***UPDATED 10/2/14 to reflect Basto replacing Ravelo…
The White Sox will be sending seven prospects to the Arizona Fall League in October. They are SS Tim Anderson, RHP’s Frank Montas and Chris Bassitt, LHP’s Scott Snodgress and Jefferson Olacio, C Kevan Smith and 3B/OF Nick Basto.
The AFL is a prospect showcase made up of mostly advanced-level players from every team, played each October and November, with teams each sending six to eight players spread over six teams. Teams choose players for a variety of reasons, including making up for lost time due to injury, showcasing for value, or just wanting to see what they have in a certain player against tougher competition.
The White Sox’ seven entries will play for the Glendale Desert Dogs, who are based out of the Sox-Dodgers’ shared Camelback Ranch facility. Games begin October 7th this year, and run through a November 15th “Championship” game.
Here are a few key notes on each player…
Tim Anderson: The #2 prospect in the White Sox system, Anderson has missed some time this year due to a wrist injury. Raw even discounting that lost time, he needs reps, and he’s the highest profile prospect the team is sending.
Frank (Francellis) Montas: This hard-throwing righty missed time this year due to two different knee issues (one in each knee), but he was dominant with Winston-Salem in his short time there and the Sox want him to put on innings. He is also a top ten prospect in the system.
Chris Bassitt: Yet another in the injury category, Bassitt was in this league last year too, and he missed most of this season due to a non-baseball related hand injury. So he’s clearly here to get more innings under his belt.
Scott Snodgress: This lefty was stalled in struggles starting at AA the past year and a half, but has been moved to the bullpen and is showing improved results. With his conversion to the pen, the Sox will want to see if Snodgress looks ready for a possible 2015 major league role.
Jefferson Olacio: Another lefty, this one is 6’7″ and flashes big talent but is quite raw for this assignment. Also converted to the bullpen, Olacio has a lot of potential but will need to maintain his control in the AFL to be successful.
Kevan Smith: The Sox are still desperate for catching talent, and we’ve looked at Smith and that battle in-depth. The Sox think he’s got a good shot at being a major leaguer, and they want him to face some elite talent as a test.
Nick Basto: Added to the roster in September when Rangel Ravelo elected to play winter ball (DR) instead. Basto is a bit of a mystery; he struggled mightily his first two pro seasons with the bat and the glove, and was moved off his original shortstop position to 3B and even OF during part of 2014. But his bat woke up a bit in the first half this past season, and he’s still just 20 years old.
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