The White Sox had a busy offseason in terms of acquiring prospects. It’s time to take a look at the early returns on those players and what the outlook is for them.
Acquired: free agent signing in November
Quintana was a sleeper pick up of sorts because he wasn’t acquired in a trade like the other prospects in this post. He’s also arguably off to the best start of the bunch. The 23-year-old will be more familiar to Sox fans thanks to his recent big league debut, where he threw 5.2 scoreless innings in relief. The left-hander made his AA debut this season and has handled the transition well to put himself in position for the promotion. In six starts with the Barons Quintana has a 3.06 ERA with 26 strikeouts and 11 walks in 35.1 innings. The move that got the least attention in the offseason is looking like the most shrewd at this point in time.
Acquired: received in trade for Sergio Santos in December
From the most unheralded acquisition to the most heralded. Molina became one of the top prospects in the system as soon as he was acquired for Santos. With that came the highest expectations. Molina made just five starts in AA last year after spending most of the season in High-A, but they were dominant starts: 0.41 ERA, 33 K, 2 BB in 22 innings. In five starts with the Barons Molina’s control has remained, but his strikeout rate has taken a big drop (3.72 ERA, 25 K, 5 BB in 36.1 IP). Maybe these numbers signal that Molina is a mid-rotation or back end starter or maybe he picks it up later in the season. Like Quintana, he’s 23 and posting similar numbers in AA, but he’s not a lefty. It’s getting difficult to prefer Molina to Quintana.
Acquired: received in trade along with Pedro Hernandez for Carlos Quentin in December
Castro, 24, is another member of the Birmingham rotation and has more or less matched the production of Quintana and Molina. In 45 innings he has a 3.60 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 10 walks. This is Castro’s third year in AA so success is expected, maybe even demanded.
Acquired: received in Quentin trade
The fourth member of the Barons’ talented rotation, Hernandez also has good, but not great numbers. He has a 3.00 ERA in five starts, but only 14 strikeouts in 30 innings. He has good control (10 BB) and may wind up in the bullpen anyway, but he hasn’t done anything to wow anyone yet.
Acquired: received in trade along with Myles Jaye for Jason Frasor in January
Webb has underwhelmed from a stats standpoint (9.15 ERA in 20.2 IP), but since moving to the bullpen he has showed up an upper 90s fastball. He’s 22, but certainly a bit of a project with a fastball like that.
Acquired: received in Frasor trade
Jaye is the youngest of the pitchers the Sox acquired in the offseason at 20. He started in extended spring training, but was brought up to Kannapolis in May and had an impressive debut (5 IP, 1 R, 7 K, 0 BB, 4 H). He’s one to watch in the South Atlantic League this season.