At this time last year, White Sox CF Jared Mitchell found himself completely over his head. Coming back from a serious ankle injury that had sidelined him for the entire 2010 season, he was promoted to high Class A Winston-Salem where he was most known for striking out (183 whiffs in 477 at-bats). A year later, Mitchell, 23, has somehow managed to catch up to an even more advanced league. His walks are up, his strikeouts are down and Mitchell is now hitting the ball with authority—.478/.586/.739 this week and now .347/.473/.573 for the season
April 27, 2012
April 21, 2012
Birmingham Barons Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Nestor Molina (W, 2-1) 7.0 6 0 0 1 5 0 3.80 Brandon Kloess 2.0 1 0 0 0 3 0 3.12
Pitches-strikes: Molina 102-70, Kloess 17-15.
Groundouts-flyouts: Molina 9-2, Kloess 1-1.
Batters faced: Molina 28, Kloess 7.
Molina has a 16 K / 2 BB ratio in 23.2 innings (4 games). Jared Mitchell went 2-5 with a Home Run and 2 K. He is hitting .298/.420/.544/.964 with 20 K and 11 BB in 57 AB.
April 15, 2012
Barons Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Nestor Molina (W, 1-1) 8.0 7 3 3 0 7 1 5.40 Santos Rodriguez (S, 2) 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Pitches-strikes: Molina 94-68, Rodriguez, S 15-8.
Groundouts-flyouts: Molina 6-7, Rodriguez, S 1-2.
Batters faced: Molina 30, Rodriguez, S 3.
April 13, 2012
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.
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.
Kevan Smith, C – Mature college catcher with power to all fields. He has the bat but is still learning to be a professional catcher.
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.
March 30, 2012
A White Sox fan in search of the team’s future starters need look no deeper than Double-A Birmingham. That rotation features Nestor Molina, Simon Castro, Jose Quintana and Pedro Hernandez, who all took part in big league camp, as well as right-hander Cameron Bayne. If a starting spot opens up during the course of the season, there’s a chance the White Sox would look at the Barons as quickly as they would check the rotation for Triple-A Charlotte.
Molina (Sergio Santos, from Toronto), Castro and Hernandez (both Carlos Quentin, from San Diego) all came over during offseason trades. Birmingham’s roster also will feature relievers such as Nevin Griffith, Dan Remenowsky and Ryan Kussmaul, as well as position players such as Mitchell, Andy Wilkins and Jose Martinez.
Other White Sox links:
- James previews the 2012 bullpen.
- J.J. looks to see if Brent Morel is falling back into bad habits, says Chris Sale is going to be fine, and with Tony Andracki publish the 1960-2012 All-Chicago team.
- Chris Lamberti looks on the legend that was Rube Foster.
- Fangraphs’ Chris Cwik examines the entire White Sox organization.
- SeedlingToStars’ Wally Fish compares various Topp-100 prospect lists.
January 27, 2012
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
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 21, 2012
Other White Sox links:
- James looks on regular 3B Brent Morel, and recently retired SS Orlando Cabrera. He also detailed why the White Sox probably won’t be particularly competitive in 2012 on southside showdown.
- J.J. details the recent Sox improvement moves.
- SeedlingsToStars’ Nathaniel Stoltz says there is little hope for Jared Mitchell.
January 18, 2012
American League Central Team Wins Losses DET 91 71 MIN 85 77 CHA 76 86 CLE 76 86 KCA 63 99
Other White Sox links:
- J.J. says the White Sox were close to signing Kerry Wood and looks at the link between Jared Mitchell and Josh Fields.
- James looks at the Michael Pineda-Jesus Montero trade, and Jake Peavy saying Ozzie Guillen quit on the Sox.
- Jim Thome was interviewed by Chuck Garfien (video). Big Jim, who the Phillies think of playing at 1B, thinks Adam Dunn, a player that’s very similar to him, will rebound this season.
- colin posts the 1st part of his pitching primer. Part 2 of colin’s pitching primer is here.
January 16, 2012
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.
December 29, 2011
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
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
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 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.
July 22, 2011
Dayan Viciedo, rf, White Sox. Viciedo went 1-for-4, reached on an error and scored a run in the Triple-A all-star game, but those are just warm memories with the way he’s played since that exhibition game. The 22-year-old masher has done anything but in his last seven games for Charlotte, going 3-for-25 (.120) with nary an extra-base hit. The silver lining: Viciedo has drawn five walks (one intentional) and struck out three times in that timeframe.
Jared Mitchell, cf, White Sox. The 23rd overall pick in 2009, Mitchell won national championships in football and baseball with Louisiana State and took home most outstanding player honors at the ’09 College World Series. He ranked as Chicago’s top prospect heading into 2010 and was one of the most athletic players at White Sox camp that spring—but then he tore a tendon in his left ankle, forcing him to miss all of last season. Now 22, Mitchell has struggled mightily to make contact with high Class A Winston-Salem, striking out 128 times in his first 91 games. He hit rock bottom this past week, going 1-for-22 with 11 strikeouts. Mitchell has shown some pop upon his return—37 of his 77 hits have gone for extra bases—but his speed appears to have tapered off as he is just 6-for-10 in stolen bases. It’s shaping up as an uphill battle for Mitchell to return to elite prospect status.
May 31, 2011
Don’t look now, but White Sox outfield prospect Jared Mitchell might be figuring something out at High-A Winston-Salem. He’s hitting .355/.432/.581 in his last 10 games, with two homers. More importantly, he has four walks and just five strikeouts in that span. His overall line is now .224/.277/.408, which isn’t exactly good but represents considerable improvement over where he was two weeks ago. His overall BB/K still stinks at 11/61, but the reduction in strikeouts and increase in walks over the last stretch is impressive. We need to see if this continues and the sample is tiny, but it is worth watching. The tools have always been here. White Sox officials have spoken recently about Mitchell making adjustments to his swing as he works the rust off from missing all of 2010. Perhaps that is having an impact.