Hang on folks. Keith's in the middle of a fire drill right now. He'll be back in 5 minutes or so.
OK, I'm here, for the moment.
Mentioned in your column that you liked the Philly pick. Was that Watson or Gueller (or both)?
Both. That mention of drafts I liked was looking at team drafts as a whole, rather than just individual picks. I thought both guys were good value where they were taken.
What's worth more to the Pirates, going over slot to sign Appell and paying the penalty (probably losing next years first and second draft pick), or having an additional pick next year with the extra money that goes with it?
I think signing Appel should be the priority, but I would be more comfortable taking below-slot guys all day today to save up the cash to ensure he signs than giving up a first-rounder next year. That said, let me emphasize again that we have no real evidence that Appel was asking for any specific dollar amount, let alone one so large it would cost the Pirates multiple picks next year.
Whats your take on RHP Branden Kline from UVA?
Among the best players still available. I think he has a chance to start.
BTW Nolan Fontana was the top college guy still on my board after yesterday. Very good defensive shortstop who gets on base.
Did you like Cecchini as the Mets pick at 12? Seems like a minor overdraft to me. Any word if the Mets two picks were underslot?
I did and don't understand Mets fans (who have probably never laid eyes on Cecchini) criticizing the pick. He's a certain shortstop who can hit. Nothing plus, but no real red flags. That's a pretty valuable prospect.
Hey Keith maybe this is a dumb question but I keep hearing that teams are taking college juniors/seniors early so that they can save money and take a high upside/high cost player later in the draft. Wouldn't it make more sense for them to take the high upside guy first so another team doesn't draft him? Thanks, keep up the great work!
I agree with you.
Who are some of the best players still available?
My blog post this morning included 15 such names. Tanner Rahier is among them.
The Twins seem to think Luke Bard has a future as a starter. That's wishful thinking isn't it?
I'll call it optimistic. Starter stuff, not a starter delivery.
Toss-up between that or Wiles yesterday for the first out-of-nowhere pick of the draft.
Am I wrong to look at the Jankowski pick as Brad Chalk v2.0?
Yes, very much so.
Your general thoughts on the Reds Day 1 picks? I half expected to see them on your Day 1 losers list, based on the Travieso reach.
Not wild about the pick, but he is up to 98 and has a decent chance to start. I'd rate him behind Stephenson, their first rounder last year.
Did the Indians blow it taking Naquin? Will he be adequate in center field?
Odd that McCullers Jr signs?
McCullers: I'll bet yes.
Naquin: A real reach for me. I think he can play CF, but hasn't shown it because of Bratsen. I think he'll hit, without power, but it's an unorthodox swing. Little risky for a guy without huge upside. I do like him, just not where they took him.
What do you think Jose Berrios's (Twins first supplemental pick) potential is?
Six foot RHP without plane on the fastball. Will show three pitches to start; body and delivery say he might be a reliever.
Bruce Maxwell has "good stats." Might explain why Oakland wanted him. Do you have any info on him? Where would you have drafted him?
After the fifth round for me. Good stats vs horrible competition. If they think he can catch, then it's reasonable to think third round. I'm guessing that was a below slot deal.
Orioles get Kline, Cubs get Duane Underwood, both excellent picks.
Astros selected Nolan Fontana. Does this mean the Astros see Correa as a 3B?
No connection. Teams do not draft that way.
Are Kenny Diekroeger and Jake Stewart of Stanford still legit prospects or has their bright light gone dim?
Diekroeger is, Stewart isn't.
Keon Barnum was rated fairly highly coming into the season. What did you see this year that turned you off?
Not rated highly by me. Ton of swing and miss there. Kiley saw him 2 or 3 times and saw the same. Getting panned by my sources today as well.
Pirates take Wyatt Mathisen, another best available guy ... get him behind the plate and let him go. Potential steal.
ESPN's profile of Lewis Brinson had his current hit tool at 20. Is it really that miserable and what chance does it have of even reaching an acceptable level?
That means if you stuck him in the big leagues right now, he'd be horrible. He's 18 and crude - it's not that surprising.
Do you see Underwood as a starter, and what is the upside?
Yes, 17 year old with a lot of development ahead of him - still fairly raw and inexperienced, and needs to build up some stamina but should as his body matures.
Giants selected a college pitcher, do you think they were blowing smoke about high school arms, or is it just a case of a guy falling to them and they thought he was the best available?
I'm assuming the latter, but haven't spoken to anyone there.
With the Cubs pick of A-A, does that signal that Theo & Co think Brett Jackson is a 4th outfielder? Or am I reading too much into the pick?
You're reading WAY too much into the pick. Generally a good move not to read anything relating to existing talent in the system into draft picks.
So....big "meh" on the Mets draft yesterday. Would another Ruben Tejada and a potential Paul LoDuca be fair comps for their two picks?
No. Again, I don't get the ire over Cecchini.
what are your thoughts on the Steve bean pick by the cards? seemed that he made a late run up draft boards prior to the draft, any idea why?
Slight reach for me. Questions over the bat. Can catch though, and that's at a premium.
Chargois is an interesting pick by the Twins - hard-throwing reliever, decent athlete, but rough arm action. They usually don't like those less clean deliveries.
Keith, outside of the ramsey pick, how did StL do with their 5 picks? Too conservative?
Yes, at least so far. I liked Wacha and Piscotty where they got them, but on balance it's pretty light given all their picks.
Do you think the Mets, having gone with a lottery ticket in Nimmo last year, were looking for a little more certainty from ther top two picks this year? They both seem "safer" to be major leaguers some day, less likely to fall short.
Different scouting director, so different philosophy.
Does Addison Russell have the tools to explode in pro ball and be a top 20 prospect at some point soon? Would you label him a 5-tool player (and I know how overused that phrase is)?
Wouldn't call him five-tool but yes, he has that kind of upside, just isn't there right now.
I don't get the love for Underwood. Reports had him throwing in the 80's this spring.
That would be inaccurate. His last outing he was 94-96 in the first, 90-92 most of the day.
Oakland takes Nolan Sanburn, Arkansas reliever with a great curveball. Would actually like to see him get a chance to start even though he's a smaller guy.
Any thoughts on Jeremy Baltz? Reach by the Pads?
I'm guessing that's an underslot deal - tough to profile at first base but has some potential to hit and hit for power, just not enough to see him as an above-average regular.
I've heard other people say Kline is best suited as a reliever, your thoughts.
I don't listen to Other People, especially since they don't have names.
Matt Reynolds, NYM 2nd round pick? any good? never heard of him
I wasn't on him. Good performer, don't like his chances to hit in pro ball.
what do you think is the likelihood of Stroman reaching the majors this year? 50%? is the Jays' weakness in the bullpen going to have any impact on whether he comes up or not?
It's 100% if they want him to do it.
Brian Johnson seems like a reach at 31, was he? what are realistic expectations for him?
Not a reach at all. Solid college lefty with four pitches (probably should pitch with three), good feel, would have gone much higher if he had more than an average fastball.
DJ Davis is graded at 80 speed. How does his speed stack up against Billy Hamilton?
I think Buxton is faster than Davis, actually.
I liked the Padres draft yesterday, but now have started with Baltz and dane Phillips who i dont see on your top 100. Know anything about these guys?
We seem to be missing some reports online - I had a report in on Phillips, for example, but it's not posted. Can hit but can't catch. I don't see an average regular there.
Who is Jesse Winker? I cant find him on top 100 lists? I presume you would label this a reach?
He was on my preseason watch list because he could hit and looked like he'd develop some power, but he wasn't good all spring and is only a corner outfielder.
Rahier at 78 is a huge steal, right?
I think so.
Phillies take Dylan Cozens, a two-sport guy from Scottsdale. I know you're shocked that they'd take an athlete.
Who is Collin wiles? What did the rangers see there?
Command right-hander with a good delivery, touched 93 very late in the year after he was 87-90 much of the spring. Vandy commit.
When does the 2nd rd start?
38 minutes ago.
What do you make of Pat Light? Seems destined to be a reliever.
Most likely a reliever, yes.
I feel like I've had to tell my fellow Cub fans that by the time Almora is in the major leagues, Brett Jackson will probably be arbitration eligible.
Or playing somewhere else.
Twins were widely believed to be on Mitch Brown, the local kid, but passed on him three times when they might have taken him. Something to remember next year when you read that every player is high on the board of the closest MLB team.
Any chance anyone has the juice to sign Virant?
I don't think so.
Jays take Chase De Jong, another of my favorites form SoCal (admittedly a pretty high-profile guy). Still no evidence they're going under slot anywhere.
I read that Gausman doesn't have a No. 1 ceiling- do you agree?
If you're making me bet, I'd say #2. But I don't think there's a college starter this year with a higher ceiling; he and Appel are the tops.
Chris Beck a pretty good get for the W. Sox in the 2nd?
Assuming he's healthy, is Giolito more advanced and to the majors faster than Alex Meyer?
Dodgers take Florida relief ace Steven Rodriguez. Interesting as Kiley and I had heard teams might be backing away due to some medical concerns.
And as I talk about teams not taking local guys, the Giants take St. Mary's RHP Martin Agosta.
are teams calling these hs players in sandwich and 2,3, and 4 and confirm they will sign for slot of close to it before selecting them?
That would be illegal. Which isn't to say it doesn't happen.
Is it more than likely many teams will go over the 5% total pool $ and pay the tax penalty?
I think very few will, probably none.
Do you know where we can track round two on our computers?
MLB.com has it, I have it open in another tab
What do you know on Jamie Jarmon?
Also in my top 100 - excellent athlete, very raw as a baseball player.
You said that Guasman and Appel are tops but you had Giolito above both of them at one point. If Giolito was confirmed healthy would he still be in that discussion?
He would have been #1 overall for me if he'd been healthy and maintained his stuff all spring.
Tyler Beede didn't sign last year when Toronto picked him. When is Beede eligible to go back into the draft?
Cardinals take Carson Kelly - that's a lot more like it.
Marrero to the Sox effectively end the Boegarts at SS experiment? What's the future hold for Iglesias?
Again, you are overthinking this. Teams just take the best players available. They don't try to fill holes, or pass on a better player because it might conflict with what's already in the system.
The number of supplemental picks yesterday was absurd. It's absurd that the Mariners, O's & Royals had to wait until the 60's to get a 2nd pick.
If you think the draft should help improve parity in the sport, the supplemental round should be eliminated.
Nats 2B out of Cal -- Tony Renda -- sounds like he "plays the game the right way." How many wins is that worth?
Is the thinking that the Astros will try to sign Correa under slot so they can try to sign McCullers so he'll break that strong commitment to Florida?
Yes, that's my assumption.
Thoughts on Chris Beck?
Looked better last summer than this spring. Heard more 'reliever' tags on him this year.
They announced Casey Kelly as a rhp, not a 3b. Is that the team's call at this point or does that mean the Cards intend to put him there?
The team announces the position ("we'd like him listed as a right-handed pitcher").
sorry Kelly announced as 3b, was looking at a different page listing him as p
Got it. It would have surprised me if they'd taken him as a pitcher.
What's Jamie Callahan's upside?
Average fastball/curveball, somewhat projectable guy. Bit surprised to hear his name this soon.
Was DJ Davis a huge reach for the Jays? You had him ranked a lot lower.
His hit tool is a big question mark. He can certainly run, and he did clean up his swing a lot this spring, but he's still a long way off with the bat.
Do you like the Paul Blackburn pick? Any indication he won't sign?
I do, and I think he signs.
Was the Barnes pick by the Pirates just to save money, as they already had drafted Appel?
He was a projected sandwich round guy.
(which is to say, no)
Your thoughts on Royals pick of Sam Selman?
I know he came on strong the last few weeks, LHP up to 95. Not a great delivery, below average command.
If the Brewers had picked Roache at #28 after last year (pretend he was draft-eligible), would you have the same reaction? Meaning, are you surprised at the pick because of the injury, or do you feel that at no point he warranted being picked that high?
Absolutely. I see one tool, power. Below-average hit tool, bad swing, poor plate discipline, future LF.
Wow, Rangers took Nick Williams, who just committed to Texas A&M after a brutal twelve months that took him from likely first rounder to off my (and I think many teams') top 100.
Isn't it time to add OBP to the five tools?
That's a combination of a tool (hitting) and several skills (plate discipline and pitch recognition, primarily).
Peter OBrien. Would he an under slot pick for the Yankees?
College seniors typically take a 30% discount anyway. He might take less. I don't see him as a catcher at the next level.
I sent an email earlier but I'll ask here too since I'm sure a lot of people would like to see it - are you planning to write-up an analysis of the first round? Would love to see your take on each of the players selected.
I will do a brief take on each team's draft, focusing on the top 5-10 rounds, starting later today.
Is Gausman now the 3rd best prospect in the top heavy O's system?
Yes, that's fair.
Nats scouting director Kris Kline said "Renda has the quickest bat in the draft?" 1) Does this even matter, 2) do you agree?
He does have great bat speed. He's also ridiculously short to the ball so he can't drive it. And he's a fringy at best 2b. I'm not on him.
Does Scott Boras really have much leverage in getting Appel alot more money then the 2.9 slot for the 8th pick?
Appel's leverage is that the Pirates lose the pick and the $2.9 million allotment if they don't sign him.
Do you see Plawecki as a quick-to-the-majors type guy? I know teams don't draft for need but given the Mets catching situation, if this was a need pick, I couldn't blame them.
Interesting that last night I got some texts that Plawecki's defense was really underrated (including by me). So yes, he might move fast, but I don't see it as a need pick.
So...difference between a tool and a skill exactly? I always thought a tool was generally innate but able to be developed, and I'm pretty sure I generally hear folks say that plate discipline can't be taught. Can pitch recognition be taught?
It can improve. Whether it can be taught, or can only be taught to some players, is an open question in my opinion.
So I just talked to someone who said Maxwell was a very reasonable pick for Oakland at 62, advanced bat, but hasn't faced good competition. I haven't seen him live.
In your February 14 blog entry, you stated that because of all of the work that was necessary for Tyrone Taylor's swing, there was a time to take an athlete like him. Was that time the second round?
I would have said third round. That's not a huge difference from where he was taken.
My draft tracker tab just stalled, so I'm a few picks behind here.
Not draft related, but what are your thoughts on Castellanos to AA? Agressive or not?
Reasonable. Neither aggressive nor overdue.
Obviously, you draw up your own Top 100, but you seem to be on your own island with the Roache overdraft call. ... Is there consensus amongst executives that this was an overdraft, or are you basically going off what you've seen?
Two things. One, I've seen Roache, so I'm giving you my own take on him - I think he's going to have real trouble making contact. Two, I've talked to folks in six draft rooms since the pick; five agreed with me that he wasn't a first-rounder, one didn't. Whether you think the second point is relevant is up to you - personally I think it's a bit of a copout, and I'd prefer to just stand by my own opinion on him.
Cubs just took Ryan McNeil from Nipomo HS. Your immediate thoughts on him? Signable? TheoHoyer was serious about chasing young arms early it appears.
He's another of the reports that was never posted, so here's what I filed:
OK, it's not letting me post. I'll try to figure this out.
I give up. Chat software fail.
Can we at least get a 1 sentence snarky summary on McNeil, having trouble finding a unbiased scouting report on the web.
I'll try to summarize well - up to 93, average CB 77-80, very big kid 6'3" 210, cuts off delivery slightly, looks like a kid who won't get bigger but might need to let his coordination/body control catch up with his size.
Ty Buttery??? Why hasn't he been selected yet?
Too much saturated fat. Mayor Bloomberg ruled him ineligible.
Lucus Giolito told local reporter "UCLA still a big option for me." This is just standard negotiation/leverage right?
Yes. You'll hear a lot of that.
Lefty with some arm strength. Didn't love the secondary or the delivery that much. Reasonable pick past 100 though.
Any thoughts on Braves 2nd rounder Alex Wood?
Probably a power two-pitch reliever FB and changeup.
Allowing Jorge Soler questions during this chat? Any idea, besides the Cubs, who may get him?
No clue. I really haven't followed that saga (who's after him).
Hearing Alec Rash out of Iowa was shooting up draft boards. Phils got him at #95. Thoughts?
Kind of surprised he lasted that long - big kid up to 95 who can spin a breaking ball.
Shouldn't Karsten Whitson be a cautionary tale for every HS pitcher who doesn't think first round money is enough?
Does Joey DeMichele have a chance to be a regular at 2B?
I think that's his upside. I like him more than Renda - better chance to handle 2b (neither is winning any Gold Gloves, at least not on merit) and better overall hit tool, more balanced, less slashing.
Cleveland takes another of my favorites, Kieran Lovegrove. Heard his command wasn't good this year but I love the FB/SL combo.
White Sox took DiMichele. Their area scout there is the same guy who signed Brandon McCarthy, so if you love McCarthy on Twitter, thank John Kazanas.
Dan Langfield RHP out of Memphis...
Arm strength guy. Probable reliever.
Pads announced Fernando Perez as a SS - can you see this as a possibility?
Zero chance. He wasn't good at second this spring.
OK, I need to wrap this - got radio hits coming up starting at 1:30 on our St. Louis affiliate with Bernie Miklasz. I'll have wraps on all 30 teams starting tonight, so if I didn't answer on a high pick here, look for it there. Sorry I couldn't get to more questions today.