The top MLB prospects today are not only able to accomplish great feats on the diamond, but they are great people off the field as well. The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's episode of the Pipeline podcast, in which MLBPipeline's Jim Callis and MLB.com's Tim
The top MLB prospects today are not only able to accomplish great feats on the diamond, but they are great people off the field as well. The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's episode of the Pipeline podcast, in which MLBPipeline's Jim Callis and MLB.com's Tim McMaster discuss a memorable interview Callis had with Brewers prospect Corey Ray while covering some recent Cactus League action.
Tim McMaster: Brewers camp is next, and this is the highest-rated guy we're going to focus on in this podcast. What I like about this podcast, Jim, is that lot of these guys aren't necessarily Top-100 guys. But Corey Ray certainly is. Checking in at No. 30 on the Top 100, and the No. 5 overall pick in last June's draft. Is he going to be a guy that moves quick?
Jim Callis: He will move quickly, and it was fun talking to Corey, my fellow Chicagoan. He was born and raised there; I've just lived there for the last 20 years. We talked for a long time and we were reminiscing. I saw him play in the All-America game in 2012. I know this will shock you, Tim, that I talk about the College World Series a lot with these guys. It's my favorite event. And talking about how TD Ameritrade (Park in Omaha) represses home runs. But it's interesting with Corey -- I don't know if he still hasn't gotten over the fact that Louisville got upset last year in the Super Regionals and didn't get to Omaha.
But anyway, there's two things with Corey. Number one: I'm not saying he's going to be quite as good as Kris Bryant, because that's a pretty high bar to be between your first and second year in the big leagues. But he reminded me of Kris Bryant when I talked to him, just in terms of he's a really talented guy with a great personality. It reminded me of when I talked to Kris Bryant in the Arizona Fall League back in 2013, when he was straight out of the draft and MVP of the Fall League, and I remember thinking, 'Chicago's going to love this guy.' And I thought the same thing talking to Corey Ray. He's got a great personality, he's fun to talk to, he can really play, and I think he's going to own Milwaukee.
• Five questions with Corey Ray
I guess you could call him a self-motivator because he carries a chip on his shoulder. It was interesting. I asked him about his decision to go to Louisville rather than sign out of high school. He got drafted right out of high school by the Mariners and was offered a decent amount of money, and he wanted to sign but his dad didn't want him to sign. I asked him how long it took him to get over it, and he told me it took him until midway through sophomore year. He was ticked off that his dad wouldn't let him sign, and then it just got worse during the early part of his freshman year when he was not playing very much at Louisville. He was thinking, 'Why am I here?' when he could have been learning a lot in the minors and getting paid to do it. When you talk to a lot of these guys about the Draft, they'll say, 'I try not to pay attention to it, and I'm focusing on the field.'
But Corey knew what was going on in his draft year. He came into the year ranked as the top college position player, and, interestingly, Corey was ticked off about the draft because he said he felt like he was the best player in the draft -- and he wanted other people to realize he was the best player. So instead of looking at being ranked fifth on our list as a compliment, he was ticked that he wasn't No. 1, and I think he just used it to motivate him. The one question scouts have is whether Corey can play center field, because Louisville had a natural speedster that they played at the position. But Corey does not like it when scouts say that. The way he put it was, 'No one raised any questions about if I could play center when I played there in high school, and it's not like I got worse.' He hasn't played there as much, but he thinks he's going to be a pretty good center fielder.
So yeah, he was a lot of fun to talk to. I remember thinking after talking to Kris Bryant that he's going to own Chicago. And I really think that not only is Corey Ray going to be a really good player, but he's going to be the heart and soul of those Milwaukee teams, and fans are just going to love him.
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