Welcome to the "I was always a big believer in Tyler Matzek" prospect revisionism Klawchat!
hi keith your overall thoughts on the yankees draft?
Complete thoughts on AL teams' drafts are here: http://klaw.me/1ihRLX7 Lindgren should see the majors this year, assuming they don't mind adding him to the 40-man this early.
Klaw, first chat I'm actually able to attend live in awhile! Do you agree with me that Cubs fans expectations should be tempered on Javy Baez a bit? I mean for all his hype the kid has no plate discipline.
I agree with you, and the makeup isn't exactly Almora-esque. Not saying he's a bad prospect by any means, but I had Cub fans arguing with me that he should have been #1 overall in January and again in March, and I thought that was impossibly optimistic.
You seem to higher on Jakson Reetz than most actual teams were. Any reason he fell to the 3rd round?
Weather may have been a factor. Kids in the upper midwest seem to be at a real disadvantage in the draft unless they have an unseasonably warm spring because it's hard to get them cross-checked enough for a high pick - especially a hitter, where you really want lots of looks.
How can Nola not be the Phillies new #1 prospect? Sure hope Ruben doesn't accidentally include him in some trade. Ugh.
Because J.P. Crawford.
R Zimmerman was actually been *good* in LF. What do the Nats do with the logjam when Harper comes back in July?
Put Harper behind the plate. Everybody wins.
I know that you aren't worried about Dominic Smith as he's been given A> a tough assignment for his age and B> playing in a poor hitter's ballpark. Do you see him moving to High Class A next year despite his average #s?
Yes, I do. Nimmo didn't appear to hit that well there last year either.
Keith, What do you think of Ben Lively's season. I know he's older for the CAL league, but do you think he has any upside? Could we show up in your top 100 next year?
Deception guy rather than stuff. I believe he's starting the California-Carolina League ASG on Tuesday, which is right here in Wilmington (tickets still available too).
So Conforto ahead of Thor. Thor slipped a bit or is Conforto Top 25ish overall? I understand you leaning hitting over pitching when breaking a tie, but that's higher than I would have thought you'd have him. Good news as a Met fan if he is really that good.
Thor has slipped a bit, in part because he's had minor injury issues this year.
Klaw, I read your piece and see you agree that Schwarber was a reach for the Cubs at 4. Do you think they either suspect the NL will adopt the DH or that they were going to save $$ to use on those HS arms later?
They obviously believe he'll either stick at C or be able to play LF. I'm more skeptical.
Keith, Aaron Sanchez was apparently promoted to AAA. That seems a bit premature, to me. Thoughts?
I don't think his performance merited it, but I know the Jays have a ton of respect for their AAA pitching coach, Randy St. Claire, and his ability to work with young starters.
Gammons said that Oakland would've taken Tucker if Pittsburgh hadn't. That true?
I didn't hear that, although I did hear from several teams that wanted Tucker in the comp round - so apparently I was lighter on him than I realized, relative to the industry.
All kidding aside on Matzek, got to feel good for the kid to have a night like he did last night. Been through a lot. Still not holding my breath on the control issue, but man, what could be.
No question. He's been better recently in terms of control, but last night he was locating on the inner half to righties better than I've seen him do since HS. Just through that one outing, he's at 0.3 career rWAR - humor me, I know WAR off 7 innings is ridiculous - but that already puts him in 14th among first-rounders from 2009, and around 50th overall from the whole draft.
I'll take the high road and not mention Gattis' OPS. Seeing the Braves draft Braxton Davidson cause me to wonder...what are the chances of the dh in the NL by the time he might be ready?
You can mention it - you should, in fact, since I gave you grief 3 weeks ago when it was in the toilet. And no, I'm not buying into him any more than I did then. I think Davidson will be fine at first base.
Were you surprised to see Reid Foley sign for slot? From what I heard he was going to be a hard sign that's why he slipped to the 2nd round. Is there maybe some injury concern we don't know about?
No, he signed for an appropriate dollar figure. Don't create worries for yourself.
What's your opinion about the future for Christian Binford in the Royals organization?
Fifth starter ceiling. Great command of marginal stuff.
Obviously now is the wrong time to judge conclusively whether any team had a good draft or a bad one (none of the players have played). At what point can you make a strong statement regarding a teams draft - 3 years, 4 years, 10 years?
I think 3-5 years out, a draft's success starts to become clearer. But it's always important to look at why certain high picks didn't pan out. Killing the O's for taking Matt Hobgood over Wheeler, Miller, and Matzek because he wasn't as good of a prospect is fair. Killing them because he got hurt isn't.
I was surprised to see you put Alex Jackson ahead of Taijuan Walker, who you ranked 16th overall before the season, in the Mariners' system. Is Jackson that good (top 25 overall prospect?) or have Walker's injury issues dropped him significantly since March?
Walker's injury has dropped him significantly. I even said in January his delivery had to change, and it hasn't, and he got hurt.
What are your thoughts on Rob Refsnyder? Just got called up to AAA after kicking but in AA. What sort of ceiling does he have, and who would be a good comp? Thanks.
He's not a major league 2b yet on defense. He's not a .300+ hitter either - I was surprised the Yanks promoted him on the small sample and .391 BABIP. That's not to say I don't like him, but he's become the flavor of the month and he's not THAT kind of guy.
Anthony Rizzo looking very strong. Is his ceiling starting to look higher to you?
Might turn into Joey Votto, at which point I'm sure some hack beat writer in Chicago will kill him for not driving in enough runs or not playing through an infected spleen.
Back in April you made a blog post criticizing NC State's coaches for pushing Rodon to 130+ pitches on short rest. Something I had meaning to ask - 1) can the player ask out in a situation like that, and 2) hypothetically, what would have happened if Rodon had said, 'screw you guys, I won't let you potentially blow out my arm 3 months before I can sign for life changing money' and just shut it down?
1) Yes. 2) I don't think anything in the long run. MLB teams notice when a player's being abused. In Rodon's case, though, he's said he doesn't think he was overused, that his arm always felt fine and we're overreacting (he mentioned me specifically). Unfortunately, lack of soreness or pain doesn't mean there's no damage inside the elbow or shoulder.
Is Aaron Hicks taking a Carlos Gomez approach to "maturing" into a MLB player and taking a while? Or is he approaching "bust" status?
Like Gomez he was in the majors before he was ready. I wouldn't give up on any player who's that athletic and had success in the minors too.
With the Pirates already signing Cole Tucker and the two upside arms of Mitch Keller and Trey Supak, does their draft approach/philosophy for this draft (their 2009 results notwithstanding) work in the end?
I thought it was a solid class. Didn't get the Connor Joe pick - what is with all the NL teams drafting so many future DHs? - but Keller and Supak were two of my favorite prep arms in the class.
Have you seen the ESPNNewYork piece on Brien Taylor? Were you scouting then? Curious if you agreed with the assessment that he was probably one of the best pitching prospects ever
I was a college freshman when he was drafted, so I never saw him pitch. (How old do you think I am?)
Keith, is the Under Armour game worth attending? Not necessarily to see the prospects, but I just want to see a quality, well-played game.
It's a showcase game. I think those are fun, and the kids generally have a great time playing in a major-league stadium, but it's not like either team is desperate to win.
Would you actually have Harper catch at this point? I was always disappointed the Nats had him move to the outfield so early. Seems like he could have added more value playing half catcher/half LF or first.
I would, assuming he's game. I know he wanted to catch coming out of junior college, and with him behind the plate and RZ-Span-Werth in the OF, they might be the best team in the majors.
What more does Carlos Correa have to prove in the Cal League? Why haven't Astros promoted him?
He's 19 years old in an insane hitters' park. What is the rush?
What do you see the ceiling as for Monte Harrison?
Above-average regular in RF. Floor is that he never gets out of A-ball, though. The Brewers took too many of those kids in this draft, and not enough probability for me.
Klaw, is Todd Frazier playing over his head so far this year? He's been great, and is second in 3B WAR so far on Fangraphs.
I think he's over his head, yes. Thought last year's triple-slash line was much more in line with his abilities - he's on pace for 30+ homers and that surprises me.
How about Josh Hader? I haven't ever seen an Astros prospect put up numbers like he has in Lancaster. Looks like he might have been a steal in the Norris trade.
Bit of a tough delivery for a starter but has a chance for two plus pitches.
NY-P starts tomorrow - will you be attending any games?
Aberdeen is less than an hour from me, so I'll probably drop in there from time to time.
I don't see anything wrong with drafting guys who might be a DH. Draft picks aren't just for your team, they are traid bait, too. The Brewers supposedly gave up a high prospect in LaPorta for CC and look how that turned out.
Future DHs don't have much trade value, though.
Given that pitchers went 1-2-3 at the top of the draft, are teams undervaluing injury risk?
The hitting crop was just really light this year.
Why do some Cubs fans still think Junior Lake is pretty good? Is it the everyone digs the long ball thing? Because his .273 OBP is atrocious. I'd be fine with him being the right handed part of an outfield platoon (.271/.308/.542 against lefties), but he's been bad against RHPs (.233/.261/.404). No real reason for the Cubs to not keep playing him near every day right now with how bad their outfield is, but he's not a part of the future as anything more than a backup OF, right?
I'm not even sure if he's that (a platoon OF) - his plate discipline is so atrocious that he won't slug .500+ against lefties given enough at bats. I don't really get the fascination either, although I'm more likely to hear from his partisans because I've said so many times I don't think he's a big leaguer.
Is it just a silly narrative that Machado's issues are the result of hanging out with a bad crowd (A-Rod) or is there something to be concerned about?
If (A-Rod) then (silly narrative)
Hey Keith- What's your opinion on the white sox signing picks 2-10 before Rodon? Is it a good move removing the negotiations from the process and just admitting this is what we have left to offer?
I thought so. You're playing chicken a little bit - you have to be willing to lose the player and get the pick next year - but it puts Rodon in a position where he has to walk away from probably $6 million, but can't reasonably ask for more because it would require them giving up their top 2015 pick.
And any pitcher who walks away from $6 million probably doesn't want to play baseball that badly. Or else he just has a lot of insurance.
Keith: are we having a meet and greet again at the Future?s Game during ASG weekend this year? If so, where? Also, always wondered your insight as to this: you mentioned on Twitter awhile back that Pedroia playing through injury wasn?t smart because, ultimately, it hurt the Red Sox as a whole. Can we say the same about Ripken? I always thought his streak was selfish because, frankly, if he was banged up or pretty compromised then it wasn?t in the team?s best interest for him to play every single day/game ? it was more about him forging an identity/narrative in my opinion. Olney hints at this in his great book Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty. I?m curious as to your thoughts. Thanks and keep up the good work.
Yes, probably between BP and the game itself that Sunday. I agree on Ripken's streak being selfish, in that eventually it became clear that the O's would have been better off getting a healthier/fresher version of him in only 130-140 games a year.
Is E. Suarez the long term answer at short for the Tigers?
I'm not sure. I like his glove a lot, and I think he has a chance to be a better hitter than Iglesias ever will be.
Admittedly, I know next to nothing about most non-MLB players, so what kind of player can Conforto be at his peak? Is he a .300 avg with 30 HR type of player who can play passable defense in left?
I think he's a .400 OBP guy with 20 HR who can play average defense in left.
Why are there so many rounds to the draft? Cut it down to 15 rounds or so & then sign the org guys.
Seriously, when you've got teams drafting Johnny Manziel and owners' kids, you know the draft is too long by half.
Is Schoop's walk rate a concern or is it about what was expected of him?
Another guy who was in the majors before he belonged there. I don't think he's naturally impatient, but was overmatched this year in the majors.
Grant Holmes future #2?
That's probably right. Some scouts saw more of a 3 or 4, but I like him a lot more than that.
Sometimes a HS guy without projection can be underrated because we tend to expect those guys to add velocity or size, which Holmes won't.
Are you ready for the World Cup? And did you see John Oliver's commentary on FIFA? BRILLIANT!
I would watch the World Cup if it didn't directly conflict with watching baseball. I'm not anti-soccer or someone who'll just trash it because it's popular. I didn't see Oliver's commentary on FIFA but I assume he called them an incestuous, corrupt cabal of wealthy sycophants.
What is John Lackey worth in a trade since his contract will pay him $500k next year.
I'm not sure what a trade would do to that clause. It may only apply if he's not assigned to another org.
In past years you've been critical of the Braves picking low ceiling, easy signs. Seems they did a better job this year at least in the early rounds. Agree?
Agree. Good mix of practical ceiling and probability this time around.
Jose Berrios has been pitching great as of late(12.0 K/9). What is his ceiling in the majors?
Still an extreme flyball guy - and he's been helped by throwing about 70% of his innings at home this year.
Where does Braxton Davidson fit in the Braves top 10?
Probably fourth for now, after Sims-Peraza-Bethancourt.
d'Arnaud has had a good couple of days since being sent down to Vegas, but I'm still worried about his long term development considering that he has missed so much playing time with various injuries. Do you still think he'll hit in the bigs?
I'm far more concerned about his ability to stay healthy than whether he'll hit. He's had at least 3 concussions, multiple knee issues, a broken finger, and I think one back problem - and that's just what we know.
Hello Keith, one more question about the draft, can you explain in simple terms the draft pools? I see a 10 rd pool and a 40 rd pool, do penalties only count if you exceed the the 10 round spending limit? do teams have to save money in top 10 picks if they want to sign over slot ($100,000 I think) in rounds 11-40 or are there stiff penalties for that too? I cannot find a simple answer to these anywhere just the 0-5% over is taxed at 75% and anything over that starts taking draft picks thanks for the help
There's no 40-round pool. Each team has a pool equal to the sum of the slot values for their picks in rounds 1-10. That amount covers what they actually spend in those rounds plus the amount over $100K of any single bonus given to a player after round 10, or to any undrafted guy signed as a free agent. Exceeding that total by over 5% starts the penalties.
Keith, Rubby De La Rosa's upside? I've seen his first three starts, and seems like there's something.
More than something. Maybe a two.
Do you think Bukauskas will sign? How about Montes de Oca?
No to both. I think the WSox took BMdO as a backup plan in case Rodon doesn't sign - offer the kid a million bucks and make him turn it down.
I'll reiterate what I said on Twitter the other day - kids who are drafted high and turn down $1 million more often than not end up with less after three years in college. Brett Austin will get about 1/3 of what he turned down in 2011. Whitson turned down $2.2 million in 2010 and might get $10K this year. DeAndre Smeltzer could have gotten $1 million or more in 2010 and is now playing football. Beede will get more than he turned down from the Jays in nominal dollars, but less than he was originally demanding.
Point: Take the money.
Who wants/needs a million bucks?
Yep, you too.
Fantasy question weakly concealed within a baseball question - who do you imagine will be the better pitcher for the rest of the season - Trevor Bauer or Tyler Matzek?
I would take Bauer even in a park-neutral situation.
I know it is a SSS, but does it seems like Nomar Mazara is starting to figure it out? 294/357/539 with 6 HR in May.....
I like his swing quite a bit and I think he has a decent eye at the plate. He's repeating the level, but he's still young for low-A. I'm hoping to see them Saturday at Lakewood.
In hindsight, how bad is RAJ for practically giving away Santana, Cosart, Singleton? Am I being too negative?
It looks far worse in hindsight. All three of those guys look like they'll come close to their ceilings. It wasn't a great trade for Philly, but the Astros took three guys with big question marks ... and probably hit on all three.
But their education, Keith, their EDUCATION!
That's my favorite part. "You can't value an education." Well, first of all, you can value it, and second, if the kid signs after three years he didn't even get a degree.
Keith, did Kevin Jordan of WF turn down big money from the Yankees in 2010? He hasn't been drafted the last two years and his college stats aren't very good.
He nearly died. He developed an autoimmune disorder that shut down his kidneys; his coach was actually a match and donated one to save Jordan's life. He was never the same player after that, unfortunately.
Money aside, it's probably smarter to be developed in the minors by a coaching staff that actually has a vested interest in you succeeding than a college staff that has a vested interest in winning
Your argument holds true about signing out of HS if you worship money.
I don't worship money but I am a big believer in its purchasing power.
As an 18 year old, were you prepared to be a professional and live on the road? It's way different than being with similarly situated people at a university. Some people just don't want that for their kids at 18. Why is that wrong when college ball is an option?
Was I prepared? No, but I also never prepared for anything but college (I started at 17, so I would have been particularly lost in a professional environment). I'm also bothered by your assignment of all the responsibility to the parents. What if playing pro ball was the kid's dream from childhood? That million-dollar bonus and chance to work with pro coaches will probably be the best opportunity he ever gets - regardless of what the college coaches tell you.
Were you at all surprised that Abad was not suspended for throwing at Machado? It's almost as if MLB decided to not really punish Abad for his misdeed because it wasn't as bad as what Machado did in response. This seems to set a bad precedent - ie. you're off the hook for throwing at someone as long as you get them to completely freak out in response.
I was surprised by that, and by Machado getting a long weekend off instead of 20 games.
Redo of the 2010 draft, who goes first: Sale or Harper?
Harper. Sale second.
How you coping with the I-495 closure?
Just some spillover traffic on to 95 near us. Bridge won't reopen until September, and that is just a temporary solution.
Following the EOB v NCAA case closely?
Yes, as a member of #TeamEOB. That would be a dagger at the heart of the NCAA's indentured-servitude cartel.
Kevin Jordan is one of the only cases where going to college really did turn out to be more valuable than taking the money given what his coach did for him. Money can buy an education later but it can't buy a kidney in this country.
Well, if you don't know where to look...
Keith, Braves 2B prospect Peraza is putting up good numbers, albeit in High A. Is he a potential option for the big league team later in the year if La Stella doesn't fill the void?
TLS will be more than adequate for the rest of the year. Peraza's a better prospect but he's not ready yet.
Could Mookie Betts hit/field (CF) competently in the majors right now?
Barely played CF so far - wouldn't push that on him yet.
People do know you can earn a degree online or during free time, right? If you really want and value something, you'll get it. Plus with all that money you'll always be able to afford an education if things don't pan out.
And you may be able to get into a better school with "minor league player" on your resume, as well as the MLB tuition reimbursement plan and a briefcase full of cash.
A lot of mixed opinion on O's 3rd rd pick Gonzalez. You seem more positive than most; that being said, do you think the O's missed out on C Jackson Reetz or RHP Wyatt Strahan who were drafted a few picks later?
Reetz > Gonzalez for me, but I have no objection to them taking Gonzalez over Strahan, who doesn't have close to Gonzalez' upside.
Let's not act as if it's "that" much money. A $1M signing bonus is around 500k after taxes and agent fees. It's not as if these kids are set for life like an early round NBA draftee.
You need a better accountant.
Josh Bell is raking. Chances he moves into the top 50 of your top 100 later this year?
Solid prospect, still top 100, but I wouldn't say he's "raking" this year, and he's still just a corner bat so the standard is high.
Keith, do you know if a lot of the minor leaguers who flame out actually take the tuition?
I've heard something like 75% do, at least in part.
If you did choose to go to play college ball, surely there are a few schools that are good for development, no?
Sure - I've cited LSU and Vandy before. UCLA's done well with some talented pitchers. I liked Stanford hiring Ryan Garko to overhaul their hitting development. But college is a good option for kids who aren't offered much out of HS, who are already wealthy enough that $1MM pretax isn't life-changing, or who aren't sure they want to play pro ball at all.
What's this 495 issue that people have mentioned in your chats? I'm driving from Charlotte to Suffolk County next weekend and haven't anticipated any highways closing down.
Bridge over the Christiana River is closed indefinitely. Damn thing was falling down and DelDOT ignored warnings about it back in April. So stick to 95 and prepare for delays through Wilmington.
If you were a GM, what would you do with Taveras/Grichuk/Adams/Craig Situation in the near future and long term??
You play Taveras and let the rest fight it out at the Colosseum in front of the GM and his minions.
Conforto in Brooklyn to start a total waste of time? Saw you mentioned he could even start in AA.
Yes, but 1) the Wilpons demand a winner in Brooklyn and 2) maybe he doesn't stay there more than a few weeks.
There's some chatter going around about D-Backs SS Nick Ahmed being a potential trade target. What do you make of him?
Extra guy, maybe a AAAA player.
Thanks for all the questions this week. Hope to see some of you at the Blue Rocks' park on Tuesday for the All-Star Game. I'll be back next week for another chat!