So I'm writing with the hope that someone's reading...
Do you think Zach Stewart will end up being a starter or a reliever?
Starter. Four pitches, gets groundballs, needs to miss more bats but the raw stuff should allow him to do so.
KLaw, what's the projection for Jeurys Familia? Already at AA doing well, I assume he'll battle for a rotation spot in 2012.
Reliever. Still primarily one pitch. Command better, not likely to ever be above-average.
Like anyone from the A's draft?
Love Sonny Gray. Vollmuth is interesting - made himself into a good defender at third, but I'm not sure he'll ever get on base enough to be an above-average regular.
Love your work. Can Dee Gordon be an elite defensive shortstop? If so, can he be an above average MLB SS given his speed? Even with no power and a mediocre hit tool, I am thinking that it might be enough.
Yes. I think so. And I think he'll hit if/when he gets stronger - no power, of course.
Outside of the Cape Cod League, do any of the other summer leagues attract top talent?
That league dominates summer talent beyond Team USA. Second-best is the Northwoods League but it's a big dropoff, and a bigger one after that.
Keith, for a system that probably won't have a top 100 prospect, it was a pretty disappointing draft for the White Sox, no?
Well, once again they didn't spend any money. You can't give up your first-round pick, go cheap, and then expect to have a bang-up draft.
Any chance you'll get to travel to DR for games? Also, Jonathan Schoop ... top 25 next year?
Not planning on it. I feel better about saying top 50 on him than top 25.
I'm heading to the College World Series this weekend, but I can only see one game on Saturday. Should I go for Texas/Florida or Vanderbilt/UNC?
Depends a little on the starters - if you can get Jungmann-Whitson, do so, but I have a feeling that'll be Jungmann-Randall which is much less interesting to me.
Where do you fall on plate discipline being something that is innate vs. developed? Alexei already has as many walks as all of last year and is sitting at 3.0 WAR already. Obviously he is not a young player, so is this just a flash or can guys make serious strides on this facet of their games?
Mostly innate, but that's a general statement, not a universal one.
I've heard that Austin Hedges is going to give the Padres a little break because he wants to stay local. What is his upside? Offensive and Defensive?
I've heard (and I believe written) that, and I think they'll sign him. Plus-plus defender. Lot of questions on the hit tool. It's not great bat speed and he's struggled in some showcases against better competition.
Keith, my law school does a mock MLB salary arbitration competition judged by agents, gms and other knowledgeable baseball personnel. When arguing a case, in your opinion, how much emphasis should be put on stats like WAR, UZR ect, and what is the best way to respond to opposing arguments using the same stats
If someone quotes WAR or UZR, remind them that the goal is to win games, and therefore pitcher wins are the most important stat of all.
The rumor is that Matt Harvey is being held at St. Lucie because they feel there is value in pitching in competitive games - St. Lucie is in a first half race apparently. Do you agree that this value is more than the better competition at AA? Lastly- what are your thoughts about Gorski?
For a couple of starts? That's just not worth worrying about.
Hey Keith, I saw Jesse Biddle last night in Lakewood and his velocity was only about 85. How much can a pitcher realistically improve his velocity from Low A until he becomes a "finished product"?
If that's true, it's a major problem.
Hey Keith, what's your take on Preston Tucker? He's been tearing the cover off the ball. Does he project as a 1st or 2nd round pick next year? Thanks!
He was drafted in the 16th round last week.
We heard the last draft was sooooo deep...in a different year, would Javier Baez have been a top 10? Lots of complaints in Chicago that the Cubs reached.
They didn't reach. They took a risk, but that's not the same as reaching. Baez has crazy bat speed and potential 30-HR power, and he's a good enough athlete that some scouts thought he could stay at SS (I think he goes to 3B). He's just high-risk.
Deven Marrero was a 17th round pick out of HS. What was the book on him out of HS? Was he just flat out missed? Or was it a signability issue?
Signability. He went to Hosmer's HS and they played together, so he was seen a ton the year before he was eligible as scouts came to see Hosmer. Very strong commitment to ASU and no indication he'd sign period.
Hayden Simpson was a reach...not Baez.
Yep, I'd agree with that.
It feels like teams are told that they either need to be buyers or sellers around the trade deadline. I think the Pirates fall in the gray area where they don't need to do either, they can stay put. They do have three guys with high value (Maholm, Correia, Hanrahan). What do you think they should do?
Sell. If you're not contending, and you're in a long-term building mode, you need to sell. You can't argue that they're any better than fourth in that division, and fourth place is not a goal to which any team should aspire.
Where are all the Cleveland fans asking if their team is legit?
In the end, was this draft as deep and talented as you (and many others) believed it would be a year ago? Also, did any of the Tigers' picks strike you as particularly promising? Thanks.
Excellent pitching draft, better than expected, but the college hitting crop was much worse. I really didn't like Detroit's draft, and neither did any of the sources I've talked to since then. They typically drop some coin in the draft, but not this year.
Was Tyler Colvin playing over his head last year, is it just a sophomore slump, or is he still impacted by getting stabbed by a bat at the end of last season?
Over his head last year.
Carlos martinez looking good...how fast could he move through minors?
Still pretty young and inexperienced - no reason to fast-track him. I'd guess he splits this year between the A-ball clubs and might start next year in AA.
So, who WAS the biggest reach in this year's draft?
First round? To me, Matthews (Texas) or Panik (SF).
As a M's fan, I am still upset about the Hultzen pick. All we have is pitching. But should I be upset for any other reason than the fact that the M's need some offense?
My argument against the pick is that there were clearly better options available - guys with almost as much probability and a lot more upside, to say nothing of Bubba Starling, who is riskier but has an MVP-type ceiling.
K Law, I'm going to the CWS for the next two weeks or so. Besides the big names that were drafted, who else should I be sure to watch closely?
I just posted a 2012 draft preview that includes at least a half-dozen guys who'll be there: http://bit.ly/lbF2Hx
A Gonzalez recently said that latin players were "impatient" at the plate because the strike zone in Mexico, DR, PR, etc was ridiculously large. Any thoughts on whether that's true and whether time can change that?
Which Gonzalez? Haven't heard that, and wouldn't generalize it beyond the standard line about DR players being less patient ("you can't walk off the island"), although I think that's more about approach than recognition.
I know you like Ackley to move to left field, so which M's prospect is going to be their second baseman of the future: Kyle Seager or Nick Franklin?
Seager in the short term, at least.
What are your thoughts on the Rays draft? Did they hit or miss on a lot of those early pics?
Little of both.
Do you think Senquez Golson is sincere that he is not sigining with Boston?
Did the Mets draft Nimmo to high or no? HS hitters scare me due to their unpredictability.
A little high - I had him as a sandwich guy - but they needed to roll the dice on a high-upside bat, which he is, and I think they disagree with me on the extent of the risk involved with him (primarily that he hasn't faced much quality pitching in HS).
Can Addison Reed contribute to the back end of the White Sox bullpen this season?
Yes. I tweeted this the other day but a scout texted me that Reed was 95-99 for him the other day. Apparently the White Sox changed his slot and and tweaked the arm action.
Which of these M's pitching prospects have a chance to be in your 2012 Top 100: Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Danny Hultzen?
All three. Heard Walker has been 94-97 of late.
Do you plan a post-draft vacation every year?
Most years I do, but I had some TV work that interfered with that, and since we just bought a house in February we decided to postpone the vacation (or its expense, really) until the offseason.
What's your best guess on what the Nats do with Rendon? 2B would seem like a good move given his skill set, but that's gotta be risky given his injury history, no?
I'd leave him at third until he gets closer to the big leagues and see where Zimmerman is contract- and health-wise in 2013.
Travis d'Arnaud having a better year than expected?
No, this is about right. He's really good.
Ackley for Rasmus swap..... Who hangs up first?
Mozeliak tries to hang up, then La Russa rips the phone out of his hands and shouts, "WE'LL TAKE IT!"
keith, thanks for the response and love the chats. My question wasn't really regarding the validity of stats like WAR and UZR, but simply the best arguments you can make when those work against you. For example, I believe Adam Jones led the league in range factor one year despite posting a very low UZR. Obviously in an arbitration scenario, not every argument can be a winning one, but to you, what would be the most compelling counterargument based on our current understanding of players' individual performances and the statistics which best represent those.
The arb process isn't conducive to using complex stats, even if they're more accurate, because you have to burn some clock just to explain them.
Chances Josh Bell signs with the Pirates? And do you think Beede had a predraft deal done with the Jays? Which would make that letter a big smokescreen.
Under 10%. And yes, I heard that story last week, which is why I said right after the draft that I believed Beede would sign.
However, I didn't mention the predraft deal story because it would have triggered an MLB investigation. Cat's out of the bag now, though.
Have the Rockies completely ruined Tyler Matzek by trying to fix his delivery Keith? What can be done to turn him around?
Yes. I don't really know what they can do.
why the heck would either side use an arbitration mediator that has to be brought up to speed on basic metric analysis?
They use professional arbitrators, per mutual agreement.
If DePo called you up and asked you your thoughts on Brad Emaus before the Rule V draft, what would you have told him?
Extra guy. Probably not worth the pick/roster spot.
Is baseball signing more athletes away from other sports than in the recent past? Seems like football commits aren't as much of an obstacle anymore
Yes, definitely so in the last five years.
What are your thoughts on George Springer? Did you see that catch!?!?
I did. Also saw him swing out of his shorts in the next at bat. Love the upside but there's some work to do.
The Cubs called up Chris Carpenter, what is his potential?
Plus reliever - potentially elite.
Crasnick wrote an article on the Cubs' new double play combo. Does Darwin Barney have a decent future? I see Castro having staying power, but not so much on Barney.
I'm with you. Barney's barely an extra guy.
Why does your narrator chose multiple questions from the same people and ignore others. I have been on here and asked many legit questions and get passed while the Yankee fan saying can we trade Joba you know even now that he had TJ sx and Swisher for King Felix get through?
It's first-person narrator in the chat, big guy. You want in? Ask better questions. I've got 600 in the queue already.
Do you think the MLB should realign?
I'm open to realignment - ranted about this on yesterday's podcast - preferably two divisions per league and a more balanced schedule. But the plan Buster reported on was a step backward, not forward.
Brian Matusz -- concerned?
Sure, although as I said last week it's likely he's not 100% recovered from the injury.
Do the Yankees have an understandable strategy for the draft? They could spend whatever they want, yet the last few years they are reaching down for guys who are below their draft position and not even trying to poach signability guys.
They took some tough signs later, like Cote, Bird, and Cave, but I'd like to see them aim higher with their first pick or two. I didn't have Bichette or Stafford in my top 100 this year, and didn't have Culver or Gumbs ranked last year. And I'd seen all three of those HS guys live.
The Yankee ownership signed Rafael Soriano over the off season and Cashman did not want the signing, should the GM be able to override or veto an ownership signing with good reason?
I don't know. Can you override or veto your boss when you feel like you have a good reason?
I know this is much less of a concern than it used to be, but how much does the college postseason concern you in terms of shredding pitchers' arms when you see guys going 120 pitches three and sometimes two days apart? Is there another format you'd like to see implemented for the super regionals and the CWS?
The short rest bothers me most. If you start on Friday (and go some minimum number of pitches or innings), you shouldn't be allowed on the mound again for at least three days.
Have you ever read Lolita? I realize it's a classic and I love Nabokov's style, but I kind of feel dirty reading it.
Yes. It's tremendous. The plot is dirty, but not lurid. And the writing is brilliant.
love your work... 1st thing cubs must improve to become consistently elite
I don't think that's just one thing. Maybe not throwing money down ratholes.
What do you think of the decision to send Drabek down to the minors, and the Jays' "quick trigger" when it comes to demoting guys to Las Vegas (Cecil, Snider, now Drabek)?
Drabek was struggling to the point where a demotion seemed inevitable - but Vegas isn't a great place to find yourself as a pitcher. That's not entirely Toronto's fault, of course.
Type of grill in Klaw's back yard: charcoal, gas or both?
Agree/disagree with Gammons - Wrigley's a dump?
Did he say that? Not my favorite park, certainly. Was there the last three years for the Under Armour game ... it's nothing to do with the fans. It's just not a nice facility. Bad sight lines. Bad concessions. Not easy to get around. If it was for sale the listing would call it "quaint" and talk about its "character" and "charm."
Who's the last man standing among those Blue Jays catching prospects -- Arencibia, D'Arnaud, Perez, Jimenez? Good enough crop that there's some trade bait there?
d'Arnaud is the elite guy there. But Arencibia might be a solid-average regular which would give him quite a bit of trade value.
Fenway's a dump.
Not a fan of that one either.
Do you ever go and enjoy a day at the ballpark, or is it pretty much just the office now?
A baseball game is work. I can't be at a game and turn off work mode.
Read your write-up on Disneyland eats and noticed you mentioned a few places at WDW. Going to WDW for the first time this September, which restaurant would you say I should definitely not miss?
Jiko and Via Napoli.
Where's the worst park you've ever visited?
Metrodome. Good riddance.
Can you tell me the point of the draft going past round....say 25??
Filling short-season rosters. Of course, they could end the draft at round 20 and just fill out those rosters by signing college seniors as undrafted FAs.
Were you impressed at all with the Cardinals draft after Day 1?
I'm a big Tilson fan, but otherwise, no, wasn't high on many guys in their haul. McElroy surprised me - thought he was headed for college (and needed to), but I assume they're signing him since they took him in the third.
Ever in the room when someone drafted a relative, basically because they could?
It's not like we just sat there and passed the phone around and let someone make a pick if he had the phone when our turn came up.
Will the Giants stick with Crawford at SS for the rest of this year, or do you see them trying to do something at the deadline?
I'm guessing they'll try to do something - the sheen seems to have worn off Crawford's bat.
Is it time for food questions? If so, how should I cook this flank steak I am having for dinner tonight? And what should I stuff/wrap it around?
Season it well. Cook over high heat to no more than medium. Ideal for fajitas.
Why do they call it an "Inverted W"? Isn't that kind of.. you know... an M?
Because if you give something a fancy name, it gives it the appearance of validity, even when the evidence behind it is scant. I've also heard it called (by actual scouts) a "high elbow" or an "arm wrap."
So do you find teams drafting a guy that was paralyzed as a noble gesture, or does that diminish the significance of the draft to those taken after him?
I wouldn't agree with the second half, but as the first ... I guess it's thoughtful, but what would be more thoughtful would be to sign him for $100K or so to help him with medical and long-term care bills.
Speaking of steak - Are you in the flip once and leave it alone camp, or constant flipping?
Flip once. Flipping twice does nothing - you can't sear, cool, and re-sear.
Does anyone go off the map more than Houston and Bobby Heck? After the Springer pick, many of their picks were no where to be found on most top 200 lists.
I had Houser and Armstrong ranked, and Tropeano, Meredith, and Hamblin were all pretty well-known - I don't think Tropeano's a guy but the latter two would have been top 150 or top 200 guys. Lee faked me out, especially since MLB.com originally listed the wrong name for his school and I thought he was from New Mexico rather than Florida. Lambson you saw if you watched Arizona State's super-regionals.
Robbie Erlin, legit prospect?
Legit, yes. Overrated if you're just going off the stat sheet, though.
I'm hearing that Gary Brown combines Darren Ford's speed with a solid offensive package, what do you think of him?
Plus-plus runner who should have plus defense in center. Not going to have much power, and the hot start seems to have created unrealistic expectations on the hit tool (although he's cooled off dramatically in the last 2-3 weeks - small samples all around but the current stat line looks more like his skill set than it did in mid-May).
Big tools. Still raw. Already 20, too, so the clock is just starting to tick a little faster.
That's just under 1000 questions in an hour. To everyone complaining that I didn't answer your questions: I can't get to them all.
who you picking in the tc finale tonight?
Kind of rooting for Floyd, assuming it'll be Traci, looking forward to it being over. What a huge disappointment this season (TC Masters) was.
Are Manny Banuelos' command problems a major concern?
Minor concern. Not what I expected, certainly. Stuff is largely intact.
Hak Ju Lee, can he sneak into the top 25 by the end of the season?
Well its obvious you think I am an idiot which is fine.
No, I simply think you have unrealistic expectations for the chat. And I still haven't seen any questions from you but the two I've posted.
is the next "name" big league call-up going to be Ackley?
Is Tim Bechman a future bust or does he look like he can turn it around?
I don't know who that is. Tim Beckham? Having a nice year at 21 in AA with above-average or better defense. Could see him as an average regular or better.
This season of tc master was terrible. I kept waiting for a competition where they have to cook hanging from those ankle things that makes you look like a bat.
I figured there'd be one where they amputated a limb from each chef before the quickfire.
What time do you usually record the podcast?
9 or 10 Arizona time.
How big a mistake was it not signing Whitson last year?
Wasn't for a lack of effort or money on the Padres' part.
Is Archie Bradley going to sign or play football?
He'll sign. I'm not sure I see a first-rounder I'd call unlikely to sign.
Picked up Mark Schatzker's "Steak" for a little summer food reading. While everyone's palate is different, are there some cuts of beef just not worth bothering with for texture or because they're not worth the effort? Is there a best value in your opinion as far as a quality to price ratio?
I am not a steak guy - I prefer more complex cuts that require slow cooking, like short ribs (braised) or brisket (braised or smoked, but never corned, please). I get why people love beef tenderloin, but I always find it disappointing.
Would you be surprised to see Tyler Skaggs become an ace?
Not at all.
Does Neil Ramirez sneak into your top 50/100 assuming he is not called up?
Thoughts on the Grantland article on Moneyball that defense and bullpens are the undervalued pieces in baseball?
Couldn't get through it.
Neil Ramirez - yes.
you are living proof of why you shouldn't make your passion your job. Can't enjoy it anymore???
Never said I didn't enjoy it. But it has changed the way I consume baseball.
The day I don't enjoy this job is the day I send ESPN a letter of resignation.
What's your favorite kind of green tea?
Have you come around on Bud Norris? I know you saw him as a reliever/closer before last year, Is he potential #2 SP to you now?
That was before 2009, I think - saw him in AFL in 2008. Slider has gotten much better. Still doesn't really command the fastball. More of a 3/4, leaning 4.
Favorite junk food?
I think everyone knows my one packaged-food weakness...
You recently reviewed "Fight Club" and "Big Lebowski." Is it safe to assume you are about 10 years behind on movies?
Probably. At least 5 - we went on a big classic-movies tear in the early 2000s, then when my daughter was born we almost completely stopped watching.
Any thoughts on Jedd Gyorko? Does he stick at 3B?
Can hit some, but raking in a great hitters' park. I'm skeptical on the defense.
Klaw, I miss you buddy. Come back to me.
We've had some late-night trysts lately. Don't tell me you don't remember.
klaw, I just got broccoli rabe in a CSA box. Suggestions on how to prepare it?
One of my least favorite vegetables. Too bitter. Classic preparation is with olive oil and garlic ... I'd add some crushed red pepper, squeeze of lemon juice, and sea salt.
Do you own a crockpot? If so, any recipes you recommend?
I do not.
Thoughts on 2012 potential bats Nelson Rodriguez and fernelys sanchez
They're on the watch list - this summer will be important for them since they won't see much (if any) quality pitching next spring. (Both are from NYC.)
How do you incorporate rookie game players into a group of experienced Catan or Carcassonne players? Throw them to the wolves, give them 'an adviser' for a night, not invite them?
Throw 'em to the wolves. Best way to learn is to play.
What movie is next?
Please rate the red sox draft. Assuming they sign, which draftees would crack the red sox top 10 prospect list?
Liked their draft, didn't love it - usually they land more tough-signs that I like than they did this year. It's a good draft, with four guys I really liked, but I think I've been more enthusiastic about their drafts the last few years than I am about this year's.
Have you changed your tune at all on Michael Morse or is he still Richie Sexson with less raw power?
He's not even that. The more he plays, the more he'll get exposed as a hitter.
What level does Gerrit Cole start at next year? A ball?
I'd guess high-A.
I can't believe Broccoli rabe came up. I'm Irish and come form a non-good coooking home. I married a Sicilian woman who can cook like you can't believe. Here's the secret - first cook the broccoli robe in chicken broth. Then strain and sautee in garlic. I HATED broccoli robe. Now? It's one of my favorites. Whay a difference the chicken broth makes.
Interesting. I wonder if it's not just the broth, but that the actual blanching removes the bitter compounds.
Could you see Renaudo starting for the Sox late 2012?
Yes. Talked to a scout who saw him and Pomeranz - gave Ranaudo a "wow" but said Pomeranz was a two-pitch reliever for him.
Harper hasn't played the past couple of games. Heard if he's injured or not?
He's sitting out in protest of all the questions about whether he's hurt whenever he happens to have a day off.
He who blossums late, blossums best.
I hope they let you play, man. Good swing, good enough to be an average or better defender at second.
Keith, I'll be in Phx for the all-star festivities. Will you be at the Future's Game?
I will indeed.
Josh Bell going to sign if the Pirates offer him Stetson Allie money?
So I take it you've found @klawthoughts? Any thoughts? Feel like a celebrity now?
My wife asked me if this means that I've "made it."
Who are the red sox guys you really liked this year. you said there were 4?
Barnes, Swihart, Owens, Kukuk. And Golson's interesting, although I retain my usual skepticism of Mississippi HS hitters.
Matt Harvey - simply dominating a level that he SHOULD dominate? Or has he progressed at all this year?
Dominating a level he should dominate. If he dominates in AA, then we can really talk.
Klaw, I was really impressed that you answered almost all of the questions in the comments section of your draft stuff. Might seem trivial but it didn't go unnoticed. I was wondering if you could give your thoughts on Anthony Recker, who's having a fine year so far at AAA.
Thanks. Did the best I could to get into those Conversations with everything else going on. Recker's a depth guy, 27 year old in his third year in AAA.
Who's the best Atlanta draft pick?
I guess Gilmartin, but that might be my least favorite draft class of any team's.
Golden Spikes winner tomorrow is?
I think it'll be Bauer. He got my vote.
Klaw, when this chat is over I want you to get back to your pathetic life.
If you insist. /fin