2014 Draft Chat with Chris Crawford

3:46
Chris Crawford: Opened things up early so everyone can get there questions in. Should be fun.
3:56
Chris Crawford: Alright, starting a few minutes early, but I got impatient. This is like Christmas for me, which I know is sad.
3:56
Comment From Jacks
Is it a mistake to not take Rodon at 1.1?
3:57
Chris Crawford: Three months ago, I would have said yes. Now, I don’t think so. The fastball command, the inconsistent third pitch and the high pitch counts all trouble me, and now come word that he’s asking for $6 million. I’d rather have Aiken.
3:57
Comment From Dave
What do you think the Diamondbacks do? Seems like they’re all over the place.
3:58
Chris Crawford: They are all over the place. They’re in on Tyler Beede; but I think they’d prefer a bat like Michael Chavis or Bradley Zimmer. Whomever they take, he’ll be gritty.

3:58
Comment From Derek
Do you think Braxton Davidson could fall to the Brewers at 41 overall? Do you he’s sign for slot or would they have to go over? Thanks.
3:59
Chris Crawford: I think you’d probably have to go over-slot at that point, but ya, I do think there’s a chance he gets there because of his inconsistent spring. Would be a quality addition.
3:59
Comment From Hunter
I realize you should never draft for need, but with how thin their pitching is, how many pitchers could the Indians take today?
4:00
Chris Crawford: I think you see at least one, possibly two. Hearing more prep bats on them though like Michael Chavis and Monte Harrison.
4:00
Comment From Matthew
Why are you so low on Kodi Medeiros? Guy’s stuff is sick.
4:00
Comment From Derek
What is you impression of Kodi Medeiros’ ceiling. I’ve seen one comment giving him the best upside among HS arms after Toussaint, with the acknowledgement that he may end up in the bullpen.
4:01
Chris Crawford: Lots of questions on Medeiros. I have two concerns: 1. He’s 6’0 tall 2. He throws side arm. I think he could be death to left-handed hitters, but I have real doubts about whether he can start.
4:01
Comment From Ross
Don?t think Hoffman drops to SF?
4:02
Chris Crawford: There’s a chance, but it’ll depend on the Blue Jays. I think they take him, though.
4:02
Comment From Ruben Amaro, Jr.
Am I the worst drafting GM in baseball?
4:02
Chris Crawford: Sadly, no, you are not.
4:02
Comment From Bill
The Mariners tend to go with high floor prospects with their early picks (Peterson, Zunino, Hultzen, etc.) yet they’ve been linked to Alex Jackson who seems more volatile. Do you think Jackson has a high floor as a high schooler? Is such a thing possible with HS players?
4:03
Chris Crawford: Depends on your definition of “high floor” but both Jackson and Nick Gordon have relatively high floors for prep hitters. I think they’d prefer a college bat, but, there just isn’t a lot there.
4:04
Comment From Mark
If Kolek falls to the Phillies at 7, how do they pass that up?
4:04
Chris Crawford: I think they’d consider him — and to be fair I haven’t had a chance to talk to many with the Phillies about him because the assumption was he’d be long gone — but I think they prefer the collegiate route this year. I think he’d be a relative steal in that range.
4:05
Comment From Pez
picking at the end is tough to gauge, but what is the best case scenario for the red sox tonight
4:05
Chris Crawford: I think the best case scenario is one of the Tommy John arms like Fedde or Hoffman fall to them and they take an upside bat at 33 like a Harrison or Marcus Wilson. Worst case would be if they reach for Casey Gillaspie or AJ Reed.
4:06
Comment From Matt
Who do you think the Mets end up getting? Could Conforto fall to them?
4:06
Chris Crawford: I think they would love Sean Newcomb to fall to them but I don’t think that’s happening. If Chicago passes on Conforto, then I think he’s in play and the likely pick.
4:07
Comment From David
why is Gatewood falling down the board?
4:07
Chris Crawford: I’m higher on Gatewood than the industry is. There’s plus-plus power in his right handed bat. Teams have two big concerns though: is the hit tool good enough? And can he stick at shortstop. A lot of teams think the answer to both is no, which is why he may not get drafted at all today.
4:08
Comment From John Quincy Adams
Did last years draft have better overall 1st round talent?
4:08
Chris Crawford: The pitching is better in 2014, the hitting — sadly (again) — is much better in 2013. I give a slight edge to 2013, which is really disappointing.
4:09
Comment From Bren
Where would a kid like Amed Rosario fit in this draft?
4:09
Chris Crawford: I think he’d be a first-round pick. Not sure how high, but he’d go today.
4:10
Comment From Mike
What’s the best evidence that skill rather than luck plays a larger role in drafting future MLB starters (outside of the top 5 annual picks)?
4:10
Chris Crawford: Luck plays a huge part in it. Always has, always will. Luck is also about opportunity meeting preparation, and teams that use the process correctly usually end up pretty darn good.
4:11
Comment From Mike B
First prep arm to reach the majors?
4:11
Chris Crawford: I think Grant Holmes might be, just because there’s so little projection left. Could be Aiken though, easily.
4:11
Comment From Todd
Easiest skills for pitchers to improve? Can it be generalized?
4:13
Chris Crawford: Great question, and I don’t think it can be. In terms of individual pitches, I think it’s easier to teach a change than a breaking-ball. Obviously command is a hard thing to teach, though you get a kid in your system young enough you can fix some things. That’s a really good question.
4:13
Comment From Darth Stout
Where can I (we) find the total draft pool money available to each team?
4:13
4:13
Comment From Jazz Hands
Touki Toussaint, reliever or star? Have to chose one.
4:14
Chris Crawford: Ugh, just one? I’ll go reliever. But I think he ends up in between. Lots of talent, but lots of volatility.
4:14
Comment From Mark
How much does IQ effect draft position, especially with pitchers? Do you think a higher IQ makes minor league players more “coachable”?
4:15
Chris Crawford: Absolutely. These kids have some bad, bad habits to break, so if they’re willing to work/understand coaching, it can move the process exponentially quicker. You can’t teach talent, though.
4:15
Comment From Steve
Would Davidson be a good pick for Boston at the end of round 1 (or the supplemental round)?
4:15
Chris Crawford: I think he’d be a fantastic pick in that range, and someone they’d consider if he’s still on the board.
4:16
Comment From Doc
http://image.cdnllnwnl.xosn… Did Nola fix this?
4:17
Chris Crawford: If we’re talking about the arm slot, then no. But the command is so good and his arm is so quick that I’m not sure it’s as big a deal as for someone like Medeiros.
4:17
Comment From RIGHT?
There is no way Rodon gets past the Cubs (assuming he somehow makes it past Lor… the Marlins) right? Even if they offer him a few 100,000 overslot and only go to ~5 million, he’s not going back to school over $1 million… right?
4:18
Chris Crawford: Would be very surprised if he’s still on the board after the Cubs pick. Very, very surprised.
4:18
Comment From green goldfish
When the White Sox drafted Chris Sale, he threw less than 20 innings in the minors.. If they wanted to be aggressive with one of Nola or Rodon, do you think either player is capable of handling that?
4:18
Chris Crawford: I think Nola has a real chance to move quickly through the system because of the command. Rodon, not so much.
4:18
Comment From Steve
What MLB projection do you have on Feede? Thanks
4:19
Chris Crawford: I think Fedde has the stuff to be a No. 2, but there’s a chance he’s a reliever with his arm action. I wouldn’t take him in the first round this year, personally, not after Tommy John.
4:19
Comment From Guest
Name one or two value bats that fans should be excited about towards the end of round 1.
4:20
Chris Crawford: I have long been a fan of Derek Fisher (no, not the point guard), and think he could have a plus power and hit tool. I also think if Derek Hill falls past 20 he becomes a steal; there are four real tools there and he can be a quality defender in center right now.
4:20
Comment From Guest
åny chance Alex Jackson falls into the clutches of my Phightless Phillies?
4:21
Chris Crawford: If I had to give a percentage, I’d say there’s about a 33 percent chance he’s still on the board.
4:21
Comment From James
Lohse and Hudson and Buehrle are all finesse “control artists.” Is the reason we don’t see these types of pitchers being drafted is b/c amateurs don’t have these skills?
4:22
Chris Crawford: Correct, you just don’t see amateurs show plus-plus command very option. Aiken doesn’t have that YET, but he’s on his way, which is why he’s such a special prospect.
4:22
Comment From John Stamos
Who is likely to be quickest to the majors this year?
4:23
Chris Crawford: I don’t think anyone reaches this year, but if someone was going to, it’d be Nick Burdi. 80 fastball, 60 slider, good enough command to get hitters out right now.
4:23
Comment From Brian
IF Rodon falls to the Whote Sox at 3, do they take him? Or is Boras still an issue with them?
4:23
Chris Crawford: Not sure if it’s entirely Boras, but they don’t appear to be in on him at this point.
4:24
Comment From Vslyke
Isn’t it obvious that teams undervalue the value of the sandwich picks? The Marlins made a terrible deal with theirs.
4:24
Chris Crawford: Cheap organizations do.
4:24
Comment From Tanner
Craziest thing you think could happen, such as a team picking someone really out of the blue
4:25
Chris Crawford: Tough to say because it really isn’t out of the blue. Something tells me the Phillies might do something nutty though.
4:25
Comment From Slow Mobius
Pieces that I have read are saying that the Indians could look at one of the pitchers who fell because of TJ surgery at 21. How concerned should one be about them returning to form or having future elbow problems?
4:26
Chris Crawford: Pretty darn concerned. Tommy John is not perfect, and the injury has a nasty habit of rearing its ugly head again. In a deeper draft, I don’t think there’s anyway they go in the first round.
4:26
Comment From Travis (Chicago)
Any reason to be excited about Conforto at 1.4? Doesn’t seem like he’s the BPA there.
4:27
Chris Crawford: I think it’d be a mistake. Below-average defender, not a ton of upside. Nice player, but not not the fourth pick in a draft.
4:27
Comment From Mike
How high can Wall go? Chances he is available at 28?
4:27
Chris Crawford: I’ve heard him in play with the Mets at 10, the Royals at 17 and the Cardinals at 27. There’s a chance he makes it through that gauntlet though, absolutely.
4:28
Comment From Ryan
Will Freeland or Fedde drop to the Red Sox at #26?
4:28
Chris Crawford: Doesn’t sound like it. Fedde has a better chance than Freeland, but the Nationals seem to like him a ton.
4:28
Comment From Nick
If Gordon is off the board, who do you see the Twins selecting?
4:29
Chris Crawford: I think they take Kolek if he’s off the board. The rich get richer, either way. In the farm system, anyway.
4:29
Comment From Travis (Chicago)
Would Bryant and Gray have gone ahead of anyone in this class?
4:29
Chris Crawford: Absolutely they would have.
4:30
Comment From Derek
I’ve seen some places comment that Mac Marshall could have #2 upside, but even there I see him ranked in the 45-55 range on the big board. Do you agree with that upside, and what’s holding him back?
4:30
Chris Crawford: I think it’s closer to a No. 3. Stuff was extremely inconsistent this year. Should go today, but riskier than teams thought he was this summer.
4:30
Comment From Bob
I’ve heard people say the Royals are definitely taking a pitcher, and other saying they will definitely take a hitter. Any feel for who’s right?
4:30
Chris Crawford: America. America is right.
4:31
Chris Crawford: No, I’ve heard more bats attached than arms, but I think if someone like Touki fell to them, they’d go that route.
4:31
Comment From Guest
If I told you Conforto would make multiple All Star appearances, would that surprise you, or not a shocking outcome for ceiling?
4:31
Chris Crawford: Yeah, that’d surprise me.
4:32
Comment From Travis (Chicago)
Best name in the draft?
4:32
Chris Crawford: Handsome Monica and it’s NOT CLOSE.
4:32
Comment From Mike B
Where in the world did the Schwarber hype come from? He’s probably stuck at 1B
4:33
Chris Crawford: I really don’t know. He’s an interesting prospect, but this top 10 talk is pretty bizarre to me.
4:34
Comment From Moneyball
What skill(s) do you find personally most important when evaluating the potential of a player at this stage?
4:34
Chris Crawford: For pitchers: Velocity, ability to repeat delivery, feel for pitching
For hitters; bat speed is huge, as is the ability to hit the other way.
4:35
Comment From Will
What are you looking forward to the most in this year’s draft?
4:36
Chris Crawford: I’m really excited to see if a certain someone who will be covering the draft will like every pick. My guess: yes.
4:36
Comment From Steven
I heard quite a few people earlier in the year say that Rodon would have been 1-1 in the 2013 Draft. Now that his stock has fallen where would you have put him?
4:36
Chris Crawford: He’s No. 2 on my board. And he absolutely would have been the top pick in the 2013 draft. A shame that he wasn’t eligible.
4:36
Comment From dose17
Is the hit tool the biggest question mark on Nick Gordon’s scouting report?
4:37
Chris Crawford: I think the overall offensive upside is his biggest question. I think he’s got a plus hit tool, and he has deceptive power, but industry doesn’t completely agree.
4:37
Comment From Daniel
What is the earliest you could see Burdi going?
4:37
Chris Crawford: 15 to the Angels. Which would be so unbelievably bad that it hurts my head thinking about it.
4:37
Comment From Guest
How long until teams can trade picks for mlb players?
4:38
Chris Crawford: Should have been years and years ago.
4:38
Chris Crawford: Lots of people asking about my top three-five. My mock is available on www.mlbdraftinsider.com.
4:38
Comment From Mike
Seems like plate discipline is hard to teach, but seems to me that teams don’t prioritize it? Do they, or is it hard to scout?
4:39
Chris Crawford: It’s very hard to teach, and bad teams don’t prioritize it at all. The good ones see it though. Really with prep kids you’re looking at pitch recognition, which can lead to plate discipline, hopefully.
4:40
Comment From SB
Does Beede get to the Pirates? If he does, do they gladly take him?
4:40
Chris Crawford: I think he might, and I think they’d take him. I don’t think he’s a huge steal though. That command is so inconsistent.
4:40
Comment From Noah
What are the reasons for Kolek’s supposed fall? Have the top 5 teams learned anything new (like demand, injury) or have they simply soured on him?
4:41
Chris Crawford: I think it has to do with concern about upside, kind of like Gordon. There’s no physical projection left at all.
4:41
Comment From John
Do you know of any prospects that have refused to deal with the phillies because of the NCAA reporting last year?
4:42
Chris Crawford: Nope, it doesn’t appear to have had the huge effect many (me) thought it would. Still early in the process though. And boy should they be ashamed of themselves.
4:42
Comment From Steven
I knew Monte Harrison was a great athlete, but John Manuel said he was about the same level as Bubba Starling coming out of high school. Would you put him on that level?
4:42
Chris Crawford: With all due respect, no I would not.
4:42
Comment From Alex
If Jackson is not the pick at No. 6, is it another collegiate arm for Seattle?
4:43
Chris Crawford: I think so, with Newcomb being the most likely.
4:43
Comment From Ruki
Would teams value the sandwich picks more if they got an actual sandwich on draft day with the pick?
4:43
Chris Crawford: I needed that. Thank you.
4:43
Comment From Raul
Prospect that, in five years, you’ll say to your friends “I told you so.”
4:44
Chris Crawford: My friends hate baseball, but I really feel like I’ll be telling some scouts “I told you!” on Holmes. If he’s not the third prep pitcher taken, it’s a mistake.
4:45
Comment From Grant
Fenway Parks is my favorite name in the draft. http://www.perfectgame.org/…
4:45
Chris Crawford: How great would it be if that guy gets drafted by the Yankees?
4:45
Comment From John
Where would Mike Matuella go if eligible? #1? top 5, top 10? undrafted?
4:45
Chris Crawford: I think he’d go top five, possibly 1.1. I haven’t seen him in person yet? But reports are very, very good.
4:46
Comment From Alex
What are Orioles fans thinking during this draft?
4:46
Chris Crawford: Heat 104, Spurs 98.
4:46
Comment From Guest
What’s your opinion on drafting for need rather than taking best available?
4:47
Chris Crawford: It’s how bad organizations stay bad. You just can’t draft for need. You can fill organizational depth later — and if it fills a need, great — but you have to take the best player on your board.
4:47
Comment From Guest
Does the compensation pick attached to Morales go away immediately as the draft starts or after?
4:47
Chris Crawford: Boy that’s a good question. I think it starts as soon as the draft starts, but, I don’t think we have anything to worry about.
4:47
Comment From Steve
If it were possible to trade picks, who would be trying everything they could to trade down?
4:48
Chris Crawford: As good as Aiken is, I think the Astros. The White Sox probably, too.
4:49
Comment From Slow Mobius
Any top players that could slide due to contract demands, like Appel 2 years ago?
4:49
Chris Crawford: I don’t think so, kind of a weird year in terms of that. It’s kind of nice to see, really.
4:49
Comment From Matt
When all is said and done who from this draft do you think will have the highest career WAR?
4:49
Chris Crawford: WAR? Ew. Nerds.
4:50
Chris Crawford: Had to be done. I think it’ll actually be Gordon, just because of the defensive value. Could be Aiken though, for certain.
4:50
Comment From Ian
Where would Lewis Thorpe (18 year old Australian in MN system) go in this draft?
4:50
Chris Crawford: Probably not today, but probably not around for very long on Friday.
4:51
Comment From Matt
Any skills you feel are being currently undervalued in the draft?
4:51
Chris Crawford: Plate discipline is one, particularly on the college side. Defense has and always will be undervalued as well.
4:51
Comment From Matt
Do you think there are any legitimate ace upside arms?
4:52
Chris Crawford: I think both Rodon and Aiken can be there. Kolek a non-zero chance.
4:52
Comment From Kyle
I like Nola more than Rodon, am I nuts?
4:53
Chris Crawford: Nope, not nuts. I get it. I’ll still take Rodon’s chance to be special, though. Nola at his very best is a quality No. 3. Rodon could be a true ace, assuming his college coach didn’t ruin him with work and the fastball command is where it was as a sophomore.
4:53
Comment From Alex
In terms of talent, where would you say the big drop off is in this draft?
4:54
Chris Crawford: I think the biggest drop is after the “big four” of Aiken, Rodon, Gordon and Kolek.
4:54
Comment From casey
What future grade would you give Gordon’s defense!
4:54
Chris Crawford: 60, maybe 65. He can really pick it.
4:55
Comment From Ruki
As someone who does not often pay attention to the MLB Draft, what should I be looking for?
4:55
Chris Crawford: All the pretty colors and cliches.
4:55
Comment From Alex
Would you rather have the 9 & 11 picks in this years draft like the jays, or the #1 pick like the Astros?
4:56
Chris Crawford: The 1. In a good draft the 9 and 11. But this year I’d rather have Aiken over say…Turner and Toussaint.
4:57
Comment From Tom
We’ve seen how sabermetrics has changed MLB rosters, how has it changed the draft?
4:59
Chris Crawford: I think it’s changed it to a lesser extent. Here’s how I view sabermetrics from a scouting standpoint. I think advance statistics are fantastic, but our job as scouts (consider me a scout for a second) is to figure out WHY these statistics are happening, and whether or not what they’re doing on the field is sustainable.
4:59
Chris Crawford: Well guys, I gotta get going, I have some responsibilities for ESPN that I have to take care of. Thank you so much for chatting with me. I’ll be doing live pick-by-pick analysis of the first round over on espn.com, and I’ll be live chatting through day one as well. Happy draft day!


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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
TomTerrific
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I don’t know how Joey Pankake doesn’t win the name sweepstakes…

Josh Joster
Guest
Josh Joster
2 years 1 month ago

It’s not easy when you have to compete against Handsome Monica

Loose Seal
Guest
Loose Seal
2 years 1 month ago

What pitcher has the best change-up?

CS Yankee
Guest
CS Yankee
2 years 1 month ago

Likely Johan Santana, maybe King Felix when all is said and done.

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