Conor Glassey: What’s up, everybody? Who’s excited? We’re buzzing here at BA Headquarters and John Manuel and I will be taking questions for the next two hours or so. Let’s get to it!
- Larry (Pittsburgh): Im noticing a HUGE lack of LHPs in this draft specifically on the prep side. Will there be some players who end up being overpaid in the LHP prep category? and overdrafted in the LHP College category?
Conor Glassey: You’re right, Larry, it’s a thin year for lefthanders in general. So, yeah, supply and demand indicates they could go higher than they might normally. We profiled Jesse Biddle as the draft’s 116th-best prospect and he’s been getting some first-round buzz. Last week he was at a workout with the Brewers where he struck out
6 batters over two innings.
- Freddy (Chicago): Any chance the Cubs select Austin Wilson?
Conor Glassey: Wilson’s a wild card because of the signability factor, but it’s possible.
- Thomas (New York): Any chance Dickie Thon Jr gets drafted in Round 1? I think he has a big ceiling and makes me wonder why you don't mention him with the other premier shortstops.
Conor Glassey: Haven’t been hearing first-round buzz on
Dickie Joe. That said, it will likely take first-round money (no matter
where he’s drafted) to pry him away from Rice.
- dogrpeople2 (Hell on Earth = Africa): Why would
anyone pay $15M to draft a 17 yr old (HIGH RISK) when there are outstanding MLB players one could get for 2-3 yrs at that price
Conor Glassey: Yes, there’s risk involved but if it works out, the Nationals will have a cost-controlled all-star talent under control for 6 years. Even if you assume he’s not going to be an all-star talent the whole time, it’s still a good deal. How much money does it take to buy an all-star talent on the free-agent market? A lot more than $15 million…
- tim (illinois): We all know Bryce Harper is the
projected #1 pick but what about his brother Bryan? Where is he projecting?
Conor Glassey: Bryan projects as a 7th-10th round talent, but my guess is that he goes higher to the Nationals, who will keep he and Bryce together.
- joe (wampsville, ny): Any names be connected with the Braves yet?
John Manuel: Good year for the Braves and the state of Georgia. I would expect them to be active with the deep group of Georgia
prep players and have heard them connected to Steve Wilkerson, a middle
infielder and Clemson signee who is probably the best shortstop in the state defensively. I’ll be interested to see how involved the Braves are
in California, which they’ve mined very well of late with two of their starters (Medlen and Hanson) coming from there, but they changed all their scouts out there. Going to be interesting to see how that plays out.
- sportznut (Clinton Twp, MI): Hi guys,
If either of you were GM of a team, what would be your general philosophy regarding your first round pick? BPA? College? HS? Guys with the most upside, despite being raw? Lower ceiling, but higher floor? Position premium? Sticking to slot?
Let's assume your pick is in the middle of the round this year, and your
budget is also middle of the road for the entire draft.
Conor Glassey: My personal philosophy would be to always take the best player available and to also try and take chances on tough signability guys. I would gladly trade $5 million in free agent
money to put towards taking risks in the draft.
- Jamie (MD): Do you guys prefer Caleb Cowart as a
hitter or pitcher? Future projection for both scenarios?
John Manuel: I’ve got multiple scouts who said the same
thing on Cowart: 2nd-round talent as a hitter, first-round talent as a pitcher. He has power, some questions on the defense at 3B, reviews there were very mixed on the scouts I talked to, but there is power and some feel to hit there. He’ll be a tremendous college player if he gets to Florida State. As a pitcher, his athletic ability and interesting secondary pitches (slider, split), plus his at times mid-90s heat, gives
him a chance to be a dominant starter or closer. Hard to stop dreaming,
because the kid is good at a lot of different things.
- Taylor (Houston): Any chance the Mets pass on Cox and he falls to Houston at #8? Could a team like Houston get him signed?
John Manuel: Definitely a chance the Mets don’t take him, but I don’t think we hear Houston on Cox.
- Thefutureistoday (Michigan): Every year we hear
about players asking for large amounts of money to sign, especially Boras clients. However, there is an interesting twist that could be developing. The contract for the draft is soon up and MLB is talking of
making it a major part of the next negotiations. Given that, and the obvious goal of a hard slot...are there less "tough signs" this year than in the past. Or is that "bubble" still one year away. Some high school players might not get the big contract if the draft is changed next year, and therefor might be willing to sign for slot. Am I wrong is thinking that? And given that, could more clubs draft the tough signs and try to "call their bluff"?
Conor Glassey: It’s an interesting theory, and I’ve wondered the same thing myself. But signability is about more than just money. Some kids value their education more than others and some really want the experience of playing college baseball.
- David S (South Gate (CA)): Do you see the Dodgers staying with the trend of choosing a prep pitcher from the midwest in the 1st round (#28) this year, or could they go for a guy from SoCAL like RHP Dylan Covey or RHP Peter Tago?
Also, do you think that LHP Rob Rasmussen will be available in the 2nd round (#78)?
John Manuel: Sounds like Rasmussen was very good yesterday for UCLA; we’ll have a blog post up on that shortly from Dave Perkin. But that shouldn’t sway his draft stock. He should be gone by 78
just because there are so few LHPs. They don’t have to stay local obviously; I just see LA taking the prep talent who will sign at 28, Jim
Callis’ list included A.J. Cole and Drew Vettelson, both would be solid
picks IMO at 28, same with Covey. Tago seemed to have some late helium and may be gone at 28; Jim has the Angels popping him at 18.
- Reggie (San Antonio): Likelyhood of Deshields and Sale both being around for Houston's two picks?
John Manuel: Seems less than likely; Deshields is in play between 9-18 and so is Josh Sale. I think you accurately describe the Astros’ best-case scenario, but let’s not forget the Astros love workout guys and aren’t afraid to buck the consensus. This is a good draft for that, as there really is no consensus.
- Jaypers (Illinois): What % chance is there that
Washington passes on Harper?
Conor Glassey: 0.000001
- Tommy (New York): I've heard alot about Oneonta
State's Dave Filak lately from the NCAA regionals this year and noticed
he is in the top 100 draft prospects....just a quick question from a history standpoint. I know Jordan Zimmermann was a Division III guy from
a few years ago, but who was the last DIII guy to go in the first round
or supplemental round since Filak has a chance at that?
John Manuel: Great question; going to have to research that one for the last D-III first-rounder. Don’t know off the top of my head and can’t think of one, either. Will look it up though.
- Jersey Fresh (The Garden State): With the success the Angels had last year in taking Mike Trout do you see anyone from NJ going early again this year?
Conor Glassey: No way – terrible year in New Jersey. The best prospect in the Garden State is J.C. Menna, a righthander from Brookdale CC. He’s 90-92 and could be a single-digit pick, but could also be in the 10th-15th round. Trout is killing it in the MWL, though!
- Patrick (Elmwood Park, IL): With the Orioles void of middle infield prospects (Hoes, Givens, Stevens, Miclat, Adams, and Florimon) and surplus of arms (Matusz, Tillman, Hobgood, Erbe, Britton, Zagone, and Arrieta) would it be ideal for them if Pittsburgh took Jamison Taillon?
John Manuel: I tend to look at it that way, actually. If I were an Orioles fan, I’d rather have the shortstop. They’re fine either way; Jim keeps saying Joe Jordan is the most envied scouting director in this year’s draft. Plus, Baltimore looks headed for 1/1 next
year in a loaded 2011 draft class.
- Chris D (White Plains, NY): Given his recent arm injury, how fall will Robbie Aviles fall in the draft. He was considered a 2nd-3rd round talent before the injury
John Manuel: Round really doesn’t matter, see the late Nick Adenhart going in the 17th round in ’04 and still getting $700,000-plus. If you liked him, you liked him; if he’s having Tommy John surgery (it’s a partial ligament tear), that track record is pretty
good. For me, I’d wait and see after three years but if teams really like Aviles, I don’t think that injury will scare them off. It will likely lower what they would pay for him.
- Chris (Deep In The Western NC Hills): Can either of you think of ANY scenario that would have the Braves passing on Cowart if he somehow slips past Boston or New York and is still out there at # 35???
Conor Glassey: Yeah, it’s not too hard to imagine. While the Braves love Georgia players, they haven’t traditionally gone over-slot for guys. We list each teams’ Top 5 Signing Bonuses in our Prospect Handbook each year and the only teams with lower No. 1 than Atlanta ($2.42 million to Mike Minor) are Houston & Toronto.
- Taylor (Houston): Is DeShields at #19 an overdraft? At 8th? Thanks!
John Manuel: It would seem like it for some teams, but again, there’s no consensus. We obviously were a little light to have him in the 50-60 range in our Top 200, but I still think most clubs would consider him a bit of an overdraft at 8, less so at 19. He has an 80 tool in his speed; if you’re figuring up his OFP, his Overall Future Potential number, he comes down some because of the throwing arm, and his reported lack of consistent effort moves him down more for some people. But he can hit and he can run; sounds like a better version of Ben Revere.
- Stan (Vancouver): Any projection on Kellin Deglan, any chance he ends up in the supplemental round? Any teams highly interested?
Conor Glassey: I think Deglan will go in the back of the first or the supplemental round. The teams most interested in him are: Tampa Bay, Toronto, Texas, Houston and Boston.
- Josh (St. Paul): Have you heard anything about who the Twins' are after? Will they go over slot again like what they did last year with Kyle Gibson?
John Manuel: Possible they could go over-slot but we hear them looking college pitcher such as Alex Wimmers. Ranaudo is this year’s Kyle Gibson and I just don’t see the Twins doing that one.
- Mike (Jonestown): Come deadline time, who will be the Tyler Matzek's/Matt Purke's of the 1st round who either a.) sign at the wire or b.) go off to college?
Conor Glassey: Austin Wilson (Stanford), Kaleb Cowart (Florida State), Zach Lee (Louisiana State) and Dylan Covey (San Diego) are some of the guys expected to be tough signs.
- Bill (Hamilton, nj): Georgia Tech may lose 10-12 players in this draft. Furthermore, they have a large high quality
recruiting class. Seems Tech could lose many of those kids, including Jake Skole who has probably risen faster than any player out of high school the last 3 weeks. Of the top level recruits, who are the ones most likely to go to school?
John Manuel: It’s a big class. Likely to lose DeAndre Smelter (though his name seems absent from any buzz, did hear a rumor he
wanted to hit and go to college); Chevy Clarke; probably Skole; maybe RHP Matt Grimes; maybe C Alex Livisky. Best remaining guys probably IFs Mott Hyde, Chase Butler and 1B/LHP Daniel Palka out of South Cack-a-lacka.
- ScottAz (Phx, AZ): i know about blair and swagerty, but where will the rest of my devils be drafted? maggi, kelly,
borrup, patterson? high enough to leave us in shambles next year (especially on the pitching side)
Conor Glassey: Teams are split on Maggi. He profiles as
a 7th-10th round talent, but a team that believes in his bat and feels he could stick at shortstop or center field could pay him third-round money to leave. I would bet he’s back next year. Borrup should probably go out, as he’s older. Kelly probably should go out too (also in the 7th-10th). Patterson’s a wild card. Didn’t play much this year and will probably be back. I don’t think they’ll be in shambles at all next year.
Lots of young talent on that team. Plus, Spence could also be back…
- Donald (Tempe): I have read that the Diamondbacks are not interested in Pomeranz. Do you see them picking Harvey over Pomeranz, if Sale is gone? Does Harvey have 1-2 potential?
John Manuel: Harvey’s pretty interesting. At his best, he’s got two pitches that at times are 70 on the 20-80 scale with his fastball and slider. Last scout I talked to about him noted that he had been more consistent and shorter with his arm action as the season went along, and that had been the big concern with him. He’s going to be the first Fitch HS alum drafted (sorry Jesse Hahn), and he’s got a good chance to go 6th to AZ or 7th to NYM. After that it’s unclear, could go 14 to Milwaukee. Pomeranz just hasn’t been as good down the stretch and is being tied to a pretty big number for a bonus/contract. I like Pomeranz, but I also like Harvey. If it were up to me and the money was similar, I’d take Pomeranz.
- Buck (St. Louis): Why is Dylan Covey falling? Are the Cardinals a possible landing spot for him?
Conor Glassey: Inconsistent late in the year (velo down, curveball flattened out). Cardinals could definitely be a spot for
him. He was electric early in the year (up to 95 with a hammer curveball) and he’d pair nicely with Shelby Miller as a future 1-2 punch.
- Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Conor and John, thanks for the chat! I listened to the podcast earlier (stating the obvious), and I am really intrigued to hear that Jake Skole may move into the 1st round. Obviously he has tools, but can you give us an updated scouting report (six HR's in six playoff games - sounds like the
raw power is there)?
John Manuel: Joe, I blogged Skole last week but he is very intriguing. Most scouts in Georgia had him high on follow lists coming into the year but he missed all but three games with an ankle injury. He’s got athletic ability as evidenced by the FB scholarship, you can spread the bonus out over 5 years if need be thanks to that, and
he can hit. There’s some inexperience and some pitch-recognition issues
with breaking balls that had most scouts I talked to slot him in the second round range but he’s signable in the first and that matters, obviously. He really cemented himself going high with the big game off Kaleb Cowart.
- Jays Fan (Toronto): What is the best/dream scenario for the jays this draft? They surely have enough picks.
Conor Glassey: A Blue Jays fan should just hope they sign all their top picks this year. They may not be able to always take the pure “best player available” because they’re going to have to take some signable guys for the picks they didn’t sign last year, but you’re right – they have enough picks (and have made some international splashes) that next year’s Top 30 in the Prospect Handbook should be much improved!
- Allen (California): Why is Deck McGuire falling
so much? I've seen him mocked to my Chicago Cubs in two different places today. Is he really going to be there at #16? If so, how come?
Conor Glassey: McGuire’s stuff wasn’t quite as electric
this year. Last year he was 92-94, this year it was more 90-92. So, while he’s a safe bet to be a major league starting pitcher because of his size and command of four pitches, he’s not the front-of-the-rotation
ace teams covet when they’re picking in the Top 10.
- Donald (Tempe): Loux is a new name I have heard
for the Diamondbacks at 6. What is his potential? Aren't there better options available?
John Manuel: There are better options, but Loux is interesting. We’ve had reports of him up to 96; he pitches off the fastball and put up big numbers this year. The cons: fringy secondary stuff and the medical. Elbow issue last year, and some other whispers of
other medical problems. I don’t see him going 6 because of the medical.
- mike (nyc): who do you think is the best fit for the Mets with the 7th pick? Zach Cox or David Harvey? Who is J O'Connor? I'm hearing some buzz about him.
Conor Glassey: If I had to choose between Cox and (Matt) Harvey at 7, I would choose Cox. Justin O’Conner is a high school
prospect from Indiana. He came into the summer as a good shortstop prospect, but has since moved behind the plate. He’s a good athlete and he’s taken well to the position change. He shows some power with the bat
and also has a strong arm (has been up to 96 off the mound).
- lang (ATL): I hear Braves have Noah Syndergaard
at 53, RHP from TX, not in your top 200. Any info on him?
Conor Glassey: Jim Callis did our Texas writeup (we break the state-by-state scouting reports up by region) and wrote that Syndergaard had as much helium as any Texas high schooler this spring. He’s 6-foot-4, 195 pounds and was pitching at 90-94 this spring with a good curveball.
- Rick (Crystal Springs, MS): Where do you see our hometown boy Hunter Renfroe, the topic of a BA article about pop-up guys, going in the draft and do you think he will sign or go to Meridian
John Manuel: I see Renfroe going to junior college. He’d be a perfect draft-and-follow if that system still existed, and he still could be a summer follow. I think he was just very difficult to scout because of the caliber of competition and the fact that he was walked constantly down the stretch; I think he finished with 20 HRs, no homers late until he hit one in the state high school all-star game.
- Donald (Tempe): Why has Sale passed Pomeranz in
the LHP derby?
John Manuel: Healthy, better command. Not sure why people were down on Sale in the first place. He had a 10-1 K-BB ratio this year and pounds the zone with two above-average pitches in his fastball and change, and his slider’s not bad, it’s fringe-average to average. Pomeranz hasn’t shown command, and his control has wavered too.
I like Sale a lot; still like Pomeranz better. But when you’re about to
invest $5 million or so in a guy, you want to see the guy healthy, and right now, Sale is healthy and 100 percent, and Pomeranz has not been.
- Eric (California): How big of a difference is there between harper and Grandel?
Conor Glassey: It’s significant. Grandal doesn’t do anything better than Harper. The only thing Grandal has is that he is a catcher and Harper will probably move off the position. But, I think that’s more because of how special Harper’s bat is and not because of his defensive abilities (even though he would need some tinkering back there). After that, Harper is at least two grades better than Grandal across the board and the rarest tool (power) is three grades better. Harper has legitimate 80 power, whereas Grandal’s is a soft 50.
- Bill (Fort Wotyh, TX): Hi guys, Has MLB come out with their recommended slots yet?
Conor Glassey: As far as I know, they’re the same as they were last year (which was a 10% drop from ’08).
- Carl (Gainesville, Fl): What is the percent change Aviles ends up in Gainesville after the signing deadline?
Conor Glassey: I would say it’s pretty likely after injuring his elbow last week.
- Aaron (Indiana): Where do you see Jacob Petricka being drafted? Any chance he sneaks into the first?
Conor Glassey: Petricka had some late helium, but he’s looking more like a second rounder at this point.
- Dave (Charleston): Who in your opinion, besides
Harper, has the most upside in the draft?
Conor Glassey: Manny Machado, because he has the chance
to be an everyday five-tool shortstop. But Jameson Taillon could be an ace and is very close. I’ve gone back and fourth many times on which one
of those two I’d rather have. But, gun to my head, I’d take Machado.
- Shawn Bishop (Home): Hi, I was just wondering about the kid Gauntlett Eldemire out of Ohio University. Do you think there is any chance that he will be picked up today on the first day of the draft? He possesses a lot of raw tools especially his combo of speed
and power. Any insight?
Conor Glassey: One of my personal favorites, but more of a 3rd-5th round pick, it seems.
- Jason (Los Angeles): Where do you project Highschool SS/OF Angelo Gumbs going? Also what position do you think he plays for the future?
Conor Glassey: Looks like a 3rd-5th rounder. He has a quick first step, but is an average runner underway. So, he could play center field, but may have to move to a corner down the road. He can really hit, though, so he may be able to make the transition.
- brian (washington dc): If Christian Colon drops
like you figure in your mock draft, wouldn't the Twins take him at 21? There is a need for middle infielders in the Twins system and Colon sounds like a perfect 2nd baseman batting in front of Mauer and Morneau somday.
Conor Glassey: Jim Callis will have a new mock draft going up shortly before the draft begins (and make sure to check it out,
because he has a great track record of nailing picks. Nobody is better!) Colon doesn’t look like he’ll drop that far – should be taken in the top half of the first round.
Conor Glassey: Thanks for all the great questions, everybody. There were a million more that went unanswered, but I have to
call it quits right now. Go grab some snacks and make sure you tune into MLB Network’s Draft Day special, starting at 6 p.m. ET with Baseball America’s Jim Callis. As always, we’ll be live-blogging each pick, tweeting each pick from @baseballamerica and will have some analysis up soon after. Thanks for reading Baseball America!