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  #1  
Old 09-13-2004, 01:57 PM
maurice maurice is offline
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Default *Unofficial* Top 10 Prospects

I was going to wait until October to include complete season stats for all ten guys, but since the board is dead and the season already has (unofficially) ended, I might as well beat everybody to the punch and post my heavily anticipated Top Ten Prospects list. I look forward to lists by Randar, Daver, Rex, etc.

BTW, this is not a prediction of BA’s list, since I have a somewhat different outlook than most of the folks at BA. In particular, I’m biased against low-level prospects and pitching prospects. Minor league stats were taken from BA’s website. Without further eloquence, I give you my Sox Top 10 prospects for 2004:

1. Brandon McCarthy - RHP: AA stats - 3 W, 1 L, 3.46 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 5:1 K:BB, 4 GS. A+ stats - 6 W, 0 L, 2.08 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 20:1 K:BB, 8 GS. A stats - 8 W, 5 L, 3.64 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 5.5:1 K:BB, 15 GS. This fast-moving 21 year old has been totally dominating at times, posting an unreal 20:1 K:BB ratio while going undefeated in eight starts at Winston-Salem. If he keeps up his torrid pace, Sox brass will have to give him a shot with the big club some time in 2005, an unthinkably fast advance through the system. It probably would be better, however, if he got at least one more full year in the minors.

2. Brian Anderson - CF: AA stats - .270 AVE, .346 OBP, .416 SLG, 3 SB, 48 Games. A+ stats - .319 AVE, .394 OBP, .531 SLG, 10 SB, 69 Games. Bats right. The Sox top pick in 2003 showcased his abilities as an outstanding, all-around player at two levels before tailing off late in the season as a result of a hernia and a groin injury, which ended his season prematurely. He could become a fixture in CF for the big-league club as early as mid-2005 and for years to come.

3. Ryan Sweeney - OF: A+ stats - .283 AVE, .342 OBP, .379 SLG, 8 SB, 134 Games. Bats left. This highly coveted 19 year old was rushed to the high minors after a torrid spring, where he received some national attention after smoking a line drive off of Bartolo Colon. At first glance, his production at Winston-Salem was unimpressive . . . until you realize that he’s only a year removed from prep baseball in Iowa. His hitting improved towards the end of the season, and you can expect him to step it up another notch during a full season at Birmingham.

4. Josh Fields - 3B: A+ stats - .285 AVE, .333 OBP, .445 SLG, 0 SB, 66 Games. Bats right. The Sox 2004 top pick also was rushed, reportedly as an incentive to sign soon after the draft. The Sox ended up signing what must be a record number of picks. Fields (not to be confused with "the other Josh Fields" who had a good year in relief for Birmingham) is a former college QB with very good power potential, though his future may not be at 3B. He started slowly but came on after adjusting to pro ball, hitting over .300 with power during both August and September.

5. Chris Young - CF: A stats - .262 AVE, .365 OBP, .505 SLG, 31 SB, 135 Games. Bats right. An extremely talented athlete, he brings a package of power, speed, and the ability to take a walk. Young has the potential to be an outstanding major leaguer if he can make more contact, but first he’ll need to produce in the high minors.

6. Jeff Bajenaru - RHP: MLB stats - pending. AAA stats - 10 Saves, 1.80 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 5:1 K:BB. AA stats - 12 Saves, 1.34 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 5:1 K:BB. He had an outstanding year as a closer at two levels before struggling during a late-season callup. Let's give him more than 3 MLB IP before making any definitive judgments. The Sox don’t usually give minor-league relievers much of a shot to pitch for them at the MLB level, but perhaps they'll make an exception.

7. Arnie Munoz - LHP: MLB stats - pending. AAA stats - 2 W, 6 L, 5.68 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 2:1 K:BB, 13 GS. AA stats - 7 W, 2 L, 2.05 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 3:1 K:BB, 13 GS. Throw out his start for the Sox. He had always been a reliever until this year, he projects as a MLB reliever, and he should be given a chance to fill a spot in the pen out of spring training. (So far, after 4.1 IP, he's yet to give up a run in relief for the Sox.) Munoz was thrown into the fire as a MLB starter after a surprisingly strong showing as a starter at Birmingham, but with zero starts at AAA and zero MLB relief appearances. That's not particularly fair (or wise).

8. Sean Tracey - RHP: A+ stats - 9 W, 8 L, 2.73 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 2:1 K:BB, 27 GS. He posted the best ERA among Carolina League starters not named "McCarthy," though it’s not reflected in his won-loss record. Tracey’s notorious for plunking batters, hitting a remarkable 23 batsmen in 27 starts.


9. Casey Rogowski - 1B/OF: A+ stats - .286 AVE, .401 OBP, .471 SLG, 16 SB, 136 Games. Bats left. Rogowski had a solid season repeating a level at Winston-Salem. It’s unclear why he didn’t receive a mid-season promotion to Birmingham along with Anderson, but he’s sure to move up a level in 2005. He has the impressive combination of some power, some speed, and the ability to walk as often as he strikes out.

10. Gio Gonzalez - LHP: A stats - 1 W, 1 L, 3.03 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 2:1 K:BB, 6 GS. R stats - 1 W, 2 L, 2.25 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 4.5:1 K:BB, 6 GS. This 2004 pick had a great debut season. He’s very developed for a high school pitcher and could become the steal of the draft. Look for him to shoot up in the rankings in years to come if he stays healthy.

- - -

There was quite a bit of upward mobility this year, because last year’s Top 9 all either got traded, promoted to the Sox, or lost serious time due to injury. (The three injured pitchers from 2003's Top 10 illustrate the basis for my bias against low-level pitching prospects.) There's a good chance for similar mobility next year, with names like Hernandez, Lucy, Valido, Schnurstein, Liotta, Lumsden, Whisler, and Castro potentially making their first Top 10 appearances.
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2004, 02:05 PM
shagar69 shagar69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maurice
I was going to wait until October to include complete season stats for all ten guys, but since the board is dead and the season already has (unofficially) ended, I might as well beat everybody to the punch and post my heavily anticipated Top Ten Prospects list. I look forward to lists by Randar, Daver, Rex, etc.

BTW, this is not a prediction of BAís list, since I have a somewhat different outlook than most of the folks at BA. In particular, Iím biased against low-level prospects and pitching prospects. Minor league stats were taken from BAís website. Without further eloquence, I give you my Sox Top 10 prospects for 2004:

1. Brandon McCarthy - RHP: AA stats - 3 W, 1 L, 3.46 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 5:1 K:BB, 4 GS. A+ stats - 6 W, 0 L, 2.08 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 20:1 K:BB, 8 GS. A stats - 8 W, 5 L, 3.64 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 5.5:1 K:BB, 15 GS. This fast-moving 21 year old has been totally dominating at times, posting an unreal 20:1 K:BB ratio while going undefeated in eight starts at Winston-Salem. If he keeps up his torrid pace, Sox brass will have to give him a shot with the big club some time in 2005, an unthinkably fast advance through the system. It probably would be better, however, if he got at least one more full year in the minors.

2. Brian Anderson - CF: AA stats - .270 AVE, .346 OBP, .416 SLG, 3 SB, 48 Games. A+ stats - .319 AVE, .394 OBP, .531 SLG, 10 SB, 69 Games. Bats right. The Sox top pick in 2003 showcased his abilities as an outstanding, all-around player at two levels before tailing off late in the season as a result of a hernia and a groin injury, which ended his season prematurely. He could become a fixture in CF for the big-league club as early as mid-2005 and for years to come.

3. Ryan Sweeney - OF: A+ stats - .283 AVE, .342 OBP, .379 SLG, 8 SB, 134 Games. Bats left. This highly coveted 19 year old was rushed to the high minors after a torrid spring, where he received some national attention after smoking a line drive off of Bartolo Colon. At first glance, his production at Winston-Salem was unimpressive . . . until you realize that heís only a year removed from prep baseball in Iowa. His hitting improved towards the end of the season, and you can expect him to step it up another notch during a full season at Birmingham.

4. Josh Fields - 3B: A+ stats - .285 AVE, .333 OBP, .445 SLG, 0 SB, 66 Games. Bats right. The Sox 2004 top pick also was rushed, reportedly as an incentive to sign soon after the draft. The Sox ended up signing what must be a record number of picks. Fields (not to be confused with "the other Josh Fields" who had a good year in relief for Birmingham) is a former college QB with very good power potential, though his future may not be at 3B. He started slowly but came on after adjusting to pro ball, hitting over .300 with power during both August and September.

5. Chris Young - CF: A stats - .262 AVE, .365 OBP, .505 SLG, 31 SB, 135 Games. Bats right. An extremely talented athlete, he brings a package of power, speed, and the ability to take a walk. Young has the potential to be an outstanding major leaguer if he can make more contact, but first heíll need to produce in the high minors.

6. Jeff Bajenaru - RHP: MLB stats - pending. AAA stats - 10 Saves, 1.80 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 5:1 K:BB. AA stats - 12 Saves, 1.34 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 5:1 K:BB. He had an outstanding year as a closer at two levels before struggling during a late-season callup. Let's give him more than 3 MLB IP before making any definitive judgments. The Sox donít usually give minor-league relievers much of a shot to pitch for them at the MLB level, but perhaps they'll make an exception.

7. Arnie Munoz - LHP: MLB stats - pending. AAA stats - 2 W, 6 L, 5.68 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 2:1 K:BB, 13 GS. AA stats - 7 W, 2 L, 2.05 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 3:1 K:BB, 13 GS. Throw out his start for the Sox. He had always been a reliever until this year, he projects as a MLB reliever, and he should be given a chance to fill a spot in the pen out of spring training. (So far, after 4.1 IP, he's yet to give up a run in relief for the Sox.) Munoz was thrown into the fire as a MLB starter after a surprisingly strong showing as a starter at Birmingham, but with zero starts at AAA and zero MLB relief appearances. That's not particularly fair (or wise).

8. Sean Tracey - RHP: A+ stats - 9 W, 8 L, 2.73 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 2:1 K:BB, 27 GS. He posted the best ERA among Carolina League starters not named "McCarthy," though itís not reflected in his won-loss record. Traceyís notorious for plunking batters, hitting a remarkable 23 batsmen in 27 starts.


9. Casey Rogowski - 1B/OF: A+ stats - .286 AVE, .401 OBP, .471 SLG, 16 SB, 136 Games. Bats left. Rogowski had a solid season repeating a level at Winston-Salem. Itís unclear why he didnít receive a mid-season promotion to Birmingham along with Anderson, but heís sure to move up a level in 2005. He has the impressive combination of some power, some speed, and the ability to walk as often as he strikes out.

10. Gio Gonzalez - LHP: A stats - 1 W, 1 L, 3.03 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 2:1 K:BB, 6 GS. R stats - 1 W, 2 L, 2.25 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 4.5:1 K:BB, 6 GS. This 2004 pick had a great debut season. Heís very developed for a high school pitcher and could become the steal of the draft. Look for him to shoot up in the rankings in years to come if he stays healthy.

- - -

There was quite a bit of upward mobility this year, because last yearís Top 9 all either got traded, promoted to the Sox, or lost serious time due to injury. (The three injured pitchers from 2003's Top 10 illustrate the basis for my bias against low-level pitching prospects.) There's a good chance for similar mobility next year, with names like Hernandez, Lucy, Valido, Schnurstein, Liotta, Lumsden, Whisler, and Castro potentially making their first Top 10 appearances.
IMO baj isnt a prospect. and i think that if he could get his avg up a little bit, young would be tied with if not AHEAD of anderson and sweeney. hes got more power AND speed. i might add in a nanita or gray or stead of baj. also even though they are hurt, NO way in HELL should tracey be ahead of wing or honel. everything else looks good.
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Old 09-13-2004, 02:09 PM
maurice maurice is offline
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Originally Posted by shagar69
wing or honel
As you can tell, I'm extremely apprehensive about Wing and Honel. I rated both very highly last year but would like to see them pitch at least one effective inning before returning them to Top 10 status.

IMHO, there's a big drop off between the 1-5 group and the 6-10 group.
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Old 09-13-2004, 02:11 PM
shagar69 shagar69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maurice
As you can tell, I'm extremely apprehensive about Wing and Honel. I rated both very highly last year but would like to see them pitch at least one effective inning before returning them to Top 10 status.

IMHO, there's a big drop off between the 1-5 group and the 6-10 group.
true, but im just worried about traceys control. IIRC he walked and hit a LOT of batters this year. but yeah, he definately along with whisler is one to watch
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Old 09-13-2004, 02:45 PM
Randar68 Randar68 is offline
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Originally Posted by shagar69
IMO baj isnt a prospect. and i think that if he could get his avg up a little bit, young would be tied with if not AHEAD of anderson and sweeney. hes got more power AND speed. i might add in a nanita or gray or stead of baj. also even though they are hurt, NO way in HELL should tracey be ahead of wing or honel. everything else looks good.
I wouldn't put Gray or Nanita in there at all. IMO, in front of either of those 2 are Honel, Wing, Whisler, Lumsden. Baj is too high on the list, Tracey may be as well.

Honel and Wing should be docked a bit due to injury, but more for their lost seasons than the "injuries" Honel is still top 10 until he proves otherwise. Wing probably borderline. Valido and Lopez are borderline.
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Old 09-13-2004, 03:19 PM
idseer idseer is offline
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thanks mo.
seem maybe kw didn't completely empty the cupboard ...and i didn't know about anderson's injuries.
nice to have some thing to look forward to.
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:45 PM
shagar69 shagar69 is offline
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Originally Posted by Randar68
I wouldn't put Gray or Nanita in there at all. IMO, in front of either of those 2 are Honel, Wing, Whisler, Lumsden. Baj is too high on the list, Tracey may be as well.

Honel and Wing should be docked a bit due to injury, but more for their lost seasons than the "injuries" Honel is still top 10 until he proves otherwise. Wing probably borderline. Valido and Lopez are borderline.
intersting that you would put tyler in there. have you already seen enough from him to put him in the top ten? or is it because of the lack of SP depth in our system and/or injuries.
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Old 09-13-2004, 08:50 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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intersting that you would put tyler in there. have you already seen enough from him to put him in the top ten? or is it because of the lack of SP depth in our system and/or injuries.
Can we count his college stats, or are we just looking at what they have done since getting into our system?

How much can we draw from college numbers with pitchers?
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:16 PM
Randar68 Randar68 is offline
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Can we count his college stats, or are we just looking at what they have done since getting into our system?

How much can we draw from college numbers with pitchers?
He had a dead arm shortly after reporting and really struggled with his control and velocity out of the gate. When I saw him, he was filthy and the curve alone puts him right up there along with his low 90's fastball from a lefty.

He isn't top ten, but he's a borderline guy who'll be right there in the 11-15 range. It does have something to do with the lack of healthy SP prospects.

I'm not going off numbers alone.
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:18 PM
shagar69 shagar69 is offline
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Originally Posted by Randar68
He had a dead arm shortly after reporting and really struggled with his control and velocity out of the gate. When I saw him, he was filthy and the curve alone puts him right up there along with his low 90's fastball from a lefty.

He isn't top ten, but he's a borderline guy who'll be right there in the 11-15 range. It does have something to do with the lack of healthy SP prospects.

I'm not going off numbers alone.
how do you feel about whisler? i have read that he has great mechanics but havent heard too much about what he likes to throw.
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:04 PM
A. Cavatica A. Cavatica is offline
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I might move people a spot or two (Fields/Baj/Tracey down, Rogo/Gio up) but I agree almost completely with your top ten. Rogo's chances are hurt (and Fields' are helped) by playing in a system that esteems power and doesn't care about batting eye.

As for injuries, if Honel & Wing return to form they should be top five/second five, respectively. Pacheco was also injured this year, but I don't think he'll ever crack the top ten. And Corwin Malone is presumably all done.

Here's my list of ten sleepers. These are players with lower ceilings who could get a shot next year, if they catch a break or two.

1) Wilson Valdez, SS, Charlotte. Pro: Almost certain to win a utility infielder's job next year, because Ozzie recommended him and because KW likes to show off the prizes he acquires from other teams. Hit .302 and can field. Con: He doesn't bring much power, speed, or strike zone judgment to the table.

2) Mike Spidale, CF, Birmingham. Pro: Took a great leap forward this year, and is fairly young. Showed the good leadoff-hitter skills that the Sox lack: a .304 average, 61 walks, 26 steals. He even showed some pop. He could win a reserve outfielder's job with a good spring, or could get a callup later in the year. Con: He has to keep producing at this level to convince people.

3) Josh Fields, RP, Birmingham. This is the relief pitcher, not the 3B. Pro: KW might call him up by accident. But in fact he's always posted good to excellent numbers, especially strikeout-walk ratios. Con: Sox are leery of minor league relievers.

4) Ryan Hankins, C/3B/1B, Charlotte. Pro: Hit .296 with almost as many doubles (25) and walks (30) as strikeouts (33). Was primarily a third baseman, but Sox switched him to catcher to improve his versatility, and has not embarrassed himself there. Con: He's older than most prospects, and he's not likely to get a look unless Burke gets injured.

5) Tetsu Yofu, SP, Charlotte. Pro: Pitched great over the last two months of the AAA season, and even threw a no-hitter. If he keeps it going next season and the Sox fail to shore up their rotation, he could get a callup. Con: Needs to prove the last two months were not just a hot streak.

6) Ryan Meaux, SP/RP, Birmingham. Started this year just to get more work; his future is as a situational lefty. Pro: Excellent control. If Cotts moves to the rotation a spot could open up for him. Con: Workload hurt his numbers this year. Not a youngster.

7) Dennis Ulacia/Heath Phillips/Jim Bullard, SP, Birmingham. I'm going to cheat and lump these guys together, because Birmingham had four lefty starters who threw 100+ innings. Meaux is probably closest to a (bullpen) job in Chicago, but one of the other guys could emerge from the pack. Pros: Ulacia was ranked highly several years ago, then had some terrible seasons, but seems to be back. Won his playoff start. Phillips threw the most innings (154) and won the most games (12). Bullard is 6'5". Cons: Still need that breakout season.

8) Normand Martel, OF, Birmingham. Pro: This guy flies under the radar, but has climbed the ladder steadily, and batted .301 with 25 walks and 10 HR in 279 at-bats. Bats left. Con: Just because he's been underestimated like Magglio, doesn't mean he's as good as Magglio.

9) Daniel Haigwood, SP, Kannapolis. Pro: A consistent lefty who wins without having overpowering stuff. Probably bound for Winston-Salem, but could make it to Birmingham by midseason. Slim chance of getting a tryout next September if Sox are out of the race. Con: Lots of lefties ahead of him.

10) Pedro Lopez, SS, Winston-Salem/Birmingham. Pro: Lots of tools. Has played 2B, but Sox moved Andy Gonzalez to 3B so Lopez could play short. Will continue to be pushed by Rob Valido. Con: Sox have to fix their infield before he (and Gonzalez and Valido) are ready.
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:18 PM
Randar68 Randar68 is offline
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Originally Posted by A. Cavatica
10) Pedro Lopez, SS, Winston-Salem/Birmingham. Pro: Lots of tools. Has played 2B, but Sox moved Andy Gonzalez to 3B so Lopez could play short. Will continue to be pushed by Rob Valido. Con: Sox have to fix their infield before he (and Gonzalez and Valido) are ready.
I'd probably have him higher on my "sleeper" list. The kid is just a sick fielder, very smooth, quick release and a pretty darn good (not great) arm.

Gonzalez has the arm and size for 3rd, but didn't have a very good year at the plate, too hesitant at the plate, and Fields is quickly coming at 3rd base.

Also,Haigwood and Ryan Rodriguez would be about even in my book. Both have some question marks, although I like Ryan's pure stuff better.

Last edited by Randar68; 09-13-2004 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:21 PM
Chisoxfn Chisoxfn is offline
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Originally Posted by shagar69
true, but im just worried about traceys control. IIRC he walked and hit a LOT of batters this year. but yeah, he definately along with whisler is one to watch
Keep an eye on Tracey, he's got a shot to really take off next year. He's starting to get on some peoples radars, but next year he'll be a fixture, imo. He has good stuff and a very live arm.

He's still a bit raw, didn't start pitching till JC, but he has what I would call a live, rubber arm. He throws a ton of pitches in between starts. Like Bmac, pitches inside. Still needs to work on his control though.

Also, Maurice, can't blame you on Honel/Wing I'm in the same boat. Right now I would rate Wing above Honel because Wing has had surgery and at least you can semi know what to expect out of him. I got no clue in regards to Honel and his dissapearing velocity.
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:22 PM
Randar68 Randar68 is offline
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how do you feel about whisler? i have read that he has great mechanics but havent heard too much about what he likes to throw.
I'm a big fan, although I questioned the pick on draft day. Lot's of projectible size, lefty, low-mileage arm.

His mechanics drift on him, but he throws four pitches and they all have very good movement. If he can be consistent mechanically and not walk himself into big innings, he's going to be a very good pitcher. High ceiling guy.

We'll know more next year. His K's were lower than his stuff would lead you to believe, he just needs to attack hitters better. He seemed to have a little 'Aluminum Bat shock', not wanting to throw the ball anywhere near the plate unless he has to.
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:23 PM
Chisoxfn Chisoxfn is offline
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Originally Posted by shagar69
how do you feel about whisler? i have read that he has great mechanics but havent heard too much about what he likes to throw.
You have to be impressed with what he's done in the minors, although I think the Sox have really rushed him by moving him to Winston Salem (although part of the reason is because WS was in the playoffs, imo).

However, I'm still waiting to see from him, you can see some raw ability and what not, but I think he's a big time work in project. He has a low mileage arm though and throws a ton of different pitches with movement. I don't have my notes in front of me, but he throws about 5 pitches (5th pitch is the splitter, which is new to his arsenal).
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