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Down On The Farm: Excerpts from Keith Law Chat

ESPN's Keith Law held a chat on Thursday afternoon, so let's take a look a few of the Q & A:

Chris (Alabama)

What do you make of Anthony Rendon's stats this year (47 BB in 159 PA)? How much of that can be attributed to his eye and how much of it is that pitchers don't want to pitch to him? How do you evaluate something like that when you go to scout him?

(1:20 PM)

It's both - good eye and bad lineup. One thing I look for is quality takes: Is he walking because nothing is close, or is he laying off pitches just barely off the plate (and attacking borderline strikes he can hit, or in two-strike counts)? Rendon does the latter.

I would be surprised if the Pirates did not take Rendon as the #1 pick in the June draft.

Nick (Topeka)

Can Alex Gordon continue the way he has started the season or will he fall back to the.220 batting average player he has been in the majors?

(1:31 PM)

I'll paraphrase something Joe Sheehan said yesterday in his newsletter: We know nothing about these teams or players today that we didn't know a week ago.

Fair point, but some players are late bloomers. Would love to see Gordon continue to hit well at the major league level this season.

More excerpts after the jump:

Cashner's Shoulder (Ouch)

I know his defense is iffy at times, but you have to be impressed with the bat of Starlin Castro, right? Still only 21, do you project him as solid SS or multiple all-star guy? Hugs and kisses!

(1:35 PM)

Multiple all-star. Get well soon.

Castro is getting lots of love from ESPN this week. Buster Olney wrote about him earlier this week. Fantasy wise, what is his ceiling? 15 HRs and 20 SBs with a .300+ BA?

Tom (Richmond, VA)

Can you help me understand something? Why is it that Strikeouts are considered one of the most important parts of evaluating Pitchers, but provide very little value in evaluating hitters, which is what the statistical community seems to be concluding.

(1:43 PM)

"Very little value" is an overstatement. The best thing a pitcher can do is strike a hitter out, because that's a guaranteed out, as opposed to a ball in play which may become a hit because of defense/luck/whatever. For a hitter, a strikeout is only a negative in the sense that the hitter didn't make contact - but the strikeout isn't significantly worse than any other out. (I think it's about 2% worse in run value.) And a high batting average on balls in play appears to be a skill for a hitter, whereas pitchers seem to have much less control over the same aspect of their games.

Not a prospect question, but interesting nonetheless. Keep in mind when you see a batter with a high BABIP for the first time. Have to at least think he could continue to hit for a high BABIP.

Amos (New York)

Can you name a guy or two you haven't given up on, even after a decent sample of serious non-performance in the bigs? (Someone like Weeks doesn't count, someone like Milledge or Gordon does.)

(1:56 PM)

Does Tillman count? Chris Iannetta? Howie Kendrick? I'm not sure what your standard is. I still like guys like Matt Wieters and Gordon Beckham, but have they non-performed enough?

Beckham appears to be turning the corner, as is Kendrick and Iannetta so far this season, but would like to see a few months of solid performance.