Sunday, January 25, 2009

Will Carroll Interview with Jim Bowden and Mike Rizzo

Sorry I'm getting to it so late, but Mike Rizzo and Jim Bowden were interviewed last week by Will Carroll on Baseball Prospectus Radio about their top prospects and other matters. Here are some of the highlights, in case you haven't listened:

On Jordan Zimmermann:
Bowden in his usual self-promoting way reminds us that Zimmermann was the compensation pick for Alfonso Soriano, just in case any of you out there were under the illusion that perhaps it would have been a good idea to trade him for prospects at the deadline back in 2006. After he got done patting himself on the back for his prescience, he boasted about Zimmermann's mix of four solid pitches. He also fluffs up the "every GM wants to trade for Zimmermann" line.

On Ross Detwiler:
Rizzo took the first hard question. He insisted that the team hasn't reduced their expectations for Detwiler at all, citing his 96-mph stuff from the left side. Called him one of the top five lefties in all of the minor leagues and predicted that he will be an "impact starter in the major leagues."

On Chris Marrero:
Bowden said Rick Eckstein and Manny Acta saw him a few weeks ago and that "he looked 100% at this point." Specifically said "Baseball Prospectus has him evaluated properly as do the other teams in the league." Since BPro dropped him from our top prospect to #6 I'm not sure what to make of that.

On Michael Burgess:
Asked about the strikouts, Rizzo implied that he'd been somewhat overcoached before going on about his bat speed, which he compared to Lastings Milledge's, and raw power. Also raved about his arm.

On Jack McGeary:
This was the first time I'm aware of that Jim said McGeary plans to play full time (and he was quite patronizing about it, saying, "Will, you're just wrong with your information..." as if somehow this was publicly known). Said he had a chance to be a #2 or #3 starter. Raved about his curve ball and make-up. Said he "has the potential to fly through the organization."

On Aaron Crow:
Rizzo referred to "budgetary constraints" and predicted (implausibly, I think) that he would get a player of the same talent level at 9a this year. Passed on the chance to take any credit for paying over slot for
J.P. Ramirez, Adrian Nieto, and Destin Hood.

On the #1 pick next June:
Jim said nothing really except to brag that "no team in the history of baseball has had two picks in the top ten," as if failing to sign their #1 pick last year was some kind of historic achievement. Had to throw up in my mouth a little on that one. But he didn't tip his hand on who they had on top of their draft board or anything about how they intend to deal with the cost of signing two top picks while having the aforementioned "budgetary constraints."

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