Jim Callis Chat: Aug. 25
Hi, everyone. We already have 115 questions lined up, so let's get to it.
JAYPERS (IL): When rosters expand next week, do
you see Jake McGee being one of those getting the call, or is he likely
to be left in Durham? How about Jennings?
They both should be called up. John Manuel
was Tweeting last night about how good McGee looked, and he'd be a huge
asset out of the bullpen. Jennings would be playing regularly for a lot
of clubs and at worst can contribute some speed and defense off the
bench. I wouldn't rule out one or both of them working their way onto
the postseason roster, either.
Ben (Leland Grove): What is Will Smith's
projected future spot in the rotation, and how long do you think it will
take him to reach KC if he puts together more outings like last
He's a No. 4 or 5 starter. With the arms in
the Royals system, it's hard to project Smith being more than a middle
reliever for Kansas City.
Tony (Boston, MA): I've been reading about Ryan
Westmoreland and the steps he's been taking to get back into the game,
and I can honestly say I'm rooting for the kid all the way. But as far
as your job goes, how do you decide where to rank him on your list when
the time comes, this November?
That's a tough one. If Westmoreland can
regain a normal life after his brain surgery, that's tremendous.
Baseball is a bonus. The Red Sox haven't commented about the progress he
has made baseball-wise, and he won't have played in a game this year
when we put the 2011 Prospect Handbook together. I'll put him on the
list, but where he truly fits will be mostly guesswork.
Jake (DC): On a scale from 1 to 10, how worried are you about Strasburg? Is his delivery something to be genuinely concerned about?
Maybe a 3. It's too early to panic, and if
the worst-case scenario (Tommy John surgery?), plenty of guys have come
back from TJ surgery. I talked to several scouts about Strasburg as part
of our draft coverage in 2009, and none had concerns about his
mechanics. I'd be more worried about the fact that a young human arm may
not be built to throw as hard as Strasburg does.
Paul (Baltimore, MD): Do you think Strasburg is being "babied"? Rob Dibble recently crucified him for basically being a wimp. Agree with this?
Rob Dibble isn't exactly a voice of reason.
Strasburg isn't asking out of games. The Nationals are just handling
their prized investment with extreme caution, like any other team would.
Will (Mactaquac): Two of the SS prospects I own
in a keeper league are extremely hard to put a value on for me, even an
avid reader of BA. I can't tell if Grant Green's defense is good or
bad. I can't tell if Tim Beckham is a lot less athletic than advertised
at the point of his being #1 overall. Why are these guys so hard to pin
Probably because there's a difference of
opinion. I've heard people on both sides of the Green argument, some who
think he can be a solid shortstop and some who think he'll have to
move. Beckham is at least a little less athletic than advertised and he
has not hit anywhere close to what the Rays projected.
Pierre (Ottawa, Canada): Assuming the Pirates finish last, will they draft Anthony Rendon and eventually move Pedro Alvarez to 1st base?
That would make the most sense right now,
but there are a number of pitching options (Matt Purke, Gerrit Cole,
Taylor Jungmann) that could tempt Pittsburgh as well.
Nick (Boston): Jim, what do you expect from
Colorado's Chad Bettis? I know he was drafted as a solid closer
prospect, but now hes starting and doing quite well. Does he wind up as a
starter or a closer, and what is his potential in both spots? Thanks!
I bet he winds up in the bullpen, but he
does have the requisite three pitches to start and several scouts I
talked to this spring thought he could cut it in the rotation. It makes
sense to give him that opportunity.
Ken Rule (Lakewood CA): Thanks for the chat
Jim. How does C-Devin Mesoraco fit into the catching plans for the Reds?
Is he actually the catcher of the future for them? Or is it somebody
Well, they just gave first-round pick
Yasmani Grandal a big league contract worth $3.2 million. The Reds will
see how this plays out and I don't think they're real concerned yet with
whether Mesoraco or Grandal comes out on top. If both are big league
regulars, they'll have some valuable trade bait.
John (Oklahoma): Is Jake Odorizzi close to making the top 100? had a pretty good outing last night and has been good all season.
He has a good shot to get on there. He's
the top pitching prospect in the Brewers system and has had a very nice
year as a 20-year-old in low Class A. AT his best, he'll pitch at 92-95
mph with his fastball and show a plus curve.
John Anderson (Fridley, MN): the Braves
sandwich pick, Matt Lipka has started his professional career on a tear
hitting .293 with 19 SB. What kind of power could he develop and will he
stay at SS?
I don't think he'll ever have more than gap
power, but I really like Lipka. When I was doing our Texas draft
coverage, there were questions as to whether he had the hands and
actions for shortstop. At worst, he's a center fielder.
Michael (Kalamazoo, MI): Is Manny Machado the best SS prospect in the minors?
Yes. Five-tool shortstops are rare, and he is one.
Joey (Sacramento CA): Who will have the better career Matt Wieters or Buster Posey?
I still believe in Wieters, but based on the evidence at hands, I have to say Posey, don't I?
Navin (Pasadena, CA): Ben Wells got 3rd round
money from the Cubs. Your scouting report made him sound like a late
bloomer but is he worth the over slot?
Remember that the slots are bogus to begin
with. In the next day or two, I'll do a Draft Blog post that shows how
out of touch the slots are with reality. The short version: the top 50
bonuses are 37 percent higher than the top 50 slots . . . Back to Wells:
He was a late bloomer, and one scout told me he easily could have been a
third-round pick if he had been scouted heavily enough. So I like that
investment a lot.
Adam (Kansas): When does Mike Moustakas become an everyday major leaguer
Late May 2011. Have to delay that arbitration and free-agent eligibility!
Justin (Pittsburgh): Jeff Locke's AA are very impressive, what type of upside does he have?
Solid but not spectactular four-pitch mix. Ceiling of a No. 3 starter, probably fits better as a No. 4. I like him.
Mike R. (New York): The general consensus until
this year was that Manny Banuelos has a relatively low ceiling. With
reports that he has been sitting between 92-94 MPH and even touching 97
MPH on occasion, combined with the fact that he is a lefty with a great
delivery, is it time for scouts to change their opinion on Banuelos?
If he maintains that stuff, then obviously opinions will change.
Adam (Kansas): John Lamb has bad numbers at AA,
but I saw his last start in person and he has a great mound presence
and very good stuff. If not for a 3 run homerun that barely glanced the
foul pole on the foul side, he could have had a very encouraging start.
Do you see him fallling very far in the prospect rankings as a result
of his latest stats?
When we rank players, statistics are only
one piece of the puzzle. Lamb has had a very good season overall, and he
has quality stuff. His Double-A numbers aren't going to ding him much.
Mike (NJ): Matt Moore has been lights out now
for roughly his last 10 starts or so, though he has still had the
occassional control hiccup. In your opinion, will he be a future #1, or
will control issues limit his MLB success?
At best, he's a frontline starter. At worst, he should be at least an electric reliever.
Nick (Connecticut): Is the Yankees farm system in the top 15?
Yes. It takes a lot of time to break down
all the systems and rank them against each other, but I'm confident
enough to say the Yankees should rank in the top 10.
Lee (Portland, Oregon): Which Astros prospects.
not named Jordan Lyles are going to break into the BA top 100 next year
(or are at least going to be on the bubble)?
He might be it. Off the top of my head,
Jonathan Villar is their No. 2 prospect, and I don't think he's going to
make the Top 100.
Michael (Seattle): Who do you think will be a better short stop over their career... Tim Beckham or Dee Gordon
Dee Gordon. I don't think Beckham stays at shortstop and I think Gordon outperforms him anyway.
Andrew (Rhode Island): What is the ceiling of
the two 09 draft collegiate arms who have risen through their
prospective organizations nicely this year in Alex White & Kyle
Gibson. Both have proven to have handled the Eastern League well and
appear to be very polished.
Both have the ability to a) pitch in big league rotations next season and b) develop into frontline starters.
John (St. Louis): Was Cox the best college hitter in the draft? What would be a reasonable ETA for the majors?
He was in my mind. Reasonable ETA would be somewhere from mid-2012 to Opening Day 2013.
Nick (Fenway): Who do we see first...at first; Rizzo or Anderson? Are Youk and Ortiz ready to get the boot for these guys?
Rizzo, but neither is ready to start for Boston on Opening Day 2011.
Slider (Vancouver): Could you see a team like
the Pirates spending 12-15 million dollars on the draft next season
considering it could be their last oppurtunity to exploit the current
system before hard slots come in?
Yes, I could. Spending will jump up another
notch or two next summer, for precisely that reason. The Pirates won't
be the only candidates, either.
Nick (Oregon): What has happened to Michael
Taylor? How is a man of his size and strength only slugging .380? Im not
too worried about his BA because if he could hit for some power i'm
sure the BA would climb. Where has the power gone?
Good question. He has looked overwhelmed
for much of the year. The reports we've gotten is that he still puts on a
show in batting practice, but gets tied up by fastballs and flails
against breaking stuff during games.
Pat (Boston): Whats Nick Castellanos' ceiling? Is he the best offensive prospect in this years draft after harper?
If you dream on him, and I'm sure the
Tigers do, you could hope he turns into Evan Longoria. He obviously has a
ways to go to get to that point, but Castellanos does have a lot of
upside. I like Zach Cox more than Castellanos, but Castellanos isn't far
behind. If we're looking at total package among position players, I'd
take Manny Machado right after Bryce Harper.
Matt (Boston, MA): Hey Jim, Bostons' farm
system hasn't had the best year, however with the existing talent and
the influx from the '10 draft, could we still be looking at a top five
system at years end?
I think their system is better than it
looks and the 2010 draft influx will help, but they won't be in the top
five. I'm guessing 11-15 range.
Matt (DC): Jim, I'm sure there's not a definite
answer to this, but in the scouting world, at what age is it assumed
that a pitcher probably won't continue to add velocity anymore?
Oftentimes scouting reports of high school pitchers read like a guy
won't add anymore velocity, but that seems odd to me when talking about
17-year old kids.
It really depends on body type and how much
more strength a pitcher can put on. It's also possible a pitcher will
throw harder with a more efficient delivery, if he has the aptitude as
well to make those adjustments. In general, I'd assume a pitcher
probably won't add much velo after age 21 or 22.
Frank (NYC): What do you think Lucas Duda's
chances of hitting in the bigs are? He has absolutely crushed AAA this
year. I know he's not a glove guy like Nieuwenhuis is, but reports say
he isn't a train wreck in LF. Isn't it worth seeing if he can be an
upgrade over Franceour in the order while playing LF for the rest of the
season with Pagan in RF.
I'm not sure he's going to be a regular on a good club, but I concur that the Mets should give him an audition and find out.
Huston (Logan): What type of offense could Matt
Dominguez provide in his prime? He's obviously a stellar defensive 3B
and will likely have an everyday spot in the majors because of that, but
does he have the tools to hit .280 with 25+ HR power and provide the
offensive production teams are looking for from a 3B?
I don't think he'll have that kind of power. I think he's more of a Gold Glove third baseman who hits .265 with 15-18 homers.
Robert (GA): How come Freddie Freeman is so
underrated? Jesus Montero is called a possible future superstar in the
mold of Miguel Cabrera, yet Freeman is only a few months older, in the
same league, putting up better numbers. What gives?
I don't think Freeman is underrated. But
comparing him to Montero . . . he doesn't have Montero's power. I think
Montero is a better pure hitter as well.
KG (Dothan, AL): What do you think of Tyler Ray
from Troy University? He started out hot in the Cape this summer and
even got a win in the All Star game, but faded at the end of the season.
Any thoughts about the draft for him next year?
Third to fifth round if he pitches like he
did early on the Cape. He has an 88-92 mph fastball and throws three
pitches for strikes. Incidentally, I'm working on our Cape Cod Top 30
Alex (New Jersey): Jason Kipnis seems to be
enjoying a breakout season this year. His stat line looks a lot like
another former ASU 2B, Dustin Pedroia's. Can you tell me how Kipnis
compares to the former MVP?
It's not fair to compare anyone to Pedroia,
the patron saint of little guys who can rake. That said, Kipnis looks
like he'll make a good offensive second baseman. Kipnis doesn't quite
have Pedroia's bat, pop or defense, but he runs better.
Dillon (Los Angeles, CA): Not saying I wouldn't
have picked Harper 1st, but would you almost rather have Taillon and
Allie at $8.5 million over Harper at $9.9?
Yes. Also could see taking Vitek/Brentz/Ranaudo/Workman/Coyle/Cecchini for $8.3 million.
Dan (Tulsa): How many of the Cards' signed draft picks would rank immediately behind shelby miller on their prospect rankings?
Zach Cox and Tyrell Jenkins. Maybe Seth Blair and Jordan Swagerty.
Michael (Kalamazoo, MI): Is there any concern
the Barrett Loux thing sets a horrible precedent? What will stop agents
from claiming their clients are hurt and expecting MLB to grant them
If I'm interpreting the release right, the
Diamondbacks signed off on Loux' free agency. MLB will review these
types of situations on a case by case basis, and there may be more talks
between MLB and the MLBPA about setting up a predraft medical combine
or putting in a rule to deal with these cases. I don't think there's any
question MLB did what was fair for Loux. Then again, Scott Bittle went
through exactly the same thing as a Yankees second-rounder in 2008, and
no one made him a free agent.
Mike (Queens): Hey Jim would you rather a system with depth but lack of star potential or less depth but more top line guys?
Less depth and more top-line guys. You win with stars.
o (ct): Let's get this straight, you are saying the Yanks system is in better shape than the sox?
I did say that, yes.
I need to grab some lunch and get back on
the Cape Cod League Top 30. Thanks for the questions. Remember you can
always send questions that need long responses to
firstname.lastname@example.org (please include name and hometown, and realize
that we can't answer all of them in the Ask BA column) and questions
that require shorter answers to me via Twitter at @jimcallisBA. See you