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Old 09-29-2005, 11:00 AM
Randar68 Randar68 is offline
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Quote:
5.GIO GONZALEZ, lhp, Winston-Salem Warthogs (White Sox)Age: 19 Ht: 5-11 Wt: 180 B-T: L-L Drafted/Signed: White Sox '04 (1)


One of the youngest players in the CL, Gonzalez also was its best lefthanded pitching prospect. Few southpaws anywhere can match his combination of a low-90s fastball, hammer curveball and a much-improved changeup. Gonzalez' out pitch in the past was his curveball, but he has gained more confidence in his changeup and now throws both pitches in any count. He works quickly with clean mechanics and features an exaggerated leg kick in his delivery.

There have been durability concerns in Gonzalez's past, and those resurfaced again this year as he missed time with back and shoulder strains. He also sat out Winston-Salem's one-game playoff against Salem with shoulder discomfort.


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9.LANCE BROADWAY, rhp, Winston-Salem Warthogs (White Sox)Age: 22 Ht: 6-4 Wt: 195 B-T: R-R Drafted/Signed: White Sox '05 (1)


Broadway finished the college season with a rush, and his draft stock didn't stop rising until the White Sox took him with the 15th overall selection. He was somewhat worn down after pitching 117 innings at Texas Christian, so Chicago monitored him closely and spread out his starts, giving him as many as nine days' rest. He wasn't quite the same pitcher who excelled in the spring. Though he showed good stuff, he lacked command at times, particularly with his fastball. He doesn't have an overpowering fastball, pitching at 88-91 mph, but he has excellent control of his plus-plus curveball. All three Warthogs pitchers on this list have above-average curves, but Broadway's has more velocity and a sharper break than those of Gonzalez and Ray Liotta.

Broadway could add a little more velocity if he can add more weight to his 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame. His changeup is still developing and is average at best.


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11.ROBERT VALIDO, ss, Winston-Salem Warthogs (White Sox)Age: 20 Ht: 6-2 Wt: 180 B-T: R-R Drafted/Signed: White Sox '03 (4)


Several managers referred to Valido as a deserving MVP candidate, though the award went to Daigle, his teammate. "You have guys like Markakis in this league," Rivera said, "but if I could pick a guy I wanted to be at the plate with the game on the line or who the ball was going to be hit to with the game on the line, it's Valido." Known more for his glove than his bat, Valido did all the little things the right way--with the exception of being suspended for 15 games in May after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

He was the best defender in the league, with outstanding range, soft hands and a plus arm. He makes consistent hard contact with a short, compact swing and hits to all fields with occasional gap power. He's an excellent bunter and did a better job of utilizing his speed than in years past, leading the league in steals and triples.
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13.RAY LIOTTA, lhp, Winston-Salem Warthogs (White Sox)Age: 22 Ht: 6-3 Wt: 220 B-T: L-L Drafted/Signed: White Sox '04 (2)


Liotta has won two ERA titles in two years as a pro, topping the Rookie-level Pioneer League at 2.54 last year and the low Class A South Atlantic League at 2.26 in 2005. His 1.45 ERA in eight CL starts was the lowest in a prospect-laden Winston-Salem rotation that also included Gonzalez, Broadway, Daniel Haigwood and Charles Haeger. As with Gonzalez and Broadway, Liotta's best pitch is his curveball. It's a true 12-to-6 breaker with tight, downward rotation. He also has a low-90s fastball and showed improvement with his changeup, though it's still a work in progress. He's a prototypical ground ball lefty who earns comparisons to Sean Burnett, though Liotta is bigger and stronger and has a higher ceiling.

While he gets good extension, Liotta's delivery is long and not very fluid. Some scouts also questioned his conditioning and stamina. His fastball tends to flatten out, particularly as he gets deeper into games.

"The more I see him, the more I like his upside," a National League scout said. "His curveball isn't as good as Broadway's and his stuff isn't quite Gio-like, but he's one of the best lefthanders in this league."
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