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Chat: Jesse Roche

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday February 14, 2020 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jesse Roche.


Jesse Roche is a member of the Fantasy Team at Baseball Prospectus'.

Jesse Roche: TGIF and Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Today caps the end of shortstop week here at Baseball Prospectus. I also published my Ceiling-Only Top 101 Dynasty Prospects for those chasing upside. Just a little treat on V-Day for all you loyal readers! That said, let's dive into some questions . . .

Harry (Montana ): Forever dynasty, 12tm... roto - I’ve been offered his Eloy Jimenez for my Jasson Dominguez. What are your thoughts?

Jesse Roche: Take Eloy and run!

Frankie (NY NY): Give me 5 prospects that have potential to breakout the way Julio Rodriguez, Marco Luciano, Kristian Robinson, etc did... thanks in advance!

Jesse Roche: Those three were highly regarded J2 signees, so, in a similar vein, I'd say Alexfri Planez and Johan Rojas from the 2017 class; Noelvi Marte, Orelvis Martinez, Misael Urbina, Luis Matos, and Jeferson Espinal from the 2018 class; and Jasson Dominguez, Erick Pena, Robert Puason, Luis Rodriguez, Maximo Acosta, Reginald Preciado, Bayron Lora, and Hedbert Perez from the 2019 class.

Dusty (Colorado): What are your thoughts on Wander Javier? What's his upside?

Jesse Roche: His upside is such that all your tireless effort will be recognized throughout the industry and Dusty Colorado will be hailed as a prophet.

Vic (Baltimore): I'm looking for multi position player to target after pick 350....Vanmeter, Peraza, Happ? Yes, or do you have better options?

Jesse Roche: Of those 3, Happ by far, though I have doubts he will be eligible anywhere except OF this year. I doubt VanMeter or Peraza are anything more than utility pieces this year. Going strictly off NFBC ADP, I'd maybe target Nicky Lopez (2B/SS) who is dirt cheap after his disastrous 2019 debut yet locked into a starting role with David Fletcher type upside. After that, maybe Eric Sogard who should see time all over the infield for the Brewers and surprised last year with his bat.

cxtorpey (Washington DC): Keeper question-no cost dynasty. 6x6 with OPS and QS and inning cap of 1200, so basically K/9. Keeping Freeman, Trea Turner, J. Ramirez, Y. Alvarez and Cole. Debating between Harper or Flaherty. Picking towards the end so neither will get to me and pitching runs early. So torn.

Jesse Roche: Both should be kept, but I easily prefer Harper in 6x6 OPS. You can always try to flip Flaherty or package for an upgrade.

Donnell (Washington, DC): Thanks for the chat. What are your thoughts on Leody Taveras? I was offered Taveras, and Gio Urshela for Josh Donaldson in a 20 team dynasty league. Seems Taveras’ prospect status has declined rapidly!!!

Jesse Roche: Bret Sayre still rides the Leody Taveras train, and is the reason Taveras made our dynasty 101, but he represents a small minority. That is not to say Taveras is without upside, but he is a better real-life prospect than a fantasy one given his limited power. Still, steals are in short supply and he could be a 20+ SB guy. Something like .270/10/20+ is certainly possible as a peak. Think Ender Inciarte.

Now, as for the offer, I prefer Donaldson to the package of Taveras/Urshela. To downgrade from Urshela to Donaldson, I'd want a borderline-top-50 prospect in return.

Ron (Texarkana): This isn't necessarily a prospect question, though I use PECOTA to help see what a general thought is on prospects.. PECOTA seems to have higher overall offensive output this year than it has in previous years- is this because of the ball used in 2019; is offensive output assumed to go up in 2020 from 2019? Last year was record setting in a lot of ways, and I'm trying to get a grasp on what this season may bring. Thanks!

Jesse Roche: Aren't we all? It is hard to gauge what exactly will occur with the ball and how it may impact hitters and pitchers. I imagine PECOTA has responded to the offensive environment of 2019 in kind and adjusted its projections to account for the crazy 22-HR/600-PA average across the league. Wild, right? 22 home runs is the new normal.

sportsguy21792 (Madison): How do you see the season playing out for Nico Hoerner in 2020? Full season at AAA to make up for what was lost in 2019 unless needed on the big roster. Adding Kipnis kind of takes away a backup role. what kind of prospect is he?

Jesse Roche: I always expected Hoerner to start the year in Triple-A, and I do not think the arrival of Jason Kipnis, who signed a minor league deal, impacts his ETA too much. I would expect Hoerner to arrive some time after 35 days of service time elapsed. It is my understanding he accrued 21 days of ST last year, there is 187 total days of ST in a season, and he needs 172 for a full year. Do not quote me on any of this, though. If this is true, however, Hoerner would need to stay in the minors through April. So I'd expect a call up in May if everything goes according to plan.

Hoerner is a fine prospect, but lacks a ton of upside. Last year, he was on the fast track to the majors after a strong spring and an aggressive assignment to Double-A, until a wrist fracture sidelined him for two months. Presumably, his injury sapped some of his power, yet he still managed to hit .318 over his last 32 games in Double-A and held his own in his debut (.282/.305/.436). Hoerner is a contact machine, managing just 10.8 percent strikeouts, and sprays line drives to all fields. The upside is not high, but he could put together a .280/15/15 season at some point, and he should see plenty of playing time this year.

sykklone (IA): Hey thanks for the chat. Who are a few of your favorite break out guys this year?

Jesse Roche: Other than the J2 guys I already mentioned, and trying not to pick the obvious guys, I'll go position-by-position:
Catcher - Miguel Amaya
First Base - Bryce Ball
Second Base - Miguel Hiraldo, Maikol Escotto, Keithron Moss & Kendall Simmons
Third Base - Hudson Potts & Aaron Schunk
Shortstop - Jose Garcia, Ryan Vilade, Maikel Garcia & Jacob Amaya
Outfield - Heriberto Hernandez, Kyle Isbel, Peyton Burdick, Bryant Packard & Brayan Buelvas
Pitcher - Cole Winn, Luis Medina, Tahmaj Thomas, Blake Walston, Luis Frias, Adam Kloffenstein, Daulton Jefferies, Ricky Vanasco & Yerry Rodriguez

jabloom (North Dakota): I'm in a 12-team H2H keep-forever league. The categories are: R H HR RBI BB K SB TB AVG OPS and IP W QS K/9 K/BB ERA WHIP HRA NetSV+HLD. I'm a rebuilding team. I've received a trade offer where I trade Kelenic and a 5th+6th round pick in the FYPD for Kepler/Gallen and the #8+#11 picks in the FYPD. I also own the #3/#4 and #7 picks in the FYPD. Adding Kepler/Gallen won't push me to be a competitor but they will help. Which side would you choose--Kelenic or Kep/Gal and the picks? Selling low on Kelenic?

Jesse Roche: I would not trade Kelenic, especially as a rebuilding team. He could be a stud in your format, contributing positively in basically all hitting categories. I also think dropping from the 5th/6th picks to the 8th/11th picks is a substantial drop.

Adam (North Carolina): From a dynasty outlook, which hill did you die on that was your biggest regret and why was it Nomar Mazara?

Jesse Roche: Ha! Adam Lawler, everyone! I still think Mazara has solid dynasty value. Dude is not even 25 yet! He also hit the farthest HR in the majors last year at 505 feet. The power is very real and he moves to an even more power friendly park in Chicago. That said, he is a terrible defender with some platoon risk against LHP. If everything actualizing, though, you're looking at a .270/30+ bat. Of course, we have been waiting for him to put it all together now for years since the Rangers aggressively promoted him at just 21 years old. Fatigue is setting in, and maybe he never truly breaks out, which would make me sad :(

Mahonri (OC ): What is your ceiling projection for Jeter Downs?

Jesse Roche: Downs missed the Ceiling-Only Top 101 mainly due to his Potential Earnings of $15-20 (which I tried to push to $20-25 to no avail). I see his ceiling as something like .265/25/15. He just has 50/55 raw power but he puts the ball in the air so much (53%) that he maximizes that pop. His speed also plays up due to instincts. Average speedsters can net ~15 stolen bases on moxie and savvy alone.

Moriancumer (Logan): What is your ceiling projection for Jake Fraley?

Jesse Roche: .270/15/15

Moriancumer (Logan): What is your ceiling projection for Abraham Toro?

Jesse Roche: .270/20/5

Mahonri (OC): What is your ceiling projection for Evan White?

Jesse Roche: .280/20/5, though I see potential for ~25 HR power there

P (The AX homepage): Thanks for the chat, Jesse. One of the things that I always struggled with when using the PFM was how to translate the hitter/pitcher budget split to my league - 12-team mixed 5x5 H2H with a snake draft (basic, I know). Pitching tends to be at a premium and go off the board early and following the PFM closely with the $180/80 split leaves me scraping the barrel for pitching late. Any suggestions on how to adjust the split to more accurately account for how other teams are "budgeting?" (Obviously add more to the pitching side, but how to determine how much?)

Jesse Roche: A 62/38 split puts you at 160/100, which may be the adjustment you need. You can also just inflate the cost of more elite options, which tends to just naturally occur in all auctions.

Jason (Boston): No Hedbert Perez in your ceiling-only list today. No love for him there?

Jesse Roche: Perez just missed the cut. His ceiling looks something like .265/25/10, with maybe a bit less hit and a bit more power. At 16, he already looks like Tyler O'Neill!

Jeff (Providence): I am in a dynasty league and need to trade pitching for hitting. 6x6 with obp and slg. I have the opportunity to trade either Cole or Buehler for Eloy straight up. I like Eloy but not sure if this is enough considering it's OBP. I need the offense though and I've been unable to land a Harper-level offensive piece. What do you think?

Jesse Roche: Buehler and Eloy actually fall back-to-back on our forthcoming Top-500 Dynasty League Players at 35/36. While Eloy gets dinged in OBP, he also benefits from SLG, so it may cancel out. It also depends on the 6th pitching category. Still, if you need hitting, then I'd consider Buehler for Eloy, and maybe try and squeeze some more value from the Eloy owner.

Carl (Baltimore): In a weekly OBP league, is it safe to drop Profar and Inciarte? What about Adam Haseley? I'm thinking the first two probably won't get full-time ABs, which is killer in a weekly, while Haseley might.

Jesse Roche: I think Profar gets close to full-time at-bats. I'd definitely drop Inciarte for Haseley. Obviously, Inciarte is a 4th OF in that crowded Braves OF, including Acuna, Ozuna, and Markakis. Haseley may not be an everyday guy, but early indications are he will get every opportunity to earn the starting CF job. Roman Quinn still lingers on the edges, though.

steve (wisconsin): Gaven Lux projection for this year

Jesse Roche: PECOTA says 462 PAs, .269/.334/.455, 17 HR, 54 R, 60 RBI & 8 SB, which is quite reasonable. I think there is a chance he receives more PAs and tops 20/10 this year.

darielsantana (santo domingo): In a league where 120 players are kept. Will you consider keeping Adell and/or Gore?

Jesse Roche: Yes. Adell is a sure-fire keeper imo. Gore is a closer call, but he falls within our top 120 (104) for dynasty leagues.

sportsguy21792 (Madison): Any idea what the ETA for the Scoresheet draft aid updates will be entered?

Jesse Roche: I know staff is working on it, but I do not have an ETA. I hope soon!

Vic (Baltimore): Austin Nola a sneaky option for a 2nd catcher in a 30 catcher league?

Jesse Roche: Yes. I can see him eclipsing 300 PAs with decent pop and rate stats. In fact, PECOTA projects 350 PAs. As you get closer to 30, the options really start to thin out.

Donnell (Washington, DC): Just took over a squad in a 20 team dynasty league. Was offered Dylan Carlson for Mike Soroka, would you do that deal? My SP are not good/deep, but I can’t compete this year anyways. Thoughts please?

Jesse Roche: I love Soroka and I am more lukewarm on Carlson compared to others so I am probably not the person to ask. Since you did ask me, I would not do it, but it is a fair trade, especially for a rebuilding club. Maybe try to target higher upside pieces than Carlson for Soroka as set forth in my Ceiling-Based Top 101.

MK (Houston): What is your general approach to pitching in a 12-team roto dynasty startup assuming the minor league draft is already out of the way? Thinking X pitchers by Y round What is your dynasty startup approach in general? Are you all in it to win early championships, draft young and try to build a super team, or thread the needle and take the middle ground?

Jesse Roche: I normally avoid pitching early in dynasty startups. Pitching is risky and deep, especially in 12-team formats. My strategy varies league-to-league, but I tend to aim to capture 27-or-younger value throughout with a preference for 25-or-younger. I do not employ the tanking strategy that some do. I want to always be competitive while building my farm through waivers and the draft. My goal is to try to always win, though maybe not in year 1 unless things fall right. For example, my first 7 picks in P365XDL this offseason were: Trevor Story (27), Jose Ramirez (27), Josh Bell (27), Mike Soroka (22), Gary Sanchez (27), Josh Hader (26), and Forrest Whitley (22). If I had to do it over again, I may have done things a bit differently, but my team is in a position to win and be competitive over many years. You can see the draft results here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1oOr5RHFObDBt6fZPegvhLW5EDie7XYXYu4OvAMDoRp0/edit?usp=sharing

jabloom (North Dakota): I'm in a 12-team H2H keep forever league. I'm a rebuilding team. I received an offer where I trade my Kelenic for Gallen Edman and the #8 and #11 picks in the FYPD. As a rebuilding squad I'm torn. I like Gallen and Edman and I like what I could do with the draft picks but Kelenic could be a special bat. What side would you choose--Kelenic or Gallen/Edman and picks? Am I selling too low on Kelenic? Thanks! Love your work!

Jesse Roche: This is a better offer than the last one, but I still prefer Kelenic.

boatman44 (Liverpool): Hey Jesse thanks for the valentine chat, may you receive many flowers. Whom do you think reaches the big leagues first from, Vaughn, Rutschman or Abrams got agood chance of getting any one of them in a dynasty draft where I feel I will be competing for flags next season. Your thoughs friend?

Jesse Roche: Thanks! Hoping to receive many beers, instead, though.

Vaughn reaches the majors first. ETA late 2020 or early 2021. Rutschman is next, but the rebuilding O's have no incentive to start his service clock until 2022. He could arrive late in 2021, though. Abrams is easily the furthest away. I'd expect he receives a Low-A assignment this year and progresses like A/A+ in 2020, A+/AA in 2021, AA/AAA/MLB in 2022. So I'd expect a late 2022 callup for Abrams if everything goes swimmingly.

bobbydm (Brooklyn): Brand new dynasty league, standard 5x5, I drafted with more of a win today so I’m spotty on my prospects. Can you give me some (hopefully positive) expectations for: Mountcastle Bohm Groshans Ian Anderson Uquidy Bryce Wilson

Jesse Roche: Mountcastle will arrive in 2020 w/ .280/25+ upside
Bohm likely arrives mid-2020 w/ .295/25+ upside
Groshans is a bit further away w/ .280/30 upside
Anderson likely arrives mid-2020 w/ 3/4-starter upside
Urquidy likely begins 2020 in the rotation w/ 4-starter upside
Wilson likely arrives at some point in 2020 w/ 4-starter upside

steve (wis): Top five second basemen in 2025

Jesse Roche: The most difficult part about this is figuring how who will actually be a 2B in 2025!

Keston Hiura, Gavin Lux, Brendan Rodgers, Ozzie Albies & Vidal Brujan

(Wander Franco & Gleyber Torres stick at SS)

Vic (Baltimore): I want to believe Franklin Barreto can produce 35 HR + SB as soon as this year. Or is that nonsense? Or, would it come with a sub .230 AVG? Or, will Mateo and/or Kemp not let it happen?

Jesse Roche: It is not impossible, but it is a 70th percentile outcome w/ 600 PAs according to PECOTA and I am not sure the PAs will be there even if he is hitting like gangbusters.

darielsantana (santo domingo): And where can i see Fantasy dynasty rankings? i cant find it

Jesse Roche: They are forthcoming! Not live yet.

Jesse Roche: It has been 2 hours, and I have to get going. There are still questions in the Q, which is awesome! Thank you everyone for your questions and I hope I provided some insight. Next week is the beginning of outfield week (and a half). Stay tuned, and Happy Valentine's Day! May you all spend the evening with someone special, even if it is yourself. Smooches!

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