Newberg Night Q & A recap

I was surprised no one had put up a recap yet, so I'm going to attempt to remember a few things.  I'm hoping those of you who were also there also will chime in with more details. Both Q & A's went on for an hour or so, I think, a ton of questions, all answered thoroughly with candor.

Kevin Goldstein:

  • The Rangers' front office is right up there with the AL East trio as one of the smartest in the business
  • The Royals might have the best minor league system right now.  (I'm paraphrasing here):  "When I made my midseason top 11 prospects list, guys left in the minors, I wrote down 22 names and there were 5 Royals on the list."  He also said one of them he might pick over Martin Perez, but I didn't catch exactly what he said and he didn't say which one. (Moustakas?  Montgomery?)
  • On the struggles of Martin Perez, he said he's learning a lot right now, probably the first time he's really been hit and he's having to adjust, he'll be fine.  Maybe the best lefty in the minors.
  • The Rangers are not a one or two year team, they are built for a good run of 5 to 8 years of contention.
  • Someone asked about the other AL West teams' systems.  The Angels have a pretty weak system after Trout, for the first time in quite a while.  The Mariners have a few guys, but the A's will be the team that could potentially challenge the Rangers run the next few years.  A lot of good pitching already on the big league club, and quite a few good hitters on the way soon.
  • Feliz - shot at rotation?  This team sees him as their future closer, I hope he gets a chance.
  • On Profar - I'm writing at home and I get a call from a scout, a good friend.  What do you know about Profar?  Goldstein responds, not much yet, just that TX signed him and he's in AZ.  Scout replies, well he's playing way beyond his years, yada yada.   Next day, gets another call from a different scout, what do you know, well he's playing like a much older player, yada yada.  Profar is special.  Later said Profar should definitely stick at SS, and might hit better than Elvis with more power (this rubber band has more power than Elvis...).
  • Liked the Lee deal, flags fly forever, has a great effect on the rest of the rotation and clubhouse, gives them a chance to win a postseason series.  Smoak is good, but trade was worth it, basically.

Jon Daniels:

  • Standing ovation on introduction.  When the applause died down he deadpanned "I'm still the guy who traded Adrian Gonzalez."
  • Feliz - shot at rotation next year?  Right now he's the team's closer and we like him in that roll.  For next year we'll consider it.  He might be the closer next year, too, and even the year after that, and it still wouldn't mean he'd never get a shot at the rotation.  Just like CJ, who we felt improved, matured, etc. and is now a great fit in the rotation.  We'll keep options open, etc.
  • Who will come up in September?  I didn't hear all of this but mentioned Scheppers first as a guy we might see before September 1. 
  • What is the market inefficiency the Rangers are utilizing?  Daniels said our people may be our most underrated asset.  Talked for quite a while about how much he believes in Levine, Preller (both of whom were there), on down to the scouts, and about how every guy on the roster is a good fit in the clubhouse.  In past years, maybe they had 20 good guys, but right now it's 25 good guys.  A lot of that comes from Wash (similar to reported comments in the papers the last few days.)
  • Brian Thomas asked if the team had any proprietary info on catchers' game calling skills, and if not, what else they relied on.  Daniels replied that they do not have any data specifically related to game calling skills, it's really a feel kind of thing where you have to trust the scouts, coaches, and players.  He said that in addition to the publicly reported comments from Lincecum, Scioscia, and others, that he received quite a few private calls from other Molina colleagues who all raved about his pitcher handling skills.  He added that the team really wanted a guy who could get the best out of young pitchers going into places like Yankee Stadium or Fenway in a playoff atmosphere.  
  • What player is the biggest surprise this year?  They couldn't pick between Lewis, Wilson, and Hunter.  Then, of course, he said it wasn't a total surprise because they believed in those players.  Early on with Lewis they were thinking a minor league deal, but the scouts (and then, later, competings teams offers) made it clear that he was a multi-year, major league deal worthy guy. 
  • Can you talk about the effects of Lee on the rest of the staff?  It's no accident that Wilson is charting Lee's last couple of starts, and Wilson is basically Lee with more movement on his pitches and some other quality I can't remember...all the guys are excited and trying to soak up what they can.
  • Any chance at re-signing Lee?  Let's give him a chance to just be here, only been here a few days.  Winning is a great recruiting tool, hopefully we go far into the postseason and he likes it here.  We knew going into this that there was a good chance he'd only be here for the rental period.  We thought it was worth it and then maybe he resigns here, and if not we get the draft picks.
  • Extra rest for Lewis and Wilson down the stretch?  We've already done some of that and will continue to do so, but we feel good about their ability to continue.  Wilson's diet, physical health are great, etc.  Lee pitching is basically a night off for the bullpen.
  • The team didn't feel that this year's international class was that great. lots of depth, but few potential superstars in their view.
  • Claimed that when they picked Skole there was no one left on their draft board higher than him.  They really like is ceiling and are challenging him in a league of older players right now even though his stats won't be good.  

Ok, that's all I got off the top of my head, I didn't take notes.  Kudos to Jamey for a well-coordinated event.  The auction and raffle raised something like $12,000.

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