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January 27, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (1:04 PM)

20,000 words written ... and now I have to chat? Well, if you insist.

Paul H. (Chelmsford, MA)

Keith, don't you wish you were still in MA shoveling out from another foot plus of snow?I was surprised to see so few Red Sox prospects in the top 100 after the relatively high ranking of the entire system. Is this simply because they have more prospects at the lower levels (and less at higher levels) than other teams?

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

Yes, and I liked their 2010 draft quite a bit, with three guys I rated as first-round talents. The funniest reactions I got yesterday were from Yankee fans angry that I didn't rank the Red Sox lower. Really?

Clay (Lexington,KY)

Why didn't Craig Kimbrel make the top 100? He showed a world of promise in September and October for the Braves.

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

He's a reliever, and I don't rank relievers high. Their performances tend to be unpredictable (or less predictable) and their peaks tend to be very short. I didn't have any relievers in the top 60.

Everyone (Everywhere)

Why did you rank my prospect so low? You must hate them and must be an idiot

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

Jason Grey called me this morning and the first thing he said was, "You're an idito." (Yes, "idito.")

Joe (Cleveland)

No Jason Knapp in the top 100? Honorable mention at least?

Klaw
  (1:10 PM)

Still coming back from a pretty major injury, with no proof yet he can hold up for a full year - and the arm action has never been pretty. He's intriguing and if he has a good healthy year in 2011 he'll be on the list.

Loren (Salt Lake)

With Michael Taylor third on your A's prospect list, does it mean you still believe in him somewhat despite his awful 2010 or is the rest of the A's system just that bad?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

I wouldn't just walk away from the tools and athleticism. It's hard to rank a guy like that, who had a long track record of success and then just flat-out lost his swing. I could have put him 8th in that org just as easily and defended it, because right now Taylor's range of expected outcomes is about as wide as it gets.

Jason (St Louis)

Did Chapman make it so high on the list because you think he'll end up as a starter? I know typically you won't put relievers in the top 100.

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

I think there's a reasonable chance he ends up as a starter. He's like Neftali Feliz last year - Chapman could start if the org wants him to, but may end up a reliever because the org wants that instead. I won't penalize a player for how he's used.

Cameron (Portland, OR)

Ackley over Belt? Is that a tool ranking, position scarcity, or is he just, as the kids say, more better?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

Position value was huge there. If you're talking strictly offensive value, without respect to position, then Belt is better.

Joe (RI)

Loved the top 100. Intresting to see Manny Banuelos at #12. From the video I've seen he reminds me of a young Johan Santana. Is that a fair comp?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

Never saw Santana at that age.

Jonathan (Tampa, FL)

If Harper were still at catcher would he be your #1?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

I don't know, but it would have been a tough decision, whereas here I knew right away I was going Trout then Harper.

Mike (St. Louis)

Keith- Want to get your thoughts on a Tyrell Jenkins. From everything I've read he was one of the more raw and athletic pitchers in the 2010 draft but has a high chance of flaming out and never developing. You had him #4 on the Cards prospect list and I was wondering if you believe in the potential or is the ranking more of a statement about the rest of the Cards farm system. Thanks!

Klaw
  (1:15 PM)

I'm a believer. I don't think he's that raw - his flameout risk is as high as it is for every teenaged pitcher, but if I didn't rank those guys it wouldn't be much of a list.

John (Seattle)

What is James Jones, a future regular? Above avg regular? Potential All Star caliber guy?

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

Potential is above-average regular or a little better. He was the biggest "reach" on the list, with a lot of risk, but athleticism + rapid improvement lack of experience as a position player (he DH'd in college, but in about as bad a conference as you'll find) balances out the age.

Ethan (Maine)

Re: Alex White ... I saw him on the Just Missed list. Is he a candidate to move way up?

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

If the breaking ball improves substantially, sure. But so far it hasn't happened.

Ryan (Milwaukee)

More likely top 100 prospect next year: anyone currently in the Brewers system or pick #12/15?

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

One of the picks. In a typical year I'd have about 12-15 picks from the most recent draft on the top 100, and this year I expect we'll have more than that.

Tanner Scheppers (TX)

How close did Scheppers come to the top 100? And did he drop out because of injury issues, or because you believe he profiles as a reliever?

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

Reliever.

Sam (New Orleans)

Did Jennry Mejia miss the top 100 due to inning limits or something you didn't like about his skill set?

Klaw
  (1:18 PM)

It says right at the top of the first page of the top 100 that Mejia is no longer a rookie and doesn't qualify.

Mark (Canada)

Hi Keith. I seem to remember you writing at one point that Zack Stewart was a reliever rather than a starter? Do you still believe that, and if so, what kind of upside does he have as a reliever? Above average closer?

Klaw
  (1:19 PM)

I think he's a starter, but it's a split camp among scouts. I don't really see why he couldn't start - he has the pitches, misses bats, gets groundballs.

Joe (Tampa)

Your thoughts on Graham shredding young arms at Rice is well known, and obviously deserved. Based on your response to last week's question about Ryan not babying arms are you expecting the same results for the Rangers? Or is Ryan going at it differently with a longer range time frame for development?

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

I don't think it's as clear-cut - and the Rangers are dealing with older players, with more of a long-term investment in their health. College coaches don't care if a kid blows out the day he walks off campus.

Joe (New York)

Why is Gary Sanchez so low? What impressed you the most about Banuelos? What is a fair comparison to him?

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

Sanchez is low? He was 17 in complex ball and has to prove he'll stay behind the plate (I think he will). Banuelos's command/feel really impressed me, and it's now stuff - the Yanks might not consider it but I think he'd appear in the majors in 2011 if he was in most other organizations.

Steve (Cleveland)

You mentioned on your blog that Indians fans are upset at the ranking, are you getting that many angry messages? How much of the drop in ranking is just a result of graduating guys, and how much is a decline in talent of the players still within the system?

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

I've gotten one angry message - from a guy who said he's going to use other rankings in the future. Talk about forum-shopping. They graduated their best prospect; Rondon blew out; White looks more like a reliever today than he did a year ago; I didn't love their draft in 2010, and I like Levon less now than I did six months ago. I'm not here to bury their system - I did rank them 17th - but I couldn't see any argument for them to be top 10. The organizational strength right now seems to be in power arms who project as relievers.

Dan Broderick (Greenwich, CT)

Keith, this list seems weaker than last years? Agree?

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

The minors are down right now. We'll get a big influx from the 2011 draft.

Andrew (NC)

How do you explain people, including some in the industry, completely disregarding significant flaws in some player (i.e. Sale being a reliever, Moustakas inability to hit lefties, etc.)? I'd have to guess those are two of the players you are getting the most complaints about.

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

I don't worry about it. I'm trying to weigh pros and cons on every player as accurately as I can. If others choose not to weigh the cons, that can't affect my thinking.

Zac (San Diego)

I know it's been limited AB, but is there any more upside to Jose Iglesias' bat than singles and gap power?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

I think he'll hit a ton of doubles in Fenway but if he hits 5 HR a year there I'd be surprised.

Cronin (Chicago Ridge)

Josh Vitters (Future all-star, Everyday Regular, or Minor leaguer)

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

A or C but not B. It's all or nothing at this point.

Steve (Toronto)

Thanks for all of your hard work Keith. Looks like the Jays have a nice haul in your top 100....what happened to Deck McGuire?

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

Ceiling is a 4th starter. I took guys for their top 10 who offered more than that.

Dominic (Minnesota)

Trout over Harper? I really don't get it. Trout plays the OF, which is a power premium position, but Trout doesn't have power. Harper plays RF, which is a power premium position, and Harper DOES have power. Sure Trout has speed, but as almost every major metric system has shown, speed is overrated. Harper's tools trump those of Trout across the board except for speed and baserunning(also the 2 that mean the least). Sure Harper only played in the AFL and Instructional ball, but Trout has only played at Advanced A. So why is Trout rated higher? Safer picking a .300/15/80 guy over a potential .300/40/150 guy?

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

"Trout plays the OF" is a neat bit of sleight of hand (mouth?). He plays centerfield. And does it well.

Klaw
  (1:28 PM)

A couple of people are looking for my ranking - the first page (top 25 players) is here: http://bit.ly/hopd40 Click through there to see the rest of the top 100.

Kyle (St.Paul)

How do you think Wimmers will profile for the Twins. Can he be a solid #3/Fringe #2 or is more of the standard strike throwing #4's my Twins love.

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

Wimmer is more of a 4 chance to be a 3. Gibson I see as a 3 chance to be a good 2.

Jay (Chicago)

I read that the Cubs had the choice of giving up Archer or Carpenter in the Garza trade. Based on your rankings, can you understand why the Cubs kept Carpenter? What might they like that you dont?

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

That's not my understanding. I heard that the inclusion of Archer was the tipping point.

Bobby Borchering (Arizona)

How close was I to making your top 100?

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

Not very.

John (Sioux Falls, SD)

Odds that Miguel Sano enters your top 10 next season?

Klaw
  (1:31 PM)

Maybe 1/3 chance. Lot of questions about the position. Few questions about the bat.

Jonathan (Tampa, FL)

What are the chances Carlos Matias could jump into the top 10 next year?

Klaw
  (1:32 PM)

25%. I didn't talk to a lot of guys who saw him, but the universal response is "wow." The Cardinals seem to want to hold down the expectations, which is usually a good sign.

BK (LA)

If Tyler Chatwood was above 5"9 would he be getting more hype? Can I get analysis on him?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Yes, if he was 6' and had the downhill plane from that height he'd be a better prospect. One scout called his breaking ball "the curveball from hell." I love that - you can picture it spontaneously igniting as it spins.

J.B. (PA)

Thank you for the link but not all of us are Insiders.

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Well, you should be.

Dave (Somerville, MA)

If Romine showed average receiving skills, is he a top 50 talent?

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

He'd be in the back 50. I saw him catch a lot. Well, I saw him play catcher a lot, and I saw him drop a lot.

Andy (MN)

I'm kind of surprised you like Ben Revere ahead of Joe Benson. Do you think Benson's contact will remain that much of an issue

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

Didn't look good in AFL against offspeed. Charlie Blackmon was the same. I love the tools packages on both guys but at some point you have to hit the breaking ball.

Tom (NY)

FYI - I bought Insider for this day.

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

Thank you - I know many of you did, and I appreciate it. It is noticed at HQ.

Michael (Tampa, FL)

Why no love for Hellickson? He looked great in his 4 starts in the Bigs last year.

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

I ranked him 14th. That's "no love?" Have you talked to a therapist about your neediness?

Anthony (Philadelphia)

Can you briefly explain why you think the Phils have the #5 farm so Met fans stop crying? Thanks

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

Like I told TheGoodPhight on Twitter last night, did they want me to ignore Lakewood? I like ceiling, and that club had potential all over the place, and not just raw tools goofs. (Well, they did have some of those too.) Guys like Valle and Rodriguez and maybe Jiwan James and Santana ... there will be some big leaguers from that club who didn't make my top 100. It's a really strong system, and just because they're not hyped right now doesn't make it less strong. (Oh, and stop worrying about where I ranked some rival team's system. It has zero effect on what happens on the field. I'm not that good.)

Jeff (Richmond, VA)

Wondering how close Allie came to making the list -- was his exclusion more a function of his profiling as a reliever, or just because he's not enough of a known quantity / just plain not good enough?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

I wouldn't say he profiles as a reliever, but he's more thrower than pitcher right now, and those guys turn into relievers more than they turn into starters. But he's pretty athletic and just 18, so I think there's a reasonable chance he can start.

Jerry Sands (somewhere)

Am I close to top 100?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

LF/1B with questions about the hit tool against better-quality stuff. I don't love the swing either.

The Dude (SF)

Do you think Belt will be promoted before September?

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

I hope so, for the sake of Giants fans. I don't want to listen to 8thInningWeirdness complain on Twitter all year when Belt hits .400/.500/.650 in the PCL.

Mark (Madison, WI)

Around where would Rendon slot into this year's list?

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

Top 10. 6-8 range, maybe.

jamie (dc)

could you see JR Murphy leapfrogging Romine in the Yanks system with a solid year? Not on your org top 10 but it seems like a lot of people like his talent and think he will stick behind the plate long-term.

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

I like Murphy, was disappointed to leave him and Jose Ramirez off the top 10. Culver could have made it in another year. Best the Yanks system has looked since I started doing this stuff.

Tony (Phila.)

Hi Keith, About how many times do you see each of these guys on your top 100 in a live game? And how much of your rankings is from video/stats/talking to other scouts/etc? I'm not questioning your list, just saying it must be hard to get a read on all these players, how much seperates #75 from #95?

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

It varies wildly. I probably saw Romine six or more games just this year. I haven't seen Arcia at all. When I find a guy who might need to be on the list and whom I've never seen, I get video and I get on the phone. When I've seen a guy a bunch, I spend comparatively less time on that research side.

Roger (CT)

You've said in the past you'd take Rendon over Harper if they were in the same draft. Has that changed because of Rendon's injury or are your prospect rankings different from how you'd draft these players if they were all in a single draft right now?

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

Rendon's injury is a factor, yes, and I saw him really struggle last summer right before he got hurt. I'll see him play in about 5 weeks and we'll know a lot better where he is health- and bat-wise.

Mike (KCMO)

Everyone realizes how stacked the KC system is, but let's talk depth. Who do you like best in the "second wave" of Royals' talent (i.e. the soon-to-be low A, A guys)

Klaw
  (1:48 PM)

I love Odorizzi (although readers keep claiming he has a plus CB ... I'm sorry, but that's just not right - he could have one some day but that's not true now). I haven't given up on Colon at all. Jason Adam would have made the top 10 in 25 other orgs based on what I saw in instructs. Loaded.

Nick (NJ)

You noted on Twitter than Mets' Fernando Martinez didn't qualify; if he was eligible, would he have ranked in their top 10? If so, where would you have placed him?

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

Top ten, yes, maybe 7 or 8. Top 100 overall, no.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Klaw, could you briefly explain why you have Mesoraco ahead of Grandal? I only ask based on things you've written in the past about Mesoraco's defense (or lack thereof)...didn't think you'd have him rated that highly. Seems like Grandal is more polished defensively and could be a legit switch hitter with power.

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

Talked to guys who saw Mesoraco earlier than I did and they were bullish on the glove - and I learned about the bruised finger that gave him trouble in Fall League. Hand/wrist/finger injuries don't get the same publicity as a blown elbow or torn ACL, but they strongly impact performance.

jct (Santa Clara)

A lot of Giants fans are assuming the low ranking (23rd) of the organization is due to the graduation of Posey and Bumgarner to MLB. Should we ask for Bobby Evans head for the low ranking or is it more fair to say the system did its job and needs time to recover?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

You graduated the NL ROY and a pitcher who contributed right out of the chute and could end up a top-end starter. And you won the World Series. Don't get greedy.

matt (sacramento, ca)

great work as always klaw. you're one of the main reasons i keep insider. how close would michael choice be to the to the top 100? maybe a top 125 type of guy right now? thanks

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

Need to see him hit pro pitching. Contact rate was a concern, and I have seen him beaten in the zone against college pitching. It only gets better.

Wade (VA)

Have you seen Manny Machado play? Are the A-Rod comparisons at all viable or too aggressive?

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

I have and I may have inadvertently started the A-Rod thing - but I called him "A-Rod Lite" and pointed out that some reasons were demographic rather than baseball. I do like him but he's not A-Rod.

Jon (MN)

Going for the chat record today?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

Not today, sorry. Got some movers coming to give estimates - the house is just about ready and we move in a few weeks.

Joe (Toronto)

Hecevarria or Igelisas as a better pro SS, in both offense and defense?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

Iglesias for defense. Hechavarria has much more potential on offense.

Tom (St. Louis)

Will Zach Cox stay at 3B, or is a move to 2B in his future?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

3B. Can not see him at 2B at all. Wrong body type.

Matt (Chicago)

I know that you had J Jacksonin the just-missed group and have been a fan in the past. Reliever or Starter?

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

Velo dropped to the upper 80s late in the summer. If that's not a fluke he's a reliever at best, if he's a prospect at all.

Dan (Atlantic City)

At this time next year ... Jesse Biddle > Trevor May in the Phils' Top 10?

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

I'll stick with May.

Chris (Cincinnati)

Keith, the Rays seem to have a loaded system with the most ranked in your top 100, but they seem to lack any big middle of the order bat prospects. Should that be their main target in this coming draft with their abundance of picks?

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

Josh Sale could be that guy.

mendel (fl)

If you HAD to take a guess what would be the chances, on a scale of 1-10, matt dominguez being an all star third baseman?

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

Two would be generous unless he starts to recognize offspeed stuff. I would like to see him play a full year in the majors at third because the contest between him and Zimmerman for best defensive 3b in the majors would be a show.

Tim (Quincy, MA)

I'll be at Hollywood Studios on March 4th for ESPN the Weekend, will you be there?

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

We're still working on that but right now it's not likely. Would many of you be there?

James (Texas)

The ranking on Jean Segura seems awfully high, does he really have that much potential?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

Yes. I mean, I wouldn't put him there if he sucked, right?

Amy (Seattle)

No Bryce Brentz in your Sox Top 10--why? Do you think Lars Anderson can be an everyday player (for anyone)?

Klaw
  (1:57 PM)

Kept Brentz off on performance, but he altered his swing this spring between the foot injury and maybe a little draft-itis. Red Sox worked with him after the summer to get back to his 2009 swing; I'd like to see that translate into results before getting back on the bandwagon, but I try not to forget why I liked a player in the past.

John (Virginia)

In your organization rankings you noted the Twins had good depth in their system. Are there some guys in particular you like outside their Top 10?

Klaw
  (1:57 PM)

Kepler stands out. Really like his potential, but too far off to put him in the top 10.

BK (Outer Space)

What is Fabio MM missing in order to break the 100?

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

The strike zone. Repeatedly.

Scott (Fort Wayne)

Klaw ... couple of questions:1. Do you get correspondence from agents complaining about the ranking for their guys, or is that pretty much fanboy nonsense?2. Do you root for prospects to hold or surpass their rankings? Talk about your emotional attachment (if there is any) after the rankings come out.

Klaw
  (1:59 PM)

1. Very little - one or two a year. One complaint so far from a team official. 2. Can't do that. And I never root against prospects. Most of them are great kids who work hard and want desperately to get to the show.

Brett (Chicago)

Where would Jared Mitchell have landed had he not been hurt all season?

Klaw
  (1:59 PM)

Top 100, definitely. Can't say where without knowing what his performance would have been.

Matt (No Cal)

Sano at 29, Sanchez at 68. Sanchez offers more positional value. Is Sano's offense considered clearly superior compared to Sanchez?

Klaw
  (1:59 PM)

Yes.

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

Amy - refresh and tell me if it showed up.

Felix (Hardtown)

Keith, last week you opened the chat with a quote you said was adaptated from a novel. What novel?

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

"Lolita."

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

(Answering that should improve our results in search rankings, don't you think?)

Jon (MN)

Toughest player to rank this year was ________.

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

Lawrie was a tough one - position questions, makeup questions, will the change of scenery help? Betting hard on the swing, youth, and some athleticism.

Mike (San Luis Obispo)

You not worried about Jerrod Parker's injury?

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

He was back and blowing 98 in instructs. He's fine.

Steve (Sioux Falls, SD)

What is Dodgers OF Trayvon Robinson lacking in order for you to sway from him in your top 100? Thanks

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

Arm, which puts him in LF, which limits his ceiling.

Steve Hoffman (Sioux Falls, SD)

Hey Keith, great work once again, but say you seem to be relatively down on the Cubs system this year despite they're large amount of depth particularly in the pitching department and explanation as to why besides the fact they've already dealt away Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee and Brandon Guyer?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

I thought I ranked them fairly aggressively given how much they lost in the Garza trade. Lot of depth there outside the top 100, and I know I'm relatively light on Brett Jackson.

Klaw
  (2:10 PM)

Sorry, just got the call back I needed to finish tomorrow's sleepers piece.

Nils (Darien)

Ariel Ovando's #3 ranking in Houston seems aggressive. Is his ceiling that high or does it just say something about Houston's system?

Klaw
  (2:10 PM)

Little of both. Didn't have the other ceiling guys in that system, and all reports have him more polished at the plate than you'd expect - one quote said "he's not a workout wonder."

MJ (Toronto)

Is Josh Reddick still rookie eligible, and if he is, why didn't he make the Sox' top 10 (aside from the obvious snark answer of "I liked at least 10 guys more than him"...)

Klaw
  (2:12 PM)

I believe he's still eligible, but what is he in the big leagues? Can he be an average regular with that lack of patience? I don't see it.

a D u B (Bilbao, Spain)

Just got a 2 year subscription, maybe I can get a free question: Like that you still believe in Friedrich, then I saw his numbers. What do you project from him (healthy)? Is a (healthy) Rosario able to supplant Iannetta this year?

Klaw
  (2:13 PM)

Mid-rotation starter but I admit to being concerned about his health. It's not a great arm action.. Rosario is out for at least the first third of the year after the ACL injury, I think.

Dave (BC)

Was Anthony Gose close to making the top 100? I've heard some Carl Crawford comparisons, any validity?

Klaw
  (2:13 PM)

Yeah, two fast African-American outfielders. Gose can play CF, which Crawford never could/did, but is a long way off at the plate.

Travis (Boston)

Best potential as a power hitter: Wil Myers (KC); Brandon Belt (SF); Lonnie Chisenhall (CLE)

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

Power only? Belt.

Dave (Philly)

Valle close to the Top 100? Him or d'Arnaud long-term?

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

d'Arnaud.

Matt (middle of nowhere)

You seem higher on Jason Hagerty than almost everyone. Whats his cieling?

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

Solid-average everyday catcher, maybe a little more. Big progress behind the plate now that he can catch every day. Padres are giddy over that one.

Gary Brown ((CA))

How close was I to the top 100? in the 110-120 range?

Klaw
  (2:17 PM)

Below that. Not really a consideration.

Luke (Trenton)

What's the Rockies' biggest need, now that they've locked up Tulo and CarGo?

Klaw
  (2:17 PM)

Cash?

S R (NYC)

Two questions, was the Mets farm system hurt by the graduation of much of its mid-level talent? Also, I find Dominion to be fun, but the strategy seems to get a little simple after a few plays, the game often ends up in a way that the two players are playing separately, rather than against each other, have you found this and dealt with it in any way?

Klaw
  (2:18 PM)

Hurt by that and lack of spending in recent drafts. Lost their #1 prospect from last year (Mejia) to the majors. True that Dominion is more individual - unless you use some attack cards. The Intrigue expansion/sequel offers more interaction.

Scott (Milwaukee)

Who do you think has the best chance to be an ace in this group: Cosart, Matias, Drake Britton?

Klaw
  (2:19 PM)

Cosart edges Matias. Britton's not an ace.

Chris (Boston)

8 catchers from 50-100. Seems like a lot?

Klaw
  (2:19 PM)

A replacement level catcher in the majors right now is a stake in the ground.

Boozer (Chicago)

Hayden Simpson, looking back, do you think he was #1 on Tim Wilken's board at that time? Or was this a cost savings move?

Klaw
  (2:22 PM)

I've talked to Tim and they absolutely loved him. I also talked to two scouts after the draft who agreed with the pick, guys who saw simpson late when his stuff ticked up in the D2 playoffs.

Charlie (Bethesda, MD)

What is A.J. Cole's ceiling? #2 Starter?

Klaw
  (2:23 PM)

Could be a #1 if he wants to be.

Casey (Bellingham, WA)

KLaw, are there any Catchers in this years draft class worthy of consideration in the top 10?

Klaw
  (2:23 PM)

Blake Swihart would be the best.

Humbert Humbert (Lo Lo Land)

Nice to see some love for Kyle Lotzkar on the Reds top 10, but has ANYONE ever stayed healthy with those kind of mechanics?

Klaw
  (2:24 PM)

That's my concern. He was going to be my Reds breakout/sleeper candidate, but ... ow.

Brady (Texas)

I was surprised to not see Engal Beltre in the top 100. I've heard some great things about him of late. Any thoughts?

Klaw
  (2:24 PM)

Call me when he takes a walk.

Ed (San Diego)

What do you see as the biggest thing Donovan Tate needs to work on? Plate discipline?

Klaw
  (2:24 PM)

Getting on the field.

KC (ATL)

Do you see Matt Lipka sticking a SS?

Klaw
  (2:25 PM)

I do.

BK (Outer Space)

Is Randall Gyrchuk (The Angel picked before Trout) going to develop into anything?

Klaw
  (2:25 PM)

Grichuk. Missed half the year with injury and still doesn't recognize breaking stuff. Couldn't rank him top 10 off that season.

Glen (MSP)

If Freddie Freeman were in your organziation, would your mindset be to give him 2-3 years to play while he is very affordable and just see how good he is or isn't?

Klaw
  (2:25 PM)

Absolutely. He's ready and if you as a GM think his ceiling is low, let him prove you wrong. You're not acquiring the guy.

Klaw
  (2:27 PM)

Sorry, had to eat something. My hands started shaking.

mpmott (berkeley)

you think matt barnes will make top 100 next year?

Klaw
  (2:27 PM)

Yes.

Nick (Seattle)

What are the chances that Nick Franklin stays at shortstop? And that draft sure provided great high school talent in the late first round and beyond (Trout, Myers, Franklin).

Klaw
  (2:27 PM)

Yes.

Klaw
  (2:28 PM)

Bah. I thought a year ago Franklin would stay at short but wouldn't hit. Now he's got this totally unexpected power but scouts are telling me he goes to 2b. I really have no idea.

Drew (Mpls)

You're not really being a jerk in this chat.

Klaw
  (2:28 PM)

Door's on your left.

Bill (Toronto)

How many of this year's draftees are on the list?

Klaw
  (2:28 PM)

I didn't count but I think fewer than ten.

Grant (Winnipeg)

Who are couple guys in bottom of the top 100 that have the best chance to be top 20ish next year? Sanchez? Hak Lee?

Klaw
  (2:30 PM)

Gary Sanchez, yes. Could see Aaron Sanchez make a big jump, for that matter. Hamilton, Matias, McNutt, Arcia, Zach Lee.

Joe (Los Angeles)

Non-top 100 question. The Nats designated Justin Maxwell for assignment. I always thought he had a lot of potential. Am I wrong, or is he a good scrap-heap pickup for someone with no one to play LF? (you there Nick Colletti? hello?)

Klaw
  (2:30 PM)

Never thought he'd hit. Sorry.

Cronin (Chicago Ridge)

If it wasnt for Chris Sale would the White Sox be dead last?

Klaw
  (2:30 PM)

One player rarely makes that much of a difference..

Daniel (Sacramento)

I have heard Troy Tulo comparisons for Grant Green, are they justified? and is it mainly the glove that is holding him back?

Klaw
  (2:30 PM)

Doesn't have near Tulo's glove.

Matt (No Cal)

Would you be A) greatly B) slightly C) not at all surprised if Zack Lee ended up with a better career than James Taillon? Thanks.

Klaw
  (2:31 PM)

C.

Matt (Chicago)

Passing on the Matt Sczur Kool-Aid?

Klaw
  (2:31 PM)

Didn't get a good report on him this spring. I will make seeing him, Simpson, and McNutt a priority in March, especially since I live nearby.

Ross (Dallas)

Robbie Erlin have a chance to jump into the top 100 next year?

Klaw
  (2:31 PM)

That would surprise me.

matt (boston) [via mobile]

Is Cox "scrappy?". If not you should have put him at 100 sine Tony will just jerk him around, undercut him in the media, and play a below average 3B instead

Klaw
  (2:33 PM)

He's a gamer, actually. He really is.

Ben (Tuscaloosa)

You are being a jerk, just pick 5 guys with the biggest impact in 2011 already!!!

Klaw
  (2:33 PM)

That's going to be a separate article.

Humbert Humbert (Lo Lo Land)

I know he was playing 2B last year (because of Devin "The Salesman" Lohman), but can Billy Hamilton stick at SS long-term?

Klaw
  (2:33 PM)

I think so.

Drew (Mpls)

Where do you stand on Japanese players coming to MLB? Rookies or no? Not sure if Nishioka would make the list or no, just wondering if he's eligible.

Klaw
  (2:34 PM)

I don't rank guys with NPB experience. They are rookies, but they are not prospects.

Sean (Seattle)

Klaw - Carlos Triunfel... is he a non-prospect at this point?

Klaw
  (2:34 PM)

Can't stay healthy and he can't develop if he's not healthy.

Klaw
  (2:34 PM)

And when healthy of late he hasn't played that well. So there you go.

Mike (NYC)

Mejia's approx ranking? Understand he was ineligible...

Klaw
  (2:35 PM)

20-40 range. Feel like the way they used him didn't help him any.

Mike (KC)

You once came on Kansas City sports radio and declared you don't hate the Royals, just their fans, please elaborate.

Klaw
  (2:36 PM)

It was a completely obvious joke. Turn your sarcasm detector on already.

Steve Culver (NY)

I hate you

Klaw
  (2:36 PM)

Curious last name there...

Johnny (NYC)

Considering his age and performance to date, any chance Yorman Rodriguez cracks your 100 in the next few years?

Klaw
  (2:36 PM)

I think next year is the year.

Doug (richmond)

can betances rank in the top 25 next year if he doesnt have any serious injuries

Klaw
  (2:37 PM)

Could he? It's within the realm of possibility. I wasn't in love with what I saw - more thrower than pitcher, and not a great athlete. But there is potential there.

Robert (Boston)

What kind of ETA do you have for Mike Montgomery?

Klaw
  (2:37 PM)

More 2012 than 2011.

George (DC)

Chris Marrero a non-prospect by this point?

Klaw
  (2:38 PM)

Too harsh. Fringe prospect. NP is a guy who'll barely play in the big leagues if at all.

JJ (Liberty Twp, OH)

Gaze into your crystal ball: who's #1 on your prospect list in January 2012?

Klaw
  (2:38 PM)

Trout or Harper.

Mike (NYC)

Have you gotten any reports on Akeel Morris?

Klaw
  (2:38 PM)

That's my sleeper for the Mets. More tomorrow.

Brendan (Boston)

You've mentioned a few times today about guys developing a plus curveball. I've also heard that a CB is either in the arm or it isn't (as opposed to a good changeup). Which is it? Somewhere in between?

Klaw
  (2:39 PM)

I believe it's in the arm or it isn't. But just because it's in the arm (wrist, really) doesn't mean it's going to be plus the first time a guy throws it.

Tony (Albuquerque)

I'm a royals fan that doesn't believe you hate me. I still have the bitter after taste of Alex Gordon hype in my mouth. What makes Moustakas NOT Alex Gordon?

Klaw
  (2:40 PM)

Gordon never adjusted to major league breaking stuff. I am hopeful that Moustakas won't have the same problem. And I don't hate anyone. I just find people who whine about my alleged biases tiresome.

Jay (PA)

I lot of people see Cosart and Colvin as being almost the same player. How are they different?

Klaw
  (2:41 PM)

Cosart's got a better arm, and I think his arm works a little better. But he got hurt and Colvin's healthy, so who the heck knows.

Jim (Detroit)

The main difference I've seen with your list and others is Banuelos over Hellickson. Will you quickly elaborate on that? A fan of neither team, just curious.

Klaw
  (2:42 PM)

Banuelos = LH with slightly better raw stuff. I had them two spots apart, which is as good as dead even.

David (New York)

I'll trade you a sheep and a wood for a brick and an ore. Yes or no?

Klaw
  (2:42 PM)

Not unless we're using Seafarers.

Jeff (DC)

Was Danny Espinosa ineligible, or missed the list due to low upside at this point?

Klaw
  (2:43 PM)

Low upside and injured wrist ... I think I answered that somewhere already. Now I'm starting to lose it.

Dr Strangepork (Space)

Does anything about Jesus Montero's defensive progress this year make you think that he could possibly hold down the position at a Mike Piazza level (defensively that is).

Klaw
  (2:43 PM)

I don't believe so. And I think the bat is too good to risk injury. Check my capsule on him - he is historically large for a catcher.

Mike (Worcester)

Keith, any worry of hidden injuries to Jay Jackson and Chris Withrow last year, or was there another reason for their decrease in velocity.

Klaw
  (2:44 PM)

Yes, that's my worry. Velo drops rarely occur for no reason. That's part of why I was so skeptical on Bumgarner last winter and still retain some of that skepticism even now.

Nick (Seattle)

Klaw, I have been waiting for this day forever it seems. Kinda feels like Christmas as a kid, anyways, the Mariners don't seem to have much starting pitching close the majors (excluding Pineda). Do they have anyone you find intriguing in the lower levels?

Klaw
  (2:45 PM)

Taijuan Walker is really intriguing for his athleticism.

Jeremy (DC)

What percentage of questions are you able to answer during a normal chat? How many does one person have to ask to have one answered or do we have to start submitting them 3+ hours before you start?

Klaw
  (2:46 PM)

I've received over 2000. I don't know the percentage but it gives you some sense of how many I never even see.

Josh (Tampa)

With the Rays likely to graduate Mcgee, Jennings, and Hellickson, whom do you see breaking out and into their top 10 next year?

Klaw
  (2:46 PM)

Sale and O'Conner for sure.

MJ (Toronto)

Do you think JPA's most likely career path has him turning into Miguel Olivo (ie a 20 HR guy with a good arm but no OBP)?

Klaw
  (2:46 PM)

That's a nice player, actually. I don't think he's quite the unrepentant hacker that Olivo is, though.

brian (seattle)

Keith, Matt Purke or Gerrit Cole?

Klaw
  (2:48 PM)

Cole.

Chris (Boston)

Sale and O'conner were already in your Rays top 10.

Klaw
  (2:50 PM)

Sorry, I misread the question. Enny Romero, Jake Thompson, and maybe Nick Barnese.

Dusty ( loyola (chi))

Klaw, what's more likely to happen first: Shelby Miller reaches the bigs or becomes the #1 prospect?

Klaw
  (2:51 PM)

Don't think I've ever had a pitcher as the #1 overall prospect.

JJ (Liberty Twp, OH)

Tim Beckham didn't crack your Rays' 10. Is he a bust yet?

Klaw
  (2:51 PM)

No, but it's not looking good.

Jim (Detroit)

Are you sure Jerry Meija doesn't qualify as a rookie anymore?

Klaw
  (2:52 PM)

I have him with about 64 days of service before roster expansion. That would disqualify him..

john (boston)

You made the point about Mejia at the top - Ryan Kalish also lost his prospect status, but how do you view him in the context of your top 100 (or even Boston's top 10)? Thanks.

Klaw
  (2:52 PM)

Yes, top 100, probably the back half.

Oden (Motown)

Do you think Dan Fields can be on this list next year? Tigers (as seems to be the norm) were ultra-aggressive with him, and he did okay. If given a chance to catch his breath, i think he could shoot up the rankings.

Klaw
  (2:53 PM)

He was one of about 125 names I originally had on the list, but reports from the FSL weren't good enough.

Klaw
  (2:53 PM)

I do like him, though.

jared (ny)

Chris Owings over Matt Davidson? I like Davidson's size and I feel like he has more power. Can you elaborate on why you like Owings more?

Klaw
  (2:54 PM)

Positional value, defensive value, & Owings' instincts.

Gary (Chicago)

Why are you so harsh on the White Sox? Have they not developed Beckham, Sale, and Santos over the last two years?

Klaw
  (2:54 PM)

You know those guys don't count for present org rankings, right?

Jackie Bradley Jr. (Starkville, MS)

Odds that I get picked before George Springer?

Klaw
  (2:54 PM)

10%.

Gorman (VA)

Should I assume by you not taking my "stratego" question, that you think the game sucks?

Klaw
  (2:55 PM)

I didn't see it, but I don't like the game either.

Padma's Baby Daddy (I-Hop)

Can we get some sort of Top Chef Power Rankings?

Klaw
  (2:56 PM)

Blais, Dale, Angelo, Carla, Antonia, Tre, Mike, Tiffany, and, sadly, Fabio.

Carl (Saginaw)

Jacob Turner in the majors this year?

Klaw
  (2:57 PM)

I guess I couldn't rule it out with the Tigers, but that seems less than likely.

Ian (OK)

How close was Liam Hendricks of the Twins?

Klaw
  (2:58 PM)

Not very. Not an impact guy.

Zazz (Brownsville, Tejas)

Will Travis Harrison be drafted in the top 10 this year?

Klaw
  (2:58 PM)

That would surprise me given the college class and some of the HS arms and up-the-middle guys. First round, sure.

MJ (Toronto)

Keith have you ever played (or heard of) St Petersburg by Rio Grande games? I got it for christmas and I've played about 5 times (once with 4 players the rest just with my wife) and it's quite good. Good mix of strategy with a bit of luck involved, but a very simple game to play (ie low learning curve).

Klaw
  (2:59 PM)

Heard of it, had it on my to-buy list for a while, but I have gotten so many games recently I've stopped buying (plus we need to put money into the house). Will get it eventually though.

Joe (San Francisco)

Angelo over Dale and Mike Isabella 7th. You are kidding right!!!

Klaw
  (3:00 PM)

Never fails. Go ahead, call me on my bias...

Klaw
  (3:00 PM)

Sleeper prospects for 2012 will be posted tomorrow. No chat next week. Thanks for all the questions and the kind words on the rankings.