Chicago White Sox Top 10 Prospects Chat With Phil Rogers





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, 2011.

Moderator: Phil Rogers will chat about the White Sox's farm system beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

    JAYPERS (IL): Hi, Phil. What were you hearing about Mitchell during his time in the AFL? Any noticeable rust to speak of?

Phil Rogers: Hi everybody. Thanks for sending all questions. I just made myself a turkey and cheese sandwich, so I should be good to go for awhile. So let's start ... Jaypers, I think Mitchell's AFL performance was really disappointing. He seemed lost at the plate at times — from my viewing of the Rising Stars game and talking to scouts — and did not show the speed that made him so electrifying before the injury. He was just getting his feet back underneath him, so we should cut him slack, but it was a hitting-dominated league, so .166 or whatever is alarming.

    Ben (Leland Grove): What's the word on Addison Reed? Is he in your 11-20 range?

Phil Rogers: Hey Ben. Addison Reed just barely missed the top 10. He is a big-time, polished prospect with a lot of reason for excitement. His fastball-slider combination is very good and it appears some of the Stephen Strasburg presence/work ethic has rubbed off. He could come fast. I think the 2010 draft looks very interesting at this point, lots of those guys in the top 30.

    Jon Gilmore (Winston-Salem): Did I get any glowing reviews this season, Phil? And did I make your Top 30 overall?

Phil Rogers: Jon, I'll take this question but you should really be out working on your throwing. Lots of people like Gilmore's bat but his arm has become a big problem at third base. He's made 78 errors the last two seasons and could be headed for a position change. But the second half of the season was very encouraging for his bat — more plate discipline and line drives scattered around the field.

    Harry (NJ): Matt Heidenreich - prospect or suspect?

Phil Rogers: Hey Harry. Definite prospect. He had a very solid first full season, beginning with his work in extended spring training. He'll probably go into the Kannapolis rotation next season. He's one of the more interesting high school pitcher drafts the Sox have had in years.

    JAYPERS (IL): Did Mike Blanke get consideration for this list, and what are you hearing about his receiving skills?

Phil Rogers: Mike Blanke really opened eyes after the draft. He hit and was MUCH better behind the plate than advertised. He threw a couple runners out in the Pioneer League playoffs. He's big physically but has really come a long way as a catcher. His bat will help him stay behind the plate but he could very well be a big league average catcher, maybe even better. Lot to like there

    cliff jordan (chicago,il): Other than this Ozzie of the Future, Eduardo Escobar, are there any other middle infield prospects? I don't see much - thanks!

Phil Rogers: Hey Cliff. Not sure the Sox have any other middle infielders who look like big league regulars but one sleeper is Tyler Saladino from the 2010 draft. I've always loved Drew Garcia too. He's Dave Garcia's grandson and has been Escobar's double-play partner through the minors. He's a sleeper. Also Drew Lee from Morehead State (2010 draft). He's a second baseman who can really hit, even for power. Long ways away but interesting.

    Vince (Rockford): Addison Reed was a starter in college, but used almost exclusively as a reliever in his pro debut. What role does he fill going forward and does he move quickly if he is a reliever?

Phil Rogers: Vince, I didn't address this on the first Reed post, and it's a good question. The Sox believe he could do both but he'll start next season and get a long look as a starter. He's a classic two-pitch guy right now but the Sox are working to help him improve his changeup. That pitch could determine which way he goes. He would come quicker as a reliever but he'll have more value with a third pitch.

    Matt (Iowa City): Did Andy Wilkins get any consideration for the top 10? Does he have a chance to be an everyday player?

Phil Rogers: Good question Matt. I think Wilkins is a real interesting name in the Sox system. I'm not sure Wilkins = Brandon Belt but he's the starter kit. Really intriguing power and a solid player all around. Kind of the in the shadows at Arkansas but exploded after the draft. I definitely think he can be an every-day player. He's not a plus fielder at either corner but could hit enough to stay at third base. I like him a lot.

    Ernie (Rockford, IL): Phil, How close was Charlie Leesman to the top 10 and your thoughts on his turnaround from a pretty bad 1st half to a good 2nd half of last year. I read where his velocity increased so was that it or was it a fixing of his mechanics ?

Phil Rogers: Ben, I don't think the success in Birmingham was just his velocity. I think he commanded the strike zone better. He's another guy in between starting and relieving. The Sox believe he could come quickly as a reliever, as he handles left-handed hitters, but want him to improve his off-speed stuff to have a shot to get to Chicago as a starter. He was a top-10 consideration but I'm not as sold on him as some of the younger prospects.

    Ben (Leland Grove): Are the Sox likely to have the Tank start learning 1B right away, or is he still sticking at the hot corner for now?

Phil Rogers: Dayan Viciedo is supposedly preparing to play either infield corner. He's obviously a consideration if Paul Konerko leaves but it seems like a reach to expect him to step into those shoes now. It's hard me seeing him at third base, however, as I think Brent Morel is going to claim that job in 2011.

    Jessica (New York): Phil, Jared Mitchell's injury last spring is one that usually affects a players' speed long term. Do you think he will ever return to his 80 rated speed?

Phil Rogers: Jessica, thanks for joining us. I wouldn't say never on Mitchell's speed but he's probably going to get it back a little bit at a time, if he does. I heard he was having trouble trusting his left foot when making cuts around the bases and wasn't getting out of the box as quickly. That was a big injury and speed is obviously a big part of his game.

    Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): Having hit really good for Winston-Salem in 2010, do you think Jon Gilmore starts at AAA or AA? What's the max level you think he can climb to in 2011?

Phil Rogers: Karl, I think Gilmore's fielding will keep him at Double-A until he makes strides there. He doesn't hit for power, either, so moving him to first base could be a reach. I'm guessing here but I could see him getting a look in left field if he doesn't become more consistent with his throws in the very near future.

    AC (Atlanta): Is there any hope for CJ Retherford?

Phil Rogers: Hey there AC. Sure there's hope. He had a hugely disappointing 2010 but had come quickly before then. His advantage going forward is that he's comfortable adjusting and moving around the field. He's got a great attitude. Don't be surprised if he re-emerges in 2011 as a candidate to help the White Sox bench.

    Anthony (Orlando): What is the situation with Christian Marrero? He had a great year offensively last year, but struggled a little this year in AA. What do the white sox see in the future for him? Is he still on the radar?

Phil Rogers: Hey Anthony. I'm not sure I'd call 2010 a great year for Marrero but it was a good one. He showed more patience at the plate, drawing 70-plus walks, and that was definitely noticed. He is clearly a good hitter, as his average shows, but he doesn't have enough power or speed to get noticed. He is on the White Sox radar but just barely. He's one of a handful of guys I think they could lose in the Rule 5 draft, however. I don't think they'd be upset losing him and several others, either, as they locked in the 40-man roster with only 34 guys, almost like they're hoping to get guys taken.

    cliff jordan (chicago,il): Any rumors about the Sox signing a Cuban ballplayer this offseason? Do they still have good relations there?

Phil Rogers: I haven't heard the White Sox in any Cuban rumors. They might have spent their take-a-flier-on-a-Cuban money on Manny Ramirez in September.

    Bob (Santa Monica, CA): You ranked Jared Mitchell fourth despite his abysmal AFL season. You said his speed hasn't returned, but does the team believe his ankle problems also affected his swing in the AFL? Are they optimistic he'll make a full recovery and pick up where he left off last Spring, or are there serious doubts whether he'll ever be the same?

Phil Rogers: The reality with Mitchell is that the White Sox rate him highly but there's little agreement when you ask scouts from other teams. The Sox say/expect a full recovery but I'm not sure that the first-round pick/top prospect label is going to serve him well. It might be better to back off expectations. I would have liked to see what would have happened in 2010 if he had not gotten hurt, however, as he was one of the most exciting players I saw early in Arizona. I definitely saw the guy the White Sox project him to be. Here's hoping he can get there again.

    Dan (D.C): Any news on Juan Silverio?

Phil Rogers: Hey Dan. Juan Silverio looks a lot more like someone who is just a guy than a stud worthy of the bonus he got in the David Wilder era. He was better in 2010 than 2009 but he's a big body, slow-moving guy who might never get out of the low minors. More hype than substance, I'm afraid.

    Blake (Richmond, VA): A little surprised to see Thompson that low. Even though he hit for a low average last year, he showed plus power (ISO over .200) and an improving approach (though the Ks are still too high) before his injury. I would have thought that this, along with his upside would have been enough to at least push him past a guy like Short who profiles as nothing more than a 4th OF.

Phil Rogers: I like Thompson too. He is a basket full of tools, and the Sox don't have that many guys with his ceiling. But he is a long, long way away and the 2010 injury set him back at least a little bit. There's also a big question whether he can remain in center field. His bat obviously would give him more value if he could — and he is determined to do so. Don't sell Short short. I'd much rather have a guy like him as an everyday left fielder than a speed guy with almost no power — the Podsedniks and Pierres of the world. Short can hit and he's got a good arm.

    TH (Fort Wayne): Jose Martinez-What's his future?

Phil Rogers: Hey TH. The good news is he's finally recovered from his knee injury. The bad news is he hasn't developed power and has lost some speed. He doesn't seem to have the ceiling he had a few years ago. He's lost a ton of time the last couple seasons. The Sox hope he gets 500 plate appearances in 2011. Then they'll have an idea what they've got. I think he's a long shot to play in Chicago.

    Bill (Chicago): What does Tyler Flowers have to do to get back on track for a Mike Napoli type career?

Phil Rogers: Hey Bill. Obviously he has to clean out his fogged-in head and remember how he hit before 2010. He was a mess at the plate, which was a real surprise. I felt he was a good enough of a hitter that he should have gotten big-league consideration — even as one of three catchers, getting DH at-bats — but he failed to back up that viewpoint. I don't understand why the White Sox have played him so little, even during his promotion last September. He might be better off elsewhere at this point.

    Bob (Santa Monica, CA): Where would you rank Josh Phegley in the Sox's system? What do you expect from him in '11? After Tyler Flowers's underwhelming performance last season, do the Sox now regard Phegley as their #1 catching prospect?

Phil Rogers: Another catching question. The Sox really like Phegley's bat but the No. 1 concern for him now is his overall health. His unusual situation affecting the ability for his blood to clot is a huge concern. He could come fast if he can get that condition under control but I rate Mike Blanke and Miguel Gonzalez as better catching prospects right now. Gonzalez didn't hit in his first full season but he's a very interesting guy behind the plate. Blanke, to me, could profile a little like former big-leaguer Mike Stanley — a guy who can hit his way to Chicago quickly despite questions about his play behind the plate. Phegley could join that battle, but has to get healthy first.

    steve (wichita, ks): is chris sale the real deal?

Phil Rogers: My only gripe with Chris Sale is that he's on this list, at all. I look at Neftali Feliz winning the Rookie of the Year award this year and think that Sale could do that next year. I think there should be a rookie cutoff on number of games (15, maybe) for ROY status, not just the 50-inning threshold. But that's a tangent. Sale is absolutely the real deal. He probably won't throw 99 if he's a starter next season but he'll throw more changeups, and that's a devastating weapon he didn't really need out of the bullpen. The only question with him is durability. Scouts with other teams were scared off by the unusual frame and mechanics but in 2010 he was looking more like a freak of nature than an arm surgery waiting to happen.

    Ron (Wisc): Sale - why would they convert him for the year to a reliever then flip him back? I see he has potential to be a great starter, but why toy with him? Also, can you speak to who he compares to currently? Thanks!

Phil Rogers: Happy to do another Sale question. The plan all along with Sale was bullpen in late 2010, rotation 2011. The idea was to limit 2010 innings given his work at Florida Gulf Coast but the White Sox might have gotten carried away when he got so much work down the stretch, even working as the closer in one stretch. I'd guess the overall workload was more than the Sox or Sale wanted/expected, and it will be interesting to see if he bounces back at the start of 2011. He had to be worn out in October. Long term, the plus-plus changeup makes him a starting pitcher. He could close but he his max value is as a No. 1 or 2 starter.

    Bob (Santa Monica, CA): Just looking at the numbers, the Sox seem to have moved Jordan Danks up to AAA too quickly last season. He hadn't even had a decent season in AA yet. Do the Sox still regard him as a serious prospect? What do you expect out of him in '11?

Phil Rogers: Good call. Jordan Danks did advance too quickly. He's such a skilled fielder and a tough guy that the White Sox aren't even close to giving up on him. They also would appear to have no immediate outfield need in 2011, so he goes back to Charlotte for another 500 plate appearances that will go a long way toward showing whether he moves into Juan Pierre's job in 2012. It wouldn't take a lot of hitting to upgrade that spot. I think it's important for Danks to start pulling balls with authority. He's become an opposite-field singles hitter, it seems.

    Dave (Atlanta): Any info on Birmingham pitcher Deunte Heath? His 84 K in 57.2 IP are impressive. Will he be back in the White Sox system next season?

Phil Rogers: Great question. Barring a Rule 5 claim, Heath will return to the White Sox. His age kept him from being a serious top-30 candidate but he has a swing-and-miss breaking pitch. Control is an issue. A guy like him who I like more is left-hander Spencer Arroyo, who the White Sox signed after he was released by the Phillies. He throws only high-80s but had command of three pitches last season. It's going to be interesting to see what the two of them do in 2011.

    Catherine (Milwaukee): I'm curious what you see from Morel longterm. Does he compare to someone current, and does he stick for the Sox for quite awhile?

Phil Rogers: Hi Catherine. Everybody I talk to loves Brent Morel, both within the White Sox and with other organizations. Everyone thinks he'll hit for average and be a plus in the field, the only question being whether he is enough of a run-producer. He seems unlikely to hit more than 12-17 home runs, and might be better suited for a middle infield position. He played REALLY well at shortstop last year for Charlotte, which was a surprise given it was new for him. Not sure about a current comparison. The one I've heard that works the best is Joe Randa, the old KC third baseman.

    larry (Chicago): Has Tyler Flowers really fallen so out of favor that he can't make the top ten list of probably the weakest minor league system in baseball?

Phil Rogers: Yes.

    Brya (San Francisco): I read that Ozzie compared Morel to Crede and said he thought he'd win a gold glove one day. Is his bat around a .300 major league hitter, and if so, does he become a potential All-Star when that is matched with a gold glove? Or is that just wishful thinking? Thanks!

Phil Rogers: Let's don't talk All-Star with Morel. The lack of power is going to be an issue, even if he can approach or hit .300 and play excellent defense ... Speaking of Crede, he'll be a good gamble for him as a free agent this season. His back is finally supposed to be right after a third surgery. He'd sign for a low base with incentives. Don't see anything for him with the White Sox but I hope he finds a good situation. Good, good guy.

    Dave (Arlington Heights, IL): What are your thoughts on Tyler Saladino? Defense is a strength, bu.t needs to shorten his swing

Phil Rogers: It might be tough to talk Saladino into making any major changes now — given that he's been MVP of his college leagues two years in a row, and hit after the White Sox picked him up. I'm not saying you're wrong, just that I wouldn't mess with him until he slowed down. Whatever he's been doing has been working. He even hits for power. He's a top 30 guy for me, by reputation. I'm looking forward to seeing him play.

    Candice (Washington State): Has John Shelby completely fallen off the prospect radar?

Phil Rogers: Hi Candice. For the most part, yes. But when you've got a uniform you've got a chance, and the Sox organization does not have any major-league ready outfield types. A fast start to 2011 could put him in position to provide depth.

    Joe (Tigard, OR): Suprised to see Sale compared to the big unit. Does he really have that kind of upside?

Phil Rogers: Comparing anyone to a Hall of Famer is crazy, for sure. But it's hard to ignore the body types and the velocity. Sale's command and stuff is much, much better now than Johnson's was coming out of USC. Did you see him blow Joe Mauer away last year? Very, very impressive. He's not gonna grow another four or five inches, so he won't be that big of a unit, but I wouldn't put a limit on how good he could be as a pitcher.

    Dave (Arlington Heights, IL): What are your thoughts on Andre Rienzo?

Phil Rogers: Hey Dave. I like Rienzo a lot for a guy who just jumped onto the scene. The White Sox have collected a number of starter prospects in the low levels over the last couple of years, replenishing the supply they've traded away. I think I have eight right-handed starters in the top 30, including Rienzo. I love Thomas Royse from the 2010 draft. He and Addison Reed look like very good draft picks. Rienzo has a mid-90s fastball and a ton of polish. He attacks the strike zone. Like him a lot. He could be a top-10 guy a year from now, for sure.

    Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): Let's look into the future. You are the manager of a team that starts playing in 2013. You can now pick Nick Cioli or Trayce Thompson for your outfield. Whom do you choose?

Phil Rogers: I'd be thrilled to put Thompson out there, because it would mean he had two really good years of development in '11 and '12. He profiles as a guy who could be a big-league regular for a long time. I don't think Ciolli has as high of a ceiling. Not even close, really. Ciolli could hit his way into consideration but I don't think he has the tools to profile as a long-term regular. Thompson does. Plus he can play center field. Ciolli is a corner guy.

    Dave (Arlington Heights, IL): What have you been hearing about Nevin Griffith? Has he fallen out favor due to not being able to stay healthy the last couple years?

Phil Rogers: The White Sox are dubious about Nevin Griffith. He got off to a good start in 2010, a development they'd awaited since drafting him in '07, but he didn't pitch after July because of back problems. He is one of the guys I think they'd be OK with losing in the Rule 5 draft. Not sure he has the makeup and approach that they are looking for. Clearly the Sox are frustrated, and I'm sure Griffith is frustrated too.

    Twins Fan (Twin Country): What type of a player do we have to look forward to dealing with from Viciedo over the next few years. Does a .280 30hr player sound fair? Also, do you forsee him developing soon or will it take awhile longer? His K rate sure is a concern (For the white sox that is).

Phil Rogers: I am so conflicted on Viciedo. My head tells me he's not going to be more than a frustrating tease, as he made no strides in plate discipline last year. It's not so much the strikeouts that are alarming; it's an almost complete absence of walks. But my eyes and ears tell me he could be a stud. He centers and drives balls like some of the best hitters I have covered — Julio Franco and Magglio Ordonez, specifically. I'd say he could be a guy who goes to multiple All-Star Games or a guy who hits .230 and is out of the big leagues in five years. The .280/30 line you set is very well within his ability but I have no idea if he can reach it. Flip a coin, maybe. It's a tough call.

    larry (Chicago): Is there an attitude issue with Flowers? Something else? I just find it hard to believe a guy who BA rated as the 60th best prospect going into 2010 falls so far based just on his 2010 performance that he can't make a White Sox top ten list.

Phil Rogers: No, I don't think the White Sox have any issues with Flowers. I think people in the organization like him. The one thing is I think they were afraid A.J. Pierzynski couldn't handle having a possible replacement as his backup, so they haven't really given Flowers a chance to advance the last two years. I think that might have become a mental hurdle for Flowers.

    Dave (Arlington Heights, IL): What improvements did Santos Rodriguez make on his control? He might have the best arm on the farm outside of Sale. It would be wise to give Don Cooper a chance to work his magic on Rodriguez mechanics over the winter/Spring ball.

Phil Rogers: Rodriguez was devastating when he pitched. Left-handed hitters had little chance. I agree that he has one of the best arms in the organization but his max-effort delivery gets out of whack easily. I was surprised he wasn't added to the 40-man roster, which would have put him under Coop's care. He was shut down with a series of nagging physical issues last year, none considered a major concern. The Sox expect him fit for spring training and want to see what they have if he ever works a full season.

    Ted (Minneapolis): I assume Kyle Gibson will be the Twins #1 prospect, so that being said who would you rather haev as your #1 prospect Sale or Gibson? Why? Thanks for having fun with this one!

Phil Rogers: Ted, what about Ben Revere? I think he can be a really good big-leaguer for some time. I don't know Gibson that well. If he's better than Sale, heaven help the White Sox. Sale could be a left-handed version of the young Tim Lincecum. That's how good I think he is.

    Rod (Seattle): Not a question but maybe just a request for a response. I was looking at past top 10's, particularly the future line-ups. One team teams future line-up for 2011 does not have a single position player still on their roster! Shows its lack of validity, what with free agents, trades, etc.

Phil Rogers: Better question for Jim Callis or one of the BA staffers. I agree that those future lineup sections are wildly inconsistent. I think that's your point, anyway.

    Jon (Peoria): Hi Phil: Brent Morel is listed as a 3b/ss. Is there really the thinking that he could play ss long-term?

Phil Rogers: Hey Jon. He's a third baseman for the White Sox, with Alexei Ramirez at short. But he really opened eyes as a shortstop when he moved over to let Dayan Viciedo play third last summer in Charlotte. He showed surprising range and had enough arm for the position. Not a lot of people saw it coming but the scouts I talked to who watched him said they were amazed, and that he might have more value at short long-term because his hitting projects better there.

    larry (Chicago): Who is your favorite White Sox prospect no one has asked you about yet (and why)?

Phil Rogers: I'll give you a wild one. One even the BA guys weren't aware of. Outfielder Qualon Millender. Unsigned after playing college ball in Alabama. Absolutely crazy, blinding speed. Scored from second on a wild pitch last year. That kind of speed. Great athlete. Kid that would run through a wall to make a catch. But didn't hit at all in Bristol last year. I see him as the White Sox's version of Pittsburgh infielder Gift Ngoepe (from South Africa's WBC team). He'd be a helluva story if he even got close to the big leagues.

    JAYPERS (IL): Sale = A left-handed Lincecum. Um, what? In what way does he remind you of Lincecum?

Phil Rogers: Skinny. Likes to skateboard ... No, just that he gets freakish power out of a slight build.

    Sox2005 (St. Charles, IL): Phil, Isn't it possible that Brent Morel's power may come a bit later as it did with Joe Crede?

Phil Rogers: It absolutely could come later. That's been the projection all along. But Crede has a bigger frame than Morel. I'm not a scout but I could see the power in Crede. It's tougher to imagine it from Morel, although he hit 16 homers in high-A, so it's not a big leap from there to 25-30 in the big leagues.

    Ron (Appleton): I know he's no longer a prospect, but any chance you want to comment on what happens to Beckham longterm? Does he pan out and how so?

Phil Rogers: If Beckham hits .252 again next year, let's have this conversation then. I still think he's pretty close to a sure thing for a long, productive big-league career. I'd set .275 as his over-under for batting average in 2011, and take the over. He learned a whole lot about himself and hitting last season. He also got a second look at big-league pitchers. I really think he's going to make them pay very soon. He's too good of a player, an athlete, to go backward. He's also a leader. Harder-nosed guy than you'd think looking at that pumped up hair.

    Dave (Arlington Heights, IL): Why has there been such a lack of spending on the farm system the past 5-7 years? It would make sense to me to put an extra $5 million to put in the draft and international signings. It saves millions down the road when your producing more players within your own farm system. Other than Vicedo, Danks, and Borchard we haven't gone over the minimal MLB slot recommendations. Any thoughts on this?

Phil Rogers: You're looking at this the right way. I simply don't think Ken Williams values his farm system as highly as most other GMs. He has little patience with developing players and can't resist grabbing headlines with trades. I could not believe, for instance, that Ken traded Daniel Hudson for Edwin Jackson. The surprise is I know Jerry Reinsdorf really gets scouting and player development. The Sox have not been aggressive in going over slot and their international efforts have been wildly unsuccessful. Meanwhile they've been spending heavily on big-league payroll and not getting much lasting bang for that buck. It's worth asking whether Williams has been a poor steward of Reinsdorf's resources (but there's no indication that Reinsdorf is unhappy with him).

    larry (Chicago): Looking back at your past lists, who were your biggest misses (both for underrating and overrating) and why do you think you missed?

Phil Rogers: I get a lot of e-mail about negativity but I know I'm always rooting for Chicago teams and players (just in an objective way that isn't the same as how a fan roots for them). I think most of my misses would be in over-rating White Sox minor leaguers. I'd rather give you the ones I was happy about but you asked for misses. Joe Borchard would be the biggest. I thought he was gonna be an absolute stud. Aaron Poreda sure doesn't look like a guy who should have ever been a No. 1 prospect. I had no idea Carlos Quentin would hit like he did when the White Sox got him (although he wasn't prospect eligible at that point). Sometimes it just takes guys longer. Jon Rauch didn't live up to billing with the White Sox but he's had a nice career. Ryan Sweeney hasn't been a stud but he's had a nice career in Oakland. Any other notable goofs on my part? Bring 'em on.

    Dave (Arlington Heights, IL): Did Ryan Buch get any consideration in the Top 10?

Phil Rogers: He did not but I think he could pop onto the radar in a big way next year. You could show argue he ought to be in the top 30 this year. I went really heavily with 2010 draft guys, however, and younger pitchers than him.

    Rod (Seattle): Wow! No Jordan Danks anywhere? Last year he was on the 2012 team. Did he digress or simply get passed up by the younger players?

Phil Rogers: Digressed. The upside is he played through a lot of injuries early in the year, showing toughness. He might just need health but his approach at the plate has looked defensive in the high minors.

    Ken Rule (Lakewood CA): Has Tyler Flower's stock dropped as a player as well as a catcher? I was thinking he was the catcher of the future for the White Sox if he could cut it defensively. But he didn't have a good year at the plate in 2010. Thanks.

Phil Rogers: Funny thing is he's probably regarded more highly now as a catcher than he was a year or two ago. In fact, he probably ranks behind only Miguel Gonzalez on the list of the organization's top defensive catchers. His slide is all hitting related.

    Sox2005 (St. Charles, IL): Hi Phil, What can you tell us about Ross Wilson who was a highly regarded infielder at Alabama before suffering injuries? His pro debut at Great Falls was pretty good.

Phil Rogers: Wilson got a little consideration for top 30. He's on the radar but behind guys like Tyler Saladino and Drew Lee, who are better hitters.

    Tom (Bridgeview Illinois): Why don't that White Sox sign more Independent League Players. They have good luck the last couple of years in pitchers but don't sign many position players. How about the Latin players. I taught we updated are Latin scouting System????

Phil Rogers: Indy League is court of last resort for finding players. I wouldn't sweat that. The Sox also get their share of Venezuelan players. The problem has been the Dominican Republic. They bring up the rear there. But the reality is this could be something of a mixed blessing. Overall teams have been throwing crazy money at teen-aged Dominicans with the results not backing up the expenditure. But you can't go 0-for-the DR if you're serious about stocking your farm system, and the White Sox largely are doing that.

    Jake (Iowa): Had he not been dealt to AZ, would Holmberg have made your Top 10? What impressed you most about him?

Phil Rogers: I'm not sure Holmberg would have made the list but he wouldn't have been far behind. He's a polished HS draft who throws strikes with three pitches and gets results. Not a huge tools guy but a guy who knows what he's doing.

    RJ (Appleton): Does a comparison of Viciedo to Miguel Cabrera seem more logical in body size or do you see some similarities as far as power and skill goes? I tend to think that Cabrera is head and shoulder better, but I hear this tossed around quite a bit.

Phil Rogers: I'm gonna look this up ... Dayan Viciedo, ages 20/21 in the MINORS: 216 games, 745 at-bats, 32 homers, 34 walks, 167 strikeouts; MCabrera, ages 20/21 in the MAJORS: 247 games, 917 at-bats, 45 homers, 93 walks, 232 strikeouts ... They're both big guys, and that's about it. Cabrera is probably a much better athlete; he played shortstop for Kane County, for goodness sakes. He got a lot of at-bats in the minors and learned his trade, developing plate discipline. Viciedo is considered a good worker but has been immune to taking pitches and working counts. Comparing Viciedo to Cabrera is like comparing me to Hemingway.

    Dave (Arlington Heights, IL): Over the last 2 drafts we have drafted Matthew Grimes, Josef Terry, Brian Goodwin, Duane Williams, and Justin Jones, but haven't thrown the money to sign them. Why waste draft picks when we really have no intention in signing by going over MLB slot recommendations? We gave away our 4th-Grimes/8th-Terry round pick this year. Goodwin by the way looks to be a Top 10 pick next year.

Phil Rogers: I did think the Sox would step up and get Grimes signed at the deadline, and it didn't happen. But they just don't budge. Sometimes players are bluffing, and teams take chances to see if they are bluffing. The big surprise in 2010 was that they got Chris Sale signed so quickly and at a level below what a lot of clubs thought that would take. The Sox would benefit from MLB adopting a hard slotting system in the next CBA. I predict that will be a nasty, hard fight with the union — a lot tougher than most people seem to think.

    larry (Chicago): You mentioned Mitchell before but is there another player who really divides scouts on his potential?

Phil Rogers: An aside, before Larry's question: I really like doing these chats, and have time today to keep going. The questions are slowing down, however. I'll keep doing it for a while longer if there are good questions ... There are always differences of opinion. As a rule, at this point in time, I think conventional wisdom is that White Sox prospects get hyped beyond their worth because there are so few strong prospects. I'll give you this guy who elicits a difference of opinion: Daniel Hudson. I love him, and have since the second half of '09; a lot of people look at him as average, and act like he just got lucky when he pitched well for Arizona. I see a guy with the same stuff as Jered Weaver and a seriousness about him that I'd want in someone I was working alongside. I don't see how the Sox traded Hudson at an entry-level salary for Edwin Jackson, a little more than a year from free agency.

    TH (Fort Wayne): How does Nate Jones project?

Phil Rogers: Hey TH. Nathan Jones finished 2010 on fire, finally putting everything together — his mid-90s fastball, knee-buckling curve and command of the strike zone. He's an easy guy to overlook because he's been around for a while. It speaks to his potential that he was added to the 40-man when Santos Rodriguez wasn't. I can't wait to see how Jones pitches in Double-A.

    Doug (PA): What do you think of RHP Kevin Moran who was drafted out of BC and pitched for Bristol and Kannapolis this season?

Phil Rogers: I haven't seen him and didn't get much from White Sox people on him, to be honest. Addison Reed and Thomas Royce were the guys behind Sale who got everybody excited.

    Trevor (Chicago, IL): If Kevin Moran can harness his control, do you see him moving quickly through the system? Does he have late inning potential?

Phil Rogers: He did relieve at BC and in rookie ball, so sure. Gonna be something of a project, and maybe not a guy who would come quick. Here's the scouting report BA did on him coming into the draft: Moran, a righthander, started the spring in BC's rotation, but when he got off to a rough start he was sent to the bullpen, where he showed signs of turning the corner. Moran has huge arm strength; he flashed 93-95 mph heat and a plus slider on scout day last fall and in the Cape League last summer, and he has topped out around 93 this spring. But he's still a thrower more than a pitcher, and he lacks command and control, as evidenced by his line: 7-5, 8.55 with 28 strikeouts and 38 walks in 46 innings. Moran is almost too intense for his own good and must improve his mound presence. In the Cape, scouts reported seeing him yell at hitters in the batter's box. Moran dabbles with a curveball and has some feel for a changeup, but both pitches are inconsistent. He has an athletic 6-foot-4, 209-pound frame and some upside, but he's a work in progress.

    Dave (Arlington Heights, IL): Any thought on Randall Thorpe?

Phil Rogers: He's very fast, and just beginning to play. I had a BA editor suggest him over my guy Qualon Millender for fastest player in the system. A really good college outfielder could move fast in the White Sox system.

    Dave (Arlington Heights, IL): Not hearing as much on Kyle Bellamy these days? White Sox have been taking a lot of high draft picks on relievers the last couple years.

Phil Rogers: Bellamy was in line for promotion to Chicago in 2010 before falling apart in Double-A. He has not yet developed a changeup or another off-speed pitch to keep left-handed hitters off his low-90s fastball, which works against right-handed hitters from his low arm slot. It will be interesting to see how he handles adversity, which he had little of in college at Miami.

    Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): 2010 draftee Jake Petricka was used as a starter and reliever last season by the White Sox - where do you think he ends up? Is he in the top 30?

Phil Rogers: Correction to my previous post about Moran ... Petricka, Reed and Royse are the guys behind Sale who excite people. Petricka is No. 7 on the list, with potential to be a No. 2 starter, if not better. His secondary pitches need work but he has a special fastball, both in terms of velocity and movement. I see him as rawer but with a higher ceiling than Reed and Royse. Very interesting guy.

    Martin (Chicago): Phil - Thanks for the chat! Did RHP Terry Doyle turn himself into a prospect in the White Sox eyes? He had a terrific season, and based on size (6'4, 225) looks like he could profile as a big league starter.

Phil Rogers: Doyle is a guy who is going to have to keep getting results, I think. He's somewhat lost in the flood of arms that have come into the system in the last couple of years, and 2010 will go a long ways toward separating those out. He probably would have been a top 30 this year if not for his age ... and you can easily argue for him over some guys on the list. He moves to Birmingham next year. That's where he either will or will not put himself on the radar.

    AC (Atlanta): Do you think there is any shot the ChiSox give Taylor Thompson another chance at starter?

Phil Rogers: There's a very good chance they will give him a chance to start. He had a very solid year in relief last season, however, and could come quicker in that role.

    Dave (Arlington Heights, IL): I think it might be time to say goodbye to Paulie and A.J and get younger. If that is the case we might be able to get 5 compensation draft picks . This also includes Putz if he signs somewhere else? What are your thoughts?

Phil Rogers: I'm a huge Konerko guy. I think the White Sox will really miss him when he's gone. My guess is Sox offer arbitration to Konerko and Putz and not AJP and Manny (duh). It's funny that they're potentially going to lose their first baseman and catcher and don't have a sure thing to replace either. That's a dangerous way to do business.

    Jeff (Minnesota): Where would you rank the Al centrals farm system's? Who will get the most out of their's in the next 5 years?

Phil Rogers: Better question for Jim Callis, but I think the Royals have rebuilt their's nicely with Moustakas, Hosmer, Montgomery, etc., and Minnesota's the only team in the ALC that could compare. I'll call it Royals, Twins, Tigers, Indians, White Sox.

    Joe R (Newport News, VA): Any hope left for Tyler Flowers?

Phil Rogers: There's always hope ... but I'm about out of questions. One or two more?

    Dave (Arlington Heights, IL): Have you heard any rumors what Kenny's plan this offseason? If you had to guess what big move Kenny will make, what would it be?

Phil Rogers: OK, and adios ... To answer the question, there have been very little clear direction provided by anyone with the White Sox. I think that speaks to the lack of options they have at this point in time. I'll take a wild guess: John Danks for Prince Fielder (with Chris Sale expected to step up and become Danks) ... and with that WAG (wild ass guess), I'll call it an afternoon, although looking out my window is seems more like a night. Enjoyed it, everyone, and be well.