Chicago White Sox: Top 10 Prospects Chat With Phil Rogers

Chicago White Sox: Chat




Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2008.

Q:  Jon from Peoria asks:
Hi Phil: With Gonzalez and de los Santos gone, is this the worst Sox farm system you can ever remember? How many guys in the system do you feel can be true impact players?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello everybody. Thanks for your interest in the White Sox and the BA chats. It's been a crazy winter for the Sox farm system, with so many trades involving top 10 type guys. Should be a lot to talk about. So, we'll start off with one of those questions, from Jon. I would have to say I don't ever remember the Sox system being this thin. But I also remember a time when a lot of us thought they were deep in pitchers but not position players, and then got guys like Joe Crede and Aaron Rowand to the big leagues as impact type players while having to go outside for most of the pitching. It really is an art form, not a science. As for real impact guys, I think you have to look at guys who are fairly new to the system — Aaron Poreda, for sure; Jose Martinez, maybe Sergio Morales. You'd also have to look at the big international signs — Alexei Ramirez and the kid with the highest upside in the organization, Juan Silverio, the oversized, 16-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic. He could be a monster if he develops and can stay at shortstop (which is iffy).

 Q:  Luke from Des Moines asks:
Hey Phil. Thanks for chatting. Is Kenny Williams on the hot seat? He got them a WS Title, but he's traded away the whole farm. When will we get a change?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi Luke. As you know, Jerry Reinsdorf is very patient with his people, especially when they've had some success (see Krause, Jerry). If Reinsdorf wasn't totally on board, I'd say this winter's strategy of so aggressively pursuing established talent and giving up his best prospects would be very risky for a GM. But the feeling I have is that Ken Williams is doing exactly what his bosses want him to do, so I wouldn't expect him to be under a lot of pressure if they are out of it by July, and looking to move established talent to get back some kids.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
At which position would Shelby move faster through the farm system at - 2B or OF, and where do the Sox need his services more at this time?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hey there Jaypers. My guess is that he's in the right spot in center. I think between Chris Getz and Danny Richar they are going to find an everyday second baseman for the next five years. I'm definitely not sold on Richar from August and September, but he does have some pop. He needs to figure out how to get on base more often. Getting on base is Getz's game, and I really like his potential. He provides a nice bit of insurance behind Richar, and could replace him by July if Richar doesn't take advantage of the opportunity. It's a good situation. I don't see so many established center field types pushing each other, although Jerry Owens or Alexei Ramirez could wind up being long term center fielders.

 Q:  Jonathan from ATL asks:
Can you elaborate on Alexi Ramirez and Jose Martinez? Two guys who are international players that may not be as well known.
 A: 

Moderator: Hi Jonathan. I've never seen either of these guys, outside of Ramirez for a little bit in the World Baseball Classic, so I'm going totally on scouting reports. Martinez, I think, is a higher ceiling guy than Ramirez probably. He was a good player for the Sox at Bristol at age 19, and the feeling was he just scratched the surface of his potential. He's a solid fielder and a guy who could hit for average and power (others at BA have raved about his batting practice shows). He is going to stay in center for the moment, I believe, but could wind up in right field. I compare his body to that of a young Juan Gonzalez, which is saying something (although I'm not quite sure how Juan got his to develop so impressively). Ramirez is a skilled hitter and adequate fielder at a variety of positions. If he plays middle infield, he'll have good power for that position. I'd look for him to move around a lot in 2008, if he's in the big leagues (no sure thing), but be projected to fill a hole at short, second or in center in 2009.

 Q:  Richard A. Smiley from Chicago, IL asks:
Phil — Thanks for doing the chat. Did Chris Retherford make your Top 30?
 A: 

Moderator: Hello, Richard. Retherford is a favorite of some of my colleagues at BA. He's a gamer type guy who has made the most of his chances, to date. He was on the fringe of the top 30 but I didn't put him in there this year. He will definitely be there next season if his Great Falls number translate in the South Atlantic League, where he should be ticketed.

 Q:  Andy from Sarver, PA asks:
What can you tell me about a local kid Brian Omogrosso? Prospect? What level will he play at to start the year?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hey there, Andy. Omogrosso is defintely a prospect. He's got the build of a big-league pitcher, and can run his fastball up into the mid '90s at times. He had a great slider before his surgery at Indiana State, and has never quite gotten that back. The Sox were excited about the progress he made with his changeup last season, which they hope will make him effective against left-handed-hitters, who have been his downfall. He'll almost certainly be at Birmingham, either as a starter or reliever. His greatest upside could be as closer or a set-up man. It's not out of the question he gets to Chicago in 2008.

 Q:  Mark from TN asks:
I was at plenty of Bristol games last season & the most talented player on the field, although still so young & underdeveloped, was Kent Gerst. He would run 3.9 down the line & covered extensive ground in CF along with great patience at the plate for a smaller guy. Seems a lot like Jacoby Ellsbury to me. Where will he be next season & what are the organization's thoughts on him?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hey there, Mark. If Gerst turned out to be only a poor man's Ellsbury that would be something. Speed is definitely his best asset. I think the Sox are waiting to see if he can develop as a hitter. Even with his speed, he had only one extra-base hit every 25 at-bats last season at Bristol, which isn't going to cut it. He will compete for a job in the outfield at Kannapolis in spring training, but the White Sox do have a lot of younger outfielders, especially center field types, so the competition for those jobs is going to be tough. Winning a job at Kanny out of spring training would be a big step for Gerst.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
Had Cunningham, Gonzalez, Sweeney and Carter not been traded, where would they place on this list? Now that they have, is the Sox' system ranked 30th overall?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Back to you, Jaypers. This is the perennial question about traded guys. Our original top 10 had Gio 1, Fautino de los Santos 2 — some others reversed those 2 — Carter was 6, followed by Sweeney at 7. I liked Cunningham better than Carter when he was in the Sox system, so he could have been as high as 4 had he not been traded at midseason. I don't rank the systems, but I do think the Sox might slip a spot from the earlier ranking of 29th to 30th, behind Houston.

 Q:  NinetyBayou from BALCOLAND, USA asks:
Where did CJ Rutherford, Lyndon Estill, and Leroy Hunt fit in the mix for the top 30?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello to Balcoland. I've addressed Retherford earlier. Estill was right at the very cut off for the top 30. I don't think he got in, because the book deadline was before the Nick Swisher trade, which would have opened three spots. Hunt did not make it but he got consideration. I understand he opened Kenny Williams' eyes in the Instructional League, so he could be positioned to get a full-season spot with a solid spring training.

 Q:  Alex from Newport, RI asks:
What is the feeling on Garrett Johnson? I see he battled some inconsistency in his first full season of pro ball as any 6'10 19 year old would, but I heard in some outings he was unhittable.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello, Rhode Island. Garrett is a mystermy man to me. I'm going to have to try to watch him this spring. He didn't get on the mound in any games at any level last season, spending the whole year at the Arizona complex. I'm not sure if he was healthy. I did not hear anything about him in the Instructional League, either. He's a John Kazanas guy, which is a good thing. I promise I'll pay some attention to him this year.

 Q:  Rob from Ontario, Canada asks:
I know he's obviously no longer a prospect but now with a full year under his belt, was John Danks hyped up too much or was he a legit top prospect who will still come around?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Rob, Danks was a disappointment, if you ask me, but the Sox are right to still count on him in 2008. He looked very good in some starts early in the year but in hindsight would have benefited from a year in Triple-A. His stamina was a concern as he wore down with a workload of only 140 innings. It's a big year for him.

 Q:  Mickey from Tennessee asks:
Bristol had 2 position players that seemed above everyone else this season (in terms of age and ceiling). Jose Martinez and Kent Gerst. They were both 18-19 and faired well against older competition. Where do you see both being in 2008 and what are the organization's projections/comparisons for both? Jose Martinez looked a lot like Alex Rios and Kent Gerst a lot like Jacoby Ellsbury or Nate McLouth.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi Mickey. We discussed Gerst a little earlier, but Martinez is definitely the man. I think Martinez hits in the middle of the order for Kannapolis in the first half of the season but could jump to Winston-Salem before the year is over. If he follows up on his 2007, a lot of people are going to talk about him because there aren't many other high-ceiling hitters in this system. (Cross your fingers that nobody asks for him in a trade).

 Q:  Joe from Easton, MD asks:
Would it be fair to say that Jose Martinez has the highest ceiling in the organization? Obviously he is raw, but don't his pure hitting and power tools look to grade very high down the road?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi, Joe. See above.

 Q:  Luke from Des Moines asks:
Where is Nevin Griffith? It looks like he has great poise and two plus pitches. Was he close to making the list? Where will he start next year? Thanks.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello again Luke. Griffith ranked somewhere in the 20-25 range for the book. He's a kid with a mid-90s fastball but has some command issues. The White Sox have made some changes in his delivery, essentially trying to make it more repeatable by shortening his stride a little bit. He should have a good shot to start for Kannapolis but might benefit from quieter development in extended spring training.

 Q:  D. Cornell from Madison, WI asks:
I was read in BBA that Salvador Sanchez could be the next Juan Gonzalez. Do you see this happening? Salvador is a HUGE PHYSICAL SPECIMEN...and he appears to have some skills. Are the Sox high on him?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi D. Salvador Sanchez — Juan Gonzalez ... Jose Martinez — Juan Gonzalez. I'm repeating myself. I do recall making the Juan Gone comparison with Sanchez in the past, but he certainly hasn't developed like that. He's still more of a rail than a pillar. He re-established himself somewhat by tearing up the Pioneer League, but he was very old for that level. He needs to take that confidence to a higher level, probably Winston-Salem, to really get back on the radar. The Sox are tired of waiting for him to develop, frankly.

 Q:  Derek from IL asks:
Since the White Sox have the 8th pick in the draft, can you give us a list of the top hitters for the upcoming entry draft? Who can the Sox fans hope to get? I'm assuming they'd look for bats since last year's draft was pitcher heavy, and the top 10 list is lacking impact bats, more so than pitchers, which is also weak. Sigh.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi, Derek. About that eighth pick ... if not for the 11-6 finish to the season, they could have been picking in the top five. I'm thinking that will make a huge difference in the caliber of prospect they wind up with. It's going to be very interesting to see if they sidestep the Boras guys, who could fall into their range, and go with somebody more signable. I haven't really heard any names from their scouts as to who is on the radar. Mark Gonzalez from the Tribune does a good job watching that, so I'd bet the names start circulating in February or March, when the colleges get up and running. The one area I think would be hardest to pass is a good college catcher. They really don't seem to have front-line catchers coming behind A.J. Pierzynski, unless Francisco Hernandez picks up the pace as a hitter.

 Q:  Scott from Springfield, Illinois asks:
The Sox lost a number of players in the Major and Minor League phases of the Rule 5 draft, which of these will the Sox most regret losing?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi, Scott. Oakland sure winds up with a lot of those guys, don't they. The drafting of Fernando Hernandez Jr. in the Rule 5 was predictable, as he's a results guy, not a tools guy, which is why the Sox didn't protect him. Probably the most interesting guy they lost was left-hander Ray Liotta, who has been battling injuries much of the last two years. He had a ton of success in the low minors, and the Sox may have lost him just as he was getting himself back together.

 Q:  D. Cornell from Madison, WI asks:
Assuming the Sox sign Alexei Ramirez to a 4 year deal, I didn't see his name on the Projected 2011 Lineup. Why not?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: The White Sox haven't finalized the Ramirez signing, which is why he wasn't in the top ten list or in the future lineup. He would have definitely been an '11 starter, with the only question being whether it would be at SS, 2B or CF. Everyone expects him to be with the White Sox but he was having some paperwork issues on getting to Chicago for the physical.

 Q:  Ryan Hagan from Charleston, Illinois asks:
I was wondering why Alexei Ramirez was not in the top 10 prospects when the write up on him on your site was pretty nice and the white sox's minor league system is more pathetic than Ruben Rivera's career.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi, Ryan. For what it's worth, we were looking at Ramirez at No. 4 if he had signed quickly enough to be included. He's an intriguing player.

 Q:  Benny from Ohio asks:
Clevelan Santeliz had a awsome year pitching in Venezuela for Magallanez. What are your thoughts on him.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello Benny, and congratulations for paying attention to winter ball. Santeliz has had an excellent winter in a strong league, and with that might have put himself on the radar for the system. He's not a big guy, and at one time the Sox thought his velocity would develop. It really hasn't — he tops out in the high '80s many days — but he's learned to pitch with what he's got. That would suggest a big heart. He's very fringy in the eyes of most with the Sox, and his Venezuelan numbers aren't the kind that register with scouts evaluating tools — only eight strikeouts (and nine walks) in his 19 outings. The thing he does seem to have done in Venezuela is get a ton of ground balls. The White Sox are always looking for pitchers who get guys to beat the ball into the ground, so I bet Kenny Williams slips over to the minor-league side to watch him this spring.

 Q:  Art Gering from Phoenix, AZ asks:
Rick Brooks was a high draft pick following a stellar career at East Carolina. What are his chances to reach the majors? Have those channces been enhanced by a move to the bullpen last year?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello Art. Brooks move to the bullpen can't hurt his chances to get to the big leagues. He had solid numbers as a reliever at Winston-Salem and can open eyes if he gets to Birmingham and continues to get results. He would have less of a distance to cover than Ehren Wasserman, who was the Sox's minor-league success story of 2007.

 Q:  D. Cornell from Madison, WI asks:
What's your take on Francisco Hernandez? Does he have the ability to become the Sox Starting Catcher?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: It's too early to give up on a catcher who is above-average defensively, as is Hernandez, but his development has been slow. He seemed to regain his confidence when he was bumped back for a fourth year at Kannapolis, but it's time for him to show he can handle better pitching in 2008. He'll probably open at Winston-Salem but should hope he's not there all season, as it's time for him to start climbing the ladder. He did well in a limited opportunity with Estrellas in the Dominican Republic this winter, which is a good sign. I do think he has a chance to be a big-league regular, but he needs to hit better to make that happen. It helps his chances that he's a switch hitter.

 Q:  D. Cornell from Madison, WI asks:
If Joe Borchard doesn't stick with the Braves, would the Sox ever consider resigning him with the hopes he rewards them for the $5,300,000 they gave him in 2000?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Joe left the White Sox organization on excellent terms, so there's no reason they would not consider bringing him back if they had a need for an extra outfielder. He is a good guy but I'm not sure why he would blossom this late given all the chances he's already had.

 Q:  Brian Welch from Boylston, MA asks:
Where would Gio Gonzalez have ranked if he hadn't been traded to Oakland? Does the trade help or hurt his overall value?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi Brian. I think the move to Oakland probably helps Gonzalez's overall value, as the A's are in a rebuilding mode which should mean they will show him some patience whenever they think he's ready for the big leagues. That could be out of spring training or at any point in 2008. He was next in line to get a shot with the White Sox but it would be hard for Ozzie Guillen and Ken Williams to be patient with a young pitcher as they try to keep up with teams like Detroit, Cleveland and Minnesota. As I said earlier, he was ranked No. 1 (which is where he will be in the handbook, which went to press before the Swisher deal).

 Q:  Karl of Delaware from Georgetown, Delaware asks:
Bristol's starting pitcher Po-yu Lin: where is he from and how far does he go?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi Karl. Lin is from Taiwan. He received a significant bonus from the Sox ($300,000, I think) but has not showed the kind of stuff that projects to prolonged success. I'm not sure he ever makes it to Double-A.

 Q:  Kevin from Charlotte asks:
Do you think if Broadway/Egbert don't win a spot in the rotation that one of them will be the long man in the pen?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi, Kevin. The back end of the bullpen is definitely a work in progress, but I wonder if Brandon McCarthy's stunted development in 2006 would keep Ozzie Guillen from using Broadway and Egbert in that kind of a role. It's probably more likely with Broadway than Egbert, as he's already gotten a season in Triple-A under his belt, but really I'd think you'd want them pitching well in the rotation at Charlotte so they're ready when you have a need for a starter.

 Q:  D. Cornell from Madison, WI asks:
With brother, John, in the system already, would the Sox consider redrafting Jordan Danks in the 1st Round (#8 Pick)?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Jordan Danks is an excellent name for the White Sox with the No. 8 pick. They focused on Jordan before even John, taking him out of high school in part because their scouts were so sold on the entire family. He could very definitely be the Sox's choice at No. 8.

 Q:  Boutros from NYC asks:
Any reasonable comps for Silverio? Can his ceiling come close to Miggy Tejada-like power?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello, New York. I'm going to hold off on the Silverio comparisons, because I haven't actually see him. Not too many shortstops will ever have Tejada-like power, however, so that is probably a reach. But he does project to be much bigger than Tejada when he finishes growing. If his frame is halfway as solid as Tejada's, the White Sox will have something very good on their hands, even if his size forces him to wind up at third base, not short. He's the exact kind of player they have been needing to add to their system for years. Here's hoping it's the first of several aggressive signings in the DR.

 Q:  Travis from TX asks:
What is the word on Robert Valido, is he still considered a prospect?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello Texas (my homeland). You would think the Sox would have had enough disappointment with Valido, but I definitely know that he has at least one strong advocate in the front office. He is so good defensively that he could be a big-leaguer quickly if he ever rediscovers his confidence and finds a consistent approach at the plate. He needs to handle Double-A pitching in the first half of the 2008 season to get back on the radar.

 Q:  MJ from St.John asks:
Hello! This list looks pretty weak, actually very weak! Would guys like Cunningham, Carter, Sweeney, etc. have made the top-10 this year? I'm assuming yes! And real quick, what's the word on Justin Edwards? Thanks!
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi MJ. You answered the first question well. Justin Edwards is very polished for a young pitcher but there's nothing electric about his stuff. He will have to earn his way to the big leagues one step at a time, and shouldn't be disappointed if he's asked to repeat high-A next season. Age is on his side.

 Q:  ChisoxFan from St. Charles, IL asks:
Why so little love (projection as a #5 starter)for Jack Egbert? He has moved steadily through the system by getting hitters out and keeping the ball in the ballpark. Is it possible for him to become a right-handed version of Mark Buerhle?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Greetings. Actually, I see Egbert finally getting some love after years of being taken lightly by almost everyone. He has definitely put himself into the mix with Kenny Williams and us guys at BA. The Buehrle comparison is interesting, because one thing Egbert does is get the ball back from the catcher and throw it again, working quickly and generally commanding the strike zone. He is absolutely fearless on the mound — another Buehrle trait. I can't explain why this is, but left-handers seem to be able to get away with high-80s fastballs moreso than right-handers. The question about Egbert is whether he has enough on his fastball to keep hitters from sitting on his secondary pitches, which are excellent. One thing I like a lot about him is his durability, which he showed by running his 2007 innings total up to 180 — the White Sox max in the minors.

 Q:  phil from Winston-Salem NC asks:
Curious why Sox let Daron Roberts, OF go in Rule 5 ?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi Phil. Nice name. It's not correct to say the Sox "let Roberts go,'' as the Rule 5 doesn't work like that. You can only protect your top 40 and then you have to set the other rosters where teams won't raid your system. The Sox did get hit hard, which was surprising given the perception of the system's lack of depth. Roberts isn't really a tools guy. He did have a nice year in the Carolina League, but he was 24 and in his second year there.

 Q:  Merkado from White Plains, NY asks:
From the reading the write-up on John Shelby, it seems he has been moved from 2B to OF. Does this mean his bat will project for more power down the road? Which outfield spot is the organization having him play regularly? How does he project to his father, good old T-bone?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi Merkado. I think the comparison to T-Bone (who, by the way, was Cal Ripken Jr.'s favorite teammate ... a guy who came up through the minors with him and whom Ripken was forever messing with) is that he's a blue-collar, grind-it-out guy. The Sox love his work ethic and athleticism. He took well to center, so I think he is going to stay there — probably competing with the hitting-challenged Paulo Orlando to see who plays center regularly with Birmingham. He has a good idea at the plate, too, getting 60 extra-base hits a year ago.

 Q:  ChisoxFan from St. Charles, IL asks:
Is there anybody in the system outside of the top 10 that Sox fans can get at least mildly excited about?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi again SoxFan. I love these kind of questions. The guy who jumped out at me when I spent time reviewing the system after 2007 was shortstop Sergio Miranda, an '07 draft pick from Virginia Commonwealth. He is an excellent, fundamentally rock-solid fielder and a switch hitter who has always known the strike zone and been able to fight off tough pitches. I think the Sox stumbled into something really good with their 13th round pick for him. He slid in the draft because he is under-sized and not really toolsy (limited power, speed). But I think he is a ballplayer, and the system doesn't have enough of those. He was thrown into the fire in Kannapolis and played well there, which should give him a chance to open 2008 at Winston-Salem. I think he could develop into a No. 2 type hitter and an incredibly popular player. (With that said, I will be watching him for the first time in spring training — with great interest).

 Q:  Gary from NJ asks:
Who can we compare Poreda to? Does he have front of the rotation stuff?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi Gary. Powerful left-handers who throw in the mid- to high-90s would have to be considered to have front-of-the-rotation stuff. Poreda's secondary pitches have been behind his fastball, but the Sox were excited about the progress he made with his slurvy breaking ball in the Instructional League. To me, he starts off his career as at worst Scott Radinsky and at best, well, how about David Wells?

 Q:  John Walsh from Northport, NY asks:
Phil, Very nice job on the list. In your opinion, would the White Sox be open to paying over slot with the 8th overall pick if a special (read Pedro Alvarez— Vanderbilt U.)player is available? Does the Joe Borchard experience make it less likely they would go over slot in the draft?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi John, and thanks. I love doing this for BA. It's really one of the favorite parts of my year. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't see how the White Sox can afford not to be prepared to overpay in the No. 8 spot — after all, they've waited almost 20 years to pick this high. I'd hope they would create some financial flexibility to do exactly that by trading Joe Crede once he's healthy and finding some kind of way out of the Juan Uribe contract. Wouldn't it be something if they paid Uribe $4.5 million to be a bench guy and then let $2-3 million stop them from getting the best available player when they pick? Oh, brother, I'd hate to see that.

 Q:  Dave from Kenosha, Wis. asks:
Hi Phil. Thanks for chatting. I look forward to these. I was part of your marathon a couple of years ago and will never forget you for that. The last catcher the Sox signed that made any kind of an impact was Ray Schalk ... just kidding, Ron Karkovice. Is Francisco Hernandez still considered the Sox top catching prospect or has Cole Armstrong passed him up? Or, who is the top backstop prospect in the Sox chain? Thanks!
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi Dave. It's funny how many people remember that chat. I guess that's proof I really do like this. I don't know of anybody who sees Armstrong as a possible every-day catcher. He's put himself into the picture as the top insurance policy behind Toby Hall but I think he's strictly a Chris Stewart-style backup option (the Sox debated hard about making a waiver claim on Stewart but decided that Donny Lucy and Armstrong were at least as good). Hernandez has more game — if only he could hit a little better.

 Q:  D. Cornell from Madison, WI asks:
Do the Sox have plans for Anderson Gomes? Will he reach his full potential (and the BIG LEAGUES) or will he fizzle?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi D. (again). I fell in love with Gomes' potential two years ago, but now I'd put it down as a big fizzle. He started out with a lot further to go than I think anyone realized based on the early reports, and hasn't done a lot. He's a high ceiling guy, still, but the odds are long on him ever getting to the big leagues.

 Q:  D. Cornell from Madison, WI asks:
Have the White Sox considered putting a bat back in the hands of Ryan Rodriguez?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Rodriguez was one of the guys who was lost in the Rule 5.

 Q:  Richard from Ft. Lauderdale asks:
Any thoughts on Anderson Gomes and Paulo Orlando?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Orlando has moved past Gomes. Orlando did make the top 30, based largely on his speed and athleticism. He's the kind of center fielder whom pitchers love behind him but it's unclear if he is ever going to hit enough to challenge pitchers. As someone said a long time ago, you can't steal first base. This will be a big year for him, most likely at Birmingham.

 Q:  Warren from Texas asks:
any sleepers not mentioned or players who you think might shoot up the Top 30 next year?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi Warren. He's not exactly a sleeper, but I like Lucas Harrell to get himself back on track after missing 2007 following elbow surgery. I think he'll pitch well for Birmingham and be a top 10 a year from now. The Sox loved what they saw from him in the Instructional League. Otherwise, maybe Sergio Morales or Leroy Hunt. Alan Regier is a big backer of Morales' athleticism. Oh, yes, as mentioned earlier, Sergio Miranda.

 Q:  Jeff Sullivan from Belchertown MA asks:
Is Maurice Gartrell in the top 30? How does his future in Chicage look?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Jeff, no he's not. But Gartrell has played his butt off since the White Sox drafted him two years ago. He is considered something of an organizational player but thtat could change. He had an excellent year at Winston-Salem but isn't really a toolsy guy. Another guy who would compare to that is Jimmy Gallagher, the Duke outfielder the Sox selected in the seventh round last year. Gallagher probably deserves mention among the sleepers. He's a ballplayer.

 Q:  Mike from Lynchburg, VA asks:
Hello - do you see any White Sox prospects cracking the overall top 100? Where would Gonzalez and de los Santos ranked do you think?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello Mike. It would be something if none of the Sox cracked the top 100. Alexei Ramirez probably would if he's eligible. Aaron Poreda definitely should. But Gonzalez and de los Santos are definitely top 50 guys. Chris Carter's power potential could put him somewhere in the middle of the top 100, too, unfortunately for Arizona, not the White Sox.

 Q:  Fer from Home Office USA asks:
I am little perplexed over the outcry over the trading of the prospects to get Nick Swisher. I was racking my brain over the last few weeks and could only think of three impact prospect pitchers the Sox have unloaded in the last 50 years: Denny McLain (1963), Doug Drabek (1984) and Bob Wickman (1992). Am I missing anyone? It's obvious, too, the Sox are well aware of which of their prospect pitchers are going to pan out based on the performances of Buehrle, Baldwin, Bere, McDowell, Fernandez, Thigpen, etc. Your thoughts??
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Gulp. I always get nervous when the Home Office checks in. The White Sox have definitely done a decent job trading away the right guys over the last 10 years or so, with Chris Young (the Arizona center fielder) the one exception of a poor choice they made. But if they didn't like Gio Gonzalez any more, why did they want him back from Philadelphia in the Freddy Garcia deal? I bet they could have gotten outfielder Michael Bourn or someone else. And I absolutely love de los Santos' potential. I just don't think you trade away those type of guys, especially when you don't have a glut of them (by the way, keep an eye on Tyler Lumsden, whom the Sox sent to KC in the Mike MacDougal deal two years ago). But the weirdest part of the Swisher deal for me was paying such a high price for a veteran when the odds of competing for a division title are not great. I just can't see the White Sox stacking up with Detroit and Cleveland, so I think they should take a step backward to look a ways down the road, but that's not how they're doing business. Let me say this: If you were sitting beside me in San Francisco when de los Santos pitched in the Futures Game, striking out Jacoby Ellsbury and another big-name prospect (Evan Longoria, maybe?), you would not want to see pitch in any uniform other than a Chicago White Sox uniform.

 Q:  Derek from IL asks:
Is the Prospect Handbook still set to possibly ship out to us at the end of the week???
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Derek and everyone else, consider this the start of the Jim Callis Lightning Round ... shorter answers and hopefully more questions answered. I've got about 15-20 more minutes before I have to go. I wish I could answer this question. It should be here very shortly, as it closed in late December. I can't wait to get it in my hands.

 Q:  Michael Stern from Rochester NY asks:
Both Salvador Sanchez and Christian Marrero put up nice numbers in the Pioneer league. I was surprised to see neither of them considered for the top 10, especially in such a weak system devoid of hitters. Are either considered prospects? What are the ceilings for Sanchez and Marrero?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Wow, we went a long time without mention of Marrero. He is somewhere around 14-15, and is considered a very projectable hitter. The question is whether he moves to first base or stays in the outfield. He seems to be a favorite of many in the front office.

 Q:  Michael Stern from Rochester NY asks:
Is Brad Eldred still eligible as a prospect? Did his late arrival preclude him from the list? Where would he have placed had he been included? Do you see him with any chance of being a productive regular in Chicago?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hi Michael. No, Eldred doesn't rank as a prospect. If he did, I would have put him on the best tools list as the White Sox best hitter for average. He seems to be depth behind Konerko and Thome. I'd think it would take an injury for him to get a crack but his bat definitely fills a big void. Don't be surprised if he gets at least a quick look in left field.

 Q:  Mike from Chicago asks:
Phil, I don't remember the kids name, but we signed him out of japan, he was a pitcher, and we converted him to an OF...how's he doing? Still a prospect?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: That was Anderson Gomes, who like Orlando is originally from Brazil. He hit well last year but it was in low-A, which is too low for his experience level. Very fringe prospect at this point.

 Q:  Jeff from Woking, England asks:
I'm intrigued by Charlie Shirek and from what I've heard it seems he has pretty good stuff but has struggled putting it all together. What do you think we could expect from him going forward and what would you say his ceiling is?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: You write from England, you definitely get an answer. You nailed Shirek coming out of Nebraska, which is why he slid so far in the 2007 draft. He's a project but the Sox took a chance and let him pitch in high-A after the draft. I think his ceiling is the big league bullpen but he's very much an unknown commodity at this point.

 Q:  Jim Harlan from Chicago asks:
Hi Phil, i think I asked this question last year. Is Kris Honel still in baseball?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Honel, as I understand it, called it quits late last year, finally surrendering to the elbow problems that killed his career. I wouldn't be shocked to see him surface in another organization or independent ball but 2007 was a heart-breaker for him. It started well but he experienced more pain and a total loss of command. Sad story, really.

 Q:  Mark from Skokie asks:
What can you tell us about Nevin Griffith...John Sickels had him rated 7th, and that was before he took gio and de los santos out...was he your 11? what kind of prospect is he?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Originally my 11 was Silverio, but he got pushed into the top 10 by trades. I had Griffith in the 20-25 mix, based totally on potential. I actually like the college pitcher the Sox took third, John Ely, better than Griffith. I'm not sure Griffith is much different from a lot of high school pitchers — good fastball, real crapshoot to get to the big leagues.

 Q:  Jim Harlan from Chicago asks:
Hi Phil, Where are Crede and Anderson going to play next year?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Crede will be with one of 29 big-league teams not known as the White Sox. San Francisco, maybe? Philadelphia? Once he's shown he's healthy, my guess is he's out of here, opening the job for Josh Fields and saving the Sox some money. Anderson could be the 25th man on the big-league roster.

 Q:  Steve from Las Vegas asks:
I know things look bleak, but we seem to have a lot of low minors guys who are athletic and talented, is it possible that some of these guys do pan out and become productive major league players?
 A: 

Moderator: Totally agree. I think the White Sox did do a good job in going out and adding athletic guys with potential. They just need to get results on the field from those guys next year. Between international signings and the 2007 draft — Miranda especially — they could be once again going the right direction. Now if only they'll stop making trades ...

 Q:  Mike from NY asks:
What do you think Paulo Orlando's future is with the Sox?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: He could working the Spanish broadcasts if he doesn't get stronger and become something more than a ping hitter. He's a poor man's version of Miguel Dilone, maybe.

 Q:  Jonathan from ATL asks:
RE: Jose Martinez You along with scout and BP all agree that he is the systems best position player and also has probably the highest ceiling. Where do you think he ranks with other systems young OF and most projectable players? Would he make the top 10 on any other org?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Houston's the only other organization where Martinez might rank as highly as he does with the White Sox. He's got potential but is wildly unproven. You could argue that some organizations have five-10 of these guys somewhere in their systems. The Sox do have maybe three — Martinez, Morales and Sanchez.

 Q:  Gene Honda's No. 1 fan from Outer space asks:
What are Oneli Perez's long term prospects?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Ask me after he pitches his first game this spring. He froze last spring, killing himself in the eyes of Ozzie Guillen and others with the big league staff, but the guy can pitch. If he has a bad spring, the Sox could deal him somewhere else.

 Q:  peter from chicago asks:
Hey Phil - what's the status and projection of Matt Long? We spent a high draft choice on him and I'm concerned. Thanks.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Matt Long right now is a disappointment. He hasn't developed and didn't show the expected velocity in 2007.

 Q:  Derick from PA asks:
Whats your take on Salvador Sanchez and Brandon Allen? Prospects or Suspects? Do either of these guys have a chance to get to the Bigs? Seems like Allen doesn't have a position and would need to hit his was there, and Sanchez seems like a lot of projection at this point, aside from overpowering younger competition this year.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Didn't mention Allen before. He's a one-tool type player — first baseman with power. He played well at Kannapolis but has moved slow since signing out of the Houston area. No reason to get excited about him until he shows he can handle high-A.

 Q:  Clooch from Tempe asks:
What does the future hold for Ryan Sweeney? Is there much of one left?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I would not be at all surprised to see Ryan Sweeney develop into a Ben Grieve-type of big-league hitter, at the worst. He's in a great spot in Oakland and should enjoy his change of scenery. One highly respected front office guy told me that he wonders if the Sox ruined Sweeney by pushing him to develop power rather than letting him continue his line drive approach and come into his power naturally. Great kid, still has a nice future.

 Q:  David from Nashville, TN asks:
Would Ehren Wasserman qualify for your list? It seemed like he was one of the few bright lights in the Sox' pen last year.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Wasserman is on my list and I totally agree. He pitched excellent at a time of the season when almost no one else in front of Jenks was doing well — not easy to do when you are new to everything. He probably leads the organization in guts.

 Q:  kris kaminska from naperville,IL asks:
Nevin Griffith. Saw a video breaking down his mechianics & it seems like he has a lot of work ahead. The Sox haven't had a lot of luck lately developing young high school arms. Thoughts?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: True, but not many other organizations do a great job with those guys, either. The main thing you need is a lot of patience. I think J.R. Perdew does as well with young pitchers as any minor-league pitching coach I know.

 Q:  Joey from Chicago asks:
Phil, has Anderson Gomes made any strides resembling that of the comparisons to Alfonso Soriano, that we heard so much about when he was signed? Thanks.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Gomes = Soriano ... please tell me I didn't write that (although I know I did). No, he hasn't.

 Q:  Dave from Kenosha asks:
Who is the Sox top closing prospect?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Long-term, probably Brian Omogrosso, although there's no reason Wasserman shouldn't get a look at some point. The other guys who come to mind are Oneli Perez and (hide your eyes) Dewon Day.

 Q:  rbadger from Wake Forest, NC asks:
Hi Phil,. Where did you have Poreda before the recent trades? I really think he has a chance to be a solid lefty started. I read the report about having one of the best sliders in college last season, how would you rate his other pitches?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I think I consistently had Poreda third, behind Gonzalez and de los Santos. He struggles to throw anything except his fastball for strikes, but has enough fastball to get by. I think his breaking pitches have movement but not so much command, at this point. I think the Sox want him to get really locked in with the slurvy breaking pitch before they sweat a changeup too much.

 Q:  ChisoxFan from St. Charles, IL asks:
Sergio Morales was able to go from the June draft to full season Class A and did pretty well. What are his possibilities in the next several years?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Morales is in that stack of low-minors outfielders with potential. He did very well coming out of Broward J.C. I'd look for him to play alongside Martinez in Kannapolis at the start of 2008. Those two guys could push each other for years, which would be fun.

 Q:  Jonathan from ATL asks:
Why is Martinez not on the 2011 lineup? Is it because he is so young, or you do just don't see a spot for him right now. Jermaine Dye could easily be a thing of the past by then.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Right, Martinez's age is the thing. Also the BA guidelines have changed in recent years, where you are not to assume a guy will leave through free agency, etc.

 Q:  peter from Chicago asks:
Phil, tell me a little something about Lucas Harrell. What's his upside?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Harrell could easily project into a big-league rotation. He was a workout room standout during his recovery from elbow surgery and was throwing low-90s sinkers and a plus changeup in the Instructional League. His slider is a bit of a work in progress but the overall package could play well in Chicago. In 2006, he held hitters to an average below .200 betwee high-A and double-A.

 Q:  Jon from Peoria asks:
If you had to guess now, who do you see as the fifth starter coming out of spring training?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: John Danks, behind Gavin Floyd. (Who would I love to see? Call me crazy but I want Charlie Haeger to get at least a half season's worth of starts in the big leagues before the Sox write him off).

 Q:  Brad from Warrensburg, MO asks:
Hey Phil thanks for the chat. Is Ray Liotta a prospect or did he get moved to Kansas City to be the family connection to Las Vegas?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Ray Liotta wasn't really a prospect anymore. He's a sad story. His career went downhill from the winter he spent helping his family dig out from under Hurricane Katrina. He deserves some luck.

 Q:  Peter Griffin from Quahog, Rhode Island asks:
Pure gut projection Question: John Shelby - Fourth Outfielder, Solid MLB Regular, or All-Star?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I'm admittedly an optimist (somehow I hear Kenny Williams saying "sure you are'' right about now), but I'm going to go for solid major league regular, two years away — so pushing for a job in 2010 and probably in one by '11.

 Q:  Bill from Jacksonville, Florida asks:
If you had to rank your Top 10 in terms of making on impact in the Majors the quickest. Who would be the top two or three guys.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Guess these will have to be the last couple, as I'm out of time. This is a pretty easy question. I'd say it has to be Chris Getz and Lance Broadway. I have a feeling that Getz is the White Sox's regular second baseman when the 2008 season ends.

 Q:  Mike from Fairfax, VA asks:
Phil, just wanted to correct something. Garrett Johnson pitched in Bristol for the last half of the season. he left Arizona in Mid-June.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Mike, thanks for popping back in to correct that. You are right. Hopefully he gained a base there to build off of in 2008. So far he's just the tallest suspect in the organization. Thanks very much to everybody for their participation. Wish I could have stayed on and challenged that (2004?) record. It was fun. Be sure and say hello if you see me hanging out in Arizona.