Chat with Jim Callis
Josh Meyer (Palmer) IA
Who has the higher ceiling between Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau?
Jim Callis (1:59 PM)
The questions are piling up, so let's get right to them and start with the No. 1 guy on our Top 100. Morneau (who ranked 16th) has more power than Mauer, though Mauer has more pop than he has shown thus far in the minors. Mauer is going to hit for a higher average and at worst provide a lot of double while also drawing more walks. He's also a Gold Glove catcher waiting to happen, while Morneau is more of a DH. Mauer has the higher ceiling, but both are very good prospects.
Erik J(Olney, Ill)
How good is the Cards prosepect Adam Wainwright
Jim Callis (2:01 PM)
I think he'll be a solid No. 3 starter in the majors, and you'll probably see him in St. Louis at some point this year. Wainwright has good stuff across the board, if not a dazzling out pitch, and his command improved last year. The Cardinals could really use him in their rotation.
bill new york
what do you think of the yankees prospects?
Jim Callis (2:03 PM)
The Yankees have one of the thinnest systems in the game because they haven't drafted well in recent years. C Dioner Navarro is their only Top 100 prospect, and he's blocked by Jorge Posada anyway. 3B/1B Eric Duncan, their first-round pick in 2003, is a good-looking hitter but is a few years away. They don't have much of the way in trade bait besides Navarro, but money usually talks.
Hey Jim! I know the Pirates will "struggle" this season. Any hope in Nashville or Altoona heck even in A ball that can give me some hope that the number of seasons below .500 ends after this season?
Jim Callis (2:06 PM)
Ray, I don't want to get up your hopes too high. The Pirates have nice depth in their farm system, but they don't have a true impact player. Guys like RHP John VanBenschoten and LHP Sean Burnett will bolster the rotation soon, but they're No. 3 starters to me, not aces. Same thing with bats like OF Jason Bay and 2B/SS Freddy Sanchez, too of my favorite prospects--they're going to be good but they're not going to carry a team. I do think GM Dave Littlefield knows what he's doing more than his salary-based trades last year would indicate. But owner Kevin McClatchy's insistence on college first-round picks has cost them B.J. Upton (for Bryan Bullington) and Jeff Allison (for Paul Maholm) the last two years, and that's a big hit.
What do you think of the Sox first pick in 2002, pitcher Lester? Does he have a shot to be a legitimate number ace in the majors or more of a third starter? I know he had a rocky season last year. Thank you
Jim Callis (2:07 PM)
LHP Jon Lester is more of a No. 3, but he's promising. He would have gone to Texas had Boston complete the A-Rod trade. He projects to have plus command of three pitches that will be average or better.
Joe (Cedar Falls, IA)
Do the Cubs have any hitting prospects that are close to being ready? They have great pitching prospects (and I'm pleased about that), but our hitters are not getting younger. As my friend says, Alou and Sosa are already carrying their AARP cards...
Jim Callis (2:09 PM)
OFs Ryan Harvey and Felix Pie, the Cubs' top two hitting prospects, have high ceilings but are a few years away. Their best bets for immediate help are 3B/2B Brendan Harris and OF/1B David Kelton and Jason Dubois, but they're going to have to persuade Dusty Baker they deserve playing time.
Hi Jim - love your work on BA...my question is on the Brewers: We all know Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder seem to be the "real deal", but could you rank these guys in terms of major-league talent - Corey Hart, JJ Hardy, Mike Jones, Ben Hendrickson. THANKS!
Jim Callis (2:11 PM)
I'd rank those guys in this order: SS Hardy (who's No. 19 on our Top 100), RHP Jones (assuming he's over his elbow problems), OF Hart, RHP Hendrickson. The Brewers are loaded and should be able to surface above .500 and start contending by 2006. I'd put OF/1B Brad Nelson right behind Hardy on the above list, and also watch out for LHPs Manny Parra and Jorge de la Rosa. The Brewers are just loaded.
How does Atlanta Braves 3B Prospect Andy Marte remind you of in the Majors right now? How does he project as a Major league ball player? Thanks
Jim Callis (2:13 PM)
Marte is compared to Miguel Cabrera a lot, and he's a better player than Cabrera was at the same stages of their career. I think he'll be a star and it wouldn't surprise me if he's starting for the Brafes by the end of the year.
Alex, Worcester MA
How do the mets top three (Matsui, Kazmir, Wright) compare to the rest of the National league field? And do you think Kazmir is really an ace with his relatively small size?
Jim Callis (2:14 PM)
For me, that's the best top three in the NL after the Brewers (Rickie Weeks, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy). I'd put the Dodgers (Edwin Jackson, Greg Miller, Franklin Gutierrez or James Loney) right behind those two.
Shane Missoula, MT
What's the ETA on Zack Greinke's arrival to the bigs? With Hernandez and now Kyle Snyder gone for the year, is there any hurry to get him in the rotation?
Jim Callis (2:16 PM)
I think you'll see Greinke up by midseason. Kansas City wants to get him some minor league time, but he'll soon make it apparent that he's one of the Royals' five best options if they're contending as anticipated. If they fall out of the race quickly, they may wait longer to bring Greinke up.
Rich (Lincoln, NE)
How close was Chad Tracy to making the top 100? Surprises me that he gets so little consideration when most reports I read say he's a legit .300 hitter. Low power potential that much of a factor?
Jim Callis (2:17 PM)
He was in the 101-120 group of guys who came close but didn't make the cut. Tracy does hit for average, but he doesn't walk much, doesn't have much HR power and is just OK defensively. He'll be a big league regular but it's doubtful he'll be a star.
I know that the Tigers have a couple promising young arms in Zumaya, Connolly and Sleeth but any promising young position players???? Is there any help coming?!? Thanks.
Jim Callis (2:18 PM)
Dan, OF Brent Clevelen is one of the bigger sleepers in the minors. The spacious ballpark at low Class A West Michigan killed his numbers last year, but he can hit for average and power, draw walks and is relatively athletic and has a plus arm. To me, he's easily Detroit's most promising position player.
Eric -Downey, Ca
Who do see as the preseason favorites for Minor League Player of the year?
Jim Callis (2:20 PM)
Always a tough call, because the most obvious candidates tend to get promoted too early to take the award. B.J. Upton is a guy like that. I could see him winning--if the Rays don't promote him at midseason. Also keep an eye on Jays OF Alexis Rios and Brewers 1B Prince Fielder. Mets LHP Scott Kazmir is the best pitching bet.
T. Ballgame (Freezer)
Hi Jim, First, I'm a big fan of "Ask BA" and because of it I think I'll buy a subscription to the site. I was wondering if you think Sacramento 2B Esteban German can become an everyday player for a team that needs to upgrade the position (Dodgers?)
Jim Callis (2:22 PM)
Thanks, Ted, spend that cash. I don't see him as a big league regular. He can run and draw some walks, but he's a slap hitter with no power and he's not much of a defender. He would be an upgrade in LA, where new GM Paul DePodesta is obviously familiar with him, but there are better options out there.
Dave Regan (Ventura, CA)
Jim, Thanks for your time. Overall, nice list, but can you comment on why the relatively low ranking for Jeremy Reed? It would seem his numbers would speak for themselves but to put him behind someone like Gavin Floyd, who had a relatively sub-par 2003, seems questionable.
Jim Callis (2:26 PM)
We've always been big fans of Jeremy Reed at BA, since his days at Long Beach State and with Team USA. But he's a good example of how while performance is important, tools also have to be considered. Reed had a great year last year, and it's caused him to be a little overrated. He's not a pure center fielder, and if he has to move to a corner, his ceiling of 15-20 HR doesn't play as well there. He stole a lot of bases last year, but he's not a burner and he got caught more than he should have. Not trying to rip Reed here, and I hope people don't take it that way, just trying to balance all the optimism. A year ago, no one thought he was close to a Top 100 Prospect, so I'd say putting him at 25 is a pretty huge leap.
Brian [LBC, CA]
Hey Jim -- Much hoopla surrounds Rich Harden and his potential to make the A's rotation into the Big Four. I'm curious what your take is on Justin Duchscherer and Joe Blanton and what impact--if any--they'll have this season or next? With Hudson's free agency coming up, will they let the most underrated AL pitcher walk with these guys waiting in the wings?
Jim Callis (2:29 PM)
I like Joe Blanton and you may see him up by September. I'm not convinced on Duchscherer. He has great command, but he doesn't miss a lot of bats and he doesn't have a plus pitch. I'm not enamored of Oakland's system, and after SS Bobby Crosby and Blanton are promoted I don't see another big difference-maker. I do like 1B Dan Johnson and Graham Koonce, though. The big three (Hudson/Zito/Mulder) are the foundation of Oakland's success, so I can't see how they can afford to let any of those guys go.
Don Henley Boston
Are you saying that Jeremy Reed is Mark Kotsay?
Jim Callis (2:29 PM)
Don, great observation. You know, I think that's exactly what I'm saying. And Mark Kotsay is my all-time college player.
MC Carter (New Jersey)
If the HUGE amount of ink spent on David Wright this off-season isn?t hype enough, then he must be really good. The question is, why isn?t Huber on the list?
Jim Callis (2:31 PM)
I actually thought Wright was flying under the radar a little bit. C Justin Huber isn't on the list because it's very uncertain that he can handle the defensive responsibilities of the position. Factoring in the possibility that he very well may be a 1B kept him off the Top 100.
Joe (Cedar Falls, IA)
Do you think it is better to build a system with great pitching or great hitting? It seems like pitchers are harder to predict (except for the studs), while hitters still have value. Thoughts?
Jim Callis (2:32 PM)
You need both to win in the majors, so you have to try to find both. That may not be answering your question . . . I will say that when I'm trying to rank organizations, I give extra credit for hitting depth compared to pitching depth, because the hitters are more likely to pan out.
Jim Pierz MN
How well does Mauer have to perform so fans don't complain about not taking Prior number 1 overall.
Jim Callis (2:33 PM)
I think Mauer will be superstar catcher, but I don't think he'll ever eclipse Mark Prior. Twins fans are just going to have to accept that their team wasn't sure it could sign Prior, and they went with the guy (Mauer) they had ranked No. 1 on their draft board.
Kerry Wood, Chicago, IL
I read where Angel Guzman could be eventually #2 in a rotation behind Prior, ahead of ME. So how can he be ranked so low in this prospect list? Are you saying that every pitcher above him in the list has the potential to pitch ahead of me in a rotation?!
Jim Callis (2:35 PM)
Kerry, I wrote "could" when I did the Top 100. He's ranked that low because he had minor shoulder surgery last year and may not pitch until May or June this season. It's a little bit of a hedge to put him at No. 26, but that's what we did. When healthy, he has shown three pitches that grade as 70s on the 20-80 scouting scale.
Jim, dust off your crystal ball. Who do you forsee as the top 3 prospects in baseball 12 months from now? Upton, Weeks & Kazmir?
Jim Callis (2:36 PM)
I think Upton and Weeks may have lost their rookie eligibility by then, making them ineligble for our list. I'll say Rays OF Delmon Young, Brewers 1B Prince Fielder, Jays OF Alexis Rios, focusing on guys I'm pretty sure will be rookie-eligible then.
Anyone else worthwhile in the O's farm system besides Loewen? Their minor leagues were pretty barren a couple years ago...has that improved at all?
Jim Callis (2:38 PM)
The Orioles are finally starting to make strides. Besides Loewen, they've added RHP John Maine and Denny Bautista and OFs Nick Markakis and Val Majewski in the last two years. The new Jim Beattie/Mike Flanagan regime knows what it's doing and the Orioles are looking up.
Jim, the Baseball America list seems to heavily favor unproven over proven talent. For example, Jeff Allison ranks ahead of Clint Nageotte, Delmon Young ranks #3 overall (despite just 48 pro at-bats in the AFL) and Chris Lubanski ranks ahead of guys like Chris Snelling (who is not even ranked among the top 100.) This seems to be a drastic departure from previous BBA lists, and I'm wondering why.
Jim Callis (2:41 PM)
Mike, I think that's consistent with what we've done in the past. We ranked A-Rod No. 6 on the list in 1994 before he even played in his first game. We do balance performance and tools (and I'd favor performance), but we also don't knock premier talents just because their careers are just starting. Allison had the best fastball and the best curveball in last year's draft. I still want to see more out of Lubanski and I like Snelling, but Snelling projects as a corner OF who may not top 15-20 HR.
Jim, thanks for the outstanding chat session. Which player ranked 51-100 this year can you see making the biggest jump over the next 12 months?
Jim Callis (2:43 PM)
Cubs LHP Justin Jones, Orioles RHP John Maine, White Sox RHP Kris Honel, Mariners LHP Travis Blackley, Marlins LHP Scott Olsen, Indians 1B Michael Aubrey, Cubs OF Ryan Harvey.
How does the Angels farm system look? Who should we look out for this year?
Jim Callis (2:44 PM)
Very, very good. Impact players such as 1B Casey Kotchman, C Jeff Mathis, 3B Dallas McPherson and RHP Ervin Santana are close to being ready, and they have young players of note at the lower levels of the system as well.
Steve from CIN
Seems like Brandon Claussen may have been dissed, given that he was pretty dominating in his initial games at Triple-A - and even his lone MLB start - until he obviously tired and was shut down. Do you think he was rushed / overworked early, and that this has impacted his prospect status? Given he is approaching the 2nd anniversary of his TJ surgery, it seems as tho there is some significant upside left here. Thoughts?
Jim Callis (2:46 PM)
The injury has impacted his prospect status, but we do like him. He was one of three players who missed the Top 100 by the narrowest of margins, along with Dodgers RHP Joel Hanrahan and Reds 3B Edwin Encarnacion.
Adam Wainwright and Blake Hawksworth - are those two future front end starters for the Cards, or merely the best of below-average group of prospects? Is C Daric Barton an impact player down the road? Thanks!
Jim Callis (2:47 PM)
Both, really. Their system is pretty thin. I see Hawksworth as a No. 2 starter and Wainwright as a No. 3. The jury is still out on whether Barton is a true catcher and he hasn't made it out of Rookie ball, so I wouldn't get too excited yet.
What are your thoughts on Dan Johnson (Oakland A's - AAA)? He appears to have a good bat but I don't see him mentioned as a top prospect.
Jim Callis (2:48 PM)
Johnson does get some mention. He doesn't offer anything beyond his bat--but that bat has a lot of power and he draws a lot of walks, so it could be enough to carry him at 1B. If I were Oakland, I'd give him a shot to win the 1B job in spring training. For what it's worth, I ranked him at the bottom of my personal Top 100 when we began the discussion process for the consensus BA list, but he didn't make the final cut.
Callis, thanks for taking our questions. On your BA website you put Jeff Mathis ETA at 2004, is that because you don't believe in Bengie Molina or that you think Mathis is just that much better then Molina.
Jim Callis (2:49 PM)
I think Mathis is that much better than Molina, both offensively and defensively. That said, Molina could hold him off this year, but I can't see him doing so into 2005.
JC (NY, NY)
The Tribe reputedly has one of the best farm systems in baseball, but when will Cleveland fans see a real impact player, in the mold of Belle, Ramirez or Thome) at the Jake and who will it be?
Jim Callis (2:51 PM)
Cleveland promoted so many players last year, including much of the cream of their crop. Their depth is still admirable, especially considering all the promotions, but the only guy in the system I'd call an impact player is OF Grady Sizemore. He's more of a good all-around player than a true masher like the guys you mentioned, JC.
Callis I see that your still not a believer in Jenks. Jenks seems to have his head on straight now and pitched very well in AA and Puerto Rico. What does Jenks have to do to make you a believer?
Jim Callis (2:52 PM)
Continue to show better control of himself and his pitches. I'm still not sold on either, which is why I see him as a future reliever than as an ace starter.
What do you think Brandon Phillip's upside is?
Jim Callis (2:53 PM)
I still think he can be an above-average big leaguer, but he's going to have to work a lot harder and show a lot more responsibility than he did last year.
Fatty J (Boston, MA)
Where was Hanley Ramirez, the prized SS in the Red Sox farm system on that list? He was once called one of the top prospects in all of baseball, how can he now not even be in the top 50????
Jim Callis (2:55 PM)
He's No. 39 on the list I'm looking at. He hit some speed bumps last year, but still has as much upside as almost any SS in the minors. There is some risk along with that ceiling, which is why he's at No. 39.
Ferdi (Santa Barbara, CA)
How do you think Khalil Greene will do this year? Or are the padres better off with Rey Ordonez's glove at short?
Jim Callis (2:57 PM)
I don't think he's quite ready to hit in the majors, so I'd say he'll hit .250/.310/.400 this year. I like Greene, but I think he's going to be more steady in the long run, offensively and defensively, than a star. Ordonez has a better glove, but I'd start the year with Greene and see if he can handle the job.
Petey (SF, CA)
Hey Jim, thanks for being here for this chat! Now come there are no SF Giants questions? How does their minor league system look to you? Any impact position players or above average pitching prospects? Thanks for taking my question!
Jim Callis (2:59 PM)
Because I'm trying to sort through 250-plus questions! But we'll accomodate you, Petey. The Giants have done a masterful job of contending on an annual basis, and they've constantly used their prospects in trades to bolster the big league club. That's the job of the system, to help the big league club, but the deals often erode the system when it comes time for us to do our rankings. Right now, they rank in the bottom 10 in baseball. Their strength is pitching, led by RHPs Merkin Valdez, Matt Cain and David Aardsma, but there isn't a single hitter I'm very excited about. OFs Dan Ortmeier and Todd Linden are the best, but I see them more as complementary players. The Giants haven't developed an everyday big league hitter since drafting Bill Mueller and Chris Singleton in 1993.
Rich (Lincoln, NE)
Gotta say, its tough to respect you opinion when you basically give up on a guy like Jenks as a starter. He's still only 21 headed to AAA and his numbers are disgustingly good in terms of K/IP and H/IP
Jim Callis (3:02 PM)
He does have nice K/IP and H/IP, but he also: averaged 5.5 BB/9 in Double-A last year averaged 5.2 IP/GS never has shown consistent mechanics had elbow problems doesn't have a reliable changeup All that spells future reliever to me. I'd continue to give him IP to see if he can become a starter, but I wouldn't bet on it happening.
Who would you take as a middle infielder in a fantasy draft, Bobby Crosby or Jose Reyes?
Jim Callis (3:05 PM)
Reyes is the better long-term baseball player, but Crosby might be the better long-term fantasy player because he'll qualify at SS and have more power.
Bryan (Chicago, IL)
Jim - enjoyed meeting you last weekend. Who do you see as a more established player in five years -- Upton or JJ Hardy? Thanks.
Jim Callis (3:05 PM)
Bryan is referring to Ron Shandler's First Pitch Chicago conference, which was great fun. I really like Hardy and think he'll hit, but Upton has a LOT more upside with the bat. I'd take Upton, easy.
Thanks for taking time to answer my question. I was wondering if you had thoughts about Diamond Backs pitching prospect Edgar Gonzalez?
Jim Callis (3:07 PM)
Politeness will get you everywhere, as I'm constantly telling my kids. I like Gonzalez, but he's an enigma. His velocity ranges from the high 80s to the mid-90s, and on some nights he looks like a stud and on others he's very hittable. If he could sit in the low 90s and focus on sink, he'd probably be best off.
Phil (Amherst, MA)
Jim, what are your thoughts on Red Sox Pitching prospect Abe Alvarez, I've heard some draw early comparisons to Orel Herchiser (probably spelled wrong)
Jim Callis (3:09 PM)
The Red Sox absolutely love Alvarez, their second-round pick from 2003 who broke into pro ball by not allowing an earned run in 19 innings. He's a lefty who works at 85-88 mph, but some Sox officials think his fastball may be the best in their system because his command of it is off the charts. His curveball and changeup will be average to plus, and control will always be his strong suit. I'm very curious to see what he does in a full season. And he has some of the best hair in the minors.
Silv (NY, NY)
I'll be polite to you *and* your kids if you can tell me how productive James Loney is going to be in filling the gaping black hole that is first base for the Dodgers?
Jim Callis (3:11 PM)
Silv caught on quickly. Loney broke his wrist in 2002, which hurt his power in 2003, so you can throw his stats out the window. He's going to be very good and is probably 18 months away from the majors. He'll hit for average and power with a decent amount of walks.
Sorry for recurrent post on the same question. Do you mind? I hope not, and thanks. I really respect your opinion, and was interested in how the Cubs pitching projects.
Jim Callis (3:14 PM)
The Cubs have the best young pitching in the majors, and the same is true in the minors. There will be some attrition, but Angel Guzman, Justin Jones, Andy Sisco, Bobby Brownlie, Chadd Blasko, Jae-Kuk Ryu and Luke Hagerty all have the potential to pitch in the front half of a rotation (at least one not as loaded as Chicago's). Also keep an eye on relievers Todd Wellemeyer and Francis Beltran, and lower-level guys like Billy Petrick and Jason Wylie. And Ricky Nolasco, who gets overlooked. I could go on and on and on . . .
Hey Jim, thanks for doing the chat! What gives Greg Miller the edge over Scott Kazmir and Cole Hamels? Is Miller's shoulder going to be a problem?
Jim Callis (3:15 PM)
We think Miller's shoulder will be fine. He gets the edge because he has the best combination of stuff and command, better command than Kazmir and better stuff than Hamels. I'd take any of the three, though.
Gabe Gross... what happened? Is he still in the Jays' long term plans?
Jim Callis (3:16 PM)
Bounced back nicely in 2003, still needs to hit for more power, should be Toronto's LF in 2005.
I noticed that Mench isn't projected to be an OF starter for Texas in 2007. What will happen to him then? Do you expect him to be traded?
Jim Callis (3:17 PM)
They just have too many corner OF options, and Mench will lose out. He should hope for a trade with guys like Mark Teixeira, Laynce Nix and Vince Sinisi as competition.
Will Chris Snelling ever become what the Mariners are expecting him to be? It seems that no matter what he does he injures something. This year it's his wrist.
Jim Callis (3:19 PM)
I've gotten a lot of mileage out of calling Snelling the Australian Pete Reiser, and I won't stop now. He'd be established in their starting lineup by now if he hadn't kept getting hurt. It looks like the plan now is to get him a lot of AB in Triple-A this year, and then he could take over at DH when Edgar Martinez retires. The signing of Raul Ibanez and the re-signing of Randy Winn indicates that Seattle didn't think Snelling was ready. I like him, he'll hit for average with line-drive power, but would profile better if he could play CF.
Phil (Amherst, MA)
I've heard that Charlie Zink also has a 90+ MPH fastball to go along with his Knuckler, is this true, and if so, could it give him a potentially huge advantage?
Jim Callis (3:21 PM)
Not true at all. He threw 86-87 mph as a conventional pitcher in 2002. He has to use the knuckleball motion on all his pitches now, so he won't tip off what he's doing, and that motion has his fastball sitting in the high 70s now. He's interesting, definitely a guy to watch, but it's hard to evaluate knuckleballers based on tools and stats because there just aren't enough of them for comparison's sake.
JP (Manchester, CT)
I'll take the opposite option... What about Carlos Quinten? How good will he be? I'll be the meanest, rudest person to you and your kids unless you answer it.
Jim Callis (3:23 PM)
Can't have that JP. Quentin wouldn't have fallen to the 29th pick for the Diamondbacks last June had he not needed Tommy John surgery. He's got the tools to hit for power and average and become a prototype RF, though his power didn't always manifest itself like that at Stanford. Wouldn't surprise me at all if he batted his way onto the Top 100 or at least into consideration this year.
Are you as polite in person, as you are in chat?
Jim Callis (3:23 PM)
Not really. Easily agitated!
Matt (Huntingotn Beach)
Love the list, Jim. I was wondering what do you think DePodesta will do to the Dodgers farm system. Any chance he'll gut it for High impact players or do you thinkhe'll play the Beane roll and regurgitate minor leaguers through a never ending talent stream?
Jim Callis (3:26 PM)
Paul DePodesta is an intelligent guy, and he'll have more resources in LA than Beane has in Oakland. I don't think he'll gut for the sake of gutting, but the Dodgers' lineup is woeful. If he can improve the big league club, which should contend, I don't think Paul will hesitate to move Greg Miller or Franklin Gutierrez or whomever. The Dodgers have good depth and can afford to make trades to fill their considerable holes. Paul's hands are tied somewhat by the timing of when he got the job. I think he would have been pretty active had he been hired in October.
John Schneider (Winnetka, Illinois)
I've been a diehard White Sox for my entire life, and I was curious how Neil Cotts did not make the top 100? I feel like you guys at Baseball America have been biased in favor of the Cubs over the last few years, evident by players such as Bobby Hill, Hee Seop Choi and Juan Cruz.
Jim Callis (3:29 PM)
I don't think we're biased toward the Cubs at all. They've simply had better talent, and we ranked the White Sox as having the best farm system in the game entering 2001. As for Cotts, I couldn't quite put him on my Top 100. He's deceptive and has a nice changeup, but he nibbles a lot and that got him into trouble in his brief big league stint.
Ryan Wagner (no. 46) looked great in his short stint in the majors last year. Do you think there's a chance he'll close rather than Graves or is Graves' contract going to make it impossible to justify him as a middle reliever?
Jim Callis (3:34 PM)
If the Reds make decisions based on salary rather than talent, they're worse off than they look. Wagner has one of the best sliders in the world and a plus fastball, and he's so much better suited than Graves to close that it's not even funny. I really enjoyed taking all these questions. I wish I could have gotten to more but with 350-plus, it wasn't possible. I'm going to take a half-hour break, and then I'll be chatting again on this topic at baseballamerica.com. Everyone at BA is excited about our new partnership with ESPN and we hope to do more of this type of thing soon.