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Chat: Mike Gianella

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday September 11, 2020 1:00 PM ET chat session with Mike Gianella.


Mike Gianella is a senior fantasy writer for the BP fantasy team, and co-host of the Flags Fly Forever Podcast.

Mike Gianella: Hey everyone. Welcome to another Baseball Prospectus chat. I can't wait to talk baseball with you on this Friday afternoon.

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

Mike Gianella: I'm glad you asked, Dusty. His stock has slipped somewhat now that we've actually seen him play, but there's so much talent here that we have to see what he does with more reps. I still like him, but I'm no longer looking at him with as much love as I might have a year ago.

shadiabu (San Diego): In a 6x6 dynasty league, with $280 total salaried rosters, is trading $3 MacKenzie Gore for $35 Degrom and $24 Goldschmidt worth it if I'm trying to win a title this year? Each year there is subsequent $5 salary increase, although Gore will remain at his $3 price going into the 2021 season.

Mike Gianella: Yes, to me that's a fair price if you can win a title. I hate giving up Gore but you're getting the best pitcher in baseball (arguably) and an excellent hitter in Goldschmidt.

Slappy (NC): In a Strat league, I have a chance to trade for either Teoscar Hernandez or Randall Grichuk. Who do you like best and who does the organization value more? It is a Strat league, so defense and baserunning matter, too. thanks

Mike Gianella: I prefer Teoscar although I'll admit I'm not up on current Strat-O-Matic (I'm doing a 2006 Strat sim right now) so I don't know how the defense is rated. But I like that Teoscar has more flexibility and is running more so in this format I'll take Teoscar.

Quincy (Ames): With the trade of dyson do you think Jared oliva will get the call and do you like his prospects

Mike Gianella: My guess would be he won't be up this year but has a chance to make the major league roster early in 2021. IF the speed and defense in center play up I think he can stick with the Pirates as a starter in center.

Quincy (Ames): With the trade of dyson do you think Jared oliva will get the call and do you like his prospects

Mike Gianella: The question so nice you asked it twice.

Rich (Akron): An active or slow trade deadline?

Mike Gianella: I think it was pretty active all things considered. As much as I've criticized teams in the past for prospect hugging, I can see why some teams didn't go all in for a chance to lose in a best-of-three series.

MK (Houston): What's the rest of season outlook for two under-performing sluggers in Gary Sanchez and Joey Gallo? Sit tight or panic sell before the deadline?

Mike Gianella: For Sanchez, a lot of the answer here revolves around what's available on the wire. If you need to protect your AVG I don't mind dropping him. Gallo's tough because it's mostly the AVG. He's still getting on base at a good clip. At this point I'd just stick with him and hope for a hot streak the last two weeks.

lemurine (Ca): Hi Mike, I hope you are good. I am fascinated at trying to find pitching prospects with similar profiles to Bieber or Hendricks. Thoughts, please? thanks

Mike Gianella: It's tough because there's a fine line between throwing meat down the middle of the plate and having masterful command in the zone without eye popping stuff. I'd start with the first piece of this puzzle (the command) and then look for pitchers who are getting at least one strikeout per nine in the minors. A pitcher can have all the control in the world in AAA but if he's allowing contact he's going to usually have trouble in the majors.

spotted cow (Rockford ): I have quite a few shares of Corbin burnes in various dynasty and keeper leagues and wondered how real is this 'breakout' and how sustainable his control is? I am very tempted to flip him in most leagues because of how weird of a year this is and me being somewhat suspicious of his future whip

Mike Gianella: I talked about this on the Rotowire podcast with Jeff Erickson. Burnes breakout looks pretty legitimate. I do wonder a little bit about how he'll hold up over a full 162 but in terms of the stuff I think he's made a real move forward. That being said, if you can move him for 5th or 6th round value now go for it.

Li'l Sebastian (Pawnee, Indiana): I specialize in giving up on young players far too quickly. Why should I be patient with Joe Adell and Gavin Lux? The eyeball test leaves me wondering about their star potential.

Mike Gianella: Really depends on your format/league. IF you're in a dynasty/keeper league you can't really just throw these guys away. In a one-and-done, sure, drop them if you need someone better right now. I haven't had a lot of Lux looks this year but he looked great to me last year and I think the late start has hurt him. Adell looks athletic to me and I think the bat will come around eventually.

Kimi (BK): Have to pick 3 of the following 5 keepers, standard 16 team roto: Yordan Alvarez (6th), Jack Flaherty (14th), Jeff McNeil (16th), Matt Olson (19th), Jesse Winker (22nd). Which three would you take? Leaning Flaherty, Olson & McNeil. Thanks!

Mike Gianella: I agree with your order. I'd consider Winker but I think Olson's AVG jumps up in a full season.

Tyler (Memphis, TN): For dynasty purposes, does it make more sense to hang on to a mid tier starter with upside (think ERod or Dane Dunning) Or a young stud bullpen arm like Devin Williams? Or another way to put it is Williams the next Josh Hader?

Mike Gianella: It really depends on your roster composition and league depth but I prefer going with the starter just because so many of those arms pop up and come out of nowhere almost every year. I do really like Williams and while he might not be the next Hader he could easily be a top 5 closer if he gets the job.

Steve (NY): Hi Mike, thanks for the chat. Dom Smith has been awesome, what do you think happens if/when the DH goes away in the NL. Is LF a long-term answer for him?

Mike Gianella: Hi Steve, thanks for joining.

I suspect the DH is here to stay but if it does go away the Mets will try him in left. It's a long term answer though. He's worked hard out there but he doesn't have the instincts and it's a rough go for Smith.

mrgoyette (Dublin): Mike, what do u think we should do with the small sample 2020 season in order to create projections for 2021?

Mike Gianella: Can't throw it out but also can't put equal weight on it. I'm going to probably use it for about 70 percent of what I usually use the previous season for in my projections/bids. I'll have a better answer when I actually start doing my bids this winter.

BR (NYC): Rest of year redraft league question - in a league that counts OBP instead of AVG, and includes TB as a category, should I start Gleyber or Correa at SS?

Mike Gianella: I'd lean Correa given the OBP weight.

Scotty (Illinois): Gallen or Fried going forward?

Mike Gianella: I'd go with Gallen if you're talking fantasy. Fried's a very good pitcher but don't think he'll ever be a high strikeout guy.

bphil (MO): How are you valuing proven stars who have had terrible seasons going into be next year. JD Martinez Kris Bryant Correa etc

Mike Gianella: They're all different situations. Correa's numbers are similar everyone except in power and he just isn't elevating the ball. Bryant might just be a health issue. I want to think this is just a bad stretch for JD. All of them will get knocked down at least a couple of rounds from their value coming into the year. I'll re-evaluate how far down this winter when I start putting my rankings together.

bphil2712 (MO): Have you seen enough of Dylan Moore that you think he can be a solid bat for deep leagues going forward?

Mike Gianella: Yes, I think he'll be viable in deep mixed and AL-only; a 15/20 bat plays in those formats. I'm a little worried he isn't a starter, so in any mixed format you need to have a bench where you can sit him if the Mariners are playing matchups.

Chris (DC): What do you think of Taijuan Walker and his new home in Toronto? Is he worth a pick up in shallow leagues?

Mike Gianella: It's a rough move for him because it's Buffalo and the ball is flying out of that park. He is a deep mixed or AL-only player for me depending on the matchups so I'd say no unless you really need to swing for the fences.

BR (Half way btwn NYC and Phillly): Another redraft question to close out this season... OBP league and TB also counted. OF/Util options are Trout, N Cruz, Tucker Gallo, Canha, K Seager Starting the top 3, who takes the fourth slot?

Mike Gianella: I'd go with Canha rest of the way.

lemurine (ca): Will rotothinktank fly forever? Will you ever return to it? Or write a book?

Mike Gianella: I doubt I'll ever return to blogging. I've thought about writing a book but it's time consuming and I don't want to write something if maybe only 100 people are going to read it.

Jim (Chicago): It's cold and rainy here in Chicago. I could really use some heat from Brailyn Marquez. Any chance I see some?

Mike Gianella: Sorry to hear it, Jim. It's a lovely 80 degrees here on the East Coast. My former colleague Sahadev Sharma at The Athletic said it's a possibility, so maybe you'll get some relief innings from him in the last week or two (Marquez, not Sahadev)

lemurine (ca): what might you guess is the biggest thing you've learned over the years about doing better in your leagues?

Mike Gianella: Better planning and prep, which includes putting time aside to do it, particularly as I start playing in more/alternate formats.

BR (Close to Philly): Thanks for your help, Mike, this year and every year! Best to you and the family.

Mike Gianella: that's very kind of you, BR. Thanks.

loria (Milwaukee): 12 team, keep 7 with up to 15 MiLB slots and free keep on promoted prospects for 3 yrs. Traded Manning, Kieboom, and Robinson for Lindor and to go for it this year. Is that an overpay with the 9 controllable years?

Mike Gianella: It's a little more than I'd want to pay but you didn't give up anyone in Jesse Roche/Bret Sayre's top 50 so I don't think you went hog wild.

Loria (Milwaukee): Traded Patino (free prospect keeps for 3 years) for Kershaw to make a title run. Think Kershaw will stay productive enough next year that this wont be just a "rental"?

Mike Gianella: Yes, although I do think while the quality will be there you never know what you're going to get anymore from Kersh in terms of the volume.

Loria (Milwaukee): What do you think of Seth Beer for fantasy? I traded his rights for Ryu to make a run this year. I guess I figured I traded and average contributor and can find more Seth Beers.

Mike Gianella: If the DH sticks in the NL, Beer's stock rises a good amount because the whole "where will he play/can he play this position" stuff goes away. I still think that's a fair trade for you because you're right. The "I'll really regret trading Seth Beer" odds are about at 5-10% or so. It could happen, but I doubt it.

Dusty (Colorado): Thoughts on Wander Javier, what's his upside?

Mike Gianella: The year is 2025. He struggled for a while, but now Javier is in the majors, mashing and just giving pitchers fits. As Cleveland keeps tearing it down and reducing the payroll, the AL Central rivalry is between the Twins and White Sox. Chicago's pitching has really developed, and their ace isn't Lucas Giolito but someone who was good but also someone who wouldn't have expected to be a top 5 pitcher in baseball. But as successful as he is, he just can't get Javier out. In every series, whether it's home or away, Javier just pummels White Sox pitching and especially this guy. On the last day of the regular season, Javier hits three home runs off this pitcher, knocking him out of the game and sending the Twins to the playoffs for the third year in a row. As he walks of the mound, a dejected scrum of White Sox fans can't help but ask themselves if the Wanders will ever Cease.

Mike Gianella: Thanks for the chat today everyone! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Good luck in your leagues down the stretch this year!

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