Prospects Chat With Jim Callis
Evan (Chicago): Is Marcus Littlewood a prospect or suspect at this point?
Still a prospect. He converted to catcher
this year and so far, so good. He'll factor into our Northwest League
Top 20 Prospects list when that comes out later this month. He's still
just 20 and had a nice year at the plate considering his age and league.
Tommy (New York): Jim...In regards to the top
30 Cape Cod Prospects, I was wondering what scouts thought of Daniel
Palka of Georgia Tech/Wareham this summer. Thanks.
They liked Palka, who was one of the best
power hitters in the league. There just wasn't enough room for him on
the Top 30, though he would have factored into the 31-40 range if I had
gone that deep. He has a big swing but was less pull-happy than he was
last year on the Cape.
Bill F. (Scottsdale, AZ): True or False: 5 years down the road either Tim Beckham or Hak-Ju Lee will be the Tampa Bay Rays starting SS?
True. I still believe in Lee. I don't think
Beckham has any chance to be a big league starting shortstop. He just
doesn't cover enough ground there.
Billy J. (Omaha): Do you think the Royals with
contend in the AL Central in the next 2-3 years? They have so much young
talent, but what's the deal?
I do think that division is wide open
because there's no juggernaut prepared to dominate for the next few
years. It's no secret that the Royals need to develop pitching to
contend. Maybe Kyle Zimmer and Jake Odorizzi will form a potent 1-2
punch at the front of their rotation, but that's another year or two
Gary S. (Nebraska): Who is the number one Minor League prospect in baseball right now?
If I'm allowed to take anyone who will
qualify as a prospect at the end of the season, it's definitely Rangers
shortstop Jurickson Profar for me. As I mentioned in Monday's Ask BA column
, he's the best all-around shortstop prospect since Alex Rodriguez.
Conor (Boston): Better Pirates Prospect: Alen Hanson or Gregory Polanco?
They're similar players, but give me the guy who's younger and an infielder (Hanson).
Randy K (Lenexa, KS): Has your opinion of Devin
Mesoraco changed this year given his poor performance in very limited
playing time or do you just accept it as a acclimation year and expect
him to take off in 2013? Think there's room for both him and Hanigan in
Cincy again next year?
Acclimation year. My opinion hasn't changed
on 160 ABs—I still think he'll be a good big league catcher. The Reds
are gunning for the World Series, and I think they'll go with a similar
timeshare next year unless Mesoraco shows he's ready to handle more.
a.j. (dallas): Would you trade Andrus to make room for Profar?
My answer to trade questions is always that
it depends on what the offer is. I prefer Profar to Andrus long term,
and he'll be cheaper for a while. At the same time, if Josh Hamilton
leaves, maybe you move Ian Kinsler to the outfield and put Profar at
second base. You can play both Profar and Andrus in the same lineup.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Would you consider Brandon Nimmo to be the Mets' top position prospect at this point? Or would it go to Wilmer Flores?
I still see Flores as a 1B/LF type and don't like him as much as some might. I'd bet on Nimmo, though he's farther away.
Carlos (KC): Now that the cat's out of the bag, did you personally vote for Wil Myers as the Milb POY? If not him, who?
I did. Thought he had the best combination of performance and prospectiness this season.
Ben (Leland Grove): When do the League Top 20 lists start hitting?
They usually start appearing online about two weeks from now.
Grant (Philly): How would you rank these Phillies' top arms - Morgan, May, Biddle, Rodriguez, Colvin?
Biddle, Morgan, May, Rodriguez, Colvin.
cliff jordan (chicago, il): It's been fun to
see Brock Holt shoot up the ladder and then get 4 hits last night in a
Bucco win. Since he's blocked at 2nd base, 3rd base, and the outfield
(hard to believe I'm saying this about the Pirates!), does he have a
chance to play major league average shortstop? Thanks.
Maybe, though he's probably best suited to be a utilityman.
Randy K (Lenexa, KS): If you had guess on the
MLB arrival schedule of Walker, Hultzen, and Paxton today, what would
you say? Doesn't seem nearly as clear as it did at the ASB. Has Paxton
Hultzen has lost his control in Triple-A,
but Paxton hasn't passed him. Still think you'll see all three of those
guys in Seattle at various points in the 2013 season.
@Jaypers413 (IL): How would you evaluate Archie Bradley's season? Do you believe he has more potential than Skaggs and/or Bauer? Potential #2?
He's a young guy with great stuff who's
still learning how to pitch. All three of those guys could be potential
No. 1s if everything works out. If you're ranking them based on stuff,
I'd go Bradley, Bauer, Skaggs. But if you're ranking them based on
command and feel, I'd reverse the order. Will be fun to see how they all
turn out in the long run.
James (Orange County): Does Chris Heston have
back end of the rotation upside or is he just a guy having a great year?
I know you have to take minor league numbers with a grain of salt but
2.18 era in AA isn't too shabby.
That's his ceiling. Fringe to average stuff that he throws for strikes.
CA (KSA): Fresh off an exciting Appy League Finals, who do you like better, Byron Buxton or Bubba Starling?
Buxton. I think he has a better chance to hit and is a little more athletic.
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Word is that Billy
Hamilton will be playing some OF in the AFL. Do yiu think he starts the
2013 season at SS or CF? AA or AAA?
That's really up to the Reds deciding what
they want to do with him. I don't think he'll be a shortstop in the
long-term, and they have a more pressing need in center field. Wouldn't
surprise me at all if he opened next April as a Triple-A center fielder.
Sam (N. Carolina): Jim, love your work here
with BA, no one better. My question(s) are, do you think Rodon (NC
State) and Hoffman (East Carolina) are the best 2 arms in the '14 class?
I have seen them both, they are athletic, bulldog competitors and can
run it up to 96 (and I think Hoffman might have more to come being 6 4
185). Also, do you think they are 1-2 in the '14 draft or can
Cousino/Fisher, etc surplant them?
Right now, I think it's accurate on both
counts. I think they're the two best college arms and the two best
college draft prospects for 2014.
Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Do you think Tony Cingrani can make the Reds playoff roster as a situational lefty this year?
I wouldn't rule that out. He could help them in that role. No one has hit him since he signed as a third-rounder last year.
Ryan (Baltimore): What do you make of Cheslor Cuthbert's lost season?
I'm surprised he struggled this much, but
at the same time I thought he was overhyped coming into the year. He
faded down the stretch in the Midwest League last year, and while he was
very young for that league at age 18, he's also very physically mature
for his age. He's more developed than most players his age, from a
physical standpoint, with less projection remaining.
Dwayne (Greensburg, PA): Hi Jim, Love the
chats! Did I read correctly somewhere that compensation draft picks
(I.E. Pirates @ #9) will be a protected spot for an extra year with the
new CBA vs not a protected spot in the old CBA?
Yes, that is correct. The Pirates didn't
sign No. 8 overall pick Mark Appel this year, so they get the No. 9
choice in 2013. If they don't sign that one, they'll get the No. 10
selection in 2014. The 2014 pick would be unprotected.
david almonte (nyc): what are your thoughts on matt barnes and his ETA to the majors and how high his ceiling will be in the majors?
No. 2 ceiling. The Red Sox rotation is a mess right now, so Barnes could get there before the end of 2013.
Mike (St. Paul): Will you guys ever do a separate, Pitcher of the Year award?
If you had one such award for 2012, who would you choose?
Gotta be Jose Fernandez, right?
I don't think we'll do that. We used to
have separate awards on the college side, but we did away with those in
1989. If we did have a Pitcher of the Year award, Fernandez would get my
Joe (Milwaukee): When is A.J. Vanegas eligible to reenter the draft and how is his stock shaping up? How about Karsten Whitson?
Both next year. Vanegas has been
inconsistent but showed off a first-round arm in the Cape this summer.
Whitson has to prove he can stay healthy and pitch effectively. His
stock is very much in flux.
JD (Arlington): Why was CJ Edwards (TEX) not
received much discussion? His numbers in the lower levels were pretty
filthy this year. He was a very late round pick though, so were these
numbers just a mirage or what?
Great job of scouting on that one by the
Rangers. Our reports had him throwing 92-95 mph this summer, and he'll
make our AZL and NWL Top 20 Prospects lists.
Cy (Western Mass): Before the season, BA rated
Wil Myers as KC's best hitting prospect and Bubba Starling as the best
power prospect. After an interesting year for these two outfielders, how
would you rank them now? Thanks, Jim.
I'd give Myers the nod on both counts.
David (Va Beach): Is Paniagua the Cubs second best pitching prospect, behind Vizcaino?
He very well might be. The Cubs don't have a
lot of quality pitching prospects. Pierce Johnson, Duane Underwood and
Dillon Maples also would be in that discussion.
Phil (Boston): Do you think Jose Iglesias will be Boston's starting ss at the start of next year?
Doubtful. I don't think his bat is ready.
Mark (Tacoma): Mike Zunino has looked really good. Do you think the Astros or Twins are rethinking their picks at all? ETA?
No. It's too early to be second-guessing
your pick, especially if you're doing it on a few summer at-bats. Zunino
is a good prospect, but Buxton and Correa are better prospects.
Zunino's position scarcity and higher floor are in his favor, but the
other two have higher ceilings.
Justin (Nashville): There have been some
reports that Dan Vogelbach moves a lot better for a big guy than some
scouts first believed. With Rizzo hopefully being the long term
solution at 1B for the Cubs, how laughable/ridiculous is the notion that
Vogelbach could play LF?
I'll put it this way: I've never talked to a
scout who thought Vogelbach had a chance to play left field. There's a
better chance that he's a DH only than he's a left fielder. That said,
kudos to him on a great year with the bat.
Nils (Stamford): How would you rank these UConn alum: Barnes, Olt, Springer?
Olt, Barnes, Springer. Nice trio of alumni.
mike (florida): Almora or Soler?
Almora. More well-rounded set of tools, more position value (center fielder vs. corner outfielder).
BL (Bozeman, MT): How would you rank these Royals righties: Odirizzi, Ventura, Adam, Zimmer?
Zimmer, Odorizzi, Ventura, Adam.
Bill (Bozeman, MT): Nervous at all for UGa-Mizzou?
No. I'm a Georgia grad, but I don't live
and die with Georgia football. More nervous about the Steelers taking on
the Broncos, though I think people are overrating how good Denver and
Peyton Manning will be this year.
That's it for today. Thanks for the
questions. I'll be back next Wednesday, and until then you can hit me up
on Twitter (@jimcallisBA) or submit a question to our Ask BA column
(firstname.lastname@example.org, and please include your full name and