This Week in White Sox Minor League Baseball

Juan Silverio

This week:

The White Sox promoted 3B Juan Silverio to Winston-Salem.  Silverio, many will recall, was well-hyped when he signed as a "16 year old" in 2007 for $600,000.  Of course, we later learned that Silverio was part of the Dave Wilder bonus-skimming scandal and really only received a $300,000 bonus.

While signed as a shortstop, it was clear after his 2008 pro debut at Bristol that he had no chance to stick at that position.  Further, his offense was awful: .228/.265/.321.  Of course, sending a teenage international free agent to a stateside rookie affiliate is an aggressive move (let alone one who actually wasn't quite as good as his bonus would suggest); most spend their first season at a club's Dominican academy. 

And that's where Silverio went in 2009 because of an age discrepancy that prevented him from obtaining a work visa (his birth date has never been revised). There, he showed his class with a .321/.366/.547 line while transitioning over to third base. 

In 2010, he returned stateside, this time to the full season low A affiliate, Kannapolis.  He failed again to live up to such an aggressive assignment, with an OPS around .400, and was demoted to extended spring training after a month.  He re-emerged with Great Falls and earned a promotion back to Kannapolis after hitting .299/.340/.506.  While marginally better than his first stint, he still was pretty bad, ending up with an overall season line for the Intimidators of .200/.237/.336.  All the while, he racked up prodigious error totals. 

Returning to Kannapolis for 2011, his offense was much improved: .289/.331/.459, while also leading the Sally with 29 doubles.  Unfortunately, he also led the Sally (and all the Low A leagues) with 28 errors.

His transition to High A has been smooth so far: in 4 games, 8-16, 2 2B, 3B. HBP.  But he's continued to pile up the errors with 2 so far.  His offense, coupled with his (alleged) age compared to league, makes Silverio a fringe prospect in the system.  It looks like third base will not be his long-term position but his bat could play at a corner outfield position, should the White Sox eventually go in that direction.  Silverio may still end up being worth the fraud committed on the organization.

  • 3B Rangel Ravelo was promoted to Kannapolis to replace Silverio.  The 19 year old Ravelo was a sixth round pick in 2010 and batted .384/.410/.507 for Bristol this season.  Definitely a sleeper prospect to keep an eye on.
  • CF Keenyn Walker will be promoted to Kannapolis following the completion of Great Falls' road trip to Walker's native Utah on Wednesday.  In 11 games, he's batting .378/.451/.578.
  • Robin Ventura started his job yesterday as a special adviser to farm director Buddy Bell.  He's watching Charlotte this weekend.  Maybe he can talk to Buddy about a couple of the more under the radar guys he'll be seeing, like Dayan Viciedo (.307/.364/.501) or Alejandro De Aza (.325/.383/.503).
  • Kevin Goldstein: "Double-A outfielder Brandon Short is a hitting machine with gap power and the ability to play left, center, and right, giving him all but a guaranteed role as a future fourth outfielder."  On the season, the 22 year old is hitting .276/.331/.438 with 21 stolen bases in 24 attempts.
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