White Sox Midseason Report

Hudson On The Verge





BEST PLAYER: A revelation in 2009, when he climbed from low Class A Kannapolis to the big leagues, righthander Daniel Hudson continues to establish himself as a future member of the Chicago rotation.

Hudson, a 2008 fifth-round pick out of Old Dominion, would be there already had the White Sox not traded for Jake Peavy and signed Freddy Garcia. The 23-year-old worked out of the bullpen in spring training and was considered for a big league job, but the organization decided he would be better off getting innings at Triple-A Charlotte. He got hit around in April but has come back strong, going 11-3, 3.57 in 88 innings with 102 strikeouts and 29 walks.

The White Sox could bring back their 2010 rotation intact in '11, so they face a decision with Hudson: Use him as a trading chip, move him into Guillen's bullpen or let him keep building experience in the wings.

BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD: A 28th-round pick in the 2008 draft from St. John's River (Fla.) CC, outfielder Brandon Short performed solidly in his first season and a half as a pro. But he took it to another level with high Class A Winston-Salem this season. He has hit for power and average, belying his slight stature (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) as he has batted .322/.366/.506 with 11 home runs, 23 doubles and 52 RBIs, among the Carolina League leaders in each of those categories.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: There was a big buzz about second baseman C.J. Retherford entering spring training, and he backed it up with play that earned the praise of Ozzie Guillen. But the 24-year-old struggled from the start in Triple-A, batting .201/.249/.314 in 159 at-bats before being demoted to Double-A Birmingham. His problems have continued there, and he was batting .204/.259/.315. Retherford's troubles at the plate were especially untimely as White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham has hung around the Mendoza Line all season.

CHI-LITES

• Third baseman Jon Gilmore has been almost as good as Short at Winston-Salem. He was hitting .334/.363/.425 with four home runs in 332 at-bats.

• Third baseman Brent Morel slumped after his promotion to Charlotte but went 7-for-15 in a series against Buffalo, raising his average to .262/.303/.350 in 103 at-bats. He was hitting .303/.350/.408 overall on the season, putting him in the mix for big league consideration.