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Callis Chat -- Draft


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Chat Questions pertaining to draftees we discuss:

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Peirez, Tamarindo Estates : True or false: Justin Smoak will be drafted in the top 4?

Jim Callis: I'm going to say no, but he could. I think he's more of a 5-10 guy than a top four guy.

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Bill Gaithersburg, Md.: In your mock draft, you have the Orioles taking Matusz over G. Beckham (assuming Tim is gone by then). It seems that they need a bat, esp. a middle infielder, much more than pitching. Am I giving their pitching prospects (Tillman, Liz, Arrieta, Bascom, etal) too much upside or is Matusz that special?

Jim Callis: Matusz is the best pitching prospect in this draft. In the first round, especially at the top, you're taking the best talent, not trying to fill a specific need. If you try to fill a need, you can make mistakes. That said, all things equal, I think the Orioles would lean toward a pitcher after spending three straight first-rounders on bats.

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Jake (Hell, MI): MLB.com predicts the Royals taking Hosmer at #3. Your thoughts? They certainly don't mind dealing with Boras.

Jim Callis: That would surprise me a little bit, not the spending money on Boras part. I think they'd look to get a comparable player who plays a more premium position, such as Buster Posey or Tim Beckham, if they're available.

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John (St. Paul, MN): Jim - Who in your opinion would be the best pick for the Rays?

Jim Callis: In a vacuum, where money and needs didn't matter, I'd take Vandy 3B Pedro Alvarez No. 1. For the Rays, I think Florida State C Buster Posey makes a lot of sense.

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Rob (Alaska): I understand teams can't trade draft picks, and have heard the whys, but let me ask this: if the Rays could, they would trade down, correct? Buster Posey cannot be the top player on their board.

Jim Callis: I disagree. I think there's a chance that Posey is No. 1 on their board, and it's a defensible position. And he would make a lot of sense for them--how many all-star caliber catchers are on the trade market?

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Bill (Chi): But aren't Posey's offensive numbers greatly inflated by his home park? He's more likely a 10-15 HR hitter in the majors, isn't he? That doesn't really make him an all star catcher.

Jim Callis: Florida State is a favorable hitting environment. But if Posey hits .280 with 15 HR and plays quality defense, that's an all-star catcher. And that's what he projects to do. I'm not saying I'd take Posey No. 1--still seems odd to me that the No. 1 pick might not have a plus-plus tool--but he has tools across the board and is a complete package as a catcher.

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Patrick (Chicago): Jim, is the hammate injury to Alvarez going to significantly sap his power or what? I keep hearing conflicting answers.

Jim Callis: It will for the short terms, perhaps up to a year, because a lot of power comes from the wrist. But long term, it's not a concern at all and it won't affect his draft status.

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Joe (Chico, CA): 2-fer. How does Posey compare to Varitek when he was coming out (.280 with 15 HR sounds close to 'Tek's production at his peak). And, Follow if Smoak is there when the Giants pick should he be the choice, especially with Angel Villanoa in their system?

Jim Callis: Varitek was considered much more of a power threat, Posey is more athletic though there weren't concerns about Varitek's defense. With Smoak, you take the best guy available. Big V isn't knocking on the door to the majors yet.

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Brett (WI): Where do YOU think Sheppers ends up? Yankees more likely to try him or Cole?

Jim Callis: I have no feel for where Scheppers will go--a stress fracture in his shoulder sounds severe. I'd have a hard time imagining him in the first round.

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I personally don't buy all the talk of us taking a pitcher just because we selected hitters in the 1st round for three years in a row. If you look at last years draft predictions, Callis and company had us taking Detwiler because we had selected a hitter with the first pick in the 2 previous drafts. My money is on Smoak, because I think he will produce at the major league level, so its not really a "need" pick if he contributes to the big club within 2 years. As said before, I too would be somewhat disappointed with Matusz as our top pick but I would eventually warm up to him if he lives up to his billing.

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I keep reading that Matusz is not as good as other recent draftees but he is the best of the bunch. I wonder how the draftniks would compare him to Detwiler.

Everyone had us pegged to take Detwiler last year until we shocked the nation and actually took Wieters when he fell to us.

If he had not fallen to us could we be looking at a Detwiler/Posey combo as apposed to a potential Wieters/Matusz combo?

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I keep reading that Matusz is not as good as other recent draftees but he is the best of the bunch. I wonder how the draftniks would compare him to Detwiler.

Everyone had us pegged to take Detwiler last year until we shocked the nation and actually took Wieters when he fell to us.

If he had not fallen to us could we be looking at a Detwiler/Posey combo as apposed to a potential Wieters/Matusz combo?

It isn't perfect since the two played very different schedules (my vote would go for Matusz with the more difficult road, but others may disagree), but here is the stat breakdown:

Detwiler 89 IP, 64 H, 38 BB, 110 SO, 2.22 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .198 BAA

Matusz 88 IP, 75 H, 20 BB, 122 SO, 2.05 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .223 BAA

Both were very developed as juniors and had good command over their arsenal. Matusz gets points for being a lefty. I'd have to really think about who I'd rank higher in the same draft. Leaning towards Detwiler...

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It isn't perfect since the two played very different schedules (my vote would go for Matusz with the more difficult road, but others may disagree), but here is the stat breakdown:

Detwiler 89 IP, 64 H, 38 BB, 110 SO, 2.22 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .198 BAA

Matusz 88 IP, 75 H, 20 BB, 122 SO, 2.05 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .223 BAA

Both were very developed as juniors and had good command over their arsenal. Matusz gets points for being a lefty. I'd have to really think about who I'd rank higher in the same draft. Leaning towards Detwiler...

Detwiler's a lefty to so I guess that would just cause you to lean a little more towards him.

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I personally don't buy all the talk of us taking a pitcher just because we selected hitters in the 1st round for three years in a row. If you look at last years draft predictions, Callis and company had us taking Detwiler because we had selected a hitter with the first pick in the 2 previous drafts. My money is on Smoak, because I think he will produce at the major league level, so its not really a "need" pick if he contributes to the big club within 2 years. As said before, I too would be somewhat disappointed with Matusz as our top pick but I would eventually warm up to him if he lives up to his billing.

I love how he talks out the side of his mouth on the O's. He just gets done saying how you don't draft for need in the 1st round, you take the best player available, but he says that he thinks we will take a pitcher because we have just spent 3 1st round picks on hitters? What do prior years have to do with this pick if you are taking the best available talent????

GRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

Ok, I'm better. That being said, this draft at least with 1st round analysis is looking as close to the hitter-deep '05 draft as any I can recall. Talent for talent, I just don't see with all the questions about him that Matusz can be in the top 4 talents overall in this draft. Yes, he is the best pitcher, and if you are looking for a certain position (the wrong way to draft) then yes, he is a good pick, but this is a weak year for pitchers at the top of the draft, and with Scheppers injury, there is a good chance he is around in the 2nd or 3rd to take a risk on. Like Stotle said in the other thread, there is too much talent in the later rounds to focus on one specific position, pitcher or hitter.

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If we draft Matusz, I'll be very disappointed.

I have a feeling that you are going to be disappointed. I think for me it is going to be one of those things that I am disappointed about when it happens, but they as soon as he starts pitching I will be cheering for him like crazy. Hopefully we can get a good bat in the 2nd. You have to admit though in 3 years a rotation foundation of:

1) D. Cabrera

2) J. Arrieta (yes I think he is this good)

3) C. Tillman

4) B. Matusz

5) A. Loewen

looks pretty sweet. Only problem is that we may need to win every game 2-1. haha

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I have a feeling that you are going to be disappointed. I think for me it is going to be one of those things that I am disappointed about when it happens, but they as soon as he starts pitching I will be cheering for him like crazy. Hopefully we can get a good bat in the 2nd. You have to admit though in 3 years a rotation foundation of:

1) D. Cabrera

2) J. Arrieta (yes I think he is this good)

3) C. Tillman

4) B. Matusz

5) A. Loewen

looks pretty sweet. Only problem is that we may need to win every game 2-1. haha

No doubt.

I'd just rather take a bat. If Alvarez and T.Beckham are gone, I believe Smoak is worthy of the 4th pick.

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No doubt.

I'd just rather take a bat. If Alvarez and T.Beckham are gone, I believe Smoak is worthy of the 4th pick.

I agree with you. I am a HUGE Smoak fan. I have been since the beginning of the season. I would not be disappointed if we hear his name on draft day! I would even go as far as to say that I would rather draft Smoak over Beckham. I think that Beckham has more potential, but I just do not want to have to draft another high school kid and wait 4-5 years while they develop (if they do). We need bats on the team ASAP and I think Smoak gets there in 2 years.

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