Check in with the man in the know on the prospects beat, as Kevin Goldstein takes your questions on the young and up-and-coming as well as the struggling or stalled from among the game's farmhands.
Kevin Goldstein: Greeting to all on a happy Wednesday. No big league action today, but always plenty to talk about in the world of prospects, scouting and player development, so let's get rolling.
DSchmitz3 (Madison): What is the status of Fautino de los Santos? Did his injury completely hinder his prospect status?
Kevin Goldstein: He's back from his TJ and recently showed up in a box score in the Arizona League, once he gets the rust out, he'll go to Stockton. Word his him getting into the mid-90s, so it's way to early to give up hope there.
BL (Bozeman): What type of performance do you expect from the Harper kid at Southern Nevada next spring?
Kevin Goldstein: I imagine he'll be pretty damn good. Here's the thing, he's WAY overrated. He's not the greatest thing since sliced bread. He's probably the best player in next year's draft, but he's not a historic talent. The hype machine is just way out of control.
steveomd (Georgia): Kevin, we hear a lot about Jason Heyward's bat, but what can you tell us about his glove, his range, his arm, etc.?
Kevin Goldstein: Nothing but good things, as he's an above-average outfielder with an above-average arm.
Parker Posey (The Hills): Kevin, Do you agree with the Giants decision to skip Buster in AA and move him straight to AAA?
Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, absolutely. Keep in mind that this isn't necessarily about Posey as much as it might be about Jackson Williams, the catcher at Double-A. Williams can barely hold his own offensively in the Eastern League, so they don't want to push him up, but they see him as Posey's backup long-term, and he is in the argument when you talk about the best defensive catchers in the minors.
Doug (Flushing): Kevin, no offense but that Harper statement you made is ridiculous. Why? Simply because you did nothing but make a statement. Care to back it up with actual analysis? I'm sure you know much more about the situation then most of us do, but c'mon, don't be that guy.
Kevin Goldstein: Didn't mean to be that guy. I've talked to a lot of scouts, scouting directors and front office people who have seen Harper. His power is absolutely friggin' unreal, no doubt about it, but there are questions about his barrel control, the length of his swing, and his ability to be anything more than a 1B down the road. Again, top player in the draft next year, but not a once-a-generation type.
DanLong (NYC): Has Jesus Montero changed any minds about his ability to stay behind the plate? How does his Bat rank amongst prospects? top 5? Top 3? Top?
Kevin Goldstein: Hit bat definitely ranks among the best around, as far as changing minds defensively, it's maybe gone from "Not A Chance" to "Tiny Glimmer Of Hope". That's about it.
gerrybraun (San Diego): Kevin -- Minor League Update is, in my view, one of the most interesting sources of baseball analysis and reporting in any medium. The sheer volume of information is impressive, even before the ingight is layered in. Has it changed the way you do your job in any appreciable way?
Kevin Goldstein: Thanks Gerry, check is in the mail. The best thing, is it's really changed nothing at all. My favorite time of the day is from about 11pm to 1am, when I'm going through boxscores while being in touch with scouts via emails, IMs and text messages. It's something I've always done, but now I get to share that information with the readers on a more timely basis, and get way more names out there for people.
Bill (NYC): Follow up re Montero - when do the Yanks consider changing positions? When they have to, I guess? Or would it be wise to let him start learning LF?
Kevin Goldstein: So, so many Montero questions. Look, if it's not C, it's 1B/DH. I can't see any way that works in the outfield.
Paul (Cincinnati): Kevin, why is Travis Wood's season being ignored? Is it just a fluke?
Kevin Goldstein: I've written about it a bunch of times in the Minor League Update, so it's not getting ignore here. He's pretty solid. Not like a top of the line elite type, but certainly back, and pretty high on the Reds list.
Jeff (Orange County): How would you rank the Padres Logan Forsythe, Jaff Decker, and James Darnell? They seem to have a log jam going on the hot corner. Who's most likely to get moved to a different position?
Kevin Goldstein: I'd either go in that order or flip Decker and Darnell. Darnell is more likely to move off of third, he's very rough there. I'll see Decker play in person next week, and I'm looking forward to being as confused about him as most scouts are.
Conjunction (Dallas): On Harper- Isn't he supposed to have top notch speed and a superb arm? Why would he be confined to first base?
Kevin Goldstein: He can also leap tall buildings in a single bound and his tears cure cancer. He's also big now and going to grow for 2-3 more years, he's going to end up huge.
jobathebeast (Beverly Hills): What's up on the Sano front? Are the Pirates still the frontrunners?
Kevin Goldstein: They are. There's still a sizeable gap between what he wants and what ANYONE is willing to pay, and this could take awhile.
scott (chicago): Can we consider Jordan Danks' showing at AA as a "struggle?" Do you think he can stick in center long-term for the White Sox? His overall improvements from draft to now have to be a good thing...
Kevin Goldstein: How is .293/.374/.433 at Double-A in your first full season IN in pitcher's park a struggle? Is somebody saying that? The expectations for these guys has totally gotten out of control. That's a friggin' great line, and he's fine in center.
glenihan (nyc): On a desert island and can only have one: The Clash (US version) or London Calling?
Kevin Goldstein: I'll go with B. The Clash is a crazy great album, a huge unveiling of something amazing, but London Calling is the deeper, more complete work.
steveomd (Georgia): KG, what's your take on Cody Johnson's season? Do you think he can maintain his walk rates enough at the higher levels to make his lack of contact less of an issue?
Kevin Goldstein: Big Rob Deer fan, Steve?
tfierst (MN): Has Ben Revere's stock moved up/down/or stayed the same this year?
Kevin Goldstein: Unchanged.
havybeaks (Michigan): Attending a Whitecaps game this weekend - who besides Casey Crosby is worth watching? (I'm hoping the answer isn't Myron Noodleman...)
Kevin Goldstein: Maybe you can get Jake the diamond dog, or the Zooperstars! Ah, minor league life. There's not a ton there, as their most interesting position player, shortstop Gustavo Nunez just get suspended.
Rahd12 (Norfolk, VA): KG, How did Hosmer look the other night in Burlington? Seems like he's starting to find his groove.
Kevin Goldstein: He was much closer to the plate, and I think that makes a lot of difference for him. The swing is still very impressive.
Al (Quincy): Matt Dominguez - still a top prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: I might be in the minority here, but I think so.
Grace (Dayton): Am I crazy to think that Neal Huntington's doing a good job? If nothing else, the sheer amount of upside he's added to the system seems like a great thing.
Kevin Goldstein: Not crazy. Doing the best he can, considering his starting hand.
jammingecono (Virginia): Maybe I'm drinking the kool aid but it looks like the nationals farm system took a step forward this year.
Norris is looking like a top prospect and several other players appear to be developing nicely. Obviously they have a ways to go...
Astute observation or hopeless optimism?
Kevin Goldstein: On Norris, I'm with you, but I'm still not seeing a ton of other things.
BL (Bozeman): Any thoughts on the starting pitching at Burlington (ML)? Melville, Montgomery, etc...
Kevin Goldstein: Montgomery is the real deal, and the best on that stuff. Melville has disappointed so far, but it's WAY WAY early.
steveomd (Georgia): Ah, c'mon KG, he's having a nice season in a tough hitter's environment. Was just wondering if his approach/game had improved, that's all...
Kevin Goldstein: He's got massive power and a better approach, but he's still already has 107 whiffs in 83 games. Rob Deer isn't an insult, guy played (I'm guessing here) 12 years and made tens of millions.
Michael ((Las Vegas, NV)): Call me a naysayer, but doesn't Alroidis Chapman sound a lot like the next Andrew Brackman?
Kevin Goldstein: Hmmm, a 23-year-old guy with no track record of success and a Tommy John surgery? Why no, he doesn't sound like Andrew Brackman at all.
Lincoln (Dallas): Word is that Michael Main is now out for the year. Do you know why he's out -- I thought he had mono -- and does he now go into non-prospect status since health is a skill?
Kevin Goldstein: He was initially diagnosed with mono, but he's back to being undiagnosed last I checked. It's really kind of a mystery at this point, and you just hope they figure it out.
Scott (DC): Has Chris Heisey surpassed Drew Stubbs in centerfield for the Reds? Or will/should they move Heisey to left?
Kevin Goldstein: They should move Heisey over as Stubbs is the best defensive outfielder in the minors.
BillJ (White Rock): Odds on Brett Wallace sticking at 3B? Changed by the Futures game?
Kevin Goldstein: How can one game and one play change his odds?
Myron (West Hartford): How do scouts feel about Pitch FX and the other things that were hinted at by Eric Seidman in his recent article? Wouldn't it make sense to get those kinds of technologies low in the minors, to collect even more information about the players with the least amount of data? We know Lincecum is good, but I don't know just how good Alderson and Baumgardner are. Knowing that their curve is like Zito's or that their fastball is fast but flat seems the ideal use for that kind of tech ... unless scouts see this as the latest attempt to obsolete them.
Kevin Goldstein: Scouts love pitch F/X and I'm sure they'd love to have the data available to them. They're not threatened by it, they don't think it will make them obsolete, as there are 8 million things pitch f/x can't measure, and if I gave you just pitch f/x data, you STILL wouldn't know just how good Alderson and Bumgarner were. You still have to see them pitch. A prospect ranking based solely on Pitch F/X would be laughable. It's a wonderful tool, but that's it. It's not some all-knowing truth-sayer.
David (Sonoma State University, CA): What's up, "velo-whore?" Seen any good movies lately?
Kevin Goldstein: Highly recommend Pontypool, Canadian zombie film with a twist, as the virus causing the zombie-ness resides in our language. Very well done.
Rob Feinstein (Philadelphia): You ever wear a Yarmulke?
Kevin Goldstein: I did at a wedding many years back, does that count. Sorry to disappoint the many members of the tribe, but I'm not Jewish. I understand the assumption, but it's a wrong one.
Rob (Brighton, MA): Mark Wagner is having a pretty decent rebound season in AA, what can you tell me about him? Do either him or Exposito profile as anything more than a Div I back up?
Kevin Goldstein: I like Wagner quite a bit based on a couple of conversations with scouts, but it's more as a second-division starter at best. But he's a big leaguer for me.
Raisin (LA): Has the Cubs system improved quite a bit this season with the emeregence of guys like Cashner, Castro, Jackson and Carpenter (amongst others)?
Kevin Goldstein: I think so. It's interesting, in that nearly every couple of weeks I'm talking to someone who sees some Cubs guy he really likes. Add shortstop Darwin Barney to your list.
MkeFan (Milwaukee): What's a reasonable comp for Alcides Escobar?
Kevin Goldstein: I had a scout throw out a Edgar Renteria comp recently, which I didn't hate.
cardsfan89 (St. Louis): What's the ceiling on Daniel Descalso? Also, can you think of any other college bats that went from looking miserable to looking superb as Descalso has done? Its been quite the turn around.
Kevin Goldstein: He could be a solid starter, I don't think he's a future stud or anything. Bats going from looking miserable to superb actually happens quite a bit, but it's always exciting. Look at Michael Taylor of the Phillies.
cardsfan89 (St. Louis): I've heard Daryl Jones comped to Denard Span. Does that seem close?
Kevin Goldstein: Not crazy about it.
ashitaka (long beach, ca): Hey KG! Jemile Weeks seems to be progressing nicely this season. What is his ceiling and timetable? Do you think he sticks at 2B?
Kevin Goldstein: I think he sticks at second, he's actually been better than expected there, and the athleticism is outstanding. There's star possibility there as an absolutely ideal No. 2 hitter.
Dave (Arlington, VA): After the big 3 O's pitchers get called up, how's the rest of their farm system looking?
Kevin Goldstein: Man, those big three pitchers are really good! Does that answer your question? There's some more good arms behind them, Zach Britton is especially of interest, but the position player group is VERY weak.
jb (NY): FYI, Naked Raygun announced that they're recording a new album. Excited or worried?
Kevin Goldstein: Both.
Doug (Portland, OR): Jake Fox's bat thus far has looked pretty good, but the Cubs don't seem to have any confidence with him behind the plate, and the consensus seems to be that he's not much help anywhere else on the field. Is his bat good enough for him to settle in with an AL team at DH?
Kevin Goldstein: I really don't know. I mean, there's no way the guy can catch, so give up on that right now. Still, five years from now, I could see him bouncing back between AAA and the big leagues with his fourth organization, becoming a decent established DH with someone -- not huge, but somewhat productive, or winning Japanese league HR titles. All of those are legitimate scenarios.
Jack (Boston): Is Lars still the Red Sox best prospect or has Casey Kelly passed him?
Kevin Goldstein: I'd take Kelly over Anderson pretty easily.
Scott (DC): "Velo-whore"? Are you a (track) cyclist?
Kevin Goldstein: One of many nickname. "Velo-whore" works, and I've also recently been crowned as "King Upside."
judyblum (MA): Would you take Josh Reddick over Lars Anderson?
Kevin Goldstein: Yup.
alskor (RI): Hey Kevin, Thanks for chatting,
Thoughts on Junichi Tazawa? What kind of ceiling are we looking at? Are you hearing anything?
Kevin Goldstein: Sure. I was lucky enough to chat last week with a veteran scout who sat on Portland for six games recently. He's thoughts on Tazawa mirror others, in that he's seen as a potential back-of-the-rotation piece. Deep arsenal, throws a ton of strikes, mixes things up, but doesn't blow anyone away.
collins (greenville nc): Would you say Rene Tosoni has risen much on the prospect charts this year? And best Husker Du record? (I like Zen Arcade.)
Kevin Goldstein: I think he's risen pretty significantly. Not into elite range or anything, but definitely a prospect on some sort. I find Zen Arcade to be almost trying TOO hard to prove something. Flip Your Wig does it more.
cardsfan89 (St. Louis): Have you heard anything about the Shelby Miller negotiations?
Kevin Goldstein: THere haven't really been any negotiations of substance, but don't let that concern you, it was always a deadline deal the second they took him.
Stephen Strasburg (Washington): Think I sign?
Kevin Goldstein: Yup.
BillJ (White Rock): OK, I get that one game "shouldn't" impact the evaluation of Brett Wallace's (or anyone else's) defense, even if it's the Futures game. So maybe my real question is: DOES the Futures game have that kind of effect? Are there scouts there who overvalue it?
Kevin Goldstein: None that I know of. It's a great opportunity to see a TON of guys in one day, but that's about it. Obviously see Matt Latos throw three times in real games this year is going to tell you far more than one inning on Sunday.
bigrick0016 (Cleveland): Can I call you Kage? Also, can you give me a reasonable answer as to why Eric Wedge won't play Matt LaPorta?
Kevin Goldstein: A. I prefer KG, but if that works for you, it's cool. I have a thing against "Kev" though. B. No, no I do not.
Lars Anderson (Portland): Wow, why all the hate? A 21-year-old who is one of the most patient hitters in the minors? Solid power upside with decent contact ability?
Kevin Goldstein: I didn't hate, I just said I'd take Kelly and Reddick over him. Would you?
myshkin (Santa Clara, CA): The Phillies' emphasis on drafting toolsheds really seems to be paying off. Are they doing anything exceptional on the player development front? Is it a matter of scouting the right toolsheds? Are they just getting lucky?
Kevin Goldstein: You buy a lot of lottery tickets, and sometimes you are going to scratch yourself off a winner. I know they get criticized a bit for having blinders on for upside only, but I like that strategy quite a bit.
strupp (madison): Strictly for Fantasy purposes, I've been holding onto Clay Bucholtz in a deep league... is this start to showcase him for the Red Sox, for Trade Partners, all of the above, none of the Above? Thanks for the chat!
Kevin Goldstein: All of the above.
mymrbig (New Orleans): Is Bowden a good comp for Tazawa, or is Tazawa a good comp for Bowden?
Kevin Goldstein: I like Bowden a tick more.
G. Guest (Kansas): I'm going out on a limb to say that a key to getting a question answered in a chat is to spell the player's name correctly.
Kevin Goldstein: Bad limb. Especially with me, as I focus far more on speed than accuracy in these things.
Jon (Rhode Island): When you say you like Darwin Barney, you mean in a utility infield way right? I mean there's no way a guy with 0 secondary skills can be a starter. Or at least deserve to be a starter.
Kevin Goldstein: What is he's a 70 defender? Was good enough for Elvis Andrus.
Mike (DET): How old are you? What college did you go to? What's your IQ?
Kevin Goldstein: 40, No school (non-drafted free agent, no idea but I'm ENTP on a Myers-Briggs test.
John (DC): MASN reporting a scout saying Xavier Avery is "perhaps the fastest and most athletic player he's ever seen in [the Orioles'] organization". Any word on him?
Kevin Goldstein: He's the fastest (him or Hudson), he's probably the most athletic, but he's a long way from being a big prospect.
Side Note to Nick -- If you submit the same question 142 times, I'm prone to ignore it.
Mark (LI): Didn't go to college? How the hell do you get to be an expert then?
Kevin Goldstein: Hard work?
heeler (Peoria, IL): Michael Taylor....good major league outfielder or future all-star?
Kevin Goldstein: I think at a minimum, he's somewhere in between that -- an above-average every day guy and occasional All-Star.
lemppi (Ankeny, IA): You like the Phillies toolshed philosophy. Do you also like the Dombrowski/Chadd Power Arm emphasis at the top of most drafts? Does it, by definition, leave their organization a little thin on position guys? Thanks.
Kevin Goldstein: If you have read the whole chat, you know my nickname is velo-whore, so yes, I do like it quite a bit, but I also share your concerns.
don (lansing): so the casey kelly thing: after boston lets him sew his wild oats at short for a couple months, is there any realistic chance he's done on a mound? at what point does doing both start to appreciably affect his development?
Kevin Goldstein: Like I've written a few times, what does he have to do to end up a shortstop instead of a pitcher? Hit .450? I think he's a pitcher next year. The cockeyed-optimist in me says at least his arm is safe this year.
Carlton (West Philly): Are Jason Knapp's secondary offerings good enough to have a front end rotation ceiling, or is he more likely to end up a reliever?
Kevin Goldstein: That's the frame and delivery of a rotation guy. The secondary stuff needs work, but what you are starting with is really pretty special.
cooper7d7 (East Hartford): Do teams rank their scouts and if so, by what means? Thanks.
Kevin Goldstein: Sure, guys lose their jobs. It happens. You can certainly go through a guy's reports and see how right/wrong he's been.
havybeaks (Michigan): Speaking of Myers-Briggs, do any organizations use it or a similar method to evaluate their young players?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes. Some teams use that, others use that Brain-typing thing. I don't know any organization that puts a TON into it however.
big baby (nj): Same question you just answered about Jason Knapp, only this time, Brad Holt.
Kevin Goldstein: Curveball is better, but still not refined. I like him quite a bit, but I'm still not totally sold on him as a starter.
Jeremy (Boston): Has Casey Kelly moved into your personal top 10 pitching prospects?
Kevin Goldstein: TEN? Probably a bit strong for me.
DanLong (NYC): best prospect in NYY organization not named Jesus or Austin?
Kevin Goldstein: Good question. Without thinking too much, my gut says Arodys.
birkem3 (Dayton, OH): I talked to a scout a few years ago who said that scouts switch organizations too often for teams to get an accurate reading on how good they are. Any truth to that?
Kevin Goldstein: There is a TON of movement. It's like so many other parts of the game where somebody know ends up in charge, and they want to bring their own people in.
Jeremy (Pittsburgh): Do you read what other people(blogs, other prospect websites) say about a prospect? Or do you get everything from scouts?
Kevin Goldstein: I prefer to get my information first-hand.
don (lansing): as a follow up the scout-ranking thing: would it be plausible for an organization to decide to pay scouts triple salary and try to raid all the best scouts from other organizations? if the nefarious yankees wanted to drop $5 million a year to bring in the 50 best scouts in baseball, anything to stop them?
Kevin Goldstein: Not a thing, and your ideas intrigue me and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.
cooper7d7 (East Hartford): Thanks for the answer. If I may follow up, how does the Org divorce the player development groups impact on a prospect from the scouting groups identification abilities? Some minor league coaches and instructors might be able to turn a turd into a diamond or do what you said in reference to Vitters - turn a .300 power guy into a .200 weakling.
Kevin Goldstein: In many cases, they don't do it well. I know plenty of guys who got axed or moved on to a another org who I'd want in a second if I was running things.
Marcus (Dallas): Have you seen Wilmer Font throw? What are your (or scouts you've talked to) observations?
Kevin Goldstein: He's a very, very big kid, kind of Zambrano big, with a very, very big fastball. That said, he's still quite raw, with a lot of questions about his secondary stuff, and some not-so-ideal mechanics. The heater is really special, he just needs to develop some things around it.
Kamryn (Wilmington): Kevin, Wilmer Flores is handling himself pretty well in Low-A. Is there a guy you liken him to? If he doesn't stick at SS can his bat play elsewhere?
Kevin Goldstein: He's just so young that he can go in so many directions. I still don't hate the Miggy Cab comp, but that's also way too much to compare a guy so far away to. There's nowhere he's a shortstop in the end, but I really like the bat.
Jay (Madison): Brandon Snyder was very good in AA but has been not so hot in limited time at AAA. Is he still an above average long-term solution for the O's at 1b?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't think he was ever an above-average long term solution for O's at first base, so, No.
:D (:-(): In the Ranger system, 1-2-3 is some combo of Smoak-Feliz-Perez. Do either Scheppers or Purke slot in at #4, if they sign with Texas?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm not sure I wouldn't take Purke over Perez. I mean, I PROBABLY wouldn't, but I'd think about it.
achaik (Bangor, ME): Are the Rangers taking the Joba approach with Neftali Feliz and converting him back to a starter next season or will he remain in the pen?
Kevin Goldstein: It's my understanding that this is a "help the team for now" kinda move.
RahulN (Oxford, England): Julio Teheran has had three good starts in a row, including 8 innings with 8 Ks the other day...any thoughts?
Kevin Goldstein: Believe . . .
Grace (Dayton): How much of a role does an organization's player development philosophy play in a player achieving his potential? Which teams do it best?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't think we can know that kind of thing. Say the Spiders draft John Doe in the first round and he's supposed to be a star, and it doesn't work out. Was the scout wrong? Did player development screw something up? It's hard to measure, and maybe John Doe is just an asshole who spends his $2 million drinking every night and puts no effort into it. There's no way to accurately say who's wrong here.
jake (sacramento): I've watchedthe improvement og Henry Rodriguezand do you think he's ready for the majors? Is he the next zumaya or another colome/franklyn german?
Kevin Goldstein: He's one of those things. At this point, are you convinced that Zumaya isn't another Colome/Franklyn German?
lannyc (San Diego): Finances aside if you could have 1 of Chapman or Strasburg who would you go with?
Kevin Goldstein: B.
bmd838 (Chicago): Do you think Vitters lack of walks is something that will become more problematic as he advances, or is he in the ichiro/nomar/vlad style where his bat control allows him to succeed anyway?
Kevin Goldstein: I think it's more B. there. It really is a situation where it's not like his pitch recognition is bad, it's just so many more balls are hittable when you have his kind of bat speed and barrel control.
dave (stockton): I know youve covered some kane county games, any info on closer mickey storey, been unhittable this season
Kevin Goldstein: Not as good as the numbers. Sinker/deception guy.
jbuofm (peoria): Have you seen Brett Wallace enough to have an opinion if he will or can stay at third base?
Kevin Goldstein: I haven't seen him enough, but scouts I talk to certainly have, and they tend to lean towards no. I still think you could see him come up there. He doesn't make embarrassing errors all day -- he actually has soft hands and a decent arm, it's just that he has the range of a lawn ornament. That's the thing that could help him. If he boots a ball, people go crazy; if a ball gets by him that any other third baseman would get to, people don't notice as much.
jeffstoned ((Brooklyn)): It seems to me that in prospects-for-veteran trades such as the one Ricciardi might be contemplating for Roy Halladay, teams look more for potential aces (Kyle Drabek) than potential all-star regulars (Michael Taylor). One, do you think this is an accurate observation, and two, do you think it's a wise philosophy? (Also: Zen Arcade ranks among humankind's greatest accomplishments.)
Kevin Goldstein: I do think that's accurate. When you hear people talk about Philly untouchables (even though it's all speculation) it's Drabek always, and even Knapp sometimes, but never Taylor. Aces are harder to find that All-Star outfielders, and I think that's the big difference.
Nick (Portland, OR): KG, are there many all-star or MLB regular caliber players sitting at home because they never got drafted? In other words, how effective is professional baseball at bringing into the game talented players (regardless of whether they draft them too high or too low)?
Kevin Goldstein: I actually don't think there are any. They might end up drafted to low, that certainly happens, but completely falling by the wayside? Can't see that.
Dave (Chicago): Is Sean Doolittle the A's starting rightfielder next year?
Kevin Goldstein: I hope not, for the sake of A's fans.
Joe V. (Washington, DC): Hi Kevin. Let's say that tomorrow you're made GM of a team. What's the first thing you do from an infrastructure standpoint (i.e. hire more scouts, make all pitchers go through some sort of computer analysis, etc.)?
Kevin Goldstein: The first thing I'd do is fire myself, as I'm wholly unqualified for the job. If forced to however, I really don't think I'd do anything horribly and hugely different.
David (Sonoma State University, CA): Thoughts on "Next Food Network Star?" I visited family in Texas recently who love the show and I was stuck watching.
Kevin Goldstein: Watched last season, but wasn't really into it -- I was entertained by the woman who wanted to be a big cooking star, yet couldn't touch a fish. Gimme Top Chef any day of the week.
Dave (Chicago): Is it that Doolittle isn't ready or do you not like him as a prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: Just not a big fan, you can't be a pretty good hitter to profile as an every day first baseman or right fielder, you need to be a great hitter, and I don't think Doolittle is that.
Bonds Fan (Bay Area): Did you give your thoughts on the all star game yet? I thought that it was cool for being short and also for the mvp going to a player for a defensive play.
Kevin Goldstein: I find it solid but unspectacular, nothing really crazy memorable. Watching with my laptop with entertaining twitters from friends, and informative ones from people there like John Perrotto, Derrick Gould and Matt Leach made it way more enjoyable.
Kyle (Deerborn, MI): KG, You rock, thanks for this extended chat! You've been riding Grant Desme's breakout season from the beginning, what kind of upside does he have and do scouts give a comparison?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know if I'm riding it -- I'm not starting a bandwagon or anything, I just really like power/speed guys. The K's are a big concern, the age a minor one. One very smart guy I know though in a perfect world, if everything goes right, he could end up an Eric Byrnes type.
Bob (ANA): What's the deal with Brandon Wood - is he still someone that could be a well above average offensive player?
Kevin Goldstein: Yup.
big baby (nj): I understand that this isn't really a prospect question, but I keep hearing that Billy Beane will be content to get the 2 draft picks for Holliday. Seeing as how the Brewers were undone by the Yankees signing Teixeira, and with the prospect of the Mets having a protected pick next year, how wise of a strategy is that? Shouldn't they settle for one established prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: I think that's just smart posturing. If I have a nice car, and I put a for sale sign on it, and somebody comes and kicks the tires but doesn't offer much, wouldn't it make more sense for me to say I'm fine with keeping it if nobody wants to pay me what it's worth?
Harry (HJ): Has James McOwen's hitting streak propelled him to prospect status?
Kevin Goldstein: Not a ton. He's a tweener for me.
Kevin Goldstein: Ok, folks. After two-plus hours, my time is done here. Sorry I couldn't get to every question (except the Arodys Vizcaino question that the guy clicked send out 141 times), but I'll be back soon -- I promise.