Hide your crazy. It's Klawchat.
Brandon Maurer is getting lots of buzz. What is his short term and long term outlook ? Thanks.
Blogged about him two weeks ago - I would strongly consider putting him on the big league staff, even in the rotation, right now. The stuff is there, including a plus slider, but it's not a great delivery and he's had a lot of arm problems. If the bullets are finite here, might as well use them in the majors.
When Xander Bogaerts is major league ready, what do you think about putting him in left field, with Iglesias at Short, Middebrooks at 3rd, and JBJ at center?
That's a fairly substantial value loss. Why not put Bogaerts at short, find a competent left fielder, and put Iglesias on the bench or in AAA?
has your view on valdespin changed at all ? looks at the statistics, over hes last 100 PA in the majors last year, his walk rate was over 7%, and in winter ball hes continued his strong walk rate, and its continued over in spring training. i think valdespin shouldve been on your breakout list. hes primed to have a big season, a 20-20 seaon with a decent OBP is in the works.
100 PA is a miniscule sample, not that 7% is such a great walk rate anyway. More to the point, he leaks badly at the plate and I have zero faith in players who do that.
Is the problem with spring training stats more the size of the sample or the uneven quality of competition? Carson Cistulli posted an interesting piece yesterday on the hitters Teheran has faced this spring, which might justify reading a little more into his good numbers. Do you feel there is room for a more in-depth look at spring stats like this?
When you carve up a small sample into smaller samples, what do you get?
Is there a player from the past who could be considered a comparison to Atlanta's 26-year-old slugging catcher Evan Gattis?
You forgot the quotes around "catcher."
Who should be the Snakes 5th starter: Delgado or Corbin?
Thoughts on Puig joining the crowded Dodger OF? What do they do with him this year and beyond with the long term contracts with Kemp (I could be wrong), Either, and Crawford?
The overrating of Puig based on a few weeks of spring training is one of this year's best non-story storylines.
I know spring training means nothings, but what if you have two guys competing for one spot and one guy is having a great spring and the other is not. Is that how you'd decide to put on the roster?
No. I'd be looking at approach, mechanics, and track record prior to this season.
How dare you! I'm way more overrated than Puig based on spring training stats!!
This is true.
What are your thoughts on the Orioles starting Schoop at SS at AAA Norfolk? Do you see this as an indication of the Orioles keeping Machado at 3rd or just a position (for Schoop) that could change in the future?
I think it's a better way to develop Schoop. That said, I might start him at AA.
Do the Brewers prospects get under-scouted, and thus under hyped, in the spring because Maryvale is such a slum?
No. Their prospects just aren't that good.
Saw an article from earlier this week that reported that the primary problem with Bubba Starling's swing was that it "tends to get long and flat on occasion." Royals scouting director J.J. Picollo also said that Starling does not yet always recognize when his swing starts to get "jumpy". In other words, Starling still seems to lack consistency with his swing mechanics. How fixable are these problems? Should Royals fans be worried?
I don't think there's anything unfixable there, but he is clearly pretty raw for an American-born position player his age. I don't see any reason for Royals fans to worry, but you should temper your expectations.
Rumour is the Tigers offered Porcello for Gregorson or Street...why would the tigers trade him for a reliever...seems like a dumb idea
No clue if that's true, but I would jump all over that offer.
Do you honestly think Skaggs can be a # 1 or 2 pitcher? Every time I see him pitch he gets lit up....I wonder if he is more of a good 4A pitcher.... Or is it going to take some time for him to realize he needs to use his fastball about 30% if he can't locate it..?
His velocity wasn't all there this spring, which isn't a great sign. At 92-94 with that curveball, he's a potential #2. At 88-91, he's not.
If I stay on the field for 140 games, do I hit 35 HR this year?
Tribe just sent Trevor Bauer to the Minors. That means either Kazmir or Carrasco is their 5th starter. Which would you go with?
Not that they were wrong to send Bauer down so he can work on the changes to his delivery that he's been discussing lately. Just that those two options are unpalatable.
Regarding Starling, I'd rather have an eight million dollar lottery ticket than, say, some middle reliever for 2 years 8 mil. Right?
What separates Gray from Appel at this point? Anything other than track record of performance?
Command too. Plus Gray's conditioning got substantially better this year, which is to his credit, but also means he'll probably have to maintain that high work ethic to keep his body in this kind of shape. I am a big Gray fan, so this is more about why I'd take Appel over him rather than a criticism of Gray. Also, I think Appel could pitch in the majors in September, whereas I don't think Gray is quite that advanced.
I know ST stats mean nothing, but Rick Porcello has 18k-0bb in 18ip. Is this for real or just another ST mirage?
The fact that he's faced about 70 hitters without walking one is a positive. Not an enormous one, but I think it's fair to see that as a good sign. I just don't think you can extrapolate from that alone into saying he's a whole new pitcher, nor would I take anything away from his 2.50 ERA (which is actually higher than his spring ERA from last year).
Yankees are unlucky, or this is just what happens when your team is full of 30+ year old guys with lots of mileage?
How about both?
So now that Chapman is back in the pen, has his chances of being a starter all but ended?
I believe that ship has sunk.
It's hard not to get excited to see how well Teheran has looked so far. Is this just inflated ST stats, or are you hearing good things on him?
I have heard good things from people who've seen him, yes. Commanding the FB better, CB looks better ... but to be honest, I'll believe all of that when I see it in a real game in April.
Nats completed the Morse/Aj Cole trade by getting LHP Ian Krol as the PTBNL yesterday. Is he a prospect of any kind?
Fringy stuff guy, doesn't have a knockout breaking ball that would point to a LHR role.
The Dodgers only lose about a win for the time that H. Ramirez is down, right?
Maybe two, at worst.
Klaw, seething Reds fan here. They have to trade Broxton or Chapman for a starter, right?
How? Broxton's contract makes him immovable. And what exactly is proper trade value for Chapman?
Rob Brantly going to last in the majors as a top 10 catcher or more of a defensive catcher?
He is a brutal defensive catcher. I think he ends up losing the job by midyear. He cannot catch.
I hear from the SF writers that Lincecum is having trouble commanding his 4-seam fastball. I can understand having too much movement (or not enough) on a 2-seamer, but an issue with a 4-seamer? That strikes me as odd and worrisome for a pitcher of his experience. Thoughts?
He's never had great command of the fastball. It just didn't matter when he was sitting 95. At 90, it's kind of an issue.
Is Stefen Romero's bat for real? He was old for Hi-A last year, but he still crushed. I know he doesn't have a likely position, so will his bat ever play up to a DH role at the major league level?
Don't think so. Can hit some, not a great power bat IMO, don't see it profiling at DH.
Twins 2015 rotation: Meyer, May, Gibson, Diamond, Worley? What are your thoughts on the potential of that fivesome?
Meyer and Gibson, yes. Diamond is just a 5th starter type. Not sure May ever has the command needed for that. They'll need to do better. Wouldn't be shocked to see them pop one of the top college starters with the first pick this year.
Any thoughts yet on Armando Rivero?
Not until I see him pitch. I'll blog about him when I do.
Thoughts on Ryne Stanek's shaky start?
Calling way too many sliders and then overreacting to one bad outing by moving him to Sunday isn't really helping anyone's cause here. I do think it hurts his draft stock a little with guys like Gray, Shipley, and Anderson all dealing right now.
I know you are not that high on Puig. Other writers I have seen are comparing him to Bo Jackson and calling him a 5-tool impact player. What is it that you don't like about Puig? Thank you.
A five-tool player would have above-average or, preferably, plus tools in all five categories: hit, power, speed, glove, arm. The term is insanely overused in the media, usually about as accurately as it was used in "Trouble with the Curve." Puig has plus power. He might end up a plus hitter, although he's not that right now; it's a pretty quiet setup and swing, which is a positive, but I don't think his plate discipline is ready yet. He's an average runner down the line, I haven't seen him play a good corner OF, and I've seen him go from having arm strength to bouncing a throw to the cutoff man. That's not a five-tool guy and it sure as hell ain't Bo Jackson. An optimistic forecast might have him a 30-homer guy in a few years with a high average but just moderate OBPs, while playing adequate defense in left. That's a good player, but not a superstar.
Also: When you hear a player compared to Bo Jackson, just stop listening.
Some analysts/unnamed GMs said Cherington gave out a lot of money for mediocrity this year. I do think Victorino/Gomes/Dempster and possibly Napoli were overpaid for too long. What would have been the alternative?
The Dempster deal seemed reasonable to me. Napoli's original contract was awful, and Victorino's was, IMO, the worst of the offseason.
Could you see Manuel Margot making top 100 lists a year from now?
Yes, which is why I named him as a sleeper prospect in Boston's system: http://klaw.me/11L9faa
I just finished two seasons of Homeland. Good story, strong writing, relatively free of plot contrivances. Yet the lack of truly great characters places its ceiling somewhere below that of my hit HBO series. I would love to hear your take on this.
What kind of ceiling do you give JR Graham? Is he a starter long term?
He was on my top 100 prospects ranking, where I discussed his skill set and ceiling: http://klaw.me/12q29rq
Who are 3 players from your prospect list that deserve to be on opening day rosters both due to team need and also ability to provide immediate impact (understanding some teams don't need to rush their youngsters like the Cards with Taveras)?
Eaton, who has a job. Gyorko, if the Padres believe he can handle second (and I've been told by scouts he's looked better there this spring). Wil Myers, but I doubt the Rays bring him up before mid-June.
True/False: Oakland A's have moved to San Jose by 2016.
I hope so, for everyone involved, including A's fans.
It seems thar Allen Webster and Joey Gallo are geting raves for making forward strides this spring. Have any noted any other prospects that may have taken a notable step up in their development?
Yeah, that's an end run around the "spring training stats are useless" thing.
So, how many names did you run through before coming up with 'Behind the Dish'?
Not that many, although my original suggestion, "Bad Makeup with Keith Law," was rejected.
Keith, I've read that you are not interested in Game of Thrones... I'm curious, why not? It's the highest rated (by IMDB) dramatic TV series of all time (tied with The Wire).
Popularity contest, no? Kind of like when Modern Library did its own top 100 novels list and held a readers' poll, which produced a top ten that was more than half filled by Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard.
What's the best way to cook pork chops? Whenever I bake them I always wish they were more tender.
Brine them first, then either grill them (first over direct heat, then finish over indirect), or sear them in a super-hot skillet and finish in the oven. Don't cook past medium or you'll end up with rubber.
You said Mondesi could by KC's profar, does that mean he has the upside to be the#1 prospect in baseball in say two years?
He has the upside to be a top 10 prospect in two years.
Are you generally in favor of long novels that require quite a bit of attention and commitment, or shorter works that can be read in a few days? I used to enjoy long novels but my patience has worn thin as I got older.
I prefer short novels, even though I read a lot of massive tomes. Long novels still intimidate me.
What impact does handedness have in baseline observations for scouts? For instance, a LHP who throws 89-91 with other skills like command and good secondary pitches could be a first day guy. A RHP with the same profile is a mid to late round guy, unless that velocity gets up to 92-95. Is this real?
That's roughly right. The scale is different for the different handednesses.
Wade Davis, starting pitcher...Great idea? Or disaster waiting to happen?
If his shoulder can't handle it, unfortunately, it's not a great idea. But before it started barking I was completely behind it.
Best way to cook a boneless skinless chicken breast?
Give it to your dog and go buy something with fat and bones.
Keith, I heard your thoughts on the Lohse situation on the podcast where you mentioned that draft pick compensation was only a small part of the equation and GMs dont really consider it when signing free agents. Do you agree with that strategy? Do you think the value of 1st round picks is higher with fans and media compared to fron offices?
I think GMs do consider it for certain free agents, but it is a marginal factor, not the explanation for why a top ten free agent remains unsigned two weeks before opening day.
often times in the NBA draft, there's a huge drop off following the top 1-5 prospects and the rest of the field, and then when you get to players in the 15-30 range, they're pretty much all the same. In your top 100, is there a point where there's a significant dropoff from one prospect to the next, and at what point does it pretty much become personal preference among a group of similarly ranked prospects?
Yes, but that point changes every year. It's true in the draft, too. I think the top 5-7 players this year are solid, but then there's a huge jumble of guys that might run down into the 20s.
Per your recommendation, I've been storing bacon grease in my fridge. Any suggestions on what to use it with? Nothing too fancy, as my budget is fairly limited.
It is the best fat for cooking pancakes, bar none. I also use up to a tablespoon of it when cooking lots of vegetables, especially dark green leaves or any member of the brassica family.
Mike Trout put on a ton of weight, not necessarily in a bad way. But does it indicate the player that he'd like to become? Jose Canseco stole a ton of bases before he put on lbs (unnaturally) and became a one-dimentional power hitter.
He really didn't put on much weight - yet another non-story.
What is David Dahl's ceiling?
Above-average regular with some star seasons.
With the news of Hanley out, is Dee Gordon back in line to start at SS for the Dodgers?
I don't think they want to give him that opportunity, and I'm not sure I can blame them at this point. He hasn't gotten any stronger over the last two years.
With the news coming out about Bio-genesis and how MLB is now offering immunity to players in order to try and catch Braun and Arod, and the news of the Worldwide Draft, do you have any idea what Bud Selig is doing? I feel both are terrible decisions.
I agree. I don't see how a witch hunt benefits the sport at all, and the worldwide draft is absolutely a solution in search of a problem.
Blake Treinen a prospect of any note? The Nats seem to be high on him and his sinker.
Relief prospect. Arm strength, doesn't have the offspeed or durability to start.
Whoa whoa whoa, you have a new podcast?
News gets to Santosville a little slow these days, eh?
Yelich - just a great spring or a sign of great things to come?
I would have told you a month ago I thought he was going to be a superstar, a 70 bat or better who adds value on defense. So this spring is just in the "hey, that's nice" category.
Am I done?
La la la la I can't hear you la la la
I know you want to rely on good process rather than media noise, but wouldn't you pause before putting a good young pitching prospect in the bullpen at the Big League level given the massive pressure from Traditional Media (inluding your employer) and old school types claiming that you can't move a guy to the rotation when he's "such a weapon" as a closer or even as a setup man. It just seems that it's not worth the circus it creates. Thoughts?
Who cares what the media says? You can't let them make decisions for you.
Back from reading what you wrote about Graham. Do you see him in a rotation with Teheran, Medlen, Minor and Beachy in 2 years?
That'd be pretty good.
What do you think of the effort by MLB to eliminate pensions for non-uniformed personnel?
I don't know a ton of details, but if this ends up just a shift from defined-benefit plans to 401Ks, like most of the rest of the world has, I can't really argue with it. To me, the bigger issue is that scouts are underpaid to begin with, because the potential supply is so high, so they don't earn what they are actually worth.
Are you watching March Madness??? Who do you have in the final 4?
No interest, sorry.
I picked Profar in a dynasty league in 2009, castellanos in 2010, and Rosenthal in 2012 based on your blog and rankings. Thank you! Can Lewis Brinson continue the trend of you being ahead of everybody else in predicting breakout guys?
I'm a believer. Easier for him to get to that raw power now that they've cleaned up his swing so well.
I agree about the media, but doesnt' the day in, day out questions to the player, the manager and his teammates about the move to the rotation become a negative externality?
Only if you allow it to be. They're just words. Ignore them. Or change your messaging to get out ahead of it.
Would having Netherlands winning WBC be a big thing? Many players are from the Caribbean but still think it would impact Europe some.
I think it would have been, yes. But the DR winning is also great, and a PR win would have been too.
any top draft prospects form Puerto Rico?
Not this year. Some 3rd-5th round candidates.
You make me angry Keith Law.
Only I get to be Angry Keith Law.
Keith - Just wanted to say THANK YOU for your write-up on places to dine while in AZ for Spring Training. Was able to get to Pizzeria Bianco, Press Coffee, Four Peaks Brewery, Sweet Republic, and Brat Haus. All wonderful. Cheers!
That's a strong run there. Good work.
This might sound strange but it's an honest question. Do you ever miss being less discerning about the quality of food at a restaurant? I'm starting to get into cooking more but I'm kind of afraid that if I keep progressing I'll be less content with the places I enjoy eating at now (fast food, chain restaurants...).
No, I find I enjoy food far more overall. I don't miss eating lower-quality stuff at all.
Andrelton Simmons is the best defensive SS you've seen since______________.
I understand why growing the game internationally is great for the business of the sport, but why should fans want the sport to grow? Yes, we may get more content, but its also going to drive prices up, a worry for low-to-middle class families. Am I wrong here?
I don't know why growing the sport in other countries will drive ticket prices up in the US. Also, growing the sport outside the US means increasing the potential talent pool.
Keith, can I be frank with you...?
Not a fan of sous vide cooking? Only thing that saves a boneless chicken breast.
I don't own a sous vide machine, nor could I recommend it to readers given the cost.
Have they ever asked you to face off with Skip Bayless on First Take?
I'd enjoy debating a baseball topic with him. He's more of a generalist though, and I'm a specialist (I know virtually nothing about other sports), so that might not be an ideal pairing on any subject.
I cover HS baseball in Dallas. The other day I saw a kid committed to Wichita State throw 138 pitches. Is that too many? Are coaches ever held responsible for actions like this?
Yes it is. No they are not.
Cardinals keep Rosenthal in the Mlb pen or in AAA starting? What to think they SHOULD do? Can I expect my Astros to find some late round gems eith Lohnow as the GM?
Fine with him in the pen as long as they try to get him some multi-inning work to stretch him out.
Any chance Denney works his way up into consideration for the top 3 in the draft? Or is the gap just too big?
History of HS catchers works heavily against him there. Top 10, doubt he's top 3.
Have they ever asked you to face off with RICK Bayless on First Take?
OK, that would be awesome.
Any sleeper prospects in the White Sox system or prospect in general other than Courtney Hawkins?
Yo Keith, what's your favorite album/record of all time?
Doves' The Last Broadcast, over Radiohead's OK Computer.
So Derrek Lee declines NYY's offer, but has yet to submit MLB retirement ppw? Holding out for someone else?
He wants to play for a contender.
How soon do you expect to see Kyle Zimmer is KC's rotation?
No later than mid-2014. Outside shot at this year, depending on how they manage his workload after surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow.
Can we expect to see Matt Barnes, Rubby DeLarosa and/or Allen Webster in the Sox rotation in 2014?
I think at least two of the three, yes.
Alt-J tonight in Philly.Do you think Al New Mexico will be closing in Detroit?
Enjoy, they put on a great show. Seems like he's a strong candidate. Prefer him to Rondon, absolutely.
It seems like Manny Acta got a raw deal in Cleveland. His willingness to mesh with the sabre community shouldve made it a perfect match.
It's not his fault that the talent wasn't there.
Is Kohl Stewart the best prep arm in the draft? Does he have #1 stuff? Do you have a comp for him?
Yes. Yes. No.
Do you downgrade pitchers with shoulder injuries on your rankings more compared to elbow injuries? If Matt Purke stays healthy and has a strong season, could he be in your top 100, or is the shoulder always going to keep him out?
Aboslutely. I don't like his arm action anyway - I wrote in 2009 I thought it put too much stress on his shoulder - so even if he's healthy now, I'd be skeptical about his long term outlook.
OK, time to wrap this up so I can head out to try to see Clayton Blackburn today in a minor league game. Thanks for all the questions. I'll be back next week.