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June 19, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Pierre Becquey

Mark (Cary, NC)

Pierre, thanks for your time and expert analysis. I was hoping you could discuss Aaron Hill. Do you see a big 2nd half dropoff coming? I'm concerned and debating whether I should try to sell high in a package deal and grab Jose Lopez, who I figure could easily outproduce him from here on out. Thanks!

Pierre Becquey
  (3:04 PM)

I do see a bit of a drop-off in power, but not much. Hill's a good hitter, he's using a heavier bat this season, which accounts for the power increase, so I do see him being productive, especially in that lineup. That said, I think he slows down and settles to about 25 HRs. I do think Lopez is a comparable hitter, minus the batting average, so if that fits your logic, go for it.

Stephen ((IL))

Would you consider trading Mauer for Tex in a keeper league?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:04 PM)

Yeah. I think you'll see Tex ranked ahead of Mauer the next few years, and if anything, Tex carries significantly less injury risk.

Ed (Los Angeles)

Will Carp stay up or get PT when Branyan comes back?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:06 PM)

An interesting question. I like that Carp was hitting second yesterday (in a very "day game" lineup, mind you) and if he hits for the next few, I could see him staying up and taking time from Branyan. The Mariners (and Branyan's fantasy owners) must know that they've gotten the best out of Russell this season and if Carp can hit for power with better than a .260 average, I'd start him over Branyan in a heartbeat.

Jimmy (Heaven)

Magglio was just dropped in my league. Should I use my waiver priority on him or is he done foe the year?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:08 PM)

That's a question with many possible answers. In a lot of cases... yeah, I do, as long as I have a bench spot for him. And especially if I'm not front-running. Maggs is a player you can take a chance on, just like Ortiz was at the beginning of June, or Liriano, or any of the other guys that are not doing what they're "supposed" to do.

JJ (Tulsa)

With the latest setback, is it time to cut ties with Brandon Webb? FA pitchers include Scherzer, Floyd, Porcello, Blanton, Penny, and Richmond.

Pierre Becquey
  (3:09 PM)

I'd cut Webb for Scherzer right now in a heartbeat. If anything, you're coming out ahead in wins and Ks.

Grant (Chicago)

Care to risk naming names on SP for keeper leaguers: whom would be your top 10, say, off the cuff? Merci beacoup!

Pierre Becquey
  (3:12 PM)

Sure, why the heck not. You can all start your "what about...." rantings as soon as I forget someone. So, say, for the next two seasons, my top guys would be: Santana, Halladay, Haren, Gallardo, Greinke, Hamels, Lincecum, Billingsley, Felix, Josh Johnson.

Pierre Becquey
  (3:12 PM)

What? No Chris Carpenter? Too injury prone. What, no Matt Cain? He's in the top 15. What, no Johnny Cueto or Edinson Volquez? No, they're not in that top tier.... Anyone else?

Mike (MA)

Kyle Blanks just got called up. Do you expect him to make any sort of impact in '09? What are your projections?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:14 PM)

Well, he'll have an impact inasmuch as he could immediatly be the second-best hitter in San Diego. I think he can hit for average and maybe a dozen homers. Worth grabbing in a deep league but not likely to shake up the ESPN Standard League world.

tommy (syracuse)

would you pick up Alex Gordon if your 1b/3b is weak?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:15 PM)

Yeah, I would... but don't count on him until the All-Star break. After that.... you gotta like the possibilities. He has the upside to be an impact second-half player, and if you're weak at a position, that's what you gotta look for on the wire.

Seth (Denver)

What's the best policy if I don't have my question answered initially: assume you thought it was a dumb question and let it go or assume you just are inundated with questions and try again? And which would you take for the rest of the year and/or as a keeper for next: Holliday or Markakis?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:17 PM)

That's one of the most considerate ways anyone has asked that question. Thanks, Seth. Just so everyone knows, here are my do's and don'ts for this chat: 1 - Ask a question with mass appeal. 2 - Ask a question which appeals to me, personally. 3 - Don't keep asking the same one over and over again and think I'm going to select it. Keep yourself to about once every two minutes. I think that's reasonable. and 4 - Don't whine about what I chose to answer or that yours isn't getting picked. I have four kids. I get enough of that at home.

Pierre Becquey
  (3:18 PM)

As for the answer to your question: I'd go with Holliday, but it's very close.

Sam (Seattle)

What about Felix? Is he breaking out this year or should I be shopping him? Thanks.

Pierre Becquey
  (3:19 PM)

I think he's the real deal. He finally got through a May unscathed (relatively) which had been his problem in past years. I think the stats are totally legit.

Adam (Chicago)

You said Alex Gordon could be impact player after the All-Star break, impact meaning better, even or less that Mike Lowell?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:22 PM)

I'd say better. Mike Lowell doesn't have a very good history of coming up with good second halves. If you can trade away Lowell and pick up Gordon, I'd probably do that.

matt (seattle)

Ben Zobrist. Hot name lately, but now that he's getting enough ABs to "qualify", he's FIRST in the AL in OPS!! I mean, is 30 HR out of the question for him?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:24 PM)

No, it's not out of the question. The power is legitimate enough that he could hit 5 more a month the rest of the way, which would put him right in that area to finish. But do I think he's going to finish with a 1.080 OPS? No, not a chance. He's good, but he's not THAT good.

hank (phila)

What are your thoughts on Toronto SP Richmond?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:26 PM)

I like him, but I'm only cautiously optomistic. He's coming off the best game of his career so far, but he hasn't seen many teams for a second/third time, and I'm not sure how he'll fare when he crosses the 160 IP mark. That said, I'd execpt approx. a 3.80 ERA/1.30 WHIP with 7 K/9 the rest of the way, and that's pretty darn useful.

Johnny (Harlem)

Downs on the DL, (disabled list, not down low...), who to pick up? Capps, Troncoso, Ramon Ramirez, Masset, Masterson, JP Howell? Merci beaucoup mec!

Pierre Becquey
  (3:27 PM)

Capps? Matt Capps? What has 16 saves and needs to be picked up immidiately in your league? If you don't know the answer....

MC Welk (SLC)

Time to cut bait on Pierre? (Juan, that is)

Pierre Becquey
  (3:28 PM)

Yeah, it's pretty safe to. Manny's back in two weeks and Pierre is scuffling. Find someone else.

Tom (PA)

Waiver wire pick up for saves...Bailey or Howel ?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:28 PM)

Bailey. He's a lot safer bet to get the ball in a save opps, whereas Howell is sharing way too much.

CC Sabathia (Bronx)

Please tell me that was a mistake, you leaving me out of the top 10?!

Pierre Becquey
  (3:29 PM)

Yes, absolutely. Knocks out Josh Johnson.

David (Charleston WV)

ZOBRIST. So what would you expect in return for him in a trade. Keeper League.

Pierre Becquey
  (3:31 PM)

Dude, I don't know what your leaguemates are like. The answer is; I'd dangle him and take the best offer and run. Look, you got the dude for next to nothing, right? And there's always a chance he goes back to being nothing -- or at the very least, goes back to ordinary and everyone talks about him a few years from now as "hey, remember when Zobrist was Zobrilla?" OR... you can trade him now for a net gain, secure it for the long term and not have to worry if he does fall off the face of the earth. If I own Zobrist in a keeper league, I'm selling. Period.

Brian (Vancouver, WA)

FYI. It is a bit frustrating to have graduated to 16 and 20 team deep keeper leagues when most ESPN chats and columns focus on 10 team leagues. I understand market share but you might give answers for shallow and deep leagues for more questions. That said would you drop Carlos Ruiz for Johjima when he comes back?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:34 PM)

That was very, very close to whining, Brian. Lucky for you, I dig keeper leagues. And I think most of the writers do a good job of balancing both in both columns and chats. And your league is the reason why we have Insider content like Jason Grey's Hardcore on Sundays, why we rank every pitcher in Daily Notes, why we have a Fantasy Forecaster despite Standard Leagues being daily. And why I'll tell you that, yeah, I drop Ruiz for Johjima.

Steve (NY)

Speaking of injured third basemen, what about Aramis Ramierez? Do you see him as a top 5 3B for the second half?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:35 PM)

Yeah, I was lucky enough to pick him up in a shallow league where the other owner had to drop him due to a rash of injuries. Very happy about that; if you can wait for him, do so. There's no reason he can't be Aramis the rest of the way. If not top 5, then close enough to help you nonetheless.

Mickey (Summerville (SC))

So you think theres absolutely no chance the Dodgers would trade Pierre to another team for bullpen help?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:36 PM)

Mickey, there's ALWAYS a chance. But am I sitting on Pierre waiting for it to happen? Not if I can use the bench spot for a sure thing.

Johnny (Harlem)

OK, so I know my question seemed painfully obvious, but aren't there arm issues with Capps? I have a 20 move limit on waiver pickups in my league (and I'm already halfway there), so I wanted to double check. I'm assuming you aren't worried?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:37 PM)

Not worried enough to leave a proven closer on the wire. Even with a 20-game limit, take the chance. At worst, it costs you ONE move, and you'll get saves in the meantime.

Prospect Lover (Youthville, USA)

Strasburg out of the top 10??? Actually, I agree, that makes perfect sense. But for how long?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:39 PM)

Until he shows what he can do in the majors. I mean seriously, if, in a keeper league, someone wants to give you Gallardo for Strasburg, you do it.

Ben (NY)

Pierre, Karabell listed Porcello as the top rookie starter for fantasy, do you agree?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:41 PM)

No... I like David Price's strikeout potential way too much. But that's not a knock on Porcello. It's just a preference. If I have Porky and am offered Price for him, in a single-season or in a keeper league, I do it.

Josh Johnson ((South Florida))

Why you go to knock me out, why not Felix? You know I'm WAYYY better than him. I know you'll do the right thing! Merci!

Pierre Becquey
  (3:41 PM)

Love me the Josh Johnson. But Felix Hernandez is better. How's that for a reason?

Peter (West Orange, NJ)

3 part Blanks question: With Gonzalez at 1st where's Blanks going to play? Who stands to lose the most time with his callup? And finally, would you cut Jacobs to pick up Blanks or Carp?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:43 PM)

Left field. Chase Headley/Gwynn Jr. But no. Much rather have Jacobs in the KC summer heat than either of those rookies in their pitcher's parks.

John (SD)

No Verlander either? Only want to play one catcher Wieters or Benjie? Hang on to Ludwick and pray he wakes up?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:45 PM)

Nope. Considered him, but who do you cut out of the top 10 for him? You didn't put that in your question. Greinke, maybe? Are you sure? Benjie. Hang on.

Greg ((DC))

Would you trade Zobrist for C. Lee and Smoltz?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:45 PM)

In a heartbeat.

Kevin (Stamford, CT)

Would you trade Soriano and Nolasco for Felix and Votto?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:45 PM)

Nope. Votto scares me. Reminds me of Greinke's problem a few years ago, and it took him more than a few weeks to come back from it.

Tommy (Toronto)

Why do all ESPN writers never bench their best players? Alfonso Soriano is dogging it and should be benched for now?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:47 PM)

Because you can't undo the damage he's already done, and when he goes off for a 2HR-1SB, 4-for-5 game and then goes bananas for two weeks, aren't you going to feel stupid for having benched him?

Bruce (Chicago)

Got offered Bay and Verlander for Ryan Braun. Sucks losing Braun, but I have to take it. Correct?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:48 PM)

I can't think of many reasons not to. Giving up the best player, but getting back two guys who rank very high at their positions. Yeah, that's about the only way I give up a Ryan Braun.

john (mass)

Do you agree w/me Torii Hunter will crash the wall one time too many this year?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:48 PM)

If it makes you feel better, sure, I'll pretend I know the future.

Jim (NJ)

Drew or Tulo? Both are heating up!

Pierre Becquey
  (3:48 PM)

Tulo by a nose.

Kerry (New York)

Rank 'em! Liriano, Cahill, Mazzaro!

Pierre Becquey
  (3:49 PM)

I refuse to on principle. Liriano is still well above both those guys. It's like asking me to rank money, chores and homework.

Gabe (Davis)

You've said sell high on Zobrist. Do you think he can be a top 5 2B or a top 5 SS for the rest of the year?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:52 PM)

Five second basemen I like better than Zobris (at the risk of alienating another "CC"): Kinsler, Utley, Hill, Pedroia, Cano, Roberts, Phillips. (That's 7). Shortstops... it's a bit tougher. Hanley, Jeter, Tulo, Drew... but might take Zobrist over Tejada, Young, Barmes...

Quincy (Cemetery, ND)

Somebody dropped KERSHAW in my keeper league...Does he know something I don't?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:52 PM)

Yes. How to lose.

Nick (Monroe, NC)

What do you expect from Smoltz rest of the way top 20 or so?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:53 PM)

I'm expecting something alon ght lines of 2006... a WHIP around 1.20, an ERA in the mid-3's and 8 Ks per 9. If anyone can defy age and injury, it's Smoltzy.

T (Indy)

Inge or Martin for the rest of the year??? I know, this definitely fits your requirement for mass appeal:) However, I will pray for you at Mass this weekend...how's that?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:54 PM)

Ha. Clever. Martin.

Joe (StL)

T/F: Andrew Bailey is the top rookie RP in fantasy baseball

Pierre Becquey
  (3:54 PM)

For fantasy purposes... it's not even close.

james (ca)

weiters or branyan?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:55 PM)

Again with the money or homework question. "Cash" Wieters, please.

A Gide (Tunis)

Orlando Cabrera? You believe in second-half miracles?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:56 PM)

I wish I did... but not in that park with that team.

John (SD)

Where does Asdrubal fit into your SS list?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:57 PM)

Not in the discussion with those other guys. Love the average, but doesn't have power and doesn't run enough to be in the elite. Nice little player, and great find this season, but that's all.

Kevin (Charlotte)

Speaking of Asdrubal, do you know when he is coming back? thanks.

Pierre Becquey
  (3:57 PM)

Nope... expeting to find out this weekend. But I think another week or so is all it'll take.

Eric (Calgary)

if you re-draft today, who goes your top 5?

Pierre Becquey
  (3:59 PM)

Albert, Kinsler, Crawford, Wright (yes, even without the power, he's been awesome), Braun. And I move Joe Mauer way up into my top 10.

Joe (Chicago)

Which Angel do you like better to fill in for Ibanez - Bobby Abreu or Juan Rivera?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:00 PM)

Rivera is a much better fit to replace the power production. Abreu will get you better all-around numbers. Let your spot in the standings make the decision for you.

Kyle (PA)

Is Reyes still a top 2-3 SS when he comes back?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:02 PM)

Forgot Reyes in my "players I'd rather have than Zobrist"... out of sight, out of mind. Yeah, I think Reyes is still a top dog when he gets back, as long as he lets everything heal. He's a guy who can be at top 5 player in all of baseball for a month or two at a time.

Pierre Becquey
  (4:02 PM)

OK, guys... it's time for the Extra Innings Ipod Shuffle! Whatever song comes on next, that's how long you have to get your answers, rapid-fire style.

Pierre Becquey
  (4:03 PM)

And it's Avenged Sevenfold - A little piece of heaven. That's roughly 7 1/2 minutes. GO!

Tiger (Bethpage)

Do I win this weekend? By the way who would you rather have rest of this year and next season Arod or Wright?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:03 PM)

No. Wright.

Evan (NY)

Pierre, should I stash John Maine or Alex Gordon in my DL spot? I have David Wright at third, but can always put Gordon in my Utility Spot. Thanks.

Pierre Becquey
  (4:04 PM)

Gordo over Maine. I don't like injured pitchers.

Howard (Chicago)

Drop Qualls now that Velverde is back?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:05 PM)

Well, they're on different teams, so... no?

Lou (NC)

garza for reynolds. do it?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:05 PM)

Fair trade.

Johnny B (Colorado)

2B help!!!!!!!!! Stew, Barmes, Freddy or Jose Lopez??

Pierre Becquey
  (4:05 PM)

Lopez.

mike (nawlin's)

a guy wants to trade me Teix and chris carpender for my tim lincecum and votto--should i pull the string

Pierre Becquey
  (4:06 PM)

Yeah. Votto will be back soon, but will he be "back"?

Lee (Philadelphia, PA)

Who do you want as your starting SS Furcal or Barmes?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:07 PM)

Barmes

Phil (Wisconsin)

Rank the Backstops: Ianetta, Yadier Molina, Varitek.

Pierre Becquey
  (4:07 PM)

Good job.

Tommy (Toronto)

John Damon and Cole Hamels for Zach Greinke...do it?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:08 PM)

Nope. Not unless you have an all-star you can't play because of Damon, and even there, I think you're short-selling.

J. Baker (NYC)

Keep S. Marcum for next two years at $8?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:08 PM)

No. Too risky.

Chris (Philly)

Blanks or Carp, who has a better chance to help this year?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:09 PM)

I think Blanks.

Rob (NJ)

Price > Hanson rest of this year?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:09 PM)

Yes

Matt (Boston)

More HRs from here on out, Ludwick or Riemold?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:09 PM)

Ludwick.

Chris (ATL)

Better fill-in OF: Rasmus, McCutchen, Rivera, Posednik

Pierre Becquey
  (4:09 PM)

Rivera

Johnny (Harlem)

Ryan Zimmerman is hitting .248 with meager power since he ended his hitting streak. Thoughts?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:10 PM)

Being a Nationals fan must suck. (He'll be OK.)

Justin (4 day work week rules)

mclouth - top ten OF by the end?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:10 PM)

No. Competition's too stiff.

Jay (NY)

Pronk or Thome?

Pierre Becquey
  (4:11 PM)

Thome. And with that, I must leave you... But baby don't cry-y-y-y-y.... (very Axl Rose there at the end, don't you think?)