I must be cruel only to be kind. You've been warned. Klawchat.
The 2003 draft was depressing. Did you have any indication at that time it was so weak?
No, we didn't feel that way at the time - and while it's a little weak relative to other drafts, it's not a terrible draft by historical standards. You'd have a hard time finding 30 solid regulars in any draft class.
Pretty much every mock draft I've seen has the same 3 guys in the same order at the top. Do you think there is any chance that the Astros or Cubs take Bryant or another bat?
My mock explicitly mentioned Moran as a candidate at the first pick. I think there's at least a 25% chance he's the guy there, maybe higher. That would jumble the top five a little - the Cubs would take Appel, then the Rockies might take Gray over Bryant, and Cleveland would hope to get Bryant if the Twins stick with Stewart.
Any chance of Renfroe falling to the o's at 22? If not, would you say Krook is their best option?
I don't see any chance of that with Renfroe. Krook won't be the best option, but he'll be a viable option.
Tyler Glasnow - breakout stud or too complicated to succeed at higher levels?
Who has better long-term fantasy value, Buxton or Sano?
I don't play fantasy, but my gut here says that Buxton's high SB potential would make him more valuable in fantasy. Might end up more valuable in reality too, because of his defensive value.
Keith, Rossell Herrera seems to have improved substantially. Is this a reflection of his tools beginning to play, a case of small sample size, a factor of playing through the league a second time, or some combination of all 3? What is his ceiling?Thanks.
All three - but SSS seems like the least important here. He does have great tools, and he's repeating the league. Those are stronger factors IMO.
Reaction to Montero's demotion to Tacoma?
Once they decided they weren't going to play him every day, they needed to demote him. He wasn't developing in the majors, and he wasn't going to develop on the bench either.
I know you are not a fan of Joc Pederson but can you tell me why?
I was way off on him. Saw him in AFL, he looked bad - slow across the board, not that athletic, struggling with pitch recognition - but perhaps he was just fatigued from the long season. My error for downgrading him so much off that look. He's much better than I thought.
Is Alex Balog a 1st rounder in your view?
No, not impossible he goes there, but I see a second-rounder there. Arm isn't that quick, secondary isn't good enough to go top 30 in this draft for me.
you often seem to dismiss, at least implicitly, the Stanford approach to hitting. What's your beef with the way Stanford develops hitters
I'll dismiss it explicitly: They make hitters focus too much on contact and going the other way, discourage hitters from pulling the ball even if they have pull power, and turn hitters into stiff, overly mechanical robots who get less out of their tools than they would if left alone. It's time for Marquess to step aside and let some new blood take over.
Over 100 PA for Gregorius now. Can we conclude yet that while he's not going to hit .350, he's going to be better than many thought?
No. 100 PA is just not that big of a sample at all.
Why doesn't Jake Brentz get more love? It is hard to find a fresh arm with plus plus velocity from the left side. I know he is new to pitching, but I would see the chance to mold him my own way as a plus.
No breaking ball right now. That's a major negative for any prospect.
Thoughts on Kris Bryant as a CURRENT 55 hit, 80 power? Wouldn't that equate to a Bryce Harper/Stephen Strasburg level of no-doubt, sure thing 1/1 pick?
That's absurd. That's saying he'd come to the majors right now and hit .280+ with 35-40 bombs. No bleeping way.
Your thoughts on the Gausman call-up? Not necessarily how he will do today but whether the move was the right one.
I've heard he's looked superb this year in the minors, two to three plus pitches and solid command so far. I do think good minor-league command is often a lot below good major-league command, though. It does seem very aggressive, given how little he's pitched in pro ball - although at least they let him face three of his opponents more than once, Akron twice, before calling him up.
Is Tyler Lyons a potential big league starter or just an org. arm?
I asked you on Twitter if Appel > Gray because of a longer track record and you said that is not all of it. Can you expand on that?
Gray's small velocity advantage doesn't outweigh Appel's much better third pitch and superior command. Then you have the track record and Gray not looking quite as sharp as Appel down the stretch, and I think Appel is the better choice.
What do you mean when you say a player is a GUY?
It refers to a recent podcast I did with Chris Sprow where we discussed the difference between a "guy" (as in "he's just a guy") and a "GUY" (as in, "he's turned himself into a GUY," an elite type of player). It's a running joke now - but you will actually hear that distinction in the industry too. See also "guy" vs "DUDE."
Why have scouts (through BA) mentioned Appel's "character concerns?" Does graduating from Stanford and having the best agent mean you have character concerns?
There are no character concerns whatsoever on Appel. If some scout actually said that, he should be ashamed of himself for being so petty.
Do you think Denney could fall out of the top 30?
Yes, I do.
Is it time to advance Stetson Allie to see if he continues the hitting and power surge against better competition?
Sure, but the odds are that it won't. I think his contact rate will drop quickly if he's moved up, although the raw power is real.
Will you be doing an update to your mock? If not (or not this week), any changes in your top 10 (Manaea dropping, perhaps)? Thanks!
Over the last 30 days Belt is hitting .293 with a .949 OPS. Any truth the Giants will offer you a job as the hitting coach?
All I did was buy the man some lunch. He credited Bochy with working with him on getting his swing back to where it should be.
What has led to the Angels poor minor league system? I thought Arte Moreno was a spender who would support the farm.
Trades and lost draft picks. Hard to restock a system when you don't draft till the second or third round most years. They've also been among the least effective teams internationally, although hiring Carlos Gomez from the D-backs was a major step in the right direction there.
Just the weekly report from The Box, Klaw: Gausman getting called up, Stanek vs. Nola later, and SEC tourney. Great day to be a tiger. Where do you see Nola in next year's draft?
First round, no good feel beyond that. LSU continues to churn out prospects.
Why do you pick such awful questions and why are you taking 10 years to answer them?
Why are you reading this chat on Windows 95 on a 486?
Do you think the Nationals will make Lucas Giolito available to get a top arm at the trading deadline?
Yes, 18-year-olds with 2 professional innings and a Tommy John behind them tend to have enormous trade value.
How high could Alex Gonzalez of Oral Roberts go? How high should he go?
Top 20. Maybe as high as 7 (Boston). At worst the White Sox at 17.
Run differential discussions in May are the worst.
They weren't exactly fun last September, either ... but point taken.
Keith, any particular radar guns you recommend for a casual fan looking to watch games in the AFL and spring training behind the plate?
I would not recommend a casual fan drop a grand or so on a radar gun.
Is Jared Mitchell a lost cause as a propsect (speaking of LSU)? Hitting sub .230 for his career, with a recent demotion. Time to call it quits?
I think he's a release candidate after the season.
What would you do with Beachy when he's ready to rejoin the rotation with the way Teheran has been pitching?
With him just back from surgery, I'd try to work him in slowly as a long reliever and wait for the inevitable rotation opening while stretching him out.
Whoever takes Appel, what is a reasonable timeline to see him in the bigs?
I think he could pitch in the majors this year, although that wouldn't necessarily be in the drafting club's best long-term interests.
I'm pretty sure there's a rule that if you take a radar gun to a game you can't qualify for "casual fan" status.
You will probably qualify for "eyeroll" status, at least from the people actually working with radar guns and stopwatches.
At the time, did you prefer Kershaw or Lincecum?
Andy Burns in Dunedin. Legit prospect?
Legit, yes. Stat line might be a little inflated relative to his ceiling.
Did you follow the Jodi Arias trial?
No. There's plenty of crazy in Arizona for me to actively seek more of it.
Jesse Winker killing it in Dayton this yr. Chance he breaks into top 100 next yr?
Simple question- If you were picking and had the choice, Appel or Gray and why?
I put out a top 100 ranking earlier this month: http://klaw.me/16c37uB If I rank Player A ahead of Player B, then you can assume that I'd take Player A.
What did scouts miss on Norichika Aoki? Or was MLB still gun shy after Tsuyoshi Shinjo and other failed to become the next Ichiro!
It's not a classic swing, too similar to the other NPB position players who've failed, and he also had trouble with left-handers, which carried over into last year but hasn't been true in a very small sample this year.
How far does Manaea fall with the latest injury? Does he just demand a high figure and then go back to college to prove himself top 5 worthy?
That's exactly what I think happens. Or he gets picked high in the second round by a team that saved some money on its first pick (cough Houston cough).
Netflix release of the new season of Arrested Development this Sunday. Planning on staying inside all day and watching ALL the episodes in one shot?
I'll be making some frozen bananas to celebrate.
Whats Sean Nolins ceiling?
Anything you've seen from Ryu Hyun-Jin change your opinion on him or just some early success because team's haven't seen the deception in his delivery?
Throwing harder the last few starts - I saw mostly 87-90 in spring training, but he's been more 90-92 or better of late. That's a big difference because it should make it easier for him to get to that changeup. That said, yes, I'd like to see what happens the second time around the league.
Addison Russell is on a mini-tear and up to a .750 OPS, with 6 HRs. Were the early struggles in the Cal League just a SSS/adjustment to pro ball blip?
Also had some back trouble that may have held him back.
Is Manaea the Matt Purke of this year's draft?
Not comparable. Purke's demands outstripped his talent. Manaea is just not healthy, and we have no idea what his demands are.
After missing most of last year Josh Bell is putting up decent numbers at West Virginia. Do you think he will re-enter the top 100?
Good chance of that, assuming he stays healthy.
Klaw, to all the RBI worshippers out there - isn't Brandon Phillips (to date) the perfect poster child for all that is wrong with relying on RBI to tell a story? The guy's slash line this year is ridiculously close to his career slash line, yet the media in Cincinnati think he's the frontrunner for MVP and are practically clamoring for the Reds to give him another 5 years.
Joey Votto weeps. On a pile of money, yes, but still.
Can Lasik significantly help Bubba Starling or are his issues mostly mechanical in nature?
It could help, but I've not heard good things about his swing from pro scouts this year.
What have you heard from scouts on Jose Berrios? Do you seem him rising up the prospect ranks?
I haven't talked to anyone who's seen him this year yet, since it's primarily draft season for me. He wasn't a big ceiling guy at the time of the draft - what you saw was primarily what you'd get.
Mike Moustakas was quoted in the KC media as saying he doesn't view video footage of his at-bats. What's the best blunt object for me to headbutt repeatedly in response to that revelation?
That seems very unusual. Most guys watch video of their at bats, if only to find out how the home plate ump screwed them over.
Nick Kingham ceiling?
#3 starter, maybe even a
KLaw, While it's silly to try to take too much from early samples, would you say BB and K % would be the best we have to try to decipher some growth? Trayce Thompson went from 28 K%/9 BB% last year to 21 K/ 14.5 BB% this year, while advancing up one level. Pretty good growth if he can keep it up, no?
The early samples are an issue, and his swing is far from ideal.
Has Gattis done enough to be the full time starting catcher next year if the Braves let McCann walk in free agency?
Seems like they're planning that, but I wouldn't. Play him every day and his inability to get on base gets exposed.
Ownership should never, ever mandate anything about making draft picks, right?
For someone like Appel, what is the teams fear that he won't sign? Doesn't the team have all the leverage? If Appel doesn't sign for slot, what would he do? Sit on the couch for another year?
If he doesn't sign, the team that took him loses that pick's assigned value from their bonus pool. Both sides have a strong incentive to strike a deal.
Brian Kinney opined yesterday that errors as a statistic in baseball should disappear. Do you agree? Is there anything to be learned from them as they are currently defined?
Yeah, they're pretty useless. Totally subjective, inconsistently applied, and inherently incomplete.
Perhaps there are nuances I'm missing, but I'm curious if you could explain why Austin Meadows is higher on your rankings than Hunter Renfroe, when Renfroe is closer to the majors (less risky?) and grades the same or better on every tool, present and future.
Is he less risky? I don't see that at all.
Is it time for the Brewers to blow it up (i.e. trade Hart, Weeks, Lohse, Ramirez, etc.)? Or do they try to ride one of Braun's peak years into fringe contention? They sure could use some young position players in their system.
I don't know if they would do that, but they're about a month or so away from needing to decide.
Kingham # 3 starter, maybe even a.....? 2, 1??? Thanks
Sorry, the chat software sometimes chokes on the number sign. I said maybe even a 2.
What happened to Mike Trout? After his April, all I heard was about how he would fall off this year. I'm confused.
And he's fat. Right?
What your 2003 exercise should prove beyond any reasonable doubt is no such animal as an "unrisky" draft pick.
Didn't answer the money question: The team would get a comp pick next year. What would Appel do? He has almost no leverage in my opinion.
The comp pick next year is worth less than the pick this year - and there's always the risk that it's the next scouting director or GM who gets that pick.
I know you are hesitant to break from your predictions early, but its past the quarter mark of the season, the Pirates are 10 games over, and Cutch hasn't really gotten hot yet. Please kill my dream by saying mean things about them and convince me they will choke it away again...
I still think they finish under .500.
KLAW - can you please explain this answer above concerning Appel. "I think he could pitch in the majors this year, although that wouldn't necessarily be in the drafting club's best long-term interests."If he pitches this year and gets experience , then continues, he will get a deal before arbitration...like Rizzo. Why wait?
That "deal before arbitration" becomes more expensive if his arb eligibility is moved up by a year.
knowing what we know now, what would be your top 5 from the 2012 draft?
Buxton, Russell, Correa, Gausman, Zunino.
w/r/t Appel's Leverage: as a senior the 7/15 deadline doesn't apply to him. He can hold that team's other picks hostage on 7/14. Oh, and he's the best talent in the draft, that supplies leverage too...
Yes, excellent point. His talent is the greatest leverage he has. No team is better off for failing to sign him just to save a million bucks.
If Wilson slipped to the Cardinals at 28, do you think they would take him or Judge who you currently have slotted there?
I think they'd strongly consider Wilson there.
His contract next year is worth less than what he will get this year too. And there is always the chance he hurts his arm and doesn't get any money at all.
I would assume that Appel took out insurance last year on his arm.
As a Padre fan, I didn't like the Rizzo-Cashner trade when it happened since I thought maybe they could have gotten more in return. I remember you saying on prior chats that Cashner wouldn't hold up as a starter (I'm still not so sure either), but if he did, this could end up being a decent trade for the Padres. Cashner has been pitching well and Rizzo is so streaky, do you now see this as a pretty even deal that will help both teams in the long run?
I just don't think Cashner holds up - nor do I think Rizzo is "streaky."
I had the opportunity to watch Edward Lee give a cooking demo and he discourages the use of olive oil in searing in favor of more flavor neutral oils with higher smoke point. Do you have a favorite?
Not sure pans on home stoves get hot enough for this to really be an issue - plus once you put whatever you're searing into the pan, you drop the temperature of the oil immediately. I do use canola oil for deep-frying or when I need a neutral oil.
When a player is signed out of the draft, how is that paid out? Is that just a straight signing bonus, or does that affect his minor league salary as well? It has no effect on his major league salaries/arb figures though, right?
It's now a straight bonus - used to be that it could be spread out for players who signed major league deals, but those were eliminated in the last CBA. It doesn't affect his future salaries/arbitration.
Why do you continue to insist the Braves have not drafted well the last few years? Gattis/Simmons/Wood/Gilmartin/Graham all will likely be major leaguers.
Of those, only Simmons actually is a good major leaguer right now, and I don't share your optimism on Gilmartin or Gattis. They've also done very poorly with high picks.
Did you see how Miguel Cabrera willed the ball out of Michael Bourn's glove for a home run last night? Pretty impressive!
Tee dubya tee ... oh forget it.
Do teams every worry about prospects stagnating? I'm thinking specifically of Wong, Taveras and Adams since they are all blocked but appear Big League ready.
Yes, but it's a little soon on those three guys.
I know you hate them but latest Vampire Weekend is clearly their best yet. (I've always liked them though so...)
Yeah, I hate them. Twee pop.
Do you think that Yelich is ready to be a productive major league hitter right now or do you think he'd be better served with some AAA time? I looked at the Marlins line up yesterday and was embarrassed for them, and I'm a Sox fan!
Don't think he's ready yet, even though he'd probably improve their major league lineup.
How did you evaluate Rickie Weeks back in the day? Will he ever put it all together for more than a month or two?
Loved the bat speed, always thought he'd be better than what he's become. I think we're reaching the point where there's no reason to expect a big bounceback.
You ever smoke cigars KLaw? If so, favorite brand?
I've smoked one cigar, and didn't care for it in the least. Tobacco holds no appeal for me.
Klaw, I've never heard your opinion on Travis Wood. Obviously he's pitching above himself, but do you view him as a #3?
I think long term he's a #4, something around a league-average starter or a tick below.
Hi Keith--Can Appel negotiate a call-up this year, or did that get removed with new CBA? If it is gone, any chance it becomes a handshake agreement? Seems if i were he, I'd knock a few bucks off now in order to get the chance for a LOT more quicker.
It's illegal now, including the handshake deals, but that doesn't mean they don't happen.
If 100 PAs isn't anything to get excited about, then why are you encouraged by Brandon Belt's last 30 days. Isn't that the definition of confirmation bias?
When you can tie a small sample to something like a mechanical change, a new pitch, or a change in health status, the size of the sample is a little less of a concern. That said, I'm not saying Brandon Belt has finally, permanently turned the corner.
Is Corey Seager a better prospect than when his brother Kyle was in the minors?
Joe Blanton's BABIP is .409, and he's allowing 15 hits per 9. Is that a BABIP fluke, or is he just that hittable?
Very high BABIPs for pitchers aren't always flukes. Sometimes they just mean the guy sucks.
Is Evan Gattis = John Buck (in terms of a career path) a fair statement, Keith? And that's not an insult as some might take it... I mean Buck's going to have a decently long career when all is said and done and has shown bursts of power.
I don't think that's a crazy projection, although I'd still bet the under on that.
Hey Keith, with the international bonus caps, do you think there's any chance the japanese organizations will be able to compete for mid-level talents in the DR? could alfonso soriano's route to the majors become more popular?
I think they should try, but I don't know if they will.
If you ever head down south, feel free to take BJ Upton out to dinner.
I might not help his swing but between The Spence and Cakes & Ale I could make sure he's well-fed.
Hey Klaw. Am I right? If so, I feel amazing. If not, you're poop. ? PS: see you next week.
Thanks for all the questions this week. If you live in or near Oklahoma City and want to help tornado relief efforts, there are two pop-up restaurant efforts coming up on Sunday and Monday that will provide funds to the Red Cross' work in the area: http://newsok.com/article/3831062 One will include the chefs from Ludivine (my favorite OKC restaurant) and Josh Valentine from Top Chef: Seattle. The other will feature Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese and mission Burger. I'm sure the food will be amazing and it's a great, great cause. Check them out. I'll be back next week to chat about my updated mock draft.