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Chat: Cory Schwartz

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday March 20, 2013 11:00 AM ET chat session with Cory Schwartz.

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MLB.com VP of Stats and co-host of Fantasy 411 Cory Schwartz takes your questions on f/x, fantasy, and everything else.

Cory Schwartz: Hey folks, sorry I'm late... let's get this thing started! I'll go as long as I can, with a goal of clearing the queue...

Cory (Toronto): In a keeper league, with the following rich pitching available... How would you rank them: Hamels, Weaver, Greinke, Sabathia, Cueto, Gallardo, Lester

Cory Schwartz: For me it's Hamels, Weaver, CC, Greinke, Gallardo, Cueto, Lester. But once you get past Hamels there are arguments to be made for any order. Remember though, keeper league or not, the goal is to Win Now so take the guys who give you the best shot of doing that.

phin (Milwaukee): is gyrko going to start at 2B this year? if so, can i really expect 20 HR's and a decent avg??

Cory Schwartz: Nothing has been officially announced yet but buzz is he'll win the job. I'm a little more conservative on my projections for him than most, though... .265 with 15-18 homers or so. He's played in some great hitters' parks in the minors and will be making the jump to one of the best pitchers' parks in MLB so it's not fair to look for huge numbers right away.

Mike (D.C.): Thoughts on the Aroldis starting/closing debate?

Cory Schwartz: There seems to be a battle taking place on this topic within the Reds organization... Dusty has stated he'd prefer Aroldis at closer, and Aroldis has said he'd prefer that too. But the club just re-signed Broxton to a 3-year deal over the winter with the stated intention of him closing. If it were me I'd keep him at closer but go for more 4- and 5-out appearances, but we'll see how it plays out. Interesting storyline.

Schackmj (Hoboken): What position has the biggest drop off between the "elite" group and the next tier. If that makes sense...

Cory Schwartz: Closer. Craig Kimbrel is on a different planet, even if he's had a so-so spring and WBC, and while the next tier offers some very solid names -- Motte, Papelbon and Mariano -- they're not even close to Kimbrel in terms of value. This would be a different story if we knew Kenley Jansen and Aroldis were going to be locked in as closers this year, but as of today, Kimbrel is laps ahead of the next tier of closers.

jmgsr@msn.com (nj): Seeking bunts for base hits stats. Do you know source? Thanks.

Cory Schwartz: We track that but don't display it on the site and I don't of anyone who does. Good suggestion though, we'll look to add it in the future.

John Gibbons (Toronto, Ontario): Greetings from the land of Rush. Who should I use as my closer this year? If it isn't Janssen or Santos, which other live arm in my pen should I be looking at?

Cory Schwartz: I'm a big Santos fan and thought he'd be effective in the role last year, but obviously health is a concern. Jason Collette and I were just discussing this offline this morning, and he's bullish on Steve Delabar and Esmil Rogers as deep sleepers should neither of the top two options be able to ring the bell. I'd like to say those were my great suggestions but I can't steal Jason's thunder.

Cass (NY): Which of these arms can have the most success in '13 assuming their current velocity loss continues? Halladay, haren, beckett

Cory Schwartz: Probably Beckett, since he has the best velocity of the bunch to begin with and lost the least last season. His decline last year actually wasn't as extreme as it might appear; he's one of those guys whose actual ERA and projected ERA (FIP, xFIP, whatever you prefer) both seem to fluctuate wildly from year to year... check out his yearly BABIP and strand rates.

lipitorkid (OC, CA): If you had to choose between: Dylan Bundy Shelby Miller Garrit Cole Zach Wheeler Who will provide the most value (that would include number of starts or total innings) in 2014 in a standard fantasy Roto league? Not this season, next season.

Cory Schwartz: Probably Miller, since he appears to be the closest this year and therefore the one most likely to have established himself by next year. These are all elite prospects though so any of them could break through this year, but then again, they're pitchers, so trying to predict much about them is likely to be a frustrating exercise.

Jim (Seattle): Thanks for the chat Mr Schwartz. In terms of new data to track on the field, would you mind giving us a peek of future on what is in the making?

Cory Schwartz: Hi Jim, please call me Cory. My Dad was a high school English teacher for 35 years, he's Mr. Schwartz.

As far as fielding data, we continue to work very closely with Sportvision to perfect the nascent Field-f/x system so we can roll it out to all 30 parks as soon as possible. The technology will tell us when it's ready so I don't want to predict when that might happen, but everyone involved is eager to make it happen as soon as possible. Remember though, there was a time not too long ago when we didn't have Pitch-f/x and now it's something we take for granted and clamor for in the minor leagues, WBC, etc. Field-f/x will be the same at some point in the future, and hopefully not that far off in the future.

Brandon (Iowa): Who has a better chance of being a top 120 player next year, Julio Teheran or Jedd Gyorko?

Cory Schwartz: Gyorko, especially if he's eligible at 2B, which appears to be the case. But, note my caveat from before... making the jump from MiLB hitters' parks to PETCO is a big leap.

broutman (yonkers): Now that Matt carpenter has won the 2b job, how do you evaluate his value?

Cory Schwartz: Carpenter is a decent hitter but I think people are overestimating what he'll be worth even as a 2nd baseman. If he hits .290-300 with 12-15 homers and a few steals, which appears to be his upside, that's a very nice player, but it's not a superstar. He's in his age-27 season this year, too, so whatever we get this year might even be as good as it gets.

rkessl (chicago): If you had Kimbrel in a dynasty league, name a hitter who you trade him for. Thanks

Cory Schwartz: A top-50 bat that could help me win this year, since I want to win NOW in every league I'm in, regardless of format. Kimbrel will help do that more than any other closer, so give me a bat who will also be a difference maker. Let's say, Paul Goldschmidt? Allen Craig? Yoenis Cespedes? Just spitballing some names there..

Spirou (Montreal): At this point,who wins the second base job in Oakland ? Whatever the reason is,it seems like the management wants Sizemore to win the job more than anyone else.

Cory Schwartz: He may win the regular job there but the A's have five infielders for three spots so expect all of them to get plenty of playing time: Sizemore and Weeks at 2B, Nakajima at SS, Donaldson at 3B and Lowrie at all three positions. There likely won't be a true everyday player at any of those positions.

dianagram (VORGville): Hi Cory ..... thanks for the chat. Which hot prospects do you think will be "held back" in the minors for Super-2 considerations this year? Taveras? Others?

Cory Schwartz: Well, to be fair, Taveras doesn't have a clear-cut path to playing time, with Holliday and Beltran on the corners and Jay as the primary/platoon CF. But he will probably hit his way into a job this year. Wil Myers, Nolan Arenado, Jurickson Profar and Kolten Wong are just a few others who quickly come to mind. Like Taveras, Profar may indeed be ready right now, but there's no clear-cut everyday job for him right now so I can see the Rangers giving him a few more weeks in Triple-A while they figure it out.

lipitorkid (OC, CA): Everyone in LA freaked out when the Puig- Bo Jackson comparison was thrown out there by some media honks. People are really buzzing about him in LA. One of your co-workers said it's because of the slow news nature of Spring Training and not based on any impending actual value to the Dodgers. Are people crazy to waste a last round pick on him in a keeper draft. Will he see even 100 at bats in the bigs this year. If the Dodgers are in the hunt, there's no way they experiment with him this year right?

Cory Schwartz: It's not crazy in a keeper league if you can stash him on your bench without much cost, but I can't envision any meaningful playing time for him this season, for two reasons. First: Crawford, Kemp and Ethier. Second: zero walks in 46 spring at-bats. ZERO. With 10 K's. He's not ready.

CubicleMan (Work?): Some impatient owners who drafted Wil Myers and Jurickson Profar have already dropped them to waivers -- who should I use my No. 2 Waiver claim on (if anyone), and who will have the best 2013 campaign?

Cory Schwartz: Go for Profar. Given equal PT this year, I'd expect Profar to have more value, given his positional value and SB edge. To be fair though, the path to playing time is a lot more obvious for Myers... it's not like Kelly Johnson is going to get in his way.

Dave (Chicago): Arenado went from a top prospect down to not even ranked by some basically because of attitude. What are your thoughts?

Cory Schwartz: I don't know about his attitude, but I do know that his numbers dipped last year when he moved up to Double-A, which was probably particularly disappointing since the Texas League is a great offensive environment. But, similar to Myers, I think Arenado's bat will define his timetable... if he crushes Triple-A for 4-5 weeks to start the season, the Rockies should not and likely will not let Chris Nelson, Jordan Pacheco and company block his way.

dianagram (VORGville): Which current player is most like RUSH (has extremely devoted fans, professional critics lukewarm, took long time to get proper recognition).

Cory Schwartz: Second Rush question! I'd like to make a clever lyrics reference here but I'm not that smart...

How 'bout Paul Konerko? Very good for a long time with some truly great seasons mixed in, still kicking long past the point when people assumed he'd be gone, borderline HoF'er...

Dave (Boston): Thanks for the question. Which of these injured pitchers do you see as having the most value in AL only in 2014 (Feliz, Pineda, C. Lewis, Soria)?

Cory Schwartz: They're all lotto tickets. If I had to pick one I'd take Feliz for the upside, but I expect very little from any of them this year.

lipitorkid (OC, CA): NOT A QUESTION: BTW regarding the bunts for base hits ESPN ran an article about this in 2011 with some current players. Before looking at the article I guessed Erik Aybar and lo and behold he was number two behind Juan Pierre http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/16500/baseballs-bunting-fiends

Cory Schwartz: Good one, thanks! BTW, whether Erick Aybar or Howard Kendrick, I love whomever is hitting in the #2 spot in the Angels lineup this year, for fantasy purposes. Aybar had a big 2nd half last year, and Kendrick is having a HUGE spring -- even by his usual standards, even considering the caveats with spring numbers -- so either or both could take a big step forward this year.

Dave (Chicago): As a follow up on Arenado. What kind of ceiling does he have? Thanks for the chat Cory.

Cory Schwartz: All-Star bat... high average, big power. As for this year, if he hits .275 with 15 homers I think that would be a pretty impressive debut.

lipitorkid (OC, CA): Who is going to have a better fantasy season. Rickie Weeks or Neil Walker. I really like how Walker has steadily improved every season and he's only 27. There's no way he hits as low as his .264 PECOTA projection right?

Cory Schwartz: Weeks will be the more valuable fantasy player, since he has more power and will steal more. But Walker is a good bet to take a step forward in his age-27 season, assuming his back is healthy. At his peak I think he'll hit .285 with 20 HR's and 8-10 SB's, and drive in a lot of runs thanks to his lineup spot. Not a great player, but a very good one.

broutman (yonkers): Is there any historical data on how playing in the wbc effects players during the season?

Cory Schwartz: I started to look at this after the 2009 event but got sidetracked. Anecdotally there are some cases of players who participated and then got hurt, but apparently at no higher a rate of probabilities than players who didn't participate. Remember also that we only have three years of this event, about ~120 total games to look at, so that's a painfully small sample size. From a fantasy standpoint, it's a zero consideration in my planning for this season.

phin (Milwaukee): do you think bonifacio gets the 2B job in toronto? if not how many AB's do you think he gets?

Cory Schwartz: I think he'll share it with Izturis but also play some at CF and 3B. Figure 400-425 AB's or so.

Rick (Chicago): Do you project Skaggs to be a number 2 pitcher and with the loaded Arizona staff, when do you see him getting back to the majors?

Cory Schwartz: Probably a better question for Jason Parks, but just by looking at his repertoire, I'd think of him more as a #3 guy. Sick minor league numbers though, hard to argue with that. The D-backs have a ton of starters to work with, so it wouldn't be shocking if he only got a few starts this year... he's still only 21.

phin (Milwaukee): i just took over a clunker in a dynasty league. my only 4 SP's are J Johnson, Lynn, Burnett & Beckett. do you think I should trade JJ and LL for prospects or hold those guys?

Cory Schwartz: Depends on how many teams in the league and what the rest of your roster looks like, but any time I can trade starters for bats, I try to do it. Hang onto Lynn but shop the other three.

ganz1080 (CT): Thoughts on Bryce Harper for this year? How high up would you draft him? Thanks

Cory Schwartz: I took him 16th overall in a mock draft earlier this winter, and while I probably won't be that ambitious in a "real" draft, I do think he can be a top-20 player. More realistically let's say he hits .280 with 25 HR, 85 RBI and 20 SB... very similar to Jayson Heyward or Yoenis Cespedes.

Jim (Seattle): in a 20teams 5SP slots league where QS is a factor, am I shaky going into season w/ Homer Bailey, Matt Harvey, Kris Medlen, Andy Pettitte and Rick Porcello as rotation?

Cory Schwartz: Yes.

Dave (Boston): Do you think Eduardo Nunez can carve out some playing time this year with all the Yankees injuries?

Cory Schwartz: Yes, I'm bullish on him this year... he'll play a lot at SS with Jeter DH'ing to protect his ankle, as well as at 3B with Youkilis at 1B/DH. I project Nunez around 350 AB's right now but I could easily see him getting more. From a fantasy standpoint, he could be an impact speed guy with some power and who doesn't kill the average, either.

Derek (Vancouver): Cory, I'm in a keeper draft that has a number of top shelf pitchers available but very few hitters. For example, the hitters are guys like Rios, Pence, Cruz and Gomez. The pitchers are looking like the Hamels, Weaver, and Greinke range. Would you let a stud pitcher go, because there is little hitting and an abundance of pitching later, or follow the "unwritten" rule of hitting over pitching. My team is relatively strong already with hitting so I'm leaning pitching...

Cory Schwartz: If you have a strong offense already and the best players available are pitchers, take pitchers. Hamels is the best player you mentioned so that's your first pick if it gets to that.

When we say to take bats over pitchers, that has to be taken in context. When I start a non-keeper draft, I start out with bats before worrying about pitchers. But if I'm in an auction, or a keeper league, you have to more flexible. Doesn't mean you don't emphasize the total value of your offense over your pitching, but the order and approach have to fit the circumstances.

BobcatBaseball (Athens, OH): How much time do you think Marc Krauss will get this year for the Astros? More importantly how well do you believe he will do?

Cory Schwartz: Don't know a lot about him but the Astros' OF/DH/1B scene is pretty crowded this year and based solely on the stats, he doesn't look like a guy who's close to forcing his way into the picture.

Doug (NY): Seems like Kinsler has barely been discussed this spring. Do you see last years dips in power and speed as his new baseline or do you see a bump back to previous levels?

Cory Schwartz: He had a huge 1st half and terrible 2nd half, which is why people are probably somewhat cool on him... the most recent memories are of his poor finish. But his overall season stats were very close to his career marks, minus a little bit of power but so little that it falls within a reasonably expected range of outcomes. Kinsler has been extremely volatile throughout his career so any outcome seems reasonable this year, but a safer approach is probably to project something close to his career numbers: .270 with 20 HR and 20 SB's.

JP (Roanoke): At what point in the spring do teams place injured players on the DL (Headley, e.g.)?

Cory Schwartz: A few are starting to trickle on now but expect most of these decisions in the last few days before Opening Day... there's no rush to it so teams are better off waiting, to maximize the flexibility of their decision-making.

Rick (Chicago): Do you think Skaggs has #2 upside and with the crowded Arizona SP Rotation how long before he gets back up to the majors?

Cory Schwartz: See above. Submitting it once is enough.

lipitorkid (OC, CA): Hi Cory: I don't mind burning a roster spot for a year in a keeper league if it's worth it, but I don't want to wait two years so... If you had to choose between: Dylan Bundy Shelby Miller Garrit Cole Zach Wheeler Who will provide the most value (that would include number of starts or total innings) in 2014 in a standard fantasy Roto league? That's 2014- not 2013, not 2015. Thanks.

Cory Schwartz: See above. Asking once is enough, thanks.

Jburian (Chicago): 14 team 5x5 Roto keeper league with OBP instead of AVG: T Flowers or J Castro (till Grandal comes back)?

Cory Schwartz: Both put up very good OBP numbers in the minors, although much of Castro's was AVG driven, and Flowers has considerably more power. Go for him.

Aaron (Bay of Puigs): Hey Cory! In a standard, 11 team 5x5 auction, how do you like to budget your auction dollars before the draft hitting/pitching-wise? 70/30? 65/35?

Cory Schwartz: I generally shoot for 70/30 or something close to that... 71/29, etc. In a shallow league you can be even more hitting-heavy, since SP depth is even greater and you can use your FAAB budget to sift through it all year long.

Rick (Chicago ): Sorry. Was too quick on the re-submit ;)

Cory Schwartz: No prob. My goal is to answer 100% of the questions today. :-)

phin (Milwaukee): pretty sure most of us know about your longstanding man crush on EE (no longer E5!) how high would you draft him? i hate paying for a career year. even though he helped me win a title last year. that said i've been picking him in the 3rd round of a 12 team mixer. around 25th or so.

Cory Schwartz: He's always had the ability, and I think the improvements he made last year were real. It's not fair to expect him to repeat what he did last year, but I don't see any reason why he can't do something like .280-35-100 with 8-10 SB's. Third round is very reasonable for that.

For the record, I will try to acquire him again this year, even though the price tag has gotten a lot bigger than in the past. But I am still a believer!

Aaron (Bay of Puigs): Carlos Gomez likely to continue with 2012's power increase? Milwaukee and local celebrity Sam Miller seem to think so.

Cory Schwartz: He hit more fly balls than ever before (after a previous career high the year before), but his K/BB ratio actually decreased, so I wonder if that's a player who sold out some (already shaky) plate discipline to more aggressively swing for the fences. He's in his age 27 season so I don't see why he couldn't top 20 homers this year given sufficient at-bats, but I'd expect the AVG to dip again if he continues to sell out for power.

Hemmo (Amsterdam, the Netherlands): Who saves more games in 2013, Kenley Jansen or Aroldis Chapman?

Cory Schwartz: Oooh, prop bet! I'm gonna go with Aroldis, just on the hunch that Dusty wins out and he's the closer all year. And even if Aroldis starts the season in the rotation, Kenley still has to beat out League for the job, so he's no sure thing either. Great challenge bet.

Tim (Regina): Cory, for your last pitcher in a keeper league, of this group, who would you pick, with an eye to winning this year (always the case but I've got a good chance this year...) Cashner/Tillman/Porcello/Teheran/Cobb/Estrada/Miller

Cory Schwartz: Estrada. Undervalued because of his poor W-L but he has the potential to be a difference-maker in K's and shouldn't hurt the ratios much. Cobb is my 2nd choice.

Chris (Wyoming): NL only, 11 team keeper league. No benches except for injury so if you have a player, he starts. Is 10 too much to keep Teheran at? He looks good in spring training, but it's just spring. Is the potential upside of having an ace for three years at 10 worth the downside of having a rooking pitcher at 10? Going for it this year.

Cory Schwartz: The keeper question is always, "can I get a similar or better player for the same or lower price?" Teheran has always been a blue-chip prospect, he's still only 22, and he's having a lights-out spring, apparently as a result of an improved 2-seam fastball. He's a gamble, but $10 isn't an awful amount to bet on his upside, dependent upon what other options might be out there.

Allan (SD): Cory, are you buying into Adam Eaton for the right price? Whatever that might be?

Cory Schwartz: Yes, big fan. I'm targeting him for $14 in Tout Wars (15-team mixed) but given his high-OBP upside, he could well go for more. I know the talk in Arizona is of a four-man rotation the outfield, but I think he'll end up leading that group in plate appearances.

Aaron (Bay of Puigs): Who makes the Final Four?

Cory Schwartz: Rays and A's in the AL, Nationals and Giants in the NL.

phin (Milwaukee): awesome chat cory. thank you!

Cory Schwartz: Thank you! Beats having a real job, right??

James (NYC): Just my own thoughts on Gomez - a few years ago following a great late season surge, CarGo went in the 9th round and soon became a first rounder. Similar story and skill set (minus k's) happened the following year with Stubbs, who went in the 10th but now he's going in the last round of drafts this year. I think Gomez will split the difference.

Cory Schwartz: Gomez is a lot closer to Stubbs than CarGo in terms of skills, so this is a good cautionary tale. Thanks James.

Hetfeld (Downey): NL Only 5x5 (2bx2 + 3bx3 + bb/PA) and (h/ip & k/bb) replace whip.. 15 keepers max I have like 20 keepers.. who should I keep? Mayberry $10, Bernandina $1, Forsythe $3, Lombardozzi $1, Colvin $10 or Nieuwenuis $1 Thanks

Cory Schwartz: Colvin, and maybe Forsythe, especially since Headley is going to be out for a month or so and Gyorko is no sure thing. Cut the rest.

mzpejp (San Diego): Can you explain the difference between VORP and WAR? The two have always seemed very similar to me. Thanks

Cory Schwartz: Colin Wyers can do a much better job of that than I can!

Jim (Seattle): Cory, as a developer I would like to ask the possibility for open API or API for developer community under GPL license, to explore more mashup or collaboration on ways to accelerate data analytics. Thanks for hanging around for answering all the questions!

Cory Schwartz: Jim, our .xml stats and data are out there for the world to see. We don't provide a formal API but we don't obscure or obstruct anyone from using our data, as long as it's not for commercial purposes or re-sale or re-distribution. Data is only as valuable as what researchers and analysts can do with it, but we don't want anyone building a business on our backs. This arrangement has worked very well over the past 12 years IMO... just ask BPro's own Harry Pavlidis. :-)

Briscodarlin (CO): How would you rank these guys for supplemental rounds: Ruggiano, Pierre, Gyorko and Matt Carpenter?

Cory Schwartz: Wow, shallow league if those are reserve picks! Pierre will have the most value based purely on his SB's, but I like Ruggiano for all around value. I don't think he's getting enough credit for what he's capable of doing given full-time or semi-regular playing time. He won't hit .313 again but how 'bout .265 with 15 homers and 20 SB's in 450 AB's? I don't think that's unrealistic.

kddean (Deerfield): NL only, 12 team, 6 keeper league. You keep guys as long as you save them. This Headley injury worries me. My save list is: Kemp, J Upton, Strasburg, Desmond, O Taveras. Headley was going to be the 6th, but I don't like this injury. Would you stick with Headley or go with one of: P Alvarez, Motte, A Eaton?

Cory Schwartz: As long as you can stash him in a DL spot, keep him. Otherwise keep Motte, the #2 closer in MLB.

Jeff (NY): What are your thoughts on Dominac Brown's hot start? I know its only spring training and your not susposed to buy into Spring stats but this guy was a highly regarded prospect. Is he worth a late round grab, what would be the earliest round you'd take him? Thanks!

Cory Schwartz: It's encouraging from the standpoint that it will earn him more playing time than we might have thought over the winter, but it doesn't change my outlook much from a performance standpoint. Brown has been yanked around somewhat by the Phillies, and probably has a right to feel somewhat unappreciated by the organization, but to be fair, a .703 OPS in ~500 career PA's isn't lighting up the sky. But as you said he was once a blue-chipper and is only 25, so I would like to see what he could do if given an everyday job and left alone for a full season.

Mike (Vancouver ): Is Yasiel Puig going to be a top OF? I have the first pick in my prospect draft and thinking of taking him over Travis d'arnaud. Would you?

Cory Schwartz: No, I'd take d'Arnaud first... he plays at a much tougher position to fill and is more likely to help this year, which is when I want to win. Now.

Corey (NYC): Wilin Rosario a good comp for Jorge Alfaro offensively? Just drafted him at the end of our keeper league minor league draft to speculate on the upside.

Cory Schwartz: Paging Jason Parks! Alfaro is 19 years old and has never played above A-ball so I'm the last person who should speculate on anyone's future from that starting point. I know what I was like when I was 19...

Dave (Boston): How do you think about the risks around PED suspensions when drafting?

Cory Schwartz: Very, very little. The Braun thing has me a little worried given the risk he might face a suspension later in the season, but otherwise it doesn't really go into my thinking. We don't know who used what or when or for how long, or what measurable effect anything did or didn't have, or who else is or was using, to put much weight into it from a decision-making standpoint...

bdonenfeld (Laguna Beach, CA): What do you think of Josh Willingham this year? Will he continue his success from last year or drop off severely? Is he worth giving up Lucas Giolito for in a long-term dynasty league?

Cory Schwartz: Career-highs almost across the board last year at the age of 33, with no meaningful changes in his metrics, in a great pitchers' park? Not a good bet to repeat. I'm not opposed to dealing Giolito if you think you can improve your chances of winning now by doing so, especially given the gap between what Giolito is now and what he may someday become, but try to aim higher than Willingham, at least to start out.

Luke (MN): I'm in a keeper league and wondering what your outlook was for these guys for the next couple years. Yellich, Castellanos, Billy Hamilton, and Marte. Thanks

Cory Schwartz: I'm not as high on Marte as most, given his terrible plate discipline in the minors. But, he has the chance to make the most impact this year given that he has a full-time job, which the others don't. Long-term, probably Yelich, but he's a few years away.

redguy12588 (Pittsburgh): Is Starling Marte going to break out this year? I don't see him as a great leadoff hitter, even if he can sustain a .300+ BA

Cory Schwartz: See my last... he has a ton of ability but controlling the strike zone is not one of them. People talk about guys like Braun and Trout as once-in-a-generation talents, but so was Alfonso Soriano... very few hitters can be impact players with such terrible K-BB numbers. That's not to say Marte can't or won't be an impact player this year, but let's just say I'm not giving up on Alex Presley yet, either!

NDub (Detroit): Better comp for Puig, Bo Jackson or Metallica? When do you see him having MLB impact...

Cory Schwartz: Dayan Viciedo, maybe? Next year at the very earliest but I'm not even sold on that.

Blake (Los Angeles): Hi Cory - how do you adjust dollar values/strategy for shallower leagues? I'm in a 10 team, head-to-head league, we have 23 man roster and can start C,1B,2B,3B, SS,3OF,Utl, spots for 4 RP and usually carry 6-8 SP. Thanks!

Cory Schwartz: The shallower the league, the more I spend on bats and de-value SP. You can't dump SP entirely in H2H leagues, but given the copious depth available for free on the waiver wire, I can't rationalize drafting too much SP when impact bats are much harder to find.

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Cory Schwartz: Sorry, not familiar with any of those guys so I wouldn't keep them at those prices... toss 'em all back.

Just kidding, looks like we got some spam in the chat queue.

Taking a quick break, back in five. Keep the questions coming and I'll keep answering! Be right back...

Briscodarlin (CO): In a 6x6 league where I need more walks, do you think Avila holds as much or more value than McCann or Doumit because he walks so much?

Cory Schwartz: I'm back...

And yes, you are correct, Avila's superior OBP does give him a bump over those other two guys. Assuming his knee is healthy, I think he'll bounce back over last year but maybe not to 2011 levels... figure .275 with 15 HR and a .365 OBP.

Brent (California): What are your thoughts on Alex Avila? I currently have him as my starting catcher in a 16 team h2h dynasty league with McCann on my bench. Will he be a viable option while McCann is hurt? Will McCann even return to being a fantasy starter?

Cory Schwartz: See above WRT to Avila. Re. McCann, he's been worked very heavily over the years and dealt with some injuries, but even throughout that he hit 20 HR last year and even added 3 SB's! Did you realize McCann is only 29, too? Far too early to write him off in any format.

redguy12588 (Pittsburgh): Pedro Alvarez had a very solid year minus April and early May, is he going to be a slow starter or a top 5 3rd baseman in the NL?

Cory Schwartz: He was very streaky last year so it's a fool's errand to try and predict what he'll do over any given 3-4 week stretch of the 26-week season. I rank him 8th among 3B-eligible players in the NL, a hair ahead of David Freese. I don't see top five, with Hanley, Wright, Zimmerman, Panda and Aramis ahead of him.

Briscodarlin (CO): What are your thoughts on Andrew Cashner? I love his K/BB ratio and wonder if you think he could be a top 40 starter if he gets 25 starts.

Cory Schwartz: I love his K's, not the BB's. Top 40 is hard to see, and that's even if he gets 25 starts, which is also questionable IMO. His single-season high as a pro is 111 innings... total.

ganz1080 (CT): I submitted this last night but havent seen it answered so I'll ask again in case its not there. My league is a 12 team H2H league and uses 8 hitting categories, R, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP. The PFM has Jose Reyes at #4 overall. That seems ridiculously high to me. I'm looking to take Votto with the 6th pick overall, but should i take Reyes in the 2nd rd if hes there? Mauer was ranked #7 using the PFM and I'll be looking to get him in the 4th or 5th rd most likely. In the 2nd rd I think I'd prefer a guy like Harper, Heyward, Wright, or some other guys over Reyes. Thoughts? Thanks!

Cory Schwartz: Given the added categories I don't think that's so crazy at all; I have Reyes ranked 15th overall in a standard 5x5, so when you add in his impact in triples in particular, #4 is not out of the question. Optimistic, perhaps, but not crazy.

Brent (California): In my deep 16 team H2H dynasty league. I have a pitching staff of Homer Bailey, Wandy Rodriguez, Mark Buerhle, Ricky Romero, and Edison Volquez. Will this rotation be problematic? Even given the size of the league?

Cory Schwartz: Yeah, you've got some issues here... you're at least one front-line starter short. Doesn't need to be a Verlander or Kershaw, but even a Cueto or Kennedy or Shields type would be a big help.

Briscodarlin (CO): Thoughts on Andrew Cashner this season? Top 50 SP if he can pitch 180 innings?

Cory Schwartz: See above. I'd bet the under on those innings... way under.

Eric (CO): Looking for holds. I already own Janssen. Should I pick up Santos also as presumably one of them will get saves and the other holds?

Cory Schwartz: See above. The could split the closer job, or one could close and the other could set up, or as Jason Collette suggest, Delabar or Rogers could take on a bigger role.

Luke (MN): Thoughts on BIlly Hamilton? Will he eventually steal close to 100 bags in the majors?

Cory Schwartz: In total or in a single season? First, he has to learn to play CF. I worry about pure-play, no-power speedsters like him, which is why I was down on Dee Gordon last year, but Hamilton is such an extreme case that it's hard to see him NOT having some type of Major League job at some point, even if it's as a 5th OF/pinch-runner. If Tony Campana can have a Big League career, Billy Hamilton sure can!

Eric (CO): I drafted Granderson in the 10th round of a 12 team draft, should I try to trade him as soon as he plays a few games in case his power doesnt come back immediately?

Cory Schwartz: Trade any player at any time if you can make your team doing better by doing so. You got him for a reasonable price, so get some value out of that whether it's by trading him or hanging on and letting him play 110-120 games for you.

Chris (Pentagon): 12-team, mixed, 24-man rosters, long-term contracts with graduated pay-scale based on auction prices Big road trip this weekend for auction draft in Philly - we're allowed to take one prospect NOT on a 40-man roster who doesn't count against our 24 until he plays in the bigs. I've got the 6th pick. Your thoughts on Taveras, B.Hamilton, Zunino, Castellanos who could help in 2013 or should I look long-term like Yelich, Bogaerts, Sano?

Cory Schwartz: Taveras. Best long-term, and could hit his way into a job this year. I'd take Zunino second given his combination of position, offensive upside and immediate return.

Alex (Anaheim): What's the highest round in which anyone in a 12-team mixed league should be drafting Goldschmidt?

Cory Schwartz: Fourth round. He can earn higher, but that's fair value.

Briscodarlin (Mayberry): How would you rank these late game SP options? Garcia, Tillman, Straily, Gee, Burnett, Marcum. Who are some of your favorite final round SP sleepers?

Cory Schwartz: I like Garcia and Gee best of those options. For deeper sleepers, Jeff Niemann and Kyle Kendrick. REM cycle, Rubby De La Rosa.

Blake (LA): Of the 'bottom tier' closers (rank 20-30+) who are some you are targeting this year?

Cory Schwartz: Jose Veras. Big-time strikeout potential and little competition in the Astros' bullpen. Of course, he walks too many and will have to face some very tough offenses in the AL West, but for a dirt-cheap 20 saves, he's that guy.

Eric (CO): In a 6x6 league with saves AND holds, would it make sense to own both Janssen and Santos as presumably one will get saves and the other alot of holds?

Cory Schwartz: Not necessarily, since either could also be injured or ineffective. Pick one and have some conviction about it, or stay away.

KD (Deerfield): If your top 5 NL third basemen are listed above, who's #6 and #7 before Alvarez?

Cory Schwartz: Prado and Headley.

Dave (Boston): Which of these pitchers has the biggest impact in the second half of '13 or 2014: T. Walker/ Archer/ Bauer/ Bundy/ Gausman/Barnes? Thanks.

Cory Schwartz: Archer. The Rays have a solid group in front of him but if any falter he could be an impact arm.

lipitorkid (OC, CA): Speaking of Hamilton. If he can pull a .285 95/6/61 line with 70 SBs in a year, what round would he be drafted in a standard 12 team Roto redraft league the following year?

Cory Schwartz: Billy Hamilton might not hit six homers in his entire MLB career.

Rick (Chicago): Asked this question earlier, but since it was just before your break I'm not counting this as second request lol. How much of an injury risk to you think Napoli is this year and where would you rank him for catcher position only?

Cory Schwartz: Seriously, ask once. I'm working my way through the list.

DonkeyDunn (Connecticut): Cory, The disclaimer on spring stats aside... Do you think Desmond Jennings spring indicates the off season work on patience & approach has paid off and will carry into the season? -Mike

Cory Schwartz: I don't know what he did in the offseason and frankly I don't know what he's doing this spring. I do know that he's in his age 26 season and coming off a season in which, despite injuries, he hit 13 homers and stole 31-of-33 bases. I was bullish on him regardless.

Keith (Manchester, CT): Thanks Cory. Do you like Jeff Locke's chances of staying in the Pirates' rotation for much of the year? How high is his ceiling?

Cory Schwartz: 34-11 K-BB in 34.1 IP in his debut last year, 8.3 K/9 and 3.4 K/BB in the minors, decent ground ball rates... the numbers are impressive, although his minor league ERA's never measured up to his underlying skills. He's not a great "stuff" guy and the Pirates have other options if he falters but he's got a shot to stick around as an end-of-rotation guy, a #4 type.

Motivation03 (Dallas): Since Hanley is questionable for opening day, who would you pick up between Todd Frazier, Matt Carpenter, Gyorko or Arenado? Thank you.

Cory Schwartz: Frazier. I think he's very undervalued this year... not a star, but if things break right and he hits .260 with 25 HR while eligible at both corners, that's pretty good stuff.

WayneDavis (new jersey): Bauer or Kazmir, what do YOU think and what do you think will happen?

Cory Schwartz: Kazmir starts the season in the rotation and Bauer finishes there. In between, expect the unexpected. Baseball gonna baseball.

Grady (WI): I have 5 possible RPs (Chapman, Putz, Street, Wilhelmsen, Santos) in a 12 team league, with Infante at MI. I was offered Gyorko and Janssen for Wilhelmsen. Is the switch from Infante to Gyorko worth giving up the more entrenched closer? Should I just wait it out, try to build a save cushion early and deal a closer later? Thanks!

Cory Schwartz: Keep shopping. I'm bullish on Wilhelmsen this year and have some concerns about Gyorko (read early in the chat)... I'm not at all convinced he'll be worth more than Infante this year.

Brandon (Iowa): 12 team NL keeper league, pick 3 - Pacheco ($10), Lucroy ($10), Garret Jones ($10) Scott Hairston ($5)

Cory Schwartz: I'd keep Lucroy and Jones and drop the other two. If you must keep a third, keep Hairston.

LoyalRoyal (Chillin at home): Cory, who are starting pitchers sleepers that a guy could draft on the cheap in a deeper league? Would you prefer young guys like Peralta and Teheran or guys like Danks, Leake, and Porcello? Also, is the cat out of the bag on Teheran, i.e, you won't be able to get him cheap anymore due to spring media exposure? Thanks!

Cory Schwartz: I'm very bullish on Peralta this year and glad to see he's won a rotation spot. If he can throw strikes with any regularity, he could be a #2 or #3 as early as this season... big fan.

Read earlier in the chat re. Teheran, but based on his big spring he may be a little overhyped by draft day. He's only 22 so it's entirely possible he's finally ready to break out at the MLB level, but that also means he's still only 22.

Porcello is also impressing this spring and people forget he's still only 24! I'd like him a lot more on a team with a better infield defense though... his ERA has always trailed his FIP and other skill-based metrics, given his ugly BABIP numbers.

Brian (Boston): Hi Cory, What type of year do you think Jonny Gomes will have ?

Cory Schwartz: He'll hit for power, strike out a lot, make a lot of friends and some enemies, and be exposed as an everyday player. The better Jackie Bradley does, the better it will be for Gomes.

Ernie (Dover, Delaware): Cory, Who do you prefer in these infield situations: A. Casilla or B. Roberts E. Bonifactio or M. Izturis

Cory Schwartz: Roberts and Bonifacio. Roberts is having a good spring, and while I ordinarily don't put much weight in spring stats, the most important thing is that he's able to play regularly or at least semi-regularly.

Craig (Cleveland): Cory, The Indians didn't give Aviles $3M per to sit the bench for long so do you think (a) Cabrera gets traded and Aviles takes over at SS or (b) Chisenhall disappoints and he plays 3b ?

Cory Schwartz: I think he'll platoon with Lonnie Baseball to start, and get at-bats backing up at 2B and SS as well. He's best suited for a 300-350 at-bat role.

Eric (CO): Another top fantasy writer, Eric Karabell thinks that Trevor Rosenthal may end up as the 8th inning guy this year and then becomes a starter next year, ala Adam Wainwright next year. Your thoughts? I've thought about taking him late in a keeper league.

Cory Schwartz: Eric knows his stuff and I wouldn't rule that out. Rosenthal has a big-time arm and even if he's not Shelby Miller, he's a pretty good prospect in his own right, too. That path makes sense, given the makeup of the Cards' staff this year.

Rick (Chicago): How much of a risk do you think Napoli is for this year and where would you rank him as catcher?

Cory Schwartz: OK, I made you wait long enough, your punishment is over. :-)

Napoli has played more than 114 games in a season only once, so even though he'll be mostly a 1B this year, I do expect him to get regular rest to protect his hip. I rank him 7th among catcher-eligible players, just ahead of V-Mart and Miguel Montero, and hopefully playing at 1B will reduce some of the risk factor he might face when playing regularly behind the plate.

Thor (Chi-town): I have been going back and forth in determining who I should keep as my third keeper to go along with Trout and Stanton. My options are- Cargo,Hanley,Darvish,Kinsler,Bumgarner,Longoria,Cespedes or Gio Gonzalez? I know Cargo is probably the obvious choice but I really dont think I should go in with keeping three outfielders.. although I'm seriously thinking I just may. Any helpful advice or suggestions?

Cory Schwartz: Keep CarGo. Keeper lists are not the time/place to worry about balance, just keep your best players. Certainly it's tough to drop Hanley, Kinsler and Longoria under these circumstances, but just try to draft them back!

LoyalRoyal (Spring Break): Cory, thanks for the chat. In a deep two catcher league. Keeping Mauer, but have to go cheap at #2 catcher. Any suggestions for end game catchers? Thinking about guys in that Mesoraco, Federowicz, Clevenger, etc. tier.

Cory Schwartz: Wellington Castillo of the Cubs. Should play a lot, has power, and is in his age-26 season so his time is now. I'm also big on Rob Brantly of the Marlins but his value upside is lower since he lacks any single big skill, from a fantasy standpoint.

silentbob (Maryland): How much do you bid on Billy Hamilton in a NL-only keeper league where he can be retained through the 2015 season at most, with $3 annual salary increase?

Cory Schwartz: Don't leave single digits, since you're probably only going to get back .50 on the dollar this year, at best.

James (NYC): I've got Halladay and CJ Wilson as my #3 and #5 starter in a points league. Trying to flip them based on Halladay's health and Wilson's walking ways (possible 2011 was outlier??). Anyone you like I should target in a vacuum? I've got Wainwright, Darvish, Peavy, D.Holland, Pettitte and Porcello as the rest of my staff (league really likes [read: reaches] SPs)

Cory Schwartz: Sure, I can name dozens of starters I like better than those two, but it depends on the market. Jon Niese and Doug Fister are two off the top of my head, but I have no idea how their current owner(s) value them.

Blake (Los Angeles): Hi Corey - what are some adjustments you make when drafting for a head-to-head league versus a roto or points league? Thanks!

Cory Schwartz: No "e", my Mom and Dad couldn't afford it. :-)

H2H leagues and weekly leagues require a little bit more starting pitching, but make that up in terms of depth and balance rather than going after an ace. If you have 7 or 8 or 9 solid starters to pick from each week, you can play the schedule and matchups and trends to optimize the group you use for maximum result. Just anchor it with a strong offense and bullpen as usual.

Rick (Chicago): Ha. Sitting in the corner wasn't too bad since I still was able to keep the ipad and follow the chat

Cory Schwartz: Ha! Well played. You can come out and play now!

phin (Milwaukee): yeah it beats a 9-5 by a mile. you have one of the cooler jobs on the planet in my opinion. last question from me: i have the first pick in the 2nd rd of the dynasty lge i just joined (took taveras #1 overll). would you suggest taking eaton at 2.1 (13) if he's there or should i take a higher upside guy like d'arnaud, zunino, taijaun, arenado, etc)?? thanks again.

Cory Schwartz: Thanks! I'd go for Eaton over those guys since he gives me the best chance of winning now.

I hope that theme has come through loud and clear during this chat: play to win now, no matter what league you're in, whenever possible. Sometimes that's not possible in keeper and dynasty leagues, but the point of fantasy leagues is to compete and to win, so be careful about falling into the "future value" trap too quickly. Sure, I'd love to have Jurickson Profar in 2015, but Neil Walker will probably do a lot more for you in 2013.

Lipmanpike (Rutland VT): I have two bargins and can only keep one Max Scherzer at $11 or Chris Medlen at $5 thoughts?

Cory Schwartz: I'd keep Scherzer. Medlen is definitely a tempting value but he's never made more than 14 starts or thrown more than last year's 138.0 IP in a season, so there's no way of knowing what his numbers will look like over a full season. I think he'll be good, but we **know** Scherzer will be good. Throw out his poor April last year and he was near-elite. Gotta keep him at that price.

James (NYC): I was actually looking into Fister! Thanks Cory! But any concerns about his rough spring so far?

Cory Schwartz: None. As long as he's not hurt, I don't care at all about spring stats.

Briscodarlin (CO): How would you rank these guys for supplemental rounds: Ruggiano, Pierre, Gyorko and Matt Carpenter?

Cory Schwartz: I think I answered this earlier, but in a straight re-draft league, I'd take them exactly in that order.

Cory Schwartz: OK folks, the queue is empty so let's call it a wrap. Thanks to everyone for the questions... the BP ChatMatron machine tells me we got through 103 of them -- 102 not counting the spam -- so hopefully this was helpful for everyone. Follow me on twitter @fantasy411, check out our blog at fantasy411.mlblogs.com and look for podcasts throughout the season. And of course visit MLB.com for the best live coverage around! Hopefully that's enough for shameless plugs... Thanks to the BP folks for inviting me, and good luck to everyone this season! #FFF


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