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WillieHarris12
02-02-2003, 02:06 PM
I am KeithFoulke 2 on another message board, so don't think that I didn't write this. :D: I took me a long time :)
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Welcome to year 3 of KeithFoulke2's White Sox Season Preview! Unfortunately this year, my man Keith Foulke is no longer with the team, but he remains a favorite of mine whom I will always cheer for, unless against the White Sox, my beloved team. There have been many exciting editions though! We all know about Bartolo Colon and his recent placement in a White Sox uniform, and most of us know about Billy Koch becoming a White Sox as a result of the Keith Foulke trade. But, this preview goes inside the little known offseason aquisitions to explain reasons why the White Sox may or may not win it all this year. In the past, this article hasn't quite nailed the dot, because of an underachieving team. But, this year, the southsiders are young and fully revamped, giving this year a magnificent preview. So here it goes.

Offseason Aquisitions

Bartolo Colon: A starting pitcher who absolutely dominates hitters. Was Ken Williams top priority this offseason and wasn't expected to land with the White Sox because the Expos wanted too many great prospects for him at first, such as Joe Crede, Joe Borchard, and Kris Honel. However; later on well after the winter meetings, the White Sox gained Colon for virtually nothing, giving up RHP Orlando Hernandez, RHP Rocky Biddle, 1B-OF Jeff Liefer, cash (Expos); RHP Antonio Osuna, RHP Delvis Lantigua (Yankees) in a 3 way trade. Colon will immediatly impact the White Sox who now actually have one of the greatest 1-2 punches in the AL of Buehrle and Colon. Buehrle has stated that he wants to become the number 2 and believes that Colon deserves to be the ace of the staff. Colon had a 2.93 ERA overall, but before he left for the NL, he was 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA, and could've beaten out Barry Zito for the Cy Young if he had kept that same pace and not have been traded to the Expos.

Billy Koch: Fireballer, throughs fastball in the 100's and has had 30+ saves in his last 4 seasons. Pitched a reliever's high 93 IP in 2002 and had 44 saves. He is not quite the pitcher Foulke was for the White Sox, but he does provide a fearsome presence on the mound. The only person who can beat Koch is himself, so don't expect hitters to pound the ball off of him. Was gained in a trade that sent RHP Keith Foulke, C Mark Johnson, RHP Joe Valentine and cash to Oakland for RHP Billy Koch, LHP Neal Cotts, OF Daylan Holt.

Tom Gordon: Flash Gordon started the season in Chicago last year, but for the Cubs, rather than the White Sox. He was signed by the White Sox via free agency. Gordon throws hard and will get many strikeouts. Was traded to the Astros in midseason and had a 0.92 ERA over 19 IP with them. Gordon has a tendency to get injured, but when he is healthy he can be an absolutely dominant reliever. He may even move into the setup roll if Marte fails to repeat his career year that he had in 2002.

Rick White: White had an awful stint with the Rockies early in the year and then was traded to St. Louis where he had a 0.82 ERA. White was signed as a free agent by the White Sox and will provide decent middle relief with and ERA ranging from 3.20 at best to 4.10 at worst.

Brian Daubach: Unable to get a contract done with Boston, Daubach was non-tendered and unable to get a decent contract from anyone else. So, he signed with the White Sox to a minor-league contract and will make $450,000 if he makes the team. He may play a little corner outfield if he starts, but other than that he has no chance to take a starting position away from Paul Konerko or Frank Thomas. Daubach will provide good power off of the White Sox bench.

Armando Rios: Rios isn't much more than a bench player. He hit .264 with 1 home run for the Pirates. He signed with the White Sox from free agency. He has a little shot to make the White Sox 25 man roster, but only if he puts up a good spring.

Sandy Alomar Jr.: After being traded from the White Sox to Colorado in 2002 Alomar Jr. signed back with the White Sox. He will likely platoon with and then eventually backup catcher Miguel Olivo. He had a bounce back season in 2002. Provides good average, but not much else. Sandy will mentor the young Olivo.

Other noteable signings: SP Esteban Loaiza, SP Gil Heredia, P Brian Cooper, and OF Clifford Brumbaugh.

Good Riddance

The White Sox got rid of many of what I think were "club cancers in 2002". The main guy that the White Sox had to lose was Todd Ritchie. Ritchie compiled a 6.06 ERA and lost 15 games for the White Sox in 2002. He was supposed to be a "solid" #2 and proved that he was nothing but a pitcher living on a career year in 1999. Another guy the White Sox had to lose was former $4,000,000 shortstop Royce Clayton. Clayton was pitiful for the White Sox, and very streaky. He would get a hit when the White Sox didn't need one, and he'd get out when the White Sox needed a hit. Both Ritchie and Clayton signed with the Brewers, go figure. Less harmful, but still overly horrible, P Jim Parque signed with the Devil Rays. I couldn't think of a much worse pitcher given so many chancest to win a spot in a MLB rotation. He was never a top prospect and probably never should've made the majors to begin with. Finally something right is going on for the White Sox. C Mark Johnson was traded to Oakland, he absolutely could not hit. He hit in the lower .200's and had no power. He was a solid defender, but isn't even half as good as Miguel Olivo is at gunning down baserunners. It seems that filtering out the bad will actually help the White Sox become a favorite to win the AL Central next season.

The Youngsters

The White Sox have many young prospects who are actually good. The White Sox have both hitting and pitching strength in their farm system. There are some that I think will and will not make the team in 2003, even though they are elite prospects.

Will make the roster: Arnaldo Munoz has shaken both the AA and Dominican League's world. Munoz is a 19 year old reliever with a blazing fastball and great junk. He strikes out many hitters, striking out 75 in just 40 IP in the Dominican League. He posted a 2.62 ERA in AA last year and will likely make the White Sox pen, unless they decide to convert him into a starter and send him to AAA. Jon Rauch, who is likely the #5 starter out of Spring Training, is a 6' 11" starter who was the #1 pitching prospect in America in 2000. He had shoulder surgery in 2001 and made rehab in 2002 at AAA Charlotte, posting a 4.28 ERA. He is now back at full strength and could be an impressive suprise for the White Sox this season. AAA closer Edwin Almonte posted a 2.24 ERA with 26 saves last season. He will most likely make the team. Was an International League all-star last season.

In between: OF Joe Borchard, who is ranked 2nd on most offensive top 100 lists, is a power hitting OF who played for AAA Charlotte last season. Borchard has a shot at making the starting role in CF if Aaron Rowand cannot prove he is a better hitter than Borchard. Borchard hits many home runs, but has little plate patience and strikes out alot. He may be sent to AAA at the start of the season just to work on his eye. I am almost sure that he will be the starting CF by August 2003.

Better luck next year: Great prospects like Josh Stewart and Kris Honel are not likely to make the team this year. Stewart had a 3.53 ERA and was the ace of the AA Birmingham Barons last season. His most impressive stint was in the Arizona Fall League where he claimed the league's Cy Young honors with a 0.81 ERA. Rauch has the upper hand on the 25 year old, and Stewart will probably be given a year at AAA Charlotte to prove himself. Kris Honel, the White Sox 2001 #1 draft pick has been dominating the minors as a starter. At A Kannapolis Honel had a 2.82 ERA in 153.1 IP (26 GS). Honel is impressive, and a very potent prospect, but he needs time to mature as a pitcher, though he is already a great pitcher. Other noteables: Dave Sanders, Corwin Malone, Royce Ring.

The Predicted 25 Man Roster
Through Spring Training

-Rotation
Bartolo Colon
Mark Buehrle
Jon Garland
Dan Wright
Jon Rauch

-Bullpen
Gary Glover
Rick White
Kelly Wunsch
Edwin Almonte/Arnaldo Munoz
Tom Gordon
Damaso Marte
Billy Koch

-Starting Lineup
2B D'Angelo Jimenez
SS Jose Valentin
DH Frank Thomas
RF Magglio Ordonez
1B Paul Konerko
LF Carlos Lee
3B Joe Crede
CF Aaron Rowand
C Miguel Olivo

-Bench
C Sandy Alomar Jr.
UT Tony Graffanino
1B Brain Daubach
OF Armando Rios

Those Hitters That Will Fare Well

Magglio Ordonez has been the best hitter in the White Sox organization over the past three seasons. He had a career year last year when he hit .320 with 38 home runs and 135 RBI. He is definitley the best OF in the AL not named Manny Ramirez. Paul Konerko was an All-Star in 2002 for the first time in his career. Though his 2nd half power numbers slipped, he still managed to hit .304 and had 27 home runs with 104 RBI. Konerko will improve his power totals significantly in 2003, possibly hitting 35+ HR. Frank Thomas had an off year hitting just .252, a career low. But he did hit 28 HR with 92 RBI. And after a dissapointing first couple months of the season, Thomas hit .385 in September. Thomas has a nice chance of returning to the elite class of AL Sluggers in 2003. Carlos Lee hit 26 home runs last season. He is somewhat underrated because for one, he plays with Magglio Ordonez, and two, he is somewhat streaky. Lee has 30+ HR potential, and he could do it if the lineup around him produces.

WillieHarris12
02-02-2003, 02:06 PM
Part II

The Reliable Veterans

Jose Valentin will go back to the starting Shortstop roll in 2003. Valentin hit 25 home runs last season and if he was in the NL, he would've been an All-Star. Valentin is yet another White Sox hitter who could hit 30 home runs. He is a .400+ hitter with runners in scoring position and he will get the hits when they count.

Newcomers

3B Joe Crede hit 12 home runs in just 200 major league at bats. Not to mention it was his rookie season. Crede is a 2-time International League (AAA) MVP, and hit .324-24 in 2001. Crede split time between the majors and AAA in 2002. He assumed the starting 3B role in August and had a stint of 4 HR in 4 straight games. Crede has power, and hits for average. It's a matter of time until he is an All-Star. 2B D'Angelo Jimenez hit .289 for the White Sox last season. He is still young, and was once the Yankees top SS prospect. He went to San Diego after recooperating from an injury, and was traded to the White Sox for a minor leaguer. Jimenez was tearing the cover off of the ball in the Winter League's and is said to be returning to that prospect the Yankees so highly touted in 1999.

Predicted Record: 95-67 1st AL Central(2.0 Ahead of the Twins)

With that, I am done. But this season will be an interesting one. The White Sox should be the favorite going into 2003 to win the AL Central. The Twins have an overrated staff (look at the ERA's!) and there lineup is not 1/2 as good as the White Sox lineup. The bullpen has been rebuilt and the Twins have a minimal edge going into 2003 bullpen wise. But All in All, the White Sox should come out victorious. The team is young and very capable of making the playoffs.

bc2k
02-02-2003, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by WillieHarris12
I am KeithFoulke 2 on another message board, so don't think that I didn't write this. :D: I took me a long time :)
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The Predicted 25 Man Roster
Through Spring Training

-Rotation
Bartolo Colon
Mark Buehrle
Jon Garland
Dan Wright
Jon Rauch

-Bullpen
Gary Glover
Rick White
Kelly Wunsch
Edwin Almonte
Arnaldo Munoz
Tom Gordon
Damaso Marte
Billy Koch

-Starting Lineup
2B D'Angelo Jimenez
SS Jose Valentin
DH Frank Thomas
RF Magglio Ordonez
1B Paul Konerko
LF Carlos Lee
3B Joe Crede
CF Aaron Rowand
C Miguel Olivo

-Bench
C Sandy Alomar Jr.
UT Tony Graffanino
1B Brain Daubach


13 pitchers! A bench of only Graffaninose and Daubach?!

Bmr31
02-02-2003, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by bc2k
13 pitchers! A bench of only Graffaninose and Daubach?!

Yeah, that boy is pitcher happy..... :)

OEO Magglio
02-02-2003, 09:06 PM
I'm almost positive the sox will be taken 11 pitchers with them out of spring training

34 Inch Stick
02-03-2003, 08:26 AM
Willie you must really have an inferiority complex, not even putting yourself on your own ML roster.

hold2dibber
02-03-2003, 08:50 AM
Originally posted by WillieHarris12
Less harmful, but still overly horrible, P Jim Parque signed with the Devil Rays. I couldn't think of a much worse pitcher given so many chancest to win a spot in a MLB rotation. He was never a top prospect and probably never should've made the majors to begin with. Finally something right is going on for the White Sox.

Parque was, I believe, a 1st round draft choice ('97, I think) and was the first in that draft class to make the majors. He undoubtedly was a top prospect. Also, in 2000, he was 13-6 with a 4.28 ERA and a 121 ERA+. He was the Sox starter in Game 1 of the playoffs. And you think he never should have been in the majors?

WillieHarris12
02-03-2003, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Parque was, I believe, a 1st round draft choice ('97, I think) and was the first in that draft class to make the majors. He undoubtedly was a top prospect. Also, in 2000, he was 13-6 with a 4.28 ERA and a 121 ERA+. He was the Sox starter in Game 1 of the playoffs. And you think he never should have been in the majors?

And I believe his ERA was 5.01 in 2000?

OEO Magglio
02-03-2003, 09:19 PM
Parque's era in 2000 was indeed 4.28 which is pretty good, Parque was a good pitcher until he had surgery.

WillieHarris12
02-04-2003, 07:46 PM
And the next season it was 8.04. I don't see why he gets so much sympathy.

gogosoxgogo
02-04-2003, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by WillieHarris12
And the next season it was 8.04. I don't see why he gets so much sympathy.

I don't think anyone is sympathizing with him last year when he didn't perform and then whined the entire time down in AAA of how he deserved better. I believe they are just saying how he was good in the past and was considered a top prospect. Jim could have been a solid #3 or so on a good team had he not injured his arm. No one is saying that they still want him in our rotation now.