Kevin Goldstein FanGraphs Chat – 6/28/2021 by Kevin Goldstein June 28, 2021 12:01 Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. It’s me. Let’s chat. You have questions, so I’ll pretend to have answers! 12:01 Vince L.: Are rivals (Cubs-Cardinals, Yankees-Mets, Dodgers-Angels, Cubs-White Sox) truly still reluctant to trade with each other, or is that an anachronistic thought? 12:03 Greg: Should Atlanta really be buying right now? 12:03 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, not really something that gets in the way of things. Cubs/Cardinals are problematic because they are in the same division, but no more than say Cubs/Reds would. 12:03 Kevin Goldstein: Whoops, early error. That was for the rivals/trade question. As for Atlanta. They probably should not be buying now. Will likely bubble for a bit and see where they are in a couple of weeks. 12:04 Ross: Any concerns about Tristan Casas’ performance this year? 12:04 Kevin Goldstein: Not really . . . 12:04 Guest: Was that play by kebryan hayes yesterday one of the best plays you’ve ever seen an infielder make? Even though itwas against a slow yadi lol 12:05 Kevin Goldstein: It was a really great play. Best player ever territory? Don’t see that. 12:05 Jeremy: Jasson Dominguez debuts today. If you were scouting him these next few days, what are some things you’re looking for to ensure the hype is real? 12:06 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think a few days is going to answer that. It’s been so long between signing and games that it’s going to take time to really evaluate. I hear he’s much bigger than he was when he signed, so I’d be focused on the athleticism and defense more than what he does at the plate. 12:07 Dave: Is it time to call Justus Sheffield a bust and move on? 12:07 Kevin Goldstein: He pitched pretty well last year . . . I’m sure they’re trying to get him back to that version of things…. 12:08 Matt: What tools/traits would you say you value the most compared to leaguewide scouting consensus? Which ones the least? 12:08 Kevin Goldstein: More: Contact ability/swing decisions/makeup 12:08 Kevin Goldstein: Less: RAW power, defense at positions like LF/1B 12:08 asinwreck: Favorite Jarmusch film? I’m partial to his early ones but have come to love Paterson. 12:09 Kevin Goldstein: I love the early ones to. It would either be Stranger Than Paradise or Ghost Dog. 12:10 Jay T: Is there any similarity in Anthony Volpe’s batting profile as compared to Mookie Betts? Mookie was in low A at age 20 as well. Both demonstrated good plate discipline, with Mookie striking out less, and Volpe hitting for more power – perhaps due to a difference in how the game was played 2013 compared to now. 12:10 Kevin Goldstein: Volpe is off to a great start, but I think comping to Betts is just looking for something as opposed to finding a real comp. 12:11 Fangraphs: Do you use fwar or bwar for mvp decisions 12:11 Kevin Goldstein: I prefer fwar, but I don’t think anyone should just line up a WAR ranking and say that’s the MVP ranking. 12:12 Keefths: Does one Nolan Gorman = one Max Muncy ? 12:12 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t see them as similar at all. 12:12 Oren: Is Lars Nootbaar someone to get excited about beyond his amazing name? 12:12 Kevin Goldstein: Not really. 4th OF ceiling. 12:12 Adam Wells: As someone who has Ghost of Tsushima sitting in my PS5 queue, when should I start playing it? I’ve got 3 games I’m considering getting started at the moment–Tsushima, Death Stranding and Returnal. 12:12 Kevin Goldstein: Start it! I’m really enjoying it. 12:13 A: How do you feel about Jamie Ritchie right now, especially given his current surge (even factoring in any Reno effect) and what you might know given how he was in the Astros system? Worth a look if the D-Backs can fit him in? 12:14 Kevin Goldstein: 28 year old guy having a crazy year in a crazy environment, and mostly at DH. Hard to get too excited, but if you are Arizona, why not? 12:14 Nate: Have we seen enough of Shane Baz with improved command now to start bumping him up a tier or two? Or still need to see him do it a while longer? 12:14 Kevin Goldstein: Bump him. 12:14 Adam: For a team that claims that Dave Cameron has strong influence in the FO, they sure do give away a lot of outs by bunting. What’s up with that? 12:15 Kevin Goldstein: I’m sure Dave has a lot of influence on decisions, but I’m also willing to wager that Dave is not the manager of the team. Front offices build a roster, and then hand that team to the manager who handles the in-game stuff. 12:15 Oh Yeah: Please for the love of god explain Clint Frazier 12:16 Kevin Goldstein: It’s a ton of swing and miss. Always has been. He might still have a good year in him, but I don’t think it’s happening in New York. 12:16 Shodai: Who ya got this basho- Hakuho or Terunofuji? Odds of Ura getting 8 wins on his return to the top division? 12:17 Kevin Goldstein: I’m going to go longshot and take Takakeisho. Maybe it’s because I just like him so much. Watching Terunofuji makes his rope run is going to be really exciting. 12:17 Nate: Is Korey Lee another guy that’s about to starting climbing tiers a bit as well? Seems like he’s kept raking since he arrived in AA 12:17 Kevin Goldstein: Yes. 12:17 Don Jenver: Hader is 4th among all pitchers in Win Probability Added since 2017. Is FanGraphs doing a Trade Value Series this year & does Josh finally crack the list? 12:17 Kevin Goldstein: Yes, they are . . . or rather Ben Clemens and I are. Tough for Hader to make that list. 12:18 Keen on the Crew: Does Adames make Turang a trade chip or is Turang the Brewers future 2B? 12:18 Kevin Goldstein: The Brewers had an immediate need, so they addressed it and they’ll figure out questions like that much later. 12:18 Derek: Boyd and Turnbull both having very good seasons, Skubal and Mize pitching quite well, Manning up and holding his own so far… Legitimate reason for optimism for Tigers and fans right now? Baddoo looking like a real major leaguer and Torkelson is hitting the crap out of minor league pitching has to help as well! (but, good lord that offense needs a lot of help still) 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: I do think there are reasons for optimism in Detroit. They need to find a way to score more runs, obviously. 12:19 Sad Cardinals Fan: Does St. Louis sell off some of their young bullpen pieces (Genesis Cabrera, Gio Gallegos in particular) or hang on to them and try and contend again in 2022 after improving the roster in the winter? 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think they know yet. Bubble team waiting a few more weeks to see what happens before making a decision. 12:20 Zack: Good morning Kevin, What are your thoughts on the upcoming CBA negotiations? Are we likely doomed for another strike/work stoppage in 2022? 12:20 Kevin Goldstein: I think the chances of the CBA expiring on 12/1 without a deal in place are 99%. I think that chances of spring training 2022 NOT starting on time at about 50/50. 12:20 B: Suppose a kid did everything 100% right – all the best coaching, all the best tech, etc. – from a very early age. How unathletic could that kid be and still play in MLB? In other words, what percentage of kids, no matter what they do, never have even a chance of being a major leaguer? 12:21 Kevin Goldstein: 98%? 12:22 Lark: What do you do with a guy like Adell? When his K/BB is like that in AAA, how does the dev team get him to a point where he can succeed in the majors? 12:22 Kevin Goldstein: It’s obviously a massive challenge, but he’s still just 22 years old so it’s plenty of time. 12:22 The Chicken Runs at Midnight: Thoughts on the MLB Draft League? What level of competition would you say is involved in terms of other summer leagues such as the Cape Cod League or the Northwoods League. 12:23 Kevin Goldstein: It’s WELL BELOW that. I think we’ll have to be patient with that league. It has a chance to be important, but it’s not there yet. 12:23 fangraphs reader: I irrationally like Marty Costes. Does he have an MLB future? 12:24 Kevin Goldstein: Maybe as a 4A type. He’s 25 already, and doesn’t play defense well. 12:24 MFG1975: What are your thoughts on “health as a skill”? Adalberto Mondesi and Byron Buxton are two current examples of guys who get all sorts of heat from fans for chronic IL trips, back in the day Joe Mauer was the upper midwest poster boy for “being soft.” Your thoughts? 12:25 Kevin Goldstein: My first thought is that calling Joe Mauer, or any frequently injured player ‘soft’ is complete BS. 12:25 SJ: I know it’s still too early to draw a lot of conclusions, but is it valid to be excited about Evan Carter given he was a pretty off the board pick, was aggressively assigned, and then was producing before going on the IL last week? 12:25 Kevin Goldstein: It’s fine to be a little optimistic. He was drawing a ton of walks, but wasn’t hitting much. Jury is still very much out. 12:25 Justin: Could you quantify or describe, how big (or small?) the impact that saving, say, $1.5 million on the top pick could have on the rest of the Pirates’ draft? Like, is that enough to turn a good draft into a great draft? 12:26 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, a bit of a cop out, but it all depends on what they do with the 1.5 extra. There has to be a player with a big number that gets to you. 12:26 Yo-Yo: Hey, thanks for chatting! Jordan Walker recently turned 19 and has the best offensive numbers of anyone over 100 AB in A-ball. Is this just an advanced, highly talented youngster beating up on lesser competition, or has he taken a step forward towards being a Top 100 prospect? I’m a Cards fan who needs something to dream on. Thanks again! 12:26 Kevin Goldstein: I think he’s Top 100 RIGHT NOW. The underlying analytic numbers are as impressive as the stat line. 12:27 Joseph: Are the 2021 Astros as good as their 2017- 2019 teams? 12:27 Kevin Goldstein: Offensively, yes. Pitching, no. 12:28 Mike: Are you encouraged by Hunter Brown’s recent outings? Do you think he’s a starter long term and are you still bullish on the upside? 12:28 Kevin Goldstein: Very bullish on the upside. The raw stuff is nothing short of incredible. Command still has a long long way to go. 12:29 HailState: With my school Mississippi State in the CWS, I wanted to say a few things (no bias): 1) Dudy Noble Field is a wonderful baseball experience. 2) Starkville, MS is better than you probably think. 3) Most MSU fans at the CWS did not have to sell all their earthly possessions to afford the trip. Yes, it’s Mississippi, but it’s still the USA… 12:31 Kevin Goldstein: 1-2: Starkville is a tremendous experience. Incredible environment. 3. Also agree. Does Mississippi have problems as a state overall? Of course. But to act like it’s a mono-culture is closed-minded fake liberal BS. I’m met plenty of very cool people in the deep south. 12:31 Bearry: For awhile I looked at the Rays and thought they were underperforming. Now the last few years I look and feel like they’re overperforming. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle, but do they do anything that is letting squeak past the surface level markers? 12:31 Kevin Goldstein: I think there’s something to HOW they use players in game that makes a difference. 12:32 Kevin Goldstein: He was great yesterday, but one game does not equal a magical turn around. Let’s see how it plays out. 12:32 Cobie: Has there been any word or anything you’ve seen that has led to Baz’s ridiculous drop in walks? Is this a control over command thing? 12:33 Kevin Goldstein: I think something has clearly changed. I don’t know exactly what. His raw stuff is about the same, but his ability to locate has improved dramatically. 12:33 Todd: I’m preemptively sad about the lockout and spending all offseason not knowing if there will be a full 2022. Having worked in a front office, do you think some kind of fan boycott of team owners’ other business interests could be an effective way to pressure owners to come to an agreement? 12:33 Kevin Goldstein: Nope. 12:33 Kw: Let’s say the Cubs win one and drop two against the Brewers, putting them 4.0 games behind the Brewers in the Central. Should Jed Hoyer sell in that position? Should he sell if the Brewers sweep and the Cubs end up 6 games back in the Central? 12:34 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think the Cubs need to make that decision yet in your scenario. They would likely wait another 2-3 weeks. 12:34 Joseph: What do you have to specifically look for when trading within your own division? If a team is on a different spot on the win curve it is perfectly fine to make a trade right? 12:34 Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely. 12:34 The West is Wild: What does a return for Eduardo Escobar look like? An interesting A-ball guy and a higher-level throw-in? 12:35 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, probably just one decent prospect. 12:35 BringBackDeSpanielHair: Thoughts on Wonderchild Franco so far at MLB level? Haven’t had a chance to watch any of his ab’s yet, personally. 12:35 Kevin Goldstein: He’s been better than the numbers. He’ll be just fine. 12:35 Gerald: Hi Kevin, thanks for the chat. Just wondering your take on how attractive the NYY GM (President of Ops, whatever you want to call it the decision maker basically) job would be should it ever open up? Would they be able to attract guys who have been successful in the big chair in other markets or would they have to settle for an unproven 2nd in command? 12:36 Kevin Goldstein: There’s no need to worry about that, I think Cashman is just fine, but it absolutely would be seen as one of the best jobs in baseball. 12:37 Dalton Wilcox: Any worries about Ed Howard’s early showing? 12:37 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, some. I had some worries about the bat heading into the year and they are showing up. 12:38 Shodai: If you were Jed Hoyer, when do you decide to sell/buy? How many games back do you need to be in a weak division before you decide it time to retool with a maddeningly inconsistent team? 12:38 Kevin Goldstein: Earliest: All-Star Break; More likely: July 22 after the four game series in STL. 12:38 Dalton Wilcox: Any thoughts on Andrew Abbott out of Virginia? I feel like someone’s going to take him in the first 12:39 Kevin Goldstein: Late first isn’t out of the question, but more likely a comp round type. 12:39 Bobby: With so many young players playing so well (Acuna Jr, Tatis Jr, Vlad Jr, Soto) does it make sense to pay older guys a ton of money? Lindor got a lot from the Mets but I don’t think teams should pay a ton for Kris Bryant or Aaron Judge because the window for being a great player seems smaller now than it did a decade ago. Long term contracts for free agents end up being an albatross. See Stanton or Pujols or Machado/Hosmer for the Padres. 12:39 Kevin Goldstein: It doesn’t make sense to think we’re going to keep getting players of that talent level. It really is a historic bump and not some sudden trend, in my opinion. 12:40 marmstrong: I read your scouting three pitchers article and was intrigued by your suggested bonus valuations. do you have a formula for that or is it gut/feet/past experience? 12:40 Kevin Goldstein: No formula. More experience. Where do players like that go in draft based solely on talent, and what is the mid-slot for that range. 12:41 Dalton Wilcox: Does Miguel Amaya get the Cubs in the German Marquez or Jose Berrios convo? 12:41 Kevin Goldstein: Not as a headliner. 12:41 Joseph: Do you think players with great/elite bat control have a better chance of outperforming their statcast ‘expected stats’? As they are better at deliberately hitting the ball past defenders. (Good ‘ol: “hit them where they ain’t”) 12:41 Kevin Goldstein: VERY few players can actually aim a baseball with a bat, as opposed to just trying to hit the damn thing. 12:41 Derek: Do teams ever use some sort of in-game algorithmic recommendation tool for selecting which reliever to bring in to a game? 12:41 Kevin Goldstein: Yup. 12:42 Kevin Goldstein: Many charts are supplied to managers/coaching staffs before each series. 12:42 Kyle: What do you make of the mets? Do you think their hitting will come around or will they need to make wholesale changes at the deadline to their lineup? 12:42 Kevin Goldstein: Wholesale changes mid-season are a near impossibility, but I do think they’ll look for some bats. 12:43 Dalton Wilcox: Why do I think Seth Lonsway has the potential to be a Seth Lugo potential? 12:43 Kevin Goldstein: He has better stuff than Lugo right now, but it’s sub-40 control/command 12:45 bauxite: What makes Adley Rutschman a better prospect than Gabriel Moreno? 12:46 Kevin Goldstein: I might be the world’s biggest Moreno fan, but he’s not in Rutschman’s class. 12:46 Max: Is Taylor Ward an average regular? Multi-position value makes up for poor defense at all of those positions…? 12:46 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t see it. 12:47 dave in slc: I know you are not a fantasy guy but this is also a real baseball question, are you more confident in production of danny santana or bobby dalbec ros? who would you want long term? 12:47 Kevin Goldstein: I guess I’d want Dalbec, but I wouldn’t be happy with either. 12:47 TestChat: Should Braves fans be concerned about Freddie Freeman’s contract situation? Since they’re in the bubble between buyers and sellers, would there be any talk about trading him if they go another week or 2 with poor results? 12:47 Kevin Goldstein: I think they SHOULD. 12:47 Joser: We know teams have their own in-house version of WAR. Any sense for how much those metrics vary from front office to front office? It feels like valuation of major league players isn’t where inefficiencies are these days. 12:48 Kevin Goldstein: I think you’d fine they link up pretty similarly. You’re playing in the margins. 12:48 Xcetera: Does Curtis Terry warrant a look at DH for the Rangers now that Willie Calhoun is out for a while? 12:48 Kevin Goldstein: Sure, why not. If you are where the Rangers are right now, you use this time to evaluate your own players and see which might be a part of a good version of the team in the future. 12:49 Bearry: In scouting, so often you get such short looks at players that I’m sure platoon issues get amplified or covered up by chance. How was that taken into account in FOs? Especially with a guy like Bader who almost doubled his RHP OPS vs LHP 12:49 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, you still have all the stats to go beyond the brief in-person look. 12:49 D Backs fan: Good call on Ryne Nelson. Has he shown he can maybe stick as a starter? Would you fastrack and move to pen? 12:49 Kevin Goldstein: Always saw a pen arm, but it’s really good stuff. Maybe a five-and-dive type starter. 12:50 Loge: Team A and Team B are roughly equally good overall, but Team A has great run prevention with a mediocre offense, and Team B has a great offense with mediocre run prevention. Which team is more prone to a long losing streak? 12:50 Kevin Goldstein: Gut reaction is B, but I’m sure a smart data person could give you a better answer. 12:50 Aaron: Mad Max: Fury Road. Great movie, yes? 12:50 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, it’s fine, good even, but great? Nah. 12:51 Steve O: Not to be reactionary, but is Gerritt Cole still an ace without the sticky substances? 12:51 Kevin Goldstein: I think he will be, yes. 12:51 Cob: Do you see Bobby Dalbec as a sustainable major-leaguer? If so, how does he fit into the Red Sox plans? 12:51 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t. 12:52 Dalton Wilcox: What will the first salary cap # look like? $180 million? 12:52 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think you are getting one, nor should you. 12:52 Guest: Should Detroit go after Correa in the offseason? 12:52 Kevin Goldstein: I think any number of teams should. 12:52 Guest: I know you’d said there were likely to be 0 suspensions by the foreign substance rule. I’d like to hear your take on the Santiago situation. 12:52 Kevin Goldstein: We will see how it plays out. He’s insisting it was just rosin…. 12:53 Kevin Silverstein: Shocked and Appalled you don’t think Shawshank is a great movie. My question to you is: what constitutes a great film? 12:53 Kevin Goldstein: Um . . . personal taste? You love that movie, that’s great! Enjoy it! I don’t shame anyone for liking something I don’t. I don’t think it’s good. 12:53 Spiders: PS: I’m with you on shawshank being over-rated. Some great moments, but the structure is long and shaggy. 12:54 Kevin Goldstein: And Spiders doesn’t either…. 12:54 Joser: Do players and owners have a good sense for how perilous MLB’s situation is? The idea of a lockout when the sport is struggling this much is kind of baffling. 12:54 Kevin Goldstein: I guess I want to understand your “the sport is struggling” comment. I don’t agree. 12:55 DJ: Assuming Eduardo Escobar is traded soon, do you expect the cost to be a decent amount higher than it would’ve been in another month? 12:55 Kevin Goldstein: Not really. 12:55 Loge: Too early to get excited for Keston Hiura again? 12:55 Kevin Goldstein: Probably… 12:55 Matt 2: Regarding the tools you value more/less compared to the consensus. Am I correct that you then prefer guys with limited raw power that have a high probability of maxing out their game power (compared to raw) due to good contact ability+plate discipline, as opposed to guys with huge raw power that have a lower probabilty to hit for all of their power in game due to concerns about the hit tool? 12:55 Kevin Goldstein: Yes. 12:56 Bort: Gittens is back to mashing like crazy in Triple-A. Should the Yankees trade him for something or give him the keys to the 1B position? 12:56 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think there’s much trade value there. 27 year old, right-handed, bat-only power goof. 12:56 Dalton Wilcox: Jared Kelley or Mick Abel? 12:56 Kevin Goldstein: Abel. 12:57 DFan: Do you see CJ Abrams playing 2B in SD and them moving Cronenworth to the OF or vice versa? 12:57 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think they even know. You figure that kind of thing out when you have to. 12:57 Fayyaz: Which players did you most think “if only we could get him to Houston, we’d turn him into a star”? Put another way, who was on your shortlist of talented guys being poorly used? 12:57 Kevin Goldstein: Tons of pitchers. Colin McHuge was the first, Cole the biggest. 12:57 Bubba Crosy Liker: Having been in a FO role… is the Yankees losing Whitlock some bad luck that happens or poor talent evaluating / 40 man management. 12:57 Kevin Goldstein: A little of column A, a little of column B . . . 12:58 JHB in 4: What do you miss the most / the least about working in a front office? 12:58 Kevin Goldstein: Having some skin in the game; the travel, especially to the DR. 12:58 Nate: Does Frank Schwindel have a major league future or is this just him being too old and in the PCL? 12:58 Kevin Goldstein: I kinda like Frank! Think he would have a shot to be a decent corner bench bat. 12:58 Dalton Wilcox: What keeps LHSP Andrew Abbott out of the first round? 12:59 Kevin Goldstein: Reliever risk. 12:59 Joseph: Regarding the % of kids never having a chance at being in the majors. I understand that on the position player side, but I have also seen guys like Brett Anderson be ‘athletic’ and he certainly does not look like a top 2 percentile athlete. Is it then that so few people have the theoretical ability to throw 95? 12:59 Kevin Goldstein: Yes. 12:59 Pumpsie Green: You had mentioned swing decisions as something Bo Bichette could improve upon. Can you name a specific player, past or present, who has made the changes you would like to see in Bichette? 1:00 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, he’s a very special player, but Altuve is the poster boy for improved swing decisions. 1:00 J: So if December 1st comes and goes with no new deal, what does that mean for all the various things that happen in the offseason? I’m talking about things like the 40 man roster deadline, Rule 5, non-tender deadline, etc. Do all of those things still go forward, or would all that be delayed? 1:00 Kevin Goldstein: If the CBA expires, the players are technically locked out (it’s a paperwork move, not some act of aggression) and all transactions are frozen. 1:01 Dallas Comegys: Korey Lee was a surprise pick based on the public draft rankings. Was his position (and his ability to stick there) that gave you guys the confidence to take him in the 1st round? 1:01 Kevin Goldstein: That and the power/plate discipline combo. 1:01 Zack: Top 5 favourite jRPG? 1:03 Kevin Goldstein: Oh man. Top of head: Persona 4; SMT 3; Trails 3, Xenogears, DQ VIII 1:03 Ruben Amaro: I’ve seen attempts to place a $ value on each draft pick, but that seems to require treating every draft class the same. Do teams try to place $ figures on picks, and would they make big adjustments if they’re getting Marcelo Mayer vs. Elijah Green? 1:03 Kevin Goldstein: They do, but I’ve never really liked it, because it’s based on average production, but so many of those numbers going into the average are either huge numbers or zero. 1:04 JP: It’s starting to look like the Rays picked the Astros’ pocket with Peyton Battenfield. Do you have any thoughts on him as he continues to excel in the minors this season? 1:04 Kevin Goldstein: Because he has really interesting stuff! 1:04 Joe: Is it odd to be on a generally pro-player site like FG while having a lot of experience looking at things from the perspective of the front office/ownership? 1:04 Kevin Goldstein: I’m generally very pro-player, so no? 1:05 SJ: Can you elaborate on how you determine if a player can get to all his raw power in game? 1:05 Kevin Goldstein: By evaluating swing decisions and ability to make contact. 1:06 Dalton Wilcox: Considering our economic philosophy as a nation is built around expectations, why is it so wild to consider that fans do play a role in how teams and owners feel they can act? Like this is still America, of course what the people want matters and they always align with management 1:06 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, not to get too political on a Monday, but if you feel like the elite care what the masses think, I disagree. 1:07 Field of Dreams: Teams have played 85 some games at this point. How far back to you need to be to know you’re selling? 6 games? 8 games? 10 games? 1:07 Kevin Goldstein: It’s just not that simple. Schedule, team health, ownership attitude, and all sorts of factors go into the formula. 1:08 Chamaco: From your time working with a team, what is the biggest misconception FanGraph readers (arguably more analytically minded than the average fan) might have about baseball? 1:08 Kevin Goldstein: A. That makeup is just a word, and not a huge impact on player/team performance. B. That managers don’t really impact W/L that much. 1:08 Sean: You were right a month or so ago when calling the M’s a “sneaky good” team. Do you think they will move Haniger? Should they? They won’t win the division or anything, but isn’t Haniger what they are hoping Kelenic, Trammel, J-Rod becomes? A star? 1:09 Kevin Goldstein: I think they should listen on him, certainly. 1:09 igor: What have you seen in Wander’s limited MLB time? K & BB numbers are nice, but what does a pro see in the tiny amount he’s played? 1:09 Kevin Goldstein: He’s fine. BABIP is silly low. 1:10 Appa Yip Yip: Boras said Scherzer would only accept a trade with an extension attached. Theoretically this shouldn’t affect the return for his services because the Nats are still trading away the same amount of contractual control, and any team making the move would be one that would be interested in him in free agency. Practically and realistically though, how does a declaration like that affect how much teams are willing to part with/how much the Nats would ask for? 1:10 Kevin Goldstein: It probably doesn’t move the needle much in terms of acquisition cost, but it probably does reduce the number of potential buyers interested. 1:11 Bearry: On the flip side, are there going to be hitters we see absolutely rocket up leaderboards without sticky-pitchers or do you think it more or less equally impacts hitters? I’m sure there’s a model there. 1:11 Kevin Goldstein: Hmmm. My initial reaction is it will be a pretty level effect, but than there are some players with more problems hitting spin than others . . . fun question. 1:11 Dylan: What do you think about the Royals young pitchers? Singer, Bubic, Kowar, and Lynch all have had periods of looking bad to god awful in the majors. Is there any hope for KC? A lot was riding on these 2018 draft class arms 1:12 Kevin Goldstein: I think there are some MLB starting pitchers in there, I just don’t think any of them are impact arms. 1:12 Rip Calkin: I mean, his name is Spiders, I don’t think we can trust his tastes. /s 1:13 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know . . . I would bet on a person named Spider having interesting tastes over someone just named John…. 1:13 Tugs: Do you this it’s reasonable to ask for and expect a salary floor in the next CBA? Having a payroll less than a single player (Astros v. Alex Rodriguez circa 2014?) can’t be ok. Forcing “tanking” teams to “try” to field a competitive line-up should help the salary situation a little bit. 1:13 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know if a floor is an answer, but MLB does need an overall rule set that incentivizes teams to put their best product on the field. 1:14 Tim Robbins: Even though you don’t like my movies, do you think (a healthy) Spencer Turnbull could bring back a package headlined by a quality hitting prospect AA and above? 1:14 Kevin Goldstein: Why trade him? Controlled through ’24…. 1:14 Dan Zymbrowski: What’s your opinion of what constitutes chili? 1:15 Kevin Goldstein: Chili is wonderful in all forms. Texas, Cincinnati, all of ’em. 1:15 Jamie: Most underrated trade target? 1:15 Kevin Goldstein: Alex Cobb. 1:15 Me, Mario: Korry Howell is raking right now in a way that seemed unlikely from reading old reports. Is the visual evaluation any different? 1:15 Kevin Goldstein: It is. Arrow up. 1:16 Re: Nats: Loved your piece last week on the Tier 2 college pitchers. Would any of those three guys (or perhaps Bachman) especially fit the Nats’ demonstrated draft preferences at #11? 1:16 Kevin Goldstein: I could see Madden there . . . 1:16 Pumpsie Green: How many years would the lockout have to go before the league dissolved? More or less than 5? 1:17 Kevin Goldstein: I mean anything more than one would be deadly. I don’t think it’s going to happen. Both sides are really at odds with each other right now, but both sides also know that they have too much to lose. 1:17 Oil Can Boyd: How do complete random trade talks ( like last week the Pirates trading two AAAA players to Brewers for a 17 year old Venezuelan catcher) start? 1:18 Kevin Goldstein: Talks are happening all of the time! Constantly. For every 100 initial talks, maybe ten turn into something real and one gets over the line. I like to look at a box score these days and think about each player and how he was probably discussed at some point. 1:18 Tugs: Is this an accurate summary of game vs raw power: Game: how often a player can launch a ball at necessary angle and exit velo to hit a homer. Raw: when a player hits a ball at such an angle, it goes x distance 1:19 Kevin Goldstein: Pretty accurate. 1:19 The Stranger: Regarding athleticism required to play in MLB, is it fair to say that vision, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination (none of which are particularly teachable, IMO) matter more than general athleticism? 1:19 Kevin Goldstein: At times, yes. 1:20 Bearry: Niko Hulsizer putting up Gallo-esque numbers. What differentiates more or less no-hype prospects from guys like Gallo in the minors? 1:21 Kevin Goldstein: Niko has massive raw power, like elite-level exit velos. The big difference is age. Niko is doing what he’s doing as a 24 year old in High-A. At the same age, Gallo was in his fourth MLB season, second as a full-time player. 1:21 Ryan: Mancini safe bet to stay in BAL now that he is in the Derby? That would be a PR nightmare trading him 2.5 weeks after participating since it is a feel good story, no? 1:21 Kevin Goldstein: If the offer is right, deal him. 1:23 ralphd627: Who wins the NL east? 1:23 Kevin Goldstein: I think I’d take the Mets. They have loads of problems, but they’ve also banked those wins and the teams below them have loaded of problems as well. 1:24 Kevin Goldstein: Ok, just a few more as I have to clear this space for Ben Clemens. 1:24 Mets fan: Has Mark Vientos’ recent performance changed anything for you? I know he has always had the raw power, but he has been on fire for the last month or so 1:25 Kevin Goldstein: He’s been great, but there are still big questions on the swing decisions and the defense. 1:28 JupiterBrando: Have you ever thought of doing a What Went Wrong series of articles for top prospects who didn’t pan out? 1:29 Kevin Goldstein: It’s a bit of a masochistic exercise, and so often it’s a makeup thing . . . 1:29 Padres458: Is there a chance the Padres will move Tatis to 1B for the year? Kim is a much better defender. Seems the best way to not have to start Eric Hosmer. 1:29 Kevin Goldstein: No. 1:30 Kevin Goldstein: Ok, that’s all for me. Thanks so much for all of the great questions and I will see you next week!