Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – December 16th, 2020

Transcript is below!

1:40

Paul Sporer: Gooooood afternoon, y’all!

1:41

Hooha: Am I crazy for thinking Trent Grisham should be a top 35 player in OBP leagues for 2021?

1:43

Paul Sporer: I can’t get behind that, especially as top 35 overall, though even top 35 hitter is tough for someone who we can’t quiiiite trust vL just yet. I like Grisham as a power-speed combo, but not as much as you

1:44

Pete A: Paul I can seem to find the Ariel Cohen Beat the Shift podcast on iTunes. Where can I find it?

1:45

Paul Sporer: It might not be on iTunes yet, you can ask Ariel directly on their Twitter acct for the show https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/beat-the-shift-podcast-teaser/

1:45

stonecold: I feel like you’ve said you have DeGrom as your 1.01, is that still true for you?

1:45

Paul Sporer: I’m OPEN to taking him 1.1, but he’s not my universal choice. I’m still leaning hitter more often than not, but if I get #1 pick in multiple drafts, deGrom will be one of my picks

1:45

Jim Leyland Palmer: As a Tiger fan, what the H do you think is going on with them this offseason? Is it as simple as just being cheap? We already had a really low payroll last year AND now have $31 mil shaved off after Zim and Fielder contracts expired last year.

1:46

Paul Sporer: They should be smart about where they spend, but also players have to be interested in Detroit, too. Sure, Dahl for $3 mil is a great deal and they should’ve been in on that, but if preferred Texas to Detroit, not much they can do

1:46

stonecold: What are you doing with Evan White this season?

1:48

Paul Sporer: Slotting him into CI or UT on some squads. His price is so cheap and I’m not convinced that he’s trash based on the poor debut. I think he’s a good buyback with the price tanking

1:48

Jon: Hey Paul – I’m in a 8 keeper 12tm $260 roto league. Need to pick two of these four, which would you go with and why? Grisham $5, Judge $28, Torres $18, Vlad $18. Thanks in advance.

1:49

Paul Sporer: Grisham and Torres for me. Vlad is the easy elimination. I’m not fully out on him becoming a star, but I just can’t justify that price given the others available. Judge at $10 more than Gleyber makes him tough to choose w/his stark injury issues.

1:49

Bob Villar: Jose Berrios for Matt Olson in a dynasty seem about right?

1:49

Paul Sporer: Yeah, I don’t have any issues w/that. I’m going for Olson between the two, but if needs align, it’s perfectly fine

1:49

Eric: Are you worried about Corbin’s down year? Think he can get back to being a top 15 SP?

1:51

Paul Sporer: I think he can rebound, maybe not back that high, but I’m reluctant to fully jump out. Alex Fast has swayed me to keep an eye on him and consider the discount

 

Paul Sporer
@sporer

 

@_mattywood_ @RobSilver You’re out? @AlexFast8 has me leaning toward busted season that can be ironed out with some normalcy
15 Dec 2020
1:51

Curtis: How likely do you think a top FA or high profile trade is in the cards for the Dodgers?  If so, who?

1:52

Paul Sporer: Remarkably high. They’re always involved. Identifying what actually happens is damn near impossible, but they’ll be making moves and tooling up for a defense of their title

1:52

Billy Bathhouse: I need Muncy to play 10 at 2B to regain eligibility. Think he makes it?

1:53

Paul Sporer: Need to see how their offseason goes before saying yes with any confidence. There’s a pretty solid chance tbh

1:55

Billy Bathhouse: What do you expect from Syndergaard this season?

1:57

Paul Sporer: I could see some 2H usefulness, but I’m not drafting him at all. I don’t mess w/TJ returners as a general rule except in situations where they are coming back after 14-15 (or more) months off, but the standard year-plus means they’ll be working through it in real time and I’m not interested in that volatility

1:58

Duchess: Think Shed Long shows us anything this year or nah?

2:03

Paul Sporer: I could see a 20 HR/15 SB season if he performs well enough to maintain a starting role. He was pretty sold in ’19 and wretched in ’20, both small samples.

2:05

Curtis: Will defense ever be a part of a 5×5(x1?) scoring league? If so, has the metric been invented yet?

2:06

Paul Sporer: I know some leagues try to incorporate it, but I’m not sure it’ll become the standard any time soon. Not sure there’s one category that is conducive to fantasy

2:06

Bob Villar: Will Dom Smith continue the trends from last season and be a top 1B option?

2:13

Paul Sporer: I think so, yes. I really like him for the Mets. I still think NL DH gets done, but even if not, they gotta play him in LF and make sure that bat is in the lineup

2:13

Anonymous: is *this* the year to jump ship on Zack Greinke? getting kind of silly now

2:14

Paul Sporer: I understand that everyone is nervous to be left holding the bag, but I really don’t see reasons for major concern. Plus, even if he doesn’t fully rebound, I don’t think he’s dropping a full season of a 5.00+ ERA on us. I feel like maybe a 4.50ish ERA w/a still solid WHIP would be the healthy downside.

2:14

Jim Leyland Palmer: I’m looking into acquiring a top-end arm this winter. The most gettable in my league seems to be Gerrit Cole. What’s your general outlook for him for the next, say, 3 years? Any extra reason for concern with him compared to his peers at the top of the pitching heap?

2:15

Paul Sporer: I can’t find anything to suggest he won’t be in prime contention as the game’s best SP for the coming seasons

2:15

Daulton: Do you think Daulton Varsho will be good enough to start at OF or should he only be a catcher this year (for fantasy)

2:16

Paul Sporer: Oh he can definitely hold his own in the OF. In fact, this could be his last C-eligible year so enjoy it while you can. That said, he’s got the bat and speed to be a legit fantasy OFer, too. I’m pretty high on him, though the market seems to be, too, so you gotta be confident to invest

2:16

Kate: Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like people are automatically trashing Nate Lowe just because he was traded away by the Rays as if everyone they let go is terrible.  That seems like a lazy analysis, no?  I am kind of concerned by some of what I read from Eric, but to just assume the Rays traded so he must suck seems silly.

2:20

Paul Sporer: It’s definitely lazy to assume oh TB traded him, he’s trash. Jake Cronenworth begs to differ. In fact that trade was a disaster for TB last yr, though Xavier Edwards can definitely make it better in the coming seasons.

2:21

Pablo: Keep 4 in OBP (hitting) league: K. Lewis, Hoskins, Didi, Arozarena, K. Jansen, Blackmon, J. Urias (LAD), Corbin.

2:23

Paul Sporer: Hoskins, Lewis, Arozarena, and Blackmon. Urias is close, too, I really like him

2:25

Kate: Which of Brinson or Monte Harrison would you be more interested in taking a flier on at this point?

2:26

Paul Sporer: Harrison, I just don’t have any confidence in Brinson

2:26

Biggy: Rafael Montero gain or lose value in Seattle?

2:26

Paul Sporer: I think SEA is further along in their rebuild than TEX so I’d say up a bit

2:26

Kate: ZiPS and Steamer both seem to like Trevor Rogers.  Does he get a crack at a rotation spot this year and can he make it work without a real breaking ball?

2:29

Paul Sporer: I actually wrote him up in the HQ Forecaster and came away with some deep league intrigue. The FB/CH are solid and I think the SL is workable. He throws it 21% of the time and while the results weren’t great, I don’t think it’s a total lost cause. I lean w/the projections, I’ve got a little star by him on my deep league draft sheets

2:29

Anonymous: Bo Bichette O-Swing% has me trembling for keepers. Those types don’t age well at all

2:35

Paul Sporer: I’m not overly concerned about it or thinking that the 46% in ’20 is just who he is now. Even still, he trends well above league avg in O-Contact% (contact on pitches out of the zone) so it’s not like he’s just flailing at out of zone pitches and looking completely lost. It’s a metric to pay attention to, but hitting x-threshold on O-Swing% doesn’t automatically signal trouble

2:36

Kate: How risky is Arozarena as this point?  Obviously a crazy small sample at the ML level and not the elite prospect pedigree, but some of the skills he’s displayed (i.e. how hard he hits the ball, sprint speed) seem hard to fake.

2:39

Paul Sporer: There’s definitely some risk given his ADP (~55-60 right now) because that means he HAS to perform, but there is some strong skill support underneath what he did in the season and playoffs.

2:40

Bob: Know you haven’t got to the OF deep dive, but how about a quick taste? Where are you on Lourdes vs Teoscar? Different for point’s leagues?

2:41

Paul Sporer: I prefer Gurriel to Hernandez. I’m not out on Hernandez, but I’m not sure we saw enough to think his ’20 was some major breakthrough as opposed to his standard run-hot that would’ve eventually cooled over 6 months.

2:42

bobsyouruncle: Yandy Diaz’s plate discipline shows his sweet spot rate was down nearly 10% in 2020.  With it being such a small sample size, and his plate discipline numbers resemble Alex Bregman, can he provide value if he returns to 2019 levels?  Or does his inability to remain healthy sap all the upside?

2:43

Paul Sporer: He just doesn’t lift the ball enough to deliver consistent power in aiddition to a lack of full-time PA. I have a hard time getting super excited about him

2:43

Anonymous: Difference between Eloy and Vlad?

2:44

Paul Sporer: Eloy has been good in the majors

2:45

Matt W.: Yesterday’s podcast you were writing off some hitters as declining while others it is a just 2 month blip. Is it possible not having access to a video room during the game due to Covid/ Astros cheating that is what hurt some of these hitters.

2:47

Paul Sporer: Yeah we go case by case. I’m not hand waving everyone nor am I panicked fully off 2 bad months, I just have to decide based on the player in question. I certainly think the video room thing is a legit reason and hopefully those who missed it can find a way to adjust. I don’t put a whole lot into the Astros especially bc the bulk of it was in ’17 and so a bad ’20 after good ’18-’19 takes a lot of steam out of it just being the trash cans

2:48

Duchess: Am I crazy for thinking that Dane Dunning and Patrick Corbin are actually not that far apart as pitchers, and that at this point Dunning probably has more trade value?

2:49

Paul Sporer: In terms of value or approach? Dunning doesn’t quite do the slider-slider-slider approach that Corbin does, but bottom lines could wind up pretty close. I still prefer Corbin, but I don’t think they will be all that far apart in my rankings

2:51

Guest: Right now Jake Bauers is listed as the starting 1B for Cleveland on Roster Resource. Do you see that actually happening, and if so, any fantasy relevance there in deep leagues?

2:51

Kate: Does Cleveland give Josh Naylor or Daniel Johnson 500+ PAs this year?

2:56

Paul Sporer: Y’all may recall that I was a Jake Bauers guy a couple years ago and while he is still just 25 yrs old, I’m not sure they’re going to give him a full time job off rip. I think Naylor will get some real 1B burn and they’ll bring in an OF. Johnson/Luplow could be a sharp platoon in one of the corners

2:56

Mike: Do you think Corbin Burnes will be able to maintain some of last year’s excellent ratios over a more full workload in 2021?

2:58

Paul Sporer: Oh I think he can hold a lot of the gains. His ’19 was comical. He certainly played a role, but there was some absurd bad luck w/that HR rate. While it’s only 60 IP, he made some substantial changes that fueled his great season. While I’m not tabbing him for a low-2.00s ERA in a full season, I like him as a strong #2 option

2:58

Biggy: Love your eval on JDM.  Any hope for a similar outcome for KB?

3:00

Paul Sporer: Thanks! I will be looking at KB and Baez in a coming part of the Flops series. I haven’t done that deep dive on KB yet, though, so I don’t know if I’m as confident in him as JDM

3:00

Kate: What’s a realistic peak stat line for Hoerner look like?  15/15 with a .340ish OBP?

3:03

Paul Sporer: Does he have that kind of pop? I feel more like 8-10 HR w/15+ SB as a full season line

3:03

bobsyouruncle: Jonathan Hernandez is my sleeper closer for the rangers, what type of saves should we expect if he is given the job from the beginning?

3:09

Paul Sporer: I like Hernandez, too (and Joely Rodriguez, tbh… they should trade Leclerc!), but I just don’t think he gets it from day 1 bc of Leclerc. That said, if things changed and it was J-Her from the jump, I could see 25 saves

3:12

Ryan: Joey Gallo, have we seen his best year already? Curious your forecast going forward.

3:14

Paul Sporer: I mean, I see more 40 HR seasons but the ’19 AVG was a fraud in my opinion: https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/any-hope-for-these-2020-flops-part-2/

3:14

Paul Sporer: OK y’all, I gotta get going! Thanks so much for coming out! Follow me on Twitter (@sporer), Twitch (sporer), and Instagram (p_sporer). I’ll be streaming on Twitch later today and you can definitely come by and ask questions about fantasy there. Have a good one, y’all!





Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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