Surprising no one, the White Sox added outfielder Jared Mitchell, catcher Josh Phegley and pitchers Andre Rienzo and Santos Rodriguez to the club's 40 man roster. What was a surprise was Charlie Shirek also being added. All of those players will now be protected from being drafted in next month's Rule 5 Draft.
Jim detailed the recent performances of Rienzo and Rodriguez in his Arizona Fall League wrap-up. Rienzo still has a chance to be a starting pitcher in the big leagues, while Rodriguez has long been pegged as a reliever.
Mitchell, the team's first round pick in 2009, reached Triple-A last season. His star has diminished considerably since being drafted 23rd overall out of LSU and now profiles more as a 4th outfielder. The 24 year old has been unable to keep his strikeout rate below 30%, depressing his overall offensive production to a level that simply won't cut it at the major leage level.
Phegley, also drafted in 2009, was billed as an offense-first catcher when the White Sox took him 38th overall as compensation for losing Orlando Cabrera to free agency. The offense has never come around but Phegley did pick up a minor league gold glove award, for whatever that's worth (hint: not much). It's difficult to see him as anything more than a back-up catcher and that's probably a stretch, given his underwhelming abilities on both offense and defense.
The White Sox drafted Shirek in the 23rd round of the 2007 draft. The right-hander has bounced between starting and relieving but spent 2012 as a starter for Triple-A Charlotte, where he had a successful season: 170.1 IP, 172 H, 29 BB, 117 K. Most notable was his walk rate which, while always low, reached a new nadir of 4.1%. The White Sox saw a bit of a velocity spike into the low/mid 90s on his sinker, which may have been the reason for his protection. The 27 year old projects as a strike-throwing back-end starter or bullpen innings eater.
It is unlikely that any unprotected White Sox player will attract attention in the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft.
The 40 man roster now stands at 39.