Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I've heard there was a secret swing /
Mazara took and pleased the king /
but you don't really care for prospects, do you?
fightingmoose (Manitoba, Canada): Thanks for the prospect list. Is this a list made with a heavier weight put on offence than defence (Fantasy angle) or is this list based on probability of making an overall impact in the major leagues? A couple of things stuck out when going through the list. Most notably, the inclusion of Albert Almora at #83 and the decision to not include Jomar Reyes who i've seen as high as #50 on some lists. Almora's defence is amazing but I can't help but think that he will be no better than average offensively (Poor man's Pillar?). Did the late in the season offensive surge from Almora put him back on the top 100 list? Thanks for taking my questions.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: We have a separate fantasy 101, so let's clear that up right now. This is based on major league value. Almora has incredible instincts in the field and could be a premium defender. Admittedly, there was a healthy debate surrounding him as we formed the list, and perhaps he's worthy of a supplemental piece next week (we'll be rolling out content all week). I'm a huge fan of Jomar Reyes and really believe in the bat. If you buy into his ability to stick at third base, getting aggressive with him makes sense. Our group had some concerns about his ability to do that, as well as the track record only taking him as far as Low-A - granted, at a young age. The issue is that if he's, say a 50 hit/60 power guy at first base, how valuable is that? Obviously at the hot corner, that's a huge boon. Ultimately, he's another one of the just missed guys, so you should see come content coming on him as well, and he's one of my favorites to jump up this list in the coming season.
John (CT): Hi Craig,
When do you see Bradley Zimmer joining the Indian's outfield? Do you agree he has Grady Sizemore in his prime upside?
And while I've got you, please forecast, even though it is difficult because of injuries, what to expect from the Birds duo of Bundy and Harvey this season
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Grady Sizemore in his was all but done. At a very young age he was one of the most dynamic players in the league, of course, and I wouldn't really want to throw that upside on anyone. I saw Zimmer a bunch early in the season at High-A and came away extremely impressed. I don't think he's an upper-20s home run but, but the overall package plays are a role 6 level for me at his peak.
Brob (Broville): Taylor Jay seems like a great pick by the Twins.... alot of guys taken after him making the list... Was Jay at least close?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Tyler Jay wasn't ever really in discussion for the list. He's certainly an intriguing prospect, but there's a significant chance that he's a reliever, and if he _does_ start, it's more of a mid-rotation than impact profile. Let's see what he does in a full season of starts first.
Jason (New York): Is Judge's defense what kept him from being ranked higher than fellow outfielders Brinson and Margot?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: In short, yes. He's a fine defender for a corner, with enough athleticism and arm for right field. But the two guys named are potential impact defenders in center, which pushed them up the list.
Jimmy (Chicago): Can you tell me which prospects are most likely to be better baseball players than fantasy baseball players?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Rather than pick specific names, the profile tends to be up the middle players who make their bones on defense, and have enough offense to matter. In fantasy it's the offense that's driving the ranking, though position does of course factor in - just not to the same degree. This is why Bret Sayre produces a fantasy 101 as well
justarobert (Santa Clara): Please rerank (some of) the BP Top 101 as Ninja Warrior prospects.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I love this question. Off the top of my head I'd take Brinson No. 1 with strong competition from Moncada.
Alan (Georgia): How should the Braves handle this Swanson/Albies situation? Would you move Albies to 2B right away? I know they got crushed for moving Peraza so early and hurting his trade value.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: The flack for moving Peraza so quickly also came because he wasn't *at the same level* as Simmons when they shifted him. I think it's more defensible to shift someone should both guys play at High-A this year. Personally, I think it makes sense to expose both guys to SS and 2B, as some orgs do with guys who can play either position. It provides flexibility down the line, without letting a prospect get too rusty at a specific position. The downside is the potential uncomfortability at the keystone resulting in an injury, and getting second-guessed for doing that. Still, that's the option I'd pursue
CharlieWerner (York PA): Raimel Tapia over Andrew Benintendi and Anthony Alford? Please explain, as I feel he has lower defensive value, lower floor, and lower offensive upside than those two. If you wanted to argue the floor being similar to Alford ok, except Alford can stick in CF. Benintendi seems a completely different class. Thoughts here?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I think, ultimately, it's quibbling, because we're talking about a 4-spot difference in the rankings, and that preferring one to the other lands in the zone of "reasonable minds differ." That said, I personally prefer Benintendi to Tapia at this point, because I like his chances of sticking in center better. I'm not sure I agree re: overall upside though, as Tapia's contact ability is extremely high, and while I don't think there's significant power on the way, if it does develop, we're looking at an offensive monster.
Trey (Florida): If Alex Reyes has "one of the highest ceilings of any current pitching prospect", how much value is assigned to the fact that STL is excellent at maximizing pitching potential? In other words, how much further back in the rankings would Reyes be in he were in an organization with a poor development reputation (like BAL or COL)?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: That's a background factor in determining the risk involved, for me. I don't know how to quantify how much value is assigned specifically, but the reality is that his ceiling isn't different in a different org so much as one's confidence in him *reaching* that ceiling. The only times I'd say that an org might affect the ceiling of a player is if you can reasonably assume that they can implement a major-league average pitch that the prospect currently doesn't have (think Warthen Slider), but even then, that's a significant leap of faith to take.
Bigs (Atlanta): Can you talk more about what Atlanta may have now in Aaron Blair?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I've come around on Blair. It's not the sexiest profile, but the pitches and frame are there for him to be a mid-rotation guy. I can certainly understand why some exercise caution in promoting the profile, because while there's "security" in a guy like Blair, if he happens to underperform that perceived security, you're left with something significantly less than a high-upside guy underperforming to the same degree. That said, two plus pitched and an average third gives me confidence that he can reach that ceiling, and possibly surprise some people along the way.
Ben (Salem): Has WAS limited Giolito's pitch usage in MiLB, similar to the way PIT limited G. Cole to mostly fastballs to work on his command? Giolito reminds me of G. Cole - do you expect a similar ceiling?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: To my knowledge he was all systems go for the most part, though certainly there were instances where they asked him to focus on specific things. I wouldn't liken it to Pittsburgh's process with Cole or Taillon in regards to fastball command.
chrislakey (BMORE): Buxton, Byron ... still a believer?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I am. He's had multiple freak injuries and he struggled in his first taste of the majors, with limited exposure to the upper minors. There's nothing out of the ordinary there given the missed development time. He's a potential monster.
Todd (Montgomery, AL): Have you heard anything in the off-season regarding Allard's back problems ? A report of a 2nd surgery was supposedly debunked.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I'm not aware of a 2nd surgery at all. Back surgery is always scary in terms of evaluating future risk, but everything I know says it's not expected to be an issue long term.
Clark (JC): Where do you get most of your info on players that you use for the lists? Directly from scouts or does BP employ its own scouts? Curious how this works. Thanks!
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: We have a prospect team that gets in-person looks, as well as consults with industry sources. We try and get as much information as possible to inform the positions that we express to our readership.
Dave (San Diego): How badly is LAA going to miss giving up Sean Newcomb? If he can iron out some control issues, what does the ceiling look like? I've seen a Jon Lester comp in several places.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Ah the "if game." *IF* he irons out his control issues, he's a frontline starter. The reality is that there's work to be done in that category, and few can go from 4.9 walks per nine to under 2, like Clayton Kershaw did. How much they'll miss him will of course depend on what Simmons, and more realistically, the Angels do in the next few years.
Ernie (Stone Mountain, GA): Do you think the Braves can do a better job with Newcomb's control issues than the Angels could ?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Let's stick with Newcomb for a second - The Braves player dev system is top of the line, especially in regards to pitching. If anyone can push his control to average (or better), I think Atlanta can.
Upper (Kentucky): Do you feel like a proud papa for being the conductor of the Mazara hype train all those years back?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Before I applaud myself, let's admit that jumping on the back of the guy who received the (then) highest international bonus ever is a massive risk to take. That said, I'm certainly proud of my judgment from a few years ago, which isn't a thing I get to say very often. I often draw lessons from the the mistakes of made and figuring out why I made them - but we can also learn from when we're right on someone as long as it's clear on why we were right.
Jim (Lakeland): Blake Snell reminds me of the hype around Daniel Norris last year. How would you compare the two?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Interesting comparison based on hype alone, and I can understand it. Lefties who arrived quickly and with authority, with full arsenals but questions on command. I have Snell with a slightly higher ceiling, overall but am a big fan of both profiles.
Dan (Woodbury ): Mark Appel is he the hot dog in a sandwich world? Great stuff just can't put it all together and become a sandwich?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: This begs the question, as hot dogs are sandwiches.
Jackson (Boston): This is about the lowest I've seen Devers ranked. Is it more of a "show me more" situation with such a young kid? I've rarely seen him outside of a top 20 ranking elsewhere, so would love to hear your opinion on why he isn't higher here. Thank you!
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Thanks for the question. Devers has a supreme ceiling, and I don't want people to come away thinking that we're not aware of that. What his ranking came down to was factoring in (what we saw as) as the right amount of risk. He's not a lock to stick at third, and if he has to play first, it's a different type of impact. That doesn't mean he won't hit the snot out of the ball, but just that the level to which he has to do so to make the same impact at third is now higher.
Dave (Queens): Would Matz have ranked even higher if not for injury concerns? Also, where would you rank him (FV) when placing him amongst deGrom, Thor, Harvey and Wheeler?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: There was an argument to have Matz ranked above Urias, and I'll admit I found it somewhat convincing. I long-held to the injury concerns on him, but the reality at this point is that it's been several years, and while there might be some elevated risk due to past injury, his recent track record says he's a healthy guy. I'll put him behind Thor, DeGrom, and Harvey on that list.
Matt (Oakland): With Manaea in the 40s and Robertson in the 70s, the A's wound up pretty well off with that Zobrist trade, huh?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: They did, but the risk on Manaea is significant, as well. And there's a case for Robertson to be higher than the 70s if you believe he can stick at short due to increased defensive positioning potentially make range less of an impediment than it was prior. I'll still take Manaea ten times out of ten at this point.
coachdorsey00 (TN): Can Reece McGuire stick at catcher? And what are your observations of him as a hitter?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: His defense is not in question. He was young for High-A and playing in a difficult league to hit in. The lack of power is a concern, but he's young and still filling out. If he can put enough behind the ball even to be a doubles hitter, I love his chances of being a useful starter in the majors. Good athleticism behind the plate as well.
Cale (USS Rolling Goat): Great list and thanks for the chat... Devers seems way low compared to others, what does he need to show you guys to move into the top 15 next year?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Back to Devers really quickly - I think if he can solidify himself as a pure third baseman, he'll fly up the list.
Festivus313 (Phoenix): Who just missed making the top 101?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: There will be supplemental content rolling out next week, with a specific article dedicated just to this! I've also been dropping some names during the chat and will continue to do so
Kip (Dayton): His Robert Stephenson the right handed version of Sean Newcomb? Great stuff, terrible command? Do you expect either to debut in MLB in 2016 or is the command/control so bad that we're looking at 2017 at the earliest?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Control is obviously a sticking point for both, but both are work-in-progress overall. I'd certainly expect to see Stephenson debut in 2016. 2017 might make more sense for Newcomb, depending on his progress.
Jon (Dallas): Can you talk more about the adjustments Nick Williams seemed to have made last year in his approach and how confident you are that they are real enough that he does or does not get exposed in MLB?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: My thoughts on Nick Williams approach: He has a really great swing.
Craig (Gary, IN): With Pelfrey penciled in as the Tigers 5th starter how long before Mike Fulmer takes his spot ?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I would be surprised if Fulmer isn't up in the second half. Given that Pelfrey got two years (man that's depressing) I don't know how long a leash he'll get, but between the lack of overall depth in Detroit and the likelihood that Pelfrey isn't cut out to start over a full season for a contending team, I like Fulmer's chances of making an impact later on.
hardball (San Diego): A.J. Reed at 55? Is this strictly due to position or something else? Based on his offensive explosion and closeness to MLB he should be much higher.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I *believe* I answered this question in the comments of the 101. Let me know if I left anything about your question unanswered there.
roger (Las vegas): Not big on bellinger or verdugo? Bellinger might be the most athletic and best defensive 1B in the minors.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: A couple questions on both of these guys. First Verdugo.
He can really hit, but there's question about whether he's a center fielder long term, and if not, how the bat plays in a corner. It wouldn't be a convention corner outfield hitting profile, but I do think convention can overblown sometimes. He'd certainly have the arm to play right should it come to that. Still, the risk that he's not a CF and subsequently that if his bat doesn't play to it's fullest, that he's a fourth outfielder dragged him down.
Re: Bellinger - being the most athletic first baseman doesn't necessarily go as far as it should. He's an extremely good defender, to be sure, and an intriguing set of tools given his 1B/CF positioning. There were concerns about his ability to hit for power outside the Cal League offensive environment, as well as concerns that because of that environment he had begun to sell out for power, lengthening his swing and opening up more zones that could be exploited as he moved up the chain.
leites (New York): Hi Craig! Curious how you went about considering high-upside players coming back from long injuries - such as Max Fried - where presumably there is not a lot of recent information.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: These are always difficult circumstances in terms of determining where someone ranks in a situation like this. My personal approach is to put the tools aspect of the evaluation in stasis, until we have more information on what they look like on the field. Beyond that, he likelihood of reaching their ceiling receive temporary dings just due to unknown risk, until we can see what they look like again, and re-adjust.
Alex (B-More): How much does Bundy's forced time in the majors this season hurt/help his development as a starter?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: It's a significant factor at this point. He can't be optioned to the minors without exposing him to being claimed, and he doesn't have the ability to throw a full starter's workload at present. It's a hell of a conundrum.
seddrah (seattle): Which 1B prospect was closest to making the BP 101--Daniel Vogelbach or Josh Naylor?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Depends on whose list you looked at. For me it's Vogelbach, although he might be more of a DH prospect.
AJ (Ottawa): Thanks for the chat. Can you provide some more detail as to why Zimmer and Mazara are that high? especially in comparison to Frazier and Brinson who I would see as comparable to each respective player- in Brinsons case, probably ahead, both offensively and defensively playing a premium position... Just interested to hear the reasoning for the difference.
Also, are these rankings impacted by how far the player is from the majors and the potential for being blocked at a position?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Zimmer has a lot more security than Frazier for me, though I think that Frazier's profile has taken an unnecessary hit in the minds of many since he struggled at the beginning of 2014. He fixed that though, and has had impressive seasons given his age and love. The bat speed will make you drool, but I prefer Zimmer's range, arm, and hit, and run tools.
Mazara vs Brinson: I don't have Brinson ahead offensively, and it's not particularly close for me. Mazara is a potential elite hitter in my eyes, and while I love the adjustments that Brinson has made of the years with his swing, letting him get bat to ball more often, when it comes to offense, Mazara has a significant edge on Brinson - and that's not an insult. He has that edge on *many* prospects. Brinson's defense definitely has an advantage over Mazara as he can be an impact defender at an up the middle position. I've been one of Brinson's biggest supporters for the last few years, so to be seen as a low-man on him is a new position for me, in all honesty.
D.J. (Boston): WHAT ABOUT BRADY AIKEN, CRAIG? WHAT ABOUT BRADY AIKEN?!?
I know he's recovering from TJ, I just can't help but play the *IF* game with this one.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: There's no questioning Aiken's talent. Chris Crawford just ranked him second in the org in his Top 10, and I just picked him in the BP Fantasy Prospect Mock (this part is actually irrelevant). Suffice it to say, we're fans of Brady Aiken. He hasn't thrown a meaningful pitch since signing though, so this is more of a cautious approach.
Brad (NJ): Can you explain Shipley who is listed as a future #4 SP by BA is ranked #38, vs Michael Fulmer who is listed as a future #2/3 is ranked 87.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: The simple explanation is that we're not BA.
Steve G (Philly): If Robert Stephenson finds great command somehow does he still have Ace upside?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: back to the if game. IF...IF Robert Stephenson has great command, his stuff implies potential No. 1 upside, yes. That's a dangerous game to play, of course.
Nick (Atlanta): Can touki toussaint become an ace if he fixes his command problems?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: See the Stephenson answer, in essence. Reality is of course a different beast. Fixing his command problems could come in many different forms, including less action/movement on his current stuff, or maybe he merely fixes it to a playable level, and not to whatever level you might expect as "fixed."
sapsparky (Chicago): How much thought was given to Derek Fisher? Seems like he checks a lot of boxes
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: He's an impressive athlete and hitter, but his defensive profile didn't inspire confidence.
Harvey (Long Island): Going into last season BP had Matz with a FV of "high 6, #2-3 starter". Obviously he's risen a ton but where do you see his FV as now? A number 1? What did you see changed over the past season?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: That's exactly where I see him now. He's just more assured of getting there. If he can continue to implement a slider that wasn't a major part of his repertoire in the minors, that could be adjusted up, of course.
matt (mi): what's your projection for a triple slash for schwarber and sano, both this year and avg during career? How close do you expect their in game power to be and is schwarber's hit tool same/better/worse than sano's?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Big/Large/People. I like Sano better for power, and schwarber better for hit.
ProBeauNO (New Orleans): I was surprised to see Anderson Espinoza so low (relatively) on this list. Is the hype on him Red Sox fan base driven, what does your gut say the ultimate outcome is for him compared to a guy like Francis Martes or Cody Reed?
Difference in their rankings mostly age/experience based?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I don't think it's purely Red Sox fans driving the Espinoza hype. Naturally every fan base is interested in their own prospects, and Espinoza's brief, electric tenure is going to inspire some hype, but the tools are there to back it up. Our ranking is a reflection of our evaluation of the risk involved in his profile, the lack of innings, the time to impact, etc. A conservative ranking could look foolish down the line, but there are reasons to be conservative - though everyone will weigh them differently.
John (Baltimore ): What is Blake snell upside?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I'm perhaps the high-man on Snell, but I think at his zenith he could be a low-end No. 1. I don't think that's the most likely scenario though.
brad (NJ): Ian Happ at 67 seems too low, is it because he is a recent draftee and hasnt had a lot of PA in minors?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Right. There's a ton to like with Happ but most of the guys above him have established themselves to some degree, and there are questions about his ultimate defensive home. He's significantly more valuable at 2B with his bat than he is in a corner outfield spot.
Grant (NYC): Which position would you consider the most "premium" when ranking prospects - catcher, shortstop or centerfield?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Hard to decide between catcher or shortstop. Those are at the top for me.
roarke (KC): Would Lazarito have made the list if he had signed? Were Yadier Alvarez or Alfredo Rodriguez close to making the list?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Yadier Alvarez is No. 78 on the list. Lazarito wouldn't have been on mine.
GPT (San Jose, CA): What was the reasoning behind leaving out Christian Arroyo? Don't see many high school infielders with a 70 hit tool and the Giants have been churning out infielders like a factory lately (Panik, Duffy, Crawford, Belt, Tomlinson).
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: We're not that high on Arroyo's hit, so that's the first factor. Relying on other guys who've made good to prop up the status of a current guy is a dangerous game to play, as well. Arroyo is a quality prospect, but ultimately we liked the ceiling/floor combination of other guys more, especially at SS. The margin for error on a guy like Arroyo isn't big.
Tyler (Milwaukee): Was Tyler Beede considered at all? Does SF's ability to develop pitching have any impact?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: On some level an organization's abilities in player development are a factor, of course. But Beede hasn't made the strides that we thought he would have since being drafted, and while that doesn't mean he can't do that going forward, we're going to need to see it happen before factoring it into his prospect evaluation.
Bryan G. (Michigan): Who's your pick for best or most-interesting defensive catching prospect among the Top 101?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: McGuire. I'm a big fan of his defensive abilities.
mp (COL): What does the future hold for david dahl? Now with dickerson gone when do you see him getting some major league ab's?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Colorado's outfield is still chock full thanks to their signing of Gerardo Parra (and Paulsen's ability to play OF), so I don't think it's a given Dahl gets to the majors this year. Nor do I think he needs to. He's been moved aggressively for a guy who missed as much time as he did with a hamstring injury/lacerated spleen the last few years. A full season at the upper levels wouldn't be a bad thing for Dahl.
Jimmy (MN): Last year there was a huge number (50+?) of top 101 players who made their MLB debuts - in terms of, not just september call up, extended MLB debuts. It's probably safe to say a lower number will do so this year, but how many would you expect? A couple dozen of these guys up by July 1? Less?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I love this question which doesn't give me a better idea of how to answer it. Part of it is complicated by the fact that a bunch of guys have already made their debuts (Seager, for example), but I think a couple dozen is as solid a guess as any. Maybe 15-20? Not sure.
traindoggah (space): Where does German Marquez rank now that he's been traded to the Rockies?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: He continues to not rank among the 101 best prospects in baseball. In the org, he's gone from one deep system to another. He wouldn't be among my top-20 in Colorado, off the top of my head.
Behemoth (Scotland): Is Joey Gallo not just Telvin Nash at 3B? I don't get why people keep assuming that he's suddenly going to make enough contact to really allow the power to fully play at the big league level.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Whew boy. Um, no? The thing about Gallo is that he doesn't need the power to fully play at the big-league level. I've long been lower on Gallo than many (preferred Mazara to him as far back as pre-2014, if not further), mostly due to the potential swing-and-miss and how it's ultimately going to let him function as a hitter. Nash has one year of 29 homers and he did in Lancaster though, and I think it's a disingenuous comparison to make. If Gallo can slug .500, he doesn't have to make a ton of contact to be an above-average offensive producer.
Alan (Oregon): Where would Syndergaard and Conforto been on these lists had they not lost their rookie status, like Matz?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I'd personally have Syndergaard as the no. 1 or 2 pitching prospect. Between him and Giolito, it's a very close call to me, and I wouldn't have much compunction putting Thor at 1. It's my belief that BP employees should never express an opinion on Michael Conforto ever again.
Jim-Bob (Norfolk): Who is a reasonable comp for Cody Reed, even as a second round pick it feels like he came out of prospect obscurity last year.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I agree with you on his relatively fast rise, despite his draft status. His slider took a major step forward, and he was repeating his mechanics better. If the changeup can play at the major-league level, I think he's an upper-mid-rotation starter (low 2/high 3). Admittedly I was the guy banging on the table for him in our discussions though.
Shawnykid23 (CT): In general, (there's obvious exceptions below the line), but where in the list would you draw the line at players who you feel comfortable can be perennial all-stars? My uneducated guess would be around 11 (Tyler Glasnow). If it clicks, he could be borderline 1/2. Orlando Arcia at #12 seems to be more very good than great (not meant to be a knock).
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I think that's about right. I'd draw a line either around 11/12 or around 9/10. But that gets into picking nits.
danksimb (stanley): What's yusniel Diaz cieling? .348 as an 18 year old is Is impressive anywhere. Hear he plays a fine CF too.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: there's obviously a lot of volatility here, but I think potential above-average CF regular is within reach.
Jmax (Crystal Beach, Ontario): It's being said that stolen bases in the MLB are on the decline, but it seems like every organization has a guy with 20+ stolen base potential on their way up.
Is the so-called stolen base drought over?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Operative word there being "potential." The speed guys don't always make it and when they do, they don't always do what we think. I think it's too soon to say the drought is over.
Ben (NY): Just for fun, about where would guys like Jason Groome, Blake Rutherford, Alec Hanson, Corey Ray, Buddy Reed and Delvin Perez rank within this list?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I turned to Chris Crawford for this, as I've not focused on 2016 guys in depth at this point. He said it's safe to say Groome, Perez, Hanson and Ray all would be in the 101 somewhere.
Babyfarts Mcgeezack (412): How would Addison Russell and Rougned Odor rank on this list? Both are extremely young to be in the MLB and I feel people are forgetting them since they aren't prospects anymore.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: These are somewhat difficult for me to answer as this was truly a group effort and I can't speak to how others would change their lists with these guys eligible (or ostensibly, everyone eligible who would make these guys eligible). It's also a bit unfair, as we have an idea of what Odor/Russell can do in extended auditions at the MLB level whereas that's generally not the case for anyone else eligible for prospect lists. I don't think anyone is forgetting about either guy, in all honesty. Also love your username.
Truganini (CO): Is 4 years of Dickerson really only worth 2 years of a 30 year old reliever? I don't understand this deal, are the Rox trying to compete? Also, what is the point of the Rockies including Marquez in the Dickerson deal if he's likely just organizational fodder?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I wouldn't necessarily call him org fodder. That answer was prefaced with the fact that Colorado has a deep system. Still, asking me to explain what the Rockies are trying to do is akin to asking me to explain the thought process of the people on Tiny House Hunters. I think it's feasible to argue the Rockies got the best player in the deal, as McGee is a shut down reliever when healthy. Given their spot on the contention cycle, the history of pitchers in Colorado, and the added cost/fewer years of control (plus giving up Padlo) though... Man I have no idea.
Steve (CIN): Do the reds have a reason to promote winker this year? How do you see his bat playing up in the majors?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Sure they do. Player development doesn't stop once you hit the majors. If he's proved himself ready for the opportunity, getting him time in the majors will aid his development as a hitter and fielder. Going back to that Giants answer about Arroyo, I think it's worth pointing out the progress a guy like Crawford has made as a hitter *in* the majors. Winker can benefit from different/more coaches and being exposed to major-league pitching.
Ian (Tampa Bay): What are your thoughts on Married at First Sight?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: It's been a funky season. Neil and Sam just aren't working, and the physical issues between David and...whatshername are obviously a real problem, though ones I think they can overcome assuming she let's her guard down on that issue. Tres and Vanessa seem like a good match though, I'm enjoying them. It's a fascinating show though, in looking at what a sense of obligation to stick with a relationship does for people in terms of working through problems rather than just bouncing at the first sign of distress. That's not necessarily a good thing, either, in my opinion and sometimes it just prolongs exposure to a situation where nobody is happy *cough*Neil and Sam *cough*
Justin (PA): I noticed that Alen Hanson didnt crack the top 100 despite being one of the top 10 second base prospects on many lists. What is the reasoning for him not making the top 100?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Second base depth in the minors isn't exactly at a high point, so that's part of it. It's also a reflection of proximity versus ceiling. He should be in the majors this year but he's going to have to hit an upper percentile of his potential to be more than a utility guy, whereas someone like Forrest Wall has a higher ceiling.
padremurph (Los Angeles): What is the biggest difference between Aaron Judge and Hunter Renfroe to cause such a disparity in the rankings?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: More power, and more playable power for Judge.
Teddy (DC): How do you go about projecting whether a pitcher like Toussiant or Stephenson with the great stuff but lacks command atm will develop enough command to be a top of the rotation type pitcher?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Everyone has their own approaches, of course. I like for whether there's a mechanical issue that's tied to whether they're wild, and whether that's fixable, either by modifying mechanics or by making them more consistent within their mechanics to the point that can have an idea of how to tweak each pitch to have an idea where it's going. Of course, the amount of movement also matters, as does previous evidence of being able to demonstrate command/control. It's easier to project Stephenson's control if he's managed to string together multiple starts where he's shown that type of upside - if that makes sense.
Matt (Virginia Beach): If you had to pick one guy on this list to build your franchise around who would it be?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Corey Seager
Brad (WIS): Figure alex reyes comes up midseason next year. When do you think he has his first impact year? 2019? 2020?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Next year being 2017? I think 2018 isn't out the question. Cardinals are good at bringing up guys when they're ready to produce and not before.
Jeff (Denton): Hey Craig -- Top prospects have always been risky. What is the general stat? 60 or 70% fail to fulfill their projection or bust? Yet, for some reason, it seems that younger players are now succeeding at a higher rate (and sooner) than in previous years. Am I making this up? Do you believe this is the case? If so, to what might you attribute this trend?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Probably a better question for research than for a chat. I (and others) have been working on some historical stuff for the Top 10s, so perhaps it's something that we can look into as part of that
Teddy (DC): Who you got winning the Bachelor?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Favorites in no order: Caila, Lauren B., Jojo, Lauren H.
I think I'd put Lauren B. in front right now because she does weird mom-style cursing where she subs out all the bad words, and that seems about right for Ben.
Brad (NJ): Just to give some context that maybe will help everyone, can you tell us how much value you place on proximity to majors, defensive value and positional value? I think many/most people who follow prospects this closely are dynasty baseball players and we look at prospects through that filter of offense being by far most important, position some importance, and defense no value. I think that is where a lot of the discrepancy of why did you rank this person there comes from
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: You're likely right in terms of where the discrepancy comes from, but I'd also acknowledge that many of our readers are avid milb followers just because they love it and not fantasy. I can't give you a specific percentage in terms of those factors because this is a group list and different evaluators will bring different biases to the table in those respects. Those very things are very much a part of the discussion process in terms of deciding where the team will ultimately slot guys though. I'd also venture to say that proximity to the majors/defensive/positional value changes from prospect to prospect to some degree. If you're a high-risk who is forever away from the majors, it matters more than if you're a high-risk guy who has proven himself to some degree in the upper minors. Hope that makes sense, even if it's not satisfying.
Truganini (CO): Sorry - just realized this is specific to the top 101. Where's Brady Aiken?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Aiken was addressed earlier in the chat, but feel free to discuss other topics. The focus is on the 101, but hey, I'm here, you're here. Let's talk.
Bill B (Chicago): How close was Jeimer Candelario? Surely his bat will play at 3rd, but there are questions about his defense. One minute I hear he is bad at 3rd and the next I hear he has a great chance to stick there.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: A divisive prospect! Well I never. Candelario wasn't under serious consideration for the list at present, thanks to questions on his defense and the overall impact of the profile even if he is at 3rd.
username49 (Ohio): With the Indians system stronger than it has been in years, I'm a little disappointed to see only two names on the list. How close were Sheffield/Aiken/Bradley/Kaminsky to cracking this list? And wasn't Aiken ranked higher in the Indians list than Frazier?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: He was, and there's a bit of disclaimer at the top, in that the lists are organized and done by the author of the list with input and assistance from the prospect team, while the 101 was more of a group endeavor that will reflect differing rankings in certain spots. If Aiken was somewhere in the back end of the 101, I wouldn't bat an eyelash. There are always deserving prospects left off because when you get to the back end of a list like this, the tiers are larger than the number of spots left.
Dan (DC): I noticed that Wilmer Difo wasn't on here. Is that because of his skills or because the Nationals signed Brendan Ryan and Murphy and have Trea Turner?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: God I would love it if Brendan Ryan was the reason someone wasn't on a list.
To address your question more seriously, being "blocked" isn't a significant factor like that.
Zonk (Chi-Town): Eddy Julio at #97 seems aggressive for a guy who has never played in the US, and hasn't played at all in some time. Why so high? Are you that big a believer in the tools?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Lots of Eddy Julio questions in the queue. We have 5s and 6s across the board on the tools, and feel that 97 accurately reflects the risk involved in translating those tools, while still recognizing the upside.
Chris (BOS): When do you expect Moncada to reach the majors? Will he have pushed out pedroia by then?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I'd hazard a guess at sometime in 2018. They left him in Low-A all season, but I'd expect more of a split season between High-A and Double-A, assuming he's adjusted both on a performance and cultural level. With that in mind, Triple-A in 2018 with a peek at the majors seems reasonable. I'd expect that his arrival will be predicated more on injury replacement than pushing Pedroia out the door.
Jack ((LA)): I have the 7th pick in our upcoming amateur/intl draft. My list goes: Moncada, Rodgers, Benitendi, Swanson, Bregman, Happ, Tate, Park. My first realistic hope is that Beni falls to me, then Happ. If neither do, is Tate or Park good consolation picks?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Tate yes, Park no, per the expert on these matters, Bret Sayre.
Gotribe31 (VA): Any names on the last quarter or so of the list (or off the list entirely) that you could see as top-20 guys next year at this time?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I think Garrett has the ability to take that kind of leap, given his overall rawness due to playing basketball. Daz Cameron is another option there, and the easy answer (just inside of the group you mention) is Anderson Espinoza.
Babyfarts Mcgeezack (412): Earlier you said there are some people who believe Matz is the top LHP in the MiLB. Is that due to his stock rising or is it due to Urias stock falling? Personally think Urias is a beast but it is worriesome to me that the Dodgers "encouraged" him to take time off mid-season for his surgery instead of waiting till off season when he already got his innings up.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: More the former. It's based on what Matz was able to show at the big-league level and the fact that Urias probably won't be throwing a full slate of innings until a few years from now, and the difference in their ceilings not being significantly different. The time off was intentional, so I wouldn't let it *worry* you, but it does affect his time to full-season impact, of course.
Ryan (Prospect Heaven): Now that Eddy Julio and Yusniel Diaz's names have both been mentioned, I have to ask. How do you compare the two? I imagine these guys will be closely tied for awhile and I've been anxiously waiting for the CHC and LAD list to see BP's take.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: EJM has more raw tools, compared to Diaz's more polished skillset. Diaz has a pretty good floor for a teenager, in that respect.
Stlscott (Saint Louis): Dont get me wrong. Where you ranked Lewis Brinson is perfectly understandable and really shows you have a high opinion of him. My thought is that he could have been in that 9-10 range you talked about and here is why. He is a tools monster and has already made abundant amount of adjustments fast to get to where he is at. I guess you could assume that he wont ever make another adjustment. I tend to think that because he has adjusted so much already more could be expected. How off am i that I think he could have some MVP type seasons in him? Thanks!
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I've always been a big fan of Brinson's and I don't think it's off at all to imply that the ability to make adjustments is a skill, and can be applied to making future adjustments. It's why evaluators don't mind (and sometimes prefer) seeing a prospect experience adversity. I suppose I can understand pushing Lew up to that range, but I would feel that it's a tad aggressive for my taste.
Teddy (DC): I'm not so sure about Caila to be honest, can see the other three going far, but she just seems a little to aggressive for him
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I've had a room-temperature glass of water that was too aggressive for Ben, so
justarobert (Santa Clara): On what traits do you think the BP list places noticeably greater or lesser emphasis than the rest of the industry? Upside? Tools? Defensive value? Hair?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Eyes
Clark (JC): I told my fantasy league I quit last year after devastating losses to a rival. They wont drop it and they are trying to keep me out of the league?
How can I get back in their good graces?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Tell them you'll do something stupid/dumb like take the SATs or something. Then make it a tradition for the last place finisher to have to do something that is timeconsuming and arduous but ultimately not harmful.
Loren (Atlanta): A little low for Amed Rosario, no? Also, I noticed no Gavin Cecchini. Little love for mets SS
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: if you're asking if we think that we're low on the guy we ranked in a specific spot... the answer is going to be no. Rosario doesn't scream impact to me on offense, even if that upside is there. I get the desire to assume there's a ton more there given age and level, but I don't see that coming to fruition.
Marco (Airwalksville): This list has too many boring SS. I hate SS. 9 out of 10 seem to disappoint and become average boring players. I love fantasy and hate SS cause they usually suck at fantasy. What SS's wont suck at fantasy.
Love your site though, thanks for all the work.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Jeez, Loren wants more SS, Marco wants less. What was it Ricky Nelson said?
Tony (Altoona): Can Stetson Allie become an ace IF HE GOES BACK TO PITCHING AND FIXES HIS CONTROL PROBLEMS?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I like you, Tony
pandoval172 (new york): Surprised to see four catchers ahead of Gary Sanchez, given his performance last year. What puts him behind a far less-proven guy like Nottingham at this point?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Sanchez has more power, but comparable hit tools and Nottingham has more value with the glove, as a short answer.
Mike (DC): Did you watch Unreal? It makes the bachelors way more compelling thinking about it through that lens
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I watched the first episode or two and bailed. It was well done but there wasn't a single likable character in those eps, and while I applaud TV shows for being real and acknowledging that sometimes everything and everyone just sucks, in my limited time, I try not to be depressed when I watch a show for entertainment.
Mike (NY): This chat is boring with out a Victor Robles question. What do you guys have for scouting reports on him and do you think he could be a top 5 guy in a year?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: we're just a couple lists away from the Nats, but Mark Anderson's report from this year should tide you over
Mr. Sugarpenis (Twitter.com): Who is the #1 prospect on the list?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: READ THE COLUMN
(thank you for this)
Gotribe31 (VA): Craij,
Your prospect writing seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. What makes you so popular?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: probably my stunning good looks and early 2000s pop culture references.
Duffman (Cali): What do you think is the reason so many impact pitching prospects have seen significant reductions on their stuff at such an early age without suffering an injury? I'm thinking Mark Appel, Archie Bradley, Jon Gray, even Julio Teheran.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Some if it adapting to throwing every fifth day rather than once a week (for the college guys). Some of it is just that some guys are at their best when they're younger and have a faster rate of attrition. Sometimes it's developmental tweaks that don't work out. Not sure there's any specific cause there.
fightingmoose (Manitoba, Canada): Thanks for the chat, you're on a roll. Almost 3 hours of questions. Good on you!
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Thanks for joining me!
I'm going to grab a bite to eat, but am happy to continue chatting as long as people ask questions. Let's reconvene in 30 (but feel free to flood the queue)
Scott (of Lincolnshire): That felt more like a metric 30 minutes......
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Has it been that long? We're back, anyway.
Shawn (Cubicle): What's for lunch? (He asks, hoping it's not a sandwich...)
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Tuna sandwich, L, T, Cheddar. Pickle on the side. Bag of Dirty chips (Jalapeno Heat), and a Coke Zero.
Ryan (Prospect Heaven): Do you have any favorite players from the 2015 draft that just don't have quite the track record/sample size to crack the 101?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Fulmer or Aiken are probably the first guys I add to this list from the 2015 draft. After that I like Burrows.
justarobert (Santa Clara): How much less (or more, I suppose) hate would you get if you published tiered ratings instead of a cardinal ranking?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: it's a good question. I think there'd be a better understanding of how the site sees these guys. I generally prefer tiered rankings, though admittedly the drama about ranking within tiers would get ratcheted up, and guys who border tops/bottoms of tiers would cause a stir. It's something I think about often.
scott (work): is the dropoff from #1 to #51 greater than from #51 to #201?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Not knowing who 201 is...yes. Probably so.
Andrew (Providence, RI): Re: Giolito's arsenal, the Nationals had him shelf his two-seamer. When organizations do things like that for a pitcher's health (presumably), when do those pitches get reintegrated to the pitcher's arsenal?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: My understanding is that that was 2014. I believe he was all systems go this past season, though would occasionally shelve a pitch for a game to work on other offerings/command.
Shadrack McHooveter (Our hearts): I had to of beat Pretzels right?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I voted for you.
Gotribe31 (VA): If you could pick one prospect to be next year's Bachelor, who would it be and why?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Moncada. You saw him in that shirt.
Jay (Queens): Is your FV ranking of the Mets threesome Thor, deGrom, and Harvey as you listed them in your Matz answer? What an orgy of pitching talent, in any case.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I'd have to think really hard on deGrom/Harvey in ranking, but I have Thor at the top.
fightingmoose (Manitoba, Canada): Alex Jackson. How much are you down on this guy from last year? A lot of guys seem pretty down on him. Is this a good buying opportunity to get him at $0.80 on the dollar?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I personally have never been very in. I've been told by scouts that I'll be wrong, so there's obviously room for disagreement. It's just a big gap between the tools and the functionality of those tools. He's an incredibly talented player though, it's just the risk factors involved in getting it all to play out.
Jorge (NY): I know not to "scout the statline" but Dom Smith certainly hit a lot better statswise the last 3/4 of last season. Did the scouting community back that up or do you think it was more of a mirage?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Smith is a divisive figure even within BP. He's going to hit, but the question is whether he's a .300 guy or something more in the .275 range, and then there's the question on his power. I am not a fan of the profile given those questions and the high bar to clear at first base. It's not that he can't be useful, but I don't see much ceiling even as a .300 hitter, if the power doesn't come.
Todd (MN): Care to offer a brief opinion on Ryan McMahon to tide us over until the scouting report appears? Can he make enough contact? How much power do you think he'll develop?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I've been a big McMahon supporter since he was drafted. It's plus power, and I think he can make enough contact (though still swing and miss plenty) to let it function.
Otto (Pit): What does the future hold for Austin Meadows? Trade-bait?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I wouldn't necessarily assume that. We don't have a firm grasp on what Gregory Polanco is, the Pirates never have a ton of money to spend, so it's possible they shed one of their more expensive (if still cheap) outfielders down the line for a bigger return. I really like Meadows' profile.
Nils (NY): Surprised to see Kilome make this list. He's still pretty far from the majors, does that mean he's got a considerable upside given this ranking? Could he be a frontline guy?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: It does indeed. I think frontline guy is within reach if he comes close to maxing out his ceiling, even if that's not the likely eventuality.
Silvy the minors guru (Nyseg Stadium): I'm known in my league for being the best at recognizing minors. I found Espinoza and Robles last year...Help me out its my Birthday.
Who are the next rockets like Espinoza and Robles?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I've traditionally written a "The Ones Who Could Jump" column for the Futures Guide. Perhaps I'll do that for the site this year.
Mokajige (The cold embrace of space, or WI): Did Josh Hader garner much consideration for the back end of the 101? How concerned were/are you and others about his ability to remain a starter?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: He was a point of discussion. Much of the debate centered around that exact issue. I'm still pessimistic on his ability to remain a starter, but will admit it's getting harder and harder to hold that line.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Craig, He's not eligible for the list, but if you had to choose between Otani or Gionlito, who would you want for the rest of their careers?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Giolito
George (Texas): I know this is a little off topic, but does any team have the prospect package/desire for a frontline starter next offseason to put together a trade for Harvey? What teams and what players? Thanks Craig, great work today.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Sure I think there are teams that have the prospects to do it. The desire is more questionable. Texas could but answered that question by acquiring Hamels last year. Dodgers could but have 12 starters at this point. The Twins have that capability but likely aren't interested in taking on that type of financial obligation/dealing away pre-arb guys. My guess is that whoever would pay the price for Harvey would be mocked for giving up that much potential. I think it's worth it though.
John (Boston): Hey Craig, if Arcia doesn't lose his rookie status,does he go to number one next year???
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I don't think so. If had to place a bet on the next No. 1, my money'd be on Moncada.
fightingmoose (Manitoba, Canada): Not sure if you're a fantasy guy or not but If you had a chance to choose any of these pitchers in the first round at #11 overall, which one would you take for fantasy? B. Aiken, C. Fulmer, Y. Alvarez, J. Faria, or D. Tate, who would you want? We have deep minors rosters (20) so upside is most important. Thanks again.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I am indeed. First, Faria doesn't belong in that discussion. Second, it depends a bit on how risk averse you are, but I'd probably take Tate first no matter what. After that Aiken/Fulmer/Alvarez in that order, I think.
Gotribe31 (VA): You're locked in an elevator with one member of the Cespedes Family BBQ. You get to pick which one. You going with Jake or Jordan?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I was under the impression they're joined at the hip, in which case there'd be a lot of blood. I don't want to be in this elevator.
Splat (Detroit): Could you offer some thoughts on Eric Fedde? If healthy, is he someone you could see springing into the top 50 by midseason?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: It's...possible, but much of that depends on the promotions of guys in front of him. I like Fedde a bunch, but we're looking at a mid-rotation guy at best with the potential to be a reliever. He's a bit of a high-floor guy but there's more risk there than with the standard high-floor guys. I do like his chances to start, but some of this goes back to what I said in my Aaron Blair answer. Two plus pitches right now, with a chance for the change to be playable.
Scott (of Lincolnshire): I know he's raw as onions, but Eloy Jimenez have a discussion for the top 101? Would he be more of a top........151? 201?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: He wasn't mentioned a ton, but the ceiling is certainly there. I think he'd be in the 151 range, at least for me.
swamie (MI): Was hoping this would be the year Clint Coulter solidified his spot in the top 100, but I think the FSL suppressed his bat. Look forward to seeing him in the mid season update. Same with Taylor Guerrieri.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Coulter really comes down to what the profile is out in an outfield corner. I loved the bat as a catcher but he's not much of a defender and the bat is going to *have* to play for him to be a regular. That's a lot of pressure, and any sort of hiccup means he's more of a bench guy than anything.
Ryan (Kansas City): It is encouraging to see Kyle Zimmer at 20 considering his injury history. How high would he be on the list if health wasn't a question?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Kyle Zimmer was at 89.
Ray (NYC): Will Cody Bellinger make the top 101 if his power translates in AA this season. I need to know. He might be deserving of more love. 30 homers at the age of 19 is good no matter where you play, no?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: If his power translates and he stops selling out for power at Double-A, sure, he'd probably make the 101. I don't think we're low on him at all given what we've seen out of him. 30 homers is great but the question is whether it's representative of his abilities going forward, and for that we need context. That context includes his swing, his approach, and importantly in this case, where he played the majority of his games.
Shawn (Cubicle): Is there any team with the prospects, money, and ideal spot on the win curve where trading for Mike Trout makes sense, and it wouldn't decimate their team as a contender? Maybe Dodgers and Red Sox? Seems like it would take so astronimically much, he's literally almost untradeable, if that makes sense.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: The Angels aren't trading Trout. I get that it's fun to theorize but if we want to create a realistic trade, we can't because it's not going to make sense.
Tanner (Chicago): Doing my best to envision my Brew Crew's next competitive team, how much hope should I place in Gilbert Lara? Can I hope to see him take a big step forward this year in full-season ball? Thanks!
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I think it's reasonable to appreciate the ceiling but also tap the breaks in terms of how quickly he'll get there. I don't think he stick at SS (he's huge), but the power is intense and he might be better at making contact than I originally thought.
rick (florida): i was a bit surprised to see dom smith ahead of amed rosario (especially since BP has tended not to be so positive on dom). what was the factor causing you to put him ahead of rosario?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: For what it's worth, Smith wasn't on my personal 101, but there are people who contribute who like him for reasons extolled previously. I'd prefer Rosario, myself.
Nils (NY): Would McGuire compare favorably defensively to someone like Christian Vazquez?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Both are exceedingly good defenders. I wouldn't draw much of a distinction between their abilities behind the plate, while also acknowledging Vazquez's having retained that ability up the chain. That said, I don't see any reason McGuire's would fade.
Fred (Philly): A.J. Reed have a big impact this year for Houston? Not much in his way at the moment, seems to have the approach to succeed early. We looking at a future top-5 1B type here?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I'm not as high as others *cough* Wilson *cough* on Reed, but I think top-five 1B is a reasonable ceiling.
Pat (Detroit): Can you answer the Derek Fischer question from the comments? How close was he to top 101? Swing and Miss problem to much to overcome?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I believe he was addressed earlier in the chat. Good athlete but already 22, and defensive questions.
Roger (Breckenridge): Can Raimel Tapia become a successful hitter in the big leagues with what seems like a very gimmicky hitting stance?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: The gimmick comes into play with two strikes, and yes I think he can be successful anyway because he has preternatural bat-to-ball ability
Q-Ball (Chicago): Albert Almora....do you think the late surge in AA last year is the true Albert, or the 1 1/2 years of weak contact prior to then?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: copout to say somewhere in between? I don't doubt his progress, but I don't know that it sustains at that level.
fightingmoose (Manitoba, Canada): Some in the fantasy community are a bit down on Archie Bradley from this time last year even though the same size last year was quite small. Despite his starting pitcher frame, i've heard speculation that he may profile better as a reliever which obviously lowers his fantasy appeal. Can Archie be a #1 or #2 on an MLB team or is that being generous?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I like him as a starter. I don't know that everything will click in 2016, but I do think he puts it all together in the next couple seasons, and could profile as a no. 2 at some point.
Larry (Boston): Can you rank these guys: Matz, Nola, Severino
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Cripes. There's no good way to answer this question. I'll take them in that order but I'm gravely concerned I'm underestimating Severino.
hardball (San Diego): Surprised, but not unhappy, to see Gallo rise from 15-8 after last years struggles. What positives were taken away from Gallo's performance that accounted for the rise?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I don't know that Gallo's year was anything unexpected. He cruised at Double-A and while he struggled at Triple-A and in the majors, the swing-and-miss in his game makes that understandable. I think we've seen his ability to succeed despite the whiffs, and note that a TAv of .246 for a 21-year-old rookie shouldn't necessarily cause his status to drop. He continues to show the ability to play third, which was in question early in career, and had a .217 ISO in the bigs despite all his issues. Suffice to say, if he can get a little more contact, he could be something else. I think the rankings reflect that upside while also giving a nod to the risk involved in a guy like him.
boatman44 (Liverpool): Just wondering why David Dahl fell 13 places , I and yourself still believe him to be top drawer I think , so what gives ?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Dahl is actually going to be the subject of one of our supplementary pieces next week, so I'll let that do the talking. He was surprisingly divisive to me, and I do tend to side with guys higher on him.
Jeff R (Chicago): In regards to Gallo's rise this year, doesn't some of it have to do with the amount of graduations and this being a little weaker list than the previous couple of years?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: It's safe to say that was a factor as well, sure.
Tommy (NC): Thanks for the work that went into this list. Struggling to understand the thought process behind Hunter Harvey ranking 58th. Just one example, that's 40 spots higher than Kopech who is almost two years younger and at the same level Harvey was at last time he pitched back in 2014. From what I've read Kopech's stuff isn't any worse and it sounds like he maybe even throws harder.
What am I missing? And why does someone like Harvey keep a high ranking and someone like Fried not? Thanks!
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Sure, reasonable to want to know the process behind something like that. I don't see Harvey and Kopech having comparable stuff, as Harvey showed two potential double-plus offerings when healthy, with an idea for a decent change. Kopech does throw harder, but Harvey throws hard enough that it's not a significant point in Kopech's favor.
Ryan (Kansas City): My bad on the Kyle Zimmer at 20 comment. I was looking at multiple top 100 and he was 20 on another list.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: No problemo. Too many Zimmers.
justarobert (Santa Clara): Where would current Bartolo Colon rank on the top 101?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: If Bart were on the list he'd be the only name because he'd sit atop it and crush every name below.
Gotribe31 (VA): Pick one, your personal preference; Bundy or Bradley?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: At this point I'll take Bradley because I think he's the starter.
Matt (Fresno, CA): I know you mentioned "difference between reasonable minds", but I have to ask about your thoughts on Julio Urias and Steven Matz. Which one do you like more?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: My list had Urias higher but I found the argument for Matz extremely convincing.
JD (Ballston, VA): How much of a factor does AFL performance play in compiling the list? Was Kyle Freeland anywhere close to the 101?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: There's not a set percentage. Some guys are tired, some are rested due to injury and ready to go, others are lower-level guys facing talent they haven't quite encountered before. Freeland wasn't close to mine.
Matt (DC): Quite a tumble from your midseason list for Reynaldo Lopez (where he 19th). It doesn't seem like much has really changed since then, so why such a significant drop?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Different voices in the room, is the biggest reason. My top concern on Lopez is whether he's a starter long term, so I'm a little more conservative on him.
JivewiredCEO (Chicago/Milwaukee): Would any team trade for Ryan Braun and could the Brewers get anything for him without eating that contract? I fear he may be the most immovable player in baseball.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I would think they would be able to, though they'd have to eat some of the deal because that's just how things work. Were I a big payroll team that had the opportunity to acquire Braun for the price of the contract and little else, I'd jump at that opportunity. He's been consistently above-average or better when not dealing with his thumb injuries/suspensions.
brian p (what are you, the cops? ): why not 102?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: that'd just be weird
John (Pittsburgh): Was surprised to see Jameson Taillon listed here (he's almost an afterthought). Let's be optimistic and assume he's fully healthy. What chance does he have to be a #3 SP? More? Can you help PIT this season?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Perhaps I'm daft but I still believe despite the extended layoff/injuries. Going back to the first Fried answer, I'd really like to see what the stuff is like when he's back in a meaningful game. I don't think I can help Pittsburgh. I'm not very good at baseball.
Cal guy (Cal): Hi Craig, If we are talking about just the Fantasy 101 list, how much does Brinson close the gap on Mazara and maybe even overtake him?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: You'll find out around Feb 10 (date not set, don't quote me on that)
DudeAbides (Bowling Alley): Willson Contreras, ok, I see the hitting numbers last year, how is his defense? Is it reasonable to see him start 2017 at Wrigley?
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: Last question here:
Contreras is raw behind the plate but shows a willingness to work at it, and has all the physical tools to work back there. I wouldn't assume he'd open the season there in 2017, but it's possible he arrives sometime that season.
Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein: I did my best, it wasn't much /
we talked of feel, we talked of touch /
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you /
And even though he may be small, /
We found a spot for Forrest Wall, /
And his hit tool whispered Hallelujah