Compiling the White Sox prospect lists

Compiling the White Sox prospect lists
January 17, 2012, 2:29 am
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It's pretty well-accepted that the White Sox have the worst farm system in baseball. Kevin Goldstein (Baseball Prospectus) described it in two words: "Not good." John Sickels (Minor League Ball) described it in four: "The horror, the horror." Larry (South Side Sox) said putting his list together was "painfully difficult."

But thanks to the efforts of Goldstein, Sickels, Larry, Phil Rogers (Baseball America) and Marc Hulet (FanGraphs), we have five pretty reputable top prospect lists for the White Sox. With that in mind, I compiled a table looking at each prospect's ranking among the five lists -- of note, not all prospects were part of the White Sox system when these lists were made. For example, Simon Castro wasn't with the Sox when Fangraphs released its list, and Myles Jaye only appears on one list in part because the Sox acquired him on New Year's Day.

On to the table:

PlayerFGBProBASSSSickelsAddison Reed
1111
2
Nestor Molina
2
2
2
2
1
Simon Castro
NA
5
3
NA
NA
Trayce Thompson
4
3
4
7
4
Jake Petricka
6
4
5
5
6
Keenyn Walker
3
6
6
8
11
Jhan Marinez
148
7
Other
Other
Eduardo Escobar
8
7
NR
6
13
Tyler Saladino
7
10
8
3
3
Hector Santiago
10
NR
NR
4
5
Jared Mitchell
9
13
NR
10
12
Brandon Short
12
14
NR
9
Other
Juan Silverio
NR
12
9
NR
8
Gregory Infante
13
16
NR
Other
15
Andre Rienzo
NR
11
NR
Other
9
Charles Leesman
11
NR
NR
Other
14
Dylan Axelrod
5
19
NR
NR
8
Scott Snodgress
15
NR
NR
Other
18
Erik Johnson
NR
17
NR
Other
10
Mike Blanke
NR
18
NR
Other
Other
Kevan Smith
NR
NR
NR
NR
7
Nate Jones
NR
NR
NR
NR
16
Jeff Soptic
Other
NR
NR
Other
17
Jose Quintana
NR
NR
NR
Other
19
Blair Walters
NR
NR
NR
NR
20
Ozzie Martinez
NR
20
10
NR
Other
Myles Jaye
NA
9
NR
NA
NA
Pedro Hernandez
NA
15
NR
NA
NA

Number of prospects listed: 10 (South Side Sox, Baseball America), 15 (FanGraphs), 20 (Baseball Prospectus, Sickels)Other: Player was listed, but not rankedNA: Player was not in organization when list was made

--The biggest disagreement among these guys is on Hector Santiago, who both Larry and Sickels are high on but isn't ranked by Goldstein or Rogers. If Santiago becomes a full-time starter, his high ranking by Larry and Sickels should be justified; if he's a middle reliever, he's probably a fringe top-20 guy.

--Larry ranks Trayce Thompson the lowest of anyone, although he notes that "With more repetitions both at the plate and in the field, maybe this will be the breakout year."

--Jared Mitchell is firmly a fringe prospect. Being ranked in the Nos. 9-13 range in a White Sox system this thin isn't very encouraging.

--Sickels is the only one who even mentioned Kevan Smith, who put up gaudy numbers in rookie ball as a 23-year-old last year. We'll see if he can hit at the Single-A level and maybe justify Sickels' ranking, although even then, he'll be pretty low in the system for someone who will turn 24 in late June.

--There are plenty of power arms here, but few of those arms have a developed third pitch. The worry is that most of these pitchers will wind up in relief, leaving the Sox seriously short-handed in arguably baseball's most important commodity: young, inexpensive starting pitching.