Hello, my name is Louie, and this is my first time posting here on South Side Sox. Been a long time fan about 18 years now, and I've been writing about this team for about the past 6 months on my blog and for another website. Just thought I'd share some of my views for you guys.
So I figure instead of talking about the actual Sox today, lets talk about the future Pale Hose. I'm gonna single out a few of the Knights who I hope can become future studs on this Sox team. Since we are still technically in the rebuilding stage, these guys I'll be talking about will hopefully be apart of the future team that will be competing for the AL Central. Even though this new team has already proved they have a lot of fight in them. So let's start with one of my favorites in the minors.
Yes, I am aware of how bad Davidson is struggling right now in Charlotte. Am I ready to write him off? Not at all. He's only 23 years old, and even though Gillaspie is raking right now, if Davidson stays at 3rd, I see him as our future 3rd baseman. He's had trouble with striking out since he's been in the league, which I don't expect to change, but the kid can hit. More importantly, he can hit for power. Not much for average, but if he can keep the power numbers up, he'll be well worth it in my opinion. There's a reason we traded Addison Reed for him. And even though our closer situation isn't exactly perfect right now, I think getting Davidson in return for our closer will be worth it in the long run.
So obviously most of the guys I'll be talking about here won't be big surprises, because honestly at the moment there's not a lot to look forward to, which I hope changes in the near future. But until then, let's work with what we've got here.
Another guy that obviously comes as no surprise, Micah Johnson recently just got the call up to Charlotte. It's only been 10 games but he's done well so far. In Birmingham he impressed many with a .329 AVG and .414 OBP. If numbers like that can continue throughout AAA there's no reason he won't be up either in September or first thing in 2015. A lot of people are really high on this kid, he has some pretty great base running ability, as well as the ability to hit for average. Even though I love Adam Eaton at the leadoff spot, this kid is an ideal leadoff hitter in my opinion. Depending on how long Beckham is gonna be here, Johnson seems to be the next guy in line unless Carlos Sanchez has something to say about it.
As much as I'm not a fan of the pitching we have right now in AAA (i.e. Axelrod), I need to mention a pitcher or two. If not for their performance so far this year, then for their future potential or past experience. Which is why the next guy I will be talking about isn't as young as the other guys I've mentioned, but he has Major League experience, and still has potential.
Tommy Hanson SP
Like I said, not one of our younger "prospects" if you will, but nonetheless a guy in AAA right now that intrigues me. He hasn't looked great so far in Charlotte, but the fact he's done it before in Atlanta and LA shows me he could be ready soon to take a spot in the rotation. His 29/23 K/BB ratio is a red flag, but he hasn't really shown control problems before to this extent. The only problem being Rienzo and Noesi have been pretty solid so far in the #4 and #5 rotation spots. So unless they screw up, if/when Hanson is called up, he will probably be bullpen depth until further notice. Hanson has a career 49-35 record with a 3.80 ERA, and once upon a time in 2008, he was Atlanta's top prospect. Now at the age of 27, I think Hanson still has plenty left to offer, and I hope he's able to at least get a crack at the rotation sometime this year.
I'm gonna try to find one more pitcher I like right now in Charlotte, then wrap this thing up. It's already almost midnight and work is gonna be hell tomorrow. So let's see who else I can see pitching in Chicago this year...
Erik Johnson SP
Okay, okay. I know this is kind of cheating since Johnson's been up already, but I REALLY am not a fan of the pitching in Charlotte right now. Johnson hasn't looked fantastic either, but I think one of our top prospects is bound to turn it around soon. What he needs right now is time to grow. They thought he was ready, but, clearly not yet. Here's a look at Johnson's Minor League numbers. As you can see, the difference between '13 and '14 is cause for concern. As well as his numbers with the Sox earlier this year, but I still fully expect to see Johnson hopefully by July or so. Lets hope one of our top pitching prospects turns it around sooner rather than later.
That's about all I got for tonight. It'll be nice to hopefully see all 4 of these guys I talked about come up at some point this year, but you never know what will happen. I think these guys have potential to help put together a solid core to this new, young team, and hopefully they can help the Sox be contenders for years to come.