J.P. Breen is a member of the Baseball Prospectus fantasy team.
J.P. Breen: I'm pinch hitting for Jesse this afternoon, and I'm ready to chat about baseball on this May Day.
Bob prince (Pittsburgh): Long term how do you see the pirates middle infield between Newman,Oâ€™Neil, peguero and cole tucker
J.P. Breen: Oneil Cruz is a bit of a unicorn. It's unclear whether he'll make enough contact to matter, or whether he can play an acceptable shortstop, but no one in the Pirates' organization has a higher upside than Cruz. I'd feel more comfortable projecting him at third; even then, though, there are so many question marks. Plus, does Ke'Bryan Hayes hit enough to lock down the hot corner anyway? I really like Peguero and would take him over Newman or Tucker.
Blatz (Milwaukee): Long term shortstop in Milwaukee- urias,Eduardo Garcia or Bryce turang
J.P. Breen: The Brewers want it to be Urías, and he'd be my bet. I don't think he'll hit for the kind of power that he showed in 2019. With that said, I believe in the contact abilities. The question is whether he'll make impact contact. I just believe in Urías more than Turang in that realm. García is interesting—and someone I've talked about on TINO—but he's at least a half-decade away. And last year's injury makes him even more of an unknown.
Mr. Asterisk (here): Bigger disappointment: '94 Expos or '19/'20 Liverpool?
J.P. Breen: Definitely Liverpool, as the Expos still needed to navigate the uncertain waters of the playoffs, while Liverpool only needed to win another game or two in the final three months of the season. Thanks for bringing it up (frowny face).
Walt weiss (Golden): Ryan vilade someone to get excited about?
J.P. Breen: I'm not "excited" about Vilade, but I'm certainly paying attention. He started to tap into his power a bit more in 2019, decreasing his ground-ball rate, and the raw power certainly exists. That's all positive. The issues I have are that he doesn't have the speed to support a 20-steal profile in the future, and that he almost certainly won't stick as a shortstop. Either the power will need to continue to develop in a big away, or he'll need to produce elite averages to be relevant in dynasty leagues.
spotted cow (Rockford): Should having Danny Santana or shogo akiyama as my starting utility player and by far least bankable starter option cause for concern or is all this extra time making me feel less secure. Waiver guys available are Robinson cano, Starlin Castro, Brian anderson, and cj cron. OBP league. Thanks for baseballing.... I'm starting to lose it, one can only watch so many sean William scott movies before lack of baseball becomes overwhelmingly apparent
J.P. Breen: We're all second guessing our rosters at this point, my friend. No shame in it. I'm gonna be honest and say that I have zero idea as to what we should expect from Santana in 2020 (or whenever baseball returns). I do think, however, that his leash will be short because the Rangers will have other viable options behind him. I'm more sanguine about Akiyama, though playing-time concerns are real in Cincy's crowded outfield. If he leads off, he'll be a sneaky Adam Eaton-type producer. Cron doesn't walk enough for me to advocate for him. Anderson is interesting enough, but I don't think the power is as real as others. I'd stick with Santana (the wild card) and Akiyama (the steady contributor) over the alternative options.
Arch (St louis): Thought on the future 3b in St. Louis . Gorman, malcom Nunez or Eli Monterey or ptbnl
J.P. Breen: Gorman is clearly the best internal option. He has legit impact potential, even if I'm not as high on him as others. I'm not sure he will make enough contact to make either the in-game or raw power all that meaningful. But I'm not stupid enough to downplay his potential. It's big. I'm not confident at all that either Nunez or Montero make the big leagues in a meaningful capacity.
Bk (Tampa): Rank the following three pitchers and hitters in order:
Rodriguez, Luciano and Abrams
Manning...Pearson and Howard
J.P. Breen: I'm assuming that you're talking about Julio Rodriguez and not someone like J2 signee Luis Rodriguez. Julio Rodriguez is the best of these six. I'd go: Rodriguez, Luciano, Pearson, Abrams, Howard, and Manning.
Jerry (Elkton): What kind of ceiling does Sherten Apostel have in a points league that favors OBP? I've been sitting on him a while now and like him, but I'm also concerned he may ultimately just be an average 1B at peak.
J.P. Breen: Your concerns are justified; however, I'd hang onto him. I say this for two reasons: (1) he's far more valuable in an OBP-weighted points league than a standard roto league; and (2) first base isn't as good of a fantasy position as it used to be. I'm hopeful that the strikeouts will come down, too, as his plate discipline is advanced for his age. He might even be able to hack it at third base for a year or two early in his career.
TJ (The City): What are your thoughts on the following pitchers in a dynasty league (assuming all are healthy once baseball starts again): Carlos Rodon, Michael Fulmer, Josh Lindblom. Thanks.
J.P. Breen: I prefer Fulmer of the three pitchers here. People scoff at his strikeout percentage, but it's notable that he has a similar swinging-strike rate to Rodon. And he had much better control than Rodon before they both got injured. Lindblom is fascinating. Age is a problem (as he's just about to turn 33), but I think he's someone who can really miss bats with his new splitter. I'm just not sure whether he'll be anything more than a guy with an ERA in the low-to-mid fours. Add in the age factor, and I'll take Fulmer.
Micah (Temple): seems like the dynasty "industry" caught on that Deivi Garcia is mostly a product of the Yankees prospect hype machine and that he's very likely just a reliever, and maybe a good one, but a reliever still. am I too far off base here? I honestly don't think he's anywhere near a top 100 prospect for fantasy
J.P. Breen: I think you might be overstating your case a bit. Garcia is only 20 years old, so I'm not as worried about the increased walk rate as some others. I also think much of the reliever talk is based on his size, which we're learning isn't as much of a deterrent as it used to be. As pitching roles continue to change, guys who might go 120-140 innings with high strikeout totals are increasingly valuable. The fact that he has upside to be more than that is what makes him a top-100 dynasty prospect, though I fully understand why people don't like to hear about projection or upside when it comes to Triple-A guys.
spotted cow (Rockford): Dynasty h2h obp and SB/hld league I have collected a ton of aging starters that are still high end guys, with the likes of Verlander scherzer Morton greinke david price rich hill and snell should my relievers focus on tightening up whip or era? I also have 3 other starters as of now I'm trying to trade but are very own able, Jordan Montgomery being the worst, is he a must keep or do I cut for a back up RF my only position without a fill in or stop gap behind blackmon
J.P. Breen: You should definitely be trying to move Montgomery for a useful bat, if that's possible. No question about that, given your situation. I'd focus on tightening up your WHIP with your relievers. Why? ERA is more dependent on random variance, so I feel more comfortable targeting WHIP. Plus, I believe that relievers with elite (or above-average) WHIP numbers ultimately have a better chance at posting elite ERA numbers.
CubbieBear (Chi-Town): Weâ€™ve seen lots of players struggle after Tommy John surgery. Who are some of the best pitchers (post surgery) that have undergone TJS earlier in their careers? Thanks.
J.P. Breen: I'm not sure how early we're talking, but there are some top-end pitchers who underwent TJS a year or two into their big-league careers and then found major success. Charlie Morton, Carlos Carrasco, Patrick Corbin, Jose Fernandez, Yu Darvish, and Walker Buehler all come to mind. The important thing to remember, though, is that it often takes a couple of years to truly rebound from TJS. I think people expect post-TJS pitchers to take the mound 1.5 years after they undergo surgery and "have it." That rarely happens. It can take two or three years to round back into form.
Mark (OH): What do you think is the dynasty upside for Liover Peguero?
J.P. Breen: As mentioned earlier, I like Peguero a lot. I think he could potentially hit .300 with 20 homers and 20 stolen bases. In other words, you're talking about an Amed Rosario-type player with a better batting average. Or the elite version of Jean Segura. The problem, of course, is that Peguero is just 19 years old. The range of outcomes are huge, but he just cracks the Top 100 as a dynasty prospect for me.
Phil (Gettysburg): How badly does the cancellation of MLB's summer showcase hurt prep players for the 2021 draft? Am I correct to guess it will impact the top tier of prep player much less than the lower ranked, potential risers? I'm thinking the "elite" guys like Brady House, Luke Leto, Bray Bishop won't see much dip in their draft stock, but the guys projected outside of the first round lose a shot to raise their value.
J.P. Breen: I'm not as well versed on amateur players as Jesse (and that's an understatement), but I think your logic tracks. Teams will gravitate toward those on whom they have the most data, whether that means exit-velocity data, TrackMan data, or eye-scouting data. There may be fewer helium guys due to this. However, I do suspect that teams and prep players will figure out a way to showcase their skills, even if not in game situations. There may be a lot of folks who pop up at Driveline-type facilities to advertise their fastball velocities, exit velocities, launch angles, and other biomechanical data. As teams put more stock in those things for young players, the showcase circuits may not be as important. However, that will certainly impact those who may not have as much money or the geographic opportunity to hold such "private workouts."
J.P. Breen: Thanks for the solid hour-plus of chatting, y'all! There are some other good questions relating to players who are eligible for the 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts, but I'm absolutely not the person to answer those. Save those great questions for Jesse's next chat!
Thanks, everyone. Be safe, stay healthy, and be kind to yourselves and others.