Prospects Chat: Jim Callis
I need to return a quick phone call, should start taking questions around 2:30 p.m.
OK, I'm all set. Had to get in a quick call for our Midwest League Best Tools survey. Now let's get to your questions.
JAYPERS (IL): At this point, who are the more prominent names in this year's draft who you're at least 75% certain will NOT sign?
Looking at guys who ranked in the Top 50 on
our predraft prospect rankings, I'll say Austin Wilson jumps out.
Barret Loux and Jesse Hahn may not sign because of injury questions, and
I would be surprised if the Dodgers signed both Zach Lee and Kevin
Gausman. Still wonder if the Dodgers might save money by signing Lee to a
below-slot deal that ties up his baseball rights but lets him play QB.
Ben (Dallas): What are your thoughts on Olt?
Cold weather guy that could be a major find or just another value pick
for a cash strapped Rangers team?
No, he's legit. Heard good things about him
the previous two summers in the NECBL and the Cape. That was a talent
pick, not a money-saver.
Ben (Leland Grove): Better overall farm system - Braves or Royals?
Royals. I haven't sat down and tried to compare all the systems to each other, but the Royals might be No. 1.
Allan (Hartland Wi): Jim, Has Khriis
Davis(Brewers) turned himself into a prospect this year with the season
he is having or is he just dominating a younger league?
The power is real. Now let's see him at a higher level. He's not an elite prospect, but he's legit.
KC (PA): How do you think of A.J. Pollock, Nick Franklin, Logan Morrison, and Matthew Moore as Major Leaguers?
Meaning everyday guys, utility, or for Moore, end of rotation, middle, or even bullpen?
Pollock = solid regular, Franklin = potential all-star, Morrison = all-star, Moore = possible No. 2 SP or closer.
Bill (Pittsburgh): If the Pirates sign Taillon
and Allie from the draft, then somehow sign Luis Heredia, would it put
them near the top of the rankings in baseball?
Wouldn't say that, but it would be a major step in the right direction.
Anthony (Boonville, IN): There has been talk
about the Rays being involved in talks to send prospects as part of the
Roy Oswalt trade. Which prospects would you expect to see if the trade
was to come together?
If I'm the Astros, I'd want Wade Davis or
Jeremy Hellickson in there for sure. I probably couldn't get Desmond
Jennings (but I'd ask), and I'd want Reid Brignac in there.
Bret (NYC): Hey Jim! Is Charlie Furbish this
year's Dan Hudson? Do you see him as a potential #4 or #5 starter? His
146/24 K/BB ratio looks pretty impressive. Thanks!
He has better pure stuff than Hudson. With
the year he's having, sure, he could be a No. 4. I've never been a huge
fan, but it's hard not to like his year.
David (Hopewell, NJ): With Hector Noesi pitching well again last night, is he going to move up to AAA this year? What's his ceiling? Thanks!
He could move up, though they may leave him
in Double-A because he started the year in high Class A. His ceiling is
a No. 3 if you think the command can carry him, more realistically a
No. 4 or 5.
mike (boston): Anthony Ranaudo pretty much
dominated his short time in the cape cod league. What do you see him
signing for if he signs and is he back to pre injury form? If healthy do
you see him as one of the biggest steals in the draft
My guess is he'll sign for somewhere
between top-10-pick money ($2 million or so) and what the Boras Corp.
would have asked for had he had the junior season expected of him (let's
say $5 million or so). If he's healthy and as good as he looked this
summer, he's a huge steal.
Leo (Camden): Jesus Montero is HOT (here he
comes Hot Sheet)! Do you think he was slowed early-on by the lingering
effects of his 2009 finger injury, the step up to AAA pitching, or a
combo of the two? Whatever it was he seems to have figured it out now,
wouldn't you agree?
Not sure what the cause was and those are
two possible reasons. He's still young, he's still arguably the best bat
in terms of hitting for average and power in the minors, and I still
hold him in high regard. Looks like his old self again.
Matt (Minnesota): Why would the Dodgers pay
Zach Lee underslot and pass on a comp. pick if he has no intention of
playing baseball in the near future?
Obviously wouldn't do that if they thought
he had no intention. They do love what they've seen on him in the mound,
and may be willing to wait for him and save money for now.
Steve (Wilmington): Is it me or are there way,
way more unsigned premium draft picks with less than 4 weeks until the
deadline than in previous years? Are we really only at one appoved
overslot deal (Goeddel - Mets) at this point? What gives? What a silly
It does seem slower than usual. I had heard
Goeddel's deal was supposed to be submitted by yesterday, and it still
hasn't happened. I think there are a number of players who have agreed
to deals that won't be announced until closer to the deadline. We should
start to see the 500k-750k deals for non first-rounders soon. I hope.
Starting to get boring.
Frank (Arizona): Will Jarrod Parker recover
from his long absence from baseball? His blog has been refreshing to
read, but are there any early signs he can regain form?
He hasn't gotten back on the mound, but the track record of guys coming back from Tommy John surgery is encouraging.
D.J. (Chicago): Mike trout and Brandon Belt are
just tearing through their respective leagues. Do you feel their
accolades up to this point are a byproduct of a shortage of scouting
reports or they are just actually THAT good?
Trout is that good. I think Belt is playing
way over his head. Trout might be the best prospect in the entire
minors. That Best Tools call I just alluded to? The manager picked Trout
for best bat, best discipline, best runner, fastest runner, best
outfielder and most exciting player in the MWL. And he's still just 18.
Gerry (Toronto): There has been no news or rumours about the Jays signing Deck McGuire. Have you heard anything?
No, but I expect he will sign by Aug. 16.
Nick (NJ): Wilmer Flores is still hitting over
.350 in high-A right now. Obviously hes going to regress, but, do you
think he'll be the Mets #1 prospect by season's end? What would you put
his ceiling at?
He should be their No. 1 prospect. Has a chance to be an all-star as a corner outfielder, which is where I think he'll end up.
AK (Bakersfield, CA): Haven't heard much on
supplemental first-rounder Tyrell Jenkins. Thoughts on him signing with
the Cardinals or going the college route?
I think he'll sign. Could be well over
slot, and because he's a Baylor QB recruit, the Cardinals can two-sport
his deal and spread it out over as much as five years.
Jim (South Bend, Indiana): Hi, Jim. Love your
chats. I'm hearing so many varying reports on both Martin Perez's
struggles as a young AAer and Tyler Matzek's lessening velo (although
still low 90's) in Asheville. Both were very high on your list heading
into the year. Are they still potential Top 10 prospects for next year
and possible frontline starters in 3-4 years? Thank you!
Yes and yes. Both are still very young and have as much upside as any lefty in the minors, along with Aroldis Chapman.
Jim (South Bend, Indiana): Hi, Jim. One more.
I'm enjoying watching the prospects here in South Bend. If you had to
bet on either Silverhawk in Davidson or Borchering as a potential MLB
All Star, which corner are you in...and why? Thanks.
Borchering. I believe more in his bat.
Mac (Ft. Lauderdale): Is Zack Cox the Cardinals
answer at 3B? Will he have to prove he can hit for power before the
Cardinals will put him on the fast track?
I do think he will be and I don't think he'll have any problem hitting for solid power.
tiffythetitan (Oakland, CA): I don't really see
the point of Gary Brown not being signed yet by the SF Giants. And I
don't care who his agent is or who else in the first round has not
signed. He seemed to be picked at an appropriate spot in the draft that
will net him good money. Do not really see the purprose of this wait
unless he is still recovering from the finger injury. Can you explain
this to me?
There is no purpose to the wait. I assume
he's signing for at least 10 percent over slot, though, in which case
MLB would cajole the Giants to not announce the deal until closer to the
deadline. It's incredibly stupid, but welcome to how MLB handles the
Jeff (Pittsburgh): Not too much going on with
the 2010 draft (we're still in the dead period correct?), so how about a
2011 draft question? George Springer seems to be rising pretty fast
this summer, how far behind Jackie Bradley Jr is he at this point?
There's no official dead period, of course.
Springer is on the rise, he's very comparable to Bradley. Cape
observers liked them both a lot last summer as freshmen, too.
Tim (Chicago): Any update if Reggie Golden is close to signing?
Expect something within the next week.
He'll sign for over slot, so we have to be careful it doesn't destroy
MLB's delicate economy. Sigh.
Timmy L. (San Francisco): Is the BA MiLB Player of the Year based solely on stats or does it include ceiling?
It's a combination of performance and prospecty goodness.
Jason (Walnut Creek, CA): Considering the Lack
of power hitting seen in the Majors this year, I am really surprised
teams are not beating down the Phillies door to obtain John Mayberry.
The former First Rounder and Stanford alum has always hit for decent
Power stats, albeit with low batting averages. However, since he can
also play First Base, do you see the Phillies trading him at the
Deadline to get a 2nd Baseman or Starting pitcher?
He can't hit. That's why noboby is beating
down the Phillies' door. If he played every day in the majors, he'd
strike out 200+ times. He's a toss-in at best in a trade.
Mac (Ft. Lauderdale): Will Kyle Drabek continue to miss bats in the Majors? Is a #3 his reasonable ceiling or am I discounting him too much?
That's reasonable. You could dream a little and hope he's a No. 2.
Darren (Miami): Rob Rasmussen recently signed
with the Marlins after a successful junior year at UCLA. Do you see him
sticking as a starter going forward, or does he end up in the pen?
He has more than enough stuff to remain a starter. With his curve, he could fall back on being a LHRP if it comes to that.
Wes (Boston): Did anyone expect Bryce Brentz to strike out his much in the pros? What is wrong with him at the plate?
I read a story where the Red Sox have him
wearing contact lenses to improve his vision from 20-20 to 20-10/20-15.
That has made the adjustment to pro ball more difficult. He will have
some swing and miss in him anyway.
Tom (San Francisco, CA): Hi, Jim. Would you
agree that San Diego's system has taken a step backwards this year?
Jaff Decker seems to be getting his mojo back, but my gut tells me that
Donovan Tate is not going to figure it out at the plate.
I would agree on all three points.
Grant (Kansas City): With the way Wil Myers has
been swinging the bat in high A ball, do you think he can sneak into
the top 25 at year's end, or will his defense hinder him too much?
He might, if you believe he's a catcher. The jury is still out on his defense.
Nate (Chicago): Daniel Hudson seems to be
showing improved stuff. Fastball was sitting 93-95 in his last start.
Can you be looking at a #3 starter, possibly #2?
No. 3 at best. I like Hudson some, but he's not going to sit at 93-95 very often.
Mike (Minnesota): Here's a fun one for you: if
you're starting a team, and could pick any prospect (w/o any MLB AB's
and/or IP's) at each position, and five SP's, one closer, and a
DH...what would your "dream team" look like? (including any unsigned
2010 draft picks).
That is a fine question . . . for my Ask BA
column. Please send it, along with your full name and hometown to
email@example.com, and I'll tackle it on Monday. Thanks.
Jon (Boston): Desmond Jennings' lack of power, expected or the residual effect of his early season injuries?
He's not going to be a big power guy, maybe 10-15 per year.
Mike (Tacoma, WA): What do you see as a
realistic ceiling for Nick Franklin? Is he a major league starter? Or
is he is a bench player? Or has his surprising '09 proven that he can
As mentioned earlier, he has the bat to be a potential all-star. I'm not sure he'll stick at shortstop, though.
Will (Seatown): Hi Jim,
Who makes it to the majors first - Dustin Ackley or Michael Pineda?
Pineda. Pitchers make it quicker and Ackley has a lot of defensive work to do.
Mike Minor (): When can I expect to be called up and do I project as an ace or middle of the rotation guy?
Sometime next year, ceiling as a No. 2, I think he'll be more of a No. 3.
Andrew (Tampa): Where would you rank Dee Gordon among minor league SS?
He has as much upside as any of them, at least until the Orioles sign Manny Machado.
jbrekel (new orleans): How does Chris Dwyer compare to a guy like Adrian Salcedo and which do you feel like has the higher ceiling? Thanks!
Dwyer is lefthanded and has better stuff, so I'll take him.
Will (Mactaquac): Ever since his slow start to
the 2009 NCAA season, getting a read on prospect mavens' opinions of
Grant Green to the point that even his blurb in the 2010 BA annual
seemed guarded and cautious. Is this just inevitable when a propect's
performance varies to this extent, or do we have legitimately tricky
prospect to guage here?
That's what happens when the performance
varies that much. I think he'll hit but I don't think he'll necessarily
stay at shortstop. I do like him.
Will (Mactaquac): The 2010 annual had Romine
pegged as the Yanks' long term catcher; assuming they don't just sign
someone or commission the world's first diamond encrusted cyborg catcher
instead, would you say that Sanchez has passed Romine this year?
I wouldn't say that. Romine has proven
himself at a much higher level and is a better defender. Sanchez may
have a higher ceiling but he's a long ways from it, GCL dominance
Steve Alengakis (Brooklyn, NYC): I believe the
Texas Rangers will regret not accepting the Yankees offer of Montero and
Adams over the Rangers offer, which included Smoak. Do you, agree?
also, was there a sense amongst people in the industry that the Mariners
did not want to really deal with the Yankees if they could avoid it —
or that they accepted less? Thank you
I'd rather have Montero than Smoak but I
thought the deals were comparable. The Mariners clearly preferred Smoak.
I don't buy that the Mariners accepted less to spurn the
Yankees—that's garbage and makes no sense. Why is it that every time
the Yankees don't get someone they want in a trade, it's because the
other club stuck it to them?
JC (STL): If you are sitting in the war room
for the 2011 draft and you were asked considering all things equal
(money demands, signability, etc) would you take Cole or Purke? Why?
Purke. He's lefthanded and I believe in him a little more. They're going to cost roughly the same anyway.
Brandon (new york): can montero be a light verison of miguel carbrea
Yes. I've made that comp in the past.
JC (STL): What's the latest word on the Cards
negotiations with Zack Cox? % chance he signs and give me a ballpark of
the amount. Thanks.
No recent news, but I bet he signs (90%) for 2.5M-3.0M.
Raymond (New York): hi Jim,
The BA draft preview said Braves liked 2nd rounder Andreleton Simmons'
98 mph fastball although he also played SS in JC. Why is he playing
shortstop, not pitching ? Do you think he'll end up on the mound ? (his
batting nos are improving with few strikeouts)
He was also the best defensive shortstop in
the draft. I think he could go either way. A lot of times, they let the
player decide to help sign him, and it's easier to move a guy from a
position to pitcher than the reverse.
Craig (Bethesda, MD): Who would rank higher were they both eligible on a list- Ackley or Carlos Santana? Who has a better career?
Santana for both, because of his positional value.
Jay R (Iowa): Did Matt Purke really sign a
contract with the Rangers, but MLB didn't approve it? I can see making
them wait until the deadline, but if MLB actually blocks a deal...that
Yes. Nolan Ryan and Purke's father agreed
on a predraft deal worth $6 million. But MLB was able to step in because
they had to front the Rangers payroll money, and they weren't going to
allow a $6 million bonus.
Nick (SF): Lightening Round: Harper or Rendon?
Been asked this a few times, and I always
say Rendon. Harper has more power, but Rendon has a better bat, better
makeup, will play a more valuable position and get to the majors
significantly quicker. And he'll have power, too.
Frank (Ohio): will both Castellanos and Cowart sign?
I think they will, yes.
Thanks for all of the great questions, as
usual. Feel free to direct long questions to Ask BA via
firstname.lastname@example.org (include full name and hometown), and shorter
ones to my Twitter feed @jimcallisBA. Thanks!