ESPN SportsNation Chat With Jim Callis
Welcome to The Show! On Wednesday, Baseball America will welcome Jim Callis, who will chat it up with SportsNation as the MLB offseason continues. He'll talk Hot Stove and much more. Ask any question and Jim will try to answer.
Send your questions now and join Jim on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Jim Callis: (1:59 PM ET ) Hi, everyone. We're working on our Top 100 Prospects list, so any questions about that or the process are welcomed. Let's get to it.
Sean (Killingworth, CT:
Jim, What is your take on Kevin Slowey? Is his uncanny control for real or do the Twins need to see him produce for a full season of AAA? Given their options (Ortiz, Ponson, Silva) I bet there will be lots of temptation to call him up this year to compete with the vets and Bonser, Garza and Perkins. Jim Callis: (1:59 PM ET )
His command is for real. Slowey's stuff won't blow you away, but his command makes it play up a lot and I think he's underrated a little bit.
How detailed will the comparisons and risks be in the top 100? Jim Callis: (2:00 PM ET )
It will be similar to our format in the past. More of a quick take on prospects, as we've presented detailed scouting reports on all of these guys throughout the winter.
Nick (Long Island, NY):
Can you please how the order of compensation picks is determined? I can't seem to figure that out. Jim Callis: (2:01 PM ET )
All of the Type A picks come before the Type Bs. Order within each group is not based on the actual Elias rankings. It's in the same order as the regular draft.
Jim, is there a better 1-2 prospect punch then Gordon/Butler? Jim Callis: (2:03 PM ET )
I love those guys, but I'll give you four: Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce with the Reds, Delmon Young and Evan Longoria with the Devil Rays, Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller with the Tigers, Justin Upton and Chris Young with the Diamondbacks. I love this question . . . please submit it with your full name and hometown to email@example.com and I'll answer it in more detail later this week.
What do you make of the Ryu trade to the Devil Rays? Did the Cubs trade another Willis or Nolasco away? I just don't get the Cubs....I'll bet Ryu does better than Marquis this year. Jim Callis: (2:04 PM ET )
Ryu is nothing special, he was way down the Cubs' depth chart and they got two guys Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken liked when he drafted them for the Devil Rays. I don't understand the Marquis signing either, but the Cubs have better alternatives than Ryu.
You are a GM - who would you rather have, Upton or Maybin? Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET )
Maybin. But it's close and you couldn't go wrong either way. If Upton gets his head on straight, he has a little more offensive upside.
hey jim, always look forward to your chat.on tuesday the washington post had a 2 1/2 page story on josh hamilton and his struggles and working past them.can he return to what once was expected of him after 3 years of no baseball activities at all. is it wise to expect him to stay on the reds active roster all season.will this help his career, does that natural born talent disappear, or does he suffer by not having all those minor league at-bats.are there anyways around the rule-5 draft rules besides injury, like extended spring training. thanx for your time. Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET )
I think Hamilton is a longshot in any case. He needs regular at-bats, and he'd be better served in the minors. My guess is the Reds will either send him back to the Devil Rays or work out a trade that will allow him to go to the minors.
where will matt bush finish the season? Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET )
High Class A. I'm guessing he'll move to the mound sometime in 2008.
Jim - just ordered the prospect handbook. Love the chats! Please tell me why I shouldn't think the Reds blew it by passing up Lincecum for D Stubbs? Too much injury risk with delivery? He'd look great with Arroyo, Harang and Bailey. Jim Callis: (2:08 PM ET )
Lincecum isn't big and doesn't have the most orthodox mechanics, but I'm not worried about him breaking down. I would have taken him over Stubbs. That said, while I know there are questions about Stubbs' hitting ability, he's still going to be a good player if he hits .250. He'll be a 20-20 guy and a Gold Glove center fielder--think Mike Cameron.
Henry (Minneapolis, MN):
What are your thoughts on Price's first outing? I was in Houston for the game, and I really felt for the guy. So many scouts, so much pressure. Jim Callis: (2:08 PM ET )
I was there, too, and he did just fine. His command wasn't in peak form, which was to be expected in early February. I don't think he's feeling any pressure.
Henry (Minneapolis, MN):
Thanks for the chats. Better 2010 rotation: Yanks (Hughes, Wang, Betances, Sanchez, Chamberlain) or Rays (Kazmir, Niemann, McGee, Davis, Walker)? Jim Callis: (2:09 PM ET )
We'll go back to Henry . . . Give me the Devil Rays there. I suspect you'll have some veterans in that Yankees 2010 rotation, though.
John (Columbus, Ohio):
Do you think Johnny Cueto or Travis Wood will make the Top 100? Jim Callis: (2:10 PM ET )
Cueto, maybe. He made my personal Top 100. Wood, no.
Eno (Jersey City):
Is Hunter Pence a CF? When will he make the Houston team? Jim Callis: (2:10 PM ET )
He can play a passable center, and given that center is Houston's biggest OF need, I think you'll see him play there at least part of the time for the Astros. I think he'll spend a month or two in Triple-A while Chris Burke plays center and Craig Biggio chases 3,000 hits. Then Pence will come up.
Rich (Milford, Ma):
Jim, How many Red Sox you got in the top 100? I got 5...Dice-K, Ellsbury, Buchholz, Pedroia, and Bard Jim Callis: (2:11 PM ET )
I should clarify . . . the Top 100 isn't finalized yet, it's a work in progress. I had six in my Top 100, no Pedroia but also Michael Bowden and Lars Anderson (he won't make the overall list, but he was my No. 100 guy).
Joey Merz (Boston):
Is 3B Matt Antonelli (Padres) ever going to see big league PT? Jim Callis: (2:13 PM ET )
Sure. Antonelli is kind of like Stubbs, in that I get short shrift in that people sometimes focus on what he lacks (true third-base power). But he's not a weakling. He'll hit 15 or so HR while getting on base a lot and playing quality defense. Think of maybe a Kevin Youkilis, though with a lot more athleticism and the ability to play third base and maybe even win a Gold Glove there. That's a pretty good player.
Paul (San Francisco):
Which team has the most (or do you think will have the most) in the top 100? Jim Callis: (2:14 PM ET )
The Devil Rays, who also have the top overall farm system. I had eight on my Top 100, and at least seven look like locks to make it. Rockies probably will get six.
Todd (SF, CA):
What do you think of Cole St. Clair's and Daniel Moskos's outlook as starting pitchers in the pros? How will St. Clair's injury affect his season, and do you believe the Rice line that he hurt it lifting weights? Jim Callis: (2:19 PM ET )
They both have the stuff to start as pros. There's no definite timetable for St. Clair's return, and given the history of Rice pitchers, his injury would give me pause. I have no reason to believe Rice is lying about how he got hurt.
Joe (San Diego):
Jim, question about OPS. Isn't this a statistic that intentionally counts overall base hits twice? And if that was it's intended purpose, what is the thought behind that? Jim Callis: (2:20 PM ET )
I don't think it's supposed to be a be-all, end-all. As a quick and dirty measure of effectiveness, it's pretty effective.
Tom (Denver, CO):
Is Ian Stewart still an elite prospect despite his struggles last year? Also, where do they move him with Atkins entrenched at 3rd? Jim Callis: (2:20 PM ET )
I still like him a lot, perhaps more than most of my BA cohorts. Stewart could be headed to the outfield.
Hagrid, London, England:
I seem to remember the new CBA defining hard and fast slotting rules, but haven't read much about it since. How will the new slotting system work -- are slot bonuses set in stone now, or can teams still exceed slot by jumping through MLB's silly hoops? Jim Callis: (2:24 PM ET )
Hagrid, do you think you'll be one of the two main characters to die in the final Harry Potter book? As for your question, there was speculation that hard-and-fast slotting would be part of the new CBA--and it wasn't. So teams can spend whatever they want.
Jim, Does Neil Walker make the top 100 list? He doesn't seem too be great at any part of the game. Jim Callis: (2:24 PM ET )
He'll make the second half. He had a wrist injury, and that basically kills you're hitting numbers. I'm not sold he's a catcher, but I do like his bat.
Russell (Davis, CA):
Where do you see the Padres going with this draft? Is this the one they restock the Farm with? Jim Callis: (2:27 PM ET )
I believe the Padres have seven of the top 64 picks, as well as extra choices in the second and fourth rounds. If they get the budget to pay market value for all those picks, it's a definite restocking opportunity. Their system has few upper-level prospects of note right now, but they do have some interesting guys at the lower levels.
bingo (st. louis):
Jim, where does kershaw rank on the top 100? Jim Callis: (2:27 PM ET )
He was 28th on my list and may rank a couple of spots higher on the consensus Top 100.
will clayton kershaw be the best pitcher of the 06 draft class in 5 years? Jim Callis: (2:28 PM ET )
I'll give him "best high school pitcher." I still like Tim Lincecum the most overall.
Randy - Chandler, AZ:
I'm sure all the Cub fans want to know about the Jae Kuk Ryu trade to Tampa Bay. What can you tell us about Andrew Lopez and Gregory Reinhard? Jim Callis: (2:29 PM ET ) Just wrote this up
at baseballamerica.com, too. Reinhard has a plus fastball and a decent slider, probably a setup guy in the long term. Lopez is a line-drive hitter with a good approach, plays right field.
Rick (freeport, me):
any word on if Max Scherzer is close to signing? Jim Callis: (2:31 PM ET )
Nope. Still expect him to sign in the next couple of weeks, but not hearing anything specific and still will be puzzled at how he's going to command more than slot money.
Hall of Fame - Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, Jim Leyland? Jim Callis: (2:31 PM ET )
If they ever revamp the Veterans Committee again so someone can be elected, I think LaRussa, Torre and Cox will make it in as managers. Don't see Leyland.
Cole Hamels (Philadelphia, Pa):
Two years ago I asked you who would turn out to be the better pitcher, me or Scott Kazmir, and you said Kazmir. Care to apologize yet? Jim Callis: (2:32 PM ET )
No, I still like Kazmir. You finally figured out to stay healthy and avoid bar fights. And I tout you plenty.
What position do you see Trevor Crowe settling into in the majors? How good can he be? Jim Callis: (2:33 PM ET )
I like Crowe, but I think he's just a decent regular. He's an average center fielder, but will have to move to a corner with Grady Sizemore in Cleveland. Crowe doesn't have a ton of power and would be a better fit in center, so maybe a trade will be in order.
Erik (New Haven):
Tulowitzki or Brignac Jim Callis: (2:35 PM ET )
Brignac, just barely.
James (Phoenix, AZ):
I saw a kid Cedric Hunter play rookie ball last year in the AZL. I know it is only rookie ball, but this kid seems special? What kind of prospect is he? Jim Callis: (2:36 PM ET )
He's a good prospect and had a great AZL. But I wouldn't go overboard yet. He was a third-round pick (not a first-rounder) on merit last June, and lots of guys tore up the AZL. I want to see a little more before I jump on that bandwagon.
With the 11th pick in the draft, who would you choose if you were the Mariners? Would you go for pitcher to pair with the King, or pick up hitter for the future? Jim Callis: (2:37 PM ET )
I say this every week . . . I'd pick the best available talent, regardless of position. All things being equal, the Mariners should take a pitcher, because that's a bigger need.
Who would you rather have, Matt Garza or Clayton Kershaw? Jim Callis: (2:38 PM ET )
Garza, especially for this year. Wouldn't complain if I had to settle for Kershaw, though.
Robert (Troy, Ohio):
Jim, your thoughts on the Harang and Arroyo contracts? Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET )
I don't understand the rush to lock up Arroyo when he already was signed through 2008 to begin with. Won't surprise me if 2006 turns out to be his career year and the Reds regret the 2009-10 extension.
Jim Dean (B'more):
When you're putting something like the Top 100 together (or even the Top 10's), why include something as amorphous as "talent" or "potential". When I look back at the past Top 100's that tea reading seems to give many more false positives than if you just waited a year or two for the MiLB numbers to come in. Thanks. Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET )
Not sure what you're talking about . . . we do look at performance, but if we just looked at stats only, that would be silly, too.
Will Dellin Betances crack the top 100 despite not throwing a pro inning? Same question for Chamberlain Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET )
Betances pitched in the GCL, actually. They'll both probably make the list. To tie into Jim Dean's question, we're trying to pick the best long-term players. Sometimes those guys don't play much their first pro summer.
Joe (Bozeman, MT):
Jim, When will the top 100 be out? Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET )
The issue will go to print next week. It should be up on our website shortly after that. Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET )
Let's go to the lightning round . . .
who would you rather have, Billingsly or Loewen? Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET )
Jack (San Francisco):
Who would you choose, Philip hughes or Tim Lincecum and why? Jim Callis: (2:44 PM ET )
Hughes. They're very close, but he's had more success at a higher level, and that's as good a tiebreaker as any.
Jim Dean (B'more):
I'm talking about how a guy like Henson or Van Poppel or even Tabata can make a top 100 list when so little of the evaluation is based on actual performance. Why not just stick to the numbers? MiLB stats do very well to predict MLB performance, no? Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET )
Not at the lower levels, no, and more for hitters than pitchers. Chipper Jones hit about .200 in Rookie ball in his first pro summer, and there are a lot of other examples. It's tools AND performance, not either/or. Any kind of prospect list is going to have guys who didn't make it because that's the nature of prospects. Are you saying you would want Tabata because he hasn't done much yet? Because there are 30 teams that would love to have him. And even if he doesn't pan out, he'd have a ton of trade value right now.
Jim, so you are sticking with the Gordon/Butler as 5th best prospect punch? Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET )
Send that question to firstname.lastname@example.org!
lightning round frank (denver):
joey devine or craig hansen Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET )
Longoria or Zimmerman long-term? Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET )
Wow. Gut says Zimmerman.
Better career, Daniel Cabrera or Josh Beckett? Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET )
John Danks or Scott Elbert? Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET )
Taz (San Jose, CA):
Humberto Sanchez or Clay Bucholz? Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET )
When's there gonna be a salary cap Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET )
Bruce or Pie? Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET )
Dan (Detroit, Mi):
Better in 5 years....Andrew Miller or Phil Hughes? Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET )
Will Brian Wilson be closing games for the Giants in '07? Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET )
I'll say yes.
Braun or Longoria? McCutchen or Maybin? Bruce or Tabata? Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET )
Longoria, Maybin, Bruce, but all of those are very close.
Steve O, NYC:
Slowey = John Stephens? Yes or No? Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET )
Stephens' stuff was a lot more fringy. I think Slowey will prove much more effective in the majors.
Matt Harrison - top 100 prospect? If so, where? Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET )
He'll get on there in the 76-100 range.
Dave (Los Angeles, CA):
Kemp or Loney? Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET )
More homers this year: Tejada or Markakis Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET )
Better career: Dellin Betances or Joba Chaimberlain Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET )
#1 Rays prospect next year will be? Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET )
Reid Brignac. I don't think he'll get enough big league PT to drop off the list, like Delmon Young, Evan Longoria and Jeff Niemann probably will.
Best bb writer? Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET )
Two of my favorites are Jerry Crasnick and Joe Posnanski. Hope I'm not slighting anyone there.
Kyle (Brockport, NY):
Is Daniel Cabrera a good comparison for Delin Betances? Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET )
Durant or Oden? Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET )
I'll buck popular opinion and say Durant.
Worst minor league system? Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET )
Nationals. Though they've had fewer resources to work with, so it's understandable.
Pie...Boom or Bust? Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET )
Jim Callis Rules (Florida):
Which Drew will have a better year, J.D. or Stephen? Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET )
Alba and Martha Stewart or Jessica Beil and Scarlett??? Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET )
Damn. I'll have to go with Beil and Scarlett on that one. Sorry, Jessica Alba, though it's not her fault her teammate drags her down here.
christopher (snowy northeast):
charlie zink or chuck hager? Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET )
Jim (San Diego):
Peavy: Bounceback year and Cy Young cadidate in 2007? Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET )
If the draft were today, who would the D-Rays take? Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET )
Vandy LHP David Price.
How close to Pelfrey is Humber's talent when he's healthy? Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET )
Pelfrey has better pure stuff than a healthy Humber.
Over under 15? (Sammy Sosa Home Runs) Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET )
how is Betances not higher than Chamberlain in your eyes? Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET )
Chamberlain is a lot more polished and his raw stuff is comparable.
Sledge (Bham, AL):
Have you seen my questions, Jim? They are better than half the ones out there. Are you ignoring me? Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET )
Jack Bauer (behind you):
Will I ever die? Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET )
Nick (Mission, KS):
If the draft were today, who would the Royals take? Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET )
Picking second . . . Georgia Tech C Matt Wieters.
Flemming (Copenhagen, Denmark):
It's Biel and she's waaaay hotter than Alba. Anyway, Ohlendorf, starter or reliever in majors? Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET )
Despite your blasphemy, I'll answer your question. Reliever.
Peter Gammon (Boston):
What's my legacy?? Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET )
The father of modern baseball coverage.
more wins in 2007: David Price for Vanderbilt or Mark Prior for the Cubs? Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET )
Please put out a mock first round draft for these ***holes . . . Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET ) There's one up
on the Draft page at baseballamerica.com.
Andrew or Adam (Miller) Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET )
Big Z (Chicago):
Big Z want big dollars...how much should I ask for? 5 yrs. 100 mil?? Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET )
If Zito gets seven years and $126 million, wouldn't a younger and better Big Z command more than that?
Better major league career: Corey Patterson or Eric Patterson? Jim Callis: (3:00 PM ET )
Big Z (Chicago):
Ok, I'll ask for 7 yrs 150 mil. Big Z says thanks Jim Callis: (3:00 PM ET )
Just make sure I get my cut.
I've been doing some quantitative research on past BA top 100s. Would it surprise you to know that the BA Top 100 (particularly the top 40) is more effective at predicting productive regulars at the major league level than statistical metrics like OBP, OPS and Runs Created? Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET )
Hmmm . . . that's good to know. Would love to see that research. Now I'm off to a Top 100 meeting . . . see you guys next week.