The White Sox announced the invitation of 21 players to spring training Tuesday.
Dylan Axelrod, Parker Frazier, Brian Omogrosso, Omar Poveda, Zach Putnam, David Purcey, Mauricio Robles, Hector Gimenez, Alex Liddi and Denis Phipps were all signed to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training. Additionally, in-the-system guys Chris Bassitt, Chris Beck, Cody Winiarski, Scott Snodgress, Miguel Gonzalez, Kevan Smith, Micah Johnson, Mike McDade, Andy Wilkins, Blake Tekotte and Keenyn Walker all earned invites to big league camp, as well.
Six of the 21 players appeared with the White Sox last season, including Gimenez, who appeared in 26 games and served as the team's backup catcher after the injury to Tyler Flowers; Tekotte, an outfielder who appeared in 20 games; Purcey and Omogrosso, who both pitched out of the bullpen. The most familiar name is Axelrod. He pitched in 30 games, including 20 starts, in an unsuccessful season, finishing with a 4-11 record and a 5.68 ERA.
Three others played in the big leagues last season but not with the Sox. Putnam pitched in five games with the Cubs, surrendering seven runs in 3 1/3 innings, finishing with a gigantic 18.90 ERA, albeit in very limited playing time. Robles pitched for the Phillies, while Liddi got 17 at-bats with the Mariners.
Of the players invited from inside the Sox organization, both Johnson and Beck were ranked as top-10 prospects in the Sox system. Johnson, ranked No. 6 by Baseball America, posted a .312/.373/.451 slash line and swiped 84 bases last season between three different minor league levels. Beck, No. 9, won 13 games and posted a 3.07 ERA in 26 starts between two levels last year.
Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Feb. 15. Position players report Feb. 20.