2011 Draft Report Card Chat With Jim Callis and John Manuel
Jim Callis and John Manuel will answer your draft questions as well as other baseball questions beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Hi, everyone. I wrote the NL Draft Report
Cards (minus Houston) and also did Boston in the AL. You'll get me for
45 minutes, then John Manuel, who wrote the rest of the DRCs, will come
in to take some more questions. We're both well-versed enough in the
draft to discuss any of the 30 teams. Fire away.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Do you anticipate Josh Bell
playing in full season ball come April, or will the Pirates take the
slower road with him and play him in SS ball, as they did with Taillon
It's different for hitters vs. pitchers,
because you don't have to worry about hitters injuring their arms in the
colder early-season weather. Bell is very polished, too, so I'd expect
to see him in low Class A come April.
Grant (NYC): Of all the "Ones Who Got Away" this year, which player(s) do you predict will become 1st rounders once they're eligible again?
Righthander Tyler Beede, who turned down
the Blue Jays for Vanderbilt, immediately comes to mind. Among the
position players, outfielder Senquez Golson (Red Sox) has the most
upside but I wonder how unpolished he'll still be three years from now
after juggling football and baseball at Mississippi.
Ben (Leland Grove): Does Austin Hedges' name belong in the same conversation as d'Arnaud, Mesoraco and Rosario, both offensively and defensively?
Hedges projects as a better defender than
any of them—he's that special as a receiver. There are a lot more
questions on his bat, especially comparing him to a Mesoraco or
d'Arnaud, but the Padres believe he'll hit and were shocked by the power
display he put on during batting practice at Petco Park after he
Harry (South Bend, IN): Chances of seeing Archie Bradley pitch here next year?
I'll be very surprised if you don't get
Bradley in South Bend next year. There's no reason he can't handle the
assignment, though the Diamondbacks may keep him out of the April chill
in the Midwest League.
Lonnie (NYC): Who wins in a foot race - Quinn or Hamilton?
I'll say Hamilton, but it would be close. I've had too many scouts tell me Hamilton is the fastest player they've ever seen.
Kelly (St. Cloud, MN): Who gets your nod for best offensive player in the Astros' system between Springer and Singleton?
Singleton. Springer is a better athlete and has better all-around tools, but Singleton is a much better bet to hit.
Roger (Greenville, SC): Now that we've seen the
pro debuts and who's lost prospect eligibity, let's revisit an old
question. How many draftees make the top 100 this winter?
I'd set the over/under around 20, which is
higher than usual. This draft was that deep and the crop of other minor
leaguers seems a little thin.
Anthony Rendon (Washington, DC): All the
pitchers taken before me were either HS or college pitchers that were
helped by the new bat restrictions. Will I end up making those teams
As I've said many times, if I had the No. 1
overall pick, I would have taken Rendon. I understand why he lasted
until No. 6—it's hard to take a guy high in a tremendously deep draft
when he wasn't healthy all spring—but I would have taken him No. 1.
JT (Charlotte, NC): As a Braves fan I was
really disappointed with their draft this year. The Braves system
desperately needed an infusion of position players. Miraculously Mikie
Mahtook fell to them at the bottom of the 1st round yet they failed to
take him - instead opting for yet another starting pitcher, the very
last thing they needed. Any insight on this exasperating decision.
The Braves were extremely conservative in
the draft, taking relatively easy signs who stood out more for their
floors than their ceilings. That's not how Atlanta built its string of
winners, and it's not a strategy conducive to long-term success.
Luke (Colorado): Safe to say the Rockies had one of the worst drafts?
I would not say that. We don't grade all
the drafts, or rank them from 1-30, but I can't see how a team that came
away with a potential five-tool shortstop in Trevor Story had one of
the worst drafts. Top pick Tyler Anderson is a nice polished college
lefthander with solid stuff. The depth of the Rockies' draft may not
stack up to some others, but I like what they did with picks 20 and 45.
It's too bad they couldn't sign three of our top five college Ones Who
Got Away in Peter O'Brien (third round), Ross Stripling (ninth) and
Preston Tucker (16th).
Dan (Lansing): What kind of grade would you give the Cubs draft?
I'd give it a B. It didn't make our top
five drafts, but the Cubs would have been in the next tier. They spent a
club-record $12 million on the draft and reeled in a lot of talent,
including Javier Baez, Dan Vogelbach, Zeke DeVoss and Tony Zych at the
top of the draft and Dillon Maples in the 14th round. For what it's
worth, the Cubs were higher on players like Vogelbach, Trevor Gretzky
and Shawon Dunston Jr. than we were, and some scouts don't love Maples'
Greg (Fullerton, CA): Does Bauer have a shot of making the Diamondbacks rotation out of spring?
I wouldn't rule anything out, because Bauer
is so advanced and so competitive, but June 1 is probably a more
Jake (San Clemente): What do you think of Cody Hebner? Does he have a real shot at being a 3/4 starter?
He's athletic and has a strong arm, though
he'll need to add a lot of polish to remain a starter. There's no reason
to think he can't, and he was a solid fourth-round pick.
Brian (San Diego): Do the Padres get a pick next year for missing out on compensation pick Brett Austin?
Yes. The Blue Jays get pick 22 for not
signing Beede; the Padres get pick 55 for Austin; the Yankees get pick
89 for Sam Stafford; and the Mariners, Marlins and Rockies will get
supplemental third-rounders for Kevin Cron, Connor Barron and O'Brien.
Nick (Long Island): Bradley Marquez sounds like
the 2nd coming of Jose Reyes. Provided he sticks with baseball, will
he hit enough to play everyday and what position do you see him playing?
Marquez does draw those Reyes comparisons,
though he ultimately may be more of a center fielder than a shortstop.
He has the tools to hit, but he's going to lose some at-bats while
playing football at Texas Tech.
Roger (Washington, DC): What's Kyle Crick's upside, and where is he in his development at this point?
Frontline starter potential with a big-time
arm, but he's still pretty raw because he has focused on pitching for
little more than a year. He's in the right organization (Giants) to
develop as a pitcher, though.
Eric (Staten Island NY): What do you think of the Mets draft and how their farm system is progressing?
I liked how the Mets finally got aggressive
and spent some money to bolster a farm system that had been in a rut.
Brandon Nimmo and Marquez are exciting athletes, Michael Fulmer has a
quality arm and they landed several other interesting guys.
Allan (Milwaukee): Jim, John, In your opinions who has better career Jungmann, Bradley , maybe Jorge Lopez?
If I had to pick one, I'd say Jungmann
because I really like the way he pitches off his fastball. At the same
time, Bradley and Lopez might have higher ceilings. The Brewers
definitely upgraded their pitching prospects with this draft.
Joe (St. Louis): Is Kolten Wong opening day 2B for the Springfield Cardinals?
With the way he played in low Class A immediately after signing, Wong could handle the jump to Double-A.
Brian (San Diego): Will Spangenberg stay at 2B and is he a top 100 prospect?
The jury is still out on second base. He
might become an average defender there, but I wonder if the Padres will
just expedite his bat by letting him use his speed in the outfield.
I'm passing the baton to John Manuel now. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @jimcallisBA.
OK, it's my turn. Thanks for coming, I'll try to live up to the Callis standard.
Laura (Philly): I've read a few scouting reports that predict Sonny Gray will eventually become a reliever. Do you concur with this or no?
No. His changeup isn't there yet, but it
has improved, and I actually think fastball command will be the biggest
obstacle for Sonny. The A's certainly see him as a starter, and while
there was a strong contingent of scouts who liked Gray better as a
reliever as an amateur, I would say the consensus liked him as a
@Jaypers413 (IL): Any recent word on whether or not Rendon will get to see any action in the AFL?
Sounds like the Nationals expect to assign
Rendon to the AFL sooner rather than later but wanted to make sure he
was 100 percent.
Chuck (Wichita): How does Bubba Starling compare to Mike Trout in terms of tools and ceiling?
They're not physically comparable; one's a
fast-moving tank (Trout) and the other's 6-foot-4 or 6-5 and lithe
(Starling). Also, Trout's hit tool is more advanced than that of
Starling. Starling has more arm strength than Trout, but I'd say Trout
has him matched or surpassed in every other tool. It's a forced
comparison, not one that I would try to make. Starling compares more to
Jeff Francouer — a CF version of Frenchy, and maybe not quite as thick
as him, but physically and in terms of tools, he's more Frenchy than
Trout. Obviously the Royals hope that his hit tool plays better than
Frenchy's has over the course of his career.
Roger (Greenville, SC): Why have the Braves become so conservative in the draft?
Well, I don't think last year's draft was
conservative; in 2010 they took a prep middle-of-the-diamond guy with
their top pick in Lipka, and drafted several JC guys high. Atlanta has
had tons of JC success lately — Kimbrel, Venters, Hanson, Medlen ...
why would you NOT hit the JCs hard when you found that kind of talent
there? The motivating factor for their move to JC was the rising cost of
high school talent. I suspect that's a major reason for their
college-heavy draft in 2011. It's startling to see them sign just two
high school players (hope my math is right there), but I suspect this is
just the way their board fell. I know they were in on several of the HS
pitchers who went just ahead of them and just got their pocket picked.
So I don't think it's a vast departure of philosophy necessarily, it
just looks like this is how their board fell.
Matt (KC): It sounds like BA is really high on
Royals' 16th rounder, Jack Lopez. How does he compare to a guy like
Michael Antonio as far as big league upside?
I'll put it this way; the Royals are very
high on Jack Lopez. Our reports on him coming into the draft were mostly
of the same vein — good player, not terribly physical, Miami recruit,
probably better suited to going to school. The Royals liked the bat and
the bloodlines and bought him out of that commitment. I think they see
him as more of a polished player than Antonio, but he's less physical.
tommy (San Diego): Is Kevin Quackenbush a guy
that could take Mike Adams old spot next year? His K to HIT ratio was
around 2.50. That's unheard of.
I wouldn't go crazy there but yeah,
Quackenbush had a tremendous debut. He always had arm strength and some
makeup issues (he had an Oct. 2010 arrest for a hit-and-run incident
involving a police car), but he had a huge spring and got a lot better
with Chuck Hernandez taking over as South Florida's pitching coach. He's
consistently 90-95 mph with some angle, so that's a great start. He
doesn't have Adams' cutter but he's certainly a candidate to move very
Greg T (London): Surprised the Jays werent
listed as having one of the Top 5 drafts. All I have read is positive
things about their draft with their aggressive drafting of high ceiling
players - eventhough they failed to sign their 1st round pick, Tyler
The Jays' class has the three HS pitchers
with real upside in Musgrove, Comer and Norris; we had Norris rated the
highest of the trio coming into the draft. There's some real power
potential from Anderson and Dean, and some nice college arms in Stilson
and DeSclafani. To play devil's advocate, they had eight members of our
Top 200, but only Norris was in the top 20; Stilson was in doubt because
of his injury late in the college season; and generally we go for star
power over depth. Hence a top 3 of Washington, Arizona and Pittsburgh.
If you want depth, the Rays took 10 members of our top 200, with star
power in Guerrieri and Mahtook. Boston got the edge with more top 100
draftees, including two in the top 20 in Barnes and Swihart. It was
close between Boston & Toronto, we'll see who winds up having the
best draft 4-6 years from now.
Jake (San Clemente): With the glowing reviews
about his bat/defense from instructs will Austin Hedges start 2012 in
full-season ball? How about Joe Ross?
Sounds like both have a chance, though the
weather in Fort Wayne might prompt the Padres to delay Ross until it
starts warming up in May. I've heard good initial reports on both
players, with Ross showing impressive velocity in instructional league. I
know Jim addressed Hedges' eye-opening offensive skills and I've heard
the same buzz.
Nick (Connecticut): I was wondering how close Jordan Cote came to any of the rankings in the report card? Love the chats thanks.
Most of these categories deal with "now"
tools. Cote is a projection guy. The way the Yankees put it to me, they
thought that after he went to school for three years in the South (I
believe he was committed to Coastal Carolina), he could be a
first-rounder, so why wait? They trust their ability to get him moving a
little quicker and like his athleticism, body control and projectable
Brett (Seattle, WA): Who would you say has more upside between Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker?
I like the reports we have on Walker but
would still say Hultzen. That said, I have my reservations on him just
because of the Virginia delivery. Much respect to the Cavaliers, but I
haven't talked to one scout who can tell me why their pitchers bend
their knees (like Hultzen) before they deliver, and two just dismissed
it as "an unathletic position," and he throws across his body quite a
bit. So there's a change or two that's probably going to happen sooner
than later with Hultzen. I think he could move real quick, but it also
wouldn't shock me if it took him a little longer than we thought,
because I think he's going to have to make some delivery adjustments.
Drew (Chicago): Can Jace Peterson be an average
starting short stop? I'd love the Padres with 3 basestealers in
Peterson, Spanenburg, and Maybin.
I'm a fan and really like the profile as a
speedy LH-hitting middle infielder. I think he can be an average
defender at short, because the scouts I have talked to believe so. But
most MLB teams want better than average defense at short, so that will
be his challenge. He's athletic enough to do it but it will take reps,
aptitude on his part and good coaching.
David (Kansas): How close was the Royals draft to being in the top 5?
Not terribly far off but ranked behind Toronto among the 6-10 teams, I'd also slot it behind the Cubs & Padres.
JB (Dallas): With Bauer and Gray likely both
starting next season at Double-A (or higher), do you see any other 2011
guys starting at that level? Cole? Rendon? Jungmann?
Rendon is about the only one I could see
moving that quickly, doubt it on Cole because of the Pirates' pitching
approach, and doubt it on Jungmann as well. Rendon probably will debut
at a lower level, he's the most likely of that trio, for me, to reach
Double-A in his first full pro season.
Jon (DC): Yu Darvish rumors are heating up
already. Do you have a take on him? Internet "scouts" always say he
has four above average pitches and will sit at 95 mph. The youtube
shows that he sits at 90 though. Any take on him?
Our scouting report on Darvish from the
2009 WBC is here:
Andrew (Baltimore, MD): I'm looking forward to seeing if this Bundy kid is legit. Which team should I buy tickets from to see him pitch in April?
Hard to say just because the front office
in Baltimore is changing. If a guy like Chuck LaMar who likes to push
prospects were to be in charge there (not saying he's a candidate), he's
polished enough to push to high Class A Frederick. More likely he
starts in low A Delmarva. If someone came in to the O's and said, "We're
going to copy the way the Rays develop pitching," then you'd see Bundy
in extended spring and make his way to Aberdeen when the New York-Penn
league starts. I think he's more advanced than that, but the Rays take
virtually all their pitchers slow, start all of them off in extended and
then go to short-season ball in their first pro seasons. So I guess you
need to wait before you buy tickets.
Jake (San Clemente): Are there any prospects who have preformed well enough in regular season ball or instructs who you may have underestimated?
I would say that in general the players
who seem better after signing are guys who had limited looks in the
spring, guys who weren't showcase jokers from the previous summer, and
Northern kids. Take Hedges; in California, HS kids aren't allowed to
take BP pre-game, so you couldn't see him take BP, and then because he
was his team's best hitter, you didn't always get to see him swing the
bat in games because he was often pitched around. So it was harder to
evaluate his bat. Same lack of information (relatively speaking)
accounts for Northern players being drafted higher than where we might
have ranked a player such as Jordan Cote or say Chris Bostick, the A's
sleeper out of New York. He sounds pretty interesting, and the best
thing about that was that we had Bostick ranked high (No. 2) in our
summer college league list for the New York Collegiate League. Those
lists come in handy.
Steve (Huntington beach): What's your take on
Mikie Mahtook? The Rays are loaded with talent in the outfield
throughout their system, does he stand out in your opinion over Guyer,
Vettelsen, Sale etc? Possible eta?
Sale had a pretty modest debut, and some
people think Guyer is a 4th OF. If you believe in Mahtook as a CF (and
scouts are pretty mixed there), then he's the best prospect of that
group. I like Mahtook's energy, strength and improvement over the course
of his career, and I think he can play CF. That said, the Rays have
Upton and also Jennings; he may not ever play CF in Tampa.
J (Detroit): How did the Tigers do? They went cheap...anyone with star potential? Or are we hoping for another Andy Dirks?
Hoping for Dirks ... sounds like a good
name for a blog. Really more like Hoping for Matt Joyce, right? Aim
higher! Joyce was a nice find in the 12th round. McCann (now with Team
USA in Mexico), Tyler Collins, Brandon Loy, Aaron Westlake ... some
decent college guys there. I think Loy will be a big leaguer with his
glove, and Collins is a nice dark-horse considering how torrid he was
all year offensively. Another summer college guy by the way, No. 1 in
Mick (Chicago): Is Joe Panik the next great hope for the Giants at the shortstop position?
So far, sure. But I would exhaust the
Brandon Crawford option. I've never believed in Crawford's bat but he
can defend at short. Panik is a grinder who can hit and should be one of
those average defenders at short, when teams are usually looking for
JT (Charlotte): What are your thoughts on Tommy La Stella? He seems to be a nice sleeper draft pick for the Braves.
Great debut and he has a nice lefthanded
bat. I have had him compared to Kevin Melillo several times so I
wouldn't get terribly excited, and I don't think he's as athletic as
Melillo. I also doubt he has similar mustache-growing skills. Great
debut but more than likely a LF defensively than a 2b, and then we're
really making demands on the bat. More likely a good organizational
Thanks for all the questions, but it's
time for a late lunch and more Handbook calls and editing. Coming
tomorrow�Aaron Fitt's ridiculous Recruiting Rankings. Nobody does it
better people ... more than 10,000 words of recruiting goodness coming
on BaseballAmerica.com tomorrow.