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August 2, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

I'm also boycotting Chik-Fil-A ... because their food isn't any good.

Jeff (NYC)

I see Oakland has called up Dan Straily. He's risen so quickly this year. Is this year just a small sample or do you think he's a legit major league impact arm in 2013?

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

I haven't seen him myself, so I've talked to a lot of scouts who have and execs who've got reports on him. I think the reasonable expectation is a league-average starter, maybe a guy who looks better than that because of his home park/defense. Good command, four average-or-better pitches, changeup a 55 and his best pitch. Heck of a 24th round draft pick.

Don (Indiana)

are the cubs happier with vizcaino for maholm and dempster for 2 A level players or would they have rather had delgado for dempster?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

I think they're happy with this outcome. I prefer Vizcaino, even with the injury risk, to Delgado.

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

I shouldn't say injury risk - just the fact that he's currently recovering from surgery.

Mike (Chicago)

I heard you singing Baez's praises on the radio the other day. Current lack of plate discipline aside, does he crack the Top 20 prospects this offseason?

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

Doubt I'd put anyone with that lack of patience in the top 20. Never say never, though.

Nora (St. Louis)

The Cardinals now have a +102 run differential. I know you've said they are a sleeping giant. Do you expect them to overtake the Pirates and Reds?

Klaw
  (1:10 PM)

I think they finish 2nd, ahead of Pittsburgh.

Jason (Phoenix)

Do you believe Chris Johnson will be more productive now that he is in a much better offense? 2 HRs in LA is a great start, but i don't expect him to play thaaat well.

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

No. Your context-independent stats aren't determined by who's hitting in the same lineup.

John (Delta, PA)

Will Tyler Cloyd be a serviceable #5 starter or more of a bullpen guy? Also, when a team kicks in cash in a trade to help pay a player's salary, does that cash count against the team's payroll for that year? Thanks for the chat and your book suggestion of "The Last Good Kiss."

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

He could be a 5. Don't see more than that.

Drew (Madison)

Keith, Miguel Sano has walked a lot more this year, but still K's at a huge rate. Should a three true outcome hitters at that young age scare me?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

Can't scout the stat line. He's really young, and I'm hearing the quality of his ABs is good and improving.

Dave (PA)

I know that #umpshow is a running joke that you have going on Twitter. That said, what exactly changed between the time when MLB basically destroyed the umpire's union and booted a bunch of umps, and now, when no one seems to want to or is able to challenge the umps at all?

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

I wish I knew. MLB does do some umpire evaluation behind the scenes, but why not make the process more transparent?

Benjamin (Indiana)

Keith, will Starling Marte ever draw a walk?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

Yes, I think he'll draw at least one this season.

Jon (NYC)

Can Matt Harvey be a top-of-the-rotation starter?

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

It's possible.

Eric (Atlanta)

What's your take on J.R. Graham's ceiling? Starter or reliever in the bigs?

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

Probably a reliever, but greater chance to end up a starter now than he had coming out of Santa Clara.

Todd (Philly)

Does Travis Snider turn the corner in Pitt or is he destined for 4th outfielder status?

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

I'm very bearish on him. He has a ton of adjustments to make, hasn't had success making them so far, and has a hard time staying healthy.

John (Philadelphia)

Keith, do you think Cody Asche will be an everyday 3B in the majors?

Klaw
  (1:18 PM)

No.

Jack (Toronto)

What are your early impressions of Soler? Can he move quickly?

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

Big-time power and bat speed. At bats have not been great and he's hit a lot of balls on the ground - I don't think those are long-term issues, but it does say to me that he's still shaking off the rust.

Grant (NYC)

Stroman skipped three levels to New Hampshire. September callup only if they're contending, or will he get it regardless?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

He didn't really skip those levels - he probably would have started there if he'd signed the week after the draft, but since he had a layoff the Jays started him at a level that was otherwise too low for him. I would absolutely call him up if I were Toronto, to help the club and to help prep him for next year.

Kevin (Ottawa)

Any thoughts on Roberto Osuna's debut for Vancouver?

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

It's just one game, and one box score line can't affect anyone's evaluation of a player. He's fairly advanced for his age, without a lot of projection, but is up to 95 and will show a pretty good breaking ball. Probably a mid-rotation ceiling, slightly above league-average. I wouldn't rank him ahead of Sanchez or Nicolino, to give you some sense of it.

Imre (Missoula, MT)

Speaking of Baez, is his current lack of plate discipline concerning to you long term? As he is very young still, is this something he can, or is likely to, correct?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

It fits with what I've seen of him in the past - he's not disciplined, and he goes up there intending to take his hacks. His bat speed is so good that right now it's not holding him back, but eventually he will have to develop a better approach.

Mitch (Denver)

Hey Keith--does a september cup of coffee count against a player's service time?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

Any day on the major league roster or either major league DL is a day of service, and requires that the player be on the 40-man roster.

John (Portland, ME)

Thoughts on Henry Ownens? I'm starting to hear his name after Barnes as the best Red Sox pitching prospect.

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

Getting overrated on performance. Deception guy with some projection left but doesn't currently have plus stuff.

Tony (Chicago)

Does Vizcaino have any chance of still being a starting pitcher? Or is he destined for the bullpen?

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

I see him as a starter. Cubs do too.

JM (Nashville)

What's so bad about Brett Jackson striking out so much? Lot's of big leaguers have a K-rate similar (Dunn, Reynolds, A. Jackson) to his, but I would argue he's a better and more valuable player than any of them. He draws a lot of walks, plays plus defense, and is most likely a 20-20 HR/SB threat. He may K 175 times a season and only hit .260, but in this non-steroid age, that's good enough, isn't it?

Klaw
  (1:31 PM)

If he strikes out 175 times in a 600 AB season, that's actually a lower K rate than he's shown in AAA this year. Even so, if he then hits .260, that's a .368 batting average on contact, and about a .336 BABIP if 20 of those hits are HR. So you're arguing he'll be among the top 25-30 hitters in baseball in those stats. I don't see it at all - and I don't rate his defense as high as you do.

JJ (Liberty Twp, OH)

How can "Vertigo" be the best movie ever, when "Rear Window" and "Psycho" were both better films?

Klaw
  (1:32 PM)

North by Northwest and Strangers on a Train are both far better than Vertigo or Psycho.

David Faris (Chicago)

Michael Fiers still dealing. Real development or is the league about to catch up to him?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Won't last. Can be a capable back-end guy.

Patrick (New Orleans)

How good is Mike Olt's power, plate discipline, and glove?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Plus, fair, and plus at third.

Chris (NY)

If you were offered you own cooking show at a comparable salary, would you switch professions??

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Call my agent.

Tim (Naperville)

It's almost Josh Vitters Time! Do you expect him to be a first-division player or more of a Break In Case of Emergency guy?

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

More the latter. Great swing, approach really hasn't improved at all over his years in pro ball, mediocre defender at third.

Greg (St. Charles)

Profar for Taveras. Who blinks first?

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

I've ranked Profar higher.

TJ (Detroit)

Zach Cox for Edward Mujica- what happened? Granted Mujica can be a helpful bullpen arm, but still...

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

Cox' non-performance this year and the departure of the scouting director who drafted him made him expendable. I still see major league value there - but the fact that he's not getting better at third base is a real problem.

Keith (New york)

What happened to Ike Davis' swing? He looks flat footed some times, jumpy others. Still a chance he turns out to be an above average 1B?

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

Got his hands way back and down, creating unneeded length there.

Rob (Houston, baby)

If Houston has the first pick in the 2013 draft draft (likely) and Appel is the consensus best player in the draft (also likely), do the Astros pass on him again? Or will next year's draft be thin enough that burning all their slot money on one player will make better sense?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

Way too soon to offer an informed opinion on that. Appel will almost certainly be a top 5 player next year, but there are other 1-1 candidates out there - Manaea, Stanek, and Meadows for starters. Appel has the advantage of a longer track record.

T (Boston)

What position will Bogaerts play and when do you think the switch is made? I know you try and maximize value by keeping him at the tougher position but, if he's going to switch, doesn't he have to start learning the new position as he gets closer to the majors?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

Third base. Probably next year.

Keith (New York)

Harvey appears to have the raw stuff to be a top end starter, and everyone raves about his makeup. Why the hesitation?

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

The raw stuff you saw in his big league debut is better than the raw stuff he had in the minors earlier this year.

DK (DC)

Is Tommy Joseph going to stay at catcher or will the Phillies change his position with Valle in AAA?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

Have to leave him at catcher.

Dean (FL)

Thoughts on Starling Marte so far?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

32 AB is a tiny sample.

MRA (Pasadena, CA)

Kolten Wong - Does he have a likely outcome (not floor or ceiling) of Fernando Vina = 280/360/440 & league avg D? Or Adam Kennedy?

Klaw
  (1:39 PM)

I'd take the under, slightly.

Turner (Boise, ID)

Carter Caps and Stephen Pryor have moved pretty quickly through the M's system. Either guy have the makeup of a future closer?

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

Being a closer isn't about makeup - it's about stuff first, and command second. Capps has that kind of combination. I don't think Pryor does.

Tim (NY)

What's going on with Hosmer?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

Got his hands very high and tight, looks like it's affecting his ability to really square the ball up, to get maximum force into contact. I'm not certain that's the problem but it does fit.

Mick (Illinois)

What do you see for Brandon Belt's future? Do you think he will fall by the wayside along with other failed prospects?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

I think he needs out of SF, to a team that won't constantly try to change his swing. Detecting a theme in today's chat.

Kyle (Chicago)

Thoughts on Dillon Maples?

Klaw
  (1:47 PM)

Reliever, if healthy, which he hasn't been.

Steve (California)

On a scale of 1-10, how big of a mistake was it for the Mets to not trade Hairston at the deadline? Obviously they aren't going anywhere, but this is like a 2 right? Bunch of Mets fan destroying Sandy on the blogs for this.

Klaw
  (1:48 PM)

I see zero value in retaining Hairston. If there was an offer out there, they should have just taken the best one.

Charles (San Jose)

Have you noticed any improvements by Patrick Corbin?

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

Last time I saw him was his relief outing after Bauer's start vs San Diego - fastball velo was a little higher, changeup still very good, but of course that was in relief rather than stretched out for 100 pitches.

Rob (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

Your thoughts on Robert Stephenson?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

He's good. Starter up to 98. Little violence in the delivery but not enough to worry me about him starting.

Andy (NY)

Do you foresee a post-hype sleeper breakout from Brett Wallace in HOU?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

No.

Greg (St. Charles)

If the draft were held today, would Michael Wacha be in the top 10?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

No.

Steve (California)

Is Wheeler the best prospect traded at the last two deadlines?

Klaw
  (1:51 PM)

Yes.

Nick (Washington DC)

You've said a number of times that the possibility of an extension is worthless when a team trades for a FA-to-be. I disagree - only one team can extend a guy, and extensions do happen. Doesn't an exclusive signing period when there are no other offers you need to beat provide some value to a team that would like to sign the player in the following off season?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

What is that value? Put a number on it, even a small range. Are you arguing that you're getting a discount on the player because he's not a free agent yet? That assumes, incorrectly in my eyes, that the player's agent is doing a poor job of assessing the market for his player. And if you're just paying market value, what have you actually gained?

Wins, Saves, RBI, and Runs (Cooperstown)

We're just sitting around having an Oreo Eating Party (one to which you are not invited, sir!) and was wondering who you saw as the best prospects dealt at ther Trade Deadline?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

Vizcaino, Turner, Segura.

Dan (RI)

Hi Keith, Sorry this is a draft questions. But I was curious as to how the exact drafting process works. With only minutes between team picks, how exactly are each pick submitted? Also, was the current process the same as when you were in Toronto?Thank you.

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

Via phone. I think the process is the same but of course the time is different with the advent of the draft telecast.

Paul A. (Temecula)

Where do you place the odds that Andrew Cashner holds up as a starter next season?

Klaw
  (1:54 PM)

Very low. Has the stuff, not the durability.

Jeff (Columbus)

Klaw, isn't it maddening how many people don't understand what the First Amendment actually protects us from? Urging others to boycott Chick Fil-A is NOT a violation of Mr. Cathy's free speech rights. Simple as that.

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

Americans' lack of understanding what's actually in the Constitution and its Amendments is appalling. But it's not like we were taught much about it in school - at least, I wasn't.

Dave ((Glen Ridge, NJ))

With regards to Wheeler, I know you'd advise keeping him put @ AAA, but given Harvey's success and the Metropolitans needing something to spice up this rag doll of a season, why not promote him?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

Why not just make the fans the GM?

Jordanna (Boston)

Besides Giolito (who killed the bonus pool, I know), is there anyone else in the Nats draft worth keeping an eye on?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

Mooneyham is something, maybe a back-end starter, but you're right that Giolito is essentially their entire draft. Hearing good things on his workouts in Florida. He's healthy and his velocity is fine.

Josh (DC)

ZiPS has Olt ROS: 237/320/414, 6 HR. Make sense to you?

Klaw
  (1:57 PM)

The HR total looks low if he plays every day. Otherwise, sure.

Alex (Oakland)

Buster Olney reported that the qualifying offer will be 13.3-13.4 million instead of the previously reported 12.5 million. Other than Josh Hamilton(Texas) and Michael Bourn(Atlanta), do you see any team making a 13m+ one year qualifying offer to any free agents?

Klaw
  (1:58 PM)

Quick glance at the list ... Greinke? That might be it.

Joe (North Carolina)

Can Wil Myers stick in centerfield at the ML level defensively - or is his future strictly as a corner outfielder?

Klaw
  (1:59 PM)

Right field.

Bill ( Houston)

Do you foresee a post-hype sleeper breakout from Dominic Brown in PHI?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

He wasn't exactly tearing up AAA. I do think he has a better chance to figure it out than Snider, but that's faint praise.

John (Alaska)

What do you make of Tom Wilhelmsen? Future SP or lockdown closer? His stuff is nasty...

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

Not a starter.

Keith (Chicago)

Are you a grateful dead man ?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

(checks pulse) ... nope, still living.

Steve (California)

Isn't Greinke not eligible for a qualifying offer now that he got traded midseason, or am I missing something?

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

You're absolutely right. I was thinking just in terms of who I'd rank up top for my FA rankings this winter, not about the rules. So probably just those two guys.

Chris (KC)

Do you have a higher opinion of Stanek than you used to? At one point you saw him as a reliever in the long run; sounds like you like him better now.

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

Raised his arm slot slightly without losing any stuff. Makes a big difference in his potential to start.

Scott (Waltham, MA)

Mark Rogers: sticking in MIL rotation for forseeable future or definitely pen bound before long?

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

Pen guy. Doesn't throw enough strikes to start. No history of staying healthy.

Phil (South Jersey)

Putting aside the injuries and off field issues, does Tyson Gillies have the tools to be an everyday centerfielder in the MLB?

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

No, just the raw speed.

Tom (Costa Mesa)

Any chance Kaleb Cowart cracks your top 100 next season?

Klaw
  (2:03 PM)

Quite likely.

Danielle (VA)

If you were Mike Rizzo would yo shut down Strasburg or not?

Klaw
  (2:04 PM)

I probably would not at this point. But I'm not second-guessing the Nats here. Perhaps Strasburg's doctors have advised a limited workload this year.

Mark (boston)

KLaw when you talk about a catcher's receiving skills what do you specifically mean? Literally catching the ball or are factors like quick release in play? Doesn't seem like simply "receiving" pitches should be that difficult to pick up.

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

But it is. Depends on how hard/soft your hands are, and how strong. Some guys can just grab a pitch and freeze their hands to keep it in the zone. Some stab and dive and otherwise catch like they've got goat's heads in their gloves.

Joe (Chicago)

Any chance the Mark Montgomery is a top ten Yankees prospect next season?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

I don't boost relievers that much in my rankings, but I do like Montgomery for what he is.

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

OK, I need to get rolling here - thanks for all the questions. I'll be back in two weeks, since I'll be at the Area Code Games next week. Also, I'm headed to Scottsdale Stadium tonight to try to see Yasiel Puig in an AZL game, so I hope to see a few of you there.