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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday April 24, 2019 1:00 PM ET chat session with Craig Goldstein.


Craig Goldstein is Baseball Prospectus' Managing Editor and foremost authority on bad television.

Craig Goldstein: If you look closer you'll recognize I'm not that special I'm broke inside Crashing slowly, the [chat] is in me

Andrew (Boston): Are Gilbert Lara and KJ Harrison anything now? They're both off to blazing starts in their first action in the Nats org. Could they be change of scenery post hype sleepers?

Craig Goldstein: Ben Spanier wrote up Lara for us earlier this year (https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/48330/notes-from-the-field-april-9-2019/) and he's basically the same guy he was before on a hot start.

Harrison might have some changes in him so far. He's increased his exit velo from prior years and generally looks pretty good as a hitter right now. That said he's 22 and in Low-A, so take it with a pretty significant grain of salt.

Ed (Cranford, NJ): I have been offered Jon Gray for Zack Wheeler. Should I accept? Thanks

Craig Goldstein: [looks at Wheeler's last start] maybe not

boatman44 (Liverpool): Hey Craig Have you had any news about Jo Adell timeline to start swinging ,extent of injury etc? Thanks.

Craig Goldstein: No real changes from what was announced in the spring. Look for him to get back to it around draft time. No reason to rush him back from his injuries.

AJ (Phoenix): Keep forever dynasty: Finalizing a deal: Ohtani (SP version) and Nomar Mazara for Castillo (Cinci) and Pivetta [we have some prospects changing hands as well]. I need pitching depth for when the playoffs come, and my OF is stacked and young without Mazara.

Craig Goldstein: There's no question here but this strikes me as...not good. I discussed Castillo on the For All You Kids podcast (and I think in last week's chat?) but I'm not in on him as anything more than an SP4 type at best. Pivetta is already down in Triple-A and struggled in his start there. Not in on him either.

Vic (Baltimore): When do you anticipate Mitch Keller arrives? And can he be above-average from the very beginning?

Craig Goldstein: Pirates pitching hasn't been an issue and Keller had a few rough starts to open the season. I can see them holding him til the Super 2 pending injuries. He *can* but I would want to see them let him focus on his two very good pitches rather than force him to implement a 30-grade supplementary option


Craig Goldstein: Guys Matt Damon is here

Elton (Pacific Northwest): Been riding Vogelbach all year. In a points league where steals don't matter, he's basically Trout ROS?

Craig Goldstein: lol that's cute

The Fonz (Milwaukee): Franmil Reyes...A future All Star, or this generation's Glenallen Hill?

Craig Goldstein: I'm more of the mind that he's the latter. That said, the combination rabbit ball and his pure strength are a sight to behold

someguynamedkenn (NJ): How many teams in baseball do you think should have been in on Gio Gonzalez for $2 million guaranteed with $2 million in incentives? 20 teams or more?

Craig Goldstein: 30

Igor (America): Hello Craig. Just finishing my first Five-Year Plan from entering as a first-time dynasty player starting a team from scratch. My question is for you looking back at the past five years in what ways have you seen the way you approach in playing dynasty stay the same or change? Do you still like some prospect profiles more than others or has that changed a lot? Have there been certain moves or outcomes that you look back on and see as something you would still do know or as something done by a different type of player? Thanks.

Craig Goldstein: I think I'm largely playing the same way. Any shift in overall philosophy has trended toward attempting competition rather than a teardown type approach. I don't think this is actually a great approach for continued success because SO many players are willing to strip their team down to the screws and scour the minors for even a hint of useful players that it makes concentrates competition at the top and makes it hard to acquire useful pieces in season, etc.

I am still pretty partial to the high-end athletes who may or may not hit.

Charles (San Diego): I was really high on Kyle Tucker to start the season and he's disappointed. Hold tight in dynasty? Buy low?

Craig Goldstein: I'd be willing to buy long-term. The track record is really good, those Houston outfielders get hurt a decent amount and people overreact to a few bad weeks.

Adam (Durham): Chris Flexen of the Mets credits his turn around to better eating and removing abnormally large portions from his diet. Namely, Outback Steakhouse. Care to comment? PS This is a totally real thing. Seriously.

Craig Goldstein: Well he also said he ordered the wings for an appetizer so we know he was messing up. #AussieFriesForLife

Jim (Chicago): Juan Soto doesn't have a hole in his swing, but does seem to have an issue with timing. The Mets have thrown him a lot of changeups and his K rate is up significantly. Should I be worried that he hasn't figured this out yet?

Craig Goldstein: It's April 24. The guy posted the best offensive season ever for a teenager last year. There are better things to worry about.

AJ (Phoenix): I'm looking to move Starling Marte & Joey Votto in a keep forever dynasty. I could use pitching. If I target a rotation piece(s), what tier should I be looking at?

Craig Goldstein: If you're pairing them together you need an ace back.

Dan (Chicago): Jasson Dominguez the real deal? Next Big Time Prospect?

Craig Goldstein: I mean sure. There are a lot of answers to that question. He's a baby with a big reputation built on loud tools and the chance to hit and hit for power from both sides of the plate. It's a really good foundation and makes him one of the best J2 prospects out there, but Maitan was the "next big time prospect" too, so don't put too much stock into labels like that. Just evaluate the prospect.

Craig (CT): Should I be picking up Adley Rutschman in my dynasty league ASAP?

Craig Goldstein: If you can get guys before they're in the affiliated majors, sure I guess. I tend not to play leagues like that.

Fred (PA): Is Will Benson anything?

Craig Goldstein: He's a huge frame with massive power and the corresponding swing-and-miss issues you'd expect. I think he'll be a major leaguer, but it's going to come down to how much he can make contact to access that power.

Aaron (ATL): Who is this year's Acuna or Wander Franco - Prospect who comes out of no where to jump up in the rankings?

Craig Goldstein: Wouldn't we all like to know? Kristian Robinson? Ronny Mauricio? Marco Luciano? D'Shawn Knowles? George Valera? Antonio Cabello?

Franco was the top international prospect so it kinda depends on your definition of "out of nowhere"

Jordan (South Dakota): Trevor Williams is Max Scherzer in disguise, prove me wrong.

Craig Goldstein: That disguise includes a colored contact, I guess?

Kyle (Miami): My league has unlimited IL spots and you can add players straight to IL. I currently have 74 guys in my Injured Reserve spots. Anything wrong with this? People in my league seem annoyed.

Craig Goldstein: There's nothing wrong with it if you like being the guy who makes things entirely unfun

Chris (TX): Thoughts on Jordan Groshans?

Craig Goldstein: He's rising up boards, impressive early play. Lotta people liked him right out of the draft though, so it's less of a shift in opinion than him confirming what people thought thus far

Vic (Baltimore): Does Wainwright belong in a regular 5 x 5 15 team rotation?

Craig Goldstein: Nah

Esteban (New York): Zac Gallen had another dominant outing on Monday and somehow lowered his ERA. What does his four pitch mix have left to prove at AAA at this point?

Craig Goldstein: Nothing. The Vlad's of the world will get the attention but Gallen is a great example of the type of guy who is screwed by service time manipulation. He was ready and polished last year. All he's done this year is get better to the tune of 31 strikeouts and no walks and it's not like there's a formidable five in front of him for a rotation spot. He should get a crack at the majors.

Ben (TX): Bobby Witt Jr is the next? Can he be a Lindor/Correa like bat out of high school?

Craig Goldstein: I'm not going to put that on him. He's a great athlete but there are some questions on his contact ability that would prevent me from putting him in that tier

Holly (Halloween Party At Dorinda's): Why is Barbara and when can it stop?

Craig Goldstein: I think my favorite part of her arc thus far is that she was clearly shot as a new Housewife but everyone knew she wasn't gonna make it more than this season so now every chyron just says "Luann's friend" as they pretend it was never gonna be more than that.

boatman44 (Liverpool ): Would a decent comp for Will Benson be Travis Hafner,Benson is hitting for a better average this year, small sample size I know, but has he/can he figure it out and maybe get to 270. avg without much power diminishing? Thanks.

Craig Goldstein: I get where you're coming from but I wouldn't anticipate that type of average from Benson. Hafner had multiple .300 BA seasons.

Bret (NJ): If you could choose one of the remaining Valyrian steel weapons in Westeros to arm yourself with, which would it be and why?

Craig Goldstein: Does Dark Sister count? I'd do that just to impress everyone with my long-lost blade. If it doesn't I guess I'm going with Longclaw. It seems moderately manageable. I wouldn't be able to hold Heartsbane for more than like a minute without getting tired.

Bailey (MD): Just turned down Robinson Cano for Zac Gallen in a deep dynasty league based off your words. I feel great about it. Thoughts?

Craig Goldstein: I...don't feel great? It depends a bit on your contention cycle, and Cano's current injury situation might help me feel better in the near term, but I'm not exactly gaga over Gallen yet

nschaef (NYC): Is there enough in-house for the White Sox to realistically build a competitive rotation? Or do they need at least one or maybe two outside additions to have a playoff-caliber staff? (e.g. Cole and/or Greinke).

Craig Goldstein: My default answer to "can a team build a competitive rotation in-house" is no. It just doesn't happen that much. Even a system like Atlanta's last year saw Gausman acquired and Anibal Sanchez come from outside the org. There's too much attrition in arms. In this era of depth the answer is always to bring in more depth.

Tuck (SD): Josh Naylor hitting well ... What is his ceiling and what do the Padres do with him? Is it worth holding him to see if the NL gets the DH?

Craig Goldstein: well, it's the PCL with the MLB ball. Basically everyone is hitting well. Ceiling I'll say maybe...Jesus Aguilar? Worth it for SD? Yeah, sure. He's only 21. There's not a big rush to dump a guy like that. Vogelbach has shown us that it can take a while to click in the majors anyway.

Eric Taylor (Pemberton HS): Please rank and give OFPs for the following QBs I coached: Jason Street, Ray "Voodoo" Tatum, Matt Saracen, Vince Howard, J.D. McCoy.

Craig Goldstein: don't talk to me about FNL unless it's about Chris Comer and Mike Winchell and Boobie Miles

Vic (Baltimore): Does Franklin Barreto maintain a decent chance of being an everyday above average MLBer?

Craig Goldstein: How do we define "decent?" There's probably a pretty wide variance in answers for something like that. Barreto is struggling in the aforementioned hitter-happy PCL, which isn't great. But he's 23, athletic and with consistent time has a reasonable chance of being worth a couple wins season in and out.

moody01 (Buffalo): The Jays spent big money on Hiraldo and then Orelvis last year. Do either scratch you where you itch?

Craig Goldstein: Hiraldo has been on my radar, yeah. I'm gonna let Orelvis marinate a little longer before I make a call, but I definitely have interest in Hiraldo right now.

Flipai (Maryland): What happened to Corbin Burnes? Will he be strictly a relief arm moving forward or is there still a chance he puts it together as a starter?

Craig Goldstein: He got sent to Triple-A. Is that not helpful? Okay, fine.

I think he remains a starter (or at least gets multiple shots going forward). He gave up entirely too many homers despite massive spin on his fastball. I haven't dug into it but I'd guess it's poor location up in the zone. Pair that with the ball and it's an issue. That said, a 58% HR/FB doesn't seem entirely sustainable either.

Mets Fan (Purgatory ): Kelenic is killing it in full-season A-ball at 19. He seems like a natural, but I'm wondering where you put his ceiling. Is he a Top 10 overall prospect down the road? Just trying to gauge how upset I will be in the future.

Craig Goldstein: I don't see him with that ceiling, personally. I know there are those who do, but he always presented as a collection of above-average tools rather than anything that truly popped. I usually want an elite skill to project that type of future (top 10 overall). Maybe he'll demonstrate one in the meantime or maybe I'm shortchanging him now, but that's just never been the takeaway for me. He's still really dang good. Also you got Edwin Diaz. You're okay.

BabyfartZ Mckeezack (France): Who would you keep between Touki Toussaint and Reynaldo Lopez in a dynasty league where you are competing this year? I have Kershaw and Hill so I worry about injuries, where Reynaldo could spot start, but I’ve seen Touki ranked much higher in dynasty leagues compared to Reynaldo.

Craig Goldstein: Toussaint.

Phil (Toronto): What would Toronto want from Milwaukee for Justin Smoak? Asking for a friend.

Craig Goldstein: I don't know exactly what they'd want, but I can't see Milwaukee being desperate for Smoak. Aguilar has been brutal but Thames has been fine and they have enough depth that they can either shift Moustakas or Shaw to first and call up Hiura if they need. So maybe Toronto seeks a Marcos Diplan or Trey Supak but it's hard for me to see Milwaukee biting on that given their options.

dundas (bloor): Something I've been wondering about without any real idea of how to research -- what, if anything, can be made of the proliferation/pattern/frequency of surnames in affiliated baseball? E.g. there was Luis Pujols in the 70s-80s, then of course Albert Pujols from 2001-present. From this, it seems like Pujols is a fairly rare surname. Today, there are like 6 Pujolses in the minors [who I assume are not all close relatives of Albert]. The Marte surname is similarish -- there were no Martes, then there was Damaso in the aughts, and now there are many Martes in both MLB and MiLB. Does this mirror the distribution of surnames in broader society? Or does this reflect scouts deferring to "bloodlines" or some sort of "nurture" idea in low-information settings like scouting teenagers? And/or are prospects incentivized to represent themselves as a 'Pujols' to get noticed among the crowd?

Craig Goldstein: I think it is, outside of clear cases of bloodlines, random variation.

Jay (ATL): Just moved Darvish and Odor for Justin Turner in a H2H league where I have 9 other SP (Verlander, Cole, Nola, Sale, Hendricks, Boyd, Gausman, EdRod, Soroka - we start 6 each week) and an injured Andujar as my planned 3B. Decent deal?

Craig Goldstein: Sure. The depth at SP insulates you from regretting it if Darvish turns things around. I think Odor is generally undervalued (in Non-OBP leagues that value SB) but Turner is an AVG monster and usually starts hitting for some power in May.

The Fonz (Milwaukee): Will the White Sox pull a double Chicago screw job and fire Rick Renteria when they start to get good? Maybe Joe Maddon will be available by then.

Craig Goldstein: I mean...maybe? I don't think so right now, but some of it depends on how things go in the meantime. I generally don't hear a lot of complaining about Renteria's decisions but that might because I mostly am flooded with complaints about Mickey Calloway's decisions.

Rusty (Denver): Thoughts on Marco Luciano? What's his upside?

Craig Goldstein: Very in on Luciano. All the caveats I use about a lot of these extremely young guys with wide variance in potential outcomes apply, but his is a really strong foundational skillset. Big time upside.

Carl (NY): Brendan Rodgers or Alex Reyes in dynasty?

Craig Goldstein: Rodgers for me until Reyes can prove either his health or quality.

Tom Hagen (Hot Stove): Dynasty league: I'm in contention in the middle of my window, with an older but not senile rotation, and a solid offense. Another team is in tank mode with all-stars from the minor leagues. He has 2 pitchers total, and has been asking about my Shohei Ohtani (Carlos Martinez and McCullers as well). If I were to give a green light on those 3, is Pete Alonso a fair ask? He doesn't have much else that can help a team like mine, and he isn't competing in the next 2-3 years.

Craig Goldstein: Sure that's a fine ask, though if you can play Ohtani as a hitter I do think it changes the calculus of whether you'd want to make this deal a bit.

Carlton (Vermont): I've been reading a lot of really good stuff about Indians prospect Angel Martinez. Elite bat speed, awesome bat control. Any thoughts on this latest emerging teenage phenom?

Craig Goldstein: I'm not quite getting to emerging phenom just yet. He's got a solid base. Really strong baseball family and knows his way around the game. He's not a burner in any sense and while he has a good approach I question the ultimate power output. It's a controlled swing and it is short but I'll wait to see more in terms of the power department.

Chesty (New Bern NC): Craig,12team 6x6 with s&h,Xbox.one year league. Must choose one from Vin Velasquez,Fried,Kikuchi to drop.Sorry for the spell check

Craig Goldstein: I've never seen xbox as a category before. I'd drop Fried. Sub 20% k rates aren't my jam.

Andrew (Billings, MT): Rockies have Rodgers (22), Welker (21), Vilade (20), plus McMahon who is still just 24. Any idea how the team sees them and who might stick long-term? Do Welker or Vilade profile as impact guys?

Craig Goldstein: The thing about the Rockies is I think they're the weirdest team in baseball and so...no, I'm not sure. Of those I'd gamble on Rodgers and Welker sticking, but frankly the answer is probably Ian Desmond manning five positions after a massive contract extension.

Craig Goldstein: Alright, it's been a pleasure and thanks for the questions. Jeffrey Paternostro will have this time slot next week for a prospect chat (https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=1541) and Mark Barry will be around on Friday for a fantasy chat (https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=1536), so leave any questions for them.

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