Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

August 26, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (1:04 PM)

Gorgeous day here in Boston. What the heck are we all doing online?

Benny (NYC)

Do Bautista's HR's raise any suspicions with you?

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

No, because I don't base my suspicions on junk science or bad stats.

VN (NYC)

Saw your twitter post on Cahill. So what is the right denominator - "batters faced" so you can get % of plate appearances that leads to base runners? But given always 3 outs in half-inning, missing what IP ignores

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

Right - the numerator is measured in batters, so why isn't the denominator? There are always 3 outs in a half-inning, but they're not always from the batter/pitcher matchup. For example, a pitcher walks the first two guys, picks the lead runner off second, and gets the next batter to hit into a double play. That's three batters for three outs, but the pitcher only actually retired one hitter.

Econ (101)

Everyone talks about the big supply of quality prospects for the 2011 draft. Given that demand is still the same (30 teams), this increase in supply should drive down price of bonuses needed to sign this supply, correct?

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

If the draft was an open market, that might be true, but the draft lacks any real market-like mechanism.

Joe (Waltham, MA)

What do you have going on in Boston?

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

I live here, or near here, for about 12 more days.

Jason (St Louis)

Can a switch to you batting stance make that much of a difference for Bautista to be hitting so many HRs? Does playing in Toronto help a lot also?

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

No. Yes.

scott (pensacola, fl)

Mike Minor struck out 12 Cubs on Sunday. Fluke?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

Yes, in that he's not going to strike out 10+ on a regular basis, and he faced a mediocre, whiffy lineup. But the changeup looks like a potential out pitch, aided by the tick upward in his velocity.

Nick (Flint, MI)

Are Devin Mesoraco and Wil Myers for real? If so, do you see them on your top 100 for next year? What range?

Klaw
  (1:10 PM)

Yes, yes, and I'd tentatively say top 50.

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

And the chat software is going bananas again. Sorry about that. No, I think they made the right move. If Whitson or his father even gave a rough indication they'd sign for a certain dollar figure before the draft, the Padres would lose substantially long-term if they agreed to raise their offer after the fact. I'm sympathetic to players who get hurt by the draft (relative to what they'd get as free agents), but if word got out that the Padres would renegoatiate an agreement, they'd have to do it every year.

John (NYC)

The Killer B's. Brackman, Banuelos, Bentances. Who cracks the top 100?

Klaw
  (1:15 PM)

All three.

Lisa (San Fran)

Nice to see Brandon Belt getting the bump to Fresno. Can we expect him in the bigs next month, or is that jumping the gun?

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

I don't think it's out of the question, but I'd temper expectations on a guy a year out of college helping them in September. Not ruling it out, just being realistic.

BD (Washington, DC)

Keith,On Psych, what is your favorite of Shawn's many fake names for Gus?

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

Control Alt Delete was pretty classic.

Chris (Alabama)

You never seem to mention Jungmann when talking about next year's college pitchers. What are your thoughts on him and how does he stack up against the other pitchers in the first round next year?

Klaw
  (1:18 PM)

I haven't seen him myself, but I've asked several scouts about him and to a man they all express distaste for his delivery. In a loaded college pitching draft, that would push him out of the top tier.

Nick (Seattle)

Dave Cameron wrote an article today on Fangraphs and he mentions how you disagreed with Buster Olney's opinion of Trevor Cahill as a Cy Young candidate. Olney basically made this statement based fully on Cahill's ERA. You used Cahill's WAR and FIP (Dave Cameron also gave his BABIP) to prove that Cahill is not worthy of the award. I completely agree with you that Cahill does not deserve the award, but when are the new era stats going to take over dumb things like ERA and Wins? Also, who is your AL Cy Young?

Klaw
  (1:19 PM)

Dave did a really strong job on that piece. I wasn't arguing that FIP or its ilk should be the only factors, but that so much of Cahill's performance this year is due to luck/the park/defense behind him that he's not close to a top five candidate. How could you vote for him over, say, Cliff Lee or Felix Hernandez?

Allyson (Dallas)

Where are you moving to?

Klaw
  (1:19 PM)

Arizona.

Nick (Allston, MA)

Josh Reddick has been on fire since the break -- 368/396/647 -- is he back to projecting as a regular?

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

I just don't see that approach playing every day in the big leagues. He doesn't work the count or seem to recognize offspeed pitches well enough.

John (Denver)

Who do you like better, Bobby Borchering or Matt Davidson? Seems like the two are pretty close to me, especially with Borchering's very good August.

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

I'm a Davidson guy.

Alex C (Miami FL)

KLaw, I know the Red Sox just added some serious talent with this years draft but as of right now who has the better Farm System Yankees or Red Sox. Thanks in advance.

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

Yanks have more near-in talent. Red Sox have more depth and had a stronger 2010 draft.

rayg (burlington, nj)

Keith-thanks for the chat. Is Jerry Sands a Top 50 guy for you? Top 100?

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

Definitely not top 50, probably not top 100. Even scouts I know who like him don't see him as much more than a slightly above-average starter.

J (Somerville, MA)

Yu Darvish ever going to be interested in coming to the MLB?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

Eventually, I think. At some point, don't you want to ply your trade against the best?

Zach (Mpls, MN)

You just couldn't get enough of the pizza, could you?

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

Chris isn't making them any more - I'm glad I got in there before he did. My daughter is actually a huge fan of the Grimaldi's chain out there. We ate there on Sunday and two days (and 3000 miles) later she was still talking about it.

JR (Vegas)

Regarding the Triple Crown, I know RBI is a meaningless stat, having said that, I think it would still be fun to see Votto or Pujols win the Triple Crown. What are your thoughts?

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

Mixed. On the one hand, it's fun to see someone chase a record or milestone that hasn't been touched in 40 years. On the other, won't it lead to a new emphasis on or love affair with RBI?

Logan (CA)

Cy Young aside, what are your thoughts on Cahill from a scouting perspective?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

I think I'm getting painted as anti-Cahill for some reason just because I don't think he's top 5 in the AL right now. I think over time that strikeout rate will creep up and he's got a chance to be an ace, maybe someone who is legitimately top 5 or 10 in his league. He's just not there today.

Shane (Knoxville)

NL ROY: Gaby Sanchez... agree?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

Buster Posey.

Chris (Los Angeles)

Did the Dodgers overpay for Zach Lee ? He recieved as much money as Manny Machado, the third overall pick. If signability wasn't a concern where would Lee have gone in the draft, was he a top 5 talent?

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

Spread out over five years, though, and I was told it was backloaded. Pretty talented kid; I would have rated him a lot higher if he'd indicated he was committed to playing baseball prior to the draft, but when a kid says strongly he wants to play football, it concerns me. I guess it was a negotiating ploy.

Chris (Falmouth)

Can you explain why RBI is considered an archaic stat and what are the stats that should be paid more attention too?

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

Your RBI total is a function of who hits in front of you - if you have more guys on base when you bat, you get more RBI opportunities. If you want to get a picture of an individual player's actual contribution to his team, you need to use stats that are just a function of his performance, not his teammates'. Among basic stats OBP and SLG are more useful than AVG or raw RBI totals, and there are advanced stats like wOBA and WAR (which includes fielding, but not always the same metrics) that give a more complete picture.

Nathan (San Diego)

Enjoyed your back and forth with Gotlieb on the radio a couple of weeks ago about steroids in baseball. Do you think the reason why pitchers are having better year and hitters aren't is b/c of the lack of greenies in baseball?

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

I've argued that the pitcher renaissance this year and even in the last few is a function of advances in player development ... that is, we've stopped blowing out teenaged arms in A-ball by throwing them 200 innings a calendar year.

Michael (San Diego)

I AM UTTERLY IN SHOCK AND AWE that the Padres have gotten no love from ESPN.. (Except Dave Winfield)....it is a joke....3rd best record in the league.....best pitching staff.....no name team......Why dont we get any love?

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

Ask your therapist.

DJ (Cuse)

Everyone is talking about Votto or Pujols for the triple crown but unless Omar Infante gets hurt he is gonna win the batting crown by a landslide even taking the 0-20 to get to the min of 502 plate appearances.

Klaw
  (1:31 PM)

Yeah, it's time to stop using the term "batting title" or "batting crown" to denote the guy who led the league in batting average.

Ben S (NJ)

Total Zone or UZR? Because using total zone the best player is Cano this year (according to WAR) and UZR it's Hamilton.

Klaw
  (1:32 PM)

That's a problem, and I don't think either stat can claim to be definitive. I'd lean Cano on positional value and the tougher competition he faces in the AL East.

John (LA)

Where in Arizona are you moving? Is this baseball related?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Phoenix area. It's everything related.

BK (Mpls)

You've moved me to become a believer in advanced metrics. My only concern is that the advanced metrics seem to be based solely on individual performance. As an avid fan, I still see the importance of RBI and Wins solely because in the end, baseball is a team sport.

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

Team wins matter, but pitcher wins are useless if we're talking about how the pitcher performed. Again, just look at Felix Hernandez this year.

Andy (Fairless Hills PA)

KLaw,When you were younger did you ever cut out pictures of all the famous scouts, hang them on your wall and pray to them? What was THAT all about...Angelo is bizare.

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

He's a little peculiar. How about him struggling with a sandwich ... when he runs a sandwich shop?

Ryan G (Westford, MA)

Klaw, I will miss lurking around the Fresh Pond Whole Foods in the hope of finding you.

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

I've run into two readers there, actually.

Michael (San Diego)

KLaw---that was one of the sorriest answers I have ever seen from you.....You are just an East Coast HATER

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

I'll enjoy fielding these comments in about a month.

Ron (Minnesota)

How good is the real Trevor Cahill? He has an obscenely low BAPIP, but also has extremely low line drive percentages and opponent OPS. Is an ERA around 3.50 realistic? Thanks

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

Long term I think he'll be under that ERA mark, given the park and the A's' tendency to field good defensive clubs.

Joe (NYC)

Was going through the top 10 in the KLaw 101, loved 8 of 9 so far. (Emma is aweful). Please tell me Tender is the Night has at least one redeemable character.

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

Everyone is flawed, but in ways that made them compelling. He based the central couple on Zelda and himself. Can't agree with you on Emma, though.

Jonathan (Wilimington)

Don't you think you've gone more or less completely overboard by saying the RBI is meaningless? It's not like saying W-L's are meaningless for a pitcher (which I agree with). RBI's are only meaningless as stats in the sense that they are susceptible to hitters having fluke years, both good and bad, and hence are not a true barometer of success. However, of course if someone like Cabrera, Pujols or Votto have a lot of RBI's it still speaks of their hitting prowess. Yes?

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

What do RBI tell us that a basic stat like SLG doesn't? I'll answer: RBI tell us that they hit behind guys who got on base a lot for them. Not useful information.

J.P. (Freedomcardboard.com)

Is Bryce Harper likely to play in the AFL?

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

Nats haven't announced their AFL players yet, but I think there's a decent chance he goes.

Gavin (County Court)

Thoughts on the shocking demise of Kenny on Top Chef? Was he simply a self-promoter who did not deliver? I mean the guy made a duo of everything.

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

I'm guessing that the fact that he didn't edit his dishes as the judges suggested several times was a major factor in his ouster. They saw talent but ultimately didn't buy into his vision. I'd still like to try his food, though.

Colin (Austin)

How long until WAR is consistently talked about on ESPN? 5 years?

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

I think we need a single, consensus way of calculating it before it should be that mainstream. Useful now, but disagreements over defense will need to be addressed.

Keith (Providence)

What do you think of Chris Nelson? He's stayed pretty healthy this season, but obviously that is still a concern. His bat, on the other hand, doesn't seem like a concern at all at this point. He's got to be a lock to be a top 100 prospect, and maybe even has a shot at the top 50, no?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

I hate to get too excited because I talked him up the last time he was healthy and shortly after that he broke his hamate and came down with Ebola or something. But I have always liked the swing and approach and he could end up an above-average defender at 2nd. I'm just afraid to believe.

Kevin (St. Paul, MN)

Ruben Sierra, 1993. .233/.288/.390, 101 RBIs. If that's not a strong case against using RBIs, I don't know what is.

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

Joe Carter pulled that off in 1990, I think.

Jason (St Louis)

Anyone from this past draft going to be top 50 next year, Harper excluded?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

Taillon and Machado. That could easily be it.

Chris (Dallas, TX)

re: RBI. I think people freak out about saying they are "meaningless" because it implies the act of driving in a run is meaningless. Of course driving in runs is important, it is just not indicitave of a particular skill. That about sum it up?

Klaw
  (1:43 PM)

That's pretty good.

brian (nyc)

ive gotten through the top 30 of the klaw 101. i cant figure which characters are more hateful, Tenderis the Night or The Good Soldier

Klaw
  (1:43 PM)

That's what I love about The Good Soldier, though. They're all so wicked.

Bren (Pearl River, NY)

Baseball really needs to do something about this draft. How can the Mets be expected to compete with big clubs like Nats, Pirates, and Blue Jays?

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

Cold. I'd like to see those financials.

Mikey (ARI)

When people say things like a??The ball just sounds different offhis bat,a? is that real, or just something people say?

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

It's real when I say it. Or at least I think it's real. Maybe none of this is real and I'm not really even here.

Jack (STL)

Klaw, if you had to pick right now, who's your NL Cy Young?

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

I'd probably lean Halladay over Josh Johnson with Wainwright third. Close enough that it could change a lot by end of year.

Chris (PA)

Why do scouts always say things like "he doesn't have enough power to play 1b" or things like that. Shouldn't the goal be to put the best offensive/defensive team on the field, regardless of what position the power/speed/average come from?

Klaw
  (1:48 PM)

The point of that comment is that you can find better production at first base than a low-power hitter who doesn't make it up in other ways - and since the offensive standard at first base is so high, it's hard to make up for a lack of power unless you're a monster OBP guy.

mike (woodridge)

isn't the difference that early baseball statistics, such as wins and rbi, were focused on describing the events that determined the outcome of the game, whereas modern statistics is focused on events that are best fit to predict the outcome of future games? a difference between describing the past and predicting the future?

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

I've never heard that before. Makes a lot of sense. I think the modern stats are also about isolating individual performance.

Kevin (Missouri)

Just picked up Carcassonne on your recommendation. Love it! Have you played all the expansions?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

Only Builders and Traders, which is excellent. It makes drawing a plain road tile a little more tolerable.

Brandon C. (NYC)

Speaking of Good Soldiers...you ever read The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek? Quite possibly the funniest book I've ever read. Tragic he died before it's completion.

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

It's on my to-read list, eventually.

Nick (Boston)

Chad Bettis was drafted as one of the best closers in the country, but the Rockies used him as a starter, even though I know it is a small sample size he seems to be excelling in that role. What do you think his destination and potential is?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

Reliever long-term. Has starter stuff but not build, delivery, probably not command for it. But nothing wrong with starting him for now to see what happens.

Bill (New Canaan, CT)

Keith--The Royals' farm system seems to have had a major renaissance. What are the ETAs of Moustakas, Hosmer, Myers and Lamb and how high are you on each? Thanks for your insights!

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

Good chance all four are top 50 guys. All but Myers could see the majors in 2011.

Ben S (NJ)

Who's the top prospect remaining in the minors?

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

Mike Trout.

Dale Carriger (San Francisco)

I'd say in most cases your talent evaluation is correct? How did you go so wrong with Gio Gonzales? Did you doubt his stuff or was it more, no control and lack of composure that made you call him a 5th starter at best. What do you consider his upside now.

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

Well, the control is still poor, and he's benefited from a great park for him (especially as a guy who doesn't get a ton of GB) and that good defense. I think what you're seeing from Gio wouldn't be repeated in 26 or 27 other parks. (He'd probably have a 2.00 ERA in Petco.)

Carlos (Iraq)

Do you bake as well as cook? If so, could you recommend a book on baking that you consider a hidden gem? I'm trying to send a friend who sends me care packages over here a gift.

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

Baking Illustrated is a good basic book covering cakes, pies, cookies, etc. The Bread Baker's Apprentice is great if your friend is into breads.

Andrea (Boston)

How come AVG isn't that important? I'm trying to figure out the advanced stats, any beginner/for dummies website I can learn about it that you'd recommend?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

AVG is incomplete: It treats a single and a home run as equivalent and pretends that walks (which do have positive value) never happened. It also ignores sacrifice flies, which are ordinary flyouts in a different context.

Allen (Oakland)

Man do you have a Bay area bias, first Cahill and now Gio, just admit it.

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

I can't even tell if this is a joke. "Bay area bias?" How narrow do biases get? "Boy, Klaw, you really hate the eastern third of Alameda County."

Denis (Deep River, CT)

Why is everyone talking about stinking Cahill, Buchholz is a much better example of "old" stats, he even beats Cahill in all of them it looks like. His ERA is going to get him some serious votes, especially if he gets near 20.

Klaw
  (1:57 PM)

Agreed. And like Cahill I think Buchholz will continue to improve in advanced metrics over the next few years.

Allen (Oakland)

It was a joke, I am sure you love the Bay area.....

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

No, actually I hate it.

Ian (Columbus)

Jason Knapp has finally started pitching again, and it looks like he has dominated in his first two appearances. What are your thoughts on Knapp going forward? Will he ever approach the return on the Cliff Lee deal that Tribe fans hope for?

Klaw
  (1:59 PM)

Jason Grey ran into him about two weeks ago and said the velocity was almost all the way back. He's almost certainly their second best prospect at the moment, but I don't think he'll ever fully justify that deal.

G (Boston)

What's your biggest complaint about doing these chats? Is it the "Why do you hate (Team, City, Region)?" or is it the "Wainwright-esque" arguments?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

I also get a lot of people who complain that I didn't answer their questions or am avoiding them when I have received over 1100 already and most likely didn't see them.

Chris (Alabama)

Are hard throwers (i.e. K-Wood, Strasburg, Zumaya) more susceptible to injury or just more high-profile?

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

I have a theory, hard or impossible to prove, that guys who see very sudden increases in velocity are much more likely to break down or blow out. It's just an observation.

Jon (seattle, wa)

How good can Nick Franklin be? Is he a top-100 guy?

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

Top 100 guy, yes. Still not buying that swing, but it seems very clear he'll hit enough to be an everyday shortstop. Pretty impressive on-field makeup guy, too, something I noticed when I saw him in march - he took live BP off one of Seattle's pitchers, and after that pitcher was done, Franklin went up to him and told him something he'd spotted that made the guy easier to hit. I've never seen anything like that.

Ryan (CA)

Keith, did you catch CeeLo Green's new track all over the internet called "F.U."? Catchy ain't it?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

Indeed. Even better than "Closet Freak," which is a pretty good song in its own right.

Matt (IN)

"..that guys who see very sudden increases in velocity are much more likely to break down or blow out.." Is that increase any increase or could it be as low as 1 or 2 mph?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

I'm talking about guys who go home in September and show up in March with 7-8 extra mph.

barrywhite (dc)

Ever thought about doing a top 100 (or maybe just top 10) worst books list? Maybe it would have to be 'overrated' books or you'd end up with nothing but Ann Coulter and Goosebumps on the list.

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

I did a ten worst books list, focusing on books widely considered "great," like Moby Dick and Tropic of Cancer.

Mitch (Baton Rouge)

Is Garin Cecchini going to wind up being greater than, less than, or equal to other Sox Prospects Will Middlebrooks, David Renfroe, and Kolbrin Vitek? Thanks.

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

Ahead of Renfroe. Behind Vitek.

Dan (Tampa)

At what point do we start to worry about Wieters? another 500 PAs? I understand the regression of all the O's young players but given his track record should he have been the exception?

Klaw
  (2:07 PM)

At least another year. Bad year for young hitters I liked out of college - him, Wallace, Smoak, Beckham (until the last month) all really struggling. Maybe I should stick to high school guys.

Jim (San Francisco)

Stetson Allie. U see him as a starter or a reliever once he hits the majors?

Klaw
  (2:08 PM)

I'll stick with starter for now. His command was awful until his senior year, and I think that's why a lot of people assume he's going to the pen, but command can get better with age, experience, coaching, even maturity.

Ian (Columbus)

As long as I'm getting Indians questions in, former 2nd Round Pick Matt McBride has been absolutely on fire since the end of June. Obviously no longer being able to catch really hampers his value, but can he potentially hit enough to make some contribution at the major league level?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

Could be a bench bat. Don't see him as a regular.

Steve (Former Klawtown, MA)

Brandon Beachy... legit starter?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

Yes.

Jon (Pleasanton, CA)

Was your earlier pizza comment about the chef not cooking any more related to Pizzeria Bianco?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

Yes.

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

Yes.

Billy Beane (Oakland, CA)

That Carlos Gonzalez trade looks pretty silly now, huh?

Klaw
  (2:11 PM)

I think I talked about this in my last chat, but for those of you asking about a prospect I was way off on, CarGo would be it. I gave up on him way too soon - he's a major reason now you don't see me dismissing tools guys in their early 20s even when the approach hasn't improved enough.

Chris (Alabama)

Hosmer or Freeman?

Klaw
  (2:11 PM)

I'm a Hosmer guy all the way.

Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)

Keith, great to see you back. Just wanted to tell you how excited we are at USD to have Dylan Covey coming to our school to play ball. Do you see him making the same impact on our school, as Matt Purke did with TCU?

Klaw
  (2:12 PM)

I find it hard to credit team performance to one guy, but I think if Covey stays healthy he'll be among the best college pitchers in the country by 2013, maybe in 2012.

JD (SF)

I respect that you hold to your opinion of Gio and you have the facts to support it. However, I don't think you're rooting against him, right? As an A's fan, I'm glad to see him fit the park and be a good 4 (and sometimes 3). Pending cost, do you think he can get better and continue to be a good value for the A's? Basically, you think he can improve on your perceived negatives?

Klaw
  (2:14 PM)

I don't root against players. They're still people - nearly every player I've ever met or talked to has been friendly and the type of guy you'd want to root FOR - and I'm just not going to hope for anyone to fail. I've accepted that I'm going to be wrong a ton in this job and that means players I talked up will struggle (Smoak) and others I talked down will succeed (Gio, Huff).

Alex NY Bucco (NY)

Hindsight, or even if you thought so at the time...should Pirates have taken Posey over Alvarez?

Klaw
  (2:14 PM)

I had Posey ranked over Alvarez. I think I had Alvarez fourth among guys available to the Pirates behind Posey, Smoak, and Hosmer.

Steven (Chicago)

Gomez or Cain?

Klaw
  (2:14 PM)

Cain.

Blueberry Johnson (Boston)

Keith, what's the over/under on the cost of your new mansion in Arizona? $10,000? Pretty nice time to be buying down there.

Klaw
  (2:15 PM)

A lot of the resale properties out there are a mess, though. We looked at a foreclosure and a few short sales and they each needed at least $20-30K in repairs. One place had expensive landscaping and a pool in the backyard, but the brick walkways were collapsing into the ground and it wasn't safe for my daughter to walk around there.

David (New York)

Any chance of a quick rundown of your award choices as they stand now? We know Posey and Halladay in the NL, what about MVP's, AL CY and ROY?

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

Votto and Cano for MVP. I'd lean Lee over Felix for AL Cy. AL ROY ... can I punt? What a disappointing class. Probably Austin Jackson but I can't say I'd be jazzed about that vote.

Brian (Bloomington, MN)

How about adding Danny Duffy on that earlier list with top 50 potential? Dominant in a month of AA since returning to baseball.

Klaw
  (2:17 PM)

Wouldn't put him top 50. Top 100 as long as he stays healthy the rest of the way.

JD (SF)

Sorry, to be clear. I know you aren't rooting against Gio or other players, i rushed the sentence. My main question is if you think he can improve and continue to be a good value for the A's.

Klaw
  (2:18 PM)

Sorry, I misread it. Control can improve, composure can improve too. I doubt he'll ever turn into a big groundball guy, but I wouldn't rule out a legitimate improvement.

kenny (Toronto)

Kipnis has put up some impressive numbers at Akron. Does he project as a MLB regular or is defence a problem? Thanks for your comments.

Klaw
  (2:21 PM)

I don't think he'll ever be an above-average defender there, but the bat looks like it will make up for it.

Daniel (San Diego)

Once you move to AZ will you be scouting the rookie leagues at the Peoria complex? Also, do you love San Diego? Everybody from AZ comes here during the summers.

Klaw
  (2:21 PM)

I actually do love San Diego - I promised my daughter our first trip after we move will be there so she can go to the zoo.

Carlos Santana's Knee (Multiple Locations)

Sorry about ruining the ROY vote for you!

Klaw
  (2:22 PM)

Ain't that the truth. I don't have that ballot, but I'd be tempted to go Jackson, Feliz, Santana.

Robert (Madison, WI)

I've been impressed with Chris Sale so far -- particularly given his lack of professional experience. There is already debate beginning as to whether or not he should be groomed to be a starter going forward. What are your thoughts?

Klaw
  (2:22 PM)

I'd leave him in the pen and let him go for the next however many years until he breaks down. I imagine he'll put up some sick numbers against LHB.

Ben S (NJ)

Ivan Nova, future four starter?

Klaw
  (2:22 PM)

I'll buy that.

Jason (Rockaway, NJ)

Austin Jackson ROY = Pat Listach

Klaw
  (2:23 PM)

That's my fear too. I don't like it, but other than Feliz, who else is there?

Stack (NJ)

When Unit threw gas, did they call it a "dry heat"???

Klaw
  (2:23 PM)

Burning gas produces water vapor. That's why you can't really hold fried foods in a warm gas oven.

Daniel (San Diego)

Awesome. She will love it! San Diego may not be the best sports town, but it makes up for it in other ways.

Klaw
  (2:25 PM)

We really haven't explored the western half of the country much outside of Arizona and the Pacific Northwest. We're all looking forward to it - my daughter (who is four, by the way) told me she wants to go to Las Vegas.

Nick (Seattle)

KLAW, I really need some restaurant suggestions in the Seattle area.

Klaw
  (2:25 PM)

I haven't been there since 2001, sorry. I don't know if Red Mill Burgers or Caffe Ladro are even still going, never mind still good.

Dan (Chesterfield, MO)

Do you have any information on why the talks with Wilson and the Cardinals went nowhere after his trip to St. Louis earlier this summer? I certainly hope it wasn't the Cards going cheap and that it was more the young man's decision to stick with his commitment to Stanford.

Klaw
  (2:26 PM)

It was the latter. Wilson and his parents are very education-focused and his decision was entirely about school.

Adam (SF)

You haven't explored western US, but you "hate" the Bay Area? Explain yourself!

Klaw
  (2:26 PM)

On the 2% chance that someone didn't get that joke, I don't hate the Bay Area.

Jeremy (California)

CH4 + 2xO2 => 2xH20 CO2

Klaw
  (2:27 PM)

I had to think about that.

Vegas Dad (Vegas, Duh!)

Liking Vegas at 4? Just keep her off the pole Keith!

Klaw
  (2:28 PM)

I'm wondering how old she has to be for me to take her to Firefly.

Adam (SF)

I get in now. Sometimes sarcasm doesn't translate on page.

Klaw
  (2:29 PM)

Story of my life. Some people just don't get that I'm joking around half the time.

Matt (Milwaukee)

Keith, what is the deal with Manny Parra? He seems to have 4 good pitches and I believe I've seen you project him as a middle of the rotation guy -- is he going to need a new organization to get him going, or does his still have a chance with the Crew? Thanks!

Klaw
  (2:29 PM)

Pen guy. I really think he's got a future there.

Jeff (SD)

With Slowey fightng injury and Blackburn's issues do you think the Twins even consider bringing Kyle Gibson up in Sept? My friend is telling me they should but I think for his 1st year in pro ball his IP is to high and also its the Twins they love to keep guys down and extend there hold on the player at the major league level.. How good a shot does he have a making the team next year?

Klaw
  (2:31 PM)

My concern there would be how well he could handle the longest season of his life. College guys typically pitch from mid-February to mid-August (with a break in early June) if they play summer ball, then some light fall workouts. Gibson would be going from early March to the end of September and potentially October with no break. That's a lot.

Dan (Chicago)

Klaw, I know you like to watch shows like top chef, but I was wondering if you watch diners, drive-ins and dives. I really like that show because he goes to places that are off the map a bit. Do you watch the show and if so, have you been to any of the places he's been too?

Klaw
  (2:31 PM)

I went to an arepa place in Norwalk CT (Valencia's) that was outstanding. Also spotted one of his other dives in Phoenix called Los Taquitos that I need to try once we move.

Chris (Alabama)

Do you prefer to scout amateurs or minor leaguers?

Klaw
  (2:32 PM)

No preference, but I've loaded up on amateur stuff this summer over minor leaguers in advance of the move.

William (Dallas )

You realise there is a chance the Rangers could have the MVP , AL CY ROY and MOY.

Klaw
  (2:32 PM)

Yes.

Dan (Detroit)

Hey Keith, with as much as you like reading, how did you introduce it to your children? Did you use or ever think about "Your Baby can Read" to introduce the idea?

Klaw
  (2:33 PM)

I see those commercials constantly and I think they're terrifying. I'm not trying to build a robo-baby.

Ben S (NJ)

When you scout pitchers do you always have a nagging thought in the back of your head that he could blow out his arm any second?

Klaw
  (2:34 PM)

I've learned to ignore that little voice. You can't predict injuries; even guys with "bad" deliveries can stay healthy and guys with "clean" ones can get hurt.

Dick Whitman (NY)

Best restaurant experience of your life?

Klaw
  (2:39 PM)

A place I couldn't name, unfortunately. After graduate school my wife and I did a shoestring 3-week trip through Italy and the Cote d'Azur and met my cousins in Genoa for the first time, including my late grandfather's brother, who as it turned out passed away just four months later. They took us to a restaurant down towards Portofino - I think the town was Sori - and we had a table for the evening; the meal started around 7 and we weren't done until after 11. It wasn't just the food, although that was outstanding - first time I tried seviche, for one thing. It was the experience. To sit there with close relatives and make that connection and see traces of me and my mother and my grandfather in them, and to be welcomed by them as if we'd lived around the corner our entire lives ... it was amazing.

Aubrey (Houston)

I know basically how you feel on the steroids era/speculation, but how do you explain overall numbers explosion inside of the game? Smaller ballparks, diluted teams?

Klaw
  (2:39 PM)

Altered baseball would fit, and there's some evidence to support that theory.

GK (NYC)

I may have missed it...what award do you have a vote for this year?

Klaw
  (2:40 PM)

NL MOY.

Dan (CT)

KLaw 101 an insider column? If not, can we get a link, please?

Klaw
  (2:41 PM)

It's a book list on my personal blog: http://meadowparty.com/blog/?p=1059 Nothing to do with baseball.

Rich (Philly)

Keith, After the leaked financial people seemed to get upset about the Pirates making such good profits. Here my question. The financials are from 07 and 08, I beelive the Pirates have spent heavily this past year in the draft. Isnt that the right thing to do. You can get impact talent in the majors for the 15mill the pirates made but if they invest heavy in the draft cant the build a home grown winner?

Klaw
  (2:42 PM)

It is the right thing to do, and I think just saying "they pocketed the money" is an incomplete look at the club. I'm not defending their business practices per se - just saying that going cheap on the major league club and pouring it into amateur scouting is a viable strategy.

Bad Scouting (Somewhere around)

It's easy for people to point those players that are good or great in the majors and were never considered a "top prospect" and use this argument to say that scouting is not that useful.Can you provide us (the ones that ignore pretty much everything about scouting) some info to better understand what scouting is all about?Thanks.

Klaw
  (2:45 PM)

To me, the purpose of scouting is to rely on the experience of your evaluators to see things in players that might not be evident through statistics. For high school players, that's just about evaluating physical abilities and basic instincts. But for minor leaguers, a scout might see something in a player that would point to hidden value, even if he can't explain why - his brain is recognizing something in a player that reminds him of other players who had that same skill or ability and became successful.

ben (Montreal)

Keith, Have your changed your mind on the Yunel Escobar trade yet ? Also who mans 1B/3B for the Jays next year ?

Klaw
  (2:47 PM)

Escobar's last 104 PA (arbitrary endpoints): .237/.307/.315. Not calling that definitive - just wondering why I would have changed my mind. Lind is the big variable on the corners - if he plays 1b it simplifies their offseason substantially.

Ty (Nati)

Jay Bruce still a "star"? That swing and that ballpark how can he not be a consistent 35 homer guy?

Klaw
  (2:47 PM)

That's another guy I touted coming into the year who hasn't performed close to my expectations.

Dan (Tampa)

Can Zach Britton be a lefty Brandon Webb?

Klaw
  (2:47 PM)

Doesn't have Webb's command yet, but has a better breaking ball.

Bobby (NY)

Can you explain the difference between a 2 and 4 seem fastball and a cutter and slider

Klaw
  (2:49 PM)

Difference in effect is that the four-seamer is typically straight while the two-seamer typically tails to the pitcher's arm side (that is, a RHP's two-seamer will tail in to a RHB). A cutter is between a slider and a fastball - a "cut" fastball gripped a little more like a slider so it cuts in to the pitcher's glove side.

Klaw
  (2:50 PM)

I don't know about you guys, but I feel better. Thanks for all the questions!