Part II: MF's Interview with BA's Kevin Goldstein

In Part Two of Senior Writer John Conniff's chat with Baseball America's Kevin Goldstein the beat writer talks about the development of players in the lower levels. A Matt Bush update anyone?

Lake Elsinore

John Conniff - Jared Wells seems like he has really turned the corner this year, reeling off seven straight wins. Your thoughts?

Kevin Goldstein - Jared Wells frustrates me, he has pitched great lately, but his peripherals are not so great [strikeout to base on ball ratio, hits per inning]. He is one of the few power pitchers in the system, but he spends to much time around the strike zone. He has spends to much time around strike zone instead of just getting people out. He still has the ability to be a very good pitcher.

John Conniff - We interviewed Jared Wells just after the California League - Carolina League All Star game, and he said he saw himself as more of a "pitch to contact pitcher" who tries to go deep into games rather than strike people out.

Kevin Goldstein - I'm going to go off on a rant here, there is no such thing as "pitching to contact". What is much easier is tying to throw so the guy misses it or hits it weakly. No one has enough control to put the ball in that small a spot.

John Conniff - How about two other pitchers in Lake Elsinore, Javier Martinez and Leo Rosales?

Kevin Goldstein - Martinez has a lot of upside despite being injured quite a bit. This season has given everyone a good reason to be cautiously optimistic about his future.

Kevin Towers likes Leo Rosales a lot, he may have a chance to make it. He has a good change, and he can throw the ball by a batter. He has a little better fastball than most of the Padres‘ closers.

John Conniff - How about the position prospects?

Kevin Goldstein - There are still some questions about George Kottaras' defense, he doesn't have a lot of experience. He isn't some kid from Southern California who grew up catching 140 games a year. He is still very raw and learning the game, but he shows good instincts back there. He is a very good hitter, waits for his pitch and can drive the ball. A lot of his value will come from if he has the ability to stay at catcher.

Fernando Valenzuela Jr. is a nice player, but I'm not sure if he has enough bat to make it as a first baseman. Ciriaco has had a nice year, but nothing really jumps out to me about him.

Fort Wayne

John Conniff - Colt Morton started off the first month hitting .353 with a lot of power, but slumped in June to .206, do you still think he has much of a future.

Kevin Goldstein - He's a really big guy with a very long swing. With that amount of strikeouts you expect to see more power. Right now, he is probably no more than a backup at the MLB level at best.

John Conniff - Besides Matt Bush, does anyone else stand out for you on the Wizards?

Kevin Goldstein - Sean Kazmar is an interesting guy, has held his own, little raw, but has good makeup and can hit a little.

John Conniff - Last time we spoke after the first month, you were still holding steady to your ranking of Matt Bush. How do you think he would fare next year?

Kevin Goldstein - If I had to rank the Padres prospects, I'm not sure he would be number #6, especially with some of the Padres draft picks, but he would probably still put him in the top ten.

Eugene and Peoria

John Conniff - It is a little early to talk about the two short season teams, but you have to tell us a little about Kyle Blanks, the Padres 6'6" 275 lbs recent draft and follow signing.

Kevin Goldstein - "Gigantor". Blanks runs a 6.9 60, which is good for a major league player. He is a complete freak show. I have a thing for huge baseball players, I'm enamored with this guy. The Padres signed him for good money, but he has 16 RBIs in 8 games along with 5 home runs. Its early, and it is the lowest of leagues, but you have to take notice of someone with this size and athleticism.

I completely love the guy.

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