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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects

Baseball America published their Top 100 Prospects list, in two parts; the list (you'll have to pay for the comments) goes like this:
  1. Angels SS Brandon Wood
  2. Dodgers RHP Chad Billingsley
  3. Angels 2B Howie Kendrick
  4. Dodgers 3B Andy LaRoche
  5. Dodgers SS/3B Joel Guzman
  6. Dodgers C Russell Martin
  7. Angels SS Erick Aybar
  8. Dodgers LHP Scott Elbert
  9. Angels RHP Jered Weaver
  10. Angels C Jeff Mathis
  11. Dodgers RHP Jonathan Broxton
  12. Angels 1B Kendry Morales
  13. Dodgers 3B Blake DeWitt
  14. Dodgers OF Andre Ethier
  15. Angels RHP Nick Adenhart
  16. Dodgers OF Matt Kemp
Jim Callis also held court at a chat after these lists were published; here's a couple gems:
 Q:  Jock Thompson from Orange County, CA asks:
Hi Jim! You've been quoted as suggesting recently that Brandon Wood would spend one or two months in the minors before getting the call to LA-of-ANA and being installed as a regular. I had the priviledge of watching Wood play last season and was amazed by what he accomplished offensively, even in the CA league, but isn't this a bit of leap of faith for a 21-year old who has had all of 19 ABs above Single-A?

Jim Callis: It is a leap of faith, but that's how much I believe in Brandon Wood. I think he'll start the year by tearing up Double-A andor Triple-A and force his way into the Angels lineup.

 Q:  Bob N from London, UK asks:
Although he has not demonstrated the progression of a breakout minor league stud, I was wondering how close James Loney came to being listed in the Top100. At best, I see him as a younger version on Conor Jackson with less power, but a sweeter glove. I feel like with the obscene level of talent in the LA system, Loney's ranking in lists such as the Top100 takes a hit. I would appreciate any feedback you could provide.

Jim Callis: Loney needs to get his bat going again to jump back into the Top 100. I don't have as much faith in his bat to compare him to Conor Jackson but you're right, he does get lost a little in the deep Dodgers system.

 Q:  Jock Thompson from Orange County CA asks:
How big an issue is Howie Kendricks' defense? You have him ranked highly, maybe justifiably due to his offense alone. But given the way the Angels play and the fact that they've been spoiled by Adam Kennedy for so many seasons, how much of a problem will this for Kendrick in breaking into that lineup?

Jim Callis: Not a huge issue. Most of his value is in his bat, and he'll hit enough to make up for what he doesn't offer with the glove.

Update: Here's a special shout out to former Dirtbag Troy Tulowitzki, who appears 25th on this list. Also, thanks to Anon in the comments for pointing out this ESPN chat with Jim Callis, in which he called Brandon Wood an "unstoppable force", and of Kotchman, "he'll develop more power and become one of the best first basemen in the majors."

Baseball America's Jim Callis is also high on Casey Kotchman (technically no longer a prospect) . . .

Jim Callis: If he played every day, I think he could [hit] .300 with 15-20 homers right now. In time, I think he'll develop more power and become one of the best first basemen in the majors.

Callis' comments about Brandon Wood seem wildly over-the-top, esp. the idea that Wood might be in Anaheim by June:

Jim Callis: I think he's basically an unstoppable force and will spend at most a month or two in the minors before jumping into the Angels' lineup, either at shortstop or third base.


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