Draft Chat with Jim Callis

Moderator: Jim Callis will begin taking your draft questions at 2:30 p.m. ET

 Q:  Chris from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Can you give me an idea of which way the Brewers are going to go? If one of the better position players don't fall to them could they be thinking about a college pitcher?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I can give you a guess. Few teams, if any, are more secretive than the Brewers when it comes to the draft. The best player that may be there for Milwaukee at No. 5 might be Wichita State RHP Mike Pelfrey or Tennessee RHP Luke Hochevar--and we don't know if the Brewers will take a Scott Boras client. A college pitcher would make a lot of sense for the Brewers, but there may not be a non-Boras guy worth taking that high. North Carolina high school OF Cameron Maybin would be the best guy on the board if the top four unfold as expected, so that's the best guess at this point.

 Q:  Kurt from Westboro, MA asks:
The consensus top 4 seems to be Upton, Gordon, Tulowitkzi, and Zimmerman. Is there any chance that will change prior to the draft?
 A: 

Jim Callis: All kinds of chance. The Royals continue to maintain they won't go cheap at No. 2, but a lot of other clubs keep hearing that they will, so that's a wild card. I've also heard Maybin associated with the Royals. He's a legit top-five-pick talent, and he probably wouldn't command a big league contract like Nebraska 3B Alex Gordon would, so maybe he'd be a compromise of sorts. If Gordon doesn't go No. 2, then he'd probably go No. 3. Also for the Mariners at No. 3, the Stanford 1B John Mayberry Jr. rumors won't go away. The Nationals at No. 4 seem pretty locked in on Virginia 3B Ryan Zimmerman, and most clubs expect the D'backs to take Virginia high school SS Justin Upton No. 1. We'll come out with an updated mock first round the Monday before the draft, and as always, I'm sure a lot will have changed since our original mock first round.

 Q:  mz from lowell, ma asks:
Jim, great job on the draft coverage. How many HS players can you see the Red Sox taking in the first 2 rounds. With 6 picks, I'd think they'd be more inclined to go after some high ceiling guys, rather than use all six on 'safe' college picks. Any particular HS names we should look for when Boston picks?
 A: 

Jim Callis: We keep hearing that the Red Sox could take a couple of high schoolers with their early picks. The most common names are 1B Henry Sanchez (San Diego) and SS Reese Havens (South Carolina).

 Q:  tony from new york asks:
Who do you see Cleveland taking in the first round?
 A: 

Jim Callis: We hear college bat more than anything. Among the candidates would be Southern California C Jeff Clement, Miami 3B Ryan Braun and maybe Mississippi 1B Stephen Head.

 Q:  Mike from Oakland, CA asks:
What can we do to get ESPN to televise the draft in the future?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Convince them that there's a demand for it. I think baseball could take five minutes for commentary for each 30 first-round picks, add some commericals and there's a three-hour show with plenty of time for commentary and highlights. It wouldn't be hard to put together video on every first-round candidate, and our relationship with ESPN would provide them with all kinds of draft info. I'm not sure why the hockey draft is broadcastable but the baseball draft isn't.

 Q:  Josh Marion from Bergen County New Jersey asks:
Are the Yankees still not interested in Mark Pawelek? And can you please list the top 5 names you have heard the Yankees most connected to.
 A: 

Jim Callis: I haven't heard Pawelek with them, but you never know. The Boras name I've heard the most with the Yankees is St. John's RHP Craig Hansen, but he'll probably be long gone by No. 17. Hearing a lot of high school names like RHP Chris Volstad (Florida), OF Jay Bruce (Texas, probably also gone at No. 17) and C Brandon Snyder (Virginia). And those Stephen Drew rumors are getting a little stronger.

 Q:  Richard from Atlanta asks:
Who are the Braves looking at for there top two picks in the Draft. I would assume HS hurlers.
 A: 

Jim Callis: RHP Chaz Roe (Kentucky) is an obvious high school pitching target for the Braves. A couple of others they might like include RHPs Michael Bowden (Illinois), Cody Satterwhite (Mississippi) and Bryan Morris (Tennessee).

 Q:  Snapper Bean from Greater Kensington asks:
Are teams going to follow the Commissioner's office slot recommendations more or less this year? Does Sandy Alderson leaving the Commissioner's office affect this in any way? Other than being "scolded" by the Commissioner's office and their fellow owners, what's the downside because I don't see any. Yankees go above slot, Seattle pays big money for a 3rd rounder, Angels sign Adenhart and Trumbo. Dodgers throw a million at LaRoche. All following the Commissioner's rules does is put you at a competitive disadvantage.
 A: 

Jim Callis: You're right, following slot money can cost a team some talent. But there's more than scolding involved. To go over slot, a team has to make a presentation to the commissioner's office, which almost always (I know of one exception) doesn't buy into it. At that point, MLB talks to the club's owner to try to talk him out of exceeding the recommendation. It comes down to whether the owner wants to listen to MLB or trust his scouts.

 Q:  dave from maryland asks:
where does sean o'sullivan projected to be taken in next months draft?
 A: 

Jim Callis: O'Sullivan, a high school RHP from California, entered the year as one of the top high school arms available. But he has had a very lackluster spring, and could go anywhere from the supplemental first round (to a team who believes more in his past) to perhaps all the way out of the draft if he's considered unsignable. If he's still looking for first-round money, he's probably not going to get it.

 Q:  Joel from Washington, DC asks:
Jim, so far both your mock draft and one other have the Pirates going with Andrew McCutchen with the 11th pick, but I'm wondering if anyone else is being considered by the Bucs.
 A: 

Jim Callis: We're hearing two schools of thought: toolsy high school outfielders (McCutchen; Maybin if he falls; Bruce) or more advanced college guys (Clement; Mayberry; Cal State Fullerton LHP Ricky Romero).

 Q:  Brett from Indianapolis asks:
With Z. Putnam seeming to have dropped from a possible first round pick in the preseason rankings to a 2-4 rounder now, how likely is it that he will head to Michigan rather than sign a pro contract. Also, what are the draft prospects of UM players such as Getz, Brauer, and Penn?
 A: 

Jim Callis: The number $1.5 million keeps floating around 3BRHP Zach Putnam, and if he wants anything close to that, he's headed to Michigan. Teams like him more as a hitter than as a pitcher now. 2B Chris Getz should be the first Wolverine drafted, going in the third to fifth round. RHP Jim Brauer's rights are controlled by the Mets, who will get a chance to sign him if Michigan doesn't win the Big Ten tournament. If Brauer re-enters the draft, he's probably a sixth- to 10th-rounder on talent, but might go a little earlier as a senior sign. RHP Michael Penn is just a good senior sign, maybe a 10th-rounder to the right club.

 Q:  Nick from Fayetteville, AR asks:
Why is someone as talented and as polished as Mark Pawelek flying under the radar coming into this draft? I don't hear as much about him when it comes to top pitchers featured in this upcoming draft, and he's a lefty to boot!
 A: 

Jim Callis: Not sure what you're looking at, Nick, but we have Pawelek ranked as the top high school lefty in the nation, the second-best overall and No. 17 on our Top 200 Prospects list. Some teams may be shying away from him because he's a Boras client, but he's not flying under anyone's radar.

 Q:  farmteam from Soxtalk asks:
What are the chances of Jeff Clement falling to 15? If he does, are the White Sox interested? Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: I'm hearing his name associated with too many teams from Nos. 5-14 to think he'll fall to the White Sox. If he gets that far, the Sox would have to at least consider him.

 Q:  Kurt from Westboro, MA asks:
Say Drew andor Weaver don't sign and re-enter the draft. At what point will a team take a chance on them?
 A: 

Jim Callis: No one knows. The only teams I've heard associated even loosely with Drew are the Mets and Yankees, and I haven't heard a club that's licking its chops waiting for Weaver. It's a lot like last year, when we had little idea of which clubs would take them then. If they turn down the money they've been offered (guaranteed $5.5 million for Drew, guaranteed $5.25 million for Weaver), clubs aren't going to feel very confident about their signability. And several scouting directors say they'd have a hard time spending an early pick on Weaver when he hasn't pitched in a year. Unless he's lights out in his one or two starts for the Camden Riversharks--which seems unlikely given his layoff--that won't change.

 Q:  Jeff Schneck from Richardson, Tx asks:
Since the Astros focus alot on make-up, who are the top 5 "make-up" guys who are likely to be there at 24 for their pick?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Texas A&M SS Cliff Pennington is the guy who immediately jumps to mind. Oregon State OF Jacoby Ellsbury and Arizona OF Trevor Crowe are two more who come to mind.

 Q:  Kiley from Odessa, FL asks:
What are the chances that we ever see two major changes to the draft process: the trading of picks and more firm slot requirements? I was told by an insider that traded picks are very possible for next year and more firm slotting for bonuses in the near future also. These two things would really change the landscape of the draft, and also are the two main differences between the MLB and other pro drafts. Has BA heard anything about this? Do you think that these changes would make the MLB Draft televisable like the NHL draft (just 1st round, still relatively unknown players, but enough hardcore viewership to justify it)?
 A: 

Jim Callis: On trading picks, it's often discussed but the scouting directors I've talked to don't see it happening in the near future. Trading picks would have to be negotiated with the union, and what usually happens during the collective bargaining negotiations is that draft matters slide way down the list of priorities before disappearing. Remember, too, that trading picks won't necessarily solve problems. Yes, smaller-revenue clubs could trade early picks when they didn't want to spend the cash. But there's no guarantee they'd make good trades, and you'd also have agents trying to force those clubs to make deals. As for more firm slotting, I suppose you mean an NBA-style system where bonuses are mandated rather than negotiation. I'm sure the MLBPA wouldn't mind more money going to big leaguers rather than draft picks, but I can't see them signing off on something anti-free market when they're always talking about the importance of a free market. I don't think either change would make the draft more viable as a broadcast commodity.

 Q:  Kiley from Odessa, FL asks:
What is the latest on Weaver and Drew beyond the newspaper stories? Do insiders still think Drew signs and Weaver probably doesn't? Would only getting one signed effect Boras' other clients more than letting them both re-enter?
 A: 

Jim Callis: And we'll go back to Kiley . . . The consensus among baseball executives is that Weaver and Drew are crazy if they don't sign because they won't get offered as much money this year. There's also a feeling they have to sign, or else the signability of Boras' stable of 2005 draft clients comes even more into question. My gut feeling, especially when you see Boras making public statements about how he's making concessions with Weaver, is that Weaver signs. On Drew, it comes down to whether rumors of Mets or Yankees interest is true. If Boras thinks he can equal Drew's deal, which reportedly is heavily backloaded, in the 2005 draft, he'll take the chance. Otherwise, he won't. My prediction if either doesn't sign is that the spin from the Boras camp is that it wasn't about money, it was about broken promises.

 Q:  farmteam from Soxtalk asks:
How far could Tyler Greene fall? I've heard whispers of him possily falling all the way into the third round--is that true? Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Yes. We have him as a supplemental first-rounder based on talent, but there's word that his asking price may be more in line with top-10-pick money. In which case, he could plummet.

 Q:  Jeff from Virginia asks:
Jim, love the draft coverage this year. You guys just keep raising the bar each year. My question, with the Phillies not drafting until #67, are you hearing anything about their draft strategy? Are there any names floating around?
 A: 

Jim Callis: To be honest, at that point in the draft, it's just trying to make an educated guess. If they try to go for a tough sign who dropped, they could target someone like OF Jordan Danks (Texas).

 Q:  Angelo from Hartford, CT asks:
Hi Jim, Love the chats.What are the chances of Chris Volstad being available at 17 for the Yankees? They seem to be leaning towards another high ceiling high-school arm after the success of Phil Hughes this year.
 A: 

Jim Callis: He could be there, and the Yankees do like him. But the Marlins also like him, and they own the 16th pick.

 Q:  MT from Jackson, MS asks:
What are the draft prospects of Scott Van Slyke? (son of Andy) Ole Miss fans are watching this one anxiously.....
 A: 

Jim Callis: Scott, who plays at Burroughs High in St. Louis, is a 6-foot-5, 210-pound package of tools. But the consensus is that he'd be better off with three years of college rather than turning pro, so I don't think he's going to get drafted high enough to pass up playing for the Rebels.

 Q:  Frank from Jersey asks:
Peter Gammons called Brian Bogusevic a future reliever in a recent column. Doesn't Bogusevic have the stuff to be a starter?
 A: 

Jim Callis: He does have the stuff to start, with an 89-93 mph fastball to go with a solid slider and changeup. His stuff might get a little crisper, too, once he becomes a full-time pitcher. He'll get the opportunity to start as a pro, unless he goes to one of the clubs which likes him more as a right fielder. Most teams prefer him on the mound, however.

 Q:  Jake from Toronto asks:
Do you think the blue jays will focus a little more on hitters in the draft this year. They have been pitching oriented the last few years.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Unless someone falls down to them, we keep hearing they'll take Romero. They are looking at some bats, though with Upton, Gordon, Tulowitzki and Zimmerman possibilities if they fall. Clement is another posssibility, too.

 Q:  Jeff Schneck from Richardson, Tx asks:
Now that Danks has made it know that he is going to College, when will he be drafted? Has anyone who made the statements he has ever caved in and signed, assuming the money was enough?
 A: 

Jim Callis: If teams believe Danks is sincere when he says he won't give up playing for the Longhorns, he might not get drafted at all. But he wouldn't be the first player to say he was unsignable, only to sign.

 Q:  Jim S. from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Thanks for taking my question. What 5 players eligible for this year's draft would you say will be the top offensive performers in 5 years.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Upton and Gordon stand out the most for me. Behind them, my next three would be Drew, Maybin and Braun.

 Q:  mz from lowell asks:
Where can Micah Owings & Brian Bogusevic expect to be drafted, and what position will they play as pros?
 A: 

Jim Callis: The consensus on both is that they have brighter futures on the mound. Bogusevic figures to go in the first round, Owings from the third to the fifth.

 Q:  Kiley from Odessa, FL asks:
Do the Dodgers still look like they will draft completely to Logan White's tendencies, or will a pennant contender and DePodesta dictate a few college picks early, like Devine or Cox?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I think people misunderstand White's draft philosophy. It's not that he prefers high school players or thinks they're better than college players. It's that when he sets up his draft board with a mix of both, and teams go ga-ga over college players, he'll often have a high school guy as the top guy available when his picks come up. Too interfere with a guy who has drafted well would be foolish on DePodesta's part, and he's smart enough to understand that.

 Q:  Tee from Harlem NY asks:
Good day to you: What are the names being mention with the Mets at#9? If Stephen Drew goes back into the draft would he make it to #9?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Hansen, most of all, and also toolsy high school OF Bruce and Andrew McCutchen (Florida). Drew is another possibility, because the Mets considered him at No. 3 last year when the Padres suddenly backed off at the last minute. I do think he would be there for the Mets if he re-enters the draft.

 Q:  Kevin from Springfield, MA asks:
ANy chance at all that Torra is there at 23 for the Red Sox?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I don't think so. I think the Red Sox would snap up Massachusetts RHP Matt Torra, but I think he'll go in the 11-20 range, maybe higher to a team that wants a college pitcher but doesn't want to deal with Boras.

 Q:  damon from NYC asks:
Where do you see Trevor Crowe going in the draft? What teams are looking at him?
 A: 

Jim Callis: A lot of teams are looking at Crowe. I think he's going to go higher than we have him ranked (No. 29 on the Top 200) and he's a top candidate for teams looking to sign someone for less than slot money. We've heard him mentioned as high at No. 2 to the Royals, and I don't think he gets past the A's at No. 21.

 Q:  Mike from Mass asks:
How badly has Jason Neighborgall's stock dropped since his pitching woes resurfaced during the middle of the season?
 A: 

Jim Callis: He's a huge wild card because he's got a tremendous arm but has had major control problems for two years and is represented by Boras. The consensus among the scouting directors I've talked to is that his add up the arm and the results, and he'd be a good fourth- or fifth-round gamble. But they think Boras would just scoff at that kind of bonus.

 Q:  JaysRising from San Francisco, CA asks:
I believe one of your brethern stated recently that he held Ricky Romero in a higher esteem than either David Purcey or Zach Jackson; do you concur with that sentiment? Is there any chance the Jays would go for Stephen Head, so as to avoid a future of first base being manned by (shudder) the Eric Hinskes or Eric Croziers of the world? Thanks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: I would give Romero an edge over the lefties drafted in the first round by the Jays last year. I don't think they'd take Head that high. Check the earlier question about Toronto for superior college bats they'd consider.

 Q:  dave from maryland asks:
who could the tigers select with the 10th pick?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Pelfrey's name gets mentioned here a lot because owner Mike Ilitch has signed several Boras free agents and scouting director David Chadd used to coach at Wichita State, where Pelfrey does his pitching. Other names include Braun and Clement.

 Q:  A.J. Rigoni from Chicago asks:
What rumors are floating around on who the Cubs are looking at? Pennington? Ellsbury? They haven't had a good leadoff man for a long time.
 A: 

Jim Callis: Pennington might be a nice fit for the Cubs, but I haven't heard that one. They've signed a lot of Boras clients, and they get mentioned with Pawelek a lot. We've also heard that they're on a pair of Virginia high schoolers--Snyder and SS Justin Bristow--and they've traditional scouted that area very well.

 Q:  Mark from Los Angeles asks:
Who is a likely selection for the Dodgers with their first choice?
 A: 

Jim Callis: At that point, I'm guessing 25-30 college guys will be gone, so a high school player likely will be on top of L.A.'s draft board. Possibilities include outfielders John Drennen (California) and Colby Rasmus (Alabama) and righthanders Morris, Tyler Herron (Florida), Ryan Tucker (California) and Josh Wall (Louisiana).

 Q:  Nathan from Santa Ana asks:
How about the Twins? with such a stock pile of quality pitching do they go with a hitter?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Like everyone else in the first round, it's mostly best player available. For the Twins, that could be Snyder or Bristow, or maybe a pitcher like Roe or Fresno State RHP Matt Garza.

 Q:  charles from portland asks:
The cardinals plethora of picks between #28 and #72 have me rather excited. Two questions, what do you see the Cardinals doing with those picks and would you rather have lots of picks in the late first and second or a couple very high in the draft?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I'd anticipate them taking a lot of college players. Some of the names we have heard are Mayberry, Texas C Taylor Teagarden, Garza, Head and Arizona State OF Travis Buck. I'd much rather have a couple of very high picks (though at team never could have more than one in the top 15) rather than lots of picks in the late first and second rounds. Top picks fare much, much better than low first-round picks.

 Q:  Jamey Newberg from Dallas asks:
Jim, the Padres draft right before Texas in each round -- is Grady Fuson going to spoil Ron Hopkins' day over and over, or should we expect their tendencies to differ once we get past the first couple rounds?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Jamey, I wouldn't worry about that. Chief Gayton is running the Padres' draft, not Fuson. And Hopkins is his own man, and I think you'll see a wider scope of players drafted by the Rangers now, as opposed to Fuson's focus on college players with a track record of success. I don't think the Padres will be foiling the Rangers' plans much on draft day.

 Q:  Bob from winthrop asks:
Hi Jim. You said the possibility of the sox drafting the cuban shortstop was likely in your blog. Wouldn't the sox be better off taking a pitcher or outfielder with A sytem that has Ramirez, Pedoria, and Luis Sota, plus Edgar Renteria? Thank you.
 A: 

Jim Callis: The Red Sox do have a lot of shortstops, but teams rarely base their early picks on need because a lot can change quickly when it comes to prospects. They do have Renteria locked up for three years, but Hanley Ramirez could be their CF of the near future if Johnny Damon leaves, Dustin Pedroia will be a 2B in the majors and Soto has moved to RF. If the Red Sox want Yuniel Escobar, they probably have to take him at No. 59 because they won't pick again until No. 140.

 Q:  mark from lowell, ma asks:
Just for the sake of speculation, let's say the D-backs sign Stephen Drew then take a Boras pitcher #1. How would the top of the draft shake down after that?
 A: 

Jim Callis: OK, I'll play along. If they take a Boras pitcher at No. 1 (Pelfrey, Hochevar of Hansen), I'll still go with Gordon at No. 2 to the Royals. The Mariners gladly jump on Upton at No. 3, and the Nationals still take Zimmerman at No. 4. If the Royals go with Maybin or super cheap, I bet the Brewers would love to have Gordon at No. 5.

 Q:  Matt Duncan from Denver, CO asks:
Do you think Tommy Manzella (Tulane) can stay at shortstop as a pro? How does he compare to Anthony Giaratano? Is Bogusevic's average year at the plate steering teams toward keeping him on the mound?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Yes, I do. He's similar to former Tulane product Giarratano, who's now one of Detroit's top prospects. Manzella has better hands and instincts, and less speed. Bogusevic hasn't homered this year and has been held back by a strained hamstring that limited his at-bats early on. He also hit just .183 with wood in the Cape Cod League last summer, so he seems less risky as a lefty starter--and it's also a down year for lefty pitching.

 Q:  Jason from Athens, GA asks:
What is the scouting report on LHP Matt Goyen (Georgia College)? Given that he was the Pitcher of the Year on the Cape and had a great season this year, I'm assuming there is strong interest in him. Where do you think he could go in the draft?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Despite his size (6-foot-5, 220) and numbers, he's not overpowering. His changeup is his best pitch. He'll probably go somewhere from the third to fifth round.

 Q:  david from las vegas asks:
how does hansen compare to street..it looks like he'll be drafted higher since street was a sandwich pick last yr..seems like he throws harder, but do u see his potential higher than street?
 A: 

Jim Callis: Street had good stuff and great makeup, while Hansen is more of a power reliever with a filthy fastballslider combination. Hansen has a higher upside, sure, but both have a chance to be good closers, albeit with different styles. I'd also consider making Hansen a starter if he has any feel for a changeup.

 Q:  Konstantin Medvedovsky from Red Hook, NY(SoSH) asks:
Jim, With the whole debate about HS vs. College guys in the draft, and with more and more sabermetric gurus like Rany J. aknowledging that college picks aren't really any better bets, what team do you think currently has the best approach to the draft? What team would you say has the best balance between good analytical thinking and an acceptance that tools matter, and that Jered Weaver, no matter how much his numbers look like Mark Priors, is not Mark Prior? I'm looking for a few organizations here, those who are ahead of the curve regarding such a blending of stats and scouts. Thanks,
 A: 

Jim Callis: Short answer as time is running out: The Dodgers and Twins immediately jump to mind.

 Q:  andrew from Hattisburg, Miss asks:
Watched Broadway from TCU pitch last night in Conf USA Tournament.Everybody talks of his curve, but his change was fantastic.The kid has great mound presence. Boston GM at game, they have 6 picks early, what are his chances to be one of those 6 picks.
 A: 

Jim Callis: We hear the Red Sox are very strongly interested in RHP Lance Broadway. With the way he has pitched recently--he dominated Tulane in front of a lot of scouts in his previous start--Boston may have to take him in the first round as opposed to the sandwich area to ensure getting him.

 Q:  Heath from KS asks:
Is their anyway the Royals take Mike Pelfrey at #2 or will they not go Boras and are they set on taking a position player?
 A: 

Jim Callis: I don't think the Royals will take a Boras guy at No. 2, nor do I think Boras would want his players to go to Kansas City. Of all the names we hear associated with the Royals, they all are hitters.

Moderator: That's all for today. Remember to keep coming back to baseballamerica.com for around-the-clock draft coverage. We'll have another draft chat next Friday with Allan Simpson, and Jim will be in his regular Wednesday chat slot at ESPN. com (3 p.m. ET) to take more draft questions there. Just 11 days left until draft day!