Klawchat 5/18/17.

My annual ranking of the top 25 players under 25 is now up for Insiders.

Also, just your regular reminder to go buy my book Smart Baseball, out now from HarperCollins!

Keith Law: Klawchat, top of the food chain.

Phil: What is your quick, reasoned, non-hyperbolic assessment of Jeter’s career?
Keith Law: Great player, Hall of Famer, not the Second Coming.

Bertil: What should Atlanta do with Swanson?
Keith Law: Play him every day. I assume this was a question about sending him down or something, but that would be pointless and possibly harmful. Just play him every day this year and be patient.

Tim: Castro and Hicks. Mirages or is there something real going on with both that should give the Yankees long term hope? Castro has fooled us all before after all..
Keith Law: I’m a little more bullish on Hicks, since he’s shown flashes of all of this before, just never for long enough to matter – and he’s getting consistent playing time for the first time in a while.

Squire: Are the Phillies connected to anyone else at #8 other than Shane Baz?
Keith Law: Trevor Rogers. Other HS arms, but I’ve also heard that they’re not specifically focused on that category.

Ben: Does Padres AAA reliever Phil Maton have a future in a big league bullpen?
Keith Law: Yes. Very high spin-rate fastball.

Kieth’s Friend: Any tips on cooking an omelette? I bet if you saw mine you would run away
Keith Law: Without knowing what you’re doing, I’ll blindly suggest lowering the heat.

John: Leading up to draft day, Hunter Greene was a consensus 1/2. No win some mocks I’m seeing him slip down to the Padres at 3. Whats the cause of this and what are the odds it actually happens?
Keith Law: Nah, he was never consensus 1 or 2. He’s the consensus number one talent. There was always a chance that he’d go below that, just like Jason Groome was (IMO) the #2 talent last year and went 12th. Well, not just like that, because Groome slid on some makeup concerns, while Greene, if he goes 3, hasn’t exactly “slid” and also would buck history if he goes 1 overall because no HS RHP has ever gone there.

Tim: Any thoughts on the Dodgers thought process with Bellinger? Seems like with Gonzalez out, playing him at 1st would improve the defense pretty significantly over him in left with Utley at first. Have seen several misplayed balls over at 1st by Utley/Van Slyke.
Keith Law: I think they’re temporarily prioritizing contract (AG is signed through next year for too much money) over the best alignment of players (Bellinger at 1b, AG on the bench). If they get everyone healthy and play AG at first and Bellinger in left, then I think you’d have cause for complaint.

Michael: Proper punishment for Pillar?
Keith Law: Five game suspension, roughly.

Justin: What your take on German Marquez?
Keith Law: Two-pitch guy. Can’t see him staying a starter like that. Speaking of which, he’s pitching like a mile away from me at the moment.

Tim: What do you make of TJ Rivera?
Keith Law: Just a bench guy, if that.

Brandon Johnson : Thinking long term, do Alex Verdugo and Willie Calhoun have more value to the Dodgers in LA or as trade bait?
Keith Law: I don’t see where Calhoun ever plays for them because he has no position. Verdugo has a very good chance to be a star or at least an above average regular, so I wouldn’t rush to put him in a deal, but Calhoun has more value in trade than he can ever have for the Dodgers.

Dane: Will Devers be in Boston before Sept callups?
Keith Law: I would have said no shot in March, but now it seems like that might happen.

Michael: Any thoughts on what the issue is with JP Crawford? SSS? Or do you think there is real concern regarding his ability to play against real competition?
Keith Law: I’ve had on and off but very trivial concerns about his effort level in the past, like he was coasting on ability but was so much better than everyone else that it didn’t matter. And I’ve heard he’s not playing hard all the time now, either. So is that it? Or is he actually overmatched? I find the latter hard to believe.

Tommy Wright: Luis Robert – how high will he be in your top 100 and do my Padres have a shot at him?
Keith Law: I don’t know if he’ll be on it at all. Every team has a shot at him unless they’re locked out of the international market for this period.

Ben: Headed to Nashville next weekend…going to Catbird Seat. Any other suggestions?
Keith Law: Husk, City House, Two Ten Jack, 404 Kitchen, Rolf & Daughters, Mas Tacos, the Pharmacy, Pinewood Social.

John: How do you feel about strawberry-rhubarb pie?
Keith Law: Done right, it’s an 80.

ExExpos: Any 2018 draft guys that we should keep an eye on next year? Like Seth Beer? Or way too early?
Keith Law: Beer’s on the list, definitely, but I think it’s worth remembering that no one is truly bearing down on 2018 kids right now. They all look better from a distance; once this year’s draft is over, they’ll get more than a cursory look.

Sean: Is Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo on your to be read list? I’m halfway through it and find it a very interesting and quick read.
Keith Law: It’s a maybe. Reviews are great, I liked Saunders’ short stories, not sure how much the subject appeals.

Ralph: Most likely to be used by Cubs in a trade for a SP- Schwarber, Baez, Happ?
Keith Law: I’m sure they’d prefer to use Baez, but teams will start the ask with Eloy and Happ.

Mike: How late do you think you’ll be at Moon Palace Books tonight?
Keith Law: I think the talk is an hour or so (it’s me and two other authors), and then I’ll sign and chat. The event in Atlanta ran about two hours, so I’d bank on that. I don’t know when Moon Palace closes.

Roger: Will there ever come a day where an SP throws 275-300 innings again?
Keith Law: I don’t think so. And I say that with 99% confidence.

Jack: Thoughts on Marcus Wilson slaughtering the Midwest League?
Keith Law: Great to see, and I think it’s fair to say he’s reestablished some value already, but he also played a month there last year so while he’s not truly repeating the level, I’m at least trying not to get too far ahead of myself. I think this is probably a real step forward, but let’s see him carry it longer.

Steve: Vladdy Jr. is turning heads, but Bo Bichette is ripping the ball too. Any chance BB sticks at short in the majors? What’s his offensive ceiling?
Keith Law: Zero chance he sticks at short, but I loved his bat in the draft (and the pick) and I think he’s at least a 55 overall at 2b. Good thing for the Jays, too, since JB Woodman has been a disaster.

Cory: Please tell me the Twins will take Wright #1. And, as a Minnesotan, any chance at all that Sam Carlson falls to their pick at #35? I have my doubts.
Keith Law: Nonzero chance of Carlson falling, just because there are too many HS arms for them all to go in the first round, and then I think Carlson gets an overslot deal in the sandwich. Couldn’t tell you who they will take; I think it’s Wright, McKay, or Greene.

PhillyJake: Why is Alen Hanson still on the Pirates roster?
Keith Law: Because he’s out of options.

Seany: Any Rumblings on who the A’s may be high on for the draft?
Keith Law: Nothing new on that since my last mock.

Joe: What’s your opinion on Mueller being appointed to the special counsel
Keith Law: People who know about these things seem unanimous in their praise of him and the move, I have nothing I could possibly add to that.

Johnny O: What’s the last non-fiction book you read? I know you did a NF top 100 years ago but you haven’t posted a review of a NF book in forever.
Keith Law: I posted a review of The End of Ownership last week, and reviewed the excellent I Contain Multitudes a few weeks before that.

crawdaddy: Do you think Aaron Judge can be the Yankees long-term answer in RF.
Keith Law: I don’t think there’s any question he is.

Jason in Detroit: Keith, Beau Burrows is having a nice season. Too soon to say or is he sort of back on track?
Keith Law: I don’t think he was off track, but the main concern from last year, the lack of a good third pitch to get LHB out, remains (I just checked his platoon splits, and, yep, still a wide gap).

Jack: Who would perform best in MLB right now if Yankees needed another OF, Fowler or Frazier?
Keith Law: I’d call up Fowler over Frazier today.

Justin: Thanks for the chats. Assuming the Pirates continue to be “meh,” or worse, what would be the best path forward? Deal Cole for a trade deadline premium price, and then spend on new pitching in the offseason? stand mostly pat (while dealing… say… Watson)? I don’t feel like they need a full rebuild.
Keith Law: Don’t see them spending on new pitching – free agent pitching has largely gotten out of the reach of the lowest-payroll teams – but trading Watson makes sense for sure, and trading Cole if healthy and likely to get a huge return would be smart for the long term even if painful for 2017.

Tracy: Any Dickens’ recommendations?
Keith Law: I loved The Pickwick Papers, and liked Bleak House although its length may scare some folks off.

Michael: Any concerns about Trea Turner or still a SSS
Keith Law: Nah, he’ll be fine.

Sloth: Does David Peterson sneak into the first round? What’s his ceiling?
Keith Law: I think I had him going 15th or 16th in the mock, and I’ve heard him as high as Miami’s pick at 14. Ceiling is a 3, reasonable ceiling a 4.

Tom: Walker Buehler. 1.4 FIP so far in A+/AA seems good. Any chance we see a peak out of the bullpen this year, or will his innings cap prevent it?
Keith Law: They could manage him in a way that gets him to the majors this year, but they’d have to decide that sooner rather than later.

Jim: What have you heard about Matt Tabor? Potential 2nd rounder?
Keith Law: Up to 95 with bad delivery. Was told not a top 100 guy.

Ben: Thoughts on Sierra after seeing him for a stint with the Cards?
Keith Law: Nothing new. Plus run, plus field, will eventually be above average hitter with below average power. I wouldn’t judge him differently on performance in 30 at bats.

Gregory: With Freddie Freeman now out, and the season about to be lost, should the Braves start the parade of prospects to MLB?
Keith Law: Didn’t they already start that? Guys will come up when they’re ready, but I don’t think you’ll see any elite guys like Fried (or Acuna, if at all) till after the ASB.

Justin: Hearing anything new on the Luis Robert front?
Keith Law: I do not follow that market at all.

Steve: Have you heard anything about Duplantier this season? Couldn’t ask for better results thus far and he’s been healthy. Does he have a chance to be a top 100 guy come the end of the season?
Keith Law: Heard in spring training he looked great and felt completely healthy again; I thought he was the one pick they made last year that could really explode for them this season, because he might have been a first rounder if he had a clean medical and weren’t at Rice. Teams really do discount Rice pitchers given their injury history, as they should. Until Wayne Graham is gone, that should be the draft room norm.

Jim: Tristen Lutz and Jacob Pearson, both top 100 proepects?
Keith Law: Pearson was on my draft top 50, no? Lutz I don’t think so but I haven’t done a full 100 yet.

Wendy: Any interest in being a teams GM?
Keith Law: I’ve never been offered that job, so this is an academic question, but I don’t think I’d take such a drastic change in my work/life balance. I wouldn’t like it, and it would be cruel to do that to my family.

Andy: Enjoying Smart Baseball on Kindle. I’m curious, have all MLB scouting departments fully embraced Sabermetrics or do any still rely on the traditional baseball card statistics and metrics?
Keith Law: Thank you! All 30 MLB teams have full-fledged analytics departments; they vary in how much they integrate that work into other areas.

Matt: In your “just missed” column, you described Zimmer as a possible 20/20 guy. Do you think he has the speed to steal 30+ in the bigs like he has in the minors each year?
Keith Law: Gotta get on base at a decent clip for that, and he has really never hit LHP (aside from a tiny sample this year in AAA), which may mean he’s a platoon guy.

Marco: Is Clarke Thomas a Dodger profile for the first round? They selected Buehler two years ago, I don’t see that so unlikely.
Keith Law: Schmidt? I think that’s very unlikely. Buehler was a way better prospect pre-injury than Schmidt.

Steve: Erick Fedde was moved to the pen. Is he a future starter or reliever to you?
Keith Law: I thought he was maybe 60/40 reliever. Saw him last week, still lacks an average changeup. Great arm, definite big leaguer, maybe he could still fake it enough to start because the fastball and slider both flash plus. But I feel extremely confident he’ll be a good reliever.

Gerard: Favorite Melvins’ recording?
Keith Law: Stoner Witch. Is there another answer?

Zihuatenejo: Any advice on finding time to read? I was a voracious reader in my teens and twenties, but as a busy adult I can’t seem to find the time to settle down with a book anymore.
Keith Law: Two suggestions. One is finding hidden moments where you’re otherwise not doing anything – or screwing around on your phone – like waiting in line at stores or waiting for appointments or riding the bus or subway. I read a ton in those places. The other is choosing to dedicate some time every night to reading, even if it’s just 20 minutes. I find that it’s extremely calming, in addition to the pure pleasure I derive from reading.

Parker: Who surprised you more about their stardom from where they were in the minor leagues. AJ Pollock or Paul Goldschmidt?
Keith Law: Goldschmidt. Pollock was a first rounder. Goldschmidt was a lower round pick whom pro scouts weren’t even that high on – I have notes from when he was in the minors from pro scouts who saw him and called him an “up and down guy” or a “platoon 1b.”

Brian: What’s Christin Stewart’s MLB potential?
Keith Law: Solid average everyday LF with plus power and minus defense.

Jean: Are you still a big fan of Jordan Hicks? He has an underwhelming strikeout per 9 right now for a guy that hits 100 mph. Is he more stuff then results right now because of his age?
Keith Law: Yes, still a big fan. Stuff is there, but he’s not just young but inexperienced.
Keith Law: Also, it’s 35 innings.

Theo: Delvin Perez for Brad Hand who says “no”?
Keith Law: The Cardinals are not giving up last year’s first rounder for a guy who was just waived a few months ago.

Parker: how did Nolan Arenado go from a bad defender to pure amazing?
Keith Law: I’ve never delved into the full story but the hints I’ve gotten over the years are that the kid worked his ass off and the Rockies coaches did an amazing job with his footwork and reads. He was a legit 45 defender (or below) in the AFL, and a year later he’s a Gold Glover.

Elliott: Do you sear your meatballs or drop them in the sauce with a covered lid?
Keith Law: Sear and then braise in the sauce.

Andy: Assuming Sandy finally gets it and lets him play everyday, can Conforto maintain this level of production, or do you expect some natural regression ahead?
Keith Law: I think Conforto is a star. He has a .393 OBP, which I think is entirely sustainable for him, but is on pace for 45 HR with a .638 SLG, which I think is not.

Keith: Will Albert Abreu eventually be moved to pen or can he stick in rotation?
Keith Law: More likely to the pen, but absolutely let him start for now and the near future. He could become a starter.

Chad: A question I wanted to ask you in Atlanta on Tuesday: With the caveat that it’s seven weeks in, most of the Braves top 20 prospects have met or exceeded expectations despite being aggressively promoted. Plus, Demeritte’s and Jackson’s flaws look legitimately improved. Credit to Clark and Bridges’ scouts, player development, luck? All of the above? After Freddie’s injury, my focus is now pretty one-directional.
Keith Law: Also pro scouts, and the front office’s aggressiveness. It has been a tremendous year so far on their farm.
Keith Law: Credit everyone there except Kiley. We know he’s just there for the food.

Danny: Would you deal Tommy Joseph to a contender at the deadline and call up Hoskins? He seems legit, no?
Keith Law: I think Hoskins is legit, but what would a contender do with Joseph?

Jose: Is Josh Ockimey improving his outlook at all? I am hoping he can be a power hitting 1b in the next 3-4 years.
Keith Law: Yes – remember he was on fire till about mid-July last year and then absolutely stunk afterwards. I asked, and was told he wasn’t hurt, but he ran out of steam. So I guess I believe this is real but he has to show he can hit all season, not for half a year.

Seath: Could you see Tyler Jay working the bullpen in the Majors and transition to the rotation eventually (2-3 years)? Or do you think the move is permanent?
Keith Law: I got the sense this was a permanent move but I believed he could develop as a starter and would love to see them keep the door open for him.

John: If the Twins keep this up through the All Star break should they stand pat or flip Dozier and Santana for younger pieces to put around the young core?
Keith Law: I do not believe they’re going to keep this up till the ASB and they’d be remiss in failing to get value for their older players.

Theo: if the MLB players association were the Beatles what would the NFL players association be? My guess would be a tone deaf rabbit trying to play the banjo.
Keith Law: The NFLPA can’t comment because they’re currently fetching Goodell’s dry cleaning.

Marcus: You mention Fried as an elite guy, no concerns over him scuffling a bit so far?
Keith Law: Obviously not.

Ben: What are the cubs doing with Jose Albertos? Is he hurt? Why hasn’t he started in the minors? Still see him with front of the line potential?
Keith Law: They claimed a minor injury last year, and of course he’s got no innings under his belt, so it’s not like he can go out and pitch a full year.

Mark: Jacob Gatewood has already walked more this year at a higher level than all of last year. Is this a legit change or are we still in SSS territory?
Keith Law: He got LASIK, no? The story – not that I could dispute this in any way – is that he can see the ball properly for the first time in years. Works for me.

Jesse: How soon before Rosario is up? With the season lost, might the Mets be better off keeping him at triple-A all season?
Keith Law: How would that make them better off, exactly?

Carter: What to make of Carson Fulmers AAA numbers he doesn’t seem to be missing bats anymore.
Keith Law: I’ve said since he was a college sophomore that he’s a reliever. He can’t command his fastball well enough with that delivery, and he got college hitters out too often on breaking stuff out of the zone.

Kevin: Kyle Funkhouser just got a promotion to high A. Think he has a future of 2-3 or is that too bullish?
Keith Law: I’ll buy that. He dominated low-A on stuff, and he was way too old/experienced for the level. Now he gets a real test.

Mike: Thanks, Keith. Hopefully my stats class gets out early. Moon Palace closes at 8 according to their website – for others who might want to know.
Keith Law: Thank you. It starts at 6:30, and I’ll certainly try to stay to accommodate everyone. I signed the books of everyone who stayed on Tuesday.

Tyler: I admit I overreacted when I saw Judge wasn’t on your 25 under 25 list. Had his birthday not been 3 weeks ago, roughly what range would he have fallen in? (Also, Judge’s age makes you realize how everyone has different time tables of developing their talent.)
Keith Law: I didn’t consider anyone who didn’t qualify – once I include one guy who’s 25, I’d have to include or at least consider them all, and then the whole list is kaput. But yes, he did develop on a different path, and credit the Yankees for how they handled him.

Chris: Will Kyle Tucker be a top 10 prospect at years end he is killing it. Has he changed anything or just a body maturing
Keith Law: Great hitter. Not likely to be a top 10 prospect as a corner OF.

JD: is the political chaos as bad for your mental health as it is for us in DC, or does it not take up a big part of your mindspace?
Keith Law: It’s impossible to avoid this stuff if you’re online as much as I am. I’m happy with chaos if it slows the implementation of dangerous policies. This administration hasn’t given me any reason to think they have pro-growth economic policies coming.

Theo: Renfroe has suddenly started walking, did someone say “you shouldn’t swing at balls”? What would go into getting him to make this adjustment?
Keith Law: It’s been a week. That’s not necessarily an adjustment; guys who rarely walk can still have a seven-game stretch where they draw seven walks without any material change in their games.

Bob: The thing that boggles my mind is that though every team has an analytic department and most teams seem to use it in picking players, there are still so many managers that don’t seem to be on the same page.
Keith Law: Same. How guys like Scioscia and Collins have infinite job security – thanks to their owners – in the face of industry upheaval just boggles my mind. For everyone else, it’s evolve or die.

Larry David: How important is it for Triston McKenzie to pack on like, 50 pounds and how much can that mess with a guys mechanics?
Keith Law: Doubt he’s got room for 50 pounds, but he could gain 20 naturally over the next few years. He doesn’t really need velocity, but the prevailing belief is that size equals durability and if that’s true (I don’t know that it is) then it would be very important because he has to walk around storm grates.

John: Are you excited about Daniel Brito at all? He is small, but seems to have a useful tool set. Any chance he is better than a utility player down the line?
Keith Law: Oh I think he’s got a good chance to be a lot better than a UT. He’s so young his range of outcomes is high but he has star potential.

Jason: Heard of the band Temples? You should check em out.
Keith Law: Yep, at least two of their songs have made my monthly playlists, and one was on an annual top 100.

Ruth Bader: Any thoughts on the Cornell passing? Were you a fan of any of his music or appreciative of his versatile voice tool?
Keith Law: Loved, loved, loved Soundgarden, especially Louder than Love and Badmotorfinger. I remember an early interview with Cornell, maybe around 1991, where he cited Kafka, Camus, and Celine as influences on his lyrics. And while they were called grunge because they were Seattle-based and contemporaries of grunge acts, their music was quite progressive until Down on the Upside. I know their best output was behind them, but what a huge loss nonetheless. If you’re in the US and you need help, the national suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and someone is there 24 hours a day.

addoeh: Any chance in the future that Statcast is used to determine errors in place of some dude in the press box? If say a fielder had a high percentage chance (say 90%) to make a play and doesn’t, they’d get an error.
Keith Law: We can only hope. Or just kill the error completely.

Jon : I know you’ve questioned the process behind the Craig Counsell hiring. But he’s also the only Brewer manager who has never had me pulling my hair out with stupid decision making. Can we say the process was flawed but result was good?
Keith Law: That can certainly happen.

Jason: Would Sixto Sanchez be a top 100 prospect for you if the rankings were redone?
Keith Law: No.

Tracy: Thanks a lot for sharing your story about your recent struggles with anxiety and dealing with medication. Like any other disorder, it has to be dealt with regularly and it never completely goes away. Hopefully, for those who also struggle with anxiety, they were able to take some measure of solace from your story. Thanks, Keith.
Keith Law: I’ve gotten a lot of responses from readers to that newsletter edition, more than anything else I’ve sent out, and I apologize for not getting back to everyone yet. But I saw all your notes and am thankful for everyone’s concern and well wishes, and glad I could do some good for those of you facing the same kind of mental illness issues.

Nate: Do you have any advice for a current college student who has aspirations to work in a baseball operations department from the analytics side? Thanks
Keith Law: Learn to code. Study topics relevant to big data, like machine learning and signal processing.

Nick: Mark Appel had one of the worst innings I’ve ever seen today. Struggled all year. Org guy or is there still hope for some value?
Keith Law: Stuff is still good, results are atrocious. Can’t pitch from the stretch at all. I think you have to move him to the bullpen to try to hit reset, but guys in the bullpen pitch with runners on base too. Hate to give up on a healthy arm with stuff, but at some point he has to show he can miss more bats and find a way to pitch with men on.

Moltar: Going to Philly for a long weekend, any eat/drinks recommendations?
Keith Law: High St on Market, Dizengoff, Barbuzzo, High Street on Market, Pizzeria Vetri, Pizzeria Stella, Osteria. There are some great high-end places like Vernick and Zahav but it can be extremely difficult to get a table there – I tried to get into Zahav for my anniversary, which is in mid-June, and they had nothing even though I called over a month ahead.

Troy: Keith, what is going on with Lucas Erceg? He was hitting just .211 the other day but less than a 20% strikeout rate. Just bad luck or something more? Also, Corey Ray starting to hit more!
Keith Law: It’s mid-May, and the minors have played a lot fewer games than the majors have. Don’t get too worried about players we knew were good, who were good last year, but haven’t performed yet.

Nate (Seattle): For players under suspension (such as Brickford or S Marte), what kind of contact can they have with their team? Do they get sent to Arz/Florida for extended spring training type workouts?
Keith Law: I believe they can work out in extended, but TBH I’m not really sure what the restrictions are.

Zach: I’m disappointed I can’t make it to Moon Palace tonight, I’m sure you’ll have a good turnout. Peace Coffee around the corner will help get you through, too. What places will you be dining at while in town?
Keith Law: Thank you – I’m excited to meet everyone. I’ll probably just have one dinner with my friend Evon, who lives in the area, but I’m not sure what the plan is. And then tomorrow I’ll get breakfast and go to Dogwood for coffee.

Ken: Just wanted to say thanks for your newsletter. I’m stable on medication for OCD and anxiety, and have been for a few years, but I always want to be careful not to take it for granted, or think I can’t have a rebound.
Keith Law: You’re welcome. I took it for granted.

Chris: Is health and stature the knock on Cease? Does he have the durability to be a true ace
Keith Law: Stuff isn’t quite what it was in HS, and I think the FB plays down. I do like him, just maybe not what we thought he’d be.

Bob: In general, should guys who project to be very good relief pitchers start to specialize in the minor leagues or should they start to get in the innings? After all, their development is a higher priority than wins at that level.
Keith Law: I’m fine with starting those guys so they work on developing secondary stuff and pitch on a regular schedule.

Brett: Did you make it to Staplehouse while in Atlanta?
Keith Law: No, I ate at Cakes & Ale in Decatur, within walking distance of the venue. And the meal was spectacular.

Eric: Khalil Lee doesn’t have a great average in the minors, but his OB%, homeruns and SB look really encouraging. Have you hear anything about him?
Keith Law: He’s young for low-A, so it is encouraging, but he’s striking out a ton and the majority of scouts I know who saw him in HS had questions about the hit tool.

Santos: By career wRC+ Votto has the 7th best mark in baseball history, and is 14th on the list (lots of ties). It could be argued that he is a top 14 hitter in all of baseball history. Remember when people wanted him to change his approach a few years ago? RBIs are a hell of a drug.
Keith Law: By people, you mean Marty Brennaman, right?

Jeremy: Also Tim Tebow on cover of baseball america. They should know better over there right?
Keith Law: Gotta sell papers! The Tebow scouting piece I wrote in Arizona got huge traffic numbers. I wouldn’t revisit that topic because then I’d be pandering, but the reality is that sometimes a washed-up non-prospect moves the needle.

Mary: Will Flaherty be close to top 100 by midseason?
Keith Law: He was on my top 100 this past offseason, and of course would still be on it.

Brett: Keith, when ranking prospects how much do you factor in the ability to make adjustments? A lot has been made of Aaron Judge’s ability to improve once he gets comfortable with a level and he’s certainly made positive changes on his stance and laying off pitches he swung at when he was first called up last year.
Keith Law: That’s always in there and I cited it specifically when writing about Judge.

Mickey: Will you be going to Changing Hands in Phoenix or Tempe anytime soon for a signing?
Keith Law: I think I’ll do one there in October when I’m out for fall league – I’ve discussed it with Changing Hands and they’re game, but we haven’t fixed a date yet.

Jack Law: I thought Allen Cordoba would log a few dozen PA and be terrible. Is he doing better than you thought?
Keith Law: Absolutely.

John: Too bad you can’t find time to stop by the Twins broadcast booth. They seem to spend half their time talking about errors, batting average, and the virtue of sacrificing runners over.
Keith Law: In Smart Baseball I mention the irony of Bert Blyleven, who is only a Hall of Famer because of sabermetrics and the lobbying of people in the sabermetrics community, hating sabermetrics.

Mike: Of the HS outfielders potentially at the top of the draft – Royce Lewis, Austin Beck, Jordon Adell – who do you think has the best hit tool now and hit tool potential?
Keith Law: Lewis now & potential. Adell probably has the highest overall ceiling, though; I think he’s the best athlete of the three by a long shot.

Pop: Love the book! Is there anything I/We here in Austin could do to get you down here for a signing?
Keith Law: I’ll end with this even though there a lot of great questions in the queue – I have to get a move on here. If you want me to do a signing in your city, it has to come from a venue there (usually an independent bookstore) that asks HarperCollins. If I can work it into my schedule – I’m in MSP for ESPN, and doubling up with the signing – we’ll work to make it happen. But the inquiry has to come from the store or, as with Atlanta, a venue where I can do a talk or Q&A or whatever. I’m definitely doing signings in Toronto (6/26), Miami (7/8), and Harrisburg (7/15), tentatively in Brooklyn, Indianapolis (GenCon), Phoenix (October/AFL), and Philly (November, PAX Unplugged). I’m happy to do more; Tuesday night was fun, and while I admit to some raised anxiety, it went great and the readers were all great to talk to afterwards. And I didn’t even share the best story of all – maybe in the next newsletter.
Keith Law: Thank you all for all of your questions, for reading, and for al the kind words on the book and on my last newsletter. I am planning to go to Louisville next week for the ACC tournament and may have to move or skip the chat, so please stay tuned.


  1. “The ask?”

    Ugh. Say it ain’t so, Keith.