With the draft drawing nigh, you'll want a chatty dose of Future Shock from Kevin Goldstein to learn upon which players to be high.
Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. Not a crazy amount of time today, but I'll type as fast as I can!
Kevin (Brazil): Thoughts on Stolmy Pimentel's 2nd straight 6 inning no hitter? Where does he rank among Red Sox prospects? Future MLB starter?
Kevin Goldstein: He's in today's Minor League Update! I like him has a big league starter, but not necessarily an impact one.
Josh (NYC): Is there anyone new(previously ignored) emerging in the Jays system this year?
Kevin Goldstein: Keep an eye on Mike McDade, the first baseman at High-A Dunedin. Big, big kid (ok, maybe kind of fat), but as much raw power as anyone in the system. 10 home runs in the Florida State League at this point is quite impressive.
aso5018 (Philadelphia): Bryan Morris' potential is what?
Kevin Goldstein: Good No. 3 starter. Hint. The Pirates currently have zero of those.
leites (New York): How high are the ceilings for Sergio Santos, Craig Kimbrel, Zack Braddock and Scott Mathieson? Which is most/least likely to end up as a better-than-average closer?
Kevin Goldstein: Kimbrell would be my bet for most future saves, but I like every one of those guys.
Neil (NJ): Ruben Amaro reportedly visited with Austin Wilson's family. Where there's smoke there's...?
Kevin Goldstein: Where's there are giant tools guys, there is Phillies interest.
Billy Bordley (Cooperstown, NY): Is Chris Sale going to end up in the bullpen? Does he have No. 2 starter upside?
Kevin Goldstein: He COULD, but I don't think it's a sure thing. The only thing that bugs me about him is the low arm slot, but that's a personal bias. I like him more than any college pitcher in the draft.
cjbuet (madison, wi): Trout is off to a tremendous start this year. From the pictures I have seen of him, he looks like he is built like a refrigerator. How much power projection is there in this guy or is swing not built for loft? Is he a 315/400/500 type guy down the line?
Kevin Goldstein: He's the best position player in the Midwest League. He's going to hit for power, I think 20-25 home runs annually. My question is will the speed stick around. Like you say, he's a big guy, and just not what power/speed dudes normally look like. That said, I'm a big, nah, HUGE fan.
dpv (ny): What is your philosophy on young guys that struggle in the Majors? Have them work through it or get their confidence back at AAA?
Kevin Goldstein: No answer. Totally depends on the player. There is no template and each person has to be dealt with on an individual basis.
H (Chicago): Where would Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Rob Erlin rank in terms of pitching prospects? Any of them top 100 material?
Kevin Goldstein: Gibson absolutely, he's just been outstanding. I could see Odorizzi getting there, and while I like Erlin, I think a top 100 status might be a bit much.
Martin (Richmond, CA): Miguel Velazquez is having a pretty good year for Hickory. Reason for optimism?
Kevin Goldstein: Certainly one of the best bats in that pitching heavy system. I like him quite a bit.
ravenight (Boston): You've said before that taking the best available guy is usually the best play in the draft, especially at the top of the first round. In a draft class like this one, where there aren't many guys that clearly distanced themselves, do positional considerations within the organization weigh a lot more?
Kevin Goldstein: Not at the top, no. You still take the best guy.
Conjunction (Dallas): What do you see Blake Beavan doing down the road? He's definitely getting more Ks and the command is as sterling as ever. He also appears to keep the ball down.
Kevin Goldstein: I'm coming around on him. He's a weird one to deal with because he's just not what we thought he would be. That said, he's a very efficient pitcher built for innings, and while he's probably not a star, he's the kind of guy who is going to give you 200+ solid innings a year and that's incredibly valuable.
lemppi (Ankeny, IA): Will Tyrell Jenkins still be available when the Tigers pick at #44 or is he LOOOONG GONE (gotta throw some Ernie Harwell in there) by then? Thanks.
Kevin Goldstein: Cue Ernie.
dianagramr (NYC): Are revenue-sharing monies allowed to be used for first-year player draft signing bonuses? If so, then doesn't that water down the argument that "small market" clubs can't afford to sign a potential future star?
Kevin Goldstein: Technically, I believe the answer is yes. And let's face it, every ounce of logic waters down those arguments from small market clubs. They're utterly ridiculous.
jaymoff (Salem, OR): What had been Martin Perez's downfall so far this year? Age? Stuff? Command?
Kevin Goldstein: Far more command than anything else. I wouldn't worry about it too much . . . yet.
Brendan (Chicago): When a scout...uh...scouts a player in person do they walk around the field and take the player in from different angles, or do they just kinda sit there?
Kevin Goldstein: Depends on the scout, and what they are looking at. I can think of someone at that Arnett start who watched his bullpen before the game up close and alternated between home plate and a side view.
Lee (Tampa): Tim Beckham is currently hitting .268/.348/.500 in May. What do you think of this? Do you have any updates on his defense? Do you think he'll stay at SS?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm optimistic about it. I mean the kid has tools for sure, if he didn't he wouldn't have gone number one. I'm told his defense is solid this year.
jaymoff (Salem, OR): What are the reports on Dustin Ackley at the quarterpole? His early season flop seems to be behind him, though he's still not playing as everyone seemed to assume he would.
Kevin Goldstein: He has two hits in his last five games. You sure he's out of it? I'm quite concerned. I've talked the three scouts who have seen him. Every time I've expected something like "He's fine, just hitting balls right at guys and pressing.". But I'm not getting that. I'm getting reports with a lot of questions about his game.
dianagramr (NYC): re: what scouts do when "scouting" ...
I have visions of "cat shows" with scouts poking, prodding, checking teeth, muscle tone ... :-)
Kevin Goldstein: They'd do that if the players let them.
Colin (Chicago): Do you see the Cubs going with a guy like Kolbrin Vitek if he's available? What kind of player is he projected to be?
Kevin Goldstein: I think he's among the most over-rated players in the draft, putting up big numbers at a small school in a hitters park. Not a lot of tools, and not much to offer defensively at any position.
Apu (Springfield): You've written about Kirk Nieuwehuis the last couple of days. Any really potential here? Could he be roaming right field in 2011 or 2012 for the Mets?
Kevin Goldstein: Very real potential. Would like to see a better approach before I call him a starter.
Ben F. (California): Thanks for the chat as usual. Thoughts on Reggie Golden and Angelo Gumbs? Where do you see them going in the draft?
Kevin Goldstein: Golden could go in the sandwich round to a team than values tools -- crazy great athlete. Gumbs won't go anywhere near that high.
cjbuet (madison, wi): Any chane Teheran does a N. Feliz impersonation next year?
Kevin Goldstein: I hope not. Would hate to see his potential moved to the bullpen.
SprungOnSports (Long Island): What makes the Dodgers' Ethan Martin so devastatingly good?
Kevin Goldstein: Plus fastball and plus plus curve. That's not the question. The question is why is he so devastatingly bad about once every three outings.
Jeremy Snyder (Cleveland): Bo Greenwell is top 100 @ end of year?
Kevin Goldstein: Can somebody explain why I have a bunch of Bo Greenwell quesitons? He's having a nice year for sure, and is something of a prospect, but nothing even sniffing Top 100. Not even close. Guy in his fourth pro year still in A-ball playing a corner without a lot of power . . . you get the picture.
SprungOnSports (Long Island): Martin is playing in a hitter's league, but it should be something he can overcome and fulfill his potential.
Kevin Goldstein: Martin played in a pitcher's league last year and it was the same story. He's great when he's on, but don't act like the bad starts can be wished away.
Josh (NYC): Jarred Cosart or Tyler Matzek? Are they close at all?
Kevin Goldstein: Matzek is better.
marjinwalker (DC): I'm still not sure what to make of Brandon Laird. I know the scouts say "*meh*" but he seems to be one of the top performers in AA, and not old for the league. Help me out!.......
Kevin Goldstein: Well, I don't know if 'meh' is really fair. He looks like a big leaguer, just with a ceiling of more of a second division starter type.
Dennis (LA): Thank you for the chat, Kevin. How do you like Aroldis Chapman so far, and what do you see him ultimately becoming? Do you like him more than Mike Leake?
Kevin Goldstein: Chapman's ceiling is certainly higher than Leake, but obviously there's some risk there. Very different guys. It's a savings bond vs. tech stock situation.
Brendan (Chicago): "I hope not. Would hate to see his potential moved to the bullpen."
So you're displeased with the turn of events in Texas?
Kevin Goldstein: I think Feliz's move to the bullpen should have been a temporary one, yes.
Chris (Seattle): Which team has the most potential aces in their minor league system?
Kevin Goldstein: Top of my head? Atlanta.
Eric (Mpls): Here's my idea: Daniel Hudson comes up as a closer for the White Sox. Crazy?
Kevin Goldstein: Crazy. He's good because he has a deep arsenal and command, not because he has late-inning blow-hitters-away stuff.
Matt (Chicago): Do you disagree with the Cubs' plan to switch Cashner to the pen? It seemed like he was making serious progress as a starter.
Kevin Goldstein: Much like Feliz, I hope the move will be a temporary one to address an immediate need. Turning Cashner into a starter was the right decision, and they've done so well with that development, why throw it away for someone who with throw 70 innings.
Killbahn (NJ): Kevin
Is Austin Romine moving up on the prospect lists?
Kevin Goldstein: He is, but the defense remains more potential than ability, as he's thrown out a Montero-esque 5 of 30 base stealers.
Susan (New York): Travis D'Arnaud career MLB all-star appearances, 0.5. Over or Under?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm a huge fan, so I'll take the over.
Cris E (St Paul, MN): Do players seek out and talk to scouts? Not just about "what did you think" questions, but "how can I get better" or "what should I work on" sorts of things. Are there unwritten rules around this sort of thing?
Kevin Goldstein: No. That's bad form for sure. If you are a scout, you are never going to tell a kid what to do and interrupt or butt into how the team is coaching developing a kid. That's just bad news all around. They do talk however, especially the pitchers tracking games in the stands who are sitting right with the scouts. They can be good sources of info on guy, about what someone throws, or how consistent velocity is, etc.
raygu1 (Burlington, NJ): Jaff Decker-is the K% a concern after 45 ABs or no?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't think 45 ABs shold ever create too much concern or excitement.
Gino Fellino (Anyone seen Bobby Lupo??): How's Daniel Schlereth been faring this season? Does he still have that plus-plus lefty velocity? Do you think he'll be a major league closer down the road?
Kevin Goldstein: It's been a mixed bag. He's still bringing plenty of velo and missing a ton of bats, but his control has went backwards and he's issuing far too many walks. He needs to straighten that out before he gets to ride the nice planes and stay in the nice hotels.
leites (New York): Is Texas going to make the same mistake with Tanner Scheppers that they seem to have with Feliz? Presumably at least one of them ends up as a starter?
Kevin Goldstein: No. Scheppers is and should be a reliever.
Gino Fellino (Whose hot dog is this?): Do the Mets have the prospect firepower to pull off an Oswalt trade?
Kevin Goldstein: Probably not.
Rob (Alaska): KG unveils his mock draft on....?????
Kevin Goldstein: I'll probably do one next week and then another right before.
Danny Goodwin (Limbo, NC): In expectations of the hype machine for Bryce Harper being ratcheted up to a new level for the near future, can you tell us what you've seen or heard as far as what his biggest weaknesses are?
Kevin Goldstein: There's some swing and miss in him, and as a catcher, his receiving skills are quite raw. That's nitpicking.
marjinwalker (DC): Cedric Hunter was always someone who intrigued me..... but he also seemed to always disappoint in the end. Are you excited about him this year? How does he fit into SD's plans?
Kevin Goldstein: I could see him getting some stints as a 4th outfielder, but that's about it.
WiiUser (Mexico): What in the world has gone wrong with Josh Reddick?
Kevin Goldstein: Triple-A-itis. Tasted the big leagues and wants to get back, so he's trying to get five hits or a five-run home run in every at-bat.
achaik (ME): What do you hear about a timetable for Casey Crosby? Is he ever going to meet his potential or will injuries continue to hinder him?
Kevin Goldstein: He's had a setback with his bone bruise, and the early June return isn't going to happen. It's obviously a concern.
dantroy (Davis): How would you rank Taillon among the top 2009 pitching talents?
Kevin Goldstein: He'd be right there with any of them. Maybe even a bit better.
jaymoff (Salem, OR): Does local Northwest high school slugger Josh Sale compare favorably to another Northwest guy, Travis Snider. All bat, little else?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes. Very good comp.
Tom (Central Jersey): Thoughts on Jon Singleton? Is he the real deal?
Kevin Goldstein: Believe . . .
Cris E (St Paul, MN): So tell me a little something about this new kid the Royals have in AAA...
Kevin Goldstein: Irving Falu?
mrenick (Little rock, ar): Does Robinson Lopez have an upside In the same ballpark as delgado, teheran and company?
Kevin Goldstein: No. But he certainly has a big league upside.
raygu1 (Burlington, NJ): Decker=small sample size
Ackley=small sample size does not apply?
Kevin Goldstein: 45 at bats coming off an injury does not equal 145 at-bats with no injury. Apple, meet orange.
Tony (Santa Rosa): Do you know the story on Lonnie Chisenhall's shoulder issue? Anything serious?
Kevin Goldstein: I believe he was activated today.
Pick Me (Washington, DC): C. Marrero hit homers in 4 straight games this week, can his bat stick at 1B?
Kevin Goldstein: Not a fan.
Dave (Chicago): What are your thoughts on Ian Krol so far?
Kevin Goldstein: See Thursday's feature on him.
dianagramr (NYC): Target Field's "Pork Chop on a Stick": greatness redefined ... or sacrelige?
Kevin Goldstein: I consider myself a bit of a foodie, but that doesn't mean I'm a snob about it like far too many are. There's such a thing as fantastic bad food, and that sounds like such a think to me. Meat on a stick is one of mankind's finest inventions, and not sacrelige.
brian206 (brooklyn): Any idea who the Mets might take at #7?
Kevin Goldstein: So many possibilities, from college position players like Cox and Grandal to a college pitcher than might drop, they've even looked at some HS arms like Whitson and Covey.
Travis (San Diego): Likelihood that Brett Lawrie sticks at 2B? If not, will he hit enough to be a corner OF in the bigs?
Kevin Goldstein: He's a pretty bad second baseman, but I believe in the bat.
Rob (Alaska): Kind of curious about Ranaudo. Does he climb back into the top 10 or do the money/medical/etc. questions drop him into the hands of the Red Sox/Yankees or similar? Any chance the Rays would roll the dice on him at 17?
Kevin Goldstein: After Wednesday's outing, everyone is curious about him again, I don't think he gets into top 10, but I do think he might get into the teens and therefore NOT fall in a late picking team's lap.
don (lansing): from where you sit today, who are the easy top-100 prospects going in the upcoming draft?
Kevin Goldstein: Bryce Harper, James Taillon, Stetson Allie. I could see Machado and Sale getting in, and also a couple who blow up after signing.
MJ (Chicago): Being able to trade draft picks is good for MLB, yes or no?
Kevin Goldstein: No. It would be GREAT for MLB.
bcmurph07 (NYC): How has your view of the Phillies' farm system evolved from the beginning of the season with the emergence of Singleton, Cosart, etc.?
Kevin Goldstein: Sure, but what about the disappointments from all the players gotten back for Cliff Lee? They've had as much down as up.
Rich (Seattle): Is Michael Pineda a top 100 prospect at this point? Top 50?
Kevin Goldstein: 100 maybe. 50? hard to see that.
Or (Dallas): What do you think of Alexei Ogando? He's put up some obscene numbers in the minors so far.
Kevin Goldstein: I think he's just one reason why the Texas bullpen of the future is going to be scary good.
TLivingston (Tampa Bay): Hey, Kevin. Any word on the Giants plans with Posey? Probably around the same time of a Strasburg call-up, I'm guessing?
Kevin Goldstein: I can't pretend to know or understand what the Giants are doing with Posey.
greg (newburyport): The Mike Lowell situation seems untenable. With the Angels and Twins present need for a 3rd baseman, what kind of prospects might Boston require to make a trade work...assuming that eat a portion of Mike's salary?
Kevin Goldstein: He's an old guy with an injury history who never plays. Nobody is going to give up much for him.
don (lansing): So the Cards dump Wagner Mateo last year after they find out he has some kind of degenerative eye condition, and now the D-Backs drop $500k on him to sign: I guess his eyes are better? Or are the D-Backs planning on providing some sort of SONAR-headgear for him?
Kevin Goldstein: It's a fair question, but I'm pretty sure that 500K is considerably less than $3.1 million.
HankScorpio (KC): With the hot start and quick move to Wilmington, the Royals seem to have John Lamb on a similar path as Montgomery last year. Any similarities? What kind of projection does Lamb have? I never know what to make of good numbers for pitchers in Burlington & Wilmington.
Thanks for the chat.
Kevin Goldstein: Well, you do need to be careful with pitchers at those two levels -- great places to pitch, but Lamb is the real deal. Not in Montgomery's league, but a very good prospect.
cjbuet (madison, wi): Any word on Ynoa or is he going the way of Bigfoot? Reported sightings, nothing substantial.
Kevin Goldstein: Threw just the other day actually and was up to 93. He'll be in a short-season rotation next month.
ststirling (Little Rock): Paul McAnulty hit another two home runs last night, giving him a Texas League leading 14. He's hitting .345/.438./.676 through 42 games. What is going on with this guy?
Kevin Goldstein: He's a 29 year old professional hitter with big league experience ripping up Texas League pitching. That's about it.
How do the holes in Stanton's swing compare to some other similar sluggers? Does he have the potential to hit with significantly more contact than a guy like Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds, or even fellow prospect Pedro Alvarez?
Kevin Goldstein: He's always going to have big strikeout numbers, but he's also the one prospect in baseball most likely to hit 50 home runs in a season.
Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, I gotta get back to the grind, but I'll be chatting a lot more with the draft coming up. See you soon.