I apologize in advance if I have to break away at some point for a call, but I'll do my best to give you a full hour. Latest word I have is that the Royals are now taking Chris Sale at 4.
Who could the 'Stros take at #33?
Chad Bettis, Luke Jackson, or Kellin Deglan.
Keith, first off thanks for the great coverage on the draft. My question is do you like the Red Sox taking Ranaudo at #20 given his talent or do you think he's too much of a risk there because of injuries? Thanks KLaw.
I do like it - chance for a workhorse #2 starter in a draft spot that doesn't ordinarily provide that type of player.
If you were the Pirates would you select James Taillon or Manny Machado and why?
Machado - position player over pitcher, and some very minor questions on how "now" Taillon's talent is. But I don't have any real objection to their pick of Taillon.
Took a quick look at your top 100 and your latest mock. Seems like a bunch of guys you predict to go in the first are rated by you 40 - 100. What's the disconnect? Aren't the GM's reading your top 100?
They're listening to their scouting staffs, which is what they should do.
I've heard rumblings that if the Mets take Cox they're thinking of moving him to 2nd base, Can his glove play there?
I'm not worried about his glove, but about his legs. I think 3b is his best position.
If the Brewers pass on Biddle at #14, any chance he's there for them in the second?
What round do you see Jedd Gyorko going? He seems like a nice fit as middle infielder for a team that doesn't have a lot of depth in that area...coughPiratescough.
Late first or sandwich. I do not believe he remains in the middle infield, though.
It seems like there are two things keeping the MLB draft from being more popular: 1) The relative unpopularity of college baseball, compared to basketball and football; and 2) the 2-4 years it usually takes for top picks to reach the majors. Does that look right, and is there anything that can (should?) be done to fix that?
I'd add 3), based on Joe Sheehan's email newsletter from today: The fact that you can't trade picks, which removes a level of intrigue from day one. If there was the chance that viewers could watch a trade involving a big league player happen "live" during the draft, more would tune in.
Where does Bret Eibner project better in the pros? Outfield or pitcher
Pitcher for me. Can really play CF, though.
Am I wrong or are the Royals prepping to take a bullpen guy at #4 overall?
That is my feeling, yes. I do know several teams that would not consider him in round one, and I know Oakland would strongly consider him at 10.
There's some word that the Minnesota Twins will pick homeboy Mike Kvasnicka. Thoughts on the pick and the player?
I think that's a backup option for them, and an overdraft for me given who else is likely to be on the board.
What do you project for Gauntlett Eldmire OF from Ohio U?
I think he's drafted tomorrow, second or third round.
Does Colon have the biggest range of where he could be selected of any first-rounder?
No, he's going somewhere between 10 and 17 as far as I can tell. Vitek has a wider range (9 to somewhere in the 20s), to choose one guy.
Any "decisive" word on who Pittsburgh is going to take? I'd rather have A-Rod Lite than a prep pitcher who the Pirates will have to "develop", since we have such a great track record of that.
They're taking Taillon.
Keith, what do you think of the Angels possibly taking THREE prep arms in the first round? Do you see it as a good high risk, high reward strategy? Or should they diversify a little bit?
Love it. If the draft is stuffed with HS RHP, and others are headed away from that, then logic says you're going to get great value with those guys relative to where you're picking. If they take 3 in the first and 2 more in the second I might send Eddie Bane a plaque.
What are you hearing on the Reds, and I also wanted to ask Does Sam Lecrue have the stuff to go in the Reds Bullpen when Bailey goes back.
Other than Colon, mostly college arms for the Reds, including a new name - Chance Ruffin from Texas. Yes, Lecure might really be a pen guy long term.
Keith, what do you see the Rays doing with the 17th pick? I've heard the most names attached to their pick. Do they give Austin Wilson a call if he's available? How much is Wilson asking?
The highest I've legitimately heard Wilson is 27 with the Phillies. I am told there is no fixed number out there on him.
Reds are rumored to be very interested in Alex Wimmers, the pitcher out of Ohio St, a local kid. How does he project at the major league level?
He's down their list, I'm told. He's not a real great fit for that park with that fastball.
Is Vitek pretty much a sure thing to go to the Padres at this point?
That's one pick I feel pretty good about.
Do you see Hahn from Va Tech as a guy that could go today? Where?
No, teams jumped off him on medical concerns.
Are the Mets going with O'Connor? Would that be another slot pick?
Still haven't heard a firm answer on Mets pick. They're choosing among the same three names.
Could you imagine how a big leaguer would feel if he was involved in a draft day trade for picks?
Do I care?
Keith, where do you see Grandal going if he falls beyond #4?
White Sox at 13 seem like both his floor and his next most likely destination.
By the way, I posted a projected first round this morning, which we've updated with the Sale/KC and Ruffin info. Many of you are asking generic "who is team X taking" questions that are answered there, and I'm trying to focus on questions I haven't answered already. Projection is here: http://proxy.espn.go.com/mlb/draft2010/insider/news/story?id=5259729
Any chance the White Sox take Whitson if he were still available at 13? If not, who do you see them taking?
I have only heard them on college arms, Grandal, and O'Conner.
Where do you see UNC RHP Harvey going?
As high as 7, as low as maybe 20. I did hear from one team in the last 24 hours that said their scouts' consensus was that he had four above average pitches - by far the best report I've heard on him, and much better than what I have seen from him this year or in the past.
I heard that the Phillies are interested in C Justin O'Connor or James Paxton. Which players are they more likely to get and why?
O'Conner ain't getting close to that pick and I have not heard them on Paxton, nor is that normally their kind of guy. They take high-ceiling high school players and have had some pretty notable successes with that approach, like Cosart, Brown, and maybe now Singleton.
Which player in your latest 1st round mock makes the majors first?
Wimmers or McGuire. Ruffin could be that guy if he goes in the first.
Would love the Mets to take Harvey at 7, is that too high for him? Also, he is one of the "three" the Mets are considering? Thanks.
Not too high, and yes.
Whats the latest buzz on James Paxton?
That he just never threw that great in indy ball. Most guys who go that route help themselves, but he didn't. I still like him and would take him late first, but I understand why teams are shying away.
23 minutes in and no Michael Stanton questions?
Ignoring them. Draft is 3.5 hours away. Let's talk about that.
Are the A's in on Whitson or j. Sale.
Is there anyone other then Biddle and Wilson that the Phil's are interested in with their pick at 27?
Yelich and others. This is all in this morning's article.
If YOU were in charge of drafting for the O's, would you choose Machado, assuming that Harper and Taillon are gone?
Yes. That's the second easiest decision in the draft after Washington at 1. The Pirates have the toughest.
Does Kyle Parker get drafted high enough to make him quit football, or will he be back in the fall?
I don't know his threshold, but he probably has more leverage now than he ever will. I have only heard him solidly with one or two teams in the first - Rockies, maybe Yankees.
Is there a cap on the amount of money a team can spend on the draft? If not, why don't teams like the Red Sox and Yanks put inordinate monies into it. Wouldn't this be the most efficient use of their funds?
No cap. Diminishing returns. There just aren't that many prospects worthy of $500K bonuses in any given year.
You have the Yanks taking Jenkins. Others have them taking Vettleson. Is the former still the guy from what you hear?
They're on them both.
What round do you see SS Marcus Littlewood going?
If he doesn't go sandwich tonight, he may fall much farther and end up at USD. I see some Christian Colon similarities - both shortstops with + hands who were assumed (when Colon was out of HS that is) to be headed off short because they couldn't run. Three years later, Colon's a first-rounder viewed as a mortal lock to stay at the position. I wouldn't make that mistake twice.
Where is DeShields lilely to end up?
Astros, Cubs, lesser chances of Rangers, Blue Jays, Red Sox.
Is this the biggest drop off in talent after the top 3 as any recent draft?
There's always a cliff. This year it's 3. Next year it might be 12.
how come you rate levon washington so low on your top 100 when he was a first-round pick last year?
Why would I base my ranking of him on where he was taken last year? I've seen him multiple times - he can't throw at all, he doesn't project to have power, and he has poor instincts. He's on the 100 because I like his swing and his speed but there are a lot of negatives.
So where is the disconnect with players like Harvey? Is it personal opinion or different evaluation tools? (It seems like you are not impressed at all).
It's that he's not the same guy week to week. His delivery varies. His stuff varies. His command really varies. See him on the right day and you'll think he's the best starter in the draft. See him on another day and you'll think he's destined for the pen.
Isn't Vitek a HUGE REACH at 9?
No he's maybe a SLIGHT REACH.
Where do you think Joc Pederson goes in the draft? And would he still go to college, USC, if he gets drafted high?
Jason has heard that the Mariners are keen on taking him and buying him out of school. I'm thinking that's tomorrow rather than at 43.
Harper or Strasburg?
Strasburg. No question - he could have walked off campus and into a big league rotation.
keithcan you compare the resources that you have compared to a clubs scouting director? since you interact with all clubs do you think you get a better idea of consensus talent level and thus may have a better value ranking than some SD's? or is your info a bit too watered down? just curious
When I have seen a player live, that is always the basis of my evaluation. Other people can give you a consensus opinion, and that's fine. My own evaluations are unique - not to say good, just unique - and that's part of how I can provide value to readers.
If there is a Mike Trout this year, who is it?
There's not. I wish there was, as do 27 of the 30 teams.
Your pick out of Castellanos, Cabrera, or Gyorko?
Dollars equal? Castellanos. I'd actually pay more for him than the other two.
All the talk about Cox wanting a big league deal is worthless since he has to sign or risk falling significantly next year right? He is overplaying his hand.
This is true of every player with a high demand. A college player's alternative is to enter next year's stacked draft as a 22-year-old college senior with less leverage than a broken crowbar. A prep player's alternative is to go to college and come out in 2013 when there may be hard slotting. I'd sign.
where do you think Cowart will land? and do you think a team will pick him as a picher as well as a position player and decided which position he fits best as he moves through their system?
I'd say better than even chance he slides out of the round. I know the Dodgers, Rangers, Red Sox like him but not at his current price.
Text from scout about Loux going 6 to Arizona: "Geez."
Is AJ cole falling out of the first round?
That seems very likely right now.
Is there a huge difference between Tate and Reggie golden?
Tate faced better competition and had a little looser body. I saw Golden's swing a few times last summer and all I could think was "Wendell Fairley." I am probably light on him, but it was several disappointing looks.
I heard the White Sox are looking a Renaudo at 13, any truth to that rumor?
Do you think it is a mistake if the Padres take Vitek at 9? Overdraft?
No, I understand what they see there. He's really athletic and he's got upside with the bat; if he can really play CF, that's an above-average big leaguer. But he has to move to the outfield and we have no wood bat looks (he played in a rarely-scouted, minor summer league last year), which are both significant risk factors.
could Paxon land with the Cards..seeing they are looking for a LHP?
Do teams use you (and other professional prospect writers) to spread disinformation, and how easy is it to trust what they're saying? Thanks for all the hard work this time of year.
I would never knowingly spread anything false, and I try to vet everything I'm told if I can. And if someone lies to me, I don't go back to them.
Will somebody pick Kevin Ziomek in the first 2-3 rounds? How firm is his college commit?
I'm told very firm, and had more than one scout complain to me about how they were treated by the family. Good for Vandy.
Dumb question but I couldnt find the info; how many rounds are tonight?
One plus sandwich. 50 picks on the dot.
Has someone lied to you?
Yes. And I was told this year about someone who lied to another writer and as such haven't relayed a single thing that source told me this spring.
ok. since its a no on Paxson, how about Biddle for the Cards? Or are you pretty set in your Solis pick?
Keith, how would you rate the HS bats this year?
Lance: Not set on Solis - could be a college RHP - but they have said they want LHP and that might be their only chance to get a decent one.Matt: Average HS bat crop. Above average HS arms. Well below average college everything.
How many of my relatives get picked today and tomorrow?
All your Friends-and-Relations will be selected, including Early and Late.
Will Stafon Sabol be drafted high enough he wont go to Oregon next year?
I don't think so. For whatever it's worth, I want to see some of these HS guys go to school - makes the 2013 draft a little better. This year's college crop stinks because most of the best HS guys signed in '07.
I know I am being a little greedy here but are you also going to hold a regular chat later in the week? Thanks
Another one tomorrow at 1 pm. That's all. I don't like any of you enough to do this three times in four days.
What are your thoughts on guys like Plutko?
Really liked him last summer. Command guy, not a ton of projection, but enough stuff now that I could at least see him as a solid 4 with a chance to be more. Not an easy sign away from UCLA but I know a few teams toying with the idea, including Cleveland, the Angels, and Pittsburgh.
Is cox really seeking alvarez money and does he have Alvarez upside?
I think he's really looking for somewhere north of Alonso and south of Alvarez. I like Cox a ton but he's not Alvarez.
What's to stop a team from essentially "trading draft picks" by selecting who the other team wants and packaging that player in a deal?
A rule that says you can't trade a player until one year after the date of his first contract.
What's the best case scenario for TOR at 11? A masher like Choice? Why is AA reverting back to the JP era and refusing to take Prep arms (like Whitson) in round 1?
Come on - you're judging their entire scouting philosophy on one pick when they have two more today? Not to mention that the JP era said don't take prep arms, ever, even if all the other players are dead.
Whats not to like about Leon Landry? Everytime I read a scouting report on him he sounds like a 1st rounder, but never gets mentioned
Big questions about how much he's going to hit, small questions on his ability to play CF because of reads and instincts.
Keith, any particular signability guys that you've heard the Red Sox might want to grab tomorrow to make a run at signing later this summer?
I will include a few of those in my day one wrapup article tonight. I just don't know for sure who those guys will be - I could tell you Castellanos only to have him popped by the Brewers at 14 or the Giants at 24.
What do you think of Grandal's Swing? I think it is ugly from the left side and not much better from the right...am I wrong?
Yes. You are wrong.
Please tell me the Yankees aren't still considering Gary Brown.
He's down their list enough that they're not going to have to take him.
Big Baylor Bears Fan...Anyone there in the top few rounds?
Watch for HS pitcher Tyrell Jenkins - he's a Baylor recruit in football and baseball.
Is Vettelson's stock aided by his switch-pitching abilities? Or is he a legitimate talent on the mound? Is it irrelevant because he ends up playing OF?
Outfielder. Has a good arm - well, two good arms - but his future is as a bat.
How much $$ would it take to pry Zach Lee away from LSU? Would teams like Boston, Detroit or the Yankees draft him in the first 2 rounds on talent alone even with the signability concerns?
Rumor of the day had the kid saying $6 million wouldn't get him signed.
Has Colorado HS RHP Kevin Gausman fallen out of the first round?
Yes. He's no longer in consideration for the Rockies' first pick. If he goes to LSU I would add him to my first-round board for 2013. And if Lee goes to LSU too I might move to Baton Rouge.
Were you in the war room when the Jays selected Russ Adams? Did you approve of the pick at the time?
Yes. I hadn't seen him, only had the stats to go on. Several senior guys in the room argued that he couldn't play shortstop, which in the long run turned out to be right. Of guys available, the one I really liked based on stats, MLB video, and what the guys in the room said was Joe Saunders, but I wasn't exactly beating the drum for him - I was really out of my league in that room.
Any chance Oneonta's Filak moves into the compensation round?
Below 50%, but not zero.
If the Nats don't take Strasburg should Rizzo be fired immediately?
I'm chatting in the wayback machine, apparently.
Would Yelich be worth the 2mm for you?
Yes, or close enough to it that I'd take him.
Do you see the Rangers going safe at pick 15, Workman, and then taking a chance on a more risky pick at 22, Cowart? Thanks Keith!!
Yes, but I don't think Cowart's the guy. Hearing Luke Jackson strongly there.
Keith, I'm just now reading Moneyball for the first time, and after getting through it, I have to wonder why so many teams STILL target high school players so early? Do that many still operate under the old-school method of scouting?
That book is out of date now. The natures of the draft and of player development have changed to the point where HS players are much better investments, while changes in college scouting and stat analysis have made college players less attractive than they were in 2000-02.
In this draft Sonny Gray would go where?
I'd say 2.
Factoring in only talent rank these pitchers in order: Taillon, Pomeranz, Sale, Ranaudo. Thanks and great work as always.
Ignoring health too? Taillon, Ranaudo, Pomeranz, Sale.
Where IS the draft held? I mean I Love baseball, played college baseball and have NO Clue...nig fan
Can you explain the reasoning behind giving a player a "major league" deal right away? If it doesn't push back or take the place of arbitration years I don't see the point for teams to do so. Are the signing bonuses less if you sign a major league deal right away? Do some guys "demand" major league deals?
It's a negotiating tactic - you ask for a major league deal (if you have a premium player) and try to get the team to buy back that 40-man spot. Only works for premium guys, though - ask for that on a third rounder and you'll get derisive laughter.
Baseball Prospectus had the Red Sox taking Brett Eibner at #20. You see him as a pitcher? General thoughts? Sox do love two way players...
He is telling scouts he wants to hit, not pitch.
Can you rate the draft as far as overall talent opposed to years past?
I think this is the worst crop of draftable talent since I got into the business full-time in 2002.
Joe Saunders wasn't available.
Then my memory is getting worse. I remember we wanted Khalil Greene but knew he wouldn't get to us, and we discussed Blanton ... I don't know why we passed on him, actually. Again, I didn't weigh in that strongly on the first few rounds because I knew so little about the players - and as it turned out, about the process. I was more vocal later on where we could use the stat lines to create distinctions between players who we had only seen two or three times.
I've heard that the Braves have told Bama RHP Jimmy Nelson they'll take him if he's there at #35. Any chance this happens? Would it be a huge overdraft? If it does happen, is there a chance he pulls a Mike Minor and makes them look like geniuses a year later?
Not going to happen. I don't believe they told him that.
What happened to LeVon Washington?
Hurt his shoulder, and the operation didn't really clear it up. If you're kind, it's a 30 arm.
Are you on the Fan 590 today?
Yes, 6:05 pm (this is in Toronto) unless I get pulled into a TV studio.
Does a team ever draft the same player in consecutive drafts? For example, is there a chance PIT scoops Den Dekker again this year?
The player must consent to be re-selected. Most players do consent, a few won't on principle.
How much is "signability" factoring into Toronto's drafting process? Are they prepared to go over slot or will their picks just be inclined to stay affordable anyways?
They are prepared to go over slot, and I predict they will end up in the top 3 teams in overall draft spending this year.
Keith, do you think Pomeranz is having to answer any questions about comparions to his older brother Stuart during this process?
I know he is.
Do you like any college catchers besides Grandal? Gibbs, the Texas catcher?
Gibbs is LSU and I think he should be in consideration starting around pick 25 for any team that wants a fast-moving catcher.
who do you think is this years mike leake?
There's no one quite like Leake in this draft. Wimmers and McGuire strike me as the fastest to the majors of college starters this year. Ruffin, Munson, Bettis are all potentially fast-moving college closers.
when will drew vettleson be drafted?
Somewhere between 25 and 35.
Keith, I posted this on the Mock 4.0 board as well...heard somewhere (I believe Buster Olney on BBTN) that Harper is destined to be a right-fielder with the Nats. Have you heard the same? It would seemingly make him a lot faster to the majors, yes?
Heard it from Buster too. I would try 3b before RF if I was determined to move him out from catcher. Would shave 1/2 to 1 year off his ETA.
Does Manny Machado have a shot at your top 100 prospects next year?
I believe on average I've had 13 or 14 guys from each June's draft on the subsequent January's top 100.
Would you rather have Stassi or O'Connor?
Brewers released Suppan today. I wish this was the wayback machine, because this should've been done a long time ago.
If you had a wayback machine you'd un-sign him.
re: Harper "I would try 3b before RF if I was determined to move him out from catcher. Would shave 1/2 to 1 year off his ETA." Would have thought OF would shave time off over 3B. Can you please explain?
I was comparing 3b/rf to catcher.
Minnesota's Rosin looked like a first rounder to me on Friday night ? Where does he go ?
"I would try 3b before RF if I was determined to move him out from catcher." Should Zimmerman be worried?
Even at 3b, Harper wouldn't get to the majors for more than two years. Who knows what happens between now and then? Maybe Zimmerman hurts his shoulder and has to move to 1B, and then you're sorry you never tried Harper at the tougher position. He can always move from 3b to RF.
So is it a lock that the Dbacks are taking Loux? I'd prefer Pomeranz or Sale, but i'm not opposed to any college pitcher as long as he gets up the the big leagues soon.
Right now the locks are Harper 1, Taillon 2, Machado 3. After that all bets are off.
If you're the Royals GM who is your pick?
Grandal made the most sense of the guys discussed there. I'm a Karsten Whitson fan, and I think Christian Colon makes a ton of sense for them.
Hearing the A's are leaning O'Conner, and everyone thinks Cleveland has backed off Pomeranz.
Are you going to give assessments of the 2nd and 3rd rounds? Nats have 3 picks in the top 100, and we all know who's getting picked first, so I'd love to hear what you think of the other picks, once they happen.
I'll write something tomorrow recapping key selections on day two, focusing on the earliest rounds.
Who do you think is/was the better prospect between Biddle and Mike Minor in their respective draft years
Hey, thanks for the chat. Any chance whatsoever that Machado falls beyond the Orioles at 3?
In general, how do teams stack their board? Is it a list like your top 100 (only obviously more expansive), and they just go down the order and take the next guy? Or is there more of a group thing, where there are discussions and debates leading up to being on the clock and ready to pick?
Most clubs do a main ranking of the top 50-100-200 players, then do rankings by position/category.
If the Mets draft Cox where do you project him to play in the majors, considering the Mets are locked up at 3b for the forseeab;e future
See my answer above on Harper/Zimmerman. Baseball comes at you fast.
Are Yanks going to be one of the top 3 spending teams? They were pretty cheap last year and took so called safe guys who amount to nothing.
I don't hear them as a top spending team, but they weren't cheap in round one and I think they'll take a few signability guys.
Jacoby Jones seems like he has all the potential in the world. MLB.com said this, "he has all the tools to be a premium bat at a premium position". If this is true, shouldn't he be in the first round discussion?
Because he's really raw and has a strong college commitment.
There's talk that the 2011 draft is much better than this one - can you give some insight on this?
I'll write about that later this week, but yes, it's very strong, potentially epic - loaded with college arms, several very good college bats, and a nice mix of high school players. It's looking tremendous.
A lot of mocks have Aaron Sanchez going #23 to the Marlins...If they don't take him is there anyway he gets past local teams Dodgers and Angels in picks 28-30?
Angels would probably take him at 29/30.
Klaw, if you could redraft last years draft today what would be your top 5 taken?
Strasburg, Trout, Ackley, Leake, Matzek?
What are your thoughts on Harold Martinez and where he could go next year
Potential first rounder.
Any thoughts on where Rob Aviles might go with the elbow injury?
Somewhere on day two, probably will sign quickly and have the surgery. Feel bad for him - cost him maybe a few hundred grand.
Chances that Stetson Allie or Dylan Covey falls to #28?
Covey near zero. Allie under 25%.
OK, time to do a little more phone work. My next TV hit is 7:10 EDT on ESPNEWS, and I'll be back on air each half hour after that probably right up to 10 pm, depending on other news.
Oh - and chat tomorrow 1 pm, and live blog here on ESPN.com during tonight's first/sandwich rounds. Thanks!