Resident prospect expert Kevin Goldstein takes your questions on the start of the season, what to watch for on the farm, and what's cooking in his kitchen.
Kevin Goldstein: Hi everybody. I only have about an hour today, as I have our MLB Preview podcast to get out, as well as an article to write. I'll have the powers that be schedule another chat for me soon to make up for it. For now, let's go.
Jim (Albany, NY): How did you find 20 White Sox prospects you like more than Hector Santiago?
Kevin Goldstein: Santiago has had a great spring, and will likely break camp in the big leagues as a part of the White Sox bullpen, but for me, that's also his ceiling . . . just a part of a major league bullpen.
Armin (Austria): Peter Gammons reported that Ubaldo Jimenez was up to 96-97 mph in his last start. Do you think he can/will rebound and be an effective starter again?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't think we'll see the utter dominance of early 2010 again, but effective starter? Absolutely.
chiefsalsa (Logan, Utah): I bet a beer the Reds will win the Central. On Oct. 1st, do I need to bring my wallet to the bar?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, I picked the Reds in this week's prediction piece, so I'm with you.
Steve (Canada): Of the Jays three failed players in 2011 Travis Snider, Colby Rasmus, Kyle Drabek, and Adam Lind, who do you think will put out the most production in 2012?
Kevin Goldstein: I was surprised to see Snider go down this week, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Drabek this week, as he looked really good. I'll go with Drabek. I see little reason to be optimistic about Rasmus or Lind.
WhiteSoxFarmSystem (Wishcasting, USA): Any sense of whether the Braves can fill the 2013 hole at third base internally? Are Salcedo and Terdoslavich still too far away?
Kevin Goldstein: I'd guess it's Prado in 13 or someone from the outside. Salcedo won't be ready, and I don't see Terdoslavich as the answer.
kbdekker (Saint Paul): Speaking of bets, I took the over on Eric Hosmer 26 homers this year. A case of beer is riding on this.
Kevin Goldstein: I think it's going to be close.
Justin (St Charles, IL): Odds that Kenny Williams is still the GM of the White Sox this time next year?
Kevin Goldstein: Very high.
Internet Bullies (Binghamton (2nd most obese City in U.S.)): Hi. What are your thoughts on Tyler Moore? What's his ceiling and where does he play when he reaches Washington? Thanks
Kevin Goldstein: His ceiling is a second division starter, so I don't think there are any guarantees there for him in Washington.
mo2rose (brooklyn): who will have the best year amongst the jays starters? Romero, Morrow, Alvares, Cecil, MaGowen, Drabek
Kevin Goldstein: Morrow. Think there could be a breakout coming there.
EricJ (SF): Is Teheran ready? What kind of ERA do you see him putting up if he makes the opening day rotation?
Kevin Goldstein: He's hardly a finished product, but if the Braves think he can handle the bumps in the road on a makeup level, I think he could be servicable this year, with a peak that is still five years off or more.
Todd (San Francisco): Am I the only one who prefers Kipnis to Ackley?
Kevin Goldstein: Nope. I'm with you.
Joe V. (Washington, DC): Kevin: OK, what do you think about Pineda? A: He's a little out of shape and is conserving his best stuff for the season or B: Last year took a ton out of him and it might take him an entire year to regain lost velocity or C: There's in injury there and the Mariners knew what they were doing in getting rid of him.
Kevin Goldstein: Closest to A, but I don't think he's conserving his best stuff as some sort of plan as much as he's building it back.
kddean (Loop): Embarrassed to ask, but what and where is extended spring training? Does it really happen at spring training sites? For how long?
I'm embarrassed to ask because I grew up in AZ and we used those fields for baseball (Diablo in particular) games and practices a lot. I don't recall them being used by professionals once regular season started.
Kevin Goldstein: Never be embarrassed to ask. It's good to want to know things. Extended spring takes place at the minor league facilities (thus the availability of Diablo). It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like. More workouts, games in the afternoon, some purely instructional/simulated, and sometimes you bring in another team for a little different dynamic.
formersd (San Diego): Who make it up first, Wieland, Kelly or Erlin?
Kevin Goldstein: That's a great question, as all three of them have had their impressive moments in camp. It could just come down to who is pitching well at the time, and (something fans don't always consider) whose turn it is in the rotation.
EricJ (SF): Would you rather sign Oswalt or bring Shelby Miller up to relpace Carpenter if you were the Cards?
Kevin Goldstein: Miller isn't ready in my mind.
Spirou (Somewhere near the Big O): What's your take on Felix Doubront ? Does he get a hold of the 5th starter spot and what to expect ? I think he's a real sleeper.
Kevin Goldstein: What's the opposite of sleeper? An awaker? Whatever it is, I'm not bullish on Doubront.
Liam (Dallas): Did you get to see much of the top 3 bonus babies (Mazara, Guzman, Hernandez) from last j2? If so, who looked most impressive?
Kevin Goldstein: Guzman, Guzman and Guzman.
ttt (Manhattan): You and Keith Law are chatting at the same time. Is this because you secretly hate each other or are secretly the same person?
Kevin Goldstein: There are a lot of people on Twitter who see us as rivals are something, and it's kind of comical. It's because I said I'd chat at this time and I don't keep track of Keith's schedule.
Matt (Arlington Tx): Can the Rangers figure out a way to have Andrus, Kinsler, and Profar on the field together in '13?
Kevin Goldstein: Nope.
AaronSF (LA): How bad a hitter will Andrelton Simmons be if given the SS job this year?
Kevin Goldstein: Pretty damn bad. But the defense will be pretty damn good. It will be a tough decision.
Oliver (Boston, MA): Any rumors about prospect assignments that surprise you? Any chance Guzman skips short-season ball?
Kevin Goldstein: I'll have an entire piece on this next week.
Matt (Arlington Tx): Of the three who goes then? I'll kill someone if they trade Kinsler.
Kevin Goldstein: Will you kill someone if they trade Andrus? How about if they trade Profar? Somebody is going to have to go.
JP (Oakland): Have you heard anything about Renato Nunez? Signed for 1st round money in 2010, haven't heard his name since.
Kevin Goldstein: He played in the Dominican Summer League last year, and will make his U.S. debut this year. He's also 17 years old and younger than many high school kids who will be drafted in June, so it's not like he hasn't lived up to expectations.
Francois (Toronto): I'll be in Vegas for a week in mid-may, so I'm thinking about heading off to see the LV 51's during their home-stand. Speaking of whom, how awesome a season can we expect from d'Arnaud in the PCL?
Kevin Goldstein: I think it could be like what Arencibia did.
faztradamus (At Work): Bubba Starling... what should we expect this season?
Kevin Goldstein: We shall see. He's not coming to Kane County to begin the year, so they're taking it slow.
ttt (Manhattan): I keep reading little snippets about how Archie Bradley is really impressing scouts thus far. Could you give a little more information on that? Better command? Better breaking stuff?
Kevin Goldstein: and outstanding velocity. He's been crazy good. Like how did he drop that low in the draft good.
Ren (Washington, DC): Who is your breakout candidate among the Blue Jays pitching prospects?
Kevin Goldstein: So many options, it really could be any one of about six guys, and maybe more than one.
SamLindauer (NY): There seems to be some debate as to whether the Yankees should send Nova to the minors to start the season. Some say Pineda should go down. Would this make sense for the Yankees?
Kevin Goldstein: I would be really confused if either went down.
jake (detroit): Any hope for the Brandon Hamilton project?
Kevin Goldstein: Almost certainly not, but that doesn't mean you don't try.
Zach (NJ): I was watching a reliever in the Indians system last year(Trey Haley) throw 99. I was sitting with the scouts. My friends asked me what I would rather be doing watching that or at a strip club. I told them it wasn't even close to being close I'd rather watch Haley throw. Do I need help?
Kevin Goldstein: No. Strip clubs are lame.
Ric (Indianapolis): Do you expect that Walker and Paxton will be called up in September and be in Seattle's rotation to start s 2013?
Kevin Goldstein: I love Walker as much as anyone, but he's also 19. Also you have Hultzen who is more advanced than either of them. It's going to be some tough decisions (in a great way) for Seattle to make.
timothy (nashville, tn): If Andrelton Simmons gets the starting SS nod for the Braves, is .240BA, 10hrs, 15 steals out of the question? He's won a (low) minor league batting title. And would Pastornicky offer any more, really?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, he had ONE home run in 500+ Carolina League at-bats last year, so I have no idea where the ten would suddenly come from. He could steal the 15 bases though. I think Pastornicky is more ready, but neither will be offensive studs or anything.
Fear Freddy Galvis! (second base): The kid has looked great! With Mayberry looking strong, the Phils are not the old people's home the press makes them out to be. Agreed?
Kevin Goldstein: Freddy Galvis and John Mayberry do not make the Phillies a suddenly youthful team. Age is still a concern.
Tim (DC): Can Harper play a decent CF?
Kevin Goldstein: Decent might be strong. Borderline acceptable for a while maybe.
Andrew Stoeten (drunkjaysfans.com): Brett Lawrie is in the HoF by 2032, True or False?
Kevin Goldstein: False. That's just going with the odds. How many players that young and inexperienced would you bet yes on? It should be zero.
thepointe01 (DC): Biggest upside amongst some of the non-Bryce Harper outfielders in Washington? Taylor? Perez? Hood? Goodwin?
Kevin Goldstein: Goodwin by far. Outstanding tools there.
Billy (Texas): Thoughts on the leaked specs for the PS4?
Kevin Goldstein: Exciting, but was more excited about the possibility of a Steam Box.
Jquinton82 (ny): Firs big name prospect to be called up and ETA?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know, and neither do teams. It's important to note that questions like this are almost impossible to answers. Very few prospects just bash (or pitch) their way up. Every for the best of players, their first opportunity comes from injuries or ineffectiveness of others, so it's hard to project. Mike Trout's ascension to the big leagues is far more dependent on Vernon Wells than Mike Trout for example.
TAD (OMAMA): I love stats, but aren't the Clubhouse Confidential guys on MLBN too smug for their own good? SABR is not an absolute.
Kevin Goldstein: I haven't watched the show a ton outside of when Jaffe is on. I haven't found them smug, and I do like when they bring in guys like Bowa to discuss.
Nick D (Chicago, IL): Hi Kevin, First off - thank you for attending the BP Book Tour in Chicago several weeks ago. I stopped by for a few hours and picked up some very interesting information. I appreciate you taking the time to interact with readers.
My question is about Brett Jackson. I have not had a chance to watch him at all and am curious as to his MLB floor/ceiling. I've read that he strikes out too much, is a great athlete, and BP has made comparisons to a young Curtis Granderson. Cubs manager Dale Sveum has stated Jackson is major league ready. Rumors have recently been floating around that Marlon Byrd is on the trade block and Jackson will get a quick call-up.
Is Jackson someone worth getting excited over? I have optimistic visions of 80R, 20HR, 80 RBI, 20 SB, .260/.350/.450 seasons in the future. From your observations and analysis, what should Cubs fans expect in the years to come?
Kevin Goldstein: I think that's a perfectly reasonable ceiling for Jackson, but I don't think he's ready. He still needs to work on his contact issues.
Klochner (MN): What was your early work (The Prospect Report) like? Did you know industry folks then? Was it more your own observations?
Kevin Goldstein: It was really just statistical, as believe it or not, minor league box scores were not readily available at the time. It's actually how I made my first contacts, as word got around and people in the industry began to subscribe and get in touch with me.
Knights of (Amular): What games are you enjoying when not tempting me to trade away Ryan Braun for Archie Bradley? I still need to tackle Dark Souls and Mass Effect 2, much less ME3.
Kevin Goldstein: Still on Skyrim, which it seems you can just play forever. I haven't had much time for anything lately, so I'm in on that and level 32 or so while trying to focus on more of the main stuff as opposed to the distractions. Play Dark Souls. It's remarkable.
moehk21 (Miami): Has Cespedes' early success change your short and long-term projections of him?
Kevin Goldstein: No. I think it two games we've seen all the good (power, defense, speed) and bad (whiff-a-riffic) and will continue to do so.
Grant (Oakland): On twitter a few weeks ago, you mentioned that Grant Green didn't profile as a 3B. I assume you think he does profile as a CF. Did you know that CF hit .261/.325/.406 last year, while 3B hit .254/.314/.391 ?
Kevin Goldstein: Just because there are few 3B right now doesn't mean we change the profile, no?
ttt (Manhattan): I saw Joe Hamrahi tweet about a BP event in June in NY. Do you have any details and will you be attending?
Kevin Goldstein: Details to come . . . and we shall see.
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): What kind of production drop off should we expect for Sano at Beloit?
Kevin Goldstein: I look forward to seeing him in just two weeks. I think he'll struggle to hit for average, but the power should play anywhere.
Tim (Seattle): Hey I bought into the new wild card system yesterday. Was that too soon? Did I get as good a deal as that guy said I did? I was all ready to stand up against the new wild card system too.
Kevin Goldstein: I bought in to. Come join me on my very small, lightly populated island where we like the new wild card.
Tim (DeKalb): J.Baez - potentially becomes a SS or 3B for the Cubs? 2014?
Kevin Goldstein: 2B or 3B. He's not a SS long term.
Bill (New Mexico): I know, it's spring training, don't read anything into results, etc., but has anything occurred this spring that catches your eye as suggesting an unexpected breakout about to happen? Example: Cardinals pitching prospect Trevor Rosenthal sat down with Chris Carpenter and learned Carp's cutter ... and then went out and blew 'em away in his next appearance. Would a young 3-star pitcher learning a new pitch like that be enough to move him into 4-star (or above) territory?
Kevin Goldstein: Don't get me wrong here, as I really like Rosenthal, and he COULD move into four-star territory, but are we really supposed to think that he sat down with Carpenter and by the next day had mastered a new pitch?
Joe (Philadelphia): Are there differences in the way that teams scout for makeup? Can you possibly elaborate on the good and bad that teams look for in that area?
Kevin Goldstein: I know it's a cliche at this point, but makeup is about #want. It's about working hard to become a better baseball player and working hard consistently. It has nothing to do with going to church on Sunday or being nice to the media or being a nice guy. It's about dedication to the craft more than anything.
Marissa (San Fran): I have a serious question. Is it a red flag for scouts if a player comes from a one parent household (no contact/relationship with the Dad)? Have you also come into contact with racist scouts?
Kevin Goldstein: The one parent thing is not a concern. Each kid is judged individually. There are plenty of great kids who come from one parent households, and plenty of jerkstores with two. I don't know if I'd go as far as racist, but I have come into contact with some scouts who I would say have some prejudices. While we are on the subject, I've also known of racist parents, and know a story of one scout who made a home visit to discover the kid's parents were big Aryan Nation supporters.
Kevin (San Diego): Slightly strange question, but how often does mental illness de-rail a prospect's career? Do teams screen for that kind of thing? I'd have to think that since the onset of many disorders is late teens/early twenties, that this kind of thing (depression, anxiety, or something more sever) is common.
Kevin Goldstein: It has certainly happened, and teams have definitely stepped up their resources in that area. A lot of teams do personality testing, but I know of none that specifically test for mental illness.
Kevin Goldstein: OK folks, I gotta go to get a podcast out to you and finish an article. I'll be back soon and thanks for all the great questions.