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Chat: Kevin Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday December 11, 2009 1:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Goldstein.


With the Winter Meetings wrapped up and the Rule 5 draft done, you won't want to miss out on asking Kevin Goldstein your questions about the talent that moved.

Kevin Goldstein: Hey folks. I'm back from Indy after a nightmare travel day, but it's good to be here for a chat before I dissapear for a week. Top 11s will return the week of the 19th, and at a much quicker pace.

Hugh Mann (Earth): I know we're being guided to ask about the Rule 5 draft, but does anyone really care anymore? You don't even have anyone listed as a favorite to stick. As for the meetings, what were the D'backs thinking? Any chance that Kennedy can be more than a fifth starter?

Kevin Goldstein: People REALLY care, but I have to agree, the signal to noise ratio on the rule 5 is INSANE.

Mike (Utica,NY): Do you think Montero or Vizcaino will be moved for Halladay?

Kevin Goldstein: I have no idea. I do think that if the Yankees want Halladay, Montero is going to have to be in the deal. Montero in Toronto would suddenly remind a lot of people of Carlos Delgado, who also came up as a catcher and ended up quickly moving to 1B.

evolution (Chicago): Last year, Rule 5 pick David Patton spent a good chunk of the year on the Cubs' 15-day disabled list and was even allowed to rehab in the minor leagues. What prevents a team from inventing an injury for a Rule 5 pick, sticking him on the DL for most of the season, and developing him in the minors the following year?

Kevin Goldstein: There is an investigation process for cheating the DL. Do clubs push the boundaries a bit? Absolutely, but an out and out lie and fabrication would be ugly.

jbk (ny): Do you think the depth of OF, esp. in CF Heathcott, Duran, Sosa, etc. made A.Jackson expendable? Or was the bigger factor that he wouldn't be ready this year? What is your view of Granderson vs. Jackson?

Kevin Goldstein: The fact that the Yankees could get Curtis Granderson made Austin Jackson expendable. Jackson is ready right now, and will likely start for Detroit. I think Granderson is a better overall player, but not by a ton. At the same time, I also think Granderson is the perfect fit for the Yankees. That was a strange trade where I think both the Yankees and Tigers did great -- the D-Backs . . . not so much.

Andrew (Chicago): While I'm not delusional enough to convince myself he'll be any sort of All-Star, I'm developing quite the prospect crush on the Tyler Henley (Cardinals). What do you see as his ceiling?

Kevin Goldstein: I'd feel better if I though he could play center. I'm not sure how well he profiles in a corner, leaving him as a bit of a tweener who might just be a nice bench piece in the end at best.

raygu1 (Burlington, NJ): Kevin-you've been pretty vocal about Dee Gordon. Who has the better career, Gordon or Starlin Castro? Who is a good comp for Gordon? I've read someone say Jose Reyes and another say Jimmy Rollins-accurate or no?

Kevin Goldstein: I like Gordon better, but he's way more risky. Castro has a way better shot at a big league career, while Gordon has a better chance of being in All-Star games. I think I through out the Rollins comp. It's a Rollins tool set, but he's not there yet, and when Rollins was the same age as Gordon, he was nearly big league ready.

Tom (Chicago): Not a huge fan of Hector Rondon? Too hittable? Could he be a good Andy Sonnanstine wih his control?

Kevin Goldstein: Rondon's stuff is WAY better than Sonnanstine.

brian (brooklyn): I am exciting by the Clint Everts signing because in my opinion this is the first time in a LONG time that the Mets have taken what seems to be a high reward low risk gamble. What exactly is the highest possible reward for Everts at this point?

Kevin Goldstein: Highest reward is probably LOOGY or lefty middle reliever, but I'm sure rooting for him.

Will Brown (Dolores, Colo. ): Any significant change in Michael Ynoa's prospect status after the lost year?

Kevin Goldstein: Change, but not a ton. Reports this winter on him in the Dominican have been quite encouraging.

jonwakelin (Chicago): Kevin, do you see Jiovanni Mier becoming a better-than-average offensive SS or is most of his value with the glove?

Kevin Goldstein: I think he at least has a CHANCE to become that, and that's saying something right there.

Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): How much should we worry about Carlos Santana's injury? Does that delay his contention for the starting C gig on the lake?

Kevin Goldstein: It COULD. My understanding is that common recovery time for the surgery he had matches up almost perfectly with when pitchers and catchers report, so any delay could mean a shorter spring for him.

rude (ny): Who do you think is the favorite for Chapman? How much will he get, and are the Yankees laying low or are they as they had said, really not interested?

Kevin Goldstein: They're certainly going to be at Chapman's workout next week in Houston. I would set the odds at around 80% that EITHER the Yankees or Red Sox sign him, for somewhere around 18 million.

Rob (Alaska): What remains of Max Ramirez' prospect status and where would he fit in the Red Sox Top 11? Any chance he's a catcher in the end?

Kevin Goldstein: There's still belief in the bat, and he's done well in Venezuela this winter, but I don't think he can catch in the big leagues, and I don't know where else to put him.

Randy (Camden County): If you had to guess and could only offer us generalities, would you think the Rule-IVers from 2009 are going to take fewer spots on your personal 100 than other recent draft classes? Seems likely. Bonus question: Miguel Jean: top 25?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm guessing the number will be roughly the same, but their average ranking will be lower. Bonus question: Not that high.

Sam (Tennessee): What do you project for Hak Ju Lee offensively? Can he be a .300/.400/.400 SS with 40 SBs when all is said and done?

Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely perfect world projection? yes.

Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): A follow up question on Santana if you're feeling particularly generous. Should we worry about the injury's effects on his power potential, or is this akin to TJ for P (i.e., there's no "normal" recovery)? Thank you. Here's hoping the travel doesn't rob us of a long PM here.

Kevin Goldstein: More of a Will question. In general hand/wrist stuff can sap power for up to a year, but I don't know the exact nature of the injury to be sure. I was just given a recovery timeline.

Mark (Virginia Beach): Who do you think will make the biggest impression in the majors this year out of the 2009 draft class...excluding Strasburg?

Kevin Goldstein: Mike Trout, Brett Jackson, Gio Mier.

Brandon Wood (LA): Free Chris Iannetta!!!

Kevin Goldstein: Oh stop it.

Matt (Oregon): I am about to beat Demon's Souls. Do you think I should start new game+? If not, what do I buy next. I am feeling "Batman-y"

Kevin Goldstein: I briefly started one, and might go back to it -- it was still great, and clearly my Game Of The Year. I haven't started anything too exciting of late, as my girlfriend put a temporary restraining order on me from buying new game with Xmas coming and all.

Jeff (Pittsburgh): Since Austin Jackson was traded in the time between top 11s, is there any chance that we could get the report that was going to appear on the Yankees' list? Thanks Kevin.

Kevin Goldstein: I'll address it briefly in the end section for you.

Paul (DC): What do you think the Yanks will do with Cabrera/Gardner? What is the best prospect that they could expect in return for one of them?

Kevin Goldstein: I think Gardner's value always lied as a very good bench outfielder as opposed to a marginal starter on a championship level club. I like him over Cabrera because of his ability to play center and the 80 speed.

Randy (Camden County): Which pairing represents the silliest comp in the prospect hype machine from the last 12 months? A) Martin Perez & Johan Santana, B) Dee Gordon & Jose Reyes, C) Smoak & Teixiera, and D) Starlin & Hanley? Which is most realistic? I know you like to avoid comps yourself, but do see any now that just seem realistic (likely not my list of outlandish ones)? Thank you.

Kevin Goldstein: I'm going of the board and picking the Dom Brown (Phillies) = Darryl Strawberry one. Easily the laziest of the current comps. Yes, he's LH, African-American, tall and lanky, but that's about it. Go look at what Daryl did at the same age as Brown.

Rob (Alaska): Follow up on Miguel (Angel Sano) Jean. Last year Ynoa was the only five star international FA, and the top hitters like Rafael and Yorman Rodriguez were only three stars. Is Jean THAT far ahead of other Latin hitters? Is he a once in a decade type talent similar to Ynoa?

Kevin Goldstein: He's close. He's better than any Latin American position player from last year, that's for sure. The bat is truly special.

Hendrix164 (Hartford, CT): Does the signing of Harden at all affect what the Rangers plan to do with Neftali Feliz next year?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think the Rangers have decided on that, but I don't think the Harden signing effects it much at all, as basically the Millwood trade evens them out roster wise.

Neil (NJ): Best/worst Rule V pick-up? Player most likely to stick (if not mentioned above)?

Kevin Goldstein: I got full odds on every player -- just look at the home page.

gogotabata (durham, nc): I am getting wildly different readings on Brett Jackson, from overdraft pick all the way to being a potential Sizemore/Rasmus/Westmoreland type of athletic centerfielder. What is your current take?

Kevin Goldstein: His tools are outstanding, deserving of a much higher pick, but there are definitely concerns about his overall hitting ability. Ceiling wise though, he's almost elite level.

don (lansing, MI): Joe Sheehan, in his article and chat earlier this week, pretty confidently stated that Austin Jackson cannot be an average big league CF defensively, the only stated evidence being that he put in some time at corner OF in AAA last year. He sort of poo-pooed the trade (from a detroit perspective) based on his opinion that Jackson in a corner is 4th OF. Are you at all concerned that Jackson wont' stick in center throughout his 20s at least?

Kevin Goldstein: I think Jackson will be just fine in center.

Neil (NJ): The Phillies will be sorry if they trade ______ for Doc Halladay.

Kevin Goldstein: Chase Utley. Provided they could get Halladay to sign an extension, there is no Philly prospect who should be untouchable.

Shane (The Bay Area): KG, From the scouts you've spoken to does Grant Green have enough glove to stick at short?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes. Is he Ozzie Smith there? Absolutely not. But he can stick there for a while.

chaneyhey (St. Louis): What happens to Adam Dunn this year and beyond?

Kevin Goldstein: He keeps doing the same thing he's done forever. Hit around .250 with 40 bombs, 120 walks, 180 Ks and unbelievable defense (in a hilariously awful way).

Sacha (Scapa Flow): KG, Who do you like more to bounce back next year, Lars Anderson or Eric Hosmer?

Kevin Goldstein: I love this question, just because I stared it for at least a minute while trying to come up with an answer. I give Anderson a SLIGHT edge, but only because he's at least had some past pro success.

rogero (philly): Looks like Scott Sizemore will get a shot to be Detroit's 2B. I think he has a chance to develop into an impact bat. Overly optimistic?

Kevin Goldstein: I think 'impact' is a bit optimistic, but I'm a big Sizemore fan and think he'll be at least as productive as Polanco was.

Carlos (CA): If we are to believe what we read (always a risky proposition) in the Halladay saga, the Angels offered a package of Aybar, Saunders, and Bourjos, and the Jays countered by asking for Napoli instead of Aybar. Assuming this is accurate, which package do you think is stronger? Would the Angels live to regret giving up either package?

Kevin Goldstein: I'd rather have Aybar than Napoli, but maybe that's just me. The Angels MIGHT slightly regret it long term, but I've also heard that the deal is contingent on the Angels being able to negotiate an extension w/ Halladay.

Anonymous (CA): Hi Kevin! Love your work. What's your opinion of Kyle Blanks?

Kevin Goldstein: Fat guy just hits and hits and I think he'll continue to do so.

Dan (Hartford, CT): Another year, another Adam Miller surgery. Any reports as to whether he'll contribute in 2010 following the latest news with his finger? Still "career-threatening?" Thanks for the chat, KG.

Kevin Goldstein: I think anything from him in the majors at this point is a longshot. Sad, sad story.

jarjets89 (NJ): What do you think of the Josh Johnson for Justin Smoak and Neftali rumor? even if it was just a rumor

Kevin Goldstein: I think the Rangers would be silly silly silly to do that.

evolution (Chicago): Can Madison Bumgarner out-Lincecum Tim Lincecum?

Kevin Goldstein: Maybe in basketball.

Jake (St. Louis): Your sleeper Cardinal prospect is ____________?

Kevin Goldstein: Dude, I'm having enough problems coming up with 11. The cupboards are VERY, VERY bare.

bill (NJ): theoretically, does replacing jackson with chapman help or hurt the overall talent ranking of the yankee farm system?

Kevin Goldstein: Jackson's a good prospect, Chapman is a fantastic one.

Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): Best album of the year:________ ; Best song of the year: _________. Bonus question: Is Kid A the Michael Jordan & Albert Pujols of the decade in music? I say yes.

Kevin Goldstein: I have no idea. I'm so not hip. I used to be the hippest guy in the room. I'm the guy who saw the Pixies at The Rathskeller in Boston with maybe 18 other people. I'm the guys who had bootleg tapes from Pavement before they had a record. At some point, when it comes to music, you kind of shut it down at lock in your tastes. It's part of being 40 I guess, but many of my friends are in the same place. Also, Radiohead tends to get horribly overrated.

dianagramr (NYC): True or false: The slimmer, trimmer 2010 version of Pablo Sandoval will be a strong MVP candidate.

Kevin Goldstein: A. Are we sure he'll be slimmer and trimmer?
B. (More difficult bonus question) -- Are we sure that being slimmer and trimmer makes him a better player?

Dan (Denver): Kevin, would you trade the Rockies top 11 prospects for Longoria and Heyward? I ask because the Rox get a lot of credit for developing their farm system, but they obviously missed big on these two (Greg Reynolds/Casey Weathers). What skill is better - consistent approach or hitting home runs in the draft/LA? Thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: I think the Rockies generally deserve a lot of credit for their drafting and player development, but that does not take away from the massive mistake they took in taking Reynolds, nor does it excuse some of the ridiculous reasons for the selection. I at least think they've gotten past it.

dtisch30 (New York): Given the depth of the Yankees' catching situation throughout the minors (last few drafts and international signing periods have had them spending bit behind the plate) could they give up Romine? Is there any sort of good return for a player like him? Thanks for the chat

Kevin Goldstein: I think Romine is down for most people. His AFL reports were really poor, especially defensively.

evolution (Chicago): Were the pro debuts of Bobby Borchering and Matt Davidson supremely disappointing, or do they get a pass because they are so young?

Kevin Goldstein: High school pro debuts mean pretty much nothing. Borchering's scouting reports were outstanding.

jonwakelin (chicago): Kevin, when do you think Chris Carter and Brett Wallace will hit the majors?

Kevin Goldstein: At some point in 2010, but not Opening Day.

Dan (Philly): Are the Royals looking at moving DeJesus? What kind of a package would be necessary to get him?

Kevin Goldstein: I get the feeling that while he's available, the Royals think he's much more valuable than any interested teams do. If he can't play center, he's a fringe starter at best.

Griffin (Santiago de Chile): Matzek/Chacin/Friedrich -- in that order?

Kevin Goldstein: No.

Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): Do you still feel like Travis Snider will develop into an all-star calibre player?

Kevin Goldstein: I really do.

kevin (boston): So let me get this straight the astros give brandon lyon $15 million to be a mediocre reliever on an awful team with a bad farm system, and one of the best pitching prospects in years would only have cost about $3 million more? Over/under June 15th on Wade's firing?

Kevin Goldstein: No clue on the firing, but I totally did not get that signing on any level.

Susan (Bay Area): If Tim Lincecum were a free agent right now, would it be silly to think he would get a 8 yeay/200 million dollar offer?

Kevin Goldstein: 8? Wow. I could see 6-150 maybe.

Sacha (Scapa Flow): If you were the Jays and could only land one of Bucholtz or C. Kelly, which do you take and why?

Kevin Goldstein: Buchholz has the advantage in terms of both upside and big league readiness, so it's a no brainer for me.

ramjam36 (Fort Worth, TX): How are you feeling about Michael Main and Engel Beltre heading into next season?

Kevin Goldstein: By all accounts, Main will be healthy so I'm very optimistic. Beltre has the tools, so I'm somwhat optimistic, based on age, but at some point he HAS to make adjustments are it's going to be all wasted.

Rob (Alaska): I don't mean this to sound like 20/20 hindsight, but were there teams other than the Royals who saw Hosmer as a top 5 talent? The availability of Smoak and Alonso at the same position, with similarly high ceilings and both obviously that much closer to the majors makes it seem a very odd pick.

Kevin Goldstein: Yes. For example, we spoke of the Greg Reynolds selection by Colorado earlier. I don't know ANYONE other than Colorado who thought he deserved to go that high, while everyone assumed Hosmer would. Nobody criticized the pick at the time, it just hasn't worked out yet.

jerry (central park west): Rathskeller, huh? I once saw Talking Heads there, and there were about 3 people there. Guess I'm older than you, lol. Did you grow up a Red Sox fan?

Kevin Goldstein: I did not grow up in Boston, but I did spend a lot of time there for work in my late teens and early 20s.

jbk (ny): Do you think Joba's stock has fallen? Do you see him going in a Halladay deal?

Kevin Goldstein: I think it's certainly fallen a bit, but I think the combination of his uttlerly unrepeatable debut and inherent Yankee-ness made it way too high in the first place. I think the Yankees are mostly to blame here for jerking him around role-wise.

Ron (Vancouver): Is there any hope left for your 2009 sleeper prospect, Justin Jackson? I see a player that has trouble making contact, doesn't have power, and is still very raw in the field. The only plus skill he has right now is drawing walks.

Kevin Goldstein: I think there's a glimmer of hope, and I think he's much better defensively than you state here.

Tom (Chicago): Please further explain your pick of Dee Gordon over Starlin Castro when Castro performed better, at a higher level, and at a younger age in 2009.

Kevin Goldstein: It's really an upside versus certainty bet. Gordon just CRUSHES Castro on a tools level overall. I think Castro might really be a .300 hitter, but it's pretty empty with little power and few walks, and while he's a good fundamental defender, his range and speed are both average to a tick below, and I wonder how long he can stay there.

Rhys26 (Kansas City): A debate's been raging on another site, as to who is the better prospect, Chris Withrow or Jenry Mejia? I say both may wind-up in the pen, if they don't develop better secondary offerings. Care to weigh in?

Kevin Goldstein: I think you're first comment there is VERY accurate. I like them both quite a bit -- there's no slam dunk obviously better one.

Tiger Woods (Undisclosed Location ): Who disappointed you more this year, myself or Lars Anderson?

Kevin Goldstein: If Tiger Woods disappointed you, you might want to get out of baseball. I don't care who your favorite team is, go over to MLB.com and click on their 40 man roster. You know how many of them are doing what Tiger did on one level or another? Somewhere around half. These are crazy rich, generally good looking and fit professional athletes. I'm not approving of, or condoning the behavior in any way, but the only difference between Tiger and about 2,000 other pro athletes across a myriad of sports is that he's maybe the biggest star there is, and he GOT CAUGHT. Rant over, moving on.

Greg75 (Washington): True or False, Derek Norris will be at the top, or near the very top, of the list for catching prospects by the end of next season?

Kevin Goldstein: That's true now, no? I think he's one of the top catching prospects in the game.

Ron (Vancouver): Kevin, if you were a top tier HS or College prospect, you would hire Scott Boras as your advisor right?

Kevin Goldstein: I might. It depends. He'd absolutely be among my final choices.

Goose (Chicago): Although not nearly the defeneder Emilio Bonifacio is at 2B, wouldn't the Marlins be best suited putting Chris Coghlan at 2B should they deal Dan Uggla based on the value of his bat in the infield?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Jeff (Pittsburgh): Is the power that Drew Stubbs showed in his brief MLB stint legitimate?

Kevin Goldstein: If not, it's awfully damn close. I could see him doing 15-20 home runs annually, maybe even a bit more.

Ryan (New York, NY): What can you tell us about Baseball Prospectus' long term vision?

Kevin Goldstein: I couldn't be more excited about some of the things we have planned for 2010 -- we'll have all of that information soon, but I think our readers will be VERY happy.

Chachi (Chicago): Who is your favorite pitcher from 2009 to exhaust their rookie status, without generating any serious ROY noise, to have an impact next year?

Kevin Goldstein: Mat Latos.

Glenn (Waterdown, PA): Garret Jones will almost certainly have a regression this year, but do you still think he's a guy that can hit .280-.290 and smack 30hr's?

Kevin Goldstein: More like .250 and 20-25 for me.

G. Guest (KS): I appreciate the fact that not every team on your Top 11 lists has 5 Star prospects. Any teams in danger of not having a 4?

Kevin Goldstein: Toronto.

jlewando (DC): Follow up on your Cards top 11 comment: is Robert Stock a possible 4- or 5-star prospect among that weak group?

Kevin Goldstein: Stars are relative to ALL OF BASEBALL, not just the team, so he's nowhere close to that kind of classification.

Joe (TN): In your Rule 5 Wrap you said Pittsburgh may be a perfect fit for John Raynor. If it comes down to Raynor vs. Brandon Moss for the 4th outfielder position, who do you like going forward?

Kevin Goldstein: Raynor offers the speed and ability to play up the middle, but I don't think that costs Moss a job. I think it's Moss and Raynor for the 4th and 5th jobs.

ashitaka (long beach, ca): If the A's don't dump Jack Cust, where do you see Jake Fox playing in Oakland? Can he fake it at 3B or does he just embarrass himself?

Kevin Goldstein: Jake Fox makes Cust look like a gold glove candidate at any position. He is, like Cust, a DH only.

G. Guest (KS): With a lot of the better 3B FA's spoken for or signed, does this force Baltimore's hand on Josh Bell getting a serious look earlier in 2010?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think they ever wanted more than a one-year stop gap in the first place.

paulbellows (Calgary): Why doesn't college ball use wooden bats? It would certainly help in the transition to the majors for the prospects there, as well as be safer for everybody.

Kevin Goldstein: Because metal bats don't break. It's all about money.

BR (NYC): Kevin, any outlandish predictions you'd like to suggest for 2010, baseball or otherwise?

Kevin Goldstein: I predict that both new and old subscribers will be very happy with some of the new things they see from us.

Kevin Goldstein: And that's a perfect time to close. I hope everyone has a great holiday season.

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