DETROIT - JULY 17: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the seventh inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on July 17, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 4-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Chicago White Sox 2011 Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
I am reviewing my PRE-SEASON list of Top 20 prospects for 2011 for each organization, continuing today with the Chicago White Sox. This list was originally published January 5th, 2011. We will look at the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians this weekend.
This is a review of the 2011 Pre-Season Top 20 list. IT IS NOT A NEW LIST. THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES
The 2012 list and new grades won't be ready until the season is over and I start writing the book.
1) Chris Sale, LHP, Grade A: 2.78 ERA for the White Sox, 58/20 K/BB in 57 major league innings, 43 hits, four saves, 1.66 GO/AO. What's not to like?
2) Brent Morel, 3B, Grade B: Hitting .256/.272/.321 with four walks, 33 strikeouts in 293 at-bats for the White Sox. I think he is capable of better, but the bat has been disappointing.
3) Dayan Viciedo, OF, Grade B- .293/.363/.477 with 17 homers, 43 walks, 79 strikeouts in 426 at-bats for Triple-A Charlotte. Has made good progress with the strike zone, stock up for me.
4) Addison Reed, RHP, Grade B-: Amazing season at four levels, currently in Triple-A. Composite numbers: 1.40 ERA, 103/13 K/BB in 71 innings, 39 hits. He has a 20/2 K/BB in 14 Triple-A innings and has pushed his fastball into the upper 90s. Ready to help in the bullpen now.
5) Jared Mitchell, OF, Grade C+: Very disappointing, .229/.313/.393 with nine homers, 49 walks, 161 strikeouts, 13 steals in 433 at-bats for High-A Winston-Salem. Scouting reports turning negative along with the numbers, and we can't use injury rust as an excuse much longer.
6) Jacob Petricka, RHP, Grade C+: 3.33 ERA with 84/30 K/BB in 95 innings combined between Bristol in the Appy League, Low-A Kannapolis, and Winston-Salem. 1.91 GO/AO also stands out. Not a bad year.
7) Eduardo Escobar, SS, Grade C+: .254/.293/.354 in 429 at-bats for Charlotte, 24 walks, 93 strikeouts, 11 steals. Useful defense at second and shortstop, but I don't like his chances to hit and the grade was a notch too high.
8) Gregory Infante, RHP, Grade C+: 2.63 ERA with 47/26 K/BB in 55 innings combined for Double-A Birmingham and Charlotte, 1.33 GO/AO. Command has wobbled a little in Triple-A at times, but should get a trial soon.
9) Andre Rienzo, RHP, Grade C+: 3.32 ERA with 107/55 K/BB in 103 innings for Winston-Salem, 98 hits. I had this guy rated as a strong sleeper. He's had a decent year.
10) Thomas Royse, RHP, Grade C+. Tommy John.
11) Tyler Saladino, SS, Grade C+: .249/.341/.462 with 15 homers, 40 walks, 79 strikeouts in 333 at-bats for Winston-Salem. Good pop, solid defensive performance, very interesting player.
12) Mike Blanke, C, Grade C+: .259/.311/.382 with 11 walks, 28 strikeouts in 170 at-bats for Kannapolis, .223/.298/.326 with 19 walks, 31 strikeouts in 184 at-bats for Winston-Salem. Has caught 37% of runners but made 14 errors. Looks like last year was a Pioneer League illusion.
13) Santos Rodriguez, LHP, Grade C+: 3.27 ERA with 40/29 K/BB in 55 innings for Winston-Salem, 62 hits, 0.76 GO/AO. These component ratios aren't likely to translate well to higher levels.
14) Brandon Short, OF, Grade C: .275/.329/.424 with 13 homers, 21 steals, 32 walks,110 strikeouts in 472 at-bats for Birmingham. Good tools, power/speed combo, but bad plate discipline.
15) Trayce Thompson, OF, Grade C: .235/.329/.454 with 21 homers, 30 doubles, 55 walks, 147 strikeouts in 443 at-bats for Kannapolis. Making an attempt to control the zone more effectively, raw power is quite strong, but strikeout rate remains scary. Young at age 20.
16) Anthony Carter, RHP, Grade C: 7.23 ERA with 48/26 K/BB in 47 innings, 60 hits for Charlotte, resulted in demotion to Double-A. 2.35 ERA with 6/3 K/BB in 7.2 innings so far for Birmingham. Needed a better year than this at age 25.
17) Jordan Danks, OF, Grade C: .248/.334/.426 with 13 homers, 16 steals, 48 walks, 131 strikeouts in 399 at-bats for Charlotte. Another guy with power/speed/athleticism combo, but an awful lot of swing-and-miss in his game.
18) Tyler Flowers, C, Grade C: .261/.390/.500 with 15 homers, 39 walks, 84 strikeouts in 222 at-bats for Charlotte, 8-for-27 (.296) with a homer and three walks in nine major league games. Caught 27% of runners in Triple-A, error and passed ball rates have steadily improved. He has an opening now with A.J. Pierzynski on the DL.
19) Charles Leesman, LHP, Grade C: 4.15 ERA with 92/72 K/BB in 128 innings for Birmingham, 125 walks, 2.49 GO/AO. Lots of grounders with a decent strikeout rate, but gives up a lot of free passes.
20) Josh Phegley, C, Grade C: .241/.296/.379 with 27 walks, 72 strikeouts in 390 at-bats combined between Birmingham and Charlotte. Has caught an impressive 45% of runners, but high passed ball rate is an issue and bat is not living up to projections from college at Indiana.
Chris Sale has been great, Addison Reed is outstanding, and the pair looks like a fine way to anchor the bullpen in future years. Viciedo has made a lot of progress and Flowers rebounded. Beyond that there is a lot of blah in the system. There are several guys with good tools but problematic hitting approaches.