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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:00 PM ET chat session with Craig Goldstein.


Craig Goldstein is the editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus.

Craig Goldstein: Why don't we just make the whole season out of the playoffs?

Chino5 (Hooterville): I have Victor Robles in a keeper league. Will he ever develop into the next Byron Buxton and, if so, is that even a good thing? If Robles didn't get hit by a pitch every third day, no one would even know he was alive.

Craig Goldstein: It's been a rough slog of late for Robles, but I don't think you should be abandoning ship. And yeah I don't think Buxton would be my point of comparison. If it works it might look a lot more like another frequent-HBPer Starling Marte. I'm still on board.

Johnny LeMaster (The City): Dean Kremer and Cristian Javier seem to be pretty solid Ps. What's your opinion of them after seeing how they looked in the majors?

Craig Goldstein: I actually haven't gotten a chance to look at Kremer, but I was talking with Jeffrey Paternostro about him the other day and based on what he said "pretty solid" seems about right. I think that's likely more a back-end profile than mid-rotation but again, I haven't seen his starts yet.

Cristian Javier I'm fairly in on. I don't know that the profile grades out much better than Kremer but I really like the breaking ball and his ability to miss bats. Probably more flashes of brilliance and more clunker starts than a steady presence in the rotation, but one I'm willing to gamble on if it clicks.

coffeeguy8806 (The Land): Why does Cleveland seemingly produce aces at an alarming rate? CC, Kluber, Beiber etc. thanks and stay safe!

Craig Goldstein: I won't pretend to have deep insight into their overall PD but everyone I've talked to about this mentions Ruben Niebla and his ability to connect and convey information to the players he works with.

The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): I know we're in Small Sample Size Land but how concerned are you of Evan White's 39% K rate and inability to hit the cheese? He has legit exit velos, hard hit & barrels on Statcast but his XBA and XSLG are terrible against all pitches. What does it all mean for his future -- he's 24. Bonus question: Evan White or Lewin Diaz?

Craig Goldstein: He's been a lot better of late. Obviously that much swing and miss is a concern, but the guy jumped Triple-A and almost certainly wouldn't have been up in the majors without that contract. At the same time that contract was given to him in part because of a belief in his ability to adapt. If you look at his splits from August 17 on, he's down to a 33% strikeout rate. Still not great, but much more palatable. I'm not all in on White, I never was, but I don't think we should make too much of this.

In purely bat terms I might take Diaz but I think White is a better overall player.

definitely not a BP writer who likes the Phillies (uh philadelphia but): Craig, are the Phillies in as distinct a situation as I suspect? Their rebuild seems to lack the prospects and farm system that they had tried to create years ago by trading Cole Hamels, Ken Giles, and the rest of the former core. That has left them top heavy with great, but pricy, free agents and trades but little depth. Is it WEIRD that they haven't seen much more than Aaron Nola and Alec Bohm and maybe Rhys Hoksins emerge as future pieces? Because the Marlins look like they've lapped the Phillies.

Craig Goldstein: I think that's pretty fair. Matt Winkelman had a good thread on this recently, but it's something of a byproduct of missing on the draft as badly as they have. Hoskins was a great development, and Bohm looks like a win. Spencer Howard, too. But you're looking at maybe role players out of a first-overall pick in Moniak and a top-10 selection in Haseley. It's hard to create the type of perpetual motion machine that teams want when they're not hitting on those picks as at least everyday guys.

My biggest problem with Philly is that they lack depth at the major-league level. Farm systems are great, but only if they produce the depth I'm talking about or can be used to acquire it. The pitching beyond Nola and Eflin is concerning (though I'm hopeful for Howard long term), the top-end names you mention are great but there is a gaping hole if Realmuto leaves and no real plan to replace him in house (Marchan is up but probably a bit away).

It is a team built for now but struggling in the here and now. That's always going to be a tough team to swallow.

bphil (MO): Are you selling Pearson in dynasty leagues? Points where young SP are extremely hard to get, but could be key piece in a deal for Correa.

Craig Goldstein: I'd be willing to deal him to acquire Correa. Pearson is really exciting and I don't want to overreact to a slim sample at the MLB level but health was a big factor in why teams passed on him before and why we were somewhat cautious in ranking him compared to his stuff.

bgawlowski14 (Seattle): Spencer Turnbull: Good No. 4, No. 3 or guy about to see his run prevention numbers blow up any second now?

Craig Goldstein: I think a good No. 4 which isn't mutually exclusive of the last thing you mentioned. I have actually kind of liked him for a bit, but the health issues he's dealt with keep him from attaining No. 3 status for me, since he won't pile up the innings over the course of a full season with regularity. If he does, he might get there, though.

jugdish (Faber): Thoughts on tyler stephenson

Craig Goldstein: He's huge for a catcher! I saw him on the backfields in Surprise a couple years ago and it's wild. That length is present at the plate too but he can do a pretty good job of shortening up and I like what I've seen more recently. I think he's underrated, generally.

Fred whitfield (Cleveland): Jack Flaherty and c paddack. Would you feel confident going in to next year with those two as the foundation of a nl only staff?theyve underwhelmed this year, cause for concern or small sample size?

Craig Goldstein: Flaherty yes, Paddack no. Paddack's issues aren't sample size related, imo. I don't want to overvalue his second half last year either, when he might have simply been out of gas, but he needs to fix his fastball a bit, and I'd like to see the curve be more consistent (he's made strides there) this year before paying the price people were throwing on him heading into this season. He's good for NL only, but not foundational just yet, imo.

Alex (Texas): Start Manny Machado vs Dustin May or Rafael Devers @ Trevor Rogers today?

Craig Goldstein: Devers

Big Reds Fan (Queen City): With our season just about over, what do you make of the rotation next year?

Craig Goldstein: Losing Bauer is going to hurt, obviously, but Gray and Castillo are solid starting points for a contending rotation. I really like what I've seen out of Antone, as well, and Mahle has gotten pretty interesting over the last little stretch here. I think Cincinnati gets underdiscussed in the conversation of pitching development organizations out there. I think a lot of credit goes to Derek Johnson.

brett (Nawlins): Who are a few thoughtful/good baseball writers who seem to get overlooked? Ben Carsley is great but he has too many Twitter followers to qualify here.

Craig Goldstein: Rachael McDaniel, Shakeia Taylor, Bradford William Davis, Patrick Dubuque, Robert O'Connell, Justin Klugh, Ginny Searle, Michael Clair are a few. Most well within the BP orbit so possibly disqualifying from "overlooked." There are others of course, and I can spend more time on this than off the top of my head in a chat. Granted if I thought they were good and overlooked, I'd be trying to get them to write for us :)

Phil E (Mainline): Zach Eflin seems to have returned to respectability. Real or a mirage?

Craig Goldstein: He's a fine 4/5 type, but you probably always want to upgrade from.

Raoul (Atlanta): Michael Harris or drew waters?

Craig Goldstein: Come on now. Waters.

Nick (Middleburg): The starling Marte deal. A)humanitarian deal so he can be closer to his kids B) dbacks desperate for pitching C)branch rickey-better to sell a year too early than a year too late D)dbacks plead poverty E)Corbin Carroll is close to being ready

Craig Goldstein: Closer to D than anything, imo.

Not Levi Weaver (Not Dallas): What do you make of Nick Solak going forward?

Craig Goldstein: Extremely concerned about the lack of slugging in his batting line right now, but the ingredients (exit velocity, launch angle, etc.) all look fairly encouraging? People were making too much of his short stint last year but I would be very surprised if he isn't a good hitter in the long term.

The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): Everyone seems to be downgrading Jesus Sanchez after his 29 bad PAs this season; what's your take (besides SSS)?

Craig Goldstein: I wouldn't adjust expectations from pre-season based on that many looks. It's looked really bad but we're also really bad at accounting for all the factors in a normal season when a guy debuts, much less one like this.

Evan mecham (Phoenix): Do you expect Corbin Martin to be in the rotation for the dbacks next year and are you buying in?

Craig Goldstein: Yeah, I liked him before he went down with the injury and I thought he was a sneaky grab for AZ in that deal. It's hard to say much given how long he's been out but assuming his return to health leaves his stuff in tact, I'm very interested.

Tom hack (Jacksonville): Jazz chisholm the next big thing or the next silly mo pena?

Craig Goldstein: Boring to say but pretty confident it's somewhere in between. He dazzles enough that Jeffrey updates me on every good development but I do think there are going to be exploitable flaws in his swing that aren't so easily resolved. Still a useful player in the long run.

Mark (Evanston): Who should win AL MVP?

Craig Goldstein: Gimme Tim Anderson.

Brandon (A town): Semien or Swanson next 3 years points?

Craig Goldstein: I...I think I'm gonna take Swanson?

Chris (Cleveland): In what hilariously devastating way to do expect the Dodgers' season to end this year?

Craig Goldstein: Did you see the seventh inning against the Padres the other day? That, except against the Marlins or Giants in the first round.

Flaming Moe (Springfield, USA): When my keeper league's rookie draft rolls around in February, I'm going to have a choice between Casey Mize and Sixto Sanchez. Who is better suited for long-term success? (Thank you for all you do, by the way.)

Craig Goldstein: I honestly think I'd take Sixto. There is some injury potential there but as Jeffrey likes to say "he's a pitcher" and it applies to both guys. I might be swayed by a pretty small major-league sample but damn if it isn't impressive.

And hey, our pleasure! I love talking some baseball with you all and hopefully you enjoy reading our work!

Craig Goldstein: Thanks to everyone for stopping by the chat. Really good questions today! On Friday we have a Fantasy chat with Mark Barry and then I'm back next Wednesday for some more.

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