Klawchat 11/9/17.

I’ve been busy! I have a new boardgame review at Paste, covering the card-drafting game Skyward. I also had two Insider posts go up earlier this week, one previewing some potential offseason trade targets, the other ranking the top 50 free agents this winter.

I’ll also send out the next edition of my free email newsletter either this evening or tomorrow.

Keith Law: It’s the school exam and the kids have run away. Klawchat.

Erix: Why is it that pitchers go in the top 10 in the draft but are seldom top 10 intl prospects?
Keith Law: Is that true? I assume you mean pitchers are seldom among the top 10 bonuses in IFA. I would guess that the reason is that predicting arm health for 15- or 14-year-old pitchers is rather difficult.

Ronald Acuna: What type of package could Ender Inciarte return? Could he be a centerpiece of a top-of-rotation arm?
Keith Law: I would think so – or a middle-of-the-order bat at a position of need (third?). If you don’t get something like that, you don’t trade him.

Wally: What would you do if you were Mike Rizzo? All in for 2018 then let harper, Murphy maybe Stras leave and do a total rebuild? Or, do you think there is enough room between them and 2nd place in the NL East to make some changes now (trade one or more of Murphy/Gio/Roark/heaven forbid Harper?) to extend the window while still giving them a good (albeit lesser) chance to win the East in 2018
Keith Law: All in for 2018 while you have this group. Hard to forecast assembling another roster with 2 real MVP candidates, 2 real CYA candidates, and so much additional talent. Have to go for it.

Bored Lawyer, Esq. : Forrest Whitley had rather high BABIPs throughout his stops in the minors. Is that a blip? What could it mean relative to his stuff?
Keith Law: Wouldn’t take anything away from it. Research on BABIPs has focused on the majors, not minors.

ssimon: Your Stick to Baseball links from last weekend included the L.A. Times’ investigation of Disney’s tax breaks in Anaheim. Are you as opposed to these subsidies for corporations as you are for owners of baseball teams?
Keith Law: No, because there’s at least some economic benefit from such subsidies or tax breaks. Financing a sports stadium doesn’t bring economic benefits; any jobs created are unskilled and temporary, and “new” spending is generally shifted from other (local) outlets. A city or state can subsidize the construction of, say, an Intel fab or a Toyota factory, and thus create skilled jobs that will generate new tax revenues and increase local consumption. That said, there has to be an actual cost/benefit analysis there, and the LAT article claimed that Anaheim isn’t getting what it pays for.

Dan: A thought on the home run spike. Obviously the ball is juiced and that is clear as day. But isn’t interesting that the spike seemed to affect the lower-middle power guys? The players who’d normally hit 10-15 were hitting 20-25 instead. But the top end guys maybe didn’t that big of a spike? Everyone thought Stanton could do this if healthy, this might be Judge’s peak but it wasn’t out of nowhere, and bellinger is also a freak.
Keith Law: I disagree. Stanton, Judge, Bellinger all benefited, clearly. Khris Davis hit 43. Justin Smoak nearly doubled his career high to 38, putting him top 10 in the majors. It seemed to affect everyone.

Same question different day: Given the new bal environment, is it at all possible to project potential power output from minors to majors?
Keith Law: It’s probably doable but I would guess a large adjustment is required to any model – and of course it could become irrelevant if the ball gets un-juiced.

Jay: I think I’ve asked you before but am curious if you think teams are much closer to wanting more studys or medical access to this – How much do you think deteriorating eye sight for hitters as they get older factors into rising strikeout rates compared to just the physical decline component?
Keith Law: My guess, again just off the top of my head, is very little. I believe it’s mostly loss of quickness & reaction time.

Jack: What do you make of the Giants reported interest in Heyward? Is it even legitimate to think that such a trade is possible?
Keith Law: Baggarly said it’s not true. I’ll go with him on anything Giants, other than Omar Vizquel’s legacy.

Patrick: Good day Keith! As a favored source of baseball knowledge, I instead want to tap your knowledge of European metal music.
My hockey playing friends are clamoring for more of that type music, and I don’t know where to start. Recommendations that won’t scare off the rest of the on-ice skaters?
Keith Law: Maybe go for some classic German thrash like Destruction, more contemporary thrash like Hammerfall, Viking metal acts like Tyr, or, if they can handle it, something a little more experimental like Gojira.

Adam D.: I am struggling to see a realistic way for the Giants to contend before 2020. Given what they have now, would you advocate for an Astros-style tear down and who would you make untouchable? I’ll be honest, I am leaning that way and would probably only keep Bumgarner and Posey.
Keith Law: If you’re doing that, you don’t keep anybody. You trade Posey now, because a 30-year-old catcher with 3 years left on his deal and 800 games behind the plate isn’t going to gain value.

Harrisburg Hal: With your math and science interests, did you consider engineering?
Keith Law: My dad was an EE, and he liked his job, but he didn’t encourage that as a career path for me, primarily because he saw how much the job tended to change with each new generation of technology. I did enjoy programming, but I’m not sure it would have worked for a career for me, given my desire to express myself creatively too.

Stupid hypo guy: If their defensive values were the same, Vlad Jr is well above Acuna, right?
Keith Law: That’s true.

Derek: Others (maybe you too?) have said Acuna is by far the best player in the AFL. Is he really much better than Robles? 2017 minor league hitting stats look awfully similar (of course noting that Acuna is half a hear younger, and spent time in AAA and Robles did not). Does Acuna’s defense profile better in CF? It’s hard to believe Acuna has more speed.
Keith Law: I didn’t say that, because I only saw one Acuna AB (and then a HBP). Robles wasn’t there yet, but he might be the better prospect anyway.

ssimon: Based on your estimation of what the QO free agents will receive, which among Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis, Lance Lynn, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Alex Cobb, Greg Holland, and Carlos Santana, would you encourage a competitive team to sign?
Keith Law: I might consider giving up a pick for Arrieta, Cain, and maaaaaybe Santana. That’s it.

Jeff: What are the best mobile boardgames that you would recommend?
Keith Law: One of my offseason projects will be a new ranking of all the iOS/mobile boardgames I’ve played, which has to be over 40 by now. Carcassonne is still the best. Agricola is great. Caylus is too, if it’s still supported. All the Days of Wonder titles are good. 7 Wonders comes next week…

John: How much is Otani actually losing? If he is as good as advertised (an ace and a top five DH in the AL) what kind of money could he get in arbitration?
Keith Law: He won’t get to arbitration until he has three years of service. He’s leaving well over $100 million on the table by coming now.

Dale Cooper: Most murder investigations don’t take as long as MLB’s Braves investig……..wait…..did…..did the Braves……murder someone?
Keith Law: This and the weird leaks have me wondering what on earth is going on over on Park Ave.

Ryan: Enjoying the annual freakout over early offseason Boras asking prices? You’d think people who watch the same movie year after year would get wise to the plot, but apparently not.
Keith Law: And then we had the freakout over the freakout, which was really hard to fathom. I’m in favor of players asking for and getting every dollar they can, but if I think a team overpays a player, darn right I’m going to laugh at them.

Kevin: Out of the HOF veterans committee nominees, who do you think gets elected and who do you think should get elected?
Keith Law: They should elect Trammell and Miller and then fire the entire institution into the sun.

Jason: I find it odd that Corey Ray has fallen down the charts so much? Are his struggles that bad or can he turn it around?
Keith Law: I detailed his swing/stance change in my AFL post. He has to restore his old toe-tap and stride.

Ben: Sooo……Roy Moore is a pedophile. Who knew? Does it sink him? Nah. Theocratic pedophiles are all the rage now. And America’s decline continues.
Keith Law: I am morbidly curious to see how many of his supporters, who must by and large be evangelicals, stand by him by either attacking/doubting his victims or by saying it doesn’t matter. Because … yeah, it matters. Those are felonies.

Jack: thoughts on the college basketball/shoe company scandal?
Keith Law: I have no idea what this means.

Rob: Such sad news regarding Roy Halladay. A great pitcher and from everything you hear, a great person too. As trivial as this may seem right now, is he a HOF’er for you?
Keith Law: I’ve been asked this repeatedly in the last 48 hours and have declined to answer it, because it feels both trivial and a bit macabre to discuss him in such terms.

Chris : I think there’s a lot of value on the “lower end” of this year’s FA market. Guys like Joe Smith, Luke Gregerson, Jeremy Hellickson, Yunel Escobar and Chris Tillman all strike me as solid buy-low guys. Do you have any favorite one-year deal guys that could be this year’s Brandon Morrow or Alex Avila?
Keith Law: I had a few on the back of the 50, and I think I’m doing another piece on that soon? Hellickson made my list. I don’t see Escobar, who seems to have lost any defensive value, in that light, and Tillman’s stuff and results have both been awful since the mid-2016 shoulder injury and heavy use after he returned.

Bobby: Otani. I believe you think he will be a legit SP but the bat won’t play (or not enough to stop him from pitching). Think he comes over as a #2? Better/worse? Thanks, as always…
Keith Law: I think he’s a #1 starter, and opposing pitchers will tell us rather quickly if he’s anything with the bat.

Fatherz: Who are the pitchers in the Padres system that have the highest ceilings? Do Gore or Baez have #1 stuff?
Keith Law: Those are probably the top two ceilings, but I don’t think either has pure #1 stuff.

Bobby: Keith – thanks for these chats. Love them. Now that Tanaka has opted not to become a FA what do you think the Yanks should do re their pitching moving forward? Presumably their BP is more or less set…I know they would get Otani if they can…sign Sabathia maybe – anything else? What do they need to do to make it to the WS next year?
Keith Law: Bulk innings. Offense is great, bullpen is great, you don’t need to go sign Arrieta. You need some league-average quantity from your rotation, especially as insurance – Tanaka’s elbow, Montgomery’s fade in the 2nd half, any pitcher can get hurt.

Bobbo: happy Klawchat day and thanks again for answering questions. liked your positive review of Cave vs Cave; i’m intrigued. any chance it surpasses Jaipur as your fave 2p game? if not, why?
Keith Law: Jaipur is so much more elegant. I’d still have that at 1, and 7 Wonders Duel has really moved up my list from last year.

JQ: Was it ever publicly reported that Daniel Flores was battling with cancer? I do no recall ever hearing about this until the sad news yesterday.
Keith Law: I was totally unaware of this. Heartbreaking news.

Mike: I was thinking about doing a spatchcock turkey this year. Do you need to prep the turkey in anyway like a brine (either dry or wet) or just put salt and pepper on it before cooking?
Keith Law: Spatchcock and salt. Check serious eats for the exact timing but I think I salted the morning of cooking.

AC: If you could wave a magic wand and fix one thing about baseball, what would it be? (Anything from the actual game to contracts, to manager’s outfits)
Keith Law: Gosh. I would probably spike the antitrust exemption, as I think that’s led to many other problems in terms of franchise ownership/locations and labor relations.
Keith Law: Although they did carve out an exemption to the exemption for CBA talks.

Morris Buttermaker: KLaw, I have seen you refer to a pitcher’s mechanics or a batter’s swing when evaluating their chances at further success. Where did you learn this? Years of observation? Learning at the foot of older co workers?
Keith Law: Both.

Gabriel: I’m curious as to what the recent death of Daniel Flores will mean to the Red Sox’s international class this year. Would mlb be scared at the prospect of them blowing past any caps for Otani after the death of Flores and their international signing scandal? Thanks keith. Love your work
Keith Law: You can’t blow past the caps any more. These are hard limits. I don’t know if MLB would grant them additional cap space in light of Flores’ passing, though. It seems only fair to the team, no? The Flores family would still have his bonus – and yes, I understand that is no consolation for them – so they would not be further affected.

Ron: I think Mauer was a better choice for a Gold Glove than Hosmer. Course, he didn’t hit 25 homers. Maybe Dozier wasn’t as good a choice as Pedroia or Altuve? What are your thoughts?
Keith Law: Oh, were the Gold Gloves announced this week? I was all out of fucks to give, sorry.

B: Jake McGee had some odd splits last season and was much better against RHB rather than LHB (SSS WARNING). Do you think he could be a sneaky good sign for a team in need of a LH reliever?
Keith Law: I think he’s a full-inning reliever, not just a LH specialist, given his whole history and his pitches. But one-year splits are probably not reliable.

addoeh: The new Marlins ownership group has already said they want to reduce payroll. They now may be looking to trade their potential MVP winner and only real marketable star. They expect little, if anything, in return and may end up trading him to the team that is willing to pick up the greatest amount of what remains on Stanton’s contract, not on what prospects the other team could give. Does this new group have some short term financing deals that could become onerous if not paid off quickly? It doesn’t make a lot of sense otherwise.
Keith Law: This is my concern – that they trade Stanton to clear the money, but don’t get baseball talent in return – because that farm system is awful right now. Eyeballing it, I’d guess it’s #30.

Augustus: Blayne Enlow looks impressive. Could he start in the future or do you think he’s more suited for back of the bullpen?
Keith Law: I think he’s a starter … he’s also 18.

Logic: There has been much discussion about the timing of pitching changes during the world series. The manager is typically given credit or blame. Do you think that front office may actually make some of these calls once the game has started? I understand a lot of decisions are scripted with some organizations, but I am thinking about when things start to go south. Do you think the front office should intervene during the games? Thanks for continuing the chats, they are appreciated.
Keith Law: I don’t think the FO does this, or should do it. You hire the manager who is an extension of your approach, but you empower him to make these decisions in-game.

Tiberius: Do you think Trent Clark ever reaches the majors at this point?
Keith Law: I do.

Devon : Hey, Keith! Thank you as always for the chats. I was wondering who you prefer offensively in terms of overall future value: Eloy or Acuna?
Keith Law: Eloy.

Caligula: Jesus Luzardo: Is he a GUY or just a guy?
Keith Law: I hear he’s a GUY, unlike your proposed consul.

Jon (Philadelphia): I recently became a vegetarian. So far, the most challenging aspect has been finding decent options when I don’t have time to cook for myself, which is not infrequent as I basically live in the hospital as a surgical resident. In response, I have tried to cook in bulk for the week whenever I have time but am new to this cooking approach. Do you have any practical advice on how to optimize this process while ensuring that I do not compromise on flavor/nutritional content? Thanks Keith
Keith Law: Veg dishes are tricky to do in bulk because most veg don’t survive reheating well. When I have a lot of leftover cooked vegetables, I try to repurpose them. A batch of leftover roasted broccoli goes into the blender with some stock and maybe a little cream to make soup. Leftover aromatics can become the sauce or accompaniment to whatever your main protein is, or added to a cooked bean dish when served.

Joe-Nathan: Is Alex Speas Stetson Allie 2.0?
Keith Law: He’s better than that. But still might never have the control he’ll need to pitch in the majors.

Rick: You’ve said before that you don’t think that Chris Taylor hasn’t turned into anything and that it’s a SSS. Do you still feel that way even after the season and the postseason he had?
Keith Law: Only a fool would change his opinion of a player based on a postseason performance. It’s not just a small sample, it’s a skewed one.

Galba: Jahmai Jones or Jo Adell?
Keith Law: Jones for me.

Adam: In the broadest scope possible, how many WAR is required to even warrant consideration for the HOF?
Keith Law: I do not favor this approach, sorry. WAR is not precise enough to discuss thresholds, only comparisons.

Onomatopoeia: Kepler and Thorpe too much/too little for Chris Archer?
Keith Law: Too little. Archer’s contract is extremely club friendly.

Zirinsky: Hi Keith. I’m curious: is there any way to structure a pitching staff so that a team could have someone only pitching once per week (I’m thinking of the Yankees/Tanaka but this could apply to others)?
Keith Law: Yes, teams used to do it with “Sunday starters” in the four-man era. No reason you can’t do it today with the use of swingmen/long relievers.

Devon: For the first time in months we have an actual policy (tax reform) being debated in Congress, but it is already devolving into the typical echo-chamber politicization of the issues in the same way every other issue has in the last two-plus years. Is society ever going to go back to a point where people actually research issues and develop their own opinions or are we in a “new normal” where people only do what their political parties tell them to do without questioning?
Keith Law: I don’t see that happening in the next twenty years.

Vespasian: Does Carson Kelly have a future in St Louis? They seem to be pretty dead set on Yadi as a starter. Given the typical lifespan of a catcher, wouldn’t it make more sense for the Cards to flip Kelly for someone who plays a position of need?
Keith Law: Probably, if they don’t see Kelly starting in the next two seasons. But I think he’s a starter, maybe an above-average one if he can get some of the raw power he’ll show in BP into his game swing.

Jim Nantz: In your free agent piece, you named the Rangers as potential players in the 2B market, which I get since Odor was terrible last year. However, he’s still young and I know you rated him highly as a prospect. Any chance he keeps developing and bounces back, or is he simply a high HR/low OBP guy now?
Keith Law: He’s gotten worse for two straight years, and UZR even killed his defense last year (dRS didn’t, so we have a real discrepancy there). Can he improve? Yes. There are very few positive historical comparables, however. And if they want to win in 2018, getting a certain upgrade makes more sense than rolling him out there and hoping he isn’t sub-replacement level again.

Titus: Is Zack Granite just a 4th outfielder or could he be more?
Keith Law: Fourth outfielder most likely.

Joe-Nathan: I remember that you wrote a few posts about Reggie Lawson when he was in HS, and that you liked him but his stuff backed up in his senior year. No one seems to talk about him in the padres system, so I can only scout the stat line. K’s are there, so should people be talking about him?
Keith Law: My understanding is that the stuff isn’t really as good as it was his junior year. I saw him briefly in the spring and it hadn’t gotten that much better. Still a good athlete with some arm strength.

Tony: Is it outrageous to think brad hand could fetch a top 30 prospect
Keith Law: If that’s the ask, then we know why he hasn’t been traded.

Matt: Has Tatis passed Robles/Senzel as a prospect?
Keith Law: He’s clearly above Senzel. Robles … I’ll leave that till the rankings.

Dr. Bob: J.D. Martinez looks to me to be a sucker bet, especially for a National League team. In 2016 his defense was so bad that even though he had a 4.0 oWAR, his overall WAR was 1.8. He’ll be 30 with some injury history. At, say, 5 years, $150 million, you would be looking for an average of 4.0 WAR per year on the wrong side of 30. I’d talk, but probably stay away. What say you?
Keith Law: I agree – I saw that he’s looking for $200 million and thought that I wouldn’t give him half that. He seems like the type of player who could decline in a big hurry.

Jesse: What is it about Carcassonne that makes it so unique of an experience for you to consistently rank it so highly? I love the game too, but find with all the recent new games that have come out in the past five years or so, that it often gets forgotten come game nights.
Keith Law: It’s simple, elegant, extensible, and easy to teach newcomers without a loss of complexity for regulars. I also try not to succumb to recency bias on my rankings. The iOS implementation is considered the best app version of any boardgame, not just by me, but I believe by many in the industry too.

Roy Moore: How sadly unsurprised are you by the latest news about him?
Keith Law: Those who rail against immorality are often compensating for their own immoral desires.

Buck Dancer: The Cardinals appear to be the favorite to acquire Stanton. In your eyes, what is a fair package for them to send to Miami? What would acquiring Stanton do to the Cardinals chances of overtaking the Cubs and holding off the Brewers?
Keith Law: Why are they the favorite? I missed that entirely.

Mark: What prompted you to get into board games? I’m constantly mocked by my family, friends, and even strangers that I’m grown man who is engrossed in board games. How should I respond to these people?
Keith Law: There were 65,000 people at GenCon this year, mostly adults. Some were even … women. Also, if someone mocks your hobby, then they’re not your friends. Unless you’re a brony. Those people are weird.

Daniel : I have great respect for your musical tastes, so I’m interested in your insights on this simply query: Mellencamp or Springsteen?
Keith Law: Pass.

Nerva: Understanding that every prospect is unique, there seems to be a sentiment that some systems are more prone to failing in a type of player’s development (e.g. Orioles with pitchers or the Jack Z. Mariners with hitters). With that in mind, do you factor in organizational structure when rating and ranking prospects? If you have two identical pitchers and one is drafted by the Orioles while the other is drafted by the Dodgers, would you rank the latter above the former?
Keith Law: I don’t. My rankings are team-agnostic because prospects can change orgs at any time.

Charlie: If the Red Sox don’t sign a 1B, what are the odds Michael Chavis gets the most PAs there next year?
Keith Law: Travis will get a long look there if they don’t acquire one from outside (I think they will, someone with power).

Josh: Could Luis Urias be a +10 DRS guy at 2B or is that too rich?
Keith Law: Seems high, but he’s also never played there full-time, has he? He’s played a good bit of short and is competent there.

Rick: Thoughts on barstool ? I think some of the gimmicks are funny but they ripped Cortea for getting married so young and not hooking up with a bunch of different like Jeter ? #cringeworthy
Keith Law: I thought that Correa thing was some movie reference (Anchorman?) I didn’t get.

Jay: You mentioned the Giants as a possible destination for Donaldson in a trade. Would the Jays really trade him in offseason rather than the trade deadline in ’18 (assuming they are not in contention)?
Keith Law: Why not? In the offseason, far more teams think they’re contenders, and budgets are much more flexible.

Cassidy : What restaraunts did you dine at while at AFL ? The usual ? (Bianco, Matt’s, etc.?) anything new ?
Keith Law: The only new spots were Casa de Falafel in Peoria (Iraqi food, in a gas station, really great) and Forno 301 downtown. Otherwise it was Keith’s greatest hits – Hillside, Cartel, Giant, Matt’s, crepe bar, Republica Empanada, Pane Bianco, FnB, etc.

Daniel Morton: Tirso Ornelas stick in a corner or have to move to 1B
Keith Law: Corner OF.

Brandon: Would it not be a good idea for both the Rockies and CarGo to reach a one-year deal, with some playing time at 1B?
Keith Law: He didn’t hit enough to be a regular in the OF last year. Not sure why you’d want him at 1b.

Rex: A FG writer recently said that he thinks it’ll be a while before a team other than the Yankees, Indians, Astros, Red Sox, Dodgers, Nationals or Cubs is in the WS. What do you think about that?
Keith Law: I would take the other side of that bet.

Cassidy : So a GOP candidate is being accused of sexual assault (awful, if true) but do you think an accusation should merit being pulled from running for office ? One person could come forward lying and your life is ruined …?! Just doesn’t seem fair (although I do believe most accusations are true)
Keith Law: It’s one accusation of assault and several of enticement of a minor, plus other accounts of untoward behavior.

Chase: Percent chance that Ohtani will be in an MLB uniform on Opening Day?
Keith Law: I’d go up to 40% now from about 20% before he hired CAA and we heard that the parties have been negotiating or at least discussing. MLB has really, colossally screwed this up. Just waive the cap for him and forget about it.

Jason: Do you prefer dominick smith to greg bird, (Birds health issues aside?)
Keith Law: Smith is a much better hitter with less power and much more defense, so yes.

John C.: I know he’s not great by any stretch, but Ryon Healy would be a huge upgrade at 3B over Garcia and Ruiz for the Braves. Given his youth and contract, which young starter would you be willing to trade to acquire him from Oakland?
Keith Law: He can’t play third.

Jason: Would you care if your daughter smoked weed, but was still productive ? Struggling with my daughter wether to allow it or not
Keith Law: I would not.

Jerry: What are the chances Ohtani already has a deal in place with a team?
Keith Law: Zero. Unless some GM wants to get fired.

Moe Mentum: Rank and defend these decades-old parody movies that end with exclamation points: Airplane! Hot Shots! Top Secret!
Keith Law: Top Secret, Airplane, I never even finished Hot Shots.

David Stearns: Help! I can’t tell if 2016 Jonathan Villar is the mirage or if 2017 Jonathan Villar is the fluke…which one is right?
Keith Law: 2016 seemed way out of line with the rest of his career.

Sterling Malory Chris Archer: So I started reading The Master and Margarita based on the fact it’s your number one book. Any suggestions on what to pay attention to while reading?
Keith Law: Remember that Bulgakov wrote it as an anti-communist fable while he was writing as a state playwright for the Soviet government.

Dan: I know that injuries kinda derailed Isan Diaz’s 2017 but is he still a top 100 caliber prospect for you?
Keith Law: I think so, since the hamate probably wrecked his year.

Tom: I realize I run the risk of being struck by a lightning bolt, especially where I live, but when I heard Vin Scully’s national anthem comments, all I could think of was “89 year old white grandpa misses the point completely.” (Ducking)
Keith Law: Yep. I felt the same. Met Vin once, as nice a man as you’ll come across, but that was quite ignorant given the players he covered in his career.

Dan: Is a line of .280/.350/.400 a pretty accurate projection for Kevin Newman?
Keith Law: A year ago I would have said yes. Given how little power he showed in AAA, just in terms of hard contact, I’m thinking less now.

PD: Really sad story about Daniel Flores. I was looking at video of his release and swing and he looked really good. Where would he had ranked for you?
Keith Law: As with Halladay/HoF, I would simply prefer not to discuss the recently departed in those terms. I’m sorry.

Andy: The last two WS winners have largely done it with home grown hitters carrying the bulk of the load. If you want to throw the Dodgers and Indians into the mix, they also did it with more homegrown hitters (with Kershaw being an exception.) Do you think that the additional certainty with a hitter could make teams value bats above pitching in the top of drafts?
Keith Law: Some teams, notably the Cubs, have argued that you want bats in the top 10-15 picks, then go pitching later. They’ve drafted that way quite a bit. I think the Dodgers have too. There’s more predictability in their performance and lower attrition rates.

Nick: What’s the ideal path for the oriole’s at this point? I say Trade Manny and Brach now, and Britton mid season hoping he stays healthy the first half, sign a couple bounce back candidate starting pitchers to high AAV short term deals and hope to flip them as well? Don’t see a path to winning next year so maybe try to rebuild on the fly without completely tearing it down?
Keith Law: Trade Britton and/or Brach now. If they intend to compete this year, then they keep Machado and ride it out. If they intend to rebuild, then trade everyone now.

Sage: Everyone mentions the ball is juiced, but I’ve heard the seams are not raised like they used to be, causing a decline on effective pitching, and spike in distance a ball does. Are these same thing, or am I misinterpreting ?
Keith Law: Two different things. The coefficient of restitution has changed too (the ball is bouncier).

Chris: interesting trade idea on RAB today: Yelich for Acevedo, Adams, Solak, and Frazier. I know youre not super high on the first two, but what do you think? Obv Denbo knows their system well.
Keith Law: Supposedly they don’t want to deal Yelich at all. That seems like a bunch of quantity over quality.

Andrew: Would a solution like Toastmasters help me with a problem with my public speaking?
Keith Law: I know people who swear by them, but I’ve never participated in it (or done anything for public speaking).

JJ: Keith, weird question, but with as health conscious as players/teams are today, are there players who are major smokers (similar to Leyland)? I know smokeless tobacco is still popular among players and isn’t healthy but was curious how much of that is hidden from public image.
Keith Law: The answer depends completely on what leaf we are discussing.

Joe: Do the minor league use the same balls as the major leaguers?
Keith Law: They do not.

Nick: Greatest mankind accomplishment of all time? Moon landing? Building of Pyramids? Internet? Something else?
Keith Law: Eradicating smallpox.

Andrew: I know you mentioned in one of these chats or your twitter that the interview process isn’t a good way to evaluating a potential hire (Dave Martinez). What is a good way of seeing if someone is a good hire?
Keith Law: Resume and references.

Nick: Who is the most surprising top 10 draft pick you’ve seen since covering the draft?
Keith Law: Hm. Most surprising first rounder was Hayden Simpson, but I think he was 15th or 16th overall. DeShields Jr at 8 to Houston in 2010 was a surprise, just that he went that high, although I think I had him projected to them at pick 19 (they took Foltynewicz there). Hobgood in 2009 and Townsend the second time around to Tampa Bay in 2005 come to mind too.

Jock: Austin Beck – do you think he was a reach at #6 last year or do you think that he represents a good departure for the A’s as they aim to develop more “toolsy” and “high reward” players in hopes of landing a new stadium in a few years? Thanks, Keith.
Keith Law: Not a reach, but huge risk huge reward type of guy.

JJ: Care to make an early prediction on the 2018 ROYs?
Keith Law: I do not, thanks.

Ed: There’s no way Davis doesn’t accept the QO, right?
Keith Law: If he thinks he can get multiple years elsewhere, then he would decline it.

Nathan: Keith! Love your work … I need some help. I’m trying to acquire the taste for straight black coffee. Can you give me some tips on what roast or brand I should start with? Much appreciated…
Keith Law: I never drank my coffee black until I tried Intelligentsia, and from there branched out to other “third wave” roasters (very light roasts, usually from single estates or small regions). Adding dairy to coffee introduces fats that block the bitter receptors on your tongue, but really good coffee that is properly roasted has very little to no bitterness.

yankees fan: I know you have been impressed by sheffield recently. Has he considerably improved since last years trade? If yes, in what way?
Keith Law: He has. He’s throwing harder and has switched to a slider.

Tim: Cooking question. Is it safe to feed a toddler food cooked with wine (braised, risotto, etc.)? I see so much conflicting information online.
Keith Law: Yes. Most of the alcohol will cook out – it evaporates at about 173 F. And a batch of risotto should use 1/2 cup of wine, which works out to about 14 ml of alcohol. Even if your toddler ate the entire batch, well, he’d get sick from all that rice first.
Keith Law: I need to wrap this up to pick up my car from the mechanic’s. Thank you for all of your questions and for reading all the content I’ve put together this week. I should be back next Thursday for a chat, and there will be a video chat as usual when I spatchcock the turkey before Thanksgiving. Have a safe weekend, everyone.

Comments

  1. Throw in the NYT article today about Louis C.K.’s offensive behavior with women and all the others lately (Halperin, Weinstein, Spacey and so on) and it really makes you wonder how we ever managed to stop focusing on our privates enough to crawl out of the primordial ooze and become modestly civilized beings.

  2. Related to public speaking, I’ve sent most of my managers to Dale Carnegie classes and have seen improvements in their ability to work with others and put others first.

  3. Do MLB front offices know if 2018 baseballs will be the same at 2017 edition or will 2017 going to be an outlier? How does this impact evaluations of both pitchers and hitters if there’s a regression to the mean.

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