Jeffrey Paternostro is the lead prospect writer for Baseball Prospectus
Jeffrey Paternostro: It's the weekend, you know what that means, time to have exactly one beer and chat about prospects
Mark (SF): Long-term, do u like Alec Bohm or Ke'Bryan Hayes more?
Given the choice, would you take Luis Robert over both of these? Not fantasy question. Including real-life importance of on-base.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Ke'Bryan is a legit 7 defender at third. Bohm is...not. I could be convinced to prefer Bohm's bat by a hair (although it would be a tough sell, and Hayes has shown more ability to actualize the raw in short major league samples), but the defensive value puts him well out in front for me. Robert is a trickier call. He's at least as good a defender at a more premium spot, and while the bat is far more boom or bust (even if Hayes's power takes a step back, he's likely to give you above-average BA and OBP), I might take the overall upside in Robert's profile. Ask me again tomorrow and I might have a different answer though.
Steve (TX): Out of soon to be AL outfielders Jarren Duran and Brandon Marsh, who do you like better for first few years of career fantasy niceness? Are they close?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I think for fantasy, Durran's steals make this closer than the pure offensive projection would indicate. So it might come down to exactly the shape of what you need to fill our your roster. I'd take Marsh because I think he can be a five category guy and I don't think Duran has that kind of pop (and I still don't fully buy the bat overall), but yeah I'd say for fantasy purposes it is close.
Rhino Hearn Fan Club (Somers, CT): Thank you for these chats. They're always enjoyable and informational.
Anyway, what do you think are the chances of Myles Straw being the Astros' starting CF for the entire season? Also, does Franchy Cordero have a realistic chance of being an everyday player for the Red Sox?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Higher than they should be. It's a little weird that their homegrown World Series MVP outfielder wasn't on the radar at all for a long term deal (and he didn't get a super exorbitant deal), but I suppose this happened with Cole too. Straw is a good fourth outfielder that is going to be stretched as a regular, and they don't have a ton of high minors position player depth to backfill. I expect Franchy will play more or less every day until Duran is ready at which point I'd guess he is the odd man out.
Jon (Westchester): Where do you guess Mets top prospects Mauricio, Baty, Vientos, Alvarez, Allen and Ginn start the season? What player and what pitcher in the system are not enough people talking about?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm terrible at this game generally and the loss of a 2020 minor league season makes this more difficult. I've seen a fair bunch of this set of prospects though (both as background noise and for an article I'm working on) so if Spring performance means anything in terms of this, I'd go something like this:
Mauricio: A+ (I'd move him fast if he hits though)
Vientos: A+ (I realize this creates a playing time crunch, but he's played first this spring, and with a ready built play 5 out of 6 sched you can get him a day or two at third when Baty is DHing or sitting anyway,
Alvarez: A (He's looked a little overmatched in Spring and he's a young catcher you don't need to push hard
Allen: A+ (Could probably handle AA frankly, but he'll set his own track anyway)
Ginn: I assume given when the TJ was he'll spend most of the season on rehab, I'd give him some regular FSL (or whatever they are calling it) once he is ready, maybe with some A+ by the end of the year.
ari (ny): Based on what I’ve read on other sites, the big differences in ranking deivi Garcia seems to be if his fastball plays with the curve. What made you think that they’ll go well together?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't comment (or even really read) other lists (a policy that was sorely tested this week by the BA fast food rankings btw), so I don't even know where this is coming from, but from our perspective given that multiple writers on staff have put a future 7 on it, we are not too worried about that.
Mike (Ny): Prediction for Soto’s batting line and will he break 150 walks this year.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'll regress the 2020 a little and say .320/.450/.625. I think there's probably just enough behind him in the lineup to take the under there,
Flipai (Maryland): Have there been any prospects this spring that have shown improvements/changes that teams reported they saw at the alt site last season? I know we all took those reports last year with a grain of salt, but has anyone shown those improvements already this early in spring? Thanks for doing this chat!
Jeffrey Paternostro: I think Witt and Abrams have more or less confirmed what we heard from AS/instructs. Same with Michael Busch (and I wish I had run him up a little higher now).
Jokoy (Phili): Where does Hancock fall in the group of Gilbert, Kirby, etc. in Seattle?
Jeffrey Paternostro: We ranked him in between Gilbert and Kirby on the 101, although that is balancing proximity and stuff. Despite covering three years of first round picks, none of them have thrown as much as you'd have hoped so there's a fair bit of variance here. On a pure personal pref, I might go Kirby, Gilbert, Hancock, but frankly they are all very close in my mind.
Vanessa (Des Moines): Ryan Pepiot. Starter or reliever?? Can you explain your thoughts as to why? Thank you.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I mean the cheat answer is he's probably getting used in something along the Victor Gonzalez->Tony Gonsolin continuum. It's a really good changeup, but I'm generally more leery of those guys being able to spam it enough to turn over a lineup multiple times. It would also allow him to air out the fastball at 95 a bit more.
Craig (Chicago): What’s your thoughts on Josh Lindblom heading into this season? Bumpy at the start of the season but finished strong in last 5 appearances - 14.2 IP, 4 ER, 12 K, 2.45 ERA. Do you suspect that his 2021 looks like the first portion of last season or the last portion?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't think he's a true talent 2.45 ERA guy so the easy answer is somewhere in between. There's gonna be a subset of bad 2020 pitchers (perhaps even a large one) where the weird double ramp up and everything else obscured their actual ability and Lindblom not having a recent MLB track record to fall back on means he's gonna be a tricky projection.
Ryan (Montreal): Do you think the A's move Soderstrom off catcher? If so, where is he likely to end up? 3B? OF? Thanks.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Yes, although I'm not opposed to giving him this year to prove he definitely can't do it. I'd guess right field, and I like the bat enough that he just missed our 101 with that outcome baked into the calculus.
John (Boston): Hi Jeff, The closer for KC and Det. in 2022 will be?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Let's go with Josh Staumont and Bryan Garcia. I'd be tempted to put Skubal there, but all saying that is gonna do is make Tigers fans mad.
Ryan (Montreal): Do you think Burl Carraway is the Cubs' closer at the end of the season? Merci.
Jeffrey Paternostro: He could be up I suppose, but I'm guessing is Kimbrel crashes and burns and they are in something resembling a playoff race they just go with Tepera.
James (NY): Hi Jeff, Who are your top prospect pitchers that you are higher on than others at BP?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm probably a little bit more of a Dane Dunning and Triston McKenzie believer. Blake Walston also probably fits here. I tend to be the outlier on bats more than arms.
Craig (Chicago): What do you foresee Johan Oviedo's role being in 2021 with STL? As a top 10 prospect in STL system and several STL SP's being injury prone, perhaps he gets a real shot along the way? Pitched pretty well in 4 of his 5 starts last season. What are reasonable expectations for him?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, although the stuff might play better in the pen, and there's just going to be more opportunities for him there in the short term I think.
gary (ny): What do you make of Mauricio’s impressive new physique? Does that affect your thoughts on his power projection or ability to stay at SS?
Jeffrey Paternostro: So I've talked a bit with people about that this Spring, because it's a weird body type for SS, it's like super high-waisted Corey Seager. He's looked more or less fine there still, but he's slowed down on my clock already, and was always a risk to slide over to third anyway. The feel to hit still looks good, although there has been some awkwardness as he adjusts to his longer and larger levers. I do wonder what happens when he starts trying to hit for power though. He's shown plus raw in the past, and you'd think if anything that would have gone up, but I'm very curious to get some reports from Brooklyn or Bingo this spring. I suspect his projection is going to move a lot this year one way or the other.
Stringer (Where Wallace at? ): With Whitley out again, does Hunter Brown become the Astros best pitching prospect?
Jeffrey Paternostro: We had Garcia, Santos, Abreu still ahead, but it's not an enormous gap and Garcia and Abreu are going to graduate anyway. He'd be a good pick for best pitching prospect this time next year, despite significant relief risk.
Craig (Chicago): CIN has seen big improvements in SP performance in guys FIRST FULL seasons under Derek Johnson's tutelage - Sonny Gray (2019), Trevor Bauer (2020), Luis Castillo (2019), Anthony DeSclafani (2019). Gray and Castillo were All-Stars in their first full season with Johnson and Bauer won CY Young. Similar situations though, Tanner Roark and Tyler Mahle flatlined, while Wade Miley was dreadful. Still, there does seem to be a real track record of success for CIN SP working with Johnson. Could Tejay Antone or Jeff Hoffman see a "Derek Johnson-bump" in their first full seasons with the Reds?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'd argue the bump for Antone has already happened and it's been pretty well-chronicled what happened there (and it was outside of the Reds pitching development system broadly speaking). I think this does illustrate the point that you are never gonna have a perfect system that is a perfect fit for a variety of arms, and you just hope to do well on balance. On Hoffman, I was probably the last guy out on him, but that was two years ago even for me. Wouldn't be shocked if he turns into a solid pen arm outside of Coors/Rockies though.
bo9anderson (Amsterdam): Could you please tell me if you would take Austin Martin over Christian Pache for fantasy baseball?
Jeffrey Paternostro: This functionally depends on how much you think Pache will run versus how much positional versatility Martin will have. I think I'd take Martin just cause I'm more certain he'll hit enough to have a strong fantasy profile. Pache has more upside though.
Logan (NJ): Expectations for Willy Adames this year? TB has so many SS waiting in the wings, I was surprised they didn't move him.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Adames is a guy that WARP likes significantly less than other value metrics, as DRA buys the offensive performance less. I think you know what you are getting at this point: .260 with a little above-average pop and a good defender. That's a very good player, and I don't think you move him for less than a haul, but I wouldn't be shocked given how good the shortstop FA class is (and overall position is right now) that a deal was out there. I don't really think Brujan or Franco are ideal long term shortstops, although both good spot you there. So I don't see a hurry to deal him. He will be making those big arb dollars soon though, so Tampa may disagree.
Stringer (Where Wallace at? ): Have you heard much about Seth Johnson from TB? The lack of mileage on his arm is encouraging, but are the tools there for a rotation piece?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Maybe not a traditional one, but Tampa hasn't really used a young arm like that since Archer anyway. He's got two potential plus pitches already, but we need to see how he deals with taking his regular turn in the minors even if that won't answer all our durability questions this year.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Gotta bounce to work on some stuff with my #1 slugger Craic, but we will do at least a couple more of these before minor league game starts,