Sorry if I'm a minute late, Arencibia told me I needed another donut.
Travis Snider: Vegas pumps up numbers, but in a small sample, he's cut down on Ks. Can this translate at the major league level?
I like Snider quite a bit and think his swing changes will lead to better results in the majors. That said, not only is he repeating AAA in a hitter's park, he's got more than a season's worth of ABs facing better quality pitching. This is a step down for him - he should be raking.
Thanks again for the chat. Can you give us your thoughts on the Bumgarner contract?
Second deal where I don't think the Giants can realistically expect much savings, but rather cost certainty. And if you're going to lock guys up, you want to lock up the elite guys, like Bumgarner and Cain. Great deal for the player, of course.
Josh Bell (BALT) was DFA'd -- suprised?
No, turned out to be a pretty questionable makeup guy, and that plus lack of plate discipline were his downfalls.
I have a couple of question about the Pirates farm system?? Given the early success of T. Bauer and D. Bundy do you still stand by the decision to select G. Cole with the #1 pick last year. Early impressions of Alen Hanson in West Virginia?? In your opinion, will Giolito fall to the #8 pick??
Cole vs Bundy is a good one, but I still think Cole's got the highest ceiling of any arm in that draft. I wouldn't have argued if they'd taken Bundy, though. I'll see Hanson tomorrow night in Charleston. Giolito depends entirely on his health.
Loved the pod yesterday. In terms of free agency dying the next few years do you think it has anything to do with Tampa giving team friendly extensions to Longoria and Moore even before they get significant time in the majors?
I'd call that a symptom rather than a cause.
Can Hayden Simpson turn his career around or is the time approaching for the Cubs to let him go?
I think he's done. Sitting mid-80s again this spring.
Keith, could you expand on your Dylan Bundy comments? He seems too advanced for his league, but if by the end of the year he's in AA pitching full games, is that really worse than starting in AA and reaching his innings limit in August?
Begging the question. The innings limit is an arbitrary standard. We should question what his innings limit should be, if he should have one at all.
If you were advising players like Matt Moore with very little service time, would you be for or against the long term deals that offer security, but potentially a big discount to the team?
I'd advise the pitcher to take the deal and the position player to play it out, in general.
Is there a significant chance that Hultzen can develop his change into plus-plus and maybe raise his ceiling to a #2? Or is his stuff pretty much what it's going to be?
I'd be very surprised if that happened.
How far does Smoral fall with his foot injury?
I don't think he falls far at all. Teams saw him throw really well before the injury, as well as last summer/fall. I'm sure some clubs will feel like they haven't had enough looks, but it only takes one team to roll the dice on a power LHP who was almost certainly a top ten pick prior to the injury - maybe he goes 11-15, but that's it.
Any news on Rhett Wiseman this spring? Where does he project to go in the draft?
He'll make a fine Commodore for the next three years.
Which 19 year-old pitching prospect would you rather have long-term: Dylan Bundy or Taijuan Walker? Seems like Bundy is getting the press while Walker has been dominating better competition.
Bundy. Better stuff and polish.
Are you a believer in the Nats' hot start? As a Phillies fan I am concerned with their starting pitching!
I believe they have had a hot start, yes. I also believe their schedule so far was designed by Sprinkles.
Where do you see Nick and Trey Williams going?
I could see Trey Williams going late first, but I wouldn't touch him there - 2nd-3rd round for me, really just a bet on bat speed and a lot of swing changes to come. Nick goes to school, he's had a bad spring after a bad summer.
Would you ever block someone purely for disagreeing with you (respectfully, at that)? Happened to me on twitter earlier and I'm kind of amazed anybody who does a podcast/blogs would do that.
No. I'll block for rampant insults or other harassment, but not for civil disagreements.
Which Cecchini brother has the biggest upside?
Hi KeithDo you know of or have a scouting report on the catcher from the University at Buffalo, Tom Murphy?Thanks
Has power. Very dubious hit tool. Catching has improved this spring to the point that you could send him out as a catcher.
Have you had any reports on Tyler Goeddel? He seems to be handling his full-season assignment pretty well so far. (And BTW, that must be the first time in months I've seen "begging the question" used correctly. Kudos, KLaw.)
Early word is pretty positive, including spring training.
What do you think of Steve Lombardozzi as a prospect? Bench guy or fringe starter?
What is your opinion on Telvin Nash (Astros) hot start in single A? Is he really this good or is he simply benefiting from being in Lancaster, a hitter friendly park?
Has raw power, but don't get too excited about any performance in that park.
It's disappointing for prospect fans, but is it really a surprise or noteworthy that Starling, Baez, and Nimmo have been held back in XST by their teams?
I would have sent Baez out, but the other two don't surprise me.
Keith, do you think you were being a little bit hypocritical when you tweeted about JP earlier? Pretty sure you called Mike McDade "Muffin Top" earlier this year.
I made that comment about a specific photo of McDade. I didn't take a random shot at a reader's weight, which would be the analogous situation.
Great chat so far. Small samle size?
The O's have me on a question count so I'll be done in a few minutes.
Can LJ Hoes play CF defensively? And if so does that elevate his prospect status at all?
Not really. Second base is his best option if they want him to ever have major league value.
What surprises, if any, do u expect in this years MLB draft with the new CBA in place?
I think the late first/sandwich rounds will include some overdrafts of college players or JC guys who'll sign for less than slot, allowing teams to shift money to HS guys later on. Junior college arms like Cory Jones and Dylan Baker are rising on boards in part because of this. (Also, they both sit low to mid 90s as starters.)
Where do you see Kenny Diekroeger going? Day 2? Is it fair to label him a project player with very high upside?
Sandwich round - great guy to take with an extra pick, then immediately undo everything Stanford did to wreck his swing. Send him out to short-season ball as a shortstop. First-round upside, available at a slight discount because Stanford has screwed him up.
You think Destin Hood is going to develop into an everyday player? Guy has improved pretty steadily...
Yep, that's about right. Probably not a star.
Have you heard anything this season about the last Twins player from the Santana trade, Deolis Guerra? Does he project into anything more than a mop up bullpen guy? Thanks!
Saw him last year, could be a very good reliever.
We're about a dozen games into the season; does anything stand out to you so far?
Yes - overreactions to tiny samples are at an all-time high.
Any advice to someone who is having or considering the same surgery? Hope you are healing well.
I was far more freaked out prior to the surgery than I needed to be, given how it went. (I only had half my thyroid removed - not sure if you're having the same.) Worst parts of recovery were lack of neck mobility for about a week and the after-effects of the general anesthesia. Good luck with it.
Is Joey Gallo a 1st rd pick? 1B or P long term?
Wants to go out as a position player (3b), not a pitcher. As a pitcher he's pretty clearly a first-rounder, one of the best arms in the draft. As a position player, he's among the leaders in raw power, but the swing and miss is a concern, and he might not be a top 20 pick after a poor performance in the NSHI tournament last month.
In your converting RP to SP article, did you ever give any thought to nominating Drew Storen? He's someone I've always personally advocated (on my armchair scout's eye) could make the transition to starter given his assortment of pitches and good velo.
Has the pitches and the command, but with a bum elbow right now he wasn't a consideration.
Where would you place Diekroeger in this draft as a talent if the coaches in Stanford hadn't wrecked his swing?
Back half of the first round.
Why exactly is Barnes in low-A? And also how does Owens performance thus far compare to the expectations? He's struck out 2 an inning so far but everything else hasn't been that great, especially later in the outings. Trouble maintaining mechanics that's being exacerbated by fatigue?
Barnes had some things to work on, between fastball command and consistency on the breaking ball, but I'm afraid the Sally League isn't good enough to challenge him given his velocity. I wouldn't read anything into the tiny sample on Owens. Have heard his velocity has been very good.
Taveras has looked good in Springfield so far considering is doing well in Double A at 19, even though it is a SSS. What is Taveras' ceiling?
All-Star RF. Could be a high-average guy with power but not a lot of walks.
Had a chance to see Casey Coleman pitch earlier this week for the Iowa Cubs against Round Rock & at times he looked pretty good. How do you view his prospects?
He's an up-and-down guy/emergency starter.
Keith, when do you think Dylan Bundy gets promoted to Frederick?
Just a guess, but I'd say June.
Do you think bringing Hutchison up to be the 5th starter for the Jays is a lot premature?
He's pretty polished, but yeah, this is a lot earlier than I expected. I hope the intent is to keep him up for a while - I don't like bringing up elite guys for spot starts. I'd have taken Deck McGuire for just a single outing.
AJ Griffin had a very good year in 2011 and is off to a fantastic start at AA this year. Does he have the stuff to be a 3 or 4 and stick in a big league rotation, or are we A's fans looking at a right handed Tom Milone? And could he be ready for the majors this season?
As a reliever he could pitch in the majors right now. He has a lot more deception than Milone but doesn't throw a whole lot harder; I could call him a 4/5 but I wouldn't go higher than that.
Any thoughts on Magnifico (real name) who allegedly throws up to 103 for the Sooners?
I've confirmed 102 in relief. Secondary isn't great, and he's a TJ guy. I think he goes late first/sandwich as one of the first college relievers off the board, although he's starting on Tuesdays now for Oklahoma.
Who's the greatest 4A player of all time? That is- someone who destroys Triple A but cant play in the bigs. (Anthony Rizzo?)
Rizzo is 22. Bit early to be so pessimistic, no? Roberto Petagine has to be on that short list.
KLAW, my 6-year-old son loves cooking with me. Any favorite recipes you like to make with your daughter?
I've found she just likes to be part of the process. We made fresh pasta together on Sunday - she fed the dough into the rollers and I caught it on the other side. She wants to help, so I try to separate the tasks that she can handle. I even had her stir a scratch cornstarch pudding over low heat - first time she's done anything at the stove, and she was nervous, but she also learned where to keep her hands so they don't get too hot.
If you had to pick one ... Marisnick or Gose as your CFer of the future?
Marisnick. Much higher offensive upside. I'll give back the 5 runs a year on defense (if it's even that much).
Why do you hate the Orioles? Did they turn you down for a job once?
Do you understand how provincial that mindset is? I'm a national writer who covers all 30 organizations (plus colleges, HS, etc.). I don't "hate" any team. I analyze what I see and hear. Only the most small-minded fan confuses that analysis for personal bias.
Matt's Big Breakfast in Phx...you recommend? I know their bacon comes from a local butcher...it's the best I've ever had...
Yep, place is great, only criticism is that the lines can be crazy.
I think I was as skeptical as you were when the Yanks drafted Bichette Jr. Noticed that you seemed to have changed your tone/opinion about him in recent posts. Do you see him as more of a possible solid ML starter now?
I'll see him tomorrow night, but if the swing has changed, then my opinion has changed too. My skepticism was based in large part on a dead-pull swing with a big back-side collapse. If that's not present, or is even lessened, then he's a different guy and my opinion should change accordingly.
I can't figure out if BABIP is helpful to making any determination or not? Good hitters have higher BABIP's and so it doesnt regress to the mean? Bad hitters don't? Inverse for pitchers? Is it useful at all?
Pitcher BABIPs tend to regress to league-average (adjusting for park and defense) over time. Hitters have more control over BABIP, yet are still subject to random fluctuations around what we might call their true talent level.
Starlin Castro with 7 steals already. Is he getting faster, reads getting better, or just getting fortunate?
He's not getting faster, I can promise you that much.
Could you give your best guess on who the 1-5 draft picks will be based on the teams and what you have heard rumored? Not who they SHOULD pick, but who you thing they WILL pick. Thanks!
Buxton, Zimmer, Zunino, Appel, Gausman. But Houston is the big pivot here and Luhnow has just started to go out and see the candidates. Buxton could go anywhere from 1-6. Correa could go 1. Zimmer has been 90-92 the last two weeks and if the Twins don't take him at 2, he could fall to 6 or lower. It's really up in the air - as it is every year at this time.
Have you ever read WE by zamyatin? I heard that it was a precursor to dystopian novels like 1984 and brave new world, but i can never find an english translation at my school library
No, had it recommended by several readers, but like you said it's not an easy book to find.
Weird Question: How far in advance can it be determined if the next year's draft crop is going to be good or not? My thought was 2010 draft class was pretty weak (unless you had a top 3 pick)... yet the 2011 draft class was stacked at the top.Completely hindsight 20/20 scenerio, but if the Royals did not sign Christian Colon on purpose with the 4th pick in 2010... they would have had the 5th pick in 2011 for compensation to take Dylan Bundy. (and still have the 7th pick)2010 was definately an outlier of a bad draft crop, but we knew that going into the 2010 draft. And Christian Colon did sign for under slot money but it was the 4th pick in the draft (prime real estate)... and we did not care about saving draft money in 2010.
Everyone knew at the time of the 2010 draft that 2011 would be epic. And we knew at the time of the 2011 draft that this year's would be much weaker.
Most impressive physical specimen you've scouted??
Buxton (saw him at 18) and Justin Upton (saw him at 19) would be the first two names on that list.
You ever read any John Cheever? I've thought about picking something of his up once I finish "Tender is the Night". Would you recommend him?
"Falconer" was excellent. "Wapshot Chronicle" much less so.
Given we agree that J.P. Arencibia's comments were childish and immature, where do you stand in regards to media members using twitter to attack/troll athletes? i.e. using the @PlayersTwitterHandle so he sees the offensive tweet
I would never do that. Taunting players is inappropriate for fans, never mind for professionals.
Odds the Orioles have the #1 and #2 2013 KLaw prospects?
Who was your favorite person on the The Wire who wasn't a main character? I was always partial to Slim Charles & Cutty
Is Upton the MLB player Buxton compares to most?
I've heard everything from the Uptons to Josh Hamilton to Griffey Jr. to Willie Mays. If you're grading out future tools, you're putting mostly 7s and 8s (70s and 80s) on your card. You have to be willing to stomach the performance risk, though: We don't really know how he'll hit.
Klaw, do you have any recommendations of a good high quality espresso bean (and possibly a place to buy it in the Arlington area)?
Have you tried Barismo? Opened after I moved, of course.
How likely is it that Correa can stay at SS? He sound san awful lot like Machado or Arod coming out with less power.
Less likely than Machado. Consensus has Correa ending up at 3b.
Thoughts on Baez's maturity issues so far?
I see no evidence of "maturity issues." Massive overreaction.
Is there a better example of the uselessness of the "win" after the Lee vs. Cain game?
Anyone who still considers pitcher wins useful at this point is telling you that he prefers to wallow in ignorance.
Marinated a beef tenderloin in a red wine sauce with shallots, garlic, rosemary, and thyme this past weekend for a dinner party and it came out amazing; super tender. Ever try something like that?
The marinade won't penetrate beyond the outer few millimeters of the meat. You can brine meat, or just use a dry rub, but a marinade won't have much effect except to make the exterior a little soft and grey. That does sound like a great set of ingredients for a pan sauce, though.
Did Samardzija's lease on his control run out?
Even if he is really a new guy on the mound, there are going to be some bad outings along the way.
over/under 400 OBP for Heyward?
I'll say over. Because I'm just that kind of incurable optimist.
Is Bundy's size an issue when it comes to durability? If he was 6' 4" he'd probably be the no doubt top pitching prospect.
I think it's a perceived issue, not a practical one.
Which front offices would you say are most likely on the hot seat? San Diego? Cleveland? Thanks so much
Byrnes has four-plus years left on his deal, no? I have heard that Pittsburgh and Seattle are up in the air - but I should qualify that that is industry chatter, not sourced from either organization.
I'm tempted to drop Lincecum. Will he bounce back or will the struggles continue?
I don't know about dropping him - he might get hurt when he lands - but I think this is the beginning of something not good for him. The velo, the command, the comments about his elbow ... these don't add up to a happy ending.
who is the phillies position player prospect with the best chance to make a jump their "actually have a chance to make an impact in the MLB" category?
If Larry Green's hit tool is better than advertised, that's your guy. Huge raw power. Gets comps to Ryan Howard (although some of that is for the worst possible reason).
tim alderson got promoted to AAA... think he could regain his status as a top prospect?
No, but he could have major league value as a reliever.
Pre-draft, how much medical information do teams have on prospective draftees?
Players are asked to provide medical records to clubs and it's generally in their interest to disclose more - if the player flunks a physical after signing, he loses out too.
What is the deal with matt Purke? he has not pitched yet, correct?
He's in extended spring.
KLAW- how much weight (if any) do you put on spring training stats? It's really really early, but DeRosa's hitting .080 without much pop, after hitting the $*%& out of the ball in Florida. Too early to make anything of it stick a fork in him?
I put zero weight on spring training stats. Derosa's been cooked for a couple of years now.
Jonathan Herrera hit one out last night for the Rockies and Tulo's been struggling to make it through a whole game without committing an error. How long until Jim Tracy moves Troy to the bench and goes with Herrera full time? (Tongue firmly planted in cheek.)
With that guy at the helm, I wouldn't rule anything out.
Do you think Bauer could dominate the way Lincecum did when he first came up ?? Thanks for these chats they are the highlight of my day!
I think he could miss bats like that right away.
Did you ever scout Verlander? If so, what was your opinion of him?
Not in college. First look was in spring training one year when he started and Zumaya closed. It was pretty amazing.
So Jamie Moyer being the oldest player to win a game is insiginificant?
Yes, it is.
Instead of praising Moyer, why isn't anyone asking how the Rockies reached a point where their fifth-best rotation option was a 49-year-old coming off Tommy John surgery and throwing 81 mph?
Any update on Victor Roache or Giolito's injury? How much do these injury affect their stock? Still first rounders?
Roache is out for the spring, and was never a first-round talent. (Perhaps someone would have taken him there, but I doubt that.) Giolito could come back in May, which I think he needs to do if he wants to go in the top ten.
Do you think Dusty will ever get it such that he plays Mesorco? Dude only plays once every 4 days.
The best possible outcome for Reds fans right now is that Dusty plays himself out of the job. He's lost it.
The Yankees' Charleston affiliate is pretty good right? MWilliams, Sanchez, Austin, Bichette... has to be one of the more talented minor league teams out there, no?
Loaded. I won't see Campos but I'll see all those bats, plus West Virginia is strong as well, including Hanson, Bell, and I think Nick Kingham starting Friday.
I know Bush was the first pick that year but was Verlander the no-doubt top prospect like Strasburg/Harper or was there debate over who was the top prospect?
I believe our top guys that year were Weaver and Drew.
Would I be crazy to think Bundy is the best pitching prospect in baseball with the graduation of Matt Moore?
Would you take him over Shelby Miller? Tough call.
I was reading an article on a Twins prospect, Miguel Sano, who was given an 80 power score on the 20-80 scale. How often do you see prospects with a top score in power?
Less often than you'd believe. 80 anything is really rare. I'm not sure Sano really has 80 present power, although I suppose it's fun to say he does.
Is Tyler Moore a prospect of any kind? Huge power numbers, but the strikeouts are concerning.
How would you handle advanced SP prospects out of HS? (good enough for low A, but need to control workload) Let them through 5+ IP/start then shut them down midseason?
Depends on size, delivery, workload the previous year. But I'd rather do what you outlined than have guys go 3 innings a start and never have to face any hitter three times.
Any good draft prospects from UGA this year, like potential 1st rounders?
LHP Alex Wood could go end of first if the medicals are OK. 94-96 good change below avg curveball.
Is Christian Walker of South Carolina a high prospect?
2nd-3rd round. Not clear the bat will really profile at first.
making artichokes, no lemon, how can i keep from turning brown? Filling with homemade seasoned bread crumbs and pecorino.
Any acid will do the trick.
Thought on Jorge Bonifacio? Legit prospect?
I often hear Machado described as a 5-tool prospect. Does he really have plus speed? Or do people use "5-tool" as shorthand for "really, really good"
Five-tool is as overused as the 80 grade.
Do the Jays shift JP off catcher once d'Arnaud arrives? Or do they entertain trading him?
Bat won't play anywhere else. He's trade bait.
Could either Smoak or Montero handle the OF?
Henderson Alvarez has great velocity and control. Why doesn't he miss more bats?
Good question. Slider isn't good enough?
Why are people all upset with what JP said? The guy tweeted AT him that he basically sucked. Of course he's going to take offense to that. Give me a break
While I don't agree with using Arencibia's handle there, the initial comment was pretty innocuous.
Is Brad Miller a real prospect or just off to a hot start?
More the latter.
Can Schoop play second base? and is there any value to having him play SS as a fill in for Machado (as the Orioles did yesterday)?
Second or third, yes. I do not see him as a shortstop long-term, but I don't see the harm in having him play it now and then. My only concern with him at second is that it's a high-injury position, and his bat has a chance to be pretty special.
With all NFL draft talk on ESPN, I keep hearing about need-based drafting vs. best available. I'm assuming that with baseball's structure it should always be best available. Is thta the case?
Yes. Best available. Always.
Small sample aside, are you allowing yourself to get excited about Kyle Drabek's improvements? Samardzija of the AL?
Yes. I think it's real.
Any word on Colletti being on the hot seat?
I would assume new ownership makes a change there, either immediately or after the season.
Thoughts on the Aybar deal?
It's so little guaranteed it almost has to be a bargain for the Angels, right?
Speaking of UGA, have you even been to Hugh Acheson's restaurant 5&10? I swear you guys could be culinary and snark soulmates.
Not yet. It's on the short list of places to hit. He's a great follow on Twitter and I really hope Top Chef brings him back as a judge.
Voting for the MLB All-Star Game begins Friday, less than 15 games into the season. Aren't you glad the game counts?
OK, that's all for this week - my flight will be descending soon. I'll be back on ESPNU tonight at 7 pm EDT, and again after the game (which should feature potential first round pick Chris Stratton on the mound for Mississippi State). Thanks again for all the questions. Really lookin' forward to the weekend, you guys.