Craig Goldstein is the editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus.
Craig Goldstein: Hey all, thanks for all the questions in advance. Looking forward to getting back into these chats more consistently.
Craig (Chicago): Who is the single most likely player of significance in the AL to be traded at deadline? Scoop? Gallo? Seager? Thanks.
Craig Goldstein: Gallo strikes me as a high-probability guy to get dealt. Passan also mentioned Berríos in his article today, and I think he's got a good chance too. Have heard the ask on Berríos is intense, though.
brad1431 (NJ): Please say nice things about Shane Drohan...
Craig Goldstein: He's doing a great job of outperforming his weak peripherals?
Mike (Wisconsin ): Are you buying to Shane Baz being a top of the rotation arm?
Craig Goldstein: Emphatic yes on Baz for me. I've been in on him as a potential top tier starter for quite a bit now, and never quite understood the reliever profile people threw on him so quickly. The mechanics weren't great but according to Keanan Lamb on our prospect team, he's toned them down a bit while retaining his deep arsenal. (writeup here: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/67886/monday-morning-ten-pack-baz-is-breaking-out-soderstrom-has-that-sound/) Looks like a potential No. 2 start to me.
Manny (Lawrence): MJ Melendez has performed very well so far this year. Is the arrow back up for him?
Craig Goldstein: I think it's pointing up a bit, but still a bit of a mixed bag overall. Sam Hale wrote about him in the same Ten Pack I just linked to for Baz, and Melendez's athleticism is a real bonus behind the plate but there are questions about if he can stick there and what the profile grades out to if he's not a backstop. Lots of pressure on the hit tool if he can't stick at Catcher.
Evan (Cincinnati ): Could Brujan be a trade piece or will it take him until July to get called up?
Craig Goldstein: In fairness to Evan this was probably asked before today, but tomorrow is July so...that question answers it self. More broadly they're not mutually exclusive options. That said, I'd be surprised if Brujan was dealt, and I think there's a good chance Tampa tries to get out from under Kiermaier's contract at some point (as they've been trying to do), and let him patrol center while occasionally spotting guys in the middle infield in the future.
Craig (Chicago): Who is more likely to be traded next month - Mancini or Hanniger?
Craig Goldstein: I think it's Haniger. Mancini is a good candidate if he wanted to go somewhere to win, I think Baltimore would acquiesce there. But coming off of his health issues last year and what Mancini has meant to Baltimore, I think they'd probably be fine keeping him around past this deal and he might be amenable to staying on something of a discount. It wouldn't surprise me if he wants to stick around.
Operator Error (CPU): Whats the future look like for Bailey Ober?
Craig Goldstein: I get the appeal but he's got the type of profile that has never made sense to me. I think he's the kind of pitcher who gets hit hard the second/third time through the league as people adjust to him. Low-90s fastball, he throws it 60 percent of the time, with huge fly ball rates. He's extremely tall and the extension will help that pitch play up but again, I think that MLB hitters are going to adjust to that after they've seen him a bit. I'd peg him as a 6th or 7th starter type who is valuable as long as he has options.
Craig (Chicago): Do you think Jose Barrero is up at some point this summer in Cincinnati? Is there a chance he is the opening day SS next season?
Craig Goldstein: Yes and yes, there's a chance. Cincinnati never plugged it's shortstop hole this offseason and it remains a weakness on the team. I still like Barrero (nee Garcia) a bit, especially on defense but it's hard to get the bad taste of his rough debut out of your mouth. That said he was rushed because of the lack of minor league season and the team's positional need. I think they're trying not to make the same mistake twice on that latter part, and ensure he's really ready for the big time when he gets the calla gain.
Sean99 (Freddy): Is Eddie Rosario washed up?
Craig Goldstein: I don't think he's washed up, this is just kind of who he is? his slugging is way down, which might be impacted by the ball change a bit. His average exit velo and max exit velo aren't out of line, either. His launch angle is down about four degrees though, and would be the lowest full season angle since 2017 if it holds. I think if he can get back to lifting the ball a bit more (his FB% is down a bit too), he'll look like the Rosario of the past few years.
Marcus (Tampa): Thanks for taking the question Kevin. Can you please give me your take and a MLB player comp for Phillies OF prospect Johan Rojas? Looks uber-athletic to me as I watch his actions on the field.
Craig Goldstein: I'm still not Kevin, much to many people's chagrin. Rojas has been on our radar for a while now. I recall Jeffrey Paternostro really liking him in Williamsport in 2019. He's very athletic and the defense should be quite good. I'd have some concerns offensively depending on how/if he fills out. He's pretty slight and I'd be worried about how well the offense can actually play given that. The ball jumps off his bat given the frame, but that could have its limitations. Jeff notes that he worries less about the pop and more about his approach, and he's better at prospect eval than I am, so there you go.
I'm going to avoid a comp because I think they tend to be more of a disservice than a service.
KerryFam4 (Florida): The Angels are playing Luis Rengifo in RF (.138/.167/.259) in RF. When do we see Jo Adell (.262/.318/.579 at SL)?
Craig Goldstein: I get the desire to see Adell (I was basically his biggest booster pre-2020 call up), but there were real issues exposed and it's not clear to me that his slugging at Triple-A necessarily negates those concerns. He needs to make better contact on pitches in the zone, or he's going to get eaten alive like Keston Hiura did before his recent adjustment. Once he makes that change, I think he'll show up in Anaheim.
Alek Thomas (Still in Amarillo): Any chance I can try hitting in Reno sometime? I'm bored with AA
Craig Goldstein: I think Thomas might see Reno later in the year but the Futures Game in Denver will have to do for now.
Greg (California): Any concern about the start Kelenic had? Just a rookie funk? Is July a reasonable call-up period?
Craig Goldstein: No concern about it in any long term fashion. I'd probably have let him work through it at the big-league level but they know him better than I do.
Jack (Mechanicsburg): Hi Craig. Could I get your thoughts on Daulton Jefferies and Tanner Houck? Do you expect to see either soon and what are your projected ceilings for both of these pitchers? Thanks!
Craig Goldstein: I actually like Houck quite a bit as a back-end, five-inning type starter. I don't have a ton of thoughts on Jefferies honestly. He's never been my cup of tea but I hope he can stay healthy and be something akin to what I described Houck as.
Craig (Chicago): Which contending teams do you expect to trade for a reliever that becomes that teams Closer immediately? Braves?
Craig Goldstein: Are the Braves a contending team? Not a lot of fits here. Possibly Toronto, if they wanted to bump Romano into the middle innings or something and create depth that way. The Phillies could use some help (and have a half-game on Atlanta).
ironcityguys (daBurgh): What have you heard about Noah Syndergaard? Would love to see him pitch in the Majors this year.
Craig Goldstein: Nothing substantial since he had to leave his start. I think the timetable they laid out then remains the same. If it happens I wouldn't expect it til August or so.
Ryan (Minnesota ): Do you see CJ Abrams being an early 2022 call up if he continues to hit? Will it be in the infield or outfield?
Craig Goldstein: I definitely think that's possible. I'd expect outfield at this point, but more because of the team's positional situation than anything else. Possible they slide Cronenworth to 1B and play him at 2B though.
Loria (Milwaukee): Deep Keeper League (keep 8) with MiLB rosters where a player is a "free keeper" for 4 seasons after promotion. These years are invaluable.
Who says no in a trade of Lindor + Trout for Tatis Jr (+2 free yrs)
Craig Goldstein: I think I'd take Lindor and Trout still.
Mark (New York): How do you rank these 3 pitchers for future value? Grayson Rodriguez, Max Meyer and Edward Cabrera.
Craig Goldstein: I'd go in that order, though I appreciate the inclusion of Cabrera who is underrated.
ironcityguys (daBurgh): What are the chances Nolan Gorman becomes Cardinals' everyday 2B by the end of 2021? Is he ready? Can you give a good comp for a current/former player?
Craig Goldstein: I'd be surprised if that's the case. He's still playing third more often than second, and I'm not sure he's ready for an every day role in the majors this year. Again, I prefer to avoid comps -- I think they tend to mislead more often than they provide insight.
ironcityguys (daBurgh): Do you expect Lindor to return to his career norms (.280/.342/.478) in the 2nd half? That might get his season OPS near .750 or so.
Craig Goldstein: Yeah, I think something like that. Maybe a bit less power? but I think that's really in play.
Craig (Chicago): Any NL pitcher that could get called up from the minors this season and make an impact as a starter?
Craig Goldstein: Nick Lodolo, Max Meyer, Edward Cabrera. The list of high-impact NL SP prospects is pretty thin at the moment. At least for those close to the majors. Keep an eye on Spencer Strider in Atlanta though. He's a fast mover.
ironcityguys (daBurgh): Yes, I'm that Anthony Alford supporter. Great OBP at AAA. Time for a recall?
Craig Goldstein: Sure? Can't see why Pittsburgh wouldn't give him a shot, but he's also had a few chances at this point. I wouldn't expect dramatically different results.
Craig Goldstein: Alright everyone, I've gotta read through some pieces for tomorrow's publication. Appreciate all your time and questions. Let's do it again soon!