White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

April 13, 2012

BaseballInstict looks at the minor leagues

Southern League:

Jared Mitchell, OF – The 23rd overall pick in the 2009 draft had his career interrupted when he tore an ankle tendon in the spring of 2010. He wasn’t the same in 2011, however was very impressive in the winter instructional league and warranted a promotion to AA. He will be interesting to follow this season as he has tons of potential.

Carolina League:

Trayce Thompson, OF – The 2009 2nd round picked didn’t really impress in 2009 and 2010.  However, some of that changed after hitting 24 HRs in 2011.  His batting average as awful and his K rate was extremely high.  The 21-year-old remains a good talent and will get time to work out some mechanical issues in the Carolina League.

South Atlantic League

Kevan Smith, C - Mature college catcher with power to all fields. He has the bat but is still learning to be a professional catcher.

International League:

Jordan Danks, OF – Has some pop and speed.  He wasn’t much of a prospect and after 2 full seasons at AAA, the 25-year-old doesn’t figure to be a major league regular.  Still, he will have an opportunity to find himself on the bench as a 4th or 5th outfielder before the season is over.

February 29, 2012

Chris Sale’s 1st Spring Training start: Friday, March 9, 2 pm CT @ WGN-TV [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 29, 2012 11:00 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Broadcast Schedule.

UPDATE: First 5 starts:

John Danks is set to start the team’s Cactus league road opener on Tuesday in Tempe against the Angels, with Jake Peavy pitching Wednesday at home against the Brewers and Gavin Floyd on Thursday in Surprise against the two-time defending American League champs from Texas. With Chris Sale pitching Friday in Glendale against the Cubs, the opening rotation appears to be set up, although nothing official has been announced by manager Robin Ventura past Humber on Monday.

Jose Quintana starts Monday’s “B” game against the Indians, with Simon Castro and Brian Bruney also pitching. Will Ohman, Jesse Crain, Addison Reed, Hector Santiago, Pedro Hernandez, Charlie Leesman and Nestor Molina pitch Monday after Humber, who is ready to test his early work in actual games.

Other White Sox links:

February 9, 2012

MLB.com’s 2012 Top 20 White Sox Prospects

Jonathan Mayo:

1. Addison Reed, RHP (video)
2. Nestor Molina, RHP (video)
3. Trayce Thompson, OF (video)
4. Eduardo Escobar, SS (video)
5. Jacob Petricka, RHP (video)
6. Erik Johnson, RHP (video)
7. Keenyn Walker, OF (video)
8. Simon Castro, RHP (video)
9. Tyler Saladino, SS (video)
10. Jhan Marinez, RHP (video)
11. Marcus Semien, SS (video)
12. Nate Jones, RHP (video)
13. Hector Santiago, LHP (video)
14. Charlie Leesman, LHP (video)
15. Kevan Smith, C (video)
16. Andy Wilkins, 1B (video)
17. Michael Blanke, C (video)
18. Scott Snodgress, LHP (video)
19. Jose Quintana, LHP (video)
20. Josh Phegley, C (video)

No Dylan Axelrod, Jared Mitchell, Andre Rienzo, Gregory Infante, Jeff Soptic, Rangel Ravelo on the list.

January 27, 2012

FutureSox’s 2012 Preseason Top 25 White Sox Prospects

Matt Cassidy:

1. Nestor Molina, RHP     [NEW]
2. Addison Reed, RHP     [Previous Rank: 2nd, no change]
3. Simon Castro, RHP     [NEW]
4. Tyler Saladino, SS     [Previous: 9th, +5]
5. Trayce Thompson, OF     [Previous: 3rd, -2]
6. Jacob Petricka, RHP     [Previous: 4th, -2]
7. Hector Santiago, LHP     [Previous: 16th, +9]
8. Keenyn Walker, OF     [Previous: 7th, -1]
9. Eduardo Escobar, SS     [Previous: 6th, -3]
10. Dylan Axelrod, RHP     [Previous: 19th, +9]
11. Jared Mitchell, OF     [Previous: 5th, -6]
12. Andre Rienzo, RHP     [Previous: 11th, -1]
13. Jhan Marinez, RHP     [NEW]
14. Gregory Infante, RHP     [Previous: 14th, no change]
15. Erik Johnson, RHP     [Previous: 17th, +2]
16. Charlie Leesman, LHP     [Previous: 15th, -1]
17. Pedro Hernandez, LHP     [NEW]
18. Andy Wilkins, 1B     [Previous: 13th, -5]
19. Scott Snodgress, LHP     [Previous: UNR]
20. Brandon Short, OF     [Previous: 12th, -8]
21. Jeff Soptic, RHP     [Previous: UNR]
22. Kevan Smith, C     [Previous: 24th, +2]
23. Ozzie Martinez, SS/2B     [NEW]
24. Ryan Buch, RHP     [Previous: 18th, -6]
25. Michael Blanke, C     [Previous: 32nd*, +7]

January 23, 2012

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

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

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 16, 2012

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 11, 2012

Baseball America’s Top 10 White Sox prospects for 2012

Phil Rogers:

1. Addison Reed, rhp
2. Nestor Molina, rhp
3. Simon Castro, rhp
4. Trayce Thompson, of
5. Jake Petricka, rhp
6. Keenyn Walker, of
7. Jhan Marinez, rhp
8. Tyler Saladino, ss
9. Juan Silverio, 3b
10. Ozzie Martinez, ss

December 29, 2011

John Sickels’ Top 20 White Sox prospects for 2012

John Sickels:

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.

December 16, 2011

Fangraphs’ Top 15 2012 White Sox prospects

Marc Hulet:

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.

December 14, 2011

BaseballInstinct’s 2012 Top 10 White Sox prospects

George Utter:

1. Nestor Molina, RHP 01/09/1989 H: 6’1” W: 180 – (Nathaniel’s take) Nestor Molina had a breakout season in 2011, posting unbelievable strikeout-to-walk ratios at both High-A Dunedin (115/14 in 108 1/3 IP) and Double-A New Hampshire (33/2 in 22 IP). Originally a third baseman/outfielder, Molina converted to pitching in 2008, and wasn’t even a starting pitcher until this season, so his huge year caught many by surprise. While Molina’s pure “stuff” isn’t quite as good as his numbers suggest, it’s no slouch, either: he works at 89-94 mph and boasts a very good splitter.  Molina will probably start 2012 in either Double-A or Triple-A, but he’s very polished and should end up in Chicago at some point during the season. Don’t be surprised if Chicago initially lets his two pitches work in relief upon his reaching the majors.

Our Video

Our Instinct: We had Molina #3 in our Blue Jays Top 10 and scouted him ourselves.  Tom Belmont took the above video of Molina in July, and it’s been used on several notable sites.  We love what Molina brings to the table, but as Tom said in his Prospect Instinct|Nestor Molina article, he’s not going to be an ace, nor does he have the body to be a workhorse in the middle.  He figures to be a nice fit as a #4, however, as Nathaniel suggested, he could end up in the White Sox bullpen.

Reports for the other prospects (2. Addison Reed, 3. Tyler Saladino, 4. Trayce Thompson, 5. Jeff Soptic, 6. Jacob Petricka, 7. Rangel Ravelo, 8. Kevan Smith, 9. Jared Mitchell, 10. Keenyn Walker, and Dylan Axelrod) at the link.

September 4, 2011

MLB Bonus Baby’s 2011 White Sox draft review

Matt Garrioch:

Erik Johnson was the bulldog ace for California this season. He is 6’2″, 240 and is a workhorse who can run it up to 94 or 95. He has a good change and a nice breaking ball as well. His mechanics are erratic and he isn’t overly athletic but at worst he will be a good set up man. He could be a #3 guy and eat 200 innings if everything works right for him and he can iron out his mechanics a little.

Jeff Soptic, a righty out of Johnson County CC in Kansas, has a rocket for an arm. He can hit triple digits but he is another raw product. He flashes a plus slider and with the velocity he has, he looks like he could be a back of the bullpen kind of guy. He could be a #2 starter if he improves his command and develops an average changeup. …

July 30, 2011

Kenny probably closes shop [UPDATE]

Merkin @ CWS:

“Is there a chance that we could have a different look? Absolutely there’s a ‘chance,'” Williams said. “I would say that chance is very, very slim.

“I don’t see anything on the horizon and everything that potentially can be done comes at a sacrifice of the guys that I expect we would need to try to win this division. So, very unlikely.”

UPDATE: Ballantini @ CSN:

Williams also admitted that most of the calls he’s getting from GMs at this point are of the prank variety.

“I’ve got a lot of friends in the game, so some of them are calling just to check in, make sure we are kind of where we are,” Williams smiled. “There’s a lot of rumors out there about us going either way, either being buyers or sellers, so there’s people checking in. Then there’s some of the more smart aleck friends of mine in the general manager ranks that are calling with humorous anecdotes as to what’s going on. It’s just that time of year. I think it’s the most fun time to be a general manager that there is during the calendar year.”

Other White Sox links: U-God writes a pretty awesome ‘Kenny Williams at the trade deadline’ simulator, James says if the Sox decide to trade Carlos Quentin they shouldn’t stop there, Mike looks at the Edwin Jackson/Mark Teahen for Jason Frasor/Zach Stewart trade, and 2011 supplemental 1st round pick Keenyn Walker was promoted to the Class A Kannapolis Intimidators.

July 5, 2011

White Sox sign 1S round draft pick OF Keenyn Walker (video)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 5, 2011 10:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

Callis @ BA:

The White Sox finalized their deal with top draft pick Keenyn Walker on Tuesday, signing him to a $795,000 bonus. The 47th overall selection, Walker had Tweeted (via @Keenyn_Walker) six days earlier that he had agreed to terms. His bonus exceeds MLB’s $739,800 recommendation for his draft slot. …

Bats: Switch
Throws: Right
Height: 6’03″
Weight: 193
Born: 1990-08-12
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT
Class:  J2 (2nd year in Junior College)

Walker will report to Great Falls. He’ll be in in the lineup Saturday.

Scouting reports (videos after the scouting reports):

Baseball America:

Walker was drafted in the 16th round out of high school in Utah in 2009 and last year at Central Arizona, in the 38th round. Scouts have always been intrigued by the 6-foot-3 switch-hitter with standout tools and impressive athleticism. The raw tools don’t always translate on the baseball field, however, and he didn’t even start regularly last year. This year is a different story. Walker has performed well with wood and he should get more than the $250,000 he reportedly turned down out of high school. Walker has more power from the right side, but his lefthanded swing is more pure. He’s mostly a gap hitter with above-average speed, so he profiles as a good defensive center fielder. He has the speed to hit at the top of the order, but needs to cut down on his strikeouts. If he doesn’t sign, Walker will head to Utah.

John Sickels:

1-47) White Sox: Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona JC: Blazing speed and greatly improved hitting skills, along with a solid glove, push him to the top of the White Sox draft list.

More Sickels:

Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona Junior College: The blazing fast, 80-speed Walker showed greatly improved hitting skills this spring, and in some draft classes would be rated a first-rounder. The deep nature of this class, plus the fact that junior college players get less attention than high school or four-year college players, pushes Walker back to second or third round slots for most. However, someone in love with his athleticism could easily choose him in the supplemental.

Sickels pre-draft:

Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona CC: Bats Both, 6-3, 185. Drafted by the Cubs in the 16th round in 2009 but didn’t sign. Toolsy, athletic, very fast, some power potential, has strikeout issues and is still rather raw, but toolsy enough to go on first day. Committed to Utah if he doesn’t sign. Hitting .421/.513/.622 with 28 walks, 35 strikeouts in 164 at-bats, 49 steals in 52 attempts.

Perfect Game:

Good athletic body, Plus run, nice arm, tools are there, looked good at PG National, good at AC, bat needs to come on

and the June 2008 scouting report:

Keenyn Walker is a 2009 OF/P with a 6’1”, 185 lb. frame from Salt Lake City, UT who attends Judge Memorial. Keenyn is a lean well put together very athletic player with fluid actions in the outfield. His throws carry well in the outfield with arm strenth. He is a switch hitter at the plate with a line drive swing plane. He showed a bit better from the left side and has good extension in his swing. He stays inside the baseball and uses all fields. He projects very large with added strength and is a very good, 6.53 sixty. Walker is extremely athletic and he could skyrocket up the charts by next year.

January 2008 and July 2007 reports at the link

Baseball America:

With their first pick of the night, the White Sox take Keenyn Walker, an outfielder from Central Arizona JC. He is a 65 runner that can stay in center field and profiles as a leadoff hiter.

Padilla @ ESPN:

“Keenyn is a kid that we’ve scouted extensively,” White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann said. “He plays in a competitive junior college program in Arizona. He’s been very successful. He is a high ceiling athlete. Unlike some high ceiling athletes, this kid really has a feel for playing the game.”

Laumann projected Walker to be two and a half years away from making it to the major leagues if he progresses at an ideal pace. He compared the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Walker to Devon White and Carlos Beltran.

Kevin Goldstein:

msambor (chicago): thoughts on keenyn walker?

Kevin Goldstein II: I like him! Risky pick, but I like going with upside when you don’t have a first rounder. He definitely could flame out early, but it’s worth the risk.

FutureSox:

Walker has decent patience at the plate as he led his team in walks this year with 36 (16.8 BB% (BB/AB)), which, combined with his speed, gives him potential as a top of the order hitter, but in order to reach that potential he will need to watch the strikeouts, which have been a problem for him. Walker struck out 45 times this year (21% K% (SO/AB)), which again led his team.

MLB.com’s 2011 scouting video:

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=15479701 (0:33)

Youtube’s 2010 scouting video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_u8en2vlXw (1:03)

MLB.com’s 2009 scouting video:

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=4625607 (0:34)

Here are his Junior College Stats:
2011 Stats:

Keenyn Walker #10
Class: Sophomore
GP AB H 2B 3B Runs RBI BA HR
69 238 98 14 10 84 59 .412 6
SB SBA SB%
70 73 .890
Walks (BB) Hit By Pitches Sac Flys OBP
41 9 3 .509
Put Outs Assists Errors Fielding Percentage
124 5 0 .000

2010 Stats:

Keenyn Walker #5
Class: Freshman

GP AB H 2B 3B Runs RBI BA HR
58 97 29 1 3 42 16 .299 2
SB SBA SB%
21 23 .300
Walks (BB) Hit By Pitches Sac Flys OBP
18 7 2 .435
Put Outs Assists Errors Fielding Percentage
59 3 7 .899

June 29, 2011

White Sox agree to terms with 1S round draft pick OF Keenyn Walker [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 29, 2011 12:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

Merkin says all that is left may be just a physical:

A White Sox source told MLB.com nothing was official as of yet with Walker’s signing. However, it could be at the stage of just needing a physical to bring Walker into the fold.

BTW, here’s a 1 minute scouting video of Walker:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_u8en2vlXw

and MLB’s half-minute scouting video:


http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=15479701&c_id=cws

UPDATE: Gonzales  @ CT:

The Chicago White Sox have reached an agreement with their first pick in the June amateur draft, Central Arizona College switch-hitting outfielder Keenyn Walker.

The signging will become official by next Tuesday, after Walker passes a physical examination.

“It’s a huge relief for me,” Walker said Wednesday at his Salt Lake City home. “After Friday, I thought we were going all the way to the (Aug. 15) deadline again. But we finally got it done.”

Once signed, Walker will report to the Sox’s short-season Great Falls affiliate in Montana.

For scouting reports and stats for Walker read my earlier post here.

June 28, 2011

Keenyn Walker is playing for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in the Alaska Baseball League

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 28, 2011 11:00 pm
Tags: ,

Gonzales @ CT:

The move isn’t believed to be the result of any stress in negotiations between the Sox and Walker’s family. The Sox hold Walker’s negotiating rights through Aug. 15. Walker signed a letter of intent to play at Utah next spring.

Walker’s stats through 5 games:

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 .222 5-5 18 3 4 0 0 0 0 4 .222 3 1 7 0 .364 0 0 3-4 15 0 0 1.000

I see the ABL finishes on August 3.

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