Prospects Chat With Jim Callis
Hi, everyone. Glad to be back in the chat room. Let's get to it.
Kevin (Point Mugu): Jim,
Is Clayton Blackburn for real? What are your thoughts on him?
He's legit. He went late in the 2011 draft
(16th round) because most clubs thought he was destined to attend
Oklahoma. Good arm, good feel, plus fastball with average secondary
@Jaypers413 (IL): Assuming he gets the call to
Cincy next month, could you envision Dusty giving Hamilton any chances
to hit, or would he be used strictly as a PR?
Might get an AB or two, but I think he'd be
mostly a pinch-runner. Don't think he's ready to do much damage against
big league pitching.
Sean (Coatesville, PA): Brian Goodwin has had a bit of a slow transition to AA, does he still project as a future CF/Leadoff hitter? ETA 2014?
I didn't think he'd get to or be ready for
Double-A this season, so the performance doesn't bother me. Projection
and ceiling remain the same, 2014 ETA makes sense.
Brooks (Maryland): Jim-Only 39 games left, are O's going to collapse like Pythagorous says they should?
I still think they will, but I've been saying that all year and haven't been right yet. I thought they'd regress before now.
Mike (Orlando): Is Clint Frazier your new #1 for next year's draft?
No, though he looked good Saturday at
Wrigley Field and is as good as any HS player for the 2013 draft. But
teams always covet college pitching, and I'd expect Stanford RHP Mark
Appel, Arkansas RHP Ryne Stanek and Indiana State LHP Sean Manaea to go
ahead of Frazier if the draft were today.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Do you believe the Nats knew beforehand that Giolito was a possible candidate for TJ when drafting him?
The Nats knew what they were getting into.
Most teams thought he was going to need Tommy John surgery sooner rather
than later. The success rate of that surgery is so good, however, that
it's not a worry. Just slows down his arrival in the majors but doesn't
affect his ceiling.
Ryan (Pensacola, FL): Awesome to watch Billy last night. Gut feeling - how many heists will he finish out the season with?
15 games left? I'll say 155.
Paul (Phoenix): Assuming he doesn't get rocked as Bauer did, could you see Skaggs remaining with the team for the duration?
Yes. And he has better control and command
than Bauer, so Skaggs might be better equipped to make a smoother
transition to the big leagues.
Kyle (Philly): What's gone wrong with Trevor May this season, if you could summarize?
Same old bugaboo for May. He has fine
stuff, but he doesn't control or command it well enough. Never been a
huge fan, see him as a reliever and don't trust him to be a closer or
maybe even a set-up man.
Tom (Cleveland): Who do you like most out of Archie Bradley, Jose Fernandez, or Justin Nicolino?
Fernandez, because he has the best
combination of stuff and command. Nicolino is the most polished of that
trio, but his stuff doesn't compare to what the other two have.
Fred (New York): Hey Jim, Thanks for the chat.
What's the deal with Zach Lee's scouting being so high but performance
so bad? What do scouts see that isn't showing up in games? Seems like
he's really having trouble against lefties... that mean the issue he's
got is his change-up or is it something else that causing such a big
difference in his potential vs. performance?
I'm having trouble figuring him out, too.
He has the makings of four solid to plus pitches and he knows how to use
them, but at the same time he doesn't miss enough bats.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Safe to assume you'll be attending quite a few Kane County homestands if in fact the Cubs make it their new home in Low-A?
Affiliation has never been the issue. It's the rush-hour traffic that kills me.
Otto (Baltimore): Do you support the Nats' decision to shut down Strasburg after 180 IP?
No. Think it's crazy to jeopardize a
legitimate World Series championship opportunity. If they wanted to keep
his innings down, why not skip a start every month or so to save him
for the playoffs.
Dark Knight (Near Chase Field): Would you consider Felipe Perez a top 30 prospect within AZ's farm system?
Not yet. Good signing, but he's not a Top
30 guy at this point. (I say that, of course, without breaking out a
full Top 30 in my mind.)
Eric (Chicago): Who gets your nod as the Cubbies' top prospect at present - Baez or Soler?
Baez. Big offensive upside and may just stay at shortstop for a while. I'd take Almora over Soler, too.
Paula (Queens, NY): Despite his season-ending injury, do you consider Mason Williams to be the Yanks' #1 prospect? If not him, who?
I'd give Gary Sanchez the nod. Catchers with his offensive ceiling are hard to find.
Jason (Boca raton): What's the deal with CJ
Cron? Impressive numbers for his first full year even though it is in
the Cali league. is he a legit prospect?
Of course he's a legit prospect—he was the
20th pick in last year's draft. His numbers are inflated by the Cal
League but he has a chance to hit for power and average. All of his
value lies in his bat, however.
Bobby (Cincinnati, OH): Odds of Chapman taking the NL Cy Young?
Next to zero. He has been the most
spectacular pitcher in the NL this year, but he's not even the best Cy
Young candidate on his team. That would be Johnny Cueto.
Ben (Conway, AR): Am I crazy or is Mark
Montgomery really, really good? He's striking out over 14 batters per 9
in AA w/ a sub-1 WHIP. Should we expect to see him in the Bronx next
year (maybe even this September)?
That slider is pretty unhittable. Could see him in New York very, very soon.
Ryan (Wash DC): Any chance of Anthony Rendon visiting us in Sept?
He's on the 40-man roster already, so it's a
possibility. But I don't think he'd do much except pinch-hit a little.
With all the time he's missed, he'd be better off getting a bunch of ABs
in instructional league.
Steve (Orlando,Fl): Taylor Guerreri the Rays #1 prospect this coming winter?
There's no obvious choice like Matt Moore
was a year ago, but Guerrieri might be the best one. He has only 37 pro
innings, none above short-season ball, but his knockout stuff gives him
the highest ceiling in a system that's not what it used to be.
Conor (Boston): Better prospect: Robert Stephenson or Taylor Guerrieri? Could either crack the top 50?
I'd give Guerrieri a little bit of the edge. Neither would be on my personal Top 50, though I like them both.
Larry (Regina, Saskatchewan): What is Carlos Correa's ETA?
He's not even 18 yet, so he's going to need some time. He's at least three years away.
Joel (KCK): Where would Carlos Rodon fit in your top 100, were he eligible? 16-20 range? Thanks!
I'd more likely put him in the 20s. Click here
to see where I would have put this year's draftees on our midseason Top 50 list.
Tom B (NJ): Maikel Franco has put up some
pretty staggering post All Star numbers (.335/.392/.537/.929) as a 19
year old in Lo-A. Reports I've heard are his glove is solid as well.
What are your thoughts on him and does he have any chance at being a top
100 player this year?
I don't think I'd put him on the Top 100
but he's one of the best prospects in the Phillies system. The bat is
promising and he's a solid defender at third base.
Ryan (Boston): Is Garin Cecchini's speed elite
or are his baserunning skills that good? Also do you think he will
develop into a player with Will Middlebrooks power? Thanks
His speed is pretty average but his
instincts are exceptional. I don't see him as a big SB threat in the
majors. His bat is his best tool, and I could see him developing average
power. Looks like he could get squeezed at third base by Middlebrook
and Xander Bogaerts.
Mike (Florida): Hi Jim- I admit it is
impressive what Billy Hamilton has been able to accomplish as a
basestealer, but he's been thrown out 33 times, which means that his
success rate is only about 81.6% I've heard the threshold is 80%, but
at this current rate it just doesn't feel like he lives up to the title
people are bestowing upon him.
I agree that he needs a lot of polish in
all areas of the game, but he has the most game-changing speed of any
player I've seen since I started working at Baseball America in 1988.
He's just 21, so he still has plenty of time to learn.
Zach (Fuquay-Varina): What is your take on Drake Britton? He seems to be getting back on track do you see his upside as a 3 starter?
He has bounced back after a disastrous
2012, but he still gets hit more than he should. Realistically, I think
his upside is as a set-up man.
Tom (San Francisco, CA): Jim, my sense is that
the Jays' system has taken a hit this season, in terms of how many of
their guys have underperformed. Is this an accurate assessment, or am I
I think you're overreacting because I still
see the Jays as having one of baseball's best farm systems. They draft a
lot of high school players, and those guys are going to have ups and
downs. But the Sanchez-Syndergaard-Nicolino triumvirate at Lansing has
been exciting, and they had a better draft than any team in June.
Brian (Buckhead Ga): Hey! When are the Az Fall league rosters going to be released?
Sometime before the end of the month. The date is always fluid because there's a lot of juggling going on.
Ben (Miamisburg): After a mini rough patch
after a skipped start Tony Cingrani is back to throwing impressive game
after impressive game. Has he solidified his status as a top 100
prospect after this season?
He has been so impressive since signing that he'll be on my Top 100 list. Maybe toward the end, but he'll be on there.
Tim (FLA): I know Bogaerts is not quite ML
ready, and he's never played 3B, but if you were Boston, wouldn't you be
maximizing your value to trade Middlebrooks for a starting pitcher and
slide Xander in at third at some point?
Depends on the starting pitcher, but it's
not like a team is just going to hand over a frontline guy for
Middlebrooks. I'd keep him at third and I bet Bogaerts winds up in right
field in the long run.
joe (texas): Domingo Santana is hitting well @ hitter friendly CAL league @ 19 years old. does he have a chance to be Astros RF in 2014?
That's a bit early but he is Houston's right fielder of the future.
Greg (OH): If the draft was tomorrow who are the 1st prep hitter, pitcher taken?
Clint Frazier or Austin Meadows for the
hitter. There's no clear favorite for the pitcher, but Trey Ball and
Kohl Stewart are two of the leading candidates.
Doug Plourd (Connecticut): With Olt getting his
MLB debut, who is the next UCONN alumn to make it to the show, Springer
(due to lack of players in Houston) or Barnes (more advanced than
Thanks as always Jim, for answering questions here and on twitter
I'll go with Barnes. Easier for a pitcher to advance, and he's more ready than Springer is as well.
Kyle (Indianapolis): Does Billy Hamilton get called up this week to qualify for the playoff roster?
Players can be called up in September and
still make the playoff roster via some finagling. Not sure if the Reds
will call him up, but I would to make use of his speed. See: Dave
A.J. (Dallas): Most of the Cubs top prospects
either seem to be at 3B (Vitters, Villanueva, Baez) or OF (Jackson,
Szczur, Soler, Almora). Who do you see as the keepers and what would you
do with the rest?
A lot of those guys will have to move
anyway. I think Baez winds up at third base (though reviews of his
shortstop defense have been positive) and Almora winds up in center
field. Chicago's future outfield will be Soler in left, Almora in
center, Jackson in right.
Mike (Oklahoma): If the Astros passed on Appel this year don't you think it's safe to say they'll pass on him again next year?
Not at all. Appel will be a lot more signable in 2013, and he could be the best player available.
Ben (Leland Grove): When does your Cape Cod list go up on the site?
It will be the closer of our summer league prospect coverage, so it will go up next Thursday.
Cliff (TN): You can only have one for the future: Manaea or Carlos Rodon? Who would you want and why?
Rodon. More dominant against better
competition at the same stage of his career, and his slider is a better
secondary pitch than what Manaea has, at least on a consistent basis.
Dan (Chicago): Brooks Raley, Chris Rusin, Erik
Jokisch, Austin Kirk. Which soft-tossing lefty starter has the best
stuff/future with the Cubs? Can any of them stick around long term as
maybe a #4 starter?
I ask myself that question every year when I
do the Cubs Top 30 list. I'll say Raley, and he has a chance to be a
No. 4 at best. I'm not in love with any of those guys. They're all
similar, finesse lefthanders who can pitch a little bit.
Ryan (Columbus): Jim we're all anxious to see
the BA Cape Cod report. I assume he might not make the list due to not
qualifying, but what are your thoughts on RHP Josh Dezse from OSU?
He didn't pitch enough to qualify but he's a
guy who could go in the first round of next year's draft. He has some
of the best arm strength available. He also has a lot of power in his
bat, but his future is on the mound.
Jack (MA): What grades would you give Oscar Taveras on his hit/power?
With the caveat that there really aren't many 70 bats, that could be a future 70 bat with future 60 power.
Jim (Bmore): Any chance Bundy pitches with the O's in Sept.?
Remains to be seen. But at this point, why not? No reason for the Orioles not to be all in.
Stuart (rockies fan lost in London): Thanks for
If the draft were today, would Dahl go higher than 10? Seems the
rockies have good luck drafting high school hitters, and cant seem to
draft pitching of any kind, with story, dahl, swanner etc. Hard to
He might go No. 8 now that the Pirates know
they weren't going to sign Appel. Before they went in that direction,
they were going to take Dahl. But I don't see Dahl going higher than
that, despite his great debut, because the players who went in the top
eight picks were the consensus top eight prospects in the draft.
Dan (Chicago): Which of the young pitchers the Cubs drafted early are you most excited about? Blackburn, Underwood, or McNeil?
Underwood has the most sheer upside.
Chris (Washington DC): On Strasburg, to be clear, it seems like you do support shutting him down at 180 IP but would have stretched that out longer?
Let me clarify . . . No, I wouldn't shut
him down at 180 IP. That seems like an arbitrary number. I don't know of
any long list of guys who exceeded 180 IP two years (two years!) after
Tommy John surgery and then were ruined, or guys who stayed under 180 IP
and were just fine. Roger Clemens had shoulder surgery in 1985, and
went from 98 IP that year to 254 IP (plus 35 more in the playoffs) in
1986 and seemed to survive OK. So no, I wouldn't shut him down. But if
180 is the absolute limit, it seems silly to me to not manage it so he's
available for the playoffs.
That's all for today. Glad to be back after a two-week absence and look forward to doing this again next Wednesday.