NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The White Sox made a pair of moves this week that keeps them from making another they feel might be premature at this juncture.
With the addition of infielder Angel Sanchez at Thursdays Rule 5 draft and Wednesdays signing of free agent Jeff Keppinger, the White Sox hope they have fulfilled two big needs without having to rush minor-leaguer Carlos Sanchez to the majors.
Carlos Sanchez, 20, advanced from Single-A to Triple-A in the span of last season and heads into 2013 as the organizations No. 3 prospect, according to Baseball America. He posted a .323.378.403 slash line with a homer and 56 RBIs at three stops and followed it up with a strong performance at the Arizona Fall League.
A combination second basemanshortstop, Carlos Sanchez was one of the most talked about players at the teams organizational meetings last month, enough that the White Sox considered him as a possibility at third base even with limited experience.
But the club will officially announce it filled its hole at third base with Keppinger next week and has covered its utility job with the drafting of Angel Sanchez.
I know we are really hesitant about starting Carlos in the major leagues in April, assistant general manager Buddy Bell said. I think thats a good thing. He hasnt had many at-bats above A-Ball. We sent him to Birmingham and the end of the year in Charlotte because of the playoffs. Theres still some at-bats he needs to get. I think hes proven to all of us that I dont think its out of the question he could be in the big leagues next year at some point.
General manager Rick Hahn noted in November the White Sox have a history of taking the best players with them to Chicago when the team breaks camp. Though Carlos Sanchez hasnt officially received an invite to big league camp in February, the writing is on the wall and he could at least have a shot at the backup infielder job along with Steve Tolleson and Angel Sanchez.
But the team also wants to exercise caution.
Carlos Sanchez has 172 plate appearances above Single-A, including only 39 at Triple-A Charlotte. While his glove has always been a selling point, Carlos Sanchez made significant strides at the plate last season as his OPS jumped up 95 points from the season before. His track has similarities to those of Gordon Beckham and Daniel Hudson -- who breezed through the minors -- but the White Sox ideally would love to give Carlos Sanchez more time to mature. And then theres the fact that a delayed arrival, perhaps in the middle of the summer, also limits the chance of Carlos Sanchez reaching early arbitration.
Wed have to talk about that come Glendale, and were way ahead of ourselves with that one, Hahn said of the potential for a backup infielder job out of camp. Probably the best thing for this kids development is to get more ABs at Triple-A.