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Chat: Jesse Roche

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday February 28, 2020 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jesse Roche.


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

Jesse Roche: TGIF! Sorry for the delay. I was at lunch with my wife's best friend who is in town visiting and it ran a bit long. For what it's worth, I had really good tacos. Now, let's jump right in!

Samuel (Cleveland): Aside from his injury, who is the long term closer in Cleveland? Karinchak? Clase? Other?

Jesse Roche: We believe Karinchak is the long-term closer, but roles often can be interchangeable and unpredictable. He is the arm we would bet on, though.

Peter (SD): Who is a relief pitcher who will become the starting closer this year or next year who has the potential to really break out. I say Munoz. What say you?

Jesse Roche: Munoz would be my choice. Yates is in the final year of his contract. There has been talk of a possible extension, but if the Padres are looking to sell midseason, I have to imagine Yates will be on the move. However, the acquisition of Pagan clouds matters. Other than Munoz, and the aforementioned Karinchak or Clase (Hand also is in the last year of guarantees with a 2021 club option), I like Ty Buttrey. Hansel Robles is in the final year of his contract and the Angels are far from a lock to be competitive despite the Anthony Rendon signing. Also, do not forget about Jordan Hicks who may return late in the year from TJS.

Charlie (Atlanta): Give me the names of top prospects who are going to come up this year?

Jesse Roche: The list is extensive. Here are top-50 prospects who likely will be in the majors at some point in 2020: Jo Adell, Gavin Lux, Luis Robert, MacKenzie Gore, Carter Kieboom, Dylan Carlson, Nick Madrigal, Jesus Luzardo, Dustin May, Brendan Rodgers, Nate Pearson, Casey Mize, Forrest Whitley, Alec Bohm, Cristian Pache, Ryan Mountcastle, Spencer Howard, and Matt Manning. There are obviously others, and even more who will surprise, but I'd wager these prospects will arrive at some point.

Luciano (San Francisco): Give me 5 names that you think could jump to the number 1 prospect 2021 season?

Jesse Roche: I will try to avoid the obvious (top-10). Outside our top-10: Marco Luciano, Royce Lewis, CJ Abrams, Jasson Dominguez, and Bobby Witt Jr.

Kim Ha Seong (south korea): Assuming I get posted next year, what do you think my fantasy floor and ceiling is? Where would I be ranked on prospect list this year?

Jesse Roche: Well, the floor for any international player subject to the posting process is not to come to terms with a MLB team. Basically, his floor is similar to Ryosuke Kikuchi this past off-season. Now, assuming he does agree to terms, I think a realistic floor is as a bat-first utility piece akin to Aledmys Diaz (not a talent comp at all, just a top-of-the-head role-related comp). His ceiling is not too dissimilar to what he has done in the KBO (.290/.360/.450, 15/20). Realistically, I think he could be a .270/.330/.400, 10/10 type. For me, he ranks as a 150-200 range prospect.

bob m (philly): I'm interested in your thoughts on the following pitchers: Lindblom, Robt Stevenson, Adrian Hauser, Sean Newcombe and Eliezer Hernandez. How would you rank them and who do you think has the biggest upside for this season? Thx.

Jesse Roche: Rank: Houser, Newcomb (if he earns a rotation spot), Lindblom, Hernandez, Stephenson
Upside: Newcomb, Houser, Hernandez, Lindblom, Stephenson (RP-only imo)
I am still on Newcomb and I think he is a nice late-round sleeper who you can always cut if he does not win a rotation spot. However, I would easily take Houser of that group.

bob (pa): Can a fully healthy Franchy Cordero be a possible breakout player this year----and do you think he'll get enough PT in the Padres OF to be a potential impact player?

Jesse Roche: Yes, a healthy Cordero could be a possible breakout player at a heavy discount (basically, close to free in most drafts). However, I do not think he is close to an everyday player for the Padres absent a trade or significant injury. Pham, Grisham, and Myers are locked into the most playing time imo, and Naylor still lingers on the edge. Of course, the Padres are doing their best to trade Myers, though I seriously doubt they will be able to move his contract. Still, Cordero is a fine late flier to see how things shake out this spring.

rich (brookhaven): What do you think about Monte Harrison and Onell Cruz-----how high are their ceilings and what are their estimated ETA's?

Jesse Roche: I am a big believer in Oneil Cruz. His upside is as massive as his 6-foot-7 frame. I provided a rough peak projection in my ceiling-only Top-101 dynasty prospects: .265/.330/.500/30/10

You can find that article here: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/article/57095/ceiling-only-dynasty-prospect-rankings-the-top-101-of-2020/

I would expect Cruz to arrive either late-2020 (September) or mid-2021. He is on the 40-man roster so a September cup-of-coffee is possible.

Harrison has big tools but tons of swing-and-miss. His ceiling is something like .250/20/20 with all kinds of risk. I would expect him to arrive at some point in 2020. He is also on the 40-man roster.

MK (Houston): 5x5 Roto keeper, can keep for 3 years at roughly the same price. Rank these 4 pitchers: Caleb Smith, Joe Musgrove, Mike Foltynewicz, Wade Miley. Thanks!

Jesse Roche: (1) Mike Foltynewicz, gap, (2) Caleb Smith, (3) Joe Musgrove, massive gap, (4) Wade Miley.

In sum, do not consider Wade Miley.

Chansen8895 (Salt Lake City): Who are some pitchers you're targeting in dynasty for contending teams that have a killer offense but meh staff. Im headlined by Bauer Greinke Marquez Woodruff with solid closers in a 14 tm 31 active 15 minors h2h roto. Have a ton of ammo in the minors to spend.

Jesse Roche: Target the olds (Scherzer, Verlander, Morton, Darvish, Price, etc.). They come at an age-related discount in dynasty leagues and can provide excellent short-term production. If you want arms with more staying power (youth) absent the high cost of players like Jack Flaherty, then I like Mike Soroka, Frankie Montas, Max Fried, Zac Gallen, Julio Urias, and even Dylan Cease.

Vic (Baltimore): Who would you venture to guess with have the most 5 x 5 value in the years 2020-2023 Lux, Dahl, Benintendi, Laureano, Castellanos?

Jesse Roche: Laureano. I am a big believer if he can stay healthy. If you did not count 2020, I'd say Lux.

BC (Fort Myers, FL): 1st pick in a returning, 16-team, keep-all, super-hyphenated, deep dynasty league. Andrew Vaughn, Adley Rutschman, Jasson Dominguez, CJ Abrams all available (the highest available four from BPs 2020 Top 101 Dynasty). I feel like Vaughn is the "safest" pick in terms of reaching his floor-to-ceiling range, is closest to the bigs, and catchers are weird. So my question is essentially this: which Jesse rolled out of bed this morning? The pragmatic, wise-beyond-his-years Uncle Jesse who reassures me that Vaughn is a solid play and future cornerstone that won't cost me the family farm? Or the cowboy renegade Jesse James who's about to talk me into going into my draft guns-a-blazing while dreaming on The Martian hype?

Jesse Roche: Love the question! I do not think there is a clear answer this year. I prefer Vaughn due to his blend of upside/proximity. However, Dominguez is a fine pivot if you like throwing caution to the wind. He has the most upside among prospects in this FYPD. It is a really personal decision imo. Look in the mirror and ask yourself: who am I? Hopefully that will aid in deciding between Vaughn and Dominguez (I would not consider the other two absent 24+ teams or 2-catchers--Rutschman--or categories that specifically favor Abrams).

boatman44 (Liverpool): Hey Jesse thanks for the chat.Can you rank these four pitchers for the back end of a rotation in a deep categories league please, Jordan Yamamoto,Spencer Turnbull, Brad Keller and Tyler Beede, they all have nice pitchers parks to call home,and all seem pretty similar, any insights .Cheers.

Jesse Roche: (1) Yamamoto, (2) Keller, (3) Turnbull, and (4) Beede. I think Yamamoto could surprise. His stuff is sneaky good.

Craig (Chicago): Who gets the last two spots in the WAS rotation - Voth, Sanchez, Ross, Feder? Other? Any of these standout to you?

Jesse Roche: Sanchez and Ross, two postseason starters, should win the final two spots. Sanchez is basically a lock and should be solid enough to rely on in most formats. Ross has flashed nice upside in the past and, if healthy, could surprise. Both Ross and Voth have no options left and I'd expect both to get ~15 starts this year. I could see the Nats skipping the 5th guy at times this year and having them share that role to manage innings. Of course, an injury to one of the other 4 would change things.

Kyle (Delaware): In an Ottoneu-style points dynasty league, Jordan Groshans is a top ___ prospect by July 2020? He's a top ___ prospect by this time next year?

Jesse Roche: Top-30 by July 2020 due to graduations and, hopefully, his performance. Top-20 by February 2021 due to more graduations and, again, his performance. I do not see him cracking the top-15 this year absent a shockingly good season.

Mike (Tempe): Do you think we're talking about Blake Walston and/or Luis Frias as top 100 dynasty prospects a few months or a year from now? Walston strikes me as an under the radar guy who could really ascend lists in a single season like Nate Pearson.

Jesse Roche: Walston is no Nate Pearson, but he could rise similar to Grayson Rodriguez if he impresses in full-season ball. Not sure he will be assigned there, though. Frias has a nice arsenal, but he needs to refine his command and he turns 22 in May. He will need to make big moves through the system to crack top 100s. I imagine he starts in High-A.

Alex (Austin): I am picking in our dynasty's supplemental draft today. At pick 7 there should be a lot of the heralded teenagers available. As someone who is relatively set in the majors for the foreseeable future, should I be looking more at the high-upside lotto picks, or the safer, closer to the majors, picks?

Jesse Roche: I always target best available player in prospect drafts. For FYPDs (which may not be analogous to your supplemental draft), it could be a polished college guy like Bleday or a high-upside teenager like Corbin Carroll, I would just take the player you like the most regardless of ETA. Often, you must also consider trade value in these drafts. Who do you think will pop and get you the most on the open market in your league?

Jordan (South Dakota): Following up on last week, Oneil Cruz is REALLY tall.

Jesse Roche: Yes, yes he is.

Jesse Roche: Alright, ladies and gents. I started late today and I have to pack and hit the road for First Pitch Florida. There are so many questions still left unanswered, and I'm sorry I was unable to get to them. You can always reach out to me by DM on Twitter @jaroche6!

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