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Chat: Kevin Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday June 11, 2009 2:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Goldstein.


With the draft upon us, you'll want to talk with BP's prospect guru, Kevin Goldstein, to discuss who your team's taken, and what to expect.

Kevin Goldstein: Hey guys, I'm three minutes late due to unforeseen circumstances, so let's get rolling here.

Trevor (Oakland): Signability aside, does Grant Green look like a steal for the A's at #13?

Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely. Best college up-the-middle infielder on the board. Went from a bit over-rated to WAY underrated. Just a great pick for the A's, who generally had a really nice draft.

Alex (SF, CA): Odds that A's sign Green or Stassi or Dyson or all three?

Kevin Goldstein: They don't take Green not thinking they can sign him, and they same goes for Stassi in the fourth. Those are not picks you want to risk losing. Dyson on the other hand, that's going to be tough.

sanchez101 (santa barbara, CA): What do you think of the Dodgers draft? assuming they sign gould.

Kevin Goldstein: One of the most interesting ones to be sure -- even with no first rounder. Gould is a borderline first-round talent, and will cost even more than that, while Miller was generating a lot of buzz in the weekend leading up to Tuesday. The Blake Smith pick really caught my eye, as he's the definition of "it takes just one." Scots other loved him or weren't interested much at all, and now we know where the Dodgers stood on that. Fourth-round pick Angelo Songco is a classic college performer who can really hit, but the tools aren't mind-blowing.

tim (jersey city, nj): Did the Mets get anything worth having? Seems like they benefited from guys slipping a bit with their first couple of picks ...

Kevin Goldstein: The Mets took a guy named Damien Magnifico -- how can you NOT love their draft? Stephen Matz is an upside pick at 2 that I think fits well there -- neither a good or bad pick, while Shields is a nice get in the third.

Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): What gives with the Blue Jays dealing with Boras, going for high ceiling guys, and being less predictable/ossified with draft strategy? Can I finally forget the Russ Adams experience?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes you can. I don't think this is any kind of instant transformation, it's been more of a slow burn away from the pure Moneyball strategy.

TGisriel (Baltimore): In evaluating NFL drafts, most commentators will say it really takes about 3 years before you really know how well a team's draft went. What is a reasonable time to wait before really knowing how an MLB team did?

Kevin Goldstein: 5-6 years, unfortunately.

Mountainhawk (Salem, MA): Given they didn't have a pick until 75, is there much for Phils fans to be excited about in this year's haul?

Kevin Goldstein: Well, as usual they really focused on high school upside, with Dugan (power) in the second and Hudson (speed) in the third. It's risky, but with no first rounder, makes a lot of sense.

cult of basebaal (pasadena, ca): So, who had the best ++ name_tool in the draft: Pounders, Magnifico, Schwindenhammer, Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg, Sequoyah Stonecipher??? Pity the poor clubhouse assistant that has to sew some of those on the back of jersey ...

Kevin Goldstein: All excellent candidates, if you are more literal, Detroit took outfielder Michael Rocket in the 13th, and yes, speed is his best tool.

Jay Taylor (San Francisco): Is there anything for a Cubs fan to be happy about in this year's draft?

Kevin Goldstein: Look, Brett Jackson is not a bad pick. Lots of athleticism, great effort, and he has to curb the strikeouts. You can't get a perfect player at 31. I have very little understanding or love for the LeMahieu pick in the second . . . AT ALL, and most of the pitchers they took later are more pitchability types than arm-strength types. It's not a thrilling list.

glenihan (NYC): Any idea how much $$$ Caleb Cotham wants to sign?

Kevin Goldstein: I can't imagine the Yankees' 5th-round pick needs a ton.

rikter00 (Orange County): What do make of the Angels draft? I am on board with Trout and Skaggs but it seems like they reached/botched some of their early picks.

Kevin Goldstein: Grichuk has very real power, and belongs in your conversation. I understand third-round pick Garrett Richards is going to look awful when you look at the numbers, but he's big and has excellent stuff and the Angels hope they can figure out why he gets hit.

garsonf (Chicago): Likelihood of reaching them aside, which White Sox OF draftee has a higher ceiling: Mitchell or Thompson? While we're here, are the Sox going to get Thompson signed?

Kevin Goldstein: Thompson has the higher ceiling, which almost sounds insane when you consider how high Mitchell's is. I was shocked to see Trayce go in the second round, and I get the feeling that the White Sox know something about his signability that I don't. I have a call I have to do, but I'll be back real soon.

JohnJohn45 (Tulsa): Is Mychal Givens a pitcher or a shortstop? Is he worth the 54th overall draft selection as a pitcher? As a SS?

Kevin Goldstein: Answering questions while on hold . . .

Shorstop; borderline; absolutely

newsense (baltimore): Best chance of ending up a tweener from the first few rounds was ______ picked #__ by __________.

Kevin Goldstein: Sorry about that folks -- I'm back. For me, A.J. Pollock (1st round, D-backs) is a tweener.

DSchmitz3 (Madison): Hunnington explained the pick of Sanchez at #4 in that too many teams have picked HS SPs #1 and failed to get a good payout (ignore the fact that he could have drafted Crow). Did the Pirates make enough picks in rounds 3-10 to make up for the overdraft of Sanchez? Thanks

Kevin Goldstein: They certainly TRIED to, now we have to see if it works out. There 6-7-8 run of Von Rosenberg, Stevenson and Cain are all big upside arms, so at least they're trying to make up for it.

Tom Waits (San Diego): Love for the Padres draft? Strong like for the Padres? 11pm and you've had two drinks and the Padre draft looks all right? It can't be 2am and the Padre draft is the last chick the bar.

Kevin Goldstein: I'm pretty damn close to love at first site. Tate could be a monster, Williams was a guy who deserved late first-round consideration and Sampson also could have went higher.

Andrew (South Orange, NJ): Is Heathcott's intangible problem solely his cocky attitude or is there something much worse out there?

Kevin Goldstein: It's really not that bad. He just doesn't come from the best environment in the world, and also had an academic suspension, which can cause some questions about effort and commitment. The good news is that the Yankees do not require book reports from their minor leaguers.

HankScorpio (KC): A lot of folks are saying that the Royals got very good value with Myers in the 3rd and Dwyer in the 4th. Agree? What will it take to sign each? Odds that the Royals will get them both done? Thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: Totally agree with Myers in the 3rd -- he was actually in their mix and No. 12. It will take first-round money to sign him, but I bet the Royals are willing. Dwyer can be a bit of an enigma, but when he's on, he's really good.

jake (los angeles): Grant Green , with the bobby crosby comparisons? good or bad?

Kevin Goldstein: I wouldn't say good or bad as much as I'd just say lazy. First it was Evan Longoria and Troy Tulowitzki, and now it's Crosby. All of those comps are based more on the fact that those guys are big, atheltic, white college shortstops from Southern California and not much at all on what kinds of players they are.

Jim H. (Lincoln, NE): Can you break down the Tigers draft, particularly the chances of Oliver recovering some of his lost status? It seems like a good upside pick for Detroit.

Kevin Goldstein: It's the usual Tigers draft early on -- big guys who throw hard, no surprise there, and Oliver could be a good pick for Detroit, but you wonder what the price tag is. Daniel Fields (6th round) is a tough sign, but could be a great pick if they can get him to go pro.

glenihan (NYC): Kevin Goldstein: I can't imagine the Yankees' 5th-round pick needs a ton. wasn't he their 4th? he's a DES, I read somewhere that he could very well be a higher round pick if he pitched his junior year at vandy ... is that incorrect?

Kevin Goldstein: No, he was the fifth. Cotham isn't going to explode into an elite level pitcher next year. He might up himself a bit, but it's not massive upside. But hey, the Braves took Mike Minor seventh, so who knows?

Stinneford1 (Ft. Worth): Thoughts on the Astros draft? Bobby Heck's 1st draft was widely panned, but now looks pretty good. What is the consensus on Draft #2?

Kevin Goldstein: Heck's first draft was panned just for Castro over Smoak, the rest of it was pretty darn solid -- which is the phrase I'd use to describe this year's draft as well. They definitely focused on adding higher-ceiling guys to the system.

Charles (DC): Billy Hamilton (SS, Taylorsville) is being billed as a potential five-tool guy by the Reds. Is that at all accurate, or just self-promotion?

Kevin Goldstein: He was truly one of the best athletes in the draft. I don't think he'll ever be a monter power guy, but yes, he's VERY toolsy.

mark (oakland): Eric Kubota called max stassi, the best HS catcher he's ever scouted...too much hype? remember this is the same guy that drafted scrubs like pennington, brian snyder, bradsullivan ,etc

Kevin Goldstein: You can find any scouting director and rip out a bunch of guys who didn't work out, so calm down first of all, Mark. Best catcher ever? I don't know, but I had a guy call him the best defensive high school catcher he's seen.

Amos (New York): Lots of people have Matzek as perhaps a likely candidate to not sign among the first rounders. Do you think the prospect of pitching for Colorado play into this, or is it strictly a money thing?

Kevin Goldstein: Money . . . . money changes everything. That said, I still bet he signs.

jbuofm (peoria): How long do you think the Cardinals will give Robert Stock to prove he can play catcher before converting him to a pitcher? If he can hit, will his body allow him to stay behind the plate?

Kevin Goldstein: A pretty damn long time. If he numbers don't impress you that much, look at them again and imagine that he's just a freshman -- because he is only 19 years old.

jake (texas): A's drafted 2 brothers of current players...Myrio Richard and Dylan Brown. any potential upside with these athletes?

Kevin Goldstein: Myrio is bigger and stronger than Michael, but not as fast, while Dylan doesn't have close to Corey's tools.

Andrew (South Orange, NJ): Gun to the head: __________ will be the quickest non-Strasburg draftee to be the #1 prospect in his respective system.

Kevin Goldstein: Ackley.

mase1361 (BOston): With Fuentes is seems the sox added an OF prospect who mirrors the best ones they have - i.e. speed/defense-type-tools guys. This simply reflect difficulty in finding mashers or you think some underlying valuation of these types of players on the sox part?

Kevin Goldstein: I think you are looking way to hard for some kind of genius or praise for Boston as knowing something others don't or exploiting some mythical market inefficiency. It's way simpler than that and nothing is underlying. They simply took the guy they liked the best.

daves (sacramento): Non draft quesiton, but you are near kane county. Thoughts on the power/speed combo grant desme has shown so far?

Kevin Goldstein: He's in today's minor league update. I've been pretty impressed.

buffum (Austin TX): After a fine draft in 2008, the Indians appeared to revert to (lousy) form this year: past White, I'm not sure I see a guy that becomes a major-league regular (with the obvious caveat that I haven't seen most in person). No high schoolers in the first TWENTY rounds? They seemed to go for low-ceiling role-players. (To their credit, they got 'em.) Am I off base here?

Kevin Goldstein: If not a big fan of the all-college route at all, but I did like some of their picks. Especially White and Kipnis, who I'm a big fan of.

BBDC (New York): I usually believe in selecting the best player available but with Jeter's contract expiring after 2010 should the Yankee's have made more of an effort at signing a signability SS somewhere in the draft?

Kevin Goldstein: If you don't think he's going to be a star . . . why? Number of potential STAR shortstops in this draft? maybe one.

G. Guest (Kansas): What opportunities do late round picks have, between now and mid August, to prove themselves worthy of a contract offer from the team?

Kevin Goldstein: PLENTY of summer college leagues, as well as scout leagues for the kids. They pay a HUGE role for teams like Boston in providing extra evaluation time for a player you might want to go over slot on.

Wes (Tallahassee): What's Fuentes upside, or is he the sort of prospect who's all upside at this point? Is dreaming of Carlos Beltran reincarnate stretching it?

Kevin Goldstein: He really doesn't have Carlos' power, and never will. I could see him being Beltran - 20 home runs and + 20 steals.

David (Sonoma State University, CA): I heard the same things about Robert Stock when he was in high school as I am about Bryce Harper. How do the two compare (when Stock was Harper's age)?

Kevin Goldstein: Harper is better. Harper is great, and Harper is awesome and all that, but honestly, the hype is a bit much.

garsonf (Chicago): My perception is that the White Sox have been pretty aggressive pushing high draft picks through their system. Do you think they'll try to take that approach with Mitchell, despite his relative rawness?

Kevin Goldstein: I guess I'm not sure with your perception totally. I think the White Sox are doing when many teams are doing these day, and something I'm a big fan of, which is not worrying about a template and simply letting each player's talent dictate his timetable -- I think they'll do the same with Mitchell.

Charles (DC): So who is the one potential *star* shortstop, in your view?

Kevin Goldstein: Grant Green.

John (KC): Putting signability aside, which highschool catcher did you like better: myers or stassi?

Kevin Goldstein: I thought Stassi was the best high school catcher on the board.

Killbahn (NJ): Kevin If the Yankees are willing to waste 5 million on guys like marte, farnsworth, etc, why not spend and extra 5 mil or so on some of these signability guys?

Kevin Goldstein: Because they don't necessarily think the guy has enough talent to be worth it.

philosofool (soutwest): Let me follow that up: you often hear fans worrying that their star prospect will be ruined if he comes to the bigs too early. (Rangers and Smoak love this defense of continuing to stick with Chris Davis over Justing Smoak.) Do players really get ruined by moving up too fast?

Kevin Goldstein: It really depends on the kid. Beyond the talent, you have to look at what's between the ears. Some kids are better served by being left at a lower level, where they can dominate and have the confidence get built, while some are best served by being constantly challenged. There is no OWN answer for how to best develop a guy.

carl (ohio): Indians already converting white to a reliever so soon, good or bad move?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't like it. I UNDERSTAND IT, but I don't like it.

brian (missouri): Did my cardinals get a potential steal and SS of the future in ryan jackson? Or will pete kozma/tyler green get that spot?

Kevin Goldstein: I think Jackson's ultimate top-line ceiling is Adam Everett maybe, and that's just a maybe. He's a better defensive player than Kozma or Greene or Green, but that bat is a massive question. If they had designated FIELDERS, he would go higher.

BBDC (New York): what was the point of the Yankee's drafting Pat White. Can they sign him to a contract that will allow them to retain his rights for multiple years while he plays football? or is it a hedge bet on the miniscule chance the Dolphins cut him before August 17? Or were they just having some fun?

Kevin Goldstein: It's a VERY low risk hedge bet. He played baseball in high school and was pretty damn great at it, so this leaves the door open if he comes to his senses and realizes that football is really dumb and boring.

kevin (chicago): WHite Sox josh phegley overdraft? Wouldve it been too early to take a ryan ortiz?

Kevin Goldstein: I love the White Sox draft overall, but Phegly was a real head-scratcher for me. I guess it takes just one team to believe he can catch (because he really can hit), but I never found that team. I guess in the end, it was the White Sox.

philosofool (southwest): In a perfect world where he makes it to the bigs fast, how long does it take Rich Poythress to make the majors? What's the real time table (i.e., in our imperfect world)? And should I be nearly as excited about this guy as I am?

Kevin Goldstein: I understand that you can go to the Georgia baseball website, click on STATS, see his line and get REALLY REALLY excited. I get that. But that's all he can do -- he offers nothing but the bat, and he's one a first baseman (and a bad one at that). Now, if you are a first base only guy, you have to totally work out -- you have to be a middle of the order force, or you're not a huge prospect, and not everyone is convinced Poythress is that. You can be excited sure, but just temper it a bit.

Grace (Ann Arbor): What do you suppose the Reds liked about Leake over Matzek and other high-ceiling kids? His numbers are eye-popping, but I didn't hear much about him leading up to the draft.

Kevin Goldstein: I really like Leake, but he's not Matzek. I think one of the things they really liked about Leake instead of Matzek was the price tag. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Leake fan.

mark (arizona): If you could predict who is more likely to be giants future 3b: gillespie or dominguez? is dominguez like a brett wallace type?

Kevin Goldstein: Dominguez is actually has some defensive tools for his size, including a 70-80 arm. He has more upside certainly, but also could end up being a Russ Branyan-esque kinda guy.

TGisriel (Baltimore): For every pitcher drafted you get a report on how hard he throws. Occasionally you will get a report on a curve or a change. Is throwing hard really the most important attribute teams are looking for in pitchers?

Kevin Goldstein: A far as upside goes, yes. But obviously secondary stuff is important as well as command. Still, it's hard to be a true impact pitcher without velocity.

shawn (vegas): As an A's fan, i'm counting down the days when chavez contract expires. Did A's possibly get future 3b options in BYU Steve Parker and Cincinnati's Mike Spica?

Kevin Goldstein: Obviously it's POSSIBLE, or they wouldn't have been drafted. Obviously it's DOUBTFUL or they would have gone higher. Right when the draft happens, it's understandable to get hyped about at 11th round pick, but it's still an ELEVENTH ROUND PICK. The guy went 333rd overall, which has gotten you Jim Thome and NO OTHER PLAYER IN HISTORY with more than nine home runs or four wins on the mound.

Wes (Tallahassee): Where would you have ranked Ackley, talent-wise, in last year's class? Would he have been in the pack that was under discussion for the first pick, or a step behind Posey/Beckham et al?

Kevin Goldstein: He probably would have gone in the 4-8 range.

jlewando (dc): Beyond Fuentes, who are some of your favorite BOS draft picks?

Kevin Goldstein: David Renfroe (3rd) is a big two-way star who is going to need a lot of money, and was in their mix in the first round. Madison Younger (7th) will also be a tough sign, but he's projectable and already has impressive velocity.

G. Guest (Kansas): Do teams have a lot of input or influence on which summer leagues their picks go to?

Kevin Goldstein: Not really, they are just their PICKS, they're not under contract yet.

Simon (Minneapolis): Probably an absurd question, but if you knew that three players drafted this week ended up in the Hall of Fame, whom would you guess they were?

Kevin Goldstein: Strasburg, Tate, Turner.

On average, each draft features maybe ONE hall of fame guy, so you're reaching after Strasburg.

Bob (Clearwater, FL): Am I crazy for thinking the Rays' third and fourth picks might be better prospects than their first two? Assuming Bailey recovers fully, I mean.

Kevin Goldstein: I think you could at least make the argument for it. Bailey was a true first round pick prior to the surgery.

David (Sonoma State University, CA): Would teams rather deal with Boras or a player's dad/close family member with little experience as his agent?

Kevin Goldstein: Boras -- every day of the week and twice on sundays. The NIGHTMARE stories you hear about dealing with parents as agents are amazing. At least Boras understands how the sausage is made. When you're dealing with a dad or uncle who doesn't know crap, and thinks his kid if the best thing since Mickey Mantle just because he's the best athlete in the history of his small town, or even worse sees his kid as a meal ticket -- it's just horrible. Teams want to deal with agents, even if it's Boras.

Phil S. (NJ): Was drafting Murphy a mistake for the Yankees with Stassi and Bailey still available? What caused Stassi to fall out of the first day?

Kevin Goldstein: There were some concerns about Stassi's shoulder issues early in the year, and he did have a pretty big price tag of around 1.5 M and that wasn't going to change. Bailey can hit, certainly has more power than Stassi, but isn't the same defender.

lemppi (Ankeny, IA): If Porcello was a "10" on a 1-10 scale of HS arms when he was drafted what is Jake Turner? ("Jake Turner" was Tom Berenger's character in Major League!)

Kevin Goldstein: An 8 or so? 7.5? Nobody out of these guys looking for Porcello money come even close to what Porcello was coming out of high school.

jobathebeast (Los Angeles): What's Slade Heathcott's ceiling? Could he be a future all-star? And who do you like more between him and Fuentes?

Kevin Goldstein: They're booth toolsy outfield types, but different. Heathcott is a bigger, more physical presence, while Fuentes has more speed and a better chances to stick in CF. I have 43 versions of this question in the chat, you gotta love how Red Sox and Yankees fan are crazy competitive, even when it comes to first round outfielders.

BBDC (New York): I've heard whispers that the Yankees didnt rate this draft class highly aft4er the early picks, and therefore decided not to spend what they usually would in the past and instead to invest heavily in this years international free agent class. Ant truth to that rumor?

Kevin Goldstein: That seems like an excuse for being disapointed. The Yankees could spend money in both places, and likely will be very busy next month internationally. They just didn't think this year's draft guys were worth it. Just because you are rich, doesn't mean you have to pay $20 for a burger when you can get a perfectly good one for five bucks.

A's Fan 38 yrs (CA): Rob Neyer compared the MLB debuts of Mazarro and Bastardo and basically said "Why can't the A's get some (pitchers like Bastardo)?" Agree/disagree? Your pick: Mazarro or Bastardo?

Kevin Goldstein: I'll actually take Vinny.

Gunpuddy (Nashville, TN): When a team (say the Orioles) overdrafts and then says "we saw something others didn't," how often do they really mean it, and how often are they just being cheap?

Kevin Goldstein: I understand the pessimism, but really and truly, seeing something better than other teams did is more often the case.

Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, I gotta go unfortunatley. Plenty of draft wrap ups next week, so stay tuned.

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