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Harold Baines, who had clung tenaciously to the bottom of the Hall of Fame ballot for five years, fell two votes short of making it to No. 6. He amassed just 28 out of 581 votes (4.8 percent), after getting 6.1 percent of the votes the previous year.
At least another White Sox, Tim Raines continued his climb onward and upward, reaching 37.5 percent this season. At this pace, the Cooperstown will have at least one former White Sox first base coach in its hallowed Hall by the end of the decade. Perhaps earlier, if he draft behind the steroid users and slingshot past them when Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens hit the shore.
John Sickels released his list of top 20 White Sox prospects, and Phil Rogers has company. Tyler Flowers ranks in “C” territory, which puts him at No. 18 in a farm system that, as Sickels says, “is not in good condition.” His comment suggests that he might find his true talent level in between 2009 and 2010, but that’s a pretty large range.
Not that it matters much, but I’d still probably give him a C+, at least in a world where Mike Blanke gets that grade. I think Charles Leesman could also stand to improve a half-grade, as I’m willing to weigh his very good Birmingham performance more heavily than his inconsistent stint in Winston-Salem.
On the positive side, Dayan Viciedo has won him over — at least somewhat — thanks to his major-league performance. It’s fun to track his path using Sickels’ comments from 2009, 2010 and 2011 comments are striking:
2009: Wild guess on grade and rating. Scouting reports indicate Angel Villalona type, but who knows?
2010: Cutting him some slack since he was young for Double-A and was pushed fast, but this is a good example of why we need performance data rather than just hype and team propaganda/scouting reports when evaluating players.
2011: I respect the fact that he can hit decently with plate discipline this bad, but I expect that he will be streaky.
Progress! And it’s a good thing Viciedo hasn’t followed in Villalona’s footsteps, because when you Google him, the first result is the headline:
This list probably won’t get much better next year, considering the Sox lost their first-round pick to sign Adam Dunn. However, they have done more with less, and they seem to make trades when they have more, anyway.