Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – March 2nd, 2022


Transcript is below!

1:13

Paul Sporer: Hello everyone! I know we’ve been dealt bad news on the baseball front, but we can still prepare for a fantasy season as I doubt the entire season gets scrapped at any point

1:13

vottomanempire: Any particular players you think should get a bump in drafts in a 140-145 game season, either due to injury rehab timeline or other factors?

1:16

Broken Bat: I hate all of them…. All 30 of them.

1:16

Paul Sporer: I can’t blame you in the slightest

1:16

Jacob: Is it just me or has Luis Robert not been talked about much in the industry? Why do you think that is and do you think he’s a value?

1:17

Paul Sporer: He’s just been kind of accepted as a late 1st/early 2nd guy but there hasn’t been a ton of chatter around him

1:19

CH4RLEYS: Gut feeling, how many games will this season have? What sort of deal do you think PA can get?

1:20

Paul Sporer: I hope they can hold firm against these clowns, but they’ll likely have to buckle a bit. I stand w/the players even though I desperately want baseball sooner than later. They are in the right here and it’s clear as day

1:20

Guest: Saw Nick is doin a pitcher a day breakdown on PitcherList till lockout ends…step up and do a hitter version

1:20

Paul Sporer: I can’t analyze hitters that well, though. Pitching is my strength, too

1:20

Zoidberg: No question, just sharing that I’m keeping Vlad Jr. Bichette, Trout, and Ohtani in a 12-teamer and super excited for the fantasy season.

1:20

Paul Sporer: That is spicy!!!

1:25

Sam Huff: Everyone seems to assume it’s Trevino and Heim rotating behind the dish for TEX – don’t I have a chance to get some regular PT in the majors too? Already on the 40 man and successful in brief cup of coffee last time I got a chance.

1:25

Paul Sporer: Are you even catching anymore, though?

1:25

Pablo: Did you play fantasy back when Bonds was in his prime? I was just wondering what that would have been like. I’d imagine getting pick 1.1 reaallllly was a big deal.

1:26

Paul Sporer: I did and he was insane. I cut my teeth on a 10-team AL Only, though, and we didn’t fully appreciate Pedro’s amazingness tbh. He was an early pick of course, but hitters were all the rage back then so he was a bit underrated even as a 1st rounder

1:29

Jacob: I really want to buy into two guys this year – Snell and Kirilloff. Snell because of his last few games and Kirilloff hit the ball super hard before his injury and got BABIP’d out of playing well and then got hurt. Am I crazy for loving those guys?

1:30

Paul Sporer: Not at all! I’m a fan of both as well. I really like Snell to get back on track this year and Kirilloff is definitely a health play. If that wrist is healed, he can be an absolute stud for Minnesota. Both are fairly priced, too!

1:31

Matthew: Etiquette question – our LM didn’t collect the money for our league last year, but I won. I don’t NEED the money, but it’s certainly a perk. What’s the right way to bring it up to everybody.

1:32

Paul Sporer: I think a friendly reminder via email, lg msg board, or group chat (however y’all communicate) is totally fair. Just pointing out how the fees weren’t paid and you’d like to get that squared. The LM SHOULD handle it, but they seem to have abdicated those duties?>

1:35

Guest: Most likely to return value on yheir draft slot: Votto, Cron, Walsh, Bell

1:35

Paul Sporer: I love this whole group, tbh. I’m sorry to fence sit the answer, it’s hard to land on one. I’ve been more in on Cron than some of my compatriots in the industry, though, so I’ll say him

1:35

Guest: Do you ever hold back on a piece about a player you like that maybe alot of people are sleepin on?…so word doesn’t  get out maybe drive up price…and do you think others may do it?

1:36

Paul Sporer: Never! Y’all know who I love all the time and if one of my big calls flops, I’m eating that with you guaranteed. I never adjust my info to save anything, I think that’s lame as hell if ppl in the industry do that

1:42

Sam Huff: Played 1B last year because of injury, but I think I should still get time catching now that I’m healthy again. Have you heard otherwise?

1:42

Paul Sporer: I hadn’t, but it was more that I hadn’t heard anything so I wasn’t sure if he got moved off C permanently. If he is back catching, then I agree he has some deeep league intrigue

1:42

Alex: NFBC adp for Springer is in the 50s, I would draft him around Yordan, thoughts?

1:43

Paul Sporer: I’m totally OK w/that. He’s an absolute stud. Health is the only question with him

1:43

Dactos: Max Kepler was one of the biggest BA underperformers per statcast (.211 vs .255)…. how is he still slipping all the way to #351 ADP???

1:43

Paul Sporer: He is completely overlooked and I’m here for it. Now IIRC he’s had some of these AVG issues before that weren’t necessarily resolved, but even if he only hits .240 w/pop, it works at that price

1:45

Robbie: Higher on marsh or adell for dynasty leagues? This is a points league specific OF positions.

1:50

Paul Sporer: I’m still in on Adell. I think he made some nice steps last year and I’m really excited for his ’22

1:50

Guest: Thoughts on Lindor having a bounce back season? Worth drafting with 50th pick in 12 team OPS league?

1:50

Paul Sporer: Huge fan and really believe last yr was a transition to NY similar to when Carlos Beltran signed there and I see Lindor getting back on track in a big way this year

1:54

Alan: How cool was Tiger Stadium? Never made it there, too young, but Comerica kinda sucks, I bet Tiger Stadium was awe inspiring.

1:55

Paul Sporer: It was amazing!!! I truly loved it. I’ve actually only made it back to Detroit once to see Comerica and I really enjoyed it. Tiger Stadium will always hold top spot in my heart bc it’s where my childhood games were watched, but I think Comerica is a solid spot!

1:58

Kate: Odds Toro has a full-time role on Opening Day (whenever that ends up being)?

2:01

Paul Sporer: Pretty strong, I’d say 75%

2:01

Brine shrimp: Why do people think kershaw will retire if he doesnt join the dodgers or rangers? He is only 33. Some other club will spend to get him

2:01

Paul Sporer: I’m not sure. I don’t think he does. Maybe bc he’s accomplished so much and has degenerative back issues, but he’s still SO good

2:05

Kate: How much better can we expect Jon Gray to be in Texas?

2:12

Paul Sporer: I think quite a bit better. He’s always been weird w/the better ERAs in Colorado, but that doesn’t mean he can’t significantly improve away from Coors. Plus, new Globe Life is pitcher-friendly. I think he can be a mid-3s arm w/around a K per inning!

2:19

Paul Sporer: I love Morris! I definitely give Cleveland SPs some extra love bc of how well they’ve developed arm, but Morris has the skills, too!!

2:19

Guest: Paul, call me crazy but Mookie Betts and Max Kepler have awfully close statcast expected stats. Any chance Max can provide close to top 100 value?

2:24

Paul Sporer: Ya we were just mentioning Kep-dawg a bit earlier! I’m a big fan, but top 100 might be tough (unless he keeps running, he was 10-for-10 last yr). One issue is I think he’s had these expected BA splits before bc he has low BABIPs, but we’ve never really seen him reach a high BABIP and part of that is how he hits the ball (lotta flyballs). If he can hit around .240 with 25/10, I’d love that at his price!

2:24

ksk315: Do Oakland pitchers take a hit if/when Olson and Chapman are dealt?

2:25

Paul Sporer: Somewhat as it hits ’em two ways – offense and defense. But I still like the talent of several of their guys so I definitely wouldn’t sink them in my rankings by any stretch

2:25

JF: What’s your outlook on Casey Mize? For this year and as a longer-term dynasty option? (Context: would be acquiring in a futures-oriented trade)

2:26

Paul Sporer: Pardon me for those who’ve heard me say this one a bunch bc it’s my go-to, but I see his peak similar to peak Jordan Zimmermann. Innings eating #2 type who doesn’t have elite Ks, but his volume counters the rate and still winds up delivering some really strong seasons.

2:26

Kate: Does Victor Robles have a full-time role in DC as things stand?  I know he’s been disappointing, but he seems like exactly the type of guy they should be giving PT to in a year like this.

2:28

Paul Sporer: Yes, I’d be surprised if they played someone like Andrew Stevenson over him. He’s still just 25 and while it’s been bleak since ’20, his defense and the promise of some bat development are enough to keep him a full-timer… at least to start the year. If he puts up another sub-70 wRC+ through 2 mos., then I understand them starting to move on

2:28

Paul: % chance Opening Day is in April? Gut feeling.

2:28

Jacob: Which player do you feel you have the worst read on this year? You just throw your hands up and shrug and that’s your analysis on them

2:28

Paul Sporer: This is a great question…  lemme scan my rankings for a few names

2:30

Paul Sporer: Austin Riley is one. My gut tells me to pullback a bit on the hype, but his season was excellent and he was someone who I had expectations of after seeing him in the Arizona Fall League. I have to make sure that’s not just confirmation bias, though, where I give him full credit just bc I *thought* he’d eventually break out. Bottom line is I’ve just kinda left him up for other managers and never draft him

2:32

Paul Sporer: Lucas Giolito is one on the pitching side. I don’t get the warm & fuzzies about him the way his proponents do, but I’m also not out on him. He’s been great since ’19 and he was heralded prospect, too, so why am I not just trusting him as an unquestioned ace? I don’t know. I wind up just kinda shrugging & moving on to someone like Webb, Musgrove, or Alcantara in that range

2:33

Kate: Our good friend Nick Pollack is kinda down on Luis Garcia (the pitcher, not one of the infielders) after he fell off at the end of last year.  I usually agree with Nick, but I feel like he’s off on this one and Garcia will be dope again after an offseason of rest.  Thoughts?

2:35

Paul Sporer: I stand on your side here. I need to check up on Nick’s issues w/him, but the skills are impeccable and I’m not too bothered by the playoffs bc it’s not like it was all bad. It was just up and down.

2:35

Chuck: Who are one top-5 catcher and one late catcher you’re getting in drafts?

2:36

Paul Sporer: I’ll give a couple for each category instead of just one: Grandal/Varsho in the top 5 (Varsho is 6 in ADP, but I have him 5th) and Luis Torrens, Austin Nola, and James McCann late

2:37

Alex in Austin: Sticking with your Tiger’s love can you give a 3 word synopsis on each of these pitchers: Skubal, Mize, Manning?

2:37

Paul Sporer: Skubal – must stop homers | Mize – peak Jordan Zimmermann | Manning – don’t give up

2:37

Marnell: If you chose to “wait” on any position during your draft, which position would you wait on and draft later in the draft?

2:39

Paul Sporer: 1B is somewhere I’m definitely comfortable in the middle & latter portions of the pool. Lowe, Voit, Mancini, Schoop, Tellez, Kirilloff, and Aguilar all going 150 or later!

2:39

Faygo: Did I make the correct move in keeping Bauer in rd 13 over Clase in rd 16?

2:40

Paul Sporer: Impossible to say w/out knowing if he pitches this yr. It’s just such an unknown.

2:40

Matt: Dynasty league, own Ke’Bryan Hayes. You hanging on or is it okay to flip for a guy like Logan Gilbert, Luis Garcia or Snell? Worried he will be ordinary and value will lower.

2:41

Paul Sporer: I generally prefer to buy the hitters in dynasty leagues and I’m super keen on Hayes in particular so I’d rather hold. However, I won’t be steadfast as to say you cannot move him. If landing a solid upside arm like that fits your team needs, any of those deals would be OK. I think you’re taking on more risk to do it (not that Hayes is immune to injury, but pitchers def get hurt more), but it’s defensible on the right squad

2:41

Big Jilm: If you invested a high draft pick in Hader or Hendriks, would you back up a RP2 with another reliable option or throw darts at the end of the draft?  Seems pointless not to fully commit but mock drafts are making me rethink it.

2:46

Paul Sporer: I tend to commit when I do this. I just got Hader in the 2nd of TGFBI and I plan to back him up with a solid 2 in the Melancon, T.Rogers, Doval, Kimbrel realm

2:46

Paul Sporer: Doval isn’t super firm bc we don’t know if he’s THE GUY and Kimbrel is still on the White Sox, but I’d be really surprised if they didn’t trade him to close somewhere. REEEEALLY surprised.

2:48

Paul Sporer: I also think Taylor Rogers is floating under the radar a bit. He’s def their best RP which doesn’t guarantee saves in today’s game, but I’m still willing to bet on him right now. A post-lockout move could mess it up, but he’s my guy in Minnesota

2:48

Saul Porer: My work blocked Fangraphs! Such tyranny!

2:48

Paul Sporer: How dare they!!

2:48

BOFFO: Zunino led the majors in not just Barrel/BBE, but also Barrel/PA. Higher max eV too. If barrels are indeed a skill, why can’t Zunino hit 35 dongs?

2:49

Paul Sporer: I mean, we know he was great last year. All the exit velo and hard hit and barrel stuff is just another way of saying he was great last year. My concern is maintaining it and I don’t really see it at this level

2:49

Zulema: Hi, Im wanting to try fantasy baseball this year. Can you recommend me some sites to try that aren’t Yahoo, ESPN or CBS?

2:51

Gretch: Can Soler come close to his monster season now that he’s out of KC?

2:52

Paul Sporer: Justin and I had a discussion about him last year before he really turned it around and he sold me on buying low. I bring that up just to say that I think the rebound would’ve happened in KC, too, but they had no reason to keep him. Obv Kauffman isn’t a great hitter’s park, but his power plays ANYWHERE. I would love to see him land in a hitter-friendly spot, but regardless, he is a solid 30 HR bet

2:52

Gommo: Is Sandoval’s injury being overrated? From what I read about back stress fractures, they usually occur in younger athletes and typically heal with a few weeks of rest

2:53

Paul Sporer: That’s kinda how I’ve felt about Patrick Sandoval and why I’m so high on him! I have him up in the 40s in my SP rankings

2:54

Ben P: Was so excited to hear you mention Adam Engel on the pod, only for him to get eviscerated. Do you think there’s hidden value given the fact his contact% and barrel% have improved substantially since his early career? Or is it just me?

2:54

Paul Sporer: Was this the episode w/Justin, Jason, and Jenny? Bc I like Engel so I wouldn’t have dogged him in a discussion

2:56

Paul Sporer: (I’m listening to them discuss him now)

2:59

Paul Sporer: I disagree with Jason’s pessimistic outlook. If Engel has a bead on the RF role, I’m intrigued. I think Jenny’s advice to watchlist him in standard leagues is perfectly fair. I’d gladly draft him in Draft Champions 50-rounders, too

2:59

pat burrell’s ghost: in a 12 team redraft 6×6 (+obp) would you rather have judge or yordan this year?

3:00

Paul Sporer: I lean Yordan, but they are basically next to each other. I know Yordan has the knee issues so his health isn’t perfect, but I’ll still take him over Judge mostly based on age. On talent, it’s a true coin flip

3:00

Kate: Confidence in Mookie’s health in 2022 and long-term?  Sounds like he opted against surgery on the hip this offseason.

3:01

Paul Sporer: I’m still super bought in on him. I’ll be monitoring his spring closely whenever that does happen, but until I get any reason to down him due to the hip, I’m in on his discounted price

3:01

Kate: Is Adbert Alzolay some HR/9 regression away from a nice breakout?

3:02

Paul Sporer: Yes. If his command continues to develop, there is some big time upside for the 27-yr old.

3:02

Minors: My league has weird rules and I could keep Alex Kirilloff or Andrew Vaughn in the minors and thus delay their service in our league. (I think this is gross IRL with real livelihoods but…) Who between the two do you feel better about playing time wise?

3:03

Paul Sporer: Ya I don’t mind this in fantasy of course, but svc time manipulation def sucks IRL. I’m torn here as I really love both of these guys! I think I’m gonna lean Vaughn here w/Kirilloff’s wrist being the tiebreaker here

3:04

Paul Sporer: OK y’all, I gotta go! Thanks so much for coming out! Follow me on Twitter (@sporer), Twitch (sporer), and Instagram (p_sporer). I’ll be streaming on Twitch tomorrow 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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