All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don’t get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get out of the top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you are looking for.
1) Gordon Beckham, SS, Grade B+: Very advanced prospect with across-the-board skills. Could get to A- next year.
2) Aaron Poreda, LHP, Grade B+: Power lefty was a bit more polished than anticipated. Does he start or relieve?
3) Tyler Flowers, C, Grade B: Impressive power bat acquired in Vasquez deal.
4) Brandon Allen, 1B, Grade C+: Enormous raw power, but high strikeout rate is concerning.
5) Clayton Richard, LHP, Grade C+: Throws strikes, nice sinker, not a big margin for error.
6) Jordan Danks, OF, Grade C+: Excellent tools, played well in pro debut, and I still think he can show some power eventually.
7) Chris Getz, 2B, Grade C+: Nice contact hitter, should be useful but not a star.
8) John Shelby, OF, Grade C+: Good tools, has speed and power, but strike zone judgment may hold him back.
9) Jose Martinez, OF, Grade C+: Good tools, season cut short by knee injury. Will power come?
10) Dayan Viciendo, 3B, Grade C+: Wild guess on grade and rating. Scouting reports indicate Angel Villalona type, but who knows?
11) Brent Morel, 3B, Grade C+: Nice debut. Joe Randa type?
12) Dan Hudson, RHP, Grade C+: I think he is a major sleeper.
13) Dexter Carter, RHP, Grade C: Excellent pro debut following horrible college season. Which is the real Carter?
14) Jeff Marquez, RHP, Grade C: Sinkerball guy acquired in Swisher deal.
15) Jon Link, RHP, Grade C: Another guy with a power sinker, good Double-A season, could slot into pen.
16) Cole Armstrong, Grade C: White Sox seem to like him but I have big doubts about his bat.
17) Justin Cassel, RHP, Grade C: Another guy who could be a nice solid utility pitcher.
18) Jack Egbert, RHP, Grade C: Another guy who could be a nice solid utility pitcher.
19) John Ely, RHP, Grade C: Another guy who could be a nice solid utility pitcher.
20) Jon Gilmore, 3B, Grade C: Young 3B acquired in Vasquez deal. Changing grade from C+ to C due to rawness but I still think he could develop.
Others: Lance Broadway, RHP; Jorge Castillo, 1B-C; Eduardo Escobar, SS; Nevin Griffith, RHP; Lucas Harrell, RHP; Leroy Hunt, RHP; Tyler Kuhn, SS-2B: Brent Lillibridge, SS: Santo Luis, RHP; Jhonny Nunez, RHP: Brian Omogrosso, RHP; Drew O’Neil, RHP, Santos Rodriguez, LHP; Clevelan Santeliz, RHP; Juan Silvero, SS: Carlos Torres, RHP; Kenny Williams, OF.
As usual, don’t sweat so much about where the Grade C+/C types rank exactly on this list. After I get past the top 10 I don’t worry so much about exact placement, since I’m trying to concentrate on the book right now.
SYSTEM IN BRIEF
The White Sox have two potential impact players in Beckham and Poreda, followed by two guys with big power but question marks in Flowers and Allen, then the super toolsy but hard to predict Danks. After that things tail off fast. Getz is okay.
Reports on these guys and over 1,000 others can be found in the2009 Baseball Prospect Book. Pre-order for January 31st shipping now!