Your 2009 Birmingham Barons - Where Are They Now?
The 2009 Barons went 92-47 and looked like they were loaded with prospects. But the expected infusion of talent in Chicago never came.
What the hell happened?
C Tyler Flowers (.993 OPS) can't his way out of Charlotte, even with an aging A.J. Pierzynski ahead of him, and at 25 is unlikely to become an everyday player in the majors.
OF Stefan Gartrell (.892 OPS) was already 25 in 2009, and was recently traded by away for cash.
OF David Cook (.882 OPS) was already 27 in 2009, played in Houston's system in 2010 and in Cincinnati's this year.
IF Gordon Beckham (.862 OPS) at least has a nickname. He was a serious AL Rookie of the Year candidate in 2009 and regressed in 2010 and 2011.
1B/OF Christian Marrero (.859 OPS) is still in Birmingham, hitting about as well as he did two years ago. He's 24 now, no longer a prospect.
1B Brandon Allen (.825 OPS) was traded to Arizona for a pretty bad relief pitcher. Allen spent some time in the majors, but has played much better for Reno (AAA) and his opportunity is dwindling.
UT C. J. Retherford (.813 OPS) had a miserable 2010, is now 25, and currently plays for Mississippi, still in the Southern League.
OF John Shelby (.725 OPS) had a poor 2010, is now 25, and plays for Montgomery in the Southern League.
3B Dayan Viciedo (.708 OPS) is having a poor season in Charlotte, but he's still 22 and considered a prospect. Power remains his one plus tool.
SP John Ely (14-2, 2.82) was traded for Juan Pierre. He's been terrible for the Dodgers, and not particularly good for their AAA team in Albuquerque. Pierre has been merely bad for the White Sox.
SP Kyle McCulloch (9-9, 4.58) was a bust of a first round pick who was never actually good, and benefited from a strong team in 2009. He currently draws a paycheck from Louisville.
SP Lucas Harrell (8-3, 3.25) appears to have hit his ceiling at AAA Charlotte. He's 26, no longer a prospect.
SP Charles Shirek (6-4, 3.39) failed in a brief tryout at AAA and is now at single-A Winston-Salem. He's 25.
SP Brian Omogrosso (7-2, 4.19) is now a 27-year old reliever at Birmingham.
SP Aaron Poreda (5-4, 2.38) was a big part of the Jake Peavy trade, and he's been a horrible reliever for the Padres ever since. Perhaps they shouldn't have converted him to a reliever.
SP Daniel Hudson (7-0, 1.60), the best prospect on the 2009 Barons, was dealt to the Diamondbacks for Edwin Jackson in what looks like a terrible deal for the White Sox. Hudson is a better pitcher than Jackson straight up, never mind the difference in their salaries, and Jackson did not get the Sox into the playoffs.
RP Fernando Hernandez (2-3, 20 SV, 1.71) pitched poorly for Sacramento in 2010 and is pitching even worse for Trenton this year. The Sox lost him in the Rule 5 draft.
RP Clevelan Santeliz (4-0, 10 SV, 0.96) pitched OK for Charlotte in 2010 but was designated for assignment. He is now in the Red Sox system.
RP Jhonny Nunez (3-0, 3 SV, 2.14) is pitching very well at Charlotte and will probably spend significant time in the White Sox bullpen this year.
Manager Ever Magallanes is still with Birmingham.
So the answer to "where are they now?" is: Not contributing in Chicago. Not Beckham, who looks lost at the plate; not Flowers or Viciedo, who can't hit or field enough to be useful. Not Hudson or Ely or Allen, traded away for some bad and extremely overpriced veterans. Not Poreda, who was traded for the oft-injured Peavy. And not the rest, who were never any good to start with.
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