Don't be shocked, the future is now, and Kevin Goldstein wants to answer your questions about it.
Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. My Top 11 Prospects STILL IN THE MINORS list is up so we have a lot to talk about, and we've just finalized the agenda for Episode 7.0 of the BP Podcast, which has been incredibly fun to do, and I hope you are listening. Let's get rolling.
mikeyp (NJ): What are the reports of Sanos fielding? Is he gonna stick at 3b or is it too early to tell?
Kevin Goldstein: Too early to tell; but I would still wager that he eventually ends up in right.
Greg34 (Cedar Falls, Iowa): KG - Gary 'too hot' Sanchez already 2-2 w/ bb today against Zeke Spruill. Seems like he can already hit more advanced pitching. Is he in your Yankees top 5?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, overall, it's been a very, very good year down on the Yankee farm, will guys like Brackman, Betances, Laird, Noesi, Phelps, Stoneburner and more all enhancing their reputation. I'm not going to commit to a ranking yet, but I look forward to delving in during the off-season. That said, Sanchez has been GREAT.
Lastros (Houston, TX): Why no love for Jordan Lyles? Is he the only thing us Astros fans have to look forward to, or is JD Martinez legit?
Kevin Goldstein: Not very excited about Martinez, unfortunately. Lyles however, I'm a big fan of. Just because I don't think a guy is a Top prospect in ALL OF BASEBALL, doesn't mean I'm dinging him.
Troy (Cleveland): KG, what do you make of Jason Kipnis? He's been as advertised with the bat, even displaying solid power at Akron, but does he have enough glove for 2nd?
Kevin Goldstein: Another guy I'm a big, big fan of. I don't think he'll ever confuse anyone with Orlando Hudson there or anything, but I think he'll hold his own, and I think he'll hit.
Reggie (MD): What do you see at the middle infield for the O's in the next few seasons? Mychal Givens, L.J. Hoes, someone else? Thanks.
Kevin Goldstein: What? You already forgot Manny Machado? He's Baltimore's top prospect the second he signs, or more accurately, at 11:59 pm on deadline day.
Milby (San Francisco): Whispers of Pedro Alvarez getting demoted back to AAA? Seems like a rash move, especially considering how streaky he can be. What are your thoughts on his future as the General of the Cavalry?
Kevin Goldstein: Still a big fan, and I agree that sending him down would be rash. It's not like the Pirates are going to win anything anyway, so why not have him learn on the job?
Jim Humdingding (Sphinx Park, CO): Kevin, can you expand on your comments a week or so back about Grant Green's defense? I believe you mentioned the defensive reports are bad. Is he in danger of not sticking at SS? If so, where would he land?
Kevin Goldstein: Second base would be the next place for him, and I think he could work there. He's just a bit sloppy, and the range and arm are a bit fringy on the left side.
tj82472 (Basement of the science building): Top 5 draft prospects for 2011 off the top of your head? Does the UCLA staff hold any of those spots in your opinion?
Kevin Goldstein: Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice; Matt Purke, LHP, TCU; Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA are the big three -- about 15 guys you could argue for the next two slots.
dawhipsaw (DC): The bigfoot-like prospect known as Michael Ynoa has finally made a couple of appearances in pro ball. Anything you can tell us that you've heard about how he looks?
Kevin Goldstein: Up to 94 mph with a good breaking ball, aggressive and throwing strikes, he's been very good.
Mike (Utica,NY): How much has the stock dropped for Casey Kelly. What do you see his upside as?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm not sure it's dropped ALL that much. I talked to a scout about him yesterday. He said all the stuff from last year is there, but he's throwing way too many strikes and leaving a lot of balls right in hitter's wheelhouse. He wanted to see Kelly get more aggressive and find a mean streak, but he had no issues with the stuff.
Daniel (Kansas City): Is the class of Hosmer/Moustakas/Crow/Montgomery/etc... really enough for Royals fans to get excited come 2012?
Kevin Goldstein: You might want to take Crow out of that, but add Lamb!
Jim Humdingding (Sphinx Park, CO): Would you be playing Matt Joyce over Desmond Jennings if you had an offense in desperate need of a spark? What am I missing here? I know he was hurt, but a .965 OPS in June suggests that striking while the iron is hot may be in order here.
Kevin Goldstein: I would take Jennings over Joyce any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
Shae (Mizzou): Any consideration for Shelby Miller for number 11? The K's are unreal but he seems like he's still trying to harness his control, what are you hearing?
Kevin Goldstein: I've seen him, and that's him exactly. The stuff is very, VERY good.
Mark (Fort Worth): Any early reports on Jurickson Profar? You had him pegged as a guy to watch, have you been impressed so far?
Kevin Goldstein: He's a 17 year old who looks like he belongs in a league filled with ex-college guy. That's pretty special.
Vic (San Diego): KG - Is the real Drew Cumberland finally standing up? What kind of power/avg./speed numbers would you anticipate?
Kevin Goldstein: I've always been a fan, he just needed to get healthy. He'll hit for average, he'll run well and he'll play a solid shortstop, but don't expect much power.
Matt (PA): Kevin, any updates on Hank Conger's defense? can he stick at C in the majors? what kind of power numbers can he ultimately put up?
Kevin Goldstein: He's a funny guy to talk about, because him being good enough defensively to stick in the majors and him being good enough defensively to play every day for Mike Scioscia are two entirely different things. He's a below-average, but not horrible defender, but I'm not sure that's enough for that team.
Oden (Motown): Okay, the Maddux comps get thrown around WAY too loosely (kind of like the Glavine comps used to), but which pitcher is more Mad Dog-like: Hellboy or Leake?
Kevin Goldstein: Hellickson, but both are stupid comps.
Mike (Charlottesville, VA): We all love that you get scouts' takes on players (most of whom we might not see with our own eyes until the reach the mjors), but I've always been curious: Why do scouts talk to you? What's in it for them? Are they just a bunch of nice guys with enough time on their hands to take your call? And what's their demographic? Are most of them on MLB teams' payrolls?
Kevin Goldstein: I love this question, and maybe we'll delve deeper into this on the podcast one week. I like to think I provide something to scouts, in that I can tell them what I'm hearing from other scouts about a player, and often when a scout is going in to see a team for the first time, they'll give me a buzz and I'll heads-up them on some things to look out for. That said, I'm mostly taking advantage of the fact that this is baseball, and just like you and me, and probably even more so, these guys love baseball, and so they like talking about baseball. As far as demographics go, understand that if I ever quote or refer to a scout, I'm only talking about professionally employed scouts who are getting checks from a big league team, I don't quote or use info from anything else. If you are talking about traditional demographics, They're all male, but the ages range from 20s to 70s, and the ethnic diversity I find to be improving on a yearly basis. Again, this is a long discussion, and I'm glad you brought it up. Good podcast idea.
don (lansing): Tell us a bit about anthony rendon, he's everyone's projected #1 pick next year, but what's his game look like?
Kevin Goldstein: I think the only knock one could have is that he's not the biggest guy in the world, but he's an ultra-athletic third baseman with a mlb-level approach, fantastic bat speed and barrel control, and huge power. Should hit for average and power -- just a fantastic hitter.
Lane (Austin, TX): What kind of stuff has Mike Minor shown to throw up such great K numbers? What would you say is his ceiling now?
Kevin Goldstein: He's been excellent obviously. 89-94 MPH fastball, true plus change, good curve, I'd up his ceiling to a good No. 3.
dianagramr (NYC): To piggyback on the "all scouts are male" mention, let me ask you which we'll see first in the bigs:
1) female player
2) female GM
3) female scout
4) female manager
Kevin Goldstein: You're just trying to get me into trouble. I think the answer is (2). A lot of the logic there is that we have to closest one (Kim Ng) right now to that.
Cross Checking (KLaw's Chat): Keith seems to not be a Brett Jackson fan at all. Give me a reason for optimism, something like Keith Law is wrong, he's short, and he's a terrible dancer.
Kevin Goldstein: I go back and forth on Jackson, but you can't argue with what he's doing. Like I wrote today, no killer tool, but no bad ones either.
Hutch (Ottawa): Is it me or is Simon Castro still a bit underrated? He is looking like a solid workhorse starter with possible #1 upside.
Kevin Goldstein: I'm not throwing a No. 1 tag on him, and I don't know any scout who is. That's not something throw around lightly.
Robert (Lyndhurst, NJ): Kevin - any feelings on Brandon Belt's massive season? Is he for real?
Kevin Goldstein: I sure wish he'd go to Double-A to help both of us answer that question. There's clearly SOMETHING there, but it might be hard to grasp until he's in Double-A.
Matt (East York): Andy Oliver doesn't look over-matched so far in the bigs. What kind of long-term potential do you see in him? A lefty that throws in the mid 90s with decent breaking balls is pretty special. Gets lots of groundballs and strikeouts.
Kevin Goldstein: Yes, he could be pretty special. That breaking ball did not exist in college, so all credit to the Tigers there. No. 2 ceiling.
Paul (Spokane): Is Michael Pineda a top 50 prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: My gut says yes.
Navin (Toronto): Any early reports on Gyorko?
Kevin Goldstein: Sure can hit, sure needs a defensive home. No change from West Virginia days.
John (Kansas): I've read a Grady Sizemore comparison for Brett Jackson. Fair or foul?
Kevin Goldstein: Foul. Jackson's tools are good, but not in Sizemore's league.
Kenny (Lalaland): While Russell seems to be being exposed to AA pitching, Sands just keeps raking. What do you make of this guy?
Kevin Goldstein: He's a bat only guy, but man, he just might have enough bat to really make some noise. I do worry that he's due for a slump at some point. He's not a mistake hitter, he's a mistake DESTROYER and he's going to see less of them.
Sanchez101 (Santa Barbara, CA): We know Dee Gordon is barely surviving at the plate in AA. What about defense? If he's a plus glove at SS he still seems like good prospect. If he's shaky there, or worse, has to move to the outfield - then were talking poor-man's Juan Pierre.
Kevin Goldstein: Barely surviving? I understand that he's should very little secondary skill wise, but .290 is hardly 'barely surviving.' Defense remains a combination of sloppy and spectacular, but he's got time to figure it out.
Reggie (MD): Will Joe Mahoney overtake (if not already) Brandon Snyder for the O's best 1B prospect? He's shown a lot of power this year...can he keep it going? Thanks.
Kevin Goldstein: Not a fan. 23-year-old guy putting up good, not great numbers in High-A? Pass.
Joe (Myerstown): What is the ETA and potential of Bryan Morris? Things are looking up for the future in Pittsburgh.
Kevin Goldstein: Late 2011; No. 3 starter.
Rex Little (Big Bear, CA): When we talk about a "five-tool player", we really mean skills, not tools. What would you say are the tools--raw physical attributes--a player needs if he hopes to develop these skills? Not in any particular order, I'd list foot speed, arm strength, sharp eyesight, eye-hand coordination, reaction time, wrist strength and flexibility, and agility. Any others? Do scouts ever try to measure these attributes directly?
Kevin Goldstein: Another fun question. But I am going to disagree with you on your premise. We're talking tools not skills. That said, this individual attributes play a HUGE role in all of them.
Hip2Hops (Seattle): Teheran got lit up the other night. Any thoughts?(Not suggesting it means anything unless there is context--velocity drop, etc?)
Kevin Goldstein: Shit happens. No worries.
Gary LaPlante (South Windsor CT): Am I the only one that thinks that it is insane to move Scheppers back into the rotation?
Kevin Goldstein: I just wrote about this yesterday. In their defense, the Rangers do want to get the guy innings; he's never throw more than like 90 in a season. Still, I'd bet he's in the Rangers BULLPEN sometime this year.
James (Stamford, Texas): The continued development of Elvis Andrus - your thoughts?
Kevin Goldstein: He's been better this year, but strangely so, as the OBP is up, but the SLG is only .337. I still don't think he's the next big thing, as much as just a really good player.
19Yanks23 (Lancaster Ca): Love your stuff man. What is the ETA and potential of Slade Heathcott? And who do you see replacing Jeter in a couple of years? Definitely not that kid they just drafted. By the way, the Yankees had an odd draft in my opinion. Thoughts?
Kevin Goldstein: That kid they just drafted, Cito Culver, is the best SS in the system, so there's that. I don't think Jeter's replacement is currently a Yankee. Heathcott has been impressive, but it's way too early to think about ETAs.
redsoxin2004 (Columbia, CT): I've read scouts say that Bryce Harper has "off the charts" power which I equate to 80. Please put that into perspective. Who in the MLB, past or present, would have 80 power? Who would have 80 speed, throwing arm, batting eye, fastball, curveball, etc...
Kevin Goldstein: We talked about this on the podcast! 80 power guys are Howard, Stanton (at least two that come to mind). 80 speed is Joey Gathright, Gary Brown. Ichiro has an 80 arm, Feliz has an 80 fastball, can't think of an 80 curve, batting eye is NOT a tool, no matter what anyone tells you.
Bill (NYC): Actually outside the pick of Culver, which was really more of a surprise than anything, I think the Yankees had a fine draft - a lot of upside, atheltic guys and power arms. Am I wrong?
Kevin Goldstein: You are not.
huckyoda (New York): "Kevin Goldstein: My gut says yes."
What happened to Baseball Prospectus???
Kevin Goldstein: Really? I'm supposed to have some running Top 50 that's always filled with the latest info? I put a TON of work into any ranking I do and I don't rank on the fly. I talk to TONS of people AND I use my gut. THAT's BP, where we think hard before we open our mouth. That said, my gut plays a role in ranking, and that's not going to change.
Joel (Washington, DC): I have to ask --- is there ANY possibility that Alex Presley has discovered a secret formula and turned into a prospect? He was exellent at Altoona and already has a cycle and a two HR game in 10 days for AAA Indianapolis.
Kevin Goldstein: This is real on some level, but he's probably no more than a nice fourth outfielder in the end, which is a huge upgrade over the org guy he was entering the year.
Mike (Utica,NY): Would Strasburg's curveball/slider be considered close to an 80 pitch??
Kevin Goldstein: I know scouts who have put an 80 on the change., 70+ on the breaking ball. No pitcher in baseball matches his stuff on a scouting level.
ramjam36 (Fort Worth, TX): What do you think of Christian Santana? Always had big tools, but he's finally putting up some production in Hickory...
Kevin Goldstein: Not sure about always having big tools after the power, and it's his third year at Low-A. Still a lot of holes in that swing.
Bret (Toronto): You had JP Arencibia listed with your options for the #11 spot on your rankings today. What do you make of him, and his insane run in AAA the last few months? What kind of ceiling do you think he may have in the big leagues?
Kevin Goldstein: I think you need to focus on what he CAN do. In today's game, an average defensive catcher with that kind of power is an all-star.
Robert (Lyndhurst, NJ): Travis Wood is making his ML debut right now - 2 scoreless innings thus far. What's his ceiling? #4 or higher?
Kevin Goldstein: I think four is about right, and I like him.
Paul (DC): Jordan Schafer. Stick a fork in him?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, at least hold the fork over him, and threaten him with a puncture.
ramjam36 (Fort Worth, TX): Is there a player in baseball with better all around tools than Josh Hamilton? Its pretty awesome watching him when he's healthy and in the zone...Justin Upton?
Kevin Goldstein: Both good candidates. Hamilton is nothing short of ridiculous. The fact that he's this good after almost throwing his career, hell, his life away, shows just what at amazing athlete he is.
Clint (Chicago): You had Matt Purke as one of your top three prospects next year. As a current freshman, is he eligible next year or does he have to wait until 2012?
Kevin Goldstein: He turns 21 next year, so he's eligible.
Rave (Mahwah, NJ): Ruben Tejada: still just a utility guy or does he have a chance to be a regular with J Wilson type career?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, he's not the glove wiz Wilson is. I could see him having some years as a second-division starter certainly.
Sean (Boston): What do you think of both Cub arms Trey McNutt and Chris Archer? Ceilings?
Kevin Goldstein: Huge, HUGE McNutt fan. I saw him twice before the promotion and he was up to 96 (some have had him higher than that) with a really good slider. The control comes and goes, but that's one helluva arm. Great find for the Cubs there.
Joe (Altoona): Assuming the Pirates sign Taillon and Allie, do they have a top caliber group of SP prospects in Allie, Taillon, Morris, Owens, Wilson, ZVR, Cain, etc. etc.?
Kevin Goldstein: Ceiling wise, none of those guys come anywhere close to Allie and Taillon.
don (lansing): looks like Daniel Fields is holding his own as a 19 year old in the FSL, any word on how he looks? is he still at SS? Detroit hasn't had a decent homegrown SS since Alan Trammell.
Kevin Goldstein: He's playing center field, and looking good there. Holding his own is all he's doing. Good approach, but a lot of strikeouts. Bit of a project, but like the upside.
Eric (Iowa): I would love to hear your thoughts on Trevor Cahill's success this year. The K rates are rising!
Kevin Goldstein: As they say over at NeoGAF . . . believe.
Mike (Chicago): Ok, the Cubs have me baseball depressed. Again. If I were to pick a Kane County game to go to, which opponent should I try to see?
Kevin Goldstein: Cedar Rapids. Beyond Trout, they have the best rotation in the league with Skaggs, Martinez and Richards all likely Top 11 prospects in the org and a nice sleeper in giant closer John Hellweg. And I mean GIANT, dude is like 6-9, 230.
charles (nyc): Who's the best defensive catcher in the minors right now (or a couple of candidates)?
Kevin Goldstein: Brian Jeroloman? I guess Taylor Teagarden is eligible, Bryan Holloday, once he signs with Detroit is in the team photo.
S R (NYC): Can Brad Holt be a good reliever if he does not make it as a starter?
Kevin Goldstein: I've thought he'd be better in the pen since the day he was drafted.
Joe (Altoona): And the ceilings of Taillon and Allie are what exactly? Do you think they have a decent chance of reaching those potentials?
Kevin Goldstein: They both have true No. 1 ceilings. Taillon is the FAR safer bet, but we are dealing with 18 year olds here.
rgmoore68 (los angeles): Jerry Sands - I read a report today saying that he was an above average defensive outfielder and 1st baseman. If that's true, what kind of prospect is he?
Kevin Goldstein: What if that's not true? He's not a good first baseman, he's only ok in the outfield.
Yoopie (Winnipeg): Hey Kevin, love your chats!
Were bigger things expected from Aaron Hicks this year? He seems to be producing an exact duplicate of last year in A.
Kevin Goldstein: More was definitely expected out of him, but he's still spectacular at times, and one has to think that we'll begin to see 'that guy' more often.
Dave (Milton): Matt Davidson has hit pretty well in the tough MWL. Do you think he has the ability to stick at 3B long-term for the Dbacks? I think he could eventually put up huge numbers in Arizona and make Mark Reynolds expendable.
Kevin Goldstein: I don't think either he, nor Borchering will play third base in the majors. Both are bad defenders at the hot corner.
Jeff (Pittsburgh): Anything new on Max Stassi? Is his arm good enough behind the plate?
Kevin Goldstein: I think he'll be fine back there. He'll, I think he'll be well above average back there.
goiter6 (MN): Is Jeff Clement likely to ever be a starter again?
Kevin Goldstein: In Triple-A, sure.
19Yanks23 (Lamcaster Ca): I know Caston is our best SS prospect but that's not really saying much is it? We don't exactly have the best ss prospects obviously. He wasn't even on people top 200 lists and he went 32? Am I missing something?
Kevin Goldstein: You are missing a ton. We talked about this on the podcast, but who's Top 200 lists are you talking about? Mine, Keith Law's? Baseball America's? Perfect Game's? All do great work, but do any of them have better information on the kid than the Yankees, who have had him on their scout team for two years straight and got like 30 in-person views this year from probably six different scouts and front-office officials? I mean seriously, who the hell are we to say that's a 'bad' pick considering that?
Josh (Columbia, MD): Josh Bell just called up to Baltimore. How's his defense?
Kevin Goldstein: Average glove, plus arm.
x (y): play any good video games recently?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm currently WELL into (about 40 hours) Resonance of Fate, a pure Japanese RPG filled with baroque and difficult to understand battle systems and gameplay mechanics. I adore the game, but it's definitely not for everyone.
Matt (Whippleville, NY): Brandon Moore is old for Low A, but his numbers are ridiculous. Why isn't he considered a prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: Because he's far more of a strike thrower than a stuff guy.
iorg34 (Flatbush): Six straight Future Shock columns without a Twins farmhand. That can't be a good sign.
Kevin Goldstein: Things are cyclical, that's a good system.
bctowns (Chicago, IL): Kevin,
I was a little surprised to find Brett Wallace absent from the midseason top 11. Are you concerned by the Vegas-inflated numbers? Or has he tailed off while I wasn't paying attention? Seems like we haven't heard much about him lately in the Future Shock updates. Thanks for all the good work, as usual.
Kevin Goldstein: I'm just not that big a fan. He's a good average first baseman with a good-not-great walk rate and below average power for the position. I don't see an impact player there.
tfierst (MN): Fastest player: Jennings, Revere, or Trout?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know. The home to first times on Trout and Revere are pretty much exactly the same. Jennings maybe by a tick.
Matt (PA): How far down the list of top prospects would you have to look to find Jared Cosart & Jon Singleton from the Phillies' system?
Kevin Goldstein: Not crazy far.
tommybones (brooklyn): The Rays are gonna deal Upton, call up Jennings and sign Crawford to a long term deal, right? Right?
Kevin Goldstein: Could happen, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Dave Thompson (Rhode Island): Brackman, really turning the corner or just a tease?
Kevin Goldstein: Far more than just a tease, but I'm not ready to call the corner completely turned. Very real progress certainly.
Comic (Relief): Speaking of stupid comps, is there a little bit of Tim Salmon in Mike Trout?
Kevin Goldstein: And if you put him on the mound, does he remind you of Angels farmhand Robert Fish?
Bedley (Toronto): Happy Canada Day Kevin! Do you think Michael Pineda is a future frontline starter? He's been fantastic this year.
Kevin Goldstein: It's Canada Day? Happy Canada Day. It should be noted, than an apology to Canada is on the agenda for the podcast. Pineda has frontline ceiling for sure. I'd like to see more consistency from his secondary offerings before I go there, however.
James Dolan (NYC): Does Lebron sign with the Yankees?
Kevin Goldstein: I just want him to sign with SOMEONE so I stop hearing about it.
PB (Wall Street): Chris Davis is crushing it to the tune of 333/384/511 in Oklahoma. The guy only got 48 ABs in the majors this year, and he is still only 24 years old. Seems to me it is way too early to call him quad-A or to let him waste away in the minors. When does he get a shot again, with which team will it be, and at what position?
Kevin Goldstein: I will say, I don't think he has the kind of trade value a lot of teams do, as he's still a guy who has bombed out of the big leagues not once, but twice. Teams remember that stuff.
tommybones (brooklyn): The perfect Rays lineup right now would be?
Kevin Goldstein: Bench, Gehrig, Robinson, Schmidt, Wagner, Williams, Mays, Mantle with Pedro Martinez in his prime on the mound?
DavidLADodgers (Sonoma State University, CA): Yo! Still digging the podcasts! Could you come up with a top ten, team-specific list of prospects that, if called up today, would outperform the current MLB regulars at their position?
Kevin Goldstein: Thanks Davis, and it should be noted that our biggest podcast fan in David's mom who "just thinks we are funny." This one would require a lot of thought, but I'm storing it away for future article ideas.
Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks. So much to do, so little time to do it. I'll be back soon and thanks for all the great questions.