By Scott Barzilla

If I had to pick two general managers that we pick on the most here at Hardballchat it would be Brian Sabean and Kenny Williams. Ironically, both are stewarding teams that appear bound for the playoffs. I’d rather be lucky than good any day of the week. Williams is very adept at adding talent during the season through trades. This season he added Francisco Liriano and Brett Myers via trade at the deadline and Kevin Youkilis earlier in the season.

None of those moves have been slam dunks, but all of them have made the team better and in concert it may be enough to hold off the Tigers for the division championship. What those trades also did was thin out an already anorexic farm system. In particular, when the club dealt Carlos Quentin and Sergio Santos it seemed to be a signal that they were starting the rebuilding process. Unfortunately, he did not get much for either of those two players, so the farm system might be the thinnest in all of baseball.

   

Age

LV

How

BP

BA

MLB

POS

C Josh Phegley

24

AAA

D

NR

NR

11

NR

1B Keon Barnum

19

R

D

NR

NR

10

10

2B Carlos Sanchez

20

AAA

I

NR

NR

7

7

3B Juan Silverio

21

A+

I

12

9

NR

NR

SS Tyler Saladino

23

AA

D

10

8

16

NR

OF Trayce Thompson

21

AAA

D

3

4

1

NR

OF Courtney Hawkins

18

A-

D

NR

NR

2

NR

OF Keenyn Walker

22

A+

D

6

6

5

NR

P Charlie Leesman

25

AAA

D

NR

NR

3

NR

Josh Phegley– Catcher

There are some systems that prove the rule that we should not get carried away over organizational rankings. Yes, he ranks as high as eleventh according to some sources. Where would he rank in almost every other organization? A.J. Pierzysnki is a free agent after the season and might command more than the White Sox are willing to pay. Is he ready to be even a backup at the big league level? I guess we’ll see.

Keon Barnum– First Base

We joked on Hardballchat Radio that the selections in this year draft just became the White Sox’ best prospects. Well, apparently it wasn’t a joke. Barnum showed good power in limited time following his selection in the sandwich round this year. The high school product has plenty of time to develop as both Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko have first base covered for awhile.

Carlos Sanchez– Second Base

Sanchez managed to play on three different levels this season where he showed an ability to hit for average on every level except AAA. He may not have displayed any home run power, but he showed an ability to get on base and an ability to swipe some bags. That makes him the mirror image of Gordon Beckham and for those that are tired of Beckham’s act, Sanchez might be a fresh new direction.

Juan Silverio– Third Base

Sometimes prospects go in a different direction. Before the season, Silverio was fairly highly thought of by Jim Callis and Kevin Goldstein. At least he was highly thought of in comparison with the other White Sox prospects. Everything is relative you know. Well, since they added an influx of new talent, he has fallen by the wayside. It will be interesting to see what happens with Youkilis moving forward.

Tyler Saladino– Shortstop

Saladino is an interesting prospect. He doesn’t produce traditional numbers that step out at you, but in 127 games he managed 79 walks. Those walks got him a .353 overall OBP. Most teams will take that from their shortstop and run with it. He parlayed that on base ability into 39 steals. Again, that’s pretty intriguing. The trouble is that the hit tool really isn’t there. He likely will start in AAA next season and get one more season under his belt before making a splash.

Trayce Thompson– Outfield

He started in advanced A and made it all the way to AAA before the season ended. At 21 he might be the most exciting prospect in the system. He can hit for power and swipe some bases, but he needs to make more consistent contact before he becomes a legitimate big league prospect. He likely will start in either AA or AAA next year depending on how he progresses this winter and in Spring Training.

Courtney Hawkins– Outfield

He does not register with Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America because he was just drafted this year. He was the one that did the flip on stage. It probably stopped Kenny Williams’ heart for a brief second. The first season is usually about getting your feet wet and he did that with 240 plate appearances. He combined to hit eight home runs during that time, so he is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Keenyn Walker– Outfield

He was taken in the sandwich round of the 2011 draft, so he hasn’t had as much time as others to make any big time impressions, but he did get a full season’s worth of time this season in addition to two months last season. The switch hitter is not a power threat, but he might be the best speed threat in the system. He combined to steal 56 bases between high and low A this season. More impressive was his 74 walks in 483 plate appearances. It is enough to make people forget about his 143 strike outs.

Charlie Leesman– Pitcher

The left hander vaulted up the list by putting up very good numbers in AAA. His record says he was 12-10, but he had a sparkling 2.47 ERA in 135 innings. Whether or not he has the best long-term prognosis remains to be seen. He has a strong change up, but command has been an issue in the past. He might end up being a LOOGY in the future, but I wouldn’t wish that life on anyone.

 

 

 

Scott Barzilla

Scott Barzilla is the editor in chief at hardballchat.com. He is also the author of four books, including The Hall of Fame Index. The Hall of Fame Index was nominated for the Sporting News Award for statistical innovation in 2011.

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