Chicago White Sox: Top 10 Prospects

Chicago White Sox

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.

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1. Aaron Poreda, lhp
2. Lance Broadway, rhp
3. Jack Egbert, rhp
4. Jose Martinez, of
5. Chris Getz, 2b
6. John Ely, rhp
7. Juan Silverio, ss
8. John Shelby Jr., of
9. Adam Russell, rhp
10. Kyle McCulloch, rhp
Best Hitter for Average Chris Getz
Best Power Hitter Brandon Allen
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Chris Getz
Fastest Baserunner Paulo Orlando
Best Athlete Lyndon Estill
Best Fastball Aaron Poreda
Best Curveball Lance Broadway
Best Slider Kanekoa Texeira
Best Changeup Lance Broadway
Best Control Jack Egbert
Best Defensive Catcher Donny Lucy
Best Defensive Infielder Robert Valido
Best Infield Arm Juan Silverio
Best Defensive Outfielder Paulo Orlando
Best Outfield Arm Jose Martinez
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski
First Base Paul Konerko
Second Base Chris Getz
Third Base Joe Crede
Shortstop Orlando Cabrera
Left Field Josh Fields
Center Field Nick Swisher
Right Field Carlos Quentin
Designated Hitter Jermaine Dye
No. 1 Starter Mark Buehrle
No. 2 Starter Javier Vazquez
No. 3 Starter Aaron Poreda
No. 4 Starter John Danks
No. 5 Starter Lance Broadway
Closer Bobby Jenks
Year Player, Position 2007
1998 Mike Caruso, ss
South Coast League
1999 Carlos Lee, 3b
2000 Kip Wells, rhp
2001 Jon Rauch, rhp Nationals
2002 Joe Borchard, of
2003 Joe Borchard, of
Joe Borchard, of
2005 Brian Anderson, of
White Sox
2006 Bobby Jenks, rhp White Sox
2007 Ryan Sweeney, of White Sox
Year Player, Position 2007
1998 Kip Wells, rhp Cardinals
1999 Jason Stumm, rhp Out of baseball
2000 Joe Borchard, of Marlins
2001 Kris Honel, rhp White Sox
2002 Royce Ring, lhp Braves
2003 Brian Anderson, of White Sox
2004 Josh Fields, 3b White Sox
2005 Lance Broadway, rhp White Sox
2006 Kyle McCulloch, rhp White Sox
2007 Aaron Poreda, lhp White Sox
Joe Borchard, 2000 $5,300,000
Jason Stumm, 1999 $1,750,000
Royce Ring, 2002 $1,600,000
Lance Broadway, 2005 $1,570,000
Brian Anderson, 2003 $1,500,000
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Chicago White Sox

Few owners in baseball are more loyal than Jerry Reinsdorf. Few general managers are more aggressive than Ken Williams. Those two personalities came to a crossroads in 2007—making it impossible to overlook the deterioration of the White Sox since their World Series victory two years earlier.

After 35 years with the organization, including 14 as scouting director, Duane Shaffer was fired by Williams after he oversaw the draft in June. It was a painful move for Reinsdorf to sign off on, but one that Williams convinced him was necessary after a painfully unproductive period for the farm system, especially in terms of producing position players.

Had Shaffer wanted to engage in public mudslinging, he could have pointed out how it was the work of White Sox scouts that was primarily responsible for a 17-year stretch in which the big league club never performed poorly enough to earn a top-10 pick in the draft. That streak will end in 2008, when the Sox will pick eighth after a late surge that took them to a 72-90 finish and past the Royals for fourth place in the American League Central. Or Shaffer could have pointed out how it was the work of scouts that gave Williams a chance to pull off so many of the high-profile trades he has made.

In seven years since replacing the scout-friendly Ron Schueler as general manager, Williams has often dealt tomorrow for today with his trades. For Roberto Alomar, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Mike MacDougal, Todd Ritchie, Jim Thome, Javier Vazquez, David Wells and others, Williams repeatedly has undercut the depth of his farm system.

Williams always knew he was taking a risk that a young player would come back to bite him in a big way, and one did in 2007. Chris Young, part of the package for Vazquez, hit 32 homers and stole 27 bases as a rookie to help the Diamondbacks reach the playoffs. Meanwhile center field was a revolving door on the South Side.

But it wasn't just losing a player here or a player there that put the Sox at risk. Chicago has had a run of conservative and unproductive drafts, and the last impact pick they made was Young, a 16th-rounder in 2001. The White Sox also have done little in Latin America.

Williams was at it again in January, sending the top two prospects in the system (lefthander Gio Gonzalez and righthander Fautino de los Santos) and the top position prospect (outfielder Ryan Sweeney) to the Athletics for Nick Swisher. While the move upgraded Chicago's offense, the team's chances of contending in the rugged AL Central still look like a longshot, and the White Sox now have arguably the thinnest farm system in baseball.

Williams wanted multi-tooled position players in the draft, but those athletes didn't fall as the White Sox hoped, and they wound up taking pitchers with their first six picks. First-rounder Aaron Poreda, a southpaw, used his 95-97 mph fastball to put up a 0.93 ERA (counting two playoff starts) in the Rookie-level Pioneer League.

Chicago did find an athlete in the offseason, agreeing to terms on a four-year, $4.75 million contract with Cuban outfielder/infielder Alexei Ramirez. If red tape hadn't delayed the official signing of Ramirez, he would have ranked No. 2 on our White Sox prospect list.

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