Klawchat 6/9/17 (nice)
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Keith Law
1:00
I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert. It's Klawchat.
Ken
1:00
Please explain why Austin Beck is seen as the superior prospect to Jaren Kendall? They appear to have similar general strengths and weaknesses, but Kendall has 3 years in the SEC and Beck has missed a summer and reportedly has minimal experience of competing against elite competition in his age group. Is it simply because Beck's ceiling is considerably higher?
Keith Law
1:02
There's a lot to unpack here, but I'll give it a shot. One, they don't have similar strengths and weaknesses to begin with, but let's assume they did. Two, Kendall has 3 years in the SEC ... of huge strikeout rates and lack of adjustments. It's often easier to dream on the kid who hasn't been challenged than the one who has and has struggled. Three, scouts have major concerns about the mechanics of Kendall's swing, but not Beck's. I do have questions about Beck - you named some; I think there's effort to his game, even the ++ bat speed - but how can we overlook how often Kendall strikes out, and specifically swings and misses, against decent competition?
cj
1:02
if the braves draft McKay, they wouldn't put him in RF, and Acuna in LF would they? Shouldn't that be flipped the other way?
Keith Law
1:02
McKay is a first baseman, and I think there's maybe a 2% chance he gets to Atlanta (pick 5) anyway. BTW, I should have said this up front, but I'm going to focus on draft questions today.
Erix
1:03
Hey Keith!

Everyone preaches taking best player available, but one often hears that a team is focused on college bats, or prep righties, or some other subset. Does this fly in the face of BPA or does it just suggest that's where they think the best players are?
Keith Law
1:03
The latter. Hey, we'd like to get a college bat, but if the best player available isn't one, then we won't force it.
Sean
1:03
Grabs popcorn, waits for the deluge of questions about Jordan Adell. Should be fun.
Keith Law
1:04
I see one. I don't really understand this comment.
Kyle
1:04
Is your ranking of Adell based more heavily on your own scouting? Just trying to reconcile seeing him at 50 while showing up at 9 on the mock. Are the Brewers outliers in their evaluation of him? Thanks!
Keith Law
1:04
Based more than anything on comments from scouts and crosscheckers who were off him early this spring - and who say his big HR total is a reflection of a tiny home park. But bear in mind my rankings and my mocks are not connected in any way.
Jim
1:04
What's your take on the Oregon State - Heimlich situation? How will MLB offices deal with it?
Keith Law
1:07
A few teams have already told me they took his magnet off their draft boards. My guess is someone takes him on day three, then decides whether to sign him after seeing what PR backlash there is and what the kid says to them in person afterwards. He hasn't commented publicly; I don't know if he's spoken to any scouts or teams since the news broke. And I'm loath to say too much because of how sensitive the subject is, but I wouldn't draft him, period.
Mike
1:07
This might sound like a dumb question but humor me. Can you explain to me why left on left/right on right is a good pitching matchup?
Keith Law
1:07
Hitters fare better against pitchers from the other side because they can see the ball earlier out of the pitcher's hand.
Jake
1:07
Odds that Estevan Florial is a top 100 prospect next March?
Keith Law
1:07
Low.
Lilith
1:07
Do you have any idea who the Reds might have interest in at 32 or 38?
Keith Law
1:07
Not really. It's like every year - they want some HS overslot candidate to fall.
Mac
1:07
Do you think players should have to declare for the draft? That would seem to clear up all the signability issues that makes a complicate decision even more complicated.
Keith Law
1:08
No, because the NCAA would find a way to use that to fuck players over.
David
1:08
I know it varies from team to team. So on average how many amateur scouts, crosscheckers, and the like do teams generally employ?
Keith Law
1:08
12-14 area guys, 3-6 crosscheckers (can include regional or just national), a director, maybe a few others like an assistant director or a special assignment scout who reports to the GM but sees amateurs in the spring.
Andy
1:09
Did McIlwain cost the SC coach his job? He was fired for not making the NCAA tourney. Scouting the stat line only, it looks like the weakest position was CF. The coach probably would have spent more time recruiting or stabilizing that position if he didn't have a QB penciled in there.
Keith Law
1:09
That was one of many problems with Holbrook - working Clarke Schmidt as hard as he did, followed by a Schmidt TJ, couldn't have helped matters on or off the field.
Andy
1:09
Would you prefer that we take finished copies of your book to a local library for donation, or to an independent bookseller to resell?
Keith Law
1:10
The library. I don't like the idea that there's a financial threshold for readers - not everyone can spend liberally on books. Thank you for asking, BTW.
ILLINIcheid
1:11
What do you think is causing the increase in home runs? It can't possibly be primarily due to launch angle.

If the ball has been juiced, how is that possible? Isn't there a specific compression the balls have to adhere to? I'm sure pitchers who have been hit in the head by line drives would be unhappy to learn about a juiced ball.
Keith Law
1:11
Why can't it be due primarily to launch angle, or just generally to attempts to swing for the fences more?
Mike
1:11
Does Andruw Jones ever get elected to the HoF? Baseball-Reference has a top 4 similarity score to Dale Murphy, Jose Canseco, Joe Carter and Jim Edmonds.
Keith Law
1:11
Don't think so but he will get some support, more than Edmonds (one and done) did.
Michael
1:11
Can the Twins really pass on Hunter Greene? As a fan, I'm not as excited about the other options.
Keith Law
1:11
Can and I think will.
Corbett
1:12
How do negotiations happen after a player is picked? Do agents let teams know if they're seeking an over slot deal before the draft?
Keith Law
1:13
Yeah, there's a lot of discussion before the draft, and a lot of players have already agreed to terms when they're picked. It's not permitted, but everyone does it, so MLB can't enforce the rules. It's why I advocate allowing teams to negotiate with players or agents beforehand - they're doing it anyway, you'll never stop it, so force it out from the shadows.
Dave
1:13
Have you heard about the Kooks Burrito uproar in Portland? Is cultural appropriation of food a real thing? I had never heard of this before.
Keith Law
1:17
Talk about political correctness run amok. It's about as stupid a food non-troversy as I can remember seeing. Unless those two women were doing something really insensitive in their marketing or branding, I don't understand this at all. Rick Bayliss is one of the most important chefs of Mexican cuisine in the world, and he's not Mexican. (He's Skip's brother.) He's done as much to popularize regional Mexican cooking and educate American palates on it as anybody. The idea that this would somehow be 'appropriation' is absurd. It's like saying American authors can't write fiction because Japanese and British authors did it first.
Tom L
1:17
Also, any chance you'll be making a visit to Powell's here in Portland?
Keith Law
1:17
Nope. Wonderful store, but they never asked.
Michael
1:18
This may be a question with an obvious answer, but what do teams do with the 40+ new players they acquire every year (40 round draft and intn'l signings)? If they stick them on a rookie league team (how many of those does each team have anyway) - then the guys from the prior year have to move up to A, AA, etc. right? Do they release 40-ish players each year who are not even org guys?
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