Draft Chat: April 11
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).
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?
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?
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?
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
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.
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
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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
Ben (Pittsburgh): Would you rule out Gausman going #1 overall? Why?
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?
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.
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?
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
John (New York): With signability being an issue where do you see Marcus Stroman going?
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
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?
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?
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
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)?
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?
30 percent . . . Ok, time for some lightning round!
Carson (San Francisco): Surprised Barnes is that low on the list. What is keeping him there?
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?
A better question for Jim Callis in Ask BA. Send him that question at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerry (Clarks Summit Pa): What round and what team do you think ASU second baseman Joey DeMichele will be drafted by?
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?
I'll take the parlay bet that all three end up at school.
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.