Top 100 Prospects Chat With Jim Callis

Moderator: Jim Callis will chat about the Top 100 Prospects list at 2:30 p.m. ET today.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
With
Iwamura scheduled to be the D-Rays’ fulltime 3B this year (and Upton as
their utility guy), where does this leave Longoria? Will he have to
learn a new position, or if not, what are management’s intentions for
him? Seems a shame to leave out such a talented guy with such power who
doesn’t seem to have any known weaknesses.
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Longoria is still Tampa Bay’s third baseman of the future. There has
been talk about possibly moving Iwamura to second base, especially if
Jorge Cantu doesn’t bounce back this year.

 Q:  Mike Marinaro from Tampa, FL asks:
Jim:
How does this year’s crop stack up against crops of the past? It seems
hard to remember a Top 100 with so many bona fide outfield prospects as
Maybin, Bruce, McCutchen, Upton, Delmon Young, Chris Young, etc. At
least half of these guys should be All-Stars. Then you take into
account the arms of Hughes, bailey, Gallardo, Matsuzaka, and Andrew
Miller alone…might be unparalleled. Then we have an infielder who hit
around 80 home runs in the past two seasons (Brandon Wood). Throw in
Alex Gordon, LaRoche, and Ryan Braun at the hot corner…oh my!! Is
this the best Top 100 of all time?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Great question. I’m not sure if it’s the best Top 100 ever — haven’t
put in the time to research that! — but I will say this. The longer
you evaluate prospects, the more you see can’t-miss guys miss, and you
start to get more realistic about what they’re really going to become.
Usually when I put together my personal Top 50 list for the Prospect
Handbook, I run out of guys I feel good about around No. 30. This year,
I liked all 50 guys, so yes, the depth seems to be as good as I can
remember. Especially in the outfield and at third base.

 Q:  Bertram from Taiwan asks:
Drew Stubbs in the top 100?!?! Are you serious?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Yes, we are. I think people miss the point on Drew Stubbs. Stubbs may
never hit for a high average. But if he hits .250, he still probably
will be a 20-20 guy playing Gold Glove defense in center field. That’s
a very valuable player.

 Q:  J.P. from Midwest asks:
Just
how close was it between Hughes & Bailey for their respective
rankings? What’s the split between your Baseball America staff when
answering the question of which of them has the higher ceiling?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Very close. Of the four of us who did the most work putting together
the Top 100, three of us had them next to each other on our lists.
Three of us gave the advantage to Hughes, one to Bailey. Bailey’s
ceiling might be a little higher because I think at his best his stuff
is a little better, but Hughes has a little more polish right now.

 Q:  John Molish from columbus, ohio asks:
Elijah
Dukes is often rated one of the top prospects in the minors. His off
field issues have led to a lower ranking than expected but I also sense
there are also some questions about how good he really is?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Dukes’ makeup is terrible, and you can’t ignore that when you’re trying
to determine how bright his future will be. And though his package of
tools is impressive, he never has had a truly dominant season in the
minors. There aren’t many good prospects with as much difference
between how good he can become and how much he’ll have to do to get to
that point.

 Q:  Dean from Madison asks:
You
have McCutch’s ETA as 2008, while Bruce, Maybin, Upton and Rasmus are
all 2009. Is that because of McCutch is ahead of the rest, or that the
Pirates will need him faster than the other players’ teams?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
More the latter. McCutchen ended last year in Double-A, higher than the
rest of those guys, and I think the Pirates could give him a full-time
job by mid-2008.

 Q:  Craig from Calgary, Alberta asks:
Who just missed cracking the top 100?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
I’ll quote from last week’s Ask BA: There were four players who were on
the list at various times, and just missed out: Reds righthander Johnny
Cueto, Phillies righthander Kyle Drabek, Devil Rays third baseman
Akinori Iwamura and Giants third baseman Angel Villalona . . . Angels
catcher Hank Conger, Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold and Indians lefty
Tony Sipp all received two Top 100 votes from the four-man panel (me,
co-editors-in-chief Will Lingo and John Manuel, national writer Chris
Kline) that did most of the heavy lifting on the project, but
ultimately didn’t make it. Phillies shortstop Adrian Cardenas, Cubs
outfielder Tyler Colvin, Cubs righty Sean Gallagher, Mets righty Deolis
Guerra, Braves outfielder Brandon Jones, Royals lefty Tyler Lumsden and
Diamondbacks infielder Mark Reynolds also received strong support.

 Q:  Bryant from Columbia, MO asks:
Taking
into account that the all factors, which system would you most like to
have right now? I know the Rockies have the most top 100, and the
D-Rays are rated the top system, but take into account the divisions
and everything else, what GM would you want to be the most as of now?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
I would want the Devil Rays farm system over any other. But if you’re
asking me to look at the divisions and pick a spot where I have a
better chance to win, I’d rather be in the NL West and take the Rockies
system.

 Q:  Skip from Miami asks:
Sure – the Top 100 is all of 2 hours old, but your best guess as to 2008′s Top 5?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Jay Bruce, Cameron Maybin, Justin Upton, Andrew Miller, Andrew
McCutchen. Got to love that 2005 crop of high school outfielders.

 Q:  Aaron from Green Bay, WI asks:
Thanks
for the chat and top 100, love the Prospect Book. What are the
expectations of former great prospects BJ Upton, Scott Hairston, Edwin
Jackson, Joel Guzman, and Jason Kubel? Think any of these guys have a
chance to break out?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Of those guys, the only ones I still believe in much are Upton and
Kubel. If Hairston doesn’t make the Diamondbacks, he’s out of options,
and worth taking a shot on with a waiver claim.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
How
much power do you see McCutchen developing? He seems to have a smallish
frame, and the road ahead can only get harder for him as he fills out.
 A: 

Jim Callis: He’s strong for his size and I think he’ll become a 20-homer guy or more.

 Q:  Bryant from Columbia, MO asks:
Hey
Jim, I was wondering if Max Scherzer would have made this list had he
signed by now, and if so, around where would he sit? Thanks
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Interesting. I think he would have made it, down in the 80s around
fellow 2006 draftees Jeff Samardzija, Daniel Bard and Brandon Morrow.

 Q:  Bryant from Columbia, MO asks:
Hey
Jim, what are the chances that Upton has a HUGE year this year in the
California league, and moves himself into the top prospect discussion
for next year?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
We’ll go back to Bryant . . . I think very good. The Cal League
obviously favors hitters, and Upton should realize by now that he can’t
just coast on his natural talent. He could easily have a huge year.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
If you had to pick right now, who would you give the 2007 NL & AL ROY awards to?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Chris Young and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

 Q:  Aaron from Green Bay, WI asks:
Any chance we could get a top 200 in the 2008 Prospect Handbook?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Probably not in the Handbook, as we wouldn’t want to steal our own
thunder from our magazine and a website. But we’ve talked about
expanding the 100 to 150 or 200 . . . certainly, we’re equipped to do
that.

 Q:  Ian from Jersey asks:
Jim,
I understand much of the list is about projection, but Samarzidja
anywhere in the top 100 seems to be wish-casting at best. He was up and
down in his short time in the minors and he was plain mediocre in
college. It seems like you’re letting the bonus he got dictate his
ranking. No?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
No. You’re right in saying the list is a lot about projection. But if
we let his big league deal dictate his ranking, he’d be No. 2 on this
list. Samardzija is an extremely difficult call. On one hand, he hasn’t
been consistently dominant. On the other, he never has focused on
baseball full-time, and he’s a tremendous athlete with the aptitude to
make adjustments quickly and easily. The Cubs believe they’ve made
progress with his mechanics and now that they have him full-time, he’ll
be throwing in the high 90s with a plus slider on a regular basis. He
hasn’t racked up big strikeout numbers in the past because he’s been
mostly a one-pitch guy, but the Cubs believe that is about to change.
The Cubs probably think we have Samardzija about 40 spots too low, and
you think we have him too high, I think we’ve split the difference
nicely.

 Q:  Joaquin from San Francisco asks:
How
close did Giants Dominican prospect Angel Villalona come to making the
list? What is Jonathon Sanchez’s ceiling as a starter and what is the
key for him fulfilling that potential? Why was Lincecum not higher on
the list? Is it just because of his size? He seems to have some of the
best pure stuff in the minors with his fastball and curveball and he
won the Golden Spikes last year.
Thanks!
 A: 

Jim Callis:
As mentioned earlier, Villalona was very close. Ultimately, the fact
that he’s 16 and has yet to have a pro at-bat made us decide to wait. I
think Sanchez can become a No. 3 starter, and the key (like with most
young pitchers) is showing more consistent command in the majors. I
can’t believe we ranked Lincecum No. 11 and we’re getting a question
about not ranking him higher! Seriously, I can’t imagine many people
love him as a prospect more than we do.

 Q:  Kevin from Pittsburgh asks:
What
is it that Maybin has that always puts him ahead of McCutchen?
McCutchen is already proving it, so is Maybin’s ceiling THAT much
higher? I know this is nitpicking, as both are great, but it’s always
Maybin, Upton, then McCutchen.
 A: 

Jim Callis: There’s not a huge difference. The biggest is that Maybin’s projected power is probably a grade higher.

 Q:  ray villa from Covian, CA asks:
if
greg miller is able to come back fully healthy as a starter, and
somewhat resemble what he was a couple years ago, would you take him
over scott elbert, and clayton kershaw?
 A: 

Jim Callis: No. That would be one healthy season in the last four, and I’d still be worried about his long-term health.

 Q:  Goldin from Seattle, Washington asks:
Will Adam Jones become the next Griffey Jr. in Seattle? Does he have that kind of power?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Not that much power. I think it’s more realistic to see him becoming the next Mike Cameron.

 Q:  ray villa from Covian, CA asks:
if matt kemp was eligible to be on the list, where would he rank?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Best guess is somewhere in the 21-30 range.

 Q:  Scott from Dover(DE) asks:
Sinkbeil, West, R. Tucker, Gaby, A. Thompson- Who do you project to be the most successful?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Brett Sinkbeil and Sean West, in that order.

 Q:  Terry from Concord, CA. asks:
I was surprised to see Chris Parmelee ranked ahead of Lars Anderson. In your opinion, what separates the two?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
I’ve driven the Lars Anderson hype machine, haven’t I. But in talking
to scouts throughout the spring and summer, the consensus is that
Parmelee is the better prospect.

 Q:  Bruce from Decatur, Ga asks:
How would you rank Bailey, Gallardo, Pelfrey and Lincecum in terms of impact in 2007? and in five years? Thanks
 A: 

Jim Callis: The Top 100 reveals how we stack those guys up over the long term. For 2007, I’d say: Pelfrey, Lincecum, Bailey, Gallardo.

 Q:  Jason from Los Angeles asks:
Going
into the 2006 draft, the consensus seemed to be that it was the weakest
draft in a long time. Nearly a year later, has that perception changed?
Players like Longoria, Lincecum, and Hochevar are rated pretty highly
on the Top 100 less than a year after being drafted.
 A: 

Jim Callis:
There was that perception, driven mainly because the position-player
crop was disappointing. But the pitching was very strong, and overall
it was a better talent pool than originally given credit for.

 Q:  Jason from Charlotte asks:
The
opinion of what kind of player Elvis Andrus is going to become varies
greatly from person to person. Why so much variation??? Is there that
much projection with his bat??
 A: 

Jim Callis:
It varies greatly at BA, too. There is a ton of projection needed with
his bat because while he’s been very young for his leagues, he didn’t
do much offensively last year.

 Q:  Bryce from Miami asks:
Felix
Pie went .280-.340-.790 as a 21 year old in AAA, and I would’ve thought
he’d end up much higher on the list. It seems that people forget who
young he is because he’s been around for so long. Why did he end up so
low?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
One, there are a ton of outfield prospect right now, and he pales in
comparison to some of them. More important, while he still has
wonderful tools, he still has a lot of refinements to make. Though he
played well in the second half in Triple-A last year, he’s far from a
finished product.

 Q:  Jeff Chisholm from New York asks:
How
is it that a 2 month hot streak overrides Longoria’s entire college
career which resulted in a lukewarm endorsement of his offensive
potential going into the draft, to now being the 3rd best offensive
prospect in all of baseball?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
I think your perception is way off, Jeff. For more than a year,
Longoria was considered easily the best bat in the 2006 college draft
crop. His tremendous pro debut only reinforced the high expectations
for him offensively.

 Q:  Rick from Iowa asks:
I
keep hearing about how the Braves should move Salty to 1B or OF. Does
he have a future behind the plate for the Braves or is he going to be a
top prospect trade in July?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
I think Saltalamacchia could get the job done behind the plate, but
he’s not moving Brian McCann anywhere. He could either start at 1B or
LF for Atlanta, or be very valuable trade bait.

 Q:  Jason from Dallas, TX asks:
How
much did the injury history of Adam Miller and Jeff Niemann factor into
their rankings? Especially Niemann’s, since I’d think he’s got as high
a cieling as most of the pitchers listed ahead of him.
 A: 

Jim Callis: It was a significant factor, especially with Niemann, who didn’t regain his 2003 form until mid-2006.

 Q:  Adam from NYC asks:
What
made Kevin Slowey rank so low at #71 on the list? While he isn’t a
fireballer like Hughes and Bailey, he still is turning some heads at
Twins camp. Is it his low use of secondary pitches that pushed him back
so far?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
His overall stuff is very average. His command is special, but often
command specialists who thrive in the minors struggle against more
discerning hitters in the majors. I like Kevin Slowey, but he’s no lock.

 Q:  Peter from San Diego asks:
I’m assuming that Lasting Milledge’s omission is because he had too many major league ABs last year?
 A: 

Jim Callis: You are correct. He would have been in the 15-30 range otherwise.

 Q:  Eric from Boston asks:
Hey Jim, why didn’t Kouz, Carrillo, or any of the other Padres’ farm hands make the list? Lack of upside?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
The Padres have some depth, but they didn’t have a single guy who
jumped out and grabbed us as a Top 100 guy. Kouzmanoff, have to respect
his minor league performance, but we don’t believe in his tools quite
as much as his numbers. Carrillo was hurt last year, that was the
biggest factor with him. Cedric Hunter was No. 1 on our Padres list,
but he was a third-round pick on merit and tearing up the Arizona
League couldn’t quite get him on the Top 100.

 Q:  Stephen Hunsley from Overland Park, KS asks:
How
does Koshansky, 1b, Col, not make either the top 10 for Rockies or top
100 prospects? Is it because Helton blocks his progression?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
He didn’t make the Rockies Top 10 because the Rockies are loaded.
Koshansky would have been in the middle of most other Top 10s. Helton
has nothing to do with it, as it’s based on future talent, not
Koshansky’s current situation. With the Top 100, he’s a realistic
candidate, but hard to make the list when we rank you No. 13 in your
own system, no matter how good that system is.

 Q:  Dave Rainer from Huntington Beach, CA asks:
Hi Jim,
Can you go a little bit into on how the list was compiled, the process involved, etc.?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Short version: The four of us most involved with prospect ratings and
the Prospect Handbook (me, Chris Kline, John Manuel, Will Lingo) each
start by making our own personal Top 150 lists. Then we combine them
into a spreadsheet and start arguing.

 Q:  Edabbs44 from RedsZone.com asks:
Could you explain this statement about Jay Bruce:

“Beat out Maybin and Upton for top-prospect honors in the Midwest League last summer”

And then you guys ranked Upton and Maybin higher than Bruce here?

Were the Midwest rankings done by sources outside of BA?

 A: 

Jim Callis:
They’re different lists. I did the Midwest League, and those rankings
are at least mildly influenced by how the player did in the context of
the league. I also voted for Bruce ahead of Maybin and Upton, but my BA
cohorts didn’t share the same opinion.

 Q:  Joel from Philadelphia asks:
No
Bryce Cox? A lot of baseball folk feel he has top closer potential and
may be more MLB ready that Craig Hansen. How far off the list did he
fall.
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Still almost 300 questions remaining, and we’ve been going for nearly
an hour. I’ll try to get to as many as we can and go a few extra
minutes . . . I love Bryce Cox as much as anyone, and I’ve never seen a
slider better than his in person. But he couldn’t throw strikes for
nearly a year and his track record of dominance extends from April
through August. I want to see more before I put him on the Top 100.

 Q:  Ichiro Disagrees from Work asks:
Ichiro…the
guy already has a ROY, MVP, 66 for Gold Gloves, 66 for All-Star Games,
2 Batting Titles, and holds the record for most hits in a season. Can
you please take a moment to admit that there was just a hint of “hype”
in your comments about Matsuzaka?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Sure. I still think that Ichiro is both good and overrated, and Matsuzaka’s impact could eclipse his.

 Q:  Bryan from Poland, ME asks:
What
is the reason for Chamberlain over Bard. They seam like similar
pithers, having dominant fastballs but nothing else, but Joba has had
injury and weight issues.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Chamberlain’s secondary pitches are significantly better than Bard’s.

 Q:  Tyler Cook from New Hampshire asks:
Bard
over Bowden? Although Bard may have a higher potential, Bowden has more
experience, is actually younger, and as it said has unquestionable
stuff. Please explain?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
I like Bowden better, and ranked him ahead of Bard on our Red Sox Top
10. As stated many times, I’m not the biggest Bard fan in the world. My
BA cohorts (who saw him pitch several times at UNC) disagree with me,
that’s all. Bard has a better pure arm, but Bowden’s isn’t bad at all
and he’s a better pitcher in my book.

 Q:  Chris from Detroit, MI asks:
What
separates Brent Lillibridge from other small middle infield prospects
who might have been considered for this list? Dustin Pedroia and
Alberto Gonzalez, for example, did not make the cut despite being about
the same age as Lillibridge and performing well at more advanced levels
of baseball.
 A: 

Jim Callis:
I don’t believe in Gonzalez’ bat. Lillibridge is a true shortstop,
while Pedroia is more a second baseman, so that’s probably the biggest
reason he made it and Pedroia didn’t.

 Q:  Norman Banks from San Diego asks:
I am a little surprised that Tony Sipp missed the list. Are you having second thoughts about is closer ability?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
No . . . He did get some consideration. But most of your big league
closers were minor league starters, and minor league relievers don’t
have the best track record. That worked against him a little bit.

 Q:  Paul from San Francisco asks:
Jim,
are you somewhat alone in your praise for Lars Anderson? Not only did
he miss the top 100 but he wasn’t mentioned during your ESPN chat as
one who just missed.
 A: 

Jim Callis:
I’d say the rest of BA respects him, but I’m driving that bandwagon. He
has no pro track record to go on, and that works against a guy,
especially when he wasn’t a first-rounder. I put him at No. 100 on my
personal list, but that was his high-water mark.

 Q:  Bryan from Poland, ME asks:
Did
you value ceiling more this year than in years past? I was suprised to
see Chamberlain, Samardzija, and Bard all ahead of Bowden. Plus there
is no Pedroia… im struggling to contain an angry outburst
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Contain yourself! I don’t share this concern, but there are some
worries about Bowden’s unorthodox mechanics. That worked against him
for his ranking, though he repeats his delivery well and it works for
him. As I mentioned in the ESPN chat, and would love to expound if I
had time to write 1000 words or so . . . While we balance ceiling with
likelihood of reaching potential, toward the end of the list, perhaps
because we don’t want to miss a possible star, we have to admit we lean
more toward ceiling. That’s not necessarily good or bad, just the way
it is. I think Pedroia will be a steady big league regular, and not a
star. Yes, he’ll have a better career than some of the guys on the
list. (He already has reached the majors, so he already has had a
better career than some of these guys will.)

 Q:  Eric M. Van from MA asks:
Do
you agree that defensive tools doní•â‚¬â„•t always translate to performance,
in terms of actual plays made? If so, have you taken a look at the
defensive numbers at Minorleaguesplits.com? Thereí•â‚¬â„•s some fascinating
stuff there that, if anything like the truth, would cause you to tweak
your ratings. For instance, Dustin Pedroia at SS being 16 plays better
per 150 games than Erick Aybar, or Jacoby Ellsbury an astonishing 100
plays better than Colby Rasmus. Some of this may be small sample size
noise, but it may also be telling us about positioning, which may be as
important as tools and is probably impossible to scout.
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Hi, Eric. I do agree and I have seen some of those numbers. There are
so many factors that affect defensive stats, such as leftyrighty or
groundballflyballstrikeout makeup of a pitching staff, or the park
itself, that I think it’s extremely difficult to put a lot of faith in
any one defensive metric. As you well know, the most well respective
metrics for major league defense often disagree with one another, andor
have the performance of a specific player varying wildly from one year
to the next. For defensive stats, in the majors, I tend to try to look
as at many as possible and see if there’s a consensus. In the minors,
there aren’t enough metrics to do that, and so I think you have to
factor in scouting reports as well. Ellsbury, by all accounts, is a
very good center fielder. The reports on Pedroia are that he’s an
adequate shortstop but better suited for second base. And you’re right,
positioning plays a huge part and I don’t know how you’d possibly
measure that. And even if a guy positions himself well, how much of
that is him and how much the coaching staff?

 Q:  Daniel from Lewiston, NY asks:
How
will Jose Tabata’s wrist problems hamper his long-term development? How
serious of an issue is this problem in Yankee circles?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Shouldn’t be a long-term concern but could hamper his 2007 production.

 Q:  Mike from Cali asks:
Why is Pelfrey listed so much higher than Humber? Is it purely injury concerns? What separates them so much for you?
 A: 

Jim Callis: That’s part of it. I also just like Pelfrey better. I think he can be a frontline guy, while Humber is more of a No. 3 to me.

 Q:  Mike from Cali asks:
You
take a look at a guy like Lincecum and that arm speed, size, and
delivery and immediately think RELIEVER. I know he claims to have a
bionic arm, but what are the chances he becomes a reliever?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
That depends on the Giants. Lincecum has been dominant as a starter and
had no arm problems despite a heavy college workload. I’d want him
pitching as many big league innings for me as I could get out of him,
so he’d be a starter for me.

 Q:  Aaron from Allston, MA asks:
Jim,
Regarding the upside vs certainty debate it seems like it would make
sense to consider the list as, “would you trade this guy for this guy?”
and rank ‘em on down as best you can. I think that’s where there’s a
lot of confusion as it seems like the list is more geared towards
upside. Without asking you to repeat yourself too much, is there any
way you can shed some more light on the process and the goals of the
list?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
That’s a good way to put it, Aaron. And ultimately, the Top 100 is a
would you trade this guy for this guy. On the ESPN.com chat, I
mentioned that Dellin Betances was No. 100, which sparked some message
board debate and e-mails about how could we do that, the Red Sox
wouldn’t trade Pedroia for Betances. Well, would the Yankees trade
Betances for Pedroia? I’m not sure they would either. BA isn’t a team
looking to fill a specific need, so we’re just evaluating talent vs.
talent. And while this will draw more ire from Red Sox Nation, our
consensus is that long term, we’d rather have Betances than Pedroia.

 Q:  Peyton from Cleveland, OH asks:
What
is the general consensus about Brian Barton’s ability to become a
regular? His powerspeed numbers look outstanding, but his age, BBK and
unusually high BABIP (0.394) are sources of concern.
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Don’t hold his age against him, as he got a late start on pro ball. It
is a factor, of course, but he’s a 24-year-old with just two seasons
under his belt. It’s not like he has struggled for 3-4 years. He’s
going to have to control the strike zone better, but I could see him
being a better big leaguer than Trevor Crowe.

 Q:  Mike from Cali asks:
How can there be 38 spots between Niemann and Humber?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
Niemann’s stuff is that much better. And I say that thinking that
there’s not as huge a difference between 38 spots as you might believe.
As with Pelfrey, I see Niemann as a frontline starter and Humber as a
No. 3.

 Q:  Taz from San Jose, CA asks:
Jim, You compared Hughes to Chien-Ming Wang and Bailey to Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens. Why is Hughes No. 4 and Bailey No. 5?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
I think you misunderstood something I wrote or said. Hughes is a lot
more dominant than Wang. Bailey is from Texas and throws hard, as do
Ryan and Clemens, but as much as I like him, I’m not projecting him to
be that good.

 Q:  Goose from Chicago asks:
No Brandon Wood in the 2008 Top 5? Think he’ll get 131 ABs this year?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Yeah.

 Q:  Kyle from Chicago asks:
We
all know Matsuzaka is a prospect on a technicality alone, but do you
really think this guy will be THAT good? He didn’t face the best
competition in the WBC, pitches on five days’ rest, and let’s face it,
the Japanese league probably isn’t any better than Triple-A leagues.
 A: 

Jim Callis:
I have to go in a second. If your question didn’t get answered, you can
try to submit it to Ask BA (askba@baseballamerica.com, include complete
name and hometown) and I’ll try to answer some more there this week . .
. Yes, Matsuzaka is a prospect on technicality alone. But I do think
he’s one of the top 10 pitchers in the world, and the only one who
qualifies for this list. He’s going to be very, very good.

 Q:  Joe R. from Newport News, VA asks:
You’re
a GM for a real team. The Commissioner’s office feels sorry for you and
awards you your choice of Dellin Betances and Tony Sipp, free of
charge. Who do you take and why?
 A: 

Jim Callis:
This has to be the last one . . . If I’m trying to win now and need
bullpen help, I’d take Sipp. If I’m going on pure ceiling, it’s
Betances. But because I like them both and Sipp is a lot closer than
Betances, I ranked Sipp higher on my Top 100.

Minors | #2007 #Rankings #Top 100 Prospects

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