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When it comes to compiling the final across-the-board comparison of how the various prospect evaluators arranged the White Sox farm system, we’re always at the mercy of FanGraphs. Sometimes it knocks out the system in January, and other times we’re left waiting a month or more into the season.
This year slanted toward the latter, as Eric Longenhagen finally published his top 28 White Sox prospects on Wednesday. Finally, the big board is complete.
I’d be curious how Longenhagen’s rankings would look had he not had the benefit of a few weeks of minor league play. Maybe I’m just bitter because it’s a cheap way of losing my status as the one driving the Bryan Ramos bandwagon. Had I known Ramos would come out of the gate hitting .407/.444/.644 over his first 14 games with Winston-Salem, that might’ve given me the confidence to place him top three, too.
Anyway, the lists are below, along with a handful of observations:
*While I have to hand over the keys for Ramos, I still have the slightest of edges with the Yolbert Sánchez train.
*Baseball Prospectus’ list was published before the White Sox officially signed Oscar Colás, so that explains his absence there.
*The split on Yoelqui Céspedes is unlike any I’ve ever seen, with two No. 2 slots, and two lists ranking him well into the next 10. One of those rankings is somewhat affected by FanGraphs’ FV system, which gives Céspedes, Sánchez and Jake Burger the same 40 FV ranking, but they end up nine to 11 spots behind Caleb Freeman, who leads that particular tier. FanGraphs gave ack Burdi a No. 6 ranking under similar circumstances last year, and that looked equally sketchy.
As for Keith Law ranking Céspedes 12th, he just isn’t a fan.
*Jake Burger also has a claim to the Most Divisive Prospect title, ranking anywhere from No. 3 to No. 19, but FanGraphs’ system is the only one to omit him from the top 10. Burger is hitting .272/.314/.469 with elite exit velocities at the MLB level, and while he’s a mild liability at third base and has to close his strikeout-to-walk gap, his in-game power is already evident, so I’m inclined to consider the No. 19 ranking debunked.
*Wes Kath and Norge Vera have milder discrepancies. I’m primarily responsible for Kath, as I left him just off my top 10 due to my requirement of personal enthusiasm, and none of his described assets had yet to translate to a professional field. Vera figured to be all over the place because of the variance in scouting reports and the laughable competition int he DSL, and the season-opening lat strain doesn’t help clarify matters.
*What little consensus formed with regards to the trio of prep pitchers seemed to favor Jared Kelley, but a re-rack of the order would probably result in Matthew Thompson leading Kelley and Andrew Dalquist by a few lengths, as the early returns show that Thompson beat the pack to throwing strikes.