Please join BP's newest member, fantasy champ Derek Carty, as he fields your questions on baseball and life in coastal New Jersey.
Derek Carty: Thanks for joining me today, guys! I'm very excited for my first ever BP chat. There are a lot of questions in the queue already, and I've typed up answers to some of them, so I'll post them and then keep working through the list. I'm going to try to get to everyone, so don't hesitate to keep asking questions throughout the chat.
SaberTJ (Cleveland, OH): Welcome to BP!
Would really love to hear more about how you got into Scout School and some tales of how it went. Could you possibly write an article on this?
Derek Carty: Thanks! I'm very excited to be here. Unfortunately, if I recall correctly, they didn't want me to write too much about the inner workings of the program, so an article would probably be out of the question. I can tell you that I remember Billy Hamilton (Reds), Francisco Peguero (Giants), and Chris Withrow (Dodgers) being some of the more impressive guys I saw and thinking all three could be legit big-leaguers. I was kind of unimpressed with the small sample I saw of Randal Grichuk. Also, on the last day, there were some Arizona Fall Leaguers taking BP on the field across from where we were, and I remember watching Jason Heyward and thinking that he had awesome bat speed. At this point I don't need to tell you that Heyward is good, but given his slow (potentially injury-compromised) start to 2011 and now his DL stint, he might be a good guy to inquire on in fantasy leagues.
Xavier (Texas): 5x5 mixed keeper league - who do you prefer long-term: Heyward or Hosmer?
Derek Carty: Heyward
Kieran (Springfield, VA): Do you think this is the year for Colby Rasmus's big breakout or will he disappoint again?
Derek Carty: Nope, I thought Rasmus was a bit lucky last year. He's not bad, but he's not a guy I'm banking on a breakout for this year. I think what we've seen so far is pretty close to what we'll see the rest of the way.
Brady (Florida): Given their abundance of outfielders, any chance the Rockies give Charlie Blackmon a look before September?
Derek Carty: If Dexter Fowler's struggles continue, there's definitely a chance we see Blackmon starting in the Rockies OF within a couple months.
kddean (Chicago): NL only, 12 team league. We have one bench spot currently held by Ankiel as there is NOTHING available for free agent hitters.
I'm trying to get to first in saves, so with that said, is Rubby De La Rosa worth keeping active, or should I cut either him or Ankiel to activate Vicente Padilla?
Derek Carty: Ankiel's a very solid bench guy in a league that deep. I think de la Rosa is more of a longshot to take saves in LA, and depending when you actually need to make a decision, I'd probably activate Padilla and drop him. I think there's a greater than 50/50 chance he starts getting save opps again until Broxton returns. If you have a few days before you need to make a decision, see how LA uses Padilla. Definitely don't drop Padilla, though, if that's something you're considering.
Andrew (Las Vegas): Any solid Buy Lows that jump out to you at the moment?
Derek Carty: Yup. Talked about a few in my article today :) http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14117
R.A. Wagman (Toronto): So when is Bautista going to morph back into ........... Bautista? This is still a fluke right?
Derek Carty: Nope, not a fluke. People questioned my taking Joey Bats in Tout Wars and Yahoo! Friends & Family, but he's turned out to be the biggest bargain of both drafts. Expecting 60 HRs might be a bit presumptuous, but he's probably the best fantasy player the rest of the way and will likely end up first off the board in 2012.
Ken (Washington, DC): Should I keep the faith with Brandon Morrow? Sure the K's are nice, but that 5.11 ERA -- not so much.
Derek Carty: Definitely. He's always had great stuff and this year the control has been there more than in years past. His 5.11 looks incredibly unlucky when you compare it to his 2.95 SIERA. Hang tight, things will get better.
MT (Boston, MA): Gavin Floyd or Scott Baker(ROS)?
Derek Carty: Close, but I'll take Baker by a hair or two.
Sheila (Northern VA): Will Mike Trout be the starting CF for the Angels on Opening Day next year?
Derek Carty: It's far from a certainty, but it's within the realm of reason if he hits well upon his eventual promotion to Triple-A, especially with Bourjos being far from inspiring.
Andrew (Las Vegas): Bruce, Granderson, and Stanton top 10 OF going forward?
Derek Carty: Yeah, I think so. I had Bruce and Stanton top 10 preseason, and I own all three in leagues this year (though I wish I didn't fail in getting Bruce in a couple more).
moonkyu (here): Welcome, loved your work at tht. Keeper questioń. Trade Bruce (2 years of keeper eligibility left) for bautista (1 year left)? OPS league and Pena,mcgehee,Morse are hurting my offense. Have j Upton, choo, rasmus, and Joyce to play OF. Keep up the great work!
Derek Carty: Tough question. I'd say only if you're making a legitimate run at a championship this season. Otherwise, two years of Bruce is probably more valuable than one of Bautista.
Marissa (Las Vegas): Which team are you picking to win the Stanley Cup?
Derek Carty: That one Canadian team? Sorry, I don't follow hockey at all. A little football and a lot of college basketball, but no hockey.
BR (NYC): Welcome to the BP fold, Derek. Non-keeper Fantasy advice question for you... I have Matusz ready to come off the DL, and I'll have to drop somebody to activate him. Who's the best drop candidate of the following: Swisher, Chipper, or Raburn. Or, I could try to package two of these players in a trade to return one player, opening up the spot for Matusz. Thanks in advance!
Derek Carty: I'd definitely try to make the trade first, but if you end up needing to drop one and position isn't a consideration, it's a toss-up between Chipper and Raburn. I liked Raburn a lot more coming into the year, but the K% is worrisome. If you're first or second in the league, maybe stick with the safer pick in Chipper (if we can call an injury risk like Chipper safe). Otherwise, go for the upside of Raburn.
jmercan (NJ): Welcome to BP!
Pujols? Hang on to him because his value is low, or would you consider moving him -- and if so what kind of player can you expect in return? For example, Pujols for Kemp straight up?
Derek Carty: I wouldn't panic with Pujols. Unless you can Jose Bautista or a good package, I'd probably sit tight. Kemp would be very tempting and I might consider doing that, especially if I could talk the guy into giving up a little something extra. Otherwise, I would struggle with it, but I'd probably end up passing.
Jacob Smith (Huntsville, AL): Have you ever played in any sort of linear weights oriented league, vs a league that relies on the traditional categories like runs, RBIs, home runs, etc? If so, what are your opinions on linear weights vs "traditional" leagues?
Derek Carty: Never played in one, but it's something I've always thought would be interesting and a lot of fun. I love the traditional 5x5, but I'd definitely like to try a LW-based game.
Old Timer (Cooperstown): Does anyone call you "Rico"?
Derek Carty: Haha, all the time. Whether it's the auctioneer at the LABR and Tout drafts or my new colleagues here at BP, I get it a lot.
Paul (Pennsylvania): Rest of the season, AL only: Derrek Lee or Matt LaPorta? Declining Vet or Yet-to-establish-himself Youngin'?
Derek Carty: Close, but I'll take LaPorta in a tossup. I do kind of like Lee, though.
Rob (Alaska): I'm just going to guess that it's too early to panic on Dan Uggla, right? Right!?!
Derek Carty: No, not time to panic. I'm buying where I can.
lvhawk (LV, KS): Do you see Brett Jackson getting a chance sooner than later due to the Cubbies OF woes? And, if not for his short stint on the DL, do you think he would have already been called up? Thanks...
Derek Carty: Yeah, I do. With Byrd and now Soriano hurting, I definitely think we could have seen him were it not for the injury. Once he comes back and hits a little at Triple-A, I think we could see him get called up if there is a spot available. Maybe (read: definitely) I'm biased because I just bought him in LABR on the day he stole four bases, but I do like Campana a decent bit, so that could complicate things if he hits over the next couple weeks.
lvhawk (LV, KS): Hi Derek, which current minor league hitter and pitcher do you speculate will have the biggest fantasy impact this season? Thanks...
Derek Carty: Wow, just one of each? Ok, let's go with Brett Lawrie and Kyle Gibson, but there are a number of other viable choices. A lot of this will come down to when each is recalled, and with Lawrie coming up soonest, I'll take him over guys like Jennings and Moustakas and Ackley right now.
jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): 16-team mixed keeper league, just dealt Beltre, Pence, and Buccholz for Prado, Ethier, and Cahill. Did I win that deal?
Derek Carty: Yeah, I think you did.
Chris (Orlando): Last time....10 keeper league. Need ace and keeper OF
1)Kemp and either Morrow or Beckett for Pujols(although giving that owner Bautista, Braun and Pujols not high on my list).
2)Tex and Price for Pujols and Chacin
3)Mccutchen and Price for Pujols and Chacin(Leaning towards this one as I have Hosmer, Lind and Morneau)
Derek Carty: I'd probably go with the first one and take Beckett, depending on the keeper format. If it's a keep forever kind of situation, maybe I'll take Morrow instead.
Tony (Albuquerque): Are there reasons to be concerned about Tulo? He's been really bad since his two week hot streak.
Derek Carty: Nah, I don't think we need to be too worried Tulo.
jmercan (NJ): AL Keeper 5x5, I'm in first place with a lot of seeming overachievers -- Matt Joyce, Avila, Bedard, Pineda, but I have those players at good prices. How to decide who to keep, who to deal, and how to value them?
Derek Carty: I'm buying into Avila least and would likely attempt to keep Joyce and Pineda since you have them at good prices unless you get a really great offer. Bedard is good but is a perpetual injury risk, so if you get a good deal, take it while his value is high. Avila I'd attempt to trade too, though I'm not giving him away.
Andrew (Las Vegas): Lawrie, Jennings, Ackley... Are you high on any prospects likely to be called up soon?
Derek Carty: Yup, I like all three. You can also keep an eye on guys like Mike Moustakas, Jemile Weeks, Yonder Alonso, Anthony Rizzo, Lonnie Chisenhall, and a number of others.
Brighid (Long Island, NY): Is Danny Espinosa for real and can I win my league with him as my starting 2B all year?
Derek Carty: Sure, you can win your league with an empty 2B spot if you play your cards right, but I'd probably sell Espinosa while I can. He's not going to pace 30 HRs the rest of the year and the AVG isn't likely to get a whole lot better. He's not terrible, but you'd probably get more value via trade than keeping him.
lvhawk (LV, KS): Hi Derek, currently trying to work a deal for Michael Brantley as I'm high him to finish strong. What are your thoughts on him for this season and moving forward in 2012-2013 season? Thanks...
Derek Carty: I like him for sure. Pretty good speed, leads off, should hit for a good AVG. I like him for future years too if he entrenches himself as a legit leadoff guy with 25-30 SB speed. Given his speed and good on-base skills, I think that's pretty likely to happen.
Steve (Tornado Alley (CA)): I managed, not really intentionally, to end up with the BoSox infield as my fantasy infield (two drafted, one FAAB, one via trade). We play a weekly H2H and playoffs are two weeks per round. How bad can it really be to have so much vested in one team? Is this just a situation that should be avoided at all costs? I look around the league to trade and it's either a downgrade or unreachable.
Derek Carty: Nope, I don't think it's bad at all, especially when the BoSox infield is basically a collection of top players at their positions (minus Lowrie).
jmoore (Detroit): Are you buying or selling Matt Joyce?
Derek Carty: Depends on who I'm talking to. Two days ago I was trying to buy Joyce in the CardRunners Expert League (AL-only) but wasn't successful. Unless you're in a league with a bunch of fish, you're not going to trade Joyce for a top-shelf player, but because of the endowment effect, his owners likely aren't trading him either. I like Joyce and buy into him aside from the AVG, so if you can get him for a reasonable price, do it. If you own him, ride it out, because he's a good one.
Derk (New York): Who are you and why are you having a chat at BP right now?
Derek Carty: I'm the new Fantasy Editor for BP. My first article appeared Monday and my second today. You can read my first article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14079
Also, here's the bio that appeared in the article Steve Goldman introduced me in:
Derek Carty is a fantasy baseball writer and analyst living in New Jersey. Before joining BP, his work had been published by The Hardball Times, Sports Illustrated, NBC's Rotoworld, FOX Sports, and USA Today, among others. In 2009, he became the youngest champion in the history of LABR-the longest-running expert league in existence-taking home his first title as a rookie. Derek is a proud graduate of the MLB Scouting Bureau's Scout Development Program (aka Scout School) and is one of just two active fantasy writers to have graduated from the program.
Chris (KC): Brett Jackson has been back since Monday...and he's still not hitting.
Derek Carty: Thanks. I think he's going to need to before we see him get the call.
Jacob Smith (Huntsville, AL): Have Brett Lawrie at 2B/3B eligible this season. Needs 5 games to gain eligibility at a position for both this year and next. A) has he played 5 games at 2B this year? and B) does he somehow get enough games at either 2B or 3B going forward (next season and beyond) to keep either of those eligibilities?
Derek Carty: 3B for sure. He hasn't played 2B yet this year and probably won't unless, and only **maybe** if, Aaron Hill gets injured again. Even that is extremely doubtful as it's unlikely they'd want to move a rookie around the diamond instead of letting him stay at the position they're trying to get him comfortable at. Don't count on him for 2B next year.
Mike (Chicago): Please tell me that John Danks is not really this bad and that I should hold on to him? Or set me straight and tell me I should drop him like my high school girlfriend did me after prom?
Derek Carty: I feel your pain. I had to suffer the 9 ER day in Tout Wars last week. He's not as bad as the ERA suggests, but he hasn't been as good as in the past either. I'm playing him against Seattle this week, but I may bench him against very good opponents for the immediate future, at least until we see him turn in a couple good starts.
Derk (New York): Welcome to BP!
Derek Carty: Thanks, Derk! I'm very happy to be here!
JayT (San Francisco): I've already got Ackley and Montero burning spots on my roster, but Moustakas is available. Would you drop either of the guys I already have in favor of Moustakas? The main reason I have Ackley is that I'm a bit short at second with Darwin Barney as my main guy there. I've got Youkilis at third and Soto at catcher.
Derek Carty: Not Ackley, but maybe Montero. It's tough to say if/when Montero will get the call with no real spot for him unless the Yanks part ways with Posada. I'd probably hang onto Montero and look to drop Barney for Moustakas once Ackley gets the call.
Andrew (Las Vegas): How do we handle the continued decline in offense when it comes to fantasy? I've heard the argument to wait on pitching; then again, value in pitching is relative.
Derek Carty: Yup, not much changes from a player evaluation standpoint since everything is relative, only from a marketing your players/trading standpoint. I've been thinking that I might talk about how to leverage this situation in my article on Monday.
Jeff P (NYC): Hey Derek, welcome to BP! I'm in a 12-team keeper league with 8 keepers per year (no price, just straight up # of players) with a broad set of categories (10 each on offense and pitching, with the additions to 5x5 peripherals like K/BB, QS, OBP, and SLG.
My team played a very weak April (thanks, Swisher, Ubaldo, Hughes, and Colby!) and so despite looking strong pre-season I'm in a position to sell. One of the other owners is looking to get some combination of Cliff Lee, Beckett, or Konerko (he really only needs the pitching) in return for some combination of J. Upton, Billy Butler, and Hellickson. Would any combination of these players (or future draft picks, which are tradeable) make sense in a deal for me, keeping in mind that 2012 is more important than 2011?
Derek Carty: Yes. I wouldn't deal Lee or Beckett for Hellickson if you're looking to compete next year, but Konerko for Upton would certainly be a great deal. If he doesn't go for that (probably won't), since the guy needs pitching, I might offer Lee or Beckett for two of those three.
Chris (Orlando): Follow up....My hesitation with that is giving that owner Bautista, Braun, Pujols, Stanton, and some other stellar guys. He's also got stellar pitching and this move will have minimal negative effect on his team and major positives. Strategy question...Am I over thinking this or is there real concern with strengthening a team your chasing and is within reach(I tend to strategize by NOT strengthening teams I'm chasing)
Derek Carty: It is a concern, but trading is almost always a zero-sum game. If you think you're winning the trade with a rival, by definition he's losing. Sure, it hurts to give him Pujols, but if you're two players whose value exceeds Pujols plus whatever replacement he has, it's worth doing. The question then becomes whether a deal with another team will give you a greater advantage over the first opponent, assuming he's the only opponent you're worried about (which is a big assumption to make this early in the year).
Calvin (SoCal): I have been sitting on Utley all season and now I am getting offers for him every day. This is a 5X5 Keeper and I also have Neil Walker. Right now I am playing Justin Turner at 3rd base. What kind of return should I expect and which one should I look to move?
Derek Carty: I like Walker over Turner for sure. If you can get first or second round value for Utley, do it. Anything else and it becomes questionable. There is definitely a chance of a reinjury, so don't automatically rule out a trade. It also depends on where you are in the standings. If you're near the top, maybe taking a lower variance player makes sense. If you're not, maybe you need a high variance guy like Utley and will require more to trade him.
jmoore (Detroit): Which guy are you more concerned about - Adam Dunn or Shin-Soo Choo? It is fair to answer neither.
Derek Carty: Kind of worried about both, less worried about Choo. It's not panic time yet, but I'm not ecstatic to own Dunn right now.
KD (Loop): Where would you rank Allen Craig amongst NL 2B once he gets eligibility?
Derek Carty: Depends how much they play Schumaker. If the PT gets split relatively evenly, he's probably somewhere in the middle, ahead of guys like Daniel Murphy and Jonathan Herrera, maybe in line with a guy like Darwin Barney. It really depends on the PT, though.
straymond (toronto ): What is your view of Justin Morneau for the rest of 2011 and beyond? Is he ever going to come back to the MVP (or near MVP - granting that he was not the MVP even when he won!) performance? If not, what do you think we can reasonably expect from him?
Derek Carty: Never been as big on Morneau as most people, and a year like this given all his problems doesn't surprise me. Since concussions can linger longer than you might think and now with the pinched nerve supposed to linger the entire rest of the season (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110531&content_id=19825096¬ebook_id=19825894&vkey=notebook_min&c_id=min&partnerId=rss_min), he's a "sell low" type for me. Don't give him away, but hope you can find someone who's looking for upside and thinks he can still be that MVP-caliber guy this year, because I don't think he will be.
Jayhawker (LV, KS): Great to see you at BP. Inquiring minds have to know, who's your baseball and ncaa basketball homers? If you have east coast bias, please at least let be for Maryland behind the stellar Mark Turgeon. ;)
Derek Carty: The Duke Blue Devils for college hoops (love the system Coach K runs) and the Mets for baseball, though I don't let any of that slip into my fantasy analysis. When Jason Marquis plays the Mets, I'm cheering for Marquis every time since I have him in LABR NL. My fantasy teams and analysis come first, as unpopular an answer that might be for some people.
Fred (Bedrock): I have been demolished by injuries at firstbase. Kevin mentioned how Yonder has been playing well in Triple A. Is he a good gamble to put up decent numbers?
Derek Carty: Yes, if he gets the call. No one is tearing the cover off the ball in LF for Cincy right now, so it's entirely possible. That said, you could probably find a better option at 1B, at least for the short-term, unless you're in a deep NL-only league. Alonso isn't going to be a Mike Stanton-like monster.
Greg27 (Cedar Falls): Derek - Welcome and thanks for the chat. How familiar are you with minor leaguers and will you be answering fantasy releated questions for those of us with deep minor leagues?
Derek Carty: Yup, I keep track of most of the upper level minor leaguers and some of the more prominent lower level ones. Guy just getting drafted out of college, less so.
NeilEdwards (Cincy): I know Billy Hamilton has struggled a bit but seems to be coming on of late. What kind of floor/ceiling would you put on him, avg/power/sb, and a comparison for each? Thanks.
Derek Carty: I'm guessing you saw my first question where I mentioned seeing Hamilton a year and a half ago at Scout School. Great speed but not much power. He's kind of a prototypical high-risk/high-reward type. He's very toolsy but will need to put those tools to work. It's going to come down to how well the bat plays and whether or not he can start being more patient at the plate. He was swinging at everything when I saw, but his walk numbers have improved since then. If he can settle in as a guy who walks a decent amount and slaps line drives around, he could be a productive leadoff hitter in the bigs. Defense will also be important as reports have him struggling a bit to start 2011, but he has the athleticism to make the necessary adjustments. Should only be owned in deep keeper leagues for now.
Vic (San Diego): As a frustrated owner of how the Mets handling of Ike Davis, I suspect the injury isn't something to be worried about long-term and does 3 weeks seem the minimum at this point?
Derek Carty: I'm not an injury expert, but reports say that he won't even start running for 3 weeks, so the minimum will likely be longer than that. It's a shame too, because he's a guy I like.
Derek Carty: Ok, guys, that's going to be it for today. Sorry I couldn't get to all of your questions, but I'm excited that there was such great enthusiasm. I think I answered close to 50, and I'll be sure to hold another chat in the coming week or two to answer more of them. You can always get in touch with me via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter if you need help before then. Take care!