Monday Mailbag: July 17th

Written by: Ray Butler (@CoachRayButler)

Follow Prospects 365 on Twitter: @Prospects365

What’s some of the best questions I’ve been asked throughout the past week? Here we go.

buehler mailbag

Answer: For now, I think it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Buehler reaches the big leagues at some point this season. He’ll almost certainly be placed in the Dodgers bullpen, where he could be effective as a long-man (two or three innings an appearance, if needed) or as a high-leverage guy (in my opinion, his stuff is that good. And his fastball certainly plays as a high-leverage pitch). Of course, the Dodgers bullpen isn’t terrible as it currently stands, and reports certainly suggest they’re in the market to add a bullpen arm or two before the deadline. Regardless of additional acquisitions, I think Buehler gets the call sometime this season. Don’t fret when he’s a bullpen guy after being promoted: The Dodgers fully view him as a starting pitcher going forward. He’ll be used as a weapon in the bullpen this season because A) It’s a great way to limit his innings in his first full-season since Tommy John surgery, and B) The Dodgers are certainly in-it-to-win-it this season, and they”ll use every weapon at their disposal. Buehler has a strong chance to be successful in the big leagues later this season, and he should retain prospect eligibility and be one of the top overall prospects heading into next season with the aspiration of making the Dodgers opening day starting rotation.

dejong mailbag

Answer: Before I go into any detail, the answer here is yes, you should make this deal. But I’ve never been a big Trevor Story guy. His minor league numbers suggested that his numbers in 2016 weren’t sustainable, and his stats this year basically validate that notion. I don’t think he’s as good as he was last season, and I don’t think he’s as bad as he’s been this season. He’ll be a 20-30 HR guy with a K% of 30-35% and an OBP that will hover anywhere between .300-.320. I don’t actively look to acquire guys with those numbers for my fantasy teams, even if they play a premium position.

Now, I say all of that to say this: Trevor Story is still preferable to Paul DeJong. DeJong currently sports a ..302 AVG and .319 OBP despite a sky-high .371 BABIP. He doesn’t walk enough, and his AVG and OBP will regress once his batted ball luck changes for the worst. Furthermore, he sports a 29.2 K% since being promoted to the majors. His past numbers suggest that number may improve to somewhere near the 26-27% range, but none of his peripherals indicate that he’ll be more valuable than Story moving forward. I’m selling both players, but if forced to choose, give me Story and the plethora of potential team names.

reynaldo lopez mailbag

Answer: In case you’ve been living under a rock, the “trade” that @DannymJohnson is referring to is the trade last week that featured Jose Quintana being traded to the Cubs for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Matt Rose and Bryant Flete.

I don’t think the trade impacts Lopez’s timetable, and I don’t think it should. The White Sox have no hope of making the playoffs this year, and they’ve got guys like Mike Pelfrey and David Holmberg who can eat innings until the farm arms are truly ready. Miguel Gonzalez was also recently reinstated from the DL after recovering from a shoulder injury. The White Sox aren’t desperate for arms that will bridge them from the homestretch of this season to next season. However, I *do* think that Lopez will be called up in either August or September of this season, but that’s been my projection since Opening Day. I also think that Lopez *should* break camp with the big club in 2018. I had some serious worries that Lopez would eventually be mitigated to the bullpen, but he’s made some strong strides this season. Just yesterday, Lopez tossed seven strong innings and allowed only two hits, one run, and two walks while striking out 12 (!!!) against a solid Gwinnett lineup. That “strong #3” ceiling I’ve labeled him with for two seasons seems more attainable than ever, and I’m excited to see if he can put it all together once he gets the call. The White Sox should (easily) be one of the most exciting teams in the entire league to watch over the next decade or so.

Question (sent via email): Tells us more about yourself. What’s your history in baseball? When you’re not watching or tweeting about baseball, what do you like to do?

Answer: My baseball playing days ended like most of yours: After my senior year of high school. I played travel ball growing up and was probably a slightly above average high school player. I bat left handed and throw right handed. Defensively, I pitched and played second and third base (with spot starts in the outfield and at first base). I was nothing to write home about, though I do hold my high school team’s record for most HBPs over a career. It’s my crowning achievement.

Now, I’m an assistant baseball (and football) coach at my alma mater. If I don’t tweet for a few hours from the @Prospects365 account (especially on Friday nights during the fall), you can safely bet that I’m on the football field or baseball diamond coaching. I’m a huge analytics guy in both sports, and I use advanced stats to attempt to put our team in the most advantageous situations possible.

Outside of my love of prospects and baseball, I’m a 24 year old newlywed from Tennessee. I teach middle school mathematics for a living and my hobbies include grilling and smoking meats and golfing. When I get the chance, I also enjoy traveling back to Mississippi State (where I got my degree) for football and baseball games. I’m really excited to see if guys like Brandon Woodruff and Brent Rooker (former Mississippi State athletes) can reach their potential. If you ever want to know more about me, feel free to ask. I’m always doing to talk grilling and golfing. Hail State!

Thanks for following along!

Featured image courtesy of the Charlotte Observer

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