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Chat: Jesse Roche

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday March 26, 2021 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jesse Roche.


Jesse Roche is a member of the BP Fantasy Team.

Jesse Roche: TGIF! Hello, everyone! Before we begin, please check out our updated Top-400 Dynasty Prospects list here: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/article/65702/top-400-dynasty-prospects-march-2021/ Next week, we are also updating the Top-500 Dynasty Rankings to account for shifting values since early February. Finally, be sure to check out the Five-Tool Fantasy Baseball Podcast hosted by Fantrax with me, Eric Cross, and Jake Devereaux. Ok, now to the questions!

Jack (San Diego): Rodgers or Chisholm long term or just flip a coin?

Jesse Roche: It is close, but Rodgers long-term. I know prospect fatigue has settled in hard and these compounding injuries are frustrating, but a bit more patience should pay off. The Rockies have little standing in his way to full-time at-bats when he returns. The 6/6 upside is still there, and, while very risky, he could turn in a .290/30 season in the next few years. Meanwhile, Chisholm remains raw at the plate and may struggle this year even though he likely runs with the starting job. He has 25/20 upside, and he has flashed it a bit this spring with 3 HRs and 4 SBs, but it is doubtful he gets to that much power just yet given the holes in his swing and approach. Still, he remains an excellent dynasty prospect.

edwardarthur (Illinois): Scoresheet NL, would you start Arenado or Hayes at 3B? (No other position where they really make sense to start.)

Jesse Roche: While I'm definitely drinking the Hayes Cool-Aid, Arenado is the answer. Better Scoresheet range (2.77 v. 2.70) and likely better OPS.

MK (Houston): Maikel Franco barely cracked the Feb dynasty top 500 for you at #470. Does the Baltimore signing move the needle for you at all or does the very back end of the 500 still feel right?

Jesse Roche: Signing with the Orioles certainly moved the needle some for Franco in the short-term. He will fall in the 400-450 range in the next update. I remain concerned about his long-term value, though. Any time the best you can do for a full-time job is the Royals then the Orioles, things are not looking good. It is worth noting that Franco may split time, especially early in the season, with Rio Ruiz.

Michael (Iowa): Will Yoenis Cespesdes sign with a MLB team soon? Thanks

Jesse Roche: Hard to say, but I hear the White Sox have an open OF spot

James (NY): Hi Jesse, Who will have abetter career Kelenic or JRod?

Jesse Roche: I think both have excellent careers, but I prefer Julio Rodriguez due to his game-changing power and strong hit tool. I do not think we will see enough of a disparity in BA or SBs between Kelenic and JRod to offset the power disparity (i.e., I think JRod will hit 40 HRs at some point).

Markus (Tampa, FL): Hey Jesse, great job as always! Please talk to me about your guess as to what you think the peak fantasy upside is of Boston Red Sox speedy OF prospect Jarren Duran? His speed is off the charts and he’s finally starting to tap into his power to go along with a 6’3”, 212 lb. body. His tools are off-the-charts in my opinion. Thank you.

Jesse Roche: Thanks! At this point, I see a potential ceiling of .280/15/30

Down (The Dumps): Thanks for the chat, Jesse. In my 12-team, mixed 5x5 league (OPS instead of AVG on offense), I had Eloy at $14, with salary increases of $4/year as long as I wanted to keep paying for him. I tearfully decided to throw him back into the auction yesterday instead of stashing him on the IL (we have four spots) this year and keeping him for $18 next year. Please tell me this was the correct decision.

Jesse Roche: It depends on the cap and whether you can reacquire him in the auction at a cheaper cost. If you can get him cheaper, then it is definitely the correct decision. I still remain very high on Eloy Jimenez despite his devastating injury.

Jokoy (Montreal): 16-tm league. Is Nick Pivetta worth rostering? Thanks.

Jesse Roche: I would only roster Pivetta in a 20+-team league (or a smaller league with similar total depth). I have no faith in him. It is worth noting that Bret picked Pivetta up as a reserve in Tout Wars Mixed (15-team league). Some still believe!

Josiah Gray (L.A.): Do you think Josh Rojas will get full-time AB's or he is destined for a utility role that kills any fantasy value he may have?

Jesse Roche: No, I do not think Rojas receives full-time ABs, though I do think he settles into a super utility role which would still get him 500+ plate appearances. This role would not kill his fantasy value whatsoever. At his acquisition cost, he is a bargain even if he is only a part-time player.

Vanessa (Des Moines): Daulton Jefferies has certainly earned a spot in the rotation. Do you think he sticks there or will be yo-yo'ing between AAA and MLB all year?

Jesse Roche: Love to see Jefferies at least temporarily win that final spot in the rotation. I do think he will not hold that spot for very long. Mike Fiers will return and slot back into the rotation. (I know, groan!). Absent an injury, the A's rotation is set. Plus, the A's will want to manage Jefferies innings again this year so he may only get ~100 innings, but unlikely much more than that.

Ryan (Montreal): In a league that uses Holds/Saves, does rostering closers on bad teams make any sense? Should I be focusing on guys like Chad Green instead?

Jesse Roche: Closers on bad teams can accrue a lot of saves plus holds. Closers in general still are a better bet in these formats, though there are obviously more useful options overall. As such, it is best to wait to target relievers until later in these drafts.

FWIW the most saves plus holds Chad Green ever accumulated in a season is 16 in 2018.

Stringer (Where Wallace at? ): Do you think Tanner Scott throws enough strikes to hold down the closer job this year?

Jesse Roche: I doubt the Orioles will have a set closer, especially Scott who is one of only two LHP in the bullpen and subject to arbitration. Really love his arm and upside, but I would not count on him for saves in 2021.

Ryan (Montreal): Despite his blow-up last night, is Alvarado the guy to own in the Phillies bullpen? Neris instead?

Jesse Roche: I think it'll be either Neris or Bradley. I do not think Alvarado will be a regular option, despite his excellent stuff. As with Scott above, Alvarado is a LHP subject to arbitration. The only other legit LHP in the pen is Tony Watson. Meanwhile, both Neris and Bradley have closing experience and are free agents after the season.

Can o' Corn (AR): With the lack of upside in Denver at 3B, does Colton Welker inevitably become the man or just another guy?

Jesse Roche: You never know with the Rockies and their management of prospects. I do think Welker has more offensive upside than many give him credit. However, he remains a weak defender at 3B and may end up at 1B long term. I think Rodgers or McMahon will end up slotting at 3B with Fuentes as the stop-gate option.

John (Ontario): Hi Jesse, What are the chances that N. Anderson will need surgery when they figure out that rest and rehab won't work?

Jesse Roche: I'm not a doctor so I'm not sure. Some have been able to recover from partially torn elbow ligaments with rest and rehab, some have not. It is not a good situation, and he will fall way down our rankings in the updated Top 500.

Rick (Chicago): Any signs that Kimbrel will be able to hold onto the closers job for the year? What about the Pirates closer situation since there is talk of Crick closing and not Rodriguez?

Jesse Roche: Everyone wants to know about closers today. As long as Kimbrel's velocity is up at 97+ mph and he has enough command, I think he sticks at closer. Of course, neither are a guarantee, especially given his inconsistent (mostly poor) performance the last two years and this spring. The Pirates situation is one I'm avoiding. It could be either Rodriguez or Crick, both of which have had success over the years and have closer stuff. I lean Rodriguez, but Crick has closed the gap.

seddrah (Seattle): Aggrieved Eloy owner here, keeper league, auction tomorrow. Who is my best cheap replacement: O'Neill (STL), Reynolds (PIT), Duvall (MIA), Piscotty (OAK), or Hicks (NYY)?

Jesse Roche: Hicks by a landslide. He may even hit 3rd for the Yankees.

Jack (San Diego): In the rare circumstances this year that the Pirates have save opportunities, is Rodriguez or Crick likely to get them?

Jesse Roche: See my answer above, Jack. Pirates closer love today!

Reggie Lawson (S.D.): Does Soto close in Detroit this year?

Jesse Roche: At times, I think Gregory Soto gets some chances, but I doubt he'll be the set guy. You know, LHP subject to arbitration . . .

stevegoz (Chicago): I have Mitch Keller at a really low salary in a keeper league that rosters 384 players but I'm tempted to drop him for more hitting depth. Do you think he'll make any positive contributions in April? Or even this year?

Jesse Roche: While I think Keller is a top-384 player generally, I do not think he should kept in shallow leagues. He has had a rough spring, and, although he likely still makes the rotation, he is more of a watch list player in shallower 12-team formats (32-man rosters = 384).

Bob May (Louisville): Who are some position players and pitchers who you could see jumping up into your top 30 dynasty prospect rankings for next year? Who could move up the rankings fast?

Jesse Roche: For each, I'd say anyone in the top 50 could jump into the top 30 so I'll keep the answer to outside of top 50 with the most upside.

Position players: Luis Matos (54), Jordyn Adams (69), Orelvis Martinez (71), the IFAs (Diaz, Colmenarez & Hernandez)

Pitchers: Asa Lacy (52), Shane Baz (60), Max Meyer (61), George Kirby (76), Hunter Greene (101)

RobertK (Los Angeles): What is your opinion of Michael Harris? Looking for a prospect that can move up the rankings in a hurry.

Jesse Roche: Harris is climbing up the ranks fast given his impressive showing at the alternate site and during spring training. He is a potential five-tool prospect with plus raw power and upside to develop above-average offensive tools across the board (hit, game power & speed).

John (Wisconsin): Pitching challenged team in my league has Bohm and Machado at 3B Is Pablo Lopez for Bohm even deal?

Jesse Roche: Unlikely depending on format. In standard formats, we prefer Bohm by a substantial margin to Lopez. Though, some really like Lopez and you may be able to swing it straight up. It is worth trying at least (and it is not outrageous or offensive to do so).

seddrah (Seattle): Schwarber, Gallo, or Rosario? Trying to fill an Eloy-sized hole in my OF. Draft tomorrow!

Jesse Roche: It depends on format, but I still love me some Joey Gallo.

Brett (Calgary): Michael Lorenzen. Buying or selling?

Jesse Roche: I'd say buying since he still is undervalued in most formats (414 NFBC ADP). Given injuries in the Reds rotation, he likely is a lock to start the season there.

Ryan (Montreal): I've never considered the arbitration option before but it makes total sense. Thanks for opening my eyes a bit.

Jesse Roche: My pleasure!

darielsantana (Santo domingo): What do you expect from AJ Puk and Spencer Howard?

Jesse Roche: I doubt either break camp in the rotation (or even with the team). Puk did not have much command and his velocity was down in the low 90s in his spring debut. He may need a good bit of time to get where he needs to be. Ultimately, he may end up as a late-inning arm given his injury/command issues. Howard is a far better bet as a starter long term, and he has impressed this spring when healthy. A balky back likely sends him to the alternate site to start the season, but I expect him to return before long, especially with the likes of Matt Moore and Chase Anderson holding spots in that rotation.

The One Who Knocks (The Door): What do you make of the alt site reports on Gunnar Henderson? Is it crazy to squint and see some Jordan Groshans in there?

Jesse Roche: From the Prospect Team's report: "He was badly overmatched at the alternate site, but he was also facing a lot of the arms above him on this list, as well as a bunch more close-to-ready backend starter types. And this was functionally his pro debut. He looked more like the draft report at instructs against age-appropriate competition, a projectable power bat that should land somewhere on the left side of the infield, likely at third base. Theres more upside here than the back half or so of the Orioles Top 10, but the issues with bat control at the alternate site have us tempering expectations a tad for now."

Henderson remains a raw, promising bat with potential 5/5 or better hit/game power upside. I could see him making a jump similar to Groshans this year, and I think the comp is not unreasonable.

Stringer (Where Wallace at? ): Josh Naylor/Rowdy Tellez/Jesus Aguilar. Who should I trot out at first base this year in an OBP league? Thanks.

Jesse Roche: Tellez, now that he has a clear path to early PT with all those Blue Jays injuries.

aimoos15 (Los Angeles): Hi Jesse, In an 8 team 5x5 NL league. Have been offered Willson Contreras for Dinelson Lamet. This is a limited keeper league (10 keepers only). Have depth at SP, but wondering if Contreras finishes the season in Chicago is a bigger risk than Lamet's health. Thanks. Adam

Jesse Roche: I'd hold Lamet over Contreras. You are right to be concerned about a potential Contreras trade (even though he is under control though 2022).

Mike Meyers (O Can-a-Duuuh): What are your thoughts on Simeon Woods Richardson? He hasn't looked out of place at all, SP2 potential?

Jesse Roche: Woods Richardson has certainly impressed this spring, especially in his latest outing against the Yankees. I do not think he has SP2 upside given his limited velocity (low-90s) and lack of a true out pitch, but I do think he has mid-rotation upside with improving command of 3-4 solid average or better offerings.

jepoyntz (North Carolina): 8x8 mixed (OBP, SLG, HR,RBI,SB,TB+W,AVG..W,SV,IP,QS,K,K/9,ERA,WHIP)...can keep 2021,22,23 can only keep 7, have to cut 4... Brennan Davis, Geraldo Perdomo, Nolan Gorman, Heliot Ramos, Brandon Marsh, Marco Luciano, Austin Martin, Emerson Hancock, Grayson Rodriguez, Nick Lodolo, Braylen Marquez

Jesse Roche: Not exactly sure whether you can only keep these players through 2023. If so, I'd cut Marquez, Rodriguez, Perdomo, and Hancock. I think Lodolo is the best bet of those arms to maximize that window.

sykklone (IA): Hey Jesse thanks for the chat. Any 2nd or 3rd tier pitchers that you have targeted for big years?

Jesse Roche: For tiers, I'll refer to redraft (15-40 overall for 2nd, 41-80 for 3rd). I like a Scherzer bounce back at his mid-to-late RD 2 ADP. I like Burnes (50s) and Fried (70s) in that second tier.

dukeandduke (Chicago): Do you have a solid estimated time for updated PECOTA/AX Data to be finalized and available this weekend? This would include adjustments for recent injuries and to eliminate the DH for National League Games/Players. Thank you!

Jesse Roche: There are a few questions related to BP products to which I am not affiliated and have no answer as to ETA. This is one.

Matt Sz (St. Louis, MO): Does BP plan on adding WS Champ % to projected standings as they have in years past? Thank you.

Jesse Roche: This is another. Sorry, no clue!

Bob May (Louisville): Thanks, Jesse! I love your work!

Jesse Roche: Thanks!

Jesse Roche: That is it from me today. Thanks for all the questions! Again, be sure to check out the updated Top-400 Dynasty Prospects, the upcoming updated Top-500 Dynasty Rankings, and the Five-Tool Fantasy Baseball Podcast. Have a great weekend!

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