CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
Click here to log in Click here to subscribe

Chat: Jesse Roche

Chat Home

Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday August 14, 2020 2:00 PM ET chat session with Jesse Roche.


Jesse Roche is a member of the BP fantasy team, and recently co-authored an update to the Top 500 Dynasty Rankings.

Jesse Roche: Happy Friday! Excited to talk dynasty today! If you have not perused the updated Top-500 Dynasty Baseball Rankings, you can find a link at the top of the chat or in the Fantasy dropdown menu. It was a bear to update and balance the oddities of this strange season. I also want to plug the Five Tool Fantasy Baseball Podcast, where I talk dynasty and redraft weekly with my cohosts Eric Cross of Fantrax HQ and Jake Devereaux of Over the Monster and The Dynasty Guru. Be sure to check it out. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @5ToolPod. With that out of the way, on to the questions!

Dusty (Colorado): You ranked Wander Javier too low. Consider this a reminder that his will is stronger than your doubt. Always. Forever.

Jesse Roche: First in the Q. First in our hearts.

Paul (Dallas): Since we're all here to pick nits on the top 500...JD Davis hitting .300/.394/.467, making last year's breakout look a bit more legit, and he's only 27. But he's way back at 193. If he's still hitting this way when you're making the September list, how far does he shoot up?

Jesse Roche: I am all for nit picking. On occasion, my opinion about a player changes based on strong, well-reasoned arguments (unless it is Nomar Mazara, he will forever be on the cusp of breaking out for me).

As for J.D. Davis, well, he is now hitting .282/.382/.438. Small sample sizes play havoc with stats on a day-to-day basis. Davis does have legit power, a manageable whiff rate (29%), and possibly more power in the tank if he elevates more. However, he normally struggles against secondaries (except in 2019), and it remains a long-term concern. I am not sure he is much more than a .265/25 type bat without more tangible growth. If he starts elevates (LA over 12 degrees) while maintaining serviceable contact rates, I think he certainly could push further up the rankings.

Ben (Memphis ): I know he checks in very high on your recently released dynasty rankings, but what are your thoughts on Shohei Ohtani moving forward? Will he ever regain pitching form/Should Angels just let him hit?

Jesse Roche: First of two Ohtani questions.

I do believe Ohtani regains his pitching form in time. Recovery from Tommy John surgery is complicated and different for each player. Since Ohtani continued to play and split his focus between hitting and recovery/pitching, his full recovery likely will take longer and look different than a normal pitcher. If, and when, he fully recovers, he has #1 overall upside as a two-way player, especially in daily leagues.

Now, I do not think it is the end of the world if Ohtani does not recover as a pitcher. He really can hit. As a full-time hitter, who may profile well in right field (for example), Ohtani could hit something like .280/35/15, which is right up there with the likes of Javier Baez.

There is plenty of risk with Ohtani. Always has been. The potential reward is sky high, however, and his strong hitting fallback does mitigate the risk, at least compared to other pitchers.

Ultimately, Ohtani owners should not bemoan his inability to pitch at the moment because he still carries loads of value as a hitter, just not #1 overall type value.

beringstorm (Tacoma ): For leagues that separate Ohtani into two players (ugh), how would the Ohtani (P) and Ohtani (B) individually rank on the Dynasty 500?

Jesse Roche: Ohtani question No. 2!

Ohtani (B) slots in at 60 (right behind Eugenio Suarez)

Ohtani (P) slots in at 214 (right behind Michael Kopech)

Lance (Vegas): Recent Jasson Dominguez photos have him resembling the Incredible Hulk! What are your thoughts on him moving forward and is this kid a star in the making?

Jesse Roche: Dominguez's frame and physique has always caused me some concern (hence, we have always been lower on him than others in the industry). He is already fully mature at 17 years old. Buck Showalter once said, "Be careful drafting an 18-year-old with a full beard. It means he is fully developed and might not grow anymore." Be careful with Dominguez.

That said, Dominguez already has excellent tools, and, while he is a present plus to double-plus runner, I am uncertain he will retain his speed long-term with those tree-trunk legs. He has explosive bat speed, though. His hit/power upside is still plus/plus (or better) with likely enough speed long-term to provide some value on the bases. That is an excellent dynasty prospect and a possible fantasy star.

Freddy G (123): I know this year is a little but different with no minor leagues... but who are a handful of names to grab before they breakout similar to how Julio Rodriguez, Kristian Robinson, and Marco Luciano did last year?

Jesse Roche: Three guys I love outside our top-100 prospects: Aaron Bracho (101), Maximo Acosta (128), Heriberto Hernandez (164). Within the top-100, Erick Pena (71), Alexander Canario (85), Orelvis Martinez (86), and Luis Matos (93) have big upside.

My ceiling-only rankings capture a lot of these names: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/article/57095/ceiling-only-dynasty-prospect-rankings-the-top-101-of-2020/

George (South Bend): What kind of numbers are we looking at during peak years for Adley Rutschman and Spencer Torkelson? C and 1B are very very weak positions... are Bart and Vaughn even close to these guys?

Jesse Roche: Rutschman: .295/.400/.520/25/0
Torkelson: .290/.370/.550/35/0

Bart is not particularly close to Rutschman. At least a grade gap in hit tool with less on-base ability. I see Bart as a .260/.320/.485/25/0 bat.

Vaughn, on the other hand, is neck-and-neck with Torkelson (they are back-to-back in our rankings for a reason). I think Vaughn has a slightly better hit tool with slightly less power than Tork.

Larry (Montana ): With steals becoming more and more extinct, who are some prospects to target that won’t kill me in all the other categories?

Jesse Roche: CJ Abrams, Vidal Brujan, Alek Thomas, Corbin Carroll, Jordyn Adams, Greg Jones

Timmuh (Tampa): Please give me your best 5 dynasty buy-low targets right now!

Jesse Roche: I think any top-50 hitter (Yelich, Bellinger, Lindor, Devers, etc.) who is struggling is a solid buy right now. Some owner overreact to small samples, especially in this shortened season where a few bad weeks is killer.

Five particular buy-low targets are Walker Buehler, Shohei Ohtani, Matt Olson, Blake Snell, and Victor Robles.

Players who have not played much due to COVID-related reasons like Cardinals players are solid buys right now.

I also think opt outs (Michael Kopech, Eduardo Rodriguez, David Price, etc.) are solid buys right now if you can stash them. They are out for 2020, but it is not injury-related, and they are taking value hits similar to injured players.

david b (bethesda): My observation on the top 500 is that all of my guys should be higher. Thanks for listening.

Jesse Roche: I'll push them all up in the next update!

mjquart (Milwaukee): Dynasty League: 25 man MiLB squad. Competing team: wants (now) arms for title run. 2 offers in place. Bieber for Franco Jesus Lizard and May for Kelenic and Barco. Either/Both fair? Which side you got?

Jesse Roche: So the offers are:

1. Shane Bieber for Wander Franco
2. Jesus Luzardo and Dustin May for Jarred Kelenic and Hunter Barco (I assume)

I prefer Bieber to Franco, though that likely changes by this time next year.

I prefer Kelenic by a hair to Luzardo/May.

asaw780 (Boston): Jesse, can you give more insight on your ranking for Austin Riley? It looks like you're still pretty high on him. What do you see his ceiling as now? Thanks!

Jesse Roche: Yes, we remain bullish on Riley. He is a young player who will take a bit of time to figure things out, but he has big power that plays. In the short-term, I think he is a .230/30 type hitter, but long-term I think he can provide a bit more average and maybe turn in a .250/35 season or two. He has been heating up a bit of late as well.

darielsantana (Santo domingo): Who do you like better Matt Chapman or Alec Bohm? What about Conforto or Carlson? OBP League

Jesse Roche: Matt Chapman by a good bit over Alec Bohm. More playable power and a lock at 3B long-term. He also receives a small boost in OBP formats.

Michael Conforto over Dylan Carlson ever so slightly in OBP (though I do prefer Carlson in AVG). Conforto plays two tiers up in OBP due to his 13% walk rates and .360 OBP.

Paul (Dallas): Michael Kopech sitting out the season dropped his ranking from 214 all the way down to....214? Missing a year of dev time doesn't have any impact at all?

Jesse Roche: I actually thought we were a bit low on him in April so this balances it out a bit. An opt out allows him to be even further removed from Tommy John surgery and hopefully return to form. He always carried a lot of short-term risk anyway so little additional risk is added due to the opt out.

TrickDaddy14 (ForDaKids): Please rank for dynasty purposes: Ronny Mauricio, Jordan Groshans, Orelvis Martinez, George Valera, Brennan Davis. Thank you -

Jesse Roche: George Valera (157)
Brennen Davis (187)
Jordan Groshans (202)
Ronny Mauricio (210)
Orelvis Martinez (294)

rolliesmustache (Canada): Thanks for the ceiling-only top 101 rankings! Would Austin Hendricks make the list if it was re-done post-draft, and if so where you rank him?

Jesse Roche: No problem! Austin Hendrick would make the list at 68, right behind Alexander Canario.

Jesse Roche: That is all the time I have today. Thanks for all the questions! I hope you enjoy the updated Top-500 Dynasty Baseball Rankings. Next week, I will analyze certain rising/falling dynasty assets. Stay tuned!

Baseball Prospectus Home  |  Terms of Service  |  Privacy Policy  |  Customer Service  |  Newsletter  |  Masthead  |  Contact Us