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Down on the Farm: Excerpts from Keith Law Chat

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ESPN's prospect expert Keith Law held a chat on Thursday afternoon and here are some excerpts. There were plenty of draft related questions, but here are a few that are useful for fantasy owners this season:

Shane (Knoxville)

Klaw, if you're a Cards fan wouldn't a bad year for Pujols be a blessing in disguise? If I lived in StL I would be rooting for him to hit .250, it would make him more affordable in free agency.

Klaw
(4:15 PM)

I think I'd rather have him have a huge year and help the team to the playoffs. Besides, what if this is the beginning of a Dale Murphy-style decline phase, and they end up signing him to a long-term deal because he had the down season?

Interesting thought that requires a poll question. Is the the beginning of the end for Pujols, or just a down year?

Chris (Scottsdale, AZ)

Is it safe to say Seattle has Rendon #1? If he slips past them will AZ pounce on him?

Klaw
(4:23 PM)

I think he's their guy, with Lindor still in the conversation. That would be nuts, though, unless they know something about Rendon we don't - and I have every reason to believe the source that told me Rendon has no structural damage in the shoulder.

For those of you who are following the MLB Rule 4 Draft next week, Anthony Rendon was the preseason #1 before a slightly down year at the plate and a few injuries have hurt his stock in some mock drafts recently. I think based on what Law says about his shoulder, that the Pirates should take him #1, especially if he can play second base.

More chat excerpts after the jump:

Bob (Boston)

Is Paul Goldschmidt starting to get some consideration to rise on the prospects lists? At least with the bat I think he has to start to be taken seriously

Klaw
(4:38 PM)

That's fair. He's not an elite guy, but enough of the improvement is real to call him a prospect.

Goldschmidt appears to be the heir apparent at first base for the Diamondbacks, and I read recently that he could be up this year.

RGG (NYC)

Trout > Stanton?

Klaw
(4:43 PM)

Yes. More complete player - better hit, run, and glove tools. Stanton has power and arm.

Do we see Trout in the Angels outfield in 2012?

Tom (St. Louis)

How do MLB's young 1Bs rank for the next few years? Eric Hosmer > Justin Smoak > Mitch Moreland > Brandon Belt > Anthony Rizzo?

Klaw
(4:49 PM)

How about Hosmer, Smoak, Belt, Rizzo, Moreland. Belt/Rizzo might be a toss-up if I underrated Rizzo's power in the past (but I'm not conceding that yet, Tucson is a great place to hit as is much of the PCL's western half).

I am surprised that he grouped Rizzo with Belt, as he is very high on Belt. But, Law did rank Rizzo in his top 40 prospects if I remember correctly.

Mike (Seattle)

Is the Dustin Ackley era gonna start soon? What sort of ceiling do you see with his power numbers?

Klaw
(5:12 PM)

Very soon - been on fire the last few weeks, .326/.425/.579 in May. 15-20 HR ceiling. Wondering if they'll leave him at second or maybe push him to left field.

Ackley in left field? He sounds like Chris Coghlan, no?