MLB's Draft expert Jonathan Mayo participated in the second of three chats on Friday regarding the First-Year Player Draft. The third chat is scheduled for June 4 at 1 p.m. The Draft takes place June 7-9.
punksroo: Hi, Jonathan. Has your Draft order changed from last week?
Jonathan Mayo: My next projection will go up next Wednesday, picks 1-20. At this point, it's very fluid. After the first three players (and the order of No. 2 and No. 3 isn't set), everything is still muddled.
bennybeato: What's up with Anthony Ranaudo? Someone told me he pitched in relief yesterday. Are teams looking at him as a closer now?
Mayo: Ranaudo did come in and pitch an inning and chance in relief, but it's not because teams are looking at him as a closer. LSU is trying to stay keep pace with Alabama in the SEC for better tournament seeding.
Ranaudo was going to start on Saturday, just in case that game was important for that reason (series this week is Thursday-Saturday). I haven't heard yet if that's still happening, but it'll probably be an "all hands on deck" kind of situation if the win is important.
honkbal1: What's up with Drew Pomeranz dropping in your latest mock Draft?
Mayo: Well, look at his performances the past few weeks. Not just the numbers. What's troubled scouts is his drop in velocity and total loss of command. I haven't heard yet what he was throwing last night, but he did give up four runs over seven innings. That said, if he throws well in the SEC tourney and regional action, he'll move back up into top five consideration.
shosky47: Where does Bryce Brents (MTSU) stand in the Draft as of now after going 0-4 with 3 Ks in front of New York Mets GM last night at WKU?
Mayo: One game doesn't make or break a guy, even with the GM in attendance. Does it mean the Mets might not take him at No. 7? Maybe Omar needs to be convinced if scouts are really on him. But that one game won't affect his Draft status all that much.
phinstd: After taking a high upside high school pitcher in first round last year, would the Cards pop Nick Castellanos if he were there at 25?
Mayo: It's way too early to know what they might do at 25, but I think it's safe to say they'd be at least interested in Castellanos. I don't think he'll be around at 25, though.
deeezntz: Word is that the Mets are not keen on going over slot. Does that take all HS players out of the question? That would make Brents, Zack Cox, Yasmani Grandal, Michael Choice and Deck McGuire all in play.
Mayo: They tend not to be over-slot fans, that's true. It doesn't mean all high schoolers are out. Many HS players do actually sign for slot and if that's the way they wanted to go, they could. But I think you're on target with the names you listed there.
jays2011: Do you see Deck McGuire, Karsten Whitson or Chris Sale falling to No. 10?
Mayo: Of those three, Whitson's the one who is most likely to be around at No. 10. McGuire could be in that area, maybe, but I think Sale will be gone.
dertyfoot: Any rumblings or connections to the White Sox first round pick? They expressed a commitment to toolsy high upside players last year, but I'm not sure I buy that.
Mayo: They did, then took a guy from LSU in the first round. There are some interesting toolsy guys in the HS class this year, but it's not an overwhelming group. There's more in terms of high upside pitching, if they wanted to go that way. I haven't gotten a read on what they're thinking yet. Of course, they may not know, either.
guyclark: Who is the fastest player available? Brown?
Mayo: Gary Brown is definitely up there. I'd also put Delino DeShields, LeVon Washington and Ryan Bolden on that list.
bluepride7: I know the Missouri Valley Conference is not well known for top teams. But I have been hearing that the MVC has some top talent this year. Who are the top two coming out of the MVC and where do you think they will go in the Draft?
Mayo: Hey, the MVC's had some talent over the years. Mike Pelfrey, for instance. Anyway, the one name that's getting the most buzz is Jacob Petricka out of Indiana State. Reports of him touching 98 mph are making the rounds and it's shooting his Draft stock way up.
bigtime11: Brewers ... has to be a college pitcher in the first round, no?
Mayo: Not necessarily. Teams aren't going to Draft for need in the first round and the Brewers tend to take who they think is the best available player. They did go the college pitching route last year, but they're just as likely to go in another direction this time around.
Dodgerdoug: The Dodgers need a 3B to eventually replace Casey Blake. Do you think Cox would drop to the Dodgers?
Mayo: The Dodgers won't take a 3B because they need one in the big leagues, at least that won't be their main motive. That being said, I can't see Cox sliding that far.
deeezntz: If Jameson Taillon falls past Baltimore, how far could you see him slip?
Mayo: I don't see him getting past Kansas City at No. 4. Actually, I don't see him falling past Baltimore.
honkbal1: Who's the best shortstop after Manny Machado? Is it Christian Colon?
Mayo: I think Colon is a good choice there. Not 100 percent sure he'll play short at the next level, but he's likely to be the next player who currently plays shortstop to get taken after Machado. We'll be doing breakdowns by position leading up to the Draft.
dertyfoot: How hard will it to be sign Castellanos and Austin Wilson?
Mayo: I don't think Castellanos will be too tough. Not saying it's a slam dunk, but I think the kid wants to play. Shameless plug: I have a feature on him going on the site today, so check it out. Wilson's a different story. He's got a commitment to Stanford and that's often hard to get a player to give up. There have been some rumblings that it won't be easy to sign him away from heading to college.
Baseball4325: How does this year's Draft class compare in terms of high-end talent in comparison to previous years and what implications may this have to the strategies that clubs choose to adopt on Draft day?
Mayo: In general, scouts have not been thrilled with the overall talent level in this class, but as they always say, "There will be big leaguers to come from this Draft just like every other one." The one spot where there's some talent depth, I think, is high school pitching. There's a general feeling that there's not much separating, in terms of talent, the guy who'll go 15 from the one who'll get taken, say, 35th. So it's possible you might see some teams seem to reach a bit for a guy they like.
bluepride7: Not a question, just wanting to say sorry Mayo for coming across as thinking the MVC has no talent. I was only trying to say that they don't get much recognition for the teams they put together. On an individual basis there are a good number of good players.
Mayo: Fair enough.
c10jones: Are the Braves looking to draft a three-bagger? It doesn'tseem that we have much of anything at that position in the Minors.
Mayo: I'm sure they'll take some third basemen. Then again, they probably always do. They don't pick until No. 35, so in terms of what they might do with that first pick, they'll have to wait and see what comes to them.
dave_477: Is Delino DeShields, Jr. a No. 31 pick?
Mayo: If you're asking if he's going to go No. 31, it's too early to tell. If you're asking if he's going to go in the top 31-32 picks, there has been some talk of him sneaking into the first round. I think he's more of a supplemental pick, but a team that really likes him, especially one with several picks, might nab him. Maybe a pre-Draft deal will be in the works.
honkbal1: Who has the most power potential in this Draft?
Mayo: Bryce Harper, Bryce Harper and Bryce Harper.
LeftyHammer: Who would you say is the best left-handed pitcher in the Draft?
Mayo: Well, for a while it was Drew Pomeranz, no question. But his recent struggles may have put that in doubt, even if it's only a little bit. Other than Pomeranz, Florida Gulf Coast University's Chris Sale is considered to be the next best southpaw in this class.
deeezntz: A.J. Cole and Karsten Whitson seem to be dropping on boards. Any particular reason?
Mayo: I don't know if they're dropping too much, but there are a couple things in play here. 1. Sometimes, HS pitchers' perceived value can get inflated, so they're rated too highly in the first place. 2. Whitson and Cole did have some uneven performances late, making teams pause. 3. In general, when push comes to shove, high school arms tend to "slide" as teams decide they don't want to take the risk. That's with the exception, of course, of the top, top arms who'll go at the top of the Draft every year.
JordanSherman3: So who are the Tigers going to take in the Draft?
Mayo: If I could tell you that, what Detroit will do at pick No. 44 (that's their first selection), I wouldn't be here. I'd be on a plane to Vegas...
Dodgerdoug: Is Bryce Harper's brother, Brent, a Draft prospect? If so, what round do you think he might be taken?
Mayo: I think you mean Bryan, the lefty pitcher also at College of Southern Nevada. Yes, he's a prospect. Obviously nowhere near his younger bro, but I could see him going in the 7-10 round range. How about the Nats take him a little bit earlier than that to make Bryce happy and let the Harpers play together for a while?
dave_477: What are the chances that Kolbrin Vitek doesn't move to the outfield and does stay at 2B?
Mayo: Dave wins the prize for sending in the most questions today. Sorry I couldn't answer them all. I think he could stay at second base. It's not universal that people think he must move. Besides, all it takes is one team to like him at second base to keep him there.
dertyfoot: Is Gauntlett Eldemire the best name in the Draft?
Mayo: Gotta be, no? Sounds like a character from a classic novel or something.
Mayo: A couple more folks, but I'll remind you we're doing another chat on June 4
jburkhart: Matt Harvey, McGuire, Drew, Anthony, Chris Sale -- what is the order in which these pitchers are taken?
Mayo: As of today, I'll go: Sale, Pomeranz, McGuire, Harvey, Ranaudo. Pomeranz could move to the top if he rebounds.
modrea12k: Kaleb Cowart, Cam Bedrosian, Tyler Holt -- how do you think about these guys? Could they be the Jays' target for sandwich picks?
Mayo: I don't think Cowart will get to them in the sandwich round, unless the signability causes it. Bedrosian and Holt will be there. I could see Bedrosian being taken then, not sure on Holt.
Mayo: OK, last one kids...
Mayo: Gotta give Dave one more say ...
dave_477: Is Ryan LaMarre a first rounder? If so, where?
Mayo: LaMarre's getting plenty of buzz, that's for sure. His name is definitely being mentioned in the first-round discussions right now as scouts have been going to see how he looks en masse since he came back from his thumb injury. If he does go in the first, I'll say it'll be in the 20-32 range.
Mayo: OK, everyone, thanks again for coming. As always, you can hit me with questions on Twitter @JonathanMayoB3. We'll chat again on June 4. Bye!