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Chat: Kevin Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday June 06, 2008 1:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Goldstein.


With the first day of the draft in the books, Kevin Goldstein takes your questions about what unfolded.

Kevin Goldstein: Aren't you people tired of me yet? Ok, let's get chatting once again. I'm here to talk about, what else, the draft, adn whatever else you want to talk about. I'm kind of running on fumes a bit, but I'm sure it will be entertaining and then I'm off to take my girlfriend to see the Sex In The City movie.

Biancalana Rules (infield apron ): Conspiracy theory in regards to KC's draft. Royals take Hosmer with no intention to sign him so that they can have 2 of the first 5 picks in next years prodigious bounty.

Kevin Goldstein: Do you have your head wrapped in aluminum foil? Are you getting messages from Mars? They're not going to do that. They're going to sign him.

jeffn411 (Lawrence, KS): As a Royals fan it is hard for me to be patient for high school guys. Mike Moustakas looks like a great talent, but I believe the Royals need to take a college bat (Posey/Alvarez). What are the chances and upside of the Royals selecting Eric Hosmer?

Kevin Goldstein: Be patient. Hosmer is a special player, but yes, Posey also would have been a defendable pick there. You can complain about Alvarez though, because he wasn't there for them. You also can't complain about not getting a college bat last year, as remember, that was a different animal. Only two college bats went in the first 12 picks, and one of them (LaPorta) was a surprise.

Phenomenal Smith (Brklyn): I asked you last year about the ambidextrous Pat Venditte from Creighton. The Yankees drafted him fairly late and he opted to return for his senior year, IIRC. Is he expected to be drafted again this year? If so, how high?

Kevin Goldstein: He's definitely going to be selected by someone here -- probably when the draft gets into the late teens. What he does is definitely amazing, but at the same time, he's not really "pro good" from either side.

Rich (Columbus, OH): Kevin, does Logan White want to draft pitchers every year or is it that he feels the best highest-ceiling player at his draft position every year just happens to be a pitcher?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think he's necessarily locked in, but he certainly favors them. If there is a teenage arm with good velocity and outstanding athleticism, that's going to be a very, very attractive option for them.

Jivas (Oak Park, IL): KG: wasn't yesterday a prime example of why teams *should* be allowed to trade draft picks? How badly would the A's have wanted to jump over the Rangers to get Smoak? It's not like the Astros couldn't have drafted their guy down a few picks....

Kevin Goldstein: It's certainly another arguement for it. I think the Rays maybe would have even been interested in trading down from #1. A draft pick is an asset, and teams should be allowed to do with them what they'd like.

mymrbig (New Orleans): Any further insight into why Smoak fell to 11th? I can't remember reading or hearing anything negative about him on this site or any other. Given everything I read, I was kind of shocked he wasn't considered a lock for the top 6 picks. Are Teixeira/Chipper comps really justified as his upside, or is that just silly? By the way, switch-hitting Adrian Gonzalez is sounding almost as good as Teixeira/Chipper these days!

Kevin Goldstein: There's no real answer here. By the time morning arrived, you could run about six scenarios in your head and no matter what, one of these big college dudes was going to fall through no fault of his own. It could have been Posey, Crow, or Alonso, but it was Smoak. I really do think he's that good a prospect, I think he has real impact possibilities.

DanoooME (Maine): Wait a minute Kevin! YOU are taking HER to Sex and the City?!? SHE should be DRAGGING YOU kicking and screaming. Please say it ain't so! As a side note, how do you grade the Red Sox draft thus far?

Kevin Goldstein: Do you have ANY IDEA how incredible a girlfriend you have to have for her to put up with your shenanigans during draft week? It's the least I could do. I should take her twice.

David (Sonoma State University, CA): Sex and the City? Wow....I thought I was whipped.

Kevin Goldstein: Hey, YOU'RE the one who knew the correct title.

Jc (Dominican Republic): Theo said the red sox plan to use Casey Kelly as a starting pitcher, what's his ceiling?

Kevin Goldstein: There are some who had him pretty darn close to Hicks and Martin as far as high school arms. He's certainly more than the 30th pick talent wise.

Howard (Ridgewood NJ): Kevin, thanks for the chat. How do you think my Mets did so far?

Kevin Goldstein: Even though I'm not a huge fan of the Ike Davis pick, I like a lot of stuff afterwards. Havens is a nice pickup who could move quickly as a 2B or get used as a C. Holt has a power arm, Rodiriguez has a lot of ceiling and I like Ratliff's bat. It's a pretty solid group.

bill (nj): as a pitcher: gerrit cole or casey kelley?

Kevin Goldstein: On pure talent -- Cole > any other high school pitcher

TBone (KC): You are advising Tim Melville. Should he take the chance and go to UNC where he will have plenty of exposure to showcase his skills and 'could' get HUGE dollars, or take a smaller chunk of change to sign?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't have enough information. I don't know how much he wants to go to school. I don't know how much he wants to go pro. I don't know his family's financial situation. There are a lot of factors that go into this so I don't know. Here's what I do know -- there is every reason to believe that KC will make a very real run at signing him.

tdoggett (Vermont): Favorite album Albini produced (sorry, engineered) but didn't play on? How does the Indians draft look?

Kevin Goldstein: Pixies - Surferosa or Breeders -- Pod; As far as the Tribe goes, I liked the Chisenhall pick, and if they can sign Haley and Putnum, things looks a little better. There's also a lot of safer college players in there and I kind of like their first pick of today, UNC's Tim Fedroff as a high energy outfielder.

Malcolm (Syracuse): Kevin, The Twins went with Hicks and then with lesser knowns, by-passing some 3Bman. Do you think Dan Valencia has solidified himself as the 'heir' apparent at third base?

Kevin Goldstein: Valencia is having a great year, but he's also almost 24, only in High A and he doesn't really hit for a lot of power. I think he has some corner utility possibilities, but I'd be surprised if he was a long-term starter.

Tom (San Diego): Huge disappointment in San Diego after the Dykstra pick. Obviously, with a team with as poor of a track record as the Padres, any pick is going to be suspect but how much of a reach was Dykstra?

Kevin Goldstein: Well, obviously it's all subjective at this point, but I like many of their picks AFTER Dykstra, while not being a huge fan of the Dykstra pick personally. As far as where they were taken, I like the Forsythe and Darnell selections more, and Blake Tekotte was one of the few college centerfielders in the draft who can actually play the position.

Boomer (Wrigleyville): Did those White Castle's stay down?!?! Thoughts on the Cubs draft?

Kevin Goldstein: They always do. Honestly? I was confused by it, in the sense that they started off with four college players. Flaherty seemed like an overdraft but if you wanted a true shortstop, maybe you had to. If Carpenter stays healthy (HUGE IF) that's more than a 3rd round arm.

David (Sonoma State University, CA): Who's your favorite Sex and the City character?.....(grin)

Kevin Goldstein: Mr. Big. I'm pretty much the Mr. Big of baseball writers. And yes, I watched the show, and yes, I liked it. It was very well written and refreshingly honest and while I maybe wouldn't go to the movie on my own, I'm hardly dreading it.

Jivas (Oak Park, IL): KG: what are you hearing on why Zach Putnam dropped to the 5th round? Is there validity to whatever health rumors are out there, and if so what type of health issues are we talking about (i.e. shoulder, elbow, etc.)?

Kevin Goldstein: Two things -- he's had elbow and shoulder issues in the last two years, and that's a concern. The other problem is money as his price never really went down and he'll need WAY more than fifth-round money to sign.

Matt (Belmont, CA): The fall of Harold Martinez - due to signability and commitment to Miami?

Kevin Goldstein: He had a bad senior year, and that was offset by no reduction in how much money he wanted. He's college bound.

kddean (Chicago): Make sure to bring the Cosmos for the movie.

Kevin Goldstein: You guys can make fun all you want, but let me tell you something. Upping your gamer score by unlocking of the achievement in Halo 3 does not make you a man. Taking you fine fine lady to the movie of her choice after she put up with four days of your cellphone ringing nonstop and bleeping with text messages -- THAT makes you a man.

rmccraw (Richmond): Does the position where a player is listed when their name is called have any importance? For players like Casey Kelly I guess it gives them an idea where the drafting team plans to use them. Is that it?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes. It does tell you where you're going to use him generally. For example, the Dodgers quickly clarified their first round pick by changing Ethan Martin from a 3B (where he's good) to a RHP (where he's potentially great).

James282 (NJ): KG, glad to see you don't let these sheep get away with making the super obvious Sex and the City digs. It really isn't a bad show. Thoughts on Christian Marrero's slow start? Still love Brignac?

Kevin Goldstein: That's right, sheep. I'm still high on Brignac, but some scouting reports are coming in on Marrero that are NOT good. I'm gotten some bad reports on the body, and it sounds like he's really flying open on his swing and pressing hard.

Jason (DC): When you say you're taking your girlfriend to see Sex and the City, you are talking about David from Sonoma St., no?

Kevin Goldstein: David is just my chat buddy and bartender, so he'll being pouring the Cosmos after the flick.

Jacob (Newton, MA): So much for the Yankees going for signability picks. Thoughts on their draft?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think I could like the Cole pick any more than I do. After that it's a mixed bag. If they can sign some of these later guys, and I'm a big Higashioka fan, it could be a nice draft. I don't like Bliech much at all, and I think Bittle is a bit of a fraud, but David Adams could be a great find if he returns to previous form.

Grasspike (NC): How good is the pay at BP? How much is a beginning scout paid? How about a top-notch one?

Kevin Goldstein: I'll simply see that I have more than enough knowledge to tell you that I make way, WAY more than an entry-level scout.

RahulN (GA): Do you think Ed Wade just panicked over 150 bad PAs for Towles and thats why they nabbed Castro? I'm just trying to think of something to justify their actions.

Kevin Goldstein: I can't guauantee that was the thinking at all. They absolutely were hoping that Skipworth would be available to them, and when he wasn't they might have panicked a bit, as the different between the third best catcher in the draft (Castro, and still a first-round talent) and the fourth was about three rounds wide. As an aside, I love listening to the draft now as while I don't know the overwhelming majority of these names, everytime Lasorda announces the Dodgers pick it makes me laugh.

Alan (St. Pete): KG, I've never really gotten an answer to this question; maybe it's a stupid question, but what the hey ... At Vandy, David Price was reportedly sitting low 90s and touching 95. I've seen him pitch a few times now (in spring training, in extended spring and once at Vero), and the guns have him hitting 93-94 consistently and touching 98. What might account for the boost in velocity?

Kevin Goldstein: I had him 92-94 and touching 96. He might have just gotten better and that's a good thing, because there are tons of guys who honestly never throw as hard as they did in high school.

Tom (MA): What is Ryan Westmoreland's potential and do you think the Red Sox will give him the $1M+ he's rumored to be looking for?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think they would have taken him without having every intention to make a big run at him money wise. He's a lot like the athletic northeast guys in that he's a great tools guy with a lot of projection in his body, but his game is pretty crude. Another boom/bust type who might require patience.

Quick Update: Yankees just took the Crieghton lefty/righty kid Pat Venditte in the 20th round. So enjoy him in Staten Island.

Ryan (Santa Barbara): How do you listen to the draft?

Kevin Goldstein: MLB.com has it

Jason (DC): Is Alex Meyer at all signable, and how does he compare to the other high school arms on ceiling? Do you think he's worth first round money?

Kevin Goldstein: No, he's not signable. Teams see him as a late first-round talent, and he wants 2-3x that kind of money. He'll be helping out the Kentucky program.

Lucas Picador (Merrymay, Pa): Forgive my ignorance, but would you say pitchers generally lose velocity after high school? Should we mentally adjust downwards from what scouting reports say when we're thinking about what kind of pitcher a guy will be if he makes the majors?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think I said 'generally' -- I just said it happends quite a bit. There are a lot of guys who throw harder than the did in high school as well.

Grasspike (NC): What was the coolest name called out so far? Devalis Strange-Gordon? Justin Gutsie? Jericho Jones? Mace Thurman? Stosh Wawrzasek?

Kevin Goldstein: I just heard Jericho Jones go off the board, and I totally loved that name. It sounds like a 70s detictive show taking place on the gritty streets of Philadelphia and starring Fred Williamson.

LSUdavidterry (Baton Rouge): How deep do you know the players in the draft? 500? 1000?

Kevin Goldstein: You are FAR too kind. I don't know ANY of these guys going off the board right now. Every once in a while it's a guy I know something about. I was pretty good through around the end of day one. So six rounds, maybe 200 or so dudes, but there certainly were guys drafted yesterday that I didn't know much about at all.

JohnHCh ((Working)): As we move into the "None-of-these-guys-have-scouting-video" territory of the draft, how useful are those scouting vids?

Kevin Goldstein: They can be useful if you've never seen the guy AND you know what you are looking for. Nothing beats seeing guys in person, though.

Nathan (College Station, TX): A couple questions about the Royals draft. 1) Does Hosmer really have more upside than Smoak, and 2) if they sign everyone do they suddenly have one of the deeper systems in baseball when it comes to starting pitching, even if the premium talent isn't quite there?

Kevin Goldstein: I think on pure power potential, nobody in the draft matches Hosmer, his future power score is a pure, perfect 80 on many scouting reports. If they sign all of the pitchers, they could have one of the better collection of arms around.

SBE (Nashville): Jeez, how old are you? Who the heck is Fred Williamson?

Kevin Goldstein: 39

buggyracer (Clearfield, PA): Pirates draft: Sign of good things to come? I liked the first 2 picks a lot, beat the heck out of 'average college lefty' routine from Littlefield era.

Kevin Goldstein: I think it's a great sign of things to come and Pirates fans should be rejoicing. You knew you had a new administration, and now you have some evidence that they really get it.

Joe (Pequannock, NJ): Kevin: How carefully are teams drafting players at this stage of the game? By that I mean are they really focusing on finding Mike Piazzas or are they just looking for bodies to fill out rosters?

Kevin Goldstein: A little of both. You might be sitting there saying, "we have no outfielders for our Low A team" or you might be sitting there with a guy you really like, or you might be sitting there with just one scout sitting there telling you about the catcher in Maine he really likes and you take his word for it.

LSUdavidterry (Baton Rouge): How early do scouts start keeping tabs on players? I read about the MLB's trip to a Chineese baseball academy where they identified several young (13 & under) players with MLB potential. What do scouts look for at that age?

Kevin Goldstein: It certainly happens. With all the national events and showcases, you do get looks at kids when they are 13 and 14. You're looking at that point for fluidity and projection, not much more. As an aside -- I think I've said this before, but I know a scout who is convinved that in the next decade or so we'll have a Yao situation in baseball where some six-foot-eight kid in Beijing is throwing 98 mph and eveyrone goes nuts.

BillJ (Los Alamos): Q regarding Brett Wallace. Everybody thought this Pujols guy had a bad body too, and he seems to have turned out OK. Is there any chance that whatever worked for Pujols (btw, what was it?) would also work for Wallace and let him stay at 3B and rake, or are their bodies different kids of "bad"?

Kevin Goldstein: They are a VERY different kind of body. In homage to the great Werner Herzog (one of my heroes), I will eat a shoe if Wallace stays at third base.

LSUdavidterry (Baton Rouge): How many scouts do you stay in close contact with through a season? It seems like you run into a scout you know at every minor league game you go to. Are there just a few that you REALLY trust, or do you know 50 scouts and go with the consensus?

Kevin Goldstein: I certianly try to get as many opinions as I can, and my rolodex is pretty darn deep, but like every writer in this game, I certainly have some go-to guys who based on years of talking to often are dead-on in their evaluations. As far as running into scouts I know -- I got to a lot of Kane County games, and guys have that area, so I see guys I know a lot.

Another aside: Kyle Long, the giant lefty who is Howie Long's kid, just went to the White Sox. He wasn't too impressive this spring and will likely go to Florida State.

Jeremy (New Hampshire): How much money are the kids who get drafted at this point (round 20+) looking at, on average?

Kevin Goldstein: They can buy a TV and a Playstation 3.

I gotta take a quick break in a second, but if you want, you can hear me on 950 KJR in Seattle if you are so inclined.

I missed it, but a couple rounds ago, Boston nabbed Alex Meyer.

costa24 (Montreal): Seems like there's not one person out there that doesn't think draft picks should be tradeable. What is MLB's reason for not allowing that?

Kevin Goldstein: Honestly, they just never get to it. I said this a couple times yesterday, but draft stuff is pretty much always an afterthough with no time given to it every time a CBA comes around.

Fred (Houston): Who would go first in a BP baseball draft? Does anybody on staff have good tools? poor makeup??

Kevin Goldstein: Good question. Joe has still played in some adult leagues, so he probably has the best hit tool as far as people still around. I'd pretty much be the Johnny Gomes of the team in that I'd strike out a lot but throw a mean right hand.

dogtothedog (Toronto): Kevin Over the past four years I have been force fed Sex and The City and Desperate House Wifes by my baseball loving girlfriend. I started to like Sex and the City and I'm kinda looking forward to watching the movie (am I still aloud in your chat?) on the other hand I think Desperate house wifes is the an awful show. which do you prefer?

Kevin Goldstein: You know, we don't watch it. So maybe I'm lucky. We really like Weeds and Californication on Showtime though.

Cory (SF): Your thoughts on Final Fantasy Tactics place in the cannon of square/enix games? You said yesterday you liked the Giants draft, how do you feel about it now? What should we be excited about?

Kevin Goldstein: Ok, I'm back. I'm not a big FFT guy, but that's because I don't think anything can ever hold a candle to Disgaea when it comes to J-SRPGs. I think the Giants have had an outstanding draft. All of their first four picks are guys that at one point or another had first round possibilities, so there's lots of talent there for sure.

Mikey (Boston): Come on KG2, give me some hope. Alex Meyer can't be completely unsignable, can he? What's $3M to a team like the Red Sox...if they are interested, they must have some chance, eh? Or is he just dead set on college? Also, who is the better pitching prospect: Meyer or Casey Kelly. How close is it?

Kevin Goldstein: He's pretty unsignable -- I think it's just an insurance policy kind of pick for if negotations with one of their high picks goes south. I'd take Kelly over Meyer just because of the smoothness and athleticism advantage.

Danny (McLean, VA): Would the Yankees draft (not drafting many signability guys) lead you to believe they are redirecting the money towards a big run at Inoa or are those budgets separate in the player development dept.?

Kevin Goldstein: Some teams it's seperate, some teams it's not. So it depends. Inoa is going to cost somebody a TON.

Red Sox ((Boston)): We just took Efrin Oropesa. Thoughts?

Kevin Goldstein: Another signability insurance guy. He kind of reminds me of Henry Sanchez from a few years back as a huge power, huge strikeout guy.

Jeff (Long Island): Was Crow over-hyped early on or was his swoop down to 9th pick a surprise? It doesn't sound like it was due to signability.

Kevin Goldstein: Signability didn't help -- he reportedly wants a TON of cash.

O's fan (New York): Any info you can share on the non-Matusz O's picks? What are the odds Avery and Hoes sign with the O's instead of going to college? Is Zagone as mediocre as his scouting vid on MLB.com suggests?

Kevin Goldstein: It's a kind of weird draft for them, as after Matusz it's like they just took the fastest guys they could find. If they were looking for speed, they certainly found it.

dantroy (davis, ca): You, Keith Law, and Jim Callis are all doing chats, right now. I'd have to say Law is the fastest typist.

Kevin Goldstein: He's also the snazziest dresser of the three . . . and the shortest.

cooper7d7 (CT): How is Hosmer different from Henry Sanchez? Danny Rams?

Kevin Goldstein: He's a FAR batter pure hitter. Yes he has great power, but he's also a guy who should hit for average -- he's hardly one-dimensional offensively.

mike (texas): how crushed was Beane and the A's not getting Smoak yesterday? It it somethingthey'll regret and look back on in their 08 draft? or will it not hurt as much w/ a Barton/Doolittle/Carter etc still around

Kevin Goldstein: How can they regret it? It's not like they did anything wrong or could have done anything differently. They would have loved to have gotten the college guy who falls, and it came one pick away.

Just for the record -- we're under a tornado watch right now, and it's sunny, windy as hell and there is thunder, despite the sun. So if I dissapear, go tell auntie 'em.

mark (oakland): A's have taken Ross (Cal), Hunter (Pepperdine), and Guilmet (AZ). All seemed to have some issues in 08, but if signable are they 3 of the better value west coast SP's they got?

Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely. Hunter COULD be a steal in the 7th.

pete (miami): any future comparisons to what jemile weeks can be? i was thinking maybe a ray durham in his prime or a brian roberts. maybe chone figgins if he plays Cf eventually? was he as bad an overdraft as Law makes him seem to be? i would think he could've gone 13 to cards or 18 to mets

Kevin Goldstein: I like the Durham comp as an ultimate ceiling.

john (arizona): Was Petey Paramore a good value pick in rd 3? with his elite defense plus switch hitting ive heard varitek comparisons. or is he just another college catcher in a weak 08 group?

Kevin Goldstein: Lets talk about comparisions for a second. Often what you are seeing is PHYSICAL comparisions only, and at times, people get WAY too crazy with them. Paramore is big and beefy and a switch hitter, and so on a report you might say he PHYSICALLY resembles Jason Vartiek. Not on a baseball skills level. But part of a report is painting a picture of the guy, so physical comps are there.

Eric J (Tulsa OK): Tornado watch? Get back to me when something's on the ground...

Kevin Goldstein: I'm still chatting, aren't I?

Andy (Indiana): Is Jordan Danks a real prospect or just another family pick by the White Sox?

Kevin Goldstein: Very real, and expected to go much higher. Coming out of high school some saw him as a first-round talent, but he never really developed at Texas.

Will (New Orleans): hewitt has the highest "upside" in the draft, yet Beckham is a 5 tool talent who's gonna get 3 times more money. If you put those two guys through a bunch of athletic - not "baseball" oriented - drills, who comes out on top? I guess what I'm asking is, who wins a Decathlon?

Kevin Goldstein: Hewitt by a mile. Over anyone in this draft I'd take Hewitt in a Decathalon.

dogtothedog (Toronto): What percentage of your readers do you believe are suppose to be working right now?

Kevin Goldstein: Hopefully as many as possible. I'm doing my best to keep the economy in the crapper.

David (Sonoma State University, CA): Kind of a wierd question, can you say anything about how former prospects will often fade, then resurface? The extreme example is Hamilton, but Paul Wilson had a couple good years after faltering, Brandon Phillips, etc....

Kevin Goldstein: It certianly happens, and it follows the scouting cliche of "tools play"

Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks. That's two solid hours and I'm cooked. I'm off to look for tornados in the sun. See you all Monday with a Ten Pack and we'll do some draft wrapping up next week.

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