Klawchat, 7/27/17.
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Keith Law
1:19
I would aggressively pursue trades for those guys, targeting players in or near to the majors rather than more total talent that's further away. I don't think they need to consider a total rebuild.
Jesse
1:19
Who is the greatest prospect you have ever seen in person that did not make it in the majors?
Keith Law
1:24
I don't think I've ever seen someone like a Brien Taylor, who is pretty clearly the biggest prospect 'bust' of all time - he was as good a pitching prospect as scouts of that generation had seen, and of course was derailed by an injury suffered in a bar fight (and I think is now in jail?). I saw Wade Townsend once as an amateur and his shit was ridiculous, but we know what happened there. Delmon Young was a pretty big disappointment too, but, in hindsight, I think his advantage was that he was so physically mature at 18.
Sorry, that answer required a little research.
addoeh
1:24
Baseball seems to be slowly turning into a situation where most at bats end with either a HR, K, or BB.  It was frustrating trying to watch Tuesday's Cubs-White Sox game because of it (even with Hawk Harrelson getting angry).  Is there a solution?
Keith Law
1:25
I think it's a problem, and I would say raise the bottom of the strike zone.
Randy
1:25
Walker Buehler rebounded nicely last night, first game just a fluke? Should the Dodgers bring him up for help out of the pen in the playoffs?
Keith Law
1:25
I believe that is their plan. I wasn't at either game; I assume the first outing (where he couldn't retire a batter) was a fluke.
Twflan
1:25
To what do you attribute to Kris Bryant's relative inability to hit well with RISP this year? I know RBI's are a silly stat these days and very situational based on your teammates getting on base, but KB has not done as well as expected in those situations...
Keith Law
1:26
Typical random fluctuation. Player performance is not uniform.
Collin Jones
1:26
The returns for the early trades have been quite underwhelming? Is that a sense of what the market is this year, or am I undervaluing the prospects involved?
Keith Law
1:26
Multiple execs have told me it's a buyer's market, so the returns are all coming back light.
Rachel Failla
1:26
Do you think, in our lifetimes, we'll see a trans professional baseball player? It seems we've just started making progress into openly gay athletes in pro. sports, but Trump's comments yesterday frighten me into believing trans tolerance/understanding isn't being improved, rather taking a step backwards.
Keith Law
1:27
I think we'll see an openly gay player in the next five years. I don't know about a trans player, primarily because I think societal acceptance of transgender rights (or transgenderism as an inborn condition, rather than a mental illness) is so far behind acceptance even of gay & lesbian rights.
Adam
1:27
Kumar Rocker or Ethan Hankins?
Keith Law
1:27
No idea. It's way too early for that.
Adam
1:28
I'm not sure if I missed it, but did you do a writeup on the Royals, Padres trade? Or were there not enough prospects involved for your coverage?
Keith Law
1:28
Not significant enough of a trade. Couple of spare parts for the Royals, future starter for the Padres (Strahm) and a nice lottery-ticket bat with a good swing (Ruiz).
Nate
1:28
Keith, is there a non-zero chance Casey Gillaspie turns into an average major leaguer?
Keith Law
1:29
Non-zero, but low, under 20%. I thought he was a 2nd/3rd round talent in the draft - below average athlete, first base only, strong kid but didn't use his legs at all in his swing, making the power suspect.
Jay
1:29
Over the past few weeks Cornelius Randolph has brought his line up to .255/.350, with a little more power. (10 HR Now)  I know he's stuck in a corner OF spot, do you believe he might be throwing off the title of "failed prospect"?
Keith Law
1:30
I dislike using the past tense on a player who hasn't clearly 'failed,' either through release or many years of non-performance. You could call Randolph a failing prospect, or a disappointing prospect. I don't think anything he's done the last few weeks changes the outlook for him; the last two scouts I asked about him came back with similarly negative views, a position-less guy without the elite hit and/or power tools he'd need. (I do or at least did like his swing last year. Really surprised he hasn't at least hit for some average.)
@RationalMLBfan
1:31
Just read Smart Baseball very thoroughly--good book! Questions about Stolen Bases chapter. (1) Is there a database that separates out normal caught stealing with hit-and-run? (2) From a sabermetrics perspective, is the hit-and-run play a good play or does it put artificial pressure on the hitter to make contact (and possibly reduce the quality of batted ball contact), which negates any benefit of distorting the defense moving to cover the SB attempt?
Keith Law
1:32
I don't think so on 1, because someone would have to identify those manually (subjectively) and code them as such. That means any answer to 2 won't be derived from data, but I know Earl Weaver, among others, disdained the hit-and-run for the reason you cited - you're forcing a swing on the hitter rather than leaving swing/no-swing decision to him to make based on the pitch.
ECinDC
1:32
Erick Fedde is getting called up to start for an injured Stras. What can we expect?
Keith Law
1:34
I think he's more likely a reliever in the long run. Everything he throws is hard, so there's a fringy changeup and he's had trouble separating the breaking balls. It's reliever feel.
Lee D, LA
1:34
Keith, two weeks ago you answered my question about "upgrading Chris Taylor" by suggesting they replace him with Verdugo.  Taylor is now at .320/.388/.541 in almost 300 ABs, and only 26 years old.  Still think this is a SSS phenomenon?
Keith Law
1:37
Yes, I do. His BABIP is .427. That would be the third-best BABIP for a hitter who qualified for the batting title in MLB history, behind Ty Cobb in 1911 and Joe Jackson in ... oh, 1911, there you go. (In fact, no one has topped .410 since 1924, but Taylor and Ben Gamel are both over that mark right now.
Brian
1:37
What is Ronald Guzman's ceiling in your opinion? Everyday regular?
Keith Law
1:37
Ceiling is above-average regular. Feel pretty good about him being an everyday guy.
Mac
1:37
Hi Keith. How do you justify eating meat to aggressive vegans? I never feel like my responses counter their concerns about animals. I'm not changing, but I'd just love to have a good argument. Thanks!
Keith Law
1:38
I don't. I don't think I need to justify my food choices to anyone but myself - and arguing meat-eating with "aggressive vegans" would be like talking religion to an atheist or atheism to a devout person. It's just not worth the time.
Frankur
1:38
When you went to the SFG game with google, were the google employees fighting each other to see who would get to sit next to you?
Keith Law
1:38
They rotated seats. It was all quite civil. Now, if they'd been Bing people, that might have been a different story.
Mark
1:39
What is wrong with Steven Matz? Traditional numbers and peripherals are both terrible.
Keith Law
1:39
Don't think he's fully healthy. That's been his story his entire pro career, unfortunately.
TJ
1:39
Is there something to this idea that Chance Adams can't make it through the batting order three times? He's had success at every level.
Keith Law
1:40
I haven't heard that about him. He's pretty good, better than I had him coming out of last year. What I get back on him that's negative is generally about his height and lack of FB plane - but he's a Yankee, so he'll come up and throw a ton of offspeed stuff, mitigating any concerns (if they're real) about the FB.
Dorn
1:42
You're obviously down on Austin Meadows, but lets assume he comes back and finishes the year strong and healthy. Does that put him back to where you had him preseason?
Keith Law
1:43
I'm not down on him; he's been hurt on and off this year and hasn't performed at all. Everyone (team sources) who saw my top 50 before I published it indicated he didn't belong.
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