Jeffrey Paternostro is Baseball Prospectus' Lead Prospect Writer.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Let's chat
waheiser (Colorado): I’m assuming your take on the Reds prospects will come out next week. What’s the word on Jonathan India from the alt site? What are his chances of playing for the Reds next year?
Jeffrey Paternostro: As a preview of coming attractions, the reports there were fine but nothing to really move the needle to obvious 2021 starter. More likely he's a useful bench piece that ends up with 400 AB here and there. Also, the full list schedule is here: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/2021-prospects-top-10-lists/
ari blum (NY): Will the J2 draft be different this year, or not very because the deals are agreed to so far in advance?
Jeffrey Paternostro: For the most part the only thing that will have changed is when the date we all pretend they suddenly agreed to sign this eligible class of players. You might see a new low six figure pop up guy, or a more recently cleared Cuban prospect, but for the most part the money was spent a while back.
Eric C (Boston): I do my own prospect rankings and I ranked Randy Arozearena 98th after this last season. Too low, too high, or just right?
Jeffrey Paternostro: He has been a popular topic of conversation for us among scouts and even colleagues on occasion. The consensus I've gotten is significantly higher than that. Even if you are lower on him (coughcoughCragcoughcough) I think it's a hard to see him regressing past like a 55 regular which given the proximity and surety would be somewhere 40-60 for us generally speaking. It's also a thin, thin year for prospect lists for a variety of reasons.
Hamilton joe (Cincinnati): Who says no? Ahmed for wilson contreras?
Jeffrey Paternostro: If the Cubs are dealing Contreras I don't think it's going to be for a worse hitter who is two years older and only has one more year of team control.
Chipshot212 (MA): What would you expect from the Diamondbacks' trio of major league ready SP (Martin, Duplantier, and Bukauskas) this year? Do you think one or more break through?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I think Martin is the most likely to be a significant above-average rotation piece in 2021 and beyond. Obviously still have to see how he stretches back out post-surgery, but the AS reports were all what you'd want.
jugdish (Faber): Thought on McKenzie gore? Heard anything as to why he wasn’t called up? Any injury concerns. Patino normal adjustments for a rookie or something else?
Jeffrey Paternostro: There were background reports that suggested mechanics/command blips at the Alternate Site. They aren't in the share so difficult to run down (and Padres are far enough out on the schedule we have just began scheduling calls). The fact that he wasn't up for the playoffs and Ryan Weathers was is somewhat instructive though. I'm not worried about Patino long term, as the stuff all looked fine and I think the command gets there. Tough ask given his level of pro experience and the unusual 2020 season.
noah (New York): Who would you prefer of the realistic Mets President of Baseball Ops candidates? Seems like the Mets are especially lagging in useful areas like pitch design, is there much sense in them hiring from an organization that’s not known for that?
Jeffrey Paternostro: So you are likely ending up with an experienced "smart team" front office type, which is fine as far as it goes. To use Mike Chernoff as an example, I don't think he's responsible for their pitching gains, he may know who to hire. And that's the key with the Mets. The top line FO picks will get the headlines in the Post, but they need to build up ops/analytics/player dev departments and integrate them with scouting. Alderson seemed aware of this in his first presser, so that's a good sign. This offseason is also going to see a lot of that type of operations talent suddenly available so they may be able to make strides with hiring faster than they normally would have.
ari blum (NY): Do you think that the Biden administration will allow MLB to reach an agreement with the Cuban Serie National?
Jeffrey Paternostro: That one is a little above my pay grade, but given that it was a priority towards the end of the Obama admin and that a lot of that can be handled by executive order, I could see at least a better system that we have now.
Archie (Riverview): Concerned about yelich? Still a first rounder?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I can't speak to the exact right ADP in a redraft league (that's a JP question), but I'm not particularly concerned about a bad 60 games given he was still smoking the ball.
Fred whitfield ( Cleveland): Spencer howard disappointed - thoughts?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, the secondaries and command didn't quite look ready for primetime. I can't hand wave everyone with "it was a weird season" and I think the particular shortcomings here will make us revise down from 2/3 starter more to 3/4.
Chipshot212 (MA): Thoughts on Pavin Smith? Looks to have a great approach, just without a ton of power. Can he ride the hit tool to being a solid MLB starter for the Diamondbacks at 1B/DH/OF?
Jeffrey Paternostro: There's some raw there he doesn't really get to with the swing plane, but he's athletic enough to play some outfield too, so he feels like a good bench piece that you are fine starting wherever for a couple months. Not impossible he squeezes enough power out to be a solid starter, but feels more like a 45 or 50 given the ultimate defensive limitations.
Quincy (Ames): Victor robles and Keston hiura both sucked this year. Small sample size or try and sell low?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't think you'll get enough to make it worth trying to ride it out given the upside if it is just a small sample. Although at this point I'm more concerned about Robles's bat than Hiura, who will be useful at the plate even if he only bounces back to .250.
Raphie (Boulder): Cronenworth was all world in August and lousy in sept- just a slump or concern? Underlying numbers still pretty nice
Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, I mean I wouldn't be shocked if he just played over his head for a couple months. That would happen in a normal year and get more washed out by a longer balance of the season. May be more of a Tommy Edman type than a star.
John rhodes (Columbus): Think Chris. Taylor get >400 abs next year .moc probably gone but lux should eat in to abs
Jeffrey Paternostro: The Dodgers seem to get everyone around 400-450 AB so probably. Arenado trade might change that some, but he also has injury questions.
jugdish (Faber): What teams were not sharing info and why? Trying to avoid losing rule 5 picks? How much would that limit their ability to trade
Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't remember the exact number/teams (BA had it I believe) but it was around 10. And yeah, I think it's mostly just a proprietary/secretive thing for the orgs. It could certainly impact teams willingness to deal, and I'd be doing a lot more due diligence on Gore if he were suddenly available, but I don't think it will make a huge impact. Everyone is somewhat limited in available info this offseason.
Veronica (Riverview): What’s up with the Phillies- wondering why they haven’t replaced klentak
Jeffrey Paternostro: It's a good question. They had a head start on the Mets, but both orgs seem to be having issues finding someone to come there. I've heard and propagated a few different theories (less job security, more work/pressure to win, Presence of Alderson/MacPhail above you). The Phillies particularly are in a weird spot. A fair amount of committed long term money, a diminished farm, a roster that's competitive but incomplete, and mixed signals on whether you will have ownership backing to fill the holes in FA.
jugdish (Faber): Lane Thomas had Clovis but his underlying numbers from 2019 were pretty intriguing .its not like Bader oneil and Fowler are that formidable- think he’ll get a shot next spring and if so how much upside?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I thought about this for a bit and came to the conclusion that the Cardinals should really be in on George Springer. I assume he will be in the mix, but the upside is something like the good Harrison Bader seasons with more pop and less glove.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Be back in a couple weeks after a few Central divisions lists.