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Chat: Derek Carty

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday November 15, 2012 2:00 PM ET chat session with Derek Carty.


It's the slow season for fantasy. Fortunately, Derek Carty knows about baseball reality, too. Ask him whatever your heart desires.

Derek Carty: Hey guys! I see a bunch of fantasy questions lined up already, which I'm happy to answer, but we can talk awards, off-season news, or other reality baseball topics too, if you're sitting there thinking, "Man, I wish I could ask a question, but I'm not cool enough to play fantasy baseball." Don't worry, this is a judgment free zone, so all questions are welcome. Let's get started!

fredlummis (Houston): Keeper help please, looking to hold 1 pitcher and 1 hitter from the lists below in standard 5x5 league: Greinke/Shields/Peavy and A. Jackson/Cespedes/Goldschmidt (already holding Bautista/Jones/Posey)

Derek Carty: I like Greinke from the pitchers unless Shields winds up in a very favorable spot via trade, and though it's close, I'd probably take Cespedes from the second list.

SJLedet (Alexandria): Keeper league question. I have the following pitchers: Casey Kelly $2, Iwakuma $3, Straily $3, W Peralta $2, Skaggs $1, Erlin $1, Delgado $1. I can keep 2, maybe 3 at their contract price for 2 or 3 years. Suggestions?

Derek Carty: You've got a lot of solid options there. Tough call. I definitely keep Straily, then I probably go with Skaggs and one of Peralta/Kelly/Iwakuma (let's say Iwakuma unless you're looking for a bigger risk). If you only keep them for two years, it's less about upside and more about making sure you're taking someone who will help in 2013.

RMR (Chicago): What would you do with Aroldis Chapman. The bird in the hand or the two in the bush?

Derek Carty: Two in the bush. A guy with his talent, who took such a step forward with control this year, deserves a shot to start, where he'd have way more value if successful.

jlarsen (chicago): Which Edwin Encarnacion shows up in 2013? The one that finally broke out like every fantasy owner has waited for since he's been up in the majors and always tops of "sleeper" candidates or the one that had continually disappointed owners?

Derek Carty: The one that finally broke out. For sure. My E5 love is well-documented.

Steve G. (Athens, OH): Who are the next wave of prospects that are going to be MLB all-stars and upper-echelon players? Trevor Bauer? Billy Hamilton? Wil Myers?

Derek Carty: As you know, there is no such thing as a can't miss prospect, but all three are in that conversation (though Hamilton will be a bit more valuable in fantasy than real life). You can add to the list Dylan Bundy, Jurickson Profar, Manny Machado, and Gerrit Cole, among others. Keep an eye on Jason Parks and his prospect teams' Top 10 lists and their eventual Top 100 list.

Frederick (The Hills): Any of these prospects make a difference this year? Gary Brown, Darrin Ruf, Wilmer Flores, Christian Yelich, or Kolten Wong.

Derek Carty: Ruf is the closest to the bigs, so there's a good chance we'll see him a bunch this year. Seems unlikely any of the others make an Opening Day Roster, but Kolten Wong is interesting given St. Louis' void at second base. Flores could stand a mid-to-late season chance with the Mets in a similar boat. Brown could be late season, Yelich is probably still a year off.

Some Guy in Shorts (Sunny FL): What is your favorite fantasy format and why?

Derek Carty: Love this question. My favorite is a 12-team AL or NL auction league with FAAB and trading. Though injuries in these kinds of leagues are devastating, I love the deep player pool and I love finding value on the waiver wire throughout the year with guys that a lot of people haven't even heard of. No matter the depth, auctions are my favorite. So much more room for strategy, for value, and for getting the players you want.

T-Dog (Dirtnap, GA): Question about Josh Willingham. Can we expect another season like he had in 2012, or is he a sell-high candidate for now? Thanks for the chat.

Derek Carty: Sell if you can get every penny of his 2012 value in return, but he should still be good next year. He's always had great power, but the 35 HR are more a result of him staying healthy the best he ever has. 615 PA is a career-high for him, and banking on a repeat is asking for trouble. More likely you shave 50-100 PA off that and his HRs fall under 30 as a result.

Steve N (Delaware): Folks keep saying the Billy Hamilton is really good. I can't see it. To me he looks like Vince Coleman. OK for a few years but nothing special. If speed is the only thing your bringing to the table I am not impressed. What do you think of him?

Derek Carty: From a fantasy perspective, we'd be more than happy with another Coleman. Real-life, though, yes speed may be a bit overrated. Still, Hamilton has a solid approach at the plate, a decent slap bat, and tons of athleticism that should make him a plus defender in center field. Oh yeah, and that speed. Without the patience you might be tempted to call him Juan Pierre-plus, but he should get on base enough (with even more speed and better defense) to be a quality lead-off guy.

eliyahu (DC): Please rank the following keepers (deep league so don't be alarmed by inflation, and saves are NOT available on the waiver so most closers are kept): Ian Desmond ($15), Addison Reed ($8), Yovani Gallardo ($21), Drew Storen ($8)

Derek Carty: Tough without knowing league parameters and exactly what inflation is like, but probably Desmond, Storen, Reed, Gallardo.

Flynn (Vermolusca): Generally finding myself out of the running in my NL only auction league early on, I find now through the draft the best part of the year. By mid season, the excitement is lost. Am I alone in these thoughts?

Derek Carty: Nothing compares to the rush of draft day and the build-up to it. If you find yourself out contention by July, yeah, it can take a lot of the fun out of it. For sure. Maybe try a keeper league so you always have something to build towards.

Andrew (Las Vegas): Early speculation on some overvalued and undervalued players for next spring?

Derek Carty: As much as I hate to say it, Mike Trout may well be overrated next year. I imagine there'll be some talk of him as number-one overall. In deep leagues, Josh Hamilton probably. Pitchers: Cueto, Miley, Harrison. Underrated, hmm, maybe Rajai Davis, Felix Doubront, Marco Estrada, Alex Cobb, and Mitch Moreland (again)

Rockford (Flowmont): I have seen it proposed elsewhere, but what are your thoughts on free agents demands before signing with the Marlins? Do you feel there will be a higher demand on no trade clauses?

Derek Carty: I think it depends. For this offseason, the Marlins won't be signing many players long-term anyway, and certainly no big stars like they did last offseason. Those are the kinds of guys who usually require NTCs. Once they do start back with these kinds of players, it'll depend on the specifics of the situation they find themselves in, but I could definitely see players asking for no-trade clauses, assuming they really want to play in Miami. On the flip side, I could also see a player being content with the extra money Miami forks over plus the chance to play for a contender a year down the road if Miami flounders.

captnamerca (dunedin): Do you have any advice for someone considering their first auction league ever? I've only done drafts for the past few years.

Derek Carty: Yes; do it! Auctions are so much more fun. There's absolutely a learning curve with it, but once you do it you'll never want to go back. Best thing I can tell is to make sure you're prepared to make a snap judgment on every player. Don't think you can sit there flipping through magazines like you might be able to during a draft. You have to know what you think of every player, especially in the end-game where a split second determines whether you get a guy for $2 or somebody else does. Also, be sure to change up the kinds of players you nominate. Don't make it obvious whether you want the guy (or hate him).

Rockford (Flowmont): Overrated next year, how about Kris Medlen going into next year? There is no way he continues those numbers.

Derek Carty: If your opponents are buying him at those numbers, absolutely overrated. That said, I've long liked Medlen and think he'll be a very good pitcher next year. Just not among the league leaders.

Alex (Anaheim): Do you expect a stronger 2013 for Kipnis?

Derek Carty: He has upside on all his numbers except the stolen bases, for sure, so a small step forward wouldn't surprise me. I certainly wouldn't pay for anything more than a bump up to .270/20 HR, though, and even then you may be paying for something that needs to happen in order to break even.

baseballjunkie (Cali): What do you expect from Eric Hosmer in 2013?

Derek Carty: Hosmer is supremely talented and the kind of guy for which the light switch could just flip and he becomes a stud. That's absolutely a possibility, but obviously not something you should be banking on or paying for in a fantasy league. Expect improvement on 2012 for sure, just temper expectations.

captnamerca (FL): Hey Derek, thanks for the fantasy fix. Which OF prospect is the better fantasy prospect: Rymer Liriano or Oswaldo Arcia?

Derek Carty: Liriano is more well-rounded and has the higher fantasy upside of the two. Both could be good hitters with above-average power, but Liriano's speed gives him the edge.

Tommy (Rehabbing): What do you find the most enjoyable part of your job? What do you enjoy writing about the most?

Derek Carty: Drinking on the job, of course. Haha, no, in all seriousness, it's probably being surrounded by baseball and getting to talk and/or work with so many intelligent people. In terms of the things I physically do, I love getting to travel around the country for book tour events, conferences, drafts, or just grabbing a drink and hanging out with guys in the industry. In terms of writing, I like talking about fantasy strategy and I like running studies, examining different phenomena and answering previously unanswered questions about the game. Haven't had a chance to do much of the latter recently, but hopefully I will soon.

jlarsen (chicago): With the Toronto-Marlins trade, tons of expectations will be put on Josh Johnson to stay healthy for the next 2 or so years and for Jose Reyes to live up to his big-money contract while also continuing to put "elite-level" SS numbers into his 30s. Is it just me or does anybody else feel that Bonifacio and Buck will have higher WARs for Toronto than Buerhle, Johnson and Reyes while the quintet is intact?

Derek Carty: Might just be you :) Although I do like the prospect of Buck in the Rogers Centre.

Tong Po (VanDammistan): There seems to be a lack of upcoming 1B superstars. If I have a dynasty league team that's looking at 2016 to breakout, who would be a good 1B to target? I can only think of Rizzo, Goldschmidt, Hosmer and maybe Singleton?

Derek Carty: Those are going to be some of your best bets. You could definitely see some players who fail at other positions move over to first. Miguel Sano might be a good one of those to consider. Could also think about Matt Adams in St. Louis, who's already playing first.

jlarsen (chicago): Has anybody in the baseball analysis world done any studies on the long-term effects of playing 80 or more games on turf for speed-heavy skill-set players as they age?

Derek Carty: Not that I've seen, but that would be very interesting to look at. Maybe I'll try to take a crack at it.

Derek Carty: Alright guys, that's going to do it for today. Thanks for stopping by!

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