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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday October 23, 2019 2:00 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: Good afternoon everyone. Quite a Game 1 to talk about, plus uh, some other stuff! Let's get into it.

Quincy (Ames): Who are a couple guys who you think would be impacted more than most if they go back to the old baseball?

Craig Goldstein: There are two profiles that I think get significantly impacted. The type that put a ton of balls in the air without legitimate plus power -- or with enough swing and miss that not converting some of those makes a big difference. Renato Nunez might be a good example of the latter. The second type would be the high-contact guys that experience power surges despite less than ideal pop in the profile. Someone like Alex Verdugo who hits a ton of line drives, some of which turned into homers because of the ball.

Yuri (Israel): I'm sad that I missed Jeff's chat earlier this week and now I'm stuck with your's. Anyway, did you enjoy last night's game or did spending the entirety of it moralizing on Twitter distract you from it? Also did you like the move to Corbin in relief?

Craig Goldstein: Thankfully Jeff will be back on Friday. Double the Jeff. I was able to enjoy the game, moralize on twitter, and finish up an article, so it was a productive evening. I did like going to Corbin in relief. I don't know that they have much of a choice given the pitch count Max was running up, and they need to be using their starter throw days in relief to survive the series, I think.

Vic (Baltimore): Please rank for 2020 only: Verlander, deGromb, Scherzer

Craig Goldstein: DeGrom, Verlander, Scherzer.

jwdalton (Soto Redux): I remember you (and TINO) being big on Soto. That was one of the reasons I went out and got him in my main dynasty league in spring 2018, which has of course worked nicely. I know these questions (like "the next Acuna" or "the next Soto") can be kind of impossible, but is there someone outside of the, say, top 30 prospects who for some reason (injury like Soto, or otherwise), you think can make a leap up. Obviously, not expecting the Soto ascent from A to MLB, but a jump, nonetheless

Craig Goldstein: I think I've been answering Kristian Robinson for this all season and I don't see a reason to stop now.

the astros home run train conductor (asleep on the job): what are your thoughts on the cubs naming david ross as manager, if all rumours are to be believed?

Craig Goldstein: Without any track record of management it's really hard to say, isn't it? He clearly is beloved by basically everyone, so that says something about his ability to work with people, but interactions can be quite different when they're imbued with authority. It will be interesting to see how he handles that.

Steve (Spokane): In a dynasty league, how much practical difference is there between, say, the 100th ranked prospect and the 200th ranked prospect? Am I crazy to think that they aren't that far apart and that the gap is a lot smaller than the difference between, like, number 1 and number 15?

Craig Goldstein: It's going to depend every year, especially in regards to the top 15 and the spread in talent there. Sometimes there just isn't a ton separating the top could tiers. But yeah we've been pretty fond of saying the difference between 75-150 (or so) is not usually that substantial.

sportsguy21792 (madison): Did Gerrit Cole cost himself any $ with last nights performance or will one postseason clunker make no long-term difference?

Craig Goldstein: No long term difference there.

slappy123 (NC): Am holding the #5 overall pick in our draft. How would you rank Dominguez, Witt, Bleday & Abrams? thanks

Craig Goldstein: I think I'd go Witt, Dominguez, Abrams, Bleday. Shooting for upside, there.

Kman (Chitown): Who would you rather sign, Castellanos or Ozuna??

Craig Goldstein: I think I'd rather go with Ozuna, though if the one-year gap in age makes a difference for you, I'd kinda get it. I know people are going to remember Ozuna's mistakes in the playoffs but he and Goldschmidt carried them through the first round, too. I prefer Ozuna's defensive abilities to Castellanos' too.

Frances (Stevens point): So you Jared Olivia getting an opportunity early in Pittsburgh or a late callup?

Craig Goldstein: Lots of Jared Oliva questions. I'd expect him to spend most of the year in Triple-A but yeah a call up isn't out of the question. Steve Givarz just wrote up an eyewitness report on him recently: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/54534/eyewitness-accounts-daniel-lynch-brandon-marsh-show-major-league-tools/

sportsguy21792 (Madison): What does Juan Soto drink in the locker room after winning the WS? whatever he wants?

Craig Goldstein: I believe he posed with a bottle of martinellis sparkling cider but, well...

Elton (Pacific Northwest): I'm entering my fifth year of a dynasty league. Last year I achieved my goal of winning the consolation bracket (got half my buy in back, yes!) because I got to play all the other tanking teams. I'm committed to tanking in 2020 though. I even announced it publicly. As part of my plan to bottom out for half a decade, I've freed up a ton of budget space. I could trade for almost any player, salary be damned. I haven't been though, instead opting to kill any negotiations before they begin and just stand pat. Do you think it'd be smart to do that though, to add a player who may be expensive but will score points and make my team fun and relevant, or should I continue trying to be bad but for as little "fake money" salary budget as possible? Thanks!

Craig Goldstein: So, just to be clear, questions like this from a person or people posing as Elton caught fire earlier this year and it's easy to see why. It turns out, though, that these are people pretending to be someone in this situation as a means to make fun of them. It's a shitty way to act and I regret my part in perpetuating it when I wasn't aware of the situation. Grow up.

Ray Kroc (San diego): Ty France or Luis Urias- urias with more hype and France with unbelievable AAA numbers. Who do you like -a) b) or c) none of the above?

Craig Goldstein: I'm gonna stick with Urias. I appreciate the France numbers but there are some complicating factors (where he plays, the Triple-A ball, etc.). If you want to ignore the ball issue because it's the same as the majors, I'll understand certainly but I think the environs in the PCL help that skill set play even more. I hope I'm wrong, France is fun, but I question the sustainability.

Bob prince (Pittsburgh): Do you expect the bucs to deal Marte and are you a Jared olive backer?

Craig Goldstein: Sigh. (not at the question to be clear)

It's hard to know with Pittsburgh isn't it? Whether they should trade him depends on who they might be able to get in return, but I find it tough to deal away a productive player that came up through the system while their budget (such that it is) isn't really forcing them to move on.

I defer to Givarz on Oliva, but the tool grades seemed pretty solid for a low-end regular profile.

Patrick (MPLS): Hi Craig. Loved today's piece from you and Stephen. Absent real, concerted, public effort from the player to atone for his actions, what responses are available to us as fans? More public pressure, up to and including boycotts? We all want our favorite team to win (and it's hard to change which team is your favorite), but what to do when one of the primary reasons for their success is a player whose continued employment - and glorification, even - is potentially traumatic to his victim and others who have experienced this kind of violence?

Craig Goldstein: Thank you for the kind words, Patrick. The short answer is: I don't know.

The longer answer is a list of reasons why I don't know. Everyone's mileage is going to vary on this depending on both their awareness level and how long you've been exposed. It's obviously draining to many people to have to keep running into the same walls.

There's a level of cognitive dissonance that we all have to live with when we cheer for sports teams, for a variety of reasons. I think a lot of it comes back to some version of "there's no ethical consumption within sports." Somewhere along the line someone did something you're not going to like, and how much or how long you can live with that is going to vary person to person. It's also going to change over time as values crystallize or you reconsider your prior convictions. All of that is normal.

I'm perhaps naive but I do think public pressure or outcry can be meaningful. I think boycotts are a measure that can affect a bottom line, which can make companies change their behavior. But I'm also wary of making everything about the bottom line because ultimately what we want are good-faith, ethical actors and decision-makers, not merely people responding to pressures on their profits. It's a tough situation.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Does Luzardo make 20+ big league starts next year?

Craig Goldstein: My heart says yes.

pmammino (NJ): The AFL is typically a mix of near MLB ready players and guys there to just get extra work correct? Is there an easy way to differentiate between these types?

Craig Goldstein: It's gone through some changes because I believe they altered the requirements of who can be sent (there used to be limits/minimums on guys sent from particular levels). There are definitely guys who end up there, especially arms, who need the extra innings after missing time during the year.

I haven't thought about the rosters in depth this year but in prior years there wasn't exactly a lack of some lower-level guys or anything. I'd say if you're trying to sort out the extra work types just get a sense of how many games they played in this year. Some of course will be both extra work/near major-league ready types, too.

Jon (Warshington): Why don't the TINO guys ever talk about Mau as being part of the OG TINO? Mau is nice!

Craig Goldstein: Mau is great! It's not intentional and we'd never knowingly participate in Mau erasure. We can be better about this. I think it's probably just the amount of time we ended up recording after Mau went pro.

easterbrook (ontario canada): Good afternoon Jeff: I have Brandon Lowe in a Scoresheet league. Do i keep the power with the strikeouts or move him for a good starter?

Craig Goldstein: I'm not Jeff (to Yuri's great dismay) but I think I'd keep him on my team given the opportunity. I think he can reduce the whiffs and hold most of the power.

Roddy Reta (San Diego): Do you think it would make sense for the Reds to clean out the farm and trade for either Lindor or Betts? If they're going to go for it, why not go all the way?

Craig Goldstein: As always it depends on the cost, and I think I'd need to be willing to sign either of those guys to a lengthy deal if I was going to clear out the farm system to do so. Which isn't to say I wouldn't. Those are the types of talent you want to stretch for.

america's stupid drinking laws ([keith bandit voice] in AMERICA): not to be a pedant but soto turns 21 in two days so if/when the nats win he's boutta have the biggest 21st birthday bash known to mankind

Craig Goldstein: Yeah that's going to be (should it happen) fun as hell.

sportsguy21792 (madison): Do you see the Reds as big players in the FA market? The rotation looks improved but the offense seems to be missing something...especially playing in such a HR friendly park. When do they finally make their move and give the fanbase some hope?

Craig Goldstein: It's hard to predict that given their history there. They've already made some acquisitions for next year in trading for Bauer at the deadline. I agree the offense could be improved and I'd be wary of relying on Aristides Aquino despite the hot start. A full, healthy season of Nick Senzel could go a long way but it's hard to think that'll happen with his injury history.

Pat G (Long Island): How do you project someone like Soto going forward, when there are next to no historical comps for his performance and age?

Craig Goldstein: It's certainly a little more complicated when one doesn't have peers, right? Of course he does, to some degree and you look for player profile types that fit him even if something like the age is different and try to draw conclusions. The standard deviations in how those projections tend to shake out are probably a bit wider than ones where there are a more substantial sample to draw from.

Mostly I think about how fun he is and how lucky we are to watch him, though.

Augie (St louis): Matt carpenter- toast. Or buy low candidate?

Craig Goldstein: I think he's toast. The bat looks slow to me and I don't know how he recovers from that. If he can get the bat speed back, I'm more inclined to buy in.

Trixie (San Diego): What kind of trade return could the Pirates expect for Starling Marte? Could they get multiple top 100 prospects?

Craig Goldstein: Yeah I think depending on how good the top prospect is in the deal you can squeeze a second top 100-type in there, and maybe a third flier. He's still really good and his contract isn't a squeeze on anyone.

Craig Goldstein: Alright everyone, thanks for bearing with me as I moved the chat back an hour. I appreciate your questions and you can send your prospect-focused ones to Jeffrey Paternostro who is chatting Friday at Noon!

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