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Chat: Kevin Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday September 02, 2011 2:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Goldstein.


Join BP's wizard of youth Kevin Goldstein for another scintillating look at the world of baseball prospects and barbeque sauce.

Kevin Goldstein: It's Friday. I was going to play only songs that related to Friday, but I quickly ran out, so I'm just blasting whatever and look forward to your questions and silliness.

Husky (DeKalb): You clearly expect Strasburg to dominate if he can stay healthy? Do you expect him to stay healthy over the next few seasons?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm starting with a question from DeKalb, and if you are not from DeKalb, nice ruse. He'll be on a short leash in these September outs, but I think he'll be just fine, and dominant down the road. No reason he can't stay healthy, and no reason he can't get hurt. Welcome to pitchers.

cuza25 (New York): Love to hear your thoughts on Tony Wolters. And what are the tribe going to do with both him and Lindor at SS?

Kevin Goldstein: I think Cleveland (and the industry) always saw him as somebody who would move to 2B at some point in his development, so it's not a big worry. I do like Wolters' hitting ability and athleticism quite a bit.

Kcroyalman (Kc): Right now who is ROY? Who finishes the season there?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't know, I guess Kimbrel and somebody? I'm seriously not that into awards, and I don't understand why people get worked up about them. If a guy wins or gets robbed, it doesn't change anything about the player himself, and I don't need the opinions of some BBWAA guys to validate how I feel about a guy. So whatever, give it Tim Collins and Jose Altuve as far as I'm concerned.

bob (jersey): what do you think about marlins prospect cristian yelich? any success in the majors?

Kevin Goldstein: Big big fan. Can hit, has developing power and can run a bit. Tons to like there.

Cracker (Barrel): I understand that the Cubs are unlikely to get Epstein or Cashman as their GM but it would seem to me that the Cubs could make Rays' GM Andrew Friedman an offer this off-season that he couldn't refuse and that the Rays couldn't match. Thoughts? Would the Cubs be smart to go this route?

Kevin Goldstein: If I'm going after someone with the Rays hoping for a Rays-esque turn around, I'm going after Gerry Hunsicker.

Kissy Kissy Bang Bang (Japan): Where does Harper start in 2012 and what does his MLB line look like by year's end?

Kevin Goldstein: Probably back at Double-A. I think he'll struggle in the big leagues initially if called up in 2012.

Jacob (Springfield): Realistic to expect Kolten Wong to start next year in AA Springfield?

Kevin Goldstein: Not out of the question, but getting there during some point in the season is probably a more realistic expectation.

GEO (KC): Matzek is doing a lot better, but the BB rates are still way too scary-high for me - your thoughts?

Kevin Goldstein: The turn around has been remarkable, but it hasn't been perfect. 2012 will give us a much better feel for the efficacy of what he's doing, but you have to be at least optimistic.

DanLong (NYC): Inevitable Montero Question: didn't do anything at the plate, which i'm sure the media will make a big deal about (RISPFAIL!!!!), but he never really looked outmatched, even in the 6 pitch strike out in the first inning. If you are given certainty that he'll ONLY start against lefty pitchers at DH for the remainder of September, what's your prediction for his 2011 line at MLB level?

Kevin Goldstein: If he's only going to start against LHP, what am I getting? 35 plate appearances? He could hit .100/.150/.250 in that or .400/.500/.800.

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): The number of Yankees' pitchers in their system who are a part of their rotation in 2013 is ____.

Kevin Goldstein: At least two.

robertgold (New York): Has Drew Smyly's outstanding run of starts in AA raised his ceiling in your eyes?

Kevin Goldstein: Not really. I think he's plenty good, but no reason to see him as a front-end starter.

huggirl (DC): Thoughts on Joc Pederson? What's his upside? Is he a CF long-term?

Kevin Goldstein: Probably more of a corner guy, but I do believe in the bat.

Luke (Dallas): Have scouts seen any improvements in Jake Skoles game over the course of the year? Is he CF? Does he have a chance to be more than a solid average regular?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes; No; No. Bat still has to prove it can play in the corner.

James (New York): Thanks for the chat, KG, getting me through the last few hours at work. Not exactly a prospect question, but any thoughts on Hellickson's K% (perhaps a tad lower than expected) and BB% (higher than expected)? Cause for concern, or mostly impressive that other numbers (H/9, WHIP, good ole ERA) are so low in spite of his peripherals?

Kevin Goldstein: I think he'll be fine, and he's the kind of pitcher who needs to learn how to pitch in the big leagues with his style and stuff, so it's a bit more of a learning curve.

CN (Toronto): I don't know why you don't understand why people get worked up about awards. We are talking about Sports after all. Competitive people like to win something, anything.

Kevin Goldstein: That explains why players might care. That doesn't explain why YOU care so much.

Nik (Hamilton): Any explanations for Travis D'Arnaud's power spike this year? Good hitter's environment, or just a talented guy figuring things out?

Kevin Goldstein: Definitely B. Power potential was always there, and this is all a guy figuring things out. Nothing fluky there, it's all real.

Paul (DC): Anything worth noting (other than delayed by injury) on this summer's performance by last year's fav under the radar prospect Jean Segura?

Kevin Goldstein: He looked pretty good at shortstop. That's important.

Colin (chicago): In a few years from now do you think B.Jackson could be putting up numbers similar to McCutchen's now?

Kevin Goldstein: Good lord no. He'll never be that good a hitter.

Bret (Toronto): To keep it simple, Kyle Drabek's 2011: WTF?

Kevin Goldstein: Fell completely apart mechanically and stuck in the tall weeds now.

Matt (Cincy): With the success bettis and arenando had this season what upside do you see with both of them in the majors at some point?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm a bigger fan of Bettis than I am Arenado. Arenado is a good hitter, but I'm not sure the power is there away from the Cal League, and he's a free swinger.

Imperialism32 (NJ): Is Justin O'Conner's 40% strikeout rate fixable?

Kevin Goldstein: Be concerned. Be very, very concerned.

Paul (Waterloo): I hear a lot of talk about how Anthony Gose needs to learn "how to hit." He certainly has a low batting average, but essentially every other number is quite nice. Could he develop to put up a similar line - .250 average, .350 OBP, 15 HR, 60SB - in the majors? If he can, with his defense (from what I've read), that's a hell of a player.

Kevin Goldstein: The only assumption I don't like is the .350 OBP. If he hits .250 in the big leagues, I can't see him putting up a .350 OBP. MLB pitchers are worlds better than Double-A ones control and command wise.

lemppi (Iowa): Would Rick Porcello, at age 22, fall into the same category that you just put Jeremy Hellickson in? I.E. with his stuff he needs time to learn, even after 3 seasons? Thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: That's a fascinating way to look at things, and while I'm not totally convinced, I think it's possible to think you are onto something.

Jake (Kalamazoo): Odd that the Cards are sending a low A guy like Oscar Taveras to the AFL? Just listening to the podcast in which Jason said the AFL is for guys you want to put on the 40 man who might play in the majors in 2012. That isn't the plan for Taveras is it? Although I just looked it up and was surprised that he is already 21.

Kevin Goldstein: I think it's a situation where injuries kept St. Louis from getting him a better challenge during the year, so they are going to do it now. I'm cool with it.

Andy (Chicago): What in the world went wrong with Seth Blair? Terrible numbers/year for a guy who while wasn't expected to set the world on fire, was at least expected to be a solid starter in the minors once he started playing games.

Kevin Goldstein: Stuff isn't good either. Just hasn't been anything close to the guy we saw in college.

Noah (SD): What do you think of Tyler Pastornicky? Is he a starting SS, or just a utility player?

Kevin Goldstein: Could be an every day guy. Not a star, but solid every day guy.

Austin Milbarge (Washington D.C.): I've read conflicting reports on Wil Myers about his soft numbers this year. Is it injury related or are there some effort questions around him? ETA second half of 2013?

Kevin Goldstein: It's hard to say. The knee injury, and resulting infection certainly effected him, but he's never looked like the guy we saw last year.

Matt (Chicago): Vitters:turning the corner or still not enough BBs , in your opinion?

Kevin Goldstein: There has certainly been progress this year, but the question remains as to whether it's been ENOUGH progress.

Aside -- Protip: Asking me to rank 12 guys probably is a question I'm not going to answer.

John (RI): What do you think of Drake Britton's season? Disappointing after last year.

Kevin Goldstein: Velocity is still there at least, but nothing else took a step forward.

Ryan (NJ): Mason Williams. 4th outfielder, average starter, all-star, super star?

Kevin Goldstein: He's 20 years old and in the New York Penn League, so he could end up any of the above. the fact that star is a possibility is a good thing.

dharris (ny): Better future - Henderson Alvarez or Zach Britton?

Kevin Goldstein: Britton.

Rodd (The Loop): People get worked up about players winning awards maybe because they like the player or the team for whom the player plays. Fans like KCRoyalman may feel good for that person, and/or perhaps because KC's competitive he feels a sense of winning as well when a favored player wins something. You don't have to be such a douche about it KG.

Kevin Goldstein: I said I don't care about them, and I explained why. If that makes me a douche so be it. I thought I had to wear Affliction shirts to be a douche, though.

Dallas Comegys (DePaul): Between JD Martinez, Michael Fiers, and Miles Mikolas, how did Nova Southeastern not make the NCAAs in 2009?

Kevin Goldstein: Because they are a D-II school. Where's Kenny Patterson? Your name made me laugh, I hope that doesn't make me a douche.

JR (Dallas): Have you had a chance to see Matt West yet?

Kevin Goldstein: No, but I've talked to those that have and the stuff is totally filthy. There's still some harnessing that has to happen, but he has a shot at moving quickly in 2012.

Tim (Portland, OR): KG, thanks for answering my podcast question about Logan Morrison's development path. Do you think he can be 300/400/500 guy or is that a little too rich?

Kevin Goldstein: That's a little too rich for my blood, but I don't think it's totally insane.

Lloyd Cole (Chicago): When do you believe Joe Benson will reach the majors? Is he a genuine power/speed guy? A starting OF? What's his upside?

Kevin Goldstein: Where are the Commotions? I think we'll see Benson in 2012 and he still has some development in him. The power, the speed and the arm are all true plus tools, I just don't think he'll ever hit for a high average.

Paul (DC): Can Lorenzo Cain play an acceptable MLB centerfield? And is he the Royals best option for CF next year?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes and Yes and I'm baffled as to why the Royals seem intent on burying him.

Yu Darvish (Japanimationland): What will my posting fee be?

Kevin Goldstein: It's a great question and one lots of people are wondering about. I don't have a good answer, as it could get crazy, or the lessons of Dice-K could keep in lower than expected.

Shawnthemon (Toronto): What is your opinion on Jake Marisnick, is he a legit top prospect? 20/40 guy down the line?

Kevin Goldstein: I think he was the best position prospect in the Midwest League this year. He's not a 40 stolen base guy down the road, but he could be a thrilling power/speed guy in center.

Tom (East Bay): How much stock do you put into Rymer Liriano's season? Do the raw tools match the success that he's had?

Kevin Goldstein: There's a lot of reality there, as the tools are legitimately there.

Robert (New York): Do either Corban Joseph or Zoilo Almonte have a chance of starting for the Yankees?

Kevin Goldstein: Highly doubtful.

John (Pittsburgh): Do the Pirates have any prospects that could help in 2012?

Kevin Goldstein: Don't be surprised if Jeff Locke finds his way to the big leagues next year.

Aaron (YYZ): Is Mike Scioscia crazy or is Hank Conger's defense really that bad? Would the rest of the league just live with it because the bat is so good?

Kevin Goldstein: Well, I don't know if the bat is THAT good, but the total package is obviously a much better one than Jeff Mathis.

timber (KS): What can you tell me about Edwin Carl, he of the insane 71-3 K/BB ratio in 33 IP? I had never heard of him until the last month or so.

Kevin Goldstein: He's 23 and dominated the Pioneer League. There's some stuff and lots of control there, but he's a sleeper at best.

Zach (Toronto): Ceiling for Lawrie and d'Arnaud?

Kevin Goldstein: All-Star x 2

Robert (New York): Could Hector Noesi be a #3 starter in the AL East?

Kevin Goldstein: No. 4 or 5.

Matt (KC): Are you encouraged by what seems a diminishing chance of hard slotting?

Kevin Goldstein: Very much so. It's such a horrible idea on so many levels.

Wes (NYC): Addison Reed called up today. Can he miss bats in the majors to the degree he's done in the minors and if so, how long before he's the best reliever in CWS 'pen/closing?

Kevin Goldstein: As I wrote this week, assuming Buehrle is gone, I move Sale to the rotation and Reed to the back of the bullpen. True closer possibilities and I think he's outstanding.

Sean (Edmonton): What do you see in Travis Snider's future?

Kevin Goldstein: I wish I knew. He's like my new Brandon Wood where I keep saying I like the guy and he keeps letting me down.

Eric (Denver): I know you're not excited about the Moneyball movie, but I did notice in one of the trailers that Billy Beane has a poster of The Clash on his wall. Is Beane a fan of The Clash, or just Hollywood license?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't know if he's a fan of The Clash, but I do know that he generally has good taste in music, so it wouldn't shock me.

bp (Philadelphia): Freddy Galvis isn't all glove anymore, is he?

Kevin Goldstein: Sure isn't, but all he's really done is prove he can play every day while batting 8th.

ChrisStJohn (The Moon): Do you think Mesoraco starts at C next year for the Reds at the beginning of the year?

Kevin Goldstein: I think he SHOULD, and I think chances are good that he does.

Tim (South Bend): My facebook newsfeed is filling up with talk of college football and the NFL. How can I remind them that it's still baseball season?

Kevin Goldstein: By un-friending them.

PepeShady (Minny): Is Tommy Stinson's new release something you'd check out, or not?

Kevin Goldstein: Kind of thing I might listen to on a lark.

Paul (DC): Any surprise in Bryce Harper's drop off in production after his jump from the Sally league to AA?

Kevin Goldstein: Slightly surprised, but not at all concerned.

CardsfaninSF (SF of course): Beyond the Miller/Martinez/Wong trio, anything else in my Redbirds' system get your heart pounding, even if just to say "heck no"?

Kevin Goldstein: Matt Adams is mostly for real.

Matt (Chicago): What can you tell me about the recent performance surge from Jay Jackson?

Kevin Goldstein: He's been better, but I'm not sure it's a 'surge'. I think think he has a shot at a relief role down the road.

James (Calgary): What likely output can we expect of Colby Rasmus next year?

Kevin Goldstein: Well, maybe it wasn't all TLR's fault, as he's hardly been the cat's pajamas with Toronto. I don't want to rule out a big bounceback season, but you never want to predict those.

MJ (Edmonton): Jeff Samardzija has quietly been an effective reliever this year. Think he can take the next step and be a shut down set up guy or closer?

Kevin Goldstein: I think the control will keep him from ever getting to that role, but he's already exceeded expectations, like you said.

Andrew (Chicago): Is Ryan Westmoreland becoming a relevant major leaguer still conceivable at all?

Kevin Goldstein: I feel bad saying no, but I'm sure rooting for him.

Kingpin (Grinnell, IA): Kevin - I was watching a recent Quad Cities game and the opposing team had a 1- or 2-run lead, but pitched to Tavares with a runner on 2nd in like the 7th inning. Do minor league managers have an unwritten rule that they won't intentionally walk the other team's best hitters, even in tight late-game situations?

Kevin Goldstein: Teams are developing pitchers at Low-A. Forcing a guy to walk a great hitter does nothing for he development. Forcing him to pitch to him does. Winning is secondary to development.

Tomcat (Sacramento): Thoughts on David Perez with the Rangers. Highly touted going into the season, but . . . .

Kevin Goldstein: But 18 years old and has 43 strikeouts in 30.1 innings against players 3-4 years older than him. Patience is a virtue.

aCone419 (Dekalb County, GA): Here in GA, Dekalb is pronounced "de-CAB," which I'm pretty sure is how the founding fathers intended it.

Kevin Goldstein: Founding fathers got a lot of stuff wrong.

Ben (The Burg): Does a guy like David Vidal who had just an OK avg, but has put up 19 HR with a good OBP in the MWL and has played plus defense at 3B make it into the Reds top 10?

Kevin Goldstein: No. Not even close. Nice little player, but that's about it.

cooldude (Mpls): You said about Aaron Hicks that sooner or later we need to see results and not just be talking about the tools. I don't think that's the first time I've heard that said about him. Should Twins fans be worried?

Kevin Goldstein: I think a bit of worry is more than fair at this point.

Billy Beane (Oakland, CA): Jonah Hill is on vacation. Will my 3rd (BA Vollmuth) or 4th (Bobby Crocker) round pick be the better player?

Kevin Goldstein: Vollmuth has the better shot, but Crocker has the higher ceiling.

emillion (Tuscaloosa AL): Putting this one in early. Sonny Gray. Given his recent success, better chances at being a starter or is he still probably a reliever?

Kevin Goldstein: He's think kind of player you leave at starter as long as possible, and maybe forever. He certainly looks like a starter.

Jay (Madison): True or False: Brian Matusz's miserable 2011 can be chalked up to an injury and the future remains just as bright.

Kevin Goldstein: I'm not sure I like either answer. I'm not especially optimistic, but I don't think he'll be a bust, either.

Eric (Denver): Rank the following places from most to least likely as to where Billy Beane will be in 2012? 1) A's, 2) Cubs, 3) Dodgers, 4) Not a GM in MLB

Kevin Goldstein: I think you just did.

The King Of J-Pop (Toronto): AKB48 sells over 1.3 million copies of their new single "Flying Get" in its first week! Comments?

Kevin Goldstein: They're no Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Jay (Madison): Your thoughts on D. Viciedo. Will he show big time MLB power? Is his defense playable in left? Can he hit for a .270ish average?

Kevin Goldstein: I think he'll hit for power, I think he'll hit around .270 and I think his LF defense is bet defined as 'playable.', so you know, good job.

nathan (ATL): What is your thought about Heyward situation?

Kevin Goldstein: I think people have to remember how young he is, but in many ways, 'fixing' what is wrong is up to Heyward. The league has adjusted to him, and now it's up to him to adjust to those adjustments.

ttt (Work...): You're at a dinner party and someone asks what you do. What do you say?

Kevin Goldstein: If I don't know them? Writer.

rk7878 (Phoenix, AZ 85014): Kevin, What is the latest on Anthony Rendon? Where is he playing and how is he doing? Thanks, Bob K

Kevin Goldstein: He'll tentatively make his debut in the Arizona Fall League.

Lucas (Baltimore): Do you attribute the Orioles' recent problems developing talent, specifically pitchers, more to rotten luck or rotten player development?

Kevin Goldstein: I think it's easy to blame guys not developing to a player development staff but it's very hard to see any sort of direct correlation. Can we really be convinced some guy would have developed better with another staff? Sometimes, it's really just a case of shit happens and there isn't always someone to blame.

Jay (Madison): Not a prospect question but Brandon Morrow is infuriating. One start he's dominant. The next he is pummeled. Do you think he eventually gains consistency or is this the best we get?

Kevin Goldstein: I could see him gaining MORE consistency, but I bet he always drives you just a little bit crazy.

DanLong (NYC): Agree or disagree with Cashman's decision NOT to call up Banuelos NOR Betances due to command issues they've both had this year?

Kevin Goldstein: I agree with not calling them up, but I don't think that's the issue, nor do I really think Cashman thinks that is really the issue. Timing/environment not ideal for it, nor is it necessary.

landon (kc): Isn't that too small of sample to judge Rasmus' time in Toronto? Plus he just got put on the DL with a wrist injury

Kevin Goldstein: Sure it is, but he sure didn't look good, and I'm not just talking about the numbers.

bp (Philadelphia): Aumont or De Fratus? Who has the better stuff?

Kevin Goldstein: Aumont. Reports have been outstanding, and he could play a big role in the Philly bullpen next time.

ttt (Work....): Miguel Sano's peak power and hit tool? 70 and 60?

Kevin Goldstein: You might be under-rating his power and over-rating his hitting ability.

Will (KC): What are recent draftees that are too young for the AFL /short season leagues do? Is Bubba Starling in AZ taking a ton of BP right now? I always hear GM's talk about wanting to get a guy's development started, but if they aren't playing in any games what does 'starting a guy's development' actually consist of?

Kevin Goldstein: There are instructional leagues, and they'll play in games and game situations during those. Starting a guy's development consists of getting him to the complex, getting him a regiment, getting him pro instruction, getting him grinding it every day and getting the whole "holy crap I'm a professional baseball player" stuff out of the way.

Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, thanks for all the great questions, and I'll see you soon I'm sure.

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