Kevin Goldstein has prospect information and the latest on next month's draft in "Future Shock."
Kevin Goldstein: Hey folks -- great to be chatting again. Taking a break from draft calls to answer your questions -- expect a mammoth draft notebook on Friday -- probably a two-parter, and lots of draft coverage leading up to June 5th. Lets talk baseball (and other fun stuff too of course)
Brian (Annopolis, MD): Is Jake Arrieta the real deal? Can he be a future ace?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm getting a lot of questions in this vein -- not about Arrieta, but more of is this guy one thing or antoher and I gotta say, you must respect the grey area. Is Arrieta the real deal? Absolutely, he's a very good prospect. Future ace? No, probably not. It's not ace stuff. It's certainly big league starter stuff though, and that makes him a really good prospect.
Chris (Baltimore, MD): Most mock drafts have the Orioles taking Brian Matusz with the 4th pick. What do you project him as? Any chance Pedro Alvarez falls to them?
Kevin Goldstein: Very good starter. No. 2 or 3. Alvarez will NOT get to them, and all indications are that Baltimore wants one of the college arms.
mattymatty (Philly, PA): I know the sample size is very small, but I'm going to ask this anyway: Has Justin Masterson's two successful outings at the major league level changed the way he is perceived as a prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: Not really. He was perceived as a good pitching prospect in the past, and that's still the case.
Fred Bird (Scottsdale, Az): NOW, should Cardinals fans be concerned with Rasmus slow start?
Kevin Goldstein: I certainly think so -- I just wish there was a good explanation for what's going on there -- and I haven't gotten one yet.
js (ny): sean doolittle: travis lee or todd helton?
Kevin Goldstein: See -- here we are again. So he's either gonna stink or be a HOF-er. The answer is somewhere in between. His prospect stock is definitely WAY up, and I wrote in a recent notebook about how the A's made adjustments to his swing and how there are reasons to think this is very real.
jlarsen (DRays Bay): Should Pedro Alvarez's Hamate bone surgery scare anyone, regarding his power potential?
Kevin Goldstein: Not really. He has such a track record that nobody is too worried about this year with the injury.
ericmilburn (San Francisco): With Andrew McCutchen's stellar year in Indianapolis (thus far), he looks like a strong candidate to be among the top 3 prospects on next years' list. Any objections?
Kevin Goldstein: Like top three overall in all of baseball? I love McCutch, but that's more than a little strong.
DV (Scottsdale, Az): Any chance that Brett Wallace or Ike Davis get drafted in the Top 10?
Kevin Goldstein: Wallace does have a chance, as the White Sox are on him hot and heavy. Ike Davis is definitely NOT going in the first ten, and only might be a first-rounder.
Sam (Columbia): Justin Smoak is a switch hitting, good fielding first baseman with power...who is the best potential MLB comp for him?
Kevin Goldstein: How about a switch-hitting Morneau with better D?
AKL (Oakland): Greg Smith: you had him as the A's 13th best prospect this spring. Is he capable of sustaining this solid performance in teh majors long term?
Kevin Goldstein: Honestly, I'm not sure. I had this discussion a couple of weeks ago with a scout, and he didn't get it, and neither did I. So I guess I'm saying that as an A's fan you should enjoy it while it lasts, but at the same time I've been wrong plenty of times -- but on a scouting level -- it doesn't match the numbers.
Peter (Boston): Kevin, what can you tell me about Chuck Lofgren? Is he still even a prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: The good news is that the stuff is still there, so yes, he's still a prospect. There are also some makeup concerns there, as he has a big ol' cruise control button and maybe got a little too caught up in his own press clippings.
ASU Graduate (Tempe, Az): Like seemingly most ASU baseball commits I do not expect to see Eric Hosmer in the Maroon and Gold. Is he going to be this years Porcello and drop towards the later part of the first round because of bonus demands?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't think there's going to be any kind of Porcello situation this year, unless you count Gerrit Cole, who has a great arm and beyond ridiculously bad makeup. But guys like Alvarez and Hosmer just aren't going to plummet in any kind of major way.
Sam (Columbia): Almost every year the top pitcher is projected as a "No. 2 or No. 3" starter, as you just did with Matusz. It doesn't seem likely that a team would be willing to use the first overall pitcher on a guy who's upside wasn't an ace. Is the "No. 2 or No. 3" classification more of experts hedging their bets, or them acknowledging how hard it is to be a true No. 1?
Kevin Goldstein: Botn and neither. A lot of it is that THIS YEAR, there isn't that potential ace like in year's past. There is no Price, Verlander, Lincecum, Kershaw kind of talent -- so Crow and Matusz are this year's top arms, but they don't compare well to top arms in recent years.
Greg (Toronto): Are you surprised that the White Sox had to fire their scouting director and key members of their scouting staff for skimming from bonuses paid to Latin prospects?
Kevin Goldstein: I wish I was -- not that it's the White Sox, but that this skimming thing happens far more often than most would like to admit.
Dan (Newton, MA): Given the Red Sox's current luck with it's young starters -- and it's less than stellar bullpen this year -- what are the odds that either Daniel Bard or Bryce Cox will be called up later in the year?
Kevin Goldstein: I think with a guy like Bard, who you are finally getting some success with after a year of the yips -- suddenly calling him up to the big leagues would prety much be the WORST idea ever. Cox is also finding success, but only at Low-A. You won't see either.
HeAdFiRsT (Michigan): Where do you see Zach Putnam as a RHP, is he worth a first round pick?
Kevin Goldstein: I've heard no first-round talk on Putnam -- he's more of a good-not-great kind of player who will likely go in the sandwich or second round.
Rob (Oakland): What should be the first pro level for the elite college hitters that are drafted, assuming they sign quickly?
Kevin Goldstein: Elite? Probably High-A. That said, there is no real template for guys, most teams let each player's individual talent dictate his timetable.
ervvvvvv (Los Angels, CA): It has been reported by a website that follows the Braves that Julio Teheran will report to Rome folowing the end of ext. spring training. Have you heard anything?
Kevin Goldstein: That defnitely could happen because he's really been that good in extended. He might have been there now had he not gotten the chicken pox.
Matt A (Raleigh): Simple solution to the skimming: pay the scouts more?
Kevin Goldstein: Nobody loves the scouts more than I, so I'm all for it!
marie ((san francisco)): Who do you see the giants taking with the 5th pick and is there any chance that Buster Posey falls to them?
Kevin Goldstein: Actually, there are some scenarios where Posey could get there if the DEVIL Rays decide to pass on him. It's doubtful, but it could happen. Expect one of the big college bats for SF, although there are some wacky rumors with them taking a player that is nowhere near anybody's radar for a pick that high.
rogerlamarque (Brooklyn): Why is Wieters still in High A? Isn't he 22? Isn't Ramon Hernandez is a FA at the end of the season? Shouldn't they be seeing what he can do against/with better pitching?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm totally with you. I don't get it either. He's ready and it's not like Ben Davis (yes, THAT Ben Davis) is some kind of block for him at Double-A.
mattoves (D of C): Does Matt Brown have a future in the majors, even in a Robb Quinlan role?
Kevin Goldstein: Actually, I think you just came up with quite possibly a perfect comp for him.
Drew (New York): Neftali Feliz has been great so far. Think he gets a chance at AA this year, and maybe the Texas rotation in 2009?
Kevin Goldstein: No and No. He just turned 20 and he barely has 100 innings of pro expereince, so slow it down a bit.
mattymatty (Philly, PA): Kevin, I know what spring training is, but what exactly is extended spring training?
Kevin Goldstein: It's exactly that. Some guys are hurt, some guys aren't ready yet, some guys don't have jobs yet because of the numbers game, so spring training complexes stay open and have workouts and practices and play games and all that good stuff well after all the cameras leave.
Peter (Boston): How good is Tim Beckham, really? I know he's one of the best players in the draft, but is his ceiling really *that much* higher than Posey's? So much so as to offset the huge difference in their probability? Isn't a solid catcher (even if he's not Mike Piazza offensively) with a high probability extremely valuable?
Kevin Goldstein: It is. But the question is, is that REALLY want you want to take at 1:1? Posey has a far better chance of being a productive big leaguer, while Beckham has a better chance of being an impact player. That's the conundrum.
Jim (Bay Area): I am heartbroken with the latest news on Scheppers. Is he still first round material? I've read that there may be more than we know as to the true extent and cause of the injury.
Kevin Goldstein: It's really just awful news for him, and from what I can tell, there's no way he's going in the first round.
Bob (Providence): Is Daniel Nava much of a prospect? He's doing well with the Red Sox HI-A affiliate.
Kevin Goldstein: He's 25 years old and playing his home games in Lancaster. So, no.
Phil (Illinois): Has Melville stock fallen to the point where he might be the 3rd HS arm taken? (behind Alex Meyer and Ethan Martin)
Kevin Goldstein: Nobody is taking Alex Meyer is the first round. He's not worth the money he's asking for and teams are going to let him go to school.
Peter (Mansfield): What are your thoughts on some 'toolsy' HS kids Lawrie, Collier, and Hewitt? True impact potential or does it prove that is a weak HS draft class?
Kevin Goldstein: Huge section on this in Friday's notebook. Stay Tuned!
John (Seattle): So, Triunfel has been suspended and removed from the High Desert roster, and this after finally heating up. Any word on what happened?
Kevin Goldstein: Maturity issues.
HankScorpio (KC): Any sense of what the Royals are thinking about doing at 1:3? If, as I would guess, they'd prefer to go with an everyday player, is it a matter of their just hoping that one of Alvarez or Beckham falls to them?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, if Tamps goes Posey, that guarantees one of them will fall to KC, no?
Jason (Fellow Top Chef Fan...): You want to give us a scouting report on Top Chef? I got Richard as the Number One prospect, naturally. I will put Antonia as my sleeper pick. She does a nice job of actually answering the call of the challenge, wins now and then, and hasn't had a major f up in awhile that would put a target on her back.
Kevin Goldstein: You know, Richard might have the most talent, but he's very streaky. Basiclaly every time out he has the best chance to win the challenge, and the best chance to totally blow it and get thrown out. So he scares me. Antonia is an excellent sleeper pick. While he's kinda a Duestchbank, Dale is pretty damn good too.
nb (Illinois): What's your take on Odorizzi?
Kevin Goldstein: First-round arm. Size and stuff put him among the top high school pitchers around.
James (MD): A bunch of different outlets are now suggesting the Phillies are looking at Anthony Hewitt at #24. Lets share a good laugh while you tell me theres no way the Phillies would take him there. Please. Even lie to me if you have to...
Kevin Goldstein: Instead, lets share a good laugh because there's a damn good chance that Hewitt won't even be available at 24.
mkvallely (Florissant): Angel Villalona has turned it on a bit lately, hitting 4 homers in the last week or so with a 4-hit and 3-hit game mixed in. If he were in high school like most kids his age, would he be a mega-hyped clear #1 overall pick for the upcoming draft?
Kevin Goldstein: He'd be top 10, but No. 1? I doubt it -- it's just so hard for a guy who's locked into first base to be seen as a No. 1 pick.
Sean (St. Louis): Kevin, with needs and money being irrelevant, who are the top 5 - in the order you would select them - on YOUR draft board?
Kevin Goldstein: Beckham, Alvarez, Posey, Smoak, Matusz -- I think.
Brian (KCMO): Who's bat do you like more - Skipworth or Hosmer?
Kevin Goldstein: Pure bat? Hosmer. But Skipworth is more valueable because he's a catcher.
Ryan (NY): Jhoulys Chacin - 10 K today, including 2 on Heyward. Thoughts on Chacin?
Kevin Goldstein: One of the better young arms around. VERY good prospect.
NHZ (Royals Review): Indications are that Dayton Moore is planning on drafting another pitcher in the first round. Do you agree with the idea that the Royals should go for pitching in the draft and build the hitting through free agency?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't think that no matter WHO the Royals take at 1:3, that they'll be doing it for need. You don't draft for need that high, you draft the best player available.
Rob (Oakland): Out of Smoak, Alonso, Alvarez, any chance of them being ready by opening day '09?
Kevin Goldstein: No. When does that happen? Do you need more than two hands to measure the number of players EVER who were ready for the big leagues the spring after being drafted?
Naveed (Toronto): Is Marcus Lemon a real prospect? Seems to me more than holding his own at a pretty young age in High A at a premium position but doesn't get much publicity.
Kevin Goldstein: I still think he's a solid prospect. Not a stud, but a guy who played good D, slahes the ball around and has more walks than strikeouts. There's value there.
Neal (Joliet, IL): Any idea when Phillipe Aumont will pitch next week in Kane County?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know yet -- but I don know that I'm going to be there when he does.
Gordon Beckham (Athens, Georgia): Why am I falling under the radar for a top 5 pick? I hit for average and power, will most likely stick at short, and destroyed the Cape Cod League last year. Someone is going to get a steal with me, no?
Kevin Goldstein: key phrase -- "most likely will stick at short". That's really the most optimistic thing there is. There's a lot of funk to what he does, he's not especially fluid. I think he's kinda like Khalil Greene offensively, and Jed Lowrie defensively. Is that a top five pick for you?
Brian (Chicago): So, Josh Vitters. Is he already a bust?
Kevin Goldstein: Sure, absolutely. Who needs more than 65 at-bats to judge anyone?
bam022 (South Side - Chicago ): What are your thoughts on Kuo?
Is he just another flash in the pan Asian import or can he be effective over a longer period of time?
Kevin Goldstein: Big guy, power stuff. Always bet on big guys with power stuff. That said, his medical is pages and pages long, so that will always be in the back of everyone's mind.
NHZ (Royals Review): Okay, cool. Thanks for the quick response.
What do you make of Blake Wood? He wasn't really on the radar--as far as I can see--heading into this year, but he's pulled the neat trick of King 47 batters in 45.1 innings in AA. Does he project to be another starter that will hopefully make signing the likes of Brett Tomko unnecessary?
Kevin Goldstein: Check out Monday's Ten Pack.
dan (new jersey): Do you think Brett Gardner will be anything more than a 4th outfielder?
Kevin Goldstein: He might be a second-division type of starter. That said, he'd be a really nice fourth outfielder. People just think he doesn't work as an every day player.
Ryan (Phoenix): Im curious as to the reports on Jordan Walden and Tim Alderson? Aldeson was thrown into a brutal pitching environment in the CAL and looks to be holding his own.
Kevin Goldstein: There's quite a contract there. Walden is way more stuff over pitchability, which has led to his inconsistency, while Alderson is way more pitchability over stuff, which is why he's holding his own at High-A, but not dominating. I'd prefer Walden, because I prefer to bet on the tools.
Eric (Bedford): Am I foolish in thinking that Cole Rohrbough is the Braves' best pitching prospect, not Tommy Hanson?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't agree, but you're hardly foolish -- you could certainly make that arguement.
Jon (NJ): How serious are Dellin Betances's control issues? Has Zach McAllister passed him as a prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: He's walked 32 in 47 innings, so pretty serious. At the same time, he's allowed just 27 hits and struck out 57, so that's serious stuff. Again, bet on the stuff, and Betances is the better prospect.
Matt Harrison (Frisco, TX): What's my upside?
Kevin Goldstein: Very valuable No. 3 or 4 innings eater type.
Rob (Bloomington, IL): Who do you think will end up taking Gerrit Cole? Any chance the Cubs nab him at #19?
Kevin Goldstein: He's a very hard guy to figure out. Hard to argue with the arm, but as a kid, nobody likes him.
rawagman (Work, TO): In addition to the expected great insight and analysis, will you, or you and other BP writers, be including a mock draft (at least 1st round) for us?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes, I will be doing one for BP and Sports Illustrated in the days leading up to the draft.
Nanny (Tenace): Couldn't scouting be done almost completely by video?
Kevin Goldstein: No, no and a thousand times no.
jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): I understand the 'bet on the stuff' thinking, but what's the proper proportion? Is it more 60/40 stuff over pitchability, or would you lean toward 80/20 or even 90/10?
Kevin Goldstein: It depends on how good the stuff is. The better the stuff, the less pitchability is needed.
Drew (New York): What can you tell us about Edwar Ramirez? He sure knows how to miss bats...
Kevin Goldstein: Decent fastball, OUTSTANDING changeup -- really one of the best around. Pitching well in NY and I think will continue to do so.
Billy D (Detroit): Right now, if you had to handicap the odds that Hosmer slides all the way to Detroit, what would you say? 50%? 25%? 80%?
Kevin Goldstein: 0.2%. Again, there just isn't a Porcello situation this year.
dianagramr (NYC): You are given power to overhaul the entire draft process. What are the first three things you change?
Kevin Goldstein: 1. Completely eliminate the slotting system. 2. Allow for the trading of picks. 3. Get rid of the eligibility rules and allow college freshman/sophomores to declare eligibility.
Joltin Joe Orsulak (Virginia): Jeff Larish: the next Jason Botts?
Kevin Goldstein: Not the worst comparison.
wileecoyote121 (Larchmont, NY): Scott Boras: Sinner or Saint?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't get the hate for him at all. His job is to do the best for his client, and that's it. He is not responsible for controlling spending among major league teams. Tell me right now that if you had an 18-year-old kid who threw 99 mph that you wouldn't strongly consider having Boras as the representative.
Steve (North Dakota): Any chance the Twins draft either Jemile Weeks or Brett Wallace at 14?
Kevin Goldstein: Weeks just isn't going that high. Too raw, no real defined position. Wallace MIGHT be there, but probably not -- but he isn't the kind of guy the Twins take in the first -- they prefer athletes and Wallace is, uh, pretty much the exact opposite of that.
Rob (Alaska): I understand that teams can't trade picks, and have heard the whys, but if they could, the Rays would trade down, correct? Posey can't be the top player on their board.
Kevin Goldstein: Totally correct. I think the Rays would love to trade down in this draft if they could.
jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Follow-up to stuff/pitchability: When you say 'pitchability,' are you including control and command? Because if you can't throw strikes, does it matter if your fastball is an 80 pitch or a 70 pitch? I guess I'm just not very confident in pitching coaches being able to 'fix' guys who have great stuff and very little else.
Kevin Goldstein: Worked for Randy Johnson, no?
Harold (Boston): Is Joba Chamberlain's fist pumping following a strikeout a problem for you? I think it's being blown out of proportion. Afterall, hitters sometimes stand in the batters box a lil too long to admire their HRs.
Kevin Goldstein: I don't have much of a problem with it, but nobody likes getting shown up. That said, if you don't like getting shown up, don't get shown upped.
greg (toronto): So how does your overhaul of the draft system eliminate the best talent falling to the richer teams? Shouldn't you have fixed slotting like the NBA?
Kevin Goldstein: I think allowing for the trading of picks provides the talent balance. That said, picks REALLY don't cost that much in the big scheme of things and get blown out of proportionis. I'm against any kind of slotting system in the same way that I'm against any kind of salary cap.
lpiklor (Chicago): Good morning Kevin! Thanks for the chat... Tim Beckham: where do you think he WILL be drafted and where do you think he SHOULD be drafted?
Kevin Goldstein: First or second; first or second or third.
oira61 (San Francisco): Just so you know: Rob from Alaska posed the same question about the Rays trading down on Jim Callis' chat at espn, and Callis answered the opposite way, writing: "I disagree. I think there's a chance that Posey is No. 1 on their board, and it's a defensible position. And he would make a lot of sense for them--how many all-star caliber catches are on the trade market?"
Kevin Goldstein: Jim is a good friend, and we agree on many things. We clearly don't agree here. That's a good thing, right? You wouldn't want everyone having the same opinion.
greg (toronto): yea, but why would a rich team trade to move up when they know that they're he'll be there for them at the end of the 1st round?
Kevin Goldstein: A. Because they don't know. There's no guarantees that somebody else won't pay the kid, and there's not guarantee that another big spending team in front of your team wouldn't take him. You'd pay big for the guarantee.
Steve (Bismarck): If you had to guess, who are the Twins looking at at 27 and 31? Cheap guys like Revere? High upside guys? More sure things?
Kevin Goldstein: Historically, the Twins take tools and upside, but there isn't a lot of those guys around. They're actually one of the harder teams to figure out this year.
David (Sonoma State University, CA): I've got to meet up with some friends and down some beers at our school's pub before our last class of the semester. Your thoughts on the Dewitt/LaRoche situation?
Kevin Goldstein: Wait a second -- you are drinking BEFORE the class? I think the Dodgers have pretty much screwed up LaRoche, and Laroche hasn't helped by getting hurt . . . a lot. I think he'll probable move elsewhere and have a nice career in a different uniform.
Rob (Alaska): But KG answered first! You are the winner!
Kevin Goldstein: Eons ago, Jim and I shared an office. I can assure you that I type faster.
Joel (Washington, DC): I'm sure you can appreciate that Pirate fans are petrified about the upcoming draft by the new regime. If the Pirates have a choice between Tim Beckham and Pedro Alvarez, who should they take? And if the Rays go with Beckham, as some are predicting, is there any way they don't take Alvarez?
Kevin Goldstein: There are some ways they pass on Alvarez in that scenario, and I'll explain more on Friday. I actually don't think it would be a bad thing necessarily, and there have been few more critical of the Pirates drafting than I.
David (Sonoma State University, CA): We're just watching student presentations today. The class is about recent California history. My presentation was on the Bloods/Crips battles in Los Angeles. Got an "A." Satisfied?
Kevin Goldstein: Not really. Just more evidence that my NOT going to college was a valid and wise decision.
Ryan (Milwaukee): Better Nintendo game: Bases Loaded or Dusty Diamond Softball?
Kevin Goldstein: Bases Loaded.
Best Old Skool Nintendo Sports Games:
Baseball: RBI Baseball
Football: Tecmo Bowl
Basketball: Double Dribble
Hockey: Blades of Steel
I have spoken.
Killer Kowalski (Bugaha): What are you reading into Gamel's blazing start in terms of his overall prospect status? For those of us have Scoresheet interests, what do you make of his opportunity to play anytime soon?
Kevin Goldstein: It's tough, just because where are you going to put him? He's really a pretty bad third baseman, and there's just no room at the in with the other positions you might try him at.
Ron (Cleveland): All things considered, ie, Miller's constant injuries, does Nick Weglarz have a legit claim to be the Indians #1 prospect next year?
Kevin Goldstein: He might, rabbit; he might.
wileecoyote121 (Larchmont, NY): Going for a personal best today?
Kevin Goldstein: More like ten more minutes. Sorry.
Rock8888 (KC): Oprah.. hot talk show host, or hottest ever?
Kevin Goldstein: On my list of people and things I have an almost irrational distaste for, Oprah is pretty much always somewhere at the top of the list. She's pure, unadulterated evil.
pmoc81 (Orlando): KG,
Anything to worry about with Evan Longoria's counterintuitive platoon splits so far this year?
Kevin Goldstein: No. There's really nothing to worry about when it comes to Evan Longoria.
lemppi (Ankeny, IA): I would hope, of course, that the Tigers select the best guy available at #21....but just in case that happens to be a catcher on their board it would address an organizational weakness as well. Are any catchers sneaking into the bottom third of Round 1 that you're hearing about? Thanks.
Kevin Goldstein: A guy like Stanford's Jason Castro MIGHT be there, but doubtful. After that, I'm not sure there's a college catcher you'd want there. Later-round options (like 2nd-3rd) include Preston Paramore and UC-Davis' Jake Jeffries.
Fred (Houston): Can you tell me something good about the Astros system? Last week's future shock blurb was really depressing. Seriously, is there any bright spot there in the darkness?
Kevin Goldstein: Bud Norris.
Freddie Blassie (Helena, MT): Ryan Tucker. Any insight on his blowout start in terms of pitch development progress? Any other general thoughts on him would be appreciated.
Kevin Goldstein: What you are looking at is much improved command and some improvements on the breaking ball. He always had the best arm strength amongst that group of young arms in the system and I think what you are seeing is very real.
Marvin Miller (Pittsburgh): Zach Daeges: real prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: Not really. Corner guy without power who draws walks. Maybe he can become a bench outfielder, but that's about it.
Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks. That's two-plus hours, and unfortunately other responsibilities call. I'll be around again soon and leading up to the draft. See you then.