ESPN SportsNation Chat With Jim Callis
Welcome to The Show! On Wednesday, Baseball America's Jim Callis will chat it up with SportsNation as the MLB season gets into full swing. 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: (2:00 PM ET ) We'll start in a second. I'm in a mood to talk about the draft, so give me some draft questions!
Phil (San Francisco):
With Tim Lincecum pitching lights out, when will he be with the Giants? The guy is clearly to good for Triple A. Jim Callis: (2:02 PM ET )
Not soon enough. Let's face it, he's ready to deal in the majors.
Is it still too soon to worry about Pujols? He really looks lost. Jim Callis: (2:03 PM ET )
Way too early.
Hey Jim, love your work. Will Baseball America have the daily dish page on the website talking about the previous night's minor league action? It had become a daily reading for me and want to see it back! Jim Callis: (2:03 PM ET )
We've folded our Daily Dish stuff into our Prospects Blog and BAPR plus. Same content, just presented differently. Check it out!
Eric (Sierra Vista, AZ):
Hey, Jim, sorry to pester you, but with Max Scherzer heading to Fort Worth, do you see him cashing in with the Nats like you saw last week? Was the departure of Mike Rizzo a big reason why the negotiations have deterorated? Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET )
I think the biggest problem is just that the Diamondbacks and Boras valued him differently. Arizona saw him as a guy who wasn't going to go higher than No. 11 (and might have slid through the first round otherwise), and Boras saw him as one of the top two pitchers in the draft. I don't think he was that good, but if he pitches well at Fort Worth and shows he's fully healthy, you could argue that he's the No. 2 prospect in a 2007 draft bereft of college righthanded pitching.
How shocked are you by Josh Hamiltons' play? The guy is the real Roy Hobbs!!! Do you see him becoming an All Start type player eventually? Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET )
Shocked. I thought he had too much rust to come straight to the majors and produce. I won't say all-star yet, but nothing would surprise me now. Kudos to Hamilton for turning himself around.
Nigel (Palo Alto):
Where do the Giants go with their early picks (they have a bunch). They need position players BADLY!, yet with the esception of Burris and Martinez-Estuve, they always draft pitching. Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET )
They have a greater need for position players. The Giants pick 10th, and given their history with Lewis-Clark State players, I'm hearing Beau Mills' name associated with San Francisco.
Mike -Norhtboro,MA :
Jim, where do you see David Price and Weiters going in the draft? Think the Cubbies would take the catcher? Jim Callis: (2:07 PM ET )
As much as you can be a lock seven weeks before the draft, Price seems a lock to be the No. 1 pick of the Devil Rays. Wieters figures to go No. 2 to the Royals or No. 3 to the Cubs.
Matt (New Orleans, LA):
What are the draft prospects for Tulane pitchers Sean Morgan and Daniel Latham? Both have been solid this year (Latham since he arrived on campus), but Morgan has struggled the last few weeks with command issues. Jim Callis: (2:08 PM ET )
Morgan reminds me some of Tennessee's Sean Watson a year ago, and I can see him going late in the sandwich round or in the second. Latham is a senior with lackluster stuff. I can see him succeeding in the lower minors, but he won't be a high pick.
Rene (El Paso, TX):
Hey Jim, love the chats. Aside from Matt LaPorta, are there any other big power bats in this year's draft? Jim Callis: (2:10 PM ET )
Matt Wieters has a lot of power and he's a switch-hitting catcher. Beau Mills. Kyle Russell is close to breaking the Texas HR record, but still engenders mixed opinion. On the high school side, Jason Heyward (Georgia), Mike Moustakas (California) and Michael Burgess (Florida).
Rene (El Paso, TX):
I meant to say College Power Bats. Oops! Jim Callis: (2:10 PM ET )
I gave you both!
Jim, you're a GM. Give me your top 5 draft prospects taking everything into consideration such as upside, makeup, MLB readiness, and signability.. Jim Callis: (2:11 PM ET )
My gut feel Top 5, and I'm not going to worry about signability: David Price, Josh Vitters, Matt Wieters, Ross Detwiler and Matt Harvey just barely over Rick Porcello.
Paul: (Bird Island Mn):
Top 5 HS pitchers in the draft this year and where do they go and how do they compare to other years propects. Jim Callis: (2:13 PM ET )
It's a good year for HS pitching, very good year. Matt Harvey (Connecticut), Rick Porcello (New Jersey), Madison Bumgarner (North Carolina), Blake Beavan (Texas), Phillipe Aumont (Candada) and Jarrod Parker (Indiana) all could fit in the top 20 picks.
Matt (Providence, RI):
Would Alvarez be a consensus #1 if he were in the draft? Jim Callis: (2:13 PM ET )
How does Price rate amoung former top 5 pitchers drafted over say the last few years? Jim Callis: (2:14 PM ET )
Very comparable to Andrew Miller. I think a survey of scouts would probably be split as to who was better.
Will the Lions draft another WR at #2? Ooops wrong draft. Is La Porta a first rounder and who would you compare him to? Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET )
You jest, but Calvin Johnson is the best player in the NFL draft. The Lions could do worse. LaPorta is a first-rounder, as his health, production, approach and defensive effort have all improved. He is a R-R first baseman though, not the most reliable of demographics though. John Manuel today compared him to Brian Dopirak, and that kind of works for me. Think of the Dopirak who tore up the Midwest League a couple of years ago, with better plate discipline.
Mike A. (SD, CA):
Is Cole St. Clair this year's Mark Melancon? Jim Callis: (2:17 PM ET )
That's fair. First-round potential as a reliever, major health questions. Though I hear St. Clair threw three scoreless innings the other day, raising his IP total to seven at Rice.
Who can I expect the Pirates to pick in the upcoming draft? (Please don't say a college pitcher) Jim Callis: (2:17 PM ET )
I think Josh Vitters, a high school third baseman from California, is a great fit for the Pirates at No. 4. He's the best pure hitter in this draft.
Seeing that NY and BOS have started to apply their financial muscle to the draft, do you see lots of players not being drafted early for "signability/Boros" reasons? Jim Callis: (2:19 PM ET )
Tough call. In our latest overall Top 30 Prospects list, eight of them are Boras clients, and that doesn't include Scherzer. After the top three teams, I don't see too many clubs in the upper half of the draft that like to go over slot money. But on the other hand, with the Red Sox, Yankees and Cubs getting financially aggressive in last year's draft, I think we'll see more clubs that see no personal benefit from slotting and do the same.
Raul (Grand Rapids):
You see the tigers drafting the best player available in the first round? You think Dave Dombrowski and David Chadd will have another great draft? Jim Callis: (2:20 PM ET )
I do, as that has been their M.O. the last two years with Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller. I suspect the Tigers will get a guy who falls because of signability at No. 27.
Rich (Sikeston, MO):
Jim...how long will the Royals be able to keep Billy Butler in Omaha? Jim Callis: (2:21 PM ET )
Not much longer. He's another guy I'd bring up ASAP.
In your top 30 prospects in this year draft, which of them are boras clients? Jim Callis: (2:23 PM ET )
In order of how we rank them: Wieters, Harvey, Porcello, Brackman, Tennessee OF Julio Borbon, LaPorta, Moustakas, Texas Christian RHP Jake Arrietta, Georgia RHP Joshua Fields, Alabama HS OF Kentrail Davis, South Carolina RHP Wynn Pelzer and Washington HS RHP Greg Peavey. Plus Scherzer, now with the Fort Worth Cats, if he re-enters the draft.
Justin (Queens, NY):
Have you been suprised by Joe Smith's(8inn/0runs/8K's) success so far? Did you project him as a major leaguer coming out of Wichita State? Jim Callis: (2:24 PM ET )
Actually, Wright State. He would have led NCAA Divison I in ERA if he hadn't just fallen short of the IP minimum last year. I'm a little surprised at how successful he's been, but he's the rare righty sidearmer who can also get lefties out. The Mets have raved about him since they signed him.
Charles (San Jose):
Is it just me, or was Jack over the top in his request to the president? Jim Callis: (2:25 PM ET )
The president did owe him. And you know Jack will keep his word. I would not want to be China right now.
Who do the Nats take - another high-ceiling/high-risk HS pitcher or a more ready for the majors now College pitcher? How much will having 5 of the tope 72 picks help? Jim Callis: (2:26 PM ET )
The Nationals have an affinity for New Jersey prospects (scouting director Dana Brown is from N.J.), and I wonder if they might pop Porcello there and pay a premium price. Porcello will be a better value than any college pitcher available there. I suspect between the extra picks this year and a likely No. 1 overall pick in 2008 (Alvarez), the system will get a nice infusion of talent.
Brackman- big star, big leaguer, or big bust? Jim Callis: (2:27 PM ET )
He's been very inconsistent this spring. Opinions run the gamut, from a 7-foot monster capable of dominating hitters as a starter to a guy who might have to be a reliever. Huge ceiling, but there's some risk there.
Jay (Lincoln, Ca):
I read a mock draft that had the Dodgers drafting another high school lefty. Any reason to assume different, and do you think that another prep lefty is their biggest priority? Jim Callis: (2:29 PM ET )
Not sure where that was . . . The Dodgers pick 20th, and it's too early to have much of a feel for what will happen that late. The HS lefty that would fit there would be Josh Smoker. The Dodgers will take the best guy available, they're not afraid of high school guys and it's a HS-heavy draft. I could see Indiana HS RHP Jarrod Parker there, too. Maybe California HS 3B Matt Dominguez.
If you are the Cubs, and Price and Weiters are gone, who do you take at 3? Jim Callis: (2:29 PM ET )
I'd take Josh Vitters. My guess is they'd go for Brackman.
Jim, can you outline some possible picks for the Jays in the coming draft ? Jim Callis: (2:31 PM ET )
Their first two picks are at 16 and 21. I could see guys like Oklahoma State 3B Matt Mangini, Vanderbilt RHP Casey Weathers and Maryland LHP Brett Cecil there.
Shane (London, ON):
Jack Bauer, Adam Lind or Reed Johnson in LF? What do the Jays do with the glut of early picks? any chance we see Aumont? Jim Callis: (2:32 PM ET )
Bauer, of course, but since he's not available, Lind should be fine. I actually am battling a herniated disk, and I can't imagine Johnson coming back from that any time soon. Aumont might be gone before No. 16, as he's been impressive. Not sure I can see the Jays taking a HS pitcher in the first round, either. He would fit there valuewise, though.
Steve: (San Diego):
Let's get some Padres draft knowledge. You owe us after you took a run at Tony Gwynn. Jim Callis: (2:35 PM ET )
Keep hearing that they plan on spending slot money for all their picks, and they have so many (6 of the top 64) that they can do a lot of damage. First pick is at No. 23: I could see a Cecil or Arkansas LHP Nick Schmidt there. Most of the good college bats will be gone by then.
Pete, Cincy Oh:
RE; Your herniated disk- if it's low back I have found that once it is semi stable, a stair climbing machine feels great and seems to strengthen the right muscles to keep it stablized. good luck Jim Callis: (2:35 PM ET )
Thanks! Not quite at that point yet, though I'm up and about.
Hugo (Belo Horizonte):
What about Lars Anderson? Is he impressing you? Jim Callis: (2:36 PM ET )
Yes. He's off to a great start in low A, and I've heard from two Red Sox sources that he's more advanced than even they thought.
Jay (Lincoln, CA):
I forgot where the mock draft was, but it had the Dodgers going after Jack McGeary. What's his upside/comparable player? Jim Callis: (2:36 PM ET )
He's a polished pitchability lefty from Massachusetts. McGeary has a separated non-throwing shoulder that's holding him back right now, and he has a commitment to Stanford. Can't see him going to the Dodgers that high, at least not at this moment.
Like most years draft will the top pitcher slip? Can the brewers get brackman or price? If not who will the go after? Jim Callis: (2:37 PM ET )
Price won't get past No. 1. Brackman might slide to the Brewers at No. 7, but I don't see them taking him. I could see them popping a really good college LHP like Missouri State's Ross Detwiler or Clemson's Daniel Moskos.
Chris (Atlanta, GA):
Any idea about possible picks at 14 for the Braves? Jim Callis: (2:38 PM ET )
Hearing a lot of athletic OF Jason Heyward, a HS guy from Georgia. And you know how the Braves like Georgia high schoolers. Makes a lot of sense to me.
Scott (NY, NY):
What did you think of Chase Wright's performance with the Yanks last night? He looked pretty good to me. How does his future in the bigs look? Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET )
Doesn't have overwhelming stuff but could be solid in the back of a rotation. Kind of similar but not quite as good as Tyler Clippard.
John Marinella, Maryland Heights MO:
How do you project the Padres' Cedric Hunter? BA listed him as the Padres' #1 prospect, but they didn't get anyone in the Top 100. Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET )
Just want to see more out of him last year. He was a third-round pick on merit last June, and I didn't want to go crazy just because he tore up a complex league. He's off to a 4-for-25 start in low Class A, but it's too early to mean much.
You mentioned Mike Moustakas before.. How legit are the trio of Moustakas, Dominguez, and Coyle? Are they all going to get drafted in the top 8 or so rounds? Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET )
Very legit, all Chatsworth High products. Moustakas and Dominguez are first-round talents. Bobby Coyle is a 6th-10th rounder.
Chase Edmunds (Parts Unknown):
I'm typin' with one hand Jim so show me some love and give me the low down on Dallas Trahern. Jim Callis: (2:44 PM ET )
Good one. Always had more stuff than stats, still not missing a ton of bats but off to a good start in Double-A.
Steve (Omaha, Ne):
Hey Jim, I have been looking for early season stats on Joba Chamberlain and it appears as though he's not pitching. Do you know why? Jim Callis: (2:44 PM ET )
Minor injury, a hamstring I believe. Should be back soon.
Tomass BenDover N.H. :
Mock top ten draft please. Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET )
That will be part of my next column, you'll have to wait a couple of days for it to make it online.
Mitchell (Nacogdoches, TX):
Im not typing with 1 hand so show me some love and tell me what you think about Taylor Teagarden, potential for top 100? Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET )
I like Teagarden. Hasn't played much as a pro before this year because of injuries, but he's a standout defender and I think he'll be a solid hitter too. I like him. He could crack the Top 100 next year, sure.
Any thoughts on when Todd Frazier could go and to who??? Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET )
He could go in the second half of the first round. He might get overdrafted a little bit, because there aren't many good college bats this year and he's one of the best. Not really a shortstop, but could be a third baseman or more likely an outfielder. Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET )
Let's head to the lightning round!
Gorkys Hernandez, Gerardo Parra or Keiron Pope? Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET )
Tommy, Brown University:
Rather have Jason Marquis (7 mil) or 7 above slot 4-10 rounders at 1 mil each? I don't get GMs these days... Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET )
I'll take the latter, and I'm with you, Tommy.
Pete, Cincy, OH:
Jeff Niemann: Eventual #2 SP? Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET )
Possible No. 1 if he stays healthy.
Hochevar from the Royals or Reynolds from the Rockies - higher ceiling? Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET )
Howard,Utley or Weeks,Fielder. Better career tandem? Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET )
Weeks, Fielder, because they're significantly younger.
Red Sox minor league P Michael Bowden: top of the rotation guy? Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET )
Could be a No. 2.
Kyle ( Charlotte):
Has anyone ever told you that you look like a young Mike Lupica? What can you tell me about Tony Pena's son that the Mets signed to catch? Is he a good prospect? Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET )
No on Lupica. Mets are challenging Francisco Pena by sending him to low A at age 17 (sound familiar for the Mets?). He's off to a good start.
Jonathan (Tampa, FL):
Can Reid Brignac and Evan Longoria compete for best left-side of the infield in 3 years? Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET )
Weeks and Fielder will have better careers because they're younger? That's some strange logic you've employed there. Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET )
I mean, they're comparable talents and they have a lot more future in front of them. Makes sense to me.
When will we see Hunter Pence in a Astros uni? Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET )
Not soon enough. Probably after Craig Biggio gets 3,000 hits.
Andrew (Ocala, FL):
TELL US WHATS UP WITH HUGHES!!! I'M CONCERNED!!!! Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET )
NOTHING! Yanks just being ultracautious and he's had two lackluster starts.
Erbe or Bowden? Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET )
Chirs (Fayetteville, AR):
What about Nick Schmidt? You think he will sneak in the top 10? Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET )
No. We rank him in the 21-30 range, could go higher to a team that wants a safe college LHP rather than a higher-ceilinged high schooler.
Jason (Keyport, NJ):
Who should I draft this year, Adenhart or Hochaver. Time to the big leagues doesnt matter. Just the upside. Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET )
Hochevar. But hard to go wrong either way.
Frank (Portland, ME):
Better Red Sox Arm down the road: Bowden, Bard, Buchholz, or Masterson? Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET )
Jake (VA Beach):
Will Humber ever become an ace? Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET )
I see him more as a solid No. 3.
Billingsley or Kershaw? Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET )
Doesn't help that Hughes has pitched in 30 degree weather twice and had his start yesterday snowed out Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET )
Exactly. It's early, the weather is goofy, he's still the best pitching prospect in the minors.
Rich Hill-can he be a #1 in the majors? Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET )
I wouldn't say No. 1. But he does seem to have finally figured the majors out and is really dealing. Let's say solid No. 2 as a ceiling.
Chris (Madison, Wi):
Ian Stewart re-stake his claim as a top prospect this season? Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET )
I still believe in him.
Bubby Bell 40hr 100Rbi God i love lancaster. Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET )
The pitchers sure don't, though.
Trevor Crowe to the majors in 2007? Is his future with the Indians? Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET )
In a similar boat to Coco Crisp. Profiles better as a CF, but won't play there in Cleveland with Grady Sizemore. Call me crazy, but I like Brian Barton a little bit more than Crowe.
Don't follow college baseball but does the U of MN have any 1st round players? Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET )
Not first-rounders, but RHPs Gary Perinar and Dustin Brabender should go in the first five rounds.
Wes (Boston, MA):
Odds of you answering my questions about Theriot (starting?) and Pie (staying?) for the season? Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET )
A lock. I see Theriot as more of a utilityman, but he could be Chicago's best option at 2B. Pie should stay, just for his defense, as he's much better than Soriano in CF.
True or False? The Reds will spend their first round pick on a Catcher? Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET )
False. They pick 15th. Matt Wieters will be long gone, and I don't think there's another C worth taking that high. Oregon State's Mitch Canham is more of a late first-rounder.
Hodgie (Calgary, Ab):
What is the upside for Travis Snider? Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET )
Huge. Really think he's going to establish himself as one of the minors' elite hitting prospects this year.
Wes Roemer Potential #1 starter? Adkins where drafted? Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET )
Roemer--no way. Great command, but ordinary stuff. He's quite similar to another Titan, Jason Windsor. James Adkins of Tennessee looks like a supplemental first-rounder.
Jeremy (Sioux Falls, SD):
You consider Hughes a better prospect than Gallardo, Bailey, Garza, etc? Jim Callis: (3:00 PM ET )
Yep. Lincecum, too. I'd go Hughes, Bailey, Lincecum at the top of my pitching prospects list. Really, though, those three are pretty interchangeable.
luke (los angeles):
vandy wins the CWS? Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET )
Yep. Right now, that would be my pick.
Mike, Rayburn, NC:
Davern Hansack has been more than intriguing (20ks in 10 AAA innings so far, no hitter through 5 inning last sept against Balt, etc). Will the Red Sox bring him up soon or is he trade bait with lester coming back soon? Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET )
He's probably their next option if they need another starter, and if not, he'll contribute soon in middle relief.
So you are saying Niemann could be better than Kazmir? Jim Callis: (3:02 PM ET )
Yeah, he could be. They both have No. 1-type arms. Don't get me started on young Devil Rays . . . I love young Devil Rays.
Mitchell (Nacogdoches, TX):
Eric Hurley has a 1.62 ERA since being promoted to AA is he rising up the pitching ranks? Jim Callis: (3:02 PM ET )
Yep. Always liked him.
Jason (St. Louis):
What will happen first, Devil Rays win a World Series or any ACC team wins the College World Series? Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET )
Great way to end today's chat. I'd stay longer, but I have a draft Top 30 and a column to write . . . I have to take the Devil Rays vs. the ACC field.