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Prospects Chat: Excerpts from Keith Law Chat

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ESPN's Keith Law held a chat on Friday to discuss some prospects who should be drafted in the 2012 MLB First Year player draft, along with established prospects. Here are some excerpts:

Matt (NJ)

Hey Keith. Will you get a chance to see Buxton in person this year? was wondering how you think he'll compare to some of the more recent high profile 5-tool high school OF's such as starling, tate, etc. Thanks.

Klaw
(3:09 PM)

Yes, I'll go see anyone likely to go in the top 20 picks, plus some others as I can squeeze them in. Also waiting for the doctor to tell me when I can fly again, which is holding things up a little. But all I keep hearing on Buxton from guys who've seen him is that he's very similar to the Uptons in body, fast-twitch actions, and upside with the bat.

Law ranked Byron Buxton as his #1 prospect heading into the 2012 MLB draft. Buxton is a high school kid who Law says has 5 above average tools. Someone to watch come the June draft.

Dave (Cincinnati)

What is your take on the Molina deal? I know scouts and statheads alike love his glove, but as a Reds fan, I am quietly happy about this deal...

Klaw
(3:16 PM)

I don't get the ire over the deal. I worry that he won't catch in the last year or maybe two of the deal, but I think there's a better than even chance that he catches all the way through, and he adds a significant (and, increasingly, quantifiable) amount of value on defense at an extremely difficult position to fill. Plus St. Louis' MRP/win has to be at an all-time high right now.

KLaw chimes in on the Yadier Molina signing. I imagine the value of defensive minded catchers is going to go up as a result of this contract. I just hope the Dodgers have one of them in their farm system. Tim Federowicz maybe?

More excerpts after the jump:

Anders (Toronto)

Obviously a bit speculative here, but Jose Bautista gets moved to 1B within 2 years, right? He's already a bit of a statue and two of Colby/Gose/Marisnick take CF/RF, no?

Klaw
(3:39 PM)

I think that's a reasonable assumption. Talked to a pretty senior evaluator yesterday who'd seen Marisnick last year and said he'd be "shocked if that guy wasn't an impact player" in the majors.

I have been high on Blue Jays outfield prospect Jake Marisnick for a few months now, and after reading this, my like for him is confirmed. Marisnick should go high in my the minor league portion of my AL-Only league draft in April.

Robert (Madison, WI)

Do you see more of a premium being put on the value of prospects as compared to several years ago? If so, what do you attribute this to?

Klaw
(3:13 PM)

I do - it's the growing gap between the minimum salary and the typical free agent salary for an average player. Teams have finally (as a whole) figured out that it's better to try to get 80-90% of the production for 5% of the cost and spend your money on stars or players you can't replace with internal options.

I thought this after Tampa made it to the World Series a few years ago. And they have the talent to get there again.

Alex (Scottsdale, AZ)

Skaggs and Bauer what upside do they have?

Klaw
(4:26 PM)

Assuming Skaggs' shoulder pain isn't serious, I could see him as an ace or a great 2, with Bauer roughly the same but with less confidence.

Maybe I missed the memo, but Skaggs an ace or great 2? He went 9-6 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.105 WHIP in 27 starts in High A and AA. His K/9 was an impressive 11.3 as was his K/BB of 4.04. Sucks that he is a DBack though.