Why ask just any stathead when Dan "The Stats Bopper" Turkenkopf is here to talk baseball?
Dan Turkenkopf: Hello everyone! Thanks for joining us on one of the more important baseball holidays of the year: Draft day.
I'm here to whet your appetite for Kevin Goldstein's pair of draft chats today. I'm not a prospect expert, or a fantasy expert, but I'll do my best with both.
Let's get right to it.
SnakeDoctor18 (NY): Hey Dan,
In my 6x6 roto league, I was just offered Shin-Soo Choo for Rajai Davis and Alexi Ogando. What do you think? Is Choo going to return to form?
Dan Turkenkopf: That's a tough call. Choo admitted this weekend that he's been pressing as a way to make up for his DUI arrest. Clearly he's the best player in the deal when he's on, but you have to wonder whether (and when) he'll put the arrest behind him.
Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH): I'm hearing lots of buzz around Archie Bradley to Cleveland. Your thoughts?
Dan Turkenkopf: From the various sources I've read, it's hard to say whether Cleveland has made any decision yet about their pick. My guess is Bradley will still be there when they draft, and he might be tough to pass up. I'm not a big fan of drafting for need in the early rounds, so taking a high upside pick is something I'd support.
Update: Of course the Twitters are now telling me the O's might be scooping up Bradley with the 4th pick. So he might not be around for Cleveland.
John (DC): Who has the better 2012 fantasy season: Pujols or Fielder?
Dan Turkenkopf: Pujols' hot streak has got him pretty close to Fielder in value already. I've got to assume Albert's going to be the better player going forward.
DanDaMan (SeaCliff): Dan- do you play fantasy? If so, who are your favorite buy low candidates?
Dan Turkenkopf: I haven't played the last few years. With kids and work, I just don't have the time I used to. So I'm not really up on true buy-low candidates. Some of the bigger names who have gotten off to slow starts are obviously Pujols, Utley, Crawford and Pedroia. Ain't that some hard hitting analysis?
FrankL (Marietta, GA): How long does Trevor Bauer last? He looks like Tim Lincecum (with all the associated reservations) and UCLA used him like a rented mule.
Dan Turkenkopf: I don't think he makes it past KC at number 5. I mentioned before that I'm not big on drafting for need, but when you're KC, and you've got a bunch of top prospects on their way up, you probably want someone who's close to ML-ready. KC's got a shot of replicating the Rays over the next few seasons if they play their cards right.
John (NY): What do you think of Edison Volquez coming back after his stint in Triple A?
Dan Turkenkopf: I don't think he'll be as bad as he was early on. I can't imagine his HR/FB rate will stay that high. His SIERA is 4.25, about two runs better than his ERA thus far. Of course 4.25 is no great shakes in its own right.
Sky (The Roc, NY): Dan, what are some of the most underrated pieces of software out there? And what is your preferred coding language?
Dan Turkenkopf: Ooh, this one is right in my wheelhouse! I'll try to tone down the inner geek at little. For baseball analysis, you can do a lot with Excel. But you'll definitely want to learn SQL before trying to work with the Retrosheet or Pitch FX data. Dave Allen and Millsy (among others) do some wonderful things with R, but it's a tough tool to use if you're not used to it. And I'll give a wishy-washy answer on my preferred coding language and say it depends on the task at hand (but definitely not Perl).
Eric (Cleveland): What am I supposed to with Mark Reynolds?
Dan Turkenkopf: Did you expect more from him? It's hard to keep being productive when you strike out as much as he does. Just to get to a .250 average over the last two seasons, he'd have to have hit .411 when he makes contact. His .ISO is down somewhat this season, but I'd expect that to rise to normal levels. But I still wouldn't expect him to be very useful as either a fantasy or real-life player.
aso5018 (Philadelphia): Do Pirates fans love for Rendon get in the way of just how good Cole is?
Dan Turkenkopf: There seems to be a lot of disagreement over both Cole and Rendon. Besides the inherent risk of being a pitcher, there are at least a few people who apparently would take Bauer over Cole. And Rendon has the injury and position concerns, but he seems to have the best bat in the draft. I don't think either one would be a bad pick for Pittsburgh, and clearly neither is a slam dunk like Strasburg or Harper. I still wish the Yankees had signed Cole though.
Silv (NY, NY): 5x5 NL only keeper league: just dealt Sandoval (7), Maybin (9), Storen (18), Rubby (25), Javier Vazquez (16) for Uggla (29), J. Upton (34), and Marmol (13). Uggla's BABIP is historically bad, so I'm thinking he has to come around, and I'm not sold on Maybin's ability to remain productive long term. Thoughts?
Dan Turkenkopf: I think you got the best player in the deal in Upton. Beyond that, I'm not so sure Uggla's precipitous decline isn't somewhat real. Yes, his BABIP is really bad, but as Colin Wyers has shown (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=13857), after 100 plate appearance, this season's BABIP is pretty good predictor of the BABIP going forward. I don't think you gave up that much - Sandoval's bounceback not withstanding. I have the same concerns about Maybin as you do.
Dan Turkenkopf: That about wraps it up for me today. Thanks to everyone for their questions and for making my first chat relatively painless. Be sure to join Kevin Goldstein both before and after the draft tonight to hear his last minute thoughts, and his initial responses to the first round.