Pre-Draft Chat: June 4
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
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)?
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 ?
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?
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 ?
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?
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?
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)?
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
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.
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
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?
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?
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?
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
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
chris (norcal): Outside of gallo, who's the top 5 power hitters in this draft class?
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?
I would take Giolito.
Ryan (Dallas): Who does Fried compare to?
Paul (San Antonio): Any chance the Dodgers take a position player at #18? If so, which player do you think they would select?
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
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?
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?
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.
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?
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!
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
You're spot on, Ed.
Mike (Michigan): Will the A's finally take a HS player in the 1st round? Gallo or Gioloto?
I have heard the A's linked to Gallo. But the college pitchers that are there at 11 could be too tempting.
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.