I think it's safe to say that the community prospect list was a success. I tabulated the results just like they do for the AP polls in college sports, with 11 points being given to the top spot, 10 for second, and so on. -- Let's get to the results.
Rnk Player Points 1. Chris Young 135 2. Brian Anderson 121 3. Gio Gonzalez 118 4. Ryan Sweeney 111 5. Ray Liotta 65 6. Daniel Haigwood 60 7. Lance Broadway 55 8. Jerry Owens 51 9. Robert Valido 48 10. Josh Fields 36 t11. Sean Tracey 15 t11. Francisco Hernandez 15 Others receiving (votes in parentheses) Casey Rogowski (11), Chris Getz (5) Aaron Cunningham (1), Jeff Bajenaru (1)There are a few things to be learned from the list. 1) It's obvious that the Sox have what would be considered 4 top level prospects (Anderson, Sweeney, Young, Gio), but after that the picture becomes a little muddled. 2) You guys really love Chris Young. So do I. I can't blame you there. You just have to be aware that, with his contact skills, he'll have a steep learning curve the next two years. 3) I thought Robert Valido was underrated. His numbers aren't that great, but I've heard nothing but rave reviews about him.
I didn't include my top 11 in the results, but if you want to see them, along with a brief word on why I ranked them where I did, click read more.
None of these prospects are without flaws.
- Anderson -- He gets the top spot almost by default. He's the closest to the majors. He does everything well, but nothing exceptional. Good, but not great player.
- Young -- The highest ceiling of anyone in the organization. He's probably listed a little high here too. Needs to improve his contact skills, or maintain his current K/BB ratio against a higher level of competition.
- Gio -- The best pitching prospect in the Sox system. Has injury concerns. Hasn't reached AA yet.
- Valido -- I thought he was severely underrated by a majority of you in the community projection. Shortstop with excellent defense and speed. Plays the game the right way. There are some durability issues, as he seems to wear down at the end of each season. I put him higher than Sweeney because of the position he plays.
- Sweeney -- Disturbing lack of power. Also lacks speed. He's only this high because of his draft position, and everything I've heard from people who've watched him play day-in-day-out. Classic Scouts vs. Stats guy.
- Broadway -- Probably the safest bet of any Sox pitching prospect to make the show. I'm not concerned about his relatively unimpressive pro debut. He's a groundball pitcher (1.68 GB/FB ratio in '05) and may have been hurt by poor infield defense. He had a high BABIP average that suggested he was a little unlucky. The He doesn't have dominating stuff, but he knows how to get guys out. Projects as a #3-4 innings eater.
- Haigwood -- I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Haigwood was to crack the White Sox 25 man roster at some point next season. He's got to cut down on his walk rate some, but his k/9 rate is excellent. -- Sort of reminds me of a combination between Mark Buehrle(who you often hear him compared to) and Neal Cotts, both of whom made the jump from AA Birmingham to the show.
- Liotta -- It's hard to argue with his ERA, (2.16 on his career) but he's allowed an inordinate amount of unearned runs. I would attribute part of that to his being a groundball pitcher (1.68 GB/FB ratio in '05) and the poor infield conditions at single-A ballparks. -- It's really hard to separate Liotta and Haigwood. I gave Haigwood the nod because he's a year younger, succeeded despite missing a year due to a knee injury, and has a better K rate. Haigwood has allowed more HR/9 and has a more neutral GB/FB rate, so I would be more inclined to include him over Liotta in a trade since Liotta appears more likely to succeed at USCF.
- Fields -- I'm not a big fan of Fields, but he has good power, and a decent OBP. I think he's more likely to fall on his face than Young is though, simply because of his age and K/BB ratio.
- Tracey -- Tracey had a dominating '04 season, but regressed severely at AA Birmingham as a 24 year old. Scouts seems to love his power sinker, but aside from last season, I've never seen it show up in the numbers. -- I think he projects as a bullpen arm.
- Owens -- He makes the list because of his limited experience. I think his ceiling is Scott Podsednik, with him more than likely becoming a 4th outfielder. He could tear up AAA next season though and prove me wrong.
Players at the lower levels who should be on the radar: Aaron Cunningham, Brandon Allen, Clayton Richard.