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Chat: Geoff Young

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday April 15, 2013 1:00 PM ET chat session with Geoff Young.

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Ask, and ye shall receive answers from Geoff.

Geoff Young: Happy Jackie Robinson Day! Let's talk baseball.

Ashitaka1110 (Houston, TX): Trying to think of either a current or historical comp for Carlos Correa's ceiling if he can't stay at SS and has to move to 3B. Doesn't really have the speed of David Wright, right? Any thoughts?

Geoff Young: Hi Ashitaka, I don't know the answer to your question but I do remember one of the Astros TV broadcasters dropping an Alex Rodriguez comp on Correa in spring training, which seemed horribly unfair to the young man.

Clyde (Pittsburgh): Should I really gird my loins for a 32-130 Padres season? My loins can't take that kind of girdin'.

Geoff Young: Hey Clyde, thanks for the question. Coming into the season, the Padres had four or five legitimate big-league pitchers. Two of them (Edinson Volquez and Huston Street) have been terrible. Even after Sunday night's strong showing from Clayton Richard, their starters own the NL's highest ERA by a lot. It will be good to see Chase Headley back in the lineup this week, but his presence won't help a bad pitching staff. Unless the Padres find some guys who can get big-league hitters out, it's going to be a long season.

cal guy (cal): What is the ETA for Rendon, Myers and Cole?

Geoff Young: Hi cal guy, I'm not the most qualified to talk about prospects, but Jason Parks had Rendon's ETA as 2013 in his Top 10 Nationals list, ditto for Myers in his Rays list and Cole (I'm assuming you mean Gerrit) in his Pirates list. So... soon?

Biscuits (SJSU): More likely to make an impact this year, Stefen Romero or Carlos Sanchez?

Geoff Young: Hi Biscuits (SJSU). Again, I'm not a prospect guy, but Romero is a 24-year-old in A-ball, which isn't exciting. There are two people named Carlos Sanchez currently playing in the minors. Assuming you mean the White Sox middle infielder, he's a 21-year-old in Triple-A with a good defensive reputation. I'll go with Sanchez.

smallflowers ((undisclosed black site)): I hate the Yankees, but man am I fascinated by their pitching staff. What Hiroki Kuroda is doing at his age isn't done by very many, is it? It seems to me like scares related to Sabathia are just media-microscope foolishness -- shouldn't the real narrative be that the surgery was relatively minor and the velo might be a case of him taking it easy, a'la Verlander, until he and the weather warm to the season? And whither Ivan Nova? I'm dying to see the arsenal addition, but they took the opportunity to skip him.

Geoff Young: Hey smallflowers, thanks for joining us. Yeah, Kuroda has had a great career since coming to North America. His age 33-38 seasons compare well with those of another former Yankees hurler, David Cone. As for the media stuff, that seems to happen sometimes in New York. BTW, while looking up Cone's numbers, I realized he's younger than Jamie Moyer.

LaMarBrown (San Diego): GY, do you think the Padres owners risk incurring more ire from the fans by trading Headley or try and sign him to a long-term deal to show that they are willing to invest in the team after the "do nothing" offseason?

Geoff Young: Good to hear from you, LaMar. I think it will be difficult for the owners to incur more ire from Padres fans simply because there isn't much ire left to tap. With the recent TV deal and ownership snafus followed by an off-season of inactivity and a miserable start to the 2013 season, I'm not sure that any Headley news (even the coveted contract extension) will be met with enthusiasm at this point. San Diego is slowly turning into the rest of the country in terms of interest in the Padres.

John Carter (Toronto): What's your take on Rolling Stones' Top 500 albums? I'm wondering if I am a different species given that Yes's Close to the Edge didn't make the list, let alone the top 10. Pet Sounds finished in 2nd place. I dare any adult to play that song for song against Keane's Hopes and Fears (which also didn't make the top 500) and tell me those Beach Boys songs were better.

Geoff Young: John, I haven't given the list much thought, but the panel of experts who voted is impressive. Although I haven't heard much Keane, it's hard to argue against "Pet Sounds." For one thing, it's still relevant 47 years later, while we won't be able to say that about "Hopes and Fears" until 2051. On the other hand, I don't think the experts put the right Beatles album at no. 1. I would have gone with "Revolver" (no. 3) or "Rubber Soul" (no. 6). Michael Jackson's "Thriller" (no. 20) seems low, as do Stevie Wonder's "Innervisions" (no. 24) and James Brown's "Live at the Apollo" (no. 25). The absence of bands like Yes, Rush, and Deep Purple is troubling but not surprising. I have a hard time seeing how MGMT and Hole make it at their expense. The first Van Halen album and Cheap Trick's "At Budokan" are in the 400s, but Artic Monkeys have an album at no. 371? Eh, not in my book. Like prospect lists, a lot of this stuff is a matter of personal taste. My ranking would be very different in many places.

Alex (Anaheim): Should the Yankees throw Phelps into the rotation the way things are going with Hughes/Nova?

Geoff Young: Hi Alex, thanks for the question. Hughes has worked 7 innings this year, Nova has worked 4 2/3. If they were deemed good enough in spring training, nothing has changed. Then again, I'm jaded by a Padres rotation that would kill to have either of those guys in it. Speaking of which...

matthewverygood (Los Angeles): Hey Geoff, how much more leeway would you give Edinson Volquez? My opinion, it's time to put him in the bullpen or trade him.

Geoff Young: Hey Matt, as you know, Volquez is one of the most frustrating pitchers in baseball to watch. He can dominate for short periods, but the inevitable lapses of concentration and/or command kill his game. He has a great arm. Maybe a move to the bullpen would help. Of course, the Padres have precious few options for the rotation, so it won't happen. I'm not sure he'll fetch much in trade either.

dianagram (VORGville): Reggie Jackson meets Jackie Robinson in heaven ... what does Jackie say to Reggie?

Geoff Young: Diane, I love this question. Jackie: "Thank you for playing the game with flair." Reggie: "It was the least I could do after you gave me the opportunity."

Nick (Los Feliz, CA): If you could go back and give any player a completely healthy career to see what they could do with their full capabilities, who would you pick? I'm having a tough time deciding between Mickey Mantle and Eric Davis...

Geoff Young: Hey Nick, this is another fun one. I'm tempted to say Bo Jackson because of the tools, but I don't know how complete a ballplayer he would have become even without the injury. A healthy career from Davis boggles the mind. I literally get goosebumps thinking about it. I'll go with Davis. On the pitching side, Sandy Koufax or Bret Saberhagen.

Gregorio (Londres): How long does Josh Byrnes wait before he takes steps to fix his rotation?

Geoff Young: Hi Gregorio, thanks for the question. The biggest problem Byrnes faces is that there isn't any real way to fix the rotation. Edwin Jackson, Shaun Marcum, and the rest all signed elsewhere, leaving the Padres with Jason Marquis. At some point maybe Cory Luebke, Tim Stauffer, and Robbie Erlin can help, but not now.

Major Tom (Space): I know it's an extremely small sample size but Jedd Gyorko has looked much better at second than at third. Would the Padres consider leaving him at second even after trading Headley?

Geoff Young: Major Tom, how's that tin can treating you? I don't know what the Padres have in mind if a Headley trade happens, but it seems to me Gyorko has more value at second base and they would be well served to keep him there.

Statorama (WI): As we near the end of the Clint Barmes era in Pit, will Jordy Mercer get first crack or will he be leapfrogged by Hanson, Santos, Ngoepe, etc.?

Geoff Young: Hi Statorama. With the disclaimer that I am nowhere near this situation, my guess from just looking at their ages and levels of experience would be for Mercer or Santos to get first crack. The others seem too far away.

Dan (NYC): Should Dustin Ackley's fantasy owners cut bait on him? Should the Mariners?

Geoff Young: Thanks for the question, Dan. I'm one of those people who don't even look at April stats. If he was good enough in spring, he's good enough now. The situation bears monitoring, but we need more than 12 games to make that call.

jdmurphy (Rochester): Thoughts on why Aaron Hicks is struggling so badly? Just nerves & bad luck or something more?

Geoff Young: Hey jd, thanks for joining us. I think the main problem for Hicks is that it's very hard to hit big-league pitching. R.J. Anderson had some thoughts on Hicks' struggles last week that I encourage you to read. Short version: He may need more time in the minors.

Biscuits (SJSU): CLE SP McAllister has NOT walked a batter this year (2 starts). Is his control good enough go sustain a quality stat line?

Geoff Young: Looking at Zach McAllister's career numbers, I'm concerned about his high hit rates even going back to the minor leagues. He seems like a decent back-end option but probably not more than that.

Haircut (Barber Shop): Francisco Liriano headed out on rehab and could be back by May 1. Can he have an AJ Burnett-like resurgence in that park/division?

Geoff Young: Hey haircut, I got one of you last month for the first time in 2 1/2 years. It was awesome. Anyway, Liriano's recent track record is not good. Anything is possible, but I wouldn't count on it.

Orange Face (Tanning Salon): How can the Cards get Matt Adams's bat into the lineup consistently? Rotate Craig into RF/LF/bench?

Geoff Young: Brian Giles, is that you? Maybe they rotate Craig at some point, but after what he did in 2012, it's hard to justify that move right now. Trying to find at-bats for Adams is a nice problem to have.

Elliott (USD): What new beer should I try today?

Geoff Young: Hi Elliott, go Toreros! I'm assuming you've had everything at Ballast Point. If not, walk across the street and do so. I recently tried Coronado Brewing Blue Bridge Stout, which is made with Cafe Moto coffee, and enjoyed it very much.

Mike (Seattle): Is Justin Smoak ever going to hit enough to be an average first baseman? Is Montero ever going to hit enough to warrant placement as a DH some day?

Geoff Young: Hey Mike, good questions. Smoak had a great spring, but once the bell rang he went back to doing what he always seems to do. I'm not ready to give up on him yet, but it's getting close. As for Montero, he is younger and a better hitter. I wrote about him last October and discovered something interesting: He had an 839 OPS as a catcher in 2012 vs a 571 OPS as a DH. So he'll need to fix that first if that's the route the M's want to go with him.

Nate Dogg (Eastside Motel): Wilin Rosario looks locked-in right now. 25-HR potential?

Geoff Young: Hi Nate, thanks for the question. Rosario hit 28 last year at age 23, so yeah. Without a doubt, yeah.

Anthony (Cali): So Im hearing a lot of talk about Cingrani. How do you think he does this year?

Geoff Young: Hi Anthony. Yeah, I guess fanning 26 of the first 48 batters he faced at Louisville this year got some folks' attention. Tony Cingrani is good enough to pitch in the big leagues, but whether it's as a starter or a reliever, I'm not sure yet.

shadow1480 (DTown): Jarrod Parker .... ugh.

Geoff Young: Yep.

Sam-I-Am (in the dark): Chris Carter is a big strong pull hitter. His 4 HR thus far would have left any park, but how much will he benefit from the Crawford Boxes?

Geoff Young: Hey there Sam, I think you hit the nail on the head. Carter is a big strong pull hitter. This isn't Damian Jackson hitting broken-bat grand slams. Carter's power is ridiculous. More than anything, he will benefit from being in a big-league lineup every day. Whee!

Drew Balen (Edmonton): I was wondering what you think about Oakland so far this season? They seem to be able to win the close games and have a young pitching staff that remains somewhat under the radar(Griffin and Milone are both off to good starts).

Geoff Young: Hey Drew, good to hear from you. Hope to catch you at the AFL again this year. I like what I've seen so far from the A's. I'm a huge A.J. Griffin fan, mostly because he went to my alma mater but also because he's a better pitcher than a lot of people may have thought. The offense has been great. Oakland fans should be excited.

Jim (Seattle): Some of my fantasy guys are really struggling early. What's your short and long term prognosis for Mike Moustakas? Will Aaron Hicks relax and stick around? Does Lorenzo Cain have what it takes to be a star? Leonys Martin?

Geoff Young: I like Moustakas, although he's taking his time to develop. Then again, he's only 24, so he's got time. Hicks we've covered, Cain is useful but not exciting. Martin seems like a high-risk/high-reward type, but the sample is so limited at the big-league level, I don't have a good feel for him yet.

Dusty Baker (Cincy): Is Tony Cingrani this year's Mike Fiers - a guy who succeeds early based upon deception, despite lacking great stuff, until the league figures him out?

Geoff Young: Cingrani won't keep up his ridiculous pace, but he's a solid pitcher. Jason Parks ranked him no. 3 among Reds prospects entering the season.

Lenny (Yankee Stadium): Can Granderson hit 35 HR after missing a month+ ?

Geoff Young: Hey Lenny, good question. My first instinct was to laugh, but then I checked the numbers. Curtis Granderson hit 34 homers after April in 2011 and 35 after April in 2012. So I'll say doubtful but a lot less so than I would have guessed.

Darnell (Scranton): Hellickson had himself a day today, but might not be enough for Tampa. Is this the year his K-stuff really lines up with his MiLB history?

Geoff Young: Thanks for joining us, Darnell. I don't know about the strikeouts, but Jeremy Hellickson entered today with a 3.15 ERA in 413 IP for his career. Flaws inherent in ERA notwithstanding, he's been a pretty successful pitcher so far.

Willie McGee (STL): Might STL claim the top defensive player all time at FOUR of the eight fielding positions? Edmonds, Molina, Ozzie, Keith Hernandez?

Geoff Young: Willie Mays says no.

comish4lif (undisclosed - being held hostage by MASN): Hey any word on the TV right dispute between the Nats and the Orioles owned MASN? They had a "reset" after the 2011 season (yes, 2011). And haven't resolved it yet. So..... got anything for us today?

Geoff Young: Hey comish, I'm not familiar with that situation, but as a Padres fan who lives less than 10 miles from Petco Park and who hasn't seen a game on TV since 2010, I feel your pain. At least lift the blackouts that prevent us from watching on MLB.tv despite having paid for the service.

Keith (Manchester, CT): Thanks Geoff, Should I be worried about Brandon Belt's horrific start?

Geoff Young: Hey Keith, glad you could join us. Belt had a 14-game stretch last year from July 6 to July 24 where he went 2-for-34 with 15 strikeouts. Don't sweat it, these things happen.

Dagny Taggart (Colorado): Who is Lucas Duda?

Geoff Young: Duda is a guy whose ISO at the end of the season will be much closer to last year's .150 than to this year's .355. Hopefully he won't deliver a long soliloquy in the process.

Brian (STL): Shelby Miller was masterful the other night. How quickly can this guy be REALLY good?

Geoff Young: Hey Brian, like any young pitcher, it's a matter of getting reps and gaining consistency. I don't know how quickly he'll get there, but the ride will be fun to watch.

Redneck (Northern Florida): Carlos Beltran and Adrian Beltre have 64.8 WAR apiece, sitting behind only A-Rod, Jeter, Pujols, and Halladay among current players. I would say they dramatically underrated because of some combination of the following: 1) they have each played in several different cities, 2) Beltran's massive contract in NY and time in KC, 3) Beltre accumulating so much value by defense. Anything else?

Geoff Young: There seems to be an anti-Beltr* bias at work here. Seriously? I don't know. They are great players.

Myron (Pittsburgh): What is your favorite ballpark food in the majors?

Geoff Young: Hi Myron, I do love me some ballpark food. My current favorite is probably anything by Hodad's at Petco Park. There's also a killer pretzel reuben at Petco. I don't know how to find that, but my wife does so it's all good.

nubber (tx): What do you think of Kyle Blanks? Would you like him to get everyday at-bats?

Geoff Young: Hey nubber, thanks for the question. I've been a big Blanks fan since he played at Lake Elsinore. I still think he can play every day, at least in terms of production, but health has kept that from happening and I'm beginning to wonder whether he'll ever reach his potential. I hope Blanks gets a shot and makes it happen, because he's fun to watch when he's on his game.

nubber (tx): Do you think Mujica is good enough to grab the Cards closer role and keep it the whole year?

Geoff Young: I haven't seen Edward Mujica pitch much since he left San Diego. When he was here, he didn't pitch inside at all, which would seem to be problematic for a closer. He has good stuff and good control, but unless his approach his changed, I wouldn't feel real comfortable with him in that role.

Benji (Minneapolis): David Ortiz - 39.7 WAR. Hall of Fame?

Geoff Young: Hi Benji, if we're going to stick a DH in Cooperstown, it has to be Edgar Martinez.

nubber (nubville): What do you think of Max Fried? Strong start to the year.

Geoff Young: I adore Fried, but it will take a while. I'm looking forward to following his progress in a way that I haven't since probably Mat Latos came through the Padres system.

William (Pensacola, FL): How long can Paul Maholm keep this up ?

Geoff Young: I'm calling it: 32-0, 0.00 ERA. But seriously, not much longer.

nickwynne (Bakersfield, CA): Hi Geoff, how many times have you gotten over to Fowler Park to see Kris Bryant this year? Your thoughts on him as a prospect?

Geoff Young: Nick, always good to hear from you. Unfortunately I haven't been since Opening Day. I keep meaning to go, but never find the time. Although Bryant didn't do much when I saw him, I've heard great things. There are a few high school kids down here that I'd hoped to see, too, but haven't had the chance.

Matt A (DC): When is it no longer too early to start asking what the Braves do with Gattis when Freeman and McCann are healthy?

Geoff Young: Hi Matt, I don't think it's too early to ask now. And I think the answer is, use him as a right-handed bat off the bench and get him into the lineup once in a while to rest the regulars or against a tough southpaw.

Geoff Young: Okay folks, that's a wrap. Thanks for hanging with me for the past 2 hours and talking baseball. We'll do it again soon!


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