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Chat: Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday February 25, 2016 12:00 PM ET chat session with Jeffrey Paternostro.

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Jeffrey Paternostro: Hello all, Jeffrey Paternostro here from the prospect team here to chat. My Mets list just went up this morning, but I also did the Yankees, Phillies, and Rockies lists, and wrote up the 101 for the Annual, so all kinds of prospect stuff can be on the table. We can also get into soccer and bourbon if we get bored.

Reggie (NY): Hey Jeffrey, big fan of your work. You've been making Mets top prospects lists for years - was the overall process different now that you were part of the BP team and have (presumably) greater access to more resources? Did you find yourself coming to different conclusions than you maybe would have come to otherwise?

Jeffrey Paternostro: This seems like a good place to start (and not just because of the praise). If you are familiar with my work, you know I have been seeing these guys live for a while, so that is still most of what goes into the rankings. I do have the benefit of more opinions now of course. Some make me more confident in the final rankings, some less. I don't think the end product is all that different though.

FutureMetsShortstop (New York, NY): Which Mets minor league shortstop plays more games—at any position—in his major league career: Cecchini or Rosario?

Jeffrey Paternostro: My report on Cecchini's defense at shortstop was not enthusiastic, but this isn't a slam dunk for Rosario. Rosario is the better defender, but he will have to hit his way to the majors too. Cecchini has the more polished bat, and could theoretically debut in 2016. The Mets also aren't shy about playing below-average gloves at short. Still think it is Rosario though, who the Mets love.

mjm488 (New York): Who are the best Mets' prospects I can expect to see in Brooklyn this summer?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I am terrible at predicting these things, and they often come down to Spring and XST performances I'm not privy to, but I would think Desmond Lindsay will get a Summer at Coney. I really like the profile, and he isn't QUITE as raw as you'd think, but could use a season of CF reps with less pressure on the bat. Ali Sanchez will be there. He probably could handle the Sally, but I think Patrick Mazeika will get that assignment. Raphael Ramirez is likely as well, and he may even have more raw tools than Lindsay. Might see the #20 and/or #31 picks too, especially if they are college guys.

Tom Verlaine (NY): Where would you have roughly ranked the second-tier guys that the Mets traded away last season (Gant, Whalen, Meisner, Koch)? Assuming Fulmer would be #2 in the system but do any of those other guys make a top 20?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Gant and Meisner are the best of that bunch, and both probably just miss the top ten. Gant I like a fair bit, especially with the late season velocity bump. The change will be a major league pitch and the breaking ball improved, but there isn't much margin for error in the profile. Fastball can be hittable even with the funk in the delivery. Meisner I saw shortly before the trade and wasn't really blown away. Stuff is kind of generic, low 90s fastball, curve flashes average, struggles to repeat his crossfire mechanics with the long limbs. Both would have #4 upside for me. Koch is interesting but more of an up and down middle reliever unless the slider approves. Heavy 93-95 though. Whalen was more pitch mix than stuff and got shut down with a knee issue. Those two are closer to org types than prospects.

Tax Greg (Seton Catholic Central): Great site guys. I was thrust into the commish position of a league with a herd of baboons for league members. I historically am bad and really this league isn't my main focus. How do I tell these guys they are the suck? I am sick of the offseason fighting.

Jeffrey Paternostro: There's a bit in Bruce Campbell's first autobiography where he describes the process of securing funding for Evil Dead. He was pounding the payment with local business people and they all had questions about how funding would affect their taxes. Bruce, Sam Raimi and company were told they definitely could not comment on this, so responded to every question like this with "That is a great question...for your tax attorney."

What I am saying is, that is a great question...for a fantasy writer.

We do need to get Sam's Fantasy Ethicist column up and running though.

Dan (New York): Does Gary Sanchez become the impact bat that scouts have dreamed on? Can he hit .260 with 25 home runs in 2017 if given enough at bats? Thats a top 5 catcher, maybe higher?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I like Sanchez, but I think that is a bit high, more on the batting average side. The raw power is huge, but the approach and swing will limit it in games. .240, 15-20 is possible though, which is still very good for a catcher. Adjustment to the majors could be tough, especially as a backup, and I am curious to see how the Yankees handle his transition.

Nate (Colorado): I don't think it's a stretch to assert there is a perfect or ideal adult beverage pairing for just about every situation in life. What, in your opinion, is the consummate pairing for that moment when reality sinks in that your Guy isn't a Guy so much as maybe an org guy?

Jeffrey Paternostro: This feels like the same kind of thing you'd want for a last nightcap after a night of solemn drinking at an old man bar. I like various Italian digestifs, as you might be able to tell from the last name, so I'd go with a less-syrupy amaro, neat.

Joey Gallo (Texas): Does Texas put me in the outfield with Josh Hamilton missing the first month + of the season? Is that a mistake and how do you think I will do?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I will defer to our Rangers expert Kate Morrison here, who has suggested there is a better chance Profar breaks camp in the outfield than Gallo. This might be one of those things that actually comes down to how they look in Spring, especially when it comes to Profar's throwing.

John Henry (Boston): Is Ruben a less-syrupy Amaro?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I would use Nonino, but your mileage may vary. We could have a whole chat about drinks for Phillies fans though. They'll need them.

Phillies113 (New Jersey): Can you recommend a good cocktail? Also, the Phillies farm is pretty deep, but do you still see some areas where they have needs?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I've been working on reverse engineering one I had at the Breslin recently. I don't think I have nailed the proportions but I've gotten close. 1.5 oz Bourbon (they used Old Forrester, I used Evan Williams single) 0.5 oz tawny port, 0.5 oz amaro lazzaroni, 0.5 oz lemon juice, tsp fig jam. Shake over ice and strain and pour into a chilled coupe glass.

The Phillies system lacks high-end starting pitching, though Kilome has the potential to get there. Their 1:1 could easily alleviate that issue though.

Ron (Texarkana): Would you trade Schwarber and Matz to get Giolito AND Urias? I'm in a pickle.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I assume this is a fantasy baseball question, unless Sandy has a deal in the works I don't know about. Without knowing the scoring and the quality of your team elsewhere, tough to say. If you are rebuilding, maybe? But are we that sure the Giolito/Urias will be better in the majors. They may very well be, but the horizon there is also further away.

Greg (NYC): Defend throwing a future 60 on Matz's slider.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Hi Greg!

Now you shouldn't as a rule consider the organization a player is in when projecting tools. Even Matz could get traded tomorrow and then what? But he has already flashed a plus one when he played around with it in 2015, and we know the developmental track record with this pitch (see Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Familia).

Dee Dee (NY): At what point do you throw out a guy's pre-draft profile and let what you see in pro ball guide you?

Jeffrey Paternostro: This is a good question and one that is specifically applicable to the Mets system, given how many recent high round picks still dot the top ten. Jeff Moore wrote a good piece about this last Spring dealing with Dom Smith too, definitely worth e read or re-read. I will say on the pro end of things, on one level a lot of the work has been done for you. Some scout and crosschecker and player dev executive all decided this player was worth a (possibly high) pick. That's a data point. But a year (let alone two or three) is a lifetime for a prospect. Now if a guy looks gassed in short season ball after a full college season, maybe you write it off. If he still looks lost a year later, that becomes more of a balancing act.

This is a long way of saying, you have to keep it in mind, but pro ball is a different beast with different challenges. Trust what you see.

David (NYC): Tell us about the best prospect you ever scouted.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't know that this technically fits the question, as he wasn't the highest on lists or anything, but I remember being blown away by Carlos Gomez's tools in Double-A, crazy BP, crazy speed, and was already pretty good in CF at 20.

Obviously he was incredibly raw at the time, but I always thought if he hadn't been rushed he would have been a monster. Turned out it just delayed the inevitable.

e-man (Connecticut): In what order do you think the following pitchers make their MLB debuts: Glasnow, Giolito, Snell, Urias? I'm assuming Berrios would be #1... Thanks!

Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, Berrios first, though is Snell signs the extension the Rays may just have him break camp. Seems like something they would do. I don't think Dusty goes through with taking Giolito north in the pen (seems like something he would do, but not so much Mike Rizzo). Urias is the wild card here, given how his innings have been managed so far, if you bring him up at any point as a starter he will have a huge year-over-year jump. Not a Verducci Effect guy, but it's unknown how he handles a major league workload right now.

Let's say Snell, Glasnow, Urias, Giolito. I'm bad at this game too though.

Steve (Chicago): Any hope for Dominic Brown ? Where might he land ?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'll go out on a limb and say Toronto.

I don't think there is much hope for him at this point, but I saw a lot of Chris Colabello and didn't see that coming, so...

Eric (Long Island): Hey Jeffrey, love your work as always - the questions on Rosario at this point seem mainly to be regarding his hitting. If he is finally able to put it together (like many think he potentially can) where do you see his prospect status moving to? Would that be a top 20-30 guy?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So he doesn't have the speed/defense combo of guys like Albies and Mondesi, Rosario is more an average runner, but he could get to that range next year if the bat breaks out. Will it? I don't know. There is plenty to work with in the bat, but it will be tough to gauge him against Double-A pitching this year (I think the Mets will push him there given the line of shortstops behind him, though DePo was always one of his biggest boosters). I have questions about how he handles spin, and the gaudy power projections he had as an amateur look way too high now. Is merely continuing to hold his own enough?

forrest (darkness): can you recommend a cocktail? if it helps, I like ginger beer and am slowly exiting a dark and stormy/moscow mule phase

Jeffrey Paternostro: Ginger beer and lime are not really my thing, but it works with just about anything (and one of the best cocktails I ever had was a dark and stormy at the Baccarat bar at the Bellagio). If you can find Pisco in your area, substitute that for the vodka in a Moscow Mule (Lima Llama). It's a nice, if subtle change of pace.

The Times had a bunch of ginger-beer-based cocktails a while back in the Food section. There was one with bourbon, balsamic vinegar and muddle basil I liked. Sounds weird, but it was balanced and totally worked. Make sure you have a good balsamic for it.

Eric (Long Island): Sorry for not being clear - I meant what would you think of Rosario if he actually started to show offensive promise (even if not power) rather than just holding his own? I know you don't necessarily think he will but I don't think it would exactly shock anyone.....

Jeffrey Paternostro: Given I think he can be a plus shortstop, if he hits, that is a monster. Top 20 is in play.

misterbob (pa): Hi Jeff----The Phils have the first pick in the draft this year which is big for them and their rebuild, so if that was your pick who would it be and why? Thx.

Jeffrey Paternostro: My opinion here in February may be borderline useless, a lot can change. I will see Groome sometime this Spring, but from the reports I have gotten, he'd be the guy. Hear things like "I'd blow out my pool for him." No reason for the Phillies not to go BPA there.

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

Jeffrey Paternostro: That is a good question...for our fantasy team.

(I'd probably take Otani, it's a similar waiting game and arm risk, and he is already a finished product)

ZBGB (NY): Outside of Dash Winningham, are there any other 80 or potential 80 grade names in the Mets system?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Well, they could draft Dash's brother, Moose.

Nabil Crismatt is underrated, if not an 80. No one will ever top ZeErika McQueen though.

AMetsGuy (NYC): Who in the Mets' system do you see having the highest chance of being a superstar? Top 15 player in game. Obviously there is not a lot of high-ceiling types, but does anyone stick out as having their 95% outcome being that guy?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Steven Matz

...

Yeah, okay, you can't really play games like this in the system and include Matz. If Becerra puts it all together, I guess. I don't even know if 95% gets you there. I think most systems lack that guy honestly. That's a big ask. Then again, it happened for deGrom.

I guess I could stay on brand and say Carpio could turn into Ben Zobrist, but I don't even believe that, and I love Carpio. I guess Gimenez and Guerrero have that possibility, but that is only because they are so far away and haven't failed as pros yet so the range of outcomes is huge.

mjglenn (Pittsburgh): Who is the Phillies catcher in 2018? Alfaro? Knapp? Neither?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I would guess neither. Knapp has the better shot. Saw he shaved the mustache. That was a good move.

Gortat (Lake Eerie): Just read the Mets top prospect lists. Seems like BP is much lower on a few Mets prospects (Gavin Cecchini, Wuilmer Becerra and Dom Smith specifically) than other prospect evaluators. Any reason for this?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't know that I am that much lower on those guys (well okay, Smith), 4-10 is very very fluid here, and I had a bunch of different orders working throughout the process. Eventually you just have to file. But some specific reasons.

Cecchini: I just don't see a shortstop here. I've been told at times I have high standards for the position, but there isn't one tool or skill he has defensively that you can point to and say "that is a major league shortstop skill."

Becerra: Man, I like Becerra. I am pretty sure I had one of the first public reports on him, and his improvements this year during the jump to full season ball are heartening. I don't think a 55/45 is a bad prospect either. But there is a lot of pressure on the bat in right field, and scouts like him less than I do.

Dominic Smith: I wrote a whole bunch about this for my debate with Chris, but I've never seen even plus raw in BP, so I don't know where the power is coming from.

Ron (DC): If given a chance either on the Nats or via change in scenery could you see AJ Cole becoming a serviceable # 3 starter type ?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I haven't seen Cole recently enough to comment myself, but the team as a whole was very down on him during our 101 and Nats discussions.

John (Boston): Hey Jeff, just wanted to your thoughts on Randall Grihcuk,can he take the next step as a power hitting outfielder and Tom Murphy,can he become a power hitting catcher in the big leagues??? Thanks John

Jeffrey Paternostro: PECOTA thinks the power is for real, but that the approach issues are also real. I don't know that he ever has enough BA/OBP to be a slam dunk first division type, but if he hits 20 home runs and can fake CF, he will play for a long while.

Murphy is tough to separate from Coors. It's all muscle in the swing, but it works, and he isn't a bad defender. I think I comped him to Miguel Olivo on the Rockies list, which is even less sexy than my Tejada comp for Carpio, but that is technically a power-hitting catcher.

Speaking of which...

Jorge (Queens): I know you meant it in a positive way somehow but you couldnt find a comp for a guy you love better than.......ruben tejada???? Yeeesh.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm as surprised as you are to see how decent he was in limited playing time the last few seasons (excepting 2013 of course). But that profile with a bit more power is a really good player. Especially if Carpio can play 140 games rather than 110.

Eric (Ramapo): Who is the Mets prospect who you thinks makes the biggest jump this year, both in your rankings and nationally (aside from Carpio)?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Lindsay could be a top 101 guy.

I will be writing about this soon, but I think I might already be too low on Ali Sanchez.

Chris Flexen is another one if he gets a full healthy season under his belt given the dearth or arms in this system. You also have all the 2015 prep arms. Max Wottell is the most interesting of the bunch.

Mike (Minneapolis ): Miguel Sano - home run beast or swing and miss bust??

Jeffrey Paternostro: I am never going to be objective on Sano given some of the home runs I have seen him hit. I think the Twins should just stick him at a defensive position he's comfortable at (even if it is DH) and just let him hit. He has more feel than you think, and he's a better athlete than he gets credit for. I think he makes the adjustments needed to at least get the K% down to 30ish. That's enough to let the crazy power play.

oldbopper (New Britain, CT): Tapia, McMahon and, probably, Dahl are heading for Hartford this spring. How do you rank them? Dahl certainly disappointed last year but he was pushed, then injured. I know you used to go to a lot of games in NewBritain, what is your home field now?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I am really excited about the Hartford team. Less excited about the stadium not being ready until June. Senzatela will be there as well and maybe Freeland. That is loaded.

I had them McMahon, Dahl, Tapia on the Rockies list. I don't know how much that will really change this year, though Tapia continuing to do Tapia things at Double-A changes the conversation there some for me. McMahon paying first is a ding to the profile too, but I think he can be a solid third baseman, and that is how I will continue to consider him.

Riley (AK): Any good comps for Michael Conforto?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Can I get back to you on this? I have to ask the 29 other scouting directors who their Michael Conforto is.

Gigi (Jackson Heights): MLBTradeRumors now saying that the Cubs have somehow swooped in and signed Dexter Fowler. Where are they planning on playing him? A trade of Schwarber or Soler in the works, in your opinion?

Jeffrey Paternostro: This is what I get for not having Twitter open while I chat. Probably in CF and slide Heyward to a corner, which isn't a bad outcome. I think they will roll with Schwarber in a corner and use Soler as a 4OF and depth unless they get blown away. That is one hell of a 25-man roster now.

Gigi (Jackson Heights): The Mets have graduated a ton of high upside youngsters and are in the middle of an obvious win-now window. Are there any ways they can replenish the farm, since trading big league talent isn't an option? Or is there enough meaningful talent at the lower levels to help them out when this crew starts to get older / more expensive?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Two first round picks this year will help. As will breakouts from some of the 2015 prep arms. They have done well in Latin America, and not just with big money guys. They don't have any great options for the Wright/Granderson years though, so health will be important, especially in the rotation.

Juan (NY): Dilson or Carpio - who ya got?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Dilson. I love Carpio, but kid's in short-season. And Herrera is basically major-league-ready. I've said before that if there is one guy who totally blows past my projection of him (role 55) in the system, it's Dilson.

Ash (Somewhere): In reference to the earlier Phils catcher situation, can you explain why it wouldn’t be Alfaro?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It might be Alfaro, it is just less likely. He is still rough behind the plate, especially with receiving. And you always worry about leg injuries for catching prospects. He's in Double-A now too, so it is a tougher sell to talk about projection and tools.

Ellis (VA): If we are questioning drinks: I'm always looking for a drink with a bourbon in it. Best one I had was some sort of Log Cabin (Bourbon, Syrup, etc)

Jeffrey Paternostro: I find bourbon and maple combinations to be too sweet. I am from the Sean Brock school "I don't like sugar in my cocktails, I like booze in my cockatils." I don't mind a Maple Manhattan every once in a while if you have a strong rye for balance. Bourbon cocktails are my preference as well. You can't really beat an Old Fashioned, whether you use muddled fruit or just bitters and sugar. (for those that moan about the orange and cherry, nothing wrong with boozy punch). If you can make a quick simple with demerara and boiling water in the glass that makes it dissolve faster without watering it down too much or using overly sweet simple syrup.

If you are amenable to rye instead of bourbon, I love a Vieux Carre, or a fallback (1 oz rye, 0.5 oz sweet vermouth, 0.5 oz amaro nonino, dash of Peychaud's, stir with ice, strain into chilled coupe glass, float 1 oz applejack).

Gotta grab a call, be back shortly.

Q-Ball (Chicago): Theo: "This is it. We're not trading anyone else. We feel great about our outfield mix." In press conference today. So, Coghlan was moved to make room for Fowler. Fowler signs a 1/13 deal, which is GREAT for the Cubs. WOW.

Jeffrey Paternostro: And we're back.

Yeah, Theo is a pretty good at this stuff, Cubs should keep him around.

Jeffrey (Long Beach, CA): I had a chance to see some Jeff McNeil in Arizona and in AA, what does his profile look like? Looks like he could have a solid golf career if baseball doesn't work out

Jeffrey Paternostro: "Jeff McNeil played golf in college" will be the new "Kirk Nieuwenhuis played football in high school" for Mets fans. Assuming he gets to the majors. McNeil is an interesting one. He is a good athlete, easy plus run, isn't bad at shortstop, could play third, second and some corner OF too. Swing is nice from the left side. The baseball skills are still raw for his age though (he will be 24 in April), and the swing falls apart against lefties. It's an intriguing utility profile, but rawer than you'd expect from a college guy.

Nils (NY): In the Mets' top 10 under 25 list, would Wheeler be higher without the injury risk? How does his stuff (pre-surgery) compare to those SPs above him on that list?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Well, he's already gotten hurt? So barring issues with rehab, I don't know how risky he is versus Syndergaard (who has had arm issues in the past) or Matz/deGrom (who have already had TJ, but are now in the range where the second TJs tend to happen). The stuff isn't a question, the separator here from deGrom/Harvey is the command. Wheeler's is average at best, but the top two guys command four plus pitches well. That is a huge difference. Even Syndergaard started to iron out his early command struggles as he went along in 2015. Matz still struggles with this, but the minor league track record is there. Even if Wheeler heals normally, as you'd expect. He still has to refine his command to reach the heights of the guys above him. Now, if he doesn't, he still could be a solid major league starter. That's okay too.

Richard (NJ): Am i the only one who think Fowler going to the Cubs (who trade Coghlan at the same time) is just like when Zobrist signed with the Cubs (with Castro getting traded at same time) and the Mets were apparently negotiating for a full day with a guy who already had a deal in place with the Cubs? Shady shady stuff, man.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Cubs Devil Magic. It's like Cardinals Devil Magic, but with celery salt.

Juice Man (California): Next offseason: Harvey for Mazara and Tate, or, Harvey and Lagares for Betts and Kopech. Either possible/make sense?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think the Mets have to hold the line on Harvey as long as they are competitive. At least until 2017. They will still get a huge haul for one year of him if it comes to that. That said, I think Daniels is more likely to make that move than Dombrowski. Even considering Dombrowski's history.

Jake (Denver): Anyone from the 2015 Rockies draft class will make a big jump next year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Nikorak is the obvious pick here. Haven't gotten a good explanation for the control issues, and they go way beyond standard "control issues." Nothing in his amateur profile suggested this, and this may fall under what I said above about not reading too much into that first pro Summer because of the adjustments you have to make past just the adjustment to better hitters.

Ratt (Brooklyn): Cornelius Randolph - how close was he to the top 100, and do you see him making it next year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Was one of the last cuts from the list. A lot can change in a year in either direction, but I really like the swing, and assuming he isn't a disaster in the outfield, I expect him to be on it.

Gary (Payton, LA): Could there be a potential trade in place with the mets, cubs and a third team who needs a 1B? Wheeler to Cubs, Schwarber to Mets (to play 1B), and Duda to 3rd team which sends prospects to Cubs.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't see the Cubs dealing Schwarber for a pitcher that won't be a factor until August. They'd be better off cutting out the middle man and just getting the arm they want for Schwarber.

Gary (Payton, LA): Could there be a potential trade in place with the mets, cubs and a third team who needs a 1B? Wheeler to Cubs, Schwarber to Mets (to play 1B), and Duda to 3rd team which sends prospects to Cubs.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't see the Cubs dealing Schwarber for a pitcher that won't be a factor until August. They'd be better off cutting out the middle man and just getting the arm they want for Schwarber.

Gigi (Jackson Heights): Any hope that Jeff Walters amounts to anything as a major league reliever? I have a sliver of a hope he still has nearly elite relief upside.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Let's do some very fringy Mets dudes.

I don't know that Walters ever had "elite" relief upside. His 2013 in Bingo, he was 92-95 with an average slider. That isn't nothing, but it isn't that uncommon in Double-A pens. I saw him on rehab and the velocity wasn't quite all the way back, but the command looked okay. He is also 28 now. I think he pitches in the majors this year, because there is always relief arm attrition and he's on the 40, but I also wouldn't be surprised if his 40 spot goes to Jim Henderson or someone like that on 3/31.

Tommy (Evansville): Kevin Kaczmarski has tore up college and pro pitchers in his career thus far, what you got on him?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Saw him in Kingsport. It was very much polished college senior beating up on the Appy. He has a bit of a metal bat (Now I guess BBCOR bat) swing, and he is limited to left field. Org guy for me.

Jorge (Queens): Cmon Jeff, Regardless of how supposedly decent Tejada was, he isnt a starting caliber player to the point where they started Wilmer.....at shortstop over him for a long time. Also, the guy only plays 110 gms bc he stinks and bad players dont see the field.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Sure. The comp was more meant as prospects. Tejada was pushed very young and always held his own during aggressive assignments. He was seen as a polished middle infielder that would stick there in the majors, despite the lack of loud tools. His first two seasons in the majors he hit .287/.345/.345 with average defense up the middle. That is a very good player nowadays. What happened afterwards wasn't so good.

Ricardo (NY): Do you believe Jon Gray can be a #2 or #3, and is there any reason to believe he can tame Coors field?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The fastball velocity is down, the command was below-average in the majors. That is a bad combination at Coors and most other places. We know there can be more in there, but he was also a pop-up velo guy when he got drafted. That doesn't always last, and plenty of pitchers never throw as hard as they did in college anyway. I like the slider a lot, and the change will flash. You want to keep that frame/body in the rotation, but if he is a #4, I wonder if you don't try to max him out as a relief arm. The problem is the Rockies need starters badly, and they just traded for McGee.

Dorris from Rego Park (Queens): How much of an impact will DePodesta leaving the Mets front office have on the farm system? Go Browns

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think it will take some time to know for sure. He had a strong influence on the draft, so it was tough to tell how much was him and how much was Tommy Tanous (or before him, Chad MacDonald). DePo also definitely had "his guys" from a player development standpoint, and there will be different people in the room to make pushes for assignments and stuff like that. We may never really be able to suss it out, and I think you will see the effects on major league decisions first. It will take a couple different people to fill his job responsibilities.

Noah (NJ): What's the ceiling for Hansel Robles? What does he need to do to make the next step to becoming a reliable set up man?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He needs better command of the fastball and a better slider. He's flashed an average slider before, but it's flattened out since he has gone max effort in the pen. The low armslot will make it flatten out too. The fastball is legit and tough on righties, but he's not much more than a middle reliever, maybe low-end setup, without better command.

Bureau (NY): I noticed that Victor Robles was HBP 21 across his two short-season levels in '15. It totally inflated his OBP (he walked 18 times). Is this a cause for concern or no, considering he doesn't strike out much at all?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Now a slightly more notable Robles. I wouldn't worry about that kind of stuff at all at this point. He's getting blown up (rightfully) for his tools rather than his short-season OBP. When you have his hitting ability against that level of pitching, you might as well swing. Obviously he will have to make adjustments, but for now I wouldn't be concerned.

Ricardo (NY): Do you see Dilson being a top 50 prospect if he were eligible?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, sounds about right. More certainty than ceiling, but somewhere in the 30s or 40s.

Harold (Waco): Dahl was mentioned earlier. The last couple of years he has been ranked highly but has seemingly dropped due to circumstances that he can't really control (injury.) Does he still have a good bit of upside or just a guy?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The upside is still there. I took the low man spot in our debate because I have concerns about the approach and questions about the power ceiling (and Mark really likes him), but he could easily make me look overly conservative with a full, healthy season in the Eastern League this year.

Ian (NYC): If you were in charge of a team's player development would you prefer having your A+ ball be in either Florida or California? Florida is heaven for pitchers but nobody hits, California is heaven for hitters but nobody pitches. Do teams take this into account when signing guys?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Everyone can adjust for this with their eyes, and while there can be issues with extreme run environments not fully captured by park and league adjustments or even scouting, you can't really control your affiliate, or even know for sure where it will be in 2-4 years for that 18-year-old you just picked. Honestly it might come down to where my Spring Training facility/other affiliates are. Sign good players, let logistics rule.

DJ (Dallas): Jeffrey, Thanks for the chat!! Saw the mention of Jurickson Profar earlier. Do you expect him to be working at positions other than middle infield in spring training?? Also, is there really a chance that he starts the year in the majors given all,the time he's missed?? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think you'd like to get him a month or two of Triple-A time just to get his legs back under him. I am sure he will work a bit of everywhere in the Spring, because that is when you do it. If he is the best option to break camp with, well the Rangers are trying to win now, so you might as well take a shot. The talent is still there. You'd prefer it not be at a position he's never played before though.

Ratt (Brooklyn): Is Greg Bird as good as he looked last year? Will the Yankees trust him with the job when Teixeira hits free agency next year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: probably not quite that good, but good enough that he likely inherits the job assuming his injury recovery goes well. Then again, if there was any team that should consider Jose Bautista's demands...

misterbob (pa): With Rogers and Story in the pipeline, how do the Rockies handle the SS position with Reyes there now? With Arenado locked in at 3rd, what happens with these two prospects? Can either play capably at 2b or OF?

Jeffrey Paternostro: A few Rockies shortstop questions in the queue. I imagine the Rockies would love to get out from under than Reyes contract now. though I'm not entirely sure why they wanted it before. The metrics don't like his shortstop defense, but where do you move him? Story is probably a better fit for second than short anyway, and Rodgers is far enough away you don't really have to worry.

Steve (Delaware): Granted I know you don't think all of them end up at the position but how would you rank the Mets 6 shortstop prospects (Cechinni, Rosario, Carpio, Guillorme, Ramos, Reynolds) in terms of their defensive profiles?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Guillorme, Rosario, Ramos, 50, Carpio, Cecchini, Reynolds.

Sam (Ny): Will Flores get 450 at bats for Mets this year ?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay, this will have to be it for me, so we will end with a question about My Main Man Wilmer Flores. I think this is dependent on Wright's 2016 health. So unfortunately for Mets fans, he has a good shot. He should definitely play against every lefty though, and every dick-high fastball specialist.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay, have a few errands to run and we did three hours with plenty left in the queue. We'll do this again soon.


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