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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday June 13, 2017 12:00 PM ET chat session with Craig Goldstein.


CD as in Chatting Dude.

Craig Goldstein: We are at 93 degrees with near 50 percent humidity here in DC, so staying inside and chatting seems like a strong decision. Let's do it.

Chris (Arlington, TX): So is Leody Taveras' .256/.304/.372 line still fine considering he's 19 in single-A? Seems a little lackluster, but I know he's seen as a very highly regarded prospect.

Craig Goldstein: Yes, it's absolutely still fine. He's actually still 18 and all the tools are the same. Some guys take some time to develop and adapt. I'm not worried about Leody.

JP11 (Tucson): Never thought I'd ask this question, but is Cahill a buy low? K% over 30, GB% over 60, SwStr over 13%. Those are elite numbers. I know he's dealing with shoulder woes which is never good, but he can't be expensive right?

Craig Goldstein: I know George Bissell is having a love affair with Cahill, but I'm not really buying it. Yes the numbers are good but I'm going to need to see it sustain itself for a longer period of time to really buy in. That said, he's certainly intriguing right now and if you're taking fliers, he's not a bad one.

DServ (Raleigh): I have the second pick in a dynasty league for the 2017 MLB draft. Who should I be looking to take?

Craig Goldstein: Assuming Greene goes first, probably McKay. If you're extremely averse to first baseman who can hit, go with Beck or Lewis.

dpwtv (Las Vegas, NV): Which of the current sestras do you think won't survive the end of Orphan Black?

Craig Goldstein: I think we lose Cosima, Rachel, and maybe MK? I could see Sarah too, but I'm not sure if they have the stones to do it.

Philip (San Diego): From your personal standpoint who are the top 5 players in the draft class in order and any specific sleepers you like?

Craig Goldstein: I'm not a draft aficionado, if we're being honest. I learn about the players from others and put a lot more emphasis on what we hear after they sign and get to pro ball. The guys I liked a bunch were Heliot Ramos and Bubba Thompson, but given the preceding sentence, take that with a grain of salt.

Jimmy (Tampa Bay): So Mallex Smith has a chance at some pretty tasty fantasy value now, huh?

Craig Goldstein: Sure does. I'm not the most optimistic he'll hit, but he's got a chance to be an impact speed guy for a couple months.

Piper (Orange County): Paternostro is really high on Daniel Brito. I've no choice but to scout boxscores and he has a .236/.301/.324 line. However he's only 19 in A ball. So...what do I make of him thus far?

Craig Goldstein: It's not just Jeffrey. Jarret Seidler wrote a terrific article with Brito at the center (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=31699). What to make of him is that he's a work in progress. As with Taveras earlier, these are guys we get excited about because we've seen them flash impressive tools. It doesn't mean they're there consistently or showing up in box scores. I won't condemn scouting box scores like others, but it is only a starting point. The next step is either seeing them in person or talking to people who have to understand how they've arrived at the numbers they currently sport.

Sad Boy (Los Angeles): Mitch White is out 4-6 weeks with a broken toe and I am sad. On a related note, does he have injury history? Dodgers let him pitch past the sixth only once this year despite awesome numbers.

Craig Goldstein: He had TJ in college.

Dan (DC): Bo Bichette - the next big prospect?

Craig Goldstein: He's a candidate. He's been really impressive so far this year.

Lewis21 (Tampa): Does yordan alvarez enter the top 100 discussion since all he does is crush?

Craig Goldstein: I'm not quite there yet on Yordan Alvarez, but he's a name worth watching. First-base only profiles tend to suffer in our rankings though.

Hobbs (NY): Thoughts on Jeff Hoffman? Read the buyer's guide yesterday. You think he's a sell high as well?

Craig Goldstein: I think Jeff Hoffman is incredibly talented. Depends on the league format and how risk averse you are given that he's pitching in Colorado (which seems not to matter this year), but I think he's just plain good.

Wesley (Wisconsin): Should Corbin Burnes be rostered in a dynasty league with 200+ prospects? Feels like there's a sudden amount of helium with him. Any thoughts on the righty?

Craig Goldstein: Absolutely, he should be. I saw him and if I had to bet, I'd guess reliever but he's done nothing but shove recently and has the potential to arrive pretty quickly, if the Brewers want to push him harder. I'd still be looking for that third pitch to develop before going crazy over him.

Grapes (Milwaukee): Should we be worried about Gilbert Lara at this point?

Craig Goldstein: Yes.

padremurph (Los Angeles): What are your overall thoughts on Fernando Tatis Jr? All Star? First division regular? The power is definitely there and he seems to be cutting down the strikeouts a little.

Craig Goldstein: First division regular for me. There's a lot of variance there, but I love the tools and I like the power potential too. He's got a big ceiling.

Scott B. (Manvera, SC): Yadier Alvarez has looked pretty bad this year. Ks are down, walks back up, ratios below average. Simply adjusting to high-A?

Craig Goldstein: Has he looked bad or just performed badly? Reports I've seen are largely on track with what we knew about him before. Easy plus-plus velocity, flashes a nasty breaker, change in progress. Needs to be in the zone more. All of this was true before he started slow in high-a and all of it is true now. It's part of the development process.

Sam (Arizona): In February 2016, I was debating between Bradley Zimmer and Aaron Judge in a prospect draft. I went Zimmer. A few months later, I was feeling great, thinking it was becoming clear I made the right choice. This past offseason, Zimmer got exposed with his Ks. And now, I realized I passed up on a 40 HR hitter. All this to say prospects are fickle, man.

Craig Goldstein: Indeed. Of course Judge was exposed in the majors with his strikeout issue and now look at him (no, I'm not predicting an insane rebound for Zimmer). These things happen, and it is important to remember that neither of these guys are set in stone as they are now. They're going to be different guys over the next few years. Remember when Randal Grichuk was the next superstar in 2015? He got optioned to High-A this year. Things change.

Andrew (DC): Are Andrew Stevenson's struggles at AAA worth worrying about? His OPS is .452, and it's been 35 games.

Craig Goldstein: Not really. 35 games isn't nothing, but unless you're assuming he can't change anything about his approach, swing, or otherwise moving forward, it's just something he's going to have to learn from. He's not a superstar player and potential fourth outfielders are probably gonna have 35 game runs where they suck, because that's just how it is.

Hobbs (NY): 12tm 5x5 roto dynasty. Would you trade Haniger, Barreto, and Aroldis for Syndergaard and Beltran? In 1st right now and 2nd in saves. I have Betances, Giles, Kintzler, Knebel, Rivero, and Matt Bush. Need more than Beltran back or try to move a lesser RP? Some solid guys on WW to fill my open spots.

Craig Goldstein: No, I wouldn't. You're still going to miss a bunch of time with Thor, and I'm unclear on the purpose of acquiring a non-performing 40-year-old in a shallow dynasty league.

Matt (Making it Rain California): Since I hear you are a avid Cavaliers fan, what did you think of the finals and what kind of changes do you believe they should make? I believe Lebron is the GOAT, thoughts? I believe they should try to sign Chris Paul for the veterans minimum and trade Kyrie for a chipotle bowl (without guac), possibly throwing a Hawaiian pizza and some Chocolate wings in there

Craig Goldstein: I am, uh, not sure where you heard that. If I was going to choose a team it'd be the Wizards, but I mostly just enjoy the insane amount of talent in the NBA right now. LeBron is the GOAT, yes, and that's an awful, *awful* sign/trade idea. Kyrie > CP3 every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Matt (North Carolina): What are scouts saying on Jack Flaherty's performance this season? What is his base-case scenario within a big league rotation? Thanks Craig! Love the articles

Craig Goldstein: They're impressed. It's not a top of the rotation profile, but he could a No. 3 starter (if you believe in such a designation). He's got a full arsenal to work with, and I've heard arguments for him to be a top-50 type.

Hector (Texas): What is Kevin Newman going to be?

Craig Goldstein: How much do you like Jordy Mercer?

Fred (Scottsdale): Please rank the following based on fantasy profile long-term: Jake Bauers, Nick Williams, Scott Kingery, Shed Long, Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle. Thanks!

Craig Goldstein: Williams, Mountcastle, Kingery, Hays, Long, Bauers.

It's tough because you've got some speed-only types in there and at that point it really just depends what you're looking for on your team. I have never been on Bauers, so there might be some bias there.

Tom (Washington DC): Next year's Ronald Acuna?

Craig Goldstein: Do I get to cheat and say Juan Soto?

padremurph (Los Angeles): What do you make of Preller drafting two catchers yesterday?

Craig Goldstein: Those were the guys he liked most in terms of talent and cost at the time he picked.

kjesanis (CT): Where do you think Hunter Greene slots in on the Top 101?

Craig Goldstein: We'll see where he comes out in terms of pitcher or hitter, but probably in the 20s? It's early.

James (Las Vegas): Thoughts on the Big Three Pirate position prospects in Bradenton (Tucker, Hayes, Craig)?

Craig Goldstein: I've never been a Craig guy (identity crisis affirmed), and I'm probably most interested in Tucker. I like Hayes' tools, but am unsure if he ends up as a tweener type without the hitting profile we expect for third base. That said, I'm concerned that I overvalue those profiles a bit and think that I might be overlooking guys who just get it done even in ways I'm not anticipating. Hayes might be one of those guys. I'll be excited to get a look at them in Bowie when they come up to Altoona.

Tim (Alaska): Is Mitch Keller's ceiling a good #2? Seems like a Taillon type of pitcher.

Craig Goldstein: I think that's the ceiling, yeah. I'm very high on Keller.

ABronxTale (AllRise): Prediction time, gunnto your head: When does Shohei Otani come over and who does he sign with?

Craig Goldstein: I have zero sources or intuition on this. If I were him I'd be waiting til I could truly cash in.

Lexi (NY): Seems like the Mets had a pretty good day 1 of the Draft. What did you think?

Craig Goldstein: I know people who like Peterson but it's not a pitching profile that really pops, to me. Of course given the Mets ability to churn out guys who throw plus sliders, maybe it pops differently once he's in the system for a bit.

Larry (Deep South): What would a return for Cole look like for the Pirates at the deadline if a trade were to happen?

Craig Goldstein: Sheesh, maybe...85% of the Sale return?

Steve (Philly): What was your favorite Ben Carsley tweet last night?

Craig Goldstein: probably the Mitch Moreland/Brendan McKay one that people treated as real.

LucasDad (MN): If you would put Greene in the 20's...where would you put Lewis...the kids drafted 1-1?!?!

Craig Goldstein: Well, the draft order is affected by things beyond pure talent (this is part of why the draft system as it currently stands sucks), but he'd probably be behind Greene. We don't have these guys slotted out because we emphasize what we can see/learn from their pro debuts.

Fernando (Miami): I love what Aaron Judge is doing, but man, I have been hearing some scorching hot takes on him. Already declared better than Giancarlo Stanton? Named a top 5 slugger OF ALL TIME on FS1? Feels like a slap in the face to Stanton given that we've seen power like this before. Should we whoop out the dictionary and look up the term "Recency Bias"?

Craig Goldstein: Probably, yes. But this is the way that baseball coverage and analysis is going these days. I don't mean to group Rob Parker into that, because he's just a hot take machine in desperate need of new parts, but even so, the drive for #content means making a *very* big deal about anything that could be made a big deal of. So yeah, you get Aaron Judge and is utterly incredible start to this season. It's remarkable, it is fun, and he's just a fascinating guy to watch, so we get this churn around him as a content generator and it froths up into these stupid takes from time to time.

But no one wants to be the heavy on this stuff. Being a wet towel isn't fun. I don't want to tell you to not enjoy Aaron Judge because, hell, you *should* enjoy him. Maybe enjoy him as much as you can now, because this is probably not the baseline for production going forward. (I still like Aaron Judge and always have)

Ben (The Ham): Shallow 10 team H2H categories league w/ OPS, keeper league with set amt of keepers each year but can keep guys forever. Rank these currently struggling bats in terms of dynasty value: Rougned Odor, Byron Buxton, Rougned Odor, Jonathan Villar, Alex Bregman.. Thanks!!

Craig Goldstein: Bregman, Buxton, Villar, Odor

jonraypyle (TX): Hey Craig, Orphan Black question here you have an open room at your apartment and all of the clones have applied to move in. Please rank (Alison and Donnie are a package deal) I would go: 1. Helena 2. Allison+Donnie 3. Cosima 4. Sarah 5. M.K. 6. Rachel 7. Any Castor Clone 8. Krystal

Craig Goldstein: Krystal is definitely last. I think I'd have MK first. She's always around but she's secretive and out of the way. Then Allison and Donnie, Helena, Sarah, Cosima, Castor Clone, Rachel, Krystal.

TH (Boston, MA): If the 2017 Pittsburgh Pirates had to adopt one of the subtitles for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise as their subtitle for the season, which would be most appropriate? As a reminder, your options: - Curse of the Black Pearl - Dead Man's Chest - At World's End - On Stranger Tides - Dead Men Tell No Tales

Craig Goldstein: I love this. Maybe Dead Men Tell No(va) Tales?

Edward (Tallahassee): Favorite fantasy pick from last night in terms of ballpark, team, league, etc? Top fantasy pick overall from last night?

Craig Goldstein: Talent over all else. Probably Hunter Greene. Realistically, ask me in a few months.

Buff (Colorado): Are you on the Shed Long train yet?

Craig Goldstein: I was on the Shed Long train last year. I'd like to see him challenged to Double-A though.

Dan (Denver ): What do you think Bird does in the 2nd half of this season...and beyond? Awesome lineup and home park, and seems to have the tools to dominate. Hoping that first month of at bats was just sss and bad luck.

Craig Goldstein: I think bird has always been a bit overvalued. He's an adequate everyday first baseman for me.

LucasDad (Mn): What exactly is MN thinking with their 3 picks? It seems like they reached on all 3. It seemed like they were hoping to save money for picks 2, and or, 3...but they were both also reaches. I am very confused.

Craig Goldstein: I'm not exactly sure. There's nothing wrong with Royce Lewis -- I know some teams had him valued as a top 2 guy, but it doesn't seem like they used their extra slot value in the first couple rounds. Maybe they'll ink a slew of guys either throughout the top 10 rounds or after to bigger slot deals and take a quantity over quality approach. It wouldn't be the worst gamble in a draft that didn't have an obvious candidate to try and sneak through to a later pick.

Frank (BK): Zach Godley profile as mid rotation or backend for you?

Craig Goldstein: Back end guy

Steve (Philadelphia): Would you rather have the Braves' minor league cache or the Padres'? They've each stockpiled a volume of quality prospects, particularly pitchers.

Craig Goldstein: I think the Braves, but it's close. The Padres have snagged a lot of boom/bust guys that I actually like a decent amount.

Lewis21 (Tampa): Mauricio dubon had quietly pilfered 28 bases, walks a ton and hardly ever strikes out. Where's the love for this guy?

Craig Goldstein: I know some scouts who think he could be an everyday guy, but I think a lot of love is tempered by a likely utility profile.

Peter (Houston): Can you name 3 guys in A ball who have similar potential and could blow up like those before them (ie: Acuna, Jimenez, Robles, Vladito). Looking to snag the next stars in my league... Thanks in advance!

Craig Goldstein: We get these questions year round so it's hard to keep track of guys you haven't heard of or aren't rostering already but guys we like are: Dustin May, Daniel Brito, Estevan Florial, Christian Pache.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): The Brewers outfield is getting pretty crowded. Does Brinson stick this year? Does Braun get traded once he is healthy? Does Ben Oglivie come out of retirement?

Craig Goldstein: I think he probably goes up and down a little this year depending on the health of Villar and Braun, but he'll be up for good soon enough. I'm hoping they bring Geoff Jenkins back.

Swagger Leslie (Hell ): Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell aren't really this bad are they? I like when they play well more than when they don't play well

Craig Goldstein: No, they're not this bad, but Schwarber is a good reminder of the Aaron Judge hype train situation. As is Greg Bird a bit. Obviously injuries play a part in both situations, but these guys aren't concrete, finished products just because they're crushing for a while.

Steve (Cali): Best SS prospect in 3 years is? Top 3 is?

Craig Goldstein: Probably a bunch of guys we don't know yet since the current crop will either graduate or slide off the position. Otherwise, Delvin Perez has the best likelihood of sticking, not having graduated, and actually hitting of the guys that were on our pre-season list.

Donnie (Kentucky): Alec Hansen having a good start to the year. Top 101 guy yet?

Craig Goldstein: He was 97 before the season.

Steve (Philly): Follow-up: Is there a way to renew my subscription in a way that gets Ben Carsley a window air conditioning unit?

Craig Goldstein: Can't give him an AC unit if we want the hot takes.

Sam (Palo Alto): Re: NBA Do you trust the process?

Craig Goldstein: I trust Joel Embiid. I don't trust Hinkie.

Steve (Philadelphia): Going back to the Padres minor leaguers, it feels like every week there is a new 2016 signing written about on BP. We just got Michel Baez and now Justin Lopez shows up with tools. Will they need three AZL teams this year?

Craig Goldstein: Nah, they'll figure out how to deal with guys between EST and short-season ball and all that.

Hank (Florida): Stick a fork in Jurickson Profar?

Craig Goldstein: I just wrote an article about this! http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=31918

Short answer: not yet.

Kevin (Summit): Has McCutchen finally turned the corner and figured it out?

Craig Goldstein: I'm both hopeful but also doubtful.

Justin (Iowa): When does Meadows come up?

Craig Goldstein: Either September, or next year.

Ruxton (Philly, PA): Last year Jose Pirela was labeled as org. fodder on these pages. This year he has 15 HR in AAA/MLB with 8 SB. Has anything changed in his profile, especially with his power? Kind of unprecedented for him.

Craig Goldstein: Thirteen of those homers were in El Paso and the PCL. I wouldn't put a ton of stock into that stuff. Being an up/down guy for the current incarnation of the Padres is pretty much org fodder.

buckoneil (Magic Cornfield, IA): Trying to rebuild my minors in a league that keeps 120. Can grab max of 3 free agents at any point this season. Should I take the best prospects on the board right now (Fowler, McKenzie, Soroka, Kingery, Sixto, Trammell, Shed, Rowdy), wait til the Draft is over and see where players land (half of top 10 projected picks are rostered), wait until the midseason top 50, or wait til September for the 2nd half breakouts (players like Soto, Rosario and Mejia emerged late in recent seasons)?

Craig Goldstein: Wait til September (or August) and keep an eye on 2nd half breakouts.

Anthony (South Dakota Hudson): Which of these would make a top 100 today? Kingery, Mitch White, Florial, A.Gimenez, Duplantier, D.Brito, D.Fowler?

Craig Goldstein: They'd all be in the discussion. Most confident in Kingery, White, Florial and Gimenez though.

Robert (KC): Feels like Jorge Bonifacio is having the season fans wanted Soler to have yet absolutely no one is paying attention.

Craig Goldstein: My large, adult son! He's been great. He's probably not this good, but I've always thought he had the potential to be a second-division regular.

Buff (colorado): How would Fernando Tatis stack up against the top 5 draftees?

Craig Goldstein: He's probably not nearly as tall as they are if they're stacked on top of each other

wes (nj): jordan humphreys? mid rotation?

Craig Goldstein: We wrote him up in a Mid-May Ten Pack: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=31879

Randy Marsh (Colorado): Rockies have a lot of intriguing prospects, but I was hoping for anything I can find on Pedro Gonzalez. I was hoping he'd hit full-season this year.

Craig Goldstein: He hasn't played this year, as far as I know, so there's not much I can tell you.

mattymatty2000 (Portland): Michael Chavis is the next Aaron Judge, right?

Craig Goldstein: hahahahahahaha

Rick (Florida): Prior to the draft, how far up the dismal Marlins' top prospect list do you think James Nelson ascended?

Craig Goldstein: He might have been number one by default

Cory (Ohio): Anything new on progress Byron Buxton may/may not be making?

Craig Goldstein: He's still struggling.

Axel (BO): Are moncada and rosario the consensus top 2 prospects?

Craig Goldstein: I think you can make a case for Robles, Torres, Devers, maybe Mejia, but they're the top two guys, for the most part, yeah.

Kaylee (Michigan): Any new thoughts about Clint Frazier? What kind of slash-line do you see from him during his career. I saw him play a couple weeks ago and he is legit jacked!

Craig Goldstein: I don't think they're "new" thoughts, exactly, but I expect big things from Frazier. I think people sleep on him a bit because he doesn't hit for a great average, but he commands the zone and hits for power. He's also been a name for so long without producing eye-popping totals, that I think there's a little prospect fatigue on him.

nschaef (NYC): We don't have FRAA numbers on him because he's still in High-A, but there's been ink in Chicago coverage about Zack Collins' success throwing out minor league baserunners. Any information on how his catcher defense is progressing generally?

Craig Goldstein: I don't have anything super recent, but I know the org was happy with the progress he's been making (though they're more likely to report positive progress than anything else). Still, they're the only ones that it really matters what they think.

Jeb (Des Moines): Who are some under the radar prospects for the Pirates who could shoot up the rankings in the next year or two?

Craig Goldstein: Luis Escobar is the guy generating a lot of questions this year, but reports I've heard have him as a likely reliever.

kjesanis (CT): Who is the top fantasy prospect that's not considered a good real life prospect? Maybe better way to ask it who has ht biggest disparity in being a fantasy prospect vs real life

Craig Goldstein: Find the fastest guy who can kinda (but probably won't) hit, and that's your guy.

Amy (Indiana): Do you see AJ Reed regaining some of his previous hype back?

Craig Goldstein: It's a broad enough question that sure, some could come back, but I think he's going to struggle facing lefties and he's not going to be what people were expecting in any capacity, no.

Ethan (nl): in hindsight, should dom smith have been on the preseason 101? heard reports have been very good

Craig Goldstein: It's a tougher answer than it looks. He's obviously produced very well in a place that it's easier to hit in. If I recall correctly, this is about what we expected him to hit like in Vegas. I think the best I can say is that we want to see what he does in the majors, and that's going to justify our decision, or prove us wrong. I don't think a few months in the high-octane offensive environs of Las Vegas (despite good reports, as you mentioned) really have us reconsidering just yet.

Brent (Chicago): Where do you see Juan Soto jumping to in the ranks after this season?

Craig Goldstein: Top 15 or so

Jim Nantz (Pittsburgh): What are your thoughts on the Pirates first day of the draft? I really like the Baz, Jennings, and Mitchell picks.

Craig Goldstein: JIM NANTZ! Thanks for joining us. I think it's an aggressive draft chasing upside, which are my favorite types. Really enjoying what they did yesterday.

Esteban (Mesa): Jon Duplantier has had the statlines, but have the scouting reports indicated that he could be at least a SP3 if he stays healthy?

Craig Goldstein: He's always had stuff, so it's nice to see him putting it together. "at least a third starter" is a tall order, in terms of profile. Third starters are really good, but yeah he has the potential to be in there if he can stay healthy and on track.

Lewis21 (Tampa): How high are you in mitchell white despite his current injury status?

Craig Goldstein: I still really like Mitch White and have been aggressive in jockeying for him when we discuss lists.

matzabal (CO): who are the top 5 SP rest of season not named Kershaw? Qs league.

Craig Goldstein: Scherzer, Sale, Strasburg, Keuchel, Archer. Could swap out Archer or Keuchel for Greinke and I wouldn't fight you.

Steve (Philadelphia): What short-season players are you most looking forward to getting a report on?

Craig Goldstein: Good question. A lot of it depends on how the draft assignments shake out, but I'd like to see what we can get on Miguelangel Sierra, Kevin Gowdy, Kevin Maitan, Jhailyn Ortiz and others.

Craig Goldstein: Alright all, thanks for your time and your questions. I know I left some in the queue but I was trying not to repeat concepts too often. I'm gonna go write a paper for class now. Enjoy your Tuesday!

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