ESPN SportsNation Chat With Jim Callis




SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:02 PM ET ) I'm here. Trying to write up some state-by-state reports for our draft coverage, but I need a break. Let's get right to your questions.


Brian (Gilbert, AZ): Do you think Max Scherzer signs with the D'Backs by tonight's deadline?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET ) I don't know what to think . . . honestly. Scherzer has a great arm, but in the end may be more of a closer than a starter, and he hasn't been unbelievable at Fort Worth this spring. Velocity, yes, but not a lot of life or secondary stuff. To me, I don't see him as worth more than a $2 million bonus. I've heard the Diamondbacks have offered close to $3 million but that he's looking for twice that. Not sure that there's a team out there that will give it to him, that would surprise me. But it all comes down to the fact that Scott Boras knows how to work a deadline. If he has a team out there willing to pay more than Arizona will, Scherzer will re-enter the draft. If not, he'll sign.


Jim Chicago: Jim, Do you scout your son's little league, so you have a killer draft every year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:07 PM ET ) No, we don't get to draft our teams. The kids try out and then are assigned to teams, balancing out the talents. Dropped a tough 4-3 seven-inning game last night in the first round of the playoffs, as good a game as you'll see played in sixth-grade baseball.


Norman (NY): I've heard rumors that the Brewers will take Mike Moustakas if he is available. Is this true and how does he fit into their future plans, do they move Braun to the outfield?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:11 PM ET ) Moustakas is the best high school hitter in the draft . . . and also advised by Boras. The Brewers reportedly are willing to open their wallet this year, but it remains to be seen what Moustakas' asking price is. He's not a lock to move to third base, could be a catcher even, could move to an outfield corner. If he and Braun are comparable at third base, Braun may be able to handle center field, so maybe Moustakas stays put.


Brian (Nashville, TN): What do you think of Vandy freshman pitcher Mike Minor? Is he going to be the guy for Vandy after Price leaves?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:12 PM ET ) Funny . . . I was talking to someone about Mike Minor this morning. Yes, he looks like Price's successor as Vandy's ace. Tampa Bay wanted to sign him last year, but ownership pulled the rug out from under the scouting department.


Joe (Billings, MT): Jim, who do the DRays choose with the 1st pick?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:12 PM ET ) I'll still be surprised if it's not David Price.


Joel (Washington, DC): John, several analysts, BA's John Manuel included, have argued that Matt Wieters is the best player in the draft, even better than David Price. Assuming that he is that good, how can he not be chosen in the top 5? Isn't the lesson of the draft in the Boras era to take the best player regardless of representation?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:13 PM ET ) Did John argue that or say you could make a case for that? I think you can make a case, but I'd still take Price. It comes down to signability. I agree, you have to rate ability over signability, but with slotting, the vast majority of teams will just pass on a guy who wants more than slot.


Woody (Moline, IL): Padres: Since Latos looks like a lost cause, do you believe they will spend the necessary money for their 8 of the first 88 picks?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:14 PM ET ) Matt Latos, a draft-and-follow under control to the Padres, reportedly is still seeking $3 million or more by tonight's 11:59 deadline, and I can't see him getting it. Everything I have heard is that the Padres are going for full value with all their picks, and GM Kevin Towers was quoted recently as saying the club would spend $10 million or so on the draft.


Charlie (DC): Moustakas is a better hitting prospect than Josh Vitters?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:15 PM ET ) Yeah, it's a tough call, but that's my gut feel based on everything we're hearing. They're so close, think you have to give the tie to the guy who hits lefthanded.


Jerry (Scranton): What did you think of Lincecum last night. Does his success assure him of remaining in the rotation, rather than a move to the bullpen?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET ) Another very solid start. Even with Armando Benitez struggling, I don't see how the Giants could move Lincecum to the bullpen. He's too valuable as a starter.


Matt (Providence, RI): Jim - Say I'm the Royals - I need pitching, but I'm not that thrilled with Porcello, who really doesn't feel like a #2 overall pick. What's to stop me from drafting him, not signing him, and having the first 2 picks after Alvarez next year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:19 PM ET ) You could do that, but I don't think you'll see a team do that. Guys want to sign their premium draft picks now rather than wait a year--the shelf life of the typical scouting director is not that long. And the Royals could be stuck next year, because when they get pick 2A as compensation, they have to sign that guy or get nothing. So if Kansas City doesn't take Porcello in good faith, they could face a situation where they have little leverage the next year.


Matt - Cincy: I read where it says most baseball teams don't draft on current needs of the team, but rather best talent and most potential. Do smaller market teams take different approaches than the big market teams?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:20 PM ET ) That is true, especially in the first round, and big- and small-revenue teams take the same approach. Almost every draftee is 2-3 years away, at least, and it's not always easy to accurately project what your future needs will be.


brad (Detroit): What's stopping Boras from calling a team, say my Detroit Tigers and saying "look this guy I have is suppose to be a top 5 pick, but if you guerantee us a 3-5 million dollar deal, I will make sure no team above picks him". And Boras essentially tells all the other teams his player won't sign for less than 10 million.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:22 PM ET ) Neither players not clubs are supposed to do that, but it happens all the time. The slotting system makes it very easy for an agent to get his player to drop to a club that will pay above slot. A similar scenario unfolded with Andrew Miller last year, and the Tigers stepped in and drafted him (without a prearranged deal) because they couldn't pass on his talent.


Kyle (Boston, MA): Who do you think is going to be available for the Mets at 42 and 47? Some guys I hope are still around are Arrieta, Kozma, and McGeary.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:23 PM ET ) Peter Kozma (Oklahoma HS SS) probably will be gone. I think he's the best SS in the draft and a likely first-rounder. Jack McGeary (Massachusetts HS LHP/1B) may be, because his Stanford commitment could scare off some teams. I think Arrieta (Texas Christian RHP) will be, as he's had an off year and is repped by Boras.


Kenny Banya (New York City): Is Justin Upton living up to the hype as the best position prospect since the Jr. Griffey? On his way to BAs #1 overall in 2008?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:24 PM ET ) Yes and yes.


Kennedy (Albuquerque, NM): Jim, was Jordan Walden worth the money the Angels paid for him?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:27 PM ET ) I think so. The Angels just signed him for $1 million, and you have to pay a little premium so he doesn't re-enter the draft. Walden has a very good arm and became more of a pitcher this year.


Mr. Hindsight (Misfit Toys): My vision is 20-20. Care to revise BAs ranking of 2007 top pitching prospects? In order: Hughes (4), Bailey (5), Miller (10), Lincecum (11), and Gallardo (16).

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:27 PM ET ) I'd move Lincecum to No. 1 and Gallardo ahead of Miller.


Jeff (Cleveland)e: what is the story with the indians not signing lincecum, when he went back to school in september did they lose his rights, or did they just not pony up enough to get him to sign?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:29 PM ET ) Yes, when he returned to Washington for his junior year, they lost his rights. Lincecum put out a big number as a draft-eligible sophomore, the Indians took him very late and made a run at him after he tore up the Cape League.


Jason P (Racine, WI): Gallardo behind Bailey? Obviously you've seen what each has done this year so far (Gallardo a regular on the Prospect Hot Sheet), so how can Bailey still be ahead of him - and even Hughes for that matter?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:30 PM ET ) Because I'm basing it on more than just seven weeks of stats. All those guys are close though, so you can put them in almost any order.


greg (toronto): Any word on who the Blue Jays are targeting in the 1st round?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:31 PM ET ) I keep hearing they want infielders and catchers. They might even take two high schoolers with their two picks. In an ideal world, they'd get Devin Mesoraco (Pennsylvania HS C) and Kozma, but not sure both will fall to them.


Jeff (Sudbury,MA): For a team like the Red Sox, considering how much it costs to sign high draft picks and how few of the players actually have substantial MLB careers, does it make sense for some teams just to skip the draft and sign free agents with that extra money?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:32 PM ET ) Not at all. That's backwards thinking. Yes, a lot of draft picks don't pan out. But the cost of signing players in miniscule to the cost of signing free agents, who also don't always pan out. I'd spend heavily on the draft every year to save money on the back end.


Russell (Davis): What are your thoughts on Chase Headley?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:33 PM ET ) I think he can be a solid big league third baseman for the Padres, don't see him becoming a star.


Frank (Fall River): What's the ETA on Yovanni Gallardo? Can he perform as well as Lincecum has?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:33 PM ET ) Gallardo is basically ready now. He can step right in and win, but his breaking ball isn't as dominating as Lincecum's.


Tom (NE): Are Lester and Buchholz really all that, and a bag of chips? Boston's 1-2 by '09?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:33 PM ET ) They really are all that. But don't forget about Beckett and Matsuzaka, either.


J (NYC): Without the DFEs this year, how many teams are still picking in Round 50?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:35 PM ET ) Good question. I do think teams will take guys as "summer follows" -- evaluate them in summer ball and make a decision before the Aug. 15 deadline. But will they take 20-25 of those guys? My over/under on teams picking in Round 50 is 12.


greg (toronto): Please rank Ahrens, Dominguez, and Frazier.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:38 PM ET ) Three guys the Jays could very well be looking at. I'll take California HS 3B Matt Dominguez, Texas HS 3B Kevin Ahrens and Rutgers SS (and future 3B/OF) Todd Frazier in that order.


Drew (St. Louis): How high will Max Scherzer go if he doesnt sign with arizona?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET ) Possibly No. 2 to the Royals, possibly No. 6 to the Nationals. But I don't think Scherzer and Boras will be concerned as much with how high as they will be with how much.


Craig (PA): Jim...please answer a question from a man bleeding Dodger blue. Would a package of Loney and Billingsley get Teixeira to the LA?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET ) If I'm the Rangers, and I don't expect to re-sign Teixeira, I take that offer. But if I'm the Dodgers, with what Teixeira will cost as a free agent, I don't think I make that offer. I'd rather keep my youngsters and sign him as a free agent.


Rick (Boston): Tell Jeff from Sudbury to ask Brian Sabean how that theory is working out. Awful system and they finally make a pick and get Lincecum.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET ) There you go.


greg (toronto): What kind of player does Kozma project to be? Please don?t tell me Russ Adams II.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET ) Not at all. For one, Kozma can stick at shortstop. For two, he can hit near the top of the lineup.


Sam (Toronto): Your odds on the Yankees finishing so low in the standings that they get a shot at Pedro Alvarez in 2008?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET ) Very long. The Yankees aren't this bad and Alvarez won't fall very far if at all in the 2008 draft.


greg (toronto): When is your next mock draft coming out?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET ) Next week. I need to wrap up state reports this week.


Kyle (KC): Any reason for concern on Hochevar or is this just a bump in the road?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET ) Bump in the road, though I'm not the biggest Hochevar fan in the world . . . Thus commences the lightning round!


Brad, Columbus OH: Cory Luebke, OSU Lefty, please rate!!

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) Third-rounder.


Matt (Evansville,IN): Love your work Jim. Just a quick question. What's the ETA for Carlos Triunfel and do you think he could be a Major League All-Star?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) Definite all-star potential. He's just 17, so ETA is 2010.


Dave (Berlin): Garza or BaileyThis year in the bigs? who is better?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) Bailey.


Jake (VA Beach): Are foreign players ever going to have a draft of sorts or will teams just continue to be able to scout and find gems. I prefer the latter myself.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) The latter--too many logistical nightmares--and I prefer the status quo as well.


Adam (Pittsburgh): If you could have any SS in the minors, who would it be?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) Reid Brignac.


Howie (RI): rank this year and for career. Garza, Baker Slowly.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET ) This year: Slowey, Garza, Baker. Career: Garza, Slowey, Baker.


Joe Torre (NYC): Who gets fired first. Me or my boss Brian?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET ) Cashman will be there longer.


Mark (brooklyn): State reports? Is that for Condi and the State Department? I didn't know they dealt with minor league baseball.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET ) Go check out baseballamerica.com . . . We rank the top draft propects by state, much deeper than the overall Top 200. Good stuff but they take forever to write.


Mark (brooklyn): Evan Longoria- doesn't room need to get made for him to play, and if so, who goes?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET ) Yes. Iwamura goes to 2B, Upton goes to the the OF, Baldelli gets traded.


Chris (VA): Keith Hernandez on Seinfeld, or Wade Boggs on Cheers?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET ) Hernandez, easy.


Todd (Boston): Who has thus far exceeded your expectations more, Pedroia or Youkilis?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET ) Sorry, had to take a quick phone call. Youkilis.


Pare (NYC): Jim - I read someone said that Lincecum could be a top-10 NL pitcher THIS YEAR. Do you agree? And do Gallardo or Bailey have as high a ceiling as he does? Thank you.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET ) Sure. He has top-10 stuff in the NL already. All three of those guys have huge ceilings, all similar that way.


Eric (Cincinnati, OHIO): Brackman will be there when the M's are on the clock for the draft. True or false?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET ) True. Between a tired arm and a personal tragedy, he hasn't pitched in a couple of weeks and was just 87 mph his last time out. Add in Scott Boras, and he will slide some.


rob (boston): is the babseball draft telivised anywhere?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET ) It will be this year, next Thursday on ESPN. And Baseball America will be a part of it, so look for us there.


Brent (Yuba City, CA): Where do you see Jason Heyward from Georgia going? Is he top ten?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET ) Maybe. Athletic and talented HS OF, top 15 would be a safer bet. Also wouldn't be stunned if he snuck into the top 5.


J (NYC): Will some of the players actually be at the draft? Seems difficult with seasons still going and the potential for some big slides.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:00 PM ET ) Yes. I think the plan is to have 5-10 of the very top projected picks there, though some of the top college guys like David Price likely will be involved with super-regionals.


Taylor (Tuscaloosa, AL): Who will be the most telegenic BA personality (no fair naming yourself)?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:00 PM ET ) It might very well be me, I may be the only one.


Mike (Pa): Pedroia v Cano, better future at second?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:02 PM ET ) Cano is the better bat, but I still think he's headed for 3B or LF. Pedroia is the better defender.


Rick (Boston): So are the SDs still going to be drafting on the phone?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:05 PM ET ) Yes, still a conference call. But most clubs will have a scouting/player development delegate in Orlando, as well as a former player. The Mets, for instance, will have minor league coordinator Kevin Morgan and Darryl Strawberry on hand. So you may see some of those guys announce the first-round picks.


Keith (Georgia): If the Rays go with the switch-hitting C/1B, would it be a mistake? How soon could either Weiters or Price make it to the majors?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:06 PM ET ) Wieters wouldn't be a mistake at No. 1, and most guys think he can catch. But I'd still take Price. Both guys will only need a year or two in the minors, at most.


Jimmy (Atlanta): How has the move of Clemson's Moskos to a starting role impacted his draft position?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:07 PM ET ) Not a ton. He was going in the top 10 anyway, and most clubs projected him as a starter.


Eric (San Diego): Does that mean Lasorda will announce LA's first rounder?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:07 PM ET ) Tommy Lasorda will be there, so I think that's a safe bet.


greg (toronto): Who is the better prospect at the time of their respective draft, Mauer or Wieters?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:08 PM ET ) Mauer. Back to the draft reports now, see you next week.