Shonerd @ BA:
White Sox center fielder Trayce Thompson [B-R] was off to a fairly quiet start, hitting just .200/.308/.422 through his first 45 at-bats for low Class A Kannapolis, though he did have three home runs. That changed last night, as the athletic 20-year-old homered twice and went 4-for-5 against West Virginia, raising his line to .260/.351/.580 in the process. His five homers moves him into a tie for the South Atlantic League lead.
Thompson went 0-4 in today’s game and now he’s hitting .241/.328/.537/.865.
Gonzales @ CT:
Pitcher Jeff Marquez was expected to accept an assignment to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday after clearing waivers.
Good. We’ll see how his Spring Training K & BB ratios hold up.
Gonzales also reports the minor league teams where some of the Sox prospects will be assigned to. Jared Mitchell will go to A+ Winston-Salem; Josh Phegley and Andy Wilkins to AA Birmingham; Mike Blanke, Trayce Thompson, Jacob Petricka, and Addison Reed to A Kannapolis.
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?
Chris Sale gets an A-/B+ and is #1. From his scouting report:
I know some are worried about his arm action. I think those worries are overblown. If you are worried about his elbow going above his shoulder, the first thing I’d say is that the inverted arm action theory is just that: a theory, and it doesn’t mean a pitcher is guaranteed for an injury-plagued career. The second thing I’d point out is that the height of Sale’s elbow is exaggerated since his torso is hunched over, distorting the elbow’s position as it relates to the shoulder.
Also, Sale’s arm slot requires the elbow to drop back down to below shoulder’s level. The elbow comes down before the period of maximum stress on one’s shoulder. Remember, even those who completely buy into the inverted arm action theory will tell you it’s not that the elbow goes higher than shoulder’s height, it’s if the elbow is above shoulder’s height as it begins external rotation. You also have look at the front shoulder. Those who subscribe to the inverted arm action theory are concerned with a pitcher’s timing. If the arm is not vertical and the front shoulder has begun opening, then you have a timing problem — I tend to agree with this.
If you look at Sale’s mechanics, you’ll notice he does a good job of keeping that front shoulder closed. In fact, Sale’s front side mechanics are extremely sound. He firms up the glove out in front of his chest and brings his chest into the glove. As a result, he’s able to keep his front shoulder from flying open and achieve excellent finish and extension on his pitches as well.
Brent Morel (B-), Jared Mitchell (B-), Jacob Petricka (B-), and Trayce Thompson (C+) round up the Top 5. Hit the link for the full report on Sale.
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.
Newman @ STS:
Tyler Saladino, SS – A pleasant surprise, Saladino was the most complete prospect on the field in my eyes. Having just turned 21, he’s not young for the level, but plays the game the right way and makes the most out of the tools he does have. And while the tools may only be average across-the-board, very few players even have that to offer. Call me a fan.
More reports at the link.
I’d rank them in this order: Hudson, Sale, Flowers, Mitchell, Viciedo.