Prospects Chat With Jim Callis

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    jim m (mariette, ga): What is the offensive upside for francisco lindor ? thanks !

Jim Callis: Hi, everyone. Glad to be here for the weekly Wednesday chat. Just to mix things up this week, let's see if I can hit one question for every organization . . . As for Lindor, I was very impressed with how well he controlled the strike zone as an 18-year-old in the Midwest League. I could see him his upside as a .300 hitter with 10-15 homers per year. He's a gifted defender who also will produce at the plate.

    Ben (Leland Grove): With the recent injury to Jason Hammel, could you see the O's giving Bundy a shot, if only in a bullpen capacity, or are they set at holding him off?

Jim Callis: I think they're set on holding him off, but who knows when they'll contend again? He's already on the 40-man roster, and I'd take whatever innings he can give.

    Mike (Tampa): Even though it doesn't count, I'm curious what you think about Guerrieri suddenly issuing walks in his past two playoff starts?

Jim Callis: Wouldn't read too much into two starts at the end of the season. I was quite impressed with how well he threw strikes during the regular season. No one questioned his top-shelf stuff, but there were scouts who wondered about his control/command when he was an amateur.

    Ben (Leland Grove): Between Mike Olt and Joey Gallo, who do you believe has more raw power?

Jim Callis: Gallo. Olt may have more usable power, though.

    John (Rockland, MA): With the St. Louis Cardinals having already designated their players for the Arizona Fall League and Oscar Taveras not being among them, is there any chance he's called up to the MLB after the Texas League Championship Series ends?

Jim Callis: Lots of callup questions today. Taveras doesn't have to be protected on the 40-man roster in the offseason, so I'm guessing he won't get the call. The Cardinals don't have an opening in their outfield right now, so no sense wasting a 40-man spot on a few PH at-bats.

    Matt (Charlottesville, VA): It seems like the Rays have graduated most of their best players to the majors. Do the Rays now have the worst farm system in the AL East? And how you rank them, I'd go: Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Rays. Thoughts?

Jim Callis: The Rays have graduated most of their best players to the majors, and they haven't drafted as well in recent years, so it will be interesting to see what they do as their major league core becomes more expensive. I agree with your order, though with the caveat that I put a heavy emphasis on stars and that's what leads me to put the Orioles (Bundy, Machado, Gausman, then a big dropoff) over the Rays (who have superior depth).

    Larry (Oakland, California): What does the future hold for Grant Green?

Jim Callis: Just realized I had already answered a Rays question, but I'll still try to go 30-for-30 . . . I think Green's best position would be third base. I'm surprised he hasn't shown more with the bat in pro ball, and he'll have to hit for more power to be a big league regular.

    Brant (Stratham, NH): Hultzen dominated AA but lost his control in AAA. Walker is young, posted some good peripheral numbers and did pretty well in AA. But we are talking about BA's #4 and #5 in the Mid-Season Top 50, but didn't make your Top 10 on Monday's Ask BA. Do you think they slightly overrated prospects or have they just slipped a little? Has Zunino surpassed them as the Mariner's top prospect?

Jim Callis: I'd rank them Walker, Hultzen, Zunino. I didn't realize I had left Walker off—I had him on the version I meant to publish, and I must have inadvertently deleted him. I'll fix that when the chat is over. I'm mystified by Hultzen's lack of control in Triple-A, and he also had a lot of walks while dominating in Double-A. This from a guy who was supposed to be extremely polished.

    Frank (Chicago): How would you rate Gioskar Amaya's tools on the 20-80 scale?

Jim Callis: Optimistically, you could project him as a 6 bat, 4 power, 55 run, 5 for glove & arm at 2B.

    John (Boston): Why'd Bogaerts not make your top 10?

Jim Callis: Because there were only 10 spots on my list of the best prospects not in the majors. He was in the 11-20 range. If I thought he'd be a long-term shortstop, he might have made it. While he's athletic enough to stay there for a while, he'll eventually move. Javier Baez fell into the same category.

    George (Chicago): What was your opinion of Lance McCullers before the draft and have you heard anything that would change it after his first taste of pro ball?

Jim Callis: I thought he had one of the best arms in the draft, and that hasn't changed. The question was whether he could be a big league starters, and there was more optimism as the spring went on, and that hasn't changed either. Great talent value for where the Astros got him.

    Zach (MN): We hear a lot about Miguel Sano's power, but Kennys Vargas flies pretty much under the radar. What kind of prospect is he? Also, what are your thoughts on Buxton? His numbers didn't jump off the page at you, but I'm encouraged that he doesn't look overwhelmed for his age, showed some pop and also some patience. ETA 4 years if everything falls right? Thanks for the chat!

Jim Callis: I'm working on the Midwest League Top 20, and while Vargas won't make it, I'll second those thoughts. He's an all-bat guy but a legitimate prospects. I also agree with you on Buxton. The numbers in his pro debut don't matter as much as the fact that he wasn't overwhelmed. I could see him in the big leagues at the end of 2015/early 2016 if all goes well.

    Stephen (Evansville, IN): Impact of Notre Dame's move to the ACC on the baseball program?

Jim Callis: The ACC is a lot deeper than the Big East, so that will make it even tougher on the Irish, who have struggled recently.

    Gerry (Philly): What kind of ceiling does Roman Quinn have? Is he a legit prospect with All Star/game changer potential?

Jim Callis: Sure, that's his ultimate ceiling. More realistically, his future ceiling is as a solid regular. He's one of the quickest guys this side of Billy Hamilton, though Quinn will have to make more consistent contact as he moves up.

    Kyle (Chicago): David Dahl has had a great pro debut. How would you grade out his tools on the scouting scale?

Jim Callis: Future grades: 6 bat, 55 power, 6 run, 5 D in CF, 65 arm.

    Andy (Bloomington, IL): Does Sam Selman have top of the rotation upside?

Jim Callis: Sorry, had a phone call there . . . Despite his 91-95 mph fastball from the left side and strong pro debut, that's a stretch for me. The secondary stuff and the performance were always inconsistent at Vanderbilt. I think the Royals would be thrilled if he could be a good No. 3, and my gut says he winds up in the bullpen in the long run.

    Dees (Jersey): If Andrelton Simmons were still eligible, where would you rank him in your top 100?

Jim Callis: He still qualifies until he gets another 10 big league at-bats. I'd put him in the middle somewhere. Gifted defender who won't be a lightweight at the plate.

    Bret (Toronto): The Jays will try Anthony Gose in LF over the next few weeks to give him a trial for the role in 2013. Would Gose be able to hit enough to have any value as a left fielder at this stage in his career?

Jim Callis: I don't think so. He's still refining his considerable tools into skills, and putting him in LF would put a lot of pressure on the bat. He clearly profiles best in center.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): White Sox question, Jim. Is Andre Rienzo's future as a SP or RP, and has his stock improved of late in your eyes?

Jim Callis: Reliever for me, because of control and consistency issues. He throws hard, touching 94, but still lacks a quality second pitch. His stock is about the same for me. Nice year, but it also includes a drug suspension.

    Sammy (Cincy): Reds Q. Tony Cingrani vs. Robert Stephenson. Who projects higher, and who has the higher ceiling?

Jim Callis: Stephenson is the better prospect and the higher ceiling. You're talking about a high school first-rounder vs. a college senior third-rounder. That said, Cingrani has been spectacular as a pro and while he has boosted his stock, I think he's underrated. Stephenson has frontline starter potential. Cingrani could be a good No. 3.

    DAle (Atlanta): Are you an Austin Meadows fan and is he a lock to go #1?

Jim Callis: Let's head to the lightning round as I try to cover the 12 organizations I haven't taken a question for yet, diverging briefly here for the draft. As for Meadows, yes, I'm a fan and no, he's not a lock by any means to go No. 1. I could see college pitchers (Appel, Stanek, Manaea) going 1-2-3.

    Tarun Joseph (Plainfield, NJ): Who do you believe has the better offensive upside between Josh Bell (Pitt) and Gregory Polanco?

Jim Callis: I'll still say Bell, despite his injury-ruined year and Polanco's impressive breakout.

    Kyle (LA): Has Yasiel Puig impressed you enough to consider him as a top 5 prospect in LA's system?

Jim Callis: There's still a lot of mystery surrounding Puig, and I don't want to read too much into 92 pro PA, but yes, he's one of the Dodgers' best prospects. You could make a case that he's their very best.

    EricJ (SF): Why hasn't Howie Kendrick turned into the perennial batting title contender everyone projected?

Jim Callis: He never walked much in the minors, but he's swinging and missing a lot more now than he did as a prospect. That said, he does have a career .291 average in the majors.

    Terry (Concord, CA): Is Clayton Blackburn now the Giants' top pitching prospect? How high is his ceiling?

Jim Callis: I'd go with Kyle Crick No. 1, then Chris Stratton, then Blackburn.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): Harper has been raking of late. If he keeps it up throughout the remainder of the season, do you believe he could take the NL ROY away from Todd Frazier and Wade Miley, or is it too little, too late?

Jim Callis: It's definitely a three-man race. Too close to call, but the hype that surrounds all things Harper will help his cause. As will an obviously remarkable season for a 19-year-old.

    Rafa (Los Angeles): Yeison Asencio, do you see him getting protected in the 40-man roster this season and starting the year in San Antonio next year?

Jim Callis: Asencio was known as Yoel Alcantara and believed to be three years younger when we ranked him as the No. 1 prospect in the Arizona League last year. He'll turn 23 in November, so I do think the Padres will skip him a level to Double-A next year. He doesn't warrant 40-man protection at this point, though. Tools aren't as good as his numbers as a 22-year-old in low Class A.

    Jared (NYC): Yankees question: Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez, Manny Banuelos. Can you please rank them?

Jim Callis: Amazingly, this was my first Yankees question. And it's a tough one. You could argue those guys in just about any order. I'd so Sanchez, Williams, Austin, Banuelos.

    Sandy (Queens, NY): Any chance we will get to see Zack Wheeler this season at CitiField?

Jim Callis: Nope. The Mets have already shut him down. But you'll see him next season, probably in the Opening Day rotation . . . I still need questions for the Tigers, Marlins, Brewers and Diamondbacks, so help me out!

    Rafa (Los Angeles): Jim, Asencio does qualify for protection. He was 19 when he signed. Therefore, being this his 4th season in the organization he's Rule V eligible.

Jim Callis: I didn't mean he didn't qualify. I meant his value as a prospect doesn't warrant protecting him on the 40-man roster. He's not good enough . . . I'm going to have to wrap this up by only going 26-for-30 with answering a question for each organization. See you next Wednesday!