Klawchat, 7/7/17.

New content: I reviewed the boardgame Great Western Trail for Paste this week, and previewed the Futures Game for Insiders. I also have a new piece up at Vulture looking at how the TV show Orphan Black has used boardgames as an integral part of several episodes.

I’ll be at Books and Books in Coral Gables, Florida, on Saturday at 3 pm to discuss my new book Smart Baseball and sign copies for readers.

Keith Law: Klawchat: One man on a lonely platform.

Eddy: If we want to say hi during futures game, when would be the best time? And where?
Keith Law: After BP is done, which is usually about an hour before game time, I’ll find a spot on the concourse to meet folks. If anyone has a suggestion for a good location – I’ve never set foot in Loria’s Boondoggle before – I’m all ears.

Jack: Who among the A’s young position players is likely to see success in the big leagues? Other than Barreto and Chapman, are any of Pinder/Healy/Olson/Brugman/Maxwell likely to be MLB regulars or better?
Keith Law: I would not bet on any of those five guys, individually, becoming average big leaguers.

Philip: What have you heard about Logan Allen’s stuff this year? Could he merit offseason top 100 consideration?
Keith Law: I’ve heard it’s been good like it was last year, but if I say he’ll get consideration for the top 100, that’s kind of a non-answer because I consider hundreds of players.

Jim: Is there a way to read your work without receiving gay porn in the mail?
Keith Law: I don’t care for or about the body issue, but characterizing non-explicit photos as “gay porn” is a little dramatic.

Shawn: Does Forrest Whitley have ace potential? Ken Rosenthal said he’s hearing that Whitley is basically untouchable in trade with the Astros.
Keith Law: He’s got pretty high upside, clearly a top 50 guy at this point. Hard to call any teenaged pitcher “untouchable” given how fragile arms are.

Greg: As a fan following GCL/AZL leagues, I know there’s not a ton of value in the stats — if any at all. Is there anything of value in the numbers of a player in those leagues?
Keith Law: The problem is the wide variance in levels of competition makes the stats almost impossible to interpret without scouting context. Look at Dante Bichette Jr’s GCL line from 2011: he was 18, hit .342/.446/.505 with a strikeout rate around 16%, and has been awful ever since. In 900 PA in AA he’s got a .233/.310/.343 line.

Hank: Max Fried has been horrible this year, and there are reports of the stuff not being as good this season. Have you heard anything?
Keith Law: I have heard multiple reports that the stuff is every bit as good as it was last year. I have no idea where you’re getting that info.

Coolguy: Thought’s on Austin Hays?
Keith Law: I think average regular, trending upwards as he continues to hit better pitching.

Fred: Bellinger’s HR production has dropped significantly the last couple of weeks. Realistically, the previous pace was not sustainable, and I assume the league has made adjustments, and now its his turn to do same. Given that the overall AB quality looks good, he should start hitting them out again in time, agree? Also, what kind of ceiling for him is realistic?
Keith Law: I think he’s a regular 30-HR guy who’ll have a few 40+ seasons, with strong OBPs and ridiculous defense at first. MVP type of player.

Jshep12: Yankee brass anonymously criticizing Bird for being hurt. Warranted or are they jerks?
Keith Law: Jerks. Even if it’s true, don’t slag your players to the press. And put your fucking name on it if you do it, you cowards.

Bill: Do you believe Maikel Franco will ever be good enough to start on a good team?
Keith Law: I think he still has the potential but he’s shown no adjustments in almost two years now.

Coolguy: If Carter Kieboom comes back soon and continues to hit could he still make to p100 lists, or has he missed too much time?
Keith Law: There are a lot of ifs in there that make it hard to answer. Even if he misses the rest of the season, it might be difficult to justify putting him on my top 100, but lack of information isn’t the same as negative information. He would still be a good prospect, but I would be working with less evidence (stats and scouting) to justify a high ranking.

Matt: Does Joe Gray have 1-1 potential
Keith Law: Yes, from what I’ve seen/heard.

Esteban: Is Daniel Brito a riser for you? Is he someone you’ve gotten any eyes on?
Keith Law: Yes, I saw him last week. Completely overmatched. Very interesting projection, but he looked like a kid playing grown-ups.

Stomper: Austin Beck is off to a putrid start in Rookie ball – be concerned? SSS? Other factors like an 18 y/o living on his own? All of the above?
Keith Law: Just the contact rate – he never faced good pitching as an amateur, missing the 2016 summer due to injury and playing weak competition this spring (I saw his school win a 15-0 game via mercy rule in 3 innings, and he got 4 PA). But he could whiff 40% of the time this summer and still end up a good player – it depends on whether he can make any adjustments to his approach now that he’s 1) swinging a wood bat and 2) facing guys with better stuff on a semi-regular basis.

Rob: Favorite QOTSA album? Era Vulgaris is last, but I can see an argument for every other album of theirs being best.
Keith Law: I don’t know that I’ve ever loved any of their albums start to finish; I tend to like 3-5 tracks from every record. Era Vulgaris had the most songs that I liked, but I don’t know if any song from that record makes my QotSA top five.

AlmostSmartBaseball: Eloy Jimenez untouchable for you?
Keith Law: No. If you can get a young, high-end starter with some years of control left, you trade him. And I think Eloy is a future superstar, too.

Mike: What’s been your assessment of Alex Wood? Is he this good or is this not sustainable?
Keith Law: He’s got very little history of health, and is now throwing harder than before, so I think he’ll continue to dominate as long as he can stay on the mound but am skeptical that he can do that all year.

Benjamin: What would you say is Royce Lewis’ ceiling?
Keith Law: A 60 overall player as a CF – a sometime All-Star who adds value on defense, with his bat, and especially on the bases.

James Williams: Any suggestions you could give to a 23 year old trying to figure out what they want to do in life?
Keith Law: Find something you love to do and see if there’s any potential for a career in it. Many people don’t get that opportunity at all, but you’re young enough to give it one shot.

Jerry: I got rid of my cable specifically because of ESPN. Chord cutting and ESPN’s general crapiness are not independent of one another. What’s it like to work for a failing company?
Keith Law: You seem to have some issues, not the least of which is your atrocious command of the language. ESPN isn’t failing and Disney, which is my actual employer (my paychecks say Disney, my benefits are Disney), is thriving.

Benjamin: What is Brent Rooker’s potential?
Keith Law: I think there’s a low probability of him hitting enough high-level pitching to be a regular, but that potential is there – he could be a regular at 1b/dh. The swing itself is fine and he’s strong as heck.

Nick: Bobby Bradley seems to be getting better as the year goes on, any chance he makes enough contact in the majors to be a starting 1B?
Keith Law: Any chance, yes, but a low one. Didn’t look good when I saw him last month, especially in terms of picking up pitches.

James: Do you think players like Fulmer and Aaron Nola will be available at the deadline for huge returns?
Keith Law: I would be surprised if either was traded.

Nate : Keith, Chicago media is pumping Collins defensive improvement. Have you heard anything to validate this?
Keith Law: Not at all.

Kris: What are the chances of Aaron Blair and Jake Thompson regaining their footing on possible MLB careers?
Keith Law: I’d give Blair more of a chance than Thompson, but both have lost stuff, not just results, and I don’t know why or when to forecast a pitcher recovering lost velocity.

John: I have read several articles about the ball 100% being juiced this year. What say you?
Keith Law: I interviewed Rob Arthur (538) on the BBTN pod yesterday, and he mentioned the Ringer article on the same topic. The evidence is quite clear. The ball is different, enough to explain more than half of the rise in HR.

Todd Boss: How is Seth Romero getting an overslot deal? He has no college team to return to and all these well-known character issues. What leverage does he have?
Keith Law: I think some teams told players pre-draft, “we’ll give you $x if you get to our pick, so tell teams above us you won’t sign.” That’s not legal, of course, but everyone does it and I don’t see any harm at all in it. However, if you picked above Washington and liked Romero, wouldn’t you just take him and dare him to turn you down? Maybe give him Matt Harrington’s phone number? Or Karsten Whitson’s?

Jon: Any concerns over Austin Meadows’ injury history?
Keith Law: Yes, very much so.

Jon Orr: What’s Jack Flaherity’s upside and when can Cards fans expect to see him up?
Keith Law: It’s mid-rotation/average starter sort of stuff, with plus command. I would like to see him Sunday vs the good World bats to see how guys who haven’t seen him before seem to pick up the ball out of his hand; he’s always had a very clean delivery, but I don’t know how much deception is there. I do like him quite a bit, just not sure how high the upside is.

Brian: Bashing JP Crawford and downgrading his potential has become a common media theme in recent weeks. But does his performance since a week on the DL indicate that he’s a young guy who was pressing and just needed a break and is now reverting to the mean for someone with his natural talent?
Keith Law: I can’t and won’t speak to what anyone else might have said about him. I can tell you I am getting consistent, negative feedback from scouts who’ve seen him, saying he’s swinging too far uphill and isn’t playing the same caliber of defense as in the past.

Jon V : What are your early thoughts on Zimmer at the major league level?
Keith Law: I think he’s been as expected – solid vs RHP, atrocious vs LHP.

fortekay: Klaw! Thomas Nido made the futures game and Pat Mazeika is having a big offensive year (even if he’s a bit older for the league). Either long term options at Catcher?
Keith Law: Nido at least as a backup. Mazeika less. Hasn’t held up since the hot start and he’s too old for A-ball.

Jake: Buxton seems to have figured some things out. Swing looks shorter, eliminating some holes. Have you seen the changes and do you think they are sustainable?
Keith Law: I do think so – better swing decisions, better contact in the zone.

John: Hey Keith. Anything new to report on Alec Hansen. Was looking at his numbers and he is just dominating guys. But that is reading the stat line. Do you think he has legit #1 upside or more like 2 or 3?
Keith Law: He dominated guys in low-A, where he was last year, and has been fair in 3 high-A starts. Stuff is huge, command not there yet.

Evan: Is it time to start worrying about Thomas Szapucki with his injuries?
Keith Law: No.

Mike Mitchell: Is there an argument for the Astros to do nothing? They have 5 of the top 57 in Baseball America’s update. The playoffs are a crapshoot. Long window. Why shorten it?
Keith Law: I think the argument for pushing now is that they may never be this good again in the window, even if they have other good years. It’s rare to be in this comfortable a position in July, so Luhnow can patch around the edges and focus on acquisitions likely to improve their October odds.

Your fan: Healy not likely to be an average MLB regular? that’s a bit of a surprise……
Keith Law: It’s a surprise that a bad defensive 3b with a .304 OBP isn’t an average regular?

Matthew: Can we talk about Jose Ramirez? You seemed to be higher on him than most (IIRC, he was on a “just missed” top 100 list), but I don’t think anyone saw this coming, right? Last 365 days, 144 wRC+???
Keith Law: He was on a just missed list, then wasn’t eligible the next year when he might have made the list, but no, I would never have forecasted this kind of star-level offense from him. Thought he’d be a good player, but if I thought he’d be this, I would have been way more aggressive.

Paul: I’ve been really excited reading the box scores for Gohara this year. I watched him for the first time last night, and I’d read that he was large, but he’s even bigger than I thought. Can that body work and hold up as a big league starter?
Keith Law: I’m not concerned about the body as much as the fact that he’s been throwing so hard at such a young age. I guess eventually he could have knee and back issues from his size – he looks like CC Sabathia already – but for now it’s just arm health and command that I’d focus on .

Derek: Brian Goodwin has been playing well at the MLB level recently. Has the former top-75 prospect regained some of his luster? What do you expect going forward? Related, who do you like more for the Nats in 2018 – Goodwin or Michael A. Taylor (who also has been hitting well, though may be coasting on some BABIP fuel). MAT can clearly stick in CF. Can Goodwin? So far the arm looks plus but what about Goodwin’s range?
Keith Law: I think there’s some SSS going on with Goodwin, but at least he’s turning on good fastballs again. I’d like to know where his speed went – dude was a plus runner as an amateur. Would probably bet on Taylor over Goodwin going forward.

Derek: The Nats aren’t foolish enough to give up Robles for a reliever, are they? Soto, too, has to be untouchable in a reliever trade, right?
Keith Law: Don’t think Robles is going anywhere. Soto’s intriguing but the guy has barely played this year and is still on the DL (now rehabbing in the GCL). If he’s untouchable too, what do they have left to make a big move? I think that’s tantamount to saying you’re not going to swing a Miller/Chapman type of trade.

Evan: What are you thoughts on Mets first rounder David Peterson?
Keith Law: Mid-rotation starter type. Big groundball guy, deception, average fastball, can really pitch – feel, command, control. Thought he was a little light for a first-round pick but I think the industry as a whole valued him in the top 20.

Joe: I’m assuming Ryan Mountcastle ends up in the OF but how good of a prospect would he be if he hypothetically played just average defense at SS?
Keith Law: If he were capable of playing average D at short he probably wouldn’t hit like he does.

Mike M: Is J.B. Bukauskas a top 100 guy? The Astros sure love drafting electric two-pitch guys and insisting on starting them.
Keith Law: He’ll probably be on the back of the list; anyone I’ve ranked in the top 10 in a draft class who has signed right away has made a subsequent top 100 barring something catastrophic (like surgery).

Ryan: I keep hearing Cards draft pick Fuller being referred to as “intriguing.” Do you have any additional insight on him?
Keith Law: I wrote him up in the Cards draft report. There’s some Larry Green comparisons there.

Jay: Planning a board game night with my 6 year old son and some of his friends. Some suggestions?
Keith Law: Ticket to Ride would be appropriate for that age. Mole Rats in Space is a great coop game that you could probably play with them, just giving them a little guidance.

BobbyL: Can Juan Soto make a jump into top 20 range by the end of the season
Keith Law: I said this last week too – people in general want their own prospects to be too high. Look at the typical top 20: it’s guys who are performing at a huge level for their ages, guys who were very high picks/big bonus kids, or otherwise guys with plus tools.

Logan: If you’re the Jays, 4.5 back in the WC, do you sell or buy at the deadline?
Keith Law: Probably sell.

Isaac: Have you had a chance to see Maitan yet, any initial reactions other than his original write ups. Obviously he just got in games, but hadn’t heard anything from extended
Keith Law: I haven’t. I think he’s played 2-3 games.

Al : Really enjoyed the podcast yesterday. You’re truly great in that format. What can your readers do to get you a regular podcast?
Keith Law: Thank you – it was great to be at the helm and to get back together with Eric. ESPN doesn’t run many podcasts, however; they’ve decided at a corporate level that it’s not an area for investment.

Matt: The Orioles appear to not be signing Conlon. How does that happen? Don’t they agree to a number prior to the selection?
Keith Law: Sometimes one side or the other changes their minds post-draft. Also, it sounds like they’re going to go way over for Cameron Bishop, a UC-Irvine starter who missed the whole spring with a strained oblique* but has been dealing on the Cape with an average fastball and two plus secondary pitches. (*Bishop strains his oblique and doesn’t pitch for four months. Clarke Schmidt at South Carolina strains his oblique, misses one start, comes back to throw 100+ pitches a few times and then blows out his elbow. Weird.)

Jason: Fair to say that the whole “voter fraud” phenomenon is the Rs way of trying to insulate against the coming demographic wave that (if they don’t change their message) is going to wash over them?
Keith Law: I interpret it as “we’re going to purge voter rolls of people who aren’t likely to vote for us.”

fortekay: Best Futures Game prospect no one has really heard of?
Keith Law: Yordan Alvarez.

Dave: How is Greene not signed yet? Chances he doesn’t sign?
Keith Law: Doesn’t matter until the deadline. I believe he’ll sign.

Larry: As a University of Florida baseball fan, I’m curious your thoughts on Brady McConnell. I know he was a top-100 draft prospect, but what kind of player is he?
Keith Law: More tools/athleticism than performance. Could develop into a first-rounder if he hits, but I saw a guy who couldn’t wait to swing at the first strike he saw.

John: There’s been plenty of talk about Rosario; but, how far away is Dom Smith? September? 2018? Thanks!
Keith Law: Ready this fall, but I’m sure the Mets will wait a good three or four more years just to be on the safe side.

AJ: Have you heard anything about Jesus Luzardo recently? Eric Longenhagen said he was throwing in the mid 90s.
Keith Law: I believe it. He was doing that pre-injury too.

Mark: Hi Keith – my sister is moving to Milan and I’m looking to get her some (translated) Italian novels as a parting gift. So far my ideas are The Betrothed (Manzoni), The Leopard (Tomasi), and Christ Stopped at Eboli (Levi). Do you have any (other) recommendations that give nice background/introduction on Italian/Milanese culture? Thanks!
Keith Law: Perhaps the Elena Ferrante novels? I also liked Alessandro Piperno’s books, but they are weird and in some ways a little testosterone-fueled like Portnoy’s Complaint (Roth is a clear influence).

Tye: Would someone like Stroman, Gray, or Archer be a reasonable get for the Twins?
Keith Law: It makes absolutely no sense for the Twins to trade prospects for major-league help right now.

Your fan: One thing that surprised me about your book is that you didn’t discuss the value of traditional scouting more as online you’re a big advocate for those skills.
Keith Law: I gave scouting a whole chapter in a book about analytics.

Will: Lucas Sims still a reliever for you?
Keith Law: Yes, more likely than starter.

Tye: Has Zack Granite changed his prospect status from fringe prospect to an actual one with his play this season?
Keith Law: No.

Mike M: K. Tucker, Franklin Perez and Martes for Gerrit Cole. Who says no?
Keith Law: Doubt the Astros would consider that. Tucker is ridiculously good for his age. Actually, so is Perez.

romorr: Cedric Mullins a future regular, or 4th OFer?
Keith Law: Probably a fourth OF but a real (nonzero) chance he’s a regular. Kind of undersized but strong for his build.

Morris: We all got a chuckle out of bookcase-gate. But it wasn’t really funny at all – the guy got on your case because he’s an Oregon State fan that didn’t like what you said about Luke Heimlich. That seems incredibly dangerous to me – the rush to defend someone who molested a girl aged 4-6 because he’s good at baseball.
Keith Law: I saw some of his other tweets about Heimlich and he was kind of a truther – not denying the crime, but handwaving it away as something that’s over, that no one should be concerned about going forward, which at the very least is a naive interpretation of events about which none of us knows very much at all.

Steve: How concerned are you over Anderson Espinoza’s lingering injury? How much of it is legitimate worry about a smaller pitcher who throws that hard, albeit with an easy delivery? How much might be the Padres just trying to manage his innings?
Keith Law: He’s not small, but I wonder if they’re delaying the inevitable here. He’s going to miss the entire summer anyway.

Scott: What should oakland do with Alonso? Is he an ok guy to offer something like 3/36 to?
Keith Law: Age 30, so no, I wouldn’t.

Steve: What do you think of the O’s strategy to sell off all of their international signing pool money?
Keith Law: I think it’s awful but it’s par for the course for that org. You can’t ignore an entire swath of the player pool and suffer no consequences.

Jason: Talk dirty to me about Fernando Tatis. Star or Superstar?
Keith Law: I would say ‘likely’ to star with a chance to be a superstar. Scouts are all in. I saw him in March and physically he reminds me a lot of Machado at that age.

Greg: Is it time for the Pirates to move Chad Kuhl to the bullpen?
Keith Law: If they have a better option for the spot, yes. I don’t think Kuhl can start, never did.

Johnny O: Chance Adams? I can only scout the stat line but he’s been promoted to AAA and jumped into BA’s midseason top 100. What have you seen/heard about him?
Keith Law: Performer, not big ceiling, get very mixed opinions from scouts, definitely a big league starter.

Nick: Thanks for the continued hard work, Keith. Have you hard anything more about Lucas Giolito’s mechanics and delivery?
Keith Law: Mechanics largely back to where they were and his velocity is up again. Just not consistent start to start like he needs to be.

Steve: I once hit a homerun in Little League the day after we got our flu shots. So flu shots must cause power breakouts. I’ll make a YouTube video and soon everyone will agree.
Keith Law: If you ever want to see some of the most facepalm-inducing arguments ever, check out that mammoth vaccine/anti-vax Twitter thread I’m on. The denialists are the best cherrypickers I’ve ever seen, on top of their innumeracy and inability to distinguish correlation from causation.

Devin: What should the Brewers do? Stand pat and see if they can still win the division?Trade a top 100 prospect for Quintana? Weird since they are technically still in a rebuild.
Keith Law: I think so. Can’t sell if you’re in first place, right? What a terrible message to the fans. But I wouldn’t buy, especially not with several major prospects (Ray, Clark, Erceg) having disappointing years.

Tom: So last year it was Brach, this year it’s LeMahieu… actually, my question is, why do you think Andrelton Simmons didn’t get any consideration for the AL team? If nothing else, he’s sporting a 3.4 WAR this year which makes him equal with Trout (shut up).
Keith Law: Simmons should probably be an All-Star regular, but his value is so much on the defensive side that he’s rarely recognized for what he is.

Justin: The cable industry is failing, ESPN is just caught in the tailspin. Eventually the cable industry with have to make adjustments.
Keith Law: I agree with that. Can ESPN sell directly to consumers via an app and streaming package? I don’t know, but I think we need to try that, as do most cable channels.

Guest: Any chance you have gotten to see Domingo Acevedo this year? Do you think he has a future as a starter?
Keith Law: Last year. Not with that delivery he doesn’t.

BEN : Is Yordan Alvarez a top 10 1b prospect, even if that’s not that much
Keith Law: Yes, he’s legit.

Matt: You might not remember this, but last year I asked you about Kingerys potential and you said Altuve with more power. I thought you were crazy because no scouts said Kingery would develop power. I just wanted to say that, you sir, are very good at what you do.
Keith Law: Sometimes I get something right.

Aaron: What does this injury do to Torres? Will he still become a star?
Keith Law: Not worried about it. It sucks for us, and maybe pushes back his arrival by a few months, but he’s still going to be a star.

John: What do you make of the Rays’ failure to sign Rasmussen? Who, pardon the pun, dropped the ball here?
Keith Law: Because the player didn’t participate in the predraft voluntary MRI process, he loses the protection granted by rule 4 if, hypothetically, the Rays found something wrong with his arm in their post-draft physical. (I must be very clear that no one has told me what, if anything, they found.) So the Rays can walk away and still get same-slot compensation, while Rasmussen has to re-enter the draft next year rather than gaining free agency. Do I blame anyone? I think the lesson is that there’s a benefit to submitting an MRI pre-draft if MLB includes you in that program – had he done so, and whatever team took him declined to offer him the minimum for that slot, he would have gained free agency. But Griffin Canning submitted an MRI, and whatever was on it – supposedly he might need TJ surgery – was enough to knock him out of the first round completely.

Joe: Can Rutherford or Frazier play cf or is Fowler the CF of the future for Yankees?
Keith Law: Rutherford and Frazier are corner outfielders only.

Will: Speaking of Karsten Whitson, what do you make of Kyle Serrano’s situation? Talented pitcher turns down $$$ to play for his dad, has an underwhelming college career+TJ, and then leaves the team in his final season for personal reasons but just signed an overslot deal with Houston.
Keith Law: “Overslot” was $200K. He turned down seven figures out of HS. If you’re a pitcher and you get that kind of offer, take the money.

Jake: No chance for R. Lewis to stay at short? Nick Gordon?
Keith Law: Gordon is a true SS. Lewis has no chance IMO.

Reds Fan: Why Herget over Mahle in the Futures game? Please explain this to me.
Keith Law: I think you’re taking that a little too seriously. Herget’s really good as a reliever – and putting one or two good relievers on each roster is a good plan, IMO, given the nature of the game and the fact that every year we get someone who comes in and can’t get an out (or throw a strike).

Nate : Keith, how frequently are you speaking with scouts on players? Daily, Weekly
Keith Law: Daily is about right.

Your fan: do you ever film when scouting? If so, what equipment do you use?
Keith Law: Always, HD-quality sony camera (so we can use the footage on air).

Steve: Since you saw Brito recently, did you get any eyes on Jojo Romero?
Keith Law: No, I saw Medina, great arm, really loose, not very polished but the breaking ball is in there.

Moltar: Who names all three of their kids Wander? Is he lost?
Keith Law: I think this is a custom in some countries/cultures – same first name, differing middle names – although I’m not certain.

Dan: What’s your projection for Derek Fisher? Is he a regular as a corner OF?
Keith Law: Yes, potentially a star.

Ryan: I read Delvij Perez was upset about being sent to a short season team and then he was benched for throwing his helmet after a K or something silly like that. Add on the steroid test, are there real makeup issues at play there?
Keith Law: There were real makeup issues pre-draft too. Lot of reports of immaturity. Got in a yelling match with an opposing coach once before the draft. He needs to grow up.

Greg: Keith, my brother is having a tough time. 25, unemployed, living at home. He never smiles and only responds to our parents with yes/no answers. I think he’s depressed but it’s impossible to talk to him about it. Any advice?
Keith Law: Sounds like it. Any chance you could get him to talk to a doctor? Even his primary care doc might have something to offer.

Dan: Do you do a midseason prospect rankings update?
Keith Law: Yes, it’ll be up on Thursday, and that’s why I’ve avoided some questions about players who’ll be on it.

Paul: Hey Keith – you’ve probably been asked this before, so forgive me if I’ve missed it, but have you ever thought about creating a board game? Or maybe if not creating from scratch, co-creating or consulting on one? Now that you’ve written a book (one that I loved, by the way), it seems like that should be next!
Keith Law: Yes, of course, but I wonder if I know the math/modeling aspects enough to do it well.
Keith Law: That’s all for this week. Thank you for all of the questions, as always, and I hope to see many of you this weekend in Miami. I’ll be back to chat again next week once the midyear top 50 is up.


  1. Steve, if you’re reading this, I’d just like to confirm your findings. I never got a flu shot during my little league years and I never hit a home run. Case. Closed.

  2. If you want Italian novels, you can’t do better than Umberto Eco, who spent most of his life in Milan. Foucault’s Pendulum and The Name of the Rose are his most famous works for good reason, but the whole catalogue is excellent. His essay collection Travels in Hyperreality is also worth checking out.

    • I liked Name of the Rose but thought Foucault’s Pendulum was needlessly graphic and profane, and of course the story doesn’t really have an ending. (And then Dan Brown ripped the whole thing off.)

    • Yes, I thought I remembered disagreeing with your review* 🙂 I still recommend it, though of course the original asker is free to weight your recommendations more than mine, since I’m anonymous and this is your site.

      *My wife agrees with you. She likes The Name of the Rose but thought Foucault’s Pendulum was dumb.

  3. “Jim: Is there a way to read your work without receiving gay porn in the mail?”

    Hey Jim: Maybe cancel your subscribtions to “Gunfuckers” and “Ass-blasing Ammosexuals”?

  4. Hey Jerry who cut his chord…was it a vocal chord? or was it a sick riff on a Strat? Did you finally separate from Mommy?

    Seriously, ESPN is fine. You cut the cord because your cable company wants to take ~$150/mo. from your pocket.

  5. Robert Galvan

    Hi Keith,

    I’m a new fan of yours. Just finished your book – really enjoyed it. After I finished it I immediately turned back to page 1. In particular, I liked your chapter on StatCast. After reading that chapter, I was wondering if you knew how involved the players union was in the using of StatCast. Particularly, since it seems that while both sides would benefit from the data and information, it seems that the teams would benefit from the information far more than the players would from it. Not that I’m in favor of unions necessarily (It’s probably a gray area and their benefits probably vary by industry) but the thought about the player’s union’s involvement, or lack thereof, immediately came to mind.

    Thanks for any insight that you can offer. Really appreciate it!