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View Full Version : John Sickels Rates White Sox Prospects


SoCalWhiteSoxFan
12-25-2006, 08:00 PM
http://www.minorleagueball.com/story/2006/12/23/061/36883

Minor League Guru Sickels bottom line on White Sox organization: "This system has thinned out considerably, as even the best prospects have a questionmark or two, with lack of positional depth a serious issue."

1. Ryan Sweeney, OF, Grade B (great swing but I still doubt his power)

2. Gio Gonzalez, LHP, Grade B (control and consistency were issues in Double-A)

3. Josh Fields, 3B, B (developing his tools, but still strikes out a lot)

4. Lance Broadway, RHP, B- (polished but not a lot of upside)

5. Charlie Haeger, RHP, B- (knuckleballer is hard to predict, could turn into anything)

6. Aaron Cunningham, OF, B- (good tools, skills are advancing)

7. Kyle McCulloch, RHP, B- (polished but not a lot of upside)

8. Chris Carter, 1B, C+ (impressive raw power but will need time)

9. Matt Long, RHP, C+ (throws hard but secondary stuff is shaky, numbers horrible)

10. Boone Logan, LHP, C+ (should be a good LOOGY, not a good sign that he's rated this high)

11. Jack Egbert, RHP, C+ (sleeper swingman type prospect)

12. Dewon Day, RHP, C+ (This is a stretch grade and C would be more appropriate probably, but I really like his arm and I think he is a sleeper I want to point out)

13. Sean Tracey, RHP, C (needs better command)

14. Adam Russell, RHP, C (another guy who needs better secondary stuff)

15. Ray Liotta, LHP, C (completely fell apart)

16. Lucas Harrell, RHP, C (another good fastball who needs better secondary stuff)

17. Owens, OF, C (Ok as a reserve outfielder)

18. Clayton Richard, LHP, C (bothered by knee injury)

19. Justin Cassel, RHP, C (interesting arm from '06 draft)

20. Carlos Vazquez, LHP, C (fallback LOOGY if Logan fails, rule 5 guy)

Daver
12-25-2006, 08:26 PM
Yeah, Jon Sickels is so good at evaluating talent that not a single MLB team will give him a job, kind of baseballs version of Mel Kiper.

CashMan
12-25-2006, 08:31 PM
Yeah, Jon Sickels is so good at evaluating talent that not a single MLB team will give him a job, kind of baseballs version of Mel Kiper.


Baseball is 10 times harder to project than football. In football, it is more like can this guy be effective in this system. In baseball, it is all about your talent. Although you might be right about this guy being an ID 10 T.

Daver
12-25-2006, 08:52 PM
Baseball is 10 times harder to project than football. In football, it is more like can this guy be effective in this system. In baseball, it is all about your talent. Although you might be right about this guy being an ID 10 T.

Baseball requires seeing players play, there is no way this guy sees all the players he is evaluating, he is using scouting reports and guessing.

rdivaldi
12-25-2006, 08:56 PM
Yeah, Jon Sickels is so good at evaluating talent that not a single MLB team will give him a job, kind of baseballs version of Mel Kiper.

I agree, but I don't disagree that the farm system is still a bit weaker than it has been in past years. The trades KW has made have bumped us up to probably middle of the pack, so it could be worse.

SoCalWhiteSoxFan
12-25-2006, 09:04 PM
Baseball requires seeing players play, there is no way this guy sees all the players he is evaluating, he is using scouting reports and guessing.

Daver,

I really question your objectivity. If Sickels were gushing about the Sox farm system, I bet you wouldn't be taking shots at him. Sickels is not alone in his assessment of White Sox prospects. As it stands now, the Sox have serious issues. Let's face up to them.

rdivaldi
12-25-2006, 09:09 PM
Daver,

I really question your objectivity. If Sickels were gushing about the Sox farm system, I bet you wouldn't be taking shots at him. Sickels is not alone in his assessment of White Sox prospects. As it stands now, the Sox have serious issues. Let's face up to them.

Oh I don't know if we have "serious issues". We're kind of middle of the road right now. We have some guys in the system that other teams would love to have (Sweeney, Fields, Danks, Gonzalez) and some others that are considered pretty good. This obviously isn't the loaded farm system we had in 2000, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was last year.

Daver
12-25-2006, 09:15 PM
Daver,

I really question your objectivity. If Sickels were gushing about the Sox farm system, I bet you wouldn't be taking shots at him. Sickels is not alone in his assessment of White Sox prospects. As it stands now, the Sox have serious issues. Let's face up to them.

You don't know me very well, and don't make assumptions based on nothing.

PalehosePlanet
12-25-2006, 09:26 PM
This was obviously published before we picked up Danks and Masset. These two will improve our minor league prospects' grade immensely.

KW realizes that we have not drafted well recently and is trying to correct that through trades. I'm aboard.

SOXSINCE'70
12-25-2006, 10:22 PM
Yeah, Jon Sickels is so good at evaluating talent that not a single MLB team will give him a job, kind of baseballs version of Mel Kiper.

I hope his hair isn't as frightening.:D: :D:
IMHO,that hairstyle makes him look like Count Chocula.
And I'm sure many others may have noticed this as well.

Britt Burns
12-25-2006, 11:01 PM
I don't see what is objectionable about any of this...Sweeney does have questions, Gio was inconsistent last year with his command, Fields does K alot. About the only quibble I have is that Owens is ranked as low as he is. I would imagine that with the recent trade, Danks takes over the top slot and Massett falls somewhere in the 6-9 range.

Beautox
12-26-2006, 12:34 AM
I like Sickels about 70% of the time, but he has been known to be completely wrong about about prospects from time to time (Melky Cabrera & Robinson Cano come to mind).

I think he missed the boat on Perez. I also feel Logan's grade is a bit low i think it should be a solid B. its very impressive to jump from basically rookie ball all the way to the bigs; stall and then go back down to AAA and dominate(3.37ERA, 57SO/12BB in 42.2IP at the age of 21/22 as their closer).

jabrch
12-26-2006, 01:49 AM
Heath Phillips isn't even on the list

rdivaldi
12-26-2006, 02:52 AM
Heath Phillips isn't even on the list

Which shouldn't be all that suprising. Heath really doesn't have the measurables or the track record to be rated all that highly.

SoCalWhiteSoxFan
12-26-2006, 06:33 AM
I still think it's amazing that all KW got in return for Garcia was a 1st round bust (Gavin Floyd), and a decent, but not top prospect in Gio Gonzalez. Unbelievable.

Here's hoping the White Sox will try to make amends the fans by signing Dye to a nice extension this Spring. (Crede, of course, is off the table, because of Reinsdorf's infantile refusal to deal with Boras).

maurice
12-26-2006, 02:20 PM
Baseball requires seeing players play, there is no way this guy sees all the players he is evaluating, he is using scouting reports and guessing.

I think you're giving him too much credit. It seems to me that he just looks up the minor-league stats for each club and then pulls a list out of his ass. For example, a couple of years ago, he ranked Antonin Gray as a top Sox prospect, notwithstanding the fact that (1) no actual scout considered him a prospect, and (2) he already had been released by the organization.

maurice
12-26-2006, 02:24 PM
According to BA, Gonzalez was the Phils #2 prospect. IIRC, after the trade (and pre-Danks), they had him as our #3 prospect and top pitching prospect.

As for Floyd, it remains to be seen whether he will be a "bust," a decent pitcher, or maybe even a really good major-league player.

rdivaldi
12-26-2006, 02:36 PM
As for Floyd, it remains to be seen whether he will be a "bust," a decent pitcher, or maybe even a really good major-league player.

Very true, you can't judge a guy who is turning 24 in a couple of weeks. The Blue Jays had a 25 year old prospect who went 10- 12 with an ERA above 6. I think his name was Chris Carpenter or something. I wonder what happened to him?

:wink:

California Sox
12-26-2006, 05:58 PM
Very true, you can't judge a guy who is turning 24 in a couple of weeks. The Blue Jays had a 25 year old prospect who went 10- 12 with an ERA above 6. I think his name was Chris Carpenter or something. I wonder what happened to him?

:wink:

Not to mention the fact that Halladay bombed so bad he had to go all the way back to the FSL to straighten himself out. I think that worked out okay.

I was critical of the Floyd acquisition, but you've got to give KW credit, big arms like Floyd, Sisco, Masset, and to a lesser extent Danks and Gio do not grow on trees. And when someone has rare talent sometimes they put it together late like Mike Scott or Dave Stewart or Jose Contreras.

One thing I'm concerned about, however, is the seeming lack of consistency in philosophy between the major league staff and the scouting. If KW places a premium on stuff, why are we drafting guys who are short on stuff but long on pitchability in the first round of the last two drafts? A guy like Joba Chamberlain seems to be a better fit with organizational philosophy than McCulloch. I wonder if everyone in the org. is on the same page in that regard?

Daver
12-26-2006, 06:08 PM
Not to mention the fact that Halladay bombed so bad he had to go all the way back to the FSL to straighten himself out. I think that worked out okay.

I was critical of the Floyd acquisition, but you've got to give KW credit, big arms like Floyd, Sisco, Masset, and to a lesser extent Danks and Gio do not grow on trees. And when someone has rare talent sometimes they put it together late like Mike Scott or Dave Stewart or Jose Contreras.

One thing I'm concerned about, however, is the seeming lack of consistency in philosophy between the major league staff and the scouting. If KW places a premium on stuff, why are we drafting guys who are short on stuff but long on pitchability in the first round of the last two drafts? A guy like Joba Chamberlain seems to be a better fit with organizational philosophy than McCulloch. I wonder if everyone in the org. is on the same page in that regard?

The Sox have never drafted power pitchers, that goes back to the Schueler days, they prefer to trade for power pitchers after they are proven healthy by someone else. I actually think this makes sense, though it may cost you a bit more in the long run.

rdivaldi
12-26-2006, 06:11 PM
The Sox have never drafted power pitchers, that goes back to the Schueler days, they prefer to trade for power pitchers after they are proven healthy by someone else. I actually think this makes sense, though it may cost you a bit more in the long run.

Well, that's not necessarily true. We've drafted some power guys who just haven't worked out. Biddle, West, Stumm, and Wyatt Allen come to mind. I'm sure there are at least a couple more examples out there.

Daver
12-26-2006, 06:13 PM
Well, that's not necessarily true. We've drafted some power guys who just haven't worked out. Biddle, West, Stumm, and Wyatt Allen come to mind. I'm sure there are at least a couple more examples out there.

Perhaps I should have worded that better to rarely, they draft far more finesse pitchers.

rdivaldi
12-26-2006, 06:28 PM
Perhaps I should have worded that better to rarely, they draft far more finesse pitchers.

Don't mind my nit-picking...

TaylorStSox
12-26-2006, 06:34 PM
Not to mention the fact that Halladay bombed so bad he had to go all the way back to the FSL to straighten himself out. I think that worked out okay.

I was critical of the Floyd acquisition, but you've got to give KW credit, big arms like Floyd, Sisco, Masset, and to a lesser extent Danks and Gio do not grow on trees. And when someone has rare talent sometimes they put it together late like Mike Scott or Dave Stewart or Jose Contreras.

One thing I'm concerned about, however, is the seeming lack of consistency in philosophy between the major league staff and the scouting. If KW places a premium on stuff, why are we drafting guys who are short on stuff but long on pitchability in the first round of the last two drafts? A guy like Joba Chamberlain seems to be a better fit with organizational philosophy than McCulloch. I wonder if everyone in the org. is on the same page in that regard?


I think he's trying to find a nice balance of guys that can be impact pitchers and those that have an excellent chance at being innings eaters to fill out the rotation. Let's say that McCulloch and Broadway can become reliable 4th and 5th guys. That leaves a ton of high impact "stuff" arms to take over at the top of the rotation. Even if most don't pan out, there's a good chance that at least 2 will live up to their potential. This way, KW only has to make 1 signing or trade to fill out a very good, young rotation. It's all about balance.

Cuck_The_Fubs
12-26-2006, 06:44 PM
Hey John Sickels:

How the flying frick can you rate a 23 year-old knuckle baller a B-, when his knuckleball in the september callups was amazing? You must be on drugs, seriously.

Foulke You
12-26-2006, 07:25 PM
15. Ray Liotta, LHP, C (completely fell apart)

Hasn't he already played for the Sox? :tongue:
http://www.sportshollywood.com/images/rayliottabat.jpg

A. Cavatica
12-26-2006, 09:54 PM
Heath really doesn't have the measurables or the track record to be rated all that highly.

Measurables? No. But his track record's decent, and you'd have to say his chances of reaching the majors are pretty good. Some of the higher-upside guys won't get there at all.

rdivaldi
12-26-2006, 11:33 PM
Measurables? No. But his track record's decent, and you'd have to say his chances of reaching the majors are pretty good. Some of the higher-upside guys won't get there at all.

Actually his track record is pretty much average. He started off well in the lower levels and then bounced around in AA and AAA. His K/9 and WHIP have been pretty much average all the way through as well.

One thing I will say, is that Heath has been mostly ahead of the curve in regards to his development. But if you've seen him pitch, he's pretty underwhelming. For every Mark Buehrle there are 20 Mike Porzios and I'd be willing to bet that Heath is much closer to the former.

barney27
12-27-2006, 08:40 AM
This was obviously published before we picked up Danks and Masset. These two will improve our minor league prospects' grade immensely.

KW realizes that we have not drafted well recently and is trying to correct that through trades. I'm aboard.
Masset I think will be pitching in the majors. At 25 he should be ready, and he has plus stuff. Danks though will boast our minor league system unless he makes the no. 5 spot with his outside chance. If he does then Floyd will be a waste, with no spot in the bullpen left he will start at AAA, but I think he is out of options, so he will have to clear waviers which is unlikely.

cws05champ
12-27-2006, 09:57 AM
Masset I think will be pitching in the majors. At 25 he should be ready, and he has plus stuff. Danks though will boast our minor league system unless he makes the no. 5 spot with his outside chance. If he does then Floyd will be a waste, with no spot in the bullpen left he will start at AAA, but I think he is out of options, so he will have to clear waviers which is unlikely.

I beleive Floyd has one option left, but I may be wrong.

itsnotrequired
12-27-2006, 10:29 AM
I beleive Floyd has one option left, but I may be wrong.

I thought he was out of options...

Daver
12-27-2006, 10:44 AM
As far as I can tell, he has an option left, he was a Sept. call up in 2004.

chaerulez
12-27-2006, 10:17 PM
Sweeney and Fields should be rated A-. They are potential all stars. Just an odd list overall.

Daver
12-27-2006, 11:04 PM
Sweeney and Fields should be rated A-. They are potential all stars. Just an odd list overall.

Based on what?

Sweeney can swing a bat, and has a good arm, but is still better suited to left field because of his lack of range, and Fields can hit, but does not field his position much above average.

ondafarm
12-28-2006, 02:26 AM
Baseball requires seeing players play, there is no way this guy sees all the players he is evaluating, he is using scouting reports and guessing.


I don't know of any scout who does more than two leagues as a primary person. Occasionally, three leagues if you have help. A Japanese former teammate scouted three minor leagues for the Dragons: the International League (11 teams), the Southern League (12? teams) and the Carolina League (~12 teams) but he had me helping him and had another former teammate helping for a month that year. Those three leagues are moderately co-located. They've since switched back to scouts handle only two leagues or one for the PCL.

caulfield12
12-28-2006, 08:40 AM
Trying to think of other "power arms" we've drafted. Brian West and Rob Purvis also come to mind. Hard to say that Matt Ginter was a power arm, although Danny Wright certainly was out of Arkansas. Rauch was pretty raw and never had a dominating fastball.

Then there's Myette, Barcelo (White Flag)...definitely Stumm. Felix Diaz and Adkins were hyped as "power arms" but they didn't really impress me.

Of the other ones over the last decade, Guerrier, Parque, Snyder, Corwin Malone, Honel, Ring, McCarthy, Rupe, Buehrle, Broadway and McCullough aren't overwhelming.

McCarthy obviously has the upside with his frame and fastball consistently 91-93/94, but he's not a flamethrower either. He's particularly susceptible when he doesn't have a feel for his offspeed stuff and has to come with the fastball or the hanging curve.

I am in the Czech Republic right now and just heard about the McCarthy deal. Can't say I'm totally surprised, we'll just have to wait and see how it all turns out. Looks like the bullpen should be in much better shape in terms of quality arms and competition for spots out there.

You have Aardsma, Masset, Gio, Haeger, Tracey, Sisco, Logan, Floyd, Vazquez, Perez, Danks, Broadway, etc., all fighting over three spots. They should be able to come up with 3 out of those 12 IMO.