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Down On The Farm: Baseball America Prospect Chat With Jim Callis

Jim Callis from Baseball America held his regular Wednesday afternoon chat today, and here are a few excerpts from the chat:

    KC (PA): How do you think of A.J. PollockNick FranklinLogan Morrison, and Matthew Moore as Major Leaguers? Meaning everyday guys, utility, or for Moore, end of rotation, middle, or even bullpen?

Jim Callis: Pollock = solid regular, Franklin = potential all-star, Morrison = all-star, Moore = possible No. 2 SP or closer.

My only question is will Morrison ever hit for power, and will he play left field or first base for theMarlins. I could see him in left field, with Coghlan playing third base next season.

    Anthony (Boonville, IN): There has been talk about the Rays being involved in talks to send prospects as part of the Roy Oswalt trade. Which prospects would you expect to see if the trade was to come together?

Jim Callis: If I'm the Astros, I'd want Wade Davis or Jeremy Hellickson in there for sure. I probably couldn't get Desmond Jennings (but I'd ask), and I'd want Reid Brignac in there.

That would be quite a haul for Oswalt and his contract. Hellickson in the NL would certainly make the owner with the #1 pick in the UBA 2011 minor league draft give some real thought to selecting him over Bryce Harper.

    D.J. (Chicago): Mike trout and Brandon Belt are just tearing through their respective leagues. Do you feel their accolades up to this point are a byproduct of a shortage of scouting reports or they are just actually THAT good?

Jim Callis: Trout is that good. I think Belt is playing way over his head. Trout might be the best prospect in the entire minors. That Best Tools call I just alluded to? The manager picked Trout for best bat, best discipline, best runner, fastest runner, best outfielder and most exciting player in the MWL. And he's still just 18.

More Mike Trout hype. Callis disagrees with ESPN's Keith Law about Belt. 

    Mac (Ft. Lauderdale): Is Zack Cox the Cardinals answer at 3B? Will he have to prove he can hit for power before the Cardinals will put him on the fast track?

Jim Callis: I do think he will be and I don't think he'll have any problem hitting for solid power.

Cox is another guy to watch as he could be put on the fast track in St. Louis. 

    Andrew (Tampa): Where would you rank Dee Gordon among minor league SS?

Jim Callis: He has as much upside as any of them, at least until the Orioles sign Manny Machado.

He has 33 SBs so far in AA, and is hitting around .280, but need to take a few more walks to get that OBP up. KLaw thinks he is a future gold glover.

    Nick (SF): Lightening Round: Harper or Rendon?

Jim Callis: Been asked this a few times, and I always say Rendon. Harper has more power, but Rendon has a better bat, better makeup, will play a more valuable position and get to the majors significantly quicker. And he'll have power, too.

Quite interesting. The Rendon hype machine getting revved up by Callis? Getting to the majors "significantly" quicker is the important point for keeper league owners.