Kevin Goldstein @ BP:
System in 20 Words or Less: Two words: Not good.
1. Addison Reed, RHP
2. Nestor Molina, RHP
3. Trayce Thompson, OF
4. Jake Petricka, RHP
5. Simon Castro, RHP
6. Keenyn Walker, OF
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.
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.
“The best closer prospect in baseball” comment helps explain Sergio Santos’ trade.
2. Nestor Molina, RHP
BORN: Jan. 9, 1989
EXPERIENCE: 5 seasons
ACQUIRED: 2006 non-drafted free agent (Toronto)
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off
SCOUTING REPORT: I came very close to ranking Molina No. 1 overall in the White Sox system. As a Jay, he would have ranked in the six to eight range – which tells you a little bit about the depth of the two systems. Some online publications have referred to Molina as a “control pitcher” which has a negative connotation and implies that his stuff is below average. While the Venezuelan has plus control, his stuff is at least average – if not better. He has an 87-93 mph fastball and a potentially plus splitter that is his out-pitch. He also has a decent slider.
YEAR IN REVIEW: When his breaking ball improved to the point where the Jays organization felt it could be at least MLB average, Molina was moved into the starting rotation for good in 2011. He had a breakout season and reached double-A. The 22-year-old hurler spent the majority of the season in high-A where he posted a 2.45 FIP (2.58 ERA) in 108.1 innings. He showed his outstanding control by posting a walk rate of 1.16 BB/9. Molina also sent a large number of batters back to the dugout shaking their heads (9.55 K/9).
YEAR AHEAD: Molina received five late-season starts in double-A and showed that he was far from over-matched: 0.47 FIP, 0.82 BB/9, 13.50 K/9. He probably needs about half a season at double-A before moving up to triple-A and could be ready for the Majors by the end of the season. Chicago tends to be overly aggressive with some of its pitchers so I wouldn’t be shocked to see Molina in triple-A to begin 2012.
CAREER OUTLOOK: Molina has the makings of a No. 3 starter at the MLB level. The big question for him is his durability. Originally an outfielder, he was moved to the bump permanently in 2008 and has pitched more than 100 innings just once (2011). There is also some concern over his delivery and that, unless it gets smoothed out, he’ll be a high-leverage reliever at the MLB level.
For the other prospects hit the link.
Merkin @ CWS:
The AFL starts on October 4 and concludes with the AFL Championship on November 19.
UPDATE: Seems the Sox will send 3 more pitchers to Mesa.
The OF prospects looked at were Jared Mitchell, Trayce Thompson, Brandon Short, Jordan Danks:
Thompson joined Kannapolis as an injury replacement after the start of the season and showed some of his upside. Right out of the gate he showed some massive power numbers and a decent walk rate. Naturally, an injury cost him a lot of the season and he slumped later on. Today is his 20th birthday so he has plenty of time, but it’s awful to lose development time like he did last year. He’s already well-regarded by scouts and publications alike, but 2011 could be a big breakout year since it will be his first full pro season if he stays healthy.
Mayo @ MLB:
||Chris Sale, LHP
||Brent Morel, 3B
||Dayan Viciedo, 3B/OF
||Eduardo Escobar, SS
||Jared Mitchell, OF
||Greg Infante, RHP
||Brandon Short, OF
||Trayce Thompson, OF
||Tyler Flowers, C
||Josh Phegley, C
And here’s Mayo’s White Sox OMG (One More Guy): Jacob Petricka, RHP.
Here’s Brent Morel’s description:
More of a right-handed Wade Boggs type than a power hitter at the hot corner, Morel is ready to take over at third for the White Sox. He’ll hit for average, as his .305 career mark shows, and he’s an outstanding defender, one who could even play shortstop if needed.
Wade Boggs? Did Kenny Williams made a deal with the devil?
Eisenberg @ BI:
6. Addison Reed | RHP | Age – 23 | Grade – C+
7. Eduardo Escobar | SS | Age – 22 | Grade – C+
8. Tyler Flowers | C/1b | Age – 25 | Grade – C+
9. Greg Infante | RHP | Age – 23 | Grade – C+
10. Thomas Royse | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – C+
11. Andre Rienzo | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – C+
12. Tyler Saladino | SS | Age – 21 | Grade – C+
13. Brandon Short | OF | Age – 22 | Grade – C+
14. Anthony Carter | RHP | Age – 25 | Grade – C
15. Matt Heidenreich | RHP | Age – 20 | Grade – C
The following was the comment for Andre Rienzo: “Intriguing sleeper…report contains a breakdown of his mechanics, which are pretty Tim Lincecum-esque.” That’s a hell of a teaser!
For comments on all 10 prospects as well as a scouting report on Addison Reed hit the link. Here are Prospects 1-5.
Goldstein @ BP:
1. Chris Sale, LHP
2. Eduardo Escobar, SS
3. Brent Morel, 3B
4. Dayan Viciedo, 1B/3B
5. Jared Mitchell, CF
6. Jacob Petricka, RHP
7. Greg Infante, RHP
8. Trayce Thompson, OF
9. Addison Reed, RHP
10. Thomas Royse, RHP
11. Andre Rienzo, RHP
9 more and Goldstein’s scouting report on Chris Sale at the link.
UPDATE: Goldstein discusses the White Sox Top 11/20 on Episode 25 of his podcast (mp3). The White Sox discussion is at the 72:30 mark and runs for about 12 minutes.
Baseball Numbers @ Diamond Futures:
1) Chris Sale, LHP (2010 Performance Scores– Dominance 80; Control 60; HRrate 29; Stamina 27)
We believed Chris Sale was the best college arm available in the 2010 draft. His 2010 College Performance score trailed only Texas A&M’s Barrett Loux. So we were as shocked as the White Sox likely were when he was still available at #13. The Sox fast-tracked Sale to the Big Leagues in a relief role, and he only continued to make favorable impressions once arriving—ending the season as the team’s best option at closer. Coming out of the bullpen allowed Sale to consistently throw his fastball in the mid-90s—a few ticks higher than he had worked as a starter. The relief work also allowed him to focus on his slider—the pitch that offered greatest concerns coming into the draft. What the bullpen did not allow him to do was showcase his plus-plus change—the pitch that is the main reason why we believe that he is ideally suited for a starting role.
At a slight 6’6”, we believe Sale could ‘beef-up’ and work in the mid-90s as a front of the rotation starter with a solid three-pitch repertoire. Unfortunately, word out of Chicago is that Sale is likely to once again find himself in the bullpen in 2011. This isn’t a two-pitch Neftali Feliz, that we advocated a bullpen role for. Therein lies the paradox with the White Sox decision to make a run at the Central division in 2011—as it likely means that Sale is the de facto closer vs. working on being a difference maker at the top of the rotation. Still just 21yo, the White Sox are unlikely to harm his development in any significant way, but this is a special arm that should be developed as such.
Hit the link for the other 11 reports.
Both articles are from Bryan Smith. First the “must watch” prospects:
In 56 plate appearances (so, sample size alert), Sale held right-handers to a .120/.214/.240 batting line. He did it while throwing them six change-ups in 220 pitches (2.7%), which accounted for 3 balls, 2 called strikes and 1 swinging strike. It was a non-factor. as he went with a two-pitch approach: 66.8% four seamers, 26.4% sliders. And, to my surprise, looking at his Texas Leaguers chart, he wasn’t just back-dooring the slider everytime. It’s a pitch he trusts, and a pitch that works, against right-handers. …
and those prospects outside the ‘Top 10′:
I credit Baseball America and Matt Eddy being the first to make me aware of Mike Blanke, the team’s 13th-round pick from the Division II University of Tampa. Blanke hit .329/.400/.508 in the Pioneer League, where Eddy ranked him as the number seven prospect. He wrote, “…he would have gone much earlier had clubs had any inkling that he would show plus power, arm strength and receiving skills in his pro debut.” …