By James Fegan
The Chicago White Sox announced Thursday the invitation of 20 players to their spring training camp in Glendale, Arizona. The group is a combination of 13 prospects from the teams farm system and seven non-roster invitees signed to minor league contracts.
Outfielder Trayce Thompson and Infielder Carlos Sanchez are the most heralded prospects among those invited, rated second and third respectively in the White Sox organization according to Baseball America.
Thompson, 21, finished the 2012 season in Triple-A Charlotte after hitting 25 home runs across stops in Single-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. Sanchez is a year younger still, but is considered to have an outside chance at a major league roster spot. This year will also see Keenyn Walker, an outfielder who was selected with the White Sox first pick of the 2011 draft, make his first appearance at big league camp.
2011 second-round pick Erik Johnson, a right-handed starter who just completed his first year as a professional, is the highest-rated pitching prospect going to Glendale. Joining him will be Scott Snodgress, a left-hander out of Stanford who led the White Sox farm system in strikeouts, and right-hander Jake Petricka. Daniel Moskos, a left-hander who was selected fourth overall in the 2007 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, was also invited.
Rounding out the group of prospects are a pair of catchers in Michael Blanke and Kevan Smith, first basemen Andy Wilkins, and infielders Tyler Saladino, Seth Loman, and Marcus Simien. Saladino was featured on several top 10 lists for prospects in the White Sox organization coming into 2012, before enduring a rough season where he recorded a .668 OPS.
The announcement of non-roster invitees for the 2013 White Sox camp marks the return to the organization of right-handed reliever Jeff Gray, and outfielder Stefan Gartrell.
Gray pitched 13.1 innings for the White Sox in 2011 before being put on waivers and claimed by the Seattle Mariners. He spent all of 2012 working out of the bullpen for the rival Minnesota Twins, recording a 5.71 ERA over 52 innings. Gray was originally signed as a Free Agent by the White Sox in December.
Gartrell is returning to the organization that drafted him in the 31st round in 2006. He spent six seasons in the White Sox farm system before being traded to the Atlanta Braves shortly after the start of the 2011 season. Gartrell has hit 20 or more home runs in four straight seasons, almost all of which were spent in Triple-A.
Left-handed reliever David Purcey, who last saw major league action with the Detroit Tigers in 2011, right-handed pitcher Ramon Troncoso, catcher Bryan Anderson, and infielders Josh Bell and Steve Tolleson were all given non-roster invitations to camp as well.