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January 28, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (1:01 PM)

Unless you've got 100 Klaw-approved prospects, it's an imitation.

JAYPERS (IL)

Keith, I have to disagree with you ranking Heyward ahead of Strasburg, as I feel a future #1 starter with three plus-plus pitches and can hit three digits on the gun is considered to be a much rarer commodity to any team than a five-tool outfielder with several injuries on his resume thus far. Would you comment further on this, please?

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

The top seems like a good place to start. I know this is a matter of opinion, but I don't see the merit in this argument. The attrition rate for starting pitchers is substantially higher than that of position players, as even pitchers with great mechanics and no history of injury get hurt, even catastrophically. All things equal, you'd take the bat. And if the pitcher was even somewhat ahead, you'd still take the bat. Even if Strasburg is more valuable than Heyward - a point I am NOT conceding - there is no way he is so much more valuable that it eclipses the increased risk of injury and the ensuing loss of value.

John (Minneapolis)

Hey Keith, no Ben Revere?!?!

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

One scout voiced (to me) my fear on Ben Revere: He's Juan Pierre. Can hit, no power, doesn't really walk, fast but not a great basestealer, below average arm. If Revere ever has to move out of center, he's a 4th outfielder. And even in center, he's not going to be an offensive star unless he hits .320.

Valerie (Hell, MI)

Turner all the way down at # 80? Not sold on his mechanics, or what?

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

I thought I was pretty aggressive with prep arms in general. He's got zero pro experience, and he wasn't the best or second-best prep arm in the '09 draft for me.

Drew (Midtown)

Does Derek Norris give the Nationals reason to not draft Bryce Harper?

Christiaan (San Diego)

I aam suprised to see Oak's Chris Carter at 33, doesn't he have one of the hghest potentials plus is close to the Majors, it seems that beside not being a switch hitter, and not quite the defense, although with better wheels, he mathces up to Smoak, quite favorably, with less projection. Can you explain the diferences and why the big gap in ranks?

Christos (New Jersey)

I'm wondering why Chris Carter is so high?

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

You two should work this out amongst yourselves.

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

Drew: No.

Renegade (Toronto)

You seem to have Drabek a lot lower on your list than others (I know Jim Callis has him top 5 pitching prospects). Don't think he has enough upside or?

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

No, I don't think he has that upside. He's not an ace in the making, and I've talked to several scouts and front-office types who share that view.

Adam (Texas)

Wilfredo Boscan #10 on the Rangers list above pitchers like Kiker, Ross, Wieland, and Kirkman?

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

Yes. Kiker's definitely a reliever and maybe not even a great one (love the competitiveness but you have to throw strikes).

Hank ((PA))

Were any other Phillies prospects even under consideration for the list or is the gap between Brown and everyone else really that big?

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

Number 101 was a Phillie. He's in the "ten who missed" article.

Nick (Long Island, NY)

You have been one of F-Mart's biggest fans over the years, even after others have soured on him. That's why I was surprised when I saw you have him at #73. If he can somehow stay healthy this season, do you see him returning to elite prospect status?

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

He has to stay healthy, show that the lost development time hasn't hurt him, and show a better work ethic. Everything came too fast for him, I think.

Chase (Long Island, NY)

You have Buster Posey a bit higher than most. He looked a bit overmatched in the AFL, no?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

I don't care where anyone else ranked these players. The AFL came at the end of the longest season of his life. Plenty of guys struggle there because they're worn out.

Bryan (Baltimore)

Surprised that Britton is that high. Do you think he can maintain his high groundball percentage and high strikeout rate?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

I do.

Fred (Austin, TX)

How close to 100 are the Dodgers' Martin and Miller?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

Liked Martin in high school but I got reports of somewhat reduced velocity from him this year.

Jim (Hudson, MA)

Would Desme have cracked your 100 if he hadn't left to join the priesthood?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

No.

Jim (Hudson, MA)

Why did Feliz drop in your rankings this year? Is it the questions about whether he's a starter?

Klaw
  (1:10 PM)

That is exactly the reason. Other than that, nothing has changed.

Eric (Berkeley, CA)

You said in regards to Mike Trout that "He should start the year in the Midwest League, and, given his feel for the game and his plate discipline, I wouldn't be shocked if he finished it in high-A, which would put him on the early track to stardom." Do you mean AAA there? Would finishing in high-A really be fast advancement? As for the Angels, you said they had a lot of high-risk, high reward prospects at low levels. If you had to guess, who do you like and not like to hit where do you see the organization ranking 2 years from now?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

An 18-year-old in high-A would be very fast advancement. Even if he went a level a year after that, he'd be in the big leagues at 21, and he could even go past that.

bill (St. Louis)

hudson's ceiling as a starter for Whitesox

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

4 or 5.

Will (WV)

LOL @ Pedro Alvarez 35th ... Have you seen him hit?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

Yes. Often. That's one reason why he's 35th.

Dan Hudson (Chicago)

I need an explanation on why I didn't make your top 100. I dominated every league in existence last season!

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

With average stuff at best. And I'm sorry, what a D1 college product did in A-ball - especially low-A - is just not that exciting. Unless he stunk, in which case, he's got one food in the discard pile.

Mark (Providence)

How do you feel about Pedro Alverez's defense? Will he stick at 3rd?

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

I think he ends up at 1b.

Haris (Nashville, TN)

Why the change on Lonnie Chisenhall? I remember you thought of him as a huge reach at draft time.

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

I was wrong. He can hit. One of the best swings I saw from a prospect all year.

Steve (Brooklyn)

Love the list, thanks KLaw. You're much more bullish on Jaff Decker than BA or Sickels. Both have said that they're concerned about his athleticism, but I haven't seen any reports from coaches that he's lazy or anything like that - he's just a big kid who doesn't stop hitting. Was his weight much of a concern for you?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

He's kind of square, and not a great runner, but he was a two-way guy in high school, he's not fat, and he's fine in right field. And the plate discipline is absurd. It would be hard to concoct a scenario where he's not a productive hitter in the majors.

Jeff (NYC)

Stanton over Jesus Montero --- basically because Montero is a DH?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

Stanton's potentially a plus defender in right. Montero could end up a first baseman (abstract world here) but won't add Stanton's defensive value.

Ron (Chicago)

Can Gustavo Nunez be an abover-average big leaguer? Or is Dombrowski's excitement over him Cale Iorg version 2.0?

Klaw
  (1:15 PM)

He's good. He'll be on my list (tomorrow) of guys who could jump on to the top 100 next year.

Doc (Minneapolis)

I find it hard to believe you have the Giants as your 20th ranked organization. They have two of the top 10 prospects in the game (Posey, Bumgarner), several up-and-coming bats who had very good seasons (Neal, Kieschnick, Pill) and a bunch of high upside prospects in the levels (Adrianza, Peguero, Crawford, Noonan, Fairley, Dominguez, R. Rodriguez). Not to mention their always strong stable of arms (Wheeler, Joaquin, Sosa, Snyder, Tanner, Surkamp). I'm not saying they should be a top-3 organization, but they're no worse than the 10th best in baseball right now.

Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)

How did the Giants minor league system drop so low on the list? They still have Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Thomas Neal, Zach Wheeler, and a pretty underrated recent draft pick in Chris Dominguez, all below the age of 23.

Klaw
  (1:18 PM)

Same question, asked twice. First of all, Bumgarner took a big step back, Villalona is effectively out of baseball, Conor Gillaspie had a mediocre pro debut, I'm not a big Crawford believer, Chris Dominguez isn't very good (a college senior with a hole in his swing the size of the rock of Gibraltar) ... that's why they dropped. And I'm not sure how you (Doc) could argue they're top 10 - you've got all the other systems analyzed and ranked? You're citing guys like Fairley (terrible), Noonan (doesn't walk, massive arm bar), Peguero (makes Noonan look like Adam Dunn in the walks department), Rodriguez (like him, but he's a ton of projection right now)... really, almost every system has guys like that in low-A and below.

Jordan (Glen Dale, WV)

I've read some reports on Sterling Marte's potential. Was he ever in the running for the top 100 (or 110)? And whats your take on him? Thanks.

Klaw
  (1:18 PM)

Too raw. Chance to show up there next year with some refinement.

O Sistrunk (U of Mars)

i enjoy reading your work, and your systematic pproach to rankings is truly educational. Do you think in this process you might miss intangibles including love of the game/drive to succeed. For example, as a red sox fan, I can easily picture Josh Reddick at home, chewing nails as we reviews the top 10 by org list.

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

Any aspect of makeup that influences a player's chance of succeeding, like work ethic, factors into my rankings. I see the players, and I talked to at least one person in every organization (but one) about their players. I consider the relevant parts of makeup, whether it's something I notice myself or something I'm told by a club exec.

Brandon (Charleston, WV)

Did Yorman Rodriguez get any consideration for the top 100?

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

Too crude, and too far away. All tools at this point.

Mac (Philly)

Is the one organization you didn't talk the Royals? Did Dayton ground you too?

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

I won't specify the organization, but I should defend the Royals here - it wasn't them, and, as their people have nearly always been with me, the person to whom I spoke was very professional.

Wayne (Toronto)

How close was Cole Rohrbough to cracking the top 100?

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

Not very.

Oden (Motown)

I am a little surprised Parker is as high as he is, and Turner as low (and i realize ranking a guy 80th doesn't mean you don't like him). While TJ is becoming more routine--it isn't yet (cough, Foppert, cough, Liriano), and even if they could, i doubt Detroit would trade Turner for Parker straight up. Was Parker THAT good pre-surgery that he would have been top 10?

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

Yes. Parker was on track for a 2010 debut when he got hurt.

Shane (Wyoming)

You have the Rockies as the 8th best farm system in the Majors and they only have 3 in the top 100. I know they have graduated a bunch of players in the last few years, but the cupboard seems a bit bare right now. Do they have a number of prospects just outside the top 100 that keeps them in the top 10 of farm systems?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

The organization rankings are based on all the prospects in each system, not just the guys in the top 100. And the fact that they have two LHP in their system I really like helped.

Dave (Carsdale, NY)

You don't seem to put any stock in AFL performances. It may be a small sample size, but top end 2005 and 2006 performances there have been fairly reliable indications of future MLB success. (2005: Kemp, Ethier, Morales, Drew; 2006: Tulowitski, Reynolds, Braun, Zobrist).

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

Those guys were all top prospects anyway except Zobrist, who completely remade his swing well after that, and Reynolds.

LP (Dallas)

Everyone seems to be bullish on Jurickson Profar. Is he one of those guys who could vault into the top 50 next year?

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

Yep. But I'd like to see him, and I'd like to see him play some actual games.

Seema (San Pablo)

Are you worried about Smoak's power numbers or do you believe the oblique injury affected him?

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

I believe the oblique injury affected him. He has power.

Jon V. (Cleveland, OH)

Regarding Michael Brantley - if Sizemore is hitting 30+ HRs as your CF does it really matter if Brantley plas LF and doesn't hit for power? Your prodiction from CF LF is the same regardless of which position the power is coming from.

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

Because they could go find a more productive bat than Brantley in LF. The standard for the position is lower.

Jordan (Glen Dale, WV)

Have you seen Tabata recently in person? If so does anything in his swing show you the power could break out, or do you expect him to be a corner OF will minimal power?

Klaw
  (1:28 PM)

I saw him in the AFL, and I'm not sure there's much power to come there. He's gotten thicker, but the ball ain't going any farther.

Justin (Boston)

C. Santana, Montero and Posey...better than Weiters?

Klaw
  (1:28 PM)

No. Wieters would be over all three guys if he was on the list.

Mike (NY)

KLaw- I realize that the Yankees are far down on the Org. prospect chart, 25th maybe, but don't they have a lot of low minor leaguers with high growth potential?

Klaw
  (1:28 PM)

Sure, but many or most orgs have the same.

Andrew (NY)

Just wanted to say thanks for an awesome top 100 prospect list - definitely worth the wait. Just one quick question - the absence of Reddick from the Bosox top 10? A result of his lack of patience at the plate and his poor performance at AAA?

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

It's that approach. Tough to be a productive big league corner outfielder with that approach.

Mark (Chicago)

Brett Jackson make the list next year?

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

If he does in 2010 what he did in 2009 in pro ball, yes. I left him off because I'm not going to completely ignore what he did before he was drafted in favor of a half-season or so of pro ABs.

Avery (Walnut Creek)

How many times do you have to tell your chats that you don't care about other people's rankings before they stop feeding you random scouting reports/rankings?

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

At least once a year, in the top 100 chat. And probably again at the draft.

Brady (NEW oRLEANS)

IS BRIAN MATUSZ still a rookie this season

Klaw
  (1:31 PM)

MAYBE YOU SHOULD CHECK THE LIST and your caps lock key

Mr. Must See TV (Writing From Wilpon's Office)

I know that Wilmer's footwork and lack of speed will prevent him from staying at short or third, but don't you think his strong arm can play in right field. Also, I think Kirk Nieuwenhuis can make a very good #4 outfielder. Thoughts?

Klaw
  (1:32 PM)

Yes, I think Flores can play LF/RF. And that's what I think Nieuwenhuis is, which is why he wasn't on my Mets top 10.

John (NY)

How close was Liddi from making the list? where would a repeat performance in AA put him? Thanks

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Late cut. If he carries it over, he'll be on the list, but not top 50.

Tom (PA)

In your opinion, was the half year of Cliff Lee and the four years of Halladay worth it for the Phillies to practically empty their system (besides Brown)?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Yes.

Victor (DC)

Could Alcides Escobar develop like a Hanley Ramirez-type SS?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

I don't see that at all.

Jeff (Secaucus)

you seem like the only one who like J.C. Ramirez over Phillippe Aumont. Do you like ramirez more than others or Aumont less?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Ramirez might start. Aumont's almost certainly a reliever.

Nick S. (Chicago, IL)

How could you possibly put the White Sox dead last?!?!?!?!?! I mean, yeah they arent elite, but to say they arent middle of the pack, 15-25 range is ridiculous. Dont even get me started on the cubs at 7....

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

Again, how well do you know the other 29 systems? They have two guys on my top 100, a big-bat catcher who might not catch, a toolsy but still unpolished college OF, and next up is a 4th/5th starter. I had a hard time filling out their top 10, and their lower levels are light on those lottery ticket/ceiling guys that most other systems have.

Brandon (LA)

Whats your take on Randall Girchik?

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

Raw power. Horrid approach. Needs to recognize a breaking ball before I'll talk about him.

Todd ((WI))

Any Brewers pitching prospects even close to the top 100?

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

Arnett and Odorizzi could make the list next year.

Ryan (DC)

Is Casey Kelly's upside higher than Hellickson's? Floor?

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

Uh, yeah.

Brian (NE)

Does Michael Main jump into the top 50 next season?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

He has to stay healthy for a full year. I love the arm and athleticism.

Cox (Somerset, NJ)

When was the last time you didn't rank the White Sox and Astros at the bottom of the top 30? Seems like they round out the list every year.

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

Turning around a system takes time. The Astros did move up and I could see them inching up more next year. You would expect there to be some year-to-year correlation on these lists.

Mike (Niles, IL)

Keith, why focus on questions like why didn't "X" make the list? How about a question about your evaluation process. How do you determine a player like Starlin Castro projects for power?

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

From his swing, his body, and the way the ball comes off his bat (hint: really freaking well).

Matt (Boston)

You mentioned Brackman in your system overview, and he was always a high risk/high reward pick (although Bard would have been nice...), but do you think the control problems are typical of young TJ recovery (like Liriano) or did you see, or hear from other scouts, that it was a symptom of something else or simply never there?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

I've heard mixed reports. The problem with Brackman is that he wasn't very experienced before the injury, and his command was up and down as an amateur ... it was way down his junior year, but he might have already been hurt. It's different from, say, Jarrod Parker, who had a track record of success when his elbow snapped.

mark (pitt)

Pedro dominates in college, show's monsterous power in A and flat out dominates AA ball. So why is he so low?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

There's a pretty good chance that I wrote a 150-200 word capsule on Alvarez, answering exactly that question.

Ethan Mistry (Toronto)

If Bumgarner comes out in spring throwing 90-94 where would you put him?

Klaw
  (1:41 PM)

His problem was that he couldn't hold the velo all year. If he's 90-94 (or more) in August, he'd be a lot higher ... or in the majors and off this list.

Jordan (Glen Dale, WV)

Have you watched a lot of Alvarez in person? I do also disagree with his being ranked 35th, however I've never seen him in person and am just looking at stats and various reports.

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

Yes, I've seen him each of the last four years, often multiple times a year.

tfierst (Saint Paul)

Surprised to see Grant Green so low. Is that because you don't give him much chance at SS? If he was guaranteed to stick at SS, where would he rank?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

I have doubts about his ability to stay at SS, and his power potential. If you pull out the '09 draftees on this list, you'll find I hewed pretty close the order in which I had them in June, only moving guys where we got new information (e.g., Mike Trout having a great summer at 17 in the AZL).

Dee (Washington D.C)

Is Josh Vitters hit tool strong enough to compensate for his inability to take a walk? Is he the rare "bad ball hitter" a la Vlad, or is he just a hopeless hacker?

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

He's not a hacker - he's not swinging at everything in sight. He squares a lot of balls up, but it's hard to have an adequate OBP when you draw two walks a month. Unless he's hitting .350 in the majors, he's going to have to figure out what comes after ball two.

Marc (Big D)

1. People need to realize being 35th does not = you not liking them. 2. Where would Gordon Beckham have been on this list?

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

If I'm counting his big league stats? Top 10.

Jason (Birmingham)

Keith, how do you address guys who were drafted as and used as relievers in the minors? Seems to me its difficult to tell if a guy's destiny is to be a 7th inning guy, as opposed to evaluating the long looks you can get at a starter.

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

I'm looking for starter stuff, build, delivery. Or asking a scout or exec about the same.

Nate (North Carolina)

I'm surprised Iglesias made the list... I'm assuming this means you see him hitting at least reasonably well. How does he compare to other fielding-heavy shortstops, such as Freddy Galvis (who I once saw draw an Ozzie Smith comp) or Brandon Crawford?

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

I think he'll hit enough to be an asset, and be a plus glove. I don't like Crawford's bat as much as I like Iglesias', and I think Iglesias does it easier at short.

Frank (Rhode Island)

How many questions do you have to ask before a response is given? Im guessing my questions aren't good enough...

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

I've got 1157 so far this chat. Most of you will not be answered. I'm sorry.

Shankweather (Louisville, KY)

Now that you're doing this annual list, have you given any thought to going back and evaluating the accuracy of your rankings?

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

I'm always thinking about them. Same with the draft rankings. Can't get better if you don't figure out where you were wrong.

Mike Nesmith (DC)

Hows the beard? Any pictures out there?

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

It just wasn't that exciting. I looked like I needed a paper bag with a bottle in it.

Alex (Chicago)

most likely to be a 'bust' from round one of the 2009 draft?

Klaw
  (1:47 PM)

Grichuk. If he develops his eye, he's a big leaguer. If not, he stalls out in AA or below.

Mike (Long Island)

Should Fernando Martinez really be on this list? I mean, he can't stay healthy and his stint in the majors didn't prove much.

Klaw
  (1:48 PM)

He was way too young for the big leagues, and he has top-25 ability. But intangibles, including his inability to stay healthy, count too.

Chris (Wheaton)

Who were the closest Rays to make the list that didn't? Any high upside players that could make a huge leap next year?

Klaw
  (1:48 PM)

Had Barnese been healthy all year, he would have made the list.

Charlie (Boston)

How close was Derrick Gibson to reaching the top 100 and how do you project him in the future? Thanks.

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

I strongly believe he'll be on the list next year. I really like him, but not enough to juice him on to the list.

Ben (Lincoln, NE)

Was Jordan Danks anywhere near your top 100? Or is he not as viable an OF option as I was led to believe?

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

I'm not a fan.

Zachary (Sacramento, CA)

Can you ballpark your asking salary and demands if you were to start to be employed by a major league team?

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

No.

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

I hope that was clear ... sometimes the chat software doesn't refresh for me either.

Dan (Louisville, KY)

Bruce Levine suggested the Cubs might start Castro at SS this year. How do you think Castro would do if they tried this?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

It wouldn't shock me if he held his own, but I think a half-year to a year in the high minors would do him a lot of good.

Arsen (Grand Rapids, MI)

I'm not surprised Crosby was ranked higher then Turner. Crosby did have a great year last year at "A ball". And he's a lefty which makes it even easier to rank him. How long will it take for both of them to crack the bigs? 2 years?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

Crosby could move really quickly. Turner, we'll have to see where the secondary stuff is. Amazingly quick arm.

Sandra Day (O Connor)

Austin Romine any good?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

Has a chance, but too raw at plate/behind dish to make the 100.

Wayne Khan ( Toronto)

What do you think of Alex Anthopolous calling accardo personally to tell him if he pitches well he'l make the team?

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

That's the sort of thing a good GM does. And I think he's deliberately making a break with how his predecessor handled things.

Tarik (NJ)

Did you type "No." five times to emphasize your answer or is that a glitch?

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

Glitch. Sorry.

Greg (Milwaukee)

Why no love for Jonathan Lucroy?

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

No star potential. Fringe-average everyday catcher, chance to be average?

Mike (Newton, MA)

Your take on Lars Anderson sounds more like an elegy than a scouting report... I assume the #56 ranking means you expect him to be able to move mountains if he figures everything out?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

The truth is that I don't know what the future holds. I had him very high a year ago as a guy with a great approach, a very good swing, and rare intelligence. He was healthy all year in 2009 and was inexcusably awful. I hope he figures it out because I hate to see talent wasted, but I'm not good enough to tell you what comes next for him.

Jason (Bmore)

If you were to compare Feliz and Perez at the same point of their careers, who are you taking?

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

I have Perez over Feliz now. Perez starts, for sure. Feliz, maybe not. I would start Feliz this year, but I recognize reasons he could end up in the pen.

Walt Jocketty (Cincinnati)

Is Francisco anywhere near the top 100 or should I flip him to make room for Frazier?

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

Now that is a hacker. Francisco stays in the system, you work with him, but you don't let him block anyone.

Chris (Dallas, TX)

I know that Strasburg has the goods, but don't you feel even *slightly* uncomfortable ranking him that high before he's even thrown a single inning?

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

Not in the least.

Jeremy (New Orleans)

I know its the Klaw 100 chat but...Do you have any comments up on the A's signing Sheets? Thanks...love that chats

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

Love it. Potential ace for them if healthy, and I see good reasons to think he'll be healthy.

Kyle (OH)

Great work on the list (especially good news for Oriole fans)! I noticed Hobgood isn't in the top-100. Were Miller and Matzek better pitching options for the O's in the 1st round last year?

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

I had those two rated over Hobgood in June because of higher ceilings. That's really it. Doesn't make Hobgood a bad selection, though.

Jordan (Glen Dale, WV)

I did a little research. Last year's top 100: Tim Alderson 26. Have you lost all faith in him? Thats a pretty far drop

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

He showed a fringe-average fastball all year. I love the command but guys with that little velo do not make this list.

shaun (STL)

just a casual thought - but do you think you're applying the "you could take this car...but what's in the mystery box??" philosophy. specifically about alcides escobar being in the 50's when he's definitely a major leaguer and likely to have some success. seems like he'd be a little higher based on his high floor alone.

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

Prospect evaluation as the Monty Hall problem? You should ALWAYS switch.

Michael (Philadelphia)

What do you think of the Phils system below AA ball, I know they have some guys that have high ceilings

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

A ton. Most are really far away, but guys like Gose, Valle, James, Hudson, Dugan, and so on are really interesting. Just not really a consideration for a list like this.

Johnny (NYC)

I know he's probably far too young for the list, but does Juan Duran have a decent chance at cracking the KLAW100 in the near-ish future?

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

I'm not sure he's going to hit. He's 6'7" now and was crude before the spurt. Think of the sheer size of that strike zone.

Mark (NJ)

Which Yankees prospect has the best chance of cracking your list next year? Heathcott, Murphy, Brackman, Bleich

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

Heathcott.

Josh (Cleveland,TN)

any thoughts on Cody Johnson of the Braves?

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

Not a big leaguer.

Wade (Nashville)

Can Stock stick at C with STL? Chance to become converted P?

Klaw
  (1:59 PM)

They see him as a catcher. He did have a strong pro debut, but he also came out of the Pac 10, where he saw some pretty solid college pitching.

Paul (Richfield, WI)

Can Zack Braddock be an effective major league reliever? He had quite a year in 2009.

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

Yes, I believe he can, probably this year.

Mike (KC)

If you were to do a top 100 prospects list that ranked guys solely on offensive potential, which is all fantasy leaguers care about, how different would it look than the list you did today?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

I just don't think about players like that. I can't sever offense entirely from position and defense.

Jim (Boston)

Would Ackley be ranked even higher if it weren't for the 2B or not 2B experiment?

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

No, I thought of him as a CF, period.

Kyle (OH)

Sorry to hear Salinger has passed away, but am I alone in thinking "The Catcher and the Rye" is the Madison Bumgarner of books (overrated)? (I say that just to irk Giant fans from earlier in the chat)

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

I read it twice in school and didn't care for it either time.

Mark (Providence)

Do you see Drew Storen getting a cup of coffee at the end of 2010?

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

Or sooner.

phil (pa)

should scott matheison spend anymore time in the minors?

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

No. Have to assume he'll blow out again, so just bring him up and throw him out there.

Ben (Lincoln, NE)

What are your thoughts on Tyler Flowers? Legit replacement for Pierzynski?

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

Yes. Could replace him this year, really.

Jason (Rockaway, NJ)

Thoughts on Tate of SD?

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

I want to see him face pro pitching, with wood, and make contact. He had contact issues in high school. I would not have taken him at 3.

Justin (Kent, WA)

You're pretty high on Saunders. Should he start LF in Seattle or Tacoma in 2010?

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

Tacoma.

Master (Heaven)

Keith, just finished up this classic. It was rough around the edges at times but came together at the end in grand style. Matthew makes a deal with Satan and spares Pontius Pilate and sends the M&M into heaven. Did you see the end this way as well?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

Yes, I think that's the consensus interpretation.

a D u B (Newport Beach, CA)

Has Chris Nelson fallen off the radar?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

Not healthy. I think he's a big leaguer, an everyday 2b at least, if he can stay healthy.

j (cin)

Miguel Sano close to making this list or just too young?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

Um...

Reed (Claremont, Ca)

Did Padres' third baseman Darnell or Forsythe get much consideration?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

No. Darnell mashed at a level for which he was too old and too experienced. All those 22-23-year-olds at Fort Wayne ... just ignore their stats.

Ryan (Pittsburgh, PA)

Care to elaborate on why you think Brad Lincoln might end up having to be a reliever? I had never heard that before.

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

It's in the comment - fastball is flat and he may not be able to go through a lineup three times.

Matt (DC)

Keith, I know you're high on Jennry Mejia, but I've heard concerns that he may end up in the bullpen if his secondary pitches don't develop. Thoughts?

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

I don't see that as the issue. Command and control are his issues.

Mike (MO)

Does Reese Havens have the potential to be a top 50 guy? Above avg regular or just another guy?

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

Just a guy, not a star for me.

Omar (Baltimore, MD)

Does Mike Stanton's contact rates at all concern you? In the past few years we've seen high strike out guy after high strike out guy with oodles of raw power ranked in the top ten prospects, just to fail in the majors. Delmon Young, Brandon Wood, Dallas MacPherson, Eric Duncan, etc. What seperates Mike Stanton from them? Stanton's contact rates in the minors don't even come close to even Adam Dunn's. When will minor league talking heads start to worry about a batter's strike out/contact rates?

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

Yes, they do. Long arms = long swing. But he's also exceptionally young for his levels.

Kyle (OH)

I know on your blog you're promoting some cool and unknown card games, but what are some "commercial" or popular board and card games you enjoy?

Klaw
  (2:07 PM)

I don't think there are any. I'm not into the whole "roll the dice, move your mice" style of game. And I wouldn't call Settlers of Catan unknown. The Barnes and Noble out in Natick was selling that, Dominion, Zooloretto ... they're just not that obscure.

Dan (Villanova)

How can you possibly justify only one Phillie on that list? No excuse for not having Aumont on that list regardless of whether he starts or relieves, 6'7 and throwing 97 with a good secondary offering. Not to mention one or two of Gose, May, Ramirez, Santana, Gillies, Cosart or Valle should be on there as well.

Klaw
  (2:08 PM)

Sure. You're the expert. Oh, no, wait. I'm the expert. So yes, I can justify having one Phillie on that list. Aumont has durability concerns and the secondary stuff isn't advanced.

Dayan Viciedo (Birmingham)

I know a lot of people saw me as a bust because of the bonus, but I thought I did pretty well as a 20 year old in AA. Especially considering the cultural adjustments, and the extreme pitchers park I called home. How far out of the top-100 did I fall, and what do you see for me this year after a strong finish?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

Bad body and bad approach. DH with big raw power that doesn't always translate.

Troy (DC)

how long are you chatting today? breaking the record?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

No, I'm almost done. I'm sick and slept about 3 hours last night.

Jon (DC)

You rank Ian Desmond higher, but does Danny Espinosa have a higher ceiling? Solid regular?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

I don't buy Espinosa's bat.

Kevin (New York)

Ever play Axis & Allies, great WWII board game.Josh Thole, how close is he? I know there are questions about his glove, but the man did hit .340 in AA.

Klaw
  (2:10 PM)

Not a fan of Axis & Allies. It takes a week and a half to set up. Thole's bat plays now, although an organization that gets its pants all tight over Bengie Molina probably doesn't see him that way. But he has limited catching experience and could use more time back there before he's handed a big league job.

Justin (Redlands, CA)

Did the Angels get a steal in Trout at that point of the first round?

Klaw
  (2:11 PM)

Where I ranked him implies that they did, I think. I've already had a couple of other clubs tell me they're second-guessing passing on him.

Jake (Sacramento, CA)

Keith, you're the man, and since you're answering book related questions, please tell me what your favorite episode of Ulysses is?

Klaw
  (2:11 PM)

Cyclops or Circe. I wouldn't say I really enjoyed much else in the book.

Brandon Snyder (Norfolk)

How close was I to making the top 100? Will I hit in the majors enough to play first?

Klaw
  (2:12 PM)

I think you were next on my O's list. I'm not entirely sure about your power potential, which is why you missed.

Jesus (Nazareth)

Will Clark was the greatest thing to ever come out of the state of Mississippi... see anyone out there who is cut from the same cloth?

Klaw
  (2:13 PM)

No, the greatest thing to ever come out of the state of Mississippi is William Faulkner.

Keyandre (CR)

Kyler Burke, Hits enough to make the bigs?

Klaw
  (2:13 PM)

I say yes.

Michael (Rutherford)

More overrated...Ryan Westmoreland or Casey Kelly?

Klaw
  (2:14 PM)

Westmoreland has played, what, a week in the field in pro ball? I love the tools, and I did rank him high, but there are definitely reasons to hit the brakes.

Eric (KC)

Why so down on Wil Myers?

Klaw
  (2:15 PM)

I'm not down on him.

Dean (TX)

Keith, thanks for the chat. Can you give a quick synopsis of how an international draft will cause teams to close their camps in certain markets and why they are so necessary. Do these countries not have professional leagues that can be scouted. And when they are brought to workout at a team's facility does that organization immediately try to sign them before another team can swoop in?

Klaw
  (2:15 PM)

You're talking about 16-year-olds in most of these countries, with limited organized baseball, if any. Much of the development that goes on is through academies, MLB or otherwise.

VK (DC)

Do you think scouts, media, GMs generally overrate Yankee and Red Sox prospects? I do, but what do I know..

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

GMs? No. Scouts? I don't think so. Media? I'm only concerned with myself, and today I'm being called a Yankee hater, so ... there you go.

Sean (Seattle)

Klaw - The problem with keeping Ackley in CF is the best defensive CF in baseball just signed an extension there. Ichiro is in right, and with Saunders in left, he needs a position switch to make the big club in a year, right?

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

Franklin Gutierrez does not block Dustin Ackley.

Chris (Alabama)

Will Hosmer bounce back after his vision problems are corrected?

Klaw
  (2:17 PM)

And his hand injury.

Joseph (Keller, Tx)

Hey Keith, big fan! As an 18 year old, I plan on taking my first Spring Training trip this year! Where do you usually go, or do you have any recommendations? Thanks for any and all of your help!

Klaw
  (2:17 PM)

I prefer Arizona - more compact, better weather, better food. But I'm agnostic on what teams and players I see.

Mark (Toronto)

Please rank: Cecil, Rzepcynski, Litsch (healthy), B. Mills, Z. Stewart.Thanks.

Klaw
  (2:18 PM)

Ceiling - Stewart, Cecil, and you can have the others.

Flora ((Cold Comfort Farm))

What did Aunt Ada Doom see in the woodshed?

Klaw
  (2:18 PM)

The better question is, did it see her?

Justin (Redlands, CA)

Insider sucks. Any chance we get a free preview of your list one of these days?

Klaw
  (2:18 PM)

Insider pays my salary. And it's just not that much money.

Bryan (Burlington, VT)

Hey Keith, just wondering what it is about the Sox farm system that you like over the Rays. Thanks.

Klaw
  (2:20 PM)

I had Boston 2 and Tampa Bay 3, which is basically a rounding error. But I like Boston's high-ceiling depth in the low minors more than Tampa's, which I valued a little more than Tampa's edge in impact guys in the high minors. I'm not adamant about them being 2-3 instead of 3-2; I think the gap between either of them and 4 is bigger.

daniel (san diego)

when are you doing the top 10 per organization?

Klaw
  (2:20 PM)

It's up.

Jack (Chicago)

Why is Escy from Mil so low? I thought he would at least be in top 25.

Klaw
  (2:20 PM)

Good defensive shortstop who should hit for some average, walk once a week, and not hit for power, and I don't love his makeup. Good player. Not a star for me.

Steve (Brooklyn)

Keith, any thoughts on Henry Rodriguez? His control is almost Neighborgallian, but that K/9 is ridiculous.

Klaw
  (2:21 PM)

One of the fastest arms in the minors.

Omar (Baltimore, MD)

Why do you go Kelly over Drabek?

Klaw
  (2:21 PM)

Command, delivery, athleticism, better three-pitch mix.

Mo (NY)

Is Dellin Betances toast? What happened there? I remember that you liked him.

Klaw
  (2:21 PM)

I don't think I ever had him on the top 100. Live arm, iffy results, and hurt.

Phil (Philadelphia)

Are the four sweetest words in the English language "Pitchers and catchers report"? Also, what do you think of Tyson Gillies, long term?

Klaw
  (2:22 PM)

Ridiculous speed. Not sold on the bat.

Peter (Jupiter)

Just signed up for Insider. Buy a drink on me!

Klaw
  (2:22 PM)

Thank you!

Klaw
  (2:23 PM)

And once I shake this cold, I'm buying a bottle of Rhum Babancourt - Haitian rum distilled from sugar-cane. A self-serving way to help people in need!

Ben (FL )

I know hes still in HS, but what do you think of Yordy Cabrera?

Klaw
  (2:23 PM)

I believe he's an old high school senior - first rounder, but not top of the draft for me right now.

Ryan (Cincinnati)

Considering all of the Reds pitchers are flyball guys, could Todd Frazier hold his own at SS?

Klaw
  (2:24 PM)

No.

Nate (Philly)

Keith, who's the better prospect: Starlin Castro or Alcides Escobar? Castro has more with the bat, but Escobar is a premium defender, and he's in the ML now. Thanks.

Klaw
  (2:24 PM)

Ryan: No. Nate: Castro. Much, much higher ceiling.

Alex (Los Angeles)

Ooh, thanks for the reminder abour Rhum Babancourt. If anyone out there hasn't tried it -- it's excellent. Sip it like cognac.

Eric (berwerscubs.com)

Have read other scouts who have said that Escobar could step in and be one of the best defensive SS in the game right now, and have compared his defense to Ozzie Smith. Are you as high on his defense?

Klaw
  (2:25 PM)

Clearly not.

Reggie C. (New York, NY)

Please Explain the Anthony Rizzo ranking.

Klaw
  (2:25 PM)

It's in the scouting report.

Ben (Leland Grove)

Sum up Anthony Rendon in five words for us, please.

Klaw
  (2:25 PM)

I'll see him in a couple of weeks. Flipping the switch on to draft coverage next week.

Jon (DC)

I saw you had both Juan Jamie and Eury Perez on your Nats Top Ten. What is the ceiling on those two and could either (perhaps more likely Perez) crack your Top 100 next year?

Klaw
  (2:27 PM)

Perez is a CF who can fly and looks like he'll hit. Have to see the secondary tools, of course. Jamie has missed a lot of time with injuries but was 90-94 last year, good enough that I think they added him to the 40-man.

Daniel Morton (san diego)

Keith, Thanks for all the hard work. The top prospects, ORG rankings, and top 10 prospects per ORG along with the chat make this my favorite time of year.!

Klaw
  (2:28 PM)

You're welcome. Thank you all for reading and for all the questions. I'll have another piece up tomorrow on sleepers for the 2011 ranking, and I think I'm chatting on ESPNDeportes.com (in Spanish, so it'll be a little slower) tomorrow at 2 pm EST.