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06/03/08 3:32 PM ET

Draft guru Mayo answers fans' questions

On Tuesday afternoon, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo held a live chat with baseball fans who came armed with questions about the upcoming First-Year Player Draft, being held on Thursday and Friday at the Milk House in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., part of Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.

Read on for Mayo's insights at what to expect as the Draft gets under way.

Jonathan Mayo: OK, kids. Let's get this thing rolling. About 48 hours until Draft day, with plenty of questions left unanswered. I'll try to answer as many of yours as I can in the next hour or so ...

jfish26101: T or F, Justin Smoak will be the first hitter to reach the Majors?

Mayo: Start with an easy one. ... False. He may be one of the first, but I think I'll go with Alvarez or Posey first.

marlinschp: Where do you see Brian Matusz going on Thursday?

Mayo: Well, I don't know about his personal plans, but if you mean where in the Draft, he could go No. 4 (outside shot at No. 3 if the Hosmer thing falls through) and would almost definitely be off the board by No. 6 to the Marlins.

highheataz: Will Minnesota pull another surprise pick at the end of the first round like last year?

Mayo: Nothing would surprise me with the Twins. They're going to take who they want to take, and their board does always seem to line up differently than some others. Keep an eye on local product Brad Hand, a high school lefty.

royalfansince1985: Any chance Tim Beckham falls to KC at 3? And how does Hosmer project defensively? Is he a 1B, or will he need to switch positions in the pros?

Mayo: Sure, there's a chance he'll be around at No. 3. If the Rays take Posey and the Pirates take Alvarez, he'll be there. That being said, the Royals won't take Beckham. Hosmer is a good defensive 1B. Besides, you don't switch someone from 1B because of defensive issues. If you do, you've got yourself a DH.

zzConflict: Jonathan, have you heard any recent rumors about who the White Sox may be looking at with the No. 8 pick?

Mayo: Sure, there are always plenty of rumors floating around. It's long been out there that they really like Miami 1B Yonder Alonso, but in my most recent projection, I have him going at No. 7 overall. That could leave them with Georgia SS Gordon Beckham, maybe S. Carolina 1B Justin Smoak. It seems that a college bat is the way they're leaning.

Mayo: There was a lot of talk that they liked ASU 1B Brett Wallace, and that might still be the case. But supposedly Wallace was a favorite of David Wilder's, who is no longer with the organization.

matt4930: Hey, Jonathan, thanks for your time. How far do you think Tanner Scheppers will drop in the Draft?

Mayo: You're quite welcome. That's a real good question and, frankly, I don't know. It was such a bizarre injury. Even if it wasn't really a stress fracture, shoulder injuries are really dicey. It's not like with an elbow -- TJ surgery takes care of that -- shoulders are hard to fix. I think there's a good chance he falls far enough for him to return to Fresno State for a senior season.

cjrugger: Hey, Jonathan, have you heard any teams on Destin Hood? Will he make it through the sandwich round? Thanks.

Mayo: The only team I've specifically heard on Hood, the toolsy Alabama HS outfielder (and WR recruit in football), is the Phillies. Heard his name as an outside possibility at No. 24 overall, but I see him more as a sandwich guy, maybe second round.

En_el_bit: Is there any specific ties between the Red Sox and Lance Lynn? Also, what the chances Brett DeVall drops pass the first round?

Mayo: No specific ties, but they were at the SEC Tourney en masse and saw perhaps the best start of his season. I don't see DeVall getting past the first round. There are a few teams at the back end who'd take him, though there certainly are no guarantees.

Hold on a second folks, Draft call to take. ... Sorry about that.

c_utley26: Who are the Phillies going to take in the Draft?

Mayo: They could go in a number of directions, and the Phillies are always assumed to be on the toolsy high schoolers. I have them taking Anthony Hewitt from the Salisbury School in Connecticut, and they would have an interest in Zach Collier if he were around. Other candidates are Ethan Martin, Brett Lawrie and maybe even Destin Hood.

johnny_oh: I'll start with the obvious. As a Rays fan in FL, what's the best pick for this team? This will be the last time they pick this high for a while.

Mayo: I really think that whichever way they go, both will help the team. Sorry if that sounds like a copout, but Beckham has a huge ceiling, and the Rays probably can afford to wait if need be at this point. At the same time, Posey gets to the bigs quickly and fills a need in the organization big time. Flip a coin on that one.

bhrusty: Why do you (and the other experts) keep giving the Orioles a pitcher? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to target a position player since that's where they are hurting for prospects?

Mayo: It's not out of the question for them to take a hitter -- Justin Smoak is still in the mix -- and who knows what happens if Alvarez or Hosmer slips? It's just that what I'm hearing right now, it's an arm they're after. Picking at No. 4, you take who you think is the best player on the board. If they think an arm is that, that's the direction they'll go in.

vancouverman: Hi, Jonathan. Thanks for taking my question. Would love to see Skipworth drop to the Nats. How big do you think this would be for them to get a top catcher?

Mayo: I think getting a legit catching prospect is big for any organization, but especially for a team like the Nats, who don't have a ton, it can be very big. The question with Skipworth has always been whether he can stay behind the plate. The power offensively, though, is definitely legit.

nicksikon: What's the latest on the Giants at 5?

Mayo: College bat, in all likelihood, unless Eric Hosmer is there. If KC passes on him, the Giants would love to take him. If Posey goes No. 1, then maybe they take Tim Beckham. If the Royals take Hosmer and Beckham goes No. 1, look for the Giants to take the best college bat available. Right now that could be Buster Posey or maybe Justin Smoak.

eazyb81: Which player has the most helium right now: Lawrie, Kelly, Collier or someone else?

Mayo: I'll go in this order: Lawrie, Collier, Kelly, though in the end, it'll depend on when they actually go to definitively answer that question. I'd also throw Anthony Hewitt into that mix.

guillentopolancodp: Are the Brewers sold enough on Canadian prospect Brett Lawrie to take him with their pick in the first round?

Mayo: I think it's a possibility. Lawrie is in the mix with a whole lot of teams, from above the Brewers through the first round. People love his bat and his overall athleticism. His lack of a true position is what might hold him up. If a team thinks he can catch, as some do, that might be the team that takes him the highest.

soxbeast1: Hey, Jonathan, who in the Draft has the most potential, you think? And who do you think will reach the Majors first of all the guys you chose to be drafted in the first round?

Mayo: Most overall potential might be Tim Beckham, it might be Anthony Hewitt, could be Aaron Hicks. They all have ridiculous upsides. First to reach the Majors? I'll go the easy route with one of the college relievers and say Josh Fields.

morrowfan: Good afternoon, Jonathan. Does Brian Matusz have top-of-the-rotation stuff?

Mayo: I think he does, yes. He's not just a pitchability lefty college guy. He's got some serious stuff. And while he started the season off slowly, he's been lights-out for most of it, especially lately. Take a look at his season stats if you don't believe me (not that stats mean everything).

blackgabe: Draft call or just ordering lunch?

Mayo: Well, the Draft call was from the local Chinese eatery, in the interest of being honest.

bjb04e: Has Buster Posey helped his case after this past weekend to be the No. 1 pick?

Mayo: Well, he certainly hasn't hurt it, that's for sure. In case you missed it, he went 9-for-19 over five games with five homers and 13 RBIs. Truthfully, I don't know that it would make a team picking 1-1 change their mind, but if they were leaning his way, they might move a little closer. Performing on a big stage is always a plus.

brewersrul: Tell me A. Hicks will be there for Milwaukee at No. 16.

Mayo: OK, I could tell you, but I'd be lying to make you feel better. Is that the kind of relationship you want to build with me?

wright75: Any chance Hosmer drops to the Mets?

Mayo: Always a chance, but unlikely. I don't think he gets past the Giants at No. 5.

ramrodd23: I just don't see Schlereth going to the Padres. Who else may they look at?

Mayo: OK, I'll tell the Padres not to draft him, then. How about Lance Lynn out of Ole Miss if you want a college pitcher? Maybe a college bat like Allan Dykstra, but unlikely there. In a different direction, if prep OF Zach Collier somehow were there, he could be the guy.

eazyb81: Which prep has the best bat -- Hosmer or Skipworth?

Mayo: Hosmer has the better all-around bat. Skipworth has more power right now.

marlinschp: Will Harold Martinez turn pro or go to college? What do you think?

Mayo: It's looking likely that college is in his future. A subpar senior season plus big bonus demands will send him to Miami.

capicu76: Jonathan, I'm a New York Mets fan, and I have to tell you that your projected first-round picks for the Mets are way off base! How can the Mets pass up on the best first-round arms available when they just traded Deolis Guerra, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey?

Mayo: Maybe because the best first-round arms will already be off the board? Keep in mind it's not like they've got a ton of bats in the system, either. They won't take a HS arm in the first round. And this might be hard to believe, I might have talked to someone who has knowledge of what they're talking about in the organization before making my picks.

brewersrul_2: Tell us who the top five would be if money was no object.

Mayo: Honestly, probably not all that different than what I have: Tim Beckham, Buster Posey, Pedro Alvarez, Eric Hosmer and we'll say Brian Matusz.

OK, guys, that's all I have time for today. Sorry I couldn't get to more questions. But if you want to give it a shot, head over to my draft blog, draft.mlblogs.com, and I can try to answer some comments there in the next couple of days. Thanks!

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.