White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

June 11, 2011

John Sickels reviews the 2011 White Sox Draft class

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 11, 2011 2:34 pm
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Sickels @ MLBall:

1S) Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona JC: With no first-round pick, the White Sox went a super-speedy junior college outfielder with a rapidly improving bat. He has some power potential too, and a good glove in center field. I like him.

2) Erik Johnson, RHP, California: Cal-Berkeley pitcher works at 90-94 and has an impressive slider. Curveball and changeup need work if he wants to remain a starter. Workhorse body.

3) Jeff Soptic, RHP, Johnson County Community College: Clocked as high as 100 MPH, but slider and changeup are inconsistent. Very high upside in his 6-6 frame but needs polish. …

Other AL Central Draft reviews: Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota.

Detroit’s Draft budget must be lower than even ours. KC’s draft class is full with High School players.

June 9, 2011

Kevin Goldstein on the White Sox 2011 draft

Filed under: Chicago White Sox,MiLB — The Wizard @ June 9, 2011 4:00 pm
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Goldstein @ BP:

Who They are:[Round 1s pick Keenyn] Walker is exactly the kind of player the White Sox used to avoid, but with Kenny Williams’ edict to focus on upside, he’s a great find. Yes, he’s raw, but he’s a big athlete with plus speed and is developing power from both sides of the plate. Scouts that like him, really like him, and while Walker is a significant risk, his kind of upside is hard to find outside the first round.

[Round 2 pick Erik] Johnson is a safer pick with third- or fourth-starter upside, but he’s a big, physical right-hander with above-average velocity and a good slider. He’s not pretty to watch and needs to throw more strikes.

[Round 3 pick Jeff] Soptic is 6-foot-6, throws 95-98 mph, and I’m done saying good things about him. The hope is that he can find some command, hone his breaking ball, and turn into a late-inning reliever. …

All Day 2 picks are here.

June 8, 2011

Keenyn Walker ETA: 2014

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 8, 2011 2:08 am
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Gonzales @ CT:

“He’s probably 2-2 ½ years away (from the majors), if he progresses like we think he is,” Laumann said. “We’ve got comparisons of Carlos Beltran and Devon White. He’s a very athletic kid who played football and has a loose gait. He can really run and has good instincts. He’s a little bit atypical from those high-ceiling athletes in that he does have a feel for the game as well.”

June 7, 2011

John Sickels on Keenyn Walker [FIXED]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 7, 2011 10:23 am
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Sickels @ MLBall:

1-47) White Sox: Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona JC: Blazing speed and greatly improved hitting skills, along with a solid glove, push him to the top of the White Sox draft list. I like Walker a LOT and he was on my list of players who could go earlier than expected. He’s got some risk, but the reward could be huge.

Kevin Goldstein on Keenyn Walker

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 7, 2011 10:17 am
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“This kid the White Sox drafted, is there risk there? Sure, he could completely flounder in the minors and we’ll never hear from him again, but he’s also got crazy upside,” Goldstein said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “I mean this is the kind of guy where, when the Central Arizona Junior College bus showed up, and he got off the bus, you went ‘yeah, I’ll take that kid, he looks pretty good.’ I mean, this is an athletic outfielder with power, with speed. [He] made a lot of progress this year. He was always seen as a very raw prospect. A guy with a ton of swing-and-miss in his game, but when he hit a ball, it went a pretty long way. [He’s a] Good center fielder.“

And he stopped swinging and missing so much this year, so he made a whole heck of a lot more contact. Made good progress defensively, with his instincts and his routes. There’s a chance that this guy could be a steal at No. 47, but there is risk just becuase of how kind of behind the curve he is, where he’s a little behind most players his age, as far as how refined he is. So it’s going to take some patience, but the potential reward is there.”

Audio at the link.

Kenny gets his man!

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 7, 2011 1:03 am
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Ballantini @ CSN:

Walker would seemingly have a soft spot in White Sox GM Ken Williams’ heart, as a former standout football player at Judge Memorial High in Salt Lake City. A cornerback, Walker picked off 11 passes for the Bulldogs.

He was a two-sport athlete at Judge Memorial High School, intercepting 11 passes as a senior cornerback in football. A baseball comp Laumann has cited for Walker is Devon White, not coincidentally now a minor-league roving instructor for the White Sox.

Walker’s selection marks the ninth straight draft in which the White Sox have selected a collegiate player with their first pick. The outfielder was recommended by Chisox scouts John Kazanas and Derek Valenzuela.

Other White Sox links: J.J. comes up with a plan to keep Jake Peavy healthy, James recaps the weekend, and Brett Ballantini looks back on the 1977 South Side Hitmen and updates his most and least valuable White Sox players calculations. And the White Sox will host the Double Duty classic on June 29 (1:05 pm CT) at the Cell and tickets are free.

June 6, 2011

White Sox select OF Keenyn Walker with 47th pick of 2011 MLB Draft

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 6, 2011 9:42 pm
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Walker is a switch-hitting OF from Central Arizona College (6’03” 193lbs).

John Sickels:

1-47) White Sox: Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona JC: Blazing speed and greatly improved hitting skills, along with a solid glove, push him to the top of the White Sox draft list.

More Sickels:

Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona Junior College: The blazing fast, 80-speed Walker showed greatly improved hitting skills this spring, and in some draft classes would be rated a first-rounder. The deep nature of this class, plus the fact that junior college players get less attention than high school or four-year college players, pushes Walker back to second or third round slots for most. However, someone in love with his athleticism could easily choose him in the supplemental.

Sickels 6 weeks ago:

Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona CC: Bats Both, 6-3, 185. Drafted by the Cubs in the 16th round in 2009 but didn’t sign. Toolsy, athletic, very fast, some power potential, has strikeout issues and is still rather raw, but toolsy enough to go on first day. Committed to Utah if he doesn’t sign. Hitting .421/.513/.622 with 28 walks, 35 strikeouts in 164 at-bats, 49 steals in 52 attempts.

and Kevin Goldstein:

msambor (chicago): thoughts on keenyn walker?

Kevin Goldstein II: I like him! Risky pick, but I like going with upside when you don’t have a first rounder. He definitely could flame out early, but it’s worth the risk.

Baseball America:

With their first pick of the night, the White Sox take Keenyn Walker, an outfielder from Central Arizona JC. He is a 65 runner that can stay in center field and profiles as a leadoff hiter.

Baseball America scouting report via WSCR-AM670:

… This year is a different story. Walker has performed well with wood and he should get more than the $250,000 he reportedly turned down out of high school. Walker has more power from the right side, but his lefthanded swing is more pure. He’s mostly a gap hitter with above-average speed, so he profiles as a good defensive center fielder. He has the speed to hit at the top of the order, but needs to cut down on his strikeouts. If he doesn’t sign, Walker will head to Utah.

Padilla @ ESPN:

“Keenyn is a kid that we’ve scouted extensively,” White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann said. “He plays in a competitive junior college program in Arizona. He’s been very successful. He is a high ceiling athlete. Unlike some high ceiling athletes, this kid really has a feel for playing the game.”

Laumann projected Walker to be two and a half years away from making it to the major leagues if he progresses at an ideal pace. He compared the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Walker to Devon White and Carlos Beltran.


Walker has decent patience at the plate as he led his team in walks this year with 36 (16.8 BB% (BB/AB)), which, combined with his speed, gives him potential as a top of the order hitter, but in order to reach that potential he will need to watch the strikeouts, which have been a problem for him. Walker struck out 45 times this year (21% K% (SO/AB)), which again led his team.

Perfect Game scouting report:

Good athletic body, Plus run, nice arm, tools are there, looked good at PG National, good at AC, bat needs to come on

and the June 2008 scouting report:

Keenyn Walker is a 2009 OF/P with a 6’1”, 185 lb. frame from Salt Lake City, UT who attends Judge Memorial. Keenyn is a lean well put together very athletic player with fluid actions in the outfield. His throws carry well in the outfield with arm strenth. He is a switch hitter at the plate with a line drive swing plane. He showed a bit better from the left side and has good extension in his swing. He stays inside the baseball and uses all fields. He projects very large with added strength and is a very good, 6.53 sixty. Walker is extremely athletic and he could skyrocket up the charts by next year.

January 2008 and July 2007 reports at the link

MLB.com Video (0:34)

Youtube Video (1:03):

ESPN video (2:05) FOOTBALL.

2010 Stats:

Keenyn Walker #5
Class: Freshman

58 97 29 1 3 42 16 .299 4
21 23 .300
Walks (BB) Hit By Pitches Sac Flys OBP
18 7 2 .435
Put Outs Assists Errors Fielding Percentage
59 3 7 .899

2011 Stats:

Keenyn Walker #10
Class: Sophomore

63 214 86 11 8 76 50 .402 4
65 68 .590
Walks (BB) Hit By Pitches Sac Flys OBP
18 7 2 .435
Put Outs Assists Errors Fielding Percentage
59 3 7 .899

For 2011 WSCR-AM670 says:

Walker batted .402 with four home runs, 50 RBI and 65 stolen bases in 63 games with Central Arizona this season. Walker posted a .502 on-base percentage and a .584 slugging percentage and was successful on 95.6 percent (65-68) of his stolen-base attempts.

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