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Chat: Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday December 04, 2020 12:00 PM ET chat session with Jeffrey Paternostro.

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Jeffrey Paternostro is the Lead Prospect Writer for Baseball Prospectus.

Jeffrey Paternostro: BP didn't non-tender me so here I am.

Rip Wheeler (Montana): Thank you for lending your expertise. My team needs help everywhere and will get to choose from these 3 players to help lead the rebuild: Ian Anderson, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Luis Robert. Who's your favorite and why?

Jeffrey Paternostro: For fantasy purposes, Robert is the most likely to be a five-category contributor. Anderson should be a very good pitcher, but not an elite fantasy arm and he's still a pitcher. I like Hayes a lot, but he has limited MLB track record with the plus pop, and the rest of the Pirates lineup isn't gonna give him a ton of R/RBI opps.

CubbieBear (Chi-Town): What do you make of Anthony Santander’s emergence as a middle of the order bat? Sustainable? He looked like a modern day Reggie Jackson in AUG. Appreciate your thoughts.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think it makes him in danger of getting non-tendered by the Orioles for 2022. It's 165 PA so I'm not super confident this is a big talent jump, especially given the underlying swing-and-miss stats don't support the huge K-rate cut.

ari blum (NY): Why does the MLBPA focus on major league pay when the minor league players are actually close to the poverty line?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Because unions don't prioritize the rights of non-members, something the league has successfully exploited for decades. Now should minor league players be in the union? Absolutely, but that's the reason why.

Mike Wilson (Rhode Island): Posey and Yadier Molina: How much more work do they need to do to improve their HOF case?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't have a huge hot take on Molina's HoF case, although I'd note if he cruises in so should Brian McCaan. Catchers are a tricky eval for anyone and you end up succumbing to more #narrative arguments. I think Posey is most of the way there and the MVP and World Series titles help push the counting stats over the line, but he probably needs an okay decline phase to be a first ballot guy. I guess watch how Mauer does since he's a decent comp so far.

ironcityguys (daBurgh): Any updates on Adley Rutschman? As a college player, his ascent to the Majors should be more rapid, correct?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He probably could have been up this season? He looked very close to MLB-ready post draft in 2019, but based on the Orioles desire to "stay within the confines of the CBA" I'd expect to see him post Super-2 clawback in 2021. The 2020 alternate site reports were all good.

Dan (NY): Based on Sandy's comments about keeping the farm in tact, do you think theres a possibility that all of: Allan/Mauricio/Alvarez (the seemingly consensus top 3 guys) are totally off limits in trades?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't think they are off the table for an all-star level player return. I do think they are off the table to get a team to eat money or to deal for a better contract than player.

ari blum (NY): Now that Brendan McKay and Jared Walsh are ‘specialized’, only Shohei Ohtani and Michael Lorenzen are MLB 2-way players. Are there any current prospects who are potential 2-way players?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think you need to look for more of a Michael Lorenzen type rater than a guy who is above-average at both hitting and pitching. William Holmes for the Angels and Tanner Dodson for the Rays are the first two that come to mind.

dtothew (Atlanta): Jarred Kelenic - clearly the 2nd best prospect in baseball or maybe the best?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Probably the second best prospect in his own org. He's in the discussion for top five overall though.

ironcityguys (daBurgh): You mentioned in an earlier chat that Julio Rodriguez had possibly the highest ceiling in the minors. Could you speak more about this? Can you project his ceiling in a comparison with a current/previous ML'er?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Look it's close and I may change my mind before the Mariners list pubs, but Rodriguez has like a star level outcome where it's something like 2020 Eloy with plus defense in the outfield.

Gary (NY): Mets are getting to the point, where in the bullpen at least, it looks like it's starting to fill up. Do you think Sandy could try to move a Brad Brach or Betances for a more expensive, but better reliever on a similarly underwater contract? (i.e Betances ($7MM) for Andrew Miller ($12MM))

Jeffrey Paternostro: Maaaaybe, but Miller was actually good last year and I dunno if the Cards want to downgrade their bullpen like that entering a contention year. They might just need to eat the money if they want the roster spot, which is fine.

Larry (NY): I really don't understand the Fransisco Lindor trade proposals from the Mets that are some combination of 3 of (Mauricio, Allan, Gimenez, Nimmo, JD) - Using $9/WAR (which I know you don't love), but is how a lot of teams operate, and $9/WAR may even be lower than $9MM this offseason, Lindor's contract is projected to be worth something in the range of $15MM - even $20MM if you want to include the comp pick that they would later receive. Doesn't Gimenez alone potentially have more surplus value than Lindor? I understand the calculations slightly change when talking about an elite player, but I feel like Lindor's market value may be being grossly overstated?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So, a few thoughts on this (1) What $/WAR says doesn't really matter when you are trading an elite franchise player and need to sell a return to your fanbase. (2) Also since he's an elite player you should want to overpay a little in $/WAR due to scarcity. (3) $/WAR measures efficiency strictly, not how good your team is. (4) The Mets are at a particular spot on the win curve where each additional win has an outsized effect on their playoff chances. (5) I don't like $/WAR generally. (6) I don't like it specifically when evaluating the value of a pre-arb 2-3 win player like Gimenez. (7) I think the biggest limiting factor in the Lindor trade return will be how few teams are willing to take on the money for one year and offer him a market rate extension, which is also what happened with Betts.

Mike Wilson (Rhode Island): Forrest Whitley: Do you see him in the rotation or bullpen long term?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The Astros list runs Monday and I wish I had a good answer for this.

Brian (Mercury Mets): Any idea who the current decisionmakers are in the Mets FO given everyone that has left?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Sandy and Ricco probably? If its who to trade for Lindor I assume Bryn Alderson, Tommy Tanous and Mark Tramuta are in the room and I believe theres at least one or two analytics and ops holdovers.

Mike (Ny): Thoughts on the zips comparison for Soto that is Ted Williams. Is Soto’s prime really going to be .340 .490 .680 or better?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's not impossible he has a season or two like that at some point. I wouldn't bet on it happening but I wouldn't be shocked.

Johnny (Philly): I took a flier on Luis Medina and Cole Winn based on upside and some signs they were putting things together at the end of 2019. Any chance they could make a cameo at the back end of the 100 or not enough in 2020 to go that far?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Both are on the long list, but neither have a particularly good shot at making it. Believe the long list is around 175 at the moment for context.

Danny (NYM): Radio silence after the McCann rumor make you think something is getting close?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Jarrett pointed out to me that the language used was often found when a deal is done but not reportable, but I'm less convinced than most that it's that close. Felt more like player side leaks or perhaps a team leaking that to get Realmuto to bring the price down.

Tracy (New Jersey): JD Davis, Amed Rosario, Brett Baty and Junior Santos for Francisco Lindor

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't think the basic structure there is that far off what he goes for, but I have heard interest in different prospects from Cleveland's end, and I have to imagine they want Gimenez and the extra years of control over Rosario.

Ryan (Montreal): Did Danny Jansen play himself out of a starting role going forward?

Jeffrey Paternostro: DRC liked his 2020 more than the triple slash, which might just be small sample size variance, and he's a good enough defender now I think you can give him another run, but if you are making noise about being active in free agency like they are it's a place you should look to upgrade.

Zack (Trenton): Does PCA hitting a 107 mph home run mean anything?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I will consider max exit velo when I have it (prefer average or like 60th percentile), but I don't think it says anything we didn't already know about the raw power potential. There's some there.

Ralph Malph (Milwaukee): Is there any hope left for Franchy Cordero to deliver on his promise? The Royals' signing of Michael Taylor was a bad omen.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Taylor is the better version of the Cordero skillset nowadays, so yeah it's not what you want if you are a Franchy fan (sorry Craig)

Matt Allan (NY): Where do I go in a redraft? Before Baty?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't think either has any real 2021 impact, but we have Allan as the better prospect yeah.

Chris (Accord, NY): What is a better record? 4-7 or 3-6-1? the 4-7 team has won 36% of its games but lost 64% of its games. The 3-6-1 has only won 30% of its games, but lost only 60% of its games. Does the tie count as .5 wins and .5 losses? If so, the 2nd team has won 35% of its games and lost 65% of its games and therefore is in 2nd place.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm a soccer fan so it looks like 12 points versus 10 to me

darielsantana (santo domingo): Can Alec Bohm stay in 3b? What kind of outcome do you expect from him?

Jeffrey Paternostro: They really should find a different spot for him, but he can probably battle the position to a 40 if he has to. I've come around on the bat more, although I think the power output is gonna be more of a tease here and there. He's probably a solid regular somewhere.

Ryan (Montreal): Thanks for taking questions today. Where are you on Lewin Diaz? Does he get the 1st base job next year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think the Aguilar tender probably sends him back down to Triple-A for a bit depending on how the NL DH situation resolves itself.

Mike Wilson (Rhode Island): Cardinals Devil Magic is misfiring on evaluating and trading minor leaguers. Cardinals have announced that they are changing how they evaluate minor leaguers after Arozarena blossomed this year. Any idea what they are doing wrong?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm not going to kill them for missing on one swing change guy and they did get a very good pitching prospect back in the deal. The general track record here with evaluating and developing bats is above the median.

ironcityguys (daBurgh): I know a lot of Dodger pitchers like throwing to Barnes. Of course, Will Smith is the #1 guy. Where does that leave Keibert Ruiz? Would they carry 3 catchers? What would you do in their situation for Ruiz's future?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Barnes is a solid backup, but I don't know if he blocks Ruiz (Who has gotten similarly good marks in the minors on that stuff), none of this might matter in two years too, which makes it all tricky. Given they have Diego Cartaya behind him, I could see them using Ruiz in a deal, and teams have long asked on him.

Jeffrey Paternostro: We'll be back next week


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