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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday July 03, 2019 1:00 PM ET chat session with Craig Goldstein.


Craig Goldstein is Baseball Prospectus' Managing Editor.

Craig Goldstein: If any of my answers seem off it's because my mind is still spinning over the KFC/Cheetos co-branded sandwich commercial.

Craig (Chicago): Elieser Hernnandez off to a nice start in MIA. What does he project out long term? Can he keep this up?

Craig Goldstein: Back of the rotation guy to me. The K% and BB% are nice but as Zach Crizer explained earlier this year, so much an a pitcher's ERA is being explained by home runs. He's not doing _great_ at preventing those which is why his DRA and FIP are also both over 4.00. I don't think there's anything special here.

The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): Do you see any of these guys standing out from the rest as 3/4 starters: Canning, Gallen, Duplantier, Logan Allen, Jose Suarez, Plesac, Lambert, Alzolay, Kikuchi, Lewis Thorpe? Any you don't think will make it as at least back-end starters?

Craig Goldstein: Of those guys I like Canning and Gallen the most. I'm less of a believer in Plesac and maybe Thorpe and Suarez.

Babyfarts Mckeezak (PGH): What is your approach to a 12 team points dynasty league where roster size is 25. Would you rather have a top 3 prospect like Adell or would you rather have depth with prospects like Kelenic/Brujan/Bohm?

Craig Goldstein: I think the combo of Kelenic/Brujan/Bohm probably takes it for me (if it is those 3 guys), but if I had Adell I'd find it tough to trade him for those three, too. Endowment effect, I suppose. I know you also said "like" in both cases but I think it really depends on the guys you're getting specifically and how each one's profile shakes out. I can easily see preferring Adell to three other guys "like" the ones you mentioned, but I happen to like the ones you mentioned specifically, if that makes sense.

ironcityguys (urban area): Bo Bichette is now healthy and playing well at (AAA) Buffalo. When will he follow Guerrero and Biggio to Toronto, and will he play 2B or SS when he arrives? Is Bichette a long-term answer at shortstop?

Craig Goldstein: He can make most of the plays at short even if it isn't pretty. I think with good positioning he can hang there long-term but it will really depend on if they have a good glove behind him. He'll be used wherever fits the club best overall. I'd say given the injury he might deserve a September call up but given how Atkins/Shapiro run that club, service time manipulation probably means mid-April next year.

roarke (The doghouse): I've got a dynasty midyear draft coming up where we draft recent draftees and July 2 signees - any chance we could get an updated top 25 draftee/signee list in the next five days or so?

Craig Goldstein: Our mid-season Top 50 list is coming Monday and there will be fantasy mid-season 50 in about a week. If you have specific questions on the draftees/J2 guys, I'd suggest the Bat Signal.

Jen (Saint Paul): I'm here by myself for work, don't know what to do, so I traded Dustin May and Groshans to some guy in my dynasty league for Verlander. How'd I do?

Craig Goldstein: Was this part of a larger trade because I have another question from Minnesota that involves these 3 but also a couple other names. If this is it I think it's fine, if a little expensive. We're going to be very high on both these prospects and Verlander is on the older end of things. That said, he's Verlander and if you're competing now I can see the appeal.

Aaron (Minnesota): I'm rebuilding in one of my dynasty leagues. Actually, I'm rebuilding in all of them, but my question is just about one. Anyway... this week I traded Chris Sale and Justin Verlander for Drew Waters, Jordan Groshans, and Dustin May. How did I do?

Craig Goldstein: So here's the other end. Maybe it was two deals for Aaron that encompassed all these guys? I don't love it, Aaron. In fact, I checked to see if this was Aaron Gleeman just in case I had to be nice about it. It sucks. It's not good. Those three names for Sale alone...I can see. But then you just have Verlander for nothing. And I love May and Waters. Not good, Aaron. Not good.

roarke (A desk in a windowless office): Letting McKay hit always seemed like they were humoring him for a while and eventually he would be a full-time pitcher. But with the Rays allowing him at bats at the MLB level, do you think he actually has a future with a bat in his hands (at least part time)?

Craig Goldstein: I think his future is very much on the mound

Buff (Colorado): So Marco Luciano’s amazing start just got even better. Is he in the conversation for the midseason top ten? Top 25?

Craig Goldstein: Pump the brakes, my guy. We love Luciano but you're talking about 12 games in the GCL. If he was going to be in that range, he'd be there already, and it would have nothing to do with performance given the level he's at. He's in the mix for our Top 50 though, and we think that's being plenty aggressive.

The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): If Senzel stays in CF and Kieboom moves to 2B, which player do you like more for the future all together? Whose bat do you like better for career?

Craig Goldstein: I'll still take Senzel on both counts. I don't know that there's a big gap in quality between CF/2B these days and how they play out value-wise.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Are people really comparing "The Martian" to Mike Trout already. Good lord, he's 16 years old!

Craig Goldstein: In build, sure. But that also tells you there probably isn't a ton of physical projection left.

Ron (Texarkana): Is there a way to find ROS projections anywhere on BP, and when you are drafting a fantasy team, is there a stat that you look at more than others for hitting/pitching?

Craig Goldstein: ROS projections are almost everywhere. When you search a player or look at a player card, it is showing the ROS projection. Our depth charts are a great place to find a bunch at once.

ironcityguys (urban area): When will Adley Rutschman take the field for an Oriole affiliate? The word is he heads to Aberdeen, but some say he could go directly to the Majors. Where would you place him to start his pro career?

Craig Goldstein: I'm sure they're in no hurry to push the recent no. 1 overall pick given the length of the college season and the physical demands of catcher. He's not going directly to the majors, that's absurd. It wouldn't serve him or the ballclub any good. I'd probably start him in High-A where his bat should be more than ready but he can get comfortable with the change in the demands of a pro catcher.

ironcityguys (urban area): Do you feel differently after seeing 400+ AB from Lourdes Gurriel (.851 through 6/30) and a big year so far this season (.989, 14 HR)? BP had always been pretty low-key on his prospects, but he looks like a real power threat- despite his lower rankings on prospect lists.

Craig Goldstein: I think I touched on this last week. Gurriel has seen a change in the batted ball profile that would reflect well given the change in the ball and I think it's reasonable to buy in to his performance thus far being legitimate. I don't know that I see him as a .990 OPS type, but yeah I think given the current ball/homer environment we undersold the power as a prospect.

RotoLando (Cloud City): I have my bag of cherries today, and they are still awesome. I also have a plum, for some reason. Not sure if I mistook it for a giant berry, but it's not unwelcome here. How's it going on your berry end?

Craig Goldstein: Plums are great, especially red plums. How anyone knows what they're like on the inside is beyond me, but man do I love a red plum. I haven't done much berry-wise recently. I also dug into some cherries last week, but I'll need to hit the store to restock. I'm feeling maybe some strawberries to cut up and sprinkle a little sugar on. Worldchanging.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Seems like Nick Madrigal's star is starting to rise a bit. Any chance he sees the majors late this year?

Craig Goldstein: I think he could earn a shot but again see it as unlikely that the org gives him time there until early next year. Perhaps if Chicago remains on the fringes of the wild card and wants to make a push.

Jon (NYC ): Where would you rank Jasson Dominguez in the prospect rankings?

Craig Goldstein: Well, I wouldn't, I guess. We don't rank June draftees or J2 signings in our midseason list and Jasson poses a special kind of problem. The reports on the tools are sublime, but he also hasn't really played meaningful competition in a LONG time. That makes it hard to evaluate tools in context, and context is why we try to wait to slot these guys in to our offseason lists. We just like to gather a little more info. To whet you're appetite though a source told me "Physical freak and has all the tools."

I expect he'll be good, but I think ranking him without some additional info/looks isn't going to get us anywhere.

captnamerca (USA): Is Bland Name Syndrome a real thing? How long do you let a Dwight Smith Jr, or Danny Santana sit on waivers because who is this guy, and why should I believe in the hot streak?

Craig Goldstein: Maybe for guys on the fringe like that but I think more likely there are "known names" versus pop up types who are either unknown or previously known to be bad and we tend towards the guys we know have been good before.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): I agree with your point on Senzel vs. Kieboom, and will even go one farther...Defensive value in general is declining, and it makes perfect sense. Hitters are striking out at a record pace, and it only increases each year. That of course means less balls are put in play, which of course means there are fewer opportunities for a player to impact the game defensively. I've been watching baseball for 40 years, and there has never been a time when defense was less important.

Craig Goldstein: Fewer balls in play is part of it. It's not just strikeouts but home runs taking balls out of play too. That said, I also think that the defensive adjustments we're used to making both in terms of defensive stats and in terms of scouting profiles are in need of an adjustment. But I largely agree, Buddy.

in121162 (Bandon): Julio Rodriguez or George Valera? Hunter Greene or Eric Pardinho?

Craig Goldstein: Pardinho for me. The other one is a toss up. I'll go with Rodriguez for now.

slappy123 (Charlotte NC): Looking to add an OF bat. Can choose among Kepler, Brantley and Reynolds. Who's my guy? thanks

Craig Goldstein: Gimme Brantley.

roarke (Windows 10 in a deskless office): Luis Arraez wasn't on my radar at all before this season, but he's raked at both AAA and in the bigs. Do you see his ceiling as a utility guy, or is there more there?

Craig Goldstein: More of a utility type for me. The bat is quite good though, just not sure the power plays. Of course that's a dangerous sentiment to type in the age of the rabbit ball.

Buff (Colorado): How likely is it that Dylan Carlson is a fixture in the St Louis outfield by this time next year?

Craig Goldstein: I could see it. He's been playing center and I'm told he looks like he can cut it there. I'd probably be more comfortable with him in a corner, though. The bat should play either way.

Del Taco (Berwyn): Gulab jamun after an Indian buffet lunch...perfect ending or hideous overindulgence?

Craig Goldstein: Look, if you're giving me a buffet lunch, there's a good chance I skip dessert for additional main courses. So for me, it's the latter.

vashti13 (Upstate NY): As more and more it seems to appear that MLB is tinkering with the ball - again - do you think this will negatively impact both development (as players shift more to TTO approaches) and prospect assessment, as it's hard to project what skills will benefit or suffer from presumed future tinkering?

Craig Goldstein: I don't know that MLB is tinkering with the ball so much as ignoring the changes and refusing to tighten their standards. I absolutely think that the variance within the allowable standards and the drastic changes that seem to take place make it really hard to evaluate from an analytical or scouting perspective. I don't know that it _negatively_ impacts development. Guys are going to maximize their approaches for the best outcomes regardless and I don't have a POV that says TTO approaches are bad developmentally. If you mean aesthetically...well, that's a different discussion.

ironcityguys (urban area): Does Ian Anderson get the call to Atlanta this year? Or are the Braves likely to avoid starting the arbitration clock? His BB rate has been slightly elevated at AA this season.

Craig Goldstein: Not this year. I expect we'll see him sometime in May next year, if I was hazarding a guess.

Buff (Colorado): Braxton Garrett, Josiah Gray, or Edward Cabrera?

Craig Goldstein: I'll take Cabrera.

RotoLando (Cloud City): Which curse do you want to believe in more...the Drake Curse or the Home Run Derby Curse?

Craig Goldstein: Drake curse, absolutely.

Jimmi Simpson (Beyond): Is Rick Porcello done in terms of fantasy relevancy?

Craig Goldstein: Probably? Yeah, I'm going with probably.

in121162 (Bandon): How high is Deivi Garcia going to rank in the mid season top 50?

Craig Goldstein: Good chance he's inside the top 40. I'm not going further than that, especially since I'm not making the calls on the list.

ironcityguys (urban area): When do you think Isan Diaz gets the call in Miami? Is 2B his best position or would 3B help him with his range?

Craig Goldstein: I hope it's by August. I don't think Miami has any reason not to play him. It's been a bit since I've seen him but I liked him as a second-sacker.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Any insider info on if/when Ben Zobrist is coming back to the Cubs?

Craig Goldstein: I do not have any insight on Zobrist's personal life, no. I don't anticipate seeing him back this regular season.

Alan (NC): Francisco Mejia outlook for ROS? Thanks, Craig!

Craig Goldstein: Man it's good to see him swinging a bit better recently, even if it is very few games over the last month or so. I'm still not sure this is the year for him. I'll say .240/.295/.450? I don't know, I'm usually bad at projecting these things, but I think he can tap into some power the rest of the way.

Andrew (DC): Hey Craig, me again. Is Karlo Sejias a prospect?

Craig Goldstein: I'm going to defer until you spell his last name right, Andrew

RotoLando (Cloud City): I just looked up gulab jamon. If those are also included in the buffet, I'm taking as many as I can stuff into my cheeks.

Craig Goldstein: Okay, so next week we'll do Berry Chat and Gulab Jamon chat.

The Fonz (Milwaukee): Berries are cool. Ayyyyyyyy!

Craig Goldstein: Well when The Fonz arrives, I know it's time for me to leave.

Craig Goldstein: Thanks everyone for the chat and making it a quick one so I can get my long weekend started with a haircut. Have a great Fourth of July and check back Monday for our Midseason Top 50 and a slew of surrounding prospect content. If you're in DC, be sure to avoid those tanks.

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