- Full name Sean Patrick Tracey
- Born 11/14/1980 in Upland, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School UC Irvine
- Debut 06/08/2006
Drafted in the 8th round (240th overall) by the Chicago White Sox in 2002.
View Draft ReportTracey might have been a second- or third-rounder based on his early-season performance, but his stock has slipped as his velocity dipped late in the season. A gutsy righthander, he has gotten tired as the workhorse at UC Irvine. A fastball that touched 91-92 mph early in the year backed up to 88-89. He has a solid slider, but without a third pitch he projects as a big league set-up man.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Tracey unwittingly was thrust into the national spotlight in June, shortly after his first big league callup. After A.J. Pierzynski was hit by two pitches in a game against the Rangers, manager Ozzie Guillen ordered Tracey to drill Hank Blalock. When Tracey missed Blalock with two inside pitches before inducing a groundout, Guillen pulled him from the game and berated him in front of teammates and television cameras. Tracey was demoted afterward, though he showed impressive resolve by pitching his way back to Chicago in September. The irony is that Tracey never has been adverse to throwing inside, as he has hit 80 batters in four full seasons in the minors. The question with Tracey isn't his toughness but his stuff. He threw in the mid-90s in 2004 but has dropped into the low 90s the last two years. He never has fully developed his secondary pitches, shown consistent control or command, or learned to change speeds effectively. It's hard to succeed with one reliable pitch that's less than overpowering. Groomed as a starter for most of his career, Tracey more fits the profile of a reliever. He'll get a look in spring training but still has several refinements to make.
Considered to have one of the best arms in the White Sox system, Tracey captured interest with his pure velocity in 2004. He refined his skills last year, when his fastball lost a foot or so, tying for the Southern League lead in wins. Tracey has a durable arm and lives for his time on the mound. He's willing to pitch inside and challenge hitters every way possible. His fastball is his best pitch, but it was more often in the low 90s in the 2005, as opposed to the mid-90s in the past. His hard sinker is a decent pitch. Tracey's secondary pitches and his approach both still need work as he enters his fifth pro season. He doesn't change speeds well, which leads to lots of long at-bats as hitters foul off fastballs until they get one they can handle. His control is streaky. Tracey probably will start in Triple-A in 2006, but his profile and aggressiveness seem better suited for the bullpen. The White Sox have a deep rotation and are more in need of relief help, and he could get a callup in that role this year. He eventually could become a top set-up man, if not a closer.
No one in the system has a better arm than Tracey, considered something of a project coming out of UC Irvine. He flashed his potential in his first two seasons but also had control problems. He turned a corner in 2004, thanks largely to his work with Winston-Salem pitching coach J.R. Perdew. Though Tracey can run his 93-94 mph fastball up to 97, his biggest asset may be his competitiveness. Winston-Salem manager Nick Leyva called him an animal, saying he'd pitch "every night if I let him." He has the basic Kevin Brown package: a hard sinker that gets grounders and a four-seam fastball that gets strikeouts up in the zone. He also uses a hard slider. Tracey smoothed out his mechanics and gained confidence as the 2004 season went on. Tracey led the Carolina League in walks and hit batters (23) but showed improvement over 2003. His mechanics require attention and make it difficult for him to throw a consistent slider or changeup. A better changeup would complement his power stuff. A full season at Double-A is the next step for Tracey. He has the arm strength to become an impact starter or power closer.
Minor League Top Prospects
After a difficult 2003 season in which he posted a 9.50 ERA in the South Atlantic League, Tracey established himself as one of the best arms in the CL this season, ranking second in the league in strikeouts and ERA. A power pitcher with great confidence, Tracey's location and command drew comparisons to Indians righthander Adam Miller. Though he is four years older than Miller, the stuff certainly is comparable between the two. Tracey's fastball sits at 93-94 mph, touching 97, and he has an above-average power slider and changeup to go along with it. Tracey's poise and demeanor make him one of the best arms in the White Sox system. A major question mark remains his mechanical delivery, however; Tracey's arm action includes a "stab" in the back, which can lead to control issues. "He always wants the ball," Winston-Salem manager Nick Leyva said. "His velocity shot up as he's honed his mechanics some, and he's had a breakout year for us."
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Fastball in the Chicago White Sox in 2005