Chicago White Sox Pre-Season Top 20 Review
1) Brandon McCarthy, RHP.
3-7, 5.48 in 11 starts at Triple-A Charlotte, with great K/BB ratio but other numbers weaker. Hit hard so far in 5 Major League starts. Was rushed, still a good prospect but expectations need to be tempered in the short run.
2) Gio Gonzalez, LHP.
1.87 ERA in 10 starts for Class A Kannapolis, just promoted to Winston-Salem. Combined 94/22 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Outstanding young prospect no question, one of my favorites.
3) Brian Anderson, OF.
.286/.359/.471 in 82 games for Charlotte, 11 homers. Solid all-around player, should be ready in 2006.
4) Ryan Sweeney, OF.
.273/.338/.337 for Double-A Birmingham. No power, but very young for his level, does not strike out much. The Sean Burroughs of Outfielders?
5) Josh D. Fields, 3B.
.243/.315/.401 with 10 homers at Birmingham. Major problems with contact, has fanned 91 times in 79 games. Not making the progress that I expected.
6) Francisco Hernandez, C.
Hit just .222 in 44 games for Kannapolis, sent down to short-season Great Falls, where he is 15-for-33 so far (.455). I'm still very intrigued with him.
7) Tyler Lumsden, LHP.
Out all season with injury, although rehab has reportedly gone ahead of schedule.
8) Chris Young, OF.
Toolsy outfielder making progress, hitting .258/.352/.525 with 18 homers, 15 steals, 30 doubles for Double-A Birmingham. Definitely a fantasy investment to consider.
9) Ray Liotta, LHP.
2.54 ERA, 84/25 K/BB in 96 innings for Kannapolis. Pitching well, will certainly move up the list next year. Good solid prospect with no major flaws.
10) Sean Tracey, RHP.
9-3, 3.43 in 17 starts for Birmingham. Holding his own. Main problem is too-high walk rate, note 68/45 K/BB in 97 innings. Should not be rushed.
11) Jerry Owens, OF.
.316/.373/.392 with 21 steals for Birmingham. Power production disappointing, and needs to improve use of his speed on the bases, has been caught 10 times.
12) Casey Rogowski, 1B.
.319/.389/.473 for Birmingham. Just 6 homers, but 22 doubles, 12 steals. Possible "tweener" guy, lacking enough home run power for his position.
13) Kris Honel, RHP.
1-5, 6.08 in 53 innings for Birmingham, weak 40/35 K/BB ratio. Stick a fork in him.
14) Wes Whisler, LHP.
1-4, 7.14 in 52 innings for Winston-Salem, has allowed 68 hits. Considered raw when drafted, but not THIS raw, has been a major disappointment so far.
15) Mike Spidale, OF.
Hit .230 in 46 games for Charlotte, recently sent down to Winston-Salem where he is 4-for-25 (.160). Status slipping.
16) Pedro Lopez, SS.
Hit just .202 in 55 games for Charlotte, now down at Birmingham where he's at .226 in 14 games. No bright spots in the hitting numbers.
17) Adam Ricks, C-2B.
Hit just .217 for Kannapolis thus far. Has drawn 45 walks to give him a .371 OBP, but other numbers weak, no power, overall disappointing.
18) Paulino Reynoso, LHP.
3.71 ERA in 33 games for Birmingham, with 31/26 K/BB in 34 innings, 39 hits allowed. ERA looks OK, but K/BB and H/IP marks are uninspiring. Not much to get excited about.
19) Dennis Ulacia, LHP.
Another weak performance, 7.52 ERA in 41 innings for Charlotte, with 26/21 K/BB. Poor command, thin dominance ratios.
20) Antoin Gray, 2B.
.250/.331/.447 for Birmingham, limited to 45 games so far. More uninspiring numbers from a guy I thought would do better.
There are some positives here, particularly Gonzalez, Anderson, and Young. But there are also several major disappointments. I've given up on Honel, and Whisler was never consistently effective even in college. The Major League club is having a great year and White Sox fans should be happy, but I'm not sure that the long-term success of this franchise is clear, as both Minnesota and Cleveland have substantially more talent on the farm.