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Down On The Farm: Q & A With Baseball America's Jim Callis

Here are some nuggets from the prospect chat with Jim Callis over at ESPN this afternoon. By the way, for you prospect hounds, Baseball America will be hosting an all day chat on Friday with several prospects chatting as well, including Marlins 1B prospectLogan Morrison, Pirates pitching prospect Tim Alderson, Red Sox outfield prospect Ryan Westmoreland and Tigers pitching prospect Casey Crosby.

Here are Q & A with Callis today:

Michael (Washington, D.C.)

Where do you see Strasburg starting the year?

Jim Callis
(2:04 PM)

Double-A. It makes financial sense to keep him in the minors for a couple of months, so I'd guess he spends roughly a month each in Double-A and Triple-A.

That would mean a June call-up for Strasburg as long as he stays healthy.

Wes (Wrigleyville)

Is Starlin Castro the top SS prospect in the minors? top 3?

Jim Callis
(2:13 PM)

For me, yes. My top three are Castro, Alcides Escobar and Dee Gordon, with Grant Green right behind Gordon.

I am curious who makes it to the big leagues first-Castro or Gordon?

Brad (Chicago):

John Manuel provided his Personal Top 20 Prospects List. Will you be doing the same?

Jim Callis
(2:45 PM)

My personal Top 50, as well as John's and Will Lingo's, is in the Prospect Handbook. My Top 10:

1. Stephen Strasburg, rhp, Nationals, 2. Jason Heyward, of, Braves, 3. Mike Stanton, of, Marlins, 4. Jesus Montero, c, Yankees, 5. Pedro Alvarez, 3b, Pirates, 6. Dustin Ackley, of/1b, Mariners, 7. Neftali Feliz, rhp, Rangers, 8. Buster Posey, c, Giants, 9. Brian Matusz, lhp, Orioles, 10. Madison Bumgarner, lhp, Giants

No real surprises there. I think 7-8 of his top 10 play in the majors in 2010. Ackley and Montero are the two I think will not. Stanton should stay in AA all year, but the Marlins are known for rushing their top prospects. Hopefully, they learned from rushing Cameron Maybin too soon.

Jacob (NYC)

How does Jesus Montero compare talentwise to a young Jorge Posada or Mike Piazza?

Jim Callis
(2:22 PM)

I like the Piazza comp. That's a lot to put on Montero, but he has that potential impact bat and that lackluster defense behind the plate. But the bat may be enough to not worry about his defensive inadequacies.

Montero has been compared to Manny Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera and Mike Piazza. He's in good company, but they are lofty expectations for sure. I wonder if he ever puts on a Yankee uniform?