Prospects Chat With Jim Callis

Moderator: Jim Callis will chat about prospects, the pennant races and the Minor League Player of the Year award beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

Jim Callis: Hi, everyone. Plenty to talk about today, including our Minor League Player of the Year announcement, pennant races, any residual draft questions . . . anything you like!

    Moe (New York): Hey Jim, I have a question about a lesser known prospect: Vincent Catricala. The guy had a RIDICULOUS season hitting .351 in high A then .347 in Double A with a lot of pop and good SB:CS ratio. The only thing is even after he proved it in Double A I don't hear anything about him. Is he a prospect? What are scouts saying about his hit / power tools and what defensive position would he be most apt to play? Thanks Jim!

Jim Callis: Catricala’s numbers are a lot better than his tools, though hats off to him for having the .349/.421/.601 season he did. He’s an all-bat guy who belongs at first base, and scouts aren’t
sold he has the bat speed to produce on an everyday basis in the big leagues.

    steve (york pa): Thanks for the chat. Could you
    please talk about domonic brown and what you expect from him for 2012? Also where do you expect Jurickson Profar to begin 2012?

Jim Callis: With regular playing time in the majors, I think Brown will be the player we all thought he’d become. Could see him
hitting .280 with 20 homers for the Phillies in his first full big league season. Profar won’t be 19 until next February, so I’d think he’d
begin 2012 in high Class A but he’s so talented that an assignment to Double-A wouldn’t stun me.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): As a blantantly biased Rays fan, I must formally protest in defense of Matt Moore. His stuff has dramatically improved (even more than usual), and is projected as a true
    #1 SP. Oh, and is a lefty, to boot. That is all.

Jim Callis: Matt Moore would have been a worthy MLPOY pick. But I happen to think Trout was a little more worthy. He’s a slightly better prospect in my book if we’re splitting hairs—he’s No. 1
overall on my list—and they both had stunning seasons.

    Eric (Tampa, FL): If the Top 100 came out today, would it be 1) Trout, 2) Harper, 3) Moore?

Jim Callis: I think I’m in in the minority at BA in putting Trout at No. 1, but that would be my order. Trout won’t qualify if he accumulates another 47 big league at-bats, so that would settle that.

    Wendy (Phoenix, AZ): Was Goldschmidt considered for your player of the year?

Jim Callis: He came up in the discussion but he’s not the same quality of prospect as Trout and Moore. It really came down to those two in the end . . . And just to clarify, based on a couple of questions I’ve seen: We don’t have a ballot or a straight vote. It’s more of a free-for-all discussion.

    Chris (Oakland): After seeing post Tommy John Stephen Strasburg pitching last night in the majors, it made me wonder about the progress of Michael Ynoa. Is he pitching anywhere this season
    on his road to recovery?

Jim Callis: I’m not sure Michael Ynoa even exists, though someone by that name pitched nine innings in Rookie ball last year. So far, that’s working out to $472,222.22 per inning.

    Denny (Chatham, On): Who was a better prospect at their age. Desmond Jennings or Jake Marisnick?

Jim Callis: I’ll give Jennings the edge. He had more speed and better plate discipline.

    Dan (Chicago): Who would you rather have for the next 10 years; Jurickson Profar or Starlin Castro?

Jim Callis: This may sound crazy, but my gut says Profar. I think he’ll be a better defender and comparable bat with better control of the strike zone.

    Greg (KY): Jim who's your pick for Midwest League playoffs?

Jim Callis: I’m working on our MWL Top 20 Prospects list, so I’m keeping an eye on those playoffs, which start today. I’ll take Dayton (Reds) over Quad Cities (Cardinals) in the finals.

    Mike (Chicago): do you think it was smart for the cubs to hold on to Oneri Fleita, since there is going to be a new GM
    and the cubs are going after the big names, its very interesting that they would fill an important part like that before hiring a GM, what do you think?

Jim Callis: I was surprised for that reason. Tom Ricketts loves the work his farm and scouting departments are doing, and
wants to retain the people running those departments. However, that may
limit the pool of GM candidates, whom you’d figure would want some say in how baseball operations would be structured.

    Ryan (Tampa, FL): This is a joke, right? I could understand Trout winning it last year, but his numbers do NOT reflect that of a POY this year in ANY way, shape or form. You guys are WAAAAAY too in love with Trout's potential and completely glossed over his actual performance. Moore was robbed.

Jim Callis: How about you give me a list of teenagers who have hit .326/.414/.544 in Double-A in 400-plus plate appearances and get back to me on this?

    Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Would Reds prospect David
    Vidal be considered a sleeper prospect for 2012 even with an .850 OPS, 20 HR and plus defense at 3B as a 21 year old in Low A this year or is he already a legitimate prospect to watch?

Jim Callis: I’d still say “sleeper” because he was 21 in low Class A. But he has some tools. Needs to control the strike zone better but he has some pop and plays some nifty defense at the hot corner.

    Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Billy Hamilton set a Reds
    organizational record with stolen bases this year, who finished with the second most in the minors this year and how far behind Hamilton were

Jim Callis: Anthony Gose, a fine prospect in his own right, finished 70 with second—33 behind Hamilton.

    Nafi Wong (North of the border): Did the fact that there are so many great pitchers already on the Rays rotation hurt Matt Moore's ranking versus Trout?

Jim Callis: Not at all. We may have slightly differing views at BA as to what the exact definition of the award, but I always vote for the best prospect who had a tremendous minor league season (which is different, of course, than the legitimate prospect who had the
best minor league season). The Rays rotation had nothing to do with Moore not winning.

    Mike (Pittsburgh): I just finished reading John
    Manuel's article in which he "explained" (I use that term loosely) how Trout won the POY. Let's go over his arguments - 1) Trout is younger than Moore, 2) Trout had an "unprecedented" season (in which Manuel points to his OBP and nothing else), and 3) Moore "probably" dominated a
    bit more. Can you say, with a straight face, that these arguments hold water?

Jim Callis: I’m just baffled by the vitriol here. Either Trout or Moore would have been a terrific choice for Minor League
Player of the Year. I guess we were bound to disappoint a fan base no matter who we picked. But again, Trout hit better than .300/.400/.500 as
a teenager in Double-A — that just doesn’t happen very often. I don’t know who the last guy to pull that off was, but I do know it’s been at least a few years.

    Doug (O-town): What's more coveted, a stud young hitter like Mike Stanton or a dominant young starter like Clayton Kershaw?

Jim Callis: I’ll go with the pitcher, because I think they’re harder to find.

    John Havok (Lethbridge, Alb): Would a fair ceiling for Trout in the bigs be a .300-.310 hitter with 10-15 HR, 30-40 steals with great defense?

Jim Callis: Think you’re selling him short on the power. I think he’s going to be a .300-plus, 25 homer guy with lots of steals and defensive highlights.

    Brandon (Dallas, TX): At the same stage in their careers, is Jurickson Profar further along than Elvis Andrus was? Who is the better defender?

Jim Callis: Yes. Comparable defenders, maybe Andrus gets a slight edge, but Profar has significantly more offensive potential.

    Nate (Chicago): Is Brandon Short the best position prospect in the White Sox organization?

Jim Callis: It’s down to him, Eduardo Escobar and Keenyn Walker. Which should send a message to Jerry Reinsdorf that maybe
it’s time to start spending money on the draft.

    Big Dave (AR): Rewind a few months<<<<Josh Bell sends a letter out to all major league teams about how he can't wait to get his big league career started. Where does he get drafted?

Jim Callis: I think he would have gone 17 (Angels), 18 (Athletics), 19 (Red Sox) or 21 (Blue Jays).

    Roger (Greenville, SC): When will the league top 20s come out?

Jim Callis: The date is not locked in stone, but the first Top 20 (either the AZL or GCL) will go up Sept. 16 or 19.

    Travis M. (Arlington, VA): What's your take on Mason Williams? He's only a couple of weeks younger than Mike Trout, but looks to have a decent skill-set.

Jim Callis: Williams has good tools and looks like the No. 1 prospect in the short-season New York-Penn League. He’s one of the
best Yankees draft picks in recent years and is showing why New York invested $1.45 million in him last year.

    Frankie (Mobile): Will Jason Heyward go down as
    BA's biggest bust/disappointment and worst pick as POY ever? For all the hype and pub he's gotten, he's gotta be the softest .220 hitter I know...and the worst player ever to have his own ESPN Sportscenter commercial!
    How has he gotten so bad so quickly?!?!?

Jim Callis: He’s only 21 and will turn it around. But I don’t know how to begin to explain his 2011 season.

    Scott (DC): Do the nationals have a better future middle infield combination with Desmond and Espinosa, or Espinosa at SS and Lombardozzi?

Jim Callis: I’ll take option C, Espinosa at SS and Rendon at 2B.

    Norm Youngerman (Portland, OR): Gary Brown or Jake Marisnick? They're very similar players (on paper) to me...

Jim Callis: I’d take Marisnick, because he’s more well-rounded to me.

    Brett (NYC): As a Yankees Fan, should i be concerned about all this talk of the Blue Jays system?

Jim Callis: The Blue Jays system is on the rise and is now one of the best in the game, but I don’t think you need to worry unless MLB gets a salary cap.

    Jake (California): Take your pick:Jake Marisnick or Rymer Liriano. Ceiling for both?

Jim Callis: That’s a tough one I’m bouncing around for the MWL Top 20 right now. I’ll say Marisnick, because I think they’re comparable bats and he’s the better athlete. Both have the tools to be all-stars.

    Peter Rose (Cincy): What do i do with Yonder Alonso? I cant trade him now — i should have traded him 2 years ago. Do i consider trading Votto?

Jim Callis: I think Alonso gets traded. It’s too bad one of those guys can’t play left field.

    James (Maryland): As of today, who is the #1 shortstop prospect in baseball?

Jim Callis: With 10 minutes to go, it’s lightning-round time . . . Profar over Machado.

    Dan (Chicago): Is Bryan LaHair just Micah Hoffpauir 2.0 or a legitimate option for the Cubs at first base in 2012?

Jim Callis: Hoffpauir 2.0.

    David (Wichita, KS): Is Cheslor Cuthbert the royals top prospect right now? How close is Bubba Starling to that distinction and where would Elier Hernandez and Adalberto Mondesi rank in their system?

Jim Callis: It’s Bubba Starling over Wil Myers and Mike
Montgomery. Hernandez and Mondesi likely will fit in the 11-20 range on
the Royals Top 30 in the 2012 Prospect Handbook.

    John (Bluefield): Marisnick top 100?

Jim Callis: Definitely.

    Efrim (Middletown, CT): Hey Jim. Is Danville 3B
    Brandon Drury a legit prospect? His walk rate was tiny, but he showed good power for an 18 year old in the Appy league.

Jim Callis: Yes. He’ll rank near the top of our Appy League Top 20.

    Jerry (Columbia, MO): Do you think Zach Cox will be able to be MLB average as a defensive 3B?

Jim Callis: Still do, yes.

    Andrew (Tampa): Can we give some love to starling marte do you predict a top 100 ranking next season?

Jim Callis: I do.

    Bobo (Chillin w/ Sasquach): Who has the better career as a starter: Vizcaino, Delgado, or Minor?

Jim Callis: Vizcaino.

    Ed (Fort Wayne, In): Feeling old school, I am going to make a comparison of Brent Jackson to Rick Monday. What do you think of such a comp?

Jim Callis: Works for me. Solid but not spectacular.

    Kyle (St Louis): Carlos Martinez has really been performing poorly in the last month or so. Sign that he should be moved to the bullpen?

Jim Callis: Sign that he was 19 and in his first full pro season.

    Jim T (NJ): Is Johnny Damon with better speed a reasonable floor for Trout's career performance?

Jim Callis: Better pure hitter, too.

    Matt (NY): So Trout's best case scenario is Ellsbury?

Jim Callis: Sure. I could see him putting up numbers like Ellsbury has this year. But remember, Ellsbury wasn’t nearly this good at age 19.

    Robert (Secaucus, NJ): As you're doing the MWL Top 20 - is Corcino a future starter or reliever?

Jim Callis: He’s not big, but no reason to rule out starting.

    Jon (DC): Is it true that Rizzo was considering Mike Trout for the spot in the draft occupied by Drew Storen?

Jim Callis: I did not hear that at the time. I will say, it’s amazing how many teams have come out of the woodwork and now claim they would have drafted Trout but fate intervened.

    Eric (VA): Miguel Sano cracks the top 20 prospect list next year?

Jim Callis: Too high, but he’s definitely on the rise. I assume you mean the top 20 on the Top 100 Prospects list.

Jim Callis: Thanks for all the questions. See you next Wednesday.