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October 13, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

Just finished the podcast, and I'm heading out at 11 local time to go see Hultzen vs McNutty, so this will be an unusually quick chat.

Bret (Toronto)

In your Anthony Gose write-up, you talked about his changed swing. How much does this help his chances of becoming a good enough hitter to make use of his tools? Is the .250 average from this year indicative of his hitting ability?

Klaw
  (1:04 PM)

He was young for the level - albeit in a good place to hit - and his two-strike approach still needs work. As in, he needs an actual two-strike approach. But I'm a lot more sanguine about his chance to hit for enough average to be an above-average or better everyday player than I was at the time of the trade.

rick (philly)

what are your impressions of Tyson Gillies at afl?

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

Good fourth OF. Can run, throw, play all three positions. Not buying the bat. Upside might be a good-glove/bad-bat CF.

Paul (Los Angeles)

What have you seen from Joe Ross and Michael Kelly? I havent heard glowing reports about Kelly, is he a bp arm long term?

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

Kelly was just so-so when I saw him, but Ross was ridiculous. He and Austin Hedges were the talk of instructs among scouts who covered it - two of the best picks in this draft relative to where they were taken.

Nate (Chicago)

Keith, have you seen Terry Doyle pitch? Saw him in college and stuff seemed fringe at best, yet he has been able to put up very solid #'s. Has his stuff improved at all or more control guy getting MiLB hitters out? Thanks.

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

Fringe guy. Don't see a big league role for him.

Chris (Pgh)

Robbie Grossman...Intriguing statistics in High A this year. How has he looked in the AFL this year and what is his potential?

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

Looks good - great at bats, hard line drives, goes the other way really well. I do wish they'd promoted him to AA midyear, because full-year repeater stats are close to useless, but from a scouting POV he looks strong. I feel like Grossman actually is the player Brett Jackson is supposed to be.

Lee (Toronto)

What is Baltimore doing having JP Ricciardi on their short list of potential GM's?!

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

From my own sources, I don't believe he is on their short list, at least not right now.

Brendan (VA)

If you were the Nats, at which level(s) would you start Rendon, Meyer, and Goodwin next year?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

High-A on the first two. Probably high-A on Goodwin but I wouldn't be opposed to two months in low-A.

Al (NYC)

How has Jean Segura looked out there in AFL? Is he fully healed from his leg injuries? With so much of his value tied into his legs, is there any concern this may be a long term concern for him?

Klaw
  (1:10 PM)

Fully healed but swing is messed up. Bailing out badly, watched his back side collapse last night to the point where he genuflected to the pitcher.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Have you checked out Boxberger in AFL? Does he have a spot in the Reds bullpen in 2012?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

Yes, and yes. Two above-average pitches.

Idiots - 2004 (Lansdowne St, Boston)

Why didn't Francona/Theo have better leadership and make us stop being so goofy in 2004?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

The lack of complaints about a crazy clubhouse in 2004 or 2007 coupled with the blame laid on those same factors in 2011 is proof that we are looking at a narrative rather than an explanation.

Ian (MPLS)

Still think Aaron Hicks is a top 100 prospect?

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

On tools, yes. On performance, no. Hasn't hit at all since early July and looks bad doing it (or not doing it, to be more accurate). If he makes my list this year it will be at the bottom as an acknowledgment that a 22-year-old with tools and a good eye still has upside.

Justin (Chicago)

Jr Lake a future everyday 2B?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

I'm not giving up on him at SS. Bigger question is whether he can learn to work the count.

Fried Chicken and Beer(Clubhouse) [via mobile]

You still like us, right klaw?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

Oh yeah. We're good.

Jason (Indy)

If the Astros are heading to the AL, when will this be? Next season? 2013?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

Didn't I read 2015? I guess we'll know for sure in mid-November. Kind of bad news for Astro fans - would you rather compete in the AL West or the NL Central?

Norman (Columbus, OH)

You tweeted about Gary Brawn last night. Has his plate discipline improved in your eyes? he took more walks in High-A, but is that attributable to the low level?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

I'm chalking that up to the low level. Swing is fine - won't generate any power, but should make tons of contact - but he's a long way from a .375 OBP right now.

Gray (Chicago)

Will the velocity shown by Andrew Cashner the other day make the Cubs re-think their plans to utilize him as a starter?

Klaw
  (1:15 PM)

I don't know, but I'm not sure how you can start him in 2012 after he missed pretty much all of 2011. You would want to use him in relief if only to gradually build his arm strength back up.

Garold (Ottawa)

Have you seen Hechevarria in the AFL? Thoughts?

Klaw
  (1:15 PM)

Throwing is better. Should be an above-average to plus defender. Not seeing progress with the bat.

Ethan (Belfast)

We know he can hit, but what do your eyes tell you about Arenado's chances of sticking at 3rd?

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

I don't think he'll ever be average there. Maybe in the -5 runs range.

Keith (Tagliavia)

Do you think that teams should retain the rights of drafted players if they go back to school - e.g., Cole drafted by Yankees but returned to school?

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

No, because players have rights.

Chris (AZ)

Wil Myers hitting well in AFL...fully healed and looking better?

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

Getting a lot of questions that revolve around AFL stats. Not only do we have a tiny sample (seven games?), but AFL stats are wildly misleading - you get huge variances in caliber of competition, and for hitters, the ball really flies out here. Myers still looks like he's favoring the knee, although I know he told Jason Grey last week that it feels much better. Great swing, great hand-eye, but I don't think he's going to be 100% till the spring.

Jeremy (Lawrenceville, GA)

Do the Giants have any other prospective regulars in their system besides Brown and Panik? Also, do you think Adrianza will eventually be a league-average hitter to go with the defense?

Klaw
  (1:19 PM)

Panik's not a projected regular - more of a utility guy. I'd add Jesus Galindo to the mix - got a brief but intriguing look at him in instructs. Adrianza has a chance but I'd bet the under right now.

Jay (Chicago)

Theo's free agent history is hit and miss, so should Cubs fans be most excited about his ability to develop and maintain a quality farm system?

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

Yes - and more broadly his ability to turn the Cubs' baseball ops department into a process-oriented, professionally run organization. You can't run a baseball team the way they were run 20 or 30 years ago. It's a business now, one where smart decisions based on sound processes are necessary and innovation is increasingly critical.

Blake (The Loop)

Is there ANYONE in the White Sox farm system worth mentioning at the AFL this year?

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

I still hold out a small amount of hope for Brandon Short, although it would help if he'd stop trying to jerk everything out to left field. (He did it once in Mesa, hitting the top third of the scoreboard, which will either satisfy him or will encourage him to try to do it more.)

Scott (St. Louis )

Klaw, surely Brett Jackson (as has been rumored) is too much compensation to give up for Theo Epstein. Would you even consider that?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

Yes. If you think Theo is going to turn this organization around, you wouldn't give up six years of a non-star prospect?

Ryan (IL)

Can you post the podcast link when available?

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=7096432

Ryan (FL)

Are you "Occupying Phoenix"?

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

Let me know when this actually accomplishes anything. Looks to me like people participating in something so they can say they participated in it.

Li'l Sebastian (Heaven)

Am I missed?

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

I'm still reeling from finding out Leslie Knope wasn't born in Pawnee.

BassmanUW (Chicago)

Is Josh Vitters continuing to look very Josh Vitters-ish in the AFL(pretty swing that makes a lot of contact but swinging at everything and playing bad defense)?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

Yep.

JB (Dallas)

Is Andrew Toles a potential 2012 1st rounder now that he is no longer at UT-Knoxville?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

I don't think so. Can run. Bat is lacking.

Eddie (Rice Lake)

Did you see Rany's draft study on BP today? I'm fascinated but unsure how teams could make use of this info other than as a tiebreaker. Thoughts?

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

I did. I have to say that's been known within the industry for some time - I know Oakland and St. Louis have been heavily considering player ages in the draft for at least 4-5 years, and they're not the only ones.

Adam (Chicago)

KLaw- Have you seen Trey McNutt pitch yet? The Cubs thought higher of him than Chris Archer (to Tampa in the Garza deal). I'm wondering the upside for McNutt after his injury plagued 2011.

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

Today. I believe I mentioned that in the intro.

Chuck (DE)

What do think of Freddy Galvis? Can he replace Rollins next year?

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

By replace, you mean replace the value? No. Replace as in fill the job? Sure, as a short-term solution.

Matt (DC)

How has Harper looked at AFL so far?

Klaw
  (1:28 PM)

Struggling a little with his swing - even in BP, he's not as consistent as he usually is - and, like last year, pitchers are clearly amping up to try to get him out.

Nora (St. Louis)

Do you think Jason Motte can be an effective closer in 2012?

Klaw
  (1:28 PM)

Yes.

BK (LA)

Is there ANYONE to be stoked on in the Angels system?

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

Kaleb Cowart and Taylor Lindsey come to mind...

EricJ (SF)

Did you ever scout Hanley Rameriz? I remember he never had impressvie numbers in the minors but I kept hearing about his tools. Did you see star in him?

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

One game in AA. Did not see star. Played slow - not just running slow, but everything about him was a step behind everyone else on the field. To this day I still don't know what that really meant; obviously he had ability.

Jon (Bloomington)

Have you played Le Havre before? I think you might like it.

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

Funny you ask - I just bought it and it arrived yesterday. Haven't even opened it yet.

captain video (boston)

do you think narrative has played an increasing or decreasing role in baseball coverage as the media landscape shifts?

Klaw
  (1:31 PM)

It has always been there, but a savvier fan base is calling it out more and more often. What bothers me about the Boston thing is that it is entirely ex post facto - if this was a real issue, where were the cautionary articles in July?

David (Bethlehem, PA)

Fielder or Pujols for 7 years, same money. Who do you take?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Fielder, because of age. Pujols is the better player right now, but even at his listed age I worry about his durability and potential decline.

Jason (St Louis)

Is there any question Lucchino was behind the Boston leaks?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Curt Schilling seems to think so, and he knows the organization better than I do. It would not surprise me in the least, given Lucchino's reputation within the industry, but I do not have anything tangible to back that up. I would love to know what John Henry thinks of all of this.

Mike (San Diego)

With Hedges clearly getting love from scouts, would it be too early for you to slap a big league comp on him?

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

I don't like doing comps, because they tend to be misleading and I view players as unique skillsets. He's a plus catcher, plus arm, chance to hit for average with 15-20 homer power (at least). I think that's an All-Star ceiling.

Cosmo (Jersey City)

Dominick Brown in for Ibanez, JMJ in for Howard, shouldn't the Phillies offense be better next year?

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

I thought RAJ wanted to bury Brown next to Jimmy Hoffa.

matt (cleveland)

You were right. The Indians faded (for the record I thought they played way over they're heads the first 2 months). Would you say though. that there are very solid pieces there for the club to win the Division in the next 2-3 years? Santana, Asdrubal, Lonnie, Kipnis, Choo forms a nice core, no?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

I think the division is weak enough that any of the five teams could conceivably win it in the next 2-3 years. But for Cleveland I'd be concerned about the starting rotation, which looks like the weakest link for them once the lineup is healthy again.

Lucas (Baltimore)

What do you think of Xavier Avery in the AFL?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

Still looks like an extra outfielder.

Pat (VA)

Grady Sizemore make any sense for the Nats in CF??

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

I do not believe he can stay healthy as an everyday CF.

Noonan (Philly)

How does player injury insurance work? Is it possible that the Phils could benefit from Ryan Howard missing most of 2012 if an insurance policy covered most of his ridiculously high salary?

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

I don't know if the contract was insured, or for how much. My guess is they get some cash back if he misses the season, but not all of it.

Jason (St Louis)

Taking the entire situation in to context like where the organization is competitively, payroll and potential trade value, who should the Reds look to move, Votto or Alonso?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

Alonso. Trade him and look to win in the next two years with Votto.

Craig (NYC)

AJ Cole or Sammy Solis?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

Cole. Solis is a back-end guy - 55 FB, 55 CH, below-avg breaking balls.

Rick (TX)

What's the purpose of Leyland announcing that his closers are unavailable for Game 5? Would you make that announcement?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

I don't think he was exactly leaking the Pentagon Papers with that one.

Jack (DC)

Avila or Wieters

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

Long term I'm still taking Wieters.

Matt (Milwaukee)

Did you go to college with Alex Speier? He's really done a lot for WEEI.

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

Same school, different years. He's a good friend of mine, but even if he wasn't, I'd still tell you he is one of the best in the business.

Austin (Gilbert, AZ)

Have you seen Ryan Wheeler (AZ) yet? How's his glove coming along?

Klaw
  (1:41 PM)

Has to go to 1b for me.

Mike (San Diego)

You OK with the comeback POY winners or do you even care?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

I don't really care. Silly award. If I had to pick two names, I'd go with Colon and Vogelsong, but I couldn't even work up to a rant about it on today's podcast.

Kevin (NJ)

Will the Rays regret taking Taylor Guerrieri at 24 instead of Joe Ross?

Klaw
  (1:43 PM)

Depends on Guerrieri, really. Have heard very mixed things on his makeup, especially since the draft. If that's all nonsense - and it often is - then no, I see both guys as top-2-in-a-rotation types, at the very least.

Astros fans (Houston)

I would settle for being competitive period. No matter what division. Can we be competitive by 2015?

Klaw
  (1:43 PM)

Depends on who they hire to replace Wade once Crane takes over.

Gerry (VA)

Heard any reports on Matt Purke recently? The Nats' draft class is starting to look like a real haul.

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

Yes, scout who saw him in instructs said he was "very ordinary." Will see him here in AFL, probably next week, but I'm not that optimistic on Purke after the spring he had.

Kevin (San Diego)

Any thoughts on Jace Peterson?

Klaw
  (1:45 PM)

Saw him twice out here in instructs. Padres cleaned up his swing substantially post-draft. Said they couldn't get over how quickly he made adjustments. Plus athlete without a ton of baseball experience. Sleeper.

JJ (Liberty Twp, OH)

What should the Red Sox do with John Lackey? Just release him and accept it as a "sunk cost"?

Klaw
  (1:48 PM)

Without knowing what the real causes of his collapse are, it's hard to say. If he'd lost his fastball, I'd say yes, just cut him. But he hasn't.

Scott (Boston)

Have you seen Alex Hassan in AFL and what do you think his ceiling is? I know you were unimpressed with him this year in Portland due to his lack of hustle, but is that the exception or the norm?

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

I was more unimpressed with the tools - the lack of hustle was just an added negative. What is he in the majors? A fringe regular because of the hit tool? I'm not seeing more than that from him.

kevin (bristol)

I read your comment abpove...Do you really think the AL West is that much better than the NL cnetral...I mean the brewers and cards are pretty good (granted I don't know how big the windows with both teams are), and the reds have a nice team and a good amount of prospects....Meanwhile the AL West has the mighty rangers (both in MLB and prospects) and then the angels (good team) and 2 really bad ones)....If i was an astros fan i would be pissed at the time zone difference for most of my away games...

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

Seattle may not have much offense coming, but they might have the best rotation in baseball by 2013 or so.

Jimmy (St. Louis)

What would you consider as the most legitimate intangibles that cannot be measured with saber-metrics? If any?

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

Should clarify what you mean by intangibles. Ultimately, if something matters on the field, it shows up in the stats, right? So it can be "tangible" but not in the way that, say, raw power is. I think work ethic matters. Aptitude and the related ability to learn and implement adjustments matter. Personality type, in general, does not. There are successful players who you might let date your daughter. There are successful players against whom you'd take out restraining orders. I think those of us on the outside are hard-pressed to properly judge this stuff unless we go to sources within the industry.

Tyler (Ann Arbor)

Just bought Ticket to Ride for the iPad. You trying to get a game in?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

iPad busy updating to iOS 5. Taking forever.

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

I do. You should check out his TV show. It's pretty funny too.

Mike (San Diego)

You you don't think that Tim McCarver's description of Endy Chavez the other day ("He's a winner. He's a winning player.") was an intangible quality that trumps all sabermetrics?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

Hey, I knew a guy once who used "he's not a winning player" as a sort of code to put down any player who wasn't white, so you're not going to hear me using or endorsing that phrase any time soon.

Ben (NYC)

Sorry if I'm late on this whole Ken Tremendous thing ... but that's Michael Schur (sp?) and Parks and Rec, right?

Klaw
  (1:57 PM)

Correct.

Okonokwo (MD)

You think the Dodgers are going to throw Federowicz out there at starting C next year?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

I do not think he'll hit enough to play everyday. Good backup because of defense though.

Eric (Milwaukee)

What is the national perception of Ron Roenicke as a manager? Seems like he's thought of very highly, but watching his decisions with no basis whatsoever consistently backfire, I can't stand him.

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

I don't know the general perception, but I think he's in over his head.

Brian (Gilbert, AZ)

Since you have been here a while now, what is your favorite part of being in the Valley?

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

Fall league and spring training coming to me. Weather. Lower cost of living. Slower pace (except on the highways). Friendly people. We've absolutely loved it out here.

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

Thanks for all the questions - sorry I got to so few today but I have to hit the road. Will tweet a little from Hultzen/McNutt before I sign off for the day.