Klawchat 5/18/17.

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

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

Keith Law: Klawchat, top of the food chain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Klawchat, 5/11/17.

Chat starts at 1 pm ET; questions go in the frame below, not in the comments!

My first first-round projection for this year’s draft is now up for Insiders. And you can buy Smart Baseball, my first book, online or in any bookstore now.

Keith Law: Twisting like a cat on a hot tin shine. It’s Klawchat.

Greg: Hey Keith, is it bad that I’m disappointed in your projected Atlanta pick being a guy with an average fastball? Is that really the best pick at 5, or does he make up for it in other ways?
Keith Law: By all accounts Gore has great secondaries for a HS arm and an advanced feel to pitch. The ball also comes out of his hand really well – I wouldn’t be surprised if his release point was especially far towards the batter and if his fastball plays above its velo. I think it’s a strong consensus that he’s the second best prep arm in the class.

Frank: What was your reaction to Ronald Acuna being promoted to Double A so quickly?
Keith Law: I think it’s strange. I love the player, but he hadn’t dominated high-A – he had two great weeks and still struck out a lot.

kimchidad: Do you have any interest in doing live scouting in South Korea or Japan to get a better idea of the level of play in those leagues?
Keith Law: I mean, if you’re paying, sure.

Andrew: Thoughts on Tatis Jr so far this year?
Keith Law: None. He’s 18, in low-A, and it’s been a month. Unless he was totally overmatched (he’s not) or dominating (he’s not), there’s nothing here to change my preseason opinion of him.

Burns: Who has a better chance of becoming more than a backend starter, Beede or Honeywell?
Keith Law: Beede.

Wayne: In your top-five scenario, what other player(s) do you think Atlanta would be considering besides Gore?
Keith Law: I believe they’d kill for Greene or Lewis, but I don’t see either of those happening. Bear in mind that last year they weren’t really linked to Anderson by anyone until maybe two weeks before the draft.

Wayne: Through 126 PAs in Double A, Travis Demeritte is walking 11% and striking out 22%. When is it alright to put stock in the decreased K%?
Keith Law: I think it’s probably meaningful now. He had 150 AB after the trade last year, all in high-A, with a 33% K rate. So he moved up and is already making more contact. And bear in mind I think he might be a 7 defender at second.

Scott: American Gods – Impressed? Disappointed? I think they’ve been pretty true to the book so far. I’ve enjoyed the first 2 episodes.
Keith Law: I haven’t watched E2 yet. I thought E1 was compelling and McShane was great but the gore was stupid and undermined the episode.

Paco: Imagine prime Maddux was a prospect now. Would he be difficult to evaluate? Is it hard to project command/movement guys? I can’t imagine there’s too many rhp throwing high 80’s that are getting much hype.
Keith Law: Maddux could get into the low 90s, up to 94, in his peak, and he could really sink it with 80 command and a good changeup. He would probably be underrated, because everyone would question his ceiling, but he’d be considered a solid prospect for sure.

Danny: I’m a big fan of Chase Vallot. Think despite the strikeout issues, he pairs that with being able to walk (career 12% BB% in the minors – 16% this year in Wilmington). Of course the sticking point with him is if he can stay at catcher? Thoughts there? He also clearly has SOME idea of the strikezone given his walk rate, but why are the K’s so high?
Keith Law: Just saw him the other night; don’t think he’s a catcher, don’t agree that he’s got much plate discipline either.

Danny P: Evan White might fit in with the Cubs philosophy of the best college bat, though Rizzo would still be blocking him in a few years, can he be a decent Corner OFer. They also seem to love USA baseball guys. Is it a fit?
Keith Law: I’d be quite surprised if they took a 1b (who could definitely play the OF) with a career college walk rate of under 8%.

Eli: Where would Seth Romero rank on talent alone? How far do you see off-field concerns dropping him?
Keith Law: He would have gone in the first, I would have ranked him more towards the second (it’s not a good delivery), and I think he now goes second or third with a significant discount. Getting in a fight with a teammate on top of a mountain of previous incidents tells me either he’s got a real mental illness or he’s totally irresponsible.

GS (Minneapolis): My heart loves Miguel Sano while my head loved Max Kepler. Kepler seems so well-rounded to me and I think his net value is under appreciated by Twins fans. Well he develop 30 hr power?
Keith Law: Kepler? I’d say 20+, 30 is not impossible but not likely.

Greg: How much of the rumored desire of Hunter Greene to avoid Cincinnati, should Reds fans be concerned about?
Keith Law: I’d call that bullshit.

Ryan Philip: What’s your guess on how DD handles Devers down the stretch given their obvious need at 3b and the disaster Moncada was last year? At what point is it ok for them to throw Devers in the fire without sacrificing his development?
Keith Law: Buster said on the podcast this morning that he’s heard they might call Devers up; I said I thought that was aggressive, but that I also think Devers could handle the big jump without getting derailed. He’s a special talent at the plate.

David: Hi Keith,

When you see two-way players with the abilities of McKay and Greene would you push them, by default, to being either a hitter or a pitcher? I understand the need for pitchers, but with the injury risk there might be better value in being a hitter. I’m assuming it is all a case-by-case situation based on the player, but was just curious if you had any thoughts. As a Pirate fan I’m always reminded of John Van Benschoten when I hear about two-way players and wonder if there is an industry consensus on the way to go.
Keith Law: Case by case for me. I’d put Greene on the mound for sure. McKay I prefer on the mound but there’s a better case for him to hit than there is for Greene.

Chris: I always love your take on books, Keith, and was wondering if you’ve read The Sellout, by Paul Beatty, which won the Man Booker. I finished it a week or two ago and have never been more conflicted, in a good way, by a novel, especially a comic one. I left it having enjoyed it and its thematic point but feeling totally insecure and out of place, which might’ve been part of the point. Anyway I was wondering your thoughts. Thanks for all your great work.
Keith Law: Yep, I read it last July (my review). Very good, but also made me pretty uncomfortable. Only a black author with a confident voice could have written that book.

guren: A few weeks ago, SI ran an article where anonymous “scouts” provided comments for each team. A “scout” said that Eric Hosmer is “MVP caliber, a Triple Crown candidate.” On a scale of 1 to Tim Tebow playing baseball, how ridiculous is that scout’s statement? Also, what is it about Eric Hosmer that causes some scouts to over-rate him?
Keith Law: Although I occasionally quote scouts anonymously, I vet the quotes myself first. That writer did not. Or the scout isn’t real.

guren: Do you happen to know HarperCollins’ break-even point in terms of unit sales of your book? If so, is that something that you can share? I am just curious about the economics of the publishing industry.
Keith Law: I will only share this – the royalty structure in my contract is not linear. The rate for hardcover books is a step function, but it’s a straight line for ebooks.

Cedric: How many names are the Reds truly considering at #2? Anyone beyond Greene or McKay?
Keith Law: Maybe Wright. But I think he’s 3rd in a two-car race, so to speak.

Dana: Has Aaron Hicks finally figured it all out?
Keith Law: I want this to be true. It’s just too small a sample to say, but boy does it look like he’s rewarding my faith in him.

guren: Keith, I have noticed that you always use the phrase “begging the question” correctly (unfortunately you are in the minority), plus you rarely if ever have typos. I would surmise that proper grammar and spelling are important to you. Do you have any grammar or usage pet peeves?
Keith Law: Yeah, although I don’t trot them out in public because it’s mostly just pedantry (and can come off as classism). I’ll give you one, though: “is comprised of.” The word “comprise” means “contains,” in the sense that a group comprises its members (and the members constitute the group).

Andy: Knowing that you think he’s the #1 talent, would you pick Greene #1 if you were the Twins GM? While there’s risk no matter who you pick, a HS RHP with huge velocity has more red flags than other categories.
Keith Law: No, I think a college 1b without another position has more red flags. The history of that profile is god-awful. I’d take Greene.

Henry : Keith, sorry, accidentally posted this on comment box. Have any of your broadcast/journalist colleagues changed their view/reporting as a result of your book?
Keith Law: You’d have to ask them, sorry.

Kevin: Why did Gausman struggle in April? Do some pitchers not like pitching in cold weather or cold weather affects their pitches?
Keith Law: He’s from Colorado. I think he’s pitched in the cold before.

Mike: When do you think Leodys Taveras of Texas plays in the MLB? (Yes I know he is 18)
Keith Law: In 2019.

Nick: Buxton has been putting together some pretty solid ABs lately. It’s a low bar, but how long do you think it takes before he gets his AVG into the .220s and OBP in the .320s?
Keith Law: Aaron Gleeman’s been … um … gleefully tweeted about Buxton’s rise. After the first 50 or so AB, Buxton’s been on fire with more BB and fewer K. I would bet on him keeping it up.

msubin26: what is your take on the Matt Harvey situation now and historically?
Keith Law: No take. I don’t know the truth behind it all, and any take I offer would be like a cream puff right out of the oven: Hot on the outside, totally empty on the inside.

Kyle KS: How difficult was it to resist the urge of putting a picture of yourself holding a bat or leaning on a bat on the cover of your book? Seems like the go-to for baseball books.
Keith Law: HC never suggested that, but I would have gone to court to stop it if they had.

Rob: Do you foresee any of Senzatela, Freeland or Marquez becoming long-term rotation options for the Rockies? Freeland & Senzatela aren’t striking anybody out, so I’m planning on some major regression soon, but could one (or more!) of them stick around for the long haul?
Keith Law: Freeland is most likely for me. Marquez needs a third pitch. Senzatela does too, and lacks the velocity or any sort of swing and miss option to be a starter.

Erich: Showalter seems to be running starters out at pretty high pitch counts, including Bundy. Bundy has started the 7th/8th inning this year a couple of times over 100 pitches. Ubaldo was at 91 going out for the 8th and didn’t get pulled until 115 pitches and 3 runs given up. Gausman started the 6th or 7th last week at over 100 pitches. With the bullpen being their strength, this seems counter intuitive, especially with Bundy in his first healthy season and the data showing his velocity decreasing later in games.
Keith Law: I think his usage of Bundy has been criminal. I know the kid’s results have been good, but he’s showing clear signs of fatigue within starts and he’s compensating for the average (or worse) fastball by throwing a ton of sliders. I know the bullpen is nicked up with Britton out for a while and Brach returning to normal, but this isn’t the solution.

Rob: Other than a couple of gems (Kreator, Gone is Gone, Pallbearer), it’s been a pretty mediocre year for metal. Any records you can recommend that I might have missed?
Keith Law: The Mastodon album, for sure. I liked the new Sepultura album although I know some folks refuse to listen to anything post-Max from them. I need to listen to the whole Memoriam album too – I liked the first song I heard, “Memoriam.”

Dave: I know the long standing best practice is draft what you consider best player available regardless of team needs. However I can’t think of anything else I’d buy using that strict rule. I think stocks might be one but the conventional wisdom for investments is diversification. If marginal difference why not draft what you need?
Keith Law: Because you’re selecting players you won’t use for anywhere from one to five years. Are you that good at forecasting your needs five years out?

Fuzzy Dunlop: Next is a food/coffee question. Im going to be in Atlanta next month to watch my Braves play my best friend’s Mets in a contest of which team can be more dysfunctional. Im vaguely familiar with good places to eat, but what food and coffee places can you recommend?
Keith Law: Spiller Park for coffee (I’ll be there on Tuesday morning!). Food, man, it’s a great town. Empire State South, The Lawrence, Cakes & Ale, the Luminary, Gunshow (I didn’t love it, most people do), Staplehouse (haven’t been), The Optimist (haven’t been). Feels like I’m forgetting a couple of spots too.

Xolo: At what position do you see Royce Lewis ending up?
Keith Law: Centerfield.

Mike: The Mets are planning to continue to use Jose Reyes at third. At what point should they call up Rosario?
Keith Law: Yesterday.

Greg: I just finished reading your book (very enjoyable). I have a question about whether there has been any recent work done on pitch sequencing or the complementarity of certain pitches with one another (i.e. having two pitches with opposite breaks). I hear a fair bit about this during broadcasts, but haven’t ever read anything concrete to back up the intuition.
Keith Law: Thank you. I believe BP wrote something on the subject last year but don’t have the link handy.

Jack: If I recall you considered Brent Graves as good value for A’s 3rd pick in 2014. Up until this year he’s basically been a total bust. Certainly SSS his strikeout to walk ratio has improved drastically. Is it a case of 24 year old pitching in High A ball or have you heard anything to suggest he has a future as a decent major league starter.
Keith Law: I wouldn’t buy into 26 innings for a guy repeating the level; last time I saw him was March 2016.

Jeff: Andrew Toles is now out for the year, but what’s his ultimate ceiling going forward? I see a 4th OF, but many fans think he’s much more than that. Can you please provide a final verdict?
Keith Law: Never thought he was more than that.

Brian: Dave Cameron at Fangraphs had a chat yesterday and commented about Lucas Giolito, “the stuff is down, the results are bad, and he’s been overrated for a while now.” Everyone would agree the results are bad. Is the stuff really down, though? And if so, how down?
Keith Law: The stuff was down for maybe two starts. There’s a lot of 94-95, still, but the delivery isn’t back to where it was through the end of 2015.

Billy: Outside of Faedo, where do you project the rest of the Gators going in the draft?
Keith Law: Guthrie in the second or third, I would say third but college infielders tend to go high. Schwarz to me is undraftable – he has no position and doesn’t hit enough to take as a bad 1b/dh.

Stanyon Turtze: Congrats on the book sales. I’m sorry your joy has to be tempered by the fact that your son is playing for the worst team in baseball. At least he (barely) picked up a save yesterday. You must be so proud! BTW, I think you called him your 6’5 son in a chat last year. ESPN lists him as 6’2. BAD DAD! 🙂
Keith Law: Oh, like THEY would know.

Sam: If Sean Spicer had a sense of humor, he’d go on SNL and play Melissa McCarthy in a spoof of one of her movies or Mike & Molly.
Keith Law: Well, it sounds like he’ll have some free time on his hands soon.

Carlos: How does Gore compare to Allard coming out of high school? Both seems to have similar profiles based on your synopsis. Thanks!!!
Keith Law: Allard had a better CB (but a back injury). Gore I think has a bit more projection.

Rick: Despite no homers in AAA, Tapia is crushing to the tune of a 1.031 OPS. When does he get the call?
Keith Law: He’s in Albuquerque, perhaps the best hitting environment in any full-season league. No homers there is kind of … not good. (And I like Tapia a lot as a prospect. I’m just saying a 1.031 OPS there doesn’t tell us anything.)

mike sixel: No Sam Carlson in your mock, unless I missed it. You don’t think he’s one of the top players, or he’s not tied to any teams?
Keith Law: I ranked him in the top 20. I just don’t think he’s that likely to go in the first. He might be a sandwich/second-round overpay to buy him out of a good college (Florida) commitment, like Joey Wentz or Kevin Gowdy last year.

Gabriel: Hey Klaw! thanks for the mock draft, i read the other day that some scouts think gore is a better prospect than greene.. is this possible?
Keith Law: Is it possible that one scout said that? Sure. But I don’t agree.

JimLindeman15: The Cardinals have ten successful sacrifice bunts, and all ten have dropped their win expectancy.
Keith Law: Maybe they should cut that out. Also, Matheny IBB’d the tying run last night in the 9th inning.

Andrew: Any 70/75/80 tool guys in this year’s draft besides Hunter Greene’s infield arm and Kendall and Thompson probably being 80 runners? I remember you being spot on with AJ Reed having 70-80 raw power as an amateur when most people had him pegged at lower.
Keith Law: Greene’s fastball too. Baz has reached 98, so you might claim it’s a 70 fastball, although I don’t think he’ll pitch there.

Kevin: Who is the first big leaguer from the 2017 draft class? Thanks for your time. Enjoyed your book!
Keith Law: I think McKay could appear this year as a LHS if someone wanted to move him fast.

ritchie vanian: I am currently reading “The Master and Margarita” -thanks for the tip. My wife is waiting for me to finish so she can start it.
Keith Law: You’re welcome. Such a great, imaginative read.

Bryan: Thomas Pannone has a scoreless streak of 51 innings. Is he legit? A future ML starter? Career minor leaguer?
Keith Law: To be clear, he gave up a run, but it was unearned, which I mention because I talk about the worthlessness of the earned/unearned run distinction in Smart Baseball. Also, I don’t think he’s a prospect unless something changed in the last few weeks.

Vin: Looks like Collins can no longer hold Conforto back (hopefully)…what can we expect his end of season numbers to look like?
Keith Law: Don’t doubt Terry’s ability to screw with young players – and to do so with impunity, since it seems like nothing will get him fired. I think Conforto’s a 400 OBP guy with 20+ HR.

George: Is Pavin Smith too high for Oakland at #6?
Keith Law: Smith’s performance this year is unimpeachable. I even ranked him in my top 10. But gah, a college 1b with a single-digit pick?

Jim: I need to open a new bank account, and I wanted to get your advice. Do you have any thoughts on BofA?
Keith Law: Make sure you ask them for their Updog promotion.

Jon: I get San Diego what is trying to do with the Rule 5 picks. But aren’t they doing a disservice to a guy like Luis Torrens, who isn’t going to play the entire year, and then next year is going to get sent down to A ball again. This is a guy who didn’t play much the past few years because of injury. Does his career survive this?
Keith Law: He gets a year of service and major-league pay, which isn’t nothing. But I agree that it can screw up some guys’ careers and I don’t think it’s that likely to work out for the team either.

Mike: Have you heard anything about how Ryan McMahon has looked defensively at 2B at Hartford, and do you think playing 2B significantly affects his path to the majors and/or future value?
Keith Law: It sounds like he’s ultimately going to end up at first.

Bill: Anthony Banda has been pretty wild overall this year, but much better the last couple of starts. Do you think the Miller injury gives him a shot sometime this summer? Chance at a #3 or more back end for you?
Keith Law: Chance at a #3 is about right.

Ryan: Luiz Gohara appears to be a steal for the Braves. Are there any red flags that i’m not aware of that lead to Seattle giving him away for nothing?
Keith Law: Off-field stuff, including issues with drinking.

Adam: Not writing him off or anything, but has some of the sheen worn off of Fernando Tatis Jr as he strikes out at a high rate in Single A? Especially as the similarly aged Vlad Guerrero Jr dominates his level?
Keith Law: Answered above – he’s 18. He’s younger than Conner Uselton. It’s really ridiculous to think he’s lost any “sheen.”

Ken T: I just wanted to say Thank You for Smart Baseball. I’ve been waiting a long time for a book that wasn’t written for stat geeks to help me understand a lot of the sabermetric stats in use by MLB today. It’s also helped me articulate to my friends WHY the stats they still cling to are useless – although I’ve never had trouble arguing why the save should be sbot at sunrise. Any chance you might do a book signing in the Boston area?
Keith Law: If I end up there over the summer, I’ll try to set something up – or if a bookstore asks, I can try to work a trip around their schedule.

Buck: You were weirdly dismissive of Luis Urias last week (“Have you…even seen him walk around?”). He won Hi-A MVP at 18, and is now putting up a .944 OPS as the youngest player in the Texas League. He’s got more walks than strikeouts for his career, and is said to be a soid defensive 2b. What is it that keeps a guy like this off all the prospect lists?
Keith Law: I was dismissive of the question, which was merely scouting the stat line. As for Urias, he’s not an everyday SS and he’s quite small for a regular. And yet I still ranked him in the top 10 for the Padres, who have a top 3 system in all of baseball.

Hugh: Really enjoying the book. It was the first one I’d preordered since The Deathly Hallows. My only complaint was the lack of a strong female character. Please address in the sequel.
Keith Law: My book utterly failed the Bechdel test.

HT from Tokyo: Have you been to Japan to scout players or for vacation? I’m a huge fan of yours and would love to know your reactions and experience in my country!
Keith Law: Never been. My lone trip to Asia was to Taiwan in 2004.

Mattey: I’m sure I won’t be the only Phillies fan asking for your thoughts on Altherr today..
Keith Law: It’s 85 PA and he has a .413 BABIP with power like he’s never shown before at any level. I’m a bit skeptical that he’ll keep this up.

Josh: Outside of one bad start, Dinelson Lamet has been dominant in a hitter-friendly environment. Has the changeup improved enough for him to remain a starter, or is he just relying on the fastball/slider combo still and destined for the pen? Thanks
Keith Law: LHB still killing him.

JR: Do you think you will ever read all the books on you list to the point your only options are basically reading new books and/or re-reading favorites?
Keith Law: Nah, there are way more good books out there than I’ll ever get to.

Jean Lazure: Hi Keith – reading your book, really enjoying it. I just get sad when I go through my old baseball books and see a good many examples of players who didn’t cut it under yesterday’s stats – BA, RBI, etc. – yet mastered the then-unappreciated skill of getting on base through walks, and thus never got a proper and deserved shot at MLB. Any such favourites you can recall?
Keith Law: Roberto Petagine had a little fan club among us online statheads back in the 1990s.

Matt in the Bronx: Keith have you heard anything if the Mets like Brooklyn product Nick storz or Queens product Quentin Holmes? We are very excited around here see if we can get some more hometown guys on the team.
Keith Law: Neither has been very good this year.

Josh: So this Cody Bellinger kid is decent, huh?
Keith Law: I ranked him 6th on my top 100, and actually moved him down after sending my list around to a bunch of scouts/FO guys. He was originally 2nd. Maybe I should have stuck to my guns?

JR: In your opinion, would there be any downside to holding the MLB draft over All Star break? There is literally no other sporting events going on, so it would be a good way to get the draft more attention. Would pushing it back a month be detrimental in any way?
Keith Law: It would hurt short-season leagues, which isn’t nothing but shouldn’t be the primary consideration for MLB. It would mean every player is done playing, though, and could attend the draft.

Sage: Fav player growing up? I’m guessing you were a Don Mattingly guy
Keith Law: Willie Randolph.

Josh: Given the strong start to the season, how long would you wait to move Cal Quantrill up to AA?
Keith Law: Not long. If he’s on a low innings cap, might as well have him throw them somewhere where hitters will challenge him more.

Carl: IIRC Bubba Starling was considered a great pick for the Royals. What went wrong?
Keith Law: Never really hit in pro ball. He had lots of tools but the hit tool was questionable, and his competition in HS was atrocious. They wanted one of the four pitchers taken ahead of him and those guys went 1-2-3-4.

Alex : Who do you think Robert signs with? Think he will have an unofficial deal in place before 20th?
Keith Law: I’ve heard Cardinals, and I’ve heard Astros, but I really don’t have any inside info.

NYTT: Weigel moved up to AAA. What have you heard on him and is he a long-term starter?
Keith Law: Definitely a long-term starter for me.

Chris: Jay Bruce has been solid but when Cespedes returns would you consider trading him so Conforto can play full-time NOT in CF? I would.
Keith Law: I would too. Or benching him. Conforto is one of their top 2 outfield bats; therefore, he must play.

Jon: Keith, I’m thinking of taking a job with the DE Courts system. Having not eaten at Cocina Lolo, should it’s presence play a part in my decision making? Thanks.
Keith Law: Yes, it’s good enough to push you to “yes.”

Josh: Is Calvin Mitchell a possibility at the end of the 1st, or do you see him sliding into the 2nd/3rd because he’s 1B only?
Keith Law: 1B only and hasn’t hit very well this spring, so I think he slides to the second.

Matt: Maikel Franco’s advanced numbers look pretty different this year, especially in terms of patience. I think you’ve liked his hands but not his approach in the past, has that changed at all?
Keith Law: Way too small of a sample to draw any conclusions on his patience changing.

Matt: From what I understand, the Cape Cod league is the premier Summer league for collegiate players. I live near a field that hosts a team playing in the Northwoods League. Is there a steep drop in talent between the two leagues? Am I watching any future big leaguers when I attend these games?
Keith Law: Big drop, yes, but the NWL still produces lots of big leaguers.

NYTT: I’m surprised that the Braves would be in on Kyle Wright. He’s been that good the past couple of months? What is his outlook like if he can be consistent with what he’s shown lately?
Keith Law: He’s been so good he shouldn’t get to their pick. (BTW, I don’t think I said anywhere they’d be on him.)

Danny: Does Sixto Sanchez have more potential than anyone in the Phillies organization? What is that potential?
Keith Law: It’s a 70 fastball with control, but secondary stuff isn’t there now. I know some folks would say a guy with that kind of velocity and a good delivery has a #1 ceiling but I would take less velo and a better breaking ball or changeup.

Chris: Any comment on this Kapler/Francona/Dodgers drama? The fact Francona rejected a $150K settlement has to give one pause.
Keith Law: Again, I know nothing about it, and thus can’t offer an opinion.

MikeM: Can Greg Bird’s struggles at the plate be explained by his bone bruise on his front ankle? I am not an expert on hitting mechanics but that kind of injury would seem to disrupt mechanics and timing.
Keith Law: Or maybe his shoulder isn’t at 100% strength? Either would explain it. I’m fine with them taking it slow with him if they feel like sending him to AAA for a few weeks to rake would help.

Matt : Is there anything different in Serevino’s approach this year to make you think he says in the rotation? His walks are down significantly….just SSS?
Keith Law: Slider has gotten much better and he’s more physical up top than he was. I haven’t seen the delivery except the centerfield view which isn’t great for looking at a guy’s lower half.

JL: Just finished reading your book – very well done! Are you going to hate me since I borrowed a copy from a library instead of buying one?
Keith Law: Nope. I like libraries. I use the one down the street from us quite a bit.

Ridley Kemp: I just finished the book, and as someone who worked in the shallow end of the baseball analysis pool for a few years…man, I wish I had been able to explain what I was trying to do as well as you did. No question to ask, I just wanted to say that yours is the best baseball book I’ve read this century, and the most enjoyable to read.
Keith Law: Wow, thank you so much.

Evan: Do you think that the MLB should allow all draft picks to be traded? If so, how do you think it would change the trade market?
Keith Law: Yes, perhaps with the caveat that a team can only trade up to $X million, or up to Y% of its bonus pool total. It’ll help create more trades and make the draft more interesting too.

Matt : Thoughts on the Comey firing? Really trending to Watergate territory here….
Keith Law: I think you’d have to make a strong argument why this isn’t the same thing as Nixon firing the special prosecutor.

JJ: During the run-up to the Oscars, you were pretty vocal about your distaste for Mel Gibson, for his past anti-Semitic comments. Do you feel the same way about Roman Polanski over his past actions? How do you separate the art from the artist?
Keith Law: I do. I’ve seen the Pianist, before I really knew anything about RP, but that’s it. I won’t watch films by him, Gibson, or Woody Allen. I don’t really feel the loss. And I’m not a professional critic who has to watch any movies s/he doesn’t want to watch.

Andrew Stevenson…: 4th OF or MLB regular?
Keith Law: MLB regular.

JP: Michael Ruhlman speaking at Powells Books on Wednesday. Maybe he can have his store contact call your people to set up an event?
Keith Law: I think my publicist said they’re not big on baseball books. Could be wrong.

Jon: Were you/are you a fan of Faith No More?
Keith Law: Yes, those two big albums, then I thought they fell off fast after Angel Dust.

Sam: By the way, in additional to my needy NY/BOS themed questions I really appreciate how vocal you are about vaccinations as a dad to a 17 month old. You seem to not mind the trolls, I’m just sorry that it’s necessary.
Keith Law: But it is necessary, and I think I have some obligation to use my podium for good purposes.

Dave: Loved your appearance on MLB Now, hopefully there will be more in the future. Any chance that Jeren Kendell moves up into the top ten or has his season this spring been to damaging?
Keith Law: It was really fun to do – Brian & co were great, and the staff behind the scenes couldn’t have been friendlier. As for Kendall, it’s probably too late for that.

Jon: What’s Updog?
Keith Law: Not much, dog, but the chat’s over. Thank you all for all of your questions and your patience with me this week. I will be in Atlanta next Tuesday evening for a signing at the Georgia Center for the Book and Minneapolis on Thursday for a signing at Moon Palace Books. I’ll try to squeeze in a chat next week as well. And, finally, thank you again to everyone who’s bought and read Smart Baseball!

Klawchat, 5/4/17.

Keith Law: Am I coming out of left field? Klawchat.

Jake: Is the Mets season over?
Keith Law: That seems a little dramatic, but I don’t like their situation at all. They came into the year with no pitching depth, and now they’re in a situation where they need pitching depth to stay afloat.

Mike: Could the Mets have not meted out some sort of discipline for Thor after refusing an MRI?
Keith Law: Absolutely not.

Clowning Not Waving: Bellinger gonna stay up?
Keith Law: He should stay up, whether at 1b or in LF. Whether he will or not, I don’t know. They’re a better team with him in the lineup every day. You’d like to think that would win the day.

Mike: 0% chance Adam Jones is telling the truth, correct?
Keith Law: I think your question was truncated by the software. I’m sure you meant 100% chance he’s telling the truth. Unless you’re some sort of white power nut.

Anthony: Not to offend the #StickToSports crowd, but this latest attempt to repeal the ACA appears to be especially monstrous even for the GOP.
Keith Law: A bill many reps haven’t even read! But hey, it gives the top 2% billions in tax cuts. We tried that around 15 years ago, and it didn’t stimulate the economy the way supply-side economists predicted. Maybe let’s not try that again.

John: Can’t thank you enough for your book. Loving every page of it.
Keith Law: Glad you’re enjoying it. My thanks to all of you who’ve purchased it already.

Bret: Barring some miraculous season turn around, how should the Jays handle Josh Donaldson? Look to trade him at the deadline? The offseason? Try to extend him? Give it a go next year and risk losing him in free agency?
Keith Law: I think he’s their best trade piece, and they should be ready and willing to do that this summer. Their hole is bigger than the Mets’, given the division in which they play and their rotation woes.

tim: any buzz on what the Dodgers might do? Prep bat?
Keith Law: I’ve heard they like Bubba Thompson a lot, but I don’t think they are focusing on prep bats as a class – it’ll be BPA.

Slint: Your thoughts on Giolito’s continued struggles? I know you were (are) a big fan of him
Keith Law: Still am. White Sox continue to try to unravel the delivery changes the Nats made. I don’t know about yesterday but I know two starts ago his velo was mid-90s again. Just be patient.

Jonah: Thoughts on Kevin Kramer? Future starter?
Keith Law: Future utility guy.

Bosa: What kind of ceiling do you see with Jordan Hicks?
Keith Law: Potential #1-#2 starter.

RSO: How many homers does Aaron Judge end up with by season’s end?
Keith Law: I’ll say 41.

Chris: Are you a buyer that future WAR for the Cubs has Bryant and Russell as 1-2?
Keith Law: You’ve asked this twice but I don’t understand the question.

Bob: If for some reason Greene and McKay are gone – would you go with Beck at 3, what I have read, high upside – and use the savings to get a guy at top of second
Keith Law: Nope. Would take Wright there. Not sold that there will be enough quality prep prospects at the top of the second to justify taking a lesser player at pick 3 (or 4 or 5).

Ron: Hi Keith-Maybe Buxton is starting to find it a little more at the plate? Walking more and not hacking so much at stuff off of the plate. Man, is he fun to watch in the field and running the bases. The power is legit, if he gets it together, watch out.
Keith Law: As with Giolito … patience.

Greg: If you were GM of the Jays, do you wait another month (SMS) or do you start to make some changes (and which ones)?
Keith Law: Nothing you can do now. It’s not like we see an active trade market in May every year. You get ready, make sure you’re scouting the right orgs, and signal to other teams that you’re willing to deal when the time is right.

Dan: Can plate discipline be taught?
Keith Law: Not really. It can be improved, but whether that’s by teaching or by player initiative, no one really knows. We’ve seen lots of players supposedly “taught” plate discipline who couldn’t learn or hold on to the gains.

Joe: Can the Royals get a top prospect for Hosmer?
Keith Law: I don’t see it.

Taylor: What are the chances of Taylor Hearn remaining a starter?
Keith Law: Close to zero.

Concerned Friend: Keith, my buddy is a huge Red Sox fan & even bigger Keith Law fan. He’s been telling me that David Price’s injury would be worth 10 wins (!) to the Red Sox. Please help me talk some sense into him.
Keith Law: Maybe he’s arguing that Price will be replaced by a pitcher who’s three wins below replacement level.

The Sequel: Smart Cooking possible sequel to Smart Baseball?
Keith Law: I think that’s basically The Food Lab.

Mike: Going back to last season, Austin Meadows is hitting about .200 in 60 or so games at AAA. Any concern?
Keith Law: Zero concern. He’s really young for the level and didn’t have a ton of experience before reaching AAA. Also, 60 games isn’t much of a sample anyway.

Samuel: Which braves pitching prospect has the best chance to be a true number one?
Keith Law: Probably getting ahead of myself but I wonder if Ian Anderson will be that guy.

Tomas: Loved The Fifth Season – thanks for the recommendation. Just bought the sequel – have you read it?
Keith Law: Not yet. Will probably pick it up this summer.

Bob: Did you by chance, read the latest SI cover story on Hunter Greene by Lee Jenkins? Nice young man – good for him. Doing more OFF the field than on it.
Keith Law: I thought the piece was … um … excessively favorable to its subject.

Tom: I know I can’t trust the Vegas numbers, but are Rosario and Smith ready? Mets need an infusion of offensive talent immediately.
Keith Law: Your instincts on the numbers are right, but I think there’s a good case to be made that even a not-ready Rosario is better than the Mets’ current 3b or SS options.

Wave Riders: Kyle Freeland’s command is an obvious issue, but do you feel he has the stuff to stay up? Is he even ready to stay up for the whole season?
Keith Law: Stuff yes, but hasn’t really had any durability – he had medical questions in the draft, keeps getting hurt in pro ball.

John: Tyler Mahle has some pretty impressive numbers in AA this year and some reports have had him touching 99. What kind of upside is there?
Keith Law: I don’t buy him touching 99 but he just missed my top 100 and I think he’s a definite starter, maybe a solid 3. When I asked around about him last winter I got a lot of teams saying he was a reliever, but I disagree with that.

Jimmy: Without specific numbers is the book selling better or worse then you thought it would. Great read by the way!
Keith Law: HarperCollins says better. I have no real means for comparison – I didn’t have any idea how many copies it would sell.

Josh Nelson: I noticed you don’t have Jordon Adell in your Top 50 Draft prospects. Any reason why?
Keith Law: Because he was struggling horribly to make any contact earlier in the season, and was throwing like he was hurt – one scout said “he has a 30 arm right now.” I did hear just yesterday that he’s been hitting better, and teams are rushing back in to get new looks, but there were always hit tool questions with him and I don’t think a couple of good weeks would erase that.

Rob from Beloit: Are we impressed with Jake Gatewood yet? When can I be impressed?
Keith Law: You can be impressed.

RSO: Why did most scouts not have an 80 grade on Aaron Judge’s power tool when he was a prospect?
Keith Law: You’ve talked to all scouts so you can say most didn’t have that? Wow. Even I haven’t talked to that many.

Trav: Quick appeal to your readers for last second calls to reps offices. Even if this comically villainous bill passes, they need to hear it from their constituents.
Keith Law: Agreed. Also, bear in mind the GOP wanted the vote today before any Reps go home tomorrow and face the angry public.

Joe: Keith, do you see Kevin Smith and Marty Costes of Maryland being drafted somewhere in the first few rounds this year?
Keith Law: Neither will be on my top 100. They could be drafted there, but I would bet against it.

Oilver: What do yo make of Jordan Montgomery? Seems like you have been down on him in the past .
Keith Law: Down compared to what you wanted me to say? I never really understand that sort of comment. He’s working with pretty ordinary stuff and his fastball gets hit. I don’t think he’s going to be a long-term starter.

Brett: Can Brandon Woodruff becoming a legit MLB starter?
Keith Law: Yes, I think this year.

Tracy: Keith, I enjoyed your book and it certainly enlightened me on the way to look at the game beyond simple (and outdated) metrics. It also opened my eyes to the sweeping mobilization organizations took to grasp and parse this advanced data while the social arena has been very slow to adapt and, in many corners, stubbornly cling to such outlandish horse-and-buggy rhetoric (The Will to Win!). Unfortunately, I think the only way we ever get up to speed is to let the old guard fade away. It reminds me of Max Planck’s claim that might be fitting here: “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
Keith Law: Planck’s quote is particularly apposite to Hall of Fame voting.

Henry: Devers is tearing it up. What kind of numbers do you expect from him in the majors?
Keith Law: Across the board production – high average, OBP, slugging, 25-30 homer type with everything else. I’ve had him top 10 in baseball two winters running.

Charles: Rhys Hoskins keeps hitting after Reading….is it real?
Keith Law: Yeah. I’m buying it. I wrote about him when he was in low-A that he reminded me of Goldschmidt (I think I said he might be “Goldschmidt Lite”) and I’d probably stick to that now. Nothing super flashy, but quiet approach, good eye, more power than you’d think because the swing works really well. But to be completely candid I was concerned the Reading line was a little inflated too. (At least he hit on the road last year, unlike Cozens.)

Chandler: How much longer until Luis Urias gets on a top 100 list? The youngest player in the Texas League and a .347/439/.551 slash line isn’t enough?
Keith Law: Have you ever seen him play? Or even seen him walk around?

Samuel: I remember in a previous Klawchat you discussed Alex Jackson and how he looked awful at the plate. Any news on that?
Keith Law: Tommy Rancel, who does some fantasy writing for us, just saw him the other day and sent me a little video – it looked like Jackson’s getting that lead elbow down so he’s not pulling off everything. That’s good. Three walks in 100+ PA … that’s bad.

Tyler: Do you do any player rankings? You talk a lot how to accurately value players but it seems most of your work is with prospects. I think giving a top 5/10 at each position with a brief explanation would be very interesting.
Keith Law: I will do a top 25 MLB players under 25 in a few weeks. I don’t rank MLB players overall and frankly don’t find that interesting enough to write.

Patty O’Furniture: Should the Braves go after Mackenzie Gore if he’s still there at 5?
Keith Law: That’s about right.

Brett: Noticed you have Calvin Mitchell as a 1B. Why can’t he handle a corner OF spot?
Keith Law: I have yet to find a single scout who thinks he’s anything but a 1b in pro ball.

Johnny O: Is the ability to make adjustments a skill? You never got off the bandwagon because he has that ability, but what exactly is it? Something mental? Do you need elite athleticism to have 80 Adjustment Tool (ok i made that up).
Keith Law: I think the ability to make adjustments is a combination of mental acumen, athleticism and/or flexibility, and confidence. It’s hard to spot unless you either 1) see a player a lot or 2) get some very fortunate looks.

Johnny : When will your first mock go up?
Keith Law: I think two weeks.

Chris: How do you see the Diamondbacks closer situation playing out? Could Archie Bradley work there?
Keith Law: I’m hoping they leave Archie in relief all year and let him have more success rather than running him into the rotation to replace Miller.

Ron: When Sano connects, things go boom. Will have to live with the strikeouts, but it isn’t that he doesn’t have a good eye, just seems to swing through some good pitches. 35-40 HRS, 260/375/550 seem out of line for the next few years? Thanks
Keith Law: That’s probably a little high on the AVG component but the rest seems reasonable. Dude’s a star.

Chris: I know it’s a sss for this year, but perhaps not over the last 12 months or so. And Jake Arrieta demanding so many years on a new deal last year at this time and the Cubs opting to forgo talks should be a cautionary tale against such long-term deals for 30yo+ power-armed pitchers, no? Yet presumably some team will still venture down the rabbit hole.
Keith Law: I think we’re past SSS for Arrieta not looking like the Cy version. He’s lost something. Maybe 2015 was just the outlier.

Jeremy: Yanks off to a hot start and assuming they maintain this level of play, I’d rather them stay put and keep their prospects, rather than go out and trade for a “proven” starter, like Quintana. Obviously it depends on what’d it’d cost to give up, but what would be your philosophy if you were running the team?
Keith Law: If I could get a single high-impact, multi-year guy like Quintana, I would be willing to part with prospects. I wouldn’t even entertain any rentals if I had to trade even a top 20 prospect from my own system.

Andrew: Hey Keith, I love these chats as I have them marked in my phone for every Thursday. I have a question about public speaking. As a guy that has battled anxiety, how do you public speak and is it something you were always able to do? If not, what did you do to combat the fear/anxiety?
Keith Law: I’m much better speaking to a crowd than walking into a party of strangers. Go figure.

Jett: Thoughts on Eduardo Rodriguez’s start? Is he a #2 this year in that division?
Keith Law: Could be. Is not a #2 right now. Gotta stop walking guys, and there are still outings where the SL is just a fringe offering.

Danny: Keith, I know its only been 3 weeks in the minor league season but Jorge Mateo, statistically, has been awful for about a year now- has the quality of his contact changed from last year?
Keith Law: He’s never made quality contact. That was always an issue.

Chris: Are you happier if 1M people buy the Kindle version or the hardcover – environment aside?
Keith Law: One million people? I’d be too happy to worry about how you bought it.

Clement Davies: Is there anything in the collective bargaining agreement to prohibit a team such as the Phillies from frontloading a contract to a Harper or Machado in the first few seasons of a deal when they will likely have relatively low payroll otherwise? Thank You.
Keith Law: Nothing in CBA but agents tend to dislike such deals. Historically, they would screw with post-contract arb offers, which would be based on the final year’s salary rather than the AAV.

Oren: It’s obviously early, but are there any particularly strong draft team/player connections you’re hearing?
Keith Law: If I had to do a mock today, I’d go McKay, Greene, Lewis, Wright, Gore 1-5. Have heard Baz a lot to Phils at 8. I think the Padres would try almost anything to get Greene to them, but right now i don’t think he gets by two teams.

Tristan Beck: Do I have a deal with a team or am I coming back to school as an old junior?
Keith Law: Heard the former rumor too, but I don’t really know either way. Sometimes that’s true but we don’t know until after the draft.

Larry: I’ve read that Royce Lewis is having a down spring. Any truth to it and where could he fall to?
Keith Law: He hasn’t performed that well, but he’s probably still going top 10, likely top 5. I saw him Tuesday night – smoked the first pitch he saw, ran well, body is good, bat speed is real. It’s a little weird to say but his body language wasn’t very good – I should have liked what I was seeing more than I did, and I think the body language is the reason I didn’t.

Tom: Not a question, just a comment. I finished Smart Baseball and gave it to a co-worker who still thinks batting average and RBI matter. He’s just started reading but so far he’s enjoying it. I’d say that’s mission accomplished, Keith.
Keith Law: Excellent! Thanks for spreading the gospel.

Chris: Is B. Rooker a real prospect or just a corner guy with some power? He seems like someone who could make his way to the sandwich round maybe even higher if he keep this up. What do you think about him?
Keith Law: I’m told he’s a DH with power, and while he might go that high the vast majority of people I’ve asked have him nowhere near there – nobody told me he belonged on my top 50, for example. He’s 22.5 and most of the pitchers he’s facing are younger than he is, some as much as 3+ years younger.

Drew: Bought the book for my dad who loves baseball and can’t wait to talk about it with him.
Keith Law: Thanks!

Chris: Have you heard the new(er) War on Drugs single they just released for Record Store Day and, if so, are you encouraged for their follow-up to Lost in a Dream?
Keith Law: It came on the radio the other day when I was in the car. I went inside, had a four-course meal, and when I came out it was just finishing.

Johnny : thoughts on Buehler’s start to the year? Stuff sounds ridiculous
Keith Law: I saw him in March and wrote about the ridiculous stuff.

Michael Conforto: Man, if only the Mets could find a spot for me huh 😉
Keith Law: The excuses they made last year (and some Met fans still make for the team) are so much more embarrassing now. They wasted a year of his career dicking around with inferior options.

RSO: Would you prefer a prospect who is guaranteed to be a league average regular but nothing more, or one who has the potential to be a superstar but a high chance of being a bust?
Keith Law: Depends on what I’m giving up to get such a player. For example, if I’m drafting in the top 5, I want to roll the dice on the superstar prospect.

Chris Williams: Ever think of putting together a list for future scouting directors? Who are some of the top national scouts in the industry?
Keith Law: No. That’s not something that would attract much of an audience and it’s a good way to burn some of my relationships.

Taylor C: Do you still see Severino as a future reliever?
Keith Law: Yes.

Chris J: Keith, you can’t tell me that the Red Sox ownership or at least front office wasn’t already aware that fans in Fenway had a propensity for this kind of racist behavior. They obviously just didn’t care enough until it became a big PR issue.
Keith Law: You can’t exactly stop it before it happens. If a fan screams something racist at a game, you throw him out. I don’t know what more they could do.

Drew: Ryan Zimmerman. Obviously his current pace isn’t sustainable, but given how hard he has hit the ball the last year and change, do you see him having a good year simply by working to change his launch angle? He seems like a very interesting case study for exit velocity and launch angle given how terrible he was last year. Thanks Keith!
Keith Law: Also health. He might be fully healthy for the first time in several years. And maybe being healthy means better exit velocity (he can swing hard again) and a more consistent launch angle (his swing isn’t restricted by shoulder pain)?

Johnny O: Klaw thanks for the chats as always.
You are pretty active on Twitter but also seem to get a lot done in all aspects of life. Do you just glance at Twitter throughout the day or allot specific time to it and ignore most of the day?
Keith Law: I just glance here and there. It’s always open in a tab on my desktop, and I’ll scan it a bunch every day to stay up to speed on news.

Ron k: Favorite baseball movie?
Keith Law: If you consider it a baseball movie, Everybody Wants Some!! If not, Sugar might do the best job of getting the baseball right and telling a good story.

Sean: As I notice that Werth is hitting second today and Murphy fifth, I have to wonder how many wins can a team expect to gain from perfect lineup construction?
Keith Law: All the research I’ve seen says maybe one win as measured by RAR/WAR (Tom Tango did a lot on this in the public space). But I have a feeling that you could get more as measured via WPA if you’re getting the right guys up in the 9th inning more often – which is only partly in your control.

Mose Allison Brie Larson: Just wanted to say a sincere thanks to you for speaking about your issues with anxiety. As a father of two daughters (13 and 10) this Obamacare repeal has me terrified that the psych care they’ve needed will no longer be covered because of their “pre-existing condition”.
Keith Law: You’re welcome, and yes, I worry about that too, just in general. We are terrible at treating mental illness, and there’s a massive cost to society as a result.

Danny: Your Hicks breakout pick turned out true a year late- assuming the Yankees can’t trade Ellsbury, who do you like more for LF/CF by the end of this year- Hicks or Frazier?
Keith Law: I have a habit of being a year early on some of those picks. I’d play Hicks every day and give Frazier the year in AAA. Clint’s plenty young for that and I think facing some ex-MLB pitchers will help him work on cutting down on the swing and miss.

J.O.: In watching my son’s little league team – and maybe I’m overthinking this – but the umpires are instructed to call pitches two balls outside and one ball inside a strike (or else it would just be a walk fest). I understand for the LL game, but (a) are we teaching bad plate discipline and (b) why not just NOT have the kids pitch until like 12 or 13 since they probably can screw up their arms anyway?
Keith Law: I think if umps didn’t call those pitches strikes you’d have pitchers hitting their pitch limits in the second inning. It’s a problem without an easy solution.

Brett: Michael Mercado from San Diego has had a strong season. Have you heard anything on him?
Keith Law: Yes, heard maybe second round but also maybe not signable there.

Phil: Shipley is coming up to start for the Dbacks…is he effectively a non-prospect at this point, or is there still some potential he could develop into a mid-rotation guy?
Keith Law: Depends on his velocity. Somehow he lost a few mph off his fastball, as did several other AZ prospects the last two years. Bradley got his back in the bullpen. Let’s see where Shipley is now.

Robert: I saw someone recently say they thought there was a good chance Dane Dunning might be the jewel of the Adam Eaton trade, rather than Lucas Giolito. Is this opinion putting too much emphasis on early season results, while ignoring age for level?
Keith Law: That’s not crazy – Dunning was a legit first round talent last spring.

Chris Williams: Thoughts?
Keith Law: Sorry, I don’t have those. They’re going to be illegal under this fall’s 2017 Alien & Sedition Acts.

Matt: Do you see Carl Edwards Jr as future starter?
Keith Law: No, too small, doesn’t have the third pitch.

Mike: Your thoughts on the Nats sending Joe Ross down (apparently to work on change-up) and using Jacob Turner in the rotation?
Keith Law: I’m OK with that. Surprised Ross’ changeup has been a problem; it was his best offspeed pitch in HS.

AJ: I’m excited about Christian Arroyo. Seems like he’s holding his own in the big leagues. Would you say the lack of walks is a concern? What are realistic expectations for him? What’s his ceiling?
Keith Law: Doesn’t walk, has no power (or projection for it), can’t play SS. Think he needed more time in AAA.

Steve: keep hearing Arkansas Soph P Blaine Knight’s name as an early round guy. Familiar with him, Keith?
Keith Law: He was on my top 50 last week.

Dave: What’s your read on JP Crawford? Rough month but up in August?
Keith Law: Worse than a rough month. He’s too talented to perform this badly.
Keith Law: OK, I have to run to a radio hit in studio out here in LA, and then do a few things this afternoon before seeing Griffin Canning this evening at USC. Thank you all for all of your questions and for all the kind words about Smart Baseball!

Klawchat 4/13/17.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Klawchat 4/6/17.

Questions go in the frame below, not the comments!

We’re also just 19 days from the release of Smart Baseball, which you can preorder now via Harper Collins’ official page for the book.

Keith Law: Getting what you want can be dangerous. Klawchat.

addoeh: How big of a gap is there between the value of J. Baez and I. Happ? If included in otherwise similar packages, is it the difference getting a #1/2 starter and a #2/3 starter?
Keith Law: I think Happ’s probably about as valuable as Baez is, given Baez’s known flaws and additional year of service. I’m not sure either headlines a deal for an ace – Eloy probably has to be in such a trade either way.

EricVA: What ever happened to Jesus Montero? Was he just overhyped? Did the Mariners make an adjustment that ruined him? Was he just a spectacular bust?
Keith Law: PED guy with what turned out to be very questionable makeup.

Gabriel: Hey KLAW, when is your first mock draft coming out?
Keith Law: Mid-May. I don’t think mocks this early have any value to readers. They’re just wild-assed guesses.

Dan: I know you are not a hitting coach but how would a long swing turn into a short swing (i.e Jason Heyward)?
Keith Law: When a player has a shoulder injury and changes the swing to prevent pain.

Woland: Hey Keith, any thoughts on Brandon Finnegan for this year? SSS obviously but he looked great in his start. Is he a potential top of rotation guy, or more middle of the road? thanks!
Keith Law: I think he ends up in the bullpen.

Josh Meyer: Do you see the Twins drafting Hunter Greene with the top pick?
Keith Law: No, I think it’s more likely they take a college guy like McKay there. But I would probably take Greene myself, given what I know now. I’m supposed to see him pitch tomorrow.

S.S. Size: Wow, can you believe it!? Mad-Bum is on pace to hit 60+ home runs!
Keith Law: Go away. I don’t want to hear from you until at least Memorial Day.

David: Steven Matz ever pitch a full season?
Keith Law: Maybe once. Cashner and Ross both did it, and both came in with injury and/or delivery concerns.

Travis: What are your thoughts on Adam Haseley?
Keith Law: First rounder. CF who never strikes out. I was skeptical of the power but he’s hitting the ball harder this year.

Dan from Cincy: When do you start hearing who specific teams seem to be targeting in the draft? Have you heard anything yet on the Reds at #2?
Keith Law: For most teams, not until May. However, the Reds are high enough in the draft and clear enough in their actions so far that I would say it’s 90% that they take Greene or McKay.

Darren: Hello Keith,
I have a friend with a son that is starting to experience issues with anxiety. I recommended she have her son read your work as you speak out about your personal issues. What would you recommend for a young boy first trying to come to understand and deal with this illness. Thanks for all you do.

Keith Law: Therapy is key, because he will need someone to help him understand what emotions/feelings are normal and what are the anxiety taking over. I also always counsel folks to consider medication, and to look at meditation, exercise, and possibly adjusting their diet (especially if the anxiety is affecting his stomach) too.

Ryan: Complete Cards homer so I admit bias but I would like to respectfully disagree with your opinion that Yadi does not belong in the HOF. He is currently sitting around 33 WAR which is pretty low by HOF standards. My issue is that Yadi’s best skill set is probably the one thing WAR is the worst at quantifying. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Yadi has had as good if not better defensive career than Omar Vizquel who is currently 7 dWAR ahead of him.
Keith Law: 33 WAR is absurdly low by HoF standards, even if we just look at catchers, and if you’re gifting Yadi a bunch of wins for catcher woo, you have to gift some to every catcher already in the Hall for a fair comparison.

Kyle KS: Preordered the book, excited for it! Speaking of baseball books, do you ever get into biographies like Ankiel’s upcoming one?
Keith Law: No interest in that.

J: So, the endless fattening of pitching staff calf is starting to get comedic. While I love the Bethancourting of rosters, it’s frustrating and boring to have a three-man bench. After the Indians postseason bullpen usage, and the Reds claiming they will have multi-inning relievers abounding, do you think there’s a chance of a team making the move back to an 11-man staff, leaving room for an actual 5-6 man bench? The team that does it and succeeds…. all the base with belong to them.
Keith Law: I think it’ll be a while before any team tries that (the smaller staff) because everyone is so terrified of overworking pitchers. (Except the Orioles, I guess, who ran Bundy out there for the seventh when he was throwing 88-90 last night.) First we’ll have to see managers develop a new model for using multi-inning relievers, and then you might see a team willing to back off the eight-man bullpen, which I agree is utter insanity.

Zeon: Did you ever play any baseball simulation video games, like Micro League, Tony LaRussa or OOTP? If so, which was your favorite(s)?
Keith Law: I played some Micro League and Earl Weaver Baseball as a kid.

Dana: Suzyn Waldman is the latest media member to take a shot at Clint Frazier. Are there character issues with Frazier or is this just a guy who rubs some people the wrong way because he dares to have fun playing baseball?
Keith Law: Apparently she made the whole story up, for which she should be suspended. I wouldn’t say much for her bona fides as a journalist, but she is a member of the press, and fabrication is a cardinal sin.

John from Northern Virginia: I know medication can help keep depression and anxiety in check when the insanity of the word comes crashing in around one’s rational view. Do you have any favorite strategies for coping when the meds just aren’t enough? (other than starting to drink heavily, of course). Thanks again.
Keith Law: Yeah, I don’t recommend booze as a long-term strategy. But you’ve probably noticed I’m taking in more movies and haven’t slowed up at all on my reading. A little escapism helps as long as you don’t lose contact with reality.

Chris: I’m interested in getting your take on the Cards extension of Molina (3 yr /$60M.) As a Cards fan, I don’t mind overpaying a little for fan sentiment as long as it doesn’t seriously hamper the teams ability to compete down the road. Does this deal seam to find that balance?
Keith Law: I think that deal may also include the price of him mentoring Carson Kelly for a transitional year or two. I hope so, actually, because I think it’s a good use of Molina’s skills and because I think it can turn Kelly from a potentially above-average regular into a star.

Andy: Now that the season has started, we can definitively say that the Giants haven’t figured out their bullpen, Cleveland will be carried by their hitting, and that Seattle and Texas won’t attain last year’s heights. We know all this so why watch anymore baseball this year? Things are decided.
Keith Law: You forgot that the Blue Jays are doomed.

Nelson: What do scouts mean when they said ” that player doesn’t have a good make up”?. What is make up ?
Keith Law: Character. Personality. Work ethic, aptitude, perseverance, ability to work with others. It can also include off-field stuff, so “bad makeup” might also mean he drinks too much or has had problems with the law.

Brady: Coming out of HS, were there character questions with Clint Frazier in his scouting report?
Keith Law: Not at all. Cocky kid who could back it up. I’m pissed that Waldman decided to sandbag the kid like that.

Andy: So Ian Kahaloa cost himself probably much needed development time. Is that a 20 mental makeup? I mean, I don’t want to yell at a cloud here, but it seems like posting a video of you doing illegal drugs is more than just a youthful mistake.
Keith Law: It sounds like addiction rather than just stupidity. He needs help and I hope he’s getting it.

Nick: Yo that Earl St. Clair from your playlist is smackin’!
Keith Law: Contrary to what he says, he’s got it like that.

Erich: Watched the Orioles game last night and Bundy’s stuff looked as good as I have ever seen. IF (big IF) he remains healthy, how high is his ceiling?
Keith Law: Except it wasn’t. His fastball was down from last year, and way down by the end of his start.

Nick: Do you watch Archer? Some of the best comedy writing I’ve seen.
Keith Law: I used to but dropped off around season 4 when they tried that Vice storyline that kind of ruined the show.

Derek: Scouting report on Trea Turner’s defense at SS? My recollection is that you thought he’d have enough arm to stick there. So far he looks good – seems to have good range to his right and his arm is solid and accurate (if not a cannon). One would expect his athleticism to play there…
Keith Law: Arm was there, footwork was fine, worried about his slight frame holding up under the work of a middle infielder but I think he’s filled out better than i expected.

Jeff: What does Michael Gettys’ hit tool need to be to be an average or better major leaguer? Likelihood he gets there?
Keith Law: He’s not getting there. I don’t think it’s even a 10% chance. He can’t find a swing that works, and he’s been through quite a few already.

Robert: Twins opening day broadcast, Dan Gladden comments how it’s such a great day for sons and fathers. Sent my wife through the roof. She also loathes every ‘women, wine, and baseball’ type of event. It’s this kind of passive sexism that needs to be changed if MLB wants to grow. Women can enjoy sports just like men, without having to wear pink jerseys, drink wine, and told that it’s worth going to see Kris Bryant in tight pants.
Keith Law: When people complain about hearing women (like my friend and colleague Jess Mendoza) on sports broadcasts, I’d like to send them this comment and see if they are similarly bothered by 19th century sexism too.

Burns: Higher ceiling, Franklin Perez or Forrest Whitley? Which is more likely to reach it?
Keith Law: Whitley definitely has the higher ceiling for me.

Brett : How many of Buxton, Sano, Kepler, Rosario and Polanco will become above average everyday regulars?
Keith Law: Yes, yes, yes, no, maybe.

Poppy: What are some good coffee places in San Diego? As a coffee novice espresso seems a bit strong what would be some of your recommendations for trying to get into it?
Keith Law: Love Bird Rock there. James and Copa Vida are solid. Espresso doesn’t have to be strong, but you might start by asking for a gibraltar (or a cortado), a drink that has some milk in it but not enough to drown the coffee out like a latte would.

Jeff: I’m a huge fan of your work. Have you ever considered writing a book? I bet it would be great.
Keith Law: I have indeed considered that.

Moltar: So Lugo and Matz are down and Montero looked Monterrible in long relief yesterday. After Three Children In An Overcoat (aka Sean GilMartin), I have to imagine an off the board guy will make some meaningful starts for the Mets. The guy I’ve pegged is Chris Flexen. He’s had some injuries, but with some Warthen tutelage I think he can be this year’s Gsellman. What say you Klaw?
Keith Law: Flexen could be that 12th man type who helps, but what Gsellman did last year (adding a full grade of fastball) is kind of nuts and I wouldn’t predict that for anyone.

Dante: When a pitcher is coming off a major injury (shoulder, elbow), how much do they usually work on fixing mechanics, or changing pitch mix (i.e., changing what likely got them injured in the first place)? It seems most pitchers go right back to what they were doing before, which likely leads to the injuries coming back.
Keith Law: Depends on the organization. Some teams will use that opportunity to rework a delivery. Marcos Molina’s stuff is down, but post-TJ he’s got his arm slot back up close to where it was when he first signed.

Nelson: Can you help me out: Is it incorrect to say “a high rate of speed” when refering to something going fast? I always thought that was wrong but then I saw it in a NYTimes piece so maybe Im the dummy
Keith Law: I thought the word for that was velocity.

Marcus: In your opinion, when is the right time to call up Cody Bellinger? By all accounts (aside from his ST batting average) he looks every bit a big leaguer right now. I’m sure they feel like Toles has earned a spot, but would a Bellinger/Joc/Puig OF be better?
Keith Law: They may want him to come up as a 1b, in which case there’s an immovable object that will slow his timetable.

Matt : Who do you think is second on padres board (after Greene of course)
Keith Law: I’ve heard Austin Beck for them and the Rays, which was why I raced down there on Monday (and saw him do squat).

Wood: Do you think Andruw Jones belongs in the HOF?
Keith Law: Probably not, but he has a better case than Yadi. I just think Jones’ career was too short; how many HoFers were done at age 31 other than guys who died young like Addie Joss?

Matt : Going to have new draft rankings coming out soon?
Keith Law: Later this month – we’ve pushed some things back because the draft is late (June 12) and so I can do a top pro prospects update next week, by which point #1 and #2 will have graduated along with Josh Bell.

Dmitry : My patient, who is a Murray Chass old school kinda guy bet me a dinner at Rao’s (he has a table) that Beltre will not make the HOF within his first 2 years of eligibility. I say he does. Do you agree or is too much of his value tied to underappreciated SABR metrics?
Keith Law: I think he does because of two factors. One, the electorate is slowly changing. Two, the old school is going to recognize his milestones – he’ll get to 3000 hits this year and probably retires with 500 homers – and will simply consider his defense and clubhouse effects as additional positives.

Darren: Hi Keith, What are you thoughts on Braden Shipley. Can he recover from the mismanagement of the previous regime. Did you happen to see him? What is his ceiling now? Thanks.
Keith Law: I’ve heard the new regime is trying to work on his delivery to restore some of the lost power but I haven’t seen it myself. I didn’t put him on my breakouts list, despite past faith in his offspeed stuff, because I heard in spring training that it’s still a lot of average.

No Pepper On The Grass: My team can’t score a touchdown, so I’m going to invoke the nuclear option and change the length of the football field to 80 yards.
Keith Law: That seems fair.

LA Baseball Fan: Hi Keith. Love the chats. Do you think Hunter Green is a first round talent as a SS? If so why? Is his arm at that position enough?
Keith Law: Yes. He has a 70 arm at short. top ten pick as a SS.

Harrisburg Hal: At what Eastern League parks are you most likely to be seen? Reading? Trenton? Would love to catch you in Harrisburg.
Keith Law: Reading and Trenton most likely. I’ve been to one game in Harrisburg and two in Bowie since I moved here.

Niklas: Why is there a rule 5 draft? It just seems like a lot of times it actually hurts the players that are drafted. Tyler Goeddel sat on the bench on a bad team for a whole year when he really needed at bats. How does that help the development of these players?
Keith Law: Its purpose was to help players from becoming trapped in loaded farm systems when they could help a major-league club. The rule change about ten years ago undid a lot of that, so now eligible players are often too far away to handle the jump. Goeddel should have played more in the second half last year, though. I don’t understand the Phillies taking him, keeping him all year and all winter, not playing him enough for a real look, and then dumping him this week.

Tim (NJ): Finnegan’s start last night for the Reds got a lot of buzz in Cincinnati – up to 94-96, vastly improved changeup. Know you were on him as reliever a while ago – anything change since then?
Keith Law: Answered above, but I’ve seen him hit 97 before.

Erik: Did you get a chance to listen to any audiobooks during all your driving? If so, any new recommendations? You’ve been 2 for 2 for me so far with Ballad of the Whiskey Robber and Undeniable.
Keith Law: I listened to Delusions of Gender (interesting but dry) and I Contain Multitudes (a strong 70 for me). I’m now listening to S-Town like all the cool kids.

John: If you were the Astros, would you include Martes and Tucker in a deal for Quintana?
Keith Law: Yes, I would, but I don’t think that reported deal was ever on the table.

RobertM: Congrats on your new, and I gather first book. That’s has to be exciting. I know this has been asked previously, but will there be any bookstore signings, or perhaps at other types of locations?
Keith Law: Thank you, it is indeed my first but I hope not my last. I know I’ll be at the Georgia Center for the Book on May 16th, and have been invited to one or more Pitch Talks events, including one in Toronto on June 26th. I’ve talked to Changing Hands in AZ about doing one in October too. Interested bookstores or other venues should contact Danielle Bartlett at Harper Collins; if I can accommodate something in my regular travels, I’m happy to do these.

Greg P: Are the Royals stunting the development of Raul Mondesi by having him start at the major league level? Would he be better off getting some time in AAA?
Keith Law: I think so. But I also didn’t agree with how they developed him in the minors, such as asking him to bunt for hits when he hadn’t figured out how to work the count effectively.

Hinkie: Is Pavin Smith the best hitter in this year’s draft? Also, will he be there at 1-8 for the Phillies?
Keith Law: Not the best hitter, or in the top five. He’ll be there at 8 and I bet he’ll be there at 9 too.

RobertM: Just saw the news on James Kaprielian. Hopefully rest cures what ills him, but doesn’t look encouraging. If you had to guess, is the rise in TJS all velocity related? And related, did you ever see the film Fastball and your thoughts.
Keith Law: I think year-round pitching is one major reason, higher velocity a minor one. Jeff Passan’s book The Arm is the must-read on this subject. Never seen that movie.

Justin: Do you see Adam Frazier ever becoming anything more than a decent bench player?
Keith Law: I do not.

CB: Remember all the people who said that voting for Clinton and voting for Trump were one and the same? I wonder what happened to all of those people?
Keith Law: Actually I ran into a few online who called me a few names and said I was just falling for the corporate whatever it was I stopped listening.

Doug: Do you think Miguel Diaz is a potential starter for the Padres? He’s looked nasty against the Dodgers so far this season.
Keith Law: Because he’s throwing one inning at a time. Last year was the closest thing he’s ever had to a healthy season, and he didn’t reach 100 innings or pitch above low-A. I think he could be a really good reliever.

Chris: Any insight into Szapucki’s arm issues? I’ve heard something is up.
Keith Law: He has a shoulder impingement. That’s public info.

Chris: Soooooo the Mets are definitely ruining Conforto right?
Keith Law: They’re ruining their lineup.

Wade: How much do you pay attention to college seniors?
Keith Law: Only if they’re tabbed as prospects, like Wil Crowe (technically a redshirt junior, but he’s going to be 23 in september).

Chris: First in the queue for the book at Portland PL! Does it make me a bad person for not buying it? (I do pay for Insider mostly for your work fwiw)
Keith Law: Read it and tell the world it’s wonderful and I’ll forgive you.

Andy: Will Shohei Otani be able to hit and pitch in MLB?
Keith Law: No. His bat is way overhyped.

Scott: Braves were really aggressive by promoting Allard and Soroka to AA. Seems like they?re rushing them a bit, no?
Keith Law: It’s aggressive. I think Allard can handle it, might even need it so he’s not just getting by on that curveball. Soroka surprised me more, but they have so many starters they needed to bump someone up to make room.

Josh: Cedric Mullins: is he a prospect worth watching, and what are your thoughts on the Orioles starting him in Bowie? Seems uncharacteristically aggressive.
Keith Law: He’s a good little player, made the end of my O’s org report based primarily on one good scouting report on him. I saw him homer in a big league game last week – good athlete, can run, little dude but strong hands.

Nelson: How’s your dog doing?
Keith Law: She’s insane. Although right now she’s sleeping because I ran her ragged earlier.

Snitker: Will Ronald Acuna be in AAA by the end of the year?
Keith Law: I don’t understand why Atlanta fans all want to rush Acuna. Look at how little he’s played anywhere above short-season.

forever it: How much does MLB bloodlines factor into prospect evaluations? For instance, every item I read on Vlad Jr. mentions his dad’s approach and body type, but I’ve never once seen someone note a guy’s non-MLB dad is, say, morbidly obese or something and say he may have weight concerns later on. Do teams overvalue this, dreaming on a Bonds or Griffey, even though they’re more likely to get a Gwynn Jr.?
Keith Law: Non-MLB dads and even moms can be considerations in the draft. I remember seeing one first-rounder’s parents, who probably combined to weigh about seven bills, and factored that into where I ranked him. (He didn’t pan out, but I don’t want to shame the kid’s parents here.) Scouts absolutely look at that stuff.

Matt: Huge fan of yours. I wondered if you ever read books along the lines of “I’m just reading this to learn something” as opposed to fiction/nonfiction books. They’re not the greatest examples, but the first that come to mind; books like Blink or Tipping Point. If so, do you have recommendations for any books that aren’t novels that will open windows into some new learning views?
Keith Law: Yes – if you search the dish you’ll find reviews for books like Thinking Fast and Slow, The Invisible Gorilla, Predictably Irrational, and Superforecasting, which would all fit what you’re looking for.

Jeff: A NYT story this week suggested the showcase circuit has destroyed fundamentals, down to the ability for college prospects to play catch. Is this an actual thing?
Keith Law: That’s a histrionic take on a real issue. Kids are absolutely taught to show off for the scouts at those events rather than to play real games and thus develop greater feel.

Tu PAC : The buzz at the back fields in Surprise for the Rangers was Leody Taveras, which was to be expected, but also Cole Ragans. Did you get a chance to see Ragans this spring, and is he someone who could shoot up the prospect lists this summer?
Keith Law: I didn’t, because they only played one game while I was there (I think). I have heard good things, mostly because he has uncommon feel for pitching for his age. It’s not a huge fastball.

Jack: Which Phillies prospect are you most interested in seeing?
Keith Law: The whole Lakewood rotation, really.

Kendall: As someone who suffers from anxiety, I second Keith’s comments. Therapy, once I finally went, helped me understand what was happening, and was immensely helpful.
Keith Law: Just passing this along.

Tevin: If you?re the Twins, how do you pass on Hunter Greene? 102 at 17 y/o? Lord. They need pitching, but he gives you two potential players in one to bank on. Also, Falvey known for developing pitchers in CLE ? great match. Kid seems like he ?gets it? too.
Keith Law: I think you take him, you send him out this summer as a shortstop, with the plan to pitch him in 2018. Maybe he does something either way as a hitter in the GCL to change your mind or reinforce it.

Jeffrey: Any plans to go to the Pacific NW and check out the #1 rated Oregon St. team?
Keith Law: No. Good college team doesn’t necessarily mean good draft prospects.

T: Kaprielian headed for an MRI. On a 1-10 how despondent should I be?
Keith Law: Start at 4, but keep your hand on the dial. Soon as you hear it, pump up the volume.

TJ: Saw former Tiger prospect Kevin Ziomwek retired after not being able to come back from thoracic outlet surgery. What sort of prospect did you see him as?
Keith Law: Probably a reliever in the long run. I guess the stuff never came back.

Jim: Travis Blankenhorn look like the future 3B of the Twins?
Keith Law: You know, I saw him last week in Fort Myers, and 1) oh my god is he huge and 2) he actually wasn’t that bad at third for a guy his size. Maybe he’s a 2b instead, but he can scorch the ball.

Rod: Does Hader get called up before Martes?
Keith Law: Hoy es jueves, entonces creo que no los vemos antes de martes.

Scott: Hi Keith. What would your best advice be to a father of 10-year-old daughter who wants to know why she only has the option of playing softball while boys get to play baseball (which is what she wants to play, although not with boys)
Keith Law: Ah, that’s a tough one. She should be allowed to play with boys (except in Iowa or Arkansas, where they have yet to turn the clocks to 1950 yet). But your question is a tougher one, the kind of thing that book Delusions of Gender gets at – girls do less because we condition them to do less, not because there’s anything different about their brains.

Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: So I’ve been reading your chats every week since you started on ESPN, but I’m curious, what more would you like to accomplish professionally?
Keith Law: Another book, not about baseball. Then we’ll see.

Skippy: Currently watching the Cardinals game and cubs abnouncer is making a big deal about Matt Carpenter being a coaches child and about how important that can be. I’m sure it has its positives if your dads a good coach but does it really make THAT much difference like so many announcers seem to believe? I hear it pretty often about certain players. It kinda feels like the same thing as when we refer to small framed white players as “scrappy” to me
Keith Law: I think that can go both ways. I’ve met players who were sons of big leaguers and showed shockingly little feel for the game. A couple were even to the point where I’d call them entitled.

Chris: What are you expecting from Zach Wheeler this year?
Keith Law: Maybe 100 good innings as a starter and long reliever.

Scott: Who has the best slider in baseball? Saw Sale from behind home last night, and I would be impressed if there’s one better.
Keith Law: Kershaw? I agree that Sale’s is up there. I’ve told the story before, but he didn’t have that pitch in college. I remember talking to a scout after Sale pitched against Lipscomb and the scout called Sale’s breaking ball that day a 3 (or 30).

Keith Law Disciple: Do you have any insight on what happened to Javy Guerra last year? Overhyped to begin with, injury, new team, other? Thanks!
Keith Law: A medical issue that I think has been mostly resolved, at least enough for him to resume his career.

Justin: Any chance Piscotty just cost himself a LOT of money with that extension? I get the security aspect, but even if he improves marginally from last year that is a steal for the team
Keith Law: I agree it’s a potential steal for the team but that’s a lot of security too. I will never criticize a player for taking the money, whether it’s choosing the higher offer in free agency or choosing security with an early long-term deal. Good for him.

Dan: I found Jayson Stark’s column on how no current MLB players are among America’s top 50 favorite pro athletes.I think attitudes of the Ian Kinslers of the world are contributing. While his commentary had a healthy dose of “we aren’t like THOSE people” referring to Latin players, there are surely plenty of American born players with personality and passion, who would love to express it without the risk of retaliation. I mean, Jose Bautista celebrates a huge postseason homerun and the next season the Rangers were still out for revenge. For celebrating the biggest hit of his career.
Keith Law: I think there’s something to this; we should be encouraging players who have some flair or personality to show it. But even the local media ran Bryce Harper down for being an enthusiastic, emotional player, and he posted one of the best seasons in MLB history two years ago.

RobertM: I’m nor sure if Waldman fabricated it, but she took someone’s word on it, and never verified it, and then spread it on a radio show. That’s even worse.
Keith Law: Yes, I would put that in the same bucket, and there has to be a consequence for that.

Gerald: I read your brief update on Matt Manning…did your or your sources see anything wrong with his delivery? Is he working on stuff that may lead to a loss of command? Is he destined to be a reliever long term? As a Tiger fan who sees the need for new blood on the horizon, your report really made me worry.
Keith Law: You probably should worry a little bit – he took a step backwards.

JB: Any thoughts on Kyle Wright’s less than stellar season thus far? Could he be this year’s Alec Hansen?
Keith Law: Don’t think he falls anywhere near that far, but he’s definitely hurt himself with his lackluster showing. There are more guys in this draft going down than going up.

Rob: Does Franklin Perez have ace ceiling?
Keith Law: I don’t think so; I think more mid-rotation towards back-end.

David: What could the Yankees get for Betances in July? Robles from the Nats?
Keith Law: If you based it off the Miller and Chapman deals, yes, that’s a fair starting point, although the Nats may not see it that way.

Ted: Did you see the ESPN mag piece on Yoan Moncada? Seemed to imply there were maturity issues – does behind scenes chatter indicate something like this may impact his development? Or just typical young kid with money (i.e. no big deal)?
Keith Law: I didn’t read it, but there are maturity issues, for sure.

Andy: What do you think of Gorsuch as a Supreme Court candidate?
Keith Law: I think he’s an excessively strict constructionist, which foretells a rollback in civil rights.

Danny: Do you make anything of Chance Adams starting at AA instead of AAA? If he has to work on pitch sequencing or any individual pitch, wouldn’t he better served doing it in AAA after dominating AA?
Keith Law: Or the Yanks just don’t think he’s that great a prospect?

Bill: My real question – is there any way that the WBC could become worthy of your time? Is any World Cup style/Olympic system automatically less compelling because its an exhibition?
Keith Law: Doing it midseason with greater participation would help tremendously. I don’t find exhibitions automatically less compelling. I do think the US winning was a terrible outcome for MLB, though. The league gets much more value from another country winning, especially if it’s a team that hasn’t won before.

Jeff: Rosario is going to tear it up in Vegas, right
Keith Law: Yes, but it’s Vegas, so it shouldn’t make us overrate him.

Erich: Why do you think Stroman struggled so much at the beginning of last year? Bad luck? Overuse of sinker? Stuff translates to better results id think.
Keith Law: I thought bad luck. Will never forget seeing some jays blogger saying in June that the team should send Stroman to AAA. It was like message-board level overreaction.

Aaron: Over the last couple years, Anderson Espinoza’s star seems to have fallen slightly. Is there any concern from your end? Probability of reaching ace ceiling taken a modest or huge hit?
Keith Law: I don’t think it’s fallen at all, actually.

Brandon: I wish more athletes realized this is an entertainment sport. As Cam Newton says if you don’t like me celebrating, don’t let me score. It’s that simple. You can celebrate without being dick pretty easily but not faux outraged has entered into sports. More enthusiasm is good for the game.
Keith Law: In baseball, if you’re not actively trying to hurt someone, it’s probably OK. Just don’t throw at anyone’s head or slide in spikes-up.

John: What is different about the spiked curveball that a lot of pitchers (e.g. Kluber) are throwing these days? I think I get how the grip is different, but what about the action?
Keith Law: Harder break, sharper to the eye, but more difficult to command.

Erich: You dont seem like the kind of person who would work at a large corporation like espn (with them becoming more and more of a hot take machine.). Have you ever considered branching off and doing something on your own?
Keith Law: They have never asked me to do hot takes and when the new baseball editor took over last summer I told her specifically I didn’t want to do that. She agreed completely and it hasn’t changed one bit. As long as they treat me well, I don’t feel like I need to go out on my own.

Marshall MN: Do you have any plans to stop by the Twins Chattanooga AA team this year, because selfishly I would love to hear an updated scouting report on pitching staff? Both the rotation (Gonsalves, Stewart Romero, Jorge) and the bullpen (Burdi, Jay, others) are loaded with guys to watch.
Keith Law: No, I don’t fly to see minor league stuff, only draft guys. Minors I’ll do what I can around here (which is a lot), then Futures Game and AFL.

CKS: Heard a few reports that labelled Braves 3B Rio Ruiz as the ‘most improved player’ in spring training this year. Does he have the ability to be an everyday guy or is that wishful thinking?
Keith Law: ‘most improved player’ = (wanking motion)

Scherzer’s Blue Eye: Beyond Soto and Robles, who is the Nats prospect you’re most intrigued by?
Keith Law: Luzardo when he’s back. Also drawing a blank on their big Latin American signing.

EricVA: About to have my first kid and everybody tells me to freeze a bunch of food for after. However, I cook for us every night and find it therapeutic. I firmly believe I’ll still want to cook dinner every night while my wife watches our baby. Am I insane?
Keith Law: I kept cooking after my daughter was born. But I will suggest you keep it simple, because you’ll be too damn tired to do much cleanup.

Bob: Ok, his bat is overhyped but will Otani be a top 20 pitcher in MLB? Top X?
Keith Law: Top ten. Maybe top 5.

Alex: Top 10 for Kopech seems high considering (iirc) you saying he has a legitimate chance to be a reliever. Is the upside just so enormous that that outweighs the risk?
Keith Law: Correct. It’s potentially a top 5 starter in baseball.
Keith Law: He’s, not it’s.

Dan: Good luck with the release of your book! Can’t wait to read it. I enjoyed your write-up about the day you went to Cardinals camp to see the minor leaguers. Was your overall impression better or worse than you expected? As in, could that group in the lower minors lead the charge to a top five ranked system in a couple years? Thank you!
Keith Law: Hicks was the big surprise – I’d heard about the 101 mph, but 92-97 with plus sink is even better than a straight 101. And he’s got two other weapons, and the delivery works. The other guys I saw were all close to expectations; I might say Junior Fernandez looked more relieverish than I’d hoped.

Steve: Ryon Healy. Potential 30 Hr and 300 average guy?
Keith Law: No, I’d bet the under, a lot.

Kvothe: Thoughts on every pitcher’s velocity being higher because of Trackman tracking velocity right when the ball is released from pitcher’s hand?
Keith Law: Nothing to say. As long as we all know that, we’re good.

JJ: I think most Red Sox fans are down on the Kimbrel and Pomeranz trades and the resulting dings to our minor league system, but the Sale for Moncada/Kopech was probably a win-win for all Sox involved, right?
Keith Law: I thought so at the time. I thought they overpaid for Kimbrel but it was in line with what Miller and Chapman fetched.

Erich: Do you ever voice displeasure with other espn analysts for hot takes? Its very frusterating to see guts say things just for attention.
Keith Law: If it’s a baseball take, I will.

Virat: Do you think Conforto could handle CF on a daily basis? and is his bat worth playing him there?
Keith Law: I don’t think he’s a major league caliber CF.

Steve: Does Brendon Rodgers have the ability to stick at shortstop or is Trevor Story there for a bit
Keith Law: Definitely a shortstop, but not soon enough to worry about Story. That will work itself out somehow.

Tommy: It seems to me that both political parties look to appeal to the largest group they can get votes from, which usually means people who are less than educated, to put it mildly. How about setting up the voting machines to give a quick 3 question quiz to root out all of the people who haven’t the mental capacity to vote on important issues? Everyone can feel like they voted, but only those who can pass a simple quiz will have their votes count.
Keith Law: I assume your question is well-intentioned, but that’s basically a literacy test, which has been illegal in US elections since 1970.

JJG: Is Matt Chapman similar to Mike Olt in tools, or just statline?
Keith Law: Much better fielder. More similar to Matt Dominguez in that respect.

Craig: Bruce Rondon a future dominant closer or just another hard throwing middle reliever?
Keith Law: I’d bet on Joe Jimenez becoming a big league closer rather than Rondon.

Adam: It’s interesting, the game is the best it has ever been in its history. Saying that, who playing now would you consider to be Hall of Famers? I agree Molina is not yet close, but I am wondering who you would think we will be seeing in Cooperstown in twenty years?
Keith Law: Anyone at all? Pujols, Beltre, Kershaw, Trout, Beltran, Miggy, Cano, Ichiro. Among younger guys, Machado, Harper, Bryant, Lindor all are off to that kind of start. And while it’s early for a pitcher, Chris Sale is about 40% of the way there.

Steve: Does Jameson Tallion become a number two for Pittsburgh or does he have number one potential
Keith Law: Probably a good two when it’s all said and done. He’s another guy who got hurt and cleaned up his delivery while recovering.

Devon from DC: Any plans to come to DC for a book signing?
Keith Law: Not at the moment, but again, it has to come from the venue – Harper Collins is setting up a ton of media hits but not a book tour.

matt: Hey Keith, any idea why Buster Olney no longer does his daily links roundup? It was a valuable resource and (along with your work) the main reason I pay for Insider. I deeply miss it.
Keith Law: I don’t know, sorry.

JJG: Read many times when he was coming up that Olt was a future Gold Glover (fwiw). Was Olt overrated as a fielder or is Chapman just a special defender (or both)?
Keith Law: Yeah, he had that reputation, but I never saw it live – I’m sure he was good, but I couldn’t vouch for how good. He was an awful defensive SS as an amateur, though. Funny how a guy can be a 3 at short and become a 6 or better at third or second.
Keith Law: OK, I went long this week but I have to go to the bus stop to get my daughter. Thank you all as always for all of the questions. Nineteen days till Smart Baseball!

Klawchat 3/23/17.

My annual breakout player picks column is up for Insiders.

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

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

Keith Law: Bring on the new Messiah. Klawchat.

ssimo02: Is a September call-up (by necessity, on the 40-man at the time) who starts the subsequent season on the disabled list assigned to the MLB or the MiLB disabled list?
Keith Law: It depends on when he got hurt, and whether he was still in big-league camp. After a certain date (March 15th?) such a player hurt in big league camp would have to start on the major league DL. I think. It’s been a while since I ran into this.

Niklas: We don’t have a lot of baseball talent from Sweden so I’m kind of grasping at straws here. Is there a greater than 0% chance that half-Swede Antoine Duplantis (whose younger brother Armand competes for Sweden and just broke the world junior record in pole vault) of LSU gets drafted and makes it to the majors in the future?
Keith Law: I don’t know anything about him, but I found the question fascinating so I’m posting it anyway.

Josh: Is the White Sox’s Charlotte affiliate the most interesting team in AAA?
Keith Law: That’s a low bar to clear. Triple-A rosters are usually awful.

Clay: Been disappointed for the last couple years that the Twins drafted Jay over Benintendi, even if he becomes the next Andrew Miller, this is bad. Why was the plugged pulled so early?
Keith Law: I think the new Twins brass had already decided Jay was a reliever, or was unlikely enough to work out as a starter, so they moved him. I don’t agree with it, although there was clearly reliever risk with him going forward.

Chris: You and I finished The Underground Railroad at around the same time, and based on your review had similar feelings about it. It was terrifying and relevant and worthy of its accolades. But I’ve since read at least two reviews, the one most prominent from The New Republic, taking it to task for its fantastical elements, calling it escapist and trivial and minimalizing its relevance to today’s social and political scene. This is garbage right? How can this take be anything but a gross misreading of the text? I have an MFA in fiction and teach writing at a university. Normally I’d discuss this with colleagues, but we’re on spring break. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
Keith Law: I haven’t seen that review, but that sounds rather contrarian to me, and if anything misunderstands the value in its fantastical elements (e.g., the titular Railroad is an actual, physical railroad, operating in subterranean tunnels). It gives new interest to a setting and story that’s been covered quite heavily in American fiction. It allows Whitehead to move the main character quickly to new states. It avoids the need for long passages about the hardships of flight, which, while historically accurate, don’t tell the story Whitehead wanted to tell. It’s not like this is some Paul Theroux travelogue of an escaped slave enjoying a leisurely train ride through the antebellum south.

Ben (MN): Top Chef announced the next season will be in Denver. Any potential challenge or restaurant visit you’d be excited to see in Colorado?
Keith Law: If this season doesn’t have a “cooking with weed” challenge I’ll be very disappointed, especially because Stoned Padma would be epic.

Exexposfan: Yesterday you said you knew codeified racism from working in baseball for many years from the Kinsler tweet. Assuming that comes from witnessing several events can you elaborate on an example? Not that I doubt you but I am curious and want to know such an event that goes on behind closed doors. If you can’t name names that’s fine.
Keith Law: I won’t give specifics that might affect people working or playing in the game, but I can point to two examples at a general level. One was the use of the phrase “winning player” or “not a winning player,” applied along almost exact racial lines. I think I only heard a white player called “not a winning player” once, because he was on the DL, as opposed to at least ten players of color called that. The other is one you’ve all heard before: “Athletic.” Black players are presumed to be athletic, and, in my opinion, are unfairly dinged when they aren’t. White players who are athletic are given excessive credit for it, because the presumption is that they’re less so – and that they’re smarter or more instinctive. Sorry I can’t be more specific.

WarEagle: Thoughts on Alex Faedo, Brady singer and Schwartz at Florida? Has Faedo’s stock been down due to the rough start? I also took your recommendation a couple weeks ago and saw that Keegan Thompson is someone. Also saw the other two talented pitchers Davis Daniel and Casey mize who sat at 95 according to the stadium last weekend at the Florida series so also wanted to know about them too
Keith Law: I think Faedo’s stock is down just slightly, in part because people are concerned his knees are still affecting him. Schwarz appears to have no position and hasn’t hit the same since his freshman year. Singer is a future reliever for me with a great arm. Thompson is a back-end starter prospect. Daniel was on my top 100 last June but declined to sign; he, Mize, and Singer are all underclassmen and not draft eligible this year.

Garrett: Daniel Norris’ fastball jumped 1.2 MPH last year and his slider velocity increased from 83 MPH to 88 MPH. Those velocities have continued this spring. You’ve discussed in the past the importance of velocity in relation to Norris’ ceiling. As of today, what do you think his ceiling is?
Keith Law: Potential #1 starter for me. You asked on Twitter if he was “close” to my breakouts list; there’s no close or not close on a binary list like that, but I will say Norris was too good in the majors last year for me to project a breakout. I would expect him to just continue to do as well over a full season – 150-160 innings, ERA in the low 3s. That would probably make him a good buy for fantasy players.

CB: I’m no Rangers fan, but I can’t help but note that Adrian Beltre has 90.2 bWAR, and has not had a less than 5 bWAR season since 2009. When he retires, don’t you think he’ll have overtaken Mike Schmidt as the best 3B of all time?
Keith Law: He will probably do so in fact, but not in reputation. First ballot HoFer, though.

Paul: Keith – great list today; lots of guys I’d like to see do well. Curious if you considered Mike Foltynewicz? I know you’ve been a fan. He’s trended the right way in K-rate, BB-rate, and GB% every year; lots of HRs though. What sort of expectations do you have for him this season? Thanks!
Keith Law: Command remains the big question mark and I had no real basis for saying his command will be much better this year. I do still believe he’s best suited to starting.

Joe: Jonathan Schoop didn’t clear a 300 OBP last year. Did he really break out?
Keith Law: I’m not going to argue the semantics of who ‘broke out.’ It’s a nebulous term to begin with.

Paul: I have been intrigued by the demise of the Oakland’s As, and nobody is really writing about it. They use to be the darlings of the sabermetrician community, but all the moves they have made in the last few years don’t make much sense and the roster really sucks. What is going on over there? Is the front office to be blamed? thanks
Keith Law: I think they’re chasing different inefficiencies, but ones that are less obvious to us on the outside. And they’ve made some moves I don’t understand.

TC: Is Brendan McKay a guy who can go top 3 in the draft? If so, as a hitter or pitcher?
Keith Law: Yes. I think if the draft were held today, which fortunately it isn’t because I’m not ready, the top 3 would be McKay, Greene, and Wright in some order. I know one team up top that likes McKay more as a hitter, but the consensus is still very much that he’s a LH starter. The 15 K outing didn’t hurt.

Derek: Thoughts on Koda Glover? Spring results have been impressive but have come against middling competition. Does he have top 10 reliever potential?
Keith Law: I think he does and I think he’ll end up leading the team in saves.

Mac: Keston Hiura is clearly the best hitter in college baseball but does his elbow injury make him too risky to pick in the top half of the 1st round?
Keith Law: Clearly? I’ll dispute that. I think he’s a back of the first round guy. And I know more than one scout who’ll argue that McKay is a better hitter than Hiura.

Evan (Canada): Hello, can you tell us what you’ve seen/heard about Tim Mayza from Toronto organization? Thank you.
Keith Law: Seen him. Big stuff, below average command, reliever ceiling.

JR: Just wanted to say you’re the only reason I pay for my insider sub. If you go, I go (and I still may), but thank you for your content.
Keith Law: You’re welcome. I’m flattered you find my work worth the cost.

Andy: We have a USA baseball player saying that he hopes kids watch the US players because of the way they play the game, unlike those kids from the DR or PR. We have a GM saying he wants gritty, working class players.
In a couple weeks we’ll get hand wringing about how minorities aren’t choosing baseball, instead liking a sport in which a guy nicknamed Swaggy P, who dated a “rapper”, makes crotch gyrations after a game winning shot.
Keith Law: I had to look up who Swaggy P was, which shouldn’t surprise anyone here since you all know I don’t watch basketball. But yeah, Kinsler’s comments were out of line. Another player celebrating isn’t affecting your life or your game, and regardless of his intent, it came off as blatant dog-whistling.

Andy: Any word on Brady Aiken’s velo?
Keith Law: Upper 80s. Not good.

David: Does Yankees P Jordan Montgomery have a chance to be an effective starter?
Keith Law: I do not think he’s a ML starter.

Michael: Why is there so much talk about how Tebow can’t hit? Shouldn’t we be talking more about how he can’t throw?
Keith Law: Or we could talk about how he can’t field, which means he’s going to hurt someone if he plays too much leftfield this spring.

Darren: The AL seems to be loaded with candidates for the ROY, but I’m not seeing much competition for D. Swanson. Who are some of the top candidates you expect to get enough at bats to qualify for the NL ROY?
Keith Law: I had it as Swanson, Reyes, Bell coming into the spring, and now with Reyes out I think those two are the leaders.

Philip : At this moment how would you rank McKay, Bukauskas, Wright, Faedo, Romero
Keith Law: McKay, Wright, and Faedo all project as sure starters if healthy. Bukauskas might have the best 3-pitch mix of all of them, but he’s a 6′ RHP with no plane and no use of his lower half in his delivery. I would have to rate him lowest because I think he’s probably a reliever.

Ted: Thoughts on the Tim Anderson extension?
Keith Law: Seems fine to me.

Eddy: Percent chance that Mitch White is a top 100 prospect at this time next year?
Keith Law: Pretty high if he stays healthy and pitches all year like what I saw last week. Whoa boy.

JQP: If a reader sees you at a ballgame, do you get annoyed if they approach you because you are working and they are interrupting? When would be the best time to approach you during a game?
Keith Law: Between innings, before the game, after (if you catch me … sometimes I leave skid marks), all fine. While the game is in progress is just less than ideal, because I need to focus on what’s on the field. But overall I’m very happy to meet any of you at the park.

Josh: Finally getting to try Terraforming Mars this weekend. Do you know of any new games you’ll be reviewing soon? Or once the season starts is your time too full?
Keith Law: I have at least six here that I need to play and review, but spring travel has wiped out my free time for this.

John: You made the point in your last klawchat that “‘you’re in america, speak english’ people should go jump off a tall building”. I’m wondering how consistent you are with that belief. Do you think that no matter where one lives, it is the responsibility of the locals to adapt to the foreigner’s language? I’m an American living in Peru. The vast majority of people here don’t speak any English. Should I insist they learn English to suit my needs? Or in an attempt to better integrate myself into their culture, should I continue learning Spanish so that I can better understand them and make them more comfortable?
Keith Law: Congratulations on completely missing the point.

Miz: Do you see Adolis Garcia playing at the big league level this year? What should we expect out of him as a prospect?
Keith Law: I’m hoping to see him this upcoming week. I’d rather not offer an opinion now that I have to revise in a few days.

Chuck C: I know Spring Training doesn’t matter and SSS, but have you seen or heard anything that has changed your opinion on a particular prospect or two since your rankings?
Keith Law: Only what I’ve written about so far, like Mitch White.

Tony: The Dodgers have reportedly focused on “rebuilding” Willie Calhoun’s defense, including a diet/exercise regime losing him 16 pounds a “crash course” on defensive fundamentals. Does that investment by the Dodgers give you any optimism that Calhoun could stick at 2B? And, more generally, are defensive skills/talents more easy to improve than offensive skills/talents? Off-hand, it seems to me that I hear of more minor league guys who blossom at the major league level with the glove rather than the bat. Just anecdotal or something to that?
Keith Law: Zero. You can’t just give a guy new feet. Or make a non-athlete an athlete.

John Wick: As a fan, how should I approach reports of prospects with increased velocity in spring training? Take Max Povse. Word is he’s up a few ticks? Should I trust a beat writer’s take or the spring training gun? And, if I should, what’s the likelihod that the velo bump sticks?
Keith Law: I’m very skeptical of media reports on velocity, because I don’t know where they’re coming from. Stadium gun? One scout? Front office? Someone trying to juice a guy? Players do show up with more velocity, sometimes, and other times they’re just throwing harder because they’re working 1-2 innings at a time, or are airing it out because they’re in big league camp and trying to make an impression.

Adam: If teams are already pitching around Seth Beer, could that effect his development in terms of being able to make adjustments?
Keith Law: I guess the counterargument is that the pitching he’s facing might not be good enough to force those adjustments. I think the 3-year rule is hurting him; he’d probably go 1-1 if he came out right now into this good draft class that’s muddled at the very top.

Adam: What are the chances Jordon Adell leaps to the top of position player draft boards by June?
Keith Law: Under 5%. More likely that he’s drafted on the mound.

Josh: Not sure you know the answer to this, but do you know why The Netherlands team featured players from Curacao but Puerto Rico had a separate team from the US? I guess the obvious answer has to do with the talent available, but was not sure if there was another reason.
Keith Law: Puerto Rico has its own IOC entry – separate committee, separate teams, etc. – and they can easily fill a WBC roster. The Netherlands team is almost exclusively players from Aruba and Curacao, and if you split them, you wouldn’t have a Dutch team at all.

Jason: One of your ESPN colleagues suggested a trade of Longoria for a package led by Ozzie Albies. Does even a straight-up deal for those two make sense for Atlanta?
Keith Law: No, that’s ridiculous.

Chris: With more teams moving to crazy 13 person pitching rotations, do you think a positive benefit could be that teams may work to develop players who can handle multiple defensive positions? I am thinking about players like Austin Barnes or Josh Morgan, guys who don’t quite profile as starters at premium positions or perhaps have demonstrable platoon splits, but could fill a backup role at two premium positions. Or, is it just too difficult of a developmental process?
Keith Law: I think the 13-man staff is an abomination. I agree with you on positional flexibility, although I think Morgan has a chance to be a good everyday guy as a catcher.

Tom: Any thoughts on Bill Simmons tweet calling out Jonah Keri for stealing his idea of ranking players by trade value?
Keith Law: I 100% believe that was in jest. It certainly brought Jonah’s column a lot of attention, all positive.

Jay: Keith, If pressed to build around 1 of these players to build a franchise, who would you select and why? (Maitan, Vladdy Jr, Leody Taveras, Moniak)
Keith Law: Just go back to my top 100, which included all four players. I wouldn’t give a different answer here.

Minty: Whether you agree with it or not, do you think that the Sox are positioning to call Moncada up in May after they save a year of service time?
Keith Law: No, I don’t think so.

Roman : Keith, always love your take on well, everything. Anyhow, what do you think the Cubs will do with Ian Happ?
Keith Law: I think he may end up trade bait, but that depends on how Baez looks as the regular 2b. Happ can play 2b well enough for me to be an everyday guy there for somebody.

JJ: Is Yadi Molina a future HOFer, of is he the catching equivalent of Omar Vizquel?
Keith Law: Probably not a HoFer for me, will certainly get the same media/fan treatment as Vizquel, but has a better subjective case (game-calling, pitcher handling) than Vizquel does.

Mark: What would you major in if you were to go to college all over again?
Keith Law: Applied math. And then I’d take language courses for all my electives. I had access to such amazing educational resources in college and feel like I didn’t take enough advantage of them.

Chip : Was hoping to see Jose Ramirez on the breakout list. Was he under consideration? Would he have been as an everyday 2B as opposed to playing somewhat out of position at 3b?
Keith Law: He wasn’t “under consideration.” He hit .312/.363/.462 last year; what’s the argument that he’s going to get better this year? If anything I’d say he broke out in 2016.

Rob: I saw video of Luis Castillo pitching. You had him rated #99 on your prospect list. Nasty, nasty stuff with what appears to be good control/command. Looks like a great find for the Reds. Oddly, his name does not appear on many other prospect lists. What do you think his ceiling/floor is? Thank you.
Keith Law: Ceiling mid-rotation starter. Most likely dominant two-pitch reliever. Floor good setup guy. All depends on health, and in his case the lack of a breaking ball.

Chip : Francona continues to mention Yandy Diaz’s shortcomings at 3B. Back in 2015, EL Managers voted him as the league’s best defensive 3B. Has he grown out of the position? The Indians rolled with chisenhall at 3b for several years so the bar can’t be that high.
Keith Law: I don’t think he’s that bad at 3b and neither do opposing scouts.

Rob: Kendall still ranked #1 on your draft board??? What do you think of this Austin Beck climbing up boards? Top five guy?
Keith Law: Beck is a very toolsy prep OF, not a top five guy, more than enough questions about feel to hit and about his makeup (I have no idea what, but three scouts from different teams all independently mentioned that to me). He’s probably ahead of Adell at this point. As for #1, it’s not Kendall, but I won’t do a formal ranking until mid-April, I think.

Marshall MN: Should Twins fans expect a bounce back season from Sano, or was 2016 an accurate representation of his reality? I had hopes of him being a better hitter than what he showed last year, not a guy who hits .230 with an OBP of .319.
Keith Law: Yes, I think there’s more in that bat, in average and in OBP.

David: Thoughts on Greg Bird?
Keith Law: 30 HR potential, but a DH.

joe: Did you get a chance to se Shed Long? I always like prospects with unique profiles. I wonder if he can hit enough to be a regular 2B.
Keith Law: I did not, but I don’t think anyone views him as a potential regular.

Jon: Do you think Daulton Jefferies has the stuff to move quickly and become a #3 starter if his health holds up?
Keith Law: The health question is enormous with him. He’s a slight guy who’s had real arm trouble. He’s healthy this spring and throwing well, but I would have a hard time projecting him as a mid-rotation starter right now given the last 12 months.

Drew: When will you be doing your column on breakout players? Thanks.
Keith Law: It went up this morning.

chauncey: This is much better and easier to read?
Keith Law: That’s my hope too. And the folks at Jotcast have been great about working with me on formatting.

Denis: Any thoughts on Bellinger this spring? It looks like he has been struggling.
Keith Law: Ignore. Spring training stats are useless.

Jeff: Braves fans are pushing the idea that Christian Pache is the next Acuno type player to breakout for the Braves. What kind of ceiling do you think he has?
Keith Law: That’s not crazy. Could end up a lot like Inciarte.

Mike: How far may Jeren Kendall fall in June’s draft after his slow start to his season ?
Keith Law: He’s hitting .297/.363/.560, leading Vandy in HR with 5, and while his strikeout rate is a little high it’s down from last year at 23.3%. That’s not a slow start.

Pete: So Trump/Russia……biggest political scandal or overblown?
Keith Law: I think it’s the former, but my knowledge of American political scandals is pretty limited.

Monkie_J: Probably asked and answered countless times, but what’s the best way to buy the book? As in, does one way get you an extra nickle over another?
Keith Law: Just buy it however you want. Yes, there are slight differences in what I get and I appreciate you asking – I think at least at the start I get more for an e-book than a hardcover – but really, it’s all good. If you buy it in any format, I’m happy.

Brian Snitker: What is the eta on Ronald Acuna? He looked awfully impressive in the Braves camp. Could he be ready by 2018?
Keith Law: That’s aggressive; he’s a stud but has about a half a year of AB above short-season.

Cam: Why could the whitesox not win with the core they had? Lack of depth?
Keith Law: Lack of OBP, lack of depth.

Marshall MN: Have you started to gear up for college baseball scouting, or still a bit too early to do so?
Keith Law: I’m going to see some HS/JC kids while in Florida, then see some premium college guys in April. My schedule just worked out differently this year, and I do have a little bit smaller travel budget too.

TK: You’ve probably already touched on this in the past and I missed it, but on a scale of 1-10, how dumb would it be for the 11th-inning extra-baserunner rules in the WBC to transfer to MLB? 15? 20? Infinity? I get not wanting to overexert pitchers in spring exhibitions, but I hate it for regular season games.
Keith Law: I despise these rules. It makes the games look like Little League. Just let the WBC teams carry more pitchers. I’d rather see a WBC game decided by the last man on a staff, someone who’s just there to be the long guy in the event of extras, than by that silly rule.

Archie: I read an article on how guys like Martinez and Donaldson are focusing on swinging up on the ball to get it in the air more, rather than the traditional “swinging down on the ball” and hitting it on the ground. Isn’t the ideal swing one where the hands and bat travel slightly downward from load to the hitting zone, then swing up through the same plane as the ball from contact to follow through? Doesn’t everyone who puts a good swing on the ball already “swing up”?
Keith Law: Yes, I agree with you, that’s the ideal swing, and most guys already swing that way. Hitters who swing down at the ball rarely if ever succeed. Matt Antonelli always did that. Lou Marson did that. There are few if any good big leaguers who swing down.

Drew: Your take on Kinsler’s comments were entirely off-base and over the top. I don’t doubt that racism still exists in the game; I also know that Kinsler wasn’t being racist. If you looked at the context, it was pretty clear that he was commenting on the differences, not criticizing an entire race or ethnicity. Normally I appreciate your insight–informed, considered–but in your effort to eradicate an opinion you don’t agree with, you can be extremely unfair and judgmental.
Keith Law: Allow to be more judgmental, then. Kinsler’s comments may not have come from a racist intent, but they drew a clear line between one race or ethnicity and another. It’s a case of differential impact; whether Kinsler actually thought about that is irrelevant. He should just shut up and worry about his own behavior, not about whether another team celebrates too much.

Marshall MN: Klaw, the same sort of racial based generalities are used in almost all sports. In soccer, teams from Africa are almost always described in specifically athletic terms (raw speed, agility, jumpers, etc) while teams from Europe are technical, skilled, etc. I cannot believe how frequently seemingly intelligent people fall back to the same stereotypes. Look at how African American QBs are still talked about even today.
Keith Law: I remember the days when the NFL conventional wisdom was that you couldn’t win with a black QB. Those beliefs tend to be self-reinforcing.

Ian: In relation to your note on how guys who see a massive spike in velo over a short period of time (i.e. Strasburg and Zumaya) are prone to blowing out their elbows….what usually leads to that spike? Is it better training, natural physical development, mechanical changes? All of the above?
Keith Law: I don’t know if there’s any common thread. My hypothesis, again totally untested and unverifiable, is that the newfound velocity puts more stress on the elbow ligaments than they are able to handle.

Rob: Have you seen Sal Romano this spring? Do you still think he’s a reliever going forward or can he be more? Obviously a small sample size but he is having a great spring.
Keith Law: Still think that’s a reliever’s delivery. High slot, tough to repeat, tough on the shoulder, not conducive to a good CH.

Philip : If Brendan McKay has a number 3 ceiling wouldn’t you rather try the upside of Bukauskas and Faedo
Keith Law: If McKay is only a #3 starter in the big leagues, but gets there fast and holds that value for six years, what is that worth in the free agent market? $90 million? I’m okay with it, especially since the other two guys you mentioned have real risks of their own.

Jay: Do you buy Eric Thames as a “fantasy sleeper” this year? He seems to be a popular late-round guy, according to the fantasy gurus.
Keith Law: Late round, sure, I guess. I’m not particularly sanguine about him, but isn’t there a point in your draft where he’s worth the flier?

Jackson: Paul Dejong of the cards a potential regular or utility?
Keith Law: If he can really play short, regular. But maybe that makes him a 500 AB multi-position guy, too.

Scott: Thanks for motivating me to finally pick up my copy of Yiddish Policeman’s Union that’s been sitting on the shelf for a year. My question is about the volatility in velocity of young pitchers and how it is shaping baseball. As an elevator of talent, how do you know when the decrease in velocity with top prospects like Jon Gray, Lucas Giolito and Archie Bradley is permanent? When a team sells low like the Nats did on Giolito is it because they don’t think it’s coming back?
Keith Law: I think when teams sell low it’s more that they have lost faith in their evaluations. They thought the player was X, now he looks like he’s less than that – because his stuff is down, his body hasn’t developed, his makeup is worse than they knew, or something else – so let’s move him now before his value is totally gone.

Ben: I know you don’t care much for the WBC, but did last night’s game move the meter at all for you? (i.e., Stroman’s dominance)
Keith Law: Nope. I was in bed around 11. I have a daughter in school, so I’m up at 7 am. I’m not staying up till 1 am to watch an exhibition game.

JJ: I don’t mind if Tebow wants to play minor league ball. It doesn’t bother me if the Mets want to play a non-prospect ahead of another no-chance guy on their single A team. But the media coverage, led by your employer, of this non-story drives me up a wall.
Keith Law: I agree with you, including ESPN’s coverage of his spring. It was unwarranted. And, by the way, we don’t know that he’s blocking a no-chance guy yet, do we?

Alex : Do you think Luis Robert will be cleared for the current intl signing period? Who do you think gets him?
Keith Law: No idea. I don’t even ask MLB about these guys until they’re cleared.

Ben: I know it’s early, but will you be at either the PG or UA games this summer?
Keith Law: UA for sure – maybe doing some kind of signing in Chicago? – PG unknown. Just a tough trip for me from the east coast for one day.

Another Michael: Would you vote for Gorsuch if you were a senator? Would you filibuster?
Keith Law: I would filibuster, in large part because he’s not Merrick Garland.

Eric : Jose Peraza lost some prospect shine the past two years, but it looks like it’s coming back. Do you think he’ll be able to hold his own in the 1-2 spots of the Reds lineup?
Keith Law: I’d rather see him hit 8th. Has never shown any propensity to walk, and doesn’t have the power to hit 2nd.

JJ: “Baseball Tonight” question. How does it work for the panelists on a nightly basis? Do you guys just sit in a room together with ten TVs airing all the games at once? Or are you assigned a couple of games to watch, and another panelists gets assigned another pair of games, etc.?
Keith Law: We’re all in the clubhouse with a bunch of games on the TVs and we just kind of talk about whatever we see.

John: Good job of avoiding the point then and instead just being evasive and rude.
Keith Law: I have no use for people who try to play “gotcha” games with questions like that. You want a serious discussion, then ask a serious question. Don’t compare a solitary expat trying to integrate into a monolingual country with entire communities establishing themselves in a country that has for its entire history been one of successive waves of immigrant communities, typically bringing their own languages, cultures, cuisines, and religions with them.

Mike : You still listening to Bell Biv Devoe?
Keith Law: Now you know.

Keith Law: That’s all for this week. Thank you as always for all of your questions, and for the feedback on the new software. It looks like it’s a keeper. I will almost certainly not chat next week unless I’m rained out somewhere, but chats will resume in April. Thanks again.

Klawchat 3/9/17.

Starting at 2 pm ET. Questions go in the frame below, not the comments!

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon, or from other sites via the Harper-Collins page for the book. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

Klaw: You’re telling me it’s in disguise, just use your eyes. It’s Klawchat.

Darren: Have you seen Billy Hamilton. Any thoughts on the progress of his swing and the ceiling of how well he can hit and get on base?
Klaw: It’s probably a good idea for me to start out by saying I haven’t been out to spring training yet. Also, Billy Hamilton’s swing has never been the problem. He has so little hand and wrist strength that I don’t think he can ever hit enough to be even a moderate OBP threat.

Brian: I’d like to let you know that I appreciate the cold water you (aka reality) you throw on prospects. Blue Jays touting Tellez big time…but he is having significant issues this spring catching up to the fastball. I appreciate your takes as a fan, because it helps my untrained eye focus on things I’d miss.
Klaw: You’re welcome. I know the Jays value Tellez more highly than I do. The required offensive threshold for a DH is just so high, however, and Tellez can’t hit good velocity, so I don’t see much probability for him to be more than an up and down guy.

Don: It’s only been three starts, but Tanner Houck hasn’t gotten the results I would have expected out of a potential first round pick. Do you think he has first round talent and at what point do the lack of results start to eat away at his draft prospects?
Klaw: Three starts at the beginning of the year mean very little, especially for a pitcher. It’s much more about how you finish. I think he’s going in the first round barring injury, but I have real concerns about the delivery and lack of a third pitch.

Mark: Why are people so adamant about others speaking their second language when they never attempted to learn a second one? The “Sammy Sosa forgot how to speak English” narrative, brought up by Howard Bryant in his Selig column, is lazy, racist and ignorant. Why wouldn’t he testify under oath in Spanish? Calcaterra made a good point about it 6 years ago, but it’s still used as a default narrative. Just because people claim to have “a friend who spent a semester in Spain and came back fluent” (note: the only people who spend 6 months abroad and return fluent are people who were already fluent to begin with), doesn’t mean someone should testify in their second language. People confuse being able to converse with the media with mastering a language. I’ve spent a decade in Chile working for a bilingual news service and as a translator for an engineering company. If I had to testify in front of Congress – with my freedom at stake – I sure as shit wouldn’t do it in Spanish if I could avoid it.
Klaw: I agree that the comment about Sosa is all of those things, and that “you’re in America, speak English” people should go jump off a tall building. You speak your native language. I’ll do what I need to do to make myself able to understand you.

Francisco: Is Pavin Smith a first rounder ?
Klaw: I don’t think so. Second rounder for me.

J: I know it’s early, but…. any sense of Giolito in spring? Steps forward, steps back, treading water?
Klaw: Building on my earlier answer, I can only offer that his comments about discarding everything the Nats did with his delivery last year are the most positive thing he could have said.

JB: I do not understand all of the fury over a gay character in Beauty and the Beast…anyone who has watched the original animated version should be able to tell that LeFou is in love with Gaston. Last week you mentioned that orientation should not matter in these instances if it is not an established part of canon. On that note, I did not understand why the Broadway version of Harry Potter decided to make Hermione an African American woman for that very reason… I am all for diversity in every aspect of life, but this did seem a little too forced. Thoughts?
Klaw: On the first point, the Australian site the Chaser summed it up best with their post titled “Outrage at inclusion of gay character in film about woman-buffalo romance.” On the second, did they choose to make the character a woman of color, or did they simply cast the best actress regardless of skin color? All we ever learned about Hermione’s appearance from the books was that she had brown, bushy hair (which went out the window once they decided to play up Emma Watson’s looks).

Ned: Keith I’m not able to handle anyone’s differing opinion of things, could you please pull yourself up by your bootstraps and only give me answers that I like?
Klaw: Maybe on april 1st?

Ryan: Are you going to come back to your hometown (or LI in general) when your book is released?
Klaw: I haven’t been back to Long Island in three years, and am not sure when I’ll ever be back there. My family all moved away in 2012 or before.

guren: I recall that you put together a list of your top pizza restaurants back in 2015. Have you ever made pizza at home that compares to some of the better ones on the list, or is it impossible due to the lack of a proper oven?
Klaw: I’d need an oven that could at least get to 800 degrees, so unless I hack the self-cleaning cycle – note well: i’m not going to do that – I won’t be able to do a real Neapolitan-style pizza at home. My daughter and I do make pizza often, but it’s our own style, somewhere between that and NY slice style. Mostly it’s great because it’s from scratch and it’s ours.

addoeh: Let’s talk about a former NFL quarterback that is in his late 20’s. How much interest would teams have in Jake Locker if he announced a comeback today? IIRC, he was considered a good baseball prospect.
Klaw: He was a legit prospect both ways, and in an alternate universe where he’s not good enough to be an NFL prospect – like Kyler Murray – Locker chooses to specialize as a hitter or as a pitcher and comes out of UW as a top ten pick.

Bo: I am probably your biggest fan in the Netherlands. Could you please tell me if you think Profar is going to be a star after all?
Klaw: Still a believer. This is a big year, though. He needs to play every day, and any rationalizing his performance from last year as rust or fatigue from the two-year layoff is over.

Ben: Any chance you have read Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall?
Klaw: I read Fludd and didn’t like it, so, no, I haven’t read anything else she’s written. I just started Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad last night; it seems like it’s the favorite to win this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, to the extent that such odds exist.

Jon/Tampa: Keith, curious on your take on a couple of NYY minor leaguers and if you feel they are over hyped. Frecier Perez and Estevan Florial. Thank you in advance. Actually, more of your thoughts on them rather than if they are over hyped. I trust your judgement more.
Klaw: Florial was 18 and Perez 20 on my Yankees org ranking. They’re both intruiging, but incomplete as prospects, and a long way off. If they’re getting hyped now, it’s premature. I am kind of rooting for Florial because he was born in Haiti, and, I mean, when am I ever going to get back to Haiti?

Jon: More likely to make it as a starter Justin Dunn or Fernando Romero?
Klaw: Both are starters for me long term. Probably Dunn has higher probability because he’s never had an arm injury.

Casey: Does Paul DeJong have a chance to be an average regular or will his most likely outcome be as utility infielder?
Klaw: Has a chance, most likely a good UT who could end up with 500 AB some years playing 3-4 positions.

WarEagle: Hi Keith, I’m trying to watch some SEC baseball games at Auburn, the college I attend. Is there any guy in South Carolina or Auburn I should keep an eye on?
Klaw: Keegan Thompson at Auburn is something, back from TJ, stuff hasn’t been great yet. SC has Schmidt, probably a reliever for me, and Crowe, first-round stuff but bad medicals.

Glen L: If Gleybar Torres moves off SS – does he have the arm for 3B? footwork for 2B? which position would you want him at if not SS?
Klaw: He’s not moving off shortstop.

Herman Melville: I’m sure Harper-Collins knows how to market books better than I do, but it really seems like a missed opportunity to not have it released closer to Opening Day.
Klaw: Not my decision, of course, but I will say it’ll be easier for me to do stuff around the book with it coming out April 25th and not April 4th.

Marc: Seeing several writers tab Taylor Trammell as a breakout candidate this year, what is your take on him? Potential 5-tool?
Klaw: Oh, you mean several writers like me?

Chris Burns: What’s the word on the health of Mike Matuella? Is he someone Rangers fans can hope on getting healthy and having SP potential?
Klaw: I have zero faith in him staying healthy enough to be a starter. He’s thrown about 150 innings total over the last four calendar years.

Dan: Does Madrigal hit for enough power to be a top 50 draft prospect? He seems to have star qualities but wondering if he isn’t closer to Tony Kemp than Dustin Pedroia
Klaw: I don’t think he’s a top 50 guy, but he’s a lot better than Kemp.

College fan: Nick Quintana has made some impressive contact for a freshman. What was the knock on him as a HSer that depressed his draft stock? Is he doing better than expected?
Klaw: Little guy, not expected to have any power, can hit though.

Tim B.: I know you ranked him in your top 100, but what more can you share about the kind of player you expect Jahmai Jones to develop into? Can he be a 20/20 guy or even more?
Klaw: The SB last year surprised me a little, but I imagine you’re asking more about the power, so, yes, I think he’s a 20 HR guy. Just think he has to fill out physically. He was a young draftee.

EC: I wanted to thank you for doing the lords work – especially on twitter – dealing with the crazies who always seem to be sniffing around. It is funny, because they seem to think that you wouldn’t change your mind on anything, when the truth is that if there was a change in scientific evidence and understanding (on vaccines or climate change or whatever) you probably would have an open mind and if it proved to be correct, change your world view. Not really a question I guess, just an observation.
Klaw: You’re welcome, and you’re correct. I tell these wackadoodles that I just follow the science, at which point I’m usually called a pharma shill, or that I’m gullible and believe what the media tells me, and that I should line my hats with tin foil.

TC: What is the ceiling on Bobby Dalbec? What is the chance of him reaching that ceiling?
Klaw: There’s 30 HR power in there, but the kid had a different swing and stance seemingly every game last year, and I didn’t have him on my predraft top 100 for that reason. The Red Sox did calm him down and get him to stick with one set of mechanics all summer, and now there’s real reason for optimism. He doesn’t have to hit a ton to be a big leaguer, just maybe a K rate under 30% so that he’s hitting enough to get to some of that power.

Hinkie: Anything new on “The Adventures of Shohei Otani Coming To America” ? Will there be a CBA exemption allowing him to be a true FA or will he be limited to a J2 signing bonus ? And … If teams believe he is destined for J2, are there numerous clubs holding back on early deals with LA teens in the hopes of a shot at Otani ?
Klaw: I have heard nothing new and expect to hear nothing new until at least the fall. I’ve been told there will be no exemption, but I said in a recent chat I can come up with several loopholes to get him paid.

Michael: Does anyone do more with less than Tebow? Five outs in only three at bats! And he found the right place to stand on deck.
Klaw: The attention we and MLBN gave that game is completely unwarranted. I hope he’s long gone by the time I get to St. Lucie.

Gordon (PA): Hi Keith. Have you ever considered doing a top 100 non-fiction list to supplement your top 100 novel list? I’ve shared your enthusiasm for modern classics like the Omnivore’s Dilemna, The Third Plate, The Sixth Extinction, etc. and would love to see what all would fill your list and use it to fill up my wish list. Care to drop a top ten?
Klaw: With the novels list, I’ve read enough of the accepted classics, including others’ top 100s, Pulitzer winners, etc., that I felt like I had the base that allowed me to do a reasonable list. I couldn’t do that with nonfiction books or with movies. I will mention some other favorite nonfiction books: Barbarians at the Gate, Liar’s Poker, The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber, Thinking Fast & Slow, The Invisible Gorilla, Manhunt, Charlie Wilson’s War, Undeniable, Charlatan, Einstein’s Cosmos.

Tracy: Keith, there is a terrific blog piece in Scientific American this week that you may find interesting, written by Peter Dykstra. It’s a slap-down on climate change deniers and their reasoning for rejecting science and sound judgment. Dykstra basically links their flawed mentality to Sigmund and Anna Freud’s theory on simple denial. It’s definitely worth a read for anybody who has trouble tolerating this kind of thinking.
Klaw: I’ll check it out. Maybe we can get together and mail copies to every EPA employee we can identify?

Mike: Any concern over Greinke topping out at 89 yesterday when he was topping out at 93 at this time last year? AZ newspaper quoted a rival scout who thought Greinke’s stuff had dipped.
Klaw: Not really; I’d be concerned if Greinke, who knows how to manipulate his velocity like few others, said afterwards he was throwing at 100%.

ck: Keith, thanks for all of your work. Are the Cubs better off trying to trade Candelario, or keep him as Rizzo/Bryant insurance (aware of his defensive limits at 3B)?
Klaw: I think he’s good trade bait. He’d play in the majors for someone right now.

Gentry: Who’s better, Luis Castillo or Gohara?
Klaw: I could go either way. I rated Gohara higher, so that’s my answer, but I don’t feel strongly about it. Might be 55/45 in Gohara’s favor.

Brad: Keith, I know you were high on Aaron Blair at this time a year ago. Have you heard any specifics about what has happened to him? I can’t figure out why he hasn’t become at least a backend rotation guy.
Klaw: Velocity fell last year. So did Archie Bradley’s and Braden Shipley’s. I feel like those guys all had something in common in 2015.

A Submitter Has No Name: Hard question but I figured you’d be the best to answer: Which arm in the minors has the ceiling of a #1 and is the most likely to reach that ceiling? You do a good job of assessing risk and probability when determining ceilings (as see with the Moncada ranking). Love your work!
Klaw: That’s Kopech. You gave the reason why I ranked him highest of all pitching prospects: ceiling of a 1, best chance of such players to get to that ceiling.

Donald: Aren’t you glad that President Trumps secret plan to get rid of ISIS in 30 days was such a bigly success?
Klaw: I also enjoyed the Last Week Tonight episode from two Sundays ago, where they included Trump’s campaign promise to ensure every American has health insurance. I assume that means he’s going to veto the Trumpcare bill if it reaches his desk?

TEM: So Jason Heyward has spent the offseason developing a new swing. Based upon what I’ve read from you and elsewhere, the results to date aren’t particularly encouraging. For a guy like Heyward who has shown success with the bat in the past, why would he try to build a new swing from scratch? Why not go with what has previously worked?
Klaw: I think the idea was to restore what worked for him several years ago, as opposed to last year, when nothing worked.

Sandy Cheeks: I believe you said Sandy Alcantara has a really good chance of rising into the top 50 by the end of this season. Which outside the top 100 prospects besides Sandy could have the most movement by the end of the year?
Klaw: If you look at my sleeper for every team, those are 30+ such players. That’s the purpose of the sleepers – guys who aren’t top 100, but who could make a significant leap into the 100 next year.

Scott: Thoughts on Michael Gettys progress and development within the Padres organization and how do you see him moving forward?
Klaw: Borderline non-prospect for me. Can’t hit.

Scott: Is Quantrill going to start in the year in Lake Elsinore this year? Who else of the Padres top prospects are going to be at LE in your estimation? I am looking forward to attending some games next season.
Klaw: I assume so, but i haven’t asked any team about assignments yet, and Q may be on some sort of innings limit.

Anonymous: Hello, I’m going to be in San Francisco next month for a couple days. Could you offer your top recs for 1. coffee 2. pizza 3. one other exceptional dining experience? Thanks!
Klaw: Four Barrel for coffee, Del Popolo for pizza (tell Jon D, the owner, I sent you), and Cotogna for an exceptional dining experience. Also, bring a jacket. And a sweater.

Craig: Klaw, for pete’s sake, give The Godfather a try! It is a freaking masterpiece.
Klaw: I understand that it’s great, or widely considered to be so. The subject matter itself repels me.

JD: Have you seen/heard much of Seth Beer? Is his bat a guy, a Guy, or a G!U!Y?
Klaw: Saw him a few times in HS. Could always hit, but was older than his competition (he was on track to be a 20-yo senior). He’ll be 21.5 next spring as a college junior, and while he’s a corner OF without much defensive value, I can’t really argue against a guy who hits for power and doesn’t strike out much. I will throw this question out there – yes, the walk rate is bonkers, but is he actually that patient, or are teams just pitching around him?

Mike, (Toronto, ON): I’m filming a few days on the final episode of Orphan Black here in Toronto. Any messages from KLaw to the cast/crew? Also, I feel like the Jays are going to be alright this year, despite the fact that everyone in the US media seems to feel they’ll slip. Morales/Pearce replace EE and Smoak, Liriano replaces Dickey, no innings limits for Sanchez, healthier Bautista + JD (maybe Travis, too). Other four starters remain from best starting staff in AL last year. What am I missing?
Klaw: Well, there are few things you could say that would make me more jealous. I had given up hope that Maslany would win the Emmy, only to have her get it last year. I’m a little more bearish than you on the Jays – Morales/Pearce aren’t replacing EE, and while Bautista should be healthier he’s also nearer 40 than 30. There’s also little to no depth – if they need help during the season, it’s not coming from within. I haven’t done any of my standings predictions yet, but I think I’ll probably have them treading water or a touch below last year.

RBI, WIns, and Saves: We would like to announce we are writing a book, too! it’s called “Why We Matter and How Newfangled Stats are Ruining Baseball!” (Subtitle iw “Why Keith Law is Such a Big Poopyhead.) We think we can get Murray Chass to write the forward for us. By the way, what chance does Christin Stewart have to become a GUY?
Klaw: I thought I banned you three from the chat. I think Stewart’s going to be a 50 (average) or a 55 (above average) big leaguer, with little variance around that. His defensive limitations mean he lacks ceiling beyond that, but I feel good enough in the hit/power tools to say he’s going to be an average everyday guy.

JD: I know you generally don’t compare your reports to other writers’, but the difference on David Paulino is unusually large. Any sense what accounts for that? Seeing him at different points in the season?
Klaw: Can’t answer that, nor do I ever answer that kind of question. Paulino throws super hard with a bad delivery, below-average command, and below-average secondary stuff. I said in my Astros writeup, where he wasn’t in the top 10, that I think he’s 90% likely to end up in relief.

Gary: It looks like Derek Hill’s ceiling may be 4th or 5th OFer, due to his issues swinging the bat. Are there any adjustments you would recommend he make, or is he simply not gifted as a hitter?
Klaw: His issue has been injuries. He has to get stronger, but mostly he’s just never had the reps he needed to get any better at the plate. His swing is fine. He has to stay on the field for more than half a season.

JJ: John Farrell said this morning that he’s toying with the idea of batting Benintendi third in the order. Is that too much, too soon, for a rookie, even one with Benintendi’s upside?
Klaw: I don’t believe a hitter’s place in the batting order is going to affect his performance negatively. If anything, he may have more at bats with men on base, meaning he’ll see more pitchers working from the stretch.

Tom: Planning on attending a Wilmington Blue Rocks game this summer. Any good dining options nearby?
Klaw: Cocina Lolo in downtown Wilmington is 5 minutes away, and I think it’s the best overall restaurant in the area.

Bill: Keith – did the Yankees end up better off getting Torres rather than Schwarber (whether or not that was actually on the table is another story).
Klaw: I think so. I’d take the risk of the prospect to get the shortstop rather than the huge bat without a clear position.

Rick: “Do you believe that sick people that cannot afford medical treatment deserve medical treatment”? I feel like if we simply asked people this question before arguing the freaking minutia of all this health care debate for weeks on end, we could save ourselves a lot of time. Because I think that’s a simplified version of what this all comes down to. I give credit to the conservatives who come out and say, “No – health care is not a fundamental right”. At least I know where they stand.
Klaw: I agree, and I want more politicians to have to go on the record like that. Do you think someone should die due to lack of funds for health care that exists, but is expensive? Would you give up some of your own income to ensure that poor people you don’t know get to live longer, or be less sick? (I would.) If not, well, it’s not good, but it’s a reason.

ForteKay: Saw a couple writers mention an increased risk for Thor this season due to added muscle and not throwing in the off season – I’m a bit concerned by his desire to throw HARDER but he also has tremendous size and an easy motion. Should I be any more worried than I would be for a pitcher in general?
Klaw: That was based on comments from a former coach who’s never seen Thor and knows no specifics about him. I thought the media running with that was irresponsible.

Alex: Any recommendations on things to see in Europe?
Klaw: You may have to narrow that one down a bit.

Karl: I know you are not a fantasy sports guy, but perhaps you can help me out…in a long term dynasty league I can keep two of the following: Aaron Judge, Bradley Zimmer, or Alex Verdugo. I know you rank Verdugo the highest on your rankings but on a purely offensive stats output would that still be the case? Thanks for taking my question and I won’t ask another fantasy question ever again.
Klaw: Verdugo. Also Verdugo. In case that wasn’t clear, take Verdugo.

Mike (DC): Joe Martarano to give up football to play baseball full time. At 22 y/o, is there any shot he can develop quickly enough to make the majors some day?
Klaw: Problem was he sucked in HS. Long way to go at the plate.

dave: If the panda loses his footing will Devers have a chance for a midseason call up
Klaw: I think they’d prefer not to do that. Devers hasn’t even played a game in AA yet.

ForteKay: Re: Godfather – Is it the semi-racist connotations of Italian-Americans and crime? Or just violence in general? As a fellow Italian-American that association definitely bugs me – but hard to deny it makes for really entertaining fiction.
Klaw: It’s the former. I do not like ultraviolent films, but I avoid gore (I said on twitter I’ve never seen a slasher film, let alone this disgusting trend of ‘torture porn’ films) and accept that much great fiction includes violence. Blood Meridian is a great novel, but if someone films that it’s going to get an NC-17 for all the killings.

Steve: Thanks for spreading the word about Ten Fe. Killer album.
Klaw: Still among my favorites this year. Temples’ new record was good too. I got an early stream of the Afghan Whigs’ album, due out in May, and liked it a lot – more than I did their last record.

HugoZ: Do you find the subject matter of Richard III repellant as well? Isn’t there value to examining the nature of evil?
Klaw: Richard III is certainly a repellent character. He’s not an Italian-American, for one thing. For another, that’s Shakespeare. He had the best words. Mario Puzo is not Shakespeare.

JR: Not sure if you can say anything on this, but there have been reports in recent days that ESPN is going to be making another round of cuts. Is there anyone we can email/tweet at/send snail mail too to encourage the decision makers to keep you? You are the only reason I buy insider, so they would lose my annual sub fee if you end up elsewhere.
Klaw: Several of you have reached out on the topic, so thank you all for the concern. I just signed a new contract a few weeks ago. I’m more worried about friends of mine who work behind the scenes at ESPN, although I know nothing more than you saw in reports like Richard Deitsch’s.

Jeff: No question, just a comment. Saw Hunter Greene in person last Saturday against the local HS team. I came to the conclusion (in my amateur opinion) that he is really $#@#% good. Any chance a team drafts as a SS instead of a pitcher?
Klaw: There’s enough real doubt about the hit tool that I think he’s 80/20 or better to go as a pitcher. Up to 101, athletic as hell, now has a real slider too.

JD: re pitching around Seth Beer: the Gamecocks coach said he’d walk him 4 or 5 times if he had to, throw it to the backstop if he had to… and then the winning run scored on a passed ball during an intentional walk to Beer. So maybe people are pitching him a little too carefully?
Klaw: Is that the incident someone tweeted at me about? By the way, remember when the Gamecocks coach talked some smack about me when I said Brandon McIlwain was foolish to enroll early at SC and skip the MLB draft? How’s that working out?

Dan: I have read all of Gladwell, any other books like his you would recommend?
Klaw: I think there’s much better stuff out there in the same vein that leans more on the research and less on anecdote. Thinking Fast & Slow, Invisible Gorilla, Predictably Irrational, Superforecasting, even Freakonomics all mine that territory more effectively.

Tim (KC): Keith, now that the Diamondbacks have made changes, which teams are most behind the times analytically speaking? Which are better than the rest?
Klaw: As far as I know, all 30 teams have or are building dedicated analytics departments. Arizona, Minnesota, Philadelphia are all behind on the timeline, but it’s not due to lack of effort, budget, or willpower. They just got late starts.

Dan: Where will Lazaro Armenteros start the year? How long before he will sniff a top 100 list?
Klaw: Probably extended spring, and I’d bet on never.

Jerry: What I don’t get is how “pro-life” goes along with poor people don’t deserve shit. Also I don’t get how we haven’t overhauled medical and pharmacy billing.
Klaw: “Pro-life” people are generally “pro-birth.” You have to have that baby, and now you’re entirely responsible for it, even though kids who are malnourished, maltreated, or often sick are more likely to end up costing society as a whole when they get older. (Also, you know, compassion for those less fortunate is a good thing.)

Jerry: Bochy said he really doesn’t want to platoon LF, so does Parker hit lefties well enough to win the everyday job (because there are a ton of LH SPs in the NL West)?
Klaw: Such a long swing. I can’t see it.

Bruce: Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow – what is the ceiling for both and what do you expect from them this year?
Klaw: Maybe both #2s? Taillon is much further ahead. During his long layoff he became more of a complete pitcher, not just a thrower. Glasnow’s new delivery perplexes me and I wrote about it this week.

Harold: Every economic problem in our country boils down to the fact that pols in both parties craft legislation to benefit the ultra rich and the ultra poor. They love the rich because they all fall into that category, along with those who fund their campaigns. They love the poor, because it is a large voting bloc that is easy to influence with promises of subsidies and other benefits. The problem, obviously, is that the segment in the middle is burdened with financing everything and eventually will be too small to handle it.
Klaw: Is that really true? I thought the “ultra poor,” however you define them, don’t vote at the same rates as higher socioeconomic strata. The rich do tend to get what they want, though. Everything counts in large amounts.

Bobbo: Just letting you know that someone got the “Bad Idea Jeans” joke.
Klaw: That commercial will never, ever, ever get old.

Jeff: Bomani Jones said on Twitter (paraphrasing) that Thomas Sowell is a brilliant man who lost his damn mind…was wondering how you feel about Sowell, since you are both econ buffs.
Klaw: This seems like a really interesting topic that I totally missed.

Lee: Why the heck would any somewhat intelligent human choose a football career over baseball? Football gives you lifelong debilitating diseases on a non-guaranteed salary structure. How is this even a choice for people?
Klaw: No idea. If any of our friends with kids let their sons play football – they’re all reaching the ages where that’s an option – I will try to convince them otherwise the way I would convince a vaccine resister.

Dan: This the year Daniel Norris puts it all together? What are you expecting from him this year
Klaw: I’m a believer.

Jerry: I know “best shape of life” means nothing, but was it true for Panda and does it mean anything?
Klaw: Sounds like he’s in great shape but I have no idea what if anything it means.

Stewart: As with any society, ours is in the stage where those who are the least productive are the ones reproducing the most. Studies consistently show that people are much more likely to maintain the economic status of their parents, rather than taking a huge leap forward. If politicians want to lessen the impact entitlement programs on the economy, they need to provide real incentives to middle and upper class people to have more children.
Klaw: Or to provide incentives and methods for the lowest stratum to have fewer children. You know, like easy access to affordable birth control.

Anonymous: Great news! EPA chief Scott Pruitt says CO2 is not a primary contributor to global warming. I was really starting to worry that global warming was a real long term threat to life and property. Apparently I can relax now.
Klaw: It would be great if the media would simply call him out on that bullshit every. single. day.

Nathan: Assuming both reach their potential, who ends up with more value, Meadows or Dahl?
Klaw: Meadows. My worry with Dahl is that I don’t think he has a great plan at the plate. I think he’s blessed with tremendous ability, but Meadows has a much better idea when he gets in the box.

Valdez: Did you have the same attitude toward MJordan’s foray into baseball, or did he get a pass?
Klaw: I was 20 when he did that. I had no standing to even have an opinion, and if I did have one, I have no idea what it was. I know that several years later I found out that Jordan’s little sojourn wrecked the career of a prospect behind him – I think that was Charlie Poe – so I would say now, with that knowledge and the benefit of my age and experience, that it was just as ridiculous, maybe even more so because they shoved him right to AA. (He also showed that he was way more skilled than the washed-up QB, though.)

Nick: Ever made beef jerky at home? If so, which cut of beef do you prefer (I don’t think flank is ideal).
Klaw: I haven’t, partly because I can’t get over my fear that I’d do it wrong, mostly because we eat very little beef at home.

Ethan: Is there a difference between a sinker and a two-seam fastball, as far as grip and movement? I feel like I hear the two interchanged sometimes. I could be wrong.
Klaw: Yes, two different pitches, typically different movements, but a two-seamer can sink – it usually will at least have some sink, although that type of movement, where it moves both down and to the pitcher’s arm side, is usually called ‘tail.’

Paul: Isn’t the issue with healthcare how to reduce costs? Haven’t heard any goods ideas from either party.
Klaw: Yes. That’s a bigger issue than mere price elasticity, which is what the GOP keeps pointing to with HSAs – saying that if you’re not spending your own money, you stop caring whether you’re overpaying. That is true for most goods, but doesn’t appear to be true for health care, at least not in any way that can inform policy. If you or a loved one needs lifesaving care, you will pay everything you have. That is an open invitation for providers to charge as much as possible.

TJ: Klaw, do you have any “guilty pleasure” players? Guys you know aren’t great but just enjoy watching them play? Mine would be Rajah Davis- gotta love a short, pudgy dude who looks like he’s having great fun playing and wears a giant oven mitt when on base, even if he takes the craziest routes imaginable to chase fly balls…
Klaw: I love watching athletes do athletic things. Billy Hamilton is not very good at all at the plate, but I could watch him run all day. I don’t care if he goes full Piersall and runs the bases backwards. I’d watch him run from the dugout to his position. I am just floored to see a human being move that fast.

J: Watched Lobster last night. I feel like I need to watch it again and pay more attention to all the animals who have walk on parts
Klaw: The dog should have gotten a best supporting actor nomination.

ForteKay: Any book signings planned in the New York/Westchester area? Would love to get a signed copy and talk a bit of baseball
Klaw: Nothing yet, but I think we’ll do something in NYC around the launch date. As it gets closer, more requests are coming into Harper Collins and we’re trying to work those into my scouting schedule, because I think I’m doing all my draft travel after April 1st this year (it just worked out that way).

Klaw: That’s all for this week – thank you as always for all of your questions. With travel coming up, I may move chat days/times or skip a week, so please watch here, Facebook, and Twitter for announcements on that front. Hup hup!

Klawchat 3/2/17.

Starting at 1 pm ET. Questions go in the chat widget below, not in the comments!

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon, or from other sites via the Harper-Collins page for the book. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

Klaw: Pull your shirt off and pray. It’s Klawchat.

Henry: Keith, what has happened to JJ Schwarz? I’m a UF fan, and obviously he had a great freshman year. Last year seemed bad, and this year looks even worse in the early weeks (obviously small sample). I’m totally with you that there’s zero chance he catches in the pros, but why has the bat fallen apart so drastically?
Klaw: I think other teams started pitching him differently and he hasn’t made the adjustment. Not sure he’s even a first-round consideration any more.

Patrick: Keith, as a fan, what should i be paying attention to in Spring Training? Especially with young pitchers I hope will help my favorite team sooner rather than later?
Klaw: Health is the biggest thing. If you’re talking about watching performances, really you just want your pitchers throwing strikes and showing their usual velocity by their third or at worst fourth times out. But don’t get hung up on any spring stats.

Steve: Have you seen Heywards new swing? Besides being way to early to see if its sustainable or productive for him, does the loading and swing path look more natural and promising than what he previously had?
Klaw: On video, and talked to scouts who’ve seen it, and basically there’s nothing positive to say right now.

Cedric: Any thoughts on the DeJong/Zabala trade?
Klaw: I answered this on Twitter by linking to my Mariners report. Zabala is the only real prospect in the deal.

Robert Luis: What can you tell me about the abilities and projections of 19 year old Cuban Luis Robert? Any favorites to sign him when he becomes eligible?
Klaw: He’s already getting hyped well beyond his abilities. Who can sign him depends on whether he becomes eligible before or after the signing period ends.

Dan: Jim Bowden threw around a trade: Almora and Happ for B. Hamilton. Thoughts?
Klaw: Utterly ridiculous – I wouldn’t trade either guy straight up for Hamilton – but not even the dumbest one in the article. That would be Quintana for just Kyle Tucker and David Paulino, the latter of whom isn’t even top ten in the Astros’ system. That’s probably less than half the return the White Sox should expect for Quintana. There’s a real disconnect from real-world values here.

John: I haven’t heard much about Jake Mangum or Greg Deichman from draft analysts. Both seem to be hitting very well in the SEC but neither get much mention. Do you consider either one a 1st round possibility?
Klaw: Mangum is a freshman. He’s not eligible. Deichmann is just a corner guy who’s not a day-one prospect – and he isn’t hitting well “in the SEC,” because LSU hasn’t played any SEC opponents yet. Their schedule to date includes Maryland, Hofstra, Nicholls State, New Orleans, Army, Air Force, Pencil State, Backwater U, and Little Sisters of the Poor.

Luke: Trevor Rogers, the high school LHP from New Mexico, is already 19. Will his age affect his draft slot?
Klaw: Age is more important for position players than pitchers. For arms, the disadvantage of age – reduced physical projection – may be mitigated by reduced risk of injury.

Joaquin P: If the pirates were to trade Meadows (for Quintana perhaps) could they put Bell in RF and Will Craig at 1B? Are they better this way given how bad Bell has looked at first?
Klaw: Craig’s not major-league ready, and Bell has to play left, not right.

Jon Orr: Thoughts on Austin Gomber? Saw him in spring training and his breaking ball looked really loopy and didn’t seem to have sharp break
Klaw: Just another guy.

Chet: What do you see happening with Kyle Funkhouser this season?
Klaw: I have no idea, and I mean that quite literally – the range of possible outcomes there is enormous. If he comes out and walks 60 guys in 80 innings, I won’t be surprised. If he comes out and dominates two levels of A-ball, I won’t be surprised. He’s shown so many different looks the last two years that I feel very little confidence in any forecast I could make.

Brian: Arcadia? You’re a little too young for 80’s tunes…
Klaw: I was 12 when that song came out.

Jason: The Cardinals have two former interesting players in camp: Daniel Bard and Austin Wilson. Is there anything left to optimistic about either?
Klaw: Probably not, but the change of scenery was probably the best thing that could have happened to Wilson, and I’d say he has the better shot of the two to restore some value.

Jimmy: If Harper is healthy all year- .325BA 40 HRs?
Klaw: Yes. In other words, if he’s healthy all year, I believe he can repeat 2015.

Lou: Hi Keith! Wondering your thoughts on the Cubs big 4 starters all posting career low babips last year? Their defense and positioning must play a large in that right? But lots of teams have good defensive players and smart analytical departments that can improve positioning, what makes (or made) the Cubs so much better? And if it is defense and positioning, why would we expect the numbers to regress?
Klaw: I think it’s more defense and positioning than it is just pitching, but we’d expect it to regress because defense and positioning include some randomness too. You can position ‘perfectly’ and still not get to all of the balls in play you expect to get to. I think last year the Cubs got to more of those balls than we would have anticipated.

Nick: Can Chesney Young turn into something like a Neil Walker, or am overly optimistic and assuming too much power (I’ve read it’s near zero).
Klaw: There’s nothing similar about those guys at all. He has virtually no power.

Derek: I’ve seen a few breathless pieces about the Harper-Machado-Kershaw free agent bonanza of 2018-19. Often these articles list Matt Harvey along with those others. Harvey’s been a great pitcher, no question, but I’m very skeptical about his return to greatness. The surgery to repair thoracic outlet syndrome is no joke and Jaime Garcia is probably the most successful guy to have come back from it. Not to mention that Harvey’s a Tommy John guy and the number of guys who’ve had both procedures is quite small. If I had to bet on whether Harvey ever throws 200 innings in a season again, I’d probably bet he doesn’t. What do you think?
Klaw: I would agree. Bet the under on that.

Nick: How does Hunter Greene compare to other recent HS RHP phenoms? Guys like Bundy, pre-TJ Giolito, and Taillon.
Klaw: Nobody has thrown this hard except Pint, and Greene does it much easier. Giolito and Bundy had better secondary stuff at this age. Greene is probably the best athlete of this whole group. And he can play plus defense at short.

Vander: Heard anything new about Jo Adell?
Klaw: His season starts on Monday.

Tracy: Keith, is it me or do you also get miffed when you see people basking in all the “great” weather we’re having? Folks, long stretches of sixty- and seventy-degree temps in February is not normal. For those where there should be snow on the ground, put the damned flip-flops away!
Klaw: I get more miffed when I see idiots, often idiots in government, ‘gloating’ on cold days that climate change must be wrong, because we seem to have no problem electing people who are so stupid they don’t know the differences between climate and weather or between income and wealth.

Andy: Do you watch Top Chef with your daughter? My son (a little younger) would love the food aspects, but I’d like to avoid all of the human drama that sometimes gets played up. I really don’t want to watch Chopped to satisfy his food competition wants.
Klaw: No, because of the language, but we did watch the last two episodes of Project Runway with her this year because she really wanted to see the dresses (and she was super annoyed at who won), which meant a little chat about what language she might hear that would be inappropriate to repeat.

Josh C: Do you think Ramon Laureano can play center or is he strictly a corner guy?
Klaw: Corner guy.

Ron: HI Keith-Sorry to hear about Kiriloff’s injury. Another bad luck bite on the Twins. Hope he comes out of it in good shape and ready to go next year. Losing the year of development is the worst thing. Do you have any favorite eating places in North Dakota? Ever been here? Thanks!
Klaw: Drove across it in 1998. Didn’t eat anywhere special – it wasn’t quite so easy to find good spots back then – but we loved Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Ed: Will you be updating your AZ eats this month? Will be there later in the month. Any kid friendly places on your 2016 list (which I have been using as my guide). Will be in Scottsdale most of trip.
Klaw: I might, although there won’t be many changes. I’d add Tacos Chiwas and Tratto, and I think one or two places closed. The core recommendations wouldn’t change, though.

Alex: Feel you’re the most accurate when it comes to projections, so what kind of ceiling do you see for Sandy Alcanatara and Junior Fernandez? Any chance Fernandez can stay as a starter?
Klaw: Very good chance Fernandez can stay a starter, although Alcantara has a better chance to stay a starter and a little more ceiling. I’m going to spend at least two days on the Cards’ back fields later this month, and that group of Latin American arms is the main reason.

Jerry: Do you think it’s ethically wrong to download music cds from the library onto your computer? If so, what if you delete them after a couple of weeks?
Klaw: Still copyright infringement, even if you delete them. You can just listen to almost any of them on Spotify for free anyway, so why do it?

Fritz: Thanks for all that you do – I’m an Insider to read your work. What is the best way for an organization to evaluate its scouts?
Klaw: I don’t like the idea of just evaluating long-term outcomes, because we know how many outside variables can screw that up. (Ryan Westmoreland comes to mind as the most extreme example.) But I would try to match up short-term grades and projections – the scout said this guy had a 60 curveball, he’s in pro ball now, other scouts say it’s a 50, he’s not getting many swings and misses on it, so that’s a mistake in the grades. A team could execute on that plan of accountability, and scouts would understand how they’re being evaluated too.

Cedric: RE: the DeJong/Aneurys trade, is Drew Jackson just another guy?
Klaw: Yes. Can’t hit.

Andrew: Regarding Quintana – is his contract situation (he’s a relative bargain) actually over-inflating his perceived value? In other words, he’s good and inexpensive, but how much better does he really make, say, the Astros? I’d be inclined to hold on to Tucker and Martes if I were Lunhow…
Klaw: He’s a top 10 pitcher in the AL, maybe in all of baseball, on a wildly team-friendly contract. I don’t know if you can overstate his value.

TK: So … our new AG likely committed perjury regarding communications with Russia. We’ve got that going for us now, too. Is this real life?
Klaw: I agreed with the impeachment of Bill Clinton when he committed perjury (later acquitted) over a trivial matter. I certainly agree that Sessions should be removed form his post for committing perjury over a more serious matter.

Chris: Re ignoring spring stats, wrt Bird his showing some pop is worth noting given the injury he’s coming off, right?
Klaw: Yes, it at least indicates he’s swinging without pain or restriction.

Adam: I was having a conversation with a friend during the Oscars and they said their issue with Ryan Gosling is that he’s a bad actor who picks great movies. Do you agree with that sentiment?
Klaw: I disagree. As evidence, I submit his performance in Drive.

Adam: Jesus Sanchez in the Rays system is a name I stumbled upon on another prospect list, and they almost made him out to be the second coming. Does he have potential to shoot up lists next year?
Klaw: He was #13 on my Rays list this winter. Second Coming is a bit much, probably from scouting the stat line.

Adam: AJ Preller traded Max Fried for Justin Upton and then did NOT trade Upton for Michael Fulmer, ultimately taking Eric Lauer with the compensation pick used when Upton signed with the Tigers. Oof
Klaw: Fried for Upton has the potential to look historically bad for them.

Kay: Could Nimmo play well enough in CF to make a platoon of him and Lagares? Compliment each other well enough with the bat and he can’t be worse than Grandy or Conforto out there.
Klaw: I do not believe Nimmo can play CF that well, even if his knee is 100%.

Shaun: Your top five disney world restaurants?
Klaw: Jiko, Via Napoli, Raglan Road (not as good as it once was, but still a good place for a pint of Guinness and some bangers and mash). But Disney Springs has some new places I haven’t tried, like Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina, and a sushi place from Morimoto.

Alan: Johan Camargo seems to be getting rave reviews in Braves camp. Anything more than a utility guy in the future?
Klaw: If that. He has never hit anywhere he’s played and he’s 23.

Dan: Long-term, who project as the better SP: Lugo or Gsellman? Thanks, Keith.
Klaw: Gsellman.

Kay: What is the single biggest difference in the way people like yourself evaluate prospects that might lead to big differences in opinion?
Klaw: People who try to write about prospects but don’t see them, or see them but can’t evaluate what they’re seeing, or don’t have good sources to discuss players with are not going to produce good content. Better at that point to simply report what happened and link to folks like BA or MLB or Fangraphs or me.

Craig: Klaw, who would you say is the most well-known person you attended Harvard with? And did you ever socialize with them?
Klaw: Paul Wylie was there while I was and I met him twice. Couldn’t have been nicer. I know some entrepreneurs were in my class, like the guys who founded LinkExchange and sold it for a few hundred million. I met them once or twice. The daughter of the Aga Khan was in my class but I’m not sure if I ever saw her. I believe Karenna Gore was a year behind me. I also remember a classmate from the Houghton family, whose name adorns one of the buildings on the Yard; I had one class with him, but didn’t know him well, and I remember him largely because he took his own life during our sophomore year.

Cedric: TIL that Matt Harvey once threw 157 pitches in a college game. Should that coach have been criminally prosecuted?
Klaw: He’s still the head coach at UNC. And people praise him.

John: Jake Mangum is definitely not a freshman.
Klaw: Sorry, his bio page at MSU still says “freshman,” but I can see now they haven’t updated that. Looks like he’s age-eligible this year.

Ryan: Just saw the news that LeFou will be gay in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast remake? Thoughts? I understand the importance of representation, but do you have a problem with changing established character traits–even though his orientation was never established? Does it feel like pandering?
Klaw: I saw this news item and didn’t give it a second thought. A character’s sexual orientation shouldn’t be news unless (as you imply) it’s changed from established canon.

Ron: Klaw, between Republicans claiming they have inherited a terrible economy and liberals claiming that it is fantastic, how would you characterize the economy that Trump inherited?
Klaw: I’d say it was growing, but in a way that isn’t addressing inequality and may be exacerbating it. The Republicans are lying, while the Democrats are exaggerating (a lot).

bartleby: from your book cover “and the right way to think about baseball” – don’t you think that’s a bit arrogant?
Klaw: I think I could not possibly care less what you think. Is that arrogant too? My bad.

Elliot, Baton Rouge: Hey Keith, aside from Alex Lange (who I’d be curious to hear your draft projection on) are there any other legit prospects playing for LSU this spring?
Klaw: I think Lange is a reliever or low-end starter, tops. Not a first rounder. Deichmann is a draft guy but not a major prospect IMO.

Paul: Generally prefer getting stuff on my Kindle these days, unless there are lots of graphics in a book. Which format would you suggest for your book?
Klaw: Not many graphics in the book. A few tables that should display just fine, one or two graphs. I tried to stick to words over numbers wherever I could, and we moved most formulas (like explaining OBP or linear weights) to the footnotes so the book would be a more fluid read.

Ian: When evaluating a high school pitcher, how important is it for you that they spin something adequately? Can a kid with a good arm and clean mechanics learn how to spin the ball as he matures?
Klaw: Might be a million dollar question. Guys who can’t spin anything scare me, because I wonder if they’ll ever have anything more than a 45 breaking ball. Now I wonder if that will even translate to lower spin rates on fastballs too. Eovaldi, the paragon of fastballs that didn’t spin enough, never had a good breaking ball either.

Joe: I think it’s easy to forget that Addison Russell is 19 days older than Dansby Swanson and only 63 days older than Alex Bregman. I feel like Russell is somewhat forgotten about when people talk about the great SS in the game right now. Does he have an MVP caliber ceiling?
Klaw: I think he does. There’s a lot of untapped offensive potential in Russell. Had he spent another 18 months in the minors and destroyed AA and AAA, maybe we’d look at him differently?

Kevin: Would you rather have a pitcher who can ride his fastball up in the zone, or one who sinks it effectively?
Klaw: No preference. Both work, although I might argue that pitching up requires more skill (command and/or spin) than pitching down.

Kay: Klaw – you get to step into the box for BP against any pitcher in the league, Theo Epstein style – who do you pick? And how do you fair?
Klaw: You could lob it to me and I might not square it up. Putting a decent swing on a pitch with a wood bat requires hand and wrist strength that I could never have.

Erik: The economy will never grow like it should be unless the abomination know as Dodd-Frank is repealed. Any problems with Trump should be mitigated by his promise to cut overly onerous regulations
Klaw: Define “overly onerous regulations.” I for one am a fan of clean air and water, for example. I’d like to see more onerous regulations on those topics, so that black people get clean air and water too!

Rob: Thanks again for your vaccine related discussions. For better or worse, people take very seriously what public figures have to say (and we need more rational voices than that of De Niro and Mccarthy). You’ll never convince the idiot on twitter that you’re arguing with but, hopefully a silent reader on the fence, will be swayed in the right direction.
Klaw: You’re welcome. I’m hoping a few people see the links I post and decide to vaccinate their kids, and that other folks with platforms like I have also speak out on public health and science topics.

Joe: What was harder: writing the book, or doing the self-promoting? For me, I think the self-promoting would be harder, but that’s mainly due to my personality. Have you enjoyed/not enjoyed that part of it?
Klaw: Writing is always easier for me because it’s so solitary. I’m not one to promote myself or my work beyond a tweet here or there.

Archie: Serious question….if a guy at a lower level school pops up as a serious draft candidate, do you automatically start to wonder how he ended up there? Are there enough late bloomers who may have been undeveloped and/or overlooked in HS that would keep you from assuming that a high level guy in D-II, III, or NAIA has some sort of makeup issues that led them to that level?
Klaw: I think we get more late bloomers, especially pitchers, than other sports do.

GFY: There’s nothing more annoying than someone who is super arrogant and I think you’ve officially crossed that line with your reply to the “is it arrogant” question. Have a nice life.
Klaw: If you couldn’t see the humor intended in that answer, well, between that and your profane message to me, I truly do not want you as a reader.

JR: While the Mets haven’t said anything official, reading between the lines it appears they (or at least Collins) still prefer Bruce over Conforto (Bruce has been given the same treatment as other veteran starters this spring – not traveling on road games and penciled in as RF starter for home games). How shocked would you be if Bruce is starting RF and Conforto is on bench or in AAA to start the season?
Klaw: I wouldn’t be shocked but I’ll mock the hell out of the team if they do that. That’s plain shooting themselves in the foot.

BD: Surprised S Kieboom was DFA’d? He can help someone right?
Klaw: I hadn’t seen that. Thought he’d be a decent backup catcher with occasional pop but no OBP. Nats are a little flush with catchers though.

Henry: Keith, is this the first season that every MLB team has an analytic department, even a bare bones one to measure performance? I was thinking the other day how the industry has changed full circle on this in a relatively decent amount of time, which is a very good thing. It makes the sport far more enjoyable to evaluate. Thanks!
Klaw: I believe all 30 teams have this now, yes.

Matt: I can spare about $10/mo to go towards either a subscription like the Washington Post or the ACLU. Any idea which organization would get the bigger bang for my money? Don’t really want to give money to a cause that doesn’t need it as much as a different one may.
Klaw: If you want the most bang for the buck, find a local food pantry, or a local shelter for victims of domestic violence, or something similarly small and focused. That will produce the best return and will most directly help people who need it.

Corey: Do you think Brian Johnson can still end up a solid 3/4 starter in the big leagues ? Assuming he’s depth for this season in Boston, can he crack the rotation next year or is he a trade chip ?
Klaw: I do, but he has to get all his velocity back for that to happen and it wasn’t there at the end of last summer.

John: No one wants to acknowledge the two elephants in the room: an aging populations and slowing global growth from large economies like China starting to mature mean long run domestic real growth rates are going to be slower. Those manufacturing jobs are never coming back and we will need a basic income framework at some point. Of every 100 manufacturing jobs lost since NAFTA passed 85 went to automation, 5 became obsolete, 5 went to China or Mexico, and 5 went somewhere else.
Klaw: I am seeing more acknowledgement of the automation issue, although it’s not part of the mainstream political discourse. Better to just scream “JOBS” real loud and hope for the best.

JJ: I, for one, appreciate your arrogance. It’s arguably your finest quality. Keep it up!
Klaw: Uh … thanks?

Thomas: What is Renfroe’s ceiling?
Klaw: Hunter’s? If he hits, above-average everyday RF. I don’t think there’s more than a 45 hit tool there, though.

Ted, Atlanta: over/under 10 HR, 15 SB for Dansby this year
Klaw: Over on both.

Jake: You get to make one law that every single human must follow – what is it?
Klaw: Never put ketchup on steak.

Justin: Regarding your suggestion with Wheeler coming into relief once every rotation turn; wouldn’t it be more beneficail to him and the team to just have him in extended ST or in low A ball. It seems like a big risk both to the team (being short in the pen and Wheeler by not letting him work his arm strength up, especially if its a close game and he can’t locate.
Klaw: That’s also an option. I tried to lay out a few possible plans that the Mets might pursue, discarding anything I know they don’t do.

Ben: If Price needs TJS, do Red Sox have enough depth there, or will they look to acquire another starter?
Klaw: They don’t have anyone to replace the 5-6 wins he’d be worth. But I don’t know if they’ll make a panic trade now, either. That’s a recipe for a bad decision.

Alan: Anything new out of Braves minor league camp?
Klaw: Minor league games don’t begin until the week of the 13th. Anything you ‘hear’ now is static.

Joey Bagodonuts: Pencil U really recruited me hard. Glad I didn’t go there.
Klaw: But their graphology department is top notch!

David: Thoughts on Dermis Garcia Yankees?
Klaw: 80 raw power. 20 defender. Maybe a 30 bat right now – a long way off and a long shot to have value.

Keith: What order would you put the following in terms of likeliest to reach top of the rotation status? Kopech, Keller, Alvarez?
Klaw: That is the order in which I ranked them on the top 100, and the order in which I’d answer that question (because the combination of ceiling and probability of reaching ceiling is a major criterion for me).

Zac: Robinson Cano had 39 HR’s as a 33 year old 2B last season, which is the most HR’s by a 2B in the AL since Alfonso Soriano in 2002. Is Robinson Cano the best all around 2B since Joe Morgan, or am I underrating Roberto Alomar?
Klaw: Cano’s probably going to retire as the best 2b since guy-who-won’t-read-Moneyball, and will almost certainly end up a Hall of Famer.

Trader: I would submit that global trade is the single most important issues that is either horribly understood or subject to the worst effects of populism. It is jaw-dropping to see things like the Border Adjustment Tax even being proposed. It has as much potential as anything to push us closer to 3rd world status. and highlights just how far we have fallen in terms of leadership and economics — on all sides.
Klaw: Free trade might be the only thing on which most economists agree – it’s a net positive for all countries involved. The continued popularity of protectionism speaks to 1) poor economics education in American secondary schools and 2) how pandering to existential fears remains a winning formula for electoral success.

Kay: Arrogant bastards unite! Seriously, you’re just straightforward and have strongly held beliefs. This is something I like and respect about you. Dark sense of humor is a bonus.
Klaw: Thank you. And that is what I hope to be – I’d rather give strong opinions I can back up, and some day have to explain why some were wrong, than refuse to give strong opinions for fear of just that. Oh, and back to the book title thing – you want the book to have a strong title and subtitle to get the consumer’s attention, even if it might seem offputting. “Hey, this guy thinks he’s got the right way to think about baseball? What the hell is he talking about?” is a good reaction. Read some of it, buy the book, yell at me later.

Tom: Thoughts on Archie Bradley 177 innings into his MLB career?
Klaw: Ask me again about him and Shipley and Ray and Corbin in a few months, now that Romper Room has closed its Phoenix location.

David: Why are there some who feel Gleyber is overrated?
Klaw: Why are there some who believe vaccines cause autism? People believe all kinds of stupid shit. I will say I didn’t get any negative feedback whatsoever after ranking Gleyber #4 overall.

josh: Why is it that any time someone brings up a honest discussion about regulations someone always acts like the Republicans want to take away everyone’s clean air and water? Talk about a strawman….
Klaw: Maybe because Trump literally just signed a document to start to roll back a major clean water rule?

Anonymous: What do you think of Heyman’s sentiment today that he would be surprised if Hunter Greene is not the 1st pick in the draft?
Klaw: If you’re asking me where I’d put $100, Greene or the field, I’d put the field. One, because he’s not so much better than everyone else (like Harper or Strasburg) that I feel confident he’s going to be 1-1 today, three months out. Two, because no HS RHP has ever gone 1-1, and ignoring that is pure base-rate neglect.

Joey Joe Joe: Surprised at how little interest there was in Joe Blanton?
Klaw: Yes. He was pretty dang good last year.

Clint: Fernando Tatis jr = next Machado? Or am I thinking to big league?
Klaw: I wouldn’t say =, but I’d say “might turn into.” He’s a pretty special talent.

JD: How do you see the college pitchers in this draft? Any real standouts for you?
Klaw: None has come out very good, other than perhaps McKay – whom, I learned this week, at least one team up top prefers as a hitter. (I think that’s crazy. A 1b without power, who’s also a LHP up to 95 with a good CB? Easy choice.)

Rob: What kind of ceiling do Alvaro Seijas and Johan Oviedo have? Legit arms?
Klaw: Those are the other two I’m hoping to see in Cardinals camp (with Fernandez and Alcantara), plus the Cubans they’ve signed in the last year. I’m probably going to spend more time in the Palm Beach/Jupiter area than anywhere else in Florida.

Frank: No question just a comment. If the state of Texas wants a transgender person to use the bathroom of their birth then they can’t complain when they complete in sports against those of the same birth sex. Anything else would be hypocritical, not like that would ever happen.
Klaw: This is a valid point. Also, once again we get back to the fallacy of two biological sexes. But that’s science, and science ain’t real popular in Texas political circles right now.

Ron: I thought Dozier had the most homers for a 2nd baseman since Soriano? Or how many of the 42 included as DH?
Klaw: Baseball-Reference shows 40 as a 2b, 2 as a DH. That stuff, while absolutely accurate, is why I never get hung up on “most X by a player at position Y” stats. Dozier had 2 homers as a DH. Was he magically not able to play second base on those days? Like, he woke up and put his glove on his right ear instead?

Kay: Is consistency really all that much to ask for? From ball players, to umpires, to politicians, to friends and their beliefs.
Klaw: It’s the hobgoblin of rational minds, apparently.

Klaw: That’s all for this week’s chat. Thank you as always for all of your questions. I’ll be holding a Facebook Live session Monday morning to talk about Smart Baseball and answer chat-style questions as well, so please come join me there and tell your friends about this amazing book that tells you the most arrogant way to think about baseball! Enjoy your weekends, everyone.

Klawchat 2/23/17.

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon, or from other sites via the Harper-Collins page for the book. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

Klaw: I got an open mind, so why don’t you all get inside? Klawchat.

Andy (KC): At what point should a team like the Royals bring up a guy like Zimmer and just let him fire whatever bullets he has in live action? I have to assume he’d be good out of the bullpen already, and what’s the point of him throwing another pitch that doesn’t count?
Klaw: I tend to agree with this, but if Zimmer can’t go back-to-back days, which seems likely given his history of arm issues, then it’s hard to carry him as a reliever in a modern bullpen. You’d have to structure some of the bullpen usage around him, which I think implies a certain type of manager.

Matt: In last week’s chat, someone mentioned he enjoyed learning and was wondering about college even though he was 37. I went back to college when I was 39. Not only did I enjoy it, but I was never the oldest student in the class. Don’t let age be a deterrent to learning!
Klaw: Indeed. Why would anyone ever stop learning? If I didn’t have to work, I’d probably spend some of my free time taking classes. If I’ve lost my interest in learning, stick a mirror under my nose.

Bill G.: Hi Keith. Which pitcher has more upside potential: Alec Mills (CHC) or Jorge Lopez (MIL). Thanks!
Klaw: Lopez. Potential mid-rotation guy or better. Worlds ahead of Mills.

Rahn: Kind of feel like Brooke has been foreshadowed to win Top Chef all year and tonight we’ll see, but I have to say this crop of contestants looks to be one of the weakest. (Said the guy who didn’t get to taste one thing.) But really, the newbies either never got the benefit of the doubt at Judges’ Table or were overmatched, leading to a run by the also-rans. I mean, that rude, sweaty John was in the final four!
Klaw: Agreed across the board. Been debating this with another parent from the bus stop – she has still enjoyed the season, I haven’t as much. I think if you were a big fan of any of the final 3, you probably got more out of this season than I did. (Although I admit to being Team Brooke this year, because she’s just that good.)

Fred: Hi Keith. What do you think is the likelihood Josh Staumont can remain a starter? Thanks
Klaw: Less than 10%.

Vander: If Jeren Kendall strikes out at a pace of once per game or more, how far down team’s boards do you think he’d fall? Do you think the Twins or Reds would still consider him at the top of the draft?
Klaw: Given his other abilities and the general comfort level with higher strikeout rates, I doubt he gets out of the top 5 unless his other stats are all down. Kendall does plenty on contact, and if the projected power shows up more in games, it’ll balance out some strikeout concerns. That said, if he strikes out 70 times and doesn’t walk much or doesn’t show much power or scouts question his defense, that’s a brutal combination.

Edward: Keith, longtime reader, first time questioner in the chats. If an outfielder has a “20 arm”, is it possible for them to improve that ability? And can they improve dramatically? Thinking about Donnie Dewees and his noted skillset
Klaw: Welcome! My bark is worse than my bite. A 20 arm is a gift from the gods. It’s not getting any better without divine intervention.

John: Could you compare Jake Burger to Nick Senzel please? Do you think Burger will still be available in 30’s in the draft?
Klaw: Not even close. That’s like comparing Jake’s Wayback Burgers to Shake Shack. Bear in mind that Senzel put up those stats in the SEC, not in the Missouri Valley.

Jim: What was your “WTF” font size when you read that Jered Weaver was signed by the Padres? Aren’t they rebuilding?
Klaw: Yeah but someone’s gotta pitch. Bring in a bunch of veterans on one-year deals, sort ’em out in March.

Nick: I’m trying to perfect the classic breakfast skillet (potatoes, bacon, cheese), and can’t get the potatoes crispy enough. Any suggestions?
Klaw: Parcook them beforehand and make sure they’re really dry when they hit the oil in the skillet. Also, roughing them up a little bit between the two stages will increase the surface area in contact with the oil. I have fried potatoes almost any way you could think of, and I still prefer hashbrown or rosti style (shredded, salted, moisture squeezed out) for maximum crispiness.

Jimmy: Chances of Astros making playoffs once in next 3 years?
Klaw: Once or more? 75%.

Josh: Best version of Ticket To Ride for 3 people? My 9-year-old has started playing the app version.
Klaw: Start with the classic game. Europe is a slightly better game overall, but adds two rules that you don’t need for a first-time kid player.

Lewis: I heard you on MLB Network (I think it was you) praising Tyler O’Neill as a guy who could flat-out hit, but you seemed down on his hit tool by omitting him from the top 100. Has your read on him changed, or am I imagining this whole scenario?
Klaw: You are imagining this whole scenario because I don’t work for MLB Network and have never appeared on it.

Sean: It was only a one inning appearance, but any initial thoughts to Anthony Banda being recorded at 95-97 during the game against GCU? Possible relief ace if he doesn’t make it as a starter?
Klaw: It was a one-inning appearance in March. I remember Andy Oliver doing that one spring. That didn’t quite work out.

Chris: Have you ever watched the movie Inside Out? I feel like it’s really underrated and has a pretty solid storyline/message.
Klaw: Yes and reviewed it. I would vote for that over any of the five 2016 animated films I’ve seen – four of the nominees or Finding Dory.

Joe: If international players were part of the amateur draft, where do you think Maitan would have been drafted?
Klaw: He’s 16, so it’s not a reasonable comparison. If he’d gone to a US high school for a year and come out at 17, which is feasible, then assuming he performed like I expect he’d have been a top ten pick. But if you’d put him right in the draft at 16 compared to ‘proven’ amateur talents in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, I don’t think he does.

Still not James Baldwin: Did you have a chance to catch either Neruda or I Am Not a Negro last weekend? I saw Neruda and thought I liked it, but left confused. Pork tenderloin at Cocina Lolo was 80 grade, though. Looking forward to your reviews . . .
Klaw: I saw IANYN yesterday in Philly. I don’t understand the praise for it, and I’ll try to write up a review tomorrow. Neruda I’ll have to catch online later on. I’m also super annoyed that My Life as a Zucchini isn’t opening nationally until next Friday, after the Oscars, or I would have gotten all 5 animated nominees in time. I did get all 5 documentaries and 7/9 best picture nominees.

Andy: Can Ian Anderson be a true ace, or is a 2/3 his ceiling? P.S. I really appreciated your very subtle reference to Jethro Tull in his top 100 write-up. It was the obvious joke, but you didn’t force it. Bravo
Klaw: I’d say more of a #2, with enough variance either way that ace is within the range of potential outcomes.

Nick: Do you see Bukauskas and Houck as starters or relievers at the next level?
Klaw: Relievers. I give JBB more of a chance to start than Houck.

Brian: By the way, no question, just a thank you…for not sticking to sports. #resist
Klaw: You’re welcome. By the way, did anyone notice my former home state of Arizona’s latest? The state Senate is trying to block residents’ First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly. I hope those of you who live there have been on the phones today.

Jeff: Keith, where would you start Mitch White in the Dodgers system this season? How quickly do you think he can move through said system?
Klaw: I assume he’ll be on an innings cap, and I’d rather limit his time in the California League anyway, so I have no problem with starting him in Great Lakes and moving him up fast if he dominates. That innings cap also means he wouldn’t get to the majors very quickly.

Eugene: Can better pitch tunneling and deception be taught to pitchers?
Klaw: Deception is largely a function of delivery. Change the delivery and you will change (but not necessarily improve) deception. The tunneling stuff is brand new and I think still in the hypothesis stage. If your question is whether a pitcher can be taught to throw one pitch that looks like another pitch until relatively close to the point where it hits the plate, well, yeah. That’s something a good changeup is supposed to do, for example, or why we talk about a pitcher who can manipulate the spin on his breaking ball a little more.

Jon Weisman: Keith, given your site URL, I’m wondering what your thoughts are on current and past Bloom County. It was one of my true favorites in the 1980s, along with Doonesbury, Far Side and Calvin & Hobbes. But whenever I read it now, I don’t feel it holds up as well. Doonesbury still feels like a really sharp time capsule by comparison, and Calvin & Hobbes truly seems timeless. Were you/are you reading any of these?
Klaw: Huge BC fan, of course, more from its heyday than the more recent iteration. I think the classics are still very funny but some of the jokes are products of their time. It would be hard to explain to my daughter why the whole Banana Jr 5000 joke was funny, or what the hair tonic storyline was about (the War on Drugs, for those who don’t remember it). But god, those characters were tremendous, and Breathed’s punchlines were some of the best and smartest anywhere on the comics page.

Paul: Hi Keith, is your book only related to baseball or are you touching on other topics that you seem to enjoy talking about (I am fine with it but I am not interested)? If it is only baseball I will buy it, otherwise I will pass – thanks!
Klaw: The book is only baseball – I discuss traditional stats that are falling out of favor and why they don’t tell you what they purport to tell you; newer and/or better stats, from OBP to WAR to wOBA etc., that better answer questions about performance; and what baseball analytics might look like going forward, including a chapter on Statcast and its potential impact.

Erich: 2 part question. Do you think the NCAA has the power to fight against Trump’s pull back on bathroom freedom by withholding events from states that move forward with “bathroom bills?” 2. Do you think the NCAA will actually do this?
Klaw: Yes, they do, unless every state tried it. I guess it could be a boon for New York and California, though. And I think they will, or they’ll try to do it, at least. Corporate America is not with Trump on this topic. They want their taxes cut and their regulations gutted, but it’s pretty clear they want access to the largest workforce possible and one that isn’t fighting or worrying about discrimination.

DeMarcus: Hi keith, love these chats. I threatened to slap my friend once when he said that steaks didn’t need to be seasoned as long as they were cooked medium rare. Is there any other way I could have reacted? I was just so shocked.
Klaw: No, you did good.

DeMarcus: Is there any chance that Connor Sadzeck can be an average starter at the big league level? Or is he destined for the bullpen?
Klaw: I think it’s 90% bullpen if not higher.

Joe: Hi Keith – I think people are missing the point of the new intentional walk rule, as I’ve repeatedly heard remarks such as “this is stupid, this won’t solve the problem, why bother.” I don’t recall Manfred every saying this will make a drastic difference, and what I see this as is a small step in the right direction. Sure this may only shave a minute (yes it takes longer than a few seconds to throw four balls) off of NL games, but compounded with future changes (hopefully!), such as limited mound visits and quickening replay reviews, it could make a substantial difference. Your thoughts?
Klaw: If you’re arguing it opens the door to more changes … I guess? I saw it as something so innocuous that no one would really object. If they try a pitch clock, though, they’re going to get pushback.

John: Hey Keith, I’m not sure if you saw the segment on Mike & Mike discussing Ankiel’s recent admission to drinking before games to calm his nerves. The turned the narrative into players drinking and totally ignored how this stemmed from his issues with anxiety which in 2001 wasn’t as well known as it is today. I guess this is less a question and more a statement that mental health issues, when it comes to athletes, seem like an avenue that could raise awareness but it overlooked for a more popular narrative. It’s disappointing and I’m thankful that you address the real issue and not the popular narratives when it comes to these issues.
Klaw: I didn’t see or hear it, but that is a shame. It sounds like (from your description only) they didn’t treat anxiety as a medical issue, and how Ankiel may have self-medicated with alcohol. It’s really too bad because I could have helped that discussion.

Yoan Moncada: What is my best position, both objectively and for the long term plans of the White Sox?
Klaw: Looked better at third to me than second. I think centerfield will always be an option given his speed.

Chris: Do you think Cashman responded to Randy Levine’s fuckery internally? What would you have done?
Klaw: I would have called the player and the agent to apologize, to say that idiot doesn’t speak for me or the organization, and to ensure the player that I value his contributions and perhaps open the door to a multi-year agreement that would avoid further acrimony in arbitration hearings.

Chris in London: Any chance the ridiculous runner on 2nd proposal is just to distract us from a slightly less controversial rule change? P.S. Sorry about Piers Morgan.
Klaw: That’s Machiavellian. Or Trumpian. Also the runner on 2nd in extras is the worst idea ever.

Sean: After the embarrassment of the latest CBA negotiations, how is Tony Clark still leading the union?
Klaw: Everyone who asks something like this ignores that the players got the things that were most important to them in the last negotiation.

Francisco: Have you seen Kyler Murray and Brandon Mcillwain ? How good are they in baseball ?
Klaw: I saw Murray in parts of two games and McIlwain in one. I’d say both have first-round talent if they commit to playing full-time.

Culture: Do you buy the argument that anything the Oscars do really has any tangible real world impact beyond that room? Like for instance Moonlight winning Best Picture would somehow be a win for gay rights
Klaw: No, especially since that industry is fairly concentrated in blue states. But I might argue that Moonlight winning BP would lead more people to go see it and perhaps help some fraction of that new viewership view LBGTQ people or people of color a little more sympathetically. I don’t think it would lead to any sort of sea change in views, though.

Christian: Is Brendan McKay a hitter or pitcher long term in your opinion? What are his overall ceilings at both respective positions?
Klaw: Pitcher 100%. Mid-rotation potential.

Wannabe Top Chef: Chef Law – how do you go about organizing the recipes you use, either self created or taken from another chef/home cook? I find it hard to remember everything I’ve made in the past or would like to make in the future and tend to make the same meals quite often instead of enjoying a variety of different foods.
Klaw: I have a shelf of cookbooks and binders with recipes I’ve clipped, plus stuff I’ve saved online, but when I decide what to cook it’s usually either a request from a family member or because I was at the store and saw something that I wanted to cook (or reminded me of a favorite recipe, etc.).

Travis: If you want to know how messed up the NCAA really is, listen to this. I’m trying to work for a D1 Football team as. student assistant. I can’t technically work for them because it’s against NCAA rules. A way around that would be to get into the work study program provided by the school. I can’t get into the work study, because my parents make too much money. Even if I register as an independent, my parents still influence whether or not I can get into the work study program. The only way I get into the work study without my parents influencing it is if I was 24 (I’m 19), if my parents were in jail or dead (they aren’t), or if I’m homeless (I’m not) along with a couple of other factors. An appeal to the NCAA could be sent but it it would just get immediately rejected according to our compliance office. It’s just sucks that I get punished because my parents make too much when this job would actually help me advance my career. So the NCAA doesn’t just screw the players.
Klaw: The NCAA is a legal cartel. I don’t understand why they seem to be exempt from antitrust laws. Do they pretend to non-profit status?

Matt: Can you believe Milo? I was OK with what he said about women, blacks, and immigrants. But he crossed a line with pedophilia! Please excuse me while I clutch my pearls and lie on my fainting couch.
Klaw: I’ll escort you to your safe space, snowflake.

Chris (Chicago): Grimes’ album Art Angels is still one of the best albums the last 3 years. That is all.
Klaw: Yep. And she did a song with Janelle Monae, which is worth 50 million bonus points.

Greg (DC): An article was published today about the potential for MLB to expand to 32 teams. Most of the opinions suggested four divisions in each league, with four teams each (and then presumably one wild card for each league because MLB isn’t going to reduce the number of teams making the playoffs). I think two divisions per league with 8 teams each makes more sense. If the playoffs have four division winners and one WC, one division winner would have to play the play-in game with the WC (deflating the regular season accomplishment of the division winner), or there would need to be a first round bye and longer playoffs. With three WCs, we could keep the play-in for the last two in. Also, I think larger divisions might increase interest outside home markets, by putting more teams in the same division as your hometown team. Do you have a preference for expansion, or is it too far off in your view? Thanks for all your great work.
Klaw: I saw this on our site and disagreed with basically everything in it. I’d MUCH rather have fewer divisions with more teams than the converse, and I think the player pool and economy would support expansion but not in the way that roundtable expressed.

Justin: I read your review on Hidden Figures today, and you don’t seem to be the only person questioning it’s quality as a movie itself. I know this will probably come off wrong, and I don’t want it to, but is it possible that it received the Oscar Nominations it did because of last year’s controversy? And if that’s the case, is there a problem with that?
Klaw: Oscars So White? Very possible. Grierson and Leitch wondered if that might help Denzel win Best Actor too (one said it would, the other still predicted Affleck). But I actually think the better explanation is that it’s a very popular movie with a very positive and timely message. With Texas busy trying to roll back rights 60 years, it’s a good time for movies that remind us what those days were like, whether it’s HF or IANYN or The 13th.

Travis: Hey Keith, thanks for taking my question. I have a three year old boy, and he loves throwing things… but his mechanics are a mess! His “W”s are all inverted, and sometimes look like “M”s. He often leads with the wrong foot. No question here, just nonsense from a young father, who appreciates all you do for us baseball fanatics.
Klaw: The real problem is that you forgot to tie his right arm down so he learns to throw a gyroball with his left hand.

Lucas: Ever since Billy Eppler left the Yankees for the Angels GM job, I’ve wondered about the possibility of him trading Trout to his former employers. Could you imagine the Yanks using their farm system to get Trout and then signing Harper?
Klaw: Somehow i missed the news of Arte Moreno’s passing.

Bobbo: big fan here. i posted this in comments a few posts back but i’m still curious: why is drip-over superior to traditional drip? seems like the same process either way. (and by “superior” i’m only talking about the quality of the cup or pot of coffee)
Klaw: I’m going to let Serious Eats answer this one.

EL: Can Arroyo and Beede help the Giants in 2017?
Klaw: No on Arroyo. Possibly on Beede but I don’t think they’re inclined to rush him.

JR: Going to keep watching Legion or was the pilot enough for you?
Klaw: We watched episode 2 last week. We’re a day behind because we’re watching via amazon (we don’t get FX … we have a small bundle from Fios).

Bob (Cleveland): Wondering if you’ve had any opportunity to see Jason Heyward’s “revamped” swing. From the half-dozen or so wings I’ve seen on video, it appears that there’s some obvious emphasis on adding loft, but I’m wondering whether you’ve seen it and, if so, whether it appears to address what you consider to be the most glaring issue(s).
Klaw: No – our radio affiliate in Chicago asked me about this and I shot it down right away. It doesn’t mean jack until he’s facing live pitching. I’m not trying to be Mr. Skeptical Smart Guy, but a swing that looks right in the cage doesn’t mean a whole lot. Call when someone runs 95 in on his hands.

Anonymous: With ICE performing a real life Milgram experiment, what do you foresee happening?
Klaw: We know what happened at Stanford. It’s already happening in the wild.

CVD: Thought on Wieters to the Nats?
Klaw: Whatever. I mean, I don’t think it makes them better, unless he has that breakout year I predicted for him forever ago that has just never happened. And he’s a poor framer and not considered a great game-caller. They had Norris and Lobaton. What’s the upgrade here? A few runs, if that?

TK: Loved listening to you talk boardgames on the Just Not Sports podcast. I don’t know if I’ve seen you talk about this, so I just wanted to see if you’ve played Letters from Whitechapel. My wife and I have played with a couple of friends several times now and we really enjoy it. Thanks for everything (including not sticking to sports)!
Klaw: Nope, haven’t. Heard good things though.

AH: Any good food places in the ashburn virginia area? if i recall, you said you spend a fair amount of time here!
Klaw: We’ve hit some good spots in Leesburg and the area, including a place called Doner Kebab (I think) that makes the German-Turkish sandwiches of that name. I also love King Street Coffee right downtown there and visit every time I see my folks (they live in Ashburn).

addoeh: What about Ian Anderson’s flute skills? Grade 80?
Klaw: Absolutely.

Todd: A’s take ___________ 6th overall in the draft ?
Klaw: I have no idea. It’s February. Ask me that around mid-April and I can at least hazard a reasonable guess, but today, it would be a bullshit answer and I really try to avoid those whenever possible.

Lee: You’ve mentioned previously that you have voted Republican in previous elections. Can I ask what policies you agree with Republican’s on? You seem like a pretty intelligent guy and I don’t see what would draw you to any Republican candidate.
Klaw: Free trade was a huge one – it’s about the only policy that most economists agree on, it’s a net positive for both partners (with some groups within each country that lose out, and whose needs should be addressed), and it fosters the flow of information and culture, which may/should help spread democratic ideals. Of course, the Republican party has become the batshit protectionist party, so that’s out the window.

MS: At what point did you realize you weren’t going to play baseball professionally?
Klaw: I realized around age 7 or 8 that I would never be big enough to play any sport. I didn’t know at the time that I had an organic acidemia that limits my muscle growth, but that was the main reason I couldn’t even play sports in high school.

Chuck: You’ve liked Castellanos in the past. Spring training reports that he’s shown big power in BP and may bat 2nd. Over/under on 29.5 home runs? Did you see anything that may indicate he’ll have a more patient approach?
Klaw: Season high to date is 18, so under on 29.5. Never seen anything to make me believe he’ll get into better counts to get to more power. Also, big power in spring training BP is in the same category as new swing mechanics in the cage.

Mike: As a parent of young kids, question… do you think of life insurance as merely “term for the death benefit, god forbid”, or “whole life- as a way to diversify investment portfolio as well” ? thanks.
Klaw: It’s a God forbid policy for us.

Ajax: Logenhagen in a Fangraphs chat this week said that Lourdes Gurriel, Jr had a utility ceiling, based on his sources, and the size of his contract. I dropped Gurriel from my 75 player roster dynasty team and picked up Cristian Pache. I am also doing research on Cionel Perez. What are your thoughts? BP’s recent dynasty 101 has Lourdes Gurriel’s ceiling as ‘top ten 2b’ and his floor as utility player. Looking for some perspective.
Klaw: Everyone I asked about Gurriel in the fall when he signed said utility guy, and he was kind of paid like one too. Cionel is in my Astros writeup. (Gurriel isn’t in the Toronto writeup because he signed as a pro, which is my demarcation line for Cuban players. He’s also not a great prospect.)

Adam: Royce Lewis is a name I hear as a guy who could break his way into the #1 pick conversation. What is your primer on him?
Klaw: I said that last week. So, uh, good memory? Big tools at the plate, unclear long-term position, not sure folks believe quite enough in the hit tool.

Mark in Santa Monica: Sure this has been asked in the past but I’m knew to your site. How did Trout last until the 24/25th pick? Was he ever consideration for top ten? And do you think he finishes his contract and becainea a free agent or will he resign or be traded? He’s our only hope out here!
Klaw: Worth answering again. I know for sure Oakland considered him strongly at pick 12, and I think he was on the long list for Seattle at 2 (they did consider him, but they picked 2 and took the consensus guy). Trout was a northeast HS position player who did not show 80 speed at the time. He faced poor pitching his whole career. Billy Rowell, from the same area, had gone 9th overall three years earlier and was an outright disaster. And Trout’s senior year was wrecked by rain – it was the worst spring for scouting I’ve spent up here, and his games were constantly being pushed back due to weather or poor field conditions. The day I saw him was a Friday and there were 9 scouts there with me. I think teams just didn’t get enough looks at him to jump on him earlier.

Buckner 86: Can Aaron Nola become a Top 5-10 SP in the NL?
Klaw: No, that’s outside of even his 95% outcome for me. Also, he’s gotta get healthy.

Tom: Baseball doesn’t need a pitch clock. If they want to speed up games, Barry Bonds has some free time. MLB should hire him to teach batters to stay in the damn batter’s box after each pitch. If perhaps the greatest hitter of all time could do it, other guys can learn how to not go all Pedroia with their batting gloves.
Klaw: This is my #1 pet peeve as a fan. Stay. In. The. Box.

Jonathan: Best post-hype sleeper for 2017: Dylan Bundy?
Klaw: Not for me. Wore down visibly in 2016.

Luke: What game or games does your daughter enjoy playing most with you and your wife?
Klaw: I’ll ask her when I pick her up today, after the chat, but I would guess her favorites are Splendor, Small World, Ticket to Ride, Istanbul (because she beat us at that one early on), and recent favorite Imhotep. She also loves the Lanterns app.

JJ: Where did it go wrong for Daisuke Matsuzaka? Was he just overhyped?
Klaw: Overpitched when young? Also refused to pitch inside much when he came here.

Ethan: It sounded like you didn’t know this to be the case, but yes, the NCAA is a 501(c)(3)–which is non-profit status–according to the IRS, and I believe they fall under this as education providers. I wrote a paper on it in college, but the details are fuzzy right this second.
Klaw: That’s hilarious.

Akronohiomofo: What’s your take on Daniel Murphy’s 2016 increase in WAR? Were you suprised? Sustainable or an aberration?
Klaw: Changed his swing. Would bet on some regression, but not a ton.

Rahn: Totally with you on Hidden Figures. I liked it, but in a fuller field year for the Oscars, would not make the cut. If my first words to people who ask about a movie are “It’s fine, you’ll enjoy it” it’s usually just that. Fine. I feel like it’s been elevated because it’s a feel-good tale of extraordinary people during such divisive times of governmental intolerance.
Klaw: Yep, I’ve probably seen 20 better movies from last year, including Loving, The Lobster, and the movie everyone in this chat needs to see, Everybody Wants Some!!

James: First, I am a lifelong moderate Republican that did not vote for Trump. That being said, i still side with the Republican party on a number of issues. One thing that concerns me is that if I disagree with a democrat on any policy, nor I want to have a civil discussion about a policy, I am immediately branded a racist/hater/homophobe….you name it. The level of discourse from those that don’t agree with you has become incredibly hateful (which is one of the main things they are often fighting for).
Klaw: Well, it depends on the policy, right? If you oppose affirmative action, for example, I don’t think that’s racist or sexist. If you support these “bathroom bills” (which always seem to have a second section rolling back anti-LGBT discrimination laws), well, then I’m probably going to find a word to describe you that you might not like.

Matt: Faedo and Wright both got off to rocky starts to the season, but it’s nearly impossible to find any information on how their stuff looked, only statlines. Did you hear anything (particularly on Faedo coming off knee surgery) to make you think they shouldn’t still be the top 2 college SPs off the board?
Klaw: Yes. I know Crawford and Longenhagen were at Wright’s start, so you might ask them for more, but I was told his stuff was great early, he didn’t hold it, and he never showed average command. Faedo’s stuff I heard was good not great. No idea how his knees felt or if he had any ill effects. Heard Houck looked totally relieverish with two pitches and below average command. Martin at A&M was pure reliever too. McKay I tweeted about but I’ll add that he kept finishing with his fastball up, especially up and away to right-handers, and I don’t think it was a plan.

Zac: Keith, I can’t help but think that Max Fried could absolutely sky rocket up prospect lists if he continues his late season domination over the course of this entire year. Do you tend to agree with that assessment?
Klaw: I only discuss my prospect list, and if you see where I ranked him, he doesn’t have much room to rocket anywhere.

Elton: Vince Velasquez: If I remember correctly you’ve said in the past he was probably a future reliever. Is that because of durability/health or more about his pitches?
Klaw: I haven’t said that – I’ve said there’s risk. Never had a full healthy season, and the breaking ball is often fringy to a tick below average. He threw 136 innings in 25 starts last year including one rehab outing, and both marked career highs for a guy who signed in 2010.

Dave: Most underhyped way Trump voters will be screwed by their leader: repeal of the fiduciary rule.
Klaw: That’s a solid choice, but I would probably vote for repealed or reduced environmental regulations, which tend to help the poor more than the rich. I don’t live near factories or dumps or power plants. Companies build that stuff near poor communities.

Ethan: Wow, just looked at the tax code, and the Exempt Purposes for tax exemption include “charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals.” I do not remember this when I did research in college on the topic. The IRS and NCAA are in cahoots!
Klaw: With the full faith and support of the rest of the federal government. Competition is good, so it would be nice if we had some in college athletics.

Klaw: That’s all for this week’s chat – thank you as always for all of your questions. I’ll be back some time next week but it might not be Thursday, so watch here, Twitter, Facebook, or my newsletter for more details.

Klawchat, 2/16/17.

Starting at 2 pm ET. Questions go in the frame below, not in the comments!

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon, or from other sites via the Harper-Collins page for the book. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

Klaw: If knowledge is the key, then I think it’s time you learn. Klawchat.

Nathan: How quickly do you expect Hunter Greene to move through the minors once drafted? As a SS/P will he need extra seasoning on the mound or could he follow a Julio Urias trajectory if everything clicks?
Klaw: I don’t think he’s a fast mover, but I also don’t think this is about being a two-way guy – he’s athletic as hell with an 80 fastball and, if it is possible to throw an ‘easy’ 100, he does, but his secondary stuff isn’t that advanced and he’s a ways from average command. He’s better than Riley Pint at the same stage, though.

Michael: Is it time to cut bait on Joey Gallo as an MLB regular? Seems to be a long shot to start in Texas out of spring training.
Klaw: Joey Gallo is 23 years old. Talk of “cutting bait” on him as a regular is beyond premature. It’s a trumpian overreaction.

Michael: Can Jose Berrios be a 2-3 starter or is his fastball too flat as some have asserted?
Klaw: As *I* have asserted, you mean. I don’t think he’s ever going to be a 2.

Josh: No question. Just wanted to thank you for all the work you do & for voicing your beliefs in non-baseball related arenas.
Klaw: You’re welcome. I appreciate all the readers who’ve spoken up in support of me speaking up, so to speak.

Papa K: Do you think the Braves are making a mistake but not allowing Jace Peterson a chance to play full time at second base ?
Klaw: No, I think he’s a utility IF.

guren: I gather from previous chats, etc. that wine is not your preferred adult beverage. Do you still have an open mind with regard to wine appreciation, or do you think that boat has left the harbor?
Klaw: I’ve never enjoyed wine. If you put a decent wine in front of me, I’ll drink it, but it’s never my choice, and my knowledge of what’s good is incredibly limited.

Bob: Hi Keith – won’t be on during chat so hope you answer. Dave Stewart, paraphrasing that “his gut told him to not trade Dansby Swanson ” Didn’t his gut tell him to make that trade – I forget what his gut says. But he “was overruled by three people”. I am guessing the three are Kendrick, LaRussa and Hall. And Kendrick makes sense, he is a meddler. My question, as GM – if you are told to make that trade – why not just quit if your “gut” says its wrong
Klaw: Stewart said that, and Trump said he “inherited a mess.” Here’s a hint: I think they’re both lying.

joshkvt: What’s missing in the min wage debate is that raising it a reasonable amount also helps — not hurts — those making more. A skilled/educated worker making $16 now would benefit from a $15 min by having options. Where they probably wouldn’t quit stressful jobs and risk a $6/hr pay cut, they gain leverage if quitting to flip burgers would mean $1 less. Many skilled workers making $16 would quickly be bumped up to $18-20. It wouldn’t deter those who in the same breath say that unskilled workers don’t deserve a living wage and that we need to boot people off welfare, but it would help real people.
Klaw: Agreed. (This is a continuation of something from last week’s chat, for those of you who missed it.) I haven’t seen any good research showing that raising the minimum wage is harmful – again, within reason, because a $50/hour minimum wage would clearly wreak havoc.

JimLindeman15: Reyes out for season, not cool. I’m looking for Dakota Hudson to play a role with the big club this summer. Am I wrong?
Klaw: I think you’re wrong. I don’t think he’s ready, and I think they’ll cycle through a bunch of other guys (Weaver, Rosenthal, perhaps Gonzales) first.

Dale: Thanks for your shout out to Velocity Girl in your Top 100 songs for 2016. I miss them even though I never heard of them until yesterday. If ‘veterans’ match their peaks what do you think is the potential of the A’s rotation of Gray-Hahn-Manaea-Graveman-Cotton? Ho hum or one that will keep A’s in most games?
Klaw: I mean … health, health, health, #5 ceiling, high-variance, in order. I guess if everything works out for all five guys that’s a pretty good rotation, but what is the probability of that?

Gene Mullett: Of all the minor league games you see, what league do you see the most? Is there a stadium that you have visited the most? Do you have a favorite? Least favorite?
Klaw: I see the Carolina League the most because it’s in my backyard – I can truly go for just a few innings to see one player, or decide at the last minute to head over, because the Blue Rocks are so close. Favorite minor league stadium ever is tough – Greenville SC’s is pretty wonderful. I love going to Lakewood for games where the sun sets after first pitch. Aberdeen’s ballpark is amazing for short-season.

Nick: Do you think JJ Schwarz can stick at catcher at the next level?
Klaw: I think there’s 0% chance of that.

Patrick: Can Klaw do it better? Durned straight. Keith, any culinary cities in the U.S. on your current bucket list?
Klaw: Portland OR. Asheville NC. I could use another few days in Austin, especially now with Vigilante Bar (a boardgame bar & restaurant) opening.

Pei: You put out so much work on top of your hobbies and family obligations, so clearly you use your time wisely. However, I do remember (I hope correctly!) you saying that you once were not efficient with your time and wasted a lot of it watching tv etc until you realized that you could do better, and then you did. Do you have any tips on how you were able to break your time wasting habits and develop much more fruitful ones?
Klaw: The biggest problem for me was recognizing when I was wasting time – and that I could be doing “nonproductive” things (like reading, or playing games) that were more enjoyable than other time-wasters (watching mediocre TV, arguing with science deniers on Twitter)>

Nate: Hey Keith, a big story last year was how Giolito changes his mechanics. Some of the articles I’ve seen say he decided to do it mostly on his own. But my question to you, what were these mechanical changes that were made? How did his mechanics from last year differ from previous seasons? And what do you think the White Sox will do? Will they go back to his old mechanics? If that happens, is he a top 10 prospect in the game? In other words, are the mechanical changes the lone factor that led to his drop (velocity and command being results of those changes of course) in rankings? Thanks Keith.
Klaw: I haven’t seen those articles, and they would be false; the Nationals’ AA pitching coach did it. He already returned to his prior mechanics and I didn’t drop him much at all on my rankings this winter.

Justin: What are your thoughts on Shed Long? Any impact potential there? Or more of a reserve type?
Klaw: Reserve type. As a 2b only, he might be a tweener.

Brian In ahwatukee: I’ve started reading the Pulitzer list and appreciate your reviews. Do you read the nominees that don’t win?
Klaw: Only if they’re recommended somewhere. I have Kelly Link’s Get in Trouble on my to-read shelf at the moment, for example. I’ll warn you some of the winners from the 1920s and 1930s are really dreadful.

ED: Did the debuts of Orlando Arcia, who you had 10th, and Tim Anderson, who you had 45th, change your views on them at all?
Klaw: No. That would also probably be too overreactive. I did say last year that I thought promoting Anderson that soon might harm his development because he’d be hard-pressed to develop more patience while trying to just survive in the majors, but that’s not about his performance.

Max: Hi Keith, if Vlad Jr. has to move off 3B (I know you stated its a 50/50 chance he sticks) to the other side of the diamond, how much value does he lose? Is the bat good enough to profile at 1B or even DH?
Klaw: Yes, he profiles as at least an above-average regular anywhere, but if he moves off 3b he’ll go to RF before that worst-case scenario.

Matthew: If you had first hand knowledge of Jays player using PEDs from your time with the org, would you be able to report that now based on any contract language you may have had? And if so, would you based on your personal reporting guidelines?
Klaw: I do have this knowledge, although it’s only on a couple of guys, but I would not reveal it now. It’s pointless.

Kyle D: What announced but unreleased boardgame are you most looking forward to in 2017?
Klaw: A Feast for Odin, La Flamme Rouge, Yamatai, First Class.

Mike S: Moving from the city to the suburbs with my family. Any advice house shopping?
Klaw: Woof, that could be its own post. School district has always reigned supreme for us when buying or selling. Also, when buying, look for anything that might be an automatic turnoff to future buyers. Our first house was a real starter home with no backyard, and that ended up a real problem when we went to sell. (And then there was one guy who literally walked out because we didn’t have a fireplace. Wacko.)

Tim: With the Rule Draft is 4 months away (and knowing College and HS ball will have a lot to say about the top of the draft) do Wright, Kendall, Faedo and Greene all figure in your current top 5 2017 draft prospects? At least top 10?
Klaw: I posted a ranking with Chris Crawford in November. I’ll update that some time next month.

Philip: Which college pitcher isn’t quite in the first tier like Wright and Faedo that you think could get 1-1 buzz with a realistic breakout?
Klaw: Brandon McKay. In a related story, I’m seeing him tomorrow. (EDIT: It’s Brendan McKay, not Brandon.)

Ty: In last week’s chat you said no to the following question “Is there a team whose 11-20 is better than another’s 1-10?”. I submit Braves 11-15 of Weigel, Toussaint, Wentz, Jackson and Pache as being enough to beat AZ’s list that starts off with Anthony Banda.
Klaw: I’m aware of that list, and I disagree with your assessment. Banda is just outside the top 100, BTW.

Ryan: Just how good was Nathan Kirby’s stuff before the injury? I’ve heard some talk of three 60+ or better pitches and reasonable command. That’s nuts, right?
Klaw: That’s not nuts, it’s just inaccurate.

M: No fault of yours, but that welfare discussion last week was infuriating. When people use that word, what on earth do they think it means? It seems like every time I encounter someone complaining about “welfare,” it is as if they are discussing some sort of guaranteed income program! Makes me think American politics would be totally different if high schools spent some time in civics class teaching students what little the social safety net actually consists of.
Klaw: We do a lousy job of teaching economics in general and the politics of entitlement problems and social safety-net programs in specific. Welfare’s a terrible name for what is really poverty prevention. We can disagree on specific implementations, but even ignoring the compassion angle, society is better off in the long run if its poorest children are housed, fed, and educated.

RationalMLBFan: You list/rank a wide variety of things: baseball players/teams, books, songs, board games, and food recommendations, for starters. Have you always use lists/ranking as an organizing principle? Is it a tool to help you think deeply in order to make fine distinctions between, say, #33 and #34, even though, as you normally say, there is only a minimal gap between rankings within 5 of each other on a top 100?
Klaw: I’m a ranker by nature, but I’ve also learned that you guys love rankings. Someone asked the other day if I intended to rank 2016 movies (I do, probably Oscar Sunday). I think they just create a good starting point for any discussion because everyone will have a unique ranking.

Rob in Gilbert AZ: What is one thing that you would eliminate from the “stadium experience” at major (or minor) league games?
Klaw: No music during innings, ever. Music between innings, fine. Shut the fucking thing off when there’s baseball happening.

Ryan: Are you watching Trump’s press conference right now? This man is actually insane. How worried should this country be on a scale of 1 to 10?
Klaw: I saw bits of it while I was at the gym. I think we’ve elected This is fine Dog as President of the United States.

Ryan: How are events like the (accidental) sinking of the USS Maine, which gets used to turn fan the flames of the Spanish-American War, different than propagated fake content? or are they not? (by the way, I’d recommend recent non-fiction – The True Flag – on the idea/debate/adoption of American Imperialism at the turn of the century)
Klaw: That was basically staged to start a war, no? The yellow journalism that followed it was probably the ancestor of today’s fake news.

not James Baldwin: I saw your reviews of The 13th and Loving. I was caught up in the passion of the former, forgetting to demand the data that you wanted to see in it, and haven’t seen the latter. I Am Not Your Negro will be at Theatre N in Wilmington this weekend. Any plans on seeing it? If so, I’d love to read your review, unless I bump into you there.
Klaw: wait, what? I’ve lived here three years and never been there. They’re playing that and Neruda, so I might have to get to one of those. (I’d like to see both of those movies as soon as I can.)

Chris: Hi Keith, I’m the one who tweeted you the pic of the SMRT office here in Portland. Just moved here up the hill from Hadlock Field. Have you ever been to a game there, supposed to be one of the better AA parks (and I’m looking forward to seeing the loaded Trenton team visit)?
Klaw: Yep, great stadium, usually draw well, and obviously there will be a few prospects there too.

Ray: Do you think Kyle Wright/Alex Faedo are advanced enough to start 2018 in AA and see a big league cameo in 2018
Klaw: No. A college player who can go right to AA is pretty rare. I think two guys did it out of the 2015 draft (Bregman and Hader).

Wade: I believe you’ve mentioned trips to Italy in the past and that you still have family there. I’m going to Croatia for our honeymoon. Ever been there? Any suggestions?
Klaw: No, but Dubrovnik is a bucket-list place for me.

Scott: As grad student who can’t afford a fancy coffee press or something like that, what’s your best advice for making do with a regular coffee pot?
Klaw: Buy a Hario V60 pour-over device – they’re like $20, plus filters. Better than traditional drip or French press.

Kilgore: How do you decide what to read next when you have a shelf full of unread books? I tend to buy A LOT of books at once and end up with so many I actually get a bit anxiety trying to decide what to read.
Klaw: I almost always go in order to avoid that exact problem – or to avoid pushing a longer/more difficult book to the back of the queue. I might skip one ahead so I can alternative fiction with non-fiction, or light with heavy.

Chris: Btw, if you havent been to Hadlock Field, in addition to that and seeing SMRT for yourself, Portland has an indie bookstore called Print that just opened a few months ago (signing!) and a boardgame bar that is right around the corner called Arcadia. Just sayin’.
Klaw: If it wasn’t inside the Arctic Circle I might move there.

Jacob: Keith, Thanks for hosting these chats here. I realize this isn’t the optimal forum for this question and you aren’t a doctor, but you frequently do talk about health, so I’ll ask: how many drinks a week do you think is too many? Basically if a friend or colleague said they had x drinks per week, at what point would you raise your eyebrows.
Klaw: I’m definitely not qualified to answer that, but if a friend told me he was having ten drinks a week I would start to worry about him.

JR: At the gym? Trying to make sure you show up at spring training in the best shape of your life so you will fit in with everyone else?
Klaw: Well I might be in the worst shape of my life right now so I need to do something about that.

Darryl: Who loads up a bigger Brinks truck in 2 years…Machado or Harper?
Klaw: If they were free agents today, Machado. But I bet Harper ends up with more in two years.

Bill: Have you have ever been surprised by someone who has retweeted one of your posts? I know the bassist from REM (a big baseball fan) does on occasion…
Klaw: Yes – that’s one of the best parts of Twitter. JK Rowling liked one of my tweets a few weeks ago, and when I showed my daughter she screamed “that’s awesome!” and hugged me. (She’s 10. And a huge Potter fan.) Didn’t know that about Mills, though.

Michael: How do you feel about immigrants closing their restaurants? We are all immigrants except the Native Americans. Keep the restaurant open and market that there are great cuisines and cultures to be enjoyed through food. Don’t know how closing and losing profits helps- any insights?
Klaw: It makes news. I think that’s the point. And I agree, we’re all immigrants. My ancestors came from Italy (one grandparent, four other great-grandparents), Ireland (one great-great grandparent), and England (not sure how far back, but that’s where Law comes from).

Felix: If your the Reyes TJ news had come out before you finished your rankings how far down the list do you think it would drop him?
Klaw: Good question. I usually dock guys who are just out with TJ pretty substantially – probably to around the 30-40 range, maybe a touch lower because I feel like the delivery offered us clues that he’d get hurt. This is why Reyes 1) wasn’t my top pitching prospect and 2) couldn’t possibly be over guys like Benintendi or Swanson. Hell, I’ll bet there isn’t a GM in baseball right now who would have traded Benintendi for a fully healthy Reyes a week ago.

Bob: With Alex Reyes out for the year, it appears that Wacha is going to get the first crack at being the fifth starter for STL. If I recall right, you were never as high on him as others were and his performance has been uneven at best. If he has indeed strengthened the muscles around his shoulder, what would you expect from him going forward?
Klaw: My concern with him was really around the lack of an average breaking ball. He had an average fastball, 70 changeup, and above-average or plus command. Never thought he’d be inconsistent or regularly injured, so I take no credit here. If I’m Mozeliak, I’m putting Wacha in the mix for that spot, but figuring I get 15 starts from him, 10 from someone else, etc. I wouldn’t bank on him going 180 innings.

Howard: I have an Anova sous vide and I’m looking for some good, cheap options to sous vide – in particular, chicken? Any specific chicken recipes you’ve tried on that that came out amazing?
Klaw: Yes, Serious Eats has a chicken thighs (or legs) recipe that is foolproof. I also use the tip from Richard Blais’ Try This at Home to sous vide boneless breasts for about an hour at 145-150 – I’ve even done 155 and they’re still good but 150 is probably ideal – to use later in applications like chicken salad. I’ve done that to shred chicken for soups too. It comes out way more tender.

RAW: How do you get over the feeling that brain power devoted now to baseball (also, all sports & entertainment) is not wasteful, fake news?
Klaw: I think about it for a moment and then I go on living my life.

Dave: Does Braden Shipley still have a future as a starter? He’s dropped off the prospect list map.
Klaw: He dropped off because he lost his eligibility. Yes, I absolutely believe he’s a starter. Too athletic and too good a changeup & curveball.

Robert Gsellman: What makes Robert Gsellman so different than Michael Fulmer?
Klaw: Fulmer had better secondary stuff at the same stage of development.

James: What do you think of Josh Ockimey? He was so good in his first 75-80 games and so bad in his final 40 or so. I would imagine he’s an extreme risk, but it he a risky guy you like?
Klaw: Yep, he’s in my Boston org writeup, and it was just what you said. Has to hit, since he’s 1b only, but he really seemed to hit a wall in late July and was just toast.

CD: Can you speculate as to why Thames kind of busted here as a player his fist go round?
Klaw: Swing was a big problem. Tried to dead-pull a lot of stuff to RF. Also never very disciplined at the plate.

Harrisburg Hal: Can you see a day in the future when you invest in a restaurant? I picture you more as a “back of the house” cog. Although maybe I have that completely wrong.
Klaw: Yes, I could, if I ever had that kind of free cash. Right now anything we save goes to my daughter’s college fund, our retirement, or things like planning to replace our furnace (which I’m pretty sure is older than our marriage) before it dies.

Anonymous: Good Eats is _________ cooking show of all time? Alton Brown has to be on top of your people you would like to meet
Klaw: Number one, and yes.

Hank: I’m 39 years old with no college. I have a good paying job that supports my family. Yet, I CRAVE some sort of education in my life to keep my brain active. I read regularly, but I think I need something more. Is there anything you would recommend in order to keep my brain active?
Klaw: I’ve never tried those free online “great” courses, but some reputable universities have lectures online you might try. Also, I think learning a language is great brain exercise. So are boardgames.

Jeremiah: Hey Keith, love your work and your prospect material seems to come at just the right time to break up the bore of the offseason. I wsnted to ask, if you could start a team around one minor league player with no mlb experience, who would be the first one or two that come to mind? Who do you see with superstar potential..with no mlb experience. Thx for your time
Klaw: I put Kopech where I did for that reason – on the pitcher side, he’s got the best combination of upside (ace, maybe top 5 in baseball kind of starter) and probability (there’s a lot already in place). Position player, Rosario. I’d want a guy up the middle with offensive upside.

Austin: Sad news that Matt Imhof retired after the gruesome eye injury he suffered last year. Was he ever going to be more than just a guy for you? Was a 2nd round pick and pitched great on the collegiate national team
Klaw: Probably not. Pitched with a 45 fastball in college and less in pro ball. Still a tragedy, though.

Aaron: Smoltz is forecasting a “pitching shortage” in the near future due to arm injuries caused by infatuation with throwing hard starting in youth baseball and up to the big leagues. What is your interpretation of how the pitcher has evolved and how common TJ has become on the heels of another young pitcher going under the knife before his career has had a chance to get going?
Klaw: That’s an interesting forecast – I think there’s a lot of merit in that. Will parents steer kids away from pitching too, seeing the injury risk? Are they steering kids away from youth football now, seeing the death and dementia risk?

Ceej: Regardless of how much they play, do you think that Bellinger/Brinson are ready?
Klaw: Bellinger would hold his own, Brinson would struggle.

Scott in Fla: Spring training too long? Just right? Also for fun, even though this is serious stuff: Better top 3 of rotation Red Sox or Cubs? Thanks.!
Klaw: This year, too long. Actually most years too long, so this year it’s too long … er. Red Sox.

guren: If you were a professor at an American university, what are one undergraduate and one graduate class that you would like to teach?
Klaw: Something on modern literature, or on the craft of writing. I’m not qualified to teach anything else.

Steve Gasser: Do you think Rafael Devers will have any/many .300/.500 seasons in the majors? Thanks.
Klaw: Slugging .500, absolutely. Hitting .300, maybe a few. I think he’s a superstar, though.

Dana: Do you buy Adam Warren as a #5 starter?
Klaw: Not really. Swingman. Very good in that role, though.

Bruce: My son just turned 14 and is in advanced English. They have a regular assignment to read “classic” literature and write reports on these books. He has read 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 so far. I’ve made several recommendations of other books I have enjoyed. What books would you recommend for this age group?
Klaw: Animal Farm. War of the Worlds. The Yearling. Scoop. To Kill a Mockingbird (duh). Beloved might be a little mature, depending on your son. Frankenstein. Three Men in a Boat (and then have him read To Say Nothing of the Dog!).

Scott: Will Kennedy and De Niro ever actually pay anyone $100k?
Klaw: It sounds like they’ve rigged it to be impossible. They’re nut jobs and I’m disappointed in how much media coverage they’re getting for being information terrorists – by spreading irrational, baseless fears of vaccines, they’re putting public health at risk.

Tim: In non-prospect world – Jose Peraza or Dilson Herrera are in line for the keystone in Cincinnati – either of them project as a regular or better there?
Klaw: Herrera has more upside – better hitter, more power – but Peraza is faster and will probably make more contact right now. I’d rather play Herrera every day and let Peraza back up 2b and ss … or just bench/trade Cozart and play Peraza every day at ss.

Matt from Milwaukee: Klaw, love your stuff – thanks for all the insights! Wondering about Jacob Nottingham. He did not make your Brewer prospects list, even a mention, yet he had seemed to be a nice gain for their system at trade time with good power. Issues in ’16?? Fall into the same “not developing trap” the bulk of the Crew’s system is in? Thanks!
Klaw: Can’t catch. Was borderline a year ago, got worse across the board. Don’t see what they have there now.

Elf: I know you do prospect assessment without looking at others doing the same type of lists, but as someone who’s been compiling major prospect lists for the last decade, it seems like this year has had by far the most discrepancy of any year I’ve seen, with top 50 players that aren’t even mentioned by others. Do you see any reason why this may be happening; easier access to MiLB stats, prevalence of fantasy, change in valued skills, or just a fluke year with guys like Mateo and Zimmer making it seem like there’s a shift? Thanks!
Klaw: On the contrary, I know MLB’s list and mine lined up quite a bit – Mayo and I were discussing that just the other day. I haven’t looked at BA’s list yet and I don’t think Eric has posted one yet on Fangraphs. That’s all the lists I’d look at; I don’t think others are comparable (although I would never say “don’t read X,” I’m just saying a direct comparison doesn’t work because of how folks like Jim, Jonathan, John and I put ours together).

Bob: When my wife went to work in retail 15 years ago, I became the cook by default. What I lack in true technique I try to make up with creativity (I get most of my ideas from Food Network and America’s Test Kitchen). This past weekend, I tried a new creation that just didn’t work. My saintly wife was gamely going to eat it until I said, “How about if I go get a pizza.” She was so relieved. Do you often have meals that just don’t work? Does you family give you honest feedback?
Klaw: I do. I tried some new recipes from Isa Does It!, which is a vegan cookbook, because I love her restaurant in Omaha (and now Brooklyn) called Modern Love. It was a mixed bag – some great, some OK, one flop. My family’s used to it.

Frank: Any food recommendations in Salt Lake City? I’m there for a conference in 2 weeks and I know they have a AAA team where Mike Trout played, so I’m asking you!
Klaw: I haven’t been there in almost 20 years. I know scouts who rave about a place there called Red Iguana, though.

Ethan: Piggy backing off of question re: Smoltz…Pirates drafted several HS pitchers with little experience throwing a breaking ball due to their parents not allowing them. Could this be a trend, is it a good strategy? Thoughts?
Klaw: I think it’s an interesting tactic, but I don’t know that I like the idea of leaning on that as a primary criterion (if they actually did so). It might make me favor one guy over another.

Archie: Re: the Smoltz question….until teams draft guys who can pitch with lesser velocity over guys who have elite arm strength, but no feel for pitching, there will be no change. Could continued success of guys like Hendricks and Estrada potentially change the course baseball is on?
Klaw: We do, though. Garrett went 8th overall but pitches at 90-93. Groome was mostly 89-93 and went 12th. Colt Griffin doesn’t go top 10 in 2017.

Owen: Re: restaurant strike/closing – As I live in DC and work at a restaurant that will be open tonight, I think the strike is a good idea to show just how much a major industry relies on immigrants. If we have full participation, we’ll have only three people to work the BOH.
Klaw: I’m in favor of it. This idea that our economy can run with limited immigration, or that immigrants are stealin’ ur jobz, is not just counterfactual but brain-dead.

Jonathan: What would it take for a team to pry Bregman away from the Astros?
Klaw: A pair of pliers and a blowtorch.

Tom: What’s funny is that it’s actually been shown that the older the parents are when the child is born, the chances increase that there can be some sort of disorder, especially if the parent is over 50. But I’m guessing DeNiro is avoiding that one.
Klaw: Indeed. why blame yourself when you can blame Big Evil Pharma?

Sam: If you could get in a time machine, go back and get all of the game’s best pitchers, and bring them to today to compete, is it possible Kershaw would be better than any of them? There have been some stellar arms, but it seems like his mix of stuff and command may put him at the top of the mountain.
Klaw: Yes, especially because he’s likely bigger, stronger, and harder-throwing than any of them.

Marco: Do you see a problem with staying in a job you’re comfortable with over trying to “challenge yourself, make more money, etc.” People tell me I need to branch out or try harder, but I just like working in a job that’s easy with no responsibility and I don’t have to try too hard.
Klaw: Just be happy. If your job fills your financial needs and gives you the time to do other things that matter to you, then why worry about what anyone else says?

Klaw: That’s all for this week. I’ll be at the Louisville game tomorrow in Clearwater to kick off the draft season, but home next week, which should mean another chat on Thursday. As always, thank you all for reading and for all of your questions.