I originally used this space to give everyone a heads-up of Jim Callis's appearance on ESPN Radio. A few people asked for a recap, so I decided to edit the post and turn this into a recap. This is purely from memory after the spot.
Thanks to ElDuce for adding a detail I missed. I also added a detail I originally forgot to include, so thanks to myself. My memory is so clutch. I didn't really need to remember everything for the recap in the small-time comment section, but the FanPost body is the big leagues. Great performance, brain!
1) Callis began by discussing the MLB roster. He discussed the trades last year. He didn’t comment on whether Huntington did a good job with the trades, but instead said something like, “You can’t expect elite talent for mediocre talent. He got what he could."
2) He was asked if the Pirates brought Tabata and Lincoln up too early. He said they obviously didn’t bring them up too late, since those guys won’t make the difference between making the playoffs and not. He can’t really say if they came up too early.
2) He talked about Taillon and Allie. He and the other Baseball America guys argued predraft about who had the best stuff. In his opinion, it is really close between Taillon and Allie. Taillon is more polished and has better command, but Callis said it wouldn’t be ridiculous to think Allie could go out there and someday put up a performance like Strasburg’s last night (!). Allie has ridiculous raw potential.
Jim Callis loves Allie.
3) Will the Bucs sign these two guys? Callis says you don’t take Taillon #2 without knowing you can sign him. It will go down to the wire, but it will get done. He says Taillon is much more polished and has better stuff than Porcello. He is similar to Beckett. I believe Callis said to expect somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 million.
As far as Allie goes, he will be tougher. If he’d take $2 million, the Bucs will get it done. But Allie may want 4, 5 million. If so, it’s going to be much tougher. Having the compensation pick in a deep draft next year is a nice consolation prize for the Bucs if Allie doesn't sign.
4) Was it a mistake to go so heavy on pitching? Callis said no. The Bucs took who they thought were the best guys available, and they drafted some very high-ceiling players. Taillon and Allie are two guys who can change your franchise, and the Bucs already have two, young elite hitters (Alvarez and Cutch), so that takes away from the worry
5) Is it risky taking high school players? Callis says this point is completely overblown. Talent is talent. He said Moneyball made people criticize high school picks too much. The book says taking Prince Fielder and Scott Kazmir would be crazy, but look how that worked out. Also, most college guys who come out with elite stuff were drafted as high schoolers but simply failed to reach a deal. Talent is the key.
6) When can we expect to see Taillon and Allie? Callis said it wouldn't be crazy to see Taillon at age 21. Allie will probably take more time, because he needs a lot more work on his control.
7) What about Lincoln? Callis liked him in high school and college. He’s a fierce competitor. He can be a good #3.
8) [From ElDuce] He thinks Huntington has done a pretty good job. He really likes that they pour money into the draft as that’s where they’re going to find talent. He said something like “I wish I had a nick for every time someone with another team complains about how Frank Coonelly used to lecture them on draft spending, now he spends more than anyone.”