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Chat: Keanan Lamb

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday June 03, 2019 7:00 PM ET chat session with Keanan Lamb.


Keanan Lamb is a member of the BP Prospect Team and here to answer your draft questions.

Keanan Lamb: Annddddd with the first message of the 2019 MLB First Year Player Draft... Keanan Lamb says welcome!!!

Collin (Austin): If Adley and Joey Bart are draft eligible the same year, who goes higher?

Keanan Lamb: As we wait to hear whether Rutschman does get selected first... I liked Bart a lot last year but would take Adley over Bart because there are so few holes in his game.

Joe (Tampa, FL): Are the Oriole’s going to screw this up?

Keanan Lamb: I can't remember a time where there was a clear consensus top overall player and yet so many questions as to whether he'd get picked. He's the obvious, safe choice at #1 And there it is... from black and orange to black and orange. Good pick by the O's who manage to not screw it up

Collin (Austin): Where would (whoever the White Sox draft at No. 3) rank in their system right now?

Keanan Lamb: Now that we know the pick is Andrew Vaughn... He slots into a deep system that will see Eloy graduate soon. Definitely no lower than 5, probably top 3, could make a case to be #1 over Madrigal

Randy (South Park, CO): Pure opinion: when all is said and done, will Manoah or Kirby have the better career?

Keanan Lamb: Your'e talking about two different archtypes here. Manoah has more dynamic stuff with a higher ceiling, but Kirby has the much higher floor in my opinion. I like the body and the possibility for more projection than many in the industry give Kirby credit for and would probably take him as a safer bet.

nschaef (NYC): Any feelings about where you'd start some of these top end college position players? i.e. Vaughn to High-A? Or do you just play it conservative and let him mash his way up with a quicker trigger finger?

Keanan Lamb: Good question, but Vaughn might be a bit of an outlier with his advanced bat. The ChiSox usually start their prospects very low and then after some time move them up aggressively. I think Lo-A is the likely destination to begin his career.

Jim (Manitoba): Some have Manoah as the best college arm in the draft. Who do you like more between him and Lodolo?

Keanan Lamb: Admittedly, I am a little light on Manoah, who is not light at all. Lodolo has the better body, more projection, and it's not particularly close for me.

Dusty (Fan): Manoah a BIG BOY SZN?

Keanan Lamb: He should have been the Mountaineer mascot

Carl (Queens): Better name for a hitter than Baty? Like the inverse of Balfour.

Keanan Lamb: Considering how it's pronounced, ehhh there has to be better than that

Tim (OC): Why is Baty so old?

Keanan Lamb: Do I have to explain how the birds and the bees work?

Sadley Rutschman (Concerned): Any of these picks feel like a mistake to you so far?

Keanan Lamb: Nothing is a super shocker thus far. I wasn't as high on Abrams and Manoah as others in the industry, but we won't know how that pans out for 3-4 years

TT GUNS (Texas ): What kind of timeline should we expect for Bobby Witt Jr? Thx Keenan

Keanan Lamb: He just graduated high school, and while there are some loud tools, no need to rush a kid especially on an organization that doesn't have an open competitive window for a couple years. I think 2024 would be a realistic ETA, maybe 2023 if he hits the ground running.

TT Guns (Texas ): Heard any reasonable comps of BWJ?

Keanan Lamb: There is a lot of hyperbole with Witt floating around. From what I've seen the bat looks a lot like Tulo, maybe not as good defensively, but one that comes to mind.

TT GUNS (Texas ): How about comps on Josh Jung? Sounds like he could be a fast riser?

Keanan Lamb: TT bringing the heat in the chat! I'll make this answer simple: the only guy who *could* be a semi quick mover is Vaughn. Based on position and his advanced bat, I think he's likely the first to reach the majors out of this first round class. As for Jung, there is no hurry... get your work in, the Rangers are known for their crazy good strength training program, and when he's ready - he's ready

Mike (Florida): The D-Backs have a lot of first round and comp picks, you think this is by design? When do you think their window will open?

Keanan Lamb: They made a concerted effort to compete last year, and when that didn't work out, they made an excellent pivot to this plan, going all-in to acquiring picks. They made getting a comp pick in the Goldschmidt trade a priority, and letting Pollock and Corbin walk. This was by design. The trick now, as has been the problem in the past with this strategy (most recently the Rays a few years back) is making as many of these picks land as possible.

Dan (Chicago): Next Big prospect to jump up the rankings like Wander Franco did last year?

Keanan Lamb: I don't think anyone in this draft can make that jump from fringy top 100 to top of every prospect list in one year. What Franco did is so so so rare, maybe just appreciate it instead of worrying about the next guy?

Danny (AZ): If Kristian Robinson was in the draft where would he be picked?

Keanan Lamb: He is very similar, from a raw tools and inexperienced standpoint, to a lot of prep position players here towards the end of the first round. I think (coincidentally) the Dbacks pick of Corbin Carroll is a decent spot

Harold Reynolds (MLB Headquarters): Is Espino the next Max Scherzer?

Keanan Lamb: Why stop there? Next Babe Ruth!

Josh (Long Island): I was today-years-old when I learned of Brett Baty's existence. Can you tell me more about him? Comps, floor/ceiling, etc. Thanks!

Keanan Lamb: He definitely has some thunder, and I really like the swing. It's tough to find a comp that encompasses his total game. The offensive comparison (to me) is Jay Bruce. I wonder where he ends up defensively, if you're a Mets fan and seeking offensive upside he certainly has it.

Geoffrey (Lombard, IL): Saying a certain draftee is the next big thing seems to be overused these days. How can we be certain Andrew Vaughn, the "best hitter in college baseball" will be a surefire big-league success?

Keanan Lamb: Those who make those kind of grand predictions are doing so just to feed the hot take machine. I wouldn't classify anyone in this draft as "the next best thing" even though some had Adley as the best draft prospect since Bryce Harper. There is a lot of talent, but a lot of risk, with all of the players selected tonight.

bob m (pa): What are your thoughts on the Philly pick Stott? Thx

Keanan Lamb: Best player available on the board for their pick. Constantly undervalued the past year or so. I might have taken one of the pitchers as they fell, but can't hate on that pick.

Carlos (Mexico): Biggest overdraft and, for good measure, underdraft?

Keanan Lamb: I think Korey Lee by the Astros is the one overdraft that stands out for me. Should have been able to get him in the second round, and someone else in the first. Brennan Malone I am very high on, although where he was picked may have had more to do with his signing ask then his potential.

Kraig Cimbrel (Chicago, IL): Is Ryan Jensen gonna end up in the back end of the MLB bullpen? As a primarily FB/SL, one-year starter and former bullpen arm, how do you think the Cubs see him? Thanks

Keanan Lamb: The Cubs haven't developed a lot of home grown pitching talent, as opposed to their position players. Going with a guy who has great arm talent and seeing how they can develop him is an interesting approach, as they've recently targeted more polished college pitchers like Alex Lange. When you pick as high as Jensen was, you run him out as a starter for as long as possible.

Pete (Bronx): Do you see the Mets changing their draft strategy in rounds 3-10 now that we're in the Van Wagenen era? Or will it be more senior signs and weird college profiles?

Keanan Lamb: The great wild card. Although I do believe most of their amateur scouting execs are still there, so likely more of the same?

Carter K. (Fresno): Funniest/best name in the draft this year??

Keanan Lamb: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/50348/mocking-the-draft-the-2019-name-game/

Ryan (Temporarily Sacramento): Thoughts on Jordan Brewer? As a UM fan and M's fan, I hope the Mariners take him at 76. Super reach or fairly reasonable?

Keanan Lamb: His stock varies greatly because of his lack of track record. Probably good to go at 76, depends on who else falls to them on their board.

Joe Don (Texas): Did the Rangers overreach at 41, Wendzel, & and 50, Garcia?

Keanan Lamb: You're never supposed to take position into account, just taking the best player available. But I do find it odd that you take two players at the same position from the same Power 5 conference that are so similar. Maybe they think Jung is more of a SS from his limited run there this year? Garcia is a fine pick, albeit a little different from their draft strategy of year's past for high ceiling types.

Ryan (Temporarily Sacramento): Well, darn. What can you tell me about Campbell to soothe my disappointment?

Keanan Lamb: Monster on the mound, big fastball downhill, slider and splitter. Might be a reliever when it's all spoken for, but really like the stuff and performance/track record in the SEC.

Keanan Lamb: How many more rounds we got? Oh, we're done? Ok then... it's been real fun to chat with those with Draft on their mind. Until next year! And be sure to keep checking out all the great #ProspectTeam material all year long and follow me on Twitter @keananlamb Adios!

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