Baseball America's White Sox 2011 Projected Lineup (From 2008)

Prior to the 2008 season, Baseball America projected what the 2011 White Sox would look like.  This is what they came up with:

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski
First Base Paul Konerko
Second Base Chris Getz
Third Base Joe Crede
Shortstop Orlando Cabrera
Left Field Josh Fields
Center Field Nick Swisher
Right Field Carlos Quentin
Designated Hitter Jermaine Dye
No. 1 Starter Mark Buehrle
No. 2 Starter Javier Vazquez
No. 3 Starter Aaron Poreda
No. 4 Starter John Danks
No. 5 Starter Lance Broadway
Closer Bobby Jenks

In case it wasn't obvious, they were limited to players in the organization at the time.  Which is really not a good thing when that organization is the White Sox.  By my count, it currently looks like they've got one position player correct (Quentin), though one can debate the position, and there's varying degrees of likelihood of them being correct about Konerko and Pierzynski.  They also got two starters correct in Buehrle and Danks (I'll leave to others the debate over ranking of starters).  3 out of 15 isn't a very good result.

Of course, Baseball America probably shouldn't be penalized too much for player movements (particularly given the White Sox' propensity to swap players).  After all, the point of these projections shouldn't necessarily be this player will be starting for this particular team in four seasons' time but this player will be capable of starting for a major league baseball team, and at this position, in four seasons' time.

So, on that basis, how did Baseball America do? Well, two players (Crede and Dye) are currently out of baseball.  Another two (Getz and Fields) are with the Royals but probably are not starter material at any position, though I guess you never know with the Royals. Two more (Poreda and Broadway) are in the minors and are rather unlikely to be pitching, let alone starting, in the majors anytime soon.  Poreda completely lost the plot after going to the Padres - he's averaged over 10 walks per 9 innings, mostly in the minors, since the trade - and Broadway, who was never much to begin with, had a WHIP approaching 2 and an ERA approaching 8 for the Blue Jays' AAA team last season.

Four (Cabrera, Vazquez, Konerko and Pierzynski) are free agents and, outside of Cabrera, whose days as a starter may have passed, are all very likely to be signed by someone to start at the positions assigned to them here.  One more (Jenks) is soon to be joining those players as a free agent but is likely going to be closing somewhere.  And the last one (Swisher) isn't going to be playing center for anyone but is a starter for the Yankees.

So, 8 out of 15, or 9 out of 15 if we give them credit for Swisher.  Others have done the same analysis for their team (Twins, Mets, Rays, Braves) and Baseball America had varying degrees of success, whiffing on the Mets but doing very well on the Twins.  Also, Jon "I haven't gotten out of A ball" Gilmore, then of the Braves, was projected to be a starting third baseman.  I guess the White Sox might be having an open competition there in spring training, so good luck, Jon.

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