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Jim Callis
September 27, 2002

 Q:  greg from santa clarita asks:
Why didn't Jerome Williams make the Pac League top 10 when he was one of the youngest starters and an ERA leader?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Williams checked in at No. 16. Part of that is a function of being in a 16-team league, which makes competition for the Top 10 that much tougher, but he just didn't overwhelm anyone. He threw 90-92 mph which is good but not fabulous, his breaking pitchers were nothing special, and he never seems real focused or aggressive. His changeup is his best pitch, he's very athletic and there's more velocity and talent in there. It just didn't come out enough for him to make the Top 10.

 Q:  Rick Whitt from Washington, D.C. asks:
Where's Jonny Gomes in the California League Top 20? An OPS of 1.003 (plus 15 of 18 stolen bases) doesn't even merit a mention? What's up?
 A: 

Jim Callis: You'll have to bear with me on some of these. While I edited all of the lists and talked to a lot of the writers, I don't have every answer as to why Player X didn't make a certain list. If I ignore your question, please understand. As for Gomes, he was in the next 5-10 prospects in the Cal League. The league was relatively loaded this year, and that worked against him as well. Gomes is an interesting prospect, albeit an average athlete and only a left fielder, so his bat will have to carry him. It just may do that, but he also struck out 173 times this year.

 Q:  greg from santa clarita asks:
Why is Aaron Cook rated so highly when his stats aren't that pretty? 32-18 kbb ration, 32k's in 64 innings, 64ip 67 hits.
 A: 

Jim Callis: His stats were prettier in the Southern League, and I rated him just 10th in the PCL. He's a puzzling guy, in that his mid-90s sinker, which dives like Greg Louganis, is one of the nastiest pitches in the minors. But he doesn't miss as many bats as he should. He has a plus slider, and if he can command a changeup he should be a very good starter. Don't forget to give him credit for surviving Colorado Springs; 67 hits in 64 innings there is actually pretty good.

 Q:  John N from Trenton, NJ asks:
I was really looking forward to the Yankees coming to Trenton, but looking at the league Top 20s they don't have any top prospects from full season A ball. What happened to the Yankee farm system?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Injuries, trades andor ineffectiveness nailed most of the guys on their Top 10 Prospects list coming into the season. This happened to them a couple of years ago, and it didn't slow down their major league club. The Yankees can still buy whatever they want, and they make generally good decisions, so they'll keep winning in the majors. Their farm system just has fallen to the middle of the pack for now.

 Q:  Vinny from Bronx asks:
If Drew Henson only hit 202 points higher than Josh Booty in the second half, then how can he still be a prospect? I love everything the Yankees do, but maybe this time it just didn't work out.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Vinny may be right, though I don't think putting Henson on the second half of our International League Top 10 was wrong. The year after he got drafted, Henson went straight to high Class A without the benefit of spring training and played very well. Problem is, to lure him from football, he got moved at a more accelerated pace than he should have. And once the Yankees gave him a $17 million contract, they aggressively tried to get him ready to play in the majors in 2002. It was too much, too fast. If I were the Yankees, I'd send him to Double-A to start 2003 and tell him I wanted him to work on plate discipline. He has enough raw power that he'll naturally hit home runs. Once he starts walking X percent of the time and cuts his whiffs down to X percent, then he can go to Triple-A. But this scenario won't happen.

 Q:  Mark from Seattle asks:
What do you think of Matt Bruback, a starting pitcher for West Tennessee who led the Southern League in strikeouts and finished with an ERA of 3.16 in 174 innings?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Live arm, decent prospect. It took him two tries to get high Class A right, then again was the same story with Double-A.

 Q:  Michael from Chicago asks:
How high a ceiling does Tiger prospect Jeremy Bonderman have? What will he need to improve on next year and what is his ETA for the major leagues?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Very, very high ceiling. There aren't too many guys in the minors with a ceiling that high, and there aren't too many who could have gone to a high Class A hitter's league and done what he did. His fastball-breaking ball combo is very good.

 Q:  Dan from Philadelphia asks:
Ryan Madson put up some impressive numbers at Double-A Reading (1st in victories, second in strikeouts, and third in innings), but was only ranked the 14th best prospect in the league. What were the knocks against him? What major league player would you compare him to? Could he provide help for the Phillies next year as a relief pitcher?
 A: 

Jim Callis: One thing to get straight: ranking 14th in a league, especially at Double-A or higher, is not a bad thing. He's still working on his breaking ball, and his fastball and changeup are good pitches but may not project to be major league out pitches. He's more solid than dominant. Pushing him to the majors next year would be a bit much.

 Q:  Michael from Chicago asks:
What is your evaluation of Oneonta outfielder Curtis Granderson? Where will he start next year and what does he need to work on to get to the major leagues?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Very interesting guy. Scouts will tell you he doesn't have a true plus tool, but they also admit he doesn't have one that's below-average either. I think he's ready to skip a level and go to high Class A. The big question for him will be how much power he develops. I don't see him as a center fielder, and he'll need to have more pop to play every day on a corner. At worst, he'd be a very good fourth outfielder.

 Q:  Tim Stuart from San Clemente, CA asks:
How come Brendan Harris didn't make the FSL top 20?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Harris got a lot of consideration. I'd say the biggest knock against him is a lack of defensive polish. He has split time between second and third base, but his ability to play the infield is still a question.

 Q:  Dr. Nick from Springfield asks:
Is Taylor Buchholz the Phillies' #2 prospect behind Gavin Floyd? Which one of the two has a better curveball?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I'd put Marlon Byrd second, but Buchholz would be in the running. Josh Boyd says both his curve and Floyd's curve get 70s (out of 80) from scouts, so they're even.

 Q:  Paul Gage from San Antonio asks:
Many times during the summer I read how scouts, both within the Dodger organization and from other teams, praised Wilkin Ruan and felt he had a big league future. Thus I was surprised when he did not make the top 20 Southern League List after playing much of the summer in Jacksonville. What's the story?
 A: 

Jim Callis: It's not all about numbers, but Ruan didn't play that well in the SL: .253 average, .306 OBP, .367 slugging. He has a lot of tools, and played better in a brief stint in the PCL, but I've always seen him as more athlete than player.

 Q:  Lois from Metropolis asks:
What made Jake Blalock the #17 prospect in the GCL? He signed late, only had a 602 OPS, and is without a position? Do you think name recogition helped him?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Stats are fairly worthless in the GCL. Chipper Jones hit .229 with one homer in 44 games there, while Derek Jeter batted .202 with three homers in 47 contests. Almost everyone in the GCL is a raw player getting his first taste of U.S. pro ball. Blalock has a sweet-looking swing and is a very intelligent player, and managers liked that.

 Q:  Michael from Chicago asks:
The Tigers have overhauled their front office this season and have one significant holdover in Greg Smith from the previous regime. He is focusing on the draft and my question is what is the overall opinion of him in the industry? He has been working the draft for quite a few years without a tremendous amount of success. Can he help turn the franchise around or is he in over his head?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I think Greg Smith is doing well, and I think most baseball people would say the same. His last two drafts look pretty good to me, though his 2001 effort was struck by a rash of injuries. He's not the guy giving out ridiculous contracts to the likes of Bobby Higginson, is he?

 Q:  Josh Logan from Moline, Illinois asks:
Is Boston's Tony Blanco finished as a prospect? How much of his dreadful performance this season can be attributed to injury and how much comes from deep failure to distinguish balls from strikes?
 A: 

Jim Callis: "Finished" is a little harsh, but Wilton Veras is looking better these days. The injuries have hurt Blanco, but he has to get a clue about plate discipline. He's a mess right now.

 Q:  Christie from Calgary asks:
Hi Jim,the Blue Jays brought a lot of players up to the majors this year,how would you currently rate the their minor league talent and who could we expect to see in next couple of years
 A: 

Jim Callis: Toronto has more young talent than minor league talent, if that makes sense. In other words, where we place the Jays when we do our minor league system rankings in the spring will be affected by the guys who no longer qualify for our prospect definition, such as Josh Phelps. The Jays' best prospects in the minors now may be righthanders Francisco Rosario and Brandon League, but they're not going to help right away. I think Kevin Cash will be the next guy to come up and make a significant contribution. He's playing sporadically this September.

 Q:  Burt from Cincinnati asks:
Is Rick Ankiel "history" or is he taking the slow train to a full recovery and the major leagues?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Even if he's healthy, I don't see him coming back. And the injuries are just making it much more difficult.

 Q:  Rick A from Long Island asks:
The Cubs and Braves have plenty of pitching prospects on the top 20 lists. Who do you think has the highest ceiling on these teams?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Adam Wainwright over Macay McBride for the Braves, Andy Sisco over Angel Guzman for the Cubs.

 Q:  Russ from Harlan, Kentucky asks:
Do you believe there are really 8 players in AAA PCL better than Hee Seop Choi? Or did his ranking have more to do with where managers and scouts ranked him than where you would have actually ranked him on your own?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Well, I ranked him eighth, so I only put seven PCL guys ahead of Choi. He has great power, but there's some question as to whether he feasts on mistakes and can hit a good inside fastball. The league lists are a little different than the organization lists, or at least they are for me. With the league lists, I believe you have to factor performance in the context of the league more heavily than you do with organizations. For instance, if I had to pick one, I'd take Casey Kotchman over Brad Nelson. But Nelson had a significantly better year and received a lot more support in the Midwest League, so I put Nelson over Kotchman on the MWL list.

 Q:  Sean from Edmond, OK asks:
Love these chats! Which is better of the projected starting rotation of Detroit's Double A (Erie:Larrison, Bonderman, Baugh, Johnson) or High A (Lakeland:Coenen, McDowell, Petty, possibly Wheatland)teams? Do these pitchers provide hope in the future for the Tigers? Who is the best position player in their system? Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: I'd take your projected Erie group. The Lakeland guys don't have nearly the same stuff, and Wheatland is a huge question mark. The Tigers do have some pitchers to bank on, though banking on young arm can break a club's heart. Eric Munson is their best position player, though it's still a guess what position he'll play in the majors.

 Q:  Josh from Cleveland, Ohio asks:
Hey Jim, how close was Jhonny Peralta to making the Eastern League top 20, considering he's only 20 and hit .281 with 15 HR's, he does seem to be a high ceiling talent. Also now that Jeremy Guthrie has joined the ranks how does he rate compared to the other Tribe pitching prospects from the upper levels? Thanks
 A: 

Jim Callis: Peralta was very close, would have been in the Top 25 if we went that low. I'm still not sold he's a high-ceiling guy, but he is solid. Good question on Guthrie. It will be hard to rank him in a system with a lot of arms, especially since he'll be 24 when he throws his first pro pitch. He has better stuff than Brian Tallet and Billy Traber (though they're lefties), but it's more debatable comparing him to Cliff Lee and Ricardo Rodriguez.

 Q:  Chris Dayton from Cleveland, Ohio asks:
Where was Dominic Rich and Matt Ford on the Florida State League top 20? They were the FSL league leaders in batting and pitching, respectively
 A: 

Jim Callis: Deep league, and it's not all about numbers. Matt Watson was last year's FSL batting champ, and we don't look to silly for not putting him on the 2001 list, do we?

 Q:  Josh from Rochester, NY asks:
Which Boston pitching prospect is better- Phil Dumatrait, Manny Delcarmen, or Jorge De La Rosa?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I'd take Dumatrait, best combination of stuff and pitchability. The Red Sox could have drafted Jason Stokes with the pick they used on Dumatrait, however, and wouldn't spend the money.

 Q:  Butch from Detroit,MI asks:
The Western Michigan Whitecaps won both halves of their season and had several impressive performances especially from the pitching staff, Coenen, Petty, McDowell and in the bullpen Birtwell and Kobow were the strongest setup-closer combination in the league. Juan Tejada, at 20, hit .300 and led the league in rbi's while Noochie Varner, acquired in the Brian Moehler trade, was a leader in doubles, triples,stolen bases and average, .305. Yet not one of these players made your top 20, what gives?
 A: 

Jim Callis: They're all good low Class A players but their tools are just OK--and the MWL was a loaded league with 14 teams. Tejada has more of a line-drive swing and may not have true first-base power. Varner doesn't do anything special enough to where you'd project him as a sure regular big leaguer. Matt Coenen, Chad Petty and Kevin McDowell are decent lefties, but they weren't in the class of Dontrelle Willis and didn't have a pitch like Tyler Johnson's curveball. I'd take Lansing's Felix Sanchez over them, too.

 Q:  JB from Phoenix asks:
I've been very impressed with John Patterson's confidence and pitching in the big leagues. (It must not hurt that he's got Randy Johnson taking him under his wing either) What kind of a pitcher do view him as in the future. A front end starter or middle of the rotation type guy?
 A: 

Jim Callis: His velocity and curveball aren't what they were before he had Tommy John surgery, but Patterson is more of a pitcher now. I see him as a No. 3-5 starter, not an ace.

 Q:  Burt from Cincinnati asks:
What are the chances of Jesse Foppert "breaking camp" with the Giants next Spring?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I think better than not, maybe as a reliever at the outset before moving into the rotation by midseason.

 Q:  Matt from Hawaii asks:
Dane Sardinha one of the biggest bust ever, all things considered? He got a Major League contract, but can't hit the wind so far in the minors. This looks like a typical Reds move, you agree?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I wouldn't necessarily say biggest bust ever. He got the big league deal not because he was a can't miss guy, but because the Reds didn't have the cash for an up-front bonus. That was the tradeoff. A lot of scouts questioned whether Sardinha could hit with wood, and he hasn't. He's looking at a Ron Karkovice career unless younger brother Bronson can teach him something with the stick.

 Q:  Dave from Newton, Mass asks:
Hey Jim, Love your chats, man. My question for you is, do you think Fred Sanchez will start at shortstop for the Sox next year? I saw him play at AAA, and he looked pretty good. What kind of player do you see him being in the majors?
 A: 

Jim Callis: No, unless Nomar Garciaparra gets hit by a bus. I could see Sanchez at second base, where most scouts think he fits better anyway. He won't have Rey Sanchez' glove, but he also won't have Sanchez' bat, and that's a good thing.

 Q:  Josh Meyer from Palmer, IA asks:
When do you think Joe Mauer will arrive in the majors, and how many homers do you project him to hit?
 A: 

Jim Callis: We'll start the lightning round a few minutes early so I can get to as many questions as possible...Opening Day 2005 as a regular, 30 homers a year once he gets going.

 Q:  Josh Meyer from Palmer, IA asks:
Who has a higher ceiling Mike Cuddyer or Michael Restovich?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Restovich has more power, Cuddyer is a better all-around hitter and a safer bet to succeed. I'd take Cuddyer, and did on the PCL list.

 Q:  Scott from Toronto asks:
I was wondering why Josh Phelps was ranked only in the #6 spot, which seems absurdly low given some of the eye-popping offensive numbers he has put up in both the majors and minors. I would of thought a switch between him and Orlando Hudson in the #3 spot would have seemed more sensible. Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: That's a good point. I think Phelps playing most of the year at DH worked against him, but his bat can't be questioned.

 Q:  Josh Meyer from Palmer, IA asks:
Do you think Justin Morneau is another John Olerud or does he have more power?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Significantly more power.

 Q:  Dave Alan from Santa Rosa, CA asks:
I noticed that Boof Bonser dropped to mearly human in most evaluator's eyes. Is this a function of a very poorly conceived rush job to AA, or were his numbers at San Jose just not that gret?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Both, but he's better than merely human, just fallen a few spots in a system that may have more pitching than anyone.

 Q:  Josh Meyer from Palmer, IA asks:
Do you think Mike Ryan or Lew Ford have a chance at becoming stars?
 A: 

Jim Callis: No, but both proved themselves in the PCL this year. They're in the wrong organization, because the Twins have a ton of outfield candidates, but they could help a lot of clubs, if not as regular at least as fourth outfielders.

 Q:  Jack Burton from Toronto asks:
Bobby Hill or Orlando Hudson?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Bobby Hill, better instincts and plate discipline.

 Q:  Josh Meyer from Palmer, IA asks:
How high are you on Denard Span, and do you think he will be a star in the future?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Tremendous athlete, some comparisons to Kenny Lofton, as with any toolsy guy he'll have to show he can hit when he starts playing pro ball next year.

 Q:  Dave Cowen from SF, CA asks:
In your draft coverage issues this year, BA cancelled any kind of post draft recap evaluation of how the teams did. When will be getting a draft recap, and could you give us a preview of who you think did well and poor this year?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Not sure what we canceled, but Draft Report Cards will be out two issues after our League Top 20 Prospects issue, which just finished.

 Q:  Eric Martell from Tacoma, WA asks:
So, how worried should I be about the negative comments about Hee Seop Choi (that he can't handle inside fastballs)?
 A: 

Jim Callis: On one hand, not many guys handle really good inside fastballs, and Choi has done fine thus far. On the other hand, I've heard this for three years. He may need to adjust his swing.

 Q:  Adam J. Morris from Houston, Texas asks:
I was surprised to see Travis Hafner ranked so high (#11) among PCL prospects, since he has always seemed to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the Rangers positional prospects. How much of a power does he project to have? Do you think he'll get a shot in Texas, or be moved this offseason?
 A: 

Jim Callis: You know, I was surprised too. But managers and scouts alike love his power and his batting eye. I could see him being a 30-35 HR guys. Getting a shot in Texas could be rough, because he's a 1B-DH, maybe a longshot LF, but the Rangers have plenty of candidates for all those spots.

 Q:  Joe from Tampa Bay asks:
What's the Red Sox offseason top 10 prospect list going to look like at the end of the year?
 A: 

Jim Callis: A bit ugly. Hanley Ramirez is the clear No. 1, and other guys near the top should include (off the top of my head), Phil Dumatrait, Manny Delcarmen, Freddy Sanchez, Kelly Shoppach and Kevin Youkilis.

 Q:  Mike from Cleveland asks:
Doesn't Jeremy Guthrie's 13-inning complete games scare you? As an Indians fan, I don't want a guy that got abused like Ben McDonald. Any idea how many pitches he threw in that game?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Guthrie wasn't worked that hard on a regular basis and he was 23. I don't have the number in front of me, but I think he only got up to 150 (a lot of pitches, but not for a 13-inning game). He was fine afterward, too. Not condoning this, but it didn't seem to ruin him.

 Q:  Terry from Virginia asks:
Did Andy Van Hekken receive any consideration for your top 20 in the International League? He had a strong, but rather short debut before being called up by the Tigers. How high would you rate his potential?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Van Hekken is a typical crafty lefty, more of a solid than spectacular guy who could fit at the end of a rotation or in the bullpen. Not a lot of IL managers saw him, but those that did respected him.

 Q:  John from Maryland asks:
Before his wrist injury Ryan Ludwick was enjoying a nice season. How did PCL managers view him and where do you think he would have rated if he played a full PCL season?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Ludwick played long enough to qualify for the list but didn't make it. He was in a second tier of outfielders that also included Jack Cust and Jason Lane.

 Q:  JB Thompson from Orange County, CA asks:
You must not have seen John Patterson's game against STL the other night; his fastball was better than it ever was before TJ surgery and his curve bit hard. What I saw on the television and what you seem to be saying are two very different things (btw, I'm NOT a Diamondback fan).
 A: 

Jim Callis: Yeah, missed that one and Josh Boyd just told me the same thing. I guess Patterson is pitching better in the majors than he did in the PCL, where everyone told me he was 90-92 mph with better command but not as much break on his curveball.

 Q:  Tim from Boston asks:
When do you see Jose Reyes and Xavier Nady winning everyday jobs in the majors?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Reyes next year, Nady 2004 if he can make some adjustments and the Padres can figure out where everyone is supposed to play.

 Q:  Neil Skaggs from Normal, IL asks:
I was more than a bit surprised, when the NY-Penn Top 20 came out, to find John Santor missing from the list. He led the league in RBIs, doubles, extra-base hits, and slugging pct., and was second in HRs, while hitting over .290. He set all sorts of club records. What about him doesn't project well?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Tune in to Ask BA later today, as I've been deluged with John Santor questions.

 Q:  Steve from Walnut Creek, CA asks:
Do you think the A's could entice the Pirates to trade us their star Left Fielder Brian Giles for a few of our top pitching prospects, plus maybe SS Bobby Crosby? They seem to need a lot of pitchers and their current shortstop, Jack Wilson, does not project to produce much offense, at least not as much as the 2001 1st Round pick Crosby does. Thank you!
 A: 

Jim Callis: Only if Billy Beane uses on David Littlefield whatever he uses to hypnotize Allard Baird. Giles is Pittsburgh's only plus hitter.

 Q:  Tiggy from Detroit asks:
What is your opinion of the Tiger's speedster, Nook Logan?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Lukewarm. Very good athlete, very fast, I don't think he'll hit.

 Q:  Rusty from Phoenix asks:
If you are the Diamondbacks g.m., do you trade Durazo or Overbay?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Overbay. But I might rather try to play one in the outfield and the other at first base.

 Q:  Wade's Choices from Philly asks:
Chase Utley. Future Phillies 3B, 2B or trade bait?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Club's best third-base option for now. Don't see him at second base.

 Q:  Dan from Kansas City, MO asks:
I am no expert like yourself, but what I know about prospects it doesn't look good for the Kansas City Royals. Please talk me off the edge and tell me I am crazy.
 A: 

Jim Callis: I can't lie to you. All I can say is don't jump.

 Q:  Tim from Washington, DC asks:
Jim, you've just been named new Red Sox GM. Would you trade Shea Hillenbrand to the Giants for Jesse Foppert and Felix Rodriguez? Would you be able to convince Brian Sabean to do that deal. Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: I would do that in a second. If I could do that, the Red Sox should hire me now. No way I could convince Brian Sabean to do this, however.

 Q:  Kevin Fieldman from Naperville, IL asks:
What are your feelings on Daytona outfielder Jason Dubois?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Decent prospect, like to see him in Double-A before I get really exciting. But he is promising.

 Q:  Jack Burton from Toronto asks:
What are Toronto's plans with Jayson Werth? He seems a lot more valuable as a catcher than a corner outfielder. Is there any chance he'll move back behind the plate, or be traded as part of a package to get some talented pitching?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I think Werth will be more of versatile utilityman than a regular, but with a lot of value because he can catch.

 Q:  Happy Joe from Galena, Illinois asks:
How do you project JD Durbin? And what one thing kept BJ Garbe from being a prospect?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Durbin had one of the best arms in the MWL, some guys think he might be better off as a reliever than starter. Garbe just couldn't hit.

 Q:  Benji Orthen from Breyers Tower, MA asks:
Would you say Tony Blanco and Ed Rogers are similar players? Both have tools that caused a lot of stir but neither one has much of an idea about the strike zone and neither shows much promise of a major league future.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Against my better judgment, I take an Ed Rogers question. Blanco wasn't hyped by the Red Sox like Rogers was by the Orioles, but lack of strike-zone discipline is hurting them both. Rogers looks more promising right now.

 Q:  Brain from Tampa Bay asks:
What is the situation with Matt Harrington? Any chance of him signing with the Devil Rays or going to a Division 1 school this year? Thanks!
 A: 

Jim Callis: He can't go to Division I because he played pro in independent leagues. It's getting to be time that Harrington consider another career. And while Tommy Tanzer did him a disservice, so did Scott Boras when he advised him not to sign with the Padres this spring.

 Q:  Jason from New York asks:
What is the tiebreaker for teams with the same record as far as draft position is concerned?
 A: 

Jim Callis: The team with the worst record the previous year picks first.

 Q:  Benji Orthen from Breyers Tower, MA asks:
What position do you foresee Kevin Youklis playing? He doesn't sound like he could be a middle infielder (although he did play SS in the Cape Cod league) so is he good enough to cause the Red Sox to shift Hillenbrand from third base?
 A: 

Jim Callis: First or third base, more likely first base. It's hard not to like Youkilis, who started hitting for more power in Double-A.

 Q:  Jesse Alson-Milkman from Brooklyn asks:
When you say Reyes will win a job next year, do you mean to start the year, or around September? As much as it pains me to say it, I don't see the Mets benching Ordonez with the money they're paying him. Could the Mets end next year with the best position player (Reyes) and pitching (Kazmir) prospects in the minors?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I'd give him the job to start the year, but money will be a factor. Reyes and Kazmir are in the discussion, but I'd go with Mark Teixeira and Jesse Foppert.

 Q:  Jeremy Haber from Brookline, Ma asks:
I would like say that I love these chat sessions. Anyway, what do you see as Jose Reyes' distinguishing characteristic from the many other fast, defensively excellent SS that have not been able to hit in the majors or even got there. What do you see as his major league ceiling? Is there a player to which you would compare him? Thanks a lot.
 A: 

Jim Callis: He's got more speed than most of those guys, understands his role is to play the little man's game and developed more plate discipline this year (though that tailed off in Double-A).

 Q:  Walt from Park Ridge,IIlinois asks:
Francis Beltran was very highly rated but has failed in the September Callup? How high is his ceiling?
 A: 

Jim Callis: High ceiling, likely as a closer type, which the Cubs could use. He has lacked fastball command, and he's not the first rookie that's happened to.

 Q:  James from Victorville, Ca asks:
Why isn't Chin-Feng Chen part of the top 20 group from the PCL? He has more upside than his team mate Joey Thurston.
 A: 

Jim Callis: He was considered, but he's a DH type who swings and misses an awful lot. Chen has a higher ceiling, but Thurston is more likely to reach his.

 Q:  Troy Hamilton from New Philadelphia, Ohio asks:
I was surprised to see none of the Indians draft choices from 2001 represented on your lists. It seemed like everyone was extremely excited about names like Denham and Martin last year... what happened to them this year?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Denham and Martin were outpitched by Travis Foley in the SAL, which was the best league in terms of prospects this year. They're still good prospects, though.

 Q:  Austin from Waco asks:
Mark Teixera or Hank Blalock? Ben Kozlowski or Colby Lewis? Explanations would be nice if possible.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Teixeira, and that's real tough, but he's a switch-hitter with more power and more walks. Lewis, because his stuff is a grade better than Kozlowski's. One scout told me he thought Lewis was on the brink of becoming a star next year.

 Q:  Jack Burton from Toronto asks:
Is Brownlie going to sign?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Last one for today. Thanks for all the questions, because this has been fun. I'll be shocked if Bobby Brownlie ever returns to Rutgers. Whether he signs with the Cubs or goes the independent route and re-enters the 2003 draft is less certain, because I don't think the Cubs are going to give him what Jeremy Guthrie got.

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