Jim Callis Chat: July 26
Sorry I'm a couple of minutes late ... Let's jump right in and I'll go long to make up for the delay!
Bryan (San Francisco): I heard whisperings that
Robert Stephenson touched 100mph in game a couple weeks ago (Billings
newspaper article). Also heard he has been sitting in the mid to high
90s. Is this true, and if so has he made a huge jump as a prospect?
Stephenson has been putting up big velo
numbers. Not sure I'd say he's made a huge jump, because his big arm is
what got him drafted in the first round and earned him a $2 million
bonus last year.
Pierre (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada): Where does the Astros farm system stand now? Middle-of-the-pack? Top 10?
Off the top of my head, without having
broken down all of the farm systems, I'm guessing they'd fall in the
10-15 range. All of their recent trades have brought in more quantity
than quality, adding depth. Their 2012 draft was very good and added
cornerstone guys like Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers Jr.
Virgil Dahl (Waterloo, Ia): Jim; what are your odds for Mike Trout winning the MVP this year? tks
If he keeps playing like he has, and the
Angels keep winning like they have since promoting him (in stark
contrast to how they played without him), he's a strong favorite to win
the award. I also could see Robinson Cano winning it.
Malcolm (San Diego): What are my Pads going to
do with their bottleneck at Third Base? Seems Jedd Gyorko is blocked
by Chase Headley. Can either one of them move to 2nd Base or the
Who gets traded and for what? We seem to have picked up some young
pitchers in past trades ( Casey Kelly, Bobby Erlin, etc).
I'm not really buying Gyorko as a second
baseman, though I've always liked the bat. I think this is going to get
resolved by Headley getting traded in the next week. Smart move would be
to target the best available talent rather than a specific area of
Alex (Santa Rosa, CA): Will you guys be
releasing an Updated Top 100 Prospects listing? Seems like fast riser
guys like AJ Griffin and Dan Straily are getting lost in the shuffle
We released a midseason Top 50 update. The Top 100 list comes out once a year, every February.
Bobby D (Fenway Park): With a $175 Million team payroll, do you see the Red Sox as Sellers this time? Or perhaps still Buyers?
They have a lot of pressure to keep up with the Yanks but won't be able to without trading for a couple of starting pitchers.
I don't see them making a big deal — there
isn't a single player who can come in and make them a playoff club
unless the guys they have on hand (Beckett, Gonzalez, Lester, etc.) play
up to their capabilities. I could see them trading guys who have
expiring contracts if they can get something worthwhile in return.
Stu (St. Joseph, MO): Jim, Realistically speaking do Matt Barnes and/or Dylan Bundy have a chance to be in opening day 2013 MLB rotations?
I think that's unlikely. Mid-2013 would be more realistic and still way ahead of the initial schedule.
Roger (Greenville, SC): Please compare and contrast Carlos Correa and Addison Russell.
Short version: similar offensive ceilings
but Correa has a better chance of sticking at shortstop. No one
questions that he's a shortstop, while some wonder if Russell will have
to move to third base.
tom (toronto): Hi JIm,
I just wanted to ask where does the Blue Jays minor league system rank
compared to Texas. Are they still in the discussion for top 2?
Those are the top two farm systems in my
opinion, and I'd put the Rangers at No. 1. If they swing a big trade in
the next few days, that could change.
Andrew (Montgomery): Josh Rutledge has been
mashing since his promotion. If and when Tulo gets healthy, do you
think the Rockies will shift him to second or send him down to Triple-A?
Clearly he won't supplant Tulo in Colorado, so do the Rockies switch
him to the Keystone or attempt to trade him?
I think they'll move Rutledge to second base, his best position anyway, and trade Scutaro. That would make the most sense.
Josh (Texas): Which of these trade scenarios
for Chase Headley seems more realistic? Pirates deal Taillon and Marte
or Yankees deal Sanchez and Williams? Or am I just dillusional?
Delusional. Headley isn't bringing those kind of packages back in a trade.
Esteban Edul (Chicago): Who is the player you like the most early on for the 2013 draft?
Stanford RHP Mark Appel. If you make me pick a guy who wasn't eligible for the 2012 draft, then Arkansas RHP Ryne Stanek.
Ron (Fairfield, CA): With Oscar Taveras amazing
slash line of .330/19/75, a league leading .593 slugging percentage and
just 48 strikeouts in 361 at bats this year in AA at the age of 19-20
is he the front runner for Minor League Player of the Year now that Wil
Myers and Jurickson Profar have slowed some lately ? Seems with those
numbers and his age Taveras should be the clear-cut guy right now. He is
nearly 2 years younger than Myers with half the strikeouts and his
worst month of the year in May is Profar's average for the season.
I have to admit, I don't usually think
about these things until I get these questions, but it's a good question
... Right now, if I was picking a MLPOY, I'd go with Myers over
Taveras. Still another month to change my mind though.
Danny (Dallas, TX): Who wins the American League wild card spots?
Joe (Miami): How have the Marlins done in the 2 trades so far? Will Turner, Eovaldi, and Brantly make an impact in the majors next season?
They did fine, though Turner's scouting
reports aren't as glowing now as they were a couple of years ago. He's
less overpowering, kind of the same thing that happened with Rick
Porcello and the Tigers. Eovaldi may be better suited to be a reliever
than a starter. Brantly can be a big league regular behind the plate.
Jake (Chicago, IL): Hi Jim, thanks for the chat! Higher ceiling, Christian Yelich or Brian Goodwin?
I'm going to say Yelich because I think his bat is that much better.
Jared (Las Vegas): I keep seeing mixed reviews
about Colton Cain. Some people like his stuff and some say he is
nothing more than Minor League Depth. What should expectations be?
He signed for an eighth-round record $1.125
million in 2009, throws in the low 90s, still developing his command
and secondary pitches and hasn't blown lower-level minor league hitters
away. He's a prospect but not a frontline guy.
Jared (Las Vegas): Lunhow came out and said the
PTBNL in the White Sox deal will be a significant piece. What caliber
of player would we expect considering the money we sent and what we
There aren't a lot of significant pieces in
the White Sox system, but it makes sense that the PTBN will be of value
because the other two players (Heidenreich, Walters) in the Brett Myers
deal are fringy. I really don't have any clue who it might be, though.
John (Boston): What is the ceiling of Javier Baez? Are there any questions about his strike zone discipline?
Huge ceiling. He has a big-time bat and has
played a better shortstop than expected, to the point where he might be
able to stay there. His biggest need right now is to tone down his
approach at the plate, though it's hard to argue with the results.
Jason (Austin): What about hitters? Stick a fork in which hitter? Aaron Hicks,
Tim Beckham, Lars Anderson.
Hicks actually has gotten his bat going in
Double-A, so it's not him (though he's striking out too much). Anderson
is in a holding pattern in Triple-A. Beckham is still just 22, but I'm
not sold on his bat or his ability to play shortstop. Hicks is the only
one of these three guys whom I can get enthused about.
Christopher (MA): I always hear prospect
experts say that Xander Bogaerts will not play SS at the major league
level but they never go into detail as to why. Can you explain why he
will need to move off SS and where he will likely end up?
He's reasonably athletic but he's big,
6-foot-3 already, and once he fills out he probably won't be quick
enough for shortstop. He moves well, so third base and right field are
Chuck (Wichita): Vertura or Zimmer as Royals top pitching prospect?
Zimmer. Still believe there's a good chance Ventura winds up as a late-inning reliever.
John (Ashburn, VA): D.J. Mitchell - future brighter in the Mariners organization?
May be easier for him to stay in the majors, but he's still going to be a middle reliever.
Joe (Minn): You always seemed the most
optimistic about Kyle Gibson being more than "just" a middle of the
rotation type. What are you hearing about his rehab? Does he start
next year in the Twins rotation?
I do drive the Gibson bandwagon. His rehab
is going well, but opening next year in the Twins rotation would be a
stretch. If he's in the rotation by the end of the year, that would be a
Mick (Chicago): The Rangers really need a #1 and the Brewers need a long term solution at short. Will they give up Profar to get Greinke?
I would think the Brewers couldn't do better than that.
I agree, don't think you could do better
than getting Profar in a trade. But everything I've heard makes it seem
like the Rangers won't give up Profar. Mike Olt wouldn't be a bad way to
start a trade package, though . . .
Logan (Collingswood, NJ): Why do people say the
Phils gutted their farm system? Of the guys they traded NONE of the
prospects have made any impact yet. Gose, D'Arnaud, Singleton, &
Cosart for Halladay, Oswalt, Lee, & Pence seems like a good deal to
me. The others, (Drabek, Taylor, Marson, Donald, Carrasco, et al) have
done nothing. Am I correct?
Those prospects might not have made an
impact yet, but the Phillies did give up a lot of talent. I do agree
that it's hard not to like what they've gotten out of the guys they've
Matt C (Ankeny, IA): Is Dillon Maples hurt? Cubs #1 prospect if you wrote the Top 10 today - Baez or Soler? Thanks!
Maples tweaked his elbow earlier in the
year and the Cubs have exercised extreme caution. I'd have Baez No. 1 . .
. don't forget about Almora, either.
Steven Alengakis (NYC): Hi Jim, Mark Montgomery
has been great, but how good a prospect is he? Does he look like he
could be a top 15-20 prospect in the Yankes system even though he is a
He's legit. Guys just don't hit his slider,
and his fastball is a solid second pitch. He was No. 23 on our Yankees
Top 30 last year, and he'll definitely move up. And I'm betting he won't
qualify for the 2014 Prospect Handbook because he'll lose his rookie
eligibility in 2013.
Starling Marte (Steel City): Do you believe I'm ready for the show, Jim?
I do, and I'd put you in left field ahead of Alex Presley.
Benny (Cincy): Oh, great prognosticator. How many steals do you see B-Ham finishing the year with? Thanks.
146, so he breaks the minor league SB record held by Vince Coleman by one.
Jerry (Milwaukee): Cody Buckel and Mike Olt for Zack Greinke - who says no, if anyone?
I could see that happening. As I mentioned
earlier, I don't think the Rangers want to give up Profar, but I could
see them sacrificing Olt to bring in a significant piece.
Jake (Chicago, IL): Hi Jim, thanks for the
chat! Higher upside, Matt Barnes or Kyle Zimmer? Does Zimmer throw
harder than Barnes? Zimmer has a better breaking ball than Barnes,
I actually think their upsides, fastballs
and breaking balls are extremely comparable. Where they went in the
draft (19th overall for Barnes in 2011, 5th overall for Zimmer this
year) was more reflective of the talent in their drafts than their
Dan (Galveston): Where does Robbie Grossman slot in the Astros top 10? Does he look to stick in CF or is his ceiling a good 4th outfielder?
Not an Astros Top 10 guy for me, more of a
fourth outfielder. Now instead of Pirates fans getting mad when I say
that, I can infuriate Astros fans.
Craig (DC): Settle an argument: What is Rudy Owens ceiling?
No. 4 or 5 starter.
Marc (Edmonton): Better future at 2B, Rosario (MIN) or Colon (KC)?
Jared (New Jersey): Do you view Mason Williams as a top 25 prospect? Would you rank him ahead of teammate Gary Sanchez?
If he's not, he's close. Him versus Sanchez
comes down to whether you're sold on Sanchez as a catcher. I'm not
completely, so I'd lean toward Williams.
Ron (Chatham, ON): Under what conditions should
a prospect be considered off-limits in trade talks? Or, do you feel
that there should be no such thing as an untouchable prospect?
The latter. No one should be untouchable in
the right trade. That said, an elite prospect is worth so much
potentially compared to his pre-free-agency salaries, I'd hate to trade
Bryant (San Diego): Jayson Stark reported that
the Padres were looking for a package similar to the Mat Latos deal for
Chase Headley. A couple questions from this: first, is that an
unrealistic expectation & merely GM gamesmanship? How does Jedd
Gyorko's ceiling compare to Headley's current production? And, would the
Padres benefit more from both in the same lineup with Gyorko at 2B
& Headley at 3B?
Thanks in advance.
I think that's unrealistic. It's a lot
harder to find quality starting pitching, which is why Latos commanded
so much. If I were the Padres, I'd hope to get that much for Headley but
I don't see it happening. I think Gyorko could provide as much or more
offense than Headley, but he can't really be a big league second
Andrew (Montgomery): Was it a blessing in
disguise that Dempster wouldn't waive his 10 and 5 rights to go to the
Braves? Delgado was a bit of an overpay, right?
That was my gut feeling, yes. Dempster is
having a great year, but my first reaction was surprise that the Braves
would part with Delgado to get him.
Thanks for all the good questions, as usual. See you again next week!