Klawchat. Or, as the Big 12 calls it, Klllawchat.
Freeing Trevor Bauer would mean giving him whose job?
You think Saunders is going to keep this up? I don't. And while I like Miley, Bauer is better.
What's the likelihood Buxton falls to the Mariners with the Astros and Twins opting for college pitchers?
Hi Keith,I was wondering how you would compare Byron Buxton to Josh Bell? They seem like very similar players (minus Bell being a switch hitter). How much more developed is Buxton than Bell was?
They're not similar other than being black outfielders. Buxton's a far better athlete overall who projects to stay in center and has the arm for right. Bell probably goes to left, isn't a runner, but has far more power (present and future). Unfortunately, Bell's knee injury means 2012 may be a lost year for him.
I can't be the only one who thinks that playing Adrian Gonzalez, the slowest non-Molina in the league, i RF at Fenway is a laughably stupid idea, right?
You are correct. You're not the only one.
Can Giolito prove to be healthy and warrant a top pick? Or is the risk too high?
I'd take him, given what I know about his medicals.
Corea > Javier Baez?
Keith...What are your thoughts on Wil Myers (KC) RF in AAA?
He's on today's top 25 prospects update.
Is Josh Sale starting to look like a legit prospect again? Chance for top 100 next year?
Tremendous start, but it's a tiny sample, and of course he hurt his hamstring trying to stretch a double into a triple, so it's on hold for now. I'm optimistic, though. His non-hitting last year was a huge surprise to me.
lots of time for Hak Ju Lee to get back on track and back into your top 25, right?
Yes. Has had trouble with his hands 'leaking' at the plate, made some adjustments, not really translating into performance yet. Remaining tools are still there, but of course he's not an elite guy if he doesn't hit.
Chance Giolito falls to Jays? If so, do you think they would take him?
Very limited chance. I think he's too interested in pro ball to fall that far.
Klaw, what are the odds the Astros role the dice and take Buxton?
More likely they take Appel.
But if the choice is Appel vs the non-Appel field, I think it's more likely today that the choice is from the field.
The Royals are my favorite team, and I should know this, but I don't (as a KC fan, you learn not to keep up too much)... Anyhow, why hasn't Starling played yet? And do you think he can catch up to his peers (peers by age) quickly?
They felt he wasn't ready for a full-season league. I'm not arguing, but given his age, he should be ready to play by now.
You mentioned Matt Davidson in your list of players to watch. Based on his improved slugging k/bb rate (plus graduation of others), are we looking at a fringe top 25 guy?
I think so. Might not quite have the power or defense to be a true top 25 guy, but his floor is pretty high right now.
You saw the awesomeness of Matt Heaney. What did you think of Dillon Overton? You seemed to be impressed by Jack Mayfield -- he's not a bad pitcher, either. But, he played second all year.
Andrew Heaney. He was good, not great, certainly wouldn't consider him in the top 10. Overton was interesting, up to 92, can spin it, comes across his body though. Definitely a name to watch for next year.
If Den Dekker can improve his strikeout rate, AAAA, 4th outfielder, platoon, or regular?
I doubt he can do that. Maybe a 4th OF on his ability to play defense but I doubt it.
You tweeted earlier that you are in favor of trading draft picks. Would you put any restrictions on the process or just have it as a free market?
I'd be fine with some loose restrictions so no one swings a Ditka/Ricky Williams deal, such as restricting teams to trading a maximum of three picks a year or something. But otherwise, laissez-faire.
Enjoyed the update to your top prospects, and I was wondering out of all of Atlanta's young pitchers (Hanson, Beachy, Minor, Delgado, Jurrjens, Vizcaino, Teheran), who you think ends up sticking in the rotation by 2013/2014
I doubt the current FO gives Vizcaino the chance to start, and I think Medlen needs to be on that list. Hanson ... I can't sit here and tell you with confidence that I think he'll be healthy enough for 30 starts in 2014.
A lot of buzz about Ronald Guzman and Nomar Mazara coming out of the Ranger's organization. Have you seen them in person yet? Will they get assigned to short season ball this year?
Saw them both in spring training. Both are a long way off.
Re: den dekker, he's already improved the K rate somewhat between this season and last (29% down to roughly 22%). Still high, but better. Do you see a fatal flaw there that can only be corrected so much?
He's also repeating the league and isn't young for the level. Stance and swing have always been a concern - that's why I didn't rank him in my top 100 in the draft.
Is Tyler Austin's bat legit, i.e., do you think he will develop into, say, at least a 2-win player in MLB?
Rizzo's destroying AAA again. What do you make of his time in the bigs last year? SSS or is there something he can still learn in Iowa?
They've made some adjustments to shorten the first part of his swing, and I think it's really helped him hit LH pitching.
I didn't see you at the NATO protests......
Because I try not to waste my time on empty gestures.
You tweeted yesterday that someone made a homophobic slur based on the "Aggies" nickname. What, if anything did you say to him?
First time he said it, I thought I heard wrong - I don't hear that well when there's background noise - so I asked him to repeat it. Then it was clear what he'd said, so I asked him to repeat it again, in a way that it should have been clear that I thought he was an idiot. The third time - do you believe that bigot said it a third time? - I said, "Do you want to explain to me just what you mean by that word?" and he finally became just embarrassed enough to say, "Well, they're not very popular around here." (I assume he meant A&M, not gay people.) I'm still debating whether I should have pushed him farther. Probably yes.
What does Brett Jackson need to work on in order to be successful? He's struggling right now...
I've always thought his swing would lead to low contact rates. I'm not sure what the solution is. He's not a hacker, where you can just work on pitch recognition.
I know you were down on this season, but did you catch the House finale?
I did. It was good, not great. Very disappointed that it had virtually no humor. The show's peak was so high because it was so funny.
How do Profar, Machado and Lindor compare? How would you rank the three in each of the 5 major scouting categories?
Profar and Lindor are no-doubt shortstops, both better runners than Machado. Machado is much bigger and I think he'll produce a lot more offense, but there's a non-negligible probability he moves to third base.
Have you seen the badly messed up Roy Holliday bobblehead? goo.gl/fb/UVQo8
Glass houses, John.
Is Dellin Betances even a future bullpen arm anymore or will his lack of control prevent him from being that?
I wouldn't give up on him entirely. Lot of bad-command/control guys figure it out when they go to the pen. But I have maintained for a while now that he doesn't have the delivery or athleticism to have the command to start. One of those things can be improved, but the other can't.
Keith, I know you aren't a basketball fan, but did you see that Orlando is going to talk to Shaq about its GM job? That is beyond laughable. That is like a team making Hawk Harrelson its GM. Oh, wait, that happened.
Yep. Isaiah redux?
has anyone told you that you come across extremely arrogant? I dont know if its in your speech or your brevity, but it really bothers me. Maybe its the weather here.
Yes, I hear that from people jealous of my extreme awesomeness.
Would you have skipped Bundy to AA? Does he need a challenge, or is there no rush?
I would have started him in AA. Throttling his innings AND starting him at a level for which he was overqualified made - and still makes - no sense.
Keith- watching big 10 tournament and I cant help but thimk...doesn't the conference tournament format encourage the overuse of arms? Wouldn't a 2 week or even week and a half format help protect coaches from themselve
Yes, it absolutely encourages it, although seeing college coaches hold back their aces to keep them on regular rest (even though it screwed me and a bunch of scouts in the case of Wacha) is a small positive step forward.
Your idea, while good for pitchers, is probably unworkable due to the calendar.
Still see Marrero to the Pirates? What are the chances they pass up on him, and how far could he slide after that? I imagine NYM and OAK would like him.
He's on their short list. He is not absolutely their guy. I'd keep him as their pick in an updated mock but I don't think it's fair to imply it's a done deal. If they don't take him, I think he falls at least to the late teens, maybe the twenties.
Given O's pitching coach Rick Peterson's reputation for mishandling young pitchers, what are the chances that Bundy can overcome this coach's tutoring and emerge as a #1 starter by 2014?
Does he have that reputation? I don't think I've ever heard that.
The new pitcher for Minn, Diamond. Big prospect a few years back but derailed. Having some success for Minn so far. Do you think he can keep this up, get better as the season goes on or will he performs worse?
Wrong Diamond. This one was never a big prospect, and I think he's maybe a fifth starter long-term.
Keith, we need you to go to Mil and find out who kidnapped Rickey Weeks and replaced him with a Cardboard cut out that swings at pitches 3 feet outside.
Can I edit that for you? "Keith, we need you to go to Mil and find out who kidnapped Rickey Weeks and replaced him with Anthony Hewitt."
T.Jenkins and C.Buckel are off to great starts this year. Are they on your 'tracker' or likely top prospects?
If I'd gone to 50 names, they both likely would have made it. Buckel (pronounced boo-KELL, by the way) is a funny one: Modest ceiling, high floor.
how close was jose fernandez to your top 25? anywhere at all?
Didn't consider him. Great arm. Two pitch guy right now, but doesn't need a third yet.
Seems almost impossible Cubs could whiff on every draft pick for 15 years. Obviously something wrong in the development process. Do you ever have concerns about what teams draft a player and how that could negatively impact his career?
I don't factor that into rankings, pro or draft, if that's what you're asking.
Delmonico is really starting to play well for the Shorebirds. What is his ceiling? Possible top 100 prospect?
He can really hit and I think he'll have power ... but he needs a fixed position. Caught and played third as a HS player but had some back issues and a lot of scouts thought he'd end up at first or in an outfield corner.
From what I've read, DJ Davis has elite speed and good bat speed. What else does he provide skill-wise and/or tool-wise? Is he a first rounder to you?
He is not. Too much swing and miss for me. High upside, very high risk.
Thoughts on Nathan Mikolas, high schooler from WI?
HS 1b/outfielder, can hit, don't see a lot of HS guys drafted high as first basemen or leftfielders. Maybe third round, more likely 4th-5th.
Do you know why George Springer has so many strikeouts? Is it over agressiveness or bad pitch recognition? The rest of his stats so far have looked really good though.
He's cut down on his swing some but the two-strike approach has always been an issue.
Has your opinion on Matt Barnes changed since last June when he was drafted?
My opinion hasn't changed so much as HE has changed, changing opinions among scouts. Had someone hang a John Smoltz comp on him. Nothing like having your first overall pick compared to a future HoFer.
Lots of sites have Jesse Winker rated in their Top 50, but I don't think he made your Top 100. Anything specific you see there not to like?
LHH corner outfielder with questionable hit tool. Been down all spring. Anyone still ranking him in their top 50 is probably going more off last summer.
Was Heath Hembree close to your top 25?
No. Count all the relievers on my list.
Is Gary Brown yet another Cal League mirage? What kind of hitter do you see him developing into?
Don't think he was a mirage, and he can still play the heck out of CF, but I think his lack of power and only adequate plate discipline are catching up to him right now. Had a reader - I'm not even sure if this was a regular reader - get angry because I didn't have Brown in my top 50 last July. I mean angry, sending nasty emails, etc. Haven't heard from him in a while.
Have you ever tried to make chilaquiles? I did for the first time last weekend and was surprised how straightforward it was.
I made them for the first time on Monday night. Hardest part - which wasn't hard - was just taking the time to fry the tortillas.
Has Milwaukee drafted anybody good since Jack Z left? Any reason for us Brewer fans to think things might change this year?
Jungmann's pretty good.
Assuming Rendon had stayed healthy and at least come close to living up to expectations so far what range would he have been in today? top 10?
Depends on a little on performance, which we don't know. I'd conservatively say in the teens.
Are you surprised by Trevor Story's hitting so far this season?
Nothing surprises me in that park. Ian Stewart raked there too.
Is Kyle Seager Seattle's 3b of the future? Alex Liddi?
Seager. I want Liddi to succeed for somewhat personal reasons, but I don't think he's going to be an everyday player.
how come you chat guys steer away from the hot button issues but yet ESPN peddles the hot button stuff on its website?
Yeah, that's me, Mr. Non-controversy. What "hot button" issues am I ignoring?
Keith, Any chance the Blue Jays could have McCullers drop to them ?
If he does, he would be an extremely tough sign.
If Middlbrooks had been demoted before you made this list, where would he have ranked?
Probably not on it.
How long before Matt Barnes is in AA?
I'd say inside of four weeks.
How close is Bogaerts? Top 50?
Hot button issue you're ignoring: A's/Giants territorial rights. It's not a big national issue, I guess, but out here it's HUGE. Especially to A's fans and south bay people.
Nonsense. I've weighed in many times on this.
hot button: are the Yankees for sale??
I don't do media criticism, sorry.
I trust you're not a fan of his defense in center, but what do you make of Adam Eaton's potential. His numbers are stunning, but I'm guessing there's a "but."
Not a CF. Slim chance to profile as a regular in a corner. More likely a very good fourth OF.
Would the personal reasons that you want Liddi to succeed be because you love the game and his success would translate to make it more popular in Europe?
More popular in Italy, specifically, and since I'm 3/4 Italian, I'd love to see my favorite sport make some more inroads there.
ETA on Shelby Miller?
Unknown. Velocity is down a grade. Performance has been mostly OK outside of Monday night in Tuscon, which is a brutal place for any pitcher ... but still, he shouldn't be sitting 90-92.
Hey Keith any thoughts on X. Avery? Was always known as a tools guy, but really improved his BB% in Az and has carried it through to this year. SSS obviously but he's been fun to watch in Bal
At bats in Arizona were pretty poor. I'm inclined to say still an extra outfielder, but there's at least cause for optimism.
Does Giolito's arm issue and the fact that he throws so hard make you question his ability to stay healthy as a starter in the future?
No. Not all "arm issues" are created equal.
What is the injury issue with Carlos Martinez?
Sore shoulder. No bueno.
Is Law shortened from something Italian?
What's caused Teheran to regress? It seemed a few years back he was a top guy, but not so much now.
I don't think he's regressed - he just hasn't progressed as fast as expected. Still extremely young.
So you think Giolito signs for $2 million or more if offered? Seems like leaving a lot of money on the table.
Versus three years at UCLA and worrying that you'll go the way of Karsten Whitson?
(Yes, I think he'd sign if drafted high enough and offered something like that, although I don't know his exact number.)
Drew Hutchison...... in the top 25, where would his relative spot be? Do you like what you have seen out of him so far in the majors? Do you like the fact that the Jays brought him up to the majors?
Would not be in the top 25.
Lamb, Soria, Duffy & Wood -- all Royals pitchers who either had Tommy John surgery within the last year or will be having it soon. Is it just percentages or is the Royals organization harder on arms?
I think the Royals' front office needs to try to figure out if it's bad luck or something in the process. Said the same about the Orioles last year. When you have a rash of injuries or non-development cases, you have to see if there's a flaw to correct, even if your instinct says it's bad luck.
If Correa and Gioloto are on the board for the O's at 4, who do you think they should take?
No wrong choice there.
Percent chance Buxton goes 1.1 as of today?
Below the chance of Appel going 1-1. I'd say 40% Appel, 30% Buxton, 30% other. Maybe.
Where does Alen Hanson rank in the Pirate's system?
Somewhere in the 3-5 range. Shortstops who can hit are pretty rare commodities.
Klaw, when you refer to Billy Hamilton's lack of power, is that mainly a comment on his physical strength? For instance, he has a great SLG due mostly to his speed - turning singles into doubles and doubles into triples. Are you assuming he won't be able to do things like that as often in the majors?
That's not power. That's speed. Power is the ability not just to hit for extra bases, but to advance baserunners through those hits.
Biggest sleeper in the upcoming 2012 draft?
Depends on what sleeper means, I guess. Guys I like more than what their ultimate draft position might indicate: Lovegrove, Brusa, Jorge Fernandez, Sanburn.
Pick to win the CWS this year?
Florida's the most talented team (over Stanford), but they're not playing like it, and there's a lot of grumbling that the coaches are riding the players too hard. So while they feel like the obvious choice, I'm not feeling that confident in it. Florida State and Kentucky aren't as talented from a pro perspective but they're better college teams.
Domingo Tapia will be?
Long way off, but I see a potential mid-rotation starter.
I keep hearing Dwight Gooden comps for Taijuan Walker. Please say there are real reasons besides the lazy, obvious one.
That's not crazy.
What was your feeling about Kerry Wood's exit? I thought leaving in May instead of October because you can read the handwriting on the wall showed some class.
Agreed. Great moment - and great moment by the broadcasters staying silent for about a minute. "We'll let the crowd take you to break." Perfect.
What's your impression of Jimmy Nelson of the Brewers?
Up to 96 with an above-average slider? He's a prospect. Needs to go to AA.
Highest/Lowest Piscotty gets drafted? I assume there's zero chance of him falling to the supplemental.
Highest is maybe 11. Doubt he gets out of the first.
Is the M's 1b of the future in their org right now? Smoak is not looking good - no power...
He looks like he's so afraid of being behind on a fastball that he can't pick up anything else. No one can hit like that. And I'm not sure how you fix that.
What do you think of Bryan Mitchell? Ace potential?
The list of pitching prospects in the minors with "ace potential" is quite small. He's not on it.
Which pitching prospects would you say had "ace potential"?
Most of them are on today's list.
What are chances Giolito goes in the top 3?
Seattle is the highest I've heard him, and I think they'd take Buxton over him, and probably Correa at this point.
The biggest knock on Dan Vogelbach in the draft last year was his weight. Reports are that he has lost quite a bit of weight. With this improvement do you think he can become one of the top 1B prospects in the minors?
I've seen him. He hasn't lost enough, that's for sure. I don't ever see him becoming one of the top 1b prospects in the minors.
Can Jake Odirrizzi be the #1 the Royals need?
Surprised the Astros are still hovering around .500 a quarter of the way through the season? How long will they keep it up? Until they start selling pieces off?
Very little surprises me about mid-May standings. They're awful, and much better off in the long run if they actually play worse, getting higher draft position and avoiding any false expectations.
If using frozen pizza dough is there a way to make it less sticky when it thaws?Is Casey Kelly going to be another Padres pitcher in line for Tommy John?
Flour your hands first. I am told Kelly is fine, but the team wanted to be ultra-conservative with him, especially since he seemed to be turning a corner in command.
After about a month and a half what are your top 5 Farm Systems now? Any change?
I wouldn't even try to update that list at this point.
Who do you see the Cardinals targeting with their two first round picks?
I've heard mostly bats, with one arm (Hunter Virant, HS lefty from SoCal, another guy I really like) in the mix as well.
Do the Twins reach for pitching at 2 or do they take Buxton, the best player in this draft?
I think they're 60% Buxton 40% Zimmer at this point. Zimmer's outing tomorrow will be huge for him.
Matt Harvey projection, #2/3?
Feel like more 3 than 2.
Will Gausman be gone by the time the Royals pick? How about Zimmer?
Baltimore is the only team ahead of KC who might take Gausman.
ASU commit RHP Paul Blackburn (Heritage HS, Brentwood). Top 3 rounds?
Why is Thames still the starting LF!?
I have no idea.
How do you project Jonathan Schoop? All-star/starter/bench guy?
Above-average regular. Not a SS, though.
Tell me you have been to Sapporo's in Scottsdale, great sushi, great lamb.
I have. Sushi there is OK, really nothing special, because the fish is not the highest quality.
Hypothetical draft question: Buxton's off the board by Seattle's pick at #3; who would you take between Correa, Zunino, and Giolito? And who do you think Seattle would take?
I'd take Correa or Giolito, depending on the latter's medicals.
Is Tony Cingrani for real? Top 100 Consideration next year if he keeps it up?
The arm action isn't exactly ideal. He's a prospect - he was my sleeper prospect for the Reds this year - but a lot of folks peg him as a reliever because of the delivery.
Any plans for an updated mock or Top 100 between now and the draft?
No, I figured I'd take next week off, go off the grid.
(Next mock is Tuesday. One more on draft day, as well as a final top 100 update that reflects any late injuries.)
Been making AB's pizza recipes on the grill. Having trouble rolling out dough extra thin....suggestions ?
If it tears, you haven't developed enough gluten. Knead it more, or use the overnight autolyse to develop the gluten (and more flavor too).
Any thoughts on the news that the Times-Picayune is going to only a 3-day a week publication?
I don't see how this is going to improve the business model. Newspapers have two apparent paths to survive. One is to produce really high-quality content that will find a regional or national audience. The other is to provide local coverage that can't be matched by anyone else, with a strong digital presence. Merely producing less content isn't likely to solve anything.
Are we talking high school bats or *gulp* college bats for the Cardinals?
I don't think anyone is primarily on college bats. The college bats aren't there.
Hi Keith - you seem like an adventurous eater so I'm wondering if you have ever been to offal master Chris Cosentino's Incanto in SF? he was just announced as a contestant on Top Chef Masters 4. Thanks
No, only because I haven't been to SF in several years.
Did you see that there is now a SmrtBaseball twitter handle?
I did indeed. It seems like a nice foil to @cantpredictball.
Currently own Settlers, Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne. Thinking about picking up Dominion, but I'm worried it may be too much like Magic the Gathering (considering it's card based). Are my concerns unfounded?
Isn't Magic a collectible game? I don't think Dominion is anything like that.
I read a throw-away note on another site that Almora is telling teams not to draft him since he is going to college. Any thoughts on that, especially with the new CBA?
Glad to Aaron Sanchez mentioned in your top 25 article. Good chance he makes your top 50 he continues to perform well?
He'd have a better chance if he was allowed to turn a lineup over twice every now and then.
Does it get annoying having people confuse sarcasm with arrogance?
No, I just marvel at how boring it must be in their funny little brains.
Why is it called the Rule 4 draft and not the Rule V anymore?
For one thing, the Roman numeral designation was always wrong. For another, 4 and V are actually not the same number.
Does Houston try to cut a deal for someone who'll sign below slot and try for the hard sign in round 2?
I believe they are exploring this. Their slot figure is $7.2MM (I think). So they could easily sign someone like a Correa or a Gausman for $4-5MM and then try to grab an expensive HS guy who falls - say, Seager or Trahan - at 33.
Dominion is a different game. Everyone plays from the same set of cards and each game the cards played with are different, making strategies unique. Very good game, my two cents for Furman in NYC
Yep - but better with at least one expansion like Intrigue or Seaside.
Do you like scouting or writing more?
I'm very fortunate in that I get to do both. I wish I could do a little more scouting, but the writing pays the bills.
Thanks for all the questions - I'll be back next Thursday, and then again on draft day for one last predraft chat. Look for a new mock first round on Tuesday.