Paul Sporer’s Baseball Chat – November 16th, 2022

Transcript is live!

1:07

Paul Sporer: Welcome to the chat! The Hot Stove isn’t blazing, but we’ve got some logs on the fire!

1:07

Kyle: Do you think the FBB audience should downgrade opinions from “experts” that perform poorly and upgrade opinions from experts that perform well in their leagues?

1:08

Paul Sporer: If they want, it’s their team. Player analysis and team management are two different skills, though, so I’d just make sure I know what I’m getting from the person I’m following, but I don’t have any problem with ppl placing weight on what they deem most important

1:08

Jefff: Have you and Justin talked about getting him scheduled for weekly chats in the offseason and into the 2023 season?

1:09

Paul Sporer: Yes he now has a time slot and I believe he will be starting during the offseason!!

1:13

Teoscar/Swanson-Macko: What are your thoughts on this deal, both for the teams and players involved?

1:14

Paul Sporer: Made a lot of sense to me across the board. Summary of my thoughts here:

 

Paul Sporer
@sporer

 

Lot name value hyping of Teoscar Hernandez. He’s a solid COF, but he has brutal plate skills (8th in SwStr, 130th in BB/K out of 136 qualified OF since ’19) and he’s entering his age-30 season. We’ve seen the best of him. Still a quality everyday guy, but return makes sense
16 Nov 2022
1:15

Paul Sporer: Playing OOTP so much has taught me the value of corner OFs with bad plate skills… it’s not particularly high, especially w/just 1 yr of team control left and entering his age-30 season. The name value is high bc Teoscar is a cool, popular player who has been great of late, but he’s a shaky bet to remain at this high level, espec. w/the park change

1:15

Stan: I’ve seen Alek Thomas mentioned as a possible offseason trade candidate. Does he need to be on a better offensive team for him to have any fantasy value?

1:17

Paul Sporer: No I think this team has the chance to be a really good offensive team. My primary concern is playing time early on for Thomas with Varsho-McCarthy-Carroll. They have the DH position and of course Varsho can play C, but he’s bad at it and all 4 are pretty good OF so I’m not sure you want any of em playing everyday DH. They could be ripe for a trade to get a left side infielder for one of the OF

1:18

St. Peter: What do you expect out of Brandon Lowe next year? Is he just a platoon player?

1:21

Paul Sporer: He was actually better vL this year, though it was a lost season overall so I’m not putting a ton of stock into that. The Rays prob won’t play him daily vL, but I don’t think he’ll be a straight platoon. With health, he’s an interesting buyback for me

1:21

Jack: Conforto to TOR to replace Teoscar. 2 years with an opt out after year one. Similar salaries for Conforto and Teoscar  and the Jays boost the bullpen and farm with the trade. Heard it here first!

1:22

Paul Sporer: Not a bad take at all, but I tend to lean toward the narrative that they wanna get Springer outta CF which pairs w/the Brandon Nimmo rumors so I think they get that former Met instead of Conforto

1:22

Yandy: Im goin hit more home runs next year and be an mvp candidate. trust me. i have the muscles. am i right or what ?

1:22

Paul Sporer: Not until you learn how to consistently lift the ball, which I’m not sure I see happening at this juncture

1:22

Jessica: How much of a $260 budget would you be willing to have locked up by your keepers (let’s say 8 keepers, 12 team roto)?

1:25

Paul Sporer: There is no set number, but I think the real question comes down to stud keeps at high-but-still-fair prices. I’m not above keeping a guy like that, espec. if paired w/a lot of cheaper guys. I had Votto at the peak of his powers in an NL Only OBP lg. I kept him at $50 and $55 in B2B yrs. He was back in the pool heading into 2016 and went for $64. This is just an isolated example, but knowing the high inflation rate of this league made his 50s prices worth it to me given how amazing he was, especially in OBP. If you have some specific names, I’ll gladly give thoughts on them

1:25

Tim: Bryce Harper was 14 ADP in NFBC drafts so far – clearly everyone was underrating the amount of time he’s going to miss after surgery. 1-3 months it looks like and even if it’s just 1 month, 14 is way too high. Agree?

1:25

Insert Witty Name Here: With Harper out a bit next year, would you still take him in the 3rd?

1:29

Paul Sporer: The vagaries of the early drafts! You can get some amazing bargains, but you can also eat it on injuries. I definitely wouldn’t take him that high at this point or probably at all unless he fell quite a bit. I’m just not inviting already-injured guys with baked in missed time onto my team where I only get the 50 players I draft for the entire season. Harper is a G and I’m a HUGE fan of his, but that fandom alone doesn’t counter this risk

1:34

Pedro: You are the man Paul, thanks for hosting this chat.  Is there a FG article I can reference that explains the general methodologies used for each projection system?

1:34

Paul Sporer: This first article is a bit old on some of the legacy systems: https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2016/2/22/11079186/projections-marce… and then this article on Ariel’s ATC: https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/the-2020-atc-projections/

1:35

CatcherOnTheRye: Swanson has lost 2 mph on his fastball and his HR rate suddenly fell off the table. Now he moves to a HR friendly park. Seattle didn’t use him much in the playoffs either. Should I be worried? Teo (Vlads bestie) for 50 relief innings is going to be a tough sell to the fans and Vlad I’d wager.

1:42

Paul Sporer: It was more like 1 mph, but yeah the HR fall was quite friendly for the flyball pitcher as evidenced by his HR/FB halving to 5%. But he has a lot of wiggle room on that 1.68 ERA. Give him HRs at his 14% HR/FB career clip, which would boost his total to 8 (5 more than the 3 he allowed). Make em all 2-run shots and his ERA is still only 3.35. That’s rudimentary and not ironclad, but even with a pretty uncharitable regression, it doesn’t kill him especially as a control artist who became a big bat misser when he got that splitty working w/the FB & SL.

I don’t doubt that Swanson will likely regress, but I think many are just assuming that Teoscar will stay at his premium level and that’s where I diverge from the crowd. His skills alone make him volatile before you even add in the negative park switch from him. I like Teoscar as a fan, he’s a good dude who seems to be beloved by teammates for good reason, but we know this all-or-nothing corner OF profile doesn’t age super well so I think the returns make sense

1:42

Jack: Out of the box trade alert! The Yankees should trade Donaldson ($27 million owed between $21 million in  2023 and buyout of 2024 season for $6 million) and a prospect to the Mets in exchange for the assumption of the Bobby Bonilla deferred annual payments (1.193 mill every year until 2035 totals 15.509 mill).

1:43

Paul Sporer: lolololol but the Mets would have to relinquish the best holiday in sports: Bobby Bo Day! https://rotowear.com/products/1193248-20-t-shirt

1:43

Jake the Snake: Jake McCarthy:  Real deal or fool’s gold?  If he puts up similar production over a full season, he’s a stud.

1:49

Paul Sporer: I wrote up his BaseballHQ Forecaster profile (out in December – preorder now!) and I have some intrigue, but he’s not a lock breakout. He made some swing changes in ’21 that tapped into more pwr which we’ve seen in the minors but not the majors. I think he’s a low double-digit HR guy w/25+ SBs and his AVG will determine just how good he is… projections have him at .258 which I understand, but last year’s .283 or somewhere in that range is certainly possible for a full year. His early draft season price is fair for the upside (148th, 33rd OF off the board)

1:49

Jack: RE: Paul Sporer 1:22 Not a bad take at all, but I tend to lean toward the narrative that they wanna get Springer outta CF which pairs w/the Brandon Nimmo rumors so I think they get that former Met instead of Conforto

1:49

Jack: I forgot to mention they are signing Nimmo too and Springer can be the full time DH 😂

1:50

Paul Sporer: OK, as long as you’re not penciling Springer into CF all year! Because I think that it’s one of Toronto’s primary goals to ensure he doesn’t have to play CF much at all

1:50

Blake Snell: Last year, you had me ranked 42 going into the season and I gave you a 3.38 ERA with good underlying metrics. This October, you had me ranked two spots back at 44. Is this a reflection of the SP group as a whole or have you lost some faith in me?

1:51

Paul Sporer: More about guys rising. Still dig Blake a ton. That kind of swing and miss can carry you a looong way!

1:51

Herbert: What do you think is the biggest market inefficiency in the FBB game today?

1:55

Paul Sporer: Runs! The forgotten fantasy stat. WHIP on the pitching side. I talk about this on the show a lot, but as a fantasy market we tend to overvalue the sub-4.00 ERA/1.30+ WHIP guy (Robbie Ray in his good ARI years) quite a bit in comparison to the low-4.00s ERA/sub-1.25 WHIP guy (Joe Musgrove in PIT).

The inefficiency on PAs (meaning just pounding volume w/your hitters) is drying up as guys like Jeff Zimmerman and Steve Weimer pound that drum loudly, but it’s still there. They’re 100% right and their track records show it. You can still make hay hammering volume, but you’ll have more competition for it in most leagues than you would’ve a year or 3 ago.

1:56

Joser: Thanks for the chat! Do you have a hot take on how the rules changes will change the fantasy game?

1:58

Paul Sporer: I don’t think I have a hot take, but I do think this pitch clock could finally be the change that starts cutting into the K rates. Pitchers are like video game characters wherein you regain stamina if you’re standing still (this happens in fighter games, sports gms w/constant movement like 2K, etc…). It has been well studied that velos go up and hold deeper into games the longer you take in between pitches, but now that they’ll be forced, we could see a drop in Ks and rise in balls in play. Paired w/the shift, that could finally lead to more non-HR hits, too! Again, definitely not a hot take, but that’s what I’m hoping to see w/these changes

1:58

Kingpin: Will Jordan Walker be the GOAT or just really freakin good?

2:01

Paul Sporer: I know comps can be lame af, but he literally looks like Derrek Lee and I just can’t get that outta my head. It’s one thing when guys play similar to someone, but they also look so similar with the frame & height! He seemed a little stiff to me at AFL, buuuuttt there was also talk about how he was pretty disinterested in being there in the first place so I’m not going to go too hard on my VERY limited look (espec. bc I’m not trained in analyzing swing mechanics in the slightest).

2:01

Kate: Speculating on closer roles this time of year is tough, but curious re: your thoughts on a couple of situations.  Do you see any of Jorge Lopez, LeClerc or Floro starting 2023 as “the man” in their respective pens?

2:11

Paul Sporer: Maybe, Probably, Doubtful is how I’d play those 3. A lot of Lopez’s fall off w/MIN came in an ugly 5-outing stretch when he walked 8 w/a .421 BABIP leading to 7 of the 11 ER he allowed w/them. If they aren’t too worried about that and want to keep Duran in a fireman (or maybe even a starting role), I can definitely see Lopez getting the role.

I’ve always been a big Jonathan Hernandez guy, but I think Leclerc gets first crack at it. Not juuust bc he’s being paid ($6m this yr) but also bc he was really good upon return this yr and ended the season in role. He’s had ups & downs in TEX, but I think a healthy Leclerc is their guy.

Floro also ended excelling the role, but it took until September to get him back into the role despite his good work there in ’21. I’d only draft him as a CL3 at most right now as I think MIA’s ’23 closer isn’t on their roster yet

2:12

Kingpin: What are your thoughts on two young Cubs’ pitchers – Steele & Wesneski? Seems like both could be under-the-radar, sneaky-good picks in ’23.

2:18

Paul Sporer: Jeff, is that you??? Jeff keeps promoting them and I have half a mind to fire him over it! Stop hyping guys I like, too many ppl listen you!!! joy

Jokes aside, I quite like both and think the Cubs could be somewhat competitive next year with a chance at really competing if things break their way which would enhance the W probability for both. I think Steele can improve both his K & BB rates, building upon this year’s quality work. A lot of times, Yankees prospects are overrated just by virtue of being on the Yankees, but Wesneski is a bit under the radar and was with NYY, too. Deep arsenal, leads w/the slider, plenty swing and miss & keeps the walks in check. I definitely see his 285 ADP rising, but even with a big surge (75-80 picks), it’s still a price I’m willing to pay

2:19

Rickey H: Drey Jameson going to give more value than the $8 price I have him for in NL-only league? Thanks!

2:19

Paul Sporer: I’m a Jameson guy so I can see him going double-digits. $8 isn’t an amazing price, but it’s enough for me to keep in NL Only if you also believe in him

2:20

Not Paul Sporer: Re: velocity from stamina depletion. MILB pitchers did not see any noticeable decrease in velo after a pitch clock was put in. Just FYI!

2:21

Paul Sporer: Oh wow, that is definitely shocking to me given how we had seen taking longer was helping. Great callout. Did it impact K% at all?

2:21

Milledge Report: Sporer, you think Montas falling too far in ADP (around 203 in early DC league drafts)?

2:25

Paul Sporer: It’s probably a fair price, tbh, given the shoulder concerns. I’m a long-time Montas wonk so I’ll probably take the plunge in a lg or 2, but I’m not running out to scoop him at this price as health has been a career-long issue for him

2:25

Randy: Jeremy Pena is projected by steamer to stick to his current production (20/10).  Do you think that this is low or high going into his sophomore season off the WS MVP. I’m in a keeper league and trying to gauge what’s in the tank for his growth.

2:30

Paul Sporer: I think it makes sense given the plate skills we’ve seen from him (24% K, 4% BB, 16% SwStr). There could definitely be some development that pushes him over the projection, but it bakes in the right amount of caution with Peña

2:30

Kate: Rizzo back to Yanks seems like an ideal landing spot for him, right?

2:30

Paul Sporer: Absolutely!

2:32

Not Paul Sporer: Re: velocity: You should check out the BaseballAmerica article: “It was 91.7 mph in 2019. After the coronavirus pandemic canceled the 2020 season, in 2021, the last year without the current pitch clock rules, the four-seam fastball average velocity jumped to 92.3 mph. This year, with the pitch clock in effect throughout the full-season minors, the average is 92.3.”

2:33

Paul Sporer: Great info, Kind of a bummer bc I really want to see K rates drop, they’re WAAAAYYYY too high. Hopefully the mix of the rules will have some softening on Ks while increasing non-HR hits!

2:33

Enshrine the Crime Dog: How about the pitch clock, pickoff limits, and larger bases changing the SB game?  Might we see a 50 or dare I say 60+ season?

2:33

Kate: How do you think the new rules will actually end up affecting the SB landscape?  I’m feeling like the safe play is to just not treat SBs any differently until we see how this shakes out this year.

2:34

Paul Sporer: We miiiight, but I’m not betting on it nor planning for it in my drafts. I will likely take my normal approach of spreading out my SBs across the roster as opposed to zeroing in on a premium stealer or two. There was a lot of talk about this at the FPAZ conference a couple wks ago and the consensus seemed to be that it might help the middle and backend tiers more than drive the studs up to huge 50+ levels

2:34

Kool-Aid Main Bursting into an ER: Matt Mervis: should we believe the Vinnie Pasquantino level of hype?

2:36

Paul Sporer: To a degree, yes, but I have some trepidation about the price. He’s at 313 right now, but I think that’ll head upward and could land in the early-200s which is a bit too rich for me if he’s consistently going ahead of Casas, Torkelson, Walsh, Voit, Mancini

2:36

Kate: I see some smart folks at other outlets expressing some concern about Taylor Ward going forward.  What say you?  Some of his struggles this year seem pretty easily tied to injury.  Given health, he seems like a pretty safe bet for a guy with such a short track record.

2:41

Paul Sporer: He said the shoulder injury late-May impacted him during his summer swoon. But he closed strong once healthy and has a blood red StatCast profile despite giving away 3 mos. I’m a fan so as long as we don’t get any negativity about his health in the offseason, I’m buying back in

2:41

Paul Sporer: (In fact, I already have in one of my drafts)

2:41

Not Paul Sporer: Do you think Fangraphs will ever get to the point where you can have an “injury” tab on player pages that show the prior injuries and time missed from them? I think it would be valuable to assess time missed from soft tissue (back, hamstring) vs broken bones (hand, jaw).

2:42

Paul Sporer: That would be awesome, I can definitely suggest it to the powers that be!

2:43

Jack: Would you rather have the Tigers win the World Series, or have an Olympic sized swimming pool in your backyard packed to the brim with otters?

2:43

Paul Sporer: Maaaaannnnnnnnnn

2:44

Paul Sporer: Let’s be real, otters are cute and cuddly but they’re LOUDDD af, too, so a pool of them would probably be annoying lol. Gimme the World Series!

2:46

Paul Sporer: OK y’all, I got a mtg coming up soon! Next week’s chat is TBD being the day before Thanksgiving but if not, then back the 30th for sure! Thanks so much for coming out! Follow me on Twitter (@sporer) and Twitch (sporer). I’ll be streaming on Twitch later today where I’ll be a Nomar Garciaparra Career Rerun in OOTP baseball 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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