Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 4/20/20

2:00
Ben Clemens: Hey everybody, and welcome to today’s baseball-ish chat.

2:01
Ben Clemens: Honestly, I’ll try to mostly answer baseball questions but if you have something off the wall, hit me. It’s been a long time since baseball has been played, and I’m going a little stir crazy.

2:01
Overbearing Padre: What would you do to get the Padres ready to contend for a World Series by 2022? Thanks!

2:01
Ben Clemens: Well, I think they’ve done the lion’s share of the hard work already.

2:02
Ben Clemens: That’s holding onto their prospects, giving them a path to the majors, and developing some pitching.

2:02
Ben Clemens: Having Patino in the majors by then would be a huge help, particularly if he pans out.

2:02
Ben Clemens: Their biggest issue at this point isn’t really a lack of stars, and it isn’t, at least completely, a depth story.

2:03
Ben Clemens: It’s a combination of a middling rotation and how much it hurts to have Hosmer at first.

2:03
Ben Clemens: If Franchy and Profar both work out, then they could maybe stand the Profar hit.

2:03
Ben Clemens: Sorry, the Hosmer hit.

2:04
Ben Clemens: But uh, a Hosmer-sized hole in the lineup stings.

2:04
Ben Clemens: That’s the biggest issue to me.

2:04
Chris: I am doing a 1-3 round offline zoom draft every week and this week we are in the 9th round and i have the 6th pick. Was hoping you’d give your rankings 1-6 of who I should take without knowing anything else about the league or my team. My choices are Correa, Sanchez, Jimenez, berrios, merrifield and abreau

2:04
Ben Clemens: This is an incredible idea.

2:04
Ben Clemens: I play poker with friends every week, but I haven’ come up with anything baseball-related to do yet.

2:04
Ben Clemens: I love this though.

2:05
Ben Clemens: As to the rankings; let’s just snap these off, but Berrios, Sanchez, Merrifield, Jimenez, Correa, Abreu

2:05
Derek: OOTP Brewers update?

2:05
Ben Clemens: We’re 11-11!

2:05
Ben Clemens: Our run differential is comically bad, but we’re treading water so far.

2:06
Ben Clemens: Lorenzo Cain has an unbelievably bad batting line, though.

2:06
Ben Clemens: Like, I say unbelievably bad and you think oh anyone can bat .180 for a month.

2:06
Ben Clemens: He’s batting .145/.226/.164

2:06
Ben Clemens: He has one double in 62 PA

2:07
Ben Clemens: That’s a 0 wRC+

2:07
Ben Clemens: Aside from that, things are going pretty well.

2:07
Derek: Did you watch the beginning of the MJ/Bulls documentary on ESPN last night? What baseball figure most deserves a 10-part documentary (maybe excluding Jackie Robinson, since that seems like the obvious answer)?

2:07
Ben Clemens: I didn’t watch it, because my wife and I had a date night, but I’ll probably catch up on it before too long.

2:08
Ben Clemens: Jackie Robinson is definitely the answer, but if we’re excluding that, I would love to see a shorter (not 10-part) documentary on Denny McLain.

2:08
Ben Clemens: I just don’t know nearly enough about him

2:08
Ben Clemens: But for 10 parts? I’d like to see something on the rise and fall of the Mariners.

2:08
Ben Clemens: Jason has written about how they assembled their lineup, which I’ll grab a link for:

2:10
Ben Clemens: That team is just so interesting, though.

2:10
Danny Almonte’s Fastball: What is one aspect about baseball that we do not have a way to quantify that you would really like to know?

2:11
Ben Clemens: I want to know, so badly, which pitchers (or catchers) are the best at throwing batters off via pitch selection.

2:11
Ben Clemens: So like, not a deceptive delivery, not the best stuff.

2:11
Ben Clemens: Just, who throws fastball when they’re guessing curve most often

2:11
Ben Clemens: And so on.

2:11
Ben Clemens: Which pitchers are the best at doing that, which batters guess right most often, etc.

2:11
Ben Clemens: I don’t think it’s quantifiable literally ever.

2:11
Ben Clemens: But I want to know so badly.

2:12
tomerafan: What are your three favorite NON-baseball books of the last couple years?

2:12
Ben Clemens: Ooh, this is a really good question.

2:12
Ben Clemens: I’m going to run to my bookshelf really quickly, be right back.

2:13
Ben Clemens: Okay, my first is a bit of a copout

2:13
Ben Clemens: I read Heart of Darkness a few years ago.

2:13
Ben Clemens: For the first time since high school

2:14
Ben Clemens: Couldn’t recommend it more. It’s incredibly well written, and as I’ve learned more about the Belgian Congo and the Rubber Terror the setting becomes more real and more horrifying.

2:14
Ben Clemens: Another fiction choice: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson.

2:15
Ben Clemens: If you’re into big epic fantasy arcs, the whole Stormlight Archive series is top notch.

2:15
Ben Clemens: Lastly, I really enjoyed The Noble Hustle by Colson Whitehead.

2:15
Ben Clemens: It’s a light travelogue of him playing in the World Series of Poker on assignment to Grantland.

2:15
Ben Clemens: But I love his writing style, and the story flies by.

2:16
Ben Clemens: It made me want to write a book about the drudgery of working an office job, which doesn’t sound like a compliment but really is.

2:16
Turduckenfrank: Following up on your comment about the Mariners deserving a 10-part doc – Not sure if you’re aware, but Jon Bois and Alex Rubenstein (Dorktown) over at SBNation are doing a 6-part, 3-hour documentary series on the Mariners and it’s pretty great!

2:16
Ben Clemens: I had no idea! That’s awesome.

2:16
Ben Clemens: Adding that to the queue immediately.

2:17
Scotty: Got any good recipes you’d like to share? I’m always on the hunt for people’s favorite recipes

2:17
Ben Clemens: I’ll give you a simple one that we made over the weekend: cacio e pepe

2:17
Ben Clemens: We used this as a baseline:

2:18
Ben Clemens: A few substitutions: we used whole wheat pasta because that’s all we have at the moment, and we went with all shredded parmesan rather than parmesan + pecorino.

2:18
Ben Clemens: Also we went ever so slightly lighter on the cooking times because al dente cacio e pepe is amazing.

2:18
Ben Clemens: Not the healthiest meal but if you’ve never had it before, I highly recommend it.

2:19
Ben Clemens: And one side recipe as well

2:19
Ben Clemens: This one from Food Lab by Kenji Lopez-Alt

2:19
Ben Clemens: This is for charred broccoli.

2:19
Ben Clemens: This will sound weird, but bear with me.

2:20
Ben Clemens: First, preheat your oven to 500 degrees with an empty sheet pan (probably covered in tinfoil) already in the oven.

2:20
Ben Clemens: While it’s preheating, toss some broccoli in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

2:20
Ben Clemens: When the oven gets to 500, carefully take the sheet out, plop the broccoli on, and put it back in the oven.

2:21
Ben Clemens: Cook for 10 minutes, shaking the sheet halfway through.

2:21
Ben Clemens: It chars incredibly well with the high temperature, and the inside stays crisp because it doesn’t cook that long.

2:21
Ben Clemens: This concludes Ben’s Cooking Corner

2:21
Danny Almonte’s Fastball: If teams play games without fans, will the Rays have an unacknowledged advantage since they are already used to that?

2:21
Ben Clemens: 🙂

2:21
Ben Clemens: Marlins would be world beaters.

2:23
Sammi from a Brooklyn park bench: Roger Clemens was  roider…FACT…that’s it…that’s the post.

2:23
Ben Clemens: Sadly we aren’t related.

2:23
Ben Clemens: But uh, yeah, I don’t think that’s in much dispute.

2:25
Andrew: What’s the deal with Benitendi? Is he just Markakis or do you see this as a buying opportunity?

2:25
Ben Clemens: Markakis sounds about right.

2:25
Ben Clemens: Not a terrible outcome for him, but probably below median?

2:25
Ben Clemens: He’s been a victim of the ball, I feel like.

2:25
Ben Clemens: His game is just not suited to elevating and celebrating.

2:26
Ben Clemens: A lot of his skills are getting devalued as balls in play happen less frequently, too.

2:26
Roger Goodell’s Basement: Are you going to watch the NFL Draft on Thursday?

2:26
2-D: How do you think the viewership numbers will be for the NFL draft on Thursday? It wouldn’t surprise me either way if it puts up huge numbers or flops. It being the first normal regularly scheduled sporting event in awhile do you think there’s more meaningful conclusions to draw from it?

2:27
Ben Clemens: I’m not a huge football fan, to be honest. My wife is a lifelong Packers fan, so I’ve picked that up, but I grew up in Tennessee and the Titans weren’t around when I was a kid, so it was UT football or nothing.

2:27
Ben Clemens: So I never really got into NFL football, and then college football is just so gross.

2:28
Ben Clemens: As to the viewership numbers; I won’t watch, but I have a feeling the ratings will be high.

2:28
Ben Clemens: Out of necessity, it’s basically all ESPN has talked about in the last month.

2:29
Ben Clemens: And I think that will ramp up the interest.

2:29
Ben Clemens: This Jordan documentary, similarly, is going to have huge ratings.

2:29
Ben Clemens: Bonus cooking content:

2:29
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Heh, lamenting the unhealthiness of cacio e pepe when aglio e olio exists.
To share with the group: made this last week and it was delicious with a bit of sour cream to counteract the chipotle. (We subbed boneless skinless chicken breasts; cook 25 minutes high pressure and quick release. Life pro tip: shred your chicken using a stand mixer. Death to the two forks method.)
https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020043-pressure-cooker-chipotle-h…

2:30
Ben Clemens: I don’t have a pressure cooker, but the stand mixer thing is awesome.

2:30
Ben Clemens: We slow cook chicken and pork pretty often and switched to stand mixer shredding last year on a tip from my family.

2:30
Ben Clemens: This sounds great, though.

2:30
Ben Clemens: Cooking is becoming a lot bigger part of my life now that I’m just home all the time.

2:30
Jerome: How accurate are the player ratings in OOPT? Whose potential production do OOTP and FanGraphs disagree on most?

2:31
Ben Clemens: So, I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn when I say that OOTP is partially driven by ZiPS.

2:31
Ben Clemens: That said, it then applies a random bump to players, so you can’t exactly 1:1 them.

2:31
Ben Clemens: But in my league, at least, Kyle Tucker is the player that is the worst in OOTP relative to what ZiPS thinks of him.

2:32
Derek: Did you ever end up checking out The Mandalorian?

2:32
Ben Clemens: Not yet! I actually haven’t watched much TV at all in the last few weeks.

2:32
Ben Clemens: Got really into Pandemic Legacy, did a puzzle, and have been doing a lot of crosswords and reading.

2:32
Ben Clemens: But I think you (or potentially another commenter in the same discussion) have convinced me that I should watch Clone Wars first.

2:33
tommy: Ben – Oil futures just went negative!

2:33
Ben Clemens: Here’s a shock: I already knew that!

2:33
Ben Clemens: (only because my friend texted me about it earlier)

2:33
Ben Clemens: But this is the kind of goofy stuff that I loved when I was still in finance.

2:33
Ben Clemens: Delivery squeezes on futures are just like

2:33
Ben Clemens: I kind of understand those

2:33
Ben Clemens: But a reverse squeeze is pretty funny

2:34
Ben Clemens: It’s hard to exactly comprehend how this will pan out (I didn’t trade commods and so I don’t know the ins and outs of the contract)

2:34
Ben Clemens: But like

2:34
Ben Clemens: Get paid

2:34
Ben Clemens: To receive oil

2:34
Ben Clemens: lol

2:34
2-D: How are you liking Donkhouse? My game has been using that too with video chatting and it’s been pretty solid.

2:34
Ben Clemens: I’ve been loving it.

2:34
Ben Clemens: Their switch to parallel has totally gotten rid of the lag and load issues.

2:34
Ben Clemens: And it really gives off a home game feel, with the straddles and run it twices and everything.

2:35
Ben Clemens: I just think that the overall feeling of it, if you have a Zoom chat going too, almost feels like you’re in person

2:35
Ben Clemens: I am probably going to end up having a virtual home game a lot more often, even after quarantine restrictions are lifted.

2:35
Jhonnie: You buying into Buxton this year or is he a lost cause?

2:35
Ben Clemens: Strong buy from me

2:36
Ben Clemens: Health is a skill, etc. etc.

2:36
Ben Clemens: And that’s really worrisome.

2:36
Ben Clemens: But his defense is just so good that his floor is really high.

2:36
Ben Clemens: Any offense is just gravy.

2:37
Out of shape?: Are these boys going to be in better shape (because they had an ST, and have presumably kept working out, then will prepare again) or worse shape if we started in mid- or late-summer?

2:37
Ben Clemens: I’m thinking out of shape. I get that these guys are not like you and me, but working out by yourself never seems to work as well as doing so with a trainer.

2:37
Ben Clemens: Add that to the fact that they won’t have throwing partners, BP, facilities with the right weights and tools

2:38
Ben Clemens: I think that some guys will be fine, and then some are just going to be at home doing pushups and taking dry swings in their backyard.

2:38
Derek: The Twins have the potential to be super fun – Buxton, Arraez, Astudillo, 40-year-old Nelson Cruz still kicking ass…

2:38
Ben Clemens: I kinda disagree, but only in that I think they’re already super fun.

2:38
Ben Clemens: Don’t forget Berrios

2:39
Ben Clemens: And I like Taylor Rogers a ton too.

2:39
Ben Clemens: Sinker-heavy closers are fun to me for some reason.

2:39
Out of shape?: I went to see a sort of exhibition during the 1998 NBA lockout and woof, those boys were…. not sharp! But I’ll be happy to see them if we get to.

2:39
Out of shape?: Maybe someone like an Ottavino type (not specifically him, though maybe) who clearly does a lot of solo work will have an advantage.

2:39
Ben Clemens: Yes I totally believe this. I’m willing to bet that Trout will have an advantage because he’s an absolute crazy person

2:39
Ben Clemens: When it comes to training.

2:39
Ben Clemens: Trevor Bauer probably will as well, for similar reasons.

2:40
Ben Clemens: Unless he’s out protesting at Reopen marches instead of working on his pitching, which is the only political commentary I plan on making today.

2:41
Sammi from a Brooklyn park bench: What do you make of guys like Trout and Kersh coming out skeptical about having a season this year.  Certainly not a good look for someone making hundreds of millions of dollars.  Probably best to keep quite or at least sound hopeful if being asked…thoughts?

2:41
Ben Clemens: Eh, disagree.

2:41
Ben Clemens: They’re giving up their salary if they stay home.

2:42
Ben Clemens: I don’t begrudge someone wanting to stay with their family in a time like this.

2:42
Ben Clemens: Kershaw has three kids, one of whom is like 3 months old.

2:42
Ben Clemens: I’m picturing telling my wife I’m leaving her for my super important job, and she’ll just have to self isolate and deal with it herself.

2:42
Ben Clemens: I don’t have any kids, and that stlil wouldn’t fly.

2:43
Ben Clemens: And it shouldn’t! I’d be just as angry if she did the same.

2:43
Ben Clemens: It’s not like they’re off fighting a war or something.

2:43
Goldirocks: You have to read the whole stormlight series in order to make sense of it. You’re right; Epic!  Try Sanderson’s Mistborn series also. Just as great! Both much Better than any movie or TV series…

2:44
Ben Clemens: ah yeah, good point. My stepbrother actually gave me Oathbringer as a wedding present, and after about three pages I bought the first two books and read them instead.

2:44
Ben Clemens: Oh, so I suppose that’s within the last three years — I’ll just count the whole series as the book I named, then.

2:45
Out of shape?: Who wants a season more, the owners or the players?

2:45
Ben Clemens: Hm. Probably owners?

2:45
Ben Clemens: But I don’t feel all that certain of that. Depends on what discussions they’ve had with their TV partners.

2:46
Friar Fatness: Which position players should the Padres most aggressively target this offseason? Betts? Springer? Trade for Jose Ramirez?

2:46
Ben Clemens: I’m not really sure if they have the financial muscle to go after Betts, but he’d be my pick for sure.

2:46
Ben Clemens: Hosmer again!

2:46
Ben Clemens: Curses

2:47
Ben Clemens: If J Ram is available, yeah, I wouldn’t mind consolidating some prospects to trade for him. But I like the Betts plan more — so maybe just grow some financial flexibility and sign Betts

2:47
Ben Clemens: There’s an argument to be made that $/WAR is going to be way lower next year.

2:47
Ben Clemens: Recession and all

2:47
Ben Clemens: But then the team could afford less.

2:47
Ben Clemens: Not exactly sure what the net of all that is.

2:48
Derek: It is seeming increasingly unlikely that we have a season… It would be a massive undertaking and yeah, the leaving families behind thing would be absolutely brutal. Doesn’t help that we have such a… erm… lack of direction? sure, a “lack of direction” from important political figures that should be a vital part in any decision to reopen anything.

2:48
Ben Clemens: Yeah, that’s increasingly my view as well.

2:48
Ben Clemens: I’m not happy about it.

2:48
Ben Clemens: But golf needs a million tests to reopen

2:48
Ben Clemens: And like, golf!

2:48
Ben Clemens: And that’s for 14 tournaments in 4 months

2:50
Ben Clemens: Baseball would need so many multliples of that it’s hard to think about

2:50
Sammi from a Brooklyn park bench: More futile attempt at a baseball career Michael Jordan or Tim Tebow?

2:50
Ben Clemens: I’d say Jordan, though not because he was worse or anything.

2:50
Ben Clemens: It’s because basketball was always going to call him back

2:50
Ben Clemens: Tebow’s ceiling in football was midrange starter, not best ever.

2:51
Ben Clemens: I will say that I saw Jordan play (he played for the Birmingham Barons in the Southern League, and the Knoxville Smokies were my local team)

2:51
Ben Clemens: And it was hilarious to watch how fast he was in contrast with how bad he was at hte plate.

2:53
Treatment: A treatment that works is the only way I think we have a chance at not suffering under this foolishness for as long as we could. (And then they’ll say it wasn’t that bad!) There are some options that might work. Making it nondeadly would honestly be bmy best hope anyway, because not everyone takes vaccines…

2:54
Ben Clemens: Yeah, a treatment feels very far off though. And ugh, anti-vaxxers, just ugh.

2:54
Ben Clemens: I am going to leave it at that.

2:54
Ben Clemens: This chat keeps flirting with me doing social commentary :/

2:55
Pepper: Pablo Lopez.  I watch him pitch and think I really like the cut of his jib.   Then I see his middling numbers.   Any real hope he can make a jump into top 35 of starters?

2:55
Ben Clemens: Yeah, for sure

2:56
Ben Clemens: I think that he’s got the stuff to do it.

2:56
Ben Clemens: So it comes down to just mixing it up a little better.

2:56
Ben Clemens: I wouldn’t hate fewer fastballs, even though his is great.

2:57
Ben Clemens: Good fastball good changeup is just such a nice building block for a starter.

2:57
Sammi from a Brooklyn park bench: Better shot at making #5 SP…Dobnak(Min), Kwang Kim (StL) or Sandoval (LAA)?

2:57
Ben Clemens: I think that Kim is the best of the three.

2:58
Ben Clemens: Really into him, think that he’s going under-drafted in fantasy and under-talked about by Cardinals fans.

2:58
Ben Clemens: But that said, with Mikolas likely recovered by the time the season starts (if it does), it’s a tough rotation to crack.

2:58
Ben Clemens: Tougher than the Angels’ rotation, at least, which makes Sandoval my pick.

2:59
Ben Clemens: Not that he’s great, but with no Stripling, they just need bodies.

2:59
swansby danson: Did you follow the MLB dream bracket games today?  Yankees still look to be a favorite, winning their series 4-2 against the Mariners but, as we all expected, Jamie Moyer went 7 shutout innings against a lineup of Jeter/DiMaggio/Ruth/Gehrig/Mantle/Reggie/etc.

2:59
Ben Clemens: Nope, but that’s awesome.

2:59
Ben Clemens: Jamie Moyer is the best.

2:59
Tracy: Is Voit going to play every day? Is he capable of 30/100?

2:59
Ben Clemens: Play every day? I thikn so.

2:59
Ben Clemens: And a pro-rated 30/100? Definitely within range.

3:00
Ben Clemens: I don’t think anyone is capable of 30 or 100 this year though.

3:00
Ben Clemens: CLK0 update, for the incredibly narrow subset of readers who care about this but aren’t also just looking at it on BBG or something: CLK0 hit -40.32 at one point. That’s just, like…. expiries are goofy.

3:00
BASEBALL SZN: Another Sanderson reader!  I haven’t read Stormlight Archive yet, but Mistborn is an all-time series for me.  Have you checked that out?

3:01
Ben Clemens: I’ve read some of them, but a while ago.

3:01
Ben Clemens: I’m on a baseball book kick right now, but when I switch back to fiction, I need to read the latest Expanse book and then I’m considering Mistborn.

3:01
Derek: My OOTP game just finished up the 2024 season and Yordan Alvarez hit 71 home runs and had like a 210 wRC+. And I wasn’t even surprised.

3:01
Ben Clemens: Oh, so you’re saying it does a good job of reflecting real life then?

3:02
Ben Clemens: I’m really high on Alvarez

3:02
Ben Clemens: I mean, that’s still preposterous

3:02
Ben Clemens: But I buy him as one of the best hitters of his generation.

3:02
Ben Clemens: Early? Maybe

3:03
Ben Clemens: But he just does everything so well, and it’s hard to produce at his level for as long as he did without being great.

3:04
Nat Pack: Does the Astros scandal make the 2019 Nationals arguably one of the most impressive World Series champions of all time?

3:04
Ben Clemens: Not really sure what impressive means, but they’re one of the teams whose win was best for baseball

3:04
Ben Clemens: And their degree of difficulty was insanely high.

3:04
Ben Clemens: If you had some narrative scale, difficulty of journey + fun stories on team + legacy importance

3:04
Ben Clemens: They’re wayyyy up there.

3:05
Ben Clemens: Scherzer, Stras, Zimmerman are all HOF-ish guys who didn’t have rings, Soto is the best, and beating the evil cheaters right after the cheaters’ AGM boasted about how much he likes domestic violence?

3:05
Ben Clemens: And it saved baseball having the reigning world series champions have their GM and manager suspended

3:06
Ben Clemens: So in that sense, yeah.

3:06
Luis: What are Yandy’s prospects for a true breakout this year? Will he play everyday?

3:06
Ben Clemens: Let’s just assume this means next year for now so I don’t have to be grumpy about the likelihood of baseball this year.

3:06
Ben Clemens: I don’t really buy it. The Rays are teaching Tsutsugo third

3:06
Ben Clemens: And they’re platoon-happy

3:07
Ben Clemens: I mean ,there’s always a chance, but if we’re talking All-Star, 5 WAR kinda guy, I’m not buying it.

3:07
Justin Verlander: Am I the 3rd best SP right now behind Cole and deGrom?  Who dares to challenge me?

3:08
Ben Clemens: I’m not sure who’s the third best, but I am sure that there’s a big drop off after the top two.

3:08
Ben Clemens: Third-best — I’d buy Verlander, Stras, or Scherzer.

3:08
Ben Clemens: Maybe Flaherty or Buehler?

3:08
Ben Clemens: Sale if he’s healthy by the time baseball comes back.

3:09
Ben Clemens: Yu Darvish is in this range if he’s his second-half self.

3:09
Ben Clemens: But none of those are close to DG and Cole

3:09
Pepper: Austin Riley smells like a bust to me.   In a non sexual sense, of course.   Odds he becomes a top 12 3B

3:09
Ben Clemens: Lol

3:09
Ben Clemens: I like Riley!

3:09
Ben Clemens: I might be the only one, it certainly feels that way sometimes.

3:09
Ben Clemens: But I’ll say 40%

3:10
Ben Clemens: Maybe higher, maybe like 55%, but with a lot of those outcomes in the 10 range

3:10
Ben Clemens: He obviously wasn’t great in 2019, but the power is so real that if he can just get his strikeouts down to oof instead of OOOOOOOOF everything will work.

3:11
Reid: I find the best parts of OOTP are the outlier seasons that can *theoretically* happen in real life but don’t because there’s only one season a year, etc. etc. 2023 Wander Franco just posted a 12.5 WAR season for my Rays on the back of a 199 WRC+.

3:12
Ben Clemens: Definitely agree.

3:12
Ben Clemens: OOTP is fun for a lot of reasons, but crazy goofy seasons are some of the best.

3:12
Pepper: Maybe it scares me that he’s busy retooling his swing after he got taken advantage of during 2nd half.   Riley, that is.

3:12
Ben Clemens: Yeah, it’s a real worry. I think his bust rate is higher than you’d like for a top 30-ish prospect

3:13
Ben Clemens: But I dunno, I just think his carrying tool is so loud that he can probably at least make something work.

3:13
Pi Rate: Do you have a current comp to Oniel Cruz once he’s up?

3:13
Ben Clemens: Godzilla destroying Tokyo

3:13
Derek: I think amateur drafts for all sports just make for fundamentally uninteresting television… Networks have done what they can in recent years to make them watchable but I have a hard time seeing this draft making for good television. This maybe (likely?) won’t necessarily correlate with the ratings, but ultimately it’s just a list of names next to a list of teams, and this year without much of the manufactured pomp & circumstance that has come with the NFL draft in particular

3:13
Ben Clemens: Long-past callback alert, but yes, I agree.

3:14
Ben Clemens: I have at times watched the NBA draft for the funny suits, but that doesn’t even seem to happen anymore.

3:14
Ben Clemens: There’s no real drama that you can’t get from phone alerts.

3:14
Ben Clemens: So I’m not going to waste my time watching it. The pacing is awful.

3:15
Pepper: Roger Clemens will challenge Verlander……but that’s just the road rage talking.

3:15
Ben Clemens: With a sawed-off bat

3:15
Sam: Another documentary idea: Satchel Paige, if only to try to discern between the man and the myth

3:16
Ben Clemens: I’d watch the heck out of this. Bill Veeck, too, though Veeck as in Wreck kind of does that already.

3:16
Ben Clemens: I’m not sure how much I believe the stories in Veeck as in Wreck, though, so that complicates that one.

3:18
blue: What will Padres Patino turn into?

3:19
Ben Clemens: I’m not sure I can top my Godzilla comparison, but Patino is really fun to dream on

3:19
Ben Clemens: Here’s Eric on him:

3:19
Ben Clemens: Lol at 60 command sitting 93-97

3:20
Ben Clemens: He’s just so fun, and potentially dominant.

3:20
Ben Clemens: If he’s good, he’ll look like deGrom or something like that but toned down.

3:20
Ben Clemens: Bonkers fastball, backs it up with a good slider, great command.

3:20
Guest: Seems you’re amenable to fantasy questions; if not, apologies. Assuming 2020 happens in some form, who would you take as your 6th keeper (after: Yelich $62, Cole $34, Buehler $7, Ryu  $5, Eduardo Escobar $2): Soler $14, Kepler $1, Boyd $4, Trea Turner $53. $270 budget, 13 teams, 9X9 but assume 5X5  + OBP to keep it simple. Not afraid of having a ton of $ tied up in keepers (i.e., Turner gambit) if it seems worth it. Thanks!

3:21
Ben Clemens: Totally happy to take fantasy questions, though I’m not an expert, particularly in keeper stuff

3:21
Ben Clemens: I’m not as hyped about Boyd as some of the Roto guys are

3:21
Ben Clemens: I think he’s a third starter type, they think he’s Gerrit Cole in a wig, give or take

3:22
Ben Clemens: I’d be tempted to just take Kepler for the price. Turner is awesome but I think that makes for a really fragile team. I’d keep him at 40 or something.

3:22
Ben Clemens: But again, this is not really my area of expertise even within fantasy.

3:22
Ben Clemens: I feel like league context matters a lot

3:23
JoBoozer right about now: What exactly was the premise behind coring out bats and putting superballs in the cored out space?  I get corking to make the bat lighter, but superballs???

3:23
Ben Clemens: Hm.

3:23
Ben Clemens: I’m guessing it has some coefficient of restitution thing going on

3:24
Ben Clemens: Like, super balls really do have a higher coefficient of restitution, they bounce off of things without losing much momentum at all

3:24
Ben Clemens: but how does that work in wood? No idea

3:24
Ben Clemens: I’m totally willing to believe that you could make a bat that trampolines a baseball; that’s basically all metal bats are

3:24
Ben Clemens: But I’m not a materials science person, so no clue how to do that.

3:25
Ben Clemens: I’m pretty sure that super balls wouldn’ work, but I see the thikning behind it, I’m just skeptical that it’s any better than cork.

3:25
Pepper: Wouldn’t it be fun if Colorado pushed all in on their young hitters and found the full time at bats for McMahon, Rodgers, hampson, Hilliard.

3:25
Ben Clemens: Yes! I don’t know why they don’t do this

3:25
Ben Clemens: They weren’t headed for 94 wins, whatever Dick Monfort thinks.

3:25
Ben Clemens: Let the kids air it out

3:26
Ben Clemens: I’m still a believe in Rodgers, but it sure seems like the Rockies aren’t, they never give him enough run.

3:27
Derek: But he interpolated, Ben!

3:27
Ben Clemens: Sometime I’d like to do a live stream of Dan and I trying to interpolate our way to 94 wins

3:27
Ben Clemens: But seriously, not in the sarcastic and mean style we generally both use when we talk Rockies

3:27
Pepper: i Read different thoughts on Rodgers ranging from 25-30 hr guy to a 10-15 hr guy.   Perhaps Rockies see the latter?

3:28
Ben Clemens: Yeah I mean that must be it, but why not find out?

3:28
JoBoozer right about now: Are you partaking in 4/20 today?

3:28
Ben Clemens: Couldn’t possibly comment, but if you, reader, want to, please do so responsibly.

3:28
Ben Clemens: i.e. stay inside, you dopes

3:28
Trivia: Name the 2 players who won MVPs in 30% or more of their seasons

3:28
Ben Clemens: Late-chat trivia:

3:29
Ben Clemens: So I haven’t looked this up at all, just guessing.

3:29
Ben Clemens: Bonds seems like a lock

3:29
Ben Clemens: If I remember correctly, Babe Ruth played most of his career with no MVP award

3:30
Ben Clemens: Oh

3:30
Ben Clemens: It’s gonna be Trout I think

3:30
Ben Clemens: he has 3, and he hasn’t played for 10 years

3:30
Ben Clemens: Okay Bonds and Trout are my guesses.

3:30
LK: Who has a better season, Bichette or Guerrero?  I asked the same question back in 1999.

3:31
Ben Clemens: Gimme Vlad. Think people are way too down on him

3:31
Sammi from a Brooklyn park bench: Why are there locks on the doors of 7/11’s when they’re open 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 a year?

3:31
Ben Clemens: Leap Day.

3:32
Ben Clemens: I mean…. likely so that if the one person on duty needs to go to the bathroom at 3 a.m. or whatever, they can briefly lock up?

3:32
Ben Clemens: But I’m going with 711 is closed on leap day

3:33
Cliff on baseball: You would have to think that Cy Young’s 749 complete game total is a record that will stand for ever…

3:33
Ben Clemens: Until we go into 1-inning octuple-headers to get a season in.

3:33
Ben Clemens: Yeah, never being broken.

3:33
Ben Clemens: Never ever ever.

3:34
Cliff on baseball: Reggie Jackson struck out 2597 times…he must have sucked!

3:35
Ben Clemens: Looking at the strikeout leaderboard, a lot of the names make sense.

3:36
Ben Clemens: Lol at Mark Reynolds being top 10 all time in farrrrrrr fewer games than everyone else.

3:36
Ben Clemens: But a surprising name, for me, is Curtis Granderson.

3:36
Ben Clemens: Like I knew he struck out a lot, but 10th all time

3:36
Ben Clemens: He was always more of a true outcomes guy than I gave him credit for.

3:36
LK: How about modern (non-asterisk) records that should stand forever?  Rickey says Rickey’s 130 SB.

3:36
Cliff on baseball: Hugh Nicol stole more bases in a single season than Ricky Henderson.

3:37
Ben Clemens: Sam Miller did a good thing about this once.

3:37
Ben Clemens: So I won’t try to steal his thunder.

3:38
Ben Clemens: He actually had 36 triples as the most unbreakable record.

3:38
Ben Clemens: I’m kinda into that

3:38
Ben Clemens: Lol 36

3:38
Ben Clemens: Come onnnnnnnn

3:38
Ben Clemens: Bob Gibson’s 13 shutouts is solid too

3:39
Ben Clemens: And my goodness, Bonds had a .609 OBP one year

3:39
Ben Clemens: Okay maybe that

3:39
Ben Clemens: Just go read the article, I guess is the point.

3:41
Ben Clemens: On that note, I’m heading out. Going to grab some lunch, and then do some writing. If you’re into more WS tactics articles, cool. I’m also trying to figure out who the best bunter in baseball is.

3:41
Ben Clemens: In the meantime, have a great day everyone, and please keep safe.





Ben is a contributor to FanGraphs. A lifelong Cardinals fan, he got his start writing for Viva El Birdos. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.

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Dave Alden
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Dave Alden

Bonds and Trout are correct on the 30% MVP question, but Campanella is also at 30%.