Baseball America

Jim Callis Chat: Aug. 31

Jim Callis: Hi, everyone. Amazing how fast the year is flying by. The draft is behind us, the minor league season is almost over and there’s one month left in the big leagues. Fire some questions at me.

    greg (New York): Hey Jim,can you give me your top five for next years draft and where would you put Kenny Diekroeger???

    Thanks....

Jim Callis: Seems like the clear top four, with no obvious favorite to go No. 1 yet, are (in whatever order): Stanford RHP Mark Appel, Arizona State SS Deven Marrero, Georgia high school OF Byron
Buxton and California prep RHP Lucas Giolito. Diekroeger is in the 5-15
mix somewhere. BA will be doing an overall Top 50 for the 2012 draft in
the next couple of weeks, so look for that soon.

    Steve (Orlando,Fl): What's your take on Desmond Jennings? In just over 130 ABs he's hitting almost .350 with 8 HRs and 14 SBs.

Jim Callis: There’s a reason he ranked among the best prospects in baseball the last couple of years. But don’t expect that kind of power—he’s not a slugger.

    Chris (CT): What is wrong with Stolmy Pimentel, Drake Britton and Brandon Workman this year?

Jim Callis: It’s unfair to lump Workman in with the other two guys, isn’t it? He’s had a solid year. Britton and Pimentel have had bad years because they haven’t commanded their pitches, but at least their pure stuff is still as impressive as it was in the past. Not
saying they’ll have this kind of turnaround, but Aaron Crow went through this last year too.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): As the minor league season comes to a close, which hitter and pitcher get your vote as the best in the minors in 2011, and from those two, who is your POY?

Jim Callis: I would vote for Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Rays lefthander Matt Moore. And I will not tell you who would get my Minor League Player of the Year vote, because that decision already has been made.

    Joe D. (Staten Island): Jim, between Mets pitching prospects Wheeler, Harvey and Familia, who gets to the majors first and when?

Jim Callis: Harvey, and I’ll say August 2012.

    itto (PR): Starlin Castro or Javier Baez (if he reaches his potential)?

Jim Callis: Castro, because he’s a shortstop and Baez will be a third baseman. Baez would have more power, but Castro will be a
better all-around player. I’m not saying Castro will be THIS good, but he could become the next Derek Jeter.

    Juwan (Washington DC): True or False: A cogent argument can be made that Ryan Zimmerman is the baseball equal of Evan Longoria.

    I ask this question because a perusal of Zimmerman's career averages in nearly every offensive category are very comparable to what Longoria has
    produced heretofore, and most believe that he is the superior defensive
    player of the two. What say you Mr. Callis?

Jim Callis: You can make that argument, but I’d take Longoria. He has put his numbers up in the toughest environment in baseball (the AL East, and the AL is clearly tougher than the NL). Interestingly, I think most defensive metrics give Longoria the edge with the glove, too.

    Rob (Alaska): Hey, Jim. I know you're a big Xander Bogaerts fan, and he's having a historic power run in the SAL. So
    let me ask you, does he have 75-80 grade power like Harper or Stanton? And if not are you concerned that his approach is to sell out contact for power in ways that may not translate as he climbs the ladder? Color me curious.

Jim Callis: He’s has intriguing power, but it’s not Harper/Stanton power. Those guys are fairly unique. Bogaerts is so young
and I don’t see why he can’t develop into a solid hitter with plus power. Probably a third baseman in the long run.

    Navin (Pasadena, CA): Would all four of Baez, Vogelbach, Dunston Jr and Maples slot into the Cubs top 10 prospects? Thank you!

Jim Callis: I do our Cubs Top 10, and haven’t really thought about it. Baez will be near the top, along with Jackson, Szczur and McNutt (who gets a mulligan for 2011). Maples will make it, Vogelbach has a good chance and Dunston won’t. We weren’t nearly as high
on Dunston as the Cubs were.

    Mike (Phoenix): Jim, I have two prospects in question that I just cannot understand why they have not been called up in time to make the playoff roster. Trevor Bauer and Jesus Montero could
    conceivably catch fire and provide a lot to the NL and AL pennant race.
    What is the reasoning for not doing so? I guess Montero could be called
    up today, but AZ says Bauer is not.

Jim Callis: The short answer is they don’t have to be called up before Sept. 1 (see Francisco Rodriguez during the Angels’ 2002 World Series run). If teams have a player on the DL, they can replace him on the postseason roster with anyone in the organization before Sept. 1, as long as they match up a hitter for an injured hitter or a pitcher for an injured pitcher. It’s a giant loophole. So both Bauer and Montero could be added to postseason rosters without being called up today. … I can’t remember if the injured player has to be on
the 60-day DL, but I believe the Diamondbacks and Yankees are covered regardless.

    Jason (Charlotte): Jim,

    Thanks for the great work. How would you rate the year of Teheran ? His season seems to be lost in the shadow of Matt Moore.

Jim Callis: Great year. Still on the short list of the very best pitching prospects in baseball.

    Chris (NJ): What happened to aaron hicks? This is 2 indescribably bad months in a row. Is he completely out of the top 100 at this point?

Jim Callis: He’s still loaded with tools, but not only is he not making much progress since 2009, he’s going backward. The upside is still there, but the likelihood that he gets there is dropping. He won’t be on my Top 100 list, don’t know how my BA cohorts feel.

    Victor (Flushing): I am starting to see a lot of scouts comp harvey to pelfrey and i checked the stats and pelfrey also missed bats in AA before coming to ny and never missing another bat
    again, how likely is it that harvey is basically all fastball?

Jim Callis: That’s a bad comp. Pelfrey never had a good breaking ball, while Harvey’s is very good at times.

    Connor G. (NY): Where does Mason Williams fit in the Yankees top 10 in your opinion?

Jim Callis: Off the top of my head, I’d put him fifth behind the four guys at the top of last year’s Top 10 (Montero, Sanchez,
Betances, Banuelos).

    Alex (Tacoma): Does Danny Hultzen really have a shot at making 2012's opening day roster.

Jim Callis: That’s a stretch for me, and what incentive
do the Mariners have for doing that? They’re not going to contend next year, so why start his arbitration and free-agent clocks ticking. No need to bring him up before June, or to rush him in any case.

    Connor G. (NY): How much has Miguel Sano's stock risen since his recent Power surge? Is he now the Twins #1???

Jim Callis: Their clear No. 1. You don’t want to read too much into Appy League stats, but Sano has a ton of power. With Gibson hurt and Hicks moving backward, I don’t see who else could top a Twins prospect list.

    Don (Tampa): Tim Wheeler...now has over 30 homeruns for the season. Could he get called up and is he in the top 50 prospects in baseball now?

Jim Callis: I’ve always liked Tim Wheeler, but he’s not
a Top 50 prospect. He has solid tools across the board but not a lot of
pluses, and he’s a corner guy rather than a center fielder. I don’t think he’ll get a callup because the Rockies aren’t contending and he doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster.

    Jeff (STL): Gut feeling - does Trevor Bauer get the call to Arizona in September? Do any of the 2011 draftees get a cup of coffee?

Jim Callis: My gut feeling is yes, if his next outing isn’t as disastrous as his last one. He’s the only 2011 draftee I can see getting the call this September.

    Bubba (Arizona): Should we be concerned about Trevor Bauer's awful start yesterday?

Jim Callis: No. Just an aberration, though I haven’t heard an explanation what went wrong. If his stuff was way down or he walked off the mound holding his arm, I’d be worried, but neither of those happened.

    Bryce (Colorado): The DBacks system is full of arms, but few bats. Who do you see as the best bat in their system?

Jim Callis: Fifteen minutes to go, so let’s shift to lightning-round mode . . . Matt Davidson.

    John (NJ): If the season ended today, who would
    be your #1 pitching prospect for the upcoming 2012 season? Matt Moore, Eric Surkamp or other?

Jim Callis: Moore. Surkamp is a sleeper but not close to being in Moore’s class.

    Mike (New York): Hey Jim, thanks for the chat. What do you expect on an ETA for Banuelos and Bettances in the Bronx? The bullpen is great right now, but if either of them could help in the rotation next year that would be great. My stomach can only handle so much Burnett.

Jim Callis: I expect you’ll see them both by the all-star break next year.

    Nate (Chicago): Jim, what is your opinion of Brandon Short? He has fallen off lately, but was having a nice season in Birmingham showing some hit, power, and speed.

Jim Callis: One of the White Sox’ better offensive prospects, but not a high-level prospect. If he’s a big leaguer, it’s probably as a reserve and not a regular.

    Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Who's more likely to stick at SS for the Reds: Billy Hamilton or Didi Gregorious?

Jim Callis: Gregorius. His arm is two grades’ better than Hamilton’s.

    Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Lost in Billy Hamilton's quest for 100 stolen bases has been Reds High A CF Ryan Lamarre who has 52 stolen bases this year while playing plus defense in CF. Do you still see power potential in Lamarre like many did out of college? He's
    been an awfully light hitter in a hitters league, but the rest of his game has been very well rounded.

Jim Callis: I wouldn’t call the MWL a hitter’s league at all . . . As for your question, I like LaMarre but in terms of pop, he’s more gap power than home runs and that won’t be a big part of his game.

    Dominic (Brandon, FL.): How is it determined that Jennings is not a power hitter when he is at such a young age? And then why the glimpse of power so far this year? (Boy, is he fast!)

Jim Callis: He could have average power. But given that
he’s nearly 25 and slugged .443 in six minor league seasons, I feel safe saying he’s not going to keep drilling a homer every four games. Which is fine. He has exceptional speed and can be a plus hitter and defender. He’ll be a very good player if his power is average.

    Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Are the Reds grasping at straws giving Yonder Alonso starts at 3B or could he be at least as good
    a defender as someone like Pablo Sandoval who has a similar body type?

Jim Callis: Worth giving it a try but I bet it doesn’t work out. They should have left Todd Frazier at third base from day one and see how he developed there.

    Kyle (West Plains, MO): Nobody named Lance in your top 4 for next year? Seems like he has the stuff to go #1.

Jim Callis: Lance McCullers Jr. is still one of the best high school prospects for the 2012 draft, but he’s behind the Appel/Marrero/Buxton/Giolito group.

    T (Boston): Has Lars Anderson restored his prospect status with is 880 OPS since the All-Star break?

Jim Callis: He’s a prospect, but he’s not the elite guy
I once thought he was. Nice second-half comeback, but he’s still a first baseman who has yet to show plus power or that he can handled lefthanded pitching effectively.

    Jake (Kalamazoo): Castellanos or Cuthbert?

Jim Callis: Castellanos. Like them both, though.

    Jeff (Crofton, MD): You don't think that Eddie Rosario would give Sano a run for #1 on the Twins top 10?

Jim Callis: Might make a run at him but won’t get past him.

    eric (bama): tyler thornburg starter or reliever?

Jim Callis: Starter. No reason to put him in the bullpen.

Jim Callis: Thanks for the questions. I need to go get working on our Midwest League Top 20 Prospects list, so I will leave you
until next Wednesday. See you then!

Minors | #2011 #Chat

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