Baseball America

Draft And Prospects Chat With Jim Callis

John Botelho (Rockland, MA): Jim, I asked earlier on Twitter about whether or not the Rays should call up Wil Myers. Through 158 AAA games last year & this, Wil Myers is hitting .296 w/ 37 HR & 133 RBI. You said yes, they should indeed call him up but when will they? We saw both Zunino and Cole called up, so its safe to assume the Super 2 period is past. What are they waiting for?

Jim Callis: Hi, everyone. Will do my best to maintain my chat focus but there’s always a threat this time of year that draft signing will distract me . . . I don’t know what the Rays are waiting for. They’re getting good production from their outfielders but Luke Scott isn’t doing much at DH and if the season ended today, Tampa Bay wouldn’t make the playoffs. I still think we’ll see Myers very soon.

John (New York): Hey Mr.Callis,great job as always,,would Kris Bryant and Dominic Smith make your top 100 next year???if so,where would you put them????thanks

Jim Callis: Yes. Haven’t really thought that far ahead, but Bryant would be in the upper third and Smith in the lower third.

Shawn (Houston): What do you think about Astros draftee Nottingham? Will he sign? Also, What Astros draft picks intrigue you the most?

Jim Callis: I generally assume anyone drafted in the first 10 rounds will sign, or they wouldn’t have gone that high. Nottingham has above-average power potential and solid arm strength, and the key will be whether he can make it as a catcher. Two of the later-round picks I like are projectable lefty Austin Nicely (10th round) and live-armed righty Devonte German (11th round).

Lloyd (Lakewood): Hi Jim, Colin Moran's pre-draft scouting report sounds an awful lot like Zack Cox's at least offensively. What is different about Moran, sand can he move to the OF if the power doesn't end up profiling at 3B?

Jim Callis: It does sound a little like Cox’s report, and I really believed in Cox when he was a first-rounder. Cox probably had more power, too. I think scouts give Moran a better chance of sticking at third base, because there isn’t as much talk about him moving as there was with Cox, but Moran will be average at best at third base. Don’t see him as an outfielder, which would require more (not less) power from his bat.

Mike (Virginia): What are your thoughts on the overall strategy by the Red Sox? Do they have any chance to sign these high ceiling HS players they drafted in the late rounds? Or will they throw money at one of them (Sheffield?) and call it a day.

Jim Callis: That draft looks very sound to me. Jonathan Denney was a steal in terms of talent in the third round, and Trey Ball and Teddy Stankewicz were solid picks in the first two rounds. Boston will try to save some money in their bonus pool, but I’m not sure they’ll have enough to land Jordan Sheffield (13th round) or Ryan Boldt (22nd round). Boston may have to settle for a couple of non-seven-figure signings after the 10th round.

Ben (Leland Grove): Since Cincy drafted Lorenzen as a RHP, do you believe he has the stuff to start, or will he be used purely in relief?

Jim Callis: Maybe. He’s big enough and athletic enough to make starting work, and his stuff should play up if he’s not playing center field any longer. But I think he probably profiles best as a reliever who could move swiftly.

Joey Gallo (Hickory): Am I destined to be either a homerun or strikeout kind of hitter in five years' time?

Jim Callis: In a word, yes.

Grant (NYC): Jim, please pass along our congratulations to Conor Glassey and Nathan Rode, and "wish them well in their future endeavors", as the WWE would say. Who will be replacing them at BA, and what are their Twitter handles?

Jim Callis: I will do that and echo their sentiments. Conor is at @conorglassey and Nathan is at @NathanRode. Clint Longenecker has joined the BA team to fill one of those voids. Welcome aboard, Clint!

LoveErnieBanks (First Coast (FL)): I like the Cubs' 2nd-round pick of LHP Rob Zastryzny. Two Questions: Aside from how he and Samardzija would make announcers tongue-tied, would he have been around for the Cubs in Round 3? I like that he works fast and changes speeds to keep batter off balance How do you assess him?

Jim Callis: Maybe but not definitely in the third round, which is why the Cubs took him where they did. I like the way Rob Z commands multiple pitches and competes, see him as a No. 4 starter type who could move fast in the minors.

Michael (Sleepy Hollow, NY): Jim, thanks for all the great coverage leading up to and during the draft. Just wanted your thoughts on the Mets draft overall. I thought they approached it the right way, especially considering the relative weakness of the class, by going pure upside with their first four HS picks and then grabbing some polished college later on (Mazzili, King, Oberste etc.) What do you think? Thanks.

Jim Callis: I loved the Dominic Smith pick at No. 11–what a bat–and though they got good value on Jared King (fifth round) and Matt Oberste (seventh). I wasn’t blown away otherwise, to be honest, as they took Church, Wilson and Meisner all much higher than we rated them at BA. Too each his own, obviously, but we weren’t as high on their second- through fourth-rounders as the Mets were.

Mr. Sunshine (FL): I wasn't impressed with Rodon's last start. He did go deep, but his stuff was less dominant than I expected. Q: Did he just have an off day, or were my expectations too high for what I'd heard about a possible overall #1?

Jim Callis: Sorry, got tied up with a couple of signings for a few minutes . . . Rodon has been somewhat inconsistent this season, and some of these guys are tired at the end of the college season. He didn’t blow we away either during the super-regional, but he gave his team a chance to win (and they did) and he’s still very much in the mix to go No. 1 overall next year.

Karen (Dallas, TX): Just wanted to say we'll miss Conor and Nathan at BA. Great guys, hope they'll remain on Twitter.

Jim Callis: To let Conor and Nathan know how much they’ll be missed, I’ll keep posting these thoughts from you guys. Have 191 questions to get through, so not sure I’ll get to all of them!

Kelly (St. Cloud, MN): What are the chances of Manaea not signing now? I see they've already signed their 1st and 2nd rounders.

Jim Callis: Depends on his asking price. But I believe the Royals took the medical results as a positive sign and will find enough money to get Manaea signed. Could take $3 million or more.

Dino (Bartlett): Jim, what did you think of the Cubs draft strategy. It seems like they went under the radar with their 2nd and 3rd pick. Did they over draft for slot purposes or did they really just draft who they believe had the best value?

Jim Callis: Can’t argue with Kris Bryant at No. 2 overall. Rob Zastrzyny and Jacob Hanneman may have gone higher than I expect, but I also thought the Cubs got great value with Tyler Skulina (fourth round), Trey Masek (fifth) and perhaps Scott Frazier (sixth). All in all, they came away with more than their share of talent.

Raymond (Dominican Republic): How much of a boost does the Yankees 2013 draft give their current farm system? Do the Yankees have a top 10 farm system with the addition of Jigialo, Judge and Clarkin?

Jim Callis: A nice boost, and yes they have a Top 10 system. They were No. 11 coming into the year and their best prospects all will stay in the minors this year. Jagielo has all the tools you want in a third baseman, Judge has big-time power and Clarkin shouldn’t have lasted as long as he did as a polished HS lefty with good stuff. I liked all three of those picks. Michael O’Neill (third round) and Brandon Thomas (eighth) are two more college outfielders I like.

Andrew (NJ): General question: How does a college coaching change (e.g. UGA) effect signability?

Jim Callis: It can change things, depending on how close the player was to the former coach. But I’m not counting on Clint Frazier becoming a Bulldog, and I don’t think Georgia is losing anyone it expected to keep.

Joe D (Everson, PA): Jim, thanks for the chat. Assuming Meadows and McGuire sign where do you see them in the Pirates Top 10?

Jim Callis: You know what, that’s a perfect question for Ask BA. Send that to askba@baseballamerica.com and I’ll tackle it on Monday (remind me of my promise!). The Pirates have a loaded system, so they’re going to have to get in line behind Cole (though he may not qualify), Taillon and Polanco.

Raymond (New York): Hi Jim, even if a senior, why would a 9th round pick accept a paltry $7500 bonus with the A's if in the BA top 500 ? thanks

Jim Callis: Matt Stalcup is a lefty with an 88-93 mph fastball and a solid curve, but he’s also a small-school guy (NCAA Division II Pittsburg State in Kansas) and a senior, so he just didn’t have much leverage.

Kevin (Nashville): Does Cavan Biggio sign or head to Notre Dame?

Jim Callis: I was pretty sure he was unsignable before the draft, and the fact that he lasted 29 rounds confirms it. He’s a second-round talent who wasn’t signable for second-round money. Can really hit, should really help the Fighting Irish. Might replace Eric Jagielo at third base.

Greg (ohio): Draft podcast(s)? I'm having withdraw here.

Jim Callis: We should do one soon. BA HQ in Durham, make this happen!

Jason (Austin): Assuming Appel signs quickly could he be in Houston by September?

Jim Callis: I could see him signing relatively quickly but don’t think it makes sense for the Astros to bring him up this year. Could have free agency/arbitration implications, and they’d have to burn a 40-man roster spot. I think we’ll see him in Houston in mid-2014.

@InfraRen (Minny): What are your thoughts on the Twins draft as a whole? Obviously the Kohl Stewart pick is promising, but a couple other pitchers (Eades and Gonsalves) were tied to the 1st round at some point this year - what do you think of them?

Jim Callis: I thought the Twins did a really nice job addressing their need for pitching. One scouting director told me Stewart’s stuff is just as good as Appel’s and Gray’s, plus he’s more athletic. Eades and Gonsalves went about where they should have, also like the additions of Aaron Slegers, C.K. Irby and Brandon Peterson in later rounds … I have too many signings blowing up my cell phone, so I’m going to call this a wrap. See you next Wednesday.

Draft | #2013 draft #Chat

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