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Chat: Kevin Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday August 13, 2008 2:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Goldstein.


Kevin Goldstein tracks the prospects in "Future Shock."

Kevin Goldstein: Happy Wednesday everyone from cloudy DeKalb, IL, which is filled with trucks and moving vans as the students begin to move in. We have a little over two weeks left in the minor league regular season, and by my count we have 58 hours left before the signing deadline . . . and 312 hours until I get my greasy hands on Disgaea 3. So lets talk about whatever it is we talk about around here.

jsmoore (dallas): Does Longoria's injury open up the AL rookie of the year race? If so, does Chris Davis have a chance if he keeps raking?

Kevin Goldstein: Chris Davis has been absolutely outstanding, but lets face it and let's talk about how things really work. Longoria could be done for the season and he'd still win the award. That said, the real question is, why do we care? I've never understood people getting worked up about awards.

AL (NYC): Michael Main has looked pretty good in the MWL since getting a late start this year due to injury. Do you envision a "Feliz" type of ascension to AA next year if he keeps it up? Are they even in the same class as far as ceiling goes?

Kevin Goldstein: I love when my readers set me up -- Part 2 of the scouting notebook (on Friday) features a discussion on Main.

JR (Chicago): Still no comments about Samardzija since his callup? You've referred to him an enigma in the past... any consensus developing among scouts now that he's got some major league innings under his belt?

Kevin Goldstein: He's certainly exceeding expectations, but there's no doubt that his stuff has improved, especially in terms of movement and location. I'm not sold he's the savior, but he'll be of value for sure.

Mike (FLA): Where might Wilkin Ramirez fall among Tigers prospects - top 10?

Kevin Goldstein: Be more positive than that.

myshkin (Santa Clara, CA): Kevin, thanks for the chat. What's the word on post-promotion Michael Almanzar? Is he just going through an adjustment period, or are there weaknesses he needs to fix?

Kevin Goldstein: I wouldn't get too worked up about 19 games. At that applies if he was hitting .211 or .411. Look at it this way, if I told you about a 17 year old capable of hitting .211 in the Sally League, wouldn't you be interested?

AL (NYC): Please tell me a little more about Carlos Santana. His numbers this year are truly outstanding. Is he among the top C prospects in the game now? And how does he fit into Cleveland's long term plans with Vic Martinez ahead of him on the big club?

Kevin Goldstein: Friday's scouting notebook has Santana in it as well! Awesome readers!

Hombre X (Parts unknown): Which as-yet unsigned first-round picks are most likely to NOT sign? If they don't, then what happens?

Kevin Goldstein: The best bet is that Allan Dykstra doesn't sign -- that one doesn't seem to be going anywhere. If he doesn't sign, the Padres get pick "23b" next year, so one pick after 23, which makes that 24 . . . unless somebody else doesn't sign, thus the strange nomenclature. I think everyone else will sign, but if I had to bet on any other pick NOT signing, it'd be Aaron Crow.

John (SF): Henry Rodriguez in the bullpen: a sign of things to come, or a sign of the A's just trying to limit his workload this year?

Kevin Goldstein: The A's might tell you the answer is b. I'd tell you the answer is a.

Alex (The Dirtiest Dirty): I've started Disgaea on two separate occasion, but both times I got distracted and didn't end up finishing the story line even once. How much do I suck?

Kevin Goldstein: On an Andruw Jones 2008 level.

brokeslowly (Texas): Hi Kevin - what happened to Craig Italiano? He was lights out for your home team, Kane County but has fallen off of a cliff (hopefully not literally) in Stockton.

Kevin Goldstein: Location, Location, Location. His command was shaky here, and it's been even shakier there in an environment that is far, far less forgiving.

chad (MN): Is Chris Davis the real deal? Can that average stick with those strikeouts?

Kevin Goldstein: The power is very, very real. Monster, massive power. But yes, the strikeouts are an issue, and will likely be throughout his career. I think he's a .260-.270 hitter without a ton of on-base but ridiculous ISOs.

Isaac (Chicago): Is there really much reason for optimism with Ricky Romero? You mentioned he's struck out 17 in his brief time in AAA but neglected to say he's also walked 11.

Kevin Goldstein: I was really just saying there's something positive here finally. I'm not saying he's going to be a world beater or anything, but plenty think he could be an inning-eating lefty type.

Langster (Dublin, Ireland): Kevin, why did Ryan Braun do a Ryan Braun, and Alex Gordon do an Alex Gordon? In light of their recent history, have you determined why their early performances have been so different?

Kevin Goldstein: Because Braun was better. I know that sounds like a crap answer, but hear me out. I don't see any huge differences in their numbers or scouting reports coming out of college (if anything, Gordon was a touch better), nor any discrepencies in one area or another that we can glean anything from. It's just one of those things, and frankly, it happens all the time. If you figure out why one guy is a massive stud and one guys isn't, and how that can accurately apply to consistently finding future massive studs, there are plenty of teams that would like to talk to you . . . about 30 of them, in fact.

DaveKavanagh (Dublin, Ireland): Hi, Kevin. Thanks for the chat. How early in a HS player's career do scouts start, well, scouting him?

Kevin Goldstein: Earlier than makes me comfortable, but that's the business.

myshkin (Santa Clara, CA): It feels as if, in the past few years, very recent draftees have been showing up in greater numbers and higher up on top 100 prospect lists. Am I just employing selective memory, or is there something going on here? Along these lines, which 2008 draftees (assume they sign) immediately make it into a top 50? Beckham? Alvarez? Smoak?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm calling selective memory here. I might do it a touch more than people you read before I did, but I have a rep for putting more into ceiling than some others. Top 50 is tough, Tim Beckham for sure, Alvarez for sure, Posey for sure, maybes on Hosmer and Matusz.

HuntsvilleFan ('bama): Mat Gamel's recent slump - nothing to be concerned about or was his first half more of a fluke?

Kevin Goldstein: I wouldn't be too concerned, but at the same time, I do think Gamel was over his head in the first half, and I think he's a very good, but not elite prospect.

jedjethro (The cement pond): Sure-bet, offensive-plus shortstops currently from High A-ball on down? Does such a thing exist? How close would Justin Jackson be to fitting such a descrip?

Kevin Goldstein: Wait a second, you want to put a 'sure-bet' on a guy hitting .251 in Low A with 130 strikeouts in 107 games? Really? Keep in mind that I'm one of his biggest supporters.

dogtothedog (Toronto): Hi Kevin, I was wondering on draft day who makes the final descion? I assume its the GM but wouldn't it make more sence to have the scouting director have the final say seeing how its his full time job and all?? do you think we'll see a day when GM's are in charge of the majoe league team and a Scouting director handles the draft?

Kevin Goldstein: Depends on the team, really. There's are teams where that first pick might be all the GM based on all the info the scouting team has brought in, or the scouting director might make the call, but certainly lean on the GM for his thoughts on the subject. The further down you go, the less the GM is involved.

Olinkapo (Brevard County): What are your feelings on Jeremy Jeffress? Specifically: He's not allowing many homers or hits at all, striking out a ton of guys, and generally getting groundballs. Do you look past the walks in light of all that, or is the wildness too discouraging? [Pitching wildness, I mean...not the puff puff pass stuff.]

Kevin Goldstein: Obviously, the walks are a concern, but it's not like he has a case of the yips or anything. In the low minors, on a statstical level, I focus primarily on ip, h, k; and I'm still very high on Jeffress because those numbers are good and he has monster stuff.

dogtothedog (Toronto): is it impossible for someone outside of baseball to get a job inside baseball? if not how hard is it and whats the best way to go about it?

Kevin Goldstein: It's hard, very hard, and more importantly, there is no roadmap. Everyone has their own unique story. I would note that there are a TON of ex-BP folks now working in the game, and many current BP people who have been offered positions but still work at BP.

Greg (NYC): Hi Kevin, any idea what the word is on Jemile Weeks' injury (I figure he's local for you)? How quickly do you think he can move through the Oakland system? For someone who's an unpolished toolsy guy, he sure seems to put up good numbers.

Kevin Goldstein: Hip flexor and they're taking it easy with him. When I think of Weeks' issues, most of them for me are defensive.

jaymoff (Salem, OR): What do you know about Anthony Slama? He is absolutely tearing up the FSL. Those numbers look like video game numbers and he's doing it in a very good league!

Kevin Goldstein: His numbers are insane -- 0.98 ERA in 44 games, 64 ip, 38 h, 23 bb, 99 k. I totally wish I could tell you he was some kind of future closer, but he's not. He's more of a funk/deception guy with a low, low 3/4 arm angle that's very hard to pick up on. He's a big leaguer, but probably not a late innings type.

Aaron (YYZ): Any word on Yankees prospect Kelvin De Leon? I can't find any info on him.

Kevin Goldstein: He's having an excellent year for one of the Yankees' Dominican Summer League affiliates, batting .294/.405/.498.

Matt (Brookline, MA): Chances Red Sox pony up the money needed to get Alex Meyer?

Kevin Goldstein: 50%. There's going to spend a lot of money of some of these late picks, but figuring out which ones is pretty hard.

wileecoyote121 (Larchmont, NY): Kev: Where'd Daniel Murphy come from? Small sample size aside, does he project as a solid utility player for the Mets in the long run or is his upside more than that?

Kevin Goldstein: I do see him as only a solid bench player in the majors. I just don't think he'll have enough bat for the positions he'll end up being limited to.

DanLong (nyc): If Montero keeps slugging away next year in High A Tampa, like he did in Charleston this year, does he get a midseason call up to Trenton, or are the yankees taking it a level per year? How much does their commitment to him being a catcher hinge on the progress of Austin Romine or Fransisco Cervilli as catching prospects?

Kevin Goldstein: At his age, there's no need to necessarily rush him, but then again, if his talent dictates it . . . . the biggest issue is that he's just not going to be a catcher.

Sheila (Daly City, CA): Do you have any predictions on the type of contract that Buster Posey will end up? And are Kieschnick and Crawford going to sign?

Kevin Goldstein: I predicted that in Saturday's piece, as well as predicted bonuses for all unsigning guys. Chances are good the both of the other two will sign.

Dave (Petaluma, CA): The Blue Jays' move of Bill Murphy to starter seemed to work well early, but Murphy now seems to be fading. Does he have a future as either a starter or reliever in the Majors?

Kevin Goldstein: I think at most, he'll be some kind of up and down guy.

Sven (Ithica, NY): Mike Stanton and Freddie Freeman are a couple of 18 year olds that are tearing up the SAL. Stanton seems to have more power, but Freeman with the better approach. Do they have bigtime upsides?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes, and yes.

Aaron (YYZ): Are you a console-only guy or did the recent Diablo3 announcement pique your interest as well??

Kevin Goldstein: I'm a console guy. I do some PC gaming, but the HD generation killed it for me.

KCardinal (KC): With Daryl Jones turning his tools into performance this year, will he make your top 100?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm a big Daryl Jones supporter and he's got a lot of tools, but Top 100 is pushing it.

Jon (NJ): Can you confirm reports that Phil Hughes was hitting 93-95 during his recent rehab assignments?

Kevin Goldstein: Confirmed.

Amos (New York): What ever happened to Jason Neighborgall?

Kevin Goldstein: He hung them up this spring. Final numbers: 17.22 ERA in 42.1 innings with 48 strikeouts, 128 walks, 59 wild pitchers, and 13 hit batters.

TimV (Wash DC): Bonifacio has 19Ks and 0 walks so far since coming to the Nats. What kind of improvement do you expect if any and why the heck is Acta batting him leadoff?

Kevin Goldstein: Because Manny Acta knows that winnings is not the prime objective right now, and he wants to figure out if Bonifacio can be a leadoff type in the future (the answer is no).

Bob (Pensacola): Do you grade drafts? If so will you re-grade after the 8/15 signing deadline? All grades are meaningless until then. Thanks

Kevin Goldstein: I would argue that grades are pretty meaningless then as well. Even June, 2011 would be an imperfect time to grade this year's draft.

dogtothedog (Toronto): have you ever been offered a job working for a MLB team? if so why did you turn it down?

Kevin Goldstein: The money is just unreal (in a bad way). I have a mortgage, and a nice TV and stuff. I'm also 39 and really not up for traveling 300 days a year.

Silver Sox (Golden Baseball league): Do you have a comment about South Korea beating the US baseball team?

Kevin Goldstein: Not surprising.

Mike (NJ): Kevin, Will Zach McAlister be in your top 50 or 100 prospect list?

Kevin Goldstein: I highly doubt it. He profiles as more of a 3 or 4 starter.

JJO (VA): David Huff -- decent major league starter?

Kevin Goldstein: Decent? sure.

kcellis224 (SF, CA): Kevin - Are you buying Travis Ishikawa's resurgence at Fresno?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm not buying it yet, but I have to admit, I do find myself returning to the isle at the store of late.

Andy (IL): Why are you chatting and not off playing Madden 09?

Kevin Goldstein: Because I don't play a lot of sports games, espeicially of the football variety. I highly recommend PixelJunk Eden to all PS3 owners however. C'mon people, it's $10 -- even a scout could afford it!

Jake (Kansas City): Are you still hearing that Tim Melville and Robbie Ross will sign?

Kevin Goldstein: Yup.

nick (albuquerque): whats your take on royals 3B Mike Moustakas?solid regular? All-star?

Kevin Goldstein: The more I see him, the more I like him, and after a slow start, he's be arguably the most dangerous hitter in the Midwest League. I think he's a stud.

dogtothedog (Toronto): If Scouts get paid so little why do they do it? is it just because they love baseball and hate grinding parts or is it the chance of promotion?

Kevin Goldstein: Sure beats working at Sears. It's a great gig if you're young, but I'm 39, and I can't afford to start at the bottom (again), it's just not in the cards. And I love what I do now, I must say. But yes, I don't know ANY scout personally who doesn't have just a crazy, crazy passion for the game.

Dan (Newton, MA): Why don't more teams trade prospects-for prospects? It would make sense for a team loaded with, say, left-handed pitchers to trade one or two to a team loaded with, say, lots of middle infielders.

Kevin Goldstein: A lot of it is fear-based. You don't want to be the guy who traded the player who turns out to be a stud.

MikeJordan23 (Brooklyn): I'll keep asking until you answer: With Brett Wallace hitting abilities but lack of position should the Cardinals trade him to the AL when he's eligible or find him a new position? And thoughts on Niko Vasquez?

Kevin Goldstein: Stop asking! You don't really worry about any sort of logjam until you are forced to. The Cardinals right now have a valuable commodity in their minor league system, but there is no reason to start making any decisions on it. Thoughts on Vasquez? I'm a big, big fan.

bigrick0016 (Cleveland): Since David Huff questions aren't working............ Beau Mills? Solid player? All-Star? What are your thoughts?

Kevin Goldstein: A real quick note on "questions not working" -- they're working, but keep in mind that there are literally hundreds of them in the queue here, I just can't get to them all. And I think I did answer a Huff question! Beau Mills? In Friday's scouting notebook!

HankScorpio (Globex): What are you hearing about Dan Duffy's prospects? Hard for Royals fans to not be really excited about his first 12 months. Thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: I've seen him pitch and talked to many scouts about him. I like him plenty. Plus command, clean smooth mechanics, and a lot of polish. That said, he's not LOADED with stuff or anything, and he's really just a 4 starter or so.

TomG (Salem): What’s the deal with Lorenzo Cain? He seems to be hitting a lot better now that he’s out of Brevard County; is he a legit sleeper at this point or will his K rate doom him?

Kevin Goldstein: The guy is a pretty crazy athlete, so that allows for a little more optimism. I'm certainly keeping an eye on him and he's more than a ligit sleeper, he's a prospect.

TGisriel (Baltimore): Any insight into the PTBNLs popping up in the post waiver dealine deals? (Dunn, Bradford, Byrd) Why so many? Are PTBNLs used because they have not made it yet through waivers, or to give the player a chance to play in the mionor leagues playoffs?

Kevin Goldstein: Sometimes they're used because of the rule that prevents teams from trading a player until one year after his initial signing date (the Incaviglia rule). But don't read too much into that. More often than not, these deal get done VERY quickly, and teams want time to get scouts in on certain teams to evaluate certain players before making a decision.

dmh299 (New York): Who else would the Pirates need to sign besides Alvarez and Tanner Schleppers for you to consider their draft a major success? Or would that be sufficient?

Kevin Goldstein: That would be sufficient, but expect 6th-round pick Robbie Grossman to get himself a pretty nice deal before Friday is up as well.

BL (Bozeman, MT): Kevin, there's been plenty of talk about Mike Moustakas lately, but are you intrigued by either of his teammates at Burlington, Johnny Giovatella or Jason Taylor?

Kevin Goldstein: Taylor does pretty much nothing for me. 20 years old, kind of a dumpy body, and a lot of lunging at the plate. Obviously, Giavotella doesn't have a ton of tools, but you really only need one game to fall in love the way he plays.

Sam (MyKingdomForALeftyville): Kevin, who do you think has a higher ceiling: Gerrit Cole or Andrew Brackman? Higher probability of reaching that ceiling? How do they compare to Joba, stuff-wise?

Kevin Goldstein: Cole; Cole; Don't compare them to Joba. I've never been a Brackman believer.

JB (Indy): How about Zach Wilson? Are the Pirates even TRYING to sign him?

Kevin Goldstein: Just because he's not signing doesn't mean Pittsburgh isn't trying. He's wants a TON of cash or he's going to Arizona, and that's not changing, and Pittsburgh might not think he's worth THAT MUCH money. That's not 'not trying'.

bigrick0016 (Cleveland): Dumpy body? We aren't selling jeans Kev.

Kevin Goldstein: Sure, but maybe we should be. You really want to defend Jeremy Brown these days?

Jason Motte (Memphis): Would my one-pitch repetoire hold up in the Majors right now?

Kevin Goldstein: Seriously, what's up with all the Jason Motte questions? Is there a fan club or something? I love the guy, gotta give it up for any converted catcher who has 97 whiffs in 58.2 innings at Triple-A. That said, I think he'd get righties out right now, but his arm angle and lack of secondary stuff would give him trouble against lefties.

Steve (PA): Any update on the Matusz negotiations since Saturday?

Kevin Goldstein: Honestly. No.

Steve (MN): I won't defend Jeremy Brown, but I'll defend Prince Fielder, CC Sabathia, et. al

Kevin Goldstein: You mean guys loaded with tools who every scout saw as a sure-fire first round pick? Look, people can keep pulling out the jeans quote, but athleticism matters.

svengurl (plano): Kevin, you had this to say about Josh Hamilton in your Rangers FS-Top11: "To go into a rant about how Hamilton is inexplicably treated like a hero in some circles, including receiving a key to the city of Raleigh this month, and how this is a representation of everything wrong with this country's value system, would likely require another 1,000 words and only tick off my editors and some of my readers–-we'll see if this sentence floats through as is and serves its purpose." Would you care to elaborate with a few sentences instead of 1000 words? Thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: You just want to get me in trouble here, don't you. Look, Josh should be admired for his recovery. At the same time, the lavish praise he receives, for simply being WHERE HE SHOULD BE kind of offends me. Pick some other player, a guy who simply did what he should have done and stayed clean and got there and give him a key to the city. That never happens, and I just don't get why the guy who dug himself a huge hold and got out of it deserves more praise than the guy who avoided the hole in the first place. I now eagerly await the slew of emails calling me various things and telling me I know nothing of addiction or whatever.

Navin (Los Angeles): What are the chances the Cubs can sign 10th rounder Alex Wilson?

Kevin Goldstein: The good news is that the two sides are definitely negotiating.

John (SF): Chances Pat Venditte makes an appearance in the majors where he pitches from both sides of the mound?

Kevin Goldstein: 5.18%

Ameer (Bloomington, IN): Man, I LOVE shooters, but I tried Pixeljunk Eden and it made my brain hurt. Maybe I need to give it more time?

Kevin Goldstein: Um, it's not a shooter. If anything, it's a platformer. Maybe more of an art project. Once you get a feel for the controls, you'll be hooked.

shamah (NYC): I take your Josh Hamilton point, but I think the division lies along the line of those who think addiction is a disease that is outside of the addict's control. Yes, Hamilton put himself in that position; but his disease made it immeasurably harder for him to dig himself out of it. That he did is commendable, and he should be held up as an example to other recovering addicts out there.

Kevin Goldstein: I agree on you're last two points completely, but you have to admit that the praise he's getting is far more than that. Whomever, so kind of normal player on that team who had no problems -- I don't know, German Duran or something is a far better role model, no?

david (dc): taylor teagarden can't score (wasn't waived around) from first on a double, down one run with 2 outs in the 9th ... is he THAT slow?

Kevin Goldstein: To use the scouting term, he runs like a catcher.

Pat Venditte (Staten Island): WHY DO YOU HATE ME?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't hate you at all. I think you're totally cool in just about every way. I'm also a realist and I know what your stuff is like and I know there was a reason 619 players were selected ahead of you.

Ameer (Bloomington, IN): Yeah, shouldn't have called it a shooter. But I couldn't think of how else classify it. It's 2D and you shoot your thread.....

Kevin Goldstein: Next question -- You have an HDTV and good sound? That makes the game that much better.

omambiyick (Athens, GA): What do you make of Brian Bogusevic's hot start in AA?

Kevin Goldstein: Honestly? I'm pretty excited about it. I know teams who liked him better as a hitter back in his Tulane days, and the funny thing was, about three weeks before the conversion, I was talking to a scout about the Double-A team at Houston and he told a story about getting to the field a little late and a guy was talking batting practice and he couldn't tell who it was at first, but it was the best BP he'd seen for the team for the four days he was in to see them. That guy turned out to be Bogusevic.

Rob (Bloomington, IL): Ryan Flaherty already has 14 errors at SS. Is he a 2B or a 3B down the line?

Kevin Goldstein: I like Ryan Flaherty quite a bit, but if he had two errors I'd still tell you he's a second baseman in the end.

CNB (San Francisco): Hi Kevin, thanks for the chat! I always look forward to your thoughts. What do you think the chances are Brett Hunter signs? Also, were two of the A's other over-slot signings, Dixon and Coleman (can't remember any others), a fair price for the players' talents?

Kevin Goldstein: Oakland been evaluating Hunter with Team USA VERY closely, but he's got a huge price tag, and I'm not sure how close they are. I get the feeling it's possible he'll sign, but not probable. I'm already a massive Rashun Dixon fan. Man crush city.

Guilhem (Toronto): I miss Barry Bonds.

Kevin Goldstein: I do too. I'm guessing Bud Selig isn't interested in adding his name to our list.

nick (albuquerque): back at the draft, i believe someone said getting tyler sample in the 3rd round was highway robbery. he started off slow but recently has put a couple of pretty good starts together< what is tyler samples ceiling at this point in time?

Kevin Goldstein: Same thing it was coming into the draft, very high, but with risk. 24 innings really don't change anything.

Kevin (Toronto): Kevin, You've written about David Cooper in your Future Shock column, do you think he's a guy who will hit 30+hrs and hit .290+, or is he going to be more of a Lyle Overbay gap power type? Is his future at 1b, or could he stick in LF? Thanks!

Kevin Goldstein: First off, he's a first baseman only. He's not especially good there even, but I just can't see him playing anywhere else. I'm not sure he's a 30+ guy consistently, but he's an on-base machine with certainly more power than Overbay.

Matt (CT): How soon is Tommy Hanson gonna be ready? Could he break camp in 09 with the Braves?

Kevin Goldstein: Highly doubtful, but I bet he gets to the big leagues next year at some point.

big baby (nj): What do you think of the idea of a rotation for the bullpen? If you had 3 solid set-up guys and ostensibly give them each 2 innings a night. Then you could fill in your specialists as needed. For example, with the Dodgers and a healthy Saito, using Kuo in the 7th and 8th, then Park the next night, then Broxton. Obviously it would have to be tweaked and modified throughout the season, but in a general framework, your thoughts?

Kevin Goldstein: Your ideas intrigue me and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

astein (Boston): You were really high on Ryan Kalish coming into the year, but his numbers have been depressed coming off hamate bone surgery. Do you still see good tools there, once the lingering effects of the surgery wear off?

Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely.

Colin (Syracuse, NY): Any updates on the Alex Meyer, Peter Hissey, and Ryan Westmoreland negotiations? Your opinions on who signs, and for how much?

Kevin Goldstein: Like I said, Boston is going to spend some money on their late signability guys, but we're not sure who they are yet. I have reason to believe the Hissey is done and Westmoreland is either done or will be.

Dave (Chicago): Corey Brown, flop?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm aware that his overall numbers since the promotion have a lot of red flags, but he also has 10 home runs in 121 at-bats. Flop? really?

Joe (Washington, DC): Kevin: Thoughts on Ian Kennedy? Lots of folks in NY are ready to write him off (which I think is a little silly) but he really hasn't looked good this year.

Kevin Goldstein: Back when he was awesome in the minors and I said he was a No. 4 starter type, I got TORCHED by Yankees fans. I wonder how'll they'll react now that they're abandoning ship and I'm still saying he'll be a No.4 starter type.

big baby (nj): are you sassing me? or should i get a newsletter going?

Kevin Goldstein: I actually thought int was an interesting idea. I think bullpen usage is really, really dumb, but I feel guilty for not necessarily having a better plan.

john (wisconsin): can you finally stop saying that angel villanova is better than jesus montero?

Kevin Goldstein: I can!

Joe (Temecula): Kevin, love these chats, thank you. Not sure how much you've seen of either Steven Strasburg or Michael Inoa. Based on your knowledge of each, do they both have makeup and the raw talent to be #1s on any teams roster? And who do you think gets to their ceiling faster?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes, both have No. 1 potential. At the same time, both are somewhere around a year or so from making their first professional pitch, so we shouldn't get into timetables.

Tim (DC): Kevin, of the prospects who were moved at the trading deadline, or since, who do you see as having a type of career to generate that "Doh!" moment from the GM?

Kevin Goldstein: Carlos Santana.

Pat (Tufts): Why doesn’t an MLB team just sign at Cat Osterman and say, “Go to rookie ball and pitch” You’d pay her a minor league salary, small risk and possibly a big reward.

Kevin Goldstein: I don't know what the distance and the raised mound would do to her. I certianly would not be against bringing her in for some kind of tryout to answer that question.

Ben Franklin (Philly): Tell me something I have not heard about A Escobar? Everyone says his glove is great, is it? How great? Or is it just good?

Kevin Goldstein: It's great. Makes the easy plays consistently, and makes the spectacular plays others can't dream of making. One of the best defenders in the minors.

Rob (Brighton): Did you see the article Sheehan through up the other day? He basically said that the draft was a scam to drive wages down. I don't disagree with this, but I feel that for baseball at least, the difference between amateur and pro play is staggering. The minor league systems represent millions in financial investments by these teams, most of which is wasted. Does that justify them destroying the free market as most of these kids require their coaching just as much as the teams need their talent?

Kevin Goldstein: Depends on how you feel about the free market I guess. Parity certainly plays a huge rule in the purpsoe for a draft, but it's absolutle a cost control thing as well. The baseball draft was invented almost solely for cost control purposes after the run on bonus babies in the early part of the decade. I don't get into personal politics too much, probably for good reason, and while I don't think it would be GOOD for sports per se, all of the drafts in today's sports I've found to be borderline illegal.

Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, on that serious note, I must end after two plus hours. Thanks for all the great questions and enjoy the deadline.

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