Hi, everyone. This Wednesday finds me working on state-by-state draft lists for the Midwest, but for the next hour, anything is game.
Love your work, Jim. Thoughts on the Mauer contract? Also, what kind of a year do you see from Francisco Liriano this year?
Good for the Twins that they were able to re-sign him. Though I have to laugh at this thought of the Twins as paupers—they're owned by one of the wealthiest families in the U.S. and are moving into a new park. The risk with any megacontract is that the player has to play like a superstar or the team is in trouble (unless it has unlimited money with the Yankees). I'm bullish on Liriano.
Kyle Blair and Sammy Solis both had solid showings this weekend in wins against Rice. Where would you slot both of these pitchers in the 2010 draft? Could both potentially be 1st round picks?
They could be first-round picks, but Solis has the better shot. Blair is more of a second- to fourth-rounder for me.
Is an injury to one of TB's pitchers the only way Hellickson will see the Trop before September this year?
Probably. As talented as Hellickson is, the five guys ahead of him are talented too.
Love the chats, thanks. What are your thoughts on the Rays' Sean Rodriguez. He mashed in Salt Lake over a couple of seasons and he's mashing so far in ST (6hr in 40ab). Could he be an everyday 2B with a .280/20hr bat? We're hoping so, by the way.
Yes, that's fair. Though like Hellickson, he's going to have to wait his turn in Tampa Bay.
Thoughts on Drew Pomeranz? Is he a number 1 starter?
He's a likely top-10 pick in this year's draft, but I'd feel more comfortable projecting him as a No. 2.
Hey Jim, thanks for taking my question. Law is ripping the Nats for sending Strasburg down to save money, but isn't this about more than money? If he is up in the major's to start the year, that is one year closer to free agency, right? And since he is a Boras client, you know he is going to go to free agency. In light of that, how wise is the decision to keep him in the minors to start the year?
I didn't see what Keith said. But given that the Nationals have no chance to win this year, I see absolutely no reason to promote him before June. Delaying his free agency and arbitration makes perfect business sense, and why rush him to the majors?
Other than BA, what baseball sites/blogs/authors are must-reads for you every day?
While I'm walking our three golden retrievers in the morning, my first two stops are Joe Posnanski's blog and the Baseball Primer Newsblog.
Jim, What is your opinion on how the Mets are handling Meija's development? If he has a chance to be a legitimate top of the rotation pitcher, arent they hurting his development by rushing him to the majors and developing him as a late inning 1 or 2 pitch reliever?
The Mets' front office is in win-now/save-our-jobs mode. I would have sent him to Double-A as a starter to begin the season.
Where would Anthony Rendon rank as a prospect if he were eligible?
I just handled a question like this in the last Ask BA at baseballamerica.com, where I ranked the top 10 players in the next three draft. If Rice 3B Rendon were eligible for the 2010 draft, he'd be the easy No. 2 prospect.
Very disappointed with David Cooper's 2009 campaign. Any expectations for a big bounceback this year or is he Lyle Overbay?
Closer to Lyle Overbay than any kind of star.
In this week's ASK BA, you rank the top 10 draft prospects from the 2010-2012 classes. How close is Sonny Gray to making that list? Most reports Ive read see him as a potential #1 starter, and his stuff is probably as lethal as anyone's in those years, right?
See, Nick was paying attention. I like the arm, but I think there's a good chance Gray winds up as a reliever, so he didn't make my Top 10. He'd be in the 11-15 mix if I extended the list further.
Your read blogs while walking 3 german shepherds? That's impressive! Now, what are your thoughts on Brian Matusz? Think he can be the O's best pitcher this season?
Golden retrievers . . . their Gentle Leaders keep them in line (can't recommend those highly enough). I think Matusz is going to be a star, like him a little more than Chris Tillman on the same staff and expect Matusz to be Baltimore's best pitcher this year.
I was shocked to read about Royals' prospect Danny Duffy taking a leave from baseball. Have you heard any reasons as to why, and for how long?
I was shocked also. Only have seen what has been reported, that it's not injury-related and he had other avenues he wanted to pursue.
Jim - Do you see Taillon ahead of Harper on most draft boards?
On pure ability, Harper would be No. 1. He has outlandish power, hasn't been fazed by making the jump to a wood-bat JC league at age 17 and has a chance to play a premium position. I still could see Harper possibly falling in the draft, based on his demands, because he has so much leverage. In that case, Taillon could be the top pick. But I don't sense that he's going to sign cheap either.
Who could have thought Dana Walsh's story could become even more unbelievable??? Zack Cox's power potential?
I haven't even watched this week's episode, which tells you how much I've enjoyed this season, and this comment just makes me cringe. Focus on Jack Bauer, writers! . . . Cox has solid power, could see him as a 25-HR guy once he hits his stride in the majors.
Is Ben Revere a reasonable backup plan for the Twins if Denard Span were to miss a chunk of time this year? They really don't have a CF backup on their roster and I'm not sure Revere is ready yet.
That would be a stretch for me, because I think Revere would struggle defensively. I like him as a prospect, but he needs to get a lot better in the field.
Any info on a kid from Clemsom, LHP Casey Harman? Thanks for your time.JK
He's having a great year. His stuff isn't as spectacular as his 4-0, 1.86 record, but he has very good command of a solid fastball. His best pitch is probably his changeup. Potential fourth- to seventh-rounder.
Jim, wouldn't it make sense to take Harper and try to sign him. If you can't, then you get an extra pick in the 2011 draft and that draft is stacked. Win/win signing Harper or not, right?
No . . . If you take Harper at the top of the draft, and don't sign him, you get a comparable pick in 2011—but no compensation if you don't sign that guy. Thus you'd have to draft a lesser player to make sure you signed him, and not get the full value of the pick. I like Drew Storen, whom the Nationals took with the comp pick they got for failing to sign Aaron Crow in 2008, but I'd a) rather have Crow and b) Storen wasn't the 10th-best player in 2009. Now if Harper free-falls because of signability, it's a no-brainer to take him in the second half of the first round because his value is so much greater than what you'd normally find there. Kind of like the Yankees did when they failed to sign Gerrit Cole in 2008 and wound up with Slade Heathcott in 2009.
How is UT's Taylor Jungman progressing this year?
He's leading NCAA Division I in strikeouts and establishing himself as a legit contender to go No. 1 overall in the 2011 draft.
Jurickson Profar: More like Elvis Andrus or Hanley Ramirez; Martin Perez: More like John Danks or Johan Santana
Too early to know with Profar, I'd bet Andrus if those are my choices because Ramirez sets the bar so high. Perez: Santana.
Loved the 2010-12 Draft top 10 question in Ask BA, good stuff. Have you heard anything about the Nick Castellanos story about him wanting 6mil to sign? Any other numbers leaking out?
Actually asked his agent about that the other day, and the agent says that didn't come from him or the family. It's still too early to know anyone's asking price.
Can you compare Taillon to Tyler Matzek for me as prospects. Style, mechanics, etc. Does Taillon project as highly for you and is his ceiling #1 starter?
Send that question to Ask BA at firstname.lastname@example.org, with your full name and hometown, and I'll tackle it next Monday.
In the Boston Globe today they had a write up on the Red Sox catching 'prospects' specifically Wagner, Exposito and Federowicz. Obviously none of them are top prospects but how do they rate in terms of solid regular, back up catcher only, potential all star, etc? Thanks.
Exposito has the most star potential, though he needs to shorten his swing and clean up his defense. Federowicz is the most likely to become a solid regular, I think, but he doesn't have Exposito's ceiling. I see Wagner as more of a good backup than a solid regular.
How many guys take college over a check because they really want college? Isn't it always in the team's best interest at the end of the day to offer more money? Did Cole really want the UCLA experience? Couldn't the Yankees just have offered him more money?
Cole really did want the UCLA experience. The Yankees obviously could have met any asking price and were prepared to do so. I think he would have been more open to signing at the beginning of the summer, but MLB doesn't want above-slot deals going down before the Aug. 15 deadline. The longer he waited, the more Cole got interested in college. Same thing happened to the Yankees and Mark Prior years ago.
Does a player's price sometimes change according to the team that takes him? i.e. Would a Southern California kid ask for more money from a cold weather east coast team than he would from a team from the west coast, knowing he could just go to college if he doesn't sign?
He might, though teams exhaustively try to pinpoint a player's signability before taking him in the early rounds.
What do you think Boars' contract demands for Harper are going to be? He's going to ask for more than he did for Strasburg right being that he has more leverage?
No word yet. But given all the "Baseball's LeBron" hype and the fact that Harper has had a tremendous year (.420/.514/.864) and has the leverage of being able to re-enter the next two drafts without losing any bargaining power, I would be surprised if the Harpers and Boras weren't looking to exceed Strasburg's record $15.1 million deal.
I think Keith Law was not ripping the Nats for doing it to save money. He usually supports a move like that. His deal with Strasburg was that the only way he is really going to be able to work on the things he needs to work on is by facing major league hitters. The hitters in the minors will not force him to make the adjustments he will need to make. I believe Keith's take was about baseball and getting Strasburg the work he needs.
That's a fair point. Personally, I think he can do that from June forward, too. Why risk sending him straight to the majors when he hasn't faced pro hitters in a real game?
Long-term and this year... Sean Rodriguez or Reid Brignac?
I like Brignac because he's an asset at shortstop.
Devin Mesoraco - break out season?
I'll believe it when I see it for both him and Kyle Skipworth.
Hey Jim! Who is the best position prospect after Harper in the draft? Anybody moving up team's boards?
Brito HS (Miami) SS Manny Machado. It's not a great year for position prospects, especially on the college side.
Man I love that draft map, when can we expect it?
That's part of our annual Draft Preview coverage, will go online in the second half of May.
Better season.....Strasburg or Chapman???
Let's head to the lightning round . . . Strasburg.
Lightning round — Hellickson or Drabek?
Hello Jim. Ready for the lightning round? Carrasco or Rondon?
Rondon. Not a Carrasco fan.
Snider or Laporta in 2010?
Which Reds starter has a better chance of contributing this year: Leake or Chapman?
Chapman, though it's close. Leake doesn't have Chapman's stuff, but he has a ton of savvy and moxie and his stuff ain't bad.
Posey or C. Santana?
Jim,The White Sox sent Tyler Flowers to Triple A. Do you see him staying behind the plate?
Yes, he improved last year. Won't be a Gold Glover but gets the job done.
LIGHTNING ROUND: Rate these Cubs outfield prospects— Jackson, Burke, Colvin, Spencer... or did I just do it for you?
Your order works for me.
Simon Castro or Chris Tillman?
Posey or Jesus Montero?
Hanson or Jurrjens long term?
simon casto or casey crosby?
Alex Gordon or Brandon Wood in '10?
Long term Dan Hudson or Cody Scarpetta?
I'll give Hudson the edge because he's proven himself at a much higher level. But I really like Scarpetta and he has a higher ceiling.
Bryce Harper or any other hitter in 2013?
I'd take Justin Upton or Jason Heyward, for starters.
Josh Hamilton: Over/under 500 ab this year?
Under. Just wonder if he'll every stay healthy for a full season.
Martin Perez or Dustin Ackley?
Brian McCann or Tyler Flowers long term?
Compare Cuban defectors - Chapman or Arguelles long term?
Does Wade Davis ever appear in an all-star game?
Billy Wagner or Jamie Moyer long term?
From here on out? Wagner, easy.
You're bullish on Liriano: what about Carmona? Willis?
No and no.
Michael Taylor or Dominic Brown?
Turner or Miller?
Tanner Scheppers or Wade Davis long term?
D.Jennings, M.Moore, Hellickson for Adrian Gonzalez who says no?
Rays. Don't think they'd want to give up that much young talent and tie that much money up in a first baseman, no matter how good he is.
Kyle Gibson or Christian Fiedrich
Putting aside contract, name the best player to build a team around for the long run.
Longoria or A-Rod?? Contracts aside
Dee Gordon or Grant Green?
Bigger impact on a system, Duffy leaving or Desme?
Duffy. Harder to find potential quality pitchers.
eta for hak ju lee?
2013. Maybe mid-2012.
No. 1 starter. His fastball and curveball can be devastating.
Better battery - Strasburg/Harper or Lincecum/Posey?
On pure upside, Strasburg and Harper.
Is Mier's encouraging pro debut just a small sample size?
Zach Stewart or Tanner Scheppers?
Crow or Montgomery?
I like them both a lot. If I can only have one, Montgomery.
Rizzo or Anderson?
Eric Young Jr or Simon Castro?
Castro. That guy deserves more hype.
Uh Jim, the *Wagner or Moyer long term* question was a joke!
I still liked it!
Joey Votto or Yonder Alonso?
Gibson or Perez
Triunfel or Lawrie? Will Lawrie stay at 2b?
Lawrie and yes.
Hellickson or Wade Davis, long term?
Preston Tucker from UF, 1st rounder in 2011??
Hughes or Buchholz?
Matt Harvey: 1st, 1st supp, 2nd round?
He's been on the upswing. I'll say sandwich round.
Chisenhall or Josh Bell?
Time for me to return to my state-by-state lists. See you next Wednesday.