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Chat: Jason Collette

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday August 16, 2011 5:00 PM ET chat session with Jason Collette.

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He may not have written "Chéri," but this Collette knows more about the louche world of fantasy than any Frenchwoman.

Jason Collette: It's raining buckets here in Orlando so I have no desire to get on the road to drive home. I'm yours until 7p - let's go!

Willy Mays Hayes (Cleveland): So what ever happened to the pitching weekly planner with Craig Brown? That was a helpful piece.

Jason Collette: That piece is coming up on Thursday and Derek Carty will be taking it over. Craig has had to retire from his writing gig here due to an overloaded schedule and we wish him well.

DanDaMan (SeaCliff): Who are the top 3 prospects recently called up or about to be called up not named Jesus? And are any of them rosterable for a playoff team in a 12 team league?

Jason Collette: Brandon Belt, Brandon Allen, and pick your Braves pitcher (Minor, Delgado). I don't trust rookies enough for the playoff stretch unless they're giving me steals and these guys won't do it. Make me pick one, and I'll take Belt.

J Lucroy (Milwaukee): If you had to pick one catcher, me or Jesus Montero the rest of this season?

Jason Collette: I will take you because even the Yankees cannot afford to have $13M sitting on the bench doing nothing the rest of the way. You are hitting very well over the last month; even cooling off will still be better than most catchers.

charles (nyc): How can David Price be more efficient, so he's not throwing 100 pitches by the fifth inning?

Jason Collette: Price was throwing 82% fastballs in August until his last start when he started mixing his secondary stuff in more. Now, his fastball rate sits at a cool 74% for this month. He's throwing a good looking cutter of late and was flashing a nice change-up in July. He needs to trust that secondary stuff more because he still has a lot of games left against the Yankees and Red Sox who spoil pitches better than anyone. The Rays have typically not called up many guys when rosters expand, even when out of contention, but it wouldn't surprise me to see them taper off Price and Shields in September and give those starts to someone like Torres or even Moore over the final two weeks of the season.

Jquinton82 (NY): 3 first round picks in next years draft due to trades. Eyeballing Bauer and Cole since I can use another starter, and Lindor, Springer, and Starling. Already have Asdrubel at SS along with Profar and an a stacked outfield. Ifo you're the rich and looking to get richer - who do you take?

Jason Collette: I'll take Bauer - I don't have the patience to wait on the younger kids. The longer I have a prospect, the more likely I am to deal them away.

Keith (Manchester, CT): Thanks for the chat, Jason. Do you think the Reds call up Devin Mesoraco in September, and since Ramon Hernandez is a free agent, how likely is it Mesoraco gets the starting catcher job next spring?

Jason Collette: I would be stunned if the job is not Mesoraco's next April and frankly, it should be his already. The Reds are not going anywhere so unless Hernandez is being blocked in claims, no reason to keep him around at this point. With Pierzynski going down, the White Sox need a catcher....

faztradamus (Chicago): Which, if any, of the 2011 draft class could make an end-of season MLB appearance? How much value during the span of their/his cup of coffee?

Jason Collette: Since most of them just signed, I don't see any of them doing anything in September. The college kids that are ready are likely better off getting the extra rest anyhow.

Drew (IL): How many teams broke the previous draft bonus record set by the nationals last year? As a Cubs fan I noticed they spent between 13-14M which would have broken the record and they were behind the Pirates and Nats

Jason Collette: Six guys got at least $5M - which was more than any other year. I'm not aware of all of the overall team numbers just yet though. KG would know that more than I would.

DS (LA): In a fantasy keeper league where the only pitching stats that count are IP and Runs Allowed, would you rather have Brian Matusz or Jeff Niemann over the next 3 years? Matusz will cost at least $15 a year going forward; Niemann will only make around $6 next season and possibly around $10-15 a season after that. Thank you!

Jason Collette: At the start of this season, that would have been an easy Matusz answer. Now that both guys have durability issues on their resume, the answer isn't as clearcut. Maddon will let his guys work deeper into games if they show they can handle it so I'll take Niemann here as he's more likely to go 110 pitches into a game than Matusz is.

Jquinton82 (NY): Do you see anyone else other than Bauer being able to move quickly enough to contribute by the middle of next year?

Jason Collette: Possibly Rendon. Let Morse get back out in left field and give Rendon 1st.

ShawnG (Cleveland): Early thoughts on the ETA for Hultzen and Bundy. Obviously assuming no injuries for either. PS So are you saying the % chance Moore pitches in MLB this season is higher then the 2% when I asked you last time? :)

Jason Collette: Late next year for Hultzen, 2015 for Bundy are my best guesses at a very inexact science. I still think Moore's chances of pitching for the Rays this season are around 2%. He threw 145 innings last year and they don't like going more than 20-25 in the following season. He's at 133 now so if you figure he has a 165ish cap this season, that's six more starts which takes him right through the AAA playoffs.

DS (LA): How do you feel about trading prospects in dynasty leagues? Do you have a problem trading a premium prospect or two for a rental if that rental will increase your chances to win a championship this year?

Jason Collette: Flags Fly Forever. I have traded Desmond Jennings and Matt Moore to win pennants in 2009 and 2010 and I don't regret doing it.

Matt (New York): Is Bauer going to be that helpful to the Diamonbacks this year? He threw a boatload of innings already. They should shut him down. Use Parker or Skaggs if they want to be agressive

Jason Collette: I don't see the upside in letting him pitch this season given what he's done already. Flags Fly Forever in fantasy leagues, but short-term decisions are more expensive in real life.

Bill Simmons (LA): Thoughts on grantland.com?

Jason Collette: It's growing on me, even though I'm not your biggest fan mainly because I despise the things you stand for which are the NBA, the Celtics, the Patriots, and the Red Sox. That said, solid job adding Jonah Keri and getting Michael Kruse some exposure. He does great work at The St. Pete Times.

Matt (NYC): I have the #1 pick in a dynasty league (hopefully). The right pick is Rendon right?

Jason Collette: That's the pick I would make

Steven (New York): Who has bigger upside: Kate Upton, Lily Carter, or Brooklyn Decker?

Jason Collette: Lily Carter is committed to giving it her all -- have to admire that

Francois (Toronto): Regarding your earlier answer regarding fantasy 1st round picks: Why Bauer over Cole? Is it because Bauer has already made multiple professional ball starts, or do you like his tools better?

Jason Collette: That, and I also like the Diamondbacks situation better than the Pirates situation. There's something to be said about getting signed early and getting the work done now rather than waiting until the last minute.

moehk21 (NYC): Do you think Mr. Slightly Above Average at Mostly Everything (Brett Jackson) will be up this year??

Jason Collette: That, or Jim Hendry will release him to make room for the recently released Trever Miller. All joking aside, Jackson needs to be added to the 40 man roster first before he can be called up but I see several candidates that could be released to make room for him.

Bubbles (Zoo): Does Brett Lawrie have a chance to hit 20 HR's with 75 RBI's next season?

Jason Collette: I wouldn't put anything by Full Tilt, but I think the RBI benchmark is more realistic. We don't know how the league will adjust to him yet as he hasn't made a pass around the league just yet and he hit 18 homers this season while playing in the launching pad that is Vegas in the PCL.

Matt (NYC): Wouldn't you rather move Espinosa to SS and Rendon to 2B

Jason Collette: Even better, for fantasy purposes

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Better keeper option- H. Bailey or Hughes? Giavotella or Kelly Johnson?

Jason Collette: Johnson is the oldest, but I still think he's the most productive of the bunch. Back to back 20 HR seasons frm 2B and throw in the steals....some BABIP regression should get his average back in the .260 range next season.

Matt (NYC): Rank the M's pitching prospects: Walker, Hultzen, Paxton- high on all?

Jason Collette: High on all 3, but give me Paxton, Hultzen, and Walker in that order.

Zooey (LA): Have many more elite fantasy seasons can you expect from the aging Roy Halladay?

Jason Collette: He will be 35 next season but this season has a career high K/9 rate and is walking less than 1.5 batters for the 4th straight season. No signs of wearing down and I'd have no problem extending him another 3 years if I were in a dynasty league.

Marcus (Denver): Jason, can you please give us the NSFW warning next time. Hopefully my Lily Carter Google Image search didn't get flagged by my IT Department.

Jason Collette: Hey - I didn't say to look her up :) I was hoping my verbiage was enough of a hint as to what she did

Rachel (Las Vegas): I'm in a keeper league, and I was just offered Jayson Werth for Adam Dunn. Should I accept the deal?

Jason Collette: I'd take my ex-wife in a deal where I was giving up Adam Dunn. There are no signs of life there

moehk21 (NYC): Do you not have a twitter?

Jason Collette: I do indeed....@jasoncollette. Beware, I talk Rays as much as I do fantasy baseball since I co-manage DRaysBay and do work with the ESPN Radio affiliates in Tampa and Orlando.

DS (LA): Thank you, Jason, for answering my earlier questions. In a dynasty league, do you have a preference for drafting hitting or pitching prospects?

Jason Collette: I don't even bother with pitching prospects until I see what they do in High A ball. If that means I miss out on a Matt Moore the first time around, so be it. TINSTAAPP should be tattooed into every fantasy player's forearm

jaymoff (salem): I have one pick...Bubba or Bundy? If each reach their enormous upside (yes, highly unlikely....but assumed in this example), who's the better FANTASY player?

Jason Collette: In cases like this, I go with organizational track record and the Royals win that argument with me.

Bryan (The OC): You think there's any chance Matt Moore makes a start in September?

Jason Collette: A 2% chance, at best. They only did it with Price in 2008 because of the post-season contention. Nothing to be gained by throwing him this year other than (what I'd hope would be) a strong night at the gate.

DS (LA): What kind of ERA do you think Ubaldo Jiminez will be putting up in the AL? And thoughts on Fausto Carmona? Can you see him putting up sub-4 ERAs over the next couple of years? Thanks!

Jason Collette: Carmona's LOB% fluctuates wildly so anything is possible. I see the talent level in the ALC improving so sub 4 is possible for both, but more possible for Jimenez.

Matt (NYC): Marisnick, Yellich, Arcia- how would you rank those very different OF's

Jason Collette: Yelich is playing in a very friendly environment in Greensboro - really want to see how he makes the jump to Jupiter as many a Marlins prospect has failed in that leap. I like Arcia a lot even with the struggles as he left Beliot to get to Ft Myers. Marisnick behind him for me because they're the same age and he now has nearly 600 PA in Low A ball.

Bryan (The OC): What do you think Jennings goes for in a standard mixed auction next year?

Jason Collette: $20-$22, mostly on the steals. He has 9 steals now in 22 games -- you figure he's good for 35-40 in a full season and he has the power to hit 10-12 even in the suppressing Tropicana Field.

Ruxin (Tinley Park): Any suggestion for a group of friends looking to create a baseball blog site?

Jason Collette: 1. Wordpress is super easy. 2. Read everything out there now and find what is missing and be that site to fill in the gap. If you're doing fantasy stuff, get out there on message board communities such as the old RotoJunkie forums (now at rjbullpen.com) and show off your stuff to people who are serious enough about fantasy baseball to spend time on a message board.

Bill (Boston): If there was such a thing as a Movie Fantasy League, do you believe there is any upside left in Olvia Wilde? Tron, Cowboy & Aliens, and The Change Up all under-performed despite all the press about how pretty Olivia Wilde is.

Jason Collette: Olivia Wilde is like James Shields today, beautiful but gets no support from her teammates. Stick with her, she'll bust out.

Zooey (LA): What can baseball do to attract more female fans?

Jason Collette: I don't know the numbers, but I don't see a huge problem here. My mother watches as much baseball as I do if not more. I see fine examples of passionate women fans such as @amandarykoff, @sportsbizmiss@sportschix1, @alyssamilano on Twitter as well. I think getting a female in a visible position of leadership would help as well as getting women more involved in the calling of the game itself rather than this sideline reporting trend. I think the women on the fence with baseball would be more drawn in if they heard a woman giving her opinion of the game rather than reporting on what a player did during their off day.

Matt (NYC): What do you think of Duffy next year?

Jason Collette: Has to command the strike zone better. You see flashes of potential, but location struggles are killing him right now.

jaymoff (salem): Thanks for the earlier response. As a follow up, what would be each of Bubba's and Bundy's top shelf numbers if they did, in fact, reach their ceilings? Would you have a comp for each, as well? Thanks for fielding my question(s)!

Jason Collette: That's more for KG than me -- but front of the rotation starter vs front half of the order run producer. Tough to go wrong either way, but I still want Starling more.

Bud Selig (New York): Give me a good reason why the city of Tampa Bay deserves a team like the Rays.

Jason Collette: Because they were top five in radio and television last season - better ratings than the die-hard fanbase is Los Angeles and Boston. I don't know if you saw the video highlight of Jim Thome's 1st career home run, but it came in an early September game at Yankee Stadium that had 14,000 people in it. If an area that has 10.5% unemployment and 4.5 million people within an hour can get 12K to a meaningless Rays/Royals tilt, certainly an area with 14 million can draw more than 14K to any game, no? Oh yea, GIVE ME REPLAY ALREADY!

JP (Dallas): Did the DBacks mess up with Loux last year? He has pitched very well this year, and is just now hitting the DL and that is likely due to fatigue at this time of the year.

Jason Collette: tough to blame the DBacks for what they did. The medicals did not justify the risk since he had shoulder and elbow red flags. The money the Rangers paid him (~320K) was a better risk.

DS (LA): Thoughts on Dodger SP prospect Chris Withrow? Looks like control is still a major issue, but in his last 10 starts he's thrown 50 IP, 39 hits allowed, 35 walks, 51 strikeouts, and a 3.60 ERA (4.22 ERA on the year).

Jason Collette: Control is a major issue, so s the fact he has thrown 266 innings in AA since the 2009 season. Additionally, a 3.60 ERA despite allowing 74 baserunners in 50 innings screams a very lucky strand rate. Relief potential unless he finds better command.

Matt (NJ): Can you explain your ranking of Mariners pitchers. I do not think that would be the general consensus.

Jason Collette: Experience beats the potential for me. Walker is exciting, but the collegiate arms of Paxton and Hultzen appeal to me more at this time and lefties in Safeco are helped with the park's abilities to suppress right-handed power. Paxton jumped over A+ ball from A- ball and has been dominating AA ball.

DS (LA): What kind of career do you see Matt Joyce having? Do you think at his peak he can put up similar numbers (incl. OBP) as JD Drew?

Jason Collette: He will never be the defender Drew is/was, but the rest of that comp works for me. Joyce has been given small pockets of chances against lefties but the fact he has to sit against lefties at times for a well-below replacement level guy like Elliot Johnson makes no sense. The Rays are not contending right now so I do not see why the club does not put Joyce out there as much as possible and let him sink or swim against lefties because it is still better than what an org soldier like Johnson would do. An outside theory floated by my colleague at DRaysBay, Heath Baywood, is moving Joyce to first base if the team cannot find a FA solution this off-season or cannot trade for someone.

Matt (NYC): Which prospect in the minors do you see taking the biggest leap in the minds of prospect rankers in the next 365 days..

Jason Collette: I think Hak-Ju Lee was that guy if you look at pre-season to mid-season. Looking at mid-season 2011 to mid-season 2012, um, err, um, a flier on Chih-Hsien Chiang with Seattle who proves that 2011 isn't a fluke.

Gerardo Parra (HOF): Why does BP hate me ?

Jason Collette: Because you blocked Wily Mo Pena, Colin Cowgill, and Brandon Allen at different points this season. No offense, but you are boring for fantasy purposes and those guys were prettier on the stat sheet.

moehk21 (nyc): should Strausburg be up this year??

Jason Collette: I do believe he'll be on the bump in September at some point, yes.

Mike (FL): What is your opinion of Bobby Borchering? How many years till he's in the bigs?

Jason Collette: He's striking out even more than he did last year which is never a good sign for me. 48 XBH is nice in the stat line, but it is the Cal League. Can he make the kind of jump that Goldschmidt did this season coming out of that league? Nah, but in a deep NL league, I take a flier on him.

Mike (FL): Borchering or Davidson longterm?

Jason Collette: Davidson is younger, give me him. Same type of faults

Nick (NYC): What kind of player do you see Mason Williams becoming? He's having a great season.

Jason Collette: He is, but he's not walking much at all and his 20 for 31 on the basepaths is also bad. Good potential, worth the follow, but too early for a roster spot unless you are in a 50-60 man AL only dynasty league.

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Is Aroldis Chapman's future in the 'pen for sure?

Jason Collette: He hasn't started a game at the major league level yet - rare to see a guy make that kind of change at his supposed age of 23.

Nick (NYC): Who's the first overall pick next year in regular leagues? Upton? Kemp?

Jason Collette: Upton would be my top overall pick. Would you believe I have both in a 10 team NL league, along with Braun, and am only in 3rd? Stupid pitching staff can't buy wins :(

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Follow-up on Chapman- in that case, is he worth keeping in an 8-keeper, 16-team league? Keepers right now are Cahill, Bailey, Hughes, Strasburg, Teixeira, Longoria, K. Johnson, and Ike Davis.

Jason Collette: I would keep him over Bailey. Cordero's option is $12M for next season and the Reds would be better off giving Chapman the closer role than paying Coco Cordero that kind of cash.

Nick (NYC): Whats your thoughts on Cito Culver? There's been mixed feelings on him from what I've seen

Jason Collette: Park's article on him last month is where I would stand. Jason has scouted him, so he knows him best http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14662

Jason Collette: The rain is over, my fingers are tired, and my stomach is growling. We'll do it again soon!


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