Just a reminder that I'll be on ESPNU tonight on College Baseball Live at 7 pm EDT, before the South Carolina/Tennessee game, and will be back for a brief postgame show as well.
Can I save you some time (maybe the enitire chat) and announce that that the amazing 2011 stats from each chatter's favorite team is subject to change wildly and revert to the mean due to an extremely small sample size thus far.
That would be an excellent start, but I have a feeling it will have little to no effect.
Heyward hits a 3 run homer, and now I have to listen to Fredi Gonzalez and a certain AJC writer's tweets of "See? That's why he hits 6th!" In other news, Heyward has taken a walk in all 6 games so far this season, and has yet to score a run from them.
Yes, good luck with all of that. I submit that as yet more evidence of the multiple-personality disorder of Atlanta's front office, where they alternate good moves with really bad ones.
What was your opinion of the Tigers investing in Victor Martinez, and sacrificing pick 1-19 to do it, given the big basket of first round goodies brewing in this draft? (also considering they gave up their #1 the year before to sign Valverde)
Was not a fan, on any level, really.
Keith, how does Josh Bell compare with Delmon Young and/or Jason Heyward, when the latter two were drafted? Thanks.
Not as athletic as either of the two players you mentioned, but I could see Bell being Heyward-Lite at the plate.
Keith, I was hearing an interesting take on the success of Kimbrel and Tim Collins as pitchers. The announcer's take was that their small statures were actually an advantage for them because the batters don't normally see this type of power stuff from such a low angle. Basically they are taking away much of the downhill plane that the typical 6'3'-6'4" pitchers would have. It seemed to make since to me, but I was hoping for your take on it.
That seems like a backdoor explanation for the success of players who don't fit the norm. I don't believe it's accurate. They're not good because they're short - they're good because they're good.
Klaw, has there been any studies that have produced empirical data to suggest that winning teams improve economic situations for the market they are in? I know qualitatively, it "felt" better around here when the Red's were winning (albeit, against poor teams), but the attendances were up (from about 10 people/game), and it seemed more nightlife options as well. My productivity, however, goes down and is highly correlated to Klaw chats and Klaw podcasts increases.
Any economic studies I've seen on team/stadium influence on local economies have all concluded that money spent on the local sports team(s) is merely shifted away from other local economic activities. And since some teams aren't locally owned, you could argue that makes the city worse off.
KLAW, does Pittsburgh have a good arm in James McDonald? Maybe a strong #2 or #3? I believe he was pretty highly touted in the LAD system...
Good arm, not a 2 or a 3.
KLAW, I've seen opinions on Pineda from either side of the spectrum, some say he's an ace standing with Felix for years to come, others say he can't get lefties out... What are your thoughts?
Can't both be true? Currently lacks a viable weapon for LHB, but is young enough and projectable enough that you can expect that to come in time?
Keith, You have put Cole at the top of your draft board as of now, but I was wondering, do you base that on results for this season only or believed future value too? Also, should the Pirates be concerned about the high pitch counts Cole has had this season, if not now will they become a concern? Thank you.
My draft board is entirely about future value.
When was the last time you saw a young player with the same Plate Discipline as Brandon Belt? So far as a Giants fan Belt's plate discipline is what makes him stand out to me.
It's been, like, a whole year, with Jason Heyward.
Why didn't you inform me that Dolce Vita in Houston is closed on Mondays? Ruined my entire trip when I showed up and they said they're close on Mondays.
If you have sufficient Internet access to ask a question in this chat, you have sufficient Internet access to look up the hours of a restaurant. Whether you have the intelligence is another matter entirely.
Jays starting Stewart at AA, presumably because Vegas is a horrible place to play. For a team focused on player development, shouldn't a more sane pitching environment be a priority for your AAA affiliate?
The number of MLB teams exceeds the number of sane pitching environments in AAA.
over or under 5, the number of 2011 draftees that will be on your 2012 top 100 mlb prospects.
WAY over. I think I average 10-12 and this is a good class.
Didn't you mean to say that it's been about half a season since you'd seen a young player with Belt's plate discipline?
The Texas Rangers just signed Leonys Martin from Cuba. Any thoughts on what he'll provide the team?
It seems like you, and other scouts I've talked to, dismiss stadium radar gun readings as inaccurate. Is this a universal thing or do some stadiums properly calibrate their guns for accurate readings?
I'd call them "unreliable." I've run into a few where the stadium gun is the right kind and consistent with our guns behind the plate. Surprise's gun is pretty good. Fenway's was consistent, just 1 mph above ours.
What do you make of Anthony Rendon's stats this year (47 BB in 159 PA)? How much of that can be attributed to his eye and how much of it is that pitchers don't want to pitch to him? How do you evaluate something like that when you go to scout him?
It's both - good eye and bad lineup. One thing I look for is quality takes: Is he walking because nothing is close, or is he laying off pitches just barely off the plate (and attacking borderline strikes he can hit, or in two-strike counts)? Rendon does the latter.
And we're starting Shelley Duncan at the 5 spot today. And the front office wonders why we can't crack 10,000 fans a night.
I threw this out there on the podcast the other day - if Cleveland is at the start of a long stretch of losing years, and the fans aren't coming out now, aren't they a likely candidate for relocation?
You've inferred and implied and outright stated that Grant Green is not a SS long-term. If Grant Green moves to the OF, does that make him a very average prospect and thus a move that Oakland is not likely to make?
I'd like to see if he can be above-average in CF before I consign him to the average bin.
I know it's a small sample but including the end of last year, does Manny look cooked to you?
I wrote in September of '09 that I thought he was ... let's say medium on his way to medium-well. His bat speed was noticeably lower at the time.
Dear city of Cleveland, the Padres had Jorge Cantu in the 3 spot on Tuesday. It's not just the lineup. I'd blame your fans' level of common sense for not wanting to sit outside for 3 hours when it's 40 degrees. It's much more bearable when it's 70 and sunny.
Well, it's 70 and sunny in San Diego all the time and fans don't necessarily show up there either. (Doesn't help that it's a great city with a million outdoor activities nearby.)
Yeah, we're moving the team to Miami!
I have a feeling @IndiansFrontOffice is a forthcoming parody Twitter account...
What did you think of Alexi Ogando's start? Do you like him as a starter? Is he worth picking up in fantasy?
Still concerned about the lack of a weapon to get LHB out.
Considering the strength of league right now, wouldn't expansion make a lot more sense than relocation?
I would love to see expansion, but I doubt MLB does that until the stadium situations in Tampa Bay and perhaps Oakland are settled. Can't expand to cities you might want to use for extortion purposes.
I remember you saying a couple times you thought the Cards should have gone with Lance Lynn over Kyle McClellan...was that more because of McClellan's lack of successful starting, the dollars that would be owed him if he's successful, or Lynn's potential as a starter?
All of the above.
Not sure if you have seen his work, but KC Joyner is fast becoming the Bill James of football.
I have heard this from several of you, but am just not enough of a football fan to appreciate it.
Will any professional league actually put a team in Vegas?
It's a lousy market for an MLB team.
What's your thoughts on Jurickson Profar? I also have Adeiny Hechavarria, should i hold onto both? Which one you like better?
Prefer Profar. Despite his youth he's a more advanced player. Hechavarria beats him on size.
How often is your critical nature ... um... unappreciated ... or determined to be "unfair" by Mrs. Law?
I've been married almost 16 years. That doesn't happen if you bring this act to the dinner table.
Heard Fitz the The Tantrums because of your suggestion, loved it and now will see them on the 14th live in Atlanta. Thank You.
You're welcome. Best album I've heard so far this year.
What are your expectations for Sammy Solis? Does he have #3 stuff or is he strictly a 4/5 guy? Thanks.
Can Alex Gordon continue the way he has started the season or will he fall back to the.220 batting average player he has been in the majors?
I'll paraphrase something Joe Sheehan said yesterday in his newsletter: We know nothing about these teams or players today that we didn't know a week ago.
are you going to see Jed Bradley this year? His stock seems to be up lately, wondering if you think he's an Ace at the next level?
Saturday. And Hultzen Friday. If any of you are at either game, come over and say hi or I'll never take your chat questions again.
Are you still high on Sonny Gray? How does his stock look right now?
Very. Going top 10. Have already heard Arizona and Cubs with him.
The Royals are looking pretty hot. Off to a 4-2 start and 1st in AL Central. Jeff Francis is amazing and so are the rookies. Any thoughts on how you think the Royals are gonna do this year? Do you see them winning the AL Central?
They'll be lucky to win 75 games this year. (4-2 is a hot start?)
I know his defense is iffy at times, but you have to be impressed with the bat of Starlin Castro, right? Still only 21, do you project him as solid SS or multiple all-star guy? Hugs and kisses!
Multiple all-star. Get well soon.
Do the scouts who are telling you they prefer Javier Baez to Francisco Lindor think that Baez can stick at SS? Is that the general consensus?
No, strong consensus is that Baez goes to 3b (I agree). Lindor is the better SS, and may go first anyway because of the value of the position and the real dearth of shortstops in this draft (it's him, Levi Michael, and ... um ...).
Any word on the Nats with Sonny Gray? I think he'd be a great pick at 6.
I'd be surprised. They're big on deliveries and size and he has neither. Could see them with Hultzen or Jed Bradley there.
If you were the Orioles sitting with the fourth pick and Francisco Lindor was your top rated prospect would you still take him even though you just drafted Machado last season?
Yes. Best player available. That said, he won't be the best guy available, IMO. (Actually, one name I forgot for Washington who'd also fit here is Dylan Bundy.)
KLAW, as an Orioles, I do believe that after a week you cannot really change the way that you perceive any team. But my question is WHEN is it accurate to start to legitimately believe in a team? I kind of go back to the Rays (or Padres last year) where it seemed like into September (or November for Tampa) people were still waiting for the shoe to fall off. Now Personally, I think the O's will win 77 games, and hope they trade Vlad and Derrick Lee this summer to get more prospects, and give Tillman 30 starts.
Well, the shoe did fall off for San Diego in September, right? Tampa Bay shouldn't have surprised anyone, though. To your question, for a team massively out- or under-performing expectations I'd like to see at least 50 games, and even then I'd be uncomfortable making a grand statement.
Can you help me understand something? Why is it that Strikeouts are considered one of the most important parts of evaluating Pitchers, but provide very little value in evaluating hitters, which is what the statistical community seems to be concluding.
"Very little value" is an overstatement. The best thing a pitcher can do is strike a hitter out, because that's a guaranteed out, as opposed to a ball in play which may become a hit because of defense/luck/whatever. For a hitter, a strikeout is only a negative in the sense that the hitter didn't make contact - but the strikeout isn't significantly worse than any other out. (I think it's about 2% worse in run value.) And a high batting average on balls in play appears to be a skill for a hitter, whereas pitchers seem to have much less control over the same aspect of their games.
What are your thoughts on Ian Krol? Where does he project for you? Thank you Klaw!
Potential 3/4 starter. Just doesn't have much projection.
Want to sponsor a Northwoods Summer League team? Large enough contribution and I'll name them the Waukesha Klaws.
Sorry, I just put all my savings into window treatments.
Have you read Atlas Shrugged? What did you think? I was surprised it wasn't on the Klaw 100.
Have not, will not.
What do you think of Jordan Walden? How long does he hold onto the job for? A month, a year, 5 years?
Heavy mid- to upper-90s sinker? I like those. Has to show he can do it consistently, since nearly all managers put their closers on short leashes.
Do owners or the front office ever tell a manager something like, "Gee we wish you would (i.e., you must) move Jason Heyward up in the batting order?"
Yes, often. Well, smart front offices do it often. And smart managers listen.
Any recommendations on HS/College prospects that Bay Area baseball junkies should check out?
HS: Joe Ross, Robert Stephenson, Tyler Goeddel (out with mono right now though), Shawon Dunston Jr, JD Davis, James Harris. College: Chris Reed at Stanford, Erik Johnson at Cal, Kyle Barraclough at St. Mary's.
Starling is reportedly out 2-4 weeks with a strained quad. Any chance the lack of at bats hurts his draft stock? Thoughts on KC taking him?
No chance. I'm sure he's high on their board like he's high on everyone's.
I personally don't care that you haven't read Atlas Shrugged, but your comment sounded pretty close minded. Any reason why your black balling certain books/authors/philosophies?
I keep my mind close at all times. I also try to avoid overlong books with bad prose.
Are you going to take in some minor league games over the next two months or focus on draft?
I'll do some extended spring stuff in Arizona but otherwise mostly draft. I was hoping to double up tomorrow and get Gwinnett (Teheran) in the afternoon but they're playing a night game, same start time as UVA/GT.
I want to scalp you.
If you're going with an offensive name and logo, might as well go all the way, right?
Ok, you answered my Starling question, I am done with the baseball talk. Are we doing to get a TC Masters take?
Yes, but it's on the DVR and I haven't watched it yet.
Do you indulge in the local ball park snacks while scouting, or is that a big no-no?
Nothing wrong with that, but I rarely do.
Can you name a guy or two you haven't given up on, even after a decent sample of serious non-performance in the bigs? (Someone like Weeks doesn't count, someone like Milledge or Gordon does.)
Does Tillman count? Chris Iannetta? Howie Kendrick? I'm not sure what your standard is. I still like guys like Matt Wieters and Gordon Beckham, but have they non-performed enough?
On Top Chef reunion there was a big deal made of Tom using corn fed beef instead of grass feed beef in his restaurant Craft. What's all the fuss about?
Haven't seen the show yet, but I have heard the debate elsewhere and the argument for grass-fed beef is that that is the cow's natural diet.
Where do you see Stony Brook's Nick Tropeano heading in the draft? Could he fall to the Mets 2nd round pick?
"Fall?" I haven't had anyone mention him as a first/sandwich pick.
Did you see the TV segment on CBS Sunday on European board games?
I did not. Link?
It seems you've been waiting for Matt Harrisson to break out for a couple of years now. His minor league k's look pedestrian, what do you see in him?
I generally bet on stuff. Could see him ending up with three above-average pitches, if you close your eyes and wish hard.
Will you be making a stop at Blais' Flip Burger while you're in Atlanta?
That's the plan.
Klaw love the BBall Today podcast, wish it were you 5 days a week. What explanation if any has made the great state of CT a baseball hotbed. Rajai Davis, Matt Harvey, Andrew Carrigan Mike Olt, George Springer, and Matt Barnes have drawn scouts to CT over the last 5-10 years. For years we hung our hat on Bagwell but the quality of talent at the HS and Collegiate levels seems to be snowballing. Thanks
I think it's mostly cyclical, but give credit to UConn for turning that program into one of the best in the northeast in a fairly short period of time.
Andrew Cashner's strained rotator cuff...how bad is that?
I don't know how bad his is specifically - they didn't send me the MRI, and anyway I don't have one of those light boxes to read it (but it's not lupus) - but in general I'd say that's not something I ever want to hear about a talented pitcher.
Ever roast pork shoulder in the oven ?
Yes. About six hours. Worked great.
Do you see Bryce Harper as a can't miss prospect?
Any prospect can miss, but I think he's very likely to succeed.
Keith, Do you think Taylor Jungmann has top 5 stuff? He seems like he's not as projectable as others to me
Doesn't have top 5 stuff now, but I do see some projection there, especially if you can lengthen his stride at all. He doesn't use his lower half that much.
Rob - thanks, got it.
Klaw, have you ever read E.L. Doctorow? Thoughts?
Loved Ragtime, haven't read anything else by him.
I heard you on All Night w/ Jason Smith the other night. He was trying to tell you what a good signing Vlad Guerrero was for the O's because of his runs and RBI's last year. You quickly corrected him that those stats mean nothing and he laughed it off. After you went off the air, he continued to say how RBI and runs are the most important stats and that "OPS and all the other stuff, blah." Are so few ESPN people knowledgeable about statistical analysis?
I think we have a lot of folks here who are aware of statistical analysis. Jason clings to his discredited stats for some reason I don't quite get.
7 innings, no runs for the Sox. The sky, the sky.
Looks like it's getting closer, doesn't it?
I just picked up a Jeeves collection, entitled Just Enough Jeeves. It begins with Joy in the Morning. Is that a good place to start? This will be my first experience with these two characters.
Well, since all his books are pretty much the same (and that's fine by me), that's as good a place to start as any. Although I think it omits the first Jeeves & Wooster book, "Thank You, Jeeves."
I know you already answered a Bubba question, but I was wondering if you can tell me how he projects as a hitter. I know about the speed and the arm, but how much pop is in his bat?
Projects to above-average at worst. I'd probably call it plus, but I'll see him again in May to be sure (and have some Q).
One thing you might learn in a week: unhealed injuries. Youklis looks terrible; hard not to wonder if he's still hurt. Any thoughts?
I almost offered that caveat above and probably should have - we can learn about health, or lack thereof. Haven't seen enough of Youkilis to comment on him specifically, though.
Michael Ruhlman has a blog post about leaving small-batch chicken stock on the stove for up to a week, bringing it to a boil before use to kill bacteria and such. His reasoning in the post makes sense, and I have much more confidence in my immune system than fridge space, so the idea is appealing. Have you read the post? What do you think?
Saw it. Lot of interesting comments below it. I'd be concerned about botulinum, to say the least, but I also wouldn't likely go through the stock in a short enough period of time. I make it, chill it, and freeze it in 3-3.5 cup batches. Two of those makes a soup. Plus I'll freeze smaller amounts (like a cup apiece, just freeze them in a muffin pan) for quick additions to sauces, rice dishes, stuffing, etc.
Is Ceasar Puello similar at all to Mike Trout?
Just got my copy of The Pale King. You plan on reading it?
Never read any DFW. Will eventually attempt Infinite Jest, since it's on the TIME 100, but that would be it.
What do scouts look for when evaluating a HS pitcher? Seems that current or potential future velocity on the FB is a sine qua non for a prospect. And while each factor is important, what factor, if any, gets weighted more heavily: command/control; secondary pitches; fastball life? Anything else?
Body, delivery, athleticism. You're projecting so far out - three years at the least, more like five or six for most pitchers - that you can't get too excited about present stuff. It may not be there after a few hundred innings in pro ball.
Bryce Harper's makeup doesn't concern you at all? Or is that stuff overblown?
Somewhere between "overblown" and "utter nonsense."
KLAW, I bought the bread baker's apprentice, but I still usually end up with dense dough b/c it doesn't rise enough. What's the problem? Someone suggested I'm not kneading it enough, but is that really such a factor in bread rising?
Check your yeast for freshness and try slightly increasing your hydration.
Do you think that the year Volquez had before Tommy John was luck or do you think he can be an ace someday? His numbers before the Reds got him were not that great.
I thought Texas got the better of that deal, and maybe it'll work out that way because of the surgery, but I never saw 2008 coming for him and I wouldn't dare to tell you now that he'll never do that again.
Just subscribed to the baseball today podcast? You on there every day?
Tuesday to Thursday most weeks, unless I'm on a plane.
Girlfriend's birthday is coming up soon and I was hoping to buy her a good food book. I know you mentioned Alton Brown on The Dish, I was just wondering which one you consider to be the best?
Starter book? Can't go wrong with Joy of Cooking. I prefer the '97 edition. Also loving The Flavor Bible.
Care to give us your top 5 picks (based on the teams and not just best talent. I can look up your top 50 pretty easily)?
It's really too early to put together that kind of projection because those teams are still very much figuring it out - and one of the top 5 players in the draft, Starling, has barely played. I do think Cole has to be #1, and I'll give Rendon to Seattle at
RE: Cashner - Obviously a super-small sample size to say the least, but did you like what you saw? How so? Thanks!
Great stuff, but I said that morning we don't know if he's durable enough to go a full season as a starter. Now it might just make more sense for the Cubs to use him as a reliever when he comes back.
She cooks quite a bit now, so I'm looking for something that's educational as well. In case that changes your opinion.
Flavor Bible is mostly a reference work but I've used it a ton since I got it. Look up a food and there's a list of other foods/flavors that work well with it.
OK, I'm off to the studio to prep for tonight's show. Thanks for all the questions - I'll be back next week. Go set your DVRs!