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I’m working on the farm system review for White Sox Outsider 2010, which is making me look back to what I wrote in White Sox Outsider 2009.
If you didn’t buy last year’s book — for shaaaaaaame — I took a stab at predicting the top 10 list for 2010. Let’s see how that turned out:
1. Gordon Beckham
I don’t foresee him exhausting his rookie eligibility in 2009. He’s on the fast track, but it’s not that fast.
I’d say I underestimated him slightly.
2. Tyler Flowers
He’ll have his choice of positions after this season, whether it’s catcher, first base or (sigh) DH.
Looks like we don’t have to worry about DH unless he backs up A.J. Pierzynski to start the season. Scouts seem to think he’s adequate behind the plate, and from what I saw, I agree.
3. Dayan Viciedo
For all I know, he might not qualify as a prospect in 2010. This seems as safe a spot as any for him.
This is still about right. The first couple months will say a lot about him next year, especially if he starts at Birmingham again.
4. Jordan Danks
He’ll be one level behind Beckham on his ascent.
He was almost keeping pace before the wrist injury set him back. He still reminds people of Ryan Sweeney, who also suffered a big-time wrist injury at Birmingham.
5. Brandon Allen
I can see him maintaining his newfound level of production, but strikeouts may suppress his major-league buzz.
Allen struck out 40 times in 116 plate appearances so far, which is Josh Fieldsish. He finished .202/.284/.385 in his first try at the majors.
6. Brent Morel
I like his bat control and his defense, which should keep him afloat even if his power doesn’t develop. Six home runs at Kannapolis in 172 at-bats were quite a surprise in 2008, so we’ll see whether that output is sustainable.
I felt like I went out on a limb for Morel, considering he doesn’t have the highest ceiling. However, I liked that he had a great glove to go along with a decent bat, which is a rare combination for Sox prospects. Usually the ones who can field can’t hit a lick. He finished with 50 extra-base hits, including 16 homers, so the power is hanging in there. Birmingham will truly put it to the test.
Larry’s snipped a lot of good Morel-related content from Baseball America in his minor-league thread.
7. Dexter Carter
He struck out 89 batters with a 1.00 WHIP over 68 innings at Great Falls. He has the stuff to overpower the low minors.
Carter struck out 143 batters in 118 innings at Kannapolis, but the Sox never advanced him to protect his trade value. But maybe he only had the capability to overpower the Sally League, because when he went to San Diego’s A-ball team, he finished with a 2.33 WHIP.
8. John Ely
He took a little bit of a beating at Winston-Salem in 2008 (10-12, 4.71 ERA), but I think he’ll be better off for it.
Yup. Ely was the second-steadiest pitcher in the Sox farm system behind…
9. Daniel Hudson
Hudson should progress nicely with his Old Dominion teammate Carter, although his fastball might not scare A-ball hitters in the same way.
Hudson gave up six homers in 69 1/3 rookie-ball innings — twice as many as Carter — which made me think that he’d hit more bumps than Carter in his first try at A-ball. He then proceeded to only give up five homers over 147 1/3 innings.
10. Jose Martinez
That’s if he rebounds from his knee injury. He still stands as the best corner-outfield prospect the Sox have, which isn’t saying much.
He’s never made it back from injury, so cross him off the list. Then again, the 10th spot is really Mr. Irrelevant, since the list doesn’t account for the yet-to-be-selected 2009 first-round draft pick, which was Jared Mitchell.
I haven’t sorted the real 2010 list into an order yet — I’m waiting for trades — but there’s room for three spots after including Mitchell. As of now, C.J. Retherford has forced his way into the picture, Carlos Torres is right on the bubble, and then I’m not quite sure who stands out.
If you’re interested in some major-league reviews, J.J. has posted ones for Gavin Floyd, John Danks and Mark Buehrle.