Chicago White Sox

MLB Power Rankings: Week 1

727320.png

MLB Power Rankings: Week 1

Every Monday throughout the regular season, we'll be ranking all 30 teams -- take a look and offer up your thoughts in the comments or to us on twitter @CubsTalkCSN or @WhiteSoxTalkCSN.

Previous rankings: Preseason

Tony
JJ Comments 1
Tony: Wow.Impressive start.
JJ: Well, at least Jose Valverde finally blew a save.
2
Tony: Looking sharp so far.
JJ: Are Yu ready for Darvish's debut?
3
Tony: Sitting atop AL East after sweep.
JJ: They're happy to have Carlos Pena back.
4
Tony: Not the best start, but could've been much worse.
JJ: Not looking like a team that lost Albert Pujols.
5
Tony: See above.
JJ: Rough start not a sign of things to come.
6
Tony: No World Series hangover for the Redbirds.
JJ: Starting pitching is a growing concern; Rivera is not.
7
Tony: Bad series, but again, could be worse.
JJ: Remember when people were concerned about Halladay? That was funny.
8
Tony: These kids are for reals, yo.
JJ: Drilled LincecumBumgarnerCain in impressive fashion.
9
Tony: Don't fret, they're too good to stay down.
JJ: Is Liverpool to blame? If so, it's all Andy Carroll's fault.
10
Tony: Who'd have thought they'd ever been in last place?
JJ: Ryan Braun hits the road for firstBOOOOOO.
11
Tony: I really like this group, solid start to 2012.
JJ: What's worse: Ozzie's Fidel comments or Hanley at 3B?
12
Tony: This is the "worse" I mentioned above. Ouch.
JJ: NL Central battle could get more fun if Cincy contends.
13
Tony: Just ask the G-Men if the D-Backs are for real.
JJ: Naturally, Chad Tracy played hero multiple times.
14
Tony: Think they have a shot at the Wild Card this year?
JJ: Pitching should be fine after being dismantled by Arizona.
15
Tony: Got to watch them first-hand. Solid group.
JJ: Scored seven runs in three games against the Mets. Blah.
16
Tony: Great start, love this young lineup.
JJ: Great start for Ubaldo's season.
17
Tony: What happens when Kemp slumps?
JJ: Hop on the Brandon Morrow bandwagon while there's room.
18
Tony: Good start trying to show they belong.
JJ: Bruce. Chen. And, you know, a good offense.
19
Tony: Came up on the wrong end of two marathon games.
JJ: Offense right where we left it in '11, but Dunn looks better.
20
Tony: Will they ever mesh as a team?
JJ: I admire Kemp's 5050 goal, but...no.
21
Tony: Two losses to Houston? Who are they, the Cubs?
JJ: Gritty series win vs. Philly, still don't think the pitching is there.
22
Tony: Man, if only...this close to a sweep.
JJ: Santana's return is big, but they're still the Mets.
23
Tony: Hung in there vs. Texas...for two games.
JJ: Beat up on a bad team.
24
Tony: Great start, but can they keep it up?
JJ: Also beat up on a bad team.
25
Tony: Felix Hernandez is great, but who else will step up?
JJ: Booing already? Yikes.
26
Tony: Love Maybin, but not enough offense.
JJ: There's no such thing as an overreaction to losing to Houston.
27
Tony: Cespedes is a man, but he's not 40.
JJ: Andrew Cashner might break someone's radar gun.
28
Tony: Holy cow. Didn't think they'd sweep all year.
JJ: Yoenis Cespedes is my spirit guide.
29
Tony: Ouch. To the Orioles? Really?
JJ: Brutal offense scored five runs in three games.
30
Tony: Wasn't sure they'd win two games all year.
JJ: Lucas Harrell started their second game. Lucas Harrell!

White Sox Talk Podcast: Jeff Passan explains why White Sox have the best farm system in baseball

kopech-moncada-pod.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Jeff Passan explains why White Sox have the best farm system in baseball

After speaking with 24 people in baseball (GMs, farm directors and scouts), Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports made a conclusion: the White Sox have the best farm system in baseball. On the podcast, Chuck Garfien speaks with Passan about his specific findings and how the next few years might play out for the franchise.

How many of the White Sox prospects have to be a success for the rebuild to work? Will Michael Kopech or Alec Hansen have the better major league career? Will the Cubs one day regret trading Eloy Jimenez? Will the White Sox be willing to spend big money to land a player like Manny Machado? Who will be the White Sox closer in 2019? Who might the White Sox draft in 2018?

The answers to these questions and many others on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Minor league notes: Eloy Jimenez isn't 'going to throw' away his opportunity

Minor league notes: Eloy Jimenez isn't 'going to throw' away his opportunity

A strong work ethic is one reason the White Sox are very excited about the possibilities that Eloy Jimenez presents.

Not only is the Double-A Birmingham outfielder extremely talented, he accompanies it with nonstop work. Jimenez’s Winston-Salem teammates and coaches praised the youngster for the serious effort he puts forth in the batting cage. One White Sox staffer watched Jimenez in batting practice last Sunday — he slugged more than 850 feet worth of home runs the night before — and noted how the No. 7 prospect in baseball was working on hitting curveballs. Jimenez said cage work is a vital part of his everyday routine.

“The most important thing before the game for me is to get in the cage, do my work, do my thing,” Jimenez said. “That is the biggest thing for me. I think that has worked for me in the game. That’s why I’m working hard every day in the cages.

“It’s time to go to work. I joke outside the cage but inside the cage I’m just thinking what I’m going to do. What is the spot I do damage? What is the spot I need to work more? That is the time for that I feel.”

Jimenez said his parents — mother Adelaida Solano, father Luis Jimenez and “baseball dad” Amauris Nina — instilled in him a strong work ethic. Though he believes he’s talented, Jimenez thinks it would only take him so far and wants to do everything he can to become a major leaguer.

“My dad all the time says if you want to be the best you need to work like you want to be the best,” Jimenez said. “All the time my mom said if you’re going to do something, do what you love and work hard for that.

“(Amauris) says you need to work like you don’t have anything, like nobody knows you. Work like that. No matter what they tell you outside the field, you need to work every day.

“If God gave me the opportunity I’m not going to throw it away. I’m just going to work hard to be one of the best players in baseball.”

Clarkin keeps busy

Winston-Salem pitcher Ian Clarkin hopes to return sooner than later from a strained right oblique that has kept him sidelined since July 23. Acquired from the Yankees on July 18, Clarkin has been on the disabled list since Aug. 1.

Along with his rehab work, one way the right-hander — the No. 23 prospect in the organization — has kept busy by growing a mustache. Clarkin has also paired up with Dash outfielder Jameson Fisher, the No. 26 prospect, to receive tips on how to grow and maintain it. Fisher has an 80-grade mustache on the 20-80 scouting scale and the two have lockers next to one another. But Clarkin isn’t very satisfied with his soup strainer, which has been growing for three weeks.

“This is a weird phase I’m going through,” Clarkin said. “Nothing growing in the middle, I need to do something.

“I gotta figure out what we’re doing. I like it, but we’re in a weird phase.”

Say, that’s not …

Jake Peter has done his best Yoan Moncada impersonation since he was promoted last month, including wearing the White Sox second baseman’s No. 10 at Triple-A Charlotte. Peter entered Sunday hitting .306/.358/.495 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in 120 plate appearances at Charlotte. He was the organization’s co-minor league player of the month in July with Jimenez.

“He’s a great ballplayer,” Double-A manager Julio Vinas said of Peter. “He’s a grinder and he gives you everything he has got. He was having quality AB s and he’s got so many tools. What’s great about him is anywhere you put him he plays solid defense.”

Peter is in his fourth season with the organization after the White Sox drafted him in the seventh round in the 2014 draft out of Creighton. He’s excited by the influx of talent and said it should create good competition with the players who were already here.

“We’re seeing all the great players coming in, and all of the great players we’ve already had it’s just going to make us better because it will create more competition and make us push each other,” Peter said.

Polo on the mark

Don’t overlook Tito Polo because he was the third minor leaguer to come over in the Yankees deal and currently isn’t part of MLB.com’s top-30 organizational prospect list. That’s the advice of Double-A announcer Curt Bloom, who calls Polo a strong defender, and Clarkin, who played with the center fielder for part of the 2016 season at Single-A Tampa.

“Tito has an unbelievable amount of talent and people are going to be surprised what he has in store,” Clarkin said. “He’s a good hitter, he can hit for power, he runs really well, he has a great arm and he’s a good defensive player, which everyone saw in the WBC. He’s going to surprise a lot of people with his talent.”