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Chat: Mauricio Rubio

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday June 02, 2015 6:00 PM ET chat session with Mauricio Rubio.

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Mauricio Rubio: Without chats, life would be a huge mistake. Giddyup

John (San Francisco): We're 50-some games into the season, and Josh Donaldson has a slash of .316/.375/.606 overall while Brett Lawrie is hitting .265/.295/.376. Kendall Graveman has charitably been uneven. Sean Nolin is coming back from an injury. Franklin Barreto can't even hit in Stockton. Why did Billy Beane sell so low on Donaldson, who would look really great in a lineup that has hit lefties to the tune of .226/.308/.323 this season? I feel like we haven't gotten the whole story on this trade.

Mauricio Rubio: Well, there were some rumors of disrespect on Donaldson's part that ended up making it into the mainstream media, so I can't imagine Beane was too torn up about seeing Donaldson go at the time.

It was a bad decision even if you're rosy as hell on Barreto. I did wonder if Beane saw something in Nolin and Graveman that he liked but neither player is going to make up the difference one Josh Donaldson makes.

Shawn (Cubicle): Javier Baez has looked much better in AAA as of late. Do you think he gets the call soon? Do you believe the speculation that he may be used as the DH when they play in AL parks next week? Also, if Kris Bryant playing in LF tonight a sign a call-up may be soon, does it have to do with Soler being out and needing another body in the OF?

Mauricio Rubio: I feel like we were having this same discussion RE Baez last year...In order: I think it happens soon but I think it also happens after a trade. I think it's a possibility but I wouldn't yo-yo the player like that and he actually has defensive value. Bryant in LF was for Soler who has a sore ankle and well, to get Jonathan Herrera at bats which _(ツ)_/

Albert (NYC): With contact rates worse than Junior Lake and Matt Cain, how can we expect Joey Gallo to succeed here? Is it just one of those things where stats don't tell the whole story or what?

Mauricio Rubio: We can project him to succeed because of the extreme, 80 power and the adjustments he's made throughout his career when it comes to his pitch recognition. This is not a player that will ever compete for a batting title and he's going to strike out a fair amount but he has the secondary skills to succeed at the major league level.

Frank Underwood (White House): How would you rank Joey Gallo, Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton in terms of raw power? Does your ranking change if it is in-game power?

Mauricio Rubio: This is extremely fun. In terms of raw it might be Stanton Harper Gallo with Harper and Gallo fighting it out for the #2 spot. If it's in game the grade doesn't change but the gap between the players grows for all three.

Inquisitive Prospector (Redmond, WA): Hey Mauricio - how often do Role 30 or Role 20 players reach the major leagues? I know that they're supposed to be minor league lifer types, but how often do they get to the majors for a brief period due to poor organizational depth or a rash of injuries?

Mauricio Rubio: I had a conversation about this with my fellow podcast mates Tucker Blair and CJ Wittmann about this. Basically you'll never see a role-20 guy in the bigs and the role-30 guys are typically your Garrett Olson/Darin Ruf types. It's rare that the role-30 guys advance much beyond AA and if they do make the bigs it's for a very, very short amount of time and it's usually because some really bad things happened to their parent org.

AJ (Phoenix): What's a Strasburg owner to do?

Mauricio Rubio: Hey man, you bought in for this long you might as well ride it out. The unfortunate thing here is that figuring a Stras trade right now is all sorts of skewed because the separation between his talent and his results is huge. He might be hurt, he might not be hurt, he might be bad, the range of possibilities towards the negatives is pretty substantial too. So, I just think you keep him and pray to Jobu.

Pelecos (Chicago): The White Sox can't develop position players. How do they reverse the course? Is it a personnel issue and or an organizational philosophy?

Mauricio Rubio: This is an issue that came into sharp focus with Gordon Beckham but it's been there for awhile. You have to really think about the last position player the White Sox developed (it might go all the way back to Crede). This is an organizational thing in my estimation. Beckham is a shell of what he was teasing in college and the rush job they did with Beckham did him no favors. Reversing the course is a tough question but it likely involves re-evaluating how they instruct their players on the whole. I'm keeping tabs on Tim Anderson closely for this reason.

justarobert (Santa Clara): What do you see happening for Maikel Franco in the near- and medium-term? The early struggles are not a huge surprise, and Sandberg is making noises about mechanical changes.

Mauricio Rubio: Well, if we're in the mechanical changes portion of Franco's development I don't expect good things to happen in the near- or mid-term. Franco's hit tool was always the biggest question mark here and if they're going to try and fix the player here it can get real ugly for a long time.

Shaun (Tucson): Maybe it's just me, but I've never understood how there are so many Cubs fans. Do these people just breed like rabbits? The White Sox won a World Series when I was living in Chicago at the time, and all my co-workers could talk about the following off-season was the Cubs. Are the Sox truly a second tier team? I always liked them more (Big Hurt/Ventura era).

Mauricio Rubio: First, copy and paste this sucker into a new tab:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/24/upshot/facebook-baseball-map.html

Then, look at Chicago. You'll notice that the White Sox fandom wins the city whereas the Cubs win the suburbs and they win big nationally. Here's my theory: Chicago proper identifies as a White Sox town but the natural cynicism that accompanies the fandom allows for a lot of dormancy when the team is bad. The Cubs fans? They subsist on hope so you notice them more. That and all the touristy suburban folks come in and pack Wrigley pretty heavy.

RDBL2014 (Concord, CA): Who do you think has the bigger upside between Casey Meisner and Stephen Gonsalves?

Mauricio Rubio: I think Meisner has more upside but I would still rather have Gonsalves. Meisner's done good work on his command early and if he can get his body under control he's going to jump up lists. That said I think Gonsalves has shown a lot in his own right so far in 2015 and he has three pitches that can be major league quality.

Rory Breaker (The Pub): In the minor league update, you mentioned Tim Anderson being polarizing. BP had him very highly ranked on the fantasy prospects list (much higher than other sources), and I used this info to purchase him in an auction draft. What kind of fantasy projection do you have for him, and what about him is so polarizing?

Mauricio Rubio: Anderson's particular profile is very abstract. He's very new to baseball so any of the positive signs or the red flags can be interpreted in extreme fashion. He's a tooled up player with 70 speed and the potential for solid average power. The SB's might come with 15-20 HRs depending on how well he hits.

I'm a big fan of the player.

Joe Jackson (Winniepeg, Manitoba): I heard that the bumper music that TINO plays is NOT ACTUALLLY Enya. Say it Ain't So?

Mauricio Rubio: Do not believe the lies that have been pushed by our enemies. It's always Enya, even when it's not. Especially when it's not.

Cal Guy (Cal): Mauricio, Who has the better pure stuff, Urias or De Leon, and how do their future potentials compare?

Mauricio Rubio: It's Urias. I think a lot of times we can see the word "polish" and mistake it for "doesn't have plus pure stuff". I like what De Leon has done so far this year but Urias still has the better profile and stuff.

Pelecos (Chicago): Regarding the White Sox first pick, should they just stick to their guns and continue to draft and develop pitching? Or should they go for a Benintendi, Whitely, Dewees. What should their strategy be picks 4-10 given the lack of second and third round picks? Upside or college players.

Mauricio Rubio: Chris Crawford made mention of this in his article today but I think Daz Cameron is a real possibility here. I think that they should still go for upside here and while I can see the White Sox going with an arm I think I like the idea of them going after Daz Cameron more.

Matt (Tacoma): Is it time to give up on Orioles pitchers? The handling of Gausman gives me nightmares, the others (Matusz, Tillman), doesn't give me much hope for Bundy or Harvey, and Eduardo Rodriguez's transformation once he was out of the birds system, and into a Sawx uni, to me, speaks volumes.

Mauricio Rubio: If you can ever pull it off give Tucker Blair some craft beers and ask him about Gausman and Jake Arrieta....the Orioles have a very mixed reputation when it comes to handling pitchers. I'm not willing to straight up give up on guys like Bundy and Harvey here but I am watching their development very, very closely.

Oneear (Santa Monica): When are you coming back to the Den?

Mauricio Rubio: Probably not for a while my friend. John does great work there and I couldn't do him or the readers justice given my work load. I found a lot of footing over at Cubs Den though and I grew a lot in my time there. I can't thank John enough for the opportunity to write for him. It was a big, major step for me.

Jim (LA): Did Joc ever flash this kind of raw power? He's leading the bigs in home run distance.

Mauricio Rubio: There aren't a lot of players who flashed this kind of power, raw or in game. We put 60 potential on the power while noting that he made solid contact with plus bat speed. But 477? No that's a nice little surprise.

agetting (Queens): Dominic Smith has gone from almost zero production his first year plus of Pro Ball to now suddenly tearing up the FSL league over the past 2-3 weeks. Any reports on what he is now doing differently?

Mauricio Rubio: Jeff Moore lit a fire under that boy. Jeff will have a solid update on what Smith is doing differently tomorrow as a part of his Minor League update.

edwardarthur (Illinois): I enjoyed your podcast about shortstop prospects, but was interested in the omission of Alex Blandino, who I'd have thought would have been at or near the back end of the top 10 SS prospects in the minors. What's your take on Blandino, and has his strong showing this year changed his standing at all for you?

Mauricio Rubio: There are a few names we thought about but for me personally I don't think Blandino is a shortstop long term and the probability that he plays the position is lower than the other names that did make the list. The bat has some potential in it and he has a good approach so he has a shot but he was off the list for me.

AK (New York): I know it's VERY early, but is Moncada's early strike out rate a bit worrisome?

Mauricio Rubio: I don't mean to be dismissive but I do think it's a bit too early for that. There's going to be some adjusting to be done.

JP Breen (Wisconsin): Can Cy Sneed become a Cy Young candidate?

Mauricio Rubio: Hi JP! Probably not. As you've noted in our private conversations Sneed has what the Brewers like from a delivery standpoint; straight over the top arm slot and a full windup. He has a good starter's frame and the fastball ticks up to 94 on occasion. Curve is 11-5 with a big hump out of the hand and his split change can be a nice change of pace but it's not going to miss bats as he advances levels. Backend profile for sure.

Ron (Texarkana): Dynasty-wise, is Stephen Piscotty ever going to join the Cards, or is he going to get something similar to the Domonic Brown treatment? Is Piscotty worth keeping with the Cards current OF?

Mauricio Rubio: He'll join the Cards when/if he remembers how to hit. He's had a rough go of it this year and his struggles have likely pushed him out of the picture for 2015.

Dub (Burgh): Dynasty NL, 12tm, Wong, Seager For Matz, F Wall, Dahl, Schwarber Who wins?

Mauricio Rubio: It depends on the Seager to a degree but this is actually a really interesting trade that hinges on how long Schwarber can hang onto his C eligibility. I'll lean Wong and Corey Seager side winning here.

Frito (The Chi): You check out Kane county a lot – who's your favorite "lottery ticket" prospect on the team?

Mauricio Rubio: Victor Reyes and Brad Keller. Reyes can really hit and Keller is a big lottery ticket. Ideal size, a fastball that he can cut, run and sink. Secondaries need work, however and the command is a ways off. But on that team those are my two favorite lotto tickets.

Guy Fieri (FlavorTown): You're a Chicago guy, you think you could hook a brother up with Carlos Rodon? Wanna spice things up like some kickin' wasabi and create some Carlos RodonkeySauce.

Mauricio Rubio: No he's mine and you can't have him.

Bart Benison (The edge): Would love to see more coverage and discussion on minors guys beyond the top prospects on podcasts and articles. Seems to be more and more deeper leagues these days, and dynasty leagues in its many forms.

Mauricio Rubio: The Raw Projection crews do not big game hunt too much. We do some pretty heavy and in depth positional discussions and the ones we have coming up will touch on some deep prospects.

GoTribe06 (Lynchburg, VA): R Odor or M Johnson, who has the greater ceiling?

Mauricio Rubio: Odor by a comfy margin in my mind. If you love Micah Johnson you see a speedy left fielder with a below average bat. If you believe in Odor he's a second baseman who can really hit.

AK (New York): Is Jesse Winker going to just be a solid hitter, or can he figure it out and be a stud?

Mauricio Rubio: I lean more towards solid hitter over stud. The swing is pretty but I don't see an impact bat here.

RB (My ego): Dynasty league: seems like every year more and more teams choose to rebuild. And earlier and earlier. Could it be too much prospect love? Rookies achieve more, and faster, than ever before -in all sports.

Mauricio Rubio: There's a lot of prospect hugging nowadays and it really shows up in dynasty leagues quite a bit. Rookies are achieving more quicker but I still think people discount the learning curve too readily based on the success of past players.

noplexus (Missouri): What are a few names that will be moving up into the top 50 prospects at midseason?

Mauricio Rubio: I think Nick Gordon, Kyle Schwarber and Nick Williams are going to make strong cases for jumping into the midseason top 50. Reynaldo Lopez should have a case as well, and I have a feeling Reese McGuire is going to make a big jump.

Lizzi (Fort Myers): Should I trade away Jose De Leon to get Rougned Odor in a dynasty league?

Mauricio Rubio: I personally would. As I stated previously I like what De Leon is doing but I still would go after Odor if that's the ask.

fan (California): Time to sell Mark Appel?

Mauricio Rubio: In dynasty leagues? I think you're selling low with Appel so I'd probably hang onto him and hope he figures something out because it's been ugly so far this year.

sir nerdlington (the nerd box): Reading about MiLB players and some of the odd jobs they take in the off-season it struck me that there is an incredible risk of injury in most (e.g. construction). Given the game is awash in money why is it that teams aren't throwing an extra $25k per player (on average) in the minors in order to allow them to eat better, work out, and not operate heavy machinery? In the end it's an extra $5M that would go much further than signing Aaron Harang. What am I missing?

Mauricio Rubio: You'll have to ask the owners this because I never understood why they'd let their million dollar investments eat like trash.

Chris (Phoenix): Big question about Derek Fisher was his power and he wasn't able to tap into it in college. Has his profiled changed recently with a higher power projection or do the same questions exist and he's now in Cal league where the numbers are skewed?

Mauricio Rubio: I saw Fisher during Quad Cities trip to Kane County recently. The raw is there and he did put on an impressive show in game there as well but it's still a question he'll have to answer at AA. I was pretty impressed with his approach and ball tracking ability and the power is easy in BP, but it's pretty clear he was too advanced for the level and Cal League stats aren't going to clarify the issue all that much. I don't think he taps into his power all the way but there's potential for average to solid average pop.

AK (New York): How about Manny Margot? More of a good all around player, or superstar potential?

Mauricio Rubio: I think more of a solid all around player who can be very good in centerfield. Superstar is a step too far but he's a good player.

John567 (Los Angeles): for the prospects we often see them on a 20-80 scale. its tough to find data on current major league players with current scouting reports. Like Urias is listed with a potential 6+ FB, 6 curve, 6 change. is there a place where we could look to current scouting reports to see a current big league pitcher with that profile?

Mauricio Rubio: We don't have a raw database like that which is actually a pretty interesting idea for the future but when it comes to offense the scale does correlate to predicted production.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CEvTOy8UgAA9Tuv.jpg

For pitching it's a more loose definition but again this is a very interesting project.

SalukiSwan (Lincolnshire): The Cubs are about to go on the road to Detroit and Cleveland. Do they call up either Baez or Schwarber to DH?

Mauricio Rubio: I've answered this previously but I don't think so. If they call up Baez I'd rather they did it to play a position as well.

RDBL2014 (Concord, Ca): What is a realistic projection for Jeferson Meija considering how far away he still is.

Mauricio Rubio: Realistic: A very frustrating backend pitcher or a middle reliever. The command issues can get extreme.

justarobert (Santa Clara): If the White Sox can't develop position players, what does that say for the developmental arc of Marcus Semien, and the likelihoods of his offensive breakout's being real and his defensive problems' being fixable?

Mauricio Rubio: I don't think his specific defensive game is fixable to the point of being a long term starting shortstop but the first question is a really good one. I think that what it can say is that the White Sox development plan to this point produces MiLB results but does not fully prepare players for MLB pitching. It's a pretty serious problem.

seddrah (seattle): Which young arm has biggest upside? Luis Ortiz, Reynaldo Lopez, Blake Snell, Luis Severino, or Yadier Alvarez?

Mauricio Rubio: I'll go with Tuck's boy Reynaldo here.

Bill Clinton (Las Vegas): Is Nick Williams a top 25 prospect? The changes he has made in his approach this year are incredible. Is a 25-15 year with a .300 AVG in line for what a peak year for Williams could be if he keeps up this approach?

Mauricio Rubio: I'm betting that he'll be on the peripheral of the top 25 in the midseason update. He's had a very impressive season to this point and the talent that backs the numbers up is legitimate.

Ishmael (The Sea): What's going on with Hunter Renfroe?

Mauricio Rubio: AA pitching is really, really hard and he's having difficulty making the second biggest jump in baseball. The issues go back to last year as well.

neph27 (The cmbl): What sort of grades are people putting on hit/power for jomar reyes?

Mauricio Rubio: Tucker Blair has you covered:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=195

AJ (Phoenix): The day will not be complete with you saying Raimel Tapia... and maybe saying something about his future. Or his #rig.

Mauricio Rubio: That's my favorite name to say in baseball tons of swag. Mucho swagger

Ayzzy (Jackson Hole): You don't have to answer all of them(or even one of them): How does Arismendy fit into Chicago's future this or next year? Is it reasonable to expect Wil Myers to keep up this season's performance? What happened to Marcell Ozuna's power this year? What is your favorite thing about Touki Toussaint? Anthony Alford is this year's Pompey? Thanks

Mauricio Rubio: I think Alcantara fills a super utility role in the short term and provides insurance in case of injury and or trades. In the long term? Who knows. I've always loved Wil Myers so I think he can keep this up. I love Touki's curveball, it's a legitimate pitch.

agetting (Queens): Steven Matz seems to dominate the PCL every single night he pitches. I'm curious to know how good he really is? Word out there says he has 3 plus pitches. Is this another potential front-line guy for the Mets?

Mauricio Rubio: Lotta Matz and Dom Smith Questions. I think he's a mid-rotation guy and it's come together for him really quickly this year.

Alex (Baton Rouge): Who would you rather have on your dynasty team, Arismendy Alcantara or Orlando Arcia? What about Alen Hanson?

Mauricio Rubio: Fantasy only? Alcantara then Hanson then Arcia.

Eric (Fremont): A's fan here trying to find something positive in this season beyond Sonny Gray. So what do you make of the seasons so far (SSS caveat) of Stephen Vogt, Billy Burns, and Mark Canha (against right-handers)?

Mauricio Rubio: There was another Canha question that was just submitted so I'll answer it in this one. Yeah I think there's always room for players who can hit right handed pitching even if LHPs get them out. I don't understand why Vogt is doing what he's doing and I really want Billy Burns to work but I don't think it's a long term thing. At least Marcus Semien is mashing.

John (Danville): What kind of return should the A's look for if they decide to deal Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez?

Mauricio Rubio: I don't think the Chavez deal will bring a lot in return. Kazmir is the guy that can bring some pieces back but we'll have to wait and see if he's healthy.

John (CT): What's your best guess as to what we can expect offensively from Francisco Lindor?

Mauricio Rubio: .280 average with some on base skills and some pop you weren't expecting. The steals will be there too because he's a smart baserunner.

Ernie (Seattle): What kind of SP's should one hope to bring back in a heads up, 1:1 trade for either Evan Longoria or Carlos Gomez (20 teams, keep forever, 5x5 + xbh, obp, hld, qs)? My staff has been obliterated with injuries, meanwhile I have Machado & Trout manning 3B & CF for the foreseeable future

Mauricio Rubio: Both players are having off starts to the season so I'd expect an SP2 in return for both players. Gomez's falloff is particularly concerning considering the player's history but I wouldn't sell low on him.

Bill (New Mexico): You and Mike Matheny switch roles, so that you fill out the major-league roster (and he does commentary, if anyone notices). Who gets the playing time with that crowded outfield situation? Holliday is obviously near 100%, but how do you apportion the rest between Jon Jay, Jason Heyward, Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk?

Mauricio Rubio: I'm completely compromised when it comes to Peter Bourjos. I'd go Grichuck, Bourjos and Heyward LF/CF/RF with Jay filling in the corners and never ever setting foot in center again.

Alex (New Haven): Earlier this year, Sam Miller said in a chat, "Vogt will be very good this year, very bad next year, and out of the league by 2017. Weirdly specific prediction." 1) Should Vogt be concerned? 2) Should we hit up Sam for some lottery numbers?

Mauricio Rubio: 1. Yes, it's too specific to be wrong and 2. yes but you have to be sneaky about it.

misterbob (brookhaven pa): What do you see as a ceiling for Josh Bell----can he be an impact player for the Pirates starting maybe next year? What if anything do you like about him?

Mauricio Rubio: I think that's aggressive on the impact. I do think Bell has his merits but for me I see more of a solid average regular than an impact bat.

Bill (New Mexico): So you bench Holliday, or move him to 1B (which he has never played as a pro), or what? His immovability in LF (in several senses...) is what makes the STL OF situation hard.

Mauricio Rubio: Sorry, should have clarified, I play Holliday at first where he's taking reps.

Alex (Mississippi): Dynasty question: Would you trade Derek Hill for Shane Greene? I'm rebuilding so I would lean Hill but I also have no pitching... Thanks!

Mauricio Rubio: I'd keep Hill here and see if you can get something better. Especially if you're in a rebuild.

Mike (Maine): Is midseason update up around all star break? Is there an update at the end of the season or after AFL too?

Mauricio Rubio: Should be around July. Last year's was on July 7.

Tim (NY): First question on this chat sounded like he though Barreto was disappointing. Do you agree with that? To me it sounds like he's been awesome so far in a challenging assignment. Only thing that worries me is his lack of stolen bases. What's up with that?

Mauricio Rubio: He certainly hasn't been disappointing but I do think that when the return for a player like Donaldson includes a prospect that people don't know that much about the projection can get out of control sometimes. It can create an expectation that is very difficult to live up to.

Mike (NY): Have you seen Touki Toussaint pitch this year?

Mauricio Rubio: I have and I will have a report on him this week.

John (Danville): How concerned should the A's be about Matt Olson's performance in Midland this season? Striking out 30 percent of the time and not even batting above his weight at the moment.

Mauricio Rubio: I'd be pretty concerned. He's a 1B-only which creates a lot of pressure on the bat to succeed. It's a tough profile to love considering the swing and miss and the position he's anchored to.

Jesse (Los Angeles): Follow up on your Matz/Gausman comments: As a counterpoint to the O's situation, is there a possibility Matz outperforms his projection if he stays with the Mets? Sure seems like Warthen and co do a great job of getting guys to outperform their prospect status once they get to the majors. Harvey, deGrom and Gee have all, to varying degrees, pitched better at the major league level than was expected when they were prospects, Familia, Geoddel, Gilmartin and Black have all performed above expectations in the bullpen the last couple of years, Syndergaard has looked great so far in limited action and even Wheeler was improving year over year before the injury. The Mets do so much wrong; is major league pitching instruction one thing they do right?

Mauricio Rubio: I think that's possible with Matz, certain orgs I give more leeway when it comes to developing certain positions and the Mets have earned their reputation with pitchers.

David (San Diego): For fantasy purposes, would you say No. 1 starter=top-10 fantasy SP, no. 2=top-30, no.3-4=top-50?

Mauricio Rubio: Loosely yes, but those demarcation lines can get fuzzy. Basically for me a #1 is a guy that will anchor your rotation in all 4 starter categories and it goes down slightly from there.

Mike (NY): Is Gavin Cecchini .320 average in AA a mirage or is he becoming a legit prospect.

Mauricio Rubio: Define legit...

He's a prospect but I don't think he's an elite one. I do think .320 is a mirage but Cecchini has real baseball skills.

Max (Hartford): BREAKING: Joey Gallo is using Pony as his walk up song. On a far less important note, is Gilbert Lara going to make it past low-A this season? What are your expectations for him and his schedule for the next couple of seasons?

Mauricio Rubio: I know the Brewers are aggressive but I don't think Lara climbs past Low-A this year.

The Gallo news is the most important tidbit of the draft and it moves him up in my personal MLB rankings 20 spots.

Jim (Texas): Is there hope for Mat Latos to return to being a useful SP in a shallow dynasty league? I'm concerned he's fallen to Masterson / Bucholtz status where he'll ebb between worthless and useful unpredictably for the remainder of his career

Mauricio Rubio: If he returns to form I don't think it happens in Florida. Just not a fan of that whole situation.

Taylor (MIL): Have you heard anything about Alex Jackson or Marcos Molina's injuries lately? Also, how far do you drop Dahl in the BP 101 after the slow start (albeit in hard environment) and injury (though it only sounds like 4-6 weeks)?

Mauricio Rubio: Nothing outside of what's been reported. The Alex Jackson injury seems a little convenient but regardless the reason he needed to get out of the Midwest League as he was just plain overmatched.

Don Slaught (Moon Twp, PA): Who of Austen Meadows or Clint Frazier do you prefer, in fantasy and real life?

Mauricio Rubio: Ahhh the question that nearly tore TINO apart. A year ago I was firmly camp Frazier and I still lean that way but Meadows has made up a lot of ground.

Jays (Toronto ): What stat do you feel best represents the quality of a team's overall bullpen? Thank you

Mauricio Rubio: This might be simplistic but I always look at K% and honestly, IP. The less innings the better.

Tim (Ohio): My two favorite and kind of obscure prospect pitchers are Duane Underwood and Brent Honeywell...Underwood didn't even make the BP top-10 Cubs article. What are your thoughts on both of them and their ceilings/ETA's?

Mauricio Rubio: I'll see Honeywell this Friday so look for a full writeup on him soon. Underwood has a lot of things that I like, fastball/curveball combo that can be plus, quick arm action and a change he's developing the feel for. I think Underwood has the highest ceiling of any Cubs MiLB arm and it wouldn't surprise me to see him high in the top ten next year, if he's still in the org.

David (Idaho): Brad Zimmer: Potential 5-tool stud or college hitter who should be raking in high-A? Is he bound for Double-A before July?

Mauricio Rubio: 5-tool stud and it wouldn't surprise me if he's in AA before July at all.

Sam (ARI): Does Odor have the best hit tool in the minors? BP put a 70 on it last year which blew me away.

Mauricio Rubio: Currently? Yeah I'd think so but the man does have a full season's worth of MLB experience so it's not the most fair comparison.

Michael (Cal.): Would you take Alcantara or Odor in dynasty?

Mauricio Rubio: I would take Odor but this is a lot closer than it used to be.

John (CT): Of the prospects still in the minors who will have the greatest impact upon arrival this year?

Mauricio Rubio: Carlos Correa and Corey Seager who should be up this year. If I had any confidence in the Twins promoting their young guys Sano and Buxton would earn consideration here too.

Mikey (Athens): I'm in college and approaching that time when I need to figure out my degree. I looking to do something in baseball, on the business side with front office types (I know, vague). I've had Sports Management brought up as a potential degree a couple times, what do you think about that degree and its usefulness?

Mauricio Rubio: Craig Goldstein is an excellent person to ask about this very thing.

Max (Kansas City): Do you see Matt Wisler as a potential number 2? It seems like he has the pitches and now the command, performance has just lagged a bit.

Mauricio Rubio: I think a #2 is too high, I still go with a mid-rotation starter as the best outcome.

Mark (Virginia): Do you have any faith in Skaggs becoming the no. 2 that many people saw just a couple years ago? Is he worth stashing in a deep roster 12-team dynasty league?

Mauricio Rubio: I don't, I think that he's a guy who will flash but never completely pull it all together.

Timmy (Tucson): Are you worried about Shipley? He's been awful lately. Any chance he gets his feet wet in the MLB late this season?

Mauricio Rubio: I thought he was on a fast track last year, was very impressed with his fastball and the change and the curveball grew up as the season went along. It looks like we're going to have the pump the brakes here and see if he can work through his early trouble. Breaks my heart because he's one of my favorite pitchers in MiLB.

seddrah (Seattle): Does Dylan Bundy still have #1 upside? The kid glove treatment by the O's seems excessive at this point.

Mauricio Rubio: That's extreme upside and a role that's really only determined by production rather than projection. I think he has top of the rotation potential still, however.

agetting (Queens): Assuming everyone is healthy and lives up to expectations, please rank the Mets starting rotation 2 years from now from 1-5 between Harvey, Syndergaard, Matz, deGrom and Wheeler.

Mauricio Rubio: Lives up to expectations?

Syndergaard Harvey deGrom Wheeler Matz

Frank Underwood (White House): Over or under 10 home runs for Joey Gallo in the majors this year?

Mauricio Rubio: I'll go under and be really happy if/when I'm wrong.

bdiamond (CT): Is Teoscar Hernandez a fourth outfielder? So toolsy, but struggling like crazy.

Mauricio Rubio: Likely a second division starter/fourth outfielder. There's some potential for more but not much.

Patrick (NJ): Any advice on how to successfully tank in dynasty without pissing anyone off? I think I've got the second part down, considering once I decided to rebuild four weeks ago I've gone undefeated thanks to streaming Alex Colome, Despaigne, Severino Gonzalez, Kelly, and others with the expectation that they would suck and have them end up doing great.

Mauricio Rubio: I am terrible at tanking without pissing people off. In terms of your stream options I'd have to see the opponents but Colome and Despaigne aren't terrible stream options for winning so maybe, stream worse?

ORWahoo (Tigard, OR): Re: Derek Fisher: Just before his final year began, he broke his hamate bone, which tends to impact power for a year or so. Also, UVa plays in a pitcher's park, from what I recall, so that could also have depressed his numbers.

Mauricio Rubio: Pretty important to keep in mind RE Fisher.

Arquimedes Caminero (PGH): Podcast Segment Idea: Mauricio correctly pronouncing Latin names for 5 minutes. Thoughts?

Mauricio Rubio: You used this name on purpose. Just know I'm saying it over and over again.

Alex (Anaheim): Are any prospects getting too much hype for your taste lately?

Mauricio Rubio: Dom Smith.

I kid, kind of.

Mike (Oregon): At this point, what's Folty's realistic role in the MLB going to be?

Mauricio Rubio: If we're being realistic he's probably a 4 starter or a late inning reliever. If I had to bet I'll go in on Folty the starter but I'm the lonely guy on that ship.

jeff (san berdoo): Mallex Smith or Roman Quinn?

Mauricio Rubio: I'll go with Quinn here.

Old man (Duke's bar): In an auction dynasty league where prices increase $2/yr for guys in majors (prices frozen for minors guys) what is a good ratio of trading MLB players for prospects? ie- star worth 2 or 3 prospects. Fantasy bench help worth just FA$. Etc

Mauricio Rubio: All depends on the caliber of prospect. Bret Sayre has a good strategy for this sort of thing, star players should return their fair share of top prospects and really if it's a true star player there should be some MLB talent coming in return.

George (Alabama): Is it still realistic that Matt Moore will turn into a number one or two starter?

Mauricio Rubio: I still believe in the arm and he's only 25. I think he can still be a top of the rotation guy.

Wes (NY): Do you play OOTP '16? I just started playing and it's awesome, but the amount of maxed out 5 star guys on every team kind of bothers me... (Alex Guerrero has same rating as Trout)

Mauricio Rubio: I use the 20-80 scale and there are some things about the way the scale is distributed that bothers me but on the whole I love the game.

Alec (ND): Is Osuna still going to be an MLB starter? Could that be in 2016, with the Blue Jays going along the lines of what the Royals are doing with Finnegan? What's his ceiling as a starter?

Mauricio Rubio: Going to be is not certain. I think he has the ability to be a starter but we'll see how he handles a full season. If I had to bet I'd go with him starting in 2016.

Scott Van Slyke (LA): Speaking of Joc Pederson, why is not enough made of the fact that his brothers are named Champ and Tyger?

Mauricio Rubio: Joc Champ and Tyger. That's a helluva family. Couple of more in here.

Pat (Texas): What range would you rank these guys now compared to their preseason rank: Difo, D.J. Peterson, Alex Jackson, Fisher, Brad Zimmer, Hoffman, and Honeywell. Thank you!

Mauricio Rubio: Difo, Zimmer, Hoffman, Fisher and Honeywell all take jumps up. Peterson takes a hit and Alex Jackson's stock took a serious hit.

Stephen (Vermont): What's Gilbert Lara's best case scenario prime numbers? He seems like someone that could make his debut at 20 or under, right? Barely 17.

Mauricio Rubio: .265 with 25 HR's if it all works out. He's very young and there's a lot of room for development but the pitfalls are real as well.

Gallo? (Gallo...?): Gallo! Also, Brett Phillips or Derek Fisher in dynasty?

Mauricio Rubio: I'll lean Phillips in fantasy and my god, Gallo.

Ryan (DC): Is Jordan Zimmerman still a great fantasy starter?

Mauricio Rubio: I missed hard on Zimmermann here. Great is probably no longer in the vocabulary but I still think he can be good.

Old Bay American (MD): More likely to continue being great for fantasy... Bauer, Carlos Martinez or both?

Mauricio Rubio: I'll say Carlos Martinez but I don't think either holds up great ROS. They both throw a lot of pitches to get things done.

Arquimedes Caminero (PGH): I wish you would work in an Arismandy Alcantara into every podcast you appear on. It's like butta.

Mauricio Rubio: This may or may not be on my business card.

Tommy (West Virginia): Is this the wrong season to start stashing dynasty draft picks for this offseason with the weak draft class?

Mauricio Rubio: For fantasy purposes I think people will be disappointed with this draft. That doesn't mean that the actual draft will be bad or terrible, however. The top isn't sexy but there's good talent between picks 15 and 80.

Michael (Lorenzen): Am I better/worse than a boring mid rotation starter?

Mauricio Rubio: slightly better, I think. I just wish you missed more bats.

Alex (Towson, MD): Have you heard any reports on John Lamb? It appears that his stuff may finally be back after his Tommy John surgery. He is missing bats and his control has improved at AAA.

Mauricio Rubio: I haven't but we might have an update coming through soon.

justarobert (Santa Clara): No question, just a note. Gallo first AB: 98 mph grounder right past LaRoche for a two-run single.

Mauricio Rubio: GalloAtBat in the chat.

Mike (NY): What I mean is Cecchini a top 5 Mets prospect now and what do you see for the hit tool.

Mauricio Rubio: I think he's just outside the top ten, ahead of Dom Smith. I'd say the hit is looking like it can be average.

Pelecos (Chicago): Re: Cameron: What makes him different than the Keenyn Walker/Trayce Thompson/Adam Engels of the past?

Mauricio Rubio: I like Cameron more than this crop of players for a variety of reasons. I think he'll be more dedicated than Walker and I like his baseball skills better than Thompson. A wise man who has been deceased for quite some time thinks Daz to the Sox is a good fit but this is a guy who also liked Trayce Thompson.

Alright with that I'm out, sorry for those of you who snuck some questions in while I was answering this.

Mauricio Rubio: Thanks for all the questions and thank you Holly for Fieri-ing my chat.


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