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Chat: Collin Whitchurch

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday June 22, 2017 1:00 PM ET chat session with Collin Whitchurch.

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Collin is co-Editor-in-Chief of BP South Side. Ask him about the White Sox, or don't.

Collin Whitchurch: Hello, everyone! Let's talk about baseball and other baseball-related things.

jfegan (Papa John's): Who do you think the White Sox actually trade at the deadline?

Collin Whitchurch: Hey, an easy one to start. Thanks, Jim Jam.

I think the most obvious answer here is David Robertson, as relievers seem to be the biggest need among contenders. Whether the White Sox are willing to absorb some of his money or not will be the determining factor on what they get in return (spoiler alert: they won't be willing). But I think he's gone regardless. After Robertson, Melky, Frazier and Swazark are probably the most likely to go.

I don't think the Sox will budget on Quintana until they get an offer they believe is reasonably value, and given his start to the season, that's unlikely to come before July 31. I also think they'll hold onto Avisail Garcia and Tommy Kahnle.

Dalton Leslie (EMC insurance ): Is Ian Happ hitting for more power than he will for his career? and he isn't a .221 hitter is he?

Collin Whitchurch: Happ's been all power or nothing early in his career. 10 of his 25 hits with the Cubs have gone for homers. That's obviously not sustainable, but neither is his .221 batting average. He seems to take the ball to all fields pretty well, and while I think there's some power there, not at the rate he's hitting them currently. I think he winds up a guy with a little bit of pop but most of those homers will ultimately turn into doubles, and he settles into the .270 range in terms of batting average.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Collin, How would you rank the top 5 catching prospects in the minors? Does Collins make the list?

Collin Whitchurch: BP's Top 101 has five catchers on it, and Collins is fifth out of them behind Alfaro, Mejia, Sisco, and Kelly. I think that's a fair place to put him. But more importantly, Collins seems to have made strides this year behind the plate, and if we get to the end of 2017 feeling better about him sticking there than we did at the beginning of the season, that'll be a huge plus.

BC (Urbandale): Who do you see as a good comp for Eloy Jimenez?

Collin Whitchurch: I've seen comps as lofty as Giancarlo Stanton, but I'm not sure how realistic that is. Maybe the answer is Roy Hobbs. I think the better question is whether he stays in Chicago or is dealt for someone like Chris Archer.

Dusty (Colorado): Is Wander Javier the next Carlos Correa?

Collin Whitchurch: I Wander what would make you think this? Sorry, sorry, trying to delete. (Also, no, he is not).

Punchoutpappy (First in Flight): If you put on your pretend GM hat...beyond Quintana, it looks as if Todd Frazier may have the biggest price tag given the dearth of 3B. That said he's 31 and having his worst statical season by Baseball Reference's WAR standard. What would you be looking to get in return for him?

Collin Whitchurch: Frazier could provide some legit value to a team like the Yankees or Red Sox, but I don't know if the White Sox will get anything substantial for him, particularly given his age and the fact that he's a free agent after this season. I wouldn't look at Top 101 guys, but more intriguing younger prospects who still need a significant amount of development. The White Sox also have to weigh whether or not whatever they could get in return is more valuable than what he provides in the clubhouse for some of their younger hitters.

Pablo (Starbucks): Do you like scones?

Collin Whitchurch: More of a Tyler Danish guy.

Jeb (IC): How good is meadows? whats his ceiling?

Collin Whitchurch: I'm a big fan of Meadows, and it's not just because I acquired him for the White Sox in OOTP and he wound up having a Hall of Fame career. But you have to worry about the fact that he's struggled to stay healthy thus far. He's still just 22, though, and while people are clamoring for the Pirates to either call him up or trade him, I think with more development he could become a perennial All-Star outfielder.

a.j. (las vegas): is there are particular prospect or position you would target in the all star break trades for the white sox? my call is that there doesn't seem to be much corner power on its way. maybe Willie Calhoun from the dodgers as a LF?

Collin Whitchurch: I don't think it's wise to target a specific are of need when you're shopping for prospects. That said, unless something changes drastically with Quintana over the next month, I wouldn't expect the White Sox to get much top end talent at the deadline. Calhoun is a bat first second baseman, which is weird to say out loud, but also pretty much falls in line with the players the White Sox acquire.

cracker73 (Florida): When do you think Lopez and Kopech will be called up to the White Sox?

Collin Whitchurch: I think we see Lopez this year, whether it's in September or earlier. He's struggled a bit of late but seems closest to ready of any of the top White Sox pitching prospects. I both hope and believe the White Sox will bring Kopech along slowly. He's still at Double-A and striking out the world but also kinda walking the world. His stuff is good enough that he could probably work out of the bullpen today, but the White Sox have loftier goals for him. I say mid-2018 at the earliest for him.

nschaef (NYC): Which Garcia is the best other than Cat?

Collin Whitchurch: My answer is Leury. My other answer that only like five people will get is Ray.

touchstoneQu (Minneapolis): Matt Davidson, Avasil Garcia, and Yolmer Sanchez are all having nice little seasons -- are any of these guys for real? On another note, Melky Cabrera is only 32! He played on a team with Mussina, A-Rod, Jeter, Posada, Matsui, Sheffield, Bernie Williams, Kevin Brown, and Randy Johnson! Seems like forever ago...

Collin Whitchurch: That Melky note is kinda nuts. We've written extensively about both Davidson and Avi over at BPSouthside.com. I suggest checking it out! But in sum, I think Davidson has proven to have legit major league power. He's never going to be a superstar given his shortcomings elsewhere, but I could easily see him having career longevity on par with the likes of Mark Reynolds or Chris Carter. Avi continues to be awesome but it's going to take a lot longer for him to wash away the years of mediocrity. Yolmer is probably hitting over his head right now, but could be a valuable backup middle infielder long term.

Bob Smoot (Fairbanks, Alaska): For two straight games, the White Sox starting pitcher has failed to go more than 4 innings. Temporary slump or is this something that needs to be remedied at the trade deadline?

Collin Whitchurch: It's been worse than just two straight games! They've only lasted five innings in half of their June games. I wrote about this today. The bullpen has been pulling its weight but it's not sustainable. I also don't think it's something that will necessarily be addressed at the trade deadline. They'll just continue to bring in veteran roster filler (guys like Pelfrey) to eat innings in the interim.

Jim Bob Scott (Manitoba, Canada): What are your thoughts on Josh Bell? He is hitting for power, but not much average. Coming up, that was supposed to be flipped. Could he be a .260-.270 guy, high OBP, and 20-25 HR type of guy?

Collin Whitchurch: Yeah he's had kinda a strange season relative to what was expected out of him. I think if he is what he's been thus far this season, that's perfectly fine for the Pirates. You need power at the corner, and it wasn't necessarily expected out of Bell but would be a solid outcome. I do think things level out before long and you'll see his average rise a bit as some of those homers turn into doubles, etc.

Bill Scott (Wells Fargo): What are your thoughts on Mitch Keller? What is his ceiling?

Collin Whitchurch: Lot of Pirates fans chatting today, eh? Keller seems like a low ceiling high floor kinda guy. Someone with strong odds of settling in as a mid-rotation guy long term. He's also only 21, though, so who the hell knows?

Chuck Jones (Decatur, Illinois): Why do we still treat W-L records for pitchers like it's something to judge their value on? It seems unfair given that those records depend on run support.

Collin Whitchurch: Who's still doing that? Tell me their name and address! I need to send them a strongly worded letter in the mail!

striker (Michigan): Yankees get Abreu + Quintana WhiteSox get Frazier, Fowler, Andujar, Austin, Floria, Adams Who says no?

Collin Whitchurch: Ummmmm maybe both teams do? I don't see the Yankees pulling the plug on their rebuilt farm this quickly despite their hot start.

nschaef (NYC): Thoughts on unwritten rules / Puig?

Collin Whitchurch: *posts picture of Puig giving the double birds*

WitUaKenny (Chi): On average per year, how often do you dream about Uribe's catch in '05?

Collin Whitchurch: At least once a day. The serious answer is any time I'm watching a game where a shortstop runs over near the wall to catch a foul pop up. Uribe's catch > Jeter's catch. Come at me, haters!

Jmax (Chat room ): Moncada will be called up in September. True or false? I pick true, so many people are silly and want to pick false, expecting him to be recalled earlier

Collin Whitchurch: I think September is reasonable, but still think it could be a little sooner than that.

John (CT): If Robertson is indeed traded at the deadline is Jake Petricka a possibility to close some games?

Collin Whitchurch: I think option 1 at this point would be Tommy Kahnle. Could see Petricka in the mix if he stays healthy and maybe the Sox like Kahnle in the role he's been handling. If/when Nate Jones is healthy he's probably the first choice, though.

Punchoutpappy (First in Flight): Can you theorize what an immediate post-Jerry Reinsdorf era looks like? With his son clearly more interested in the basketball operations, would he look to sell the team?

Collin Whitchurch: This is something I've wondered for quite a while. My hope is that he'd sell the team and we'd get a clean slate with a new outlook on the team. But I really have no idea. Also, be careful what you wish for in terms of new owners. (see: Sacramento Kings).

Jeb (Iowa): What would you do with McCutchen if you were Neal Huntington?

Collin Whitchurch: The easy answer is that you trade him and get as many future pieces as possible. He's on the wrong side of 30 and the Pirates aren't going anywhere. But I also don't think you trade him just for the sake of trading him. Huntington isn't going to pull the trigger unless he thinks he's getting fair value.

Collin Whitchurch: Well I think that does it for me! Thanks to everyone for the questions. You can find my work at BPSouthside.com or follow me on Twitter @cowhitchurch. Until next time...


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