Thank goodness for the draft. At least we have something to talk about besides crushing defeats.
In the draft’s second day, the White Sox focused on more college pitchers and middle infielders. Some thumbnail sketches for the first seven rounds, based off Baseball America and MLB scouting reports…
No. 2: Jake Petricka, RHP, Indiana State
He saw a sudden jump in his velocity last season, going from 90ish on his fastball to 92-94 m.p.h., hitting as high as 98. His curveball went from soft to having a sharper break, and his changeup is a work in progress. He already had Tommy John Surgery back in 2007, which helps his cause.
No. 3: Addison Reed, RHP, San Diego State
Reed was a closer for the Aztecs, but moved into the rotation this year with pretty good results (2.50 ERA, 90 K to 16 BB in 79 1/3 IP). He throws across his body, but has three good pitches — a 91-92 m.p.h. fastball, a curve and a changeup. The only question is whether he can hold up as a starter, as there isn’t much of a track record.
No. 3: Thomas Royse, RHP, Louisville (Bryan Morgado selection)
This one is viewed as a bit of a reach, because he’s more about projection than actual results. He can do a lot with his fastball (cutter material), but there are mixed reviews on his slider and scouts say that his velocity dips into the high 80s after a few innings. He’s 6’5″ and 215 pounds, so he could grow a little.
No. 4: Matthew Grimes, RHP, Mill Creek HS, Hoschton, Ga.
While Royse is signable, Grimes might not be. He’s committed to Georgia Tech, and has a lot going for him — a 6’5″ frame that he uses well and a fastball that can touch 94. It might take Steven Upchurch-type money to keep him out of college. I hope they can get it done, because I really want to call him “Grimey.”
No. 5: Andy Wilkins, 1B, Arkansas
He’s a left-handed power bat that needs to deliver power to be effective. His ability to hit with wood bats is questioned, and can’t run. The good news is that he can play first legitimately, and first base is a largely unobstructed position in the White Sox system, so he’ll get every chance.
No. 6: Rangel Ravelo, 3B, Hialeah HS, Fla.
All I can find is that he’s a raw prospect with power, but he may have to move across the diamond. This pick may have sparked a minor firestorm, as you’ll read below.
No. 7: Tyler Saladino, SS, Oral Roberts
Saladino is considered a great athlete with good defensive tools, and his bat has potential if he can find a way to make more consistent contact.
No. 8: Josef Terry, 2B, Cerritos JC, Calif.
Terry is a junior-college second baseman who can hit to all fields and wreak havoc on the basepaths, and is good enough to stick at second, although not considered impressive defensively.
No. 9: Kevin Moran, RHP, Boston College
He walks a lot of guys, but I love these two sentences:
Moran is almost too intense for his own good and must improve his mound presence. In the Cape, scouts reported seeing him yell at hitters in the batter’s box.
No. 10: Ross Wilson, 2B, Alabama
Wilson is intriguing because a hairline fracture in his hand robbed him of power. His slugging percentage dipped from .567 to .434, so there may be some buy-low action on his power potential. HE PLAYED FOOTBALL IN HIGH SCHOOL and has a FOOTBALL PLAYER’S MENTALITY! None of his individual tools are awe-inspiring, but scouts seem to regard him as somebody whose sum is greater than his parts.
To nobody’s surprise, the White Sox also selected Ozney Guillen in the 22nd round, and this is one time when drafting a family member isn’t ridiculous when looking at the selection alone. Ozney has solid high school cred, and Baseball America called him the No. 100 prospect in Florida.
But it wouldn’t be White Sox Nepotism without some kind of circus element, and Joe Cowley’s doing his damndest to raise the issue. Either he has sources, or he’s bored out of his mind:
Feel-good story? Try a slap in the face filled with conspiracy theory.
Some scouting agencies had Ozney projected as high as a fourth-round talent coming out of Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Florida.
After the pick was announced, Ozzie Guillen was asked if he thought Ozney would sign with the Sox or take the full baseball scholarship that awaits him at the University of South Florida.
”Nah, 22nd round?” Ozzie said. ”I give my kid 50 grand just to go to school. I got 50 grand in my pocket to send my kid to go to Niketown. Or buy something. …
And on Oney Guillen’s Twitter account, he suggested that the Sox may have driven down Ozney’s draft value:
bc the sox kept them away by saying they were gonna take him.
Which makes no sense to me at all, unless rival front offices are far more collegial than could be imagined. Twenty-one-plus rounds went by without Ozney being selected, which seems like an incredibly long time for 29 other teams to do one a favor, does it not?
For comparison’s sake, here’s what happened to the other prospects at the end of Florida’s Top 100 list through two days of the draft:
- No. 99: Joey Rapp, 28th round
- No. 98: Josh Adams, not yet selected
- No. 97: Brandon Allen, 18th round
- No. 96: Austin Wright, 23rd round
- No. 95: Zack Houck, not yet selected
CONSPIRACY IS AFOOT!
Cowley suggests that the so-called “sabotage” of Ozney’s draft stock means either Ozzie Guillen or Kenny Williams has to go. I find that hard to believe that drafting a prospect in a seemingly appropriate round — barring the mother of all gentleman’s agreements — would be the final straw.
But pretending this is actually legit, I’m having an increasingly difficult time siding with the Guillens.
Ozzie the Manager isn’t a real problem, because he has little to work with. Maybe this is the team he wanted, but he’s not the GM. He’s not blocking or threatening the careers of valuable players like Jerry Manuel did at the end of his term (Keith Foulke and Aaron Rowand as exhibits A and B), so I don’t see an urgency to dismiss him.
Figure in his family, though, and it’s a different case. His ego is hard enough to handle, but if the Sox have to deal with bad PR from Oney — and maybe even Ozney, though nothing has come directly from him — I don’t see how that package deal is worth it, especially since Ozzie seems to be the enabler.
Guillen likes to brag about his self-sufficiency from his upbringing on the mean streets of Venezuela, but it doesn’t look like he’s keen on passing on lessons. The one son he fired still gloms onto his fame, and now he’s saying that he’d rather give another son $50,000 to blow on shoes if it will prevent him from accepting a supposed insult of an offer.
Somehow, I feel insulted for having to absorb this all.
Ever since the Twitter flap, I’ve kept the theory in the back of my head that Williams is done after this season regardless. He’ll move up the ladder to some executive position, and Rick Hahn takes over GM duties. Whether or not somebody has to go like Cowley claims, I think BS like this only makes it easier for Williams to leave his job.
And yet, I’ve also kept it in the back of my head that there’s a reality show being filmed. There’s a possibility that maybe Cowley has sources, and it’s the White Sox who are bored.
Minor league roundup:
- Charlotte 2, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 0
- Daniel Hudson dominated, striking out 10 with zero walks over seven innings. He allowed just five hits, and all were singles.
- Jhonny Nunez struck out two over two innings for the save. He allowed two hits.
- Jordan Danks went 1-for-4 with an RBI double and a strikeout.
- Dayan Viciedo wore the collar and the silver sombrero.
- Brent Morel went 0-for-2 with a sac bunt, and is hitting .083.
- Mobile 4, Birmingham 1
- Brandon Hynick is too good for Double-A: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
- C.J. Retherford (one strikeout) and Christian Marrero (two) each went 0-for-4.
- Myrtle Beach 2, Winston-Salem 0
- Charles Leesman’s peripherals weren’t too impressive, allowing two runs on seven hits and four walks over six innings, striking out just four.
- Santos Rodriguez struck out four to one walk over two scoreless frames.
- Jon Gilmore and Justin Greene were 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Collars for Brandon Short (two K’s) and Eduardo Escobar (one).
- Savannah 8, Kannapolis 7
- Miguel Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a double, walk and two RBI. He struck out once.
- Nick Ciolli went 4-for-5; Kyle Colligan 1-for-5.
- Brady Shoemaker drew three walks in five plate appearances.