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Chat: Kevin Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday January 31, 2008 1:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Goldstein.


Kevin Goldstein stops by to discuss his just-released Top 100 Prospects list .

Kevin Goldstein: Ah yes, Top 100 day. I'm excited about the list and excited to see the questions. We're in the midst of a snow storm here in DeKalb, IL that wasn't supposed to arrive until this evening, so let's hunker down and be here for a while. Otto The Pit Bull (tm) is sleeping on the chair, and says hello. Let's light this candle.

Sean (Raleigh, NC): ____ over ____? You're insane!

Kevin Goldstein: Sean gets to kick things off with a good laugh. Thanks Sean, and yes, that's pretty much where all the questions are at.

Sam Samson (Allston MA): You're bullish about Kalish - but leery of Lowrie?

Kevin Goldstein: Lowrie is ahead of Kalish, no? That's more of a where he's at kind of ranking. Kalish has way more upside, Lowrie is some much closer to being ready. I'd like Lowrie so much more if I thought he was a shortstop, but I don't.

Jeremy (New Hampshire): On the whole, how does this year's to 100 talent stack up compared to years past? Do you see any interesting changes in talent distribution worth noting?

Kevin Goldstein: I think overall it's a down year for prospects. We've seen a lot of really good young players reach the majors in the last two years, and the talent to replace them, prospect-wise, just isn't there. Last year, when doing the Top 100, I had probably 60 guys I really, really liked. This year, that list ended in the 40s.

Minnesotans (MN): Give us a healthy way to release our rage

Kevin Goldstein: Video games.

greg (toronto): If you look into your crystalball, who do you think will be your top prospect for next year?

Kevin Goldstein: Clayton Kershaw.

Rob (Andover, CT): What do you think we will see from Tabata this year?

Kevin Goldstein: Hopefully, his wrist problems will be in his rear-view mirror and we'll get to see more juice in his bat. Even though he's very young, I don't think he'll have a lot of trouble hitting for average at AA -- he's a very gifted hitter.

mattcollins (Boston): I stashed Manny Parra on my fantasy team 6 years ago. Do I finally have legitimate cause for excitement? I didn't expect to see him on a top 100 list, much less in the top 50.

Kevin Goldstein: Be excited, be very excited. I love his arm, especially from the left side. Legitimate above-average starting pitcher in my mind.

Andrew (Potomac, Md.): Thanks for the chat, KG! I see Chris Marrero as a future .280/.360/.600 type hitter, but all professional prospect mavens have CM well below the (seemingly) very similar Travis Snider. Why the universal caution about Chris?

Kevin Goldstein: You really want to go around projecting .600 slugging percentages . . . for anyone? Ranking Chris Marrero at No. 28 is hardly being overly cautious -- that's a great ranking. I just think, based on conversations with those in the industry, that Snider has that special quality to him.

JM (MD): Everyone seems down on Carlos Carrasco. The fact that he was only 20 last year and reached AA has to count for something, doesn't it? Will his flaws be ironed out with more innings, or do you see his upside as being limited?

Kevin Goldstein: It does count for something, but so does his stuff and production. He just doesn't miss a ton of bats, nor have to stuff to project as a big time star. Very good prospect, don't get me wrong -- But I think he's a No. 3, borderline No. 2 in a perfect world.

Chris (MD): What criteria did you use in making the list? Impact this year? Overall career value? Upside? Some combination? Thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: It's a tricky combination of ceiling, and chances of reaching it. I don't use any kind of exact formula or anything.

Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Want us to submit any nasty messages to Keith Law for having his identical chat at the same time as yours?

Kevin Goldstein: No, I'm fine with it. More than happy to have a chat with the hardcore BP audience, though based on the number of questions already in the queue, we got a ton of people here.

Tyler (Bmore): Is Wieters the highest ranked 1st year pro ever in your rankings?

Kevin Goldstein: No. He's not even the highest on this list. See Price, Porcello.

BrowningNagle (Chicago, IL): I was kind of surprised to see Gerardo Parra ahead of Carlos Gomez (albeit 1 spot). Gomez's tools seem much stronger across the board. Does that have to do with how confident you are about how close each are to reaching their ceilings?

Kevin Goldstein: Wow. How many years have I been taking Browning Nagle questions? Five or so? I would agree Gomez's overall package of tools is more impressive, but I would also say that Parra is a better pure hitter, and that's gotta count for something, right?

Matt (NH): If Adam Jones was eligible where do you think he would rank? Thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: Easy Top 10 for me. I'm a HUGE fan. He's a very rare kind of player, and that he's taken a major step forward for three straight years. That's very difficult to find.

Christian (London): While we all have our different approaches to prospects, can you tell me fundamental difference between yourself and Keith Law from ESPN. Your lists are completely different and was wondering if your more of a stats vs tools guy or vice-versa.

Kevin Goldstein: I haven't seen Keith's list, and while I know Keith, and I like Keith, I have no idea what his process is in ranking prospects. I just know what mine is, and it's something I strive to improve every year, and gosh darn it, I like my process.

Bob (St Louis): I find it interesting that Votto stole 20 bases twice in minors, and yet some projectors say he won't steal any in majors in 2008 (I also think about Josh Fields). I am aware he doesn't have great speed and was caught very often. Does it happen that great prospects in a system are allowed to do things--like steal bases--with impunity because of their status as great prospects, and then once they reach the majors a manager puts the brakes on that part of their game?

Kevin Goldstein: It does happen quite a bit acutally. There are going to be times in his big league career when you're gonna need Votto to run, so they best way to learn that is to have him run. A good comparision here is Delmon Young, who had 20-plus stolen bases in each of his minor league seasons, but just 10 last year in the big leagues.

shoewizard (Scottsdale AZ): You had Brooks Brown, Juan Gutierrez, and Billy Buckner ranked 4th,5th, 6th for the D backs as 3 Star prospects. How far away are any of these guys from cracking the top 100? Are there any "3 star" prospects in the top 100?

Kevin Goldstein: The list for consideration was about 130-140 long -- and none of those three were on it. There are a handful of 3 star guys at the end. Basically, I wanted five-star to represent Top 50 candidates, and four-star to represent Top 100 candidates, but it didn't really turn out that way because the talent is down.

Justin (Brno (Czech Republic)): How good will Adrian Cardenas be in the big leagues? Do you think his power will develop into a middle of the order type of bat?

Kevin Goldstein: I think he'll be an above-average offensive second baseman, but I don't see his power ceiling going past the 15-20 home runs a year range. Little guy, line-drive bat.

Ricky (California): Based on your rankings, would you say the A's easily got more for Haren than what the twins got for Santana?

Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely. Not even close. But like I wrote, the marker dynamics here were very unique. The Twins were forced to trade Santana, and quickly, and he only wanted to go to an handful of teams, and only a few teams were interested, who could afford the extension. So the supply/demand scale got tipped dramatically.

doog7642 (Blaine, MN): What makes Franklin Morales so superior to Jake McGee? I'm not insinuating that he isn't -- I'd just like to hear you contrast the two.

Kevin Goldstein: Is there some kind of Jake McGee fan club that I'm unaware of, and if so, have they called for some kind of fatwa against me? I have a million McGee questions. And while I say this alot about guys, I'll say it again here -- I have McGee as the No. 40 prospect in baseball -- how is that an insult?

Now let's compare him to Morales. Both are lefties, both have plus-plus velocity. After that, Morales easily wins on better breaking ball, and wins again with better changeup. There are a number of people who think McGee's limited arsenal make him a reliever in the end, and I get no such opinions when talking to scouts about Morales. That's the big difference.

Michael (Boston): Is Tillman the type of pitching prospect that could possibly appear in the top 15 next year?

Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely.

Daveferno (Parts Unknown): What are your thoughts on Desmond Jennings upside? What player past or present would you compare him to?

Kevin Goldstein: The easy to make comparisoin is Carl Crawford, and it's pretty accurate.

LindInMoskva (DC): Any regrets on last year's list or does some amount of acceptable error always enter into any process no matter how well refined?

Kevin Goldstein: Sure, there are always going to be mistakes. Last year's list had two major ones, and both were makeup related, on both ends of the spectrum.

1. Dustin Pedroia
2. Justin Upton

Jessica (NYC): What caused Fernando Martinez's ranking to drop so much from last year? I realize he didn't light the world on fire in Double-A, but doesn't he get some credit for holding his own there at such a young age?

Kevin Goldstein: In the same tone of many answers, ranking Martinez as the No. 51 prospect in all of baseball DOES give him credit for doing so. Lack of power and the fact that he's going to move to left field is what hurt him significantly in my eyes.

elee28 (newark,n.j.): I understand projectability weighs alot in rankings. How do you rank someone who had not played in the minor leagues higher than someine who ha s been succesful at the upper levels. Rick Porcello-11,Jarod Parker-20,Ian Kennedy-34??????

Kevin Goldstein: I'm trying to find the Top 100 prospects in the game, not the 100 safest bets. Kennedy is a far better bet to have a big league career because of where he's at, but he has a 0% chance of being an ace, while Porcello and Parker both have that possibility in their future.

jaymoff (Salem, OR): I don't believe that you listing McGee as the #40 prospect is as much as an insult as it is a surprise as many other people/publications have him in the top 20 plus he seems to be one of the top 3 LHP in the game. Thoughts?

Kevin Goldstein: I have him as the No. 4 LHP in the game -- is it that big a difference?

JR (New Hampshire): Are you implying that you ranked Pedroia too low considering his great makeup and Upton too high considering his bad makeup? If so, what's wrong with Upton's makeup?

Kevin Goldstein: On Pedroia, yes. On Upton, while it's clearly in his past, his effort level in 2006 here in the Midwest League stunk, no doubt about it. And I dinged him too hard for it, because his raw talent is borderline historic.

Daveferno (Parts Unknown): How weak is the current crop of 2B prospects? Do you see Antonelli as the only potential impact prospect at the position?

Kevin Goldstein: Second base prospect lists always stink, and always will. What you have to remember is tons of good shortstop prospects will end up moving over. In other words, the best second base prospect in the game is probably Mike Moustakas.

James McDonald (LA): What is it about my skills that kept me off your list?

Kevin Goldstein: You're on the spreadsheet, if that's any consolation. I think the velo is what kept you off.

jmeltz61 (NH): John Sickles has Lars Anderson above Masterson, Bowden, and Kalish. Are you lower on him because he's so far from the majors? His defense? Something else? That said, after a year in A ball, I realize #100 ain't bad.

Kevin Goldstein: I tend to ding first baseman unless they can really mash. And Anderson has yet to really mash. He had a good year, and is a good prospect, but I'm not sold on his future stardom like some others.

BrettG (Worthington, OH): Re: McGee KG has him as #40 and Others have him in top 20. KG has him as #4 LHP and others have him as top 3 for LHP's. Seems to me that others gave more weight to pitcher's in their rankings. Am I close?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think that's it. I would bet I have as many, or even more pitchers ranked highly. I just think the concern about McGee's secondary stuff is a legitimate one.

Man, Worthington used to kick the crap out of us in baseball every year.

AnimeBollocks (Jersey): THAT Question : how does/would it effect your ranking of a player if you've heard he's a PED user? Enquiring minds want to know!

Kevin Goldstein: Crap. That's a scary question. Are there prospect that people have told me are on/have used PEDs? Yes. Have I used that to assist me in my rankings without writing it? Yes. In a big way? No.

Billy Rowell (Not on your list): You forgot about me.

Kevin Goldstein: No, no I didn't.

mkizner (Mobius Strip): Kevin, tell me you're as excited as I am for Blue Dragon making it's way to the DS. What jRPGS are you jonesing on right now, and what are you on the excited lookout for?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm not excited, but I wish I was. I have a PS3 and a PSP, so none for me. I'm very excited that Disgaea 3 came out in Japana, which means a U.S. release date should come soon, hopefully by the summer. Eternal Sonata is supposed to come to PS3 this spring, and I'm looking forward to that.

dkdc (nyc): It looks like you have about thirty 5-star and sixty 4-star prospects. Do you have any idea how many 3 and 2-stars you've rated?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't, because there are many three-star prospect who don't get written up. Good, deep systems like Oakland or Tampa have a bunch more.

twayda (Chicago): Hey kev, i was wondering if you knew why Major League teams always like to steer minor league pitchers towards Fastball, curve, change-up? It seems every time i read something from any minor league analyst or site they always talk about 1st year minor leaguers ditching pitch 'x' and focusing on a,b,c. Throughout history there have been at least 8 or 9 types of pitches that have been successful so why only push three of them to be mastered? Are things like sinkers, splitters, forkballs, etc. etc. that much harder to master than a curve or change? Is it health reasons? Is it an efficiency issue? Any thoughts would be great.

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think that's true at all. I do think teams focus mostly on fastball, BREAKING BALL, changup. You do often see a curve scrapped for a slider, or vice versa, and that's revolves mostly around a pitcher's arm slot and his delivery being better suited for one over the other. Sinkers are hard to teach, some guys can get natural drop on their two-seam, and some can't. Splitters can be taught, and often are when there's an issue with a players changup. In reality, fastball, breaking ball, changup is kind of the holy trinity, and for the most part, any specific pitch is just a variation on that theme.

Ray (DC): I remember you saying that you will take PS3 over X-Box 360. Can you give me a reason why becuase I trying to decide what to buy between the two.

Kevin Goldstein: I really can't. I can tell you that the PS3 is better FOR ME, because my video game taste tends to favor Japanese games. If you're a bigtime sports game guy, or a big online FPS guy, than the 360 might be your call. To get away from pure games though, as a media device, the PS3 DESTROYS the 360, and that's important to me as well. It's a blu-ray player, and also the best upscaling DVD player on the market. This might be a mistake, but if any PS3 owners want to play online, my PSN ID is kingclipon

y2joelicho (MN): If someone had asked you two years ago who the #1 prospect would be in '08, would Jay Bruce have been in the discussion? That said, who's the #1 prospect in 2010?

Kevin Goldstein: No. To answer your second question, I'll go way out on a limb and say Tim Beckham.

Ivan (NJ): Buchholz ahead of Joba? umh.... are you a red sox fan? come on, no way, Joba is in a different league, he will be a horse, with that tiny little body Buchholz won't hold 200 innings.

Kevin Goldstein: Ivan. I'm not a Red Sox fan. However, you need to get a new prescription for you corrective lenses. Buchholz is a little skinny, but he's 6-3 and about 200 pounds. That's not tiny.

Dennis (LA): Thanks for your great work. What type of numbers do you see Stephen Drew putting up this year? Does .270/.360/.450 sound reasonable or a pipe dream? And what are your thoughts on Donnie Murphy, assuming he gets at-bats with the A's?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm not much of a Murphy fan. I think he's a decent bench player at best, and if he's playing every day for you, that means something, somewhere has gone horribly wrong. I'm very, very optimistic still about Stephen Drew's future, and I don't think that line is a pipe dream in the least.

Nate (MI): Any concerns about putting a guy who has never thrown a pro pitch (Porcello) at #11? As a Tigers fan I'm thrilled, but even I have to admit that seems a bit high.

Kevin Goldstein: None whatsoever. Maybe the best high school arm of the decade so far.

Steve (WI): Thoughts on Andrew Brackman?

Kevin Goldstein: Not a fan, never a fan, even less of a fan now with the TJ. His size and velocity as a lefty is incredibly rare, but he's barely pitched at all, anywhere, and even more rarely shown any consistant ability to get people out. Extreme longshot.

murphy654321 (Waltham, MA): Kev, Have you ever considered scrapping your modern system for a Neo-Geo system and really taking the Japanese gaming to the limit?

Kevin Goldstein: Dude, if you want to come over on Saturday, I have a Dreamcast, and a pretty good library for it as well. I'll call your geek, and raise it considerably.

Kevin (St Louis): Why do you see Bruce as a better prospect than Rasmus? I understand that Bruce had success at a higher level and may win a batting title in the bigs, but he probably won't stick in CF and Colby has more power and speed. Could you compare the two?

Kevin Goldstein: I would argue that Bruce has a touch more power potential, while also being a better pure hitter than Rasmus, by a decent margin.

Chris (Chicago): Is Aaron Poreda the only hope White Sox fans have?

Kevin Goldstein: Even though he's pretty high on their prospect list, and would be a sleeper in other systems -- I really do kind of have a feeling about John Shelby. Call me crazy.

ChrisLDuncan (Ames, IA): Since you're not high on Brackman, who should the Yankees have drafted?

Kevin Goldstein: See, here's the thing. Maybe they should have drafted Brackman. They're the only team who would have paid him that, and they can afford the risk. There's a good shot that it's wasted money, bu there's a small chance that he'll be worth way more than that . . . a very small chance.

Ivan (NJ): hey it's me again, ok let's get serious. Buchholz fastball is around the low 90's while Joba's is in the high 90's. Doesn't that make Joba the better bet to have a better and longer career? when Buchholz loses a few miles of his fastball what is he going to do? Joba could be the next Clemens.

Kevin Goldstein: Sorry for the delay. Some technical issues on the BP server -- which I'm going to attribute to the overwhelming traffic for the Top 100! Right! Right?

Ok, Ivan, let's get serious. I have Buchholz No. 2 in the game, and Chamberlain No. 4. It's not like that's some sort of massive difference, and many people who I respect have Joba SLIGHTLY ahead of Clay, and that's fine too. Anyone who has a big gap between the two either way, has no idea what they are talking about.

william burke (chicago): is the site any better now? it is working fine for me!

Kevin Goldstein: It is! Thanks Bil.

Bil is one of those guys that you don't know much about, and that's just not fair. Bil makes things work around here, so the people with bylines can get all the credit. So let's give credit and thanks to Bil for keeping things working, because without him, we'd be dead in the water.

John McLaren (Seattle): What can I expect to see from Chris Tillman in spring training? What makes him so special?

Kevin Goldstein: He doesn't turn 20 until the first week of the regular season, so you'll be seing a 19 year old kid with an big, projectable frame, loose arm, and two plus pitches. He could be on the verge of a breakout.

jackiejojo (Burlingame, CA): Kevin, I don't see Jake Arrieta on your list. I spent a few day watching the AFL & he was the most impressive guy I saw there.

Kevin Goldstein: I'm actually a big Arrieta fan, but he fell short of making a top 100 for me. He's a sinker guy who needs to improve his secondary stuff, and his command to reach his ceiling as a No. 3 type.

joonpahk (Cambridge MA): was bruce a slam-dunk at #1, or were you tempted to slot buchholz ahead of him?

Kevin Goldstein: I would say each of the first four had No. 1 possibilities.

goodwine10 (New York, NY): FYI, Brackman's a righty.

Kevin Goldstein: Yes he is. I type fast to try to get as many questions in as I can.

raygu1 (nj): Kevin-thanks for the chat. When does the LA prospect list get posted to the site?

Kevin Goldstein: Tomorrow!

sociopharm02 (Dekalb,IL): Is J Bruce a guy to target late in the draft this year or is he going to be in the minors too long to make a huge impact this year?

Kevin Goldstein: You're just saying you're here in DeKalb to get your question answered, right?

The Reds traded Hamilton to open up a job for Bruce, so grab him early.

mbring (Saint Cloud, MN): We all know the A's got more for Haren than the Twins did for Santana. But did they get more than the Twins in the Swisher trade as well?

Kevin Goldstein: Excellent question! Or at least current, as I had discussions like this with a handfull of team officials yesterday. I do know people inside the game who would rather have the Swisher package than the Santana package, but it was almost universal, that teams would rather have Philip Hughes alone, as opposed to the four now-former Mets.

oira61 (San Francisco): Keith Law's chat is done. Does this mean you hate my team more than he does? Does it mean you hate the Red Sox more than the Yankees?

Kevin Goldstein: I have like 500 unanswered questions here, so I'm going to try to go for awhile longer. Based on the questions in the cue, and my bulging email inbox, fans are pretty sure I hate all 30 teams, and possible the game of baseball itself. Don't take these rankings so personally, folks. There's no bias here.

Adam (NY): Is there a player who you were so confident was going to be a star but didn't pan out?

Kevin Goldstein: Arquimedez Pozo.

I wish I was joking.

BurrRutledge (NYC): woo! Kevin, you're the best! Can't wait to get my book delivered!

Kevin Goldstein: Thanks for the reminder. The book ships on 2/18 from Amazon. Buy now, or you are a sucker. Seriously. Go to the home page, click on the link, and buy the book.

If you have already bought one, buy one for a friend. I've seen the page proofs, and this one is the best yet.

Dougbb (Ohio): Cap tip to Bil... KG - all the serious baseball analysts I read all seem to have some geek to 'em. Any theories as to why the correlation?

Kevin Goldstein: Because to be a geek means to have some kind of obsession. And the best analsysis or information about anything can only come from those who are obsessed.

BL (Bozeman): Hi Kevin - You have Hochaver at 84th and Daniel Cortes doesn't make the rankings... a lot of people have Cortes ranked higher than Hochaver, and most have them very close, how do you see Cortes?

Kevin Goldstein: Very close. If I went to 110 (Maybe I should have don that with the Top 11s), he would have been on it.

Gotribe31 (Virginia): If Asdrubal Cabrera had not made his big-league debut last season, would he have even been on this list? Do you see his bat holding up for 500 AB's this year?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes, somewhere in the low 50s, early 60s or so my gut tells me. I think he'll hit -- not at a star level -- but certainly productive -- as his defense is pretty special.

Sammy (Out of Baseball): Who are some of the Non-BP people that you like? I was excited to see your chat today, extra excited to see that KLaw had one, too. But some of those other guys over there... not so much...

Kevin Goldstein: I like my girlfriend -- like REALLY like. And my buddy John who's an artist and does rock posters in Chicago. My neighbor Devin is a cool dude too.

Youppi! (Bell Centre): I don't see any of my beloved Expos. You must really hate my team!

Kevin Goldstein: Look, I think Donnie Bridges and Josh Girdley could be pretty big in the Montreal rotation by 2004.

David (NJ): The Mets Prospect List isn't going to look pretty is it?

Kevin Goldstein: No, it's going to look pretty horrendous. But as one front office official said to me yesterday, and later a Mets official agreed, "who gives a [expletive], they just got Johan Santana."

kimi (portsmouth): Video game geeks have girlfriends?

Kevin Goldstein: Oh totally. And she'll kick your ass at Katamari if you don't watch out. Marc Normandin is a total video game dork as well, with believe it or not, a massive GameCube collection -- and his girlfriend is a big time gamer.

M50 (Hawaii): Did Jaime Garcia's shutdown due to elbow problems keep him off this list? A lefty under 21 who strikes out twice as many batters as he walks looks awfully good. What else is holding Garcia back?

Kevin Goldstein: The elbow issues did scare him JUST barely off the top 100 for me.

Peter Griffin ((Your neighbour)): What's your projection on Beau Mills and what he'll do in 08? I've heard stuff that he'll move fast in the Indians system, and he was a top 15 pick in last year's draft. How come he wasn't included in your Top 100?

Kevin Goldstein: Another guy just barely on the outside, looking in. He's a first baseman, and like I said before, they make me nervous, unless I'm convinced they're going to put up consistent .900+ OPS seasons in the big leagues. It's the same reason I kind of 'reverse-ding' anyone who projects as a starting big league catcher.

kid_dynamite (Brooklyn): 1: Does the Dreamcast collection include Chu Chu Rocket? 2: Why has no one ported the above mentioned greatest multiplayer party game to another platform? 3: If a team is aggressive in the draft and the international amateur market, how quickly can a bottom-5 system become a top-5 system?

Kevin Goldstein: 1. Any Dreamcast collection without Chu Chu Rocket has no right to call itself a dreamcast collection.

2. IP issues, I'm told.

3. Just look at what the Yankees have done. They changed their strategies in both drafting and international signs, and what was once a pretty embarassing system is now pretty damn good.

Dusty (Not Chicago): Ok then... what kind of geek am I? I have alot of temporary obsessions... What I'm obsessed about always changes, but I'm always obsessed about something.

Kevin Goldstein: An ADD geek?

Tony (Brooklyn, NY): What do you think when you read Peter Gammons say "This is what those statheads sitting in their garages don't understand [insert point about character, chemistry, etc.]"? Thanks!

Kevin Goldstein: I think he's right.

I think the good news is that THOSE kind of statheads don't sit in their garage and work for BP, and many of THOSE kind of statheads have changed their way of thinking and now see that there are parts of the game beyond the spreadsheet that are extremely important, and that THOSE kind of statheads are, thankfully, a dying breed.

When I was a teenager, I was one of THOSE kind of statheads. I learned my lesson.

Johnny (No love for Jay Bruce?): Have sent a few post trying to get your thoughts on Bruce's 08' season projection wise.. Don't want to go there?

Kevin Goldstein: Dude, I have 542 Unanswered questions, so don't take it personally. No love for Jay Bruce? I just ranked him No. 1! That's not enough love?

Assuming the Reds do the right thing and play Bruce from Day One next year, Otto the Pit Bull (tm) says he'll hit .287/.353/.491.



murphy654321 (Waltham, MA): Wait, you're NOT a teenager?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm the old man of BP. I'm at least twice as old as any teenager.

Phenomenal Smith (Brooklyn): Hi Kevin. I'm rather poor and while I enjoy video games very much, I'm still using (and getting a lot of mileage out of) my PS1 and SNES. Can you recommend any great (and cheap) RPGs for PS1? Besides the FF series...

Kevin Goldstein: Xenogears (best RPG EVER), thought that's hard to find. The Wild Arms series should be cheap, easy to find, and well worth your time.

Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Are you going to read "Nerds: Who they are and why we need more of them", wait for the Geek version, or neither?

Kevin Goldstein: I actually take some affront to being called nerd. Nerd implies a certain lack of style and social graces, as well as a certain kind of shyness and nervousness about new and different things. I'm a geek when it comes to baseball and video games, but I'm not a nerd.

Idiotic rant over.

BBlackwell (Ball Ground, GA): Obligatory music reference: Right now I'm loving me some music from "There Will Be Blood." What are you listening to?

Kevin Goldstein: Right now, my girlfriend is playing a lot of France Gall, one of the most notable artists from France's mid-60s Ye-Ye movement. Catchy as hell.


Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Well, Fallout (1&2) for the PC are better than anything that ever came out of Japan.

Kevin Goldstein: To quote The Dude, which I do often -- "Well, that's just like, your opinion, man."

DanBudreika (Haymarket, VA): Random Question: What was your SAT score?

Kevin Goldstein: 1400-something. And yet, I didn't go to college.

Aegis (Tarturus): If you haven't played Persona 3 yet, you must must must pick it up. Patiently waiting on Disgaea 3... Have you tried any in the Wild Arms series?

Kevin Goldstein: Dude, I waited forever for that game, and it was worth it, 2nd best RPG for the PS2, and that's saying a ton. I'm actually replaying the first Wild Arms right now on my PSP. Ok. . . . back to baseball. Gimme a break though, we've been going 160 minutes so far.

Stephen (Philly): "I'm a geek when it comes to baseball and video games, but I'm not a nerd." The "kick me" sign on your back tells a different story. Nerd.

Kevin Goldstein: I also have a past working as a bouncer in a Chicago night club. So if you wanna go there . . . we can do it that way as well.

Tom (Palm Bay, Fl): I'm not sure I get the sudden love for Austin Jackson. How does one outstanding half season transform an chronic underachiever into a top prospect? Don't you need to see more?

Kevin Goldstein: You need to see more, yes. But the thing is, and this is where the scouting aspect becomes very important, is that Jackson has the tools and athleticism to justify such a breakout. I don't think it's a fluke as much as him finally playing to his tools.

Rob (Andover, CT): Do you know much about Frankie Cervelli? I don't, which is why I ask. I read the stat line and think "hmm, catcher who shows signs of actually hitting, interesting." What do you see?

Kevin Goldstein: He's a decent prospect, not a Top 100 guy. He has some on-base skills and an OK bat, but not much power -- borderline starter, probably backup.

Chris (VA): Since this chat went all geek-crazy, I have to ask, X-Files fan? Yay or Nay? I just got the complete box set a few weeks ago and I'm lovin' it.

Kevin Goldstein: Nay. Not a science fiction guy at all. I hate Star Wars -- all six of them -- as well.

Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Is a guy like Ian Kennedy going to have Mike Greenwell type longevity?

Kevin Goldstein: This is such a weird question.

HeathBP (AR): What is a typical season you expect from c Jeff Clement this year and in future years?

Kevin Goldstein: I think in his peak, he's an every day catcher with a .500-.550 slugging, which more than makes up for his average-to-slightly below defense. That's a very valuable commodity.

Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Have your opinions of players changed alot since the Futures games, or just how you sorted them? AFL move anyone up or down significantly?

Kevin Goldstein: The Futures game really doesn't move anyone at all for me, the AFL does -- not necessarily because of the AFL numbers themselves, but more because a lot of scouts go to those games, so one does get some fresher opinions on guys.

Dawg (Toronto): DJ Jones, the Desmond Jennings of 2009?

Kevin Goldstein: That's a perfectly good choice, but you have to remember, pretty much EVERY organization in the game as one or two D.J. Jones types in their system. Some of them have seasons like Desmond Jennings, but more have seasons like Keiron Pope or Daryl Jones.

JimBeau (Left Coast): Hi Kev. I'm not very sabguine about the Tribe's farm system right now. Could you give me a couple of guys who might break through this year? Thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: I'm not sanguine about them either. I think they have signifcant depth, but are pretty low on the high upside talent that you're looking for. Is Nick Weglarz a breakout guy? He's certainly a guy I could see moving onto next year's list.

Brad K (Cincy-Whatski): I am always surprised about the NL-AL breakdown % among top 100 prospects. They almost always are ~50:50 (Yours is 53 AL to 47 NL). Is there any intent behind this or is this really just always how most lists break out? I guess, I am looking to see if there has ever been a decided advantage in one year or a period of time. Realistically, this split seems to really favor the AL being that they have 2 less teams and 6 more prospects. Can a lot of this be attributed to the A's-D-backs and Mets-Twins trade?

Kevin Goldstein: I certainly never considered it, and had no idea it was that close until you counted. So now intent, it just broke that way. Clearly the AL side of the ledger got a nice boost from those two trades, but a few guys went the other way too during the winter meetings.

JH (Bellingham): Quick and easy: Adam Jones would fall between ____ and _____ if he were list-eligible.

Kevin Goldstein: 6; 10.

joonpahk (Cambridge MA): wait, you're still here?? tell me the one guy on this list who you think is the most controversial placement (whether above or below the general consensus), and then defend your ranking of him.

Kevin Goldstein: I'm still here! So far, based on the chat questins and my email, the answer are.

1. Jacob McGee at 40. Again, that says he's the 4th best LHP in the minors, so it's not shabby at all. Questions about his secondary stuff hurt him.

2. Clay at 2, Joba at 4. Obviously, with those rankings, I think both will be great, but Buchholz has the better all-around arsenal, better command, and Joba still has some dings on his healthy history. Mostly this is just the superfan subset of Yankees fans bitching becuase a Red Sox guy is ahead of a Yankee guy.

3. Lars Anderson at 100. He's a first baseman who's hit, but hasn't mashed. I just don't see it, and scouting views I've gotten just like him and don't love him. There is also an aspect of the superfan subset of Red Sox fans bitching because thier guy is lower than expected.

4. Travis Snider in the single digits. I don't get why this is surprising.

Josh (Providence, RI): The Rays have 2 of the top 6 prospects, 3 of the top 15, 4 of the top 20, and 5 of the top 25. As a Red Sox fan, when should I start to worry?

Kevin Goldstein: 2009-2010.

Tidus (Zanarkand): So what is the best RPG for the PS2? And is the remake of FF1 for the PSP worth my time? (Last time I played FF1 was on the NES) Oh, baseball - given how the Twins treat the draft and a guess as to the talent available in the first 30 something picks of the '08 draft, are Gomez/Guerra/Humber/Mulvey > the 2 picks the Twins would have gotten by keeping Santana thru '08? Or is that too hard to quantify?

Kevin Goldstein: Shin Megemi Tensei: Nocturne. It's rare here in the states and goes for around 100 or so on ebay, but it's a friggin masterpiece. Just unbelieveably great.

To answer the baseball question, it's hard to quintify, but more importantly, it's unfair to quantify, because the money factor has to be considered.

Lincoln (Facebook): What about Taylor Teagarden makes you think that there are 6 other players in the Rangers org who currently are better prospects? Fault of his or just the strength of the system?

Kevin Goldstein: A little bit of both, really. The Rangers system is crazy crazy deep right now. Teagarden ability, or inability to consistently play behind the plate is the concern right now, and he's just not going to hit for average down the line -- He'll be more like a Mickey Tettleton type with a tick less power.

Greg Tamer (Yeah): Three of the top five prospects are pitchers. Five of the top ten. Aside from the joy of making Will Carroll's head explode, do you just reject TINSTAP?

Kevin Goldstein: Well, Will's head is highly combustable, so it's not just me. I do pretty much reject TINSTAPP I guess. I don't really think about any kind of eveness by position or team or league or age or anything like that. If I thought the top 10 prospects were all pitchers (or position players), I'd rank 'em that way.

Rob (Bloomington, IL): Do you play RPG's for the battle system or primarily for the story? Because if it's the story, and you never got around to playing Indigo Prophecy, you are missing out.

Kevin Goldstein: I really enjoyed Indigo Prophecy, but I was left seeing them as far more potential than final product. I'm greatly looking forward to that company's next-gen game, Heavy Rain.

uptick (St. Louis): Hi Kevin, I was wanting to know what you thought of Reds farmhand Sean Watson? I noticed that you did not have him in your recent Reds Top 11 list, and being a Vol fan I was wondering how he was progressing in the Reds system, and whether or not he figures to be in Cincinnati at some point. thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: I like him, but don't really like him. I think he's a solid bet to be a big leaguer, but it's likely as a middle relief type.

Eric Young Jr. (Somewhere in the Colorado System): Why doesn't anyone want to talk about me? I hit .290, steal 70 bags a year and even give you Carl Crawford-type power. Put me in, Coach!

Kevin Goldstein: Because you can't play second base very well, and you don't have Carl Crawford's power potential -- nowhere close. When Carl Crawford was as old as young is now, he was already a big leaguer, and a productive one. I like Young as a sleeper, but that's about it.

Yoop (Ankeny, IA): Kevin, I know you've written about your use of scouting opinion in your rankings, could you expand on that a bit by telling us how frequently you check w/scouts over a certain player and how you factor in statistics once you've spoken to them.

Kevin Goldstein: I check with guys continously throught the season, and obviously I get more opinions on some guys than I do for others, and sometimes I'm depending more on amatuer reports, or even the team themselves. There are some people in the game I talk to five times a year, there are some I talk to once a week, and there are some who, if you count IM, I talk to on a pretty much daily basis.

Tom (Rochester, NY): ________ is ranked _________ !! You're crazy! He deserves to be much higher, you just don't like him beacuse you hate my home team / have an east coast bias / have a west coast bias / dont know what you're talking about (pick one).

Kevin Goldstein: Exactly. I have 640 questions still in the queue, and 100 or so are a version of this.

Kevin Goldstein: That's a good place to end after 3.5 hours of chatting goodness. Thanks for all the great questions and I'll see you again soon.

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