WHITE SOX FANS SHOULD HAVE HOPE
Don’t cry rivers of tears just yet. Last year they had the Sox set for 77 wins.
But whatever happens in 2009, it doesn’t discount the fact that once again Ken Williams has rebuilt the farm system. And for that White Sox fans should have plenty of hope. Here are some of the key players.
Clayton Richard. Richard got fairly shelled in his stint with the big club last year. But he started ’08 in AA , and there he had great success. He was moved to AAA after 13 starts and went 6-0 at Charlotte with a 2.45 ERA and a WHIP of .84. He could turn out to be a very nice surprise this year for Sox fans.
Gordon Beckham. Beckham should have Sox fans drooling. The 8th overall pick from last year’s draft, Beckham put up insane numbers at Georgia before in ’08. In just 275 ABs Beckham hit 28 homers, 22 doubles, drew 54 walks, stole 17 bags and hit .411/.519/.804. Wow.
Aaron Poreda. Poreda is an enormous left-handed pitcher (6’6″, 240) that the Sox selected in the 1st round of the ’07 draft. He has amazing control and has done very well in 2 years of minor league ball. He has allowed only 7 homers in over 200 innings, with a K/BB ratio of over 3:1. Don’t be surprised if he ends up in the Sox rotation by the end of the season–or sooner.
Tyler Flowers. I wrote about Flowers here. Last year John Sickels had Flowers rated as the Braves 5th best prospect. He’s just 23 and he recently dominated the Arizona Fall League. He also spent the entire 2008 season as a catcher, something he wasn’t able to do before.
Dayan Viciedo. Viciedo is the latest Cuban import for Ken Williams. He made Cuba’s national team at age 16 (!) and hit .337. He has tremendous power and a strong arm. The Trib reports today that Viciedo will get a very long look during spring training. Josh Fields better bring it. He has trouble with his weight. You mean like Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder? Big deal.
John Shelby Jr. The son of the former big leaguer with the same name, Baseball America had Shelby ranked as the Sox 8th best prospect in 2008. He features a great combo of speed and power, although he needs to learn patience at the plate. Still, in his first 2 full seasons in the minors, Shelby has amassed 72 doubles, 16 triples, 31 homers and 52 steals.
[tags]Dayan Viciedo, Ken Williams, Chicago White Sox, Gordon Beckham, PECOTA[/tags]