PDA

View Full Version : What is the Matter With Sox Minor Leaguers?


owensmouth
08-10-2004, 12:01 PM
As we approach the 75% point of this year it has become painfully obvious that there is only one person in the entire minor league system of the Chicago White Sox that is capable of coming up and playing reasonably well. He is a 32 year old catcher.

What is the matter with the White Sox minor league organization? I do not expect the White Sox to reach down and bring up multiple players that can bat 300 (like the Twins) or win five of every six starts. But a little competence would be nice. I know, KW has made some trades the past couple of years, but the only one of them I see (so far) is Francisco.

I don't care how the Sox get their minor leaguers. I don't care if they're drafted, recruited overseas, traded for or picked off a kumquat tree. I just care that now are major league ready.

Frater Perdurabo
08-10-2004, 12:07 PM
I see that Randar is viewing this thread right now. I'd like to see Randar's and Daver's assessments. (Not that I agree or disagree, but I value their opinions.) :smile:

soxrme
08-10-2004, 12:28 PM
Who is in charge of our minor leagues and scouting? We seem to have so many overrated players, cannot beat pitchers we haven't seen, and do not have good position players anywhere. Could we draft a decent shortstop or second baseman. Our scouts are terrible.

Lip Man 1
08-10-2004, 12:44 PM
Sox players are also 'baseball dumb,' and have been for years. Perhaps all of the problems stem from the fact that Sox scouts love the radar gun and athletes instead of baseball players and pitchers who simply find a way to get guys out.


Lip

Huisj
08-10-2004, 12:50 PM
Sox players are also 'baseball dumb,' and have been for years. Perhaps all of the problems stem from the fact that Sox scouts love the radar gun and athletes instead of baseball players and pitchers who simply find a way to get guys out.


Lip
Case in point is Buerhle. Where was he drafted? way way way down late in the draft. He is exactly that kind of pitcher who simply finds ways to get guys out. He's also about the only major contribution from our minor leagues in recent years. interesting

Foulke You
08-10-2004, 12:50 PM
Sox players are also 'baseball dumb,' and have been for years. Perhaps all of the problems stem from the fact that Sox scouts love the radar gun and athletes instead of baseball players and pitchers who simply find a way to get guys out.


Lip
I agree Lip. None of our recent minor leaguers save Buehrle is what I would consider to be a baseball smart player. I would present Joe Borchard as "Example A" of an extraordinary athlete, tremendous strength, strong arm, good speed for his size, but not a clue as far as an offensive approach except "Let it fly, and hope I run into one". Felix Diaz could be another example. He seems to have a very live arm (92-93 mph) but seems to lack the approach necesary to retire MLB batters. This has been a problem for Sox minor leaguers for some time. They seem to have all the tools necessary for success accept the one between the ears.:(:

rwcescato
08-10-2004, 12:51 PM
Sox players are also 'baseball dumb,' and have been for years. Perhaps all of the problems stem from the fact that Sox scouts love the radar gun and athletes instead of baseball players and pitchers who simply find a way to get guys out.


Lip
What I don't understand is why anybody we bring up from the minors suck.
So let KW trade all the so-called prospects. If we trade for prospects they too will suck. It must be our whole organization. The Twins have a much better organization when they bring up Joe Schmo and he bats .300
and we bring up a top prospect that hits .100. Its just very disappointing.
Rich

soxtalker
08-10-2004, 12:58 PM
So, it sounds like we have two possible sources of the problem -- scouting for the draft and coaching/development.

One question. Are the people that scout for the draft different than those that scout other teams organizations for trades?

Rex Hudler
08-10-2004, 12:59 PM
So, it sounds like we have two possible sources of the problem -- scouting for the draft and coaching/development.

One question. Are the people that scout for the draft different than those that scout other teams organizations for trades?
To some degree yes...... there is some crossover, however.

ChiSoxBobette
08-10-2004, 01:03 PM
Sox players are also 'baseball dumb,' and have been for years. Perhaps all of the problems stem from the fact that Sox scouts love the radar gun and athletes instead of baseball players and pitchers who simply find a way to get guys out.
Lip
Exactly! I want to hear the White Sox when they go after a player out of college or high school go after the best baseball player I'm tired of hearing about how they drafted the best athlete to hell with the guy if he was a 3 sport college player I want a one sport player- baseball. Take for instance Joe Borchard I just hope theres enough time for him to return to football as Drew Henson did after the yankees found out he could'nt hit big league pitching, we should have already observed that fact with Borchard. Who is ever down in the Sox minor league system advising KW about who to draft should be replaced because its evident he knows nothing about baseball talent and especially pitching talent. How long has it been since Buehrle came up and he was a 16th round pick or something like that how many pitchers did we draft that year ahead of Buehrle that were picked because they were the best athlete available. Something needs to be done in the White Sox minor league accessment of player talent.

Wealz
08-10-2004, 01:11 PM
Duane Shaffer loves to draft "projectable" pitchers with premium picks. One of these years that strategy may pan out too. :smile:

mdep524
08-10-2004, 01:18 PM
Sox players are also 'baseball dumb,' and have been for years. Perhaps all of the problems stem from the fact that Sox scouts love the radar gun and athletes instead of baseball players and pitchers who simply find a way to get guys out.


Lip
Agreed. I HATE the Sox approach to drafting players. While I am not a FOBB, I have read Moneyball and you would have to be a complete idiot not to take SOMETHING away from that book.

I'm sure the so-called FOBBs (I have nothing against you guys, I just like typing FOBB :smile: ) will be here shortly with their angle, and then the KW defenders will take theirs. For me, the truth is somewhere inbetween. Billy Beane's approach to drafting and developing players is not the ONLY way to win in the bigs, nor is it necessarily the best way. So I don't think KW needs to be *exactly* like BB. BUT....it is extremely frustrating to me the lengths that KW goes to avoid all BB-type strategies. It actually seems like KW goes out of his way to avoid high OBP hitters, or baseball-smart guys, or guys with good numbers but less than graceful appearances.

KW always seems to go for the glamor guys- Borchard, Koch, etc.- or the pure athletes- Borchard, Harris, Fields, etc., or the baseball dumb guys- CLee, Uribe, Garland, Wright, etc. Not all of those players are KW acquisitions, but they are the guys he has run out there on the Sox. In KW's defense, he has been successful at times tapping into unrealized potential: Uribe, Davis, Contreras, Loaiza, Marte. (the jury's still out on some of those guys)

DOes KW hold a grudge against BB, and try to prove that he is better by being the complete opposite? That seems far fetched, but I wish he would realize there is a happy medium between the All BB blind following approach and his approach.

SoxxoS
08-10-2004, 01:19 PM
As Lip said, the scouts are in love with the radar gun, and WE STILL HAVE NO PITCHERS THAT THROW TRUE "GAS." Who is the last White Sox pitchers whose fastball has just blown you away, other than Felix Diaz?

It might be Roberto Hernandez, as sad as that it.

3Pete
08-10-2004, 01:30 PM
I've seen Peter Gammons say that the Twins have the total traditional approach to scouting players, opposite that of Moneyball, but they are unbelievable at it. Look at all the players Terry Ryan has gotten out of what looks like "dump" trades at the time. He got Lew Ford for Hector Carrasco. He got David Ortiz for Roberto Kelly, I believe. He got Cristian Guzman and Eric Milton for Chuck Knoblauch, and he got Johan Santana in the Rule V draft for something named Jared Camp. He got Joe Nathan, and two VERY good pitching prospects for Pierzynski, and Silva and Punto for Milton. He also dumped a guy named Brian Buchanan and got their top SS prospect in Jason Bartlett. They just have an unbelievable scouting department, and I've heard their #1 scouting director, Mike Radcliff, is just unbelievable at what he does. Rumor has it that the Twins always have him on at least a 2 year deal, they value him so much. The White Sox definitely need to build up the farm system to compete, as almost everyone the Twins are bringing up and plugging in are very competent. Hunter, Koskie, Rivas, Jones, Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer, Radke, and Rincon are products of the minor league system, not to mention a guy like Jason Kubel, who's one of the top prospects in the minors.

The Sox HAVE to do a better job of scouting and drafting, because the Twins and Indians have a stacked farm system.

IlliniSox
08-10-2004, 01:31 PM
As Lip said, the scouts are in love with the radar gun, and WE STILL HAVE NO PITCHERS THAT THROW TRUE "GAS." Who is the last White Sox pitchers whose fastball has just blown you away, other than Felix Diaz?

It might be Roberto Hernandez, as sad as that it.
"GAS" Kris Honel throws gas.
Mark Prior throws gas.

One was a high schooler, pitched against high schoolers.
One was a dominant college pitcher, pitched against college players.

Kids who throw 96 at 17 will probably have arm problems at 22 like Honel.
College pitchers like Prior are taught to win.

SoxxoS
08-10-2004, 01:38 PM
"GAS" Kris Honel throws gas.
Mark Prior throws gas.

One was a high schooler, pitched against high schoolers.
One was a dominant college pitcher, pitched against college players.

Kids who throw 96 at 17 will probably have arm problems at 22 like Honel.
College pitchers like Prior are taught to win.
Rex Randar Daver etc. I believe will back me up on this, but Honel (even when he was 100%) only occasionally touched 94, and worked more in the high eighties, low-ninty range. But point taken...

How is Colt Griffin (the 100mph college pitcher) going? Not too good.

hose
08-10-2004, 01:40 PM
First off leave Felix Diaz out of "what's wrong with our minor league system"

It isn't fair or even logical to get all over a guy with a couple of big league starts under his belt. It could take 2-3 years in the bigs for Felix to develop just into a serviceable major league pitcher.

Here is the first two seasons for Greg Maddux .
2-4 .ip-31 .h-44 .era-5.52 .
6-14 .ip-155 .h-181 .era-5.61 .

Diaz aside I would like to see our minor league players contribute in some fashion, it's been pretty bleak.

gosox41
08-10-2004, 01:45 PM
"GAS" Kris Honel throws gas.
Mark Prior throws gas.

One was a high schooler, pitched against high schoolers.
One was a dominant college pitcher, pitched against college players.

Kids who throw 96 at 17 will probably have arm problems at 22 like Honel.
College pitchers like Prior are taught to win.

Beane has been known to draft a lot of college kids for this reason. Randar even mentioned how Beane loads up on draft picks from free agent compensation and does this.

It's obviously working for him more then the SOx way is working for us. So why do the Sox take such big risks for little returns. Why invest $1.5 mill. in a HS pitcher that's a first round pick who is likely to have arm trouble (and is a crapshoot anyway when compared to a successful college pitcher) when he can put that in a good reliever for the major league team.

I suggested KW not draft any pitching for the first 5 rounds of the draft and was personally insulted for it. Pitching is hthe hardest position to draft for, especially when selectin HS kids. KW seems to do a decent job with hitters so I suggested he stick to his strenghs. Instead the Sox probably wasted more money, time, and effort in hopes that one of these high round pitchers will even make the team let alone turn into a star.

How many millions of dollars do you think the Sox have spent on drafting pitchng in the first 5 rounds only to get absolutely nothing for it? They spend about $1.5 mill on Honel. Wells was slightly more. And remember the 1999 draft with all those sandwich picks. They signed at least 6 figure contracts. Guys like West, Strumm, etc.

All that money probably could have just bought the Sox a good free agent pitcher over here.


Bob

SoxxoS
08-10-2004, 01:45 PM
Can we just get 1 guy to come out of nowhere and produce...ala a Dontrelle Willis? Just 1. Is that too much to ask?

Fungo
08-10-2004, 01:53 PM
Folks, this is a problem with almost every team. It is just magnified with the Sox because this is the team we choose to follow. The draft is a crap-shoot in itself and often the best players are not drafted in the first few picks because of the signability factor and these players often drop to the large market big money teams. As we all know, the Sox are not one of them. The Sox have been good, but not good enough to get into the playoffs much during the last 10 years for example. Because of this we end up drafting somewhere in the teens. The Twins on the other hand, prior to 2001, just sucked and had some of the worst records in baseball, meaning they were selecting high in the draft. Granted, they are not a big market team either, but they are picking well before the Sox in the draft. These prospects are not just "prospects" in the eyes of the Sox scouts either. Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and other publications as well as the various showcase the kids attend before they are drafted all have similar rankings for these so called prospects. Believe me, I've had the same thoughts like why can't we just once have a guy we call up be lights out when he gets here. I don't have the answers, but just know, this happens to every team. Take the Cubs for instance, outside of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior (& Corey Patterson depending on your feelings about him)who else has their minor league system produced lately? They are rated as having one of the best minor league systems, so what exactly has it produced? Prior was basically a gift to them as far as I'm concerned and Wood was another who was thought to be a sure fire pro. Their Juan Cruz's, Francisco Beltran's and Todd Wellemeyer's rank right up there with our Josh Fogg's, Kip Wells & Jon Rauch's.

I hope this rambling made some sense.

maurice
08-10-2004, 01:54 PM
One was a high schooler, pitched against high schoolers.
One was a dominant college pitcher, pitched against college players.
One was a mid- to late-first-round draft pick.
One was the consensus best player in his draft.

I_Liked_Manuel
08-10-2004, 01:55 PM
i'm not so sure it has something to do with our scouting but rather our instruction in the minors. i know its another sport, but take hockey for example. you cant tell me that the new jersey devils' 5th and 6th round picks are better than 90% of the teams' 1st and 2nd rounders. their secret is that they've got about 10 coaches per minor league team and everybody gets good, individual instruction.

we have the athletes, but our players simply cant play fundamental baseball like the twins do, and it has cost us over the last 3 years.

hose
08-10-2004, 01:55 PM
I see that Randar is viewing this thread right now. I'd like to see Randar's and Daver's assessments. (Not that I agree or disagree, but I value their opinions.) :smile:

If you want info on the Sox minor leagues I would recommend going here.

http://www.futuresox.com/

Not sure if this is a competing site or what but they are far the best I've come across.

Wanne
08-10-2004, 02:09 PM
Can we just get 1 guy to come out of nowhere and produce...ala a Dontrelle Willis? Just 1. Is that too much to ask?

AMEN!!!...JUST ONE! Every other team in the majors seems to have that...BUT the Sox!

WinTwins
08-10-2004, 02:10 PM
i'm not so sure it has something to do with our scouting but rather our instruction in the minors...we have the athletes, but our players simply cant play fundamental baseball like the twins do, and it has cost us over the last 3 years.
Excellent point. The Twins have had a LOT of stability and consistency through their minor-leagues for years. They seem to be on the same page as the major league staff and I think that's why the Twins appear to have so much more MLB-ready talent--they've been coached, managed, and prepped to the specifications of the organization. This goes all the way back to Tom Kelly's days, and continues under Gardenhire and staff. Even at the MLB level, most of the coaching staff has come up through the Twins minor leagues. It might seem like a small detail, but I think that the Twins players get years and years of a consistent message on how to play a certain brand of baseball.

Someone help me on this from the Sox perspective, because I'm not nearly as familiar with their minor league operations, but I think it explains some of the Twins recent success.

hose
08-10-2004, 02:49 PM
Excellent point. The Twins have had a LOT of stability and consistency through their minor-leagues for years. They seem to be on the same page as the major league staff and I think that's why the Twins appear to have so much more MLB-ready talent--they've been coached, managed, and prepped to the specifications of the organization. This goes all the way back to Tom Kelly's days, and continues under Gardenhire and staff. Even at the MLB level, most of the coaching staff has come up through the Twins minor leagues. It might seem like a small detail, but I think that the Twins players get years and years of a consistent message on how to play a certain brand of baseball.

Someone help me on this from the Sox perspective, because I'm not nearly as familiar with their minor league operations, but I think it explains some of the Twins recent success.
This is why the Twins have a decent farm system:
1993 .71-91
1994 .53-60
1995 .56-88
1996 .78-84
1997 .68-94
1998 .70-92
1999 .63-97
2000 .69-93

When you are picking near the top every year and trading away any marque players that you do have you should be getting top prospects in bunches.

I don't think the Sox have the same luxury of running their ball club like it was a fantasy team as the Twins do without regard to fan backlash.

The Twins "white flagged " it for eight years and weathered the storm . The Sox moved a couple of pending free agents for 1/2 season and are the MLB poster child for giving up. Chicago is a different market than up in deh hey der land. Not saying we know what were doing but we can't play by the same rules as the Twins do.

WinTwins
08-10-2004, 03:48 PM
This is why the Twins have a decent farm system:
1993 .71-91
1994 .53-60
1995 .56-88
1996 .78-84
1997 .68-94
1998 .70-92
1999 .63-97
2000 .69-93

When you are picking near the top every year and trading away any marque players that you do have you should be getting top prospects in bunches.

I don't think the Sox have the same luxury of running their ball club like it was a fantasy team as the Twins do without regard to fan backlash.

The Twins "white flagged " it for eight years and weathered the storm . The Sox moved a couple of pending free agents for 1/2 season and are the MLB poster child for giving up. Chicago is a different market than up in deh hey der land. Not saying we know what were doing but we can't play by the same rules as the Twins do.
The Twins poor record is only part of the equation to their success. The only #1 draftees that are a big part of their curent team are Hunter and Mauer. You're right that they've received good prospects in return for their marquee players, but they've also done well with Grade B prospects, mid/late-round draftees, and Rule 5. I was mostly wondering if there something within the Sox minor-league operations (besides trading away numerous prospects) that is hindering their ability to re-stock without waving the white flag for an extended period like Minnesota did.

As far as being a different market, I completely agree with you. When the Twins win, everyone here is a fan and we all have a great old time. When the Twins stink, they are mostly ignored, rather than lambasted. I think (but I'm not sure) that Oakland is the same way, so that might explain why teams like the A's and Twins have been able to build for the long haul without having to over-spend. Cyclical apathy has its advantages, I guess.

habibharu
08-10-2004, 05:47 PM
Folks, this is a problem with almost every team. It is just magnified with the Sox because this is the team we choose to follow. The draft is a crap-shoot in itself and often the best players are not drafted in the first few picks because of the signability factor and these players often drop to the large market big money teams. As we all know, the Sox are not one of them. The Sox have been good, but not good enough to get into the playoffs much during the last 10 years for example. Because of this we end up drafting somewhere in the teens. The Twins on the other hand, prior to 2001, just sucked and had some of the worst records in baseball, meaning they were selecting high in the draft. Granted, they are not a big market team either, but they are picking well before the Sox in the draft. These prospects are not just "prospects" in the eyes of the Sox scouts either. Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and other publications as well as the various showcase the kids attend before they are drafted all have similar rankings for these so called prospects. Believe me, I've had the same thoughts like why can't we just once have a guy we call up be lights out when he gets here. I don't have the answers, but just know, this happens to every team. Take the Cubs for instance, outside of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior (& Corey Patterson depending on your feelings about him)who else has their minor league system produced lately? They are rated as having one of the best minor league systems, so what exactly has it produced? Prior was basically a gift to them as far as I'm concerned and Wood was another who was thought to be a sure fire pro. Their Juan Cruz's, Francisco Beltran's and Todd Wellemeyer's rank right up there with our Josh Fogg's, Kip Wells & Jon Rauch's.

I hope this rambling made some sense.

zambrano is a pretty damn good pitcher

habibharu
08-10-2004, 05:48 PM
The Twins poor record is only part of the equation to their success. The only #1 draftees that are a big part of their curent team are Hunter and Mauer. You're right that they've received good prospects in return for their marquee players, but they've also done well with Grade B prospects, mid/late-round draftees, and Rule 5. I was mostly wondering if there something within the Sox minor-league operations (besides trading away numerous prospects) that is hindering their ability to re-stock without waving the white flag for an extended period like Minnesota did.

As far as being a different market, I completely agree with you. When the Twins win, everyone here is a fan and we all have a great old time. When the Twins stink, they are mostly ignored, rather than lambasted. I think (but I'm not sure) that Oakland is the same way, so that might explain why teams like the A's and Twins have been able to build for the long haul without having to over-spend. Cyclical apathy has its advantages, I guess. i completely agree. the twins dont get all of their talent from the first few rounds of the draft. they find guys like santana in rule v drafts, while we find guys like jason grilli! :angry: :angry: :angry:

Jamieboy
08-10-2004, 05:54 PM
People forget that the White Sox scouts are some of the more higher paid scouts in the business. Reinsdorf has taken care of the team in this aspect. We just haven't had too many of our top prospects pan out. But we have had enough tho. Crede though is the finger to point at, his swing is too big for the amount of power he generates, and he gets too down on himself. KW drafting has been fine tho. We have those 2 very good OF prospects in the minors, I don't remember their names, but those guys were the reason Jeremy Reed was made expendable. Jeremy Borchard has not been given a lot of consistent at bats by Ozzie Guillen, I know were trying to win, but really, Timo is hitting .250, Borchard .200, Borchard is suposedly the future star of the team. Play him now and try to prove it. Looking at his minor league numbers, its obvious he's not going to hit .310, but if he can get .250+, he'll be fine.

habibharu
08-10-2004, 05:57 PM
People forget that the White Sox scouts are some of the more higher paid scouts in the business. Reinsdorf has taken care of the team in this aspect. We just haven't had too many of our top prospects pan out. But we have had enough tho. Crede though is the finger to point at, his swing is too big for the amount of power he generates, and he gets too down on himself. KW drafting has been fine tho. We have those 2 very good OF prospects in the minors, I don't remember their names, but those guys were the reason Jeremy Reed was made expendable. Jeremy Borchard has not been given a lot of consistent at bats by Ozzie Guillen, I know were trying to win, but really, Timo is hitting .250, Borchard .200, Borchard is suposedly the future star of the team. Play him now and try to prove it. Looking at his minor league numbers, its obvious he's not going to hit .310, but if he can get .250+, he'll be fine. wow we got jeremy borchard on our team!? is that some kind of super freak combination that has a very high OBP and hits hrs?

owensmouth
08-10-2004, 06:02 PM
Something to keep in mind about the draft... only the early first round draftees are not available to the Sox. Those that the other teams pick up as sandwich picks, or 2d, 3d etc, the Sox could have picked instead of what they got.

But the draft is only one source of new blood.

It's what happens after they join the organization.

Oh, by the way, I think you can add See Hop Choi to the list of Cub players.

eriqjaffe
08-10-2004, 06:05 PM
People forget that the White Sox scouts are some of the more higher paid scouts in the business. Reinsdorf has taken care of the team in this aspect.
And that investment is paying off big-time!

We have those 2 very good OF prospects in the minors, I don't remember their names, but those guys were the reason Jeremy Reed was made expendable.
Sweeney is probably one of the guys you're thinking of.

Jeremy Borchard has not been given a lot of consistent at bats
Who's Jeremy Borchard? ;)

Looking at his minor league numbers, its obvious he's not going to hit .310, but if he can get .250+, he'll be fine.
Meh. I see Joe Borchard developing into Rob Deer or Pete Incaviglia. The Sox'll be lucky if they get a career equivalent to Ron Kittle out of him. Just doesn't have baseball smarts.

habibharu
08-10-2004, 06:05 PM
Something to keep in mind about the draft... only the early first round draftees are not available to the Sox. Those that the other teams pick up as sandwich picks, or 2d, 3d etc, the Sox could have picked instead of what they got.

But the draft is only one source of new blood.

It's what happens after they join the organization.

Oh, by the way, I think you can add See Hop Choi to the list of Cub players. yeah, but when you gotta GM like hendry making smart moves and a 90 mil payroll, you dont necessarily need to build through the draft. the draft is THE key to our success because of the low payroll and because we got a mornoic GM.

California Sox
08-10-2004, 06:42 PM
So much of having a "great farm system" involves luck. The Sox had a so-called "great" farm system in 2000 and most of those guys did not pan out. The St. Louis Cardinals have had one of the most barren farm systems in baseball for years, a series of terrible first-round picks, zero depth. But they did get lucky with something like a sixth round pick and got Albert Pujols.

The Sox farm system has produced Frank Thomas, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee, Ray Durham, Mark Buerhle, etc. in recent years, so it has not been completely barren. Currently there are no major league-ready players due to KW's policy of always including one too many players in trades, but Anderson, Sweeney, and McCarthy all seem like pretty good prospects. Sure, I wish we had more and watching the current team makes me want replacements for every position, but it's rare when anyone's farm system produces a whole team at once.

jeremyb1
08-10-2004, 09:59 PM
[size=2]Folks, this is a problem with almost every team. It is just magnified with the Sox because this is the team we choose to follow.


That was the first point I was going to make. I'm was pleasantly suprised to find it in the thread. You can find threads like this on 90% of teams' message boards for two reasons. First, as Fungo correctly pointed out, because it's your team, you have a skewed perspective. Fans tend to think in terms of the best prospect in their system. There seems to be the impression that Ruffcorn was a top prospect when in reality he never broke BA's top 25. Most fans don't have that perspective since they're seeing mostly coverage of their club. The teams top prospect is always going to be hyped even if the system is terrible and he's only the 80th best prospect in baseball. The only guys the Sox have had in BA or BP's top ten in recent years are Thomas, Reed, Rauch, and possibly Fernandez and Kip Wells. Thomas is a HOFer, Wells is a top of the rotation pitcher, Fernandez was one until injuries cut him down, Rauch's career has been destroyed by injury, and Reed is still in the minors. Not a bad bunch. So before considering a player a failure you have to remember than sometimes freak occurances or injuries occur and even the Rick Ankiels of the world falter and more importantly try to gain some perspective about how a prospect rates in general as opposed to just in the Sox system.

The second problem here is the expectation for prospects to immediately succeed at the big league level. That's often true with the best position prospects but pitchers virtually always struggle at first. Take a look of the stats of some of the better pitchers sometime. Johnson, Brown, Schilling, Mulder, Vazquez, Maddux, Glavine, and on and on all struggled for a season or sometimes three early on. Only a handful of guys like Pedro, Hudson, and Zito succeeded at first blush but fans tend to forget that about players on other clubs.

Lip Man 1
08-10-2004, 10:08 PM
Brian:

Jason Bere threw incredible hard, he had three games with over 13 strikouts.

Lip

Frater Perdurabo
08-10-2004, 11:09 PM
Another problem that skews our perspective is that several of the Sox late 80s/early 90s top prospects who did make a splash in the majors but all had their careers derailed by injury. I'm thinking specifically of Fernandez, McDowell, Alvarez and Bere. Fernandez and McDowell are gone, while Alvarez and Bere are shells of their former selves with other teams. But Alvarez, Darwin and Hernandez got the Sox Barcelo, Caruso, Howry and Foulke. So, while these guys (plus Ventura, Frank, Maggs, Lee, Buehrle) have kept the Sox a "winning" team (percentage-wise), the Sox didn't have many top draft picks to replicate the 87-90 run of sure-fire superstar picks of McDowell, Ventura, Thomas and Fernandez. But Cameron got the Sox Konerko (whether or not you like that particular deal). Bradford got us Olivo, who along with Reed got us Garcia. Also consider Wells and Fogg (who got us Todd Ritchie :(: ) and Karchner, who got us Garland from the Evil Empire. Even Danny Wright won 14 games in 2002. Remember Durham? Liefer and Biddle (IIRC) got the Sox a great 2003 season from Colon.

The Sox farm system has produced some very good, if not great players, along with plenty of busts. Probably no more or no less than other organizations over the last 15 years. It's just that a significant number of the best of them suffered freak injuries, while others were traded or allowed to leave via free agency. Consequently, the Sox have had to make deals for other team's players to fill holes. I don't think the problem is with the farm system. I think the problem is the failure to hang on to their own players, and the self-imposed payroll restraints. And really the only position where they haven't been able to generate a home-grown quality player is shortstop.

owensmouth
08-10-2004, 11:15 PM
Another problem that skews our perspective is that several of the Sox late 80s/early 90s top prospects who did make a splash in the majors but all had their careers derailed by injury. I'm thinking specifically of Fernandez, McDowell, Alvarez and Bere. Fernandez and McDowell are gone, while Alvarez and Bere are shells of their former selves with other teams. But Alvarez, Darwin and Hernandez got the Sox Barcelo, Caruso, Howry and Foulke. So, while these guys (plus Ventura, Frank, Maggs, Lee, Buehrle) have kept the Sox a "winning" team (percentage-wise), the Sox didn't have many top draft picks to replicate the 87-90 run of sure-fire superstar picks of McDowell, Ventura, Thomas and Fernandez. But Cameron got the Sox Konerko (whether or not you like that particular deal). Bradford got us Olivo, who along with Reed got us Garcia. Also consider Wells and Fogg (who got us Todd Ritchie :(: ) and Karchner, who got us Garland from the Evil Empire. Even Danny Wright won 14 games in 2002. Remember Durham? Liefer and Biddle (IIRC) got the Sox a great 2003 season from Colon.

The Sox farm system has produced some very good, if not great players, along with plenty of busts. Probably no more or no less than other organizations over the last 15 years. It's just that a significant number of the best of them suffered freak injuries, while others were traded or allowed to leave via free agency. Consequently, the Sox have had to make deals for other team's players to fill holes. I don't think the problem is with the farm system. I think the problem is the failure to hang on to their own players, and the self-imposed payroll restraints. And really the only position where they haven't been able to generate a home-grown quality player is shortstop.All of that was great over the past twenty years, and I don't disagree wIth you. BUTTTTT, RIGHT NOW WE HAVE NO MAJOR LEAGUE READY PLAYERS IN OUR MINOR LEAGUE ORGANIZATION

Daver
08-10-2004, 11:24 PM
All of that was great over the past twenty years, and I don't disagree wIth you. BUTTTTT, RIGHT NOW WE HAVE NO MAJOR LEAGUE READY PLAYERS IN OUR MINOR LEAGUE ORGANIZATION
Do you want to win now, or build for the future?

At this moment the only thing lacking from the 40 man roster (excepting the holes due to injuries) is pitching. Guess what, every other team that is in the hunt needs pitching too.

owensmouth
08-10-2004, 11:33 PM
Do you want to win now, or build for the future?

At this moment the only thing lacking from the 40 man roster (excepting the holes due to injuries) is pitching. Guess what, every other team that is in the hunt needs pitching too.
Daver, you and I disagree on this. Our infield 3d, SS, and 2d collapsed for a period of a month. The past couple of games the people who have not done the job have looked a little better, but there is just noone advanced enough to bring up to help the major league club.

Maracucho
08-10-2004, 11:37 PM
AMEN!!!...JUST ONE! Every other team in the majors seems to have that...BUT the Sox!
Ahem, couldn't one argue that that 1 guy to come out of nowhere is Mark Buerhle?

the grass is always greener...

Wealz
08-10-2004, 11:45 PM
Do you want to win now, or build for the future?I want any holdovers from the Schueler regime who have anything to do with drafting and development to be replaced.

gosox41
08-11-2004, 09:16 AM
Folks, this is a problem with almost every team. It is just magnified with the Sox because this is the team we choose to follow. The draft is a crap-shoot in itself and often the best players are not drafted in the first few picks because of the signability factor and these players often drop to the large market big money teams. As we all know, the Sox are not one of them. The Sox have been good, but not good enough to get into the playoffs much during the last 10 years for example. Because of this we end up drafting somewhere in the teens. The Twins on the other hand, prior to 2001, just sucked and had some of the worst records in baseball, meaning they were selecting high in the draft. Granted, they are not a big market team either, but they are picking well before the Sox in the draft. These prospects are not just "prospects" in the eyes of the Sox scouts either. Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and other publications as well as the various showcase the kids attend before they are drafted all have similar rankings for these so called prospects. Believe me, I've had the same thoughts like why can't we just once have a guy we call up be lights out when he gets here. I don't have the answers, but just know, this happens to every team. Take the Cubs for instance, outside of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior (& Corey Patterson depending on your feelings about him)who else has their minor league system produced lately? They are rated as having one of the best minor league systems, so what exactly has it produced? Prior was basically a gift to them as far as I'm concerned and Wood was another who was thought to be a sure fire pro. Their Juan Cruz's, Francisco Beltran's and Todd Wellemeyer's rank right up there with our Josh Fogg's, Kip Wells & Jon Rauch's.

I hope this rambling made some sense.


A couple of points:

1. There's not too many first round picks on the Twins even though they sucked for all thsoe years. Maybe it speaks well of playter development.

2. Zambrano is no slouch a as a pitcher (even if he is a head case) and came up with the Cubs.


Bob

Fungo
08-11-2004, 10:56 AM
A couple of points:

1. There's not too many first round picks on the Twins even though they sucked for all thsoe years. Maybe it speaks well of playter development.

2. Zambrano is no slouch a as a pitcher (even if he is a head case) and came up with the Cubs.


Bob1. Joe, Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter, Matt LeCroy, Jacque Jones (2nd Round), Justin Morneau (3rd Round). All pretty high picks if you ask me.
2. I agree, Zambrano is a very good pitcher, but he wasn't selected in the draft. He was signed as an undrafted free agent. If you want to include him, I'll gladly throw in the names of Carlos Lee & Magglio Ordoņez.

gosox41
08-11-2004, 12:01 PM
1. Joe, Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter, Matt LeCroy, Jacque Jones (2nd Round), Justin Morneau (3rd Round). All pretty high picks if you ask me.
2. I agree, Zambrano is a very good pitcher, but he wasn't selected in the draft. He was signed as an undrafted free agent. If you want to include him, I'll gladly throw in the names of Carlos Lee & Magglio Ordoņez.
The issue was top 10 draft picks in teh first round. Any guy picked in the second round or worse was someone the Sox could have gotten. Here are some other players the Twins have relied on over the last couple of yearsand where they were drafted. Keep in mind I am well aware that some of them are no longer with the team. But they still played a major role for the Twins in the last 2 years and have led to to other players in trades or draft picks:

Gaurdado-21 round 1990
Hawkins-7th round 1991
Hocking-52 round-1989
Bobby Kielty-Undrafted
Koskie-26th round-1994
Mientkiwicz-5ht round 1995
Pierzynski-3rd 1994
Radke-8th round 1991
Romer0-21st round 1997

Bob

Fungo
08-11-2004, 12:10 PM
The issue was top 10 draft picks in teh first round. Any guy picked in the second round or worse was someone the Sox could have gotten. Here are some other players the Twins have relied on over the last couple of yearsand where they were drafted. Keep in mind I am well aware that some of them are no longer with the team. But they still played a major role for the Twins in the last 2 years and have led to to other players in trades or draft picks:

Gaurdado-21 round 1990
Hawkins-7th round 1991
Hocking-52 round-1989
Bobby Kielty-Undrafted
Koskie-26th round-1994
Mientkiwicz-5ht round 1995
Pierzynski-3rd 1994
Radke-8th round 1991
Romer0-21st round 1997

Bob28 other teams passed on these guys as well, so don't just point the finger at the Sox. I guess the 28 other teams have no idea what they are doing either.

JDP
08-11-2004, 12:11 PM
Not only all those teams passing on them, but passing on them several times.

The Tom
08-11-2004, 12:46 PM
Owensmouth is right, the White Sos have no MLB-ready prospects in our system. But he is wrong in saying the system is depleted. Anybody who follows the Sox system knows that there are several prospects to be VERY excited about in the lower levels. Sweeney, BMac, Anderson, Gio, and Fields all have exceptional potential and are performing well. Also, except for the Knights all our farm teams are in the hunt for a Minor League Championship. The benefits of all this is still a few years away, but it'll come eventually.

habibharu
08-11-2004, 01:42 PM
our Farm system is WEAK as HELL at the top tier. honestly, how many legitimate prospects do we have at the top? i can think of two(diaz and baj.) all of our guys are at the lower levels.(anderson,honel, wing, munoz, schunerstein, bmac, sweeney, rog., gio., fields., young, valido, nanita, etc, etc,)

Wealz
08-11-2004, 01:58 PM
28 other teams passed on these guys as well, so don't just point the finger at the Sox. I guess the 28 other teams have no idea what they are doing either.
Unlike some of those teams, the White Sox don't have the financial resources to overcome making too many of these types of mistakes. Fair or not, their scouting and development people must be held to a higher standard.

Flight #24
08-11-2004, 02:38 PM
Daver, you and I disagree on this. Our infield 3d, SS, and 2d collapsed for a period of a month. The past couple of games the people who have not done the job have looked a little better, but there is just noone advanced enough to bring up to help the major league club.
Come on now. Pretty much any team would collapse when you take players who are meant to be one or 2-dimensional but who as part of the team make a pretty good group, and start relying on them to be all-around contributors.

The Sox were built to be a team that had an abundance of offense because there were few teams that could match up with a middle of the order of Thomas-Maggs-Lee-Konerko. That meant that other positions could be more defensively oriented and still have a great overall team. It also meant that the guys ahead & behind the core could "draft" somewhat and get better pitches to hit because of who was either coming up or already on base. The net result was a pretty balanced team with solid D, plenty of power, and enough OBP & speed to be at or near the top in runs scored.

Now when you take away the top 2 hitters, not only do you have lesser guys replacing them, but the other guys have less protection, which exposes their own weaknesses more.

It's a tradeoff between having a more balanced team that can better withstand injury but if healthy isn't a great offense and having a team that is more reliant on a couple of key guys but which if healthy, can be a top 2-3 offense in all of baseball. The latter is what the Sox went for.

Fungo
08-11-2004, 03:26 PM
Unlike some of those teams, the White Sox don't have the financial resources to overcome making too many of these types of mistakes. Fair or not, their scouting and development people must be held to a higher standard.I'm not quite sure how you figure this is a mistake. Radke, for instance, was the 208 pick overall in 1991. Matter of fact, the 207 overall pick was Jason Schmidt that same year. So were there 206 better players selected in front of these guys? Why didn't the Twins take him as their first pick that year then if he was a lock to be as good as he is now? The draft, in every sport, is such an in-exact science. Quite possibly the biggest bust in the history of the MLB draft was Brien Taylor and he was selected number one overall in that same year. I'll agree, right now, the cupboard seems bear, but in the lower levels the Sox have a few guys waiting in the wings.

gosox41
08-12-2004, 09:41 AM
Unlike some of those teams, the White Sox don't have the financial resources to overcome making too many of these types of mistakes. Fair or not, their scouting and development people must be held to a higher standard.
I think a lot of it is player development. When late round guys come up and become decent to good MLB players and the Sox can't even get a first round or sandwich pick up here in the last 5 years that has done anything positive, it says something about what's going on down there.

The draft is a crapshoot the later you go. But that doesn't mean they can't develop some of these guys once in awhile.



Bob