Draft Chat: April 11




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Conor Glassey: Hey, everybody! It's a great day at Baseball America. Draft fever is starting to spread and we've got a bunch of fresh content up today. I'm in a little bit of a food coma after a late trip to Chubby's Tacos, but let's get to some questions!

    Tiffythetitan (Oakland, CA): Where is Brady Rodgers currently projected to go in the draft? Is #20 too early? Also, what are some of his weaknesses? I saw the BA Three Strikes write-up on him a few weeks back and I would've drafted him from that alone! I suspect the Twins will grab him with one of their early picks but I am rooting for the Giants to get him to pair with Cain, Bumgarner and maybe Lincecum (if he stays). Thank you.

Conor Glassey: Yes, I think 20 is way too rich for Rodgers. You'll notice we don't have him in our Midseason Top 60. He's probably a 2nd-3rd rounder on talent, but a lot of weird things are going to happen in the draft. It's funny, I've heard some scouts say that high schoolers are going to be pushed up boards because that's where you'll have to pick those kids to sign them and I've heard others say that college guys are going to be pushed up boards because teams will be looking to cut deals. The common thread between those two theories comes down to one (fake) word: signability. It's going to play a HUGE role in this year's draft because of the new CBA.

    Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Conor, thank you for the chat today! Lance McCullers has obviously been extremely dominant this year, and it seems as though maybe his command has sharpened a touch. Have clubs changed their opinion at all, or is the view still that he ends up in the pen?

Conor Glassey: Hey, Joe! You're right about McCullers - he has an early track on being our High School Player of the Year. But all the scouts I've talked to about him believe he'll wind up in the bullpen. He'll get a chance to start but I think his durability and control will ultimately limit his upside in that role. His power stuff in short bursts will be too hard to ignore coming out of the bullpen.

    Jason (Walnut Creek, CA): Any updates on Georgia Southern's outfielder Victor Roache? Will he be able to take the field by the time of the draft? Or will his broken wrist keep him out all season? Do you see a team with multiple draft picks taking a flyer on him in the Comp round, ala Jackie Bradley last year?

Conor Glassey: I did see him tweet the other day that he's getting his cast off on April 18. But I need to follow up there. I'm guessing it'll still be a little bit between that day and when he's back on the field.

    David (Houston, Texas): Would a team draft Jameis Winston, knowing they cant sign him, in order to get an extra first round pick next year?

Conor Glassey: No, that doesn't make sense. He is going to be a very tough sign and it's expected that he'll head to FSU and play both sports. The one way I could see a team signing him is if they allow him to play football too (sort of like the Rockies did with Russell Wilson).

    Roger (Greenville, SC): Is signability going to be more or less of a factor than in the past? On the one hand, teams have a definite budget and lose money for not signing players, but on the other hand it's now a steadily-sloped playing field.

Conor Glassey: Signability is going to be huge in this year's draft, as teams figure out how everything is going to work. And I think we'll probably see different teams approach things differently. It's going to be fascinating to see how it all plays out, but there are sure to be guys pushed up several rounds because they're willing to sign for slot or less. Teams want that cost certainty. Unlike previous years, players with strong college commitments or players who are wishy-washy on their price tag before the draft might not even be drafted. The same goes with agents...er, advisers. Those guys who have been honest and straight-shooters with teams in the past will carry more weight this year. Some of the guys with lesser reputations may see their guys fall in the draft because teams won't want to play those games.

    David (Houston, Texas): Could you see the Astros taking Zunino with the first pick? Or would either Buxton, Appel or Zimmer a more likely pick for the Astros?

Conor Glassey: I'm with Jim Callis on this one (check out his column posted today, if you haven't already). I just don't see the Astros taking Buxton and rumors are starting to swirl that they are leaning toward a college guy. I would bet they take Appel (who has Houston roots), Zunino, Zimmer or Michael Wacha.

    Chad (Miami): What areas would James Ramsey need to prove to be higher than 35? Thank you for the chat.

Conor Glassey: Honestly, I thought that was already an aggressive ranking for him. If he goes higher than that, I think it will be because he's a senior without a lot of leverage.

    sam (myrtle beach, sc): I saw that Josh Conway missed the top 60? Was it close? He seems to be having a very good year so where do you seeing him being drafted?

Conor Glassey: Yeah, Conway was a close call. He was in the preseason Top 60, but got passed by some other guys. He'd be in the next 10-15 range, so I see him as a second-round talent.

    Steve Z (Pittsburgh): Carlos Correa falls to the Pirates? Right? And they pick him and he stays a short and hits a ton when he makes the big leagues?

Conor Glassey: I could certainly see all that happening. It's going to be close. There are some mixed opinions on whether or not Correa will stay at short. He's already a big kid and he's young for the class. But, to his credit, he moves really well, has soft hands and has a strong arm. It all sounds familiar to what we heard about Manny Machado a few years ago and I had one crosschecker tell me he thinks Correa is a better defender.

    Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Conor, who (let's say five names) made the biggest impression on you at the NHSI?

Conor Glassey: The NHSI was a great event. Major kudos to Nathan Rode for helping put the thing together and for uber-intern Alexis Brudnicki for doing an awesome job on the game coverage. But to answer your question, Joe, the five players who stood out the most to me were: Max Fried (loved watching him flip the switch and pitch pissed off), Courtney Hawkins (dominated one game on the mound and hit a home run to win 1-0. His backflip was amazing, too! Check it out on YouTube) and then three of the Mater Dei guys: Ty Moore (has grown on me everytime I've seen him. He can really hit and is a natural leader out there), Jeremy Martinez (who I think will be a Top 10 pick next year) and Ryan McMahon, their third baseman, who really jumped out because I didn't know him coming in. Made some great plays at third base and showed a nice lefthanded swing. Limiting it to five leaves out some great kids and I was also impressed with Joey Gallo on the mound, Adrian Marin's all-around game, Luke Sims on the mound, Matt Olson's bat & Anfernee Grier, the 2013 shortstop for Russell County, among several others.

    Ben (Pittsburgh): Would you rule out Gausman going #1 overall? Why?

Conor Glassey: I love Kevin Gausman (personally like him a little better than Appel), but I think he's a tick behind the first few guys right now. Interestingly, we have him at No. 5 on our Midseason Top 60 - which is where the Royals pick. Kevin's older brother, Brian, played in the Royals' system in 2007.

    Doug (Destin, Florida): On a scale of 1 to 10 how deep is this years draft class? Also how does it compares to last years draft class?

Conor Glassey: I'll use the 20-80 scale and say that this class is probably a 45. It's a fringy class and nowhere near last year's class, which was a 65 or 70.

    Jack (Charlotte, NC): Conner, How close was Alex Wood at UGA to making this list? I would have thought with how well he has thrown, he would be a guy to make it.

Conor Glassey: A few questions in the queue about Alex Wood, who I wrote up as part of the first Draft Tracker a few weeks ago. Scouts like his stuff, and you can't argue with the results, but I think a lot of teams will be turned off by his very unorthodox delivery, as he really slides his landing foot backwards after he pitches.

    Jeff (Sacramento, CA): Who are some of the early candidates to go 1-1 in 2013?

Conor Glassey: Still trying to figure out who is going to go top 5 this year, so next year is even tougher to gauge. On the college side, we'll have to see how injured guys like Karsten Whitson & Colin Moran bounce back. Stanek could be in that mix, as could Ryan Eades at LSU. On the high school side, I've been really impressed with CA catcher Jeremy Martinez (who I mentioned earlier), GA outfielder Austin Meadows and FL shortstop Oscar Mercado. Others will surely emerge.

    John (New York): With signability being an issue where do you see Marcus Stroman going?

Conor Glassey: Stroman is a top 10 talent in the draft, so signability shouldn't be an issue there. The guys who are ranked highly will probably be drafted high because it's not like they can increase their value next year.

    Connor (Tulsa): Which draft prospects in the years class have the potential to crack a major league roster first? Also who are the prospects toward that will be the biggest projects for teams?

Conor Glassey: On the college side, Zunino, Stroman and Wacha should move quickly. For high schoolers Giolito, Fried and Almora show some of the most polish. Buxton and Correa will take more time. Gallo will certainly take time (and I could see him doing something similar to Casey Kelly - signing with a team with the agreement that they let him try to hit and then switching to the mound).

    Kenny (Little Rock): When or around what time will Baseball America release a mock draft for this year draft?

Conor Glassey: The first one we did last year was a month before the draft (mid May), so I'd imagine that's what we'll do this year, as well. We'll do several mocks leading up to the draft (although I certainly don't envy Jim Callis for having to do those this year, as it will be tougher than ever to predict).

    Shawn (NJ): Where do you think Zimmer have been drafted last year?

Conor Glassey: Hmm, interesting question. I would say he'd be somewhere in the Top 8, but it would be probably 7th or 8th, depending on who you like more between him and Archie Bradley. I wouldn't take Zimmer over Rendon, Cole, Starling, Bundy, Bauer or Hultzen.

    Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Conor, looking waaaay down the road, but it's a draft chat, so what the heck. What are your thoughts on Drew Ward (2014)?

Conor Glassey: You're right, Joe. What the heck! I like Drew Ward - I've seen him now for a couple years and there's a lot to like there. He's a good athlete with nice power from the left side. But I think he's going to get too big to stay at shortstop. It's a tough thing to be rated so highly when you're that young because there's only one place to really go—down. On that note, I'll say this: I was more impressed with my look at 2014 Canadian outfielder Gareth Morgan. He hit a VERY impressive home run to center field at the Under Armour BP the day before the event. One of those home runs that just sticks with you for a long time.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): Hypothetical - Giolito is back to 100% by June. What are the chances he decides not to sign and opts to attend UCLA?

Conor Glassey: 30 percent . . . Ok, time for some lightning round!

    Carson (San Francisco): Surprised Barnes is that low on the list. What is keeping him there?

Conor Glassey: Right-right profile and the fact that he's not tearing it up. If he showed more power, it'd be a different story. If he hit lefthanded, it'd be a different story. If he ran better, it'd be a different story.

    David (Houston, Texas): Which draft class does the 2012 MLB draft class compare to from years past?

Conor Glassey: A better question for Jim Callis in Ask BA. Send him that question at: askba@baseballamerica.com

    Jerry (Clarks Summit Pa): What round and what team do you think ASU second baseman Joey DeMichele will be drafted by?

Conor Glassey: Too tough to start linking players to teams (especially that far down in the draft, where it's basically impossible), but he did get some support for the back of the Top 60.

    Brian (Lacey, WA): Given their injuries this season, what are the chances Rio Ruiz (USC), Alex Bregman (LSU), and CJ Hinojosa (Texas) end up on campus?

Conor Glassey: I'll take the parlay bet that all three end up at school.

Conor Glassey: Thanks for all the questions, everybody! Keep checking Baseball America for all your draft coverage leading up to the big day. I'm excited that Nathan Rode & I will be heading down to Georgia this weekend to see Byron Buxton again. Stay tuned and feel free to hit me up on Twitter @conorglassey.