White Sox Minor Keys: May 26, 2022

Courtney Hawkins, playing for the Lexington Legends in 2021. (Photo by Jeffrey Hayes)

Over at The Athletic, friend of the Sox Machine Podcast Keith Law reorganized the 2012 draft based on how players fared. While the top of the draft remains a debate between Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton, the White Sox would’ve chosen differently.

Law covers who they would’ve picked:

13. Chicago White Sox: Mitch Haniger, OF

Player selected: Courtney Hawkins, OF
Haniger’s draft position: Supplemental 1st round, 38th pick (Milwaukee)
Career WAR: 14.2

Haniger became the second-highest player ever drafted out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo when the Brewers took him in the comp round in 2012, although he’ll drop to third when Brooks Lee is selected this July (John Orton was the 25th overall pick in 1987). The Brewers then traded the toolsy outfielder to the Diamondbacks at the 2014 trade deadline for Gerardo Parra; Arizona dealt him with Jean Segura in the deal that netted them Ketel Marte. Haniger has had two full, healthy seasons in the majors, but produced nearly 10 WAR in those two years alone. He’s been on the IL a lot, but good when he plays.

And in a subsequent post, who they did select:

Courtney Hawkins, OF

Drafted: No. 13 by Chicago White Sox
Did not reach majors

Hawkins was an extremely tooled-up high school outfielder from Corpus Christi, with a football body but very rough approach at the plate, so of course the White Sox sent him right to High A in his first full pro season. He hit .179/.249/.384 there with 160 strikeouts in 425 plate appearances (38 percent), and I don’t think he ever recovered from it. He needed a slow development track, not a fast one. He reached Triple A for just 16 games with the Reds and has been playing in independent ball for the last four seasons. Chicago’s second pick, Keon Barnum (No. 48 overall), also failed to reach the majors, topping out in Double A with outrageous strikeout rates, as well.

If nothing else, the White Sox are a lot more responsible with how they matriculate their prep players, even if they have yet to see different results.

Now 28, Hawkins is still playing. He’s found a home with the Lexington (Ky.) Legends of the Atlantic League, with whom he’s hitting .346/.439/.721 over 28 games this year.

Durham 7, Charlotte 3

  • Adam Haseley went 0-for-3 with an HBP.
  • Yolbert Sánchez, 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • Carlos Pérez was 1-for-4.


*Nick Ciuffo, a former first-round pick of the Rays, talked about Tampa Bay’s organizational dominance.

Chattanooga 7, Birmingham 5

  • Lenyn Sosa went 2-for-5 with his 10th homer and his second triple.
  • Jason Bilous pitched starting in the second inning: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

Hickory 12, Winston-Salem 5

  • Bryan Ramos went 1-for-4 with a double.
  • Luis Mieses was 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Terrell Tatum is still hot: 1-for-4 with a homer.
  • Harvin Mendoza was 0-for-3 with a walk.
  • Adam Hackenberg, 0-for-4 with a K.
  • Matthew Thompson: 4.2 IP, 1 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 47 of 80 pitches for strikes.

Carolina 3, Kannapolis 2 (11 innings)

  • Wes Kath went 0-for-5 with an HBP and two strikeouts.
  • DJ Gladney, 0-for-5 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • James Beard went 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Brooks Gosswein: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.
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What an outright disaster the pitching in this system is. Only under Reinsdorf could these people keep their jobs.


Out of all the things to complain about with the Sox farm system their ability to develop pitching is probably the lowest to me.

Just John

I don’t know though. Doesn’t that sentiment sort of remind us of the perpetual respect always paid to Don Cooper, which was probably too loyal and lasted a half decade too long?
I know they’ve had some success stories at the very top, but I’m inclined to grade their talent procurement on how well the middle 80% of arms fare rather than the top and bottom 10s.
You look down throughout the system and there’s just nothing there. No middle. Just a few guys with potential and the hopeless rest?

Torpedo Jones

Not sure I follow. Besides the org issues bigger than baseball (Omar Vizquel), developing starting pitchers seems like a huge hole in this organization. I’d say your best MLB starting pitcher prospects at this point are Norge Vera (who is a huge question mark based on quality of competition thus far) and…Sean Burke? And it’s not for lack of investing in the position with prep pitchers like Kelley, Thompson, and Dalquist – all of whom are stuck in various levels of prospect purgatory.

Davis Martin might prove to be a backend SP in the majors, surprisingly, but that’s possibly our best outcome for all of our current minor league starters. Our pitching pipeline is a logjam of “might be a back of rotation starter, but may be a better fit in the bullpen.”

And those prep pitchers seem like they’re going to have a hard time even getting to AAA based on their early results….


Those are good points (along with what John said above.) But its still the lowest worry for me when you consider their ability to develop hitters, finding fits in the draft when you’re not picking in the top 10, developing specialized positions like catcher, shoring up defensive issues and overall process of when to and not promote players. I dont know all the rankings but it would not surprise me if they had one of the 2-3 worst minor league organizations out there when you talk overall scope. Take that clip from Ciuffo above and it really sounds like the mentality is off down there as well. Although going from the Rays to just about any teams farm system probably feels like a fall off but the point stands.


Jeremy Pena is certainly doing great with the Astros, and was a 3rd round pick.

Any chance that Lenyn Sosa might wind up being our Jeremy Pena? It seems like the Sox need really good fortune, and to get really lucky with a high quality position player coming out of nowhere. Of course that is because Reinsdorf won’t let Hahn sign anybody who fits that description.


I fully expect him to be traded at the deadline before starting his HOF career.