Kevin Goldstein FanGraphs Chat – 6/14/2021 by Kevin Goldstein June 14, 2021 12:01 Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. We have much to talk about. Let’s do just that. 12:01 Bret: How much are you buying into Nick Pratto’s monster year to date? 12:01 Kevin Goldstein: Much of it, yes. He’s made a real swing adjustment and he’s hitting far more balls in the air, using the center of the field more and tapping into the power. 12:01 James: Does Tommy Pham’s 143 wRC+ since May 1st lift the pressure for SD to squire a big OF bat 12:02 Kevin Goldstein: He’s been really good. I still think the Padres are going to be busy in July, and I don’t think they will, or should, focus on pitching, so it’s going to be bats. 12:02 Bring Back Mookie (and Jeff): So what exactly do you guys mean when you say Jack Leiter is trying to “price himself down” to Boston? 12:02 Kevin Goldstein: He’s throwing out, or going to throw out big bonus demands in order to scare the three teams picking ahead of Boston. 12:02 Ross Atkins: Nate Pearson is ___:A) Not 100% healthyB) Making/needing an adjustmentC) Not as good as it was thoughtD) Gonna be just fineE) A reliever 12:03 Kevin Goldstein: 10%; 35%; 10%; 35%; 10% 12:03 Oren: What’s up with Mackenzie Gore? 12:03 Kevin Goldstein: Just not taking any steps forward in terms of command. 12:03 Owen: Would Joey Bart be a solid comp for Henry Davis? How would you rank Rutschman, Davis and Bart? 12:04 Kevin Goldstein: Rutschman is really in a league of his own. Davis and Bart are close. 12:04 Lincoln: Does Reed Trimble have a chance to go day 1? 12:05 Kevin Goldstein: He does. First round highly unlikely. 12:05 John: Hi Kevin, thanks for doing the chat. I like Leiter a lot for the Red Sox, and was excited to read the pick in your mock today. As of now, would you say Leiter is the leader in the clubhouse for Boston’s pick at #4? If not, then who is? 12:05 Kevin Goldstein: I think they’d also be happy to see Davis fall to them. 12:05 McRat: Nolan Gorman is mashing. How is his defense at 2nd coming along? 12:05 Kevin Goldstein: He sure is hitting (it’s been a bit of a rough adjustment). 12:06 Guest: O’Neil Cruz is raking right now. What’s his ceiling? 12:06 Kevin Goldstein: He’s been really good offensively. There are some approach issues and his future position is still up in the air for me. 12:07 NatsMatt: The Frelick to Nats mock pick. Is that based more on rumors the Nats are interested in a bat or more so on how the rest of your mock draft fell? 12:07 Kevin Goldstein: A little of both. 12:07 Derek: How confident (on any scale you want) are you in how the top 5 picks will play out at this point? 12:07 Kevin Goldstein: 3 on a scale from 1-10. Pirates pick first and could screw up any mock right now because there’s no consensus on what they will do. 12:08 Darren: Royals’ young pitching has struggled. Just par for the course or are there deeper issues? 12:08 Kevin Goldstein: It’s par for the course, but it’s also important to point out that a lot of these guys look like big leaguers, but not impact ones. Lots of 4-5 starters in that mix. 12:09 Harold: Max Scherzer is due a $7.5 million signing bonus payment in September and has $105 million worth of deferred money due every July from 2022-2028. Would any team be willing to tell the Nationals that they would pick up a substantial amount of that money in order to avoid giving up prospects? That money wouldn’t affect the luxury tax since he wouldn’t be on the 40 man and would save the Nationals a decent amount. 12:09 Kevin Goldstein: It’s certainly a thought some richer teams might have. 12:09 Kevin Goldstein: They’re not going to pick up all of it, but they might help. 12:09 Zach Has Regrets: Is Jake Fraley a good hitter? Yes, it’s only 69 PA, and his prior 70 MLB PA were terrible, but this beleaguered Mariners fan needs something to be hopeful about. 12:09 Kevin Goldstein: I’ve actually always kinda liked Jake. Asked for him in a trade once when I was with Houston. 12:10 Scoreboard: Angels before Trout’s injury: 17-22. Angels since Trout’s injury: 16-10. 12:10 Kevin Goldstein: Small sample sizes. Let’s not act like they’re better without him. 12:12 Kevin Goldstein: Sorry for the small delay there. There has been a massive chemical plant explosion about 50 miles from here and we have big smoke already over DeKalb. 12:12 Dansby SwanSong: Any idea how prevalent sticky stuff is among pitching prospects? 12:12 Kevin Goldstein: It’s prevalent at every level. 12:13 Super Max: What is your view on the AL West? Who do you have finishing ahead and will it be close? Astros have more combined WAR but the A’s more (luck?) wins. 12:13 Kevin Goldstein: I think Oakland and Houston will be neck-and-neck into September. 12:13 Guest: What do you think the Red Sox need to do before the deadline? I’m thinking either a lefty for the bullpen, a starter, or a lefty bat with some pop for the outfield. 12:13 Kevin Goldstein: I think outfield will be their focus. 12:13 Robert: Over/under on these contract guesses for these cubs this offseason: Bryant 6 years/$150 million, Baez 5 years/$100 million, Rizzo 4 years, $75 million? 12:14 Kevin Goldstein: Over, way under, slightly over. 12:14 James: Hi Kevin, 12:14 Kevin Goldstein: Hi James, 12:14 tyler: favorite Japanese dish to cook? 12:14 Kevin Goldstein: I make these really good gyoza meatballs. 12:14 Guest: Can/do front office people ask players to do stuff like autograph a ball for their kid, or is that frowned upon? 12:15 Kevin Goldstein: It’s frowned upon. Some situations are understandable. Getting autographs for yourself is forbidden… 12:15 Guest: Good morning! Seeing there is no short season league this year just complex development, we’ll we see any of the 2020 HS draft picks Tucker, Halpin, Greene in real games via promotion or will they only be working on fundamentals? 12:15 Kevin Goldstein: There will be a GCL/AZL this year, as well as a delayed DSL that starts next month. 12:16 TB: Does the owner always have to give final approval on trades or is the GM/President granted that authority? Can a rogue GM makes trades an owner might not like, or does the final signature have to include him? 12:17 Kevin Goldstein: Really depends on the team. Most, but not all GMs have autonomy to a certain level as long as they remain in budget. Some owners are very involved in trade/FA signs, others just want to be kept in the loop, and a small minority are pretty hands off. 12:17 Super Max: If you were the A’s where do you play Soderstrom on defense right now? 12:17 Kevin Goldstein: 1B or corner OF. 12:17 Dexter from Dexter: Jairo Solis – What do you know about him? 12:18 Kevin Goldstein: He had elbow surgery (loose bodies). 12:18 Brandon: Are you guys updating the top-10o today? Thanks again for all you do, you have been a great addition to the team! 12:18 Kevin Goldstein: It’s updated! 12:18 Billy G: I’m confused. Y’all updated the BOARD, but it went from 94 prospects to 71? And the players mentioned in the A’s bit of the notes portion aren’t on there? Really love the work but was expecting an expansion and not a contraction 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: It will start expanding form here, and we’ve already received feedback that will move guys. We wanted to focus on day 1 (71 picks) and getting that right (or right as possible) and go from there. 12:19 matt foley: How would you suggest a non-sumo fan get into the sport? I know the rules, but not the names/storylines etc. 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: Start watching! You’ll catch on quickly. NHK app is free and has a highlight show with all of the top level matches every night. Next basho starts July 4! 12:20 Ryan: Is Triston Casas pushing himself into the Vaughn/Torkelson tier of 1B prospects? 12:20 Kevin Goldstein: I’m a big fan of Casas, but he’s not at that level yet. 12:20 Dave: How often do MLB orgs scout established major leaguers? Is it a constantly ongoing thing or only when the org is considering acquiring a certain player? 12:21 Kevin Goldstein: They’re leaning more and more on data and video for big league players. Maybe seeing trade targets in person and that’s about it. 12:21 isaodjfosdf: Hey KG. In the Mock Draft article today there was a mention of “scouting the scouts” which I found amusing. What is that process like? How do you identify which scouts are with which team and who they’re there to see? 12:22 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, you stick around and you talk to people and you get to know people and you can identify folks. Between Eric and myself, we can look at a scout section and know who’s who. We also hear from other scouts and executives about who they see at games. 12:22 Appa Yip Yip: Have you clapped eyes on Gabriel Moreno? What’s up with that dude? 12:22 Kevin Goldstein: One of the biggest risers on today’s update of THE BOARD. 12:23 Jefferson: Is it a correct assessment that the college bat crop this year seems fairly weak? 12:23 Kevin Goldstein: Correct assessment. 12:23 Guest: Is Grayson Rodriguez now the #1 pitching prospect in baseball? What do you think he most has to work on? 12:23 Kevin Goldstein: No. But he’s good. 12:23 2022: I know we’re in the midst of the 2021 draft crunch but what is the process for both you and teams regarding next year’s draft once this year’s is over? 12:24 Kevin Goldstein: It’s already started with the Cape Cod League and the high school summer circuit. 12:24 Mozeliak: I’ve been talking about “maybe shaking things up a bit”. How do I get the Cardinals back on track? 12:25 Kevin Goldstein: By making the team better? Not trying to be trite (ok, a little), but they have offense and pitching problems. Lots to address there. 12:25 Pete: Who’s success is more sustainable, Jesse Winker or Nick Castellanos? 12:25 Kevin Goldstein: I really like both of them. 12:25 Ben: If you’re in the Rockies’ situation and the first seven picks play out as FG predicts, do you think it makes more sense for them to go with a lower risk college outfielder like Cowser or Frelick or a more high risk/reward play like Ford or Jobe? 12:26 Kevin Goldstein: I would just go with the highest upside guy. 12:26 Rumberto: Should the average fan pay attention to the draft? Or are people confusing it too much with NBA/NFL where it is more likely to draft a sure star. Opposed to baseball where first rounders are far from guaranteed to make the show let alone become a star. Development is more important 12:26 Kevin Goldstein: Fans should pay attention to whatever they’d like. I don’t pay attention to any other american sports, but others do. I find the draft super exciting and fascinating and a lot of readers do as well, but like what you like. 12:27 grover: There was a PTBNL question in your last chat that I was hoping you’d revisit. Team A and Team B make a trade that will send Team A a PTBNL. Team A gets to pick from 3 names and has 30 days to decide. A week later Team C wants to make a trade with Team B and they want one of the three players on Team A’s list. Can Team B trade that player to Team C? Does Team A get any recompense? 12:28 Kevin Goldstein: Team B should call Team A and explain the situation and see if Team A can make their decision on the PTBNL or at least rule out the player so they can deal him to Team C. 12:28 Kevin Goldstein: There are a few rumors on players throwing out huge numbers, but it’s too early for those letters/emails going out. 12:28 Guest: What are you hearing about Spencer Schwellenbach? Noticed that he wasn’t on THE BOARD after looking through the update, was curious what your thoughts were about him. 12:29 Kevin Goldstein: I’m not a big fan, and neither is Eric, and that’s a pure talent ranking. That said, there’s a solid chance he goes at the end of the first round. 12:29 Adam: What do you do at the trade deadline if you’re the Minnesota Twins? 12:30 Kevin Goldstein: Deal all impending FAs, focusing on Simmons and Cruz. Don’t trade away anyone with control past 2021. It’s been a nightmare year, but believe in the core competing next year. 12:31 Nate: Something I’ve wondered with the Astros…did you have thoughts on the teams efforts to let go of what sounded like most (or all) of the scouting department a few years ago? Think it was smart, or a little too much? And do you think Click wants to keep things as is there, or has he been looking to beef things back up again? Thanks in advance…your insights on inner workings of the Astros FO/FO’s in general is always interesting 12:31 Kevin Goldstein: It was a little too much. I’m fine with leaning on video and data, but you also need some eyeballs/connections people to help with your decision making. 12:32 Rumberto: Kyle Tucker’s has a star level xwoba, but is he going to be a star? 12:32 Kevin Goldstein: I think so. Not like an MVP guy, but should get in some all-star games. 12:32 Appa Yip Yip: Are swing and miss guys with big power going to start mashing now that stuff won’t break as much? 12:32 Kevin Goldstein: No. 12:33 Sodo Mojo: When should we expect Cal Raleigh to be called up? The Mariners catchers aren’t covering themselves in glory and Cal has a 152 WRC+ in Tacoma currently. 12:33 Kevin Goldstein: I hope this year. Big Raliegh fan here. 12:33 Danny: I’ve thought the Yankees’ interest in Hoglund would mirror their Schmidt pick but do you think Hoglund would take a discount at the 20 slot (over $3.2M)? Schmidt went around his ceiling even if he wasn’t hurt so he gave the Yankees a substantial discount but Hoglund likely signs for around slot if he falls to 20 right? 12:33 Kevin Goldstein: There is plenty of interest in Hoglund above 20, so yeah, it wouldn’t come at a discount. 12:34 Lon: I hear every now and again of guys in drafts trying to move themselves to a certain team, like the rumors about Leiter this year. How often does this actually work? Seems that come draft day they usually get picked before they get to the rumored team, especially if that team is below their talent range for that draft. Do you have any examples of this strategy actually working? And if Leiter does go to Boston, it seems like 4th overall would be his talent point just as much as any strategy on him and his people’s part, right? 12:34 Kevin Goldstein: It works more frequently than you might think. I can remember a very specific draft where the Astros thought they were getting a certain player and he priced himself elsewhere. 12:35 Tom: How is Gavin Lux looking at SS in your opinion? Would you be comfortable playing him at SS long term if Seager were to leave in FA? 12:35 Kevin Goldstein: I think he’s below average but not a disaster. 12:35 Boston: Do you think the Top 3 calls Leiter’s bluff or do they let him slide to Boston. His dad did say he may return to school. 12:36 Kevin Goldstein: I would be shocked if he went back to school. It’s all part of the game. 12:36 Justin: It feels like the media isn’t talking enough about Marcelo Mayer if he has this good of a shot to go #1. Could you give a brief scouting report and/or *gasp* a comp? 12:36 Kevin Goldstein: Big kid, plus bat, power potential, sweet lefty swing, fringy runner but outstanding defensive actions/instincts. 12:36 Bird Dog: What’s the biggest thrill you get when you’re scouting amateurs in person? What does a prospect have to do to get your heart pumping? 12:37 Kevin Goldstein: Show oppo power, command breakers . . . I actually get more of a charge from seeing some guy I wasn’t sent in to see and having him look like someone the team should consider. 12:37 Royals Boy: chances the Orioles take someone other than Henry Davis? taking a catcher when you have adley is questionable and you can get impact bats at different positions later in the draft 12:38 Kevin Goldstein: Chances are really good they take somewhere else. I tweeted this this morning, but the words written below the team are FAR more important than the actually pick name below the team. 12:38 Rd: What does “vertical slot” in the Ty Madden’s write up mean? 12:38 Kevin Goldstein: High arm angle, producing the kind of fastball shape that team’s covet. 12:39 Brian Flashman: If you were in the NYY front office how much longer would this malaise have to continue before you seriously discuss selling pieces? Namely the pen, Urshela, maybe Judge, etc. 12:39 Kevin Goldstein: Because it’s still a talented roster, and the Yankees don’t dump. Also, why would you deal Judge when he’s the best hitter on the team and still controlled next year? 12:40 Eric: Is there any chance that one of the 3 college bats (Frelick, McLain or Cowser, assuming Davis has no chance of being there) to fall to the brewers at 15. Seems those guys would be your typical brewers targets. 12:40 Kevin Goldstein: Hard to see a scenario where any of them are around at 15. 12:40 matt foley: Was Rutschman considered to be a tier above Bart and Davis as a draft prospect, or does that have more to do with his development/performance since the draft? 12:40 Kevin Goldstein: Yes, he was a tier above them as a draft prospect as well. 12:41 Nick: Trying to get some clarity on the reasoning for the Pirates mock at 1-1. If the chatter is that they are looking for someone to take a haircut, how can Mayer be the pick given how much Detroit is reported to like him? 12:41 Kevin Goldstein: Hard to know how they are lining guys up. Maybe Player A at $1m under slot is more attractive than Player B at $1.5 under… 12:41 Keefths: Where do you stand on Jesus Sanchez ? I know Longo doesn’t think he’ll be good but any chance he can be successful a low avg big power guy ? 12:42 Kevin Goldstein: Probably a second-division starter or 4th OF. Approach is still a huge concern. 12:42 Tim L: Astros are approx $2mil under the tax. Ian Kennedy and Yimi Garcia seem like possible late inning relievers to target that make the necessary salary. In your opinion how much would they have to give up to acquire this type of player? 12:42 Kevin Goldstein: Nothing too bothersome, and both are good targets for them. 12:43 Justin: Obviously none of us can be arbitrators of what should make a fan happy/upset, but “should” any Pirate fan be upset if they take Mayer in a $ allocation move vs taking Leiter? 12:43 Kevin Goldstein: No. 12:43 Appa Yip Yip: I just remembered for the nth time that the home run derby is going to be at Coors which means Vlad is going to participate in a home run derby at Coors 12:44 Kevin Goldstein: I’ll be honest. And again, everyone should LIKE WHAT THEY LIKE, but I don’t even know the last time I watched a home run derby. 12:44 Brendan: With a little over a month to go before the trade deadline, when do teams begin discussing buying/selling specific players or position groups? 12:44 Kevin Goldstein: It’s always being discussed. 12:45 Chamaco: Quinn Priester got glowing reports out of instructs, but fell on THE BOARD during the recent update. Reason for the drop in FV from 55 to 50? He isn’t exactly dominating High A, but it’s only been a few starts. 12:45 Kevin Goldstein: Not missing bats, leading to greater concern about his sub-optimal fastball shape. 12:45 Deemers .9er: I just want to say thanks for all the great content. I know this is selfish, but hot damn is it good to have you back. 12:46 Kevin Goldstein: It’s good to be back, and thanks for saying that and thanks to everyone who has reached out with similar. The response has been really uplifting. 12:46 Billy Beans: Is this the year Matt Olson gets recognized as a star? 12:46 Kevin Goldstein: Is he not? 12:47 John: Is the lack of Pirates consensus internally a good thing? Or yet another sign of Bucs’ managerial ineptitude? I want to believe in Cherington, but been burned before! 12:47 Kevin Goldstein: It’s neither good nor bad, it’s just what it is. There is no slam dunk number one guy, and thus, that’s the situation we find ourselves in. 12:48 Josh: You seem to have Lawlar a good bit below the Top 4 draft prospects in their overall placement. Is there something in particular (age, strikeouts, etc.) that puts him in a tier below the guys ahead of him? 12:48 Kevin Goldstein: Age, and just the lack of that one overwhelming tool (they’re all good!) to really hang your hat on. 12:48 Tom: How do you evaluate sp patrick sandoval 12:48 Kevin Goldstein: More backend than front, but certainly a real rotation piece. 12:48 Shoshana: How good a prospect is Gunnar Henderson? potential 55 FV guy? or more of a Ryan Mountcastle potential regular type? 12:49 Kevin Goldstein: Really like the bat. Took a big jump on THE BOARD update. 12:49 David (formerly Sonoma State): Are….are you going to be okay? (Chemical spill) 12:50 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, it’s 50 miles away. They’re evacuating a mile radius from the explosion site and are just going to let it burn out. We just have smoke. 12:50 Ben: Is Adam Frazier a player the White Sox should look to pursue? What would a trade package look like given the extra year of control? 12:51 Kevin Goldstein: Frazier is a really good fit for a ton of potential playoff teams, but it’s not going to be cheap. 12:51 KeithfromEngland: Whixh team picking in the top 6 in the draft (excluding Pittsburgh) do you think will be most disappointed with the choices they have when they come to pick(i.e all the players they covet have gone earlier)? 12:52 Kevin Goldstein: I think that line might be pick 8 (Rockies), as opposed to pick 6. 12:52 John: See the DBacks turning it around soon? Or are they really that awful? Team hitting doesn’t seem TERRIBLE just shitty bullpen and some bad luck 12:52 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, turning what around? They might play better in the second half, but it’s not like they’re going to win more than they lose. 12:53 Boston: Would any of the top 3 still draft Leiter, or will they just let him slip to Boston. Al Leiter said he could return to Vandy. Could they also be using that against the top 3? 12:53 Kevin Goldstein: Dad saying he will go back to school just feels like politicking. And yes, a team could call the bluff. 12:55 Von Hayes: 12:55 Kevin Goldstein: This picture makes me happy. Let’s all pause for a moment and enjoy this picture. 12:55 Morgan: Gilbert or Manoah? 12:56 Kevin Goldstein: Manoah. Says more about how much I like Manoah than anything bad about Gilbert. 12:57 KG: Jo Adell has hit a ton of HRs, but those strikeouts, man. Constantly striking out 2/3x a game. Does not bode well for him, no? 12:57 Kevin Goldstein: It doesn’t. Just might be what he is at this point, a big power, big K type. 12:57 Lon: Couple of your personal favorites in this draft? Beyond the first round. Looking for a reason to say calm down, Kevin (jokingly) 12:57 Kevin Goldstein: Niko Kavadas. 12:57 YardGoat: Do front offices do some sort of $ evaluation when analyzing trades? Thinking something like the dollar value analysis of prospects on the board and comparing that dollar amount to receiving X dollars of production in major league talent back. 12:58 Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely, but I gotta add that I don’t always, or even often, trust that kind of math. 12:58 Wise: Do you think that Baez won’t get 100 million due to the strong SS class or due to his own flaws? 12:58 Kevin Goldstein: His own flaws. Since 2020, he has a .254 OBP. That’s not getting 100 million. 12:59 Jose Cruz: Should Astros target a CF or Reliever at deadline? Any names to look for? 12:59 Kevin Goldstein: I think the bullpen should be the primary focus. 12:59 Lon: Scale of 1-10, how surprised would you be if Elijah Green doesn’t go first overall next year? Top 5? Seems like he has more hype than I’ve seen for a draft guy in the past several years at least. 12:59 Kevin Goldstein: 7? Lots could change…. 1:00 Cole: Looking at the standings, there are a ton of teams in that middle area where it may be hard to commit to buying or selling at the deadline. My question is how does making that decision unfold in a front office? Im sure there are many folks arguing for both sides. Do teams pick a date that they make that decision by? 1:00 Kevin Goldstein: You don’t pick a date as much as you give it more time to decide which side of the fence you are on. 1:01 Mark: In a vacuum just focused on pure talent and projections, strip away any external $$ factors or fit problems, how would you rank Davis, Lawlar, Mayer and Watson (Basically the four bats mentioned at 1-1) 1:01 Kevin Goldstein: The Board is a pure talent raking. 1:01 Lon: Who you got in the CWS? Will you go for a day or so, or just watch now and again? How heavily scouted will it be this year? 1:01 Kevin Goldstein: It will certainly be way more scouted than ever now that it’s happening before the draft. I’ve never been to the CWS. 1:02 2019 Playoffs: Thanks for the chat! Do you think Martino’s allegations about Astros/Cintron/2019 playoffs are bunk or possible? 1:02 Kevin Goldstein: Possible. Don’t know for sure as I wasn’t involved in game day stuff. 1:02 Brian: At what point in a draft does a team usually move from best player available to filling out needs/avoiding redundancies? 1:03 Kevin Goldstein: Not until day three (after ten rounds). 1:03 Ben: Given the series between the Rays and White Sox starting tonight. Who right now is the strongest in the American League? 1:03 Kevin Goldstein: Multiple options, including teams that are not the White Sox or Rays. What’s more important is who is strongest in September. 1:03 Joshua: Would a backend Top 100 prospect be a reasonable return if the Nats deal Schwarber? Thanks. 1:04 Kevin Goldstein: Feels heavy. 1:04 Wicho: How do the Padres approach Texas about Gallo given all the reports that Texas might overvalue him? Do they establish an untouchable list right away or would that be unproductive? 1:04 Kevin Goldstein: It’s often a game of chicken. You make an offer! No, YOU make an offer! Nobody wants to start in case they are too low… 1:04 DJ: Who do you think is going to win the NL Central this year? 1:05 Kevin Goldstein: Ask me after the trade deadline. Teams might change and significantly. 1:05 Donny: What leverage does Leiter have to force his way down? 1:05 Kevin Goldstein: I want $10 million or I’m not signing…. 1:05 Bob: Do you have a personal favorite late 1st round talent in this draft? Someone who you can’t rank higher because of flaws but someone you just believe in. 1:05 Kevin Goldstein: Ty Madden. 1:06 Hamstrings: I guess as a fan I wonder why as many players get hamstring injuries as they do, given how much is at stake in terms of staying stretched and healthy, training staffs, etc. Are hamstring injuries in your experience more often a function of things that can be controlled, like doing enough stretching, between game conditioning/care, quality of training staff, etc.? Or more often physical/genetic type characteristics where often cannot really be prevented? Thanks 1:06 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, they just happen. I don’t think it’s some kind of organizational failure or anything. 1:06 Some Guy: Do you think teams would like to see the new CBA allow draft pick trading beyond just comp picks? 1:06 Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely. 1:06 Matt: You guys are the best. Might some sort of “hey we updated the top 100” on the home page be a good idea? 1:06 Kevin Goldstein: It’s coming… 1:06 Brian: If there was a conclusion that the Astros reached (for example – never take a college 2nd basemen in the 1st round) would you be able to share that opinion or keep it to yourself? 1:07 Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely. I felt strongly that I was being paid for my opinions on baseball, so I better damn well give them. 1:07 Brian: You get dropped behind home plate at a high school in which you have been told that 1 of the kids playing is a top 100 draft prospect. How long would you need to be there to identify the player? 1:08 Kevin Goldstein: Where am I geographically? If I’m in Illinois it won’t take long. If I’m in Maine, it might be minutes. If I’m in California/Texas/Florida I might need some more time. 1:08 Cole: Evaluating pitcher command seems to be one of the toughest things to do in baseball. Do teams have internal metrics that attempt to do this? How robust are they? Any light you could shed would be fascinating 1:09 Kevin Goldstein: Yes, and robust. Location spray charts are really key, as are isolating pitches, batter handedness and counts. 1:09 Balls and Strikes: If an accurate, high tech balls-and-strikes system could be implemented for the MLB strike zone tomorrow, replacing umps for balls and strikes, would you be in favor, or would you prefer to keep umps as part of the human element of the game? 1:09 Kevin Goldstein: I 1:10 Kevin Goldstein: I am not convinced that an automated zone is some kind of panacea. I do think we need more accountability from umpires. 1:10 Ben: Would a package centered around Jonathan Stiever even cause the Pirates to budge regarding Adam Frazier? 1:11 Kevin Goldstein: It’s a good start…. 1:11 Ben: The O’s hyped up Kyle Bradish quite a bit this preseason, and he breezed through AA and is now showing well in AAA. Is he a top 100 candidate moving forward? 1:11 Kevin Goldstein: He might be. Eric and I differ on him. I’m the higher guy. 1:11 Guest: Is there anything viable fans can do to try and change MLB’s mind on expanding playoffs in the next CBA? Feel like it dilutes the product more than any of the other silly rules (ghost runner, 7 inning double headers, etc). Or is it a done deal? 1:11 Kevin Goldstein: Money talks…. 1:11 Lon: Have you ever seen a player, whether they made it or not, who had more power than Stanton? Any other exceptionally loud tools over the years that stick out and immediately come to mind? 1:11 Kevin Goldstein: More power? No. 1:12 Billy G: Ok but what about a home run derby in High Desert? SO MANY DINGERZZZZ 1:12 Kevin Goldstein: Let’s do it in Mexico City! 1:13 Guest: if I’m at a minor league game sitting right behind home plate and notice someone with a radar gun or some other kind of scout is it ok to engage in light convo with them, or is it rude because they’re at work? 1:13 Kevin Goldstein: It’s ok to ask, but also be ok if they don’t want to talk. 1:13 Curtis: With all this research and conversation, what’s the quickest a trade ever came together? Are you at liberty to say who was involved? 1:14 Kevin Goldstein: Justin Maxwell to the Royals for Kyle Smith. 2013 Trade Deadline. The whole thing took ten minutes. Royals called the Astros with maybe half an hour before the deadline, provided a list of players and we picked one. 1:15 Zirinsky: Kevin: can you explain what pitch “shape” is? 1:15 Kevin Goldstein: I can! I wrote a whole thing about it. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-importance-of-fastball-shape/ 1:15 Joshua: Is Josh Harrison a good (and cheaper) alternative to teams missing out on Adam Frazier in the trade market? Thanks. 1:15 Kevin Goldstein: Yes. He’s also one of the best makeup dudes in the game and a great add to any clubhouse. 1:16 Pete: Can you see Rocker getting past the Royals (and Rockies) and getting to the Angels at 9? 1:16 Kevin Goldstein: No. If anything I worry we might be low. 1:16 Mike: Asa Lacy has been really wild to start his career but you still have him one spot above Meyer. Does he have more reliever risk but more upside if he figures it out? What explains that? 1:16 Kevin Goldstein: I think Meyer has significant reliever risk as well. 1:16 Andrew: With Mets linked to McClain, what’s your guess at a 75% best outcome for his bat? Thanks! 1:16 Kevin Goldstein: .283 with 15 HR. 1:17 Curtis: How often was the player you anticipated being available (based on internal mocks, etc.) actually there when Houston was set to pick? 1:17 Kevin Goldstein: Somewhere around two thirds of the time? 1:17 Logan: Do you agree or disagree that the Cubs should trade Kimbrel regardless of how the next two months go? And what kind of return could they expect to get for him? 1:17 Kevin Goldstein: yeah, they’re not selling. 1:17 Joshua: What type of prospect would the White Sox have to give up for Josh Harrison? Thanks. 1:18 Kevin Goldstein: Not much. 1:18 Crashman: What would an Aaron Judge trade package look like? 1:18 Kevin Goldstein: THEY ARE NOT TRADING AARON JUDGE. 1:18 Angels: Mayor has 50 pitch selection, 55 bat control. His hit tool is 60 overall. Frelick has 60 pitch selection, 60 bat control. His hit tool is also 60. Why is that? 1:18 Kevin Goldstein: Mayer hits balls way harder. 1:19 Jeff: Matt mikulski question, what is holding him back from being considered as a first rounder, the violent delivery? Do you buy into that? 1:19 Kevin Goldstein: He might go in the late first, but there’s some effort to it and the whole operation is a bit on the stiff side. 1:20 James: % chance Sam Bachman is a starter long term 1:20 Kevin Goldstein: 47.5% 1:20 Pumpsie Green: Could you see the Yankees trading a high-priced reliever to make room for a hitter – maybe a 3-way deal? 1:21 Kevin Goldstein: Three way deals are SO DAMN DIFFICULT. Never saw one to the finish line during my eight years in Houston. 1:21 Matt: Vaughn is certainly holding his own for a guy who barely played in the minors, but also isn’t thriving either. Would sending him to AAA and letting him mash serve any purpose at this point? Or can he figure out what he needs to in the Majors? 1:21 Kevin Goldstein: I see no reason to send him down. 1:21 Joe: Why do all the scouts use their radar guns at once? Why not just have one guy take readings and distribute to the rest so they can focus on actually watching? 1:22 Kevin Goldstein: You are onto something Joe! When I scout a pitcher, I usually only gun the first batter of the inning, unless I still need velo on a pitch that he hasn’t thrown yet. 1:22 Chilly: Is this the yr the Yankees deal away Frazier? Do u think he can turn it around there or somewhere else? 1:23 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, I’d deal him. I think at some point you need to take an attitude of it might happen for him elsewhere but it’s not going to happen here. 1:23 Brantley: I absolutely love watching Brantley hit. His approach, strike zone command, and bat control are unbelievable and, I think, almost in a class of their own. Do you agree, and do you have any anecdotes or impressions of him on or off the field? 1:23 Kevin Goldstein: I absolutely love watching Brantley hit. His approach, strike zone command and bat control are unbelievable and, I think, almost in a class of their own. 1:24 Smalls: Given Hunter Greene’s recent promotion, his numbers have been dominant but any reports about his stuff improving? Slider looks improved but haven’t heard anything regarding his change-up or release point that Eric was concerned about this off-season. 1:24 Kevin Goldstein: He’s flashing a plus slider, but it’s still inconsistent. 1:25 Chicken: Tenders or nuggets? 1:25 Kevin Goldstein: Wings. 1:25 Alby: Is developing a lot of 4-5 starters and shopping for an ace a valid team-building strategy? Would it be easier than trying to develop an ace? 1:26 Kevin Goldstein: Getting an ace either through development or acquisition is incredibly hard and rare. Gotta take your chances when you see that upside. 1:26 BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: Have you got a chance to see Hunter Brown at all? Not a great start. 1:26 Kevin Goldstein: We knew he had amazing stuff and command issues. The number certainly reflect that so far, no? 1:26 Jeff Winger: boneless or bone-in? 1:27 Kevin Goldstein: A boneless wing is just a nugget. Bone in. 1:27 Marginwalker: Gabe Moreno– defense look ok? It appears that the bat can play anywhere, right? 1:27 Kevin Goldstein: Defense is good. Don’t move him. 1:27 Bob: Do you see any chance of DET taking Khalil Watson? 1:27 Kevin Goldstein: Yes. 1:29 Ben: As a former executive, how have Hahn and Reinsdorf healed their relationship, after comments in the offseason expressing Hahn’s frustration due to the La Russa hire? Is it just because they are winning? 1:30 Kevin Goldstein: I have no idea what their relationship is, but I will take this opportunity to say the Rick Hahn is one of the nicest people in the industry. 1:30 Glue Man: Still catching up on the podcasts, but was Chin Music named in tribute to the late great zine? 1:31 Kevin Goldstein: It was not. Just liked a baseball term with music in it. Also, catch up! Last episode w/ David Roth was a real gem. Also, if you don’t listen, YOU SHOULD LISTEN. 1:31 Casey: If the Orioles go underslot at prep, would it be for one of the main SS or someone like Harry Ford range? 1:31 Kevin Goldstein: The Lawler/Mayer/Watson group isn’t going to go under slot. 1:31 Dawson: Murray Johnson calls you, says he’s retiring from NHK. They want you to take over English-language sumo commentary, but you have to forgo baseball coverage and move to Tokyo. You going? 1:33 Kevin Goldstein: I hope Meg and David don’t read my chats . . . yeah, wife and I are on the first plane. I am planning on a sumo piece early next month with a baseball connection. 1:34 Kevin Goldstein: Ok, I gotta clear this space for the wonderful and wondrous Ben Clemens, so just a few more — the question queue is DEEP. 1:34 Ben Olson: Should White Sox fans still expect to see Crochet transition to a starting role? Or is he most likely going to be in the bullpen for the foreseeable future? 1:34 Kevin Goldstein: I would leave him in the pen. Not sure which direction they’ll go. 1:34 Jacques Pederson: I think Roth has been on every podcast series ever recorded 1:34 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t see this as a problem. 1:34 Ben Olson: What is the best way to get into the industry? 1:34 Kevin Goldstein: Demonstrate how you can help a team. 1:35 Brett: What’s the deal on Brady house’s hit? I’ve always assumed he was a below average hit/high strikeout guy, but now some are saying he’s plus hit? 1:36 Kevin Goldstein: I’ve heard 45 grades, and I’ve heard 60 grades. Some really believe in him. 1:36 Re: Nats: Based on the mock, you and Eric don’t see WSH dead-set on pitching at #11? 1:36 Kevin Goldstein: Dead set? No. 1:36 Scotty: When you’re evaluating a pitcher who you don’t know anything about, what are the first stats you go to? 1:36 Kevin Goldstein: K rate, BB rate. 1:38 Wannabe RJ: Moving forward, do you see a sizable niche in baseball media for, for lack of a better word, more literary/cultural coverage, or do you think things will keep trending towards stat analysis / beat reporting? 1:38 Kevin Goldstein: Can you give examples? 1:38 Tigers Fan: Do you think Vlad Jr. will keep up his current pace (MVP like numbers)? Ultimately do you think he will be more like Miguel Cabrera career wise or Prince Fielder? 1:39 Kevin Goldstein: I hope I don’t upset anyone by saying I think it’s highly unlikely that he finishes with an 1100+ OPS, but I think he’s here to stay as one of the best hitters in the game. 1:39 Roy Hobbs: I just don’t understand why teams wait until tge deadline to make deals. Why do teams do this? The Braves clearly need a big right handed bat and some starting pitching help. Why not go out and try to get it now and let whoever you trade for have more time to make an impact? I know you need for more teams to mail it in to sell and you want to see how your prospects look, but as a fan, I am thinking DO SOMETHING. Sorry for venting. 1:40 Kevin Goldstein: Leverage for the sellers. Markets change and the deadline can create some desperation offers or at least more suitors. 1:41 Lon: Am I missing something about Leiter? He’s talked about as a pitchability guy, but walks a batter almost every other inning. I get there’s more to pitchability, but that seems like an important part. Also, in the few starts I’ve seen, he seems to get scattershot with his fastball fairly often. What do you think? 1:41 Kevin Goldstein: I think he commands the breakers much better than the fastball, which can be a bit of a spray, like you say. Good eyes, Lon. 1:42 Kevin Goldstein: OK folks. Thanks for all the great (and so many!) questions and I’ll see you next week. Thanks for supporting FanGraphs (and if you don’t you should dammit) and listening to Chin Music (and if you don’t you should dammit).