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May 18, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

New projected first round went up yesterday, if you haven't seen it. I'm taking a few days off this weekend so I figured I'd chat a day early rather than skipping a week.

Shawn (CT)

That would be amazing if Cole fell to KC. Just saying

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

It would be, although I get why some people are scared of him - he should miss more bats given the quality of his stuff. I happen to think there's development potential there, but if you want more of a finished product, he ain't it.

Jay (South Riding, VA)

I caught Robbie Ray's last start which was awesome. Do Ray & AJ Cole have #1 upside?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

No, I don't think Ray is close to that.

Mr Snuggles (Hugging Something) [via mobile]

The mess with the Yankees. Your take? Mine. Posada is a drama clown. Cashman was halfway wrong yet truthful. Jeter just has lost it and is beyond reason. Much to do about nothing regarding a team with a lot of dead money.

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

Harsh, but I wouldn't say any of that is wildly off base. I really can't fault Cashman for being truthful.

Steve (Livermore CA)

Cory Vaugn and his career .425 OBP say hi. I'm not saying he's an elite prospect, but isn't 450 career PA's enough to trump your "I saw him walk once and it was the pitcher's fault" argument. It's about time to scratch the "doesn't get on base enough" line from his scouting report, isn't it?

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

Well, since that wasn't my argument, and he's been terribly old for every league where he's played ... no.

Joe (Chicago)

Hitter with highest ceiling in this draft?

Klaw
  (2:07 PM)

I would say Starling. Larry Greene has more power potential, but far less with the hit tool.

Mike (Chicago)

If Starling is the biggest talent then why isn't someone taking him before 9?

Klaw
  (2:07 PM)

Because he wants a lot of money. And he should - he has an unusual amount of leverage.

Mitch ( Boulder, CO)

Silly question, but when you shorten "velocity" to "velo," how would one pronounce it? Rhymes with Jello or Cee-Lo (Green)?

Klaw
  (2:07 PM)

Rhymes with Cee-Lo. Ain't that some ...?

Chris (Dallas, TX)

Your mock said the Padres are strongly considering a college pitcher at 25...Moorad always spent when in AZ (Drew, Upton, etc.)...will he bring the same philosophy to SD? I figured Hoyer would draft like Boston, especially after he said the system needed to churn out 2-3 players each year.

Klaw
  (2:08 PM)

I don't think it's a lock they take a college arm, but in the 20s, college arms are likely to represent very good value. They're already going to spend more than they do in most years because they have pick 10 too.

Brian (Milford, CT)

KLaw, Is Sox prospect Bryce Bentz the real thing?

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

I think he's good, but like Vaughn he's way too old for low-A ball, and we can't say we've learned anything until he at least performs in high-A.

Mike B. (Chippewa Lake, OH)

Do you think LoMo can maintain his (albeit small sample) 2011 power surge?

Klaw
  (2:10 PM)

Yes.

Steve (Cleveland)

I get the idea that the Indians aren't going to play like a top 10 team the rest of the way. I agree. But at what point can we go 'this success is sustainable'?

Klaw
  (2:11 PM)

We're a long way from that. Maybe when they're not playing Kansas City all the time?

Rahn (Philly)

Hi Keith. With the dearth of positional prospects (well, of prospects, in general) for the Pirtes, is Rendon still the pick, despite the rising stock of the U.Va. pitcher and the presence of Cole? And maybe more importantly for Pgh. fans, who of the three is the least likely to bust?

Klaw
  (2:11 PM)

Right now, I'm projecting them to take Hultzen. I think Cole is #2 and Rendon

Citadel Chief (KC)

I'm an open and proud (and occasionally flamboyant!) gay man. I've been watching with interest the story about the Phoenix Suns' president and the recent comments reportedly by Charles Barkley essentially encouraging more openness in the lockerroom. Do you see greater acceptance occuring in the MLB clubhouse anytime soon, or will it be more difficult to break through with broader acceptance in this sport? Thanks and good luck.

Klaw
  (2:14 PM)

I wish I knew how other players would react if a current big-leaguer came out, but my guess is that the answer is "not well." Obviously we'll see a spectrum of reactions from tolerant to hateful, but I think it'll skew toward less acceptance.

Cred (Bayonne, NJ)

Why even start 1st-2nd round college draft picks in low A? Seems like a waste of everyone's time and effort.

Klaw
  (2:15 PM)

I couldn't agree more. Low-A is for HS/Latin signees just out of short-season and for org players. If you took a D1 player who can't make a high-A club in his first full year (barring injury or major mechanical changes), then you took the wrong guy.

Walter (Denver)

Saw someone tweet this at you but didn't see an answer: was Chris Carpenter this obnoxious when you were both in TOR? Renck wrote about him last year, seems like I'd like his stats on my ballclub but not his personality.

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

I did see that but didn't have a great answer (still don't, really). I barely knew Carp in Toronto, but I don't think we ever had any kind of problem with him.

Mike (Chicago)

I saw that the White Sox don't have a pick in your 1st round mock. Why don't they have a pick in the 1st round this year? Does that happen often?

Klaw
  (2:17 PM)

Gave it up to sign Adam Dunn (so Washington gets it). Happens a half-dozen times a year, I'd guess. Yankees & Phillies both gave theirs up. Rangers lost one for Beltre, got one back for Lee. And so on.

Joseph (Sacramento, CA)

Brian Goodwin > Eurey Perez?

Klaw
  (2:17 PM)

Oh yeah.

John (Atlanta)

I'm curious to what Tampa's strategy is going to be with 12 picks in the first 90. Can they afford to take the best talent available with each pick?

Klaw
  (2:17 PM)

That's what they say they'll do.

Jay (South Riding, VA)

Thanks for the chats Keith. You've stated the Nats won't take guys like Bundy, Jungmann & Gray. Just wondering why? It seems like passing up a stud like Bundy for the inconsistency of Meyer defies logic. They both have huge upsides correct? Any insight you could provide would be helpful.

Klaw
  (2:18 PM)

Not their types of players. Rizzo has never liked short right-handers, and they don't like pitchers with head violence. That said, I think you're oversimplifying Meyer - inconsistent with ridiculous stuff, rivaling Cole's, and significant improvement this year.

Josh (NY)

Who do you see the Mets targeting with the 13th pick?

Klaw
  (2:19 PM)

If only I'd posted my thoughts on what every team would do in the first round ... wait, I did that. Like, yesterday, even.

Cory (Lakewood, OH)

Are the Indians wasting their time keeping #1 pick from 2010 Drew Pomeranz in Single-A? Seems to be dominating the competition down there.

Klaw
  (2:20 PM)

I think he should see AA by July. Having a pitcher go around a league twice isn't the worst thing in the world, so that hitters can make adjustments to him and he can adjust back.

Joseph (Sacramento, CA)

Using your mock as a guide, who would be the best prospects remaining for the sandwich round?

Klaw
  (2:21 PM)

I didn't have Dillon Howard going in the first, although I think ultimately he does go in the top 33 - I just couldn't tell you he was any team's top choice with their pick, and I think he's going to be a tough sign. But I think he was the best guy available outside of the 33 I listed.

Mike (Hamilton, ON)

Keith, I obviously can't disagree with your sources who indicate the Pirates are leaning Hultzen. My question, though, would be why would they pass on the best available player with the #1 pick? And who would you select if you were Neal Huntington?

Klaw
  (2:22 PM)

What if they don't agree with me on the best available player? Or they would rather pay 60% of the bonus for a player (Hultzen) who could deliver 80% of the value of a Cole or a Rendon? I'd take Cole or Starling.

Brian (Rochester Hills, MI)

Do you think Purke falls out of the 1st round?

Klaw
  (2:23 PM)

Today, yes. He's supposed to pitch this weekend and if all goes well at the MWC tournament next week, where he could reestablish his value pretty quickly if his arm works well and his velo is back.

Anthony (NYC)

What's your thoughts on Heathcott after the recent "brawl" and the article about his rough past? Same?

Klaw
  (2:24 PM)

We all knew his makeup/past was shaky, and it sounds like the catcher provoked him (not that throwing a punch is OK, but I can at least understand his rage). So no change, really.

Bob (St. Louis)

Could you describe/tell us more about Larry Greene?

Klaw
  (2:25 PM)

Big raw power. Major question on hit tool. Will be comped to Ryan Howard for many of the wrong reasons. Hasn't faced much good competition playing in very rural Georgia. But if you want huge power potential, that's your guy. Those guys tend to worry me - Michael Burgess had some pretty big raw power too but couldn't (can't) figure out a breaking ball to save his life.

John (New Jersey)

Hi Keith. A bit surprised to see the Mets taking a high schooler 1st. Your next college pitcher comes off the board with Bradley and the Red Sox, which has been their MO for years. Do you believe the Mets FO has now said 'to heck with the slotting' and they'll just go after the best players?

Klaw
  (2:26 PM)

They're taking the best player available. I've been assured of that from multiple sources.

Nick (Wisconsin)

Over/Under Kevin Comer in the 2nd Round?

Klaw
  (2:26 PM)

I could see sandwich round. If he's signable in the 2nd round, he goes no later than that.

Trevor (Ft Walton Beach)

Who's better now and in 5 years, Jay Bruce or Mike Stanton?

Klaw
  (2:27 PM)

Bruce. But I'm not slighting Stanton. I think both are stars.

Jeff (Atlanta, GA)

Can you give me a scouting report on Zach Cone, OF from UGA? I haven't made it down to a game in a couple years and I have only recently heard of him listed as a possible 1st round pick.

Klaw
  (2:28 PM)

Tremendous tools that don't translate to the game. Classic "looks good in the uniform" guy. Not a possible first-rounder.

Jack (D.C.)

I like your idea of the Orioles taking Bundy, but I keep hearing they want a college arm. Where do all the rumors come from, are they made up? Also, any reason you believe they'd pass on Cole?

Klaw
  (2:29 PM)

Most teams view Bundy as the equivalent of a college arm because he's so polished and is physically well-developed. He's a big leaguer in 2 to 2.5 years.

Chris (NY)

Heading to Craftsteak for the first time next month - recommendations?

Klaw
  (2:29 PM)

Short rib is the signature dish.

Garrett (Bakersfield, Ca)

What are you thought's on Teheran's second start tonight? I would hope the nerves are gone and we can see him command his seconday pitches a little better.

Klaw
  (2:32 PM)

I don't think you can just chalk that up to nerves.

Mike (Chicago)

Why has Pedro Alvarez regressed so much? I know you weren't high on him, but this is ridiculous.

Klaw
  (2:32 PM)

Wish I knew.

Josiah (omaha)

Kansas City food recommendations? particularly BBQ?

Klaw
  (2:32 PM)

I have been to one place there, Oklahoma Joe's. Very good, but I was expecting life-altering.

Mitchell (NYC)

The Yanks don't pick becuase of the smart signing of Soriano to supp 1st, who do you think they will focus on and do you think they will take hard to sign guys or go conservative again?

Klaw
  (2:33 PM)

They're hoping a first-round type falls to them.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Did you ever Meet Harmon Killebrew who Passed Away on May 17 at the age of 74 of esophageal cancer?

Klaw
  (2:33 PM)

I did not.

Anders (Toronto)

Brett Lawrie gets call up on _______? Even for Vegas, those are pretty good numbers for a 21 yo, no? 8 walks in his last 10 games...

Klaw
  (2:34 PM)

First week of June, maybe?

Ed (San Diego)

Thanks for the 1st full mock. Who do you think has higher Ace probability? Barnes, Jungmann, Gray? Thanks again

Klaw
  (2:34 PM)

Barnes has the highest upside.

Rick (Boston, MA)

Doesn't Matt Purke make a ton of sense for the Sox given that A) they seemed to be renowned for their shoulder strengthening program, and B) they're willing to pay top-5 / top-10 money for picks that fall to sandwich for whatever reason? Watching him in the College World Series last year when this guy's healthy there aren't many better choices than him, and pairing him with Ranaudo in the minors would give them pretty impressive depth of starting pitching.

Klaw
  (2:34 PM)

That's assuming that his shoulder only needs "strengthening" and not something more serious.

CC (Atlanta)

So are you not a Teheran believer?

Klaw
  (2:35 PM)

On the contrary, I had him as the #1 pitching prospect in the minors coming into the year. But it was based more on his fastball/changeup combo than an expectation that he could show big-league command this year.

Klaw
  (2:35 PM)

On the contrary, I had him as the #1 pitching prospect in the minors coming into the year. But it was based more on his fastball/changeup combo than an expectation that he could show big-league command this year.

Eddie (Hoboken, NJ)

So when did Ian Kennedy learn how to miss bats?

Klaw
  (2:36 PM)

When he went to the easier league.

Sal (Bronx, NY)

Thanks for tweeting the cupcake recipe, going to try this weekend! Thoughts on some guys their clubs hopefully try soon too: For 2011 purposes who has most fantasy impact, CI: Rizzo, Moustakas, Belt MI: Ackely, Gordon, Lawrie? SP: Duffy, Teheran, Montgomery, Moore or Montgomery? Anyone have the as bright, of not more potential than Hosmer?

Klaw
  (2:37 PM)

You're welcome. I'm not a fantasy player, but of those guys I think Belt and Lawrie get the most big league time/value this year.

Nicholas (DC)

Do you ever use margarine for anything cooking-related?

Klaw
  (2:37 PM)

No. Butter, olive oil, and rendered bacon fat.

Ryan (Hanover, PA)

Why does Starling keep falling in all of your mocks? I would love to see the Orioles take him at #4

Klaw
  (2:38 PM)

It's just cost. He's not "falling" in the sense of talent or performance, but fear that he won't sign or - more likely - fear that he'll want more money than teams are willing to spend. They'd rather spend that $10 million on one year of Rafael Soriano, I guess.

Frank (Wisconsin)

What is Kolten Wong's upside, and can his realistically stick at 2B?

Klaw
  (2:38 PM)

Can hit, fringy 2b though without power. Hard to see him profiling as more than an average regular.

Nicholas (DC)

Olive oil for frying, even?

Klaw
  (2:39 PM)

I deep-fry in canola oil, pan-fry in olive oil. Mostly just because of cost.

Garrett (Bakersfield, Ca)

I wasn't chalking that up to just nerves, my fault on that. I was just trying to get across that hopefully going from your first big league start in Philadelphia to your second start in Arizona might make a difference to 20 yr old, even though it really shouldn't.

Klaw
  (2:40 PM)

I'm most interested in seeing how he commands the fastball. Establish that early and even the below-average breaking ball will play up a little.

Naji (New York)

Thanks for responding to my letter for some career advice, Keith! [/sarcasm]

Klaw
  (2:41 PM)

I have no idea what you're talking about. Generally when readers write to me to ask about careers in baseball, I answer (although I will warn you that I don't offer false hope, either).

J (Arkansas)

Any chance Brandon Nimmo makes it to Arkansas next year or do you think he will sign?

Klaw
  (2:41 PM)

Wants at least $2 million, maybe $2.5 million. But I think someone pops him high and pays him.

Jeff (Oakland)

I know you think Ross is a reliever masquerading as a starter but is that due to his terrible throwing motion or his stuff? Or both?

Klaw
  (2:42 PM)

Arm action. It's painful to watch. Fortunately Joe Ross' is clean and easy.

Brandon (CA)

When you put together a mock draft, how much is the order influenced by conversations with insiders? How much is influenced by your hunches or gut? I'm looking for a ratio... 60%/40% about right?

Klaw
  (2:42 PM)

Everything comes from conversations with insiders. I don't take hunches.

Max (IDAHO)

What do you think the ceiling is for for Josh Bell?

Klaw
  (2:43 PM)

Maybe the second-best pure HS bat in the draft.

Jon (Columbia, SC)

I noticed you didn't have Jackie Bradley Jr. in your latest mock draft. Are teams not as high on him since the injury or is this draft that loaded? Where do you see him coming off the board?

Klaw
  (2:43 PM)

I think he's a Ranaudo case - drafted later, goes to play over the summer somewhere to show he's healthy, gets paid in August. Would be surprised if he's drafted in the first round after hitting .250 and missing the last six weeks.

dc (dc)

how do you render bacon fat? how do you store it?

Klaw
  (2:44 PM)

Chop up bacon, cook slowly in a pan over medium-low heat, regularly pour off the fat at the bottom of the pan, continue until the bacon bits are crispy (don't throw those out!) and have no more fat to give. Some people store it on the counter but I refrigerate it.

John (Lexington, KY)

More Jose Bautista roid talk. Do people really think that a utility guy no one had really heard of was somehow able to gain a monopoly on the best undetectable PEDs?

Klaw
  (2:45 PM)

It's disgusting, isn't it? And I say that as someone who didn't think Bautista would elevate his game in 2011 - there is NO EXCUSE for accusing him of PED usage. It is ignorant and irresponsible.

RayRay (Tulsa)

Pete Kozma was called up to the Cardinals. Most undeserved call-up of the year?

Klaw
  (2:46 PM)

What, the .284 OBP doesn't do it for you?

Brian (Rochester Hills, MI)

What do you think is the best option for top high school pitchers coming into the draft. Stay in college for 3 years like Gerrit Cole did or going pro and getting on the fast track to the majors like Rick Porcello did? Besides the money, I'm sure there are many pros or cons to each option. It sure looks like staying in college worked out well for Cole.

Klaw
  (2:47 PM)

Sign out of HS. Why go to college, get harassed by the NCAA, abused by your pitching coach, and risk injury or loss of stuff? Unless you're going to a top-flight program that's also a good academic school (Vandy, UNC), you should sign.

Mark (NJ)

Review on the new Beastie Boys album? I think its my favorite since Hello Nasty.

Klaw
  (2:48 PM)

Only listened once. They'll never top Paul's Boutique, though.

John (Richmond, VA)

Would Meyer/Cron/Goodwin be a good current projection for picks 6/23/34?

Klaw
  (2:48 PM)

Could happen.

TJ (Kansas City)

"I have been to one place there, Oklahoma Joe's. Very good, but I was expecting life-altering." You went to the wrong place. OKJ is good but not great. You need to Hit up Gates when you are here! Please let Cole fall to the Royals!

Klaw
  (2:48 PM)

And if I'd gone to Gates, I'd have readers calling me an idiot for skipping Oklahoma Joe's. The only answer is to eventually go to all of them.

Dave (CT)

Do you ever drink during games?

Klaw
  (2:49 PM)

At the park? No.

Dave (Somerville, MA)

Going back a few years, do you have any insight into Pittsburgh's pick of Sanchez? Obviously it was a value pick, but do you know how many (if any) other players were approached about going at or slightly under slot? Where Sanchez might have fallen on their board?

Klaw
  (2:50 PM)

I had Sanchez in the 20s and that's probably where he would have gone otherwise. I believe the Pirates talked to every player they might have considered there to get a sense of price tags and compare that to the values they saw on those players.

Fred (Columbus)

That Old Cape Magic is a disappointing

Klaw
  (2:50 PM)

Yeah, not loving it so far.

Joseph (Sacramento, CA)

Is Cron looked at as a 1st baseman only? What's his ceiling there if that's the case?

Klaw
  (2:51 PM)

Can't catch. Might end up a DH.

Mike (Seattle, WA)

Best spot to have in this years draft?

Klaw
  (2:52 PM)

I'd love to pick second. You'll still get a tremendous talent but without the #1-overall-pick premium and associated drama.

Mike (Geneva, IL)

My wife thinks I will turn into Satan if I play Dungeons and Dragons with my friends and says she will sleep on the couch if I go even once. How can I convince her otherwise?

Klaw
  (2:52 PM)

Um ... and you are how old?

Brandon (Columbus, OH)

Any worries that Hultzen is the next Jeremy Sowers?

Klaw
  (2:53 PM)

No. I saw Sowers in college, guy could barely crack 90. Hultzen had an off day on Saturday and still touched 93, and is bigger & more physical.

Chris (Lorton, VA)

Keith looking at big-time prospects who never turn out a big time player - what would you say is the most common reason? Poor instruction in the low minors (and/or bad handling by organization management), poor attitudes, just not able to make the physical step necessary...?

Klaw
  (2:54 PM)

Injury is #1. For hitters, inability to adjust to better offspeed stuff. For pitchers, usually it's physical, injury or lack of physical development.

Anders (Toronto)

Come on Keith, you can't deep fry in olive oil! It smokes like a chimney...

Klaw
  (2:55 PM)

Smoke point for olive oil is at least 400 degrees. You shouldn't be deep-frying anything at that temperature.

MJ (Edmonton)

I don't remember if you ever addressed this - did you finish Boardwalk Empire? If so what did you think of the way the season ended, and will you be keep watching the show?

Klaw
  (2:55 PM)

I didn't. Still have several episodes on the DVR, but it was moving ... so ... slowly.

Beddington Trevor (The Double-Deuce, L.P.D.)

Thinking about buying Diplomacy but won't have more than 3 or 4 people playing it most times - worth getting?

Klaw
  (2:56 PM)

Can't play with fewer than 7. Unless you have some spare AI players sitting around, I guess.

Klaw
  (2:57 PM)

OK, sorry for the short chat this week but I have a few things scheduled this afternoon. I'll be back next week!