Podcast: Making the MVP Case(s) and White Sox Top Prospects with Jim Callis

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Guest: Jim Callis, MLB.com

With two-thirds of the season completed, Josh and Jim look at the MVP cases for Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, and Luis Robert. Do any of the three have a chance to dethrone Mike Trout for the top award in 2020?

[38:45] MLBPipeline released its updated Top 100 Prospect list that features four White Sox players. Our good friend, Jim Callis stops by to share his thoughts of Luis Robert’s play and a look at the future White Sox farm system ranking.

P.O. Sox Questions


David La Mantia

If the playoffs started tomorrow, what does the roster look like?  Any surprises?

John O

If the season ended today, which of the division standings would have most and least surprised you? EG, the NL West being lead by the Dodgers and then Padres doesn’t surprise me at all— but if the Diamond Backs finish in last place while the Rockies or giants score a wildcard spot— I don’t think many people saw that coming.

Chef Eric

What would be a ideal seeding for the White Sox? If they finish with 2nd seeding, they would face the Twins (Sox would have home field advantage). Not saying that they should aim lower, but it is interesting they have a good chance of facing an AL central team (Twins/Indians and maybe Tigers) in the first round should they hold their 1st place position.

Patreon P.O. Sox

Alex Rude

Who finishes the season with more extra base hits: Yolmer or Madrigal?

mark sambor

While not disputing that Grandal is the better and more accomplished player, if McCann and the Sox cannot come to an agreement for 2021 and beyond, are the Sox better off letting McCann go for nothing or trading Grandal for some sort of return?

Matthew Masini

Is anybody having more fun than Benetti and Stone? How would you rate their performance thus far? Have you noticed any difference in their road game calls this year since they are calling them from home? Any thoughts on Masur and DJ? I must say I don’t mean to speak ill of the dead, but it sure is nice to have a real pbp guy again.

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Josh, per Fegan this morning:

“[Keuchel] seemed confident about making his next start and did everyone the courtesy of revealing it was set to be on Saturday, indicating the Sox will just restart their rotation with Giolito after Thursday’s off day…

Asked if he had given any thought to lining up the top of the rotation with the start of a potential playoff series opening on Sept. 29 (and if Giolito starts on Friday, they would not be yet), Renteria said it was too soon to focus on that, but…

“It’s not that it’s not in the back of our minds,” Renteria said. “Obviously, I mean that would be foolish for me to say we’re not thinking about it.”



There was a lot of discussion of playoff seeding and maximizing pitching matchups for the playoffs on today’s podcast. With the central as close as it is, it’s likely seeding will come down to the wire—with the final series likely making some determinations.

With that in mind, do you think the White Sox should prioritize a better playoff seed or lining up the rotation for the playoffs? Asked more tangibly: would you start Giolito in the final regular season series even if it meant he’d be lined up for Game 3 of the first playoff round?

While higher seed likely means home field advantage and playing a lesser team, home field advantage isn’t as important without fans and the Yankees (who should be healthier come playoff time) and Astros are currently heading for low playoff sees—not exactly ideal first round matchups. And if Giolito is lined up for game three, he may not pitch at all.

So, my vote would be: forget playoff seeding and make sure Giolito and Keuchel are fully rested for Game 1 and Game 2 of the first round.

Jim Margalus

I vote the same.




Excellent podcast today. Jim Callis is my favorite guest. He’s so knowledgeable and measured.

Regarding the MVP discussion, one thing not mentioned in Tim missing so many games is that he’s leading the league in runs despite missing that time. I feel like he’s the catalyst. That said, I think the vote would favor Abreu today. These last three weeks will be interesting on so many levels.


It was another great podcast! I have no objections to Jose winning MVP. He’s been unconscious recently and has come up big in so many situations. He’s been the anchor in the middle of the order and, by the numbers and eye test, has played a good 1B.

Still, I’ll cast my vote for Timmy on these grounds: he’s been the better offensive player (167 wRC+ to Jose’s 162) at a premium position. The missed 10 games, for me, just shows how important TA is: more than the pedestrian 6-5 record, the Sox runs per game with TA (5.93) are much higher than without him (4.0). Jose’s feels more like a hot (albeit flaming hot) streak after a poor start, but Timmy’s been awesome anytime he’s on the field. Either way, what a fun thing to talk about.


It’s been great to hear Dan and Jim Callis on the podcast when there’s baseball to discuss (even as Jim notes the oddness of prospect evaluation this year).

Jim’s traditionalist stance on the postseason reminds me of the heartache of 1990. What a great team with the misfortune of sharing a division with prime Bash Brothers. The ultimate Soxfan agita, though, was 1967, and the three-headed hydra of the Sox, Cleveland, and Minnesota this year could easily result in a photo finish like that year.