2012 Chicago White Sox Top 10 Prospects

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.

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1. Addison Reed, rhp
2. Nestor Molina, rhp
3. Simon Castro, rhp
4. Trayce Thompson, of
5. Jake Petricka, rhp
6. Keenyn Walker, of
7. Jhan Marinez, rhp
8. Tyler Saladino, ss
9. Juan Silverio, 3b
10. Ozzie Martinez, ss
Best Hitter for Average Tyler Kuhn
Best Power Hitter Trayce Thompson
Best Strike Zone Discipline Christian Marrero
Fastest Baserunner Keenyn Walker
Best Athlete Jared Mitchell
Best Fastball Jeff Soptic
Best Curveball Johnnie Lowe
Best Slider Addison Reed
Best Changup Charlie Leesman
Best Control Nestor Molina
Best Defensive Catcher Miguel Gonzalez
Best Defensive Infielder Eduardo Escobar
Best Infield Arm Juan Silverio
Best Defensive OF Jordan Danks
Best Outfield Arm Jose Martinez
Catcher Tyler Flowers
First Base Andy Wilkins
Second Base Gordon Beckham
Third Base Brent Morel
Shortstop Alexei Ramirez
Left Field Dayan Viciedo
Center Field Keenyn Walker
Right Field Trayce Thompson
Designated Hitter Paul Konerko
No. 1 Starter John Danks
No. 2 Starter Chris Sale
No. 3 Starter Gavin Floyd
No. 4 Starter Nestor Molina
No. 5 Starter Simon Castro
Closer Addison Reed
Year Player, Pos 2011 Org
2002 Joe Borchard, of Giants
2003 Joe Borchard, of Giants
2004 Jeremy Reed, of Twins
2005 Brian Anderson, of Yankees
2006 Bobby Jenks, rhp Red Sox
2007 Ryan Sweeney, of Red Sox
2008 Gio Gonzalez, lhp Nationals
2009 Gordon Beckham, ss White Sox
2010 Jared Mitchell, of White Sox
2011 Chris Sale, lhp White Sox
Year Player, Pos 2011 Org
2003 Royce Ring, RHP
Red Sox
2003 Brian Anderson, OF Yankees
2004 Josh Fields, 3B Dodgers
2005 Lance Broadway, RHP Blue Jays
2006 Kyle McCulloch, RHP Reds
2007 Aaron Poreda, LHP Pirates
2008 Gordon Beckham, SS White Sox
2009 Jared Mitchell, OF White Sox
2010 Chris Sale, LHP White Sox
2011 Keenyn Walker, OF White Sox
Joe Borchard, 2003 $5,300,000
Dayan Viciedo, 2008 $4,000,000
Gordon Beckham, 2008 $2,600,000
Jason Stumm, 1999 $1,750,000
Chris Sale, 2010 $1,656,000
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Chicago White Sox

Since winning the 2005 World Series, few teams have gotten less of a bang for their buck than the White Sox. They've spent more than $600 million on payroll since the 2006 all-star break, more money than any other American League Central team save the Tigers, yet have only a 440-445 regular-season record and one playoff victory to show for it.

With his farm system failing to supply impact players, GM Ken Williams constantly has had to be on the lookout for OPT—other people's talent. He has chosen poorly in recent years, hamstringing Chicago with bad contracts for Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy and Alex Rios.

After Williams committed $93.5 million to bring back Paul Konerko and add Dunn last offseason, many analysts picked the White Sox to win the AL Central in 2011. But they started the season 11-21 and essentially conceded at the trade deadline, when they dealt Edwin Jackson.

For a cost of $40 million, Dunn gave them the worst batting average in big league history for a player with 450 plate appearances (.159), Rios had the majors' worst OPS among batting qualifiers (.613) and Peavy delivered just seven wins and 18 starts. That trio still has $103 million remaining on their contracts.

Manager Ozzie Guillen, who was signed through 2012, went public in September with his demands for a contract extension. It was the second year in a row he had pushed his financial desires through the media. The White Sox released him from his contract, receiving reliever Jhan Marinez and shortstop from the Marlins after Miami signed Guillen to a four-year deal.

Williams called 2011 his most disappointing season of his 11-year tenure as GM, and he said he went to owner Jerry Reinsdorf more than once to ask if the club wanted a change in the front office. Reinsdorf wasn't ready to hand the reins to longtime assistant GM Rick Hahn, so it fell to Williams to pick a new manager. He tabbed special adviser Robin Ventura, who has no managerial experience at any level.

The club could struggle to contend in the immediate future because it has done a poor job of signing and developing its own talent. Chicago has the worst farm system in baseball, and it's no coincidence that it ranks last in draft spending in the last five years ($18.3 million) and has had little presence on the international amateur market in that time.

Because the system has little to offer in the way of immediate help, Williams made moves to acquire young arms in December. He sent Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays for righthander Nestor Molina, then shipped Carlos Quention to the Padres for righty Simon Castro and lefty Pedro Hernandez. Castro and Molina immediately became Chicago's top starting pitching prospects.

The White Sox never were a leader in Latin America, but their international operations have been in shambles since former senior director of player personnel Dave Wilder and two scouts were caught in a scandal taking kickbacks from prospects in 2008. Chicago made a move to bolster its international efforts in November, hiring Blue Jays director of Latin American operations Marco Paddy.

Whether the White Sox will decide to invest more heavily in the draft remains to be seen. They haven't drafted a truly productive homegrown position player since 16th-rounder Chris Young in 2001. They've had more success with more recent pitching selections such as Daniel Hudson, Addison Reed and Chris Sale, though Hudson was given to the Diamondbacks in a 2010 trade for Jackson.

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