ESPN SportsNation Chat With Jim Callis




SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:04 PM ET ) Hi, everyone. With the draft going on and coaching sixth-grade baseball among other things, I haven't watched the last two episodes of "24" . . . so no spoilers! Let's get to the questions.


Chris (NY,NY): I miss the old days when we would have been able to blame Phil Hughes' injury on Arod.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET ) I just want to know why Jeter didn't save Hughes.


Justin (Chicago): Who do you expect the Cubs to pick with their first pick? I know their trend is to go with pitching, but it would be great to see them pick a position player.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET ) I keep hearing Josh Vitters' name the most at No. 3. He's the best pure hitter in the draft, HS 3B from California.


Ryan (NS): hey Jim, does Phillippe Aumont last long enough for the Blue Jays to have a shot at drafting him with the 16th pick? I've heard that Mike Rizzo and the Nationals love him.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:07 PM ET ) Aumont, a Canadian HS RHP, has been throwing great. On talent, he shouldn't last until pick 16. But some teams don't want to take high school pitchers, and there are a lot of good ones this year. Between Rick Porcello, Matt Harvey, Madison Bumgarner, Aumont, Blake Beavan and Jarrod Parker, that's six top-15 talents who are HS arms.


tyler (springfield mo): Is a great farm system the result of good scouting, good player development, and/or plain luck? Thanks, Jim, love the chats.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:07 PM ET ) You need all three. It starts with the scouting, because while player development is key, you can't turn a lot of ordinary players into good ones. Luck matters two, especially with keeping players healthy.


Jerome MA: According to Keith Law that The Braves' perfect-world scenario has them nabbing Tennessee's Julio Borbon at No. 14 ?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:08 PM ET ) I think they'd want Georgia HS OF Jason Heyward, but he'll probably gone. Borbon could fit there, but he's a Scott Boras client and I don't see the Braves going over slot if he wants that.


Michael (Arlington,TX): Jim, Which HS pitcher is the most on the rise? Would Tim Alderson, Josh Smoker, Kevin Rhoderick, or Jarrod Parker be in the "hot HS pitchers on the rise" discussion?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:09 PM ET ) Parker, though he jumped up when he touched 98 mph and showed a good breaking ball in his first start and has stayed there. He's a RHP from Indiana.


Blake(Tuscaloosa, AL): What is the best route to take in trying to work your way up to a front office job in baseball? I am working on my business degree now, but was wondering if it is best to then go to scout school or just to try and get an internship with an organization? Thanks

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:10 PM ET ) Best advice I can give is to read the package that Alan Schwarz spearheaded for us a couple of years ago. Go to http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/features/051219gmtips.html.


Ben (Philadelphia, PA): Ack! Does this hamstring injury have a major effect on Hughes down the line or should Yankee fans try to focus on the fact that he isn't going to throw 200+ innings now? Cause man did he look good.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:11 PM ET ) It will keep him out for a while but isn't a long-term concern. Should keep his arm fresh for the end of the year when the Yankees make a playoff push.


Justin (Chicago): Jim, follow-up on Vitters: Is he a longterm prospect at 3B or one of those types who'll likely get moved to 1st base or LF. Thanks!

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:12 PM ET ) Solid 3B, should be able to stay there.


Ben (Boston): Hey jim. Ive heard a lot about Rick Porcello. how good is he and do a player of his talent come along ever year? thanks a lot loved the chats.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:13 PM ET ) He's the best HS pitcher in this year's draft, could go as high as No. 2 to the Royals. He's quite good, comparable (though a RHP) to last year's top HS arm, Clayton Kershaw.


Dan (Nashville, TN): Jim, How about my Commodores. they manhandled florida this weekend, and David Price hasn't been touched this year. His K:BB ratio is simply stupid (135:22 in 90 IP), freshman Mike Minor leads the team in ERA, Dominic de la Osa is stealing the show from Pedro Alvarez, and the only team that got to Casey Weathers beat him on a double steal of home. The Dores HAVE to be the favorite in Omaha, right?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:13 PM ET ) Yes. I could see a Commodores-Longhorns final.


Michael (Arlington, TX): Jim, would you see any of these HS hitters getting into the first round: Hunter Morris, Jon Gilmore, or John Tolisano?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:14 PM ET ) No. Those guys are more second- or third-rounders.


Ryan (NS): Jim, when does the first mock draft get posted on BA?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:15 PM ET ) It will be part of our draft preview, likely about two weeks away from hitting our website.


Mr. Must See TV (NYC): you think a package of lastings milledge, phil humber and mike carp would net rich harden from the a's? and if so, would you do it if you were omar minaya?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:17 PM ET ) I think that would get a deal done, but I wouldn't give that much up for Harden. Great arm but a health risk.


Brian (Milwaukee): I am officially jumping on your Brewers 2007 WS Champs bandwagon! What do you like about this team and why does Doug Melvin not get the credit he deserves?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:18 PM ET ) Come aboard! I think the depth of the pitching rotation and the bench is very underrated. It's a small media market, so that's why Melvin doesn't get the credit. But if the Brewers are still winning in August--and they will be--you'll hear a lot about Melvin. Most underrated GM in the game.


Brent (San Antonio, TX): At what point should the D-Backs promote Justin Upton? He's been on fire, but would you risk hurting him by moving him up too soon?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:19 PM ET ) I'd let him tear up high Class A for another month of two. That puts him in Double-A for the second half at age 19, still way ahead of the normal schedule. He's anything but normal, obviously.


Steve (North Carolina): Jim, where do you see NC State's Andrew Brackman going in the draft considering he has been inconsistant all year with his results and stuff? Still see him as a top 5 type of guy, or more top 15?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:20 PM ET ) That's been tough to nail down. He has been inconsistent and he might be looking for a Jeff Samardzija contract as a two-sport guy. I think his stock has slipped some, and his signability could cause him to slide to a high-revenue team.


John T (Eagan, MN): Set aside the usual questions about Humber, Hughes, Longoria, etc; what can you tell me about Jeff Manship, a Twins pitcher with Beloit in the low A midwest league? He's given up 3 runs in 32 innings with a 36/3 k/bb ratio. I've never heard of him, but his stats look great.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:21 PM ET ) Signed for well above slot last year as a 14th-round draft-eligible sophomore out of Notre Dame. Solid fastball and curveball, was a better college pitcher than Samardzija. He's a solid prospect. Probably should move up pretty soon.


ALex (NY, NY): After Hughes, Bailey, Lincecum, and the young pitchers that are bound to hit the bigs this year, who are the best pitching prospects? Who will be BA's top pitching prospect next year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:22 PM ET ) Top three pitchers on our Top 100 Prospects list next year: Nick Adenhart, Jacob McGee, Clayton Kershaw.


More great stats: HOw aobut Eric Hurley and Clay Buchholz? Like Manship, they have great minor league stats. What upside and what ETA do you see fro them?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:23 PM ET ) They have more upside and better stuff than Manship. I see Manship as a No. 3 starter, and Hurley and Buchholz as No. 2 starters. If Buchholz masters his command, he could be a No. 1.


Blake (NY): I haven't been overlly impressed with Dice-K so far. It looks like he has 15 slop pitches with no real "out" pitch to me. Your thoughts?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:24 PM ET ) His stuff has looked good to me. I do see the David Cone comparisons, in that he has a deep arsenal and gets creative on the mound. The one thing that has seemed off is command . . . he's lost it briefly a couple of times and has worked up in the zone. Still very high on him.


Blake (NY): Jason Hirsh: Looks pretty descent so far, what do you think of him?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:25 PM ET ) I like him, think he'll be a good No. 3 starter. As I said here after the trade, I wouldn't have made the Jason Jennings deal.


Mark (New Jersey): Hey jim. I go to school with Rick Porcello and seen him pitch, do you think he make the BA top 100 list next year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:25 PM ET ) Yeah, somewhere in the 40-70 range. At least based on what he's doing right now.


Paul (Chicago): What did you expect from Brian Anderson? The White Sox have seemingly given up on him after just one year in the bigs. Do you think he can still be a solid major league player?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:26 PM ET ) I live outside of Chicago, and he's been very unimpressive. Doesn't look good at the plate and has a tag now for not listening to instruction, which doesn't help. I'm not a huge fan.


Bill (WA): Clement has looked pretty crusty so far this year. Is he the next Eric Munson?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:30 PM ET ) Good question. I don't see any reason why Jeff Clement should be in Triple-A now, and some scouts question his ability to stay at catcher. The Mariners may well be turning him into Eric Munson.


Nick (Milwaukee): If Pedro Alvarez was eligible for this year's draft, where would he go?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:30 PM ET ) No. 1 overall.


Nick, Virginia Beach, VA: Jim, Has BA ever considered posting the scouting reports of current major league players on its website? I would love to be able and see what the scouts were saying about the stars of today, back when they were young pups.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:31 PM ET ) Good idea. We do the occasional flashback to see what we wrote about guys way back when, but we could do more of that. Send this question to askba@baseballamerica.com with a suggestion of 3-5 guys you'd like to have the scouting reports on from their draft days, and I'll make it happen.


Matt (Brookline, MA): Ellsbury has looked great so far, but with very little power. Will he hit for enough power as a guy like Damon, or is he more around Ichiro's (power) numbers?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:32 PM ET ) Probably somewhere in between. He can really hit and is Gold Glove-caliber in CF, so that's fine.


Ruby (USA): could you clarify the Jeff Clement response. I don't know who Munson is so don't catch your meaning.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:33 PM ET ) Tigers drafted Eric Munson third overall out of Southern California as a catcher in 1999, just like the Mariners did with Clement in 2005. That didn't work out so well with Detroit.


Paul (KC): So Pedro Alvarez will play 3B for the Royals, or would they move him? Is he a better defender than Gordon?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:34 PM ET ) Nationals, Paul, Nationals. Gordon is a better defender than Alvarez. I see him moving to LF like Pat Burrell did when he went No. 1 overall.


Matt (Boston): Jim, Jon Lester seems to be throwing harder than last year. Are the gun readings on him suprising to you or did he throw that hard prior to his cancer? Didn't seem to throw that hard in his call up last year.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:35 PM ET ) A lot of guys aren't at their best when they first get to the majors, trying to do too much and getting away from what works with them. He had a very good arm before his callup, 92-93 mph, topping out at 95.


Andy (NY): So, will the Brewers play Braun at 3B or OF?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:35 PM ET ) He's a good athlete, should be able to play a decent 3B once he gets his footwork straightened out.


Josh (Sheboygan, WI): So how long will the Brewers be able to mantain this kind of sucess? Is this a one year thing or are we in good shape for 2008, 2009, ect?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:36 PM ET ) In fine shape for the future, especially in the NL Central.


Thomas (Winston-Salem: Jim, what is your position as to whether a team should draft a college or high school prospect?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:38 PM ET ) My position is that they should worry about talent and not the source (HS or college). Talent is talent, and the two talent pools are equal when it comes to producing quality big leaguers. Will be interesting this year, as MLB teams prefer to draft collegians, but it's a better year for HS prospects.


Daniel (La Palma, CA): Jim, could you briefly explain the term "slot" and how it relates to what draft picks get paid?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET ) Sure. MLB makes a specific recommendation for the bonus for every pick in the first 10 rounds, a specific dollar amount for each draft "slot." Getting players to take that bonus is called "slotting."


Alan (St. Petersburg): Assuming the Rays are ready to cut bait on one of their non-Kazmir/Shields starting pitchers, who should get the call first, Hammel, Sonnanstine or Niemann? What are their upsides?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET ) Jeff Niemann has the most upside, the chance to be a No. 1 if he can stay healthy. Sonnanstine has very good command. Hammel is getting lost in the shuffle a little, but he still has a good arm.


Yusuf (Cleveland, OH): So MLB officially rejected the Indians' protest of the game last Saturday against Baltimore. While I don't believe it had a real impact on the game (the Indians ultimately blew a lead to lose by 3) didn't the Indians have a point? How can umpires be allowed to change something 3 innings later, regardless of the fact that it was the right call?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET ) Brutal decision for the umpires, and it's crazy for MLB to think giving the run to the Orioles three innings later didn't affect the game. Should have upheld the protest.


Rouse (Boston): Who do you see as making more of an impact this year, Hunter Pence or Billy Butler?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET ) Pence. They have comparable bats (Butler's is better) but Pence is a much better defender and will have an impact on the NL Central race. Butler could hit .400 and the Royals won't sniff the playoffs.


Geoff, Easton, MD.: Who do you believe the Orioles will take with their first selection..pitcher or postion player?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:44 PM ET ) A lefthanded pitcher, because those will be the best talents on the board. Probably someone from among Missouri State's Ross Detwiler, Clemson's Daniel Moskos and North Carolina high schooler Madison Bumgarner.


Paul (San Francisco): Who do you think will be the player paid the most above slot?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET ) Signs point to Andrew Brackman, despite an inconsistent spring. He has some two-sport leverage, and nothing jacks the price up like two-sport leverage.


Mike (Philly): Who is your pick in the fight this saturday night?? de la Hoya or Maywether?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) Mayweather. Thus commences . . . the lightning round!


Bill (Vermont): Bowden or Buccholz?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) Clay Buchholz, but I like both guys a lot.


Joe (Green Bay, WI): Who gets called up first, Ryan Braun or Yovani Gallardo?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) Braun.


Larry (Palo Alto): Daniel Bard: patient or worried?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) Never much of a fan, and he's not winning me over. Wish I had ranked him lower on my Red Sox Top 10.


Joe (Durham): In 5 years: BJ or Justin?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) Justin.


Phil (NY): Of these three lefthanded pitchers of Moskos, Bumgarner and Detwiler, which of these pitchers can fall to the yankees and which of these pitchers has the best upside?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET ) None of them will get close to the Yankees. Detwiler has the most upside.


Stephen (Sacramento, CA): Kendrick or Aybar?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET ) Kendrick.


Ryan (Pittsburgh): Ian Snell, the best pitcher in the majors that no one knows about?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET ) Not sure who the other candidates are, but Snell has a case.


Gary (Sacramento): Lincecum: Called up before or after Memorial Day?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET ) Before.


Michael (Arlington, TX): Future MLB All-Star: Justin Jackson or Jason Heyward?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET ) Heyward. Fine question!


brett(toronto): Lind or Rios ?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET ) Rios.


Eli (Toronto): Ability to trade draft picks or no?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET ) Sure. Would make the draft more fun.


Billy: Butler: In KC to stay?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET ) Yes.


Tim (ATL): pedrioa turns it around SOON and silences critics. true/false?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET ) He's better than he's shown, but he has not looked good at all. Watching him swing from his heels, even if he has very good hand-eye coordination . . . just looks overmatched.


Brent (San Antonio, TX): Brett Anderson or any other D-Backs pitching prospect?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET ) I'll take Brett Anderson.


Ivan (Brooklyn): Verlander or Hughes?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET ) Hughes.


Dave,Houston: Lind,Pence,Butler. Best to worst.......

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET ) Butler, Pence, Lind.


tyler (rochester): how will the yankees recover from this pitching problem

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) Bionic hamstrings.


Mike A. (SD, CA): Kellen Kulbacki or Kyle Russell?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) Kyle Russell. 24 HR in 49 games, playing home games at the Disch? Are you kidding me?


One more try...please: Ellsbury or Adam Jones- (offense only)

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET ) Jones has more power, Ellsbury has more OBP. Ellsbury is a leadoff hitter, Jones will probably bat fifth or sixth. Pick your poison. I might just take Ellsbury as my leadoff guy.


Orley Fields: David Wright or Ryan Zimmerman?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET ) Wright.


Jake (Mesa, AZ): Jeff Clement or Jarod Saltamacchia?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET ) Salty, easy.


Nick (ATL): Nick Adenhart or Scott Elbert?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET ) Adenhart.


Arlington: Higher in TEX rotation next year: Brandon McCarthy or Eric Hurley?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET ) Hurley.


Chris (Wayne, PA): What can you tell me about Gallardo? Is he a top pitching prospect? Will he pitch this year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET ) Yes and yes.


Tim (Portland): Is Matt Wieters really in free-fall as far as his draft standing? Is this performance related or signability?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET ) Not a freefall. Hasn't had a great year, but he's fine. Signability is the big question.


paul (newport beach): tmatt cain or chad billingsley

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET ) Cain.


Rob (NY): Bauer or A-Rod (April 2007 version)?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET ) Bauer. No questions in the clutch.


Nils (Stamford, CT): Is there an updated list on BA showing the status of the draft-and-follows from last year's draft? Have guys like Belt or Holden signed yet?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:00 PM ET ) Not yet, but we should have a story up on the top fews guys drawing the most interest, led by Matt Latos (Padres) and Jordan Walden (Angels).


Michelle (FL): Cats or Dogs?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET ) Dogs.


Michael (Arlington, TX): JP Arencibia, out of the first round. True or false?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET ) True. Sandwich pick now.


Joe (ME): First non Red Sox/Yankees team to win the AL east? What year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET ) Tampa Bay, 2010.


Jake (VA Beach): Spiderman 3 or Pirates 3?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET ) I'm more curious about Pirates 3. My wife is more interested in Spiderman 3. The Callis kids would give the edge to Pirates, I believe.


T / F: Mr Callis will watch a 24 triple header on Monday

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:04 PM ET ) False. Hope to watch a doubleheader tonight once I thaw out from coaching baseball in 40 degree temps.


Matt,MPLS : In their prime, Rocket, Pedro or Schilling? Best pitcher on Twins AAA team?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:04 PM ET ) Pedro in his prime was the best pitcher ever. Garza over Slowey.


Larry (Boston, MA): Robinson Cano or Ian Kinsler?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:05 PM ET ) Cano.


Steve (Boston): Do any one of Rick Porcello, Matt Harvey, Madison Bumgarner, Aumont, Blake Beavan and Jarrod Parker drop to the Red Sox? Would they even take a HS arm in the first round?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:07 PM ET ) Red Sox don't pick until the sandwich round. They have taken HS pitchers Michael Bowden and Caleb Clay in the last two drafts as sandwich picks . . . they're not as college-crazy as you might think. I think the only one who might get to Boston is Harvey, who like Porcello has Scott Boras as an agent. If anyone else won't take slot (Porcello should go very high), they could drop too.


Jerry (Boston): Gio Gonzalez, Matt Harrison, or Jake McGee?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:07 PM ET ) McGee in a walk.


Mike A. (SD, CA): T/F: Canham gets to the Yanks at #30, and they get the Posada successor they so desperately need?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:07 PM ET ) I think he goes before that, as there aren't enough college position players to choose from.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:07 PM ET ) Back to the draft phones . . . see you next week.