Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (30) | 2011 (27) | 2010 (23) | 2009 (16) | 2008 (30)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [85-77] AL Central
AAA: [83-61] International League — Charlotte
AA: [63-76] Southern League — Birmingham
A+: [87-51] Carolina League — Winston-Salem
A: [61-78] South Atlantic League — Kannapolis
Arizona Fall League Players — Salt River Rafters
Andre Rienzo (RHP); Santos Rodriguez (LHP); Salvador Sanchez (RHP); Taylor Thompson (RHP); Carlos Sanchez (2B); Andy Wilkins (1B); Trayce Thompson (OF)
Graduated Prospects of Note
Addison Reed (RHP); Jose Quintana (RHP); Hector Santiago (LHP)
The Run Down Please, blog, may I have some more?
The MLB Divisional Series are still raging and, for most, it’s a little early to start digging into 2013 previews of any sort. Alas, we have a schedule to maintain here. As usual, we’ll ease you into these team-by-team minor league previews, starting from the bottom, and working our way toward the more compelling organizations as we approach Opening Day 2013. So, here we are in the cellar: the Chicago White Sox. And believe me, it doesn’t get any lower than this. Perhaps, though, it’s unfair to bash the Sox for their lousy farm system. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf and President Kenny Williams have consistently approached their organization from a MLB-first perspective — they don’t spend much in drafts and their player development systems are lagging. But the White Sox aren’t ignorant to these flaws; they just don’t care. They’re a principled franchise, and they’re reasonably successful in what they do and how they do it. Frankly, I don’t endorse this baseball operations model — it kinda goes without saying that I’m a prospecty, build-from-within sort of dude. But while I watch other organizations tiptoe the line between development-first and MLB-first organizational philosophies, I must admit that it’s refreshing to see Sox standing their ground, flippin’ the bird to all the Keith Laws out there.
I don’t think I saw an organizational ranking all off-season that didn’t have the White Sox dead last. Not that they deserve to be ranked higher – the Sox simply refuse to spend big money in the draft, and their presence in the Latin markets has been lacking of recent. The first month of the 2012 baseball season, however, has brought a bit of good news to the Southsiders, as former top prospect Jared Mitchell has reemerged as an elite outfielder in Double-A. Mitchell, who had a rough go at High-A in 2011 after missing all of 2010 with an ankle injury, has posted a .962 OPS through 28 games with Birmingham. He’s gathered 13 XBH and 6 SB within 120 PA. Mitchell’s hot start is greatly encouraging for a system in need of a boost. Please, blog, may I have some more?
(Note from Grey: Please welcome Scott to the Razzball family. He’s going to be taking over as our prospects writer. He charted prospects in the Midwest League in 2008, has a sound understanding of player development and said my mustache was robust. Flattery will get you everywhere!)
Chicago White Sox 2011 Minor League Review
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:
2011 (27) | 2010 (23) | 2009 (16) | 2008 (30) | 2007 (25) | 2006 (14) | 2005 (12) | 2004 (20)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [79-83] AL Central
AAA: [69-74] International League – Charlotte
AA: [71-69] Southern League – Birmingham
A+: [69-71] Carolina League – Winston-Salem
A: [76-62] South Atlantic League – Kannapolis
R: [24-44] Appalachian League – Bristol
R: [42-34] Pioneer League – Great Falls
The Run Down
In terms realistic fantasy value for 2012, the White Sox farm system has very little. The system that Baseball America ranked 27th prior to the 2011 season graduated most of its big league-ready talent (Chris Sale, Brent Morel, Dyan Viciedo, Tyler Flowers), leaving it severely depleted and perhaps the worst in baseball. Starting pitching depth is a major organizational concern, and I suspect Kenny Williams will look to bolster that area during the offseason. An abundance of promising relief arms in the Minor Leagues and an already deep Major League bullpen should allow for some trading leverage, but not much. And while the Sox surely have a few exciting athletes in the offensive pipeline (see Thompson & Mitchell), no one appears ready to make an impact with the bat. Beyond Addison Reed and Dylan Axelrod, I don’t really believe that any of these highlighted prospects will have much fantasy value in 2012. Maybe Kenny Williams Jr. Please, blog, may I have some more?