Jim Callis Chat: May 9




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Jim Callis: Hi, everyone. The draft is on our minds at Baseball America, but anything is fair game. And please bear with me if I have to run to take phone call. Let's get started!

    Draft Junkie (Chicago): When does your first Mock go up? Thanks Jim.

Jim Callis: Working on it now for tomorrow's Draft Preview issue deadline, so it should be up online Thursday or Friday.

    Andy (Lexington): Has Kentucky's surprising rise to prominence this season helped and of its players draft stock for the summer? Maybe Luke Maile for instance?

Jim Callis: To a degree. Kentucky obviously has a lot of guys who are playing well and have helped their cause. At the same time, I'm not sure their best prospect (C/1B Luke Maile, LHPs Taylor Rogers and Jerad Grundy) are locks to go in the first five rounds.

    Jeff (Bay Area): What are the odds that Jedd Gyorko can handle 2b at the major league level.

Jim Callis: I love the bat and couldn't believe he lasted until the second round of the 2010 draft, but second base is a stretch for me. Third base is much more realistic. But why not give it a try?

    Frank (Lakeland, FL): Why is Castellanos still here? I love watching him, but the guy is too good for this league.

Jim Callis: He's not going to make it to the majors this year, so they're not going to rush him. I have no problem with him tearing up high Class A for a couple of months before sending him to Double-A. He's only 20.

    Scott (Pittsburgh): Do you think Giolito, Fried, or Correa make it to the #8 pick?

Jim Callis: Giolito is a total wild card until teams know more about his health and bonus expectations. As of right now, yes, I think he'd last that far. Correa is the most likely to be gone, because I could see the Cubs or Padres taking him at 6 or 7. Fried probably gets to No. 8 and could be the Pirates' guy if he does.

    Matt (Texas): Gausman, Appel or Zimmer most likely if the Astros take a College P?

Jim Callis: I'd put my money on Appel. Right now, looks like he'll be going to the Astros in my first first-round projection.

    Brett K. (Minnesota): Jim, what are your impressions of Miguel Sano's first full season so far?

Jim Callis: That with Bryce Harper in the majors, Sano is the best power prospect in the minors.

    Harry (Milwaukee): How similar of a player are Albert Almora and David Dahl and is one a clear pick over the other?

Jim Callis: Similar. Dahl has the advantage of batting righthander, while Almora has better instincts and has had a better spring. Almora figures to go a few picks ahead of Dahl.

    Josh (Lake Charles, LA): Thanks for the chat. What kind of power do you see Buxton developing at this point? He hasn't shown any this season; has he ever shown the ability in tournaments or showcases? In what ways is he better than Correa?

Jim Callis: I've had scouts put a 70 on his raw power, so he should be able to develop at least average power, despite not hitting a ton of HR this spring. Scouts give Buxton a lot of 70s for his tools and Almora a lot of 60s. Buxton has more upside, though Almora is a safer bet.

    Frank (New Orleans): In your opinion, what prep player or players has emerged has to who could be selected first?

Jim Callis: Just Buxton.

    Joel (St. Louis): Andrew Heaney, like him or love him?

Jim Callis: Can I choose "like him a lot"? He's the best college lefty in the draft and he'll be a mid-first-rounder. One scout described him to me as "55 stuff with 60 command," a perfect synopsis.

    ScottAz (Phx, AZ): Where will Jameis Winston and Anthony Alford go in the draft and which is more likely to sign (all things being equal)

Jim Callis: Alford has told teams he won't sign and would rather play both baseball and football at Southern Miss. That leaves Winston, though I'm not convinced he'll turn his back on playing quarterback at Florida State. If he's signable, Winston could be a sandwich pick. If he were signable, Alford would go in the same range and would get the overall edge as a prospect.

    ScottAZ (Phx, AZ): Arenado's power, too early to be worried, mild, or serious concern?

Jim Callis: Too early. He's 21 and in Double-A. I know he only has one homer in 32 games, but he does have 10 doubles. He'll hit for a high average with at least average power.

    Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Would taking Courtney Hawkins at #14 be a reach for the Reds, or is that area good value for Hawkins?

Jim Callis: Nope, that's about where he should go. Might not even get to the Reds at 14.

    Sean (Phoenix): Who is your personal favorite college hitter and college pitcher for the impact they will bring to the MLB level?

Jim Callis: If we're talking total value as a position player, it's easily Florida catcher Mike Zunino. I did talk to a scouting director today who says if you're just looking at offensive impact, it's Clemson third baseman Richie Shaffer. As for the pitchers, I'd take San Francisco's Kyle Zimmer.

    Greg (Ohio): Should Byron Buxton expect to sign for full pick value of 7.2 mil if slected 1st overall?

Jim Callis: At least close to it, because I don't think he'll get past the Twins and their $6.2 million pick value at No. 2. If the Astros can save some money at the top and use it elsewhere in the draft, that would be a nifty advantage, but that may be easier said than done.

    Nick (San Francisco): Where do you project Agosta and Wisdom of St. Mary's to go?

Jim Callis: Second or third round for Agosta, fourth or fifth for Wisdom.

    Jason (Houston,TX): Who would you take 1-1 if you were drafting for the Astros and why? Also, who do you think they will take based on what you've heard.

Jim Callis: I'd take whoever I determined was the best player available, plain and simple. The Astros have a lot of needs and aren't going to contend in the immediate future. For me, the best player is Buxton. I keep hearing that higher-ups want more immediate impact, which leads me to think the Astros will take a college pitcher. I'm guessing Appel.

    Kevin (San Diego): Hi Jim, have you heard any names as possibilities for the Padres at #7? Any chance Correa falls there?

Jim Callis: Assuming the top college pitchers (Appel, Zimmer, Gausman) go off the board in the first five picks, I think the Padres are looking at bats. Correa is as good a guess as any, unless the Cubs opt to take him at No. 6.

    Alex (Toronto): Any word on Eflin? Heard he was going to try and pitch through his tricep tendinitis.

Jim Callis: Sorry, got on the phone there . . . Eflin came back last night and hit some 94s. John Manuel blogged about it here.

    Laura (Oakland CA): When does BA's draft top 200 come out this month?

Jim Callis: We have a preliminary version we're still tweaking. Our first Draft Preview goes to print tomorrow, and that will have players ranked by rounds (first, sandwich, second, third/fourth, fifth/sixth) at their positions. We'll release our official Top 200 in 1-200 order in a couple of weeks, as part of our second Draft Preview issue.

    Kevin (MN): How would you characterize the 2013 draft? We've had Strasburg, Harper and a potentially historic 2011 draft class all leading up to 2012 which is probably averageish but seems like a bit of a letdown after last season. What can we expect next June? I'm a Twins fan very desperate for hope.

Jim Callis: 2013 will be better than 2012 but it's nothing special at this point.

    Rob (Parlin, NJ): Can you give me a quick scouting report on Monmouth's Pat Light and where you see him going?

Jim Callis: Big body (6-foot-6), big fastball (90-96 mph), throws strikes, second round.

    Matt (Minneapolis): Is Nick Castellanos now a top 20 or even top 10 prospect in baseball? The Tigers are going to have a nice huge problem in 2 years aren't they?

Jim Callis: He's getting there. Third base won't be a problem because Miguel Cabrera really can't play there. He and Prince Fielder will share 1B and DH once Castellanos is ready.

    Matt (Minneapolis): Castellanos or Sano?

Jim Callis: Sano. Hard to walk away from that kind of power. And you guys know I love Castellanos.

    David Yuen (Portland, OR): With a higher pick(6th) than last year(9th) but not as deep of a talent pool, will the Cubs be able to get a prospect better, as or worse than last years pick in Javier Baez?

Jim Callis: Comparable, really.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): Could we get your thoughts on the Hamels/Harper incident?

Jim Callis: Much ado about nothing. Thought it was overblown. Hamels wasn't headhunted and admitted what was pretty obvious.

    Grant (Winnipeg): Not to pre-empt your mock too much, but if you have Appel to the 'Stros, other speculation has the Twins looking for college RHP, and Seattle on Zunino. Could Buxton last all the way to #4? Could he drop farther than that, even to #6?

Jim Callis: I won't give more away, but I don't see Buxton getting past the top three picks.

    Taylor (Houston): Have you heard any rumors as to who or where the Astros are looking to go with that first pick? We've all heard Appel and Gausman, and most likely not Buxton, but I've heard a rumor of working them working out a deal with Wacha...Thanks!

Jim Callis: I think the Wacha deal rumors are overblown. Texas is one of my draft states, and I talk to a lot of people down there, and no one has gotten wind of that.

    John C (New York City): Could OF Lewis Brinson make it to the Yankees at the end of the first round?

Jim Callis: Yes. We've got him as a sandwich-round talent. Very nice tools tempered by more swing and miss than you'd like.

    Max (New Mexico): What are scouts saying about Alex Bregman and where do they project him to be drafted?

Jim Callis: Little guy who can really hit. Profile would be better if you think he can catch. Third-round talent who probably won't go that high and has a good chance of winding up at Louisiana State.

    Jeff (Washington, DC): What are the odds that the Royals find themselves in a similar situation as last year, where their "favorite" pitchers (presumably Gausman, Zimmer, and Appel) are already off the board, and some position player with big tools or big skills (e.g., Zunino, Correa) is considered more valuable by scouts than any remaining pitcher?

Jim Callis: It could happen, but I think Buxton and Zunino will go in front of them, which will leave them one of the top three college pitchers. If all three college pitchers are gone, I think the obvious move would be to take Buxton or Zunino, i.e., best player available.

Jim Callis: There goes my phone again, so I'm going to run. I'll be back to chat again next Wednesday, hopefully at a more leisurely pace! You can always try to hit me up with long questions for my Ask BA column (askba@baseballamerica.com, include name and hometown) or with shorter ones at Twitter (@jimcallisBA).