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Chat: Nicolas Stellini

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday June 23, 2016 2:00 PM ET chat session with Nicolas Stellini.

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Nick is a news writer at BP.

Nicolas Stellini: Hello, everyone! We'll be getting started in a minute or two. Feel free to keep shooting questions my way as we move along, and remember that anything I say can be used against me on Twitter (@StelliniTweets) six months from now.

Renley (Croatia): What do you make of Nimmo's success in AAA this year? Can he be a 3 WAR guy?

Nicolas Stellini: To steal a take from a smart person on Twitter, here's a little food for thought:
Brandon Nimmo, 2016 PCL: .329/.413/.517
Darrell Ceciliani, 2015 PCL: .345/.398/.581
Eric Campbell, career PCL: .328/.443/.507
Now, Nimmo is obviously more of a prospect than those other two guys, and did pretty well for himself at Double-A last year. But the PCL is a fickle and incredibly hitter-friendly environment, so it's often hard to know what's real and what's not. I'm sure Nimmo will see a bit of MLB action at some point this year, but don't set your expectations too high just yet. I think being a 3-WARP player at some point is attainable for him, but he could also settle in as a bench guy.

alexohconnor (Chicago): If you'd be so kind as to help me settle a weekly argument: in a 30 run/game slow pitch softball environment, is there ever a time where an intentional walk makes mathematical (i.e. by The Book) sense? Specifically in the middle innings of the game, an opinion based answer will do. Thanks Nick

Nicolas Stellini: I mean I'm not exactly familiar with the mathematical semantics of slow-pitch softball, but theoretically, probably yes? But riddle me this, Batman. Why are we IBB'ing people in slow-pitch softball? Everyone is basically Barry Bonds. Just goof out and have fun, and remember, if you get hit with a pitch, it's a pox upon your honor and you MUST charge the mound. Very serious business.

Aaron Judge (stuck in Scranton 4ever): if Cashman trades Carlos, am I up in Bronx?

Nicolas Stellini: Hello there, Aaron. It's certainly possible. Your strikeout rate has gotten a bit more manageable and you're hitting for a lot more power in your second run at Triple-A. Things are looking good! I wouldn't bet the farm on it, but I wouldn't be shocked to see you patrolling right field should Beltran depart.

Jesse (LA): What can we expect for Yasiel Puig going forward? If healthy can he still put up elite numbers?

Nicolas Stellini: I will always be a shameless Puig believer. The skillset is just so damn fun. I don't know if Puig will ever be truly *elite*, but it could happen! Set your expectations around "pretty darn good and useful outfielder" because "elite" is a big word, but it's certainly possible.

Cameron (Colorado): How likely do you think the Yankees are to become sellers before the deadline this year? Obviously they have some contracts that they probably won't be able to get rid of, but it seems like they should be able to fetch a lot from a contender for any of the back three in the bullpen. Who would you like to see moved?

Nicolas Stellini: Okay, so, I have an article on this subject that should be coming out on BP Bronx later today. The Yankees should absolutely be selling, but the Steinbrenners are absolutely terrified of looking like they're not trying to conquer the world 24/7. The back page of the Post and the callers on Mike Francesa's show are to be feared, folks (they're also scared of even fewer people showing up to the park). Because the Yankees seemingly refuse to stop hovering around .500, it's anybody's guess as to whether they'll pony up and do the right thing. Beltran, Miller and especially Chapman are the guys that should be shipped if it comes to pass.

Larry (Fairfax): What's going on with Harper? The Nats need to send him down to clear his head. He's hurting the team

Nicolas Stellini: Hahaha, good one, guys. Y'all are funny people.
In the event that this is a serious question, the answer is pretty simple. Harper showed himself to be a total monster with the bat and threatens to absolutely destroy anything within his reach. So, the league adjusted, and is now throwing him a steady diet of junk. Baseball is a game of adjustments and Harper is both smart and talented, so he'll likely adjust back. So, no, sending a top-five talent in the game down to Triple-A is not a good idea at all.

BC (Urbandale): How unreal is Glebyr Torres? Should the Cubs use him for trade bait? Or is there a place for him in the future in Chicago?

Nicolas Stellini: Torres is pretty good! In terms of dangling him for trade stuff, I don't think it's necessary. As you may have heard, the Cubs have a pretty dang solid roster, and only need to make minor upgrades and patches (unless someone gets hurt between now and the deadline, of course). The most expensive player I could see them being in on is Andrew Miller, and as great as Miller is, I'd hesitate to ship Torres out for him. The Cubs don't lack for other young talents to use as chips at the trade table.

taylor swift (milwaukee): hi nick thanks for chatting with us today. when orlando arcia comes up do you think the brewers would be better off a) trading jonathan villar b) moving him to second or c) moving him to third?

Nicolas Stellini: Interesting question. Villar is having himself quite a season, and that's come out of nowhere. Arcia will be the shortstop regardless of what they do with Villar. Second base seems a bit more likely to me due to his speed and ability to cover ground, but neither position exactly has people knocking on the door at Triple-A. Unless you're a big Will Middlebrooks fan or something.

Greg (Albany): A little surprised Mets haven't called up Dilson Herrera. Where would he be on prospect lists if he were still eligible and what kind of big leaguer do you think he'll be? Thanks a lot, NS.

Nicolas Stellini: I'd be shocked if he isn't back up in a little while. Herrera will probably never be a star talent or anything, but more of a quietly-getting-the-job-done-pretty-well type. He'd probably be a top-40 guy on the list because of his ability to be easily plugged into a lineup and all that. It's easy to forget that he's only 22.

Brad (Boston): As a Red Sox fan, I see Teheran as the perfect fit for us now and in future seasons. What kind of prospects would it take for us to get him? What do you think is a fair deal?

Nicolas Stellini: The Braves, despite their seeming proclivity to sell of anything that's not nailed to the floor, have no incentive to do so with Teheran. He's had a really good year, and still has lots of years left before he hits free agency. We know that the Braves are looking to compete within the next couple years, and given all the money and prospects that they have laying around, why move an already perfectly fine major league starter who can be a part of the next winning team for assets that are further away and not anywhere near as likely to succeed?

Jeb (IC): If Glasnow ever got his command issues fixed, could he turn into a top 5 pitcher in the MLB?

Nicolas Stellini: Glasnow's probably always going to be a bit erratic, but he's still going to be good. For instance, he hasn't allowed a hit in his last thirteen IP... but he's walked eleven guys. If the command magically gets a lot better, then yeah, he'd be an absolute monster. But even with his wonkiness, he's still pretty darn valuable.

stickman (Lost): Despite probably still solidly being the best catcher, Buster Posey hasn't really been Buster Posey. Should we be worried?

Nicolas Stellini: Buster Posey entered today ranking tenth in the game in position player WARP. I think everything should be fine and dandy.

John (Penn): Polanco is a monster. Future MVP candidate?

Nicolas Stellini: Polanco's definitely been great! Future MVP candidate may be a bit of a reach, though.

Sean Martin (NJ ): If the Yankees are indeed planning to sell off guys to get younger, what young players are you particularly excited about already in the organization that will get a chance to prove themselves?

Nicolas Stellini: As I touched on earlier, Judge is one of those guys. I'd also like to see Ben Gamel get another shot at the bigs, and we may get a look at guys like Brady Lail and, hopefully, Severino will come back up at some point.

Party Guy (DC): Is Marcell Ozuna for real? Is .280-.290/30 HR the ceiling or the floor?

Nicolas Stellini: .280/.290/30 HR would be one hell of a floor for any player. That's hyper-elite talent levels of floor. I've always liked Ozuna and I think the breakout is mostly real, but ease up on the gas a bit.

ob1 (Tampa): First, Thanks for all the time you put in with us. Who has the brightest future Wil Myers or 3B Jake Lamb. Also can you say why? Or should I say If you had a team which one would you bank on in the long run. OB1

Nicolas Stellini: Thank you for participating!
I'll take Lamb only because of Myers' injury history and the fact that I like third basemen more than I do first basemen. It's pretty close, though, and there's a good potential that this answer looks dumb in a few years.

OddBall Herrera (At a Computer): Now that Moncada is in AA - how many ABs do you think he needs there before he becomes an option to fill in when/if Pedroia experiences his next gritty, max effort induced injury?

Nicolas Stellini: I'd be absolutely shocked if Moncada is up in Boston before next year's trade deadline. He's silly levels of talented but he's also only just arrived at Double-A. Let's see how he reacts to high-level pitching.

Josh (Nashville): Hey, just curious if you think Byron Buxton's path to success could look like Gregory Polanco's, pretty underwhelming for a couple years and then a breakout?

Nicolas Stellini: It's certainly possible. Buxton's just 22 years old and he's missed tons to time to his various injuries. There's no doubt that he's supremely talented, but he's going to take a while due to all that lost time. We'll probably wake up one day in a year or so and realize that he's hitting .280.

Patrick (Florida): In 3 years - Victor Robles or Ronald Acuna?

Nicolas Stellini: Gimme Robles. Every time. He is very, very good.

Jason (NY): Do you think last night's home run is the beginning of a hot streak for Starlin castro? They need him

Nicolas Stellini: There is no telling what Starlin Castro will do at any given time. All you can do is buckle up for the ride and pray that the in-flight movie is good.

Mike (Newton): Any prospects outside the Top 100 that you can see making a huge leap this year? Similar to Robles' ascent

Nicolas Stellini: Keep an eye on Tyler Wade. He's a 21-year old middle infielder in Double-A for the Yankees with a .371 OBP. The power isn't there yet because he's still filling out (and it's unlikely that he ever becomes more than a 10 HR guy) but the dude can pick it at both SS and 2B. Now that's totally not a Robles-esque jump in the rankings, but it's what I've got.

Sunny (Vestal, NY): hello Nick! how many more Asian import players do you think will come over to ML next year? seems like guys like Maeda, Kang, Hyun Soo, etc. are making it more intriguing for scouts to recommend their teams to sign them

Nicolas Stellini: You've probably heard of Shohei Otani, who is both an amazing pitcher and pretty good hitter in NBP. Outside of him, though, my knowledge of Asian baseball is woefully underdeveloped. I'd hit Sung-Min Kim and Kazuto Yamazaki up. They're both very knowledgeable guys on this subject.

Nicolas Stellini: It's been a pleasure, folks. Hopefully we can do this all again soon. In the meantime, you can find me here on BP, at BP Bronx, at Beyond the Box Score, and on Twitter (@StelliniTweets). Have a good evening!


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