Prospects Chat With Jim Callis
Jim Callis will answer your questions beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.
The signing deadline is at the forefront of
my mind these days, and I suspect the trade deadline is at the
forefront of many of yours'. All questions are fair game . . . let's go!
@Jaypers413 (IL): Your thoughts on the Edwin Jackson trade that sent Zach Stewart to the White Sox?
Salary dump for the White Sox, who save $9
million. I like Zach Stewart some, but I think he's more of a reliever
than a frontline starter. If the Jays are using Jackson to get Colby
Rasmus, as rumored, it's more confirmation that Alex Anthopoulos is a
tremendous GM. Jackson has not been Kenny Williams' finest moment—he
gives up Daniel Hudson and Dennis Holmberg to get him, trades him for
two relievers, then sees him uses to get Colby Rasmus.
dylan (ks): where do the cubs stand with vogelbach & maples?
Rumors persists in the industry that
Vogelbach is done or all but done. He was asking for $1.65 million
before the draft, and if the Cubs give him that much, it won't get
announced until Aug. 15. I keep hearing the Cubs will go overslot for
9-10 guys at the top of the draft, but it's unclear whether that group
will include Maples.
Nate (Washington): Vincent Catricala 3B/LF SEA
has an OPS over 1.000 in nearly 100 AA plate appearances at age 22 after
a similar performance in A+. What do the Mariners have here? I keep
reading reports that "scouts like/buy the bat," but what does that mean?
I've read almost nothing concrete about him.
He has some hitting ability and pop, but
he's not a third baseman and probably has to be a left fielder. The
question becomes can he really hit enough to be an everyday big leaguer
in left field? He's more than an org player but he's not an elite
prospect. He'll have to keep proving himself.
Charles (KC, MO): The Royals top 5 draft picks are all unsigned. How many will sign?
Such is life with over-slot draftees: teams
have to wait to sign them. I'd put the over/under at 4 1/2. They'll
definitely sign Starling, and I'm pretty sure they'll sign Gallagher,
Smith and Leonard. Brickhouse is the one I think could go either way.
Connor G. (NY): Why isnt Oscar Hernandez getting any notice for hos crazy numbers?
Well, I think a lot of prospect watchers
are noticing those numbers. But it's the Venezuelan Summer League, which
means 1) the numbers mean next to nothing and 2) there aren't exactly a
lot of available scouting reports to let us know what pro evaluators
think of him.
Marc (Vancouver): Assuming all the draftees sign, where do the D-Backs pitching group, and farm overall, rank against the rest of the league?
Near the top. You have Tyler Skaggs, Jarrod
Parker, Pat Corbin and David Holmberg already in the system, and Trevor
Bauer, Archie Bradley, Andrew Chafin and Anthony Meo from the first two
rounds of the draft. Very impressive.
Dan V. (Kent, WA): Any progress to report on Hultzen talks?
With the top picks and biggest deals,
negotiations usually don't really get going until the final week, so no
news doesn't mean bad news. I think he'll sign, but it's probably late
on the night of the deadline (Aug. 15). I do think all 33 first-rounders
will sign when all is said and done.
Dara (Detroit): Is Yonder Alonso going to be a mainstay in Cincy's OF, or just a stopgap?
I think he can hit enough to hold the job,
but I question his ability to handle the outfield defensively for a long
period of time. To me, he's a first baseman and only a first baseman. I
think he eventually becomes a trade piece.
Will (Dallas, TX): Texas has clearly shown
ability and willingness to sign prospects for big $ (Latin America),
what then was the reasoning (or your hypothesis of the reasoning) for
going under slot in the Rule 4?
My hypothesis is that the Rangers have a
finite number of dollars in their amateur talent acquisition budget,
picked low enough in the draft that they couldn't get two guys they
really wanted (Nimmo and Beede), so they allocated more money to the
international market. If Nimmo and Beede had been available at picks 33
and 37, I bet Texas would have taken them and signed them for a combined
$5 million or so.
Drew (IL): Im confused about the white sox
angle on this deal, if the cardinals like Jackson, why not trade
straight up for Rasmus, Rasmus seems to be the superior player to
Stewart by a lot, what am I missing?
It won't be straight up, though it looks
like the other guys the Jays will give to the Cardinals are a pair of
relievers, Octavio Dotel and Mark Rzepczynski. Jays will also have to
pick up some cash, too. But yes, not sure why the White Sox wouldn't
have tried to cut out the middle man and take a shot at getting Rasmus.
Mark (Las Vegas): I know he's a bit old to be
considered a prospect anymore, but what are your thoughts on Mat Gamel,
and the type of career he's likely to have?
He's another guy who can hit but is limited
defensively, so he's really going to have to hit a lot to carve out
regular playing time in the majors. He'd probably get a shot to replace
Prince Fielder in Milwaukee if Fielder departs as a free agent, and he's
Rymer liriano (class A): Why arent I being talked about more? I could go 20hr 60sb with 12% bb rate. What are the scouts saying about me?
I'm doing our Midwest League Best Tools
list, and Liriano earned recognition as the league's most exciting
player. Nice bounce-back year after a weak 2010, and he has five-tool
Connor G. (NY): At all concerned about Matt Lipka's hitting? No power and low average.
Still has exciting package of tools and
youth on his side. Not all high school guys handle low A well in their
first full pro season. Needs another year before I'd start to get
Tex (Austin,Tx): Future 3rd baseman of the Cubs???? Josh Vitters, DJ LeMahieu, Ryan Flaherty or other?
I still think Vitters is the best in-house
option, but I keep waiting for this breakout year that's supposed to be
coming. Their long-term third baseman may not be in the organization
Sammy (CA): Was the decision to assign Trevor Bauer to Visalia purely a matter of its' close proximity to Phoenix, or no?
I think it was more that it would provide a
good test. The Diamondbacks aren't opposed to moving Bauer quickly if
he can handle it (I think he can). I bet he's not in Visalia for more
than 3-4 outings.
tim (kentucky): Oscar Taveras is crushing
everything. Obviously he isn't THIS good of a prospect, but exactly how
good of a prospect do u feel he is? Top 50-75?
I don't know if he's that good, but he's
good. The bat looks like it's for real, and the rest of the tools are
solid. Might sneak into 76-100 range on next year's Top 100.
Cubs fan pulling my hair out (IL): What can we
expect from the cubs over the next few days? It would apear to be the
optimal time to stock the system and trade away Marshall, Baker,
Johnson, Fukudome, Pena, and Ramirez, but it doesnt appear Hendry wants
to admit his failure.
I don't think Hendry is afraid to admit
things haven't worked out. Ramirez doesn't want to waive his no-trade
clause. Wood took a lot less money to come back to Chicago, so the Cubs
won't betray him with a trade. That leaves them with a lot of expensive
overachievers or role players to deal, and that's not going to bring
back much. So don't expect any big-time prospects to come to the Cubs
Wendy (Dallas, TX): I heard word that Sonny Gray could be a very fast riser, and could make it to Oakland by September. Truth, or too optimistic?
I don't think that's out of the question,
but with the Athletics out of contention, there's no need to do that. I
believe the plan behind signing him now is to get him a month in
Double-A and put him in position to make the big league club at some
point next year. Similar to what happened with the Braves and another
Vanderbilt first-rounder, Mike Minor.
Andre (Tampa): Gut feeling - is Upton going anywhere?
I'm torn, but I'll say no. Sounds like the
Rays are shooting for the moon in an Upton trade, and I don't think
they'll get it. He's intriguing but he's inconsistent. Lot of demands
for him, just not sure at the price Tampa Bay wants.
Hsu (Taiwan): Engel Beltre have a disapointed season again. What's wrong with him? Is it time to give up him?
Still just 21, but seems like he's one of
those guys who will always tease you with a lot more tools than
production. Never has gained much control of the strike zone.
@DREWBOKE (IL): What are the cubs plan for Tony Zych once he signs? fast to the majors reliever or try him as a starter?
His fastball is his lone above-average
pitch, though his slider has its moments. He also was in the bullpen
throughout his college career. Definitely looks like a reliever to me.
Joe (DE): Is anyone else surprised that all it
took to sign Tyler Greene was 375? Had that number been known would he
have dropped to the 11th round?
I was a little surprised. At the same time,
while he has an impressive array of shortstops, he was so inconsistent
offensively and defensively on the showcase circuit and as a high school
senior, so I don't think teams knew exactly what to make of him. Not
surprised at all that it was the Phillies who popped him. Definitely
worth a $375,000 investment.
Ray (Chicago): Has Ryan Flaherty's upside
improved enough to be projected as a legit offensive third baseman? And
including Flaherty, what is the best option at second base for the Cubs
If he can play there, which is still a
question. He has played all over the place for the Cubs in the minors,
in part because they have several infielders like. But he would have
been better served not wasting time at second base or shortstop, where
he's not going to play for any length of time in the big leagues, and
spending a lot more time at third base. I don't think Darwin Barney will
be a star, but he's their best option at second base for 2012.
Took a couple of minutes there to Tweet
about the Rays signing third-round pick Johnny Eierman for $550,000.
Looks like Carlos Beltran is headed to the Giants. Back for some more
questions . . .
M.J. (Pennsylvania): What are your thoughts on the upside of Cardinals prospect AA 1B Matt Adams .340 24HR 76 RBI 1.030 OPS?
Another one of those all-bat guys who's
really going to have to hit to be a big league regular. And to be a
regular in St. Louis, Albert Pujols would have to leave. All that said, I
do think Adams' bat is for real.
Matt (NJ): Do you think Rendon will play in the minors this year should he sign? If so where do you Washington starts him off?
I'm going to guess no. Really depends on
whether he needs surgery to repair his shoulder injury. If he's healthy,
we may see him in the AFL. Could start in high A or Double-A next year.
Jerred G (Elizabethtown, Pa): Whats your take on Zack Cox this year?
Still a believer, and I still think there's
more power in there. Not surprised that he's been able to hit in
Double-A, and I think he'll get the job done at third base too. I'm
probably president of the Zack Cox Fan Club.
Kyle (Maine): Is Bryce Brentz a legitimate prospect?
Let's launch the lightning round here . . . Yes. Has the power to be an everyday corner outfielder in the big leagues.
Dan (Jersey): Pirate Question.
Which prospect Marte or Grossman has higher upside. Do you think Gorky
has regained prospect status with his performance this year or do you
think he is still defense outfield with a poor bat.
Marte, easily, though Grossman has has a nice year. Still see Gorky as more of a glove guy than a difference-maker.
Hector (New York, NY): Is it time to stick a fork in Wilmer Flores as a Top 100 prospect kind of guy?
Yes. He's going to have to be a LF/1B and don't see him having the bat to be a star there.
Nick (Boston): Jim, Do you buy Boras's talk
about Jackie Bradley going back to school? I know you said you think all
1st rounders sign, what about supplemental picks such as Bradley?
Most or the sandwich picks will sign too.
No, I don't buy Bradley going back to South Carolina. I'll bet Boston
signs him to a seven-figure deal.
Tim (Chicago): It seems that Brett Jackson has had an up and down season..any reason for concern?
No. He had a minor injury that slowed him after a good start. He's still the same solid-across-the-board prospect.
Roger (Greenville, SC): Please compare Trevor
Bauer to Tim Lincecum at the same stage. Is Bauer lacking substantially
in the comparison? Some have mentioned fastball command as an issue?
Short answer: Lincecum's stuff was more overpowering while Bauer had a deeper repertoire and more polish.
Dustin (Winnipeg): Of the 4 top picks that the
Padres haven't signed yet, how many do you think they get inked? As
well, if by some chance they can bring in all 4, where would they stand
in terms of overall farm system in your eyes?
Of their top four unsigned guys, I'm
reasonably confident they'll sign Ross, Kelly and Austin. Wouldn't
surprise me if Hedges went to school. I haven't tried to stack up
systems yet, but the Padres would probably rank in the Top 10 with all
four of those guys.
matt (md): why dont teams fight Selig on letting guys who are overlsot and signed play sooner? They losing valuable time
I agree. Nothing MLB can do if teams sign the players and submit the contracts.
Mark (TN): What is the word on Daniel Norris?
Will the Jays spend $1.5-$2 million to sign him? If he truely is the
best HS lefty this year it seems that it would be a good decision on the
My best guess is the Jays will spend a lot
of money on the draft, and enough to sign two of three out of Tyler
Beede, Kevin Comer and Daniel Norris. Would be a little surprised if
they got all three.
Larry (Gainesvillle, FL): What is the
likelyhood of a firm, mandatory slotting system in the next CBA? It
seems like one of the few things most involved (other than agents) agree
I don't think we'll see hard slotting. Keep
getting told MLBPA leadership won't go for it. Think we'll have an
earlier signing deadline, which would be nice.
Thanks for all the great questions, as
usual. Feel free to hit me up at Twitter (@jimcallisBA) or send longer
questions (with full name and hometown) for possible use in our Monday
Ask BA column to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.