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Chat: Scooter Hotz

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday August 24, 2016 8:00 PM ET chat session with Scooter Hotz.

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Scooter is a fantasy writer at Baseball Prospectus. This is not his given first name.

Scooter Hotz: Hey! Overcame some technical difficulties here at HQ but ready to get rolling.

Alex (Austin): Who will be more reliable the rest of the season, Matt Boyd, Ivan Nova, or Bud Norris?

Scooter Hotz: Reliability? I'd go with Nova, then Boyd, then Norris. I'd probably avoid Norris entirely.

Dave (Boston): Rank you top 5 fantasy SS's over the next 3 years.

Scooter Hotz: 1. Corey Seager, 2. Carlos Correa, 3. Xander Bogaerts, 4. Francisco Lindor, 5. Addison Russell. If you started the clock three years from now, or moved the time frame a few years farther out, I'd probably find a way to get Franklin Barreto on that list. I love that dude.

Andrew (Seattle): Best International prospect nobody knows?

Scooter Hotz: As in, unsigned or signed since this year's July 2 date? I wouldn't know. Hit up one of our dynasty folks, they know that beat much better than I do.

Thomas (TX): Is Domingo Acevedo a reliever or starter in the show?

Scooter Hotz: I'd guess starter. But, more importantly, I think it's silly to guess at something like that for a pitcher who's that far away and has that much development left to do.

LucasDad (MPLS): Best young catcher fantasy future: Sanchez, Contreras, or Zunino. Best AAA exciled outfielder fantasy future: Buxton, Puig, or Conforto.

Scooter Hotz: Catchers: Sanchez, then Contreras, then a giant cliff, then Zunino.

Outfielders: Buxton, then Conforto, then Puig.

Brooke (NJ): Breakout years for Dom Smith and Amed Rosario. What does that mean for their prospect statuses and their MLB projections going forward? Thank you

Scooter Hotz: That they'll be ranked higher next year? Smith still needs to add some power, and Rosario has only had six weeks of exposure to the high minors. There's a lot to like, especially with Rosario, but there's still a far amount of downside risk, too. Projections systems have long memories, but they've both moved the needle a little long-term this year, though.

Cal Guy (Cal): Which Sept call ups do you expect to get significant playing time?

Scooter Hotz: I'd think less about the players specifically and more about their teams. Contending teams won't give many at-bats or innings to September call ups. Non-contending teams will. Look for September call-ups on teams that aren't jockeying for playoff spots.

Mike (NYC): #1 Prospect in 2018, 2019 and 2020?

Scooter Hotz: 2018: Victor Robles
2019: Franklin Barreto (see?)
2020: Isan DIaz

Craig (B Town): Worried about Anderson Espinoza?

Scooter Hotz: No. He's insanely young. No more risk than he had heading into the season.

Cal Guy (Cal): Do you see any major bullpen arms being moved before the rosters expand?

Scooter Hotz: No. They'd have to have onerous contracts to make it through waivers and I don't think any of the major bullpen arms:

(1) play for non-contending teams
(2) would make it through waivers
(3) would fetch a high enough return to induce a trade

Dan (DC): NEXT big prospect nobody is talking about?

Scooter Hotz: If Franklin Barreto qualifies, then Franklin Barreto. This is the third time I'm saying it in this chat, but I love Franklin Barreto.

asarule (Lakewood CA): COL catcher Tom Murphy is hitting well in AAA (.322 when I last checked - with some power). Is he the future catcher for the Rockies? As soon as 2017? What is the knock on him? Doesn't seem to be the bat.

Scooter Hotz: The Rockies seems to like Tony Wolters who is fairly young himself. Not sure it's quite a knock, but Murphy's defense plays second fiddle to his bat according to most scouts, although consensus seems to be that his defense is certainly good enough to stay behind the plate, at least for a few years.

Rick (Nashville): If MLB GMS had known that Bartolo's 2016 output would be this good, what kind of contract would he have gotten last offseason?

Scooter Hotz: That's borderline impossible to answer. I mean, not really, but taking out the injury risk and locking in the performance precisely takes all of the risk-weighting out of the determination, and with a player as old and with a profile as unique as Bartolo Colon, that's the most important driver in determining how much to offer.

Doing some simple arithmetic, if wins above replacement are 8 million per year, with Bartolo at 2.1 WARP right now, maybe $20 million on a one-year deal assuming he finishes around 2.5 WARP?

Truganini (CO): Two parter: Best first name in baeball that isn't a players real name / Best player that doesn't go by his real name? Rookie Davis? Homer Bailey? I know you can do better.

Scooter Hotz: Not sure how this is a two-parter. It seems lie this is one question: the best first name in baseball that isn't the player's given name (assuming that, say, a player named Matthew going by Matt doesn't count).

With that in mind, I'd go with Coco (Covelli) Crisp. I'm open to other suggestions.

jdc1989 (MO): How good can Josh Hader be? Has he finally turned a corner in Triple A?

Scooter Hotz: I feel like this question is from my buddy Bobb who plays in a league with me and has asked me about Hader multiple times this season.

He's still walking way, way too many batters. Still, from a prospect, I'd rather have a guy who can strike batters out but issues a lot of walks than a guy with a subpar strikeout rate who doesn't walk many batters. Strikeout rate is the separator for me when it comes to minor league pitching stats.

Paul (DC): Is Andrew Benintendi nailing down the LF starter slot for the Sox in 2017? Or will other considerations (e.g. service time, poor spring training, platoon splits) weigh heavily come April 1st of next year?

Scooter Hotz: I think he's nailing it down. Can't rule out the possibility that Dombrowski trades him for a 31-year-old, though.

misterbob (pa): What are your thoughts on David Dahl---how good can he become in Colorado? Also, do you think Roman Quinn can hit enough to be an electric leadoff hitter for the Phils----starting sometime next year?

Scooter Hotz: I love Dahl. I think he can put up some tremendous numbers there, and he could do it starting right now, certainly next year.

Regarding Roman Quinn, I'm not sure he'll ever hit or get on base enough in the majors to be an electric leadoff hitter. He could have a season or two with big stolen base numbers, though. I still just don't love his ability to get to first base. And if he does get there, it won't be next year.

Paul (DC): Any chance the Tribe give Tyler Naquin the full time gig in CF? If not now, then in 2017?

Scooter Hotz: Well, he's on the good side of a platoon, so he's most of the way to a starting gig already. Rajai Davis is a nice righty-hitting caddy for as long as Cleveland has him, but I think they'll give Naquin an everyday shot as soon as Davis is no longer a part of their organization.

Paul (DC): Can Jorge Polanco be valuable enough to draft (towards the bottom) next spring? What he's shown is all smoke, small sample size, and mirrors, right?

Scooter Hotz: Depends on the depth of the league. In deep AL-only leagues, he's definitely going to be purchased at auction. His ceiling looks like it's around a .280 average with 10 homers and 10 steals. His performance this year isn't *all* smoke, small sample size, and mirrors, but it's certainly part of it.

Paul (DC): Addison Russell has shown slow but steady (?) progress from his age 21 to age 22 seasons. As he's already muscling the ball more this year and swiping bags will never be his thing, it seems an improved batting average would be the place to up the value of his offensive package in the future. Does he have the tools for making that happen sooner, later, or never?

Scooter Hotz: Translating this into the format that most of these chat questions, I'd say Sooner is the most likely outcome, then Later, then a big cliff, then Never. I like Russell, and I think he'll be even better next year, even if the HR plateau or finish slightly lower due to improvements in the rest of his line.

Ben (LA): What kind of potential does Seth Beer have?

Scooter Hotz: I have no idea. I don't follow college baseball closely enough to know. What kind of fantasy league are you in where you're scouting college freshmen?

Monty (Toronto): It looks like Sean Reid-Foley's control problems have gotten better. What is his upside if he keeps that control issue under wraps?

Scooter Hotz: If he keeps the control issue under wraps, he should be very good. That's a big if, though. And he'd still have to stay healthy, which is no small feat for pitching prospects in general. There's a lot to like, but there are pretty wide error bars on him, too.

Jack (Washington): What is the upside of Erick Fedde? Can he be a possible 2 if all falls into place?

Scooter Hotz: His upside is probably a number 2, but it's a lot more likely that he tops out as a number three. Still, the strikeouts are good and he has the prospect pedigree.

Tribe 2016 (Chambersburg): Yordano Ventura looks like he's put it together the past several starts. Just a blip or can/will he sustain it over the ROS?

Scooter Hotz: I'm inclined to say it's a blip, but it's almost impossible to separate the signal from the noise over the course of a few starts. I haven't seen his last few starts, so I haven't had the opportunity to see if it looks like he's doing anything differently, like changing his landing spot. I try not to look at 5-7 game samples and ask whether the trend in those numbers is something that merits action from a roto owner or just the ups and downs of player performance over the course of a long season.

chaneyhey (st. louis): Why no mid-season top 50 prospects list this year?

Scooter Hotz: Not sure. Maybe there weren't any left because of a slew of promotions? I don't put those lists together, so I don't really know.

Scooter Hotz: OK, that's all for tonight. Thanks for coming out! Great job with the questions. I hope my answers were helpful. Time for leftover Indian food and a Uinta Hop Nosh. Have a good night.


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