2013 Bristol White Sox season preview

The Bristol White Sox are the place for younger draft picks and foreign players to make their U.S. debuts. As a result, they don’t win much.

Last year the BriSox went 19-46. It’s a familiar story since some clubs use the Appalachian League as an advanced rookie league like how the Sox use Great Falls. Bristol lost its opener 2-0 on Thursday and had just two hits. Good start.

The full roster is here. The active roster is currently at 38 with 20 pitchers. There are 18 2013 draft picks, six foreign born players, eight 2012 draft picks and an assortment of others players.

Other previews are already out and have good information: South Side Sox and the Bristol Herald Courier.

2013 draft picks: Tyler Danish (2nd round), Thaddius Lowry (5th), Chris Freudenberg (8th), Matt Ball (11th), Tyler Barnette (14th), Andre Wheeler (15th), Alex Powers (25th), Charlier Sharrer (26th), Devin Moore (27th), Jon Bengard (30th)

This is where the interest in this team lies. Everyone is curious how Danish’s unusual arm slot and delivery will translate to pro ball. Lowry and Ball add two more high school draft picks to the roster. The Appy League is a tough assignment for a high schooler so if any of them have some success White Sox fans will get excited.

Returnees: Chris Boydston (UDFA in 2012), Tony Bucciferro (14th, ’12), Jordan Guerrero (15th, ’12)

Prospect wise, Guerrero is the only player of note here. He was drafted out of high school last year and pitched just nine innings out of the bullpen for Bristol.

US debuts: Robinson Leyer (20 years old), Yelmison Peralta (18), Kelvis Valerio (21)

This isn’t the most exciting group, but Peralta was a six-figure signing in 2012. He got rocked in the DSL last year (7.26 ERA in 12 starts) and considering his age, being raw is somewhat expected. Leyer got the Opening Day start for Bristol, but lasted just an inning. Valerio had a lot of success as a reliever in the DSL the last two years, but is already 21 and had a low K rate.

Drew Bowen (UDFA, ’13), Cal Bowling (UDFA, ’12), Steven Evans (free agent signing from Twins org.) and Cory McGinnis (22nd, ’12) fill out the pitching staff.

Nick Parent (36th, ’13), Zach Stoner (12th, ’12), Sammy Ayala (17th, ’12), Angel Rosario (Dominican Republic)

Ayala was an overslot pick out of high school last year and hit just .202 with the BriSox in 24 games. He signed late so a full season will give him a better chance to prove himself. Rosario and Stoner are both returners. Stoner was also a high school draft pick last year.

Trey Michalczewski (7th, ’13), Toby Thomas (21st, ’13), Cody Yount (37th, ’13), Audry Santana (38th, ’13), Jeffry Santos (Dominican Republic, 20 years old), Victor Velasquez (Venezuela, 18 years old), Jake Brown (30th, ’12), Mitch Glasser (39th, ’12), Patrick Palmeiro (UDFA, ’12)

Trey Michalczewski headlines this group. The seventh rounder took third-round bonus money as a high school draft pick and drew two walks in his pro debut. One thing to watch will be how he handles the move to third after playing shortstop in high school.

Santos is intriguing as a foreign player making his U.S. debut, but he hit just .238 in the DSL. Velasquez is younger and hit .264 last year in the DSL. He started at shortstop in the opener.

Brown is the lone returning infielder. Glasser, 23, didn’t initially sign after the draft and didn’t play in 2012 after graduating from college.

Nolan Earley (22nd, ’13), Darian Johnson (32nd, ’13), Sam Macias (35th, ’13), Antonio Rodriguez (Dominican Republic, 18 years old), Thurman Hall (37th, ’12), Carl Thomore (2nd, ’11 by Colorado)

None of the three 2013 draft picks are high. Earley is the brother of current Birmingham Baron, Michael. Rodriguez is probably the best prospect of the group because he signed for $400,000, but don’t expect production out of an 18-year-old.

Thomore stands out as a second round pick out of high school two years ago. He’s still just 20, but he hit just .196 in 204 at-bats in the Pioneer League the last two years. He’s a project.

After wrongly predicting Bristol could compete, that mistake won’t be made again. Bristol has a lot of youth and some exciting pitching prospects, but most teenagers struggle, at least initially, in the Appy League. That said, there are 10 players on this team that signed for six-figure signing bonuses (Danish, Lowry, Michalczewski, Freudenberg, Lowry, Guerrero, Peralta, Ayala, Rodriguez, Thomore). That’s a lot of paper talent.

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