ESPN SportsNation Chat With Jim Callis




SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:01 PM ET ) Hi, everyone. I'll start with a question of my own . . . Was anyone else hoping the game went into the 17th or 18th so we could see some position players pitch? I was.


Justin (Central Falls, RI): Is this the year that Bud Selig determines that this farce of an idea is ridiculous? Why does an exhibition game have any impact on the postseason? It?s time to stop straddling the fence. Make it an exhibition game or make it a playoff game. If it?s going to count for something as important as home field advantage eliminate the popularity contest, expand to playoff rosters, tell players that they are not guaranteed to play, keep the superstars in the whole game, and only bring pitchers that are available to pitch. ?OR? Keep it exhibition, have it count for nothing, and be happy with a tee ball game where everyone gets to play. Somebody needs to put an end to this farce?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET ) You know, it's very hard for me to get worked up over anything regarding the All-Star Game. I don't see how alternating World Series home-field advantage between the leagues is a great solution either, so if they want to use the ASG, fine. I think it puts added pressure on the players, and I think it adds to the game. Yes, the pitching staffs got stretched last night, but how often will the game last 15 innings?


Chris lansing, mi : 1st pitch should be no later than 7:45 no wonder why baseball is 2nd fiddle to nfl as AMERICA'S GAME. Kids and Adults both can't stay up til 1:30 am to enjoy it together.. don't give me any west coast arguement either

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET ) I won't argue with that. I actually watched until the end on television (wasn't in New York), but it was getting ridiculous.


Joe (Troy, NY): What do you think of Wilmer Flores? I know he is only 16 but does BA think he is ligit prospect or just a flash in the pan? Please give a diehard Mets fan something to look forward to.....

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET ) He's very legit. He's one of the best prospects in the Mets system, though he may move to third base down the road.


Luke (Des Moines): Hey Jim. Is Mike Moustakas just struggling because he's in the Midwest League and getting used to playing every day a la Justin Upton in 2006, or has he been over-hyped some?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:07 PM ET ) I don't think playing every day is that difficult, but the Midwest League is a very tough place to hit, especially for a 19-year-old. And he was overhyped some, including by me. But he's still a good prospect.


Mark (Villanova): Any chance Flores moves to 2nd with Wright and Reyes already on one side of the infield?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:08 PM ET ) He might be better suited for third base, but yes, with Wright around, Flores could wind up at second base.


Joe: (NYC): Is Jon Niese a decent prospect or is Omar just trying to build him up in the media for a trade?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:08 PM ET ) No, he's a solid prospect. Mid-rotation lefthander.


BronBron (Cleveland, OH): Both Tillman and Feliz made very high jumps in BA's revised top 25 rankings. Is this reflective of their talent or the lack of depth in the minors now after so many promotions of young talent to the majors?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:10 PM ET ) Both. I thought the minor league talent seemed thin last year, and it's definitely worse this year. When we were working on that list, I sorted guys into where I thought they should fit on a representative Top 50. I only came up with seven guys I though belonged in the top 10, and only three to go in the 11-20 range.


Louie (Tampa....by way of NYC): Mr. Callis, why wasn't Austin Jackson in the Futures games? Is his stock falling that much? What is his ceiling?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:12 PM ET ) Jackson stock isn't falling at all. He has an all-star ceiling, though a ways to go to get there. He could be the Yankees' CF at some point next year. This year's Futures Game was an aberration, as we weren't involved in the process for picking the U.S. team. MLB and USA Baseball chose players they wanted to scout for possible inclusion on the U.S. Olympic team. In a normal year, Jackson would have been there . . . To clear up some confusion about me giving a similar answer about Matt Wieters last week, a player's absence does NOT mean that MLB or USA Baseball didn't want him for the Olympic team. In many case, the team did not want to make the player available. I assume that was the case with Wieters and probably Jackson.


Scott (Philadelphia): Will Cardenas ever suit up in a Phillies uniform, or is it more likely that he gets traded down the road?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:12 PM ET ) He probably gets traded because Chase Utley isn't going anywhere.


Chris (Boston, MA): Jim, What do the Sox do with Charlie Zink. He's probably never going to get a shot in the rotation unless there are a number of injuries but hes pitching too well to leave in AAA.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:14 PM ET ) You've described his situtation accurately. He'll be a six-year minor league free agent after the season, so I guess he'll move on to a club that can give him more of an opportunity. With the Red Sox, who's he going to knock out of the rotation? Plus, he has Justin Masterson and Michael Bowden to contend with too. It would be hard to trust a rookie knuckleballer in a crucial relief situation, too.


Matt (DC): Are your updated rankings only available to BA subscribers?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:15 PM ET ) Our consensus updated Top 25 is available to subscribers only at http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/2008/266496.html. I updated my personal choices for each team's No.1 prospect in my last Ask BA column, which is available to everyone at http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2008/266517.html.


Justin (Stafford Springs, CT): What are your thoughts on Bowden? Seems he could be a very good middle of the rotation starter to me.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET ) Me too. But that rotation is so crowded that he's going to have to wait longer than he would with most clubs.


Ben (Centerville, OH): Has Reds Low A prospect Neftali Soto hitting .400 through his first week in the pitcher friendly midwest league at 19 years of age caught the eye of the good folks at BA? What kind of player does Soto project as?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:17 PM ET ) A pretty good one. You can make a case that he's the best prospect in the system, though I went with Todd Frazier and Yonder Alonso will claim that distinction once he signs.


Jason (San Francisco, CA): Is this a large market chat only today? Or can we get to some questions involving the other teams too?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:18 PM ET ) There's an idea. I should do an all small-revenue club chat sometime. Except 80% of the questions are about teams with the biggest fan bases.


Russell (Davis, CA): What's the status of the Dykstra negotiations? Should the Padres just let it go and take the comp pick for next year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:20 PM ET ) There's concern over his hip, on which he had surgery in high school. Dykstra missed just one game in three years of college, however. My guess is he'll sign at a slight discount.


Chris (NYC): I saw you ranked Zimmerman and Burgess as 1/2 in the Nats system. Would you stil have Marrero and Detwiller as 3/4 or have they fallen even farther (not including Crow)?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:21 PM ET ) Off the top of my head, 3 and 4 seems right until Crow signs.


Dan (DC): Why haven't the Nats signed any of their top 5 picks?! Is it just me or is this absurd!

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:22 PM ET ) It is surprising, and I saw a story that said they may sign very few of them, but I'm not buying it. They were big spenders on the draft in 2007 and I don't know why they suddenly would be over-thrifty now.


Jake (St. Louis, MO): Jim, thanks for taking my question. What are your thoughts on Brett Wallace?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:25 PM ET ) I think he can really hit but I will be shocked if he plays third base in the major leagues.


J.P. (Springfield, IL): Buster Posey was just announced as the Golden Spikes Award winner for 2008. Surprised?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:27 PM ET ) No. He had a great year and is a worthy winner. I thought he'd beat out Beckham, Crow, Matusz and Wallace.


Josh (Sacramento): Care to explain Jeff Samardzija for me? Is he from the Bizarroworld? He gets promoted to AAA and starts striking out a batter an inning, which is about twice what he did at lower levels. He did this last season too, when he was dreadful at High-A Daytona and was decent after getting promoted. Does the Shark make any sense?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:29 PM ET ) No, no sense at all. Even without the increased strikeout rate, he's still getting hit more than a guy with at true 94-mph sinker should.


Ryan (NS): Jim, Mark Sobolewski signed for 4th round slot. Is he a 4th round talent or did teams misread his signibility?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:34 PM ET ) He went where he should have gone in the draft. Draft-eligible sophomores often slide because teams fear their extra leverage, but the Jays obviously figured out that Sobolewski would sign for slot.


Matt, Indiana: Jim, any thoughts on Preston Mattingly? Is he ever gonna put it together?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:35 PM ET ) No, I don't think so. I'd move him to the outfield and see if that helped jump-start his bat at this point.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:37 PM ET ) I feel like some early lightning round today. Let's head there now . . .


Mark (Boston, MA): Yu Darvish or Michel Inoa?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:37 PM ET ) Darvish.


bill (New York): Pelfrey or Hughes?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:38 PM ET ) Hughes, despite Pelfrey's recent success.


Chris (Mass): Travis Buck Overrated or gonna be back up soon

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:38 PM ET ) Back up soon.


paul (vancouver BC): Bumgarner or Kershaw?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:38 PM ET ) Kershaw. He and David Price are the two best prospects in the minors right now.


Andy (Waltham, MA): Anthony Hewitt, bust or no bust?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET ) Way too early to know, but I've talked to a lot of people who question the bat, and I don't think tearing up Connecticut prep school competition answers those questions.


Andy (Waltham, MA): Perry or Fields?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET ) Fields.


Jane (CA): Hu's bat, yea or nay?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET ) Yea.


Zack (Maryland): Adam Jones or Jay Bruce?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET ) Bruce.


John (FL): Matt Dominguez or Mike Moustakas?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET ) I'm still saying Moustakas. Call me stubborn.


The Dude (SF): Giants farm system in top 5 after Posey signs, T or F?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:39 PM ET ) False. It's improving, but it's not that good.


Ross (CA): Posey (if he signs) or any other C prospect not named Weiters?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET ) Posey almost certainly will sign. He'll be the No. 2 catching prospect (behind Wieters) once he does.


Dan (CT): Chirstian Bale or Michael Keaton?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET ) Bale makes a much better Batman.


Doug (A-Town): Austin Jackson or Fernando Martinez?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET ) Jackson.


Ross (CA): Over/Under: Giants make playoffs in 2010?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET ) It will take longer.


Jon: Price is in the majors by.....

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET ) September, maybe August.


John (Danbury, CT): Casey Kelly - SS, Pitcher or College bound?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET ) Pitcher.


Bill (Oakland): Best pitching depth in Minors overall?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET ) A's.


Garrett (Coppell, TX): When does Pedro Alvarez make his big league debut with the Pirates?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET ) September 2009.


Pete (NYC): For 2009 - Maybin or LaPorta?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET ) LaPorta.


Rich (Seattle): Dexter Fowler or Michael Saunders?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET ) Fowler.


KJ: Eric Hurley or Gio Gonzalez?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET ) Gio.


Zack (Maryland): Tillman in the majors in 2010? Weiters in the majors in 2009?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET ) I'll say 2009 for both.


Chris (NJ): Joba an Ace

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET ) Sure.


Paul (NY): Not prospect related anymore but from that point of view - does Josh Hamilton have the best raw skills of any player, ever?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET ) Bo Jackson probably had the best raw tools ever. Mickey Mantle is another who comes to mind. Hamilton is definitely in the discussion, though.


Jason (Atlanta): Teheran or Jarrod Parker?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET ) Parker.


Bryan (Oxford, OH): Shairon Martis or Jordan Zimmerman?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET ) Zimmermann.


Chris (NJ): Cole or Brackmen

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:44 PM ET ) Cole.


Bryan (Oxford, OH): Henry Rodriguez: starter or pen? KLaw says starter.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:44 PM ET ) I'll say reliever. Just don't think the command is there.


Ted (Green Bay, WI): I should just trade Aaron Rodgers knowing Brian Brohm can take over for Brett after TWO more seasons

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET ) That's an awful lot of faith to put in Brohm without him taking a single NFL snap, even in camp. And how can you guarantee that Favre will play in 2009? He has put the team in a bad spot.


Marc (NS): Just for the record...Keith Law didn't say Henry Rodriguez is a starter. he just said that he should stay there until he proves he can't be.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) I agree with that.


Willie (Philadelphia): Has there ever been a GM better than Beane at knowing when to trade players?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET ) Sign . . . endless Billy Beane love. I'll stand by my statement that he should have waited and gotten more for Harden, and Harden's first start with the Cubs does nothing to change my opinion. Beane is one of the best GMs, but he's not infallible.


Zack (Maryland): Brain Matusz or Aaron Crow?

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


Bryan (Oxford, OH): Gordon Beckham...future Ian Kinsler?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET ) I think he can stay at SS, though.


Neil (MA): Porcello in the majors in.......

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET ) 2010.


Hoss (Austin): Catching for Red Sox, 2009? beyond?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET ) TBA.


jason st louis, mo: burgess or stanton?

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


jason st louis, mo: posey or bumgarner number 1 in SF system?

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


Chris (NJ): Whos at 1st for the Yanks Next year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET ) Mark Teixeira.


Juan (Northwest): Are the Red Sox regretting the day they traded Engel Beltre?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET ) I'm sure they wish they had Beltre back, but the deal made sense at the time and I'm sure the 2007 World Series championship (even if Gagne didn't contribute) helps ease the pain.


Jason (Atlanta): Triunfel or Wilmer Flores? Also, how many points will you give me to take ASU over UGA?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET ) Triunfel. I have no idea what the spread is. Very excited that my alma mater will be ranked No. 1 perhaps to open the football season, but it's a tough schedule. I'm all for a playoff.


Brett (Illinois): Danks or Lester?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET ) Lester.


evan (philly): Jim, is Jason Donald good enough to be the centerpiece of a trade for a starting pitcher for the Phillies?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET ) He's a legit prospect, but I don't think he'll bring a top pitcher back.


Russell (Davis, CA): Does Antonelli find himself next year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET ) Yes. He can't be this bad.


Brad, (Mount Pleasant,MI): When will Gordon Beckham sign with the White Sox and will he be a fall call-up?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET ) August, and no.


Eli (Berkeley CA): True or false: Lincecum will have a better career than anybody drafted ahead of him

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET ) True.


Harris (Lakeland, FL): McCutchen gets the call ______?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET ) as soon as the Pirates trade Bay or Nady.


Bryan (Annapolis,MD): Which system has the best top 3 pitching prospects? (including recent draftees)

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET ) Off the top of my head, the A's with Anderson, Cahill and choose one of Simmons, Gonzalez, Rodriguez, Mazzaro, etc.


Tom (CT): Cole or Porcello?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET ) Porcello, easy.


Dan (CT): True or False: The yankees outfield as it is now (including guys on the DL) will be 100% different in 2010.

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


Jason Castro (Houston): Will I make a September cameo this year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET ) No.


Chris: Porcello or Brackmen

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET ) Again, Porcello, easy.


Nate(Dallas): A's top 3 better than the rays top 3?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:00 PM ET ) Ah, not really. I guess I was thinking that Price was getting called up soon. Price, Davis, Hellickson (with McGee hurt) is tough to top.


Jon (DC): Zimmermann or Tillman?

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


Michael (Houston): Lincecum: better career than Longoria and Miller and Kershaw?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET ) Again, I answered too quickly, I read that question as pitchers . . . I would take Longoria over Lincecum, but Lincecum over any of the pitchers.


Zack (Maryland): When will the Orioles sign Matusz, if at all?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET ) Close to the Aug. 15 deadline.


Brendan (Tampa, Florida): Please tell me the Rays aren't crazy enough to trade David Price!!!

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:02 PM ET ) They won't trade Price.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:05 PM ET ) I'll leave you with this . . . the U.S. Olympic team was just announced, and the best prospects include Brett Anderson, Jake Arrieta, Trevor Cahill, Dexter Fowler, Matt LaPorta, Colby Rasmus . . . and Steven Strasburg. See you next week.