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Chat: Kevin Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday April 21, 2006 1:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Goldstein.

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Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus.

Kevin Goldstein: Hi everybody. I'm here and finishing up a call. As soon as I finish, I'll get into the questions.

lentzner (Fremont, CA): I don't get why a team would burn a high level first round draft pick in order to save money. Couldn't they just sign the top guy (at whatever Boras is asking) and flip him to another team with deeper pockets - getting a finder's fee in cash or players (maybe a later first round pick)? Is there some rule that prohibits this? Thanks, Matt

Kevin Goldstein: There is a rule that prohibits this, and it is often referred to as the Pete Incaviglia rule. When you sign a drafted player, he is untradable for a period of one year from the date the player signs. What I don't get is what a team is really saving by doing that? Money? Sure. But what about finding your next star?

lamberty (Bozeman, MT): The Royals have drafted off-the-beaten-path players in recent drafts, taking a bunch of college seniors on-the-cheap in '03 and going to a lot of cold weather areas in the last couple of years. Your analysis: solid maneuvering by an organization that needs to think outside the box, or typical wackiness from a hopeless franchise?

Kevin Goldstein: That seems to be really just a one-year thing. If you look at the Royals draft in 2005, they really didn't go that route with their upper picks. They paid slot with picks 1-9, including four million to Alex Gordon.

Allard Baird (5th Floor, The K): Your call, Kevin: do I go with Andrew Miller, or shock baseball and pick a position player (Longoria? Stubbs?) to breathe life into our moribound offense?

Kevin Goldstein: Dear Allard,

Please stop messing around here and take Andrew Miller. There are no good hitters who can help you quickly. Do the right thing here.

Yours sincerely,

KG

DerekJetersAura (Houston): Who do you think the Cubs are targetting in the draft? The Cubs took Lincecum in 2003 and often take guys again if they can. He's been all world the last month or so, but is there any chance he's there for the Cubs? If so, would they jump on him or go classic Jim Hendry take the best available.

Kevin Goldstein: The Cubs pick 13th in June and they have a history of being more than happy to sit back and see which guy drops to them. They're not afraid of signability issues, and they're not afraid of Boras. Look for them to end up with somebody better than the 13th best player on pure talent.

Displaced Cincy Fan (CA): Please tell me the Reds have some semblance of starting pitching in the farm system! Any indications from them in the upcoming draft?

Kevin Goldstein: The Reds have some semblance of starting pitching in the farm system! There? how's that? That's the good news. The bad news is that it's really pretty far away. Homer Bailey looks good, but he's in High A and probably won't be ready until mid-late 2007. 2005 2nd round pick Travis Wood is a personal favorite and his 19 Ks in 12.2 IP at Dayton. Patience is required, as there's not much at AA/AAA.

Amos (New York): As a Mets fan, I'm excited about Lastings Milledge. But last time I got excited about a toolsy young outfielder with everyone telling me "His numbers will fill out to his ability," I got stuck with Alex Escobar (or the sadly even trade for the rotting remains of Roberto Alomar). Why should I be fully optimistic about Milledge? I've enjoyed your work at BP so far.

Kevin Goldstein: Milledge has already exceeding Escobar by doing it at a much higher level, and at a younger age. Now he's drawing walks too, which was really the only weakness in his game. It's going to be hard for the Mets to figure out how to get him in the lineup consistently until 2007, but I think he'll be a star.

Mike Vari (My hero): Luke Hochevar will be drafted by the _______ in the ________ round and will sign with this team on _________. He is currently the __________ ranked pitcher in the draft as far as talent goes.

Kevin Goldstein: This is really difficult. I actually heard one rumor that had the Royals considering Hochevar at 1 -- but I don't buy it AT ALL.

here's my answers.

1. I have no idea
2. supplemental first
3. July 7th
4. 5th-15th

I love this question format -- More madlibs style questions!

Jon (Brooklyn): Any word on how the Tigers are planning on using Zumaya this season? Its seems as though so far he isn't getting much work, I wonder if this is the best situation for such a young talented hurler.

Kevin Goldstein: I agree with you completely. I don't understand why Jordan Tata has 8plus innings and Zumaya has only six. I think he's the closer of the not so distant feature, and he should be getting more work.

Goose (Chicago): Is the Howie Kendrick era shorty approaching? Are you as excied as I am to see this kid perform in the Majors? Projections?

Kevin Goldstein: Rumors are flying that a Kendrick call up is imminent, but it will probably be a brief look because Adam Kennedy is playing very well. I'm a huge Kendrick fan and think he could be a second baseman who hits like Kirby Puckett.

Ed (Cali): Cole Hamels will be brought up on _____ by the Phillies and will be their ____ best starter.

Kevin Goldstein: See! mad-libs questions get answered!

a. September 1st
b. 2nd

Full time rotation job for 2007.

Marlin (FLA): Is Hanley Ramirez for real? Or will the league catch up with his weaknesses in the 2nd half?

Kevin Goldstein: From talking to scouts that have seen him this year, he's VERY real. He's not going to finish the year with an OPS of 1.058 like it is now, but I'll wager that he's a top 5 NL shortstop at the end of the year when measured by VORP.

JR (Utica, NY): Starting in the OF for the Arizona Diamondbacks on opening day 2008...LF _________, CF _________, RF _________.

Kevin Goldstein: Carlos Quentin, Chris Young, Justin Upton -- That's a risky prediciton, but I'm sticking to it. For those that don't know, Upton will be activated this weekend and make his pro debut this weekend. I of course went to see South Bend here at Kane County yesterday and therefore missed him by 2 days.

Kevin (Texas): Do you feel that the Division II, III, and NAIA levels of college baseball are mined for talent extensively enough by major league baseball teams? Thanks!

Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely they are. I think VERY VERY VERY few players slip through the cracks. If a guy is good enough, somebody is going to see him and if he's good enough, somebody is going to give him a chance.

Charlie (Westport, CT): The two best CFs in the minors are ____ and ____.

Kevin Goldstein: Justin Upton and Lastings Milledge.

Jose (Pasadena): How far do you think Jeff Clement is from the majors? Do the Mariners trade him now that they have Johjima?

Kevin Goldstein: This question brings up a conversation I've been having a lot lately. The Mariners drafted Clement, and then signed Johjima for three years. I don't think either of these moves are mistakes at all, but with Kenji committed to through '08, why push Clement to Double-A? Wouldn't it make more sense to send him to the California League and let him beat up on this pitching for a little bit? Why put him on the fast track?

Jarvis (Donaldsonville, LA): As a baseball writer fluent in the languages of both scouts and statheads, I'm curious to know what you thought of Moneyball. Did you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing with much of the content? What do you make of the fact that the book has created such a rift within the baseball community? Thanks for the chat...

Kevin Goldstein: I find it astonishing that it's 2006, and I still find myself talking about Moneyball and getting questions about it. I think Moneyball is a wonderful book, and that Michael Lewis is a fantastic writer. I also think that the book is basically a work by a great storyteller, and is exactly that -- a story. I don't think it's in anyway a complete or accurate description of how Oakland does things, and it's almost no longer accurate when you consider how much the A's have changed their style since its publication, because it's all about flexibility. I do find it silly that some people see it as some kind of bible for how to run a team.

Raz (US): For those that don't know, Upton will be activated this weekend and make his pro debut this weekend. ------Are you willing to bet your house on that statement?

Kevin Goldstein: I have an apartment. But sure . . .
http://www.silverhawks.com/06%20Press%20Releases/April20UptonRelease.htm

ScotMartin (TX): Masset is putting up some incredible numbers to start the year at AA with Texas. What are you hearing about this kid?

Kevin Goldstein: Not a ton. I wouldn't put too much into 19 innings. He's pitched well, but he's 24 years old and his track record speak much louder than his three starts this year. Consider me nonplussed.

lpiklor (CHICAGO): Brandon Sing will be brought up by the Cubs(circle one) SOON / NOT SOON ENOUGH and will provide LITTLE / OK / MIRACULOUS help and the Cubs will SLOWLY FADE / PRECIPITOUSLY FALL / COLLAPSE AND DIE AN UGLY DEATH

Kevin Goldstein: not soon, little, slowly fade.

Jay (Madison): Alex Gordon will be KC's become their full-time starter by _______

Kevin Goldstein: August 3rd.

Ameer (New York): Given the ____ nature of this year's draft, teams will concentrate on finding value between rounds ____ and _____. The teams best positioned to do this are the ____ and the ____.

Kevin Goldstein: Unpredictable, second and fifth, Nationals, Braves and Indians.

TexFan (Austin): Enjoyed your commentary on Burnt Orange Nation. Do either of Texas' freshmen sluggers (Danks and Russell) have a chance to go in the first round of the draft?

Kevin Goldstein: They both have a good chance -- unfortunately for major league clubs, those chances don't manifest themselves until 2008.

Jay (Madison): Gordon the full-time starter by August? The guy's striking out 1 in every 4 at bats at AA. He's lookin' good for his experience but don't you think that's way optimistic?

Kevin Goldstein: Mark Teahen's career OPS of .684 concerns me far more than Alex Gordon's 14 whiffs in 59 at-bats. Mark Teahan is not good, never was good, and never will be good. Period.

Sanchez101 (Santa Barbara): What do you see Logan White doing with the Dodger's #7 pick? Seems that all the depth in prep pitching would be to his advantage.

Kevin Goldstein: That's certainly a good guess. I'll take the easy shot here and bet that he's not taking a Boras client! Best three HS arms are Kyle Drabek, Clayton Kershaw and Chris Tillman.

Jonathan (Sacramento): I think the Oakland A's should _________ Barry Zito. The pitcher in Sacramento most likely to help the A's is ________.

Kevin Goldstein: enjoy watching; Shane Komine, but more as a long reliever/spot starter than anything special.

Mike (Houston): Kevin, I've very much enjoyed your contributions here at BP, especially the weekly roundup of each team's minor league affiliates. Do you see your addition to BP as a sign that the site is really trying to go in a more balanced "stats AND scouting" direction?

Kevin Goldstein: Mike, I'm really glad you enjoy it and I'll use this space now to thank everyone who has written me over the past six weeks saying the same. That stuff makes my day. As to you question, I guarantee that's what my addition is saying. We want to give our readers more and better baseball analysis than anyone out there, and even if we feel that we've accomplished that, we stull won't be satsfied. I was brought in specfically because of my background in stats and scouts, but believe me, there is no groupthink here, and everybody here sees the value in both.

brewerfan (madison): Prince Fielder has __________ hitting skills to his father currently. Rickie Weeks will be a (CHOOSE ONE) 2B/3B/OF/DH for most of his career.

Kevin Goldstein: much better; 2b

YankFan (NY): Is Kyle Drabek any relation to Doug Drabek?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes, he's the son. Which is one reason Pittsburhg MIGHT be intersted in him at No. 4. It would be an overdraft, but a defendable one.

Tyler (DC): What are the Nationals looking at with the four picks in the first two rounds? The scouting director seems to have done a good job mixing players on a small budget. Any word on what the Nationals are going to do? Thanks.

Kevin Goldstein: The Nats really don't have strong patterns. They look and value high school/college players equally, but they like going the college route early in an attempt to get guys who can help quickly. I think you'll see that again this year, but I don't think we should read too much into this draft for patterns because of the lack of talent. And yes, Dana Brown and his crew deserve mad props for what they've done recently within the restrictions of their situation.

BrettG (Columbus, OH): Zack Greinke is a __________ and will get back to 2004 form on __________.

Kevin Goldstein: professional baseball player; I really have no idea. We just have no track record to go on here. I could say next week, and I could say never and both would be based on an incredibly limited amount of knowledge and a subject and person that I'm way too uncomfortable to predict. At this point, I really could care less if Greinke ever pitches again, and care far more about him getting his life together.

Wolverineman (Oxford, Indiana): What do you think the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are going to do with their first round choice? Will they take a college pitcher that is polishes enough to help very soon when the team may be competitive, or will they just take the best player available even if he may be 4-5 years away?

Kevin Goldstein: There is no high scool player worth taking with the third pick. They'll take a college arm, probably Brad Lincoln or Brandon Morrow.

lpiklor (Chicago): How's Tom Gorzelanny's future looking to you, both short and long term?

Kevin Goldstein: Good and great. The Pirates rotation has been pretty awful, and Gorzy could be up soon. I'm in the minority here, but I think he's the Pirates starter with the best long-term future, and that includes Zach Duke.

lpiklor (Chicago): How's Tom Gorzelanny's future looking to you, both short and long term?

Kevin Goldstein: Good and great. The Pirates rotation has been pretty awful, and Gorzy could be up soon. I'm in the minority here, but I think he's the Pirates starter with the best long-term future, and that includes Zach Duke.

El Guapo's Ghost (Ven): What are your thoughts on Craig Hansen's AA pitching program - two innings, day off, pen session, day off? It has been reported that the Sox want him to work on his change, but could this be a way for the Sox to develop a two inning closer?

Kevin Goldstein: I think that's a possibility, and if it is, I like the philosophy. There's an outside chance that they're also stretching him out to try him as a starter, which I think I'd also like as an idea.

bravoatoc (Edmond, OK): What do you know about Elvis Andrus? I know he's a young kid, but it would be nice to hear about him some.

Kevin Goldstein: There's a lot to love about Andrus. he's just 17 and has all the tools. I talk alot about the difference between what a player is and what a player can be. Andrus' gap is enormous, but that's because his ceiling is so high. He's still a LONG way from getting to it, so we have to temper our excitement.

Charlie (Westport, CT): Justin Upton makes it to the majors in ____, as a ___. He'll be one of the top ____ at his position by his sophomore year.

Kevin Goldstein: 2008, outfielder, 10

Bryan (Maryland): What will have to happen for Cesar Carrillo get the call?

Kevin Goldstein: Well, first thing, he'll have to start pitching better. He's hasn't been bad, but he's not exactly blowing them away in Double-A yet.

Dan (Kearny, NJ): Have you heard anything about Pelfrey getting bumped up to Binghamton soon? When do you think the Mets should make the move?

Kevin Goldstein: I think the only reason he's NOT there now is simply weather related. Once it's consistently warm in Binghamton, which is soon, Pelfrey will be there.

Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, I gotta go walk Otto The Pit Bull (OTPB, pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/artamnesia/sets/72057594102156408/) Next chat is all MadLibs! And for the guy who questions Upton playing this weekend, I just got a press release from South Bend of which the sole purpose was to let me know that he's wearing No. 6.


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