The prospect guru is back to entertain and mesmerize you.
Kevin Goldstein: Hey folks. A quick chat, as I have a long day in Chicago ahead of me. I'll be on the panel for the full show of Chicago Baseball Hot Stove on Comcast Sports Chicago at 5pm. Tune in if you can.
Billy (Chicago): Do you mind elaborating on why you have Concepcion 6th on the Cubs list when you don't sound that high on him?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, I'm not that high on the system, and I think Concepion has a pretty good floor if not the highest of ceiling.
Bunger (NY): what do you think of Paxton joining the M's rotation this year?
Kevin Goldstein: I think it's unlikely, except maybe an outside shot at a September look.
Ian (Columbus, OH): Is this the new lazy comp: College pitcher with huge stuff and mediocre numbers=Justin Verlander? I thought maybe it made some sense when applied to Gerrit Cole, but I read it applied to Mark Appel recently, and am afraid it's going to be the new thing.
Kevin Goldstein: I'm with you. It's a horrible comp. I love how we act like Justin Verlander's numbers were mediocre. In his Junior year he had 151 Ks in 105.1 innings. That's not mediocre. Also, so I can hype it, LONG chat on Monday to got with the unveiling of the Top 101.
Milton (NY): How many hoop earrings do you own?
Kevin Goldstein: Just one. You only need one.
John (Minneapolis): Has there been a prospect in recent memory that has the same type of violent swing as O Taveras? Do you see Taveras struggling as he moves up against more advanced pitching exposing holes in his swing?
Kevin Goldstein: I'll discuss that in this week's Cardinals Top 11. I'm not concerned and I explain why.
Bill Fisher (Syracuse): How many pitchers in the minors have a higher ceiling than Taijuan Walker right now?
Kevin Goldstein: Don't need more than two hands to count them.
SDILincoln (Colorado): Does Matt West see time in the big leagues this year?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't think it's out of the question, but I would not bet on it.
Jake (Kalamazoo): What can you offer by way of a scouting report on Jorge Soler? Thus far I've seen lots of excitement, little information.
Kevin Goldstein: Protypical RF package with plenty of athleticism and raw power. If he was an American high school kid entering the 2012 draft, he'd be a single-digit pick.
Chris (NM): So the 101 list is coming out on Monday?
Kevin Goldstein: Correct.
Billy (Chicago): Where would Soler fall in your top 101 (if at all)?
Kevin Goldstein: Ask me in Monday's chat.
Steve (CA): How much time do you think Caspedes will spend in the minors?
Kevin Goldstein: Somewhere between 100-300 at-bats.
SimplyFalco (Amherst): Are you a fan of the Mass Effect series? If so, are you generally concerned with the early buzz surrounding the game, as well as the general direction of Bioware as a whole?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm only a mild fan, and while I know this puts me in the minority, I'm not a big Bioware fan boy.
Laurie Fine (Syracuse): is Starling Marte ready to be a 20-20 guy this season?
Kevin Goldstein: This year? no.
Rags (NYC): A lot of people are worried about billy hamilton's hit tools. thoughts? thoughts on how this affects when he arrives in the big leagues?
Kevin Goldstein: He got better and better as the season wore on last year. I don't think he'll be a beast, and he'll never have power, but he'll hit enough.
smallflowers (slumpton): Thanks as always, KG. I was wondering if you could comment on and compare two mid-20s, struggling, former top prospects that will be spending the spring with new hitting coaches: Gordon Beckham and Colby Rasmus. I know that both are dart throws, but which would you bet on bouncing back? What are their new ceilings, if any?
Kevin Goldstein: I'd bet on Beckham first, but wouldn't bet big on either.
Winston Diclmeister (Providence, RI): Why does everybody feel that Delin Betances should be in the bullpen? With his size, he could be a huge innings eaater and that is more valuable than a short reliever.
Kevin Goldstein: Long injury history, not the cleanest delivery, an arsenal that fits in the late innings, inefficiency and other reasons. Based on your size logic, Lee Smith should have started (he should not of).
goiter6 (MN): What would you estimate for the number of times out of 100 that Joe Benson has a better all around career than Jaff Decker?
Kevin Goldstein: Big big edge to Benson.
EricJ (SF): Would you prefer to sign Lincecum or Cain long term $'s aside?
Kevin Goldstein: Which one is the better pitcher (Lincecum). There's your answer.
Casto (Cuba): Who has the higher ultimate ceiling between Cespedes and Marisnick? How about likelihood of reaching said ceiling?
Kevin Goldstein: While there is obviously risk, it's hard to find any young outfielder with a ceiling like Cespedes, thus the soon-to-be bidding war.
dianagram (Avoiding the Giants Parade): When a minor league team wins its league championship, do they get a parade down its city's "canyon of heroes" ... a "key to the city" ... a "proclamation" ....
Kevin Goldstein: Maybe a conga line in the locker room.
Sara (Tacoma): The D'Backs Top 11 is next week. You've stated several times that you see Trevor Bauer as a #2-#4. Any chance of him being a #1, or is there something he lacks?
Kevin Goldstein: I just don't think he has No. 1 stuff. That's hardly an insult. Few do.
Paul (DC): Who are the likely top contenders to bid for Yoennis Cespedes' services?
Kevin Goldstein: Cubs, Marlins, Orioles, White Sox, Blue Jays, Rangers, mystery team.
rrvwmr (not texas): I've seen other people latch onto #theLegend tag for Jorge Alfaro. Is this Jason's texas love talking or should we all get excited? His 54/4 K/BB ratio tells me not to get excited too soon.
Kevin Goldstein: Like any prospect, we can find holes in his game, and like any prospect, there are weaknesses he'll need to address as he moves up the ladder. His combination of power and arm strength are quite rare.
Andy (Chicago): Have you played Skyrim? I had to GET a job so I would cut back on playing it!
Kevin Goldstein: I have not. Waiting for the PS3 patch that supposedly fixes all the problems. Playing Dead Island right now, and enjoying it.
Today (Tomorrow): How much of an impact does the older age (19) of the HS draftees (Starling, Bell) make on their career outlook?
Kevin Goldstein: It's obviously a cause for some concern in light of Rany's recent work, but we have to accept that there are ZERO absolutes in this game. There are exceptions to every rule.
ssimon (Pelham, NY): Thank you again for 81 episodes of the BP Podcast. Something so good is rarely so free.
Kevin Goldstein: Thanks to everyone for listening.
blazeswim (Chicago): What color fedora are you sporting tonight?
Kevin Goldstein: Considering going hat free.
oira (SF): Kevin, what changes do you foresee in this year's draft because of the new CBA?
Kevin Goldstein: That's the million dollar question right now. I think it will take 2-3 draft for trends and strategies to develop.
James (San Diego): Have you ever worn sandals?
Kevin Goldstein: Never have, never will.
Tim (Right here): If you were a position player or a releiver what would your walk-up/entrance song be?
Kevin Goldstein: Soldier's Requiem by Naked Raygun.
Adam (LA): What happened to former M's prospect Josh Fields? He was projected to be in the clubs bullpen that same year ('09). I know he is with the BoSox now. Any future?
Kevin Goldstein: Command abandoned him and stuff went backwards. No future without a surprising turn around.
lemppi (ia): James (San Diego): Have you ever worn sandals?
Kevin Goldstein: Never have, never will.
Are you more of a thong-guy?
Kevin Goldstein: No, I wear boxers.
Marco (San Diego): You have been pretty high on Billy Hamilton and his 2h last year really opened my eyes. What adjustments does he need to make to become an everyday leadoff hitter?
Kevin Goldstein: It's not adjustments as much as he just has to continue to improve. If he hit .400 last year at Low-A, he'd still need to continue to improve. He's a long way from the big leagues.
Mel (Cincinnati): Is there a Mrs. Goldstein who is not your famous mother?
Kevin Goldstein: Goldstein is a pretty common last name, so I'm sure there are Mrs. Goldsteins all over the place.
Vic Griffin (Minnesota): I'm trying to understand Aaron Hicks, the level of tools versus present performance. Any scouts outside the organization still believe the tools will translate?
Kevin Goldstein: Plenty of them do. The tools are almost too much too deny in a lot of ways. Double-A will be a HUGE test for his future.
Adam (LA): How long can Josh Collmenter's deceptive delivery be effective? Is his pure stuff below average?
Kevin Goldstein: I expect a significant regression in 2012.
James (San Diego): So never been to the beach?
Kevin Goldstein: I've been to plenty of beaches. I just don't wear sandals to them.
Clarence (Paul's Boutique): Looking ahead, what uniform will Cole Hamels be wearing in 2013?
Kevin Goldstein: I have utterly no idea, but I get the feeling it won't be a Phillies one.
EricJ (SF): Does makeup factor into your star system for rankings?
Kevin Goldstein: Makeup certainly can factor in a prospect's assessment, but it's not going to really help/hinder him unless the reviews are especially alarming.
BrowningNagle (Louisville, KY): Is Brandon Drury similar to Josh Vitters in their hitting approach? Do you see either gaining enough discipline to contribute as a starter in MLB?
Kevin Goldstein: Drury is good, but I don't think he's in Vitter's zip code.
Adam (LA): What is your stance on bullpen pitchers? I've heard people say to use your min. salary pitchers in the pen and spend your money elsewhere.
Kevin Goldstein: I think it's easy and understandable to show how closers aren't worth big contracts, and I don't think teams should pay big for closers UNLESS THEY ARE GOOD. Closers aren't worth much on bad teams, but worth a ton on good ones.
Spike (SoCal): 3 prospects you have to see in AZ this spring?
Kevin Goldstein: Lundberg.
Paul (Seattle): I'm looking to buy a fedora. Any tips (brand/color/fabric, etc.)?
Kevin Goldstein: No tips. Trying them on is key. You'll know what's right instantly.
Don (HI): Do you own your own radar gun?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't. They're super expensive, and every time I go to a game I'm surrounded by them.
Jordan (DC): Be nice to Josh Collmenter. It's his birthday. Speaking of deception, what about Edwin Carl ? Could he ever make it to the big leagues ?
Kevin Goldstein: Whatever. I once had a divorce hearing on my birthday. Carl is awfully fun to watch, but I don't think it's going to work unless he does something else with his fastball in terms of maybe cutting it.
Brian (Worcester): Who would your top MiLB prospect at each position be?
Kevin Goldstein: Top 101 is Monday. Easy to figure it out off that.
BrowningNagle (Louisville, KY): Does Garrett Richards have a shot a holding down a spot in the rotation at any point this year or will the Angels go with crappy veterans?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, there is only one spot in that rotation available, as the 1-4 is pretty special. I don't think Richards is ready for it yet.
Bobby (Santee, CA): Why do you choose to dislike any and all music that is enjoyed by people?
Kevin Goldstein: You know, every release I own I guarantee was also purchased by somebody else, so people enjoy my music as well. It's not my fault that more people listen to Arcade Fire and U2 and Bon Iver and think that's good, or almost more offensively, edgy.
J (Queen City): How many starts will Aroldis Chapman get in the majors, and how will they go?
Kevin Goldstein: I think they should just let him relieve and have done him no favors with role jerking around.
Corey (Topeka, KS): Think Matt Adams will make the Cards opening day roster?
Kevin Goldstein: There's no position for him.
KChard (Evansville, IN): Bit of a different question, as it stands a player can not plead ignorance of not knowingly taking a PED. If Braun could prove he did not knowingly ingest PED's, whether through some herpes cream or otherwise, do you think he should still get 50 games, cut it to 25, or other?
Kevin Goldstein: No. The rules are the rules. and players get a list of what they can and can not take, as well as a number they can call to ask about any potential medication. There are no excuses.
Johnny (San Diego): Zack Cozart's power ceiling is _____? 20 HR? .475 slugging?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm a big Cozart fan, but that's getting a bit over excited.
john m (ct): Any chance Brian Matusz regains his stuff?
Kevin Goldstein: There is obviously SOME chance, it's counting on it that is the risky part.
Paul (Seattle): I'm also looking to not be cool and not have sex. Forgot to mention that
Kevin Goldstein: Ah, nice troll on the hat. I'm quite entertained at how much the hat and the earring bother some people. I'm sorry I decided not to be like everyone else. I'm sorry I also decided not to care what anyone else thought of me. Now go back to your frat house with the knowledge that you are unique and interesting in zero ways and that those of us who are maybe a little different not only get laid, but have more more interesting sex as well.
Stedman (Deadman Reach, AK): Thoughts on Williams Jerez as a potential sleeper in the Red Sox system?
Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely. Tools = sleeper.
joe (c): Do you drink tea? if so what kind? I'm partial to orange pekoe myself. Thanks
Kevin Goldstein: I don't. Never done the hot drink thing. Don't do coffee either.
Tim (DC): Most likely assuming no injury? a) Harper with the Nats on opening day b) Called up after service time deadline c) September call up d) Stays in minors all year
Kevin Goldstein: In order of likelihood. B. A. C. D.
Anthony (NJ): How much of organizational success is scouting versus player development? And how big a factor is just plain luck?
Kevin Goldstein: Both are important, but it's up to the scouts to find the talent. The best chefs in the world can't make great food with crappy ingredients.
Bad Bad Leroy Brown (Southside): In terms of bats only, who do you prefer between Baez and Bell?
Kevin Goldstein: Not sure what you are going for, if you are going on just the hit TOOL which does not incorporate power, it's Baez. In terms of overall offensive potential, Bell.
Jeb (Chicago): If you were Rizzo and controlled Harper, when would you bring him up?
Kevin Goldstein: When he's ready. I know that sounds smart-ass and trite, but it's really not. Right now, at this second, I don't think Harper is ready. There's a chance that my mind could be changed by the end of spring, and there's a chance that I might not feel that way all year.
jwschaefer (NJ): Will the Mets system next year be a) stronger b) weaker c) about the same?
Kevin Goldstein: C. Not like they are going to graduate much.
Dan (D.C): Would you take the over or under on Kolton Wong's ASG apperances: 2.5
Kevin Goldstein: I love him, but if you want me to say he's going to play in three All-Star games . . . whoa. Under.
Kelvin (Oak Park): How did you discover Professor Kove?
Kevin Goldstein: He had a Rangers site, he asked to interview me, and we got along.
Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks. Thanks for coming by, thanks for all the great questions and I'll see you again on Monday for a much longer talk to accompany the Top 101.