White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

January 25, 2012

Good guys wear red

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 25, 2012 10:00 pm
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Scott Merkin:

Fans of the late Chuck Tanner’s 1972 White Sox squad, featuring Dick Allen, Bill Melton and Wilbur Wood, to name a few, will get a 40-year memory jog this year on Sundays at U.S. Cellular Field when the 2012 team wears uniforms similar to those that group wore.

The uniforms will feature the red pinstriped jersey with the iconic “Sox” script over the chest, red numbers (front and back) and a White Sox patch on the sleeve, along with the popular red cap with its unique variation of the Sox script. The White Sox will wear the throwback uniforms on 13 Sundays this season, starting with April 15 vs. Detroit.

Other White Sox links:

January 24, 2012

Alexei Ramirez to Boston? Gordon Beckham to SS?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 24, 2012 11:45 pm
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Phil Rogers says Gavin Floyd isn’t the only White Sox player rumored to be traded to Boston:

With Eduardo Escobar already on the fringes of the big-league roster and Tyler Saladino on the horizon, why wouldn’t Ken Williams consider sending Ramirez and [Gavin] Floyd to Boston in a package for as much 25-and-under talent as possible?

One rumor bouncing around says Ramirez isn’t the White Sox regular the Red Sox are eyeing for the shortstop opening they created when they traded Marco Scutaro to the Rockies. It says they think Gordon Beckham is capable of regaining his ability as a run-producer and returning to the position he played at the University of Georgia.

Eduardo Escobar playing 2B? I don’t see this happening.

30 pounds down? maybe not

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 24, 2012 11:30 pm
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On Saturday Chuck Garfien tweeted:

But today Daryl Van Schouwen tweets:

Video of Yoenis Cespedes from his days at Cuba [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 24, 2012 3:00 pm
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Ben Bradler:

Luckily we were able to track down some great video from someone who posted four at-bats of Cespedes playing for Granma, his team in Cuba. In the video, Cespedes is the hitter in the first three at-bats, after which a double from Leslie Anderson (Rays) of Camaguey and Yoelvis Fiss of Ciego de Avila are spliced in between one final at-bat from Cespedes. I’m not much for spoilers (I always like to go in fresh), but I don’t think anyone should be surprised that these aren’t clips of him rolling over grounders to the shortstop.

The YouTube feed has some other great clips of Cubans, including Leonys Martin facing Aroldis Chapman, at-bats from Yulieski Gourriel and Alfredo Despaigne, an 18-year-old Kendrys Morales homering and the Cuban team facing Rangers righthander Yu Darvish in the 2008 Olympics, among other highlights. I would definitely recommend perusing when you have the time.

UPDATE: Cespedes established residency in the Dominican Republic.

White Sox invite 18 players to 2012 Spring Training

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 24, 2012 12:00 am
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whitesox.com press release:

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on minor-league contracts with right-handed pitcher Brian Bruney, left-handers Leyson Septimo and Eric Stults, catchers Damaso Espino and Hector Gimenez, infielders Dallas McPherson and Ray Olmedo and outfielder Delwyn Young.  All eight players, in addition to 10 players within the White Sox system, have received non-roster invites to the club’s spring training camp in Glendale, Ariz.

Right-handers Brian Omogrosso and Jacob Petricka, catchers Michael Blanke and Josh Phegley, infielders Jim Gallagher and Tyler Kuhn and outfielders Jordan Danks, Jared Mitchell, Brandon Short and Trayce Thompson, all received invites to major-league camp from within the organization.  Six of the 18 spring training invitees have major-league experience.

There seems to be 5 openings:

… Assuming the White Sox take 12 pitchers and make no further moves, one relief spot and four bench spots appear to be available. Brent Lillibridge and Tyler Flowers are certain to make the team, with Ozzie Martinez and Eduardo Escobar competing for the utility infield slot. Danks, Young, Gallagher, Bruney and Stults all have chances to compete for these final two openings.

Other White Sox links:

January 23, 2012

Oh no…

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 23, 2012 11:30 pm
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When Q! got married he lost the ! and became Q. Hopefully Sale doesn’t follow Quentin.

Jim Callis comments on Jared Mitchell, Trayce Thompson and Keenyn Walker

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 23, 2012 9:30 pm
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Jim Callis:

Q: Jared Mitchell, Trayce Thompson and Keenyn Walker are all raw, toolsy White Sox draft choices, and all have had their problems making contact in the minors. Who’s most likely to have a productive major league career, and how would you rank them defensively?

A: The White Sox spend less on the draft than any team, but they invested $1.2 million in Mitchell as a 2009 first-round pick and gave rare (for them) above-slot bonuses to Thompson ($625,000 in the second round in 2009) and Walker ($795,000 in the sandwich round last year). All three are high-risk, high-reward prospects and their inability to make consistent contact could cause them all to go bust rather than boom.

Thompson is the best bet to be a useful big leaguer, because he has the broadest base of tools. He may always strike out and never hit for a high average, but he has a lot more power potential than Mitchell or Walker. Thompson is an average runner with good instincts on the bases and in center field, and he has enough arm strength to be a legitimate right fielder.

Walker has the speed to make an impact on the bases and in center field, but he’s going to have to make significant strides with his on-base ability. Mitchell, who won national titles in baseball and football (as a wide receiver) at Louisiana State, is the best all-around athlete of the trio. But he hasn’t been the same player since he tore a tendon in his left ankle when he ran into an outfield fence in the spring of 2010.

Walker is the best defender of the three, followed by Mitchell and Thompson in that order. None of them is the top defensive outfielder in Chicago’s system, however. That distinction belongs to Jordan Danks.

January 21, 2012

30 pounds down

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 21, 2012 10:00 pm
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Other White Sox links:

January 20, 2012

John Sickels updates his ‘Top 20 White Sox prospects for 2012′ list

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 20, 2012 7:30 pm
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John Sickels updated his ‘Top 20 White Sox prospects for 2012′ list. #1 and #2 were interchanged and Simon Castro was added at #4:

1) Addison Reed, RHP, Grade B+: The best closer prospect in baseball thanks to superior command of 93-97 MPH fastball and devastating slider. One of my favorite prospects.

2) Nestor Molina, RHP, Grade B+: Acquired from the Blue Jays for Sergio Santos, and immediately became Chicago’s first or second-best prospect. I think he can remain a starter. Molina was a big topic of discussion earlier this winter. I like him a lot.

4) Simon Castro, RHP, Grade C+: Acquired from the Padres for Carlos Quentin. Live fastball, but secondary pitches went backwards last year and will need to rebound if he wants to stay a starter. The change of scenery could help him.

…We’ll start with the good stuff first. Both Nestor Molina and Addison Reed are personal favorites. I originally had Molina one spot ahead because I think he can start. Of course, I think Reed could probably start too, but given how well he pitched last year I can understand their desire to keep him in the bullpen. He should be ready to close sometime in 2012, perhaps out of spring training. I went back and forth on this but in the end I ranked Reed slightly ahead.

BTW, here’s the original list:

1) Nestor Molina, RHP, Grade B+: Acquired from the Blue Jays for Sergio Santos, and immediately became Chicago’s first or second-best prospect. I think he can remain a starter. Molina was a big topic of discussion earlier this month.

2) Addison Reed, RHP, Grade B+: The best closer prospect in baseball thanks to superior command of 93-97 MPH fastball and devastating slider. You can make a case to rank him ahead of Molina, if you think Molina will be a reliever.

3) Tyler Saladino, SS, Grade C+: 2010 seventh round pick out of Oral Roberts developed from draft sleeper into solid prospect. Good power for a middle infielder, and has some idea about the strike zone, scouts like his work ethic. Main issue now is if he can stick at shortstop, and I think he has a decent chance to do so.

4) Trayce Thompson, OF, Grade C+: Highest-ceiling bat in system, tapping into his power now and making good progress on defense. Kills lefties but has serious contact problems against right-handed pitching. Struck out 172 times while repeating Low-A. Has the tools to be a star slugger but also carries a high risk of failure.

5) Hector Santiago, LHP, Grade C+: Came out of nowhere to reach the majors (briefly) in 2011 thanks to development of a new screwball to go with 90-95 MPH fastball. Third pitch still needs work and it is unclear if he starts or relieves in the long run, although recent rumors indicate the Sox will continue to start him. Projects as number three/four starter if third pitch develops, or a power relief arm.

Hopefully Coop will help Castro with his secondary pitches in Spring Training.

January 18, 2012

Yoenis Cespedes hits his first HR in the Dominican Winter League

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 18, 2012 9:05 pm

Ben Bradler:

In a 3-2 count against Astros righthander Rhiner Cruz, Cespedes lifted a 97-mph fastball over the left field wall in the sixth inning. Including tonight’s game (as of the eighth inning, Cespedes was 1-for-4), Cespedes is 3-for-24 (.125) with a hit by pitch, no walks and six strikeouts while serving as the Aguilas DH.


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

Seems to me his bat speed is pretty good.

The Hardball Times projects the 2012 AL Central

The Hardball Times:

American League Central
Team Wins Losses
DET 91 71
MIN 85 77
CHA 76 86
CLE 76 86
KCA 63 99

Other White Sox links:

January 17, 2012

SeedlingsToStars’ 2012 White Sox Team Prospect List

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 17, 2012 1:00 pm
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Nathaniel Stoltz:

Shortstop: Tyler Saladino. Saladino’s almost a year younger than Wilkins, plays on the other side of the defensive spectrum, and still outpaced his teammate in slugging (.501) and Isolated Power (.231), while maintaining a 90/51 K/BB in 102 games in High-A. He’s not an elite defender at short, but should certainly be fine at second base. He could be a poor man’s Dan Uggla. Grade: B

Starting Pitcher #1: Nestor Molina. Easily the best prospect in the system, Molina is an excellent “performance prospect,” completely dominating High-A and Double-A en route to a 148/16 K/BB ratio. He’s not without stuff though, with a solid low-90′s fastball and very good splitter. A potentially excellent #2/#3-type starter. Grade: A-

Starting Pitcher #2: Dylan Axelrod. Axelrod is already 26, but he pitched well in Double-A, Triple-A, and a September callup. He owns a devastating slider and hits his spots with an 88-92 mph fastball. He should provide several good seasons toward the back of the rotation, starting in 2012. Grade: B-

Relief Pitcher #1: Addison Reed. Reed has a filthy three-pitch mix, with a mid-90′s fastball, tilting 78-83 mph slider, and fading mid-80′s changeup. He blitzed through four minor league levels last year and ended the year with a successful stint in the big leagues; he should make a big impact in 2012. Grade: B

Molina becoming a a #2/#3 starter would be most excellent. More at the link.

January 16, 2012

BDD is reviewing PECOTA’s 2011 projections

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 16, 2012 7:30 pm
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Doug Thorburn:

The isolated power of Alexei Ramirez has bounced around like a pinball for the last few seasons, and PECOTA mined beneath the career marks and struck gold. The relative hits on Ramirez’s batting average and OBP are less impressive, if only because his career numbers in those categories are more stable. Ramirez did up his walk rate beyond expectations, improving on the biggest deficiency in his offensive game, though he had showed similar patience back in 2009. PECOTA came very close on this hi-beta player, coming within 4 points of OPS and righteously projecting his 2nd-worst performance of the last four years. However, there is no way to measure the deleterious affect that Ramirez may have had on the approach of his aforementioned double-play partner, if only through association by proximity.

Alexei’s stats:

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
2008 26 CHW AL 136 509 480 65 139 22 2 21 77 13 9 18 61 .290 .317 .475 .792 103 228 14 3 4 4 3 *468/5 RoY-2
2009 27 CHW AL 148 606 542 71 150 14 1 15 68 14 5 49 66 .277 .333 .389 .723 86 211 15 1 6 8 3 *6
2010 28 CHW AL 156 626 585 83 165 29 2 18 70 13 8 27 82 .282 .313 .431 .744 99 252 12 2 7 5 2 *6 SS
2011 29 CHW AL 158 684 614 81 165 31 2 15 70 7 5 51 84 .269 .328 .399 .727 97 245 19 6 8 5 1 *6/D
4 Seasons 598 2425 2221 300 619 96 7 69 285 47 27 145 293 .279 .323 .421 .745 96 936 60 12 25 22 9
162 Game Avg. 162 657 602 81 168 26 2 19 77 13 7 39 79 .279 .323 .421 .745 96 254 16 3 7 6 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 1/16/2012.

There’s a review of Gordon Beckham’s projection as well at the link.

Kevin Goldstein’s 2012 Top 11 White Sox prospects

Kevin Goldstein @ BP:

System in 20 Words or Less: Two words: Not good.

Four-Star Prospects
1. Addison Reed, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
2. Nestor Molina, RHP
3. Trayce Thompson, OF
4. Jake Petricka, RHP
5. Simon Castro, RHP
6. Keenyn Walker, OF
Two-Star Prospects
7. Eduardo Escobar, SS
8. Jhan Marinez, RHP
9. Myles Jaye, RHP
10. Tyler Saladino, SS
11. Andre Rienzo, RHP

Goldstein has 9 more Sox prospects (Juan Silverio, 3B; Jared Mitchell, OF; Brandon Short, OF; Pedro Hernandez, LHP; Gregory Infante, RHP; Erik Johnson, RHP; Michael Blanke, C; Dylan Axelrod, RHP; Osvaldo Martinez, SS) more and his scouting report on Addison Reed at the link.

January 14, 2012

White Sox interested in Cuban LHP Gerardo Concepcion

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 14, 2012 9:10 pm
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It’s not only Jorge Soler and Yoenis Cespedes on the White Sox radar. Phil Rogers writes:

Most expect Cespedes and Soler to go to the highest bidder, which is usually the case with Cuban players, but clearly the White Sox and Cubs are positioning themselves to sell the comfortable fit, not just the contract. Both organizations know other teams are prepared to extend themselves financially, as these are among the last significant pieces that can be acquired before international signing limits kick in this summer.

… A major league source said the White Sox also join the Cubs in pursuing left-hander Gerardo Concepcion. He was Rookie of the Year in Serie Nacional last year but hasn’t had as much international experience as Soler, Belaguert and Martinez. He’s considered a finesse pitcher but has succeeded with his command.

The 18-year old Concepcion pitched 101.2 innings in the 2010-11 season. He allowed 103 hits, had a 53/43 K/BB ratio, and a 3.36 ERA. He had a 10-3 record in 21 starts.

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