White Sox Fall/Winter League Update

we've reached approximately the halfway point of the arizona fall league and white sox prospects have largely acquitted themselves quite well. the addition of jordan danks to the sags roster after the injury to gartrell certainly was a welcome bit of news (danks originally was not included because teams are only allowed to add one player below the AA level and beckham obviously trumps - apparently, however, the rules are relaxed for replacements).

i should note that the sample sizes here are ridiculously small so drawing conclusions from these performances is actually pretty silly. however, obviously one would prefer to see players excel in whatever sample size, as opposed to playing poorly. and a player can improve or hurt their stock with an AFL performance, simply because it is considering a prospect finishing school and scouts don't have much else to do right now other than watch this. these scouts also have the advantage of actually seeing the players, as opposed to just looking at their stats, which can probably tell you more in the small sample sizes than performance.

at any rate, reviewed in order of performance.

cole armstrong: he's certainly opened some eyes. he's lived up to his repuation as a good defensive catcher but has added a very nice offensive performace: .321/.377/.571. articles have spoken of him "staying back on the ball" more in the AFL, which helps his power. if true, perhaps this performance is a sign of things to come.

aaron poreda: it's almost cruel to make teams face poreda for one inning. poreda has been merciless - 7 appearances, each one inning, with no runs allowed, 6 hits, 3 walks, and 11 Ks. if you're wondering if these one inning appearances mean anything for how the sox plan to use him, don't read too much into it. harrell is the white sox designated "starter" in the AFL so he gets the innings and the starts.

gordon beckham: he's not the sags' designated SS so he's moved around the field a bit, playing some 2B as well. nice line of .278/.400/.361 against the most advanced competition he's seen. eyewitness reports indicate his fielding has been slick. this performance is what you want to see from beckham.

derek rodriguez: has done nothing but improve his case for a 40 man roster spot and a chance to audition for the bullpen. his overall line isn't pretty - 8 IP, 10 hits, 4 BB, 1 HB, 9K - however, most of that bad stuff is from one horrid outing.

carlos torres: on the other hand, torres has done nothing but hurt his chances. after a good season, it looked like he might have upped his ceiling from AAA level arm to backend bullpen fodder. in contrast to rodriguez, he's had multiple poor outings so his line isn't misleading - 8.2IP, 13 hits, 6 BB, 2 HB, 8K.

maurice/stefan gartrell: before separating his shoulder, he played pretty well: .269/.406/.346. he's nothing exciting long term.

lucas harrell: 5G, 11.2IP, 16 hits, 10 K, 4 BB. 3 good outings, 2 terrible outings.  hasn't taken the step forward that the sox would have liked, considering his addition to the 40 man last year. time is running out for this guy. next year is make or break and his AFL campaign hasn't set the stage very well.

jordan danks: only four games but what a four games: 9-16, .563/.611/.813, SB, outfield assist - can't ask for much better, especially against the most advanced competition he's seen. while we all hate to see players injured, gartrell's shoulder is the MVP of the white sox offseason so far because, otherwise, danks would be playing against low level competition in the instructional league. instead he's getting to face excellent prospects and, frankly, his development is far more important than gartrell's.

EDIT: i should have mentioned for comparison purposes that the AFL is an inflated environment for offense. back of the envelope calculation is that league average OBP is .365ish and slugging is .460ish.

in other action, recent signing jayson nix has played well in the mexican winter league: .266/.341/.405. the plate discipline still seems to be an issue considering the 25 K in 87 PAs. the competition is probably between AA/AAA, with a heavy mix of AAA type lifers.

there are other white sox organization players playing in winter leagues, but they ain't that important.

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