06/05/06 5:03 PM ET
Mayo hosts pre-draft chat online
MLB.com insider fields questions about 2006 draft
By / MLB.com
Jonathan Mayo: Hey everyone. Hope you have some good draft questions for me to answer.
sabone3: How high is Brandon Morrow's ceiling? Will he be more of a reliever?
Mayo: Morrow is an interesting one. He has a history as a reliever, so no doubt he can succeed there. But he's made tremendous strides with the command of his secondary pitches where I think he can stay as a starter, maybe a No. 2 or 3.
Jessica_Heine: Who are the Astros looking at?
Mayo: Even at this late date, it's hard to know for sure who teams in that last half of the first round are hoping to get. Truth be told, they don't know who'll be there. Most likely it'll be a college arm. They'd love for Missouri State's Brent Sinkbeil to still be there, but I don't think he will. Joba Chamberlain may slide to them, but there are injury concerns. And Texas RHP Kyle McCulloch is a possibility.
jtsnowfan: I have heard the Giants may go with Evan Longoria with their first round pick. Do you think that's a possibility?
Mayo: I'm sure they wouldn't mind taking Longoria, but there's no way he's still around at No. 10. He'll be gone long before then. I've got him going No. 2 overall, but at the very worst, he'll be taken in the top five. So look for the Giants to go college arm with Daniel Bard.
Nelson_Spencer: Who are some of the players the Braves are looking at with their first few picks?
Mayo: They obviously crossed everyone up by taking a college right-handed pitcher last year in the first round, but they are pretty bankable in terms of scouting high school talent. They'd love to see Alabama high school lefty Kasey Kiker be around, but I don't think that happens. My projection for No. 24 is Jeremy Jeffress, but they'll likely take the best high school arm on the board there.
rangers52: If Robert Stubbs is available at No. 12, is there any chance the Rangers pass on him?
Mayo: No. That's about as bankable piece of information as you're going to get in this year's first round. I still think he goes a little higher -- I've got him at No. 8 to the Reds -- but if he makes it to No. 12, there is no way the Rangers will let him go.
Jerry_Dunbar: Will Stephen King make it into the first round?
Mayo: King's name is one who has crept into first-round conversation, but I'm not sure he makes it there. There are a few teams at the end of the first round who could have interest, especially if a deal is offered. But I see him more as a sandwich pick or second-rounder. And the Red Sox have a few of those. So even if they don't take him at No. 28 or 29, they might be interested a little later on.
motowntigers: Who will the Detroit Tigers draft?
Mayo: That's a tougher question to answer than I thought. For a while, it seemed like it was between Texas outfielder Drew Stubbs and high school LHP Clayton Kershaw. Both are still in the mix, but so are some college-level right-handers. I heard they had interest in Max Scherzer and Luke Hochevar, but I've also heard some rumors -- and they're just that at this point -- about Scherzer's medical reports. So I went with Hochevar at No. 6.
pads06: What direction do the Padres appear to be headed with the 17th pick, based on who may be available? With the uncertainty surrounding Kyle Drabek relative to character issues, do you see him slipping to the Padres at 17?
Mayo: To answer the second part first, yes, I can see Drabek slipping that far because of those perceived issues you speak of. But no, I don't see the Padres taking him if he's there. The Pads will go in one of two directions, in my opinion: high school bat or college arm. Those who have followed the Padres' draft history, and with the addition of Grady Fuson, might think a college arm is a slam dunk. And they like some, including a guy like Brett Sinkbeil. Joba Chamberlain may be available, and there's even the chance Tim Lincecum slides this far. But if California high-school bat Chris Parmelee is still available, I think that's their guy. Sleeper college bat: Matt Antonelli.
Base_Ball: Who will the Yankees take?
mets816: Who are the Yankees looking at with the 21st pick?
ej877: Why didn't the Mets sign Pedro Beato, and which team do you think is most likely to draft him? Have you heard anything about the Yankees preference?
Mayo: I'm enjoying grouping questions together thematically. I've got Beato going to the Yankees at No. 21, the reason I put this trio of questions together. Pretty much everyone thought the Mets were going to sign Beato, their top draft-and-follow from last year. But I've been told they were pretty far apart in terms of money, with Beato seeking seven figures. The Mets have the resources, especially without a first-rounder this year, but perhaps they didn't want to be held ransom. One problem with Beato is that because he was under control -- and most teams thought he'd sign -- he wasn't very well scouted this year, and he certainly wasn't cross-checked at all. So whoever takes him will probably be taking a little bit of a leap and the Yankees have the financial resources to take a shot.
jammingecono: Any idea on what the Nats will do? Rumor has it that they make signability picks, but on the other hand, they will be getting a big increase in their player development budget when the new owners arrive.
Mayo: I had a big signability pick for a while at No. 15 in Josh Butler, but I don't see that happening now. They may cut a deal with Kent State infielder Emmanuel Burriss at No. 22. He'd probably be a sandwich pick otherwise, so they might get some discount on him. Up at No. 15, no matter what projection you look at, there are going to be some college arms who slide to them. Right now, I say it'll be Tim Lincecum.
Michael_Sayler: Where will Travis Snider be picked, 15-20?
Mayo: Snider, a tremendous bat from the Pacific Northwest, has had his name all over the board. I've heard him as high as 12. Right now, I've got him going No. 14 to the Blue Jays in a bit of a departure from the Jays' usual draft M.O. The Brewers at No. 16 are the next likely home for him.
nate050904: What do you think of Jeremy Jeffress? He is supposedly a very good high school pitcher who's being compared to Dwight Gooden.
Mayo: Good, but raw. Anytime a high school kid hits triple digits on the radar gun, people will be interested. I've heard mixed things about his breaking stuff. Obviously, he's a bit of a project, but everyone loves his arm. The Gooden comparisons are mostly because of the athleticism, but I don't think Jeffress has anything like Doc's Lord Charles coming out of high school.
bechet: In his first two drafts, Toronto general manager J.P. Riccardi chose college shortstops. In his next two, he chose college left-handed starters. What does your crystal ball see for the Blue Jays this year?
Mayo: Believe it or not, a high school bat. Snider is the guy, it seems. I think there's still the possibility they go with Matt Antonelli, a third baseman at Wake Forest who who more fits their mold. Some of the sliding college pitching would come into consideration, but all indications point to Snider.
Adam_Fox: Do you have any gloss on the rumor that the Royals will pick Hochevar or Brad Lincoln (if they agree to a $4 million bonus) and pass on Andrew Miller?
Mayo: It's a good rumor. And the logic -- that the Royals would get him for less than it would take to sign Miller and they could claim they were taking the best arm in last year's class, which was stronger, along with agent Scott Boras claiming victory for getting his client taken No. 1 and more money than he left on the table -- did make some sense. But it's only a rumor. The Royals, I've been told, haven't even spoken to Boras about Hochevar. Now, as for Lincoln, that could happen. But it's not just about the money. Sure, saving $1 million on a bonus is nice, but in the end, there's a split on who the right guy is to take. Lincoln has in many ways been better than Miller this year. Does money figure in? Sure. But if you're evaluating two guys and they are just about equal, can anyone fault the Royals if they took Lincoln and saved that money for other picks or needs?
kthorn: Are you concerned about Stubbs' bat? What kind of hitter do you project him being and where do you think he will go to?
Mayo: I'm not overly concerned. But I may be in the minority. He's put up some pretty good numbers this year, especially in the second half. No matter what he does in the future, he's always going to strike out a fair amount. As long as you can live with that, I think you'll get a very productive center fielder who can hit for power and has plus speed. He's a Gold Glover right now. I say he ends closer to Mike Cameron than the low-end fourth outfielder comparisons you may have heard.
brutesent: What is up with Lars Anderson? I don't see him on many first- or second-round projections, but he seems very talented. Any chance the Giants might go with this high school hitter in the sandwich round?
Mayo: He is very talented, and based solely on talent, he'd probably maybe even sneak into the first round. Word is that he's placed a $1 million price tag for anyone who drafts him, a bonus demand that could send him to Cal for college if it's true. I haven't heard many teams on him in the first round, where that kind of bonus might make sense. If he drops past there, I don't see teams willing to pay that much later on.
freebball: Will the Devil Rays go with a position player at No. 3 after being burned by arm surgeries to their last two top picks?
Mayo: They won't go with a Rice pitcher, but I think they go back to the arm with Lincoln. If he goes No. 1, Miller may fall to them. I could see them considering Longoria as the lone position player, but I think he goes No. 2. OK, folks -- I'm going to go for about 10 more minutes and will try to do a lightening round kind of thing and answer as many as possible.
Erik_Jensen: Who do you think the Cardinals will draft? And do you think they will start drafting more high schoolers?
Mayo: I've got David Huff in the first round out of UCLA, but it's hard to tell at this point. They're willing to go high school some if it fits. With that first pick, I think college arm is more likely.
jakesdaddio: I am a big Brewers fan, which isn't great right now. Who do you see Milwaukee drafting tomorrow?
Mayo: They like Alabama high school lefty Kasey Kiker for them at No. 16, with high school outfielder Snider a possibility if he's around
83oriole: The Orioles farm system lacks quality offensive prospects and is even worse in regards to prospects with power. Will they address those needs tomorrow?
Mayo: Yes. I think they'll take high school shortstop Bill Rowell, who'll play third as a pro. Terrific power potential.
m116: Who are the Mariners looking at with their first pick?
Mayo: It's looking like Morrow, out of Cal. But Hochevar is a possibility and local fave Lincecum will be there. I also heard recently they're considering Daniel Bard from North Carolina.
moorzky: Who are the top catchers in Division I baseball in the 2006 draft?
Mayo: Chad Tracy from Pepperdine is the best of a weak class. There's Jeff Dunbar from UC Riverside, Jordan Newton from Western Kentucky and Brian Jeroloman from Florida, though he's a defensive guy who had a bad year with the stick.
freebball: Do teams trade draft picks like we see in football or basketball?
Mayo: Nope, it's not allowed. It's something I'd like to see change, not that you were asking.
sabone3: Lincoln, Lincecum, Miller, Hochevar, and Morrow. Which one makes it to the bigs first? Highest ceiling? Most success?
Mayo: If Lincecum is put into the bullpen, it's him. Otherwise, I'll say Hochevar.
pjl7: Any chance the Twins will pick a college bat who may be ready for the Majors in a year or two?
Mayo: Unlikely. Maybe later on, they'd consider that. But it's a very weak college-bat class in general, so they'd be even more inclined to go the high-school route.
Hank_Chase: Is it possible the Padres take Chris Marrero at No. 17? I don't think he will be available at 35, do you?
Mayo: No, he won't be available at 35. I don't think they like him at 17. They'd be more likely to go with Chris Parlmelee if they want a high school bat.
jtsnowfan: Where do you expect Brett Anderson to go?
Mayo: I've got him going No. 19 to the Phils.
eric_gordon: Who will the Pirates take with the fourth pick?
Mayo: Right now, it's Stanford's Greg Reynolds. If things blow up and Reynolds or Brad Lincoln are not available, it'll be Tim Lincecum.
Mayo: OK, folks. Since I'm a Pittsburgh guy, I'll end on that one. Thanks everyone for the great questions. Since this seemed to be a popular feature, we'll be sure to bring it back next year. Hope to see all of you tomorrow during our live video coverage on MLB.com. Kansas City is on the clock at 1 p.m. ET -- our coverage starts at noon.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.