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Chat: Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday May 04, 2017 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jeffrey Paternostro.

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Jeffrey is our lead prospect writer and co-host of For All You Kids, the BP Mets podcast.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Good afternoon, the queue is very full but I have a lot of Polar seltzer now, so let's chat.

sei (sfbay): METS???????

Jeffrey Paternostro: Well, at least they can't send Conforto down to manipulate his service time now.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Jeffrey, How would you rank the OF prospects for future production in an OBP league: Robles, Acuna and Soto?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Eh, honestly you can't really go wrong here. We ranked Robles the highest as a prospect, but a lot of his value is tied up in CF defense. I'd go Soto, Robles, Acuna I think.

Bill (Long Island): What have you heard about Justin Dunn so far - anything to be worried about?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Steve has an eyewitness report on him up today, and that jibes with other reports I have gotten. Stuff is still fine, command lags behind. We don't think of A+ as an aggressive assignment for a first round college pitcher, but Dunn's background makes it trickier with his lack of experience starting. I did wonder even last Summer how the stuff would hold up as a starter, so that is something to keep an eye on, but I wouldn't be *worried* yet.

Andrew (DC): How would you rank the non-Victor Robles CFs in the Nats system (Rafael Bautista, Andrew Stevenson, Blake Perkins, Daniel Johnson)?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I really liked my brief look at Stevenson before his promotion. It's easy to cast him as a fourth outfielder, and that might be where he ends up, but I really liked the hit tool. There might be more there. Johnson probably isn't a center fielder, but the reports on the tools are a bit louder than Perkins, Bautista is MLB-ready, but is your standard-issue speedy bench OF type. So I guess that is my order right now.

Cal Guy (Cal): Jeffrey, In a dynasty league with OBP instead, please rank these players for entire careers: Vlad Jr, Robles, Soto and Acuna. Thanks!

Jeffrey Paternostro: Again, you can't really go wrong here. I wouldn't be opposed to sticking Vladito #1, but he probably slots in between Soto and Robles.

Tommy (NJ): Curtis Granderson is off to a terrible start and may lose PT when Cespedes returns. Is he droppable for Aaron Altherr?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think so. I still sorta believe in Altherr.

CyMature (Cooperstown Rest Home): Dear Jeffrey, I'm sure you will, but please sing loudly the praises of Mr. Rafael Devers.

Jeffrey Paternostro: It is going to be difficult for me to find five prospects better than him for our midseason 50. I think he can handle third in the majors. Sneaky athletic, and the offensive tools are plus.

Wes (Reno): Is Jay Bruce going to be the anchor in the Mets line up this season? Or is just just off to a good start?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He literally did this the first half of last year too. He probably isn't *this* good over the course of the season, and he gives a chunk back in the field, but he should be fine.

Carlo (California): Sixto Sanchez or Ian Anderson?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Sixto. And yeah, I've seen the reports on Anderson this year. They are great. He's a great prospect. Sixto.

Mark Reilly (Salem, Ma): How does Rafael Devers pronounce his last name?

Jeffrey Paternostro: DEH-vers per the Hartford PA guy.

TVD (Bronx): Will Chance Adams break through the midseason T-100? Dominated last year in his first year as a SP and dominating this year, as well.

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's a midseason 50, which makes it tougher. He was in consideration for the 101 this year, and I don't doubt he makes it next year. I've talked to at least one scout who thinks he's even higher than that though.

Dexter (Chicago): What's the top 5, in order, of a 2014 MLB redraft?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Oh, maybe something like Turner, Conforto, Schwarber, Nola, Kopech maybe? Could change quickly based on Nola's medicals of course.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): OK, so I drank the Gsellman kool aid. Is he hurt, just bad, too early to say, other?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think we are 2 to 4 more starts away from the whatever injury he is pitching through leaking.

dantroy (CA): What's the current state of your brand?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Check back in 2 to 4 more Robert Gsellman starts.

Also, my brand is now #Sixto.

Kasey (Omaha): Is Khalil Lee a top 100 guy for you yet? If not, what the heck are you waiting for? :) Thanks.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't move that much off a month of performance. That said, he was always a potential breakout guy this year, so I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up there next January.

Geoff (Milwaukee): I saw this question in another chat and decided to borrow it. Taking all the risk out of the equation, who are the three best future MLB'ers in the minors right now? I guess, who has the highest ceiling? Thanks.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Moncada, Alvarez, Rosario

RH123 (Kansas): Have any prospects impressed you this year outside of top 100 guys? Or made any changes that you think are worth nothing that can shoot them up any lists?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Well, we didn't rank Sixto and should have. We didn't rank Vladito, and should have. But those guys were like in 102-110. Daniel Brito for sure. I liked Conner Greene more than I expected, though the issues are exactly what I expected. Ryan Castellani's stuff jumped in my second look at him. Could see a healthy Anthony Alford making a big jump back up the list this year too.

Dave (Colorado): Jeff Hoffman has pitched better in his last two starts. Do you believe his stuff helps him overcome Coors?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Always liked Hoffman, and I think it is weird the Rox have given Freeland, Senzatela, and Marquez all looks first--though you can't argue with the results so far--but can anyone truly overcome Coors?

Jackson (STL): How come Delvin Perez hasn't started playing games yet?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He is probably playing games, just in extended Spring. It's a conservative approach for a prep with that draft pedigree, but he was also a very young prep draftee.

Bob (Arkansas): What are your thoughts on Mitch Keller? How does he compare to Cole, Taillon, and Glasnow as a prospect?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He has as much ceiling as that troika, but is going to need a changeup at some point. Advanced arm though, and all the other stuff is legit.

John (Hells Kitchen): I know it's early, and he's still so young, but can we start getting excited about Estevan Florial?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I had someone tell me he was right now the third best prospect in the Yankees system, so go crazy I guess.

Paul (DC): Mitch Keller. Just looking at his minor league stats, he appears to be an extreme control pitcher. He ranked very well in BP's Top 101 Prospect List. Please tell me something good about his raw stuff, so I stop worrying that he will only project to be the next incarnation of Bob Tewksbury.

Jeffrey Paternostro: He struck out more than 1/4 of the batters he faced last year. Yes, he doesn't walk anyone either. I fail to see the issue here. Anyway it's a potential 7 FB, 7 breaker so...

Simple World (The Escape Lounge): What is the upside of Taylor Hearn? Seems like another Felipe Rivero at least...

Jeffrey Paternostro: Hey another Steve eyewitness from today, you should check it out, but are also in the right range there.

Joe (Minnesota): I understand that switching positions isn't easy, but why don't more teams turn athletic kids into catchers? The position has become more about defense than offense, so why not give it a shot?

Jeffrey Paternostro: You need player buy-in, and it is a taxing position. Also there are plenty of other places to play your "athletic" guys. Catchers tend to be of a certain type, which is why the converts tend to be built more like Carson Kelly.

jeff (ny): have you heard anything on molina and szapucki - any idea on their timetables? or is it that since it's a mets injury we should assume theyre out, probably forever?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Molina had a velo drop at the end of Spring, being called a "shoulder strain." Haven't heard if he was throwing yet. Szapucki had am impingement and was starting to throw at the end of minor league camp. I'd expect to see him in Columbia some time between now and June 1st assuming no further issues.

Jim (Kentucky): Thoughts on Austin Meadows? What is his upside?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I like him a lot. Would like him more if he had a bit better health track record. Heard a Yelich comp once which I liked and has stuck with me.

Bill (Saint Lou): Jordan Hicks is getting a lot of attention around these parts, and I know you guys were aggressive in your ranking of him. Have you heard anything this year that would make you believe you weren't aggressive enough?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Not yet. Cardinals system was sneaky deep, but he has the stuff to outperform the ranking, sure.

Peter (NYY): Remember a year ago when Bradley Zimmer was seen as a much safer option than Aaron Judge? Prospects, man.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I will say that we have been more conservative w/r/t Zimmer than most, but yeah, I shouldn't have tuned out Jarrett droning in my ear about how we were too low on Judge.

Aaron (Florida): If the Mets get back into it (which they always seem to do recently), what would they have to offer the Blue Jays to land Donaldson? Would a Gimenez, Dunn/Szapucki and Becerra/Nido get close? Have to think the Jays would salivate at the thought of having Gimenez and Guerrero in the same infield for years

Jeffrey Paternostro: Gimenez and Szapucki were basically considered untouchable last offseason and I doubt that has changed. Also the Mets FO really doesn't make that kind of blockbuster buy as a rule.

Ceej (Pittsburgh): What do we make of Amed Rosario? He's batting over .400 but with not a ton of power for it being Vegas and has made 8 errors.

Jeffrey Paternostro: If I had time I would just C+P the KG rant from the beginning of an old Up and In episode about caring about MiLB walk rate when a dude is raking. As for the power, It's huge raw in BP, but he will need to grow into the game power and I would prefer he not try to uppercut everything just because it is the PCL West and he can get rewarded for it.

Stevie (NYC): I've read that Daniel Brito and Yanio Perez may be breaking out. Are they? What could they look like at peak and how likely are they to reach that?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Brito, yep. If you told me there was a 1.1 bat on Lakewood, and I had no prior knowledge, I would have guessed Brito over Moniak based on my look. Perez is a little trickier because he is an older corner guy. He kind of has to hit at that level, but it's good that he is of course. Perez could be an above-average corner masher, Brito a role 6 dude somewhere (to be clear, he's fine at second, just think other orgs would give him a look at shortstop or center, but Lakewood has Gamboa/Moniak)

Aaron (Florida): Dylan Cease. Starter or reliever?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think everyone is a reliever.

Fran (Banff): With Buehler already being promoted to AA, do you think we see him in the Dodgers bullpen this summer?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I know the Dodgers always need pen help, but this feels too aggressive to me for a guy just a year off TJ rehab. We don't really know if he can handle getting loose quickly, pitching on back to back days yet. He may end up in the pen long term, but I don't think they should rush it like that without a proscribed role. Also he may hit whatever his innings limit is before they can leverage him in the pen.

Kevin (Toronto): Is this Monte Harrison's breakout? I know the K-rate is still high, but he hasn't had the at-bats needed to develop his swing/strike zone judgement, right?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It sure could be (Craig won't shut up about it either). He's also a 21 year old repeating the Midwest League, but when the crazy athletic guys figure it out, it can come quick.

Jack (Box): Do you ever hear about parents getting involved in the development of a prospect? I assume teams keep that under wraps, but it's bound to happen, right?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Sure. Colby Rasmus probably the most recent famous example. A few others I can't really share of course.

Alex (Sc): If Andres Gimenez ends up with a .300/.375/.430 ish season at Colombia is he a top 25 prospect? Is he kind of similar to Gleyber a few years ago?

Jeffrey Paternostro: If the tools back up that performance (and you'd imagine they would for an 18-year-old with no other stateside experience), yeah maybe. Gleyber wasn't a top 25 dude at 18 though. Gimenez projects as a better shortstop, but less pop (at least for now). I'll have a bunch more on him in two weeks.

John (Hells Kitchen): What do you make of Dustin Fowler? Lots of extra-base hits at AAA for a guy his age. Is he the centerfielder of the future for the Yanks?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He kind of gets lost among the millions of Yankees prospects, mostly because he's never really popped huge numbers/tools and there's not a shiny OFP. You'd probably want a a true first division guy if you are the Yankees, but Fowler could be a nice little player for them. I think the triples are more for real than the couple extra home runs so far though.

Erick (Jersey): Michael Conforto is a lefty slugging .700 but only pulling the ball 25% of the time. Has there ever been anyone like that? Is this *remotely* sustainable?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He has incredibly strong forearms, and it's 60 raw oppo. Obviously .700 isn't sustainable, but he could have some seasons where he hits 25-30 bombs with plenty of doubles. That probably gets ya .500-.550.

dianagramr (VORGville): Lewis Brinson's "any day/week/month now" call-up is just a Super-2 issue, right?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The Brewers want to save the 15-20 million if he hits, yep.

Philip (Queens): You have any plans to shrug off the Tebow throngs and see Carpio, Gimenez, Lindsay, Merandy and Szapucki in action?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'll be at the Lakewood series for all four. It's not my ideal environment to work, but I've dealt with packed houses before.

Raf (Ny): Conforto or Judge rest of career(s)?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think Conforto's hit tool is better, which probably makes him less boom/bust, but I also wouldn't be surprised if Judge is just what we all thought Giancarlo Stanton would be. Lean Judge right now.

Sam (Brooklyn ): Who's the best prospect you could see the Yankees trading for darvish

Jeffrey Paternostro: They can probably keep their top two guys and I don't know if they'd go that hard buy, but if they do it would probably cost Rutherford-plus I'd think. Because someone will offer the Rangers something comparable to that

Sean99 (Chicago): Luiz Gohara ends up as???

Jeffrey Paternostro: One of the better closers in baseball.

Todd (Chicago): Current guess as to who your top 3 would be on the midseason top 50?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Some of these guys may be up in the majors by then, since we publish after Super 2, but I'd guess Robles, Rosario, Moncada in some order.

Brito? (Philly): What is it about Daniel Brito that has you guys excited?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Very projectable body, already plus raw pullside. Everything pops off his bat. Good athlete, solid defender, just a grade of arm short from being able to play shortstop basically. Already advanced feel and approach at the plate.

Justin (The Fieldhouse): Thoughts on Kevin Newman? Does he take over for Jordy Mercer in the next year or two?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Newman is like the Dom Smith of shortstop prospects for me. He's fine. I get it. It's a solid major leaguer. It just doesn't excite me. But I imagine that is the timetable yes. And speaking of...

Erin (Lv ): Has your outlook on Dom Smith changed at all over the last year? Or is he still just a 2/2.5 WAR 1B in your eyes?

Jeffrey Paternostro: On the pod I predicted he'd hit .340/.400/.480 in Vegas. So far through a monthish of games, .327/.389/.486. I like Dom. He's fine. He'll be a solid major leaguer. And the thing about those 50-55 dudes (and especially given the hit-tool-driven profile) it's more likely he has some 3.5 win seasons and some 1.5 win seasons. They rarely just xerox their lines (unless you are pre-god-tier Daniel Murphy)

Tyler (Texas): Is Leody Taveras the truest 5-tool outfield prospect in baseball at the moment?

Jeffrey Paternostro: If there can be only one, give me Victor Robles and a big ol' claymore.

Dan (Ny): How can we evaluate Rosarios performance? I know we need to take Vegas stats with a grain of salt but wow, .400 is .400. Have you seen any reports on his bat this year? Has it continued to take a step forward? Are all the errors worrisome?

Jeffrey Paternostro: As I said on Twitter, the Vegas infield is basically a Japanese rock garden.

BC (Ankeny): Very hypothetical trades. But, what would it take for the Cubs to get either Taillon or Glasnow from the Pirates?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Why would you want to trade for Glasnow right now? If it is because he will cost less than Taillon, well the Pirates don't have much impetus to sell low on him right now. Taillon doesn't even have a full year of service time yet and those dudes never get traded.

Dalton (EMC insurance ): what percent chance do you give these guys at the hall of fame if they continue on their paths? Cutch? Rizzo? Bryant? John Jaso?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Cutch put together the first half of a HoF career, the second half is a lot trickier, and I say that as someone who has watched a lot of David Wright since 2013.

The bar for first baseman is very high and Rizzo needs a few MVP level seasons, or ten more years of this pace, which is a big ask.

Bryant is almost too young to consider right now.

AJ (Phoenix): Who's higher on next year's 101: Juan Soto or Ronald Acuna?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Please do not ask me to choose between my large Latin American sons yet.

AJ (Canada): SWFC - Who do we get in the playoffs, and what's your confidence level?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I suspect a listless draw with Fulham and 3-6 stays the same in the end. That would mean Huddersfield, who I think we can handle. But as a Wednesday fan, I am never even modestly confident.

Quincy (NY): Let's say that Harvey refines his command over the next couple starts and finishes the year pitching similar to how he did in 2015. Mets would trade him right? What teams would be interested? Any shot they could pry Devers from Boston?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Mets would want to, but I don't think he's remotely tradeable for a top end prospect right now given the injury history.

steve (NY): What are the most important mechanical things to look at when evaluating hitters?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Are they Rafael Devers?

Gary (NY): Can you think of any other big time prospects other than Andres Gimenez who were skipped straight to full-season ball like that? What are your thoughts on him and how he might fare with this aggressive assignment?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The Mets did this with Lagares, would imagine it happened more twenty years ago with bigger prep dudes. Apparently he was killing extended so bad that he forced their hand.

Aaron (NJ): Right now, Conforto's career OPS+ is 119. Does he finish his career over or under that mark?

Jeffrey Paternostro: 119 would make him one of the 500ish best hitters in major league history, but looking at the dudes in the low 120s, that feels about right, so over slightly.

Jack (Philly): So how are Sixto's secondary's?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Curve and split will both be plus, curve might get higher. Also has a more traditional change with a shot to be average.

Blackburn (Spoco): Luis Escobar is intriguing. Lot of K's. Thoughts?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Adam Hayes saw him last year. Don't know what if anything might have changed. He's on my follow list though.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_pit.php?reportid=452

dianagramr (VORGville): Jorge Alfaro becomes the starting catcher for the Phils in _month/year_?

Jeffrey Paternostro: September callup followed by everyday guy in 2018 I think

Jeb (Brothers Bar & Grill): What do you think of the three best position players in Bradenton for the Pirates (Tucker, Hayes, Craig)?

Jeffrey Paternostro: This is a better question for Steve or Josh, who both see that affiliate extensively, I like Tucker a lot though. Less high on Craig, as I don't see it as an impact profile at first. Wilson disagrees with me there, because Wilson likes all large first basemen.

Goldeye99 (Winnipeg): Thanks for the chat! Any updates on Eloy Jimeneze? Still in extended spring training?

Jeffrey Paternostro: As far as I know. Saw he was back to getting OF reps like a week ago. Without short-season teams running, tough to know timetables for these guys rehabbing unless you are there.

Dave (Des Moines): Any updates on Jason Groome? Are the Sox being overly cautious with him?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I mean I would be too.

Billy (NJ): Any surprising performances so far in the Mets system to pay attention to?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Much like last year, not much in the way of surprises so far.

cracker73 (Florida): If Rafael Devers reaches his potential, what would his best season look like?

Jeffrey Paternostro: .300/.350/.550

Sidd (NJ): It's Monday at 2pm EST and things look bleak. Did they get better in the future?

Jeffrey Paternostro: They did not.

Steven (Queens): "Catchers are weird" and both Anthony Dimino and Patrick Mazeika are absolutely tearing it up - are either of them particularly interesting? Could either of them be in the "Tomas Nido breakout mold"?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Nido was younger in the FSL and a much better backstop than either.

Eric (Brooklyn): Most intriguing prospect in Columbia - Lindsay? Gimenez? Szapucki (once he returns)? Who has the highest ceiling?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think it is Szapucki only if because the medicals inject some intrigue/uncertainty into what he looks like now.

Mike (Milwaukee): Did I make a mistake drafting Gsellman instead of Mitch Keller?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Only history can judge us, Mike

Jeffrey Paternostro: Sorry I couldn't get to everything in the queue today, but I have to mow the lawn at some point. Already on the docket for two weeks from today so we will chat again then.


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