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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday October 16, 2019 1:00 PM ET chat session with Craig Goldstein.


Craig Goldstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Baseball Prospectus and co-host of the Five and Dive podcast.

Craig Goldstein: Leftover panang curry for lunch helps spice up a dreary baseball-less day. Let's make it happen.

marcos (Italy): Seems Jo Adell got schooled in AAA, over 120 AB's and ZERO HR's....ouch! Any cause for worry?

Craig Goldstein: He's 20 and was on his third level of the year, the other two of which he destroyed. The only cause for worry about Jo Adell is finding an adequate word to describe his ceiling.

Stan (St louis): Randy arozarena- with the cards mediocre outfield ( assuming ozuna departs) do you think he’ll be a regular or more 4th outfielder.

Craig Goldstein: Probably somewhere between? I don't think it's a given they don't add an outfielder even if Ozuna leaves, and you have to account for Carlson. Probably he's a guy they give a shot to and if he capitalizes, he'll start for a good bit. I think he's kind of a tweener in terms of those profiles, in the end.

the bloodstain on curt schilling's sock (hopefully in biohazardous waste where it belongs, ): do you believe in umbrellas

Craig Goldstein: My approach to weather is painfully stupid. I mostly assume each day is going to be a lot like the last day and thus am utterly shocked when it looks decent out and then it's bitterly cold. Rain you can obviously see ahead of time but suffice it to say I get caught without the proper weather attire/accoutrements regularly. I'm an idiot.

Spotted cow (Rockford ): Does alex reyes get a shot at breaking spring training in the majors or has this year been such a bust you send him back down and try to get him back on track before elevating him?

Craig Goldstein: I think he's out of options, so probably a very good chance to make the team, assuming health, yeah.

duhbear (VT): The Rays are in a bit of a tough yet enviable situation of having too much current and future talent to hold it all on the 40-man. Who do you see taking a step forward and who do you see being traded?

Craig Goldstein: I mean they have nice depth but I don't think they're in a significantly different situation than a few other clubs. There are some easy cuts on that roster (de Leon, Zunino) and some FA types (Sogard, Garcia). In terms of guys they might trade, it's probably their areas of depth: Relievers and 1B/DH types. Choi had a nice year and can easily be part of their future, but you've got Nate Lowe there, too. Depth is the name of the game though, so I'd expect it to be more of the fringe relief types who end up running out of options and the like.

Jose jimenez (Colorado): What to make of Sam Hilliard? Do you think he’ll supplant tapia/Desmond or is he destined to the AAA shuttle next year? And do you buy substantial upside?

Craig Goldstein: I think a sentient doormat could supplant Desmond under normal management. I'd expect Hilliard to get a bunch of ABs. Substantial is subjective but he can definitely be quite useful in fantasy. Most of that will depend on Dahl's health and the Rockies' attachment to Desmond though.

sportsguy21792 (madison): Do the Cards measure their season as a success or does getting swept take away all the good feelings?

Craig Goldstein: Hard to imagine it's not a success. I don't think too many people had them atop the Central, even if they were expected to contend, and then they ended up in the NLCS. How you lose the NLCS is a lot less important than getting there, in my opinion. Lots of good developments, too. Flaherty, Edman, etc. Everything hurts the day after a loss, but I think it's pretty easy to be happy with this season.

Sean (Boston): How much has Daniel Lynch boosted his stock in AZ? Is he a top 50 prospect or still too much reliever risk?

Craig Goldstein: I think I'd have him outside my top 50, but that's not a knock. Steve Givarz had a nice report on him today (https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/54534/eyewitness-accounts-daniel-lynch-brandon-marsh-show-major-league-tools/) and the tools are legit. Could be a mid-rotation arm, but there is that reliever risk for sure. tl;dr: I'm buying but not quite at Top 50 levels.

Enough Already (NYC): Just a thanks for the chats and a pre-emptive stfu to Yuri.

Craig Goldstein: You're quite welcome. Yuri must have the day off.

Jesus Aguilar (Tampa Bay): Do you think I can bounce back next year and be close to my 2018 production, or am I closer to my 2017/2019 output?

Craig Goldstein: Well, 2017 and 2018 are much close than 2017 and 2019 so it's a little bit of confusing question. I think Aguilar can bounce back a bit, but assuming anyone who isn't elite is going to OPS 900 is more of a risk than I'd like to take, even with the rabbit ball.

marcos (Italy): Is there a spreadsheet on the site that shows the DRC+ for the 2019 season? And what is the comparable metric for pitchers? thanks

Craig Goldstein: You can find it on our leaderboards: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/leaders/hitting/hitting-standard-by-season

DRA- is the comparable metric for pitchers, which is also on a leaderboard: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/leaders/pitching/pitching-by-season?year=2019&lg=all&team=all&lvl=mlb&min=qualified

Griff (Miami): Trent Grisham - big step up in AAA albeit Colorado Springs lackluster numbers in Milwaukee . Someone you believe in or just meh?

Craig Goldstein: It wasn't Colorado Springs, it was San Antonio. Colorado Springs is now a Pioneer League team for Milwaukee, I believe (replacing Helena). I believe to an extent. He's always been a hitter, but it's a crowded outfield. JP Breen and I discussed path to playing time on a recent TINO episode, and it's not as direct as I'd like, overall.

CubbieBear (Chi-Town): Sean Murphy and Will Smith were the two most prominent catchers to make ML appearances in the second half of the year. Which has the most upside offensively and generally how do you compare their défensive skills?

Craig Goldstein: I think Smith has significantly more upside. Longer swing but I think more overall power. That said Murphy's debut featured a lot more bat than I would have anticipated. I'd still go with Smith for offense. Murphy is the better defender, just a little more sound in his setup and movements overall and he's got such a good release. Smith is a hell of an athlete though, and a solid framer.

AJ (Boston): Thanks for partially answering my Q on TINO (re players like Joc), but my thought process is a little different. For context: the Q pertained to fantasy baseball, dynasty leagues particularly. Using Joc as the example, he is under contract for 1 more year so I don't expect Verdugo or Peters to replace him in 2020. But in 2021, when he becomes an FA. Do you think he (or players like him) get dinged because teams have players within their system that can replace that specific skill set. Recently, it seems that only the elite and former elite players are getting decent contracts these days. The platoon/role players, no matter how good at the role they are, seem to have to settle for $3-7M 1-2 year contracts where they can. At such a salary, these guys can easily be cut if they have a slow start. In general, it just seems like baseball is changing with teams looking to cut costs where possible, and a good role player from the minors would be preferred over a similar (though more experienced) but more expensive player... Anyway, that's the context of the Q that was asked. If you don't subscribe to the premise, then it sounds like the answer is that there shouldnt be an issue (though I can't see Calhoun's option being picked up when there are lots of decent OF options out there on the FA market). Cheers

Craig Goldstein: Yeah I guess I think the premise is a bit of a mixed bag. If teams have a similar, cheaper player in their system, does that get held against a pending free agent? Yeah, I think obviously it does. Do I think baseball is looking to get cheaper? Yeah, absolutely, but I don't know that I'm with your premise that only elite guys are getting money beyond what you sketched out there. I think it's mostly about the value you're able to create with what you do (or could do). I expect Joc will get a contract that reflects his ability to be a 3-win type player even with his platoon role. Is his market affected by the fact that there are other guys who can also only hit righties? Yeah, but that's also a flaw in his profile. I don't know if that really addresses your question or not?

Kerry (San diego): Edward olivares kind of under the radar. Think he might be a factor for the pads assuming they can deal myers?

Craig Goldstein: I've been a fan for a while now. I think he could turn up in the majors this year, sure. Clearing some of the logjam at the trade deadline this summer helped, but of course also brought Trammell into the system and he probably slots ahead of Olivares in the intermediate/long-term.

the spirit of gentrification (coming soon to a neighborhood near you): have you ever accidentally eaten the food wrapper along with the food

Craig Goldstein: Yeah, sure, sometimes you go for a monster bite of gyro and get some of the foil.

duhbear (VT): Seems like someone is going to get a screamin' deal on Ozuna this offseason.

Craig Goldstein: You think so? Because of playoff issues, or? He had a pretty good year and I'd be surprised if his contract doesn't reflect it (within the context of the market not reflecting player quality in general, as it hasn't the last two years)

sportsguy21792 (madison): How do we define a small market club going forward? Is it a sliding scale based on season to season payroll or generally understood that only certain clubs are large market and always will be. Does size of TV revenue factor in?

Craig Goldstein: Well, if you're just referring to market there is an established way to do that in terms of the actual size of where they play, etc. The key is to understand that market size doesn't dictate spending or revenues or anything that, specifically. It's obviously a considerable factor, but it isn't the only one. But mostly people bring out the term small market as a way to say a team shouldn't spend and most of the time that's just BS.

Spotted cow (Rockford ): If Washington goes to the WS, which it looks like, will the amount of stressful innings weigh them down a bit for your fantasy teams, Stras especially?

Craig Goldstein: This question came in before last night's game. I think it has to be taken into account, yeah. The Red Sox tried to avoid this by resting their guys in ST but that obviously didn't take. It's hard to know how each individual responds to the increased usage. Strasburg is notoriously not a guy who logs innings but his 209 led the majors and he's been leaned on heavily in the playoffs. There's a decent chance he's with a new team (or on a new contract) and they might want to ease him into that first year as a means to protect their long term investment, etc.

chad (the squat rack): love how "BS" automatically links to Blown Saves even though you meant "bullsh*t"

Craig Goldstein: DAMMIT. I'll have to call a team meeting about this.

Stuart (Mill valley): The giants have a roster full of dead contracts . Any chance of moving any of them? If they don’t just dfa some of them isn’t that an admission that they don’t have any prospects in the near term. With Ramos wouldn’t they be better off letting him have a full year in AAA than rushing him?

Craig Goldstein: I think your prospects of moving them when you describe them as "dead contracts" diminish unless you're getting another one in return (or packaging them with a prospect). No, it's not really an admission. I didn't mind what SF did at the deadline and I think they got some nice fliers and some upper minors depth. Jaylin Davis might be able to hit. There's no need to rush Ramos and I don't think they will.

Ralphie (Tustin): Paddack and Richards seem like locks on the pads rotation and gore and patino coming quickly. So of the remainders is there anyone you think could take a big step up as a reliever with an assumed uptick in velocity/ fewer innings?

Craig Goldstein: Morejon and Baez already showed up in the bullpen. I'd like to see Morejon get to start if healthy, but certainly his stuff would play out of the pen.

Vinnie (GlendLe ca.): Who is the catcher long term -will smith or keibert ruiz?

Craig Goldstein: I think there's a decent chance both play extensively. It's a demanding position and a luxury to be able to have depth where both guys can actually hit.

duhbear (VT): Bullpens are being carried by "extreme" relievers. How much does doing something strange get you as a reliever? I'm thinking about Drake's extreme lateral release as a RHP or Poche's extreme rising FB or way lateral deliveries like Yarbrough or Kolarek. Since pitching is all about messing with hitter's timing, it seems like anything they haven't seen too often would be a huge advantage.

Craig Goldstein: I think not as far as you think. Drake was constantly DFA'd before this year, etc. I think if it's a one-trick pony, the amount of time it lasts you is usually not that long. There are always exceptions, of course (Yusmeiro Petit's invisiball, Kenley Jansen's cutter for a good bit there, etc.)

craij (the friends we made along the way): any theories as to just what exactly the nationals might have sacrificed that would have been powerful enough to defeat the cardinals' devil magic?

Craig Goldstein: probably a cardinal, but like a religious one, not the bird.

waluigi (not in smash bros ultimate): in your opinion, what is the greatest invention in the history of mankind, and why is it toasters that can toast more than two slices of bread at the same time

Craig Goldstein: Buddy, why are you toasting so much bread? Also, you know those machines that make you take a coin that is worth money and then you put it in the machine and it stamps something onto it, and now you have a mushed coin that's worth nothing? Those are the greatest invention in the history of mankind.

craij (the friends we made along the way): follow up: would it be possible to ordain a cardinal (the bird) as a cardinal (the religious one)? i was not raised in jesus fandom and am unaware of how this sort of evolution occurs

Craig Goldstein: guy, my last name is goldstein, why would I know any more than you?

Craig Goldstein: On that note, I'm ready to call it a chat. Got some stuff to edit and I'd like to read more of Mike Isaac's Super Pumped today, since there's no game. Steve Givarz is chatting Friday, talking all things AFL!

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