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Chat: Mauricio Rubio

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday July 28, 2015 6:00 PM ET chat session with Mauricio Rubio.

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Mauricio Rubio: Hi, thanks for joining in on the chat. Let's get this going.

ColeWhittier (Pasadena): Could you rank these guys for future careers? Steven Matz, Carlos Rodon, Eduardo Rodriguez, Aaron Nola, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Vincent Velasquez. Any of these guys worry you and/or are they all in the same tier?

Mauricio Rubio: This is a tremendous and fun group of arms. Nola, Gonzalez, Rodon, Velasquez, E-Rod, Matz. The one who still scares me the most is Rodon. There's a good chance he doesn't fulfill his insane upside because of the command issues stemming from his delivery. While Matz and E-Rod are a tier below for me they are both very valuable arms that could be middle rotation stalwarts.

Joe (New York): Why all the hate for Yankee's first-round pick Kyle Holder?

Mauricio Rubio: You'll have to direct this to Tucker Blair for an in depth explanation but basically he can't hit and his glove isn't what it was advertised to be. Holder's defense isn't enough to carry the profile.

DanDaMan (Sea Cliff): I have Billy Hamilton, Mookie, Melky and Heyward in my outfield and can play 3. Which one would you bench? I keep picking the wrong one for any given week. Thanks

Mauricio Rubio: Bench Melky if you need steals. If you don't trade Billy as soon as possible.

mbeemsterboer (Chicago): Nice write up on Schwarber today, Mau! The hot rumor these days is Castro getting shipped out this week - but if the Cubs do that, who plays SS? Do they move Russell back over and then use Baez at 2B? Or do you think the Cubs like what they see in Russell at 2B enough to give Baez the starts at SS? Or will it be some other combo I've not thought of or with a player not yet rostered...

Mauricio Rubio: There preference is clearly for Russell at short. They've played him there when Castro has sat out. I think the dominoes for how this team looks for the foreseeable future start to fall at the deadline and they definitely fall in the offseason at the latest. We've had a year to properly evaluate the situation and I don't see how they can keep Castro at this point.

OKC (OKC): Who is more likely to have the highest impact at the major league level? Rusney Castillo or Jorge Alfaro?

Mauricio Rubio: Alfaro's had a rough developmental ride through the minors but you know, I'll still buy in on his upside. Reports I've heard have me believing that he can stick at catcher where his impact will be much greater.

Chipshot212 (NL West Cellar): As a fan...how do I feel about this Tulo deal? I get that his value is down a bit from last summer, but this seems like a ton of risk for Colorado. Both of these arms seem like dicey bets and there's a not insignificant chance that they never produce for the Rox. Could we have done better?

Mauricio Rubio: Jeff Hoffman is a tremendous arm with a ton of risk and the rest of the deal doesn't really back up the risk all that much considering the Rockies are trading away Tulowitzki. As a Rockies fan I wouldn't fell terribly good about the trade at this juncture.

fightingmoose (Canada): What do you think the chances are that Aaron Sanchez TOR becomes a starter longer term?

Mauricio Rubio: Those odds are still long not because of the stuff but because of the command issues. I love the arm but I don't know if it ever stays consistent.

Justin Verlander (Motown): Seriously, what is wrong with me this year? And do you have any faith in my ability to turn it around this season?

Mauricio Rubio: Let's handle two Tigers questions.

When I close my eyes and dream I believe that I can still see you off in the distance, still armed with all those 80-grade pitches and decimating the AL Central. The dream is good and quick and the reality shakes and saddens my soul to its core.

Chipshot212 (Watching the pennant races): Does Miggy come back in full for September? How concerned should Tigers fans be that he struggles and worst case gets reinjured/shut down?

Mauricio Rubio: Look if you're gonna ride it out into the sunset chasing one more pennant you might as well trot the big man out there because it's about to get ugly after 2015

Guy Not Working (His Office): Which side of this do you like more- Peralta, Turner and Dee Gordon or Rendon, Odor and Kang? Thanks

Mauricio Rubio: Rendon and Odor for me.

Ethan Spalding (groupsext): What is the best rap lyric about baseball and why is it Chief Keef rapping "B*tch I'm in the field White Sox Paul Konerko/ Get my hittas on you, Ronald Belasario"

Mauricio Rubio: You misspelled "The Catbird Sext"

I won't pretend to understand Keef and I won't talk poorly about our future mayor, Ethan. You can't trick me to talk bad about Keef on the internet.

Nope. NOOOOOPE.

ares1800jr (San Antonio): Who leads off in Toronto, Devon Travis? What would your lineup look like? without worring about RHP/LHP splits.

Mauricio Rubio: It's gotta be Travis. Donaldson has the OBP to lead off but I would love him in the two spot. Then you can go Tulo, Bautista then Encarnacion and man. Man that's scary and fun and good.

NightmareRec0n (Boston): Curveball tend not to work well in Coors. Hoffman has a 70 grade curveball as his main weapon. Is this concerning?

Mauricio Rubio: It's something that I'm thinking about but I'm not quite concerned about it yet. Hoffman isn't knocking on the door yet and his situation can change from now until its time for his call up.

John (CT): When do you think we will see Bradley Zimmer in the Indian's outfield? Is a healthy Grady Sizemore a good comparison?

Mauricio Rubio: You know, he might be up in 2016 at some point. Very advanced prospect. Sizemore was really good when he was healthy, Zimmer has a tremendous arm and he might be able to stick in center after all.

Avisail Garcia (Chicago): What is "an approach?" Can it be found on Wikipedia?

Mauricio Rubio: Hey remember when you weren't diving over the plate and getting blown up on velocity in? I do. It was a cool 2 months.

Avisail Garcia (Chicago): What is "an approach?" Can it be found on Wikipedia?

Mauricio Rubio: Hey remember when you weren't diving over the plate and getting blown up on velocity in? I do. It was a cool 2 months.

John (Dallas): Can Max Kepler be a first division outfielder?

Mauricio Rubio: I don't think he hits enough to carry a first division profile. There's not a lot of power here and I don't think the hit tool gets to the point where he can carry a first division profile in right.

John (Sacramento): Do you like the Ben Zobrist trade from the A's perspective? LHP Sean Manaea has an injury history, but it's nice to see some pitching talent that the A's acquire who isn't described as "fringy."

Mauricio Rubio: Beane has a history of trading prospects as soon as they hit the apex of their value so giving him more assets is a positive in my mind. I like the trade for the Royals more but it was still good for the A's.

Alex (Texas): Is Brandon Drury worth owning in a dynasty league with 200 prospects? Seems like a good 2B bat, but he's hit for NO power.

Mauricio Rubio: Yeah and there's some power in the profile, certainly more than he's shown this year.

Phil (CT): Is Arismendy Alcantara a quad-A bat at this point?

Mauricio Rubio: I think he's a trade chip at this point. I think the Cubs' jam of offensive talent melded with his lack of production and I can't really see him on the roster in any meaningful way in the long run. In terms of talent I still see a solid utility player but that's about it.

Bruce (Santa Monica): Is there any reason I should believe Matt Chapman isn't another Stockton mirage? He's hitting .269/.356/.669, but only .254/.353/.492 on the road. And this is to say nothing of his inability to hit left-handers (.226/.319/.581).

Mauricio Rubio: His calling card coming out of college was his defense and there was some talk that he'd be converted to the mound so no, I wouldn't buy in to the offense.

James Fegan (Elkhart): Who has maxed out their frame more, Courtney Hawkins, Micker Adolfo or Miguel Herrera?

Mauricio Rubio: You seem salty about that JAM-MEX game. It's close between Hawkins and Herrera but you gotta give it to El Piojo. Also if you ever look up a photo of him during his playing days you can pretty much confirm that there's no way anyone in their right minds would ever want to fight him. I don't want that coming at me ever. Nope. No sir.

Alex (Anaheim): Is the Tulowitzki trade more about Toronto going for the Wild Card now or being a contender in 2016?

Mauricio Rubio: Bit of both but I have to think this was done more for 2016 considering team needs at this juncture.

delatopia (the 415): Casey Meisner, just acquired by the A's in the deal for Clippard ... what's your take on his ceiling? Thanks!

Mauricio Rubio: Potential for a 4 starter, which does have value and it's a good get for a reliever. Likely going to have a long developmental path.

Snowborne (Pittsburgh ): These outfield prospects N Williams j winker h renfroe j bell c Frazier a meadows a Jackson how do you rank these guys for a dynasty league? Who has the highest ceiling? Who are the safest guys? What are your overall expectations for this group?

Mauricio Rubio: Williams - far and away the best talent/ceiling here
Bell
Renfroe
Winker
Frazier
and then Alex Jackson

I'm not that big on Alex Jackson after a look in the MWL. Raw power is there but I doubt he actualizes it in game because his hit tool is so loose.

Ryan (Boston): Why would the Nats trade for a Papelbon and let him close when Storen has been doing a nice job so far this season? Do you foresee Papelbon being the clear closer for next couple years? Thanks.

Mauricio Rubio: I think they've been targeting relievers with next year in mind. They were asking about Kimbrel but the price there was too high. They want an upgrade this year and are digging in for next year as well. I think he's the dude for the next two years.

Bort (Springfield): Is Aaron Hicks quietly becoming a productive major leaguer?

Mauricio Rubio: I don't think so, I just think he's treading water rather than outright drowning.

Jeff (San Francisco): Jarrod Parker suffered a setback coming back (probably too soon) from his second Tommy John surgery. Jesse Hahn, another A's pitcher who has had TJ surgery, has been shut down indefinitely with forearm inflammation. Am I wrong to think neither of these guys is going to have another start for the A's?

Mauricio Rubio: I don't think you're wrong there. The Jarrod Parker setback hurts the most because anytime you try to come back like that and it backfires it stings badly.

The Catbird Sext (Chicago): Carlos Sanchez, Micah Johnson, Tyler Saladino--is there an eventual 45-grade MLB 2B in this group?

Mauricio Rubio: It's Saladino. I think Sanchez is a defense only player and I don't see Micah Johnson at 2B long term at all.

Billy (Beantown): Mauricio, I've been hearing a lot about Rafael Devers. What's his likely progression to Fenway?? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Mauricio Rubio: Eventually a move over to first base will be discussed because Devers lacks the athleticism to stick at third base. That's fine though because his bat is ridiculous and loaded with power.

delatopia (the 415): Clayton Blackburn ... what kind of ceiling does he have at this point? And does Kyle Crick ever seem like he's going to find his control? Even in the pen, there hasn't been much improvement.

Mauricio Rubio: Blackburn's still a likely 4 starter if it all breaks well. There's just not a lot there stuff wise. I hate to say it but I can't ever see Kyle Crick throwing strikes consistently.

Booger (NC): Thanks for the Chat Mauricio. What can you tell me about Touki Toussaint? I am very intrigued by this guy, especially after his success since being traded.

Mauricio Rubio: Nice name.

Toussaint's raw stuff is the first thing that catches your attention, I saw a fastball that had the potential to tick up to the 95-96 range and a curveball with double-plus potential. His change can get to average as well which will be a big deal in him remaining a starter. Command will be the issue moving forward but Toussaint has the coordination and ability to improve his command to acceptable levels and earn a high-3 role. He's a fun arm, booger.

Mike (Seattle): Do you move Hoffman down in your mid-season top-50 for being traded to a team with a bad ballpark and bad dev. history for SP?

Mauricio Rubio: The development history makes me think about it more than the park to be honest. It's a factor but as I stated previously a lot of factors can change between now and when the time comes for him to pitch in the majors.

STEVE (Phoenix): What's your take on Kevin Cron? Just California league or something worthwhile?

Mauricio Rubio: I'm not a fan of the profile and he's truthfully not really hitting enough to warrant worthwhile consideration at this point.

Steve (Boston): At what point will you board the Anderson Espinoza hype train?

Mauricio Rubio: He was born in 1998 so I think we can definitely pump the brakes here.

Steve (Philadelphia): You seem to catch a lot of Low-A games. Which player at an even lower level would you want to see in person the most? Lara? Espinoza? Rodgers?

Mauricio Rubio: Swanson, but he only kind of counts. I want to see a lot of the draftees coming up. In a perfect scenario my most highly prized short season guy would be Brady Aiken in terms of watchibility.

Josh (Tenn.): What's a best case scenario for Alen Hanson? 15 HR, 30 SB, .280 BA?

Mauricio Rubio: That's heavy on the BA and power especially in this offensive environment. You're looking at a ~.250 hitter with SBs and mild power.

HalfStreet (Fairfax VA): Clippard comes in and Mejia goes out. Acknowledging that Mejia's abiities were a mirage, is the Mets' bullpen better or worse than it was 2 days ago?

Mauricio Rubio: It's better, I like Clippard even though he always throws a ton of pitches.

Steve (Pittsburgh ): Harold Ramirez has a nice batting average, but he also was in extended spring training for fattening up. Do you like him more or less than the offseason?

Mauricio Rubio: A little less but not much. I don't think he actualizes his tool set but if he can hang on to the bat profile I think we're talking about a solid contributor in a corner OF spot.

sykklone (IA): Anything there for Lucas Sims or has this year been a big step backward??

Mauricio Rubio: This is about the second year we've talked about Sims and his struggles. Age and time are still on his side and there's still stuff to pull out but I'm concerned.

Nathan (Grand Rapids): Which breakout CF would you rather hold onto in a dynasty, Pollock or Cain? Which one do you believe in more going forward?

Mauricio Rubio: I'll go with Cain. He's performed at a high level before and there's reason to believe he can continue his production. Also I really love Lorenzo Cain.

Jquinton82 (NY): Dylan Bundy... Buy,sell, hold... Run like hell? In a dynasty league

Mauricio Rubio: Cry silently.

Josh (DC): Wow, you don't think Jesse Hahn makes another start ever for the A's? So is the forearm inflammation just the prelude to a second Tommy John surgery?

Mauricio Rubio: If you're an A's fan and you're worried about Hahn making another start I think that's a valid concern considering the inflammation and the rest option the A's have gone with. Best case scenario is that he makes a few starts at the tail end of the season but I don't have all that much faith after words like "elbow inflammation", "second Tommy John", and "Jesse Hahn" are thrown together.

Dylan Bundy (Baltimore): I am crying silently... What next?

Mauricio Rubio: Ha,

In the dynasty context if you have Bundy you wait.

DJ (Dallas): Mauricio, Thanks for the chat!! Rougned Odor has been on a real tear since being recalled. Assuming he's not going to continue to hit over 350, at what level should we expect him to perform going forward?? In your opinion, where does he rank with the rest of the AL 2B's?? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Mauricio Rubio: The hit tool can carry him and he's definitely a top five AL 2B. I think you are looking at a guy who can maintain a high average here.

Alex (Anaheim): The Angels have now acquired Shane Victorino, David Murphy, and David DeJesus. Discuss.

Mauricio Rubio: That's a lot of extra outfielders for one team.

Old Bay-American (MD): Given their ""success" with pitching prospects, shouldn't the Orioles just trade Gausman, Harvey,and/or Bundy for Cargo or Upton, or anyone breathing, before the O's completely ruin them? 2nd Q: is the O's problem mainly development or scouting?

Mauricio Rubio: Tucker Blair has some really well-thought out opinions on what the Orioles issue with pitchers is. In terms of trade theory if you can move those arms and get someone back like Cargo or Upton I think you do it. It's not just about the Orioles history with pitchers either, those players fit a need for the team.

Marcus (DC): Think Joe Ross can top his brother? If not, would you rather have Ross or Jimmy Nelson?

Mauricio Rubio: I'd go Tyson, Joe, then Jimmy in this mini ranking.

Jquinton82 (NY): Ketel marte and Micah Johnson getting the call anytime soon in the next month or is that more likely in sept?

Mauricio Rubio: RE Marte, I think his play warrants a call up just to see what they have in him and I think it happens in August. RE Micah Johnson I think he's a September guy. The White Sox, as currently constructed, have a funny log jam in the middle infield and specifically second base. I don't think Johnson warrants playing time over the other guys currently on the roster. Not yet.

Andres Gallaraga (the VZ): RE: midseason top 5o fantasy; where would you slot Brendan Rodgers? Would you trade Clint Frasier for him?

Mauricio Rubio: I would slide Rodgers into the back half of the list, and I would trade Frazier for him.

Carney Lansford (Oakland): Sean Manaea is a much sexier fantasy prospect in Oakland, right?

Mauricio Rubio: He is because of the park he would inherit but again, specifically with a Beane prospect, the situation can change quickly.

Arismandy Alcantara (AAAA): Favorite J2 names to pronounce?

Mauricio Rubio: Old hat, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Gilberto Celestino and Andres Gimenez

Peter (Miami,FL): Henry castillo hitting over 350 in midwest league but dont get much attention. you know anything about him?

Mauricio Rubio: He can hit the hell out of fastballs but against more advanced stuff he will struggle. Changeups will bite him hard, I don't think there's much there.

DanDaMan (Sea Cliff): Thanks Mauricio. Wondering about how you feel about Jason Hamel ROS. And do you like him more than Fister, Karns & Ray?

Mauricio Rubio: I think he's going to be negatively affected by Montero being out long term. I think he's a 4 starter who can occasionally have some solid starts. All told I would love to move him out of the three spot.

Eric (RI): Is Lewis Brinson turned himself into a legit top 40 guy? He has struggled, but impressively has adjusted every time. Can he live up to the Drew Stubbs floor Carlos Gomez-lite ceiling? A .417 OBP with 11 bombs and 13 SB is impressive....even in High Desert. I bet the Phillies are asking for him right now.

Mauricio Rubio: I think he's there, the hit tool is a main question but there's enough secondary tools to warrant consideration at the least.

Jeffery (Jersey): Jeff Hoffman's fantasy value is ruined now with the move to Coors field, right?

Mauricio Rubio: I just want to reiterate that if Hoffman's perceived fantasy value is ruined you should really go out and buy right now.

David (Oakland): Billy Bean situation and stuff, but do you think Franklin Barreto's becoming an untouchable prospect? He's been a beast this year.

Mauricio Rubio: I've heard some serious reports on Barreto and he's about to be one of the break out prospects of the year. Serious dude.

John (CT): Any thoughts on Max Pentecost after shoulder surgery?

Mauricio Rubio: Too soon to tell. I don't think we can properly evaluate him for awhile.

Something to Dream On (Far Away From the Show): Hey Mauricio. Any opinion and thoughts on Francis Martes & Franklyn Kilome? Is it possible to say each have a possibility to be a role 6 starting pitcher?

Mauricio Rubio: I've heard very good reports on Martes and Kilome. I think Martes in particular has the 6 upside.

Matt (Cambridge): Wouldn't going after Dan Haren make sense for the Royals? He shouldn't cost much and his flyball tendencies would be a good fit. Adding Cueto is good...but that rotation is still weak.

Mauricio Rubio: It's amazing what the Royal's outfield defense has done for that staff again. I agree that they likely need to go get one more arm but I'm unsure that Haren is it. I would check on Mike Leake or someone in that tier.

justarobert (Santa Clara): Barreto, Manaea, Nottingham, Meisner, Olson... pending further trades, this is still only a middle-of-the-pack system, right?

Mauricio Rubio: I have time for a few more here.

Yes but it's trending up. I wouldn't include Olson in that group, I don't think he ever hits enough to be more than a second division guy. Nottingham is a dude you have to keep an eye on because he's going to be on the radar very very soon. Big strong kid with a feel for catching a big arm and big raw power.

Ray Searage (Pittsburgh, PA): I could remake Tyson Ross into a top 20 starter. Should I get the chance?

Mauricio Rubio: I hope you do because Tyson Ross is really growing on me lately.

Sean (NY): Your thoughts on Michael Fulmer? Is he legit?

Mauricio Rubio: Third pitch determines whether he starts or not. I don't think he starts.

Tim (SD): Ooooh, Franklin Barreto talk makes me excited! What confused me though is the lack of steals, is that just an aberration? Also, does he stick at SS?

Mauricio Rubio: Last one, I think the stolen bases come back. Barreto has the arm for short but I think he's a CF long term.

Mauricio Rubio: Thanks for the questions everyone, sorry I had to cut this one short.


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