Chat with Keith Law
Keith was formerly the special assistant to the general manager with the Toronto Blue Jays and has a wealth of knowledge for you to tap into.
Send your questions for Keith now, then check into The Show at 1 p.m. ET Friday to see his answers.
Keith Law (1:00 PM)
Attitude at altitude? Klawchat from the skies!
Pass some peanuts over?
Keith Law (1:01 PM)
Delta flight. They have those Biscoff cookies ... I love those things. Paws off.
Grant Green is consistently mentioned as a top 10 pick, possibly as high as #3. We also hear that he'll probably not stick at ss and we know that he's only hit 4 hr's this season. I'd also think that, as a college upperclassman, he doesn't have much room for growth. Why exactly is he considered a first rounder? What are his strengths?
Keith Law (1:03 PM)
A huge part of why he's considered a premium first-rounder is reputation - he's been a big name since high school, he's with Boras, he plays for a high-profile program. But to be fair, he's athletic, has a good swing, and some scouts and teams do think he'll stay at shortstop. I think he has the athleticism to do it, but not the actions, and I'm afraid that "fixing" him there is too difficult to give him, say, $3 million. Jason and I talked about this a month ago and we both felt like centerfield might be a good fallback option if SS doesn't work out.
Keith, Do you think the yankees can catch the red sox and blue jays?
Keith Law (1:04 PM)
(Checks standings...) Um, they already did. Boston is ahead in the loss column & Toronto and the Yanks are tied. So yes, yes I do.
Did seeing Mike Minor dominate LSU in person change your evaluation of him at all?
Keith Law (1:05 PM)
It wasn't that he dominated that impressed me but how. Best breaking ball I've ever seen him throw, and better command. I still think you're looking at a back-end starter, but I moved him up at least 10 spots on the top 100 list I filed last night (I don't know if it's up yet).
draft theory question - for teams that lost their first round pick, could they end up being better off if they start taking "signability" guys in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounds, and spread that first round money they didn't spend around?
Keith Law (1:07 PM)
Yes, they could, if enough of those guys fall to them. I've heard the Phillies on Kyrell Hudson and Slade Heathcott, both of whom would probably want more than slot for the Phillies' first pick (which is in the second round).
Hear you're doing this from the air... how's that working out?
Keith Law (1:08 PM)
It's a little pokier than normal, but otherwise it's working out great. And I feel like such a pioneer.
Patrick: Montgomery, AL
Curious as to your thoughts on University of Alabama outfielder Kent Matthes' draft status? He was just named SEC Player of the Year and I believe leads the nation in home runs, but I haven't heard much in terms of him playing at the next level. Have you heard anything on him?
Keith Law (1:10 PM)
I've seen him, including yesterday's game. Has some power, pretty good athlete, can be beaten hard in or up. What worries me, though, is that he's a 22-year-old whose competition is largely 21 and under. A college player's stats should improve with each year because he's aging relative to his competition. (That's more relevant for hitters than pitchers, of course.) His signability as a senior will help him get drafted fairly high too.
Brett Wallace is off to a ridiculous start in AAA. Would St. Louis be nuts to call him up if Glaus's health doesn't improve?
Keith Law (1:12 PM)
No, they wouldn't. The defense won't be pretty but he'll produce enough offensively to live with it. His was the best college bat in last year's draft and they had the stones to take him when others passed and took inferior hitters. They should have the stones to give him the job if he continues to annihiliate AAA.
Who is the latest player, outside of Minor to rise on your board? Anybody somewhat off the radar that is gaining some legitimate draft helium?
Keith Law (1:13 PM)
David Renfroe, a two-way HS player in Mississippi. Yankees are supposedly on him pretty good, although I'm assuming that's for their second pick. Good athlete but doesn't do enough as a hitter or on the mound to get me excited, and supposedly he's telling clubs he wants first-round money or he's going to school.
"Best college bat in last year's draft?" Aren't you forgetting about Buster Posey???
Keith Law (1:14 PM)
Bat. Best ... college ... BAT. I'm not talking about defense or positional value. Just bat. And Wallace's bat was better than Posey's.
Keith, Would Jeff Francoeur be on any major league roster if he wasn't a local kid in Atlanta?
Keith Law (1:16 PM)
No. Did anyone see the piece that indicated that Atlanta is looking at trading him? When you have an old car, and the alternator is dead, the battery is corroded, the undercarriage is rusted through so your left foot drags the pavement while you drive, the front windshield is shattered and the back windshield is gone, the starter makes a horrible noise when you turn the key, the car gets 4 mpg when it runs at all, and there's only one working headlight, it's probably too freaking late to try to sell it, don't you think? You could probably leave it on the curb with the keys in the ignition and a sign that says "TAKE ME" on the dash and still find it parked there the next morning.
Dave (Somerville, MA)
Any truth to the rumor that the Mariners are planning to draft Dustin Ackley 2nd then turn him into a full-time pinch hitter?
Keith Law (1:17 PM)
Maybe they'll put him back on the mound and in the pen. Did anyone hear Morrow on Mike Salk's show the other day, admitting that he asked to go to the pen because he didn't want to go to the minors? If I'm Zdurencik, I demote him now on principle.
Klaw, Heard a few rumors that Gibson could slip and be available at the #10 pick. Your opinion on that happening?
Keith Law (1:17 PM)
I wouldn't call that slipping - he'd be a slight reach for me before that spot.
Do you think Chris Carpenter is back and can remain healthy for the season, or should Tony go a little easy with him for a few more games?
Keith Law (1:18 PM)
I would never answer "yes" to any question that involves Carpenter being healthy for any period of time longer than "today."
KLaw, Are there any pitchers who have had multiple Tommy John surgeries? If so, where do they get the parts? Thanks
Keith Law (1:19 PM)
Kuo Hong-Chih. Darren Dreifort. I think they take a tendon from one wrist, then from the other. The part for the third surgery ... well, let's just say you won't have any kids after that one.
But I just need "a change of scenery."
Keith Law (1:20 PM)
I think Delta flies to Yemen. Hm... just checked the route map, and they don't. They fly to Monrovia. That would be a change of scenery, and Braves fans would probably chip in for a first-class ticket, as long as it's one-way.
Is Carlos Beltran still a valuable player? He seems like he doesn't want to win and isn't good at baseball. Maybe it's just not his sport.
Keith Law (1:22 PM)
I'm not sure how, after 2005, anyone could question Beltran's ability to produce when it counts. Of course, that charge is usually nonsense anyway, but in Beltran's case it is particularly absurd. McLouth can't carry Beltran's glove. Well, he can, but he'd drop it.
Who is the most likely to slide out of the top 10? Donavan Tate, Jacob Turner, Grant Green, or Kyle Gibson.
Keith Law (1:24 PM)
Gibson aside, since I don't think he's a clearcut top-10 guy anyway, I'd say Tate. After the Padres at 3, there's no team in the top 10 that is clearly on him.
Pat (Evansville, IN)
Keith, I've seen a lot of mock drafts that have the Red Sox taking a catcher (Sanchez, Stassi) at #28. Not only would that be a pretty awful pick, it's assuming the Sox would be drafting for need, which is pretty absurd in itself. With that said, it's inevitable they'll be going after whomever drops due to signability concerns. So my question to you is, which name in the first round could you most see falling due to signability?
Keith Law (1:26 PM)
First off, neither of those would be a "pretty awful pick" or even a "slightly awful pick" or even a "really, it's okay, I'd just rather not talk about it for a few minutes" pick. Stassi was probably a top-20 guy until his shoulder got sore and he didn't throw for a few weeks, although he's back now and throwing fine. I think I answered the second part above - Tate for sure, Green maybe, Turner if the price is too high. And Matt Purke; I've heard $3MM on him and Kevin Goldstein heard $5MM.
Crazy to say that Phil Hughes should be in the bullpen from here on out as a quality multiple innings reliever?
Keith Law (1:27 PM)
Not crazy at all.
Klaw, do you think that the Rangers will call Smoak up this year?
Keith Law (1:27 PM)
Maybe in September but I doubt he comes up sooner. I do think he'll be their 1b on Opening Day 2010.
With what some have called a "lighter" draft in terms of overall talent, especially with College Position Players, do you seems teams reallocating money to the international market or will they save the money and spend on discounted free agents?
Keith Law (1:29 PM)
Yes, at least regarding the international market. One rumor making the rounds has the Pirates looking at Wil Myers at 4, paying him slot or below it, and giving the coin to Sano, perhaps the top free agent on the international market this year. I haven't talked about that with Pittsburgh, so take it with a grain of salt.
Mike ( NY)
What's to stop an agent making a "handshake" deal with the Mets saying that they will give him 1st round money in rounds 2 or 3 & the agent could then tell teams his clients wants a certain amount of money? Of course investing with Madoff leads me to believe Wilpon wouldn't go higher than slot anyway.
Keith Law (1:30 PM)
Aside from the fact that it's against the rules, nothing is to stop an agent and team from doing that, and in fact, it happens all the time. I certainly don't oppose it.
Thoughts on the supposed players involved in the Peavy deal- Richard and Poreda? Obviously tough to judge without the other names but are these guys you thought would be good enough to land Peavy?
Keith Law (1:32 PM)
Right now, both of those guys project as relievers in the majors, so I don't think it was a great package for San Diego, nor would I be real keen to acquire pitchers from the White Sox. Sirotka, Garcia, McCarthy, de los Santos ... who was the last pitcher they dealt who stayed healthy for his new club? Gio Gonzalez hasn't been hurt but he hasn't exactly been good, either.
Vandy and UCLA will be playing at Dodger Stadium in 2010. After his performance last night, any chance you'll make an appearance out there to see Sonny Gray battle Gerrit Cole?
Keith Law (1:34 PM)
They're both '11 draft-eligibles, so I probably wouldn't make the trip to see them in '10. Gray was pretty amazing last night - up to 97 with four pitches and a lightning-quick arm. Good athlete too, fielded his position well.
Ryan from Smithtown, NY
Happy Friday, Keith and hope you're enjoying the flight! You recently said that the Tigers were heavy into C/3B Wil Myers and OF Mike Trout. Has that changed? I only ask because I still have hard time imagining SD David Chadd bypassing a HS flamethrower like Shelby Miller or Jacob Turner (provided they're wiling to meet his supposed $5-7 million asking price). If the draft was tomorrow, who does your gut tell you the Tigers would pick.
Keith Law (1:35 PM)
I wouldn't be shocked if the Tigers took a big arm, but they're not showing overt interest in Miller or Turner (more than any other club doing their due diligence, that is). Miller could easily go 6 or 7, too. I've heard Reymond Fuentes - Carlos Beltran's nephew, so maybe we need to question his intangibles too? - with them, but I don't think it's for the #9 pick.
Mike R. (NatsTown)
Do you buy my statement that the Nationals are not going to make a signability pick at #10?
Keith Law (1:36 PM)
What you said was that you're not locked in to making a signability pick. That's different than saying that you won't make one. So yes, of course I believe it.
Keith Law (1:37 PM)
Seriously, people, I was in Birmingham this week, not under a rock. I saw Posnanski's piece and Ted Berg's on Steve's Beltran comments.
Steve (Milwaukee, WI)
Does Strasburg have any mechanical flaws to worry about? Schmucks on the interwebs say that he's an injury waiting to happen. I guess throwing that hard isn't great for your arm.
Keith Law (1:39 PM)
I didn't see anything in the delivery that worried me, and if you check the draft blog archive you can watch the video I shot of him and decide for yourself. There's a bigger question of how long a person can throw that hard 100 times a night every 5th day (and he's actually doing it every 7th or sometimes 6th day now).
This may be dumb, but can you explain the "options." i.e. How many does each player have, when is one technically used, etc.
Keith Law (1:43 PM)
Each player has three, and they refer to years, not to individual optional assignments to the minors. If you're optioned in April, recalled in May, and optioned in June, the second assignment doesn't burn another option. When you're added to the 40-man roster, you get three options, after which you must be outrighted off the 40-man (which means clearing irrevocable waivers) to be assigned to a minor league affiliate. Three years after the date of a player's first appearance on a major-league roster, he must clear optional waivers (which are revocable) to be optioned even if he has options remaining. Players with under five full years of pro experience (full = > 90 days on an active roster, so short-season leagues don't count, nor do years mostly lost to injury) are eligible for a fourth option, but the team must apply to the Commissioner's Office to receive it. A player who signs a major-league contract out of the draft will get a fourth option if he's not ready for the majors in his fourth year in pro ball, for example.
Jim (Wilmington DE)
Klaw, as a Phillies fan, should I finally be able to be happy about the farm system? Seems like they have a bunch of good prospects now.
Keith Law (1:44 PM)
Drabek's looking good, Brown and Taylor were off to good starts last I checked. That second wave may be a lot better than the group at AAA now, who were all struggling. D'Arnaud's struggles are a big disappointment, though.
Dan ( SD CA)
Pads scouted Wheeler. Is he a reach at 3?
Keith Law (1:45 PM)
I'm not sure which Wheeler you mean, but yes, any of them would be a reach at 3 for me. Incidentally, "scouting" him doesn't mean he's their guy. You see everyone. Every team has seen Strasburg at least once this year even though they know he's almost certainly going #1.
What are your thoughts on Snider's demotion? Was Cito doing the right thing protecting him from lefties, or should he have started the year in AAA to get consistent ABs? He certainly has looked overmatched after a hot start.
Keith Law (1:48 PM)
It's not a big sample on which to base the decision - 99 AB this year, not much more than he had in his great cameo last year. I don't agree with "protecting" a young LH hitter from lefties - isn't that what Cito did with Shawn Green for years in the '90s, hindering his development?
What would you be reading right now if you didn't have the wifi?
Keith Law (1:48 PM)
I'm about 1/4 of the way through Gone With the Wind. I believe these Southerners are unduly optimistic about how the war is going to go.
Brad Lincoln is basically destroying AA right now, including a two hit shutout last night. Has he re-established himself as an excellent pitching prospect? And how soon do you think he could be ready for Pittsburgh?
Keith Law (1:49 PM)
The results are great, but I don't know where his stuff is right now. If it's back to where it was pre-surgery, he could get a September callup.
You know if Joba were in the bullpen, he wouldn't have gotten hit in the first inning in yesterday's game. It's time to put him back in the pen.
Keith Law (1:50 PM)
None of this would have happened if Billy hadn't written that book.
John T (Eagan, MN)
In the first two innings of his last start Scott Baker threw 53 pitches and had exactly one swing-and-miss. Is he still not healthy? Is it something in his head? Or is he just not that good?
Keith Law (1:50 PM)
I am probably the wrong person to ask; I didn't think he was good enough to do what he did last year. Maybe he wasn't, but it's just as likely that he's not healthy.
Daniel ( San Diego)
Decker is playing great, OPS at 1.103. He was the best in AZ. I know his build doesnt offer a lot of projection, but doent his production at such a young make him an elite prospect?
Keith Law (1:51 PM)
I don't know how you define "elite" prospect, but if he's Matt Stairs in the making, he's not elite. If he's Brian Giles, which is his best-case-scenario upside, then he's elite. I lean towards the former.
Did you hear about Jeanmar Gomez' perfect game for AA Akron? What's his upside? Better than Hector Rondon?
Keith Law (1:53 PM)
Jamie Vermilyea threw a perfect game in AA once too. I haven't seen Gomez so I'm not going to offer an opinion on him yet.
Daniel ( San Diego)
What if hes Nick Swisher?
Keith Law (1:53 PM)
He's not that good defensively.
Jason (Ventura, CA)
Keith, are other people having trouble connecting to The Dish, or is it just me?
Keith Law (1:54 PM)
I can access it from up here. I don't know about you little ants on the ground.
Keith, can you run down the three best position players and three best pitchers you saw in Hoover (as far as draft prospects, eligible or not).
Keith Law (1:55 PM)
Best pitchers would be Gray, Minor, Ranaudo. Very disappointed in Dyson. Best position players ... Poythress, Zack Cox, Josh Rutledge. Jason Esposito is pretty interesting too. Jared Mitchell didn't play well.
Buzzmaster (2:22 PM)
Hey everyone...Keith just e-mailed to say that his plane landed 15 minutes early, which made the wireless access cut out on the plane. So, that'll do it for today's chat. Thanks for stopping by!