Moderator: Jim Callis will answer prospect, draft and trade deadline questions beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
- Christian (Houston, TX): Astros first baseman Kody Hinze is mashing this year. Do you have anything on him? Legitimate breakout or a flash in the pan?
Jim Callis: More of an older guy (age 23) having a career year, helped considerably by Lancaster, though he has hit well in
a brief time since his promotion to Double-A. He has some power, but it’s his lone distinguishing tool, and he feasts more on mistakes and has trouble making contact against quality pitching. He’s also a righthanded-hitting first baseman, and those are fairly easy to find.
- @Jaypers413 (IL): Your thoughts on the Doug Fister trade as a whole, especially now that Chance Ruffin has been named as the PTBNL?
Jim Callis: Liked it for the Mariners to begin with, and I like it even more now. (Ruffin wasn’t officially part of the trade
when I ranked the top 10 prospects dealt at the deadline, but he would have been ninth on that list if he had been.) Fister is having a nice year, but he doesn’t miss a lot of bats, and he’s a No. 4 starter at best. In return, Seattle got a potential solid regular third baseman (Francisco Martinez), a set-up man or maybe a closer (Ruffin) and a couple of spare parts (Furbush, Wells). Nice trade for Jack Z.
- Chuck (Wichita): Jason Adam has been inconsistent, but last night threw 6 innings of 1-hit ball. Has his stock gone down this year?
Jim Callis: Nope. 19-year-olds are supposed to be inconsistent, and he still has the same quality arm that scouts loved last year in instructional league. Just look at 2011 as a developmental year for him.
- Ken (Lakewood CA): Thanks Jim. What's your take
on Cubs OF Tyler Colvin now? After hitting 20 HR last year, his strikeouts and plate discipline are bad and he's having a terrible season. I'm not sure the Cubs have handled him all that well this year. I'm just wondering what his future is with Chicago. They seem to have other OF alternatives they can turn to.
Jim Callis: I think he’s a solid regular at best. Even with the 20 homers last year, he didn’t hit for a high average or get on
base much because he doesn’t control the strike zone. I see him as a lower-average & OBP/solid-power guy who’s a solid defender. I think I
just set a record for using “solid” the most times in one chat answer.
- John (Richmond, VA): Any updates on Nats picks Purke, Turnbull, Buchanon, and Laxer? Thank you.
Jim Callis: I don’t think Purke is going to sign for less than he turned down of high school, so I don’t think he’s going to sign. He’s competitive enough to take his chances of returning to full health, which could make him the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft. Turnbull is slow going so far, but I bet the Nats sign him. I see Buchanan and Laxer as backup problems in case they don’t get Rendon, Meyer or Goodwin
signed at the top of the draft. Those three might cost a combined $10 million (counting salaries in a big league deal for Rendon), but I bet they sign all three.
- Franí§ois (Toronto): Many top prospects face position changes for a variety of reasons. Will Brett Lawrie (defense),
Anthony Rendon (R. Zimmerman presence), or Nick Franklin (Dustin Ackley) be moved to somewhere else on the diamond?
Jim Callis: My take (and I angered Mariners fans on Twitter the other night with part of this) . . . Lawrie plays third base
for a few years in the majors but settles in the outfield; Rendon goes to second base solely because of Zimmerman; Franklin winds up at second base and Ackley in the outfield down the road in Seattle.
- @Jaypers413 (IL): Jim, what's your opinion of the Nats planning to rehab Strasburg next week in preparation for a late
August/early September callup? Are they rushing him?
Jim Callis: Don’t think so. They won’t take any unnecessary risks—why would they? Just trying to get him ready for a full year in 2012.
- CJ (Charlotte, NC): Part of the Yunel Escobar for Alex Gonzalez trade included the Braves getting a speedy young shortstop, Tyler Pastornicky. At the time he was considered a mid-tier prospect. However, since the trade, he has blossomed in the Braves minor league system. Could he be the hidden gem of this trade? What are your thoughts on him? Is he potentially the starting shortstop for the Braves next year?
Jim Callis: He could be. I see Pastornicky as a solid big league regular at shortstop. Could see him taking over for Atlanta at some point in 2012. Alex Gonzalez looks cooked.
- Wes (Louisiana): Who do you think are some of the players the Astros will be looking at with the number one pick in next year's draft?
Jim Callis: Stanford RHP Mark Appel, Arizona State SS Deven Marrero, Florida HS RHP Lance McCullers Jr. Assuming he’s back to full health, throw Texas Christian LHP Matt Purke in there too.
- Jake (Chicago, IL): Hi Jim, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today! If you were GM of the Reds and could only keep one, who would you rather have, Ronald Torreyes or Billy Hamilton?
Jim Callis: Hamilton. His bat has made strides over the course of the Midwest League season, and he has game-changing speed.
- Garrett (Redmond, WA): What do you think Chiang the kid the M's just got?
Jim Callis: Has made a lot of strides with the bat this
year now that he has his diabetes under control. I’d like to see more before I’m convinced he’s for real, but scouts are saying he should hit enough to at least be a fourth outfielder.
- Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Are you confident the Reds get 2011 1sr rd pick Stephenson signed? He is an honor student and
obviously wants more than slot...
Jim Callis: Yes. You occasionally have a Karsten Whitson situation, but unless something crops up in a physical, first-round picks are almost always going to sign. The Reds were aware of roughly what it would take to sign Stephenson before they chose him, and they’ll get it done.
- Garrett (Redmond, WA): You recently said you felt Nick Franklin would push Ackley off second base in Seattle. What do
you see in Franklin to say he can't stick at shortstop?
Jim Callis: The standards for a major league shortstop are high. Franklin’s arm is just OK, and his actions and range are solid
but not plus. “OK” and “solid” don’t cut it at shortstop in the big leagues.
- Jimmy (Tuscon): Hi Jim, thanks for the chat. I've been hearing some stuff lately about Goldschmidt lacking the bat speed to be a star in the big leagues. I realize the fact that he homered off Lincecum last night means nothing as far as this discussion goes, but how good do you think he can be? The swing looks pretty nice and compact to me.
Jim Callis: I think he’s more likely to be a good regular than a star. He’s going to strike out 150 or so times a year if he plays everyday, but he also should provide 20-25 homers.
- Lloyd (Lakewood): Today's daily dish says C.J. Cron has been DHing exclusively, since he signed last month. Is there an
injury, or is he just putrid in the field?
Jim Callis: He had a torn labrum heading into his college season at Utah, and played through it. He has decided to put off
surgery until after his pro debut.
- Ballboy (watercooler): Does Seattle's acquisition of Francisco Martinez place him ahead of Liddi on the 3rd base depth chart, or does it signal Liddi's move to 1b?
Also, in Seattle, is James Jones' experiment as a RF about over? His numbers in the California league have only now crept into the .700 ops range.
With the draft, future's game, and this trade dealine bonanza, it's hard
to focus on the major league season.
Thanks for all the exceptional coverage and commentary!
Jim Callis: Yes on Martinez. He’s definitely a better prospect than Liddi. Not sure if the Mariners will push Liddi to first base yet, but that’s probably his best big league position. Jones hit 95
mph as a college pitcher. I don’t think the Mariners will pull the plug
on him as an outfielder yet, but I could see him on the mound in the future.
- Gus (Houston): Should Ed Wade have been able to
get a top Atlanta SP prospect Mike Minor for Michael Bourn? How many other GMs out there would have settled for less like Wade did?
Jim Callis: I thought the Astros should have held out for more. Bourn was such a nice fit for the Braves, and while they weren’t going to give up Teheran or Vizcaino, they wouldn’t have given up Minor if pressed?
- Mike (Toronto): What are chances the Jays sign all three pitchers - Beede, Norris and Comer? Also long term projection - are they all potential 1-2 pitchers down the way??
Jim Callis: My guess all along is that the Jays will sign two of the three. To get all three might cost $7 million or more, and they have many other unsigned picks after those three, too. All have
the upside to become frontline starters.
- Thomas (N.E. Ohio): Read that the A's moved Grant Green to CF. That makes him a pretty average commodity, doesn't it?
I mean, do his fielding tools in center compare with other prospects there? If not, what kind of offensive numbers wouldjustify him starting
in the majors there?
Jim Callis: Well, it depends on how good a center fielder Green is. Legitimate center fielders with his power aren’t easy to find. That said, I’ve never seen Green as a guy who runs well enough to play center field like you’d want in the majors. He’s more of a right-field type to me.
- Shane Falco (Seattle): Which Cron brother do you like more? Mariners Cron or Angels Cron?
Jim Callis: C.J. over Kevin. I’ll taken the guy who’s proven himself at a much higher level, including the Cape Cod League . .
. only 15 minutes left in the chat, so let’s go to the Lightning Round!
- Kris (Austin): The grades for the Astros in their trades have not been glowing to say the least, but did they at least get pieces that can realistically help them for the future?
Jim Callis: Singleton and Cosart are nice gets. Oberholtzer and Clemens are more complementary pieces.
- Rob (New Jersey): You said on Twitter that you thought the Mets will sign Bradley Marquez to a 2-sport deal... can you give a quick scouting report on him? Thanks for the chat too!
Jim Callis: Very good athlete with tremendous speed. I see the Mets cutting a deal that allows him to also play football at Texas Tech.
- Norman (San Jose): Peter Gammons tweeted that a
scout told him Jurickson Profar had Hanley Ramirez talent (except the speed) with Dustin Pedrioa's makeup. Very lofty projection. what do you think about what the scout said?
Jim Callis: Profar is very, very good but that’s a little bullish for me.
- John (Ashburn, VA): Jim: Don't want to seem snarky, but what are the prerequisites for getting questions answered? Tks.
Jim Callis: Ask on that appeals to me and that I haven’t answered before. I just go through the queue in order. Also helps if I think I know the answer!
- Kris (Austin): As a diehard Texas Longhorn baseball fan, who out of this group will I get to see where burnt orange next year? Thanks.
Jim Callis: Bundy—no shot. Swihart—slim chance but I doubt it, because the Red Sox will ante up. Bell—think he’ll turn down a
nice offer from the Pirates. Dean—may depend on how much the Jays spend at the top of the draft. Peters—think he’ll be in Austin.
- Joe D. (Cary,NC): Jim, been reading rave reviews about the CCL performance of Aaron Brown, one of the league's youngest players this summer. Do you see the Pirates opening up the checkbook to get him signed? I know he would have gone much higher than
the 17th round if not for his commitment to Pepperdine, but sounds like
his stock has only improved through the summer. Thanks.
Jim Callis: The Pirates have spent more than any team on the draft over the last three years, so I definitely could see them getting Brown done.
- Brooks (Baltimore): Do the O's get Esposito, Coats and Delmonico signed? Sure could use an influx of talent in that system.
Jim Callis: In order: yes, no, maybe.
- Don (Sullivan, Missouri): Jim,
Any thoughts on Keith Butler, the Cards reliever at High A Palm Beach? His stats look like he's unhittable. Is he a real prospect?
Jim Callis: He’s a gutty guy with more deception than stuff. He has an 88-91 mph fastball and a slow curveball. Will have to keep proving himself.
- Dave (Santee, CA): What are the chances that San Diego is able to sign all 4 remaining high picks - Ross/Kelly/Austin/Hedges? They did just save some $$ with the Ludwick and Adams deals...
Jim Callis: I’m hearing they’re not particularly close on Ross right now, but I still think all 33 first-round picks will sign.
I think the Padres get the top three guys done but will believe Hedges signs when I see it.
- Geoff (Toronto): Is Travis d'Arnaud the best catching prospect in the minors? After last night's game, he's up to 326/395/562 at AA New Hampshire and his defensive skills seem to rate highly as well.
Jim Callis: I’d give Mesoraco a slight edge, with d’Arnaud at No. 2. That means, of course, that I don’t see Montero as a long-term catcher.
- Jim (St. Louis): Shelby Miller or Carlos Martinez?
Jim Callis: Shelby Miller.
Jim Callis: There goes my phone, so I have to run. Thanks for all the great questions.