With the draft coming up, Kevin talks about his mock draft, rumors surrounding the possible selections, plus plenty more on the prospect beat.
Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. It's a dreary Thursday, but that doesn't mean we can't have a good chat. I've already spent my morning talking to reporters about either Matt Wieters or Scott Boras, while getting an update on what looks like an excellent turnout for our night at U.S. Cellular with the White Sox next week. So let's get going.
Daniel (Brooklyn): Nothing not to like so far from Porcello, right? Have you revised predictions of his upside up or down based on what we've seen so far?
Kevin Goldstein: Nothing not to like. I had him as a five-star prospect entering the year with ace potential, so I can't see who I can go up.
Trevor (Milwaukee): KG, Can you tell me a little bit about Brett Lorin? He seems like a guy that is flying under the radar, does he front of the rotation stuff?
Kevin Goldstein: The Seattle fifth round pick is doing great here in the Midwest League, but no, it's not front-rotation stuff. He's absolutely huge at 6-7, 250, but his fastball is only fringe-plus. There's deception in his delivery and the angles help him. I'm not trying to ding the guy, I actually like him quite a bit, but not as some kind of stud.
TRLongwe (Durham NC): Can you tell me if White Sox prospect CJ Retherford is considered a legitimate prospect in baseball circles? He's hitting .312/.344/.567 in AA as a 2B and he's only 23.
Kevin Goldstein: He's semi-legit, because he really does have some skills at the plate. He's just not a middle infielder -- that's the problem.
Aaron (YYZ): What's the general assessment on Elvis Andrus' stock after a month and a half in the big leagues? Better than advertised, fluky so far, or more study required?
Kevin Goldstein: Somewhere between A. and C.
Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Is Andrew Brackman officially a disaster yet, in terms of his bonus & contract?
Kevin Goldstein: It's so hard to give up on the raw physicality and ability, but I've never been especially optimistic about him, as you know.
Ryan (NJ): I know he got knocked around a bit, but I really like what I saw out of Derek Holland. He thre strikes, missed some bats and never had one major implosion. Yankees kill lefties as it is. Your impressions?
Kevin Goldstein: I share your impressions.
Grant (Fort Lauderdale): KG, Any update on the injury status of Logan Morrison?
Kevin Goldstein: Should be back in June, some talk of moving him to left field, which is very interesting.
Rob (Alaska): Are you hearing any reason to be concerned about Lars Anderson and his cold start?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm more concerned that I was talking to a scout the other day and he told me he thought Morrison was the most overrated prospect in baseball. Obviously, that's just one guy talking, but it's worth noting.
Joel (Washington, DC): After Walter Young and Brad Eldred, I'm a bit cautious about huge guys who rake in low A with poor walk-strikeout ratios. Can Calvin Anderson avoid their fate?
Kevin Goldstein: Probably not, but he sure is fun to follow.
Joel (Washington, DC): Brad Lincoln: back to being a possible rotation mainstay for the Pirates?
Kevin Goldstein: Most definitely. The scouting reports are very impressive.
pete (las vegas): i know youve scouted some kane county games, are guys like hornbeck,haviland, hart, capra, etc have legit futures or a product of an offensively challenged league?
Kevin Goldstein: I like Capra the best of that group. Excellent location, really good change.
akroll (Baltimore): David Hernandez makes his major league debut for the O's tonight. His strikeout numbers throughout his minor league career have been terrific. What should I expect out of him?
Kevin Goldstein: I always thought he was underrated. He's not an overpowering guy like that numbers might suggest, but I do think he could be a solid No. 4 starter in the big leagues.
JJO (Virginia): Just clarifying re: Lars Anderson -- the scout said Anderson was overrated, or were you referring back to the Morrison question above the Anderson one. And if it's Anderson, did the scout say what, specifically seemed overrated?
Kevin Goldstein: He thought Anderson was way overrated. Saw him as surprisingly stiff and unathletic, called him the kind of guy who turns 40 when he's 26.
Joel (Washington, DC): Your very own BP Latin America expert has the Pirates in on Miguel Sano at $4 million+ and therefore possibly going cheap at #4 in the draft. Your mock has them taking Kyle Gibson. Any thoughts on the likelihood or the wisdom of the Sano/below slot scenario?
Kevin Goldstein: I've heard the same rumor, so there's definitely some smoke there at least.
heeler (Peoria, IL): Better of the two Chicago minor leaguers? Andrew Cashner (Cubs) or Dexter Carter (White Sox)
Kevin Goldstein: Cashner. Not even close.
DanLong (Newark): who can the yankees realistically pull in the draft? I heard about a LHP high schooler who might fall to them on signability issues?
Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, that was, uh, me who did that with Matt Purke. But that surely was a dart throw. At this point you can't do anything but guess for a team drafting that low.
scott (chicago): Anything to read into Beckham getting promoted to AAA? Could the Josh Fields experiment soon be over? Please please please tell me it's so...
Kevin Goldstein: I'd read more into the fact that he's playing third base there. That's really telling for your question.
Paul (Kansas City): Kevin, I know the Royals hand is going to be forced just yet, but Moustakas' bat seems like it is only a year or so away, what happens at third base?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm a big Moose fan, but how does .286/.320/.476 at Hi-A look like a year away? As to the question, it will figure itself out -- Moose isn't a surefire bet to stick at third.
scott (chicago): Well, that's partly why I mentioned Fields. But why waste your time moving him to AAA? It's not like it's tougher to defend at AAA than AA, right?
Kevin Goldstein: Because they already have Viciedo at third base at Double-A, and now he can stay there while Beckham plays it at Triple-A.
James282 (San Diego): Provided Strasburg and Ackley go 1-2, do you think the Padres pay to get a guy like Tate, grab a college pitcher or take the more ready bat in Grant Green (whom they drafted out of high school)?
Kevin Goldstein: It's one of the biggest questions around right now. Grady Fuson is rumored to be totally enamored with Tate, but we don't know if SD will be allowed to write the check.
Minneapolitan (Chicago): I'm watching Anthony Swarzak on my television right now. He seems good enough, but not terribly interesting. What do I like? What should I be worried about?
Kevin Goldstein: I think that's a great scouting report for him: Good, but not terribly interesting. I think he'll be a fine, usable starting pitcher for a while.
Rob (Alaska): What's your take on Adrian Cardenas? The whole 'rake at AA, stink at AAA, then get demoted back to AA and start raking again' seems like a bad sign. Right?
Kevin Goldstein: I'd call it a hiccup at most. Really very little concern about it.
Matt (CT): Are the Braves a lock for Wheeler if he's there at 7? Who's their backup plan?
Kevin Goldstein: I would say that if Wheeler is there, he's certainly the overwhelming favorite. I would bet on other high school arms as the backup plan.
Auggie (Anaheim): Big fan of the daily updates! Is there a couple guys that you especially like that hasn't got a lot of mention this year? (I think back to your Feliz prophecy) Thanks
Kevin Goldstein: That's really one of the reasons for the daily minor league update fun -- to get more names out there and let the readers know who has buzz. So we're covering more than ever, really.
Conjunction (Dallas): What was the indicator that lead to you regarding Neftali Feliz as a top prospect at least a half year before anyone else? Was is just the scorching fastball, or was there some other caveat in the scouting report or a subtle observation from watching him pitch?
What distinsuished Feliz of a year ago from a guy like Wilmer Font?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, when I first pumped him, he had only pitched in the Gulf Coast League, so I had never seen him. The most important post of my job is not seeing guys (although I love to do that), it's talking to people out there who ARE seeing guys. Two people who I respect a ton, people who's opinions I might weigh a bit more than others, HAD seen him, and they both though he was more than a kid with a special arm (like Font for example), that he had a little something extra in terms of projectability, mechanics, feel for secondary stuff, etc. that made him special.
rawagman (Toronto): Kevin - realistically, how much can a player's stock change between now and the draft? Can the NCAA World Series and/or private workouts really change perception all that much over a much larger body of work? Thanks for your great coverage
Kevin Goldstein: It can change a ton. I know we're just PAST the conference tournaments, but Jess Todd probably made himself at least $100,000 when he struck out 17 in the SEC Tournament two years ago in front of a LOT of heat. It's hard for the college guys to move much from here on out, but high school kids with workouts can definitely help/hurt themselves.
Berndaddy (DC): Kevin, is it possible for Gibson to fall to #10 to the Nats? I've also heard from another mock draft that Green might fall to #10. Is he a good pick?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm not kidding here folks. I'm talking to people about the draft EVERY day, and plan a lot more coverage for you between now and June 9-11, but right now, EVERYTHING is still way up in the air, it's still a total mess. Basically is you ask me about any scenario after Strasburg at No. 1, it's possible. Green could go 2. Green could fall into the teens. It's that nuts.
Huston Street (Colorado): Why do I have "setup guy" stuff? What does that mean? What's the difference between that and closer stuff? Why have I been an effective closer my entire career? Hasn't BP been spouting for a decade that there's no appreciable difference between closers and setup men?
Kevin Goldstein: BP is not a place with group think. I believe there's a difference, others here do not. Street has closer MAKEUP, but not closer stuff.
bob (sacramento): Where do you see Tim Wheeler going, maybe top 15? he seems to have the body type of a drew stubbs/ryan sweeney, skillset of a ellsbury?
Kevin Goldstein: I think he could go in the late teens, but he'll be in the 20s in my talent rankings. His tools are nowhere near the Stubbs or Ellsbury categories. Not even close. His biggest strength is that they're solid tools across the board, but he's far from toolsy. No real plus-plus anywhere.
Nate (CT): Drop a comp on Tommy Hanson. Ben Sheets? Chad Billingsley (stuff-wise), A.J. Burnett?
Kevin Goldstein: Someone who saw him last year in Arizona threw a John Smoltz on him.
strupp (Madison): Throughout the years, which player has been the biggest feather in your cap, and which player were you the most wrong about?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know really, I'm pretty much always moving forward. I get a lot of credit for Feliz, and I know that I never thought Pedroia had a ceiling of more than a solid to slightly above-average second baseman. Back in the day, I loved Arquimedez Pozo, how's that? On the good side, before others had him anywhere on any lists, I wrote that Travis Hafner could end up a low-rent version of Edgar Martinez. We all have our hits and misses.
Taco (Philly): Have you heard from any scouts about Dom Brown? His numbers look great, but have scouts backed them up by saying he's putting together his toolset? As a Phillies fan, I really hope they don't trade either him or Michael Taylor at the deadline this year.
Kevin Goldstein: The tools were always there for a guy like Brown -- you should be excited about him as a PHillies fan.
Rick (Denver): What kind of ceiling does a guy like Delta Cleary have? He seems to be adjusting to A-ball pretty well.
Kevin Goldstein: Massive crazy ceiling. With Fowler in the big leagues, Clearly is the best athlete in the system. He's still very raw.
Evan (Washington): Kevin, Derek Norris was a guy you thought might have a breakout and he has looked awfully impressive so far, do you think he'll move quickly?
Kevin Goldstein: His defense will determine his timetable more than his bat. He's still pretty rough around the edges behind the plate.
Scott (Oakville): With Wieters and Price in the Majors now. Does Michael "The Beast" Stanton have a legitimate chance at being the #1 prospect in the minors? (Assuming Strasburg isn't included)
Kevin Goldstein: 1 seems a little high for me. That said, the last scout I talked to who saw him this year was absolutely CRAZY about him.
Corey (IL): Complete this: Vitters is currently a top ___ prospect.
Kevin Goldstein: 20
Henry (bedroom): If Josh Vitters were called up today, would he hold his own or be overwhelmed (if it's possible to overwhelm that bat)?
Kevin Goldstein: He would be absolutely horrible. He's in the Midwest League, it's all about potential. No way, no how he could hit in the big leagues right now.
Matt (Work): Whats the word on Craig Kimbrel? Insane K-rate/Groundballer, but had Blass Syndrome in High A before a demotion.
Kevin Goldstein: Somebody didn't read today's minor league update.
Nate (Work): Jason Heyward makes his MLB debut before he can legally drink. True or False?
Kevin Goldstein: That would be an August 9, 2010 over/under. I'll take the over, but not by much.
tfierst (MN): What do you think about the Twins keeping Hicks in instructional THIS LONG?
Kevin Goldstein: The Twins is notoriously conservative with players, so I can't say I'm shocked. I'd also point out that every time I questions what the Twins are doing, be it their development plans, or them drafting weird guys in the first round like Ben Revere or Gutierrez, I quickly learn every time that the Twins are much smarter than I am.
heeler (Peoria, IL): Have the scouting reports moved on Ben Rever or Desmond Jennings? They both seem to be making strides.
Kevin Goldstein: Yes, and both are up. I was pretty surprised to talk to a scout the other day who really thinks Revere could hit 12-15 HR a year in the end. That's way on the high end for me, but this was from a guy who really knows his stuff.
cooper7d7 (CT): I quickly learn every time that the Twins are much smarter than I am.
Just think to your self, BJ Garbe or Adam Johnson...
Kevin Goldstein: Name me ANY team and I'll give you two big mistakes like that, only way more recent. If you had to reach back that far, that says a ton.
Wendy (Madrid): So is Kershaw's start promising, or are those walks a concern? Still ace potential?
Kevin Goldstein: If he went to college, he'd just be coming out in THIS draft. Total ace potential still.
BL (Bozeman): You've seen Eric Hosmer live... does he appear athletic enough to handle an outfield corner?
Kevin Goldstein: Right now? maybe. Four years from now? Different story.
dianagramr (NYC): True or false: Allowing the trading of draft picks would be beneficial towards restoring parity to the game.
Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely true. Always good to see diamagramr, even virtually.
PFJ (Philly): If Strasburg was a free agent, what kind of deal does he get? The standard 7/160M "ace" deal or the 5/65M kind? Something else?
Kevin Goldstein: My best comp there might be a guy like Matsuzaka, that totaled to about $100M with the bid AND the contract right?
Thomas (NY): Am I wrong to love Ruben Tejada? 19 years old in AA ball, hitting for average and demonstrating great plate discipline?
Kevin Goldstein: Is love really ever wrong? Love is a good thing, the world needs more love. In all seriousness though, I like Tejada for all the reasons you do, but I'm not convinced his more than a good utility guy in the end.
Chad (Columbus): Okay, Andy Marte is raking in AAA right now. Any chance he still ends up a major leaguer?
Kevin Goldstein: I have to be honest here -- I don't know really. Everytime I look at his box score and see two more hits and the .350-360 average I just scratch my head.
Chad (Miami): Is Andrew Miller going to emerge as an ace someday, or has that ship sailed?
Kevin Goldstein: Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Derek (OH): The Reds recently signed former 1st round pick Mark Pawelek. Any chance that he fulfills that old potential?
Kevin Goldstein: If he did, you think he would have been released this spring and been looking for a job for two months?
Darren (Atlanta): For you, what separates Jason Heyward from other very good prospects?
Kevin Goldstein: Size, athleticism, projection, feel for hitting.
Shkspr (Texas): Is it wrong of me to have just a little hope in my heart that the Nats redraft Aaron Crow with their second 1st and then offer him slot money because they're breaking the bank with Strasburg? I know it's probably not a smart play but the drama intrigues me. What happens if a team fails to sign their compensation pick? #11 next year, or nothing?
Kevin Goldstein: 1. You do NOT get a comp pick for failing to sign a comp pick, you can't cycle it forever.
2. As far as I know, Crow has not signed the permission slip for Washington to draft him again. Not many people know that one, but if a player is drafted and goes unsigned, he has the right to not allow that same team to draft him again.
Keith (Grand Rapids): Draft question ... Jacob Turner or Tyler Matzek, who has the better career?
Kevin Goldstein: Turner.
TGisriel (Baltimore): Did you see Joe Sheehan's evaluation of Bergesen yesterday, and do you agree with it?
Kevin Goldstein: I did read it, and I thought it was dead on.
Will (Dallas): Does Martin Perez have enough helium to be a top 10 prospect in baseball by years end?
Kevin Goldstein: Top 10? Absolutely not.
Tom Gordon (Arizona): What upside do you see for my son Dee Gordon? How does a .280 average with 50 steals sound?
Kevin Goldstein: Absolute ceiling? How does Jimmy Rollins sound?
lasportsguy (Los Angeles): Do you think Ethan Martin moves up this year or will he spend the summer in Michigan?
Kevin Goldstein: He'll be here in the Midwest all year most likely.
makewayhomer (Boston): your guess as to when Strasburg appears in his first MLB game?
Kevin Goldstein: If he signs quickly, this year, if not, April 2010.
Kevin Goldstein: Sorry to cut this one after 90 minutes, but there is much work to be done. I promise to be back soon.