Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat
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Dave Cameron
12:01
Happy Wednesday, everyone.
12:02
Plenty to talk about this week; the wildly entertaining WBC, Eric's Top 100 and the updated prospect valuations we rolled out, new Statcast data, every Rockie getting hurt...
So let's chat for an hour or so.
The Average Sports Fan
12:02
Do you agree with Moncada as the #1 overall prospect?
Dave Cameron
12:04
I think it depends on what you're emphasizing. It seems pretty likely that he has the highest upside of any prospect in this class, and if you think he's going to hit for a lot of power or get the strikeouts under control, he's a franchise player. Of course, given that Benintendi is more likely to produce value in the short-term and seems to have a lower risk profile, it's perfectly reasonable to take a bit less upside in order to get a higher probability of some value.
For the Red Sox, keeping Benintendi was probably the right call, since he's more likely to help them this year. If I'm the White Sox, and I'm looking way down the road, I probably do prefer Moncada.
Larry
12:05
If you were the Braves GM, how would you handle things going forward? I feel like they're in a weird spot where the front office expects to compete, but no one outside of the franchise thinks that's realistic.
Dave Cameron
12:06
It's always difficult to tell how much of these ill-fated "win now" pushes is ownership or the front office. While A.J. Preller and Dave Stewart became the faces of those bad calls to try to win before they were ready, owners in both of those situations wanted a go-for-it plan to be implemented, and you can't really tell your owners no if you don't want to get fired.
12:07
So, for the Braves, it depends on how much of this is pressure from above to try and win while the stadium has new car smell. If the team is terrible this year, and it becomes clear they aren't ready to push in on 2018, I'd imagine the front office will make that case.
MFG
12:07
Kiermeier, 6years/$50M. Your thoughts?
Dave Cameron
12:08
Have a post about half done in the queue that will go up after the chat is over, but the basic summary is that this is a great deal for the Rays and another reason why the arb system sucks.
Braves Fan
12:08
With so many shortstop prospects having had big rookie years (Seager, Correa, Lindor), what is a reasonable expectation for Dansby Swanson for this year?
Dave Cameron
12:09
He's not as good as those guys. His upside is more Brandon Crawford.
Who is a terrific player in his own right, but not the kind of hitter that Seager/Correa/Lindor is.
jpg
12:09
Let's say a player come up who plays shortstop and fields as well as Simmons, has Ichiro's contact skills, Votto's batting eye and can run like Billy Hamilton but never hits any home runs. Would said player still be the best player in baseball? Or is it basically impossible for a guy who never hits homers to supplant a guy like Trout?
Dave Cameron
12:10
With no home runs ever, it's really hard to be a great hitter. A high-OBP guy with a lot of defense and baserunning value is probably still something like a +6-7 WAR player, but if you're knocking Trout off his pedestal, you're going to have to hit it over the wall sometimes.
Roman
12:11
What do the Cubs do with Ian Happ? Would he break camp with most major league teams at this point?
Dave Cameron
12:12
A 22 year old who projects for an ~80 wRC+ and has a half-season of minor league experience above A-ball? He wouldn't break camp with anyone. Stop being irrational about all your prospects, Cubs fans.
The Average Sports Fan
12:12
Will the Statcast take positioning out of the equation when evaluating Defensive WAR?
Dave Cameron
12:12
That's likely to be it's biggest impact in the short-term, yes.
12:13
The catch probabilities that MLB is putting out now can essentially be seen as measuring just range, so when we have enough data, we'll likely be able to identify guys who are making more or fewer catches than we'd expect based on that information as players who were positioned well or poorly.
Tracy
12:14
Which will happen first: Giolito fixes his fastball or Giolito starts throwing his curve for strikes?
Dave Cameron
12:14
I'll take Door #3: people realize the Nationals weren't crazy for trading him for Adam Eaton.
IsIt2015Yet?
12:15
Surprised by how poorly Starling Marte grades out with new statcast defensive data. Is he overrated defensively? In for some misadventures in CF this year?
Dave Cameron
12:16
Keep in mind that these catch probabilities aren't final yet. They'll change when spray angle is added in, and there are issues with the field dimensions (primarily accounting for wall balls) that haven't been accounted for. I wouldn't draw any firm conclusions based on what is currently out there. It's more "this is interesting" data than "throw away everything else" data.
JT
12:17
Thoughts on the Kiermaier dealer? Seems like a lot of risk for the Rays, they already controlled him through his age 30 season, his skillset doesn't earn a lot through arb even as a super 2.
Dave Cameron
12:17
They bought two free agent years for ~$20 million or so, plus probably got an option on a third year at another highly discounted rate. I fail to see any real risk for TB here.
vottomanempire
12:18
Will the M's "3 center fielder" OF this year provide some useful data for the Statcast defensive metrics in dealing with multiple body problems?
Dave Cameron
12:18
Hopefully it helps convince people that this problem is basically a myth.
12:19
There just are very few plays in a season that two outfielders could both catch, but that isn't just a super routine 99% of the time play, Those plays get almost no value in UZR/DRS because they are the "everyone makes them" variety.
JD15
12:19
What do the dodgers with Urias this year to limit his innings? How would you handle the situation?
Dave Cameron
12:19
Sounds like he'll start the year in extended spring, and then join the team in May.
12:20
If Wood/McCarthy are solid starters to begin the year, they can slowplay his debut.
Erik
12:20
Some great games at the WBC so far, but it's a shame that the USA isn't putting out its strongest team. What's more likely: the tournament grows in popularity, and eventually the Trouts and Kershaws all decide to play, or the tournament dies?
Dave Cameron
12:20
I actually think it's better for the tournament that the best US players aren't there.
12:21
If the US won every year, or most years, it wouldn't help grow the game internationally, which is the entire point of the tournament.
Hannah Hochevar
12:21
Cool to see the statcast defense stuff, even if, as an O's fan, I had to cover my eyes for the Trumbo line. Will running out Smith and his only mediocre defense in right be an even more significant boost than expected?
Dave Cameron
12:22
Well, Trumbo is still going to play a lot of OF, since Smith won't start against LHPs. And I'm guessing Alvarez won't be much better when he starts getting at-bats out there.
Larry A
12:23
You must have internal FanGraphsGraphs to see what types of articles people read most. I curious - does the site see more traffic for Fantasy pieces, or prospect stuff?
Dave Cameron
12:23
Lists. Lists drive more traffic than anything else.
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