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Top Ten Prospects: Chicago White Sox
Complete Index of Top 10s

By Phil Rogers
November 29, 2004


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, 2005.

Scouting reports for the Top 10 Prospects (Subscribers only) -- Click Here to Subscribe


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TOP TEN PROSPECTS
1. Brian Anderson, of
2. Ryan Sweeney, of
3. Brendan McCarthy, rhp
4. Josh Fields, 3b
5. Sean Tracey, rhp
6. Chris Young, of
7. Gio Gonzalez, lhp
8. Francisco Hernandez, c
9. Pedro Lopez, ss
10. Kris Honel, rhp
BEST TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Ryan Sweeney
Best Power Hitter Josh Fields
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Casey Rogowski
Fastest Baserunner Chris Young
Best Athlete Chris Young
Best Fastball Sean Tracey
Best Curveball Gio Gonzalez
Best Slider Dwayne Pollok
Best Changeup Brian Miller
Best Control Brandon McCarthy
Best Defensive Catcher Chris Stewart
Best Defensive Infielder Pedro Lopez
Best Infield Arm Andy Gonzalez
Best Defensive Outfielder Brian Anderson
Best Outfield Arm Ryan Sweeney
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE DECADE
1995 Scott Ruffcorn, rhp
1996 Chris Snopek, ss/3b
1997 Mike Cameron, of
1998 Mike Caruso, ss
1999 Carlos Lee, 3b
2000 Kip Wells, rhp
2001 Jon Rauch, rhp
2002 Joe Borchard, of
2003 Joe Borchard, of
2004 Jeremy Reed, of
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE DECADE
1995 Jeff Liefer, 3b
1996 *Bobby Seay, lhp
1997 Jason Dellaero, ss
1998 Kip Wells, rhp
1999 Jason Stumm, rhp
2000 Joe Borchard, of
2001 Kris Honel, rhp
2002 Royce Ring, lhp
2003 Brian Anderson, of
2004 Josh Fields, 3b
*Did not sign
LARGEST BONUSES
IN CLUB HISTORY
Joe Borchard, 2000 $5,300,000
Jason Stumm, 1999 $1,750,000
Royce Ring, 2002 $1,600,000
Brian Anderson, 2003 $1,600,000
Josh Fields, 2004 $1,550,000

Winning now is the goal for the White Sox. Thats why general manager Ken Williams traded for veterans Carl Everett and Roberto Alomar in midseason deals in both 2003 and 2004.

Thats right, two years in a row Williams has added Everett and Alomar. To acquire Everett twice, the White Sox have given up five prospects, including righthanders Frankie Francisco and Jon Rauch, to the Rangers and Expos.

Williams didnt stop there. He made one of baseballs biggest deals in 2004, acquiring Freddy Garcia from the Mariners for catcher Miguel Olivo and two of Chicagos top prospects, outfielder Jeremy Reed and shortstop Michael Morse. Williams has traded 17 players who have ranked among the teams top 30 prospects in the last three years.

And hes not about to apologize for it.

Two words: nineteen seventeen, Williams said, referring to the last year the White Sox won the World Series. How many more generations of fans are going to have to wait? I dont want to wait.

Its a risky course of action for an organization that operates on a tight budget. Yet Williams feels he has little choice but to aggressively pursue trades because he hasnt been successful in signing free agents.

The White Sox have moved Joe Crede, Willie Harris and Aaron Rowand from their farm system to their lineup, while Jon Adkins and Neal Cotts have claimed bullpen roles. But Chicago expected a bigger harvest, only to see high hopes for outfielder Joe Borchard and pitchers Kris Honel, Corwin Malone and Rauch dashed by injuries and inconsistency.

Borchard, who signed for a record $5.3 million in 2000, had another disappointing year in 2004. He started the season at Triple-A Charlotte and batted .174 in 63 big league games after being promoted to replace the injured Magglio Ordonez. His strikeout woes extended into the offseason, when his Mexican Pacific League club released him because of his lack of production. Honel made just two starts because of a sore shoulder, while Malone had Tommy John surgery before the season started. Rauch angered Williams by leaving U.S. Cellular Field early after getting hit hard in a May start, then was exiled to Montreal two months later.

There were some positive developments, however. Righthanders Brandon McCarthy and Sean Tracey took huge steps forward. McCarthy led the minors with 202 strikeouts in 172 innings, while Tracey started to harness the best fastball in the system.

Chicagos last two drafts have provided an infusion of talent. Outfielders Brian Anderson and Ryan Sweeney, the clubs first two picks in 2003, played well in big league camp and then had solid 2004 seasons. Anderson advanced to Double-A and may not be that far away from contributing in the majors.

Third baseman Josh Fields, the No. 18 overall pick in 2004, contributed immediately in high Class A. The White Sox had six picks in the first two rounds and used four of them to stock up on lefthanders. Gio Gonzalez made the top 10 list, while Tyler Lumsden, Wes Whisler and Ray Liotta werent far behind.


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