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Mayo talks Draft with fans in on-line chat

Jonathan Mayo: OK, everybody. Lets get this chat started, shall we? Lots to talk about with the Draft just a few days away.

schnoah2: You currently have the Pirates taking Max Fried. Any talk about the Pirates and Giolito? No team in baseball could touch the Pirates stable of young pitching with Giolito/Fried, Taillon, Cole and Herredia (not to mention Kingham who is coming on lately).

Mayo: Had to start with one on the hometown team (I live in Pittsburgh for those who don't know). There hasn't been talk about Giolito and the Pirates. Frankly, there hasn't been much talk about Giolito at all. He's the biggest wild card and it's hard to figure out a team that might be willing to pay him given the injury question marks.

brackman25: Do you think we will see more prep hitters and pitchers go to college because of the CBA?

Mayo: In a word, yes. In the previous system, a team could aggressively draft a "signability" high schooler in the later rounds and pay him over-slot to keep him from going to college. The current system doesn't really allow for that anymore, unless a team wants to incur penalties. So either you take a high schooler where he should go based on talent or you don't take him at all. I think that means a good number of high schoolers will opt for college, hoping they'll be first round candidates in three years.

arank12: Keith Law said in his latest mock that he believes its even between Buxton and Appel for 1.1. Do you agree?

Mayo: I suppose I shouldn't give free pub for a "competitor" but we can address the situation at 1-1 this way. Yes, I do agree with Keith. While the Astros are still looking at five players officially, I really think it comes down to Appel and Buxton. I could see a scenario where LSU RHP Kevin Gausman comes into play if dealing with Scott Boras (Appel's advisor) is something the Astros want to avoid.

joearizona: With the amount of pitching they took last year, is it highly likely the D-backs are looking at hitters in this draft?

Mayo: There is the old adage that you can never have enough pitching, so you shouldn't rule it out entirely. Especially since they're picking down at 26, they can wait and see who might drop to them and go that route. That being said, with all the young pitching they've accrued, I think they'll head in looking for bats, especially at the top.

Bigbully: Looking for info on a kid from Utah by the name of Kayden Porter. Is this kid being looked at as a pitcher or hitter?

Mayo: I believe he's looked at as a player who will play two ways for the University of North Carolina.

KCskier: How big is the gap between Mark Appel and say Gausman and Zimmer?

Mayo: I don't think it's all that big, though there are those who say Zimmer has dropped a bit with some concerns about his final two performances. Flip side is he might have a higher ceiling than the other two. The fact that they're so close is one of the reasons it's been tough to project the top of the round.

Dizzy619: Who do you see the San Diego Padres selecting?

Mayo: Right now, I think they're keying in on the top high school talent that could be available to them. That could be Carlos Correa, it could be Albert Almora, it could be Max Fried. Now, if one of the college arms gets to them, like, say Kyle Zimmer, it will be interesting to see which way they go.

mattkemp44: Where do you think the A's will go with the 11th pick?

Mayo: I've been having a hard time pinning the A's down. There are some college arms they can consider, like Michael Wacha (who I have in my current projection) or Chris Stratton. There's been talk about some high schoolers, like if Max Fried got there. And Addison Russell's name has been mentioned. But the A's have taken a college player with their first pick for the past five years running.

triquasion: What do you think about Deven Marrero's future? MLB player or no?

Mayo: He's a big leaguer for sure. What kind of big leaguer remains to be seen. If people think he's the guy they saw as a freshman and sophomore, he's a good shortstop and No. 2 type hitter. If he doesn't hit as much, his glove still should land him a job in the big leagues quickly.

Posada_20: Been hearing a lot about Mitch Gueller being connected to the Yankees. WOuld he be considered a reach in the first round?

Mayo: I've seen/heard that name mentioned as well. I think it's a reach at 30 and I don't think they're really on him that closely there. Of course, the Yankees haven't been afraid to reach before (see Culver, Cito).

MetsRockSuckers: Hey Jonathan, any chance Courtney Hawkins or Max Fried falls to the Mets?

Mayo: I think there's a chance, more so for Hawkins than Fried. I don't see Fried making it out of the top 10. Hawkins, could, with a number of teams from 9-13 interested in his power potential.

FakeLefty: Which HS pitchers have been connected to the Brewers? Any chance that Zach Eflin will be around by the time the Brewers pick?

Mayo: A guy like Eflin could be there when the Brewers pick, though in my latest projection I had him going No. 20 to the Giants. The best HS arms who could be available then would be Shane Watson, Nick Travieso, maybe Matt Smoral (signability?). Could see a Lucas Sims be there at that point, too.

Dodgers1991: If you are the Dodgers, what players are you looking to take with the 18th and 51st picks?

Mayo: I tend to put the Dodgers with young power arms in the first round and they have been linked to some like Ty Hensley. But they went college arm last year, so you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. I've heard some talk that because they've been so pitching-focused, they might be looking for some hitting for a change.

TheFan: I know the Red Sox are in "whoever drops" mode specially college pitching but who are some of the names mostly associated with the Red Sox?

Mayo: Right, if one of the better college arms gets to them, they might pounce. I have them taking Marcus Stroman at 24 and I think they'd love that possibility there. At 31, they'll be in best available mode, and with some depth in high school pitching, that might be the best bet.

SCM2512: Jonathan, which rounds do you see Lewis Brinson of Coral Springs HS, Nick Travieso of Archbishop McCarthy and Jose Mesa Jr. of Flanagan HS going in?

Mayo: I wanted to get a mention of Brinson in because I snuck him into my first round projection as my "surprise pick." I hear the Brewers like him, but it might be more for the sandwich round than the first round proper. Travieso is at the back end of the first round, maybe ends up in the comp round as well. I don't have a good feel for Mesa, though he's not in the same vicinity at all as the first two.

infraren: I know that local sports shows have hyped up Mitch Brown, and that the Twins like him a lot--need an unbiased opinion, what kind of starter could this guy develop into?

Mayo: Ahh, the local hype machine. But in this case, it might be pretty legit. Brown has some pretty solid helium heading into the Draft, not uncommon for talented players in cold climate states. He has the chance for a four-pitch mix and should develop good command as he develops. Is he a No. 1 or even a No. 2? Maybe not, but he has a very bright future.

Cowboy24: How does Zunino compare to guys like Posey and Wieters? When can we expect to see Zunino in the bigs if not blocked?

Mayo: He's not as athletic as Posey and while his tools are comparable to Wieters, he's not quite there. There's been a lot of talk about Zunino sliding because of his SEC struggles, but I can't see him slipping too far. Catchers sometimes can take longer, but he understands the game, so I could see him reaching the bigs in two years-ish.

morenos92: What player you think the Giants will choose?

Mayo: If one of the better college bats gets to them (Shaffer, maybe Piscotty), they could do that, but I think they're leaning high-upside arm. The name I've heard the most is the one I projected today: Zach Eflin. But there are other high school pitchers sho i'm sure they'll consider as well.

jayfan1728: If you had to pick one team bold enough to draft Giolito, who would it be?

Mayo: Only way it could happen is with a team that had multiple picks and could be creative that way by saving some money on other selections. I'm guessing here, but the Blue Jays and Cardinals stand out as the main candidates, with maybe Oakland as a possibility.

kbo25: Who do you like better Addison Russell or Rahier?

Mayo: Disclaimer: I'm not an evaluator or a scout, so it's not really who I like. But I will give an opinion based on the people who know what they're doing in that regard. Both are talented high school infielders. Both have very good offensive potential. I think I give Russell the edge now because he's shown the willingness to get in really good shape and proven he has a real chance to stay at shortstop. Most think Rahier will have to move. Both are likely first-rounders.

adamsnic: Is there any potential that Lance McCullers is looked at as a shortstop?

Mayo: None.

jkutzer: After Appel and Piscotty who will be the next Stanford Cardinal taken in the draft?

Mayo: Probably Kenny Diekroger, but I could see a team liking Brett Mooneyham as a lefty reliever type first.

butidonthavemoney: How are teams at the top of the Draft going to approach signing bonuses on their highest pick? Is it possible the Appel to Houston talk has something to do with him being willing to sign for less than Buxton?

Mayo: I would highly doubt that Appel, advised by Scott Boras, would sign for less than Buxton. With the new system, I think teams mostly will stick to the assigned value for the pick. Some might get a little creative, saving a little in one spot to sign a guy in another spot. But there can't be rampant over-slot spending. The talk about Appel over Buxton has more to do with how quickly he'd get to the big leagues compared ot Buxton. Keep in mind, it's not like Appel is a huge reach here.

360waves: Who does is look like the Royals are targeting at number 5? Would Carlos Correa be a reach if available? thanks

Mayo: Correa wouldn't be a reach and his name has come up at 5 (and at 3 and 4). I think, in a perfect world, the Royals want an arm there. They'd love it if Appel or Gausman got to them. They're still in on Zimmer. If they pass on him, they could go high school with Max Fried and it would be interesting to see what they'd do if Zunino is still on the board bat-wise.

0liver: Most second basemen are guys that didn't make the grade at short but the Cards seemed to get a strong value by grabbing Wong last year. Are there any guys currently at second base that will get taken in day one?

Mayo: Not sure he'll go in day one, but he could go in the second round. This also allows me to answer a question someone sent in about underrated players. I'm talking about Cal 2B Tony Renda. Dude can hit, sort of a Pedroia-lite type.

TonyFridas: With all the speculation of how hard the new bargaining agreement will be for low market teams, is there any way MLB reconsiders this

Mayo: I don't really think it's as hard as people make it out to be. Will the Pirates be able to sign a guy for $5 million in the second round? No, of course not. But I don't know if that's necessarily good for the game. Maybe there will be some adjustment time for those teams you're referring to, but I think this is a step in the right direction. It's not a perfect system, but something needed to be done to fix what was going on. But look at the bonus pools teams have -- it's not like they don't have money to spend in the Draft anymore.

CubsBaseball12: Do Cubs have chance at Kevin Guasman, Appel?

Mayo: I'd be shocked if both weren't gone in the top 5 picks.

zakfairbro: Who do you see the Mariners picking at 3?

Mayo: I've had Zunino in their spot all along and I'm sticking with it, even if there's been a lot of noise about him sliding and the Mariners taking Carlos Correa. Of course, by Monday morning when my last mock goes up, I could be singing a different tune.

jkid4MVP: What your opinions on Duke's Marcus Stroman. Any red flags outside of his hight? Seen him pitch last 3 years and all I see is a fast track stud in the back end of a pen.

Mayo: I'm a big Stroman fan. Maybe I like the under-sized guys because they have to fly in the face of conventional wisdom. He also has electric stuff and you're right, he could be in the big leagues in a hurry as a reliever, with the potential to close, in my opinion. Got about 15 minutes left on the clock folks ... will try to get to as many more questions as possible.

bobhamelin: Was the idea of a lottery for the first 5, 7 or 10 picks in the draft ever a consideration during the CBA?

Mayo: I'm sure they discussed many things, especially in that committee that was formed to study the Draft system. I don't know for certain what ideas were thrown out there, but as far as I know, an NBA draft-like lottery was not discussed.

stirner: David Dahl seems to be filling with a lot of helium. I've seen him in some mocks as high as nine and as low as twenty. Any chance that he's available at twenty-four?

Mayo: He's kind of all over the map. I'm not sure how much helium he has right now, but his name has been mentioned as high as the top 10. I doubt he makes it to 24, but if some teams decide to be a little more conservative at the last minute and reach for some college players (a fairly common occurrence), he could make it that deep.

jurickson: If Giolito fell to the Rangers do you think they would pony up to pay him?

Mayo: I know, a lot of Giolito questions ... can't help it. I don't think they can/would. I really don't see any team going above their pools to incur the fairly stiff penalties (both financial and loss of draft picks). And would a team be willing to spend a huge percentage of their total pool for a guy with health questions? I don't see it. My money is that he heads to UCLA.

booker966: Anyone jump into your top 7 or do you believe these are 7 best off the board

Mayo: I think the 7 we've been seeing/talking about are the most likely to go top 7. I think Zunino could slide out, maybe Zimmer. Fried, who would go 8 or 9 anyway, could move up into the top 7. Maybe a team could end up reaching a tiny bit for someone like Andrew Heaney, but I doubt it.

cards11: Who are some of the potential high HS draft picks that could skip signing and go to college (i.e. Karston Whitson, Tyler Beede)?

Mayo: Hmm, have I mentioned Giolito yet? He's the obvious one. Some others: Corey Seager, Stryker Trahan, anyone committed to Stanford.

cfuturists: Jonathan, this Chuck from The Futurists. I'm curious as to what you feel Gausman's ceiling is?

Mayo: Shout out for our prospects blog on MLBlogs, The Futurists. Go check it out. He has the potential to pitch near the top of a rotation. Until that breaking ball improves, no one will call him a future No. 1 (I don't like doing that with prospects anyway), but he could be a pretty darn good No. 2 starter.

jt__iii: Do you consider Buxton being a similar player to Donavan Tate, in both tools and risk?

Mayo: Nooo. Buxton has a much, much better feel for the game than Tate. He wasn't splitting his time on the football field, for one. And Buxton's makeup is off the charts. I think that minimizes the risk considerably.

schnoah2: There has been next to no talk on Victor Roache. Any chance he could fall into the 40's?

Mayo: Because of the injury, he really hasn't been evaluated all spring. That makes it hard for teams to decide what to do. He's one of those who could still sneak into the end of the first round for a team that believes in his bat. But the sandwich round does sound about right.

ee103: What do you think the Texas Rangers will do with their 1-2 round picks

Mayo: High upside, young guys. I think they'd love for an arm to be there, like Lucas Sims or Ty Hensley. There are some HS bats they might look at -- I gave them Stryker Trahan in my latest projection.

schnoah2: Almora, Dahl and Shaffer who has the lowest floor and highest ceiling?

Mayo: Almora has the highest ceiling, Shaffer the lowest floor (but not by much).

adamsnic: Wouldn't it be risky to take Zunino for the Mariners when they aleready have Montero?

Mayo: Not if you think Montero can't stay behind the plate long-term.

snoochies8: I feel like Brandon Thomas and Nolan Fontana are underrated players. Where do you see them going and what're the knocks on them?

Mayo: They have performed well in very good college conferences. And those types of performers do tend to rise a bit come Draft day. I think Fontana's a sandwich round type of guy. His knock is that he may not have the tools to be an every-day shortstop at the highest level. As for Thomas, he has speed, he can hit. But he's seen a little bit as a tweener. He hasn't played CF for Ga Tech, so the question is: Can he play there every-day? That's an unknown

bigtwins: Carlos Correa should be the pick at #2. Agree or disagree?

Mayo: Disagree. Not if Buxton is there.

adamsnic: How do Major League teams decide who to take in the late rounds? Such as the 30-50

Mayo: A chance to give the area scouts some love. They are the backbones of the industry. Scouts work harder than anyone I know ... and it sure isn't because of the money. When they get to the later rounds, obviously, the scouting directors can't get to see all those players. So they rely heavily on the area scouts, who's job it is to find diamonds in the rough in their area for those later picks. Getting a first-rounder in your area is great, but I bet if you ask an area scout, he'll love to tell you about a 30th rounder he went to bat to take who made it to the big leagues

Mayo: Folks, sadly that's all the time I have for today. Please feel free to send any questions to me via Twitters @JonathanMayoB3. Look for one more mock draft come Monday morning, and of course the Draft itself. preview show starts at 6 p.m. ET, Draft at 7 p.m. ET. Live on MLB Network and streamed on Rounds 2-40 are streamed live on on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mayo: Thanks to everyone for coming!