Draft Chat With Conor Glassey

Conor Glassey: Can you believe the draft is less than 50 days away? Thanks for coming out - let's get to some questions!

    Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Conor, thanks for the chat! Any news on Justin O'Conner this spring? Curious both about how he is hitting and also, more importantly, the catching experiment.

Conor Glassey: Hey, Joe! There are still split camps on O'Conner. I've talked to scouts that really like the bat and think he's a good enough athlete to make it work behind the plate, and I talked to another scout this week that prefers him on the mound, where he said he's been up to 96. My guess is that he'll go out as a catcher—seems like that's where he's the most valuable—and then he'll have a couple fallback options if it doesn't work out, either at 3B or on the mound.

    Abe (SF): Who are the college bats that could fall to the Giants? Any chance to steal Colon, Brentz, Cox or Wilson at 24? And will the Giants take a college bat considering their offensive struggles?

Conor Glassey: Abe, as it stands now, Cox and Colon will almost certainly be gone, but I think Brentz could be available there. The Giants will select the best player on their board, they won't draft a bat just because they've struggled offensively.

    Paul (Atlanta, GA): What are the ceilings of the top 2 college righties, McGuire and Ranaudo? Do either of them profile as a staff ace in the bigs?

Conor Glassey: I think McGuire's ceiling tops out as a solid No. 2. Ranaudo has better frontline stuff, but you also have to stay healthy to be a true ace.

    Bryan (San Francisco): Seems like last year was a banner year for Northern California as far as the draft goes. Is this year a down year? Who are the top guys (high school and college) and where do they project to go? Thanks!

Conor Glassey: Bryan, last year was a great year for NorCal talent but, you're right, this year is a bit down. The top high school guys this year are righthanders A.J. Vanegas, Robby Rowland and Scott Frazier. For position players, it's guys like outfielder Joc Pederson and first baseman Eric Jaffe. Stanford has a young team, but Cal's best guys are righthander Dixon Anderson and outfielder Mark Canha. Next year will be better for the high school class, highlighted by a righthanded pitcher named Robert Stephenson from Alhambra High in Martinez, Calif. that has been sitting 92-93 mph with projection for more.

    Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Where do you see Derek Dietrich lining up right now in the draft? Any possibility he sneaks into the first round given the rather thin college hitting crop?

Conor Glassey: You're right that it's a thin year for hitters, but I don't see Dietrich getting into the first round. Maybe the supplemental, but he's more of a 2nd to 3rd rounder, I think.

    JAYPERS (IL): As an Illinoisan, I was both happy to read Folty's BA scouting report and puzzled not to see him on your Top 50 list. How close did he come? And will he be a tough sign, come June?

Conor Glassey: Yep, Folty's definitely making some Illinoise, as Sufjan Stevens would put it. He's close to the top 50 and could certainly be in there between now and the beginning of June.

    john (houston): What is Mike Ojala's draft status? Heard he has hit 93 numerous times in the past few weeks.

Conor Glassey: I haven't heard 93. Our college guru, Aaron Fitt, spoke with Wayne Graham today actually and reports that Ojala is sitting 87-90, up to 91 and the power curveball is back—the same hammer he used to have. His command isn't quite back yet, but he's been better every time out. The curveball is really good—giving him a chance as a bullpen guy at the next level.

    Todd (My mom's basement): Will any one of Nick Castellanos, Yordy Cabrera, AJ Cole, or Christian Yelich make it to Miami? Or will all be drafted too high? What about Dale Carey?

Conor Glassey: I would be against Castellanos, Cabrera, Cole & Yelich getting to Miami. Carey might because he's not regarded nearly as highly as those guys and would benefit more from going to school and polishing up his tools.

    Travis (Peoria, AZ): What does the prep landscape look like in AZ? Ive seen a few things written on your site recently about some local kids.

Conor Glassey: Travis - you haven't seen a lot written about AZ HS kids because there hasn't been a lot to write about. It's pretty bare out there this year. The best hitter out there is Taylor Lindsey and the best pitcher is Jake Cole, but neither cracked our high school Top 100.

    Mike (Houston, TX): Where would Rendon fit on your draft list if he were eligible? What about Jungmann?

Conor Glassey: Rendon would be 2, Jungmann would probably be 3 or 4

    Brett (Auburn, AL): Hunter Morris is hitting .409/.468/.768 and has stepped up his play in SEC games. He can get a little long with his swing, and he does have a propensity to strike out, but he has serious power and is well above-average athletically for a first basemen. This year he is 100% healthy and in the shape of his life and it is paying off. I think he can sneak into the first 40 picks. What do you think Conor?

Conor Glassey: You're mostly right, Brett. Morris is killing it. He's a good hitter with power and a disciplined approach at the plate. Scouts really like his work ethic and the fact that he dropped 25-30 pounds. Calling him an above-average athlete is still generous though. He could sneak into the top 40—we have him at the back end of our latest Top 50, so it's not out of the question.

    Walt Moore (Tyler, TX): Tyrell Jenkins? I have not seen any coverage from Baseball America and other sites are saying he will go in the first 30 picks. Do you guys not view him as an elite prospect?

Conor Glassey: We were, admittedly, too low on Jenkins coming into the season. He's a freak athlete with a body to dream on. He's a thin 6-foot-4 with long arms and legs, giving him a huge wingspan and a lot of whip in his arm. He's still raw at this point, but that's typical of two-sport players and Jenkins is also a talented quarterback that is committed to Baylor for football. But Jenkins has great upside. He has been up to 93 mph with his fastball and shows flashes of a solid curveball. And, don't worry, we have a feature on him coming out soon!

    Jake Eliopolous (Chippola): Did I make a mistake not signing last year? Any sense of where I'll go this time?

Conor Glassey: Yeah, you probably did, Jake. Turning down top-round money is always a gamble, and it hasn't worked out for Eliopoulos. His stuff has gone backwards a bit at Chipola and he's really struggling right now. Someone will probably take a chance on him late, but I can't see him being a single-digit pick.

    Jack (North Carolina): Who are the highest rated prep players from North Carolina this year?

Conor Glassey: Ty Linton (OF - Charlotte Christian), Connor Narron (SS - Aycock HS) & Matt Roberts (C - Graham HS) are the players in our Top 100. My sleeper is James Baldwin (OF - Pinecrest HS).

    Taylor (Houston): Any word or rumors floating around about what the Astros might look to do with their top pick? What are your thoughts about who will be there and who would be a good pick at #8? Thanks.

Conor Glassey: It's too early for teams to start locking onto guys, but the Astros will certainly have a lot of good players to choose from. They have two first-round picks (8 and 19) and then a supplemental pick (33), which will help them restock one of the weakest farm systems in the game.

    Phil (Cleveland, OH): Where does Alex Lavisky rank on your list? It can't hurt that he is catching Allie all season long.

Conor Glassey: Phil, Lavisky was No. 56 on our preseason HS Top 100 and voted as a first-team All-American catcher by scouting directors. You're right - catching Allie helps him. Not only does it bring more scouts out, but it also shows those scouts that Lavisky can handle receiving velocity, something they often have to project on with high school catchers.

    Carl (Altoona): Does Josh Spence have any kind of helium for the draft if he comes back and dominates for ASU?

Conor Glassey: Even if Spence comes back, it will be darn-near impossible for him to generate helium. Helium guys are almost always big fastball guys and Spence is the opposite of that.

    Dale (Detroit): Is Cowart a hitter or pitcher for you as a pro? Scouts seem to be split on the issue. Where does he have the most upside?

Conor Glassey: Yeah, he's another guy that teams are definitely split on. Obviously two-way guys are always a case-by-case basis, but my general feeling is that it's better to give a guy a shot as a position player, because it's a lot easier to put them back on the mound if that doesn't work out than it is for them to try and go back to hitting after giving it up for however many years. For Cowart, as a switch-hitter with power, I would draft him as a position player, but I can certainly understand why teams would like him on the mound, too.

    Joe (Bellflower, CA): Scott Frazier is from Upland HS in Southern California.

Conor Glassey: You're right, Joe. For some reason I thought Upland was more in Northern California. Thanks for the geography lesson.

    Brian (Arizona): Hayden Simpson - where do you see him being drafted? Any chance at the first round?

Conor Glassey: He's got good stuff, but he's small and profiles more as a relief pitcher. He's probably a 5th-8th round guy.

    Tim (Near Target Field - what a view !): Thoughts on Rosin from the Gophers ? Power arm with extremely good control . Leading the nation in fewest walks per 9IP. Had a great Cape season as well.

Conor Glassey: You're in luck, I just talked to a scout about Rosin the other day: "I think a lot of people like Seth. He's a big strong arm, a big-bodied, power-type guy. You've got to love the fact that he's a strike thrower, but he almost throws too many that hitters get too comfortable. It could be advisable for him to move hitters off the plate a little bit, but those are things that can be learned. There's no question he has arm strength. The secondary stuff needs to come on, but he's an interesting kid, for sure."

    Mike (Kentucky): Who do you think is more valuable . . . Machado having to be pushed to third or Colon sticking at short?

Conor Glassey: Kind of a weird question because Machado has a better chance to stay there than Colon does, which is why I like Machado better.

    Jeff (North Carolina): Who will the O's take or should take at number 3?

Conor Glassey: Our top 5 right now is: Harper, Taillon, Pomeranz, Whitson, Covey.

    Kyle (Oxford): What have you heard about Gauntlett Eldemire's draft stock? Is he looking like a second round guy?

Conor Glassey: I'm a big Eldemire fan. He's a little raw at the plate, but has some of the best tools in the draft. He's got a body like Domonic Brown and can really cover some ground in the outfield. The 2nd round is probably as high as he could go. Hopefully the wrist problems that kept him out of last week's action is nothing serious.

    Kyle (Oxford): I know you aren't big on comparisons at BA, but to gauge how good of a prospect he is, how would you compare Josh Sale to Travis Snider at a similar stage?

Conor Glassey: Yeah, the Snider comps are easy to make because Sale has a similar build and is from the same area. But while they look similar at first glance, Sale has a much more sculpted build—more tightly wound and muscular than Snider is or ever was. I think Sale will be a better defender too, and a scout I talked to when I profiled Sale earlier in the year said Sale has better bat speed than Snider did.

Conor Glassey: Thanks for all the great questions, everybody. I tried to make as big a dent in them as possible, but there were still a lot of good ones leftover. Don't worry though, we'll do this several more times between now and June. In the meantime, follow all of our writers on Twitter: @johnmanuelBA @willingo @aaronfitt @jimcallisBA @benbadler @joshlev44 @jjcoop36 @eddymk @jimshonerdBA @BAHighSchool and me, @conorglassey

Updated 4/23: Corrected Robert Stephenson's handedness. He is a righthanded pitcher, not a lefthanded pitcher.