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Chat: Draft Night with David Lee

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday June 04, 2018 7:00 PM ET chat session with Draft Night with David Lee.


David is a senior member of the BP Prospect Team.

Draft Night with David Lee: Ready to get started. Notes are pulled up and laptops are fired up. Might as well get this thing rolling.

Danny (NJ): Would Bobby Witt Jr be the first pick in this draft if he was eligible? Is he the next big player?

Draft Night with David Lee: So many Bobby Witt Jr. questions already! It's tough to say he'd go ahead of Casey Mize. The Auburn arm is what you think of when drawing up a first overall pick, although Witt has all the tools of a top pick as well. There are plenty more factors that could go into it, too. Witt is certainly at the top of the board for the 2019 class.

Craig (Colorado): Best prospect in draft for dynasty leagues?

Draft Night with David Lee: Mize is the safe bet here as the most polished pitcher and perhaps the closest, and he's a lock as a starter as a strike thrower with four pitches. Bat-wise, Nick Madrigal comes to mind as a performer who's going to be close right away. If you want the premium position guy, Joey Bart is going to do big things as a pro behind the plate.

Dusty (Colorado): If Wander Javier's labrum wasn't torn. Where do you think he would go in the draft? First overall or would he slip to 2?

Draft Night with David Lee: Wander Javier is a special talent. Top 10, I'd say.

Jack (Texas): Who do the Pirates go with at #10? Could Grayson Rodriguez sneak to them at #36?

Draft Night with David Lee: It sounds like 10 is the ceiling for Rodriguez, who's been mentioned with the Pirates on more than one occasion. Rodriguez is also an underslot possibility a little higher than 10, but I'd be surprised. If a college bat falls, that's a possibility for the Pirates here. The other choice is a prep arm like Winn, Weathers and Liberatore. I think the Pirates should be thrilled to get Winn at 10. I'm a big fan of him.

Justin (Minnesota): I really hope the Pirates go all high school. I love when they go that route rather than the college route in the first few rounds.

Draft Night with David Lee: They're linked to both early. It wouldn't surprise me if they went prep arm at 10. There are several I just mentioned who are possibilities. A college bat is not out of the question, though.

Tim (Chicago): Who are targets for the Pirates at their 2nd and 3rd picks tonight? Who would I get excited about as a Bucs fan?

Draft Night with David Lee: The popular thought is the prep route for Pittsburgh's picks after 10. There are some upside guys like Gunnar Hoglund, Jeremiah Jackson, Jonathan Ornelas, Blaze Alexander, J.T. Ginn and Alek Thomas.

Justin (Iowa): I hope the Pirates pick Liberatore or Stewart at #10. Would those be good choices at 10? What are your thoughts on those two?

Draft Night with David Lee: Pirates fans should be happy with either. It's tough to top a projectable lefty throwing mid-90s with three pitches in Liberatore. Stewart may have one of the highest ceilings in the class. Highly projectable with tons of length and a whippy arm action, low-90s that jumps and perhaps the best curve in the class. I'll probably mention Winn a hundred times. I'm a big fan of him. Maybe the most polished prep arm in the class with three pitches that project plus and a feel for both sides of the plate. If I'm in the top 10 and Winn is willing to work with me on a dollar figure, I'd jump at that chance.

Stephen (Cape Carteret, NC): Who do the Braves take: bat or arm?

Draft Night with David Lee: If it's a bat, it's Gorman with an outside chance at Swaggerty. If it's an arm, it's a prep arm like Stewart, Weathers or Winn. I'd prefer Winn or Stewart, and I think the most likely choice is a prep arm. It sounds like Liberatore might not make it to 8.

Gutshot (South Arkansas): Blaine Knight has been a giant killer this year. Knocked off some pretty big SEC Friday starters this season including Mize, Singer, Kowar, Hjelle, and Rolison. Is size the main thing keeping him from being a pro starter or is there something lacking in the arsenal?

Draft Night with David Lee: Knight's size is fine. Good athlete, too. His stuff limits him some and the delivery isn't ideal, but he has back-end starter potential with a low-90s fastball and good breaker. The upside won't wow anyone or get him near the top of the board, but he has the chance to be a pro starter.

NYTT (Athens): Can you sell Braves fans on Nolan Gorman?

Draft Night with David Lee: The positives are obvious. Gorman has solid raw power and the swing to tap into it consistently in games. He's also said to have good makeup, which could help if an organization tries to tweak some things. The swing is a little long and there's some swing and miss, so it's more of an upside pick with risk. It's tough to hate on big-time raw power from the left side.

Positively Half St (Fairfax VA): I will be watching whom the Padres pick with great anticipation, with the confidence that they will trade the player to the Nationals before the end of the year.

Draft Night with David Lee: There are so many prep possibilities here. It seems like every player linked to the Padres over their first few picks is a prep player. I wouldn't be surprised if they went to the state of Georgia for one of those upside selections at some point.

Wileecoyote121 (NYC): Thanks for the chat. College position players all the way for the Mets, or do they take a chance on a prep bat or arm in the early rounds?

Draft Night with David Lee: Thanks for participating. I think Kelenic is a possibility at 6. Otherwise, their early picks could be a mix of upside prep guys and college performers. The opinion seems to be all over the map regarding this.

labambasaurus (Jonathan, India): Best upside for fantasies/best tools?

Draft Night with David Lee: Bart hitting for power at a premium position like catcher could be tremendous, and he could be doing it soon. Mize obviously for his polish and strike throwing ability. Stewart has one of the highest ceilings in the class with that frame and curve. Madrigal could have big time batting averages up the middle.

Ben (CA): Weathers at #7?

Draft Night with David Lee: Seems like an underslot pick while gearing up for a bigger dollar figure guy at San Diego's next pick. Weathers' stuff spells out mid-rotation to back-end while commanding the zone pretty well.

Wileecoyote121 (NYC): Good call on Kelenic; the Reds popping India was heartbreaking; I really thought they would pick an arm like Singer or Liberatore. Do you have any thoughts about a player who may fall into the early second round and be available for the Mets to scoop up?

Draft Night with David Lee: Lenny Torres has been tied to the Mets for their second pick. Upside prep right-hander. Seems like a good chance it could be an upside prep guy.

John (Harrisonburg): Kyler Murray over Brady Singer? Why Billy Beane why?

Draft Night with David Lee: Heck of an interesting pick there. Billy Beane just out there keeping it entertaining all the time. Plenty of tools to like from Murray. It was going to take a high pick like this to lure him from football and this will probably do it.

Dan (San Francisco): With both Liberatore and Singer available, the A's go with the undersized CFer, Kyler Murray. Why?

Draft Night with David Lee: I guess the Athletics fell in love with the tools. You can count on Billy Beane to keep things interesting. Brings an explosive skill set with power up the middle. If you're going big with the bonus to lure Murray away, you think he has much higher upside than a Liberatore or Singer.

Wileecoyote121 (Mamaroneck, NY): Is signability the reason for the Singer and Liberatore slides? Seems like someone will get good value otherwise later in the draft.

Draft Night with David Lee: Seems like a dollar figure thing, especially Liberatore. The Rays getting him means they're flexing their draft financial muscle with plenty more picks to come. He's going to get paid, but this is a steal for the Rays.

RedRick (Connecticut ): With the Red Sox ineptitude at developing pitchers, do you think they go up the middle where they’ve had much more success.

Draft Night with David Lee: The industry seems to think Boston is all over the map. The opinion ranges from corner college bats to up-the-middle upside guys. Through it all, though, the popular thought is it'll be a bat. Seth Beer is a possibility.

Wileecoyote121 (Mamaroneck, NY): Early in the year, Brice Turang and Kumar Rocker looked to be popped in the Top 10; now, not so much. How far do you think they drop and who may take the chance on them?

Draft Night with David Lee: The Brewers just answered your question about Turang. His stock fell some, but that turned him into a great value pick. He has smooth shortstop actions and a feel to hit with the chance to grow into power. Great upside pick by Milwaukee. Both names ran into some draft fatigue after coming on the scene early, but there are legitimate concerns if Rocker will remain a starter and be able to keep his stuff on a pro schedule. The Reds, Padres, Blue Jays, Royals and Rays are five possibilities for Rocker between the comp rounds and second round.

Wileecoyote121 (Mamaroneck, NY): Given all the college players drafted early, would you care to hazard a guess as to the first player in the draft to reach the majors?

Draft Night with David Lee: I'll go with Brady Singer. I think the stuff is pretty much ready.

Wileecoyote121 (Mamaroneck, NY): Seigler to the Yankees. Unique skill set for sure. The next great Pinstripe Prospect?

Draft Night with David Lee: You have to be excited when you have a catcher who will stick behind the plate with athletic actions and a plus arm, a smooth stroke with barrel skills from both sides of the plate and some power potential. Seigler contributes in pretty much all phases except running, and even there he's not a station-to-station guy and will remain an above-average athlete. He has nice lift from the right side and a smooth stroke from the left side, and he shows a feel for hitting. This is a solid pick.

Wileecoyote121 (Mamaroneck, NY): The MLB Draft show sure has improved over the last couple of years. Breezy, free-flowing and informative with nice cut-always and interviews. What do you think of the telecast so far?

Draft Night with David Lee: I have no complaints. About as good as a baseball draft can get on tv. I can't complain about length when I sit through three days and 40 rounds.

Wileecoyote121 (Mamaroneck, NY): Who might the Rays be targeting in the Comp Round? Lots of good (but likely expensive) talent still available.

Draft Night with David Lee: I was going to say Ginn until he just got popped by the Dodgers at 30. Nick Schnell, Ethan Hankins, Kumar Rocker, Cole Wilcox, Gunnar Hoglund and Parker Meadows are some possibilities. *EDIT*: Let me add Jackson Kowar and Shane McClanahan to that list.

Draft Night with David Lee: Thanks for stopping in tonight and asking questions. It's been a fun draft so far. Still a lot left to the second round and two more full days to go. Lots of coffee and player reports left. Thanks, everybody.

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