Chicago White Sox 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings according to Baseball America (2010)
2010 (19) | 2009 (16) | 2008 (28) | 2007 (26) | 2006 (14) | 2005 (12) | 2004 (20)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [88 – 74] AL Central
AAA: [67 – 77] International League – Charlotte
AA: [53 – 87] Southern League – Birmingham
A+: [81 – 58] Carolina League – Winston-Salem
A: [65 – 74] South Atlantic League – Kannapolis
R: [47 – 28] Pioneer League – Great Falls
R: [32 – 36] Appalachian League – Bristol

The Run Down
The White Sox minor league system played in a sandbox of disappointment in 2010. Their top prospect, Jared Mitchell, was out all of 2010 with a torn ACL; they traded their top pitching prospect (pre-draft) in Dan Hudson to Arizona for Edwin Jackson; their hyped catching prospect, Tyler Flowers, the prized piece in the Javier Vasquez trade, struggled all year; the other highly touted Cuban, Dayan Viciedo, showed some flashes of power in the majors but proved you can’t walk from Cuba to Florida; and Brent Morel showed enough potential to be an average at best corner infielder. With an aging team, the outlook of the future rests in some see-sawing prospects – Viciedo, Morel, Flowers – along with other high-ceiling prospects like Mitchell. The 2011 season might be the year that the White Sox actually utilize more than one prospect for the majority of the season. I could see Viciedo, Morel, and especially Chris Sale playing larger roles than expected. Flowers might have a mid-season call-up if he can thrive early in 2011.

Graduating Prospects
#13 (RHP) Sergio Santos

Arizona Fall League Players – Peoria Saguaros
Pitchers – (RHP) Anthony Carter; #27 (LHP) Charles Leesman; (RHP) Johnnie Lowe; (RHP) Henry Mabee
Hitters – #11 (C) Josh Phegley; #19 (SS) Eduardo Escobar. #1 (CF) Jared Mitchell

Players of Interest
#2 Tyler Flowers | C | D.o.B: 1-24-86 | Stats (AAA): .220/.334/.434 | 346 AB | 40 XBH | 16 Hr | .214 ISO | 2/1 SB/CS | 121:51 K:BB | .283 BABIP
Flowers struggled mightily at Triple-A this past year, posting disappointing numbers across the board. His lone bright spot would be the ISO rate (.214 ISO). Prior to the 2010 season, Flowers’ hitting has been bolstered by pre-2010 career .358 BABIP, this year his BABIP was substantially lower (.283 BABIP) than his career rate. Marc Hulet of FanGraphs states, “When he’s swinging well, the former Braves draft pick shows plus power and takes a ton of walks (along with a lot of Ks).” BA concurs. The 24-year-old catching prospect didn’t create any believers this past year as A.J. Pierzynski signed a two year contract extension on the second of December. With a career slash line of .148/.343/.185 in the majors with 13 strikeouts in 35 at-bats, the 2011 Spring Training and early 2011 minor league season will have a large bearing on his future with the fantasy world. The upside; Bill James has him hitting .242/.347/.452 with 21 Hr, 519 plate appearances and 121 games.

#7 Dayan Viciedo | 3B | D.o.B: 3-10-89 | Stats (AAA): .274/.308/.493 | 343 AB | 35 XBH | 20 Hr | .219 ISO | 1/1 SB/CS | 78:11 K:BB | .365 BABIP
No one questions Viciedo’s ability to hit, they question his size and his lack of walks. According to Baseball America, Viciedo has “tremendous opposite-field power … can drive the ball to all fields … soft hands … average arm … helpless against off-speed … slow.” Marc Hulet says, “Veteran pitchers … will eat Viciedo alive … there is little point in throwing strikes to him. Defensively, the Cuban is a poor fielder at third base … [should move] across the diamond … He has the raw power for the position.” In 106 major league plate appearances during the 2010 season, Viciedo hit .308/.321/.519 showing he won’t be walking much, but the power is definitely there. See an old Scouting the Unknown article for more details.

#4 Brent Morel | 3B | D.o.B: 4-21-87 | Stats (AA/AAA): .322/.359/.480 | 490 AB | 52 XBH | 10 Hr | .158 ISO | 8/5 SB/CS | .385 BABIP (AA); .363 BABIP (AAA)
Has the ability to help the major league squad in 2011 as he plays good defense, line drive contact driven swing and has the power to hit 15 home runs a year. Borderline third baseman that has thrived due to high BABIP. His line in the majors (.231/.271/.415 in 70 MLB plate-appearances) suggests some moderate power, as does his minor league numbers this past year as he had success at Double-A and Triple-A (AA: .326/.376/.440 in 203 plate-appearances; AAA: .320/.348/.503 in 324 plate-appearances). Morel is boring, but could provide value in deep leagues. Could be a Casey McGehee or another Felipe Lopez.

#5 Jordan Danks | CF | D.o.B: 8-7-87 | Stats (AAA): .245/.312/.373 | 445 AB | 38 XBH | 8 Hr | .128 ISO | 15/6 SB/CS | 151:41 K:BB | .349 BABIP
Danks 2010 season was equally as disappointing as last year in which the 2009 Minor League Review stated “The little brother of John Danks, Jordan plays good defense, lacks power, and has many scouts see-sawing on his future. Some scouts believe he will be able to add more homers and power once he adds more bulk to his frame, while others completely disagree, noting specifically his sketchy swing mechanics … His strikeout rate is worth noting, but he walks a fair amount too. He kind of reminds me of Denard Span – had a lot of hype, loses favor, and then surprises later than expected. He is more of a darkhorse/sleeper after his dismal 2009 season.” After another poor year, Danks, who has been aggressively pushed, will need to rebound to gain any fantasy traction, let alone prospect hype for the future.

#14 Stefan Gartrell | RF | D.o.B: 1-14-84 | Stats (AAA): .255/.316/.448 | 534 AB | 48 XBH | 27 Hr | .193 ISO | 4/2 SB/CS | 152:42 K:BB | .305 BABIP
Gartrell has been compared to Jermaine Dye, as he has a solid frame with good size and strength. Baseball America also says that he has a “solid” swing with power towards all fields and erratic plate-discipline. John Sickels calls him a “tweener,” and that he could help in “2011.” He may get an opportunity if he keeps hitting in 2011, but I fear his batting average and lack of walks indicates he has peaked.

Chris Sale | LHP | D.o.B: 3-30-89 | Stats: 12.3 K/9 | 3.9 BB/9 | 23 1/3 IP | 1.93 ERA | 2.74 FIP | 1.07 WHIP | .8 Hr/9 | 5.8 H/9 | .278 BABIP
Those are his MLB numbers. Need I say more? Fastball sits in low to mid 90’s – this may sit lower when he starts. He also throws a sharp slider and has a promising changeup. If Sale can maintain the 50% ground ball rate he had this past year when starting, he could easily be the AL ROY. Yeah, I said it.

#16 Carlos Torres | RHP | D.o.B: 10-22-82 | Stats (AAA): 7.9 K/9 | 4.0 BB/9 | 160 1/3 IP | 3.42 ERA | 3.89 FIP | 1.22 WHIP | .7 Hr/9 | 7.0 H/9 | .264 BABIP
Has historically been mentioned by Grey and myself as a sleeper candidate. Torres then usually drops a deuce on our announcement with a line in the majors of 5.59 FIP in 42 innings while throwing a 7.5 K/9 rate and 5.6 BB/9 rate. Sounds like I should quit touting him. He throws a “heavy” low 90s fastball, a plus cutter – works good against lefties – a curveball and a changeup, according to BA. Might be better used as a reliever.

#22 Jhonny Nunez | RHP | D.o.B: 11-26-85 | Stats (AA/AAA): 7.8 K/9 | 3.4 BB/9 | 95 1/3 IP | 4.53 ERA | 3.47 FIP (AA); 4.35 FIP (AAA) | 1.42 WHIP | .8 Hr/9 | 9.3 H/9 | .321 BABIP (AA); .333 BABIP (AAA)
He’s a reliever that throws mid 90s fastball that peaks at 97 MPH, a two-seam fastball that sits in the low 90s and a power slider. Sounds like the perfect White Sox reliever.

Honorable Mention
#19 Eduardo Escobar | SS | D.o.B: 1-5-89 | Stats (A+/AA): .277/.316/.393 | 570 AB | 43 XBH | 6 Hr | .116 ISO | 11/5 SB/CS | 111:32 K:BB | .352 BABIP (A+); .305 BABIP (AA)
Plays Gold Glove caliber defense but can’t hit — sounds a bit like another Escobar, Alcides. I have to say that Escobar should be looked at as a shortstop that probably will never hit much. Think Neifi Perez but with great defense.

#21 Christian Marrero | 1B/RF | D.o.B: 7-30-86 | Stats (AA): .270/.363/.383 | 488 AB | 38 XBH | 7 Hr | .113 ISO | 12/5 SB/CS | 85:72 K:BB | .311 BABIP
A light-hitting first baseman – there are only so many James Loney’s that the major leagues can handle. I vote for only one. Has good bat speed with an uppercut swing and looks to be a role player at best.

Andre Rienzo | RHP | D.o.B: 7-5-88 | Stats (A): 11.1 K/9 | 2.9 BB/9 | 101 IP | 3.65 ERA | 2.38 FIP | 1.26 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 8.5 H/9 | .360 BABIP
I couldn’t find any scouting reports on Rienzo, but in a pitching thin system a 11.1 K/9 rate definitely raises eyebrows — mine at least. He was “unlucky” (.360 BABIP), kept the ball in the park (.4 Hr/9) and had good control (2.9 BB/9). I think he might be a sleeper candidate to rise fast in the White Sox system.

#30 Justin Collop | RHP | D.o.B: 5-30-88 | Stats (A): 7.6 K/9 | 1.8 BB/9 | 154 1/3 IP | 4.26 ERA | 3.17 FIP | 1.30 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 9.9 H/9 | .342 BABIP
Throws a 88 to 93 MPH sinking fastball, a splitter, an inconsistent slider and sporadic changeup. John Sickels wanted him to improve his command and he did this past year. With a clean delivery and a good sinking fastball, Collop could rise fast in a pitching thin system. His 2010 season saw good command (1.8 BB/9), a decent strikeout rate (7.6 K/9) all the while being “unlucky” with a high BABIP (.342).

Gregory Infante | RHP | D.o.B: 7-10-87 | Stats (A+/AA): 10.4 K/9 | 4.0 BB/9 | 60 IP | 3.45 ERA | 2.64 FIP (A+); 2.10 FIP (AA) | 1.37 WHIP | .0 Hr/9 | 8.2 H/9 | .348 BABIP (A+); .364 BABIP (AA);
Helped by not allowing a home run in 2010 ( Career: .4 Hr/9), Infante showed value as a power throwing reliever. He has a 93 to 95 MPH fastball, very good curveball and an inconsistent changeup. Known to be erratic, Infante, at this point, is just worth a mention to keep on the radar.

  1. cws05nuts says:

    Rotation will probably Buehrle, Danks, Floyd, Jackson, and Sale. I’d rather see sweaty Freddie back in the rotation (I know he is bad) than Sale in the back. For the window that Kenny has made we need Sale, Santos, Nunez, and Crain to all succeed in the bullpen. That’s a stretch. I think we will see a pretty noticeable regression for Santos now that there is a sheet out on him and he’s going to need to learn at least two more pitches to have continued success. I think we saw that at the end of August and into September. Torres makes me wretch. He is terrible but also might end up being the fifth starter.

    Flowers seems to be out. Hence the new AJ paper. Morel and Viciedo will probably be on the roster. Which would be better than the warm body that is Mark Teahan. Healthy Jordan Danks and Mitchell would be awesome to see come around. Trade Carlos Quentin now! The Colby Rasmus rumors for Carlos made my dreams nicer. Nice writeup Steven.

  2. Chris says:

    I’d like to see what Sale can do as a starter, at the very least in spring training. I think the bullpen will be ok…Thorton, Crain, Santos, Nunez, Threets. Still can add another mediocre proven reliever too.

    Whether they let Morel or Dayan the Butcher play at 3B/9th in the lineup, I’m more than ok with that over Teahen. He deserves to be a super sub. I’m still a huge Quentin fan, but you can’t really say no to Rasmus if that’s actually an option. I just don’t see why so many people want to deal him away for some schmo reliever though. Yeah, he struggles with too many nagging injuries, but this is guy that should’ve won the AL MVP just a couple years ago. I would rather put him on the bench/DL to heal up every month than trade him for bleh bullpen help.

    As for the minor leaguers, I am very intrigued by Gartrell and Rienzo. Was not familiar with these guys before this report.

  3. Nando says:

    Sale is the man… and I’m not even a CWS fan. If healthy, I think we will see him thrive in whatever role they use him.

  4. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @cws05nuts: Thank you for the compliment. I don’t necessarily think Flowers is ruled out for the future, maybe immediate future, but not long-term. I look forward to what Mitchell can do and the hype surrounding Jordan Danks makes me curious still.

    @Chris: I would love to see Sale as a starter. I would be more excited for Dayan to start than Morel, especially for fantasy. re:Gartrell, but cautious with him, and Rienzo is me going out on a shaky limb.

    @Nando: Concur.

  5. airlifting says:

    don’t sell him too short, as sale’s avg. FB velo was 96.3mph, per fangraphs.

  6. airlifting says:

    also, carlos torres took a SP job in japan, iirc.

  7. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @airlifting: Wasn’t selling him short.

    @airlifting: Thanks for catching that. Signed with the Yomiuri Giants.

  8. Fanthead says:

    Stephen, great stuff.

    Am in a keepers’ league. My team is aging and I wanna try a youth movement–just for fun. Am considering letting go of Uggla for Matt Moore and Desmond Jennings (and a very good pick). Hate trading for hotshot minor league arms. All you have to do is check out predictions from a few years back to see so many now-forgotten sure-bets. But maybe, still, Matt Moore is a v. interesting investment?

    Tried to pry Trout or Hosmer or Moustakas but he’s calling them untouchable. Jennings would have been untouchable at the beginning of last year.

    Without further context, how highly would you and your crystal ball rate Jennings and Moore?

    If you can reply, many thanks.


  9. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @Fanthead: I love Matt Moore, simply love. As for Jennings, he’s a poor man’s Carl Crawford with an injury history that worries me. I personally would like to receive a different position player, however, I like the deal. What is the “very good pick”? Also, Hosmer and Moustakas were star prospects in pre-2009 and lost their shine after poor 2009 seasons. Now after great years, they are “can’t miss prospects.” Trout wasn’t even mentioned in the same breath as a Top 10 prospect last year either. The great thing with Jennings and Moore is that they are both at the cusp of the Major Leagues. Trout and Hosmer have at least another year, and Moustakas is close, but wont be pushed. Trading an aging MI seems like a good idea.

    Are there any other players you could target?

  10. FANTHEAD says:

    This is so helpful–gives me a new way to think on it, which is precisely what I needed. Happy Christmas!

  11. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @FANTHEAD: Good luck and enjoy the holidays.

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