Archive for the ‘Kevin Goldstein’ Category

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has been fielding all sorts of questions this afternoon, mostly relating to Jays fans being unable to process reality when it comes to Anthony Gose– who, it should be noting, won’t necessarily be making his MLB debut tonight, as Ben Francisco gets the start in right with somewhat-difficult left-hander CC Sabathia on the hill for New York.

And Goldstein’s got plenty of other stuff too. Let’s watch!

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The damn draft is still meandering towards its merciful conclusion, but by Day 3 all of the good stuff has already happened– and this year a whole hell of a lot of it seems to have taken place during day two, as many teams, the Jays perhaps chief among them, started test-driving their strategies on how best to game the new CBA system in order maximize the amateur talent they’re able to acquire.

All that good stuff, and further scouting on the Jays’ top picks, was the subject of Mike Wilner’s chat with Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus during the pre-game show last night on the (audio here), as well as some gold from Keith Law yesterday, who spoke about Marcus Stroman and Matt Smoral on the Baseball Today podcast, and answered a number of Jays-related questions in his post-draft chat at ESPN.com.

Here are your highlights…

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This evening, beginning at 7 PM, MLB will conduct the first round, and the first supplemental round of its Rule 4 Draft from gorgeous Secaucus, NJ. The Houston Astros are currently, technically, on the clock, as holders of the first pick, and after that, the real clusterfuck begins, as club will start making their selections, picking up the pieces of their draft boards, and trying to figure out how best to manage their money.

I’ll have a Draft Threat post up in time for Houston’s selection at 7 PM, and will keep updating it as the evening progresses, with an eye obviously on the Jays, and whatever information I can get my hands on regarding the players they pick. And it shouldn’t even be too insufferable, as the Jays should provide one of the evening’s more interesting story-lines– for all of baseball, not just for us– as they’ll be making five picks (17, 22, 50, 58 and 60), and have been viewed as quite aggressive in their selections– not to mention in their acquisition of extra picks– since Alex Anthopoulos assumed the GM’s chair.

It’s not an unrealistic expectation that they’ll be one of the clubs attempting to game the system and extracting as much value out of their multiple picks as possible. How they might do this remains somewhat up in the air. Anthopoulos has said, as I posted earlier, that it’s possible they’ll take guys who can be signed under-slot later in the draft, if they feel a player is available to them earlier who is worth going after, but the impression he left was that this was dependent on who is available to them.

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Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, in a piece at ESPN.com, calls Las Vegas catcher Travis d’Arnaud the top fantasy prospect for 2012 not currently in the Majors, says he’s the rare “catcher who can hit in the middle of a big league lineup,” and perhaps surprisingly, that “he has been seen taking some ground balls at first base this week.”

Anthony Gose shows up in this week’s 12-for-’12 piece as well, as Goldstein likes the results of recent a tweak to the centre fielder’s swing, explaining that he “has the potential to be a fantasy stud, with double-digit home runs and 50-plus steals a season.” He adds that, in his view, “the Jays likely will find a way to make him an everyday player by 2013.”

Nails much?

These sorts of comments were echoed when Goldstein showed up on TSN Radio Sunday evening, to talk about this week’s draft, in addition to these close-to-MLB prospects, with Jim Tatti.

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Kevin Prospectus of Baseball Goldstein has been layin’ down some Jays-related prospect talk over the last few days, and I’m here to scoop it up…

In Wednesday’s Future Shock column for Baseball Prospectus, Kevin Goldstein tossed out ten names as potential minor league players of the year, including the Jays’ own Travis d’Arnaud.

With Jesus Montero–a catcher in name only–now a big leaguer, d’Arnaud will begin the 2012 season as the best catching prospect in the game,” he writes, “and after winning Eastern League MVP honors last season with a .311/.371/.542 line, he’s moving to Las Vegas, where the ball flies out of the park. Two years ago, J.P. Arencibia hit 32 home runs and slugged .626 in 104 games before being called up to Toronto, and one wonders if d’Arnaud can force some difficult decisions with an equal performance.”

The previous day’s Future Shock piece had some Jays content as well, behind the paywall, as Goldstein provided an AL East Prospect Preview, in which he says he’s down on Anthony Gose, and sets Jake Marisnick at 2-1 odds to be the club’s 2013 top prospect, leaping ahead of d’Arnaud, presumably because of the likelihood that the young catcher graduates to the Majors at some point this season.

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OK, OK. Now… before we get absurdly wrapped up in the coaching staff- and management-driven mania over the impending supernova of a burst forward that Adeiny Hechavarria is supposedly about to take at the plate (too late?), let’s maybe take a step or two back and enter the world of the not-so-glowing praise, as Kevin Goldstein does today for Baseball Prospectus and ESPN.com (Insider Only).

Heading up the “not-so-good” portion of his piece on the Florida Prospect Pulse, Goldstein writes of Hechavarria:

As slick-fielding, weak-hitting shortstops who defected from Cuba and signed big-money major league deals with American League East teams, [Red Sox prospect Jose] Iglesias and Hechavarria have been the victims of constant comparisons. While Hechavarria finished with a 25-game flourish at Triple-A Las Vegas last year, one National League scout says he’s still not seeing much progress at the plate.

“First off, he can really play shortstop, but I just don’t think he’s going to hit,” the scout said. “He’s fine on fastballs, but he really struggles with anything off-speed, and I have not seen any progress in that area.”

OK, so it’s not quite Goldstein who is crushing dreams. And it’s not really all that bad. But it does give the love-fest a little bit of pause. Especially when remembering that Alex Anthopoulos said yesterday, as I noted, that “I always try to temper that enthusiasm with– it’s Spring Training, and the fact that he’s getting challenged with fastballs, and not as much off-speed.”

So, was his spring success a mirage? Does the same go for his cameo in the unfriendly-to-breaking-balls environment of the PCL?

Well that’s a fucking downer. I liked it way better when we were irrationally building him up!