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This Week in White Sox Minor League Baseball

Jared Mitchell
Jared Mitchell

This week:

  • The big news, of course, was the amateur draft, the primary vehicle by which teams replenish their minor league systems. With a plethora of early picks on day one, the White Sox made good on their rumored preference for a toolsy outfielder by picking Jared Mitchell out of LSU with their first pick. The lefty is considered to still be pretty raw, in large part because of his two-sport background in college. Strikeouts are the major flaw in his game and his defense is also questioned. However, he has superb speed and he's shown improvement in all categories over his college career. This pick is certainly not out of the Kyle McCulloch playbook as the risk is high but the potential reward is a five tool athlete in centerfield. You can watch him tonight on ESPN at 6pm, as LSU takes on Virginia in the CWS.
  • With their next pick, the Sox took Josh Phegley, a righty catcher out of Indiana University. While Phegley certainly has a nice bat, this pick has been viewed as a bit of an overdraft considering there is serious question regarding whether he has the defensive chops to stick at catcher. He supposedly called his own game at Indiana, but both his receiving skills and arm are considered subpar. However, Doug Laumann asserted that he will be a "fine defensive catcher."
  • With their second round pick, the Sox returned to high upside with Trayce Thompson, a high schooler out of California. There were some rumors that the UCLA-commit would be a difficult sign; however, the Sox don't usually take such risks this early and confirmation of his readiness to go pro came from his father. Thompson is very toolsy with projection galore. A centerfielder currently, the righty probably will end up in a corner spot.
  • The Sox wrapped up their OC compensation with David Holmberg, a lefty pitcher out of Florida high school. He's committed to Florida but is not expected to be a difficult sign. He has either an okay fastball in the upper 80s or a 93 MPH fastball; I suppose we'll find out. There seems to be no debate, however, that he has a plus curve. Like all lefties, he'll need to work on acquiring a good changeup. Scouts like his pitchability and clean delivery.
  • And the Sox wrapped up day one by taking Bryan Morgado with their third round pick. Morgado is a power lefty out of the University of Tennessee, featuring a fastball that reaches the mid 90s and a solid curve. Like Holmberg, development of a change will determine his role. Morgado had a very nice strikeout rate this season (75 in 52.1IP) but walked a whole lot of batters (36), resulting in an ERA well over 6 and relegation to the bullpen. Both BP's Bryan Smith and I had the same thought: a Dexter Carter-esque pick in which the Sox think they can make an adjustment to get him some control.
  • Overall, the Sox' 52 picks broke down like this: 41 from college and 11 from high school, 29 pitchers (18 right-handers and 11 lefties), 11 outfielders, 10 infielders and two catchers.
  • Getting back to upside currently in the minors, Dayan Viciedo continues to adjust: .282/.304/.372.
  • Wilson Betemit cleared waivers and was outrighted to Charlotte. Javier Castillo was traded to the Mets to make room at third base.
  • In other demoted player news, Brent Lillibridge can't make contact in AAA, either: .192/.232/.308 with a 29.5% K rate.
  • Charlie Shirek was promoted to Birmingham to take Poreda's spot and had a nice debut: 7 IP, 3 hits, 1 BB, 1 K. While he certainly doesn't project as a starter - the K rate from his debut isn't that anomalous - he's got nice sinking action on his pitches and he looks the type who will make a solid groundball inducing middle reliever in a couple years.
  • What's left of the Birmingham crew: Flowers, .276/.429/.500; Danks: .314/.383/.449; Allen: .289/.371/.458.