Prospects Chat With Jim Callis
Ronald (Toronto): Talk me off the ledge, Jim: Should I still be as excited about the Jays farm system as I was a year ago?
Yes. Some players have regressed, sure, but
they do that in every system. Focus on the Lansing rotation (Sanchez,
Syndergaard, Nicolino) and their banner 2012 draft.
Jim (Philly): Would you consider Darin Ruf to be a top 30 prospect in their system? Top 20?
Top 30 yes, Top 20 maybe. The Phillies
system isn't nearly as deep as it used to be. He's 25, which is old for
Double-A, but he has hit 37 homers and controls the strike zone, so
he'll find a spot in the Prospect Handbook.
Matt V (Philly): With Tyler Cloyd getting the
call for his MLB debut tonight with the Phillies, what can we Fightin's
fans expect both short and long term?
He's a finesse righthander who's not a viable long-term option for the rotation. Great year in the minors (15-1, 2.26).
@Jaypers413 (IL): Your thoughts on the increasing number of positive drug testing results of late, the latest of which being Sale and Stroman?
Not in regards to those two players in
particular, but call me cynical. I think a lot of guys are using and
only a small portion of them get caught. So I'm never really surprised
when anyone test positive. At the major league level, given how much
Cabrera and Colon were outperforming reasonable expectations, not
surprised at all.
Ben (Leland Grove): Do you believe Bundy is ready for Camden?
Given that the Orioles haven't fallen out
of the playoff race, they should find out. He's already on the 40-man
roster, so they don't have to clear space. I'd give him a look, and if
he doesn't pitch well, shut him down. But I'd hate not to use every
advantage I might have while trying to make the playoffs.
Grant (San Fran): Who has the higher ceiling between Crick and Blackburn?
Crick, more upside to his stuff. Blackburn has a solid arm and is more advanced as a pitcher at this point.
Jim (WV): Hi Jim. Thanks for the chat. What is
your impression of Manny Machado so far in MLB? I know it is a SSS,
but do you see him being able to make the adjustments necessary to be on
the big league roster at the start of 2013?
He has cooled off after a hot start and has
struggled with the strike zone, so I could see him getting some more
minor league time to start 2013. But he's the best option the Orioles
have at third base now, and the same may be true next spring.
Eric (Cincy): I've enjoyed reading about Dan
Langfield's pro debut thus far. The kid seems legit. Would you consider
him a SP or RP down the road?
Good arm with a fastball clocked up to 97
mph. I think he's a reliever in the long run, because he doesn't have a
lot of fastball life or command.
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): While Billy Hamilton's
speed is undeniable, are you surprised how well he has hit and
maintained his walk rate making the jump from High A to AA?
Yes I am, especially considering his youth
and that he was jumping from the hitter-friendly Cal League. I mentioned
this in a column I just wrote for our latest issue.
John (Chicago): Wilmer Flores has 17 home runs
on the year, but people still question whether he has the power for a
corner infield position. He already has more home runs than Moustakas,
Lawrie, Middlebrooks, etc. had in their age 20 seasons. And it's not
like his came in hitter-friendly parks. What gives?
Kudos to Flores for having his best
full-season performance so far, especially from a power standpoint. He's
still not as good a prospect as those other guys, and I still don't
think he's going to stick at third base in the long run, which hurts his
value. I think he's a first baseman/left fielder.
Rob (Illinois): White Sox's Buddy Bell has said
that he has no problem promoted minor leaguers to a higher affiliate to
participate in the playoffs. He did this with Carlos Sanchez and just
today with Courtney Hawkins. Do you this practice helps or hurts their
I don't think it has much affect because
it's only for a handful of games. It could help guys get acclimated to a
level they're going to play at next season, so I don't see any harm
from a development standpoint.
Matt (VA): What do you make of Rendon's real slow start in Harrisburg?
Doesn't bother me. He's been hurt much of
the year and had only 65 pro at-bats before getting to Double-A, so I
don't read much into it.
Ronnie (Seattle, WA): As the year is about over, between Hultzen, Walker and Paxton, who has impressed you the most so far? How would you rank them?
Walker, because he has the best stuff and was able to handle Double-A at age 19. I'd rank them Walker, Hultzen, Paxton.
Ben (PA): Brandon Nimmo has been hitting lead off for the Cyclones. Do you expect him to do the same when he gets to the majors?
I see him growing into enough power to bat in the middle of the lineup somewhere.
Harrison (Phoenix): Now that Saunders is gone, would you keep Skaggs up, or give his spot to Bauer?
I'd keep Skaggs. I like Bauer slightly more as a prospect, but Skaggs is better prepared to pitch in the majors at this point.
Ben (Leland Grove): Where would Webster fit in among the Sox top prospects?
Near the top of the list, behind Xander Bogaerts and Matt Barnes.
Mike (Orlando): How do you value defense vs power at the plate?
Depends on the position, doesn't it?
Jared (Las Vegas): Robbie Grossman seems to be having a good year in AA. Is he still a 4th outfielder or can he play CF for the Astros?
He might be both, because I saw the Astros
play a couple of weeks ago and they were the worst big league team I've
ever seen. But on a good major league club, Grossman's ceiling would be
fourth outfielder. He just doesn't have any carrying tools.
Brett (Irvine, CA): Where do you see Addison Russell starting next season? What type of ceiling do you see him having?
Back in low Class A, where he's finishing
his first pro season. If everything comes together, no reason he
couldn't be an all-star.
Jared (Las Vegas): If youre the Astros GM, who do you take Appel/Stanek/Manaea?
As of today, I'd take Appel. Would be interesting if he wound up being an Astro like most of us expected, just a year later.
Kyle (Portland): Is James Needy a prospect for the padres? He has put up solid numbers at multiple levels. Velo?
Not a big-time guy, but he throws strikes with three decent pitches. Could see him making it as a middle reliever.
J (Detroit): What is Austin Schotts ceiling? Does he stick in CF? ETA?
Any chance Casey Crosby or Andy Oliver bring anything in a trade/with the big club?
Schotts probably doesn't have the arm for
shortstop, so his ceiling is as a second baseman or center fielder with
very good speed and some pop. Crosby or Oliver would be interesting as
part of a package, but they're not going to bring a major upgrade all on
Kyle (Chicago): Javier Baez struggling with A+
pitching or with inconsistent playing time due to over 10 rain-outs this
month? Only knock on him at Peoria seemed to be his over aggressive
It's a small sample size, too, and the
weather hasn't helped. He is overly aggressive at the plate, and the
high Class A pitchers are maybe taking more advantage of that than their
low Class A counterparts. But overall, it's been quite the impressive
pro debut. He'll be our No. 1 prospect when we unveil a new Cubs Top 30
Michael (Raleigh): How much improvement has
Oswaldo Arcia shown this year? His stats across the board have improved
upon his promotion to the Eastern League and if I am not mistaken his
slugging percentage is higher than that of even, Miguel Sano. Does he
project to be an above average outfielder at some point in his major
Fully recovered from elbow surgery that
held him back in 2011, Arcia has looked terrific this year. He continues
to show the potential for a solid bat with plus power, and he has made
improvements in controlling the strike zone. He could be a solid
regular, maybe more.
Free_AEC (NJ): Nice call on Cody Asche. Do you
think he can develop some power against LHP as all of his sock is
against RHP as of now, and BTW, where did that power suddenly come from?
He's always had that power—that's what got
him drafted in the fourth round last year, even if it didn't show up
much in his pro debut. He's a lefty hitter, so he has more power versus
righthanders and always will. He hasn't been great vs. southpaws, but he
hasn't been terrible either.
Kevin (New Jersey): Do you see Stryker Trahan staying behind the plate or is outfield a more likely destination? Will his bat play regardless?
When we were working on the draft this
spring, the consensus was that he'd wind up having to move to the
outfield because he lacks receiving skills. His bat should play just
fine on an outfield corner.
Kevin (MN): Is Aaron Hicks a top 100 type at this point?
With his tools and his bounceback year in Double-A, I bet he makes it when we do another Top 100 next spring.
Kevin (NJ): Which Austin do you like better in next year's draft; Meadows or Wilson?
Meadows. They both look like they'll go in the first five or 10 picks, but Wilson's propensity to swing and miss scares me.
Conor (Boston): At this point, what is Danny Hultzen's ceiling? Does he have number 1 starter potential?
Yes, assuming his command is better than
what he has shown in his pro debut. It should be, as it was considered
one of his strong suits when he went No. 2 in the 2011 draft. He has a
plus fastball and changeup, a solid breaking ball and he's lefthanded.
Kevin (MN): Has Mike Trout's power projection
changed this season? I feel like most people were expecting 20-25 homers
at his peak. At this pace, he'd hit over 30 in a full season.
We gave him 65 future power in the 2012
Prospect Handbook, and we may have sold him short. At this point, I
wouldn't put any limits on Trout. Really, nothing he would wind up doing
would surprise me.
donnie (NC): Tyler Austin just keeps hitting....ceiling and when can he help in the Bronx?
Potential all-star, 2014 at the earliest.
Rich (Solvay, NY): Hi Jim,
Are you surprised at the performance of Todd Frazier, Reds or do you think this is what he is? thanks.
I'm not sure he's quite this good (.910
OPS), but I've always believed in him. Never understood why the Reds
jerked him around from position to position, especially when he never
was going to stick in the middle infield. I thought they should have
just put him at third base and kept him there.
Ron (Queens): Is the 2013 draft as bad as some
scouts say or can players at the top improve their stock in a year and
make it a little better?
Players can always improve their stock and
change the impression of the class. But right now 2013 looks a little
worse to me than 2012. The one thing that does stand out as better for
next year is lefthanded pitching.
Trav (Lansing, MI): With Asdrubal Cabrera
holding down the fort at SS for the foreseeable future, what are the
chances the Tribe moves Lindor to 2nd down the line?
Don't see it. Lindor will be a better defender than Cabrera.
Thanks as always for the good questions. My
Cape Cod League Top 30 will go online tomorrow, so maybe I'll do a
Twitter chat (@jimcallisBA) to take some questions about that. See you
back here in the BA chat room next Wednesday.