No need for future shock, the Hot Stove League's heating up, so the future starts now with Kevin Goldstein, and he'd like to chat with you about it.
Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. I have a Mariners Top 11 to finish and a podcast to record, so I can only give you about an hour or so. That said, let's get this thing rolling.
Karen (LA): what do you thinke Mesoraco's defense behind plate?
Kevin Goldstein: He's fine back there, maybe even a tick above average. Scouts generally believe in the breakout.
Justin (St. Charles, IL): Hey Kevin! Thanks for the chat and the best weekly podcast around. Anyways, did anybody end up signing Barret Loux?
Kevin Goldstein: Thanks for listening to the podcast! Nobody has signed Barret Loux, and this might take a while. More teams that not that I have talked about him with say they are out, but that could be related to his price tag as much as his stuff and medical. He'll sign eventually, but I don't think he's going to get much money to do so.
Dennis (LA): If you were the Angels and could sign either Crawford or Beltre, which would you go for? Does the presence of Mike Trout and the lack of long-term options at 3b make signing Beltre more of a priority? Thanks!
Kevin Goldstein: I think Crawford will provide more long-term, so I'd go for him. Trout is a true centerfielder, so there is no block created if they sign Crawford.
biteme (Lake Forest, California): Has Ackley's AFL performance affected your opinion of him at all?
Kevin Goldstein: Not really. The AFL is a very bad place to make opinions of guys. Record book is littered with names like Scott Pose, Ken Harvey and Tagg Bozied. Not a good place to make assumptions. When you read tomorrow's Mariners list, you'll see where I stand on him.
Shane (Miami): You and Jason were talking about Derek Norris on the podcast. If he puts it all together is he a .280, 30Hr type?
Kevin Goldstein: I think that's a bit high. I think .260-270 with 20+ HR on a ton of walks. That's incredible offense for a catcher.
Aaron (YYZ): How much more rope would you give a guy like Michael Main who has always been high on athleticism but long on health/results? Does he even sniff the Giants Top 11?
Kevin Goldstein: No sniff. His stuff was WAY down this year. WAY, way down.
Renegade (Toronto): Will Travis Snider still be a stud? He's only 22.
Kevin Goldstein: I still believe.
Rabbit (WI): What do u see for Brett lawrie's future power output? 25 hr or more of a doubles hitter? Thanks
Kevin Goldstein: More doubles with 15-20 HR if he peaks properly.
EricJ (SF): Oh prince of all things prospecty do the Giants have any shortstops in the system that project as a regular?
Kevin Goldstein: He doesn't fill up a stat sheet, but don't forget about Ehire Adrianza. That kid is a down right special defender who will have value just as an every day plus-plus defender who bats eighth.
Gary (Fort Worth, TX): I know I have to wait for the Texas top 11, but did Jurickson Profar exceed your expectations this year? What kind of power/avg. would you expect from him?
Kevin Goldstein: I think he met expectations, but I don't think his stock went way up or anything. Good batting average, below average power.
Aaron (YYZ): What's your general approach to pitchers that struggle in their first couple exposures to major league hitters but keep getting it done in the minors? Do you keep running Chris Tillman out there next year until he figures it out?
Kevin Goldstein: I think you have to approach it on a player by player basis. You need to find out what the stuff is and why it isn't working in the big leagues. Tillman is very frustrating, as his stuff has backed off, but just a little, and not enough to define his struggles.
Trevor27 (Phoenix): You still a believer in Jarrod Parker. Is a mid-season call-up still reasonable?
Kevin Goldstein: I think that's pushing it. I still believe, but let's just get him throwing again for now.
jtanker33 (Dayton): Are Lars or Rizzo the Red Sox future answer at 1st? Think they should get a stop-gap until Lars/Rizzo is ready? Or should they find a long-term solution (like Gonzalez)?
Kevin Goldstein: I think Rizzo COULD be that guy, but if you can get on of the top hitters in the game in Gonzalez, you really don't give a crap if you have Lars or Rizzo around.
mike (dc): Josh Bell was supposed to be iffy defensively in the minors, but got rave reviews in the bigs. Is the truth somewhere in the middle?
Kevin Goldstein: "...he made even larger strides defensively. Once seen as a future first baseman, Bell has made significant improvement in his instincts and footwork at the hot corner, while his arm has always been a plus." KG, 11/09.
Ben254 (St. Louis): Shelby Miller ceiling is ___________? In terms of pitching prospects, I would rather have __________ over him?
Kevin Goldstein: No. 2 starter, kind of a Matt Cain type?; very few.
Chris (MO): Your current thoughts on Martin Perez? Stock down, or unchanged? (I'm assuming definitely not up...)
Kevin Goldstein: Down, but not as much as his numbers might suggest.
Jessica (New York): Do you see Jose Iglesias hitting his ceiling as a top of the order bat with slick defense in the majors?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know anyone who saw his ceiling as a top of the order bat. More bottom of the order with Gold Glove defense.
MEDAFAP (CA): Recent rumor expects Montero to play ~100 games behind the plate for the Yankees next season... good move? Can he possibly be worse behind the plate than Posada?
Kevin Goldstein: He can be as bad at least, but man is he going to mash.
Kamryn (Pittsburgh): Having your top 11 start with the Pirates was a bright light and good start to the off-season. If today is draft day, do you take Rendon and start the shift of Alvarez to first?
Kevin Goldstein: If TODAY is draft day, then yes, I take Rendon. Now, with that said, let's get this out of the way. I have a lot of questions in the queue, and it came up during the Pirates comments as well, where everyone is just assuming Rendon is a Pirate in seven months. That's not a safe assumption. This is NOT some kind of Strasburg situation where the guy is just so heads and shoulders above everyone that he's a lock to go No. 1. That's simply not the case. Right now, he's generally (but hardly universally) seen as the best guy in a very good draft. No guarantee that's the case come June.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): Derek Norris looks great, plenty of people think Ramos is pretty good, and Jesus Flores is ambulatory in Venezuela. Should the Nats be trading one of the catching prospects? Who would matchup well to exchange for a starting pitcher?
Kevin Goldstein: Remember when the Rangers had eight million catchers? Now they have none. Don't trade anyone, as you can never have enough catching.
Johnny (NYC): Juan Francisco is tearing up the AFL so far. I'm genuinely torn on this guy, he's got amazing power but horrific plate discipline. Is he Wily Mo Pena v2.0?
Kevin Goldstein: Actually, he's tearing up the Dominican League with the Gigantes del Cibao. If he doesn't change his swing at everything approach, I don't think he'll ever be more than a up and down guy.
jwschaefer (NJ): Thoughts on Albert Cordero (NYM)?
Kevin Goldstein: Nice sleeper in the system as young catcher with arm strength and a bit of pop.
Jaypers (Illinois): Mike Trout ETA = Mid 2011?
Kevin Goldstein: I think that's pushing it. He's incredibly exciting, but he's also just 19 years old with one full-season of A-Ball under his belt. What's the rush?
xenolith (San Francisco): Looking at the draft order, it seems like there aren't too many teams that are willing to go above slot ahead of the Cubs. Any chance the Cubs walk away with a top five guy in the draft?
Kevin Goldstein: Great question, and I don't know. There's a lot of very good talent in the draft, and a large number of big price tags could create some real chaos this year.
Rob (Boston): Do the red sox have their future backstop in the minors? Lavarnaway, Exposito and Federowicz all get rave reviews for part of their game but no one seems to predict any as a future starting C.
Kevin Goldstein: I'm not convinced that the Red Sox catcher of the future is currently under the employ of the Red Sox.
Lilly (NY): do you think Billy Bulter can hit 30HR next year?
Kevin Goldstein: I think he COULD, but he probably won't without changing his hitting style, which isn't going to happen. 20+ is a more realistic expectation.
Brad (Warrensburg, MO): KG, do you think Greinke is traded this winter? Who do you think the team(s) is, and what would they have give up?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't, so 'not applicable' for the rest of the question.
Jason (Charlotte): Is it reasonable to expect Carlos Perez to have the same type breakout season at Rome as Delgado and Teheran did ?
Kevin Goldstein: He's good, and it COULD happen, but counting on it would be a mistake.
jwschaefer (NJ): If you could become the Director of Minor League Operations for any franchise, tomorrow, who do you pick?
Kevin Goldstein: A team I want to lose because I'm woefully under-qualified for that job.
Greg (Boston): Callis has said repeatedly that he has Trout is the #1 prospect in baseball. Do you agree? It seems like there's a legitimate battle between a few guys for that top spot.
Kevin Goldstein: I have not done my list yet, so I don't know. He's certainly one of the candidates.
Wesley (Akron, OH): The Indians seem destined for another poor year in '11. If you are the GM, do you give the kids, like Chisenhall, Phelps or Kipnis, a long look this spring?
Kevin Goldstein: I give them a long look to figure out how far away they are. Forcing them to the majors if they're not ready isn't going to accomplish anything in either the short or long term.
Note to guy who keeps posting the same question over and over about Reds catchers. That doesn't help your chance of getting it answered.
sdoron (Jerusalem, Israel): No question, Just wanted to say I LOVE the podcast. Makes me want to have a beer with the two of you. Keep on the good work.
Kevin Goldstein: So glad you enjoy it. I hope it's clear how much we enjoy doing it, it's been an absolute blast. Also, we record Episode 25 tonight and will have our very first professional baseball player guest.
Joey (San Fran): Think the Giants can unload (pardon the pun) Sandoval this winter? I'm not convinced he's ever going to get to a playing weight where he can contribute in the NL, do you?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, to follow your logic, then he's never going to hit enough to contribute in the AL. He has very little trade value until his ass gets smaller.
Tony (Albuquerque): how much quicker would Wil Myers get to KC if he moved to RF as opposed to staying at C? And is he so bad behind the plate that the ROyals need to move him?
Kevin Goldstein: He's not crazy horrible there or anything, he's simply bad and the bat is SO far ahead that it's kind of a waste of time. Put him in RF and he's ready at some point in '12.
Joe (Brooklyn): Chances Aroldis Chapman makes it as a starter? Can he stay healthy? His delivery is so fluid and easy-looking.
Kevin Goldstein: I hope he goes back to that role certainly.
Tony (Albuquerque): My alarm clock woke me up today with Billy Joel's "Piano Man" on the radio. Is there a wrose song to start your day off with, than one about people with zero hope and how life has beat them down?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm all about songs about that, I like The Smiths for example, but that's just a bad song. I had a hotel wake me up recently to Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now" -- totally ruined the day.
Mario66 (Milwaukee): Did Alonso's second half lend credence to the thought that his previous lack of power was attributable to the hamate bone injury? If so, does he rank with the just below Hosmer crowd of 1B that includes F. Freeman, Morrison and Belt?
Kevin Goldstein: You mean the second half that included six home runs in 173 at-bats and three in his last 28 games? That one?
biteme (Lake Forest): Just how big is Sandoval's ass? What about Jim Thome's?
Kevin Goldstein: It makes Jim Thome's look that that of a 19-year-old runway model. How's that?
biteme (Lake Forest): Why didn't you list Pittsburgh's #1 pick as its best 25-and-under player? They'll probably get a college bat or arm, right?
Kevin Goldstein: Because he doesn't exist yet. Chances are it will be a college player.
JB (NYC): Kyle Gibson or Kyle Drabek -- which one's a better bet in 2011/long-term?
Kevin Goldstein: Drabek and . . . Drabek. I like Gibson, but from what I can tell, not nearly as much as others.
Scrapper (Chicago): Starlin Castro (2010) = Edgar Renteria (1996). You buying that comp?
Kevin Goldstein: No. Hate it, actually. I don't think Castro stays at SS long-term, first of all. Plus Castro will turn into more of an offensive player with some power. Bad, bad comp.
John (New York): What's Travis Wood's ceiling, and what are the chances he reaches it?
Kevin Goldstein: He's at his ceiling, as a solid back-end starter. Nothing wrong with that.
Kung Fu Panda (In a corner crying): Odds that I get my playing weight in order and become the starting 3bman for the Giants next year?
Kevin Goldstein: Impossible for me, or nearly anyone outside the situation to say.
Bobby (Cincinnati): How should we view Todd Frazier after the year he had? He's playing a position with low value, even though he can handle the infield (well, not SS really anymore). He sucked at the beginning of the year, but then caught fire and hit over .320 for awhile. Is he still a top prospect, or doomed to be a utilityman?
Kevin Goldstein: Probably more B. than A. unfortunately.
MEDAFAP (CA): Jay Bruce is going to be as good in 2011 as everyone projected he would be three years ago, isn't he?
Kevin Goldstein: Like the chances. What's with all the Reds questions?
dianagramr (NYC): Is Pablo Sandoval's ass bigger than Kevin Mench's head?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes. But smaller than Benny Agbayani's.
jwschaefer (NJ): If you were a Mets fan, right now you would be feeling _____ about the future of the minor league system?
Kevin Goldstein: I actually am a Mets fan. And to fill in your blank, I'll go with "Meh"
eitheror (pa): What is the future of the 3 prospects the phillies settled for in the Cliff Lee trade. Do you have any belief in something more than two relief arms and a 5th of?
Kevin Goldstein: Hell, I might be thrilled just to get that at this point.
lemppi (Ankeny, IA): Is Casey Crosby merely a bonus now for the Tigers if he ever materializes? Or do you think there is still a fair bit of hope?
Kevin Goldstein: Just a strange year for him, surprised he never had surgery, so now, I'm just left anticipating it.
ManBear (The Cave): Are Culver and Sanchez at Charleston next year?
Kevin Goldstein: Not guaranteed. Culver more likely than Sanchez, but both could happen.
dianagramr (NYC): 2 words: VIDEO podcast ...
Kevin Goldstein: Worst. Idea. Ever. I mean, have you SEEN us?
Scrapper (Chicago): Renteria has 2252 hits in his career (.287 career hitter) and 135 HRs so I was not trying to insult Renteria in the comparison with Castro. If Castro can exceed Renteria's totals, then that would be a pretty great career, right?
Kevin Goldstein: No insult taken, I just think they are very, very different players.
Johnny (NYC): So the Reds should sell on Juan Francisco NOW, is what you're saying? Could not agree more (if that is indeed what you are saying)
Kevin Goldstein: Sell him for what? My thoughts on him aren't exactly unique.
John (San Fran): Any chance Pablo moves to first as a big bodied 1B and giants go after Beltre to fit their need for a bat?
Kevin Goldstein: It's a thought, but the guy didn't hit as a 3B this year, and as a 1B, that's even less value, no?
Reds Fan (Got no problem with the questions!): Billy Hamilton is the SS of the future in Cincinnati: True or False?
Kevin Goldstein: I have no problem with the Reds questions either. I think it's cool and I love the renaissance of baseball we saw in both Cincinnati and Dallas this year, I just wish Tampa had the same. Answer to your question is no, he's the 2B of the future.
ClintRamone (BC): I read recently the JP Riccardi said he will build the farm system through international signings and going over slot in later rounds. As a Jays fan I find this quite funny, this is something he NEVER did in Toronto and is basically now saying the exact same thing that Anthopoulos has done this past year. It's almost like JP is admitting he made a mistake only focussing on college players who'd sign for slot, not that JP would ever admit he was wrong.
Do you think he'll actually build this way?
Kevin Goldstein: I do, and I think there have been some lessons learned.
Charlie (Bethesda): Does Chris Marrero look good enough to convince the Nationals to avoid a 3 year deal with a first baseman?
Kevin Goldstein: No.
Art Vandelay (N.Y.): Better career from this point forward: Pablo (Sandoval) or Pedro (Alvarez)?
Kevin Goldstein: Vote for Pedro.
Josh G (Stockton): I believe it was you who really defended the Giants taking Gary Brown-Is he their CF of the future or do you prefer the toolsy Francisco Peguero?
Kevin Goldstein: I'd take Brown over Peguero for sure.
Walter Young (Baltimore): My ass (and everything else) was bigger than Panda's during my playing days.
Kevin Goldstein: Dmitri Young says hi.
Juan (Arlington): Dude...love the podcast! Does Neftali Feliz ever even get the CHANCE to start again? Or do they love him so much in the closer role that he's stuck there? Also, is that the route the Reds might take w/Chapman?
Kevin Goldstein: I get this one a lot, and the answer is the same. I, personally, would like to see him start. The Rangers, as I understand it, do not necessarily agree with my personal assessment. I think Chapman has a better chance at getting an OPPORTUNITY to start again, at least.
Bengie Molina (still running the bases): *wheeze*cough*sputter* My ass....has got to...be in the...conversation for...biggest...right? *hyperventilate*gasp*
Kevin Goldstein: When can I buy a blu-ray disc with just highlights of him running?
JZirinsky (Washington, DC): Hi Kevin. I need a good RPG for the XBOX...any recommendations?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't have an XBOX, so I don't know about their exclusives. But why aren't you playing Fallout: New Vegas?
Who (Knows ): Are you a fantasy or Strat player? If not, why not?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm not. I used to play Strat in my youth, but never did the roto thing. Right now it's a matter of time, but real baseball is enough for me personally.
biteme (Lake Forest): Will A-Rod make it with Drew Barrymore?
Kevin Goldstein: My mom is rooting for him. He's the 'good lookin' one.'
Killbahn (NJ): Are games like Fallout at all playable on a PC?
Kevin Goldstein: The Fallout series is actually best on a PC, and originally designed for that platform. Go get 'em on Steam.
JT (Michigan): If I had to cut Crosby, Tim Beckham, and Tazawa from my MiLB roster in my fantasy league (12 team mixed), I'd be super duper safe, right? I'm so glad I drank the Kool-Aid on Beckham over Posey (sobs). Yikes.
Kevin Goldstein: You'd be pretty safe.
Joe (Cincinnati): Call me a homer, but how can CarGo win the players' choice award over Votto? Have these guys not heard of home/road splits?
Kevin Goldstein: Why does it matter? I don't care about awards as they change absolutely nothing about a player.
Dave (Milton): How soon do you think Pedro Alvarez will start posting 30/100 seasons? His September was sexy!
Kevin Goldstein: I do.
laynef (Austin): What is the status of Arodys Vizcaino?
Kevin Goldstein: He's healthy, and the Braves expect big things in '11.
leites (New York): WTG: Hisashi Iwakuma. What's his upside?How good are his secondary pitches?
Kevin Goldstein: Breaking ball is solid, that split/change thing he throws is a true plus pitch and the command/control is outstanding. Highest praise I've heard is a Tim Hudson comp, lowest I've heard is a solid No.4 starter.
BStephen (Bucky Land): Ron Roenicke....Please tell me this works
even if he can't pick his pitching and hitting coaches!
Kevin Goldstein: Really like that hire. Liked Joey Cora better, but nothing wrong with Roenicke.
Ryan (Minneapolis): The Twins farm teams had a dismal year with AAA Rochester finishing with the worst record in the International League and AA New Britain finishing worst in the Eastern League.
I can see why this might not be the most reliable metric for organizational depth, but how much weight should I give it?
Is it indicative that the Twins system isn't very deep, with no uber-prospects which get you Tweeting "OMG!" like a teenage texter?
Kevin Goldstein: Give it VERY little weight. Winning games is NOT the primary objective of a minor league team.
Jack (Boston): Do we have to wait until the end to find out what you're drinking? And do the Red Sox have any power bats in the system? I feel like we have a lot of well-rounded guys with good approaches, but no real middle of the order hitters
Kevin Goldstein: You do, and the answer is Mexican Coke.
Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, I went over by about 10 minutes because of all the great questions, and I'll try to get to more of them next time. Thanks for a fun break during a busy day.