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Chat: Kevin Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday June 06, 2006 9:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Goldstein.

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Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. Today he'll be reviewing the 2006 Amateur Draft.

Kevin Goldstein: Hello folks. I have my Thai food (Pad See Eiw), a cocktail, and little sleep, so expect plenty of spelling errors, grammar problems and mixed metophors. My girlfriend is in the other room wondering if she'll every see me again and as always, I'm joined by the official BP mascot, Otto The Pit Bull (tm) -- Let's get this party started and talk about what happened in day one of the draft.

carlosrubi (Mexico): What do you think of the Jeff Samardzjia situation? He'd be best sticking in baseball, as his NFL ceiling is not as high.

Kevin Goldstein: Just a TON of Cubs questions in the que, so let's begin there. The Colvin pick is not a pick within itself, it is part of a much bigger picture, and a pretty interesting move. Colvin was generally seen as a third-round talent, but the Cubs took him there because they were going to grab Samardzija in the fifth, as they're the only team willing to pay him AND give him a deal that at least temporarily allows him to still play football. So instead of taking Samardzija in the first round (and he does have late first round talent), they took a guy who would NOT be there in the fifth AND still got Samardzija. It's a risky gambit, and frankly, it's one I don't like. Those two sports guys who still play football don't have a great track record.

Cody Pancake (Croaker, VA): Was the Mets 4th round selection of John Holdzkom a bit of a stretch? He throws hard, but walks a LOT of batters.

Kevin Goldstein: More than just a bit. Guys who can get it up to 98 mph are few are far between, but at the same time, we have so little to go on with him as he barely pitched in high school, and then left his juco team. There could be something here we don't know, like some impressive private workouts, but it was a surprise in what was a pretty uninspiring Mets draft.

Stewart (Arlington, MA): I would have thought the Nationals would have stockpiled college talent with their needs for warm bodies, but they didn't exactly. What's your take on their day today?

Kevin Goldstein: Thanks for this nice fat pitch. I really, really like the Nationals picks. If you look at those first five picks, every one of them at some point was in the mix for some team in the first round. That's quite a bounty. If you're a Nats fan what do you want? Warm bodies, or guys with a chance to be stars?

Bat Misser (Kane County, IL): You were all over Greg Reynolds earlier this spring. how do you feel about him as the second pick? seems like a reach to me but what do i no

Kevin Goldstein: Bat Misser, see you at some Cougars games later this week.

I don't know if I was all over Reynolds as much as I was telling you that teams were all over him, which is the more important information, really. I think it's a really bad second pick. Far too safe a pick for me. If you have the No. 2 pick, you can not compromise, you need to pick the best player available, and I can't see any way in heck that any arguement could be made that Reynolds was the second best player in the draft. No way, no how.

Raz (NYC): Kevin, it's 9:21 PM right now, in your opinion did Luke Hochevar signed already?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't think the pick would have been made without at the very least some sort of specific framework of a deal completed. I'm guessing it's somewhere a little north of 4 million.

ninerwolve (Edgecomb, ME): The Red Sox seem to have taken an inordinate (for Boston) amount of high schoolers, especially batters. Is this a sign of a change in organizational philosophy, or simply a product of what has been considered by most a weak draft?

Kevin Goldstein: While they took Place in the first round, the Bosox didn't take another prep bat until the eighth round. I wouldn't take what teams do after the seventh round as any sort of change in philosophy. After Place, they were almost all college.

Cody Pancake (Croaker, VA): What I read about Lincecum's workload this spring makes MY elbow hurt. Did that scare others? Also, does he become one of SF's top 3 prospects when he signs?

Kevin Goldstein: Cody, It may make YOUR elbow hurt, but the important thing is that it didn't make LINCECUM's elbow hurt. If anything, Lincecum's rubber arm made him MORE attrative to potential takers. He constantly maintained his velocity late into games and never missed a start. If the Giants really want to get crazy, they should think about making him into a 100+ inning reliever, like those old 70s relief aces that Joe Sheehan loves so much.

Cassius (Brooklyn): Hey Kevin, what do you think of the sum of Giants draft picks today? Burris' ceiling in the bigs? Thanks!

Kevin Goldstein: I really like the Lincecum pick, and I really like the Burris pick, as he respented on of the few highly athletic college infielders. After that, there's not a lot of players who excited me. Burris' ceiling is as a middle infielder with speed and on-base skills, but little power.

themcneills (Commutersville, CA): Miller will join Verlander and Zumaya in ____ years and be Detroit's #____ guy.

Kevin Goldstein: 2.75, No. 4.

Anthony (Long Island): Andrew Miller signs with Detroit on ____ for $____ million.

Kevin Goldstein: October 15, 5.5 -- well under what he was asking for. Tigers scouting director David Chadd should be commended for calling Miller's bluff.

carlosrubi (Mexico): What's with the Phillies obsession for high school pitchers with some personal issues? First Hamels, now Drabek.

Kevin Goldstein: Hamels looks pretty good to me. You want to nice kid who can't play?

Chris Hartjes (Toronto): If you were to create a "draft combine" for baseball, how would you go about doing it?

Kevin Goldstein: By getting some good friends together and having them knock some sense into me for wanting a draft combine.

In all seriousness, I just think it's a bad idea that rewards lazy teams.

bossie13 (San Diego): How pissed is the rest of MLB after KC rewarded Hochevar for holding out and rejecting a bonus? I can imagine some stern phone calls from Bud Selig to the Royals office. Is there a pre-draft deal in place with Hochevar?

Kevin Goldstein: Like I said before, there's some semblance of a deal in place, or KC doesn't make the pick. As far as people being mad at KC? Tough cookies. What are they supposed to do? Miller is WAY to expensive, and after that, you are clearly compromising with the first pick in the draft. I'd rather have other teams mad at me than laughing at me. I'm pleasantly surprised the Royals took one of the top two talents in the draft.

jay jaffe (NYC): Preston Mattingly, chosen #31 by the Dodgers. How much more does he have going for him than the family name? What do you think of the pick, and the rest of the Dodger picks thus far?

Kevin Goldstein: Who let you in here? The Dodgers are probably still laughing at this hour about how well things went for them in the first round. Because of last night's hijinks, and Miller dropping to Detroit, Kershaw went to the Dodgers at 7. This was great for scouting director Logan White because the guy he planned on taking at 7, Bryan Morris, fell to the Dodgers at 26. It's like having your cake and eating it too. As for Mattingly, he's got plenty going for him -- he's a bigger, better athlete than his dad, with power potential and surprising speed, but nobody likes him defensively, so the farther down the defensive spectrum he goes, the better he'll have to hit. There more where that came from (this is the Dodgers afer all), including slugging Canadian Kyle Orr in the 4th, and 6th rounder Garrett White, a lefty reliever who could move quickly.

Anthony (Log Island): Why did Bard fall to #28?

Kevin Goldstein: Many reasons. Number one might be money, as late talk had the UNC righty looking for $4 million. That wasn't going to happen and when teams that looked like good options for him (Seattle at 5, San Francisco at 10) passed, it became a bit of a freefall. He's not going to get four big ones from boston, but he'll probably get something above slot. The other thing was that too often, Bard wasn't that good. His tendency to drop his arm slot and lose velocity on his fastball and break on his slider showed up way too often for some team's tastes.

shepleffel (Indiana): After taking a year off of a strict college players only approach last year, the Cardinals went ahead and took nearly all college players this year. The question: Are any of them capable of moving through the system quickly and contributing in the next few years?

Kevin Goldstein: It's a pretty mixed bunch really. First round pick Adam Ottavino will be a bit of a project, but supplemental first-rounder Chris Perez could really get there pretty quickly to help the bullpen. Then there are guys like 4th rounder Eddie Deagerman, a righty from Rice, and 5th rounder Shane Robinson, an outfielder from Florida State who could move pretty quickly, but do not project as impact players.

Brecken (Chicago): MadLibs The Cubs draft pick of Colvin was _____ They should have gone with either _____ or _____

Kevin Goldstein: From Chicago AND a mid-libs question -- now that's a winner.

So here's my answer.

part of a larger plan; Travis Snider; Jeremy Jeffress

IN23 (Baltimore): Better Upside: Rowell or Snider? Also, who do you think is the most major league ready out of the two?

Kevin Goldstein: I think Rowell if he can stay at 3rd base. It should be said that while these were the two best high school hitters, people weren't batcrap about them, and because the both come from non-baseball hotbeds, they might take a little patience. I don't think either will put up big numbers in the short-season leagues this summer, but I don't think that should concern anyone either.

Bill (KC): What do you make of the Royals' picks after Hochevar? Just watching the draft tracker on mlb.com and noticing no writeup for their 2nd and 3rd picks makes me nervous - does that mean they went way before they should have?

Kevin Goldstein: It's a weird group, and not one that thrills me. Both Taylor (2nd) and Wood (3rd) seem like over drafts to me, but I like Derrick Robinson in the fourth quite a bit, and think seventh-rounder Brett Bigler has sleeper potential.

Adam J. Morris (Houston, Texas): What's your take on the Rangers' draft? After the first couple of picks, it looks like a high-risk, high-reward group of guys, with several players -- Marcus Lemon and Christopher Davis -- who have major signability issues.

Kevin Goldstein: Adam,

That's a pretty good take, but I gotta think the Rangers would not have taken those two in the 4th and 5th rounds if they didn't think they could sign them. The bad news is that Lemon might be the first pick I like here. Kiker seemed too high for me at No. 12 in the first round, and i have questions about 3rd-rounder Chad Tracy's ability to catch long term.

John (Doe): Does Betances sign?

Kevin Goldstein: Good question. For those that missed it, the Yankees took Dellin Betances in the eighth round. They'll definitely look for the hometown discount, and Betances might be best served by trying to pitch his way much higher with a year of junior college ball.

collins (greenville nc): Thanks for doing the chat! Do you think the Twins took the right HS bat in Parmalee?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't -- but the fact that I'm disagreeing with Mike Radcliff makes me uncomfortable. I have a thing for Hank Conger, but I clearly liked him more than anyone else. and now, on to the lightning round.

birkem3 (Dayton, OH): Any plans in the works for a team-by-team review of the drafts past the first round?

Kevin Goldstein: YES! Starting Thursday in fact!

Joe (Minnesota): I love the Yankee draft, two colege pitchers to fll our need for upper level prospects, and Betances and Zach Mcallister seem to have huge cielings. Is my enthusiasm warranted?

Kevin Goldstein: Not really. Kennedy at 21 seems like a bit of a reach to me. Joba is interesting though, and could be a nice pick if his health holds up. Staying on the positive side, I really like Melancon in the 9th. A healthy version would have gone over 200 picks earlier.

MPK (Woodbury): Any favorites among the Braves' draftees? Personally, I am partial to Steve Evarts and Chad Rodgers...

Kevin Goldstein: I'm partial to second-rounder Jeff Locke, as I am partial to lefties with plus velocity.

Raz (NYC): Lightning....Better Draft Mets or Yanks?

Kevin Goldstein: Yankees. Drafting twice before the Mets did certainly makes that answer easier.

MatthewC (Bristol): Lars Anderson isn't signing is he? Or will the BoSox actually pony up dough for their 18th rd pick?

Kevin Goldstein: That's one of those insurance policy picks. If something goes wrong with a top pick like Bard, you cut your losses by giving Anderson his million. If all works out with the top picks, you let him go to Cal.

bossie13 (San Diego): Kevin- Thanks for your efforts this draft season. I'm sure that you're looking forward to a well-deserved nap. I was wondering about the signability of two of the Padres later picks: Latos and Green. Also, any comments on the Padres draft are welcome. It seems to me like they played it pretty safe at the open with low-ceiling college pitchers and then opened it up a little later on.

Kevin Goldstein: I think Latos is probably heading for college, as he started the year as a million dollar player, and will try to prove he's worth that with three years at Oklahoma.

Joe (NY): Why did Laporta fall so far?

Kevin Goldstein: An answer in haiku form

He hit just .259
Using shiny bats
And Boras too? ick.

maxexpos (Montreal): Many BP readers such as myself, are not as high on High School Pitchers the way you are. Care to elaborate?

Kevin Goldstein: There is no evidence that college pitchers are better than high school ones. And if you think I'm being all scouty, this if from Rany's excellent draft series whichi just concluded.

Draft Rule #8: There is virtually no difference whatsoever in the value of the other three groups of draft picks. In particular, it is no longer apparent that high school pitchers, even in the first round, are significantly riskier than either high school hitters or college pitchers.

J (Chicago): With the selection of Longoria, B.J. Upton will play ______ in the majors.

Kevin Goldstein: shorstop. Longoria is a 3b or a 2B

Kevin Goldstein: End with that, I bid you adieu. I'm off to reintroduce myself to my girlfriend and then sleep for a long time. Thanks so much for all the great questions and I wish I could get to all of them.


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