Draft Chat With Dave Perkin and Nathan Rode
Thanks for joining us for another draft
chat everyone. It's less than two weeks away. Our content is starting to
roll out online at baseballamerica.com so be sure to check the site
frequently. Dave and I will answer as many of your questions as we can
this afternoon. If you have specific questions on players from Southern
California, Dave is your guy, and I do a lot of high school coverage as
well as Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic for the Draft Preview. Of course,
all draft questions are fair game so let's get things started.
Derek (Windy City): With the Cardinals having 3
of the top 50 & 4 of the first 75 picks, any ideas on what they do?
How good should they do, potentially? Thx
Many in the scouting industry stridently
disagree with the Cardinals philosophy and approach, but they do trust
their So Cal scouts a great deal. Jamal Strong, a former big leaguer,
is one of those and he is a fine person and an excellent scout. Look
for the Cards to go heavy into So Cal again—in the past two years they
have gotten players like Stock, Kelly, Hill, Curtis, Gorgen, Pederson.
I'd say they go for some pitching out here in a big way.
Chuck (Wichita): It appears the Royals choice
at 4 will be either Chris Sale or Yasmani Grandal. Is that accurate or
is there a chance Machado or Tailion slips to them? How good could
Chris Sale be?
Sale and Grandal are certainly
possibilities. I don't think Machado or Taillon get that far, but
there's an outside chance. Fourth overall for Grandal is rich for me,
but as we all know it only takes one team to like you and they don't
always take the best talent available. Signability is a factor of
David (Tempe, AZ): Have you heard anything
about what the Diamondbacks might do with the #6 pick? Thanks.
Arizona went nuts for hitters last
year—Borchering, Davidson, Wheeler, Nick, etc. I know they like Dylan
Covey a great deal (who doesn't?) but he may not fit up quite that high.
Don't be surprised if they go for an arm.
tom (pitt): with a possible IF of Alvarez,
Machado, Walker and Jones how solid would that be for the Pirates?
That left side is pretty darn good on its
own. It's tough to project if Walker and Jones will still be there when
Machado would arrive in the big leagues. But if I were a Pirates fan and
they took/signed Machado, I'd be pretty excited.
Gary (TX): Are Austin Wilson and Zach Lee
considered to be the toughest signs in this draft?
They're definitely two of the tougher
ones. Wilson has a very strong academic background and a commitment to
Stanford while Lee has a scholarship to play quarterback for Les Miles.
RHP/3B Kaleb Cowart apparently has thrown out Casey Kelly money, which
might scare some teams off. But, as John Manuel has pointed out, Cowart
doesn't have an SEC QB scholarship in his back pocket. Their similarity
lies in that they're prospects on both sides of the ball.
Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Dave and Nathan,
thank you guys for the chat and the great draft coverage this year -
awesome work! How does Castellanos stack up against recent prep third
basemen like Vitters, Moustakas, and Borchering?
He doesn't. Vitters, Moustakas and
Borchering are all potential huge impact bats and I don't see
Castellanos anywhere near that range. He is a fine player, don't get me
wrong, but he's not in a league with those three. As a 3B, keep an eye
on Chad Lewis, from Marina High in Orange County. He'll probably go
from the 3rd to the 5th, but I like him a great deal.
Tyler (Harrodsburg, Ky): Will Kevin Gausman
make it out of the first round or will a team take a chance on his
It does look like Gausman will make it out
of the first round. He's had an inconsistent spring and his velocity
has been down a bit. He pitched a ton last summer and fall, then played
basketball over the winter, so he hasn't had much of a break. If he
heads to LSU he would be a draft eligible sophomore.
John (Houston): When will the state by state
draft information be hitting? I have always enjoyed that.
It starts today with Florida! It actually
might be going live as I type...
Robert (Rosendale, WI): Wilson, Ragira, Vanegas
- what would you set the odds at of each joining Stanford next season?
Wilson and Ragira a good cahnce of winding
up on the farm, Vanegas not so much. I saw Wilson yesterday in a local
playoff game, and, to be honest, I am not sure he will hit. He
struggles with breaking and off speed stuff and dips the back side prior
to swinging—not quite a collapse, but close. There have been a lot of
Mike Stanton comparisons with him, but Wilson is a long ways from that
level of hitter.
Scott Thorman (Morristown, NJ): Is Manny
Machado an overdraft in the top 5? I've heard some projections that he
won't hit for much power.
No. He is wiry strong and could develop
average power and have a chance to hit .300. Plus he can stay at
shortstop. I'll take a guy like that in the top five every year.
Ben (Leland Grove): Which round do you see
Angelo Gumbs getting taken in?
I'm certain that any socut will tell you
that every year they have one or two players in their area they like
better than the crowd does, and one or two they like far less than the
crowd does. Gumbs is my favorite So Cal HS position player this year.
He has 5 tool potential, and plays like a maniac. His hitting mechanics
are a shade raw, but he has terrific bat speed. I would take him over
several more highly pblicized OF candidates.
Donald (Tempe): Where will ASU pitcher Josh
Spence be picked? Is there any chance he improves on his 2009 third
He hasn't pitched at all this spring so
I'll say there is no chance he improves on his 2009 selection.
JAYPERS (IL): Which two players would you award
the title of "Biggest Sleeper" to, one each in hitting and pitching?
Peter Tago is not a sleeper exactly, but
he is my fave So Cal HS pitcher. A scout who is a good friend of mine
once told me, "Don't scout what they are, scout what they will be."
Tago isn't bad now, but in 7 years, look out! He will need to sharpen
the curve and add two more pitches, but player development guys need
something to occupy their time, don't they?
As a hitter,I would go with Dominic Ficociello. Uneven 2010 season, but
he generates excellent bat speed from a skinny frame. He's one of the
few HS hitters who really knows how to accelerate the bat head just at
the moment of contact.
Grayson Coles (Denver, Colo.): The summer
showcases for next year start right after this year's draft. Who are the
top high school players we should know about for next year?
I can't wait for the summer to start. Here
are a few names: LHP Daniel Norris from Tennessee, RHP Dylan Bundy from
Oklahoma, OF Dwight Smith from Georgia, SS Christian Lopes from
California. And a few of my favorites: RHP Dillon Maples from North
Carolina, IF/C Nick Delmonico from Tennesse and finally my personal
cheeseball RHP Tyler Beede from Massachusetts.
Clint (Rome): Lot`s of internet buzz lately
about the jays being in on Austin Wilson with their 11th pick, buying
any of that?
Toronto has a new and novel scouting
system this year. I se their guys everywhere, so I'm not sure I can read
nayhting into who they like or don't like. Re Wilson, he could go
anywhere, but my sense is that t go at number 11, the Jays have to
really—and I mean REALLY—sold on his bat. I don't think they or anyone
else is quite that sold.
Brittney (Virginia): Where do you see Tyler
Cannon (from University of Virginia) being drafted, and what position
would a team be looking at him for?
I'm definitely a fan of Tyler Cannon. He's
had a very good career for Virginia and played a variety of positions.
He could be one of the top seniors off the board this year, but I don't
think it'll be in the first six rounds. I'll say anywhere from the 7-12
range. He's shown he can hit some and hasn't been switch-hitting for
very long. While he plays a good college shortstop, he would likely move
in pro ball. Scouts I've talked to see him as a utility guy. He can
play SS in an emergency, but has played every infield position at one
point. He's even played a little catcher and I would try him behind the
Steve (Augora): Matt Bywater out of Pepperdine
now has 4 CG shutouts. His ERA, is
basement at 2.29 and he is getting big strikeout numbers. In a draft
with light college lefties how is he not on your top 200?
I think Bywater fits in the top 200. He
is a very savvy pitcher with excellent movement and location on all of
his pitches. Bywater is calm, composed, and has the smarts to get out
of the tightest jams. The only thing that may knock him down is his
lack of big vleocity...many clubs want big guys with big arms and big
upsides in the early rounds. I don't necessarily agree with that
outlook, but many clubs take that approach.
jeff (new orleans): I know it is isn't the 2011
draft, but what are your thoughts on Trevor Bauer and where do you
think he'd get taken in next year's draft?
Bauer is a close friend of Cody Buckel, a
HS prospect for this year's draft. Bauer started strongly this season
but has struggled recently. He's lost some velo and command, gotten
behind too many hitters. Still, he's top 3 round guy for next year with
his heavy low 90's fastball. It will be interesting to see if he skips
Team USA or the Cape this summer to give himself a breather.
Fred (Ohio): Do you think that Jedd Gyorko can
play second base or is a move to third more likely?
I had West Virginia in my coverage and
there wasn't really a consensus on where he'll end up but both positions
you mention are a possibility. Some don't think he has the range for
second so you would have to be really sold on the bat for him to play
third. The bat is really good but his power is average.
Mike (Chicago): Who do you see the Cubs
The Cubs need to nail that 16th pick,
because after that they have to twiddle their thumbs until the second
round and pick number 65. I know they like Wilson, but they could go
for any number of players. Pitching in this draft is a much safer bet
than hitting, so my guess is they will snatch a pitcher.
Taylor (Houston): How is a player draft
eligible after 2 years at a D-1 school? Thanks!
If a player turns 21 within 45 days of the
draft, they're eligible. There are also redshirt-sophomores, but that's
obviously after their third year at school.
Grayson Coles (Denver, Colo.): Thanks for
chatting, Dave. With some of the references you make in your writing to
older players, it sounds like you've been doing this for a while. What
are some of your fondest memories / favorite players you've seen while
The best HS pticher I have ever seen was
Bill Bordley, a lefty from Bishop Montgomery HS in Torrance, Calif,
taken in the mid 1970's by Milwaukee and then later out of USC by the
Giants. Arm trouble prevented him from being the next Koufax. Ken
Brett—not George— was the best position prospect I have ever seen. I
know he was a pitcher in the big leagues, but if he had been an OF, he
had 5 tool skills that were off the charts.
Matt (Whippleville, NY): All the scouts seem to
think the Mets are leaning towards a bat (Colon or Cox) with #7. Is it
just me, or don't they need to look pitching first?
Cox would probably be the guy instead of
Colon. I'm not a big Colon fan, but I know for a fact that the Mets
prefer big, physical, strong guys. The Mets are a club that sorely
needs a good draft. Their drafts recently, with the exception of 2008
when they got Davis, have been poor and have led to a fairly barren farm
Will (Blacksburg, VA): How good are the three
prospects from Virginia Tech? Clearly Wates and Hahn are pretty highly
touted, how do they project?
All three have a chance of being picked
before the third round starts. Hahn has electric stuff and is the top
guy in the state, but he missed three weeks and his first two starts
since his return haven't been great. He'll pitch this week in the ACC
tournament and scouts will have a close eye on him. Wates is a plus
runner that has shown an ability to square the ball up. Scouts say his
swing is unorthodox, but it works for him. The only question is can he
play center field? He has the speed for it, but he's played right field
and first base for the Hokies, two positions he doesn't profile for.
Mathew Price is a sophomore-eligible righty with good stuff. He has some
stiffness in his delivery and tends to leave pitches up in the zone,
making him prone to getting hit, but he could go in the second round.
John (Charlotte): How many players do teams
typically sign after the draft as NDFA?
It varies. After clubs draft players and
get them into their camps, they will look around and see where the holes
are on the minor league ballclubs. Then, typically, they'll call their
area scouts and say, "We need a (fill in the blank). Got anybody out
there we can sign?" Not rocket science, but that is normally how it
Cole (Yorba Linda, CA): How, if at all, does
the injured hand affect Gary Brown's draft status? Do you see both
Brown and Christian Colon being selected in the 1st Round? Top 20
picks? Where does Daniel Renken fit in the draft?
Brown is my favorite college position guy
in the nation. Remarkable speed, terrfic defensive OF, greatly improved
bat. If scouts are convinced the hand injury is no big deal, he goes
1st round. For me, I would take Brown over Colon any time, any day.
But there is a lot of support for Colon, and he is probably a first
rounder as well. Of course, he has a leg injury suffered last year that
concerns clubs. As for Renken, I think he goes 7th to 15th round.
Mike (Philadelphia): Guys,
Any chance a player from the Philadelphia area comes off the board in
the first 25 rounds?
I'll give you three that could go in the
first 10. Jesse Biddle, lhp at Germantown Friends; Sean Coyle, shortstop
at Germantown Academy and his teammate, righty Keenan Kish. Biddle and
Coyle will go the highest of the three, quite possibly in the first
three rounds. Kish landed just barely outside of our Top 200, but he has
a nice frame and some polish for a high schooler.
Brian (Philadelphia): Have you heard any names
linked to the Phillies at the end of the first round?
The Phillies go very heavily into So Cal
High Schools, so Wilson is a possibility but so are others. Thye love
athletes, so Brown may go there on the tiny chance he is still
michael (Michigan): Anyone word on who the
Tigers might draft with their 1st two picks?
We're getting closer to the draft, but
it's still tough to say. There are a lot players that could go in that
range, but the Tigers have shown in the past they're not afraid to jump
on a guy that falls because of signability. I've heard Peter Tago as a
possibility. That wouldn't surprise me. They've had good success with
high school arms and Tago would fit in their organization nicely.
AngryJohnny (Boston): Who's this chap Brian
Harper a couple of guys at lunch were chatting about?
Ah ha, a Harper question. Imagine my
shock. For me, if Harper comes out as an OF, he is similar to Josh
Hamilton. Big bat, strikes out a lot, tremendous arm. Harper is not
the runner or defender Josh is, so Harper will play RF, not CF. Harper
will be a .275 to .290 big league hitter, 30-40 homers per year, 150
K's. When he begins in pro ball, he will see off speed and breaking
stuff, and pitches on the outside corner at the knees until he is blue
in the face. If he solves that problem, then away he goes. If not,
he'll be a bust. I'm betting he does solve it, but it may take some
Dave (Toronto, ON): A lot has been written
about Toronto's rededication to scouting under new GM Anthony
Anthopoulos. What direction do you think the Jays organization will go
with their 10 picks in the first 126 selection of the 2010 draft? Will
they focus on pitching or hitting; college or high school? Or will they
simply take the best available talent? Thanks!
The answer you'll hear the most is that
they'll take the best talent available. With that many picks I would say
it's fair to think they'll end up with a solid balance of those types
of picks you mentioned. However, keep in mind that some of those picks
are unprotected because they're compensation from not signing guys from
2009. So they'll have to take someone they're extremely confident in
signing with those.
Carroll (SoCal): What are the Halo's looking
for with their first round picks?
Once again, the Angels have a boat load of
early picks. They have one of the finest scouting/player development
systems in the game, and look for them to mine heavily So Cal talent,
particularly the High Schoolers. FYI, the Angels run an elite scout
team every fall on Wednesday nights in Southern California, so they know
all of the local top prospects extremely well.
Mike (Pitt): Manny Machado this year or Dustin
Ackley last year?
I really, really like Machado, but I would
take Dustin Ackley. It's just that good of a bat.
Michael (Cary NC): Is there any scenario where
Harper isn't selected #1? And do you see him as a catcher once drafted,
or will be he moved?
In all likelihood, he will go number one.
However, he does have lots of options and if he does sign, it will be
right at the deadline. Sources have told me that the Nationals will
shift him to the OF, so that his hitting ability will not be worn down
by catching. If he stays behind the plate, he has to eliminate a hitch
in his delivery. He wraps the ball behnind his neck when throwing it to
second, which adds uneeded time to his throws. Shouldn't be hard to
Allyson (Dallas): Waiting on you to answer a
ladies question! Any word on what the Rangers will do at 15 and 22?
I answered Brittney from Virginia! The
Rangers' pick at 15 is unprotected so they'll take someone there they
feel they can sign. A couple names Jim Callis mentioned in his mock
draft were Brentz and Vitek. At 22 they could go for one of the Texas
arms like Lee or Jenkins.
howard (Los Angeles): Who do you see as the
signable hs catchers?
Sabol is not considered a tough sign, but
he will probably shift to the OF. Swanner is thought to be a tough
sign. Hernandez and Brantly are said to be signable. Sawyer probably
won't go high enough to forego UCR, and Aaron Jones has priced himself
way out of the market.
Reggie (San Antonio): Any ideas as to which way
Houston is leaning with thier multiple picks?
I hear they like Chad Lewis a great deal.
Mike (Riverside): Lifelong Padre fan here and I
liked the direction they took in the draft last year. What do you see
them doing with the #8 pick and beyond this year? Thanks!
Gumbs is a strong possibility for San
Diego, in the 2nd or, more likely, 3rd round. The Dodgers like him
also. This will be a fascinating draft for SD, for they have a new,
young scouting director and may veer off and take unexpected, but
Rob (Little Rock): As a Canadian transplant I
always keep up with the boys from up north. I had someone from back home
tell me that there could be 5 Canadian players taken on the first night
of the draft. Could you enlighten me on who these guys might be?
The first night is only the first round
and first supplemental so there won't be five Canadians taken. But the
guys your friend is probably thinking of are catcher Kellin Deglan and
lefties Evan Rutckyj and Evan Grills. Plus outfielder Marcus Knecht from
Connors State (Okla.) JC and lefty James Paxton, formerly of Kentucky
but now pitching in the independent leagues.
glen (louisiana): what's the latest on garin
cecchini? will his knee injury prevent someone from taking a chance on
him in the first 5 rounds or will he end up at lsu?
He's kind of a wild card but I think a
team will take him in the first three rounds. I'd do my best to buy him
out of LSU. He can hit.
Matt (Albany): Where is AJ Griffin gonna go?
Is that the guy at USD? I would say 8th
to 15th, if not later. He's been overshadowed by Blair and Solis this
year, plus he has had rough spots this season. Griffin is a big
physical guy but does not have a huge fastball or projectablity, so that
should knock him down some.
JIM (Denver): What is the Rockies draft
The Rockies are a very smart organization
with high quality people in the field scouting players. They pick 26,
47 and 76. Colorado has gone heavily into So Cal recently, but a
Tulowitzki or Matzek isn't out here this year! Still, with the quality
of people they have making the decisions, look for the Rox to clean up
Stephen (Alta Vista, CA): Thanks for the chat
guys. Where do you see Karsten Whitson ending up? Jonathan Mayo projects
him 10th in his newest mock draft, how do you feel about that?
I think he's a first round arm for sure
and a possibility at 10. He's had an inconsistent spring so that might
be a little high, but it just depends on the team. One thing we've
discussed a lot in our offices is that we think there is a clear top
four, then from there through the first supplemental you could come up
with a number of different possibilities and be close. If Whitson
pitches in the Florida all-star game in Sebring (Conor Glassey will be
there), that could be a big tell for him.
Stephen (Ohio): Who are the top collegiate
second basemen heading into the draft?
It is sort of a scouting axiom that you
never find prospects at 2B or LF. Thta being said, my gues is that
Colon will switch to 2b eventually, so I would say Colon is the top 2b
guy in college now. Kind of a Ronnie Belliard type.
Fred (Ohio): Thoughts on Kris Bryant's draft
I first saw Bryant at a showcase in Tucson
in January of 2008 and loved him. Fluid swing, nice actions, good arm.
I am not so thrilled with him now. He has no speed, so he'll probably
move to 1B as a pro. His swing is marvelous, but his bat is a shade
slow, so he may be a 30 homer, 150 K guy later on. My biggest concern
is that he plays with a near complete lack of energy or passion. Still,
many clubs love that big frame and provocative swing, so he could go
early—2nd or 3rd round.
Ok, everyone thanks for the chat. I can't believe June 7 is almost upon
Josh (Boston): What can you tell me about a
pair of Florida prep pitchers, Daniel Gibson and Luke Jackson? Are they
signable at this point?
Gibson is a big lefty with solid-average
stuff. Jackson is smaller but has a live arm. Neither seem to lean
heavily one way or the other on the signabilty scale, but that will
determine where they get taken. That's gonna do it for us today
everyone. Sorry we didn't get to all of your questions, but come back
next Wednesday for another chat!