If you want more than 100 reasons to be down with a case of future shock, you should talk to Kevin Goldstein about all of them in today's chat.
Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. The Top 101 prospects is up and looking here, it seems like you have a few questions, so let's get going.
Todd (Tallahassee): I was surprised to see you have Ryan Westmoreland ahead of Domonic Brown. Is defensive value the driver on that or is there something beyond that?
Kevin Goldstein: It's a small driver, but as good as Brown is, Westmoreland's tools are absolutely insane. The reports I got from scouts who saw him in the New York Penn League were just unbelievable.
Ben (Dallas): Just on talent alone, where would Scheppers rank on the top 101?
Kevin Goldstein: Great question. If there were no questions about his health, he'd definitely rank higher, but I'm not sure it's a crazy amount, as my gut says he'd still project better as a closer in the end.
Rahd12 (Phoenix): Any report on Parker's progress? Where would he have ranked on the list, if healthy?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm guessing we're talking about Jarrod here. A healthy version would be Top 25 for sure. I'm told his is "right on track."
Miguel (Camden): Kevin, do the Orioles like Bell as a long-term solution at third? When does that solution start?
Kevin Goldstein: They most definitely do, but they do think he's quite ready, and I agree with that assessment. Look for him in September, and then he's the third baseman in Baltimore in 2011.
Todd (Tallahassee): With Chapman rated in the top 10 do you expect he'll pitch effectively in the majors this season?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't think anyone should have too lofty of 2010 expectations in the big leagues for Champman. He'll be best served likely pitching in the minors and just adjusting to Los Estados Unidos, an aspect of the game that should not be overlooked for international talent, especially those from Cuba.
Ben (Dallas): Any word on Wagner Mateo? He kinda fell off the earth after his eye ordeal...
Kevin Goldstein: Word I've heard is that he still wants a lot of money, and nobody wants to give it too him because of the vision issue.
G (NY): I've heard that Arodys Vizcaino has serious makeup issues. Have you heard anything similar or is that something you just don't factor in?
Kevin Goldstein: Makeup can certainly play a role in ranking a prospect, but I've heard nothing like that about Arodys.
sriramk1027 (SF, CA): Is there a package the sox can put together for Adrian Gonzlez without including Kelly and Westmoreland?
Kevin Goldstein: No.
Trevor127 (Fort Worth, TX): KG, Feliz at #3 is a bit of a surprise. Are you convinced he'll be a starter, any reports on his off-season progress with his secondary offerings?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, his slider is damn good now, and I've seen him snap off some good changeups. He'll likely be used as a starter this spring, and I think that's where his future lies, just maybe not in 2010.
Jonathan (New York): Has Martin Perez accelerated his timetable so much that there's a reasonable chance he sees the big leagues this year? Or are the Rangers going to slow him down now and get him a full year at the upper levels?
Kevin Goldstein: I've been told by people who now that Perez has every opportunity to earn a September look.
Andrew (DC): Okay, I'll ask it: Brian Matusz at 18?
Kevin Goldstein: Um . . . That's where he is. I don't get the question. Too high? Too low? I obviously think it's just right.
ashitaka (long beach, ca): Hey Kevin. That's the highest I've seen Chris Carter on any list. Are you more confident in his defense than others, or more confident his bat makes up for hs lack of defense?
Kevin Goldstein: The latter. He should be able to turn into an average first baseman.
John (DC): Does Stephen Strasburg have the capability to be better than Tim Lincecum in a few years?
Kevin Goldstein: The capability? Yes. That doesn't mean it will happen. He has better pure stuff than arguably any pitcher in the game.
Joe (Pa): Odds on Harper being available when the Pirates pick?
Kevin Goldstein: Well over 50%. Chances of the Pirates taking Harper is he's there? Miniscule.
Fresh Hops (Tucson, AZ): Dustin Ackley is on the big league roster for good by (a) the All Star break 2010 (b) September 2010 (c) April 2011, (d) later. Feel free to elaborate.
Kevin Goldstein: I'm going to go with b. but there's the defense issue. If you told me he was an OF, I might say a., as I don't think he'll take much time at all with the bat. Now that he's a second baseman, there's a pretty wild variable in there all of a sudden.
Aaron (YYZ): Brett Wallace: Offensive dynamo or younger, cheaper Lyle Overbay?
Kevin Goldstein: You stole my Brett Wallace comp!
Andy (Chicago): More likely scenario in ~3-5 Years:
Shelby Miller is Robert Stock's battery mate or Shelby Miller is Robert Stock's rotation mate.
Kevin Goldstein: Certainly a. I like Stock as a catcher, but if the bat doesn't come and he has to move to the mound, it's as a power reliever.
Michael Jordan (TX): If you didn't hate Elvis Andrus, and he was eligible for your top 101, where would he rank? As a Rangers fan, I'm hoping the top 10.
Kevin Goldstein: I don't hate Elvis Andrus. That's a myth, but I can't say I'm not entertained by how worked up some get when I say he's not the greatest thing ever. He would not be in the top 10 for me. I think he's a very good player, I just don't think he is, or ever will be a true impact level one.
Josh (Harrisburg, PA): What makes you say the Pirates chances of taking Harper are miniscule - Pirate draft history, Harper being worth it, other?
Kevin Goldstein: It's a VERY VERY complex situation. Maybe I'd be best writing a full piece about it.
Will (Mactaquac): Wait. What? We just sold Roy Halladay for THE NEW OVERBAY!!!! I'm going home to rip my Rogers cable out by hand now. You want some cheap copper?
Kevin Goldstein: Wait until you see Kyle Drabek before damaging your own home.
Lincoln (Dallas): You've been reasonaly high on Yonder Alonso in the past, what made him drop off the list this time when a guy like Carter is so high?
Kevin Goldstein: The fact that he showed little power and did utterly nothing against lefties. I've written many times my feelings on first base prospects. If you don't look like some kind of No. 3 or 4 hitter on a championship level team, just how good of a first base prospect are you?
lemppi (Ankeny, IA): Could Bryce Harper fall something like Porcello did? Maybe late teens?
Kevin Goldstein: Or even further.
matt (pa): Kevin, have you heard anything about Jameson Taillon's contract demands are and how likely he is to sign rather than go to Rice?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, he does have the Hendricks Brothers, and while the public reputation isn't the same, inside the game, they're seen as just as difficult/demanding as dealing with Boras. That said, if I had to bet on the No. 1 pick right now, it just might be Taillon. But then again, it's early March, and that means nothing.
hinnenra (Naperville): Seems like you are penalizing guys that hurt their wrists last year: Morrison drops to #50, and Alonso drops out altogether. Is this because you fear for their long-term health? Or did you see some sort of change in their respective skill sets?
Kevin Goldstein: See first base prospect mantra above.
Paul (DC): Bryce Harper - too much hype too early? talented enough to crack your Top 100 prospect list (if eligible)? are both view points true?
Kevin Goldstein: He'd be a single digit guy. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Bryce Harper is the best player in the 2010 draft, but at the same time, Bryce Harper is the most overrated player in the 2010 draft. He is not baseball's LeBron or anything.
Joe (Pa): Upside of Pedro Alvarez with Pittsburgh's short porch in right: 30 Homers, ..270 average or 50 homers, .300 average? Is he a true #3 hitter?
Kevin Goldstein: Can i split the baby and say .285 with 40 home runs?
Rhys26 (Waterdown, PA): KG, Who are 3 guys you really like to move up this list for next year?
Kevin Goldstein: I'll pick one guy for every team soon.
Eric (Linceburg): Jeremy Jeffress is a starter or reliever when he comes back?
Kevin Goldstein: Personally? I'd relieve him.
Drew (NYC): Let's just skip the 2010 college class and go to 2011. To whom would you compare Anthony Rendon?
Kevin Goldstein: If I'm forced to predict the No. 1 pick in 2011, as nuts as that is as an exercise, I'd take Rendon. High average, high power third baseman. Maybe a Longoria type? That's hardly a perfect comp, but it's what came to mind.
raygu1 (Burlington, NJ): Kevin-thanks for the chat. Gordon > Castro?? explain please.
Kevin Goldstein: Gordon crushes Castro on a tools level. I like Castro, but I don't see star-level tools.
Lincoln (Dallas): Which of your rankings did you expect to cause the biggest kerfuffle?
Kevin Goldstein: Bonus points for using one of Steven Goldman's favorite words. Maybe just the absence of Alonso, which it has. Only having one Yankee as well, but then again, if I had eight Yankees in the top 101, I'd get emails asking why there weren't nine. It's nothing against Yankees fans, as much as there are so many of them, so thus more irrational ones. I think their irrationality percentage is probably the same as other team's fans.
Gouda (Romaine): What about Lee v. Castro? They seem like the same player.
Kevin Goldstein: Castro is obviously much more polished and closer, but Lee has better raw tools.
Doug (Cincinnati): So you are down on Alonso for not showing power (despite slugging nearly .500 in the FSL) but love Justin Smoak for slugging .440 in the PCL and Texas League combined, while hitting lefties just as bad as Alonso did in 2009? Care to go into that one?
Kevin Goldstein: Sure. Smoak is a much, much better pure HITTER than Alonso, and more scouts believe in Smoak's power blossoming than those that believe in Alonso's.
jfish26101 (Morgantown): If you were to build an equation that fits your methodology for creating lists like your top 101, can you give an estimation of what the the weights be for the following variables:
This obviously wont be perfect and I wouldn't expect you to use an equation but I think it could give a good idea of what you consider and how much weight you place in it. Thanks.
Kevin Goldstein: This is a great question, and I wish I had an equally great answer, which I don't. At it's most core level, I'm trying to balance a player's ultimate upside with his ability to reach that upside. There is no pure formula here at all. There's just a lot of history of looking at guys and knowing what they are and knowing how they tend to develop. It's a 'gut' job in a lot of ways.
fielding99 (New York): If he unretired, Desme would be number ___ in Goldstein's top 100.
Kevin Goldstein: Let's see here. He was #66 in the book, but Champman got added, so that would make him #67.
armcrow (california): Just want to say that I think you have the hardest job at BP- projecting prospects on a performance based site can't be easy, as the Smoak v Alonso question suggests.
Kevin Goldstein: Or I have the easiest one, as I don't have to break out calculus or root square means everytime I want to make a point. It goes both ways.
Aaron (YYZ): Name one guy you would be accused of being irrationally positive on, and one that you would be accused of being irrationally negative on.
Kevin Goldstein: I've been accused of being irrationally positive on Feliz, Porcello, and this year Carter and Sano, or pretty much any teenager from Latin America. Irrationally negative accusations including Castro and many first base prospects.
Minneapolitan (Nashville): I'm not a new Nashvillain any longer, but I missed all of Vandy's season last year and about 4/5ths of the Sounds' season. But it's that time of year again, so who should I make sure to see live while I'm exiled to Music City?
Kevin Goldstein: No monsters for 2010, but righties Sonny Gray and Jack Armstrong, as well as infielder Jason Esposito all have high, high 2011 potential.
jfish26101 (Morgantown): Well I knew there isn't an "equation" but I thought it would be fun and possibly enlightening to explore it. Every time one of the industry leaders releases their top 100 list, intense discussion ensues about the methodology behind the list. I just thought it may help all of your fans better understand your list if they knew what components you prefer to use when ranking players and how much you weight them against each other figuratively. Thanks for the answer though.
Kevin Goldstein: It's tough. I think everyone has their biases for sure, where one thing might be better than the other on a different level. People inside the game have called me "King Upside" or "Velo Whore" so that lets you at least know what the reputation here is. I'll take it.
Jack (Chicago): Starlin Castro #37, is that because you seem to hate guys other publications like?
Kevin Goldstein: See folks? This is my day in a nutshell. Yeah Jack, that's it. That's why I have Strasburg and Heyward 1-2. Sorry if I didn't go with the flow on your team's guy. It happens.
dianagramr (nyc): What music do you listen to in the background while you are churning out BP articles?
Kevin Goldstein: Depends. Early in the day, I listen to Howard Stern. Musically, it's mostly dissonant stuff, like Shellac or Pere Ubu or pure rock like the Replacements or pretty stuff like Pavement or etherial stuff like the Cocteau Twins. Who knows -- depends on the mood.
Frank (Ottawa): Did you consider Edward Salcedo for this list? If so, how close was he to making it? Also, any consideration for Jurickson Profar?
Kevin Goldstein: I'd have Salcedo as the 3-star guy short of the list. he'd be somewhere between 5 and 7 on a reconstructed Braves rankings.
Ryan V. (San Jose, CA): I'm not sure if I think the irrational responses to prospect rankings would be the worst aspect of the job, or the best. Because, at the very least, it shows that people are invested. And let's face it, some of the people are so close to the bunny-boiling line that it's hilarious...
Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, you have to have fun with it. A while back, I started checking off teams, and in well less than 12 months, I had emails collected that accused me of some sort of bias against all 30 teams in baseball. To be fair, the Toronto guy also accused me of hating all Canadians.
Mike W (Chicago): What would be very nice is an ETA for each prospect, mostly for fantasy, but also to give some idea at a glance of how much of a rating is likely to be projection and how much is based on established performance.
Kevin Goldstein: I hope that's taken care of in each of their detailed scouting reports in the team Top 11s.
Jmast7 (New Haven, CT): I know it's still early, but any prospects impress in spring training so far?
Kevin Goldstein: It's March 3rd (or as I see it, six days until Final Fantasy XIII). Therefore ALL PROSPECTS have impressed in spring training. Nature of the beast.
Kevin (Pittsburgh): Kevin,
I read that James Darnell (3B..SD) may get a shot at playing 2B. Could he stick there or is this just one a bad rumor?
Kevin Goldstein: It's a funny one, in that I understand the logic, yet I think he has pretty much no chance to stick there. He's not even a good third baseman.
Pat (MA): So Fernando Martinez is younger than Jared Mitchell and has performed in every level of the minors at a young age, whereas Mitchell has had just a hundred or so at-bats in A-Ball, and he's 19 slots ahead of F-Mart? Huh?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, one is a pure CF and one isn't -- that's a huge difference right there, no?
Garrett (Chicago): While no longer a prospect, do you believe Brandon Wood will take this opportunity and run with it?
Kevin Goldstein: I still have faith.
norman (san jose): anything you look for in particular when watching or looking up box scores of spring training games?
Kevin Goldstein: It's important to see what a guy is doing, but sometimes more important to see who he is doing it against. For example Josh Bell went deep to day. Impressive. He went deep against Matt Garza. More impressive. I'm told he hit a second.
Mike (Chicago): Geovany Soto lost 40 pounds. Matt Stairs is in the best shape of his life. Even Charlie Manuel is making waves with weight loss. So which BPer is coming into the season in the best shape of his life?
Kevin Goldstein: Having seen many recently for book tour stuff or the winter meetings in December, nobody really stands out. I remain a fat man of rock.
Tyrus (Georgia): Aren't you too old to play video games?
Kevin Goldstein: That's just silly. For the record, I just got a text message from a scouting director who is older than me (I'm 41 in 17 days) and it said nothing about baseball, but asked me my opinion on Heavy Rain and which Borderlands DLC he should be.
Wendy (Madrid): How soon to the Cubs' next division winning team? Is the system really on it's way up?
Kevin Goldstein: System might be on it's way up, but I think the big league team is on it's way down. I think they're window has closed for a while.
Bud Light Golden Wheat (Awful, undrinkable): Do you ever still get geeked out when you meet one of your favorite players/prospects or is it not a big deal anymore?
Kevin Goldstein: I meet way more scouts/execs than players, and I don't really get geeked out. I used to.
ted (the cubicle): No question.... I just realized that I've always just imagined that you look like the director Kevin Smith. But just the pudgy version of 10 years ago (think Dogma), not the current-day obsese one.
Kevin Goldstein: I look more like Frank Black.
Peter (Vegas): Kevin, you're a grown man and still play videogames? Do you also live in your parents basement?
Kevin Goldstein: I do. I'm also sitting in the living room of MY 2700 square foot five bedroom 19th century Victorian home. The one I pay the mortgage on.
Or (Dallas): Howdy, KG! Do you think Mitch Moreland can become a usable major league piece in right field?
Kevin Goldstein: Usable? Sure. As long as your expectations here are reasonable on Moreland as a nice bat and not some kind of monster, sure.
paulbellows (Calgary): Do you think that college programs should use wood bats? Is it just a cost issue?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes; yes. But I also think pretty much every single thing about college sports is utterly wrong and evil, so take that into account.
Ryan V. (San Jose, CA): Now that you mention it, what IS your opinion on Heavy Rain? I bought it just yesterday, and haven't had a chance to get cracking at it. But I'm irrationally exuberant...
Kevin Goldstein: I think it's outstanding. It's not really a GAME, it's something much different, but that doesn't mean it's not excellent.
Christian Bale (Hollywood): "2700 square foot five bedroom 19th century Victorian home. The one I pay the mortgage on." Oooohhh, Gooood for you!!!!!
Kevin Goldstein: And we have a winner.
JimmyJack (Issaquah, WA): Hi Kevin,
Thanks for the chat. Just curious, do you have any "pet" players you secretly cheer for? Guys like total tool-monsters who suddenly have the light bulb glow, less talented scrappy guys who won't be denied their opportunity, or a guy who masters a new pitch and worm-burns his way to a career? Maybe this seems more like a coaching question, but certainly the majors are filled with plenty of alternate path-to-glory stories.
Kevin Goldstein: I actually root for most players believe it or not. I certainly want the rankings to look good, but I hardly would want anyone to fail just to make me look smart. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true. I totally want Yonder Alonso to hit 40 home runs this year and make me look bad, I just don't think he will.
mbring (St. Cloud, MN): Most rankings seem to have Michael Taylor and Brett Wallace very close, whereas you have them 24 spots apart. What differences between them do you see that others are missing?
Kevin Goldstein: I haven't seen a lot of other rankings, I'm guess I have Wallace lower than most. He's a first baseman with on-base skills but not crazy power for the position, nor even the kind of power you need to star at the position. I just don't think he's a star there.
Scout in Training (Arizona and Florida): Hey Kevin!
What percentages would you assign to the the factors upon which your opinions are based? Field scout reports? Other team officials? Videos? Camps? Etc.
Kevin Goldstein: Talking to scouts provide the overwhelming majority of what you see here. It's the largest factor by a mile. I do talk to team officials as well, but I tend to look for injury/assignment information from them. For evaluating talent, I greatly prefer to get scouts who are NOT affiliated with the organization am I ranking. Some teams try to promote and push guys, and that can make for bad rankings.
Mike (MA): If those Westmoreland reports you got were so "unbelievable" then why not just put one on here for all to see, word for word?
Kevin Goldstein: Because that would reveal the scout and he might get in trouble with his employer?
TFD (Indianapolis): What one site feature do you believe will most surprise people in the next year? How do you intend to compete with Twitter and all the free competition?
Kevin Goldstein: We are going to have some of the blog stuff going this week, and continue to roll out more throughout the month, and I think it's just going to be the sheer amount of good content and conversation that's really going to excite people.
Lizzy (Texas): Has a prospect ever called you or talked to you in person and complained about their ranking?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes.
Bud Light Golden Wheat (Smells bad, tastes worse): Any plans to attend some Spring Training games this year? Have you in the past? Is there any information you can glean from 2-3 innings of work from a pitcher or a couple ABs against a Triple-A lifer?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm hoping to this year, but it might not happen. You can't gain much at all from one look, you need many many games to really evaluate a guy.
Vince (MA): Do you consider yourself more of a scout or a reporter?
Kevin Goldstein: I've had feelers for jobs in the past, but I am not a scout. That's important to say. I do, just from a lot of experience, understand scouts and what they do and what they look for and the why and how of their evaluations. I like to think of myself as someone with a real passion for this aspect of the game with a lot of connections, so I work very hard to get as much information as a I can and pass that on to my readers, who I adore.
Elmo (Hartford): Brett Lawrie at 99 seems a bit low - is that more due to the lack of any defensive value or due to him just not being very good?
Kevin Goldstein: I do think he's a LF/1B in the end, which changes the offensive expectations on a HUGE level.
brian (brooklyn): Has a prospect ever called you to talk about video games?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes. I even have some on my PSN friends list.
Zooey (LA): Will we ever see a female play in the minor leagues or even perhaps one day reach the Majors?
Kevin Goldstein: I doubt it. I think the best chance would be a knuckleballer.
mymrbig (New Orleans): So where would Anthony Rendon (Rice, 3B) be on your top 101 if eligible? Just ballpark. Also, dude seems to have a much better eye than Longoria, so maybe Longoria plus an extra handful of walks;-)
Kevin Goldstein: He'd be top 20, and that might be low.
Rob (Brighton, MA): This is somewhat sad, but I feel the need to defend Bud Light Golden Wheat. Sure, it's not real beer, and any beer snob has the right to turn their nose at it. But it is way better than Bud Light. That's saying something. Shouldn't we give Budweiser some credit for upping the ante on crap american light beer? At least they aren't resting on their laurels like the People at Pabst have been doing for the last 115 years.
Kevin Goldstein: Don't look at me, I prefer crap beer. I tend to drink Rolling Rock.
Chad (Fairfax): Whats the latest on Josh Smoker and Jack McGeary?
Kevin Goldstein: If you can't say something nice . . .
occasional gamer (DC): Thoughts on Resonance of Fate? As somebody not hugely into FF (not a criticism), I am hoping it will be good. I'm also holding out hope for Alpha Protocol.
Kevin Goldstein: I played the Japanese Demo (it's called End of Eternity there) and I liked what I saw, so I'm intrigued. I see you are in DC so this is a good time to remind everyone that we'll (that's Me, Steven and Jay) be at Politics and Prose) next Tuesday, the 9th. See you there?
Clint (Chicago): Ackley moving from OF to 2B seems like a difficult jump. He must be a heck of an athlete.
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know how optimistic I am about that one either, but he's definitely a heck of an athlete.
Jack (ID): I believe you once said you didn't go to/graduate college. How did you get such a prestigious position without a college degree? Certainly not everyone needs college, but it's often forced on people.
Kevin Goldstein: It's a very long, somewhat boring story. At the time, it just wasn't for me, and I have some opportunities to get a real career going as a teenager, so I take advantage of them. It's worked out, but that doesn't mean it's a path I necessarily recommend to anyone. Unique circumstances.
DavidLADodgers (Sonoma State University, CA): We've been over this. Rolling Rock is not crap beer. It's underrated. "The Smoak of beers"
Kevin Goldstein: Agreed.
Corey (MD): If you weren't doing what you're doing at BP, what would you be doing?
Kevin Goldstein: My dream job has always been grizzled war time correspondent. But that's just romantic. Realistically, I'd probably be involved in some kind of technology/marketing kind of thing.
Ron (Vancouver): Career All-Star Appearances for Kyle Drabek 0.5. Over or Under?
Kevin Goldstein: Over.
Neil (NJ): If you look like Black Francis you should be listening to Surfer Blood...and Pabst is resting on it's laurels because it can!
Kevin Goldstein: I've been corrected by a reader who tells me I look like Bob Mould. And again, hooray for crap beer.
brian (brooklyn): Since you were in the position yourself, do you have any opinion on whether kids are better off signing out of high school or playing college ball? Or is it strictly a case by case situation?
Kevin Goldstein: I think in general it's best to go pro, but obviously there are exceptions. Three years of full immersion in baseball with full seasons are obviously (to me at least) better for development than the shorter college seasons and the distraction of schoolwork. You can always go back to college.
Trebor (Austin): Dan Hudson had a huge breakout last year. Do you see him settling in as a 3/4 type eventually or think he hits a higher ceiling?
Kevin Goldstein: I think it's a solid three ceiling, and I think he might be a bit underrated because of how out of nowhere 2009 was.
armcrow (california): Any prospect/organization ever contacted you to complain you rated him/their guy too high?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes. Already today actually.
buffum (Austin TX): Shoot, Ken Schrom made an All-Star appearance. Anyone can have a gork year. How about Kyle Drabek, 80 career wins, over/under?
Kevin Goldstein: Can I start using "gork year". I have no idea what that means, I just love it. I'll take the over, but I do it with some trepidation, and I wonder if at some point he become a closer and racks up saves, but not wins.
jlewando (dc): Amen, re: crap beer. Which catcher do you like better to leap into next year's top 100 -- Robert Stock or Wilin Rosario?
Kevin Goldstein: Rosario by a wide margin.
Bud Light Golden Wheat (Has a robust flavor, but so does sewage): KG, how about some lightning round? Quicker to the majors: Westmoreland or Casey Kelly?
Kevin Goldstein: Kelly, just less of a ceiling. I've already gone more than four hours, but I have some time, so keep 'em coming.
John (VT): Given all the negative feedback you seem to get, a thick skin must be skill #1 for your job?
Kevin Goldstein: It's good to have a thick skin, I always tell my girlfriend (I have one of those too folks!) that I take comfort in knowing that every day somebody, somewhere on the internet is calling me an asshole. That's fine. I have a lot of fun with the negative feedback, but I actually get way more positive stuff, which obviously means far more to me.
leites (New York): Josh Reddick - could he actually end up playing CF at the major league level, or is he really just a corner guy?
Kevin Goldstein: I think he's one of those more "center in a pinch" types who works better in a corner.
Mark (Toronto): Any hope left for Justin Jackson?
Kevin Goldstein: Just a tiny tiny bit.
Trebor (Austin): I think you're in the minority in liking Hellickson over Wade. This makes me happy, as he's one of my keepers. Not up until September? Or forces his way up before then?
Kevin Goldstein: He definitely COULD do that, but we could say that about 50 guys, no? Predicting WHEN a guy shows up in the big leagues is a common question, but impossible to answer, as there are too many unpredictable variables, especially injuries at the big league level.
Gregjitsu (SoCal): "I think in general it's best to go pro, but obviously there are exceptions."
Can you mention some specific exceptions that would make college better for some kids than others? Just curious. Thanks.
Kevin Goldstein: Stephen Strasburg.
Joe (Pa): Still believe in Milledge?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't play fantasy baseball, but if I did, he'd be a big sleeper for me.
Geer (Birmingham, AL): Any non-financial reason for Heyward to start the season in the minors?
Kevin Goldstein: No.
Nick (nyc): Is your ranking of Jesus Montero assuming he will stay behind the plate? Where would he rank as a first baseman or straight up DH?
Kevin Goldstein: Actually, it almost assumes he won't. He's that good of a hitter.
Marcus (Silver Spring): If Nats sign Dunn long term will Marrero move back to the outfield and his value increase?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't think Marrero would work in the outfield at all.
Neil (NJ): Bob Mould? Are you just trying to get more obscure with large rocker comps? What's next Tim Harrington?
Kevin Goldstein: I do not look like Tim Harrington. With some more height and 60 pounds, Tommy Bennett might start to, so there is hope out there.
John (GA): Stark had some quote from some scout who said Heyward could be an OF version of Pujols. Crazy talk, right? ... Right?
Kevin Goldstein: Just kind of unfair, as Pujols is one of the best of all time right now. That said, Heyward absolutely has face of the franchise massive superstar potential. No question.
cbelford (Chicago): Kevin, thanks for the chat (and the 101 list...) Do you think Vitters will be ready to take over 3rd next year for Cubs if A-Ram exercises his opt-out clause? Or will we need a placeholder for a year?
Kevin Goldstein: I think the one year placeholder might be for the best.
Joe (Pa): In rating Strasburg the #1 prospect, are you saying he's the most talented, or are you picking him to have the best MLB career?
Kevin Goldstein: Both?
Mark (Toronto): Any hope left for JP Arencibia?
Kevin Goldstein: Catcher with plus power? Absolutely.
Nick (Balt): _____ % of people you talked to think Arrieta is a reliever in the end?
Kevin Goldstein: 31.45%
knockoutking (little rock): is there any reason that JD in texas should be on the hotseat if the rangers dont win 90+ games?
Kevin Goldstein: Because it's a very young team with a lot of things that could go wrong. I think JD and his staff do a great job.
Gregjitsu (SoCal): Sorry for the unclear question- I meant, more generally, what sorts of situations/skill sets make college a better bet for some kids than others? The crazy athletic kid who is super raw, and could benefit from some more polish before the draft? Kids who don't fit the major league profile physically somehow (Lincecum/Pedroia?)
Kevin Goldstein: Pitchers who are a long way from physically maturing are the first to come to mind.
John (WA): To use your language, the Seattle media is "blowing up" Maucirio Robles. Warranted or just filler spring talk?
Kevin Goldstein: I think he's a reliever in the end, but nice radar gun readings (and Robles can do that for sure) often creates early March excitement.
Pseudofool (Kalamazoo): Talk to me about Sano. Why did you rank him so highly for such a young kid?
Kevin Goldstein: Because he was not only the best hitter in this year's international class, but the best some had seen for years and years.
Joe (Pa): Are you a proponent of drafting the best player available regardless of position? For example, if the Pirates draft a 3b #2 overall this year, do you automatically label it a mistake?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes, huge proponent. Always take the best player. The rest will figure itself out.
Maggie (DC): Which team has the highest percentage of irrational fans?
Kevin Goldstein: I really think it's probably a very similar percentage for all teams.
Rob (Brighton, MA): RE: Rolling Rock. Don't ever let anyone try to tell you that the green bottle imports like Heineken or Stella Artois are better. They aren't. Not before they cross the Atlantic, and certainly not after. This doesn't apply to Becks.
Kevin Goldstein: This brings up a question. I was having drinks with a friend in NYC on Monday, and I ordered a Stella Artois while saying the entire name and pronouncing it correctly. My friend acted like I was a jerk by doing that, even though he ordered some fancy Mexican coffee that wasn't even on the menu at the Mexican restaurant where we had dinner. Did I do something wrong here?
knockoutking (little rock): ...so do you have a feliz-like guy this year whose bandwagon your driving?
Kevin Goldstein: Colome?
Tim K (DC): Maybe what it amounts to is different valuations. how would you rate the following. If your upside isn't that of starter/top2 reliever/top 3 rotation player on a first division club you are not a top 100 prospect. Seems reasonable that each of the teams should have 4 guys they realistically think might one day fall into one of those buckets at a given time.
Kevin Goldstein: And if a team ended up with four of those guys from their entire system, it would be a FANTASTIC return. Seriously, the success rates can get downright depressing.
danbrod11 (greenwich ct): Most order a Stella Artois as a "Stella" but I really don't see what the big deal is.
So you think the Phillies would have been better off sending Brown to the Jays for Roy instead of Taylor?
How soon is Storen closing?
Kevin Goldstein: We asked the bartender, and he said between 1/3 and 1/2 say just "Stella" while also dealing with the two excessively drunk frenchmen who were disputing their bill. I like Taylor more than Brown, which I understand puts me in the minority. I think Storen is closing for the Nats by the second half.
Jquinton82 (NY): On the stella question... absolutely not Kevin... Beer Snobs of the World Unite!!
Kevin Goldstein: I only got it because I was getting enough crap about drinking beer from a bottle and the draft menu wasn't very deep.
Nick (nyc): Kevin, your only mistake was ordering a Stella. Europe’s Budweiser is still....Budweiser
Kevin Goldstein: Telling me it's crap beer only makes me feel good about it.
Liars ((the radio)): What kind of prospect is Koby Clemens?
Kevin Goldstein: One of tons of guys who has to prove it now that they've escaped from a Cal League pinball machine.
Wendy (Madrid): I know comps aren't the best way to describe players, but is there anybody the Ackley reminds you of? Who do you think he'll probably resemble offensively? And who defensively? Who will be the better player in a couple of years assuming they stay at 2B, Ackley or Gordon Beckham? Do you see another young 2b that could be better than these two?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, I'm not sure he's a 2b yet, so that's problem number one. I love him as a pure hitter. I think he's going to hit .300+ in the big leagues with .400 or so OBPs, but I'm not sure the power will even be average in the end.
knockoutking (little rock): is there a game that you MORE excited about playing than "The Last Guardian"? (also, one has to love the Japanese title: "Trico, the Man-eating Sea Eagle")
Kevin Goldstein: I really can't wait.
Hal Dunn (DC): Where would Cuba's Yuleski Gorriel rank on this list? I assume Darvish is top 5.
Kevin Goldstein: Darvish is top 5, but I'm also unsure as to whether a guy from Japan who is just dropping into the big leagues should even be seen as a prospect when he needs zero development. I hear Gorriel has slipped a bit athleically, but I'd need more information.
Starr (DC): Kevin, how do potential 2011 draftees Gerrit Cole and Sonny Gray stack up to some of the younger pitchers on your rankings like Tyler Matzek and Jacob Turner?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm a huge huge Cole fan, and I think he's the best 2011 pitcher (for now). Geez, I'm pushing three hours -- should I keep going or start the organizational rankings.
goiter6 (MN): If Jaff Decker continue to hit this year, should the Padres move him up aggressively? My thought is if the biggest concern about someone is that they won't age well, isn't it in the team's advantage to get them up earlier.
Kevin Goldstein: I like how you think.
Aadik (San Francisco): KG, If I was going to ask you to name your top 5 boom or bust prospects on the Top 101, who would they be? Or put it another / more interesting way, who is the highest ranked prospect you have who you think is most likely to be a total bust (ie, Chapman? Hicks?)
Kevin Goldstein: I think my biggest risk might be Gordon at 27. If he was 19, I'd be thrilled but he's exceptionally raw for a 21 year old.
brian (brooklyn): Would a player coming from Japan NEED zero development or RECEIVE zero development?
Kevin Goldstein: Depends. We were talking Darvish, who NEEDS zero development.
TGisriel (Baltimore): Any thoughts on who will be available for the Orioles picking 3rd in the upcoming draft?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, nobody really has a good feel for who's going one or two, so no. For now, bet on a pitcher the way the talent seems to be falling out.
knockoutking (little rock): who is MORE raw? gordon or mitchell?
Kevin Goldstein: Gordon.
Jquinton82 (NY): So... offensively Ackley's going to resemble Jeter to an extent...?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't hate that thought, though I hate projecting a guy as an alltime great.
norman (san jose): are you worried at all about Strasburg's mechanics?
Kevin Goldstein: My blog is coming this week, and the first post is about mechanics and everyone looking for problems.
john (houghton, MI): Anyone in Detroit's system that you're excited about this year and why? Turner and Crosby seem poised to get lots of attention this season.
Kevin Goldstein: And deservedly so. Andy Oliver is a possible sleeper there as a guy who could move way up prospect lists next year or completely fall off.
Maggie (DC): What's the all-time BP chat record (length and words)? Are you going to break it?
Kevin Goldstein: Don't know . . . probably not.
Clint (Chicago): I want to say Marc Normandin had something like a 6-hour chat. I remember it because I was really bored at work that day.
Kevin Goldstein: I'm so not touching that.
Ron (Vancouver): Which GM would you want running your club?
Kevin Goldstein: Depends on the club. I don't think they are interchangeable. Size of budget, quality of big league team and quality of system would all be factors that need to be considered.
ssimon (Pelham, NY): KG - NY question: Would you rather have #4 overall (Montero) or the four Mets guys at #48, 80, 84, 87?
Kevin Goldstein: Great question. In general, you want the elite guy.
Ron (Vancouver): Better chance of finally living up to the hype, Alex Gordon or Delmon Young?
Kevin Goldstein: I got a feeling about Delmon . . .
knockoutking (little rock): elvis andrus : SS :: franklin guitterez : CF?
Kevin Goldstein: Franklin Guitterez is a better center fielder than Andrus is a shortstop. That's not an insult to Andrus who is a true plus defender there.
Jquinton82 (NY): if Brian Cashman was not the GM of the yankees.... who in all of GM-landia could do it and do it possibly better?
Kevin Goldstein: I think Cashman is a very underrated GM by the "how could he not win with all that money" cadre. I'd like to see what a guy like Jack Z. would do with those limitations (or lack thereof).
Jacob348 (San Fran): KG, I hear that Posey has 15-18hr potential, yet he seemed to display more power this year than expected. Is there a guy you liken him to and is 20-25hr potential really that out of the realm of possibility?
Kevin Goldstein: Not at all. It's funny, I'd probably say 18-22.
Ron (Vancouver): ...is the feeling about Delmon good or bad? I guess what I am trying to say is, is your gut feeling like Ron Washington's gut feeling or something altogether different?
Kevin Goldstein: It's a good feeling. I think we could see a big step forward this year.
Worry Wart (San Fran): Bumgarner was reportedly throwing 87-88 in his second inning today. Excited to get blistered with questions about this over the coming weeks?
Kevin Goldstein: Dammit.
David (New York City): Kevin-When do you think the Pirates will bring upPedro Alvarez?
Kevin Goldstein: I'll set the over/under at June 4.
formersd (San Diego): Kevin, thanks for the chat. What would you rank higher a player with superstar upside but only a 25 chance of reaching it with a 50% bust possibility or a player with major league regular upside but a 75% chance of making it? My sense is you'd rate the first guy higher as superstars are so important.
Kevin Goldstein: Yup. A it is.
doog7642 (Blaine, MN): One last try, at the risk of pestering you...would you rather have Neftali Feliz's career, or Yovani Gallardo's?
Kevin Goldstein: Feliz by a nose.
Joe (NY): Thoughts on Ike Davis?
Kevin Goldstein: Full scouting report in the Mets Top 11.
Stephanie (DC): Baseball America grades Desmond Jennings out as an 80 runner. Agree?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes.
Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, that's 195 minutes and I'm out of gas. I'll see you all next time.