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Chat: Paul Sporer

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday February 20, 2014 1:00 PM ET chat session with Paul Sporer.

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Ask Paul about fantasy prep and his recently completed Starting Pitcher Guide.

Paul Sporer: Welcome!! The SP Guide is available so let's chat about it! (PaulSporer.com for details) Spring camps are open and baseball is in the air!!!

Alex (Anaheim): The advice I'm reading lately says not to draft Jered Weaver until the late rounds. Do you agree?

Paul Sporer: I do. It's more because he's been passed as opposed to real failings of his. He has great ratios, but he doesn't have the strikeouts to stack up with the aces or even the twos.

ChoppertoChipper (Edmonton): Do you think if a pitcher jumped up off the rubber and did a triple lutz, would that be an effective pitching motion? Would the batter even have a chance? Do you think accuracy would possibly be an issue?

Paul Sporer: Walden already tries it, but this guy is an up-and-comer, too - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHPqCA-mpsc

DServi (Maryland): In a standard mixed league, is RA Dickey worth drafting?

Paul Sporer: Absolutely. Health will bring a nice season.

BStephen (The W ): Al only 5x5 ultra league $260 Have darvish in last year of rookie deal @$3 Extension Options 2 years @8 3 @ 13 4@ 18 5@23 How many years do I extend him for?

Paul Sporer: As much as I love Darvish, I'm not extending any pitcher 4-5 years. I'd probably just do two myself and reap TONS of value.

ijohkawk (1): 1

Paul Sporer: 2

Chris (Phoenix): I think that the Gerrit Cole K rate in the minors was overblown due to team philosophy. Now that he will be starting in Pittsburgh do you expect him to unleash his best stuff and have a near elite K rate?

Paul Sporer: Absolutely. Already showed it last year. He had a 24% rate from July on in his final 93 IP. I LOVE him this year.

The Dude (Hawaii): Hey Brah. Now that the steroid era has mostly ended, the power bats are no longer hitting high-way speed limit numbers. How long fo you think before we see the next 50 or 60 HR season? Any current player (majors or minors) profile as that guy for you?

Paul Sporer: Well we saw a 50-homer season last year. We could see another one this year. There are guys who can do it, it's just that we won't see 3-5 in a year like we used to

kkronstadt (Los Angeles): What are your thoughts on Cole? I'm in a keeper league where we only keep 4, and I currently have no "ace." I was thinking of possibly drafting Cole because I think he may be considered an ace this time next year. But PECOTA doesn't seem to be terribly high on him. Do you think he's worth reaching for a little in a draft?

Paul Sporer: I'm pretty obsessed with him. I could understand keeping him as your fourth in the right circumstance. Hard to say 100% yes without more info (league type, other keeper possibilities, etc...)

Jennifer Lawrence (Oscar Dress Fitting): More excited for this year: X-Men Days of Future's Past, or Hunger Games Mockingjay Pt. 1?

Paul Sporer: I've really become a fan of Hunger Games.

Mr. Garvey (Taking Roll): Pa-oole. Any Pa-oole here? After teaching in the inner-city, for 20 years, I finally am in a more cushy job. I have some extra time, and want to blog about baseball. Should I focus on a player, a team, or whatever interests me at the moment and would seem fun to write about?

Paul Sporer: Pre-sent! I say whatever interests you baseball-wise. Try to have an over-arching focus, but definitely enjoy it!! I can't wait to see how you write the player names.

Aye-Aye-Ron (O'Shack Hennessy's Office): What do you like to read (non-sports genres)?

Paul Sporer: Bios/Humorous memoirs or essay collections, Social Sciences stuff (Freakonomics kinda stuff)

allangustafson (San Diego ): Please rank these pitchers for 2014: Cashner, Tanaka, and Matt Moore. In a separate group, rank Lincecum, Masterson, and Samardzija. Thanks for the draft help. Hope to hear you soon on TINSTAAPP.

Paul Sporer: Cash, Moore, Tanaka. Shark, Masterson, Lince. New TINSTAAPP out today!

AC Slater (Bayside): Give me a name of an under the radar starter that will emerge this season that no one is talking about.

Paul Sporer: AJ Griffin? Deeper would be Wily Peralta.

cracker73 (Florida): Best dynasty league keeper: Lance Lynn or Nathan Eovaldi? Why?

Paul Sporer: That's tough. I really like both. Lynn is more actualized, but Eovaldi has the higher ceiling. I think I'd lean toward the latter because of that ceiling.

danteswitness (One of the Arlingtons): I've been asked to help start up a new league from scratch. Previously, these people had mostly used FanTrax as their preferred website, but I was curious as to whether or not you had any recommendations for which sites were the best for league management? Thanks.

Paul Sporer: I've always been a CBS fan.

plusplusspeed (San Jose): I like Jamie Garcia, do you think he will stay healthy and return to his best.?

Paul Sporer: I like him, too, but I'm dubious on the health. Wouldn't pay for more than 140 or so IP right now and take the rest as gravy. Monitor him during Spring.

Ace (PA): Why do MiLB pitchers sometimes get pulled after a few scoreless innings? I see this from time to time when looking over boxscores and stats. The only ideas I came up with were pitch counts and fatigue…

Paul Sporer: Yeah, it's because they're done with their allotted time. Stats matter less in minors. Your shutout or even no-no doesn't matter if you've reached 100 pit in the 6th.

oscarbluth (Madison, WI): Thanks for the chat, I love reading your work. How would you rank these pitchers just for this year: Anibal Sanchez, Mat Latos, Mike Minor, Matt Moore, Homer Bailey, Tanaka and Alex Cobb?

Paul Sporer: [Sanchez, Latos, Bailey, Cobb], [Moore, Minor, Tanaka]

oscarbluth (Madison, WI): Just for 2014, how would you rank Anibal Sanchez, Latos, Tanaka, Minor, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb and Homer Bailey?

Paul Sporer: I think this was a double question

D-Nice (15 Mins late for Chess Club): Besides Ellie Goulding, what else have you been listening to?

Paul Sporer: So much Kendrick Lamar. Not just GKMC, but also his mixtapes.

Ceasar (East LA): Wassup esse. Could you give me a couple sleeper SP for upcoming draft.

Paul Sporer: How deep? Nova, Griffin, Perez, Peralta, Haren, Porcello

Tim Othy (Picking up my Daughter): How old is the photogenic-supreme Curtis?

Paul Sporer: Just turned 5 in late-December.

Erica (DC): Could you please rank these SP. Porcello, Cashner, Sonny Gray, Kluber and Parker.

Paul Sporer: Cashner, Kluber, Gray, Parker, Porcello... Cash way out front of that crew, the rest quite close.

Teenwolf (Vancouver, BC): 12 tm, AL Only, both Chris Tillman $6 + AJ Griffin $3 need extensions. Do you extend both or just one: Tillman $11 or Griffin $8? I worry that I'll extend the wrong one (leaning Tillman).

Paul Sporer: I could extend both for one year, but if it's just one, then Griffin (and I love Tillman, but gimme the better park and $3)

nubber (tx): Who has a better season: Porcello or Smyly?

Paul Sporer: Porcello

ChoppertoChipper (Edmonton): What are the chances Rondon is closing for the Tigers at some point this year?

Paul Sporer: I hate you, Darren

Petey (Pablotown): Ranke these youngins' - Cole, Miller, Wacha, Teheran, Salazar, Tanaka

Paul Sporer: Cole Teheran, Salazar, Miller, Tanaka, Wacha

Brian (Mass): I've heard a lot of buzz about Alex Reyes from STL. What do you know about him?

Paul Sporer: I've learned most from our guys here. Just been reading up as much as I can.

Ace (PA): Hey Paul! Could you please give me the BP report on Orioles prospect Olelky Peralta?

Paul Sporer: I know zero, sorry.

AJ (Phoenix): I play in dynasty leagues exclusively. I started all of them or took a team over in the last 4 years. This is the first time (in any of them) that I have a shot at making the playoffs. Only in two leagues (out of 7) I am in no position to finish in the top 3. In both those leagues as well as in one other, I am thinking about leaving. I'll be getting Buxton in two of them, and I own powerhouse team in the third. For many reasons, I no longer enjoy these leagues (in one case, the people in it). Is there a good way to bow out (especially w/o leaving a commish hanging)? I share leagues with some of the managers in these leagues, and I want to maintain a friendly nature and not be "that guy." Thanks.

Paul Sporer: If you're ready to move on, just alert them as soon as possible so they can find a replacement. That's the key to league turnover. You're not bound to any leagues, but try to bow out ASAP if you're done.

cowboytrout (Kentucky): Does the Jimenez signing cripple Gausman's 2014 fantasy value? Who gets more MLB innings this season, Gausman or Archie Bradley?

Paul Sporer: Not necessarily. I still think Gausman is better than Norris and probably better than Miguel Gonzalez. It's a loooong season. I'd probably still be Gausman because of who is ahead of him. Although McCarthy likely opens up at least a 1-month stint in Ari for Archie to try and wedge himself into

John (CT): What basic strategy do you use for filling out your fantasy roster?

Paul Sporer: I don't really have a one-size-fits-all basic strategy, although I very often attack OF. I love power-speed guys and OF is often much thinner than people believe (this year, especially)

Bobby (Flintstone): Please help me rank the following SP tier: Shields, Cobb, Minor, Tanaka, Cole

Paul Sporer: Shields, Cole, Cobb, Minor, and Tanaka

Saayyyy (Whaaaaatttt): Kevin Gausman, Carlos Martinez, Yardano Ventura . .. . . . any chance all 3 win a rotation spot in the spring? Who do you think is most to least likely?

Paul Sporer: Very little chance all 3 do, IMO, especially C-Mart. Ventura has best bet, IMO.

Willy (The Everglades): Name a few SP to target in the middle rounds.

Paul Sporer: Cashner, Kluber, Corbin, Samardzija, Porcello, Griffin, Kuroda, Tillman to name a few

Dan (VA): What metrics do you like to use to determine if a player's (hitters and pitchers) previous season's stats were a fluke, good or bad, or if the stats were signs of things to come?

Paul Sporer: I don't look at just one or two things. I really just gotta analyze it all on player-by-player basis... that's definitely what spurred the SP Guide. For hitters, it depends where they broke out. Huge BABIP? Huge HR/FB? New batted ball profile? Etc...

sam (anchorage): what do you think of corey lubke this year?

Paul Sporer: No go. Having a second Tommy John

Max (Davenport): Can only keep 1 of these guys for $3. Which one: Cashner, Uehara, Salazar.

Paul Sporer: Cashner for me

Bbbill (Cincinnati): Who/what do you think represent's Mike Leake's short and long term ceiling?

Paul Sporer: I think he himself does. He's ranged over a run in ERA the last two years. All about limiting damage of homers.

Big Jim (Gators Creek, Georgia): Will Rick Porcello follow up on his successful season with a major breakout.

Paul Sporer: I think so, yes. The revamped IF defense of Detroit is going to be huge for him

Julio (San Antonio): When is enough, enough. Thanks to your SP Guide I have been able to land some pretty decent cheap pitching in my 6X6 keeper H2H categories (OPS & HOLDS). Fister, Griffin, Samardzija, Smyly, Burnet, Mad Max, Straily and Cingriani. At a combined $17. When I look at rankings I don't have a #2 per say, with Tanaka available in our draft and the $$ to bid on him (largest available budget in the auction) do I go after him if for nothing else to keep him away from opposition? If I don't sign him I will probably wont max out this years salary cap. (which is not a bad thing)

Paul Sporer: Can never have too much pitching. If you can realistically afford to maybe overpay a smidge without really hurting yourself, then by all means. I've preached some caution on him for year 1, but every league's circumstances are different.

Francois (Toronto): Outside the obvious answers like Taveras, Bogaerts, Hamilton, Abreu, Tanaka, Bradley... who are some potential impact rookies for this season? I'm in a re-draft league with ridiculously deep rosters, so we end up drafting bench players and platoon guys. I'd much rather use my late round picks on guys who will see regular playing time in the 2nd half tha limited time all season. Thanks!

Paul Sporer: Stroman, Butler, Wong, Schoop, R.Montero, Heaney, Choice, La Stella, and Stephenson

MetsFaithful5 (Syracuse ): What do you think this year holds for Zack Wheeler?

Paul Sporer: I think he will have a nice season. I'm very excited for him. Not quite Harvey 2013 of course, but a strong season.

Vic (Dumfries): Who are the best players in the 2015 draft class (college or HS)?

Paul Sporer: Not my forte. I rely on our guys to educate me and then I start really studying in May before the draft. Sorry.

Craig (Alexandria): Thoughts on Kemp? Are you a buyer or seller in a keeper league.

Paul Sporer: I'm buying at the right price, so it really depends on the discount.

Josh (Boston): How would you rank these starters? Fister, Cashner, Dickey, Sabathia, Liriano, Kuroda, Bucholtz, Garza?

Paul Sporer: Cash, Fister, and Liriano are my faves among that group. Haven't finishing my rankings so not sure 100% on those lower guys

Craig (Lorton, VA): What are your thoughts in terms of drafting SP? For example in your perfect draft, do you draft an ace and back that up with another ace or is this too risky an option. Just curious since your knowledge of SP is quite extensive.

Paul Sporer: I think there is a glob of offensive talent from around the late-first, early-second until the fifth or so so I've found myself getting some stud arms in those rounds because the hitting just doesn't stand out. I advocate Kershaw at 5th overall, too.

Jess-Seca (Mr. Garvey's class): After not swinging a baseball bat since I was 17 (I'm now nearing 30), I finally broke down, bought a bat, and went to the cages. It was traumatic and embarrassing how bad and out of form I was. The pre-teen in the cage next to me (facing higher speeds... I was on the two lowest 40-45) was making look even worse. Apart from just continuing this process, and making slow but gradual process, there really isn't a way to fix this quickly (outside of private lessons), is there?

Paul Sporer: Yeah, it won't be quick. Takes reps and reps and reps

B-Lockaye (Fraggle Rock Spanish Club): Despite being a huge baseball fan, I don't have a favorite team. I want to get a few jerseys and a hat, but not sure which team to pick. What are some good ways to find a team to follow?

Paul Sporer: Hmm, well you can go baseball hipster and try to pick a team that not everyone is on (like SD or something), jump in at the top (BOS, NYY, STL), get with the BEST (DET), or get with a near up-and-comer (PIT, BAL) or far up-and-comer (CHC, HOU). Lots of choices. I even like COL as a sneaky fun team to root for now and in the future

JQwellin (15 mins. late for Future Leaders of America Club): SP Guide was awesome (2nd time buying)! I'm budgeting for it annually come time for all my baseball book purchases. I also recently upgraded my BP subscription to super-premium. What types of questions can I ask in the Bat Signal?

Paul Sporer: Any fantasy questions you have! Lineup, who to pick, thoughts on a player, etc...

Kevin (PENN): Bryant, Tanaka, Gray, Appel, Abreu. how would you rank them in a fantasy draft, 1-5?

Paul Sporer: I think you just did. I'd personally take Bryant first and then I can be sold on any combo for the remaining four. Tanaka/Abreu a bit more polished, but Gray has the killer upside and Appel has a very high floor.

danrnelson (Mpls): What do you think of Tyson Ross? I think he's going to break out in a big way.

Paul Sporer: I do, too. Been gushing over him a lot lately, including in the SP Guide.

Petey (Pablotown): Is Sonny Gray significantly behind the group of youngins' listed above? Anyone else in that discussion that I've missed?

Paul Sporer: I don't remember who else was listed, sorry.

sam (anchorage): can peter bourjos have a big season with the cards?

Paul Sporer: He *can*, but he needs to stay healthy. I like him as a late pick.

ChoppertoChipper (Edmonton): Other than Tigers, are there any pitchers you make a point to watch every single one of their starts?

Paul Sporer: Cashner, Cole, Fernandez, J-Zimm, Sale, and Kluber. List will grow in 2014.

Jeff (Johnsonville): I keep getting stuck in mock drafts picking my third SP. Generally I'm looking at Minor, Shields, Cobb, Tanaka, Gerrit Cole. Any thoughts?

Paul Sporer: Cole and Shields way ahead of that group, IMO. Shields safer, but Cole has insane upside.

Silverback38 (VA): How would you rank these SP from 2014 MLB Draft for the biggest upside: Luke Weaver, Erick Fedde, Sean Newcomb, Grant Holmes, Brandon Finnegan, Luis Ortiz,

Paul Sporer: Are these real people? Sorry, I don't do draft stuff. Not enough bandwidth to do majors, minors, AND amateur

Pat (Rockville): Thoughts on Salazar this year? Would you take him ahead of either Cardinal (Wacha, Miller)? What about Fister?

Paul Sporer: Not Fister. Closer with Miller, but yes over Wacha. I see the upside, but homer issues can tarnish an ERA in 2-3 bad starts even if he's overall awesome.

NightmareRec0n (Boston): Do you like Tillman for 2014? His fastball velcoity is back he had a nice 2nd half, Pitch F/X says his breaking pitches have crazy movement(anything on this), and he has had a quality changeup in the past.

Paul Sporer: I do. Gushed on him in the SP Guide. Wrote him up at PTB in September, too - http://painttheblack.com/2013/09/have-you-noticed-chris-tillman/

ChoppertoChipper (Edmonton): That Saturday night World Series game you and Doug did on YouTube was probably the most fun I had watching a game last year. Any plans to do it again this season for some regular season games?

Paul Sporer: Yes, definitely have plans to do some stuff like that in-season this year.

uvasuperman (Atlanta): What are your expectations for Jose Abreu in 2014?

Paul Sporer: He looks like a real power source and then you factor in that park and it seems like a good bit for AT LEAST some good power numbers (25 HR) even if he's not particularly special beyond that. Upside seems to be 30-35 HR.

sonsofslam (anc): The NFL is a win now league. Do u think we will ever see MLB become that way.

Paul Sporer: Nope. Players just don't come ready-made from the amateur ranks like they do in NFL/NBA.

aaronayoung (DC): Everything I read suggests it best to be patient on Gausman. I have the opportunity to acquire him and Matt Harvey in a deal for Wil Myers and a 1st round pick in minor league draft. Thumbs up? For context, I am not really trying to win this year and I have Buxton, Polanco, Dahl, Soler coming up the ranks but Kyle Zimmer is my only arm I can dream on.

Paul Sporer: I guess if you're looking for the future, then go ahead. I don't like giving up seasons, but if it's already set that you're unlikely to compete in 2014, then you might as well build up 2015 & beyond

Luc (Georgia): When will Christian Yelich become a 20(hr) 20(sb) guy, this year or next ... or never?

Paul Sporer: it could take a while. he doesn't hit lefties and he's still just 22. plus that park is tough on power.

sam (anchorage): did you see david price coming back from that injury last year or were you skeptical that he was done or would under perform?

Paul Sporer: Never thought he was done. I was buying all throughout the struggles.

O-Shaq Hennessey (My Office): My buddy and I want to start a podcast focus on baseball (my area/sport) and hockey (his). I'll be getting MLB.TV his year, and am thinking about a supporting Twitter acct. and blog for the pod. What are some tips that have worked for you with TINSTAAPP and Towers that might be useful to some podcasting newbs? Can the dual-sport approach (I know next to nothing about hockey), he's just getting back into baseball (though I am teaching him well)?

Paul Sporer: That could be really fun with the dual-sport. Only major tip is just keep it up. Might not have 26874687234 fans initially, but those things take time. Build your base and go from there. People will find it if it's good

Jim (Portland): Who are some pitchers you think are way undervalued in fantasy this season?

Paul Sporer: Porcello, Perez, Niese, Miley

hardball (San Diego): Have Salazar, Cashner, Corbin in a $260 12tm ML Dynasty and can extend beyond 2014 at $3 per... are you extending any and how long to still be a cap value?

Paul Sporer: If you have to extend now, I might just extend thru 2015. I don't usually extend Ps too far, even the ones I love.

sam (anchorage): do you play daily fantasy? whats your take on it?

Paul Sporer: I like it. Gotta stick with it. Just jumping in and out on random days likely won't bring success

Rich (Maryland): Building an expansion team in a H2H dynasty league. What are some Cheap SPs that are at least serviceable maybe with some upside, down in the bottom of the barrel, Arroyo/Peacock area.

Paul Sporer: Peacock is a good one. Porcello, Gee, Erasmo, de la Rosa, Haren, Cahill, Peralta

sam (anchorage): whats your take on daily fantasy sites? do you play them?

Paul Sporer: repeat question

dianagram (VORGville): You are a wizard. You are able to take the medical acumen of 2014 and transport it back to 1955. You can then use that acumen to better treat Sandy Koufax. Will his mechanics still doom him to a shortened career?

Paul Sporer: I doubt it. I think he gets a handful of extra years, even if they aren't super-elite and instead just "good".

JJ (MPLS): If Harrison has a setback with his back/neck issues would you considering letting him go in favor of Hec Santiago?

Paul Sporer: I might even without further inj. trouble.

Bbbill (Cincinnati): If you had to pick one pitcher that would roughly represent replacement level for 2014, who would it be?

Paul Sporer: Pretty much all of the non-Corbin Diamondbacks?

Shawnykid23 (CT): You gave us Iwakuma and Cobb last year. Who do you have for us this year?

Paul Sporer: Cashner and Kluber

Jonah (Redwood): 20-team dynasty. Offense is loaded, say for my DH spot (empty), 2B (H, Kendrick); SP Rotation is solid, but shallow (Strasburg, Price, Kennedy, Cashner); though more help is on the way: E. Butler, R. Stephenson, J. Gray, L. Giolito. I also own the most elite bullpen imaginable (sans Kimbrel and Jansen... nobody's perfect). After cellar dwelling for 2.5 seasons, I made some post-ASB trades last year, selling off prospects for established MLB bats. So after a playoff drought, my main focus is a banner. However, my core is young, and I am built to win for awhile. While I want MLB-(al)ready SP, I don't want to sacrifice potential elite arms. Would you move a prospect or two or a closer (Papelbon.. please take him) for an established guy. What's my target range?

Paul Sporer: I would definitely trade for established guys. And yes, get rid of Pap ASAP, LOL. Don't be afraid to move prospects for now guys. Get some Cobb, Shields, Bailey types for those hot prospects if someone will overrate the prospects for them.

higgsboson (Guelph): End game pitchers $1 for a deep 12 team NL only keeper 5x5... Who do you like? Some of my ideas: Morton Mejia Roark McCarthy Chatwood Petit

Paul Sporer: Mejia, Chatwood, and Morton are my faves among that group. Haven't finished my backend rankings so I'll stick with the names youv'e mentioned.

BBBill (Cincinnati): If you had to pick a pitcher by name who would best re[present replacement level for 2014, who would it be?

Paul Sporer: repeat question I think

OB1 (NYC): In a points Dynasty league I was just offered Kendrick and Rios for Pedroia what's your thoughts?

Paul Sporer: I'm taking that.

ganz1080 (CT): any short lists of starting pitchers you will most likely be avoiding this year, and one's you'll be targeting specifically, well other than Gerrit Cole.

Paul Sporer: Still off of Buchholz. Weaver, Wacha, and Smyly among guys I don't want at their price

Pat (McGroin): Would you take the upside of Teheran over Medlen? What about the upside of Salazar over Fister?

Paul Sporer: Yes on Teheran, but no on Fister v. Salazar

Matt (NJ): Where are you ranking Hamels among SPs in light of his injury news? do you see a potential buying opportunity there? I think he had something very similar last offseason.

Paul Sporer: I don't have a set ranking yet. Working on that today in fact, but yes I do see a buying opp. Lots of overreaction to the earliest news every year.

hardball (San Diego): Jon Gray...can he be a fantasy Ace in Colorado? Would he be the 1st SP you take in a dynasty 1st yr player draft?

Paul Sporer: Yes he can. Are you saying a dynasty league with only 2013 draftees available? In which case, yes.

Jim (Tampa): Going out side the top 10 2nd basemen and SS Who do you see as the next impact player in those positions?

Paul Sporer: Brad Miller, Jurickson Profar

gweedoh565 (Ann Arbor): Ranke these youngerins' w/ no MLB experiencee yet: Gray, Butler, Synndergaard, Stephenson, Meyer, Stroman

Paul Sporer: Synder, Gray, Stephenson, Stroman, Butler, Meyer... I *think*. Those first 5 are a level above Meyer for me and first three prob a tick above Stroman/Butler, but I love those two

hardball (San Diego): See you have lots of love for Cashner...no concerns on the shoulder? See him becoming a fantasy Ace, #2 or lower?

Paul Sporer: Always some concern, but I just love the talent. Can definitely become fantasy ace with health

Sumner (The Beach): Xander or Profar, who has the better year?

Paul Sporer: Xander

gweedoh565 (Ann Arbor): How do you feel about Matt Cain's chances to bounce back from an off-year?

Paul Sporer: I'd bet a a good bit on it. He rebounded in-season.

Mike (Boston): I had a chance to trade Salazar for the no. 4 pick in the draft (where I would have taken Jonathan Gray assuming he was available). I chose to hang onto Salazar. Will I regret this?

Paul Sporer: Nah. Both have crazy upside, stick with the guy already doing it.

Rick (Cleveland): Do you have a favorite sleeper project who you predict will breakout this year?

Paul Sporer: Really high on AJ Griffin & Rick Porcello. The former has the stuff to curb those HRs and really surge. The latter has star-potential and now an IF defense to turn his elite GB into many outs

Late Round Larry (Lousiana): Do any of the following retreads excite you this year? Lester, Kuroda, Sabathia, Dickey, Liriano. How would you rank them?

Paul Sporer: Lester, Liriano, and Kuroda for sure. I could take all five at the right price. None are *expensive*.

gweedoh565 (Ann Arbor): Do you play in any linear weight leagues (like Ottoneu points)? If so, do you have targets for guys that are overvalued/undervalued in 5x5 but opposite in linear weights?

Paul Sporer: I do not, sorry.

Bbbill (Cincinnati): Was theHome Bailey extension a good move for the Reds?

Paul Sporer: It was. I love baseball's Christian Bale

sam (anc): You obviously use pecota when building your rankings. what do you look at specifically in pecota to help you?

Paul Sporer: I do not. I build them entirely independent of PECOTA.

Myrick (Charleston, SC): Highest value in trading away Appel is now? (dynasty)

Paul Sporer: Like who could you get? Impossible to answer. Really depends what someone would give. Sorry, not really a copout, just impossible to gauge without 100 variables answered

sam (anc): Are rockies pitchers becoming easier to draft in fantasy due to the humidor, and just the organization knowing the strength and weaknesses of pitchers that play well in the park?

Paul Sporer: The latter

upperdecker (Snowmageddon): Would you trade Scherzer for Justin Upton in a dynasty league or should I hold out for an OF with higher upside?

Paul Sporer: I could do that. I'd try for higher given Scherzer's hot 2013, but that's not a bad deal

Greg (Richmond): Paul since you are the fantasy pitching guru could you possibly rank these pitchers. Teheran, Cueto, Cobb, Fister, S. Gray. Thanks

Paul Sporer: Fister, Cobb, Tehearn, Cueto, and Gray. I worry about Cueto's health as always, but he kills when he pitches.

sam (anchorage): ricky nolasco just signed a deal. is he a guy that is worth drafting late?

Paul Sporer: Yes

DanDaMan (SeaCliff): Hey Paul, can you give me your opinion on Ryan Braun? You guys rank him as a high 4 star in the tiers, but the writeup in the annual scares me to the point where I'm thinking of trying to sell high on him while I still can. Thanks, Dan

Paul Sporer: I still see him a late-first rounder. I don't think PEDs turn some average player into an all-world guy, so I think he will still be very good

rparker1983 (Lake Titicaca): What do you see out of Chris Archer this year? Top 30 SP possible?

Paul Sporer: It's *possible*. He's awesome. I do worry about some injury indicators tied to his velo and slider usage.

Frank (my office): Third pick in my dynasty draft, and I'm thinking of ending my rebuild and starting to ocmpete. I expect Bryant to be taken, leaving me with Frazier or Gray, but now I'm thinking of taking Tanaka. Do you think Tanaka will be more valuable than those prospects? Thanks!

Paul Sporer: Yeah, if you're shifting to a now-mode, then Tanaka has to edge Gray. He will give at least half a year of value, if not a full year before we even see Gray in MLB

Brian (Mass): I have a plethora of SP in my dynasty league and am looking to pick up an OF. Would type of OF would you trade Mike Minor or Teheran for?

Paul Sporer: Jennings? Werth? Crisp? should be able to net a solid OF

CharlieWerner (Manayunk PA): So basically I'm in a conundrum. My fantasy league allows you to hold 5 minor leaguers. Background info is that I have one of the strongest teams in the league, with exceptional hitting and very good pitching. The minor leaguers I own so far are Javier Baez, Miguel Sano, and Addison Russell. However I'm unsure of what to do with my last 2 spots. Based on how I know the draft will play out I can go a couple different directions... -Draft Gregory Polanco and Archie Bradley -Draft 2 longer ETA prospects (Frazier, Giolito, Dahl) so I don't have potentially 5 minor leaguers coming up this summer and forcing me to cut 5 guys from my competitive 28 man roster - Draft 2 SPs to balance out my team (Bradley, Giolito, Gray, Syndergaard)

Paul Sporer: I'd go with Polanco and Bradley followed by Synder, Gio, Gray, Dahl, and Frazier

Rob (Pitt): Any thoughts on Pedro Alvarez being able to take a step forward this year?

Paul Sporer: Gotta stop K'ing so much. Otherwise he just is what is, which is still good

Dave (Springfield): Carpenter or Altuve in 2014 and beyond?

Paul Sporer: Carp will score fewer runs, but I still lean toward him. It's close

ChoppertoChipper (Edmonton): How is it that the Reds play in a bandbox, yet after reading the chapter on them in the SPG, I don't think there's a single guy in their rotation that I'd steer clear of? Latos, Bailey, Cueto, Leake and Cingrani are all guys I wouldn't shy away from. Am I doing it wrong?

Paul Sporer: Their guys have figured out how to pitch there. I love their staff

Rob (Philly): What MLB debutant is making a big impact on fantasy teams? George Springer?

Paul Sporer: He'd be my pick. I love him this year.

Rob (ATL): Are you lowering your opinon of Braves' pitchers at all due Gattis being back there full-time? PITCH FRAMING!

Paul Sporer: It hurts a little, but I don't devastate their rank

Shawnykid23 (CT): Do you have a link for the aforementioned youtube game you and Doug watched (not sure how I missed it)?

Paul Sporer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD7WumZSEfI Part 2 in the relateds

Remy (Just outside the Oval): Why do you want to be me?

Paul Sporer: let's be real dude, you're built like a house and not ugly.

digiderek (Reno): Any thoughts about Garrett Richards and Felix Doubront for the upcoming season and beyond?

Paul Sporer: I like the latter more. Richards has some stuff, but doesn't really make the most of it at present. Doubz would helped by Dempster leaving, but Cap adds to the mix now, too

Stephan (Goteborg, Sweden): Hej Paul, I new to fantasy. Please help picking SP in 12 round of slow draft. Please rank Fister, Samardzija, Parker, Kluber Tack, Stephan

Paul Sporer: Fister, Samardzija, Kluber, Parker and I don't know what Tack, Stephan means

Shawn (CT): Dynasty H2H- Goldy, Castellanos, & Bradley or Miggy & G. Polanco?

Paul Sporer: That's about as even up as it gets. I think I'd lean toward the Goldy side as the extra bat sells it.

Gila Monster (MA): Do you have a good support group for Edwin Jackson addicts?

Paul Sporer: I didn't realize Bret Sayre was part of the club until his LABR draft. Apparently he thinks he's a bigger fan than I am. :) I'm not sure we should be each other's sponsors

Rob (Philly): If Justin Upton and Jason Heyward do more of the same this year, are you moving on from either, one, both in keeper leagues?

Paul Sporer: I love both, still.

Dale (GA): I'm in a shallow mixed keeper league. We each keep 8 players. My last choice is either Pedro Alvarez as my starting 3B or Homer Bailey as my SP3?

Paul Sporer: That's close. If you think 3B will be dried up, go Alvarez. I love Bailey, but pitching should be deep in a shallow league.

Walker (At the beach, too): If you wanted to win this year, would you keep H. Bailey, or X Bogaerts, it's a 16 team points keeper league. Thx.

Paul Sporer: Argh, that's tough. I'd say Bailey just because there is still big downside from essentially a rookie like Xander. Remember how hyped we got on Lawrie after 150 AB?

Shawnykid23 (CT): Do you think Price and Verlander may be good trade targets in a dynasty league in that their values are down now, but they should get back to elite levels, or are their elite days gone?

Paul Sporer: Absolutely good targets. I'd definitely be sniffing around for discounts.

higgsboson (Guelph): Does Corey Dickerson get enough playing time to be valuable in a 12 team NL only league? Ditto for Ruggiano and Juan Francisco.

Paul Sporer: Yes, definitely on Dickerson. I like Fran more than Rugg

sam (anc): Hey Paul, earlier you had said that your rankings are independent of pecota. Are you just going off straight stats then?

Paul Sporer: No, I go off lots of things. All of the stuff in the guide, pretty much. I don't have just one or two things.

bloodmoney (detroit): carlos correa is in the opening day 2015 line up ?

Paul Sporer: Longshot. Bet on Summer-2015 at earliest

sam (anc): Do you ever look at the projections of other sites or products and think, what the hell are they thinking? Or do you stick with baseball prospectus and don't really go outside and look around.

Paul Sporer: I look at allll kinds of stuff. Read stuff, listen to stuff. Consume tons of baseball

sam (anc): thanks for answering my Q's paul! that was cool

Paul Sporer: no prob

hardball (San Diego): Guy joins an established dynasty league Finishes 2nd by selling off ALL longterm value then wants out the next season. D*ck move or Am I just an overly sensitive commish?

Paul Sporer: Kind of a dick move, but pitfalls of fantasy

balticwolf (Silver Spring MD): Joc Pederson: the numbers in the minors sure look good. In a pts. league where walks matter, would you pass on him to go after a Clint Frazier or a Dahl?

Paul Sporer: I'd go for the much-closer Joc over the other two, even though they might have a touch higher ceiling

Joe (NY): What kind of season do you think Rizzo has? What do you see as his upside at this point?

Paul Sporer: His upside is unchanged for me. Still doesn't hit lefties which was always a big issue for me and tamped down his ceiling from SUPERSTAR which some had for him. I still see him becoming a very good asset and there is a real chance he improves v. LHP and becomes awesome

ChoppertoChipper (Edmonton): Do you think Quick will be able to shut down Canada tomorrow? Will your country grind to a complete halt also?

Paul Sporer: Looking forward to seeing if he can. Not quite, but it should be hot on Twitter

J Willingham (Left Knee, Minnesota): What's my prognosis in MN this year? Will I be the cripple from 2013 or the bomber from 2012?

Paul Sporer: I like you as a late pick for the power upside. Healthy you will be very good.

rzt101 (NYC): In a 16-team Dynasty with super deep minors, I was offered two years of Ubaldo for 5 years of Mike Foltynewicz (can call him up whenever-well after his debut). My mind says yes, but my gut says no. But what does Paul say?

Paul Sporer: Yeah, I'd go for that. I don't LOOOOVE him, but for a guy who I like but with an uncertain role, you gotta take it

Paul Sporer: That'll wrap it up. Thank you all so much for joining me today. You can get the SP Guide at paulsporer.com!!


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