White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

June 14, 2011

Bloomberg Sports on Alex Rios’ struggles

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 14, 2011 10:29 pm
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Bloomberg Sports thinks Alex is unlucky:

In terms of batted-ball data (line drives, groundballs, flyballs) Rios is largely the same hitter he has always been. Looking at line drives – the type of balls that fall most for hits – he is actually hitting more liners this year than he did in 2010. This could be some classification bias as liners are sometime misclassified as flyballs and vice versa; however, all of his rates are within career norms.

In addition to the batted-ball information, Rios is showing similar plate discipline. His walk rate is in line with his career number and he has actually cut down his strikeout rate quite a bit. He is also making more contact and whiffing on fewer pitches.

According to the pitch values listed on Fangraphs.com, Rios has struggled with fastballs this year. As a player hits the other side of 30, this could be a concern. Meanwhile, Rios continues to make contact with heaters so it doesn’t appear as if his bat has slowed up enough to be a legit concern right now.

Jake Peavy says he’s willing to pitch out of the bullpen; Sox don’t sound enthused

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 14, 2011 10:20 pm
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Padilla @ ESPN:

“I’ll do whatever needs to happen and I made that known to (pitching coach Don Cooper) and (manager) Ozzie (Guillen),” Peavy said. “I’ll do whatever they think I can do to help the club in any way. I think they know that.”

“I just think we got five guys going pretty good right now,” Peavy said. “We’ve taken some heat about the six-man rotation. Are we doing the right thing or wrong thing? I’m just letting them know my end of the deal. I’ll do whatever I can do to help.

“Do I think I can pitch out of the bullpen? Absolutely. I think I can help. But I’m certainly not opposed to me being in the six-man rotation, either. We’ll see what happens.”

“If this team gets in the playoffs, this team can certainly win a championship,” Peavy said. “That’s all you can ask. The common goal when we’re on the flights and sitting around, talking with the guys is to grind it out and just try to get in. Do all we can do to get in and give this team a chance because we do feel we have a great chance to win a championship if we do get in.”

and from the link below,

“I love our pitching and I think we’ve been about as steady as we can be,” Peavy said. “Our offense, with [Adam] Dunn getting going and [Alex] Rios starting to show signs, I think we’ve got enough. We certainly have enough talent to win the [American League] Central, but we certainly got our work cut out for us with Detroit, as good as they are, Cleveland and this team [the Twins] and Kansas City. We’ve got a tough division.”

What do the Sox say?

“We did talk to Kenny about it,” Guillen said. “Kenny wasn’t too sure about that. We appreciate but I think it’s too early to concern ourselves about bullpen stuff [with Peavy]. We appreciate that because he wants to help. But right now I think everything was just worry about we put it up to Kenny and he say get him healthy and get him back here. Then we make the decision when he comes [back].”

Other White Sox links: J.J. looks at the implications of a Dayan Viciedo-Juan Pierre swap and has a Sox-Twins Q&A with Aaron Gleeman, James looks at Paul Konerko’ HOF chances and is surprised at the directness of Scott Merkin’s ‘Kenny wants Viciedo’ article, (I was surprised too with Kenny saying out loud I want Viciedo but Ozzie wants Pierre), and Mike wonders if the Sox will re-acquire Aaron Poreda.

US Cellular Field’s (and all other baseball parks’) HR/OFBB park factors

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 14, 2011 3:30 am
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Gross @ THT:

A couple of years ago, former THT writer Dan Turkenkopf tabulated an index of single-season (2009) and four-year home run per fly ball (HR/FB) park factors. I have griped plenty about using HR/FB rates over home run per outfield fly ball (HR/OFFB) rates in tabulating xFIP many times in the past, most recently last week, because HR/FB rates include pop-ups (IFFB), which can never be home runs. The data, over large samples, may be insignificant in difference overall, but why use bad data and skew the margins? It’s like Fangraphs’ incomprehensible decision to use strikeouts per at-bat (K/AB) instead of strikeouts per plate appearance (K/PA) to calculate strikeout percentage*. (Dave Cameron has indicated that recalibrating Fangraphs’ database would likely be a cumbersome process.)… Without further adieu, here is the goldmine of data you’ve probably always wanted, but never had (at least not that I was aware of) until now:

Team Park 4-Year HR/OFFB 4-Year HR/FB
Indians Jacobs Field 87 72
Royals Kaufman Stadium 86 84
Tigers Comerica Park 96 86
Twins (old) Metrodome 88 101
White Sox US Cellular Field 113 108

… Or, alternatively, the parks ranked from most-to-least home run inflating per outfield fly:

Team Park LG 4-Year HR/OFFB
Yankees New Yankee Stadium AL 120
Reds Great American Ballpark NL 116
Rays Tropicana Field AL 114
Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards AL 113
White Sox US Cellular Field AL 113

Data for all MLB parks at the link.

Other White Sox links: J.J. looks at Paul Konerko’s Hall of Fame chances, James looks at John Danks’ 2011 pitch values and recaps the past week, colin looks at Paul Konerko’s HRs, Mike has more music suggestions, the 3 Sox draft picks from the University of California helped the Golden Bears advance to the College World Series (boxscore), and Phil Rogers says Bud Selig’s re-alignment ideas won’t be going anywhere (good, I don’t want more interleague play).

White Sox sign 15th round draft pick SS David Herbek

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 14, 2011 1:26 am
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Fawcett @ IN:

[David] Herbek, who went in the 15th round to the Chicago White Sox, said he will sign with the team Sunday and then leave Monday for Great Falls, home of Chicago’s rookie-level team in the Pioneer League. The league’s season begins June 20. … Herbek had no college eligibility left, which usually means drafted players receive no higher than a standard $1,000 signing bonus. Herbek did not provide specifics, but he said he received “a little bit more.”

Baseball America’s scouting report:

James Madison’s shortstop David Herbek has shown a decent amount of power, batting .374/.456/.701 with 15 home runs. That drew scouts’ interest because Herbek also has a chance to stick at shortstop.

PerfectGame.org’s scouting report (2007):

David Herbek is a 2007 MIF that attends Battlefield HS and resides in Gainesville, VA with a 6’1″, 170 lb. frame. David has an athletic build with some good raw hitting tools. At the plate David shows quick wrists with easy lift in his swing and solid line-drive contact. David tends to get his bat wrapped too much and needs to get ready to hit earlier. In the field David showed good actions to the ball but struggled with his throws some. He looks like he would work out best at second base right now. David is a player that will attract the attention of many smaller college programs.

Here are his College Stats:

Year AVG GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SLG% BB HBP SO GDP OB% SF SH SB-ATT PO A E FLD%
2011 .362 61-58 229 56 83 20 3 15 76 154 .672 24 17 30 2 .443 10 3 13-17 97 158 13 .951
2010 .304 50-49 181 52 55 11 3 7 47 93 .514 21 18 33 4 .414 7 3 13-16 88 136 5 .978
2009 .370 53-53 211 55 78 20 3 10 54 134 .635 25 13 32 2 .453 7 0 18-21 89 141 14 .943
2008 .306 46-31 124 26 38 11 0 3 18 58 .468 8 7 21 1 .379 1 5 5-6 61 71 10 .930

And a video of him hitting a Home Run (0:39):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3d_WA7_rgA

White Sox sign 24th round draft pick OF Mark Haddow

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 14, 2011 12:48 am
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Punzal @ PS:

Also signing on Friday was UCSB infielder Mark Haddow with the Chicago White Sox. He was picked in the 24th round.

Baseball America’s scouting report:

Mark Haddow is a senior sign with upside–a tools guy who finally translated his talent into performance this spring. Physical and athletic at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, Haddow is a solid-average runner with a solid-average arm and average defensive skills at a corner outfield spot. Making consistent contact has always been his bugaboo. He has done a better job with it this spring, though scouts still doubt he’ll hit enough to be a big league regular.

Baseball Draft Report’s scouting report:

JR OF Mark Haddow (2010 – UC Santa Barbara) offers up plus power potential, but also strikeouts about as much as you’d expected from a raw college player with plus power potential. Luckily, power isn’t his only claim to fame. Haddow can also rely on his solid athleticism, better than you’d think speed, and slightly above-average big league right field arm. He has the raw tools to dramatically rise up draft boards, but first needs to take a more disciplined approach at the plate to show big league clubs he’d cut it as something more than a backup outfielder professionally. If he begins even to hint at improvement in those deficient areas in his game, I’d bet good money some team out there will draft him with the idea that he’ll be a big league starter in right someday.

Here are his College Stats:

Year G-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB-ATT SO BB AVG.
2008 23-12 52 10 12 1 0 1 8 2-2 16 5 .231
2009 44-34 124 21 37 7 3 5 25 10-13 36 13 .298
2010 53-53 198 38 54 5 3 6 26 17-21 48 22 .273
Totals 120-99 374 69 103 13 6 12 52 29-36 100 40 .275

White Sox sign 11th round draft pick LHP Blair Walters

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 14, 2011 12:31 am
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Hull @ HSA:

Former University of Hawaii pitcher Blair Walters agreed to a deal with the Chicago White Sox and will report to the Great Falls (Mont.) Voyagers for rookie ball on Monday.The 6-foot-1 left-hander, who transfered to UH from Ventura (Calif.) Community College as a junior, said the team agreed to pay for his last semester of college estimated at about $12,000 for out-of-state students.

Walters, 7-2 with a 4.14 ERA as a senior, was taken in the 11th round (No. 351 overall) of this week’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Here are his College Stats:

Year ERA W-L App GS CG SHO/CBO SV IP H R ER BB SO 2B 3B HR BF B/Avg WP HBP BK SFA SHA
2011 4.14 7-2 27 0 0 0/1 2 41.1 42 23 19 17 34 8 0 0 183 .271 2 2 1 4 5
2010 7.07 2-1 23 0 0 0/2 0 35.2 47 32 28 12 35 10 3 1 163 .338 0 3 0 6 3
TOTAL 5.49 9-3 50 0 0 0/3 2 77.0 89 55 47 29 69 18 3 1 346 .303 2 5 1 10 8

And from Ventura Community College:

Year ERA W-L APP GS CG SHO/CBO SV IP H R ER BB SO 2B 3B HR AB B/Avg WP HBP BK SFA SHA
2009 3.10 5-3 12 12 2 0/0 0 72.2 73 43 25 29 48 12 1 3 282 .259 6 10 1 2 6

and

Year AVG GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SLG% BB HBP SO GDP OB% SF SH SB-ATT PO A E FLD%
2009 .318 42-37 148 43 47 9 2 6 32 78 .527 14 4 27 0 .385 3 3 0-3 233 34 7 .974

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