John Manuel: Not sure how much time I’ll have here but will take as many questions as I can here in a back office at MLB Network’s Secaucus offices and studios.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Thanks for the chat, John. What are the biggest and latest developments for the top 10? Anything changed since your Mock this morning?
John Manuel: Working on that as we speak. I honestly don’t think we’ll know until 5 or maybe even 6 pm, when the Astros make their final decision. To my understanding, they have not made it, and no one would be surprised if they do something different from Aiken at 1. That affects everything else. Then there’s Kyle Freeland’s medical questions; if a team thinks his elbow is clean, he’s a top 10 talent. If there is any doubt … well, that’s why he fell in our mock drafts. We obviously are bullish on his talent; he’s been as high as No. 5 on our draft list. But that appears to have been a bit higher than the industry consensus, which we try to reflect.
Bren (Pearl River, NY): Where would a kid like Amed Rosario fit in this draft?
John Manuel: Well, it would depend on how he’d been performing this spring, either in a US high school or JC situation. He certainly would stick out as a middle-of-the-diamond player with power potential. Would seem like a top 20-25 overall selection, but that’s just an educated guess on my part.
Jon E (Ankeny, IA): What percentage chance is there Beede will be there at #23 for DET?
John Manuel: Very little; that is one adjustment I think I’ll be making in my adjusted mock, think he’ll go in top 15.
Mike (Virginia): Is there anyone in the BA top 50 that might slip all the way out of the top 10 rounds due to signability?
John Manuel: Jack Flaherty remains the most likely person to slip. Could go in the comp round in the right situation or early 2nd, but his price tag is rumored to be $2.5 million and if he doesn’t get that, he’s headed to North Carolina.
HawkTalk (Nashville): John, What are the rumored asks for Touki that has had some scouts backing off of top 10 status? Also, what are your thoughts on Dylan Cease, Jeren Kendall and Justus Sheffield?
John Manuel: Sounds like the Vandy commitment did scare some people off, but I believe I over-reacted to that news last night. As I wrote, he’s in play at 13, I think he’s a possibility with the Jays at 9 and-or 11, and I could see him with the Diamondbacks or Reds as well, all in front of where he went. It’s been much harder to get a read on other players because the first round has demanded more of my time than I anticipated because of its volatility, but I think Cease & Kendall are more likely to make it to campus than Sheffield.
JOhn (New York): Where do you see Brandon Downes going in the draft? Do you see him staying at VA?
John Manuel: I do not see him coming back for his senior season, despite a poor junior year. He needs reps and at-bats, he needs a 400- to 500-at-bat minor league season, to make adjustments and also needs to get healthy. Downes was a #personalcheeseball to start the year, and I’m not off him. But this was a disappointing draft year. I bet his focus even today is much more on the upcoming super regional against Maryland, though.
Rob (Keansburg, NJ): What do you see the Mets doing? I really wanna see them get a fast moving college outfielder with some pop. Maybe go after some high end hs arms later on.
John Manuel: My info is that the Mets are in total flux, many different ways to go. Think they want a bat and have heard them connected to many different bats. I gave them Wall last night because I know they have conviction on his bat, but they very well could take a college bat instead. I’ve given them Conforto in past mocks and think he fits if he’s available.
Rick (Philadelphia): Any chance of Kolek making it to #7 for the Phils?
John Manuel: Sorry for the delay, had a phone call to take. Anything could happen with Kolek; heck, it wouldn’t totally shock me if he went 1-1. He’s such an outlier I would believe anything. Our best info at this point is the White Sox prefer him at 3. But the Aaron Nola rumors will not go away, and that could send Kolek down to 7.
Evan Petty (Fairbanks, Alaska): Hey John, Where do you think Trevor Oaks could go today? Goldpanner staff excited to hear his name called. Evan
John Manuel: Haven’t gotten a ton of buzz on him, Evan, but he had a dominant season, and I know some reports we have that scouts liked the body and life on the fastball.
John Manuel: Short notice chat, and I need to run and update my final mock. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy draft day!