Klawchat 4/13/17.

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon, or from other sites via the Harper-Collins page for the book. The book now has two positive reviews out, one from Kirkus Reviews and one from Publishers Weekly.

Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

My updated ranking of the top 50 prospects in the minors is up for Insiders; you’ll see references to it in the chat below.

Keith Law: When your world is full of strange arrangements … Klawchat.

Aaron: This is the obvious small sample size chat. I’m asking this because his hot start has me intrigued, but did you hear anything about Alex Jackson from Braves spring training? What are your thoughts on his bat?
Keith Law: I saw him in Orlando. He looked awful. Still leading with that elbow, cutting up through the ball, and way bigger than he was in HS.

RSO: Is James Kaprelian’s career over after TJ surgery?
Keith Law: Dramatic much?

Tim: Is MItch White a top 25 prospect come the end of the year? Same question with Buehler
Keith Law: Hard to say that now, but I would say unlikely. White might be more likely to shoot up than Buehler, since he’s a lot more physical than Buehler is.

Important Question: Thoughts on Giolito? Very nervous…
Keith Law: Nervous why? because he had a mediocre first outing? That doesn’t make sense – one outing or a few games of at bats shouldn’t sway your opinion up or down of anyone.

Jim : Hi Keith, What is the ceiling for Beau Burrows??? Can he be a #2 or higher??
Keith Law: Don’t think he has that kind of ceiling. Hasn’t shown enough propensity to miss bats.

Johnny Bench: Who can the Cubs trade to get a cost control pitcher?
Keith Law: If they told teams they’d include Eloy and Happ in a deal, they could probably get anyone on the market.

Jack: you didn’t mention seranthony dominguez in your phillies review, what is your opinion on him?
Keith Law: He was in my Phillies org report.

Josiah : US just dropped the MOAB… escalating to the biggest-non-nuclear weapon we have this early in a presidency doesn’t make me feel very safe. What do you think?
Keith Law: I agree. Gotta wag that dog, though.

Danny: Should Albert Abreu have started in Tampa? His throwing 100 doesn’t solve the questions about him starting right i.e. breaking pitches and repeating delivery?
Keith Law: Right, getting hyped already (it’s as if folks decided, well, Kap is hurt, we need to replace him with another Yankee arm in the hype machine), has a great arm, still has a lot of developmental milestones to hit. I imagine he’ll spend much or most of the year in Tampa though.

Julian: Mitchell White, RHP for the Dodgers, is picking up some nice reports. Is his upside as high as the top Dodgers pitching prospects sans Urias? Thanks
Keith Law: I wrote about him in March and put him on the top 50 I posted earlier this week.

Drake: Hey Keith. What about Eduardo Rodriguez intrigues you so much? It seems like he has a really hard time staying consistent throughout the game.
Keith Law: Above avg fastball, plus changeup, will show an average slider, has shown control in the past. I think he gets beat too often on pitch selection – too many fastballs, especially up, in changeup counts. Also needs to throw the slider more to get more consistent with it.

John: What from the Reds hot small-sample-size start can we take as real? Those bullpen arms look solid, though a couple should return to starting.
Keith Law: Don’t take anything from the first week as real.

Cory: You are probably tired of this question (sorry if that is the case) but I’m hoping the Twins take Hunter Greene, but wouldn’t be sad about Brendan McKay. Who would you choose if you were in charge of their draft?
Keith Law: Greene. Chance for a generational talent there. McKay is very solid, not likely they ever regret taking him, but Greene has the raw elements to develop into a superstar and you rarely get a crack at guys like that.

Julian: Too early to be alarmed by Bellinger’s K%?
Keith Law: Too early for everything. It’s April 13th.

Daniel: Lets get the obvious out of the way… Mets fans are already clamoring for Amed Rosario (due in large part to Reyes awful start). When do you project Rosario to be ready to help the Mets? When would you promote him?
Keith Law: Midyear? I worry that Vegas isn’t going to help Rosario develop at the plate at all, because it’s a good hitting environment where mistakes aren’t necessarily punished (and sometimes get rewarded). He may end up needing a promotion to continue to develop as a hitter, especially in recognizing breaking stuff and laying off those pitches out of the zone.

Jay: Had the dark chocolate gelato at Frost last night affogato. It was great, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Keith Law: I was bummed I only got there once on our Arizona trip this year.

Davey Johnson: How does the rest of Eugenio Suarez’ career shake out? Seems to be a lot of tools there.
Keith Law: When he was still with Detroit I thought he had the upside of a regular at short. That’s probably still his maximum potential.

Jim: How come only liberals can express their views on ESPN?
Keith Law: Aw, I’m sorry, snowflake. Did you need a safe space?

JV : Any word on aiken’s velo in his first start?
Keith Law: I know he was only in the upper 80s in March.

Tim L: What are your thoughts on O’s Cedric Mullins? Great spring and buck loves him.
Keith Law: I saw him when we covered their game at home vs Boston – he was in my O’s top 20, pretty athletic, quick-twitch kid with power and some speed too. I know Buck loves him (he told us pregame, compared him to a pretty great historical player) but he wasn’t young for the Sally League last year and needed to make a big jump. Double-A is perfect. I don’t think he’ll hit .500 all year though.

Tyrone: What do you make of Amir Garrett’s good start to the season? Does his athleticism make up for lack of overpowering stuff?
Keith Law: I think it’s two starts, I think you’re underselling the stuff, but I think he’s a hell of an athlete who will continue to improve even after he’s been in the majors a year or two.

Sean: First, thank you for all of the work. I can’t wait to read your book. Second, I am assuming you have seen Buxton this year. He looks awful at the plate. How do the Twins and Buxton fix this?
Keith Law: I said on BBTN that I think it’s become mental. He’s getting killed low and away, and I’m sure the Twins have told him to try to lay off those pitches, but apparently the fear of striking out has overtaken him. If he can’t make that adjustment in the majors, he’ll have to go back to triple-A to clear his head and work very specifically on that problem. A ton of his swings and misses were in that part of the zone, on all pitch types.5

Logan: Have you had a chance to see or hear anything about Austin Beck’s rise on the draft boards?
Keith Law: I saw him and included him in my last draft blog post. I have heard him in the top 5 (Padres, Rays) but I don’t think he’s that kind of prospect. Too much effort in his game.

Phil: Keith, I’ve read some good things about Columbia RHP Colin Holderman. He had a great first outing. Any thoughts on him? Is he potentially the next “Warthen surprise”?
Keith Law: I think he had a great first outing. That’s it. He’s not a better prospect than he was a week ago, when he was a fringe guy starting a little lower than he should given his age.

Charlie: Look forward to reading Smart Baseball. Exit Velo getting a lot of recognition on broadcasts this season. If you were to rank its importance as against other hitting metrics, where does it fit?
Keith Law: It’s a different kind of metric – its use is entirely predictive. It doesn’t tell us whether the ball put in play was successful at all. But in combination with other batted-ball data it might give us insight on what a hitter is likely to do, or merely capable of doing, going forward.

Important Question: RE: Giolito. Mainly, his velo has just totally fallen. That’s why we should be a bit nervous.
Keith Law: He was throwing two-seamers at 90-91 his first start. That’s about right for him. So, fake news, maybe?

Drew: Is Hunter Greene a generational talent or a good player who throws really hard.
Keith Law: He’s a lot more than a guy who “throws really hard.”

Matt : What do you think of Matt Adams in left field and MIKE Matheny in general…
Keith Law: Matt Adams shouldn’t be allowed off the infield dirt, for the safety of himself and everyone around him.

Jay: Jake Junis made his debut last night for KC. Is his upside as a starter, or do you see his future in the pen?
Keith Law: If he’s a starter it’s near replacement level.

Jimmy: Is Reynaldo Lopez still a reliever for you or has his SSS this year (including spring training) given him more of a chance to stick as a starter?
Keith Law: Yes, it’s a small sample, but he’s walked nearly a man an inning so far. How would that change my opinion?

Dave H: Thoughts on the Mariners moving Joe Decarlo to catcher?
Keith Law: Irrelevant because he can’t hit. He had a slow bat the day he was drafted.

Scott: Thoughts on Nicky Delmonico? Reports of scouts raving about his swing this spring. Anything there?
Keith Law: He’s always had a good-looking swing; he has had trouble staying healthy, more than anything else.

Jay: Does Sandy Alcantara make jump to StL this summer?
Keith Law: Possible but I think very aggressive.

Valentine Michael Smith: It looks like Joey Gallo will be the Rangers’ third baseman for at least the next month or so due to Beltre’s calf injury. Gallo is slashing .192/.323/.500 so far — is that around the range you think would be reasonable to expect him to put up going forward while Beltre is gone? And if he does, when Beltre returns, do you send him back to AAA, put him in LF, or put him at 1B?
Keith Law: I think he can hit more than that, of course. If he were hitting .240/.323/.500, would anyone blink? Is it just that the very first digit is a 1 that makes it bother us? It bothers me, even though I know all those walks and homers give him a lot of value.

Another Tim: Bryan Price has been mixing in a lot of multi-inning relief appearances, which has me excited. For a guy like Raisel Iglesias, what is the max number of innings he can throw with this usage pattern?
Keith Law: I think it depends on days off between outings. Iglesias is supposed to be unable to handle a starter’s workload, and if that’s true, then two innings one day should mean at least a full day of rest before he pitches again. I don’t think 100 innings is out of the question for a pitcher used in a judicious fashion that gives him days off.

Scott: Have you read the Handmaid’s Tale? Are you interested in the new TV series?
Keith Law: Just read it a year ago. It’s superb. Not sure I can handle watching it – it’s bad enough watching Texas and Arkansas and Iowa strip away women’s rights in reality.

OklahomaBrave: *I know it’s early but Demeritte cut his k% in the AFL and the trend seems to be contuing. Fair to be cautiously optimistic?
Keith Law: No, it’s really not. 5 K in 26 PA is absolutely within the range of normal variation for a guy who might have a ‘true’ K rate of 30%. You need a much larger sample to draw any conclusions at all that he’s different from last year (33% K rate).

Chris: Hi Keith, I’m the one who tweeted at you about Kap. Isn’t this pretty much the single worst thing that could happen wrt the Yanks’ youth movement? They have far fewer top end pitching prospects than positon players, and he seemed like the only one who might end up a true #1. Plus generally buying pitching is much more pricey than position players.
Keith Law: I’m not happy to see it, but guys do come back from TJ just fine. Buehler came back with velocity he had never shown before, since it turned out he’d been pitching hurt for some time. if Kap is one of the 10% or so who just don’t recover, that’s awful for everyone, but I still think he’s going to end up a very good big league starter.

Noah: Do you think any college pitchers in this draft have ace potential?
Keith Law: Probably not. Seeing Faedo tonight and Wright tomorrow here in Nashville, but neither has had a great spring so far.

Joe: What surprised you most when it came to writing the book? What was hardest?
Keith Law: I wasn’t great at tying chapters or sections together. I write such short pieces normally – 2000 words is very long for me at ESPN, and on the dish I doubt I’ve passed 1500 on anything that wasn’t a list or ranking – that it felt unnatural for me to write 5000 word chapters and then have to fit them into the larger work in ways that kept it coherent.

Zach: Where do you rank Pavin Smith in this year’s draft? Do you buy that the Twins may be considering him at #1?
Keith Law: I do not buy that and do not think he’s a top 20 talent in the draft. He’s a very good hitter and he’s a college 1b, among the worst buckets in the history of the draft to take in the first round.

Jason: Hey Keith- as a veteran who is really familiar with ordinance on the business end- the MOAB is basically useless in that environment – big boom doesn’t cut through MOUNTAINS. This clown is just offensive
Keith Law: It did get a lot of headlines, though. Walking through the airport all I saw was Mr. Holocaust Center on every TV with a chyron saying it was the biggest non-nuke bomb we’ve ever dropped. (Yay, America?)

Nick: Thoughts on Judges approach so far this year? I know SSS but he seems to be making more contact.
Keith Law: Again, SSS. However, I’ve said before that Judge’s history is that he struggles to control the entire width of the zone each time he’s promoted, and each time he’s made adjustments after a few months of at bats, learning to control both the outer third and the inner edge. The fact that he’s done it before tells me he can do this going forward, although we can’t say that he’s done it now.

Hinkie: What is most likely: Bryce Harper hits the open market, Manny Machado hits the open market, both hit the open market, or neither hit the open market ???
Keith Law: I think both.

Delroy Lindo: Rank which upcoming albums you are most excited about: Phoenix, LCD Soundsystem & Haim
Keith Law: Phoenix yes, LCDS maybe, Haim heck no.

Sean : Is Mark Vientos a first round draft pick?
Keith Law: Probably yes. Didn’t see him while I was in FL because he went to the NHSI.

addoeh: Is the gap between what advanced statistics fans/media uses to evaluate value and what teams use more incremental or revolutionary? How soon will these stats start to filter down to public use?
Keith Law: It exists now and is getting wider over time.

Joe: What’s worse? Reyes batting leadoff? Conforto playing CF? Terry Collins still writing the lineup?
Keith Law: Conforto out of the lineup seemingly every time he has a big day. Collins should be fired if he won’t play Conforto every day. This has descended into cheap farce.

addoeh: Will Smart Baseball introduce us to any new stats?
Keith Law: If you’re here, probably not. That was very clearly outside of the goals we all set out for the book.

Kenny G: Saw Walker Buehler on Monday. Multiple Front Office members present, and plenty of comments he’ll be up with Dodgers by end of this season (not by Front Office personnel). Would you agree with those comments?
Keith Law: He’s going to be on an innings cap of some sort, which will almost certainly preclude a callup.

Jon: If Gravmens Velocity stays up around 96 or 97 how does that change his outlook? Thanks
Keith Law: That’s not where Statcast had him sitting, but to answer the general question, yes, he’s got a much higher upside than he did at least year’s velo, when he was basically a fifth starter type. Averaging like 94.5 with that kind of sink would probably make him an above-average starter.

Dallas: You mentioned Adell as a pitcher; are teams looking that way or is he still being drafted as a hitter
Keith Law: I think he prefers to hit, which may dictate who drafts him and how much money he gets.

Brian: Without rushing to judgment, Rhys Hoskins seems to be hitting at yet another level. At what point does his production overwhelm whatever tools seem to be lacking to scouts? Or is he someone who people think the flaws won’t show up until major league pitchers exploit them?
Keith Law: I think there’s a flawed assumption here; I’ve certainly been favorable toward Hoskins the last two years. He’s a first baseman with questionable power, which is a real issue at that specific position because the threshold to be a regular at the plate is so high.

Chris (Chicago): How long do you think you’d last as a vegetarian?
Keith Law: I don’t think I’d have any problem with this as long as I could manage my blood sugar properly.

Dallas: Have you heard any draft movement with Sam Carlson? I saw he was 92-96 topping at 97 (rumor of a rogue 99 was probably just that, rumor; or bad gun). Thanks.
Keith Law: He’s only made one start so far, so I don’t know if that’s where he’s going to pitch all year. He’s had first-round potential since the summer; if he really does sit 92-96 all spring (by “all spring” I mean the six or seven starts he’ll make before the draft) then he’d probably be a top 20 pick.

Ridley Kemp: It doesn’t look like my local bookstore in Austin is going to bring you to town. That being the case, what way of purchasing your book does you the most good? Is amazon better because it benefits your sales ranking, or is there another avenue that is better for you?
Keith Law: Thank you for asking. All I ask is that you buy it however you like to buy books. Physical copy or ebook, doesn’t matter. I want you to buy it, read it, and enjoy it. And no, no bookstore in Austin reached out to Harper Collins that I know of.

Chris: Any chance Adam Haseley goes top 10 or maybe 11 to chi sox? Seems like he has Benentendi helium..
Keith Law: He’s going top 20, I feel pretty confident of that. I don’t think he’s Benintendi, not that kind of pop, but one of the best pure hitters in the class, a CF, and has some power at least.

Harry: Keith, just bought the book and I can’t wait for it to arrive. Would like to go to a book signing in San Francisco. Just wondering how many hours a day do you usually sleep. Father, foodie, blogger, traveling for work. You can’t sleep that much. I’m guessing 5 hours a day max.
Keith Law: Oh no, seven hours or I’m a mess, eight when I can.

Eric: Any word on whom the Braves might target at #5?
Keith Law: Guys they’re not getting. Not sure what the realistic plan will be.

Pat D: I saw you’re coming to Philly for a book-related event on May 8. Any ideas if you might get a little further north to Lehigh Valley at all this year?
Keith Law: I don’t have any minor league games scheduled yet because of draft work and the book. I’ll probably pick that up more in May.

Nick: Sounds like the Yankees were pushing for Kap to get TJS last year but he opted for rehab. Now same thing happens a year later.
Keith Law: Some guys do rehab it successfully though, as long as it’s not a full tear. Besides, it’s his elbow, right? Easy to say “go get this major operation” when it’s not your skin getting cut open.

Logan: Thanks for the answer regarding Beck! Had seem some mention the Braves, but doesn’t seem like a great fit in my humble opinion.
Keith Law: I would agree; I think they can do better at 5. Heck, Mackenzie Gore is a better prospect in the same state.

Nick: I know you’re not a big believer in Jordan Montgomery but he got a lot of swings and misses yesterday and look like a solid major league starter with room to get even better.
Keith Law: TL;DR. I think you’re saying a pitcher had a decent start.

Neil: I don’t think it is too early to think Matt Cain isn’t good anymore. Would the Giants be better off letting Beede have a go at the 5th spot in the rotation?
Keith Law: Yes, they would. Cain has stunk for two-plus years now.

James: Still out on Mike Soroka as an elite prospect?
Keith Law: This is a stupid question. I have never said anything of the sort.

Jason: Should the boycott of major sporting events apply to states that don’t have laws against sexual-orientation discrimination (or partial laws, like just for state employment), or only ones that pass laws forbidding their cities and counties from passing ordinances?
Keith Law: Isn’t the latter an active act of discrimination (or, let’s call it what it is, creeping theocracy), while the former is, at worst, a passive one?

Rick: Keith, any examples of guys you were “most” wrong about? Both better than you anticipated and worse?
Keith Law: I do a column on that every September.

Scott: Did you see Pedro comparing Jharel Cotton to himself mechanically? How much upside does he realistically have?
Keith Law: I heard about it, and I think the only person who can compare a pitcher to Pedro is Pedro. Cotton’s probably an average big-league starter in the end.

Greg: Keith, I like your stuff a lot but weren’t you at least a little hesitant to title a book Smart Baseball as if you claim to know what is the absolute smart way to view baseball? That didn’t give you even the slightest hesitation?
Keith Law: One, it refers to a running gag on Twitter. Two, “as if you claim” is your problem here. I didn’t claim what you said. I didn’t come close to it. You just made some shit up.

Tom: Keith, maybe this is too personal but… do you have any interest in returning to work for an MLB team? What would sway you to accept a job? Is there a specific role ie scouting director that would most appeal to you? Rumor has it you turned down a job with an AL West team a few years back. Do teams often contact you?
Keith Law: I can’t imagine doing so at this point in my life. Yes, I turned that job down, and it was almost entirely for family reasons. (Another reason: I didn’t want to raise a daughter in Texas.) I’m with my daughter a lot more in this job than I would ever be in a front office or full-time scouting job. That’s the most important criterion to me.

Evan: What’s the biggest surprise to you from this season so far?
Keith Law: Absolutely nothing.

mike sixel: It’s April. He’s 23. He only has 500ish ABs in the majors, but when should we worry about Buxton if he isn’t hitting well?
Keith Law: I think you can worry about him now, given that he struck out a ton last year before September too. And if he starts to make more contact right now, I’d want to see him do it for a few weeks or months before thinking he’s turned the corner.

Evan: What’s your opinion on what happened on the United flight? Should the guy sue? And if you think he should, how much do you think he will get?
Keith Law: I don’t think he has any case against the airline, does he? The contract of carriage says they can deny you a seat you paid for.

Brian: Why are so many of the top draft prospects out of college not highly drafted out of high school? I would think most guys take something similar to the Gerritt Cole path in which they are very highly regarded out of high school and 3 years later maintain that same outlook. Are most of the top college prospects guys who had tremendous development post high school? Were “missed” out of high school? Were such strong college commitments that they weren’t worth a high pick? Something else?
Keith Law: Right – guys who went to college and got stronger, or grew, or threw harder, or proved they could hit better pitching after playing high school ball against bad competition. Some were hurt in HS. Lot of logical reasons.

( * >* ): Is too early to ask if the Phillies are leaning towards a prep player or college player at 1-8 ?
Keith Law: I don’t think they’ll lean either way. I think they’ll take BPA.

Bob: Keith, how split are teams on B. McKay in regards to pitching prospect or hitting prospect ? 50-50 or more like 70-30 on the pitching side ?? I ask as a Reds fan and rumblings they prefer him as a hitter. Thanks !
Keith Law: I think 60/40 is about right. I would take him as a LHP, though.

Chuck: My wife’s aunt who is anti-gmo -anti-vaccine is coming to Easter dinner. And she is a cardinals fan coming into our Cubs loving house. Do the rules of normal civilization apply here. Thanks for the chat.
Keith Law: Go at her full bore. Bring the science.

Munchkin: What do you think about PRP Injections and stem cell therapy? Effectiveness and potential pitfalls
Keith Law: I’m interested but I haven’t seen any research (which may exist, I just haven’t seen it) on their efficacy.

BD: You are an adovocate of HS pitchers declaring for the draft (injury risk, coach overuse, etc). Ignoring family financial situation, what round/slot figure do you start to think “OK, maybe go to Juco for a year and try and increase the offer?”
Keith Law: After day one, which is two rounds, you get a chance to negotiate overnight with interested teams to take you high on day two and overpay you. But whether the number is $500K or $1 million is going to depend a lot on whether that difference is life-altering for your family.

Ricky: If/When Otani comes over, is he viewed as a two way player?
Keith Law: Nope. This is going to be the most-asked question of 2017, I think. NPB pitching is not close to MLB pitching as a whole.

Josh L: What would you say Corey Ray’s ETA is? Summer 2018?
Keith Law: Probably, since he’s not going to play a full season this year as he comes back from knee surgery.

Touki: Juan Soto getting some notice this week. Your thoughts?
Keith Law: Was on my “just missed” column in January. Essentially prospect #101, although I don’t rank beyond 100.

Jake: As a veteran myself, the bomb is exactly what was needed. If that veteran from earlier looked at a map. Or even knew where Nangarhar was, he would know that a bomb is needed for the extensive tunnel systems they have underground.
Keith Law: I truly know nothing about the subject. I just 1) don’t particularly like how willing we are to drop bombs on other countries and 2) don’t like what appears to be a cavalier attitude on the subject by our current president, after Pres. Obama was himself too enthusiastic about using drone strikes.

CT: There was an article today stating that the Astros renewing Correa for the minimum may be hurting their chances to sign him to a long term deal. Do you think there’s validity to this or was he headed for the open market regardless? In general, do you feel teams should reward players by paying them higher than the minimum when they don’t have to?
Keith Law: No, that’s bullshit, whoever said that doesn’t understand how the system works.

Matt C. (Fort Collins): So many writers invoke SSS all the time, then ignore it regularly (you are an exception). Always makes me laugh.
Keith Law: This is the first question I’ve ever seen from you, but it’s brilliant, so I think you’re awesome.

Metro: As a Mets fan I think it’s pretty cool (rare) to find a good local talent. Any thoughts on Queens native Quentin Holmes? Around where do you project him being drafted?
Keith Law: Probably goes in the 25-50 range. Toolsy, big question around the hit tool and ability to make contact.

Nick: Can a starter like Graveman who throws one pitch 95% of time, as he’s doing with his sinker this year, succeed as a starter?
Keith Law: Bartolo Colon used to throw about 95% fastballs when he was younger.

Brian: Just to clarify—you’ve been positive towards Hoskins. But he doesn’t get much buzz more broadly, and he’s never sniffed top 100 lists. I understand the 1B/power thing, but you have to forgive us Phillies fans for seeing a guy who hits for average and gets on base at every level and getting excited. We’re not used to people who can post an OBP over .315.
Keith Law: Gotcha. I thought you were using his absence from my top 100 as a proxy for lack of scouting support or interest in him. I think teams see what he’s doing and value him – more than they do Cozens, certainly – but think of all the college 1b we’ve seen fizzle out in the high minors or majors. It’s a really high bar to clear. I think that’s why the world, myself included, was so skeptical of Goldschmidt as he came up – he raked where others had raked before, and he was of a class (although he was drafted lower) that has a huge bust rate.

Will in Vero: Cody Bellinger … is he a good enough outfield defender to earn regular ABs there if Gonzalez stays healthy at 1B?
Keith Law: Yes, he definitely is, but I don’t know if the Dodgers want to do that or just keep him at 1b.

josh: ASU baseball is a mess rught now with fumors that the players cannot stand T. Smith. How could he possibly have screwed this job up?
Keith Law: Hadn’t heard any of that. You’d think it would be an ideal job – recruiting couldn’t be easier. “Look at our weather! Our campus! Our facilities!”

Greg: Where does Royce Lewis go? Is he a top 3 pick, or could he fall to 5?
Keith Law: No idea. Draft is two months away and he’s only been playing for four weeks.

Nick: At the time I seem to recall you liked the Jake Johansen pick. What went wrong with him? That whole draft is a mess for the Nats.
Keith Law: I didn’t like that pick. But then he lost most of his fastball after he signed.

Greg: Is Soroka just a midrotation starter? #3? #4? He just keeps producing.
Keith Law: Jose Berrios produced everywhere in the minors, and while I still think he’ll be a good big league starter eventually, look at his MLB work to date.

JWR: Ian Happ hit his 5th HR of the season this morning. Do we still waive it away as SSS or is that enough HR in a short period of time to have significance?
Keith Law: Zero significance. ZEEEEEEEROOOOOOOOOOOO.

Greg: You seem very angry.
Keith Law: Nope. Bad reading job by you.

Kyle: I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to do these chats. I learn a lot from you.
Keith Law: You’re quite welcome. I hope you learned this week that nothing is real and 8 games of baseball stats are merely numbers spit out of a random number generator. Good times! I will be at the Florida/Vandy games tonight and tomorrow and hope to see a few of you there. Thank you for joining me and for all of your questions this week, especially on such short notice since I wasn’t sure I’d be in my hotel room in time to do this. Twelve days to Smart Baseball!


  1. God, this is the umpteenth time someone has asked a “gotcha” question on the title of Keith’s book. Are people really so literal as not to be able to understand a little deliberate puffery in titling a book? I’m sure these people are not being genuine, but still, to go to the step of actually asking such a silly question, as if it’s making some grand point? Spare us.

  2. Keith, missed the chat due to a meeting, but as ever enjoyed the back-and-forth. Regarding the United incident, granted that the airlines have the right to deny seats due when overbooked, but I don’t think that’s the issue, so much as bringing airport security onto the plane and having them drag the passenger off the plane, injuring him in the process, and then claiming he was abusive and physically threatening, in contradiction to witness statements and video evidence. The CEO only walked back his statements when the stock plummeted.

    • Yeah, this wasn’t your typical “oops, we overbooked, someone loses” scene. The passenger was already seated – the rules change at that point.

    • Note that the flight wasn’t actually overbooked. It was at capacity, and then at the last minute United discovered that they needed to get a four-person crew to Louisville. This also changes the equation, to some extent.

    • My non-lawyer (and possibly very wrong) take was that the authorities were the real culprits here. Why were the airport police doing this for United? There’s no evidence now that the passenger had committed any crime.

    • I’m not a lawyer, either, but in answer to your question, they called the police because they needed him ejected from the plane (he wouldn’t leave voluntarily), and that’s who you call under those circumstances. United isn’t allowed to forcibly detain or remove someone by themselves.

      That said, United is not blameless in this situation. Beyond the initial error that led to the problem (i.e., discovering a last-minute need to get a crew to Louisville), they also failed to offer him (or anyone else) all of the inducements that they could have. The maximum would have been $1350 cash, plus a hotel room, plus a ticket on another flight. Instead, they offered $800 scrip (coupons for future flights) and a ticket on another flight. If they had offered the full inducement, the odds are that SOMEONE on the flight would have taken it. But they did not, which means that they did not do everything in their power to resolve the issue before resorting to force.

      Of course, the PR angle here means that it may not really matter if he has a case or not; United is likely to settle just to avoid any more attention being paid to the situation.

    • There were at least two people on the flight who asked if United would offer $1600 in vouchers, they would take it, but the airline representatives refused. But even the dollar figures may not match what passengers really value in terms of their plans being delayed. Staying over an extra 24 hours, and missing a day of work or school, isn’t a viable option for everyone, especially in this case where it means coming home in the afternoon on a Monday instead of a Sunday. The airlines really need to understand that and factor that into what they offer. These dollar figures are based on federal guidelines, but those guidelines need adjustment.

      United is going to want to settle this fast. They may not have given those removed from the flight the proper documentation explaining what all their options were, as is mandated. This goes on top of the ham-fisted way they handled the first 48 hours of this fiasco.

    • FYI, those were not police. They were security guards.

  3. If you agree that baseball is basically an individual sport masquerading as a team sport (sure, I’m being extreme here and you may not agree at all), does it follow that the team record should be more relevant when deciding the MVP of other team sports (e.g. NBA)?

  4. Remember when no one used “liberal” as a lazy insult, until Rush Limbaugh showed up? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

    • I think it’s great that liberals are appropriating “snowflake” so as to rob that incredibly dishonest attack of its efficacy.

  5. When you start thinking that giant corporations are exceedingly liberal, your views might be exceedingly extreme.

  6. Just now reading your chat. As a Reds fan I know how little to put into this first week, but shouldn’t we be encouraged by how Bryan Price and the organization appears to be using the bullpen? I’ve read in the past about how you believe they have a number of 3-4 type starters, could you say that the use of Lorenzen, Iglesias, others, etc. is encouraging as a way to improve upon the lack of any dominant starting pitching?

    • My comments on ignoring first-week stats/results are more about players, not philosophical changes. And if some player shows up throwing much harder or much less hard than he had before, that’s probably meaningful, more than, say, a guy throwing 7 shutout innings would tell us anything we didn’t alread know.

  7. I feel the need to say how much I love these chats. They’re a little oasis of sanity, rationality and logic that I appreciate more and more the further we get away from 2008-2016.

    • You know what, Todd? You post inspired me to sign in for the first time to echo your thoughts.

      The Klawchat has become my Sunday morning, breakfast-time weekly ritual. Some people spend Sunday mornings with the New York Times Sunday Edition. I spend mine with Klawchat.

  8. What did you mean about not knowing any reasonable targets for the Braces? Just that there tied to people who will be gone before 5? Just curious. Their FO has been kind of unpredictable anyway.

  9. The United Flight was never overbooked. It was full and then United felt the need to get 4 employees to Louisville by kicking 4 paid passengers off. I actually wrote them a letter and they replied that they have changed rules regarding employees flights; that they must notify passengers 60 minutes ahead of the flight.


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