Craig Goldstein is the editor in chief of Baseball Prospectus.
Craig Goldstein: MOOKIE BETTTTTTSSSSS. Major League Baseball is happening tomorrow, extensions are on the verge of getting done...it's almost (but not really) like any other July.
Chris (Washington): Are Kyle Lewis and Evan white just going to split the rookie of the year votes or will the Seattle media machine make it so national writers vote them to the top?
Craig Goldstein: I think you're forgetting about Luis Robert, who is my favorite to win the award here. I also think the Kyle Lewis hype is getting a little ahead of itself.
Mike (Albany): Am I crazy for thinking Kyle Lewis has some serious RoY candidacy?
Craig Goldstein: Speaking of which: No, you're not crazy! He's a really interesting guy who I don't believe in as much as the hype thus far, but who is certainly talented in his own right. Here's my take on the hype though:
We've seen Lewis hit 6 homers and 5 doubles in 18 games at the end of the 2019 season. Plus another 4 homers in intrasquad/exhibitions, mostly against...Seattle Mariners pitching. The guy had a .293 OBP in his 18-game stint. He can clearly improve on that and if he's going to slug .592, it won't much matter either way. But those aren't the foundational peripherals I feel great about projecting into the future.
BG (PNW): Which Reds starter are you most looking forward to seeing this year?
Craig Goldstein: This is a troll question to get me to say Luis Castillo. While I do think he'll be the best of a bunch, I'm really curious to see if Sonny Gray can repeat his success from last year.
Byron (Portland): Not a question, just wanted to say, I haven't been visiting the site regularly because the world became too much for me to handle and I stopped reading pretty much anything on the internet. Don't worry, my membership isn't going anywhere, and I'll be back.
Craig Goldstein: Thanks, Byron! You're very much not alone on that. We did our best (and I think did quite well) at filling in the gaps but there's no argument that the last four months contained so much going on that baseball reasonably was not at the top of everyone's list.
Paul (Dallas): For those of us in dynasty leagues, the lack of a minor league season is presenting a number of challenges and questions.
How should we value prospects that aren't on the 60-man roster?
How should we value future draft picks - is the 2021 draft going to be deeper because of the shortened 2020 draft?
Craig Goldstein: I think there are some very specific instances where you can read something into it, but even then the advice I have is not to take too much out of inclusion or not. Kristian Robinson isn't on the D'Backs' player pool because he was already in Phoenix after being unable to go back to the Bahamas. There are all sorts of weird situations like that, so it's not worth getting too wrapped up. That said, in some cases like where Cleveland brought Aaron Bracho in but not Brayan Rocchio...maybe that's worth investigating (but not judging outright).
ryan l. (detroit): Are you optimistic short- and long-term on Francisco Mejia?
Craig Goldstein: Extremely so, yeah. Jeffrey Paternostro and I talked about this on Five & Dive, a bit. I really buy the overall talent and the second-half splits are exceedingly good. They should let him run with the job.
Arky Vaughn's Ghost (Washington DC): Since Pittsburgh and Toronto are sharing PNC Park, how good (or not good) would a combo Pirates-Blue Jay team be? Better than either team on their own?
Craig Goldstein: I joked that there's not a major-league rotation between them. I think the overall team might be okay because of the hitting (adding Josh Bell to the Blue Jays infield + DH is fun), but man there's like one good reliever between the two teams (Giles) and probably an average to slightly below rotation? It's not great, man.
Jimmy Salas (san marcos, ca): What's a realistic timeline for Marco Luciano? Can he stick in the dirt?
Craig Goldstein: Our Top 10 in the offseason had his ETA at 2022 and that seems about right to me. I believe in the talent and that he could absolutely fly. Might be 2023 because 2020 was so weird, developmentally.
Andrew (Mission Hills): How will BP assess the development of prospects in the COVID-19 environment?
Craig Goldstein: We've generally based our assessments on players based on live looks backstopped by talking to industry sources. We're going to have to shift that dynamic quite a bit, and do a lot more talking to sources and then doing the best we can to filter whatever they have to say, because there's always the chance we're getting someone downplayed or upsold.
dylanrox (Quarantine Lakes): Hi Craig,
Thanks for doing these!
Two IL spots are all we have and with the Mazara news i had to move Jameson Taillon to my bench in a 14 team/27 man roster DYNASTY H2H points format.
To give you an idea of league depth I was able to add Cespedes to fill my UTIL with Yordan also on IL.
Would you drop Taillon to add bench depth with a bat like Aaron Hicks, Thames, Will Myers, Kiner-Falefa or add a healthy arm like Pomeranz Trevor Richards, Loaisiga Helsley or Voth?
Hicks seems to be the most desirable commodity but is it worth adding him at the expense of Taillon?
SS C Seager
OF Acuna Pham Laureano
Bench McMahon Kieboom Vaughn Brujan KRobInson,and Oneil Cruz
IL Yordan,and Mazara
SP Darvish Nola Glasnow Weaver Alcantara
RP Burnes Pressly Lugo
Bench SP Matz Cease Taillon
Bench RP Kim
Craig Goldstein: Hey Dylan, my pleasure! I think I'd be okay moving on from Taillon in a league of this depth. I love the guy but he hasn't had a healthy/especially productive year in a long time and my bet is you can get him back if you need to. I don't love any of those bats so would probably opt for an arm (Helsley is interesting since Martinez is back in the rotation and he could beat out Kim for the closer role).
dan troy (SLO): Who's worth more on the theoretical FA , Betts or Lindor?
Craig Goldstein: Oh that's a fun one. I think it'd be Betts just because it's a longer track record of health and elite elite production but you're splitting hairs on that kind of stuff. Lindor has the positional advantage, plus a year on him too. I think they're basically even but if forced to choose say Betts.
CD (Kent): Do you think teams have figured out ways to maintain the development of young IFAs (e.g., lasy year's signees)? It seems like a year of lost development at this age is potentially devastating.
Craig Goldstein: I think they're probably in communication but presumably there's not much of an ability to enforce the plans they might have created. It might be devastating but devastating as applied across the league uniformly, so everyone is kind of playing the same game. Worth noting though that the A's brought Robert Puason in as part of their player pool, and I'm guessing it's for this reason.
dan troy (SLO): What's your berry status?
Craig Goldstein: I'm more of a Drupe guy now
darielsantana (Santo domingo): Do you think Andrew Vaughn can get 60AB this year? Maybe play LF.
Craig Goldstein: Left Field seems out of reach to me. DH/1B as a fill-in for an injury or underperformance seems more likely. 60 AB might be possible but I'd probably bet the under.
Craig Goldstein: Alright everyone, thanks for the great questions. I'll be back next week with actual MLB results to discuss, and we'll likely have some people chatting throughout the Opening Night/Day games, too.