Ken Rosenthal @ YB:
The White Sox are open to trading Mark Teahen rather than making him a high-priced utility man at the four corner positions and DH. Still, Teahen represents insurance for rookie third baseman Brent Morel, an outstanding defender who might not hit right away.
Manager Ozzie Guillen likes Teahen’s left-handed bat and estimates that he could find 350 at-bats for the veteran if Morel wins the starting job at third. The problem: Teahen, who is guaranteed $4.75 million this season and $5.5 million in 2012, would be overpaid as a reserve.
I don’t think that’s a new development Ken…
The IF prospects were Eduardo Escobar, Brent Morel, Dayan Viciedo, Andy Wilkins, Jon Gilmore, and Tyler Saladino:
Wilkins is a definite sleeper candidate this year. Any early draft pick hitter coming from an advanced college program (Arkansas) that has a strong rookie debut is expected to continue that success. Wilkins showed power, plate discipline and contact. As a corner infielder, he sits behind Morel, Viciedo, Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko. Sounds like a possible trade piece to me.
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.
Camp (Joey) Cora: Gordon Beckham, Ramon Castro, Brent Morel, Alexei Ramirez, Alex Rios and Dayan Viciedo, Juan Pierre, A.J. Pierzynski and hitting coach Greg Walker.
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.” …