This Month in White Sox Minor League Baseball

This month:

  • Jared Mitchell, Eduardo Escobar and Anthony Carter will all be playing in the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game, which is televised live on MLB Network tonight at 8pm (Central).
  • The White Sox prospect who has been the talk of the Arizona Fall League hasn't been Mitchell.  It's been Escobar, who has shown some surprising offense with a .377/.422/.688 line, powered by 4 doubles, 4 triples and 4 league-leading homers.  While he probably would have been garnering more attention from prospect mavens based on his regular season campaign, the EE bandwagon has been filling up of late due to his AFL performance.  We're already beginning to see some crazy prospect rankings for him (#2 in the system and for fantasy purposes?) and one of the reputable writers, Kevin Goldstein, is absolutely in love with Escobar and you can expect to see a high ranking on his list.
  • Getting back to Mitchell, he hasn't produced much of anything on offense (.183/.258/.233).  Of course, this shouldn't be a particular surprise.  In addition to recovering from left ankle surgery that kept him out for the entire 2010 minor league season, we're talking about a player whose amateur experience was limited by splitting time between baseball and football at LSU and whose prior professional experience consisted of 139 plate appearances in Low A, a few weeks of spring training and a few more weeks of Instructional League.  That's not a recipe for success against players who generally have reached AA or AAA (some even the majors).  He's also been battling through a left hamstring strain, possibly caused by compensating for his weakened ankle. What is important for Mitchell is that he's been getting consistent playing time.  His performance should put to rest any calls to fast track him in 2011.
  • The White Sox rarely have any pitchers of major significance in the AFL and this year is no exception.  Carter, however, is of some small significance as it is likely he will at least have a shot at a bullpen role in 2011.  Like most pitchers in the hitter friendly AFL, he's been hit around a bit.  But he has been generating plenty of strikeouts (12 K in 7 IP against 0 BB), relying predominantly on a 4 seam fastball that sits between 92-95.
  • Josh Phegley was supposed to be playing in the AFL.  However, the catcher began experiencing symptoms from ITP, the blood disorder he's been fighting the whole year, and he was sent home.
  • Moving south, there are a few White Sox players in the various Winter Leagues to keep an eye on, most notably Gregory Infante and Jhonny Nunez, both of whom are likely to be given shots at bullpen spots.  Jose Martinez is also on La Guaira's roster but has yet to play.  You can follow all the organization's players in fall/winter leagues here.
  • Donny Lucy and Randy Williams both were outrighted off the 40-man roster and will be free agents.
  • Marc Hulet at Fangraphs published his top ten list and ranked the organization last in baseball.  His list is reasonable, though I still do not totally get why people rank Phegley this high, and provides the useful information of an estimated peak WAR and likelihood of reaching that peak
  • Once the AFL ends, the next event of note is the Rule 5 Draft.  The White Sox don't have much to worry about, though.  In addition to Escobar, I'd expect to see pitchers such as Carter, Santos Rodriguez, Charlie Shirek, Nate Jones and Justin Edwards considered for adding to the 40-man roster so that they won't be lost in the draft.  And I'm sure there's some random organizational soldier who is a front office favorite who will be rewarded with a spot, as well.
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