Interrogate the Industry No. 2: Alex Kantecki, Chris McBrien

Tom Waits

We are back with another Interrogate the Industry. This week we’re joined by Alex (@rotodealer) and Chris (@cmcbrien). We may have just missed the Jose Fernandez news, however we have great questions and answers this week irregardless. As always feel free to ask away on replacement ideas, or any questions to me on Twitter @fantsychillpony and I can assure you I will answer quickly, as well as covering Jose and more in the third installment.

One of the questions I asked this week is one of my favorite things to ask others. If you had to choose one person to spend a night smoking and drinking with, who would it be? Or even vaping using flavours from Gourmet e-liquid is a great way to socialise. It is a fun way to see people’s personalities, interests ( among other things) as well as being profound or simple, depending who you ask.

So, if I were to answer my one night of drinking and smoking question my answer right now would be Tom Waits. The legendary musician has seen everything, possibly done everything, and is a storyteller in reality and through music. Not only that, but he is funny as hell. Don’t believe me? Check him out on Letterman( Tom Waits-Letterman ’83).

I too love to tell stories, but to simply be able to drink, listen to stories, go where the night takes us, and smoke (even though I don’t smoke), Waits is the one person who is on top of my list without a doubt.

Interrogate the Industry #2

Fantasy Contributor: Alex Kantecki

Fake Teams (@rotodealer)

1. Which young pitcher is likely to have a better fantasy season the rest of the way? Sonny Gray or Yordano Ventura?

Sonny Gray, 2014 Oakland Athletics Preview

Photo Credit: Vpking

I’m a huge Gray guy, so I’ll avoid building suspense and tell you right up front that I’m taking Oakland’s ace nine times out of ten. That’s not to take anything away from what Ventura has done or what he will do for the reminder of the season. Ventura is the definition of pitching porn, but Gray has been unbelievably consistent to date. In 17 big-league starts, the right-hander has 13 quality starts — including in all seven starts in 2014 — and a 107:36 K:BB ratio in 111 innings. His strikeouts are down, but he plays on the better team, in the better ballpark and has more big-league experience, including two postseason appearances. I think Ventura is great, and I wish I owned him in more leagues, but Gray’s overall package is more reliable. Gray displayed better control in the minors, and the number of quality innings for Gray will outweigh the spurts of sexiness from Ventura over a full season.

2. Trade rate this deal in a standard, redraft points league. Chris Davis, Jason Heyward, Danny Salazar for Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander.

The evaluation of this deal can change depending on league size, scoring settings, etc., but I’m going to side with Miggy and Verlander. I believe Salazar is replaceable in a points league, so it really comes down to a 2-for-2 deal for me. I am in no way panicking about Cabrera’s slowish start, and Verlander is pretty much a guarantee for 200 innings and 200 strikeouts. He might fall short in the strikeout department, but quality innings are crucial in this format. And the upgrade from Salazar to Verlander is immense. Davis is currently on the shelf, and Heyward has been a disappointment thus far. I do think Heyward turns it around, but he has just 16 home runs and seven steals since the start of 2013. I’d debate taking Crush and Heyward in a dynasty league, but give me the pair of Tigers in a redraft.

3. Rank these second baseman ROS in standard league: Dozier, Gyorko, Hill, and Altuve.

Great question. Second base has been a mess, from Robinson Cano in Seattle to Jason Kipnis in Cleveland. The top of the leader-board looks nothing like preseason rankings, with Dee Gordon stealing his way to No. 1. I’m optimistic that Dozier can keep this thing going, and he’s pretty much a lock for 20 home runs and 20 steals at this point. His batting average will likely stay below .250, but he can score 90 runs batting leadoff in Minnesota in addition to his unique combination of power and speed. I think his growth, particularly in his walk rate, is real. I like Hill second in this group. He’s starting to swing a hot bat and Arizona is a great destination for offense. If he stays healthy, mark Hill down for 20 home runs and 75 RBI with a solid average. I do like Altuve, but he’s a non factor in RBI and home runs, so I can’t take him over Hill. I do like Altuve more than Gyorko, who is streaky and stuck on the worst offense in baseball. To be fair, he’s also a part of it. I thought he could sneak his way into the top-10 keystones this season, but I’m willing to admit my mistakes. He strikes out way too much to make up for whatever power he might provide going forward.

4. If you had (key word being had) to spend a night smoking/drinking with anyone who would it be and why?

The guys from Workaholics. I might not wake up, but if I do, I’ll have stories for years.


Have you heard

Have you heard “Dear Mr Fantasy”? They’re soooo dreamy!


Fantasy Contributor: Chris McBrien

I should mention that I am the host of the “Dear Mr Fantasy” podcast which you will find at: http://www.dmfantasybaseballpodcast.com

I can also be found on Twitter where I am actively engaging with any (and all) who want to talk fantasy baseball. My handle is @cmcbrien

Which young pitcher is likely to have a better fantasy season the rest of the way? Sonny Gray or Yordano Ventura?

I like Gray. The Athletics have shown more of a propensity for developing young pitchers than the Royals have. Gray is a fastball/curveball guy that borders on elite at times. His change is coming along and he’s also been getting a slider into the mix. His xFIP points toward some regression but overall, I think Gray is a pitcher that can be trusted.
Ventura throws hard. Really, really hard. That being said, he’s been using his changeup a lot more than I expected this year and I think that’s a good sign. He has a little way to go yet before he develops into an elite pitcher. For me, I think Gray is several steps ahead in that regard.

What’s the one player who is struggling this season you are selling while you still can? Why?

Taken on July 27, 2007. Photo by Barbara Moore

Taken on July 27, 2007. Photo by Barbara Moore

I think if I owned Prince Fielder, that I would be looking to move him while I could. He still holds a decent value based on name recognition alone but that is about to wane quickly in my estimation. Historically, big first basemen do not age gracefully (you only need to look at players like Ryan Howard, Kent Hrbek, Mo Vaughn or Prince’s dad, Cecil Fielder for proof of this). Although he has been incredibly durable throughout his career, his stats are declining and I think it would be best deal him while you can.

If you had to choose one pitching prospect who would it be? Alex Meyer or Max Fried?

I think the move to Minnesota bodes well for Meyer but that being said, I’d go with Fried here. He’s younger than Meyer, better conditioned and although his stuff is kind of pedestrian, he should develop into a decent hurler with his array of pitches. Meyer is the power arm of these two but I think Fried will end up being the better all-around pitcher. Also, Petco is never a bad place for a pitcher to call home.

If you had (key word being had) to spend a night smoking/drinking with anyone who would it be and why?

Melissa Rauch (“Bernadette”) from the “Big Bang Theory”. I may be doing the drinking, but she is definitely ‘smoking’ and my theory is that the night would end with a ‘big bang’.

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