White Sox GM Kenny Williams apparently doesn’t believe in New Years as a holiday. After trading Carlos Quentin to San Diego for a pair of minor league pitchers on New Years Eve, Williams dealt reliever Jason Frasor for another two minor league pitchers on New Years Day. Obviously, the return isn’t anywhere near what the Sox got from the Padres. However, the Sox got a pair of pitchers that signed for above slot bonuses when they were drafted, in 22-year-old Daniel Webb and 20-year-old Myles Jaye.
South Side Sox had an analysis of the trade up when it happened so be sure to check that out. As always, this post will ignore the trade part of it and just breakdown Webb and Jaye as prospects.
Webb was an 18th round pick in 2009 and signed for $450,000 after one year of college at Northwest Florida State JC. At the time of his signing, Baseball America noted that he could have gone in the sandwich round out of high school.
Standing 6-foot-3 and possessing a good low 90s fastball, scouts saw a lot of potential in Webb despite mediocre at best stats in JuCo ball. Stop me if this sounds familiar, but he has had difficulty with command and is inconsistent with his secondary pitches. The best source of Webb info comes from JaysJournal.com, which ranked him as the No. 45 Blue Jays prospect a year ago. He made BA’s 2010 handbook at No. 20 in the Toronto system because of his fastball and a decent change up, but this was before he made his pro debut. His 2008 Milb.com draft report summarizes his strengths (size, fastball, competitiveness) and his weaknesses (secondary pitches, command).
From a production standpoint, none of the upside and talent has come through yet. In 2010 he pitched mostly for Auburn in the short-season New York-Penn League and was pretty awful. 39 strikeouts against 26 walks with a 5.24 ERA in 56.2 innngs. Last season he pitched in Low-A, making 12 starts and 6 relief appearances with similar numbers (51 K, 24 BB, 5.59 ERA in 66 IP). The one good thing about Webb’s 2011 was his 2.14 GO/AO, which seems a bit odd since nothing says he throws a sinker. He missed a couple months in 2011 with an injury so he still hasn’t logged many pro innings.
Webb will be competing for a spot on Winston-Salem in spring training, but given his lack of experience and success at Low-A repeating the level in Kannapolis isn’t out of the question. He doesn’t seem like a top 30 prospect, even in the White Sox system, but he is a sleeper candidate of sorts just because he does have some upside.
Jaye was drafted out of high school in 2010 and, like Webb, fell in the draft due to signability. The Blue Jays picked him up in the 17th round for $250,000, giving him third round money. Jaye doesn’t have the upside of Webb, but showed far more in the way of production in his Appy League debut this summer. He posted a 3.00 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 18 walks in 54 innings. Not a bad pro debut.
Jaye features a low 90s fastball and a decent slider, which right off the bat makes you think future bullpen arm. Baseball Prospect Nation mentions that Jaye added a change up in 2011 so maybe that explains some of his success. He was used mostly as a starter last summer, but it does appear his future is in the pen with his arsenal unless the change up made/makes huge strides. What’s interesting is that JaysProspects.com wrote about Jaye having control issues, which for the most part he didn’t show in rookie ball.
As a reliever or back end starter, Jaye doesn’t offer a ton of value, but he showed enough in his pro debut to be on the fringes of the White Sox top 30 or so. Both Jaye and Webb are similar in profile to Jon Gilmore, who came as a throw-in in the Javy Vazquez trade from Atlanta. While Gilmore is a hitter, he was drafted out of high school and had a couple years or pro ball under his belt but didn’t match his signing bonus and talent to that point. Gilmore still hasn’t and there isn’t a whole lot to make you think either of these pitchers will either.