Hi, everyone. Still recovering from doing my taxes, my BA column and the cold weather here outside of Chicago, so warm my heart with some fine questions! And hopefully I can do the same with some fine answers.
Coming into the season i was intrigued by pairing Oliver or Minor at #10 with Strasburg, but have soured on that idea given how both are struggling. Do you think a guy like Luke Bailey, Shelby Miller or Jacob Turner are viable options at that spot? Thanks
I agree, Chris. I wouldn't take either lefty, Andy Oliver (Oklahoma State) or Mike Minor (Vandy), as high as No. 10 now. All three of those guys would be in the mix, and I like Miller the best of them. A guy to keep an eye on, maybe not quite at No. 10 is Lipscomb lefty Rex Brothers, who has a lot of helium right now.
Should I be worried about Gallardo's performance monday? Is he still an ace in the making?
Don't worry about one start. He's still very much an ace in the making.
Do you think the Dodgers system could take a big step forward this season? They seem to have a lot of high end pitching in the low minors with Martin, Withrow, Eovaldi, and Lindblom and Elbert potentially reaching L.A. later this year. Who do you like best of this group, and what have you heard about middle infield prospect Devaris Gordon?
The Dodgers system has taken a dip after promoting a lot of talent to the majors and not drafting all the way up to their recent lofty standards for a couple of years. I do like that high-end pitching, and I like Ethan Martin the most. He's flying under the radar a little because he tweaked a knee and couldn't make his pro debut last summer, but he was the best high school pitcher in last year's draft and is very, very good. Gordon, who's Tom Gordon's son, had a tremendous debut and is a quality athlete with a high ceiling. He flew under the draft radar last year because he was academically ineligible at a junior college.
Would the Reds be best served focusing on a pitcher at #8 in the upcoming June draft since they have taken a position player in the first round 4 straight years (Jay Bruce, NA, Devin Mesoraco, Yonder Alonso) and have a lack of a top flight pitching prospect in their system and have an abundance of good hitters (Alonso, Valaika, Soto, Francisco, etc...) or is it best to just think Best Player Available pretty much no matter what?
It's best to focus on BPA at the top of the draft, but you should get your wish b/c all of the BPAs at that point should be pitchers. The only hitters I'd feel good about in the top 10 picks would be Grant Green, Dustin Ackley and Donavan Tate, and none of them should make it to No. 8. Would be interesting if the Reds win up with Aaron Crow, whom they almost picked last year.
The Reds have recently made a lot of positional deciscions for some of their higher prospects declaring Todd Frazier a LF, Chris Valaika a 2B, Neftali Soto and Juan Francisco 3B, and confirming Alonso at 1B. To me it seems like a waste of athletic potential to put Frazier at LF instead of 3B, and Valaika's defense is good enough to handle SS for a few years and he is now blocked by Brandon Phillips. The Reds moves point towards them making some trades in the next 6-9 months, do their recent moves make sense or are they making some poor choices on who is playing where?
I wouldn't say "poor choices," but I think they moved some of these guys before they had to. I agree Frazier would fit nicely at 3B, but I guess they figured they had too many guys there. But now they have Frazier, Alonso and Votto for two spots (LF and 1B). I would have waited to move Valaika, too. Will be interesting to see how this all shakes out in the long run.
What did you think of Casey Kellys pitching debut?
Impressive (5-4-0-0-1-4). In a perfect world for the Red Sox, he would tear it up on the mound and decide he wants to be a full-time pitcher.
Hi Jim. What's the book on new Pirate Delwyn Young?
Good bat, defensively challenged. He came up as a second baseman but is an outfielder now and probably can't move back. Should be able to be a solid hitter if he's given the AB.
Derek Norris is off to a hot start again with the bat. What are the reviews of his defense? With a big year can he jump into the top 100?
Better thrower than receiver but should be able to stay behind the plate. If he builds on what he did last year, he could sneak onto next year's Top 100.
None of the potential 2nd best pitchers behind Strasburg have pitched overly well to this point. As of now who do you see being the second best pitcher available?
Kyle Gibson of Missouri has pitched well. To me, the No. 2 pitched debate is between Gibson, Alex White (North Carolina), Tyler Matzek (California HS kid) and Aaron Crow (Fort Worth Cats). That's tough . . . I might go Matzek. Ask me again in 15 minutes, and I might change my mind.
Mr. Callis, lots of buzz early on about Greg Infante... you got anything on him?
He's No. 30 on our White Sox list in the Prospect Handbook (buy yours today!). The quick report: 89-95 mph fastball, hard curveball, changeup in progress, clean delivery.
If you're the M's who do you take at 2? Would Miller or Matzek make more sense than Crow, White, or Gibson since high schoolers have more upside and the M's have three more picks in the top 50 with which to grab a low-risk player?
I'd take Southern Cal shortstop Grant Green or North Carolina first baseman/outfielder Dustin Ackley. High schoolers don't necessarily have more upside. More projection remaining, sure, but not necessarily more upside.
Pedro Alvarez in the Pirates organization: Better value/future at 1B or 3B?
Any player would have more value at third base than at first base. In the long run, I think he winds up at first base or maybe left field.
What do you make of FMart's strong start? Every hit he has had has been for extra bases and his K/BB rate has changed for the better too. Could this be year he puts it together as 20 year old in Triple A?
It could. He's been hard to properly evaluate because he's been pushed so quickly. Maybe he's finally catching his breath.
Which bat would you bank on the best to excelling in the majors, Michael Stanton or Jesus Montero? Again, I?m speaking strictly about the bat.
Strictly the bat: Montero. Total package: Stanton.
How serious is Buchholz's injury? Long term, would you rather have Buchholz or Porcello?
Sounds like a hamstring issue, nothing too serious, but Justin Masterson will be the guy taking over for Matsuzaka in Boston's rotation. Tough call, I'd say Porcello after Buchholz's struggles last year.
Jim, my son has his first ever t-ball practice tonight. He's really excited. Any advice for the young lad?
Just have fun.
Strasburg is pitching out here against my Lobos Friday, worth making the trip?
Hi Jim, Thanks for taking my question. Better San Diego prospect: Blanks or Kubacki?
Hey Jim, is Mat Gamel's defense really that bad? Do you see the Brew Crew calling him up this season to compete for AB's with Hall and Counsell? Or if he really can't play third, will he be trade bait for an AL team?
His defense really is that bad. If the Brewers decide they can't sign Fielder long term, maybe they trade Fielder for some quality pitching and put Gamel at first base.
Hey Jim, who would you say is a better prospect for this season: Jordan Zimmerman or Tommy Hanson?
Hanson. I'd stop messing around with Tom Glavine and put Hanson in the rotation if I were running the Braves.
Could I get your opinion of Zach Collier? He seems to have started off well enough, but how would you rate his tools on the 20-80 scale?
I like Zach Collier a lot and was surprised he slid to the sandwich round last year. He has a chance to have a plus bat and power, average arm, current plus runner who probably settles in as an average runner and defender once he fills out.
Jim, was that REALLY Elisha Cuthbert the other night? I mean...she....looked....TERRIBLE! Please tell me that it was a different actress, I'm devastated.
She was not impressive. And I won't spoil any details, but I don't think I've been as stunned at the end of a "24" episode as I was at the end of that one. Wow.
do you expect buster posey to be the starting catcher on opening day 2010 considering bengie molina is a free agent after this season?
Yes, I do.
Long-term power numbers: Carlos Santana or Buster Posey?
LIGHTNING ROUND: Dexter Fowler, Jordan Schafer, Cameron Maybin or Colby Rasmus? Why?
Let's go to an early lightning round. I seem to be lagging today . . . Rasmus because I think he'll hit the best of that bunch and stick in CF.
Do you project Ross Ohlendorf more towards a middle/late inning reliever or a 3rd/4th starter?
Smoak or Lars?
When will Ryan Perry assume closing duties for Detroit? This year? Next?
Emilio Bonafacio: playing over his head, or reaching his potential?
Over his head.
Austin Jackson or Brett Gardner in CF this year?
Give Jackson a couple of months in Triple-A, then give him the job.
Should the Padres take Tyler Matzek at #3 or deal with one of the underperforming college arms like White? What is Matzek's upside?
I'd take Green or Ackley, whichever one is remaining. I'd seriously consider Matzek after they go off the board. He's a potential frontline starter.
So the end of the 24 episode ... were you a good stunned or a bad stunned? I've really enjoyed the season, but I'm not sure I like the ending of the last episode unless there ends up being a pretty good explanation. It felt like season 1 where Kim was kidnapped for the 307th time. Enough!
Good stunned, if only because it sets up the rest of the season. I'm looking forward to that explanation . . . better be a good one.
Andrew Brackman or Rick Porcello?
What do you think the scouting report for Dustin Pedroia in the minors looked like??
From our 2007 Prospect Handbook, the abridge report: Continually draws David Eckstein comparisons but has more pop and less speed . . . has some of the best hand-eye coordination in baseball, allowing him to make consistent contact while swinging from his heels . . . instincts make him an effective defender and baserunner . . . his speed, range and arm are all below average but that hasn't stopped him yet. In short, we thought he'd be a solid regular but didn't envision what he became.
Worse fielder, Billy Butler, Pablo Sandoval, Mat Gamel?
Good one. I'll say Butler, because he's bad AND limited to first base.
Got to see Scherzer up close last night for the first time. Good stuff but seemed to have trouble with his command. Is this usually a problem for him or perhaps just a first start deal?
Very good stuff, but there's considerable effort in his delivery and pinpoint control never will be his forte.
Better long-term power numbers: Buster Posey or Alcides Escobar?
Kris Medlen's projection? Starter or bullpen?
Could start, but bet he winds up in Atlanta's bullpen (and soon) out of need.
Dexter Fowler - future All-Star or solid regular?
Is Matt Harvey's near 7.00 ERA and control problems going to hurt is stock for 2010? Or is he going to figure it out?
Scouts are shaking their heads right now, but it's how he performs in 2010 that will determine whether his stock falls.
Note to Steve (Brew City, WI), who has posted the same question about 100 times now: I've answered it in the past and you're now on my blacklist.
What has Pedrioa become? He's a .300+ hitter, and was very good last season. Still he's possibly the worst MVP in MLB history, and I'm not sure he's *that* much more than a solid regular from this point forward. Are you?
You won't consider him an all-star or at least a good regular? He's a pretty good all-around player, and he definitely has exceeded expectations.
The legend of Matt Wieters vs. Jack Bauer: WHO YA GOT?
It's obvious that Bauer could be a switch-hitting catcher with power if he wanted. But could Wieters really save the U.S. time and time again? No contest.
Will G. Beckham be called up and contribute in 2009?
Yes and yes.
Yikes.. who else is on the Jim Callis black list??
Pretty much just Steve.
Harden with 5 K thru 2 IP. Gallagher now in the bullpen, Murton gone and Eric Patterson MIA. How can I ever get over this as an A's fan?
Harden probably will get hurt again, and I think Gallagher can be a useful mid-rotation starter in the long run.
Do the Twins have anyone in their system who could soon be a MLB contributor at 3rd base?
How soon can we expect to see Strasburg in the Nats starting rotation???
Adam Jones or Colby Rasmus long-term?
The Yanks will call up ________ when Nady hits the DL?
One chatter says that Austin Jackson was pulled from his game today, so maybe it's him.
Speaking of Harden. If you take out his injury concerns, where does he rank in the MLB in terms of "stuff"? He seems to be more dominant than any starter I can think of, save possibly Johan.
He might have the best stuff in the game.
Tim Beckham's Power score: 50 or higher?
Future average power seems reasonable.
James McDonald(LAD) long term. Starter or Reliever?
Great writeup about McGeary and Norris on BA. What have you heard about Robbie Shields lately? Can he sneak into the late first round?
Haven't talked to anyone about Shields recently, but he's just having a so-so year at Florida Southern. Not a first-rounder at this point.
what's your opinion on keeping players in the minors to prevent super-2 status? price/wieters this year, bruce last year
It stinks, but it makes sense for a non-contender.
Tabata or McCutcheon
Better pitcher in 3 years: Derek Holland or Jarrod Parker?
That's it for today--back to the draft phones while hoping it stays warm enough so the the 7th/8th grade team I coach can get its first game of the season in tonight. Currently a balmy 43 degrees on the North Shore right now . . .