Craig rings in the new year with 2014's first chat.
Craig Goldstein: Thanks for joining me for the first BP Chat of 2014. I apologize for everything that is about to happen.
Principal Scudworth (Clone High): Did you see the pool?
Craig Goldstein: THEY FLIPPED THE BITCH! Now that's how you start a chat, amirite?
Travs Hound (Arkansas): What can you tell me about Cleveland's Francisco Mejia?
Craig Goldstein: To be honest I can't tell you more than the profile that was written up by Jason Parks and the BP Prospect team here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22313. I can tell you I really like what I've been hearing about him, and I'd get in on him now before he gets more expensive.
ironcityguys (Pittsburgh): How much has George Springer's 2013 season changed how scouts view his abilities? Has last season changed the view at all about Springer's ability to improve awful swing-and-miss ratios?
Craig Goldstein: I don't think it's changed much at all. He is still an aggressive two-strike swinger and that's going to result in a lot of strikeouts. I think what people have come around to is that it's not going to sink him as a prospect, which is why the view seems a bit rosier this time around.
Levi Strauss (1800s): Not a question, just an observation. If I had intended for prospectors to put gold in their wallets, I wouldn't have created my jeans with such sturdy, tough pockets. OK, I'll hang up now and go back to haunting an American Apparel store, thanks.
Craig Goldstein: The times, they are a-changin'
MRubio52 (Chicago): #Craig, why do you prefer pies over cakes? Do you secretly hate America?
Craig Goldstein: How can I love pie and hate America when America IS apple pie? Pies are just better, on the whole. Cakes have their place but they're often dry. Plus, pie takes fruit and makes it bad for you. Nothing more American than that.
Trevor Bauer (NY): Would you keep Wily Peralta for 5 bucks or should I keep the cash for next years draft?
Craig Goldstein: With the caveat that it depends entirely on your league type/rules/team situation, I'd wager that Peralta exceeds $5 in value. That said, opportunity cost is always at play in these situations.
bhacking (Toronto): New addtions to the AL: Better pick is Dexter Fowler or Adam Eaton?
Craig Goldstein: I prefer Fowler. I think there's some fatigue on him so the popular answer might be Eaton, but I think their upsides are similar and Fowler's base, while not what we want it to be, is still really useful. I still like Eaton though. Both good options.
dipotonotdipoto (brooklyn): Settle these arguments for me please:
1) James Loney or Logan Morrison in a 5x5 league (12 team, AL-only)?
2) How many dates are you allowed with a girl in November/December before you have to take her home for the holidays?
Craig Goldstein: Give me Loney. I'm not a big fan of Morrison, especially not in that park. The second question is an interesting one. A lot depends on the situation, but I'd say you're allowed as many as you want. Boundaries with family are big to me, and I think 2 months is not that long to force family on a potential significant other.
RotoLando (Cloud City): Have you considered moving to Denmark? You could put their coins with holes in them on your wallet chain, along with your keys.
Craig Goldstein: If you tell me what time it is in New York again, you are going home in a body bag!
(Also, I do NOT have a wallet chain. That's Sam Miller).
Trevor Bauer (NY): Who is your favorite Duck Dynasty Character?
Craig Goldstein: Whichever one brings about the end of that abomination of a show.
Fill Humber (Outback): If you had to pick one animal to be locked in a room with would you pick a python or a bobcat?
Craig Goldstein: Gimme the bobcat. I think we could make it work.
Tony (The tundra): A fantasy baseball question - unsure if this is the right Q&A for it but anyways ... I have Machado (and love him but I also have Castellanos to fall back on for 3B, along with planning on drafting the ultimate utility man, Ben Zobrist) and was offered Freddie Freeman. It is an eight-man keeper league and I have Manny for $5 and Freeman is $12. The only reason I am considering it is my concern for Manny's knee. Any knowledge on his progression/healing and, then, is this is a fair trade considering everything? I am leaning towards no since I think Manny will be a stud for years to come but so will Freeman in my opinion. Thanks
Craig Goldstein: It might not seem like the right place... but it is. I think you keep Machado. I like Freeman, more than people might think - but Machado is a potential superstar at a more valuable position. I'm concerned about the knee as well, but if this is a long-term league then I think you take that risk.
fishersehorn31 (VA - The 540): SS Prospect Watch: Addison Russell vs. Alen Hanson. Who has a bigger upside and who is less of a risk?
Craig Goldstein: Russell and Russell. I like Hanson ok, but they're not in the same class. Also, there's a decent chance Hanson isn't a SS long-term.
dbrosene (San Mateo, CA): Thanks for doing the chat, Craig! I play in a dynasty league where we are allowed to draft amateurs. Tyler Glasnow and Lucas Sims for Jacob Gatewood. Which side wins out?
Craig Goldstein: Take the pitchers. I like Gatewood a bunch, but they're that much closer to the majors and they are valuable properties in and of themselves. Gatewood isn't perfect as a prospect so go with the guys who are closer to providing value.
Paul (DC): Econ 101 tells us supply and demand determine price in a market. This hot stove season's FA signings in general appear exorbitantly expensive for the quality of the players involved. Is there a distinct lack of supply in this year's FA market?
Craig Goldstein: I think it's a combination of new money (every team received a bump of around $25M in revenue thanks to new National TV deals) and a dearth of talent. I don't think it's going to get "better" anytime soon, either. That said, I'm all for players receiving more money.
Fred (Chicago): My catcher situation in a 10-team AL-only league is ugly. I spent most of last year with Chris Iannetta in my lineup, then I picked up Josh Phegley when he was called up. Will Phegley be usable in such a league in 2014? The next-best available option seems to be Derek Norris.
Craig Goldstein: I'd take Norris over Phegley in a heartbeat.
Jim (Detroit): I'm looking at three third basemen on my team, and they all have question marks for the upcoming season: Mike Moustakas, Xander Bogaerts, and Nick Castellanos. What are your thoughts on these three for 2014 and beyond? Do I need to try to get someone more experienced by opening day?
Craig Goldstein: I don't think you need more experience. Bogaerts is going to be valuable immediately, and I believe in Castellanos' bat as well. I'm not a Moustakas fan, but with that amount of depth at/near the major leagues I think you're ok.
Trevor Bauer (NY): What 80's celebrity couple is Luiz Gohara the love child of?
Craig Goldstein: Erik Estrada and a water buffalo
Pie (Somewhere): This is a fantasy baseball question. Do you prefer whipped cream or no on pies?
Craig Goldstein: that's a hard pass. HARD pass. It detracts from the beauty that is the pie. Enjoy things for what they are - don't muddle them with condiments.
Pie (Somewhere): I THOUGHT WE WERE GETTING SONG LYRICS TO START THE CHAT
Craig Goldstein: I used them on Twitter, get with the program
Mike (Ingleside ): C.j Edwards or Pierce Johnson?
Craig Goldstein: C.J. Edwards and it's not that close for me. In the end I think he's a #3 starter and Johnson is more of a 4/5
CespedesBBQ (Dangerously Close To You): Wanna get lunch?
Craig Goldstein: I didn't get any before this chat so if you want to drop something off...
Guy Fieri (Flavor Town): Hi, I'm Guy Fieri and on this edition of "Baseball Prospectus Let Craig Do This Why?" we're gonna find out how I would be graded on the 20-80 scale if I played baseball.
Craig Goldstein: Looks like an All-Star to me: http://foodnetworkhumor.com/img/fieri-softball.jpg
Ben (Phoenix): Thoughts on Chris Owings and the potential SS completion for the D-backs?
Craig Goldstein: Really big fan and I hope they let him run with the position over Gregorius from a pure fantasy standpoint. He's not the defender Didi is, but I think he's a more complete player and would love to see his power play in that ballpark.
Junior (New York): Cheesecake - Cake or Pie?
Show your work.
Craig Goldstein: It's a cake, but it's one of my favorites. I'm not sure I see the argument for the pie label here.
bhacking (Toronto): I have Weiter and can 'upgrade' to get McCann at a minimal cost. Is it really an upgrade?
Craig Goldstein: Yes, I think it's more than a small upgrade as well.
Frank (Houston): Am I crazy to think Brad Peacock can break out in 2014?
Craig Goldstein: I don't think you're crazy but I do think mental health counseling is an option for everyone. Perhaps especially you.
Kiko (Cali): My 16-team dynasty points team offense is stacked. We start 5 SP each week and I've got 3 safe ones, 2 injury risks and the rest are veterans coming off surgery. There are about 400 players kept so there are only back-end MLB starters available in the draft. Would you advise targeting those types (Hector Santiago, Scott Kazmir, Tyson Ross, etc.) to address my immediate need? Or would you go for higher ceiling SP prospects to (Crick, Stroman, H. Harvey, Urias, etc.) that are farther away? The thinking with the latter is trading said prospects could yield a better MLB SP than what is available in the draft. Thanks!
Craig Goldstein: This is a great question and I'm not sure there's one right answer. I shade towards the side of picking the prospects, because of the three guys you listed I really only like Kazmir and I worry about his health, but it's hard to answer without knowing how your league values prospects who aren't close to the majors. I am a huge fan of all four prospects you listed though.
JoJo (SD): Matt Wisler - starter or reliever?
Craig Goldstein: Starter and a damn good one.
rwallik (Toronto): The Blue Jays have a protected first round pick this year. Do you think they are suitors for either U. Jimenez or E. Santana, and if so, who would be the better fit in Toronto?
Craig Goldstein: Realistically I think they do what they can to make their team better. The money would have to be right of course, but I don't think they're opposed to that type of acquisition. I think from a profile point of view, Ubaldo is the better fit since Santana is homer prone, but I also don't think Ubaldo retains the improvements he made.
Ben Skole (Your heart): I hear you have a thing for Arismendy Alcantara. Tell me why. Now tell me what he can do for my fantasy team. Tell me.
Craig Goldstein: I do indeed. I think he can be a .275/.340/.450 type hitter, at least early on, with some solid speed. What excites me most is his improvements in production WHILE moving up the chain. I like that he makes adjustments. I'm not sure if that projection is aggressive or conservative, but I don't like to put anything past a guy who can make adjustments like that.
Andrew (My personal hell): How much should I apologize for bringing Kevin onto twitter?
Craig Goldstein: There is literally no amount
Mike (Miami): Is a galette a pie even if it doesn't have a tin/circular shape?
Craig Goldstein: Is a hotdog a sandwich? The labeling of things doesn't bother me too much. I'd say it's NOT a pie, as it's a galette and that is in itself a separate thing. That said, I have little issue with someone offhandedly referring to it as a pie. Let's be open-minded here.
Matt (Chicago): Justin Grimm hasn't been in the discussion much as a SP in Chicago-know he was highly rated going into last season. Have people overreacted to his rough audition in TEX last yr? Thoughts on Kyle Hendricks?
Craig Goldstein: I think they have. It wasn't that long ago that Grimm was a potential #3 starter. I think he has retained that upside, but is less likely to reach it. That said he can be a serviceable backend starter and I think he sees plenty of time in Chicago these next two seasons. Hendricks is more of a 5/6 guy. Nice guy to have in the minors.
MikeGianella (My Lawn): Is this still a baseball site? What's with all of these pie questions? Did BP change its format without telling me? I never get these "in" jokes.
Craig Goldstein: We are now Baseball Piespectus
MRubio52 (The eye of Snowpocalypse): In a vacuum whom do you prefer, Henry Urrutia or Cody Asche?
Craig Goldstein: Give me Asche. I am intrigued by Urrutia but he'll be 27 this year and I'm not sure how much power there is. He's useful, but I'll take the third baseman.
Tuco (STL): The STL system gets a lot of hype but a couple SP I haven't heard much about - Tim Cooney and Alexander Reyes - had good years. Thoughts on these two in a deep dynasty league? Thanks.
Craig Goldstein: I'm a bigger fan of Reyes and actually own him in a deep NL-Only league. Both are worth rostering depending on the depth of your league/minor league system.
Paul (DC): What odds would you give for Kevin Youkilis winning the 2014 MVP award for the Japan Pacific League?
Craig Goldstein: All Wladimir everything
Trevor Bauer (NY): Hi Craig,
Would you erase Seinfeld from existence if it meant you would never have to hear an awful laugh track again?
Craig Goldstein: Absolutely not
Pie (Somewhere): How gross are Oreos on a scale of Awful to Horrendous?
Craig Goldstein: What is wrong with you?
Paul (DC): Javier Baez makes his Cubs debut on _____.
Craig Goldstein: June 8th (this is a total guess)
justarobert (Santa Clara): Describe your ideal peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Craig Goldstein: toasted bread (in a frying pan with the peanut butter on it to get it melty. Add jelly after. I'm not a bread-fiend, so I'd probably go with something basic like sourdough. Crust on.
RotoLando (Cloud City): I must have been bored out of my mind, because I just realized I traded Marcell Ozuna for Brad Peacock. Is there any way to spin this so I don't get laughed out of my league?
Craig Goldstein: Sure. There's a good chance Ozuna doesn't see playing time in the near future thanks to Yelich/Marisnick/Stanton
Parker11 (TX): What can you tell me about Raimel Tapia?
Craig Goldstein: He's about to get blown up as a prospect. Can hit and hit for power. He's a ways away, but I'd get in while the getting is good.
TommyC (Rosemont): Please tell a heavily-invested-in-Brett-Lawrie owner that everything will be ok. And, failing that, that my long-term infield plan of Baez, Gyorko, Castro, E. Rosario, and JP Crawford might look ok in a really deep league.
Craig Goldstein: I'm a little concerned about Lawrie at this point. The talent is there, to be sure, but at some point we need to see production. I'm still on board though. As for that infield, it looks good, though I'm not sure Rosario is long for the infield dirt. I'm higher on JP Crawford than others seem to be.
Jonah (Redwood): Looking for a RF in dynasty: Gregory Polanco and Kris Bryant both available. Preference?
Craig Goldstein: If it needs to be a RF, go with Polanco. If you want the better fantasy player, go Bryant.
fishersehorn31 (VA - The 540): Best all around fantasy catching prospect (weighing ceiling vs. risk)? Go.
Craig Goldstein: I think it's Swihart, right now. Alfaro is close and I'd go with Reese McGuire next.
Pie (Somewhere): Favorite type of pie?
Craig Goldstein: That's like choosing between children. As of this very moment, I'm most craving some mud pie
Paul (DC): Who begins the year as the Marlin's starting centerfielder? Who ends the year as the Marlin's starting centerfielder?
Craig Goldstein: I think it could be Marcell Ozuna if he's healthy to start the season, but I think it's Jake Marisnick by season's end.
Trevor Bauer (NY): Would you take a girl to the waffle house on a first date? Do you think that would break my shot of a real serious relationship with here?
Thanks Craig, I really enjoy your work and knew you could be the one to help.
Craig Goldstein: If she doesn't appreciate Waffle House, you don't want any part of her
Martha Stewart (Kitchen): Would you like to tell me, Martha Stewart, cake savant, that pie is better than cake? In the Dessert World, cake dominates pie in all phases of the game. Since this is a Baseball Chat, I'll leave you with this...... They make Bundt Cake..... Case closed.
Craig Goldstein: #KillTheBundt
Pie (Somewhere): Okay. Serious question but only if you answered the less serious question which was still kind of serious. Puig O/U 4 wins this season?
Craig Goldstein: I think he goes over, though I'm quite biased as a Dodgers fan. I think something in the 5-win range is reasonable.
ironcityguys (Pittsburgh): Noah Syndergaard... What current or recent ML pitcher do you feel he most resembles?
Craig Goldstein: I don't think comps do a service to anyone really. I like Syndergaard a bunch though. I like his chances of being a #2 starter.
Juan (Not Texas): Could you grade the following on the 20-80 scale:
Bartolo Colon's #Want:
Craig Goldstein: Apple Pie: 55 Scrambled Eggs: 50 Bacon: 70 Bartolo: I think he's got 65-70 #want, but equal if not more #slack
JP731 (Wisconsin): How many Mike Bordicks would it take to beat one Yasiel Puig in a street fight?
Craig Goldstein: 3.5
Trevor Bauer (NY): I just emptied my wallet and found some change. Help me Craig
Craig Goldstein: You, my friend, are not in need of help.
Francois (Toronto): Looking for a long-term solution at SS, and while I have options, my best two (in terms of fantasy impact/value) are Javier Baez (draft) or Xander Bogaerts (trade). My question- in two parts- is: 1) Do you see them both sticking at SS, for say at least the next 3-5 years, and 2) is a June 6 Baez call up (I know it was a guess) at all realistic, or am I waiting for a September cup of Joe?
Craig Goldstein: Baez has torn through the minors thus far and logged 54 games in Double-A last year (and performed exceedingly well). I think June 6th or 8th or whatever I said is possible though I don't think it's probable. I'd go with Bogaerts as I think he's got a better chance of sticking at SS for longer, though my guess is his cost in trade is going to be exorbitant. The value play might be Baez, but it's also riskier.
Floyd (Flowmont): Who are some of the prospects you are much higher on than other analysts?
Craig Goldstein: Find a small hard-throwing pitcher and I'm higher on him than other analysts. There's something I find seductive about the easy heat that guys like Yordano Ventura, Danny Salazar, Carlos Martinez and others of that ilk can generate.
AJ (Phoenix): 20-team dynasty league. Two of the top three teams about to make a trade: Team A is younger, but lacks enough impact pitching to win a title. Team B is creeping up there in age and injury. Assuming both offenses are stacked and the pitching for both is above average or better, Team A sends Giancarlo Stanton, Matt Cain, and 1-1 pick (aka Byron Buxton) for Team B's Hunter Pence, Yu Darvish, 1-3 pick, and Dylan Bundy... fair trade?
Craig Goldstein: Yeah, that's fair. I prefer Team B's side, but it's fair.
Sara (Tacoma): With my first round pick in our prospect draft, I'm eying a pitcher. Archie Bradley, Masahiro Tanaka, Jonathan Gray, Mark Appel, Noah Syndergaard, Lucas Giolito, and Robert Stephenson are all still on the board. Which 2 or 3 are on your shortlist, and who do you pick & why? Thanks for the chat!
Craig Goldstein: Oh man that's fun agonizing at the same time. Bradley/Giolito are my top two. Tanaka is probably my third because he'll pitch in the majors so soon. It depends on your team's timetable. If you're contending sooner, Bradley. If you can wait (because of depth or because you're bad) go with Giolito.
Mark (Springfield): Any concerns over Mauer's concussion lingering? Choosing between keeping him ($24) vs Choo ($32) in an OBP league.
Craig Goldstein: I do have concern. Concussions are hard to figure out and they can recur quite easily. Of course, it very well could never be an issue again. That's tough to figure because $8 is substantial. I might be inclined to keep Choo, though Mauer's year remaining at C is tempting
Dennis (LA): Thank you for the chat, Craig. Who do you like better over the next few years, Matt Garza or Ubaldo Jimenez? Do you think Ubaldo is worth giving up a first round pick (say around pick #15) to sign if you need a mid-rotation starter like the Angels?
Craig Goldstein: Give me Garza. I'm not at all confident he changes in Ubaldo's mechanics are here to stay.
RotoLando (Cloud City): What do you think of Nate Eovaldi as a deep dynasty target? Sure, The Marlins suck, but he throws some heat.
Craig Goldstein: Perfectly viable option. He doesn't miss a ton of bats despite the heat, and I'm not sure he ever develops that swing and miss pitch but he's still useful in that park, to eat innings. He holds the velocity well and should stick as a starter.
cracker73 (Florida ): Could you rank by ceiling: Taillon, Glasnow, Urias?
Craig Goldstein: This answer could change 5 minutes from now but: Taillon, Urias, Glasnow. Urias is just so hard to figure as a projection right now.
AndrewBall (PA): Do you think Byron Buxton is being overrated from a fantasy perspective? Sure he's a terrific prospect in all regards, but a good chunk of his value comes from defense and his arm, plus as an OF he doesn't get the same positional boost as he does as a CF in the real world.
Craig Goldstein: I think it's possible depending on the league, but with the comparisons to Trout (merited or not), I'm not sure anyone is overstating his fantasy ceiling. There are leagues with the LF/CF/RF distinction so I think that's especially valuable there. He might be getting overrated as much as prospects tend to, but I think the skills merit the type of hype he's getting.
Jonah (Redwood): A follow-up... you think Bryant is going to stick in the dirt? #Castro #Alcantara #Baez #Olt
Craig Goldstein: I am working on the assumption that he's a third baseman, since that's where he's played. I assume one of those guys ends up on another team.
Matt (Chicago): Who is more likely to stick as Cubs 3rd baseman of the future, Olt or Villanueva? Neither?
Craig Goldstein: I lean towards Bryant, but if choosing between those two: give me Olt.
JoJo (SD): In dynasty with no adds/drops in season, how willing would you be to forgoe backups to stash prospects? Say that Carlos Santana is your catcher and guys like Ianetta and Soto are available in the draft. Would you rather risk injury to Santana and be forced to get taken to the cleaners in trade than spend a spot on these bums vs. SP prospects like Stroman and Sanchez?
Craig Goldstein: I'd take the backup in this situation.
TommyC (Rosemont): In response to an earlier question, what level of play from Puig would seriously, genuinely surprise everyone? 7 wins? I would look at a 7 win season from him and go "yeah, that was an insane season, didn't quite see it coming, but the tools were obviously there"
Craig Goldstein: I think surprise would tend to come on the lower end of production, though I think we can all acknowledge that that's possible. If he produced a 9-win season, would we be surprised? I think we'd know it's not a true talent level, but given his baseline, I'd say it's within the range of possibilities. In short... I have no idea.
MRubio52 (Chicago): In Dynasty formats with a standard 5x5 who should be the first SS taken?
How much do you trust Tulowitzki and Hanley?
And, who has the better eyes: Bryant or Addison Russell?
Craig Goldstein: I have recently grappled with this very question, and I think my answer is Xander Bogaerts. I believe in the bat, and he's going to start contributing right now. Hanley and Tulo both have serious injury histories. Bogaerts is going to trail those guys in production for the next couple years most likely... but I think he catches them long-term and perhaps sooner than we think. Give me Russell on the eyes.
TommyC (Rosemont): Do you know anyone who thinks Chris Sale can prevent his arm from flying off his shoulder in the future? And does the general injury sqeaumishness related to his delivery present an exploitable opportunity for owners to draft/acquire through trade at a lower price?
Craig Goldstein: I think it can be exploitable. The arm action worries me, though at some point one acknowledges that it's working for now. I do think injury gets him at some point, but that can be said for most any pitcher.
Rex Little (Big Bear CA): Who's the better bet for impact in 2014: Marisnick or Robbie Grossman?
Craig Goldstein: Marisnick. I just think the tools are better to make an impact.
Ben Carsley (Snow): Will you please tell people I'm not just another Twitter account run by you?
Craig Goldstein: It's weird that I wrote myself this question, right?
AndrewWithHats (Asheville, NC): Favorite offseason thing so far?
Craig Goldstein: Shin-Soo Choo's hair
CespedesBBQ (Your Soul): How are you feeling, Craig?
Craig Goldstein: hungry, where's my lunch?
fishersehorn31 (VA - The 540): How much PT do you think 2B Jemile Weeks will get in Baltimore and will he produce?
Craig Goldstein: I think that trade was more about dumping $$ than it was getting Weeks. I'm torn on Weeks. It's a crowded scene with Flaherty there and Schoop coming. I like Schoop long-term so I guess I'm down on Weeks as an asset. I think he produced more than he's done so far, but not enough.
DogsWithHats (.): This is for Coldstein,
what should I invest in?
Craig Goldstein: Rage
Steve (Toronto): If the Jays want to use Cabrera as a DH, who would be a better OF Lind or Edwin?
Craig Goldstein: This question has broken me. Is this really being considered? What an awful idea.
JoJo (SD): Can you give me 5 SP prospects you are higher on than industry? I really like Eddie Butler, despite Coors looming.
Craig Goldstein: Joe Ross, Chris Anderson, Jesse Hahn, Edwin Diaz, Miguel Almonte. I like Butler too
AJ (Phoenix): If you're a contending team loaded on offense (say for 2B: H. Kendrick) do you roll the dice and deal Segura for Bogaerts? Assume that other pieces are involved here besides the SS.
Craig Goldstein: With the caveat that it definitely depends on the other pieces, yes. I make that deal.
Theo Epstein (Wrigleyville): So based on your answers, I assume you think I am going to trade someone from my infield not named Rizzo or Bryant... care to venture a guess as to who/why/for what?
Craig Goldstein: I think it could be Castro, though I would wonder if he could hack it in center. I think there's enough of a history with Castro that he might be a "change of scene" guy in a year or two, though I say that believing that he bounces back in 2014. The return would be very hard to figure this far out.
Juan (San ME): In a dynasty fantasy league any advice on how to choose between high upside risky guys like Raimel Tapia and Eloy Jimenez (who look like more upside but no track record)?
Craig Goldstein: It's always a balance of upside and the chances they reach that upside. I like to look for what I call a realistic probability. I value Tapia far more than Jiminez just because of the distance to the majors. I am an upside-whore, but it's also important to value their timetable to producing for you.
Jacob (Washington DC): Rymer Liriano - what's up with him for this year? Is he gonna bounce back from his lost year?
Craig Goldstein: Interesting guy because he was a very tools based player - who still managed to produce (albeit usually in his second go-round at a level. The lost development time is big mark against him, but I don't think he was far from contributing before and while he might be delayed a bit, I still like him as an asset going forward.
justarobert (Santa Clara): Just for reference, the last 9 WARP seasons (rounding) by a RF? 2011 Jose Bautista, 2001 Sammy Sosa, 2001 Shawn Green, 1988 Jose Canseco, 1986 Jesse Barfield. (Add in LF, and you get a whole lot of Bonds, plus 2001 Luis Gonzalez and Rickey in 1990 and 1980. Also, holy 1980 Willie Wilson FRAA.) So I think I'd be surprised by a 9 win season.
Craig Goldstein: It's a fair point, but I think Puig is a better defender than Bautista so can contribute more on that side of the ball. I'm not saying it's likely - it's not - but I do think it's within his spectrum of production.
Matt (Whippleville, NY): Kevin Plawecki - does he have a shot at the majors this year? and how do you project his impact at the big league level? Thanks!
Craig Goldstein: I like Plawecki OK. He's an offense first catcher but I don't think he reaches the majors this year and I like D'Arnaud a lot, so I'm not sure what he is in the long term. He's more of a time-share catcher to me in the majors, unless he answers some of the questions on his defense. I'd say 2015 is a better bet for his arrival.
AJ (Phoenix): A guy in a few of my fantasy leagues is ignoring my emails. I share 4 leagues with him, and he's been active in discussing deals- with other managers- in at least three of them; yet I email the guy and.... nothing. Barring flying out to beat a response out of him, what are my options?
Craig Goldstein: That's a bizarre situation. I'd probably take it to the league commish to see if he can get an answer out of him. Assuming he can't get kicked out of the league, I'd say you just have to move on.
higgsboson (guelph): want do you think of a $1 Mejia in a 12 team NL 5x5 league this year that has 12 keepers? I'm set with Tyson Ross at $1, Charlie Morton $2, Medlen $1, Estrada $7, Samardzijia $1 for my pitching. Is Estrada going to have the breakout that makes him worth the $7?
Craig Goldstein: I like Mejia, but I have some concern about him pitching a full season. He'll exceed the $1 value but he threw fewer than 60 innings in 2013. He's going to get innings capped so, if that matters to you, act accordingly. I'd say $7 is just about my limit on keeping a guy like Estrada. I'm not sure he's a value play there, but is probably worth keeping.
Jesse (NY): I'm in an AL only dynasty league. Chris Davis is in the last year of his rookie contract (I drafted him several years ago), so one dollar, for one year. I don't think I'm a championship caliber team this year and looking to move him. I was offered Jonathan Singleton for Davis. While this obviously is terrible at face value, guys have no contract until they're called up. I then would get a 6 year contract at a dollar per year for Singleton, regardless of production. What say you?
Craig Goldstein: That's complicated. I'd probably hold out for a better offer, but I might take that come mid-season. I recently traded a $6 Davis who I could keep at that price for one more year or extend at a $5 raise per season, for a $1 Rendon, a $1 Ventura and a $9 McCann.
justarobert (Santa Clara): When, say, Sam chats, he gets all sorts of fantasy questions, even though he says he's not the one to ask about fantasy baseball. You're actually on the fantasy staff, and get mostly wallet and pie chat. What gives?
So as not to counter my own question too much: thoughts on Martin Prado and Victor Martinez for 2014 now that they have lesser positional eligibility?
Craig Goldstein: People love to troll. It obviously affects them, but at some point their production determines their value more than their versatility. I think versatility can get overrated in fantasy environments.
Pie (The Interwebz): Do you prefer Joldstein or Coldstein?
Craig Goldstein: It's not an either or situation. If I'm understanding the construct directly, they're two different characters housed in the same shell.
Coins (In a pocket): Is Xander Bogaerts going to be the very definition of sploosh this year?
Craig Goldstein: YE
Justin Millar (Not Canada): How do you like your eggs?
Craig Goldstein: I'm not a big eggs fan. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against them, but I don't often eat breakfast. I guess I'll go with "slathered in hollandaise"
Andrew (Your heart): when is our next man date?
Craig Goldstein: you got my digits, call me
John (MA): Rank these fantasy catchers for 2015: Gomez, Pinto, Mesoraco, and Swihart
Craig Goldstein: Mesoraco, Pinto, Gomes (assuming you meant Yan), Swihart. I don't think Swihart's a fast mover. I just really like him.
Justin (Missouri): I'm in a Dynasty League and I have Danny Hultzen, but with his injury, I am afraid to hold on to him. Should I trade him for highest offer, or do you think he can return from the torn rotator cuff? I am afraid of having another Tommy Hanson.
Craig Goldstein: I'd ditch him as soon as possible.
Phil (Buy Zoomies): Craig, do you need more 300% magnification in your life?
Craig Goldstein: No, as I am already the proud owner of zoomies.
tsweber (Reno): Will Rizzo ever reach potential?
Craig Goldstein: Assuming you mean what fans think he's going to be, I'll say no. I am down on Rizzo relative to others, though I still think he's plenty valuable.
Gotribe31 (DC): Long-term, Bundy or Gausman?
Craig Goldstein: Give me Bundy, but I have no conviction in that statement at all
Paul (St Louis): Who's going to be Rookie of the Year in the AL in 2014? What about AL MVP?
Craig Goldstein: I'll take the easy way out and say Jose Abreu given his guaranteed playing time. I think Trout gets it this year.
Caseyj15 (Medford, OR): How do you see the career of Homer Bailey and Andy Cashner over the next 5 years?
Craig Goldstein: If you mean who I prefer, I'll take Bailey. I have concerns on Cashner logging the necessary innings.
Gotribe31 (DC): The correct answer to Russell vs. Hanson is Lindor.
Craig Goldstein: This isn't a Parks chat. It's Russell.
Alex (Anaheim): Is Gary Sanchez a future All-Star?
Craig Goldstein: Not in my book.
JoeP (TX): 3rd round, 20-teamer, roto with OPS/Holds as add'l cats. Tiered salaries (1st round-$13, 2nd-$12, 3rd-$11). Profar or Choo?
Craig Goldstein: Choo, unless you're nowhere near contending.
Earl (Present): What are your thoughts on Doubront in 2014?
Craig Goldstein: He's not a stud, but for his cost I like his chances of racking up strikeouts and wins on that Boston team. Given the health history of their starters, I bet he eats innings regardless of where he starts the year.
Trey (Greenville): Re: Chris Owings - can you elaborate on the power you expect and the hit tool to get there?
Craig Goldstein: I just think he can hit for a decent amount of pop in that ballpark. He's not a home run hitter but he can make solid contact. He's not special at the plate but he hardly needs to be to be above-average for a shortstop
AnthopoJays (Houston TX): Braun or Cargo in dynasty?
Craig Goldstein: Braun
DogsWithAndrew (Welp): When will Puig's actions actually cause MLB to disband?
Craig Goldstein: If A-Rod hasn't brought this thing down, nothing will
Paul (DC): Would you care to make early, wildly inaccurate predictions on the 2014 NL and AL rookies of the year?
Craig Goldstein: I took Abreu earlier in the chat but that was dumb. Switch it to Bogaerts. In the NL I'll take...D'Arnaud, with Tanaka complicating things in either league.
Big Papi (DR): Can you rank some of the J2 guys from last year in terms of fantasy baseball... Jimmenez, Torres, Denvers, L Diaz, and Encarnacion. If you had to pick just one in a dynasty league which one?
Craig Goldstein: To be honest, I've written about ignoring these guys in fantasy until we actually know something about them. Until they're state-side I'm just not sure the reward is worth the risk.
Earl (The Present): AL 5x5, do you prefer L Cain or D Murphy?
Craig Goldstein: I'll take Cain but I'm pretty unhappy to be with the whole situation.
Trevor Bauer (NY): Who has had more sex, Puig or Wil Myers
Craig Goldstein: Myers' hair is a real problem. Puig's skin quality is a major plus. I think the answer is obvious.
RotoLando (Cloud City): Great Caesar's Ghost! What do I do with Rubby de la Rosa? As a starter, he's worth stashing in my dynasty league. As a closer, also worth stashing. 8th inning guy...okay, maybe...if there is nothing else on waivers. 7th inning...trade bait?
Craig Goldstein: Man, I love me some RDLR. If you're rosters are deep enough, sure, take a flier. At this point though I'm about ready to cut bait for someone else and jump on him when he's actually about to contribute.
Trevor Bauer (NY): A very large man approaches you and demands that you log off. How do you respond? Would you throw all your change in your wallet at his face and try to book it? Or would you just log off?
Craig Goldstein: I'd direct him to his actual target: Alex.
John (My basement): Top 5 dynasty prospects from this past draft?
Craig Goldstein: Off the top of my head: Bryant, Frazier, Gray, Stewart, Appel. The fifth one was tough for me. I also really like JP Crawford, Braden Shipley, Hunter Harvey and Reese McGuire. The first four I'm a little more confident on.
JJ (MPLS): What are your thoughts RE: Trevor Bauer?? At 23 is the luster completely gone?
Craig Goldstein: He's asking entirely too many questions in this chat.
Realistically though: I don't think it's completely gone, but I may be naive. He might be a candidate for a change of scenery (yes, again). Maturity is a complicated thing. There's no telling when he might actually be open to instruction. As soon as he is though, he becomes an interesting guy.
Alex Trebeck (Toronto): Does DJ Davis reach his potential? Does he end up a better fantasy option than Michael Borne?
Craig Goldstein: I'm not a big believer. No, and no. If he *does* it's going to be a long time coming. Patience will be important.
Francois (Toronto): This question is to petition for #Rage BP shirts. #SweratshopMort #YourAngerIsAGift
Craig Goldstein: I'd wear one.
justarobert (Santa Clara): What do you enjoy most about fantasy baseball? Least?
Craig Goldstein: I like constructing rosters and rebuilding teams. I like making the pieces fit together and I like that I can be invested in more than one team. My least favorite thing is probably dealing with terrible owners or being in a league where someone completely checks out. Also, the conflation of actual value with fantasy value.
MikeB (Ohio): Top three baseball reads?
Craig Goldstein: No order or anything but: I just finished Dollar Sign on the Muscle and loved it. One of the best I've ever read. I enjoyed The Art of Fielding. I don't read a ton of baseball books to be honest, I take most of my content in through articles.
Rex Little (Big Bear CA): I keep seeing the hashtag in BP chat questions (though it took quite awhile to show up today). I know it has something to do with Twitter, but since I don't use Twitter I don't know what it means. Could you explain?
Craig Goldstein: It depends a bit what you mean. In a general sense a hashtag is a way to search/compile things on the same topic on twitter. If you *were* on twitter you could click on a hashtag and it'd take you to a page where tweets using that hashtag are compiled (whether you follow them or not). If we limit the scope to BP, Parks and friends started using certain terms (#want, #rig, #sparkle, #slack) as descriptors and they gained popularity.
Gotribe31 (DC): Dodgers win the 2014 WS, or you win every fantasy league you enter for the next 5 years. Which would you pick?
Craig Goldstein: Dodgers, not close.
MRubio52 (Chicago): Why won't you trade me Eric Hosmer?
Craig Goldstein: Because I am of sound mind and heart.
chris (Phoenix): How much do Carpenter and Donaldson fall back from career type of years? Do you want part of either at their ADP?
Craig Goldstein: I don't. I think 2013 was a career year for both guys. Carpenter has too much of his value tied to contextual stats for my liking. There's value in those stats, but long-term, I like to gamble on skills. I talked about it here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22042
TommyC (Rosemont): What are your thoughts on the Cubs bullpen going into next season? Any hope for fantasy relevance out of Veras or Strop?
Craig Goldstein: Sure. Anyone who has the chance to close is fantasy relevant. I don't have a beat on who they prefer right now, but one is as likely to blow up as the next.
Ryan (Richmond): What are your expectations for Kevin Gausman this year?
Craig Goldstein: I think he ends up a bit up and down - both in terms of performance and how the team treats him. I'm still buying long term though
Jquinton82 (ny): Chris Davis... Hr and avg for real or do we see significant regression back to the norm?
Craig Goldstein: his first half line was .315/.392/.717 and his second half was .245/.339/.515. I think he splits those pretty well. He'll be closer to the second half line but he'll still be better. Very valuable guy still.
Gotribe31 (DC): Do you think Neftali Feliz closes in 2014?
Craig Goldstein: Not with consistency. I'd say fewer than 10
Gotribe31 (DC): Dynasty league; Josh Hamilton or Desmond Jennings?
Craig Goldstein: Woof. Give me Desmond. I don't think Hamilton is done, but I'll take Jennings given the nature of dynasty leagues.
fishersehorn31 (VA - The 540): NYY Mark Teixiera - bounce back year or dud?
Craig Goldstein: I think he can perform when healthy, I just don't think he'll be healthy.
chris (Phoenix): A friend and I have discussed trading prospects in our dynasty league minor league system (we keep 12). I give him Owens and I get Greg Bird. Power is a major issue with my team at the major league level and I have plenty of pitching where Owens isn't a huge need. Will Bird be a wise gamble and could become a legit corner power bat?
Craig Goldstein: This isn't to say Bird can't be a legit corner power bat, but I don't think it's likely. He's more of a second division guy to me, if that. I like Owens a significant amount more. No issue with trading Owens here, but aim higher.
Matt (Chicago): Is there any remaining hope for either Drabek or Gose? Gose seems like the type of guy who tantalize teams for some time.
Craig Goldstein: I'm out on Drabek until he proves it, but I'm still all about Gose. If he just gets the playing time I think his wheels generate value. He might be rough on some other categories but I still like him. I might be the last guy on that sinking ship though.
Uncle Leo (Brentano's): I'm old man! I'm confused!
Machado and Tanaka for Harper in a dynasty where there is a hard salary cap of $194 mil and player's salaries are equivalent to real life?
Craig Goldstein: This is tough. I think Tanaka's real life salary isn't necessarily going to be worth his production in fantasy value. I do think Tanaka/Machado is better than Harper when it comes to production though. I guess I'll take the consolidated production and the available dollars. Harper.
rookie319s (st louis): What do you think Tyrone Taylor's ceiling is? Thanks... Great chat so far!
Craig Goldstein: Thanks! I think he's going to get a lot of press because he's in a terrible system but I think he's more of a second division type when it's said and done.
fishersehorn31 (VA - The 540): Pedro Alvarez or Brett Lawrie?
Craig Goldstein: I personally would take Lawrie, but I am very much anti-Alvarez. I'm not a fan of one category contributors in general because when they go cold, they're utterly worthless.
bhacking (Toronto): Jose Abreu in 2014. More Puig or Viciedo? Of course I had Viciedo in 2013
Craig Goldstein: The cop out here is somewhere in between. I'm inclined to say more Viciedo, while still fairly better than Viciedo.
Gotribe31 (DC): I love Francisco Mejia. I cannot believe that the first Francisco Mejia question in 2014 came from someone else.
Craig Goldstein: I'm a little disappointed in you too.
Jacob (Chicago): Can keep 2 pitchers in standard league. Your input would be most welcome! Thank you.
Craig Goldstein: Darvish and Salazar. I like me some strikeouts.
jharrison3 (Illinois): F*** one, marry one, kill one:
The two CFB kids, and pie.
Craig Goldstein: Jake, Pie, Jordan. I'd apologize to Jordan but I'm not about to deal with Avril Lavigne the rest of my life. Also, this order is with the caveat that pie in this case is the food and not the internet personality. Resubmit if you mean Mark.
fishersehorn31 (VA - The 540): Trade (sim league):
Team A: Teixiera & Dominic Brown
Team B: Freddy Freeman? (Team A has OF depth)...pull the trigger?
Craig Goldstein: Yes do it now.
higgsboson (guelph): who wins the starting 2B job in COL? I see a lot of disagreement in projected playing time so far.
Craig Goldstein: The question is if it matters. I'd gamble on Rutledge just because if it's Lemahieu, he is inconsequential.
Slevin (Brooklyn): I'm a Matt Moore owner that's a little concerned with the BB. I'm looking to sell high on the potential. While I am well aware he could break out and burn me, I want to get something that will cause less sleepless nights. In a 1-for-1 trade, what SP's would you flip Moore for?
Craig Goldstein: This is a good and important question, but I haven't done rankings just yet for SPs, so I don't have a good answer here. We'll be doing some more chats going forward and I'll be able to answer in a few weeks.
AnthopoJays (Houston TX): Do you trade Buxton in dynasty for any two of the following three: Bryant, Frazier, Tanaka? Dynasty league with 6x6 (OPS added) and LF/CF/RF designations in the outfield.
Craig Goldstein: I probably do it for Bryant/Frazier but it's not a slam dunk. I'm not sure we know enough about Tanaka just yet to put him in this category.
JoJo (SD): Please rank for dynasty Stephenson, Ventura, Crick, Sanchez, Gray, Stewart, Stroman, Butler, Wisler, Heaney, Kingham, Glasnow, Urias, Fried, Z. Lee. Thanks.
Craig Goldstein: Gray, Ventura Stephenson, Stewart, Stroman, Crick, Glasnow, Butler, Urias, Wisler, Fried, Heaney, Z. Lee, Kingham. That's obviously going to change as soon as this season though.
chris (Phoenix): I was needling a friend of mine about Matt Moore that at this point he is essentially Derek Holland only a little younger. I am sure most everyone will say that Moore is better now and long term but can you see any basis in truth to my comparison?
Craig Goldstein: Holland has actually shown considerably more control over the last few years. I'm not sure the comparison works, but that doesn't mean Holland isn't better. It's all about whether you believe that Moore can put it together, because the pure stuff is better.
Pie (Somewhere): BUT WHO DO YOU PREFER TO BE?!?!?!?!
Craig Goldstein: Re: Coldstein/Joldstein
I get to be both. Why choose?
MetsFaithful5 (Upstate, New York): Zack Wheeler still have a chance at being an ace?
Craig Goldstein: there's still a chance. Not sure on the probability, though. I still really like Wheeler and envision him as a nice #2 in that rotation.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): I don't get why people don't think Rizzo has lived up to his potential. The Fister trade was a steal!
Craig Goldstein: He's been very good, but fan expectations get blown out of proportion. They see a .280 average and 23 homer season (even if they were in separate seasons) and think both are not only possible - but since he's only 23, he'll be a .280+/30 HR guy. I just don't think he is that. .265/22-25 seems more reasonable to me.
Mitch (Your attic): Does Beckett have anything left in the tank?
Craig Goldstein: I don't think so
Jordan (MN): Obv not a prospect, but what's your thoughts on Hec Santiago this year? Interesting guy or not?
Craig Goldstein: Interesting, certainly. I'm not a big fan and think he's a more valuable real life than fantasy guy. Not a bad addition by any means for LAA, just not a guy I love. Chicago folks seemed to love him though.
crodriguez (LA): On twitter you mention that you place loose coins in your wallet, rather than in your pocket. Why are you purposely wrong?
Also, what kind of fantasy impact do you think Tanaka will bring?
Craig Goldstein: People knock the coins in the wallet thing because they haven't tried it. That's fine - keep living in the dark ages. It might be somewhat conservative but I think he's a 3rd starter type in fantasy this year.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): I am saddened that you didn't get my unfunny "there are two Rizzo's joke"
Craig Goldstein: I think we're all a little disappointed in me.
Tuco (STL): Thoughts on Sean Manaea coming off hip surgery? Tempted to take a flyer.
Craig Goldstein: I wasn't a big fan of his come draft time, and I wasn't a fan of the Royals strategy to get him. That said, they have him and the reports are good. I was/am hesitant on a guy who showed a dominant Cape performance but then wasn't healthy enough to prove it over the long haul. At this point though, I think he's worth the flier.
Chris (Chicago ): Where would you target Jose Abreu? He's available in my MiL draft along with Tanaka so I'm curious where you would value those guys compared tot he recent draft class.
Craig Goldstein: I had Abreu as my 18th ranked 1B (that's MLB). That's probably conservative but I tend to be that way with imports. They're both top five guys compared to the draft class, I think, thanks to their proximity to the big leagues. I'd take both over the Moran's/Ball's/etc.
Jurickson Profar (Kinsler's Position): Can you project my numbers this year? I feel like I'm dialed in for a .290 with 20/30 season. That is my baseline.
Craig Goldstein: This is awful aggressive for me, especially on the HR/SB front. I think .290 is possible though I'd probably be more conservative with a projection. .280, 13-17 HRs and 10-15 stolen bases seems fair to me (he's only 2/6 in the stolen base dept in his career).
Jeff Samardzja (Wrigley): Craig, my club is trying to sign me to an extension 2 years before free agency. What is my fair market value these days all things considered and what should I sign for?
Craig Goldstein: The market is nuts right now, but I don't think Shark is more than a #3 starter. Those still get paid handsomely, and I think something exceeding the Nolasco contract is more than fair. I'd be most comfortable as a club in the $13-14M/year range. But I'm notably down on Shark compared to others.
jharrison3 (Illinois): I meant the food, but now you've got me curious. So, I'm resubmitting.
Craig Goldstein: Jake/Jordan/Pie. The puns need to stop.
RotoLando (Cloud City): What team is your early favorite to stream against?
Craig Goldstein: Hard to pick against Houston, despite some of their additions. Still lots of swing and miss on that team.
hotstatrat (another world): Any reason Francisco Pena wouldn't be the Royals back-up catcher this year?
Craig Goldstein: Brett Hayes exists? Not sure it matters much. Salvador Perez is going to catch a LOT of games.
justarobert (Santa Clara): What is an Oberholtzer?
Craig Goldstein: I think it's an old wooden ship
Jason (SJ): In a keeper league can only keep 3 of the following: Harper, Felix, Hanley, Puig, Myers, Wainwright, J-Fernandez, Encarnacion. I did have Braun and Harvey as well, but...you know. Go!
Craig Goldstein: Good golly that's a group. It's down to Harper, Hanley, Puig, Myers and Fernandez to me. Harper for sure. I think I'd go with Hanley and Puig next but I'm not sure how much my Dodgers bias plays in there. Puig and Myers are about dead even to me, and I'd hate to leave out Fernandez. I think that's what I'd do though.
Rob (Alaska): More of a philosophical question, but how do you treat closers in a lifetime keeper league? I'm in a points league where saves are really valuable but if the positional turnover is 40-50 percent every year, how can I justify a keeper slot on any closer?
Craig Goldstein: Good question. A lot would depend on how many slots you get, but the rest depends on where your team is in the contention cycle. I give closers very little value and prefer to acquire them in-season at the expense of team depth, even if it means overpaying a bit. I usually have that depth because I didn't chance a spot on a closer in the offseason. If I end up not competing, then I'm not wasting a spot on a closer.
AJ (Phoenix): I give Hosmer, Altuve, T. Walker, 1-7 prospect pick... for Segura, P. Alvarez, Dozier. I have Miggy at 1B now, and 3B will be empty with that move across the diamond. This move allows me to trade Tulo for some much needed MLB ready SP help. Do it, or does the gap between Tulo's and Segura's fantasy potential make you pause?
Craig Goldstein: I don't do this deal, less because of the gap between Tulo and Segura and more because I have no confidence in Tulo's availability over a full season. I know it's frustrating to stare at an open spot on your roster but sometimes the depth is required and it's best to roll with a deficient option if you're not getting a good enough return. I think you're losing that deal substantially on a lot of fronts.
JJ (MPLS): Better MLB team in 5 years based solely off their farm teams currently? Bucs, Twins, Royals or Cubs?
Craig Goldstein: Twins or Cubs for me. I'll take Minnesota thanks to their arms.
chris (Phoenix): If you had your way, what would you chance about fantasy baseball?
Craig Goldstein: I'm not sure I'd change anything. There's enough variety out there for everyone. I am personally a fan of deep leagues and don't have much interest in 10-12 team leagues but I know that I'm not your average bear when it comes to baseball.
Andrew (SF): Thoughts on playing time and production from Matt Adams in 2014?
Craig Goldstein: I'm a fan. I think he gets substantial playing time, though less than a full season's worth. I'd hazard a guess at 500 plate-appearances. I'd expect his production to be similar to 2013 on a rate basis. Perhaps downgrade a little as the league adjusts.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): Speaking of the other Rizzo, he's made some great moves this offseason but I'm waiting for what I see as the really necessary one - a RH platoon complement for LaRoche. Do you agree they have to do something there? Who do you think? Reynolds? Jeff Baker?
Craig Goldstein: I'm not sure I do agree that it's necessary. Sometimes you operate at a deficiency to keep some flexibility going forward. I think it'd be for the best if they did, but I also don't think they'll take a $12M player and make him a platoon guy. I think the Nats are stuck with LaRoche for now. No team is complete at the end of the offseason, much less in early January. I'm not sure how much more the Nats are going to spend on a bench they've already upgraded this winter.
captnamerca (dunedin FL): Albert Almora seems like a decent all-around player. How does he look for fantasy purposes?
Craig Goldstein: He looks good. I think he gets underrated a bit but that he could be a 20/20 guy with a good average, in due time.
Cake (Bakery): No, you're #dry.
Craig Goldstein: You're just bitter because people need to put icing or ice cream on you to make you palatable.
JoJo (SD): Who are your top 5 SP prospects based on command only?
Craig Goldstein: I'm afraid I don't have the depth of knowledge for this one. They're probably non-prospects in real life though.
Tim Bennett (Dunn Field): Will Salvador Perez finish in the Top 5 at C this season? His second half was strong. An uptick in power seems inevitable going forward.
Craig Goldstein: I don't think so. I'm not sure more power is guaranteed and Joe Mauer still rates as a catcher for this season. I have Perez behind Posey, Molina, Mauer, Santana and McCann at least. Possibly Lucroy and a couple others.
RotoLando (Cloud City): Better fictional boxing promoter: George Washington Duke (Rocky V) or Rev. Fred Sultan (The Great White Hype)?
Craig Goldstein: Unfortunately I've seen neither movie
mmcd (ottawa): Craig, any chance Marco Estrada puts up his sneaky good numbers in a complete season i.e. 190+ innings?? Or is he one of these guys that is killed by more exposure--HR rate bad already.
Craig Goldstein: I think he gets exposed a bit over the course of a full season, but that doesn't mean he won't have value. He's a fine depth guy but you don't want to be counting on him.
Pie (Somewhere): Major and minor-league player you think are headed for a breakout.
Craig Goldstein: On the minor league side I think Alberto Tirado will really light it up. In the majors, I think Chris Owings can be really interesting if he wins the job.
Tuco (STL): Forgive me if I've missed this as I'm sure you get it frequently, but are you related to Kevin (RIP)?
Craig Goldstein: Surprisingly I don't get it that much. I'm not related, but I celebrate his entire catelogue
Trevor Bauer (NY): This chat has gotten off track for too long. We haven't talked about wallets or pie in ages.
Craig Goldstein: Well whose fault is that? (hint: not mine)
JoJo (SD): H2H 5x5 with OPS instead of AVG. Who are my 5 keepers at round cost in parentheses? I can keep 2 seconds at cost of first and second could not keep Prince. Fielder (1), Votto (2), Beltre (2), Stanton (2), Craig (6), Choo (9), Perkins (19), Dunn (21), Uehara (23).
Craig Goldstein: A lot of this depends on how your leaguemates act. Do they keep their first rounders or go for value? What types are available in round one? Without that knowledge I probably keep: Votto, Beltre, Stanton, Choo, and Craig. Not sure how three second round keepers would work though.
MRubio52 (Chicago): Have you lived your life to become the most #Craig Craig there is?
Craig Goldstein: I think I'm a charter member of Club Craig, but I'm not really sure. I don't think I'm the most #Craig, but I think I've done pretty well for myself.
OG Mudbone (BangBus): Jonathan Gray is the next ______ and will debut _____?
Craig Goldstein: Your location is of great concern to me.
Sagar (Chicago): How would you rank Frazier, Bryant and Giolito for Dynasty leagues?
Craig Goldstein: Bryant/Giolito/Frazier. First two are basically a coinflip. That's how high I am on Giolito.
Chris (Phoenix): Love these marathon chats. Can you think of a lower minor prospect in the past that overcame a high K rate (I am thinking of Brinson/Gallo types) to reach their high ceiling?
Craig Goldstein: Not off the top of my head (which doesn't mean they don't exist). That's half the fun of looking at these guys for me though. While the profile is important and guides us in a historical sense, each of these guys are individuals and are liable to break the mold. There's tremendous risk in that, of course, but that's the fun of finding these guy. I don't think either reaches their "ceiling". I do think they contribute at the major league level though.
Aaron Hicks (Minnesota): You think I will break out this season?
Craig Goldstein: Hicks was pretty serviceable against LHPs in limited at-bats this year and I think he makes some improvements heading into 2014. Hicks has always been slow to adjust to a level, but eventually catches up. He was rushed to the majors to begin with, but at this point I let him take his lumps on a team that's not going anywhere this season.
Murray Chass (America): Do you have Bacne? Asking for a friend.
Craig Goldstein: I know someone who does, which might disqualify me from your ballot
RotoLando (Cloud City): Do you still do that drunken podcast where you argue about creamy peanut butter and brownies and stuff?
Craig Goldstein: I do indeed! Things are cranking up from a production standpoint in the very near future, so there is no regular schedule, but we're still hoping to record that.
chris (Phoenix): Do you have an under the radar prospect or someone that isn't getting any love that you want to tout?
Craig Goldstein: I know he's known already, and had a pretty rough year but I still like Gabriel Guerrero a bunch. Other candidates include Chris Bostick, and Nick Williams, though both have received love.
Darren (Edmonton): How far can you see with your zoomies? Do they work in cold weather? Can you fry ants with them faster than a regular magnifying glass?
Craig Goldstein: They're an essential tool for the type of scouting I do
Trevor Bauer (NY): You've ignored an awful lot of great questions Craig
Craig Goldstein: I've certainly ignored some questions
JJ (MPLS): What would be the 2 best teams for baseball and their fans everywhere ... for the World Series?
Craig Goldstein: I'll admit that my bias plays into this a lot but it would be hard for me to not include the Dodgers into this answer. I think Puig is one of the most exciting players in baseball, and Kershaw should be seen as much as possible. Throw in the large market and it seems like an easy answer. Another large market team would be the obvious answer for baseball for the AL representative. I think Boston/New York would work. Detroit would be very interesting, as well. I personally would love to see the Rays or a small market club in there, but ratings won by population sizes and not our hearts. More ratings are good for the sport, so I'd probably take the large market clubs. LA/DET
Trevor Bauer (NY): If you could marry one twitter girl who would you pick?
Craig Goldstein: Is Jennifer Lawrence on twitter? I do think Jewel Staite is highly underrated and very enjoyable as an online presence.
RotoLando (Cloud City): Are you going to watch March of the Penguins tonight, or Impractical Jokers?
Craig Goldstein: Are either done by 10 pm? I need to make sure I'm available for Ground Floor.
Chris (Phoenix): Will there be a little too much hype for Billy Hamilton next year or does he justify it?
Craig Goldstein: SO hard to figure out. He's probably going to justify it on "value" alone because the stolen base total will be enormous. But how functional is it? If he racks them up as a pinch-runner, how often are you starting him? At what point do they become diminishing returns because you're already so far out in front? I think he can earn the value because he's a gamechanger, but I'm not sure what his optimal usage is from a fantasy standpoint.
RotoLando (Cloud City): I'm trying to crowdsource some good Adimral Ackbar-related fantasy team names. Any ideas?
Craig Goldstein: Anyone have suggestions?
allangustafson (Fun Diego ): Who has the best chance to increase their K% and their Swinging Strike % in the upcoming year?Can you rank them?
Dan Straily, Jarrod Parker, Ivan Nova, Kris Medlen, Garrett Richards, Dillon Gee, and finally Rick Porcello.
Craig Goldstein: I'll rank based on who I like the most, as I'm not sure on the potential % increases in either category: Parker, Nova, Medlen, Gee, Porcello, Richards. I think Parker is the clear #1 in this grouping, and I'm a big fan of Nova in 2014.
Rex Little (Big Bear CA): Roughly where on a prospect list would Mike Foltyniewicz (sp?) and Taylor Guerrieri rank right now?
Craig Goldstein: They're both in the back 50 of a top 100 for me. I think I'd have Folty higher, thanks to Guerrieri's injury. Folty is a future 3, who can rack up a bunch of innings. I think Guerrieri has the higher ceiling but is probably a bit more enigmatic. Maybe more of a Matt Garza-type (not a comp based on repertoire, but just in terms of mixing above-average and below-average performances).
RotoLando (Cloud City): I think I've figured out why you keep change in your wallet. When a panhandler asks you for money, you pull your wallet out, and delight in the disappointment on the bum's face as you remove 18 cents. Monster.
Craig Goldstein: I know it's hard for some to understand, but the coins in the wallet thing is really just about efficiency. I like to be prepared which means not leaving the coins at home or in my car. I also hate coins jingling in my pocket and sitting weirdly against my leg. So they go in my wallet where I have them at all times, and they don't make any noise/bother me.
Gotribe31 (DC): Where do you rank Josh Hamilton in this year's OF crop? Long term?
Craig Goldstein: I haven't gotten to my OF rankings just yet but I can't imagine I'll be optimistic. There's still a chance he bounces back, but he's not young exactly and there's just too many other guys long-term. The chance that he reaches his "ceiling" doesn't justify the risk involved in keeping him around. He's not someone I want as one of my top three OFs next year.
jharrison3 (Illinois): You have to pick one Twitter account to follow for the rest of your life. Who do you take? (Note: You can still see their conversations with other handles, but you can only see what those people say in conversation. No retweets, but quote tweets with added substance are okay.)
Craig Goldstein: Jaden Smith
Ben Carsley (Grammar City): You think Feliz will have fewer than 10 saves, not less than 10. I WIN. YOU ARE EXPANDABLE wait
Craig Goldstein: Not sure what you're talking about. Get it together, Carsley.
Trevor Bauer (NY): Do you like me Craig?
Craig Goldstein: It definitely vacillates.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): I do think if the Nats did it, for PR sake, they get a "veteran right handed BENCH bat" who just happens to be a 1B. If LaRoche doesn't hit, then they slowly turn to a platoon in his final season with the club.
Craig Goldstein: Certainly possible, though it's a mutual option for 2015, and a $2M buyout. I would guess the Nationals decline their part of the deal.
Harry (server room): I will turn this thing off.
Craig Goldstein: Sounds like it's time to go
Craig Goldstein: Alright. It looks like we're running out of steam, and I don't take Harry's threats lightly. Thanks for joining me as we got to over 200 questions/comments. Wish me luck on my New Year's resolution of being the guy who says "Happy New Year!" in late February.