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The most urgent decision involves catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who attracted interest from Texas recently. Pierzynski can become a free agent after this season, and the Sox would certainly like some compensation if they don’t re-sign him. Pieryznski, 33, can gain full trade veto rights on June 14 by virtue of his 10th anniversary as a major league player and spending at least the past five seasons with the same team. Pierzynski currently has a limited no-trade clause. … And then there are financial considerations. A source familiar with Texas’ murky ownership situation said it’s uncertain whether the Rangers could accept the balance of Pierzysnki’s $6.7 million salary because of a snag in the sale of the team.
Gonzales, also, touches on Mark Buehrle, Paul Konerko, Jake Peavy, Tyler Flowers, Jordan Danks, and Dayan Viciedo.
first, what are MLP’s? explanation here
so, from the pitchers major league projections::
Player Name Age IP IP* H 2B 3B HR BB HP K K9 ERA Daniel Hudson 23 129.2 180 186 34 5 13 52 11 213 10.7 3.63
from the batters major league projections:
Player Name Age PA PA’ AB H 2B 3B HR BB HP K AVG OBP SLG SB RCG Tyler Flowers 24 1408 600 503 119 35 1 25 82 7 129 .237 .352 .464 0 5.3 Jared Mitchell 21 138 600 495 116 49 4 7 106 3 161 .235 .374 .395 21 4.9
Player Name Age PA PA’ AB H 2B 3B HR BB HP K AVG OBP SLG SB RCG Justin Smoak 23 520 600 497 130 28 0 23 90 7 108 .262 .383 .460 0 6.0
It is really hard to evaluate the defensive ability of a catcher, especially for us when we don’t see the players often enough if ever. Defensive statistics like UZR have become popular, but don’t apply to catchers. Since the White Sox have three catchers that were in our top 11 prospects, I wanted to keep track of whatever catching stats I could. Take a look at the results.
I tracked the basics (steals, caught stealings, errors and passed balls) and matched the baserunning statistics to each pitcher. This also allows us to see which pitchers are able to hold runners and which are easy to run on. Obviously, it’s barely more than a month into the minor league season, but let’s take an early look. …
Gotta Take The Good With The Bad
With A.J. Pierzynski doing nothing offensively while having some public spats with manager Ozzie Guillen, the name Tyler Flowers is coming up more and more in Chicago. The bulky backstop, acquired from the Atlanta Braves for Javier Vazquez two years ago, is keeping up his end of the bargain. Two home runs on Monday give him three in two days and an overall batting line of .287/.382/.598 in 25 games with the Knights. The problem, as always, remains the defense. One scout who recently saw Flowers thought his work behind the plate had regressed from last year, when it wasn’t that good in the first place. He’s thrown out just 4 of 17 base stealers this year, and his 245 pound frame doesn’t allow for much mobility back there either. The scout said, “I can’t see Ozzie living with that kind of defense back there,” but the way A.J. is hitting, and mouthing off, he just might.
Here’s the section on Tyler Flowers:
Flowers is clearly in time-biding mode. If Andruw Jones is ever pressed into full-time outfield duty, whether it’s due to Juan Pierre’s ineptitude or Carlos Quentin’s poor health, Flowers should be the first option to serve as the majority DH and occasional catcher.
Allow me to reiterate that Flowers seems like he’ll be a slow starter at the major-league level due to his K-rate. For whatever reason — probably because A.J. Pierzynski is a great clubhouse source — there are a lot of people waiting, perhaps even hoping, for Flowers to fail. But he’s the only hope the Sox have of getting an above-average hitter for the league minimum, so that kind of pressure seems to be counterproductive.
Much more at the link.
UPDATE: Here’s Part II.
This month, Anthony Mazzuca talks to Alex Vispoli, Winston-Salem Dash Director of Media Relations and Broadcaster, and Josh Ellis, who holds the same positions with the Kannapolis Intimidators. Dan Santaromita also gives a run down of the recent happenings with the Knights and Barons, as the FutureSox.com Podcast has the White Sox minor league system covered.
29. Tyler Flowers | Chicago White Sox (1) | C | Grade – B+
87. Dan Hudson | Chicago White Sox (2) | RHP | Grade – B
And Trayce Thompson is on the “Some names you might see on next year’s list.”
from Cowley’s obituary column:
According to one source, general manager Ken Williams already has called around about catcher A.J. Pierzynski just to gauge his trade value. He didn’t like what he heard. … Why would Reinsdorf want to pay for a Pierzynski on a fifth-place team when he can have a cheaper Tyler Flowers?
White Sox catching prospect Tyler Flowers is thriving offensively at Triple-A Charlotte, hitting .316/.447/.553 through 11 games, with 11 RBI, six walks, and 10 strikeouts in 38 at-bats. This is improved production compared to his ’09 trial at the same level, where he hit .286/.364/.438 in 31 games. His defense has been so-so; he’s throw out three of 12 runners for a 25% percentage, also giving up two passed balls and making one error so far. His defense is never going to be great, but it should be enough to keep him in the lineup if he hits as expected.
Chicago White Sox | Top Prospect: Tyler Flowers, Catcher (AAA)
If A.J. Pierzynski was not entrenched in Chicago, Flowers would already be the favorite of MLB headline writers everywhere. Triple-A has not kept Flowers from doing what he always does: get on base and hit for power. His current triple-slash line is .316/.447/.553. He also has 11 RBI in as many games.
Problem: Getting offense at DH and catcher.
Solution: It’s springtime, so plant Flowers.
Why? It’s already just a matter of time before Tyler Flowers arrives to stay in The Show. He’s already off to a decent start at Triple-A Charlotte (translated .472 slugging, .261 TAv), and the South Side needs runs, ranking 27thin MLB in True Average at .243. A.J. Pierzynski (.145 TAv) is cold at the plate and in the walk year of his contract, while Mark Kotsay is a popular bench player, he’s not a starting DH (.127 TAv). Between the DH at-bats against right-handers and the opportunity to sit AJP to get Flowers time behind the plate, the Sox should squeeze in Flowers’ 2010 PECOTA-projected .270 TAv.
“I kind of was expecting it due to the fact that pretty soon here I’ll be 10-and-five where they can’t move me [without my approval],” Pierzynski said Wednesday on “The Afternoon Saloon” on ESPN 1000. “We haven’t really had any talks about me staying here extension-wise. I’m the one guy that they probably can move. I have an expiring contract; they can’t trade [Paul] Konerko because he has a full no-trade clause.
“They don’t really have a lot of other pieces that they would want to trade that are expiring. Hopefully it doesn’t happen, but you just never know.”
UPDATE: Ozzie’s reaction:
“He’s good. He’s not going to lose his job. I’m very happy with what I’ve got and I have a lot of optimism with what I have and I think A.J. is my catcher, hopefully he doesn’t get hurt. But I believe in him. He doesn’t have to worry about anything – not with me.
But when you start making comments about your contract and how long you’re going to be, when is your first day, when is your last day, I think it’s not necessary. But I’m not going to tell my players what to say when your manager says whatever he wants. I respect that. … He’s my catcher until he gets traded or he’s not here anymore. As long as I’m here, I don’t see him why he’s not going to be my catcher.”
“We are trying to transition him back to the basics to get back to where he was last season….Too many thoughts, you just can’t play [the game that way].”
On his offense
“We think the world of him offensively. Very intelligent kid.”