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lowesox
05-23-2004, 10:40 AM
This one goes out to our in-house minor league experts. From what I've seen it looks like our system is devoid of any good pitching prospects right now. I know Honel and Wing were two of our best and they're both having arm problems. And Diaz was supposed to be good, but after a rough stint (granted he didn't get a very fair shot) who knows what will happen with him. Rauch hasn't been able to make the jump. And now people are starting to say that Cotts will only be a lefty specialist - which I find really concerning, considering he's our one pitcher that has shown a degree of potential.

So, for the experts, is there somebody down there that I can feel good about? Somebody who looks like an ace in the making?

OEO Magglio
05-23-2004, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by lowesox
This one goes out to our in-house minor league experts. From what I've seen it looks like our system is devoid of any good pitching prospects right now. I know Honel and Wing were two of our best and they're both having arm problems. And Diaz was supposed to be good, but after a rough stint (granted he didn't get a very fair shot) who knows what will happen with him. Rauch hasn't been able to make the jump. And now people are starting to say that Cotts will only be a lefty specialist - which I find really concerning, considering he's our one pitcher that has shown a degree of potential.

So, for the experts, is there somebody down there that I can feel good about? Somebody who looks like an ace in the making?
What happened with Cotts last night just wasn't fair, he's going to be a very good major league starter next year. But your point it well taken there isn't much down on the farm with pitching prospects. Wing is having surgery which isn't good and Honel still hasn't returned. The draft starts June 7th and from what I've heard there is a lot of depth in college pitchers, the sox have a lot of early selections and hopefully will stock up with some descent arms.

MRKARNO
05-23-2004, 11:10 AM
Cotts just needs to stop hanging his change or curveball up in the zone because the hitter's eyes just light up when they see that. If he was able to do that, then he'd be doing just fine.

SoxFan76
05-23-2004, 12:02 PM
Note, I know nothing about the minor leaguers besides what I have seen with the White Sox.

I still think Diaz will be a good pitcher one day. He throws strikes, all he has to do now is hit his spots. Now that is easier said than done, but I think he has the ability.

Cotts, well I don't know. I just have a feeling he will be a great pitcher one day.

It's kind of frustrating to see all these prospects come up and fail. Borchard (I lost faith in him long ago), Diaz (I know, he needs another shot), Rauch couldn't cut it (also, he probably needs another shot), and there aren't any pitching studs in the minors.

jeremyb1
05-23-2004, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by lowesox
This one goes out to our in-house minor league experts. From what I've seen it looks like our system is devoid of any good pitching prospects right now. I know Honel and Wing were two of our best and they're both having arm problems. And Diaz was supposed to be good, but after a rough stint (granted he didn't get a very fair shot) who knows what will happen with him. Rauch hasn't been able to make the jump. And now people are starting to say that Cotts will only be a lefty specialist - which I find really concerning, considering he's our one pitcher that has shown a degree of potential.

So, for the experts, is there somebody down there that I can feel good about? Somebody who looks like an ace in the making?

Well there are a number of issues here. First of all, there's the issue of what starting pitching prospects should be expected to do early on. Most guys struggle and take a while to develop. That doesn't mean they should perform as Diaz and Cotts have in three starts but that we're probably talking about an ERA in the 5s which I personally think would be acceptable and clearly a huge upgrade from what we've had so far. I think if Cotts or Diaz were given a significant shot of 5 starts or so they'd show enough to stick around for this type of production.

Second of all when looking for a guy to be our 5 right now there are two different perspectives from which the question must be addressed 1) the number of solid pitchers we have that are close to ready for the big leagues and 2) the quality of our pitching prospects. As for the first question, I'd say the system is as strong as I can remember in recent years in terms of solid prospects in the high minors that seem to be ready to contribute. Rauch and Diaz both have decent full seasons of AAA under their belts and have pitched very well in Charlotte this season. Cotts has succeeded in the pen after completely dominating AA last season. Grilli isn't all that special but he's older and has experience. From this group it seems to me as though someone should be able to come in and hold down a 5.50 ERA.

As far as the quality of the prospects in the system that's a less pertinent question if you ask me because few guys can make a successful jump from the low minors. The AA to the majors jump isn't all that uncommon but there's still a gap there. Honel and Wing the two best candidates at that level are injured as you've mentioned so we're mostly left with our AAA guys. I'll admit I don't find the low minors to be particularly strong though. It'd be nice to add some pitching in this draft.

Win1ForMe
05-23-2004, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
From this group it seems to me as though someone should be able to come in and hold down a 5.50 ERA.

Whoa, I don't envision winning many games starting a pitcher with a 5.50 ERA.

nasox
05-23-2004, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
Cotts just needs to stop hanging his change or curveball up in the zone because the hitter's eyes just light up when they see that. If he was able to do that, then he'd be doing just fine.

true, but that's much much much much easier said than done. That is what separates a good pitcher from a pitcher with good potential.

jeremyb1
05-23-2004, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by Win1ForMe
Whoa, I don't envision winning many games starting a pitcher with a 5.50 ERA.

Well what we need is a guy to keep us in games. I don't have the numbers in front of me but if I had to guess our fifth starters' ERA is at least 8 or so this season. We've scored 12, 16, 17 runs lately so a guy with an ERA in the fives can do a find job of keeping us in games. Wright won 14 games with an ERA of 5.3 in '02.

doublem23
05-23-2004, 09:29 PM
Chicago's No. 5 starters are 0-6 with a 9.37 ERA...

In the Game Notes (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=240522109)

Rex Hudler
05-24-2004, 12:12 AM
First of all, I don't believe the Sox have any top-flight pitching prospects at the current time. Does that mean none will step up and surpass expecations? No, that is always possible. I do believe the Sox have some good arms and good pitchers, but I don't see any at an elite level at this point.

I do believe the Sox lack patience with young pitchers once they reach the big leagues. It is very rare for young pitchers to step right into the Majors and be successful Yes it happens, but many of those that do experience immediate success end up suffering setbacks soon after and many never really recover.

I don't have the perfect solution right now, but throwing a pitcher out there on a short leash is not the answer. If they think Diaz has long term potential, then they need to stick with him. Two starts is not enough. Throwing Cotts into the rotation without being stretched out was a mistake.

The Sox either need to go find another starter or pick a kid and stick with him for awhile. If a guy has earned a shot, then taking it away from him after a brief tryout is stupid. If they doubt his readiness, don't put him out there in the first place.

lowesox
05-24-2004, 12:19 AM
Thanks Rex. It really looks like KW and co. are going to have to really inject some talent into our minor league pitching. Hopefully, they'll concentrate on pitching and catching at the upcoming draft. And, hopefully, Wing and Honel will rebound.

Rex Hudler
05-24-2004, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by lowesox
Thanks Rex. It really looks like KW and co. are going to have to really inject some talent into our minor league pitching. Hopefully, they'll concentrate on pitching and catching at the upcoming draft. And, hopefully, Wing and Honel will rebound.

I'm sure they will go after the best pitchers they can, while still looking for the best fit regardless of position. The draft is a crapshoot and pitching is even more so. So many things have to go right for a pitching prospect to make it big. There are very few pitchers like Mark Prior that seem destined for the top of the rotation. Even most 1st rounders that make it, end up at the back end of the rotation or in the bullpen.

Injuries happen in all organizations. The Sox are not the only org that suffers many setbacks. The key is to stockpile as many good pitchers as possible and do everything to develop them. But the pitchers also have to work themselves. Many kids don't make it because they don't work hard enough. They think because they have always been the best, they will continue on that path. That doesn't work too often at the higher levels.

rdivaldi
05-24-2004, 11:34 AM
Besides Honel and Wing, there are 3 outstanding prospects in low A ball who have shown some flashes of brilliance.

Brandon McCarthy
Daniel Haigwood
Ryan Rodriguez

starboy0
05-24-2004, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
Cotts just needs to stop hanging his change or curveball up in the zone because the hitter's eyes just light up when they see that. If he was able to do that, then he'd be doing just fine.

I agree. Saturday night Cotts was actually ahead in the count of many hitters. He had them down two strikes but then couldn't put them away and they just waited for the fat one.

Lip Man 1
05-24-2004, 12:02 PM
Rex says: "I do believe the Sox lack patience with young pitchers once they reach the big leagues. It is very rare for young pitchers to step right into the Majors and be successful."

That's an interesting perspective...one that I happen to agree with. I also feel the Sox consistently rush prospects to the majors who haven't yet learned their trade in the minors for three / four years. (re: Danny Wright for one...)

Why do the Sox do these things?

1. Because of some of the things that they have pulled off in the last decade (including the White Flag Trade) the Sox have to get some 'instant gratification,' to quell the negative press and fan outrage.

2. Because the Sox haven't been to a World Series in 44 years they are becomming increasingly desperate to do so. Sometimes that leads to rash moves both on and off the field.

The trouble is the Sox want to get to a World Series unsing cheap, inexpensive guys who have a great season. That's the quick fix way...it rarely works. For every Marlins you've got ten Yankee, Braves, Indians, Cardinals, Giants etc. Teams with quality experienced players up and down the roster. Those don't come cheaply.

Lip

Rex Hudler
05-24-2004, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by rdivaldi
Besides Honel and Wing, there are 3 outstanding prospects in low A ball who have shown some flashes of brilliance.

Brandon McCarthy
Daniel Haigwood
Ryan Rodriguez

All are good pitchers, but I haven't seen anything to indicate any of them are top of the rotation types. Esp. with Honel's setback.

iwannago
05-24-2004, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by Rex Hudler
All are good pitchers, but I haven't seen anything to indicate any of them are top of the rotation types. Esp. with Honel's setback.

What about Stumm? I also think Grilli and Raush will make it. At least Raush showed us one good start that I could think of.

SpringfldFan
05-24-2004, 01:19 PM
I think it may be possible that our expectations may be a bit inflated. Including all the names that have been brought up, we probably have several prospects that will eventually be able to contribute in Chicago, and I think that is what we should use to judge success within the system. However, that doesn't mean any of them will be an ace or a savior, which is what I think some us expect or wish for from one of these guys. Face it, if there ever comes a "savior" to our organization, we will know it. Think of the young aces now, Prior, Harden, etc. There was never any question they would make it big. From the day they put on a minor league uniform the hitters were no match for them and their stats were ridiculous down there. *That* is what a potential ace will look like as a prospect. We have good prospects to put hope in, but we don't have thatm and maybe we should probably stop expecting it.

MHO

habibharu
05-24-2004, 01:26 PM
munoz and philips look pretty good too.

JasonC23
05-24-2004, 02:59 PM
Maybe the Sox always see other teams call up rookie starters that dominate them, and figure, "Hey, why can't our guys do that?" :D:

Rex Hudler
05-24-2004, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by iwannago
What about Stumm? I also think Grilli and Raush will make it. At least Raush showed us one good start that I could think of.

munoz and philips look pretty good too.

Again, I am talking about TOP of the Rotation guys. All mentioned are prospects, but there is a difference between a #1 or #2 starter than other MLB pitchers. I just don't see any top of the rotation guys right now. Someone will need to surprise for that to happen.

rdivaldi
05-24-2004, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by Rex Hudler
Again, I am talking about TOP of the Rotation guys. All mentioned are prospects, but there is a difference between a #1 or #2 starter than other MLB pitchers. I just don't see any top of the rotation guys right now. Someone will need to surprise for that to happen.

Well, there are very few top of the rotation guys in the high minor leagues at any time for all teams. You have to figure that we'd be lucky to develop one every 4 or 5 years, especially since we draft towards the end every year. (We're in a dry spell) The Flubs stunk into Wood and Prior, and Beane's selection of his 3 aces looks more like a fluke every year.

Has any other team drafted multiple aces over the past 5 years besides possibly the Marlins?

rdivaldi
05-24-2004, 05:57 PM
Originally posted by iwannago
What about Stumm?

Alas it looks like Jason will never be the same pitcher after 2 or 3 injury plagued seasons.

Rack up another point for the guys that don't like taking high school pitchers.

Chisoxfn
05-24-2004, 06:31 PM
Originally posted by rdivaldi
Alas it looks like Jason will never be the same pitcher after 2 or 3 injury plagued seasons.

Rack up another point for the guys that don't like taking high school pitchers.

Since Stumm is a relief prospect I see it only fair we compare him to other relievers in the system. Both Majewski and Bajernau are superior to Stumm and I don't know if either of them will make the majors, although I think both will eventually at least get a shot with a club.

I'd also say that both have more explosive fastballs then Stumm does. Its sad to see what injuries did to Stumm, but Its the life of the game.

Also, I agree with Rex's assessment that right now the Sox don't have any real aces. I'm personally not all that high on Honel as being a #1 (injury concerns or not) and feel that the Sox do have some good middle of the rotation guys.

The guys I do really like find themselves in the lower levels with the exception of Munoz who I am becoming more and more intrigued by as a starter prospect (i always figured this move was soley to make him use his other pitches, but it really seems he's got better secondary pitches then anyone ever suspected which could mean he has a future as a starter).

The only potential front line pitcher I see with the Sox over the next few years is probably Neal Cotts.

I do think Bmac, Haigwood and Rodriguez all have some pretty good potential though, but how high their ceilings are remains to be seen. I also like one of my personal favorites Todd Deininger and am really dissapointed that he isn't starting in Winston Salem.

Oh ya, forgot to mention Brian Miller who really seems to be getting his mechanics straightened out in Kanny. He'll probably be promoted to WS at midseason and has explosive stuff. I wouldn't call him an ace, but he's got ace prospect potential (if that makes sense, lol).