Podcast: 2018 MLB Draft Recap with Jim Callis

Guest: Jim Callis, MLBPipeline.com

The Rundown:

  • Surprise! The Chicago White Sox won a series in Boston thanks to outstanding starting pitching. Can this level of performance last?
  • We preview the upcoming series against Cleveland who is also pitching very well.
  • Recapping the 2018 MLB Draft is our friend, Jim Callis. He shares his thoughts on why the White Sox picked Nick Madrigal over Brady Singer, how good Steele Walker and Konnor Pilkington can be, and names to watch for the 2019 MLB Draft.
  • P.O. Sox questions this week:

 

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Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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jorgefabregas

Updated FG top 131 prospects:
https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-updated-top-131-prospect-rankings/

Madrigal and Micker on the list. Hansen and Burdi in the top 131, but outside the top 100.

karkovice squad

Who has the best farm system now? Atlanta or San Diego?

Smclean09

Surprised by Micker a bit. Still sleeping on Dunning down at 91, and the low men on Kopech (at 15 though now).
Collins up to 75 (They have him as a 1B)
Bit of a correction on Birdi, same grade but dropped out of 100. feels right for a reliever, even if high leverage.

karkovice squad

I’m surprised Collins is climbing so quickly. In his favor, there’s a change behind the results while the high BB and high K rate combination is more meaningful against AA pitching.

But a lot of the improvement is showing up in BABIP because he’s hitting more line drives. Even with a change to the skill behind them, line drive rates aren’t really sustainable.

jorgefabregas

A lot of the climbing is a matter of graduations, I suspect.

mikeyb

Yeah, that’s a really interesting list. If you told me I could only keep 1 of those 4 guys in the system, I’d probably go Dunning first, then maybe Collins then Adolfo.

evenyoudorn

no cease or rutherford. neither feels like an obvious miss, but i’m a little surprised. rutherford fell off these lists just recently and now has looked better if still light on SLG. cease seems like he should be an add… certainly at least in the top 131.

Greg Nix

Cease seems like a big oversight or bad evaluation. I have a tough time believing he’s not as good a prospect as a guy like Jay Groome, who was bad last year and hasn’t pitched this year.

Greg Nix

I asked, they answered.

Eagle Bones

I seem to recall Longenhagen being the low man on Cease. May have something to do with it. But yeah I agree, I have a hard time seeing him not being in the same conversation with the arms at the bottom of this list.

PauliePaulie

I’m more surprised at Adolfo being added, than Cease being omitted.

Smclean09

I’ll agree with this. Though I’d argue that since they are the high guys on the elite reliever profile and if Cease can fall back on 99 and possibly the best minor league CB, then I could see a back end entry even if they think he is not likely to start.

Eagle Bones

Oops, posted this on the minor league thread. My bad, I’m da man!

Trooper Galactus

Madrigal at 33 seems almost ridiculously aggressive.

lil jimmy

they gave he and Mize “60” grades. 33 is where you place a “60” ball player.

Trooper Galactus

I guess I don’t understand why they slap an easy 60 grade on him is the thing. Plus hit tool, below average power, fringy at shortstop, average arm, average or slightly above average runner doesn’t scream to me a guy who is a superstar in the making. This isn’t a guy with loads of physical tools coming in, and it’s kinda weird (though encouraging nonetheless) to see them so high on a guy whose ceiling seems a bit limited compared to his peers. I mean, it will be great if he comes in and immediately justifies his ranking, and maybe I’m just having Gordon Beckham flashbacks for no good reason.

PauliePaulie

Maybe because they list him at 2B, the D and Arm ratings are higher? I’ve seen potential 70 grade bat on him.

sgp2204

Think you’re the low guy on his running. Based on what I’ve read/seen, I’d say he has plus speed – maybe above average at worst. 

His scouting report basically looks like a faster version of Luis Urias (Padres), FG’s #20 prospect. You could argue that Madrigal needs to prove himself against better competition before he earns that ranking, but based on the scouting grades, it’s fitting. 

PauliePaulie

Callis said he would slot in around that same # on MLB’s updated list.

PauliePaulie

A downvote for repeating what Jim Callis said about Madrigal’s draft ranking?
Um, OK.

Trooper Galactus

Tough crowd.

Lurker Laura

At least we’re not seeing Kluber in this series. Still, I think we only take 1 game. A split would be a win, IMO.

Anohito

Fantastic podcast as always. Really enjoyed the Callis draft talk. We are definitely looking ahead.

What was also really great was the road game cities discussion. Would love to be able to do that someday with the Sox. Only road game I’ve been to so far is the Jays vs Twins with Buehrle on the mound at the Skydome/Rogers Center. That was great and of course the city of Toronto was fun too like the CN Tower and Aquarium right next to the stadium.

Lurker Laura

The CWS is all it’s cracked up to be. Highly recommended.

Greg Nix

If you’re hitting San Diego, might as well drive up to Dodger Stadium as well. Can probably skip the Angels unless it’s convenient.

PopeDonnPall

I actually like Angel Stadium. I’ve seen a lot of Sox games there and always had good experience. Good fans and decent arrive-on-time crowds which is often more than I can say for a lot of Dodgers’games. That place has the history but the fan base can pretty darn apathetic. In by the 3rd, out by the 7th.

Trooper Galactus

I was just there last month! Very nice stadium, though that caveman shit in center field is a bit off-putting.

GrinnellSteve

Abreu is a mentor for every player on the team, regardless of age, position, or language.

GrinnellSteve

We went to Atlanta to see Turner Field before they abandoned it. I highly recommend the Martin Luther King Historic site. I was struck by how few white people were there. I firmly believe it’s more important for whites to see the corrosive effects of racism than for the African-Americans who live with it every day.

We also saw a play at Shakespeare’s Tavern. It was fabulous.

I’ve heard the new park is good, but the access and egress is dreadful.

Lurker Laura

Agree on the MLK site. Also, if Alek’s Barbecue Heaven is still open, that’s a must. In the Sweet Auburn neighborhood near the MLK site.

sgp2204

I’m going to take the other side on the Rodon conversation. I think they should try to extend him and buy out a couple FA years for cheap. If he can stay healthy, he can absolutely be a front end pitcher. If not, it basically turns into a John Danks contract, which sucks, but it isn’t a team killer. 

karkovice squad

He’s still represented by Boras which means it’s incredibly likely he goes year to year all through are and just tries to hit free agency as quickly as possible.

sgp2204

Very well could be true, but I think it’s worth a try. Say what you want about Boras, but he works for his clients, and the clients have the final say. I think he may be smart enough to realize Rodon is a young pitcher who hasn’t been fantastic yet (although his ceiling is still extremely high), and he’s developing a bit of a history with injuries. 

Smclean09

I think even Boras would have to think about it given Rodon’s injury history and somewhat violent finish at the end of his windup. another couple DL stints and he is looking at 1 to 2 year deals as a lefty late inning guy.

karkovice squad

You just made the business case for why the Sox shouldn’t sign an extension. They avoid owing him guaranteed money in the event of injury or decline without having to find an insurer to underwrite his arm, something that’s increasingly difficult. The worst case is they pay a fraction of his market rate if he stays healthy and productive.

As for Boras, he did negotiate an extension for Strasburg. Strasburg had a better track record when healthy. And the Nationals also agreed to a novel contract structure with opt outs that the Sox haven’t shown any willingness to include. So Boras would be negotiating from a position of weakness with a team that’s unlikely to be accommodating.

MrTopaz

I’m surprised Callis is 50. Dude sounds like he’s in his 20s.