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Chat: Derek Carty

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday July 03, 2012 2:00 PM ET chat session with Derek Carty.

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BP Fantasy Manager Derek Carty drops by to tell you which players to buy, sell, and hold.

Derek Carty: Happy Almost-4th-of-July BPers! Hopefully you’re all within spitting distance of first place, and I’ll be here for the next hour or two fielding questions to help you close that gap. Let’s get started.

Harvey (Lakewood): Thoughts on Michael Fiers the rest of the season?

Derek Carty: I wouldn’t expect him to continue posting a 9.0+ K/9, but I do expect him to be quite good. He’s a guy I liked coming into the year—I drafted him in the reserve round of both Tout and LABR NL—and I suspect he’ll be even continue being deep mixed-league worthy. Not a hard thrower, but he’s got a good mix of pitches and plus command.

hotstatrat (another Torontonian): How do you separate gut instincts that steer us wrong from picking up on little details that steer us right?

Derek Carty: Ask yourself, "Why do I think this?" If you can come up with a real reason, something demonstrable, a conclusion that other people would be able to draw as well, it might hold some water. If it boils down to "I just have a feeling," then you should ignore it. We all like to think we're special and our gut is smarter than everyone else's, but unfortunately, that's not usually the case in fantasy baseball. Trust real evidence over a gut feeling.

DanDaMan (SeaCliff): Derek- which rookies currently in the minors do you see having the biggest impact this season? Any do you see any of them as upgrades from say Cameron Maybin or Ted Lilly (bottom of my roster)? Thanks

Derek Carty: At this point, it's pretty much all about opportunity. The Trouts and Harpers of the world are already here, and now it becomes a waiting game for a lot of guys. With Tabata getting demoted, that time could be now for a guy like Starling Marte. Some other names to consider: Wil Myers, Ryan Lavarnway (if traded out of Boston), Danny Hultzen, Jake Odorizzi, Jedd Gyorko, Johnny Giavotella, Mike Olt, Travis Snider. It's a gamble dropping an established big leaguer for one of those guys, but in a shallower league where they're just bench players anyway, gambling on some upside isn't a bad idea.

john (ct): Your advice regarding gut insticts applies also to business and probably life on a larger scale. So who has a brighter fantasy future Jesus Montero, Travis D'Arnaud or Gary Sanchez?

Derek Carty: The smart money is likely on D'Arnaud right now. Sanchez is still far enough away where you can't pick him over the other two, and D'Arnaud's park and lineup in Toronto figure to be superior to Montero's in Seattle unless something miraculous happens over there, even if Montero might project as the slightly better context-neutral hitter. It's just a matter of time until D'Arnaud gets his shot. You could add him to my rest-of-2012 prospect list from earlier too.

SJLedet (Alexandria, La): Keeper league question. Marisnick, Erlin, Yelich. What up with them? Appearance this year or next?

Derek Carty: This year is pretty much out of the question for Marisnick and Yelich, and probably Erlin too, who is still on the shelf. Mid-2013 is going to be the earliest we'll see Marisnick or Yelich, and even then 2014 seems more likely. I wouldn't be surprised if Erlin was an impact player next year, though, if he can get back, healthy, and promoted to Triple-A by year's end.

Dave (Tempe): Lincecum's 2nd half will be____?

Derek Carty: Ok, I'll answer your question, but you have to agree to take me to an ASU party next time I'm in Arizona. I hear I'm missing out...

Lincecum's 2nd half will be unable to make up for his first-half enough to make those who drafted him satisfied, but it will be good enough for those who traded for him recently to move up in their standings. I'm expecting something like a 3.75 ERA.

James (New York): How do you see the Minnesota closer situation playing out?

Derek Carty: Smart money is on Capps taking it back when he's healthy and keeping it the rest of the year. If he's re-injured or traded, though, I like Burton for the bulk of the saves. He's been sharing with Perkins now, but I like him better as a pitcher and think he makes more sense closing.

Randy (Houston): Any love for Aoki in a NL only?

Derek Carty: Sure, especially now that he’s pretty much got a full-time role. At-bats alone make a guy NL-only worthy. Aoki is outperforming the expectations of the scouts I spoke with prior to the season, although this power pace won't continue. They didn't like it coming in, and the further HR he's hit thus far has been 373 feet, according to HitTracker, so a handful more is kind of the best case scenario. He does seem to have some speed left, though, and Roenicke is letting him run, so he could be a decent source of steals to go with a not-bad batting average (though I'm not expecting him to continue hitting .300)

Andrew (Las Vegas): Do you believe in Trevor Plouffe?

Derek Carty: Yeah, I did a quick hit of Plouffe in an article a couple weeks ago (
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17394), and I'm starting to buy into him a little more. As I said, I like the swing, and HitTracker says 12 of his 18 home runs would have gone out in at least 28 parks. He doesn't hit the ball far, but when you account for direction (he's pretty much a strict pull power hitter), it works out.

Frank (ASU party): Lots of beer and chicks here, but that aside, I have Daniel Murphy clogging up my 3B spot. Who's a sneaky pick to grab off the wire the rest of the way? I'm thinking Pacheco, Frazier or guys of that ilk.

Derek Carty: First, party in the middle of the day? Impressive. Second, sneaking away from it to talk fantasy baseball? Even more impressive.

Yeah, guys like that work. Chris Nelson has 3B eligibiity and could be a good pick in that vein. Kyle Seager has a nice blend of skills. Juan Francisco's power would be quite valuable if Chipper Jones ends up with a more-than-nagging injury. I'm hearing good things about this guy named Will Middlebrooks too. Oh, he doesn't count? Nevermind...

Hokieball (DC): So what are the odds that Allen Craig gets named to the All Star team (injured Votto) and benched by his own team (for Berkman) in the same week? Or can we hold out hope that Berkman becomes MLB's best pinch hitter?

Derek Carty: Haha, I don't think I'd hold my breath on that plan of action for Berkman. I'm sure they'll try to work Craig in at first and outfield whenever possible, but I'll be very interested to see if they try him at second. There was talk of it last year and it never really happened, but with the way he's hitting, I wouldn't be surprised if it gets some legs. The team could also bench Jon Jay more often, but since I own him pretty much everywhere, I'm not going to mention it...

Paul (DC): Last year in a keeper league I traded Trout and some assorted stuff for Cano. I won the league, my first championship in 20+ years of fantasy baseball. Cano's having a great year again, but everytime I see Trout in the box scores a little piece of me cries "what if you still had him." I know I'm being irrational. Any words of advice/comfort to talk me off the ledge of insanity?

Derek Carty: It's a cliche, but banners fly forever. Even for the next few years, Cano may still be more valuable than Trout anyway. The guy's amazing, and it sucks to lose him, but if you have a chance to win a championship right now, it's worth sacrificing the future a bit. Plenty of prospects fail. Had you traded Lonnie Chisenhall or Domonic Brown, you might not be feeling as bad right now (not to say they're failed prospects, but what Trout is doing is pretty rare).

Luther (Toronto): Which closer do you take for 2013-2015, Huston Street or Addison Reed? Is it close?

Derek Carty: Yes, it's close. I'll take Street, although it's unclear where he'll be pitching next year, much less next month. That said, Reed is a young, largely unproven (albeit talented), flyball pitcher in a hitter's park, so he's no sure thing either.

Andrew (Las Vegas): Max Scherzer is making me distrust sabermetrics (4.98 ERA, 3.08 SIERA). Are we going to see the results improve moving forward?

Derek Carty: He has been very frustrating for sure. Good things are coming, though. I can feel it :D Honestly, though, he's not like one of these guys with a long history of underperforming peripherals. The worst mark on his record is a .313 career BABIP, which is a little higher than we might expect, but not by much and perfectly fine when you regress. It's hard to sit through this, but I don't see any reason why his surface numbers won't start to resemble the ace that he is.

john (ct): Who do you project as the top fantasy contributor in the second half? Trout, Harper, Dickey? Someone else?

Derek Carty: Someone else. As good as those guys have been, we're dealing with small samples, and it's a much sounder bet to put your money on someone with an established record of greatness like Ryan Braun or Miguel Cabrera or Jose Bautista.

Geo (Garland): What is Josh Vitters missing? .301/.352/.514 at Iowa, and Luis Valbuena is keeping him away?

Derek Carty: Experience and track record. This is the first year Vitters is truly living up to expectations, and the Cubs (rightfully) don't want to rush him to fast, especially when they're not winning anything this year anyway. He has just 300 AB under his belt at Triple-A, so more seasoning would do him some good. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to see him in August or, at the very least, September if he continues like this.

Matt (Manchester, NH): Putting you on the spot.....predict the world series participants and winner!

Derek Carty: Spotlight accepted. Yankees vs. Rangers. Barring a sudden realignment that makes that possible, however, I'll go Yankees vs. Cardinals with the Yankees winning. Of course, chances are heavily against that happening. I'll always take the field versus any one team (or two teams, for that matter).

steve112598 (Florida): Derek, please compare value for Kemp and Stanton going forward. Is it reasonable to think that Kemp's threat as a base stealer will drop off in an attempt to keep him healthy? Thanks!

Derek Carty: Yes, it's certainly possible. Kind of a toss-up for me as it'll depend on how Kemp looks and how aggressive they are with him. It looks like in a previous question you said you're in a keeper league, so given that that's the case, I'd probably go with Stanton.

Mikeyruler (Michigan): Time to bail on Romero?

Derek Carty: I don't know about bail, but it's not looking great right now. If you're in a league with the kind of FA depth where there are solid options out there, it can't hurt to explore your options.

luke (scottsdale): 12 team AL only league with no bench, what do I do with Romero? Hope he turns it around or drop him when Holland comes off the DL?

Derek Carty: Tough situation. I'd sit on him in a league like that as long as you have other options to drop.

Liam (Williston, VT): My buddy and I are trying to three-peat in our league. We're about 12 pts from first. We have a great offense, but we've been ravaged by injuries on the pitching side. We could make up a lot of ground if we added some strikeouts. Should we try to deal a bat for a high K guy or wait for our injured pitchers - namely Halladay and Morrow - to get well? Thanks!

Derek Carty: It's hard to say without knowing all of your league dynamics, but it seems like you have some offense to spare. Since Halladay and Morrow could potentially be out another month, and since guys don't usually just come out of nowhere to start striking people out, it sounds like you'd be well-advised to go get some Ks. Assuming your ratios are in order, guys in the Edinson Volquez mold might be appealing.

Ethan (Pittsfield): Thoughts on Travis Snider and his potential impact if the Jays actually let him know he won't be demoted the second he goes 0-4.

Derek Carty: I'm optimistic. He seems first in line for a call-up if a spot opens up, and he's looking great in the minors. His power is back, his approach looks good, and he'd be getting called up to a good lineup and park. It's possible he's a Quad-A guy, but I don't view him that way.

John (Miami): Thoughts on Justin Upton in dynasty leagues? Can't help but be disappointed so far this year.

Derek Carty: Can't help but be disappointed, but I still really like Upton, and especially when you're thinking long-term, I wouldn't be worried.

patvijay (Chicago): I'm looking to stash a player in the minors that isn't expected to produce at the MLB level until late 2012/early 2013. Who are the guys you would consider?

Derek Carty: Definitely start with the list I gave in question 3. You could add Travis D'Arnaud, Shelby Miller, Gary Brown, Nolan Arenado. It sounds like you might be in a shallower league, though, so if most of these guys are available and you're just grabbing one, I'd probably have to go with Wil Myers.

Trader Joe's (Seattle): Today 's Daily List Matthew Kory pointed out "Do the Mets miss Jose Reyes? Mets shortstops have hit .270/.343/.358 while Reyes has hit .269/.345/.382. So, maybe not?" Do I get a bargain by acquiring Ruben Tejeda w/ Mike Adams?

Derek Carty: Hmmm... what kind of league is that? A really deep mixed? I liked Tejada coming into the year as a solid NL-only play, and my opinion hasn't changed much since then, so assuming we're talking a deep league where at-bats alone are valuable, yeah, he's a solid enough guy to have. Won't offer much power or speed, but he'll hit for an okay average while starting everyday when healthy. And the Mets are batting him second, so he'll provide some runs.

Alex (Anaheim): Second base has very few attractive free agents in my 12 team mixed league, as you would expect. Anyone I might be overlooking?

Derek Carty: Hmm... Seager, Daniel Murphy? Scutaro seems underowned right now, maybe he's available. Espinosa is just 25% in Yahoo! leagues. Chris Nelson. Everth Cabrera for cheap speed?

Vic (Fresno): Time to start smiling that I grabbed Brandon Belt in my keeper league. Or should I be a bit skeptical that 1) he continues to get playing time or 2) he is a bit too streaky.

Derek Carty: Well, he's been hitting and the team doesn't have a lot of better options, so PT should be pretty stable going forward unless poor performance forces the issue. Streakiness is largely a myth, so Belt seems like a solid own in keeper leagues.

Larry (pgh): Whither Eric Sogard? Terrible Hitter (minors suggest otherwise) or BABIP cannon fodder? Inquiring minds...

Derek Carty: First question I've ever received about Eric Sogard. Ever. You get a cookie. It seems a bit of both. His MLB BABIP are too low, probably small-sample-size driven, but he's also probably not an especially good hitter. He's 26, he's never really been that highly regarded, and if he carves out a career for himself, it'll be as a backup infielder or a starter for a really bad team.

Beer for Beard (San Fran): Optimistic about the followings: Jose Reyes / Ryan Zimmerman / David Wright / Derek Jeter / Adam Dunn for 2012 second half?

Derek Carty: Yeses all around.

Derek Carty: Alright, that's going to do it for today. Enjoy the 4th, everyone!


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