Baseball America Online - Chat

High School store

Jim Callis
May 17, 2002

 Q:  Troy from Iowa asks:
What are the Phillies looking for? High school pitching or a position player?

Jim Callis: Sorry I was late. I was working the phones and ran a bit long there. There was some thought early that the Phillies would go for pitching, but they appear to be closing in on Florida HS 3B Matt Whitney, a possible Scott Rolen replacement down the road.

 Q:  Sammy from Carol Stream, IL asks:
The Cubs have a very interesting situation with all the early round draft picks they have, what players do you think they are looking at maybe a catcher and a shortstop, third basemen

Jim Callis: The Cubs have money, and they may wind up with a guy who falls because of signability when they pick at No. 21. Catcher is probably their biggest need, but this isn't a good year for catchers. The best are Jeff Clement and Adam Donachie from high school, and Tyler Parker or Chris Snyder from college. None may warrant a first-round selection, though.

 Q:  JimBo from Cincinnati, Ohio asks:
What's your latest advice on which pitcher I should select with the #3 selection in the draft; Kazmir, Gruler or Loewen?

Jim Callis: I think most people think you're going to take California HS righthander Chris Gruler, with Kazmir a close second.

 Q:  Mike Rizzo from Palmdale Ca asks:
Hello and thank you for your time.Is this a good year for Juco players since the draft is a little light on talent,and for LHP in general?

Jim Callis: Very good year for juco players, especially compared to college players. The best juco draft is Northeast Texas CC RHP Derick Grigsby, who has thrown 96 mph and could be a sandwich pick. He's from the same high school that produced Colt Griffin. We might see 9-10 lefties go in the first round, though some of that is because someone has to. But I wonder if the HS crop ever has produced three lefties in one year like Scott Kazmir, Adam Loewen and Cole Hamels.

 Q: Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Hi Jim. Thanks as always for taking the time to answer our questions. Of course, my mind is on the Brewers, and while Allan Simpson offered names such as Greinke, Loewen, Gruler, Fielder & Baker in regards to the Brewers last week, I'm curious if they may be looking at a few promising positional prospects such as Francoeur & Moore? Who's your pick for the Crew?

Jim Callis: Love your site, Patrick. Prince Fielder continues to be associated with the Brewers. So do Chris Gruler and California HS SS Scott Moore. That might be high for Francouer, and I can't see a Bud Selig team (oh wait, he's really not involved) taking a Scott Boras client like Baker. I'll say Fielder, with Moore the second choice.

 Q:  Dan from sacramento asks:
I think the three bet hitting prosects this year are Hermida, Jeff Clement and Jeff Baker. Where do you think they'll go on June 4th? Are the Mets considering these guys or will they stick with pitching?

Jim Callis: Hermida will probably go in the first five picks. Clement, if a team is convinced he can catch, could go in the first and should be gone by the second. Baker will go somewhere from 9-20 in the first round, unless he's unsignable. I'd put Scott Moore in the top three hitters, and he'll go quick, too. I've heard the Mets covet Virginia Tech LHP Joe Saunders but have little chance of getting him. A lot of their people, but not all, apparently like Ball State LHP Luke Hagerty. They'd like a college pitcher, which might put British Columbia LHP Jeff Francis in the mix. Texas HS RHP Clint Everts and Ohio State OF Nick Swisher are possibilities.

 Q: Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Can you offer a quick mock 10?

Jim Callis: It's very fluid, but here's my best guess right now: 1. Pit--Brian Bullington, rhp, Ball State. 2. TB--B.J. Upton, ss, HSVirginia. 3. Cin--Chris Gruler, rhp, HSCalifornia. 4. Baltimore--Jeremy Hermida, of, HSGeorgia. 5. Mon--Joe Saunders, lhp, Virginia Tech. 6. KC--Adam Loewen, lhp, HSBritish Columbia. 7. Mil--Prince Fielder, 1b, HSFlorida. 8. Det--Scott Moore, ss, HSCalifornia. 9. Col--Scott Kazmir, lhp, HSTexas. 10. Tex--Jeremy Guthrie, rhp, Stanford.

 Q:  Mike from Exton, PA asks:
How do you expect the Red Sox to appraoch the draft under a new SD and new ownership? Can we expect them to go after tough signs to add high end talent as quickly as possible? Should we expect a raw tools heavy Marlins-type approach from Chadd?

Jim Callis: I think they'll put more money into domestic talent as opposed to foreign talent then they did recently. The Red Sox did go after more projectable HS guys, and I don't think that will change. They could take some gambles at tough signs, especially because they don't have a first-rounder.

 Q:  John Riccardi from Roanoke, VA asks:
Clemson's pitching has been very good this year with no one who lights up the radar gun. Where do you see #1 starter Steve Reba and #2 starter Matt Henrie going in the draft. These guys don't throw 90 but they win and have very good ERA's in the ACC.

Jim Callis: Both are good college pitchers and will get drafted, probably in rounds 8-15. Reba will be cheaper because he's a senior, while Henrie has the better body.

 Q:  Scott from Clemson, SC asks:
I recently watched Jarred Burton from Western Carolina University pitch against Clemson and he was very impressive. He was around 94 mph in the seventh inning! Rumor has it that he is expected to go in the top 6 rounds, do you know anything about him or where he will go in the draft.

Jim Callis: He has really shot up the charts in North Carolina this spring. He could go in the top three rounds.

 Q:  Wolf from La Jolla asks:
What do you think the Padres' draft strategy will be? They have a pretty well rounded system right now, but they could use some more depth. In light of last year, do you think they will go for a more polished college player again?

Jim Callis: I think they would prefer a college pick, moreso a pitcher, but they may not be able to pass on local product Cole Hamels in the first round. At least one team I've talked to rated Hamels as the best HS pitcher, though there are medical questions (which don't bother the Padres, who have cleared him).

 Q:  Ben from Michigan asks:
Give us a scouting report on BJ Upton. What does his future look like. How solid a pro prospect is he going to be over the next couple of years. Any chance he falls below the Pirates or Devil Rays?

Jim Callis: He could fall past the No. 2 pick, but I think the Orioles would snatch him at No. 4 if he did. He's a very, very athletic SS. He could have the upside of a Derek Jeter, though that's a lot to ask. He needs to get stronger to be able to succeed at the plate as a pro. That's the only concern right now, and he should be able to address it.

 Q:  Josh Meyer from Palmer, IA asks:
What position are the Twins looking at drafting with the 20th pick?

Jim Callis: I think they'd like a pitcher. I could see them jumping on Ball State LHP Luke Hagerty or Kentucky RHP Joe Blanton if one of them were available.

 Q:  Vsah from Ann Arbor, MI asks:
Jim, what do you see the Cubs doing with their first four picks (21, 32, 36, 38)? John Stockstill seems to prefer collegians, but the 2002 draft has a rather weak college crop. They are not very deep at 3b or C, might Matt Whitney, Jake Blalock, Adam Donachie, and Brian McCann be on their radar?

Jim Callis: I don't think they'll get a chance to pop Whitney, though he'd be a nice 21st pick for them. The other guys you mention aren't necessarily sandwich picks, but the Cubs could save some money by slightly overdrafting them. Blalock (Hank's brother) projects more as a first baseman than a third baseman, so he might be the least likely of the four guys you mentioned.

 Q:  Kevin from Omaha, NE asks:
Alex Gordon is the premier player in the state of Nebraska high school where do you see him going if at all? Also has Shane Komine's stock dropped so much now with all the injuries that he may not be drafted at all? He is ultra productive and at times is unhittable. Howevewr he has numerous ailments and a small frame which scares most scouts.

Jim Callis: Gordon has a back problem that could cause him to slide, but he is the top HS talent in Nebraska. Komine has looked good since returning. He is what he is: a guy with good stuff and a proven winner, but also a very short RHP with a checkered medical past. He'll get drafted higher than he was last year (19th round, Cardinals) because he's more signable as a senior. He could be a nice surprise for someone if he doesn't break down.

 Q:  Ted Geist from Wilmington, DE asks:
Here in the first state Mark Romanczuk is generating a lot of buzz. He had another outstanding performance yesterday striking out 18, allowing 2 hits, in another complete game shutout. Do you see him possibly as a later first round sandwich pick? Thanks.

Jim Callis: That could happen, but we have him pegged more as a second-rounder.

 Q:  Andy from brooklyn asks:
I'm hearing that Jeff Baker will be a tough sign. Will this cause him to drop?

Jim Callis: It's not just the tough sign. He just hasn't had the year scouts hoped for or expected, and he hasn't hit well with wood the last couple of summers. He still should be the first college bat drafted, slightly ahead of North Carolina INF Russ Adams.

 Q:  alan from LA asks:
Two guys I like in this draft are Bobby Kingsbury and Nick Swisher. What teams are watching them, and about where do you expect them to be drafted?

Jim Callis: Swisher should go in the first three rounds, Kingsbury maybe in the next three after that. Swisher's name has been associated with the Mets, Athletics and White Sox, quite possibly as a first-round pick.

 Q:  Enrique from San Diego asks:
Where do you see Chris Hamblen,catcher, at University of Cincinnati going in the draft? He is a 2nd time semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award. I hear from sources that he is the best defensive catcher in the country besides being a switch hitter.

Jim Callis: Hamblen is a good college catcher, but I don't know if he's the best defensive guy in the nation. That's probably Chris Snyder of Houston, and Tyler Parker of Georgia Tech has better tools behind the plate. Hamblen projects to go somewhere after the first five rounds.

 Q:  Michael from Atlanta asks:
Does the Braves dropping one of their short-A teams in the off-season change their overall draft strategy? Is there any chance that they might go after college players who would be able to contribute sooner rather than finding young players to complete their low-level rosters?

Jim Callis: I don't think they'll change. They'll continue to focus on HS players, particularly from the productive state of Georgia.

 Q:  MAURY from Washington, D.C. asks:
What do you think the draft strategy will be of the Detroit Tigers? Do you agree with Allan Simpson who sees them possibly going after Prince Fielder with their first pick?

Jim Callis: They're tough to read, because Dave Dombrowski is new there and may get very involved. I've also heard that Fielder is a very real possibility.

 Q:  Eric from Vallejo, Ca asks:
I know they draft late, but do you have any idea of what the Giants might be looking at? They always seem to draft pitching, but it seems to me that their system is really thin on middle infielders and catchers. What do you think?

Jim Callis: I agree, but I can't see them taking a middle infielder or catcher in the first round, unless they really like South Carolina SS Drew Meyer. I could see them getting a pitcher, someone like Hagerty or Blanton if they're there.

 Q:  Adam from Cincy, OH asks:
The Reds wasted their pick last year on Sowers, do you see that as a possibility this year?

Jim Callis: No. They've caught back up with their budget, and they'll take a legit guy and sign him at No. 3.

 Q:  Snapper Bean from Greater Kensington asks:
Given J.D. Drew's non-signing with the Phillies and the fact that Scott Boras instructed the Phillies not to select Mark Teixeira last year, do you think the Phillies will consider Boras clients Jason Neighborgall or Jeff Baker in this years draft? Who else does Boras represent?

Jim Callis: Mike Arbuckle and Co. will take the guy they want, Boras be damned. Neighborgall would be an intriguing possibility, and Baker could become Scott Rolen's replacement. Boras has several top prospects this year, with Rutgers RHP Bobby Brownlie and Texas HS RHP Mark McCormick joining these two as the most prominent.

 Q:  Bob Martino from New York, NY asks:
The Yanks don't pick til # 71. I know they usually prefer polished college players, but if he's available, might they take a chance on Toms River H.S. 7'1" right hander Ryan Dougherty? He's got tremedous upside and has hit triple digits on the gun. Also, what draft and follow players are they looking to sign from last year?

Jim Callis: Not that high. Doherty has now grown to 7-foot-3, but he never has touched triple digits on the radar gun. He's more of a mid-80s guy and he's a huge project. I think he's more of a round 6-10 guy. Nick Touchstone, a LHP from Okaloosa-Walton CC in Florida, is a 6-foot-4 guy who has thrown 95 this spring. A 16th-round pick last year, he reportedly already has turned down $200,000 from the Yankees.

 Q:  Sergio from Chula Vista asks:
Do you think the Padres will try to get a H.S. hitter like Jeff Francoeur, Sergio Santos or Jake Blalock with their 1st pick? Or do you think they will go pitcher with that selection. Also, do you think the Padres will be able to sign Matt Harrington before the deadline or not? If yes, what do you think will be the money range they will sign him at? Thanks, love your magazine.

Jim Callis: I think No. 13 would be too high for any of those guys. As mentioned earlier, I think the Padres would like a college pick, but Cole Hamels may just be too tempting. It's impossible to do anything but just guess on Harrington now. He has barely pitched competitively for two years, which can't have helped his career.

 Q:  Sergio from Chula Vista asks:
Do you think pitcher Cole Hamels out of Rancho Bernardo H.S. in San Diego area would be a good 2nd round pick for the Padres? Or is he too much of a risk with previous arm injury?

Jim Callis: Great second-rounder, but he'll go somewhere in the first. His arm injury scares some teams, but the Padres team doctor performed the surgery on him and has cleared the club to draft Hamels.

 Q:  Adam from Cincy, OH asks:
Don't you think the Reds should take Brownlie since he is the closest to the majors? After all having Howington-Brownlie 1-2 seems to be enough to have the Reds in playoffs for years with their already talented offense.

Jim Callis: Brownlie has some possible shoulder issues that any team which wants to draft him will have to check out. I don't see him going third at this point.

 Q:  Ben from Centreville, maryland asks:
Will the tigers draft Jeremy Hermida if he is available there or are they looking somewhere else?

Jim Callis: I think he'd certainly be in the mix, but at least four teams ahead of the Tigers at No. 8 have shown interest in Hermida. I don't think Detroit will get the chance.

 Q:  greg from pomona asks:
Compare these HS hitters: Hermida, Scott Moore, and Mayberry.

Jim Callis: I'd probably rank them in that order. Hermida will be a RF, Moore a 3B, Mayberry a RF as pros. They're all pretty good athletes, too, and should go in the first 10 or 20 picks.

 Q:  sam silvas from claremont, ca asks:
Some questions about the great state of Louisiana. Besides M. Schilling, what high schoolers may go in the first 5 rounds, and besides at LSU, are any college players in the state slated to go in the first 5 rounds? Thanks

Jim Callis: RHP-SS Nick Tisone is the only other definite top-five-round guy from Louisiana high schools. There will be some other college players, led by Tulane LHP Nick Bourgeois, Northwestern State RHP O.J. King and Louisiana Tech RHP Lee Gwaltney. Next year will be a great draft year for the great state of Louisiana with Southern's Rickie Weeks, Tulane's Michael Aubrey, Louisiana State's Aaron Hill and Brian Wilson and high schooler Xavier Paul.

 Q:  Jake from Chicago asks:
Where is Bo Flowers from Chicago's Walther Lutheran HS projected to go? Thanx.

Jim Callis: Talented athlete, around the fifth round.

 Q:  Mikey from Toronto asks:
I'm assuming the Blue Jays will be looking for much needed pitching in the draft. Any ideas who will be around when they pick and who they might be looking to pick? Thanks.

Jim Callis: Given new GM J.P. Ricciardi's background, they'd prefer a college pick, and they'd prefer a hitter. But they may have to settle for one out of two and take college lefty Jeff Francis. There just aren't many good college bats worthy of first-round selection.

 Q:  Greg from Seattle asks:
What direction do you see Donny Rowland and the Angels going in the draft? Who are some of their targets? Will they focus more on position players or pitching? Thanks.

Jim Callis: The Angels like Scott Moore a lot, but there's an off chance someone like a Scott Kazmir could slide to them. They also have some interest in Matt Whitney.

 Q:  Vsah from Ann Arbor, MI asks:
Who are the top 3b prospects in the draft? Apart from Baker, where do Sergio Santos, Matt Whitney, and Jake Blalock project? Will Scott Moore remain at SS?

Jim Callis: Moore will likely move to 3B. He and Whitney look like first-rounder. Santos is more of a sandwich or second-round guy. Blalock projects more at 1B and is a third-round guy.

 Q:  KC from Washta, IA asks:
What do you see the Braves doing in the Draft? Any promising Georgia products for them to take?

Jim Callis: As alluded to earlier, business as usual for the Braves. The most attractive Georgia products are high school OFs Jeremy Hermida and Jeff Francoeur, plus RHP Micah Owings. Atlanta would love any of those guys.

 Q:  Aaron M. Rote from Fayetteville NC asks:
Recently, I have been hearing the Pirates are leaning toward selecting a pitcher with the #1 overall pick. Is this still their thinking, and with the lack of offensive output this season wouldn't it make more sense to draft a offensive player?

Jim Callis: At No. 1, you simply take the best available guy. I think the consensus among scouting directors is that Ball State RHP Bryan Bullington is that guy. High school SS B.J. Upton wouldn't be bad either, but I think more clubs would pop (TM) Bullington.

 Q:  Eric from San Diego asks:
You said Jeff Clement might not warrant a 1st round selection. Is there anything wrong with his bat? And would you expect a move to 1st in the minors.

Jim Callis: I said that given the checkered history of high school catchers taken in the first round. He's a very talented hitter, but he hasn't faced a lot of tough competition in Iowa and the jury is out on his catching. He'll go early, possibly in the first round, and whoever gets him will give him every opportunity to catch. I think Plan B down the road would be third base.

 Q:  KC from Washta, IA asks:
Who do you see the Royals getting in the draft? Do you think that they'll ever get things turned around & start winning in K.C.?

Jim Callis: I think either Adam Loewen or John Mayberry to the Royals. They have a lot of work to do.

 Q:  Quincy Carter from Athens, GA asks:
What kind of shape is Prince Fielder in and how early might he go in the draft?

Jim Callis: He's apparently in good shape for him. He has one of the top two power bats in the draft, and every team acknowledges that. But a lot of them are scared to death of his body and worry that he'll balloon back over 300 in no time. That said, sounds like he has a very good chance of going seventh (Brewers) or eighth (Tigers). The Cubs also will bring him in for a workout.

 Q:  Mo Szslak from Haldleyville asks:
Is Bullington a thrift pick (i.e., signing bonus) for the Buccos because McClathcy won't let Littlefield spend the bonus money for Brownlie, or is he legit. The guy, Bullington, came out of nowhere, really, there Midge.

Jim Callis: Not at all. He has moved past Brownlie on merit and very well could command more money than Brownlie.

 Q:  Jamey Newberg from asks:
Are we lookin at yet another Hicks-Boras synergy with the Rangers at number ten? And if so, is Guthrie the likely pick?

Jim Callis: Another site I enjoy. They won't pick a Boras guy just to pick one, but Guthrie makes the most sense of the guys who will be available.

 Q:  Scott from Springfield, Illinois asks:
I don't think Kenny Williams gets enough credit for letting Charles Johnson go as that enabled us to get Kris Honel and Wyatt Allen. Where do you see the Sox going? There are rumors they are going after another player who has football aspirations as well, similar to Joe Borchard, any truth to that?

Jim Callis: I haven't heard that football rumor. The only first-round football guy who jumps to mind is Jeff Francouer, and I haven't heard him connected to the White Sox. I have heard names like Nick Swisher, and I could also see them popping a college pitcher along the lines of Joe Blanton or Luke Hagerty.

 Q:  J. Cress from Chippewa Falls, WI asks:
Why has Kazmir dropped to #9 in your opinion and is Fielder deserving of pick #7?

Jim Callis: Not on talent, just more so that the teams at the very top are locking in on other guys, and the next clubs are looking at other people assuming he'd be gone. Kazmir could go first or second, too, that was just one scenario. Personally, I'd be afraid to be a very high pick on a one-tool guy with a bad body, no matter how good that tool was.

 Q:  sean from carol stream il asks:
do you think the cubs going after royce ring or david bush in the first round?

Jim Callis: More as sandwich possibilities than at No. 21. But budget may play a role, and Bush could help their weak bullpen very quickly. Got to love David Bush.

 Q:  Adam from Cincy, OH asks:
Out of your mock top 10 how many do you think are actually better than Brownlie?

Jim Callis: The question is health. He hasn't pitched like his usual self for a while, and there's concern that his injury is worse than just a case of bicep tendinitis. Teams are doing everything they can to find out what exactly his status is.

 Q:  Terry from Springfield, Virginia asks:
Jim, with Ramon Santiago, Omar Infante, Anderson Hernandez and Don Kelly all promising shortstops in their minor league system, why would the Tigers draft a shortstop with their first pick. If Prince Fielder wasn't available, I would look for them to choose a power hitting outfielder or a power pitcher, do you see this happening?

Jim Callis: Teams generally take the top guy on their board, regardless of need. The Tigers are one team I don't have a great feel for. If they do take Scott Moore, he's going to be a 3B rather than a SS, and he's one of the best bats available.

 Q:  John Sickels from Kansas asks:
Do you see the Royals taking a chance on John Mayberry's son in the first round? They have drafted a ton of pitching lately and could use some hitters, plus he would provide some positive hometown publicity for a team in need of some.

Jim Callis: Hi, John. Very much a possibility. If Adam Loewen isn't available, Mayberry is the logical candidate for the Royals.

 Q:  David from Tallahassee asks:
Where do you project FSU's 1B3B Ryan Barthelemy and UF's INF Mark Kiger to be drafted? Both of these players are having outstanding senior season's and should move quickly through a club's farm system

Jim Callis: Kiger around the fifth round, Barthelemy more the 10th or lower.

 Q:  Adam from Cincy, OH asks:
Are there any players in this years draft that can be "elite" players at their position. I realize you compare Upton to JeterLarkin type but are their any Nomar's, A-Rod's, Manny type guys out there?

Jim Callis: There isn't that Mark Prior or J.D. Drew type of guy. The best pure talents are probably Bryan Bullington, Adam Loewen, Scott Kazmir and B.J. Upton (that's in no particular order).

 Q:  Mike from Los Angeles asks:
Who are the top 10 college seniors available?

Jim Callis: David Bush and Khalil Greene could be sandwich picks. After them, in no particular order: California RHP Trevor Hutchinson, Harvard RHP Ben Crockett, Louisiana Tech RHP Lee Gwaltney, Baylor RHP Kyle Edens, Northwestern State RHP O.J. King jump to mind.

 Q:  John the man from Greenville, SC asks:
Who will go first Clemson's Jeff Baker or Khalil Greene. Is it possible that Baker could fall to round 2 because of signability with Boras.

Jim Callis: Baker should go first. Oakland likely will make Greene a sandwich pick, and there's an off chance Baker could last until the second round.

 Q:  vsah from Ann Arbor, MI asks:
Jim, Where do Kevin Jepsen and James Loney project to go in the draft?

Jim Callis: Late first round or early second.

 Q:  Isabelle from New York asks:
I'm a big Wichita State Shocker fan. Where do you see the the draft-eligible Shocker pitchers going in this year's draft?

Jim Callis: LHP Justin Maureau has a very nice curve and could go in the second or third round. RHP Adam Peterson is healthy and has his stuff back, if not all of his command, and should go around the fifth round. RHP John Tetuan is finishing very strong, but he's not big at all nor does he throw hard. He could go in the first 10 rounds.

 Q:  Phil McAllister from New York, NY asks:
What do you think the A's will do with 7 picks before the second round starts? Is is possible that they could use the money they had earmarked for Giambi and take the best player available at each spot? Given that prospects should slide in this year's draft, that would be an incredible bonanza for a small market team.

Jim Callis: Those seven slots cost $7.8 million last year, and they're not going to spend that much, never mind inflation. The word is they'll take three legitimate first-rounders and then go cheaper with their four sandwich picks.

 Q:  Aaron Friesen from Gretna, manitoba, Canada asks:
How do you see this year's crop of draft prospects from Canada stacking up? Obviously Adam Loewen and Jeff Francis are big time names but is their anyone else that you see to go in the top 10 rounds?

Jim Callis: RHP Brooks McNeven, Francis' teammate at British Columbia, could go in the first five rounds.

 Q:  Buddy from Lubbock, Texas asks:
How much is Bobby Brownlie sliding? Are the questions more about his health, signablity, or pitchability.

Jim Callis: Mainly health, though signability is a concern and he wasn't pitching as well as he had in his first two years.

 Q:  James from San Diego asks:
Hey, have you heard of Royce Ring from SDSU and where in the draft do you think that he will go?

Jim Callis: Hard-throwing lefty reliever, should be gone by the end of the sandwich round.

 Q:  Dan Urda from Langhorne, PA asks:
Any chance Prince Fielder is around when the Phillies draft? If he is will they take him? `

Jim Callis: He could be there. I haven't heard that teams besides the Brewers and Tigers in the upper half are on him much. I honestly don't know how the Phillies feel about Fielder, though.

 Q:  Big KG from Big Chicago asks:
Is this the last draft we'll see in the current format in reference to the current labor situation? Will future drafts involve international players and the ability to trade picks?

Jim Callis: Big KG! There are so many other issues that concern the players and owners more than the draft, that I wonder how much time they'll spend trying to fix it when everything else is broken. One thing being talked about is giving teams that don't sign their first-rounder a comparable pick (rather than a sandwich choice) the following year. We're more likely to see international players than draft pick trades. But including international players will create more problems than it will solve. Trading picks might not help the small-revenue teams as much as thought.

 Q:  Damion Tryon from Intensityville asks:
Why has Jeff Francis fallen on most draft boards? Is it just because he doesn't fit the needs of the teams picking near the top or has his performance dissapointed?

Jim Callis: He just hasn't pitched as well as he did last summer, so he'll go in the middle of the first round rather than the top.

 Q:  Jeremy Harrell from Cincinnati asks:
We have all heard that the Reds are swaying strongly to Gruler with their #3 pick but what about their supplemental pick? Bowden said last year that Sowers was worth the risk because anyone else he could of taken, he could get next year with the supplemental 1st rounder? Who could be available around there? The reds like local guys so what about University of Kentucky's Joe Blanton or Ball State's Luke Hagerty?

Jim Callis: Blanton and Hagerty should be gone. If you want a somewhat regional pitcher, how about Tennessee HS RHP Matt Cain?

 Q:  Phil Case from Duluth, Minnesota asks:
Early in the year, you had Brett Nyquist of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota ranked as one of the top 30 college players eligible for the draft. Hešs a 6š8 lefty that throws in the low 90šs. He will be the first player ever drafted from St. Scholastica. Where do you see him going?

Jim Callis: His radar-gun readings are apparently inflated. I talked to a scout who saw him five times, never saw him touch 90. I think third to fifth round.

 Q:  Ed from Bournemouth, England asks:
Any thoughts on Anthony Reyes? Given his early season injury problems is there any way he'll drop enough to make another year at USC advisable?

Jim Callis: He's bouncing back, should be gone by the first few picks of the second round, at the latest.

 Q:  Miles Smith from Athens, GA asks:
Is this the least-talented first round in the history of the draft?

Jim Callis: I wouldn't say that. Go back and look at the 2000 draft, which already has more washouts than usual. There just isn't a Mark Prior guy this year, and the college position players are bad, but the overall depth isn't considered dreadful by any means. I miss The Grill, and of course, The Odyssey (which is gone). Need to get back to Athens sometime.

 Q:  Brandon Kochkodin from Philly asks:
Mr.Callis, for those of us living in the Northeast Jeremy Hermida seems to be a great player who came out of nowhere,whom we can find absolutely no info on. Can you please give me the basics on him? Thanks

Jim Callis: He wasn't an unknown like a John VanBenschoten or Colt Griffin last year. Hermida played in the prestigious East Cobb program, and he was on every club's follow list. He just took a big step up this year. One of the best hitters available, and he's not a bad athlete either.

 Q:  Rocco from Pittsburgh, PA asks:
How likely would you say Bullington going first overall is in terms of %? And is Upton the only other viable #1 overall option? your chats.

Jim Callis: Everyone thinks it's Bullington or Upton, I'd say 60 percent Bullington and 40 percent Upton. Scouting director Ed Creech told me today they're looking at five guys. I think Loewen and Kazmir are also in the mix, not that he named names. Not sure who the fifth guy would be.

 Q:  kaleb from providence rhode island asks:
Where do you think texas's friday night starter brad halsey will go in the draft? He's got a solid fastball in the 92-93 range with a good slider not to mention his projectable body. Also, where has mariner's lhp prospect sam hays gone? i haven't heard much about him since they selected him as there first pick in the 4h round? thanks jim-

Jim Callis: He hasn't been as good lately, but coudl go anywhere from the third to seventh round. Hays has stuggled with the Mariners and I think he's in extended spring training.

 Q:  Steven from Wichita asks:
I am from Wichita, KS and we have had a few good pitchers come from Wichita Heights, like Darren Dreifort. I see a Mike Pelfrey out there. He had a slow start but what does everyone think of his chances in the draft? He must have had a good game the other night, I am just wondering about those early games, will those hurt him? Thanks

Jim Callis: Pelfrey is sliding and has been passed by Blair Johnson as the state's top prospect. Scott Boras is advising Pelfrey, so it could become a situation that if he doesn't go in the top two rounds, clubs figure he won't sign.

 Q:  bryan from las vegas asks:
You say cole hamels going 13th to the Padres but didnt he break his arm?Also he is left handed meaning he might break his arm again ala Tony Saunders.

Jim Callis: Not enough space to get into all the details, but he broke his arm in an off-field action, then took the mound, then it was discovered. He didn't break the arm pitching, at least as much as can be determined. Some teams are scared by this, regardless. But the Padres doctor performed the surgery on Hamels, and has told the club he'll be fine. And as I said earlier, at least one team thinks Hamels is the top HS pitcher available.

 Q:  Slickwilly from Atlanta asks:
Being a UNC alum, where do you think Russ Adams will go in the draft?

Jim Callis: No, no, no. I went to the nation's first state university: Georgia. The A's really like Adams and could take him at 16 or 24. He'll probably be the second college bat taken, behind Jeff Baker.

 Q:  Nathan from Texas asks:
You suggested earlier that the Rangers would take Guthrie at #10. Who else are they looking at and is it a given that they'll take a college pitcher in the first?

Jim Callis: Pretty much a given that it's a pitcher. If Brownlie is healthy, he'd be a factor. Any number of high school guys could be in there also, though new scouting director Grady Fuson prefers college guys.

Moderator: We've got time for about five more questions, then Jim has to go polish up today's Ask BA and get back to pondering the draft . . .

 Q:  Jerry from New Jersey asks:
Your pre-season All-American 1st baseman, Larry Broadway, hasn't put up the power numbers or home runs expected to draft in the first round. He has still hit pretty well for average, and most of his home runs are tape measure shots. Where do you think he might be drafted? I think 3 to 5 rounds.

Jim Callis: That's about right. With the lack of college power hitters, probably closer to the third.

 Q:  Jeremy Harrell from Cincinnati asks:
You mention Bullington, Loewen, Kazmir, and upton as the top talents so if the reds take chris gruler with the number 3 pick, would that be a reach. I haven't seen him ranked in the top 5 players in any draft publication...

Jim Callis: Gruler is in the next group, so he's not a reach. The Reds just really believe in him.

 Q:  Kyle from Louisville, KY asks:
What are the chances of the Cubs picking up Khalil Greene again? And how exactly does the draft and follow system work?

Jim Callis: He'd make sense from both a talent and budget standpoint. Some people think he can play SS as a pro, but maybe he'd be the 3B who could erase the curse of Santo. Teams drafting players who don't sign but attend junior college can sign them as draft-and-follows after their JC season ends, up until a week before the next draft.

 Q:  Jon Mendez from Secaucus, NJ asks:
Where do you project Jason Cooper?

Jim Callis: Second round probably, right where he went out of high school.

 Q:  Brad Poe from Reno, Nv. asks:
Where to you project Reno H. S. pitcher Kevin Jepsen being drafted and Univ. of Nevada pitcher Darrell Rasner being drafted.

Jim Callis: First two rounds for sure, maybe by the end of the sandwich round on both.

 Q:  Adam from Cincy, OH asks:
Your ultimate sleeper pick for 2002 draft?

Jim Callis: These guys aren't sleepers, but I'm starting to get the feeling that Texas HS RHP Clint Everts and Florida RHP Zach Greinke, plus Kentucky RHP Joe Blanton are going to go later in the first round than we would have expected a couple of weeks ago. The teams that get them will be very happy, and yes, I'm as scared of high school RHP as anyone.

 Q:  Bryan from Seattle asks:
I gotta ask, if Kiger from UF is going in the fifth, where does that put Stanford's O'Riordan?

Jim Callis: Chris O'Riordan doesn't have the same tools. He's a winner, but more of a guy who'd go in rounds 6-10 as a budget senior sign. I can see him being a successful pro, though, not trying to take anything away from him at all.

 Q:  Matthew from Montgomery asks:
Who do you see as the first University of Alabama player selected int his year's draft and where do you see them going? Jeremy Brown and Lance Cormier had the most credentials coming in, but Brent Boyd and Scott McClanahan are coming on very strong.

Jim Callis: Cormier or McClanahan, probably McClanahan. Brown will get a shot, but looks more like a backup catcher at best. Boyd won't go very high. Cormier could go around the fifth round, especially to a team that wants to save money on a senior.

 Q:  Dave from asks:
If you, Allan Simpson and John Manuel were all up for GM job, who should the team hire?

Jim Callis: Well, Allan would be the obvious fit for a Canadian team. I've got four kids and would miss them too much if I were a GM, so I'll defer to the other two guys.

 Q:  Sarah So from Houston, TX asks:
Isnšt the fact that Guthrie is already 23 make him a huge risk??

Jim Callis: Not a risk, but it works against him in some teams' minds. Others, however, look at it like Guthrie will help them quicker, needing less time in the minors.

 Q:  Ron from Richmond, VA asks:
the cubs can't take Khalil Greene the drafted him last year correct?

Jim Callis: A player has to consent to allow a team to redraft him, and I don't see why Greene wouldn't allow the Cubs to do so.

Moderator: That's it for Jim. Check in for a draft-related Ask BA later, and thanks for all the great questions. We'll continue to bombard you with draft coverage on a daily basis, and we'll have another draft chat next week.

  Copyright 2002 Baseball America. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.