With the draft drawing nigh, you'll want a chatty dose of Future Shock from Kevin Goldstein to learn upon which players to be high.
Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone, I'm off the phone, so let's do this.
MJ (Work): How many scouting hours do you think MLB teams put into a single early-round high school pitcher? Are they just able to watch their high school games, or do most of these kids play in other leagues similar to AAU in basketball where the talent/level of competition is ratcheted up quite a bit?
Kevin Goldstein: The early-round guys have certainly done the national circuits, be it Team USA or AFLAC or Area Code Games or Perfect Game or what have you. With all of the looks, often with multiple scouts, I'd bet on triple-digit man hours.
Danny Goodwin (Longwood, FL): I've heard favorable comparisons between Bundy and last yr's top high school pitcher Taillon. Obviously both of them have a lot going for them, so if they were both in the draft this yr, who would be the better prospect?
Kevin Goldstein: Very very close. Taillon has a big edge of physical size and projectibility. Bundy's combination of stuff and polish for a teenager is a rarity.
Gotribe31 (Fairfax, VA): How big is the gap between Bundy and Archie Bradley?
Kevin Goldstein: Not huge, but measurable. Archie could go top 10, so he's hardly a slouch.
Ron (Sao Paulo): Huge reach if the Indians take Joe Ross at 8th? Have you heard that rumor?
Kevin Goldstein: MASSIVE reach. Ross will be in the first round of the mock I'll have out tonight, but not that high.
Vision (Springfield, MO): Outside of Lindor, any HS guys you think can stick at SS and be good enough with the bats? Seems a weak year at SS.
Kevin Goldstein: When is the last strong year we had at SS? The next best high school shortstop who really is one is probably Trevor Story, a kid from Texas who will at least go in the sandwhich round, maybe higher.
Dan (Milwaukee): _____ and ______ will be the Brewers picks at 12 and 15. Who are your best guesses? Thanks for taking the question KG!
Kevin Goldstein: Mini-mock w/ notes up after I'm done chatting, end of day.
ian the vegan (Vegannia ): Cal Junior RHP Erik Johnson: what round is he expected to go, and will he sign or return for his senior year? Thanks, KG!
Kevin Goldstein: 2nd-3rd round, that's too much money to walk away from.
Doug (Waterloo, ON): What are you drinking?
Kevin Goldstein: Just regular ol' Coca-cola.
Imperialism32 (NJ): Who are you hearing the best things about among one-dimensional HS sluggers: Larry Green, Dan Vogelbach, Dante Bichette Jr, other?
Kevin Goldstein: The Greene rumor has been around so long that nobody believes it anymore. Vogelbach has some serious heat, and may get some late-first round interest, but he just threw out a big number as well. Bichette moving up as well.
Old Timer (Cooperstown): Has it REALLY been 20 years since the Yankees tabbed Brien Taylor #1 overall?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes it has.
Justin (Texas): Texas has been linked to Brandon Nimmo out of Wyoming. How much concern should one have about a player like him who doesn't play high school ball and only does some of the showcase circuits?
Kevin Goldstein: I think everyone well to spend has been connected to Nimmo. He can really hit, so I wouldn't worry about the Wyoming thing. He also just put his number out of needing $3 million.
Ronald (Phoenix): At this point, which highly-ranked players do you really think are unsignable?
Kevin Goldstein: Maybe only Bell, and even then, just maybe.
Josh (Pittsburgh): I am hoping the Pirates select Rendon, as their system could really use an impact bat. Are they still pretty much locked in on Cole or is there still a chance they pick Rendon?
Kevin Goldstein: they are locked in on nobody, still a three-way race w/ Cole, Rendon, Hultzen.
Frank (Milwaukee): How exactly do private workouts for teams come about? I imagine teams wouldn't mind seeing a huge range of players in private workouts, but obviously they aren't *that* common. Does a private workout indicate that both the player and the team are relatively favorable to each other already?
Kevin Goldstein: I certainly indicates SOME level of interest, but the level is varied.
ChrisCalo1 (Ohio): How is Kolten Wong's defense? If he doesn't play 2nd, where else could he play?
Kevin Goldstein: He's fine at second base. He's not Bill Mazeroski, but he can certainly play the position.
Navin (Pasadena, CA): Please tell me Wilken isn't going to go off the radar with another Hayden Simpson-like pick.
Kevin Goldstein: Could go in a lot of directions, but all the names I'm hearing there at least fit well. That said, nobody saw Simpson coming last year.
Mr. Cox (Greenville, NC): Which LHP has the best stuff and more capable of being a steady major league player? Daniel Norris, Henry Owens, or Jed Bradley?
Kevin Goldstein: I like Norris the best of that group.
Greg (Hanover, PA): Kevin,
The Orioles will obviously come away with a big name at #4. But the farm system needs a lot more help than that. Will there be 1st round talent available when they pick again (#64) if they are willing to spend?
Kevin Goldstein: There are going to be a lot of big talents floating around after the first, but whether or not they are at 64 is an open question. That said, I don't think they'll spend big after Bundy.
Kage the Florist (Komurocho): One mock has Sonny Gray falling to 25. Is that realistic in your eyes?
Kevin Goldstein: There are a few guys out there: Gray, Springer, Jed Bradley, are my biggest, where you know they are going to go good, but it's very hard to find a landing spot. It's all over the place.
showtyme24 (st louis): Who's the best high school pitcher that will be around for the cardinals at 22?
Kevin Goldstein: You'll get a name tonight.
Mr. Cox (Greenville, NC): Think Kolten Wong sneaks into first round?
Kevin Goldstein: I do. All sorts of good landing spots in the 20s.
jdiglesias (Michigan): Why are the trends down on Henry Owens? Tons of projection especially for a high school lefty. I've heard he was fairly polished, too.
Kevin Goldstein: Wish he threw harder. So many NOW power arms around.
lvhawk (LV, KS): Hi Kevin, do you feel the Royals will go with the best college RHP available to put in the rotation in the pennant run years to come, or the best player available period, such as Bubba Starling? Thanks...
Kevin Goldstein: I've heard nothing but arms there. The whole Bubba thing is just because he's in Kansas. I've continued to hear only the lightest of connections there.
mef (Brooklyn): On the podcast, you discussed how Bubba Starling is a better baseball prospect than Donovan Tate. Does Starling's relatively weak baseball competition make him more of a risk, or does his baseball abilities make him less of a risk?
Kevin Goldstein: He's definitely a risk. No question. And there are questions about the bat. The questions just aren't as loud as they were w/ Tate.
Andrew (Maine): Who do you think the Red Sox take with their four picks in the first day? Who have they been linked to?
Kevin Goldstein: They've been linked to all sorts of players, including the big names who want a lot of money. There is every reason to expect the usual Red Sox aggressiveness.
twayda (Chicago): With all Tampa Bays picks in the first 100 odd picks or so, what kind of talent could they possibly accumulate if they said; 'Screw any type of restrictions on finances and slotting. We are gonna pay whatever and get some serious talent.' I know a team would probably never do that, especially Tampa, but id imagine with all those picks (and no pay restrictions) they would add some serious quality.
Kevin Goldstein: They would have an insane draft and it would cost them more than 20 million dollars. That said, I hear they will make some aggressive moves with their picks.
Seth (Nanty Glo): As a Pirates fan should I be upset if they select Hultzen over Cole, Rendon, Starling, or Bundy? My feeling is the number one pick should never be wasted on a safe finished product, and I would be pretty disgruntled with the pick of Hultzen. Is he a safe polished product or am I selling him short, what is his true ceiling?
Kevin Goldstein: That fits with my philosophy, but not everyone is one board with that kind of thinking. I'm on your side, though.
R.A. Wagman (Toronto): Any chance the Jays draft Josh Bell at 21?
Kevin Goldstein: Would shock.
Nick (NJ): What names do you see connected to Mets at #13?
Kevin Goldstein: College position players of all shapes and sizes.
John (Dallas): Who have you heard linked to the Rangers. Is Josh Bell a viable option?
Kevin Goldstein: He's viable, as in there is a solid shot he'll be available at 33, but I don't think Texas would take him.
Andy Green (Chopiras): Are teams just gonna push aside all this money numbers agents are throwing out there?
Kevin Goldstein: Happens every year. Those kids get a lot of money, but never their initial figure.
Jimmy (NJ): Should Mets fans be confident that the new front office will make some good picks this year? Our drafts have been pretty terrible in recent years.
Kevin Goldstein: I expect good picks, but I don't expect them to overstep their bounds much considering the team's financial woes.
Daniel (St. Louis): In the end, who do you think signs for the most money? Starling for sure?
Kevin Goldstein: If you want Starling and I get the field as far as highest bonus goes, I'll take the field.
Bret (Toronto): How come Bell would be a shock for Toronto? Because of the type of player they're targeting in round one? The price tag? Or just not a connection you've heard?
Kevin Goldstein: All of the above.
Paul (PHX, AZ): ┐How long do you think will take Gerrit Cole arrive to MLB assuming he will make his PRO debut in April 2012?
Kevin Goldstein: Less than 2 years.
mike (lake mary, fl): in your mind, what are the odds the cubs get starling?
Kevin Goldstein: Don't think he will be there.
klosterj (hoboken): Would Levi Michael be a reach at 13?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes. Not a crazy, insane one, but yes.
Bill (Pittsburgh): A lot of Pirates fans seem outraged that they would consider anyone other than Rendon. What are you thoughts on who really belongs at 1.1?
Kevin Goldstein: I think you can make a legitimate argument for as many as five guys. Of those five, I'd take Bundy or Cole.
Biff (MI): Have you heard any of these rumors re: Josh Bell and the Tigers?
Kevin Goldstein: I have, and they seem real. The question is will Bell still be around when the Tigers pick.
moehk21 (The Gulf of Mexico): What're your thoughts on Cory Spangenberg? Possible difference-maker?
Kevin Goldstein: Difference maker is a bit much, at least by my definition. Good speed, good bat, teams that like him think he can stay in the infield, and he could go as high as the 14-20 range.
Bill (WA): If Rendon goes 1-1, do the M's take Lindor or Starling? It sounds like they are locked on bats
Kevin Goldstein: That's a really fun question in the industry, and it's hard to say what happens if the Mariners can't take Rendon. More and more, it's looking like Lindor just might be plan B.
Bret (Toronto): If Pittsburgh takes Hultzen, I feel like a lot of Pirates' fans will be livid. What would you say to them, in that case, to keep them sane?
Kevin Goldstein: Hultzen has a much better chance than Cole to win 100 major league games. Cole has a much better chance than Hultzen to win 200.
MetsCast (da Bronx): Do you think Jed Bradley might be around at #13?
Kevin Goldstein: I do, but I don't think the Mets will take him.
Miles (Philadelphia): Any names to keep an eye on for the Phils at 39?
Kevin Goldstein: Pick an athlete, any athlete.
Justin (Tinley Park): Should Cub fans be happy/excited if they end up taking Mahtook?
Kevin Goldstein: I think nine is too high in this draft, and I like him.
FS (SF): Wong to SF? Any word on who they're targetting?...I always have a hard time getting a grip on what they're thinking, but the past 5 first round picks have worked out better than I could have ever dreamed.
Kevin Goldstein: I'm hearing high school arms, with one guy in particular who I'll have in the mock.
Kannon (Cubicle): I always hear which prospects are the best athletes but is that somebody you'd be more drawn to than, say, a great player who is not very athletic. I guess I'm asking how important to you is athleticism in a player?
Kevin Goldstein: It's immensely important when it comes to projection. How good they are now is important, but how good you THINK THEY CAN BE is the deciding factor.
Bret (Toronto): Still three days out, but as of now, what's the pick you've heard that sounds craziest to you?
Kevin Goldstein: Craziest thing I heard today was a scenario that had Rendon out of the first five. It involved the Mariners going with Lindor no matter what and then they next three teams sticking with their arms, regardless of Rendon's availability. It's not going to happen, but it's not completely insane, either.
Gotribe31 (Fairfax, VA): Barnes or Jungmann?
Kevin Goldstein: Jungmann. I'm really not a big fan of Matt Barnes.
Tim (DC): I keep seeing the Bauer-Lincecum comp. Can you compare these two coming out of college?
Kevin Goldstein: Lincecum had more velocity and a better breaking ball. The only comp here is that they are both on the West Coast and a little bit weird. That's a lazy comp.
Jordan (Chevy Chase): Where would Manny Machado go in this year's draft?
Kevin Goldstein: Before Lindor.
Thom (Cincy): Who would be the one team in the top-half of Round 1, and the team in the bottom-half, that you feel you have the least sense of how they'll pick?
Kevin Goldstein: First half, either Arizona at 3 or Baltimore at 4. Second half is tough because of all the variables in front of them, but I have a good feel (I think) for how some of the high school arms might go off the board.
Evan (DC): Nationals have been linked to Bauer, who has the 'unconventional' long toss regime. Have you heard anything about Nats philosophy on long toss?
Kevin Goldstein: The whole long toss thing and team's long toss philosophies and players not going here or there because they long toss is absolutely the most over-stated thing in this draft.
Rizzo (DC): Am I really enamoured with Bubba Starling?
Kevin Goldstein: You are, but I'm not sure you use the British spelling like that.
Clayton Zoellner (Houston): With the questions around Purke's velocity and arm health, any chance he drops out of the 1st round?
Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely.
jhardman (Irving High School Class of 1980): You have mentioned Trevor Story, who is following Blake Beavan as a potential first round pick from my old high school. Is there any chance Texas would spring for the local boy again after trading the first one? And, would he remain at shortstop or project to a different position? (for any team, not just Texas)
Kevin Goldstein: He looks like he could stay at short, but I don't think he's in the Rangers mix at 33.
Tim (DC): If Hultzen doesn't go 1.1 then where does he fall?
Kevin Goldstein: Floor is 4.
Carp (MO): Who is your favorite player in the draft that will sign for under 750k?
Kevin Goldstein: Maybe Clemson SS Brad Miller? Should be around there. Second baseman as a pro, but he can get on base.
Bret (Toronto): How far away would you estimate Starling is? If he goes to Washington, how long will those fans have to wait to see him side-by-side with Harper and Strasburg?
Kevin Goldstein: It would take considerable time. I would guess around 500 minor league games.
Carp (MO): Are there still rumors the Royals would take Barnes over Bauer or Jungmann?
Kevin Goldstein: There are, but I'm not sure the world is buying them.
Omar (Bronx): Jungmann's ceiling #3 or better?
Kevin Goldstein: Right around a 3. Some 2 projections, some 4s.
JimBeau (Left Coast): So, if Rendon fell out of the top five, is it for sure that the Nats grab him, or could he slip by them and AZ and land with the Tribe?
Kevin Goldstein: Again, I don't think it's happening. If it does, weird, unpredictable things happen. As while you would say to yourself, "Well of course Arizona would take him!", you have to remember, in the room, Arizona might be saying, "well wait, why the hell didn't anybody in front of us take him? What's wrong here?"
Paul (Irvine, CA): Are there any first round high school talents that will drop out because of strong college commitments?
Kevin Goldstein: Josh Bell is the big one. Josh Bell really threw it out there in his letter to teams, where he did not put a crazy number up, he just asked not to be drafted because he wants to go to Texas and play college ball.
Chris (Alabama): I know you don't draft for need, but please tell me the Braves are going after a hitter. Their Major League pitching staff has been the best in baseball this year and their minor leagues are loaded with pitching. Meanwhile, they consistently score 2-3 runs a game and have virtually no potentially star minor league hitters.
Kevin Goldstein: I've heard some hitters attached to them, but more pitchers with that first pick.
JP (Denver): On Tuesday morning fans of the _____ ____s will be most upset?
Kevin Goldstein: I have a bad feeling that it might be the Mets.
Omar (Bronx): Baez best MLB comp? what type of ceiling you think he has?
Kevin Goldstein: Not a shortstop in the end, but can really hit. Howie Kendrick type?
John (KC): Does the fact that Bubba Starling lives ~45 minutes away from KC change his chances of being drafted by the Royals? I remember last year there was local (KC) buzz about Jason Adam, and that seems to have worked out pretty well for the Royals so far.
Kevin Goldstein: No. I think that connection is more outside generated than inside. Adam indicated to teams that he only wanted to sign with KC, so that's a different story.
Justin (Tinley): Could Bell have thrown out that letter with the intent that there are just a small number of teams he is willing to play for and this is his way of trying to control who drafts him?
Kevin Goldstein: Certainly possible.
Omar (Bronx): Any chance Osich falls to #44? slim, none.
Kevin Goldstein: Slim, but more than none.
JH (chicago): Love the Cole vs Hultzen comparison from earlier. How quickly would you expect each to make their MLB debuts?
Kevin Goldstein: I'd but Hultzen gets their first. By end of 2012 wouldn't shock. CRAZY polished.
Chris (Michigan): Do the bonus demands of Fisher and Nimmo give them a shot to fall to the Tigers?
Kevin Goldstein: Fisher could, but I think someone will pop Nimmo earlier.
Jose Bautista (Toronto): What are you hearing about the Jays direction - high school or college - in the first round? I've heard reports of both philosophies.
Kevin Goldstein: As have I. Looking like it's a best player available situation.
SRB (WI): When scouts say Baez has "makeup issues," what does that really mean and what is it based on?
Kevin Goldstein: There have been on the field issues. Everybody likes intensity, but he can be too intense, to the point where it almost seems like he is playing with anger. It's not a massive issue that's going to kill him.
sanchez101 (Santa Barbara): Any word on who the Dodgers are looking at in the first round? please don't say another raw HS righty - we already have enough ...
Kevin Goldstein: High school righty.
TGisriel (Baltimore): Is it true that Bundy is substantially more than a strong HS arm, and he is extremely polished for his age?
Kevin Goldstein: It's easy to think that, but it won't play a big role.
Tony (OKC): Thanks for the chat!! This time last year, It sounded like Rendon was something like 90% of Longoria. What kind of player would you currently project him to be and what is his timetable?
Kevin Goldstein: I think he could get to the big leagues quickly, I think he could be a plus-plus defender with a good average, many walks and 20+ home runs in his peak.
tb3nn3tt (OKC): Where would Leonys Martin go if he were eligible in this draft?
Kevin Goldstein: Middle of the first somewhere?
TGisriel (Baltimore ): Are you limiting questions to the draft today, and excluding questions regarding prospects in the minors?
Kevin Goldstein: It's a draft chat. We'll have plenty more prospect chats after the draft.
Tony (OKC): Have you heard if the Rangers will look to spend should someone fall to them?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes. Not at 33, but afterwards.
Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, I have to go finish this mock. More chats on Monday, I'll have full details on the times and how to talk to me basically all day once we have it all worked out. Thanks so much for ending your week with us.