ESPN SportsNation Chat With Jim Callis




SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:01 PM ET ) Hi, everyone. The draft is on my mind, so I'll take a lot of draft questions today. But we can talk about prospects and the majors too. Let's begin . . .


Matt (Evansville, IN): Hey Jim. Love your work and I'm addicted to BA. My league had our prospect draft recently and I ended up with Jake Mcgee, Pedro Alvarez, Michael Bowden, Chris Marrero, Rick Porcello, Mike Moustakas, Carlos Triunfel, Gorkys Hernandez and Jarrod Parker. Tell me I did alright, I'd be happy to hit on 6 out of the 9.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:02 PM ET ) You did great, Matt. Hard to argue with anyone in that bunch.


Michael (Arlington, TX): Who is the fastest rising HS player in the draft? Would it be Ahrens, Kozma, or someone else?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:03 PM ET ) I don't think anyone is rocketing up the boards out of nowhere. But in terms of guys going in the first round, we're hearing Kevin Ahrens (3B from Texas) could go as high as 15 and Pete Kozma (SS from Oklahoma) could go in the 21-30 range.


James (MD): If all three of Ahrens, Smoker and Mesoraco are there at 19, who will/should the Phillies take?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:04 PM ET ) I'd take Georgia HS LHP Josh Smoker. I don't think he'll be there, though, so I see the Phillies taking Pennsylvania HS C Devin Mesoraco.


Dean,Madison: What player is shooting up the draft rankings the fastest? Moustakas? Parker? Who is dropping the fastest?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET ) As I said earlier, I don't think anyone's flying up the boards all of a sudden. Indiana HS RHP Jarrod Parker and California HS 3B Mike Moustakas have generated a lot of buzz for a while. Among guys who seemed certain to be first-rounders coming into the year, Oklahoma State 3B Matt Mangini and Texas Christian RHP Jake Arrieta are losing a lot of steam.


John (Hopewell Jct, NY): Carl Pavano and his agent want him to have surgery on his elbow which would in all likelihood put him out of commision for the remaining part of his $40M contract. With just 19 starts, he would make a little more than twice as much as Clemens will make per start under his "hired gun" contract with the Yankees. Just sickening.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:07 PM ET ) But honestly, could we not see Pavano getting hurt when he signed that contract? Or Jaret Wright? Those were both awful signings.


Pete (St. Pete): Hi Jim. Close to a .300 BA for Fernando Martinez in AA. At his age, that's pretty darn remarkable right?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:07 PM ET ) Yes. Martinez is shooting up the list of the very best prospects in the game.


Michael (Arlington, TX): Jim, I have heard that Matt Harvey is losing a little steam in the draft. Any reason for this?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:08 PM ET ) Maybe a little. Not so much that he's been bad, but Harvey no longer ranks with Rick Porcello as the top HS arms in the draft. He's in the second tier with guys like Parker, Phillippe Aumont, Madison Bumgarner and Blake Beavan.


Nick Schmidt (SEC Tournament): After my CG shutout and near no-no today, would I be a great fit for my hometown Cardinals at 18?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:09 PM ET ) I think taking Schmidt at No. 18 would be a slight overdraft. But he fits the Cardinals' mold of a college guy with a track record of success at a top program.


John (Portland, ME): Why would the Red Sox or any team want to field a single A team in Lancaster of the California League? The scores that come out of there are incredible. I'd be scared to send any pitching prospects there in fear that it would just demoralize them.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:10 PM ET ) I don't think the Red Sox wanted to go to Lancaster. When Wilmington decided to reunite with the Royals, Boston got stuck. I bet the Sox look for a more neutral environment when their two-year deal is up.


Jeff (Sacramento): Let's all have a moment of silence for Jeremy Brown, who was DFA'ed for Colby Lewis yesterday. Okay, enough of that. Any idea what is wrong with Daric Barton?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:12 PM ET ) Barton is a better hitter than he's showing right now in Triple-A, but he's not the stud he looked like he might be a few years ago. He may be too patient at the plate . . . Triple-A pitchers have good command and can put you behind in the count in a hurry.


greg (toronto): When a club assesses a prospects signability prior to the draft, how do they do this? Do they ask point blank what kind of money he?s looking for or are they more subtle?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:13 PM ET ) Pretty much point blank. It's no secret what the slots are for each of the first 10 picks in the draft, and the players/parents/agents are mostly educated as well. So they may be a little subtle and ask, "If we take you in X round, would you sign," but most eveyone knows what the numbers are.


CJ (Orlando, FL): When will the Brewers call up Ryan Braun?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:13 PM ET ) Not soon enough.


Brian(NJ): Jay Bruce has been on fire as of late. How high on the top 100 can he go?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:14 PM ET ) All the way up to the top. He was No. 7 on my personal Top 100 coming into the year.


greg (toronto): Why isn?t Travis d?Arnaud not more highly thought of? He seems to have a solid bat, defense, and decent speed.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:15 PM ET ) The bat. Scouts question how much D'Arnaud, a HS catcher from southern California, will hit. They believe in his defense behind the plate a lot more.


Chris (Hermosa Beach, CA): Hey Jim, have you ever heard of a pitcher from Capistrano Valley HS, Mike Watt? His family seems to think he is going in the first couple of rounds, but I have never heard of him.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET ) Someone asked me about him last night . . . Watt got a huge rating from the Major League Scouting Bureau, but I don't believe he's going to go in the first five rounds.


cameron (wilmington nc): there is news that the d-rays are not set on taking david price at number one. is this just a smoke screen or bad management?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:18 PM ET ) I don't think either. Rarely will a team announce it's committed to a guy at No. 1 this early in the process. The Rays are looking at Price, Wieters and Vitters. I'll still be surprised if they don't take Price.


scott chicago ridge, il: who do you see the white sox taking at #25?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:19 PM ET ) Someone with a lot more upside than their last two first-rounders, Lance Broadway and Kyle McCulloch. The White Sox haven't been happy with their last two drafts and are revamping their scouting department.


Jon (NY): Where would Pedro Alvarez be drafted if eligible?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:19 PM ET ) No. 1 overall, ahead of his Vandy teammate David Price.


Matty (Baltimore): How does the success rate of first round pitchers compare to the success rate of first round bats? I know everyone needs pitching but it just seems that soooo many guys fail so taking a bat early is the way to go. Your thoughts?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:20 PM ET ) There's a lot of failure among hitters, too--it's just the nature of the draft. If you pass on all pitchers in the first round, good luck finding those quality arms in later rounds. Supply and demand.


John (Portland, ME): Who ya got tonight, Clemens or Buccholz?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:20 PM ET ) Didn't realize that was the matchup. That would be fun to watch. What's the runspread on that one? Give me Buchholz.


john dublin ohio: Matt Wieters has plummneted in predicted draft rankings. Any chance he'll surprise and finish in the top 3? Will he catch in the majors? Is Boros and signability the main reason for his drop?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:22 PM ET ) Wieters is the consensus best college position player in the draft, easily. But it's hard to figure where he'll go in the draft, because he's expected to be designated a "special player" by Scott Boras and a lot of teams won't want to mess with that. Signability, not ability, is the only reason he'd drop.


Scott (Lee's Summit, MO): Do you think the Royals might actually take a high school pitcher with the 2nd pick? This team is in a situation where it can't waste these high picks, and HS pitchers have proven to be boom or bust.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:23 PM ET ) Yes, I think they might. The Braves had success doing that while Dayton Moore worked there. All draft picks are boom and bust--it's the nature of the draft. But you can't just shy away from HS pitchers. There are a lot of good ones in the majors.


pj (london) : what's the biggest difference between price and porcello skill wise?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:24 PM ET ) Actually tackled this one in an Ask BA column a couple of weeks ago. To steal from myself:

The biggest distinction is that Price is a lefty and Porcello is a righty. Price is also three years older and more experienced, so there's more of a track record and less projection involved with him. In terms of stuff, there's not much difference. Both guys pitch around 93-94 mph with their fastball and can reach the mid-90s, and both have hard breaking balls. Price has a little more life on his fastball. Though Porcello doesn't need it much in high school, he has an effective changeup, as does Price.


Sean (Seattle): Jim, Please tell me about Carlos Triunfel... He is tearing the cover off the ball. What is the ceiling on this kid?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:25 PM ET ) Huge ceiling. He's a five-tool shortstop who signed with the Mariners for $1.3 million last summer.


Blake (Madison, WI): Hey Jim, great chat again. Do you think Tim Lincecum will win the NL Cy Young Award this year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:26 PM ET ) That's a stretch, but honestly, he's so talented, there's very little he could accomplish that would surprise me.


Greg (Cleveland): Jim, Welcome back. A lot has been said about Carlos Gomez (Carl Crawford comparisons, now an Andruw Jones one on ESPN...). Looking at the minor league numbers, he does project much like Crawford from the right side. What is your take on Gomez? Thanks!

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:27 PM ET ) His tools always were way ahead of his performance in the minors, and I'll admit I've underrated him in the past. But he looks like the real deal and is punching Lastings Milledge's ticket out of New York.


Dez (Maryland): Hi Jim! You know all about minor leaguers, so what are your impressions of Jack Cust. Rob Neyer thinks he could be for real. Are you in the same boat as he is?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:29 PM ET ) Could he be for real? Yes, he could. But the problem with Jack Cust is that he does absolutely nothing but hit, so he really has to hit. Once he cools off, he'll lose a lot of his luster. Based on his track record, I believe he could be a productive hitter in the majors. But he needs to make the most of his shot, which he has so far in contrast to the past.


Nick (Milwaukee): WWJD - What Would Jim Do? - if you were Doug Melvin, who do you take in round 1? I have heard Mitch Moutsakas (spelling?).

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:30 PM ET ) That's Mike Moustakas, and that was my projection in our recent mock first round at baseballamerica.com. But he's also a Boras "special player." If the price tag is too much, I think you'll see the Brewers take one of the elite high school pitchers.


Paul (KC): Hey Jim, please answer this since it is my birthday (and I am stuck at work). If the Brewers call Braun up in the next couple weeks, do you think he can make a run at ROY? His AAA numbers are sick. Thanks.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:31 PM ET ) Happy birthday. Yes I do--there's plenty of time to mount a ROY campaign.


Nigel (Palo Alto): Doesn't a Jonathan Sanchez for Milledge deal make some sense?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:32 PM ET ) That would be interesting. I think Sanchez is underrated, and the Mets probably want to get what they can for Milledge.


Adam (Pittsburgh): 3 in 1 for a needy pirates fan: Who do the Pirates want at 4? Who do you think they should take? Who do you think they will end up with?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:33 PM ET ) Want: Josh Vitters. Should Take: Vitters if he's available, but I don't think he will. Will Take: Very up in the air. I think a non-Boras hitter. Lewis-Clark State 3B/1B Beau Mills would be an overdraft, as would Georgia HS OF Jason Heyward, but Heyward would make more sense.


Dan (Windsor, CT): Would Jack McGeary being a Sox fan keep the Yanks from drafting him at 30? Also, do you think that would affect his signability?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:34 PM ET ) No and no. Phil Hughes was a Red Sox fan but that worked out OK. McGeary's Stanford commitment will affect his signability, and he could be there for the Yankees at No. 30.


Jeff (Cleveland): Jim, Why dont teams who take fliers on huge upside pitchers like Tim Lincecum, Daniel Bard, etc., and actually sign them in the late rounds? Lincecum was a 42 round pick by the Indians. Why not throw some money at the kid? With that kind of arm, why not sign him? They could have gotten something done. And if I am Brian Cashman or Theo Epstein, why am I not scooping up as many high risk, high reward prospects as possible?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:34 PM ET ) I agree with you, Jeff. The Red Sox and Yankees broke from the slotting ranks last year and probably will do more of the same this year. They pay a lot in revenue sharing and luxury tax, so why should they worry about keeping draft prices down for everyone else?


john dublin ohio: Hi another quick Wieters question. Since he's a "special player" and the O's have money, do you think he may go to the Birds (hopefully)

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:35 PM ET ) I think the Orioles want an arm over a bat, and I don't think they want to mess with Boras, so I don't see a fit there.


Jon (Boston): Would an Ellsbury for Salty trade make sense for both teams, given Varitek's age and A. Jones likely departing via free agency?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:36 PM ET ) Some, but I'd take Salty over Ellsbury straight up.


Calixte, Brooklyn: So are you going to slam the Mets if they give away Milledge for a dude like Sanchez when a year later he is starring?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET ) I wouldn't want to give up on Milledge, but he's worn out his welcome and the Mets have other enticing OF prospects. But if they give him away in a bad trade, I'll slam them for that.


Bob (Chicago): Did you ever catch up with 24? What did you think?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:44 PM ET ) I did. Lackluster season, lot of White House and CTU politics I didn't care about. The Simpsons' sendup of 24 was better than 24 this year.


tim (vegas): who is the best leadoff hitter possibility in this draft?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET ) Julio Borbon, CF from Tennessee, fits the leadoff profile from a tools standpoint. But he had just three walks the last time I checked. Maybe it's Josh Horton, the North Carolina SS.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) Let's go to the lightning round . . .


Blake (Madison, WI): Better changeup: Johan Santana or Cole Hamels?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) Take your pick. Those are the two best in the majors right now and they're on a par with each other. If forced, I'd take Santana's because he has starred with his longer.


Travis (PHX): Lightning Round: Yes or No, Max Scherzer winds up a dback?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) I'm going to guess no, but that's just a guess.


Charlie (DC): After his demotion back to High A is Brian Dopirak just about done?

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


Blake (Madison, WI): Out of this years draft, quickest to the bigs?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET ) David Price, lhp, Vanderbilt.


greg (toronto): Beavan, Bumgarner, Aumont, or Parker.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET ) Jarrod Parker.


Rupert J. Lloyd IV (Huxtable Falls, England): Best closer in the draft.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET ) Casey Weathers, rhp, Vanderbilt. This section of the chat is sponsored by Buster Olney . . .


Ned (Kent, NY): Who will do best out of the once fallen prospects this year: Cust, Hermida or Kelly Johnson? You can rank them in order.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET ) Hermida, Johnson, Cust. That's from this point on, not counting what they've done so far.


Larry (Boston, MA): Hey Jim, when does a rookie lose his rookie status? It's something like 90 innings for a pitcher, right?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET ) As soon as he exceeds 50 innings.


Howie (RI): Quicker to fix things: D. Young or A. Gordon?

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


Scott (Ohio): True or False: Chris Shelton has a future as an above-average major league hitter.

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


Andrew (San Rafael, CA): chance of Dan Johnson and Rich Harden going to TB for BJ Upton?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET ) Seems kind of a risky deal from Tampa's perspective.


Jesse (Charlotte, NC): I got a chance to see Baumgartner from South Caldwell, NC pitch last night. He looks like a stud pitcher standing about 6'4" and about 220 lbs. But his stuff looked a bit ordinary. Where do you see him going in the draft?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET ) At this point of the season, a lot of pitchers (especially HS guys) can be worn down and not as sharp. He's still a first-rounder.


Rupert J. Lloyd IV (Huxtable Falls, England): Better analyst: Callis, Olney, Kruk, Gammons?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET ) If we're talking about the draft or prospects, I have to pick myself. If we're talking about the majors, I think Olney is on the top of his game right now. Gammons is like Greg Maddux--still a very valuable contributor after all these years.


Jeff (Cleveland): Joba Chamberlin or Clay Bucholz?

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


John (Boston): Odds that your buddy Simmons is still catatonic and curled up in the fetal position somewhere after last night's ping pong balls?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET ) 100 percent. Never met Bill, though.


Josh (Detroit): You think the D-Rays could get more than that for Upton? I would take it!

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET ) Harden's health is too risky for me to deal a guy like Upton for him.


Jonathan (Tampa, FL): Who has more speed and power: Jim Callis or Chris Kline

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) Chris Kline, easily. I'm not the most athletically gifted, and with my bad back, I'm afraid to even hit infield for the 6th-grade team I coach. It also has reduced my speed from a 20 to a 10 on the 20-80 scouting scale.


Jack (Cincinnati): Whos better in 2 years: Jay Bruce or Josh Hamilton?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) Jay Bruce.


greg (tor): What role will Baseball America have with the draft telecast?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET ) We're still waiting to find out exactly what the role will be, but we will be involved. I think you'll see me live from the Chicago SportsZone, but ESPN is still working out all the details.


Jason (Canton, OH): Devon Torrence what round? Or football at OSU?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET ) I don't think he's going to go high enough to lure him away from the Buckeyes. Interesting athlete, though.


paul (newport beach): better curveball lincecum or zito?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET ) Lincecum. Lot more power to his breaker.


Henry (NYC): Do you think the high school OF from Ga. pulls a francouer and tells the first 13 teams if they draft him, he will go to college? If he is there for the braves do they take him?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET ) I don't think Jason Heyward will do that. He's a top-10 talent but he very well could be there for Atlanta at 14 without any shenanigans. And I think the Braves would take him.


Vince (DC): Why on Earth would the O's want an arm over a bat? They have NO BATS!!!!

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET ) The last three first-rounders they signed were Nick Markakis, Brandon Snyder and Bill Rowell, so that's the thinking.


Finn (Seattle, WA): People burying 24 this season remind me of sports fans abandoning a team when they're down. This had it's moments: Bauer standing up for himself finally, highest kill total of all 6 seasons, hot Nadia, etc. Next season will be great, just like this one. This was just a retooling year.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET ) Didn't say I didn't enjoy moments of the show. But compared to last year . . . there's no comparison. And too much implausible stuff this year, even for 24.


greg (toronto): What is Michael Burgess? upside?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET ) Huge upside, big power, but too much swing and miss for my tastes.


rob (philly): Rank the young NL arms over the next 5 years: Hamels, Cain, Lincecum, Bailey, Pelfrey.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET ) Lincecum, Cain, Bailey, Hamels, Pelfrey. And I really like Hamels.


Jon (DC): If you grew up in DC, and spent the first 25 years of your life having to drive an hour to see a mostly mediocre baseball team, why on god's earth would you still support that team - who also spent 10 years blocking a team in DC - after DC got its own team? Lightning round over...

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET ) I did grow up outside of DC and did have to drive to Baltimore! . . . I agree. If that's the situation, very hard to root for the Peter Angelos-owned Orioles right now.


K.C. (New Jersey): Best of other Yank farm hands: Chamberlain, Kennedy, Betances?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:00 PM ET ) Chamberlain.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET ) I'm off to lunch, then back to the draft salt mines. Don't forget to check out all our draft coverage at baseballamerica.com--most scouting reports every day!