Jim Callis Draft Chat: May 18
@Jaypers413 (IL): I enjoyed reading your first Mock Draft. Do you have approximate dates for your second, third and fourth versions? Thanks Jim.
May 27 (week from Friday) for the next one,
then June 3 (Friday before draft) and June 6 (day of draft). I may blog
an updated version on draft afternoon, with just names and not much
Ben (Leland Grove): Why hasn't Rendon released his recent medical records to teams?
It's a page out of the Boras Corp.
playbook. The feeling among clubs I've talked to is that the serious
contenders (read: clubs willing to pay the most) will get the records
eventually. Probably not until shortly before the draft, and they'll
have to take what they get.
Chris (Michigan): The Tigers don't pick until
very late...any indication who they're targeting? Who might be the best
candidates to slip that far?
No indication. They pick so low, with their
first pick at No. 76 (they're the last team to start drafting this
year), that it's impossible to target guys. Really, at this point, even
with all of us draft reporters firing off mock drafts, it's still mostly
guesswork after the first 10-15 choices. The Tigers could do what they
did last year with Nick Castellanos, and pay a lot of money to a guy
they really like who can fall to them. But there's no obvious
first-round talent whose signability is so crazy that they could drop
all the way to 76. Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley have asking prices of a
combined $50 million, but they still won't get close to 76.
Wremo (DC): Jim - love the chats. I have heard
that Rizzo/Nats are hot for Bauer, but not interested in Bundy or Cole.
Why go for 1 undersized pitcher but not the others?
I haven't heard that, and it would surprise
me. Cole is 6-foot-4, by the way, and not undersized. Nationals GM Mike
Rizzo LOVES power pitchers, and has a history of taking Boras Corp.
guys, so I would be shocked if they took Bauer over Cole. I could see
them going college over high school and bypassing Bundy, but I think
they'd take Cole or Alex Meyer over Bauer.
John (Houston, TX): The Astros have blown a
ridiculous amount of saves this year, 11 out of 16 tries, any chance
they target John Stilson out of Texas A&M to try to use as a quick
fix? Stilson reminds me of a similar closer that graduated from Texas,
Huston Street, fair comparison?
It would be silly for a bad team to target a
closer, especially with the 11th pick in the draft. I do like Stilson,
and he has enough stuff to start. I don't love the Street comp. Street
had a wipeout slider, while Stilson has a better changeup and more
velocity. They are similar in that Stilson could get to the big leagues
very quickly if deployed as a reliever. Stilson missed his last start,
though he's expected back tomorrow vs. Texas.
johnny (kansas): I've heard the royals may have
a chance at gerrit cole? Am I hearing wrong? And if I'm not who should I
root for us to pick gerrit or bubba? Thanks love the chats.
I think the top three picks, in some order,
will be Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, Danny Hultzen. I wouldn't count on
Cole getting to No. 5, but it's not impossible. He has struggled with
his command lately and there are a ton of attractive college pitchers.
Maurice (Lawrence): How crazy would I be if I
told you I kind of like the idea of the Royals taking Josh Bell? You can
rarely go wrong taking the best pure hitter/power hitter on the board,
even if he profiles as a corner guy.
It's not a crazy idea, but that's a little
rich on Bell. I really love the bat, too, and if you told me he'd be a
better big leaguer than, say, Bubba Starling, I could believe that too.
It's a special bat. I think he goes in the teens somewhere. And we might
look back in a few years, like we do now with Jason Heyward, and wonder
how he could have lasted that long.
Jay (South Riding, VA.): Jim,
As always, thanks for the chat. Rumor is that the Nats are high on Alex
Meyer. Why would they take someone with an unquestionably high upside
but a very inconsistent track record over guys like Bundy, Gray &
Jungmann? Bundy especially appears to have a very high upside AND is
advanced for a high school arm. On the surface it just seems to defy
logic that they would rule out certain guys on a guy that risky.
I don't disagree. I give kudos to Meyer for
making strides with his command, consistency and competiveness, and
he's always had big size and a power arm. But to me, he's the
eighth-best college pitcher in this draft, more of a mid-first-rounder
than the No. 6 pick. There are plenty of other high-quality college arms
with more polish and more success. But Nationals GM Mike Rizzo loves
power arms, so Meyer is very much in their mix.
Jeff (North Carolina): Who do the o's take with the 4th pick? Dylan Bundy in the mix, despite his huge demands?
I've been hearing the Orioles would prefer a
college pitcher. I don't think the demands matter much, because they're
so high (six years, $30 million) that clubs don't believe they're close
to realistic. They'd love a shot at Danny Hultzen.
Chris (DC): Jim, Who would you predict to be the first player from this draft class to reach the majors?
Trevor Bauer. Though if a team uses John
Stilson or Andrew Chafin as a reliever, they could get there first. Same
with Sonny Gray, but he won't be put in the bullpen immediately.
Greg (Cincy): Why wouldn't Dylan Bundy be selected 1-1?
On talent considerations alone, he has a
case. I wouldn't argue with that pick. But teams at the top of the draft
are picking there for a reason, and I'd be shocked if the Pirates used
the No. 1 overall pick on a high school arm when they need immediate
help. (Not that I ever advocated drafting for need at the top of the
draft.) No HS righthander ever has gone No. 1, but I would be tempted by
Bundy. Personally, unless the medical report on his shoulder was scary,
I'd take Rendon. But it's also hard to use the top pick on a guy who's
not at his best.
Jeff Sullivan (Belchertown MA): Do you think the red sox take a catcher at 19 or 26? If all are available, do they take Swihart, Hedges, or Susac?
I believe it's more likely they'll take
Swihart or Hedges than Susac. Those two HS catchers are not going to
sign for close to slot, and while the Red Sox are as aggressive as any
team in the draft, they generally don't go way over slot in the first
round. We'll have to see.
Greg (Cincy): Do you expect Arizona to take the best players available with picks 3 and 7?
Yes, I do. Every indication is that talent will be the only consideration with the unprotected No. 7 pick.
John (Simpsonville, SC): What kind of ceiling do you see for Vandy RHP Sonny Gray?
He's not big, but I still see him as a
starter, potential No. 2. He'll show you some No. 1 starter stuff, but
the command isn't of the same quality.
Sean Rooney (California): Any chance Hawaii's Kolten Wong slips out of the back end of the second round? If so what team would you see as a good fit?
No chance. I think he'll go before the end
of the first round, and if not, he'll be an early sandwich pick. He's
one of the best hitters in the draft, profiles well as an offensive
second baseman, very good instincts and makeup too.
Roger (Greenville, SC): What's your over/under on how many 2011 draftees make the BA top 100 in the winter?
Off the top of my head, I think the average
is around 15 or so in a typical year. With the depth of this draft,
plus the fact that I think talent in the minors is a little down, I
could see 20 2011 draftees on the 2012 Top 100.
Billy (North America): What kind of
Major-League bat does Alex Dickerson project to be? Assuming he can play
Dunn/Gomes type LF would be a good fit at 27?
It's one of the better bats in the draft.
With his strength, swing and approach, he projects as a plus hitter with
average to plus power. A lot of teams question whether he'll be able to
play left field, so I see him more as a sandwich pick than a
first-rounder, probably to an AL team.
John (Ashburn, VA): Jim: Levi Michael v. Brad
Miller. The draft boards have Michael going in the first round, yet,
Miller's numbers are comparable (if not better). Your thoughts on the
The main reason Michael will go in the
first round and Miller will go in the second or third is that Michael
has a chance to play shortstop in the majors, while Miller is more of an
offensive second baseman. Michael's tools and athleticism are a little
@Jaypers413 (IL): So, who do you see being this year's version of Hayden Simpson? You gotta prepare us for these types of happenings, Jim.
If I knew who it was, it wouldn't be a
Simpsonesque surprise! Right now, the most surprising name in the first
round is Larry Greene. A handful of teams are on him and he has big raw
power, while other clubs say the emphasis should be on "raw."
Charles (Bloomington, IN): Alex Dickerson - A left-handed Billy Butler? Is that a good comp for his ceiling??
Yeah, that's pretty fair.
Dave (Houston): Ive seen some mocks where Jed
Bradley or bundy fall to houston pick, do you think that either will
last that long, and do you think houstons change in ownership could have
an effect on draft spending this year for the Astros?
I don't think Bundy will get past the first
5-7 picks. There are eight college pitchers who could go in the top 10
picks, so some will get squeezed out. I'd still be surprised if Bradley
got to the 11th choice, as he's the second-best lefthander. I don't
think the change of ownership will affect Houston's draft, at least not
in 2011. Scouting director Bobby Heck has been allowed to worry about
talent more than signability, and I expect that to continue.
Tim (Lilburn, Ga): How far will Zach Cone drop after his lack luster summer in the Cape and down 2011 season at UGA
I still think there's a good chance that
someone bites on the superb athleticism in the first two or three
rounds. He might be the best all-around athlete in college baseball,
though that hasn't translated to performance.
J.D. (Everson, PA): Thanks for the chat Jim. I
have a feeling the Pirates will end up picking Hultzen. How does he
compare to Bryan Bullington? Would they be better off with Bundy or
People don't remember this, because then-GM
David Littlefield called Bullington a No. 3 starter on draft day, but
Bullington was as good as any prospect not named Upton in that 2002
draft. He had a 92-96 mph fastball, a hard slider, good command and a
good frame. We ranked Bullington as the third-best prospect that year
(behind Upton and Kazmir), and we have Hultzen as the third-best this
year. If Rendon and Cole were at their best, to me, I'd take them over
Hultzen. But it's hard to use that No. 1 pick on someone not at their
best, so that puts Hultzen into the discussion. He has a little less
velo and size than Bullington, but he's a lefty who had more polish and a
G (Boston): Hey Jim, it's a great time of year.
Do you think the team that drafts Purke makes him pitch at the Cape,
similar to Ranaudo last year?
It is a great time of year. I enjoy it even
more once I have all of my Top 200 reports and state lists written! I
think it depends on how Purke looks down the stretch. He's going to
return tomorrow. If he pitches well through the postseason (he'll have
at least three more starts), a team may prefer that he not pitch more
during the summer. His entire situation is very fluid. Even if he
immediately returns to what he was last year, clubs are worried about
Matt (Pittsburgh): Hi Jim, what are the odds
that the Pirates surprise everyone and take Bauer #1? Would that be an
extreme overdraft? It's hard to ignore his dominance. Thanks!
I wouldn't call it an extreme overdraft, but I'm not hearing Bauer in Pittsburgh's mix.
Pious Pirate (Praying): If I took Jed Bradley #1, how crazy would I be?
ps. Anything new on Rendon?
Thanks. (And I appreciate all the coverage!)
A little crazy. I like Bradley a lot, but
we have him at No. 7 on our in-progress Top 200, and he shouldn't be the
top overall pick. Nothing new on Rendon—teams still waiting to see the
Wessel Brocken (the Netherlands): Best 5 lefties in the draft in this order:
Hultzen, Bradley, Norris, Anderson, Osich?
Matt Purke (if healthy), Henry Owens and
Andrew Chafin are in that discussion, but that's a good list. Your top
four are our top four on our latest version of the Top 200. By the way,
we'll post the Top 200 next Tuesday, I believe.
Neil (TCU): With the potential for a hard
slotting system in the upcoming CBA, does Purke really have much
leverage in coming back to the Frogs for his junior year?
Sure. Let's say Purke looks good but not as
good as he did last year, and there are signability concerns. He goes
in the 20-40 range, and someone offers him $2.5 million, banking that
he'll bounce back and giving him some credit for extra leverage as a
sophomore. That would be a pretty good offer, right? But if he comes
back and goes No. 1 in 2012, which a healthy Purke could do, he'd get
more than $2.5 million. I don't buy that the likelihood of a hard
slotting system takes leverage from players. It only really takes it
from guys at the top of the draft who can't go much higher.
Navin (Pasadena, CA): Lindor and Starling seem like the most popular choices for the Cubs. If they are gone at 9, who do the Cubs consider?
One of the college pitchers. They drafted Sonny Gray out of high school. They have some interest in Alex Meyer.
Bret (Toronto): What kind of player as a whole do you see Cory Spangenberg becoming? What kind of hitter? What position does he end up at?
He has one of the most intriguing bats in
the draft. The position is the big question. Might not stick in the
infield but could hit enough to play an outfield corner. Center field is
probably a stretch.
Wessel Brocken (the Netherlands): Best SS after Lindor. Baez, Lopes or Levi Michael?
Michael. I like Baez' offensive upside
more, but it doesn't sound like he's going to stay at SS. Michael has a
chance too. Lopes' stock has dipped, he's not in the same class.
Matt (SC): Where do you see Taylor Guerrieri going? And do you think he will sign or go to USC?
I think he goes in the 11-20 range, and if
he goes that high, he won't be a Gamecock. Archie Bradley has a little
more momentum and may have passed him as the No. 2 HS pitcher behind
Bundy, but Guerrieri has one of the most electric arms in the draft.
Peter (San Diego): Padres pick 10th for not
signing Karsten Whitson. If Whitson were available this year, would he
be a top 10 pick? I do not think he would because there seems to be a
lot of talent available.
He wouldn't, because this is a deeper
draft. So if the Padres sign a legitimate top-10 talent, they'll come
out ahead. And if they get a college guy, they may get someone who
reaches San Diego before Whitson would have.
Steve (Kansas City, MO): A lot of people are
saying Royals are going with a college pitcher. Dayton Moore fooled
everyone with his pick last year. Any chance he does that again?
I keep hearing college pitcher. I know
Royals fans want to hear they're taking Kansas product Bubba Starling,
but I keep hearing college arm. I wouldn't say Moore fooled everyone.
They never had a predraft deal with Grandal, contrary to what was
reported. I think the Royals thought (like most clubs) that there was a
dropoff from No. 3 to No. 4, they had no strong preference, and they
were going to take a guy they liked who would sign for slot. That wound
up being Colon.
Doug (Homer City,Pa): Is the fact that Pedro
Alvarez has been struggling, going to influence the Pirates at the
number 1 spot. I just see Pedro as more of a 1B, thus pointing us in
the direction of Anthony Rendon. I get the idea of stockpiling
pitching, but currently the Pirates needs bats, and Rendon isn't that
far away from the Majors....your thoughts?
Alvarez won't affect the pick, and I agree,
I think he's more of a first baseman anyway. The Pirates will take
whomever they believe to be the best player available.
Nick (Wisconsin): Surprised to see Comer in the
3rd/4th Round range on your pitcher breakdown (posted today). Stuff
from earlier this year fallen off? Seemed like a sure fire sandwich guy
as of late April.
He's been a little inconsistent this
spring, and it's a deep draft. I don't think he was ever a surefire
sandwich guy, though. The sandwich round runs through pick 60, and it's
probably fair to say that nearly everyone on the upper half of our Top
200 has a ceiling of going in the sandwich round.
Dan (Maine): Hi Jim. There has been some
speculation that clubs will spend way more than normal due to the
upcoming CBA changes. Do you see any signs of this actually happening?
What do you think will happen?
Yes, I do. MLB never sees it that way,
always thinks its latest changes (or impending changes, such as likely
hard slotting in the next CBA) will give teams the upper hand. But in
the end, it comes down to this: teams crave talent, and will pay for it.
Hard slotting will make it difficult to sign top high school prospects
outside of the first couple of rounds, and teams are going to try to
grab as much talent this year before that happens.
Tom (Buffalo): How does Bubba Starling compare
to Donovan Tate, the last ultra athletic prep position player to come
out? Who was more raw? Will Tate's slow adjustment to pro ball scare
teams away from Starling?
Starling, like most high schoolers, is raw,
and he faced worse competition in Kansas than Tate did in Georgia.
However, there were more questions about Tate's bat than there are about
Starling's. They're some risk with Starling, but also high reward. I
think he may go in the 6-15 range rather than the top five, but Tate
isn't scaring people away from Starling.
Jake (Bellevue): Jim- Any real chance Mariners
take Lindor at #2? I feel like they've missed on too many first rounders
(Clement, Fields, Aumont, etc.) that they need to take BPA and from
what i've read, that would be Rendon or Cole.
I think they're going to take Rendon. I
believe Seattle prefers a bat, so if Rendon does go No. 1, they could
take Lindor or Starling at No. 2.
J (Mesa, AZ): How does Bubba Starling compare with Jason Heyward back when he was coming out of High School?
Starling is a better athlete, Heyward a better hitter, it's not a real great comp.
Alex D. (Milk Bar): With the big upside but
risky profile, wouldn't Meyer make a ton of sense for Arizona at #7 —
especially if paired with Hultzen at #3?
Not for me. If it were just a draft of
college pitchers, Meyer to me would be the eighth pick in the draft.
There's a lot of other college arm upside with less risk available at
No. 7. And I'd pounce on Bundy if he's still there.
The draft phone is ringing off the hook, so
I need to go attend to that. Sorry I couldn't get to more questions,
but try me with long questions at firstname.lastname@example.org (include
name and hometown, and your question might make the cut for next
Monday's column) or shorter ones at Twitter at @jimcallisba. Thanks!