Jim Callis Chat: Sept. 8

Moderator: Jim Callis will answer your baseball questions beginning at 12 p.m. ET today.

    Andy (Syracuse): Do you see Shelby Miller becoming a top 20 prospect next year? How good can he really be? Thanks man!

Jim Callis: I'm going to block my fourth (and most important) fantasy football draft out of my mind for the next hour and think only baseball. Here we go . . . Do you mean being a Top 20 prospect entering 2011 (which is a little rich) or after the 2011 season (which I could definitely see). Miller had the most impressive 2010 pro season of any of the elite high school pitchers in the 2009 draft: Matzek, Turner, Wheeler. Miller has definite frontline starter potential, maybe even as a No. 1, once he develops reliable command.

    Steve (Fort Montgomery, NY): How far out of the top 30 was Clint Moore? He had a nice summer and looks like he could be a utility guy as a pro.

Jim Callis: Steve is talking about the Cape Cod League Top 30 Prospects list I wrote, which is available to subscribers here: http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/college/summer-scene/summer-league-top-prospects/2010/2610629.html. Moore performed as well as any third baseman on the Cape, but he wasn't one of the guys who just missed the list. He can hit and has some arm strength, but his power and athleticism makes him profile more as a good utility guy than as a big league regular.

    JAYPERS (IL): Where will Ranaudo be starting off his pro career at next year?

Jim Callis: I don't think the Red Sox have determined this, but the best guess is high Class A.

    Jack (Queens): Hey, thanks for the chat. How high do you think St. Johns shortstop Joe Panik can go in the draft next June? Is he one of the top 5 shortstops in college baseball? Thanks!

Jim Callis: He was one of the top two shortstops on the Cape this summer, and the best one (Deven Marrero) won't be eligible for the draft until 2011. I could see Panik going in the third round if he has a good spring, maybe even the second. Not sure I'd call him a top-five shortstop, but I'd put him in the top 10.

    Ian (Pittsburgh): What are scouts saying about the Altoona rotation? Will the Pirates be able to get a quality starter or two from that group (Bryan Morris, Jeff Locke, Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson)? Who has the most upside?

Jim Callis: Morris has the most upside, if he can stay healthy. I like all of those guys to varying degrees, and Wilson's stuff kicked up a notch, but they're more likely No. 3 or 4 starters than frontline guys.

    Brett (Atlanta): Do you think Springer can challenge Rendon for the top collegiate hitter tag in next year's draft?

Jim Callis: No. Maybe challenge Rendon as the top college position player, but Rendon is a much more polished hitter.

    Ryan (KC): Mike Moustakas has shown he has prodigious power. And for a franchise with a single season record of a paltry 36 that is hugely exciting. But there are very real questions about his plate discipline. Will it limit him to be being a one dimensional slugger in the big leagues, or are the concerns overblown?

Jim Callis: I wouldn't worry too much. He didn't walk a lot this year, but he also didn't strike out much either (34-67 K-BB in 534 AB). I see him as a guy who hits .275 with big-time power in the major leagues. Steve Balboni's franchise record for homers is definitely in jeopardy.

    ScottAZ (Phx, Az): With Torres graduated leaving 3b for the Devils, does Wilson get first crack at the job despite his defensive shortcomings, or is he strictly DH for us?

Jim Callis: If Brett Wallace could play third base for the Sun Devils, Zach Wilson could probably play there too. But he'll be a LF/1B/DH in pro ball.

    Shawn (Bellingham WA): If Anthony Ranaudo pitched as well in the spring as he did on the Cape where would he have been drafted? Top 10? Top 5? Thanks!

Jim Callis: In the top five picks, assuming teams weren't put off by his signability.

    Scared White Sox Fan (Chicago): Will Brent Morel ever develop enough power to be a starting 3B?

Jim Callis: Sure. I think he'll have average power to go with a plus bat and solid to plus defensive skills.

    Jerry (Montana): What have you heard about Diamondbacks sleeper Adam Eaton ? How can that guy have been drafted in the 19th round?

Jim Callis: I like Eaton—he was part of my draft coverage area in Ohio. He's a good college player who really knows how to play the game and has some all-around tools, too. He's only 5-foot-9, though, and he's kind of a tweener in the outfield. At worst a good org player, at best probably a big league fourth outfielder.

    Robert (Colorado): I'm going to see some Arizona Fall League games next month. Which players should I make time to watch?

Jim Callis: Check out the latest Ask BA: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2010/2610617.html. I pick an AFL preseason all-prospect team.

    Ryan (Milwaukee`): Been trying to get this one answered forever Jim: Is Scooter Gennett a legit top 100 guy after his breakout 2010?

Jim Callis: Not a Top 100 guy but he's a legit prospect as an offensive second baseman.

    Jay (Madison): Should Brewer fans be concerned about Lawrie's low HR total, or is his overall power still good enough to project big HR numbers down the line?

Jim Callis: He had 60 extra-base hits as a 20-year-old in Double-A. He's going to have average to plus power.

    John M (Ottawa, Canada): Do you think that the Jays minor league system could rank in the top 15 after this season?

Jim Callis: Yes. I haven't sifted through all the organizations to stack them up, and that takes a while to do, but I'm comfortable saying they'll easily rank in the top half of farm systems after the Halladay trade, their 2010 draft and their aggressive work on the international market.

    Steve (Massachusetts): Jim, Why aren't Drew Martinez and Matt Skole on your list? Martinez hit 359?

Jim Callis: The primary reason for guys not making the Cape Top 30 is the league is loaded. Everyone who made the list projects to go in the top two or three rounds of the draft. As for those guys specifically . . . Martinez had a good year, but he's a slap hitter with good not great speed who may fit better in left field than center. Skole was the sixth-best first-base prospect in the league, and his stock would be enhanced if he could handle third base on a regular basis. Both those guys are prospects, just not Cape Top 30 guys.

    Matt (KC): It seems like before the minor league season scouts favored Max Stassi over Wil Myers because of Stassi's defense. It now seems like a safe bet that Myers has passed Stassi. Can you talk about the progression of both players and if there is still a debate over who is the better player?

Jim Callis: No debate right now—it's clearly Myers. His bat is well ahead of Stassi's, and I'd take Myers over Stassi even if he winds up in right field, as expected. Stassi's .229/.310/.380 line isn't bad for a 19-year-old in the Midwest League, and he's still a quality prospect.

    Peter (Kingston, ON): How good is Chris Nelson's bat? Top 10 major league 2B potential?

Jim Callis: Despite his scintillating .571 big league average, I see him as more of an offensive utilityman.

    Peter (Kingston, ON): Yonder Alonso is somehow 13/16 in SB. Is he a legitimate major league 10-15 SB threat?

Jim Callis: He has more savvy than speed, but if he picked his spots carefully, he might be able to swipe 10 in the big leagues. At least until teams started paying attention to him on the bases.

    Ted (Cape Cod): Jim, I was really impressed with Harwich's Ronnie Richardson's (Central Florida) speed and suprising power-where do you see him going?

Jim Callis: He had a nice summer and had some of the best bat speed on the Cape. He's only 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds, though, so that may put him in rounds 6-10. He'll be a draft-eligible sophomore next year, and those guys can plummet if teams are leery of their signability.

    Julio (Whittier, CA): Is Zach Lee the Dodgers' top prospect?

Jim Callis: I might be tempted to go with Dee Gordon.

    Mark (Reseda, Ca.): Where do you put Skaggs on your list. After his trade he had a 1.69 era , a 5-1 k/BB , his fastball sat at 93-95 and his change was killer. If you take the 2009 class of high school pitchers he is in the top 5 in every stat.

Jim Callis: Skaggs wasn't in the same class as those 2009 elite high school pitchers I mentioned, but he performed as well as any of them this year. He belongs in that discussion now.

    Victor (San Diego): Jarrod Parker's consistently throwing 93 and touching 97, also adding a 2-seamer to his arsenal. Is he still a top 50 prospect for you?

Jim Callis: Yes. He had fabulous stuff before he got hurt, so I wasn't too worried about the Tommy John surgery.

    KyleC (San Antonio, TX): Ross seaton has struggled since he started his second year in the astros system. What does he need to do to catch up with his former team mate Jordan Lyles.

Jim Callis: I wouldn't read too much into Seaton getting bombed at Lancaster this year, because almost everyone gets bombed there. He'll show flashes of a plus fastball and solid secondary pitches, but he lacks consistency and command, which are Lyles' strong suits.

    Johnny (NYC): What do you think of Bill Bavasi's comments that if Yorman Rodriguez was in high school, people wouldn't be salivating so much over Bryce Harper? It was obvious embellishment, but is there that much potential for Yorman down the line?

Jim Callis: Rodriguez had a nice year for a 17-year-old in the Pioneer League, and it's easy to dream on his bat speed, foot speed and arm strength. That said, Bavasi's comments were more hyperbole and truth.

    patrick brady (Okla. City, Ok.): Thanks for your time, Will Sonny Gray be a top five pick next year???

Jim Callis: He has a good chance, but the top of the draft is deep next year with Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, Matt Purke, Taylor Jungmann and Matt Barnes, too, among others.

    Kevin (Akron, OH): Lonnie Chisenhall's had a pretty strong second half. Does he get a sniff next September, and what kind of peak power/avg. do you see in his career. Thanks Jim, love these chats.

Jim Callis: He may take Cleveland's third-base job at the all-star break next year. I like Chisenhall a lot, project him as a .290-.300 hitter with 20-25 homers.

    Alex (New York): Have 2 questions about Harwich Mariners. How close was Braden Kapteyn to being in the top 30? For a two-way player, who focused almost 100% on pitching, he seemed to dominate this summer as a late-inning reliever with a 92-94 fb. #2 What are the thoughts about Austin Nola, he's about as smooth as they come on the field and started off hot before leaving for USA trials, but his hits seemingly couldn't miss gloves down the stretch. Thanks!

Jim Callis: Kapteyn was one of the better relievers in the league and should get better once he becomes a full-time pitcher in pro ball. His slider has its moments too, though his command needs to improve. Nola is a slick fielder but the question is how much he'll hit.

    Peter (St.Louis): KC farm system is NO.1 ? no dout it? I think Braves's pitching prospects are way better than KC. and Freeman is also kind of Myers or Hosmer type ceiling? what's your opinion? thanks for chat.

Jim Callis: I would take the Royals. Better balance, more upper-level prospects, better depth.

    Scott (Houston, TX): Will Texas A&M's John Stilson be the closest college pitcher to the Majors this year. An upper 90's closer with a three pitch mix certainly fits the profile for a fast track that college relievers have had to the show. How high will he go in next year's draft?

Jim Callis: I think he'll go in the top 20 picks, maybe even the top 10. If he's drafted and developed as a reliever, he very well could be the first 2011 draftee to reach the majors.

    Bill (Massachusetts): Jim, I noticed Alex Dickerson didn't make your Cape Cod top ? Your thoughts?

Jim Callis: He just didn't have enough plate appearances to qualify. He was the best hitter on the Cape during the short time he was there, and I would have ranked him No. 4 or 5 on the Top 30 had he qualified.

    Derrick (KC): Danny Duffy. He had two consecutive good season(2008-2009) but he couldn't crack in top 100. I think MWL and CAR are pitcher friendly league and some scouts worried about his stuff. this year he miss almost two months but got some speed and even in TEX he did well. Hey Jim he has a chance in top 100 this year? i mean 2011. thanks for chat.

Jim Callis: He does have a shot at the Top 100. His stuff was better than ever after he returned from his sabbatical.

    Michael (MA): Which Wareham pitcher improved their stock the most this summer — Barnes, Bradley, or Armstrong? Is there potential for all three to go in the first round next spring?

Jim Callis: I'll say Bradley, because I think Barnes' was pretty high to begin with. Armstrong went backwards, throwing with more effort and less velocity, which isn't a good combination. If he turns it around, all three guys could go in the first round in 2011. Right now, Barnes and Bradley look like locks.

    Phil (Cape Cod): Jim, I agree with almost all your top 30 Cape Cod prospects as i have seen them all myself! However, I think CJ Cron and Matt Jenson should be on the list?

Jim Callis: Thanks, Phil. Again, there's just not room for everyone. Cron had one of the more intriguing bats, and if scouts were sold he could catch (they're skeptical), he would have made the list. Jensen is OK, but he didn't have a great summer and he's a second baseman to begin with.

Jim Callis: My hour is up, and I stayed true to my word and didn't think of fantasy football once during our 60 minutes together. Remember, you can always ask me questions via Ask BA (via askba@baseballamerica.com) or Twitter (via @jimcallisBA). See you next Wednesday.