Hawkins tops Baseball America's top Sox prospects list

Hawkins tops Baseball America's top Sox prospects list
November 12, 2012, 8:41 pm
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Baseball America rolled out its top 10 White Sox prospects lists Monday, with 2012 White Sox first-round pick Courtney Hawkins topping the rankings. A few notes:

-- The White Sox have outfield depth. Hawkins (No. 1), Trayce Thompson (No. 2), Keenyn Walker (No. 5) and Jared Mitchell (No. 9) are all varying distances away from the majors, but it's clear the strength of the farm system is in the outfield. What's interesting, though, is the White Sox currently have their outfield locked up for the next few years, as Dayan Viciedo, Alejandro De Aza and Alex Rios are under control through at least 2014.

-- Carlos Sanchez rose fast. Last winter, Sanchez was nowhere to be found on anyone's top 10 or top 20 list, but this year debuts at No. 3 on Baseball America's rankings. The 20-year-old infielder hit .323.378.403 across three levels in 2012, and if he can continue success into 2013 could be a viable option by 2014.

-- Keon Barnum's ranking was aggressive. South Side Sox's Larry covered this -- Barnum is a raw talent with a high ceiling, but may not be a top 10 prospect right now. That being said, looking at the pool of other prospects to choose from, there may not be much separating Barnum's grade from the rest of the pack.

-- 2013 is a make-or-break year for Jared Mitchell. At 24, Mitchell will likely begin 2013 in Triple-A, where he hit .231.329.364 in 36 games in 2012. He was good with Birmingham (.240.368.440) but strikeouts continued to plague Mitchell, as the 2009 first-round pick struck out 179 times in 549 plate appearances. If Mitchell doesn't take a step forward with Charlotte in 2013, his prospect star may burn out.