Jim Callis Chat: May 23
I know you guys are geared up for the draft
when I enter the chat room and already have four full pages of
questions. Let's dive right in.
Marty (Orlando, FL): What is the best case for
Damion Carroll. It would be nice to see a player get drafted high that
did not go through all those tournaments.
So much in this draft will come down to
signability. Carroll, a Virginia HS righthander, has a big body and big
arm. Could see him as high as the third round.
Jack (New York,NY): How has Jeremy Rathjen rebounded from his knee injury last year? What round do you see him being taken?
Nicely. Maybe isn't quite the plus runner
he was yet, but it's more of a 55 vs. 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale,
nothing too bad. He has a solid package of tools and can play center
field. I think he goes around the fifth round . . . Which reminds me to
mention that as we roll out our Top 500 Prospects list (201-300 will go
up tomorrow), that's based on talent. Signability will be a huge factor
under the new rules, and college players like Rathjen will get selected a
little higher than we've ranked them.
Ben (Leland Grove): Who is the better pure defender between Marrero and Fontana?
Marrero, a true shortstop. Some teams
believe Fontana profiles better as a second baseman, though the team
that drafts him almost certainly will think he's staying at shortstop.
John (Hou): These "rumors" of Appel to Houston
seem like a joke to me. Appel isn't even the 2nd best player on
some/most people's board. Do you think Astros will end up going Buxton?
They're not a joke, and while Appel hasn't
always dominated like people have hoped, I'd take him over the other
college pitchers in this draft. It's close, but he has a better breaking
ball than Gausman and a better track record and maintains his velo
better than Zimmer. In this draft, Appel would be a worthy No. 1 pick,
though I'd take Buxton. You could argue for Gausman, Zimmer and Correa
too. As for your question . . . keep hearing college pitcher (Appel) for
Dave (Rochester): There has been a lot of buzz
in Minnesota about Rochester Century HS RHP Mitch Brown the University
of San Diego signee. I have seen him throw a few times. Very polished
for a high school pitcher. I have heard possible first round. Where
are you hearing he might fit in when it comes to the draft in June?
Scouts love him as a pitcher and a person.
The first round might be a little rich, and I think the best bet is that
the Twins grab him with a sandwich pick at 32 or 42. Teams know the
Twins like him, so if someone else wants him, they'll have to grab him
in the first.
thomas (Ohio): What is Trahan lacking? What is
his hit tool?
If the hit tool is there, why is he not ranked in the 11 2012 daftees
that should make the top 100 prospects list (ask BA recent assertion).
Isn't a lefthanded powerhittting C w/ speed and leadership skills a more
rare/valuable talent than, for instance, the SS's suggested for that
Is there an issue w/ his arm, behind the plate defense, or some other
factor that has over-hyped his status?
Thanks for the inside stuff on this, and the great reporting!
Thanks for the kind words, Thomas. We have a
nice team of five guys who are doing draftwork just about 24/7 this
time of year. The consensus is that Trahan won't stick behind the plate
and will wind up in right field. He's rough as a receiver.
James (Atl): Would the Astros be crazy to pass on Buxton? This kid has superstar potential.
I'd take him 1-1, but I wouldn't call the
Astros crazy if they passed on him. I don't think anyone has separated
themselves from the pack in this draft.
Chris (San Fran): If the Astros take Buxton will he immediately become the top prospect in the Astros organization over Singleton and Cosart?
Kyle (Dallas): If the 2012 Milb POY was picked today, who would get your vote?
Dylan Bundy. Would probably rank him No. 1 on my overall prospects list as well.
Matt (Kansas): If Buxton and the 3 college arms
(Gausman, Zimmer, and Appel) are gone where do the Royals go with the
5th pick? Do you see them going high school pitcher like Giolito or
McCullers or do they going position player?
In that scenario, I'd pick Zunino or
Correa. The Royals really need arms, so you might see McCullers or Wacha
or Stroman. Regarding Giolito, there are too many uncertainties about
his health and signability to know where he's going right now. No. 5
would be kind of high unless those questions get resolved.
Dwayne (Greensburg, PA): Hi Jim, thanks for the
chat. I thought that I had read after the CBA was finalized that MLB
was going to distribute 12 extra draft picks in the first and second
round to 10 teams that have the lowest revenues & worst records. Is
this going to happen, or did I misread this.
You read it correctly, but the
competitive-balance picks (which can be traded) won't come into play
until 2013, when the free-agent comp picks will be overhauled. There
will be six competitive-balance picks in the supplemental first round,
and six more in the supplemental second.
ScottAZ (Phx, AZ): Do you think there will be
any team that completely ignores the MLB draft cap and goes crazy and
picks up every player that fall giving guys like Alford, Winston, etc
No. I don't think any team will do anything
that would cost them a first-round pick, which happens if they exceed
their bonus pool by 5 percent.
Dwayne (Greensburg, PA): The Pirates paid Josh
Bell like a top 5 player last year even though he was the top pick in
the second round. I had never heard any reports that he was even
considered as one of the top 7 players who could have gone #1 overall.
Last years draft was obviously very deep, but where would he go in this
years draft if he were eligible. I'm just trying to gauge his true
He'd be a top 10 pick, battling Albert Almora to be the first high school outfielder selected.
mike (wyckoff,nj): Do you think MLB would allow
teams to pool the signing bonuses for the draft and international?
Seems like in a down year, teams might want to be able to shift money
Not in the rules, so not going to happen.
Richard Z (North Brunswick, NJ): All of the
mock drafts I've seen so far have the Orioles taking a college pitcher
(Gausman or Zimmer). Is that the general feeling?
Yes. Can't see them taking Zunino with
Wieters on hand. Correa would be tempting, but they have Machado. I
think a college arm will be the top guy on their board at No. 4.
Greg (the Buckeye state): Jim how does Wyatt Mathisen compare to Austin Hedges? How signable is Mathisen?
He'll go in the sandwich or second round
and be signable. Mathisen doesn't draw the defensive raves that Hedges
did, with some scouts calling Hedges the best high school catcher they
had seen in years. Mathisen is a strong defender though, and his bat is
more highly regarded than Hedges' was. Several teams had concerns about
how much Hedges would hit, and you don't hear that with Mathisen.
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Given that Joey Gallo's
mammoth raw power and big time arm, does his hit tool need that much
work that he isn't rated higher? And can he stick at 3B or is he
destined for a corner OF spot?
We might be a little low on Gallo (No. 33
on our draft prospects list). There are some concerns about his
propensity to swing and miss, but he has big-time power and a big-time
arm. I bet some team buys into the power in the second half of the first
round. He has a chance to stay at 3B but that's not a lock.
Greg (OHIO): So Anthony Alford has told teams
he's college bound - are "don't draft me" letters still an effective
strategy under the new CBA? Can teams still spread draft bonus over
multiple years for 2 sport athletes?
I don't think that's a ploy on Alford's
part. I think he's headed to Southern Miss to play football. You can
still spread a two-sport guy's bonus over as many as five years, but the
net present value of the total deal counts against the current year's
bonus pool. You can't spread that over the life of the deal.
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): If Raph Rhymes has one of
the better hit tools of any college bat in this draft, are his other
tools so average to bad that he can't rank higher? Isn't the hit tool
pretty important in baseball?
I wouldn't say he has one of the best hit
tools as much as I'd say he's having one of the best statistical seasons
among college position players. He'll go around the fifth round or so,
but he's a righthanded-hitting left fielder without another plus tool.
Artie (St Louis): When will the next Mock Draft for the First Round appear on the website?
Friday. I also wrote a column today for the
magazine about who the top 10 teams in the draft SHOULD take, and hope
to have that up as well on Friday.
Jason (Walnut Creek, CA): Seeing how they are
the worst hitting team in baseball, do you see the A's grabbing an
impact bat with their First Round pick? Which players have they been
tracking the most?
I do . . . could see them taking Texas HS
outfielder Courtney Hawkins. Also could see them taking an arm like
Fried or Stroman if they're on the board. Those guys would be hard to
Keith H (Oneida, NY): What players are being connected with the Braves in the early rounds? Thanks
The name I've heard most recently with Atlanta is Texas A&M outfielder Tyler Naquin.
RichW (New Jersey): Jackie Bradley has been
impressive in Salem. I know he's old for the league but he also was
well thought in last year's draft, dropping to the supplemental round
due to a wrist injury. Do you think this breakout is for real and if
so, what do you see as the projections for his bat and speed?
He's not a 1.068 OPS guy for real, but
Bradley can hit for a solid average and decent power while playing a
Gold Glove-caliber center field. He'll steal a few bases in the
majors—say 10-15 annually—but won't be prolific. He's good, just not
as good offensively as his numbers this year. I do like him.
Brett (KC): Do the Royals take Correa over a
college pitcher given the choice? Pitcher fills a more immediate need,
but Correa has tremendous upside with his Trout-esque birthday (17 year
I'm not sure Correa gets past the Mariners
at No. 3, and you could make a case that the Astros should take him No.
1. The Royals have such a need for pitching, though, that I think they
take one of the top three college arms (Appel, Gausman, Zunino) if they
get the opportunity.
Taylor (Houston): Any updates on Giolito?
Still the biggest wild card in the draft. No one has a definitive read on his healthy or signability right now.
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Is this hard slotting
system unfair to teams at the top in years like this where the top
talent may not be as worth as much as the top talent from the year
Puts them in a tough spot, though those
teams have a huge advantage if they can get their players to sign for
less than the assigned pick value. Then the club could spread that money
Dave S. (Staten Island, NY): Jim - Love your
work. I figure you've been asked this a lot but do you think KC will
bring up Myers anytime soon? He really seems to be putting it together
this season ! Als does Bundy end up in AA by July? thanks
I could see Myers up after the break. I
don't think the Royals are afraid to promote him but probably want to
see how he adjusts to playing center field in Triple-A. Bundy could
probably handle Double-A but I see the Orioles taking it slow with him
this year. Not sure he gets to Double-A.
Dennis (Chicago): If the Cubs cannot get one of the top 3 pitching prospects who do you think they will take?
Zunino, Almora or Correa.
Jack (Milwaukee): Adam Brett Walker II
(Jacksonville U) finished college career with lifetime numbers of -
.360 BA / .632 SLG% / .437 OBA / & 40 for 41 in SB. I can see a
team with multiple early picks taking a chance. The high reward
benefits would be worth the risk factor to me. Your thoughts on where
this Milwaukee slugger could end up?
Sandwich or second round. Has some of the best power in the draft, tempered by some swing and miss.
Andrew (Minnetonka, MN): I am a Twins fan, and
I'm hoping they take either Byron Buxton or Lucas Giolito at #2 in the
draft next month. Do you have an inkling on how they feel about them,
and the likelihood of either?
I think they like Buxton a lot but may be compelled to take a pitcher. I can't see Giolito going No. 2 with a bum elbow.
Senators Guy (at work): Hi Jim - simple
question: What part of Kevin Gausman's game is most lacking at this
point - meaning, what one improvement would have changed his draft
outlook from a top tier guy to the clear #1 pick?
If scouts felt better about his breaking ball.
Nick (Dayton, OH): With the Cincinnati Reds
having some good young pitching talent do you see them focusing on
position players early in the draft? Does anyone stand out to you that
might be on their radar?
Chris Buckley and Co. usually stick with
their board and take the best guy who gets to them rather than focusing
on a specific position. I keep hearing Clemson third baseman Richie
Shaffer mentioned with the Reds.
Rip (Colorado): Buxton 2012 v Beckham 2008,
comparisons to Upton brothers, and Beckham played against better
competition. What's the difference between these players as they were
scouted in high school?
Buxton is a better athlete with more power
potential at the plate. Reading their scouting reports at the time, I'd
take Buxton, and not just because Beckham hasn't panned out as expected.
Michael (Chicago): Jim, with the new CBA how
important is the role of the advisor in this years draft? Can they help
move kids up or increase their value? Does a family even need one
I actually think they're more important.
Advisers aren't going to increase a player's value, but an adviser who
knows where a player figures to go in the draft can help him go higher
in the draft (at a discount, but more than he would have gotten anyway.
Also, teams are saying that they have to know (not hope they know) what
guys are going to sign for, and having history with an adviser they can
trust will be huge.
Kyle (Ontario): What are your high end and low end projections for where Giolito will be selected?
If his elbow was deemed completely healthy
by the draft, he easily could be a top-five pick. If teams are worried
about his elbow and if his signability were a concern—let's say he
wouldn't come down from the $5 million or so he was set to make before
he got hurt—it's possible he wouldn't get drafted at all.
Dan (Houston, Texas): What round do you have Luke Moran and Shane Henderson from Grayson County College going in?
Moran in the 8th-12th round as a
righthander with a solid frame and an 89-92 mph fastball. Scouts have
cooled on Henderson. Maybe he factors into the 16th-20th round if he's
an easy sign.
Joe (St. Louis): Brian Goodwin or D.J. Davis?
Trying to get a better idea of this kids comps/tools. I saw that you
mentioned him at 19 as possible option for the Cardinals in your recent
I like Davis more, more athleticism and speed.
IQ (NJ): Patrick Kivlehan's come out of nowhere
to win Big East POY with huge huge numbers. Has he done enough to
warrant being a top 10 rounder?
I think so. There aren't a lot of quality
college bats in this draft, and while he's an older guy who played four
years of football at Rutgers, Kivlehan has performed and he has
attractive power, speed and athleticism.
Jack (Staten Island): Do you see the Mets at # 12 going with a position player (HS or college) or the best arm available?
I've heard mostly position guys like
Alabama HS outfielder David Dahl, Texas HS outfielder Courtney Hawkins
and Louisiana HS shortstop Garin Cecchini.
Andrew (Minnetonka, MN): Who's the biggest pure-power guy in this draft? Someone you envision hitting 30-40 homers once established in MLB.
brian (washington dc): Is it possible the Twins
work out a verbal agreement with one of the top 6 players before the
draft, like Correa for instance, at a reduced rate from pick #2 slot
money? Then they could use the saved money for a player who slides to
pick #32, like Giolito for instance, or somebody else.
Those type of deals will happen in the draft. Not sure how easy they will be to pull off at the top.
Eric (Lewisville, TX): Jim, I love the work you
and all the others at BA do.
What is the outlook for Taylore Cherry? He seems like a very intriguing
HS pitcher, but I haven't heard his name being discussed in the early
couple of rounds of the draft. Where do you see him being selected?
He had a terrible spring and we ranked him
as the 279th-best prospect available. He won't go high enough to get
signed away from North Carolina, and a lot of scouts speculate that he
won't be good enough to pitch for the Tar Heels.
Bill L (Bozeman, MT): Will signability issues
with top-shelf high school kids be clearer entering this year's draft,
or less clear, given the new CBA?
I don't know if they'll all be public, but
in most cases teams are going to either 1) nail down a kid's price tag
or 2) not take him. They're not going to gamble as much that they can
sign a player if they don't have great feel for what it will take.
Tyler (Harrodsburg, Ky): Does Jurickson Profar
or Trevor Bauer have any say in that #1 prospect ranking (currently) or
do you think Bundy is clearly above everyone else in the minors?
Sure they do. As of today, I'd take Bundy. Profar would be No. 2 on my list.
Smoltzy (Georgia): Do you think Naquin can play CF? Will he ever develop more power?
Those are the issues with Naquin, who has
as good a pure bat and outfield arm as any college player this year.
From what scouts tell me, center field might be a stretch and he's never
going to have a ton of power. Good player but could wind up as a
William (Pensacola, FL): Anyway Addison Russell sneaks into the Top 15 ?
Don't see it. He has helped himself this spring but fits in the bottom third of the first round.
Ed (San Diego): Are the Padres essentially going to draft whoever the Cubs dont take between Almora and Correa?
Don't rule out Max Fried.
Daniel (Goldsboro, NC): Who goes first - Wacha or Heany?
I'll say Wacha but it wouldn't surprise me at all if a team went for the lefty in Heaney. I really like both those guys.
Bill L (Bozeman, MT): Who do you prefer between Gausman and Zimmer?
Zimmer, but it's so close. As of right now,
I'd go Appel, Zimmer, Gausman. Ask me tomorrow, and I might have a
totally different order.
Scott (Regina): What would be the floor and ceiling for Buxton, Appel, and Zunino?
I assume we're talking about where they go in the draft. Buxton 1-6, Appel 1-6, Zunino 2-8.
Eric (Lewisville, TX): Nick Williams seems to
have big time tools but lacks the polish of other elite High School
players. Do you see him getting past the supplemental first round? and
what are the chances he becomes a Longhorn? Thanks.
Maybe the Rangers take him before the
second round, but I don't see him going that high. I think he'll be
wearing burnt orange in the fall.
Ryan (Houston): Is Buxton a really good baseball player, or just a great athlete who plays baseball?
Bret (Toronto): If Giolito wants $5M, and teams
at the very top are reluctant to draft him, could you see the Blue Jays
taking him at 17, and essentially punting (taking a very, easably
signable player) at 22?
The Blue Jays may have the easiest time
moving money around to accommodate Giolito. Could see that depending on
how they read his health.
Brad (Louisville, KY): Do you think MLB will
ever allow teams to trade top 3 round picks? I think it would be cool
to follow and helpful to move up or down since there are restrictions on
They're dipping their toe into that water
by allowing competitive-balance picks to be traded. If that doesn't lead
to unintended consequences, MLB could allow more choices to be traded.
Lunch beckons, then some first-round-projection phone calls and Top 500
writeups. So I've got to run, but I'll be back again next Wednesday.
Thanks for all the great questions. I'm just as enthused about the
impending draft as you guys are.