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May 16, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (12:05 PM)

First mock draft of the year is up: http://klaw.me/13p0YV4 Time for Klawchat.

Nick D. (Atlanta)

Barring injury, is there any chance the Cubs reach outside of Gray and Appel at #2?

Klaw
  (12:06 PM)

I believe there is zero chance of that.

Dan the Mets Fan (CA)

Why Dominic Smith over Clint Frazier or Austin Meadows for the Mets? Do they value him higher?

Klaw
  (12:07 PM)

That's how it works. This isn't who I would take, but who I believe the teams would take given who I project to be available.

Brandon (Columbus,OH)

A few people have been saying Twins are thinking of taking Reese McGuire at 4 to save money and potentially get some harder to sign prospects later in the draft. I don't understand since they have a deep system. Wouldn't you rather add the best player at number 4?

Klaw
  (12:08 PM)

I've heard that as well, and I do know they like McGuire, but that would be a really poor use of the pick with Kohl Stewart on the board.

Ryan (State College)

If you ran the club that drafted Trey Ball, would you want him as a pitcher or hitter?

Klaw
  (12:08 PM)

Pitcher. Lefty up to 94 with feel for a CB.

Bobby (NJ)

Sounds about right for the Phillies to take a toolsy-athletic project. Is that a proper strategy?

Klaw
  (12:09 PM)

Given what's likely to be on the board, I'm not sure I could argue with that strategy. The polished guys on the board at that point are mostly lower-upside types.

Tim (Hoboken, NJ)

Do you have any idea who the Yankees may be targeting with their 3 back of the 1st round picks or is it too early for that?

Klaw
  (12:09 PM)

Dude.

Chris (California)

As a Padres fan, I'd be thrilled to see Frazier there at their pick...do you think this is likely or just couldn't place him anywhere above them?

Klaw
  (12:10 PM)

The market for him doesn't start till 7, and then he's not the top choice for any team until probably 13.

Dan the Mets Fan (CA)

Why is Renfroe or Wilson a "long shot" for the Mets? Better value to be had at #11?

Klaw
  (12:11 PM)

A long shot as in they prefer other players. It's not about who I believe is the best value, or who you believe is the best value, but who each team believes it.

Rob (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

Jesse Winker is having a nice start to his year in Dayton. Have you had the opportunity to scout him and what are your thoughts on his potential?

Klaw
  (12:11 PM)

Yes. Can really hit, and the plate discipline is real. Very disappointed that I whiffed on him in last year's draft - I saw him pretty bad in the spring.

Bruce (RI)

Keith, Love your work will you be doing a similar piece for international signing day?

Klaw
  (12:12 PM)

No, the interest level in those kids is too low.

Cole (dallas)

Did you have the astros taking Gray because they have time for him to reach his ceiling or is it more because of the money Appel is demanding?

Klaw
  (12:12 PM)

Neither. I believe it's part of their overall draft strategy. Appel hasn't demanded any specific amount of money.

Paul (Chicago)

if you have a 19 year old kid in A Ball who struggles has struggled his first year in pro ball does that devalue him as a prospect going forward or do you assume it is just an anomaly?

Klaw
  (12:14 PM)

I don't get too worked up over those guys; it's more about seeing greater value in young players who excel at that level, like Lindor did last year at 18.

Jon V. (Derby, KS)

Enjoyed the mock. Fascinated by Judge, if only because of the size and raw power. Do you think he can make the adjustments to realize the power in games, or is it more likely he's going to be a 5 o'clock guy?

Klaw
  (12:15 PM)

I think in the back half of the first round, it's worth seeing if he can make those adjustments. He's not failing to make contact, which would be my typical concern with a guy who has a strike zone a mile high.

Glenn (Philly)

Keith, if you were hired as the Phillies GM today, how would you realistic handle Ryan Howard and his contract? Thank you.

Klaw
  (12:17 PM)

I saw David Murphy's piece on trading Howard, which makes sense in theory but may prove too difficult in practice because he looks so bad right now. I'd platoon him and see if just facing RHP and getting more time off helps recoup some value on the deal.

Jay Gatz (West Egg)

But do the Astros think Gray is actually better than Appel? Otherwise, it seems risky to play that game at 1-1 just to do a little better later in the draft.

Klaw
  (12:18 PM)

I don't know the answer to that - last year they didn't show their cards until five minutes before the first pick. I agree that it's risky.

Jesse (AR)

Is there a reason the Royals haven't scouted Stanek? Do teams ever find out what they need to know and then quit sending scouts? Or send scouts who stay discreet, so as not to let other teams know their interest?

Klaw
  (12:20 PM)

Don't know specifically but there are a few teams who don't like his arm action as a starter.

Justin (Texas)

any thoughts on the Astros hiring Reid Ryan as president?

Klaw
  (12:20 PM)

Based on what, name value? PR? Ridiculous. If he was Reid Jones you wouldn't see all this media support for his hire.

Jon (NYC)

Have you received any new reports on Syndergaard since the start of the season? Numbers have been awesome lately, but I'm wondering if he's developing the breaking ball you've said he needs.

Klaw
  (12:21 PM)

I've heard average CB. Haven't seen him myself.

Brandon (BR, LA)

Where do you see the LSU guys falling in the draft? (Eades, Jones, Ross, Rhymes, Katz, Cotton?

Klaw
  (12:22 PM)

Eades in the supplemental or early second. Jones in the third or fourth. Katz I thought might be a senior sign in the fourth or fifth rounds for a team that wants to spend all its money on the first few picks, but I don't think he's enough of a big league prospect for that.

Steve (NY)

Did you watch the season finale of Kitchen Nightmares? Have you ever eaten at Amy's Baking Company

Klaw
  (12:23 PM)

Got a ton of questions about this place - I've never eaten there, and am not about to try it. There was never any local buzz in their favor, even before it became known that the owners are crazypants.

Jeff Sullivan (Belchertown, MA)

Where do you see Stephen Tarpley being drafted?

Klaw
  (12:23 PM)

Fourth or fifth rounds. Decent stuff, delivery isn't great, bad makeup.

Kerry (Minneapolis)

You buying into any of this superstar-level hype Buxton is receiving? As a Twins fan, I want to, I just don't know if I should get too worked up over a month of low-A ball.

Klaw
  (12:24 PM)

Best prospect in last year's draft, so not just hype.

Zach (Kuwait)

I see on the mock you have Travis Demeritte listed as a SS. Can he play SS, or is he likely to move to 3rd?

Klaw
  (12:24 PM)

I don't think there's any chance he reaches the majors as a SS.

Dan (Miami)

Should the Orioles bring up Gausman to fill their rotation holes?

Klaw
  (12:24 PM)

No.

Ed (San Diego)

Would Joe Ross and Max Fried be candidates for promotion to high A if they continue their good starts or would they be better served in low A all year then pushed to AA next year? This would keep them out of the Cal league.

Klaw
  (12:25 PM)

I would assume the Padres are trying to keep those kids out of the Cal League.

nick (in)

if you were in Jeff Luhnow's position, who would you take #1?

Klaw
  (12:28 PM)

Appel. Slot there is $7,790,400. Next pick is $6,708,400. There's no reason to offer him more than that second pick - and since he's a senior you might work out something for less. I'd see if he'd sign for $6 million flat, which would give the Astros $5,698,800 to spend on all their remaining picks - still more than seven other teams have for their entire bonus pools.

Grapeweasel (Toms River)

If you are a young player with an internet connection, why would you ever take less than slot? Knowing that the team either has to spend it or lose it seems to be pretty fair leverage.

Klaw
  (12:29 PM)

Which is why the system all but mandates predraft deals - and why agents who have a track record of negotiating and honoring such deals are better off in the new system.

Nick (Tampa, FL)

Hey Keith, Where do you see Tyler Danish (RHP Durany HS, FL) going in the draft? I know that some scouts don't love his mechanics, but the results are hard to argue with. 14-1, no earned runs allowed in 86 innings with 147 K's.

Klaw
  (12:29 PM)

Most HS pitching prospects will have great results like that. It's the worst arm action I've seen in this draft class. No doubt reliever, ton of effort, have to worry about long-term health. Maybe he goes in the third round but I wouldn't take him in the top five.

Tyler (Atlanta)

When he as drafted, you were not very high on Mike Minor. Has he exceeded your expectations? What should Braves fans expect going forward from him?

Klaw
  (12:30 PM)

He has, definitely. Picked up velocity after signing, which is unusual for a college guy but not unheard of. I think what he's done since last year's ASB is a ceiling for him, something he's not that likely to maintain going forward.

Bob (NY)

If there were a Harper in this draft you think the Astros would eschew their strategy and take him?

Klaw
  (12:31 PM)

I do.

Klaw
  (12:31 PM)

Passing on a guy like that isn't just bad baseball strategy, it's the kind of move that gets you fired.

Mike (NJ)

Keith, don't you think the White Sox should take another high upside bat if available?

Klaw
  (12:31 PM)

It's not about "should"...

Theo (Boston)

What's the biggest difference between Manaea last summer and now?Was the Cape a fluke, or is their an injury concern, or is it something else?

Klaw
  (12:32 PM)

Not throwing as hard. Rolled his ankle in mid-March, has had some hip soreness since then, not clear if that's a major or minor factor since his stuff was down a tick before then. He pitches tonight and there will be a ton of heat in there.

J (Boston)

preview to your updated prospect list? biggest non-injury mover?

Klaw
  (12:32 PM)

Pro list update goes up in 12 days.

Brian (NJ)

Any chance you will join facebook and start commenting on you articles that are facebook comment only? The fact that you would respond to article comments was awesome-sauce.

Klaw
  (12:33 PM)

I'm no longer participating in Conversations here. I'm happy to answer questions from readers in chats, on Twitter, on my Facebook fan page, on Google+, but not in the comments under the articles.

Ethan (Diamond Bar)

Which region is the best for prep talent?

Klaw
  (12:33 PM)

In general, SoCal, Texas, and Florida. This year, it's the midwest.

Dave (Ok)

Can Hursh still sneak into the first round? Know of any particular teams looking at him?

Klaw
  (12:34 PM)

Don't see it. Probably a reliever, doesn't have the knockout second pitch and can leave the fastball up too much. Fewer teams are chasing velo than there were five years ago.

flyrod (Catawba, NC)

What does Hunter Harvey project as?

Klaw
  (12:34 PM)

#2 starter in a perfect world.

Nick (Washington DC)

Keith - is it fair to say that "Would you draft player X if you were team Y" questions can all be answered by just comparing the mock draft to your personal top 50?

Klaw
  (12:35 PM)

Yes, that's the way to look at it.

Jim (Pittsburgh)

Hi Keith. What do you think of the Pirates strategy from last year now in drafting Appel, not signing him, and getting an extra pick?

Klaw
  (12:35 PM)

That wasn't their strategy - and it's never a good strategy to punt a pick. I'd rather have Appel than whoever they'll get at 9 this year, and Appel would probably be in AA or AAA for them right now had they signed him.

Collin (Dallas)

How close is Andrew Mitchell to cracking your 1st round??

Klaw
  (12:36 PM)

I haven't heard his name linked to any teams in the first round.

kevin (canada)

Assuming Cecchini and Ranaudo are still performing at the trade deadline, Cherington would be foolish not to sell high on them, right?

Klaw
  (12:36 PM)

Why would that be foolish? They're not nobodies - both were high picks who signed over-slot deals, and both have legitimate ability that backs up the performances.

Tib Temow (7th Heaven)

You've probably voiced your opinion elsewhere, but do you think the manner in which the Orioles have handled Bundy contributed to his injury?

Klaw
  (12:37 PM)

Not really. The one factor that might have contributed was Showalter's insistence that Bundy get the ball to the plate quicker to help hold runners on. But Bundy was also worked very hard in HS, and that's more likely to be a factor.

Robert (Madison, WI)

Could the Astros succeed in playing hardball with Appel (offering him say $4M - $5M)? It would seem like the Astros have more leverage.

Klaw
  (12:38 PM)

To what end? Appel's leverage is that if the team that drafts him doesn't sign him they lose all that money from their bonus pool.

Ian (MPLS)

Who is the best player out of Puerto Rico this year?

Klaw
  (12:38 PM)

Jan Hernandez. Nobody like Correa or Berrios in this class.

Jeff Sullivan (Belchertown, MA)

Where do you see prep LHP Jonah Wesely going? Do you project him as a reliever?

Klaw
  (12:38 PM)

Fourth-fifth round.

Clay (Hoboken, NJ)

Do you buy into Theo Epstein's claim that it makes more sense to draft a position player in the first round because you're more likely to find solid pitchers in later rounds? By that logic, Kris Bryant would probably be the player they covet.

Klaw
  (12:39 PM)

Except that they're on Appel and Gray, not Bryant, so it would appear that they are more flexible than that one comment from teh team President would indicate.

Todd Boss (Arlington, VA)

What do you think of DC-area HSer Andy McGuire? All-American (rare for DC Area) SS/3B with Texas commit? Is he getting bought out of his college commitment? mid 2nd rounder?

Klaw
  (12:39 PM)

I'm hearing fourth round, which to me is crazy given his hit tool, but if that's where he's drafted he probably goes to school.

Mike (NJ)

Can you elaborate on 'It's not about "should"...'

Klaw
  (12:41 PM)

There's confusion every year over my mock drafts, where people think I'm saying who I would take in those spots, or that I'm just guessing. Everything in today's projection (I don't love the term "mock" because it adds to the confusion) is based on actual intel gleaned from industry sources. I don't insert my own judgments on players.

Jason (St Louis)

I thought Kohl Stewart was thought to possibly last to the supplemental picks. What gives?

Klaw
  (12:41 PM)

Anything is possible, but that scenario is not and never was likely.

Ivan (Walnut Creek, CA)

At this point, shouldn't the Angels give Conger a chance to be their every day catcher?

Klaw
  (12:41 PM)

I would although he's had some throwing problems this year.

A Player Named Gus (Santa Barbara)

Quantitatively, what do you expect Nick Franklin's SS MLB defense to be? -10 runs? -5? -15? 0?

Klaw
  (12:42 PM)

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww yeah ... I'd say closer to -5 than -10.

James (NY)

Ryan Boldt college bound or does team with large pool like astros try and get him in 2nd or 3rd?

Klaw
  (12:42 PM)

If the medicals came back OK, I'd love to take him at 40 if I were Houston and pay him over slot.

Mike (NJ)

Got it. I was actually not referring to your mock draft, just your general opinion of what would be the best strategic decision for the White Sox.

Klaw
  (12:43 PM)

I'm very much about BPA (best player available). Line up your board, and when your pick is up, you take the top guy remaining.

Ryan (Ole Miss)

Is Bobby Wahl a first rounder? he's 9-0 this year and can get the ball up to 98 on the gun

Klaw
  (12:44 PM)

He's not up to 98, pitcher won/lost records are meaningless, and the majority view on Wahl is that he's a reliever in the long run, which would mean he's not a first rounder.

Andy (Tampa)

Are you in favor of teams being allowed to trade draft picks?

Klaw
  (12:44 PM)

Yes, without reservation.

Don (CT)

Do you think Stanek's improved velocity makes him a good value at 7 or is that an overdraft?

Klaw
  (12:44 PM)

Yes, good value at 7.

John (Pittsburgh)

Could Colin Moran drop to 9?

Klaw
  (12:44 PM)

No.

Will (Seattle)

Why the jump in DJ Peterson's draft stock?Saw 2nd round grades but now in top 10.

Klaw
  (12:46 PM)

Same issue - you're confusing my evaluation (I think he's a 2nd round talent) with my projection of where he'll go (as high as 6th, no later than 12th).

Jeff Sullivan (Belchertown, MA)

Haven't heard much on Drew Ward lately. Where do you see him going?

Klaw
  (12:46 PM)

Meh - he's just not very good. Someone might take him later on name value, but I haven't heard any positive reports this spring.

Pat (Cockeysville, MD)

I'm moving to Finland in the Fall and have limited knowledge of the Finnish language, and advice? Or just give up because Finnish is impossible to learn?

Klaw
  (12:48 PM)

Definitely try to learn it - immersion is the best way to learn a language. And go take in some pesapallo games while you're there.

John (Austin)

Doesn't Gray project long term as a closer? And what the odds that Luhnow surprises again and pick someone other than Gray or Appel?

Klaw
  (12:48 PM)

He projects as an ace. You could read my scouting report on him - there are 60+ reports on the site already.

Nick (Washington DC)

What is the best realistic case scenario for the Red Sox at 7? Bryant possibly?

Klaw
  (12:48 PM)

I don't see Bryant or Moran getting there in any scenario right now.

Stros Fan (Hell)

I love how people still people still don't think that BPA is the correct strategy. No team in the history of baseball has had too many good players...no matter what their position.

Klaw
  (12:51 PM)

And within the first year, which is when "drafting for need" would make sense, how many players from any single draft reach the majors? Three? From last year we have Paco Rodriguez, a good reliever, and Michael Roth, an org player (IMO). That's it.

Raunig (Alki Beach)

Austin Meadows move quickly or slowly through minors?

Klaw
  (12:51 PM)

Closer to "slowly."

Jeff Sullivan (Belchertown, MA)

Does Joe Martarano go high enough to pass up on football?

Klaw
  (12:52 PM)

I think he's more likely to sign a Jake Locker-type deal, where he gets a tiny amount now and gets more if/when he gives up football. His main problem in baseball is that he can't hit.

Jon (NYC)

What do you is the reason for the difference between your evaluation and the industry consensus on Peterson? Is it simply that teams in the top 10 have a higher opinion of his talent than you do, or are their other factors (signability, make-up, closeness to majors etc.)?

Klaw
  (12:53 PM)

I see a six-foot first baseman with a swing geared for contact and not power, with power numbers boosted by weak competition and a very good home environment. He's safe, but lacks upside. Now if he turns out to have 30-HR power (i.e., if I'm way off on his power potential), then he's a good pick in that 6-12 range. I just don't see it.

Tim (AZ)

Why do you not like the Braves? You kind of admit you were wrong on Minor. But them you say, yeah this is it. The guy has consistently gotten better and is still becoming a better pitcher.

Klaw
  (12:53 PM)

So he's going to keep getting better forever until one year he throws 33 perfect games?

David (Chicago)

Keith, I understand you're not a fan of 12-man pitching staffs, but I've never read your rationale. Could you offer some insight?

Klaw
  (12:54 PM)

It's an inefficient use of the last roster spot. You can structure a bullpen so that you have at least one reliever capable of going two innings or more, ditching a specialist (specialists face too many guys on the other side of the plate to make them worth the roster spot), and, most importantly, regaining a bench spot.

Tim (AZ)

Come on, you know that's not what I was saying. I just think he can still get better.

Klaw
  (12:55 PM)

Based on what, exactly? Will he throw harder? Throw more strikes? Improve the breaking ball? I see no rational argument for any of those things happening.

Corey (mn)

Who do you honestly think the Twins will take at 4? Hopefully they dont make a deal with mcguire but that sounds like a Twins move.

Klaw
  (12:55 PM)

Stewart. Their scouting director has seen him at least three times including Monday. And they want power arms.

Steve (Baltimore, MD)

Henry Urrutia is veeeeeery old for AA Bowie, but his numbers have been nothing short of impressive. Does he have any upside as a solid regular or is it still a 4th OFer? And would you recommend bringing him up anytime soon?

Klaw
  (12:56 PM)

Extra outfielder, although I have yet to see him myself. He's at least 26, in AA, and we've got a small sample going there.

Irv (Santa Monica, CA)

Is Jonathan Crawford someone the Tigers would be more likely to draft at 38 rather than 20? Do they seem very interested in Judge?

Klaw
  (12:57 PM)

Haven't heard them on Judge. Crawford would be a solid pick at 38, better way to play the board than taking him at 20.

Hunter (Bama)

Rowdy Tellez, PG Rawlings HR derby champ, 2nd rounder? Big bat, but lacks any sort of speed

Klaw
  (12:58 PM)

NP for me. Unathletic, no position, power before hit. I have no feel for his market, sorry.

Steve (California)

Keith, just want to say you give the average fan a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes in a game they love, and you do an awesome job at it. As for my question - I had heard Mets on college bats solely. Do you think they like Smith too much to pass him up, or the college bat thing was hyperbole?

Klaw
  (12:59 PM)

I don't think that information (solely on college bats) was accurate.

Klaw
  (12:59 PM)

I know they had a few guys in to see Frazier on Monday, so they're still looking at prep candidates beyond smith.

Steve (California)

Is it true that 2014 looks like a much better draft than this year's (or last year's)? If so, are Rodon and Beede clear 1 and 1A at this point?

Klaw
  (1:00 PM)

Beede's getting a bit overhyped, and I say that as a fan of his since his junior year in HS. Cederoth is in that mix over Beede right now. Rodon hasn't been as good overall this spring as he was last year.

James (Atlanta)

Thanks for the write-up on The Spence. I went last weekend and completely agreed with you (except about the bone marrow, which wasn't my thing). The oysters and pearls, the squid ink spaghetti, the kale, and the cocktails were all excellent.

Klaw
  (1:00 PM)

Awesome, glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Tom Joad (Bakersfield, Calif.)

Why do there never seem to be top prospects in New York City? Anyone worth going to see at the moment?

Klaw
  (1:00 PM)

The quality of baseball there is too low. Better prospects develop when the competition is better.

Nick (Long Island, NY)

The Mets like Peterson and Judge more than Renfroe and Wilson? And Dominic Smith over Frazier and Meadows? Should us Mets fans be worried about our scouts?

Klaw
  (1:01 PM)

Have you seen those players? Be careful when substituting your judgment (or mine) for professional scouting departments. They can be wrong too, but assuming they're wrong and we're right is pretty dangerous.

Matt (MA)

Do you believe Global Warming is caused by humans?

Klaw
  (1:02 PM)

Yes, because that's what the evidence says.

Kilgore Trout (Anaheim)

Re BPA, if that leads to taking three shortstops, and in the next round a shortstop is still atop your board, shouldn't you draft another position?

Klaw
  (1:02 PM)

Most shortstops won't stay at the position anyway.

Chad R. (Shannon, IL)

If the Cubs draft Appel, do you think they'd try to get him up to the majors by September? That isn't too aggressive because he's so polished already, is it?

Klaw
  (1:02 PM)

Not sure, but I think it's feasible. He's ready to pitch in the majors, although perhaps not ready to excel.

Andy (LA)

Given that you can only scout a player live for a game or two at a time, how do you know that what you saw that day isn't just a SSS anomaly?

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

Because I talk to area scouts, cross-checkers, and directors who've also seen all of these players.

Mike (LA)

Thoughts on The Great Gatsby?

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

Love the book. Seeing the movie this weekend.

Klaw
  (1:04 PM)

That's all for this week. Thanks for all the questions. I'll be bouncing between the Southland and Conference USA tournaments in Houston next Wednesday and Thursday, so next week's chat might be delayed a bit.