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Hometown Boy

CHICAGO–Michael Spidale won’t have to ask for directions if he can play his way to U.S. Cellular Field. Like Winston-Salem teammate Kris Honel, he’s a homegrown White Sox prospect.

"I’ve grown up a White Sox fan," Spidale said. "I’ve been a Sox fan my whole life. It was always in my family. Having a chance to play in this organization is special."

Spidale, 21, is the nephew of Mike Spidale, who is the Sox’ manager of purchasing. The White Sox drafted the all-state shortstop from Nazareth Academy in suburban Chicago in the 12th round of the 2000 draft and moved him to the outfield in 2001, his first full season as a pro. Despite missing about two months last season with a broken bone in his right hand, he was selected as the best defensive outfielder in the organization.

"I think it was a good move," Spidale said. "I like it out there. I have good speed. I can go get a lot of balls."

Spidale played errorless defense with Class A Kannapolis in 2002. He hit .291 with a .372 on-base percentage and finished with 37 stolen bases despite missing seven weeks after breaking a bone in his right hand when a pitch hit him.

"I don’t think it was too bad of a setback," Spidale said. "I got back and played for the end of the season. It was a productive season overall."

Spidale is off to a good start with high Class A Winston-Salem. He and second baseman Ruddy Yan have given the Warthogs a dangerous combination at the top of the lineup.

Spidale was hitting .310 with a .412 on-base percentage through his first 71 at-bats. He had 13 walks and 11 strikeouts and had stolen seven bases.

The Sox hope Spidale will learn to drive the ball as he matures. He was homerless through his first 259 games as a pro and had only 24 extra-base hits.

Chi-Lites

• Lefthander David Sanders joined the White Sox, giving manager Jerry Manuel three lefties in the bullpen. Sanders became the fifth pitcher from the White Sox 1999 draft to reach the big leagues. He follows Dan Wright, Matt Ginter, Jon Rauch and Josh Stewart.

• Righthander Edwin Almonte, who led the minors with 62 saves the last two seasons, earned eight in the first three weeks of the season with Triple-A Charlotte. The 26-year-old has made 203 minor league appearances without getting a call to the big leagues, including 120 in Double-A and Triple-A.

• Previous organization report: Corwin Malone

 
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