SanDiegoSports.net recently interviewed Kevin Goldstein, General Manager of BaseballAmerica.com to get his thoughts on the current state of San Diego Padres organization, including who he believes the Friars will take with the first pick in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft and the prospect of trading away top prospect Josh Barfield."> SanDiegoSports.net recently interviewed Kevin Goldstein, General Manager of BaseballAmerica.com to get his thoughts on the current state of San Diego Padres organization, including who he believes the Friars will take with the first pick in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft and the prospect of trading away top prospect Josh Barfield.">

Baseball America's Kevin Goldstein on the Padres

<a href="http://SanDiegoSports.net">SanDiegoSports.net</a> recently interviewed Kevin Goldstein, General Manager of <a href="BaseballAmerica.com"> BaseballAmerica.com</a> to get his thoughts on the current state of San Diego Padres organization, including who he believes the Friars will take with the first pick in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft and the prospect of trading away top prospect Josh Barfield.

1) Kevin, can you briefly describe exactly what you do for Baseball America?

I am responsible for all of our on-line ventures (primarily BaseballAmerica.com), for Baseball America's daily prospect report, which reaches over 10,000 people everyday, chip in on some the editorial duties, and write a weekly prospect hot sheet, which is also distributed by ESPN.com.

2) How are you able to keep up with all of the farm systems of the MLB teams? Are you contact with front office personnel, minor league teams, etc.

The number of contacts we have at Baseball America is pretty amazing, all types of people are always willing to talk to us. I think one of the reasons is that we have proven over the years the ability to keep people's trust while still providing our readers with the most comprehensive information on baseball. Our sources range from part time area scouts all the way up to the General Managers, including yours, Kevin Towers. People love to talk baseball.

3) A lot of times in Baseball America players are rated high, without really having performed. What are the most important factors when rating prospects?

We believe and highly value scouting. We are not, as many statheads have accused, "Obsessed with tools", but they do have an important place in our (or we believe any balanced) analysis. Usually tools play a greater role in rating players at lower levels of the minor league system when trying to analyze their maximum MLB potential. For example, in the short season minor leagues, performance is very far behind tools when evaluating. Players from various levels are making a variety of adjustments, and the pure performance just isn't enough go on. The converse is true as players reach the upper levels of the minor league systems.

4) After months where Padres fans assumed Jared Weaver was going to be the first pick of the draft, your magazine is now reporting that the Padres are now going to take Stephen Drew, a SS of Florida State. With Khalil Greene, Sean Burroughs and Josh Barfield - why do you think the Padres would be interested in taking Drew? Do you think Josh Barfield could be included in a deal the Padres could be making?

I would be surprised to see the Padres trade Josh Barfield, unless it was part of some blockbuster deal, such as for Carlos Beltran. When you have the first pick in draft, you have to take best player in the draft, period. You don't want to avoid getting the best talent because you already have that position, you deal with that down the road. It's important to remember the baseball draft is much different from the NFL or NBA. The guys you are drafting aren't going to play for you for some time, you're trying to project where they will be in a few years. Drew can play middle infield and center field. The Padres think he has the best talent in the draft. I would be very surprised if he is not the first pick of the draft.

For a free subscription to Kevin's daily minor league highlights go to http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/bapr.html

In part two of our conversation, Kevin gives us his update of Baseball America's top ten Padres and takes a look at each minor league team as a whole.

John Conniff can be reached at Conniff@sandiegosports.net

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