Gartrell, 25, might be the White Sox’s biggest sleeper since Magglio Ordonez. A 31st-round pick in the 2006 draft, he has hit .280 with 21 home runs and 85 RBIs in 127 games between Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. He looks a little like Jermaine Dye on the field and will make the Sox think hard about exercising Dye’s $12 million option for 2010. “He really has improved his hitting,” Birmingham hitting coach Andy Tomberlin. “He has a chance to hit for serious power.”
September 5, 2009
Because teams rarely use the disabled list in September, it looks like the White Sox will finish as the healthiest team in the majors this season, at least by one standard. They have used the DL eight times. The Rangers are competing for a wild card despite 23 DL moves, the most in the majors. The Mets (22), Reds (21), Astros (21) and Padres (21) are also at 20-plus.
John Sickels reviews his pre-season prospects list. The grades are from the pre-season list:
1) Gordon Beckham, SS, Grade B+: Hitting .272/.350/.455 for the White Sox. He got promoted faster than anticipated and has been everything the White Sox could possibly expect.
3) Tyler Flowers, C, Grade B: Hitting .297/.423/.516 combined between Birmingham and Charlotte. Solid overall.
12) Dan Hudson, RHP, Grade C+: Amazing season, 14-5, 2.32 with a 166/34 K/BB in 147 innings combined between Class A Kannapolis, Winston-Salem, Birmingham, and Charlotte, with little deterioration in components between levels. I called him as a big sleeper pre-season and that’s one that really panned out.
Kenny Williams on the Jose Contreras trade:
”Here was a guy who pitched us to a championship [in 2005] and he was being relegated to the bullpen [with the Sox]. I don’t think that was a way to pay him back in a free-agent year.”
and on the Jim Thome trade:
”I didn’t think there was any way in hell Jim would accept a deal to the National League, so I didn’t even bother him before the game. After speaking with him after the game, I was surprised he actually wanted the opportunity — not that I’m surprised because the man has always expressed to me that personal accolades are not as important as ultimately getting a ring.”
Guillen suggested with a smile that Contreras and Thome were older than advertised. He estimated that Contreras was 49 and Thome 47.
“We traded 96 years,” Guillen said. “We’re getting younger now.”
Kenny Williams, are you excited seeing prospects in action?:
“No. Because the more they play, the more they’re in there, that means the more we have fallen back. So, I don’t care if they get an at-bat or throw a pitch. Well, you know when I’d like to see them play? When we’re way ahead. I would love giving young guys an opportunity to get their Major League shoes on for the first time and get that adrenaline out because then when you need them for the next year, they’ve got that experience to draw from. They’ve got an understanding of just how fast the Major League game is. I keep trying to tell people, we try to develop people in the Minor Leagues to be prepared for this level, but you can’t. Until you step out on the field and you realize, ‘Oh my God. Those two-hoppers that I used to get to very quickly defensively are now through the infield and into the outfield,’ or every pitch is a little bit sharper or a little bit quicker. It’s a different game. So anytime you can do that, great. But maybe when we’re way up we’ll give them an opportunity to play, but not now.”