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Down on the Farm: Excerpts from Baseball America Chat

Jim Callis over at Baseball America held his first chat of 2011 on Wednesday afternoon, and here are a few excerpts:

Brian (Pittsburgh): If today is draft day and you are the Pirates, is it Rendon or Cole? How much of the decision is influenced by the arms and bats currently in the system?

Jim Callis: The pick will not be influenced at all by what they have on hand—the Pirates will take whomever they believe is the best player.  I'd take Rendon but could easily get talked into Cole. I get a lot of questions about how Cole is rising and Rendon is dropping, and that's just not the case. 

I wrote an article on Cole over at Minor League Ball which is scheduled to post for Saturday morning at 8am, but some are calling for Cole to be the #1 pick in the 2011 draft, and ESPN's Keith Law compared him to Stephen Strasburg.

Nick P. (SE PA): Which catcher has more offensive upside long-term..... Wilin Rosario or Derek Norris.

Jim Callis: Very close. Similar power, Norris is a walk machine (though that doesn't always translate from Class A to the majors), Rosario is a better hitter. I'll take Rosario.

Wow. I did not expect Callis to say Rosario.

More after the jump:

Jared (Charlotte): When is Zach Britton going to enter the O's rotation and what is his ceiling?

Jim Callis: My guess is Baltimore keeps an eye on his service-time clock, sends him to Triple-A for April and May, then promotes him in June. He has the stuff, command and makeup to be a No. 2 starter.

I can see the Orioles making some noise in the AL East over the next 2-3 years with all the young talent they have there.

Matt (NJ): How long do you see Bryce Harper playing for Hagerstown?

Jim Callis: At least half a season. Jumping from juco ball to low Class A when you're 18 is no easy feat. It would be a tremendous accomplishment for Harper to need only a half-season each at each full-season level, which would get him to Washington at age 20 in 2013.

That seems like a conservative estimate for when Harper will make the big leagues. GM Mike Rizzo did not rule out calling Harper up THIS season.

Johnny (Irvine): Brett Lawrie or Dustin Ackley?

Jim Callis: Ackley. Neither is a second baseman, though.

Callis is standing firm with his opinion that Ackley won't stay at second base.