Morel And Sale Make Big Leagues For ChiSox





BEST PLAYER: A third-round pick in the 2008 draft, third baseman Brent Morel just keeps getting better. The former Cal Poly star hit .281 a year ago in high Class A but did even better as he climbed the ladder in 2010.

Morel started the season at Double-A Birmingham but earned a promoted to Triple-A Charlotte after a strong first two months. The White Sox called him up after he hit a combined .322/.359/.480 with 10 home runs and 64 RBIs between the two levels.

A technically-sound fielder with a strong arm, Morel added to his value by sliding over from third base to play shortstop after Dayan Vicideo joined the Knights in August.

BEST PITCHER: The 13th overall pick in June, lefthander Chris Sale used a mid-90s fastball and a plus changeup to shoot through the minor leagues, earning a callup to Chicago in August.

Sale's low three-quarters delivery and collection of pitches was dynamite. Working as a reliever, his fastball reached the high 90s, enhancing the effectiveness of his slider and changeup that general manager Ken Williams compares favorably with Mark Buehrle's.

Sale's slight built and violent, unconventional motion raise red flags, but he ought to have a great career if he holds up. The White Sox will determine his future role next season.

KEEP AN EYE ON: If not for the incredible pace of Sale, more people would have noticed how quickly lefthander Charlie Leesman, an 11th-rounder in 2008 from Xavier, has progressed.

He established himself as an effective starter in the Southern League in only his second full season, earning an invitation to pitch in the Arizona Fall League. He's gone 27-11, 3.45 as a pro, thanks largely to his willingness to throw strikes and challenge hitters. He gets a lot of groundballs with his low-90s sinker. He has improved his secondary pitches but it's not clear if he'll have a swing-and-miss pitch that works against more advanced hitters.

CHI-LITES

• The White Sox removed once highly regarded righthander Clevelan Santeliz from the 40-man roster to make room for Gregory Infante. Santeliz held hitters to a .213 average in Triple-A this season, but he walked 5.7 per nine innings.

• Brazilian righthander Andre Rienzo, a fourth-year pro, had an excellent year in the rotation for low Class A Kannapolis, going 8-4, 3.65.