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Chat: Derek Carty

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday January 24, 2012 1:00 PM ET chat session with Derek Carty.


Our resident fantasy guru is in the house to take your questions.

Derek Carty: Hey everyone! Glad to be here for another chat with the best readers in fantasy baseball. Weíve got a long line up of questions, but luckily I came in early to get a head start on writing up some answers. Iíll try to stick around long enough to get to everyone, so ask away. Letís get started!

Xavier (Texas): Is it fair to project Lucas Duda's 2011 stats over a full season and get excited for next year?

Derek Carty: It depends how you define "excited." If you ask Rob McQuown, it probably doesn't matter how you define it (sorry, Rob, I couldn't resist), but for me, I think you need to be talking about an NL-only league. He'll probably have enough value in 12-to-15 team mixed leagues to pique my interest, but to cause excitement, maybe not. His power and PT should be plenty good for NL-only, though.

Mike (Dover AF Base): I have Mike Trout in a keeper league that uses LF, CF, and RF instead of the normal "3 OF." I had planned for Trout to be my everyday CF for the next decade. If the Angels trade Bourjos I should have no worries, but if he remains on roster, Trout shifts to LF, right?

Derek Carty: Popular question, as this was brought up in a previous chat, and yes, I think Trout probably is the one to shift if Bourjos remains in Anaheim.

DanDaMan (SeaCliff): Derek- I understand how you think Braun will still be very valuable when paired with a 4th OF type during his suspension, but what I don't hear anyone talking about is this- what if the PED's played a big role in him being so good in the first place? I know there's no way to gauge this yet, but does this enter your valuation at all?

Derek Carty: It has to enter into it a little bit, but there's actually been no conclusive proof to show that PEDs have any effect on a player's game. Common sense would dictate that it should, but seeing as how Braun has been good for a long time, never tested positive before, probably didn't take it intentionally (meaning it could have just been a one-time thing and not effecting his entire history of performance), and that it could have been a false positive (since his re-test came back clean), I think when we take everything into consideration, we really shouldn't dock his performance projection very much.

Tim (Chicago): Is it possible to insert the team that the prospect is with. some of us are not as current with a player's team affiliation?

Derek Carty: I'm not sure I follow. Where would you like to see this done?

juiced (Frisco, CA): Derek, I can keep 3 of the following players in a 5x5 NL only roto league with 8 teams, $260 budgets, standard 5X5 except hits used instead of BA, 9 pitchers + 13 hitters (one per position plus 2OF, 1MID, 1COR, 2nd C). For 2012 purposes only not beyond, who to keep? C Posey $10 1b Freeman $5, I.Davis $10 3b Sandoval $17 Of D.Brown $7, C.Young $10, Hart $16, Fowler $8 P Beachy $6, Bumgarner $12, Latos $12

Derek Carty: If you had said that you could keep more than three, I'd start out by saying that Young, Posey, and Freeman are the ones that it's easy to say "Yes" to. I see the most profit on those three, so they're who I'd keep.

Rico Carty (Undisclosed Carribean Hideaway): Are we related? No? Ok. Well I have Ryan Braun at a well below market deal for this year and next in a 12 team league. Well below market if he were playing 150 games, that is. I still have to keep him, right? Just suck it up for 50 days and hope to find the Chris Shelton 2012 version for 50 games.

Derek Carty: Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. When you combine 112 active games of Braun with 50 active games of someone else in a 12-team league, you're still getting a lot of production. And if you get him cheap for 2013 too, it's a no-brainer.

Andy (Chicago): Worth keeping both Napoli ($24) and J. Montero ($3)? Also, is Pineda worth keeping for the low-low price of $3? This all being in a very shallow league, and a team that was wretched last year...

Derek Carty: How shallow (# of teams, player pool, positions)? How many catchers does your league use? And does Montero qualify at catcher in your league?

Ian (SC): In a keep-five 5x5, if I'm not competing this year anyway and picks appreciate at two rounds per year, is it worth it to think about Hosmer/Trout/Lawrie in rounds 12, 13, and 14?

Derek Carty: Is there a downside to keeping players? Even if you're a year or two away from competing, those are still some of the top young players in baseball, and they could still wind up being bargains even if they cost you 6th-to-8th round picks a couple years from now. Heck, Lawrie went in the 3rd round of the recent FSTA expert's draft for 2012 alone. Yeah, keep them if your only other option is throwing them back. You could also consider dealing them for younger players in later rounds if you're several years away from competing.

Not really related to your question, but another interesting play in a league like this is to deal, say, you're third and fourth round picks for elite, young, cost-controlled players. Since those guys won't be keepable for you anyway, get something out of them now. I'd say deal your first two picks, but you'd probably be better off using them on elite players and trading them to a contender at the trade deadline in July/August for an even greater haul. Something to keep in mind.

PJ (Bronx): Is it crazy to draft Carlos Santana in round 2-3? He gets more playing time than other catchers because he plays some 1B/DH for Cleveland. His AVG screams for a correction this year. Can easily do 30/100 if he continues his development.

Derek Carty: Don't get me wrong, I like Santana, but that's definitely too early for him. You can say the same for Mike Napoli and he doesn't have to make good on upside... and I still wouldn't take Napoli that early. It's a bit more defensible in a deep two-catcher league, like an AL-only league, but I wouldn't jump the gun on him.

Mike (Chicago): Am I crazy when I say the Nationals could/should be running the NL in a couple years? And that's not even getting into what's looking like a foregone conclusion that Prince signs there.

Derek Carty: There's actually been a little discussion along these lines in the comments of Kevin Goldstein's Top 11 Nats Prospects today. I think it's a bit premature to say that they'll be running the entire NL in two years, but they are certainly a team that is loading up on young talent and could be very good in short notice. There are certainly some holes, but they seem to have enough core talent at this point where those holes can be filled via free agency and they'll be able to compete in the NL East, assuming things progress as planned.

LoyalRoyal (Kansas): With Betemit moving on coupled with V-Mart's injury and no real answer at 2B, how do you see AB's working out in Detroit for guys like Raburn, Santiago, Inge, etc??? Does Raburn turn into a super utility guy and garner 400+ AB's? And, in a OBP instead of BA 5x5 deep league is that a good or bad thing for his value?

Derek Carty: Well, I think it's safe to assume that the Tigers will bring in a DH from outside the organization. There are a few available, and one should come relatively cheap. In the case that they don't and the roster stays as is until Opening Day, I think 1) Inge and Kelly split time at third and 2) Raburn and Santiago split time at second. The team would also need a DH, and it's possible they put Delmon Young there some days and let Raburn play LF. All in all, without any acquisitions, Raburn's PT projection would be upwards of 400-plus AB. Even if they get a DH like Damon or Vlad, Raburn is still probably looking at 350-400 AB. No matter what kind of league you're in (with the very rare exception), more at-bats = more value for a player, though Raburn would have less value in an OBP league than a BA league.

Sam (Alaska): Who are your the top GMs in baseball currently? Mine are Andrew Friedman, Jon Daniels, Theo, AA. I just love the way these guys operate.

Derek Carty: Uggh. A few years ago this would have been a much easier question. There are just so many good ones at this point that it's really hard to say who the best are. I hesitate to even start a list because I'm sure I'll leave some guys out. It's also worth noting that I don't really have any insight into what happens in these front offices, so this all purely speculation and opinion based on what I see from the outside looking in. Pressed to answer, I guess (in no particular order) Theo (if he still counts), Friedman, Cashman, Daniels, Alderson, AA, Beane, Melvin, I mean, there are a ton. I'm sure I'm leaving guys out.

PJ (Bronx): What do you think of Colby Rasmus in 2012? 20/20 potential is there. Will the change of scenery to Toronto work for him?

Derek Carty: I've never been a big Rasmus fan, as I said even before this season that I thought he'd be a disappointment. The move to Toronto will certainly help him, and there's potential, but his 2010 was a bit lucky. I could see him approaching 20 HR, but 20 SB probably not. He's not a guy I'll be explicitly targeting.

George (NY): What sort of expectations should be have for Johan Santana this season?

Derek Carty: Tempered ones. His health is a major question mark, and he was in decline even before getting injured, so it's hard to say how good he'll be even if he is healthy. It'll be interesting to see how he looks in Spring Training.

John (Ohio): I love what my Reds have done this offseason. We've upgraded the rotation (Latos), bullpen (Marshall/Madson) and even bolstered our OF depth with the cheap Ludwick signing. Should the Reds be considered the NL central favorites considering the Cardinals lost Pujols?

Derek Carty: It's close. St. Louis's offense leaves something to be desired, but their pitching (both starting and relieving) is in great shape. Their top-three starters in Carpenter, Wainwright, and Garcia are excellent, and the Reds can't match that, but I'd give still give the slight edge, overall, to Cincy. Better offense, better SP depth.

LoyalRoyal (Kansas): My league is currently debating switching the category of saves in a standard 5x5 league to "net saves" which I understand is saves x 2 plus holds. Two Q's: Do you like net saves as a category? And, do you feel switching away from standard 5x5 cats is a large hinderous when you are in the market for new owners? Thanks...

Derek Carty: While quirky rules can be part of what makes a league enjoyable, it is definitely more difficult to recruit a new owner to a league that uses rules that he's unfamiliar with. Of course, the guy who is willing to join a league like that might wind up being a better owner anyway. For me, I'd rather just do regular saves, but I guess I'm kind of a traditionalist when it comes to fantasy scoring. Do "net saves" subtract blown saves from the equation?

yankeesbg13 (Indianapolis): Breakout fantasy player and breakout fantasy pitcher of the year? Who you got?

Derek Carty: That's a tough question. I don't know how to narrow it down to the best of each at this point of the off-season, but here are two that I like:

Jason Heyward has what it takes to propel himself to that next level, to throw himself in with the Jay Bruces and Hunter Pences.

I see Brandon Morrow finally putting it all together this year and propelling himself into the next tier of pitchers with guys like Shields, Kennedy, and Latos.

GBSimons (Boise, ID): Derek, how may PA do you see Domonic Brown getting with the Phillies this year? Will he start the year in Triple-A, platoon with Mayberry? Basically, is Brown worth keeping for $4 (for 2012 and '13) in an NL-only, 8-team, 5x5 roto league?

Derek Carty: I'd project him for 100. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has said on multiple occasions that he wants Brown to get a full year at Triple-A, so that seems the most likely scenario. If he absolutely mashes, he could push himself into the picture at mid-season, but I'm not banking on it. In just an 8-team NL-only league where you're not going to get much from him this year, I'd throw him back.

PJ (Bronx): Has Jay Bruce hit a wall in his development, or do you see a further breakout from him?

Derek Carty: I like Jay Bruce, and I do think that a further breakout for him is in the cards. It's hard to bank on a guy at the level of Bruce to take one more step forward, and I wouldn't pay for it, but it's definitely within the realm of possibility and something I would keep in mind when contemplating him on draft day.

Kevin (Chicago): White Sox fan here. It really stinks to see how far this team has fallen since 2005. We've seen organizations like the Phillies, Rays and Rangers become elite. The White Sox are just boring and seem destined for a bunch of 80-82 seasons for the next few years. What do they have to do to become elite, besides the obvious and fire Kenny Willams?

Derek Carty: Luckily for them, they're in a winnable division, unlike a team like the Orioles in the East or the Mariners in the West, who really have their work cut out for them. I hate speaking to what kind of front office moves a team needs to make because I'm so far removed from the situation, I don't really know what's going on, but from an outsider's perspective, it does seem like there could be someone better than Williams for the job.

On the field, the team lacks a true ace along the lines of rival Detroit's Verlander, though they do have the beginnings of a very good bullpen. 2B and 3B are big holes for the team, as I just don't see Morel and Beckham as starting-caliber players (though they do have the upside to be). A lot of whether they can compete will also hinge on what kind of players Viciedo and de Aza turn into and, obviously, Adam Dunn's ability to bounce back. They should have a pretty good idea after this season where their holes definitely are.

Cory (Toronto): Derek, for one year, JJ Hardy or Howie Kendrick. I'm leaning towards Kendrick (with that new 1b they have) and I don't believe Hardy can do it again. Thoughts?

Derek Carty: Hardy. I buy into his 2011 season to a large extent, and I've never been a huge Kendrick guy. It's tempting if Kendrick bats second, but I still give the edge to Hardy.

MT (Canada): I think AA has done a remarkable job as GM in a very short amount of time. He's gotten rid of albatross contracts, loaded up on cheap/impact talent and replenished the farm to the point that many consider it the best in baseball. However, what does he have to do for Toronto to take that next step? The AL east is so potent.

Derek Carty: Patience. You can't rush the process in a division like that, so AA simply needs to keep doing what he's doing, building the team the right way, and hope that when the time comes, management gives him the money to make that big free agent signing or two to push them over the top (FWIW, he's said that they will give it to him). When the second wild card spot is introduced, the team will have a much better shot at making it into the postseason. They're absolutely heading in the right direction. I could see them competing for a postseason spot in 2013 even.

jimkozlowski (BOSTON): Which outfielder makes a better keeper,Drew Stubbs or Jason Werth? Thanks

Derek Carty: I like Werth a lot as a bounceback candidate, which makes this a close call. Give me Stubbs, but not by much. If you can deal one for a significantly higher return than the other, do it.

PJ (Bronx): Will Trevor Cahill see a bump up in his K rate with his move to the NL West?

Derek Carty: Certainly. A move to the NL usually bumps a player's K/9 up by half a point, and I do like his stuff enough to think that he might have some natural K gains left in him.

Derek (Atlanta): I've been trying to shop Cano in a dynasty league where he takes up ~15% of our total salary. What kind of return should I be expecting for him?

Derek Carty: That doesn't seem like he's much of a bargain, so if you can get a few lesser guys who are, it'd definitely be worth it. Do you have any offers on the table or any you're thinking about making?

ssp833 (Twins Territory): So assuming the Twins outfield is Revere/Plouffe, Span and Willingham, any thoughts on how that all changes when Joe Benson noses in? Would you expect Benson for late this year and for good starting next year?

Derek Carty: There are certainly ways for Benson to nose in this year. Span is both an injury and trade risk. Willingham is an injury risk (CHIPPER gave him all reds coming into 2011). I like Revere, but he has a non-zero demotion chance. Doumit is also an injury risk, and if he's lost for a long time, it's possible the team shifts Willingham to DH most days and plays Benson in the OF. I think by Opening Day 2013, the team will have found room somehow for Benson.

Tony (Missouri): which combo would you prefer for 2012? (OBP and RC, and slug are extra are extra 3 hitting categories btw) Zobrist, C. Santana, and Youk or Kinsler, Longo, Mesoraco, and 100th pick

Derek Carty: I'll take the first group unless you think you can get someone pretty good with that pick.

GBSimons (Boise, ID): Derek, who closes in Houston? (Wow, that's a question that is truly only relevant to fantasy players.) Will Lyon be given the chance to stay healthy and hold down the job based on his salary?

Derek Carty: I think Lyon is the favorite at this point, but maybe not the heavy favorite. Wilton Lopez, David Carpenter, and Juan Abreu will also be in the mix, possibly among others. Whoever starts with the job is the best bet to saves 25+ games.

Rags (NYC): What do I do with Heyward in NL only keeper? $8 for this year and then have to drop him, or add five dollars for each additional year I get to keep him?

Derek Carty: Assuming we're talking about a 12-team league or so, then I think I take the $5 deal and keep him longer.

Derek L (Vancouver): Derek C, how do you see Feliz' move to the rotation working out? I'm thinking of moving him for some hitting for no other reason than he'll be on an innings limit. Or will his innings be so great that I can't let him go?

Derek Carty: He's not such a slam dunk to be excellent that it's not worth it to look into a trade. There will probably be an innings limit, and his numbers last year were shaky enough where there's reason for concern this season. I do think he'll be pretty good and will make the RP-SP transition as well as any RP, but he's not going to be an elite fantasy producer right away, so see what you can get.

Yu Darvish (Texas): Can I lead the Texas Rangers back to the WS for a third consecutive year?

Derek Carty: You certainly could. I wrote an in-depth piece on Darvish earlier this season, and I like him a lot. I like him better for 2013 than 2012, but he's a good one no matter what. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15379

Paul (Minnesota): Would you rather have Geovany Soto at $3, and Cole Hamels at $23 or Joe Mauer at $22 and RA Dickey at $4. I'm thinking my Mauer fanboyness is overruling my good sense, Help?

Derek Carty: Definitely Hamels/Soto. No question. I don't know how much of a bargain Hamels is at that price, but Mauer definitely isn't, and I don't think Dickey is either in a mixed league.

Travis (St Louis): I am in a pseudo-dynasty format where we keep players for as long as we would like but there are salaries attached (and thus theoretically forcing some turnover in the player pool). I have an offer right now on the table of Adrian Gonzalez for Nelson Cruz, Jemile Weeks and Jordan Walden. My team is stacked at every position but 1B (thanks to Ryan Howard's decline/health issues). This trade would leave a hole at my MI position, but I feel confident I can pick up a low-end guy to fill in for Cruz and Weeks. Is this a fair deal? Salaries of Gonzo and the trio I would be sending over are essentially a wash.

Derek Carty: It sounds like you're looking to win it all this season, in which case it is perfectly reasonable to deal away a young, presumably cost effective guy like Weeks or Walden. It does sound like a steep price to pay, though (I'm assuming this is the usual 5x5 -- is it mixed or AL-only?), and it will definitely matter what kind of guys you think you can replace Cruz and Weeks with. I'd see if I could negotiate it down.

Andy (Chicago): Follow up as requested: Teams: 14 AL & NL 1 Catcher slot, which Montero could count towards. 1B/2B/3B/SS/C/3OF/Util.

Derek Carty: I don't see much upside on that price for Napoli in a 1-catcher league, so I'd see if I couldn't deal him away. I'd consider Montero because his price is so low, but I'd probably end up throwing him back too. I don't think he's such a slam dunk as a Top 10-14 catcher in Seattle that he's worth keeping. I'd wait until the draft and see what comes my way.

Rags (NYC): Thanks for answering! It's 11 team, for what it's worth. It's five for *each* year. Is $18 too much to lock him in for three years? My co-manager and I disagreeing right now.

Derek Carty: Oh, so you have to decide how many years in advance? So if you say 3 years, you have him at $18 for 2012, $18 for 2013, and $18 for 2014? Even if that's the case, I still think I do it. He has all the tools to be great.

jonkk1 (Elkhart, Ind.): I have Harper, Moore and Trout in a league with two minor league keeper slots. Who would you trade, or would you keep one as a major leaguer? (Major leaguers can be kept for three seasons after their initial year on the roster.)

Derek Carty: That's not a bad problem to have :) I'd trade whoever I could get the biggest return for. I'd say you could keep Moore as a major leaguer since he may get a spot in the rotation, but that would be a bit of a risk and would cut a year off his cost-effectiveness, so if you were going to do that, you might be better off dealing him for an established, young MLB pitcher if you're looking to compete this year. It's hard too, I bet, since if you trade one of those guys, it's going to have to be for a guy with a major league contract anyway. If you're not looking to compete this year, I think I just bump Moore up and go with it.

PJ (Bronx): Zack Greinke is a prime candidate for a bounceback year. Is an ERA between 2.50-3.00 in the cards? Where do you have him ranked among SPs?

Derek Carty: Projecting a player for a sub-3.00 ERA is rarely a good idea, but I do love Greinke and think he could be a top 5 SP in fantasy baseball this year.

Russ (NY): Isn't it time for people to stop complaining about the Yankees' payroll now that teams like the Phillies, Angels, Marlins and Rangers are throwing money around like it's about to expire? I get so sick of everybody saying the Yankees are only good because of their payroll.

Derek Carty: Yes, saying that the Yankees are only good because of their payroll is a vast oversimplification and an insult to the brainpower in that organization. Few teams are actually spending as much as the Yankees are, but it's still not fair (or accurate) to say that the money is the only reason that they're good.

Rags (NYC): yeah, in advance. there are real money penalties for breaking these contracts, and i got talked in to a two year deal for McGehee last year at $13 which I'm probably going to have to eat this year. So I've been a little gun shy on longer term contracts. thanks again for the reassurance, though.

Derek Carty: I wish I was here last off-season to tell you to avoid McGehee. I never bought into him. I can assure you, though, that Heyward is no McGehee. That's not a guarantee of success -- there's no such thing -- but Heyward is a vastly better talent and has a MUCH larger chance of success and outperforming this $18 contract than McGehee did his $13 one.

jtanker33 (Dayton): Hope you can help me! In an AL-only dynasty league, which of these prospects would you NOT trade for JJ Hardy to fill a dire need at SS - Leonys Martin, Travis D'Arnaud, Dellin Betances, Matt Moore, Neil Ramirez, Anthony Gose

Derek Carty: If you're all in for this season, then Moore is the only one I'd say is untouchable. That said, you shouldn't need to deal some of these other guys for Hardy either. D'Arnaud and Betances should be taken off the table if at all possible. I'd try to deal Ramirez first.

Jon KK (Elkhart, Ind.): In a Scoresheet NL league (13 keepers, no salary or year restrictions), who would you keep as back-of-rotation SPs from among Nicasio, Nolasco and Johan?

Derek Carty: I want to say Nicasio, but he's coming off a serious injury and Colorado's rotation picture is getting VERY crowded. If you can wait until closer to the season, then I might say Nicasio, but otherwise it might have to be Nolasco.

CubFan WhiskeyMan (Rebuilding Sucks): Given how bad this team looks to be in 2012, I had to work in something harder than Bud. A non-fantasy philosophical question. If a big market team is going to tear down and rebuild and cut payroll 25-30%, is it not fair to cut back ticket prices in a similar manner?I mean an inferior product shouldn't come with superior pricing. Isn't this just going to lead to declining attendance/ratings/revenues and an inability to afford better players down the road?

Derek Carty: I'm far from a baseball business analyst, so take this all with a grain of salt (or less) -- this question would be better directed toward Maury Brown -- but morally you'd think that to be the case. And at the very least, one would think that the team would cultivate a better relationship with fans by doing that. Of course, if the team is rebuilding, they are going to need to get money from somewhere to spend on scouting and development personnel, sign amateur and international talent, etc and to eventually delve back into the free agent market. I think it's up to the team to figure out where that breakeven point is between fewer people coming and spending more money and more people coming but spending less money.

Peter (Westtown): How high are you on Madison Bumgarner this year? He rebounded really well after a rough start to the season. Does he make the leap to truly elite status in 2012?

Derek Carty: I like Bumgarner, but I don't know if I see him taking the leap into truly elite company like Linecum/Felix/CC. But a top 15-20 pitcher, sure, I think he's just about there.

jordan (in): Cant decide on my last two keepers/. I have Jose Bautista Pujols and elisburry as the 3 guys I want to keep for sure but cant decide between Carlos Gonzalez Adrian Gonzalez Hanley or Pedroia....Is keeping Hanley and his ss/3b eligibility override Adrian and having to play him at UTL

Derek Carty: Honestly, I might rethink Ellsbury. I'd trade him if at all possible, because I'm not buying him as a first-rounder this year. I'd keep Adrian and Hanley with Bautista and Pujols if I could trade Ellsbury before the season starts. If I couldn't, then I'd keep Ellsbury and Gonzalez and then deal Ellsbury in-season at the first chance I got for a true first-round talent. Between Hanley's struggles last year, the position change, and the new park, his SS-eligibility doesn't push him over Gonzo.

Al B. (Quirky): Banuelos or Paxton or a last keeper spot? How do you see their K rates comparing in the majors? Thanks

Derek Carty: Banuelos. Both have good stuff, Banuelos has better control/command and higher upside.

Matt (Malone, NY): Kudos to BP - Mike Fast has been hired by the Astros.

Derek Carty: Absolutely. I've worked around Mike Fast for several years now, dating back to our time at THT, and this is as well-deserved a hire as there ever is. Mike is a terrific analyst and a terrific guy, and I wish him all the best with Houston. They got a good one.

Peter (Westtown): Does Dexter Fowler stay in the majors and in Jim Tracy's starting lineup all year long? Do you see him as a breakout candidate this year?

Derek Carty: It's hard to say if he stays in it all year, since they seem to keep him on a short leash, and Charlie Blackmon will still be kicking around in the background, but I do think Fowler has what it takes to hit .260 or .270 while OBPing .350 and stealing 30 bases. Whether that will be enough for the Rockies to keep him in centerfield and leading off, we'll have to see, but I'd like to that he will play well and be kept around.

Fred (Livingston): What do you think of Brandon Belt this season? Will he get a chance to play? And at 1B or OF?

Derek Carty: I like Belt, and I do think he finally gets a chance to play. It'll likely be in the outfield, and the team does have Schierholtz and Pagan as corner OF competition, so he'll need to hit, but I think he will.

Sam (NJ): I am looking for a long-term solution for 2B in my strat league. Ackley, Kipnis and Weeks will all be available in our upcoming rookie draft. How would you rate/rank them in a full keeper league?

Derek Carty: I don't play Strat, but I know the concept and that things like walks and defense matter while steals are less important, so I'd go Ackley, Kipnis, Weeks.

David R. (Somewhere, USA): SP keepers! The stats are the usual stats (ERA, K, WHIP, wins, etc.) The guys are: James Shields, Josh Beckett, CJ Wilson, Ervin Santana. Do I have them in the right order? (Might keep 2, but probably only 1 while hoarding young 2Bs like Jemile Weeks & Dustin Ackley.) Thanks!

Derek Carty: Yes, you do have them in the right order, though I think there's a drop-off from Beckett to Wilson and that Beckett is a bit underrated this year.

tommybones (brooklyn): 5x5 16 team roto. I can keep Strasburg and lose my 21st round pick or McCutchen and lose my 15th round pick. Player loses 3 rounds per year for any additional years I keep them. Which one would you keep???

Derek Carty: Shoot, that's a tough call. And you only get one? I'd go McCutchen, but I really couldn't blame you if you went with Strasburg instead.

Chad (Bloomington, IL): Now that John Danks is being paid can he be an ace for the Sox? (or my fantasy team)?

Derek Carty: Neither, sorry. He's a good pitcher, but not a great one.

BR (NYC): Thanks for the chat, Derek. Do you play in any alternative-format leagues, such as 7x7, OBP, etc.?

Derek Carty: No, I don't. I used to play in some formats with quirky rules like that, but all the leagues I play in are experts leagues now, and they're usually pretty vanilla. They're all 5x5, but CardRunners AL has some cool rules about playing guys out of position and stashing National Leaguers, and Tout Wars is implementing a rule this year where we get a "Swingman" roster spot instead of a 5th OF spot like we used to do. The Swingman spot can be filled by any hitter or any pitcher, which should make for some interesting strategic choices.

Chad (Pasadena): Is Dee Gordon the real deal? Where does he fit in in a dynasty draft?

Derek Carty: Yes, I like Gordon. Great speed, good hitting. I don't play dynasty leagues, but I'd think he belongs in the top 7-10 rounds.

Sam (NJ): Thanks. In Strat, walks and defense are very important - especially defense up the middle. But power is too. My concern is whether Kipnis or Ackley will stick at 2B long-term.

Derek Carty: Ackley's defense projects a little better, and he stands the better chance of the two at staying at the keystone, but Kipnis is a good bet to remain there too. In regular roto it's Kipnis, but in a strat league where value is closer to real baseball, Ackley gets the nod.

Chad (Fantasyland): Who do you like better as a long term C - Wilin Rosario or Salvador Perez?

Derek Carty: In fantasyland, I'll take Rosario.

Gary (Indiana): What's your opinion of Brandon Beachy? Was his K rate the real deal? Can he stick in the rotation when the young guns arrive on scene in Atlanta?

Derek Carty: Love him. Loved him coming into the year. You can look back and find tweets where I argued with basically everyone that the Braves made a good decision by making him the 5th starter over Minor. That said, no, he's not a 10 K/9 kind of guy. Think 7-8 K/9. Most of their young guys have better stuff and higher upside, but yes, Beachy should be able to stick around or at least get traded somewhere he can continue starting.

harry (nyc): when does ollie perez return to the majors

Derek Carty: The next time M. Night Shyamalan makes a good movie (sorry, I'm still very bitter about Last Airbender). Honestly, it's a real long-shot for Perez. Apparently his mechanics are a mess, his velocity has declined, so it's going to be an uphill battle.

faztradamus (At Work): I play in a 20-team dynasty league where 500 players are kept (25 man rosters). We have a 40 pick draft (2 rounds of 20) in which I have the 1-1, 1-15, 1-20, and 2-1 picks, as well as a late round 2 pick I don't feel like looking up. Most elite prospects were taken last season, but some have only been added just this season (Machado, Profar, Tailon) as well as the 2011 draft class and Darvish. Any suggestions on who to grab [Needs: RP, CF]?

Derek Carty: Sorry for the delay, guys. The BP server went down, and it's still running slow, so I'll answer a couple more and then finish up. We were running over two hours when it went down anyway, but I'll have another chat sometime soon.

If you want to win this year, go Darvish. Otherwise, if you're a couple of years away from competing, you're probably better off going with a younger, top-tier prospect like Profar.

Vernon (Sioux Falls): Can keep 2 of the 3, no salaries or penalties - Asdrubal Cabrera, Brett Lawrie, or Craig Kimbrel. Who ya got?

Derek Carty: Kimbrel and Lawrie, if for no other reason than because he'll carry higher trade value than Droobs. I also think he'll be pretty good too, but maybe not as good as some others seem to think.

Derek Carty: Sorry for the server issues today, guys. I know I missed a few questions, so I'll have another chat sometime soon and try to get to everyone. Thanks!

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