Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – December 15th, 2021

Transcript is now available!


Paul Sporer: Hello everyone! Let’s talk some baseball!


Jon: What are you thinking on Patrick Sandoval for next season?  I was floating some trade offers out there and it seems no one realizes how good he was before the season ending back injury… So I’m trying to figure out if I should just keep him


Paul Sporer: I’m a big fan! It stinks that injury cut down his breakout season and it is definitely causing people to overlook him, though in fairness, I also share some wariness when a pitcher ends the season injured and we’re flying a bit blind on him going into the following season. He is very fairly priced (87th pitcher – including closers) in early drafts and obviously we’ll get more clarity as the offseason moves forward & his price will rise w/any good news. I’d probably just keep him bc I doubt anyone is paying big bucks for him in the trade market


Eric: How good is Julio Rodriguez going to be this year? Next year?


Paul Sporer: I obviously can’t say for sure. ZiPS loves him after the brilliant two-level season at A+/AA but it’ll be a big leap to the majors. He’ll need some AAA time, too, of course. Kelenic’s failures in his debut season don’t really impact how I see Rodriguez (I only bring that up bc I have seen some ppl reference Kelenic as a reason to worry about J.Rod) for ’22, but I’m not going to go too crazy in drafts just bc of the wait. I’d be surprised if he’s up before May and I’m not holding for a month in most formats.


8675309: Odds Alvarez goes 300 with 40 and 110 next year?


Paul Sporer: With a projection of .279-37-109, I’d say that line has relatively high odds. Probably still sub-50%, but I mean, even a 25% chance would be pretty huge. Alvarez is nuts and he got OF elig. back. I can’t believe he has a max pick of 58. I wish I’d have been in the draft!


Jay (Jersey): What’s up Paul?  In a 10-team H2H pts league where every team keeps 7 (no limits on how long you can keep someone).  Which of these arms would you keep and which would you look to trade, thinking they have higher perceived value than expected production moving forward? Cole / Woodruff / Urias / Nola / Framber / Manoah / Baz


Paul Sporer: I think any of them would do well in the trade market except maaaybe Nola where some might try to finagle a discount even though his underlying numbers make it clear he’s fine. I’d say dangle Manoah and Baz out there on a sell high. I like both, but their market value is likely sky high right now


Curtis: Which type of players are “winning” with the lock out?  i.e who will improve their lot the most as a result of this work stoppage?   Who will lose – low-level vets?


Paul Sporer: I think it’s impossible to answer until we know the potential changes to the CBA (though I’m not sure any changes will immediately go into effect anyway).


Paul Sporer: Hopefully they don’t sell out minor leaguers yet againnnn


Norm: What sports teams or clubs were you a part of in high school?


Paul Sporer: Baseball and football for freshman year, but realized I was basically the Jeff Mathis of high school baseball and I didn’t hit my growth spurt (I’m 6’5 now) until later in my junior yr which is unfortunate bc I played WR and that would’ve been fun, but as a Welker-sized dweeb without his talent playing Texas high school football wasn’t in the cards. I found the speech-drama-debate team and ended up really loving that once in Texas


David Appelman: Hi Paul – do you think you could add functionality to the auction calculator so that we can mix/match PA/skill projections amongst the various systems (ZiPS, ATC, Steamer, etc.)?


Paul Sporer: Interesting that my boss would ask such a thing when he’d be the one who could do it 🙂


Paul Sporer: (But I will ask)


John W: Debating between Andrew Vaughn and Willy Adames for 2022. Thinking Adames may have a slight edge next year but Vaughn for 23 and beyond. Am I overthinking it?


Paul Sporer: No, I think I’m right there with you. I’m a huge fan of both overall. But yeah, Adames for ’22.


FancyGraphs: Hello Paul, speaking on the Coors hangover; is there any data to support players playing worse at the beginning of a series at/away from Coors, and then improving as the series goes on and they adjust to the effect?


Paul Sporer: That’s a great Q. I don’t know if it has been studied to that degree, but I also don’t have the technical math capability to study such a thing. I wonder if Jeff Zimmerman might have the appetite for it


Apathetic Pirates Fan: Would you support the NL adopting the DH rule, or would you prefer the league keep it the way it is?


Paul Sporer: I’m suuuuper pro-DH. Watching pitchers bat is painful and anytime one of them gets hurt while hitting or running, it’s even worse. I also think the the “strategy” part is overblown which is what the no-DH’ers love to lean on


John W: Do you think Cronenworth takes the next step? Thoughts on next season stat line?


Paul Sporer: I could certainly see some more, particularly in the AVG arena, but I think he at least plateaus here as a really solid player for the next few seasons


Erk: Thoughs on MJ Melendez and Triston Casas for 2022. Will they get enough playing time to be relevant?


Paul Sporer: Royals catchers and their home runs in 2021! Between Sal and Melendez, just wild stuff. But of course Sal also presents a pretty substantial roadblock for Melendez. Meanwhile, I think Casas can usurp Dalbec and be a potential impact player in ’22. So for the short-term, it’s definitely Casas.


Kate: Maybe I’m crazy, but I feel like Senzel is being grossly underrated this offseason.  The injuries are obviously a problem, yes, but he would seem to have as much PT as he can handle (assuming Cincy continues to shed payroll), he’s got a solid amount of both power and speed, he’s not a liability in BA or OBP (and frankly could be an asset in both), and he plays in a great hitters park.  His xStats last year were his best of his career (small sample, but still) and his plate discipline metrics were also his best.  Am I missing something?  Or is the health just THAT scary?


Paul Sporer: It’s the latter for sure. The health has completely pushed him off the map. Not only that, but he hasn’t put up a productive line since’ 18. I think it’s just full prove-it mode right now. Could be a spring riser for sure, but even if he surged, I doubt he’d get any higher than early-300s.


Kate: Who has the better odds of getting something resembling a FT role to start the season between Lamont Wade and Rowdy Tellez?  If NL gets the DH, is Tellez FT guy?  He’s actually got pretty even splits in his career, so not sure why teams keep trying to platoon him.


Paul Sporer: Definitely Tellez. As you mention, his splits are completely fine. In fact, quite great when you consider how many lefties struggle against southpaws (he has a 20-pt. platoon split). SF has flourished with platoons and while I could see Wade being better than the .389 OPS he had last year vL, I don’t think he’s near Tellez in that field


Kate: On a scale of 1 to Eugenio Suarez, how bad of an idea is the rumor of the Rox moving McMahon to SS?


Paul Sporer: LOL the scale is perfect and it’s probably a step below Suarez


Paul Sporer: But it’s a brutal choice, so it’s perfect for the Rockies!


Quo: How are you picking between our beautiful sons Trevor Rogers, Shane Baz, and Alek Manoah in 2022? Any other young starters that I should be looking out for next season?


Paul Sporer: Rogers is tops for me. The division plays a role for sure especially when the skills aren’t too far off. Manoah comes in 2nd and then Baz last with volume definitely playing a role in that ranking


Slapdick: You buying Kiriloff as a top-50 OF in OBP dynasty leagues (focusing on, say 2022-24 window)?


Paul Sporer: I am, yes! I’m a huuuge fan of Kirilloff! I have him in my Top 50 for ’22 in standard leagues and even though with modest BB% rates, I like him Top 50 in OBP leagues, too


Kate: I know 2021 was scary, but are people jumping off the Kyle Hendricks bandwagon a little too quickly?  There’s an awfully long track record there to give up on after one bad season.


Paul Sporer: Oh absolutely and myself included there. I think a lot of ppl have been looking for a reason to jump off given his unorthodox profile and this season gave everyone that window. Sure, he might not drop anymore sub-3.00 ERAs, but I doubt he’s a 4.77 ERA. I’m gonna deep dive and likely move him up in my rankings before dropping my 1st run of SPs


Paul Sporer: Speaking of rankings, here’s my 2B:


Kate: What are the odd Jeff McNeil and/or Gio Urshela are traded out of NY before the season to a team that will play them everyday?  Both would seem to have trouble finding that kind of PT in their current situations (assuming the Yanks bring in a SS), but would be nice late round darts if given an opportunity elsewhere.


Paul Sporer: I still see Urshela as the guy for the Yankees, so I’m not particularly concerned about him. His defense definitely helps, plus he’s a solid bat. McNeil doesn’t have the same assurances for me. Dreadful defense plays a big role in that and then of course his only good hitting season being the Rabbit Ball season doesn’t help


llcollj: Alvarez or Judge for this year?


Paul Sporer: I have Alvarez 7, Judge 8!


Mrs. Phanatic: How often do you brag when you win a league?


Paul Sporer: Not a tonnnnn. If it’s a local league w/friends, the trash talking is an added bonus for sure. With the NFBC Main Event win, I’m really happy about that one, so I’ll probably hold it in esteem for a bit!


Kate: Thanks for the chat and for answering so many questions!  Loving the offseason pods, you and Justin do such a great job and are keeping the lockout entertaining!


Paul Sporer: Of course, I appreciate y’all listening to the offseason pods & hanging out in the chats!


Kate: I’m not going to sit here and act like I knew that Trevor Rogers was going to go full breakout this year, but he was a guy that I had identified last offseason as having a lot of the markers that would signal a possible breakout.  Any arms like that that are completely off the radar this offseason that you are targeting due to certain facets of their profile?


Paul Sporer: I wrote him up for last year’s Forecaster and that’s when I discovered him as an interesting late-rounder. Similarly, I didn’t think he’d be that good, but it was great watching him be so good. If I had to try & come up w/a comp in that similar vein of a tiny sample that shows hints of a big breakout, I’d go Roansy Contreras in the NL and Reid Detmers in the AL


theboyatreus: Do you really see Castellanos as a top 15 OF? His home and away splits are frightening.


Paul Sporer: It fully depends where he lands. He’s 16th for me right now but if he goes to a non-hitter friendly park, I’ll rank more in line w/where he was in Detroit


Kate: Anxiously awaiting your breakdown / rankings for Jones Highway going into 2022.  This is the year!  We’re all going to ride the Jones Highway to our 2022 championships!


Paul Sporer: JONES HIGHWAY!!!! 50 SBs? At least!!


Throwing Darts: Taking the over or under for Steamer’s Joe Ryan projection of 4.36 ERA and 1.24 WHIP?  Underlying metrics are 1.5 HR/9, 25 K%, 7% BB%.


Paul Sporer: I’m a massive Joe Ryan fan, so I think the ratios will be much better


Paul Sporer: I think he’s essentially fully formed and ready to be his best self immediately. The HRs ran a little high and I’d like to see that 1.4 rate cut down, but even if he runs north of 1.0, he allows so few base runners, that I don’t think they will hurt him a ton


Kate: Hiura seems like a guy who needs a fresh start.  Think he gets moved this offseason to a team that will let him try to play his way out of this and/or fix the swing?


Paul Sporer: Agree that he feels like a fresh start type, though Milwaukee is a smart org and I think if there was a clear path to fixing him, they’d likely take it. But ya sometimes, just new voices in a new venue can really help


Paul Sporer: OK y’all, I gotta get going! I’ll be posting more rankings during the week and finishing up the Roster Reviews (should be done before the New Year). Don’t forget to check out our new Draft Kit post that will house all of our useful posts from the fall & winter:

Thanks so much for coming out! Follow me on Twitter (@sporer), Twitch (sporer), and Instagram (p_sporer). Have a good one, y’all!

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and Content Director for OOTP Perfect Team. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

Comments are closed.