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Chat: Kevin Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday January 20, 2012 2:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Goldstein.


KG is back talk prospects, podcasts, and pot roast.

Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. We're currently under a winter storm warning in DeKalb, so I'm just sitting here watching snow pile up. Chatting would be a good thing.

Steve (Huntington Beach): Starling Marte only walked 22 times in 530 AB last year, When you see a guy with a walk rate as low as this, is it a red flag as far as not being able to lay off pitches at the next level, even if the K rate is low? I am curious if this is a sign of a hitter that is not yet mature enough to handle MLB pitching, or just an aggressive approach.

Kevin Goldstein: The approach is obviously the big concern with Marte. For really good hitters like him, it's tough to lay off pitches he actually CAN make contact with. His advancement (or lack thereof) will basically define his ceiling.

Roy Munson (1976 Iowa State Champ): I know Gose has crazy tools, but do you think he will hit enough to stay on the field? Are there problems with the swing or just the approach?

Kevin Goldstein: That's the million dollar question. The approach is fine, it's just pure hitting ability that needs to improve.

Laynce Nix (Land of Ys): More likely to hit in the big leagues: Michael Choice or Josh Bell? Or is picking between them a good problem to have?

Kevin Goldstein: Bell hasn't played, Choice had a really good year. There's not some massive tools difference, so you have to take Choice.

John (Tupelo): Where does Grant Green stick position wise? If this is a rebuilding year for Oakland (isn't every year?) then will he get some ABs?

Kevin Goldstein: The outfield with a solid shot at center; I wouldn't be shocked to see him in September.

Jason (Muskegon, MI): How would you handle Yadi Molina if he doesn't want to sign an extension in StL? Would you trade him in ST? at deadline? or just take the picks?

Kevin Goldstein: You can't answer that without all of the context. If the Cards are up by one game in July, they can't trade Molina just to make sure they get picks.

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Derek Norris' ceiling in the majors? .260/.380/.450?

Kevin Goldstein: I'd take at least 20 points off that batting average and therefore all three.

Jerry (St. Louis): Do you think Matt Adams skill set, both at the plate and in the field, will be sufficient to be a big-league regular?

Kevin Goldstein: I do. Guys with power and his kind of contact rate tend to succeed.

JR (New Hampshire): Besides a deception guy like Josh Collmenter, are there other types of pitchers that are more likely to have immediate success in the majors but can't sustain it? Is there a certain type of pitch that can be more effective early in a career, but figured out after awhile?

Kevin Goldstein: Really any kind of trick guy. Deception, best pitch is a changeup, etc.

diddy99 (Iowa): How serious is the Cubs interest in Cespedes? I'd like to think that the plan is to move Soriano and Byrd as some point this season to make room for Jackson and (hopefully) Cespedes. With Baez, Rizzo and Castro as your future, then they can look to use the trades to upgrade RF and 2B prospects. Draft pitching. Should I be GM?

Kevin Goldstein: The Cubs interest in Cespedes is very, very legitimate. They will definitely and without question be in the bidding. And now, you should not be the GM.

SenatorsGuy (DC): Jean Segura - one year removed from the move to SS - what are the comments on his ability to stick at SS?

Kevin Goldstein: He's one year removed, but he barely played because of the hamstring issues, so we need more data. Early returns were promising however.

JR (New Hampshire): Do you think Arodys Vizcaino will ever go back to starting? What role do you see for him this season?

Kevin Goldstein: I think he's best served in a bullpen role, and could spend much of 2012 in the big leagues doing just that.

cooldude (Mpls): Remember when Deolis Guerra was the jewel of the Santana trade? Will there come a day when Twins fans see him on the mound and feel pretty good about that deal?

Kevin Goldstein: No, that day will not come.

Jiffy (Snow): What do you see Salvatore Perez' slash line in 2012? Is he going to have a decent MLB career?

Kevin Goldstein: He's certainly not going to hit .331, I'll tell you that much. I could see him settling in as a .280/.320/.400 type with plus D -- that's one hell of a player.

Evan (Toronto): Do you see either of Drew Hutchison or Deck McGuire making an impact for the Jays this year? Whose repetoire do you like better?

Kevin Goldstein: I like Hutchinson much better, but don't think either will spend significant time in Toronto this year.

Scot (Washington, DC ): Do you think the Mets will call up Matt Harvey this season and give him another full year in the minors? Also, how do you think Ruben Tejada will do in place of Reyes?

Kevin Goldstein: Harvey will spend most, if not all of the year in the minors. September callup at best, as he's not ready. I actually like Tejada as a solid performer. He's not a star, but there are plenty of shortstops I'd take Tejada over.

Brian (Springfield, MO): With the news of the Fausto Carmona situation, is there a way for teams to better evaluate talent so that players don't have to pretend they are someone else. "Fausto" was signed, in part, because they thought he was 2 years younger than he was. Despite being the 2 years older, he still became an effective pitcher in MLB. Should teams/scouts not put such an emphasis on age when looking at players?

Kevin Goldstein: It's a great question, a book worthy one even. It's clear that even if Carmona was going as Heredia, and was two years older, he probably would not have gotten the chance. That's a bad system. At the same time, I don't side with the people that are angry with Carmona. He did whatever he could to escape abject poverty.

Chris (KC): Follow-up please on Salvador Perez: If you really believe he can be that good - and yeah, that's one hell of a player for a catcher - why did nobody ever rate him highly as a prospect? Isn't a C prospect that good a top 100 guy?

Kevin Goldstein: Well, the big step in offense came in 2011, and now he's not a prospect anymore, so it's more of a timing thing than anything else.

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Per the Indians Top 11, which way do you see the system going- beast in a good way, or just ugly?

Kevin Goldstein: Like I wrote when I did the list, both are distinct possibilities.

aCone419 (Atlanta): I have a PS3; should I buy Mass Effect 2 or Skyrim?

Kevin Goldstein: I liked Mass Effect 2, but I haven't played Skyrim. If you have the right mental state, I'd recommend Demons Souls and the followup, Dark Souls. My two favorite games of the HD generation.

Today (Tomorrow): Is Kolten Wong the 2B version of Hak-Ju Lee?

Kevin Goldstein: They're almost nothing alike.

Asinwreck (Chicago, IL): Does Todd Trainer have 80 power?

Kevin Goldstein: Todd Trainer has pretty much 80 everything. Amazing drummer; incredible live.

ttt (Brooklyn): It seems like the issue with all "tools" guys is either the hit tool or the approach. Is it safe to say that all the guys who are "tools" guy tend to be more raw? it seems like the guys with great tools who aren't raw are #1 picks (or in the discussion for it).

Kevin Goldstein: When you find players who combine crazy tools with crazy skills, that's when you go crazy. That's when you get the Griffeys and A-Rods of the world.

Killbahn (Nj): Why no Skyrim? The framerate issue? I have a PS3 and have only had that twice, saved, reload, fine great game

Kevin Goldstein: It's here. Just haven't played it and waiting for the big patch. Good time to play some older stuff that I missed, like Just Cause 2.

Ryan (GR): Jorge Soler has been compared to Bubba Starling in many respects, but what about closeness to the majors? Starling has been said to be quite far, possibly 2015. Is that about the same for Soler? Thanks

Kevin Goldstein: Jorge Soler is a very impressive talent, but he's not Bubba Starling tools wise. Few are.

Tom (Boston): I just saw one baseball commenter say that age relative to level is not important for pitching prospects. Do you agree?

Kevin Goldstein: I do not, but I'd rather see what he said and see what the context is before you ripping him/her apart.

Jay (St. Louis): How big of an impact do you see the departure of Jeff Luhnow and Sig Mejdal (and subsequent hiring by the Astros) having on the Cardinals': a) draft philosophy b) minors as a whole Thanks!

Kevin Goldstein: They're both talented people, but it's nothing to panic over. The Cardinals made a great hire in Dan Kantrovitz as their new scouting director. They'll be fine.

bloodface (Minneapolis): So, after another great showing in AA as well as the AFL, have you changed your opinion on Adam Eaton as nothing more than a fifth outfielder?

Kevin Goldstein: I believe I said 4th outfielder, and no, not really.

GTOFORMULA400 (Wilbraham, MA): Machado or Profar? Who ya got KG? P.S. Big thanks to you and Professor Parks for providing us with the best baseball podcast around!

Kevin Goldstein: Top 101 comes out next month. There are VERY close to each other.

Dees (Jersey): Are you out on Jason Heyward? What are his chances of being a star at this point?

Kevin Goldstein: He's 22 and immensely talented. I'm anything but out, but he does need to make adjustments.

Steve (California): Trevor Bauer, I've heard ceiling of #1 and floor of #3 (barring some horrible breakdown), you agree? Also do you think there is something behind all the long-toss workouts? Do you think it actually makes a pitcher more durable? How much stock do you put in it?

Kevin Goldstein: I'd go with No. 2 ceiling and No. 4 floor, but some people define those differently. As for the long-tossing, I think it's much ado about nothing. It works for him, and nobody should change what he does, but it's not some revolution.

jahoffmn (Chicago): Hey KG, thanks for all the great work. I'm going to make the short trip to Geneva to see at least one of the Kane County vs Lake County games in April. Do you think I'll get to see Starling and Lindor?

Kevin Goldstein: I'll be there, so I hope so. That said, I wouldn't be shocked to see Starling get held back in extended for a bit, and the Indians have a ton of young shortstops they need to figure out time for.

Evan (Toronto): What's the prognosis on Adeiny Hechavarria? Defensive specialist? ANY hope at all for his bat? Does he even project as a major leaguer at this point?

Kevin Goldstein: I think he could end up an every day SS who has to hit ninth.

Nat Fan (Washington): Are u buying the rumblings on B.Harper seeing major league action this year?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes. But not opening day.

McCourt's Piggybank (Chavez Ravine): KG - thanks for the chat. Taijuan Walker & Carlos Martinez: future #1s or future shutdown closers?

Kevin Goldstein: I like Walker better than Martinez, and also think Walker is much more likely to stick as a starter. That said, I hate putting a future one on any pitcher so far away.

Kingpin (Grinnell, IA): I know if've addressed him somewhere in the past, but is Lucas Duda legit? Will he play everyday (or nearly so) for the Amazin's this year?

Kevin Goldstein: Totally legit, and yes. I really like his bat.

BaseballNUT2009 (s.a. ca.): KG, What kind of production are you expecting from Pedro Alvarez this year?

Kevin Goldstein: If I knew that, I'd be rich, but I'm not very optimistic.

Ryan (GR): International players can get millions more than drafted players from the US. Do you think this is fair and how would you propose fixing this? Thanks

Kevin Goldstein: They can't with the new CBA. The new CBA punishes international players far more, to the point of being borderline discriminatory.

GrinnellSteve (Grinnell): I'm a White Sox fan, and today is my birthday. Can you say anything that will make this a happy birthday?

Kevin Goldstein: Happy birthday. I really like Addison Reed.

Sam (Seattle): Do you have a good comp for Jose Altuve? Do you think he could be more than a strong utility player?

Kevin Goldstein: Not really, he's going to have to hit. To be a good utility player, you have to be able to play on the left side of the infield, and Altuve can't do that.

Eric (Kc): Will John Lamb be able to start at the beginning of this season or will he still be doing rehab at the start?

Kevin Goldstein: He had the surgery last June, so no. Look for a return late in the first half.

jaymoff (Salem): Where does Trout start the year? I feel that if he isn't playing everyday he should be back in AAA, even if it's unnecessary from a developmental standpoint. Do you agree? Do the Angels?

Kevin Goldstein: Trout is not finished, so playing every day actually IS necessary from a developmental standpoint. I think the Angels agree, and I think they start him at AAA.

Peter (NYC): Are you chatting while you tweet or tweeting while you chat?

Kevin Goldstein: I can multi-task. Also listening to the police scanner as cars in the area slide into ditches.

JR (New Hampshire): Who is your "favorite" prospect now that Altuve is in the majors?

Kevin Goldstein: Still deciding. Lets get the season going.

Tim (DC): Nats are next for top 11 right? One sentence preview of it after the Gio trade?

Kevin Goldstein: Nats, Blue Jays and hopefully Dodgers next week. One sentence review, not as big a hit as you might think.

GrinnellSteve (Grinnell): Thanks, Kevin. How much chance is there Brent Morel maintains the gains he made over the last couple of months last year? I saw him in KC in July, and he got his second walk of the year. Then in August he started walking more, hitting more, and hitting for more power. Great, if it wasn't a mirage.

Kevin Goldstein: I think he'll be better, but I think his ceiling is a second-division starter.

PeterShammons (Chicago): Do you see Paul Goldschmidt capable of production similar to Mike Stanton? Any concern with the squatty looking stance that Goldschmidt employees?

Kevin Goldstein: Paul Goldschmidt is a really nice young first baseman who has exceeded all expectations and sure looks like the real deal. He's also not even in Mike Stanton's zip code.

goodwine10 (Pleasantville, New York): I've read differing reports on Campos' secondary stuff. It seems that people who saw him in the first half said that they needed to improve and people who saw him in the 2nd half said that they were (or had the potential to be) above average to plus pitches. In your Mariners Top 11, you said that his secondary stuff needs significant improvement. Was that information from the 1st half or 2nd half of the year? You say Campos' ceiling is very high - do you think it's #2 type stuff?

Kevin Goldstein: He certainly could be a star-level pitcher, but he's very young, a very long ways away and definitely needs to improve his secondary pitches.

Bob (Bellingham): Is it too crazy to think that Nick Fraklin can peak as a 20 HR hitting average defender at SS?

Kevin Goldstein: It's not too crazy to think that, but it's crazy to think it has a really good chance of happening.

JackZ (Sea): Is there any reason to be concerned about Montero not getting paperwork to leave Ven? We never did hear why his original signing bonus was reduced. Is it possible the two things are related and perhaps he's not as young as advertised and only the Yankees know the truth?

Kevin Goldstein: They're not related, and Montero's visa issue was taken care of today.

Matt (VA): Kevin, Do you think the industry is becoming hyperbolic with the use of 8s and even 7s? an 8 in theory is 3 standard deviations above the mean (right?), which works out to about 2-3 players in MLB if the talent is normally distributed. 8s on speed seem to be dropped all over the place, thoughts?

Kevin Goldstein: The industry is not hyperbolic as much as fans need a better understanding of how the scale is used in term of each individual tool. Yes, every org in baseball probably has 1-3 80 speed guys, yet we probably see one true 80 defensive shortstop once a decade. All that tells you is that the system is neither consistent, nor perfect on a science level. At the same time, everyone in the industry knows what 80 means in terms of speed, and in terms of SS defense, so there's no reason to change it.

Eric (Kc): Do you think Lorenzo Cain will be a reliable CF for the royals this year?

Kevin Goldstein: I do.

Kevin (NJ): Why are there so many ditches in DeKalb?

Kevin Goldstein: Because we have country roads here. Have you never been on a country road?

Mike (Baltimore): Don't you have a radio show you should be preparing for?

Kevin Goldstein: I just show up and talk and try to make people laugh. For those who don't know, I'm on MLB Network Radio (Sirius/XM) every Friday night with Steven Goldman. Mike Ferrin hosts, and he does all the work on air.

Steve (ME): Do you think Gary Sanchez played into the Yankee's willingness to deal Montero? Or is he still too young to know if he will stick at Catcher?

Kevin Goldstein: Too young, and he still needs a TON of work behind the plate, himself.

Luke (Nawlins): Long term do you pick Teheran, Miller, or Darvish?

Kevin Goldstein: Darvish.

dianagramr (NYC): Royals should go after Oswalt this year, just in case the rest of the team is .500 material on its own, right?

Kevin Goldstein: Right. Helps you if you are winning, helps you via trade if you are losing.

Kingpin (Grinnell, IA): Made my first visit to Modern Woodman Park last summer to see Oscar Tavares. I loved the stadium and the atmosphere, but you've been to many more parks than I have. How highly does MWP rank among the stadiums you've visited?

Kevin Goldstein: It's definitely among my favorite in the Midwest League. Really fun place and location.

BoCoMo (Chi-town): Jake Petricka has the right build/velocity and he induces groundballs at a decent rate. Will he find some consistency in his offspeed pitches to become an impact arm for the Sox?

Kevin Goldstein: He could. But the fact that he could as opposed to will is what makes him a prospect. I'm not Kreskin here. I like his arm a lot, but I don't like all of things he doesn't do, which is why he's not a Top 100 type for me. For him to become an impact arm would take a TON of things to break right.

Eric (Kc): Thanks for all the great answers today, your knowledge on all these players is amazing. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on Chelsor Cuthbert, he seems like a guy who has just came out of nowhere in the royals system?

Kevin Goldstein: He signed for more than $1 million, so he's was pretty well known. He's a very good baseball player, but I do worry about what kind of athlete he is, and how that might limit his ceiling a bit.

Mario66 (Milwaukee): Is this the year that Martin Perez's prospect status needs to stop being rather heavily dependent on age-relative-to-league, or does he still have a few more years to be inconsistent on a start-to-start basis and put up (at times) mediocre results? In other words, how much of a hit will his ranking take if he puts up AAA stats this year similar to his 2011 AAA stats?

Kevin Goldstein: I think it will take a signficant hit. I like Perez quite a bit, but it's time to perform.

Jason (Muskegon, MI): Reds or Cardinals?

Kevin Goldstein: If forced to predict the NL Central standings right now, gimme Cincy.

Eric (Kc): Do you think that if Crow gets a third pitch he could be a middle of the rotation guy for the Royals?

Kevin Goldstein: I'd leave him in the bullpen.

John (Miami): I've read that Jorge Soler would have been a top 5 pick in the last couple drafts had he been available. Would you agree with that?

Kevin Goldstein: Certainly top 10.

Josh (San Clemente): Josh Byrnes said the other day that they measured Rymer Liriano's ball-off-the-bat speed and it was comparable to guys like Mike Stanton. Obviously he doesn't have 80 power, but can he hit more than 30 HRs or is his power more line-drive oriented?

Kevin Goldstein: Exit velocity is one thing, but not the only thing that sends a ball out. Loft and backspin matter as well. I think Liriano will be an 18-20 HR type.

Scott (Mumbai): Where does Trevor May start the season and could he see a Sept callup?

Kevin Goldstein: Double-A; certainly POSSIBLE.

Mario66 (Milwaukee): For a while, "personality" tests were getting a lot of publicity as a criterion of measuring propsects (in particular, I remember some articles about Baltimore using them, which doesn't speak all that well for proponents of their use). Do you know whether they are in use today, and if so, do they actually influence the decisions of any MLB front offices (man, I hope not).

Kevin Goldstein: They are used, but influence isn't the word I use. At times they can be valuable in terms of how to approach a player when it comes to coaching and instruction, but I don't know anyone acquiring or getting rid of guys based on personality tests.

Eric (Kc): Do you think Anthony Rizzo will be able to be the starting 1B all year for the Cubs and be productive?

Kevin Goldstein: Well, the Cubs don't think so, and that's more important. They've made it pretty clear that Rizzo starts the year in Iowa, and LaHair starts the year at first base in the big leagues.

Mario66 (Milwaukee): Thoughts on Xander Bogaerts' hit tool? The power certainly seems to be present.

Kevin Goldstein: I think it projects as average. Ks will always be a part of his game.

Jen (England): Thoughts on Brian Dozier? Can he be an above average MLB ss?

Kevin Goldstein: No, but he can be a solid 2B.

Tom (Boston): Will Tyson Gillies reestablish himself as a prospect?

Kevin Goldstein: Hasn't been good since 2009, and that was in the best hitting environment in baseball. Not a good combination.

Mario66 (Milwaukee): Mat Gamel or Matt Adams?

Kevin Goldstein: Adams.

karysingh (Key Largo): Do pitchers make significant progress with their control after AA, i.e., shouldn't control as a skill be established long before MPH and developing off-speed/breaking pitches?

Kevin Goldstein: Sure they do. Look at Matt Moore. As far as stuff/control, it's chicken-egg. You need stuff TO control, and you need to control your stuff.

Daniel (Montana): Do you see any growth in power numbers for Elvis Andrus? Could he eventually hit 10-15?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't see it. I think he'll hit MORE home runs, but 15? Nah.

This guy (NY): Darvish, Cole, or Hultzen? have the #4 pick in my draft and need someone who's going to be up by mid season, but also offers upside... thoughts?

Kevin Goldstein: Darvish.

Maurice Moss (London): With the Yankees' offseason additions to the rotation, it looks like Banuelos and Betances will be both be spending significant time in AAA this year. When do you see them being ready for the Majors?

Kevin Goldstein: Hi Moss, thanks for adding me on FriendFace. I think Banuelos could be ready in 2013, which would still be very young. I think Betances could be ready late this year if they move him to the bullpen, which might just be the better role for him long-term anyway.

Jon KK (Elkhart, Ind.): If you had Harper, Moore and Trout in a league with two minor league keeper slots, would you look to trade Moore?

Kevin Goldstein: I certainly would not.

BL (Bozeman, MT): Of the Royals young Latin prospects who haven't played full season ball yet (Elier Hernandez, Mondesi, etc.) who excites you the most?

Kevin Goldstein: Jorge Bonifacio

BL (Bozeman, MT): The Royals had a couple JC guys in the Arizona League last year, D'Andre Toney and Nick Cuckovich...anything to get excited about with either one?

Kevin Goldstein: Toney certainly has some potential. He's tiny, but he can fly and he can hit a little bit.

Kevin Goldstein: OK folks, back to the grind for me. Thanks for coming, and thanks for all the great questions, and you can always hit me up on the Twitter (@kevin_goldstein)

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