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Chat: Kevin Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday October 17, 2011 1:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Goldstein.


"Goldstein" rhymes with "Holstein," but he ain't no cow, he's a prospect mooooo-ru. Join him to talk Fall League, playoffs, and beef stroganoff as you like it!

Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone! I got about 105 minutes to talk prospects, Theo, playoffs, whatever, so let's do this.

Navin (Pasadena, CA): What do you feel is fair compensation for Theo?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't know. We just don't have much to go on as far as establishing a market. I do think the Red Sox have the leverage here in terms of having the asset and time, which is detailed in my piece today.

Michael (Boston): I think Carlos Martinez is severely underrated, guy can hit 100 mph and has a change and curve that remind me of Pedro's change and curve. Why is Miller rated ahead of him all the time? PS I'm super mad that the Cardinals just stole him from my Sox like that, he's gonna be a stud. The Sox should of had him

Kevin Goldstein: A. The Cardinals did not steal him from the Sox, no idea where that came from. MLB killed the deal because of an age thing, and the Red Sox could have resigned him, but got outbid. That's not stealing, that's tough. That said, I think he's a bit OVERrated. He's no Pedro. There's a ton of effort in what he does, just because he's small, Dominican and has good stuff doesn't make up Pedro. I think he's a late innings guy more than a starter.

AaronSF (CA): Any signs of life from Aaron Hicks in the AFL?

Kevin Goldstein: Nope.

Justin (St Charles, IL): RE: Your Theo write up. If you had to make a prediction, what happens and when?

Kevin Goldstein: I still think we'll have an announcement on Tuesday. It's become a fascinating game of chicken, though.

SaberTJ (Cleveland, OH): I have heard pitchers described sometimes as throwers and then learn to be "pitchers" later on. I assume this is in reference to sequencing? Is sequencing taught in the minor leagues? Are there different thought processes when it comes to sequencing?

Kevin Goldstein: It's not just sequencing, it's rounding out the arsenal and learning how to locate. Tons of minor league kids are still just trying to throw fastballs by everyone.

Chris (lunch break): Since he was so conveniently available and you weren't, I dogged Steven in his last chat about something you said on MLB Round Trip a month or so ago. Now it's your turn! In a discussion of the Angels calling up Mike Trout you said "the smart teams are the ones that don't have timetables." But three months earlier on this very website you chastised the Royals for bringing up Eric Hosmer, even though they also ignored timetables, because it was going to cost them too much money. So which is it? Should you really have said "smart teams ignore timetables, but only if everybody thinks they can afford it; otherwise they're dumb."

Kevin Goldstein: Smart teams ignore timetables when they're lined up to compete for a playoff spot. That wasn't the case in KC, but in retrospect, I was wrong about Hosmer.

Paul (Chicago): Whatever happened to Olneki Garcia Speck, or however that was spelled?

Kevin Goldstein: Fighting to prove he's a free agent.

SimplyFalco (Amherst): Hi Kevin, what video game are you most looking forward to this holiday season?

Kevin Goldstein: Already came out. Dark Souls.

Vic31 (San Diego): KG - Billy Hamilton put together an exceptional second half. Although he's still got a ways to go, does he have a ceiling for you as an every day shortstop that can hit .280 with game changing speed?

Kevin Goldstein: Sure, just change shortstop to second base.

ttt (Work...): Your tweets always seem to discuss the SSS issues of the playoffs. Isn't that the nature of the playoffs? Making crazy decisions on tiny sample sizes and hunches?

Kevin Goldstein: I just get tired of everything being easily explained away as SSS or BABIP. They're helpful, they're not end all, be alls.

Keith (Manchester, CT): Thanks, Kevin. Just how high is Jurickson Profar's ceiling, and do you think the Rangers ultimately play him at SS, or move him to 2B in a year or two to play alongside Elvis Andrus?

Kevin Goldstein: Well, in three years, Andrus leaves via free agency, so that takes care of that, no?

Dawson (Igloo, Canada): Brr. I'm cold. Anthony Gose isn't. Where is his floor/ceiling/realistic projection?

Kevin Goldstein: That's the thing about Gose. His ceiling is huge. He has some power, crazy speed, incredible arm strength, just so much. But right now, the bat is a huge problem because of all the swing and miss. He could be a star, and could get stuck as a fourth outfielder.

joe (San Francisco): Gut feel about Gary Brown, can he play all-star caliber CF for the Giants by 2013.

Kevin Goldstein: He'll be in the big leagues by then, but instant all-stars are rare. I think he'll be an above-average CF, maybe more, but few do it right away.

Bret (Toronto): Re: Anthony Gose - is there any history to go by for the likelihood that prospects like him - who, while he was still young for his level this year, isn't THAT young - figuring out the hit tool?

Kevin Goldstein: No. Some guys click, some guys don't, and if you can figure out the difference, I know people who will pay you a lot of money.

Bill (New Mexico): Speaking of timetables for prospects, do you think the Cardinals were gaming the system by keeping Lance Lynn on the 60-day DL until the last minute, so he could come back and be a healthy fire-breathing reliever against dinged-up hitters? Or was that use of the 60-day legitimate? How good is he going to be?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't see what's wrong with gaming the system if it's there to be gamed. That's just smart management. I like Lynn out of the bullpen, but still would like to see him as a starter. No. 4 type.

SimplyFalco (Amherst): Did you have an arcade or arcade machine you would regularly visit when you were younger? I was just young enough to watch pretty much every arcade in America go belly up.

Kevin Goldstein: The pizza place in the Ohio town I grew up in had a Galaga machine that received many of my quarters.

AaronSF (CA): Do you think the Brewers' strategy of proudly ignoring defense is always doomed to be exposed in the playoffs, or is this a team construction strategy that could produce world championships?

Kevin Goldstein: We look for causes, it's human nature. They won the NL Central handily with a bad defensive club, so they could have won a World Series. They just didn't. It's a simple game really. You try to score runs, and you try to keep your opponent from doing do. The bad D was more than made up for with the O most of the time. With good pitching from Milwaukee, nobody is talking about the defense.

twayda (Chicago): When(I hope not If) the Theo deal gets done, he now has the task of taking over a team that has very little championship talent and can be reshaped exactly how he wants thru the draft, international signings, free agency, and trades. Where as the team he took over in Boston was in a completely different point in the cycle of competetiveness. Weve seen Theo and what he did there, so now what do you think he would do in this situation that he might not have done in Boston?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't see why he'd want to do anything different than he did in Boston. That's a great system in Boston and one the produces consistent winners. I wouldn't change the process just because the starting point is a little different.

T (NYC): In five years Dellin Betances will be: a)mid-rotation starter with frontline stuff? OR: b)Daniel Cabrera redux.

Kevin Goldstein: C. Late-inning reliever.

Jquinton82 (NY): Who would you rather have based on sheer upside and likeliness to get there: OF: Yelich or Springer? SS: Profar or Lindor? SP: Cole, Bauer, Bundy, or Purke?

Kevin Goldstein: This is fun because you have different answers every time. Springer has more upside than Yelich, yet Yelich is the better bat. Profar is the much better bet than Lindor, yet Lindor might have more upside. Cole has crazy upside, but is not nearly the sure thing that Bauer is. Welcome to prospect land.

BeplerP (New Yawk, New Yawk): In all the year end developments with the Mets and the Yankees, I have the sense that both teams' development operations are not particularly adroit. For the Yankees, the greatest need is potential rotation candidates. They have two, which seems short of the TINSTAAP ideal. The Mets have one guy, and it is then a long look to the horizon for fresh talent. Agree, disagree?

Kevin Goldstein: Take Betances/Banuelos with the Yankees, and take Harvey/Wheeler with the Mets, and then name which of the 28 teams have a duo of pitching prospects that can match either. It's less than half.

Steven (Oakland): I have 2 serious questions. Do you know of any prospects that are gay but still in the closet? If a top draft eligible prospect from High School revealed he was gay, would this have any impact on his draft stock?

Kevin Goldstein: I do not know of any player who is gay, but I'm sure they exist. As far as question number 2 goes, I think it would have zero effect with some teams, and a major effect with others.

Jacob38 (Toronto): KG - Looking forward to your lists, when will the first one debut? Also, any long-term effects for the kind of thumb ligament injury sustained by D'arnaud?

Kevin Goldstein: Top 11s start after the World Series. No big worries w/ D'Arnaud.

JP (New York): Thoughts on the NBA lockout?

Kevin Goldstein: I just wish the NFL got this bad.

Scott (Mankato, MN): Does the way the Red Sox front office and Boston media treated Francona/Epstein/players after the season influence free agents coming to Boston this offseason or the near future?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think it's going to help, but I don't think it's going to hurt that much either. Money talks.

Jake (Kalamazoo): Can you elaborate on Nick Castellanos' reported defensive struggles? Moving to 1B or LF sucks away a lot of his value, obviously.

Kevin Goldstein: Actually, I think he can stay at third.

Ron (NYC): I know this has been a conversation for years now, but does it make sense for the Yankees to hold onto Jesus Montero just to use him at DH for the next six years or so? Given the possibility that another of their stars like A-Rod may need that position, and the ease of filling a DH spot by free agency, wouldn't value be maximized by dealing Montero to a team that could use him at first base, for a great young pitcher or something along those lines?

Kevin Goldstein: Who is this great young pitcher? Teams don't trade great young pitchers.

Tim (Brooklyn): The Mets have Wheeler, Harvey, Familia, and Mejia (who seems to be often forgotten while recovering from TJ surgery). How does that stable of young power arms compare around the league?

Kevin Goldstein: Well, Familia and Mejia are more bullpen types, so I didn't count them. Lots of teams have strong bullpen arms.

VRP (LA): What do you think of Jerry Sands? He struggled when he got called up initially, but showed some talent in September. His splits in AAA are scary though right?

Kevin Goldstein: I think he's a bat-only type who still has a lot to prove, and yes, his splits are disturbing.

rosborne (TX): Will Rendon stick at 3B in WSH or will they have to move him because of Zimmerman? Thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: Zimmerman is only signed for the next two years.

Aaron (Long Beach, CA): What is Alex Castellanos big league future? 4th OF?

Kevin Goldstein: He's a guy with very mixed reviews, but those that like him, like him even more than that.

Noah Braun (SD): what kind of ceiling does Anthony Ranaudo have? I've heard everywhere from ace to bullpen guy

Kevin Goldstein: Well, I'm in the middle of that as back-rotation type. I think his stock is down considerably.

Rick Rude (Miami): Up in 2012 yea or nay - Miller, Bauer, Cole?

Kevin Goldstein: Yea; yea; Nay.

Bret (Toronto): How was your NLCS dinner last night?

Kevin Goldstein: Red-wine braised short ribs with home made mashed potatoes were delicious. Leftovers just now were great as well.

Archer (Atlanta): Could you put any odds on the chances of Delgado, Teheran, and Vizcaino all reaching their ceilings?

Kevin Goldstein: 0%. I can't think of any trio of prospects who I would say all reach their ceiling. That just doesn't happen.

Mary (Pittsburgh): I know you were very high on Pedro Alvarez before the 2008 draft. Do you still believe he will develop into an all-star player or has his stock really dropped in your eyes?

Kevin Goldstein: Really dropped. Has made few adjustments, body is an issue.

Archer (Atlanta): Thoughts on Andrelton Simmons?

Kevin Goldstein: He's upgraded his stock for sure. Defense is fantastic, and while his batting average is empty, at least it's there.

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): 'Teams don't trade great young pitchers.' Not to pick nits, but Zach Greinke is one that comes to mind.

Kevin Goldstein: And that was a very unique deal, no? A guy like that does not come available every year.

Brandon (LA): Have you ever been recognized by a reader/listener outside of a baseball stadium before?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes. It's weird and very humbling.

Victoria (Daytona Beach): Is it too early to write off Kyle Drabek? He didn't make any adjustments once he was sent down to the minors.

Kevin Goldstein: I wouldn't write him off, but I would be very, very concerned.

cooldude (Mpls): What's your opinion of Ben Weasel?

Kevin Goldstein: Was never a fan.

yeamon (Illinois): Kevin, I posted this comment in your new Theo article. But could the Cubs have insisted on an NDA with the Red Sox, prior to seeking permission to speak with Theo. And is there any chance the Red Sox would have submitted to an NDA?

Kevin Goldstein: There was certainly an unspoken one, and while people love to hate beat guys, they are very good at what they do, and somebody talked. It was kind of unavoidable.

Archer (Atlanta): How much stock is put into a prospects' mental attributes? We always hear so much about their physical tools, but aren't the mental tools just as important when it comes to reaching their potential?

Kevin Goldstein: It terms of desire and work ethic, yes. But you don't have to be classically intelligent or anything.

Taylor (Keithville): When analyzing prospects overall what is the ratio of weight put on hitting to fielding? Is 2-1 fair?

Kevin Goldstein: Totally positional dependent. Defense is barely considered for a 1B, but incredibly important for a SS.

gerrybraun (san diego): with rizzo, guzman, and darnell above him for CI spots, will jed gyorko have to be traded to be a starter?

Kevin Goldstein: Who's trading a starter? I'm not picking on you, I just picked this out, as I have about 15 questions about 15 players from 15 teams that end with some question about trading him for a starter? I need 15 starters on the market now.

afh409 (Chicago): Drew Pomeranz had quite a year: traded, appendix removed, and cited for disturbing the peace in Oxford, MS last Friday. Do you think he should start his 2012 with the Rockies, or does he need a bit more time to develop his skills (other than his peace disturbing skills, which seem mature)?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think he's opening day ready, but I think he spends a lot of time in Colorado next year.

twayda (chicago): I dont want him to change his processes either. I meant more like because of how little there is, do you think he'll go out in a certain area like the international market or draft and make sure the Cubs spend the most? I know the Red sox were up there in both, but I mean that he makes SURE they spend the most in those areas.

Kevin Goldstein: The Cubs are opening a new academy in the DR, so he's set up to do so internationally, and I'm sure he'll remain quite aggressive with draft picks. He'll make sure, and Ricketts gave assurances that resources will not be an issue.

Kim Ng (New York): If I was a different gender, I would already have been a GM by now. Thoughts?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think that's true.

Domenic (NY): Thoughts on Drew Hutchison? There seems to be a consensus that he has a great feel for pitching to go along with solid command and control, but opinions vary on his stuff.

Kevin Goldstein: I like him quite a bit, but I don't think he's a future ace, as much as a good No. 3, and that is NOT an insult at all.

Kevin (NJ): Which player in instructs did you get the most surprising (in a good way) report(s) on from scouts?

Kevin Goldstein: Reports on Francisco Lindor bordered on insane.

SimplyFalco (Amherst): As the Triple A All-Star Game is coming to Buffalo next season and I'm not too familiar with what exactly it is, could you please sum it up in 15 words or less?

Kevin Goldstein: Combination of some prospects and lots of veterans.

BrowningNagle (Louisville, KY): Is Casey Kelly in that Aaron Hicks category? Looks great, but the performance doesn't seem to be there. Is there still #2 upside with him or is he more of a innings guy in your opinion?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes. He's the starter on the "Why Isn't This Guy Better?" team.

Marcus (Iraq): Hi Kevin I don't have a question but I just wanted to let you know, half of my platoon listens to your podcast out here in Iraq. Keep up the good work!

Kevin Goldstein: Email me, please.

Steve N (Delaware): Speaking of prospects mental attributes, how often is mental illness an issue? My reading is that the late teens is a prime time for onset of mental illness.

Kevin Goldstein: It has certainly come up and hampered, if not destroyed a player's development, absolutely.

Andrew (Chicago): The numbers look good, but what's the scouting take on Zach Lee after his first year?

Kevin Goldstein: Fantastic athlete, very high ceiling, far from a finished product.

Rich (Lisle, IL): What are the most probable destinations for Prince Fielder? Are Washington and Toronto viable options?

Kevin Goldstein: They are, as is Texas and other teams. I would worry about signing him long term, though. He's the kind of player who tends not to age gracefully.

afh409 (Chicago): Has any team, to your knowledge, considered starting a state-side baseball academy, similar to a European soccer development model? Obviously, there are legal obstacle to be hurdled but it's not uncommon in some contexts (IMG academy as the obvious example). Is it just too complicated an undertaking for a single MLB organization?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes, the Royals did it in the 70s with baseball city. Willie Wilson came out of there.

chewbalka (CAN): Hi Kevin, thanks for the chat. I know you don't like speculating on trades but if Wilson leaves can you see Texas trading Kinsler for a TOR replacement? I think Texas is conservative with prospects but Profar seems intent on forcing the issue so he may yet share the infield with Andrus imo.

Kevin Goldstein: Whether Wilson stays or goes, the Rangers will be among the favorites to sign Yu Darvish.

Justin (Tinley Park): I want to see Scot Boras' report on Fielder to see how he addresses the potential body-type aging risk. Any idea how he would address those concerns?

Kevin Goldstein: David Ortiz and Frank Thomas aged fairly well.

Mo (NJ): How soon until teams start closely monitoring their prospects twitter accounts? Ever read Taylor Morton's of the Yanks? It surprises me he hasn't been disciplined yet.

Kevin Goldstein: Many do now.

Evan (Chicago): Which is a better bet? A scouting report from one game OR a one year stat line for a kid you've never seen?

Kevin Goldstein: Depends on the level, what happened in the game, lots of factors there.

Brock (PEI): I'm a fairly new listener to your podcast. What do you have against Canada or is the Canada bashing just some sort of inside joke on the podcast?

Kevin Goldstein: We love Canada. Just having fun with some of the nationalistic pride from some emailers.

marco (Virginia Beach): Do you think Reed could close for the White Sox in 2012? Do you think Vizcaino will be in the rotation for ATL in 2012? Thanks

Kevin Goldstein: Yes. No.

marjinwalker (DC): Lot's of conflicting reports from prospecting mavens recently on Robbie Grossman (BA Calis vs. Fangraphs and now minorleagueball.com). My gut says Starling Marte is the better prospect, but I have to disagree with BA that it's not particularly close. My gut is wrong?

Kevin Goldstein: Grossman is tough guy to wrap your head around. He does a lot of things, but has some real weaknesses, and has a weird profile as a corner outfielder. I do like him, however, and I think it's close.

Chris (NH): Tell me something cool about Xander Bogaerts

Kevin Goldstein: Dude has serious power.

chucky cheese (kcmo): I think you are talking about the Royals Baseball Academy and Frank White came from there. Willie Wilson was a first round draft pick Baseball City was their spring training complex from the late 80's Unless you know more about this than I do, which is possible

Kevin Goldstein: He is correct.

richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Can the problems that Hicks is into be blamed overwhelming on any one thing, or it a combination of things? I heard that he isn't very strong...

Kevin Goldstein: Whoever told you that hasn't seen him take BP. He just doesn't hit well, and his approach is not patient, it's passive.

Kevin (NJ): Please answer in the form of a haiku: What is the state of the Rays farm system?

Kevin Goldstein: At one time, loaded/First round picks? That's in the past/The well is drying

richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Keith Law said that

Kevin Goldstein: This is easily my favorite question of the day.

Darrell (Chicago): Do you laugh when people email you saying how "insert GM or Manager" is an idiot and how they could do a better job?

Kevin Goldstein: I do.

kevinm27 (plano,tx): do the think the yankees could trade romine and adam warren for john danks? thanks

Kevin Goldstein: Um . . . Not even close.

Steve (San Jose): Is your GF a baseball fan? If not, how does she put up with you?

Kevin Goldstein: No, not at all. As for the second part of that question, I ask myself that every day for a variety of reasons.

Mary (Florida): Besides baseballprospectus.com, what other baseball websites do you visit on a daily basis?

Kevin Goldstein: I really don't have any MUST visits. I tend to click on links that catch my eye on Twitter (@kevin_goldstein -- seriously, we have a lot of fun there), so I can end up anywhere from something as big as ESPN.com to some guys blog. Lots of quality stuff out there.

Mane (LA): Do you laugh when I say Ron Washington is an idiot and that I could do a better job? Because it's true. For what it's worth you could do a better job too. Yet here he is in the World Series.

Kevin Goldstein: Yes, I laugh. You would be a horrible major league manager and so would I. That in-game tactical stuff that drives you nuts is a single-digit percentage of the job, and the other 90+% you'd be totally clueless on and you'd lose the team. This is not Strat-o-Matic, sorry.

Steve (San Jose): Are GMs fungible like Dave Cameron thinks?

Kevin Goldstein: I like and respect Dave, and I didn't see him say that. But if he did, I can't put into words how much I disagree with that assessment.

Drew (MA): Do you think Team X could trade its middling detritus for Team Y's #1 starter?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes!

Greg (Boston): If you could go back and scout any 3 players in history, who would they be?

Kevin Goldstein: Jackie Robinson, Steve Dalkowski, Daryl Strawberry.

stevenpsu78 (York PA): Thoughts on Jemile Weeks "healthy" season and going forward?

Kevin Goldstein: All he needed was to stay on the field to start showing his potential. I'm quite optimistic.

ttt (Manhattan): Re: historical Scouting. Not Babe Ruth?

Kevin Goldstein: Horrible body, bad makeup, not sure what kind of future he has.

Theo (Las Vegas): What happens first, the Cubs win the World Series or we see the first female pitcher in MLB history

Kevin Goldstein: Cubs.

John Cheese (Undisclosed): Who are you more impressed with, Adonys Cardona's stats as a 17 year old, or Luis Heredia's stats as a 17 year old? Is 16 really young for the GCl, or just kind of young?

Kevin Goldstein: I really don't have much love or concern for anyone's stats at that age (quite young) in the GCL. Scouting reports are FAR more important at that level than numbers.

richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): If you had Billy Smith's ear (figuratively), who would you suggest the Twins should take with the #2 overall pick?

Kevin Goldstein: Very early in a not great year. We really don't have a clearly established top tier yet.

Keith7971 (ECSU): I know there doesnt seem to be any clear updates as of late, but i was curious about whether or not there are rumblings in the industry about whether or not Kendrys Morales' leg injury has progressed any further or if this freak injury looks like it will really derail his career and make ANA/LAA contenders in the 1B market this offseason.

Kevin Goldstein: You didn't like Mark Trumbo? I realize the OBP issue prevents him from being a star, but he has some value, no?

Rob (Alaska): On your MLU the other day you said Wil Myers is getting great reports from the AFL - care to elaborate? I know the numbers have been good there, but I know enough not to really trust AFL numbers.

Kevin Goldstein: He just finally looks healthy and comfortable. That infection bothered him much of the season, and while I'm not ready to give him a complete mulligan, it was a factor.

mrenick (Little Rock, AR): what percentage of the elite prospects would you say actually reach their ceiling? Would this percentage go up as you further away from the prospects with all-star or solid regular level ceilings?

Kevin Goldstein: Very small percentages. Ceilings are just that, perfect world scenarios, and as we all know, the world is rarely perfect. I'm actually more interested in the second part of your question, and my gut says, yes, they do go up.

KerryFam4 (Atlanta): How would you rank the 1B prospects that got their first taste of the majors this year in projected career value: Hosmer, Belt, Goldschmidt, and Rizzo?

Kevin Goldstein: Fun question. I've been flipping the last three names in my head quite a bit, but I would definitely take Hosmer first.

JROBBINS (Greenville, SC): What is your world series prediction?

Kevin Goldstein: Rangers in six.

Kevin Goldstein: And with that, I must go. Much to write, gigantic world series preview podcast out tomorrow. Thanks for all the great questions everyone!

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