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Chat: Harry Pavlidis

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday March 02, 2016 1:00 PM ET chat session with Harry Pavlidis.

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Harry Pavlidis: Welcome to Spring. And this chat. I'll try and answer/dodge your fantasy questions and turn them into stats and analysis questions...or you can ask me those, too.

Marco (Johnson City): I need help. I am in a league with a 12 man minors system. I have the worst minors in our league and I am shaming myself and my brother who is also in our league. Who can I add to help restore some pride to my families name?

Harry Pavlidis: research, research, research.
Sometimes you simply can't win with prospects, and someone has to have the worst system in your league. Is it bad luck or a pattern of bad decisions?
You can also change your name pretty easily in most states, afaik.

Dan (Colorado): Who would you take in a Dynasty League right now? Shohei Otani or Anderson Espinoza?

Harry Pavlidis: This was also submitted by Sam from New Jersey.

What kind of risk do you like more? The "can I project this 17 year old" or the "will this 21 year old ever come to America", plus all the overlap of risk between. Not knowing a ton about Otani's future, I'd lean towards Espinoza. But I think this is less about Pitching and more about Business

Chris (Baltimore): Minor League Draft coming soon in a 5 x 5. Trying to decide between Bregman, Benintendi, McMahon, Snell, N Williams.....proximity to majors isn't an issue. Any strong preference?

Harry Pavlidis: I think Snell is hard to look past

Truganini (CO): Given the Almonte suspension and the possibility of 2 months of a starting outfield of Rajai Davis, Lonnie Chisenhall and Collin Cowgill, what odds do you place on the Indians a) signing Ausitn Jackson or b) trading for Jay Bruce or c) sticking with the status quo? Which would you do if you were in their shoes?

Harry Pavlidis: It's all about the price. I would think adding a Jackson as depth is more prudent than adding Bruce, which would come at a steeper cost to put it mildly.

JM (CT): What's your projection for the A's Kendall Graveman this season?

Harry Pavlidis: PECOTA has him as firmly meh, a bit above replacement level. I think that's a fair assessment, with the standard big-ass error bars around pitching projections.

HeyLoCain (Chicago): Heyward for LoCain in a 5x5 OBP dynasty - which side do you want?

Harry Pavlidis: Heyward

Babyfart Mckeezak (412): What are your expectations for Schwarber this year? Think he will do anything for average or still better in OBP leagues? Also, any chance he gets 20 starts at C?

Harry Pavlidis: Crushing a lot of baseballs, seeing spin, occasionally falling down in LF. I think he'll be better on defense, both spots, and he'll probably get at least that many starts behind the plate. I wouldn't hesitate to pick him in a AVG league, seeing how hard he hits the ball and not just over the fence, he's going to have some high AVG seasons.

caseyj15 (Medford, OR): Correa hit 22 homers in 99 games last year but is projected on Pecota to hit 22 this year in a full season. Was his performance last year seen as an unusually high? The Bill James book projects him hitting 33 homers over a full season. Any ideas here?

Harry Pavlidis: PECOTA takes a long view, particularly on hitters, so it tends to be conservative. I'd guess somewhere between PECOTA and Bill on this one.

Brian (Atlanta): Jacob deGrom in the second round or Carlos Carrasco in the fourth round? There are 96 players kept in this league, so a second-round pick isn't close to the same value of a normal one.

Harry Pavlidis: if you can nab Carrasco in the 4th, and get something of value with that pick in the 2nd instead of deGrom...do it. But don't blame me when it goes terribly wrong.

Alex (Anaheim): Are any position battles catching your interest so far?

Harry Pavlidis: SS for the White Sox comes to mind. I haven't spent anytime pouring over rosters so I'm probably whiffing on better ones. Readers, got any good ones?

Archie Bradley (Arizona): Do you still view me as a top of the rotation arm?

Harry Pavlidis: the ceiling is there, but your path so far has been less than reassuring.

J.P. (Toronto): Should we be excited about Dalton Pompey? Toronto doesn't exactly have the best track record of developing hitters internally. Last noteworthy bat they developed was maybe Adam Lind.

Harry Pavlidis: It's less about development and more about preparation and maintenance now, isn't it?

Brittany (Mississauga): Long term outlook for Roberto Osuna: mid-rotation arm or closer?

Harry Pavlidis: I gotta think he gets a chance to start again. Being a shutdown reliever is a nice fallback, but he's still young enough to be looked at for more.

Danny (CT): Shohei Otani - best pitcher not in the MLB?

Harry Pavlidis: Giolito has a claim...for now.

Ron (Texarkana): Using your incredibly crazy and awesome metrics, who do you feel will be the best new SP in MLB, this season?

Harry Pavlidis: I'm going to go with Lucas Giolito. I don't need metrics for that, to be fair. I've seen his curveball, via MiLB.tv, rip a hole in the fabric of time and space.

Bryan G. (Michigan): Hey there, Harry. Care to share anything that you and the BP Stats team are working on these days? Anything fun in the hopper?

Harry Pavlidis: so many things. Confidence intervals, player comps, MLEs, pitch sequencing, wrangling statcast, newer/better web reports ...

Cubbie Bear (Chi-Town): Do you feel that the Ranger's inclusion of Nick Williams in the Hamels deal is indicative of the value the Rangers hold in Lewis Brinson's potential or do you feel it was more of a situation where the Phillies insisted Nick be in the deal?

Harry Pavlidis: that's a really good question. My relatively uneducated guess is this was just about Nick Williams being really good. That certainly doesn't exclude the possibility of the Brinson influence on their thinking, but, perhaps too simply, Williams is enough to explain himself. And the Rangers clearly valued Hamels--and why the heck wouldn't they, right?

RJ (Naperthrill): What would Willson Contreras have to do this year to convince you he can be the Cubs long term option behind the plate?

Harry Pavlidis: Make me feel better about what our framing metrics say about him. The book is very much open on him in that regard but it's hard for me to get super comfy with a long term #1 who doesn't have at least a track record of being slightly above average at framing. Again, we really don't know but Show Me is still my attitude.

Ted (Toronto): How likely is Swihart to get a majority of playing time behind the plate and will he continue to improve as a hitter similar to the second half of last year?

Harry Pavlidis: I've got to believe they're committed to him. I'd let him play, focus on receiving and let the hitting come along without too much pressure on that.

Chad (LA): Victor Robles a top 5 prospect next year?

Harry Pavlidis: That's a tall order to fill. Unless Reynaldo Lopez lights it up he should be the Nats #1 prospect ... the rest I'll leave to the ranking experts, but I imagine he's going to have lots of eyeballs on him in his first full season

Ennio Morricowbell (Beverly Hills): Thanks for the chat, Harry! Maybe I'm misremembering, but in a BP chat of 6-8 months ago (maybe more) did you say you were researching catcher values, specifically vis-a-vis pitch selection/sequencing? Thanks for all your work.

Harry Pavlidis: Yes, we are still working on that. Our rough (unreleased) metric LOVES Salvy. But we haven't made any progress on the "why". We're not directly working on the catching side now, but we are looking at sequencing. And, and the mathery and statery side, we're exploring ways of taking 'holistic' views of things that happen on defense, which may lend itself to further application with the catcher/pitcher dynamic.

JM (CT): Do you think drafting the Yanks James Kaprielian in a Dynasty league is a good idea?

Harry Pavlidis: Yes.

Jimmy (TX): Has the explanatory power of PECOTA (R^2) for team W-L records changed over recent years? I know the specific teams where it's been off have been different, but overall it seems like it's a reliable baseline ...

Harry Pavlidis: great question, I wish I knew the answer readily. I agree, while we do miss (sometimes large, HAI ROYALS) it's reasonable given the vagaries of guessing at playing time in February.

As far as answering the question precisely, we will likely include something along those lines when we start releasing some of the work we're doing on confidence intervals etc., as it's closely related.

Sam (sarnia): Who is the Rays closer at the end of the year, still Boxberger?

Harry Pavlidis: sometimes the best bet is The Field.

Matt (DC): Projections vary pretty wildly for Byung-ho Park, so I was curious to get your take. Do you think he can hit enough to capitalize on his big-time power?

Harry Pavlidis: I don't know, I have the same question. No doubt about the power, but really hard to guess how it plays.

James (California): Doing a new dynasty H2H draft ... where would you fall in terms of balancing going young players with secure playing time (<26yrs old) vs. older (>30yrs) proven vets?

Harry Pavlidis: I'd rather start young.

Dave (Pickering): McCullers really stepped up in his rookie season. Does he regress, exhibit similar stats or improve this year?

Harry Pavlidis: PECOTA thinks he might have a bit of a back-slide, but nothing alarming. I'd say similar stats. I think the Astros are pretty smart about getting a lot out of their pitching, so I'll balance that with PECOTA's standard pessimism.

DF (Wilmington, NC): In a SABR-based league that also values defense. CBA is followed, so 3 years at peanuts then arb sets in. I have the first pick in the minor league draft and am torn between Dansby Swanson and Brendan Rodgers. I am probably set at SS for a few years, so Rodgers' distance from the show is not a huge deal to me. Staying at SS is. Would you go for Rodgers' upside in Coors or Swanson's overall game?

Harry Pavlidis: Oddly enough, I'm in a league with Bret Sayre and we just faced this same decision. We took Rodgers.

Jimmy (TX): Are there any player projections this year that you just don't believe (high or low)?

Harry Pavlidis: all of them are wrong. By definition. Most of them are useful, though.
That said, I think we are missing something about the Royals bullpen, but I'm not certain enough yet to know how to measure/address it adequately.

Greg (Virginia Beach): Any hope for Eddie Butler this year? It wasn't long ago he was considered a potential #2.

Harry Pavlidis: I think we'd have to be happy if he's a back of the rotation guy now.

Carl (Thornhill): Chances that AJ Reed breaks camp as 1B with the Astros. If not, when do you expect him to be called up?

Harry Pavlidis: [insert super two joke here]
I don't know, but probably not this year unless he forces their hand.

JM (CT): Your thoughts on the Twins Tommy Milone please. Is he an overachiever or he still learning his craft?

Harry Pavlidis: both?

Harry Pavlidis: and with that vague set of answers, I bid you good afternoon. Thanks for the questions, I do encourage you to pester our Fantasy and Prospecting folks for better answers where I fall short, they're amazingly good.


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