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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday August 14, 2019 1:00 PM ET chat session with Craig Goldstein.


Craig Goldstein is the Managing Editor of Baseball Prospectus.

Craig Goldstein: Okay, I'm headed to see a freshly citizenized Yasiel Puig this afternoon so this chat might be a bit briefer than others. Let's get going.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): I certainly didn't see Castellanos having this much impact in Chicago. Even though it's a tiny sample size, do you think they'll entertain bringing him back next year?

Craig Goldstein: I think this came up last week and with the likely departure of Zobrist in the offseason I do think there's a chance they'll bring him back. I think that'll be more about clubhouse fit and projection of performance than what he did in a small sample, though.

Tusker (The backyard): Thoughts on Francisco Mejia’s recent hot streak at the plate? Is he looking as if he stays at catcher? Thanks!

Craig Goldstein: As a long-time Mejia-head, I'm absolutely for it. I've always thought he could hit and I do think he can stay at catcher, especially since we don't see nearly as many going for 130+ games as we used to (anecdotally, anyway, I should look into that). I think the bigger issue than his defense is how he olds up over the course of a season. I know the defense hasn't been great, but I think it's good enough that the bat can support it.

Mark (Maryland): Recently I've read reports that Johan Rojas (PHI) has Victor Robles like potential. Any truth to these?

Craig Goldstein: I spent a lot of time on the most recent episode of TINO talking about Rojas, and I've spent more time talking to Jeffrey Paternostro who saw him. I am very into Johan Rojas. I think that's really overstating the case. Perhaps defensively (which is a high compliment), but offensively Robles had a better hit tool even at the time. Could some combination of Rojas overshooting his projection and Robles underperforming mean they end up similarly? I suppose, but I don't think that's the concept behind the report you heard and I'd disagree substantially with that as a comp.

Yuri (Israel): I'm hopeful that you're committed to answering more baseball questions today, being that this is a baseball website and all. Assuming you are, I'm curious who you think will get the four wildcard spots. In baseball, that is. The sport this website covers.

Craig Goldstein: And I was hopeful you'd be less of a dick, but here we both are.

Jonny (Los Angeles): Joe Ross.

Craig Goldstein: Joe Ross.

Jordan (South Dakota): Today is my birthday and I need help choosing my final start (the dynasty league I run and might finally make the playoffs in after four years has a weekly start cap) this week. My options are: Trevor Williams @LAA, Rick Porcello BAL, Tanner Roark HOU, Jake Arrieta SD, Jordan Lyles @WAS. Who do I start? The playoffs are on the line.

Craig Goldstein: There aren't a lot of great options here. I think all told I'd go with Lyles but it also kind of depends what categories you're gunning for.

dzemens (Toledo): Matthew Boyd seems to have fallen in love with allowing the long ball over the last 75 or so IP. Do you think he can correct this issue and be productive for the remainder of 2019? As hes been a dumpster fire outside of K for the last two months.

Craig Goldstein: I can guarantee you he doesn't love it. I do think he can correct the issue, but I don't know that we'll see the first-half version either.

The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): There have been a few SP that came out of nowhere (at least for me) that look quite good (perhaps some BABIP luck or SSS). What OFP/Likely grades would you give: Zach Plesac, Zac Gallen, Aaron Civale, Jordan Yamamoto, Cal Quantrill.

Craig Goldstein: Off the top of my head:

Gallen: 60/55
Yamamoto: 50/45
Quantrill: 60/50

I'm holding off on answering the Cleveland guys. I was just talking about them (and Bieber) and I need to dig in on what the coaching staff is doing to unlock these guys and if I view it as sustainable.

Abel Archer (Edwards AFB): In terms of future ceiling and realistic likelihood of achieving it, who do you like better out of Grayson Rodriguez and Spencer Howard?

Craig Goldstein: I think I'd roll with Howard

KC (Somewhere far away): One of my minor but dormant ambitions is to be an editor someday- of a website,a publication,a book. What would you,as an editor yourself,recommend I do to put myself in a position to someday become one? I'll hang up and listen.

Craig Goldstein: Read and write, a lot. My path to being an editor hinged on reading comprehension and the ability to put words together in a pleasing order, whether mine or someone else's. Being able to interpret what prospect writers were saying and reframe them into a way that made more sense for a layperson was crucial as a minor league editor. But I think it's really hard to do that if you don't go through the process of writing yourself, and refining your own words, first.

The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): Which remaining prospects in your top 50 will get a cup of coffee this season?

Craig Goldstein: Some of these are longer shots than others but:


I excluded Robert and Madrigal because I think they might be guys they hold down at the beginning of next year to gain an extra year, but you could make a case for either pretty easily.

brad (NJ): Craig, what do you expect from Branden Rodgers in 2020 and going forward? Can he be a .270 30HR guy, noting half his games will be in Coors?

Craig Goldstein: Yeah I think that's fair, especially if the ball maintains its current characteristics.

Jon (Texas): Any names come to find for (probable) fantasy free agent pitchers who might be worth rostering for 2020?

Craig Goldstein: Good question for our fantastic fantasy team, as I'm not nearly that plugged in on who would be a free agent pitcher (especially without league parameters). Check in with JP Breen next week (8/21)

Vic (Baltimore): My MI infield is set for 20 and 21 with Bichette, Mondesi, and Hiura. I'll also have Madrigal and Barreto as the DH/backup. I am foolish to believe Madrigal/Barreto will be productive MLB players in 2020?

Craig Goldstein: I think you might be on Barreto, and Madrigal should see the majors, but as to whether he'll be immediately productive beyond steals depends a lot (in my opinion) on whether the ball is the same as this year.

Caseyj15 (Medford, OR): What do Carlos Correa and Aldaberto Mondesi's careers look like?

Craig Goldstein: Carlos Correa's looks like a dog and Mondesi's looks like my parents divorce. Wait, is this a rorschach test? Did I pass?

Walt (Philly): Spencer Howard is awesome. I realize that's a statement and not a question. What do you think his impact can be as soon as 2020?

Craig Goldstein: He's been fantastic. I think it's worth pointing out though, that he's missed time and has only accumulated 50 or so innings this year. That's going to make it hard to be a full time starter next season, and also means we've got a smaller sample size of his performance this season. That said, our reports on him and his stuff are good, and I'm a long-term believer.

Eddie (Tacoma): Why is Nate Lowe not in the Rays lineup every day instead of AAA?

Craig Goldstein: Well, because they have Aguilar, Choi, and Garcia at 1B/DH. Would I rather have Lowe over one or more of those guys? I would, but he has options and they aren't struggling as it is. Plus they have McKay's flexibility to pinch hit and whatnot.

Jordan (South Dakota): You didn't wish me a happy birthday. :-(

Craig Goldstein: Happy birthday big guy.

Jeff (Texas): I want to ask a berry question just to piss that Yuri guy off. So uh... do you like berries?

Craig Goldstein: Hell yeah I like berries. All kinds. Still need to get me a cloudberry though.

Keaton O. DeRocher (@TheSpokenKeats): Man, I made some shitty trades, huh?

Craig Goldstein: I really think it was only the Greinke one, but as discussed I don't have a firm read on Plesac tbh. Listen to the end of the episode of TINO! We didn't hate as much as it might have seemed.

Bailey (MD): I traded a future 2nd round pick for Andeltron Simmons? I slayed, right?

Craig Goldstein: Bailey amended this to a future first, but I think that's probably solid value. Depends heavily on how many keepers you have, etc.

Brandon (The Ozarks ): Something to DJ peters uptick at AAA it is this all related to the ball?

Craig Goldstein: I don't think it's all the ball unless he's decided to trade power for contact just because the ball flies further, which I suppose is possible. He's lopped 7 percentage points off his K Rate since the promotion. That might be small sample but it's fairly stark, too.

Haddy (Minnesota): My dynasty league team had been great but ran into bad H2H luck this year. So I traded Sale, Verlander, Encarnacion and others for Dustin May and Michael Baumann. Did I do well? Sale and Verlander just seem easily replaceable to me.

Craig Goldstein: You didn't do great, Haddy. I would not view them as replaceable, no.

Danny (Arizona): Liover Peguero: next big dynasty stud prospect?

Craig Goldstein: I don't think I'm going that far just yet, but there's a chance he's in the top tier of that system before too long.

Craig Goldstein: Okay. I'm gonna close it down because I have to eat lunch before my game. Thanks to all for dropping by and if you have additional prospect questions, Jeffrey Paternostro will be chatting on Friday.

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