Posted on: December 21, 2008 11:55 am
Edited on: December 22, 2008 12:50 pm

Sox Top Prospects (16-20)

16) Nevin Griffith, 6'2, 165lb - RHP - 19 years old:

Nevin, the White Sox second round selection in the 2007 draft, is an extremely talented, young pitcher. Armed with 4 possible plus pitches, he has the upside to be a #2-#3 type starter. Nevin started out very well this year, not allowing a run in his first two starts, but in his 3rd start, he was rocked, and it was later found out that he would need Tommy John reconstructive surgery, and will be out all of 2009.

Fastball: Nevin has advanced control over a 91-93 mph fastball, he definitely has room to fill out and add more velocity.
Slider: Nevin's slider checks in around 79-83 mph, has sharp bite, and he also has above average control over the pitch.
Change: It comes in around 81mph, he has a good feel for the pitch, but doesn't throw it with conviction, needs to be developed.
Curve:  Nevin throws a hard curve that comes in at 86-88 mph, it is another pitch with plus potential that he needs to work on.

In 8 games last year, Nevin had a 5.19 ERA, 7K/6BB, and allowed 14 hits against him.
This season, his numbers were impressive(over his 3 starts):
2.13 ERA, 12.2 IP, 12K/5BB, 0HR allowed.

Nevin coming back strong from Tommy John will be key to his development. The reason I haven't left him off of this list completely is due to his age, even after missing all of 2009, he will only be 21 in '10. If he can come back strong from the surgery and maintain his slider and fastball, he would still have the ability to become a mid-back end rotation starter, a lot like Edwin Jackson. If he can come back and get his change up and curveball up to the level of his fastball and slider, he could have that #2 starter potential, and still possibly be up by age 24-25.

Upside: A.J. Burnett
Expcted: Edwin Jackson
Downside: Miguel Batista

17) Lance Broadway, 6'3, 190lb, RHP - 25 years old:

I'm not even sure Broadway can be called a prospect anymore, at this point, it's looking like his max potential in the bigs is a #5 starter or a middle reliever. Broadway was selected with the 15th overall pick in 2005 draft, regarded as a safe pick, Broadway is a bust. He never has had much in terms of stuff, but he is very confident on the mound and is a true fighter on the bump. Broadway will have a chance to earn the 4th/5th starter role, along with Jeff Marquez, Aaron Poreda and Clayton Richard.

Fastball: Lance throws a 88-91 mph 2 seam fastball with good movement. At times it can be a strike out pitch, he is not afraid to throw it.
Change: 77-79 mph, comes out of his hand nicely and has flashes of decency.
Curve: Broadway calls his curve a "spike curveball" due to the way it drops off, it sits at 81 mph, he doesn't really have control over it.
Slider: Broadway doesn't throw it a lot, but it's a low-mid 80's pitch with decent movement.

Minor league #'s:
2005(A+): 11/11 GS, 55IP, 4.58 ERA, 58K/20BB, 11.1 h/9, 0.7 hr/9, 3.3 bb/9, 9.5 k/9, 1.60 WHIP
2006(AA): 25/25 GS, 154.1ip, 2.74 ERA, 111k/40bb, 9.3 h/9, 0.6 hr/9, 2.3 bb/9, 6.5 k/9, 1.30 WHIP
2007(AAA): 27/27 GS,155ip, 4.65 era, 108k/77bb, 9.0 h/9, 1.0 hr/9, 4.5 bb/9, 6.3 k/9, 1.50 WHIP
2008(AAA): 23/24 GS, 145 ip, 4.68 era, 101k/44bb, 10.3 h/9, 1.5 hr/9, 2.7 bb/9, 6.3 k/9, 1.45 WHIP

Overall Minor League Line(4 seasons):
28-27, 87/88 GS, 515.1 IP, 554h, 384k/183bb, 9.7h/9, 1.0 hr/9, 3.2bb/9, 6.7k/9, 1.43 WHIP

Lance is what he is, a guy with underwhelming stuff that will compete. If he's given a 5th starters spot and not expected to carry a team, he can be serviceable. I would expect a .500 record with a high 4's ERA out of him regularily.

Upside: Jon Garland
Expected: Tim Redding
Downside: Ronald McDonald

18) Sergio Miranda, 5'9, 180lbs, 21 years old - SS:

Sergio is a switch hitting, speedy shortstop. He has a well above average glove and has #2 hitter potential. He nearly always puts the ball in play, as he rarely strikes out and rarely walks, in a sense, he is similar to Orlando Cabrera there. Miranda is a singles hitter right now, but there is always the chance that he gains some power. He has a quick stroke and makes very good contact, keeping at bats alive and making pitchers throw more pitches.

Minor League #'s:
2007(A): 238 Ab's, .282/.384/.349, .733 OPS, 1hr/30rbi, 37bb/27K, 5SB/3CS
2008(A): 216 ab's, .306/.383/.375, .758 OPS, 2hr, 35 RBI, 23bb/26k, 2sb/7CS
2008(A+): 110 AB's, .209/.250/.291, .541 OPS, 12RBI, 5SB/5CS 7bb/15k

Miranda struggled in A+, although he should start there next year, and he excelled in A ball. He is barely anything more than a singles hitter, but he provides well above average defense at any middle infield position, and despite his SB numbers, is very fast. He makes great contact and has a 67/68 BB/K ratio, he looks to be at the very least a utility player.

Upside: Jason Bartlett
Expected: Nick Punto
Downside: Pablo Ozuna

19) Brent Morel, 6'1, 220lbs, 3b - 21 yars old:

Morel was the Sox 3rd round choice in 2008, he has a very strong glove at 3rd base, and is also capable of playing 2b. Morel's swing is a little long, but he doesn't produce much power or strike out much. He has average speed and a well above average arm. Morel is a very hard worker and an alert baserunner. Some believe he may be suited to play catcher do to his arm and alertness. Morel was a very clutch hitter throughout college and could be in Chicago as either a 3B, 2B or utility man in 2-3 years.

2008(a): 64 AB's, .375/.437/.438, .875 OPS, 3rbi, 5 SB/0CS, 6bb/7k
2008(a+) 172 AB's, .297/.359/.459, .818 OPS, 6HR/24 RBI, 7sb/2cs, 16bb/28k

Morel's A+ line may very well be what his major league line would look like, he certainly has the upside to ht .290/.350/.450, but he has to continue to keep his K's down. Much like Josh Fields, he has above average speed for 3b and is very alert on the basepaths, leading to his SB's, he has 15-25 SB potential, and I think he'd be a great #2 hitter.

Upside: Casey Blake
Expected: Brandon Inge
Downside: Mike Lamb

20) Jose Martinez, 6'5, 170lbs, CF - 19 years old:

Jose was an undrafted free agent, and may have been a great sign. The son of former major leaguer Carlos Martinez, Jose has well above average speed, great instincts in the outfield, and a great arm. He doesn't have much power as of now, but he definitely has the frame to fill out. If he adds some muscle and can get up to around 200lbs by the time he is 23-24, he could be a 5 tool prospect. His swing is a bit loopy right now, but he gets good extension and really hits the ball well.

Minor League Numbers:
245 ab's, .282/.348/.437, .785 OPS, 7hr/37rbi, 12sb/2cs, 22bb/53k
2008(A): 144 ab's, .306/.359/.382, .741 OPS, 2hr/18 rbi, 7sb/5cs, 12bb/26k

Jose, like many young latin players, needs to refine his strike zone knowledge and lay off more bad pitches. He is especially susceptible to the high fastball. However, he has a ton of raw talent, and his upside is huge. He could end up as a 20-20 type Center Fielder, or he may never sniff the majors.

Upside: David DeJesus
Expected: Willy Taveras
Melky Cabrera

Well, that does it for the prospects, I hope you guys enjoyed it!

Category: MLB
Tags: White Sox
Posted on: December 7, 2008 3:47 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2008 11:59 am

Sox Top Prospects (11-15)

11) Jon Gilmore, 6'3, 195lb - 3B - 20 years old:

Jon Gilmore is an extremely toolsy player. He plays solid defense, is able to run, and has a ton of raw power. He stands at 6'3, 195' and has a great frame. Chances are he will fill out even more and get more power. I've read that he is comparable to (soon to be) former Sox 3B Joe Crede with more offense.

He hasn't really shown up outside of rookie ball (where he has a .316 average in about 100 games), but he is still 20 years old.

Here are his minor league stats: .291/.313/.379 w/ a .692 OPS, 5 HR, 29 doubles, the concern is: 19BB/89K

This is an excerpt from

"Jon Gilmore is a 2007 SS/3B/P with a 6'3'', 195 lb. frame from Iowa City, IA, who attends City High. Gilmore has a great frame with present strength and athleticism. Defensively he has smooth actions at third base with good footwork. He has the range to make all the plays, and outstanding arm strength to make the play deep down the line. At the plate he has plus bat speed with raw power. Gilmore gets leverage at the point of contact and can drive the ball to all parts of the field. During game action, he hit balls very hard to the opposite field and back up the middle. Gilmore also showed the ability to stay on the breaking ball and hit it to the opposite field with authority. Great makeup and loves to play. Great upside to this already extremely talented player"

Upside: Troy Glaus
Expected: Joe Crede
Downside: Johnny Peralta

12) Steven Upchurch, 6'4, 180lb - RHP - 19 years old:

Steven Upchurch was a 12th round pick in the 2008 draft, but he was projected to be anywhere from a sandwich pick between the 1st & 2nd rounds to a 3rd rounder. He slipped due to signability concerns, and a verbal agreement to Auburn; however, the White Sox drafted him anyway and offered him a 128K signing bonus, and he accepted.

Upchurch is a tall, lanky pitcher, standing at 6'5, he figures to fill out more, as he only weighs 180 pounds now. With his projectable frame, and potential to gain more mileage on the fastball, Upchurch has a chance to be a very good pitcher. As of right now, I would say he has the potential to be an ace. Before you get excited, you have to remember that he is only 19 and still has a good 2-3 years in the minors before we could consider calling him up.

He has great mechanics, he pitches from a smooth, effortless, over-the-top motion and gets a great angle to the plate. He throws 3 pitches right now, a 89-93 running fastball, a change up, and a curve. His throwing motion suggests that he could develop a nice slider, if the Sox want him to.

Fastball: Upchurch has a 89-93 mph fastball that has some great run on it, he is expected to gain more mileage on the fastball as his body fills out, and could eventually has a 91-96 type fastball, comparable to Justin Verlanders (he probably won't be able to touch 100 as Verlander has done, but it will be close).

Change Up: Upchurch has an advanced change up for his age. He has good control over it and has a great feel for the pitch. It comes out of his hand nicely and has good sinking action, has a chance to be an above average pitch.

Curve: Upchurch's curve has a chance to be a well above average pitch. After he pitches an entire season next year (barring injury), I wouldn't be surprised to see Baseball America rank his curve as the best in our system.

During his junior year, Upchurch went 5-4 w/ a 2.21 ERA and 83 K's in 59 innings. During his senior year, he was 13-0.

In Bristol, Upchurch started out of the bullpen, and dominated the talent he faced down there, his line:

2-2, 3.26 ERA, 7G/4GS, 30.1 IP, 28K/10BB, 6.82 H/9, 1.19 HR/9, 2.97 BB/9, 8.31 K/9, 1.09 WHIP.

I would expect Upchurch to start out in Bristol again next season, but if he continues to dominate for his first few starts, he should be bumped up to Kannapolis. A strong season there could have him starting in AA at age 20 in 2010.

Upside: Justin Verlander
James Shields
Downside: Jeremy Bonderman

13) John Ely, 6'1, 200lb - RHP - 22 years old:

Ely was selected in the 3rd round of the 07 draft, the same draft that netted us Aaron Poreda, and he couldn't be any different than the big left. Ely is a soft tosser, his fastball tops out around 92-93, but it sits comfortably at 88-90 with very good movement. Ely throws a 2-Seam fastball, a Curve, and a very good change:

Fastball: Good 2-Seam movement, good control over the pitch, average velocity - Sits at 88-90, tops out at 92-93.
Curve: Average pitch, good control over it, can be hung, 76 mph average.
Change: Very deceptive, comes out looking like the fastball, and then falls away, true power change, great control over the pitch, strike out pitch, 75-78mph.

Minor League Stats:

2007, Rookie League (21 years old): 6-1, 3.86 ERA, 12/13 GS, 56.0 IP, 6 HR allowed, 14BB/56K, 8.84 H/9, 0.96 HR/9, 2.25 BB/9, 9.00 K/9, 1.23 WHIP
2008, A+ (22 years old): 10-12, 4.71 ERA, 27/27 GS, 145.1 IP, 18 HR allowed, 46/134 BB/K, 8.79 H/9, 1.11 HR/9, 2.85 BB/9, 8.30 K/9, 1.29 WHIP

Overall Minor League Line(2 seasons): 16-13, 4.48 ERA, 39/40 GS, 201.1 IP, 60BB/190K, 8.82 H/9, 1.07 HR/9, 2.69 BB/9, 8.50 K/9, 1.28 WHIP

Ely is what he is, a guy with underwhelming stuff that knows how to pitch. During 08, he went through about a month long stretch where he got absolutely rocked, he pitched much better than that line for the rest of the season. Ely will have to get better control over his curve ball, maintain his fastball and change, and probably develop a cutter or a slider if he wants to be an effective major league starter.

Upside: Jered Weaver
Expected: Joe Blanton
Downside: Tim Redding

14) Eduardo Escobar, 5'10, 150lb - SS - 19 years old:

Eduardo was one of the 18-and-under Latin middle infielders signed in 07, but he wasn't considered to be the best. That honor went to Juan Silverio, who since then has been accused of in fact being 21 years old, and he didn't hit or play the field well, figuring to be converted to 3rd base. Escobar, however, salvaged the signings by exceeding expectations at a very young age. He is very aggressive at the plate, but he is a very highly regarded defensive SS, and has shown the some speed.

Minor League Stats: (He played 4 games in the rookie league, I don't want to add that, just say he raked)
2008, A Ball (19 years old):
60 Games, 243 AB's, .267/.302/.300, 602 OPS, 0HR/22 RBI, 4SB/3CS, 13BB/65K

Obviously, he is still very raw, but Escobar has all of the tools needed to be a successful major leaguer. Once again, the strike-outs will have to come down, but that is a problem many young latin players face, and will probably be the key to him reaching the majors.

Upside: Edgar Renteria
Expected: Yuniesky Betancourt

Downside: Bobby Crosby

15) Jeff Marquez, 6'2, 190lb - RHP - 24 years old:

Jeffrey Marquez was drafted by the Yankees in the supplemental first round(#41 overall), he has a chance to be a solid 4-5 starter. Marquez has a nice frame and good mechanics, and a good sinker that will suit him well at the Cell. He has been compared to Jon Garland, which I think is accurate. His sinker isn't as good as Garland's, but it has a chance to be an average pitch. He throws with more velocity than Garland and actually has a really nice change up, but his curve ball and slider are below average pitches that should only be used to keep hitters honest. 

Fastball: 90-94 MPH, good sinking action, good control over the pitch, keeps it down in the zone.
Change: Best "K" pitch he has, true power change, comparable to Javier Vazquez's change, runs in at 76-79 mph.
Curve: Decent pitch, checks in around 75-78, has nice bite but not a lot of control over it.
Slider: Mid 80's, nice control, not a ton of bite, but it actually has a chance to be a league average pitch.

Minor League stats:
(i trimmed off some of the DCL/Rookie league starts he made after coming back from a few injuries, overall, those are useless)

2005, A-Ball: 9-13, 139.2 IP, 3.42 era, 27/27 GS, 61bb/107k, 8.89 h/9, 0.26 hr/9, 3.93 bb/9, 6.90 k/9, 1.42 WHIP
2006, A+: 7-5, 92.1 ip, 3.61 era, 17/18 GS, 29bb/82k, 9.94 h/9, 0.39 hr/9, 2.83 bb/9, 7.99 k/9, 1.42 WHIP
2007, AA: 15-9, 155.1 IP, 3.65 era, 27/27 GS, 44bb/94k, 7.04 h/9, 0.00 hr/9, 4.11 bb/9, 5.45 k/9, 1.35 WHIP
2008: AAA: 6-7, 80.2 ip, 4.69 era,14/14 gs, 24bb/33k 10.38 h/9, 1.34 hr/9, 2.68 bb/9, 3.68 k/9, 1.45 WHIP 

Overall Minor League Line(5 seasons): 43-40, 560 ip, 3.60 era, 104/108 GS, 191bb/396k, 9.46 h/9, 0.55 hr/9, 3.07 bb/9, 6.36 k/9, 1.39 WHIP.

Marquez has had a nice minor league career, he gets some unfair criticism and people have said he'll never play in the majors due to his lackluster AAA season, but he was coming off of an injury and didn't have all of his velocity. While he probably won't have a 3.60 era in the majors, his periphials look like they could be transfered over. It's a great thing that he doesn't allow a lot of home runs, and that's why I think Kenny sees him as our 5th starter.

If I had to guess, I'd say Marquez average line would be something like: 12-10, 4.50 era, 200 IP, 68bb/140k.

Upside: Chien-Ming Wang
Expected: Jon Garland
Downside: Kip Wells

You can see him here:

Category: MLB
Tags: White Sox
Posted on: November 22, 2008 1:51 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2008 1:09 pm

Sox Top Prospects (6-10)

6) Clayton Richard, 6'5, 240lb - LHP - 24 years old:

Richard was a bit of a surprise this season, he started the season in A ball, and dominated the minors on his way to the big leagues. Richard's first impression wasn't a great one, as he struggled in his first few starts. I believe the defining moment of his season was his start at Yankee Stadium, 6 & 2/3 innings of 2 run ball. He was useful out of the bullpen down the stretch, and was impressive in the playoffs keeping us in the game when Javier Vazquez laid an egg. Clayton should at least be in the discussion for the 5th starter role next year.

Clayton has a high jerky leg kick with a High Three Quarters release point. His fastball normally sits at 88-91, but as we all saw, he has the ability to crank it up to 93-95, which suggests that he could be effective out of the bullpen if they fill out the rotation with veterans. His breaking pitch is a low 80's sweeper. It's more of a slurve than anything, it breaks across the entire plate when he's throwing it well. The work in progress pitch is his change up, he isn't afraid to throw it to left handers, and he's shown that it can be a good pitch.

His minor league numbers:

2006(22 years old) A:
6-6, 3.76 ERA, 18G/17GS, 95.2IP/117H, 24BB/54K, H/9 = 11.01, BB/9 = 2.63, K/9 = 5.08, HR.9 = 0.00, WHIP = 1.52
2006(22 years old A+: 1-3, 4.56 ERA, 4/4 GS, 23.2IP/29H, 6BB/12K, H/9 = 11.03, BB/9 = 2.28, K/9 = 4.56, HR/9 = 0.76, WHIP = 1.48
2007(23 years old) A+: 8-12, 3.63ERA, 28G/27GS, 161.1IP/159H, 59BB/99K, H/9 = 8.87, BB/9 = 3.29, K/9 = 5.52, HR/9 = 0.61, WHIP = 1.35
2008(24 years old) A+: 6-0, 2.45 ERA, 7/7GS, 44IP/33H, 4BB/33K, H/9 = 6.75, BB/9 = 0.82, K/9 = 6.75, HR/9 = 0.61, WHIP = 0.84
2008(24 years old) AA: 6-6, 2.47 ERA, 13/13GS, 83.2IP/66H, 16BB/53K, H/9 = 7.10, BB/9 = 1.72, K/9 = 5.70, HR/9 = 0.22, WHIP = 0.98
2008(24 years old) AAA: 6-0, 2.37 ERA, 6/6GS, 38.0IP/25H, 4BB/29K, H/9 = 5.92, BB/9 = 0.95, K/9 = 6.87, HR/9 = 0.47, WHIP = 0.76

Overall Minor League Line(4 seasons): 29-29, 3.35 ERA, 79/83 GS, 459.2 IP, 126BB/298K, 8.92 H/9, 0.41 HR/9, 2.47 BB/9, 5.84 K/9, 1.27 WHIP

If you count in his major league record of 2-5, Clayton finished 20-11 over 4 different levels of baseball this season. He probably won't ever win 20 games in the majors, but he took a huge step forward this season in cutting down his walks and hits, which basically means he increased his control. If he can keep his control, I don't see why he couldn't be a quality starter. He won't be Mark Buehrle or John Danks, but he definitely looks like a 200 inning, 3.80-4.00 ERA type of guy.

Upside: Jaime Moyer
Expected: Jeff Francis

Downside: Doug Davis

You can see video of Richard here:

7) Brandon Allen, 6'2, 235lb - 1B - 22 years old:

Brandon Allen has superstar skills, a mobile, left handed swinging, powerful 1st base prospect. The thing that kept him from getting drafted higher out of high-school was his lack of strike-zone/pitch recognition. His first 2 years in the minors were tough for him, as he had rather unspectacular stats both years. His first year in Kannapolis was also a disaster, as he hit .213 with only 14 HR's. However, his last 2 seasons have vaulted him up the list, as he's hit around .280 both years and hit a combined 47 home runs.

His swing is a little long, but he generates a good amount of power. His eye at the plate is getting better, but he is still prone to swinging at balls, especially breaking pitches. Although 1st basemen aren't normally fleet of foot, he actually has had 39 steals in 5 minor league seasons, and had 17 last year. His defense isn't great, he had 15 errors last season, but he's obviously athletic enough to play 1st regularily.

His minor league numbers:

2004(Bristol, 18 y/o): 185 AB's, .205/.280/.314, 594 OPS, 3HR/23RBI, 16BB/60K, 3SB/2CS
2005(Grt. Falls, 19y/o): 231 AB's, 264 .366 .472,  838 OPS, 11HR/42RBI, 32BB/69K, 7SB/CS
2006(A, 20y/o): 395 AB's, .213 .257 .382, 639 OPS, 15HR/71RBI, 22BB/126K, 6SB/4CS
2007(A, 20y/o): 516 AB's, .283 .337 .483, 820 OPS, 18HR/93RBI, 39BB/124K, 7SB/4CS
2008(A+, 22 y/o): 319 AB's,  279 .372 .527, 899 OPS, 15HR/44RBI, 41BB/81K, 14SB/3CS
2008(AA, 22y/o): 153 AB's, .275 .358 .614, 920 OPS, 14HR/31RBI, 19BB/41K, 3SB/1CS

Overall Minor League Line(5 Seasons): 492 Games, 1799 AB's, .256/.326/.461, 787 OPS, 169BB/503K

As you can plainly see, the strike-outs are a concern, but the rest of the stats look good. Allen has been compared to Ryan Howard, but he won't have that much power or as many walks. A poor man's Ryan Howard? Yes. But he still looks like a good 4-6 hitter in the future with some mobility.

Upside: Connor Jackson
Expected: Scott Hatteberg
Downside: Mike Jacobs

8A) Chris Getz, 6'0, 185lb - SS/2B/3B/LF - 25 years old:

Chris Getz was a 4th round pick out of Michigan in 2005, he is a scrappy little player, and can play average to above average at several positions. Getz is very fast, but stealing bases has never been his niche. He may strike many as a slap hitter, but Getz does have some pop in his bat, as he had 36 XBH's in 404 AB's this season (1 XBH every 11 AB's). Overall, Getz is a line drive hitter who can spray the ball all over the field. One concern with Getz may be injuries/durability, as he is rather small and injured his wrist in 2007, which caused him to miss half the season.

Getz has simple mechanics and a quick swing, he is a prototypical high-average hitter.

Minor League Numbers:

2005 A (21 years old): 55 Games, 214 AB's, .304/.407/.397, 804 OPS, 1HR/28 RBI, 11SB/4CS, 35BB/10K
2006 AA (22 years old): 130 Games, 508 AB's, .256/.326/.321, 647 OPS, 2HR/36RBI, 18SB/6CS, 52BB/47K
2007 AA (23 years old): 72 Games, 278 AB's, .299/.382/.381, 763 OPS, 3HR/29RBI, 13SB/7CS, 36BB/30K

2008 AAA (24 years old): 111 Games, 404 AB's, .302/.366/.408, 814 OPS, 11HR/52RBI, 11SB/4CS, 41BB/53K

Overall Minor League Line (4years): 374 Games, 1428 AB's, .286/.361/.381, 742 OPS, 55SB/22CS, 165BB/142K

As you can plainly see, Getz has a very good eye at the plate, and knows how to work the count and take a walk. Also, his power numbers jumped in 2008, as he was totally healthy the majority of the year. He isn't going to get 50 SB's, but if he could polish up his technique, he could be a mid 20's guy. Overall, Getz is a prototypical #2 hitter in the majors.

Upside: Kazuo Matsui
Expected: Akinori Iwamura
Downside: Nick Punto

You can see Getz here(Thanks to Soxmachine for uploading the video to youtube, Getz starts at about 0:40):

9) Brent Lillibridge, 5'11, 190lb-SS/2B/OF - 25 years old:

Brent is a lot like Getz in a lot of ways. Both are scrappy players that play plus defense and have a good chance to be successful major leaguers. Getz is more of a polished product in my opinion, but Lillibridge has more tools. He's seen as a guy who could max out around .280/.350/.410, he has 15 home run pop and has the speed to steal 40+ bases. Durability could be an issue, as he is undersized. The problem with Brent is that he is a #1 or #2 hitter that thinks he is a #3 or #4. He tries way too hard to be way too much, he swings for the fences quite a bit. If they could calm him down at the plate, he could reach his potential. Lillibridge also plays well above average defense at SS and 2B.

In 4 minor league seasons, he has amassed this line:
399 Games, 1524 AB's, .270/.352/.421 w/ a .773 OPS, 174BB/348K, 34HR/186RBI, 80doubles/24 triples, 127SB/35CS.

Last season was bad for him, he has some injuries and bounced back and forth from AAA to Atlanta, he put up this dismal line:
90 Games, 355 AB's, .220/.294/.344 w/ a .638 OPS, he walked 33 times and K'd 90 times.

But in 2007, he split the season in AA&AAA, and here were his lines:
AA: 52 Games, 204 AB's, .275/.355/.387 w/ a .742 OPS, 20BB/60K, 14SB/7CS
AAA: 87 Games, 321 AB's, .287/.331/.436 w/ a .767 OPS, 20BB/59K, 28SB/5CS, he had 14HR and 61 RBI.

And before that, he had two tremendous seasons hitting .308/.422/.418 w/ a 840 OPS & 24 SB, & .299/.414/.522 w/ a .936 OPS & 28 SB's.

So, which is the real Brent Lillibridge? The possible .270/.350/.400 guy with plus defense, or the .220/.290/.340 guy that showed up this season? He'll get a shot at 2B this spring, and I think a lot of our answers may come then.

Upside: Rafael Furcal
Expected: Jason Bartlett

Downside: Khalil Greene

10) John Shelby Jr, 5'10, 185lb - CF/2B - 23 years old:

The son of former major leaguer John Shelby, jr. was selected in the 5th round in '05 and has some major skills. He has a sweet right handed swing, he generates good torque and has very good bat speed. He was drafted as a middle infielder, probably a 2nd baseman, but the club wanted to move him to the outfield. We got a taste of his potential outfield D this spring when he made a game saving, diving catch in RF as a defensive replacement. Shelby has settled into CF, and will probably battle Jordan Danks for the honor of being the Sox centerfielder in a few seasons.

Shelby missed 3 weeks in 08 due to an injury.

Minor League Numbers:

2006, Rookie League (21 years old): 69 Games, 250 AB's, .272/.332/.432, 764 OPS, 7SB/4CS, 18BB/55K
2007, A (22 years old): 122 Games, 488 AB's, .301/.352/.508, 860 OPS, 16HR/79RBI 19SB/8CS, 35BB/77K
2008, A+ (23 yeard old) 114 Games, 447 AB's, .295/.331/.510, 841 OPS, 15HR/80RBI, 33SB/5CS, 22BB/98K

Overall Minor League Line(3 season): 302 Games, 1185 AB's, .293/.340/.493, 833 OPS, 59SB/17CS, 75BB/230K

Shelby certainly has good tools, as he has shown power and speed along with a consistent OPS, but he has got to cut down on his K's and raise his walks if he wants to make it to the majors. Changing positions may have had hampered his concentration, which would explain the jump in K's, but even if it did, he has got to cut down on them. If he doesn't, he may never make the majors, and surely will not start.

Upside: Aaron Rowand
Expected: Geoff Jenkins
Downside: Jay Payton

Category: MLB
Tags: White Sox
Posted on: October 22, 2008 4:04 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2008 9:42 am

Sox Top Prospects (1-5)

I've decided to rank our top 25 prospects in our system, for the sake of my own sanity/laziness, I'm only going to do 5 at a time.

1) Gordon Beckham, 6'0, 185lb - SS - 21 years old:

Gordon is an elite middle infield prospect, the Number 8 overall pick in the 2008 draft has nearly no flaws in his game. Most believe that Beckham will play 2B in the majors, with Alexei Ramirez moving to short, but the Sox plan on playing Beckham at SS throughout his minor league career. He does have the tools to play there, contrary to some reports, he has very good speed and range, an above average arm, and good instincts at the position. If anything keeps him from playing the premier middle infield position, it'll be his hands (unless Alexei Ramirez provides great D at SS).

Beckham's swing has a few mechanical issues, but it's comparable to the swing of Alex Rodriguez. Beckham and Rodriguez have similar leg kicks, although Rodriguez generates more power with his kick (then again, he hits 35-50 HR's yearly), Beckham also does a good job of rotating his hips, which allows the ball to get deeper and generates more power. The main flaw in Beckham's swing is that he puts too much weight on his back leg, which can cause his hips to fly open and not rotate as fluidly.

Beckham has shown that he can hit with wood bats, the following is a direct quote from http://www.collegebaseballprospects

"This past summer playing for the Yarmouth Dennis Red Sox, Beckham showed scouts what kind of damage he could do with wood. He displayed the most power on the Cape for a middle infielder since Evan Longoria, leading the CCBL with nine home runs and tied Miami's Dennis Raben for league best with 35 RBI. He was second in extra base hits (19) to Wichita State's Conor Gillaspie and had a .284 batting average".

His numbers in college were:
2006 (19 years old):  286 AB's, .280/.349/.490, 838 OPS, 12HR/54RBI, 27BB/56K, 5SB/1CS
2007 (20 years old):  228 AB's, .307/.399/.570, 969 OPS, 13HR/51RBI, 31BB/33K, 6SB/6CS
2008 (21 years old):  285 AB's, .397/.505/.781, 1323 OPS(!?!?!) 21HR/65RBI, 47BB/29K, 17SB/1CS

As you can see, his numbers increased every year during college, especially his K/BB ratio, and he showed great speed and stealing technique his senior year. For a comparison, the most steals Jacoby Ellsbury ever had in a college season was 26, Ellsbury stole 50 bases this year. Now I'm not saying Becks can do that, but I don't think 30 would be out of the question.

Finally, his minor league line this season looked like:
58 AB's, .310/.365/.500, 865 OPS, 3HR/8RBI, 5BB/7K, 0SB/1CS

That's obviously a very small sample size, Becks only played 14 games this season down there, and he's currently playing in the challenging Arizona Fall League, however, he isn't getting consistant playing time, Ian Desmond from the Nationals was committed to the Peoria Saguaros before Beckham, so Becks' playing time is sporadic.

Becks AFL Line was(remember, he was a utility player):
18 Games, 66 AB's, .394/.468/.652, 1119 OPS, 3HR/13RBI, 0SB/1CS, 8BB/14K

Upside: Chase Utley
Expected: Michael Young
Downside: Aaron Hill

You can see video of Gordon Beckham in the AFL here:

2) Dayan Viciedo, 6'0, 210lb - 3B/1B/OF - 19 years old: (Die-On Vee-See-A-Doe)

Viciedo does not have an MILB player profile yet.

We all know about him by now, the "Cuban Babe Ruth" is going to sign with the White Sox within a few days (VISA issues.), it has been reported that he will get a 4 year/11 million ML contract (The Sox will have control over him afterwards, as they will have 2 arbitration years), and has been very highly hyped by many (including myself), but we may be thinking a bit too highly of him. He has a strong body, and is an adequate 3rd baseman, but he is very young and raw. He was playing Pro-Cuban ball by age 14, and by age 16 he was hitting over .335(Alexei Ramirez was a career .330+ hitter there), he played on the Cuban Junior National team, and was on the 60 man roster for Cuba during the WBC.

Dayan had very high expectations in Cuba, and he may have let them get to his head. Some reports stated that he was lazy and didn't feel like working out, and he got by on his reputation alone. He does have the potential to be a magnificent player, and he is only 19 years old. His agent, Jamie Torres, claims that Dayan is ready to play in the major leagues right now, and hopes that Viciedo can get some winter ball in for conditioning.

I do not know much about Dayan, I do however know that he is very large and burly, and I've heard 2 interviews of people who've seen him play, one said that he was an adequate 3rd baseman, and the other said he was very rangey at SS, which means he'd be an above average 3B. He worked out in front of many teams, and showed the ability to play the outfield, and was said to have a very strong arm.

The main thing that got Dayan so much attention (We know for sure that at the very least, the White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees and Astros offered him a contract, and one offered to move their current 3B to let him play. The White Sox offered him an open competition with Josh Fields and Wilson Betemit) is his bat. With his body, it is easy to see him hitting 40+ home runs some day, but if he is like most cubans, he will be lacking plate discipline. The White Sox will have to work with him (either in the bigs if he has an Alexei-Esque spring, or probably in AAA) on taking pitches.

Baseball America ranked Dayan our second best prospect, behind only Gordon Beckham, and acknowledged that he has all of the necessary tools.

Viciedo had 36 homers and 162 RBIs with a .287 average over four years in Cuba's top league while playing 327 games.

Upside: Miguel Cabrera
Expected: Troy Glaus
Downside: Adrian Beltre

You can see video of Dayan Viciedo here:

3) Aaron Poreda 6'6, 240lb - LHP - 22 years old:

Poreda is a very interesting young pitcher with a tremendous upside. He is tall and bulky at 6'6, 240, and has a Low - Three Quarters release point. Some people have been scared off by the angle he throws at, but he has shown no health problems in the past. Early in college, he threw 87-90, but during his junior season, his body filled out and he began throwing in the low - high 90's.

His fastball is his best pitch, ranging from 91-98 MPH with heavy sink. His slider and change up are both works in progress, but have chances to be average - above average pitches. When it is on, the slider is a sharp breaker that can be devastating, when it's bad, hitters can see the movement and judge where it will end up, causing them to lay off of it. His change up may be a problem, he needs to learn how to control it better from his arm angle, another year in the minors could be the ticket for Aaron.

His college numbers:

2005(18 years old): 2-0, 2.16 ERA, 14G/2GS, 33.1IP/24H, 14BB/26K, WHIP = 1.14, H/9 = 6.48, K/9 = 7.02, BB/9 = 3.78, HR/9 = 0.27 
2006(19 years old): 8-5, 2.49 ERA, 18G/17GS, 112IP/116H, 28BB/75K, WHIP = 1.29, H/9 = 9.32, K/9 = 6.03, BB/9 = 2.25, HR/9 = 0.40
2007(20 years old): 7-6, 2.81 ERA, 14/14 GS, 99.2/IP/93H, 18BB/65K, WHIP = 1.11, H/9 = 8.40, K/9 = 5.96, BB/9 = 1.63, HR/9 = 0.63

Overall, Poreda's numbers were great, he kept a low WHIP and miniscule HR/9 rate throughout his career, while lowering his walks every season and keeping a sub-3 ERA.

One cause for concern was his strike-outs, the decreased every season, and reached a career low when he got his big fastball, that leads me to believe that he started to throw his fastball too much, and with his lack of breaking stuff, hitters were able to sit on it.

Poreda has vastly improved his Slider since college, giving hitters another thing to think about on the mound, and working on his change up is still an issue if he wants to be a starter.

His minor league numbers have been stellar:

A: 4-0, 1.17 ERA, 12G/8GS, 46.1IP/29H, 10BB/48K, WHIP = 0.84, H/9 = 5.63, K/9 = 9.32, BB/9 = 1.94, HR/9 = 0.19
A+: 5-5, 3.31 ERA, 12/12GS, 73.1IP/67H, 18BB/46K, WHIP = 1.16, H/9 = 8.22, K/9 = 5.65, BB/9 = 2.21, HR/9 = 0.12
AA: 3-4, 2.98 ERA, 15/15GS, 87.2IP/82H, 22BB/72K, WHIP = 1.17, H/9 = 8.32, K/9 = 7.39, BB/9 = 2.26, HR/9 = 0.51

Overall, he has had a very successful minor league career to this point, his K/9 numbers have been inconsistent, but I believe that his 7.39 in AA will be very close to what he does in the majors(7.39 K/9 projected over a full 200 innings is roughly 165 K's, think John Danks).

Upside: Cole Hamels
Expected: A.J. Burnett

Downside: Reliever

You can see 5+ minutes of Aaron here:

Tyler Flowers - C 6'4, 248lb - 22 years old:

Tyler Flowers is an interesting prospect, to say the least. Busted for PED's several years ago, Flowers served his 50 day suspension, and followed it up with a knee injury that caused him to play 1st base for about half a year. After his knee fully healed, Flowers returned to Catching, and continued to rake. Flowers defense is criticized, but after further inspection, I've read that he calls a good game, and that his main problem is throwing runners out. His arm is average, and his size and technique make for a rough time throwing. While it looks like Flowers could come up and be a Catcher for the first half of his career, a move to 1B is inevitable.

Flowers bat is his true gift, he has gap power to all fields, and has the frame to hit 25+ home runs. Flowers is a very patient hitter, and hits for a good average. He is willing to take the ball back up the middle and the other way, and he has great pull power.

In 3 minor league seasons, his line has been:

262 Games, 931 AB's, .291/.400/.488 w/ a .888 OPS, 34HR/174RBI, 75 doubles, 163BB/206K,

Last season in A+ ball, he put up this line:

122 Games, 413 AB's, .288/.427/.494 w/ a .921 OPS, 17HR/88 RBI, 32 doubles, 98BB/102K's. He threw out 28% of baserunners

Kenny Williams lives in Arizona and scouts the AFL himself, he himself saw Flowers put up this line against some of the top prospects in the game:

20 games, 75 AB's, .387/.460/.973 w/ a 1.433 OPS (!?), 12HR/23RBI. He led the league in HR by 3 I believe, and out OPS'd everyone by at least .210

It's probably pretty obvious to you what type of player Flowers will be, a slugger. He has a great BB/K ratio for a power hitter, and he has put up some very nice OPS's so far. That said, he figures to open up in AA, and could be in Chicago by the time AJ's deal is up in 2 years.

Upside: Brian McCann
Expected: Benji Molina
Downside: Ramon Hernandez

You can see him here, bad ending, but it gives you a sense of what he looks like:

5) Jordan Danks - CF, 6'5, 205lbs - 22 years old:

John Danks' little brother can play too, he was a major steal in the 7th round due to contract concerns, coming out of high-school, he was as highly touted as Jay Bruce. The only knock on Danks during his college career was that his home run power didn't develop as expected, which caused many a scout to claim that he had no power at all, which is completely untrue as 36 of his 75 NCAA hits hits in 2008 were Extra Base Hits. Danks is a 5 tool prospect, he hits for average and power, he has great speed(the guy can absolutely fly), he can field CF very well, and he has a strong arm.

Danks has great presence and is in total control at the plate, he has a short, quick, compact swing and step forward. Although he struck out a lot in college (122 times in 588 at-bats), he has a good eye at the plate and has the ability to slow down his swing to hit the breaking ball, and should be a guy who hits for a high average and draws a lot of walks.

Danks is extremely aggressive on the basepaths, he has upper echelon speed and good technique. In college, he stole 40 bases in 3 years and was only caught 5 times. Danks' speed translates well to the outfield, he runs good routes and has great range, his arm is strong, although not elite.

His college numbers:

2006(19 years old): 116 AB's, .319/.429/.517, 946 OPS, 2HR/21RBI, 22BB/25K, 7SB/0CS
2007(20 years old): 238 AB's, .332/.440/.479, 919 OPS, 4HR/38RBI, 47BB/47K, 19SB/0CS
2008(21 years old): 234 AB's, .321/.444/.564, 1008 OPS(!), 7HR/46RBI, 48BB/50K, 14SB/5CS

As you can see, his college numbers were very strong, he showed a high average in all seasons, and the willingness to take a walk. However, his strike-outs were high, but his walk totals nearly matched them every year. For that reason, I believe his strike-outs will drop, his swing is short enough to get to most fastballs, and he will mature in the minors.

In 10 games in Kanny:

40 AB's, .325/.400/.625, 1025 OPS(!), 2HR/7RBI, 4BB/14K, 1SB/0CS

The strike-outs are a concern, again, but out of his 10 hits at the level, 7 of them went for extra bases.

Danks replaced Stephan Gartrell in the AFL this Fall, his line there:

18 Games, 53 AB's, .302/.406/.415, 802 OPS, 1HR/RBI, 3SB/0CS, 10BB/20K

Upside: Grady Sizemore
Expected: David DeJesus
Downside: Coco Crisp

You can see video of Jordan here:


2) http://www.collegebaseballprospects



Category: MLB
Tags: White Sox
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or