Jim Callis Chat: Sept. 15

Moderator: Jim Callis will answer your baseball questions beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

    JAYPERS (IL): I understand Harper is reporting to instructs in Viera. Have you heard anything recently on whether or not he'll play in AZ?

Jim Callis: I have not. Probably depends on how he looks in instructs. It would be fun to see Bryce Harper in the AFL, but I
don’t see much upside to it. No point in possibly damaging his confidence by sending him against by far better pitching than he’s ever seen in his life.

    Ty (FL): A friend of mine compared Hosmer to a young version of Tex. Would this be far fetched in your opinion?

Jim Callis: Eric Hosmer has that kind of offensive ceiling, though he’s not a switch-hitter like Mark Teixeira and I don’t think he’ll be as good a defender as Teixeira is.

    Matt (Nebraska): What do you think is the ceiling for AA NW Arkansas player Clint Robinson?

Jim Callis: He’s more of a cup-of-coffee type of guy than a major league regular. He has a nice swing, but I’m not sure he has true first-base power, and he’s a below-average athlete. Those guys don’t always get much of a chance, and they better take advantage if they do.

    Thomas Wolff (Davis, CA): Do you see Brandon Belt as the Giants future 1st baseman?

Jim Callis: Yes. Whether he’s going to be a solid regular or something more than that, I still haven’t made up my mind.

    Angel (NYC): When do your minor league top 20 lists start appearing on this site? thanks!

Jim Callis: In a couple of weeks. With how the end of the minor league season fell related to our publication schedule, the final stats got pushed back an issue later than usual, and the Top 20s did as well.

    Browning Nagle (Louisville, KY): What is the long term vision for Garrett Richards, SP or RP? He had great overall numbers this year, but mixed in quite a few rocky starts. If he stays at starter, is he looking like a #3?

Jim Callis: I see him as a starter. He has a chance to have three or four solid-or-better pitches, including a fastball that touches 97 mph and a nifty slider. If he continues to refine his command, he could be a No. 2.

    Greg Pirkl (Seattle, WA): I noticed Fabio Martinez hasn't pitched since the end of July. Is it an injury or just watching his innings. If he harnesses his control, does he have a #1 ceiling?

Jim Callis: He had a tired arm. Tests didn’t reveal any
structural damage and he showed a 94-mph fastball in a simulated game at the end of the season. The Angels believe he’s fine.

    Timmy L. (San Francisco): If the rumor over the
    demand for a trade is true, what are your thoughts on a Colby Rasmus for Matt Kemp straight up? Dodgers obviously looking to save money and would have the player under control for 4 years.

Jim Callis: Rasmus had the better year and is a lot cheaper/further from free agency. I bet the Dodgers would make that trade but don’t think it helps the Cardinals, unless they just want to be rid of Rasmus.

    Derrick (NY): Hi Jim. thanks for chat. you said
    before that Danny Duffy has a chance for top 100 for 2011. but it was not clear with that comment of you how much his stock going up. because in end of 2008 BA comented he just missed. next year = same situation. But yesterday in BA ASK you ranked him above guys who i think legit shot
    in top 100 - like Mesoraco. so he is legit top 100 prospects for you? if so, just gut feeling where he can be ranked top 50-75 or 75-100?

Jim Callis: I haven’t tried to plot out my Top 100 yet,
but Duffy should make the second half of it. His stuff has kicked up a notch this year, and he already was on the cusp of making the Top 100.

    Danny (Philly): Can you give me an accurate scouting report on Julio Rodriguez? Reports seem to differ but he has some great statistics this year.

Jim Callis: His stats are much better than his stuff. He doesn’t have a plus pitch, works at 87-88 mph with his fastball and bamboozles low Class A hitters with a big, slow curveball. I don’t think
that will play well against better bats.

    Greg (LA): What do you think about that kid (think his name is Pettite) who started for Trenton last night? Prospect? Seriously, the other team competed all year to make the playoffs. Shouldn't there be a rule prohibiting major leaguers from playing in minor league playoff games?

Jim Callis: It’s not great for the integrity of the minor league playoffs, but minor league teams exist to serve their parent clubs. And the Yankees need innings for Pettitte. I’d do the same
thing if I was running the Yankees.

    Chris (Secaucus, NJ): There's been conjecture recently that Mariner's Scouting Directory, Carmen Fusco, was fired over
    the Josh Lueke controversy, and others have wondered if the Mariners will ultimately regret the choice of Smoak over Montero. What's your take on the turbulence the Lee trade has brought and may bring to the Mariners organization?

Jim Callis: I’d rather have Montero than Smoak, but I could see taking either package. The Mariners clearly preferred the Smoak deal. I think it’s ridiculous that Fusco got scapegoated over Lueke, when his legal situation was common knowledge in baseball circles. We even cited it in our Trade Central writeup. And as I mentioned in this week’s Ask BA column, if the Mariners are so enraged about Lueke, why are they holding onto him. It smacks of hypocrisy. It has not been a good year in many respects for the Mariners.

    Landon (Arizona): Jim thanks for answering my question. I am wondering if Daniel Hudson is for real. Most scouts i've read have said he is no more than a 3-4 starter, but all he does it put up good numbers. His k/BB% in the minors says that what he is doing in the majors is not a fluke. What do you think about him? How good can he be?

Jim Callis: Hudson won’t maintain his 1.67 ERA since he
was traded for Edwin Jackson, but he’s for real. I don’t see him as more than a No. 3 starter because his stuff is solid but not overpowering, though I’m willing to acknowledge that his deception and command make his stuff play up. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong and settle in
as a No. 2 starter.

    Mike (Seattle): Do you think Justin Smoak will be successful at the big league level next season, and will he still be a
    star? Does he crack the big league roster on opening day 2011?

Jim Callis: I do think he’ll be successful in the majors next year and expect him to be Seattle’s regular first baseman. I
still believe in his power potential and see some All-Star Games in his

    Bryce (Kansas City): Where do you see Wil Myers playing when he makes the majors: C, RF, or somewhere else?

Jim Callis: I’ve been working on our Midwest League prospects list, and people keep telling me they think he can make it behind the plate. He has the arm strength, and while he’s raw as a receiver, he has the desire to make it happen. If that’s the case, he’s even more valuable. We’ll see, but he has a better chance to catch than I
previously thought.

    Dino (Bartlett): What is your opinion on Brandon Guyer? He has had a heck of a season!

Jim Callis: Nice year for Guyer, who has some of the best all-around tools in the Cubs system. He’s more of a fourth outfielder than a big league regular, though. He’s just not consistent enough offensively to project as an everyday guy.

    travis (minnesota): better prospect, Miguel sano or Gary Sanchez?why?

Jim Callis: I’d take Sanchez over Sano. The bats are comparable, but Sanchez has a chance to catch and Sano probably winds up
at third base, so give me the guy with more positional value.

    Trevor (Oakland): Can you rank these 2011 college arms: Cole, Jungmann, Gray, Purke? Can you see any (or all) of them being the top pick? Which one has the most upside and which is most likely to reach their ceiling?

Jim Callis: Purke, Cole, Jungmann, Gray. All are in the
mix to go No. 1 overall, though Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon remains the favorite. Cole might have the most upside, Jungmann the best
chance to reaching his ceiling and Purke the best combination of both.

    Alexander (Rapid City): Hi Jim,

    Thanks as always for the chat! Philosophical (and long) question: given a
    roughly average draft budget (~6.5-7m) and a roughly average and equally distributed talent base (college/high school, hitter/pitcher), would you pursue a particular draft philosophy in terms of how to spend the budget and whom to give it to? The Twins, for instance, tend to go for college arms and high school athletes; the Cardinals, with exceptions, go for college bats/arms; the Red Sox spread the wealth; other clubs put it on a few potential superstars.

Jim Callis: That’s a great question for Ask BA, where I
have more time and space to respond. Please send it to askba@baseballamerica.com, along with your full name and hometown. Thanks!

    Jason (Pittsburgh): How would you grade Pittsburgh's farm system at the end of the year...? I know the additions
    of Taillon, Allie and Heredia help but there were a lot of injuries this year and players taking steps backwards.

Jim Callis: Still middle of the pack.

    Brian (Toledo, OH): Due to Dustin Ackley and Jason Kipnis sharing time at 2nd in the AFL, Cord Phelps will be moved to third. Does he have any value as a third base prospect at the major league level, or is he being moved to simply get more at bats this season?

Jim Callis: That’s just to get him AB. Phelps doesn’t have the power for third base, and his arm isn’t a great fit there either.

    Vince (Chicago IL): Starlin Castro has been great as a 20 year old in he majors. Do you expect him do develop any more power and will he swipe more bases in years to come?

Jim Callis: The scary thing is that he’s probably five years away from showing us how good he really can be. I do think he’ll develop at least 15-homer power, but he’s an average runner who won’t steal a lot of bases.

    Brian (Toledo, OH): Tyler Holt, the Indians 10th round pick out of FSU, has gotten off to a hot start in low a ball.
    Is he a legit candidate to be a major league outfielder?

Jim Callis: Holt is an interesting prospect. Scouts wonder about his batting stance and power potential, but he has a tremendous career at Florida State and has excellent instincts in all phases of the game. He had some of the best strike-zone control and baserunning and defensive ability in the draft. I don’t see him as a star, but I could see him willing himself into a solid regular.

    Brad (MO): What grade was Pat White's hit tool coming out of high school? Has anyone that hasn't played for 3-5 years before starting professional baseball made an impact on a major league roster?

Jim Callis: He was much more athletic than polished, so
I’d say a present 3/future 5 hit tool. I applaud the Royals for gambling on a great athlete, but I can’t see how he’ll possibly recover from giving up six years of at-bats while he focused on football.

    Sean (Sudbury, ON): The consensus seems to be that Alvarez and Moustakas will probably both have to make a move to 1B somewhere down the road. Position aside, who do you expect to put up better numbers during the peak of their respective careers? Moustakas seems to have benefited from his home parks and struggles against lefties, while Alvarez seems to be striking out more than Mark Reynolds.

Jim Callis: I go back and forth on this one. My gut says Moustakas, but ask me tomorrow, and I might say Alvarez.

    Scott (Chicago): If you are the Pirates next year do you select Rendon planning to move Alvarez over to 1st base when
    both are ready or do you take your favorite college pitcher because you
    need so much help in the rotation. I know they signed two top pitchers
    from this last draft, but it will be a while before either of them makes the majors.

Jim Callis: You take whoever you determine is the best available prospect, plain and simple. I’d take Rendon.

    Eli (NY): Does Montero rank in top 10 prospects for 2011?

Jim Callis: Yes, easily. Jesus Montero is still one of the top five prospects in baseball, and I’d take him over Bryce Harper.

    Mark (Madison, WI): When you re-ranked the 2007
    draft, you ranked Price ahead of Heyward because of how difficult it is
    to find lefty starters. Hard to argue that point, but couldn't you also
    make the argument that while they are easier to come by, position players offer more security health-wise?

Jim Callis: You could argue Price or Heyward or Mike Stanton for the top player from the 2007 draft, and defend it easily. Heyward might be a safer bet, but I think Price has more positional value.

    Rob (Alaska): Saw that you tweeted the other day that among 2B prospects you have Jean Segura ahead of Jason Kipnis. Care to elaborate? How close is it and what are their respective ceilings?

Jim Callis: They both have ceilings as solid regulars, if not more. I think they’re comparable hitters, but I’d take Segura because he’s faster and a better defender. If someone wanted to argue that Kipnis will outhit Segura enough to make it all a wash, that would be defensible.

    marie (san francisco): Hi Jim. Who is your choice for NL Rookie of the Year? We all knew that Buster Posey was ready offensively, but are you surprised with his handling of the Giants' pitching staff as well as his overall defense?

Jim Callis: I’d still go with Heyward becauase he has contributed all season. Posey has similar offensive production, but in about 200 less plate appearances. His arm is no surprise, and he has done a nice job of addressing concerns about his receiving.

    Mike (Minnesota): Do the Sox keep Ortiz next year, or say goodbye and open the door(s) for Lars and Rizzo to compete at 1b/DH w/Youkilis?

Jim Callis: Anderson and Rizzo aren’t ready to step in at 1B or DH for the Red Sox. I bet they pick up Ortiz’ option.

    Cincy Pete (oHIo): Whether the chat is hosted here on BBA or on that other site, Wednesdays at 2 PM are still the best. Now that I've buttered you up a bit, can you tell me your thoughts
    on how good Kyle Gibson can be...and when he arrives in the bigs. Thanks.

Jim Callis: Thanks, Cincy Pete. No. 2 starter, June 2011.

    Josh (Toronto): Based on your 2007 re-draft, should we conclude that you have Moore ahead of Freeman in your prospect rankings?

Jim Callis: Yes. That’s a fair conclusion.

Jim Callis: I have to run, so I’ll say goodbye until we
chat again next Wednesday. In the meantime, feel free to submit questions for our Monday Ask BA column (I can’t answer all of them, and remember to include your full name and hometown) or hit me up at Twitter
(@jimcallisBA). Thanks!