• Jun

    Q&A with Kevin Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus

    Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus, and contributor to ESPN. Since 2006 Goldstein has written multiple-times-per week "Future Shock" columns on high school, college, and minor league player prospects, with an emphasis on scouting rather than sabermetrics. He also covers Winter League baseball, Spring training, the Major League Baseball draft, scouting, personnel development, and the baseball player marketplace. Before joining BP, Goldstein was a writer for Baseball America.

    You can find Goldstein’s work on Baseball Prospectus at:

    You can find Goldstein’s Podcast at:

    You can find Goldstein’s work at ESPN at:

    You can find Goldstein on Twitter at:

    Orioles Hangout thanks Mr. Goldstein for answering a few Orioles prospect related questions.

    Orioles Hangout: “2010 3rd round pick Daniel Klein has advanced to AA Bowie. In his 32.1 combined innings of relief at Single A Frederick and Bowie, he has allowed 23 hits, 2 homers, 6 bb’s, with 37 k’s. When drafted the Orioles talked of converting Klein to a starter. While a starter is always more valuable than a reliever, a Major League contributor is more valuable than a Minor League project. As a relief pitcher he can race through the system and quickly be an option to help out the O's. Assuming he returns quickly from the DL (Shoulder soreness) without any further issue; should the O’s continue to keep him in relief, or move to a rotation as originally planned?”

    Goldstein: “You make a great point that a big league reliever is more valuable than a prospect, and I think that's how the O's view Klein. He's clearly a better prospect as a reliever, with late-inning potential, while as a starter, he'd still need considerably more development.”

    Orioles Hangout: “The 3rd round pick the year prior was Frederick 1st baseman Tyler Townsend. The 23 year old has 30 xbh’s, and a .915 OPS through his initial 208 ab’s on the year. Despite the power shown, he has just 4 walks, and 52 k’s. Looking forward, is his current lack of plate-discipline the biggest negative against him?”

    Goldstein: “That's one good-sized knock. Another would be the fact that he's a 23-year-old at High-A. He certainly done some good things with the bat, but we need to see him do it at the uppoer levels before anyone gets too excited. First base prospects are tough to deal with. You need to be convinced the guy is a first-rate middle of the order run producer, or he's really not that good a prospect.”

    Orioles Hangout: “With the 4th overall pick in the 2011 Amateur Draft, the Orioles have selected High School prospect Dylan Bundy. His brother - 21 year-old Robert ‘Bobby’ Bundy is starting for Frederick. As of 6/16, Bundy is 6-5 with a 3.28 era. In his 71.1 innings of work, he has allowed 73 hits, 6 hr’s, 18 bb’s, with 61 k’s. How does B.Bundy compare against similar aged Carolina, and California League pitching prospects?”

    Goldstein: “I like Bobby Bundy quite a bit. His fastball is notable for both its velocity and its movement, and he's made some progress with his secondary offerings as well. He obviously doesn't have the same kind of ceiling as his brother, but he's made big progress this year, and scouts see him as a potential big league starter.”

    Orioles Hangout: “When you compiled the O’s Top Prospect list last November (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12459) you had Jonathan Schoop 6th overall in the Baltimore system. The 19 year-old did not disappoint at Low A Delmarva, posting a .890 OPS (.316 average) in 216 ab’s at that level. Due to that production, he was promoted to High A Frederick (13 for 45, 4 rbi). Any thoughts from Coaches in the South Atlantic League about his defense? Can he stay at 3rd as he progresses? Do you ultimately see him moving to 2nd?”

    Goldstein: “I think third base is a more realistic expectation, as he's just not that kind of fast-twitch athlete you look for in an up the middle type of player. That said, the bat should play there and I'm glad Schoop has made me look smart for putting him so high.”

    Orioles Hangout: “2010 4th round pick Trent Mummey missed a month of action, after crashing into a wall May 4th. Once back he played 5 games before suffering a hamstring injury putting him back on the DL. Before the initial injury, Mummey had earned a quick promotion from Delmarva to Frederick. Overall, Mummey has played in 29 combined games with the Shorebirds, and Keys, posting some interesting numbers: 113 ab’s, 11 xbh’s, 16 bb’s, 19 k’s, 19 steals. What will you be looking to see out of the 22 year old during the remainder of ‘11?”

    Goldstein: “I like how you categorize the numbers of interesting, as that is what kind of prospect Mummey is. He should be putting up good numbers in A-ball as a polished college guy, so I don't think we should up his projection from good 4th outfield type until he's putting up these kind of numbers at the upper levels.”

    Orioles Hangout: “Prior to O’s drafting him in the 2nd round of the ‘09 draft, many teams believed the future for Mychal Givens was on the mound. He has been brutal so far at Delmarva this year (.488 OPS, 210 ab’s). Do you give Givens the remainder of this year to show improvement, or do you start thinking about a conversion back to the mound in the near-term?”

    Goldstein: “Converting mid-season never happens, but yes, he has not been good. If the struggles continue, it's the kind of thing one thinks about in the off-season.”

    Orioles Hangout: “The Orioles 10th round selection last year was RHP Clayton Schrader. Schrader had a lot of success out of the bullpen for the Shorebirds - 22 ip, 11 hits, 1 hr, 13 bb’s, and 38 k’, and like Schoop and Mummey has earned a promotion to Frederick. At Frederick, he has been equally impressive so far (1-0, 0.00 era, 2 saves, 10.2 ip, 1 hits, 5 bb’s, 17 k’s). Thoughts on him?”

    Goldstein: “He's interesting for sure. He's kind of short and thick but he can really bring it with 92-95 mph heat and a pretty good breaking ball. As you can see by the numbers, he has some issues with control, and that's something that will have to be worked on as he moves up.”

    Orioles Hangout: “Josh Bell has 23 xbh’s in his first 244 ab’s, with an unbelievably poor 70 k’s against just 11 walks. At 24 all of 2011, is there any hope for him as a prospect?”

    Goldstein: “Some, but he's definitely regressed. There is still obviously plenty of power in his swing, but his approach has completely fallen apart.”

    Orioles Hangout: “All-everything SS Prospect Manny Machado is returning from the DL after having dealt with a Patellar Suluxation (dislocated kneecap). The South Atlantic League All-Star Game will be played at Delmarva this year, and it appears he will be promoted to Frederick shortly after that. As highly regarded as Machado was to start the year, has he elevated his Prospect Status further during his first 34 games (.910 OPS, 15 xbh’s, 20 bb’s, 21 k’s) with The Shorebirds?”

    Goldstein: “He's been nothing short of great, maybe even better than expected offensively. The injury is a real shame as it would have been interesting to see how hot the kid can get. I'm a big fan of him as either a shortstop or a third baseman.”          

    Orioles Hangout: “Assuming Dylan Bundy is signed, the O’s Top 10 Prospects could look like:

    1) Machado

    2) D. Bundy

    3) Schoop

    4) B. Bundy

    5) D. Klein

    6) Bridwell

    7) Hoes

    8) Berry

    9) Townsend

    10) Avery

    Other: Hobgood, Schrader, Mummey, Snyder, Henry, Wirsch, Coffey, Ohlman, Pelzer, Narron, Johnson, Drake, Mahoney, Welty, Veloz

    Where would your Top 10 differ? Past the aforementioned Schrader, and Mummey; which players on the ‘Other’ list do you find the most interesting?”

    Goldstein: “I'm not going to give you a ranking, and it's not to be a jerk, I just don't rank on the fly. When I do a team (say the Orioles), I'm spending a lot of time talking to people with the team, and scouts outside the organization who have seen every Baltimore affiliate multiple times. I will say this, the guy on the other list I like is Schutz, and he's not even there!”

    Orioles Hangout: “If the O’s can sign 6th rounder Nick Delmonico, where do you think he would rank among O’s prospects?”

    Goldstein: “Hard to see him in the Top 10.” 

    Orioles Hangout: “The Orioles have stated they plan to use 3rd round selection Mike Wright as a Starter. Do you think any of the following picks - 4th rounder Kyle Simon (Arizona), 5th rounder Matthew Taylor, and 7th rounder Trent Howard (Central Michigan), 9th rounder Devin Jones (Mississippi State), 10th rounder Phillip Wilson (Virginia) - project favorably with Klein as relievers which could advance quickly?”

    Goldstein: “Jones would be the most likely to be developed initially as a reliever. Well above-average velocity in short stints and a good slider.”

    Orioles Hangout: “Some 3rd party analysts had O’s 2nd round pick Jason Esposito (Vanderbilt) as a potential 1st rounder heading into this season. If signed quickly, would you consider moving him right to Frederick (moving Schoop to 2nd)?”

    Goldstein: “He has polish, but I don't see what throwing him to the wolves at High-A would do. Just let him get his professional feet wet somewhere he can have more success.”

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Michael Williams

Lifelong. Down by the river.