It's corn flakes and a Ten Pack on Monday with Prospect Whisperer Kevin Goldstein.
Kevin Goldstein: Hey kids, [insert something clever here]. Let's chat!
Shea88 (Detroit): Nick Castellanos' has been as frigid as the weather in Western Michigan. Concerned about the K rate and errors so far? You are in the MWL quite a bit, what are people saying?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm pretty much never concerned with what a high school draftee does during his first month in the Midwest League. Weather, adjusting to pro ball, so many factors beyond talent. For now, it's just a slow start.
Andrew (Millbrook): I can't believe how quickly people jumped off the Teheran bandwagon after just ONE start as a 20 year old vs one of the best teams in the NL, on the road! Jeez Louise. Call me crazy, but I saw A LOT of potential during the start. The changeup is gonna be deadly.
Kevin Goldstein: I did not see/hear from those people, but if they exist, they are silly, silly people. He's going to be just fine.
David (Milton): Based on what you've seen from Gary Brown thus far, does he profile to be a game-changing offensive player atop the Giants lineup? He seems like the ideal leadoff-type bat, high avg, ability to take walks, and blazing speed.
Kevin Goldstein: What does 'game changing' mean? It might be a little too high. Do I think he's potentially an above-average every day CF? I sure do. 'Game-changing' sounds a bit too high.
Newfas (Oxnard): What is Slade Heathcott's ceiling, and is he a top 100 prospect as of now?
Kevin Goldstein: His ceiling is very high, but I'm not ready to say he's top 100 yet. He's repeating Low-A, and he's still whiffing quite a bit.
C.J. (Milwaukee (Home of the 14-20 Brewers)): Please tell me something good ...
Kevin Goldstein: I'm having leftover lasagna from yesterday, and it's delicious.
Corey (Baltimore): Looks like Baltimore escaped a serious injury with Machado. Prior to that, the kid was on-fire, much like Harper. Would you have a similar timetable for him as far as promotion goes, or would you personally live him in low-A the whole year?
Kevin Goldstein: I'd have no problem with him spending the latter part of the year in High-A if he keeps mashing, but no higher than that.
rjmoore (Boston): Higher ceiling: Matt Harvey or Jenrry Mejia?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, at this point, Harvey, certainly.
Geo (work): The people who jumped off the Teheran bandwagon are probably the same ones who were disappointed in Hosmer's "poor outings" this weekend. What are your thoughts on his callup, Kevin?
Kevin Goldstein: I'll have a lot of thoughts on Hosmer's call up on Friday, as my thinking as been all over the place on that one.
dianagramr (NYC): Hey KG .... thanks for the chat. Sorry you didn't make the cut for the ESPN/Pop-Up Magazine gig this Wednesday. Would you consider sharing what you were going to do for the performance on an upcoming podcast or in a BP article?
Kevin Goldstein: We'll see. Wound is still fresh.
Kevin (NJ): Who's the top pitching prospect with no major-league time?
Kevin Goldstein: Jameson Taillon.
Nic (Pike Lake): Rubby De La Rosa is getting a lot of love from various prospect blogs. Does he have anything in addition to the 100 mph fastball (not that he needs anything more, haha)? Future starter or reliever in your opinion?
Kevin Goldstein: Actually, he does need more, and he has a good changeup. Scouts are somewhat mixed as to his future as a starter or reliever.
Matt (Chicago): What's your take on Hayden Simpson, so far? I hear his weight and velocity have both been sub-par.
Kevin Goldstein: I'll be writing details on both him and Seattle's Taijuan Walker after I'm done chatting.
All In (Chicago): Should we criticize the Red Sox for calling up Iglesias when Scutaro went down? To ride the bench and pick up an occasional at bat? O's were lambasted for treating Josh Bell like that last year.
Was going to ask about Billy Hamilton's slow start but I will just assume your Castellanos answer applies there as well.
Kevin Goldstein: Here's the thing, if you want to criticize a team for making a move, that's fine, but among all of your reasons, you also need to include what move YOU would have made. I have no problem with Iglesias being up for a bit in a pinch.
tommybones (brooklyn): Sam Fuld has officially morphed back into his original pumpkin form. Does this make it even more likely that Jennings get's an early June call?
Kevin Goldstein: I sure hope so, as he's a much better player.
Cale27 (Cleveland): Kevin - I enjoyed your article on the Indians and their timetable. Chisenhall continues to rake at AAA and is seems Jack's turning back into a pumpkin. Think that Chis is brought up by June 1st?
Kevin Goldstein: I bet it takes longer than that. If I worked in Vegas I'd set the over/under date somewhere around the All-Star break.
JT (Michigan): Was I a doofus for trading down from Taillon to Zach Lee and much more in my fantasy draft a couple of months ago?
Kevin Goldstein: Doofus.
Minneapolitan (Nashville): They say it's darkest just before it goes pitch black. Could you tell a Twins fan who reads most of your work something he hasn't heard that might brighten his day? Please?
Kevin Goldstein: Daniel Oritz is a nice sleeper.
Ben254 (Vancouver): KG - I'm not sure why you and Jason feel the need to knock Canadians on the Podcast. I don't take it personally, because there really isn't a better country to live in, imo. My friends and I are avid listeners/readers, just curious if it's more an 'inside joke', or where the genuine beef comes from? Thanks and keep up the great work.
Kevin Goldstein: It's just fun to make fun of Canada. People from Canada make up laugh because of their fervent love of all things Canada, even the lame stuff. It's all good natured. I love Canada. I love Toronto as a city, and I'm utterly jealous of your health care system.
Amos (New York): 1) What are you doing talking to readers before midnight?
2) What farm system/major league team makes the most sense to you for a Jose Reyes trade to you? SF? Cincy?
Kevin Goldstein: Weird, huh? I don't think you need to worry about matching something up. Most teams have enough to create a package for one player. Milwaukee is an exception.
tlowell5 (Alaska): Which league is Miguel Sano going to start the year in? I can't find anything on line. I'm assuming short season A Appy League (Elizabethton), but I haven't been able to find out definitively.
Kevin Goldstein: Good assumption.
Killbahn (NJ): Started Fallout3, kind of disappointed since it has the same engine as Oblivion, maybe its guns vs swords. Are you going to get La Noire?
Kevin Goldstein: Calling Fallout 3 "Oblivion with Guns" is really short-changing it. Much better environments, story, mechanics . . . everything.
Hutch (Ottawa): With Devin Mesoraco ahead of him in the depth chart, do you see Yasmani Grandal changing positions within the Red org or do you see him on another team in the future. Does he have the bat to play at a corner OF or 1b?
Kevin Goldstein: He might, but moving him from C to 1B would destroy his market value, and do nothing for his future with the Reds because of Votto.
stately (atl): starlin castro is more patient than this, right? he doesn't have a particularly long minor league track record, so i thought maybe you could shed some light on his skill, or the scouts' perception of them.
Kevin Goldstein: No, not really. That said, he can really hit. I'd be far more concerned about the glove than the bat.
Alex (Chicago): Does Jason Heyward have the chops to be a .290-30-110 Hitter or are we all caught up in the hype of a good player, not great player?
Kevin Goldstein: You are caught up in the hype of ridiculous expectations. I'll take the over on that line. You realize his age 27 season is in 2017, right? Is it me, or are fans less patient than ever?
Casey Kasem (Hitsville): I know you are big into the 80s Chicago punk scene, but can you offer up some other types of music you like. For example, what is the most "pop"/"light" artist you currently listen to?
Kevin Goldstein: Is Pavement light?
mike (orlando): chris archer, 1/2 season wonder? all control he flashed early on last year seems to have gone out the window when he was promoted to AA
Kevin Goldstein: Chris Archer wasn't exactly pounding the strike zone at any point in his career, it's always been about great stuff and the hope that he can harness it, which he has not done a good job of this year.
B (MO): Is Zach Cox still considered a better prospect than Jedd Gyorko? Seems Gyorko is better with the bat AND glove.
Kevin Goldstein: Not sure he's better with the glove. My biggest issue with Cox was never the bat, it was with the power, and with THREE extra base hits in 28 games this year, you see why.
Matt (Chicago): Is Brett Jackson's baseline rising at all in your book? That dude can really take a walk and appears fairly sluggy.
Kevin Goldstein: I had him as the No. 1 prospect going into the year, and the first thing I wrote was about the approach and gap-to-average power, so no, no real change for me.
BookHound (Used Bookstores): If I told you I found a couple of used hardcover copies of "Dollar Sign on the Muscle" in "good" condition for under $20 from on-line retailers, you'd tell me to snap one up, right?
Kevin Goldstein: I'd tell you to buy both.
Tony (Albuquerque): Moustakas hasn't been great thus far. but most concerning is that his approach at the plate seems to be the opposite of last year, lots more K's. Is this a case of a kid pressing or a case of pitchers developing a book on him?
Kevin Goldstein: I think this is more a case of an aggressive approach finally catching up to him. I'm not concerned long-term.
G (Boston): Do teams send a fulltime scout to cover the Cape League?
Kevin Goldstein: Team's send GMs and Scouting Directors to the Cape. HUGE heat at pretty much every game.
Kingpin (Grinnell, IA): Have you seen Oscar Taveras in person yet? As a Cardinals' fan, is it too early for me to get irrationally excited about him?
Kevin Goldstein: He pulled his hamstring the day before I was going to, so he's still on my list. Get excited, I really like him, but never get irrationally excited about anyone. That's just good life advice.
Chris (Tacoma): Does Jose Altuve have a future as a starting MLB 2b?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know, I wish I did. I think he's going to need to do it at Double-A in order to be totally convinced. Side note: we've invited him to come on the podcast.
James (Detroit): What are your thoughts on Charlie Furbush's potential? 4/5 starter?
Kevin Goldstein: Maybe . . . maybe a middle reliever. I'll at least say he's a big leaguer, which is an upgrade from times previous.
Marissa (Las Vegas): Does it matter to scouts if a player comes from a loving single parent household versus a loving duel parent household?
Kevin Goldstein: As long as they are loving, absolutely not. You certainly pay attention to a kid's background, but it's a complex thing. Plenty of good players (AND good kids) from bad backgrounds, and plenty of players who came from what seemed like great backgrounds who went on to have troubles like Josh Hamilton.
bjealous (NYC): Kevin- Thanks for the chat. Thoughts on Alex Presley? 3-5 last night, up to .377/.421/.561 at Indy.
Kevin Goldstein: Super grinder, really can hit, future 4th OF.
Brad (West Covina, CA): Based on Mat Latos' injuries during the minors, significant innings jumps over the past few seasons, and the shoulder issue this spring... Should the Padres cash him in for a boatload of high-end prospects? Latos' velo is down 2 mph, something might not be right.
Kevin Goldstein: Here's the thing. You, Brad in West Covina have all these concerns about Latos concerning his injuries and stuff, and then you turn around and talk about getting a boatload of high-end prospects for him. See the disconnect?
College Dude (college town): Have you heard any concerns about Anthony Rendon's bat? He seems to be scuffling a bit, but it's hard to read through the static, especially when the numbers seem to indicate that he's being pitched around a lot.
Kevin Goldstein: I have. Not in some huge way that will move his draft status, though.
Matt Adams (Springfield, Mo.): Hey, Kevin! Last 26 games, I'm hittin' .350/.391/.709 ... so, am I too good for AA? Also, as a fat-only, er, bat-only guy, what DO I need to hit to move into your top personal 50? Thanks, KG!
Kevin Goldstein: Somebody hasn't seen today's Ten Pack.
ChuckR (Addison, IL): Speaking of the '80s Chicago music scene, Eleventh Dream Day - criminally underrated.
What exactly happens in extended spring training that Leonys Martin was sent there rather than to Frisco?
Kevin Goldstein: Not sure I'm going go criminally there. What happens in extended is that the kid can get his feet wet in professional baseball and adjust to be in Estadas Unidos out of the spotlight.
Bill (Pittsburgh): Two Pirates questions. Best unknown prospect and of course, Cole or Rendon?
Kevin Goldstein: Kyle McPherson; Cole.
Geo (work): When does Dustin Ackley's stock start dropping? Doesn't he actually have to produce at some point?
Kevin Goldstein: Seriously, you people read what I write, correct?
bk (Hk): Your view on Oswaldo Arcia, is he just babip lucky?
Kevin Goldstein: No, he's not just lucky. He can really hit. I'm a big fan of the bat, but it's overwhelmingly his best tool.
Ben f (California ): Ok, so maybe asking for the names of the guys is too much, but do you have an approximate number of players out of this year's draft that will appear in the top 101 next year?
Kevin Goldstein: At least ten.
Dhar (Mississauga): Based on the start I saw vs the Phillies, Teheran's fastball and changeup both seem like plus pitches. The curve looks like it needs work, but do you think it can eventually become an above avg offering, thus giving Teheran potentially THREE plus pitches?
Kevin Goldstein: I've seen Teheran's breaking ball much better than it was on Saturday. I think it's an average pitch now, with some potential, so yes.
comish4lif (Alex., VA): What's a realistic progression for Bryce Harper? AA by the end of this season, AAA to start in 2012, MLB at end of 2012?
Kevin Goldstein: He's so hard to project because he's so young, yet so good. I'm not sure about the AA/AAA stuff, but up in September, 2012? That's certainly possible.
Jesse (Los Angeles): Not a minors question, but I was wondering what you think about a young player. Ike Davis: For real, or just a flukey start to the year? Please say for real...
Kevin Goldstein: How about if I say mostly for real. I think 850-900 OPS is a realistic expectation.
Liam426 (San Antonio): Do you think long-term that Mike Olt can stick at third base and does he have enough bat to hit 20+hr .300 avg.?
Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely can stick at third base, as he's quite good there. Absolutely can hit 20+ home runs. Don't think he's a .300 hitter, though.
HankScorpio (Cypress Creek): Is there a good way to keep up on how guys that are in extended spring training are doing? I'm a Royals fan, so I'm specifically thinking of guys like Adam, Yambati, Cuthbert, etc. But just in general as well.
Kevin Goldstein: There's no official stats or anything, if that's what you are looking for . . .
WesleyTakson (Queens, NY): Any concerns over Gary Sanchez's start so far. Seems to be giving up a lot of passballs and striking out frequently. Time to temper expectations or just getting adjusted to full-season ball?
Kevin Goldstein: Not really. So very young and very talented.
Tony (Albuquerque): I'm not an expert and i'm probably safe saying, i'm not smart. That being said; how often do high-ceiling/raw players entering the draft, ala Bubba Starling, reach thier potential that people "dream on". Maybe i'm a bit biased or jaded from the Donovan Tate experience but it seems like they have very low success rate. Am i wrong?
Kevin Goldstein: Not necessarily, but that doesn't mean taking them is wrong. Taking a low-risk approach to drafting results in a team full of average players. If you want stars, you have to take risks.
Chris (NM): Carlos Peguero recalled again with Milton Bradley DFA. Expectations of him?
Kevin Goldstein: Tons of strikeouts and every once in a while he'll hit a bit a mile.
Jeff (Eh...): Started looking at your Ks - Walks - Hits stat this weekend. Not sure what it all means yet or what is "good" (besides the total being positive of course) but it seems like a cool and simple way of looking at minor league stats.
Kevin Goldstein: It's hardly perfect, but as far as numbers you can do in your head, it's a good one.
Nick (VT): Hi KG. What is the ceiling on a guy like Nicasio? Any chance he is in the mix in 2012?
Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely he'll be in the mix in 2012. No. 3 or 4 starter.
Frank Vincent (Pittsburgh): What do you make of Pedro Alvarez so far? While he's still 'young', he's not that young and with his approach, he just seems so lost.
Kevin Goldstein: I definitely thought he'd be better by now, and do have questions about him ever reaching his ceiling.
EricJ (SF): Any reports on Belt's outfield play? Can he be average? What # would you hang on his throw on his arm?
Kevin Goldstein: He absolutely could became average there, and with a 50-55 arm as well.
HonusCobb (Hopedale, IL): What's the current status of Michael Ynoa?
Kevin Goldstein: Rehabbing from last year's Tommy John surgery. No hiccups in recovery.
Matt (MD): stock up,down, or steady for profar so far? showing a bit of power and speed so far, but a bit light on the batting average so far. How would you compare another 18 yr old SS, Francisco Lindor?
Kevin Goldstein: Stock is steady. Lindor is a different character; higher-ceiling defender, but not same profile offensively.
hankchinaski (Indianapolis, IN): As a gamer, did you enjoy the movie eXistenZ?
I watched it over the weekend and the concepts in that film seemed very similar to those adapted into Inception.
Also, I'd like to request that you and Jason review the film Marwencol at some point on the podcast. It's streaming on Netflix. Brilliant documentary.
Kevin Goldstein: I have not seen it, but just the spelling scares me. I saw Marwencol on Saturday, and it's going to be discussed this week.
Erik (Plano): Do you envision Neil Ramirez being the eventual ace of the Texas Rangers' staff?
Kevin Goldstein: He's taken a huge jump this year, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.
HankScorpio (Cypress Creek): Is Odorizzi throwing as well as his numbers would indicate? 38:5 K:BB in 26 innings is awfully intriguing. Could he make it to KC sometime in 2012?
Kevin Goldstein: He is throwing that well. Plus fastball with plus command and good secondary stuff. He'll begin 2012 in Double-A, but there are a lot of arms in that system.
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Is there any single reason why Kyle Gibson is striking out a batter an inning in AAA when he had trouble missing bats at that rate last year? Is it odd that he's putting up better stats than Webb was at this point in his respective career?
Kevin Goldstein: He's showing even better command and control, which is helping. That said, he's not the next Brandon Webb, and he's not going to win Cy Young awards. I like him, but as a No. 3 starter.
mrenick (Little Rock): Do you think trayvon Robinson or Thomas Neal are likely (or capable of) to be full time big league outfielders next year?
Kevin Goldstein: Far more Robinson than Neal.
Drew (New York): Bryce Harper is on the 40 man roster, right? What are the odds the Nationals call him up for some batting practice and pinch-hitting late in the year? Do insiders think it could help or hurt his development?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm not sure it would be best for him. He's already had some incidents at Hagerstown, and it might not be best to just reward him for it.
yeamon (Illinois): FYI... Rob Neyer discussed "Marwencol" on Jonah's podcast. Just a heads-up that this ground has been broken.
Kevin Goldstein: Crossed off the list.
lemppi (Ankeny, IA): Do you think Rob Brantly or Bryan Holaday to have the higher ceiling among the DET catchers? (or Julio Rodriguez?) Thank you.
Kevin Goldstein: None are every day guys, but Holaday could have a nice backup career.
Johnson (DeKalb): Thoughts on Maikel Cleto and his callup to AA?
Kevin Goldstein: Love the fastball, but think the whole package would work better in relief.
dtrainmets (NY): Whose better: Brett Jackson and Gary Brown? they seem similar
Kevin Goldstein: They aren't similar at all, other than being center fielders. Big gaps in power, speed, style of game.
Howie (Detriot): Duffy has seemed to be inefficient with his pitching. Lots of strikeouts and high pitchcounts prevent him from pitchign deep into games. Is efficiency something that can be developed/taught and is being inefficient something to be concerned about regarding a prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: Almost every pitcher is inefficient coming up, it's something that almost has to be learned. That said, Duffy is averaging less than 16 pitches per innings, so it's not like he's out of control or anything.
Tom (Madison): Where's Ian Krol? It doesn't looked like he's pitched yet this year.
Kevin Goldstein: Strained forearm in spring training; very similar to the Andrew Bailey issue.
Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated ): Why won't Jason return my calls?
Kevin Goldstein: Because your hair is too perfect.
Miles (Philadelphia): What do you make of JC Ramirez' odd line at AA? Think his stuff might tick up out of the pen and lead to more missed bats?
Kevin Goldstein: It's one of the most bizarre lines around: 29 IP, 19 H, 8 BB, 6 K -- and completely and utterly unsustainable.
mef (Brooklyn): Do you think that the new bats in college have anything to do with the pitching-heavy look of the draft?
Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely, and to the point where some mistakes might be made.
Huh (What): Harper. incidents? Elaborate?
Kevin Goldstein: He struck out looking a couple of weeks ago and starting jawing with the pitcher, nearly turning into a brawl. He's still got some growing up to do.
Jason Parks (NYC): If you see someone at the fields with a JUGGS gun, do you: A) make fun of them behind their back, B) make fun of them to their face, or C) just live in the fact that you are superior to them and leave it at that?
Kevin Goldstein: I try to be more subtle than that. It's like trying to let somebody know that they have food on their face without quite saying it. The goal is to have them help themselves, really.
Urkel (Chitown): Is this year's top ten one of the best top tens in recent years?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes.
Frustrated White Sox Fan (Chicago): I've noticed the White Sox stick to slot money year after year in the draft. Give me one good reason as to how this benefits the team.
Kevin Goldstein: [Silence.]
Dan (NY): Re: Heyward (and everything else). Everyone is more impatient about everything these days. Patience is inversely proportional to the speed of communication.
Kevin Goldstein: Smart man.
Tom (Madison): Assuming he can stay healthy, when would you call up Jemile Weeks to replace Mark Ellis at second base?
Kevin Goldstein: After I traded Ellis on July 31.
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): How stupid are the Twins for passing on Ranaudo and then taking Wimmers?
Kevin Goldstein: How stupid is this question? I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but every team in baseball has some kind of shoulda taken this guy instead of that one. In addition, Ranaudo is hardly a sure thing, and nobody thought the Wimmers pick was bad at the time.
hankchinaski (Indianapolis, IN): Sorry, had no idea about Rob discussing Marwencol. I'm obviously a loyal .9er, as I do not listen to Jonah Keri's poseur podcast.
Kevin Goldstein: Atta' boy.
kf4ykd (Charlottesville): What's your take on Brandon Guyer's future with the Rays? He gets the distinction of hitting a HR in his first MLB at-bat, but that really means very little.
Kevin Goldstein: He'll have a career as a second-division starter kinda guy.
Toby (Toronto): I'm sick of all the losing/non-playoff contending seasons.
Why should I renew my 20 game package for next season?
Kevin Goldstein: Because you love baseball.
3rendanRyan (Providence): Is there any reason why the Red Sox can't eventually convert Bard into a starter? He throws really hard while the delivery is exceptionally free and easy. Would he have a deep enough arsenal? Oh, any thought on the Monorchid, they seem to be right up your alley.
Kevin Goldstein: They tried that, it didn't work. His success came in the bullpen, and it's not broke, so don't fix it.
Kevin Goldstein: Ok, folks. I gotta cut this one short so I can crate more content for you all to read! Thanks for all the great questions.