When this rotation is healthy, few teams west of Philly can boast a stronger group from top to bottom. Buehrle might average 86 MPH with his fastball, but he’s essentially a lock for 200+ innings and 3+ WAR. Danks, Floyd and Jackson have shown continued improvement over the past couple years; each posted 3.8 WAR or higher last season and they all have the potential to exceed that mark again in 2011. The No. 5 spot in the rotation is murky, but the upside is massive between Peavy and Sale. And even if Peavy doesn’t return until June and Sale is the club’s closer, this is still an obvious strength given how good the front four guys are. When you look at this group of guys and where some of them started, it’s hard not credit Don Cooper for everything he’s done in Chicago. People love what Dave Duncan does for the Cardinals in St. Louis, but there’s no doubt that the AL has a similar equivalent in Mr. Cooper.
February 7, 2011
Carter was drafted in the 26th round by the White Sox in 2005, from Georgia Perimeter Junior College. He has one of the best fastballs in the White Sox system, hitting 95-98 MPH on his best days. His slider and changeup have their moments but are inconsistent. A starter in the lower minors, he converted to relief last year in Double-A with solid results; his K/IP and H/IP marks were very good, reflecting his above average stuff, and his control wasn’t terrible. Indeed, he showed excellent command in the Arizona Fall League, posting a 16/0 K/BB in 10 innings of work. Carter has the stuff to be a solid middle reliever, with some chance he can close if his control remains as sharp as it was in Arizona. Grade C, but raise that a notch if he keeps throwing strikes like he did in the fall.
BTW, here are Sickels’ 2011 Top 20 White Sox Prospects.