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140 characters with…. Baseball America’s Jim Callis

140 characters with…. Baseball America’s Jim Callis

January 10, 2012

For a baseball prospect junkie like me, there is no better time than January, as the excitement for the Baseball America Prospect Handbook builds as the days click off the calendar. When I see the ball drop at midnight, and after I exchange, “Happy New Years” with the family, the next thought is “less than four weeks til I get to devour 900 scouting reports.” Jim Callis is the Executive Editor of Baseball America, and is nationally known as one of the “go to guys” in the world of baseball prospects. With the draft and playoffs behind him and the Prospect Handbook off to the printers, Jim graciously found the time to induct himself into the “140″ club.

140 characters, for the new readers, is an interview that has no rules, except that questions and answers must be confined to Twitter direct messages, thus 140 characters. With that said…

@dougplourd:
Jim, thanks for taking the time to do the “140,” as you know we at @JaysProspects are big fans of BA. Ready?

@jimcallisBA:
Sure, fire away.

Jim Callis would choose Jake Marisnick over Anthony Gose.

@DougPlourd:
Who would you keep and who would you trade between Gose and Marisnick?

@jimcallisBA:
If I could only keep one, it would be Marisnick. Gose is the better athlete, but Marisnick is a good athlete & a better hitter.

@DougPlourd:
Dinner party, living or deceased, tell me the three baseball guests you would invite.

@jimcallisBA:
Hmmm. Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams are the first three guys who pop into my head. That would be a good time.

@DougPlourd:
Kyle Drabek or Travis Snider, which one has the better bounce back in 2012?

@jimcallisBA:
I’ll say Snider. Not suprised Drabek struggled as a rookie, but extent & Triple-A woes bother me. Have more faith in Snider.

@DougPlourd:
Cookies, Cake or Pie?

@jimcallisBA:
Pie, definitely. Preferably pecan or key lime.

@DougPlourd:
If the jays had managed to sign Tyler Beede, would they be in your top three drafts of 2011?

@jimcallisBA:
Not quite. Top five, but not top three.

@DougPlourd:
Nationals, Red Sox, Pirates and Rays?

@jimcallisBA:
My top five (if Beede signed) would be Was, Ari, Bos, Pit, Tor.
(Doug’s note: I always forget the unreal Arizona draft at the top with Bauer and Bradley)

@DougPlourd:
Growing up in Virginia, who was the team of your youth? Did you have a favorite player?

@jimcallisBA:
We had no local team but spent most summers in Cape Cod, so I followed the Red Sox. Carl Yastrzemski was my favorite player.

Yaz was my favorite player because I remember being fascinated by all his stats on the back of a 3-D Kellogg’s baseball card.

(Doug’s note: Those cards are a staple of my youth as well. I remember getting the 1977 Ron Leflore and reading his rap sheet on the back……)

Callis states that Osuna should become a strong arm, but is years away and should begin season in GCL.

@DougPlourd:
Thoughts on 16-year-old pitcher, Roberto Osuna? Where do you think he pitches this year at such a young age?

@jimcallisBA:
Years away, obviously, but quality arm. Kind of physically maxed out at 6-2, 230. Sounds like he’ll pitch in the GCL this year.

@DougPlourd:
A typical “chat type” format to this one: Anne Hathaway or Jessica Alba? Who has the higher ceiling?

@jimcallisBA:
I probably rate Hathaway higher than most, but Alba has to be the answer to both questions there.

@DougPlourd:
Chicago style hot dogs…yay or nay?

@jimcallisBA:
Thumbs up, not that I eat a lot of hot dogs. But I did have one just the other day.
(Doug’s Note: Chicago style Hot Dog=All beef dog, poppy seed bun, yellow mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, dill pickle spear, peppers)

@DougPlourd:
Who is/was the one highly touted Blue Jays prospect that you still can’t believe that everybody missed on?

@jimcallisBA:
Missed in that he was better than thought, or missed in that we thought he’d be better?

@DougPlourd:
How about one of each?

@jimcallisBA:
Just ran through our overall Top 100 Prospects list archive & hadn’t remembered that we ranked Jose Silva No. 10 in 1994. Wow.

As for guys we were low on, he wasn’t a Jay at the time, but like everyone else we didn’t see Jose Bautista doing this.

@DougPlourd:
Ok, only a couple more, and then its trivia time! Who is the one band/artist you could not live without on your iPod?

@jimcallisBA:
Amazingly, I do not have an iPod. My wife and four kids all do. I’m a classic rock guy, so I’d say Springsteen or Zeppelin.
(Doug’s note: Ok, search is over, we found the last person without one…..)

@DougPlourd:
HOF Fame voting was announced yesterday, with Larkin the sole elected player. Who would have been on your ballot?

@jimcallisBA:
Larkin, Bagwell, Raines, Trammell, Martinez, McGwire, Palmeiro.

@DougPlourd:
I know you were a big fan of 24. With that no longer on the air, which shows are an “80″ in watchability for you right now?

@jimcallisBA:
I do miss my Jack Bauer. My favorite shows are all on USA: Burn Notice, White Collar, Psych. Also enjoying Homeland.

@DougPlourd:
Gut feeling, which of the current Jays starting pitching prospects do you think emerges as the next big thing?

@jimcallisBA:
If I can pick one minor leaguer, give me Daniel Norris.

@DougPlourd:
Ok, its time for 3up3down trivia! Your category is U of Georgia alumni! Please, no google cheating.

@jimcallisBA:
Hopefully, I will not embarrass myself with the UGA trivia.

@DougPlourd:
Ok, question 1: Dan Amos is the Chairman and CEO of which US based insurance company?

@jimcallisBA:
Oh, no! I have no idea on that one. I will guess State Farm.

@DougPlourd:
Sorry! We were looking for Aflac! (Tried to keep it prospecty with the HS all star game!)

@jimcallisBA:
See, I thought State Farm had a Southeast feel to it. I’m 0-for-1.

@DougPlourd:
Question 2: Which “non-big 4″ Seinfeld cast member left UGA one credit short of graduating?

@jimcallisBA:
That’s Newman, isn’t it? I’m pretty sure on that one! Wayne Knight!

@DougPlourd:
Correct! Very nice! Final question, who played Vicky Vale in the 1989 Batman movie?

@jimcallisBA:
Whoops, Tweeted rather than DMed … That’s right down the middle of the plate! Kim Basinger.

Jim Callis tied Deck McGuire's trivia record with 2 out-of 3 correct!

@DougPlourd:
Grooved fastball! And correct! 2-3 puts you with Deck McGuire in second place, Justin Nicolino still the only 3-3

@jimcallisBA:
Well, at least I didn’t cheat. I think I get the tiebreaker over Deck because my alma mater has more CWS titles.

@DougPlourd:
Ha! I like that! Little Georgia rivalry!

Past Results:
Justin Nicolino 3-3
Deck McGuire 2-3
Noah Syndergaard 1.5-3
Bryan Longpre 1-3

@DougPlourd:

Jim, as a guy a read fanatically and look up to, I can’t tell you how much fun this was for me. Thank you so much for taking the time

@jimcallisBA:
This was fun. Let me know when you post it and I’ll tweet the link.

@DougPlourd:
Keep up the incredible work at @BaseballAmerica. Looking forward to my prospect handbook in my mailbox!

@jimcallisBA:
Thanks. Should be there in a couple of weeks.

  • Andrew

    Loved reading this Doug! Keep em’ coming.

  • Doug Plourd

    Thanks Andrew! It was a lot of fun to do

  • Shane

    Unless i’ve missed something, you get Jim Callis to answer some Q’s and you overload it with so much non-prospect content? Seems a waste to me. Sorry.

  • Doug Plourd

    Shane,

    I wrestled with the thought of “toning down the gimmick” for the Callis one, as it’s a different type of subject as opposed to a prospect themselves. At the end of the day, I felt if I asked TOO many questions, it might be an issue with the handbook coming out in a matter of weeks. (if you read his Ask BA column around this time, he usually leaves info to be continued for when the handbook comes out) Plus, i wanted to stay true to what the interviews have been – a little off the wall, and not the usual back and forth that he does 100 times a year. Maybe I could have asked a few more prospect questions and a little less of the other stuff, but in the end, we were both happy with how it turned out.

    dp

  • Doug Plourd

    Shane,

    I wrestled with the thought of “toning down the gimmick” for the Callis one, as it’s a different type of subject as opposed to a prospect. At the end of the day, I felt if I asked TOO many questions, it might be an issue with the handbook coming out in a matter of weeks. (if you read his Ask BA column around this time, he usually leaves info to be continued for when the handbook comes out) Plus, i wanted to stay true to what the interviews have been – a little off the wall, and not the usual back and forth that he does 100 times a year. Maybe I could have asked a few more prospect questions and a little less of the other stuff, but in the end, we were both happy with how it turned out.

    dp