Round 5 means most of the top prospects are off the board, so it's a good time to chat.
Which of the top 6 draft picks has the most superstar potential (Cole, Hultzen, Bauer, Bundy, Starling, Rendon)?
Was the biggest reach of the first round the Giants? Does it make it even more surprising that Levi Michael was available if they wanted a SS? How do Michael and Panik compare?
Matthews was the biggest reach of the first round. Hager or Panik would be next. I have no idea at all why they took Panik over Michael.
Only the mets can take a kid from a high school that doesnt have a baseball team from not to mention from place far far away from nyc.I realize he was highly rated and comming to a big city might not be what he is most comfortable with.He is commited to Arkansas.The state of the mets you would think a collge player or one more polished would be the way they would go.You just cant make this stuff up only the mets thats why they are called the amazing mets...
Wow. And all this time I thought it was a good pick.
Keith--what exactly is the story with Josh Bell. It is just signability right, not injury or character? Is he a two-sporter? Do you have any sense whether there is a team he is willing to sign with? Thanks.
Parents want him to go to college. All accounts are that they're dead serious. I'm all for taking risks in the draft but I have no information at all to support saying that he'll sign with Pittsburgh.
Tom Robson went 140th overall to the Blue Jays? good value? Scouting report?
Not on him. Had some arm strength, was gone this spring, as stiff a delivery as I can remember seeing.
KLaw - assuage the mind of a skeptical Tigers' fan...Westlake will be better than Larish, right?
I really question Westlake's hit tool. Has power, that's probably it.
Were you surprised how early Jose Fernandez went?
No, I thought he was in their mix, and then again at 17 and 22.
Chris Reed? With Mahtook, Gray and Barnes still on the board?
Signability was a factor. Mahtook apparently wanted (wants?) a major league deal, which is a fine demand but often translates to a minor league deal for more money.
Ok, why did you laugh at the Yankees drafting Bichette? Seems like they did what they've done the last three years - draft a HS talent that, if he went to college for the next 3 years would be a top of the first round pick that they could never hope to get.
I don't think he'd be a top of the first round pick in three years.
In questioning the Braves' move in drafting a low-ceiling starter, you are failing to recognize his sacrifice bunting skills.
Maybe he'll hit 2nd.
1. Rendon has serious injury issues. 2. Starling wasn't going to sign with any team other than his hometown Royals. 3. Lindor needs at least 4 years to get to the majors. So all of the above adds up to Hultzen being a GREAT pick for the Mariners, right?
You can't really know (1), and most sources told me Rendon's shoulder isn't serious. (2) is blatantly false. I'll give you 3. And you missed (4) Trevor Bauer (5) Dylan Bundy (6) Archie Bradley.
Keith, who was the best amateur player you saw this Spring who was NOT eligible for the 2011 Rule 4 draft?
Your take on Harper's kiss? Does he think he's in little league?
Given his facial expression - that was anger, like flipping the bird - I think there's a lot more to that story than we're hearing. I would say Bryce should be careful what he does, though, given that he has a giant bullseye on him and whether or not he's the instigator he will be blamed for anything that happens.
So accepting that most scouts don't like Panik as a first rounder. It's clear that the Giants scouting department feels there is something there others don't see correct?
Sure they do. I happen to disagree.
Was Wong a decent pick? I'm having visions of Pete Kozma.
Well, they don't look alike...
Oropesa to SFG at 116: do you like the pick? Was he expected to go higher? Signability and ceiling? Thanks, Keith!
Big raw power, definitely the right spot to take a shot at him.
If Anthopoulos can sign BOTH Beede and Norris, along with even one of Anderson or Comer.... that's a big draft, yes?
Yes, but I'll say he doesn't. Norris seems like Beede insurance to me.
Keenyn Walker-wasted pick/reach, or...?
Reach for me. Most area guys in AZ don't believe in the bat. Heard four teams on him hard, CWS was one of them.
How do feel about that Nats taking Purke in the 3rd? I'm assuming they'll have to pay way over slot to sign him - is there value here even with the recent injury woes and decreased velo? What's the skinny on their 4th rounder Turnbull?
That's really a medical question. Based on what I saw, I wouldn't give him seven figures. But I can't tell you what's going on in that shoulder.
What don't you like about Zach Cole?
Cone, you mean? Wrote about him in my day one recap: Big tools that don't translate. Horrible with wood bats last two summers.
Arizona got Bauer, Bradley, Meo, and Chafin. Best rotation drafted so far?
I do love that group. They have to be going berserk in that draft room.
Hi Keith, Josh Osich LHP is a name I saw with 1st round consideration that I haven't seen come off the board. Do you know why he might be dropping?
Came out of his start last weekend after 12 pitches, I believe.
How signable is Dillon Howard? Chanced Cleveland locks him up?
I think he's signable but I think his price tag will be more than slot for their first pick.
Quick grade on the Wong pick by the Cardinals?
I ranked him 75th and they took him 22nd.
Why have Osich and Delmonico slipped so far? Who else is a top name that has fallen and is available?
Delmonico wants to go to school.
What is the ceiling for mets second rounder cory mazzoni?
Back end starter, maybe.
Thoughts on Susac? I know one of your Mocks had the Giants taking him in the first: Good pick in the second?
Excellent. Think he fell because of the wrist injury which limited scouts' looks late in the year.
The Cubs took a high schooler with their high 1st round draft pick. Will he be Josh Vitters 2.0? I guess they will have another high draft pick next year to work with too in case this guy fizzles out... Ah life on the North Side.
I hate that - oh, team X took player Y, it's player Z 2.0. They're nothing alike. Baez has more bat speed, more power, is a better defender, and is a lot more aggressive in every aspect of his game.
How fast is Esposito to the majors (sounds like his glove is already playable), and are the Orioles at all the type of organization that could fix his swing?
It's not just fixing his swing, but he has a bat speed problem. You can clean him up to mitigate it, but there is always the risk that at some point the lack of bat speed takes over. That said, they took him in the right spot.
Looks like we picked the Wong week to quit reading Keith Law.
Good thing the Dodgers didn't take him or we'd have woken up to "White is Wong" headlines.
Yeah, but you LOVED Vitters back in the day. What can you tell us about Daniel Vogelbach?
And on some level I still love the swing. Not saying either player is better (at the same age), but they're not similar. Vogelbach lost 30 pounds this winter and a scouting director told me, "...and he's still fat." But he can hit the ball a long way, as they say. That's just a lifelong conditioning challenge.
Any chance the Mariners can sign Kevin Cron? Sounds like he might have some good potential as a hitter, but also sounds like he is going to college.
I think a million bucks gets it done.
You want RH power that plays in Safeco? That's a good bet.
Nice grab by Brewers in 5th round, Texas OF Michael Reed. Rockies took Taylor Featherston, TCU SS with good defensive reputation who couldn't throw up let alone throw it to first whenever I saw them.
Can you explain why you like the Mets' Nimmo pick? I like the fact they shot for upside and all but it still seems like a reach to me.
Major and necessary change in draft philosophy.
Did Boston waste a pick on Jerez? And have you seem Noe pitch? I like the report on him.....quick to bigs?
Waste? No. High-risk, moderate-reward. Saw Noe multiple times, avg FB, above avg CH, below avg breaking ball, iffy command, don't like the delivery. Am really not a fan.
what are the chances the Starling goes to Nebraska?
Zero. He's signing.
Is Gilmartin Mike Minor 2.0? A sign Minor will be dealt?
He's more like Mike Minor 0.3.
Whats your report on Trevor Gretzky?
Needs to go to college. Not ready for pro ball.
What's your opinion on Jackie Bradley Jr. seemed like a great pick at 40
I like it - probably goes 15-25 if healthy, would have ranked him maybe 20-25. Good value at 40.
Thoughts on the Tigers draft so far?
Here's one: Are they broke?
How do you feel about JR Graham? Supposedly has a big time fastball....
Up to 100 as a starter. Projects as a reliever. I like him, think he got underrated because he's short.
Jays took Andrew Chin? Tommy John guy who wanted an insane number for forgo school.
Is Jackie Bradley's signing bonus going to be a $100,000 jackpot wad?
It's a sea ... bird.
What's with the Rays shopping at the thrift store in the sandwich round? Did Friedman forget to save his pennies?
Goeddel's not a cheap sign. Don't think Goetzman (round 2) is either.
Of the Tampa Bay haul so far, who has the most upside and who is the safest of the group?
Upside is Guerrieri or Goetzman. Safest is easily Mahtook. Linsky surprised me; Friedman was there the night I saw Linsky at 91-93 with no command.
did Derek Fisher float a big signing bonus number?
Yes. It started with a "two million."
I've read a couple of scouting reports saying Mahtook will have to move to one of the corners. Do you see him as a long-term CF?
Yes. If he doesn't get hurt he's a CF.
Phils usually go overslot about now...who do you see them targeting?
Does it look like the ownership change has had much effect on the Astros draft? Supposedly Crane's involved, but have they taken anyone that they wouldn't have under McLane?
Seems like they'll have to go over slot with the first three picks. Tropeano was a reach for me in the 5th - college performer in horrid conference with below avg fastball.
Astros took Armstrong from Vanderbilt. Dealt with back problems, but when healthy, throws 99? Plus 6'8? I hope he is a closer
Just to follow up - rarely throws that hard, but it's plus FB/plus CH when healthy. Would like to see him start.
KLAW most of what I read about the Rays gives a lot of credit to Friedman. I rarely hear anything about the contributions of Hunsicker. It can't be a coincidence that the Astros went in the toilet when McLane ran him off and the Rays became a model franchise when he arrived, can it?
Most certainly can be.
Yea they have recently...See Cosart, Colvin, Walter, Musser
Colvin was $900K - that's a good example. Musser and Walter were well under $500K. Cosart was much later in the draft.
Beside Gray, is the A's draft as disappointing as it seems?
Vollmuth and Crocker were both in the right spots - Vollmuth bounced back really nicely after a bad repeat season on the Cape.
Why do the angels love these JR College guys? I don't remember them working out (maybe Kendrick?)
Oswalt. Orlando Hudson. Bryce Harper (OK, cheating there). I think JCs are underscouted.
I've seen vague references to mechanical flaws in Gerrit Cole. Uninformed masses? His stuff certainly doesn't suffer
Outdated, most likely. Rough delivery in HS. Cleaned up substantially.
Have to say I loved that the Reds took the upside route in round 1 instead of trying for a "safe" college player. Your thoughts on the Stephenson pick?
Definite upside play. Big arm, consistently in the 92-96 range, rough delivery with some head violence.
Are you in favor of a hard slotting system?
Opposed, opposed, opposed.
Greene has been described by the Phils as being similar to Singleton offensively but with more power. Do you buy that?
Swing isn't as good, and Singleton played HS ball in SoCal while Greene plays in a place I had to look up on the map (Nashville, Georgia). Greene has more power. Singleton's a better athlete.
Sorry, was looking up a player ... and MLB had the wrong school.
Love JD Davis to the Rays in the 5th. Lot of power potential there.
BA states that Baez is committed to Jacksonville. Are there questions as to whether he signs with the Cubs?
No. Almost every player has a four-year college commitment. But many players are unlikely to ever hit campus even without the bonus - I've heard that guys like Baez and Lindor didn't have the grades to go to those four-year schools anyway.
Dickerson, the 1b from Indiana. Does he project as an everyday player in the big leagues?
I thought so after seeing him last summer. Seems like the industry disagrees.
I went to college and had a blast. It's not worth giving up a 7 figure signing bonus. Any parent/player thinking about passing on big time money need only look at Matt Purke, no?
You would think so. If I was a scout/SD I'd talk a lot of Purke, a lot of Harrington, and a few others.
Rox first pick today, Carl Thomore, any thoughts? By the way, the Guiness cupcakes are awesome.
First pick of theirs I really liked. Hit/power tools, avg run, great makeup. Ends up in an outfield corner.
What were the questions abotu Clay Buchholz's makeup that scared people off?
That wasn't exactly a "question" about his makeup. The problem was the answer.
Given the labrum problem, what do you think of Stilson at 108?
Meh. That might be a wasted pick, actually.
Was CJ Cron the best power bat in the draft? Good pick at #17 for the Angels, or did they reach? Do you see him sticking at 1B, or is he strictly a DH?
Give him a chance at first. Best college power bat on the board for them, probably. The power is real, but at the same time he's played most of his college career at altitude, so I felt like expectations on him may have gotten out of control.
What do you think of the Phillies draft thus far? Like any picks in particular?
It's different, certainly. They generally don't spend much in aggregate on the draft, which really limited them in a year when everyone wanted $2 million and their brothers wanted $1.5MM.
Indians took Dillon Howard at 67, and you ranked him 18th. I can assume you think it's a good pick? Why did he slip -- too raw, like you said? Also, two high-upside high schoolers for their first two picks? Are the Indians changing their philosophy?
Big price tag. Not a reflection of his talent. Lindor's more safe than high-upside but Howard is shoot-for-the-stars. I like Sisco (3rd round) too - 91-93, will show you two above-avg offspeed pitches. And Roberts is the guy at UVA who threw the no-hitter vs GWU - average stuff with command, has a chance to be a back-end guy, good value in the 5th.
Overall Thoughts on Yanks 1st 5 picks??
Keep waiting for them to go for it. First, second, fourth, fifth picks all off my top 100, the middle two way off. Cote I like a ton but he is all projection right now. Bird can hit, doubt he can catch.
Thoughts on O's taking Delmonico in the 6th round? Signable?
No. Flier, most likely doesn't come to fruition.
Thoughts on the Royals draft after Starling? Doesn't seem like a lot of upside, and better catchers available in Round 2 than Gallagher.
Smith has some upside; Gallagher could be an offensive catcher if he sticks at the position, which he may not.
Are you a believer in Tilson to the Cards?
Yes, I'm quite certain they took him.
Austin Wood to the Halos. Signs this year?
I could have gone to 200 and wouldn't have included him.
Is it fair to say that you like the Red Sox draft so far? Which pick has the most upside?
Loved day one. Less excited so far on day two.
Cubs seem like they are having a nice little draft. Is the first baemen gonna go to florida?
Wants $1.6MM-ish. I think he signs. Scott is interesting - born in South Africa, I believe, touched some 95s early, then went to California in a big tournament and got destroyed by better-quality hitters, at which point his stock pulled an Enron.
Baez is probably committed to Jacksonville University because it is pretty much across the street from his HS which is really just an AAU team posing as a real school.
I have heard that the school is unaccredited, hence their lack of games against other Florida high schools. I saw him in Rock Hill, SC; the week before they were in Puerto Rico, the week after they were in Tarboro.
why did fisher and gaedele drop to the sixth?
Gaedele disappointed all spring. Fisher wanted big coin. Rangers could definitely pick themselves up by signingh im.
How do you like the Washington Nationals' draft so far? Thanks.
Tough to argue with the first three picks. Also liked Skole maybe a round or two above that. Purke worries me. I love Hill as a senior sign - save a little coin that goes to the earlier guys.
Thoughts on the Braves picks not named Gilmartin?
I liked Graham. When I'm most excited about the reliever you took in the fourth round, it's a tough week.
Anyone drafted so far that you had barely even heard of?
Least familiar name on day one was Ames. That's gotten some jeers from other scouts (the "why take him there" kind).
Mets finally going for upside guys. Great idea right? Also, what can you tell me about the lefty they got from UMass?
UMass-Lowell, no? Live arm, reliever, but LH arm strength in 5th round is solid. Also like Verrett as a probable reliever with anonzero chance to start.
Other than Minor (who was the no. 7 overall pick and still is likely a 4th starter at best), no player in Braves Top 10 prospects was chosen after I joined MLB Draft Reform Committee in 2009 and forced my team to pay players at slot levels. Is this a problem?
Don't you think so? Sometimes I wonder if Liberty Media has any clue what is going on in the company they own, or if they don't care because it's a blip on their balance sheet.
You say Bubba has the most superstar potential of the very top picks-- what separates him substantially from Donovan Tate?
Aside from more size, more speed, and more power? Tate swung through more fastballs and played with 10% of the energy Starling has.
I forgot about Lopes! What happened to him?
Just doesn't profile well anywhere. Not a true SS. Not much power at all. Not a blazer. Nice player who works hard but tough to see him as a regular. The more I looked, the more I realized he didn't fit.
Hey Keith - any relation to Jude?But seriously, I thought only college juniors could be drafted. Why are there some sophomores being picked too?
No, but I am related to Ty and Rudy. Sophomores are eligible if they are 21 on draft day or turn 21 within 45 days.
Is Navery Moore not highly thought of? Definitely thought he would have come off the board by now.
One-pitch reliever with a history of poor control. Might not sign cheaply either.
what was up with the timeout Toronto called in the second
I didn't catch that, but it probably means the player they were about to pick was picked right before.
Cody Kukuk, tough sign? good pick? best non-Bubba pitcher in Kansas?
Tough sign. Good gamble, he's not "unsignable."
Nothing on Onelki Garcia Speck yet. When do you think he's going to come off the board? There were first round rumors as late as yesterday afternoon, weren't there?
He was declared ineligible shortly before the draft. I spoke to his agent right before that and was told (and tweeted) that the agent believed Speck should be a free agent.
Thoughts on Amir Garrett?
Wants to play basketball at St. John's. Consensus is that this last-ditch effort to show off for scouts was a money grab. Great athlete who's added at least 5 mph in the last year.
Is Skole related to the chewing tobacco magnate? What's your favorite flavor of chaw, Klaw?
Isn't that Skoal? I think the stuff is vile.
re: Tate vs Starling, it just seems crazy that only two years later the Tate pick is so clearly a bust... If Bubba is obviously on a different level at the same stage of development, why was Tate such a high pick? Just a weak class?
Weak class, overrated for his athleticism (which was in itself overrated). I wasn't on the pick at the time.
This isn't draft related, but if he's willing to sport a mustache that awesome, shouldn't Harper be allowed to blow a kiss to whomever he deems appropriate?
I am DEFINITELY not on the mustache.
What do you know about Ryan Carpenter? All I've heard is that his velocity dipped and no one knows why.
And he never threw that hard to begin with.
How do you think the Mets new regime is doing in their 1st draft?
Loved the Nimmo/Fulmer upside plays. Now seems like they're going conservative on day two, other than Tuschak who area scouts I know didn't rate that high.
Clay Holmes seems like a great pick at this stage. What's his potential and why wasn't he picked earlier?
Strong commitment to Alabama. Didn't sound signable to me, definitely not after the 2nd round.
If Swihart was 3b, is he still 1st rounder?
Yes, but more back of the round. Had him ranked in the middle because I think he catches.
Now the Red Sox tab Golson, between him and Kukuk, feeling any better about their second day actions? How much would those two take to sign do you think?
Yes, much more typical of their recent drafts. I don't know signability on either kid other than that both are signable at some non-insane number.
No Dillon Maples yet; thoughts on him?
Very pricey with strong UNC commit and chance he's a reliever with that delivery. Crazy stuff, though, first-round FB/SL combo.
Have you had a chance to see Hager in person? Saw some video on him and really liked his swing and approach. It looks like he may be very small.
Yes. Wasn't small, at least 6 foot and pretty strong.
Your best guess, how much will it take for Josh Bell to sign?
The sense I've gotten is that $6-8 million wouldn't do it.
Yanks took Jake Cave in the 6th. What are the chances he signs?
If they do as they did last year, overpaying in these middle rounds, then I think their history says he will.
how many more rounds until kw nabs a relative of someone in the sox org?
"With the 384th pick in the two thousand First-Year-Player Draft, the White Sox select Oney Reinsdorf..."
Why hasn't Matt Dean been taken yet? Tough sign?
Wrecked his chances with a bad summer last year, didn't make it all up this spring.
I know its probably to early, but do you think either of the Brewers first round picks will crack your top 100 prospect list?
Jungmann's got a good shot. Jed B much less likely.
We've heard your take on Panik and Susac. What stands out to you among the Giants' other selections (Krick, Oropesa, Bandilla, Marlowe, Osich, Black, Delgado)? If nothing else, at least Chris Marlowe projects as a world-class playright, no?
I would love to see his teammates start calling him "Kit." I don't know Osich's health status. Bandilla, Black, and Marlowe are pure relievers.
bundy a better prospect than taillon? por que?
Better secondary, better delivery, better athlete.
Are the A's looking at Sonny Gray as a starter?
RT Buster_ESPN Longtime evaluator on Bundy: "He is the best pitching prospect I have ever seen. I think he's better than Strasburg (in his draft yr.)"True or False?
I know several scouts who thought Bundy was the top prospect in the draft this year.
So Jace Peterson in the Supp round was a BIG overdraft right? Any silver lining in this one, or just a utility guy?
Longshot athlete, lot of development time ahead of him.
OK, gotta run ... thanks for the questions. I'll write more about day two in a column later tonight, concentrating on the top five or six rounds.