Jim Callis Chat: July 14

Jim Callis: Hi, everyone. Just to clear up some confusion, but these Wednesday 2 p.m. ET chats should be a regular event. Some weeks there will be a pinch-hitter, but most weeks it will be me. You can also ask me long questions at askba@baseballamerica.com (please include your name and hometown, and remember I answer three questions a week in our Ask BA column), or shorter ones via Twitter @jimcallisBA. Fire away!

    JAYPERS (IL): With Mike Moustakas being promoted to AAA Omaha, do you see a possible September callup if he continues on his current pace?

Jim Callis: I don't know if you'll see a September callup because he doesn't have to be placed on the 40-man this offseason. I think you'll have to wait until mid-2011 to see him in the majors.

    Ben (Leland Grove): Word is there have been no talks whatsoever between Bryce Harper/Boras Corp and the Nats to this point. Thoughts?

Jim Callis: That's business as usual. Harper will sign, probably a couple of minutes before midnight on Aug. 16 and I'll guess for somewhere between $10 million and $12 million. Even if both sides worked out a deal today, MLB wouldn't want them to announce it until the last minute. And Boras Corp. will take the Nationals to the deadline just like they did last year. So no point starting any negotiations at this point.

    Opie (STL): At present, which 1st rounders do you see NOT signing before the deadline?

Jim Callis: Zach Lee is the only one I think might not sign, and I could also see him signing a deal that gives the Dodgers his baseball rights (at less than what a normal first-rounder might cost) and allows him to play football. Kaleb Cowart is the next-toughest sign, but I bet the Angels get that deal done in the end.

    Clint (Omaha, NE): Mike Moustakas was promoted to Omaha today. If he would continue his hot hitting in AAA could he crack your Top 10 or perhaps even win Minor League Player of the Year?

Jim Callis: He could, but I think Domonic Brown and Mike Trout are the frontrunners for MLPOY right now.

    Chris G (Germantown, MD): In Ask BA, there were 3 guys from the draft (Harper, Taillon, Machado) who would make it into the top 25? No love for Colon from KC?

Jim Callis: I like Colon a lot and I don't think he was a reach as the No. 4 pick. But he's not a Top 25 overall prospect.

    Tim Alderson (Brandenton): Were the Pirates right, do I have to completely overhaul my mechanics to be relevent again? How am I throwing 83-86MPH as a 6'7 guy. Please tell me there is hope.

Jim Callis: I'm not especially optimistic about Alderson's chances to become a solid big leaguer. He's going to have to make some changes.

    Dave from Florida (Delray Beach,FL): Jim, I have noticed that Casey Kelly has struggled some this year. Do you still regard him as a top prospect. Also do the Sox have any chance to sign either Ranaudo or Workman?

Jim Callis: I do. He's still young and the Red Sox aggressively challenged him by jumping him to Double-A. I think Boston has a good chance to sign both Ranaudo and Workman—the Red Sox haven't been afraid to invest in the draft.

    Ryan (Vancouver BC): Rate the 4 Pirate starters at AA Altoona who are all having solid seasons. With Morris, Locke, J.Wilson and Owens, are we looking at the Pirates potential 2-5 starters in 2012?

Jim Callis: I would be surprised if all four of them made it as starters in Pittsburgh. I rate them in this order: Morris, Owens or Locke, Wilson. I don't believe Locke has pitched for Altoona yet.

    Tim (Austin, TX): How concerned should I be about Mike Kvasnicka's slow start in the NYP? He's shown patience at the plate but that's about the only positive so far.

Jim Callis: Not very concerned. Debut stats don't mean a whole lot, plus he has been trying to learn to play third base and catcher.

    Mike (Boston): Ryan Kalish is he making the case for red sox number 1 prospect? What do you project from him in the majors I could see him being a 20 homer guy with 30 or more steals in a season and a high average

Jim Callis: I'd still take Kelly and Iglesias over him. I like Kalish, but I think your projection is at least a little optimistic.

    Craig (Lake View Terrace, CA): After Zach Britton's outstanding first half of the season and impressive turn in the Futures Game a few days ago, what is his short-term value to the 2010 Orioles and where does he rank long-term in Baltimore's deep corps of pitching prospects? What (if any) holes does he have in his repetoire, and what's the outlook for him to sustain his incredible groundball/flyball ratio in the Major Leagues?

Jim Callis: Not sure what you mean by short-term value . . . they could call him up, but what would be the point. He has the best sinkers in the minors, and he's a lefty who touches 96 mph with his four-seamer, and his slider is improved. I've underrated him in the past but won't any longer. He, Matusz and Tillman will form the heart of future Orioles rotations.

    Ken Rule (Lakewood CA): Love your chats Jim. Wondering what your thoughts and projections are for LF Carlos Peguero (SEA)? He was good in the Futures game, but his AA stats have him strking out 1 out of every 3 AB. That doesn't figure to improve when he gets to AAA and the Big Leagues. How do you see him? He's a big kid and has power, but that is a lot of striking out/no contact. Thanks.

Jim Callis: He's not the one-trick pony I once thought he was, but there's still a lot of swing and miss there. I'm not the most bullish on his chances. I'd try to trade him while his value is highest.

    JAYPERS (IL): Your thoughts on the Braves-Blue Jays trade? (Yunel Escobar & Jo Jo Reyes for Alex Gonzalez, Tim Collins and Tyler Patornicky)

Jim Callis: It's interesting, to say the least. The Braves obviously soured on Escobar. Gonzalez is playing over his head with a .497 SLG but Collins and Pastornicky are intriguing prospects. It's a deal that could help both clubs if Escobar gets his act together.

    Mike (Minnesota): Joe Benson: top-100 prospect for next season? Where has all this extra BH pop come from? Does he have the ceiling as being an MLB-starter in the OF one day?

Jim Callis: Wouldn't call him a Top 100 guy, but he's a legit prospect with athleticism and strength, and he has taken a big step forward this season. Absolutely has starter ceiling.

    Roger (Cullman, AL): Let's say everyone in professional baseball is speeding through the mountains of France on a bicycle. Who wins the yellow jersey?

Jim Callis: First name that jumped to mind was Ichiro.

    Frankie (Salem, MA): Lars Anderson is still struggling this year now at AAA—showing little power and can't hit a lefty! While Anthony Rizzo is holding his own as a 20-y.o. in AA...the debate continues; who is the Red Sox's future 1B'man? (or is it none of the above???)

Jim Callis: It's not like Rizzo is tearing it up either. You guys know I love Lars, but it's fair to say that the jury is out on both guys. Neither is close to being ready to push Youkilis off first base at this point.

    Chuck (Annapolis): Will Bill(y) Rowell ever make it out of Frederick?!? Is he perhaps...maybe...just a little bit...turning the proverbial corner this season?

Jim Callis: I've lost faith in Rowell. He's in high Class A for the third straight year and striking out more than ever.

    Jamie (Hampton): How surprised are you guys at BA about the success thus far of Jaime Garcia? And do you see him maintaining these kind of numbers for the rest of the season and beyond?

Jim Callis: Not really. He's always been a favorite of mine. I mean, the 2.17 ERA is a shock, but there's not reason he can't be a solid starter for a long time.

    Mac (Ft. Lauderdale): With Tyler Matzek putting up strikingly similar numbers to what Martin Perez did last year in A-ball, why is Perez so much more highly touted and talked about? I know Perez is only 19 and in AA right now, but he's not posting the best numbers there. Has Matzek's stuff declined that much since last year or is Perez just clearly the better prospect at this time?

Jim Callis: Matzek isn't throwing in the mid-90s like he was last spring. I think the difference in the hype they received in low Class A is that Perez was coming off a sterling summer in the NWL where he earned Johan Santana comparisons, while the Rockies didn't let Matzek make his pro debut until May and he got forgotten about a little. Perez has better stuff and a deeper repertoire, so he's the better prospect, hype aside.

    Mac (Ft. Lauderdale): It seems like Shelby Miller has come on strong since sitting out some games earlier in the season. If he continues at this pace is there a chance Cardinals fans will see him on the mound any time next year? Does he have the ceiling as a number 1 or is he more of a 2-3 guy?

Jim Callis: He'll need more time than that. The Cardinals are just trying to keep his innings down, which is why he sat out earlier. He's a possible No. 1 down the road, but he's going to need another two years of development.

    Nick (Connecticut): With the Yankees wealth of catching prospects is it possible for Gary Sanchez to be the best of all of them. I know it is only the GCL but he is mashing the ball. Love the chats, Thanks.

Jim Callis: It is possible. I don't think Montero will wind up at catcher in the long run, and Sanchez has a higher ceiling (though also a lower floor) than Romine.

    Mac (Ft. Lauderdale): Jacob Turner or Tyler Matzek? Who is the better prospect and why?

Jim Callis: I'd take Matzek. Stuff was similar as amateurs, so give me the lefthander.

    richard (boston): I just read the article about the Redsox' inability to sign quality Latin prospects, and as far as I know they have not signed anyone during the new international signing window that just began on July 2nd. Am I correct, or have they signed some players and just not made an announcement?

Jim Callis: I believe either our Ben Badler or WEEI's Alex Speier (our correspondent) reported they have deals with at least two players so far. A lot of teams are 1) waiting for what they believe are exorbitant price tags to come down and/or 2) waiting for age/identity investigations to be complete before they announce deals.

    Navin (Pasadena, CA): What is Chris Archer's ceiling?

Jim Callis: Has the arm to be a No. 2 or 3 starter but I wonder if his inconsistent command will lead him to the bullpen.

    Rich (NJ): Domingo Santana did not fare well in the 1st half of Low A Lakewood and is now in short season. Has that tarnished his prospect status at all and is his future still bright.

Jim Callis: Santana is 17 years old and is playing well in the NYP. He still has a very bright future.

    Mack (IL): Can you think of the last teenage shortstop in the MWL who has approached a year like Nick Franklin is having? Was it ARod?

Jim Callis: It might be A-Rod. I can't remember a more recent MWL SS with an OPS in the .860 range. Tremendous year for Franklin.

    Brett (Overland Park, Kansas): Chris Dwyer is having a pretty good year and was recently promoted to Northwest Arkansas. What kind of ceiling do you think he has?

Jim Callis: He's a lefthander with a plus fastball and curveball—sounds like a frontline starter to me.

    Steve (Illinois): Who is your AL central winner?

Jim Callis: I still think the Twins, despite their slip into third place.

    Troy (Seattle): We know who Justin Smoak is, but what do you think of the other pieces to the Cliff Lee trade. Was the Yankees offer better in your eyes?

Jim Callis: The Yankees offer was comparable, but the Mariners clearly preferred Smoak to Montero. As for the other pieces, Beavan could be a No. 4 starter, Luecke could be a useful piece and Lawson is a potential offensive-minded utility guy.

    Bob (Winthrop Ma): Hello Jim. Thanks for doing the chat. How would you rank these 3 prep shortstops? I am doing it alphabetically. 1.Cecchini 2. Coyle 3. Culver

Jim Callis: That would be my order, though Cecchini will move to third base in pro ball.

    Jon (Jacksonville): Jim, been trying to get this one answered for weeks. Could you please rank the following: Martin Perez, Tanner Scheppers, Simon Castro and Christian Friedrich. Thanks in advance.

Jim Callis: Perez, Scheppers, Castro, Friedrich.

    Brandon (OC, CA): If he were eligible now, where would Anthony Rendon fit in your Top-25 midseason prospects? I'm guessing he'd slot between Ackley and Perez... what do you think? Thanks.

Jim Callis: I'd take him over Ackley. Would be very tempted to put him at No. 4 behind Brown, Trout and Jennings.

    Steve (Philadelphia): Does Domonic Brown have anything left to prove in the minors? Contracts aside, shouldn't he supplant Raul Ibanez in the Phils OF now to kick start the offense?

Jim Callis: Nothing left to prove and he would help the Phillies more than Ibanez is.

    Mitchell S. (Pittsburgh): What do you think of Gorkys Hernandez and his potential? His stock over the past year has definitely dropped, but his impressive defensive abilities displayed at the future's game seems to indicate otherwise. Is he in the Pirate's future?

Jim Callis: I like his defense a lot more than his offense. I just don't think he's going to hit a lot. He could help a club with his glove but I see a bottom-of-the-order bat.

    Chris (Northern Virginia): Hello Jim, thanks for the chat. In 5 years, would you rank them: Price, Latos, Hanson, Buchholz, Hughes? Thanks, Jim.

Jim Callis: Price, Hanson, Buchholz, Hughes, Latos.

    Ted (San Diego, CA): After the Future's Game, it sounds like some folks are a little down on Simon Castro. Can we really use one outing as a measuring stick?

Jim Callis: No, we should not do that. That said, Castro was the most disappointing player I saw at the Futures Game.

    Tony (Cape Cod): How good of a draft prospect is Zach Cone, OF from Georgia?

Jim Callis: First-rounder next year. Might be the best athlete in the 2011 college crop.

    Shane (Miami): Aaron Hicks recently ranked in the mid-season top 10. His stats have improved slightly in his repeat of the MWL, so what are you guys hearing from scouts about his development/future to warrant the placement?

Jim Callis: He has some of the best tools in the minors. Personally, I would have hoped he'd be doing better in the MWL after playing there last year.

    Bardin (San Diego): Jaff Decker hasn't hit like he was expected to in the California League. In fact, he hasn't hit at all! Should Padres fans be worried about him?

Jim Callis: Yes, because he's 100 percent bat.

    Ryan Giggs (New York): Iglesias over Kalish????? why?

Jim Callis: The glove is that good.

    Raoul (Tucson, AZ): Jim, you didn't include Barret Loux in your list of first round picks that might not sign. Will the Diamondbacks walk away from the guy with a bum shoulder and take the 7th pick next year or will they sign him to a reduced price?

Jim Callis: I should have mentioned the possibility of Loux. Could go either way on that one. The Diamondbacks didn't want to go over slot, which is why they took Loux, so they may be more inclined to sign him at a discount than have to haggle with an unprotected pick next year.

    Josh Dean (Los Angeles): Given the recent conflicts between Boras and the Mets over O. Perez and Beltran's offseason procedure, do you see any chance the Mets actually hold off on signing their Boras picks in Harvey and Peavy, take the #7 pick in a more rich draft next year and zing Boras a bit in the offing?

Jim Callis: No. Zinging Boras wouldn't help the Mets and that pick would be unprotected next year (they'd get the No. 8 choice).

    Jason (Atlanta): Two questions here. 1.) What do you see as Trout's upside projection in the majors? Is hitting .300, 20 HR and 40 Steals too outrageous? and 2.) Is Renaudo a possible top 50 prospect if he signs with the Sox? Looks like he's out to prove his injury woes are behind him.

Jim Callis: 1) Not outrageous at all—Trout is a stud. 2) Too early to call Ranaudo a Top 50 prospect, even with his Cape performance.

    Matt (DC): Ackley was just promoted. What's his timetable? Has he shown any signs of what we thought he could be—high AVG, decent pop, good speed? Have you soured at all?

Jim Callis: I never soured on Ackley. Starting him in Double-A while he made the transition from first base to second was a tough task. Crown him!

    Todd (NY, NY): back to Zach Britton- If it was handbook time and you needed to order Matsuz, Tillman, Britton for the projected 2014 rotation would it be in that order? thx

Jim Callis: Yes, because the other guys have reached the majors. Gut feel says Britton should be No. 2 ahead of Tillman.

    Jason (New York): Hi Jim, hope yuo enjoyed the all star game. Lots of top 30 handbook alumni there. Quick question. It was reported last week that Eric Goeddel has officially signed to contract equal to that of a mid 2nd rounder to the Mets. Now were hear some rumors and rumblings that he actually did not sign. Have you heard anything?

Jim Callis: It's a done deal. Don't know the exact amount, but it's a little under $500,000. He has signed the deal and MLB has approved it, but MLB has asked the Mets to hold onto it. He'll start pitching by July 20.