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Chat: Jesse Roche

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday July 10, 2020 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jesse Roche.


Jesse Roche is a member of the BP Fantasy Team and recently produced a top-400 prospect list for dynasty leagues.

Jesse Roche: TGIF! Happy Friday, everyone! I am returning to my semi-regularly scheduled Friday chat now that we are less than 2 weeks from the belated start of the MLB season. While baseball is set to resume, tons of uncertainty continues to cloud the season with players opting out of the abbreviated 60-game season and numerous players contracting COVID-19. I fully expect the news of more cases to be a daily occurrence all the way through the season. Meanwhile, MIKE TROUT is considering opting out. It is going to be a very strange season. As for fantasy news, we recently updated our Top-400 Dynasty Prospects this week. You can find the link to the updated rankings in the lead. Now, to the questions!

MK (Houston): Thanks for doing a chat today. Who were the biggest risers and fallers in your latest top 400 dynasty prospects and why? Do you have any strategy in your dynasty leagues for prospects that are not on the 60 man (buy/sell/hold)?

Jesse Roche: Thanks! Not many risers or fallers since there has been no baseball. Of course, the influx of recent draftees has push many players down the rankings. That said, we need tweak a few rankings upon reevaluation and in light of the lost minor league season (the ramifications of which will touch every prospect in some way). The following prospects made moves (good & bad):

Adley Rutschmann jumps Waters/Robinson due to developmental concerns for the others
Jesus Luzardo from 13 to 15 (COVID positive & Carlson jumps him)
Jasson Dominguez from 26 to 23 (up 5 spots technically w/ 2 draftees slotting in ahead)
Heliot Ramos from 24 to 28 (I prefer the upside of the guys who jumped him)
Taylor Trammell from 34 to 41 (concerned about swing)
Brett Baty from 81 to 96 (concerned about hit tool)
Isaac Paredes from 117 to 150 (concerned about offensive upside)
Colton Welker from 178 to 307 (less confidence in bat)

As for prospects not on the 60-man roster, it depends on the prospect, but I do not think it makes much of a difference to a prospect's value, especially prospects that are far away. Of course, if an upper level (AA/AAA) prospect failed to make the cut, and it is not injury-related, then it may be a sign that the organization has little confidence in that prospect.

Pete (Providence): Hey Jesse! One fact of this season is that over 60 games, the elite players get less separation from the very good. Meaning a gap of 15 home runs over 162 games might just be 5 in a short season. But I don't know what to do with this information. In an auction, I am planning to concentrate resources on good mid-round bats, knowing that some of them will perform super elite over 60 games. Or am I thinking about this the wrong way. Does the short season somehow make the top-5 players more valuable?

Jesse Roche: I think a shortened season hurts the top players for the exact reasons you mention. Many performance metrics are unable to stabilize in a 60-game season. Fangraphs had a nice article on this awhile back: https://library.fangraphs.com/principles/sample-size/

In an auction this year, I would actually target top pitchers, rather than hitters, since I expect there to be a substantial difference in usage between top arms and middle-to-back-end arms. In a recent 12-team draft with BP writers, I selected Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer with my first two picks. I think you can obtain a nice advantage with the aces this year, especially if teams just let them loose in this shortened season. Plus, strikeout rate is a stat that stabilizes really quickly.

I also still like to target speed early in a standard 5x5. It is a scare resource and it should play in this short season.

Jon (DC): I have three leagues (roto, points, h2h) that are going into their inaugural seasons this year. We slow drafted and have minors spots. 20 teams each league. No entry fee. How do you recommend we go about this shortened season?

Jesse Roche: Prospects 365 Experts League drafted last November, which seems like ages ago now. It is our inaugural season. We have decided to play it out with 50% entry fees going toward payout this year. Of course, I would not blame any league for just punting this year, playing a free, for fun season, then restarting next year, either with the rosters you drafted or an entirely new draft. However, it needs to be consensus.

As for particular formats, I think all leagues must utilize a roto format this year. The only way head-to-head is workable is if you play multiple matchups each week, and, in that case, is that not just roto anyway? You can make a points league work if you eliminate head-to-head matchups (if there are any) and just tally points for the season. The season is only 66 days long. That is 9.5 weeks. There is no way you can properly run a head-to-head schedule with playoffs in that time frame.

dmairs (Calgary, AB): Hi Jesse. I know it's likely not your role but I can't seem to get an prompt answer from BP about when Draft Aid will be upgraded to the previous format to include OBP and SLG. Plus, when is Team Tracker coming. It's been months and months now. And finally, why no projection for Akiyama? Many thanks for any help. Dave

Jesse Roche: Unfortunately, I am not the person to ask. Drop this question in Craig's chat for next Wednesday.

Jesse Roche: Not many questions today. As we get closer to the upcoming season, I certainly think interest will again pick up. Hopefully, we have a season, and players and staff are able to stay healthy. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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