- Full name James Douglas Callahan
- Born 08/24/1994 in Florence, SC
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 230 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Dillon
- Debut 09/02/2017
Drafted in the 2nd round (87th overall) by the Boston Red Sox in 2012 (signed for $600,000).
View Draft ReportSouth of the Border had some competition this spring as scouts bypassed the iconic Interstate 95 tourist trap to see Callahan pitch for Dillon High. He has a good pitcher's frame with projection remaining at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds. His fastball ranges from 88-92 mph and touches 93-94. Depending on the day, he can show two good breaking balls. He has a 12-to-6 curveball as well as a slider with short break and depth. He pitches with a high arm slot, so the curveball will likely be the better pitch for him down the road. He has shown some feel for a changeup that sits around 80 mph, but like most high school arms it's a pitch he'll need to work on. A South Carolina signee, Callahan won't be 18 until August, so scouts can dream a little more on his upside.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Red Sox drafted Callahan in the second round in 2012 out of high school. By 2015 they had made him a reliever, after he ran up a 6.96 ERA as a starter at low Class A the year before. He began to progress more rapidly beginning in 2016, and by the time the Mets acquired him in 2017, he had reached Triple-A. He joined New York along with fellow relievers Gerson Bautista and Stephen Nogosek in the trade that sent Addison Reed to Boston. Callahan experienced a velocity spike at midsummer 2017 by going from 92-95 mph to 94-97 with a high of 99 and riding life above the barrel. The quality of his slider improved dramatically in 2017, especially when paired with a higher-octane fastball. His high-80s slider grades as above-average and generates myriad swinging strikes. He also has a splitter that the Mets have encouraged him to throw more often. Callahan, who made his big league debut as a September callup, will play a vital role in boosting the velocity of the Mets' big league bullpen in 2018.
A second-round pick in 2012, Callahan's career advanced deliberately as a starter and even after his transition to the bullpen in 2015. But after a poor start in 2016 at high Class A Salem, he turned what had been a slurvy breaking ball into a hard slider that became a weapon by midseason. Callahan's numbers reflected the transformative significance of the pitch, both in his arsenal (chiefly that power slider and a fastball that sits at 94-96 mph) as well as his confidence and aggressiveness. After he recorded a 4.32 ERA with 7.9 strikeouts and 5.7 walks per nine innings in the first half of 2016, he dominated in the second half with a 2.23 ERA with 10.0 strikeouts and 4.7 walks per nine. He carried that performance into the Arizona Fall League, posting a 0.75 ERA with 12 strikeouts and three walks in 12 innings while recording a pair of saves. Callahan needs to work on execution with a fastball that gets fewer swings and misses than expected, but if he starts to command that pitch up in the zone, he has a chance to emerge as a big league middle reliever.
Though Callahan features a high-effort delivery with a long arm swing, he also brings a heavy fastball to the table that has what one evaluator called "serious giddy-up." At times with short-season Lowell, he could bulldoze his way through opposing lineups primarily on the strength of that pitch, as when he allowed one hit and no walks while punching out 17 in 12 innings over a two-start stretch. Callahan showed a good deal of inconsistency en route to going 5-1, 3.92 at Lowell while notching 8.1 strikeouts and 2.6 walks per nine innings. Put in perspective, Callahan was the youngest starter (minimum 10 starts) in the New York-Penn League. His size, aggressiveness in the strike zone with his fastball/curveball combination and demeanor have been likened to Brandon Workman. Callahan sits at 91-93 mph and touches 95, while mixing in a quality, high-70s slider. His changeup needs a lot of work. Some see a potential late-innings reliever, while others see a pitcher who could be a back-end starter. Callahan likely will open 2014 at low Class A Greenville.
South of the Border had some competition this spring as scouts bypassed the iconic Interstate 95 tourist trap to see Callahan pitch for Dillon High. He has a good pitcher's frame with projection remaining at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds. His fastball ranges from 88-92 mph and touches 93-94. Depending on the day, he can show two good breaking balls. He has a 12-to-6 curveball as well as a slider with short break and depth. He pitches with a high arm slot, so the curveball will likely be the better pitch for him down the road. He has shown some feel for a changeup that sits around 80 mph, but like most high school arms it's a pitch he'll need to work on. A South Carolina signee, Callahan won't be 18 until August, so scouts can dream a little more on his upside.
Minor League Top Prospects
The precocious Callahan just turned 19 at the end of August, and he fared well against older competition in the NY-P. He showed one of the better fastballs in the league, sitting at 91-93 mph and regularly touching 95 with good downhill plane and sink. He sometimes leaves it up in the zone, causing it to flatten out somewhat. Callahan?s high-70s slider has good tilt at times and has a chance to become an average pitch. He mixes in a mid-70s curveball as a change-of-pace pitch, and his changeup needs a lot of work, as he tends to throw it too hard and leave it in the middle of the zone. It has decent fade at times, but it was very hittable this summer. Some scouts say Callahan is a high-effort pitcher with an ugly arm action who will likely end up as a middle reliever, though he handled a starting role fine this summer. Other evaluators think he has at least a chance to start, but he?ll need to clean up his delivery, refine his command and develop his secondary stuff.