Jared Mitchell - Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Five players protected ahead of Tuesday's deadline
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.