Jim Callis Chat: July 6
Jeff (STL): When can we expect a mid-season Top Prospect list? Thanks!
Never know when my phone might ring, so
let's get this chat started a few minutes early . . . Jeff, we are
working on the midseason Top 50 and hope to have it finalized by this
afternoon so it can go in the issue that goes to print tomorrow. Should
appear online very quickly as well. I have a rough version of a personal
Top 50 I'm working off of, and I'll be happy to share my own rankings
in this chat.
Norman (San Jose): at midseason, have any players moved up significantly in your top 100 prospects?
I took a wait-and-see attitude on Cardinals
righthander Carlos Martinez on my personal Top 100 coming into the
season, but I'm not waiting any longer. He, Brad Peacock (Nationals) and
Taijuan Walker (Mariners) are the pitchers who have jumped the most in
my estimation. I also was trying to be conservative on Cubs outfielder
Matt Szczur, and I've got him No. 44 on my personal Top 50 right now.
Also buying into Padres third baseman Jedd Gyorko.
M.H. (Rochester, NY): How much more can Collin Cowgill and Trayvon Robinson do to warrant call-ups?
They just have to keep putting up numbers
and wait for the call. Remember, though, that the PCL really boosts
hitting stats, so you have to put their performance in context. Nice
year for Cowgill, but he's really more of a fourth outfielder than a
regular. And the 20 homers for Robinson make him look more like a
slugger than he will be in the majors.
Jeff (STL): Which Stanford 2012 draftee ranks higher in your eyes - Appel or Diekroeger?
Appel. I know the new bats helped him and
hurt Diekroeger, but I'm not completely sold that Diekroeger stays at
shortstop and he had 11 extra-base hits in 56 games this year.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Were you surprised at Harper
getting bumped two levels? At his present rate, do you see him possibly
getting a taste of DC in September?
Yes and no. Yes, because I thought the
logical step would be high Class A, and no, because he seems to be able
to handle anything. The Nationals continue to insist they won't promote
him in September, but he's already on the 40-man roster, so I wouldn't
rule out a callup.
bowen (taiwan): hi, Jim. need your opinion on David Cooper and Eric Thames.
I think Cooper is the better pure hitter
and Thames has more power. Most of the value with both guys comes with
their bats. Don't quite buy that Cooper will have enough pop to be a
regular at first base. Thames has a better chance to be a regular, but
I'm not sure he's a first-division regular.
Nick (NJ): Thanks for the chat, Jim. Jeurys
Familia has been a nice, somewhat-surprising story for the Mets this
year. Is he a top 100 prospect in your eyes? Close to it?
Nice progress this year, but he's still
more reliever than starter to me and I have a tough time putting bullpen
guys on the Top 100.
Frank (Chicago): I'm still scratching my head
at TB's decision to acquire Matt Torra from AZ and to assign him to AAA
when Moore certainly seems to be worthy of a bump to Durham. Your
Not really related moves. Torra is just
filler, and Moore certainly could jump from Double-A to the majors if
needed. Torra isn't blocking Moore—if the Rays want to move Moore to
Triple-A, they'll push Torra aside if needed.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Which Rockies' prospect has
impressed you more this season - Wheeler or Arenado? Could either get a
September callup, according to your crystal ball?
Arenado is the better propsect, but Wheeler
has rebounded after floundering a year ago and has had a more
impressive season. Can't see Arenado getting a callup from high A.
Wheeler doesn't have to be protected on the 40-man yet and the Rockies
are getting good production on their outfield corners, so you probably
won't see him either this year.
Steve (Huntington Beach): What is it about
Shelby Miller's fastball that is so unhitable? Seems like there are
plenty of guys who can get it up around 94 95, but for some reason his
is just dominating and he does it without mixing in a ton of off speed
The life on his fastball is better than his velocity, and the combination of the two make it unhittable.
Anthony (Boonville, IN): Jim, I'm going to ask
something that's on the minds of many. What's left for Drew Pomeranz to
prove for him to earn a promotion? Thanks!
I guess the command could be a little
better, but there's not really much more for Pomeranz to prove in high
A. I bet he gets promoted to Double-A in the near future.
RichieP (Boston, MA): Mets' LHP Chase
Huchingson - do you happen to know anything about him? The Mets have
limited his innings of late, hence the relief appearances, but hes been
fantastic for Savannah all season: 10.49 K/9, 2.78 BB/9, 1.85 ERA.
He has a solid fastball and fringy
secondary pitches. I think those numbers are more a reflection of
deception than quality stuff.
Nick (Mass): Xander Bogaerts is getting a ton of hype lately. Are you buying into it and is he a SS longterm?
Yes. Ran him up my Red Sox Top 30 in the
offseason and he's doing a nice job for an 18-year-old in low Class A.
He has one of the best bats in the Boston system. He will outgrow
shortstop, however, and probably wind up at third base.
Kyle (Canada): Has your opinion of Drew
Hutchison changed since the start of the season? He's throwing harder,
and the results have been fantastic. Does this success in the low minors
raise his ceiling? His floor? Or both?
Yes. I'm a believer. Not ready to put him
with the very best pitching prospects in the minors, but he has a plus
fastball and slider to go with a solid changeup and throws strikes at
@Jaypers413 (IL): Which player(s) are you most looking forward to seeing at the Futures game?
Probably too many too list. I've never seen
Bryce Harper in person, so that should be fun. Carlos Martinez.
Jurickson Profar. Looking forward to seeing how much progress Tim
Beckham has made, too.
Matt (NJ): Jim, where does profar rank now
among current prospects with his surprise power so far this year? Is he
the best SS prospect in the minors besides Machado?
Profar continues to impress and he has
grown into more of his offensive potential this year. I have him ranked
14th overall, second among shortstops behind Machado, who I have at No.
Roger (Washington, DC): Surkamp with 102K, 27
BB in 90 IP with 1.61 ERA. He's looking more and more like a future
successful major league 4/5 starter, no? Also, are Hembree's BBs as big
a red flag as his Ks are a green flag?
I agree on Surkamp. Not a huge ceiling, but
he's lefthanded and keeps succeeding. Not even sure it's fair to call
him a sleeper any longer. That's a little harsh on Hembree. The way I
would put it is that his ability to become a big league closer depends
on his ability to improve his control and command. But he still can be a
setup man with less than exemplary control/command—his arm is that
Eric Silver (Atlanta Georgia): What are your thoughts on Jacob Turner?
Everything is coming along nicely. He's
having no problems in Double-A at age 20, and he could have three plus
pitches when all is said and done. We'll see him in Detroit at some
point in 2012.
Roger (Washington DC): If Francisco Peguero
develops 15-18 HR power (5 in 28 games this year), how good of a
prospect does he become? Good enough to be a starting RF in majors?
He's already a good prospect who projects as a starting RF. Solid bat, solid power, good speed and defensive tools.
Dave (Syracuse): Any word on Jean Segura? He hasn't played in well over a month now.
Hamstring problems. Not sure when he's
supposed to return. It's a shame, because he's one of the best
middle-infield prospects in the game, but shouldn't affect his long-term
Jason (Charlotte): I'm looking forward to
seeing Teheran pitch tonight ! Should I expecte him to not to be the #1
pitcher on the midseason list and #2 overall to Harper
Sounds like fun. I have Harper at No. 2 and
Trout at No. 1, but I'm sure the BA consensus list will have them
reversed. I have Teheran No. 3 on my list, as the top pitcher, but there
could be some Matt Moore support from other corners of BA. Will know
more after our afternoon meeting!
Dustin (Canada): Do you like Travis D'arnaud or Devin Mesoraco long term?
I like d'Arnaud just a little bit better, just believe in his all-around tools a little bit more. Have them both in my top 25.
Greg (NY): Any Mets you consider a top 50 prospect? Who would be the closest? Thanks!
Matt Harvey was 38th on my initial list, and I may have to move him up a few more spots.
Sam (Texas): Did Perez, Profar and Leonys Martin make your Top 50 list?
Yes, yes and yes. Put them all in my Top 25.
Landon (Kelowna, BC): Is Brett Lawrie a top 5 prospect in your midseason top 50?
Not quite . . . I had him at No. 8. I've always believed in the bat, and he's found a nice defensive home at third base.
Steve (Seattle): Am I crazy to think that
Anthony Rendon might not sign with Washington? Seems like his stocked
dropped a lot and he could be a potential #1 pick next year with
improved power and health.
I'd be shocked if Rendon doesn't sign.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and Scott Boras cut big draft deals all the
time, and Rendon will be paid handsomely. I still would take him over
anyone in the 2011 draft.
raymond (New York): Hi Jim,
thanks for the chat.
why does MLB give teams hassles if they want to sign draftees above slot
in June or July, but on 8/15 (Yanks, Red Sox,Pirates) it is okay to
agree to absurd bonuses ?
how does that keep bonuses down ?
thanks for your reply
You read my mind . . . just wrote a column
on this. It's OK for the Rangers to drop $8.5 million on two Dominican
outfielders (which I have no problem with), but teams have to wait
two-plus months to pay their draftees. It's stupid and short-sighted.
Delaying signings doesn't keep bonuses down, either, because everyone
has a pretty good idea of what guys are going to sign for.
frank white (brooklyn): kyle seager eta? he's
been rakin since AAA callup and figgins looks done. can he play 3B in
majors? or is 2B in '12 more likely with ackley going to LF?
He could be up any day now. I think
Seager's bat profiles better at 2B (and Ackley's glove profiles better
in the OF), but Seager can get the job done at 3B and be an upgrade over
Navin (Pasadena, CA): With Brett Jackson scuffling at AA, would you rate Szczur or Baez (when he signs) as the Cubs top prospect? Thank you!
Jackson was off to a very good start before
he got hurt. I'd still give him the nod over Szczur, but it's close.
I'd go Jackson, Szczur, Baez for now.
Nils (Stamford): Hi Jim, Austin Kirk's no
hitter this week seemed to put his already good season on the radar. Is
he this good or are we looking at more a case of smoke and mirrors?
Nice accomplishment, but I still see him
more as a reliever in the majors. He's 21, which isn't young for low A,
he's not very projectable at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, and his stuff is
fringy to average. He's lefthanded and throws strikes, which helps.
Mike (ATL): What are the ceilings for Randall Delgado and Aroldis Vizcaino, assuming they both stay healthy.
Vizcaino has moved ahead of Delgado . . . Vizcaino is a potential No. 2, Delgado a potential No. 3.
Parker (Denver): Assuming he can remain healthy, do you still have Heyward ahead of Stanton?
Yes, I do. Stanton will have more power,
but Heyward will have plenty of power and hit for a much higher average
(and have a better OBP).
Tom (Chicago): The Cubs have yet to sign any of
their top 15 draft picks. What are your thoughts? Are they signing them
to overslot bonuses which is holding up the announcements?
I don't think it means anything—they'll
sign their share of their top picks. Rumors are that Zeke DeVoss (third
round) is on the verge of signing. None of the early first-rounder has
signed yet, so don't worry about Javier Baez, and second-rounder Dan
Vogelbach was seeking $1.65 million. Fourth-rounder Tony Zych fell
further than expected, so he'll probably be over-slot too.
Ryan (Baltimore): What tier of pitching prospects does Dylan Bundy fit with? A notch below the Teheran/Miller/Moore group?
Those are the three best pitching prospects
in the minors right now, and I'd give them credit for performing in
Double-A or higher. I'd put Bundy, who I'd take over all of the 2011
draft pitchers, right behind them.
David (Bethlehem, PA): Trevor May has 114 K and
has spent over a year now in High A. When does he get moved up to AA?
Or do the Phillies want to keep him, Cosart and Colvin on the same
They probably want him to throw a few more
strikes, but he'll be able to handle the jump when ready. He started
last year in high A, had to get demoted to low A when he couldn't find
the zone, so it's not like it's been more than a year of continuous time
Tom (Columbus): Should I be worried about the "Pomeranz is a two pitch reliever" scouting reports?
No. There aren't many lefthanders with a
fastball-curveball combo like Pomeranz, and he can start with that combo
and mix in a few changeups. I'd love to see a stat on how often quality
big league starters actually use their third pitch.
Jon (DC): Any concerns about Derek Norris after
his second straight year of low average? Still high OBP and good power
though. Still, two strange years in a row.
He takes a lot of pitches and he's
pull-happy, so he may never hit for a high average. He gets on base, so
his batting average doesn't worry me as much as his defense—I'm not
convinced his receiving is good enough to make him a regular catcher. At
least not yet.
Matt (KC): Has the projection for Giavotella changed at all?
Nope, same guy. Will hit, gap power,
defensively challenged at second base. Will get a chance to show what he
can do in Kansas City soon, eventually will get pushed aside by
Matt (NYC): Hi jim, Tyler Skaggs has had a great season so far. Where does he rank in you top 50 and what is his ceiling?
I put him at No. 19, which might be a tad high. Ceiling is as a No. 2 starter.
Jake (Kalamazoo): Nick Castellanos climbing up
the board? I know you can't entirely discard April but you sort of can
given the adjustment of a Florida teen to a very cold spring in the
Midwest League - anyway, since May 1 he's been killing it. Assume the
defense is good enough to stick at 3B?
Didn't put Castellanos on the Top 50, but
that's a tough hitting environment playing at West Michigan in a
pitcher's league. I think he'll stick at 3B and really like him a lot.
Matt (NJ): Jim, did Taillon move into your
personal top 10 or the BA consensus? He's been more hittable than i
expected but the control seems very good so far. Will the pirates'
conservative approach slow his development?
He was there to begin with and I have him
at No. 6 on my list. The conservative approach won't hurt him—they just
don't want to throw 150 pro innings on a teenager making his pro debut.
Zach (Madison, WI): Any chance Robbie Erlin makes the midseason top 50?
Very good chance. He's No. 36 on my list.
Matt (New York): Did Jarrod Parker make your personal top 50? Still have No. 1 upside? Shot to be in Arizona on Opening Day next year?
He did—No. 43 on my list. Still has
frontline starter upside. The command has just been slow to come back
after Tommy John surgery, which isn't unusual. Biggest concern in the
long term is his relative lack of deception. The pure stuff is very
Thanks for all the good questions, as
usual. I'm off to the Futures Game, so we can discuss that next
Wednesday. In the meantime, feel free to fire questions at me via the
weekly Ask BA column (firstname.lastname@example.org, please include full
name and hometown) or my Twitter account (@jimcallisBA).