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Chat: Christopher Crawford

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday June 09, 2016 1:00 PM ET chat session with Christopher Crawford.

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Chris is a senior prospect writer and is way too excited to answer your draft questions.

Christopher Crawford: HAPPY DRAFT DAY, PARTY PEOPLE!

Mickey Moniak's Mom (The Moniak household): No question. Just F*** you, Crawford!

Christopher Crawford: This is only fair.

Bren (NY): How big of an overdraft would Will Craig be for the Mets at #19? Any chance he's there at #31, or do you need to pop him first if he's your guy?

Christopher Crawford: I think it'd be an overdraft, but a justifiable one for a system that needs upper-level hitting prospects. I think you take a HUGE risk if you let him slide to 31, as there are several teams picking 20-30 I could see popping him. If you think he's the guy, take him. There are better players, but I wouldn't hate that pick.

Jzollman1 (IN): Out of the probable targets for the Braves at #3 who will be the toughest sign/demand the most $ and who demands the least? I'm guessing they try to stay under slot at 3 and then go over slot later for a prep arm

Christopher Crawford: Jason Groome, because high school pitching is always the toughest. The least is probably Kyle Lewis, but there are rumors they could pop Ian Anderson with the third pick to spend big with their next picks.

Nick (Florida): Any signability issues with Braxton Garrett?

Christopher Crawford: Depends on where he falls to. Vanderbilt commits are often tough to get, but assuming he goes in the first dozen picks, I think he'll sign.

Zach (Tennessee): Who are some of the top prep players who could slide due to high asking prices? Thanks

Christopher Crawford: Groome, Kyle Muller, and Kevin Gowdy.

Ron (Texarkana): Has there been any news updates on Yadier Alvarez, and do you like him or Sandy Alcantara more for a dynasty league?

Christopher Crawford: Haven't heard much on Alvarez lately. I'll probably take Alcantara right now because of less volatility but Alvarez much higher upside.

DaleCoffin (Windsor): Who do you take? Justin Groome or Anderson Espinoza

Christopher Crawford: Sorry if some of these answers are a little slow, I'll be getting calls/texts all morning. Espinoza, by a hair. Man that's tough.

glw (san francisco): reading that schwarber is progressing well. any insight as to whether he will still catch next year? Outfield seems too dangerous for him and his value is highest as a catcher.

Christopher Crawford: I wouldn't risk putting more stress on those legs by having him catch. The outfield is dangerous, but it also may prolong his career. First base is the best spot, but, that's taken. I don't know where he ends up.

kufflerj (Philly): Lots of chatter about the Phils maybe going underslot at 1:1 then using the excess to go overslot elsewhere in the draft. Is this a savvy/reasonable strategy, or, as a Phils fan, should I be pissed if they don't just take Ray or Lewis? What if they take Puk? Honestly, I have no idea what outcome I should be rooting for. Please advise!

Christopher Crawford: Look, it's not my money, and I understand wanting to play that card. I just don't think you HAVE to go way off the board for Moniak to do it. They have plenty of money. The guy they take will not take full slot. Yeah you're gonna have to get some thousandaires after, but you can still take Groome, Puk, Lewis, etc. and STILL get good guys with those other picks. I just am not a fan of this strategy.

Delearyous (Delaware): Thoughts on Albies?

Christopher Crawford: I like him a lot. Plus hit tool, plus-plus speed, should be an excellent defender in the middle of the infield.

Jeb (Iowa City): Who do you see the Pirates taking with their first pick? I want a high-upside high school pitcher or college starting pitcher. If they take Burdi I'm gonna be livid.

Christopher Crawford: I think you just might be livid. Burdi is a reach as a reliever, but man he's fun to watch, and he's that rare reliever who can beat you with three pitches. If not Burdi, you could see a Conner Jones or Eric Lauer.

Ron (Texarkana): I think I've read every possible outcome about Eddy Julio Martinez- that he may be the next sliced bread all the way down to possible bench guy with energy. What do you see in regards his future potential?

Christopher Crawford: Somewhere in between that. I see a chance for three plus tools, but the hit tool isn't one of them, and that makes him pretty risky. High-risk, high-reward.

Andrew (VT): This Summer's Victor Robles?

Christopher Crawford: I don't see one. Victor Robles is awesome. Thank you for keepign the streak alive.

Dan (NYC): What kind of potential does Amed Rosario have? Stud?

Christopher Crawford: Yep. Stud. He's been really impressive in 2016. He gets overshadowed by some of the other shortstop prospects, but he really shouldn't. He's got as high as ceiling as any of them outside of Rodgers.

Eric (CT): #1 Pick in the 2018 Draft?

Christopher Crawford: The draft won't exist. It's a good dream.

Adam (Florida): What do you know about Mark Vientos? Potential star?

Christopher Crawford: He certainly starts the year as one of the best prep shortstops in the 2017 draft.

Angelo (Chi Town): Who do you think will be the #1 prospect in 2018 and 2019?

Christopher Crawford: Why are you guys doing this to me? LETS FOCUS ON TODAY.

Chris (Chicago): What type of player do you see Gleyber Torres being? Can he be a fantasy star?

Christopher Crawford: I don't see fantasy star, even playing a premium position. Think...think a poor man's J.P. Crawford.

Ed (Pitt): The next BIG prospect nobody is talking about?

Christopher Crawford: As much as I don't like the delivery, I don't think we're talking about Josh Hader enough. This could be the next Chris Sale. Probably not THAT good, but man, he's really impressive.

Lotion (In a basket): When I see Delvin Perez I can't help but think of Oscar Mercado, another glove first SS of a few years back. Why does the industry, or yourself, believe he can figure out how to hit enough? Has it to do with being 3 inches taller than Mercado or just a better swing? *Disclaimer I am not a scout and you have 0 reason to accept this a valid comp

Christopher Crawford: That's an interesting comp, even if I don't agree with it. The thing I see in Perez -- and some see it and some don't -- is a chance for big raw power. There's so much bat speed, and he's going to fill out. There's concerns about the hit tool, as there should be, but man, the upside, the upside is palpable.

Sterling Archer (Pirate Island): I've been meaning forever to ask somebody about Jeff Hoffman's K rates. For all the praise heaped on his stuff, he has never missed a ton of bats, even in college against 2nd-tier competition. This year he's finally up to 8 K/9, a career high. What is it about his stuff that wows scouts despite the high contact rates?

Christopher Crawford: Great question. I've always been kind of the low man on Hoffman because of the lack of missed bats. I still like him, and he flashes top of the rotation stuff, but you really can't be a top of the rotation guy unless you get a TON of groundballs or misses a ton of bats. I see a very nice No. 3, who will probably struggle a bit because he pitches in a stupid, stupid place.

Jedi Fernando (Tatooine ): The talk of the Phillies getting both Moniak and Rutherford, is that a reality or a pipe dream?

Christopher Crawford: It's not impossible, but I would not say it's likely. Let's call it a pipe reality.

steelydanu (L.A): Urias' performance last night...fluke or reality?

Christopher Crawford: That's realer than real deal Holyfield.

Reggie (Wi): I wouldn't hold it against you if you gave us a Twitter barrage to plug all of your recent work.

Christopher Crawford: Please go to the front page, look at the top left-hand corner, and purchase my draft book. It's $5 bucks, ladies and gentleman, and I'm REALLY proud of it. Please and thank you.

Lt. Kaffee (Court Room): If you gave an order that Santiago wasn't to be touched, and your orders are always followed, then why would Santiago be in danger? Why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?

Christopher Crawford: Classic Days Of Thunder quote.

Clydw (Clydeville): Any 80 grade names in this year's draft?

Christopher Crawford: I don't think there's an 80 name this year. Some good ones, check out Craij's and Ben Carsley's name mock. It's a good one. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29461

Ling (Dover, DE): I've seen Puk on a few occasions and he reminds me of Andrew Miller. Is Puk someone the Phillies ought to invest in rather than and OF ?

Christopher Crawford: You know what? I hate comps? But that's really not a bad one for Puk if things go "wrong." I'd rather have Puk than Moniak, but, I'd rather have Jason Groome. So...yeah, I dunno. I'm very helpful.

Bill Clinton (Las Vegas): So Chris, how about that Victor Robles fella?

Christopher Crawford: Your wife is probably gonna be president. That's kinda cool.

Delvin PEDrez (Really bad pun?): Hi Chris! Is Mike Shawaryn going to be a Cub? If not are their any juicy rumors on who might become a Cub? (A Chicago Cub, don't play games with me boy)

Christopher Crawford: First of all, I hate your username but that's okay. I haven't heard anything really about the Cubs because they don't pick until 2026, but, if Shawaryn is there, it's okay value.

BC (Urbandale): I think Addison Russell is the best short stop in the national league. you? Also, Kris Bryant is really, really solid. Im all about his swing. So pure

Christopher Crawford: My first thought was this can't be true. Then I thought it might be true. I think it's Corey Seager, amazingly enough.

Leslie, Dalton (Midwest): I wish the indians rotation had 01 randy johnson and 99 pedro martinez in it. we would be so good then :( i love pitchers

Christopher Crawford: This is the best chat question ever because it's not a chat question and it also has Randy and Pedro in it.

Keith (Farmington, CT): Thanks Chris. It seems like Ronald Guzman has taken a leap forward this year. How high do you put his ceiling?

Christopher Crawford: I think he can be a starting first baseman. I'm not sure if we're looking at, like, an all-star or anything, but a starting first baseman. Didn't look like that not too long ago, so, that's good.

Shawn (Cubicle (Now with a Window Seat!)): Best tools of this draft class - FB? Breaking Ball? Changeup? Command? Hit Tool? Power? Speed? Glove? Arm?

Christopher Crawford: FB Pint, Breaking ball Groome, Change Pint,Command I'd have to think too long on, Hit tool Ray, Power Collins, Speed I'd have to think too long on, Glove Too much work. I answered most of em.

Shawn (Cubicle): Who is "Your GUY" in this draft? The guy that you would be beating the table for in the draft room to have your team get him. I mean sleeves rolled up, (assuming you weren't wearing a scouting polo), both fists clenched and pounding the table for.

Christopher Crawford: COREY RAY. COREY FREAKING RAY. IF COREY RAY FALL OUTSIDE OF THE TOP SIX I AM GOING TO GO ON A RANT THE LIKES OF WHICH HAVE NEVER BEEN SEEN.

fawkesmulder (Zzyzx): What are your thoughts on Cody Ponce? Debuted yesterday with 2 IP, 1H, 0BB, 0ER, 4 K. They're obviously easing him in off injury...but I'm excited, think he is a talented pitcher. What do you think his ETA is?

Christopher Crawford: He's definitely talented. Consistency has not been his friend at all, but he's definitely talented. Could be a high-leverage reliever or a backend starter.

JM (CT): What are the possibilities Bradley Zimmer gets a call up this month to help save the beleaguered Indians outfield

Christopher Crawford: This month? Low. This year? High...ish. Cleveland really likes to have guys spend a substantial amount of time at each level.

Eddy (Miami): Right now, who has a chance at providing the best fantasy value of the first round?

Christopher Crawford: As in, like, right now? None of them. Maybe Burdi but probably not. Long-term, Ray or Groome. Probably Ray.

Dr Yanus (Millville): How far do you see Delvin Perez's stock falling tonight? Outside of the top 20? Outside of Round 1?

Christopher Crawford: I think he goes in round one. I've heard as high as 8 and as low as 20. The Dodgers seem like the most likely landing spot right now.

Ron (Texarkana): Saw that Mike Matuella is expected to join low Class-A ball.. Is he any different from Brady Aiken, in the sense of "don't expect much right away", or does he end up getting promoted again before season's end?

Christopher Crawford: I think they'll take their time. There is ZERO reason to rush him. Keep him nice and healthy.

David (Atlantis): Hey Chris. As a member of a prospect team is there a specific type of player you seem to be more inclined to? Some former members have been more inclined towards Dominican hitters & some others with pitchers with good change ups.

Christopher Crawford: I've answered this before, but projectable lefties. They call to me like those ladies to those guys on the ship.

Leonard (None of Your Business): Could you tell us what should we think about the performance of Cody Reed so far this season? (I refer to the Arizona one) Is his performance something we should be paying attention to as legitimate or is it more smoke & mirrors?

Christopher Crawford: He's been sensational. That is in no way sustainable, because, well, math, but he's been sensational. His stock is really on the rise. The ability to throw strikes is new/awesome.

Bob (Northern Hemisphere): Are there any prospects you are higher on then your colleagues? Also are there prospects we aren't aware of that you think will be getting buzz by this time next year?

Christopher Crawford: Hmm, good question. Maybe Anderson Espinoza. For your second question, there's a ton of those guys. Tyler O'Neill maybe?

sdsuphilip (San Diego): Do you buy the Ian Anderson underslot at 3 as real possibility? Saw you mocked them Groome, any shot he gets down to 8 for Padres?

Christopher Crawford: Yep, there's a chance. Groome could go anywhere from 3 to 14 at this point. It's a weird year, man.

Alexei (At Work): Jacob Nottingham has started to hit as of late in AA. What should we be looking for out of his development this year & how does he compare with the other catcher prospects in your opinion?

Christopher Crawford: I don't have big questions with the bat. The big thing for me is defensively. More positive reports about the glove. I haven't gotten a ton of those in 2016.

TrickDaddy14 (Youngstown): As a Yankees fan...what can I expect them to get in return for Chapman, and/or Miller, and/or Betances? Clearly this team need to blow it up and these three chips are the most appealing. Hearing any whispers? Any predictions where they go/what they might get?

Christopher Crawford: Great question. Chapman's history is going to limit the value there a little bit, or at least I kind of hope it does (don't @ me). Betances stuff is so sick, but the command just isn't there. I think Miller is the "get" -- but all three in this market could get pretty nice hauls. And I agree, at least one of those three should be dealt.

BoDaddy14 (Bawston): What can we attribute to the struggles of Anderson Espinoza and Rafael Devers? Is it just youth or something else alarming and do you expect them to both bounce back? Thank you

Christopher Crawford: Baseball is really, really hard.

Jerry (Earth): Care to provide any thoughts on the seasons of Derek Fisher & Ryan McMahon so far in AA? Is it crazy to say/hope of a role 6 ceiling for each?

Christopher Crawford: I think McMahon coudl be a 6. Fisher just doesn't provide enough with the glove for me to go there, but he's having a nice year and I love his offensive upside. McMahon has struggled somewhat, but, he's drawing walks, and the hits SHOULD start falling soon.

MJ23 (Chicago): How good do you project Kevin Maitan and Lazarito to be? What other international prospects are in the same conversation are them two?

Christopher Crawford: It's so tough to say, but the reports I've gotten and the video I've seen of Maitan suggest he's a potential superstar. Lazarito isn't in that vicinity for me. The next best international guy for me is Vladimir Gutierrez, but even he isn't close to Maitan. He's (potentially) special.

Gary (Sny ): What should the mets do at 19 and 31? Will Craig and prep arm?

Christopher Crawford: Best player available, and best player available. Always has been and always will be my strategy as long as it's not my money.

sdsuphilip (San Diego): % chance you'd give Jordan Scheffield of starting in majors long term?

Christopher Crawford: Low. 30 to 40 percent. Just too many things to fight against. Hope I'm wrong.

sdsuphilip (San Diego): Which team(s) are generally hardest to get draft info about?

Christopher Crawford: They're all pretty tough, especially now that social media has made things so open, but Philly is tough, Seattle is tough. They're all tough but those two stand out.

Jim (San Diego, CA): I saw you tweeted you thought Moniak would be the worst 1.1 pick since Matt Bush on paper. What's not to like? The best prep bat (bat-to-ball ability) that projects to stay in CF. Have you seen him this spring at all?

Christopher Crawford: 1. He's not the best prep bat. He's the third best prep bat, in my opinion. 2. I've seen him multiple times this spring and summer. He's just not a guy I'd take with the first overall pick, and I LIKE him. Plus hit tool, fringe average pop, good defender. Not a 1.1 guy.

Seth (Brooklyn, NY): The recent rumors for the Mets link them with a college bat such as Craig, Collins, and Thaiss. From your perspective, which of those three would be the best selection?

Christopher Crawford: Collins is the highest on my board, so Collins.

Jape82 (Ottawa, ON): Is the amount of swing and miss in Bradley Zimmer's game this year starting to concern you? Will you have him higher or lower than his preseason rank of #23 in the mid-season rankings? Any chance he's in Cleveland this year?

Christopher Crawford: A little bit, just because I always worry when guys who don't have plus or double-plus power have contact issues. He gets on base so much that it's just a quibble at this point, but yeah, it could be a problem long-term.

Justin (NY): Any word on if JC Flowers, Bobby Dalbec, Sheldon Neuse, or other two-way athletes are leaning toward pitching or batting?

Christopher Crawford: Dalbec and Neuse are probably hitting. Flowers I haven't heard. Khalil Lee is another two-way guy that's 50/50, but I'd put him on the mound.

Nicky (Texas): Best SS prospect in 2018?

Christopher Crawford: Gleyber Torres.

Carlos (San Jose): I've read in a couple places that Senzel has serious raw power, but it doesn't show in games because of his approach. If he can unlock that power in games, what kind of player are we talking about? What if he can't?

Christopher Crawford: Yeah, I don't know about "serious" but he does show more in BP than in-game. I keep comparing him to Kyle Seager but hitting right-handed. I suppose that's even more accurate if more power shows up.

wileecoyote121 (Larchmont, NY): Does Will Benson make sense for the Mets at 31? I assume that 19 would be too high and they seem wed on Craig at that spot.

Christopher Crawford: I don't think Benson will be there (I believe the Rangers snap him up if Trammell is off the board), but yeah, he'd be good value there.

Jeremy (Illinois): Are there any Gallo level power prospects in this years draft?

Christopher Crawford: No but there aren't many Gallo level power prospects in most drafts.

Josh (Boston): How does Rutherford compare to past HS OFers such as Austin Meadows? Better or worse?

Christopher Crawford: A little worse, but I was infatuated with Austin Meadows from the moment I saw him. That sounds stalker-ish but oh well.

Ryan (Abingdon, MD): How much longer does Joe Jimenez have to go before people start talking about the fact that he still hasn't given up a run in 2016?

Christopher Crawford: If it's still that way in July, it should be a big story, even as a reliever. He's a lot of fun.

Justin (NY): Best RF profiles in the draft?

Christopher Crawford: Ray and Rutherford, to me. Ray might play center, but, probably ends up in right.

Matthew (KY): Chris, with the article on state of the First Base position this morning, can you talk about the position as it currently sits in the minor leagues? It seems like there are some promising bats coming up, but do any fit the traditional first base profile? I'm thinking guys like Dom Smith, Josh Naylor, Dan Vogelbach, Rowdy Tellez, Ronald Guzman, Casey Gillaspie, Josh Ockimey, etc... Thanks!!

Christopher Crawford: It's definitely in a better place than before. I'm not sold on guys like Vogelbach and Tellez, but I love Smith, I really like Gillaspie and Ockimey is really intriguing. Not a position I love being "loaded" because, well, first base, but it's nice to see some prospects there.

jarrettseidler (NJ): Do you buy the rumblings (including BA's most recent mock) that have the Mets at 19 moving away from college corner bats projected lower like Craig to potential catch a falling star overslots like Blake Rutherford?

Christopher Crawford: It's tough to say because all I've heard is college bat, college bat, college bat. I think they're going to be at least open-minded? But I'd still be surprised if they end up with something else. I also don't believe Rutherford falls that far.

pmuehlenkamp (Cincinnati): With the Reds' lack of position prospects, shouldn't they be favoring Senzel, Lewis, Ray, Moniak or Rutherford? Who do you think they will end up with at #2?

Christopher Crawford: Rule 1: Never Tweet. Rule 2: Never draft for need. I think those guys make sense because their all at or near the top of the draft, but it's based on BPA, not the system's needs.

Jose G. (Bronx, NY): If the Braves really wanted the Jason Groome/Ian Anderson pairing would't it be easier to get Anderson to slide to pick 40?

Christopher Crawford: Yes. It's not going to happen (probably) but yes.

Greg (Earth): The top two names that seem to come up for the Brewers are Blake Rutherford and Corey Ray. What are your thoughts about them, especially at pick #5?

Christopher Crawford: Either one would be a fine pick, but Ray would be the guy for me. I just think he's going to rake, and he's going to provide a ton of value on the bases. He's really fun. Rutherford is fine, too, a not unrealistic chance to hit for average and power, but Ray is my guy.

Ron (Florida): Where do you see Tony Locey going? Round?

Christopher Crawford: Definitely not today, probably somewhere in rounds 5-10, if not he goes to college.

Hurtado (Like, Everywhere, man.): Heard any good James Shields rumors lately?

Christopher Crawford: I heard that you should always check for the blue mark before hitting retweet, if that's what you mean!

APJ74137 (Tulsa): Though he's not getting any hype, Willie Calhoun is having a great season in Double A. Do you have any thoughts on this guy?

Christopher Crawford: he can really hit, and pretty impressive he's already doing it at that high a level. I just don't know where he plays. Could be an awesome bench bat, though.

Owen (Denver): So Mike Nikorak....you were a big fan of him last year and now look at him.

Christopher Crawford: I STILL am a big fan of Mike Nikorak, and I pray he gets everything figured out. Man oh man, did that not go well last year, but I still like him.

Paul (Not Sure): Seems with the Velasquez injury Zach Eflin might be getting the call. What are your thoughts on him as a pitching prospect & what should we expect? Any chance he can hang on in the rotation or is he more of a pen arm long term?

Christopher Crawford: If he gets the call, I think he should be able to handle himself. Pounds the strike zone with two above-average pitches. Just worried about the breaking-ball(s), but he should be a fine backend starter.

James (MI): Is Keegan Akin legit? Or is he just a small school poser

Christopher Crawford: I think he's not a small school poser, but I'm not sure about how legit he is. Breaking-ball is super inconsistent, and concerns about the size. He could be a very nice reliever, but I wouldn't bet on him starting.

Matt (Pittsburgh): What position does Nolan Jones play in the majors?

Christopher Crawford: I'd say third base, but I'd give him a chance to play shortstop. He's one of the more underrated bats in this class.

Kyle (Tampa): Can Will Craig stick at 3B? Or is he doomed to the cold corner?

Christopher Crawford: I've seen worse people play third for a few years, but, I'd bet on first base being the long-term position.

Ting (Detroit): Can Joe Jimenez be the Tigers closer next year ? He's been amazing this year.

Christopher Crawford: Maybe not the traditional closer, but a high-leverage reliever, for sure.

Dan (Boston): Have you heard anything about Aaron Civale and Dustin Hunt? Saw both this year and they look like studs plus put up gaudy numbers

Christopher Crawford: Not so much Hunt, but I have heard good things about Civale and he's featured in my draft guide. Really good slider, average fastball, could be a backend starter or nice reliever.

Kevin (Springfield): Jake Spencer, the man with more HR's than anybody in college baseball and you didn't name him in your top 125...explain yourself

Christopher Crawford: I don't like people with two first names.

John (TN): Time to see how good of a scout you are...tell me everything you know about Tusculum College LHP Placido Torres, D2 strikeout leader with 162K in 116IP

Christopher Crawford: Average fastball, average curveball, too small to start. PUT THAT IN YOUR QUESTION PIPE AND SMOKE IT.

Christopher Crawford: And now that I'm done yelling at you, I must be off to handle some other responsibilities. Remember that I'll be back at 4 to do pick-by-pick analysis, and that we'll also have a live draft chat going on, too. That'll be fun. And again, get the draft guide. $4.99. It's great. Thanks everyone. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/baseball-prospectus-mlb-draft/id1090576351?mt=11


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