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, 2009.
JAYPERS (IL): Hi, Phil. Had they not been traded, would Carter, Poreda, Russell and Richard made your Top 10? Top 20?
Hello from the frosty Chicago suburbs.
I'm gonna get started a little early. Thanks to everyone for joining.
I'm going to try to get as many questions as I can in 90 minutes or so,
and will start with Jaypers, the unofficial questions asked leader at
BA. Hey there, Jaypers. Obviously all those guys are talented. Richard
wouldn't have qualified, because of his White Sox workload. Carter and
Poreda — probably, on Poreda, because his stock was sliding somewhat
— would have been Top 10s. Russell would have been in there somewhere.
I hated to see the Sox trade Richard and Russell but both have great
chances in San Diego.
Frank (Toronto, Canada): The Chi Sox seem to
have some good late inning relievers coming through the system. Where
do Kyle Bellamy and Jon Link start the season, and do you see
either/both of them helping the big league club this year? Either one
of them the heir apparent to Bobby Jenks?
Hey Todd. As you probably know, Link was
in the Juan Pierre trade with the Dodgers. Bellamy, a 2009
first-rounder from Miami, is on a fast track and could get to Chicago
late this year but I don't see him as a closer. He's a classic sidearm,
righty-vs.-righty situation guy. We'll have to see how he doesn't
against left-handed hitters.
Ben (Leland Grove): What's your assessment of Dan Remenowsky, and did he make your Top 30?
Hey Ben. Dan did make the top 30. He's a
very intriguing guy. He is all 90-mph fastball and nerves, coming right
at hitters. It's hard to believe he got overlooked in the draft, but he
did. He jumped onto the radar by leading the minors in strikeouts per
nine innings last year (almost 16). He does get hitters off the
fastball with a split finger and a change but the way he is best
described is as a Joe Borowski sort of pitcher. Borowski was effective
as long as he kept his fastball above 90. He got whacked hard when it
slipped toward the mid 80s. That may be the challenge for Remenowsky.
He's a good story and will be fun to watch.
Todd (Houston, TX): Gregory Infante had a strong season in A ball before making the jump to hiA. Did he make your top 30 and what is his ceiling?
Infante was a guy considered but who
didn't pop in. I'm just not sure his arm will hold up. He hasn't been
able to throw many innings but he's impressive when he does pitch. If
he could stay healthy, he could work at the back of a big-league
rotation but he's a long, long way away.
JAYPERS (IL): What's the best explanation as to why Hudson never got the chance to unpack his bags throughout this past season?
That was a pretty wild ride, wasn't it?
The Sox are aggressive with young players, as you know, and he kept
earning promotions. The one that really surprised Hudson was from
Birmingham to Charlotte. He thought he'd go into the playoffs at
Birmingham. I personally felt he could have jumped into the Sox
rotation in August. He's really good and in talking to him I really
fell for his blue collar, all-grown-up work ethic. I think he's
unusually mature for his experience level.
Mel (Seattle): Does Christian Marrero have a
chance to be a solid regular in the big leagues? His numbers were quite
good this year between the two levels.
Hello, Mel in Seattle (nice city). The
answer is an absolute yes. He's been under-rated as a prospect, and I
may be contributing to that by not having in the top 10 this year. I
really think he can hit. I'm not sure about for power but he could hit
for a high average. He probably profiles best in left field but could
get a look at first base if Paul Konerko doesn't come back after 2010.
His brother gets all the attention but look at their production side by
side, as well as respective ages. It's hard for me to understand why
Washington's Marrero is a big deal and this guy hasn't been.
Adam Merkado (NYC): What is the overall
consensus of John Shelby Jr. and his prospect status? He moved to the
OF and now the system seems loaded with OF talent. Does he have any
shot to reach Chicago? Did he even rank in the Top 30?
Hi Adam. Treybone is still on the
organization's radar because of his speed-power combination. But he's
definitely viewed more as a possible role player than a likely regular.
He needs to get his batting average back up near .300 this year, and
that will be a challenge.
Ben (Leland Grove): Which is more likely for Thompson - full or short season ball? You mentioned both possibilities in his scouting report. Thanks.
Hey Ben. I think Thompson is more likely
to go to extended spring and then get placed in a rookie league, with
the hope that he can hold his own there. He's a definite project but
has a very high ceiling — the question being, will he be able to hit?
Steven (St. Louis): How discouraged should we be in Josh Phegley's professional start and how comparable is he to Hank Conger?
Steve, I'll leave the comparisons to my
friend Jim Callis. I do think he is the same type of player as Conger,
however. I don't think you should be discouraged about Phegley's pro
debut, at all. He had a low batting average but it was productive,
because of good power numbers. The key for him is going to be making up
for fundamental deficiencies behind the plate, and the White Sox were
THRILLED at his development there. Teams ran on him but he has a plus
arm, which allowed him to throw out an unusually high percentage for
the lower minors. He did this while the Sox were basically overhauling
his receiving approach. The Sox were so impressed that he almost snuck
into the Top 10.
Tommy (Chicago): What can you tell us about Santos Rodriguez?
Hey there Tommy. I don't think I'm as
high on him as some others (I've seen him in White Sox Top 10s). He's
22 and hasn't been able to handle much of a workload to this point. His
delivery is bizarre and he struggles to repeat it. That said, he gets
the ball to the plate at 97 at times, and hitters absolutely hate to
face him. I covered a young Mitch Williams, and this would pretty much
describe him. For whatever reason, it kicked in at one point and he was
a very good big-league reliever for about 10 years. That's the upside
for Rodriguez. This will be a big year for him to handle full season
Clooch (VT): There was some talk prior to the
season that the Sox were going to put Santos Rodriguez in the starting
rotation to see what they had but he spent the entire season in the
bullpen. It seems like way too good an arm just stick in the bullpen.
Have the Sox given up the idea of Rodriguez in the rotation? How far
out of the top 10 did he land?
Sticking on the same subject, you're
right. There was talk of starting him. But the organization's pitching
coach see him as a huge project, and the thought of all those pitches
in one outing for him scares them. There are some in the organization
— mostly Chicago front office, I think — who see him as a potentially
dominating starter but I think the coaches feel that's probably asking
too much from him. I had him in the third 10 but the BA staff made
their own changes (as they always do) before the book went to print. I
don't have that list in front of me.
Bobby (Oakland, CA): Are there any sleepers in the system you could see having a break-out year?
Hi, Bobby. For hitters, two kids from
Indiana State — Nick Ciolli and Brady Shoemaker. They are both really
good, sound hitters. Somebody at that school does a great job either
evaluating hitters or working with them, maybe both. Not sure this guy
qualifies as a sleeper but my personal favorite is Eduardo Escobar.
He's got a similar development trade to Omar Vizquel — great glove,
not much of a bat (yet). His teams have played great with him at
shortstop. He is strong enough to drive the ball, so he's got a chance.
If he clicks, he could be really, really good.
Bob (Santa Monica): Christian Marrero is only
23 and had excellent half-seasons in High A and Double A last season,
yet he is never mentioned among the top Sox prospects. Why not, and do
the Sox see him as a realistic candidate (among others, like Viciedo)
to replace Konerko down the road?
Another Marrero question: deserved by
Marrero. My feelings is it's draft related. He didn't arrive in the
organization with a buzz and hasn't done anything crazy good to create
one. But that doesn't mean he won't be a good player. I think he will.
If I was the father of a prospect, I think I'd prefer my son to have a
quiet development track than hitting with a big splash — although if
wanted to pay off my mortgage from his seven-figure bonus, that would
be OK, too. Ha.
Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): A guy showing some power is Stefan Gartrell - did he make your top 30 this year?
Hey Karl. I've been paying attention to
Gartrell for a while. I watched him for a couple games at Charlotte
this summer, and it didn't discourage me. I think he can be a solid run
producer (frankly, he reminded me of Jermaine Dye). But he was a
low-round draft guy and the Sox have had to be sold on him one level at
a time. He'll be a regular at Charlotte this year but will get a chance
at some point because the Sox really didn't replace the run production
they are losing in Dye and Jim Thome. I am not sure Ken Williams is
sold on him, however.
Kyle (Syracuse, NY): Any players on the DSL team (aside from Juan Silverio) worth getting excited about?
Hey Kyle. You're smart to notice what
Silverio did. He was an older player for that league — somewhat,
anyway — but really hit. He might have been written off too soon after
his disappointing 2008. The other interesting story there was the
pitcher that the Cubs selected from the White Sox in the Rule 5 draft,
Arismendy Mota. The Sox claimed they didn't mind losing him but he's a
guy with some potential, and in the lower rounds of the Rule 5 guys
don't have to stick, so the Sox definitely lost him.
Travis (Perry, Ok): Where did the big lefty Garrett Johnson go? I heard he was a prospect and then his 2009 season was terrible.
He's still in the system but hasn't
thrown enough strikes or missed enough bats when he's been healthy to
deserve much attention. Without his height, he may always have been
just an organizational guy.
Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): Henry Mabee has been an effective reliever/closer. What does he throw, and does he have a chance to make it to the bigs?
He's your classic low-90s fastball,
slider guy who could get to a big-league bullpen. He works fast and
gets ground balls, which the White Sox love, but he doesn't get a lot
of mention from scouts with other organizations. Fringy guy.
Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): He
hasn't been in the top 30 of your Prospect Handbook in prior years, but
LHP Cas Leesman did really well last year with Kannapolis. Enough to
earn a place in the Handbook this year? And when is the mailing date
for the Handbook? I can't wait to see it in my mailbox!
Not sure on the mailing date, but, yes,
Mr. Leesman will get his due. The Sox don't have many lefty starters in
the pipelines, these days, so he's got a chance to move fast.
Not sure on the mailing date, but, yes,
Mr. Leesman will get his due. The Sox don't have many lefty starters in
the pipelines, these days, so he's got a chance to move fast.
Big Dave (AR): Can I get an update on Juan Silverio? How is his development coming along and has his real age ever been verified?
Hey Dave. I have never seen a change to
Silverio's listed age. That means he'll be 18 on Opening Day and turn
19 in April. He was signed at the time the Sox organization was in the
midst of a skimming scandal but I don't think it's fair to put that
onto Silverio for age. He was one of the best hitters in the DSL last
year, and will be tested in Kannapolis in 2010. His fielding is behind
his hitting, so he could be facing a future position change.
Carl (Indianapolis): How's this for a comp: Josh Phegley=Right handed Matt Stairs?? Offensively of course.
Works for the 2009/Kannapolis Phegley.
But I think he can develop into a .275 hitter, at the least. He's got a
better upside than Stairs.
Bryan (San Francisco): Thanks for the chat.
What is the ETA for Morel and what kind of ceiling does he have? Seems
to have a lot of solid tools. Thanks!
You're welcome, Brian. Morel is coming
fast. Very fast. He is the best all-around position player in their
farm system, now that Beckham is in the big leagues. He's shot past
Dayan Viciedo and — I predict — will force Mark Teahen to move off
third base at some point in 2011. He could get a chance sooner, if a
need arises. Ken Williams raved about Jordan Danks in the AFL but
people in other organizations were more impressed with Morel. He is
Credesque — not as flashy of a fielder but a better hitter for average.
Big Dave (AR): CJ Retherford, Stefan Gartrell, Christian Marrero...do any of these guys look like major leaguers?
My ordering of them: Marrero, Retherford,
Gartrell. C.J. could get there in 2010 but probably as a utility
player, not a regular. I think he could have challenged Chris Getz for
a job down the road but now he's against Gordon Beckham.
Steve V (Plainfield, IL): How many catchers in the minors rank ahead of Flowers and where does he rank in the top 100?
Hi Steve. Top of my head, he's behind
Posey, Castro (Houston), maybe both Romine and Jesus Montero with the
Yankees. And I know I'm missing quite a few. I think he would be in
BA's top 100 but outside the White Sox organization there are still a
lot of evaluators who don't like his catching skills.
Mikell (Chicago): Thanks for the chat, Phil.
What do you think the chances of Sergio Santos and Nathan Jones
becoming impact relievers are? They both appear to have electric stuff
but seriously lack command/control. Also, can a team like the White
Sox, who have nobody close to ML ready pitching wise, afford to trade
Dan Hudson? Even if he was part of a deal for somebody like A-Gonzalez?
Hi Mikell. Nathan Jones has a better
chance to do that with the White Sox than Santos. The latter will get a
hard look in spring training but he's out of options and really lacks
experience. It's going to be hard for him to develop if the Sox can't
slide him through waivers at the end of the spring. It would be painful
to trade Hudson because he projects to a long career as a big-league
starter, maybe as a No. 2 or 3 guy in a rotation. They've already
traded John Ely but have Carlos Torres and Lucas Harrell on the verge
of reaching the big leagues. I think either of those guys could be No.
5s but Hudson looks a lot better than that.
Adam (NYC): Is John Shelby still on your Top 30 list, and what does he need to work on?
Gotta hit for average against good pitching. Pretty simple.
Big Dave (AR): Can you give an update on Jose
Martinez? He sounded pretty exciting, but then got injured and I
haven't heard much of anything about him lately.
Good question. He's still a Top 30 based
on his all-around ceiling as a center fielder — and he's still young
— but a bad knee injury cost him about a year and a half. He is
supposed to be ready to go in spring training. He probably needs to
start back at Kannapolis, so he's got a long, long way to go. This will
be a big season. But guys I respect say not to forget about him.
Ike (OH): Was Jon Gilmore anywhere near your list?
Hi, Ike. Not really, to be honest.
Mikell (Chicago): Do you believe at some point
KW will have to stop trading prospects at the rate he does for the team
to have any long-term success? This formula that we've adopted (trading
prospects the minute they hit peak value) has produced a whopping 2
playoff appearances in 9 years. Eventually, will have to filter in our
own talent, right?
Glad you asked. I'd agree Kenny is a
little too quick to trade prospects. I looked this up today. From
2004-09, 41 different players were ranked among the Sox top 10 by BA.
Of those, two are in the big leagues with the Sox (Beckham and Jenks),
and a total of 27 have been in the big leagues at some point. That
group includes 19 who were traded by Kenny and three who were claimed
on waivers. Yet with that said, who has come back to haunt the Sox?
Chris Young? Maybe. Brandon Allen? Not yet? I think Clayton Richard and
Chris Getz will have long careers, so maybe them. Ryan Sweeney is a
good player for Oakland but hasn't put up big numbers. Kenny was dead
on with McCarthy for Danks.
Rich (NJ): Any news on the health of one the team's young outfielders Jose Martinez? I believe he missed all of 2009 with an injury.
As stated above, the Sox expect Martinez to be good to go in spring training. Fingers are crossed regarding his knee.
Chris (Boston): Thanks for chatting with us!
Where is Juan Silverio on the list...11-15? What do the people in the
Org. think about this kid...he looks like he could be a special talent.
Jury's out on Silverio. He won't make the top 30 this time but could easily jump back in with a strong 2010 in the states.
Steve (Oak Park): Bren Morel is listed to have
below average power...but by the numbers I would disagree...what kind
of numbers do you or the sox see this kid putting up? Can we finally
have a legit 3B?
Give him two more years to develop and in
2012 I think Morel could be a .290-18-85 guy with a chance to build
those numbers in future years. I considered Joe Crede a very legit
third baseman, so I'm not sure about the "finally'' part of your
question. It's a shame that Crede's health went bad. He was a huge part
of the 2005 team and a real credit to the organization's scouting and
Miles (Skokie): Where is Gregory Infante? I
thought for sure he'd crack the top 10...he had an amazing
season...where do the sox see him ending up in the future?
Miles, I like Infante but he rode a fast
first six weeks to put up the numbers to which you refer. He got
bounced around pretty good when he went to Winston-Salem, perhaps
because his arm wasn't quite right. He'll go back to Winston-Salem this
cliff jordan (chicago, il): What can you tell us about Dan Remenowsky? He put up stupifying K numbers at Kannapolis. Thanks!
Remenowsky = fun to watch.
Steve (Las Vegas): A lot has been made of the
season had by Dayan Vicidio. I'm not sure why everyone thinks he had a
terrible year. For a player of his age, coming to America, learning how
to speak the language, and play our style of baseball...I think he has
an exceptional year. He's got kinks to work out, and things to learn,
but I think he can and should easily replace Paulie in 2010, with great
production...agree? Why does everyone seem consider it a bad year?
Hi Steve. I think he was a victim of too
high expectations but hardly see him on track to replace Konerko after
2010. It could happen but I think he's going to need 1,000 more at-bats
in the minors. He is a free swinger and scouts say he misses hittable
fastballs, meaning something's not quite right with his swing. The
upside is that he is a very attentive student who showed patience in
2009. You are 100 percent right to mention the transition from Cuba. He
came a long way. Now if he can continue to work on his conditioning ...
sout'side cliffy (chicaguh): Is Stefan Gartrell the next Jermaine Dye, at best? Does he make the Sox sometime this summer?
Gartrell = mid-season trade bait.
Michael (Driving down LSD): Jordan Danks
seemed to be putting it all together when he got hurt, since he'll have
some time to play at AAA this year, do we think this is the year he
develops whatever power he's going to develop? Can he be a 15 homer
guy? Leadoff-man? I loved watching him play for Texas, Hopefully he's
still in the future plans
Hi Mike ... now you know not to text and
drive, right? Against the law after Dec. 31, and all ... That said,
good question. I actually think Danks will benefit from the deal that
brought Juan Pierre here and slowed his track to the big leagues. He
could be either a 15-homer or a leadoff guy — and in the best case,
both (although this is funny — the guy who is capable of doing that is
Jared Mitchell, the organization's best prospect — and NO ONE HAS
MENTIONED HIM IN THIS CHAT) but I see him as more of an on-base,
average guy than a drive-em-in guy. I watched a couple AFL games on the
MLB Network. He was pretty much slapping the ball to left field against
those good pitchers, not looking to drive the ball.
Frank Thomas (Las Vegas): When is the team
going to retire my #? I'd like my statue please. Just kidding...any
chance the team Hires Frank in some way in the future, or is that bond
Hi Frank. You know the bond isn't broken.
It was just October 2008 that you were doing some Sox work on Comcast
SportsNet Chicago. The Chairman is gonna give you a day, retire your
number, all that stuff. At least I think he is ...
Jeff (England): Thoughts on Phegley? I think
he was unlucky with the low average and people are overlooking him as a
result. I expect him to have a very solid 2010.
Hey, shouldn't you be watching the FA
Cup. How about the lads from Leeds? I don't know about unlucky but luck
is a bigger part of baseball than most people believe. I agree he'll
have a solid 2010. He's got the bat to get to Chicago but he's got to
make adjustments that help him keep pitches from going to the screen.
Leroy (Arizona): I'm planning to see the guys
in Spring Training this year...who are the sleepers I should be
watching out for? Also, whatever happened to Francisco Hernandez? I
remember reading a lot about him, met him 2 years ago...nice kid.
Hey Leroy. Hernandez peaked at age 18,
unfortunately. He never learned to hit against good hitters. The buzz
guy in the system now is Miguel Gonzalez, a catcher from Venezuela.
He's a teenager in a hurry. It won't be a shock if he gets to the big
leagues by 2012 and stays a long time, maybe even taking the job from
Flowers (or whoever is the regular at that point).
Mark (Chicago): No Sergio Santos? I know he's
raw, but with what he's got in the Fastball, I figured he'd be on this
list. Does he really have a shot to make the team, or should we be
prepared for him to be claimed by another team since he has no options
Hey Mark. He was a second 10 guy for me.
I think you should be prepared to lose him but the White Sox are going
to take a long look in spring training. He may get in more games than
any other pitcher. I've also heard he's going to the Mexican League
later in January, if he's not already there.
Jeff (England): Ryan Buch was my favorite
later round pick from the draft. What have you heard about him? He
didn't have a strong debut but I think he breaks out big time in '10.
Good pick as a sleeper. Big-time fastball.
Jeff (England): There were some rumors about
Santos Rpdriguez moving to the rotation for this year, obviously that
didn't happen, but is there any chance we see it for '10? Also what
level would you expect Rodriguez to begin at?
Could jump to Winston-Salem. Almost definitely a reliever.
Chris (Boston): What's the difference between
the hype on this new guy Miguel Gonzalez, and the old guy Francisco
Hernandez. I remember this same story from before. Why should we
believe in this kid more?
Good memory. Hernandez exploded onto the
radar after a huge year in rookie ball. Miguel Gonzalez is at the same
place. I'm told that they are way different in their approaches.
Gonzalez is a plus makeup guy and, unlike Hernandez, isn't flashy
behind the plate. Just very solid. I hear Gonzalez has off-the-charts
instincts for running a game. Hernandez loved to throw the ball but not
so much to run a game. I think Gonzalez is more substance to
Hernandez's flash. We'll see.
Jeff (England): You "hated" to see the Sox
trade both Richard and Russell? Russell is a middle reliever at best
and I'd be shocked if Richard becomes more than a number four. What's
so bad about loosing them?
Good question. I "hated'' it because both
are really good guys. I personally really enjoyed dealing with Clayton
Richard. I loved the way he stepped up at the end in 2008, including in
the playoffs against Tampa Bay. I think both could do well in San
Diego. But Dexter Carter's the highest ceiling guy in that deal — him
or Poreda. Obviously you've got to give up some good stuff to get
somebody with Peavy's stuff and track record. I was letting myself be a
person when I made that comment.
Kory (Jackson Hole): Hey Phil! Love these
chats every year, I wanted to ask you who your all time favorite sox
prospect was...and what ever happened to the kid from Brazil...Anderson
Thanks, Kory. My all-time personal
favorite is Magglio Ordonez — totally overlooked until he exploded at
Triple-A Nashville in 2007. The first time I saw him, I couldn't
believe the way the ball jumped off his bat. He looked like a young
Julio Franco. I was sold on him at first sight ... and he didn't turn
out too badly. Good question on Gomes. I think he was quietly released
after his partner, Paulo Orlando, was traded to Kansas City. I'm not
100 percent sure, however.
Marcus (San Jose): Is there any chance we ever see Salvador Sanchez in a Sox jersey...I've seen him play in Arizona and he always looks good.
I don't see it happening. He never puts
together years. I believe he's a classic scout's guy — good tools,
The Trash Talk Express (Boston): Miguel
Gonzalez sounds like a special all around catcher in the mold of Carlos
Santana in Cleveland. Am i reading too much into the context clues or
is he something that could be special?
Not sure about the Santana comparison
(another quy I should have mentioned to answer the Tyler Flowers/top
100 question). But White Sox guys I respect are very excited about him.
Some think he could come very fast. He'll start this season behind
Phegley (probably at Kannapolis while Phegley is at W/S) but it
wouldn't be a surprise to see both of them at Birmingham when the year
ends. Hold off on the full on excitement, though. Let's see him do it
in a full season league first.
Jeff (England): We all know you have a man
crush on John Ely, so where would he have ranked if he wasn't traded,
and does he still have the best change-up on the planet?
I had Ely as No. 12 but my peeps at BA
dropped him down a little once they got their hands on the list. He
will be in the Sox Top 30 because the book had "closed'' when Kenny
made the Pierre trade. Quite a changeup, yes. But I might give Johan
Santana a slight edge.
Mark (Aurora): It seems like Gonzalez has a
lot more upside than many of the destined to be relief pitchers ahead
of him. What was holding him back to the 10th place? Was it simply
distance from the Majors?
No, probably the fact that he was an
unknown quantity for the most part. He wasn't ranked among the Appy
League's top guys and hadn't been on the radar before this season. But
it's not just White Sox people who like him. He caught the eyes of
people with other organizations, too.
<> (Boston): I compare Danks to Ankiel. Agree or am i off base?
That's not bad. Ankiel showed more power in the minors but hasn't had much of late.
Bob (Santa Monica): Tyler Kuhn switched from middle infield to the outfield last year. Is he a serious prospect in the outfield?
He's gonna have to hit a like a demon. He
has done that in college at rookie ball but he's going to have to do it
as he climbs the ladder. He's pretty much a one-tool guy but the
ability to get on base is a pretty good tool.
Jeff (England): Who would be your 5th starter for 2010; Hudson or Garcia?
Hudson by light years if I'm just trying
to win right now. But there's a risk there, so why not let him get half
a year at Triple-A while Garcia eats up the crappy weather starts in
April and May?
Raul (Tucson, AZ): Thanks for the chat. What do you see as Daniel Hudson's upside —- #2, #3, #4 starter or reliever —- in the long term?
Hudson is Jered Weaver. A very good No. 2 starter.
Ryan (Chandler, AZ): If Morel does not add more power, is he athletic enough to possibly handle second base?
Sure, Ryan, he could absolutely do that.
But he's an advanced fielder with a third baseman's arm. I think he's
gonna play third base, even if you have to get more power elsewhere.
And there's no reason why he can't hit 20-plus based at US Cellular, a
Mark (Aurora): There are a lot of players on
the list who profile as MLB regular or relief pitcher. Who, outside the
top 2, do you think has the best chance to become an All-Star calliber
Wow, that's a good question. Hudson
absolutely will get to an All-Star Game or two (or five) in his career.
I'm a big believer there. And, long shot, Eduardo Escobar or Miguel
Kent (Ray, Wyoming): The team seems to have a
lot of future center fielders but not a lot of future coner
outfielders. I see another trade or two in the works.
Well, center fielders can become left
fielders. The organization doesn't have a lot of power-hitting,
run-producing types. But they should be set with Quentin and Rios for
years to come, lessening the need for outfielders in the immediate
Jon (Peoria): Do you think that Sergio Santos
can be a viable option in the bullpen at some point this year? Is he a
potential right-handed Matt Thornton?
I don't give him much of a chance.
Big-league hitters are awfully good ... and he hasn't put up great
numbers anywhere as a pitcher. He needs to spend a couple years in the
minors, and it will be hard to do that with the Sox because of the
situation with options.
Dawson (Milwaukee): You compared Viciedo to Kendry Morales. How do they compare at this stage in their careers?
In Morales' first US season, he was 21
and hit .306 with 17 homers and only 17 walks at Double-A. That's
similar to Viciedo, who was younger. Morales would need another 205
games to get to the big leagues to stay. The expectations for Morales
were a little bigger than those for Viciedo. I do think it's a good
Jon (Peoria): How would CJ Retherford compare
with Getz? Is he someone that could play everyday in the middle infield
or does he profile more as a utility guy?
Most baseball people will tell you
Retherford's a utility guy but for me he could be an offensive second
baseman. He's a better hitter than Chris. He doesn't have much polish
but plays his butt off. I like Retherford.
amy (boston): Hi, so i may have cheated on BA and read John Sickels... He said that the White Sox's system is very thin. Agree of disagree?
I'd agree for the most part. Not a lot of
surplus/depth. But the first 10-15 are solid, as they usually are. I
think the Sox suffer in these comparisons because they don't hoard
minor-leaguers. They get them to the big leagues quickly or they trade
Shane (Miami): Phil, enjoyed reading the list. Is Pierzynski a decent comp for Flowers?
Wow. I've never made that comparison. I
think A.J. is better defensively than the numbers suggest at the end of
every season. He's not great but he's OK. I think Flowers will hit for
more power but I could be wrong. A.J. has used US Cellular to his
benefit like a very wise man, which he is.
berg (san diego): Will Danks do enough to be an above average regular
Above average in the big leagues is really good ... I'm not sure I'd go that far with him.
Huck (Hyde Park): The additions to the White
Sox roster seem strikingly absent from your list: Omogrosso, S.Luis,
Dolsi and Hynic. Is there any hope for them at all?
Luis and Omogrosso are on the 40-man
roster, so Williams thinks there's chance. Omogrosso is the best of
these guys but he has trouble staying healthy. Dolsi was acquired too
late (and has too many innings) to qualify. Hynick was considered but
he didn't make the top 30. He was a big winner with Colorado last year
but scouts aren't sold.
Dave (Erie): What are your thoughts on Clevelan Santeliz? Can he really become a starter? Is he destined to be just another bullpen arm?
Couple more questions then I have to run.
Santeliz is a good bullpen arm. He fashions himself after Francisco
Rodriguez. Some think he could start but he sees himself as a closer.
He's going to be an interesting guy to watch in spring training.
Michael ((Pulled over and getting a ticket)): Jared Mitchell seems a reach at #1...all tools, no production...I know he has skills, but a long way to go right?
Finally, a Mitchell question!!! He does
have a long way to go but keep in mind he's not a convert from
football. He was Louisiana's top prep baseball player after his senior
year. Question is whether he will hit but the Sox were thrilled by what
he did at Kannapolis. I think he will come very fast. Look for him to
be one of the Arizona Fall League's stars after the 2010 season. That
could be a springboard to get him to Chicago before Juan Pierre is
done. Thanks a ton for all your interest — everyone's interest — and
let's all have a great New Year. I've enjoyed the chat and wish I could
stay longer. All the best.