The Astros name Kevin Goldstein pro scouting coordinator

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It’s official: the Astros have named Baseball Prospects’ Kevin Goldstein their Coordinator of Pro Scouting.

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Earlier this year the Houston Astros were interested in hiring ESPN writer Keith Law for their front office.  Then they hired Mike Fast from Baseball Prospectus.  In the Jeff Lunhow front office, it seems, writers are the new inefficiency, because Jon Heyman reports thusly:

Months after Luhnow tried to lure Keith Law from ESPN and hired Mike Fast from Baseball Prospectus, the new name being heard is Kevin Goldstein, also from Baseball Prospectus. (Luhnow called Goldstein “very well thought-of” while declining to say whether he’s joining the Astros; Goldstein, known for extensive prospect reviews and clever, sometimes sassy tweets, responded “no comment” via a direct message on Twitter.)

“We want people who are going to share our vision,” Luhnow said. “It doesn’t necessarily need to be a traditional-looking person. We’re going to be open-minded.”

Kevin Goldstein: Clever. Sometimes sassy. Not traditional-looking. I love Kevin, so I could mock him all day!

Seriously, though, hats off (but not Kevin’s, because he ALWAYS wears it) to the Astros for being creative and open-minded in their hiring.  When you hit bottom, as the Astros have competitively speaking, there is zero percentage in playing it safe or traditional.

Angels fire back at Rob Manfred’s comments re: Mike Trout

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
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Angels outfielder Mike Trout‘s marketability has been a topic of conversation in recent days as the best players in baseball converged upon Washington, D.C. for the All-Star Game. We learned that, according to one firm that measures consumer appeal of personalities, Trout is as recognizable to the average American as Brooklyn Nets reserve forward Kenneth Faried, despite being far and away the best player in baseball and one of the greatest players ever to play the game.

Commissioner Rob Manfred also addressed Trout’s marketability, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reported. Manfred said, “Mike has made decisions on what he wants to do, doesn’t want to do, how he wants to spend his free time or not spend his free time. I think we could help him make his brand very bug. But he has to make a decision to engage. It takes time and effort.”

The Angels fired back on Wednesday, releasing a statement that said:

On behalf of the Angels Organization and baseball fans everywhere, congratulations to Mike Trout on another outstanding All-Star Game performance.

Mike Trout is an exceptional ambassador for the game. Combined with his talent, his solid character creates a perfect role model for young people everywhere. Each year, Mike devotes a tremendous amount of his time and effort contributing to our Organization, and marketing Major League Baseball. He continually chooses to participate in the community, visiting hospitals, schools, and countless other charities. One of Mike’s traits that people admire most is his humility. His brand is built upon generously spending his time engaging with fans, both at home and on the road, while remaining a remarkable baseball player and teammate.

In addition, Mike spends quality time as a husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend. We applaud him for prioritizing his personal values over commercial self-promotion. That is rare in today’s society and stands out as much as his extraordinary talent.

It’s not on Trout to build a brand that appeals to MLB’s marketing department, so the Angels are right to back Trout’s decision to stay out of the limelight. The Angels’ motivation likely isn’t entirely selfless, however, as supporting him in this situation may make it more enticing for him to sign a contract extension before his current contract expires after the 2020 season.