Mike Gianella is the lead fantasy writer for Baseball Prospectus and co-host of the Flags Fly Forever podcast.
Mike Gianella: Thanks for joining me this afternoon for this chat about baseball. Let's get started.
cracker73 (Florida): Who is the better prospect for fantasy, Bo Bichette or Carter Kieboom?
Mike Gianella: Bichette has more of a ceiling but I still like Kieboom better, even in fantasy.
Justinpain928 (S Elgin): Why do some of your chat hosts whine about prospect questions? Isn't the site we are on called Baseball Prospect us. Maybe they should find a gig on another site.
Mike Gianella: Perhaps they are dead inside.
Rob Mains (Upstate NY): How much traction do you see the idea of expanding DLs gaining this year, given the proliferation of 10-day DL usage in the majors?
Mike Gianella: Do you mean in fantasy leagues? None of my colleagues at ESPN, Yahoo, or CBS have discussed it, but then most of them don't set the rules or have control over the game set-ups. I suspect that at least one of the major sites will expand the DL by one or two slots in 2018, or at least offer the option.
Snickers (Sharon (MA)): Rhys Hoskins is smashing and bashing with great obp and k/bb. Do you see a successful mlb career in his future?
Mike Gianella: Yes. I see him as a solid every day player for a few years, even if he is never a top-echelon superstar.
John (San Francisco): How can the A's bullpen suck as bad as it does?
Mike Gianella: More than a few teams have this problem this year. The lack of starting pitchers going deep into games combined with the almost nightly demand on relievers is contributing to a lack of fresh arms. Add Sean Doolittle's injury to this and Santiago Casilla's ineffectiveness and there you go.
Mike (California ): Who do you like long term, Albies or Brendan Rodgers? Both future second baseman debuting in 2018?
Mike Gianella: Rodgers.
Albies will be up in 2018 for sure. Rodgers could be, but given that he hasn't even set foot in the high minors yet, 2019 might be a more reasonable guess.
Mike (Chicago ): Is Acuna a lock to make the majors next season? Is he a top 15 OF at peak?
Mike Gianella: Lock? No. He has 27 incredible plate appearances in Double-A but I'd like to see at least a full season in AA/AAA before calling him a lock. If the power carries over, I would say that he definitely could be a Top 15 guy.
Chris (Texas): Is Walker Buehler a future #2 type?
Mike Gianella: Yes, although he could settle in as a mid-tier guy as well.
Taylor (Brookings): Who does Brock Lesnar face at Summerslam in August?
Mike Gianella: I hear Ben Carsley is throwing his hat into the ring.
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Once he gets healthy, will Braun be dealt?
Mike Gianella: I'd say 75/25 he is dealt before the deadline.
BC (Urbandale ): Happ up for good or just until KB and Heyward return? Whats his ceiling? Whats his floor? could Theo use him for trade bait to go get a starter?
Mike Gianella: It's a temporary call up; the Cubs want him to get regular at bats at Triple-A. Ceiling is an above average starter on a World Series winner. Floor is a blah regular. Yes, I think Happ could be trade bait, although Canderlario might be the more likely guy given Bryant.
Who? (Mike Jones.): Would the cubs consider keeping Baez, trading Schwarber and sticking Happ out in left field for good? What could they get back from an AL team needing a bat?
Mike Gianella: I'm sure the Cubs would consider anything, although I suspect they're less likely to make I move like this in-season. Depends on the team, but I think they're going to be looking for a #2/#3 starting pitcher at a minimum.
nschaef (NYC): In an old fashioned roto league -- 25-man rosters, 13-teams, no bench. 6x4 with pitching categories just being ERA/K/W/S.
I only have two DL slots to use, and they are currently occupied by Zach Britton and Madison Bumgarner. I also have Taillon. Given that I cannot proceed shorthanded for multiple months, which of these three would you drop?
Mike Gianella: Love the old fashioned Roto leagues. Hope it's not an only for your sake and your sanity.
I'd drop Taillon. Just have no idea when he'll be back.
Paul (DC): Do Flags truly Fly Forever? In the middle of the 2011 season, I traded a 2012 1st round pick and Mike Trout for Robinson Cano.
I won my first ever league championship in 2011, and another in 2013.
Yet years later, I still feel guilty for having traded away the best player since Barry Bonds. Am I silly to talk about this with my therapist, or should I just suck it up and be happy with what I got out of the deal?
Mike Gianella: It sounds to me like you did OK. I'd only feel bad about that deal if I hadn't won the league. And you won multiple times! Therapy is for when you make a deal like that and lose the league by half a point because Brandon Kintzler got a save on the last day of the regular season.
Paul (DC): Assuming that Bradley Zimmer's recent turnaround from a tepid start in Columbus sticks, is there a place for him in Cleveland's mediocre outfield before September?
Mike Gianella: Yes. I think he'll be up by July if the current trend lines - both for him and for Cleveland's outfield - hold.
Ronald Acuna (M-Braves): I like Double-A. It's fun up here. What's my ceiling looking like?
Mike Gianella: You're five-category guy, although I don't see 25+ steals for you.
Buff (CO): How worried should we be about Tyler Glasnow. Will he get it together and become an effective major league starter?
Mike Gianella: Moderately worried. He hasn't displayed any kind of command since Double-A so while I'd like to say yes to your question my answer right now is there's a 40 percent chance he does and a 60 percent chance he doesn't.
Jape82 (Ottawa, Canada): The BP love for Gsellman was high coming into this season and I bought in with some big time man-love of my own because of it. Should I still be in on him or is it time to cut bait and forget about all the talk of the velo uptick, Warthen slider, sweet flow, etc.? What can we expect from him ROS for fantasy?
Mike Gianella: I'd trade him in a redraft. Looks like a complete mess right now. I see some bounce back but a 4.00 or 4.20 ERA ROS is what I'd expect in 2017.
Jake (Kalamazoo): In the era of launch angles, and in his free agent year, Eric Hosmer seems bizarrely determined to keep hitting the ball on the ground. Is there any chance he figures this out? If not, is it time to move on in dynasty? Does he have any trade value left?
Mike Gianella: I think this is who he is: a 15-20 homer guy who could hit 25 like he did last year but probably won't. I'd flip him in dynasty if I could but - as you point out - his trade value is shot. I'd move him for whatever I could get.
brad (NJ): Which side do you take? Acuna and Cal Quantrill for Schwarber.
Mike Gianella: Tough call. Still think I want Schwarb but it's a conversation now, and it certainly wasn't one a month ago.
Tanner Boyle (Bad News Bears): who will lead the A's and DBacks in saves this season?
Mike Gianella: Casilla but he'll be lucky to crack 20. Rodney, but only because the Diamondbacks aren't going to find anyone long term for the role even after the jettison the Arrow Man.
Tanner Boyle (Bad News Bears): i added Oswaldo Arcia in NL only...he's got to be up w/Pollock & Peralta injured right? is there still hope for him?
Mike Gianella: I would think so, particularly if their injuries are long-term and not just a day-to-day thing. I still dig the raw power, and I like the fact that the strikeout numbers have dropped a great deal in Triple-A. There's a little hope left.
Teb (Iowa city): in you opinion, is the hall of fame really the hall of fame without guys like Bonds, Sosa, Clemmons, A-Rod? Hard to think of a "HOF" without those guys to me
Mike Gianella: It isn't quite the same to me without them, I concur.
CountryHardBall (Field of Dreams): What's the feasibility of using Rockies starting pitchers in an NL-only league this year?
Mike Gianella: The talent is there but the venue is still such a grind for all of them. Tyler Anderson looked like such an exciting play and he's been cut even in NL-only leagues. Freeland and Senzatela are almost auto-starts in NL-only and the rest of the rotation are at least matchup plays.
Clown (Outside your window): If Julio Urias was still prospect eligible would you have him as your #1 pitching prospect? If not, who would be your top 3 pitchers in MiLB?
Mike Gianella: Without a doubt.
bravesfan69 (magic city): Ronald Acuna is vaporizing AA so far (.560/.593/.920 2HR, 2SB in 6 games) and has trimmed the strikeouts back to a reasonable level after a whiff-heavy start (22% over his past 20 games). Where would you rank him on a list of the best dynasty league prospects?
Mike Gianella: Nice question.
I have him 12th. If he crushes Double-A pitching for a full season, he's a Top 5 guy at the end of the year.
Nick Stellini (NJ): Hi Mike, first time long time. Is Michael Conforto the greatest player in the league or the greatest of all time? Thanks, I'll hang up and listen.
Mike Gianella: He's no Mike Trout, but he's getting there.
How could anyone be better than Jeter?
Jeb (Iowa): What're the chances Gerrit Cole gets traded within the next year or so? What would a return for the Pirates look like?
Mike Gianella: I'd say they're pretty good, particularly if the Pirates decide to do a complete tear down. They'd probably want something similar to what the Yankees got for Aroldis Chapman.
Justin (IC): When should the Pirates trade McCutchen? When should Meadows come up and what is his upside?
Mike Gianella: I don't know if there is a "should" but I'd say in June or July if they are going to move him. Meadows would be fine to call up in July or August. Meadows is a top 10 guy on pretty much every list there is, so the upside is an elite, four-tool superstar.
Blackburn (My chair): What do you think of Josh Bell?
Mike Gianella: I like him. I'm surprised he's hitting for more power and less average but he certainly has the strength to do so. I see him settling in as a first division regular but don't see Bell as an elite 1B in the future.
Nick Fick (Bestbrook): I've hit on Pillar and Altherr in fantasy. Add them to Cruz, Benintendi, Brantley, Sano (Bryant already is at thrid), Inciarte, and Adam Jones and I have a crowded OF. We only have 3 OF spots. I've been trying to move some OF for pitching but am getting impatient. Do you think Pillar and Altherr are legit and I should look at trading one of my studs? Or should I keep trying to sell high on these two?
Mike Gianella: I have more faith in Altherr than Pillar but you have more than enough talent to trade one of your studs and should go that route.
Hawzy (FB&T): I missed out on the recent slew of new closers in our league. Who is your prediction for the next set up man to become closer?
Mike Gianella: Brandon Kintzler has been fine but he strikes out almost no one and has little margin for error. Tyler Duffey is my fun, don't-call-me-out-on-this-five-months-from-now pick.
Taylor (Brookings): I've been enamored by Jorge Mateo's potential fantasy impact due to his speed. But last year he didn't progress much and he's had an up and down start to this year as well. Should I still be hopeful, or time to move on?
Mike Gianella: I'd hang on to him. Still hasn't turned 22, still has loads of potential.
Charles in Charge (Mom's Basement): I've been offered Jose Quintana in my fantasy league, but haven't been impressed thusfar. Would you buy low on him, or am I right to be concerned?
Mike Gianella: I'd buy. I've always liked Quintana, and you could get a sneaky wins bump if he gets traded (disregard if your league is smarter than most of mine and doesn't use wins).
Kerry (Seattle): Alex Wood a hold or stream in 10-team?
Mike Gianella: Still a stream for me in that format.
Hansen04 (Coors Field): I'm riding a lot of average SPers. How many of the following guys do you think are legit? Wacha, Morton, Triggs, Hahn, Cobb
Mike Gianella: Morton is legit. Hahn could be. The rest are just guys to me who certainly can hold their own in an MLB rotation but who I'm not buying at par.
Tanner Boyle (Bears): Hold Encarnacion or sell for 80 cents on dollar?
Mike Gianella: Hold. If you're going to sell cheap it has to be 90 cents on the dollar.
Tanner Boyle (Bears): Any noticeable change in Z. Godley's profile?
Start him tonite vs Mets? You like him this year in deep mixers?
Mike Gianella: I wrote something about him for tomorrow's FAAB Review. He was throwing 4 MPH harder in spring training and has maintained 2.5 MPH of that in his two starts thus far. I'd use him in 15-team or deeper for tonight and this week.
Jojo (Sd ): H2H dynasty points, would you trade bum from a contending team in the FFF spirit? What are some names you'd be willing to take straight up given the injury uncertainty? Both sp and hitters, obviously league dependent but curious where you're at. Thanks.
Mike Gianella: I would. You're probably looking for something in the SP2 or a hitter who went in the 5th or 6th round as a fair return. In a keeper league, you want to dial these expectations higher, obviously.
Lougle (Queens): What are your thoughts on Giolito's rocky start? Time to worry?
Mike Gianella: I have been worried since 2016. The velocity isn't there and the command is a big mess. My biggest fear is that this isn't physical but mental, in which case it's difficult to know how long it will take for Giolito to fix this.
Justin (NY): Any insight on Francis Martes' early struggles?
Mike Gianella: Haven't seen him pitch so I'm looking at the same stat line you are. Walking a batter an inning seems bad.
Ryan (MA): How do you feel about Gallo in dynasty H2H points leagues where there is no penalty for hitter strikeouts? Debating trading Bundy for Gallo, both look okay, but both have red flags.
Mike Gianella: In that format, big thumbs up. I'd move him for Bundy, the red flags with him concern me more.
johnson119 (Brookings): How legit are the Pillar and Altherr breakouts? Should I be trying to sell high on these two, or should I trade some of my more established OFers and trust these two for the rest of the year?
Mike Gianella: I answered a variant of this earlier.
Erik (Wisconsin): How worrisome is JP Crawford's season so far? Enough to downgrade him from likely first division regular to average regular at best?
Mike Gianella: It is moderately worrisome. That's fair, although I still rank him a little higher than that. He's picked it up a little bit of late, although the "improved numbers" are still bad. Hard to sugarcoat this one.
eddiecomic (NY): Is Lucas Giolito ever going to be an ace, or has that ship sailed? Is he Mark Appel? Or is he a decent #3 or #4 starter?
Mike Gianella: He could be, but it looks like a long shot to me now. I see him as a #4 with perhaps the possibility that he's a good relief arm instead.
ColinB (Hartsfield-Jackson): What's your favorite airport?
Mike Gianella: That's like asking me to name my favorite Met injury. I liked Albuquerque.
Colin (Indy): After years of debate, may we now safely say that Yasiel Puig is a .750 OPS hitter and price as such?
Mike Gianella: That's fair, although the home run/speed uptick is at least worth monitoring.
HenrySzumal32 (Chicago): Looking pretty likely the White Sox come away with Luis Robert, right? (Please answer in the affirmative, pleeeeease)
Mike Gianella: Definitely! He's all but signed the contract!
easterbrook (Brantford Canada ): Are you a believer with the muscle gain and overall lmprovements in Ceasar
Mike Gianella: Yes, although I still don't see him as a big time power hitter. But he's very good.
Tanner (Bears): Did Alex Gordon forget how to hit?
Mike Gianella: I think he's not quite right health-wise.
Chansen8895 (San Jose ): Name a reliever you believe could deliver Danny Duffy results if he is put in the rotation?
Mike Gianella: Chris Devenski
Dave (Cincy): Is Billy Hamilton a top 25 overall player if he keeps this up?
Mike Gianella: Close but no...and I saw this as someone who values steals more than many others do.
Hank (Mia): What does Giancarlo Stanton have to do to regain first round status?
Mike Gianella: In this climate, he has to hit 40-45 home runs. A better lineup around him to help with the runs/RBI sure would help too.
John (San Francisco): What do you attribute Jesse Hahn's turnaround to?
Mike Gianella: A fair amount of luck on fly balls? I like Hahn, but I don't see a big velocity uptick and even with the favorable home venue, I think the HR/FB% should correct.
Tanner (Bears): Serious question: who the hell is Fuentes on Arizona?
Mike Gianella: He's a journeyman minor league outfielder who briefly spent time in the majors with the Royals and Padres.
easterbrook (Brantford canada): How far behind ALruve would you rate Hernandez!?
Mike Gianella: I wouldn't.
Dave (Cincy): In regards to Billy Hamilton, I was more curious how valuable a strictly dominant one category guy is. He has been number one on ESPNs player rater over the last 30 days. And he finished last season as the number one player in September. So he has to be close to first round status if he keeps that up no?
Mike Gianella: If he stays healthy, he could steal 90 bases.
If you're using the player rater/PECOTA, he has "first round" value. The problem is that since he does so little everywhere else you need excess production - especially in HR/RBI - to offset Hamilton. The player rater and PECOTA both fail to account for this imo.
Craig (Atlanta): Any chance the Braves may have caught lightning in a bottle with Alex Jackson? It seems his move back to catcher has brought back his confidence and even if it takes a few years his defense behind the plate should be ok and his bat could be special.
Mike Gianella: It's quite possible. Sometimes players like this just need a change of scenery.
JP (TX): What are your thoughts on Luis Urias in a dynasty league. I know there is no power or speed, but with the way he is hitting worth the speculative pick up?
Mike Gianella: I wouldn't. There are players like this who emerge/come out of "nowhere" who you don't have to burn a slot on.
Ryan (MA): Re: Gallo and Bundy, I think your answer was a little confusing. Do you prefer Gallo or Bundy? Thanks!
Mike Gianella: Gallo.
Accudart (VT): Do you think Will Craig can be a first division 1B? Again thanks for the chat.
Mike Gianella: I doubt it. Too many concerns about his defense that mean his bat would have to be really special.
CB (DC): Billy Hamilton in a 30 team roto dynasty is a top ____ OF. Significantly more valuable in this format compared to a standard 12 team league?
Mike Gianella: Top 10. He's definitely more valuable in deeper formats, yes.
Accudart (VT): Any of the following that you really like for high ceiling?
Jose Albertos, Dukota Hudson..thangs again
Mike Gianella: Yes, Albertos' ceiling is great.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Mike, In what order would you rank the following in a dynasty league OBP league: B. Rodgers, J. Soto, V. Robles, Acuna, V. Guerrero Jr? Thanks!
Mike Gianella: Robles, Rodgers, Acuna, Guerrero, Soto.
Mike Gianella: Thanks for all of your questions. Look forward to talking to you next time.