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.
On Saturday Chuck Garfien tweeted:
But today Daryl Van Schouwen tweets:
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.
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:
When Q! got married he lost the ! and became Q. Hopefully Sale doesn’t follow Quentin.
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.
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.
Seems to me his bat speed is pretty good.
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.
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.
|162 Game Avg.
There’s a review of Gordon Beckham’s projection as well at the link.
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.
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.