Kevin Goldstein FanGraphs Chat – 5/17/2021

12:01
Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. Welcome to the working week. I know it don’t thrill you, I hope it don’t kill you. Let’s start it right with a fun chat. It’s fun god dammit.

12:01
Drew Haugen: Best Jeremy Pena comp?

12:01
Kevin Goldstein: Edgar Renteria.

12:01
MLB The Shohei: I enjoyed the twitch stream that you did with Eric last week, thanks

12:02
Kevin Goldstein: Thanks for watching with us! It’s was an experiment and so I’m glad you liked it. We’ll do more. We have fun with them. and you always get to see Eric’s hair, which is glorious.

12:02
Mike: I know you said last week that you liked Ynoa a lot and tried to trade for him with Houston. I’m curious what you think about him now. Can he survive as a starter with just a fastball and the slider — even if they’re both great?

12:02
Kevin Goldstein: I think so. Defining a pitcher as a starter or reliever comes down much more to stamina and pitch efficiency as opposed to depth of arsenal. At least for me personally.

12:03
Bryant: How would you compare Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter as far as upside and floor?

12:03
Kevin Goldstein: I think I’d give Leiter a higher floor and Rocker a higher ceiling, but I don’t think either preference has a big gap.

12:03
Ben Cherington: To those asking movie questions you need to understand that Kevin subscribes to Chapo Movie Mindset. Ask him what he thinks of Den of Thieves, Gotti or 1986’s Cobra.

12:03
Kevin Goldstein: None are great. Just when you think you have me nailed….

12:03
Insert Clever Name Here: Orlando Arcia has been doing great in the minors to start off the year.  Is there enough in that and his 2020 performance to make him worth the Braves bringing him back up?

12:04
Kevin Goldstein: I understand the desire, but where is he going to play?

12:04
Muffin Button: More “are these movies top 100 movies” for you. I appreciate your opinions on this topic even if I don’t always agree (but I often do). The Godfather Part 2. Irreversible. Moonlight. Empire Strikes Back. There Will Be Blood.

12:04
Kevin Goldstein: Yes, no, no, no, YES. No Star Wars movie is great [ducks].

12:04
Baseballz: Heriberto Hernandez stealing bases?!? might his 30 grade speed be too low? He’s now stolen 14 bases in about 120 career minor league games. Also overall how do you see him projecting? Seems like he has massive hit/power upside. Thanks!

12:05
Kevin Goldstein: I think this is one of the best young bats in the minors. Just adore the hit and the power. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time expecting the SB to show up in the majors…

12:05
YardGoat: Has anything popped up in the first couple of weeks of the minor league ball that’s answered questions on how the lost 2020 season would impact specific players? Or is too early to tell at this point?

12:06
Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s important to avoid any kind of blanket conclusions. Each player was impacted differently. Some a ton, some very little.

12:06
Luke: Hi Kevin, appreciate the chat. How do minor league teams deal with starting pitching injuries in terms of their rotation? Do they have larger staffs to draw from to cover for a missed turn or two through the rotation? Do they call someone up a level to fill in? Bullpen games and hope the next starter doesn’t get lit up early?

12:06
Kevin Goldstein: All of the above, really.

12:06
Terunofuji: I’m looking pretty good so far. Am I the next Yokozuna? And if not, who?

12:08
Kevin Goldstein: MORE SUMO QUESTIONS. Terunofuji looks amazing in the May tournament. 8-0 so far and really hasn’t even been challenged yet. Two tourney wins in a row as an Ozeki is a tough ask, but he might be on his way. I’m a Takekeisho fan, and I’m glad to see him doing well (7-1), as well as starting to pull a bit in addition to the constant thrusting attacks.

12:08
BringBackDeSpanielHair: Kevin, what’s up with Mr. Castillo? His stuff looks good, except that it’s getting pounded… I hear talk of pitch tipping, but I’m not good enough at video analysis to see if that’s a thing.

12:09
Kevin Goldstein: I assume you me Luis, and I would disagree on the stuff, it’s down across the board…

12:09
Guest: Would you say any of these directors have a “great” movie: Woody Allen, Guy Ritchie, Linklater ?

12:09
Kevin Goldstein: Yes, almost, yes.

12:09
Dan: How soon do you think Keibert Ruiz could be getting 300 PAs in the majors? Would that require a trade or might the Dodgers move on from Austin Barnes?

12:09
Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, it feel like if it’s going to happen see, it’s not going to happen in LA. Might be a really nice trade chip in a couple of months.

12:10
Rob: The Padres, outside Darvish, Musgrove and Snell have been pretty mix and match for the other two turns in the rotation.  I kind of… like it?  3 Innings of Weathers, 3 innings of Lamet etc.  Do you see this as A) sustainable for the season and B) a good plan to bring along all the young arms?

12:11
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think they WANT to be doing it this way, but yes, it’s working and they’re doing the best they can considering the situation. Making it last for an entire year is one of the big concerns of doing this in general.

12:11
ImEatingNachos: Is there anything to Torkelson’s struggles so far? There has been a lot of swing and miss

12:11
Kevin Goldstein: Not concerned yet, but maybe potentially concerned is the best way to put it. It’s worth keeping an eye on.

12:11
Ricky: Seems like Francisco Alvarez and Ronny Mauricio are off to positive starts. What do each of them need to do to raise their FVs?

12:12
Kevin Goldstein: Just more of the same really. I’m a huge Alvarez fan and would raise his FV right now.

12:12
Jason Shure (Tigerfan in NYC): There have been some recent articles criticizing the pace/success of the Tigers rebuild.  They cite a range of poor outcomes in things like late-round drafting, player development, lack of free agent signings, poor trades (or missed opps).  Does one of those stand out to you as the biggest problem area?  My 86 year old mom is cursing with impatience.

12:12
Kevin Goldstein: I think there was a lot of stagnation that is worth criticism, but I do think things are moving in the right direction now. Say hi to Mom!

12:13
Pat: What is your personal outlook on AJ Puk?

12:13
Kevin Goldstein: I would just put him in a pen role and cross my fingers.

12:13
anthony: is hunter green actually looking good or is a boddy pump?

12:13
Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, he’s not looking good. He’s looking GREAT.

12:13
Lance: Do you think Anthony Volpe or Logan Davidson is more likely to have an impact bat?

12:13
Kevin Goldstein: Impact? None of the above.

12:13
Tyler: You stated your personal bias is to not have below average defenders at SS, C or CF.  In isolation, If you had a top 5 defender at each position how low would you go (OPS+ wise) before you would contemplate replacing them?

Additionally, in terms of defensive importance on wins and losses how would you prioritize the 3 up the middle positions?

12:14
Kevin Goldstein: You can’t put an offensive zero there, except maybe C. I would go C, SS, CF in terms of importance. I can stomach a big bat 45 CF more than a SS.

12:14
purplemini: Wondering if the astros minor league housing solution that BP wrote about today ever came up during your time there. How would a change like that even go about being implemented, i.e., who would actually bring it up to the owner? The GM? I assume that EVERYONE in the front office would be in favor of making minor leaguers healthier physically and mentally, especially if it doesn’t cost that much money, but is this a false assumption? Lastly, do you see this being a market inefficiency that major league clubs will address or are owners really that cheap?

12:15
Kevin Goldstein: It did. AGM Pete Putila runs the player development stuff over there and has always really cared about the players. I’m glad to see it implemented and I hope it becomes par for the course for all teams.

12:15
Kevin: Based on your experience, do you think slumping players actually benefit from a day off? Is there data to suggest that they do, or is it a more person-by-person manager’s call decision?

12:15
Kevin Goldstein: Definitely player by player. Some hot/cold streaks are real and some are just RNG and you have to recognize the difference in the two.

12:16
Jacques Pederson: Kevin, how would you assign the blame for the low balls-in-play rate? Is it a batting skill (&approach) issue or a pitching skill issue? I ask because I have seen expansion as a possible solution but worry that it might exacerbate the issue if it is more of a dearth of good hitters rather than a glut of good pitchers.

12:16
Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s nearly all pitching. So much power stuff in today’s game.

12:16
Calm Down: Here’s too less of a rude chat this week.

12:16
Kevin Goldstein: You spelled ‘too’ wrong.

12:16
ML: Nick Gonzales seems to evoke a wide range of opinions.  What its yours?

12:17
Kevin Goldstein: Plus hit tool, middling power, nice offensive 2B profile. Like the bat.

12:17
ML: Could you rank these three SPs?  Manoah, Cabrera, Priester

12:17
Kevin Goldstein: Just like that.

12:17
Jacob: The twitch streams are very cool.  If you and Eric are going to be having those conversations anyway, would you mind putting more on twitch?

12:17
Kevin Goldstein: Message received. We have more Twitch plans, so we’re glad it’s generating some buzz.

12:18
Lazarus: Hey KG! It’s great having you back. Given your experience, I was wondering: Baseball ops people I’d guess routinely develop close relationships and even friendships with their colleagues. Then those same people get hired/promoted into new organizations. Is there much unofficial or casual information sharing on a personal level between staff on different teams? Or is it understood that the info is all state secrets, and people don’t even ask because it’s so out of bounds and risks your job? Or do people talk, gossip, and even share misinformation, like it’s all part of the game? Thanks.

12:18
Kevin Goldstein: Certainly stay in touch, but definitely don’t do information sharing.

12:18
Kate: Have you gotten a look at Alzolay this year?  To my untrained eye, his command actually looks pretty solid (especially considering how most had him graded coming in the year).

12:19
Kevin Goldstein: I think ‘pretty solid’ is an apt description. Good stuff, command gets loose…

12:19
gabriel: should I be worried about Alec Bohm? strikeout rate is way up, but his expected stats say he’s about an average hitter underperforming. thoughts?

12:19
Kevin Goldstein: I think he’ll rebound.

12:19
Kent: Great to see a healthy Jake Burger back out there.. do you still see a potential big league player with him?

12:19
Kevin Goldstein: Maybe as a corner bench bat.

12:19
Buff: Should I cut bait on Mickey Moniak and Scott Kingery, even in an NL only keeper league with a 5 man reserve?

12:20
Kevin Goldstein: You should ask the fantasy folks here, they are really good. I don’t understand the second half of your question, but I don’t have much optimism for either player.

12:20
Kate: Geraldo Perdomo is 7 for 15 stealing bases at High-A and above.  Do you think this is something he’ll work out or is he a guy that’s just going to run less as he moves up?

12:20
Kevin Goldstein: That’s what they are figuring out by having him run all of the time.

12:20
Derek: With Franco, Walls, and Brujan all out of the gate with hot starts (and Adames mostly still struggling), which of those three do you think we see in the majors this year, and when?

12:21
Kevin Goldstein: I think Franco is the most likely, but Brujan could happen as well.

12:21
Justin (Elwood, NJ): Can you share any insights on your time working with Mike Elias in terms of player development and how he may approach this upcoming draft? The media assumes he won’t take a pitcher with his first pick because he didn’t in 2019 & 2020, but is that really a safe assumption when you had Rutschman at the top in 2019 and last year’s was just a different animal in general?

12:21
Kevin Goldstein: I think a lot will go into the decisions (evaluations/$$$/etc) but position will not be one of them.

12:22
Kate: Some horrid BABIP luck is masking a pretty solid statistical start for Swaggerty.  Think he can break out this year?  Or is he more of a platoon guy who always kind of disappoints relative to his loud tools?

12:22
Kevin Goldstein: I never saw a star in Swaggerty. A big leaguer yes, but not an impact guy.

12:22
Greg: Are non-baseball ops (marketing, pricing, logistics, etc.) departments of teams ahead of or behind the curve in terms of utilizing analytics to drive decision making?

12:22
Kevin Goldstein: Ahead.

12:23
Matt: Hey KG, enjoyed your article on Rocker as well as the stream you did with Eric a few days ago. How do you personally see 1-1, 1-2, and 1-3 going for Pittsburgh, Texas, and Detroit respectively?

12:23
Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s really hard to say right now. I’m not trying to avoid the question as much as a think it’s a real muddle at the top and that $$$ are going to play a huge role and that’s a variable we just don’t know about yet.

12:24
Kate: When looking at big pop guys who hit the ball into the ground too much, is there anything in particular you look for to hint at better probability of an eventual fix (i.e. more fly balls)?  Just some kind of published story / quote saying they’re making an effort to lift the ball more?  Something in their swing mechanics?

12:24
Kevin Goldstein: Again, depends on the player, it might be a mechanical issue, and it might be a swing decision issue….

12:24
asnbrv: Which one do you want in your system? a reliever prospect with an 80FB,50SL or 50FB, 80SL

12:24
Kevin Goldstein: Gimme the velo.

12:24
Kate: What do you think happens with Adames (and others) when Wander (and maybe Brujan) get the call?  I feel like this is going to be the most Rays roster ever with literally everyone in some kind of timeshare, playing multiple positions.

12:25
Kevin Goldstein: I think the Rays will look to deal Adames.

12:25
Clint: With the Jays need of starting pitching and with what Manoah has done in an extremely limited sample size in AAA so far this year, would you call him up now or let him develop more?

12:25
Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s tough to call him up after so many innings, but everything is pointing in the right direction for him.

12:25
Tom: Any thoughts on Roansy Contreras (PIT)? It sounds like the stuff is way better than it was in 2019, and his first two starts have been incredible for a 21 yr old at Double-A. Is it too early to get excited that we (all 300 of us Pirates fans) might have a frontline starter here?

12:26
Kevin Goldstein: Get excited. Not insanely excited, but yeah, move him up on your personal board.

12:26
BringBackDeSpanielHair: i just wanted to say sorry… we’ve been rather hard on you for your movie takes. But we really appreciate the baseball knowledge bombs!

12:26
Kevin Goldstein: It’s fine! You ask so I answer! If you like movies I don’t like, that’s great. Watch them and enjoy.

12:27
asnbrv: Do you believe there is significant down side for a prospect’s development if you constantly alter their role from starting in the minors and use them as relievers in mlb when the need comes up?

12:27
Kevin Goldstein: Gonna broken record myself, but it depends on the player. Some deal with it well, others take great comfort in a consistent role and that comfort helps them perform.

12:27
Dave: Julio Rodriguez is tearing up High-A Everett. Rodriguez is a top prospect, but it’s also only been a couple of weeks. How does a  FO balance promotion in these types of cases? Is there any downside to leaving someone at a level too long vs. having enough of a sample size to make sure it’s real?

12:28
Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s important to note that two weeks into the season is never too long to be at a level. I think six weeks is where you even start to have the necessary conversations about someone being at the wrong level.

12:28
YardGoat: Is minor league statcast data available to the public? I’m trying to find exit and pitch velocities for some players, but can’t figure out how to navigate to anything except spray charts

12:28
Kevin Goldstein: Unfortuntely, no.

12:29
J: Logan Wyatt has one of the more unique slash lines to start the season. Do you think he has enough power to profile as an everyday 1B?

12:30
Kevin Goldstein: Hah! I was just looking at hime this morning. It is a weird stat line, but it’s not surprising. Everyone liked the hit tool and loved the approach and everyone was concerned about the power ceiling, while also being confused about why a 6-4/230 dude has questions about his power ceiling. He’s a strange one, but I believe in the obp skill.

12:30
Marcy Playground: Evan Carter is hitting about .235 right now and is striking out a ton.  Can we go back to calling him a wasted draft pick by the Rangers?

12:30
Kevin Goldstein: A week ago I was being ask if he belonged in the top 50 . . . . two weeks….

12:30
Muffin Button: Which Star Wars is your favorite? Do you enjoy them in general?

12:31
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t. They’re just not for me. Honestly, I’ve only seen the first two all the way through.

12:31
Tigers Fan: Who do you like better in the long term Zac Veen or Robert Hassell?

12:31
Kevin Goldstein: Hassell

12:31
daro: Can Boston grab Scherzer without giving Duran, Jeter or Casas?

12:31
Kevin Goldstein: It’s going to be tough, as the Red Sox system isn’t especially deep….

12:32
Kevin Goldstein: I know it’s a rental, but the Nats are going to require a headliner.

12:32
Tigers Fan: What do you think of Jarred Kelenic?  Future all star?

12:32
Kevin Goldstein: Eric and I talked about this at length on last week’s podcast. You should listen #GratuitousPlug

12:32
Dalton Wilcox: Who do you like for the Cubs at 21? Minimum answer is Jordan Wicks or I scream

12:33
Kevin Goldstein: We’re two months away and I gotta put a name down for 21?

12:33
Dave: You are aware that there’s a visual component to films right?  Star Wars (the original version) was as much of a revolution in the medium as Citizen Kane

12:33
Kevin Goldstein: It is?

12:33
Jim: Is this who Andrew Benintendi is (High Avg w/ low ISO) moving forward?

12:33
Kevin Goldstein: Kinda feels right.

12:34
Chris: What do you make of Kendall graveman? He’s been awesome, his savant page is elite but he hasn’t pitched back to back days. He has to be a really interesting trade target but I’d really like to see him pitch more

12:34
Kevin Goldstein: Feels like back to backs are down across the league as teams are (rightfully so) really concerned about the plague of injuries across the league. Gravemen looks great, that I definitely agree on.

12:34
Mets fan: Will Yoenis Cespedes ever play again? He must have something left, right?

12:35
Kevin Goldstein: I hope so. I doubt it . . . but I hope so.

12:35
Himself: Which should’ve won best Picture 2007: TWBB or No Country? Both great films, but the right answer determines whether I come back to your chat again

12:35
Kevin Goldstein: They’re both great, but No Country is just a remarkable achievement in my top ten.

12:36
baseball fan: Is John Means a legit #2? seems like he is a real pitcher

12:36
Kevin Goldstein: Legit.

12:36
Guest: Thanks for the chat and I have loved your pieces on the site so far. How does naming a player in a PTBNL negotiation work? (Maybe a piece about this would be interesting)

12:36
Kevin Goldstein: Good idea. Lots of different ways this works.

12:37
Plutarch: At what point does it make sense for a teams with a high draft pick to fail to sign their first round pick. It seems like a relatively low talent pool and with limited data due to COVID why not just accept the comp pick next year instead?

12:37
Kevin Goldstein: Wouldn’t you want two guys instead of one?

12:37
Dave: Is there a qualitative difference for you in scouting in person or off video?

12:37
Kevin Goldstein: I think the best scouting report comes from doing both . . .

12:37
matty: last chat you said were a big fan of the Royal Tenenbaums. What about Anderson’s other movies? Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr.Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, & Isle of Dogs?

12:38
Kevin Goldstein: Love, meh, like, meh. You forget to mention Bottle Rocket, which is phenomenal.

12:38
Jake: In 2019 Gabriel Arias has a 128-25 K-BB. In spring 2020 there was happy talk about his hard SD was working on his pitch recognition. So far in 2021 – after an aggressive promotion to AAA – he’s at 10-8. At what point does that become meaningful? What kind of player can he be if a lot of that improvement sticks?

12:39
Kevin Goldstein: It’s one of those things that are encouraging, and you put a check mark next to it as something you want to keep an eye on. No time for a conclusion, but it might be a real change, so you track it.

12:39
Pistol Pete: It seems teams have figured out how to pitch to Nick Madrigal. What kind of adjustment does he have to make?

12:39
Kevin Goldstein: I think he needs to calm the aggression. He’s never going to develop power, so he needs to develop OBP.

12:40
Dave: In the NBA, there is a lot of evidence that smaller markets (Utah, Portland, Sacramento, etc.) can’t sign marquee free agents. Is there any evidence of this in MLB? I know the salary cap makes things different, but is there anything to suggest that players wouldn’t go to, say, Pittsburgh or Baltimore if they offered the highest contract?

12:41
Kevin Goldstein: If they offered the most money, they’d generally get the player. Union pushes players HARD to take the most money in order to benefit all players.

12:41
Jon: Does Nick Maton have what it takes to turn into an everyday guy?

12:41
Kevin Goldstein: More utility for me.

12:41
Dalton Wilcox: Thoughts on Asa Lacy’s Future?

12:42
Kevin Goldstein: It’s great stuff and it’s command struggles. Long way to go with wildly varying outcomes.

12:42
Another sumo question: How do you watch sumo? My way has been via NHK’s daily highlight show + occasional live airings.

12:42
Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, in generally we watch what you are watching.

12:43
Guest: what’s going on with lindor? how does a team look at a star player struggling like this internally?

12:43
Kevin Goldstein: It’s a really weird one, as his swing decisions are actually really good.

12:43
John: Jake Eder has been impressive early on. Any reports?

12:44
Kevin Goldstein: Haven’t seen anything yet. He’s always interested scouts as a great body/power arm but never really put it all together at Vandy.

12:44
B: Suppose your son is a 10-year-old ball player who is pretty good.  He probably doesn’t have professional baseball in his future, but he’s doing well and having fun.  You’ve got $1000 to spend.  What do you do with it?  Get him individual lessons?  Buy some kind of equipment or technology?  Put him on a travel ball team?  Something else?

12:44
Kevin Goldstein: Maybe talk to the kid and see how much he wants to put into it?

12:44
Jerry Maguire: Hey Kevin – love your content! As it relates to the business side of baseball.. How much do relationships with agencies matter? Are there some where a FO is like no chance we work with them? Others where there is likely to be a deal because of a good relationship? Or is it all black/white and dependent on wanting the player?

12:45
Kevin Goldstein: You always have some agents you have good relationships with and some you have no so great with, but you certainly never shut yourselves out of player because you’re not crazy about the rep.

12:45
Guest: Is it me or is it pretty easy to see how good is a pitchers’s command?

12:46
Kevin Goldstein: Ummmm. It’s not easy, but it’s not crazy hard. What’s interesting is calibrating yourself in order to grade it properly.

12:46
Derek: Have you seen Tenet? Finally got around to watching it this weekend and… I think I think it’s good?

12:46
Kevin Goldstein: Haven’t seen, but it’s in a watch queue….

12:46
Mac the Ninth: How many 20 grades are in MLB? I come up with three: Nick Madrigal (power) Yadi Molina (run) Khris Davis (arm).

12:46
Kevin Goldstein: There’s more than a few 20 runs out there….

12:47
Dalton Wilcox: What do you think of Luke Little, the giant lefty who hit 105 in a workout?

12:47
Kevin Goldstein: Fascinating player who generated a lot of draft talk over the last couple of years. Bit of a bull in a china shop, but he can bring it.

12:48
Hi Kevin!: Should the Royals be concerned they sent Witt Jr to a level that was a bit too high? Would it be more of a confidence killer to demote him to A+ or to leave him in AA and struggle?

12:48
Kevin Goldstein: He’s got the makeup to make the necessary adjustments. Really not concerned about him at all as the spring hype and thoughts he should break camp in the majors was silly to begin with.

12:49
Derek: Jarren Duran now has 4 homers in his first 54 PAs this year after hitting 8 in his previous 880… Is this a real change in talent? If so, that could give him legit star potential, no?

12:50
Kevin Goldstein: There has certainly been a power increase and he’s a real prospect. Not ready to hang a future star label, but stock is up.

12:50
Clown Question Bro: How does Josh Jung comp out to current MLB players? Bohm maybe?

12:50
Kevin Goldstein: I question the power.

12:50
Billy G: What is it like for teams picking in the last ten picks of the first round at this point? Is it more focused on high level strategy rather than narrowing it down? Or are we still far enough away that it’s mostly just info-gathering and starting to get an idea of who might fit into that range?

12:51
Kevin Goldstein: You really just line up your magnets and start adjusting as the picks start flying. Maybe five picks away you get an idea of who might be there and start making calls.

12:53
Harder Q: Been watching your great movies list… which movie(s) by a Black director would you include?

12:53
Kevin Goldstein: Do The Right Thing, Get Out, Cooley High come to mind immediately . . .

12:54
Clown Question Bro: Do you see baseball allowing for the trading of draft picks any time soon?

12:54
Kevin Goldstein: Maybe? I feel like this upcoming CBA will be wide open.

12:54
Steve O: Is the fact that the Yankees are so RH heavy that big of a deal?My brain is telling me no, but my gut is telling me they can get mowed down by a tough righty reliever in the late innings.

12:54
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think it’s that big a deal.

12:55
Billu: Do you think Tyler Soderstrom can hit enough to profile at first base?

12:55
Kevin Goldstein: I do, but I also think he’s athletic enough for a corner OF spot.

12:55
KB: How valuable is a catcher that calls a good game/handles a pitching staff well? I know those aren’t things that can be objectively measured but how do teams weigh intangibles like that?

12:56
Kevin Goldstein: INSANELY valuable. One of the most underrated talent sets in the game. I can’t stress this enough.

12:56
Mark: Any quality JRPG recommendations from the last few months? (doesn’t have to be brand new game, just anything you may have played)

12:56
Kevin Goldstein: When I was out of work, I finally got into the Trails of Cold Steel series, and really enjoyed them. I’m currently about 10-15 hours into Persona 5 Royal….

12:57
Feddy: What type of attributes can a prospect have that would give him a lot of potential/high FV despite a very low current value?

12:57
Kevin Goldstein: Tools.

12:57
Pam: Soderstrom comp? If you squint really hard, can you see a really poor man’s Joe Mauer (the bat only)?

12:57
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think he’s like Mauer at all.

12:58
Sharp: I know your answer is either going to be “no” or “calm down” haha but I’m going to ask anyways… Is Orlando Arcia better than Dansby Swanson right now?

12:58
Kevin Goldstein: No.

12:58
fangraphs reader: Could one of Siri, Meyers, or Dawson be an improvement over Straw?

12:59
Kevin Goldstein: Probably not. Says more about those three than me liking Straw.

12:59
Hunter: Ryan Rolison has pitched well in AA so far after having a poor fall and spring training. Do you still like him to be a #4/5 starter?

12:59
Kevin Goldstein: I do.

12:59
Sam: Is plate discipline a trainable skill?

1:00
Kevin Goldstein: I’ve yet to see any evidence of a rubric than consistently does this.

1:00
Nick: Most underrated factor that’s key to a player’s development?

1:00
Kevin Goldstein: Makeup.

1:01
Cool Papa Bell: What’s happening with Seth Beer in AZ?

1:01
Kevin Goldstein: It’s so weird.

1:01
Nick: Thoughts on deeper cuts… Friends of Eddie Coyle, Killing of a Chinese Bookie, The Long Good Friday?

1:02
Kevin Goldstein: I love Cassavettes and Killing of a Chinese Bookie is my favorite film of his.

1:02
Kent: Will Wilson, the first round pick the Giants essentially bought from the Angels – is he a legit future regular at 2B?

1:03
Kevin Goldstein: The potential is there. I struggle to see a star, but I can squint and see an every day guy….

1:03
Elvis Costello: I got the reference, in case you wondered (welcome to the working week)

1:03
Kevin Goldstein: I’m glad someone did.

1:03
Don Jenver: Top 5 Directors? I’ve got Kubrick, Coens, Lynch, Godard, Jarmusch in some order.

1:04
Kevin Goldstein: Fun question, and I like your style. Should we get Tarkovsky in there? PT Anderson?

1:04
Dalton Wilcox: Is Leodys Taveras more like a 4-5 OFer today than a starter? Amazing tools

1:04
Kevin Goldstein: Great tools. Can’t hit. No evidence he perform offensively in the big leagues. 4th OF as elite defender….

1:05
Solak & So Clean: ‘Undercooking’ and/or ‘Overcooking’ prospects in the minors is always a hot topic with fans.  And knowing that each player is different, is there a general consensus that overcooking risks are overblown?

1:05
Kevin Goldstein: Yes.

1:05
Dave: If both are healthy, would you bring up Marsh or Adell first?

1:05
Kevin Goldstein: Marsh.

1:05
Sodo Mojo: Is Boyhood Linklater’s best film or more of a curiosity?

1:05
Kevin Goldstein: Is it ok to say I still like Slacker the best?

1:05
Jake: do You think Cal Raleigh is someone who can contribute for the Ms in the second half? Would be nice to get anything out of the catcher spot in the lineup.

1:05
Kevin Goldstein: I wouldn’t rule it out.

1:06
Brice: Do fans greatly over-exaggerate how bad their manager’s bullpen management is? It seems like everyone online knows about leverage index and thinks they’re an expert when there’s a lot more factors in play.

1:06
Kevin Goldstein: There are so many more factors in play.

1:06
Mitch Meluskey: How and when do overslots guy in the comp/2nd take shape? Is it something teams are trying to line up well in advance with his rep, or is it as simple as a guy falling down the board unexpectedly and teams have cut money at the top to be able to pounce on one they like?

1:06
Kevin Goldstein: A little of both. Some players throw out big numbers (in terms of $$$ demands) well before the draft, while others are play it by ear types.

1:07
John: Curious, not jerky, question: What makes sumo wrestling interesting?

1:07
Kevin Goldstein: It’s really gorgeous in terms of the pomp and circumstance around the sport. The matches take (generally) 10-15 seconds and there is so much strategy. It’s just fantastic to watch.

1:08
Drew: Hey Kevin – seen you mention punk music from you youth. You ever get into metal?

1:08
Kevin Goldstein: Very loosely.

1:08
Luis: Re: you answer about traits that make a C valuable. Am I correct in thinking that Sean Murphy is already one of the top catchers in baseball (good defense, game calling, power, age)?

1:09
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think he’s in that conversation yet, but I think there’s a possibility that he gets there.

1:09
Jack: Any opinion on the Oakland ballpark situation, and do you think they build a park on the waterfront or end up moving?

1:10
Kevin Goldstein: I think you should listen to the most recent episode of the podcast! Half hour discussion with A’s beat writer Alex Coffey on the subject!

1:10
Jimmy Wynn’s Toy Cannon: Would teams rather have a starter who oscillates between dominant and getting lit up, or someone who’s consistently mediocre? I would think consistency has a lot of value, no?

1:10
Kevin Goldstein: Consistency has a ton of value, especially if you are talking about consistent innings.

1:10
ImEatingNachos: Ranking of your favorite FF games?

1:11
Kevin Goldstein: 10, 8, 7, but I tend to merely like FF games as opposed to love them. I’m far more of a SMT/Persona person.

1:11
Jacques Pederson: I am not very twitch-fluent. Is there a way to watch recaps of the streams?

1:11
Kevin Goldstein: Just go to Twitch and find FanGraphsLive and there’s an archive.

1:12
Guest: Great tv shows? Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men

1:12
Kevin Goldstein: I’ve never seen The Sopranos and I know I should and I know that’s a hole in my game. I didn’t really get that into Breaking Bad, maybe it’s just me. Really enjoyed Mad Men.

1:12
Dawson: Hey Kevin, real shame about the Chin Music interview last week. What’s your take on Hakuho missing yet another basho, are we witnessing the end of his career in slow motion, or do you think there’s still a chance he comes back in July and reminds everyone who the king is?

1:12
Kevin Goldstein: I think we are approaching the end for Hakuho, and it’s sad to see the GOAT slip away.

1:13
El Zilcho: If MLB limited the amount of pitchers allowed in the active roster,

1:13
Kevin Goldstein: More pitchers would get hurt.

1:13
Jake: One reason fans distrust soft skills like makeup and catcher game calling is because we don’t think the media types who discuss it know much of anything and or more likely just boosting sources. How well do you think public perception matches reality on those soft skills? Any examples of FOs laughing at bad makeup guys getty publicly lauded?

1:14
Kevin Goldstein: I agree with your premise. As for makeup, everyone describes it different, and the thing I care about might not be the things you care about.

1:14
build a prospect: would you rather have a 50 hit 70 power or 70 hit 50 power guy?

1:14
Kevin Goldstein: Feels kind even. 260 w/ 30 or .300 with 15 . . .

1:14
Dalton Wilcox: I think the reason most fans don’t value soft skills is because they’ve been coached to be cynical towards anything that can’t be quantified. The Future, Now!

1:15
Kevin Goldstein: I agree with this.

1:15
TJ: How about George Kirby as the next Shane Bieber? Plus command guy who keeps adding MPH until he’s an ace?

1:16
Kevin Goldstein: George Kirby is a really good prospect, but can we get past two starts in High-A before we start asking if he’s going to win Cy Young awards?

1:16
YardGoat: Why do some teams gravitate towards specific categories of players in their drafts (i.e. college hitters vs. high school pitchers, etc.)? Is it a matter of feeling more comfortable with their scouting in that area or is there some analytical insight backing up a certain grouping being safer?

1:17
Kevin Goldstein: I think some of these ‘gravitations’ get overstated because the draft is just once a year. If a team takes high school bats with their first round pick three years in a row, it might just be because that’s how things lined up three years in a row as opposed to some sudden bias for one player family over another.

1:17
Urge Overkill: UO Rules!

1:17
Kevin Goldstein: Wow, they so do not.

1:18
Steve O: Is Chris Gittens an MLB player? EVs are literally the best in the minors and he’s got 80 power. Surely, he should get a chance somewhere.

1:18
Kevin Goldstein: Potential for a Chris Carter like career.

1:18
Chris: What are your thoughts on the 6 man rotation? It seems like it’s helping the mariners but not helping Detroit at all.

1:18
Kevin Goldstein: Help them win? Maybe not? Help them evaluate the players to figure out who is going to be on the team when they’re actually good? Absolutely.

1:19
SJ: Do MLB execs have time to follow any other sports, or are most of them too consumed by baseball?

1:19
Kevin Goldstein: They do, to different levels.

1:19
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t, other than sumo, but I just don’t really like other sports . . .

1:19
DJS: Who do you think is most likely to go 1.1? Did the Vandy pitchers show enough this weekend to put them firmly in the conversation, or are the creeping worries enough that it will be anyone’s guess between the top 4-5 guys until draft day?

1:19
Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s a five player mix still with the two Vandy arms, Lawler, Mayer and Davis.

1:21
Josh: How often do you think about what you would be doing if you were still working in a front office? Are you ever researching anything and think to yourself “wow I would have loved to trade for player XYZ”

1:21
Kevin Goldstein: Hmmm. Not really how my brain works, but I do try to approach my work with a FO mentality in order to better serve the audience.

1:21
asnbrv: When a team signs a veteran thats near the end of their careers, us fans usually say “cool, he can teach the young guys [thing the vet used to be very good at] “. But do teams want this? Isn’t a young player listening to so many things from different people sometimes counterproductive?

1:22
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know about teaching specific skills, but there can be (can, not always) some value to having that vet in there just to serve as a role model in terms of approach to the game.

1:22
JK: This might be very nit picky, but is there any data as to the effect of minor league umpires? Just minor noise or worthwhile to contemplate? I will tune into a game on MiLB gameday here and there and it seems as if the calls are all over the place

1:23
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know of any data, but yes, minor league umpiring is ROUGH. Also, being an ump is an INCREDIBLY difficult job and just like the players, they’re learning. . .

1:23
Steve O: When a team trades away a decent prospect and he becomes a star or a very good player, does that make them question their evaluation? Or do they just chalk it up to improvements the player made, etc?

1:24
Kevin Goldstein: Always makes you wonder what you missed, but there are times where you have to admit that it just probably wasn’t going to happen with your team. Also, while it bothers you, you have to be happy for the player. I thought Teoscar Hernandez with a fourth outfielder, and I was wrong. I also think he’s a wonderful person and shed a tear (seriously, I did) when he hit his first MLB HR.

1:24
KB: Are there pitchers out there who could conceivably take on a higher workload than they already do? Like a starter who could work every 4 days instead of every 5 without a decrease in performance. Or a reliever who can work 100+ innings in a season.

1:25
Kevin Goldstein: I do think there are a handful of them, but it’s just so risky in trying to test the hypothesis.

1:25
Tommy: Do people outside of organizations have access to peripherals and advanced stats for minor leaguers? Thinking things like EV, barrel, etc? Is that something that could become standardly available in the way that it is for MLB? Eric’s discovery of minor league statcast results got me thinking of it, but surely actual MLB teams have these kinds of numbers available to them already?

1:26
Kevin Goldstein: Yes, MLB teams have all of that data, and I sure miss it!

1:26
Ryan: Do you see Canterino sticking as a starter or is he destined for the pen?

1:26
Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s a starter package. Feels like a back-end consistent innings eater.

1:26
Guest: Hey Kevin, I know you’re a big movie fan. Do you happen to like documentaries as well?

1:26
Kevin Goldstein: Sure, tons!

1:27
Asking for a friend: Is Myles St]raw a legitimate starting CF?

1:27
Kevin Goldstein: I think he’s more of a good fourth outfielder.

1:29
ChatzMcGee: How do teams know what guys might be available for trade? Is there like a league accessible trade block?!

1:29
Kevin Goldstein: They make calls. I’ll be writing about this in a couple of weeks.

1:30
Brandon: Should we be concerned about Bobby Witt or is this just an adjustment period?

1:30
Kevin Goldstein: He never played full-season before and he’s in Double-A. Really not worried.

1:32
Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, thanks for all of the great questions! I gotta clear the way for the great Ben Clemems, or he gets really angry, and you don’t want to see Ben when he’s angry….





Kevin Goldstein is a National Writer at FanGraphs.

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casey j
Member
casey j

Nick Madrigal goes BOOM!

I, Casey, am the high man with my call of 7 bombs for Nicky Two-Strikes this year.