Each year Baseball Americaputs together a comprehensive list of the top prospects for each team in the majors. Today Jim Callis posted his top 10 list and reviewed the future stars of the Red Sox farm system. Callis also made himself available for some questions during a 3 p.m. chat session. Below you will find some of the interesting tidbits from his live chat and also his top 10 list.
For those of you with a BA subscription, the Yankees top 10 will be posted on Monday, January 7th by John Manuel.
TOP TEN SOX PROSPECTS (according to Jim Callis of Baseball America)
content redacted pending consideration
1. Clay Buchholz, rhp
2. Jacoby Ellsbury, of
3. Lars Anderson, 1b
4. Justin Masterson, rhp
5. Jed Lowrie, ss
6. Ryan Kalish, of
7. Michael Bowden, rhp
8. Nick Hagadone, lhp
9. Oscar Tejeda, ss
10. Josh Reddick, of
Live chat follows the jump. posted for John-YF, who is having TypePad issues – ag
Q&A from the live chat:
Q: Ben from Leland Grove asks:
If Epstein doesn’t trade Lowrie, how soon could he be pushing for a starting SS job at Fenway?
A: Jim Callis: That depends on how much slack they’re going to give Julio Lugo, who is due another $30 million over the next three years. On many clubs, Lowrie would the Opening Day shortstop or get the chance to win that job in spring training. But Lugo’s contract makes it more likely that Lowrie will open the year in Triple-A. He could hit enough to play second or third base, but he’s blocked at those spots by Dustin Pedroia and Mike Lowell. I think he eventually does become a trade chip.
Q: Had Beltre not been traded to TX, would he have cracked the Top 10?
A: Jim Callis: Interesting, hadn’t thought about this . . . He probably would have just missed. He wasn’t as impressive in the GCL as Oscar Tejeda (No. 9) was, and Josh Reddick (No. 10) had a strong season, too.
Q: Jim, you rated Lars Anderson best hitter for average over Jacoby Ellsbury? We all know you love Lars but please explain.
A: Jim Callis: I do love Lars, and I think the Red Sox may love him more than I do. I talked to several sources, and the overwhelming majority believed Anderson
is a better pure hitter than Ellsbury. Ellsbury was a close second, and obviously his speed is going to help him leg out a lot of hits. I can’t wait to see what Anderson does this year in Lancaster.
Q: Better prospect and arm overall – Buchholz or Joba? Which one ranks higher on your personal Top 50 list?
A: Jim Callis: Chamberlain has a better pure arm, but Buchholz has a deeper arsenal of plus pitches. In other words, Chamberlain can throw harder, but he can’t match Buchholz’ repertoire of plus fastball, plus-plus curveball, plus slider and plus-plus changeup. I had Buchholz at No. 2 and Chamberlain at No. 3 on my personal Top 50 list, with Jay Bruce at No. 1.
Q: Hank from New York, NY asks:
Is Lester, Crisp, Lowrie, Masteron too much for Santana? And who has the better offer on the table, the Sox or the Yanks offer that’s rumored to be Hughes, Cabrera, Marquez, 4th prospect. Thanks for the chat.
A: Jim Callis: I don’t think that’s too much. From Boston’s standpoint, you’re upgrading Lester to Santana; replacing Crisp with Ellsbury; Lowrie has no place to play right now; and Masterson is a setup guy who could start or close elsewhere. That’s better than the Yankees’ offer, though I would take Hughes over any of the guys in the Boston package.
Q: Is the Red Sox ranking (2nd) due in large part to Ellsbury and Buchholz or to overall depth? Or more specifically, how would their system rate from 3-25?
A: Jim Callis: It’s a combination of blue-chip prospects and depth. After editing and writing the reports in the Prospect Handbook, to me it’s clear that the Rays and Red Sox have the best depth in their farm systems among all 30 clubs. And they have a lot of blue-chip prospects to boot.
Q: How many Sox made your top 50 list?
A: Jim Callis: Buchholz at No. 2, Ellsbury at No. 16 (and I didn’t think he’d rank that high), Anderson at No. 29. Masterson will be in the 51-60 range.
Q: Hanley Ramirez and Anibel Sanchez for Josh Beckett. Would you make that trade today? Beckett already helped the Sox win a World Series, but imagine Hanley at shortstop for the next 10 years with a rotation of Buchholz, Lester, Matsusaka, Sanchez (who was lights-out in FL), and Bowden/Masterson.
A: Jim Callis: I think both teams are happy with how that deal worked out. With Sanchez getting hurt, it’s Ramirez for Beckett as the principles right now. The Marlins didn’t want to pay Beckett, and I think it’s harder to find a No. 1 starter than it is a Ramirez.
Q: Did anything ever come of Jaren Matthews losing his eligibility? There was some discussion over at SoxProspects about whether he would based on his signing/non-signing.
A: Jim Callis: Matthews agreed to terms with the Red Sox, then changed his mind. In the past, guys have lost their NCAA eligibility over this. Not sure what makes Matthews’ case different, but the last I heard he was a freshman at Rutgers. Boston took the high road in this and didn’t try to punish the kid.
The last question interests me since I had the privilege of coaching against Jaren. He is a super talented kid. This is definitely a win for Rutgers baseball program. – John-YF