Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 3/17/17
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Matt (no the other one)
10:08
I was looking at Cubs SP depth recently, and you practically have to go down to AA to find someone who is not both white and American.
Jeff Sullivan
10:08
Most baseball players in the majors are white Americans
Turd Ferguson
10:09
Where does Brad Brach rank around non closing relievers? Third behind Miller and Betances?
Jeff Sullivan
10:10
I don't think he's a clear third. There are a lot of really outstanding relievers. Brach might not even be better than a healthy Darren O'Day (who is great)
Stuafoo
10:11
Do you think it would be possible for a pitcher to be a star without ever throwing a fastball? Let's say their fastest pitch tops out at 83 mph.
Jeff Sullivan
10:11
So, peak RA Dickey threw like 20% fastballs. Averaged 84mph. That might be the best we can do
10:12
Other pitches are effective because of how they compare to fastballs. Hitters go up looking fastball, and then they adjust. If you strip the fastball away completely, it's impossible to know what effect that would have. Maybe you use a cutter, but a cutter is basically a type of a fastball. And hitters would then sit on the cutter and adjust instead
So I want to say no, unless you have a knuckleballer who throws like 80% knucklers and 20%...sliders?
v2micca
10:12
We often talk about a prospect's upside, but how rare is it for a prospect to actually realize his upside?
Jeff Sullivan
10:12
Extremely rare
10:13
Although I guess it depends on what you mean. It's extremely, extremely rare that a player reaches his ceiling. Ceilings set an impossible bar. But realistic upside -- like the 75th percentile outcome or whatever -- that happens plenty more
Stuafoo
10:13
How is it that Tom Tango's real name hasn't been made public? Just based on the sheer number of organizations he's worked for it feels like it would have leaked by now. Or is it some kind of legal pseudonym? Like, is that what his checks are made out to?
Jeff Sullivan
10:14
I don't actually know how deep it goes -- I don't know if he's Tom Tango to his employers. But there's not really any public interest in knowing his true identity. If he were a government official, there would've been a leak by now. But in this case, who could actually care?
Brandon Juice Geluso
10:15
Hypothetical....Would you take the 2005 yankees prospect class over their current one? (ie knowing Cano would be a HoFer but a meh class overall)
Jeff Sullivan
10:15
Cano, Hughes, Melky, Wang...
10:16
I'd take that over what the Yankees presently have in the minors. Which sounds disappointing, maybe, but prospects are almost never as good as Cano became
TapeyBeercone
10:16
Is Hwang the hwight fit to start the season at 3B for SF?
Jeff Sullivan
10:16
Probably Nunez, but I'd like to see Hwang as a versatile bench guy
St. Patrick
10:16
Michael Brantley going to make an impact this year?
Jeff Sullivan
10:16
Well he'll either make an impact on the Indians or he'll make an impact on their opponents
mtsw
10:17
Is Trayce Thompson healthy enough to be a regular for the Dodgers this year?
Jeff Sullivan
10:17
I wouldn't count on anyone outside of Pederson to be a true Dodgers outfield "regular"
Bork
10:17
The last Irish born person to play in the MLB was Joe Cleary in 1945. He pitched .1 innings and had an ERA of 189 allowing 7 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. Could you pitch better then Joe Cleary? Could you pitch better then Joe Cleary drunk?
Jeff Sullivan
10:17
Hell, I'll say it. Yes! Yes, I could pitch better than a 189.00 ERA
10:18
Take that, Joe Cleary! Sullivan's coming for you
5 Run Homer
10:18
What does Toronto do when Justin Smoak plays like Justin Smoak?
Jeff Sullivan
10:18
Use Steve Pearce at first base more and hope that Melvin Upton does better
jerb
10:18
Jeff, Loved your article on CarMart. If he can start taking down lefties with regularity, do you think he becomes a perennial CY contender?
Jeff Sullivan
10:19
Yeah, at that point he's definitely in the conversation. Question is whether he can actually do that, which is why I offered the Scherzer alternative. Upside in either direction!
Guest
10:20
Statcast data is undoubtedly cool and will provide a ton of new insight, but do you expect it to lead it to any drastically different conclusions with regards to predictive evaluations of players? I.e. do you expect it to unearth anything radical like Miggy isn't a good hitter or is it just the next step in fine-tuning an already good set of analytical tools?
Jeff Sullivan
10:21
Mostly fine-tuning. I think it's interesting to note that projections haven't really gotten markedly better over the last decade or so. All this new knowledge and still players are collectively tough to predict. One big potential consequence is going to be on hitting -- you're clearly seeing more and more hitters talking about the importance of launch angle. The fly balls are coming, and without Statcast, I don't know if that happens
Andrew
10:21
If Giolito ends up never being a productive starter, will the Eaton trade still be viewed as win for the Sox?
Jeff Sullivan
10:22
Well, I like Reynaldo Lopez more than Giolito anyway. But if Giolito is nothing, then the pressure is really on him. So it would be tough to do
dave in slc
10:22
which mariner pitcher has the better year of Paxton and Smyly? Is felix still the best pitcher on the staff?
Jeff Sullivan
10:22
Paxton
Paxton Paxton Paxton
I am all in on James Paxton
Robin
10:24
Dipoto said the Ms targeted eight guys going into the offseason and got them all. Any guesses on who the eight are?
Jeff Sullivan
10:24
Oy. Okay, let's see
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