Draft Chat: Jim Callis

 Q:  Gophers Alumni from MN asks:
How does Chris Parmelee’s bat compare to that of Matt Moses’s?
(b) Given the strengthweakness in their system, I’m certainly excited
to see a lot of bats in Twin’s draft this year. However, I’m also a bit
nervous about the fact that Twins stockpiled bats in a draft heavy on
colleging pitching…your thoughts?

Jim Callis:
Hi, everyone. Let’s see how many questions we can knock off in 90
minutes, before I have to do some radio before chatting at ESPN at 2 ET
. . . Parmelee is comparable Moses. Both were considered among the best
pure high school bats in their respective draft years. I wouldn’t be
nervous. The Twins do a good job of scouting, they needed bats and they
found ones they believe in. Joe Benson is an athlete with aptitude in
round two. A lot of teams were on Whit Robins, Garrett Olson and Devin
Shepherd. They got a ton of late speed in Jared Mitchell (10th round,
going to LSU as a WR) and Mark Dolenc (15th round).

 Q:  not really Joe Jordan from Warehouse asks:
did pretty well with my first four picks (Rowell, Beato, Adams and
Britton) – no? Will I be able to sign all four? What other sleepers do
you see among Hutte, Tamba, Watson and others?

Jim Callis:
I did like those four picks. Two of the best HS position guys, a
possible steal in Beato, and a hard-throwing lefty in Britton. I don’t
think they would have gone that high if considered unsignable, so
they’ll all be Orioles. Tyler Henson in the fifth round was soaring up
draft boards as it got closer to draft day.

 Q:  Ben from DC asks:
How do you rate the Nationals draft? It seems they did really well? Your thoughts? Thanks.

Jim Callis:
I liked it too. They got the best all-around tools package of any HS
player in Chris Marrero, and they broke a lot of hearts right behind
them by taking Colten Willems at 22. Good athletes and arms, and Dustin
Dickerson could be a steal in round 15 if he signs.

 Q:  Jason B. from Foggy Bottom–Wash DC asks:
Thank you for taking my question and great work on the draft. My
question pertains to Andrew Miller and Drew Stubbs. How quickly does
Miller sign? Where will he fit in the Tigers rotation, 2 or 3 type of
guy? Can he make the bigs by mid 07? Do you agree with J. Manuel
(yesterday’s chat) that he could be top 25 BA prospect next year.
Would Stubbs fit into BA Top 100 for 07 if you had to take a guess? My
guess he will sign quick and progress quickly.

Jim Callis:
Miller probably will get a Mike Pelfrey contract ($3.5 million bonus,
$5.25 total value), and since that’s over slot, MLB will make the
Tigers wait for a while. He may not pitch this summer. Miller is a
frontline starter, though may have to get in line behind Verlander in
Detroit. Mid-2007 seems early to me because I don’t think he’ll pitch
much this summer . . . I’d say 2008. He could be a Top 25 guy, because
there’s a lot of turnover. Stubbs, I’d say it depends on how he debuts.
If he comes out and hits and ends the whispers about his bat, he could
fit in the Top 50. Because everything else he does is way above average.

 Q:  Lance from ST.Louis asks:
How would you rate the Cardinals Draft? what do you know about Amaury Marti?

Jim Callis:
St. Louis went to an almost total college emphasis this year, and to be
honest, I liked their draft last year a lot more (though they also had
a lot of extra picks). Adam Ottavino surprised me a litlte at No. 30.
Good arm, had some great games and some not-so-great games this spring.
Chris Perez was a good value at 42 and should help the bullpen quickly.
They took a number of guys who are good college players who made a
better impression on the stat sheet than they did among the consensus
of scouts (Mark Hamilton, Eddie Degerman, Shane Robinson). Those guys
can play–I’m not knocking them. A lot of very proven college
performers. I’ll have to admit I know nothing about Marti, the final
pick on day one.

 Q:  Jonny from Los Angeles asks:
college pitchers so desired that teams will take guys with very
mediocre results (Kennedy, Mulvey) over high school pitchers with lots
more upside?

Jim Callis:
I don’t think it’s just the college pedigree. A lot of those high
school pitchers with upside are tough to sign. The teams want to pay
them for what they show now, while the pitchers want to be paid based
on their projection. Makes sense for both sides to let those guys go to
college and improve and show what they can do for three years.

 Q:  Ace from Detroit, MI asks:
Excellant Draft Coverage as usual! Can you tell us about some of the
Royals other picks than Hochevar? Were Jason Taylor and Blake Wood
budget picks and do they have a good chance to sign Derrick Robinson
away from Footaball?

Jim Callis:
Thanks, Ace. The Royals did draft some guys higher than we ranked them,
but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily budget picks. I’m sure KC put
a lot more time into figuring out the draft than we did (though we put
in a ton). If they took Robinson in the fourth round, they figure he’s
signable. Harold Mozingo in the sixth was a nice pick.

 Q:  Randy from Boston asks:
my attempts to get a question to Manuel early, I sent it in after
rounds 4-8 where Boston took some signable guys (and I suggested
Moneyball 2). If they had only drafted them in the order you ranked
them, I wouldn’t have panicked. How do you grade their draft so far and
whom of the “tough signs” do you think they can ink?

Jim Callis:
If they can sign a lot of these guys, than the Red Sox had a very nice
draft. It’s obvious from looking at the draft list that they tried to
added the shortage of power in their system with players like Jason
Place, Aaron Bates, Jon Still, Zach Daeges, Ryan Kalish, Matt LaPorta,
Ty Weeden and Lars Anderson. Those last three guys, all picked in round
14 or later, had first-rounder but dropped for signability. The Red Sox
also have taken a lot of finesse arms early in recent years, and this
year they went for power with guys like Daniel Bard, Kris Johnson,
Justin Masterson, Bryce Cox and Brandon Belt.

 Q:  paul wilder from tampa, fla. asks:
Tell me the truth; would you have taken Longoria at #3????

Jim Callis:
I would have taken Brad Lincoln No. 1 overall, so with him on the
board, I would have taken him over Longoria. But Longoria was the best
position guy in the draft, and he would have gone to the Pirates with
the next pick if Tampa Bay had passed.

 Q:  J.J. from Annapolis, Md asks:
Jim thanks for taking the time today. The Orioles took LHP Anthony
Watson in the 17 round out of Nebraska. Jordan was quoted as saying he
was someone they would look at as a Draft and follow. I thought this
was only done with JUCO kids. Is Watson looked at as maybe better than

Jim Callis:
I think Joe probably meant as a summer draft-and-follow, meaning
they’ll monitor him over the summer to see if he’s worth the money he
wants (the only reason he dropped to the 17th round). Then they’ll
either give it to him or let him go back to Nebraska. Draft-eligible
sophomores like Watson are often tough signs. If he continues to
improve next year, he’s a possible first-rounder and still has a lot of
leverage. Chamberlain is considered better, but Watson is less of a
health risk.

 Q:  Jason from Charlotte asks:
does Roy Clark see in Cody Johnson that most other scouting directors
don’t. Also, the rest of the draft seems great. The high school
pitchers they drafted really grab your attention. Agree????

Jim Callis:
He believes in the bat, obviously. And while he might have been able to
get Johnson in the sandwich round, Roy’s track record is so good that
you have to acknowledge that he knows what he’s doing. I do like a lot
of those arms, too: Cory Rasmus, Steve Evarts, Jeff Locke, etc.

 Q:  Michael from Wayland Ma. asks:
What’s you take on the freefall of Matt Laporta, and do you think the Sox got a nice steal?

Jim Callis:
It’s all about signability. He was a top-10 pick before a rough junior
season (marred in part because of injury), and a Scott Boras guy with
that upside usually isn’t going to cut a third-round slot deal. It’s a
steal if Boston signs him.

 Q:  John from Lexington, KY asks:
Walden and Ross Hubbard were both ranked in the top 200 high school
players, did signability factor into them not yet being drafted?

Jim Callis:
If a Top 200 HS player didn’t get drafted, you can safely assume it was
a signability issue. It happens a lot for the reasons I explained

 Q:  Jerry from STL asks:
Pirates look like they got lucky with Lincoln falling to them; however,
after that is there any reason to be optimistic about who they

Jim Callis:
Sure. Mike Felix is one of the best lefties in the draft. Shelby Ford
is better than is stats look, as he was horrible for the first half of
the season. He can hit. Jared Hughes, Patrick Bresnehan and Jim Negrych
were all very good in the Cape last summer, as were Alex Presley and
Steve MacFarland.

 Q:  Michael from Hyannis Ma. asks:
Which player slide surprised you the most?

Jim Callis:
I had heard Daniel Bard was putting out a $4 million number and his dad
was scaring off clubs, so I wondered if that was an orchestrated move
to get him to a rich club (where he wound up, with the Red Sox). So
that didn’t surprise me. Of the guys I thought were solid
first-rounders, I was surprised Oklahoma HS LHP Brett Anderson lasted
until 55. He’s not very athletic, but he’s the most polished high
school lefty in recent memory, all strikes with three average or better
pitches. Great value pick for Mike Rizzo and Arizona.

 Q:  matt from Texas asks:
How did the oakland a’s do in there draft

Jim Callis:
They did just fine for not having a first rounder. Trevor Cahill had a
lot of fans, and Oakland broke several clubs’ hearts by taking Matt
Sulentic in the third round. Michael Ambort, the catcher they popped in
round 18, would have been a third- to fifth-rounder if Tommy John
surgery hadn’t ruined his year.

 Q:  Rich from Mesa asks:
Dallas Buck, how good of a prospect is he if his velocity never comes
back? what if it does? does anybody really know why he lost velocity (I
read somewhere he had forearm soreness this year and might need
And do you agree with the early consensus that the Diamondbacks had a
pretty good draft, at least on paper?

Jim Callis:
Buck’s elbow doesn’t look good, and most clubs think he’ll need surgery
in the near future. I think that’s a nice value pick in the third
round, $250,000 on someone who was aa top-10 pick before the elbow
issues. It’s all on paper at this point, Rich, but yes, I did like
Arizona’s draft. I usually do.

 Q:  James from Baltimore MD asks:
for the chat. How easy of a sign will Drabek be? Id think he’d want the
process to be somewhat painless so he can get on the field and start to
prove the doubters wrong.

Jim Callis:
I did hear talk he might want more than slot money on Monday, but he’ll
sign and sign quick, I bet. He hasn’t even committed to a junior
college and wants to play pro ball. Kudos to Thayer Evans, who did a
great Drabek story for us.

 Q:  Ryan from Akron, OH asks:
What do you think of the Braves 3rd round pick Chad Rodgers? Do you think he will sign?

Jim Callis:
Almost certainly. Out of the top five rounds or so, only a handful of
players won’t sign. Teams check that out and wouldn’t take them

 Q:  Rodger from Toronto asks:

Thank you for taking my question. How do you think the Jays did? Are ther any sleepers?
Thanks Again.


Jim Callis:
They got the best overall hitter in the draft in Travis Snider, so
that’s a good start. Not having second- or third-rounders hurt, so a
lot rides on Snider. If Brian Jeroloman’s bat comes back, that’s a very
good pick in round six.

 Q:  Ben from NYC asks:
Thanks for all the great work. Can you talk a little about the Yankees
draft? Kennedy seems like too conservative of a pick at 21 with Bard,
Beato and Conger still on the board, but I like what they did after
that–particularly in the 8th and 9th rounds. Other than cornering the
market on college righties, do you think this draft continues to help
restock what has been a pretty barren system?

Jim Callis:
The Ian Kennedy pick did surprise me, from the standpoint that if the
Yankees are going to go over slot at 21, I thought they’d go with
someone with better pure stuff. Kennedy can pitch, though, and Yankees
scouting director Damon Oppenheimer played at USC, so he knows him
well. Joba Chamberlain could be a steal at 41, as could Mark Melancon
at 284 and Dellin Betances at 254. They took some gambles and will
spend some money if they sign these guys.

 Q:  Brad from Detroit asks:
you concerned about Andrew Miller’s lack of a true off spead pitch. I
can’t think of many front line starters in the league who are
successful without a real changeup.

Jim Callis:
I think this is overblown, at least at the amateur level. Anyone with
an arm like Miller’s doesn’t need much of a changeup at that level, and
throwing one is often doing the hitter a favor. He has one, just needs
to use it more and will. If we projected every amateur pitcher who
doesn’t use his changeup much as a reliever, there wouldn’t be enough

 Q:  Eric from Cleveland, OH asks:
Great job with the draft to you and the rest of BA. What is Morrow’s
ETA in Seattle and what do you think of the other pitchers they got in
rounds 2-5. Thanks.

Jim Callis:
Brandon Morrow could be up by the end of 2007 if they keep him in the
pen. The Mariners, who really needed pitching, went for projectable
arms after that. Chris Tillman and Tony Butler were two of the more
projectable arms in the draft.

 Q:  Dave from Motor City asks:
Jim, your the man as always. Tell me after last nights heart-breaker to
Chicago that the Tigers had the best draft yesterday

Jim Callis:
Best draft? I’m still digesting all that. But they had a great pick at
No. 6 with Andrew Miller. The agents were trying to slide him down to
the middle of the first round, but the Tigers stepped up and took the
No. 1-rated prospect in the draft. Great move.

 Q:  Brad from Detroit asks:
What are your thoughts on Ronnie Borquin, the Tigers second pick?

Jim Callis:
I was a little surprise the Ohio State 3B went in round two, but
Bourquin has good all-around tools. Probably the best bat in the Big
Ten this year.

 Q:  Doug Dilg from Santa Monica asks:
Gammons said the commissioner’s office convinced the Mets management to
stick to the commissioner’s office slot of $800,000 in their
negotiations with Pedro Beato. Adam Rubin of the Daily News said Omar
Minaya basically wasn’t allowed by the money people. What do you know
of this situation? And could you compare Beato with the Mets first pick
Kevin Mulvey?

Jim Callis: We’ve reported the same. I like Mulvey, but I’d rather have Beato, if that’s what you’re asking.

 Q:  tiffythetitan from Oakland, CA asks:
Tim Lincecum to the Giants at #10…were you as pleasantly surprised as I was?

Jim Callis: I thought Lincecum was going to slide even further than he deserved, so I was. Very nice pick for the Giants.

 Q:  Jeff S from Indianapolis, IN asks:
do you think about the Dodgers first three picks of: Kershaw, Morris,
& Mattingly? Was Mattingly a bit of a stretch that early?

Jim Callis:
Clayton Kershaw was the best high school player in the country, a lefty
with very good stuff, a typical Dodgers pick. They also loved Bryan
Morris, a righthander with two very good pitches, and might have taken
him at No. 7 if the Tigers had popped Kershaw. Preston Mattingly, Don’s
son, did go high, but the Yankees might have taken him at 41 if given
the chance. His athleticism, bat (and bloodlines) all earn high marks.

 Q:  Elmer from Irving, TX asks:
haven’t heard anybody mention anything about the rangers pick. Did they
reached he was listed as the 25th prospect on BA and why would you
draft this guy when Drabek was available?

Jim Callis:
Kasey Kiker is a hard-throwing lefty and a perfectly legitimate pick.
Kyle Drabek’s makeup is very shaky . . . he scared a lot of teams off.
On talent, I’d take Drabek. The whole package, that’s a tough one.

 Q:  Chris from Berkeley asks:
chat, already. Loved the Dodgers top three selections, but why was Alex
White still on the board so late in the draft? Is he a signability
issue or more interested in basketball? Also, what’s the story on Nick

Jim Callis:
White’s asking price was seven figures, so that’s why he fell. John
Manuel broke down the Nick Akins story–it’s an interesting one–in a
draft notebook you can find on our site. Too long to explain here.

 Q:  MikeF from MA asks:
Peter Gammons indicated on BBTN that Miller had an agreeement w the
redsox and had tried driving other teams away from drafting him by
indicating he needed large signing bonus. Have you heard this as well.

Jim Callis:
My understanding was that if Miller could have gotten to the Yankees at
21, they would have broken Justin Upton’s bonus record ($6.1 million)
for him. They don’t do major league contracts for draftees. If he could
have gotten to the Red Sox at 27, I heard that an $8 million or $9
million big league deal could have been there for him. Not sure it was
a done deal, but that rumor was flying around Monday night.

 Q:  Crapshoot from Boston asks:
a Giants fan, and I’m absolutely thrilled at the pick of Lincecum – I
see a guy who everyone knocks yet who keeps getting results. That being
said, I was a little disapoointed at the pick of Buriss – its somewhat
discouraging when your Scouting Director (Tidrow) says of your 2nd
round pick – “He needs to learn to hit the ball out of the infield”.
Secondarily, Why didn’t the Giants take a flyer on the local kid (Lars
Andersen) ?

Jim Callis:
I agree on Lincecum–great pick. I agree on Burriss, too. He got a lot
of play because of his tremendous speed, but I see a somewhat slappy
hitter who may have to move to second base because of a questionable
arm at short. Anderson just priced himself out of the early rounds.

 Q:  Matty B. from Fresno, Ca. asks:
Jim thanks for the time. What do you think of the Angels draft. And what do you know about there 3rd. pick Russ Moldenhauer.

Jim Callis:
Moldenhauer can rake. So can Hank Conger. He’s a great pick at No. 25
if he stays behind the plate, and it sounds like he can. After that,
the Angels went for a lot of power arms and athletes, a typical Eddie
Bane draft.

 Q:  Steve from Las Vegas asks:
the White Sox Steal McCulloch? I had read him in the top 20 for a long
time, I know he doesn’t project well, but he’s a winner and was
considerd the safe pick. What are your thoughts?

Jim Callis:
Kyle McCulloch looked like a mid-first rounder before slumping down the
stretch. He’s similar in a lot of ways to last year’s White Sox
first-rounder Lance Broadway, though Broadway had a better curveball.
Both are righties with solid stuff who know how to pitch.

Moderator: Jim’s off to do some radio shows and will be back chatting at ESPN.com at 2 ET if you want to try to catch him there. Thanks!