Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus held a chat on BP today. Here are some of the highlights:
Bunger (NY): what do you think of Paxton joining the M's rotation this year?
Kevin Goldstein: I think it's unlikely, except maybe an outside shot at a September look.
The 23 year old Lefty has a tremendous fastball/curve combo and induces a good amount of ground balls. While Goldstein's ETA is Sept, I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the summer. This is a young arm that could have a fantasy impact in 2012 and should of course be owned in dynasty leagues. This is a player to keep tabs on in spring training!
Bill Fisher (Syracuse): How many pitchers in the minors have a higher ceiling than Taijuan Walker right now?
Kevin Goldstein: Don't need more than two hands to count them.
I am VERY high on Walker. I agree on the ACE potential. He will be a household name in 2 years from now.
Jake (Kalamazoo): What can you offer by way of a scouting report on Jorge Soler? Thus far I've seen lots of excitement, little information.
Kevin Goldstein: Protypical RF package with plenty of athleticism and raw power. If he was an American high school kid entering the 2012 draft, he'd be a single-digit pick.
All the talk has been about the Youtube sensation Cespedes, but Soler is a name to remember. This power/speed combo will command a 20 Million plus contract. Still waiting on US clearance...
Steve (CA): How much time do you think Caspedes will spend in the minors?
Kevin Goldstein: Somewhere between 100-300 at-bats
The jury is out on how fast Cespedes will adjust to major league pitching. There are already whispers that he can't handle the off speed stuff, but this Bo Jackson type body is a high upside lottery ticket for 2012...
Rags (NYC): A lot of people are worried about billy hamilton's hit tools. thoughts? thoughts on how this affects when he arrives in the big leagues?
Kevin Goldstein: He got better and better as the season wore on last year. I don't think he'll be a beast, and he'll never have power, but he'll hit enough.
Hamilton is one of the most debated bats in the minors. The next Vince Coleman to steal 100 bases? He's THAT FAST! He only hit .195 thru may, but had a strong finish batting .300 after the summer. Hit tool still in question. Huge year for him.
smallflowers (slumpton): Thanks as always, KG. I was wondering if you could comment on and compare two mid-20s, struggling, former top prospects that will be spending the spring with new hitting coaches: Gordon Beckham and Colby Rasmus. I know that both are dart throws, but which would you bet on bouncing back? What are their new ceilings, if any?
Kevin Goldstein: I'd bet on Beckham first, but wouldn't bet big on either.
I am more of a Rasmus supporter then Goldstein. I'm giving him more of a pass because of his wrist injury. Remember, just last year he and Jay Bruce were being drafted in the same round...
Winston Diclmeister (Providence, RI): Why does everybody feel that Delin Betances should be in the bullpen? With his size, he could be a huge innings eaater and that is more valuable than a short reliever.
Kevin Goldstein: Long injury history, not the cleanest delivery, an arsenal that fits in the late innings, inefficiency and other reasons. Based on your size logic, Lee Smith should have started (he should not of).
Whether Betances continues to start or ends up in the pen, he is an arm to invest in. Successor to Mariano Rivera?
Casto (Cuba): Who has the higher ultimate ceiling between Cespedes and Marisnick? How about likelihood of reaching said ceiling?
Kevin Goldstein: While there is obviously risk, it's hard to find any young outfielder with a ceiling like Cespedes, thus the soon-to-be bidding war.
I would take Marisnick here. I am a HUGE supporter. I view Maris. a future All star. Cespedes a big question mark.
Sara (Tacoma): The D'Backs Top 11 is next week. You've stated several times that you see Trevor Bauer as a #2-#4. Any chance of him being a #1, or is there something he lacks?
Kevin Goldstein: I just don't think he has No. 1 stuff. That's hardly an insult. Few do.
With that said, Bauer is a GREAT end game pick for 15 team plus leagues. Should have a job out of spring.
Vic Griffin (Minnesota): I'm trying to understand Aaron Hicks, the level of tools versus present performance. Any scouts outside the organization still believe the tools will translate?
Kevin Goldstein: Plenty of them do. The tools are almost too much too deny in a lot of ways. Double-A will be a HUGE test for his future.
I don't understand people's fascination with Hicks. Can't we just get on with it and call him a bust already. He should be nowhere near a top 100 list... All tools NOTHING else...
Adam (LA): How long can Josh Collmenter's deceptive delivery be effective? Is his pure stuff below average?
Kevin Goldstein: I expect a significant regression 2012.
I agree. Most do. Collmenter was a complete mirage.
J (Queen City): How many starts will Aroldis Chapman get in the majors, and how will they go?
Kevin Goldstein: I think they should just let him relieve and have done him no favors with role jerking around.
Experienced shoulder soreness AFL and was shut down for winter, not pitching at all in Puerto Rico after being expected to pitch there. Very worrying. As a reliever couldn't go back to back days with positive results. Chapman is a wild card but of course some of the filthiest stuff in the majors. If ONLY he could harness the stuff. Scout Bernie Plescoff saw a hall of fame type arm. I can't give up yet...
Corey (Topeka, KS): Think Matt Adams will make the Cards opening day roster?
Kevin Goldstein: There's no position for him.
Saw this guy at the Arizona Fall League. Large massive powerful man... Cardinals have a team full of injury prone players. This is a player I will be monitoring as the power potential is massive
Johnny (San Diego): Zack Cozart's power ceiling is _____? 20 HR? .475 slugging?
Kevin Goldstein: I'm a big Cozart fan, but that's getting a bit over excited.
john m (ct): Any chance Brian Matusz regains his stuff?
Kevin Goldstein: There is obviously SOME chance, it's counting on it that is the risky part.
There were some leaks last year from the organization that no one expects Matusz to re gain the mysterious velocity drop. The former future ace will have to find a new way to pitch...