With the Sox coming off a World Series title, this year's Q&A session at Sox fest is sure to be a complete love fest. The 2004 session was filled with tension, culminating in a heated exchange between Kenny and an unknown woman. Last year was quite civil, with Kenny seemingly having filled all the Sox holes with Pierzynski, Hernandez, and Podsednik. (Iguchi would be signed a week or so later.) I figured I should put some of my questions out there, in the hopes that some of you, who are attending, could ask on my behalf.
It should be fairly obvious that all of these questions are directed at Kenny Williams. I can already tell you what Ozzie or Hawk would say in response to these.
- On ChiSox.com, under the Front Office heading, Mike Gellinger is listed as a Major League Computer Scouting Analyst. What are his duties?
- How do those duties pertain to the Sox personnel decisions?
- Does Gellinger have influence on how the Sox rate their players defensively, or do they rely more on scouts/what they see with their own eyes?
- Since defense was such a large part in the Sox '05 success, do you have your own way of evaluating defense that may not be available to other clubs?
- In a New York Times article (by Alan Schwartz, I think) about a month ago, I saw an interesting little tidbit about how you project the team as a whole, in terms of total runs, can you expound on that process a little bit for me?
- How heavily does that process weigh in your final decision when it comes to personnel decisions? -- I could go on all day with these defensive/stats questions, but they're not likely to be answered with any real depth, so I'll move on.
- Name one player, who we may not have heard of, who will surprise us in '06. (This was a good question last year. Kenny pointed to Pablo Ozuna as somebody to watch in Spring Training.) Phil Rogers may have already answered this question in yesterday's Baseball America chat. According to Rogers, Anderson Gomes is the unknown to watch this year.
Anderson Gomes: This guy, signed this winter out of the Japanese minor leagues, could be a mini-Alfonso Soriano, except as a center fielder. He's a tremendously fast 21-year-old who has the strength to hit home runs. Not much has been known about him -- for good reason. He's a native of Brazil and he has spent his pro career as a pitcher, switching to the outfield only after undergoing Tommy John surgery, which is why he didn't play anywhere in 2005. He's recovered from TJ surgery and impressed scouts in Japan enough that he got third-round money to sign with the White Sox. He's got a chance to be the talk of the minor-league camp, and could finish 2006 as high as Double-A Birmingham. Based on reputation alone, I think I would have made him a top-10 pick if he had been signed before the newspaper and book went to press. This guy could be the sleeper of all sleepers, pushing guys like Podsednik, Owens and Anderson as early as 2007.Maybe it would be best just to ask for more info on Gomes.
- Why did it take 2 years to get rid of Timo?
- With the Sox now seemingly trying to corner the market on above-average, durable pitchers who are locked up for multiple years, does that change their drafting strategy? How so?
- When Aaron Rowand was traded, we were told that the Sox had dealt from a position of strength, with Anderson & Young waiting in the wings. Now that Young has been traded also, center field could be a weakness should Anderson falter. Who would play center should Anderson falter, or worse, get hurt?
- Do the Sox believe Jerry Owens can handle CF in the big leagues?
- How did Owens emergence as a legitimate prospect factor in their decision to part with both Rowand and Young?
- How awesome is Juan Uribe?
- Wouldn't it be a good idea to sign Mark Buehrle to another long term deal now, before the market gets even more out-of-whack in the next two years?