Hawkins tops Baseball America's top Sox prospects list

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Hawkins tops Baseball America's top Sox prospects list

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.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura declines to discuss future amid speculation about return

White Sox manager Robin Ventura declines to discuss future amid speculation about return

The uncertainty surrounding Robin Ventura’s future will drag on a little longer.

The White Sox manager — who doesn’t yet have a contract offer for 2017, according to a baseball source — said Wednesday afternoon that he intends to wait until the current season is complete to discuss what’s next.

Ventura’s fifth season at the helm concludes on Sunday and according to USA Today report, the door has potentially been opened for a sixth. But Ventura didn’t broach the topic during Wednesday’s pregame media session and White Sox general manager Rick Hahn wasn’t available for comment. Hahn has previously said he’d wait for the season to end to talk and is expected to address the media on Monday, according to team officials.

“I appreciate all the concern,” Ventura said. “But like I’ve said all year long, I’m waiting until the end of the year. Rick and I always have discussions, but I’m waiting until the end of the year. 

“I’m not going to get into it. But I’ve always felt, especially this year, that I’m going to wait until the end of the year. 

“That’s just the way I like to do it.”

The White Sox are headed for their fourth straight sub-.500 record under Ventura unless they win their final five games. The club has only posted a winning record in Ventura’s first season (2012) and they’re 373-432 overall during his tenure.

The USA Today report suggested the decision on whether or not Ventura would return in 2017 is up to him. Ventura said he likes his job and also is aggravated by it. He’s disappointed with the team’s failures in 2016 after a 23-10 start and wouldn’t discuss whether or not he was interested in managing were the team to go into rebuild mode. Ventura also said he’s more focused on the club’s day-to-day operations.

“I enjoy the job,” Ventura said. “Right now we’re dealing with rain and trying to figure out how we’re going to do this. I’m figuring out how to get to the end of the year right now. That’s the biggest concern, and making sure everybody finishes it on the way that they should professionally.”

Outfielder Adam Eaton supported Ventura and said his even-keel management style is effective. Eaton said he’d welcome Ventura back. But Eaton also knows the decision isn’t his to make.

“I’ve always enjoyed Robin,” Eaton said. “I’ve always backed Robin. I think he’s a tremendous manager, people person, communicator. So for me I’ve enjoyed my time with him. I’d welcome him back. I’d love to have him back, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the higher-ups again.”

Ventura’s one concern is that the issue distracts from his players’ preparation over the final five games. Given everything else that has occurred this season, from the Adam LaRoche saga in spring training to Chris Sale’s suspension in July, Ventura wants to avoid adding another distraction. It’s one of the main reasons he has pushed off talking about his future.

“It was quite a ride,” Ventura said. “It really was. You just deal with it when it happens. Like I said, every team has its challenge and this one is no different. We had some unique ones, I would say this year. You handle it, you handle it inside the clubhouse and that’s my job.”

Source: White Sox have not decided on Robin Ventura's status for 2017

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USA Today Sports Images

Source: White Sox have not decided on Robin Ventura's status for 2017

Contradicting an earlier report from USA Today, CSN White Sox Insider Dan Hayes is reporting that the White Sox have not decided whether or not to retain manager Robin Ventura in 2017.

Stay with CSNChicago.com throughout the day for more information on this developing story.