Just finishing up a phone call ... should be here in 5 minutes.
Sorry about that. Quick plug before I start - a friend of mine from grade school, Mindy Smith, just put out her newest album, Stupid Love, earlire this week. If you're into alt-country or folk-rock - I can't come up with a better way to describe it - check it out. The whole album is only $4 for mp3 download on amazon.
Klaw, it's being reported that Boston just signed 7th round pick Madison Younginer. Is Boston going to be able to land David Renfroe before the deadline as well? That would give Boston 6 of it's first 7 picks signed.
Jason Churchill had that on our draft blog earlier. They're going to sign Renfroe too, probably close to the deadline.
Chris Carter is having a big season for the Athletics, how do you see him and Brett Wallace fitting together on the diamond?
Carter can't play first at all (and despite the big season I think there are legitimate questions about the bat that won't be answered till he's in the majors). I'd give Wallace a very good chance to play first.
Hey Keith, do you have any idea why Travis Snider (hitting .435/.519/.913 in August at AAA) is still in the minors while Joe Inglett starts pretty much everyday in the OF?
Service time manipulation?
Klaw, any pitchers in the Royals system projectable as a potential #1? Melville or Duffy perhaps? Thanks!
Melville, maybe, if he's back to where he was in 2007. That would be it.
How do you rate Justin Verlander's three pitches from a scout's perspective?
80 fastball, 70 breaking ball. I've seen a 55 changeup from him but it wasn't that good yesterday. Not that he needed it.
Kershaw = top 5 pitcher within three years? Better than that Hanson dude in Atlanta, right?
Yes, and yes. That's no knock on Hanson.
In your opinion, what's the worst contract in baseball?
Current? Posnanski's right, it's Vernon Wells'.
Bucholtz or Tazawa?
Thoughts on Van Rosenberg/Cain/Stevenson/Dodson? Any a potential star? Ever read any Andre Gide? Thanks
Baron asking a question about Von Rosenberg? (Although reader wickethewok prefers "Count" to "Baron" for his nickname ... I think we should let Pirate fans decide.) Anyway, ZVR was the best of the group for me - concerned about his recoil and arm action but it was probably a sandwich- or second-round arm. Stevenson I liked last summer but his velo went backwards this spring - good value for the signing. Cain was the huge overpay. Didn't care for The Counterfeiters and I gave up on the Immoralist after 30 pages or so.
What do you think about the Orioles giving $990,000 to a Coffey, high school pitcher who already has a Tommy John under his belt? Do you believe Coffey would have went round 1/2 before the injury? Thanks.
That is the single biggest overpay we've seen so far. Coffey has had TJ surgery ... and isn't back yet. Sure, he could have gone top 50-60 if he was healthy and had a full spring and seen his stuff tick upward as the season went on, but he didn't finish the spring and it's just an educated guess on how well he'll come back from the surgery. I like the prospect, but that price tag shocked me.
This was just in Starks chat, but which pitcher do you think has the best "stuff"?
Among current big-league starters, probably Burnett - more life on the fastball than Verlander and at least as good of a curveball. Of course, Verlander beats Burnett on all the non-stuff things that count.
Is Buchholz's high gb% this year real? Seems to me his fastball has more sink to it this year, but was wondering your thoughts after seeing him in person.
I only saw one outing but I could believe it. His arm slot was a little lower and his fastball had more life than I'd seen in the past (and it was harder - 92-96).
KLaw, do you think the Blue Jays get all of Paxton, Eliopoulos, Barrett, Marisnick and Hobson done?
I'd guess they get four of five.
Thoughts on Moyer's demotion and his comments? Stark said Moyer has a right to complain since he leads the Phils in wins! Those were Stark's words, not mine.
Moyer has no right to complain. He was their worst starter and there was no sign he was getting better.
Wren says the Braves don't plan on bringing Heyward up. He's killing the ball in AA, but I think they rushed Schafer and now they might hold Heyward back. Does he compete for RF next spring training?
I agree with Wren's decision and I think Heyward probably is the RF next spring.
Your prediction for how the Strasburg-Nationals negotiations will play out Monday night, please.
He'll sign, $18-20 million just before midnight. We might not even hear about it till 12:15-12:30.
OK, you are the Rangers brass, do you slowly walk Feliz through the bullpen before putting him in as a starter like you suggested with Holland, or do you keep him there for the stretch run to getting the wild card spot?
I'd probably leave Feliz in the pen all year, given his mild bout of shoulder fatigue in June.
So Verlander really hit 100 mph on his 123rd pitch to Bay yesterday? That's sick.
Last two pitches, actually. It was incredible.
Des Jennings a future .290/.380/.450 player, with about 10 hr
I think there's more power in there than that.
I think you really called the fact that you still had faith in McCutchen developing into a star, which it looks now like that is a very real possibility. So, now that youve seen him for some decent at-bat #s, is he a future star?
ANY word on Matzek? They would have one of the best drafts (from a prediction-standpoint) if they could finalize that deal, no?
If you told me right now that there would be one unsigned first-rounder on Tuesday morning, my first pick would be Matzek, and second would be Levon Washington.
Going to Europe for the Baseball World Cup this year?
Keith, did you hear that some liberals are going to boycott Whole Foods because the CEO opposed O's health care plan? Here is a quote from someone, "I will no longer be shopping at Whole Foods," Taylor told ABCNews.com. "I think a CEO should take care that if he speaks about politics, that his beliefs reflect at least the majority of his clients." Good to see that free speech is alive and well on the left.
The CEO is also a vegan and they sell meat (and I buy it, happily). Whatever, if it means the lines are shorter at the Fresh Pond location, it's fine with me.
Now that we have a good idea of who is/is not signing, which team had the best overall draft?
That's a question for next week.
Klaw, you were not very high on the Phillies prospects so I assume you love what the Phillies did to getting Cliff Lee and Franciso. Right?
Yes. I may have even written something to that effect.
Do you agree with this statement: (1) Porcello did not intentionally throw at Youkilis, but (2) Porcello won the wrestling match that ensued?
(1) Yes, although that's completely debatable. (2) Yes, and that is not debatable.
You said the Jays would sign 4 out of the 5, which player are they going to have the hardest time with? Paxton?
Marisnick would be my guess.
New drinking game. Everytime KLaw makes a sarcastic comment, drink. I dare you to get through a chat.
Red Sox fans would have the hardest time. They start every game drunk.
Lost in the Strausberg frenzy is the non-signings of Ackley and Tate. Any chance either of those two sign? I mean it is not like they are going to get drafted any higher with Harper being eligible next year.
All three guys are going to sign. This happens EVERY YEAR. Oh my God, is Matt Wieters going to sign? Oh, no, Pedro Alvarez isn't going to sign! Give me a break. All but two first-rounders signed last year, and I think every first-rounder in 2006 and 2007 signed.
Where would the Rox compensation pick fall if they didn't sign Matzek? Do you think it's under 50/50 that they get it done?
They'd get the pick between 11 and 12 next year, since they took Matzek at 11. I'd say under 50/50, but again, this can all change in minutes on Monday.
Are they putting a Trader Joe's across the street from Whole Foods in Fresh Pond?
It sure looks that way. They might have to declare the parkway between them a demilitarized zone.
Who made out better from the Rios claim? Toronto or Chicago?
Keith - How close is Crow going to creep to Matt Harrington territory? There's no way he gets close to $3 million if he goes back into next year's draft, right?
No, his value is going down rather than up. He needs to sign.
Can you pass along to "Jon" that free speech is alive and well -- the Whole Foods CEO is free to speak his mind, and Whole Foods customers are free to respond to his comments however they like. Freedom for everyone.
That's funny - I seem to remember the roles being reversed when the Dixie Chicks were at the center of a similar controversy.
Keith, Do you know anything about John Rico? Would keeping Omar around in a Co-GM or another role limit Rico's power and therefore hurting the overall club? Owenership is already overly involved so wouldnt another "cook in the kitchen" be a bad thing?
The co-GM arrangement is like filling out a purchase order for FAIL. Ricco came out of the commissioner's office, lot of administrative experience, no baseball (scouting/player dev) experience that I know of.
What is Chad Jenkins ceiling? Is he a typical JP draft pick in that he tops out as maybe a #3 or 4 starter?
#3 sounds about right.
Klaw,There is a big movement to re-start an Australian National baseball league through your winter, partly bankrolled by MLB. What, if any, prospects could come out our way? Just marginal Aussie prospects? any chance of a decent A baller or two??
The cost to send players there for a few months would be pretty high. But you're damn straight I'll scout that league.
Now that Daniel Hudson has been promoted to AAA, do you see him starting 2010 on the big league club? Also, do you think the CWS have rushed him or is he just a guy that made a correction and is now taking off?
Polished college pitcher who's doing what he's doing? Move him up. No issue with rushing a guy like that - it's rushing a guy like Samardzija, who is all stuff but not polished or even stretched out, that bothers me.
With they way they are hitting, where would Alvarez, Sanchez and to a lesser extent, Tabata, roughly fall into your top 100 right now? Thanks.
Alvarez probably in the 20s - we can't exactly ignore how bad he was in high-A, and the LHP issue is still there. Sanchez is doing what I'd expect a polished college position player to do - if he makes the list it'll be towards the back. Tabata probably somewhere in the middle.
Higher caloric intake by age 30: Alverez or Vicedo?
Viciedo. He could stop eating now and win that one.
What is the ceiling offensively for the Astros' first round pick Jiovanni Mier? Everything I've read says he should be good defensively, do you agree?
Average bat, plus glove. At short that's a heck of a player.
do you see the phillies signing brody colvin or is he going to LSU?
They're not close to signing him right now.
Pete Rose, most over rated player in history. Just good for a very long time but never great. Love the way he played the game. He had over 2500 more at bats than Ty Cobb and over 1500 more outs in his carrer than any other player in history, isn't the whole point of baseball to not make outs? Esp if your known for getting hits?
I know this is a minority view, but I have always thought that the banishment has led to the assumption that Rose 1) would get in and 2) would be worthy of induction in the Hall if he was eligible. His resume is, as you said, largely about accumulation, and he played himself (when he was player-manager) to the detriment of his team when he was chasing the record.
Keith, What are your thoughts on the Brewers sending down JJ Hardy? What does this do to his trade value - they are saying locally, it will give whatever team that trades for him another year of control.
If I'm Hardy's agent I already have my grievance written and ready to file.
What do you think the chances are of the yankees signing Slade Heathcott? I've heard that he had top 15 talent but was held back because of his surgery and family issues. What do you see in this guy?
I believe they'll sign him. No way they take him with an unprotected pick unless they believe on draft day they can get it done, and I don't think he wants any part of school.
So, apparently the BoSox just got Alex Gonzalez. Again. Does he play over Nick Green and Chris Woodward? Should he?
Yes, and I'm leaning towards no.
What can you tell me about Henry Rodriguez, the closer in Sacramento? I saw him hit 101 on the stadium gun 4 times on Wednesday.
Possibly the fastest arm in baseball. Has never commanded any of his pitches when I've seen him.
Of course Pete Rose would get in; he had the most hits! Have you not completed reading your BBRAA yet?
I was admitted to the group but I haven't been Capped yet.
As a SS, Renfroe or Kelly?
As a hitter, Renfroe. I saw Kelly pretty good on D as an amateur.
What are your thoughts on why Hosmer and Mousk**(spelling) are struggling at high A ball so much?
Hosmer doesn't belong there - he was doing fine for his age/experience in low-A, zero reason to push him like that. Moustakas' pitch selection has bothered me in the past, but that's also a serious pitcher's park.
Is Alex White going to get the top 5 money he wants?
I would guess not. I know Cleveland's scouting department felt there was a very high chance he ends up a reliever in the majors, and you don't give a guy like that top-5 money.
Rose may not be the greatest player out there, but he did have 8 seasons with an OPS of 130 or better, lead the league in AVG 3 times, OBP twice, won an MVP and a ROY. He wasn't the best ever, but he was great in his era. I feel like you are reacting to his overratednessity by underrating him.
I never said he was terrible, just that he's been overrated.
There's been a lot of discussion lately on Todd Helton's eventual HoF chances. What does KLaw have to say on the issue?
I think he's going to end up on the ballot for a long time but falling short. Right now, I would not be inclined to vote for him.
You've seen Jay Jackson or Andrew Cashner? Higher ceiling? More of a sure thing?
I'd probably go with Jackson.
Well then we agree. His haircut hasn't been overrated. though. I say that is hall of fame funny for generations of fans.
And he keeps it looking good with Grecian Formula!
Wil Myers... A) Does he sign and B) Is he worth 2 million, a figure some have thrown out there?
Yes, sounds like that's going to get done around $2 million. A bit rich for him, but I'd rather give him 2 than Dwyer 1.5.
Younginer: 4 seam, 2 seam, slider, change, and 12-6 curve... why was he not considered as high as Matsek, Turner, etc?
BAD arm action. Most teams projected him as a reliever, and so do I.
So if McCutchen is going to be a star, how does he compare to his draft mates Upton, Maybin, Bruce, and Rasmus?
In order, TJU, Rasmus, McCutchen, Bruce, Maybin. I could be convinced to flip McCutchen and Bruce.
Who do you think will end up with the #1 pick next year, KC or the Nats?
Even when it comes to bad play, the Pirates can't get any respect.
Steven Matz worth overslot?
A little. Not a first-rounder for me, and it's not like he's committed to a powerhouse baseball school or a top academic program.
Andy Marte 4 real or 4 A? Also is your top 100 books posted somewhere or is it more in the "development" stage?
I'd certainly give him an extended chance. Had a great swing and a good minor league track record before he got to Cleveland. Google "klaw 100" to find last year's list. I do need to update it, though.
Pirates getting no respect for bad play I can kinda understand. What about the Rockies getting no respect for good play?
How are they "getting no respect?" By the way, looking for breakfast rec's for downtown Denver. Going to see them soon, first trip to Coors Field.
How do you compare Chissenhall and Rendon as prospects?
Chisenhall's the better prospect to me.
Do you believe in the concept of 4A players or is that just a way for people to justify not playing/promoting players with small-sample size underperformance in the majors?
I think there's enough of a gap, especially in pitching, that there is such a thing as a player who can hit AAA pitching (esp after multiple years there) but can't touch big-league stuff.
All Respect questions should be subject to $5
Vick is getting hammered by the media...you would've thought he had tested positive for PEDs.
Would the Grapes of Wrath make the new Klaw 100? Approximately where would it rank (top 50, top 20, etc..)?
Will Carl Crawford make 4/49 on the open market after 2010? Because if he will (and I think he will) then I have no idea what the big commotion about Rios' contract is. Rios is more valuable defensively (CF arm) and hit better 2006-2008, whereas Crawford has the speed factor (x2 SBs) and a better 2009. Really though, if you compare career OPS these 2 players are very similar, yet Jays fans were happy to run Rios out of town but would be thrilled with a Crawford addition.
I think Crawford gets that with a typical year next year. And I think Rios is going to outperform his 2009-to-date over the remainder of the contract.
So why did Toronto move Rios? Because they COULDN'T move Wells?
Partly to save money, but partly because they seem to think that Rios isn't going to be the player he was in 2006-7 again. I know JP was never a Rios fan.
Is Alex Avila in DET the biggest surprise call-up this year in the minors? Also, I have seen high praise for Johnathan Barnes "Somnambulist" with comparisons to "Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrel" but I could not finish book. Have you partaken?
Definitely the biggest surprise so far from the 2008 draft. I liked Avila but wouldn't have guessed he'd be in the majors 14 months out. Don't know that book.
Better prospect Josh Bell or Brandon Snyder?
Klaw, There has been talk of Houston skipping Lyles and Seaton over Lancaster. Is this a good idea in you opinion? Also does Seaton's K rate bother you?
Yes, definitely a good idea. Lancaster has become the affiliate nobody wants.
After Heyward, who would you say is the top prospect in the minors right now?
thoughts on josh reddick? i know it's one game you saw him, but he looks strong with decent speed and athleticism. do you think his hit tool and plate discipline will improve enough to allow him to become an above average regular? i know that was one of his knocks coming into 2009. thanks
Caught him a good bit last year too. I think he's going to be an above-average player long-term, but I doubt he'll ever be an OBP guy.
No answer for the Grapes question? Didn't you say there would be another KLaw 100, when's that come out?
Sorry, chat software must have eaten my answer. Top 25, I'd guess. Probably 10-12 changes on the list. No ETA - that's a big project and may have to wait till the offseason.
Any Mets farmhand going to make your top 100 list?
Flores certainly will. Probably Mejia.
Do you think 18-20 million for Strasburg is too much? Seeing what happened to Zimmermann makes me think it's too much.
No, I think it's a lot less than what he'd get on the open market.
Where would Jesus Montero rank as a prospect?
He's probably top 10 now, definitely top 20, even with the positional question. I underrated him last winter because I dinged him too much on position and didn't properly weight his bat.
I read tons and tons of fiction up thru high school, but since then I've been reading non-fiction about 85% of the time (now 29yo). What might get me back in a more balanced groove?
Choose better novels?
Hanson's first year >>> Kershaw's first year. Won't really be able to judge who is better until after next season and compare second year stats. Until then, I would say they are pretty much equals in terms of potential.
I'm sure you would say that. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but you can say it if you'd like.
I'm thinking only two Rangers on your top 100 list -- Smoak and Perez. Am I missing somebody (assuming Feliz won't be eligible)?
Will the Giants lock up Lincecum for 3-4 years before arbitration lands him 18 million a season?
If he wins the Cy this year, that would be the greatest arbitration case ever.
Have you read Infinite Jest? If not, put it on your to-read list.
When I take a six-month sabbatical I'll give it a look.
Boswell makes my head hurt. He set his Strasburg ceiling at $12-15M which is debatable. But it's this statement about what happens if Strasburg is not signed that makes me shake my head "the Nats will get the No. 2 overall pick next year which (after a lot of studyiung) is probably worth 90-to-95% as much as No. 1 overall. "Oh, but Strasburg is special. He's the best ever." So was Ben McDonald."In what universe will the 1A in 2010 be worth 90-95% of Strasburg?
The expected value of the second pick is something like half the expected value of the first pick. Getting that pick as compensation for not signing Strasburg is like having your car stolen but finding out they left the cup holder in your garage.
So is Verlander a free agent after this year or do the Tigers still have two years of control? I seem to recall that he signed a 5 year MLB contract in 04 when they originally signed him.
Signing a five-year contract out of the draft doesn't alter free agency - the player still needs six years of service time to become a free agent. The five-year deal covers calendar years, after which the player would (if he has the service time for it) be eligible for arbitration like any other player.
Read Ginsberg's translation of Master and Margarita and was disappointed, what translation did you read?
I'm asked this all the time but I don't remember. I read it in college.
is Brian Dopirak a prospect or just a late bloomer/4A guy?
What's your favorite charity?
I donate through GlobalGiving from time to time, and I usually give to the Salvation Army at Christmas.
Hey Keith, I was looking at your preseason top 100 prospects list, and you were one of the few that pegged Martin Perez having the success he has had to this point. What makes him special and who can you see making the same leaps next year?
Great feel, good changeup, still some projection left. Pretty polished overall for his age.
wetsmorland or Reddick?
Westmoreland long-term, although the difference in their arrival times means Reddick is a more valuable asset today.
I welcome Vick to the Eagles.. Here's a man with remorse.. and people won't let him be... I agree with animal rights but when animals become more important then human life ... ihave to question that degree of humanity
Except for the whole connection between violence against animals and violence against people. But go ahead and rationalize if you need to.
For breakfast in Denver you have to try "Snooze." Great pancakes and lots of variety.
You have my attention.
Just reported Miles Head signed for $335K. Have you seen him?
I saw him the other night, two rows in front of me at Fenway.
JD Martinez has being going crazy in short-season, .384 after 50 games. Is it too early to be excited? Also what is a reasonable sample size? Full season stats?
He's about to turn 22 in short-season ball. Next.
Keith, I don't see anything in the Twins farm system to help the pitching next year. Can you say anything to the contrary? BTW, Hell's Kitchen has moved down the street in Mpls and now has a full bar/menu.
Good to know. Need to get back to Mpls soon. I don't see what arms in the Twins' system will help them next year either.
What trade did you like better Victor Martinez or Cliff Lee? Could Cleveland do better than this?
For Cleveland? Martinez. Hagadone is a huge wild card, big upside, injury issue, little track record as a starter.
What are you more likely to read first, War and Peace or Ulysses?
The buzz master today, stinks.. Letting in all of these Vick and rightwing messages... This is a baseball chat.
I choose the questions, n00b. Fail.
Without knowing the specific price tag (but understanding it was likely that of a first rounder), do you think the O's were right to stand firm on Mychael Givens? Seems like a lot for a guy without any bat.
I wouldn't give Givens first-round money. I was still surprised the way that all went down this week.
No phillip roth? The finest living american novelist. Check out American Pastoral
Read it, didn't love it.
And McCarthy > Roth for American novelists.
OK, that's it for this week - I'll be back next week to talk about what went down on Monday night.