Klawchat, 6/22/17
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Keith Law
2:02
I still find it so hard to say what I need to say.
addoeh
2:03
What was the first MLB game you attended?
Keith Law
2:03
You'd have to ask my parents that - I definitely remember going to a Mets game when I was around 7 or 8, but it's possible I went to one (Mets or Yanks) when younger that I don't recall. But baseball was always on TV in my house.
Josh
2:03
My Royals have played themselves squarely into the middle of the pack.  Should they trade what they can by the deadline and plan for the future, or should they just play out the string and make everyone QO's after the season and let guys walk?
Keith Law
2:04
Very hard to see a team this bad at getting on base getting to the postseason. And if they don't sell, they're going to end up in terrible long-term shape going into 2018, with one of the game's worst farm systems AND a terrible ML roster.
HankQ
2:04
Sean Newcomb has had good success in his first three starts with the braves. That said, his walk rate in the minors has been high, his stuff and walk rate remind me of Mark Langston. Would you say in the best case scenario that Langston's career would be Newcomb's upside?
Keith Law
2:05
No way. Mark Langston had a 50 WAR, 16-year career. He's a Hall of the Very Good pitcher. That might be a top 1% outcome for Newcomb.
Eduardo
2:05
Which MLB teams have the strongest presence in Brazil? And what do you think about Eric Pardinho? Obrigado. Valéu!
Keith Law
2:06
I'll have a note up on Pardinho and a few other top July 2nd guys - just the elite names - at the end of next week. He did a bunch of events outside Brazil, including the PG event in Jupiter, so every team had a chance to see him. The Rangers, Rays, Mariners, and Jays have all been active in Brazil, but my understanding from scouts (and that great Pedro Moura series of articles from two years ago) is that it's a very insular, corrupt baseball community there.
Max
2:07
3 months ago Bellinger was, according to everybody, a better prospect than Judge. Who you think will have the better career? (I still think Bellinger will be better, if slightly)
Keith Law
2:08
Bellinger by a lot. He's more than three years younger than Judge, and he's a 70 defender at first who can also handle centerfield. There's no comparison for me here - and I think Yankee fans can vouch for my longtime optimism about Judge.
Brad
2:08
Knowing that he was just sent to AAA to "clear his head" a bit, do you have any opinions on what Schwarber has done differently this year that has negatively affected his hitting? Chasing too many pitches? Slow bat? He's been so much better than this thus far in his career...Thanks!
Keith Law
2:08
I really don't have any good insight to offer on this, sorry.
Dog
2:08
Do you think Jonathan Villar's 2016 was a mirage and his 2015 and 2017 seasons are more reflective of who he is as a player?
Keith Law
2:09
I think his 2016 power spike was a mirage. But in 2015, he had just 128 PA - I don't think that was reflective of anything about him.
Andrew
2:09
If you had to re-rank the top three Padres prospects as of today, would there be any change from your pre-season rankings? I believe you had Espinoza, Quantrill, and Margot. Does Tatis crack that group as of today?
Keith Law
2:10
I answered this in the link at the top of this chat, on which teams just drafted their new top prospects. San Diego is on there.
Phils Guy
2:10
How should a first-time author, who may lack positional assets including name recognition and twitter followers, decide whether to pursue a traditional publisher versus independently publishing an e-book?
Keith Law
2:11
My decision was easy - I had access to a literary agent through my regular agent, and when we put a proposal out, a traditional publisher bought it right away. If that's an option for you, pursue it. The worst that happens is no one bites and you choose to publish yourself.
Ruben Amaro Jr
2:11
Keith, the Phillies seem to have a comparatively poor rate relative to MLB in having draft picks contribute at the major league level.  Development (see Williams, Nick and Crawford, JP) seems to stagnate, even players on the roster (Franco, for one) don't seem to break out.  Is this a failure to develop talented players, or simply an inability to identify talent in the first place?
Keith Law
2:12
I don't think there's a single cause, and some of those issues cross regimes, too. Williams didn't stagnate so much as become the player he's always been. Crawford, on the other hand, is a major concern - I had a scout who saw him this year say he's "swinging uphill" and covering much less ground at short - and if he isn't a 60 or better, then who in that system projects as anything more than an average regular?
Preston
2:12
Who has a higher ceiling, Sean Newcomb or Kyle Wright?
Keith Law
2:12
Wright.
danny
2:13
Why are the Braves going far over slot value for Wright?  Would he turn down the slot value at #5?  (alternative question: Freeman to 3B?  Really?)
Keith Law
2:13
My guess? That was worked out beforehand, so that Wright would turn down underslot offers at picks 1-4 if any arose. As for Freeman to third ... I'm less disturbed by the thought of him playing there than I am the idea that this is to accommodate Matt Freaking Adams.
Adam
2:14
Is Alex Verdugo an elite prospect?
Keith Law
2:14
He's really the Joe Flacco of prospects.
Matt
2:14
Do you ever write any articles on potential trade candidates and what teams may be targeting them and willing to give up?
Keith Law
2:14
No, because I hate reading those articles. They're kind of bullshit.
James
2:14
Hi Keith, Huge fan of your work. I remember you had Luis Carpio as a guy to watch in the Mets system, but then he tore his labrum and missed most of 2016. Is he still someone who piques your interest? Potential top-100 prospect in a couple years or nah?
Keith Law
2:15
I haven't seen him this year - weather & travel killed me when Columbia came north, but the good news is I also missed the washed-up quarterback - and reports I've had from other scouts say he's definitely lost something, including throwing, post-injury. I wouldn't give up on him, but I was hoping for a little more this year.
Chris
2:15
I was just reading the piece you linked at the top about prospects from PHI, CLE, BOS, and HOU. About Francisco Mejia you said that, because his pitchers weren't holding runners very well, he still gave up a couple stolen bases. Has that ever been a real problem for you while scouting: a legit prospect being held back (for lack of a better term) by the talent around him? If a team is made up of 24 org guys and one prospect, does that make it harder to scout him?
Keith Law
2:15
No, that was more an explanation of why I would say he's got a great arm but, hey, they were 2-2 off him stealing that night.
Judlow
2:16
Suppose you're Bobby Evans. (Sorry.) Do you read 2017 as bad dream and push through it retaining core of position players intact? Or are you witnessing in real, excruciating time that Span / Pence done, Crawford / Panik / Belt just not that good? If latter, would you blow up team as much as you could?
Keith Law
2:18
Joe Sheehan raised the question of how much they really have to deal if they do blow things up. Cueto is hard to price because of the player option (note: teams should never give out player options, and this is one reason why). Crawford would have value, I think: low-OBP plus defender at short who'll hit a few mistakes into the seats every year. Lot of teams could use that guy. Shark has very little value in trade, I think, given the contract and inconsistency. So what could you really do?
Neema
2:18
Do you think AJ Puk's performance so far this year is more a reflection of his relatively weaker competition in high Class A or has he made significant improvement since he was drafted? Is he a legitimate top 50 prospect now?
Keith Law
2:19
My understanding is that he was overpowering high-A hitters - and that his stuff is consistently better than it was last spring too. So, yeah, I think he's a little better, but also he needs to face better competition too. Not a top 50 guy at the moment, although I won't actually assemble a top 50 list until after the Futures Game.
Kris
2:19
I read your recent post regarding Phillies prospects.  Regarding Pullin and his approach (or lackthereof), I know it's only one game, but doesn't his seeing only six pitches in four plate appearances expose a pervasive plate discipline issue within their minor league system?  Guys like Cozens, Williams, Alfaro all project a similar lack of patience -- and graduates like Franco, Herrera, etc have been exposed at the MLB level by demonstrating this flailing approach.
Keith Law
2:20
I don't think they're really preaching or rewarding patience, but in their defense, how are you going to tell guys like Kingery or Pullin to change their approaches when they're both raking in AA? Franco would be the one guy in that whole system whom I might argue was allowed to reach the majors without showing sufficient development in his approach ... but then he was good his first half-season anyway and it's possible that his trajectory to this point wouldn't have been any different.
Andrew
2:20
Great timing with scouting notebook including Pullin today - promoted to LHV.  Thanks for all your work.
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