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Draft Chat -- Jim Callis

Moderator: BA executive editor Jim Callis will drop by to answer your draft questions at 2 p.m. ET.

Moderator: Jim will be here shortly, he's fielding a call from a scout about the draft.

 Q:  Matt from Cincy.......... asks:
Do you think it is wise for teams to spend 1st round picks on college relief pitchers? I see a lot of failures there. Matt Anderson, Paul Shuey and Billy Koch were all taken in the top 5 picks but havenıt exactly torn up the major leagues and are still struggling to develop a 2nd pitch besides their blazing, albeit straight fastballs. Also, Jay Powell, Ricky Greene, Benji Grigsby, and others have flopped as well after being made 1st round picks. Canıt teams just find a player with a great arm with no secondary pitches lower in the draft and convert them into relievers? Why waste such a high pick on a player like a closer who rarely plays?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Sorry for the delay. Lots of questions, so I'll try to be quick and terse to get through as many as possible . . . In general, I agree with you, though I'd give a little more credit to Shuey, Koch and Powell being useful major leaguers. If you can get a useful major leaguer in the first round, you're doing better than most clubs. Of course, Shuey and Koch were top-four picks whom teams thought would become dominant closers. For the most part, big league closers are guys who started for much of their minor league careers.

 Q:  Rocco from The Bronx asks:
Why do some teams draft until the 50th round and others stop after the 45th round? Whatıs wrong with just drafting Junior College players from Rounds 46 through 50 if teams donıt have enough space on their rookie level teams to find spots for 50 new incoming players? At least the team will control the juco playersı draft rights up until the next draft. Thanks!
 A: 

Jim Callis: My guess is they run out of names on their draft boards, but I'm with you. Why not throw a few darts up in those rounds and hope one sticks?

 Q:  Roger from Warm Springs, CA asks:
Have any juco players signed so far as draft-and-follows?
 A: 

Jim Callis: The Marlins have signed Nick Ewen, a good bat from Triton (Ill.) JC, but we're in the process of gathering that info right now. Neither of the projected first-rounders, Adam Loewen or Nick Markakis, has signed as a DFE at this point. Markakis is still playing, while Loewen's season is over.

 Q:  Amory from Princeton, NJ asks:
After Weeks and Young, who would you say are the next position player prospects?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Among college players, first basemen Michael Aubrey (Tulane) and Vince Sinisi (Rice). Among high schoolers, outfielders Ryan Harvey (Florida), Chris Lubanski (Pennsylvania), Lastings Milledge (Florida). For the next tier, I'd mention Louisiana State shortstop Aaron Hill and high school third basemen Ian Stewart (California) and Eric Duncan (New Jersey).

 Q:  Julie Antinucci from Maryland asks:
What do you think the chances are of the Orioles going for two solid picks in the first round (one of them being Josh Banks of FIU) if Loewen is not signed? Banks is a Marylander and has a solid performance this year at FIU, moving up in your rankings throughout the season...
 A: 

Jim Callis: You'd have to hope they'd do that, wouldn't you? Still no definitive word on whether they'll get Loewen, though if I had to bet based on what we've heard, I'd guess they won't. If that's the case, their targets could be Aubrey or Mississippi State's Paul Maholm, maybe Markakis if he re-enters the draft. The Orioles almost certainly could get Banks at the top of the second round, and maybe in the third.

 Q:  Snapper Bean from Greater Kensington asks:
What's the latest on Landon Powell? How far will his disappointing senior season push him down. Would the Phillies, who are apparently targeting a catcher, be interested?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Powell hasn't had a big year at South Carolina, where he's a junior. Frankly, he's a good player but his body scares a lot of teams. He's tough to get a read on, and I'll guess he goes in the third or fourth round. If he goes higher, it's because a team really wants a catcher, a thin position all the way around this year.

 Q:  Erick from Columbus, OH asks:
Good afternoon, Do you hear any chatter about the Reds wantingbeing able to sign Mick Markakis before they lose their rights to him? Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: They'd love to sign him. He's one of the top three non-high school lefties, along with Loewen and Maholm. Whether the Reds can make that happen is another case. If they do sign Markakis, who could cost between $1.5 million and $2 million, they'll probably go cheap with the No. 14 overall pick.

 Q:  Bum Phillips fan from Houston, TX asks:
Whatıs the word on Texas A & M pitcher Logan Kensing? He was a hot property early on but now seems to have fallen out of the 1st round. Arenıt pitchers with great movement on their pitches rare and valuable? What teams might consider taking him and in what round?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I'm guessing second round. His stuff hasn't been as good as it was early, but he's probably still a second-rounder based on how he threw early and the college emphasis in this year's draft. He has one of the more electric sinkers around.

 Q:  Jason from Santa Monica, CA asks:
Given the Angels lack of organizational depth in the OF, do you see them focusing on that area in the draft? If not, what do you think their strategy will be? Thanks!
 A: 

Jim Callis: We get a lot of these questions, so I'll take this one. In almost every case in the early rounds, teams are going to take the best player available rather than addressing a specific need.

 Q:  Heath Hunt from Mulberry, Florida asks:
The Phillies have the rights to Indian Hills CC outfielder Steven Doetsch. Do you think they will make an effort to sign him? If they don't, where do you think he will likely be selected. Also, any word on the signing of TCC outfielder Brandon Jones?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Doetsch is an intriguing athlete who still needs to make adjustments to his swing. The Phillies don't pick in the first two rounds, so it would make sense to pursue Doetsch, but I've heard there isn't a great relationship between the two sides. If he goes back in the draft, he could go in the third to fifth round. Someone recently told me that Brandon Jones hasn't had a great year, so I'm not sure how much the Royals will spend to sign their sixth-round pick from a year ago.

 Q:  Keith Grant from Walnut Creek, CA asks:
Please God tell me that the Oakland Aıs are not going to draft another middle infielder with our 1st round pick!! We have already taken Freddy Bynum, Bobby Crosby, and John McCurdy in the last 3 years. Our strength is pitching in both the majors and minors while our system lacks hitters in the organization, especially corner outfielders and corner infielders. Who are the Aıs sizing up? Thank you.
 A: 

Jim Callis: They have back-to-back picks at Nos. 25 and 26, and the names we hear the most are (in no order here): Hill, Georgia Tech outfielder Matt Murton, California third baseman Conor Jackson, Stanford outfielder Carlos Quentin, Baylor outfielder David Murphy, San Diego State outfielder Anthony Gwynn and maybe even a high schooler, Florida outfielder Lastings Milledge. Right now, I'd guess Murton and Jackson.

 Q:  Dax Gingras from Lakeland, Florida asks:
I hear the Devil Rays are moving closer to selecting Delmon Young. Where does this leave my beloved Tigers at pick #3?
 A: 

Jim Callis: We're hearing that too. If that's the case, the Brewers could pop Adam Loewen at No. 2 if he re-enters the draft. That would leave the Tigers with Weeks. If Loewen signs with the Orioles and Milwaukee grabs Weeks, look for Detroit to go for a college righthander, either Wake Forest's Kyle Sleeth or Richmond's Tim Stauffer.

 Q:  Andy from Sunny Los Angeles........ asks:
What college pitchers in the draft have the single deadliest pitches? Is there anyone out there with a Barry Zito curveball? Or a Randy Johnson slider? Or a Tim Hudson sinker? Please advise. Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: No one has a pitch that good. But among the best college pitches are Sleeth's fastball, Houston righthander Brad Sullivan's breaking stuff and Kensing's sinker. That's real quick off the top of my head, so I could be forgetting someone obvious.

 Q:  Marty from St. Pete, Florida asks:
What happened to Matt Harrington? Did Tampa Bay sign him after last yearıs draft? Did he even play this year? Does anyone care about this guy anymore? Will he even get drafted?
 A: 

Jim Callis: According to the BA Player Finder in our stats section online, he's back with the Fort Worth Cats in the independent Central League. It's just a sad story (see the link on our front page right now), as he has turned down seven-figure deals in the past from the Rockies and Padres. He won't sniff that money now. Someone may pop him late, but he's still not pitching well, still not developing.

 Q:  Goddy from Omaha, Huntsville, Grand Forks asks:
Is there any possibility that Weeks falls to the Cubs at #6? If not, would they set their sights on Dunedin's Ryan Harvey or look towards a college pitcher lake Stauffer or Sullivan?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I doubt it, and Harvey could go to the Royals at No. 5. I think it's more likely the Cubs will get one of the best college pitchers, either Stauffer or Sleeth.

 Q:  Billy from hiding out at the Alamo....... asks:
Where will Rice Closer David Aardsma go in the draft now that he has not pitched as well as in the Cape nor has the smooth arm action scouts like? I saw where scouts say that his arm action is like a "pie-thrower" but Keith Foulke in the majors looks like he's throwing "pies" and has been extremely successful as a closer. Thank you.
 A: 

Jim Callis: He has struggled recently, but he was dominant against wood bats on the Cape last year, and that's a big factor for a lot of teams. I think he'll go in the supplemental first or early second round. I haven't heard concern about his arm action.

 Q:  Ryan Hunt from Crystal Lake, FL asks:
Is Lastings Milledge still get any consideration for the top 10? He fits the prototype of a Marlins pick but are they going to focus on a college player in order to save money on a signing bonus.
 A: 

Jim Callis: He possibly could go to the Rangers at No. 9, but more likely Milledge will go in the 11-25 range. His all-around tools are as good as anyone's in the draft, though there are some minor on- and off-field concerns with him. He's in Florida's mix from what we hear.

 Q:  Scott from Toronto asks:
Hi Jim, Toronto"s draft review had them heavily scouting Brad Sullivan--is it not a no-brainer for the pitching-poor Jays to take him with their first pick at #13? Or has his stock fallen that much?
 A: 

Jim Callis: His stock has fallen a little, mainly because he has been a little inconsistent and he's righthanded and not real tall. I don't see what's not to like and I could see the Jays considering him at No. 13. He has a solid fastball and a plus slider.

 Q:  Pauley from Da' Village, NY asks:
Can you tell me more about Ball State Outfielder Brad Snyder and Stetson 3rd Baseman Brian Snyder? Do either of these guys project to hit for power in the bigs? Also, which teams like them and which Snyder will get picked first? Thanx.
 A: 

Jim Callis: They both have some power. Brad could be a future 25-30 homer guy, Brian more in the 20-25 range. They're both favorites of teams who like college players who have performed well.

 Q:  Aaron from Phoenix, AZ asks:
A very important question, what college players are being advised by Scott Boras and may alterslide in the draft as a result?
 A: 

Jim Callis: The only first-rounder in that category is Sinisi, who has two other signability strikes against him in that he's from Rice and he's a sophomore. On talent, he fits in the top 10.

 Q:  Ernie from Mpls asks:
What are the prospects for Big Ten pitchers in the first day of the draft?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I don't think any will go in the first five rounds. The two best appear to be Northwestern's Dan Konecny and Purdue's Dusty Glant.

 Q:  Jay from NYC asks:
I am a huge Mets fan, with all the problems of the big league club, which way do you project the Mets will choose in the first round, a pitcher or a position that lacks serious dept in the Mets sistem, outfielder. Can you project which players the Mets could choose from? Thank You
 A: 

Jim Callis: As mentioned earlier, best player available. The name we've heard the most is Ohio righthander Marc Cornell--if he's healthy. They also could get a crack at high school outfielders Chris Lubanski and Lastings Milledge.

 Q:  Tim from Pittsburgh PA asks:
With the 8th pick, will there be a bat there worthy of the pick, or will they pick yet anoher arm? Is this about the time Aubrey will come off the board?
 A: 

Jim Callis: That's about where Aubrey will go, so he's a possibility. So is California high school third baseman Ian Stewart, plus the outfielders I just mentioned. Sinisi, if he's deemed signable.

 Q:  Daniel Smith from Boston asks:
Where do you look for Ryan Wagner to go in the draft, will he get out of the first round? Thanks
 A: 

Jim Callis: Middle of the first round, and we've heard his name mentioned with the Red Sox a lot. I don't think he'll make it to the supplemental picks. I should have mentioned his nasty slider as one of the top college pitches.

 Q:  Austin from Southern Cal asks:
Whatıs the consensus on the Cal-State Fullerton draft prospects? They seemed to be over-hyped. Shane Costa has not exactly hit for power. Wes Littleton was suspended and has not pitched as good as last year. Chad Cordero has been the best of the bunch but he is a relief pitcher. Derric Merrell has not pitched a whole season yet. Where will these guys get drafted?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Costa still is one of the best college bats available. He, Littleton and Cordero all could go in the first two rounds. If a team wants to bet Merrell can pitch like he did as a freshman, he could go around the fifth round or so.

 Q:  Jason from Orlando asks:
What is the status of Stetson's 3rd baseman Brian Snyder. With what pick or round by what team do you see him being picked by? Thanks, Jason
 A: 

Jim Callis: Good hitter, not a longlean body but a better athlete than he might appear at first glance, the question is will he have true third base power. He probably will, but it's not a definite. He gets mentioned with the Blue Jays a lot, even as a first-round pick, but probably will be available in the second or third round.

 Q:  Patrick @ brewerfan.net from Milwaukee, WI asks:
What do you think of the HS LHP depth with guys like Scott Maine, Ryan Feierabend, Anthony Whittington, Matt Harrison, Chuck Tiffany & Jake Stevens all in the next group of prep lefties behind Miller, Houser & Danks? Do all of those guys project to go within the top 3 rounds?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Lefthanded pitching is the strength of this draft. Houser has a heart condition, so he might not go as high as you think. And don't forget about Jo Jo Reyes, Darin Downs and Mike Rogers, among others. From the college or junior college side, there's also Loewen, Markakis, Maholm, Daniel Moore (North Carolina), Abe Alvarez (Long Beach State), Casey Abrams (Wright State), Kurt Isenberg (James Madison) . . .

 Q:  Charles Berg from West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada asks:
Hi Jim, are there any players who are coming out of British Columbia this year worth keeping an eye on in the draft?
 A: 

Jim Callis: University of British Columbia righty Brooks McNiven is arguably the best prospect in Canada, but not an early-round pick.

 Q:  Jeremy from Texas asks:
Do you see Chris Durbin (OF, Baylor Univ.) coming out, and where do you see him going in the draft?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Well, he's a senior, so he pretty much has to come out, doesn't he? He's not big, but he's having a huge year and has nice all-around tools. One of the better senior signs available, we're now hearing as high as the third round. Maybe second, if the emphasis on college players with strong performances is what we expect it to be.

 Q:  Greg from Simi Valley, CA asks:
The SF Giants have been a tough team to gauge in the draft the the past few years by "reaching" for HS pitchers Boof Bonser and Matt Cain. Do you think they will continue the trend of high riskhigh reward picks (and does this pack Milledge a possibility?)or will they go a safer route this year? Also, will they continue a new Giants tradition of emphasizing pitching over position players in the higher rounds. Keep up the great work!
 A: 

Jim Callis: Hard to argue with the early returns on Bonser and Cain, isn't it. I think Milledge will be gone by then. Texas high school righty Craig Whitaker, whose stock is rising, is a possibility if he doesn't go before No. 22. Again, I think they'll take the best guy available rather than worry about a specific position.

 Q:  Thomas from Highland, Ohio asks:
What are the names that Cleveland is looking at? Are they going to be more focused on either college or high school players, or both?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Cleveland strikes a balance between college and high school. The Indians will lean whichever way the talent leans, rather than making up their mind beforehand. Among the names we hear could go to them at Nos. 11 and 18 are Danks, Lubanski, Miller, Duncan, Stewart.

 Q:  chris from greensboro,nc asks:
Any chance of the draft being televised down the road? I know the logistics of it are tough, being in-season, so many players, etc. I figure throw a few BA "experts" in front of a mic and tele-prompter and have at it. Maybe some video clips of top players, intervies with execs. Just a thought.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Amen, but it doesn't seem to be on Major League Baseball's front burner. There's all kinds of video available as top players, so it definitely is feasible.

 Q:  Sammy from Bloomingdale asks:
Who do you think will be available with the 6th pick for the Chioago Cubs, and do you think the consensus top overall talent will still be available ala Mark Prior.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Best guess is right now that they'll get a shot at at least one of Ryan Harvey, Kyle Sleeth and Tim Stauffer. Some clubs have Harvey as the top bat and Sleeth as the top arm. If I were picking No. 1 overall, I'd be very tempted by Sleeth.

 Q:  Ben from Arizona asks:
What is the plan for the Montreal Expos this year with Omar Minaya & Dana Brown running the draft? They went college last year after Everts.
 A: 

Jim Callis: The Expos don't have a lot of money, so I'd suspect them to take a lot of college guys because they're cheaper. I do think, like a year ago, that they'll take a legitimate first-rounder. Eric Duncan, who's from Brown's home state of New Jersey, is a possibility at No. 20. Wagner and Cornell are two college names we've heard linked to Montreal.

 Q:  Jack Bowen from Flushing, NY asks:
Will I get lucky again this year and pitchers like Andrew Miller, Jeff Allison or Jared Hughes fall to me at 12?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Jack, Hughes will be there but you'll let him slide right on by. Allison probably will be gone, but you may get a shot at Miller.

 Q:  Peter Friberg from San Diego asks:
I noticed there's only one player on your Draft Tracker list from GA, OF Tim Battle. Is it safe to assume the Braves are after him w their first pick (in the mid-30's overall)?
 A: 

Jim Callis: The Braves pick at Nos. 35-36 and it would surprise no one if they took Battle with one of those choices.

 Q:  Dan from Kansas City, MO asks:
Jim, good afternoon and thank you for taking my quesion. Who are the Royals aiming at for their first pick? Has their draft strategy changed becuase of their good start and brighter outlook on the next few years?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Best player available. The three most likely names are Harvey, Stauffer, Sleeth.

 Q:  Marc Smith from Asheville NC asks:
Can you list some of the 'dark horses' in this years draft from the collegiate crop in North Carolina? And if there is a magic numbers in terms of velocity for a pitcher to get drafted what would it be (rhp and lhp; high school and college). thanks
 A: 

Jim Callis: Chad Lanier of Brevard is an intriguing small-school guy. He touches 94 as a 6-foot-7 lefthander, though he's very inconsistent. Very high riskhigh reward guy. For a high pick, scouts would like to see a guy at least touch 90 mph, and if he's only touching 90, he better have something else going for him.

 Q:  Peter Friberg from San Diego asks:
I heard locally that the Padres were quite high on Delmon Young, now it doesn't look like he'll last that long and the college pitchers seem to all be sliding a bit... Any insight (or educated guesses) as to who the Padres will take with the fourth pick? And any chance Loewen could slide to us?
 A: 

Jim Callis: We're hearing the same on Young. The Padres could get the top college pitcher available, with it being their decision whether that guy is Sleeth or Stauffer.

 Q:  Eric from Palm Beach, Fl asks:
Jim, a player we havent heard a lot of lately is top catching prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia, where do you see him going in the draft and which teams have shown the most interst in him ? Thanks
 A: 

Jim Callis: Saltalamacchia is a Florida high schooler, an athletic 6-foot-4 frame, considered the best all-around catcher in the draft. He's sliding a little recently, because he's thought to do better in showcases than in game situations, but he probably goes in the second round.

 Q:  Sam Silvas from claremont, ca asks:
Jim, I'm a big LSU fan. Besides A. Hill, are there any other Tigers projected to go in the first 10 rounds this year? Will anyone take a chance on an injured Brian Wilson? Who are some of the high schoolers from Louisiana who might go high? Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Inconsistent righthander Billy Sadler is the other LSU possibility for the first 10 rounds. Because Wilson will be a redshirt junior next year, there's no real incentive for him to sign while he's hurt. The top three Louisiana high school picks look like outfielder Xavier Paul, catcher Justin Brashear and righthander Jordan Mayer.

 Q:  marc smith from asheville, nc asks:
you here people talk about a pitchers build all the time; it seems like every scout looks for the 6'4 lanky body but isnt it time to draft athletes that actually have some cordination...guys like mike rogers (ncstate), brad sullivan, and last year guthrie and brownlie were smaller than the desired trend but shoudln't it be about their stuff and not their size? thanks
 A: 

Jim Callis: Performance and stuff should matter more than size, but that's not always the case.

 Q:  John from Valley Stream L.I. asks:
I read in the AL East preview that the word is that the Yankees plan to be very agressive in this upcoming draft. That would be a welcome change from the conservative approach they've taken the last few years in the draft. Who do you see them targetting with their first pick?
 A: 

Jim Callis: It's hard to say who will be available at No. 27. Two names we've heard are Tennessee catcher Javi Herrera and Duncan. If you're thinking aggressive, maybe Sinisi if he falls? The Yankees certainly have the cash.

 Q:  Mike from New England asks:
Who are the top prospects from the Ivy League? Overall, the league isn't strong, however, there are some quality players in the conference. I think there were even a few in the cape cod league last year. Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: The best is Princeton righty Thomas Pauly, who's been up to 95 mph and also has shown a power slider. He could go early in the second round.

 Q:  Tom from Seattle asks:
What's the status of Marc Cornell? Still a 1st rounder?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Likely, though it will come down to how he pitches before the draft. He hasn't pitched much recently because of shoulder soreness, and that's been an issue in the past. He doesn't have much of a track record, so teams would like to see him show something in the next two weeks.

 Q:  Scott from Bellevue asks:
I've heard good things about Jerry Owens of The Master's College. Where is he expected to get drafted?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Very interesting athlete at a college off the beaten path. Second or third round.

 Q:  Austin from Waco asks:
Any word on who the Rangers are focusing in on for their first pick? Will Fuson grab a collegiate arm in the 1st round?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Not necessarily on the college arm. That was the expectation last year, and the Rangers went for college shortstop Drew Meyer. Cornell and Sullivan will be available for Texas, which also might be tempted by a high school outfielder like Milledge or Lubanski. Again, best player available on their draft board.

 Q:  Peter Friberg from San Diego asks:
how good is Southern U's level of competition? Is Weeks all that, or (partially) a product of playing against inferior talent - or both?
 A: 

Jim Callis: It's very poor (see the latest Ask BA), but he's very legit. Incredibly quick hands, easily the best college hitter out there. Able to play a tougher defensive position than Aubrey or Sinisi, the next two best college bats.

 Q:  Barry from Wytheville Virginia asks:
What do you see the Orioles doing with their first round choice this year? Also do you think they should bite the bullet and sign Adam Loewen, even if they have to exceed "slot money"? Thanks!
 A: 

Jim Callis: Easy for me to say, because it's not my money, but if my major league team and farm system were as bad as Baltimore's, I'd want to sign Loewen. Aubrey and Maholm are two names we're hearing with the Orioles at No. 7.

 Q:  David Lehman from Spokane, Washington asks:
Who are some of the players the Rockies are looking really close at for the #10 spot in the draft? I really hope they get a power arm, possibly a high schooler, and have better luck than they did with Matt Harrington! Any chance that somebody like Kyle Sleeth could fall to the 10 spot much like Kazmir fell to #15 last year? Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: I don't see Sleeth falling to No. 10. Among the possibilities there are Allison, Miller and Stewart.

 Q:  Sam Jones from Austin, TX asks:
What are the chances that Rickie Weeks or Adam Loewen fall? And if they fall, how far do you think the could fall?
 A: 

Jim Callis: No on Weeks. I can't see him lasting more than three picks. Loewen could be a signability concern and drop a little bit, though it sounds like several teams in the top 10 are prepared to take him and negotiate tough if needed.

 Q:  Dale Murphy from Atlanta asks:
Is Ryan Harvey really the next me, or is this just pre-draft overhype?
 A: 

Jim Callis: He's legit.

 Q:  Jay from Minneapolis asks:
Love these chats. But my thoughts are focused more on my Twins and their lack of middle infield depth. Any idea what they might do with the 21st pick, and if it involves a shortstop or second baseman?
 A: 

Jim Callis: They could take Virginia high school shortstop Matt Moses, but he projects more as a pro third baseman. The Twins aren't biased against high school players, and they could get a pretty good one if a lot of college guys go early as expected.

 Q:  Andrew from Washington asks:
Hi Jim. The Devil Rays are noted for their stock of outfielders in their farm system. Why then are they so interested in drafting Delmon Young, despite his obvious talent, when they could fill organizational holes and draft a middle infielder like Rickie Weeks or a potential ace like Adam Loewen (assuming he's avaliable)?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Good question, and I'd probably not pick another outfielder either if I were the Rays. But I talked to a scouting director today who has picked early, and he says that while the same talk is going around baseball circles, you can't avoid a guy if you think he's the best available, even if you're stocked at his position.

 Q:  gregg nesbitt from shreveport, louisiana asks:
I notice that your top unsigned picks does not include Scott Baker (Oklahoma State) who was drafted in the last few rounds of 2000. Do you have an opinion of the round, if any, he will be drafted in this year.
 A: 

Jim Callis: As high as the late first, no later than the second.

 Q:  Bobby Hunt from Durham , North Carolina asks:
Who are the top high school pitchers in the state of North Carolina.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Righthander Daniel Bard, who's considered a very tough sign (committed to North Carolina), and lefthander Matt Harrison.

 Q:  Otto Schwartz from Medford asks:
Just how much player information is shared amongst scouts? Word has it that just a handful of teams have the inside track on an Ivy League first baseman and a WAC outfielder, both juniors who are evidently not yet household names but will nevertheless be selected in the first few rounds. Does recent draft history show many such selections? How could some teams be so high on such top players while most others seemingly don't know much about them? It seems to me that players going high in the draft would be on most every team's lists, simply because most top college prospects play in the better summer leagues (Cape Cod, Alaska, NECBL) and are highly visible then, despite playing in less-than-high-profile college conferences. Thank you.
 A: 

Jim Callis: I wouldn't say scouts share all their info, but there are almost no secrets these days. Word gets around very quickly when prospects pop up.

 Q:  Sean from Irvine, CA asks:
Hi, Jim: I just wonder who are the players the Angels are looking at for the incoming June draft? And any intersting draft-and-follow for the Halos? Thanks!
 A: 

Jim Callis: Lubanski and Milledge if they fall to No. 23, which isn't likely. Better bets are Hill, Whitaker, Arizona high school shortstop Brandon Wood, Miller (if he drops that far), Brad Snyder. As for DFEs: righthanders Tony Mandel (St. Louis-Forest Park), Michel Simard (St. Petersburg), Chris Hunter (Utah Valley State) and Cody Dickens (Surry).

 Q:  Bruce Linder from Thunder Bay, Ontario asks:
Any thoughts on Chris Lubanski? We are wondering where you slot him in at. Any chance the Indians or Mets could be in the mix?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Probably anywhere from eighth to 20th, more toward the high end. Both Cleveland and New York would consider him, sure.

 Q:  Bill from Baton Rouge asks:
Where do you believe SSTulane, Tony Giarratano be drafted??
 A: 

Jim Callis: Around the fifth round or so. Very good shortstop, hitting better than ever this year.

 Q:  Stephen from Jax, FL asks:
Where will Jacksonville native Brian Buscher be drafted? The senior 3b is leading the SEC in Avg and in hits as of the weekend. Thanks!
 A: 

Jim Callis: He's one of the better senior signs out there but not a premier talent, so sixth to 10th round.

 Q:  Tim from Kentucky asks:
With their obvious need for a catcher of the future would the Cubs take Tony Ritchie or Landon Powell if they are available in the 3rd round?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Neither is a huge favorite of scouts, but they're both two of the better college catchers around. The Cubs need a catcher, so they'd be possibilities. But there are teams out there that really don't like either, and I can't tell you that the Cubs are high on one of them.

 Q:  Jason from Chippewa Falls asks:
Jim, will you tell us who the scout was that delayed your arrival to the chat?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Actually it was an agent, but that's all I can reveal!

 Q:  Christian from Texas asks:
I'm not much on the history of the draft, and I was just wondering when the last time two pitchers from the same team were drafted in the frist round? Does it happen often? I know Ryan Wagner and Brad Sullivan of the University of Houston are projected to go in the first round. When and to whom do you think this tandem will go?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I was at Georgia when Derek Lilliquist and Cris Carpenter went in the top 14 picks in 1987. In 1996, Kris Benson and Billy Koch went in the top four picks out of Clemson. Last year, Bryan Bullington went No. 1 and Luke Hagerty went in the supplemental first round out of Ball State. Wagner and Sullivan both should go in the 10-25 range, and I could see the Red Sox landing one of them.

 Q:  Jay from Madison asks:
Thanks for taking the question. The Matt Harrington story on the website today was fascinating. It didn't go into what happened with San Diego. Obviously, he didn't sign. Did the Pads not show much interest or was Harrington's agent demanding first round money?
 A: 

Jim Callis: The Padres offered him a seven-figure contract that winter, when he switched agents to Scott Boras. For some reason, the Harrington camp turned that down. Once he began pitching in the Western League, the Padres scouted him and quickly pulled that offer off the table. In retrospect, that decision was as bad as turning down $3.95 million from the Rockies.

 Q:  John from Troy asks:
What are you hearing about Casey Abrams. He is a left handed pitcher, a junior at Wright State. He is among the NCAA leaders in strikeouts,and strikeouts9inn. He throws in the low 90's and has a great breaking ball. Is he a top 5 rounder?
 A: 

Jim Callis: He's 6-foot-4, has touched 94 mph and has a tough slider. He'll probably go in the second round.

 Q:  Adam from Virginia Beach asks:
Last year Steven Herce was picked in the 9th round, but chose to return to Rice for his senior year. He has pitched rather poorly since returning from his shoulder injury and has a 7.02 ERA to show for it. He definitely can't be blamed for wanting to go back, get his degree, and return to Omaha, but how far has he fallen?
 A: 

Jim Callis: He could go that high again, if only because he has no option to return to college and would be a cheap senior sign.

 Q:  Mike Rizzo from Palmdale Ca asks:
The Brewers have a DFE 16 round LHP Dana Eveland, Do you know if he has helped his cause this year ? If he does not sign where is he projected in this years draft ? thank you
 A: 

Jim Callis: Eveland has a nice sinkercurveslider combination. The Brewers are expected to sign him. If not, he could go in the fourth or fifth round.

 Q:  Mickey from Salt Lake, Utah asks:
Are teams going to regret passing on high school right-hander Jared Hughes? He seems to have the size and stuff as good as any other high schooler in the draft. How good are his other pitches besides his blazing fastball?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Have to run in a minute . . . Hughes has been getting hit this spring and has had shoulder issues, so it's hard to commit seven figures to him without second thoughts. His secondary pitches aren't anything special, and his toughness also is questioned.

 Q:  Nick from San Diego asks:
Jim, what will Ryan Sweeney be more likely drafted as- A LHP or OF ? Where does he project to go in the draft right now ? Thanks !
 A: 

Jim Callis: Almost certainly an outfielder. He's a late first-rounder or early second-rounder, though teams have had a hard time getting a good read on him because he's in Iowa. He didn't light up the Perfect Game Predraft Showcase this week.

 Q:  Kevin from Omaha asks:
Iowa always produces top picks year after year, but Nebraska has lagged behind their neighbors? Why do you think that is and is there any hope for us Nebraskans?
 A: 

Jim Callis: It's not a great year for Nebraska, especially at the high school level. The state's top prospect is Cornhuskers lefty Aaron Marsden, a third- to fifth-rounder.

 Q:  Sam from Oakland, CA asks:
How far will Jeff Manship's size knock him down? It seems like his stuff is first round material similar to Bobby Bradley in '99. Any news on him?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Manship won't be a high pick because he's strongly committed to Notre Dame and teams won't spend a seven-figure bonus to sign him. Great curveball, not a big guy, has a 90-91 mph fastball. Could be a very good pick three years from now if he shows he's durable and adds another 1-2 mph.

 Q:  Mike from Boston asks:
You mentioned the Reds may go cheap with the #14 pick if they sign Markakis. Care to comment on the wisdom of that? The team has paid a lot of lip service to rebuilding through youth, but it sure looks like it's miniscule draft budget has stifled any such efforts in recent years.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Only time for a couple of more . . . I'm not sure it's a matter of wisdom, it's a matter of the Reds having a tight draft budget. Based on their recent history and what we're hearing again this spring, they can't afford to sign Markakis and a true No. 14 pick.

 Q:  Jake from my office asks:
How does the talent in this year's draft differ from last year's talent? Is it deeper, better college hitting, etc?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Pretty comparable. The college position players are better, though that's more a commentary on the thin 2002 college bat crop.

 Q:  Ted from Newburgh, NY asks:
Any chance that either Matt Murton or Conor Jackson falls to the Yankees at #27?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Yes, though both appear to be targets of the A's, who pick 25th and 26th.

 Q:  Tim from Kentucky asks:
If you had to venture a guess, which team will take Milledge?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Just a pure guess, but I'll say the Marlins at No. 16.

 Q:  Jose from LongBeach asks:
With the dodgers picking 24 is Ryan Sweeny going to be there if So wold they considered picking him ?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Should be available and probably will be on the Dodgers' short list if he is.

 Q:  Peter Friberg from San Diego asks:
Is there a Jason StokesPrince Fielder type power hitter in the draft?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Not quite that good. Delmon Young, Ryan Harvey and Rickie Weeks are the best this year.

 Q:  Eddie from Miami,FL. asks:
what do you think about Sean Rodriguez and Robert Valido. tell me what round you think they will go and whats their difference in a scouts point of view.Thanks
 A: 

Jim Callis: There aren't many shortstops this year. Rodriguez is a better player, but probably more of an offensive second baseman. Valido is a more pure shortstop, but hasn't had a great spring and his bat is questionable. They could go in the third to seventh rounds.

 Q:  Jason from Orlando asks:
Let's talk pure college shortstops.. Giarratano, Macri, Holimon. What teams are big on these guys?
 A: 

Jim Callis: There aren't many pure college shortstops. I discussed Giarratano a few questions ago. Notre Dame's Matt Macri is coming back from Tommy John surgery and hasn't proven he can hit; he'll probably get offered more money after his junior year in 2004. Texas' Mark Hollimon is having a bad year, and there's no interest in him, especially with his price tag. Baylor's Trey Webb has a great glove but hasn't hit.

 Q:  T.C. from Memphis, TN asks:
Hi Jim. Any word on who my beloved Cardinals are targeting in the draft? They need some serious bats in their system, and I'm hoping they pop a guy like Conor Jackson or Lastings Milledge. Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: This is the last one. Thanks for all the well-informed questions and remember: best available player, at least in the first round . . . The Cardinals pick at No. 28 and do need some bats. Milledge would be very attractive there, but he's probably gone. If Sinisi slides, St. Louis has a good history with Boras clients (J.D. Drew, Rick Ankiel, Chad Hutchinson) and might go after him. The A's like Jackson and pick 25th or 26th, so he might be gone.

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