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Chat: Harry Pavlidis

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday May 20, 2014 1:00 PM ET chat session with Harry Pavlidis.

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BP's Director of Technology takes your questions.

Harry Pavlidis: let's talk about baseball

brentdaily (colorado): Any early returns on MLBAM'S player tracker?

Harry Pavlidis: not to date, I imagine they are in the very early pilot stages in the 3 parks that have it this year

Greg (Atlanta): Can you share what your 2015 and beyond thoughts are on Yelich? Will he continue to increase power while maintaing speed?

Harry Pavlidis: it's unlikely that he'll do both, not many ballplayers age that way. I expect him to be a year-in-year-out top of the heap hitter, more of a doubles than home runs guy, but with more than enough pop as he moves into his mid/late 20s. He's awesome, in a word.

Greg (Atlanta): Can I count on Zach Wheeler figuring things out by 2015 season?

Harry Pavlidis: count on it? Well, that's risky. Reasonably expect it? Sure. These big young pitchers may need some time to master repeating their delivery, commanding their fastball, and putting away hitters efficiently. The question is which way do they go--Cashner's way or Arrieta's way?

nerd alert (Colorado): How much confidence is there in PECOTA'S upside metrics? The last couple/few posts made the bust rate appear to be roughly 60%. Better but not to terribly far ahead of broader top 100 prospect bust rates?

Harry Pavlidis: That's a good question. I don't think we've ever taken a cold analytic look at that. That said, we have been poking and prodding under the hood of PECOTA a lot, so I would expect us to have a solid answer to these questions before the end of the season.

brentdaily (colorado): Who do you like the Cubs taking at 4? After the top two there doesn't appear to be any consensus on arms. Too much risk in grabbing an arm if there isn't an obvious guy? I loved Hoffman but the risk just doubled.

Harry Pavlidis: I'm doing my draft learning this weekend (Pizza & Prospects in Chicago!) ... but my leaning, until pushed otherwise, is the Cubs strongly prefer hitters in the first round. Doesn't mean they won't take a pitcher, but it would surprise me (even with this pitching heavy class).

tshurtz (SoCal): Chances the Angels trade for a SP before the deadline? Any guesses on the pitchers they'd be able to get?

Harry Pavlidis: better than 50%, and I'd expect it to be a back-end type to bolster the currently mushy tail of that rotation. Someone in the Feldman/Hammel mold.

hotstatrat (Toronto): What can you tell us about Jesus Aguilar beyond what we can read in his stats? His BABiP indicates he was lucky in the International League, but unlucky up in the A.L. But, where did his power go?

Harry Pavlidis: I don't know much at all about him, beyond the Quad-A masher label he seems to be stuck with.

TulaneCubs (Chicago): It's early, but at what point do you get concerned with the Cubs farm system taking a step back, development-wise? Bryant is really the only prospect that's performing well. Alcantara's performance has slipped, Pierce Johnson has been hurt and has had control issues, CJ Edwards started strong and then got hurt, Jorge Soler has been banged up and Albert Almora started slow. I'm not on the ledge, I know it's early... but, uh, make me feel better.

Harry Pavlidis: Let's see...player development isn't linear, many of those guys are young for their level...and there are other 'lesser' names that have done nicely (Hannemann, Tseng...although he just had a start cx'd but I think he's fine)

Alex (Anaheim): I watched the Yankees/Pirates game on Saturday, and replay reversed a pickoff at second base. However, even the MLB Network announcers were surprised at the ruling and explained that the umpires have access to different angles. Why aren't we seeing all the angles on TV?

Harry Pavlidis: I can understand if one broadcast or the other has a different camera angle, so maybe the home broadcast shows something the away doesn't...but the MLBN crews in NJ should get them all...right??

Shawn (N.Y): With STL struggling to score runs, can we expect to see Taveras called up June 1st?

Harry Pavlidis: No. For two reasons. 1, if the super 2 clock matters that's too early. 2, you don't put a prospect in a situation like that, not with those expectations. If he's called up it's because he's the best option at the right cost (see super 2 clock, above) and not because they expect him to spark the offense on his own.

Shawn (Office): Will the HRs come for Chris Davis?

Harry Pavlidis: sure, as the weather warms up. But PECOTA had him taking a dip this year, so I wouldn't expect a full return to 2013 form.

jebron lames (flopville): Who in your opinion has a better shot to rebound from a terrible start, Brad Miller or Moustakas?

Harry Pavlidis: split answer: Miller, but Moose has the higher upside production-wise, in theory.

gocubs25 (cubicle): Who's up first Alcantara or Baez?

Harry Pavlidis: Alcantara, same answer I would have given in January or March FWIW

Abe Froman, Sausage King (Chicago): Has a system as a whole had a worse start to their season than the Cubs? The only player playing at or above expectations is Kris Bryant.

Harry Pavlidis: as noted before it's probably too easy to slam the system based on 1 or 2 months of struggles for the bigger names.

Kingpin (Grinnell, IA): What's wrong with Trevor Rosenthal?

Harry Pavlidis: he's walking a lot of guys, isn't he. So that hints at some issues with fastball command, but I'm also suspicious of his changeup. He's throwing it in the zone a lot (54% vs 24% in 2013) and, as a result, missing far fewer bats (.38 whiff, good, but not the .49 epic whiff of 2013). All told he's given up more fly balls, missing fewer bats and missing with his fastball and changeup.

Gyork Store (SD): Stroman, Meyer or Gausman. Which pitcher starts the most games ROS?

Harry Pavlidis: if you have a three-sided coin, toss it. I'll go Stroman.

brad (NJ): Any Update on Appel? Obviously this start means he wont be up this year, but does this affect his long term value in any way. Do you still see him as a potential 1/2 with a high floor or worst case scenario of a #3 like when he was drafted, or has something fundamentally changed?

Harry Pavlidis: no news that I'm aware of. I wasn't nearly as high on Appel as most, and certainly not as high as the Astros were. My feeling was he was better in 2012/3 but he was, in effect, repeating a level against competition that was already beneath his skill level; that the concerns about his 'lack of a sack' were legit; and pitchers are super risky bets in the early picks of the draft. So my assessment hasn't changed, but I imagine others are drifting towards the camp I'm in.

Howard (Freeport. ME): Sandy Alderson is heading for his tenth straight losing season as a GM. Is it safe to say his "plan" with the Mets is a failure? There is almost no hitting talent anywhere in that organization.

Harry Pavlidis: The Mets problems are not in baseball operations, it's on the business side. Hard to execute any kind of plan effectively when you're starting in a hole and ownership is cash strapped.

John (NY): What are your thoughts on Garrett Richards? He had some trouble with the Astros last night.

Harry Pavlidis: I like him a lot. So he had trouble last night, yawn. It's the big leagues.

jharrison3 (IL): Is there a petition somewhere so we can get less Russo and more Ferrin?

Harry Pavlidis: yes please

jharrison3 (IL): Is 2014 Starlin for real? And how much of an impact does 2013 Starlin have on 2014 Starlin?

Harry Pavlidis: Starlin '13 was a mirage. Forget about it.

CJ (Cleveland): Thanks for the chat!! Any idea whether the Tribe still views Salazar as a starter or will they switch him to relief, given his difficulties this year as a starter?

Harry Pavlidis: No idea, but it's going to come down to fastball command no matter what role he takes. I'd keep him starting and push the bullpen fallback plan to the side for another year or more

Shawnykid23 (CT): Is Dallas Keuchel for real? This year's Corey Kluber?

Harry Pavlidis: might be something like that. He seems to have settled on his arsenal (dropped his bigger curve), so you can make the claim that he turned a corner in a couple of regards.

Hoot JC (above ground): Long run: Kertel Marte or Louis Sardinas? Which would be expected to be in next year's top 40 (assuming Sardinas still qualifies as a prospect)?

Harry Pavlidis: I'd have to defer to the prospectors on this one, but Marte is hitting in AA at a young age, and that's noteworthy.

Shawnykid23 (CT): Is Jordan Zimmermann's increase in K's (beside his last start against Mets), due to anything specific?

Harry Pavlidis: continued improvement in his changeup and slider would be one step closer to the root, he's becoming less-and-less of a fastball machine

Ned F. (Springfield): I have the #1 waiver claim in my dynasty league. Waiting for a decent prospect to get the call. Of these 3 which would you use it on. Mookie Betts, Arismendy Alcantara or Garin Cecchini?

Harry Pavlidis: Alcantara

Harry Pavlidis: thanks for the questions! See you all next time. Hope to say hello to Chicagoans this Saturday at Serio's, and I'll be in Seattle and DC for our ballpark events in June.


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