Klawchat. Calling all freaks.
Klaw, as always thank you for your time sir. I'm assuming the picks given out in yesterday's competitive balance lottery will be hard slotted like every other pick. So, my question is how much more valuable would the picks be on the trade market if there was no cap on the picks?
Keith, what's your take on the competitive balance lottery? I haven't really heard much about it or what people's opinions are on it but I'm curious.
I'll take these two together. I think any "competitive balance" lottery that gives a pick to the big-market/budget Tigers but not one to the Rays is an absolute farce. The picks will have recommended slot values, but there's no hard slotting anywhere in the draft - there's a cap with strong penalties for a team's total draft class, but not hard slots on individual picks. I think those picks do have value, probably equivalent to a good-not-great single-A prospect.
Marte/Hansen and Taillon for Upton. Who says no?
I asked this on KTAR in Phoenix the other day: Why would Arizona, just a few games out of two playoff races, trade Upton for three guys who have zero major league value for this year? It's not an unfair proposal in the abstract, but it is so clearly not in Arizona's interest for 2012 or 2013 that I can't see why they would accept it.
What have you been hearing about Dan Straily? He outlasted Hultzen in what was perhaps the pitching battle of the year so far in the minors.
Consensus seems to be fourth starter type, four average to above-average pitches, nothing plus, can really pitch. In Oakland that might look a lot more like a 3 given their ballpark and defense.
Justin Upton 2012 = Matt Kemp 2010?
The narratives are awfully similar, aren't they?
Keith, I know at one time you were high on Jacob Turner. In his start Tuesday he didn't show the big fastball and I didn't see anything to get him off the fastball, either in terms of stuff or command. What do you think the issues are? I'm afraid the Tigers have Porcelloed him.
Velocity isn't close to what it was out of high school. That's a big problem for a prospect whose best attributes were his arm speed and the fastball that came with it.
Keith, have you had a chance to watch Jose Quintana pitch? If so, is his performance to date somewhat of a fluke, or does he project as someone who can stick as a 4 or 5 long term?
He's a back-end guy, probably a 5 long-term.
KLaw... you mentioned how the Nats did well in acquiring Giolito, but it cost them the opportunity to take other, young, expensive draftees. Would you do the same thing in theri (or similar team's) shoes?
Picking 16th and getting possibly the best prospect in the draft (if the elbow issue was really nothing) is worth punting the rest of the draft, in my opinion.
Thanks for writing about me!
I'm assuming that's a reference to the Hall of Nearly Great e-book. I didn't contribute, but a lot of really great writers did, so you should check it out: http://klaw.me/OuUS0V
Could you envision Austin Meadows getting picked before Mark Appel?
He's one possibility - huge tools, kind of raw, apparently hasn't looked good against breaking stuff this summer. Stanek is the biggest competition for Appel in the '13 class so far, in my opinion.
What kind of upside does Gyorko have with the bat? A future .290/.360/.460 guy?
I'd probably go slightly under that. Not sure where he profiles - doesn't have the raw power for third, but he's better there on defense than he is at second.
You going to catch Soler's debut today? Obviously, his numbers in a single game are meaningless, so what will you be looking for in his outing? Can we expect a full report?
Nah, Mesa's too far. I figure I'll wait until he plays on my front lawn.
I know that he's a little old for AA, but where does Jason Kendall rank as a KC prospect?
I think they're just trolling us now.
Did you see Trevor Rosenthal yesterday? 100 mph!
He can do that in relief. Nonzero chance he can start, though.
I know it is a small sample size but should the cubs promote Dan Volgbach already? Is he just a potential trade chip for the cubs since he is limited to 1B or DH?
I don't think he's ready for the next level - he's killing mistakes, and there are a lot of them at this level. He's DH only for me so I don't see his future with the Cubs.
Will Jackie Bradley and Bryce Brentz be ready to start in '14 for the Sox and would you try and keep Ellsbury or make the move to Bradley after next season?
Bradley yes. Not clear that Brentz will be a league-average regular, not with those K rates.
I saw some random shots of Puig in his workout. The dude looked massive to me. Anything jump out at his mini-workout session?
He just hit in the cages - can't glean much from that. He is very strong, and probably within 10 pounds of his ideal weight. I'll go see him again when he's in a game.
True or False: there is a player available on the trade market that would turn the Dodgers into a legit contender.
I think they're more like two hitters away, not one.
Is George Springer close to your top 50 prospects?
He'd be in the next 25 or so. Lot of swing and miss there, and Lancaster's a great place to hit, inflating his numbers quite a bit.
It likely a team that passed on Appel in this year's prior draft (Astros & Cubs) will have the top spot in the draft. Why would a team be more likely to sign him next year if they passed this year?
If next year's crop is weaker relative to him, then they would. If not, then his gamble won't pay off.
Trevor Bauer Looked Awful.. Skaggs coming up this year?
Saw Skaggs last night. Stuff was good, fastball command wasn't there - possibly skewed by taking a liner off his hip in the first. Wouldn't bring him up just yet.
The Padres worked the new draft system pretty well, no?
Yes, I thought they had an excellent draft, using the system to grab a few guys who fell slightly for reasons that shouldn't affect them long term.
Do the White Sox have a Top 200 prospect?
Definitely. Hawkins could end up a top 100 guy, too.
Adam Eaton is putting up eye popping numbers. What's preventing him from being viewed as one of the game's top prospects?
Reno helps a lot. Not sure where he profiles - not truly a CF, doesn't have the power for a corner.
Are you going to see Dark Knight Rises this weekend?
No. I'm one of the few people who didn't think Dark Knight was the Casablanca of our generation.
Has Gary Brown figured out AA? His numbers this month have looked pretty good.
One month is a tiny sample for any player at any level.
I know the AZL can be a tricky place to evaluate with the conditions and the lack of pro experience for most of the players, but any teams down here jump out at you so far in terms of the initial "wow" factor?
A's and Rangers have a lot of raw talent. A's are more polished overall.
Alex Meyer was promoted to Potomac yesterday... good move? Also, can i start the Free Brian Goodwin movement.. what does he have left to prove in Hagerstown???
Both of those guys should have started the second half in high-A. The only thing I can think of with Goodwin is the concern over field conditions in Potomac, which is why they skipped Harper over high-A last year.
Pollock or Eaton?
So what *is* the Casablanca of our generation? Offhand, I think I'd go with Pulp Fiction.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Have you seen any progress this year from Keenyn Walker?
He's also old for the level; I haven't seen Kannapolis, but scouts who have tell me he's more or less what he was last year, athletic but still pretty raw.
What's your opinion on guaranteed contracts? Should they stay or do you think it's more fair to have non-guaranteed contracts (like the NFL - which does have some guaranteed clauses in contracts)?
No one forces MLB owners to hand out deals of these lengths. The NFL is a bad comparison because their players' union is so weak.
Do you still feel the White Sox have the worst farm system in baseball? With the way some of their rookies have performed this season, albeit in a small sample size, do you feel you may have underrated their minor league talent or misjudged their pitching prospects without factoring in what Don Cooper is able to get out of them?
I think this came up last week as well - exactly what prospects did I underrate? Nearly all of their contributing rookies this year are relievers, none of whom (besides Reed, who made my top 100) has been worth more than half a win. Quintana's the exception, and 1) he wasn't in their system last year and 2) he's not likely to maintain this level of performance. So which 2012 White Sox rookie(s) did I underrate?
Can you comment on Bauer's attitude towards his MLB troubles? I'm not necessarily implying anything negative with the choice of the word attitude. He just has a different mindset than most.
The failure to make some basic adjustments, particularly throwing strikes in hitters' counts, is a major concern for me. Either he can't, which I really doubt, or he refused to, which to me is something he has to fix before he returns to the majors.
Do you find that teams that are doing poorly have more fan interest in prospects? I used to care so much more when there were 9 empty holes in the starting lineup in Cincinnati. . .
Yes, definitely. But I think it also breeds some overrating of prospects, especially if the system as a whole isn't that strong - "best X in our organization" isn't the same as, say, clear top 100 prospect.
Has Brett Jackson fallen off the Top 100? Has Vitters passed him in the Cubs system?
Jackson was a reluctant add for me to the top 100 last year, mostly because he seemed so close to producing in the majors, but if I redid the list now I'd take him off. Vitters wouldn't make it either.
How close was Austin Hedges to making your updated Top 50?
He'd be in the next 20-25 as well.
Shawshank Redemption is our "Casablanca". Can Vincent Belnome's bat force the Padres to open up the 2013 2B battle with either Forsythe or Gyorko?
Saw Belnome last night. Not that kind of player.
You already kindly replied to one of my questions about Joey Gallo (in the comments section of your last article). From an evaluation standpoint, how do you reconcile his "big" swing and miss potential versus his apparent patience. He has been drawing more walks than strikeouts.
Those things aren't really connected. You can recognize a ball from a strike and still have a long swing that misses pitches in or near the strike zone - which describes Gallo pretty well.
whats the upside for Shaq Thompson? 2 hits? 3?
Don't you feel bad for him? He should bunt for a hit or something just to get everyone off his back.
Regarding the vitriol aimed at Appel for not signing, the people who call him selfish or stupid or whatever don't seem to get it. Without adding in the wrinkle that the draft removes an open market, this is the similar situation to me: An brilliant college junior gets an offer for $500,000 to leave school and start working. By finishing college, he has something like a 40% chance of making more money and potentially $1 million, a 40% chance of the same offer being on the table, and a 20% chance of getting less. No one would ever spite that kid for staying in school for his senior year.
Agreed. Also, what the hell is it anyone's business if he wants to roll the dice on going back for next year? Why insult him for refusing to take less than he thinks he's worth? It's his life and his choice. The invective spewed at him just further eroded my ebbing faith in humanity.
Any shot at Wilmer Flores ever becoming a decent major league starter or has that ship sailed?
Yes. Still just not sure at what position.
Hi Keith, thanks for the chat! So, even if Appel has a similarly excellant year and goes in the top 5, exactly what leverage does he have? He will no longer have the option of going back to school. He could sit/go independent-Japan for a year (or 2) and then re-enter the draft. Not sure that would improve his long term $$ potential. His only leverage would seem to be in that the drafting team would want to add him to their system (as an top notch pitcher). But that might not drive the dollars, since the team will likely feel they can do that for less than the calculated value for the pick - and they may still want to save pool $ for later picks to try and have a blockbuster draft. So how much leverage will Appel be able to generate, and even if he goes in the top 5, how much can he really expect to get?
He has credible commitment - he's already shown he'll turn down a relatively large bonus offer if it doesn't match his number. That's enough leverage to cause a team that doesn't view him as that valuable to pass on him in favor of a player who'll sign. No team wants to whiff on signing a first round pick.
You recently twetted that a couple of players in the Rookie League were not ready for full-season ball. I would assume that prospects would benefit from more playing time. Can you elaborate on what you mean?
It's more that I see issues in their games that are likely to cause trouble if they're promoted two levels to full-season ball.
Is Angelo Gumbs' ceiling anywhere near Robbie Cano?
I'll go way out on a limb here and say no.
Thoughts on a Toy Story 4 and Finding Nemo 2? I don't know how they're going to do another TS and how are you gonna lose Nemo again? Wouldn't an Incredibles sequel be a better use of time?
I would love to see an Incredibles sequel. Still my favorite Pixar film.
Aaron Hicks has put up an OPS over .800 in 3/4 months (and it's over .900 this month). As a Twins fan, how optimistic should I be?
Signs of progress - but still striking out a lot and not showing the power I expected from him. He's not lost, just not where I thought he'd be.
What's your thoughts on Pirates prospect Kyle Mcpherson? Potenital #2/#3?
Potential 4 if everything works out.
Hellickson or Shields to KC for either Hosmer or Myers? Who says no?
Personal attacks unwarranted, but you can question the wisdom of Appel/Boras. Between time value of money, injury risk and delayed arrival in the majors it seems his downside exceeds his upside. I recall a quote where a GM said part of what makes Boras so good is that he's not afraid to shoot the hostage every now and then. I think Appel may have been a case in point.
That's Boras' part of the credible commitment. Although I don't think he's had too many drafted players who've ended up severely worse off. That's happened to a few of his free agents.
Do you think Mark Appel is costing himself money in the long run? Ie. development time/arbitration eligibility. And if you were advising him, what would you have said? Its not like the Pirates' offer was chump change.
I think that argument is valid with position players, where so much production comes in their 20s so a lost year can have a ripple effect through arbitration and free agency. Pitcher aging curves are all so different and typical careers are short enough that it's more likely Appel deferred his paydays, but did not alter them.
Keith, I know you've never liked Matt Szczur much and part of the reason was his lack of patience. Now that he's drastically improved that aspect of his game, do you have a little more faith in him then before? I know you've said before that he's Juan Pierre, but if he can go .275/.360/.400 and steal 50 bases while playing a good centerfield wouldn't he be closer to Michael Bourn? (I would like to see him in AA considering he's almost 23 though)
He's also old for his level and still has the same short, slappy swing that makes me doubt he can even post a .125 ISO or hit .275 against big league pitching. He's a good example of a prospect overrated by a fan base rooting for a bad team with a thin system. As that farm gets repopulated with better prospects like Almora and Soler, expectations for the fringier guys will be reset.
Are you a fan of the band My Bloody Valentine?
Somewhat. Never quite as into them as critics were, but they had some brilliant moments.
How about a sequel to Ratatouille featuring his filthy-mouthed cousin (voiced by Anthony Bourdain)?
As long as they hire an actual French actress to voice Colette this time.
What can you tell us about Miles Head as a hitting prospect? 21 years old having a good season. Is he legit?
Strong kid, approach definitely improved this year, not a third baseman at all. A prospect for certain, just not a high-ceiling guy because of position/defense.
Have you cooked quinoa sucessfully? I bought some bulk, and it's either washed red quinoa or unwashed regular with the coating that provokes gastrointestinal distress. Is there a safe way to tell? Any tips for the preparation?
I cook it all the time. Rinse it in a change or two of water and rub the kernels together in the strainer to remove that saponin (I don't know about 'distress,' but it has a very bitter taste). Toast in a dry skillet until it starts to smell nutty, then add the liquid and salt and simmer covered until the liquid is absorbed.
My girlfriend and I are just starting to cook and have really enjoyed it so far. What's the best beginner cookbook you'd recommend?
I started with Joy of Cooking.
Any other Shoegaze/Dream Pop bands you are a fan of? Ride? Catherine Wheel?
Loved Catherine Wheel. Ride was hit or miss for me. Swervedriver. The Verve, although their best stuff came later.
You still have faith in humanity? Syria?
Or Mali, which is getting no attention in the U.S. media. 92,000 refugees in one camp in Mauritania, freeing Islamist rebels who have imposed strict sharia in the north, while also destroying historical artifacts in Timbuktu. No Security Council action on that one.
In your personal opinion, what is a fair contract (years/money) for Cole Hamels at this point in his career?
I think his career has a long tail and I'd probably, if uncomfortably, go six years for him.
You were right. The Orioles should have traded JJ Hardy last year instead of extending him.
I still don't understand that move. Granted, his 2012 collapse was not something I foresaw, but his trade value right now has to be close to nil. Not that they're aware they need to be sellers.
How many ab's would you expect addison russell to get in AZ before he goes to the Midwest league? He's clobbering the ball so far.
Haven't seen him yet myself - hoping to get him within the next 5-6 days. I would send him to Vermont, not the Midwest League. Why skip a level?
I've seen Angels prospect Jean Segura identified as both a SS and a 2B. Can he stick at SS? Also, the Angels' catchers are poor to say the least. Any young catchers they can trade for. I'd love to get Maldonado back from Milwaukee.
Fringy at short. Above average at second.
What is Jon Schoop's position in the majors. Will he play second?
I think third is his ideal position.
The difference between the O's record and run diff is staggering.
Second-worst in the AL.
do you ever think about leaving scouting to enroll in the culinary academy?
I'm too old for that - and cooking in a restaurant is a very physically demanding job that I don't think I could handle.
You believe in the United Nations?
I believe they exist. I'm unable to think of a conflict where they actually helped.
Been reading "Right Ho Jeeves." in my head, Bertram Wooster looks and sounds just like Sterling Archer.
Funny, I picture him as a young Hugh Laurie.
Is Lawrie really having as good a year defensively as WAR would suggest?
No. As I understand it, he's receiving too much credit for infield shifts.
Trout has been beyond amazing. A day without two SB or two runs is a letdown for him. This season, prorated to 162 games, has to be his ceiling, right?
This season prorated to 162 games would have him over 12 fWAR. I'm not going to predict a ceiling of a 15 fWAR season for him, if that's what you're asking.
Did you see the Emmy nominations? Downton Abbey got several (Best Drama, Lead Actor, Lead Actress, 2 Supporting Actors, 2 Supporting Actresses). Does the show have legs for multiple more seasons?
Glad to see they took it out of the Miniseries category, and that it was properly recognized - but Parks and Rec got shafted, big time. How on earth does Nick Offerman not get a nomination?
Nominations are the pitcher wins and RBIs of evaluating tv and movies.
And so are the awards. But as a fan, I do like seeing actors and writers whose work I enjoy earn some personal recognition for their efforts.
Grant Green has been playing all over the diamond lately. If the A's stay in contention, do you think he'll be called up to a super-utility role and hopefully spell Inge/Pennington a good amount? With Brett Anderson and Straily both almost ready, could the A's trade some pitching depth for a short-term upgrade at 3B?
The new Tony Phillips? He's interesting in that role and that's a team smart enough to deploy him correctly.
Are any one of Toronto's big three pitching prospects considered a top of the rotation guy
Aaron Sanchez could be.
Re your comment about seeing actors whose work I enjoy earn some personal recognition, I was delighted to see that Mayim Bialik was nominated for "Big Bang Theory." Amy Farrah Fowler is my favorite character on TV today.
I don't watch or like BBT, but Sepinwall posted the clip where Bialik's character gets the tiara from ... I don't even know his name, but I can absolutely see from that one clip (which I believe was submitted to voters) why she was nominated. She nailed it.
Have u heard anything on this guy cunningham in the braves AA system. Is he abel to take over in center if bourn doesnt sign next year.
Extra outfielder ceiling. If that.
Is Toni Cingrani capable of taking a rotation spot now for the Reds?
Not even close.
There were a bunch of articles that came out when the angels were in town that the Yankees had Trout rated the #2 prospect in the draft. Is that something that you would believe?
Possibly. I know they liked him - they were one of only three other teams there the day I saw him that spring.
Do you think the Sox are regretting giving Youkilis away?
Probably. I think they overreacted to Middlebrooks' hot start.
Did you see the Trout piece in SI? Is Beane posturing here, or were they really in on him despite passing? Also, I don't think I've ever seen stories listing his college options. Did he have any serious consideration to head to school? If so, which ones?
They were definitely in on him - that I remember. I believe he was even an outside consideration at 2, but Seattle had Ackley higher, and so did most people that year (myself included).
Have you met Bill Simmons? I could see you two being very good friends because you're both intelligent and informed. But I could also see you hating each other for the exact same reasons...
Just met him for the first time at the Futures Game, but only for a few seconds. Was disappointed we didn't get to chat. Also, he's taller than I expected, although from where I stand, most people are tall.
The rumor that Seattle was scouting Jenkins in a potential Vargas trade with StL is crazy right? Vargas and his 88 mph fastball can't get a quality prospect with his home-road splits?
Agreed. Plus teams still have their pro scouts out seeing all players, not just players they might acquire. Don't put any stock in "team X is scouting player Y tonight!" rumors.
You suffer from the Napolean Complex.
They are quite delicious. Also, learn to spell.
how tall are you?
5'6". 5'9" with the Afro.
Thanks for all the questions. I'll be at HoHoKam tonight for the Jorge Soler show and should have an omnibus AZL post up tomorrow, also discussing Skaggs and Gyorko. And I'll be back here again next week.