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Chat: Mike Gianella

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday February 13, 2015 7:00 PM ET chat session with Mike Gianella.

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Mike Gianella will tell you who to pick.

Mike Gianella: Did you know it's cold? Haven't heard anything about it on social media.

Jeremy (Cleveland): 10-Team, mixed, 30-man rosters, $300 auction budget. I have Jose Abreu at $12 and can keep him for either one year at a $10 increase, three years/$5 per year, or five years/ $3 per year. Is 3/$5 per year too risky with his batted ball profile and lack of track record?

Mike Gianella: I have some moderate concerns about the post All-Star power outage but overall I think he's a safe enough bet to give him per season through 2017, even in a shallower mixed format like yours.

Julio Ramos (San Antonio): Does PFM value SB too much or is it that we don't value them enough? Preset PFM inputs yield. Player A 83 25 80 26 .261 $26.74 player B 71 23 79 9 .269 $11.86 I'd rather have Player B at that price and use the surplus $14.88 to buy SB and other stats. Also Tony Cingrani is projected by PFM to be a top 35 SP when he can be drafted much later than that. Is he a player to target late in drafts hoping that PECOTA's analysis will yield a nice profit? Thank you.

Mike Gianella: It's a little bit of both. We probably should be paying more for SB and in mixed formats in particular they get the short shrift. That being said, PECOTA putting a Top 5 or 10 value on a one trick pony like Billy Hamilton overemphasizes his true value, particularly if you don't turn the SGP feature ON. Most importantly, if you value SB "correctly" but your league is paying significantly less for it, you are going to wind up with Billy Hamilton, Dee Gordon, and Ben Revere and not have enough stats elsewhere to compete in your league.

As far as Cingrani goes, I don't like him but the high whiff potential does make him a deeper mixed sleeper. He should probably be getting a little play in the reserve rounds or late in the draft portion.

Chris (California): Which of these three should I call up to begin the season? Need to open a prospect spot for my next draft pick. In other words, which of these three is the safest bet to give me good production from the very beginning of the season? Kris Bryant Aaron Sanchez Kevin Gausman

Mike Gianella: Bryant is the safest bet by default because he's a hitter, although he could start in the minors because of service time. I love Sanchez and maybe he'll close but maybe he'll be in middle relief. He could be Dellin Betances or Carlos Martinez. Gausman could have the greatest real life potential of the three but starting pitchers have so many outcomes.

Jake (New York): What do you foresee Alcantara doing this season and in the future?

Mike Gianella: Alcantara seems like a guy who might be a super-sub to start the year but I suspect he'll eventually start somewhere for the Cubs, even if it's in left field. This season I don't have high hopes because he got the bat knocked out of his hands in a short trial last year, but a .230-.240 BA with low double digit power/speed isn't out of the question. The ceiling is probably a poor man's Alfonso Soriano, which doesn't sound great if you look at Sori's entire career, but it's easy to forget now that Sori was a fantasy deity for a little while there.

Henry (Boston): Do you believe in Todd Frazier? Is .260/.330/.450 with 25/15 a realistic expectation?

Mike Gianella: I like him a lot. There will be some slippage this year, but I think that's pretty realistic. Maybe 12 steals and .250, but close enough.

Julio Ramos (San Antonio): Souza was drafted round 13.3 in the LABR mixed draft on Tuesday night to Jason Collette and Paul Sporer. Just top 200. Where would he have had to drop for you to draft him in that format. 15 team 29 round draft?

Mike Gianella: He's probably a 15th rounder for me, though I can definitely see why Paul/Jason made that play there. Souza's boring from a prospect standpoint ("too old to be a prospect") but Roto cats are Roto cats. 15/15 is probably the downside, even with "only" a .240 batting average, that's not going to be a big disappointment for those guys there.

navarra (Ukraine): Hi, Mike! Thanks for your work. 16 team points league with 18 keepers (25 man-roster + 3 minor slots). I'm keeping Pujols, Beltre, Xander, Stanton, Ellsbury, Wright, Russell, Greinke, Gerrit Cole, Waino and Stroman. But I'm struggling with other 7 slots, so I decided to ask for help. Pretendents: McCann, Odor, Profar, Choo, Duda, Gausman, Phil Hughes, Holland, Doolittle, Wade Davis, Archie Bradley, Giolito, Stephenson. Thanks!

Mike Gianella: Ukraine! Wow! Thanks for reading.

A lot of this obviously depends on whether you're looking at this year or the future. McCann, Profar, Duda, Gausman, Hughes, Davis, and Giolito are the seven I think I'd keep, but that's a nice list with a nice set of problems to have. Stephenson and Bradley are tough to drop, but I don't like going with too much rookie pitching in a format like this.

The Dude (Office): It's the night before Valentine's Day...Lights are slowly lit...wine is poured...Boyz II Men CD is on...and it's time for...a chat with Mike Gianella!

Mike Gianella: Oh my.

James (New Mexico): Need to keep 1 of these three in a 6x6 league [AVG/SB/HR/RBI/R/OPS][ERA,WHIP,K,SV,QS,K/BB] Matt Adams Lucas Duda Homer Bailey

Mike Gianella: Duda wins for me with OPS. That OBP is a significant bump in this format.

Vic (Baltimore): In 2014, Altuve and Rendon cemented themselves as 2nd round picks in 2015. In 2015, name some players who may become 2nd round picks in 2016? Heyward is one?

Mike Gianella: Guys in the third or fourth round who could push up to that level are George Springer, Carlos Gonzalez, and Nolan Arenado. Springer and Arenado probably fit what you're looking for: young guys who could hit that breakout. I like Heyward, but I'm not sure if he's going to provide enough speed to get there. 3rd/4th round value seems like the ceiling (although Michael Brantley seemed like this kind of guy and he did it last year).

Vic (Baltimore): Calhoun or Starlin Castro? Who's more productive over the next 3 years? I think Calhoun, but am I discounting Starlin's power and position?

Mike Gianella: I like Castro. He has been overrated for so long that now he's finally a little underrated. He compares favorably in OPS+ with Alan Trammel and Robin Yount at the same age. That isn't to say that Castro will become of these guys, but that there is more growth/upside than you'd think. Calhoun's all right, but I don't see a big spike coming with him.

Steven Souza (Tampa): So PECOTA loves me, but tell me, how do you really feel about me? Especially this year?

Mike Gianella: I think I answered this in another question, but I think you'll be a pretty solid fantasy contributor. PECOTA's a little optimistic, but 15/15 with a .260 batting average seems reasonable.

TINO (The Moon): What is your favorite part about us?

Mike Gianella: Ben's eyes.

Shawn (Cubicle): Thanks for the chat, Mike! What are your thoughts on taking Clayton Kershaw in say the Top 5? SP seems deep, and you can build a nice staff later in the draft. The other thing is, in order to keep your advantage in SP cats by taking Kershaw, don't you have to take another pitcher earlier than you'd think, which again puts you behind the curve for hitting cats? By that I mean you don't want to take Kershaw 1st rd, then not another pitcher until 10th/11th rd as that might be just as good as someone who takes pitchers in say 4th and 7th/8th rds, and you've lost the advantage Kershaw gives you, while also losing out a potentially elite hitter in the 1st rd.

Mike Gianella: I had a long discussion about this today on Twitter with Ray Guilfoyle of Fake Teams and Dan Strafford of Sirius XM. I think it's OK to do, but given the variability at the bottom of the SP pool, you have a greater likelihood of getting a Johnny Cueto or Corey Kluber type relatively late (like last year) as opposed to getting a great hitter late. If Kershaw tanks, that's 1/9th of your rotation going down in flames, versus if a Bryce Harper tanks that's 1/14th of your offense. My preference is to start taking pitchers in the 6th round or later. I'll pounce earlier on an arm I like if he falls, but generally speaking I hate taking a pitcher in the top five. I would have taken Pedro #1 during his prime without hesitation, but that's as crazy an exception to a rule as you are going to get.

Shawn (Cubicle): Which side- my Dellin Betances for Hector Rondon and Zach Britton. It's a H2H league, and while Betances could be great, I should be picking up more saves, which I need more than the few extra K's/week Betances might get me. I also expect Betances to get less IP this year assuming he closes, and if he struggles at all I don't think the Yanks hesitate to go with Andrew Miller.

Mike Gianella: I love Betances, but I think you have to take the two closers in that format, particularly if closers are going to be taken/frozen in your draft/auction. I do think Betances is the man and he'll be fine, though, and every closer has risk of losing his job if he struggles.

Zwibi (Somewhere Under The Snow): What are your thoughts on Archie Bradley and Jon Gray, will they make any meaningful impact this year? It shocks me how no one mentions them anymore after 1 blah year. Everyone was raving about them and their talents and I've now heard some say a bullpen gig may be in their future?

Mike Gianella: Bradley's probably going to get a shot at some point this year if he does anything at all in the minors to start. I think Bradley's stock dropped for some not just due to bad numbers but due to concerns that his stuff won't play that well in the majors. I do agree that the concerns are overblown and that he could still be a mid-tier guy at worst, so he's worth an investment if you can stash. I love Jon Gray's stuff, but the Colorado effect kills a lot of his fantasy value for me "but Mike he's SPECIAL and GROUND BALLS and HOW could you SAY that and STOP doing this thing with CAPS it's ANNOYING." Gray could produce plenty of value for the Rockies, but in fantasy we don't factor in the park adjusted WAR/FIP, so I can't see him doing more than providing back-end NL-only or 20-team mixed league value.

navarra (Ukraine): Just to clarify - drop Greg Holland and keep Wade Davis? Or you thought about Derek Holland? I'm fighting for championship this year. Thanks for answer!

Mike Gianella: I thought you meant Derek. Keep Greg, yes. I'd probably drop McCann.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Mike, How would you break down the top 10 BP pitching prospects into tiers, or is there not enough separation between them?

Mike Gianella: This is the kind of answer that will make me look stupid(er) in six months, but here goes.

Giolito is probably a hair above Bundy and Syndergaard if everything breaks right, but it's so close for me. Urias almost belongs in his own tier. I have no idea how to rank him; he is virtually unprecedented IMO. The biggest gap in my eyes is between Gray and Meyer. I think Meyer and below are pitchers who are very good and on the cusp of excellence but I see them more as solid #2s, and everyone above has ace potential, even if it is "low end" ace potential.

Cal Guy (Cal): Mike, How many starts for Tanaka until "pop goes the elbow?"

Mike Gianella: I'll guess 15, but I think it's just as likely that he's completely ineffective and gets the surgery without the major tear coming before that happens. Don't touch him. His price is ridiculously high given the track record of pitchers like this. And, yes, I know the tear is small and that PRP injections can work. Still don't like the price right now.

Shawnykid23 (CT): Even though I think you credited other BP members with turning you onto him, I remember last year that it was you who seemed to be driving the bus on Anthony Rendon (or at least you seemed to end up with him on a bunch of teams). Who are the guys this year that you are higher on than most?

Mike Gianella: I bought Rendon in Tout Wars but at the time I was a little disappointed that I didn't get Starlin Castro. I was probably higher on him than many industry experts but this was in part due to the BP fantasy team's excitement, particularly Bret.

Glancing at my ranks compared to ADP, my top five are Brandon Belt, Melky Cabrera, Manny Machado, Yasmani Grandal and Lucas Duda. If you're looking to the guy the BP staff likes who I'm on board with now as a result, that's Grandal, FWIW.

joughbrasch (Denver): I have a trade that I have been offered where I give up Gallardo and Mujica for Mike Moustakas and Marco Gonzales. I like the deal because my best third baseman is David Freese (I have a 30 team dynasty league by the way). The salaries are about even for this deal, but I can't really make the decision. Mujica is basically a wash, and I feel that Gallardo is due for a rude awakening in Texas without Lucroy. But at the same time, my starting pitching depth behind Gallardo is Ubaldo, Nolasco, Kendrick, and Hand. Do you think I should pull the trigger on this deal?

Mike Gianella: I'd make that deal. I don't like Gallardo in Texas at all, and I think there's enough upside in Gonzales by himself to make that trade. Your pitching is really thin, but Gallardo isn't going to be much better than those guys. I'd make that deal and then try to flip one of Moustakas or Freese for a better pitcher.

Paul (DC): Keeper league with 3 spots for players with no MLB experience; would you rather have Yoan Moncada or the best HS kid coming in this year's draft (say Daz Cameron or name your own)?

Mike Gianella: I think I want Moncada. He's a little bit older than those high school guys and probably going to make an impact (or have a chance of making an impact). That being said, this is all one big, giant ol' crapshoot.

Tony (Meridian): Mike, fantasy keeper league question - would you keep Tyson Ross ($20) or Cody Allen ($2)? It is a 12-team league with a $260 budget. I love Ross (traded Sonny Gray for him as I was concerned about Gray's workload and TJ concerns) but then Ross developed his own concerns. Thanks!

Mike Gianella: I prefer Ross to Allen but at an $18 price difference I think Allen's a no brainer.

Sean (Van Nuys): The new Drake mixtape is the shit. Just thought I'd throw that out there. (Bring on the hatred)

Mike Gianella: I don't know enough about Drake, tbh. I've been listening to a bunch of Kanye lately. Right now I'm back in 2005 listening to System of a Down's Mezmerize.

mikem (ottawa): Mike is a makeup problem at the root of Nick Williams' inability to make adjustments at the plate and in the field? Or is the kid a hard worker who just can't change no matter how many coaches point things out to him?

Mike Gianella: Probably his age and the this is the first time he's struggled. I'm not the prospect guy on the staff, but from what I've read the problem seems to be more that he's not a prodigy when it comes to the coaching. As far as the outcome, I don't know. Nobody knows. He could be Dee Brown or something better. There's a lot of time left for this story to play out.

hotstatrat (T.O.): Who is going to make Oakland's rotation?

Mike Gianella: Gray and Kazmir seem like the no-brainers. After that I like Hahn and I suspect Pomeranz is there if he's healthy. That leaves the 5th slot. Could be Graveman if they want to use Chavez in the swing role, but there's a good chance Chavez grabs that slot. Nolin is the fun darkhorse who could have a big camp and steal it.

phin82 (Milwaukee): How did you meet your BF Ian Desmond?

Mike Gianella: match.com. I was looking for a shortstop to overreach for with the 16th overall pick. He was looking for a fantasy writer who makes terrible jokes and annoys everyone on social media with his stream of consciousness nonsense.

Dragonbreath (Gurnee, IL.): NL Roto Keeper league Keep 15 starters and three $0 reserves. 14 hitters, 5 outfielders, 9 pitchers on the active squad, My outfiled consists of: Gomez, Marte and Polanco, have Joc Pederson as a reserve, so can be inserted into the starting line-up at any time post draft so, I'm thinking: Heyward, Zimmerman(love the 3rd eligility) and Holliday Holiday as my draft targets for my 4th outfielder or two of them. Stanton is out of my price range, with the salary I am keeping, my main sources for power are Goldschmidt and Adrian Gonzalez. I'm heavily leaning towards Heyward, with Zim a close 2nd, Holliday 3rd choice, may have to lower my draft expectations and target a Pagan, Aoki, or Venable. Definitely have to draft 2 outfielders or 3, with one to serve in utility role Any and all thoughts are appreciated,. Thanks in advance, big fan of your work, and always enjoy these chats! Hope you are having a stellar day!

Mike Gianella: It's kind of hard to guess given that I'm not sure who grabbing Stanton impacts your salary or draft standing based on how you phrased your question. Yes, I'd definitely want Heyward, and would lean Zimmerman over Holliday due to the 3B eligibility (plus Holliday's age/gradual decline. If you have to go that next group, Pagan is your guy. Venable isn't going to play this year unless he's traded.

Marlins88 (Anoka MN): Which of these 3 guys would rather have dynasty wise and why. Hunter Harvey, Tyler Glasnow, or Carlos Rodon? I pick at #1 and those guys are available. Or if Moncada gets added to espn database take him? What order would you take those guys? thanks

Mike Gianella: Harvey and Glasnow are a toss up; I'd lean Glasnow because of the NL/PNC Park/Ray Searage advantage. Rodon is solid but doesn't match up with those two in my mind. Moncada I'd probably throw in at third before Rodon, but as I said in an earlier question we're just making silly guesses on him.

Vic (Baltimore): In a 14 team 5 x 5 auction with most of the top arms kept....for high 20s low 30s, which remaining stud pitcher, Strasburg or Darvish, should I target? Should I go 30? Or should I avoid Darvish altogether due to injury risk and go as high as 35 for Strasburg? Or, focus on the next best which is G. Cole? 20s?

Mike Gianella: What's your inflation? Those prices all seem kind of high to me. I'd go Strasburg over Darvish because of the injury concerns, but I think based on the prices I'd lean Cole. Again, though, hard to figure all this out without more context.

Vic (Baltimore): Comparing Andrus and Albies, Is Albies as well regarded as Andrus was when he was 18?

Mike Gianella: Nope. Andrus was already a Top 100 BA prospect when he was 17. Albies was not. Andrus's numbers were also somewhat better on the whole. This isn't a knock on Albies, btw, rather a recognition of how highly regarded Andrus was 7-8 years ago.

Ryan (Colorado): Who is the highest ceiling outfield prospect not named Buxton?

Mike Gianella: David Dahl. It's not just the potential Coors impact either; Dahl could be an impact centerfielder who does a little bit of everything if it all pans out.

Matt (Dallas): Last protection spot in a dynasty league do you keep H. Santiago, J. Masterson or AJ Burnett ?

Mike Gianella: Eh. Masterson has the higher ceiling and I'd keep him if your staff is strong. Keep Burnett if your staff has more youth/risks and you need an innings eater.

Mark (Topeka, KS): Do you prefer Miguel Almonte or Jake Thompson ?

Mike Gianella: Close for me, but I'd take Almonte, in part because Texas is a rough ride for rookie pitchers.

Tico Pride (Costa Rica): What rooks do u see making an impact in the bigs this year?

Mike Gianella: In fantasy, there are quite a few. Rusney Castillo, Yasmany Tomas, Steven Souza, Kris Bryant, and Joc Pederson are all names that pop.

Kevin (Florida): This year and long term who would you prefer Evan Gattis or Salvador Perez?

Mike Gianella: I prefer Gattis, although the loss of catcher eligibility is going to make it close. Perez has been overworked and I am concerned he is going to fall off of the injury/ineffectiveness cliff. Perez is a strong real life player, but except for half of a big rookie campaign, has never delivered on the price he is paid in fantasy. Gattis is going to get a big PA jump not catching this year.

Greg (Minnesota): If your dynasty league was a 7x7 cat with BB and OPS, which prospects would you target who you think could provide high BB totals with lots of power?

Mike Gianella: Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler are obvious, which means I'm sure they're gone. Matt Olson is a fun name who doesn't get enough play. Kyle Schwarber is great and I haven't given up on Jon Singleton yet.

ganz1080 (ct): Hey mike, just joined an 8 team NL only league, 5x5, with 4 OF's and 2 Util, I can keep either Gregory polanco or Doug fister (round they were drafted in doesn't matter). I'm thinking Polanco but fister is a pretty good option too. What do you think. Also, I've never played in an 'only' league, I've only done mixed, any tips for the draft? Thanks, and thanks for all your answers from the bat signal too

Mike Gianella: I'd lean Polanco for the upside, but you're right it is close. 8-team NL isn't quite as bad as 11 or 12 team, but you probably want to play less of the upside guys because the replacement players in only are weaker. If you lose Tulo, it's garbage out there in terms of the replacements.

Jobu (Cerrano's locker): Who are a couple hitters and pitchers you see breaking out this year? Thoughts on Bogaerts?

Mike Gianella: I like George Springer coming through and meeting a lot of the potential/hype we were looking at last year. Oswaldo Arcia is a boom/bust proposition this year, but if he can even get the average to .250 there is a lot of power there. For pitchers, I think Zack Wheeler takes a big step forward this year and I also like Drew Smyly joining Cobb as a big impact guy for the Rays.

I'm closer to Ben Carsley on Bogaerts than I am to the negative nellies. I see some improvement this year, with 15-17 home runs and a .260-.270 average a realistic expectation. I agree with Ben and think the breakout comes in 2016 or 2017.

Lewis Brinson (Texas): Come on Mike, I've got a higher absolute ceiling than Dahl. I'm not going to get there, but still.

Mike Gianella: True. I gave the cop out, easy answer.

bloodmoney (detroit): Is Adam Eaton coming to your Valentine's Day party this season ?

Mike Gianella: Not unless he crashes it.

LB (NYC): What role will Yusmeiro Petit have this year with the Giants? The guy pretty much excelled at everything last year.

Mike Gianella: I think he'll start out in the pen and eventually find his way into the rotation. There's too much talent there for him not to go every fifth day, and if they make the playoffs again, the Giants can always flip him to the pen.

Rick (Chicago): How concerned are you regarding Profar and his health?

Mike Gianella: More concerned than the rest of my colleagues. That's a pretty serious injury, and the worst case scenario is he never quite recovers completely. That being said, I have no idea if that's the outcome. I don't like him this year at all.

Chesty (New Bern,NC): Mike, 12 team league 6x6 hr,RBi , Xbh,ave,sb,R. With third pick who do you recommend M.Cabrera(1st&3 rd eligible), Stanton Kershaw McCutch Thanks

Mike Gianella: Of those four I think I want Stanton, particularly with XBH in play.

Mike (Chicago): What do you think Soler's peak triple slash line will look like?

Mike Gianella: 280/350/470? Maybe a little better?

rkessl (Chicago): Do you think Porcello has anymore upside or is this basically the pitcher he is always going to be?

Mike Gianella: He could get a little better but I think this is mostly it, particularly because he isn't a high K guy. However, he is being undercut too much in Boston this year. The ground ball profile hurts him less than it would hurt others in Fenway. He should provide solid deeper mixed and mono value this year.

Cash (LA): Do you love or hate Alex Meyer's potential contribution for this season?

Mike Gianella: I lean toward hate. I'm concerned about Meyer's repeatability and think his long term destination is the pen.

Murph (St Paul, MN): I'm in a 14 team franchise league (12 keepers) and 2 teams just pulled out. The league wants to go down to 12. Is there a good way to distribute the players?

Mike Gianella: I would suggest a dispersal draft. Go by your draft pick order and allow teams to pick players off of the other teams until no one wants anyone else.

Grizzly (Chi): This was mentioned in another question, but are there legit workload and TJ concerns with Sonny Gray?

Mike Gianella: I have the same concerns I have with just about any pitcher. So probably nothing or not much more than with others.

Matt (Cambridge): What kind of speedy OF would you be targeting in return for Cueto in a dynasty league? I'm going for it and have a incredibly strong pitching staff including Kluber,Cole,Bailey, and Cobb. I think Cueto is a nice sell high coming off 240IP with his injury history. Should I aim for an Ellsbury type or go younger for a target like Marte? Or maybe a guy like Polanco and try to get someone to throw a potential closer in? My farm system is pretty decimated after stealing Donaldson and Cobb

Mike Gianella: Ellsbury and Marte are both good, but in a dynasty I'd try Marte for the upside/long term potential.

NightmareRec0n (Boston): Is it me or is Mookie Betts profile pretty unexciting in the OF? It seems like you could get a similar type in a guy like Brett Gardner later on.

Mike Gianella: I still like Betts a good deal, but yeah his early ADP is too high. And I'd agree that someone like Gardner is more of a bargain. In a 15-team redraft I like Betts more as a late 9th/early 10th rounder, but there's just no way you're going to get him there.

MH (NY): Big fan! I'm in a 13 team 5x5 mixed league where you get to keep 8 players from your major league roster and each team has a 12-man minor league roster as well. I need help finalizing my major league keepers. I'm going to be able to keep Stroman and Polanco for $1 each in addition to 8 of the below. Who should I throw back? Ortiz at 16 Pence at 18 Rusney Castillo at 4 Starlin Castro at 15 LaRoche at 1 Archer at 2 Shields at 8 Iwakuma at 7 Arrieta at 6 Giles at 2 Gregerson at 1

Mike Gianella: Thanks. You probably have to go prices and throw back Papi and Castro. Tough to throw any of those other guys back at those prices.

Barry (Barryville): Are far away prospects like Mateo, Torres, Torrens, Devers, Albies worth owning in dynasty 16 teams or is it too early for most of them besides Devers?

Mike Gianella: I think in 16-team dynasty I'd stick with Devers. Maybe in a crazy 20-team you're looking at some of those others guys.

MH (NY): What do you think of Iwakuma this year? thanks!

Mike Gianella: I still like him a lot. You have to expect 180 innings as opposed to 200-220, but the FIP/peripherals in 2014 were similar to 2013. Expect something like a 3.20 to a 3.40 ERA. He good.

MH (NY): I have first pick in my league's minor league draft. Who should I take between: Bundy, Taillon, Moncada, Swihart? Thanks! It's a 13-team 5x5 league where each team also has a 12-man minor league roster.

Mike Gianella: I'd probably go Bundy, though Moncada's close I suppose. I'd like to see some results from Taillon and I don't trust catching prospects all that much.

Strategy Question (Everywhere): Given the depth of starting pitching, is this the year to target elite relievers early? Maybe grabbing a guy like a Chapman early on and balancing it him with a guy like Henderson Alvarez later on who brings the innings and ratios to Chapman's strikeout party.

Mike Gianella: I have been doing that in my mocks and was surprised I got swiped so many times in LABR on closers. That probably works with Alvarez if your league is deep enough.

DS (LA): How do you like Matt Cain as far as ERA over the next couple of years? Mid to high 3 kind of guy?

Mike Gianella: Mid 3s is the hope with that park, but he hasn't gotten the job done now for two years. High 3s to 4 is realistic, yes.

G Money (Atlanta): Arrieta or Carrasco, who has the better chance at becoming a fantasy ace this year or do both have a shot at top 15 status.

Mike Gianella: They both have a shot, but I prefer Arrieta. He just needs a little more consistency to elevate himself to a Cy-caliber season.

Greg (Califlorida): 16 tm dynasty trade my Harper for Souza, Syndergaard, C Martinez, Stephenson?

Mike Gianella: It must be fair because I feel pretty close on this one. You're giving up the one guy who could be a Top 5 hitter and who has actually done something. On the other hand, you're getting a LOT back in terms of future/upside. I think you could do this and I'm leaning every so slightly toward it.

bob m (pa): Can Gerrit Cole become a Top 5 NL pitcher this year, if he stays healthy? Long term, what are your thoughts about Cole? How do you think Crawford fit in with the Dodgers OF this year-----he really had a strong finish last year so do you see him in a platoon, or can he earn 500 or more AB's if he produces from the start----and put up some strong numbers? I'm hoping for maybe for 18-75-and 25 if he gets enough AB's----can you see it?

Mike Gianella: I think that's a stretch. I'm thinking Top 10 is the ceiling. Long term, Cole could be an ace but we need to see more consistency, repeatabilit.

Crawford is probably going to get most of the AB against righties and Van Slyke will spell him against LHP. That's still not bad. I think that's a little ambitious given his health profile, but if he stays on the field (big if) 15/25 isn't nuts.

Walker (Dallas): In a points league, what side do you like Kershaw for Betts an Strasburg?

Mike Gianella: Think I lean the duo, but man that's tough.

Floyd (Oakland): Will you rank these risk SPs for 2015? Cingrani, Morrow, DeSclafani, Webster, Rubby DeLaRosa

Mike Gianella: Sigh. Do I hafta? OK, Cingrani, DeLaRosa, DeSclafani, Morrow, Webster.

gerrybraun (sandiego): Does Steve Piscotty get a chance to play much before 2017?

Mike Gianella: Maybe 2016. I don't expect much this year. But good prospects who hit have a way of forcing the question.

Charles (NYC): Since you drafted him in mixed LABR, are you encouraged by the news that Tulo has been struggling with this hip problem for years and finally decided to get the surgery? Is there a chance the problem is fixed and he can actually stay mostly healthy?

Mike Gianella: Yes, that does encourage me, particularly in the short term. Even with the surgery his career might be shortened, but it should improve his ability to excel when he is on the field. He could produce Top 10 value while he's playing easily. He was great last year even without the surgery.

Eric (LA): Any chance Maybin gets moved? I think his glove and upside still have value someone would want. Or maybe the Padres will ignore Kemp's whining and tell him he would make a fine 1B.

Mike Gianella: I'm sure they want to move Maybin. could be one of those things where a ST injury opens up a trade.

Philips (Orlando): Can Carlos Carrasco put ace numbers this year?

Mike Gianella: It is certainly possible, though I think there will be some regression this year and a #2 ceiling is a more likely outcome. That being said, it's hard to argue with the Indians recent track record on "fixing" pitchers.

Mike Gianella: Thank you so much for all of your questions. See you next time!


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