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Down On The Farm: Excerpts from Jim Callis Chat

Jim Callis from Baseball America held a chat yesterday and here are some excerpts:

JAYPERS (IL): I'm a bit surprised to see Rendon maintain his ranking over Cole. By many accounts, Cole is a future #1-2 SP, with an 80 FB and 65 secondary pitches. Rendon, on the other hand, has been bothering by a lingering shoulder, thus limiting his play in the field, which could conceivably drop him a couple of spots, come draft day. Can you clarify this for us? Thanks Jim.

Jim Callis: The list is based on long-term potential, not their health today. I don't disagree that if the draft were today, the Pirates picking No. 1, might opt for Cole over Rendon, in part because Rendon's shoulder isn't 100 percent. But for the long term, the shoulder is not a concern. As talented as Cole is, we'll take the elite hitter with plus power and Gold Glove defensive skills at third base. You can definitely argue for either, but I don't think it should be a surprise to rank one guy or the other at No. 1.

I think the Buccos will be happy with either pick, but could see them taking Cole since he is close to being major league ready and he would instantly become their best pitcher. 

Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Billy Hamilton has 6 SB in 6 games, over/under 100 steals on the year?

Jim Callis: If anyone can do it, it's Hamilton, but I'll still take the under. That's a tough number to reach because stealing that many bases would really beat up his body. If I'm the Reds, I'm more concerned with getting him everyday at-bats and time at shortstop. I know he's going to be able to steal bases. I'd rather have him steal 50-70 and play 130 games.

Hamilton moved to shortstop this year, and projects as a leadoff hitter with very good speed. But he is 2-3 years away.

More excerpts after the jump:

Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Does the BA Prospect Hot Sheet make it's return this Friday?

Jim Callis: Yes. Jerry Sands is making a push for the top spot.

Yes, Sands is having a heck of a first week. He has 4 HRs and 14 RBIs in his first week of games. He should see time in LA this summer.

More on Sands

Chris (New York): With Jerry Sands hot start in AAA and the mediocore situation in LF for the Dodgers whats his ETA for the bigs? And what weaknesses does he need to work on to make a greater impact right away?

Jim Callis: The Dodgers need offense, and they won't be able to ignore Sands if he keeps this up. He has a lot more offensive upside than Tony Gwynn Jr.—it's not even close. Sands is a below-average runner who won't be better than an average left fielder, but it's his bat that will carry him.

I couldn't agree more. They need his bat now, but will be somewhat patient in bringing him up.

The rest of the chat was mostly questions about guys who will be drafted this June, so this one is short.