The White Sox brass has said over and over theyre not concerned with what the rankings say. Yes, nearly all analysts have the White Sox as having the worst farm system in baseball. But the Sox are more concerned with what they actually get out of their minor leagues, which lately has actually been pretty good when looking at players taken in the MLB Draft.
Since the 2008 draft -- the first players selected and signed by the White Sox have the most WAR of any group of draftees in baseball. Gordon Beckham, Brent Morel, Jordan Danks, Dan Hudson, Chris Sale and Addison Reed have accumulated 15.4 WAR (Baseball-Reference), slightly more than the 14.8 WAR that Nationals draftees have racked up.
Its not completely fair to add in the 4.2 WAR Hudson accrued with Arizona, though, and when you eliminate players that are no longer with their original organization, Washington takes the No. 1 spot. Without Hudson, White Sox draftees have been worth 11.3 WAR, as Hudson was worth 0.1 WAR over parts of two seasons with the White Sox. Washington only loses Tommy Milone -- who went to Oakland in the Gio Gonzalez deal -- and his 1.7 WAR.
But regardless, the Sox have the second-highest total WAR of players drafted in 2008-2011. Of course, thats just right now, when no players from the 2011 draft have played in the majors and only a few from 2010 have made it, and it doesnt include international free agents and players acquired via a trade.
Chris Sale has been the largest value-provider, approaching 8 WAR since his call-up in 2010. While Gordon Beckham has tailed off after 2009, hes provided about 3 wins to the White Sox since 2009. Addison Reed, Brent Morel and Jordan Danks have also contributed in relatively minor ways, with Reed the most likely to boost the WAR total down the road.
A few years from now, the White Sox may not be in the top two, top five, top 10, and so on. But for now, as the White Sox contend for a playoff spot, the contributions of Sale, Beckham and Reed have helped get the team to where they are. And that's certainly worth noting.