Pre-Draft Chat: June 4




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Conor Glassey: Hey guys - sorry about the delay. We were having a meeting to plan our coverage for tonight and the next few days!

    Ben (Leland Grove): What's the latest you're hearing on Giolito?

Conor Glassey: Still the draft's biggest wild card. One one hand you can say, 'Oh, well it's just an elbow injury. Giolito didn't even need Tommy John surgery and even if he did, the success rate of fixing those is nearly 100 percent. Look at Stephen Strasburg!' But on the other hand, you're talking about a guy who probably still wants $3-4 million, which not a lot of teams can even fit into their budget if they're going to stick to the recommended slots, and is only throwing off flat ground a week before the draft. It's a big risk for a team to use most of their bonus pool on a high school righthander who isn't healthy. Then again, it could definitely make sense for certain teams who couldn't have dreamed of getting Giolito if he stayed healthy. But Jim Callis put him in his latest mock draft (http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/mock-draft/2012/2613500.html) and is hearing he could go somewhere in the teens. It will be fascinating to see where he winds up.

    Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Conor, thanks for the chat today. What is the earliest possible destination you are hearing for McCullers?

Conor Glassey: Hey Joe, I think the earliest spot for McCullers would be 11 to the Athletics. He's another tough one to peg.

    Rory (Mexico): Do you see any of the top 10 players drafted today in the 2012 MLB draft make Baseball America's top 50 Mid Season Prospect list? Thank you,

Conor Glassey: We put 8 prospects from last year�s draft in our preseason Top 50: Bauer, Bundy, Cole, Rendon, Hultzen, Starling, Bradley and Lindor. This year there will be fewer, but I could see Buxton, Correa, Appel & Gausman in that range, with the possibility for more like Zimmer, Zunino, Fried, Almora & Giolito.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): Chances of the Rays getting Hunter Virant or Pierce Johnson? Who seems a more likely fit for them?

Conor Glassey: There's a good chance both will be available for the Rays at 25. I would say Johnson would be more likely there.

    Travis (WA): What do you think of Carson Kelly (Westview HS, Oregon)?

Conor Glassey: I love Carson Kelly. I like him better at 3B and he's a very good player who also has excellent leadership potential and makeup. Hearing he could sneak into the first round, perhaps to St. Louis or Boston.

    SCReb (ATL): Why D.J. Davis over Rahier for the Braves in the latest mock ?

Conor Glassey: The Braves like both players. Davis has louder tools, is from the southeast and is a lock to stay up the middle. Tough to project that far down in the first round, definitely could see them going either way there.

    Greg (Denver): Do you think one of Zimmer or Zunino will fall out of the top 10?

Conor Glassey: I would not be stunned if that happens, though I think it's highly unlikely.

    William (Pensacola, FL): Will teams sign more un-drafted free agents then normal due to them not counting against a teams signing bonus pool ?

Conor Glassey: The max is still $100,000 for undrafted guys. So, I think they may sign more NDFAs than usual, but it will be more because there's only 40 rounds this year, as opposed to 50.

    Theo (War Room): Who should we choose - Almora or Correa? Doesn't Correa have more upside than the "safer" pick Almora who could top out as a solid regular major leaguer down the road?

Conor Glassey: Don't think Correa's getting to the Cubs at 6. Almora would be a great pick there.

    Gabe (Latham NY): Are you hearing the Mets have legitimate interest in Lucas Giolito, and if so, will he still be on the board?

Conor Glassey: Not hearing Giolito linked to the Mets, though he will probably be there when they pick.

    Jack (Staten Island): Scouting reports for Gavin Cecchini appear more negative than positive. Scouts project his upside to be just an average player. Why would the Mets select him over a good fielding power hitter like Clemson's Richie Schaffer especially with David Wright's pending free agency in 2014 (or 2013 if the Mets do not pick up the option)?

Conor Glassey: Really? I feel like we've gushed about Cecchini for the past year. There's nothing wrong with being a ML average shortstop. And Shaffer is not a good fielder at third base — could move to RF or 1B. It's all on the bat for him.

    Brian (Pittsburgh): Is David Dahl's supposed lack of motivation a big concern for teams? Seems like the Pirates would be better off going in a different direction if it is

Conor Glassey: I don't think so. I think he's just a quiet kid and there's nothing wrong with that. He's not lazy, he just has a laid-back personality. Still has plenty of tools.

    Jim (California): Jim Callis' newest mock show Stryker Traham dropping out of the first round. Why is this? Where do you see him ending up? Can he stick at catcher? Thanks.

Conor Glassey: Because there's only 31 first round picks and there's a lot of similar players from 20-50. He will still be picked tonight. He'll have to work to stay at catcher and a team may want to move him to the outfield to get the most out of his bat.

    Dave (Kcmo): What's your best guess on royals pick

Conor Glassey: Kevin Gausman

    Richard (Wisconsin): Does Clint Coulter have the athleticism to move to first base if the Brewers draft him? Is that what you see the Brewers doing if they draft him?

Conor Glassey: I have heard the Brewers linked to him (Rays too), but the team that drafts Coulter will give him every chance to stick behind the plate. He's athletic for a catcher, but to compare him to a guy I just talked about, Stryker Trahan, Trahan runs a lot better, so it'd be easier for a team to stick him in right field. With Coulter, you'd want him to remain behind the plate where he could be like Mike Napoli.

    Tim (PA): If Correa played for a more visible team located in the US vs Puerto Rico would his helium and projectibility have him on the top of this draft class instead of the 3 to 7 range?

Conor Glassey: Scouts go where the talent is. He was plenty visible in Puerto Rico, trust me. There were about 100 scouts down there at the Excellence Tournament.

    Brian (Shelbyville): During the Jack Z's days with the Brewers no one seemed to know what the Brewers were going to do in the draft. Is it still the same way with the Brewers, or are they still pretty tricky to gauge?

Conor Glassey: All of the scouting directors who worked under Jack Z (Bobby Heck, Tom McNamara, Bruce Seid, Ray Montgomery) play things tight lipped and close to the vest. So, the Brewers are tough to pin down this year for that reason, but also because they're picking toward the back of the first round.

    Byron Herv (New York): How much does it help, if any, for a player in a small college to have success against one of the major schools in the NCAA regionals, even if it is only for 2 or 3 games?

Conor Glassey: It may help a little bit, but not a lot. Got a great quote from a scouting director the other day that fits here: "We want our scouts to tell us about the whole book when making their decision on a player, but sometimes it all comes down to that last chapter."

    chris (norcal): Outside of gallo, who's the top 5 power hitters in this draft class?

Conor Glassey: Victor Roache, Courtney Hawkins, Byron Buxton, Richie Shaffer & Clint Coulter.

    jim (andover, mass): in your opinion, who would you rather take between Giolito and MccCullers?

Conor Glassey: I would take Giolito.

    Ryan (Dallas): Who does Fried compare to?

Conor Glassey: Cole Hamels

    Paul (San Antonio): Any chance the Dodgers take a position player at #18? If so, which player do you think they would select?

Conor Glassey: The strength of this year's class is pitching, so that's the direction I see them going. Jim Callis has them taking Oklahoma prep RHP Ty Hensley in his latest mock, and I like that.

    Eli (The Bronx): Hey Conor,absolutely love the job you guys do, was wondering what the difference is between Hunter Virant and Tyler Skaggs in their respective years. Thanx

Conor Glassey: Stuff is similar, but Skaggs had more polished and a little bit of a tougher demeanor on the mound.

    Brian (Tampa, FL): McCullers out of the first round? I'm guessing you think he ends up at UF?

Conor Glassey: For me, the biggest HS wild cards are Giolito, McCullers & Gallo.

    Dan (Medfield, MA): Other than his height, is there any other factors that have teams souring on Strohman? Bonus demands?

Conor Glassey: No, I think it's just the height. Teams love the stuff, love the kid, but it just seems like a lot of teams love him, but not a lot want to be the one putting their job on the line for a 5-foot-9 righthander. Somebody's going to get a steal.

    Michael (KC): What are the chances the Royals take something other than a college pitcher with the 5th pick in the draft.

Conor Glassey: Wouldn't surprise me to see them take Correa if he's there, or maybe Zunino.

    Paul (Santa Clara, CA): Who has the better chance of reaching their potential - Albert Almora, Courtney Hawkins, or David Dahl?

Conor Glassey: Almora has the best chance of those three because he's so polished.

    Jeff Sullivan (Belchertown, MA): Happy draft day! Where do you see Austin Fairchild going? Thanks!

Conor Glassey: We have him at 491 on our BA 500, so he's probably a guy who would be best served going to school. . . Texas Christian.

    Ron (Dayton, OH): What are you hearing on the Reds? If you picked Stroman would you make him a RP or SP. I hope the Reds make him a SP if they take him.

Conor Glassey: I think the Reds will go with a college player. And they're one of the teams who shouldn't worry too much about Stroman's height because of Cueto and Leake. Stroman could help a team's bullpen in a hurry, but he could also start. Shows 3 plus pitches, great athleticism and holds his velocity deep in games.

    Bill (Seattle): Courtney Hawkins seems to be a guy scouts are divided on.. Is he more Boom or Bust to you and Why?

Conor Glassey: A little bit because there is some swing and miss. But the tools are LOUD, he's about as physically-impressive as they come and he also has the fallback of heading to the mound, where he's been up to 95.

    Brad (NY): Any chance that Minnesota takes a college pitcher (even assuming Appel goes 1-1) or does it appear that they're set on sticking with Appel or Buxton?

Conor Glassey: I think Appel and Buxton will be the first two off the board, though I'm not convinced on the order yet.

    Kory Baker (Arcanum): Are they doing the Comp A round tonight?

Conor Glassey: Yes, tonight is the first 60 picks.

    David (Bethlehem, PA): Why does everyone consider Max Fried a potential ace? How many Top 10 HS pitchers throw 87-89? I know there is a lot of projection, but his velocity could potentially go down in a 5-man rotation. I just don't remember a 18yo pitcher this hyped who's fastball is a below average pitch.

Conor Glassey: Fried's fastball isn't 87-89. It's mainly 88-91 (average) and he can touch 95 (above average). Tough to project on Fried because he's a SoCal kid, but he's very athletic and it's not all about the FB for him. His CB and CH are legitimate weapons too. He's smart, he's mature. . . there's a LOT to like about Max Fried. He's going to be a stud.

    Jon (Jackson): Ole Miss has 3 signees in Hensley, Cecchini, & Trahan that are tagged to go on the first day. Is there any chance any of the 3 ever see a college campus?

Conor Glassey: It's a great class, but no - I think all three of those guys are going to sign.

    Mark (Emmitsburg): I know it's like shooting fish in a barrel but are there names the Phillies are linked to?

Conor Glassey: I think you're getting your idioms mixed up. Shooting fish in a barrel is easy. I think you meant a shot in the dark. I'll shoot some fish in a barrel in the dark here, since there are a ton of questions about who the Phillies will target: Mitch Haniger, Lewis Brinson & Mitchell Gueller.

    Willie (N.C.): Where do you see Wake Forest's Tim Cooney being picked?

Conor Glassey: Cooney had some helium earlier in the spring, but I think he's going to be a 2nd-4th rounder.

    Danny (Longview, WA): What is your #1 reason against picking Zunino in the top 5?

Conor Glassey: The knock on Zunino is that he doesn't really have a plus tool. You could put plus power on him, if you love him, but he's basically average across the board (minus his run tool). The tools play up because Zunino has the extra qualities scouts love — he's a very smart player, he's a natural leader, he's tough, he's grown up around the game, etc.

    Ed (San Diego): Can we attribute Zimmer's lack of velocity to end the year to him being tired? He has very little time on the mound and simply may not have the endurance that others have due to his limited innings. At the beginning of the year his stuff was as good as anyone's right?

Conor Glassey: You're spot on, Ed.

    Mike (Michigan): Will the A's finally take a HS player in the 1st round? Gallo or Gioloto?

Conor Glassey: I have heard the A's linked to Gallo. But the college pitchers that are there at 11 could be too tempting.

Conor Glassey: Thanks for all the great questions, everybody. I've got to get some lunch and continue to prep for the big night! Stay tuned to Baseball America. We've got you covered for everything you need to get ready and will, of course, have you covered throughout the event.