Kevin answers all (well, maybe most of) your prospect questions in a Monday afternoon chat.
Kevin Goldstein: It's Monday, let's do this.
based (LA): So Jason Parks floated around the notion that Zach Lee was being regarded as a #3/4 starter instead of a TORP piayer. Can you elaborate on this and validate this. What has changed that has scouts lowering Lee's ceiling?
Kevin Goldstein: Nothing, from the stuff to the command of that stuff, has been as sharp as it was last year. He's dealing with a groin injury, so I'm not ready to ding him too hard yet.
exer (naples): Hi! Does Josh Reddick have it in him, .290/.360/.510 this year?
Kevin Goldstein: No. He's not that good a pure hitter, and I have no idea where you are finding that OBP. I think he's current line is a pretty good upside number.
Jquinton82 (NY): Whats your take on the Royals keeping Bubba Starling in extended Spring Training? I know reports were that he was raw, but is he THAT raw that Low-A wouldn't be an option?
Kevin Goldstein: He's pretty raw, and he's not the only first-round guy taking it easy, as Javier Baez is still in extended as well.
Paul (DC): Christian Yelich is putting up a pretty good hitting line so far in the Florida League. But how has his defense in Center? Is there even a 5 or 10% chance he gets a cup of coffee with the Marlins in September?
Kevin Goldstein: Utterly no chance at the big leagues. It serves no purpose, he'd get destroyed there, and he's not even on the 40-man. He's going to end up profiling better in a corner than in center.
Mike (Utica, NY): What do you think of Jose Vinicio, after a slump he has went on a tear. Do you think he could be the long term SS of the Redsox future if Inglesias can't hit.
Kevin Goldstein: The tools are really outstanding. I'm a big fan, and he could profile as a big league starting SS.
Michael (Dover AF Base): Mike trout has hit the ground running, Matt Moore has been inconsistent yet solid overall, and Bryce Harper has been treading water. What can we expect from the Big 3 for the rest of the season: Regression? Improvement? More of the same?
Kevin Goldstein: Trout: Keep it going; Moore: Slow but steady improvement; Harper: Ups and downs all year, but no breakout in 2012.
kcboomer (KC): What's with Hosmer? All I see is a kid taking too big a swing with way too much lower body movement and all I here is is that he is just hitting in bad luck.
Kevin Goldstein: I think it's both easy and lazy to just look at BABIP and act like that's the answer to everybody exceeding or not living up to projections. Hosmer is still making contact, but there does seem to be some pressing, as he's trying to get five hits and a couple home runs in each at bats.
@ryanpicks (fredericton): Kevin... Do you have a link to your write up on Yon Gomes? The only one I was able to find was in Spanish...
Kevin Goldstein: Actually, it was in Portuguese. I didn't not do a call-up for him, because I don't think he's going to get a lot of playing time, and I think you are going to see some other moves once Lawrie returns from his suspension for exceedingly stupid behavior.
Cubs-Fan (Chicago): Considering the complete lack of intel regarding Jorge Soler, is it possible that he could have established residency and the media has not yet learned of it?
Kevin Goldstein: No.
Evan (CA): What does a "cross-checker" do? Is it much different from what a regular scout does?
Kevin Goldstein: This is INCREDIBLY simplistic, but the area scout is seeing EVERYONE and the X-checker is coming in to see the guys the area scout likes.
dianagram (VORGville): Bunts:Baseball as ______:RockMusic
Kevin Goldstein: Arcade Fire.
Kyle (Manitoba): So by reading your ten pack I get the impression that you think JPAs bat can play at 1st. Is this right? Also how would you compare Gose' defensive ability to Rasmus? Would it be a downgrade next year if Rasmus continues his poor offensive output?
Kevin Goldstein: I just think it gives them and option to figure things out. Gose is a better CF than Rasmus.
Jacob K. (Claremore, OK ): What are your thoughts on former prospect guys like Matt LaPorta? He's always been able to kill AAA pitching, but looks a little clueless against good off-speed and breaking pitches in the MLB. Does sending them down to AAA really ever help them?
Kevin Goldstein: It does sometimes. Personally, with as bad as Kotchman has been, I think LaPorta deserves another crack.
Don Draper (New York): I know Bundy is getting all the hype but Gerrit Cole seems to be getting it done as well. If the pirates could go back in time, would they make the same choice?
Kevin Goldstein: He's been quite good, but Bundy has been crazy insane. As far as going back in time, if you missed it, I had Bundy as the No. 1 prospect in the draft last year.
Ian (Easton): What have you heard from scouts on Blake Swihart? Statistically, he's struggled in the early going, but does the eye match the numbers?
Kevin Goldstein: Reports have been much more positive than the numbers. Much of the focus right now is on his defense, and he has the skills for the bat to come around.
Chris (FL): Could you expand on your twitter comments re: never being qualified to be a GM? I think most fans think it's easier than it is, when in reality they'd be sobbing under their desk by lunch of their first day. What qualifications are necessary to be a GM? Both scouting and statistical background, with legal and business acumen to boot?
Kevin Goldstein: And a real understanding of how everything in baseball works. They'd all be sobbing under their desks by lunch, and I'd be there with them. By the way, none of us are qualified to be managers, either.
Ian (MPLS): If you were in charge of the Twins, who do you want at #2?
Kevin Goldstein: Hope that the Astros make a mistake so you can get Buxton.
LoyalRoyal (America, Land of the Free): Big shout out to all the current and former members of armed services heading into Memorial weekend. Thank You and God Bless... Is there a inherant problem in the Royals system regarding developing pitchers or are the rash of injuries 'just one of those things'?
Kevin Goldstein: You know, when seven guys get hurt, you have to wonder. I don't have an answer, but I don't think it's out of line to question.
steve (CA): I remember a tweet you posted about Shelby Miller's velocity being way down in s spring start VS Washington. Has his good fastball returned? How do you think he's handling the jump to AAA?
Kevin Goldstein: His stuff has slowly and steadily returned and he's improved with every start. All system are go.
Amos (New York): I know you should always draft the best player available, but for a team like the Astros, which is so far from competing and has such a thin system, does it make more sense to draft the guy who's further away? If they draft someone close like Appel, he could be half way through his team controlled years before they've developed talent around him, whereas 3+ years in the minors for Buxton could give them time to build more of an overlapping core. Is this a silly way to look at things?
Kevin Goldstein: It's not insane, but there's also the job security thing. Appel might help quickly, while by the time Buxton is close to good, you might not be there anymore.
Warren (Buffalo): Is July 1 a solid ETA for d'Arnaud? Hes on fire.
Kevin Goldstein: Where you putting him? I say this all of the time, and it needs to be said again. Players don't have timetables like this and nobody knows when a guy is coming up. Even the best prospects usually get their chance because of the failures or injuries of others. Look at Trout or Harper or Matt Adams yesterday. They're up because of big league situations more than their own play. When will Player X be up is just not a reasonable question to answer. I understand and appreciate the excitement that prospects create, but deep breaths.
Matt (Arlington Tx): What is Buckel's upside? He's been absolutely dominant
Kevin Goldstein: Middle-rotation starter. Numbers are better than the stuff.
Zach (CA): Donn Roach has crazy good numbers in the Cal league.. Is he a potential 3-4 starter in the big leagues?
Kevin Goldstein: Role is still to be determined, but he looks like a big leaguer. One of the best sinkers around, and we'll see when he develops around it.
Will (NorCal): I know you're into scouting and scouting only, but do you have any opinion one way or another on the A's/Giants territorial rights battle?
Kevin Goldstein: I think the Giants are being jerks about the whole thing, frankly.
Matt (DC): Kevin, is it too early to make anything of the tear that Josh Sale has been on the last few weeks? Has this guy gotten himself back to being a legit prospect again?
Kevin Goldstein: It's enough to say, "hey, maybe he's gotten himself back to being a legit prospect again" -- but keep the maybe. Fair to be encouraged, but that's about it until he keeps doing it.
Kevin (Lawrence): Do you think teams like the blue jays orioles and pirates to name a few have gone to far in protecting young arms with just 3-5 innings per outing?
Kevin Goldstein: Not necessarily.
I see how Eddie Rosario is doing with his hitting - but how is the change to 2B coming along - do you think he will he be at least an average big league second baseman?
Kevin Goldstein: You know what? He's been OK there. It not time to call it a rousing success, but there's every reason to keep trying it.
Robert (Santa Clara): On the topic of sobbing under one's desk, I assume the same figuratively applies to umpiring?
Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely.
Jerome (NJ): How much scouting goes into mid to late round picks? Will teams draft guys without seeing them?
Kevin Goldstein: Tons; no.
don (mich): How can you hate Arcade Fire so much? They're not Legends of Rock or anything, but I have a feeling that if they were unknown podcast listeners and sent you "Funeral" you'd be be singing their praises.
Kevin Goldstein: I find them obnoxious. Trying way to hard. Pretentious, and other things. I don't think they listen to the show.
Anthony (Chicago): Given his last two starts, has Trevor Bauer finally made the necessary adjustments/turned the corner, or is he just beating up on weaker teams?
Kevin Goldstein: Two starts doesn't ever equal turned a corner. He's a few starts away from proving he's more efficient.
Kelvin (Manhattan): Convince me why, if the 2011 MLB Draft were done today, why Gerrit Cole would still go 1-1.
Kevin Goldstein: Because he has better stuff than any of 'em.
Sutkis (Tinley Park): If Berkman has a torn ACL, and Adams stays in the Cards line up the remainder of the season, reasonable to expect 20 bombs?
Kevin Goldstein: No. Just 120 games and he'll likely not play much vs. LHP.
Henry (Minneapolis, MN): Dee Gordon: buy-low guy in fantasy, or might the hit tool always be this bad? I know all the standard qualifications about sample size, but I need to make a decision here.
Please answer. I'll be your best friend.
Kevin Goldstein: I'd be VERY tempted to buy low.
ORWahoo (Tigard): What are your thoughts on Cheslor Cuthbert? His late season decline last year was attributed to fatigue but it has continued this year to the tune of a .218/.302/.296 line. Is he stil really, really, really tired from his first year of full-season ball or should we be really, really, really concerned?
Kevin Goldstein: We're going to talk about him on this week's podcast. Jason just saw him in person and has thoughts.
Dees (Jersey): Is it even worth speculating about Evan Gattis's future? Or is he just too unique?
Kevin Goldstein: I think he could be in Atlanta by September.
CharlieWerner (York, PA): Just checking in to make sure you're behaving. Keep up the good work
Kevin Goldstein: I'm not. Thanks.
Jquinton82 (NY): Send the rescue party, I'm stuck at work and been here since 7 am lol. When do you think Bauer gets the call and what do see his line being?
Kevin Goldstein: I think the move to Reno indicates he's close. Like I wrote today, I believe part of the thinking is to have him geographically closer for when the need arrives. I think he'll miss bats right away, but also walk a lot of guys.
RationalSportsFan (Indy): Long-term outlook for Drew Smyly? Strike-throwing 4/5 or something more?
Kevin Goldstein: The former.
Ryan (fredericton): I know this must get old about David Cooper.. so I'm sorry... but isn't it odd a 1st round pick who happens to hit really really well (yes, i understand the whole vegas, and no power thing) in AAA has no future in the bigs? Anything you can say to make sense of this for me?
Kevin Goldstein: He only can play first base. To be a first base prospect, you have to look like you'll fit in the middle of the big league order. Cooper doesn't.
Thomas Verlaine (NY): How much do you think a kid's signability will come into play in this years draft? Where would a supposed hard-stance-to-school guy like Josh Bell be drafted? Will some guys not be drafted at all due to hard commits?
Kevin Goldstein: We just don't know. It might take 2-3 years to figure out how to draft under the new rules.
beezer (left lane):
John Hellweg got some sudden attention in the last half of last year when he switched to the rotation... how has his outlook developed this year?
Kevin Goldstein: He's gone backwards. Control/command still a huge issue. He's just so huge that the delivery is a problem.
JoeyO (Reseda, Ca.): How good of a prospect is Miles Head? how soon can he be in Oakland?
Kevin Goldstein: He can hit, but he's very weird. Short, bad-bodied guy, 1B-only, and right-handed. How many big leaguers have that profile?
Zach (Dekalb): What is good here to eat for lunch?
Kevin Goldstein: Mexican place on Lincoln Highway (the one run my Mexicans, not the fancy American-run joint). Japanese place on 23.
eliyahu (Washington DC): Josh Vitters: Not as good as hyped or just taking longer than most to figure it out. (Please don't say a little of both.)
Kevin Goldstein: It really could be a little of both.
Jeff Samardzija (Chicago, IL): Am I really this awesome?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know, but you are clearly much much improved.
John (Pittsburgh): Who are the best pitchers in baseball in 2017?
Kevin Goldstein: Clayton Kershaw and Stephen Strasburg.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): The other day on Twitter you said Desmond has more upside than Espinosa. Would love to hear more of your thoughts on that. To me it seems that Desmond is near his ceiling and the OBP is sub-.300. Espinosa seems to have as much power and can get on base, horrible April aside. Is this positional or do you think Desmond has a chance to hit even better?
Kevin Goldstein: Everything you mentions is offense. Desmond is a plus defensive shortstop. Don't under-estimate the value of that.
John (Bolingbrook): Could a top tier college team compete in low A ball?
Kevin Goldstein: No.
Brendan (Chicago): What are fair expectations for someone as raw as Brandon Nimmo?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't know if there are fair expectations. He's a wonderful athlete with hitting ability, but he could go in a lot of different directions from where he is right now.
Brian (Gainesville): Toni Cingrani doesn't get much love. He seems like a diamond in the rough to me. Is he better than he is ranked? What's his ceiling?
Kevin Goldstein: He's been featured in two of the last three ten packs, including today's.
willsharp (doesn't matter): Kevin, who is the Hannah Horvath of the major leagues, and can you also come up with an equivalent for each of her three friends. Thank you.
Kevin Goldstein: I've been thinking about this one for ten minutes, and I don't know where to begin.
Bill (Minneapolis): Sean Doolittle is dominating Double A as a reliever, does he look like the closer of the future for the A's?
Kevin Goldstein: Let's not go there yet. He's looking like a big league reliever. 92-95 with a good breaking ball.
Nevy72 (Staten Island, NY): I understand it's still not that large of a sample size to go off of, however, is Billy Hamilton the real deal or is there a real chance he turns into Joey Gathright? On a scale of 1 to 10, your thoughts on his chances to stay at SS or 2B?
Kevin Goldstein: He's way better than Gathright, and faster. Almost zero chance to stay at SS, and I think they should move him to CF today.
Brian (Gainesville): If you could take Sano or Bogaerts, wouldn't you have to take Xander based on the ability to not be a liability in the field, and the 30% K rate Sano owns? I mean yeah, he's got power and a good arm, but Bogaerts at least doesn't hurt you in the other categories, right?
Kevin Goldstein: No. You'd take Sano. That's a potentially very special offensive player. Not an insult to Bogaerts at all.
bmmolter (Worcester, MA): You've said a few times on twitter that the most impressive pitcher in the minors has been walker, not bundy. Could you elaborate as to why? Due to anything more than walker being 3 months older but 2 levels higher?
Kevin Goldstein: That has almost everything to do with it.
GG (Ontariol): Grant Green is having a solid year. Any chance we see him in Oakland before Sept.
Kevin Goldstein: I dobut it, but September is realistic. Also a quick pro tip. If you asked a question that I haven't gotten to, and then you ask if 42 more times to fill up the queue, I'm not going to answer it.
Mike (MA): At what point, if any, do we believe Matt Barnes' ceiling has changed?
Kevin Goldstein: I don't think it's changed, but what has changed dramatically is his chances of REACHING that ceiling. That's the variable that changes FAR more often than the ceiling itself. We also need to get away from ceiling talk. So few players hit their ceiling.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): So Corey Brown's been incredible in AAA, unfortunately he's 26. Is this a sign that he could potentially be effective in the majors, or just is he old enough to hang in AAA without anyone thinking it means anything?
Kevin Goldstein: I think he deserves a shot. I'd like to see him get it. Low average guy, but a lot of secondary skills to make up for it.
basicslop (Albuquerque): In regards to Bubba Starling. how do you treat a player like him who stays in extended spring traing when doing your rankings next year?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, we're still going to get half a season from him, but you need to talk to everyone you can that saw him.
Brian (Alexandria): Is Danny Rosenbaum just Tom Milone revisited?
Kevin Goldstein: Will even less stuff.
John Gleeson (Toronto): I remember the podcast when you hate Guiness, but you like fruity beers.
Have you ever tried a Black Velvet, or a Black & Tan?
Half Guiness, and half cider (Strongbow), the two stay separate in the glass.
I hated Guiness before drinking them, and now I love it.
Kevin Goldstein: I don't even LIKE beer that much. That sounds like too much of an effort.
Adam (Shreveport): If draft picks could be traded like other sports. What would the 1st pick fetch?
Kevin Goldstein: Well, it depends on the draft, no? The Harper/Strasburg picks would have fetched a truckload. This year, not so much.
Josh (California): What's the scouting report on Kyler Burke as a pitcher? Could he have a decent major league career?
Kevin Goldstein: He's been up to 94 and flashes a decent breaking ball. Keep in mind that he's 24 years old and in Low-A before you get too worked up, but he has at least a puncher's chance.
philip (san diego): Have you heard anything new on casey kelly's injury? Is it troubling that it is taking so long?
Kevin Goldstein: He's throwing again and should be back on the bump as early as the end of the month.
ramtax (Maryland): Who gets called up first and who makes more of an impact this year, Myers or Arenado? Thanks.
Kevin Goldstein: I bet we see Arenado first, but Myers is the better prospect.
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Reds AA LHP Donnie Joseph has a 0.39 ERA over 20 appearances and a 12+ K/9 with a low to mid 90's fastball and a plus slider. Future situational reliever, set up man, or closer?
Kevin Goldstein: 8th inning guy. Can be nasty at times.
Pablo (NJ): is Domingo Tapia a legit prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: He's certainly a legit one because of the arm strength. He has a long way to go in converting from thrower to pitcher.
@ryanpicks (Fredericton): Hi Kevin... I'm just getting into cooking... Is there a cookbook you would recommend? Thanks!
Kevin Goldstein: No. Find a recipe and give it a whirl. You'll learn how to cook by cooking, not by reading about cooking.
Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, I'll be back very soon. I have 8 million calls to make for what will be a very cool piece on Wednesday.