Draft Chat

Conor Glassey answers questions

Conor Glassey: Hey everybody! After dozens of phone calls, hundreds of hours and about 23,000 words on 215 different players, I'm finally done with my state-by-state writeups. We're all a bunch of draft zombies around here, but I'm happy to make my BA chat debut. Feel free to ask about anything, but I'll probably focus mostly on West Coast draft coverage, as that's been my primary focus these past few months. Let's get this rolling...

    Blackie (Cincinnati, OH): Hi Conor. Thanks for the chat. I've seen at least a couple of mocks where Kent Matthes went before guys like Josh Phegley, Carlos Ramirez, Angelo Songco, and other junior bat-first guys. Considering how thin the college hitting is alleged to be this year, how high could Matthes go?

Conor Glassey: We have Matthes as the 63rd-best prospect in the draft, Songco's 64, Phegley's 77 and Ramirez is 156. They're all pretty close though and teams that believe Phegley or Ramirez can stick at catcher (there are concerns with both), could pop them over Matthes because of the positional value. Same goes with Songco, who has a better track record and�like you mentioned�all are younger. As far as the earliest Matthes could go...being No. 63 slots him into the second round and, being a senior, I would say that's probably as high as he'll go.

    joe (wisconsin): Just curious, you've got Ian Krol at number 184 among pitchers, why so low? I saw him pitch in an independant league game on May 31 against DI and Juco players, he struck out 16 in less than 75 pitches. His fastball sat between 90-92 and he's got a nasty change up.

Conor Glassey: He's a wildcard in the draft, for sure. He was 88-90 mph last summer, but was down to 86-88 this spring and it's been tough for teams to see him as he's only been pitching on Sundays in Wisconsin. I wouldn't put a lot of stock into his stats up there, but if he really was 90-92, he could go higher than No. 184. Still, I know teams are worried about the makeup issues after getting kicked off his HS team. If you're investing that much money in a kid (and Krol still wants top dollar), you have to be able to trust that you can send him off to live away from home and be responsible enough to keep his head on straight. That said, I like Ian. I've talked to him for a couple articles and he seems like a good kid. Who hasn't made mistakes as an 18-year-old? It happens, and I think he made the right decision in not riding home with the student that had alcohol in his car, but it still bit him because it was a second offense.

    Brandon (Southern California): What do you see the Angels doing with their 2 1st rounders? Have you heard of the Angels being linked to any specific players?

Conor Glassey: Couple similar questions from Angels fans, so I'll get this one. The team (and its fans) must be licking their chops at the number of picks they have next week. The Angels pick 24, 25, 40, 42, 48, 80, 110, 141, 171 and 201, which should quickly restock a farm system that we ranked 25th in this year's Prospect Handbook. Historically, scouting director Eddie Bane prefers high school players. We have them going with Mike Trout and Matt Hobgood in our latest Mock Draft, but some other guys that could be available there include: Tyler Skaggs, Everett Williams, Chad James, Reymond Fuentes or Jio Mier.

    Aaron (orange, ca): Conor, Im hearing the Angels are very high on Tommy Joseph after his private workout here over the weekend. Could they snag him with one of their first picks?

Conor Glassey: I'm a big Tommy Joseph fan and I could see that happening, absolutely. He draws comparisons to Angels catcher Mike Napoli, actually, in that he's a big kid with big-time power and a big arm. He just became his school's full-time catcher for the first time this season, so he's a bit of a project back there and he's a stocky kid, so he'll have to work on it. He'll get every chance because, like pretty much every other catcher, he loses a lot of value if he has to move to first base. But he doesn't turn 18 until July, so he's still young. The Rays have also been linked to him, as their scouting director and AZ area scout also graduated from Joseph's Horizon High.

    JimK (Missouri): When will you be posting more states to the draft map?

Conor Glassey: 30 states are already up and there are a lot more in the hopper. Patience, young Jedi.

    Fred (Ohio): What are the reports on catcher Carlos Ramirez's defense?

Conor Glassey: His defense actually gets pretty good reviews, but his body is what has some teams a little worried. He's a big kid that will need to watch his weight. He�s a good receiver, but he's not very athletic and his arm is average at best. That said, he's been an absolute horse for the Sun Devils this year. Transferring in from Chandler-Gilbert, he took leadership of a great pitching staff and calls his own games. Ramirez was the only Sun Devil to start all of the team�s games this season, which is remarkable considering his position and the heat in Arizona. The wear-and-tear and responsibility didn�t slow him down at the plate and I'd take my chances with a guy like that. I think he's going to be a great value in the draft.

    Fred (Ohio): Who is your favorite player not in the BA top 200?

Conor Glassey: A few guys from my area stand out: I enjoyed watching Washington right fielder Kyle Conley hit some moonshots this spring, Arizona State lefthander Josh Spence is a real easy guy to root for, BYU third baseman Steve Parker got some great reviews and I have a soft spot for Yavapai JC righthander Merrill Kelly after hearing he occasionally throws a borderline-eephus changeup.

    Brett (Auburn, Al): What do you think the chances of Nick Franklin getting to Auburn are? Can he stay at shortstop at the pro level?

Conor Glassey: I'll say this: If he does end up at Auburn, Nick Franklin is going to be an outstanding college player. But, I think Franklin's going to go pretty good in the draft, which will make him a tough get Auburn. He was one of the few players that really shined at a recent Florida HS all-star game in front of about 100 scouts. He does a little bit of everything and plays hard - it's a great package. The reports I got are that he can stay at short, yes.

    Ace (Detroit, MI): How soon after the draft will the new Draft Almanac come out?

Conor Glassey: Thanks for asking, Ace. The Draft Almanac will come out this fall and will include all the draft signings from the 09 class.

    Chris (Spokane, WA): Any buzz on guys here in the northwest? Seems like a down year.

Conor Glassey: This one's right in my wheelhouse, Chris. The draft writeups I was in charge of this year were: Washington, Oregon, Upper Rockies (ID, MT & WY), Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Pacific Rim (HI & AK), Canada & Puerto Rico. You're right - it is a bit of a down year in the Northwest. Washington's two best guys both have big question marks: UW reliever Brian Pearl is a small reliever that was inconsistent this year and Evergreen HS outfielder Kyrell Hudson down in Vancouver, Wash. is a real head-scratcher for scouts. Hudson is super athletic and has a lot of tools, but there are some serious questions about his bat. And he hasn't shown scouts that he loves the game. People disregard makeup issues, but that's really important for a guy that is A) such a huge project and B) going to have to be bought out of an Oregon State baseball and football commitment. So it's thin at the top, but there's still some really interesting depth out there. To me, some of the most interesting guys in the NW are outside the top 200: Conley, the JUCO arms, Matt Way and his awesome changeup at WSU, Kraig Sitton at Oregon State and another couple toolsy, dual-sport high schoolers in Oregon (Tym Pearson & Jordan Poyer).

    Ryan (Abingdon, MD): Is there any player that you've grown fond of while doing your draft coverage? Someone who you think is currently undervalued, going to out perform their draft slot, and could be a great value? Let's get a glimpse at your intuitive powers. :)

Conor Glassey: Yeah, I love Max Walla. We have him ranked as a fifth rounder right now, but I hear he's had some real impressive workouts lately and could be moving up - which he would have done a long time ago if he wasn't playing in the middle of nowhere Albuquerque.

    Trey (Seattle): Can you envision Brian Pearl going in the 2nd-3rd range and moving fairly quickly ala Joe Smith with the Mets a few years back?

Conor Glassey: I could see him going in the 2nd to 3rd round, but I don't think he'll be a quick mover, as he's so new to pitching.

    Andy (Pennsylvania): Please tell me the Pirates aren't really taking Sanchez at 4, and good return for Nate?

Conor Glassey: Sanchez is good, but that would be a huge reach and I think there are other signable guys out there that would make sense if they're trying to avoid busting the bank in an attempt to pay for international talent too. I don't see that happening and maybe it's not even an option anymore, as trading McLouth frees up a lot of money. I think that was a win-win trade.

    Jon (Lexington, KY): What college has the most to lose based on recruits signing with pro teams?

Conor Glassey: Interesting question. Probably a better one for John Manuel or Aaron Fitt, but here's my take...I think the schools with huge classes (Arizona State and Florida, for example) are safer than the small schools crossing their fingers that their one big guy ends up on campus. I'm sure Sean McNally at Duke is sweating the rumors regarding the Mariners working on a pre-draft deal with catcher Steve Baron, for example.

    Ryan (Abingdon, MD): What are the chances that Raymond Fuentes gets drafted before the 2nd round? Is it common for a Puerto Rican highschooler to get drafted that early? They're usually pretty raw and I don't remember the last time it happened, but I've only been following the draft for the past couple years.

Conor Glassey: I'd say the chances are pretty good. Fuentes, who is related to Carlos Beltran, is a very toolsy, signable player that's been linked to a couple teams in the supplemental (or even late first) round. He's a speedy, ideal leadoff hitter that profiles similarly to Johnny Damon. As for Puerto Rican players, they do go pretty good. Here are some big leaguers from PR with their draft round in parenthesis: Geovanny Soto (11), Yadier Molina (4), Edwin Encarnacion (9), Alex Rios (1), Carlos Beltran (2) & Javier Vazquez (5).

    Fellow Wave Hater (Charleston, SC): So you're going to be one of those detailed chatters, ey? You'll never set records that way.

Conor Glassey: Haha...well, that's just depends on what kinds of record you're talking about. But seriously, I appreciate everyone's patience. I feel slow, but hopefully I'm making up for a lack of quantity with some quality.

    Raymond Fuentes (Puerto Rico): Would I be getting this much attention, and be getting drafted as early as I'm expected, if I wasn't related to Carlos Beltran? Or am I just that freaky talented?!

Conor Glassey: Yeah, you would. The relation is just something I like to mention because it's interesting. But honestly, scouts don't care that Fuente's mom is cousins with Beltran. They care about his tools.

    Josh G (Sacto, CA): With the Mariners top 2 prospects being OF's, Ichiro signed to a long term deal and Gutierrez and Balentien still being pretty young would the Mariners take Ackley as a 1B, Take a college/Indy pitcher ho they believe can remain as a starter or go in a different direction?

Conor Glassey: No, they'll take Ackley as an outfielder. He's better than Gutierrez and Balentien. He's better than Saunders and Halman, too. Depth is never a bad thing.

    Trey (Seattle): where do you see Conley going, 6-8th? I havent heard anything on Jake Locker, I'm assuming no team is gonna try and buy him off the football field?

Conor Glassey: Yeah, I think Conley goes in that 6-8 range. Someone will take a late chance on Locker, but he has his heart set on playing football. It bummed scouts out when I asked about him because he's so gifted athletically and just chooses to play a different sport, but I got Kirk Gibson and "Matt Holliday with speed" thrown on him. What a story...

    Sean (Seattle): Aside from the somewhat analogous case of Robert Stock of USC, is there any precedent of doing what Verducci says Bryce Harper wants to do: getting a GED, going to junior college, and being drafted at age 17? Can Harper pull this off? I'd love to hear your take on all this.

Conor Glassey: That would be a great story and is certainly a tantalizing development to follow. If that happens, I don't think I'm going out on too much of a limb by saying Harper would easily become the richest dude with a GED. For some history on the precedent of such occurances, I'm cutting and pasting this from one of Jim Callis' Ask BA features from a couple months ago... "Harper, a sophomore catcher at Las Vegas High, already is regarded as the top prospect for the 2011 draft and would go No. 1 overall in next year's draft if he became eligible. But getting a GED diploma wouldn't automatically allow him to enter the 2010 draft. The only high school junior ever to get drafted, Jeremy Bonderman (an Athletics first-rounder in 2001), was eligible because he obtained his GED diploma and his high school class had graduated. The year before, [Landon] Powell met the same requirements but major league teams didn't realize he could enter the draft and thus didn't pick him. Stock graduated a year early from high school but wasn't subject to the draft before entering Southern California as a 17-year-old freshman. (And to clarify on Stock: He didn't graduate from high school or get his GED, instead entering Southern California via its resident honors program after meeting the university's standards for admission.) Harper could become eligible for the 2010 draft if he got his GED diploma and then attended a junior college next spring, because all juco players are subject to the draft. Neither Powell (who become a first-round pick as a South Carolina senior) or Stock signed out of high school, so I don't think their careers would affect any decision Harper might make. But why not enjoy your senior year of high school rather than cash in a year early? The money should still be there, barring injury."

    Eric (Dallas): Where will ASU RHP Mike Leake get drafted? Have you heard any teams linked to him at all?

Conor Glassey: Another one of my absolute favorites. Mike Leake is a stud. He's an extremely athletic pitcher that pounds the bottom half of the strike zone, gets a ton of groundballs and also has the stuff to get swings and misses. He's a bulldog that wants the ball, has a resilient arm and, if the season ended today, his 1.23 ERA would be the best in the aluminum-bat era at Arizona State. I'd say the earliest he goes is probably 10 (and both Strasburg and Leake could be in the big leagues for the Nats in a hurry) and the longest he lasts is 17.

    slo Joe (Irvine,CA): Is it possible that Strasburg could pitch in a Major league game this year for the Nat's?

Conor Glassey: Possible? Sure. Likely? No. He's probably not signing until Aug. 15, at which point there's only a few weeks left. And why rush it? Not like they'll be playing for anything...

    Eric (Dallas): How good is Jeff Malm and can he play somewhere other than first base?

Conor Glassey: Jeff Malm's a great hitter - but no, he's probably stuck there.

Alright, it's been two and a half hours. Time for some LIGHTNING ROUND!

    JAYPERS (IL): What is the latest on Tate? MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo's latest Mock Draft has him falling out of the first round entirely.

Conor Glassey: It just wouldn't be a BA chat without a JAYPERS question, now would it? Tate's price tag could cause him to fall, but somebody will take a chance on that talent.

    Tim (Daytona, FL): Why has Max Stassi dropped so much in many of the mock drafts?

Conor Glassey: Good question. Not sure which ones you're talking about, but we have him going 28 to the Red Sox in our latest Mock.

    Big Dave (Irvine,CA): Is the term "draft and follow" still pertinent? Are teams waiting to see a player during the summmer before signing him in August ?

Conor Glassey: The old draft and follow (where teams could pick a guy and let him go to JC for the year while retaining his signing rights up until a week before the draft) is dead because of the Aug. 15 signing deadline. However, yes, teams still monitor the progress of their draftees in summer leagues in some cases.

    Chuck D. (Toledo): What's your take on the enigma that has become Grant Green? Is he a Major League shortstop or not?

Conor Glassey: He didn't have the huge step forward everyone was hoping for, but it was a solid season and yeah, I'd still bet on him. Draftitis Happens (there's a shirt there).

    Ryan (Abingdon, MD): I'm intrigued by David Renfroe. What round do you see him going? Pitcher or hitter?

Conor Glassey: He's not in my area, so I don't know a ton about him - but my general philosophy with guys like that is to always give them a chance to be position players. It's a lot easier for a guy to step on the mound and be good after a couple years off than it is to try and step in the batters box. That said, I'd really love to see more teams give players a chance to go both ways.

    Greg Pappas (Baltimore): Hi. Who are your top five prep arms in the draft, and why?

Conor Glassey: Turner, Matzek, Purke, Miller & Wheeler

    Mike (Ohio): Will Marc Krauss be the best player to come out of Ohio University? You might remember alum Mike Schmidt?

Conor Glassey: I think you answered your own question there.

    Adam (Hoboken): Adam Warren in the top 5 rounds?

Conor Glassey: Close - but not quite. He still has some time to shine, though.

    Brad (Tempe): Where do you see Jake Barrett going in the draft and is there a chance he steps foot on ASU's campus next year?

Conor Glassey: Third round & probably not.

    Josh G (Sacto, CA): Take Your Pick: Alex White, (Healthy) Kyle Gibson, Aaron Crow or Tanner Scheppers? Why?

Conor Glassey: Crow

Conor Glassey: Alright - it's been three hours. I had a blast, but all good things must come to an end. Speed definitely isn't one of my tools (unless we're talking about eating competitions). It just takes time to read through all the great questions (and sorry to those that didn't get them answered). Remember that Father's Day is June 21. We have an awesome deal in our online store where, if you spend $35, you get a free BA cooler. What dad wouldn't want that? Also, be sure to check us out on Twitter!