White Sox add ‘rebuilding’ to their vocabulary
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org July 1, 2013 8:54PM
The Sox have a bit of a history of promoting talent quickly in recent years. Chris Sale made his major-league debut two months after being drafted. | Charles Rex Arbogast-AP
ORIOLES AT SOX
The facts: 7:10 p.m., Ch. 26, 670-AM.
The starters: Jason Hammel (7-4, 5.09 ERA) vs. John Danks (1-5, 4.68).
THE REST OF THE SERIES
Wednesday: 6:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM. Miguel Gonzalez (6-3, 3.77) vs. Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.59).
Thursday: 1:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM. TBA vs. Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.97).
Updated: August 3, 2013 6:25AM
‘‘Rebuilding’’ hasn’t been a favored word in the White Sox’ vocabulary in recent seasons. But the Sox’ stumbling first half and last-place standing in the American League Central has brought them face-to-face with the task.
General manager Rick Hahn has said his focus for now is improving the current team and winning as many games as possible. But coming trades will be about getting young talent in an effort to rebuild the farm system as quickly as possible.
The talent the Sox have in their minor-league system generally has been ranked among the lowest in the majors, though the team has been able to promote some talent quickly in recent years. Left-hander Chris Sale is the most notable, making his major-league debut two months after being drafted in 2010. Closer Addison Reed was a third-round pick in 2010 and debuted in the majors in September 2011.
But Baseball America ranked the Sox’ system 29th among the 30 major-league teams in its preseason ranking this year.
Hahn acknowledged the system is in need of ‘‘a stronger core.’’ He said he would seek ‘‘high-impact premium talent,’’ though the Sox might have to settle for younger players further away from being major-league-ready.
‘‘[Premium talent] refers to starting pitching [and] talent up the middle,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘There are positions of strength in the organization, but if we were to acquire the right impact player, it doesn’t matter where the depth is in the organization. Just get the right guy.’’
Here are the players considered the Sox’ top prospects:
Outfielder Courtney Hawkins: The Sox’ first-round pick in 2012 is at Class A Winston-Salem. He has power but is only 19 and needs refinement.
Right-hander Erik Johnson: The 23-year-old didn’t start his season until June because of shoulder fatigue, but he already has been promoted from Class AA Birmingham to Class AAA Charlotte.
Outfielder Trayce Thompson: His father and two brothers played/are playing in the NBA. He can hit and run and is considered good defensively.
Middle infielder Carlos Sanchez: The 21-year-old led the organization in batting average and hits last season and played in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game. Currently at Charlotte.
Outfielder Jared Mitchell: The 24-year-old was the Sox’ first-round pick in 2009 but has been slowed by injuries. His recent hitting struggles led to his demotion to Birmingham.
Left-hander Scott Snodgress: The 23-year-old was drafted in 2011 and is considered the Sox’ top lefty prospect. Currently at Birmingham.
Right-hander Andre Rienzo: The 25-year-old from Brazil was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs last season but finished 2012 at Charlotte. He has been invited to play in the 2013 All-Star Futures Game.
First baseman Keon Barnum: The 20-year-old power hitter was selected after Hawkins last season. He is at Class A Kannapolis.
Outfielder Keenyn Walker: The 22-year-old was selected in the supplemental round in 2011 and led the organization with 56 steals in his first season. Currently at Birmingham.
Right-hander Chris Beck: The 22-year-old was a second-round pick in 2012. Currently at Winston-Salem.
The Sox’ top draft pick this year was junior-college shortstop Tim Anderson. Baseball America said he could be an ‘‘impact big-leaguer if he stays at short.’’ The publication also said the Sox got ‘‘good value’’ by drafting TCU right-hander Andrew Mitchell in the fourth round.