Welcome to another edition of News and Notes from the White Sox farm. Since our last edition, we've had SoxFest, some new transactions, and of course it's rankings season. And Spring Training is just around the corner.
Spring is Coming
Pitchers and catchers report on February 14th, just 4 days from today. The rest of the players report by the 18th. Many players are already there or are on their way, both major leaguers and minor leaguers.
Everyone on the 40-man roster will be in major league camp, but so will a list of 19 non-roster invitees. Joining the rostered players will be:
- C: Zack Collins, Geovany Soto, Roberto Pena
- INF: Nick Delmonico, Danny Hayes, Cody Asche, Everth Cabrera
- OF: Courtney Hawkins
- RHP: Michael Kopech, Zack Burdi, Spencer Adams, Anthony Swarzak, Blake Smith
- LHP: Jace Fry, Brian Clark, Matt Purke, Aaron Bummer, Cory Luebke, David Holmberg
Everyone else will be in minor league camp, though some of those players will appear in some Cactus League games too.
We'll have more coverage of Spring Training of course. Next week we will analyze all the players in camp that aren't guaranteed roster slots, and discuss why they are in camp and what's likely next for them. We will also have a writer in camp taking video of both Cactus League action and the the minor league games on the back fields.
We released our shiny new 2017 Top 30 Prospects list. Nine of the thirty players on the list are new to the White Sox since our last list in July of last year, so there's a lot to take in. That main linked article has capsules for the top 15 players, and lists the next 16-30 and some players who were discussed but just missed. If you want the capsule write-ups for those "other" players, see our 16-30 teaser and Just Missed article.
Plenty of other sites have been releasing new top prospect lists too. Here is the Baseball America revised top 10, here is the Baseball Prospectus top 10, and here is the Fangraphs Top 27. MLB Pipeline and 2080 Ball are still working on their new lists.
Along with publishing our top prospects list, we also updated all our Prospect Profiles. We have detailed profiles of 56 current White Sox prospects, which include further links to videos, interviews and other content for each player. So if you're jonesing for some baseball info, spend some time in that rabbit hole and come out with a wealth of knowledge.
The team's annual winter showcase and fan forum event had a different feel this year, given the club's launch into a rebuild. More emphasis was placed on prospects and player development in both the public and media sessions.
Our own Brian Bilek was in the media pool. You can see video of his interviews with GM Rick Hahn and new Director of Player Development Chris Getz here, and his interviews with prospects Zack Collins, Zack Burdi, Lucas Giolito and Matt Davidson here.
- OF Peter Bourjos: signed to a minor league deal, but is likely to make the major league club and will make $1.35M if he does.
- RHP Anthony Swarzak: 31-year old swing man with 484 innings in the big leagues, comes over from the Twins organization and will vie for a roster spot.
- LHP Cory Luebke: Another 31-year old looking to sneak into a bullpen slot, Luebke has 197 IP in the majors and might have a shot given the team's lack of LHRP depth.
- RHP Greg Infante: 29-year old blast from the past, Infante spent 2006-2012 in the White Sox system, including his only 4.2 innings of major league experience in 2010.
- RHP Mayckol Guiape: 26-year old reliever with 34 major league innings under his belt.
- C Carson Blair: 27-year old journeyman spent 11 games in MLB with the A's in 2015, and is coming on as AAA-level catching depth.
The Caribbean League postseason has ended, as has offseason play for the few White Sox minor leaguers who were participating.
Next up though, is the World Baseball Classic, running in parallel with Spring Training. On the minor league side, three Sox farmhands will be part of the action: LHP Giovanni Soto with the Dominican Republic, the aforementioned Greg Infante with Venezuela, and LHP Alex Katz with Israel. Right-hander and recent 40-man addition Brad Goldberg is on the reserve list for Israel as well, but he's confirmed to us that he will not be participating.
We will cover the WBC results for Sox players in our weekly news and notes columns, that will be running starting in March.
Other News, Notes and Links
- Baseball America released the listing of MLB Draft bonus pools and slot values. The White Sox have the 16th highest overall pool (no comp picks) at $7,543,600. They pick 11th in each round, and have just the one pick per round for all 40 rounds.
- The White Sox have hired Matt Koenig to the position of Director of Baseball Analytics, where he will focus on StatCast and TrackMan data, per Scott Merkin of MLB.com.
- Outfielder Jason Coats, who was claimed by Tampa Bay after the Sox designated him for assignment, was released. Apparently he tore his UCL while practicing, on the day he was claimed.
- Our Rob Young snagged an interview with White Sox Hitting Coach Todd Steverson, asking about some key Sox prospects and the hitters' mini-camp in particular. Some good nuggets in there.
- Matt Cassidy took a crack at predicting what prospects will be assigned to which affiliates to open 2017, and who was left without a chair when the music stopped.
- James Fegan moved from the Baseball Prospectus - South Side blog, to The Athletic. He's an excellent writer, and he recently wrote on four key pitching prospects who aren't among the MLB Top 100 prospects. It's a subscription site, but the relatively low cost is worth it for the quality sports writing.
- All four of the White Sox' full season affiliates have released their detailed schedules and gametimes for 2017. So if you want to go check out the foundation of the rebuild in person, go catch a game - tickets are cheap and there are some top notch facilities. Here are the schedules for the Knights, Barons, Dash and Intimidators.
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Filed under: News and notes
Tags: Aaron Bummer, Alex Katz, Anthony Swarzak, Blake Smith, Brian Clark, Carson Blair, cody asche, Cory Luebke, courtney hawkins, Danny Hayes, David Holmberg, Everth Cabrera, Geovany Soto, Giovanni Soto, Gregory Infante, Jace Fry, Matt Purke, Mayckol Guaipe, Michael Kopech, Nick Delmonico, Peter Bourjos, Roberto Pena, Spencer Adams, Zack Burdi, Zack Collins