Baseball America Online - Chat

High School store

Jim Callis
May 31, 2002

 Q:  Josh Meyer from Palmer, IA asks:
Who do you see the Twins taking with the #20 pick?

Jim: Let's dive right in. I'll take as many questions as I can, though I may get phone calls in the middle of this . . . Depending on how I project it out, I come up with scenarios where they could get a pretty good high school pitcher along the lines of a Zach Greinke or Chris Gruler. Now I'm not so sure that will happen. Possibilities would be Kansas HS RHP Blair Johnson, maybe U. of British Columbia LHP Jeff Francis. Oklahoma HS 1B Corey Shafer is a sleeper possibility.

 Q: Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Thanks as always for taking our questions. You know I've got to ask, any new developments with the Brewers & whom they may be targeting in round 1?

Jim: They seem to have backed off Florida HS 1B Prince Fielder, an earlier possibility. I think they'll take California HS SS Scott Moore or Florida HS RHP Zack Greinke.

 Q:  Austin from Boulder asks:
What players have the most to gain in the current NCAA tournament? If a pitcher throws extremely well or extremely poorly, is it likely that these performances will mean a great deal?

Jim: If Rutgers had made it, Bobby Brownlie could have helped quell concerns about his arm if he had a huge game. As it is, teams have their minds made up on most of the guys and what happens this weekend won't change much. It's possible a performance could help break a tie if a team is uncertain, but I don't think anyone will move too much based on this weekend.

 Q:  Spike from Sunnydale, CA asks:
Hi Jim. Is it too early to say John Stockstill is a more college-oriented guy in his drafting tendencies than Jim Hendry? Hendry seems to be a classic "Best Player Available" guy, but last year the Cubs seemed to lean more on college picks. Is that a trend you expect to continue? This seems like a fairly weak college draft, top to bottom.

Jim: Spike, congrats on getting your soul back. I think it's too early to make that determination on John Stockstill. Anyway, two of his top four picks last year were HS guys. I think they may be in position to draft a few Scott Boras clients this year because they have extra picks. Rutgers RHP Bobby Brownlie and North Carolina HS RHP Jason Neighborgall could be Cubs targets. It is a weak college draft, particularly in position players.

 Q:  Mike from Gainesville asks:
Where do you expect UF 1B Ryan Shealy to be drafted on Tuesday? Shealy, a 5th rounder out of high school, has had an outstanding senior year hitting .380 with 21 HR's and 70+ RBI's.

Jim: I would think fifth to 10th round, but he could go higher because he's a senior sign.

 Q:  Mike Geier from Montreal, Quebec asks:
Good afternoon Jim, Do you think that there is any chance that the Expos will draft Bobby Brownlie?

Jim: No. I think they will take Texas HS RHP Clint Everts. If they take a college pitcher, I would think it would be Virginia Tech LHP Joe Saunders.

 Q:  Mike Janechek from Marion, IA asks:
How do you predict the 2003 draft compares to this years? Where do you Ryan Sweeney (C.R. Xavier) going?

Jim: Next year's class is better, especially on the college level, especially with college hitters. Right now, Sweeney looks like he'd go in the second half of the first round.

 Q:  Sue from Tallahassee asks:
Where does Ryan Barthelemy of FSU project to be drafted? Also, what position will he play at the next level?

Jim: Not as high as Shealy, but could go in the sixth to 10th round because he's a senior sign. He may be limited to first base, though some teams want to try Barthelemy as a catcher.

 Q:  T. A. Jubert from Virginia asks:
The Detroit Tigers signed Humberto Sanchez, their 31st round draft choice from the 2001 draft. How do you rate him and how high do you think he would have been drafted if he re-entered this year's draft? Has anything changed in the past week, does BA still project the Tigers taking Prince Fielder in the first round?

Jim: Sanchez was one of the best draft-and-follow prospects and could have been a late first-rounder or sandwich pick had he not signed. We're hearing Fielder won't go that high anymore and have gotten several different possibilities for Detroit's pick. Among the candidates, in no particular order, are California HS LHP Cole Hamels, Saunders, Gruler and Greinke.

 Q:  Summer from Long Beach asks:
Just curious, with Matt Harrington going back into the draft, can you make any prediction as to what round he may be selected in and also if it is likely that he can bounce back from the past two years and still have a successful career in professional baseball?

Jim: I have no idea. I can't believe he turned down $1.2 million, because I have yet to find a team that will give him close to that. Taking essentially two years off may do a lot of harm to his career. He's intriguing, but I'd have a hard time convincing myself that he's very signable.

 Q:  Tom Spain from Plymouth, IL asks:
Who would you predict the Cubs to take with their first 4 picks in the first and supplemental round?

Jim: I'd bet on at least one Scott Boras client and perhaps a catcher (Chris Snyder? Tyler Parker?). I also think Wake Forest RHP Dave Bush would make a lot of sense for the Cubs.

 Q:  Scott from Texas asks:
What team in the Big 12 region will suffer the biggest hit to their recruiting class after the Draft? Who has the best player that will enroll in school and not sign a pro contract?

Jim: Baylor. They have recruited Everts, LHP James Loney and RHP Mark McCormick, all of whom will go in the first two rounds. SS Cliff Pennington (Texas A&M) is a tremendous player, but doesn't have a pro body and may not go high enough to sign.

 Q:  Mike Janechek from Marion, IA asks:
I am a big White Sox fan, where do you see the Sox going in the draft? Do you see them going after pitching again?

Jim: Pitching. I think their first two choices would be Ball State LHP Luke Hagerty and Kentucky RHP Joe Blanton, based on who should be there for them at No. 18.

 Q:  Todd from Jacksonville, FL asks:
What do you think of former Bishop Kenney player Jon Paplebon's draft status? Did his poor performances down the stretch hurt him? Being a draft eligible sophmore, should he come back another year? Also, where does his teammate Chris Young stock up? He finished the year strong shutting down high powered Florida and Ole MIss in his two starts. Did those starts help his status and where do you see him going? I hope for Coach Polk's sake, they both come back and MSU goes to Omaha. Todd

Jim: Papelbon has shown more stuff than performance at this point. He still should go in the first five rounds, but he'd go higher if he came back and had a bigger year, which is possibility with his arm. Young has pretty average stuff, so I don't think he'll be a terribly high pick.

 Q:  Will from Chapel Hill, NC asks:
Who will draft UNC slugger-closer Chris Maples? What do his prospects look like?

Jim: He's having a great year but I don't think he'll go super high. He's not real big, but he is a senior sign, which will help him.

 Q:  Rick from Los Angeles asks:
I'm a big Northridge fan, and obviously Murphy will be picked high, but what about Verbryke, Loe, and Adam Nikolic? Where do you see them being drafted?

Jim: Bill Murphy could go in the second round. RHP Kameron Loe will probably be the next pick, more of a fifth- to 10th-rounder because he only has average velocity to go with his size and slider. OF Eric Verbryke is in the same boat because his lack of speed compromises his other tools. Nikolic is more of an 11th-20th rounder.

 Q:  Harris from Brooklyn, NY asks:
Where do you see the Mets going at #15? If Jason Neighborgall falls to them, do you see them spending the money needed to sign him, since they don't have a second and third round pick

Jim: I don't see them taking Neighborgall. I think they would really like Everts or Saunders but may not get a shot at either. Francis or Hagerty or Ohio State OF Nick Swisher are all possibilities.

 Q:  Trevor from Hayward, CA asks:
Can you compare North Carolina SS Russ Adams and Clemson SS Khalil Greene to players currently in the major leagues? Is Adams an Adam Everett type player and Greene a Chuck Knoblauch type player? Thanks for your time.

Jim: Adams hits a lot better than Adam Everett. I think both Adams and Greene will be big league second basemen. I can see Adams putting up Eric Young-type offensive numbers, but with more walks. I can see Greene putting up Ray Durham-type offensive numbers, with more walks and fewer steals.

 Q:  David from Los Angeles asks:
Where is Florida LHP Keith Ramsey projected to be drafted this June? Ramsey was an 11th rounder by the Reds last June (as a closer) and has coverted very nicely to a starting role for the Gators as he has been there most dominant starter down the stretch!

Jim: Another fifth- to 10th-round guy. Dominant down the stretch, but not dominant stuff.

 Q:  Robert Cistone from Miami asks:
The Miami Herald today mentions four local high school players as possible high round picks--Robert Andino of Southridge, Gaby Sanchez of Brito, Eddie Martinez Esteve of Westminster and Camilo Vazquez of Hialeah. Any sense what round andor teams may be interested in this quartet?

Jim: I'm not sure on the teams. They all could go in the third to fifth round. I'd rank them in this order: Martinez-Esteve, Andino, Vazquez, Sanchez.

 Q:  Dan from sacramento asks:
Neighborall may be the most intriguing story in the draft. Given his bonus demands, history of back troubles, and inconsistent command, he could fall out of the first round, entirely, yet perhaps no pitcher has more talent. Is it possible he could fall several rounds as teams will be unwilling to meet his bonus demands for a 2nd-3rd round pick?

Jim: I agree, in terms of stuff, Neighborgall and Scott Kazmir are at the top of the pitching class this year. I think the Red Sox are dreaming that Neighborgall could fall to them with their top pick (second round), but I don't think he'll get out of the first round and definitely not past the sandwich area. The Cubs would be my guess.

 Q:  Joey K. from oakland asks:
Is there any chance the A's will take an athletic high school position player such as Denard Span with one their 1st round picks?

Jim: I don't think so. I think Oakland will load up on college guys. Jake Blalock is the type of high school hitter that would interest them more than a Span.

 Q:  Jason from San Francisco asks:
How far will Rutgers RHP Bobby Brownlie fall in the draft? And is there any chance of Virgina Tech LHP Joe Saunders or BC LHP Jeff Francis falling to my A's at pick 16th?

Jim: Might as well guess on Brownlie. Until teams get a full medical report, it's hard to know how high someone would risk a pick. I don't think Saunders will go lower than 15th, and I think it's more likely he goes eighth (Tigers) or ninth (Rockies). Francis very well could be there, and I think would be a nice No. 16 pick. But I hear the A's are pretty set on taking a college bat there, and if Russ Adams goes to Toronto at No. 14, Oakland might take Swisher.

 Q:  Beau Thompson from Annawan, Illinois asks:
Bobby Brownlie has been slipping on many draft boards, do you think there is a possibility of him slipping to #21 to the Cubbies? Also, it is obvious that the Cubs need some catching, who do you see as frontrunners for the Cubs in this category?

Jim: I think he could be there at 21, but it's a risk if a club doesn't know his health status. I'd imaging Scott Boras would love for Brownlie to go to the Cubs. Houston's Chris Snyder seems to be the consensus top catching prospect. Iowa HS C Jeff Clement has the best bat of the group but might now catch down the road. Georgia Tech's Tyler Parker probably has the best all-around tools in the catching crop.

 Q:  Matt from New Hampshire asks:
Jeremy Hermida is the rated the best high school hitting prospect in the draft. How does he compare to recent top high school hitters Casey Kotchman and Jason Stokes? Thanks.

Jim: Kotchman has the best combination of hitting ability and power of that trio. Hermida is a better hitter than Stokes, who has more power.

 Q:  Nick from Montreal asks:
Good Afternoon. As you know, the Expos are in a very unique situation going into the draft. How will they approach it? Will the players they do draft actually sign given the uncertainty of the club? Who are they looking at? Thanks!

Jim: We keep hearing they'll take Texas HS RHP Clint Everts. I think they'd prefer a college pitcher but can't justify taking one over Everts. I think they'll be able to sign him.

 Q:  Dan from sacramento asks:
Will the Mets take Brownlie if he's available? Have teams been looking into his shoulder?

Jim: Don't see him going there. Teams are asking about the shoulder and still haven't gotten any official word yet.

 Q:  Kenny from Cleveland asks:
With the Indians already securing a 1st round type talent in Sean Smith already this week, which position players are they most looking at to maybe fall to them at #22?

Jim: Florida HS 1B Prince Fielder is the name we're hearing the most. Georgia OF Jeff Francouer is getting mentioned. California HS INF Sergio Santos got some play earlier, not as much now.

 Q:  clint from dallas, tx asks:
jim, the rangers have the 10th pick. if c.gruler and s.moore are gone and colorado decides to take a college pitcher, j.guthrie, what players does texas like and who do you think they will take? there seems to be a drop at that point. would texas automatically take the next best college pitcher, j.francis, since grady fuson likes college pitchers or is there a high school player whos better that you would recommend? thank you.

Jim: I don't see Texas taking a bat, though there have been a couple of wild rumors about Texas-San Antonio 3B Mark Schramek. Stanford RHP Jeremy Guthrie is the logical choice, and I can't see him going to Colorado. I think he'll be there. If he's not, Jeff Francis or Luke Hagerty or Joe Blanton would be the next-best college pitcher. I'd still bet on a college pitcher there.

 Q:  Dan from Atlanta asks:
Do you foresee any University of Tennessee seniors fitting into this years draft or any draft elgible So. or Jr's, such as Jordan Czarniecki cf, Walter Sevilla ss, Ben Riley lhp, or Jeffery Terrill lhp? Thanks

Jim: I don't think the Volunteers are going to be a major factor in the 2002 draft. It's not like last year, when Chris Burke went No. 10 and Wyatt Allen was a sandwich pick.

 Q:  alan from bethesda asks:
Is Hermida the closest this draft has to a Hank Blalock? How would you rank him against Scott Moore?

Jim: Yes, probably. Hermida may be the best bat in the draft. Scott Moore is right there with him, and he's a 3B while Hermida is a corner OF. Both should go in the top eight picks.

 Q:  Scott Kimmel from Staunton, VA asks:
Which teams are highest on Clemson's Khalil Greene and Jeff Baker? Are they locks at First Round picks?

Jim: We're hearing from several sources that the Padres may take Greene 13th. The A's really coveted him and probably would have taken him with one of their four first-rounders. Jeff Baker is dropping fast and I'm not sure where he'll wind up, but I don't think it will be in the first round.

 Q:  Ben Delbanco from Cambridge, MA asks:
Hey there Jim, What can you tell us about Nic Touchstone? Are the Yankees going to sign him before the draft? And any ideas on what they're looking at with their first pick? Are there any 1st round talents they might get for signability reasons?

Jim: Touchstone is a raw 6-foot-5 lefthander who touched 95 mph this spring. The closed period has ended, and while we're still trying to verify everything I'm pretty sure that he did not sign. There will be several projected high picks who will drop, so perhaps the Yankees will go after one. We've projected slugging Stanford OF Jason Cooper as their top pick (second round).

 Q:  Greg from Seattle asks:
Do the Angels have a realistic shot at landing Jeremy Hermida or Scott Moore. If they aren't available, who else might they be targeting. Thanks for your insight!

Jim: I think they'll both be gone. Candidates include Hamels, Greinke, Gruler and Florida HS 3B Matt Whitney.

 Q:  Ryan from Lakeland, FL asks:
How would you compare Span and Francoeur? Who do you think will go first?

Jim: They're both athletic outfielders with great speed. Some teams like Span more, but I think more prefer Francouer and he'll probably go first, in the 22-25 range.

 Q:  JT Stud from Dayton, OH asks:
Charlie Morton seems to be a sleeper for this year's draft. What round does he project to be drafted? To which Major League pitcher does he most compare?

Jim: I could see him as a possible second-rounder. He's a very projectable righthander whom scouts can see throwing 94-95 mph some day. If he reaches his ceiling, he could be another Kevin Brown.

 Q:  Steve Thieme from Decatur, IN asks:
With the Reds picking 3rd overall and possibly taking Scott Kazmir, do you think he is as good as advertised, is he as good as Roy Oswalt or Billy Wagner or better?

Jim: I know he's only 6 feet tall, but what's not to like about a lefty with two plus-plus pitches (fastball, slider) and two more potential plus pitches (curveball, changeup). He throws strikes and his delivery is fine. I'm not going to say he's better right now than Oswalt or Wagner, because you're talking about two very good big leaguers versus a high schooler, but Kazmir has everything to be a star.

 Q:  Ryan from Lakeland, FL asks:
What MLB player (past or present) would you compare Drew Meyer to? Do you think he can play SS at the MLB level?

Jim: Sorry, got a phone call there . . . I think he'll get the chance to play SS and wouldn't bet against him. He has more of a shot to stick there than Russ Adams or Khalil Greene. Offensively, Meyer could put up Edgar Renteria-type numbers, but he also never has hit well with wood, which bothers several teams.

 Q:  Ray from Las Vegas, Nev. asks:
What do you think the L.A. Dodgers will emphasize in the early picks of the draft? The last couple of years have been focused around young athleticism and pitching, so maybe a big bat this year? Who might be available for the Dodgers' first couple selections?

Jim: I think they want a bat (Missouri HS 1B-OF John Mayberry possibly) at No. 19 and a pitcher at No. 31. Not as sure who the pitcher might be.

 Q:  James Digby from Atlanta asks:
With the current log jam of players in the shrinking Braves minor league system , can they afford to keep stacking the organization with high school pitchers? Which way do you see the draft going for the Bravos ?

Jim: I could see them taking some more Georgia products, possibly OF Jeff Francouer in the first round and RHP Micah Owings in the sandwich area.

 Q:  Tim from Washington, DC asks:
Jim, I know they don't have a first-round pick, but who are the Red Sox high on in this year's draft? Do you see them looking for positional prospects or will they take the proverbial "best available" player? Thanks.

Jim: Word is the Red Sox will spend more on the draft under their new regime, and will take the top talent available, perhaps a projected first-rounder who fell because of signability.

 Q:  John from Statesboro, GA asks:
I have a question about a couple of Southern Conference players. Jared Burton and Brett Lewis seemed to be the two best that I saw this year. Where do they stand in the draft.

Jim: RHP Jared Burton really came on at Western Carolina and could go in the third to fifth round. Georgia Southern RHP Brett Lewis is more of a senior sign, probably in the eighth to 15th round.

 Q:  jch from adrian mi asks:
is there any other position player the tigers may take besides moore and fielder. and do you think eric munson will reach his potenial as a no.3 overall pick

Jim: I think they've backed off Fielder. I think Scott Moore and Jeremy Hermida would be their top choices, though both may be gone by No. 8. Munson has developed slower than expected, so I'd have to say it's likely he won't be everything the Tigers hoped he would be.

 Q:  Steve Mitchell from San Francisco, CA asks:
Do you expect the Giants to stick with their past practice of drafting college pitchers in the early rounds even though their farm system is very deep in pitching talent and thin with everyday position players? Any thoughts on who they may take with their first pick?

Jim: We've heard different things on the Giants. Could take a catcher (Houston's Chris Snyder), could take a college pitcher (Nevada's Darrell Rasner). Right now, my guess would be Nevada HS RHP Kevin Jepsen, who threw 98 mph earlier this spring.

 Q:  UK from Chicago asks:
With Sergio Santos slip from most likely a mid 1st to a late supplemental pick this year, how much will this impact his choice between USC and the pros (assuming he's offered a contract fair to where he's sloted)?

Jim: It doesn't look like he'll go before the sandwich round, but I've heard that he'd sign for slot money if he's a decent pick.

 Q:  Scott from Toronto asks:
The Jays don't seem to think Jeff Francis is going to be around in the 14th spot and instead have said that they will likely go with a position player--probably from the college level. Any thoughts on who they are looking at?

Jim: I think Francis will be there, but we're starting to hear that the Jays may take North Carolina INF Russ Adams, which would break Oakland's heart.

 Q:  chris robinson from bastrop, la asks:
I would like to know how much you know about the ss wade robinson, from la tech, and what round do you see him going in if any?

Jim: Scouts like his glove, don't know if he'll hit. He'll get drafted, but it might not be in the first 10 rounds.

 Q:  Dan Noffsinger from Harvard U asks:
Ben Crockett just missed out on your in depth scouting reports (#103), but he's got great mechanics and an outstanding personality, as well as a 92 mph fastball. With the college-senior and Harvard connection factors, do you see him slipping past the A's in the supplemental first?

Jim: No. I think the A's will make him a sandwich pick.

 Q:  John Henry from Pittsburgh, PA asks:
Since the Padres "saved" 1.2 million when Harrington turned them down, do they take a bigger risk in the first round than they otherwise might have? Any chance they pick Russ Adams instead of a pitcher?

Jim: We keep hearing word they'll take Khalil Greene. Earlier, they were associated with Cole Hamels but that no longer appears to be the case.

 Q:  Dale from Booneville asks:
Hey Jim, I am an avid Reds fan, who do you think they will take? Any chance of them getting the next Barry Larkin, B.J. Upton?

Jim: Not much. I think the Rays will take him at No. 2, and the Reds seem to be deliberating between Kazmir and Gruler.

 Q:  Officer Barbrady from SouthPark, Col. asks:
If Drew Meyer is your best College athlete, fastest baserunner, strongest thrower, third-best defender, and #27 overall talent, why do you think he won't be picked in the first round?

Jim: Because he has hit so poorly with wood in two seasons in the Cape Cod League. He has been better this year with aluminum, but a number of clubs don't think he'll hit with wood.

 Q:  Richard from New Jersey asks:
I've heard about 3 different players projected to the Orioles at number 4. If Upton or Hermida are there do you think they'll go that way?

Jim: I think they would take Upton over Hermida. Hermida appears to be their choice, with Joe Saunders possibly a factor.

 Q:  Beau Thompson from Annawan, Illinois asks:
Hey Jim! I was wondering how far Kiki Bengochea will fall in the draft, and if they are any teams that still have him on their boards?

Jim: Bengochea bounced back at the end of the year for Miami but probably won't go earlier than the third round after initially projecting as a mid-first-rounder.

 Q:  Dan from sacramento asks:
Where do you think Xaverian HS (Brooklyn) prospects Danny Christenson and Michael Hernandez will go? I've heard Christenson could go as high as the 3rd or 4th round.

Jim: That's possible on Christensen. Hernandez and Xaverian OF John DeFendis could go in the fifth to 10th.

 Q:  Jason from Chippewa Falls, WI asks:
Why would the brewers look at Greinke over Gruler or will Gruler be gone by #7?

Jim: They're pretty comparable. I've heard Greinke associated with the Brewers more than Gruler.

 Q:  Scott from Milwaukee asks:
Do you see Jake Blalock lasting until the second round or later or are some teams still thinking of overdrafting just because of his name?

Jim: We're hearing that the A's may pop him in the sandwich round.

 Q:  Geoff Young from San Diego asks:
When do you see U. San Diego southpaw Ricky Barrett going, and who might be interested in him? Thanks.

Jim: Barrett hasn't had a good year and probably won't go before the fourth round.

 Q:  Rick from Rochester, MI asks:
Who do you see today as the first four to six draft picks - a round about way of asking who the Orioles will draft at #4.

Jim: In order: 1. Pit: Bryan Bullington; 2. TB: B.J. Upton; 3. Cin: Scott Kazmir; 4. Bal: Jeremy Hermida; 5. Mon: Clint Everts; 6. KC: Adam Loewen

 Q:  UK from Chicago asks:
On projectionpotential alone, who would you submit to be the top 10 picks?

Jim: In rough order: B.J. Upton, Scott Kazmir, Adam Loewen, Jason Neighborgall, Bryan Bullington, Jeremy Hermida, Cole Hamels, Zach Greinke, Chris Gruler, Scott Moore. That's without knowing how healthy Bobby Brownlie is, so I didn't rank him.

 Q:  Joel Charny from Washington, DC asks:
Jim, the obvious question from a Pirate fan: Bullington or Upton? The Pittsburgh papers report that Upton was impressive in a workout at PNC on Tuesday. This, coupled with Bullington's less than impressive final outing, may be causing the Bucs to re-think. I hope so, because I want them to take Upton, who based on what I read is the top talent in the draft.

Jim: We're hearing that they've settled on Bullington. I agree, I'd probably take Upton or one of the HS LHP, Kazmir or Loewen. But word is Kevin McClatchy doesn't want to take a risk on a HS pick.

 Q:  Kari from Los Angeles, CA asks:
You listed where you think some of teh Cal State Northridge prospects would be drafted, but you left Shaun Larkin off the list. Where do you see him being selected?

Jim: Fifth to eighth. Hey, I just answer about the guys I'm asked about!

 Q:  Tom Bannon from Pendleton, IN asks:
Since baseball teams can't trade draft picks, do you think you get better intel from your sources than a draft expert in football or basketball, where all of the teams have reason to lie because of the possibility of teams trading up and taking the guy they want?

Jim: Interesting thought. It might be true, though I have no way of really knowing. I will say, the cooperation we get always amazes me. I think it's a tribute to what Allan Simpson has built.

 Q:  Jack Jemey from Tallahassee, Florida asks:
Matt Lynch of FSU is not on your list of lefty pitcher. Can you tell me where you think he will be drafted?

Jim: He's more of a finesse guy, could go between the sixth and 10th rounds.

 Q:  Scott Rolen from Philly asks:
Hey Jim! Who do u think that the Phillies will take this year? Do u think they will draft a third basemen (Whitney, Baker, Blalock)?

Jim: We keep hearing Matt Whitney. I'm not sure Jeff Baker will go in the first round, though he could go as high as ninth, and some teams don't see Jake Blalock as a 3B. Whitney is easily the best bet of those three.

 Q:  ShockerFan from Wichita, KS asks:
Hey guys. First of all, I love these chats. I am a BA guru, and I think you guys are awesome! Can you give all of us shocker fans a quick update on Justin Maureau, Adam Peterson, and John Tetuan. What round do you think they will likely go in? Thanks!

Jim: Maureau in the second or third, Peterson in the fourth to eighth, Tetuan in the fifth to 10th.

 Q:  Billy from Atlanta asks:
What georgia players will go in the first round?

Jim: Jeremy Hermida and Jeff Francoeur for sure. Outside chances for Micah Owings and C Brian McCann.

 Q:  Sean S. from Grand Rapids, MI asks:
Jim, With you projecting the Orioles to take a pitcher, where do you see Jeremy Hermida falling to? I'm hopeful to the Tigers, as they have a serious lack of outfielders who can hit in their farm system. Have the Tigers been on him at all?

Jim: I projected the Orioles to take Hermida, assuming Upton is gone. I don't think Hermida will get to Detroit, which would like the chance to pick him.

 Q:  David Lehman from Fairchild AFB, Washington asks:
Do you see the Rockies taking Scott Kazmir if he is available at #9? If he isn't available, who do you think the Rockies will pick out of Guthrie, Baker, and Brownlie? Thanks!

Jim: I'm sure they'd love to take Kazmir. I'm not so sure the Rockies will spend for a Scott Boras guy like those three. I think Joe Saunders or Jeff Francis may be their guy.

 Q:  Jason from Chippewa Falls, WI asks:
Where and when is Chris Gruler going to go?

Jim: As high as third to the Reds, though I think they'll take Kazmir. We've also heard him mentioned with the Brewers (No. 7), Tigers (No. 8), Marlins (No. 11) and Angels (No. 12).

 Q:  Beau Thompson from Annawan, Illinois asks:
Hey Jim! In your opinion what player may drop the most due to signability?

Jim: On signability, Jason Neighborgall. On a combination of a disappointing year and signability, Jeff Baker.

 Q:  David Winsor from Redondo Beach, CA asks:
Do you think that draft reform will eventually allow players to undergo physicals prior to the draft? Do you think we will ever see a baseball combine like the NFL has?

Jim: Players can undergo physicals before the draft. It's their option. And nothing ever could compel them to do so, even if baseball put in a rule. I don't think we'll see a combine unless the draft gets moved, because too many high school and college seasons are still going on.

 Q:  King Farouk from Cairo asks:
My Grand Vizier informs me that Khalil Greene seems like a repeat of the Padres' Kevin Nicholson mistake. Able to play middle infield in college, not a great bet to do it in the pros, and not enough bat to play anywhere else. Does my wise advisor speak the truth, or is he a lying dog?

Jim: Lying dog. No reason Greene couldn't fall back on second base if he can't handle shortstop.

 Q:  Matt from Topeka asks:
I have heard that Blair Johnson has had workouts for Anaheim and Atlanta this past week, Would they consider taking him with their number one pick, if not where will he go?

Jim: The team I've heard him with the most in the first round is the Twins.

 Q:  Jen from Phoenix, AZ asks:
Whom do you see the D'backs going after with their pick? Is their philosophy this year to take the best player available no matter what position he plays? Do you see them going after a shortstop or a pitcher perhaps? Is Neighborgall a risk they'd be willing to take?

Jim: I've heard mixed reports on whether or not they'd go after Neighborgall. If I'm projecting today, I might put him with the Cubs at No. 21. I could see Arizona taking a college pitcher along the lines of Kentucky's Joe Blanton, San Diego's Royce Ring or Nevada's Darrell Rasner.

 Q:  Mike Tolbert from Windermere, Fl asks:
Where do you see Dr. Phillips High SS Justin Tordi going next week? He struggled this year and I heard his stock has fell...what do you think?

Jim: He has struggled, so I think he'll go between the sixth and 10th rounds.

 Q:  Dan from Greenville asks:
You just said that the Padres may take Khalil Greene 13th. This is by far the highest I have heard of him going. Would they draft him there because his stock really has risen that much (to first half first round) because of his monster senior season and increased power, or are they just trying to save money?

Jim: That word has just come out in the last couple of days. I think they prefer college players and they would also save some money.

 Q:  P. Angelos from Oriole Park asks:
I am asking for your help. Whom should we (the orioles) select at #4? Hermedia? Thanks for your help. We might be looking for a GM!

Jim: If Bullington, Upton and Kazmir are gone, I would take Loewen. But Hermida is still a fine pick.

 Q:  Josh from Carrollton, GA asks:
Where do you see OF Robbie Sovie going? Do you think Atlanta will consider taking him with one of their first 4 picks? Thanks...

Jim: He's one of the fastest players in the draft. I don't know if the Braves would take him that high, but they do love homestate players.

 Q:  Rick from Rochester, MI asks:
Thanks for the earlier answer. If the Pirates don't chose Bullington or Upton, who do you think would grab Bullington?

Jim: The Devil Rays could take Bullington and I haven't heard other teams associated with him. But the assumption now is that the Pirates will take him, so other teams aren't discussing him because they don't think they'll get a shot at him.

 Q:  Feech LaMana from Asbury Park, USA asks:
The mock draft last week had the twins going for best HS athlete available. Has that changed in your eyes? Just basing this on your answer to the first question of the day.

Jim: Picking 20th, the Twins kind of have to see what will be there. I think the best available player likely will be a HS pitcher. But Denard Span could be a guy for them, too, as we projected.

 Q:  Jason from Delaware asks:
The Orioles are in dire need of a high ceiling position prospect, and i think think they will take care of that with Upton or Hermida at #4. With that said, what are the chances of Neighborgall, McCormick, or Reyes falling to them in the beggining of round 2? If none are there, what direction do you think they will go?

Jim: I think Mark McCormick could be there in round two, moreso than the other guys you mentioned. At that point, most teams are just going to take the best available player.

 Q:  Jeff from Miami, FL asks:
Okay, two questions. First, who would you say are the safest picks in the draft, meaning those closest to guaranteed to become an every day major leaguer. Second, who are the hitters that are the closest to major-league caliber now (th emost polished)?

Jim: The two safest picks are probably Russ Adams and Khalil Greene, among position players. I don't know if there's an ultra-polished college hitter. The best, according to a couple of teams, is Texas-San Antonio 3B Mark Schramek. The most polished HS hitters are Jeremy Hermida and Scott Moore.

 Q:  Jason from Delaware asks:
What type of power numbers would you expect from Hermida in the bigs, 20-30, 30-40, higher, lower?

Jim: 25-35.

Moderator: That's it for today, as Jim has to go finish today's Ask BA and continue working the phones. Thanks for all of the great questions.

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