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March 4, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Friday! Friday! Friday! Let's get to the questions... Carlos Pena? Soft bubble? Ryan Seacrest? Second cup of coffee in hand... who is up first?

Phil (Nova Scotia)

I know not to pay much attention to spring stats, but in the case of Lind, and the season he just came off of, is the .183avg right now scaring you?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

He's got the job pretty well locked up, so the spring stats are irrelevant. For all we know, he and the hitting coach are trying out different things to see what clicks. The only time you pay attention to spring stats is if its like ChiSox at 3B, where the results may make the manager's decision.

Lazarus Sims (Syracuse, NY)

AJ - Which would be a more attractive keeper league option value in your opinion - Jason Heyward with a 12th round price or Michael Stanton with a 21st round tender?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I like Stanton better longterm... not that I think Heyward will be a bust, but given the choice (and the 9 rounds difference) it's an easier call.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What are your favorite MLB,NHL ,NFL & NBA Teams?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I'm from NYC originally. Mets and Giants (NFL). I don't watch the NBA. Once they graduate, I care not. I was a big Rangers (NHL) fan growing up, but haven't followed hockey in about 15 years.

Jay (Canada)

AL only, I have adrian beltre for $20, should I try and sell him now since his value will never be higher? His ceiling must be what he did last year and he seems to be a risk for regression

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

I think you need to wait until he's back from injury to even try to swing a deal. Unless an offer blows you away, I think most people will hold back.

Matt (Columbus)

Love your unique analysis and articles AJ! I'm curious, what is your "go to" or favorite statistic you use to evaluate pitchers and hitters as you put together your pre-draft rankings?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Thanks, Matt. I actually have several of my own spreadsheets that I've fine-tuned over the years... but the biggest thing you have to incorporate is the actual value of each stat used in your league. 1 HR is not equal to 1 SB is not equal to 1 Save, etc. Weight the categories properly or you've lost before you start.

Andrew (NYC)

Mets and Giants? It's Mets/Jets or Yankees/Giants.

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

Not when you have a father who grew up in the Bronx and then moved you to within walking distance of Shea.

Scott (Ann Arbor)

I've been doing some calculations for my H2H points league, and on a per-PA basis Jed Lowrie was a beast last year for my league's settings (top 30 in points per PA!). What's the likelihood he gets enough playing time to contribute this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

Still an outside shot he wins SS outright, but I expect he'll be first off the bench -- playing 4 times a week, once at each infield position. Good sleeper candidate.

Big Tunn (NOLA)

Are you still drafting Miguel Cabrera #3 overall?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Never was. He's my No. 5. Until some news about missing time comes along, and I don't think it will, that's where he stays on my list.

Mark Messier (MSG)

Way to bail on the Rangers after they won the Cup. Don't bother to jump back on the bandwagon when we win it again in 2038

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Still root for them... just don't watch with any regularity. It's kind of hard to when I have no idea if I even have Versus.

Bob (Philly)

Hey AJ, am I crazy to consider keeping Posey over Utley? Any word on his knee?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

Unless it's a long-term keeper, I stick with Utley. If the games counted right now, he'd be in there. Yes, he's probably going to end up playing closer to 130 than 160, but the stats should be there.

Rick (Detroit)

So is Ellsbury your #3 like last year? OK maybe it wasn't 3 but that was some BRUTAL advice....

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Maybe it was and maybe it wasn't. The truth is we'll never know... which is a shame. Remember, if Pujols breaks his leg first week of the season, you're not calling out anyone for recommending him.

Colin (Indy)

AJ - well done article on Carlos Pena. However, I disagree on your long term projection of 40 hr for McCutchen. He is simply too small to hit more than 25.

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

A) It wasn't a projection, so much as saying if he hits 25 this season and 32 next... then 40 in 2013 isn't crazy. B) See vitals on Mays, Willie.

Emilio (Cheboygan)

Who would you draft before Tulo, if any? Cargo, Braun, Longoria, Votto, Cano?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

All of them. I'm not going to end up with Tulo, because I'm hesitant to pay for what might be one or two good months.

Matt (Philadelphia)

Right, AJ you obviously should have known that Ellsbury's rib cage was going to implode...

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

The Magic 8 Ball said to "ask again later" -- guess I forgot.

JT (Ft. Worth)

With pitching so deep, should I fill my bench with position players?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

I always would rather go hitters on the bench than pitchers. There are always going to be more quality arms on the waiver wire early in the season than quality bats, IMO.

Daniel (Bronx)

AROD, Youk, Zimmerman. Please pick 2 and why

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

I'd keep A-Rod and Zimm. Not with the groupthink that Youk has the stats we've projected.

Chris (NY)

So you must be a St. John's fan too! Bad loss last night, but great season so far.

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

I was until I went to college, including the Mullin Era -- something about living in the Carrier Dome for four years that changes your worldview.

Matt (Philadelphia)

Would you take Kemp or Cruz at the end of round 2?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

Kemp for me. I'm a bit worried about Cruz. He got hurt so many different times last year, and I fear he focuses so much on his feet that the bat will suffer.

will (texas)

Reyes or McCutchen for 2011-2013??

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Cutch. Reyes is never going to regain the pop.

Charlie (NJ)

If Miggy is your #5, who are 3 and 4?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

My top 5 - Albert, Crawford, Doc, CarGo, Miggy.

Chico (Goddard, MI)

AJ, Which 2 do you keep? $1 Putz, $1 Morrow, $15 Greinke, $16 Marmol (14 teams, 12 keepers ea.)

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Greinke and Morrow.

Salami King (NY)

Mark Reynolds will have a BA above .250 this year, True or False?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)


Craig (PA)

I traded McCann for Carlos Santana in my keeper league. Good move or bad move?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

In a keeper league, I think you made out like a bandit.

matt (omaha)

Am I reaching? I have increased the value of NL Central stars like Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez, Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, etc. because they will be facing a below-average pitcher for 15-25 ABs per season instead of Adam Wainright. Is that taking the hyper-analysis of fantasy baseball too far?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

A little bit... what happens if Brewers go into STL and would have missed the No. 1 spot anyway? What if STL trades for an ace during the season? Judge the player's skills, not the competition.

Bert (NY)

I'm impressed that your not on the Hanley #2 bandwagon. Where is he on your list?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Han-Ram is my No. 8, but I never put positional scarcity into my calculations. I can understand why some would, and therefore rank Cano (9) and Han-Ram higher than I do -- but as the draft goes on, unless you have a really amazing tool that can constantly update pos. scarcity based on who was taken, I'd rather dismiss it as a tool for ranking.

David Wright (Mets)

Am I borderline first Round? Early Second?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Definitely not first in my mind -- but mid-to-late second is where I'd peg you.

Bob (Philly)

Would you take a late round flier on Brandon Webb? What other pitchers are you targeting with your last picks?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Been asked this a lot... of the three big ??? SP, I like Peavy as my gamble over Webb and Bedard.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

If pitching is so deep, then why bother taking a first round stab at Doc?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

It's the first time I've ever gone with a SP so high -- but given his history of endurance, his track record in ERA/WHIP/K and Phillies expected win totals... he should outrank all other possible No. 1 pitchers by a large enough margin to make it worth the pick.

Adam t (lafayette la)

Which prospect do you like more long term? Pedro Alverez, Carlos Santana or Dominic Brown?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

Santana for me... Brown hasn't yet convinced the Phillies they don't need to make a trade for another RF bat.

Johnny (Philly)

Re: Doc, but wouldn't that "outrank... large enough margin" bump up Hanley too?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

It would if I thought it were true to the same extent... besides, he's still first round. It's not like I'm saying Round 3.

Rick (Minnesota)

Which of the three has a better year: Carpenter, Oswalt, or Cain?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Carpenter, Cain, Oswalt.

Stan (Arkansas)

Jose Bautista or Hunter Pence?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

I like Pence, but as I hinted at in my 30Q on the Astros, I'm not confident enough that there's a good enough surrounding cast to get him the big numbers. Ergo, Jose.

matt (omaha)

I guess I don't understand why position scarcity doesn't factor in your rankings. If you can get incredible statistics from just a few shortstops, with negligible production after the Top 4 or 5, shouldn't you target those positions since you know you can field somewhat productive OF'ers in the later rounds?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Because you don't get points for winning at each position - only the overall totals matter. If in Round 15, I can draft a shortstop who gets me better stats than the best available 3B, OF, or whatever at that point of the draft, then it no longer matters.

Jon (Des Moines)

Will there be a Mock 2.0? Thumbs up.

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Thumbs up. Expect it towards the end of next week.

chad (chicago)

who is your this year cargo?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

Nobody. When I ran some comparison numbers a few weeks back, CarGo's 2010 come out as one of the eight best seasons of all time. That's just not going to happen every season.

matt (omaha)

Well, didn't you just make my point? In Round 15, you CANNOT get a shortstop who gets you better stats than the best available at other positions. So...

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

No, my point is that I believe you can.

joe (hampton inn)

bartolo colon pitching tonight! haha thoughts on the yankees rotation??

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

CC and AJ and pray pray pray? I expect Nova to get one of the last two, but the last spot? It won't be pretty...

Dj (MD)

Kimbrel, Storen Brown, or Moustakas. Pick 2?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

Go with the guys you KNOW will travel North. Kimbrel and Storen.

Otto (CA)

Do you expect Buster Posey's numbers to drop down a bit this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

No, because he's here from the get-go. 200 more ABs all but ensures he'll end up with better overall numbers.

Chris (Chicago)

If Utley, Pedroia, Uggs, and Kinsler go off the board, who do I wait for at 2b?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Neil Walker comes to mind.

Josh (Seattle)

What SP surprisingly ends up top 50?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Top 50 pitchers? How about Scott Baker.

Jake (MN)

Where do you put Brandon Phillips in that 2nd base list?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

He's definitely up there, but I don't think you'd be able to *wait* on him...

Jimmy (NYC)

Is Liriano in your top 10 SP's?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

No, for me he's a fantasy No. 3.

J (Boston)

Hey, AJ - Keep 2 to go along with AGonz and Longoria: Choo, Upton or Youk?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Choo and either Upton.

Rex (NY)

what pitcher surprises you and ends in the top 25?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

How about John Danks... that would surprise me if he got THAT high on the list.

Jason (Phoenix)

Do you see Felix Hernandez's win total getting to something respectable this year? With only 13 wins he is a 3 category player.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

I think the Mariners will score about 100 more runs this season than last... whether or not they come when King pitches? Who knows? I also think he regresses a bit in the other categories, but at the end of the day, I'm still confident he's a Top 5 SP.

Gary (Omaha)

So nobody matches Cargo's breakout from last year. I agree. But, if you had to pick a young hitter who will have a legit breakout season, who would it be?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

I love McCutchen, clearly. Ike Davis has possibilities as does LoMo.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

That's the Noon whistle... where does the time go? I'm on the Twitter for those I couldn't get to -- I try to answer those in a reasonable time frame. Until the next time, good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor.