For a brief interlude between the LCS round and the start of the World Series, prospects expert Kevin Goldstein checks in to talk top talent, prospect rankings, and winter league action.
Kevin Goldstein: Rise and shine, Mr. Goldstein. Rise and shine. Not that I wish to imply you have been sleeping on the job. No-one is more deserving of a rest. And all the effort in the world would have gone to waste until... well, let's just say your hour has come again. The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world. So, wake up, Mr. Goldstein. Wake up and smell the ashes.
Not even a Yanks fan (Canada): Thanks for the chat Kevin...is the AFL performance of Hughes as confusing as it looks? How do you think his last 12 months impact FA decisions for the Yanks this winter?
Kevin Goldstein: As I wrote yesterday, the answer is YES. Seriously, I have no idea what to do with him. It's becoming one of those situations where if he won 16 games next year, I wouldn't be shocked and if he won 2 games next year . . . I wouldn't be shocked.
mymrbig (New Orleans): This is kind of looking ahead, but pretend the team that drafts Strasburg next year signs him well before the signing deadline by giving him a major league contract and promising to immediately place him on the 25 man roster and begin accruing service time. How do you think he would fair, given his current arsenal and control?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't even think Starburg would want that.
Jeff (Western Mass): Is Jason Heyward overrated if he is listed as a top 5 prospect? To be sure, he put up very good numbers in his first full season, but Montero, Freeman, Moustakas, and Stanton all put up significantly better power numbers at the same age and level, and none of these guys is likely to sniff the top 10.
Thanks for chatting.
Kevin Goldstein: I have no idea if somebody is listing Heyward as one of the top five prospects in the game, but yes, that's a little wacky. He's an elite prospect, but Top Five? Don't see it.
blaseta (Calgary): Who would you rather have long term, BJ or Longoria? Is my perception that BJ has the greater upside but Longoria seems like more of a sure bet accurate?
Kevin Goldstein: I actually think that's very accurate.
Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Is B.J. Upton the Eli Manning of the MLB postseason?
Kevin Goldstein: If I knew anything about football, I could tell you. But I don't. Seriously, I was talking to a friend the other day and we realized that I could name ONE college football player. ONE. And it was Quan Cosby because he used to be in the Angels system.
Curll84 (MA): Seriously, though. How good would a Half-Life movie be with Ridley Scott directing it? Black Mesa would be one of the scariest locations for a movie I can think of.
Kevin Goldstein: As far as creating an atmosphere, nothing beats Half-Life and it's relatives. That said, let's face it. Video Games are not movies and based on what's been out there so far, never should they meet again.
Dave (Chicago): Who would you start in the A's outfield next year out of Travis Buck, Matt Murton, Ryan Sweeney, Carlos Gonzalez, and Aaron Cunningham?
Kevin Goldstein: Good question. I'm not sure how crazy I am about any of 'em. Gonzalez has star potential but still needs lots of work, and he's the only one with real star potential. I'm not a big Murton or Sweeney fan.
Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Should I resign myself to the fact that the Yankees will not be able to sign talent comparable to Longoria, Upton, Price, et al, at any price in the next 2-3 seasons? I can't even console myself by making my Fallout 3 character look like Don Mattingly anymore.
Kevin Goldstein: Dude, they're the Yankees -- they'll be fine. That don't get to draft guys like Longoria, Upton and Price because they never draft that high, but they get to sign them when they are free agents, so it's not so bad. Plus they're in on most of the top international talent. Tough year for them certainly, but it's not like they're suddenly going to stink or something.
Matt (Chicago): Steven: when comparing this year's Phillies to the the 1915 NL Pennant-winning Phillies, who plays the Possum Whitted role? It's gotta be Jayson Werth, right?
Kevin Goldstein: Wow. I'll ask Goldman and let you know. Maybe lining up Goldman to Goldstein chat's back to back was a mistake. That's Goldman, he's the guy who knows about teams in the 1910s and Hitchcock movies of the 40s and has a lot of writing talent. I'm the dork who talks to scouts a lot and talks about things like fringy and pitchability and sometimes turns it in to semi-coherent sentences on the page.
Kevin (San Jose): When you were doing your "Who is the next Rays?" series, were you thinking the whole time that the "next Rays" are probably just the Rays? They still might have the best farm system in baseball, right?
Kevin Goldstein: They're in the team photo for sure. They're certainly going to last a long time. This is in no way a fluke or anything. As far as what's left though -- it ain't what it used to be. Great, but not holy-crap great.
Shane (Miami): Does Pedro Alvarez warrant Top 25 prospect discussion?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes he does.
JM (DC): Thoughts on Jason Donald at 3B in the AFL? Can he be a similar offensive hitter to Pedroia in the bigs, but at 3B? Obviously you'd like more power at 3B, but the Phillies did play Pedro Feliz and Greg Dobbs there this year, and Wes Helms last year....
Kevin Goldstein: Um, no. I don't think I'm going out on a limb here when I say that Jason Donald is not going to be the kind of guy who gives you 322 total bases in a season. He's a nice little prospect, but not a true SS, and not a guy who's in Pedroia's league offensively.
chris (massachussetes): can you give me a quick scouting report on jesus montero? i hear he is very good but i no nothing about him.
Kevin Goldstein: Wonderful offensive prospect who projects to hit for average and power. Woefully inadequate defender who will not be a catcher in the end.
Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Is the Hawaii league on yet? Is Ian Kennedy going anywhere to get more work?
Kevin Goldstein: It's totally on, on until the break of dawn, actually. Kennedy is not playing this winter.
Stephanie (DC): Given his usage so far through the year, what role can/should we expect for David Price in the World Series?
Kevin Goldstein: Personally, I'd close with him, but I don't think that will happen.
mhixpgh (Pittsburgh): Tell us a bit about how you watch playoff baseball.
Kevin Goldstein: Um. I have a couch, and a 46" 1080p set with 5.1 sound. Usually a big white pit bull will jump up and sleep next to me on the couch. Often I'll have a laptop open and watch the game with friends on kind of a virtual level. My girlfriend usually finds something else to do.
XXX (YYY): Julio Borbon's defense -- gold glove caliber? Enough above-average to carry what will probably be a sub-par (even for a CF'er) bat? Overrated? Average?
Kevin Goldstein: Gold Glove is pushing it. He's a good in center for sure, but not elite. Also, his arm is pretty weak. He has a weird set of skills. Can hit, can run, but doesn't have a leadoff man approach.
David (Sonoma State University, CA): Why is it that every chat you get a question about Jesus Montero and the SAME answer is provided for all the readers, EVERYTIME?
Kevin Goldstein: Because the facts don't change? Am I supposed to suddenly say he's a slap hitting second baseman with 80 speed?
Aaron (YYZ): Are there any prospects that you're excited about that people aren't asking you about all that much or guys that aren't getting much buzz ?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm currently working on the first few Top 11s, and you'll see them start to roll out once the World Series is over. Arizona has a surprisingly bad list, but nonetheless I have discovered some semi-new names there worth noting, so keep an eye open.
jaymoff (Salem, OR): Speaking of David Price's role . . . what is his role to begin next season: AAA for the first month or two, a bullpen guy in Tampa, or in the rotation out of the gates for the Rays?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know, and I don't think the Rays know either (nor are they worrying about it right now). I would bet he's in the rotation, but that might be a bias because that is what I would do.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): What can you tell me about Esmailyn Gonzalez? Is he a great fielder? He seems to have raked in rookie ball? Does he have any nicknames because writing "Esmailyn" is a pain?
Kevin Goldstein: His nickname is Smiley. See! I help people. He's a good defensive shortstop -- not great. The bat looks like it's good -- not great. So he's a good -- not great prospect.
Dan (NYC): Hey Kevin, thanks for the chat. Is Chris Coghlan currently at the top of the heap of minor league 2B? Does he have all-star potential at the position, or is he just the best of a thin upper-level crop of 2B prospects?
Kevin Goldstein: Definitely more B than A. Solid but unspectacular.
Adam (DC): Keith...that's one more college football player than I could name. Now, back to baseball. What kind of a career do you think Ben Revere will have?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm a huge Ben Revere fan. Going into the year, I think I was the only one to have him as Minnesota's No. 1 prospect, so I'm pretty happy about that as well. He's obviously going to hit for average, and he also has surprising pop for his size. He's never going to be a home run hitter, but he's not a slappy guy -- he does drive the ball into the gaps pretty consistently, which also makes me happy because then I get to watch him run.
Alex (SF, CA): What does signing Ellis for the next two years do the crop of A's 2B? Can Cardenas actually play SS?
Kevin Goldstein: Some people in Oakland think so, but I don't. He's one of those guys who makes the plays he gets to, and he has enough arm for the left side, but the range just isn't there based on all those I have talked to.
Brandon (Charleston): How good of a prospect is Zach Cozart?
Kevin Goldstein: He's a weird one. Plus defender a short, above-average power for the position, but doesn't project to hit for much of an average or be an on-base guy.
oira61 (San Francisco): Speaking of Mark Ellis, the San Francisco Chronicle has a blog posting today claiming the "sabermetric set" is outraged at Ellis for taking an under-market contract. Would you agree?
Kevin Goldstein: Don't look at me -- I'm not part of the sabermetric set.
Mr Football (Texas): Big difference between NFL and college. I know everything about college, but I couldn't tell you which former college player plays for which team in the NFL. College>NFL huge difference, not even close.
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know either, at all. I do like to play a game at every game I go to where I look at the lineup and try to see how many guys I can nail on draft year, round and school. I'm pretty damn good at that. I need to put together some kind of game show based on it and sell it to espn 2 or something.
Rob (Brighton): Do you think sometimes speed is deceptive? I'm thinking of B.J. Upton here. He seems to glide in center field, but that seems to be more a product of his stride than anything else. That just seems to be how he runs rather than him holding back a few gears.
Kevin Goldstein: That's why we have stop watches. I think even more poorly graded is outfield play, where some guy makes a diving play and ends up on SportsCenter, where if the guy really was a good outfielder in would have been just a hum-drum decent running catch.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): Other than Smiley, do the Nats have any middle infield prospects? It seems to be the most barren part of their system.
Kevin Goldstein: There's a part of the Nats system that is NOT barren?
ericmilburn (San Francisco): Still a big believer in Carlos Gonzalez? I'm not seeing the power projection...
Kevin Goldstein: Believer yes, but I'm not sure I'd throw 'big' in front of it. Despite all of bad numbers, he did smack 22 doubles in 302 big-league at-bats. There's power there.
Kevin Goldstein: Hi gang, this is actually Christina. Kevin just had an abrupt failure of service from his ISP, so he's out of commission and unavailable to answer your questions for the time being. Please accept BP's apologies for this random event cutting today's chat short, and count on the fact that we'll get him back in this space sooner rather than later.