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Minor League Monitor: Chat Excerpts from Kevin Goldstein

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Normally on Fridays I would have a low level prospect for your reading pleasure, however I have been working on my midseason prospect ranking updates, and the group of us will be starting those come Monday with the top 20 catching prospects in the minors. With that in mind, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus was nice enough to host a chat last Tuesday over at Baseball Prospectus, and he discussed prospects and the draft as it was going on that day.

Josh (DC): With the bonus pool system, is it unfair to look at single picks in isolation? I would imagine that the entire top 10 or maybe slightly less, have to be looked at in total to get a real sense. Am I slightly off base? Thanks

Kevin Goldstein: You are totally ON base. When teams take an expensive player, or an expected cheap player, you have to look at the rest of those teams picks to see if there is a reason for it, and there often is.

Having watched the draft finish out this week, we are starting to see some of how the teams are adapting to the new rules of the draft. The key to remember with the new bonus pool rules is this:

  • Each slot in the first 10 rounds is assigned a dollar value.
  • Each team can spread out the total of their dollar values how they see fit, but they must fit any bonus given to any player drafted in the top 10 rounds, as well as any draft picks outside the top 10 rounds who is given more than $100K in a bonus.
  • If they don't sign a player in one of those top 10 rounds, they do not get to spend the value assigned to that pick, and it is basically removed from their total they can spend.
  • There are fairly severe penalties for spending more than your bonus pool allows.

Ivaagenes (chicago): Would you care to pontificate a little on the kind of leverage a boras might put into play? Also what are some of the possibilities for a college senior should they choose not to sign?

Kevin Goldstein: I think Boras has something up his sleeve, but I frankly don't know what it is. College seniors have no possibilities should they choose not to sign, and college seniors are NOT subject to the July 13 deadline, so teams maintain their draft rights until a week prior to next year's draft.

As a result of these new rules, we saw a number of college seniors drafted very early on in the draft. You can read a great post by our own Marc Normandin about that over at Baseball Nation.

Mario66 (Toronto): The MLB stated objective for the new cap system is to ensure that the worst teams procure the best talent. How can you reconcile this objective with free agent compensation / the supplemental round?

Kevin Goldstein: MLB lied to you. The objective is the curb spending.

Craig and I had a brief discussion about this on Twitter a few days ago, and it remains extremely short sighted of the owners as a group and MLB as a whole to do this. But then, I usually have this complaint about both of those groups (See the arcane blackout rules for MLB.TV).

John (Walla Walla): Is it time for Hultzen to make the jump to AAA?

Kevin Goldstein: Yes

I own Hultzen in one of my dynasty leagues, and it would make me very happy to see him move past AA. He has been extremely dominant to this point in AA, and I'm not sure if he has a lot more to prove there.

Jason (office): Saw your twitter posts this week about Javier Baez's big game in A-ball (3 hits, booming homerun, swinging at a 3-0 pitch in a 13-0 blowout, getting beaned in the ribs, and then getting benched the next day for ignoring the take sign the day before)...What, if anything, did we learn from that game that we did not know before?

Kevin Goldstein: That a lot of people on Twitter don't understand that you are going to get plunked if you swing on 3-0 in a 13-0 game.

I saw this briefly mentioned that Baez had been plunked, and apparently realized what he had done after doing so. Seems like a part of maturing, which seemed to be the consensus I read about it after the fact. Glad to see him being aggressive though.

mrenick (Little rock): As an Astros fan, I shoul be encouraged by this new regimes drafting strategy, right? Or do I wait until the signing deadline to know for sure?

Kevin Goldstein: Be encouraged.

As an A's fan and knowing that the Astros are coming to their division next season, I didn't exactly want to see a team which has its' front office working well and doing smart things. Taking Correa, who looks like he belonged there or in the top 3 at worst, and saving over $2 million on his slot figure should allow them to figure out a way to sign some of their other draftees. I didn't need another well-run organization in the AL West, but it sure looks like there is likely to be one.

Kyle (Maine): Callahan reportedly already signed with Boston. Players who sign that fast must have had deal in place before draft, right?

Kevin Goldstein: There are TONS of deals already in place. TONS.

The key with this seems to be that there is a lot of "feeling out" to find out what it will take. Technically, negotiating with players pre-draft is against the rules, but it seems like there is a lot of vagueness which allows a number of teams to work. Realistically, the sooner players get signed, the better for their development, so it probably should continue in this way.