The Winston-Salem outfield wasn’t the only part of the White Sox minor league chain that experienced a crunch for playing time this season. FutureSox’ Matt Cassidy identifies various pressure points with the White Sox’ Arizona Rookie League affiliate, with four players splitting middle-infield reps and four catchers.
He uses this to make the argument for a seventh minor-league affiliate.
Where in the affiliated minors would the Sox put such a team? Given the Sox already have a complex league team, and a second rookie squad, the most logical placement is where the Sox haven’t fielded a team since the early 90’s – Class A Short Season. In theory, this is the level that sits between the rookie leagues and full season Class A (Kannapolis in this case). The two current short season A-ball circuits are the New York-Penn League (14 teams), and the Northwest League (8 teams). Using history as a guide, the Sox have previously fielded teams in Utica and Niagara (both in the NY-Penn League). The NWL would give the Voyagers a close “neighbor” that would be helpful for roster moves so that could work too.
Another possibility is to add a second complex league team. There are a handful of MLB organizations that run out two AZL teams, and the Sox could do that. The advantages include being closer to the team’s core facilities, and the fact that setup would be much less complicated than an independent affiliate. But this doesn’t allow for as many competition levels to select from, so you lose out on flexibility in the development curve.
As somebody who has a New York-Penn League in his town, I’d be all for that option.
Great Falls 12, Grand Junction 9
(Great Falls leads series 1-0)
- Lenyn Sosa went 2-for-6 with a strikeout.
- Romy Gonzalez was 3-for-6 with a double.
- Bryce Bush, 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, walk and strikeout.
- Amado Nunez went 1-for-3 with a walk, sac fly and a strikeout.
- Gunnar Troutwine, 2-for-4 with two doubles and a walk. He was also caught stealing.
- Jason Bilous: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, nine of 27 pitches for strikes.
If the Sox could somehow wrest the Brooklyn Cyclones from the Mets, I would be very happy. Given the Wilpons’ finances, maybe agreeing to take Yoenis Cespedes’s contract in exchange for Eddy Alvarez would do the job.
I think short season A would be a great solution. On a related note, I hope sometime in the near future the Sox get a team back in the Midwest League. It seems to me to be a missed opportunity to allow local fans to see the young stars, and cultivate new markets close to home. Peoria or Kane County would seem the most fruitful markets.
Absolutely, Have been dreaming of this for years.