Klawchat, 6/12/17.

Happy Draft Day! My latest mock draft (posted Sunday morning) is up for Insiders.

Keith Law: Why do I find it hard to write the next line? It’s Klawchat.

Alan: Still confident in Wright to Atlanta? Any rumors about them going underslot to save money?
Keith Law: As far as I know, that’s still the most likely scenario (the 1-6 I had in my mock yesterday). Yes, there are those rumors, but I don’t think it comes to pass.

Alan: Kyle wright was 1-1 a few days ago, now most people have him falling to at least 5. Have any concerns popped up with him, or is it just that teams at 2, 3 and 4 don’t like him as much?
Keith Law: No concerns and not falling – just that teams 2-4 were focused on other players beforehand.

Alan: Keaton Hieura getting top 10 talk now. Is that a reach to you? Is it because he’ll sign for cheap?
Keith Law: Hiura is a reach to me because he can’t play the field and has some kind of arm injury that will have to be addressed postdraft. It’s possible he won’t play till next year as a result. But scouts tell me he’s the best pure bat in the class (I didn’t see, went to SoCal twice, Irvine was on the road both times) and if he’d been healthy all spring he might have legitimately gone top 10. I think he goes 8 or 10 although he’s worked out at 5 and 6.

addoeh: Where does today rank in baseball related holidays for you? Start of free agency, Opening Day, start of spring training?
Keith Law: It’s like Thanksgiving for me: I enjoy it, but by the time it actually arrives, I’m so exhausted by the preparation that I’m just relieved that it’s happening.

Clubber Lang: Do Cubs finally go with some pitching with 2 1st round picks? Seems any bat they draft is a waste? Any dark horse SP there for them in round 1?
Keith Law: They can always trade bats they draft and can’t use, so “waste” is not an appropriate description. I do think one of those two picks (27 and 30) will be a pitcher, maybe a prep or JC arm at 30 after a bat at 27 because the good college starters should all be gone by that point.

Jim – Chicago: Hi Keith- Bukauskas seems to give you less reservations than other similar “short” RHP draft prospects in recent years. Am I interpreting that correctly and, if so, is their something in his delivery that might eventually get him some plane on his fastball?
Keith Law: No, I have the same reservations – lack of FB plane, doesn’t use lower half in his delivery – but this class is weaker than most.

Pete: If the Mets go pitching over hitting tonight, is that a reaction to their top arms having graduated the system?
Keith Law: Don’t think so. I think it would just mean they liked the arm at 20 over available bats.

Rob: IYO, would Warmoth to the ChiSox at 11 (underslot deal) make sense? Or, is there nothing connecting them to Warmoth? Thanks Keith!
Keith Law: Don’t think they’re on Warmoth at all.

Zach: Could you please contrast Hunter Greene vs. Robert Stephenson at the time they were drafted? As a Reds fan, I’m hesitant to go down the “unpolished flamethrowing HS RHP” track again.
Keith Law: Stephenson had a better breaking ball but a more violent delivery. Greene is younger and more athletic and the delivery is very easy.

Steve: Shouldn’t Rays take the best player at 4 instead of cutting a deal with Bubba Thompson?
Keith Law: I think they will and projected them to do so (BPA, not a deal).

Sean: Are the under-slot deals really a “good idea” for teams like the Rays, Braves, etc? Is the possible drafting of an over-slot 2nd rounder worth it?
Or do they only do it because they don’t see anyone with enough high-level talent in the 1st round?
Keith Law: I don’t think this draft has enough guys to guarantee you get who you want at pick 40 or 41 or whatever. Just take BPA in the top 5.

Brian: Thanks for the chat today. Are the Philllies still focused on the 2 UVA bats? Who would your pick be knowing their system.? thanks!
Keith Law: Also heard Hiura with them, some prep arms, but most likely a college bat.

Michael: Tangently related to the draft, I finished school a month ago and am in the middle of a business internship (paid). My friend is a mid-tier player on one of the teams still in the College WS chase and probably won’t be done until almost July. School starts again late August. He can’t get a real summer job that will help him and isn’t going to play pro ball. How are these guys “student” athletes again?
Keith Law: Because apparently a “scholarship” worth 1/4 of your tuition is sufficient compensation even though the CWS chase brings in a lot of revenue to the school and the NCAA as a whole.

PhillyJake: Can one draw the conclusion that Pavin Smith and Nick Pratto are both destined to be future DHs?
Keith Law: Absolutely not.

S.S. Size: Last year we saw a few South Jersey kids get drafted (Groom, Mondial, that kid from Haddon Heights). Any SJ prospects of note this year?
Keith Law: Don’t have any on my top 100, and don’t think we’ll see any till day 3, maybe Ergatuk there.

Paulie: How did Franklin Perez look yesterday?
Keith Law: Good, not outstanding, but the makings of a good mid-rotation starter. Chance for three pitches, 92-96, secondary wasn’t plus, threw a lot of strikes.

Ryan: When reading about Jaren Kendall, based on the toolshe kind of reminds me of George Springer. Besides Springer being a bit more polished at the same age, is there really much that separates the two? Thanks Keith!
Keith Law: Springer was stronger & more physical, and his swing worked better mechanically, while he lacked a two-strike approach.

Balor: What odds would you give to Nate Pearson ending up a starter vs. a reliever?
Keith Law: 50/50? Huge FB, but no one thinks he has a consistently above average second pitch yet.

Squire: Any non-first round names associated with the Phillies?
Keith Law: Nope. No one knows who’s going in the top 30. Projecting the second round is like rolling dice.

Phil: Hi Keith. What’s one player who you think will be picked later in the draft (so not first round) who you think could end up a star?
Keith Law: I don’t know the third tier of prospects as well this year as I have in past years so I don’t have any great answers on that – but I do like Stephen Jennings, Kyle Hurt, and Blaine Enlow, all pretty high on my Big Board but not likely to to go first round.

Paul: Hey Keith. Thanks for the chat. I keep reading that the Dbacks are interested in Pavan Smith, and reading about him really does not excite me. Is there any chance he can play a position other than first base? And how much power do you think he’ll end up having? Thanks!
Keith Law: First base only. I think average power. Some people think more. I’ve never seen him really hit anything hard, and to me that’s a swing for contact rather than power.

Trixie: Who’s your favorite mystery writer? Have you ever read anything by Sue Grafton?
Keith Law: Still Agatha Christie. Never read anything by Grafton or other mass-market authors like her.

Dave: Keith, thanks for all your draft coverage. Do you think the A’s will take a HS OF (Beck, maybe Lewis) or college bat (Smith, Hiura) at 6?
Keith Law: I think Beck is their guy, unless Gore gets there. Not on Lewis or Smith.

Nate: Thanks for the chat Keith! What are your thoughts on the recent rumors that the Twins might be trying to cut a deal with Royce Lewis at 1-1 and, if they do, who might they be considering at 35?
Keith Law: That’s been rumored for a few weeks, but I don’t see why Lewis would take an underslot deal at 1. He’s going 4 or 5 at worst, so why would he sign for less than McKay, who’s also going 4 or 5 if he doesn’t go 1, and has less leverage than Lewis does? I could be way off but I wonder if there’s some posturing here to negotiate McKay (or someone else) down.

Will: Michael Chavis is showing some power at High A this season. How much, if at all, does this change Chavis’s prospect stock?
Keith Law: He was hurt last year but didn’t disclose it or miss any time. So I’d rather say that my rankings of him off last year were the error, and he’ll resume his correct place now that he’s health and performing again.

Kevin: Why do you think Minnesota is passing on Greene for a college arm?
Keith Law: For increased certainty.

Moltar: Am I wrong to be kind of underwhelmed with the mock selection of Lange to the Mets? His scouting reports don’t get me as excited as Pearson or Peterson if they’re set on an arm (I’d rather they catch my fave pokemon Warmoth).
Keith Law: I would take Warmoth there in a heartbeat. Lange for me is almost certainly a reliever.

Craig: Every draft preview I have seen has the Brewers taking a HS outfielder with a comment about how MIL keeps collecting outfielders with a certain profile (speedy, plus defense, good bat with potential for developing power). To what extent is that an organizational plan vs. collecting guys that happen to be available at that time/spot?
Keith Law: I haven’t made that comment – I don’t think that’s their profile or type, just that they take BPA. They could take Kendall too, college guy who can run and has power but needs a lot of swing help, along the lines of Montgomery taking other top talents who got farther down the draft than they should have.

Joe-Nathan: I remember Nathan Kirby opting out of the draft by refusing to subject himself to drug testing a few years ago, so my question is there anything onerous about being draft eligible? If not why would anyone, like Joe Boyle, declare themselves ineligible for the draft????
Keith Law: It’s possible the player didn’t think he could pass the drug test. It’s also possible the player is just taking bad advice from the college coach, too. I would never send any young pitcher to Notre Dame; Mik Aoki has a long history of overusing pitchers and no history of developing them.

Andy: Hi, Keith! Hope all is well with you and your family. Not sure if this chat is solely about tonight’s mock, but I had a non-draft question for you. Have you had a chance to see Lucas Giolito over the past month or so? I’ve been lucky enough to catch most of his starts this year and he’s never looked better than he has of late. He’s confident in the curve and has this really neat changeup, too. Wanted to see if you’ve heard anything about him lately as the Sox unravel and piece back together his motion and mechanics.
Keith Law: Haven’t seen him but have talked to folks who have and am hearing just that – he’s getting close to where he was before Mike Maddux etc. changed his delivery.

Kevin: How much projection is left for Gore? Seems like a safe choice (for a HS pick), but am I wrong thinking that he’ll be nothing more that a #3/4 in time?
Keith Law: Totally disagree. Much more upside than that.

Casey (Saint Paul, MN): Hello Keith, Are teams likely to overlook Kyle Wright’s most recent game or is that something that could actually impact his draft position?
Keith Law: You consider everything. It’s a factor, but shouldn’t be weighted more heavily than other starts (hello, recency bias).

Adam: Has the lack of over-the-fence power shown by Jorge Ona been concerning for some scouts?
Keith Law: That’s an ambiguously-worded question. Am I concerned? Not really. It’s two months.

Adam: Tommy Mace is an interesting prospect. Heard anything on him?
Keith Law: He’s #99 on my Big Board.

Adam: Any teams tied to Mark Vientos?
Keith Law: Could sneak into the teens, likely in the 20-35 range, doesn’t get past 41 Atlanta.

Adam: Does Mackenzie Gore’s mechanics give evaluators some pause? His hip swing/ leg kick motion seems like it would be an injury concern as he ages.
Keith Law: On the contrary, I’ve had scouts praise him for it, saying it demonstrates how athletic he is.

Joe-Nathan: I get that Seth Romero is talented but how can a staff full of educated adults justify giving this kid who clearly has issues over a million dollars by drafting him? The odds of him imploding are so high that
Keith Law: Your question cut off, but I think what you think. This is a bad idea.

banksy_: No question today, just want to say thank you for all that you do for your readers. I wouldn’t follow the draft as closely if it weren’t for you and many other writers that do a fantastic job of educating readers on the nuances of scouting and projecting amateur talent. But especially you, since I’ve really enjoyed your book so far! Looking forward to passing it on/recommending it to friends and family when I do finish it!
Keith Law: Thanks. Big fan of your street art, too.

Randy: In years past, you did a great job picking out Conforto and Benintendi as picks that had a good chance to move through the minors quickly. Whom would be your best players for similar advancement in today’s draft?
Keith Law: Warmoth is my guy this year. Haseley too, but Warmoth is the one whose swing I like, and I think he stays at short.

Justin: To a draft newbie, if the consensus top talent by all accounts is Greene, why would the Twins not take him first? Higher probability of flameout as a high schooler than a college player?
Keith Law: He’s not the consensus by all accounts. He’s #1 on some boards, not all, maybe not even a majority.

Andrew: Have you heard the Nats connected to anyone besides the usual 4 of Romero, Lange, Schmidt, and Houck?
Keith Law: I think they’re taking Romero, haven’t heard them on Houck.

Intramural Legend: Is McKay being underrated at this point? Statistically (pitching specific), he was much better than Wright
Keith Law: Wright was better in the second half; he improved while McKay seemed to tire (unsurprisingly). And durability is a factor teams will consider.

Bob: Hey, Keith. Are you in Bristol to do TV today for the draft? Is there a special show?
Keith Law: I’m home. No TV, no more BBTN, so I’ll sleep in my own bed tonight.

Mike Trout: Thinking about a new boardgame and leaning towards 7 wonders, any advice? Have enjoyed Catan, Carcassone, & Ticket to Ride
Keith Law: 7 Wonders is fantastic. Probably a step up in strategy and complexity from what you’ve played.

AJ: Hey Keith– loved your appearance on OTL today. You have the White Sox taking JB Bukauskas over bats you’ve stated they’re linked to like Jeren Kendall. Do they have a specific interest in Bukauskas from what you know? Do you think they’d take an under-slot HS OF like Adell or Beck over a college pitcher if available?
Keith Law: If you look at my mock, those 27 pairings of team and player are all based on industry rumors. Someone told me the White Sox like Bukauskas. I can’t say who, but I can tell you everything in there is based on what I considered solid intel.

Jack: What are your thoughts on Luke Heimlich’s future? Will he get drafted? Has he paid enough for his mistake?
Keith Law: I don’t think he’ll be drafted inside of the top ten rounds. After that, there’s little to no opportunity cost if you take him and fail to sign him, so then it becomes possible.

Ian: Is McKay at #1 a mistake?
Keith Law: No. I think taking Lewis over him, Wright, or Greene might be a mistake … but I can’t even say “would be” because who the heck knows? I can’t even get consensus on what kind of hitting prospect Lewis is from scouts and execs I’ve asked.

Bret: As a general rule, how much of the info that you get (or that other analysts are getting) today is just smoke being put out by team’s to lower the price on a player they’re targeting or impact other team’s decisions? (Not suggesting you always come forward with this info, I’m sure you have a process to determine what’s real and what’s not, too)
Keith Law: Don’t think I’ve heard much of that today.

Tim (KC): Keith, disregarding your mocks, how would you draft if you were the GM of each of the teams with top 5 picks?
Keith Law: That’s what my Big Board represents – ignoring signability too, plus stuff I don’t get, like medicals or drug test results.

MetsFan: Can the Mets get Warmoth or Huira? Would love both
Keith Law: No shot on Hiura. Warmoth maybe.

Patrick: When do you think Canning goes?
Keith Law: I think someone’s second pick. Kid was overused by UCLA for three years, and now there’s something on his MRI teams don’t like. I wonder if those two are connected in any way.

Pramit: Have you heard if the Jays are interested in Nick Allen? If so, could you see them taking him at 22 if they believe he’ll be unavailable at 28?
Keith Law: Haven’t heard them with him.

Ken: If Burger gets to the Mets do you think they take him over aforementioned pitching options?
Keith Law: I think so. He’s got a bunch of teams in the 20-27 range that would take him.

Ike: Do you wish that teams could trade their picks like the NBA and NFL?
Keith Law: Yes, it’d make today much more fun/interesting.

Ryan: Do you think there is any chance Kyle Wright falls to the phillies with some people reporting under slot deals?
Keith Law: Zero.

DA: Any chance Minnesota goes Lewis #1 and uses extra money on Shane Baz at #35?
Keith Law: I don’t think so.

Tim: Any chance on Kendall going in the 6-10 range?
Keith Law: Brewers would be the only team in there who might take him, from what I know.

Chris: I’m moving to the Cape. Who should I try to see in a game this summer?
Keith Law: Just go to whatever games are nearby and enjoy them.

Drew: If Otani were in this draft class where would he go?
Keith Law: 1-1, pitcher only.
Keith Law: Bear in mind he’s also a professional, and older & more experienced than everyone else in the class, so it’s a flawed comparison.

JR: Is info come fast and furious all day today, or at some point do you hit “calm before the storm” point where nothing much happens until the draft starts.
Keith Law: It’s been fairly quiet today. Around 5 pm or so the fit will hit the shan, so to speak.

Dan P: How many guys in this draft would plug right into your top 100 prospects? Who would they be? Thanks for all your hard draft work!
Keith Law: In a typical year, I get 12-16 guys from a June draft in the next January’s top 100. I don’t do midseason 100s, however.

Jim: Any pitchers that could come up and help in the bullpen later this season, like Sale did in his draft year?
Keith Law: Lange.

Dan P: Sad to not see you live with Longenhagen tonight. Will you be blogging live or anything?
Keith Law: I’ll tweet (via the ESPN Shortstop app, so you’ll see a tweet and then a link if I wrote more than 140 chars) about each of the first round picks, and then I’ll write up a recap with thoughts on day one.

Jared S: Kind of funny Twins rumors went from Greene early, to McKaey, then to Wright, then to maybe McKay and now Lewis. Wild.
Keith Law: Eh, I don’t think there were rumors of the Twins with Greene. It’s been mostly McKay/Wright for the last month.

Nick: Thanks, as always, for the chats klaw. About to be first time father here (baby boy was due yesterday). Any advice for making the first few months here as happy and comfortable as possible for my wife?
Keith Law: It worked much better for us when we decided to alternate nights for feeding our daughter (we bottle-fed) – I’d take both feedings one night, my wife would take both the next night. We got somewhat more quality sleep out of that.

Devon: The rumors of Kyle Wright falling to the Braves have me excited because he didn’t seem attainable recently, but would you have any concern about over-crowding of SP prospects? Obviously the bust rate for pitching prospects is extremely high, but if the Braves drafted a polished college arm like Wright there would potentially be a major crunch for innings in Mississippi or Gwinnett in a year or two
Keith Law: Can’t have too many starters. They’ll figure it out somehow.

Patrick: While I fully recognize MLB is a completely different animal than say NFL or NBA where you can say team X needs a linebacker or a point guard, I still think it interesting how a team is linked to say a college starting pitcher and a high school third baseman. Is that solely because they grade out equal to each other on a team’s big board, or is that more a function of different voices within the organization fighting for they guys they are really high on?
Keith Law: Because they grade out similarly on the main board. You have to rank them all, regardless of how different they are. Imagine how much worse it’ll be if MLB ever forces a worldwide draft on us.

Dallas: Lewis takes an underslot deal at #1 ($7.0) because he won’t get $7.0 anywhere else.
Keith Law: I don’t think that’s true at all. Couple of teams below that would give him $7MM if they could.

ck: Who cares what is on your bookshelf when you are on TV? Stupid trolls need to get a life….
Keith Law: It never ceases to amaze me how mad some people will get over the most trivial things.

Mike J: Hi Keith. Hearing any new news regarding the Pirates’ thinking? Thanks for your time. Folks appreciate all of your hard work on this draft and being accessible to answer our questions.
Keith Law: Nothing new since the mock yesterday. The one pick I would change from that is the Yanks – think they’d take Pratto if there rather than Peterson, so Peterson then drops a few spots, maybe to the Giants, Mets, Orioles range, no worse than Toronto 22.

justin: Any players have a chance at cracking your top 20 baseball prospects upon being drafted?
Keith Law: I don’t think so.

Manny: Other than normal reliever attrition, am I crazy in thinking that Bukauskas is likely to be a RP?
Keith Law: I think there’s a very good chance of it, yes.

Adam D.: Please make me feel better about the Giants inevitably taking Evan White. Please?
Keith Law: Some folks think he runs well enough to play the outfield, maybe center. That would make him much more interesting.

Joe (Green Bay, WI): Comments like “…Nothing more than a #3/4,” are bothersome. It’s as if guys that profile as mid-rotation starters are found on trees.
Keith Law: Look at what they get in free agency! There have long been fans getting mad at me for saying someone “only” projects as a fourth starter. Those guys earn eight figures now.

John: Could taking Romero be a desperation move to try and help an awful Nats bullpen? Also, when you say you do not like his delivery, do you mean it could cause injury? Thanks as always.
Keith Law: He’s already had injury issues, so yes, and also I don’t think that’s a delivery that he’s going to repeat enough for average command.

Tim: Any feeling that someone other than McKay, Wright, Greene, Gore go in the top 3? Surprise pick like Moniack last year?
Keith Law: Moniak we knew as a 1-1 possibility about three weeks out. That hasn’t happened this year.

Daniel: Any thoughts on Drew Ellis? Would he be better served coming back to Louisville, or is he thought of highly enough to be a top 2-3 round pick?
Keith Law: He’s going to be drafted tonight, I think, but his swing-at-everything style scares me.

Frank: Which of the top names are being advised by Boras?
Keith Law: I do not print this information until players have signed, because the NCAA is the worst.

Ridley Kemp: Howdy Keith, I have a non-baseball Arizona question for you: My wife and I want to move to a smaller town in the desert. We love but can’t afford Marfa, so we’re looking at Bisbee. Have you ever been there, and do you have any impressions to share? I want the truth to be said.
Keith Law: Never been. Sedona was lovely, though.

Matt: Do any colleges have set-ups that allow them to track some of the new statistical measures we’re seeing a lot of in the majors right now (e.g., exit velocity, spin rate, etc.)? If so, are those stats shared with MLB teams?
Keith Law: I believe a few have set up some of the equipment for this.

James: how good is hiura’s bat? Good enough to stick him in left field and let him get to the majors asap?
Keith Law: Can’t play left if you can’t throw at all.

Garrett: What are the ceiling for Chris Seise and Ryan Vilade?
Keith Law: Both are on my Big Board … everyday regulars, but both with some bat risks. Seise seems like he needs to get a lot stronger.

Andy: Not a draft question, but….what should Tigers fans take of Manning still being in extended spring? Are they holding him back to hold down his workload, or is he not ready for full season ball yet?
Keith Law: Had trouble throwing strikes in March. I think they couldn’t send him out.

Joe-Nathan: I’m planning to get you to sign my book in Toronto. Any specific restaurants/coffee shops from your blue jay days you are excited about for your visit?
Keith Law: I haven’t been there since 2005, so I’m treating this like a first visit. I’ll only be on the ground about 24 hours.

Jay: Not a draft question, but how much research or questions are raised internally about players eye sight as they age? We know bat speed declines with age, but eye sight in general does as well for most people. Obviously it’s really hard to combat this but how much is this talked about with clubs when signing guys or doing medical research on them and do you think this is something that eventually become a bigger deal as teams try to discover the next market inefficiency in the health/biometrics area?
Keith Law: Most teams want vision test results for potential draftees, and some teams will crush a guy with poor results. So it’s definitely a factor tonight, but I don’t hear it much for veteran players.

Wally: hey Keith – love the book. Was curious about your comment in the mock draft about Romero (‘at a certain point it becomes indistinguishable from parody ‘). Is that a shot at the Nats or the industry generally for considering a screwup because he has talent?
Keith Law: Want to make an educated guess who the Nats are taking? Find the most famous player still on the board.

Jim: Where would Luis Robert go in this draft class?
Keith Law: Probably middle of the first round.

Dave: Keith, non-draft question, how many MLB stadiums have you been to?
Keith Law: I think 27. I’ll add one in July at the Futures Game. I’d still need Seattle and Texas.

Quinn: Likelihood of Kyle Wright falling out of the top 5?
Keith Law: Under 5%.

addoeh: So no trip to Omaha then?
Keith Law: For me? No, we’re not doing BBTN any more, so no BBTNs from Omaha either.

Wade: When is Rooker taken?
Keith Law: Tonight, somewhere between 30-50 is my guess.

Danny: Sorry if you’ve answered his before, but who are the players in mind that teams cutting a deal want to fall in the supplemental 1st or 2nd round?
Keith Law: Prep arms, largely. Carlson, Enlow, Jennings, Baz (in theory, doubt it happens), Crouse, Heatherly, etc.

Noah: Who has the final say for a draft pick, is it the GM, Farm Director, or President of Baseball Ops?
Keith Law: First round it’s usually the GM, although he may simply choose to take who the scouting director wants. After that it’s typically the scouting director, unless there’s a deal already in place.

Steve: FYI, if you think having Sandy Hook Truthers on TV isn’t a thing NBC should do, you can tell them about it here: http://www.nbc.com/contact-us
Keith Law: It’s definitely not something any tv station should do, but let’s face it, the networks will do anything for eyeballs at this point.

Scott C: This isn’t a draft question, but did you get to see any of Newcomb’s debut over the weekend?
Keith Law: Nope. Didn’t watch any MLB games this weekend – I was either doing draft prep or at the Blue Rocks’ games Saturday and Sunday.

Kyle: About where does JJ Schwarz go at this point?
Keith Law: Fourth or fifth round? Would he even sign there, or go back to UF to try to come out after a better senior year?

addoeh: Unless you have been there already this year, new Atlanta ballpark as well.
Keith Law: oh that’s right. Boondoogle Park is on the list.

Andy: What are the chances the a player not in your top 100 is taken tonight? I guess the question is, have you heard other guys getting mentioned towards the end, that you have outside 100.
Keith Law: 100% chance of that. Last year there were a couple – JB Woodman, the guy Ole Miss fans kept claiming was a 5-tool player, was the first, I think. (He has a 39% K rate as a 22-year-old in low-A this year.) The Pirates also skunked everyone with their last pick of day one, Travis “Monarch of the Glen” Macgregor.

Jerry: To combat the way some college coaches abuse their best arms, what is keeping the NCAA from instituting pitch limits and mandatory rest periods, the same way every amateur level in America is currently doing?
Keith Law: This would assume the NCAA cares one iota about keeping pitchers healthy.

Steve: When you say Hiura can’t throw “at all,” how bad are you talking? Ben Revere bad? Or an actual bottom-of-the-scale 20 arm?
Keith Law: He didn’t play the field all spring because of whatever’s going on with his arm. That’s why I listed him as a DH/2B.

Mo: Not a question, but as an African-American and lifelong baseball fan, Hunter Greene might already be my new favorite player
Keith Law: I was extremely impressed when I sat down with him. His answers weren’t canned or hackneyed; he’s intelligent and his answers were really thoughtful.

Dalton: Any thoughts on Chase Vallot this weekend? 129 wRC+ in A+ from a 20yo is nice with all the walks and power, even if he’s striking out more than me when I try to ask girls out on a date.
Keith Law: He’s terrible. It’s a negative approach at the plate. FWIW, I don’t think wRC+ is a useful stat for discussing prospects.

Joey Bag-O-Donuts: I appreciate you not mentioning me and my draft prospects this year, Keith. You have brought up my name every year for what seems like a decade. Maybe this year, without all of the hype, will be the year my dream finally comes true.
Keith Law: I gave you enough love in Smart Baseball, Joey.

Andy: The ESPN comments were annoyed with the fact that you “made it a black thing” about Greene.
Keith Law: As if I had made him black.

Brett: Hi Keith. Thank you for all your draft coverage. I have a question about KJ Harrison. It seems not many, if anyone, sees him as a C anymore. Do you just think the bat isn’t good enough to make
Keith Law: I don’t think the bat is good enough for him to be worth a top 3 rounds pick at another position.

Dalton: Care to clarify on wRC+ for prospects? Do you think linear weights are different in the minors? The only complaint I think could be that wRC+ adjusts for league but the not park (in the minors that is).
Keith Law: Why are linear weights the goal, though? Woodman has a 108 wRC+, so above average, but he just pulled his strikeout rate down under 40% in the last few days. So he does good things on contact (perhaps a function of being old for the league), but makes such infrequent contact that it won’t matter. We’re not looking for the most valuable players in the Midwest League, but the most projectable ones.

Brad: What is the boardgame you play most these days?
Keith Law: Usually new stuff – Santorini, Barenpark, and Unlock! the last three – with the family, older stuff more online.

Jeb: When is the actual first pick tonight (as opposed to the beginning of the broadcast)?
Keith Law: 7:05 pm, I think.

Dan: I know it may not be realistic, but do you think there’s a chance McKay ends up as a reliever/1B/DH? If he were to be an above-average reliever for 50 innings and say, Brandon Belt at the dish, he’s a 5-win player. He is after all, the best two way player, maybe ever in college.
Keith Law: I don’t. I think he’s too good at both to end up in that role. You’re talking brooks kieschnick.

Ed: Did you see Wonder Woman? We don’t go to the movies that often anymore with the time to in-home availability shrinking, but we had a great time watching this one on the big screen. My 11-year-old daughter had been looking forward to it since she was about 9, and she thoroughly enjoyed it.
Keith Law: No, but we plan to see it somewhere. I haven’t seen a movie in a few weeks now because of this draft nonsense.

Tallulah: Duke Uselton? As a huge Zootopia fan, I can only shake my head. Re Burger and scouts agreeing he won’t stay at 3rd – is he 1B/DH only, or could profile at a corner OF spot?
Keith Law: First base only, I think. And that was my favorite line in Zootopia.
Keith Law: OK, the phone is starting to buzz again so I’m going to wrap this up. I’ll be on Twitter tonight and there will be a live file running on ESPN that gathers my quick notes on each of the first round picks, and I’ll shoot for a chat tomorrow afternoon once we are through round five. Thank you as always for reading and for all of your questions!

Comments

  1. I’m just glad Keith didn’t take cues from our “Predisent” and have us precede every question with praise of his writing and talent evaluation skills.

    • Let me just say that Keith, we thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda.

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