White Sox Minor Keys: Aug. 31, 2022

Bryan Ramos (Jim Margalus / Sox Machine)

Over at ESPN, Kiley McDaniel took the step of ranking organizations in a different direction by comparing how much premium talent teams have locked up through the 2024 season, and grouping them by elite, above-average and solid talent.

The Braves rank first, what with the recent extensions to Michael Harris II and Austin Riley. The White Sox are middle of the pack at No. 15, and you can see where the mileage varies:

Elite: Dylan Cease/RHS

Above Average: Tim Anderson/SS, Luis Robert/CF

Solid: Yoan Moncada/3B, Eloy Jimenez/DH, Lance Lynn/RHS, Liam Hendriks/RHR, Andrew Vaughn/1B, Michael Kopech/RHS, Garrett Crochet/LHR, Oscar Colas/RF, Reynaldo Lopez/RHR, Aaron Bummer/LHR, Colson Montgomery/SS, Bryan Ramos/3B

The White Sox are in a tough spot with an underperforming team right now. Their farm system is improving but still is in the bottom third with a handful of potential impact players, mostly coming in 2024 or 2025. The manager spot has been a problem, and a number of players have regressed while they are running the seventh-highest payroll in baseball, with lots of players over 30 on multi-year deals. The impact talent in the top two categories is floating them right now, but there’s not much margin for error here.

When categorized that way, you can see how the White Sox have disappointed this year, because injuries have prevented the above-average players from raising their positions to above-average levels, and that leaves Cease on an island.

Durham 9, Charlotte 6

  • Lenyn Sosa went 3-for-5 with a homer.
  • Yolbert Sánchez, 0-for-4 with a K.
  • Jason Bilous: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 30 of 51 pitches for strikes.
  • Aaron Bummer: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 11 of 18 pitches for strikes.

Montgomery 2, Birmingham 1

  • Bryan Ramos went 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts.
  • Oscar Colás and Yoelqui Céspedes both were 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Luis Mieses, 0-for-3 with an HBP.
  • DJ Gladney went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
  • Adam Hackenberg was 1-for-2 with a walk.
  • Sean Burke: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR

Winston-Salem 10, Greensboro 3

  • Colby Smelley was 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • James Beard, still hot: 1-for-3 with his second homer, two walks and a strikeout.

Kannapolis 5, Lynchburg 3

  • Jordan Sprinkle went 1-for-5 with a strikeout and two stolen bases.
  • Brooks Baldwin, 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Jacob Burke doubled twice, singled once, got plunked and struck out.
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I think there’s a little cognitive dissonance in that McDaniel article – at least as it relates to the preamble and the Sox excerpt Jim provides.

McDaniel’s categories are specified as:

Elite — Think five-plus WAR players, or pitchers with that level of impact in a playoff series

Above Average — Think three-to-five WAR players, or regular All-Star types

Solid — Think two-to-three WAR players, or the best role players/setup men

Which is fine. But then he lists Jimenez as a DH and Vaughn as a 1B. That’s also fine – those are the preferred positions for each.

But Jimenez and Vaughn have been mismanaged and put in positions nearly designed to fail. Without the risk of Jimenez injuring himself in the outfield and with a much lower dWAR drag on their overall value, they are both pretty easily projectible for 3+ WAR seasons.

Greg Nix

Perhaps they’re still “easily projectible” but neither has been healthy enough or productive enough to sniff 3 WAR so far in their careers.


Including Colas or Montgomery or Crochet in the same category as Vaughn or Jimenez in terms of impact and value before the end of 2024 is silly.


Is it, though? I assume you’re saying it’s silly because Vaughn or Jimenez are much more valuable than that trio? But the jury is still very much out on how valuable Vaughn or Jimenez will be.

Vaughn’s value will be tanked in the OF, so he’ll have to play 1B or DH. But to be really valuable there, you’ve really got to hit. He’s been good offensively. But his 126 wRC+ and .791 OPS are very mediocre for a 1B—those numbers would rank 12th and 15th among 1B. Maybe sticking at 1B would help the bat. But that’s far from clear. The story is similar for Eloy, but this time it’s injuries and defense that weigh down his value.


That’s exactly my point. If McDaniel had listed them as OFers then I’d agree with his assessment. But if he’s assuming that they’re used at DH/1B going forward then there’s no reason to expect less than 3 WAR from each.

Joliet Orange Sox

Does the order that McDaniel lists the players in mean anything?


If I go by their first initials it spells DTLY…so no.

I tried their last initials and got CARMJ and just stopped there.

We’re going to need a code breaker to figure this one out.