The Chicago White Sox very well may have the worst farm system in the game, even after they acquired their top prospect in a trade this offseason.
There really is not a whole lot to say here. The front office has done a bad job of drafting and developing players through their farm system and before they traded for Molina they did not have a single prospect in my forthcoming top 100 prospects.
The system is full of power arms that project as relievers due to lack of command and secondary pitches and toolsy outfielders who all strike out way too much. It really is a trend in their system that seems like it was done on purpose due to the glaring amount of prospects who profile like that.
Below are my top 16 prospects with 2012 opening day age, position, and comments on each player. Below the top 16 is a small list of additional notable names. Enjoy.
|1||Nestor Molina (23-RHP)||I see Molina as a potential ace. The probability of him reaching it is dependant on his slider getting better but I see high probability of him being at least a #3 starter due to excellent control and a plus change/splitter. I really see James Shields potential here. Similar repitoire, stuff, and control.|
|2||Addison Reed (23-RHP)||He is strickly a reliver but one that should be thrown into high-leverage situations as soon as 2012. He has a mid-90s fastball and out-pitch slider with excellent control. His loweset K/9 at any pro level is 11.81.|
|3||Trayce Thompson (21-OF)||He has the highest ceiling of any position player in the system but low probability to reach it. He has good patience and tons of raw power but swings and misses a heckuva lot and his hit tool is below-average. I also don’t think he can stay in CF so he will need his bat to catch up if he wants to be a big league regular. There is a lot to like here but much to be desired.|
|4||Tyler Saladino (22-SS)||There are some questions about his ability to stay at SS but should be able to play 2B and 3B and has a solid approach at the plate. He will be called a “grinder” who “hustles” due to lack of outstanding tools but he keeps producing. If he can stick in the MIF he could be a big league regular.|
|5||Erik Johnson (22-RHP)||A 2nd round pick in 2011, he has an ideal frame for a starter and fastball that sits in the low 90s with a slider that is above-average with the chance for more. He needs to develop a 3rd pitch and repeat his delivery better if he wants to remain a SP.|
|6||Jacob Petricka (23-RHP)||He has a solid fastball that sits 90-93 but hits mid-90s in short stints. He also has a slider but no real third pitch and lacks command of his secondary pitches. Has good starter’s frame. He breezed through low-A but struggled in high-A and will need to continue progressing since he turns 24 next year.|
|7||Jared Mitchell (23-OF)||He is very raw and missed all of 2010 with an ankle injury but he can play a true CF and has some power potential in his bat. He also shows decent patience but swings and misses a bunch. He could be a solid 4th outfielder but has the tools for more.|
|8||Scott Snodgress (21-LHP)||2011 5th rounder out of Stanford has a starter’s frame but worked out of the pen in college without great results. He blew through Rookie ball with a 10.31 K/9 and 2.58 BB/9 and has a low-90s fastball and average curve and change. Needs to improve command if he wants to reach the bigs. Projects as a back-end starter.|
|9||Keenyn Walker (21-OF)||Son of GM Kenny Williams, and 2011 1st round pick, is a gifted athlete who should be able to stick in CF and some reports said he has power potential but I do not see it at all. I see a 4th OFer with a ton of speed and swings and misses a lot. Anyone see a theme in this farm system yet?|
|10||Jeff Soptic (21-RHP)||3rd round pick in 2011, he is already destined for the pen but has a big mid-to-upper-90s fastball and a slider with potential to be plus but he lacks command and needs help with his mechanics to keep the heat on the fastball.|
|11||Andre Rienzo (23-RHP)||His low-to-mid-90s fastball has done all it needs to do to prove it can miss A-ball bats. He will be 24 next year and needs to prove he can improve his breaking ball and get AA hitters out. He looks like a reliever to me but there is a chance he can be a back-end starter if he improves his command and secondary pitches.|
|12||Eduardo Escobar (23-SS)||He could probably stick at SS but not an elite glove there for the lack of bat he will bring with him. He swings at everything and does not have a lot of power potential. He will find it hard to have anything close to a .300 OBP in the majors.|
|13||Nathan Jones (26-RHP)||After a failed attempt at starting he was moved back to the pen and went back to striking out more than a batter per inning. His fastball sits mid-90s but he lacks control and needs to be more consistent with his curve but he could be in the big league pen soon.|
|14||Jordan Danks (25-OF)||Can play a true CF with a good arm and good range. He also has 15 homerun power potential, 20+ stolen base potential, and decent patience but, get this, strikes out a ton. Has a lower ceiling than the similar prospects mentioned above but higher probability of at least making the majors.|
|15||Jhan Marinez (23-RHP)||Another big armed reliever with high strikeout rates and high walk rates. Came over in the Ozzie Guillen deal.|
|16||Nevin Griffith (23-OF)||From my hometown Tampa, he was regularly hitting mid-90s as a high schooler but underwent TJ surgery in 2008 and has yet to command his pitches and walks too many guys. He is currently being worked as a starter but his path to the big leagues is just like all the other arms above him, as a power reliever.|
Filed under: On the Farm - Prospects Tagged: | 2012 Top Prospects, Addison Reed, Andre Rienzo, Chicago White Sox, Eduardo Escobar, Erik Johnson, Gregory Infante, Jacob Petricka, Jared Mitchell, Jeff Soptic, Jhan Marinez, Jordan Danks, Keenyn Walker, Marcus Semien, Nathan Jones, Nestor Molina, Nevin Griffith, Osvaldo Martinez, Prospects, Scott Snodgress, Trayce Thompson, Tyler Saladino