Prospects Chat With Jim Callis
Hi, everyone. Glad to be back in the chat
room as I am most Wednesdays. Our next issue will have our first overall
Top 50 list for the 2012 draft, and we're working on minor league Top
20 Prospect lists, with the organization Top 30s just around the corner.
Grant (Chitown): You mentioned Addison Reed
would likely rank "near" the top of the White Sox top 20 list. Which
player gets your vote as THE top player in that barren system?
I did tweet that while walking my dogs this
morning . . . There is no obvious No. 1 in the White Sox system. Might
be one of their raw toolsy outfielders: Jared Mitchell, Trayce Thompson,
Hiawatha (HI): If Castellanos continues hitting at his current pace, could he see Detroit next September, or is that too optimistic?
I like Nick Castellanos as much as the next guy, but that's too optimistic by at least a year.
Paul (DC): If you're the Nats, where do you start Harper off at, come April?
I send him back to Double-A so he can get
off to a good start, and wouldn't rule out promoting him to Triple-A in
May and the majors in June.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Which player has the better hit tool in your opinion - Oscar Taveras or Mason Williams?
Taveras (though I like Williams, too). Same
age, but Taveras hit .389 in the Midwest League, has more power and
controls the strike zone more.
Marc (Vancouver BC): Can Jarrod Parker improve his command enough to be a #2?
Sure. Command is often the last thing to come back after Tommy John surgery.
Randy (Detroit): Not a prospect question, but I'll ask anyway. Would you think Verlander is deserving of both AL CY Young and AL MVP?
Sure. I have no problem with a pitcher
winning the MVP. He's been one of the best players in the league and
essential to the Tigers making the playoffs, so he's a legit MVP
Jake (Idaho): I always look forward to the League Top 20 lists. When does the first one hit, and who's leading off? thanks Jim!
Arizona League on Monday.
Haley (Miami): I loved watching Chris Yelich perform this year. Would you give him the nod as the Marlins' top prospect? If not him, who?
I would. That's another system without a lot of obvious candidates, but he's the clear No. 1 to me for Florida.
Dino (Bartlett): What are your thoughts on some
people saying Matt Szucur being a right handed version of Juan Pierre.
Do you think that's accurate?
Um, no. Szczur can hit and has tremendous
speed, but he has more power potential, arm strength and defensive
skills than Pierre had in his prime. That comp only works for two tools.
Tommy (Florida): Who do you think will make a bigger splash in the bullpen down the stretch - Jarrod Parker or Matt Moore?
Moore. And Tampa Bay should have called him up two months ago.
Bob (Georgia): I'm puzzled that the Cub's Brett
Jackson is rated so high when he strikes out 1 out of 3 at bats. Isn't
this a red flag for any prospect? Was Adam Dunn, for example, this
strike out prone in the minors?
Dunn whiffed in 18% of his minor league
plate appearances, while Jackson is at 24%. Jackson is always going to
swing and miss some, but he has solid tools across the board. Not sure
how highly he's rated overall—he's one of the Cubs' best prospects, but
I don't see anyone calling him a future superstar.
bob (Colorado): Jim, what happened to Allen Webster at end..his velocity seemed to drop a tad and got hit harder..tired arm???
Is he still a top 5 or 10 Dodger prospect?
He's 21 and set career highs in starts and
innings, so I'd bet on fatigue. Nothing to worry about and he's still
one of L.A.'s best prospects.
Doug (Orlando): Martin Perez has been hit hard
in each debut season in the upper minors. Critics will say he's tapped
out because of his size and won't translate to MLB. I know BA has been
high on Perez for a while now, how would you explain his struggles and
do you still feel he will have an above average MLB career?
Perez has the makings of three plus
pitches—and he's lefthanded—but I wish he'd just flat-out dominate one
of these years. That said, he's only 20 and didn't get rocked until he
got to Triple-A this year. I still love his upside.
Mikell (Chicago): Why do the White Sox have the
worst farm system of the modern era year after year? And what can be
done to alleviate this yearly disaster?
That's a little harsh, but the White Sox
are perennially near the bottom. The answer is simple: Chicago spends
less on the draft on any team, and while I don't have international
amateur figures, the Sox are near the bottom there too. Hard to bring in
talent without spending any money, but Jerry Reinsdorf hates paying big
Joe R (Newport News VA): Has BA considered a
"Minor League Veteran of the Year" award, for players who are too old to
be prospects but had outstanding years? The current "Minor League
Player of the Year" is really "Minor League Prospect of the Year".
Our MLPOY award always has factored in
prospecty goodness. That's what we do. We're a magazine that focuses
first and foremost on player development . . . To answer your question,
no on the MLVOY, but our minor league all-star teams are based more on
Matt Carpenter (not St Louis): Any idea why
Carpenter didn't get a Sept callup? He's sandwiched in StL by Freese
and Cox so it's hard to see how he fits in StL, but an older prospect
off a strong year who is already on the 40 man is usually a no-brainer.
They weren't really contending at the start of the month, they have Freese and Cox and decided not to spend the money.
Justin (New York): Upside for Brad Brach - 8th inning guy? eventual second-division closer?
Ceiling is as an eighth-inning guy,
probably more of a sixth- or seventh-inning option. Throws 90-93 from a
deceptive short-arm delivery, has an OK slider.
Chris (KC): Jim, I'm curious why Kevin Gausman
wasn't included in your Cape Cod League Top 30. I know he didn't pitch
much and wasn't there long, but the same applies to Ryne Stanek since
both also spent time with Team USA.
Gausman just didn't qualify. Cape pitchers
needed 1/3 IP per team game (14 2/3), and Gausman had 12 and Stanek had
16. I did our Team USA list and had Stanek slightly ahead of Gausman.
Greg (ky): Jim whats your current take Yorman Rodriguez?
Still very young (didn't turn 19 until Aug.
15), still very raw. He's still a project but it's oh so easy to dream
on those tools.
Todd (Irvine, CA): Besides the Cubs and Orioles, what GM jobs do you see opening this off-season?
The Astros job could open up once they get a
new owner. It's possible the Cubs could hire a GM from another team,
which would create another opening. I don't see another obvious spot.
johnny (kansas city): Are there any advanced pitching prospects in the 2012 draft that would beable to make an impact in the royals rotation in 2013?
I just wrote a mock top 10 picks for 2012
column, and had the Royals taking Georgia Southern righthander Chris
Beck. But 2013 would be pushing it. The top college pitching prospect
for 2012, Stanford righthander Mark Appel, is more of a 2014 guy, too.
Rich (New Jersey): Higher ceiling: Jonathan Schoop, Jake Marisnick, and Mason Williams?
Marisnick, as a five-tool center fielder.
Chris (DC): What do you think the chances are of Shelby Miller being in St. Louis' opening day rotation?
Slim. I think it's much more likely that he gets to St. Louis at midseason.
rick (seattle): what is your opinion and ETA for these Seattle prospects:
paxton, walker, hultzen?
I would line them up like this: Hultzen,
Walker, Paxton. I could see Hultzen and Paxton up before the end of
2012, Walker is more of a late 2013/early 2014 guy. Not nearly as
polished, but he might have the highest ceiling.
Dave (Cuyahoga Falls, OH): Any idea who would be the O's #3 prospect after Machado and Bundy? Thanks!
Jonathan Schoop. Good bat, may wind up at third base in the long run.
Ian (MN): What's your view of Liam Hendriks? I
liked his first start, kind of reminds me (in a good way) of a solid
Nick Blackburn type who can eat a lot of innings and not embarrass
Sorry, got sidetracked by a phone call
there . . . That's fair on Hendriks. More solid than plus stuff, but he
really commands it well. Typical Twins starting pitcher.
Generic name (Generic place): A lot of people had problems with Trout being #1 over Matt Moore for minor league player of the year. Thoughts?
I still don't get it. See my lead to this
week's Ask BA column at
They were both deserving candidates, and either would have been an
excellent choice. Anyone who thinks Trout wasn't dominating enough, I
just don't understand ... first teenager to hit .300/.400/.500 in
Double-A since Gregg Jefferies in 1987.
brad pitt (LA): Gonna see my new movie?
I doubt it. I've heard some people say it's
a compelling story, others say it's a disappointment. With four kids, I
get out to so few movies and don't think my wife is going to be
clamoring to see "Moneyball."
Jay (South Riding, VA): Wilson Ramos or Derek Norris as the starting C in 2013? Nats 1B in 2013? Morse, Laroche or Fielder?
Ken (Kettering OH): Kyle Lotzkar still project as a #1 or #2 starter?
No. He flashes that kind of arm, but he can't stay healthy.
Bill (Bozeman, MT): Brett Eibner has such great
secondary skills, do you consider his lack of hitting-for-average this
summer a fluke, or are there some serious concerns about his swing?
Eibner is geared up for power and will
always swing and miss a lot. I don't think he'll ever hit for a high
average. A lot of teams liked him more as a pitcher than as an
outfielder when he came out of the 2010 draft.
Jake (California): Are you a Keyvius Sampson believer?
I am. He stayed healthy and showed terrific
stuff in the Midwest League this year. He's in the running for the No. 1
spot on the MWL Top 20 Prospects list I'm working on.
Jason (Walnut Creek, CA): Where does outfielder
Victor Roache currently slot in the next Draft? Lottery pick? Mid
first Round? End of the first round?
We could use an Early Mock Draft article for 2012. hint hint ..
I gave you one ... just submitted it to
Durham HQ for the magazine today. Hopefully it will makes its way online
next week. I had Roache sneaking into the top 10 as a college bat with a
lot of power.
Greg (Boston): Can you quickly explain how Rendon's contract works, specifically with regards to the option year?
It's a 2012-15 contract with a $6 million
bonus and $7.2 million in guaranteed value. If he went straight to the
big leagues next April, he'd earn $9.5 million. There's a $500,000 club
option in 2016, but it's doubtful the Nationals will have to worry about
exercising it. Rendon can opt out of the deal once he's
arbitration-eligible, and he'll likely be eligible before 2016.
Ian (MN): With Hicks fall off, Gibson's injury and Benson's promotion, who it the Twins #3 prospect after Sano and Arcia?
Benson will still qualify, so it would be him.
Tim (Kentucky): Has your opinion on Jean Segura changed any due to the missed time? Still think he ends up at shortstop?
No, still like him a lot but it was a lost
year. Don't have an opinion on shortstop yet because he didn't get a lot
of time there and was rarely 100 percent. It's a possibility, though.
Robbie (Toronto, ON): Where do you think Brett Lawrie would have fit into the MLPOY discussion had he been eligible?
He was eligible . . . there is no
eligiblity standard. Had he spent a full healthy season in the minors
and hit .353/.415/.661 over 140 games rather than 70, he would have had a
That's all for now, but if you have more
questions, try me at Ask BA for long ones (email@example.com,
please include name and hometown) or at Twitter (@jimcallisBA). Not sure
if I'm doing a Wednesday chat when we start doing the minor league Top
20 chats, which will run daily for about three weeks starting next
Monday, but you'll at least get me chatting about the Midwest League Top