Kevin Goldstein was one of the early originators of MLB prospect coverage, which over the last couple of decades has exploded into something akin to what recruiting coverage is for college teams.
Most recently at Fangraphs, Goldstein is now returning to an MLB front office, this time with the Minnesota Twins, where he’ll work under the title special assistant, player personnel. This will be Goldstein’s second time going from covering very inside baseball topics to actually working inside baseball, having previously left Baseball Prospectus for the Houston Astros.
Goldstein announced the decision himself in a farewell essay:
But now I can tell you that last week, I accepted a position with the Minnesota Twins. I’ll be serving as the team’s Special Assistant, Player Personnel; my streak of baseball titles that contain a comma continues. I will be providing individual player assessments, as well as broader process advice across the team’s international, pro, and amateur player evaluation groups. The role is similar to the one I had in Houston.
I had plenty of discussions with other teams during my year-plus away from that side of the industry. I turned down some deeper talks and one out-of-the-blue job offer, but it just never felt right. Maybe it was me, maybe it was them, maybe it wasn’t the time. Quite frankly, I was at peace with never working for a team again. That’s not even the right phrase. I was exceptionally happy working at FanGraphs, and as excited as I am to be joining the Twins, it comes with some bittersweet feelings regarding my exit from this wonderful place.
Goldstein’s work on prospects and overall baseball analysis is excellent, of course, and it’s certainly a loss for readers. His time in Houston coincided with the Astros sign-stealing scandal, in which Goldstein was at least somewhat implicated in media reports, but obviously that particular incident hasn’t prevented him from garnering interest from MLB teams.
Likely because his time in Houston also coincided with ground-up rebuild that saw the team scout and develop plenty of prospects and young players into a franchise that won the 2017 World Series before winning the AL pennant in 2019 and 2021, as well. Goldstein was one of the first “media to analyst” moves when he originally left for Houston, and there have been plenty similar choices across sports since as front offices began to value the work outside analysts were doing more and more.
That’s a trend that’s only going to become more common, and Goldstein making the move a second time is just the latest example.