Jim Callis Chat: Nov. 2

Moderator: Jim Callis will answer your baseball questions, whether it’s talk about prospects, a draft question or thoughts on the World Series. The chat will begin at 3 p.m. ET.

    Jim (Philly): If Werth gets dealt, do you see Dom Brown winning the RF job automatically, or will he share time?

Jim Callis: Werth is a free agent, and I believe the consensus is that he’ll leave. I’d expect Brown to get the RF job, though the Phillies will probably have a Plan B in case he struggles. He
doesn’t have anything left to prove in the minors.

    Merkado (NYC): How fast tracked is Hunter Morris for Brewers? He seems to be quietly producing w/ power this season and in the AFL. Can we possibly see him break camp in spring training?

Jim Callis: No, that’s way, way, way too early. Morris has good lefthanded power, but he’s at least a season and a half away. At least.

    Adam (New York, NY): Maybe I'm a complete Mets homer, but is Kirk Nieuwenhius not our top OF prospect? I've seen multiple places rank him well below Corey Vaughn and at the same level as Den Dekker. Given his production and development, Kirk seems to have
    a leg up on them in almost all areas (minus Vaugn's power). Am I off-base?

Jim Callis: You aren’t off base. Nieuwenhuis is a better prospect than Vaughn or Den Dekker. I might still make an argument for Fernando Martinez, who’s just 22, but there’s not another Mets minor league outfielder who’s better than Martinez.

    JAYPERS (IL): About how far away from the Majors is Brandon Belt?

Jim Callis: He could crack San Francisco’s lineup at some point next season.

    Derrick (College Park, MD): How many KC prospects can crack the BA's 2011 top 100 prospects list. 8 is possible?
    (Moustakas, Hosmer, Myers, Lamb, Montgomery, Dewyer, Duffy and Colon) and You still prefer Dewyer over Duffy? thanks for chat.

Jim Callis: All eight of those guys could make the Top 100. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. I like Dwyer a little more than Duffy, but it’s not a big difference. Just think his stuff is going to be a little better in the long run.

    Ernie (Tampa, FL): Jim,

    Do you think Leslie Anderson will make the Rays next year when Pena leaves as a free agent ? What can you tell us about Anderson ?

Jim Callis: Not necessarily. I don’t think Anderson is anything very special. He can hit for average but may have below-average
power for a first baseman, plus he’ll be 29 next season. The last Cuban
players to make a big impact with their bat were Jose Canseco and Rafael Palmeiro. If you want to exclude players associated with steroids, you have to go further back to Tony Perez.

    Mark (NYC): If you were the Yanks GM what would
    you do with Catching issues and depth? Start with Austin Romine as he is maybe 1/2 a year from bigs and Montero is maybe 1/2 a season away also? Most scouts beleive Romine will be a .280 hitter with good power and good Defense behind the plate whereas Montero is a wildcard behind the plate, but may be a .320 hitter with big time power. Remember that 1B {Tex} and DH {ARod after this year}are taken with Yanks for next 5 years. Also Yanks have JR Murphy and Gary Sanchez coming up system at Catcher.

Jim Callis: I think that’s optimistic for Romine. What I
would do is let Montero, Posada and Cervelli split the catching job three ways in 2011, with Montero and Posada also getting a lot of time at DH. After the year, the Yankees should have a better sense if Montero
can at least do a passable job behind the plate. I could see Montero and Romine sharing catcher over the next couple of years, with Sanchez eventually taking over behind the plate.

    Jason (Minneapolis): If you made a top 10 AL Central prospect list, would KC prospects fill the top 5 spots of the list?

Jim Callis: Not quite. Chris Sale and Kyle Gibson could push Mike Montgomery off that top five.

    Dan (D.C): There's been a lot of talk about the
    2011 draft being stronger than the 2010 draft. How do Harper, Taillon and Machado stack up against the projected 2011 class?

Jim Callis: They’d still go near the top of the 2011 draft. But I’d take the top 2011 position player (Anthony Rendon) over either Harper or Machado, and I’d take a few of the top college pitchers
(starting with Matt Purke and Gerrit Cole) over Taillon. The latter decision would be closer.

    Dan (D.C): I've heard that the White Sox are going to look at Chris Sale as a starter next year. If that is the case,
    where do you expect him to open the year, and assuming he throw well, how long until he's back in Chicago?

Jim Callis: I expect him to open the year in Triple-A and could see him back at U.S. Cellular Field by midseason.

    Todd (Chattanooga): Do you see Julio Teheran's future as a starter or do you see him in the pen?

Jim Callis: Starter, definitely. You could argue that he’s the best starting pitching prospect in the minors.

    Frank (AZ): What's the word on Jarrod Parker? Would he still make your Top 50? And where will he likely begin 2011?

Jim Callis: His rehab from Tommy John is going well, and his arm strength is back. He’ll make my Top 50, and I’d guess he’ll start 2011 in Double-A.

    Todd (Halterman): Today... who would you rather have
    Gamel or LaPorta?

Jim Callis: LaPorta. I like his power more, don’t think there’s any real difference in defensive value.

    Adam (Texas): Are you a believer in Mike Olt? Will he hit for enough power to an everyday major league 3B?

Jim Callis: Yes. I think he profiles very well at third base, not only with his power but also his defensive ability.

    Drew (IL): Im thinking cubs 2012 outfield of Guyer in left, Jackson in center, and Colvin in right. Should be good defense, speed, and have a little pop, is this realistic? and should I be excited?

Jim Callis: Two out of three ain’t bad. I don’t see Guyer as a regular, his 2010 minor league performance notwithstanding. Alfonso Soriano and his albatross contract will probably still be running around in left field in 2012.

    Frank (Toronto, Canada): Where do you see Deck McGuire starting next year? Is June 2012 a realistic ETA for him?

Jim Callis: High Class A, reaching Double-A by the end of the year. June 2012 is probably the earliest realistic ETA, but it’s realistic. He’s that polished.

    Morgan (Brentwood, TN): Jim, being from Middle TN, I have heard alot about Vanderbilt RHP Sonny Gray. What kind of stuff does he have, and where do you see him going in the 2011 draft?

Jim Callis: Plus sinker, plus curveball. The big question with him is whether he can hold up as a starter at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds. He’ll go in the top 10 picks of the draft.

    Brent (Minneapolis): Liam Hendriks stats indicate that he has some outstanding control of the strike zone. Is he
    a legit prospect and what is his ceiling?

Jim Callis: He is a legit prospect, with very good command of average stuff. His ceiling is a No. 3 starter.

    a.j. (las vegas): In a follow up to your Ask BA
    question on Greinke, what prospect who could be attainable would you target if you were the GM of KC to best fill a gap in their strong farm system?

Jim Callis: Jesus Montero, though I’m not sure Greinke would approve a trade to the Yankees. Maybe some combination of Kyle Gibson, Miguel Sano and Aaron Hicks from the Twins, a destination Greinke would be more likely to approve of.

    Justin (Chicago): Starling Castro was great for
    the Cubs this year, aside from his numerous defensive miscues. What can we expect from him at his peak? Is Michael Young with less power a fair comp?

Jim Callis: I can see him becoming a .300-plus hitter (guess he is already) with 15 homers and solid defense at shortstop. Not
sure that’s Young with less power as it is Young not enhanced by playing in the Ballpark at Arlington. If you really want to dream, Castro has Derek Jeter upside.

    Nick (Boston): In your draft report cards BA said that Dodgers OF Leon Landry was the best pure hitter and the closest to the majors, what is Landry's potential? Does he have the potential to be an All Star or just an average regular? Thanks

Jim Callis: His upside is more solid regular than all-star. I think he’ll hit for average with decent power and speed, may
not be a true center fielder at the major league level.

    Anthony (Indiana): What system has developed the most in the last calendar year? Which has suffered the biggest setback?

Jim Callis: The Blue Jays system is the most improved, because Toronto has brought in a ton of prospects via the Roy Halladay trade, the draft and international signings. We ranked the Marlins system No. 7 and the Orioles system No. 8 coming into the year, and they
both look pretty thin to me right now.

    rob yontz (st. louis (reds fan, though)): What gives with Devin Mesoraco's 8 passed balls in the Arizona Fall League?

Jim Callis: He looked really sloppy behind the plate in
Triple-A, too. The reviews from earlier in the year were positive, so he might just be worn out.

    Kevin (SB): Hi Jim, in a recent podcast I heard
    you mention there were about six superstar ceiling players that were drafted in June. Besides Harper, Machado, Taillon- who are the others to follow?

Jim Callis: My point was that in a typical draft, there
are 6-8 eventual major league stars. Harper, Taillon, Machado were the clear top three players in the 2010 draft. There will be other superstars that develop—and maybe some of those three won’t be what we expect—but that still has yet to play out.

    Nick (NJ): Would BA consider writing an article
    that gives a progress report on 2010 top 100 prospects that have exceeded their rookie limits based on mlb time in 2010. It seems like we always have alot of available information on "prospects" but, once they reach the majors, we don't know what you think about them any longer. For example, take Josh Bell. What do you think about him now? Were his struggles this year a sign on things to come or do you expect him to bounce back?

Jim Callis: Not only would we consider it, I actually did a column on it in our most recent issue that went to press last week. I’m somewhat worried by Bell. His command of the strike zone really slipped, especially in the majors, which makes me wonder about his bat. And he really depends on his bat, because I think he’s an average defender at best at third base.

    Bryan (MA): Jim, I need your help. I'm in a new
    Strat league and I have the 3rd pick in the upcoming amateur draft. How
    would you rank these players for the long term, Strasburg, Heyward, Posey, Stanton?

Jim Callis: I’d take Posey first because of positional value, followed by Heyward, Strasburg and Stanton. At least you know you’re getting a good player.

    Ace (Pennsylvania): There seems to be a lot of debate and conflicting reports about Rudy Owens' stuff. Some people reported that he jumped up two or three m.p.h. on his fastball this year. I've seen anywhere from a plus change-up to an average one. Is there a general consensus on his stuff yet and why the sharp contrast?

Jim Callis: The younger the pitcher, the more his stuff
varies from game to game, which is why you get conflicting reports. He showed more velocity later in the year, but his stuff is pretty average.

    Nils (Stamford): Do you think either Carlos Perez (C or LHP) will make the top 100?

Jim Callis: No. Intriguing prospects but too far away.

    JD (AZ): Jim, thanks for the chat. How many 2010 non-pitcher draftees should we expect to see on the Boston top 10 list?

Jim Callis: One. But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see who it is.

    Matt (Brooklyn, NY): Do you see Eduardo Nunez as a solid, everyday SS? Do you think the pressure of replacing Jeter will impede his development?

Jim Callis: I don’t think the Yankees, who have a legitimate goal of winning the World Series every year, are going to turn shortstop over to Nunez. I’ll be shocked if Jeter isn’t their shortstop next year, and for the next couple of years. Nunez makes good contact, but I don’t see much power or a lot of on-base ability, so he’s
going to be a utility guy for New York.

    Jon (Jacksonville, Florida): Jim, I have the third pick in an upcoming MiL draft and have to decide between Belt and Machado. Can I get some help please?

Jim Callis: If you crave immediate help, it’s Belt. If you want the better player in the long term, it’s a pretty easy decision
to take Machado.

    Adam Weiss (New York City): What??!! You would
    take Anthony Rendon over Bryce Harper? How can that even be justified,
    given the toolsets? Does harper not excel in every area over Rendon, as well as project higher?

Jim Callis: I’ve answered this several times. Harper has more power, but Rendon still has good power. Rendon is a better hitter, offers more defensive value, has better makeup and will get to the big leagues quicker despite being drafted a year later. Taking Rendon is no slight to Harper.

    Chris S (Long Island, NY): Would you start Wilmer Flores at High Class A or Double A next season, and what would you do concerning his position?

Jim Callis: High Class A, move him to third base.

    Chris (Seattle): In your opinion, will Ackley be able to stick at 2B longterm?

Jim Callis: I don’t think so. I’d move him to the outfield now and be done with it.

    Darryl (Toronto): Bryce Harper or Mike Trout?

Jim Callis: I would take Trout.

    Jason (Atlanta): Can Craig Kimbrel maintain his 18 k/9 rate over a full season in MLB? He was electric at the end of the season.

Jim Callis: No, not sure anyone can. But he’s a legitimate closer candidate and definitely has swing-and-miss stuff.

Jim Callis: Thanks for all the good questions. I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon to discuss our Red Sox Top 10 and the whole Boston farm system.