This Week in White Sox Minor League Baseball

Brandon Short

This week:

  • The MLB Draft provided an influx of new talent to the White Sox system.  The club drafted a total of 51 players: 36 from college and 15 from high school, 27 pitchers (16 right-handers and 11 lefties), eight outfielders, 13 infielders and three catchers.  John Sickels gave their draft a decent grading overall, which is probably as good as we could expect for a team not drafting in the top five and that doesn't go significantly over slot in later rounds.
  • The headliner of any team's draft, of course, is the top selection.  The White Sox drafted Chris Sale, a lefty out of Florida Gulf Coast University.  He's lanky tall and throws from a three-quarters release point, which caused some to question whether he's more of a reliever than a starter.  This uncertainty probably explains why a guy who was projected by many to be quickly taken after the "big three" of the Draft dropped to #13.  I am quite happy with this selection.  Like Baseball America, I thought he was the top college pitcher in the Draft and certainly did not expect him to be available when the White Sox selected.  He's left-handed in a system that desperately needs depth from that side, he's advanced enough that he should arrive on the South Side in a few years and yet, in marked contrast to many college selections, has pretty good upside.  He's got a very good low 90s fastball that can get into the mid 90s, a good changeup (a near-essential for a lefty who wants to start) and a fringe average slider (which will determine whether he will start).  Sale isn't thought to be a difficult sign and we'll probably see him in Kannapolis sometime in July.
  • Dayan Viciedo: .284/.328/.491.
  • Brandon Short is experiencing expected regression after a gangbusters first couple months.  His season line is down to .335/.374/.502.  At a minimum, he's an interesting player to watch for the rest of the season.  His supposed inability to play CF limits his prospect status but his display of power, which is in line with scouting reports indicating he had potential there, will keep him on the radar.
  • Good article on Justin Greene, one my Prospects Who Needs to be Promoted.
  • Dan Hudson: 12 GS, 65.1 IP, 61 H, 18 BB, 77 K.
  • When the calendar flipped to June, Tyler Flowers flipped the proverbial switch.  This month has been much kinder to him, perhaps due to the change back in swing mechanics described last week.  We're now hearing that the "defensive reviews have been poor."  Grading of defense is intertwined with grading of offense.  It's a basic tenet that if a guy hits a ton, his defense doesn't have to be very good (and vice versa).  Flowers hit a ton last year so the defensive reviews essentially were "improved, likely to stick at the position."  Now that he's not hitting as much, his defense isn't nearly as acceptable.  I'm not sure we're hearing anything different now: if he hits, he'll be a major leaguer at some position, probably catcher for a few years.  If he doesn't, he won't be.  His season line is .222/.323/.468.

Programming note: TWIWSMiLB will be off next week.

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