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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday May 15, 2019 1:00 PM ET chat session with Craig Goldstein.


Craig Goldstein is the Managing Editor of Baseball Prospectus and has never adopted a penguin on behalf of someone else.

Craig Goldstein: Yeah, he loves when everybody's asking / He knows the way he chat queue moves / He loves the way they all crawl back when he says / That he chats nobody else but you

BaseballNUT2009 (Santa Ana): Craig, I heard you wrote a very nice article on Alex Verdugo.Can you give me the link. I would like to read it. Also what kind of hitter do you think he is going to be long term?

Craig Goldstein: Thanks for asking. You can find that article here. I think it depends a decent bit on the ball. I'm not going to predict 30 homer power despite his strength and bat speed even now, but something in the low-20s with a bunch of doubles seems right.

Dave (Kentucky): Is Cody Bolton the next breakout pitching prospect for the Pirates?

Craig Goldstein: I think that's fair to say, yeah. We covered him in a What Scouts Are Saying piece last week. I've heard him up to 97 and our team has him with good fastball command, and a potential No. 3 guy in a rotation.

Gotribe31 (IPA SZN): What are you drinking?

Craig Goldstein: It's turned into a gorgeous day in DC and I'm celebrating with a Pavlova by Commonwealth Brewing Co. Sour IPAs are the only IPAs I drink.

sportsguy21792 (madison): Help settle a league debate. We have a 3 team tie for an upcoming draft and we use head to head to determine order. However 2 of the 3 teams have not faced each other yet. Our commissioner decided to use division record in this situation which was not approved. One of the owners feels we should still use head to head even if 2 teams have not meet yet. How do you see it?

Craig Goldstein: how...how does he propose to use head-to-head if there's no record there? When is the draft, exactly? Is it likely the tie holds at that point? It's hard to say without some additional detail.

sportsguy21792 (madison): Run...don't walk...to pick up Keston Huira?

Craig Goldstein: If you're waiting on my answer today you're too late, but yeah.

Bennett (Nick Smells) (DC): Any chance Konnor Pilkington or Steele Walker makes an appearance on the Top 100?

Craig Goldstein: No, I don't think that's likely. I had asked about Steele Walker earlier this year before he was promoted and while he's got some pedigree and a great name, the answer I got is that he's probably more of a fourth outfielder type.

Loria (Milwaukee): Dynasty, keep forever: if it makes sense for roster construction, you think Jesus Luzardo for Starling Marte makes sense/is fair?

Craig Goldstein: I would be trying to get a non-injured version of Luzardo if I'm the Marte holder. As is I think it is light.

Bryan G. (New England): What are the characteristics of a good baseball nickname, in your professional opinion?

Craig Goldstein: Just about anything that isn't a shortened first/last name or adding a y/ie to the end of a name. Let's get locations/descriptions back into play. Something from childhood or whatever. Let's be creative.

Steve (Flea Bottom): Game of Thrones predictions?

Craig Goldstein: I hate to be reactionary and I'll definitely sit with this season once it is over and probably re-watch and see if I feel differently, but I can't say it's been anything but a disappointment. Ep 2 was the only episode I liked narratively, and they didn't pay off almost any of those big goodbyes. So, my prediction is disappointment.

Tom (Des Moines): What is Calvin Mitchell and Lolo Sanchez's upside? They seem to be having good years.

Craig Goldstein: Mitchell I like as a second-division regular with a chance to be a touch more than that. With Sanchez it really comes down to whether you think he's a CF. If you do, I think you can get to like, the good Mallex Smith season, perhaps?

Nick (Milwaukee): Who is currently the most underrated middle infield prospect in the minors and why is it Nick Allen?

Craig Goldstein: The Prospect Team has had a few looks at Allen and they're all pretty positive. I'm skeptical of the power output and would put that on the Cal League a bit, but the defense was real and they really liked how he sprayed the ball all over the field.

Tim (California): What can you tell me about Rodolfo Castro? What is his upside?

Craig Goldstein: Speaking of underrated infielders. Castro's numbers are eyepopping right now, but a bunch of that has to do with his home park, which is playing really well for hitters (this is affecting Sanchez, too). Let's check back in a couple weeks when I can get some more reports on these guys but Castro has been on our minds for a bit. Jarrett Seidler wrote about him last year and Ben Spanier covered him in a Notes From the Field in April.

Nick (Milwaukee): Why were 12 ships with big crossbows able to hit a flying dragon three times at great distance, but a week later 100+ big crossbows -- including those anchored to steady ground -- were wholly and absolutely ineffective?

Craig Goldstein: It's absolutely infuriating. Plenty of blogs have covered the dumbness of a lot of the unfolding events in GoT but the seeming dire need to level the playing field between Cersei/Dany by elevating Big Crossbows into some sort of super-weapon only to have Dany annihilate Cersei's forces and just _avoid_ the crossbows is absolutely wild. It's lazy and crappy writing, in my opinion and seems to fit with the entire plan of building something up as important and then abandoning it because they don't actually know what the hell they're doing with it.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): So the Mariners aren't the best team in baseball? And the Cubs don't suck? And Chris Sale doesn't suck? I don't get it. Oh wait, yes I do...It was April!

Craig Goldstein: Just to add: please don't use WAR until like, July at the absolute earliest. WAR has significant error bars on full-season totals, using mid-season valuations without accounting for that margin for error is a disservice, unless you're providing the adequate caveats.

mark (Portland): Was CleganeBowl satisfying for you?

Craig Goldstein: Yes and no. I get that it was symbolic for their ending to be fire - where their story begins, kinda. But it was too long and just got into like, violence porn for lack of a better term, by the end. I wouldn't have minded the Hound going a la Oberyn and then the Mountain dying from the dagger through the head because he's got no purpose left. I thought that would have been fairly fitting in terms of how the show treats characters and death and purpose.

David (New York): Fantasy baseball question for you. I have Rizzo, Bellinger, and Hoskins. 2B/3B is Keston Hiura and Chavis. Should I trade: Ozuna & Hoskins for Blackmon, Albies, and Moustakas?

Craig Goldstein: I get you're jammed up but lacking additional context, I don't think that's a trade I'd do, no. I'd be looking for a better third piece, probably.

RotoLando (Cloud City): Who was a better city leader at the end, Cersei or Denethor?

Craig Goldstein: I had to google Denethor and if it helps, my thoughts on LOTR are best encapsulated by a certain scene in Clerks 2.

RotoLando (Cloud City): I took a break from raspberries because the seeds were getting to be a problem. This week I have blackberries in my lunch. I've never really had them before. Are they always this bitter? You know what's not bitter? Donuts.

Craig Goldstein: Yeah I think that's mostly how they are. I love blackberries but also sometimes hate them because of the burst of bitterness you get initially when eating them. #berrychat

jwise224 (PDX): Craig, I have a non-Kristian Robinson question for you. With more position players pitching and inflating team (and bullpen) ERAs, is there more noise in those samples now that we should be actively trying to strip out? John Ryan Murphy has given up nine earned in three innings, for example, with no strikeouts, three walks and three homers. How should we handle these things when analyzing pitching and bullpen staffs?

Craig Goldstein: It's a good question. Yeah I think we need to be relatively vigilant about it, but if teams are going to be going to position players in 6-run games too, maybe it is just part of the analysis now? I think if you're trying accurately assess the qualities of a bullpen, that needs to be accounted for but for general analysis purposes, especially in the long-term where we'll be looking at full-season data, it will mostly wash out.

Rob Mains (Finger Lakes): I get that this is a baseball chat and so, naturally, your inclination is to discuss Game of Thrones at length. But may I ask: do you like wine?

Craig Goldstein: I am not opposed to wine! It's not usually my beverage of choice but I've been digging some viogniers recently and was very partial to a dry riesling when I was in Portland, Oregon.

RotoLando (Cloud City): Does it matter how Jordan Luplow pronounces his name? I want to call him Mr. Plow regardless.

Craig Goldstein: I second this nickname

mevans93308 (California): Do you even want to hazard a take on the Julio Urías debacle, or leave it to others? If so, do you believe there is a path back to him playing for the Dodgers, let alone a path that creates a safe path forward for the victim of his alleged actions? Chad Moriyama had a few good thoughts on it in this thread on twitter: https://twitter.com/ChadMoriyama/status/1128547148247650304 Guess I'm just trying to grapple with my uncomfortable feeling of being worried about how badly the Dodgers might mangle this situation.

Craig Goldstein: Sure, I think we should all be up front in addressing these as best we can, but I will also acknowledge that while I endeavor to educate myself in these areas as best I can, there is always always more I can learn and I am more than receptive to additional POVs that can help me grow in understanding these situations.

I think there is a path to him coming back, but it involves Julio Urias actually addressing the issues at hand. It involves him understanding what he's done and why it happens, and the situation it puts both him and the women he's involved with, in. Part of the problem with Addison Russell's return has been that he's never really acknowledged what he's done or shown any remorse except for the difficulty it has cause _him_ personally. There's been no ownership of his behavior and the damage he's caused others and how his stress levels at the time or whatever he might claim aren't exculpatory in any way. Julio Urias needs to own his actions and the repercussions they've caused and work to make sure he never enacts them or anything like them again, even when he's frustrated or under stress or anything else. Once that work and understanding is visible to those around him and hopefully the public, then there's a path forward.

The hard part is that we have to take the words of the org in terms of "those around him" and orgs don't really get the benefit of the doubt on these issues anymore because they haven't earned it.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Please tell me Ian Happ is coming back soon. I really can't watch many more Almora at bats.

Craig Goldstein: Buddy (I get to say that because it is your name), Ian Happ at-bats aren't much better.

Matt Harvey....good day (WNBC): I propose that if a batter and a pitcher want to fight it out, they have to first gather their teammates in a posse and snap their fingers like West Side Story.

Craig Goldstein: Seconded.

Alexandra (Seattle): Can you explain the Wander Javier meme to me? Because I... don't... get it.

Craig Goldstein: One guy asked every chat, no matter who was having it or if they'd have any insight on Javier, about Javier and what his status was even though he hasn't been active due to a shoulder injury. It's, uh, fun or something.

CuccumberParty (Mesa AZ): What do you think of Gerardo Perdomo's season so far? Low BA, ridiculous walkrate so far. What should I make of this? Thank you!

Craig Goldstein: I think, given the level he's at and his age it's fine to take the positives and acknowledge but not place too much weight on the batting average. We're dealing with a six-week sample. I'm far more heartened by his approach at the level/age than any struggles he might have.

Mike (Milwaukee): With Keston up with the Brewers, who exactly in Milwaukee's system could be considered a potential impact talent down the road? I see plenty of role players, but even squinting its hard to see impact players.

Craig Goldstein: I don't think there's really anyone who is an impact guy right now. That said you just graduated a top-10 prospect so I think it's okay, given what the system has churned out in prospects and trades over the last little bit here.

Gotribe31 (San Deeeago): Still a believer in Mejia's bat long-term?

Craig Goldstein: It's been a really rough start, but yeah I think if he continues to get chances he'll figure it out.

RotoLando (Cloud City): Have you picked up Tommy La Stella yet? I just can't do it.

Craig Goldstein: Nah, I...I need more time to come to grips with this version of TLS.

Gotribe31 (Pie Shop): Forrest Whitley ETA? What do you make of his AAA struggles this year?

Craig Goldstein: I think he's going to come up by July, probably? Astros are so good they don't need to push him, he's not been great as you mention, and they can push him past Super Two by then, which is cynical, but hey.

Wolverine (Get going): You're a long time fan of Franmil Reyes ... what do you make of his season and going forward?

Craig Goldstein: I have been a Franmil guy but I'm even surprised at how good he's been. I swapped him out in TDGX for Wade Davis before the season (I needed saves) but I can't say that's looking great for me right now.

Mark (Portland): Are you old enough to have an opinion on John Candy's body of work?

Craig Goldstein: It's a wide body.

But probably not, no. I love him in Spaceballs and Uncle Buck and a few others but probably haven't seen enough to truly appreciate him.

Erik (ATL): Remember when Drew Waters being assigned to AA was viewed as really aggressive? 🤷‍♂️

Craig Goldstein: It _was_ aggressive, but I think this shows that aggressive assignments can also be right move.

Sal (Philly): Any deep prospects who you've picked up in leagues or just interest in this year?

Craig Goldstein: I snagged Sam Huff and Ivan Herrera in TDGX, and Jonathan Ornelas, Abraham Toro-Hernandez and Jarren Duran in my AL-Only league. It's a 300-deep prospect universe on the AL-Only side. Terrin Vavra in my NL (same depth). I had Mariel Bautista last year but I think he is in the same vein.

Earl (NY): What should we make of Amed Rosario?

Craig Goldstein: I think he's going to be fine, so the Mets should just leave him alone and let him figure it out. If he taps into a bit more power he'll be a monster.

Elton (Pacific Northwest): I'm in my fourth year of a rebuild. My goal this year was to win the consolation bracket but I've had lots of injuries to my studs (Rodon, Shoemaker, Gregorius). If I need to rebuild my rebuild, do you think I'll be okay with my best trade chips being Hosmer, Grichuk, and Trevor Richards?

Craig Goldstein: Man is this depressing or what. Yeah I think if you need to rebuild, you won't be hurt by dealing those guys.

Joe (Chicago): Is it possible Josh Bell can become a .300/.400/.500 guy for real? He was always considered a good hit tool guy with power to develop. It’s only been a month and change but is he a dynasty top 10 first baseman?

Craig Goldstein: I think Bell fits into what I discussed with Michael Baumann on The Ringer MLB Show yesterday a bit. Hit over power types are going to benefit from the rabbit ball as long as they still have some power, and Bell definitely does. I think that's possible for him assuming the ball stays what it is.

Flipai (Maryland): After having Brendan Rodgers on my prospect roster for what feels like 27 years, what are the odds the Rockies actually give him a shot at 2nd Base at the major league level soon? Are his AAA numbers worthy of bringing back his former prospect hype?

Craig Goldstein: I don't mean this to come off as harsh, since you ask a lot of great questions (and thank you for those) but it's kinda wild that a guy who has never been ranked lower than 22 on the BP 101 is considered to have lost prospect hype. He's only been around for four years! He'll get a shot once he's ready and not getting hit in the head with pitches, but predicting what the Rockies will do at any given time is not a business I want to be getting into.

Loria (Milwaukee): I really need a 2b in dynasty/keep forever. We have MiLB rosters (about 500 guys). I start Correa @ SS and have Tatis and Franco in the minors. You think Mondesi for Correa is fair value (I would promote Tatis)? If not, would 1 of the others be a more "fair" trade of value?

Craig Goldstein: if you're desperate for speed I think that's fine, but I would rather have Correa all else equal I think, by a smidge. I'd be more likely to deal Franco for Mondesi, especially if I was competing currently.

A rubber goose (Toronto): Do you think the present craziness of Sam Huff is real? He is also very large for a catcher.

Craig Goldstein: I think he can legitimately hit and the arm and accuracy are big helpers, but yeah the body behind the plate is going to be something to watch.

slappy123 (Charlotte, NC): It isn't even Memorial Day and our 16-team, H2H dynasty league is already desperate for pitching. My choices are Luis Cessa, Trent Thornton & Jefry Rodriguez. Would you take any of these to get some innings and Ks and hope you don't screw up other pitching categories? Thanks

Craig Goldstein: Give me Thornton of those guys.

mevans93308 (California): Any thoughts on Mitchell White's callup to AAA for the Dodgers? Seems to have rediscovered his stuff this year after having a pretty rough go of it last year due to injuries/inconsistency.

Craig Goldstein: Yep, I think you hit it on the head. I think he should be a relief option for the Dodgers at some point this year if they aren't just going to sign Kimbrel which they should.

BringBackTINO (Your Heart): Please recast VEEP using BP personnel

Craig Goldstein: Okay sorry I took so long but I was hammering this out. Good question to go out on:

Selena: Craig
Dan: Carsley
Mike: Collins
Splett: Bret
Amy: Aaron
Kent: Harry
Keith: Judge
Uncle Jeff: Parks
Roger Furlong: Paternostro
Will: Jarrett
Gary: McQuown
Catherine: Mark Barry
Marjory: Breen
Jonah: Dusty (Colorado)

Craig Goldstein: Thanks for all the questions today. Too many to get to, but please throw them over to Mike Gianella who is chatting on Friday at 4 PM!

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