ESPN SportsNation Chat With Jim Callis
Welcome to The Show! On Wednesday, Baseball America's Jim Callis will chat it up with SportsNation. Ask any question and he will try to answer - big leaguers, prospects, draft picks ... anything goes!
Send your questions now and join Jim on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Jim Callis: (2:01 PM ET ) Hi, everyone. Been battling a balky DSL connection today, so hopefully it will hold up.
Todd (Irvine, CA):
Jim, how good is Matt Antonelli? He hasn't missed a beat since being called up to AA San Antonio. Is he good enough to make the Padres roster out of Spring Training next season? Jim Callis: (2:02 PM ET )
He might be. Antonelli got written off in some corners for having very little power, but he's not a weakling. He's a good athlete with a good eye at the plate. Should be a solid regular in the near future.
Todd (Irvine, CA):
Jim, I'm hearing that Matt Bush has been impressive since being transitioned into a pitcher. How quickly can he move up the Padres system? Jim Callis: (2:03 PM ET )
I wouldn't get overly optimistic yet. He has some arm strength, but we'll see how his secondary stuff plays against hitters when he gets out of Rookie ball. He has missed a couple of weeks with some shoulder soreness.
The red sox seem to have a good amount of top end talent picthers in their minor league system but only ellsbury really sticks out as a position prospecr. Do they have any other position players that i should be aware of? Also, do you think that they are auditioning Kason Gabbard as a potential trading chip, young cheap lefty with decent stuff? Jim Callis: (2:04 PM ET )
Their pitching does stand out more, but they also have guys like first baseman Lars Anderson and middle infielder Jed Lowrie in addition to Ellsbury. I know Gabbard is coming off a shutout, but he's a finesse lefty without a huge ceiling. They might use him in a trade, but it's doubtful he'd be a centerpiece.
Hey Jim is there any reason why there isn't a Bird rule in MLB like there is in the NBA to give teams a considerable advantage when trying to resign one of their stars? Hearing about how Johan Santana can't possibly be resigned by Minnesota just seems kind of wrong to me. Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET )
Minnesota most assuredly can re-sign Santana. Carl Pohlad is one of the wealthiest men in America and certainly can afford to re-sign him if he wants.
Kevin (Mantoloking, NJ):
Jim, What kind of ceiling does Joba Chamberlain have? Is he an ace or a solid number two? Also, though he is a long ways away, Jesus Montero hit a HR in his first professional AB at 17 years old. Does he stay at catcher and what kind of ceiling does he have? Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET )
Chamberlain is one of the best pitching prospects in the minors. My only real concern with him is his long-term health. He's more of a No. 2 to me, though he could become an ace. Montero probably winds up at first base and his bat will have to carry him. He also may not be 17.
Please rank the following Rays pitching prospects.David Price,Jacob McGee,Wade Davis,& Jeff Niemann.Thank You. Jim Callis: (2:07 PM ET )
Well, Price hasn't signed yet. But I'll play along and say I like the order you've listed them in.
Alex Hitch (Bondi, Australia):
When do you think we will see Rasmus patrolling the STL outfield? With STL losing steam in the race, he should be called up before september Jim Callis: (2:08 PM ET )
Rasmus doesn't have to be protected on the 40-man roster after this season, so I doubt you'll see him in September. I could see him spending a half-season in Triple-A and coming up after the all-star break in 2008.
Kyle (Boston, MA):
Why did you leave Adam Miller off of the midseason top 25 prospects? Is it an eligibility issue or are you guys down on him? Jim Callis: (2:08 PM ET )
No, he was eligible and he was discussed. He'd be in the next group of 5-10 guys, but his injury status ultimately kept him off.
Jim, Can you shed some light on Brett Gardner, who was recently promoted to AAA for the Yankees? Is he another Jason Tyner or does he compare at all to Ellsbury? Jim Callis: (2:09 PM ET )
More of a Tyner, org-type player.
Rich (San Francisco, CA):
With the Yankees bullpen struggles. Would it not make sense for them to consider bringing up Joba Chamberlain to work out of the bullpen? He's clearly got the stuff for it. Jim Callis: (2:09 PM ET )
It would, and it's also a good way to break guys into the majors. Not sure why more teams don't try this.
Ben, St. Petersburg:
Are the Rays in real danger of not signing david price? and if u were them would u call up niemann and/or longoria? Jim Callis: (2:11 PM ET )
No, I think Price will get done. For all we know, the basic parameters could be worked out and MLB is askign the Rays to wait to finalize the deal, in fear it might affect other deals. I think it's time to give Niemann a look. Longoria doesn't have to be protected on the 40-man after the season, so I'd probably wait until next year for him.
Jim, The Cub's AAA lineup is stacked with Patterson, Pie, Murton, Cedeno, Kroeger, Moore and Soto now back on the farm. Scott Moore has really picked it up this year and is young (23-24)...considering he was the first round pick for the Tigers a few years back, is he for real? Unfortunately, he's stuck behind A-Ram, but can he play a corner OF position? Also, what's the deal with Kroeger, who is still relatively young? Jim Callis: (2:12 PM ET )
Moore is more of a decent regular for me, and he is blocked. He has dabbled in the outfield with the Cubs and I think he's going to have to settle for a versatility role off their bench. Kroeger isn't a top prospect, just a decent one, but he's having a good year.
Jeremy (Boise, ID):
How long until we start worrying about Josh Barfield? I know I should remain patient cause he's still learning, but when do we start worrying that he's got Will Clark syndrome and can't hit A.L. pitching? Jim Callis: (2:14 PM ET )
He's better than he's shown, but I never saw him as much of a potential star. He's not going to hit for a high average or draw many walks, and he has gap power. He's also just an average second baseman and may have to move to a lesser position down the road.
The White Sox acquired 2nd baseman Danny Richar from the Diamondbacks a few weeks back and he has been tearing it up since he joined AAA. Is he going to be the real deal? Jim Callis: (2:14 PM ET )
I didn't understand why the White Sox dealt Aaron Cunningham, whom I like. But they apparently see Richar as a potential replacement for Tadahito Iguchi, and so far, so good.
Buchholz or Joba? Jim Callis: (2:15 PM ET )
Any new information about the signing status of Tigers draftees Porcello or Crosby? Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET )
There's talk that the Tigers and Crosby have mostly agreed to terms but that they're waiting to announce the deal to avoid drawing the ire of MLB. Haven't heard anything new on Porcello. My gut feel is that he winds up a Tar Heel.
John - Philadelphia:
Are the Mets better served in the long run holding on to Milledge with a struggling offense or banking that Alou will return and shipping him out for pitching? Jim Callis: (2:17 PM ET )
I'd hold on to Milledge, but I still think there's a very good chance the Mets deal him. They're also high on Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez, which makes Milledge (and his baggage) expendable in the right deal.
Why Do you think Bucholz is better than Joba's? Is it because of health concerns? Bucholtz has better offspeed offerings? Hughes or Bucholz? Jim Callis: (2:17 PM ET )
Buchholz has a deeper repertoire and I'm less concerned about his health. I'd still take Hughes over Buchholz.
Dennis (Santa Clarita, CA):
Jim, it seems to me the Dodgers have a better AA option in Meloan (5-2 18 saves, 2.07, 68-18 strike out to walks) as a set up than trading anyone for Dotel (who's also been hurt). Honestly, I don't think there are any trades that particularly help the Dodgers right now. Do you agree? Jim Callis: (2:19 PM ET )
I agree on Meloan. With the escalating cost of veteran talent, it's increasingly difficult to give up much youth--it just doesn't make much financial sense. I have a feeling we're in for a quiet trading deadline.
JOhN (WACO, TX):
Any word on Rangers picks Beavan, Borbon and Ramirez? How close are they to signing? if all three sign, could this be considered one of the best drafts this year? Jim Callis: (2:19 PM ET )
Don't have specifics, but all three should wind up signing. And yes, that would give the Rangers one of the better drafts this year.
Kevin (Orlando, FL):
When will the Devil Rays see a return on last season's Julio Lugo trade? Joel Guzman is still young, but blocked in every way. I had high hopes for him when the Rays aquired him, should I still? Jim Callis: (2:20 PM ET )
I'm not high on Guzman any more. His star has really dimmed, and it seems like he's frustrated. That trade won't work out for either side as hoped.
Cary (Washington, DC):
Jim, any word on when Seattle might promote Adam Jones? Jim Callis: (2:20 PM ET )
Not soon enough.
Lance M (Livingston, TN):
I know Drew Stubbs has struggled at the plate thus far in his professional career. Will he ever be able to make enough consistent contact to be an everyday center fielder for the Reds? Jim Callis: (2:21 PM ET )
I don't think he'll ever hit for a high average, but he'll hit enough to be solid in the majors. He'll have power, speed and play Gold Glove defense, similar to a Mike Cameron.
Jake (Baltimore, MD):
Are the Orioles going to sign Weiters? Jim Callis: (2:21 PM ET )
I think they will on Aug. 14 or 15, right before the deadline. I don't think the Orioles would have taken him at No. 5 if they didn't think they'd ultimately sign him.
Keith Law said he'd rather trade Hughes than Chamberlain...your thoughts? Jim Callis: (2:22 PM ET )
I'll respectfully disagree. I think you could get more for Hughes, so if the difference in the return was huge, I'd consider dealing him depending on what that return was. But as I just mentioned, I think it's very hard to trade young pitchers with that kind of upside.
Are you still sticking with Gordon over Braun? Jim Callis: (2:23 PM ET )
Yes. Call me stubborn.
Ian Kennedy (Trenton):
Jim, My first two years at USC were two of the most dominant in school history and my numbers in high A and AA this year are outstanding. When are you going to give me some respect? Greg Maddux and Mike Mussina got it done with average stuff and great command and pitching intelligence. Why am I not a future ace? Jim Callis: (2:24 PM ET )
Not sure where I haven't given Kennedy his due respect. Maddux and Mussina had better stuff at the same stage of their careers, so I don't buy those comparisons. While I still think the Yankees overdrafted/overpaid Kennedy a little based on where he would have gone last year, he's off to a great start and looks like a possible No. 3 starter.
Phil (Grand Rapids):
For those of us who aren't BA subscribers, who are the updated top 5 prospects? Jim Callis: (2:26 PM ET )
And why aren't you BA subscribers?
The top five, in order, were Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, Cameron Maybin, Evan Longoria and Homer Bailey. Only guys in the minors at the time were considered.
Is Ian Stewart a bust and what do you think his future holds? Jim Callis: (2:27 PM ET )
I don't think he's a bust, but I'm not as confident he'll be a star as I once was. May have to settle for being a solid regular.
Dave (Canton, NY):
Do you think that Michael Vick should be allowed to play in the NFL if he is proven guilty? Jim Callis: (2:27 PM ET )
If he's proven guilty, he's headed to jail, so that will take care of itself.
Phil (Grand Rapids):
Because I can get the info I need by asking you during your chats...LOL Jim Callis: (2:27 PM ET )
You know you're dying to see who's in spots 6-25!
MIKE (NY NY):
Would you trade Hughes to Braves for the catcher Salti? Jim Callis: (2:28 PM ET )
Nope. Too hard to find good pitching.
Stewart ( New York) :
What positional (non- pitching) prospects do the yankees have that can make an impact aside from tabata and duncan Jim Callis: (2:29 PM ET )
You can cross Duncan off that list. Tabata stands out the most, and I'd put Austin Jackson second among Yankees positional prospects. Their arms are better than their bats.
Which first round Vanderbilt star will do better in Denver, Casey Weathers or Jay Cutler? Jim Callis: (2:30 PM ET )
Bonus points for a creative question, and my NFL appetite is beginning to grow . . . I'll go with Cutler.
I have two issues on players that seem extremely similar, yet rated differently as prospects. 1. Gardner vs. Ellsbury - periphirals are very close. Yet Gardner is viewed as an org player while Ellsbury is viewed as a potential star. I just don't see the difference between the two. 2. Kennedy & Bowden - neither are flamethrowers, Kennedy has been much more dominant, and seems vastly underrated, yet Bowden is generally regarded as a better prospect. Based on repertoire and results, I find it hard to make a case for Bowden over Kennedy. And you're def off on Joba (4 pitches, 3 plus pitches = deep repetoire) and Buchholz, but I'll let that slide Jim Callis: (2:32 PM ET )
1. Ellsbury is a far superior center fielder, and that's worth a lot right there. And while he's no power hitter, he has more pop than Gardner, too. 2. Bowden throws about 3-4 mph harder than Kennedy and he's two years younger.
Justin (Glendale, AZ):
Hey Jim - Regarding Yankees prospects...just wondering which of the Duncan's you are refering to (Shelley or Eric). But regarding Eric, you think he'll make the Yankees roster? or be traded before that ever happens Jim Callis: (2:32 PM ET )
Good point, I thought that was Eric. I don't think he'll play much of a factor for the Yankees or in a trade. Shelley Duncan is having a great year, is worth a look, but I don't think he's as good as his 2007 numbers.
Justin (Wash. DC):
John Mayberry Jr. was pretty underwhelming last season in Clinton and this season in Bakersfield. However, since his promotion to Frisco he has been very good. Has he finally turned the corner into the hitters the Rangers though he could be when they drafted him or is this a flash in the pan? Jim Callis: (2:34 PM ET )
A lot of teams questioned Mayberry's bat when he came out of Stanford. I don't know that he'll ever hit for average, but he's a good athlete with power. I see him becoming a decent regular, nothing more.
Kevin (Iowa City, IA):
A couple national league central questions. When do you think we will see Ankiel and Bruce in the majors and what type of stats do you see for them. Jim Callis: (2:36 PM ET )
If I'm the Cardinals, I'd give Rick Ankiel a look soon. It's not like Juan Encarnacion is the long-term answer in right field. Jay Bruce is another guy who doesn't have to be protected on the 40-man this offseason, so you'll probably have to wait until 2008 for him.
Max (Ft. Lauderdale):
What are your thoughts on Nick Noonan in the Giants organization? Jim Callis: (2:36 PM ET )
Supplemental first-round pick, very good bat for a middle infielder. I like him.
John Huntington beach :
Would there be any way the Nationals would trade RHP Prospect Collin Balester at the break ? Jim Callis: (2:37 PM ET )
Can't see why. They're not contending and he's far and away their best upper-level pitching prospect.
JJ (Wawautosa Wi):
what do you think is the possibility of the brewers holding off the cubs to win the central crown Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET )
I'm still driving that Brewers In 2007 bandwagon. They'll get the job done.
are the royals dreaming in asking for loney or kemp in a dotel deal? Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET )
Greg (New York):
Will the Mets sign Efferson? Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET )
Wow, a Brandon Efferson question. He's a little pitcher from Louisiana with big stuff, and yes, I bet he signs before the deadline. Call it a gut feel. Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET )
Let's go to the lightning round a few minutes early. Hard to focus with my DSL-wrecked day, the Harry Potter book two days away, the NFL around the corner . . . and all the great baseball stories going around. Lightning round, commence!
Lightning round - Lincecum or Hughes? Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET )
Hughes. That was a tough one.
Phil (Grand Rapids):
Kershaw or McGee Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET )
McCutchen 2008 Pirate CF? Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET )
Late 2008, yes.
Andrew (San Diego):
Penny or Peavy? Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET )
Lightning round- Martinez, Gomez, Milledge, Tabata? Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET )
I'll be difficult and still say Milledge.
Why are all ESPN chat baseball guys such Harry Potter nerds? Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET )
Brian (Concord, NH):
Can we look past Buccholtz for a moment - what do you think of the next two in line: Masterson and Bowden? Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET )
The Tigers have signed Verlander, Maybin, and Miller the last 3 years(all tough signs). Why does your gut say Porcello is headed to UNC? Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET )
I think he and Scott Boras are determined to attend UNC unless he gets $7 million-plus, and I think the Tigers won't go that high for him.
Phil (Grand Rapids):
Scherzer or G. Gonzalez Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET )
Why do you have a concern about Chamberlain's health. He seems to have a good, consistent delivery. Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET )
He has a big body and has had knee, back and arm problems in the past. Not saying I don't like him, but I hold that against him when comparing him to other elite pitching prospects in the minors.
Alan (St. Petersburg):
John Jaso: big-league regular, backup or organizational soldier? Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET )
I like him. Let's go big league regular.
Cj (Orlando, Fl):
Delmon or Justin Upton? Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET )
Jon Gilmore - reach or value in the supplemental round? Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET )
Value. He can hit and play a good third base. Flew under the radar a little because of hamstring issues this spring.
Cj (Orlando, Fl):
BJ Upton or Hanley? Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET )
Have to go Hanley Ramirez because he can play shortstop.
Andrew (San Diego):
who will get last in the MLB: Kansas city or Cinncinatti Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET )
Is the deadline for players to say that their going to college instead of signing with a major league team, or what is it? Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET )
New rule this year has put in a universal Aug. 15 signing deadline for all draftees.
Scott (Lexington, KY):
M. Teixera to BOS for Jon Lester, Willy Mo and a low A pitcher with minimal upside. Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET )
Interesting. Not sure Boston would give up Lester when Tex will hit the free-agent market in October, but that looks fair to me.
Andrew (San Diego):
over or under the Yanks win 80 games Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET )
H. Ramirez can barely play shortstop..he has almost 20 errors. Reyes or Ramirez over the next 10 years? Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET )
Serguey Linares or Henry Sosa? Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET )
Jessica Alba or Sienna Miller? Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET )
Scott (Lexington, KY):
Tex isn't a free agent until after 2008 Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET )
Mistake on my part.
Andrew (San Diego):
does Billy Beane get a lock for the Gm of the year award for tricking the cubs into getting Jason Kendall Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET )
Didn't really trick them, the A's are only saving $700,000 by making that trade. But good move to clear room for Kurt Suzuki to play--Kendall looks cooked.
Andrew (San Diego):
better movie Harry potter 5 or Transformers Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET )
Took my kids to both. Transformers had a lot more action and was better than I expected. HP5 is setting the stage for HP6 and HP7. I still enjoyed it a little more. BA cohort Chris Kline vehemently disagrees. If Megan Fox were in HP5, he might change his tune.
Ben (new york):
over or under- yankees win 91 games Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET )
Under. I'll say 89.
Chris B. Young or Delmon Young Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET )
5 years from now King Felix or Johan? Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET )
Votto or Butler? Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET )
TheGuy (New York):
better career with yankees- Cano or Melky Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET )
Granderson or Maybin? Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET )
Like Granderson a lot, but Maybin will be better.
Jason (Seattle, WA):
Balentein or Adam Jones? Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET )
Carrasco or Hochevar? Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET )
The Natural or Field of Dreams? Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET )
Field of Dreams. The book was better than the movie, in both cases.
AL MVP? Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET )
Marc (Eagan MN):
Thoughts on Jeff Manship? Jim Callis: (3:00 PM ET )
Solid prospect, ceiling as a No. 3 or 4 starter.
Russell Martin or Brian McCann Jim Callis: (3:00 PM ET )
chris (westport, ct):
how much do you get paid to do these chats? Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET )
The same amount you get for sending in questions.
Is Nomar done: Yes or No? Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET )
Alan Horne or Ian Kennedy? Alan Horne or Bowden? Jim Callis: (3:02 PM ET )
Who wins this trade: Cy-tana to Boston for Clay Bucholz and Jacob Ellsbury Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET )
Boston would. You can't argue with Santana for two unproven prospects, even if they're good prospects.
Jeff Clement or any other catching prospect? Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET )
Clement is the best catching prospect in the minors right now, but it's not a deep crop. Jim Callis: (3:04 PM ET )
That's all for today. See you guys next week.