Paul Sporer’s Baseball Chat – April 26th, 2023

Transcript is live, thanks for coming!!

1:04

Paul Sporer: Hello everyone, thanks for coming out!

1:04

Dave: I think Bryson Stott was one of your 2B breakouts in the pre-season and so far he’s put up numbers.  But… they seem fueled by an unsupportable BABIP.  How do you feel about him going forward?

1:09

Paul Sporer: The BABIP and AVG will definitely come down, but he’s delivering fantasy juice, too, w/the 2 HR & 3 SB and I still think he’ll be a strong double-double (10+ HR/SB) with a solid AVG

1:09

Ben: Any worries on Bradish in season ong

1:10

Paul Sporer: Not really, got merked by a good team when he lost his command

1:12

Sir Chatsworth: Mr. Sporer, I am in the unfortunate circumstance of needing to drop an SP due to a roster crunch. Shall it be Mason Miller of the Oakland A’s, or Kodai Senga of the New York Mets?

1:12

Paul Sporer: Senga over Miller for me

1:12

Steve: Kelenic sell high? Hitting lefties has me believing

1:13

Paul Sporer: If you can get legitimate help for you team, I’m open to it, but there is a lot to like in this early surge. I wasn’t buying in off the Spring Training but he’s looking reallyyyyy sharp rn

1:13

Ozuna from the Braves: Is Jarren Duran legit? His LD% is way up

1:15

Paul Sporer: Far too small of a sample for the LD rate to have any legitimacy yet. That .524 BABIP is off the charts & will come down massively. I’m still worried about the Ks

1:15

Eovaldi: Am I breaking out at age 33 limiting walks? Siera, K/BB, Pitching+ all look great

1:16

Paul Sporer: This early success is in line 2020-22 and even 2018 before that. It’s almost always a matter of health with him, not actual skill

1:16

Bruce Live in 2023: Good afternoon Paul, Is Jon Gray a drop in a 12 mixed? I don’t see any upside.

1:18

Paul Sporer: Always depends who you’re picking up, but if you’re going for Tanner Bibee or something, I get it

1:18

Edward Von Chattington IV: Taylor Ward’s performance has been subpar. Does he pick it up, or is he just not that good?

1:20

Paul Sporer: Feels like an overreaction to the low AVG which seems largely BABIP-related (.273). He has 3 HR/1 SB which is perfectly fine at this juncture. 0 concerns w/Ward

1:22

Michael: Listening/reading fantasy analysts are fun and helpful, but feels like every year there is hype around guys, in this example minor league stashes, and others are sort of forgotten or not mentioned (McClanahan, Taj, Mason) and then they’re pumped up like they’re absolute studs AFTER their first performances. Wouldn’t it be more helpful to hype these guys too? How can these names just jump over names you hyped for weeks or months because of one start? It makes it impossible for us to snag PRIOR to production, which is why we turn to analysts. Thanks

1:25

Paul Sporer: It’s impossible to be on everybody plus players are always changing so I’m not entirely sure I get the beef here. Plus if you look across the industry, I’m sure somebody was on any guy who pops off. Also never know when prospects are going to be called up so can’t just gas ’em all constantly.

1:25

Ron Hassey’s Gigantic Face: Been offered B. Lowe and S. Lugo for Semien. Walk away or take it?

1:26

Paul Sporer: Can take it if you need an arm. Make sure to include league type & scoring for better answers!

1:27

Bill: Rodon was dropped in mixed league 15 teamer…have open IL spot…how aggressive would you be w FAAB?  do you expect same effectiveness as last 2 years once he gets on field?

1:28

Paul Sporer: I’d be pretty aggressive, especially if I need an arm. Hard to say how effective he’ll be coming off injury, but the chance to get a legit ace off the waiver wire doesn’t happen often, so get ready to put some chips in

1:28

Jimmy: Can a guy like Josh Lowe with a  30%+ career K rate suddenly fix that and become a sustainable 20-25%?

1:32

Paul Sporer: This could be asked of Kelenic, too. The key for me is there swinging strike rate. Kelenic’s is down 5 pts compared to last yr and Lowe’s is down 3 pts. Those are worthy moves that give their K% drops some viability… next key is how they respond to their first cold snap. Do they fall back into old habits and push their K% all the way back up or do they hold the gains? Still too early to say either is fully changed, but encouraging enough to be excited

1:32

Joey: Is Zack McInstry a break-out this year?

1:33

Paul Sporer: I’d love that. The PT will be there if he performs and we’re seeing enough results to make him a deep lg reserve for now

1:34

RTJ: Becoming increasingly worried about my first rounder Machado. Is there hope that it’s just a slow start?

1:35

Paul Sporer: Hasn’t even been a month. Semien didn’t hit a HR for 44 gms last yr & still had 26. That’s just a one-off example, but there are superstars who have bad Aprils every year. Machado is a complete set-it-and-forget-it. We’d have to get to June before I’d have any concerns about him

1:36

E: Are you okay dropping grayson for steele as an sp6 in a 12 team roto?

1:36

Paul Sporer: No one else you can cut? If not, I’m OK w/it. Stunned that Steele is available in a 12

1:36

Guest: glad I started Bibee today

1:37

Paul Sporer: He’s looking great so far!

1:37

John: What are you doing with mikolas?

1:38

Paul Sporer: 4.51 SIERA says he’s not thaaaat far off the guy we expect (4.13 SIERA from 2018-22) so if you want to sit until the .402 BABIP smooths out, I get it, but I’m reluctant to cut him in 15s. Can cut in 12s as there are likely some spicy offerings on the wire (Bibee?) but he’ll likely get picked back up at some pt

1:39

B’ryce Szymbobski: Paul, my man! The man with the answers! Hope you’re doing FANTASTIC today.

Should I drop either of Seiya/Kellenic for Gallo in a shallow points league? I’m thinking right now that those guys have more upside, but I keep remembering that one summer when Gallo was JOEY FRICKIN GALLO.

1:39

Paul Sporer: No no, I’m definitely holding both

1:39

Bert: Buying low on Alek Thomas?

1:40

Paul Sporer: Yessss. I’m regretting my early cut in a deep lg. I did get a good stream week from Franchy when he faced all those righties, but I really liked Thomas coming into draft season and regret my impatience. I knew he’d play bc of his glove and should’ve given his bat time to see where it’s at.

1:40

John: ESPN Points. Juan Soto owner is looking to trade him away, he’s interested in my Steven Kwan, should I do it?

1:40

Paul Sporer: if you can 1-for-1 that, heck yes

1:40

Guest: Really annoying to think the Rays could have 3 Lowes right now

1:40

Paul Sporer: LOL, right? Josh & Nate are bros, too, so they broke up the brothers!

1:40

Guest: The Ashcraft Spring Training hype seems not to be manifesting in regular season results.  Should I cut him before the ERA catches up to the walk-inflated FIP and xFIP numbers?

1:41

Paul Sporer: Definitely depends who you’re picking up, but yeah it’s another start of good ERA, but shaky skills. There’s a world where the skills catch up, too, but that’s far from a guarantee.

1:42

Paul Sporer: BRB – gotta let the pup out

1:47

totally reasonable: Should I drop Gerrit Cole for Bibee?

1:47

Paul Sporer: Definitely!!!

1:47

Wil Myers: Do you still believe in me?

1:53

Paul Sporer: I do, I’m still holding in 15s. They’re scoring 5.1 R/G at home, so if you want to downgrade to home-only for now, I get. I still see this offense as a rich environment for fantasy stats. Could be mid-May when it kicks into high gear with a 19-gm stretch that only includes 2 road trips and 1 is Coors (other is Miami). It’s also followed by series at the Cubs & Red Sox, so the hitting could keep going in both of those venues.

If we’re dragging a low-.600s OPS for Myers this time next month, then yeah, it’s to move on, but I’m going to give him and my other Reds (Fraley, Stephenson, Steer) a real chance to leverage one of the main reasons I drafted them: that home park! I believe they’re on talented on their own and the park allows them to eat, it’s not that the park has to make them.

1:53

Guest: benched Torres for the first time all year… homers. of course.

1:54

Paul Sporer: Oh man, that’s tough!

1:54

Joe: Pfaadt or Bibee?

1:58

Paul Sporer: Bibee. Right now, his being up is a huge advantage, though I know it’s rumored that Pfaadt will get the call this weekend. So if both are up come Sunday when most weekly leagues run their moves, I’ll still favor Bibee, but it’s close and I’d gladly “settle” for Pfaadt where available if you think the Bibee bids are going to be insane.

1:58

Guest: Thanks for answering questions today.  If I need to drop one of George Kirby, Jose Berrios, Martin Perez, Graham Ashcraft, or Zach Eflin, whom should it be.

2:08

Paul Sporer: Kirby isn’t a consideration here. From there, I really like what Berrios is doing and I’m ready to be hurt again! Perez/Ashcraft/Eflin, although Eflin might be a level above the other two now that he’s back. So then we’re down to Perez and Ashcraft. Both are getting it done without the prettiest skills screaming a pending regression to the mean as hinted by their SIERA’s (MP: 4.36, GA: 4.48 coming into today and I doubt it got better) so they’re really team streamer types and maybe you can duck the impending poor starts by picking the right spots. From there, we got to upcoming schedule and team support. The latter is an easy win for Perez but the former is closer with MP v. NYY then at LAA and GA at SD then home v. NYM. Not sure either is much of a winner there. So I come with a slight edge to Perez. It’s a 50/50 choice. Pardon the long answer, but wanted to explain my process of getting there instead of just Perez. Plus, it highlights how close it really is and probably a 52/48 kind of decision

2:09

Maed Man: Maeda not so good today. Ober coming back? Simeon WR in the rotation?

2:09

Paul Sporer: They gotta go to Ober, right?

2:09

Dave: Any concerns that age/usage are catching up with Sal Perez?  Def not dropping him yet, but trying to decide whether to use a roster spot to pick up Heim as insurance

2:11

Paul Sporer: Nah he’s good for a dud month most seasons outside of that blistering 2021, look at his May last yr. I don’t hate the Heim insurance just bc I love Heim, but I do think Sal will still get his

2:12

Joe: Do the Brewers really have a top park factor now with Coors and GABP?

2:14

Paul Sporer: Nah, too noisy this early to say that it’s a new launching pad. That said, they’ve always been a solid HR park so this is likely just a loud blip that we could find in any given season for a park that consistently has 115-130 HR Park Factors.

2:14

Guest: Is Spencer Steer a starter in a 12-team 5X5 league?

2:14

Paul Sporer: It’s borderline, but he’ll have streaks where even 10-teamers are picking him up. I do believe that mid-May run I mentioned earlier re: the Reds could be a huge run for a bunch of their guys

2:15

Sean: I know you like Jung but his K% is so high. Need a 3B drop among him Hayes and Baty.

2:18

Paul Sporer: Yeah I was definitely thinking we’d some real K% improvement and while it is down 5 pts, it’s only down to 33%. Pop is there, though, so I’m still riding with him as long as today’s hand injury doesn’t cause him any missed time. With the other two, I’d let team weaknesses dictate that pick. Hayes if I could use AVG/SB (his .256 BABIP will rise) or more of a pure power/low AVG bat then it’s Baty.

2:23

RAH: Can Jose Abreu still crack 20 HR or is he cooked?

2:25

Paul Sporer: Not with this iteration of his power output, but I’m reluctant to give up just yet. Definitely need to see it start turning relatively soon

2:26

Jeff: Nice day in Texas right Paul? Hey I need Smyly to keep on being good after picking him up this week. What say you?

2:26

Paul Sporer: Little bit of rain, but otherwise great weather! I think Smyly is another one of those who’s talent isn’t really the question, but rather it’s the health. As long as he’s upright, there’s reasonable expectation of success in most matchups

2:27

jordan: hey paul… do you like Logan Allen or Tanner Bibee more? thx

2:28

Paul Sporer: Bit higher on Bibee, but I love CLE pitchers so I’d take either

2:28

Dave: Is Verlander going to go out and throw a 90-pitch perfect game when he returns to the mound at CoPa next week?

2:28

Paul Sporer: That’d be amazingggg

2:28

Quest: Hey Paul, you dropping any current SPs for guys like Bibee and LTAllen?  Looking at Elder, Syndergaard, Whitlock, and MMiller.

2:29

Paul Sporer: Would drop Thor for either. I’ve always been a Thor guy, but he’s just not particularly reliable start-to-start and both of these prospects have a chance to be impact arms. They’ll have their bumps like any pitcher, let alone rookie, but it’s not at all difficult to envision either or perhaps even both becoming all-leagues relevant

2:29

Wes: Is Kopech just terrible, or is there reason to hope that he can be somewhere close to average?

2:31

Paul Sporer: I cut in the Main Event this week. He’ll likely have at least some bouts of streamer viability, but there’s no need to hold right now

2:31

Michael: In response to your answer re: minor league names, it’s not about being on EVERYONE but can’t recall any mention Mason Miller and Taj bradley definitley not one of the top names hyped on pod. Simply asking how can these guys be so great after you see them once if you didnt find them great prior? You preach “its only one game” or “one start” but after Taj debut he jumps over every other prospect arm?? It’d be nice to know how much you like them or COULD like them when we have the chance to keep over guys you’re all over in preseason just to be passed up over a 5inn start

2:35

Paul Sporer: I wrote up Bradley here – https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/fantasy-update-2023-re-draft-top-25-dyna… — it wasn’t much, but explained where I was coming into the season. And then when he was called up, we discussed him on the pod. Some guys I’m just going to wait to assess once they’re up bc of bandwidth. I had even less of an idea what to expect from a guy with like 30 pro innings under his belt since 2021 (Mason Miller). There are wonderful prospect pods that do a great job of keeping you abreast of all these guys and many more. I’ll do one-offs like this prospect pitcher pod but my bandwidth goes primarily to MLBers. I try to expand my prospect knowledge yearly, it’s just not my main focus

2:36

Trey: Buy low Brady Singer?

2:39

Paul Sporer: If it’s really low, sure, but I’m just not sure he’s all that different and 2022 wasn’t just what a good yr of that skillset yields as opposed to his new level. Solid arm worth a pickup if he was cut to be a useful team streamer

2:39

Fat Tub of Goo: Bryson Stott or Nico Hoerner moving forward?

2:44

Paul Sporer: I was discussing this on Twitter the other day, but Hoerner was a definite blindspot for me this year. I wasn’t really anti-Hoerner, just never deep-dove him to see where he’s really at, mostly due to liking other guys in his ADP range and I was viewing that pick as more of a power one than speed w/my targets being guys like Muncy, B Lowe, C Walker, and Vaughn, but I’ve been super impressed with Hoerner watching a decent number of Cubs games following all the Wesneski and Steele starts. Stott has been just fine thus far, but I favor Hoerner here for sure

2:44

Bert: Do you see a path back to the MLB for Jo Adell that doesn’t involve a trade?

2:45

Paul Sporer: Does seem like change of scenery is in order. Not sure it’ll fix him, but maybe the well is poisoned in LA. He is just 24 yrs old so it’s not impossible, but I need to see something at the MLB level before buying in. MiLB/ST success doesn’t move the needle.

2:45

Daniel: Drop Cobb for Bibee?

2:46

Paul Sporer: If he’s the only one you can cut, I can get behind it as Bibee has markedly higher upside particularly in the K category. 12-teamer?

2:47

Salty: Not sure if you’ve seen much of Zeke Duran living in TEX – what are your impressions?  Does he seem like a solid 15/15 guy – are there any 25/25 seasons in his future, or is that too ambitious with low walk and moderate-to-high K tendencies?

2:50

Paul Sporer: Believe it or not, TEX and HOU are tough watches despite living in their state… supercool setup, MLB! That said, I do keep tabs on both clubs and I’ve seen Duran playing more, but it’s influenced by Seager’s injury and a rush of lefties (just got done w/a 3 out of 4 vLH) on the schedule. His utility can earn him PT for just about any injury, though, so I can see him being a double-double supersub who winds up on a couple teams throughout the year in 12-teamers and deeper

2:50

Sean: Time to panic over Chris Sale?

2:51

Paul Sporer: A little… that last start was brutal. Zero swinging strikes?! Of course, it came right after a complete gem v. MIN, so it’s hard to overreact any start one way or the other. I’m still starting him and would definitely reserve before cutting

2:52

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 Content Director for OOTP Perfect Team. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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Anon
1 year ago

Pfaadt made his start today in Reno so he won’t be up this weekend. Next week at the earliest now.