Esteemed Baseball Prospectus author Kevin Goldstein, widely regarded as one of the foremost experts in the field of prospect evaluation, was generous enough to devote some of his valuable time to answering reader-submitted questions pertaining to the Texas Rangers' electric minor league system late last week.
Read on for Goldstein's takes on Engel Beltre and Michael Main, as well as his sleeper breakout candidate for '09. His answer is going to surprise you.
Goldstein on whether or not Engel Beltre's ugly K/BB ratio will spell doomsday for him as a prospect:
Strikeouts to walks are not in the tools. They are not tools. He's a five-tool prospect. [Greg] Golson is a five-tool prospect. The problem is that [Beltre] has such a bad approach. It's a huge red flag. Beltre will swing at anything. There is no question about it. It's going to have to get refined or he's going to turn into Golson. But if he has one thing on his side, it's time. He was just so young in '08, playing in full-season ball, and he clearly belonged on a talent level. He's never going to be Rickey Henderson and draw 100 walks a year, but obviously he needs to become more selective or it's going to be a problem.