Jim Callis Chat

Jim Callis: I’ll be about 5-10 minutes late to the chat. Need to do a quick blog post about the Athletics agreeing with No.
10 overall pick Michael Choice on a $2 million bonus.

    JAYPERS (IL): What do you say to those who are already predicting a Mark Prior-like career for Strasburg after hearing about his scratched start last night?

Jim Callis: OK, I’m here now and the Choice blog post is up at http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/?p=2626. As for J.P.’s question, I’d tell them to chill out. But it also points to the fragility of pitchers—you just never know. This seems more like the Nationals being ultracautious rather than anything dire.

    Ben (Leland Grove): Julio Teheran makes his AA debut tonight. Assuming he continues on his present pace, how many years is he from Turner Field?

Jim Callis: Few pitching prospects can match Teheran’s stuff. At this point, like a lot of young pitchers, consistency is his main concern. At this rate, he could be up in the second half of 2011, when he’d be only 20.

    David (Korea): Hi, what do you think the Phillies will do? Is there other prospects that other teams would like besides the big 3(Brown, Cosart, Singleton)?

Jim Callis: If those guys are untouchable as rumored, the only way the Phillies could make a significant deal would be to trade someone like Jayson Werth for prospects, replace Werth with Dom Brown in the lineup, and then use the prospects in the Werth deal for a second trade. Philadelphia has a lot of talent, but most of it is in the
lower levels of their system, so it won’t be easy to put together a blockbuster for someone like Oswalt.

    Jim (WV): Which of the following Orioles players do you see being traded before the deadline: Wigginton, Scott, Tejada, Ohman, Patterson?

Jim Callis: If they get decent offers for any of those guys, the Orioles should move them all. None of them are part of Baltimore’s long-term future.

    Mike (Tampa, FL): Where is Josh Sale likely to begin his career once he signs? Very much looking forward to seeing him play.

Jim Callis: If he plays this summer, I would think in Rookie ball. But his bat is advanced enough that he shuld be able to play in low Class A to start 2011 regardless of how many AB he gets this

    Harrison (Montgomery): What is Nate Tenbrink's ceiling?

Jim Callis: His ceiling is as a solid regular, though he’ll have to show he can make consistent contact against good pitching to reach it. Like Alex Liddi before him, he tore up the Cal League but you have to take numbers in that league with a grain of salt.

    Jim (WV): To date, the Orioles have only signed
    1 of their first 10 round picks. They still need to sign: Manny Machado, Daniel Klein, Connor Narron, Dixon Anderson, Matt Bywater, Wynston Sawyer, Parker Bridwell, and Clayton Schrader. Who in this list
    do you see not signing?

Jim Callis: I don’t know particulars on every one of those guys, but most of them are going to be over slot deals, so they’re
not imminent. The Orioles were aggressive in the draft this year and I expect them to be again this year. They’ll sign most of those guys, and they’ll get Machado done for sure.

    Mike (New York): Who do you believe in more, Brackman or Betances?

Jim Callis: Hmmmm. Both have huge upside and inconsistent (to say the least) track records. I’ll say Betances because
he’s two years younger and I trust his control more.

    Tom (Taiwan): Help a Rockies fan out in Taiwan.
    Now, I'll ask this very quietly in hopes he doesn't get jinxed/injured
    from this question, but does Chris Nelson have some real value again after several years washed away by injury? He seems to really be hitting as a former SS, he should make for at least an average 2nd baseman right? Would best case scenario be Rickie Weeks minus a little power/walks?

Jim Callis: That seems like a fair best-case scenario to me. Nelson won’t be a star, but he has the potential to be a solid regular at second base. His career has been so up and down, he’s hard to
figure out.

    Nate (Maryland): Freddie Freeman just keeps on slugging. Do you see him getting a september call up?

Jim Callis: Not necessarily. The Braves are getting surprising production out of Troy Glaus, and I don’t see them calling Freeman up to sit on the bench and PH a few times.

    JAYPERS (IL): Have you heard if any of the late signers will get to play in the AFL?

Jim Callis: Too early to hear that yet. The top three picks (Harper, Taillon, Machado) are all JC/HS guys who wouldn’t go to the AFL, but we may see guys like Drew Pomeranz (Indians), already-signed Chris Sale (White Sox) and Alex Wimmers (Twins).

    Carl D (Sharon, MA): Ryan Lavarnway is tearing the cover off of the ball. Does he have any shot at being a catcher at the Major League level? Or is he going to be a 1B/LF/DH guy?

Jim Callis: Catching is a longshot. His bat is going to have to carry him as a 1B/LF/DH type who can go behind the plate in a pinch.

    Steve (Philadelphia): Assuming Greinke is healthy and assuming the Phillies won't part with Domonic Brown, is the combination of Singleton, Cosart, Gose & Happ a fair trade for Zack Greinke? If If not, who would make out best in that deal?

Jim Callis: The Phillies would make out best in that deal, easily, because they’re getting by far the best player. I like the
three prospects, but you’re trading a Cy Young winner for a No. 4-5 starter and guys who are a few years away.

    George H (New York City): There have been some questions about Francisco Cervelli's defense behind the plate. BA rated him the top minor league defender at backstop for the Yanks three years running. Was that a function of the Yankees not having much depth at catcher, was Cervelli incorrectly evaluated by BA, has Cervelli regressed, or are the criticisms of Cervelli's D unfounded?

Jim Callis: Cervelli’s defense is his strong suit. All the WP and SB this year are surprising. Most of the Yankees’ many catching prospects are bat-first guys, but Cervelli’s reputation for having good catch-and-throw skills was well-deserved.

    Nate (Maryland): Are you impressed with what Matt Lipka has done since he signed? .336/.394/.448 so far in his first taste of pro ball as an 18 year old

Jim Callis: Yes, though debut statistics don’t mean much. But I liked Lipka a lot going into the draft, and I liked him more
than a few first-round picks.

    Monty (New York): How does Bryce Harper's power compare to Mike Stanton's?

Jim Callis: They both have raw power at or near the top
of the charts. At age 17, Stanton wasn’t nearly as accomplished as Harper is now. On the other hand, Stanton has proven himself against much better pitching than Harper has.

    Jorge T (Guatemala, Guatemala): What are your thoughts on Josh Tomlin? He had a great debut last night. Thanks for the chat. Peace!

Jim Callis: That was a great debut: 7-3-1-1-0-2. He’s not overpowering and more of a finesse guy, and despite shutting down the Yankees, he’s more of a No. 4-5 starter at best.

    Dave (Winnipeg): Do you think the Jays have a reasonable chance to sign Kris Bryant? Would he be a huge steal for them?

Jim Callis: I would guess they won’t sign Bryant, just based on the fact that they have so many early picks (nine in the first three rounds) and will go over slot to sign many of them. Bryant slid until the 18th round, an indication teams thought his asking price was too high.

    Boris (London, ON): How much would you have to be offered to trade Jose Bautista? IMO he can sleep-walk his way to 25 HRs in Rogers Centre next year.

Jim Callis: I’d sell high. The chances are greater that
he’s having a career year than he’ll be able to keep this up, and if someone wants to pay dearly for his 2010 numbers, I’d let them.

    JAYPERS (IL): Now that the Domonic Brown era has officially begun in Philly, do you see him getting sent back down once Victorino returns, assuming Werth hasn't been dealt by then?

Jim Callis: I think he’s up to stay, barring any struggles. If he hits like he can, how do you keep him out of the lineup
when Victorino returns? I guess this ends any debate—Mike Trout is the
best prospect in the minor leagues.

    Brent (Appleton): I've heard you say that you like Purke a bit more than Cole. Is this a consensus among BA staff, or is it more of a split-decision? Also, if you could add either or both to
    your dream prospect team, would you, and who would you bump?

Jim Callis: A bit, as in just slightly. I know Aaron Fitt agrees me, not sure what John Manuel’s take is. Aaron and I would just go with the lefthander and the guy who we trust the command a little bit more. As much as I like those two, I would bump Michael Pineda, the fifth pitcher on my Dream Team in this week’s Ask BA, for either right now.

    Sam (Toronto): Do the Jays get the Jesus Montero's or Casey Kelly-type players they are reported to be asking for
    in exchange for Scott Downs at the deadline?

Jim Callis: Um, no. Unless the GM has near-fatal levels of blood-alcohol content.

    Bill (Athens, GA): Any word on Ranaudo's asking
    price for a bonus and what pick that would be comparable to at slot? Ultimately, do you think he signs?

Jim Callis: Don’t know his asking price, but I’m guessing he signs for somewhere between $3 million and $4 million, which
would be comparable to a top 3 or 4 overall pick.

    SprungOnSports (Long Island): What do you think the Yankees should do, if anything, with Joba Chamberlain now that he's been removed from the 8th inning job?

Jim Callis: Try to get him straightened out. He still can be a dominant set-up man or Mariano Rivera’s successor at closer. Selling low on him wouldn’t be the smart play.

    Mike (Pitt): What are your thoughts on Neil Walker? Originally I think most people thought he was overachieving, but he has stayed pretty consistent thus far.

Jim Callis: I don’t think he’s a true .310 hitter, but if you told me he’d be a decent to solid regular at second base, I could buy that.

    Joe (Waltham, MA): How good do you think Garin Cecchini could be if he signs with BOS? Does he become the best 3B prospect in their system?

Jim Callis: Cecchini has all-star upside. I like Will Middlebrooks, and Middlebrooks is having a nice season, but my gut feel says Cecchini is better.

Jim Callis: Thanks for the good questions, as always. I’ll be back next Wednesday, but until then you can ask me long questions at Ask BA (email them to askba@baseballamerica.com, include full name and hometown, and realize I answer three every Monday) or shorter ones at Twitter (@jimcallisBA). Thanks!