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May 27, 12:30 PM ET
Chat with Baseball America's Jim Callis

Jim Callis
  (2:02 PM)

Hi, everyone. Surprise, surprise: The draft is on my mind. But I'm game for all your questions.

Mike (San Diego)

Thanks Jim. As the draft nears, any rumblings as to who the Pads are leaning towards at #3? We've heard Green, Tate, Gibson, and Minor as rumors. Wouldn't Minor be a reach at #3?

Jim Callis
  (2:05 PM)

Vanderbilt LHP Mike Minor would be a reach at No. 3. I think he's more of a late first-round/sandwich talent, but he's going to get drafted lot higher than that. I keep hearing Georgia HS OF Donavan Tate there, but he'd cost a lot and doesn't fit the Padres profile. Southern California SS Grant Green hasn't had the year to warrant going that high. I'm president of the fan club for Missouri RHP Kyle Gibson, so that would be my choice. Still hearing all those names.

Brandon (Nashville, TN)

Is Chris Tillman ready? It's no surprise that Buchholz isn't being called up with BOS's rotation, but BAL's ... come on man.

Jim Callis
  (2:09 PM)

Tillman looks ready . . . but the Orioles aren't contending and he's not on the 40-man roster, so we may not see him until 2010. There's not much incentive for them to promote him, other than to break him in.

Ryan (Toronto)

What is Paxton's draft ceiling? BA today said that there won't be any Canadians selected in the 1st round this year - does this mean Canadian HS'ers, or was Paxton's potential and birthplace forgotten in that article? Thanks

Jim Callis
  (2:11 PM)

Didn't see that but I bet that's referencing players currently playing in Canada, while LHP James Paxton is at Kentucky. The inconsistency and lack of track record bother me a little, but he has a tremendous arm and could go in the back half of the first round.

mymrbig (New Orleans)

Did you ever catch up on 24? If so, final thoughts?

Jim Callis
  (2:13 PM)

I did. On the scouting 20-80 scale, I'd give the last couple of hours a 40 and the season as a whole a 50. Too much melodrama and not enough action at the end.

Cubs fans everywhere!!! (everywhere)

How about Vitters and Fox?!?!?! what is going on with the cubs minor league water? I think Bauer might have mutated the virus to give cubs minor leaguers super human powers! Seriously though, what can we expect from Fox now that he has been called up and what are the odds we deal Vitters in a Peavy trade in your opinion?

Jim Callis
  (2:14 PM)

Josh Vitters is having the breakthrough expected of him, showing why he was drafted third overall a couple of years ago. Jake Fox has legitimate power and was hitting as well as anyone in the minors, but I'm not sure how the Cubs are going to squeeze his bat into the lineup.

Brad, Tempe

Where are you hearing Mike Leake will go? He seems like a perfect fit for Billy Beane and the A's.

Jim Callis
  (2:17 PM)

We ranked Mike Leake No. 14 on our overall Draft Top 200, which should be up at baseballamerica.com later today. I think there's a good chance he gets drafted higher than that, and it really wouldn't surprise me if he went No. 3 overall to the Padres. He doesn't overpower hitters but he carves them up by commanding a variety of pitches. His track record is outstanding, too. Hard not to love Mike Leake.

Jeff (Los Angeles, CA)

I'm confused about why Grant Green has had such a down year. All of his statistics are equal or better to last year except home runs (though he has a lot more double this year). Did he struggle so much early that people simply forgot to go back and watch how well he played in the second half of the season? At least up until the final weekend at Cal where he struggled defensively again.

Jim Callis
  (2:19 PM)

I think Green's great summer in the Cape Cod League raised the bar so much for him that simply repeating his sophomore numbers was a disappointment. He didn't show the power scouts expected and was erratic defensively (though that has been the case during his college career), and he just set the bar so high. He's still the best middle infielder in the draft, though he has Scott Boras as an adviser and I can't imagine he'll just sign for slot, so he could drop some in the draft. Also heard him going as high as No. 3 to the Padres, thought that's a bit rich.

Ed( San Diego,CA)

What do you think of the ceilings of Crow vs. Wheeler and Turner?

Jim Callis
  (2:26 PM)

Wheeler and Turner have a higher ceiling because they already throw hard and have room to get better.

Jim Callis
  (2:31 PM)

Sorry about that, quick phone call--I'll make it up to you, I promise.

Derrick (Tulsa, OK)

The deal that Peavy vetoed, is that about what you'd expect the padres to be able to get for him during the season? Do you think they'll be able to get considerably more for him if they hang onto him the whole season and try to deal him in the off season?

Jim Callis
  (2:33 PM)

That deal didn't blow me away, reportedly Aaron Poreda, Clayton Richard and a couple of other pitchers. Didn't seem nearly as enticing as the reported trades with the Braves and Cubs in the offseason. I would hope San Diego could get more from a desperate contender closer to the deadline, but Peavy's contract does get expensive. If the Padres aren't going to pick up part of that, they probably aren't going to get as much talent as we'd think they should.

RSN

Everyone knows the Twins can't afford Mauer and Boston has propsects. So why doesn't Theo say to MN GM, "Trade me Mauer today and you can have Bucholtz, make me wait a year and you might get Bard."

Jim Callis
  (2:33 PM)

The Red Sox could say that, but I don't think the Twins would ever trade Mauer. He's a hometown hero and I bet they find a way to sign him.

Jim Callis
  (2:38 PM)

Phone again . . . hold on.

Jim Callis
  (3:04 PM)

Sorry about that, let's get this chat going again . . .

Kevin (San Diego)

Is there any concern that some of the top arms might have to move to the bullpen later on? (White, Crow, Scheppers, etc. or will these guys be starters for sure?)

Jim Callis
  (3:06 PM)

Oh, there's always that concern if you really want to quibble over pitchers. Very few guys have demonstrated three consistently solid pitches and fine command before entering pro ball. With those three guys, Crow's size and delivery, Scheppers' health record and White's inconsistency would let you make a case that they're relievers if they'd want to.

Mack (San Fracisco, CA)

If you were Brian Sabean, would you trade Jonathan Sanchez for Brandon Wood?

Jim Callis
  (3:08 PM)

There might be other names involved, but yes I would. The Giants need a SS more than another SP, and I think Wood will be a very good player if someone will give him the at-bats.

Joe (Chico, CA)

Draft Question! Hey Jim, Could the Padres work out deals with the Mariners, tell them they'll take Carlos Silva's horrendous contract off their hands and with the Nationals some kind of package that includes Kyle Blanks (not to mention both teams still get a player in the draft slot) so that Strasburg ends up at 3? Or would MLB step in because everyone would know what "future considerations" would mean?

Jim Callis
  (3:10 PM)

Pretty sure that trade would be illegal and clubs couldn't count passing on Strasburg as part of an official deal. And the Nationals wouldn't touch that deal, no offense to Kyle Blanks intended.

Lou (Boulder, CO)

Jim, thanks as always for the chats! Who are the specific names who are floating demand numbers that could cause them to drop in the draft?

Jim Callis
  (3:10 PM)

Blogged this the other day -- the three top talents most likely to fall are Georgia HS OF Donovan Tate, Missouri HS RHP Jacob Turner and Texas LHP Matthew Purke.

Drew (philly)

Hey Jim, the phils just called up Mayberry over the weekend, whats his ceiling?

Jim Callis
  (3:11 PM)

You can really dream on his combination of size, power and athleticism but I don't think he'll make enough consistent contact to be more than a decent to solid regular, if that.

Chris, Arlington, TX

Thoughts on LHP Chad James from Yukon, Oklahoma? Thanks!

Jim Callis
  (3:12 PM)

Not as good as fellow HS LHPs Tyler Matzek and Purke, but plenty good enough to go in the first round. Very athletic, has touched 95 a lot down the stretch and flashes three solid pitches.

Kevin (San Diego)

Jim, on a percentage scale, how sure are you that the Mariners will take Ackley?

Jim Callis
  (3:13 PM)

You never know with a Jack Zduriencik-run draft because he plays it so close to the vest. That's the guy I would take. Percentage the Mariners take him: I'll say 50-50 b/c I keep hearing his name with them.

Ben (Kirkwood, MO)

Your thoughts on MLB cutting slot by 10%?

Jim Callis
  (3:14 PM)

Big mistake. All that will do is antagonize the players and advisers now that MLB has arbitrarily decided this year's players are worth 10 percent less than last year's. Prepare for a lot of holdouts. I won't be surprised at all if there are fewer way-over-slot signings this year, but I don't think bonus payments in the first five rounds will be drastically different.

Mark (CT)

Tony Almeida had to be the MVP of Season 7 though right? Do you think he'll get a call up for Season 8 or do you think Tony is staying put in the minors.... errr jail?

Jim Callis
  (3:15 PM)

I don't know. Jack Bauer is like Albert Pujols, he probably deserves the MVP award every year. Tony definitely had a strong year. Can't conceive of any situation where the U.S. government would ever let him out of prison, but it's "24," so you never know.

Ian (NY)

Good afternoon Jim, How close do scouts look at high school off the field troubles? For example the best pitcher in my section was recently suspended for possession of chewing tobacco in the classroom. Thanks

Jim Callis
  (3:15 PM)

They definitely look at off-field issues, but I'm not sure chewing tobacco would really bother anyone.

Greg (St. Louis)

Bumgarner or Strasburg?

Jim Callis
  (3:16 PM)

Strasburg.

Joe (Chico, CA)

How about Max Stassi the C from Yuba City? How good is he? What number catcher is he in the draft and any comps?

Jim Callis
  (3:16 PM)

Stassi is our top-rated catcher for the draft. I think he goes in the second half of the first round somewhere.

Pat (Boston, MA)

What are your thoughts on HS 3B Matt Davidson?

Jim Callis
  (3:18 PM)

One of the better bats in the draft. Probably moves to first base down the road, which nicks his value a little, but he's a sandwich pick for me.

Greg (St. Louis)

Greg (St. Louis): Bumgarner or Strasburg? SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:16 PM ET ) Strasburg. Why?

Jim Callis
  (3:19 PM)

Because other than Bumgarner being lefthanded, not sure what he does better than Strasburg. And I like Bumgarner a lot.

Paul, Joisey

You think there even should be a season 8? I mean, the show is okay...but remember the shock and terror of season 1; the intensity of David palmers career and demise...the last few seasons ave been so contrived.

Jim Callis
  (3:20 PM)

I'm on board for season 8. We can't leave Jack in a coma! Season 1 was a thrill ride, but there was a lot of goofy plot stuff when they had to expand the season from the original order of 13 episodes to a full 24.

Jeff (SF)

Who would make the most sense for the Giants at #6? Giants need hitting but this is a pitcher heavy draft.

Jim Callis
  (3:21 PM)

If you're picking that high, you have to take the best available player. It almost certainly will be a pitcher.

Mike

Hey Jim, is it fair to call consensus first round talents "over-drafts" if they are taken higher in the 1st round than expected. Do you think the rules in place (namely, no trading draft picks) are good.

Jim Callis
  (3:23 PM)

Sure it is. If we feel a guy belongs in the 21-30 range and he goes No. 5, we're going to call that an overdraft, even if the guy is a first-round talent . . . I've heard pros and cons to trading draft picks. Some think it would give smaller-revenue teams more options, while others say agents would get too much control of the good. I'd like to see draft trades, just for the fun of it. Would be fun to cover.

GK(Boston)

Jim who do you see the Red Sox taking with their first round pick?

Jim Callis
  (3:23 PM)

I'll guess one of two California high schoolers, Max Stassi or Matt Hobgood. Also could be in play for a guy who plunges because of signability.

Brett (Mount Prospect, IL)

Is Kenny Powers draft eligible or can he sign as a FA?

Jim Callis
  (3:24 PM)

He's a free agent. Heard the Rays were going to sign him but that didn't work out.

Ken CA

Tyler Matzek or Matt Purke? And what's the main difference between them.

Jim Callis
  (3:24 PM)

Matzek. The biggest difference is that Matzek does it more easily (less effort) than Purke. Their stuff is similar.

Jim Callis
  (3:25 PM)

Let's finish this up with some lightning round . . .

Greg (St. Louis)

Strasburg or Koufax?

Jim Callis
  (3:26 PM)

Um, Koufax.

Jeff Atl

Heyward or Francoeur?

Jim Callis
  (3:27 PM)

Heyward, easily. He's going to be a star.

Paul (Milwaukee)

Gamel for Buchholz ... who says no?

Jim Callis
  (3:27 PM)

Red Sox.

Kevin (San Diego)

Bigger risk: Donovan Tate or Grant Green?

Jim Callis
  (3:28 PM)

For me, Tate is the bigger risk.

Tyler (Harrodsburg, KY)

Justin Upton or Evan Longoria

Jim Callis
  (3:28 PM)

Longoria.

Chris (Scotland)

younginer or sampson

Jim Callis
  (3:28 PM)

Madison Younginer.

Grant (Chicago)

Coghlan: all-star or useful regular or less?

Jim Callis
  (3:28 PM)

Solid regular.

Seth (SF)

Bastardo or Happ?

Jim Callis
  (3:28 PM)

Happ.

Ted (Toronto)

Rank the Mizzou pitchers: Scherzer, Gibson, Crow.

Jim Callis
  (3:29 PM)

Gibson, Crow, Scherzer. That's three pretty good ones.

Tyler (Harrodsburg, KY)

I asked this one in a previous chat but Turners stock has risen: Jacob Turner or Shelby Miller?

Jim Callis
  (3:29 PM)

Turner, but it's oh so close.

Brett (Mount Prospect, IL)

Mat Latos or Kyle Drabek?

Jim Callis
  (3:29 PM)

Drabek.

Scotty, Tampa

Derek Holland lasts ____ innings tonight versus the Yankees?

Jim Callis
  (3:30 PM)

6

Charles (San Jose)

Audrey Raines or Renee Walker?

Jim Callis
  (3:30 PM)

Renee Walker, easily.

Brandon (Nashville, TN)

Parker or Bumgarner? Badler says Parker via Twitter.

Jim Callis
  (3:30 PM)

It's close. My gut says Parker.

kyle South Carolina

will kyle skipworth ever figure it out?

Jim Callis
  (3:31 PM)

It's too early to give up on him. But the start to his career is scary bad.

Otto (CA)

Bart farve or tarvaris jackson

Jim Callis
  (3:31 PM)

Favre.

B of Reston, Va (DC)

Gibson = #10 (please)

Jim Callis
  (3:32 PM)

Would be a great pick for the Nats.

Pete (Pittsburg)

Miguel Angel Sano or Michael Inoa?

Jim Callis
  (3:33 PM)

Ben Badler (not via Twitter) says Ynoa.

College Baseball Fan, Austin Texas

College WS winner?

Jim Callis
  (3:33 PM)

I'm a SEC homer, so give me Louisiana State. I have yet to fill out the bracket challenge at baseballamerica.com, though, so that's subject to change if I spend more than 10 seconds thinking about it.

shawn boston

IS CLay Buchholz the best pitcher in the minors

Jim Callis
  (3:34 PM)

Factoring in stuff and performance, yes.

Joe (Chico, CA)

Bracket Challenge? Is that for anyone?

Jim Callis
  (3:35 PM)

Yes, I think there are even prizes if you do well. Come check that out at http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/college/postseason/bracket-challenge/2009/

Jason (Baltimore)

Bedard trade for Orioles...best trade in baseball in 10 years?

Jim Callis
  (3:36 PM)

Check out the Mark Teixeira trade to the Braves.

Matt (Glendale, CA)

Best Available or Signability at #4

Jim Callis
  (3:37 PM)

Pirates have to take the best guy, they need talent.

Chris (nyc)

Help settle a bet: Better career, jeter or ripken? I think Jeter b/c of the obp gap.

Jim Callis
  (3:38 PM)

Offensively, Jeter. Total package, including defense, it's Ripken.

Best Trade Ever

Getting Nathan, Liriano, Bonser for AJ Pierzynski

Brett (Mount Prospect, IL)

The Colon trade to Montreal for Cleveland was a good one too.

Jim Callis
  (3:38 PM)

Two more good ones.

Jim Callis
  (3:42 PM)

There goes my phone again, so let's end it here. See you next week. Should have another mock first round up at baseballamerica.com on Friday, and we have all kinds of new draft content every day. Our overall Top 200 list should be up (maybe in two parts) today and tomorrow.