Paul Sporer’s Baseball Chat – November 29th, 2023

Check out this week’s chat!


Paul Sporer: Hello everyone, welcome to the chat!! Get your questions in, I’m letting the dogs out & filling my water bottle, but then we’ll get goin’!


Paul Sporer: Emilio Pagan to the Reds… I’m sure that’ll go well w/his homers in Cincy lol


Pedro: Dynasty points league (so no wins), how far apart are Grayson, Detmers and Woo value wise for 2024?


Paul Sporer: I’ve got Grayson a level above the other 2 and then Detmers / Woo right by each other leaning toward Detmers


Kyle: Emilio Pagan and his career 52% FB rate in GABP seems like maybe a bad idea. If Glasnow gets traded to the Reds, how much will it hurt him?


Paul Sporer: Yes it could be really tough for Pagan in Cincy. Glasnow would get hurt, too, but has enough skill to still be interesting. His price would have to drop a good for me in Cincy, though


Stratfan: Do the Guardians really think Gabriel Arias is a better option than Brayan Rocchio?  Over/under all-star break when they realize Rocchio is the way to go?


Paul Sporer: Aren’t they kinda different shapes leading to a similar result? I guess Arias has a lower floor bc of that major K rate. And I do like Rocchio a good bit myself, but I wonder if the answer is to play both. Arias at 1B, Rocchio at SS. We have Manzardo penciled in right, who I also like, but I’m not sure he breaks camp. He didn’t exactly rip AAA up (though he was solid in the Fall League) so maybe there’s a path for both


Kyle: “Glasnow would get hurt, too” I thought you were making an injury joke about he would get hurt while physically relocating until I read it again joysobtired_face


Paul Sporer: LOL, I wasn’t even thinking of that, but it’s unfortunately apt. I yearn for a 180+ IP Glasnow season… that’s right, I yearnnnn for it.


deez nutz: Any idea what the braves wind up doing to bolster their starting staff?


Paul Sporer: I think a trade is coming. Latest rumors with Cease make a lotttt of sense to me. Glasnow of course fits anywhere Cease does. Morton grinded his way to that 3.64 ERA, but his core skills don’t really buy it and he’s 40 next yr. Elder/Ynoa is not a bankable 4/5. Strider & Fried are great when healthy, of course, and give them a strong 1-2 punch. Need more for a championship rotation. Cease could be an excellent fit.


Jim Leyland Palmer: Do you see any way the Tigers trade for an impact hitter this offseason?


Paul Sporer: Trades are so hard to predict so it’s really hard to say with a ton of conviction. I like where there offseason has started with Canha and Maeda. The cliche that you can never have too much pitching is always correct and they hardly have too much but it is a strength that could possibly be leveraged for a trade. Best place to upgrade would be 2B or 3B I’d think with McKinstry and Vierling penciled in right now.


Pedro: Hi Paul.  Should we be a bit concerned about Luis Castillo?  In the last two seasons we’ve seen his barrel rate jump from 4.8% to 9.4%, his hard hit rate from 36.7 to 41.8, and his HR rate from 0.78 to 1,28.  His FB has lost about 1 MPH. Thanks


Paul Sporer: He had a major drop in GB rate from 47% to 39% which is probably a key driver in all of this. I wonder if he feels more comfortable not getting GBs outside of Cincy? Clearly he should re-think it if the homers continue. With an excellent 20% K-BB, he can afford a few more HRs and not have it kill him, but it’s worth monitoring. I’m not sinking down my rankings because of it. Maybe he loses a tiebreaker with another pitcher in his range because of this, though


Kyle: Who hits more homers for the Marlins in 2024: hamburger or saxophone?


Paul Sporer: I think the real question is how healthy will either be this year? Because if I can pencil in a career-high in PA (currently 507) then I really like his chances here. But are we going to do the Buxton thing where we just keep pining for a full season and paying for it at the draft table despite never getting it?

Burger is a legit 25+ HR guy for me with easy 30+ upside. Even w/the power dip once he arrived in Miami (a. he was never going to hold his .313 ISO, only 2 guys finished the season north of .300 and b. it’s a huge park drop off), he still had a .202 ISO with them. That said, he hasn’t been the bastion of health, either, as last year’s 540 PA were easily a career-high (including MiLB).


Paul Sporer: I realize I didn’t give a set answer, but it’s really hard to feel great about picking either w/their health profiles. I’ll take Burger just to be on the record w/someone


Two-Bagger: Any hope that Mahle might ever again be fantasy relevant in a 20-team league? I feel like it might be time to cut bait.


Paul Sporer: Yeah he had TJ in late-May, so he’s back in the summer at the earliest and he’s a total wildcard for the couple months of TJ return so we’re looking at 2025 at the earliest for true fantasy relevance. I can see myself getting back in, but I’m not holding through all of it


Franc: 2027 only – Acuna, ELDC or Reid Detmers?


Paul Sporer: It can’t be Detmers. Even as one of his biggest fans, I can’t bet on a pitcher that far out when Acuña and Elly are the other 2. So then it’s 29 y/o Ronnie v. 25 y/o Elly and I think I’m going with Acuña. His plate skill improvements this past yr were amazing and if he holds any of those gains, it’s huge. He halved his K% to 12%! Even if he goes back up to something like 16-17%, that’s still excellent with a 9-11% BB%.

I love Elly, I don’t want to be a hater on the fun new phenom, but I’m terrified of his plate skills and how they will age. He’s 21 so we can’t rule out some K% improvement, but if he lives in the 30%+ range, he’s going to be remarkably volatile.


Harris: Reds could swap an infielder to the Tigers for an outfielder


Paul Sporer: I can certainly get on board with exploring that!


deez nutz: Cease closer to 2022’s performance or 2023’s this year?


Paul Sporer: Probably closer to 2023’s ERA (even if he shaves a run down to 3.50, that’s still 1.3 runs away from that elite 2022) but closer to 2022’s WHIP. I don’t expect him to just stop walking guys, but I’ll take the under on another .330 BABIP. There’s a world where he’s traded to a team that has a fix or two for him to start living near 2022-type levels with the skills behind it if they can teach him to reign in the walks.


JC: Do you have concerns about the Braves depth on offense? Their whole roster stayed healthy in 2023, but they can’t bank on that again


Paul Sporer: Oh yeah, I think that’s a big part of why they cleared so many 40-man spots in that Aaron Bummer trade. They’ll be getting some better caliber bench guys than what’s penciled in there right now (which includes 2 guys not even on the 40 rn)


Kate: How do you feel about Gavin Stone after a rough rookie season?  He missed plenty of bats, but it didn’t really translate to Ks and he seemed to be nibbling quite a bit as the walks crept up both at AAA and in the majors.  I’m not overly worried about the HR rate as that seems likely to regress.  Do you think he’s in any danger of getting pen’d in an org like the Dodgers where there a bunch of other talented arms and they’re likely to bring in others in FA/trade?


Paul Sporer: I love it, he’s an afterthought now so it’s a great buying opportunity. I just can’t make much of 31 innings so I boil it down to the core skills and I like what I see. Big swing-and-miss, a deep enough arsenal to start, and of course being on a great team. He’s a post-400 pick in Draft Champions leagues and I’m all over it. I’m probably not buying as aggressively in standard drafts, but the Draft & Hold format is perfect for a guy like that who might not pop off until the summer


Richard: What does your last text to Justin say?


Paul Sporer: This would’ve been a lot spicier at different times, but it’s just a boring msg from First Pitch Arizona that says “I’m back downstairs” … we mostly chat in a group text and GChat (most recent GChats aren’t super spicy, either, or I’d have shared that, just pod stuff)


Dewey Cox: Why will the Mets overpay for Jordan Montgomery and not give Yamamoto 300m?


Paul Sporer: LOLOLOL because they’re the Mets


Jon: I’m a long-time follower of analytics but I’ll be playing fantasy for the first time next year. Where can I find draft strategies 101?


Paul Sporer: I think the Baseball HQ Forecaster is a great go-to spot. The articles in the front of the book are soooo excellent at better understanding the game. Full disclosure: I do contribute a few profiles to the Forecaster, but I’m not paid on how many sell or anything… I just can’t recommend it highly enough!


John W: How sold are you on the Belly rebound? If you’re looking to move him in a 16tm 5×5 keeper what type of player are you aiming to move him for? Same goes for Oneil Cruz. Thanks Paul!


Paul Sporer: I think it’s pretty legit. I love the 11 point dip in K% paired w/the power return. I think you can get back a top-100 caliber player using this year’s ADP — — Well, except Cruz, who shouldn’t be a Top 100 player to me. I understand the upside and excitement, but I can’t keep paying a Top 100 pricetag on him right now


Kyle: If deGrom had not missed a start from 2021-2023 and had the same rate stats, would he be going ahead of Acuna in drafts?


Paul Sporer: In a lot of them, yes. They’d probably be near 50-50


Homer: TJ Friedl outlook for 2024?


Paul Sporer: He can continue to live at his 2022-23 level: 112 wRC+, 19 HR/25 SB per 600 PA. I’m probably more in on Cincy guys than Colorado guys because while Coors is a bit better in terms of pure park factors, the Reds hitters are just much better and also in a really great park


Richard: Is SGP now on the outside looking in for a rotation spot with Maeda signed? Not sure if Mize is actually going to take SGP’s spot since Mize has been so injured/bad. Thanks and peace_symbol


Paul Sporer: He’s currently penciled out but I share your exact outlook that Mize isn’t some immovable force so SGP is someone who will remain on my radar in the Draft Champions format especially with a likely price dip coming now


Pat Listachio: Looking at trying NFBC best ball. Typically have done roto. Aside from the points aspect – will research that on my own – how does the format affect your decision-making in draft?


Paul Sporer: As a general rule you can chase volatility a bit more, particularly w/pitching. The guys that go 6 IP/2 ER for 4 starts but then ruin it with a 7 ER dud… as such I tend to lean toward hitting early on with my foundational players


Eh?: What are teams so obsessed with Jake Bauers? His best numbers were years ago when he was in the minors and they were average at best, and subpar for a 1B. Now we have Milwaukee giving up two not-nothing prospects for him?


Paul Sporer: LOL and people thought I was obsessed with him a few years back when I thought he was gonna break out! Takes walks, has some pop, 1B/OF… not the toughest profile to find. I don’t know, maybe he’s a cool guy? And I’m not even trying to be funny w/that. When you have a profile that isn’t exactly unique, you can set yourself apart by just being a better hang that others with the same skills. I have no idea if that’s why he latching on with teams consistent. Could just be that he’s under 30 yrs old


KC Pain: baltimore has to move someone right?


Paul Sporer: Not necessarily, there’s nothing wrong w/having great depth. Everyone isn’t exactly established yet, either. So while they could easily make a move, it’s definitely not a must


Richard: The Jake Bauers slander on this chat will NOT be tolerated!!!


Paul Sporer: LOLOLOL, ok ok


Wilson: Resident Detroit knower: what position will Colt Keith play when he comes up?  3rd?  DH?  And do you expect them to get him up early in 2024?


Paul Sporer: Daniel Murphy-esque 1B/2B/3B where he’s not particularly good at any of ’em but they want his bat in the lineup


Spike Jonze: Do you have any optimism for Luciano or Baty?


Paul Sporer: Baty, yes. I’m tepid on Luciano right now


Kate: What do you think Johan Rojas‘ role is to start 2024?  With Harper apparently sticking at 1B, does he have a chance to run with the CF job?  He couldn’t hit a lick in the playoffs, but he had a pretty good regular season last year and he can really go get it in the OF.


Paul Sporer: I just think he’s a 4th OFer. His regular season success can be tied pretty tightly to his .410 BABIP which is of course unsustainable. The defense should hold a roster spot, but I’m suspect on the bat


DS: Do you think a healthier Nick Johnson is a reasonable outcome for Nolan Schanuel?


Paul Sporer: Yeah that makes a lot of sense to me


KG: Do you think Royce Lewis will ever be able to stay healthy?  I feel like not, but man, so tantalizing.  Also, what’s up with the Twins and their injured guys?  Something they can address via a new trainer/athletic staff or just bum luck?


Paul Sporer: I made that comment about continuing to bang our heads into the wall with Buxton as if I’m not 100% ready to do the same with Royce, lol. I thiiiink it’s just bum luck with 2 super athletic guys that play all out. Even the best trainer can’t prevent everything. I won’t overload on Lewis shares across my drafts, but I’m not going to come away empty-handed, either, bc the health is the only real question for me. I fully buy the talent.


The Governor: What is your best guess on which team signs Justin Turner?


Paul Sporer: I speculated that my Tigers could actually be a decent fit. Vierling is penciled in at 3B and I don’t really see him as being a must-starter. Though he might want to go to a more ready-made contender in his latter years.


Paul Sporer: Excellent stuff this week, y’all. Sorry I couldn’t get to all of ’em, but I really appreciate y’all filling the queue. I’ll be back next week with another chat, take care!

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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4 months ago

The final question about Turner made me wonder: does anyone think he is a 3B anymore. The BoSox didn’t play him there much at all last season (7 games). Is he marketing himself as a 3B or just leaving that as a possibility to expand the number of teams looking at him.

4 months ago

7 games at 3B last year where he was awful. 66 games at 3B year before where he was bad. He can’t really play 3B anymore except in an emergency situation.