Moderator: Jim Callis will take your questions beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Jim Callis: Hi, everyone. I’m taking a break from phone
calls and writing our Midwest state reports, and let’s see how many questions we can knock off in the next hour. I’m doing a 1:30 pm ET radio spot on KJR in Seattle, so I’ll have to leave quickly. To clarify before we start . . . our first-round projections are, of course, based on what we’re hearing and not what we would do. I’d think that’s pretty clear, but for some reason I’m getting asked about that a lot.
- Moe (Middle Earth): What's your opinion of Cory
Spangenberg? He's been linked a lot to the padres but even in a normal ball park how much pop do you think he'll have? What would be the grade on it? Also can he play any infield position? Thanks Jim!
Jim Callis: He’s one of the best pure hitters in the draft and he runs well. He doesn’t have a lot of loft in his swing, so it’s tough to project him as having more than average power. Despite his
speed and athleticism, he’s rough as an infielder and may wind up in center field.
- Bill (Pittsburgh): Last week you had Rendon to Pirates. Do they still take him or one of the pitchers? Thanks.
Jim Callis: I’ll do another mock draft for Friday (and another for Monday morning), so I’m digging again. I don’t think anyone knows about the Pirates yet. Reading the tea leaves, I think it’s Cole or Rendon, with Hultzen behind those two. I’d say maybe 35 percent Cole,
35 percent Rendon, 30 percent Hultzen. I also think they’re considering
other options just in case, but ultimately I think it will be one of those three.
- Alan (Chicago): Have anything ChiSox draft related? Feed me. I hunger.
Jim Callis: They don’t pick until No. 47, so there’s not a lot of White Sox draft buzz. I could see them opting for a multitooled athlete who will sign for slot (which might be tough to find
at No. 47) or a lefthanded pitcher. Maybe Chris Reed from Stanford?
- Jay (South Riding, VA): Jim,
Thanks for all the great info. It's like Christmas for us die hards.
If you were GM of the Nats and had to choose between Bauer and Starling, who would you take?
And from talking to your sources, do you think the Nats will consider Starling?
Jim Callis: Thanks, Jay. I would take Bauer but it would be a tough decision. As much upside as Starling has, he also comes
with a great deal of risk. Bauer might be the first starting pitcher from this draft to reach the majors, and he also might wind up being the
best. The Nats will consider both and are in a great position at No. 6.
There are six players who stand above the rest (Rendon, Bundy, Cole, Hultzen, Bauer, Starling) and Washington likely will just take whichever
one gets to them.
- TJ (Rockland County): Where do you see the Mets
going with their pick? Are they going to go with a signability guy or will they overspend on someone like Guerrieri? There have been rumors all over the place linking them to players such as Mahtook, Michael, Jungmann. I just want to get an idea of their philosophy this year. Thanks!
Jim Callis: I keep hearing they’ll be able to spend on the guy they want. I wouldn’t expect them to go crazy, but sounds like they will spend. Guerrieri is a leading candidate for that pick—could see that at No. 13. Also have heard the other guys mentioned as well.
- Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Jim, thank you for the chat today. Any further updates on the Josh Bell story that broke last week regarding him telling the Scouting Bureau he didn't want to be
drafted? Are teams taking it as legitimate, or more as Boras pre-draft leverage tactic?
Jim Callis: I think it’s sincere. He’s a good student, his mother is a professor at Texas-Arlington and he was considered very heavily committed to Texas before the letter came out. At the same time,
there’s no realize he couldn’t parlay his leverage into a lucrative payday if that situation presents himself. I don’t know if he’ll go in the first round, but he’ll definitely be offered first-round money by someone.
- Nate (Washington): Why isn't Starling 1-1? Is he so unpolished that he's really riskier than pitchers of any kind, or a
college hitter with some injury risk and assorted performance questions?
Jim Callis: You have to balance ceiling with risk. If you’re just interested in the highest ceiling, he’d be your guy. But of the top prospects in the draft, he comes with the most risk. He hasn’t faced much in the way of high school competition, and though he was on the showcase circuit last summer, there’s a lot of projection involved with the bat. Numerous wonderful athletes have failed over the years because they turn out to be more athletes than baseball players.
- mike (toronto): what is your opinion of Brian Goodwin? 5 tool potential?
Jim Callis: He’s more solid than plus tools across the board, but he’s one of the best all-around athletes in the draft. He still needs to polish up those tools and he may not be a center fielder,
but I think he goes in the late first round or sandwich round.
- Wessel (The Netherlands): Better overall player: Blake Swihart or Austin Hedges?
Jim Callis: Swihart. Hedges is a tremendous defender but there are a lot of questions about his bat. Swihart is new to catching, but he’s a switch-hitter with power and has the athleticism as
well to be a difference-maker at another position.
- Wally (DC): What is the best pitching prospect that could 'reasonably' slip to Nats @23?
Jim Callis: On the college side, Oregon lefthander Tyler Anderson. On the high school side, lefty Daniel Norris or righty Jose Fernandez.
- Brian (Nashville): Who are some names that have the most helium to push for a surprise top 5-10 pick?
Jim Callis: I really haven’t heard any shocking names in the top 5-10 picks, which is a testament to the depth of this draft. Probably the biggest surprise would be Javier Baez, but I’m not sure he’s going that high and he’s a mid first-rounder anyway. The other would be Cory Spangenberg to the Padres at No. 10, but I believe he’s a more realistic candidate for San Diego at No. 25.
- Ryan (Owasso): Jim, I was shocked to hear Astros on Bradley given his contract demands & team's history of signing slot players. Do you think Crane has already told Drayton &
Ed to take BPA and he'll deal with the $$$ after the sale is approved?
Jim Callis: Archie Bradley isn’t going to get his $20 million asking price, so I wouldn’t read into it. I think the Astros are
locked in on best player available—they have to be with as bad as their big league club is and as thin as their farm system is. If Bradley
is their guy, he’s a better prospect than Zach Lee was last year, so he’ll get more money (say, $6 million). But the Astros can give Bradley a
two-sport contact and spread the bonus over five years, so they might not be paying him more in 2011 than a straight slot bonus would be anyway.
- Dan (Lansing): Better pure stuff Bundy or Cole and how close are they?
Jim Callis: Better pure stuff is Cole, but Bundy is right on his heels and may use his better. If I could only have one of them, I would take Bundy. That said, I’d be thrilled with Cole too.
- Marco (Florence, Italy): Can any team run the risk of picking up Rendon at #1-2 ?
Jim Callis: Maybe I’m becoming a Rendon apologist, but what’s the big risk? Both the ankle injuries came on fluke plays, and his shoulder should be fine with rest. And if he needs shoulder surgery,
unless it’s so drastic that he won’t be able to play third base (which no one thinks it is), he’ll be fine for 2012. I still see a future .300 hitter with good power and quality defense at third base. I’ll take that
risk any time.
- Dan (Lansing): Do you think there is any chance Tim Wilken takes Bubba Starlin @ 9 if he's still on the board for the Cubs?
Jim Callis: Huge chance. The Cubs would jump on Starling at 9.
- Mr. Must See TV (Looking For Carl Crawford $): If it's a choice between George Springer or Mikie Mahtook for the Mets are #13, who do you take and why? Personally, I like Springer's bat better than Mahtook, who may also not be able to stick in CF. Mahtook has the look of a 4th outfielder, while Springer may be a nice above-average bat. Thoughts?
Jim Callis: Sorry I didn’t answer this on Twitter—haven’t been as loyal to my Twitter followers recently. I would
take Springer, though it’s close. There’s more risk in the bat, but I think Springer gets hammered a little unfairly, and his tools and upside
are better than Mahtook’s. I agree, Mahtook isn’t a lock to stay in center field.
- Ross (Henderson, Nevada): Obviously, the Dodgers' money situation expects to play some sort of role in the draft,
but where do you think the team will ultimately go in the first round? It's obvious that they've preferred high school arms in recent years, but any chance they go with a big bat this time. Personally, I'd like to see some run producers in the system. Maybe a C.J. Cron-type? Thoughts?
Jim Callis: I’d be surprised if the Dodgers went over slot with MLB overseeing the operations of the team. That could lead them to Oregon lefthander Tyler Anderson. If they have a little wiggle room, I could see them going their more usual route with a high school arm like Taylor Guerrieri (might not get there), Robert Stephenson or Daniel Norris.
Jim Callis: Got back to back phone calls I had to take,
and KJR appearance in a second . . . will return to answer more questions around 1:40 ET. I promise!
Jim Callis: OK, I’m off the phone and off the radio, so let’s blaze through some questions, lightning-round style!
- Timmy L. (San Francisco): Are you a believer of
draft the best available player no matter what? Seems like the recent rumors of the Royals going after a college level pitcher falls in line with drafting for need.
Jim Callis: Yes, I would take the best available player. Just because the Royals take a college pitcher over Bubba Starling, that wouldn’t mean they were drafting for need.
- Kyle (Middletown): Does Andrew Chafin's performance in the MAC tournament put him in the picture at the back of the first round? Are teams convinced that he can make it as a starter?
Jim Callis: Though Chafin pitched a six-hit shutout in the MAC semis, his stuff wasn’t as crisp as it was before he missed a start with a tired arm. He was 88-91 for most of the game, though he reached back for 90-93 in the last two innings. I think he’s firmly ensconced in the sandwich round. He’ll get a chance to be a starter.
- Wessel (The Netherlands): Who'll hit the most home runs as a pro? Alex Dickerson, CJ Cron, Ricky Oropesa or someone other?
Jim Callis: Cron. Most usable power of that group. Most raw power, too.
- Pete (Chicago): Where do you see Matt Purke going in the draft?
Jim Callis: Total wild card. He gets one more start before the draft, his stuff still isn’t what it was last year and his signability worries clubs. I think he goes in the sandwich round and gets evaluated over the summer, like the Red Sox did with Anthony Ranaudo last year.
- Mike (Iowa City, IA): Jim, thanks for the chat.
Do you see the White Sox picking Brian Goodwin OF if he is avaible with the 47 pick? They selected him in the 17 round back in the 2009 draft.
Jim Callis: I could. He’s the type of athlete they like. But if he has a big over-slot price tag, probably not. White Sox don’t have a great track record with Boras Corp. advisees.
- Nick (Tallahassee, Fl): What are your thoughts on the Oriole's taking Dylan Bundy. How do you think them drafting Matt Hobgood effects that, if it does at all?
Jim Callis: Not at all. Hobgood was drafted higher than
his talent merited because he would be a relatively easy sign. Hobgood was a legitimate late first-round pick, but he’s not comparable to Bundy.
- Sean (Washington D.C.): What are your thoughts on who the A's will select with their pick this year? The last few drafts have been, well, underwhelming. What do you think the odds are that they select a potential impact player?
Jim Callis: They’re all potential impact players in the
first round. My best guess is that they take a college position player,
with outfielders George Springer (Connecticut) and Mikie Mahtook (LSU) prime candidates.
- Joel (Washington, DC): Jim, can you clarify the
situation with Rendon's medical reports? Does he or Boras have to make them available to teams? If not, how is any team supposed to potentially
commit $6-10 million without them? Don't other pro leagues require medical info to be available to potential drafting organizations?
Jim Callis: They don’t have to do anything, because they’re Rendon’s private records. That said, they will make something available or they’ll scare off everyone. Clubs won’t be able to examine Rendon themselves, obviously, and I’d guess that teams that are his preferred destinations might get a little more knowledge than others.
- Fonz (Milwaukee): I've heard that public perception may influence the Pirates' selection (hence no Dylan Bundy) -
how much of a role do you think that plays generally, and are any front
offices notoriously conscious of appeasing the masses?
Jim Callis: I don’t think it plays much of a role at all, especially at the top of the draft.
- Ben (Miamisburg, OH): If the Reds took Purke at 27 do you think a $4.5 mil major league deal would get him signed and would MLB allow it?
Jim Callis: Put it this way: There are teams that aren’t sure $4.5 million would get it done. MLB isn’t propping the Reds up financially like they were with the Rangers two years ago, so they couldn’t stop a Purke deal.
- Ray (Austin): Taylor jungmann seems to have no teams linked to him and in mocks sounds like a fallback option. He seems to have velo, size, and results. Is the head bob in the delivery that worrisome to teams?
Jim Callis: I think it’s a combination of the delivery,
the lack of a dominant second pitch and the fact that he got less exposure by not pitching in summer ball the last two years. I agree, he seems like he’s getting underplayed a little more than he should. He can
really, really pitch off of a very good fastball.
- Tom (Columbus): Read recently that the Indians might be willing to spend for Archie Bradley at 8. Any truth to this?
Jim Callis: Yes. Don’t know if they’d follow through and do that, but very possible. And as I mentioned before, you can spread Bradley’s money out with a two-sport deal.
- John Campbell (Michigan): Hey Jim, I have been hearing some good things about the state of Michigan in this years draft. Michigan should have a good showing from what I hear. What are your thoughts?
Jim Callis: I have not heard much good. With physical questions surrounding Trent Howard (Central Michigan) and Tyler Mills (Michigan), the state may not have a player selected in the first 6-8 rounds.
- Brynn (Corona, CA): Who would you take TODAY if
you had one choice out of the following three: 1. Jameson Taillon, 2. Stephen Strasburg, 3. Trevor Bauer?
Jim Callis: Strasburg.
- Tom (Toronto): Last year the blue jays flaoted around spending big money on the draft, any news of that kind this year?
Jim Callis: They’re expected to spend heavily again in 2011.
- matt (texas): Do you see Anthony Rendon as a long term defensivly at 3rd or 2nd?
Jim Callis: Unless he has extensive shoulder damage that can’t be repaired, he’s clearly a third baseman and an above-average one at that. He profiles better defensively at third, too.
- Brooks Ripken (Philly): O's at 4? Just whoever is left of Rendon,Cole,Hultzen,Bundy?
Jim Callis: Wouldn’t rule Trevor Bauer out either.
- Steve (Huntington Beach, CA): Out of all the good arms towards the top of this years draft board, which do you think has the highest ceiling?
Jim Callis: Gerrit Cole, followed closely by Dylan Bundy.
- T (Boston): When you get info for the Mocks, is
it usually specific (ie Team A likes Player B at Pick C) or is it more general about a team "in on a player" and you use your rankings and other information (bonus demands) to figure out where they'd have to take him?
Jim Callis: More specific in the top half of the first round, more general in the bottom half.
- John (Ashburn, VA): Jim: Two weeks ago I asked you to compare Levi Michael and Brad Miller in relation to where they may be picked in the upcoming draft. You stated that Michael has the edge. Any change of opinion since Miller won the ACC Player of the Year?
Jim Callis: No. Michael still goes in the middle of the round, Miller most likely in the second.
- JD (Illinois): Hi Jim,
What's the buzz for high school players in the draft? In particular, where does Charlie Tilson (New Trier H.S., Winnetka, IL) go?
Jim Callis: Tilson goes to my oldest son’s high school,
so I’ve followed him closely. He hasn’t quite lived up to his stellar Area Code Games performance and he’s strongly committed to college, so I
think he goes in the sandwich or second round. He’s one of the tougher players to sign in the draft, but not impossible.
- Rich (Chicago, IL): I have seen your reports on
the IL draft class, specifically Nick Burdi and Charlie Tilson. The weather in the midwest was terrrible this spring does this factor in the
decision from scouts on where these guys may go? They performed well during showcases the past year.
Jim Callis: The weather factors in that it made it harder to see players this spring, but scouts saw the players at the showcases and know what they’re capable of in that environment.
- Jim (CT): What are you hearing with regards to Austin Hedges' bat?
Jim Callis: Mixed opinions. Everyone loves the defense, some guys think the bat will be fine and others don’t like it at all.
- Dustin (St. Louis): What are the chances that Javier Baez makes it to St. Louis at #22? I think he would give us a high ceiling youngster on the left side of the infield, which is something we don't currently have anywhere in our system. If he's not available, who do you see the Cardinals targeting?
Jim Callis: I don’t think he gets there. Hearing his name more and more in the top 20 picks now. I keep hearing a lot of bats: Levi Michael and C.J. Cron (who probably won’t get there) come up a
lot. The Cardinals also have shown interest in Georgia high school outfielders Dwight Smith Jr. and Larry Greene, though the first round seems rich for both.
- Stefanie (Austin, TX): Swihart is in Austin today for a U of Texas baseball practice and to visit the school. Anything to read into that? Thanks.
Jim Callis: No. Could mean he’s strongly committed to Texas and dead-set on going there, could be a cynical ploy that will be used as leverage. Means nothing.
- Joel (KCK): Jim, Let's say the Royals draft Bubba Starling at #5. It's one minute from the signing deadline and the
Royals announce ____________ (fill in the blank) Thanks!!!!
Jim Callis: . . . they have signed him to a $7.5 million two-sport deal.
- Al (Fairfax, VA): How would you rank these college arms: Barnes-Jungmann-Bradley-Meyer-Gray?
Jim Callis: That is tough. Jungmann, Bradley, Gray, Barnes, Meyer.
- Joel (Bham, WA): Team in the top ten most likely to go away from the consensus with their pick?
Jim Callis: I don’t think there will be any shockers, but the two unprotected picks (Diamondbacks at 7, Padres at 10) are the most likely candidates.
- Matt (KC): Have you heard the rumors that KC has Barnes 3 on their board behind Cole and Rendon?
Jim Callis: If they want a college pitcher and aren’t on Bauer, which is what we’ve heard, that’s very plausible.
- Mitchell (NYC): Any Yankee buzz at all?? Will they spend this year or be conservative as in recent drafts??
Jim Callis: I think they’ll do what they usually do, which is spend but not nearly as much as they could. Hearing they’ll go over slot with their top pick (No. 51) to make up for the lack of a first-rounder, which is no shock. Tyler Goeddel is one name I’ve heard linked to N.Y.
- Bill (Sacramento): Why are they saying Cole is better then Bauer? Bauer has more inning, SO, lower ERA. It's like Lincecum and Cain. Both are great but I still like Bauer more.
Jim Callis: Cole has better pure stuff and more conventional mechanics. Won’t surprise me at all if Bauer is the better big leaguer, and I mean that as no slight to Cole.
Jim Callis: I’m out, and I hope I made up for the mid-chat delay. Thanks for all the great questions. You can try to send me some more at Twitter via @jimcallisBA, and I will try to take some breaks from writing and making calls to answer some intermittently. The draft is only 124 hours away!