiser detailed their projections here: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/56906/pecota-2020-pitchers-prepared-to-disappoint/
I think it is a bit of a toss up, but Clase has more MLB experience and was part of the Corey Kluber deal so there are some good optics if he plays and performs. As such, I give the 2020 edge to Clase. Long-term, we prefer Karinchak.
Jake (State Farm): Dynasty league, and I have been offered Dylan Carlson for my Bo Bichette. I was the only believer in Bichette, and this guy is a big Blue Jays fan. Am I being too sentimental for Bo and should just do it?
Jesse Roche: No, do not do it! Bo Bichette > Dylan Carlson.
MK (Houston): What is your strategy for trading picks in a dynasty startup snake draft? The #4 and #8 overall picks are on the block. Would you be looking to trade multiple picks to get more first rounders or would you prefer the ability to get more selections in the 2-5 rounds. I’m pick #5 (if that’s any help)
Jesse Roche: MK also noted this is for a 12-team OBP roto league.
If you have the opportunity, I would try to acquire high-end picks, especially the 4th overall pick, which should be one of Mike Trout, Ronald Acuna, Juan Soto, or Christian Yelich/Cody Bellinger. I do not love the idea of sacrificing picks, but you can do a 2-for-2 in a trade up. In 12-team leagues in particular, the top talent has even more value because replacement level is higher than for larger leagues. Of course, it does depend on your overall dynasty startup strategy. If you are employing the tanking and prospecting strategy, then you should trade down and accumulate later picks to scoop prospects. For the rest, it is almost always in your interest to trade up. An offer of 2.20 and 3.29 for 1.4 and 5.53 would be a fantastic trade.
Derek (MN): Is getting Kris Bryant and Drew Waters enough for Jack Flaherty in a dynasty league? Flaherty seems to be future stud ace.....but I love me some Waters.
Jesse Roche: In a standard 5x5 roto league, yes, it is more than enough. We actually rank Bryant ahead of Flaherty in our top 500. Pitchers are difficult investments in dynasty, even young studs like Flaherty. I know some of us (cough, Bret Sayre, cough) absolutely adore Drew Waters as well. I recently traded Flaherty, Brad Hand, and Brett Gardner for Yoan Moncada, Dakota Hudson, and Josh Lowe in RotoWire Dynasty Invitational 20-team expert league. You would be doing far better than I did!
In a points league, however, I would need more for Flaherty.
boatman44 (Liverpool): Hey Jesse , who is one player you don't want shares in this season in a redraft?For me it has to be Eugenio Suarez just because of the shoulder, had himin a dynasty league for the last 4 years,and I love him but shoulders are scary so where he's being drafted at present I'm a hard no>
Jesse Roche: Suarez is a good pick, but for me, it is his teammate Nick Senzel. Same shoulder concerns but also uncertain playing time on a stacked Reds roster. I am also extremely wary of any and all Astros hitters following the sign stealing scandal. Hard to say what the repercussions will be, but, at the very least, there will be tons of distracting media attention which still impacts players. Finally, I am staying away from Nolan Arenado in redrafts because a trade appears likely at some point and leaving Colorado is no bueno.
sykklone (IA): Would you rather have Varsho or Campusano?
Jesse Roche: Varsho. Better proximity, underrated hit/power tools, and rare speed for a catcher. A season like .280/15/15 at catcher (or better) is possible, which would be awesome. If he changes positions, then all of a sudden he is a potential 20/20 bat. Position changes off catcher are not always a bad thing for top hitting prospects. Catcher eligibility makes average or mediocre hitters very relevant, but the benefits of the nice eligibility can be lost on top hitters due to the rigors of the position and less playing time. If Varsho can play CF or LF with enough PT at catcher to retain eligibility, he could be a fantasy God. Even if he moves to the OF without catcher eligibility, he should provide tons of fantasy value.
Vic (Baltimore): In a 15 teamer, what's the worst SP 1 for your team that you would consider? The 25th best SP? Or do you want one of the Top 15?
Jesse Roche: I do love having a set and forget ace in roto leagues, though. In redraft, I want to come out of the first three rounds with my SP1, which means a top 11 SP by NFBC's ADP. That said, I do think you can find success without a true SP1 if you have plenty of solid options and smartly employ your arms.
brad (NJ): how much better is the 2020 draft vs the 2019 draft? With all the hype around Blaze Jordan the mocks have him ranked towards pick 20-25. I know 1b bat only, blah blah, but if he hits bombs, no one cares about defense...
Jesse Roche: MLB teams do, though I actually think Blaze Jordan may have what it takes for 3B or RF. As for the 2020 draft as a whole, it is far better than 2019 draft. It has everything: elite college arms (Hancock, Ginn, Lacy, Crochet), elite HS arms (Kelley, Abel, Bitsko), elite college bats (Torkelson, Martin, Gonzales, Mitchell, Martin), and elite HS bats (Jordan, Howard, Walker, Hendrick, Hassell, Veen). It has high end talent and it is deeeeeeeeeep.
Vic (Baltimore): Do you think Kyle Schwarber will continue to improve?
Jesse Roche: Maybe. I think the power is tapped out--hard to get better than 99th percentile hard hit rate--and he already has a pretty leveraged swing (15 degree average launch angle). Maybe he hits more balls in the air and flirts with 50 homers, but that is a 99th percentile type outcome. I do think he could continue to cut down his whiff rate (28%) and make more contact to raise his average. Schwarber has it in him to have a .290/40 season (his 90th percentile PECOTA outcome is .290/.395/.620 with 39 home runs), but a lot will have to go right, starting with lowered strikeout rate and plenty of BABIP overperformance.
Steve (Atlanta): At first glance, the Ax does not seem to of value to Scoresheet players. Any suggestions on how Scoresheet/simulation players can use it?
Jesse Roche: I would suggest manipulating the points values to assign appropriate value to stats that are vital to Scoresheet (total bases, walks, net stolen bases, innings pitched, earned runs, strikeouts, hits & walks allowed, home runs allowed). Obviously, you cannot account for defense using The Ax, but you can provide boosts to players with positive defensive range/few errors.
boatman44 (Liverpool): As an Indians fan I was a little downhearted with the Kluber trade,but what Boston got for Betts and Price puts the former trade in perspective. You just don't get what you pay for anymore, is this why Lindor wasn't dealt?
Jesse Roche: It is not too late for a Lindor trade . . .
sykklone (IA): Ok I got one more. How do you have these ranked. K Robinson, D Carlson, M Luciano, CJ Abrams, D Varsho, S Howard, and J Gray. Thanks.
Jesse Roche: I could refer you to the dynasty 101, but it was a collaboration so my valuations are a bit different. I rank them as follows: Marco Luciano / Kristian Robinson / Dylan Carlson, small gap, CJ Abrams, gap, Spencer Howard, gap, Daulton Varsho / Josiah Gray
boatman44 (Liverpool): Hey Jesse talk to me about George Valera, next Cleveland wunderkind or no?
Jesse Roche: Next Cleveland wunderkind, yes. Potential plus hit and power tools w/ precocious plate discipline.
Manchisco (Washington, DC): When should we expect to see updated player cards on the site?
Jesse Roche: I do not know, but I would expect soon. I have run the question up the ladder.
Chipshot212 (MA): When will the player pages be updated with 2020 projections?
Jesse Roche: ^Same
Jesse Roche: Alrighty, that is it for me. Thanks for all the questions! I'll be back this time next week for more on Valentine's Day, smooches. Next week, the positional series covers shortstops so stay tuned!