Like the Lady of Shalott, I am half-sick of shadows. So let's Klawchat.
How soon do you start your Arizona Fall League scouting?
Started on Tuesday. I've seen four teams twice each - haven't seen Peoria or Surprise yet.
It sounds like Brian Goodwin's skills are already creating a buzz in the AFL. Have you had a chance to see him yet? Is he helping his standing for you?
It surprises me to hear that, since he's been a little disappointing so far, not running as well as he did in the past, struggling a little in center.
I'm looking for long term power...I dont see a lot of love for CJ Cron (LAA), what is the knock on him?
No position, and some issues staying healthy. Legit power though.
Thoughts on Rendon? I know he's been hurt, but could a strong AFL campaign mean that he arrives in DC next year?
If he stays healthy, he will almost certainly spend part of 2013 in the big leagues.
Zeke Spruill? Potential 4/5 starter?
That's probably right.
As a Cubs fan with a high draft pick, should I be interested about this high school junior who is talking about graduating early to be eligible for the draft?
That's Drew Ward, who wouldn't be a candidate for where the Cubs pick - I don't rate him as a first-rounder, as he doesn't have that kind of athleticism or hit tool. He'll be older than 18.5 at next year's draft. He also will need to go to junior college to be eligible next year, which I understand he's not currently planning to do.
Are the inevitable Oscar Taveras - Vlad Guerrero comparisons reasonable, even as prospects, or are they way over the top ridiculous?
Actually it fits surprisingly well.
Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly....power bullpen arms in 2013 and beyond, or potential starters.
Both could start. Rosenthal's the better prospect and much more likely to work out as a starter.
With all the rookies the a's have in the majors, are they still have a good farm system?
They do, lot of talent in the lower levels, led by Addison Russell.
Ex ante not ex post, what was your reaction to Girardi's decision to bring in Ibanez?
I was sitting with some scouts last night in Scottsdale watching an AFL game and we were speculating about that possibility - I thought it made sense before Ibanez homered. Joe Sheehan pointed out on Twitter that Girardi should have used Ibanez for Martin, which didn't occur to me at the time.
Best team to see in AFL and best place to watch a game in AFL?
Most loaded team this year is Mesa. Best stadium by far is Salt River.
What does your draft board look like at the moment?
I did a top 30 ranking a few weeks ago. Wouldn't have changed much since then. I've heard about a few college arms throwing well in fall ball, like Mitchell at TCU and Frazier at Pepperdine.
Another hindsight question. Should Melvin have bunted with a runner on 2nd in the 9th last night and no outs or would you have had him swing away?
Would not have bunted there.
Any thoughts on the infield fly rule that occurred in last Friday's game?
Wrong call. Absolutely indefensible. Under that interpretation, any ball an infielder can reach after a sprint straight back is a potential infield fly.
I know the "hot hand" theory has been pretty well dubunked (in basketball, at least -- not sure about baseball), but it's pretty tough to imagine ARod doing what Ibanez did last night.
Is that a "hot hand" example, or a player who's hurt/fatigued/old? A-Rod's a shell right now. That's more akin to a change in skill set than a question of "hot" or "cold."
Thoughts on Brewers 1B prospect Hunter Morris. He was named the Rawlings Gold Glove Award recipient among minor-league first basemen. I realize that doesn't mean he's a great defensive first basemen, but hopefully he's at least competent.
I don't think those awards tell us anything about a player's defense. Morris has improved at first since college, but I think "average" is his ceiling.
I saw you had a few tweets regarding Heathcott last night - what are your thoughts on his potential *if he stays healthy*?
I do think he has star potential if he stays healthy, which is a huge if. He plays like his hair's on fire - which it often is due to a rare genetic mutation - and that's not a great thing for a player who's injury-prone.
You don't let the Tiger bullpen anywhere near tonights game, right? Verlander has to go all 9.
Pretty much. I'd let him go 120 pitches at least.
Have you ever eaten at a Raw Food restaurant? (and no this isn't a joke)
No. Fire makes it good.
pete kozma is playing so above his true talent right? baseball is crazy....
Way above. If you don't buy my scouting reports, look at his 2700+ PA in the minors, the last two years in AAA.
No Kent Emanuel in your top 30 predictions? Do you see him as a second rounder?
Doesn't have the raw stuff to be up there yet. Love the feel/command, though. Could easily be a sandwich-round guy.
You think Shelby Miller moves into Cards rotation and Lynn goes to pen after his midseason breakdown or they try to continue working with Lynn?
I think there will be opportunities in that rotation next year for Miller, Lynn, and Rosenthal. You can't count on Carpenter for a full season, and Garcia's completely up in the air.
Looks like a few manager changes this offseason. Do you see any GM/Scouting Director/Farm Director changes coming?
Farm Director, yes. The others, doubtful, except perhaps Miami's GM situation - but that's a better question for Buster.
Keith, when does your top 50 FA list come out?
Five days after the World Series, I believe.
Do you think Bob Engle catches on somewhere else? Possible destinations?
If he wants to, yes. One of the best in the business. Very odd how that all went down.
You have watched Javier Baez a time or two so far in the AFL right? I know his problem is his patience, but how good could he be if he becomes a patient hitter?
That kind of bat speed and hand/wrist strength is really unusual, and he's athletic enough to play shortstop with some work. But his lack of patience is an issue - he's trying to do way too much with each swing, and doesn't get himself into ideal counts. After that bomb he hit in his first at bat here, no one is throwing him anything on the inner half he can crush.
Keith, would you put Ynoa on the 40 man to save him from the Rule 5 Draft?
Why don't you think Red Sox prospect Marquez Smith is getting no buzz, he has always put up impressive numbers
He's 27 and has limited tools. Not a prospect.
Hey Keith. Any thoughts on the new Mumford & Sons album? Don't fix it if it's not broken, or too little development?
Haven't listened to it enough to judge it. I've liked it so far, but I want to give it a few more complete listens before offering any kind of review.
By the way, completely random music thought of the day: "Some Nights" by fun. seems like exactly the kind of song that wins (or is at least nominated for) the Grammy for Record of the Year.
If Jaime Garcia does not need shoulder surgery, might the Cards decide that his trade value may never be higher or is it too late.
Even though "Some Nights" is a blatant rip off of "Cecilia"?
Wow, I didn't catch that. I did notice that Philip Phillips' "Home" is a blatant ripoff of Mumford & Sons' "Awake My Soul."
What kind of maket is Madson going to find this winter? How much of a discount do post-TJ guys get?
I think there will be a lot of interest, with offers of one-year, incentive-heavy deals.
Does Votto's power outage concern you at all? 4 months is a long time for a hitter like that to not hit a homerun. Understand the knee injury, but should that really sap his power this bad?
Most power hitters get power from their legs. Very few can generate power just from their upper bodies.
Did you see this on Deadspin today http://tinyurl.com/8vq44zq ? Is this normal behavior for GMs?
I discussed this on today's podcast. In short, if that comment is accurate, it's cowardly. Put your name to that, or don't state it at all.
I love that you love bacon fat. I can imagine you leaving me money if only I put it under my pillow. Anyhow, temp doesn't matter? Just in a jar somewhere in the kitchen?
I refrigerate it. Too warm in the house here in AZ, at least.
Madson will go to Tampa and become the best closer in baseball because that's just what happens.
I have no argument with this.
Aren't the Cardinals an awful potential matchup for Cincinnati? Almost all right handed pitchers against a team where the only lefties are a clearly unhealthy Joey Votto and a streaky Jay Bruce.
I tend to agree - I'd probably pick the Cardinals if those two teams advance.
Why are the A's the only team that wears white cleats?
Because MLB rejected their request to wear spats.
No, Cecilia goes "bum bum bum ba BUM bum"
Since when did you care about the grammys ?!
You think I give a damn about a grammy?
Any White Sox...umm "Prospects" that have peaked your interest this AFL?
Trayce Thompson is interesting. Just wish he was a better runner.
Klaw, if a team called you to be their GM is it a no brainer " yes" for you?
I wouldn't take any job that wasn't right for my family.
Thoughts on pumpkin ales? Fvaorite fall carft brews?
Get your squash out of my beer.
Why does everyone, even seemingly rational people, continue to rip Rizzo for Strasburg when they know so little about Strasburg's medicals? It could be brilliant, it could be idiotic, but no one outside of the Nationals organization can answer that with any authority whatsoever.
I said almost exactly this on the podcast today. I agree completely.
Red Sox have #7 pick. Invest in a pitcher, or a bat?
Best player available.
Can we get your thoughts on CLE's Ronny Rodriguez and Dorssys Paulino? Thanks!
Loved what I saw from Paulino this summer. Ronny's got ability but his approach is really, really raw.
Thoughts on Aaron Judge?
A guy that big should hit for more power. If he does, he'll go high. He might be Richie Sexson, but without power that's not much of a prospect.
Better AFL Home Run: Singleton or Baez?
If you are a team drafting between 10-20 would you give up a first round pick to sign a type-A Free agent? Dave Cameron suggested the M's go after Swisher just curious to hear your thoughts on this.
I would not, unless I thought my team was just a player away from the postseason.
Is Nick Struck in the Cubs' organization anyone to get excited about?
I don't think so.
Is it unreasonable to think that Leyland shouldve had Verlander available to close out the 9th last night? Chances Verlander gives up 2 or more runs: ~1% Valverde: ~10%. Couldve used him and still had him ready for Game 1 of the ALCS.
I think that's unreasonable, yes.
If Brandon Moss plays a full season in 2013, what do you expect, stat-wise?
You still think Brandon Belt > Freddie Freeman?
If Belt were just left alone, yes, absolutely. Too bad the Giants are always busy screwing with his swing.
Did we ever get a replacement for Puig on the Mesa AFL roster?
No. He was on the taxi squad (only plays Weds/Sat) so they might not replace him.
is anyone in the MLB front office talking about Nolan's comments on Hamilton quitting chew? i think he's sending an awful message, that some one should put off quitting an addicition if it helps his team win ...
I had that thought too. Health should come first, right? Especially for a player who's struggled with addictions before.
Hey Keith, I'm a huge fan of your work on the Baseball Today podcasts and love your site The dish. Keep up the fine work. My question to you is with the Red Sox need to acquire some talent via free agency or trade, who's their best trade chip/prospect? And would you be willing to give them up if the right trade came along like for instance, a Justin Upton, or would you build the team with prospects?
I think they need to get back to building around homegrown talent. That'll take a few years, but they do have some potential regulars (or better) in AA already.
Do you think Shelby Miller was really dominant in his one start this season or was it that the Reds didn't really care about that game?
Could it be both? He has ace stuff.
Which one you prefer: Ron Centenario, Brugal, Barcelo, Flor de Cana , Abuelo or Zacapa? Asuming non of them is the 7 year old bottle (please don't say Bacardi!)
I'm not sure if I've had any of those. Except Bacardi, which is swill. The only ones I've seen out here in AZ are Zacapa and Flor de Cana.
Would you start Saunders or Tillman tonight?
Keith, you're hired tomorrow to be the GM of the Phillies.. would you have it in you to bring in a platoon guy for Ryan Howard?
No question. That might be Ruf's only way to have real major league value.
My local bar had Blue Moon listed under it's craft beers. I took the liberty to cross it off their chalkboard and now apparently I'm the A-hole and I'm not welcome anymore. Also, I'm bored, overall.
No good deed goes unpunished.
Do you have a problem with 20 year old Manny Machado taking part in the Orioles celebration after their wild card win? Only asking because I know Harper didn't take part in any of the Nationals celebrations.
No problem at all.
If your the Braves, what do you do with Tommy Hanson?
I'm afraid he's just not going to be healthy again.
Any thoughts on Tyrone Taylor? Great start to his pro career, then got hurt very soon after being promoted to Helena.
Liked the raw tools a lot, impressed at some of the swing changes he made from the start of the spring to the draft. Might be the best prospect they got out of this draft.
Klaw, do you feel MLB is contradictory with their participation in the " it gets better " campaign while rookie hazing is still permitted?
That might be a stretch for me - but I do think the rookie hazing can be pretty stupid. There's a little bit of a homophobic streak to a lot of it that bothers me.
I'm curious as to why you put One Hundred Years of Solitude so high (low?) on your Top 100? I know you appreciate pacing, so didn't you feel the middle 200 pages were a bit...redundant?
I didn't struggle with the pacing there - I was totally lost in the world of that book, like I was in the middle of a dream from the opening until the final page.
If I ever make it to Arizona (and my wife has it in the plans) I will get you a Dominican rum. Big fan of your work!
¡Gracias! I did try Ron Atlantico, which I really enjoyed both straight and as a mixing rum (which is generally how I drink most distilled spirits).
Does a Will Middlebrooks for Brandon Belt trade work for both clubs?
What's Boston's motivation to do that?
Do you buy this "Greinke can't pitch in a big market" thing? The whole narrative makes me a little uncomfortable, like people see anxiety as a weakness rather than a treatable disorder.
I don't buy it either.
I know it hasn't been an issue yet, but this home-away split for the divisional series rounds can't last, right? Doesn't seem remotely fair for the better team to have to play first 2 games on the road.
I believe it's gone next year. This was the consequence of forcing the one-game wild card playoff into this year's schedule so late in the calendar year.
Do you believe in brining meats? I've had good success with chicken and pork. Sometimes gets a bit salty depending upon length of brine but I've got a bit of a salty pallet. Michael Symon is not a believer because of texture issues.
I do, anything lean like white-meat chicken, pork chops, or pork tenderloin.
You don't believe in momentum from last night for Yankees/A's, right?
I do not.
Momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher - and also a fresh bullpen.
If Heathcott tones it a down, does he lose what gives him star potential? Seems like a catch 22 situation.
No, the star potential is from the athleticism - plus runner, really good swing, strong hands. Just needs to dial it down one notch.
If you were Jon Daniels, would you look to trade Elvis Andrus and a couple tier-2 prospects for Josh Hamilton's replacement (keeping Justin Upton in mind here)?
I'd consider trading Andrus for the best return I can find, but not necessarily to fill that specific hole.
Klaw do you you enjoy Greek food? Mike Isabella is opening one here in DC soon. If you had the Red Sox's 7th pick who would you consider at that spot? Thanks for the great coverage you provide.
Love Greek food done well, which is a rare thing in my experience. Pitta Souvli here in Chandler is really good. Best player available at the 7th pick might be one of the Georgia HS bats, Meadows or Frazier, or a college arm outside of the top three. It's a weird spot to pick in unless the class improves a lot between now and June.
Online videos have Japanese HS pitcher Shohei Otani throwing 97-99 mph with some serious downward plane action. Is he considered an amateur free agent like Yoenis Cespedes? Is he good enough that teams would ignore the a??gentlemana??s agreementa?ư between MLB and NPB to stay away from Japanese amateur players?
This is like the Yusei Kikuchi situation a few years ago - not a true free agent. He'd have to be posted by his NPB team. Their free agency system is so anti-player that I don't blame anyone for trying to jump over here.
Up to date on Homeland? Really good so far, though I have no idea where they're going with the new story lines.
Agreed. I don't see how they can extend the Brody storyline into a third season - it was a stretch to even get him into the second one.
The pink can be annoying but breast/all cancer really sucks. My wife, in her 30's, was just diagnosed. Not to be a chat bummer but seriously ladies and gents, feel your personal parts. Try to catch it early. My wife had zero cancer in her family history but cancer don't care. Cancer just don't care. #fcancer
Well I'm very sorry to hear about the diagnosis. Good luck to hear during her treatment - please keep me posted. Don't neglect the mental/psychological impact of the news on both your wife and on you.
I should clarify that I'm not 100% sure on Otani's status. The NPB draft is on the 25th and if he's drafted, I think he'd then have to be posted.
Keith, what's your view of Lucas Harrell moving into the AL? Will his numbers suffer significantly or can Astros fans expect similar results to '12?
Not a believer. I think this is his high-water mark.
Does the SSS over long periods of time make career postseason stats statistically insignificant? Seems like 300 PA's over 17 years would hardly be meaningful
Especially since players change over time.
Thanks for all the questions. I'll be back for another chat in two weeks. Enjoy the games today!