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Padres Prospects

Moderator: Jim Callis compiled the Padres top 10 prospects list and will field your questions about the organization.

 Q:  Scott from Springfield,IL asks:
Do the Padres think Humberto Quintero has a legitimate shot to be their long term answer at catcher? Where will he rank in the Padres "Top 30?"
 A: 

Jim Callis: With 63 questions already piling up, let's get an early jump. "Legitimate" might be strong. They love his arm, but he's also a career .250 hitter in the lower minors, and has little power. The Padres continue to search for a long-term catcher, and if Quintero could hit he could get a shot. Nick Trzesniak is their best option in the minors right now.

 Q:  James from The Great Southwest asks:
Hello Jim Thanks for yout ime in doing these chats. I have three questions for you today about San Diego are their any Propects flying under the radar screen this year like Oliver Perez did last year? Also what is the ceiling and time table for Josh Barfield?? Is Ben Johnson highly in this organization???
 A: 

Jim Callis: The sleeper right now is another lefty, former indy leaguer Cory Stewart. He has two solid pitches and command. Barfield has a high ceiling, but has to develop plate discipline. I'd say he's 2-3 years away. Ben Johnson is one of several athletic outfielders in the system, and they haven't really separated themselves. Still has some upside, hasn't developed rapidly.

 Q:  Jeff Nold from Atlanta asks:
Jim, several Padre pitchers seem to have lost velocity when called up to the majors last year. If Ben Howard ever broke 93 it was wind-assisted. Do Mike Nicolas, Rusty Tucker, and Cory Stewart actually bring it 94+ or is that hype by the Padre organization?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Actually, the gun readings the Padres discussed with me were usually more conservative from what we heard from other sources. Howard was hurt last year and was never his true self. Stewart tops out at 94, so he's not really a flamethrower. Nicolas and Tucker do reach the high 90s.

 Q:  Marquis de Lafayette from Hanging my head in shame asks:
Do the Padres need to overhaul their minor league hitting system? They haven't developed a hitter with plate discipline and power in 15 years. Sean Burroughs may change that, but do they have the personnel in place to turn amateur bats into professionals?
 A: 

Jim Callis: That's very hard to answer. It's not like they've had the same staff in place for 15 years, and they didn't help themselves by not signing guys like Troy Glaus and Todd Helton. If the Padres had, their development record would look a lot better. Xavier Nady seems to be doing just fine, so I'd say their personnel are fine.

 Q:  Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey from Paris and Brussels asks:
What the heck happened to Dennis Tankersley last year?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Tankersley didn't have his past command and life on his fastball, and he lost confidence after getting shelled in the majors. For more on him, see today's Ask BA, which was posted just minutes ago!

 Q:  Holly from Moline, IL asks:
With the fourth pick of the draft, do you think the Padres prefer Sleeth, Young, Weeks, or Milledge? Also, are they able to sign Clemson 1B Michael Johnson before the draft or have they lost him? Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: I think the Padres are more likely to go the college route, and I don't see Weeks lasting four picks, so Wake Forest RHP Kyle Sleeth is the best bet among those four guys. San Diego can take another crack at Johnson after his season ends, up to a week before the 2003 draft. But if Clemson makes the NCAA playoffs, a near lock, they won't get the chance.

 

Quick correction: To update the Michael Johnson situation, if Clemson is eliminate in the first round of the NCAA playoffs, the Padres would get a narrow window of time to try to sign him. It would be similar to when the Red Sox were trying to sign prized draft-and-follow Frankie Rodriguez in 1991, and Rodriguez was playing at the Junior College World Series during the closed period (the last week before the draft). Boston got a small grace period to woo Rodriguez and succeeded in landing him.

 Q:  JT Stud from Dayton, OH asks:
What is the prognosis of LHP Sean Thompson - where might he start this season? Does he have any projection? Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Not a big guy, so he might never have more than an average fastball. But he has a tremendous curveball and some upside. He'll start this year in low Class A.

 Q:  Dave from Chestertown asks:
What is the future of Khalil Greene?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I like Greene a lot and won't be surprised if his instincts allow him to stay at shortstop. I also think he'll hit. But one word of caution: A year ago, Chris Burke had a similar background, and he disappointed in Double-A. I think Greene will be a very good big leaguers, but expectations from fans might be a little high right now.

 Q:  Shad from Frostburg St. University asks:
How has Sean Burroughs looked in camp thus far? So much was being written about him this year and now he is barely ever mentioned. Isn't he still a potential favorite for NL ROY this year? What are your projections for him? Thanks
 A: 

Jim Callis: I don't have any word on how Burroughs has looked in camp, but he's no longer rookie-eligible. I think he'll hit for average, maybe win batting titles, but at this point he's an extreme groundball hitter and I don't think he'll be a big power guy. He might max out at 15.

 Q:  Jeff Nold from Atlanta asks:
Where does Justin Germano fall on the Top 30 list? Seems like a starting pitcher with his control would rate higher than a couple of relief prospects like Nicolas and Tucker.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Germano is 13, and I do like him. But Nicolas and Tucker have higher ceilings and have proven themselves at higher levels. I'd suspect Germano will crack the Top 10 next year.

 Q:  JT Stud from Dayton, OH asks:
Out of Kennard Jones, Marcus Nettles, and Vince Faison, who would you rather have on your ball club? Who has the highest ceiling?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Jones is the answer to both questions. I have serious reservations as to how much Nettles and Faison will hit, not that Jones lit it up in his pro debut. But he's a fine athlete and seems to grasp the strike zone.

 Q:  Michael Stern from Rochester, N.Y. asks:
Jim - these chats are the best! Do you see any chance of Bernabel Castro making it to the bigs? Is speed his only asset? Can he be a lead off hitter in the majors if he improves his on base pct? How do the Padres see him? Thanks - and keep up the good work!
 A: 

Jim Callis: At one point Padres GM called Castro San Diego's second baseman of the future, but I can't see how he'll hold off Jake Gautreau and Josh Barfield. Castro can fly, but he has to do a lot more at the plate than he did last year in Double-A.

 Q:  Ramon Vazquez from Peoria, AZ asks:
Why don't you like me? I'm better than most shortstops in the NL, certainly better than all but Aurilia in the NL West (and I'm a better defender). I get on base and I don't know where the knocks on my defense come from.
 A: 

Jim Callis: I like you, Ramon, but I don't see a high ceiling and I think your long-term future is as a utilityman.

 Q:  Shad from Frostburg St. University asks:
WHat are your thought on Omar Falcon? What kind of catcher and overall player do you see him becoming? Where will he start the season this year and when is his ETA for the majors? Thanks
 A: 

Jim Callis: Like Quintero, Falcon's defense is far ahead of his offense right now. He still has to prove he can hit. He's only 20, and I suspect he'll be the everyday catcher in low Class A this year.

 Q:  Jeff Nold from Atlanta asks:
Future Padre prospect question. Since we've gone heavily college in recent drafts, Weeks and Sleeth seem like good bets for our first 2003 selection. Does Weeks have enough bat to play a corner OF position if other prospects jam up second base?
 A: 

Jim Callis: As I mentioned above, I don't see Weeks lasting four picks. But he does have enough bat to play on the corner.

 Q:  Wolf from La Jolla asks:
What do you think of Jason Bay? It seems he has hit wherever he has gone and has a nice package of other tools. WHere is he on the list and what kind of future do you see him having in San Diego?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I think Bay has been overlooked. He has solid tools across the board and solid instincts as well. He's 12th on the list. His problem in San Diego is that the Padres' future outfield looks like Xavier Nady, Mark Kotsay and Phil Nevin, and it's possible Jake Gautreau or Josh Barfield could be in the running. Bay might not get the opportunity to play every day with the Padres.

 Q:  Tom from San Francisco, CA asks:
Has any thought been given to making Tagg Bozied a catcher?
 A: 

Jim Callis: That was talked about while he was in college, but he doesn't have the body for it. The Padres aren't planning on this at all.

 Q:  John from Washington DC asks:
Why wasn't Jon Knott, the Padre co-minor league player of the year, included in your top 10 prospects. He had a monster year at Lake Elsinore and do you forsee him being in the Padres plans down the road?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Knott is on the Top 30 and has made himself into a prospect, but he was 23 last year in Class A ball. I'd like to see him do it again this year in Double-A, and he still won't be young for that level. The Padres like him, but like Bay there isn't a lot of clear opportunity at first base or on the outfield corners.

 Q:  Peter Kennedy from San Diego, CA asks:
Who is the best center field prospect the Padres have? I think Faison projects as a corner outfielder. Thank-you.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Kennard Jones over Shane Victorino. You're right on Faison, who has lost some speed as he has bulked up.

 Q:  Andy from Ithaca asks:
While it's not fair to compare anyone to ARod or Nomar, who would you compare Khalil Greene to? Maybe Rich Aurilia? Are the Padres serious about moving him to the majors this year?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Good point on comparisons, Andy. I couldn't agree more. I think the Aurilia comparison is fair. Greene could reach the majors this year, but I think it's more realistic to see him coming up after the 2004 all-star break.

 Q:  NWPadre from Vancouver,WA asks:
Mike Bynum and Clay Condrey didn't make your list. What can we expect from these talented young Padres?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Bynum made the Top 30, while Condrey missed out but was seriously considered. I think both guys fit in the San Diego bullpen, long term.

 Q:  John from Washington DC asks:
Does Alex Pelaez, the MVP of Portland, have any chance of making the Padres this year or will he be returned to AAA or dealt?
 A: 

Jim Callis: He's more of a Triple-A insurance policy to me.

 Q:  Dan from San Diego asks:
With Phil Nevin playing left field for the Padres, how does Xavier Nady project as a right fielder in the big leagues, especially considering his recent arm problems?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Both guys project better as left fielders. Nevin has a strong arm, so I bet he moves to right when Nady is ready. Nady's arm will be average at best.

 Q:  Jeremy from Clayton, NC asks:
Big Padres fan here....glad to see you saved the best for last....I have many questions, but Ill just throw out one for now. Is Tagg Bozied a decent enough hitter to find a place in the Pads lineup although he seems to be blocked at every position he could possibly play.
 A: 

Jim Callis: For power, yes. For average, he has to close up some holes in his swing. He might have to wait for Ryan Klesko to give up first base before getting an everyday job in San Diego.

 Q:  Jeremy from Clayton, NC asks:
What is the deal with Vince Faison? The Padres gave him a big bonus and he cant seem to develop into a major league prospect. Where does he fall into their plans at this point.
 A: 

Jim Callis: They're still high on him, higher than I am. He has made some progress but it hasn't been rapid. The Padres see him as a potential Ray Lankford who will be in their crowded corner-outfield mix.

 Q:  Guillermo from Palma de Mallorca asks:
The Pads havent had a good leadoff hitter since Alan Wiggins(RIP)(Well maybe Quilvio Veras was OK)... Can Bernie Castro take over that role in the next couple of years and add sme speed to the lineup or do they really think Jake Gautreau has a major league future as the 2b.
 A: 

Jim Callis: I addressed Castro earlier. As for Gautreau's defense at second base, the Padres continue to envision him being at least adequate in the majors.

 Q:  Peter from San Diego asks:
A fellow minor league prognosticator isn't that impressed with Justin Germano, winner of the Padres' minor league pitcher of the year award. Does Germano have big league stuff and potential?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Lots of Germano questions today. His two biggest assets are his command and his curveball, both of which are well above average. His fastball is fringe average right now but has some projection. His upside is as another Brian Lawrence.

 Q:  Dan from San Diego asks:
Is Jake Gautreau over all the difficulties with ulcerative colitis?
 A: 

Jim Callis: He has it under control now. However, it's not something that goes away or gets cured.

 Q:  Joe from Raleigh, NC asks:
On what basis is Ben Howard a better prospect than Nicholas or Tucker? The latter two are younger, and both seem to have better stuff and numbers?
 A: 

Jim Callis: On the basis that he wasn't healthy last year and projects as a starter rather than a reliever. Howard's stuff is in the same class, and he'd add velocity if he was used out of the bullpen.

 Q:  Peter Friberg from San Diego asks:
So is Mark Phillips a prospect this week?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Sure, this and every week. He's a good-sized lefty who touches 97 mph and has two plus-plus pitches at times. He showed consistent command at the end of last season, and if he maintains that, watch out in 2003.

 Q:  Jack Murphy from San Diego asks:
Is it me or does Khalil Greene seem like a guy in the mold of Russ Johnson or Brandon Larson, college players with big numbers who couldnt be anything more then AAAA type players. Why should the hype on this guy be any different?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Larson was kind of a one-year wonder, so that's a bit harsh. Greene's profile is similar to Johnson's coming out of college, though I think he's got a better chance to hit and stay at shortstop.

 Q:  Enzo Hernandez from Hatteras, NC asks:
Is Xavier Nady talented enough to put up Pat Burrell type numbers in the majors?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Yes, he could. I don't know if I'd say he WILL do that, but he has that kind of upside.

 Q:  Dan from San Diego asks:
Who has the biggest upside of the three top second base prospects, Gautreau, Barfield and Castro? Which is most likely to achieve that upside?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Gautreau is the safest pick of the bunch, while Barfield might have a little more upside.

 Q:  Fred Kendall from Manteo, NC. asks:
What prospect that didnt make your top 10 will be the next one to make a dramatic move up the prospect ladder and possibly make it to San Diego.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Righthander Javier Martinez, who made huge strides last year and hit 95 mph as a teenager. The Padres also expect Kennard Jones to develop nicely.

 Q:  Simon from Montreal, Quebec asks:
Jim, I think the Padres and the Devil Rays have the best hitting prospects in all of baseball. Do you agree with this assumption ? Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Off the top of my head, that's a bit strong for me. I'd also have the Cubs, Marlins, Brewers and Twins in that mix.

 Q:  Peter Friberg from San Diego asks:
Kansas City is looking to clear payroll and Padres seem to be fairly close to being quite good. Could the two being dancing partners regarding Carlos Beltran? Say, OF-1B X. Nady, 2B Jake G., RHP D. Tankersley, and a low-minors pitcher for Beltran?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I think the Royals would jump at the trade and I don't see the Padres giving up that much to get him.

 Q:  TJ from Waukesha, WI asks:
The Padres has a bunch of young arms ready to bud ... How would you rank the following pitchers in terms of upside (top-of-rotation, middle-of-rotation, etc.) and are any of these guys capable of being longtime staff ace and perennial threat to win 20 games? The guys are Adam Eaton, Jake Peavy, Oliver Perez, Mark Phillips, Mike Bynum, Eric Cyr, Ben Howard, and Dennis Tankersley. By the way, the order I listed them is my ranking -- how close am I? Who winds up in the pen out of this group and who hits the rotation this year?
 A: 

Jim Callis: There aren't too many guys I'd say are perennial 20-game winners. My ranking of those guus would be Peavy, Perez, Phillips, Tankersley, Howard, Eaton, Bynum, Cyr. To me, Peavy has long-term ace potential, and Phillips will if he maintains consistent command. My guess at the long-term rotation is the first four guys on my list, plus Brian Lawrence.

 Q:  Alan from Oakland asks:
In your writeup on the Padres' prospects, you said that Ramon Vazquez is more of a utility guy. I don't disagree that the Padres feel that way, but frankly, I'm uncertain why. He's not the greatest hitter nor the greatest fielder, but he's above average at hitting and his fielding is at least average. Why the thought that he's not acceptable as a starter? Is it merely that Khalil Greene is on the way or is there something I'm missed about Vazquez?
 A: 

Jim Callis: A combination of Vazquez already reaching his ceiling, and Greene coming up in the next couple of years.

 Q:  Peter Friberg from San Diego asks:
With the "graduation" of Burroughs, Perez, Peavy, & Tankersley, where do you rank the Padres' system, roughly ?
 A: 

Jim Callis: They promoted so many guys last year that they fell from near the top of our organization rankings to the middle of the pack.

 Q:  jon from Chicago asks:
Do you feel that Eric Cyr (despite some personal and health issues) can be a legitimate force out of the bullpen. Not many lefties that throw in the mid 90's. Thanks
 A: 

Jim Callis: Legitimate big league reliever yes, but force is pushing it. Cyr is more of a 90-92 mph guy, he still needs a consistent second pitch, and his makeup isn't the best.

 Q:  Eitan Altman from San Francisco asks:
Jim, thanks for taking my question. As a transplanted Padres fan living in hated Giants territory, I have to know: right now, would you rather have Williams-Foppert-Ainsworth or Peavy-Perez-Tankersley? Can you rank these 6 guys?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Ranking them, I'd go Peavy-Foppert-Perez-Ainsworth-Williams-Tankersley. I'd give a slight nod to the Giants threesome, but they're almost too close to make a distinction.

 Q:  Kurt from California asks:
You have already mentioned the potential of Xavier Nady, Khalil Greene, Jake Gautreau and Tagg Bozied; but at what level do you see Jon Knott and Paul McAnulty playing (and possibly advancing to) in the coming season?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Knott in Double-A, McAnulty in Class A. Both guys crushed the ball last year in leagues they were old for and have to do it again at higher levels.

 Q:  Gabriel from San Francisco asks:
Given Burroughs shoulder injury last year and his scorching hot september, do you think it is unreasonable to expect him to hit .300 .380 .450 this year?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Unreasonable, no. But I think a .280 AVG, .350 OBP and .400 SLG are more reasonable.

 Q:  Gabriel from San Francisco asks:
Given their similar level of success in the majors last season, if you had to pick either Josh Beckett or Oliver Perez to anchora staff, woh would you pick? Why?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Josh Beckett, and it's not even close. Oliver Perez is a good young pitcher, but he's doesn't have anywhere near the stuff Beckett has. Perez didn't exactly come out of nowhere last year, but he did exceed expecations. Let's see him do it again before we put him in Beckett's class.

 Q:  Peter Friberg from San Diego asks:
Is the switch-hitting 1B-3B Jon Benick a legit prospect?
 A: 

Jim Callis: A prospect, but like Knott and McAnulty he was old for his level last year and his bat will have to continue carrying him.

 Q:  Alan from Oakland asks:
I've heard of Javier Martinez and Luis Garcia, but is there anything more you can tell us of Wilmer Villatoro and Cesar Rojas? Is Garcia really any good? The Padres trumpeted another young Latino SS (Jack Aquino) who has failed to hit. Can Garcia hit? For that mattter, is Aquino off the radar?
 A: 

Jim Callis: You just identified some of the Padres best young players with the most upside. They haven't proven much yet, but watch them this year. Villatoro already hit 93-94 mph last year at age 19. Rojas, signed last July at age 16 out of Venezuela, has touched 96 mph. Garcia has a tremendous arm and speed, though his age has been revised upward 11 months and I think he's known as Alexander now. Aquino, now known as Alcinio de la Cruz, had his age revised upward more than two years and his status has slipped.

 Q:  Barry from Springfield, New Jersey asks:
I understand the Padres brought in some talented college pitching last summer. Tom Lipari, Gabe Ribas, and Luke Steidlmeyer all had legitimate summer seasons. How do you see these guys contributing in the future? Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: It's a bit early to get too excited, but all are decent prospects. Let's see how they do in full-season ball this year, but the early returns were good. Ribas is the best of that group right now, with pitchability his strong suit.

 Q:  Eitan Altman from San Francisco asks:
Jim, you are answering questions at a blinding pace, you rule! Just from your gut, if you had to pick between Jake Peavy and Oliver Perez in a draft right now, who would you take?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Peavy, easy. His track record is better and longer.

 Q:  Peter Friberg from San Diego asks:
How does Padres' manager Bruce Bochy's son, RHP Greg, rate as a prospect?
 A: 

Jim Callis: He's better than most managers' sons. He's a sinker-slider guy who needs better command.

 Q:  Gabriel from San Francisco asks:
Is there a specific reason for Mark Phillips's outstanding final month last season? How did he get his control together all of a sudden? Do you think this is a trend that will carry over to this year or was it an anomaly?
 A: 

Jim Callis: That's the big question. Working with Darren Balsley, who has helped several Padres minor leaguers, can only help. The Padres hope that he has mastered his mechanics and his strong finish wasn't a fluke.

 Q:  Robert from San Diego asks:
What can you tell me about Matt Hampton, another of the indy league finds by the Pads. In an article last year, it said 13-14 teams were after him? Why was he so highly regarded. Can you tell me about him?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Hampton went straight to Double-A and had success. He's a lefty reliever who throws 88-90 mph consistently and also uses a slider and changeup. You could see him in San Diego in the near future. He throws strikes.

 Q:  Sergio from Chula Vista, CA asks:
How do you think Faison will compare with other Padres prospects since it is reported he lost 20 lbs, will be back to the prospect he was back in 1999? Do you think Alex Fernandez has a high ceiling since he is at AAA at age 21? He seems raw but has a high ceiling.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Faison has been around long enough that I want to see him have a strong season with the bat before I get excited. I don't think many people in baseball believe Fernandez' age. He's an OK prospect, nothing special.

 Q:  John from Washington DC asks:
Who do you forsee starting at 2b and SS for the Padres in 2004? I have always advocated that a starting Gautreau and Greene might give the Padres a great middle infield combo. What do you think?
 A: 

Jim Callis: That would be my guess, but for mid-2004 at the earliest. Both still have to prove they can handle that defensive responsibility as well.

 Q:  James Norton from San Diego asks:
Rate these prospects by ceiling: Henry Perez, Cesar Rojas, Wilmer Villatoro, Luke Steidlmayer, and David Pauley? Is 2002 draftees Kevin Beavers or David Krisch a possible Eric Cyr sleeper type? Or their potential isn't that high?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Just by ceiling, and remember these guys are so far away: Rojas, Villatoro, Perez, Pauley or Steidlmayer. That's optimistic on Beavers and Krisch.

 Q:  Sebastian from El Cajon, CA asks:
There was an unknown pitcher in the Padres system by the name of Jose Oyervidez, who had 58K's in 31 innings. Can you tell me about him? What does he ceiling look like?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Oyervidez has a very live arm but is also far from the majors at this point. The Padres consider him a prospect and he does have a nice ceiling, but they want to see how he does outside of Rookie ball before getting overly excited.

 Q:  Jay from Chicago asks:
What is up with Eric Cyr? Last year he was commonly grouped with Tank, Peavy and Howard amoung the Padres pitching uber-prospects. He seems to have fallen off the map. What's the story?
 A: 

Jim Callis: He had his second elbow surgery in three years, and his stuff and command were down. The Padres aren't giving up on him, but he has something to prove in 2003.

 Q:  Brian from Greenville, NC asks:
Jim, As as big follower of ECU baseball, I know that the Padres took ECU first baseman Joe Hastings in the 2001 draft. How do you see him as a professional player and in the mix with the Padres?
 A: 

Jim Callis: He has a decent bat but has to show more power than he did in 2002.

 Q:  Peter Friberg from San Diego asks:
Earlier I asked the Beltran question and you suggested that I was giving up too much, what would you give up from the Padres, knowing they want Major League-ready talent?
 A: 

Jim Callis: The big question is whether the Padres can sign Beltran long term, and my guess is probably not. San Diego should have a Nady-Kotsay-Nevin outfield in place by the end of 2003, so I'd look to for middle-infield help before giving up the farm for Beltran.

 Q:  Brad Sloan Fan from Los Angeles asks:
Please rate this prospect from high to low ceiling: Alex Fernandez, Jason Bay, Vince Faison, Ben Johnson, and Freddy Guzman (the prospect formerly known as Pedro De Los Santos).
 A: 

Jim Callis: Bay, Johnson, Faison, Guzman, Fernandez. We're wrapping up here, but I'll take a few more questions.

 Q:  DAVE from rancho bernardo asks:
in your top 10 list you said that oliver perez's pure stuff can't match up with that of mark phillips. Is that really so? Many big leaguers described perez as "electric" and "nasty" last year. Can Phillips really be that good?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Yes, he really is. His fastball (up to 97 mph) and curveball are both better than what Perez has, though Perez has a better changeup and command.

 Q:  kevin towers from san diego asks:
What can you tell me about the available college catchers for the June draft. That is the one glaring weakness we have in our system and we need someone who could be ready soon. In which round could I find a good one?
 A: 

Jim Callis: South Carolina's Landon Powell is the best, but he wouldn't be a good No. 4 pick. The next two guys are Florida State's Tony Richie and Tennessee's Javy Herrera, but Richie could be gone before the second round. I don't know if I'd take Herrera that high. I'd wait until the later rounds and hope to land someone else.

 Q:  Jake Peavy from San Diego asks:
Jim, I think I'll be a better pitcher than any of your boys in Chicago (Prior, Zambrano, etc.). Where would you project me to fit in the Cubs rotation?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Jake, I love you, but you're not Mark Prior. I'd fit you in third behind Prior and Kerry Wood, and I would take you over Matt Clement, Carlos Zambrano and Juan Cruz. It wouldn't surprise me if you outperformed Wood, either.

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