Prospects/Draft Chat With Jim Callis
Doug (Las Vegas): I noticed on Keith Law's
recent list that a kid named Matt Krook popped up as the number 17
prospect in the country. I haven't heard his name and the list did not
say a whole lot about him. Is he really a first round type of guy and
can you please tell us more? Thanks!
Hi, everyone. Glad to be back for the
regular Wednesday chats after a winter hiatus as we did our series of
Top 10 Prospects chats ... Matt Krook's stock is shooting through the
roof. He's a high school lefthander from California who looks like a
definite first-rounder, could be the first prep arm taken. Consistent
low-90s fastball, spins a tight curveball. I believe Conor Glassey will
have more on Krook in his next edition of Draft Tracker.
Diego Maradona (1986): Do you think Byron Buxton will hit above .250 in his full season debut?
Yes, not that it really matters either way.
Justin (Tucson, AZ): I'm hearing great things
about Carlos Sanchez with the White Sox. Comparisons to Jeter, Alomar
and Ventura have been written but I don't see him in Baseballamerica's
top 100 prospects list. He also isn't on MLB.com's top 100 list either.
Is this guy a legit prospect? Gordon Beckham hasn't met expectations so
I'm sure the south siders would consider him when he's ready, right? Is
he a legit prospect or just a future major leaguer?
Sanchez is a prospect but those comps are
insane. He's a slick-fielding middle infielder (probably a second
baseman), but I don't see much impact in the bat.
Vic (San Diego): Yasiel Puig - Are the numbers
legit? Presumably he gets sent down, but just how close do you think he
is, full year, half year, first injury to an OF away?
Spring-training stats mean next to nothing.
Even casting those aside, it's hard not to get excited about his
upside. He's a beast. I suspect we'll see him in Los Angeles at some
point this season, though Opening Day would surprise me.
Ben (Leland Grove): What are the odds of Jackie Bradley and Brandon Maurer breaking camp with their respective teams?
Both Bradley and Maurer have had strong
springs and are pushing to arrive in the big leagues ahead of schedule. I
don't know what odds to set, but if I had to bet, I'd guess both teams
will choose the more conservative route and start them in Triple-A.
Clubs are usually conservative, and keeping them in the minors for three
weeks would delay their free agency a year.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Do you see San Diego's Kris Bryant as a potential first rounder this June? How do his tools rank on the 20-80 scale?
I think he's an easy first-rounder, could
be the first or second college bat drafted. I'd project him as 55 bat,
65 power, 45 run, 60 arm, 40 defender at 3B, 50 defender in RF.
Eric (Miami FL): There's been talk of Yelich actually breaking camp with the Marlins. How realistic is this?
Can't see it. He's a gifted hitter and
tremendous prospect, but there's no reason for the non-competitive
Marlins to bring him up before the all-star break. He also has yet to
play above high Class A, so there's absolutely no reason to rush him.
Harry (Boston, MA): Hey, Jim. Is Gerrit Cole a fair comp for up-and-coming Jon Gray, or is that too lofty?
Too lofty. I like Gray a lot and I think
he's a top-10 draft pick right now, but Cole showed a better and deeper
repertoire over a longer period of time. That said, the comparison isn't
crazy, which says a lot about Gray.
Toby Giovanetti (Boston MA): With Taveras
fielding, running and hitting so well, along with many other
prospects..Yelich, Puig, Baez, etc having such promising springs. My
question is I have personally downgraded Profars prospect status on my
"top 150" a couple notches..how about you?
Personally, I think it's foolish to adjust
prospect rankings based on spring-training performance. I'll buy an
argument that Tavares is better than Profar—you can make that case. But
if it's based on spring stats, no chance.
josh (st. louis): Did you see any of Wacha in spring training? Improved ceiling/floor for you?
Not personally, but the reports sounded
like the same Michael Wacha who everyone loved at Texas A&M. Very
polished, good fastball, very good changeup, impressive command, wish
the breaking ball was a little bit better. I said at the time I was
surprised he lasted 19 picks in the draft. He should have gone at the
top of the 11-20 range. His ceiling/floor haven't changed in my
eyes—they were strong to begin with and again, don't go crazy over
Joel (KCK): Could you rank these college pitchers? Rodon, Manaea, Gray, Anderson (Chris)
That would be my order. Of course, Rodon isn't draft-eligible until 2014.
Allen (IA): Any chance Tom Windle can get into the first round? He held his own in the matchup with Manaea last week.
I think Windle could sneak into the first
round but the sandwich round is more likely. There are a lot of quality
lefthanders in this draft, and his stuff is more average to solid than
plus. He pitched very well in the 2-1 loss to Manaea, though Windle did
have just one strikeout while going the distance.
Mike (Raleigh NC): Hi Jim,
Did I see you predicting the A's finishing 4th in 2013? How about a
little respect for a team that won the 94 games last year. Why so
pessimistic on the A's 2013 chances.
It's not disrespect. I think the Rangers
and Angels are both better than the Athletics, and I think Oakland
played over its head last year. Third place would have been a safer
pick, though I have faith that the Mariners will improve. I like a lot
of Seattle's young talent.
Juwan (D.C.): I know that spring training
production isn't an indicator of anything really, but Rendon physically
looked sensational in his time with the big club. He looked stronger,
his bat speed was sensational, the ball absolutely jumped off of is bat,
his batting eye was very good etc. I know that you've been driving the
Rendon bandwagon for a while, but what type of ceiling do you think he
has? Does he have a David Wright type of ceiling? Is he a perennial
all-star type of guy potentially? Thanks for the response, love your
I do think he has a Wright/all-star ceiling
with some batting championships in his future if he can stay healthy.
I'm still driving the Rendon bandwagon and actually felt bad when I
didn't rank him higher than 26th on my personal Top 50 in the Prospect
Carlos Collazo (Chapel Hill, NC): Where do you see Colin Moran going in the draft and what do you think of his defense at third base? Good enough to stay there?
He's the best pure college hitter in the
draft and having a terrific year, so I could see him going in the first
five picks. He's good enough to stay at third base but doesn't project
to be more than an adequate defender. He's not very athletic but gets
the job done.
Mitch (Iowa): Thoughts on Marcell Ozuna?
Doesn't get as much attention as he
deserves. He keeps churning out 20-homer seasons but gets lost in the
shuffle of Marlins prospects, first behind studs Jose Fernandez and
Christian Yelich, then behind trade acquisitions like Jake Marisnick.
Mitch (Iowa): Better offensive tools: Jake Marisnick or Tyler Austin?
Austin. Marisnick is a better athlete and has a better all-around tools package, but Austin is the superior hitter.
Cy (Western Mass): First day of Spring,
shoveling snow and then : Jim Callis!! There's hope after all!
Kyle Zimmer and Kevin Gausman are often ranked right next to each other.
I see the similarities now, but 5-10 years from now they aren't likely
to be of equal value. Your hunch: who will be the better big league
pitcher when all is said and done?
I can see snow outside my window here in
suburban Chicago, too. It is tough to separate those two, but if I have
to take one, I'll take Gausman because he's got the longer track record
of stuff and success.
Jeff (STL): Hi Jim, relievers don't get a lot of love on the Top 100, so besides Rondon, who are the best RP prospects in baseball?
Off the top of my head: Carter Capps (Mariners), Cody Allen (Indians), Mark Montgomery (Yankees), Kyuji Fujikawa (Cubs).
Andres (Rockwall, TX): Is all the hype I'm hearing about the Royals' Adalberto Mondesi correct?
He's incredibly gifted and could emerge as
one of the game's top shortstop prospects as he makes the jump to
full-season ball this year. He's a switch-hitter who should hit for
average with maybe average power, steal some bases and play a strong
Kevin (South Dakota): When do you see Taillon up with Pirates?
I'll say September at the earliest. He has made just three starts above high Class A.
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Who do you think is a better bet to crack the top 100 for the Reds next year: Nick Travieso or Jesse Winker?
We ranked Traviso No. 6 and Winker No. 7 on
our Reds Top 10, but I'm going with my gut and will say Winker. I think
he's more advanced than Travieso right now and will have a solid year
in low Class A.
chuck (oshkosh): Higher upside and who do you like more- Allen Webster or JR Graham?
Webster, though I like Graham a lot too. The life on Webster's fastball is the separator for me.
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Assuming he is in AAA most all of the year, would you take the over or under of 114.5 steals for Billy Hamilton this year?
Under. He has stayed healthy the last two years, but it's hard to reach 100 steals (or even 115 steal attempts).
Matt (Wisconsin): Roman Quinn has been playing for AA team in spring training, chance the Phillies send him straight to hi-A?
That would surprise me. He needs time in
low Class A to work on his contact and his defense, would make no sense
to make that more difficult by skipping him a level. It's much easier to
harm a prospect's confidence than it is to build it back up.
John (NJ): Hey Jim, any guess why Stanek is struggling so far this year? are there health concerns with him?
His stuff has been down a little and his
command has been off. No health concerns that I've heard of. I still
think he goes in the first round, though if the draft were today, it
likely would be the second half of the round.
Mitch (Iowa): If Stanton's name floats around the rumor mill come July, do the Pirates match up well as a suitor?
They've got several blue-chip guys to tempt
the Marlins: Cole, Taillon, Heredia, Polanco, Hanson, Bell. Whether the
Pirates would part with several of them is another question.
tim815 (Illinois): Do I throw a hissyfit if the Cubs think Kris Bryant can play 3B or LF well enough to get picked second?
I wouldn't get angry but that pick would
surprise me some. I think the Cubs are going to take a college pitcher.
I'd also take Austin Meadows or Clint Frazier over Bryant.
Colin (Pittsburgh, PA): Why has the outlook on
Puig changed from this report from BA back in June?
is, how did he go from a guy that several teams wouldn't select in the
first round of the draft, and may have to play in A ball, to someone who
is a top 50 prospect and could make LA's opening day roster.
Short answer: Scouts are getting more looks at him and he looks fabulous.
Ben (SF): What's a realistic timeframe for Addison Russell making it to the major leagues?
Russell had a tremendous pro debut last
year and he was the 11th overall pick, but he's also barely 19. If he
were to make it to Oakland in 2015, that would be a swift ascent.
Marvin (Minnesota): Does Aaron Hicks break camp
as the starting CF for the Twins? Doesn't seem like it would make
sense for a team that will be awful.
Agreed. He has had a spectacular spring,
but Twins would be better served with keeping him in the minors for a
few months. And as great as he has looked this spring, he hasn't torn up
the minors. Why not just let him go to Triple-A until sometime in June?
Marc Hulet (FanGraphs): To the guy alluding to
my comment about comparing Carlos Sanchez to Derek Jeter... it's taken
out of context: I said watching the way Sanchez carries himself on the
field reminded me of Jeter and that his character/makeup could help him
make the most of his tools (which I did not comp to Jeter).
That would make much more sense. Thanks, Marc.
Jase (Dallas): Is there any way the Astros will take Jonathan Gray #1 overall this year?
That would surprise me.
Jeff (windy city): Hey Jim
If you are sitting in cubs spot with the number 2 overall pick, who do you take? Still to early to tell?
Appel or Manaea.
John C (New York City NY): Do you consider SS Oscar Mercado a first round talent?
Yeah, because it's that hard to find true shortstops. The bat gives me pause, however.
Tim S (Minnesota): How do you compare Meadows and Buxtons tools from their respective senior seasons? Who has a higher ceiling?
Meadows is no slouch, but Buxton is more athletic and has the highest ceiling.
a.j. (dallas): I know prospect for prospect trades are rare but Profar for Tavares seems to make perfect sense
As I've said on Twitter a few times, I
don't think either team makes that trade. Teams tend to value their best
prospects more highly than other clubs do, and I can't see the Rangers
parting with Profar or the Cardinals parting with Tavares. If Elvis
Andrus leaves Texas as a free agent, where does that leave the Rangers
at shortstop? Who plays right field next year for St. Louis when Carlos
Beltran is gone? This is fun to talk about, but it's not going to
Jim (Bmore): Which pitching combination would you rather have. Bundy & Gausman or Cole and Taillon?
Bundy & Gausman.
Will (Texas): What's the likelihood of the addition of an international component to the Rule IV Draft this year/future years?
Don't think we'll see it this year—too
many logistics to be worked out in too short a time. But where I once
thought we'd never see an international draft because of those
logistics, MLB really wants it and the owners will give the MLBPA
something to make it happen, which is what we saw with the amateur
draft. I bet we have an international draft in 2014.
Darren (Fort Lauderdale): Roberto Osuna has come a long way in the last year, whats his ceiling?
No. 2 starter. I like him a lot.
James (New YOrk): I know giolitto has an injury to get over but ceiling wise who do you rank higher, giolitto, zimmer, gausman?
Giolito has a higher ceiling. But he has to
prove he can come back from Tommy John surgery and hold up over the
long run, so given my choice today, I'd take Gausman and Zimmer.
Mick (Chicago): I watched Javy Baez hit four
homers in two games this past weekend. Will his superior bat speed
enable him to continue this kind of success at the higher levels,
considering his flamboyant, exaggerated, Gary Sheffield type movement in
That's what we're all waiting to find out. My guess is he tones down his approach at least slightly.
It was great to get the Wednesday chats
going again this week. I'm off next week, but will be back on a regular
basis after that. Thanks for all the great questions.