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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday August 23, 2019 3:30 PM ET chat session with Craig Goldstein.


Managing Editor Craig Goldstein will be filling in for Jeffrey Paternostro, who is going to a game to evaluate a guy.

Craig Goldstein: Okay, I will fill in for Jeffrey as best I can but don't expect the same drink advice.

Spotted cow (Rockford ): I enjoy cocktails, mostly rye or gin based, along with a Wisconsin made old fashioned, what cocktail can you recommend with this little information? Also there has been an obscene amount of hype around Marco luciano, do you believe he stays at ss or 2b by the time he hits the bigs?

Craig Goldstein: Yes, I think he stays in the middle infield. If you're asking which position, I don't think the gap these days is as relevant as in the past but I'll hazard a guess at short for the early goings. I'm afraid I'm a vodka/tequila cocktail guy, so I'm of little use. Jeffrey says "Boulevadier or Louisiana cocktail."

CubbieBear (Chi-Town): Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May seem to be pretty close in development. May has been project as a having front of rotation stuff. Where does Gonsolin fall?

Craig Goldstein: He's more of a 4/5 to me, with a moderately high relief risk. The stuff just isn't as good or consistent as May.

boatman44 (Liverpool): Got to ask mate, Is Dylan Carlson St Louis voodoo magic or is he a bonafide All star of the future? cheers.

Craig Goldstein: Bonafide.

Not-Yuri (Not-Israel): Thanks for doing the baseball chat and putting your personal spin on things. Looking to fill up my last minors spot in a 5-yr, roto keeper league. Who would you grab: Andrew Vaughn or Dylan Carlson? Who is more likely to have a significant impact next season?

Craig Goldstein: Yuri. Hello.

That's a tough call. I think I'd take Carlson who can tally some stolen bases but there's no bad choice. I'd expect Carlson to arrive before Vaughn.

The Colonel (Pasadena): Do you still see Eloy Jimenez as a 55-hit/70-power tool hitter? Did he have any injuries this season? His year was a little disappointing with the way rookies pulverized the ball. Is his outlook the same?

Craig Goldstein: Well, yes, he spent time on the IL so he did have some injuries. And yes, I think Eloy has a chance to be that same thing. I just wrote about how quickly guys are hitting the ground but also a .750 OPS (even in this era) from a 22-year-old in his debut season isn't something we should consider failure at this point.

Ryan Express (Los Angeles): Why so little prospect buzz for Nick Solak? He seems a plus in hit and power. Is his defense bad?

Craig Goldstein: Someone didn't read the Call-Up.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Do you like the way the Dodgers are handling Dustin May?

Craig Goldstein: I think Jeffrey is disappointed they didn't give him more time as a starter from our prior conversations but given the way their bullpen has been outside of Joe Kelly, I think grooming a multi-inning reliever at this point is smart. They didn't bring Buehler up early enough to do this and he was gassed by the time September came. I'd like to think a prepped Buehler would have made a difference in that playoff run.

Vic (Baltimore): Which SPs deserve an unquestioned Top 30 overall selection in a 15 team 5 x 5 for 2020? Maybe none due to age of true studs like Max and Verlander?

Craig Goldstein: you're saying for 2020...does this mean a redraft or a dynasty? Obviously different answers there.

Jeremiah (Zona): Who do you prefer before Wilderd Patino and Jeferson Espinal

Craig Goldstein: I'd take Patino at this point but the DBacks have a bunch of interesting names at the lower levels.

Jennifer (NYC): What's keeping Juan Soto from being the #1 overall dynasty player?

Craig Goldstein: Mike Trout

Jesse Friedman (Phoenix): Chisholm or Gallen?

Craig Goldstein: At least as far as years of control go, I'll take Gallen. Pitchers carry a different level of risk but Chisholm's contact issues are clear. He has enough power to be useful anyway, but our recent Ten Pack by Keanan Lamb was a good window into Chisholm the player.

Jett (ChiTown): Thanks for the chat, Craig. No panic, here, but where do you see Mitch Keller settling in? Hasn't exactly been as advertised, but it's EARLY. Does he reach # 2 status eventually?

Craig Goldstein: I think he _can_. My issue is a lack of trust in the Pirates as it pertains to getting the most out of their pitchers. 5 years ago you'd say he needs a more reliable third pitch. Today, two pitches with a breaking ball like he has is a viable approach, but their org hasn't been one to make that profile work, unfortunately.

brad (NJ): Craig, Going into 2020. Would valuing Lance Lynn as a high floor, low injury risk #2 SP seem reasonable?

Craig Goldstein: Fantasy or real life? I think low-end 2, high-end three seems right for real life, given the innings he can eat. I'm buying on the changes being effective and long-lasting, with that view.

Buzz (Chicago): Kris Bryant just made an out by bunting.

Craig Goldstein: I'll tally it on the big board. (??????????)

Ben (Tempe): Alex Canario: top 100 dynasty spec?

Craig Goldstein: Probably on my personal list, yeah. Enough volatility that if someone said he was in the 60-120 range on their and ended up outside 100, I'd understand.

Carl (San Antonio): To the guy asking if he should pick up Andrew Vaughn or Dylan Carlson: seems like a weak, uncompetitive league if those guys are widely available. Are there any openings? Asking for Mark Barry, who needs a league he can compete in.

Craig Goldstein: Here's the deal, Carl: As JP explained Mark took over a bad roster. Also, it's an industry league where someone has to finish in each spot. You don't have to listen to TINO if you don't like it. I'm not sure what bitching about it to every chatter at BP accomplishes for you.

Matt (Boston): As someone who writes about baseball as a hobby, how do you deal with people writing nearly identical articles as you after you already publish yours because you don't have the clout to publicly claim a topic? It is frustrating to see someone else get credit for the work you already did.

Craig Goldstein: Well I don't think topics are publicly claimed. Jay Jaffe and Lucas Apostoleris had an article with the same "Position Players Pitching" chart in it run on the same day. That stuff just happens since everyone is looking at the same trends and trying to write about them for their respective audiences.

No one owns a topic. It's obviously proper to cite or credit work that you researched in the meantime, but if the author didn't use your work in their process and worked independently...that happens, I think. Often times people don't have a problem inserting a link to the prior study or what have you, and we all try to be conscious of doing so.

The Lynx (Parts Unknown): Pumped for the XFL?

Craig Goldstein: Really excited for the Tampa Bay Georgia O'Keefes. Even more excited for the Coward's Ratio I earned on that tweet.

brad (NJ): Fantasy baseball

Craig Goldstein: I'd knock Lynn down a _little_ in fantasy just because I'm less sure the strikeout rate bump sticks to this degree and would see him as an SP3 with a high floor and SP2 ceiling.

Nick (Phoenix): Hey Craig. Thanks for chatting. What are your thoughts on the Cubs’ young IF Pedro Martinez? Is he a guy you could see riding to the top 100 prospect level at some point?

Craig Goldstein: Yes. He can really hit. Underrated name right now. I don't think he's a top 100 guy this year but certainly at some point he'd be in the mix.

Turd Ferguson (Jeopardy): "Going to a game to evaluate a guy" sounds a bit suspicious. What guy? Jeffrey is cheating on all of us.

Craig Goldstein: "Michael Otañez. He's probably not good."

He's cheating on us with a guy he doesn't even like.

Hunter (Bronx): The Tigers end the season with four games on the road against the White Sox. The Orioles end with six on the road against the Blue Jays and Red Sox. What if the awful teams just forfeited those games and stayed home? It'd potentially hurt some players' ability to reach incentives. But what else? Are road games profitable for the visiting team, factoring in travel expenses, etc? Are the fewer meaningless games better for the players?

Craig Goldstein: I don't think it's better for guys who would potentially lose game checks and the like. Also would be a terrible look for MLB and all.

Bubic Hair (In your soup): Does Bubic have the stuff to be "near" the top of a rotation, or is it more deception, and back-end profile?

Craig Goldstein: Somewhere in between? He's seen a velo bump and I've gotten good reports on him this year. I think a mid-rotation arm with his fastball in the low-90s now.

Yuri (Israel): Damn it, I thought Jeff was going to be chatting today. I love his chats. Oh well. Are you just going to do your whole berry shtick again today, then?

Craig Goldstein: Berry good chance of that, yeah.

David (Bethesda): In my dynasty keep forever league, my hitters are stacked with Acuna, Soto, Bregman, Tatis, Vlad, Bellinger, Devers, Harper, Story, Alonso and Bichette. However, my pitching stinks because for years I've built based on the industry standard of "bats over arms." So my best pitchers are Jake Junis and Chris Bassitt. My hitters are simply too good to trade for pitching upgrades and my pitchers are too bad to compete. Where do I go from here?

Craig Goldstein: "Oh, no! Two women love me. They're both gorgeous and sexy. My wallet's too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!"

Jeff (Modesto): I saw you say on twitter you'd never dictate what subjects a BP writer could touch on in a chat, but would the same rules apply if BP had a right wing writer? I get a feeling from the lack of diverse opinions coming from your staff the answer is no.

Craig Goldstein: Well, that's not what I actually said and this isn't a particularly good-faith question.

I said I wouldn't pare down my interests in a chat such that I'd only discuss baseball (Yuri was complaining about reality tv and berries as minor subjects in my chat). I said I wouldn't ask the same of others. JP and Jeffrey, as an example, routinely address the EPL in their chats. That's fine, they're whole people who aren't dedicated solely to baseball, which I think is a good thing, no matter their politics.

Donnie (NJ): Thoughts on Yu Darvish's adjustments with his BB% plummeting and throwing more in the zone, homeruns still a concern, do you think he can improve on this in 2020?

Craig Goldstein: Yeah I think he can walk fewer guys than he has in aggregate this year, though matching this current run all the way through would make him a Cy Young type, and I think he's probably a hair below that.

Brandon (Mississippi): Tyler Freeman can hit, do you think he ever develops enough power to be a top 10 SS in the future?

Craig Goldstein: I think he's more of a back-end top 10 for the position if he gets there, but I'd probably say no.

Mr. Fister (Arlington): What are your thoughts on Luis Garcia (Was) after his aggressive assignment to AA? Does he have the bat speed to tap into more power as he fills out? His numbers don't look great, but I have to remind myself that he's a teenager in AA. Thanks!

Craig Goldstein: I think it's been a rough year but that some adversity isn't a bad thing and he just needs a little more physical maturation to have the strength to do more damage to the ball against upper-level arms.

David (Bethesda): Not sure what I said that deserved that response. Sorry.

Craig Goldstein: It's just a little fun, David. The answer is to deal some of your young bats for high-end present pitching. You said they're too good to do that, but the point isn't to have the best young bats in baseball, it's to generate enough value to go get what you need to win. You don't have to win every trade, you just have to have the best team.

Matt (Boston): Ryan McMahon has quietly had an excellent 2nd half. He is hitting .292/.376/.585 with 10 HR in just 38 games. He has premium exit velocity and hard hit rates(91st percentile), HE hasn't been terrible at 2B. But he hits WAY too many grounders. Do you believe he can put the ball in the air more and breakout?

Craig Goldstein: Yes, I absolutely do.

Corey (Phoenix): It's good the Red Sox are considering offering a day where kids get in free, but where did you get the idea games aren't affordable? Baseball games are far cheaper than NBA or NFL games. It's not uncommon for teams to have nights where tickets are around 10 dollars...10!

Craig Goldstein: Well, I said "regularly" not "some nights." Also I got the idea by going to games and seeing the prices around once you're inside the stadium too. Also by the declining attendance.

roxfan12 (Rocky Mountain High): Look in to your crystal ball and tell me what to expect long-term from Brusdar. Gracias!

Craig Goldstein: My heart tells me something like what José Berríos is doing. My head says impact reliever.

mat43287 (Oakland): I saw you retweet Sean Doolittle, who was promoting an organization that "supports" LGBT youth as young as 6. Do you think that was appropriate of you, and can it even be argued that fear mongering from conversatives was actually justified in retrospect? Do better man.

Craig Goldstein: Yeah I am content with my actions there.

Jon Daniels (Arlington, TX): Does Hans Crouse has the ability to stick in the rotation? Hearing a lot of "head-whack" and "violent" mechanical slights towards him, but having 4 pitches and decent control seems like a good recipe for a starter. I'm having a hard time trying to pin down his future role.

Craig Goldstein: You're not alone! It's an interesting cocktail of mechanics, stuff, and precision. It's easy to understand when you watch him why some relegate him to the reliever bin, but I do think he'll get a healthy chance to start because baseball is _generally_ more accommodating to various mechanics as long as the results are there, these days. They might also work with him to reduce those elements as long as they don't impact the quality of the stuff. I think he can rise through most of the minors as a starter but where he breaks in might depend on team need. I thought Neftali Feliz could start but once he landed in the bullpen, he preferred it there and mostly stayed there.

jwdalton (TINO Return!): I'm loving TINO being back. Are we going to get a very delayed FYPD from the guys and one of you Bret, or Ben? I think they should have to take over your squads. One guy gets first pick of your teams and the other gets first pick in the FYPD. haha. Quick question: fantasy value for Brusdar Graterol? Do you think he has the upside to be, say, a top 50 fantasy SP?

Craig Goldstein: I think I touched on Brusdar before enough to answer that question. Good call on the FYPD. I'll ask JP and Mark and see if we can't get one of me, Bret, and Ben for it. Those are always fun.

Derrick (Canada): Thoughts on Brock Burke - can he be a top 30 arm next year?

Craig Goldstein: I'd be legitimately stunned if so.

Parts and Gleyber (Auto Shop): Has there been any news regarding Hunter Greene's recovery from TJ? Is he due to start throwing soon? It was sad to see his ascension stalled out, and I for one can't wait to see how he looks when he comes back. Thanks!

Craig Goldstein: I don't have a particular update on his rehab - probably a better question for a Reds beat writer. I was never really in on him even from the draft but obviously would love to be wrong and am pulling for a healthy, dominant return.

Cole (Boston): In a points H2H dynasty league would you rather have Jack Flaherty or Chris Paddack?

Craig Goldstein: I think I'd go with Flaherty, but legitimately might answer differently next week. Tough call.

Daniel (Chicago): I guess we have been spoiled but some recent guys who have lit the majors on fire like Ronald Acuna and Juan Soto but what do you make of Victor Robles' first year? Does he still have the ceiling we originally thought he had?

Craig Goldstein: I think it's still there, yeah. I was at a Nats game recently and I still see all the potential, and I think he can get there. It might just be more of a slow burn.

Dom (St.Louis): The Cardinals outfield is loaded, with Dylan Carlson going bonkers, do you ever see Tyler O'Neil or Randy Arozarena being full time contributors or expect them to be role players.

Craig Goldstein: Ozuna is going to be a free agent, and Edman is flexible enough to play all over, so yeah I can see one of them getting enough time to be most of a regular. That kind of depth is enviable, though.

This Is Toro Crap (Not Houston ): No Called Up: Abraham Toro-Hernández edition? I am sad. Please tell me things about him and explain how this makes him better than Kyle Tucker so I can watch my Houston friends’ heads explode.

Craig Goldstein: He was in our Transaction Analysis today!


Timothy (Maine): Who do you like better between Kristian Robinson, George Valera and Julio Rodriguez? Highest ceiling, lowest floor?

Craig Goldstein: Feels like we get a version of this question every week (not a complaint, just noting). They're all really fun, high-ceiling types who belong in the same bucket, which is why we ranked them in a group in the midseason list.

Aidan (Oro): Is Brennan Davis' hit tool legit? Does that make him a star if he keeps hitting?

Craig Goldstein: The reports on Davis have been very positive. If he keeps hitting, that ceiling is a possibility.

Jizz Chasm (Miami): Buehler or Flaherty?

Craig Goldstein: Buehler, easily for me.

The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): What's up with all the animosity in here today, this is a baseball chat for C's sakes. Carter Kieboom or Brendan Rodgers for career? And will anyone ever answer my question for current grades for Civale and Plesac? :(

Craig Goldstein: Not sure, man. There's been a lot of troll questions in my chats recently too. Not sure why, exactly. I'll take Rodgers in that pairing. If we don't answer a question it's not always because we are ignoring it, I just don't have an answer. I haven't watched Cleveland enough to have a good answer right now, and I'd rather not just BS you.

boatman44 (Liverpool): Hey Craig, I for one think the new TINO is fine and I'm sure the boys will grow into it. They just have a hard act to follow, but talking fantasy baseball is always good. thanks

Craig Goldstein: Appreciate it man. Obviously everyone has their own tastes. I really enjoy it and had a great time being on it, and I think they're going to do a terrific job with it.

Carlson (NYC): Any chance we can see your thoughts on a comp for Dylan Carlson? Thanks!

Craig Goldstein: I don't really like to do comps if I can avoid it. He's going to be his own thing, and I'm excited about what that will look like.

Logan (Kennebunk, ME): Colton Welker or Jeremiah Jackson? Jackson just became available in my dynasty league and he had been on my watch list for a few weeks. Feel like Welker is higher floor, Jackson is higher ceiling.

Craig Goldstein: Welker for me, in fantasy. Jackson was a guy I liked out of the draft but the hit tool has serious question marks. Maybe similar to what we see of Jazz Chisholm right now. Power is real but will he make enough contact. I think it's fair to say the ceiling is higher there, but I think Welker is the play.

Kay Wijali (Moe's Tavern): Given all the effects of the juiced ball being used across the two highest levels of baseball, if that ball became standard across the minors, how would that change how you scouted young talent? Would it be similar to saying certain college players had 'aluminum power' or would all the bad swing habits be embraced since the ball was going to be the same at the next level up anyway?

Craig Goldstein: I'd love to hear Jeffrey's take on this, especially since you left it for him but I think my answer would be more the latter. If you know the issue is going to be the same across all levels and not change suddenly, then you just incorporate it as the new normal, right?

Ronald (Texas): What pitchers currently in the minors have the upside of being a bonafide SP1? Across any levels.

Craig Goldstein: Check the top arms on our midseason list.

Sluggo (Nexus, TX): In July's midseason update you had Logan Gilbert as a mid-rotation guy who needed to show something to separate from that designation. Since then he's gotten called up to AA and continued shredding. Has he shown that separation yet? And if not, what do you think he still needs to show?

Craig Goldstein: I think the biggest thing is maintaining the higher velocity he's shown as a pro compared to what he was entering the draft.

Nick (Phoenix ): Do you see JD Davis sustaining this level in the years ahead?

Craig Goldstein: No, I don't think he's consistently a .300 hitter, and that dropping that down will affect his overall line. Doesn't mean he's bad, but I don't think he's consistently _this_.

The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): Some fringe guys I would like your thoughts on -- Adrian Morejon, Logan Webb, Peter Lambert, Joe Palumbo, Patrick Sandoval.

Craig Goldstein: I think Morejon doesn't really belong in this group. He's got a higher ceiling than the rest. Lambert is a big Jeffrey guy, but I think it's more mid-back rotation than anything. I think Palumbo might be in the same bucket as Lambert but with more strikeouts, so from a fantasy angle that's my preference. He might end up a reliever. Sandoval I just need to watch more of, but my sense from prior to the season was he's probably a reliever? I have no thoughts on Logan Webb.

D.J. (@deeej15): Yuri, what’s your favorite kind of pie?

Craig Goldstein: Probably sour cherry, if I had to guess.

Craig Goldstein: Okay we've gotten over 50 questions and gone a bit over an hour. Hopefully that's a solid amount for everyone. Thank you for all the questions, even from the losers and haters. Catch you next week.

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