Q&A with Kevin Goldstein

Kevin Goldstein is a writer for Baseball Prospectus and ESPN covering scouting and player development. He co-hosts Up and In: the Baseball Prospectus podcast and is an expert in the field of prospect evaluation. Kevin was kind enough to take some time and answer a few questions about Rockies prospects.

Rockies Digest: The Rockies seem to have a wealth of outfielders right now, yet the only one they want to part with in a trade at this point is Seth Smith. What kind of value should the Rockies expect from Tim Wheeler and Charlie Blackmon at the big league level? Is it worth trading one if not both to upgrade second base?

KG: Well, we really don't know who they want to/are willing to part with, we just know the rumors. I like Wheeler and Blackman both as big leaguers, but not as impact guys. Still, big league outfielders certainly have value. As far as it being worth trading for a second baseman, it matters who that second baseman is, no? The devil is always in the details, and it's a lot easier for us to say that should trade for a 2B than it is for them to actually do it.

Rob Scahill is a pitcher who started this year, but came out of the bullpen throwing smoke in the Arizona Fall League (13 K 10 IP). Where do you see him pitching down the line?

KG: Well, he also gave up 17 hits in his 11 AFL innings and had a 7.36 ERA. He has the potential to be a solid reliever with his fastball/slider combination, but his command can be an issue, and he can get a bit straight with his pitches. So I think he's a reliever, and not a late-innings one.

Corey Dickerson was your "sleeper" pick in this system last year. After 32 homers in the SAL, what do you make of him now?

KG: Well, he took advantage of the best hitting park in the league by a mile with 26 of those coming at home. I still think he's a prospect, and certainly one with power, but he still has a lot to prove and a ton of swing-and-miss in his game.

Nolan Arenado demolished the Arizona Fall League (and won AFL MVP) as one of the younger players in the league (Only player on his team younger than him was Dixon Machado). Clearly his bat is advanced, though he hasn't played above High-A. What might a player like him gain from a full season of Double-A?

KG: He'll gain very valuable experience against far more advanced and consistent pitching. He made huge strides in 2011, and not only with the bat, but defensively. That's what is most impressive about him as a kid. It's hard to find prospects that put the work in with the glove and he's certainly done that. He's one of the best third base prospects around at this point.

Tyler Matzek and Christian Friedrich need to get back on the track to pitching in the big leagues, do you think it could happen for either of them next year?

KG: They certainly could get on track, but obviously Matzek isn't going to be in the big leagues. There were some causes for optimism in his comeback, but we'll need to see an entire season of it before getting too excited. Friedrich just hasn't been the same, and you wonder if the arm issues are more of a permanent thing.

Everybody knows about Drew Pomeranz, but what about Alex White? He'll compete for a rotation spot in Spring Training, but does he have the stuff to pitch out of the rotation and at Coors Field?

KG: Absolutely he does. He's a unique pitcher in that his best two pitches are a sinking fastball and a splitter that he uses as a change, but it works for him, and he's made some progress with the slider. His ceiling is a middle-rotation guy, but I do like him there.

What did you think of the Rockies draft this year? Trevor Story had an exciting pro debut in the Pioneer League, what can we expect from him? Tyler Anderson?

KG: I'm a very big Story fan, as he's a very good athlete and he can hit. Anderson isn't my kind of pitching prospect, but I understand the pick, as while he doesn't have a whole lot of ceiling, he shouldn't take much seasoning to become a solid big league starter. I found their draft to be neither good nor bad, more middle of the pack.

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