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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (22) | 2013 (29) | 2012 (30) | 2011 (27) | 2010 (23)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [73-89] AL Central
AAA: [63-81] International League – Charlotte
AA: [60-80] Southern League – Birmingham
A+: [61-78] Carolina League – Winston-Salem
A: [62-75] South Atlantic League – Kannapolis

Graduated Prospects
Jose Abreu, 1B | Marcus Semien, INF | Erik Johnson, RHP | Jake Petricka, RHP

The Gist
Despite another losing season, the White Sox are headed in the right direction. Cuban import Jose Abreu looks like a steal after leading the team on offense and winning Rookie of the Year honors. Chris Sale continued to pitch like an ace and won’t turn 26 until March. Lefty Jose Quintana proved to be a reliable arm as well and is the same age as Sale. The recent acquisition of Jeff Samardzija adds even more firepower to the rotation. As part of the return, the A’s received first base prospect Rangel Ravelo, who was included on this list prior to the trade. Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia are two other young pieces ready to contribute in 2015 and are also good options in the fantasy game. Garcia lost most of 2014 to a shoulder injury but still managed seven homers in under 200 plate appearances. The bullpen was a battle all year, but the signing of David Robertson is an immediate boost and this year’s first round pick Carlos Rondon could contribute later this season before joining the rotation in the spring of 2016.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects

1. Carlos Rodon, LHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2015

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
0 0 2.92 9 6 0 24.2 20 9 8 0 4.7 13.9 .215

Rodon was selected third overall by the White Sox in the 2014 draft and is already considered to be one of the better pitching prospects in the game. He has a plus fastball and a plus plus slider with a changeup that evaluators already grade as average. Like most young pitchers, controlling his stuff will be the true test. The White Sox already have a top-of-the-rotation lefty in Chris Sale, but they may have found another in Rodon. Drafted out of college, the southpaw will not need much time to polish in the minors before helping the major league club. His path will most likely be to start in the minors in 2015, help in the bullpen later this season, and lock down a spot in the rotation entering 2016. He’s an impact arm in fantasy if he reaches his ceiling.

2. Tim Anderson, SS | Age: 21 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
362 57 104 21 7 9 40 2.5% 22.7% 10 5 .301 .327 .481

Anderson is the heir apparent to the shortstop position once Alexei Ramirez is gone (Ramirez’s contract has a club option in 2016). Anderson provides a nice mix of power and speed from the middle infield and his hit tool is graded slightly above average. He got his feet wet in Double-A this season and held his own for 44 at bats, but spent most of the past year at High-A Winston-Salem. There he hit .297/.323/.472 with six homers and ten steals. The jump to Double-A is one of the most difficult and it’s where Anderson will likely start the 2015 season. If he shows he can handle the tougher competition his stock should jump quickly. Sticking at short would help his fantasy value so keep an eye on his defense too.

3. Micah Johnson, 2B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
472 48 123 19 6 5 44 7.8% 14.6% 22 13 .294 .351 .403

Johnson’s best tool is his speed. I’ve seen it graded as high as 80 and he swiped a whopping 84 bags in 2013, but hamstring injuries limited him to only 22 stolen bases this past season. He could be a nice piece in fantasy if he stays healthy and translates that speed to the majors. Johnson reached Triple-A in 2014, where he stole 12 bags and hit .275/.314/.370. The injury label and a down season could present a buy low opportunity. The trade of Marcus Semien should clear up the path for Johnson to take a starting role in the infield at some point in 2015. One thing to like about Johnson in fantasy is that he’s not totally devoid of power for a burner.

4. Francellis Montas, RHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2015

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
5 0 1.44 15 15 0 81.0 52 20 13 3 2.4 8.9 .182

Read anything on Montas, and it will mention that he looks destined to close games for the White Sox. That may be true, but for the time being the Sox will continue to work him as a starter. The problem seems to be in his delivery, which isn’t exactly a work of art and affects his control at times. He has a thick lower half. Only in prospect reports can I comfortably write about another man’s lower half on the internet. Montas has had a couple of minor knee injuries that have limited his innings over the past two years. His bread and butter is a 70-grade fastball that sits in the mid-to-upper 90s but he also features a plus slider and average change-up. It will be fascinating to see where he ends up in the White Sox’s plans.

5. Courtney Hawkins, OF | Age: 21 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
515 65 112 25 4 19 84 10.3% 27.8% 11 3 .249 .331 .450

Hawkins was the 14th-youngest player in the Carolina League in 2014 and it showed in his plate discipline. This was his second full season at the High-A level. He just turned 21 and has some great tools for fantasy with plus power and speed. Baseball America ranked his power the best in the White Sox’s system. Hawkins will most likely end up as a corner outfielder (probably left) if he makes it. Strikeouts will be a part of his game but that can still work if he’s able to get to his power in games. He’ll move up to Double-A this year and remains one of the better fantasy options on this farm.

6. Spencer Adams, RHP | Age: 18 | ETA: 2017

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
3 3 3.67 10 9 0 41.2 49 22 17 4 0.9 12.7 .282

Adams is still only 18 years old but has the upside of a number two starter. The White Sox selected him in the second round of the 2014 draft and in his first taste of pro ball he struck out 59 batters in just under 42 innings. His fastball and slider are both graded as plus pitches but it’s his advanced feel for pitching that will help him reach his ceiling. He already shows good control and is a third plus pitch (changeup) away from really taking off. He should see his first full season of pro ball in 2015 and could reach the majors quickly.

7. Matt Davidson, 3B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
539 59 95 18 0 20 55 9.0% 30.3% 0 0 .199 .283 .362

The development of every prospect is different, and it is rarely a straight line. Davidson came over from the Diamondbacks and was expected to take the starting job at third base in 2014. Instead he went to Triple-A and really struggled. He’s a risky proposition in dynasty leagues since he could go either way in 2015 – bouncing back to a legit third base prospect or falling even further. He had a great 2013, is only 23 years old, and still showed good power with 20 homers for Charlotte. Beyond that, there are some question marks as to where he fits into the White Sox plans with Conor Gillaspie already in place with the big club. Of course in dynasties you can always buy low if the price is right.

8. Trey Michalczewski, 3B | Age: 19 | ETA: 2017

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
579 62 132 27 7 10 75 9.3% 27.6% 7 3 .262 .340 .403

If Davidson tanks, there is another third base prospect on the horizon in Michalczewski. The less times I have to type this name the better, so I’ll just CTRL+V him from here on out to make sure I get it right. Michalczewski is a switch hitter and with average power. He is still only 19 years old so there is plenty of development time left, but he proved himself worthy of a promotion to High-A Winston-Salem for 19 games. He was the fourth-youngest player in the league for that stretch and it showed. He hit .194/.293/.222 in 84 plate appearances. He should head back to that level to start 2015 where he will still be one of the younger players. The upside is a 15-20 home run bat at third base with a good average.

9. Micker Adolfo, OF | Age: 18 | ETA: 2018

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
198 27 39 10 2 5 21 7.1% 42.9% 0 0 .218 .279 .380

Adolfo is obviously still a few years away. He signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013 and this season was his first taste of pro ball in the Arizona League (rookie ball). Evaluators like his plus raw power and plus baserunning and see him as a corner outfielder. Some of that power showed in his debut, but with it came a nasty strikeout rate that can be at least partially linked to his age and first year in the States. There is plenty of time for him to adjust his approach and tap into the raw tools. At this point he should be considered a lottery ticket in dynasty formats with deep minor league rosters.

10. Tyler Danish, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
8 3 2.08 25 25 0 129.2 115 43 30 7 2.3 7.1 .233

Danish should begin the 2015 season in Double-A. He’s more of a 4th starter type with good control but no plus plus pitch. The White Sox took him in the second round of the 2013 draft and Danish has advanced quickly to this point. In his first 160 professional innings, the right-hander has posted a 1.9 BB/9 and a 7.8 K/9. He won’t provide the big strikeout totals that we typically like to see from our fantasy starters and there is still a chance he ends up in the bullpen, so there is some risk tied to him if you are buying in dynasty leagues. Still, he is quite young and could surprise. His command/control profile probably fits better in deeper leagues where back-of-the-rotation starters carry more value.

White Sox Previews: 2014 | 2013

AL Top 10 Prospects Index

 
  1. Racehorse says:
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    Mike

    I’m still glowing after all the Sox hub-hub from Monday.

    That said, I have Jorge Bonifacio on my dynasty league minor league roster…

    Is Courtney Hawkins a fair comparison to Jorge Bonifacio?

    And who would you prefer, Courtney Hawkins or Jorge Bonificio?

    Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yup, they are having a really nice offseason so far.

      I think they are similar, yeah. I might lean Hawkins for more raw power.

  2. Racehorse says:
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    One more…

    Micah Johnson or Dilson Herrera?

    I suspect I already know your answer, but wanted to ask anyway.

    Thanks again!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Anytime. I would take Herrera.

  3. Clint says:
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    I read a blurb yesterday from a Brewers reporter talking to Doug Melvin who divulged the Crew offered Abreu $64mil/season last year. I can’t believe we missed out a talent that big over $4mil/season. Then again, it’s indicative of the Brewers overall I guess: fairly good but not good enough when it counts.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      oh wow. Yeah he seems like a bargain now after the numbers he put up. Hindsight is 20/20 and there were some question marks about him. I hear ya though. Tough to miss out for that difference in cash, especially with Brewers 1B situation.

  4. Swfcdan says:
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    Woohoo just the man I was looking for.

    Im in discussions with another team about Soler and Lindor right now, wanna know your thoughts on both. Is Soler far more valuable a fantasy prospect right now? As for Lindor, definate uber real life prospect but I’ve heard his bat is better than expected also and he could be a better trade target as his percieved value is lower, is he still a good potential bat at SS? Obviously Soler could be used as soon as next season which gives him another advantage, not to mention that improving lineup and the ballpark. Where roughly do both come in your fantasy rankings right now?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I would rank Soler ahead of Lindor for fantasy purposes. They are both upper echelon prospects and good targets though. Off the top of my head, they’d both be in the top 15 overall.

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Mike: Good to hear. I think Soler will cost a packet so im thinking the better value could actually be Lindor, isn’t too far away either I don’t think. ’15 or ’16 callup?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I would think that Lindor will be up this summer.

  5. Swfcdan says:
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    Oh and one other thing, I am uber excited about having the 2nd pick in a draft this offseason. If international signings are allowed (need to check) how would you rank these top 4 guys (yep you know the 4): R Castillo, Tomas, Rodon, Schwarber.

    Thanks a lot.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Anytime. That’s a good pick to have. I have leaned back and forth on Castillo and Tomas, but I would say it’s between those two. I guess it depends a little on needs. Castillo is speed and Tomas is more power. If I was drafting today I would take Tomas. I think signing in Arizona was good for his fantasy value.

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Mike: Interesting you like both international players more, I guess they are major league ready even though not the same talent level. My team’s in rebuilding mode having only recently taken over it, in that case would you have a problem going Rodon or Schwarber? Rodon sounds all that and a bag of chips and could start the year in the majors, not sure how far away Schwarber is meant to be.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          See I would take Schwarber over Rodon just because I don’t like taking the risks associated with pitchers, especially pitching prospects.

          • Swfcdan says:
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            @Mike: Sure I agree there usually, just seems Rodon is so good already, he could provide value even in ’15. Compared to Schwarber who I guess is the typical long way away draftee.

            I might actually take Rodon over all of them, not all that impressed by what ive read about Castillo and Tomas. Sure they’ll be good but doubt theres star potential there. I guess it shows you could go anywhere with these top 4 picks this year…

  6. Yescheese says:
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    Good work sir. Micah is definitely part of this 2014/2015 high floor rookie 2B prospect crop – lots of em – I agree he is near the top of the group for potential ceiling.

    Your thoughts on Micker Adolfo’s future? the scouting reports I’ve seen are just about the most glowing and effusive possible when it comes to his raw power. I was excited for him last year, and I know he’s young… I just don’t see how he can put it together with that K rate. Does this guy realistically have a MLB ceiling beyond Mark Reynolds in your opinion?

    It seems like the international market is undervalued in Dynasty Baseball. The scouting and videos are hard to come by, and guys sign so young there’s no accurate projection. What are yor thoughts on Micker vs recent guys like Dermis Garcia, Gilbert Lara and the like?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! I think they are undervalued at times yes. Part of it is the adjustment they have to make to a new culture and language in addition to getting large amounts of money and learning to adjust to professional baseball. It’s a lot for guys who are basically 17 years young. That’s why they have those leagues that allow them to stay in their home countries for the first steps of their development. Yes, raw power is in the reports on Adolfo and when you are looking at these guys I think it’s super important to look at what the evaluators are saying about their raw tools and projectability and basically ignore the first stats that trickle in. A lot can happen along the way but any of these guys who rank in the top ten International Prospects can be nice lottery tickets. Just have to be super patient.

  7. Birdmann says:
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    As an a’s fan what can you tell me about Rangel, where was he on the list?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I had him bouncing between 4 and 6 with Montas and Adams. He’s a third baseman who recently switched to first. No speed, and really not much power (his 11 dingers this year was a career high I believe). BUT…he has a great approach and hits for high averages with good OBP. Fits the mold of a high OBP guy that the A’s seem to like.

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Mike: Ravelo might have just a tiny bit of speed based off of his recent minor league numbers (10 SBs in AA last season). Maybe like a Conor Jackson type of prospect?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          That’s fair. Maybe “below average” is a better way to put it than “none” haha.

          Sometimes these guys have power that plays up because of the approach. It will be interestng to see what his power numbers look like as he advances.

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
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            @Mike: Don’t get me wrong – I’m not claiming that Ravelo is some kind of speed demon, but 3-5 SBs is above average for a 1B in fantasy. Maybe he’s capable of that, we’ll have to wait and see.

            Based on your description of his skill set, I first thought of Daric Barton as a comp, but that switched over to Jackson after I saw the steals. I guess neither would be all that great, but Jackson did have a decent three year run from ’06-’08.

            Tough to project prospects, but that’s what you’re here for, Mike!

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              haha true story! It’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall.

              You’re right. In context of the first base position 5 steals is pretty decent.

      • Birdmann says:
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        @Mike: Thanks guys good stuff

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          no problem

  8. Hey Mike,

    I know this is more about prospects but was hoping to get your opinion on some keeper league problems. AL only league due to the Lester signing I have 1 open keeper slot and have the following schmohawks to pick from:

    Betances, Salazar, Head & Shoulders Wilson, Marisnick, Elias, Feliz, Ruby DLR and a few others not worth mentioning.

    Now, if Betances (who is a schmohawk) is named the closer it’s a much easier pick but I think they will probably go with Miller.

    Any insight is always appreciated,
    Turd

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      anytime. I like Marisnick out of that group.

  9. goodfold2 says:
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    yikes, everyone of these guys are owned already in 30 teamer, except rodon (who won’t be around by my pick), and spencer adams. adolfo isn’t even in fantrax yet.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Adams could be a sneaky grab and probably doable at that point in your draft.

  10. KC says:
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    Hey, Mike.

    Big fan. Keep these coming!

    Any thoughts on (former) Dodgers reliever, Onelki Garcia, who the Sox just claimed off of waivers. I’ve got him sitting on my prospect roster in a deep dynasty league. It’s not costing me anythign to keep him (other than one of my ten MiLB roster spots), but probably won’t keep him around much longer if he’s not projected to log some MLB innings this season.

    Seems like he’s got great stuff, but is lacking in the control department.

    Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Depends how deep you are talking, but I wouldn’t sweat him. He doesn’t appear to be an impact guy and the Sox have Duke as their primary lefty out of the pen at the moment. It’s a solid claim for the Sox, but in terms of fantasy I’m not sure he’s anything more than a throw-in or depth piece.

  11. goodfold2 says:
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    are you doing these in the same order as scott from last year? if so i’ll order my questions for the teams you’ll do last go backward, meeting you at the point where your posts will be upcoming, that way i won’t ask you stuff i’d have found out in time anyway. My draft starts Jan 3rd, but it’s one of those long ass ones (technically we don’t even have a maximum amount of time per pick at all); and i don’t have a pick till 52nd at earliest. My upcoming questions will have to do with what’s decent value for our restricted free agents (whether to bid on them or not).

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yup, going in reverse order of the 2014 BA organization rankings. Sounds good…

  12. Alex says:
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    You like Rodon or Schwarber in dynasty draft? Both behind moncada, tomas and rusney right?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yeah I would rank them Moncada, Tomas, Rusney, Schwarber, Rodon in a dynasty

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