FutureSox Podcast ft. James Fegan of The Athletic: What is ‘Project Birmingham’?

Mike Rankin welcomed on Chicago White Sox beat writer James Fegan of The Athletic to provide insight on the newly constructed “Project Birmingham,” which consists of a number of notable prospects playing in Double-A. Fegan also describes his first-hand experiences covering an underachieving White Sox team, as well as ponders the future of Jose Abreu. Later, James detailed the scouting, drafting and signing process of White Sox first-round draft pick Noah Schultz.

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Mike Rankin
Mike Rankin
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As Cirensica

Great podcast and interview. Thanks Mike and James.

Last edited 3 months ago by As Cirensica
To Err is Herrmann

Great podcast. I like hearing about the human side of the game, esp. about Tony La Russa. Re: Project Birmingham, I seriously wonder why any major league team would follow the example of the White Sox. Project Birmingham seems like something the Sox FO is hyping to give us something to think about besides this disappointing season.

As Cirensica

That was my first thought as well….Birmingham Project = Smoke Screen


Too cynical. I very much doubt that they would make major decisions on prospect development for PR value. It would only be known at all to those who follow the team pretty closely, and they could get the same effect by merely trumpeting about the highly successful seasons of their important prospects.

Anyways, it’s not particularly crazy. It’s related to why the minor leagues contracted and the draft slashed from 40 to 20 rounds: the major league teams save some money, sure, but really what they want is to concentrate their player dev resources on their most talented farmhands. They need to play games against comparable competition still, but the majority of player development these days doesn’t even happen in-game.


It certainly could be about getting rid of High A and how a restructuring could be done. I’m still cynical enough to think that this is in part if not mostly about people saving their jobs (which makes even more sense in context of one level being eliminated).


Great interview. I appreciated James’ insights on the Noah Schultz pick and Sox approach to the draft.