Post-Draft Chat With Jim Callis
Hi, everyone. Lots of draft excitement and draft questions, so let's get started a few minutes early . . .
@Jaypers413 (IL): Good afternoon, Jim. Hope you
finally got some sleep. I was curious about the Rays' drafting
strategy, specifically when they grabbed Harris, Hager, Ames and Snell
quite higher than many predicted. Was this a budgetary decision only, or
are they really that bullish on them?
Probably some of each. The Rays are going
to be close to a draft record if they pay slot bonuses on all of their
picks, so I guess they were trying to be judicious. They obviously like
all of the guys they took, and being able to sign them relatively easily
is a bonus.
Nate (Washington): So, I know you had Rendon
#1, but how telling is it that both SEA and PIT - let alone the three
teams that follow - couldn't pull the trigger?
I don't think it was that surprising. There
were six players who stood in a group above everyone else in this
draft: Rendon, Bundy, Bauer, Cole, Hultzen, Starling. That's the order I
would have taken them in. But it's hard to take Rendon when he's not
100 percent physically and when the only medical records you get are
what the player and adviser are willing to give you. I understand that. I
still think Rendon will be the best player from this draft in the long
Jeff (Toronto): Thoughts on Jays draft overall?
I love how aggressive they are. That's what
smaller-revenue teams should be doing. Going after guys like Tyler
Beede and Daniel Norris, who are highly talented but difficult to sign,
is a way a team like the Jays can make up ground on the Red Sox, Yankees
Ben (Leland Grove): Percent chance Josh Bell becomes a Pirate?
Pretty small. His mother really wants him
to college and he's virtually unsignable. I love the pick, though. Bell
is the best high school hitter in the draft and would have been a
mid-first-rounder on talent alone. That's much better than you're
usually going to get with the 61st overall pick. If you sign him, that's
a coup. If you don't, you get the 62nd pick in 2012. I'd take that
gamble every time.
Grant (NYC): I was surprised to see Derek Fisher fall as far as he did. Is this an omen that he's not signing?
He was asking for first-round money and was
a second-round talent, so that's why he slid to sixth. The Rangers love
athletes and are willing to spend, so I wouldn't give up hope.
Tyler (Harrodsburg, KY): Jim, great job during
the Draft coverage. What do you think the chances are that the Red Sox
lock up there first 4 picks Barnes, Swihart, Owens, and Bradley. Of the
4, who is the most likely NOT to sign. Thanks
Boston isn't afraid to spend on the draft,
so I think there's a good chance they sign all four of those guys. The
only one who's in doubt is Swihart, who's strongly committed to the
University of Texas, but the Red Sox will take their best shot. If he
doesn't sign, I don't think it will be over money.
Tyler (Harrodsburg, Ky): Did the Nationals just
steal the draft? First they get Strasburg, then they get Harper, now
Rendon who if healthy, could very well be on the same level is Harper.
And the beautiful thing is that Rendon practically fell into their lap.
I'm thinking along the same lines. I
understand why Rendon slid to 6, as mentioned earlier, but the Nationals
may have gotten the best player in the draft for the third straight
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): What is the ceiling for Reds 1st Pick Robert Stephenson?
Frontline starter. 93-95 fastball, good curveball, good command.
Bret (Toronto): Do you think the Blue Jays get
Daniel Norris signed? I know he'll be expensive, but I don't remember
hearing a lot of questions about him actually signing before the draft.
I've heard that the asking price is as high
as $4 million, but I don't think Toronto would have taken him in the
second round if it didn't think it would get him signed. Could be a
similar deal to Stetson Allie last year, who had the same adviser
(Hendricks Sports Management), dropped out of the first round and got
paid handsomely ($2.25 million) in the second round.
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Could Reds 5th rd pick
Ryan Wright be a candidate to get fast tracked with Brandon Phillips
contract up after the 2012 season (assuming the Reds pick up his option
Yes. I thought that was a nice grab in the
fifth round. The Reds also have some nearly-ready middle infielders in
Chris Valaika and Zack Cozart, so they don't have to rush Wright.
Sam (Texas): Rangers fans have looking to
brighten up the draft results have been including Leonys Martin in the
draft day haul. Where would have Martin been taken if he was included in
Somewhere in the middle of the first round.
Lane (Skokie, IL): Im a big Cubs fan and wanted to know how signable Garrett Schlecht is.
I think he'll sign. I cover the Midwest
states for the draft, and he has the best combination of ability and
signability among Illinois prep prospects this year.
Joe (CT): From a pure talent standpoint (signability aside) what are your thoughts on the Mets draft as a whole?
I like the way the Mets came out and went
after upside. They loved Brandon Nimmo and grabbed him at 13, or else
someone would have taken him at the bottom of the first round. Michael
Fulmer got overshadowed by Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley in Oklahoma
this spring, but he has a quality arm. If they sign Phillip Evans (15th
round) and Mason Robbins (20th), that would be a nice coup.
Jake T (Montreal): What do you think of the Nats grabbing Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin and Purke? Which one is closest to the majors?
Impressive haul of talent, to be sure. They
got a guy I thought was the best in the draft with the No. 6 pick
(Rendon), a guy at No. 23 they would have considered at No. 6 (Meyer),
one of the best athletes available (Goodwin) and a guy who entered the
year as the third-rated prospect in the whole draft (Purke). My gut feel
is that they won't sign Purke, but they'll still have had a very good
Wes (Louisiana): How good do you think George Springer will be? Overall how would you rate the Astros draft?
Springer kind of reminds me of Drew Stubbs,
who came out of college as a fabulous athlete who people wondered if
he'd hit enough. Stubbs has turned out just fine, and I think Springer
will too. The Astros followed Springer up with a pair of raw power arms
in Adrian Houser and Jack Armstrong Jr. Billy Flamion could be a great
value if they can sign him in the 25th round. Interesting to see them
redraft Chase Davidson in the 41st round after taking him in the third
round three years ago.
Buck (St. Louis, MO): Thoughts on the Cardinals
draft? They went the safe route with Wong in the 1st but then went
with 3 raw, HS athletes in the 2nd-4th rounds. Looking back through
history it seems like the least successful group in the draft is raw, HS
Yeah, but you can hit big with raw high
school athletes, too. I wouldn't look at these guys as safe or risky.
Kolten Wong went where he should have gone, an offensive second baseman
who's a solid runner and defender. Charlie Tilson and C.J. McElroy are
speed/leadoff/center field types. I thought getting Lance Jeffries in
the 10th round was a steal.
Mike (St. Louis, MO): Why did Josh Osich fall
so far? Will he go back to OSU and try to improve his breaking ball and
show he is healthy? Seems like he could go top 2 rounds if he does
those two things.
His velocity dropped to the mid-80s in his
last two outings, making teams fear he was having further arm problems.
His signability depends on how good he looks when he throws this summer.
Navin (Pasadena, CA): As always, thanks for the
chat. I was wondering what your opinon was on the Cubs' draft. There
seems to be far more HS kids and kids with signabilty questions than in
Tim Wilken's previous Cubs drafts.
Tim isn't afraid to take on some risk to
get some upside. Javier Baez had the best bat speed in the entire draft,
and there were a number of clubs on him from 11-20. Dan Vogelbach
doesn't have a classic build, but he has more power than almost anyone
in the draft. I thought they stole Tony Zych in the fourth round. The
Cubs have a deep farm system steadily producing talent, so they can
afford to be patient with the high school kids.
Jim (Iowa City): Who do you think will be the
first first rounder to sign? Who do you think is the most likely first
rounder not to sign, and is it more likely this year that every first
rounder will sign?
I bet Padres 3B Cory Spangenberg is the
first first-rounder to sign, though I think his talent was the primary
motivation behind San Diego taking him 10th overall. The most likely not
to sign is Blake Swihart, though I think there's a good chance the Red
Sox get that deal done.
Paul (Joplin, MO): What would you cite as the
top reason as to why Rendon slipped the way he did? Because he wasn't
playing the field this year, did teams "forget" what a great glove he
has? Or did he not display enough power with the new bats to project as a
stereotypical third baseman?
I just think it's hard to invest a
super-high pick and somewhere in the neighborhood of $7.5 million in
someone who's not completely healthy, especially when you can't have
your doctors examine him to know exactly what's going on.
Jeremiah (Minneapolis): What's the ETA for Levi Michael in Minneapolis? Can he stick at SS? The Twins certainly need the the help sooner than later.
He's a couple of years away. He can stick
at shortstop but isn't a lock to do so, and usually when we say that
about a guy as an amateur, he winds up moving to second base.
Lloyd (Lakewood): Hi Jim,
Bigger surprise, Hultzen at 2 or Rendon at 6, or did one cause the other?
Hultzen at 2. Never saw that coming,
thought the Mariners would take a bat (Lindor, Starling) even if it
wasn't Rendon. Wasn't surprised by Rendon. Teams 3-4-5 were locked in on
pitchers and Rendon wasn't completely healthy.
Ben (Lenexa, KS): Of all the picks in the top ten, does Bubba Starling have the greatest superstar potential?
I think he has the highest ceiling of
anyone in the draft, though he comes with risk too. He's a high school
player who hasn't faced much competition in Kansas. He was part of that
top tier of six players I mentioned toward the top of the chat, and
definitely the riskiest of the bunch.
Casey (Hawaii): Did the Twins want Levi Michaels at 30 or did every player they wanted get snatched up before hand?
I know they were looking at lefthanders,
but I don't think they expected Michael to get to them at 30 and were
pleasantly surprised. Michael was banged up and not at his best, which
helped him get there.
Jheremy (Agawam, Mass): Gotta love the Sox
draft..Barnes falling to them was a bonus and were able to nab some
bigger names later on..Who do you think will be the toughest signs for
them, obv. Swihart being ones of the harder ones. And how do you compare
their draft in terms of quality with the rest of the teams? Thanks
The Red Sox were their usual aggressive
selves. I agree, they wanted a college pitcher to fall to them and got
Barnes. I thought they drafted as many quality players as any club,
which his nothing new. Now they have to sign a few of Swihart, Kukuk,
Golson, Gossett, Spalding, Gaines—those are their toughest signs.
Nick (Connecticut): In your opinion who will be
the Yankees best player from this draft in the majors? Were you a
little disappointed in their draft? Love the chats Jim, thanks a lot.
I always think the Yankees could be a lot
more aggressive in the draft than they choose to be. I guess I like
Dante Bichette Jr. the most of their picks, but I didn't see him as a
sandwich-rounder. Sam Stafford has impressive lefty stuff but doesn't
really harness it, and I was surprised he went in the second round.
Raif (TX): How much earlier do you believe John
Stilson would have went if not for the late season injury? And do you
think there's any chance he will come back to A&M next year to
improve his draft stock or will he most likely sign w/ the Jays?
Stilson would have gone somewhere in the
second half of the first round if he hadn't injured his shoulder.
There's word now the shoulder may not be as bad as initially feared, and
if he can throw this summer, I bet he signs.
Ricky (FL): Wait, the Pirates don't lose a pick for not signing Bell? For how long into the draft does that apply? First 3 rounds? More?
If you don't sign a pick in the first two
rounds, you get the choice after that pick in the next draft. If you
don't sign a pick in third round, you get a choice after the third round
in the next draft.
Tman (Camden): what are your thoughts and
beliefs on why Nicky delmonico and dillon maples both dropping as far as
they did, especially Maples? is this strictly on signability or is
there something else in play on these guys?
thanks for the chat as always!!!
Strictly signability on Maples, who has a
prestigious academic scholarship to attend North Carolina. On Delmonico,
he had back issues and didn't have a great senior year, and when he
slid his signability became more in question. Think there's a better
chance he signs than Maples does . . . This just in from Nathan Rode.
I'm confusing Maples with another UNC recruit about the academic
scholarship. But my main point remains, if he went that low, he's not
Matt (KC): If the rule 4 draft is the biggest
bargain as far as acquiring amateur talent, why are some clubs willing
to spend big on international free agents like Chapman and Leonys
Martin, but unwilling to splurge and spend 20 million in a single draft.
Wouldn't you rather have Josh Bell for 7 million than Martin for 14?
I agree with you, Matt. Not sure you're
going to get Josh Bell for $7 million, but I'd rather have him at that
price than Martin at $14 million. I do like Martin, though, but I'll
take two Josh Bells for that price.
Rhyan (Kansas City): Can Bubba Starling stick
at center? I don't see many 6'5" 200# guys running around out there in
the majors. I'm also wondering how much it will take to sign him?
He can fly and will stay in center field. He will sign at about 11:55 pm ET on Aug. 15 and not a minute before.
Brandon (San Diego): Daniel Camarena fell
pretty far (3-5 round talent, drafted in the 20th). Is there an injury
we don't know about? Or is his commitment to San Diego scaring teams off
(similar to Kris Bryant last year)?
When guys fall that far, it almost always means they'll be impossible to sign.
Albert R. (Whitter, CA): What are your thoughts
on the Angels' drafting C.J. Cron? Does he have the skill set to move
to outfield given that he is blocked by Kendrys Morales at 1st and the
reluctance of many teams to DH young players? What type of hitter does
he project to be?
Cron should hit for average with at least
plus power. He's a first baseman only, don't see any chance of him
playing left field.
Casey (Oxford, MS): What are you thoughts on
the chances of Senquez Golson signing with Boston or will he go to
college? He has stated in interviews that he wants around $1 million
and plans to enroll in summer school in a few weeks if he doesn't sign
by then. As an Ole Miss fan do I have hope that he will be in school?
I'd be worried about the Red Sox. They
generally sign their top targets, and Golson is one of them. Ask Auburn
about former football recruit Brandon Jacobs.
Brad (MO): After Bubba which Royal draftee has the highest ceiling?
Cam Gallagher, if he can stick at catcher.
Nate (Maryland): Which braves draftee do you like the most from a pure hitting standpoint?
Blinn JC catcher Nick DeSantiago, who they got in the fifth round, may be the best pure hitter in Atlanta's draft crop.
Travis (Sherman Oaks): What would you say caused SF Giants Ricky Oropesa to fall to the 3rd round after being hyped as a possible First Rounder?
I don't know who hyped him as a
first-rounder. Oropesa has a lot of power, but it comes with a lot of
strikeouts and he's limited to first base. We thought he was a a
Brian (Chicago, IL): Wait, I think there's some
confusion. If the Pirates don't sign Bell, do they get the 2nd pick of
the 2nd round or the 62nd overall pick? Those may well be different
picks next year.
They get the 62nd pick next year if they don't sign Bell.
A.J. (Las Vegas): Are the Diamondbacks taking a
big risk picking Bradley with their unprotected pick? Was he ranked
that much higher than some of the players with less signing leverage?
I don't think so, because they wouldn't
have taken him there if they weren't prepared to pay him handsomely.
Because he's a two-sport guy, they can spread his bonus over five years,
which helps. Kudos to the Diamondbacks for taking the best talent and
not going cheap.
Trey Hickman (West Blocton, Alabama): How
seriously did the Royals consider taking a college arm at No. 5 overall
while they were operating under the assumption that hometown stud Bubba
Starling would still be available at that spot?
They wanted an advanced arm at No. 5. That
was their priority. If Cole, Hultzen, Bauer or Bundy hadn't gone in the
first four picks, the Royals would have chosen a pitcher.
bobby (arizona): if you could die from talking about the draft, you'd be dead at least 3 times. right?
Yes. And I've got to go do a radio show and
a podcast, so I much run. If you have a question I didn't get to, you
can try submitting it to firstname.lastname@example.org (include full name
and hometown) for our weekly Ask BA column. You can also try to hit me
up at Twitter (@jimcallisBA). Once I recover from my post-draft
hangover, I should be my usual active self again on Twitter.