Jim Callis recently conducted a chat on Baseball America, answering all kinds of questions about Prospects, Spring Training and the MLB Draft. For your reading pleasure, I've plucked his interesting answers to draft-related questions.
On Matt Krook's stock:
Matt Krook's stock is shooting through the roof. He's a high school lefthander from California who looks like a definite first-rounder, could be the first prep arm taken. Consistent low-90s fastball, spins a tight curveball.
I've seen Krook's name start to pop up on various draft boards. He showed up at 26 on the "experts" consensus big board. I'd be lying if I said I knew much about him, but I've added him to my list of prospects to look at.
On Kris Bryant's tools:
I'd project him as 55 bat, 65 power, 45 run, 60 arm, 40 defender at 3B, 50 defender in RF.
55 bat is a little overzealous, in my opinion, but I've never been as high as everyone else on Bryant.
On comparing Jonathan Gray to Gerrit Cole:
Too lofty. I like Gray a lot and I think he's a top-10 draft pick right now, but Cole showed a better and deeper repertoire over a longer period of time. That said, the comparison isn't crazy, which says a lot about Gray.
Gray's stock is rising at a Toejam and Earl rocket skates-like speed. He really has everything you want in an Ace. 6'4", 240, fastball that sits 94-97 (touches 100), potential plus slider and change, a low-effort delivery, and stats to back it up: 4-1, 1.51 ERA, 39/8 K:BB ratio, in 36 IP. If nothing else, he's at least entered the discussion for top college pitcher, along with Appel and Manaea.
When asked to rank Carlos Rodon, Sean Manaea, Jonathan Gray and Chris Anderson:
That would be my order. Of course, Rodon isn't draft-eligible until 2014.
My thoughts: Manaea and Gray is splitting hairs for me. Manaea has a slightly higher upside, but Gray probably has a higher floor.
On Tom Windle as a first rounder:
I think Windle could sneak into the first round but the sandwich round is more likely. There are a lot of quality lefthanders in this draft, and his stuff is more average to solid than plus.
My thoughts: I know a lot of my TCB brethren like Windle, but I haven't gotten an extensive look at him yet.
On Colin Moran's draft position:
He's the best pure college hitter in the draft and having a terrific year, so I could see him going in the first five picks. He's good enough to stay at third base but doesn't project to be more than an adequate defender. He's not very athletic but gets the job done.
My thoughts: I had Moran ahead of Bryant before the season started, which looks really dumb now, but I'm glad to see someone is still high on him.
When asked about health concerns for Ryne Stanek:
His stuff has been down a little and his command has been off. No health concerns that I've heard of. I still think he goes in the first round, though if the draft were today, it likely would be the second half of the round.
My thoughts: With every outing, Stanek's stock falls a little more. He began the season in the same discussion with Appel and Manaea, but has seemingly been replaced by Jonathan Gray. I agree that he's still a first-round talent, but I'm glad the Astros won't have to be the team who makes the decision to take him.
Will the Astros take Gray at 1.1?
That would surprise me.
My thoughts: Love Gray, but it would surprise me as well. Something to keep in mind: Gray's FIP is 3.27 this year, which doesn't look quite as good as his 1.51 ERA. I doubt he passes Appel or Manaea, but the way his stock has been climbing, who knows where he'll be in three months.