Prospects and Draft Chat with Jim Callis
Jim Callis will answer your questions beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
Hi, everyone. Never dreamed we'd have this
many signings to talk about a week after the draft, but not complaining.
Let's get to it . . .
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): With all the quick
signings will high school players drafted high but not top 30, like
Jesse Winker and Tanner Rahier for the Reds, have a better chance of
starting next year in A ball?
Yes. That was one of the reasons teams
wanted an earlier signing deadline, so that high school players would be
better prepared for their first full pro seasons.
Gerry (Philly): Dylan Cozens wasn't highly
rated at all but the Phils LOVE his upside. In fact, Amaro was
downright giddy in his praise. Why wasn't he highly rated? What is his
I think a lot of teams weren't on him
because of questions surrounding why he switched high schools and had to
sit out a year. But he sounds like a high-upside athlete, exactly the
type of guy whom the Phillies love to draft. Big power potential, and
Kyle (Seattle): I'm concerned about the
Mariners bonus pool. Went $500K over slot for DeCarlo and a reported
$480K over for Pike. Where are the savings going to come from? The
need to come in an additional $420 under on the remaining picks to avoid
Using our handy bonus pool calculator
(http://www.baseballamerica.com/draftdb/2012pool.php), let's take a look
. . . I think they'll be fine. Don't forget they can go $400k over
without losing a draft pick. So right now, they're still $40k ahead.
Even if they fall back after signing Pike, Michael Zunino will come in
under $5.2 million and the Marines should be fine.
Patrick (Fort Wayne, In): Jim, did the Cubs
draft Rhett Wiseman in the 25th round as a back up plan in case Almora
is not signed? Or, do you think the Cubs will seriously consider
signing Wiseman along with Almora? Can you give a sleeper pick in the
Not really, because if Almora doesn't sign,
his $3.25 million disappears from their draft pool. That said, I don't
see how Almora will turn down a bonus in the neighborhood of $3 million.
I think Wiseman is a totally separate consideration, albeit one who
fell because he's going to be a very tough sign. We don't know how much
the Cubs will have to play with because they haven't officially signed
any of their first 10 picks, but they might be able to scrape up $1
million and make a run at Wiseman if they want.
Greg (Fullerton, CA): Seems like guys are signing much quicker this year- any idea how that will play into their timetable in reaching the bigs?
I don't think it will make a huge
difference in most cases, but the teams and the players are glad they're
getting out and playing. Under the old system, where MLB tried to keep
big bonuses top secret, Joey Gallo wouldn't have officially signed with
the Rangers until Aug. 15. These days, he gets two more months of
at-bats to get him ready for his first full season.
ttnorm (CT): If I somehow forced you to slap a Prospect Handbook grade on the top 3 picks, what would they be?
It's hard not to compare Buxton to Bubba
Starling, so I'd give him the same 75/Extreme we slapped on Bubba. I'd
go 65/Extreme on Correa and 60/High or 55/Medium on Zunino.
Update two minutes later: Make that a 65/High on Correa. This is making
my head hurt, thinking of how we cranked out 900 grades for the
Wes (Louisiana): Where does Correa rank among all SS prospects in baseball?
I'd put him behind Profar and Machado and
on the same level as Lindor. This comes from someone who sees Hamilton
and Baez moving off shortstop eventually.
aj schied (rochester, ny): once/if lucas
giolito is signed, where can we expect him to go? gcl, auburn etc.? even
if hes not pitching, would they still send him somewhere to gain
experience on minor league life?
My guess is that the Nationals would just work on getting him healthy and probably send him to their training complex.
Joe D (Everson, PA): Jim, thanks for the chat.
To date the Pirates have only signed 2 picks. Have you heard any
reasons why they have been so slow? I understand Appel will go down to
Teams just move at different paces on
signings. I think almost all the teams have a pretty good idea of what
it will take to sign almost all of their picks in the first 10 rounds,
and a lot of those deals await only some dotting of i's and crossing of
t's. I'd expect the Pirates to announce several signings by the end of
ttnorm (CT): In your last Ask BA, I was
surprised to see that you didn't have the Richie Shaffer in the
discussion for the Rays top prospect. Am I overrating Shaffer or
underrating Romero and Lee?
I like Shaffer and had some scouting
directors tell me he was the best college offensive prospect in this
draft. I just wouldn't put him ahead of Hak-Ju Lee at this point.
James (Florida): Higher upside CJ Cron or Miles Head?
Cron. I don't think Head can stay at third base and Cron has more upside with the bat.
Jason (Austin): Why do you think we are seeing
so many high picks sign so early this year? I think going into the
August deadline last year less than 10 had signed, and already 13 from
this years 1st round have signed.
It's the new system. Teams thought the pick
values were higher than the worth of the players in the first round,
and they wanted to pin guys down on what they'd sign for so they could
plan their draft budgets around the assigned bonus pools. So most clubs
got players to agree to a specific number before the draft, which meant
afterward they just had to take physicals and finalize the deals.
Nate (Maryland): Are you reporting signing
bonuses for late rounders in the draft database? For instance, Connor
Lien was reported to have signed for $375,000, which would count 275k
against the braves bonus pool, but that money isn't reflected in the
amount under budget listed.
We report all bonuses in the first 10 rounds, and all six-figure bonuses afterward, but we confirm them before we post them.
Ty Buttrey (Charlotte, NC): Jim - first a
compliment - LOVE the Draft Database, especially tracking Bonus pool +/-
. I'm trying to project if the Sox are saving enough, in order to meet
my price, and keep me from going to Arkansas.
Please advise if I'm interpreting properly...Sox are currently 617K
under budget...have another 300K or so wiggle room, without incurring a
penalty...and my slot = 291K. That's about 1.2M that could be directed
to me, assuming Sox first five draftees sign at slot maximum.
You opinion on whether my accounting is right, and your opinion on
whether 1.2M is a good number for both sides, please.
(anyone else in those first five drafted ahead of me, that might take
less than slot?)
Fine use of the bonus pool calculator, Fake
Ty Buttrey! Your read is correct. I also suspect that 10th-rounder J.T.
Watkins' signing (don't have the bonus yet) added at least $100k of
room under the cap. Not sure if the Red Sox will save any more money in
front of you, but they should be able to pay you $1.3 million or so if
they want to.
Dan (Seattle): With the increase of college
seniors being selected in the draft, what are the chances some college
juniors just return to school again if they don't like the slot they
were drafted in and the money being offered? (i.e. Appel, Marrero)
No. There weren't more college seniors
drafted this year, just more drafted early because they have little
leverage and can be signed cheaply, which helps some teams get more out
of their bonus pools. The Pirates probably can offer Mark Appel $4
million this year without incurring a draft-pick penalty. It would be
hard for any college senior to command $4 million.
Helen (Denver): Who do you see from the 2012 MLB Draft in Baseball America's Top 50 Mid-Season Prospect List?
That list usually comes out right after the
Futures Game. In the past, we haven't included current year draftees.
Not sure if that will change because the signing deadline has been moved
up to the same time. Anyway, if we do include them, I'd say the first
eight picks (Correa, Buxton, Zunino, Gausman, Zimmer, Almora, Fried,
Appel) would be possibilities. I doubt we'll include all eight, though.
My over/under would be four, with Buxton and Correa locks.
Otab (Toronto): Hey Jim,
Great draft coverage. What did you think of the Jays draft? Where would
their system rank if they end up signing Matt Smoral and Marcus
I loved their draft and how aggressive they
were. The extra picks helped, sure, but they were also bold. I think
they'll get Stroman and Smoral when all is said and done. We ranked the
Jays system No. 5 coming into the season and I could see them ranking
No. 1 going into next year.
Sam Kemp (Easton, MD): How much do you think teams will go back and analyze other teams strategies with their bonus pools?
I think they'll go back and look at them,
but there won't be much new to see. There's not a lot of wiggle room
with the rules, so to create cap space, you had to load up on cheap
signs in rounds 6-10, which a lot of teams did.
Robert (Califirnia): Jim. Many teams drafted Jr
and Sr players in the top 10 rounds and signed them for very low
dollars in the 1-5K range. Money was surely saved on these draft picks,
but were the picks totally waisted and more importantly, what is the
future of the kids thinking they did great by being selected in the
first couple of rounds? Were they actually drafted on talent or did they
serve as scapegoats for securing money on other players?
Those picks were sacrificed to create money
to sign players who will command bonuses bigger than their pick values.
I think the cheap signs had to know what the deal was when they got
picked high. To be fair, these guys would have been drafted in the lower
rounds as gut-feel guys who area scouts believed in. They just got
pushed up so clubs could massage their bonus pools.
Matt (VA): Do you think the Nats will sign Giolito and if so where will they assign him?
I already answered the assignment question
earlier . . . I honestly have no idea what to expect on Giolito signing.
I can't see the Nationals forfeiting draft picks for him, so I think it
comes down to whether he'll sign in the neighborhood of $3 million. I
just don't know the answer to that question.
Joe (Denver): Where would you rank Dahl amongst the Rox' top prospects?
No. 3, behind Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story.
Dave (Chicago): Strength of the next years draft?
I think it's comparable to the 2012 crop,
which was below average. The college bats aren't anything special
(again), and I don't see pitchers to rival the Appel/Gausman/Zimmer
trio. There are some interesting high schoolers, but no one lights me up
like Buxton, Correa or a healthy Giolito do.
Kyle (Salem): How does Zunino compare to Grandal when he was drafted? Do you think Z will follow a similar time table?
I like him a little more offensively and
defensively than I liked Grandal at the same stage. I do see a similar
timetable, would expect Zunino in Seattle in late 2014/early 2015.
Muggsy (Minneapolis): Jim,
I'm thinking the cap in international signings this year will really
level that playing field and make it much more about scouting and
development over big money. Is that fair to say?
Ben Badler is our go-to guy on international matters, but I feel like I know enough to say "Yes" in response to this question.
Jake (Chicago, IL): Hi Jim, thanks for taking the time to chat today. What is a realistic ETA for Kyle Zimmer in the Majors?
The best college pitchers usually need at least a season in the minors, so I'd say early 2014 is the soonest realistic ETA.
Mark (Jonesborough, TN): Do you see Byron
Buxton being the Twins CF of the future and how quick do you project him
getting there? Also, where do you potentially see him starting out at?
I do, but he will need time to develop. I wouldn't expect him in Minnesota until mid-2015 at the earliest.
Andrew (Boston): Did the Twins do the best they
could in saving only a small amount in the bonus given to Buxton? I
hoped they could save more for other higher round players.
The Mariners would have gladly paid for the
right to draft Buxton at No. 3, so the re wasn't much the Twins could
do. With the biggest draft pool ($12.4 million) in baseball, they're not
going to have problems finding money to sign guys.
Josh (Lake Charles, LA): Thanks for the chat.
If you were the Astros, in what order would you try to sign these guys:
Ruiz, Virant, Hinojosa, and Traver? Which do you see signing?
Virant, Hinojosa, Ruiz, Traver. Traver
tweeted something yesterday about having surgery, so he's out of the
mix. Hinojosa is unsignable from everything I've heard. I think they
have a shot at at least one of Ruiz and Virant, and maybe they pull off
Dave (Walnut Creek): Did any teams other than the A's view Bruce Maxwell as a 2nd/3rd round talent? What's Maxwell's profile?
There were at least two other clubs on
Maxwell in the second round, so the A's had to take him there to make
sure they got him. He has a lot of lefthanded power, and he might be
able to catch. Pretty intriguing guy.
I have to run now, but thanks for all the great questions. See you next Wednesday!