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Chat: Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday April 28, 2016 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jeffrey Paternostro.

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Jeff is a Senior Prospect writer and contributor at BP Mets.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Baseball season will be coming soon. We have no baseball team here. But let's chat.

Kevin (NY): I know that part of what was holding you back on Rosario was the fact he had yet to be particularly good offensively - does his hot start (especially in the power dept) make you feel more comfortable in his offensive potential or does it not matter all that much since he should really be in AA (or just sss for that matter)?

Jeffrey Paternostro: A few Amed Rosario questions in the queue, so we will start there. The power is nice to see, and he has always had really quick wrists. He's added some mass to back it up now too. One caveat: He is repeating the level, and I know he's still one of the younger players in the league, but guys can figure out how to hit the type of pitching you see in A+ with a long enough look. Double-A will be the real test here, and it may start within a few weeks. I will add that I am a bit more comfortable with the 'breakout,' because it matches the already existant tool profile.

SYager (NYC): Is Victor Robles a future top ten prospect?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I pushed for Robles to be higher on our preseason list, though not top ten high. We are still a waaaaays away from midseason list time, but who are the guys that will absolute slam dunks to be ahead of him them? Crawford and Moncada jump to mind immediately, but it isn't a long list. Jarrett Seidler's report on him in this week's ten pack sure sounds like an elite prospect's. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29003

Brandon (Chicago): What's for lunch today, Jeff?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Turkey Cobb salad wrap and a wasabi-pea-based snack mix thing. It is making lunch happen.

oldbopper (New Britain, CT): Help me Jeffrey! Finally the Double-A team located in Central Connecticut is really good, with lots of exciting prospects, and they are playing every game on the road. Tonight it's going to be Freeland and Giolito on the bump and the game is being played in freaking Harrisburg.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I am driving up to New Hampshire tomorrow (and missing out on a possible playoff clincher for the mighty Wednesday) so I feel your pain. June 1st can't come fast enough (and maybe not fast enough to catch Dahl again).

Larry (Carolina): Anybody standing out good/bad in the mets farm system?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It hasn't been a good April for the Top Ten types. Outside of Rosario, only Becerra and Gsellman are doing much of note (and Becerra is an empty .300, continuing his power outage that I wrote about at BP Mets last week). It will be much more interesting what short-season starts up, and/or Desmond Lindsay is healthy enough for Columbia.

Kevin (KC): Will the Jets take a QB in the draft?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Honestly I have slowly paid less and less attention to football over the last few seasons, but this does feel like a good opportunity for you all to go and watch the "Jets Draft Blunders" video. As a video editor by day, it is truly a work of art.

OoPMF2 (cornfields of PA): With no more Yusmeiro Petit, Josh Satin, Gabriel Ynoa love on the podcast, where will we get our fix of undue adulation for middling prospects?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I am writing about Kevin McGowan and Vinny Siena tomorrow for BP Mets, that may or may not float your vote (doesn't rise my tides honestly), and let's be honest, how long do you really think I will stay quiet about those sorts of things?

Jeremy (NYC): Completely different players, but what do you see as the likely outcome/ceiling for Trey Mancini and Stephen Gonsalves?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I appreciate the attempt here to abjure what is likely a fantasy baseball question, because, yes, they are close to as different a prospect couplet as you could pen. Gonsalves feels pretty close to "peak Twins pitcher" as a prospect, but I am not a big fan of that type of profile. Sure, he could turn into a strikethrowing 4 if the curve gets a bit better, but he's a long way away and feels more like a generic swingman type. Mancini is closer to the majors, and, you know, a first baseman, but he also probably has a role 5 type OFP. It is easier to wring major league value out of the 6'5 lefty arm than the first baseman though if both don't quite get there.

Brandon ((Going to) Chicago): What's your favorite era/time period of Mountain Goats? My preference is probably the late-boom box days and most of the 4AD era (Coroners Gambit, Galesburg, West Texas on thru Heretic Pride). I find myself less drawn to the newer full band albums on Merge (though I do like many of the songs individually), and was mildly intimidated by the volume of pre-Coroners Gambit recordings when I started listening to the Mountain Goats that I haven't done the super Deep Dive beyond older songs that make their way into live shows with some frequency.

Jeffrey Paternostro: This is a good way to get to the top of the queue. For me, the peak is the Vanderslice-era recordings (We Shall All be Healed and The Sunset Tree). Something about JV's analog production sound really works for me with the more personal lyrics (if you haven't read up on how he records, it's pretty cool). If you want to start in on the true lofi period, Zoopilote Machine and Nine Black Poppies are both excellent and not as oppressively lofi as the early stuff. I will say that I love his last two albums though. Transcendental Youth especially I would give another try.

Chris (NY): Huge match this weekend for the Wednesday vs. Cardiff. Care to make a prediction?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I will be not drinking in a hotel room in New Hampshire and watching on my laptop?

First BP chat I did was the day of the Arsenal game and I had little confidence. That ended up okay. Wednesday never makes it easy, so I expect and early Forestieri goal, a Cardiff equalizer around the 65th minute, and then a very painful last half hour.

Eric (Minnesota): Who ya got - Thor or Giolito?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Give me the guy that looks like a generational righthander in the majors right now.

Shawn (Office): I get not scouting the stat lines, but as the best pitching prospect in baseball, I can't help but want more Ks from Lucas Giolito. Is he known to be "working on something"? Do you think he has big leagueitis and is bored in the minors?

Jeffrey Paternostro: And speaking of which, yeah Giolito's season is a bit odd. He's never *really* dominated a full-season level to the same degree as some of the other top tier arms on our 101. You are hanging your hat statistically on a half season in the Carolina league. But as you said, don't scout the stats. More concerning to me is Adam McInturff's report from this month. He still struggles commanding the curve, and his and other reports have had the velo down a tick or two. Again, any number of things could be going on, and it is three starts in the EL in April. But it warrants further watching I think. Pitchers, man.

Sebastian (Rhode Island): Make me feel better about Carlos Gomez...just traded Mazara (in dynasty) to get Keuchel and now I am back to relying on Cargo. TELL ME HES NOT DONE! Please?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Oh dear.

Well, he probably isn't this bad. But maybe the Mets were actually right about medicals for the first time since...um...give me a minute.

Lemon Lyman (Jersey City): What cocktail would you order Bartolo Colon at a bar?

Jeffrey Paternostro: This is another good way to move to the top of the queue. Bart is like a Long Island SUV-driving Dad dude now. Those guys tend to be Macro-micro beer or scotch and water types in my experience. Maybe try to expand his horizons a bit with a slightly more advanced scotch cocktail. Seamstress on the Upper East side does a nice one with rye, espresso, absinthe, and amaro called the After Hours.

oldbopper (New Britain, CT): My next question was about Dahl. You were the low man on him in a comparison on BP and I was with you. The Dahl of last year, no power, no patience has been replaced by a 3 outcome masher. 9 BB's(11 all of last year), 7 HR's and 23 K's. Is he selling out for power?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I will let you know more in another week or so, after I drive back up to New Hampshire to see them.

Rich (Queens): Hey Jeff, we'll miss you dearly at AA.....was wondering what you've thought about Ivan Wilson's hot start. He's been cutting down his strikeouts a bit (22.2% over his last 12 gms) and has an ops over .950 in his last 10. Should we be starting to get (very very very very) cautiously excited?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's only 69 PA, but it is a nicer start than I expected. The tools are certainly intriguing, and he still can't legally drink, but the pitch rec was so bad in Kingsport. Need a longer track record before I get even very very very very cautiously excited.

Martha (MIN): Seeing what a disaster Buxton has been so far...has he moved down prospect lists? Is he less of a top five guy and now more of a top 20 guy?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I didn't note him as a slam dunk guy over Robles, which was *mostly* because I expect him to be back in the majors by then, though really who the heck knows with the Twins, but there has to be some downward adjustments to the expectations. He also has been injured an awful lot, and that could start sapping his physicality at a certain point. I am far from panicking, but the Twins do have a weird developmental track record with their top prospect bats.

someguynamedkenn (New Jersey): Is it too early to talk MLB Draft? If not, is there anyone you think the Mets should target? Especially given the relative lack of high upside arms in the system right now?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It is not too early to talk MLB draft. It is probably too early to talk MLB draft with me. It is a good crop of New England preps this year, but I have been struggling to get out to games. Hasn't helped that the best local arm (Matt Cleveland) got shut down with a bicep thing, and Groome got suspended two days before I was going to see him.

As for the Mets, I have no reason to think they will do anything other than BPA, though they do have a type for sure. How much that still is true with Depodesta gone and Tommy Tanous running the show, I don't know.

Doclove (Ann Arbor): Looking for Corey Ray's most likely landing spot. Another 3SBs for him last night, now 34, with a .280 ISO and a 13% K rate. Amazing toolkit. Is the MLB comp Carl Crawford?

Jeffrey Paternostro: This would be a good time for me to plug Chris Crawford's draft guide, because he loves Corey Ray. I don't think he has Crawford's pure speed (esp. young Carl Crawford). This is a laaaaaazy comp, but perfect world projection could be something like Denard Span?

BC (Urbandale): If the Cubs were going to trade someone at the deadline for another starter, would it more likely be Baez or Soler? And who do you think would bring back a better return?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't really accept this premise. The Cubs are really good and "got" their pitcher this offseason I think. If they upgrade it will be around the margins, barring injury or other calamity in their rotation.

Val Pascucci Lives (New York): Who has more range Asdrubal Cabrera or Wilmer Flores and how concerning should the Mets defense be?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The Mets have a team BABIP against of .342, so...

Now it's April. The Giants are second with .331 and they seem solid enough defensively, so there is still obviously a lot of noise in here. The Mets seem...less solid defensively, so there is also some truth in there. Cabrera is not a great shortstop, but he is a better shortstop than MMMFPHWFTMEK. Kudos to Wilmer for working himself into good enough shape defensively that this isn't a crazy question though.

James (NY): Hey Jeff. Conforto has been great in the majors thusfar. I imagine pitchers will make adjustments on him at somepoint, but his ceiling that everyone gave him of a .270/.280 hitter with 20-25 HRs, has that changed at all?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So I don't know what the next adjustment is here. He already sees a ton of offspeed ahead in counts. The book is out, but the book is he's a really good hitter. You can get him out, but you have to mix things up and execute. Now, he still isn't facing lefties a ton, 150 at-bats without the platoon advantage might knock than batting average down into the .270-.280 range, but he's that guy right now. Throw in a bunch of walks and that is a slam drunk first division type, and a guy that makes a couple all-star games along the way. Can he get better than that? I don't know, but it will be fun to watch and find out.

Timmy (Texas): Any word on Profars defense so far? He is having a good start to the season at the plate, but have not heard anything on his defense.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I haven't heard anything from our folks in Texas about this yet, but he is playing shortstop virtually everyday so that's as good a sign as any.

someguynamedkenn (New Jersey): Have you seen any good signs of life from Dom Smith? I've heard he was showing a little bit of pull side power early in the season.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I have seen one game from Dom Smith. It wasn't great. It was also one game.

It's been 18 games. The K/BB rates are going in a bad direction. It's also only been 18 games.

I'm going to be a tough convert here, but we'll see.

Mark (KC): What is the deal with Raul Mondesi? Is it going to be 2022 and he's still a top 25 prospect who is "too raw and young to project"? It feels like its been forever...

Jeffrey Paternostro: Hey he has four home runs already this year, which was not what I expected. I will say I tend to look a little askance at guys that only have age-relative-to-league going for them. If they are even "holding their own," sure that's fine. But Mondesi has been 2015 Alcides Escobar year-in and year-out (which granted, might appeal to the Royals).

There is always prospect fatigue with these type of guys, because you see them younger than you normally would and buy-in earlier. If he had gone to short-season for his age 17 and 18 seasons then to Wilmington as a 19yo and hit a bit more, the conversation might be different. Still, he can run and has an advanced shortstop glove, those guys will always be near the top of prospect lists.

Greg (New York): Jeff Passan wrote about the upcoming wave of top-tier pitchers hitting free agency post-TJ. Are we all overestimating front offices' willingness to shell out huge dollars for guys with a TJ? And in that context, what is a realistic extension offer for Matt Harvey right now?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Top-level starting pitching is always going to be rare commodity on the market. By the time Harvey gets to FA, there will be a few more test cases for this sort of thing (Strasburg this year might be the best comp). I am struggling to think of a recent starting pitcher extension for a guy into his arb years that wasn't close to market value. Now Harvey would probably be silly to pass up something close to that, but let's be honest, the Mets aren't offering. Reframe it as a potential trade with a negotiating window: Let's say hypothetically it happens this upcoming offseason and Harvey gets back to his 2015 form. 7/159 with a couple options/buyouts? I am bad at this game

Brian (Salisbury): Who is someone that might be a free agent in Fantasy Leagues that could be a prospect with value come the mid season? Someone like Lewis Brinson last year or Robles/Espinoza in the off season...

Jeffrey Paternostro: As a class, I would target guys that are likely to get promoted to AA around the minor league all-star break and really change the conversation with a big second half in the high minors. There's going to be some speculation involved of course, but it is so hard to be first on a guy nowadays with the sheer volume of information out there.

Yadier Alvarez (LA): Finish this sentence...I am a top 50 prospect by __________. Will I or won't I ever be a top 25 guy?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Jeez...you will either be a top 25 guy, or not a top 100 guy is the best I can do here.

Jon (LES): What kind of future can you see for Dilson Herrera, at this point? Lousy start and very roadblocked at 2B.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Herrera smashed AAA last year, and I have a feeling second base will be clear in 2017. I'm still a believer, though you'd be forgiven if you thought the Mets didn't buy in quite as much.

Jason (MPLS): Twins starting 5 should be (with everyone healthy?)

Jeffrey Paternostro: You are asking this of Tommy Milone's #1 fan. Do you really want the answer?

Nolasco, Hughes, Santana, Gibson seem obvious (though who knows when Gibson is "healthy," shoulders scare the piss out of me). I can't make a compelling argument for anyone else over Berrios. Always have had a soft spot for Meyer, but just make him a late-inning guy already.

someguynamedkenn (New Jersey): Any new Luis Guillorme stories? I'm convinced he's an actual Wizard with the glove.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't know how new this is, but I love telling Luis Guillorme stories, so I'll wrap up with this. I may or may not have been watching a World Baseball Classic qualifier at work. Guillorme was playing shortstop for Spain. They were playing on a field in Panama which perhaps didn't have the greatest groundskeeping in the world. He gets a little chopper over the mound and instead of charging on it, backs up to the outfield grass for an in-between hop. He gets a weird one, snags it hip high, and a split second later the ball is in the second baseman's glove and gets the force by a hair. It doesn't seem like much, but he did everything you wouldn't teach, and it didn't matter. He's never flashy, but you never see the strings when he plays.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay, queue is starting to dry up and I have to mentally prepare myself for April night games in New Hampshire. We'll do this again soon.


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