Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

July 2, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Keith Law
  (1:04 PM)

Going to be a short chat today. I have to get back to building my ark.

Mike A. (RAB)

Hey KLaw, now that Chapman defected, can we get your thoughts on him?

Keith Law
  (1:06 PM)

I talked to a longtime scout - I mean, been at this 40 years - in the spring who said he was the best young LHP he'd ever seen. On good days he'll touch 100 with a slider in the upper 80s, but he hasn't been that guy every time out - I talked to another scout who saw him last year, I believe in Beijing, who had him topping out around 90 - and there are all kinds of rumors as to why. The upside probably puts him into $40-50 million territory, if not more ... and you bet your sweet bippy that Scott Boras is paying attention and will argue for the same deal for Strasburg.

Andrew W. (Newps (CA))

What do think the ceiling for Ubaldo Jimenez looks like?

Keith Law
  (1:06 PM)

Popcorn, sort of an ecru color rather than a brilliant white.

Brian (Boston)

Howdy Keith, how do you rate the Derosa trade for the Indians? Should they have held out for more?

Keith Law
  (1:08 PM)

How can we rate it? 1/3 of the deal isn't known yet, and people in both organizations told me the the third player will be significant enough that I should wait to hear who it is before analyzing the trade. I was also told Cleveland has a short list of guys and they'll take some time to evaluate them this summer.

Jake (Baltimore)

Same question I asked Crasnick last week. Five years from now who of this foursome is the best hitter - Markakis, A. Jones, Wieters or Reimold?

Keith Law
  (1:08 PM)

Wieters.

Andrew W. (Newps (CA))

Please tell me there's a chance the Rockies sign Matzek.

Keith Law
  (1:09 PM)

A chance? Absolutely. But they're going to have to break with their long-standing policy of not going over slot.

Nick (Chesterbrook (PA))

How many hot dogs do you think you could eat in 12 minutes?

Keith Law
  (1:09 PM)

I haven't eaten a hot dog in seven years. So I'm going with zero.

Angie Bonpenseiro (Jersey)

KLaw, the Red Sox seem to be signing their draft choices at 'slot' contracts. Besides Renfroe and Younginer, do you see them offering over 'slot' contracts to anyone else?

Keith Law
  (1:10 PM)

That's because teams always defer announcing over-slot deals until closer to the deadline to avoid boosting the prices on the other players with whom they're negotiating. I'm sure they'll sign Renfroe. Kline will be interesting - if he's willing to sign at all he'll require well over slot.

Mark R (Moscow, ID)

It's never fun to say this, but Peter Gammons is wrong. Tim Lincecum has been the best pitcher in the NL this year. It's not even particularly close.

Keith Law
  (1:11 PM)

Haren has a higher VORP. So I'd say yes, it's particularly close.

Keith Law
  (1:12 PM)

If you're not seeing my answers, refresh the page. I've answered every question.

Keith Law
  (1:12 PM)

Um, every question that I've posted, that is.

Matt (Boston)

Hey Keith, can you give me a couple of sentences on Boston's Tim Federowicz? Thanks.

Keith Law
  (1:14 PM)

Plus defender. Big question on the bat. You can ignore everything he did in Greenville, which was a step down for him. Speaking of which, why on earth do teams send college products whom they drafted high to low-A? San Diego is the biggest offender - Darnell and Tekotte had no business at all being in the Midwest League. You're not developing the players. You're not learning anything about them. It's dumb.

Chris (Charleston)

Three weeks ago in a chat, you said that you feel Brad Bergesen is going to "implode". Just curious as to why you think that/what you see that makes you think he can't keep up his performance?

Keith Law
  (1:16 PM)

Doesn't miss bats and doesn't project as an extreme groundballer. He throws strikes, which keeps him in the back end of a rotation, but he's not going to post a sub-4 ERA in the AL East.

David (Boston)

Any upcoming Cape Cod League games you'll be taking in? Who are you most interested in seeing?

Keith Law
  (1:16 PM)

I heard they cancelled the entire season on account of rain. And next year's season too.

Matt (Jacksonville)

Is Brett Jackson the next in the long line of highly touted Cubs OF prospects (Corey Patterson, Felix Pie)?

Keith Law
  (1:16 PM)

You forgot Tyler Colvin.

Nick (Cleveland)

Call me crazy, Travis Hafner looks better than Grady Sizemore right now.

Keith Law
  (1:18 PM)

I agree with Shysterball - just shut Sizemore down and give him the surgery already.

jeremy (washington)

Does Philly and Dodgers' overuse of their bullpens spell trouble down the stretch?

Keith Law
  (1:21 PM)

You can always add more arms - I'm not condoning it, but I wouldn't predict impending doom.

Keith Law
  (1:21 PM)

Concur.

Joshua B. (Syracuse, NY)

KLaw - thanks for the chat. I am curious of your opinion of a couple of Astros pitching prospects: Bud Norris and Jordan Lyles. Norris is pitching extremely well in AAA, do you think he can be a starter in the big leagues? A number three starter? How does Lyles project in the future?

Keith Law
  (1:23 PM)

I think Norris is a reliever - a good setup man/closer. Lyles projects as a 2/3 starter but is probably a few years off. That was a heck of a pick - very few teams were on him, and he picked up velo late last spring.

Russell (San Diego)

Is there any reason for the Padres to keep Heath Bell? And int the unlikely event they move him what sort of package could they ecpect?

Keith Law
  (1:24 PM)

Given the short half-lives of relievers, he should absolutely be on the market. That's the guy you keep only to have him blow his arm out on you eight months after you refused to trade him.

Andrew W. (Newps (CA))

Did you ever think Brad Hawpe would produce at the MLB level like he has?

Keith Law
  (1:24 PM)

Liked his bat, didn't see him playing anywhere but first base. Considering how bad his defense in right is, I wouldn't exactly say I got that wrong.

Tim ((STL))

Klaw, When are you getting into Saint Louis and which of the festivities will you be attending? Any idea where you are going to eat yet?

Keith Law
  (1:25 PM)

Futures Game only for me.

Mike (Westchester)

Is it possible Brett Gardner is better than thought and Jacob Ellsbury is not quite as good as thought, and they're really almost the same player>

Keith Law
  (1:25 PM)

No, it's that Gardner is hitting over his head and is being platooned heavily, boosting his rate stats.

Jeremy (Washington)

Keith, is Greinke the clear favorite for the AL Cy Young, or could Halladay and King Felix challenge him?

Jay (LA)

Keith, can you remember a team being crazy good vs one team (Marlins vs. Nats) and below average vs everyone else, and winning a division? Can the Marlins do it?

Keith Law
  (1:30 PM)

They're halfway through their games against Washington, right? They're going to have to show they can beat someone else.

Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)

What was your take on Jeremy Sowers when he came out of Vandy? He just doesn't seem like he's ever going to put it together as a MLB starter (at least not in Cleveland).

Keith Law
  (1:31 PM)

Saw him once, on the Cape in 2003. Didn't understand the hype - he didn't throw hard and didn't have a good breaking ball. I was told that I was underrating his command and feel for pitching. Ooookay.

Carlo (San Jose)

I look at it this way. Haren has had 1 start where he didn't give up an earned run. Lincicum has had 4. That's why Timmy is 8-2 and Haren is 7-5. Timmy is better. Gammons is wrong.

Keith Law
  (1:32 PM)

Wow. Worst. Analysis. Ever.

sean (pittsburgh pa)

Keith, What was your take on the Buccos moves in the last couple days. I personally think they pulled off a heist of the highest order by getting Millidge and Hanrahan, two guys with big upsides for Morgan and Burnett who are average, at best, major leaguers. Thoughts?

Keith Law
  (1:35 PM)

The Washington deal was an easy win for the Pirates. Morgan is a great defensive left fielder and probably an above-average one in center (although in center, your reads matter more than they do in left, where you can thrive just on speed), but up until this year showed little patience and he only has maybe 35 or 40 power. (Plus his OBP is boosted by the 5 HBPs, so unless that's another newly acquired skill, it's another argument that his 2009 OBP is misleading.) Burnett is just an 11th/12th man. I know that Hanrahan stunk this year, but he has a big arm and was above-average last year, and that's the kind of pitcher you can rehabilitate - really, if his BABIP was just bad luck this year, even less awful luck will make him more valuable - and deal for something of long-term value.

Thomas (Toronto)

Two part question involving Red Sox and Jays. (1) Do you think there is a chance Jason Bay signs in Toronto and (2) If the Jays signed Bay (to help put fans in the seats), would Travis Snider return a top young pitching prospect like Clay Buckholz? Does he has that kind of value? Thanks.

Keith Law
  (1:36 PM)

1) No. 2) Just stop.

KO (Pittsfield, MA)

Did you see Will Arnett's Sesame St. appearance as the magician? I rank it near the top in terms of comedic value for a celebrity guest on the show.

Keith Law
  (1:36 PM)

The magician who isn't actually doing any tricks? I didn't recognize him. Then again, I'm not actually sure who Will Arnett is.

Jacob (Chicago)

Do you think that Yovani Gallardo will be an allstar or will his record prevent him from going to St. Louis?

Keith Law
  (1:37 PM)

He should be an All-Star, but I don't see any of the voting constituencies - the fans, the players, or the coaching staff - recognizing that without a gaudy W/L total.

Scott (Boston)

How the heck do you not know who Will Arnett is? Arrested Development is right up your alley.

Keith Law
  (1:38 PM)

Watched two episodes. Did nothing for me.

Jake (Baltimore)

Do either Bergesen or Reimold have a shot at AL ROY?

Andrew (New Jersey)

Red Sox SS of the next 3-4 years? Lowrie or Green?

Keith Law
  (1:40 PM)

Reimold does. I believe over the last 20 years, it's more than 2:1 hitters over pitchers in RoY winners.

Keith Law
  (1:40 PM)

Lowrie. Green's just a fill-in.

Todd Helton (Colorado)

can we stick to baseball questions...specifically my request to go to Boston

Keith Law
  (1:40 PM)

If you want dull, baseball-only chats, you're in the wrong place.

Boose (Louisville, KY)

Oh no. You made the AD fans mad. Run for cover because they will not let up. Obsession doesn't begin to describe those fans.

Keith Law
  (1:41 PM)

I guess AD is the 31st team that I hate.

Chris (NYC)

you watched 2 episodes of AD and gave up on it? give me a break.

Keith Law
  (1:42 PM)

Right, because I should wait more than 44 minutes for a comedy to be funny.

Lee (Paducah KY)

I saw a couple of days ago that Tim Beckham already had 27 errors at Bowling Green. Is too early to talk about moving him?

Keith Law
  (1:42 PM)

Yes.

Tom (Watertown)

Lars Anderson's name seems to come up whenever "overrated" prospects are discussed...you have him in that discussion?

Keith Law
  (1:42 PM)

No.

Tyler (Milwaukee)

When does buster posey get moved up to AAA?

Keith Law
  (1:43 PM)

Any day now, I assume. I had actually been given the impression that he'd be there before July.

Brian (Oblivion)

Can I make a reasonable statement on behalf of AD fans and say we're shocked you don't like the show, but we'll accept it because funny is subjective?

Keith Law
  (1:44 PM)

Sure. A lot of my readers are shocked that I hated the comic book "Watchmen."

John (Georgia)

What about House? That seems perfect for you. How long until Justin Upton becomes a top tier offensive outfielder?

Keith Law
  (1:46 PM)

That's my favorite show, although it might be more accurate to say that it's one of maybe three or four shows that I don't hate. Is he not a top-tier offensive outfielder? He's 5th among NL outfielders in VORP.

Jai (Ojai, Ca)

Who will sign Sano, and how does he project?

Keith Law
  (1:47 PM)

Lot of Sano questions, but I've never seen the kid and the rumors stuff is probably better directed at Jorge Arangure.

Stewie Griffin (Quahog)

Clay Buchholz for Justin Smoak? Who blinks?

Keith Law
  (1:48 PM)

Love them both but I think I'd rather have the bat.

Boose (Louisville, KY)

What other sites do you have opened up during chats? BP? Fangraphs?

Keith Law
  (1:49 PM)

Right now, BP and B-R. I will sometimes look at stats pages on THT or Fangraphs too.

Chris (Hoboken, NJ)

I'm sorry for the re-send of the question K-law.. but I'd really like your thoughts on whether Fernando Martinez is a future CF or LF? Did he only shift to LF because of the Beltran signing? My thoughts were if he was really a good CF he would stayed there for as long as possible.. not moved in winter ball last year.

Keith Law
  (1:50 PM)

The Mets don't seem to believe he can play CF long term, and I think that's a majority opinion among scouts.

Adam (San Diego)

Funny, I wouldn't necessarily peg you as a fan of any TV show unless it was available in hardcover or paperback.

Keith Law
  (1:50 PM)

You have nailed the reason I don't watch much TV.

Ben (SF)

Isn't Posey already in AAA? I believe he jumped AA because the Giants had some borderline major league prospect there a couple of weeks ago.

Keith Law
  (1:52 PM)

He's not there yet - and he's missed about a week after taking one in the head.

Robert (Manhattan)

Robert Stock was baseball america's player of the year as a junior then skipped his senior year to go to usc. Bryce Harper also dominated the high school level before his senior year. What makes Harper different? How do their scouting reports compare at a similar age?

Keith Law
  (1:53 PM)

Harper today is twice the prospect that Stock was at the time, offensively and defensively.

Thomas (Toronto)

Travis Snider is not worth a top pitching prospect? Everything ive read suggests he is a potential perennial all-star, yet you make it sounds like i am a LOON.

Keith Law
  (1:54 PM)

You are a loonie. Or a twonie.

Anthony (NYC)

Is Mark Melancon a future closer?

Keith Law
  (1:54 PM)

I don't think so. That's some scary arm action there.

Charlie (Bethesda)

What did you think of the Rob Neyer article this morning suggesting that Nyjer Morgan is undervalued due to his defense? Not to say that he is the future of a championship Nats team, but might this be not as bad of a deal for them as people first said?

Keith Law
  (1:56 PM)

I talked about Morgan earlier, but you raise a second issue - what on earth is the point of acquiring Morgan if you're Washington? It has to be to try to trade him somewhere else, and for that trick to work, he has to be better in Washington than he was in Pittsburgh, which I doubt. He's 28 and doesn't have any upside left. If you believe that he's a 20-25 runs glove in center, he makes sense for a contender, but for Washington? I don't understand that logic.

Keith Law
  (1:57 PM)

OK, sorry, gotta cut this short to do Simmons' podcast. I'll be back next week, doing the first-ever chat from a canoe.