Baseball America Draft Chat

Moderator: Baseball America’s Conor Glassey, Nathan Rode, John Manuel and others will answer your draft questions beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Conor Glassey: Yeah! Who’s ready for the big day! We’re pumped up at BA headquarters (and full of delicious BBQ). I’ll start off the chat, followed by some combination of Nathan Rode & John Manuel.

Ari Collins (Brooklyn): If Houston goes outside the Big Three and Chicago chooses Gray, what're the chances Appel slides all the way to Boston? #dreamingappel #buttotallycoolobviouslywiththeothernamesassociatedwithmysox
Conor Glassey: Keep dreaming, Ari. While it’s still a bit of a mystery who Houston will take, I think the Cubs are zeroing in on Appel. I don’t see Appel sliding like he did last year.

Dave (Toronto Ontario Canada): Why r the scouts so high on Bickford? What is the difference between Bickford and Cal Quantrill ?
Conor Glassey: 97 mph fastballs usually get scouts pretty excited. So, Bickford has more now stuff. That said, I absolutely love Quantrill. He’s one of my favorite guys in this year’s draft and if someone (most likely the Blue Jays) can pry him away from Stanford, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up as the better starter long-term.

Jeff (Utah): Where do you see the BYU boys landing in the draft (Adam Miller, Jacob Hannemann, Adam Law)? Any potential surprises?
Conor Glassey: I see Hannemann somewhere in the 6-10 range. Another one of my favorites because his story is just so unique and to see what he did this year after taking two years off from the game is really impressive. Scouts think he has Jacoby Ellsbury upside, but he just needs to get out and play and get pro instruction since he’s already 22. Miller could move up as a senior sign, but on talent he and Law fit in after the 15th round (didn’t make the BA 500).

Matthew (St. Paul): Are the Twins a lock to take Kohl Stewart unless one of the college arms slip? Thanks!
Conor Glassey: No, I heard he was losing some favor in Minnesota. It sounds like they’re considering a group of players (Ball, Shipley, Reese McGuire) – perhaps as a way to get Stewart to drop his price? We’ll see. Lots of gamesmanship happening over the past 24 hours.

CoryCard (Joplin,Mo.): Can Tim Anderson stay @ SS and what kind of hitter @ ML level can you forecast?( Avg/HR)
Conor Glassey: He’ll get every chance to stay at shortstop, but would be fine at second base, or potentially even more of an asset in center field. He has the tools to be an average hitter with average power.

Greg (Houston): Who will be the first player(s) to make it to the Majors from this draft? What player has the highest ceiling from this draft?
Conor Glassey: So much of that depends on the team that drafts them. In our Best Tools chart, we listed Appel, Gray & Moran as being closest to the big leagues. D.J. Peterson will move quickly, too – that guy can really hit. And relievers tend to move quickly.

Angelo (Charleston sc): Is Ciuffo really first round worthy or is this just a weaker pool of players
Conor Glassey: He is first-round worthy. He’s a very good all-around catcher with a strong lefthanded bat and excellent makeup. He really impressed me when I was talking to him for a feature this spring and he started rattling off the pitches that Stetson Allie threw to him three years ago.

Tom Hersey (Stuart Florida): Do draft eligible players get drug tested before the draft?
Conor Glassey: Yes. MLB picks what they consider to be the top 200 players, who must submit random urine tests at some point during the season. The results are passed along to all 30 teams. That is how Jonathan Gray & Aaron Blair tested positive for Adderall.

Slacker George (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL): Is there a concensus on Reese McGuire's hit and power tools or is there a range in the scounting community? Low, moderate or high likelihood of signing a pro contract?
Conor Glassey: There is a bit of a mix. Scouts who love him can project on the bat and see an average hitter with at-least average power potential. While other scouts grade him out as below-average to fringy with the bat. But the defense and makeup are special. He is a premium defender who has been calling his own games since he was 10 years old. THAT IS UNHEARD OF in today’s power-hungry, micro-managing environment of HS, travel ball & college ball. Reese is considered a great kid and scouts love him and think he’s going to be a big leaguer even if the bat doesn’t pan out because everything else is so good. I think it’s highly likely he signs if he’s drafted in the top half of the first round, like we expect.

Tony Farlow (Asheville, NC): Off the top of your head can you think of any player you've followed that hasn't had a lot of coverage that you think will surprise people?
Conor Glassey: Keynan Middleton, a righthander from Lane CC in Oregon is a guy who really intrigues me. He made the BA 500 at No. 319, but hasn’t gotten a lot of publicity. His story is interesting because he also plays basketball and is relatively new to pitching, but he has athleticism and a fastball that already gets up to 95 mph. He’s a guy who I think could really take off when he gets into pro ball.

Brett (Seattle): Who is most likely taken from Mariners at #12? What are the best 3 options, why?
Conor Glassey: With the players most likely to be there, I’d rank them: D.J. Peterson, Hunter Renfroe & J.P. Crawford.

laxtonto (in my office): Why is it that Texas always seems so unpredictable in the draft? Do they hold more things close to the vest? Trust their scouts more? Use more disinformation?
Conor Glassey: I think mostly it’s that they pick so low in the draft – always makes it tougher to gauge.

Lyle (Memphis): Will Hunter Dozier be a 3B in the future? Hitting-wise, who would you compare him to? Is he a reach in the bottom of the first round?
Conor Glassey: Yes, I expect him to move. You just don’t see too many 6-4, 220-pound shortstops. Jim Callis had him going in the back of the first round in his last mock draft and has compared his offensive potential to Jeff Kent. Really kicking myself for not putting him on last summer’s Northwoods League Top 10 list (juuuust missed the cut, but in hindsight he should have been No. 1 or 2).

James (Morgantown): Hey Connor, do you think the Pirates are thinking college bat at 14 (Peterson, Renfroe) or BPA (Smith maybe). Does having 2 picks in the top 15 maybe change the way you would typically approach a draft with only 1 first rounder?
Conor Glassey: I think the Pirates will go BPA – we saw that last year with Appel – but that might very well wind up being a college bat.

James (Morgantown): Whats up with Oscar Mercado? He must have had an unimpressive season to play himself out of the first round. Is he a comp pick or 2nd round guy? Do you think he hits enough to make it to the majors?
Conor Glassey: Very unimpressive spring. Hit .280 in high school. That’s all for me, folks. Starbucks run & a radio show in Boise and 7 p.m. will be here before you know it! Please welcome my sidekick, Nathan Rode . . .

laxtonto (in my office): What is the best single tool of any player in this draft both as a SP and a hitter?
Nathan Rode: Don’t let Conor fool you. He’s the sidekick, but anyway…hope everyone is excited. Just a couple hours to go. I’m going to go with Jonathan Gray’s fastball and Matt McPhearson’s speed for the best single tools in this draft. Both are 80s though some might be conservative and call McPhearson a 70 runner.

Nick (Colorado): Can Bryant play 1B? With Arenado as the fixture at 3B and a slew of OFs in the minors, this is the only way I could see the Rockies taking him at 4 as opposed to a pitcher.
Nathan Rode: Yes, he can play 1B though I’d let him play off 3B and try RF first. You don’t draft based on need and who is playing a current position at the major league level. By the time Bryant is ready, Arenado could be trade bait, could have taken a step back, etc. Take a guy and let him force you to make a decision. Of course, he’s not likely to be available at 4.

Adam Fox (Boston, Mass): Moran or Frazier at #5 for the Indians which way you think they go?
Nathan Rode: I would take Frazier over Moran, but the Indians tend to lean college so I would probably put money on Moran.

Nick (North Carolina): Since the signing deadline has been moved up, what are the chances we see some of the top picks in the minors this year? Also how aggressive will teams be assigning players, for instance if Houston or Chicago picks a college pitcher (Appel or Gray?
Nathan Rode: You’ll definitely see some guys play this summer, just like we did last year. I think Houston would be somewhat conservative with either of those guys to start. Gray’s season is still going and Appel has already thrown a little over 100 innings this year. If I had to guess I’d say both get a few outings in HiA, maybe a late promotion to Double-A, but nothing crazy.

Charles (H-Town): What is your take on Moran as a possibility to go 1-1? This seems like a reach as he doesn't have one tool that blows you away. How far is he behind Appel, Gray and Bryant? If he does go to the Astros, is that a major reach?
Nathan Rode: I do think this would be a reach because it’s would be clear that it’s a move based on signability rather than available talent. Last year, Correa was a defensible No. 1. Gray, Appel and Bryant have separated themselves from the others. I would go with Frazier at 1-1 before I did Moran.

Cory (Saint Paul): Chances the Twins don't take one of the "big 3" if one of them falls to #4? I'm hoping for Gray.
Nathan Rode: Always a chance, but I’d say less than 1%. I’m sure they would be delighted to take one of those three.

Addison (Indiana): Do you think Hunter Green will be taken in the first round or do you see him going early in the second?
Nathan Rode: I think he will, but of course it’s really hard to forecast that far down. His talent warrants being selected there. I can’t really see him falling past the first comp round.

Fred (Ohio): Do you think that Billy McKinney will have enough power to play a corner OF spot in the majors?
Nathan Rode: It might not be plus power, but I think it’s enough. Some names that come to mind with him are Ethier (h/t Conor), Andy Dirks (though with more pop) and Matt Joyce. He’s not going to hit 30 home runs, but there’s enough offense in there to be a solid or better everyday player.

Fred (Ohio): Who are the five least signable players in the 2013 draft? Thanks!
Nathan Rode: Off the top of my head…Connor Jones, Cal Quantrill, Ryder Jones and anyone else committed to Stanford (then Vanderbilt and Virginia).

Greg (LA): Between all the work that you do and KLAW does, what would happen if a team fired all of their scouts and just relied on you guys?
Nathan Rode: The person doing the firing would be fired themselves. Or if the owner(s) orchestrated it, the fans would rise up and force them out.

Fred (Ohio): If you had to bet the farm on the success of one draft prospect outside the final BA top 50, who would it be and why?
Nathan Rode: So you’re basically asking who my #personalcheeseball is right? This is a high risk hypothetical anyway so why not go crazy? I’ll take Ryan McMahon. I love the bat and projection with him. He’ll go through some slumps early on, but he’s still getting acclimated to playing baseball every day because he was a big football guy in high school (was QB at HS that also produced Matt Leinart and Matt Barkley).

TJ (MD): Where do you think Kyle Crockett goes, and do you think a team will give him a shot to start? Always thought he showed as much potential as Kent Emanuel, but never got the starting chance.
Nathan Rode: He could go anywhere from 3-5 I think. Depends on the team when it comes to him starting. We heard from guys this spring that he could move quickly like Paco Rodriguez did. If he starts, you wonder how the fastball will play. He has very good command and can pitch 90-93, but that’s in short stints. That’s sure to take a step back in longer outings.

Ty Cobb from FG (Halifax, NS): Ummm The rockies are 3rd, not 4th
Nathan Rode: Yep…brain fart. Good catch.

TJ (MD): Does Chad Pinder have enough power for 3rd? If he does, he sounds like a nice, cheap option in the 2nd round.
Nathan Rode: I think he fits in the 2nd round. He’ll hit 10-15 HR so that might not be “enough” for 3B, but in the end it depends on a team’s lineup once he gets to the big leagues. Pinder has helped himself out by playing SS for VaTech so guys can see him playing 2B where the bat would profile a little better. Either way, he’s good fit in the 2nd round.

Addison (Indiana): Do you think Trey Ball will still be available when the Pirates pick in the first round?
Nathan Rode: Very possible he’s there at 9. Less likely at 14, but still a chance I’d say.

Brandon (Michigan): Who do you see the Tigers choosing, if you had to guess?
Nathan Rode: Jim Callis’ mock drafts have varied between Jonathon Crawford, Philip Ervin and Tim Anderson. I can see any of those three being their choice. If I had any say, I’d go with Anderson.

jose (dominican republic): where does my nephew project Elvin Soto? Whats his scouting report so i can have an idea. Gracias Dios Bendiga
Nathan Rode: I can see Elvin going anywhere from the 6th to 10th round, more likely on that higher side of that as I think a team will buy into his ability to stay behind the plate. He has some pop from both sides.

Nathan Rode: Ok folks, submariner John Manuel is jogging in.

Taylor (Virginia): What are your thoughts on Chad Pinder, SS from VT? How high do you think he will go and which teams would be a good fit for him?
John Manuel: All right, Nathan & Conor, thanks for holding things down for the old man. I like Pinder, who improved his stock by moving from 3B to SS during the season. He doesn’t have profile 3B power and won’t be a MLB SS, but that move made it easier for scouts to see him sliding over to 2B. I like him there as a solid regular. Sounds like a solid 2nd rounder.

andrew (athens): can teams trade draft picks?and what white sox will do at 17?
John Manuel: They can trade competitive balance picks and they have, the Marlins and Tigers traded slots. It’s believed that this is a test run for trading picks, and I suppose there is momentum for trading picks. I’ve never been an advocate or seen the need for trading picks; NBA & NFL teams trade picks because they don’t have minor leaguers. Baseball doesn’t need trades of draft picks, but now that the draft slots have value, I can see why you’d want to trade them. As for the White Sox, I would love to see them take SS Tim Anderson, but right now we have them with Oral Roberts RHP Alex Gonzalez.

Chad (St. Louis): Any late news on Stanek? Still expect him to go in the teens?
John Manuel: Texting with one scouts today, he thought Stanek had late helium. He started poorly, as is his pattern, and still didn’t strike out as many people as scouts wanted to see. But in a thin draft, he’s a hard-throwing college pitcher with a performance track record. He’s in the top 12 in this draft for me.

Taylor (Houston): Tell me why I should be excited if the Astros take Moran over Gray, Appel and Bryant, please.
John Manuel: You shouldn’t, but you will have to wait to see what else the Astros do with the savings. That would be what could make you feel good about that pick, though for me, the No. 1 pick is about impact; just check Matt Eddy’s story today about how much more the No. 1 pick has been worth than the rest of the draft in the 45 years of the event. I don’t consider Moran a 1-1 talent, but he could have a career similar to his uncle B.J. Surhoff’s — solid if not a star. Think he’ll have a little more power than B.J. did and play a solid third base at least early in his career.

Coach (Ft. Myers): Where do u see Sean Brady going?
John Manuel: We have him as a sixth-round talent, I’ve heard him as high as the third round.

Ben (Boston): Between Frazier and Meadwos, who's more likely to become a starter and who's more likely to become a star? Thanks!
John Manuel: Both are likely starters, that’s why they are stuffed into the top 10 picks of the draft. Frazier has more bat speed and to me more potential impact; Meadows is the more conventional of the two, steady, does things easy, etc.

James (Morgantown): Any info on where Harrison Musgrave of WVU may go in the draft? I saw he is 335 on your ratings so I am thinking 8-12 rounds? Can you comment on his skill set and whether or not you think he could make it to the majors? Thanks!
John Manuel: That’s about right. we had a nice piece on him in Weekend Preview back in April:

Dayton Moore (KC): I'm thinking of drafting Bickford #8, will this finally get me fired?
John Manuel: Ha, no, Bickford is a decent choice there actually. Wouldn’t you like a Jered Weaver pitch-alike? It intrigues me that the Royals would go after a pitcher who throws sliders instead of curveballs. Don’t tell Bill Fischer!

Terry Nuzum (Florida): Where do you see Sean Dwyer from FGCU going in the draft?
John Manuel: We have him in the 11th round range. If he had more power production I think he’d go higher.

Dave (Toronto Ontario Canada): Do most players in the early rounds already have deals done prior to having their names called in the draft?
John Manuel: I would say “some” rather than “most.”

John (Texas): Colby Suggs had a great summer in the cape and looked back in form during SEC play. Do you think he'll go today?
John Manuel: Think he’s a 3rd or 4th rounder. He’s always had some command issues to go with the very live arm and power sinker. To me the Arkansas pro track record would scare meā€”Nolan Sanburn hurt, Nick Schmidt, it’s just been a mixed bag out of there. Kudos to Drew Smyly and surprisingly Dallas Keuchel for making it to MLB.

John (Atlanta): If Bryant is moved from third, how early in his pro career will that move take place?
John Manuel: Aaron Fitt has written about this for an upcoming Bryant feature, which I believe goes live Tuesday next week. The game can speed up on Bryant but the tools are there for him to play 3B. I don’t think he moves, but if he does, it will be after a while. I think the scouting comp of Troy Glaus that he has worn since high school still fits.

Noah (Cordova, TN): Rank these 3 pitchers and what rounds they may end up in. Sam Moll LHP Memphis, Trevor Williams RHP ASU, Cody Reed LHP Northwest Miss CC.
John Manuel: Reed probably is going first, amazingly enough. Chance for back of first round, sounds like he’s definitely going in the first 50 picks. Trevor Williams and Moll sound like 2nd to 3rd round guys. I would guess Moll will go higher, people seem disappointed that Williams wasn’t better in college.

JOhn C (New York): WHy is Billy McKinney rated so high? I know he has a terrific hit tool but he's not much of an athlete and his defense is noting spectacular?
John Manuel: Because hitting is the most important tool, and he’s good at it.

James (Morgantown): I have been intrigued by Dominic Smith ever since I heard about him early this spring. Nice swing and good defensive first baseman. With the lack of solid 1b prospects in the minors right now, do you think that influences a team to take him higher than maybe they should? Does he immediately become the 2nd best 1b prospect in the minors behind Jonathan Singleton?
John Manuel: Shouldn’t influence him going high, but yeah, for me he’s close to the top. I like Dan Vogelbach quite a bit though. Smith is a smooth hitter, and his defense gives him a 3rd plus tool if you like him — hitting, power, defense.

Ryan (Chicago, IL): How far could Manaea slip?
John Manuel: Biggest unknown in the draft. Could see him falling out of first round and to a team with comp picks or extra picks that could spend a bit.

Wade (Nashville): Rank the bat: Demeritte, Dozier, T.Anderson? Stay at SS: Demeritte, Dozier, T.Anderson
John Manuel: Bat: Dozier, Anderson, Demeritte. SS: Anderson, Demeritte, Dozier Just had too many scouts tell me Demeritte was a profile 3B, but if Harold Reynolds says he can play short, I’d give him a shot.

Peter (Brooklyn): If you were the Mets, who would you prefer at 11? And do you think Stanek can iron out the kinks in his mechanics?
John Manuel: I’d go for DJ Peterson because of those reasons. Peterson sounds awfully good.

Alex (Long Island): Im curious about the "behind the scenes" people in the draft process. Do we ever get to find out who is advising which player? I think that stuff is pretty cool and would be interesting to take a look at.
John Manuel: We used to publish the advisers for players, but that started to be used against players by the NCAA, so we stopped. We gather that info but don’t publish it. We’d rather players not get suspended just for having legal counsel.

Justin (Texas): Not that Correa has been bad, but Buxton looks like a superstar. Do you think Houston learns from last year and takes the best player and worries less about spreading their money around?
John Manuel: I believe they should do that anyway, but yes, they should learn from that experience. That said I really like Correa, and it’s early. He may not be a consolation prize. But right now, Buxton looks awfully special. You usually get 7s & 8s on the scouting report at 1-1. I know Moran doesn’t have any 7s or 8s on his report. Damn, I hate speaking ill of Colin Moran. I respect him a ton, enjoy watching him play … but just don’t think he should go 1-1.

Brandon (Pittsburgh): Where do you see Mizzou lefty Rob Zastryzny going? He was only 2-9 but got 2.5 runs per game when he pitched. Was solid in SEC play, including 9 innings against Mississippi State, allowing just one run.
John Manuel: We have him in the third round range. Teams don’t look at his win-loss record, they evaluate his stuff, though I’m sure they hope he has some TWTW.

Kevin (Oak Lawn, IL): How much "gamesmanship" regarding teams' leaking that they are considering someone else in order to get a prospective pick's price to drop goes on?
John Manuel: A ton, especially with the new system where you have to get signability pretty locked down.

Travis (Wash., GA): Where do you see GA Tech's top guys (Evans, Palka, Farmer, Thomas, Wren) getting drafted? Thanks!
John Manuel: I think I had the order wrong on our Top 500. I’d go Evans, 2nd or 3rd; Farmer, 3rd or 4th; Palka, 3rd; Wren, 4-6; Thomas, who knows. Thomas slumped badly after he came back from mono, and I wonder if he’ll take a senior discount. He’s in a tough spot.

Duke (Connecticut): Do you think the Yankees are likely to stick with high schoolers in the first round as they've done for the last 4 years? Do they tilt pitchers or hitters?
John Manuel: I believe the Yankees will be a bit more college oriented as a result of their recent HS run, and they could be a lot more college oriented. Most of their recent draft success has come with college players, rather than preps. I see them mixing it up, Damon does a nice job mixing up hitters and pitchers. Would love to see them mix in an LHP but to their credit they trust their draft board instead of just forcing a pick. That takes discipline.

Tanner (Omaha): Who will be the best late round steal in the draft?
John Manuel: I’m a Ricky Knapp fan. He’s not a “late round” guy I suppose but he’s a 6-to-10 round guy, maybe could go a tick higher. Doesn’t have a lot of velo but he’s got a chance to be a Brad Radke type.

Thomas (South Bend): Eric Jagielo is a probable 1st rounder. What about teamate Trey Mancini 1B ? He led the Big East in hitting and is in the top 5 in many BE categories.
John Manuel: Mancini is in the BA 500, we have him in the 8th round. He’s a RH-hitting 1B, those types have to absolutely mash, not just in the Big East.

JHT (Indiana): I was surprised to see Brad Schreiber (rJr Purdue) missing from the Indiana list. Is this an oversight or is Purdue really going without a draftee after having 7 guys picked last year?
John Manuel: Purdue had a pretty bad year, it was like the bad old days. So probably not a mistake.

ras (CO.): Rockies: if one of the top 2 pitchers fall, will they still pick bryant or accept the pitcher as an unexpected gift?
John Manuel: think they are locked in on Bryant but Jim was hearing some other rumors such as the persistent one that Dom Smith is their guy. Always hear a lot of SoCal heat on the Rockies, who have taken guys like Matzek and Peter Tago (ouch) and Tulo (yay!) and others from that area.

ken (palo alto): It looks like Austin Wilson ,and Brian Ragira are falling , does it have anything to do with the Stanford hitter myth?
John Manuel: Ragira just didn’t do much in three seasons, again he’s a R-R 1B, and he didn’t mash enough to go high. Wilson got hurt, he made progress there but still lacks refinement. I think he’s not slipping or falling honestly. He’ll be fine.

John Manuel: Well, it’s 6 p.m. and that means the draft show is about to start. Let’s go watch! Thanks for coming to BA and we’ll see you after the draft with a Google+ Hangout after the draft show! Stay tuned to BA and to our Twitter feed.