Archive for Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert: Baltimore Orioles Farm System

I recently had the opportunity to pose a few questions to Jordan Tuwiner of about some of the young players in the Orioles system.  Who has potential to make an impact in 2011?  Who appears primed to be their top prospect heading into 2011?  Let’s take a look at what he had to say? 

1. Of the Orioles young starting pitchers, who do you think has the highest upside for the remainder of 2010?  Would the answer be different for 2011?  How about beyond?
Jordan Tuwiner: Brian Matusz has the stuff and ability to put up a sub 4 ERA season with a solid 8/K9 rate. If he can get his head straight he has the highest upside for this season because he has the ability to make adjustments quickly, while I don’t see the other young starters doing that. Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz are the only ones that have true “ace” potential. Tillman needs to make some mechanical adjustments before he can pitch successfully in the majors. 

2. What type of impact do you see Josh Bell making both in 2010 and beyond?
Jordan Tuwiner: I don’t see Bell becoming a superstar type player. I see him as a solid regular who will hit around .250-.260 with 25-30 home runs. He’ll strikeout a lot.  Read more

RP Mailbag: Trade for a Third Basemen, Or Look Elsewhere?

by Jimmy Hascup

With the season just starting, it’s important not to get rid of a player just because he started the first few games slowly. By the same token, it’s also important to recognize when you can flip a “hot” player when he’s at his peak, while realizing it’s not likely that he continues the year at the same pace. I’m one of the most active traders in all of my leagues, so I understand what it’s like to want to act on a whim and make some deals to shake up your squad. While I’m not going to advocate that you wait out the first few weeks of the season, I am going to recommend the utmost caution.

With that background on my philosophy early in the season down, a twist was thrown my way when RP reader, Matthew F., sent me over a possible trade scenario he may consider in his dynasty league.

League Logistics: 11 teams, each team drops only six players at the end of the season. His league also starts two infielders at each infield position. He’s in his fourth year in an established league, at the tail end of a rebuilding mode.

C – Chris Ianetta, Mike Napoli

1B – Miguel Cabrera, Kendry Morales, Chris Davis

2B – Placido Polanco, Sean Figgins (when he gains eligibility), Sean Rodriguez, Scott Sizmore

SS – Alexi Ramirez, Ian Desmond

3B – Pablo Sandoval, Chase Headley, (Polanco/Figgins also eligible)

OF – Ryan Braun, Hunter Pence, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Coghlan, Jason Bay, Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold

P – Ubaldo Jimenez, Chad Billingsley, Gavin Floyd, Kevin Slowey, Brian Matusz, Rick Porcello, Scott Kazmir, Jonathan Broxton, Aardsma, Chris Perez, Ryan Madson

Question: From Matt: “I’ve considered trying to trade Ryan Braun for a elite 3b, but should I be, or would I be better off keeping Braun and hoping Headley will eventually begin to show through with some of his potential? Or are there any other options I’d be better off waiting for.  Alvarez is not avaliable.”

Read more

Want Your Voice Heard?

by Jimmy Hascup

Since I know most of the loyal readers out there normally send your fantasy trades/trade offers/questions over to the Rotoprofessor, I’m going allow you to do the same to me for the next week and a half.

If anyone would like to get some trade advice or have me assess whether or not you “won” or “lost” a trade, please email me at Make the subject heading along the lines of “RP Trade Advice.” Depending on how many emails I get (or don’t get), I will post it up and provide a brief rundown of how I think you did. Then, we can get all the readers to weigh in on it, as well.

You can also email me – or post on the site – if you want me to write about someone specific. Also, if you have a “story of the night” that you feel strongly about, shoot me an email, and I’ll give you credit for the idea on the next morning’s recap!

I’m not the RP, but I’ll do my best to post something on most days he’s not around, or pass it along to him when he gets back. You guys have been instrumental in the site’s success and I want your voice to be heard, too!

Ask the Expert: 2009 Top Prospects

This week we have a special little treat, as John Sickels of joined us for the latest edition of “Ask the Expert”.  He is one of the best in the business when it comes to prospects and really helps to give us an insight as to what we could expect from many of the prospects that could make an impact this season.

So, without further adieu, let’s get to it:

1) Which Rangers pitching prospect do you see having the best chance to produce in the major leagues this season, Neftali Feliz or Derek Holland?  How about in the future?

John Sickels: Well I think Feliz has the higher ceiling, so in the future he is, in theory, capable of producing more. Granted with pitchers there are so many caveats that even with the best pitching prospect there is no firm guarantee. In terms of 2009, I think they both need a good additional dose of the high minors. Holland’s command is ahead of Feliz’s at this point, and that might give him an edge in terms of immediate production.

2) There are a few young catchers outside of Matt Wieters who seem to be on the verge of making the majors in 2009.  Do you see either J.P. Arencibia or Angel Salome making an impact this season?  Are there any other catchers who could?

John Sickels: Taylor Teagarden seems the best candidate, since he has a great glove to go along with the power in his bat. . .he’s not going to hit for average over the course of a full season, but he should provide some power. Arencibia has really improved defensively, and has tons of power, but his strike zone judgment is so awful right now that I think he really needs another year in the minors. Salome’s bat is special, but scouts still provide mixed reviews about his defense, praising his arm strength but criticizing his footwork and overall size. . .he’s very short for a catcher. But he’s a masher with the bat, no question. Read more

Ask the Expert: Cincinnati Reds

We return with the latest Ask the Expert, this time with John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (to read his blog, click here).  He gave us some insight into the team’s plans for their young starters, their line-up, what to expect from Jay Bruce and so much more.  Let’s take a look at what he had to say:

1) There are always fears about pushing young pitchers too hard and risking injury.  After bursting onto the scene in ’08, can we expect any limitations put on Edinson Volquez or Johnny Cueto this season?  What type of production do you expect from them?

John Fay: Neither Cueto nor Volquez pitched very much in Winter Ball. I think you’ll see them approach 200 innings, if healthy. My guess is Volquez takes a slight step back. You can’t expect him to go 17-6 again. I think Cueto will be better, if he matures. His emotions cost him at times last year.

2) After years of having Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn filling the middle of the Reds line-up, have you heard anything about how the team may construct their 2009 line-up?  Where are players like Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion and Brandon Phillips expected to slot in?

John Fay: The lineup will be Taveras, the left fielder, Votto, Phillips, Bruce, Encarnacion, Gonzalez and Hernandez to start. My guess is Dickerson and Jerry Hairston Jr. will share left. Read more

Ask the Expert: Kansas City Royals

For this week’s Ask the Expert, I had the chance to pose questions to Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star (to read from him click here).  He gave us an inside look at the upcoming season for the Royals, a team filled with questions.  Among the players discussed include Alex Gordon, Joakim Soria, Mike Aviles and so much more.  So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at what he had to say:

1. Billy Butler or Alex Gordon?  Who do you think has the better chance of finally realizing their full potential in 2009 and why?

Sam Mellinger: Gordon is closer. He’s older, and besides having one more year in the bigs, he was showing real signs last year. His OPS jumped the second half of the year, those flashes of big-time power are coming more often, and he’s taking more walks, which scouts will tell you is a promising sign that a guy’s about to emerge.

2. Joakim Soria emerged as one of the best closers in baseball last season.  What can you tell us about his stuff and why he could duplicate the performance he put on last season?

Sam Mellinger: We’re past the point where we need to worry about whether Soria is for real. He is. He’s just ice cold, never rattled, and gets good hitters out the same as the bad ones. His fastball is low 90s, but he’s got terrific command, very good at hitting his spots and keeping it at the knees. With two strikes, he sometimes goes to this loopy curveball, almost an eephus pitch, that shows up on the radar gun in the 60s and is the pitch that often makes hitters take some of the weakest swings you’ll see. The Royals don’t have a lot of guys who are among the very best in baseball at what they do, but Soria is one of them. Actually, he’s probably the only one. For fantasy purposes, your only hesitation should be whether you want a closer who pitches on a team that’s on the wrong side of .500. Read more