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Chat: Wilson Karaman

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday March 04, 2016 1:00 PM ET chat session with Wilson Karaman.

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Wilson Karaman: I survived two La-to-Orange County drives on the 5 and 10 hours at Disneyland yesterday. I am all that is Man, probably invincible, and very possibly The Highlander. Let's do this.

Corey (Pittsburgh): In a dynasty league who would you take right now? Anderson Espinoza or Shohei Otani?

Wilson Karaman: Probably pretty similar ETA's when all's said and done, as it's unlikely Otani gets posted before 2019. I'll take Espinoza a) for the youth and b) because since he's already stateside and ranked inside our top 50 AS A 17-YEAR-OLD (!!!) his value as a dynasty asset is significantly higher in the intervening years

rpol (LA): What non-closer RPs are good targets to help with ratios in Roto (besides the obvious Betances)?

Wilson Karaman: Luckily for you (and luckily for us...yay?), we're just about to kick off RP week here, so you'll be treated to all of the RP content you never thought you needed (and probably don't). #PrayForBPFantasyWriters

GBSimons (Indiana): Wilson, would you keep any of these guys in an 8-team, NL-only, 5x5 league: $2 Ryan Howard, $2 Javier Baez, $1 Jake Lamb? Thanks.

Wilson Karaman: I'd probably keep all of them. Baez is a no-brainer, and somehow, some way Howard was a $13 player last year in NL-onlies. Okay roster depth, even in a shallower league. I've always liked Lamb, just needs regular reps & I'd take the flier he gets 'em for a buck.

snoop a loop (PA): 14 team, 6x6, roto auction league with $260 to spend at draft, but goes up to $300 at start of the season. Do you keep Goldy at $54, Kang $11 or Moncada at $11? Would love to lock in Goldy, but is that price too steep?

Wilson Karaman: Man, all of them? Moncada at $11 already is steep, assuming standard inflation. It's awfully tough to keep Goldy at that price, and Kang's nice at that price. If you think you can get Goldy back cheaper in the draft, keep Kang and flex your financial might accordingly to bring back your first baseman.

John (NC): Hey Wilson, what's tetsuto yamada's ceiling in terms of MLB HR/SB and triple-slash? is he worth drafting now in a league w/ no player restrictions? for example rank the 2b: moncada, yamada, ian happ, forrest wall?

Wilson Karaman: Yamada sounds awfully tasty. I'm not gonna put projections on him because, well, he's still a figment of our imaginations at this point. I'd take Moncada and Happ over him, and in anything south of a super-duper deep league Wall as well. But sounds like he can be a special talent. I'll refer you to Kaz Yamazaki's notes on him, and incidentally if you're not following him/reading his stuff at TDG on Japanese players you're not doing it right: http://thedynastyguru.com/2015/08/24/the-best-bats-in-the-central-league/

DJ (Dallas): Wilson, Thanks for the chat!! I read about Jurickson Profar playing at shortstop or second for the Rangers in spring training. Given the relative youth of their MLB middle infielders it would seem they might want to try him in the outfield. Are they simply trying to maximize his trade value?? Setting up a trade of Elvis Andrus, replacing him with Profar?? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Wilson Karaman: Well, he's a natural SS (and an excellent one) by trade, and it's still a road ahead to get him back on the six-spot given the time missed. He needs every rep he can get, I wouldn't read any more machinations into it than that. And I'd assume that if/when he shows he can handle it again that'd set Andrus up for a spot on the trade block, but you know what they say about assumptions.

Slinkey1998 (California): How useful is the "upside by year" tool, and how do you actually use it? What exactly am I looking at?

Wilson Karaman: I will refer you to the Glossary explanation for that one: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=upside

I just started using it, dig it so far, helpful or contextualizing PECOTA (& especially the accuracy of its past projections)

dylanrox (New Orleans ): In a points league where players are kept forever in the round they were originally drafted does it make more sense to keep Puig in round 18 or JD Martinez in round 6? Thanks

Wilson Karaman: Man...both? Can you keep both? I *guess* I lean towards Puig's value if it's a straight either/or, but I'm not confident saying it.

sdsuphilip (San Diego): Way too early obviously, but hypothetically if the draft were to be held today what are some prospects that would go in padres range (8)

Wilson Karaman: Yeah, waaay too early in the spring, especially given some early-season volatility at the top of pre-season boards. Padres are in an interesting position of having 3 picks in the top 25 (and 4 in the top 50) along with the 3rd-largest pool, so they have a ton of flexibility re: manipulating slot values. Preller didn't have a 1st rounder last year, so no track record to look at, but he comes out of a Texas system that was gung-ho on upside during his time there. High-risk reward types may still be his bag (someone like Will Benson? Reggie Lawson? Total speculation though).

jp (tx): when selecting keepers in an auction league do you lean more towards keeping the best players or keeping the best value. for instance keeping David Price right around the price he will be drafted vs keeping a yordano ventura or andrew heaney at $5-6 lower than what they might go for?

Wilson Karaman: Great question. With elite talents like Price I'll keep 'em at cost (or even in some cases marginally above-cost) - you need stability and high-yield returned value to provide a solid foundation for your team, after all. But for lower-tier guys like a Heaney or Yordano I'm looking for cheaper value with the best chance to exceed their price tag, that's where your surplus value comes from and ultimately where you win your leagues.

JM (CT): What are you hearing about Carlos Gomez? Is he healthy? Is he ready to return to potential MVP status?

Wilson Karaman: Supposedly healthy. Oblique injuries are the worst, so his struggles last year aren't without their reason. I'd still invest with confidence, that lineup and park is pretty sweet.

David (Atlantis): Mr. Karaman. Any chance you can shed some light on Michael Kopech, Triston McKenzie & Stephen Gonsalves. Or are these pitching prospects not worth the time.

Wilson Karaman: Yep. Kopech's got the nastiest front to his arsenal:

Kopech: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28502
McKenzie: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28224
Gonsalves didn't make our Twins list (that system is deeeep), but he's a guy that could emerge quickly if he can develop a breaking ball.

Jerry (Earth): Hey Wilson. Was wondering if I could get your opinion and knowledge on these 3 low minor prospects: Stone Garrett, Wuilmer Becerra, Luis Alexander Basabe. How would you rank them if they were in your system?

Wilson Karaman: Basabe is my boo, and I'd take him over just about any other short-season dude at this point. Wrote about him last week: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28510

Garrett is an interesting power/speed guy who we got good reports on re: strides with approach in the NYPL last year. If you're diving into short-season guys he's on the list to be sure.

Becerra I'd have third on this list, ceiling's a little lower than the other two. You can get the goods on here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28523

Leonard (None of Your Business): Yo Wilson, got 3 prospects that I don't know much about in Isan Diaz, Desmond Lindsay, & Wilkerman Garcia. Any chance you know more about them then what I know?

Wilson Karaman: Diaz can really hit, but I wouldn't go *too* nuts scouting his stat line in the high-octane Pioneer League, particularly re: the steals. Wrote him up here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28307

Lindsay cracked Bret's top 30 of 2015 signees. Higher real-world value, but can be a quicker mover & a decent floor type. Notes: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28307

Garcia is a high helium alert, with the chance to bust onto a bunch of lists by this time next year after jumping stateside and holding his own at 17 last year. Notes: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28428

Ron (Texarkana): Bret Sayre thinks that Ian Happ could be the best overall fantasy prospect in this past draft.. Do you take him over Brendan Rodgers?

Wilson Karaman: If - IF - he can stick at SS that's a possibility, yeah. Bret's got Rodgers' name tattooed on his shoulder blade (it's really quality work, + shading, ++ script, solid-average heart around it), so I'm semi-surprised he went there. But they're both really good hitters. I'd still take Rodgers without a second thought.

paladin (philippines): I need 1 more player for my fantasy minor league team. The choice is a SP prospect (Kolby Allard, Amir Garrett, Josh Hader, Grant Holmes, Yadier Alvarez or Dylan Cease), position player (Dominic Smith or Trent Clark) or lottery ticket (Willie Calhoun). Which SP and position player would you choose and also your overall pick, taking into account not only ceiling/floor but also proximity to the bigs (the closer the better).

Wilson Karaman: I really like a bunch of those dudes. Calhoun can be a special hitter, but he's a butcher defensively and loses value if (when) he moves to the OF. Allard and Garrett are two really high-upside arms, and Alvarez could turn into any pitcher you can think of (good or bad). I probably go Clark there, but you've got options depending on what you're into.

misterbob (pa): What are your thoughts on Eugenio Suarez? Picked him up in a recent trade (for J Turner) because I liked what he did last year and it looks like he'll play every day either at 3rd or short. Thought he might profile as a possible 20 HR SS in that park but it looks like he has a pretty clear path to the 3rd base gig. Also would like your thoughts on Hector Olivera and his potential ceiling with the Braves. Thx.

Wilson Karaman: Yeah, you're right on it re: Suarez. Really dig the eligibility, and he's got some pop that should help him return decent value. Olivera I have as little read on as any player in the majors. Didn't like what I saw out of him last year, too much uncertainty for me to draft with any confidence. Between the two I'd go Suarez comfortably.

misterbob (pa): Phillies fan here and although its still early, if you had the choice who would you take with their first pick in the draft this year?

Wilson Karaman: I think Groome's probably the clubhouse leader at this stage of the game, but like I said, it's waaaay too early to project anything with confidence about the draft.

Jon (CA): I believe you focus on CAL players. Did you get a chance to see Michael Feliz and if so, what do you think his chances are to remain in the rotation? Thanks.

Wilson Karaman: I do! And I did! Briefly, but he's an imposing dude on the bump and he backs it up with a legit FB in the mid-90's. Not the most repeatable delivery, SL is inconsistent but bites hard when he snaps it off right. Not a great CH. I'd keep him in the rotation as long as possible, but I think ultimately he's a dude with the body, stuff, and countenance to evolve into a high-leverage reliever (and a good one).

Joe (CA): Do you think Jose De Leon has the polish and stuff to contribute to the Dodgers in the second half?

Wilson Karaman: I loved what I saw out of him. Very tough to pick up, raw stuff's very good, smart pitcher. I might like to see a full year out of him in the high minors this year, but as a potential asset in the 'pen down the stretch I dig the idea.

Paul (DC): Fantasy roster construction theory question. My league allows a 40 man roster with 3 slots available for players with no Major League experience. Is it better to "clog" your roster with younger, potentially higher risk prospects who haven't even seen A+ ball? Or is it better to select prospects who have at least gotten a cup of coffee at AA and would likely produce sooner (and free up a roster spot for another prospect), but without bringing as much potential impact to your team?

Wilson Karaman: Really depends on a) how deep your league is and b) where you are on the win curve. Smaller league with less teams: give me all of the upside and just a liiiittle bit of practicality to round out my MLB roster. Deeper you get, the more value a fringe contributor and roster depth takes on.

Chris (Baltimore): Upcoming pick in a minors draft 5 x 5....please rank Barreto, Kepler, McMahon, and Alford.

Wilson Karaman: McMahon's my guy there, narrowly over Barreto, then Kepler, then Alford.

John (Boston): Hey Wilson,just wanted to get your opinion on Randall Grichuk,can he build on last years proformance or is he a flash in the pan????And can Tom Murphy be a durable power hitting catcher in the big leagues??? Thanks,John

Wilson Karaman: Like both of those dudes a bit. I think there's some room for Grichuk to improve his AVG projection while holding onto some of that monster power. Jesse Meehan over at Dynasty Guru had a nice piece on him earlier this winter pointing out his poor performance in hitters' counts. Whiffs'll always be a problem, but I trust the Cards' staff to get what they can get out of him: http://thedynastyguru.com/2016/01/13/randal-grichuk-prepares-for-liftoff/

Murphy's gonna have a lion's share of AB's in Coors after this year, mark it and grab him accordingly. Overall offensive package isn't the greatest, but whatever. Context!

padremurph (Los Angeles): Now that spring training is under way, when will we start to see the back field reports?

Wilson Karaman: Believe the first of our folks are slated to arrive in Arizona this coming week, so they're a-comin'. Meantime we'll continue to have plenty of college/amateur content. Adam's draft notes today are highly recommended reading: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28586

padremurph (Los Angeles): I'm going to go to the UCLA OU game tomorrow. What should I look out for from Alec Hansen?

Wilson Karaman: Excellent, that is the one game this weekend I'm unfortunately going to miss. Was hoping they'd hold him 'til Sunday. Command, command, command. He's supposedly got an arsenal on par with anybody, but he's really struggled to execute in two starts so far, a year after fighting forearm troubles throughout. He's got as much volatility as anyone near the top of pre-season boards, big start for him this weekend against an offense he should be able to work over.

Alex (Austin): If you are competing this season, who would you want more on your dynasty squad: Cody Reed, Francis Martes, Dillon Tate, or Anderson Espinoza (since he has to be in every question)?

Wilson Karaman: Martes and Reed have the best chance of impacting in the majors this year, Martes is the guy for me. I think either could be a lights-out reliever right away (Reed was 99 with a Warthen-esque 90-91 SL in his one inning at the Cal-Carolina AS Game last year), but I'd trust Martes' arsenal and command for a better chance at starting effectively when he debuts.

Teddy Broosevelt (Past): In a dynasty league where you are looking to win now, would you deal Lester for Stroman?

Wilson Karaman: I would not!

Wilson Karaman: Alas, our time together must end. Thanks to all who asked questions, and if I didn't get to yours I'm sorry and feel free to track me down on Twitter to ask again. I'll be at Miss St.-UCLA tonight, with notes from the weekend's Dodger Stadium Classic forthcoming next week. Later y'all~


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