Ask R.J. about the upcoming season.
R.J. Anderson: Hey folks, let's get this thing started.
Alex (Anaheim): Who's your breakout player for 2014?
R.J. Anderson: Alex, I'm on the Andrew Cashner train. Somehow his late-season dominance slipped under my radar, but when you go back and watch those starts (and some of his other appearances from earlier in the year) he looked better than advertised. Obviously he has a power arsenal, but the finesse aspects to his game surprised me: he was keeping the ball down, mixing his pitches, and so on. Just impressive stuff. Health issues are always going to be a concern with Cashner, but I think he's in for a big season provided he can stay on the field.
cubswin08 (Chicago): Is Jesse Crain at $5 a worthwhile freeze investment for a 12 team 5X5 roto team looking to speculate on saves and without much spending at the auction?
R.J. Anderson: Depends on your budget and all, obviously. But, within a vacuum, a little fantasy birdie named Craig Goldstein told me there should be better, surer options available.
digiderek (Nevada): Between Hunter Dozier and Mitch Nay, who has the higher ceiling and who has the higher floor? Also, what position do you see each most likely to settle into?
R.J. Anderson: Based on what I know, I'd lean toward Dozier on both. He seems more likely to stick on the left side of the infield, presumably at third base, which takes pressure off his bat. I don't know where Nay lands defensively.
MetsFaithful5 (Syracuse): What kind of impact can Jenrry Mejia have for this upcoming season? What is his potential?
R.J. Anderson: Last I saw, the Mets were debating opening the season with Mejia as their fifth starter. Without knowing for sure how many starts he gets, it's hard to peg his impact. I do think, health provided, he's got the chance to be a useful starter. He compiled some nice numbers in five starts last season, and seemingly hasn't been worse for the wear this spring despite having an odd developmental path due to the Mets' indecisiveness and his own durability woes. I'd like to see them give him a full season of starts and see what he could do with them. If he can't hold up physically then it's time to throw him in the pen.
Kevin (Dallas): Your thoughts on the Yu Darvish injury?
R.J. Anderson: I hope he gets healthy soon. Very fun to watch. Plus the Rangers need him to front that makeshift rotation.
cubswin08 (Chicago): Matt Dominguez. Ceiling and overall expectations for this lad?
R.J. Anderson: He's an interesting player. I like the glove and the power, just not the approach. At Dominguez's peak, I see an average to slightly above-average player. Perhaps he'll make some real strides at the plate and become even better than that, but I'm not optimistic.
Evan (IL): Read any good books lately?
R.J. Anderson: Yes. I finished Jonah Keri's new Expos book a few days ago, which I recommend. I'm working through Jason Fagone's Ingenious now. I'm not a car guy, but it looks to be high quality, like most of his work.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi RJ, Please rank these outfielders for the next 5+ years: Tavares, Springer and Polanco. Thanks!
R.J. Anderson: I'd go Tavares, Polanco, Springer.
Southcoast (Texas): Who plays 3b for the Cubs this season. Olt have a shot? Valbuena?
R.J. Anderson: I saw a report a few days ago suggesting Olt is in line for the job, but something may have changed since. Were it up to me, I'd start Olt. Valbuena had a decent 2013, but he's a bench player long-term. Olt could be a starter for someone, even if it's not the Cubs. Let him show the league what he can do before he gets shoved aside for Javier Baez and/or Kris Bryant.
Dragonbreath (Gurnee, IL): Kolten Wong, ready to live up to expectations, recieves 500 at bats in St. Louis
Gregory Polanco up in the Burgh by mid April?
Tyler Glasnow up late this season?
Thanks for the chat, regardless if you get to this question, always enjoy the knowledge as you answer any question in general
R.J. Anderson: Just to break these up a little:
Wong should be fine, but the playing time estimate might be on the optimistic side. It wouldn't shock me if they platoon him with Mark Ellis, at least early on.
I doubt Polanco is up before mid-June. The Pirates have every financial reason to play the Super Two game with him. As with Glasnow, I'd lean toward not this year. You figure Jameson Taillon is in line ahead of him, and likely Nick Kingham as well. Add in some of the other bit arms the Pirates have, and I just don't see a clear path to the majors for him this season.
Brian (Cleveland): Has a team ever approached you about a job?
R.J. Anderson: Yes.
Joe (Chucktown): Lost Profar as my 2B, who would you rather have in a 12tm league with AVG and OBP. Kendrick, Walker, Gordon, Flaherty, Wong or someone else under the radar? Also have Hardy as SS. Rather have him or Miller. No MI spot.
R.J. Anderson: Walker and Hardy, according to Craig Goldstein.
Chris (Phoenix): Every year I read reports of prospects height and weights being inaccurate. Even a publication like BA still lists Polanco at 170 lbs when he clearly is a lot larger. Is this just lazy staffers not updating or publications erroring on the safe side with going with the one accurate number they have than having to speculate?
R.J. Anderson: I could be wrong, but I believe most sites use the vitals published by the teams.
Ace (Classroom): Do you know if the Orioles have a "stats department" or anything in that regard?
R.J. Anderson: I'm sure they do. Dan Duquette has been into sabermetrics for a long time.
T.O. Reed (The Spot): Say you and the fellas are having a chill night at one of your pal's crib (Craig or Woj or something like that). You go to fix yourself a cup of juice - I prefer Grape or Tropical Punch - and notice that the host keeps hot sauce in the fridge. What do you do? A) Keep it moving B) Throw it out C) Announce to the rest of the crew that there is a human trash monster among them D) Walk out. Say nothing. Alert authorities?
Thanks for the time. I'll hit submit and read.
R.J. Anderson: You lost me at "you go to fix yourself a cup of juice." What kind of host makes their guests get their own drinks?
slvrdrgn3381 (IL): NL Only league H2H Categories Who Wins Trade Jean Segura and Matt Latos for Stephen Strasburg and CJ Edwards - Ed
R.J. Anderson: I'd take Segura and Latos. Edwards is a ways off and there are questions about his ability to stick in the rotation. Maybe I'm too risk averse.
Steve (Edmonton): Hi R.J. - what's your outlook for the Blue Jays? Can they overcome a questionable starting rotation? And what does that starting rotation look like in September?
R.J. Anderson: Toronto is an interesting team, Steve. I wasn't fully on board with that roster entering last season due to the volatile nature of their best players, and little has changed in that regard. Making matters worse is they didn't do much this winter. Perhaps they stay healthier than last season and make a run, but realistically it's hard to see that as the most likely outcome.
As for the rotation, it depends on what Dickey and some of the youngsters give them. I'm not comfortable with Morrow or McGowan's health, which puts more onus on Hutchinson and Stroman. think those two are going to be fine big-league pitchers, but they wouldn't be the first youngsters to struggle in their first real taste of big-league action. My guess is they'll shop Dickey should they fall out of the race early, which means the September rotation could feature parts that aren't in the organization yet.
Mark (Springfield): Who's more likely to grab up saves this season: Josh Fields or Santiago Casilla?
R.J. Anderson: Probably Fields. Think of it this way: Romo is only losing that job if he gets hurt. Qualls (assuming he wins the job) could lose it to injury or because he gets dealt. Even so, I might go with Casilla. Fields' command is rough and that's not a forgiving ballpark; he might beat Casilla in saves and get dwarfed in ERA and WHIP.
Eric (Washington, D.C.): Will C.Davis hit 50 hrs again? I've been offered him for Sano, Yelich, Syndegaard in keeper league, accept?
R.J. Anderson: Davis has elite power, but 50 is an awfully large number. He's got as good a chance as anyone of hitting it, I just don't know how comfortable I am betting on it. Also, that's a pretty nice package of prospects; not just in ceiling, but in proximity to the majors. I don't know enough about your league to say, but I might take that offer if you're interested in loading up for the future at the expense of the present.
Eric (NY): Anthony Rizo's numbers this season - top 5 1b or top 10?
R.J. Anderson: Top-10 at best.
Jeremy (FL): 3 or 5 closers most likely to lose jobs to suckiness. Go!
R.J. Anderson: Not that I think these guys suck, but I could see Veras, N. Jones, and Qualls losing their gigs. Maybe Hawkins as well.
Rick (Chicago): Do you see Stroman with #2 SP Upside or do you think the ultimately ends up in the back end of the bullpen?
R.J. Anderson: Yes to the first part. From what I've seen, I think he's gonna stick as a starter—a good one, too.
Jered (NY): Carlos Martinez beginning in the bullpen? Crazy. What odds do you give him to end in the rotation? Kelly hasn't been great this spring.
R.J. Anderson: I actually like Kelly more than I should. He's a no. 4 to me, and a lot of teams would love to have him. I suppose there's a chance Martinez ends the season in the rotation. But whether that's at Kelly's expense or someone else's I don't know. I'll say 50 percent as a cop-out.
higgsboson (Guelph): How do you see the crowded OF situation working itself out in Colorado and Chicago? Dickerson, Ruggiano, Lake do any of these guys get a chance at everyday roles (or at least 450-500 abs)?
R.J. Anderson: Doubtful. Ruggiano shouldn't. Nothing against him, but he's a fourth outfielder. There's not much upside in giving him that much playing time. Lake or Dickerson might, but both teams have other outfielders to trot out there. I'd probably give Dickerson the best shot, because I doubt Barnes hits well enough to justify starting.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi RJ, How would you compare the ceilings of Urias, J. Gray, Stephenson, and Gausman? Urias seems all the rage now because of his age, but age alone does not determine one's ceiling, logically.
R.J. Anderson: You're correct about age and ceiling. At the same time, those guys all have high ceilings to the point where they're pretty even. Gausman, Gray, and Stephenson are just closer to realizing theirs, which limits the risk involved. If you're asking me for a preference, I'd probably put those three ahead of Urias for that reason alone.
GrinnellSteve (Grinnell): Predict the mid-summer homes of the following players: Beckham, De Aza, Dunn, Viciedo, Keppinger, and Ramirez. They won't all be traded, but it will be a bit of a disappointment if more than 3 of them are still around on August 1. Rick Hahn has done a good job so far, so I have faith he won't disappoint during the upcoming season.
R.J. Anderson: Okay.
De Aza: Reds
higgsboson (Guelph): What kind of upside does Medica have this year?
R.J. Anderson: Tommy Medica, you mean? He gets shaky reviews from scouts, with many pegging him as a bench bat type. Maybe he works his way into a platoon or something, but I don't see huge upside there.
Chris (Bethesda): Do you expect Posey to come closer to his 2012 or his 2013?
R.J. Anderson: Somewhere in-between? We're talking about very good to great here.
Matt (Kansas): Need OBP, HR, and RBI - which one is the best bet? Braun, Bautista, or Stanton? What is the max you would pay at auction for that player?
R.J. Anderson: Braun. I couldn't tell you the max bid though.
Ace (College): What is your opinion on Dan Duquette's way of acquiring talent and assembling his roster? How is he going to restock the farm in the upcoming years?
R.J. Anderson: He does well with the resources he has. I compared him to a scrap artist a few days ago. He accumulates cheap depth and makes it work from there. He's a quality GM and has been for a long time.
Southcoast (Texas): Any idea how San Diego OF playing time will shake out. Smith or Venable? Any news on Maybin? Quentin going to stay healthy? Blanks going to play and be any good fantasy wise?
R.J. Anderson: I believe Venable is going to play most days in center field. Haven't seen anything on Maybin, but I'd bank on Smith getting time when Quentin inevitably misses time due to injury. Blanks would only be an option for me in deeper leagues. He's got durability issues and it's not like he's in a great park for offense.
Long Branch Drifter (Ontario): Which established closers do you foresee getting moved by year's end as their teams fall out of the race? Papelon, maybe? Others?
R.J. Anderson: Veras would be at the top of my list. Maybe Janssen if Toronto feels froggy. Papelbon isn't a bad guess, either, though his contact complicates things.
Ace (PA): Are the Diamondbacks going to trade Owings or Gregorius or neither?
R.J. Anderson: Probably Gregorius. Their asking price on either is high, however.
Bob (Alabama): What can we expect out of Brad Peacock this year?
R.J. Anderson: Peacock is going to be in the bullpen, where he belongs. He should improve, but I'm not sure if he's more than a middle reliever.
Polynesian (NJ): Thoughts on Arodys Vizcaino? can he be future closer for Cubbies?
R.J. Anderson: He's gotta prove he can stay on the mound before I anoint him the future anything. Should Vizcaino stay healthy, he's got a chance to be a late-inning reliever though. So to answer the second part: maybe.
BOSSHOG (Texas): Does Clint Frazier reach AA this season?
R.J. Anderson: There's a chance but I wouldn't bank on a 20-year-old reaching Double-A in his first full season, Bosshog.
Jorge Jefferson (The Sky): What kind of animal chooses a muffin over things like fluffy cakes or butter soft pies?
R.J. Anderson: I don't know what this question means but pies are better than cakes.
Stephen Drew (FA): Will I get to play this year? If so, where and when?
R.J. Anderson: Yes. Probably the Mets or the Yankees. Probably after Opening Day.
OB1 (NYC): RJ Thanks for putting your time in here. Which 3 can we count on this year if you had to keep three? Kennedy, Eovaldi, Koehler, Volquez Tyson Ross,Schlosser. and why?
R.J. Anderson: No problem. You guys are the reason we do this.
To answer your question, let me break it down this way: I wouldn't keep Koehler or Schlosser. They just don't have enough upside for my tastes. Volquez has the upside, but I refuse to depend on him living up to it. That leaves Kennedy, Eovaldi, and Ross by default. Those would be my picks.
Jim (LA): Kershaw, simply being cautious, or real concern?
R.J. Anderson: Probably more of the former.
Sam (New Jersey): Thoughts on Avisial Garcia?
R.J. Anderson: He's a weird player. Doesn't look like he should have good speed, but he does. The power potential seems to be there, and he can put the bat on the ball, but the approach needs work. I think he's got a chance to become a solid middle-of-the-rotation hitter for the White Sox. I just don't know if he'll live up to that expectation for another year or two.
Long Branch Drifter (Ontario): Thanks, R.J. Given that nobody thinks W. Flores can play SS, where can he play for the Mets? Do the Mets move Murphy this year and he takes over at 2nd? Can he leap the Dudavis experiment at 1B? OF?
R.J. Anderson: Third base would be the ideal landing space if not for that pesky David Wright guy. Second base would be my guess, but you hate to waste an arm like that at the keystone—and besides, the asking price on Murphy would have to come way down for them to find a taker. Just to round out the thought: I don't know if he'll hit enough to play first base or the corner outfield.
The guy just doesn't fit the Mets roster right now if they aren't willing to tolerate his poor play at shortstop or trade Murphy—especially since having him sit on the bench most days doesn't seem like it would be beneficial to his development.
Tim (Jethersburg): Replacement for Profar in 12tm OBP league? Still Walker or Kendrick, Wong, Uggla, or Flaherty? Like Miller or Hardy better as SS in that league?
R.J. Anderson: I think I answered this already, but if not: Walker and Hardy.
GrinnellSteve (Grinnell): Regarding the White Sox trades, I just want to say, "From your keyboard to Rick Hahn's eyes."
R.J. Anderson: I hope not. Rick Hahn is much smarter than I am.
Jon (Kansas): Your opinion on Corey Seager? any chance he sticks at ss?
R.J. Anderson: He seems like a high quality prospect, but I haven't seen much from him. Jason Parks wrote Seager would wind up at third base long term in his top-10 rankings piece, for what it's worth.
Brian (Ma): You have a projection for Price's K/9?
R.J. Anderson: Seven-to-eightish? Price's game isn't swinging strikes. He's a command-and-control guy who has a power side, but for the most part he's about freezing batters or getting early outs than missing bats and striking everyone out.
Jeremy (FL): Nate Jones. interesting pick to lose the job. who's first up, lindstrom or dan webb?
R.J. Anderson: I want to guess Lindstrom, but the league doesn't seem to like him as much as outsiders do. So maybe Webb.
Tom (New Jersey): Yordano Ventura - a stud?
R.J. Anderson: He looked like one last September and he's had a big spring.
Brian (MA): who's the post-hype sleeper we'll be talking about in 2 months as having been given up on too soon?
R.J. Anderson: I wish I knew. Aaron Hicks was so bad last season, but he's reportedly put on weight and looked better this spring. Maybe it's him. Or maybe it's one of the Mariners' myriad disappointing hitters.
Rick (Chicago): Now that it appears Skaggs has his velo back, do you see him living up to his original prospect ranking?
R.J. Anderson: I see him as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.
Scott (Cali): What kind of potential does Chris Owings have?
R.J. Anderson: Everyday starter with a good bat and solid defense. Whether he reaches that potential is to be determined. The approach is a little concerning.
Tyler (Boston): Bogaerts & Castellanos - who's the better fantasy contributor this season? Or both add value?
R.J. Anderson: Both should add value at premium defensive positions.
Tommy Tiger (Motown): What's the opinion coming out of spring training re the ability of Nick Castellanos to play third adequately?
R.J. Anderson: I haven't seen anything positive about his defense. Dude can hit though. Lots of opposite-field hits from what I've seen. You know he's gonna grow into more power, too.
OB1 (NYC): last week I turned down an offer send to me Felix and Puing he wants Tanaka and McCutch
Today he sends me J-Up and Cashner for McCutchen and Niese. what your thoughts I think I know buy like to hear it anyway.
R.J. Anderson: McCutchen is the best player of the group, obviously, though Niese's injury woes concern me. I might take that since I'm very high on Cashner, but it depends on your willingness to trade the best player in the deal.
Dave (Boston): Do you think Rick Porcello takes another step forward this year?
R.J. Anderson: I still believe. Yes.
Jonathan Gray (waiting for the call): What's my eta?
R.J. Anderson: Summertime.
Chesty (New Bern NC): RJ,who gets dropped in my H2H Brantley,Gattis,C.Johnson or k.Davis.Thanks for any help
R.J. Anderson: Gattis or Khris Davis for me.
Gary (New Jersey): What's the chance that Sergio Santos takes over as closer for the Jays? Thanks for all your insights!!
R.J. Anderson: I'd say there's a chance ... especially if the Jays do entertain trading Janssen. I don't know what percentage I'd throw on it. Maybe 35 percent or so? I don't think it's likely, but it seems possible.
Chris (Phoenix): Marisnick has a really solid spring and Ozuna hasn't been nearly as sharp. Does this lead us to believe that Marisnick is going to end up the CF starter in Miami?
R.J. Anderson: Maybe. I haven't seen any positive press on Ozuna this spring, but if Marisnick's numbers are a mirage then it's possible they roll with a veteran platoon out there for a while. I'd guess Marisnick though.
Kevin (St Louis): wacha's numbers this year?
R.J. Anderson: PECOTA has him projected for a 3 ERA and around 3 WARP. That seems about right.
Rob (Alaska): Since you're a Tampa guy, would you comment on David Price's evolution last year? Did he actually rein in the power pitching to to become more pitch-efficient, or was that a partial season mirage? If he's a 7K/9 IP guy, do you see him topping 225 IP? Am I wrong in seeing a connection between this approach and going deep into games?
R.J. Anderson: I thought Price evolved beyond a small-sample mirage. His fastball command was really good and he used his secondaries a bit more than usual. Likewise, I don't think you're wrong to assume more efficiency equals more innings at all. It just makes sense. The fewer pitches per out, the more potential outs. That said, I don't know if he'll hit 225 innings; that would be a career-high mark and, new approach or not, he did miss some time last year due to injury.
Dave (Boston): Are there any teams that you think will take big leaps forward defensively this year? Thanks.
R.J. Anderson: That's an interesting question. Detroit to an extent? Maybe St. Louis? I'd have to think about that one a bit more.
holmesp2001 (St. Louis): What are your expectations for Tanner Scheppers from Texas? He's now the opening day starter b/c of the Darvish injury. Does he have what it takes to be a solid #2 or #3?
R.J. Anderson: The mechanics and past injury history just scream reliever to me. That said, he's got two really good pitches and, depending on the changeup, he could certainly develop into a nice starter. The Rangers have had as much success as any team moving relievers to the rotation, so I'm not going to write him off or anything. I suppose, in a perfect world, he'd turn into a no. 3 starter. But I wouldn't put great odds on that for the aforementioned reasons.
Ratcatcher (RDU): Was Charlie Morton's 2013 a mirage, or does pitching in front of the Pittsburgh shift really help a pitcher that much?
R.J. Anderson: He's a middle-of-the-rotation type for me. I don't think he's quite as good as his numbers were last season, but I'm hesitant to give the shift all the credit. (I don't doubt that it helped some though.)
Joe (NY): Was offered Scherzer, Gyorko, and Springer for Kershaw in a keeper league (keep 10, 6x6, OBP, SLG, QS). I have Profar on DL, but when he comes back, I'm gonna have 2 2Bs for 1 lineup spot. I'm also very nervous about Springer's bust probability. What do you think?
R.J. Anderson: I'm torn. You'd be giving up the best player in the deal. In theory, you could trade Gyorko or Profar for something else. Heck, you could do the same with Springer.
Ask the bat signal if you can. I don't want to say take it and lead you wrong.
Big Tex (Houston): M.Perez, expectations with what now looks to be a must produce starting spot with a depleted Ranger rotation?
R.J. Anderson: Same as they were before for me. He's a quality starter. Not the ace people wanted, but a nice pitcher on a team that needs him.
Jean Francisco (new york): Tanaka leads the Yankees in Wins, strike outs and ERA?
R.J. Anderson: Decent chance, but Kuroda's nothing to sneeze at, and Pineda has received good reports this spring.
Luc (Atlanta): Update on the Olt question. Just announced he made the team and will start at 3B. Possible 25-30 HRs?
R.J. Anderson: Good. I'd probably lean close to 20-to-25 in his first full season, but down the road? Yeah.
Cory (Albany): Gregory Polanco - a top 20 of by seasons end?
R.J. Anderson: In fantasy? Probably. The big question with him is when he'll fulfill his power potential.
KerryFam4 (Atlanta): When do the O's bring Gausman up?
R.J. Anderson: By May I'd reckon.
Alex (MN): Thoughts on B.Dozier in 2014? Can he pull an out of nowhere Carpenter type of season?
R.J. Anderson: He probably had the quietest 18-homer campaign in the land. That kind of power display was uncharacteristic for him (he has 16 career minor-league home runs), and my natural inclination is to expect a step back. So I don't anticipate a breakout season.
redsquadron (Atlanta ): What are your thoughts on Kemp? Back to MVP form?
R.J. Anderson: I'm not gonna BS you: I have no idea. I hope he is back to MVP form, though, for baseball's sake.
Pete (MD): Follow up on Gausman - has it officially been announced yet that he'll be sent to minors?
R.J. Anderson: I just Googled and the top result (from a few days ago) had this quote: "[Manager] Buck Showalter said the Orioles haven't decided on anything regarding where he'll start the year."
Brian (WA): Looks like Semien will start at 2B and Ozuna beat out Marisnick in MIA.
R.J. Anderson: Surprised by Ozuna. Like I said earlier, hadn't seen much positive press for him this spring.
Elvis (Graceland): Has Tyler Chatwood finally turned into a real boy? Or was the second half last year a fluke?
R.J. Anderson: I won't call him a fluke, but I'm not convinced yet.
slingshot (Salt Lake): I picked up Erasmus Rameriz in our draft. He has had an excellent spring. Do you think he is the real deal
I picked up Erasmus Rameriz in the draft. He has had an excellent spring.
Do you think he is the real deal?
R.J. Anderson: If you're asking whether he's a top-of-the-rotation arm or something like that, then no. He's a no. 4 to me.
Ace (PA): What will be the biggest transaction of the 2014 season?
R.J. Anderson: Maybe something involving R.A. Dickey? I wish I knew so I could start on the TA.
Spirou (Montreal): It appears Carlos Carrasco has won the 5th starter battle in Cleveland .What do you expect from him ?
R.J. Anderson: Better production than last season, and preferably without the hotheaded antics.
Cris E (St Paul, MN): It looks like Bartlett will make the Twins as a utility guy even though he's looked terrible. Any idea what they're thinking? Did anyone even do a projection for him this year (or last?) WTH?
R.J. Anderson: Huh. Good for Barty. My guess is they just want a glue guy in the clubhouse. Let's be honest, that team isn't going to win this season no matter who they take as their utility type. If they think Bartlett can help some of their kids then he's probably worth a roster spot.
higgsboson (Guelph): Which of these currently injured starters has the best chance of coming back healthy and strong enough to boost a rotation? Beckett, Josh Johnson, Billingsley, Garcia, Floyd, Arroyo, Niese.
R.J. Anderson: Arroyo.
Chris (Phoenix): Will last year's hickory squad all be playing in MB or will it be dispursed among Frisco, MB, and Hickory?
R.J. Anderson: It's unusual to see an entire team move up at once, so expect some scattering.
Will (FL): Were the Rays right to pick Forsythe over Nix?
R.J. Anderson: Yes. I like Forsythe quite a bit as a well-rounded guy. Good approach, more pop and speed than you'd expect. He's not a special talent or anything. Solid role player though, and you know Joe Maddon will use him well.
Tony (LA): Yordano Ventura's potential?
R.J. Anderson: His ultimate potential? No. 2 starter.
George (AZ): Do you think we finally see a breakout for Colby Rasmus?
R.J. Anderson: George, I considered last year his breakout. Maybe he gets a little better, but that was his big leap forward for me.
Chase (Pittsfield, MA): More likely scenario: Dan Uggla hits 30+ HR's or you see a unicorn in your back yard tonight?
R.J. Anderson: Better a unicorn than the rougarou.
John (Boston): Hey R.J.,Springer,A.Bradley and Gray,all up by June 1st???
R.J. Anderson: Yes on the latter two. I could see the Astros keeping Springer down past the Super Two deadline.
John (New York): Dylan Bundy, 200 words or less...
R.J. Anderson: Has the chance to be a very, very good starter with elite stuff and a deep arsenal.
Tom (St.Louis): C.Martinez - so valuable, and I know he'll do the job as a set-up guy, but I want to see him every 5th day - what's your opinion?
R.J. Anderson: It's understandable that you want him to start. I assume the Cardinals will try him in that role some day, perhaps even later this year. Maybe they intend to do what the Braves did with Medlen a few years back: have him pitch out of the pen for half a year as a way to curb his workload? He's obviously going to help the club no matter his role.
farmer ted (the cubicle): I'm in a head-to-head league. Is there extra incentive to take Arodis Chapman ahead of his post-injury ADP in H2H, with an eye towards September playoffs?
R.J. Anderson: Provided it doesn't hurt your odds of reaching the playoffs? Sure.
Dale (WI): L.Giolito - is end of 2015 too soon for a Giolito sighting? Would we have to wait until 2016 for actual MLB action?
R.J. Anderson: Parks said 2016 in his top-10 report, so—with the caveat that trying to project something 18 months out is insane—I'd say it's possible we see him in late 2015.
Frank (Seattle): Got anything on this Elias kid for Seattle?
R.J. Anderson: I do. In fact, he's going to be a part of the "who are these guys?" piece coming Opening Day. Basically he's a Cuban-born lefty with a big breaking ball.
Ryan (Boston): Matt Adams or Jonathan Lucroy for this year and the next 3 years?
R.J. Anderson: Lucroy.
Natman (DC): The trust factor is way down with R.Soriano right now - do Clippard and/or Storen take over if he struggles out of the gate? I know the NL East is weak, but after last year's step back for the Nats, they have to come out strong.
R.J. Anderson: I'd assume Soriano gets a decent-sized leash, but with a new manager in charge I guess it's possible he decides he wants Clippard or Storen there instead. I wouldn't count on it happening though.
Jake (Kalamazoo): Is Logan Forsythe like a mini-me version of Ben Zobrist? How do you see them using Forsythe and is he being groomed as Zorilla's eventual replacement?
R.J. Anderson: There are some similarities (defensive versatility, good approaches, well-rounded skill sets) but Forsythe has to prove he can hit righties and stay healthy before we get too far ahead of ourselves here.
MC Hammer (Oakland): Any concerns about Cespedes & the change in swing thing going on? Will he improve or regress in 2014?
R.J. Anderson: I just read something yesterday that suggested they'd go to a hybrid swing. Chili Davis summed it up well when he said it was the approach, not the swing, that needed altering. Still, I expect him to fall between the last two years.
Nick (Tampa): D.Jennings - I've always liked him, but want more. Is this the year he gives us everything he's capable of? 25/35 possibly?
R.J. Anderson: He's a pretty solid player. I think 25/35 is probably a little overzealous though. That would be 11 more home runs than his career-best and four more stolen bases ... 20-30 would be a pretty good year.
Chesty (New Bern NC): When will Chapman be placed on the DL?I need the spot.
R.J. Anderson: Should be by Saturday/Sunday.
Mr.Bold (Boston): I get a combo of 75+ hr's from Goldy/Harper this year in fantasy - true or false???
R.J. Anderson: False. Probably closer to 65-70.
Barry (AZ): I want Harper to stay healthy all year, and put up numbers he's capable of. He's not overrated, he's underappreciated & a year of 35 hr's, 95 rbi's, 25 sb's will shut up the critics.
R.J. Anderson: I have no idea where the Harper is overrated talk stems from. The guy has a 133 OPS+ through his age-20 season, or about 1,100 plate appearances. Miguel Cabrera had a 133 OPS+ through his age-22 season (1,700 PA) and he turned out fantastically. Harper is a very, very, very good player; were it not for Mike Trout, we'd be slobbering over him at every turn.
norwun (NYC): Would you bother trading Darvish/Homer Bailey for Strasburg/King Felix?
R.J. Anderson: I think so.
Phil (South Bend): Anthony Rendon & Yunel Escobar as backup 2B/SS/3B in a 14 team mixed league: Just mediocre enough to suffice, or miserable?
R.J. Anderson: That's a deep league, man. Rendon has good upside. Escobar doesn't, but he should be okay. I like it.
Dahl (Toronto): Where should i have ranked in this year's prospect list if i had played (pretend my projected year this year happened last year) Who am i between?
R.J. Anderson: You were still a top-100 prospect. My guess is you would've been top-50. Maybe higher.
MetsFaithful5 (Syracuse): If Juan Lagares can hit 260 with a 310 OBP with a good amount of double (think 25+ easily) and a few triples and 5-10 homeruns, what kind of value would he have? Wouldn't that make him a top outfielder?
R.J. Anderson: I hate to do this to you, but Angel Pagan's final season with the Mets: .262 BA, .322 OBP, 24 2B, and seven homers. If you buy the defensive metrics, he was pretty good in center, too. So a top outfielder ... as in top-five? Probably not. But pretty good.
Gila Monster (Boston): Thoughts on Corey Kluber? He has a meh sinker, but the change,slider, and cutter all got fantastic whiffs. I know Thorburn likes his mechanics too.
R.J. Anderson: Back-endish type for me. I believe I wrote him up late last season. He's come a long way since the Indians acquired him.
Chesty (New Bern N C ): I like Rendon and he is available .Drop C.Johnson,Gattis or K. Davis .I have extra at outfield.5x5
R.J. Anderson: I'd probably drop Gattis or Davis.
Jim (Seattle): Where is Kendrys Morales going to end up and when will he sign?
R.J. Anderson: Man, I don't know. It's gonna take an injury at this point to clear things up.
Jake (Cincy): I've heard Cigrani added a pitch & talk that he could be even better than last year. I love the strikeout ability, can he become even better than last year - a solid #2?
R.J. Anderson: That's probably optimistic. I'd like to see the pitch before commenting with too much confidence though.
Ratcatcher (RDU): Has Junior Lake completed his transformation back into a pumpkin, or is there more squash-like behavior in his future?
R.J. Anderson: I thought Parks had a good take on him a few days ago. He's obviously a big talent, but the nuance aspects aren't there. My guess is he'll disappoint Cubs fans this year.
Matt (RI): Other than a few HRs, what is the difference between Will Middlebrooks and Pedro Alvarez/Mark Trumbo? Amazingly Middlebrooks has managed to only strikeout out 3 times in spring training...which is something.
R.J. Anderson: I think he has a little less power than those guys. That's not a knock on Middlebrooks; those guys just have massive power. Of course, he's a better defender too, so.
gerrybraun (San Diego): What do you make of Josh Rutledge at this point? Is his being sent down an indication that he's never going be a starter again, or an opportunity for him to get playing time and return in a significant role?
R.J. Anderson: He's had a bizarre career arc. When he first came up, the expectation was he'd be a Marco Scutaro type. Then he went on that power surge and he hasn't been good since. He's a second baseman more than a shortstop, so he's gotta hit to stick. I'm not optimistic he'll regain his former luster.
Pirate Nation (Pittsburgh): Pedro, oh Pedro I love watching your majestic homeruns, but can I count on a little bit better batting average - .250 maybe with 40+ long balls???
R.J. Anderson: Never say never, but probably not.
ROTO GUY (ON): who has that breakthrough from R Ross Tex, E Johnsom Chi, T Schneppers Tex, T Skaggs LAA, J Paxton Sea or are they all just fillers
R.J. Anderson: I wouldn't say fillers at all. Ross and Scheppers probably return to the bullpen at some point, but the rest are MOR-to-BOR types.
People are probably sleeping on Johnson's real-world value. He's not gonna be an ace, but he should be a no. 3-4 who can gobble innings. I liked what I saw from him last season.
John (CT): Zach Britton finally figures it out this year?
R.J. Anderson: Sheesh. I hope so. I bought in on him a few years back and it just hasn't happened.
Al (Toronto): Should i trade Yelich for Bradley, or Gausman or Syndergaard? or is not that enough? what should i expect from the lanky OF this year?
R.J. Anderson: I like him. I have him in my league. But those are three pretty darn good arms. If you can replace Yelich's average and on-base skills in your lineup then by all means.
holmesp2001 (St. Louis): Is Nolan Arenado going to break out this year? What do you think his chances are of hitting in the #2 hole ahead of Cargo and Tulo? If he does he should see a ton of pitches to hit.
R.J. Anderson: My guess is he won't bat that high. He should be a little better offensively than he was last season.
Tyson Ross (SD): I have a bet with the guys that I strike out more guys than Cashner this year. Do I win this bet?
R.J. Anderson: You're in the wrong chat for Cashner doubt.
LA Mike (CA): What do you think of G.Richards this year? Can't be worse than Blanton right?
R.J. Anderson: You'd hope not. He's got a big arm, and his delivery/hairstyle will remind people of Weaver, but I think he's more of a no. 4 type.
Alan (Minor Leagues): So I landed Dahl, C.Frazier, & Giolito in my minor league spots out of the draft this year - so when I pick up a magazine next year with top prospects, I'll be seeing this trio in the top ten, right?
R.J. Anderson: Yes.
Joe (NY): 12-team keeper league. OBP, SLG, and NSB (SB-CS) replacing AVG and SB. Would you rather have Todd Frazier or Olt? Both would be bench players, backing up Longoria. Thanks!
R.J. Anderson: Frazier is safer. Olt has more upside. I'd probably go with Frazier myself, since you're not looking to homer here, but Olt could have more value as a trade chip.
gerrybraun (San Diego): Great chat. I wonder if you have a strong opinion of j.R. Graham. His name was not in the discussion even as the Braves lost, dropped and signed starting pitchers. Is he in their 2014 picture at all?
R.J. Anderson: Good prospect. He's not being mentioned right now, but I assume he'll be in the picture before the season ends. Remember, he dealt with his own injury issues last year.
Kyle (San Diego): Glad to hear you're looking up on Cashner - I have him & Cigrani as my 2/3 starters behind Kershaw. Can't wait for the regular season to start!
R.J. Anderson: I had Cashner and Cingrani last year. Only kept Cashner due to space concerns.
chopper (indy): Any idea what kind of numbers Jared Weaver will put up this season?
Are you on the Brett Lawrie bandwagon this year?
R.J. Anderson: Weaver is his own species. I assume he'll be his norm because he's not a guy I feel comfortable betting against without good reason.
Regarding Lawrie, I think he's a solid everyday player. I'm not convinced he's going to take some huge leap forward.
birdzfan52 (Baltimore): 5x5 roto, 30 team dynasty: making a move into contention, I traded Nick Castellanos, Tony Cingrani & Eduardo Rodriguez for Adam Jones, Bronson Arroyo & Bartolo Colon. Thoughts? It turned out to be rather divisive on the league message boards. FWIW, Castellanos was blocked at 3B by Matt Carpenter and my OF is now potentially the best in the league (Harper, Jones & Billy Hamilton)
R.J. Anderson: Seems like you dealt strength for weakness. Did you get perfect value? I'm not qualified to say ... That's a far deeper league than I've ever been in, so it's hard for me to know what the value of Colon, Arroyo, etc. carry. Craig Goldstein said it was fine though, so I'm inclined to trust him.
I think there's some shock value because you traded young for old (excepting Jones) but, speaking from my experiences, prospects get overvalued in keeper leagues. You're trying to win now, so you made a win-now trade. I get it.
Grey (NY): should i trade Tim Lincecum for Dylan Bundy in h2h dynasty? we start 5 sps (i have kershaw, strasburg, teheran, wheeler, harvey, estrada, gallardo and ross - also no waiver wire) Is Bundy going to recover and regain momentum?
R.J. Anderson: Yes. How often are you going to start Lincecum with those alternatives? Bank on the upside.
Don (Houston): Will Springer regret turning down the early extension & 23M???
R.J. Anderson: Remember: he received a $2.5 million signing bonus. That's not $23 million, but he should have some financial security in place already. I probably would've taken the deal, but who knows. Maybe the Astros come back with a better offer and he inks.
Don Knotts (Georgia): Kendrick Lamar or Nelly?
R.J. Anderson: Nelly. Can't underestimate the importance of feel-good music.
Bilbo Baggins (Middle Earth): Thoughts on Houston's rotation?
R.J. Anderson: It's not good. Our ALW preview comes out tomorrow, by the way.
Brian (Cleveland): Which team?
R.J. Anderson: I'd rather not tarnish their reputation.
Slick Vaughn (Popeyes): You need to put together a team of MLB astronauts for a hypothetical space mission to save the world. Who's the crew? Who's the captain?
R.J. Anderson: Been thinking about this one for an hour now. I'd go: Joel Peralta as the captain (has guts and leadership abilities), Tim Collins (to fit into small places), Andrew Cashner (to fit into large places; plus stereotypical Texan), and Nyjer Morgan (familiarity with the terrain).
R.J. Anderson: Okay folks, it's been fun. Thanks for the great questions. I tried to answer as many as I could.
Feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@r_j_anderson) or by email (email@example.com) if you so desire. Enjoy Opening Day. We'll have to do this again soon.