White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

July 6, 2011

White Sox sign 2nd round draft pick RHP Erik Johnson

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 6, 2011 11:55 pm
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Dyck @ CT:

The White Sox signed second-round draft pick Erik Johnson, a right-handed pitcher from Cal, and both he and top choice Keenyn Walker will report to rookie league at Great Falls, Mont., next week.

Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Height: 6’03″
Weight: 240
Born: 1989-12-30
Hometown: Los Altos, CA
Class:  Junior

Scouting reports:

Jim Callis @ BA

Big-bodied (6-2, 240 pounds) college arm with a 90-95 mph fastball and hard slider.
Johnson has a big, 6-foot-2, 240-pound frame and sometimes has trouble maintaining his mechanics. His delivery can get a little rigid and he loses his arm slot at times, though he’s been better about getting it back than he was last year. Johnson is quick to the plate and sits in the 90-94 mph range with his fastball and tops out at 95. His best secondary offering is a hard slider that he can throw for strikes or use as a wipeout pitch and he also mixes in a slow, show-me curveball and a changeup that is inconsistent, but shows flashes of being a quality pitch. Johnson sometimes tries to be too fine with his fastball instead of trusting that he can overpower hitters with it. While he needs to sharpen his fastball command, Johnson has shown a good enough feel for pitching to get by and go deep into games without it.
John Sickels:
Johnson is ranked 97th on the Baseball America prospect list and 74th on the Perfect Game list, which would put him on the bottom fringes of the supplemental round or in the second. However, he has the power arm (90-95 MPH fastball, good slider) to go somewhere in the middle of the supplemental round for a team that believes they can refine his mechanics and polish his changeup.

John Sickels:

Cal-Berkeley pitcher works at 90-94 and has an impressive slider. Curveball and changeup need work if he wants to remain a starter. Workhorse body.

John Sickels:
Johnson is ranked 97th on the Baseball America prospect list and 74th on the Perfect Game list, which would put him on the bottom fringes of the supplemental round or in the second. However, he has the power arm (90-95 MPH fastball, good slider) to go somewhere in the middle of the supplemental round for a team that believes they can refine his mechanics and polish his changeup.

MLB Draft Countdown:

Johnson isn’t a more talked about draft prospect because of his mechanical issues, which have seen him suffer through bouts of wildness (37 walks in 83.2 IP). He began his college career as a reliever, which tinkered with his mechanics a bit, and now that he’s back in a starting role, he’s struggled to go deep into games.He does, however, feature pretty good velocity, topping out at about 95-96 mph. He complements his fastball with a very good slider. He also throws a curveball and a changeup, the latter of which has made solid strides throughout the course of the season.

PerfectGame.org reports from 2007

Here are his College Stats:

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
2011 2.83 7-4 18 18 0 0/5 0 105.0 68 33 33 59 102 12 1 3 356 .191 10 10 0 3 8
2010 4.09 6-3 16 13 0 0/1 1 77.0 85 41 35 34 73 5 3 4 293 .290 10 3 0 2 6
2009 4.41 3-6 19 9 1 0/1 4 67.1 71 41 33 28 55 11 1 10 264 .269 6 5 1 0 6

This is just too good to be true

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 6, 2011 2:00 pm
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Remember the Brandon Beachy-Carlos Quentin trade rumors? Well, MLB’s Mark Bowman says it’s not Carlos Quentin the Braves are after:

Like many Major League clubs, the White Sox seem  interested in the Braves’ wealth of young pitching talent.  But those fans hoping this means outfielder Carlos Quentin could be headed to Atlanta should be prepared for disappointment.

White Sox advance scout Bill Scherrer was at Turner Field for this past weekend’s series against the Orioles and he stuck around for this week’s series against the Rockies.  Given the White Sox and Orioles will not meet again until Aug. 8,  Scherrer has likely focused most of his attention toward the Braves’ pitchers.

While the Braves might be in the market for an outfielder, their primary focus will likely not be aimed toward corner outfielders like Quentin.  Instead they will continue to evaluate what Jordan Schafer can provide in the leadoff spot and  determine whether they need to increase their efforts to find a proven leadoff hitter like the White Sox have in Juan Pierre.

Pierre has batted .261 with a .322 on-base percentage and been successful with just 12 of his 22 stolen base attempts.   In other words, he hasn’t been the same guy who was successful with 68 of 86 stolen base attempts last year.  But since May 1, he has hit .270 with a .340 on-base percentage and been successful with seven of his 10 stolen base attempts.

With Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado, the Braves are loaded with the non-arbitration-eligible, Major League-ready arms the White Sox are seeking.

Take him. Take him immediately! Of course, we won’t be getting a pitcher in return for Juan Pierre. Much less one with about 1 year of MLB service time and outstanding numbers. A couple slabs of barbeque ribs will be enough for the return.

Fangraphs’ David Laurila has another awesome Q&A. It’s A.J. Pierzynski’s turn.

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 6, 2011 1:00 pm
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David Laurila @ FG:

David Laurila: Who is A.J. Pierzynski?

AJ Pierzynski: I’m not what people think I am, for one thing. A lot of people think I’m a rough-and-tough and mean person. I’m just a normal guy who likes to have fun and is lucky enough to play baseball for a living.

DL: Where does that perception come from?

AJP: From all of the stuff people have written and said about me. And that’s fine. It’s not a bad perception to have on the field. But off the field I’m just a normal guy. I’d like people to know that.

DL: How do opposing players view you?

AJP: People have said that they don’t like playing against me, but that’s just because I try to win. I want to win. I play as hard as I can and I’ll do anything I can to help my team win that day. Sometimes that frustrates people. I’m not the first one to run out and give hugs to guys, and things like that. My job is to try to win and be friends away from the game. …

Ozzie Guillen doesn’t like the chances the White Sox start a long winning streak

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 6, 2011 3:30 am
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Schouwen @ CST:

So when manager Ozzie Guillen was asked if his team should shoot for something like a 14-5 record in the current 19-game stretch against the Central, Guillen spoke the truth.

“We’re not that good,’’ Guillen said. “I wish I could say, ‘Well, we’re going to win 15 and lose two.’ We can do that, but we’re not doing it.’’

Mostly true but doesn’t it feel weird to hear it from the manager of the team?

Other White Sox links: James looks on the Brandon Beachy-Carlos Quentin trade rumor and on Adam Dunn and his game yesterday, FutureSox looks at Tyler Kuhn’s promotion to AAA and Jose Martinez’s promotion to AA, and Brett Ballantini posts his mid-season report for the Sox.

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