Marco Paddy reintroduces Kenny Williams to Venezuela, purchases him a 16 year-old

Marco Paddy reintroduces Kenny Williams to Venezuela, purchases him a 16 year-old
Williams expressed disappointment when Paddy informed him that this new, strange country full of talented pitchers not only had a name already, but was not interested in giving him the honorary title of "Generalissimo" // Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune

The White Sox are really stingy at spending in the draft.  This has been covered, there’s no indication that it’s changing with the new CBA, and it’s a pretty large hindrance to building a formidable young talent base.

But the White Sox have been double-dipping in terrible with their habitual miniscule spending on international amateur free agents.  People get mad when you double-dip in salsa, so just imagine how bad it is to double-dip in terrible.

That two-pronged failure to adequately funnel young talent into the organization is why the White Sox find themselves with the worst farm system in baseball.  Oh sure, handing out prospects in trades like they were fun size Three Musketeers bars didn’t help, nor did Jared Mitchell’s ankle exploding, nor did Trayce Thompson hosting multiple seasons of the game show “Where Did That Ball Just Curve To?”.

But prospects suffer disheartening setbacks all the time, and trading prospects is a near-necessity to compete.  The key is to have enough volume to absorb the inevitable blows.  With timing that’s been curiously aligned with the hiring of Assistant to the GM and presumptive Guy Who Makes a Lot of Decisions Concerning International Scouting, Marco Paddy, the White Sox have shown hints about giving a crap about this again, which is a sea-change from the era of Very Blatantly and Unabashedly Not Giving a Crap.

The White Sox spent $345,000 total on international amateurs in 2010, which is more than I spent on international amateurs, but not more than any other team in the league, and were at a similar mark for 2011.

Then Wednesday, they signed 16 (going on 17) year-old RHP Luis Martinez out of Venezuela for a signing bonus of $250,000….which is a….a departure.

Martinez is from a well-regarded program, with a big frame (6’4″) and a fastball that’s already around average velocity with the potential to grow.  But he’s a 16 year-old pitcher, so it’s absurd to spend much more time discussing him.  He has potential…of an undetermined amount.

Far more important is the precedent.  $250,000 is more than the White Sox have committed to any amateur international free agent since presumably Dayan Viciedo.  In the since Paddy was hired, the Sox have now twice dealt for Blue Jays pitching prospects, including dealing their best chip for Paddy’s hand-picked favorite Nestor Molina, and have now upped their amateur free agent investment well beyond previous levels.  On their own, these are pretty circumstantial pieces of evidence of a new approach with Paddy on staff.  Together, this is starting to look a hell of a lot like a trend.

It would be enough for the White Sox just start acknowledging international scouting again, it’d be even better if they could do so while avoiding federal prosecution, but for it to actually come via a hire from an organization revered for its minor league development (Toronto), is just delightful.

Or it isn’t.  I’ve never heard Paddy speak or even know what he looks like, and am speculating based on the sense the White Sox seem to be doing exactly what their press release for the Paddy hiring said he was here to do:

“For the past five seasons, Paddy served as director of Latin America Operations with the Blue Jays and will now lead the Latin American scouting efforts of Chicago, with an emphasis on international signings.”

It feels even weirder to celebrate the ushering in of a possible new age of sound and pragmatic investment by giving a quarter-million dollars to a 16 year-old, but hey, that’s baseball.  The key to winning is to give the 16 year-old a quarter million dollars before the next team swoops in and offers him $300K.


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  • Marco Paddy does not have much of a media presence because he exists in an otherworld as part mythical global explorer and part leprecon. Here is a cartographic rendition of Paddy's recent scouting trip to Central Asia. Leading a group of statisticians and videographers on horseback is Marco Paddy, ready to dole out the contents of his pot of gold to worthy prospects:

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:


    (Open on a schoolyard)

    Kid #1: My dad is a garbageman, he can throw you in the trash!
    Kid #2: Well, my dad is a policeman, he can arrest you!
    Dumb Kid: Well, my dad is in jail, he can domestic battery you!
    Child of Marco Paddy: Well, MY dad works for the Chicago White Sox!
    All: No waaaaay!

    Kid #1: Nuh-uh! You're lying
    Child of Marco Paddy: Yes he does. He's the director to International Scouting
    Teacher: White Sox? International Scouting? Lisa Paddy [I'm giving her a name at this point], what are you talking about?
    Kid #2: Yeah! Prove it!
    Dumb Kid: Rah! ROOV IT!

    [Lisa Paddy goes to the computer, googles "Marco Paddy White Sox". A collection of articles and even a few WSO blog posts come up as a result]

    Kid #1: I don't want to read all this, show me some pictures!
    Dumb Kid: Yes...that.

    [Lisa switches to Google Image Search, gets even more specific in her search and types "Marco Paddy White Sox International Scouting Prospects"]

    [The first result comes up....]

  • In reply to James Fegan:

    Kid #1: That's not your dad, that's a picture of Kenny Williams!
    Kid #2: On White Sox Observer!
    Kid #1: I find James' analysis insightful but what's with the snarkiness?
    Kid #2: He's a comedian, so besides advanced metrics he recognizes irony and has a gift for satire.
    Kid #1: Of course.
    Dumb kid: (eating glue)

    Lisa Paddy: I'm sorry, I guess my dad is a figment of my imagination. (starts crying)
    Teacher: Who wants churros?!
    All children but Lisa: Yaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy!!!!

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    Actually, I was referring to them find your image of their father as a Leprechaun apparently scouting on the Silk Road, but that works too.

  • In reply to James Fegan:

    I suspected. But if you type "Marco Paddy White Sox International Scouting Prospects" into google image search, the photo of Kenny at the top of this post comes up first. I ran with it.

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:


    I'll probably need to use the photo in a post for it to appear in Google searches.

    Only with your permission, of course.

  • In reply to James Fegan:

    You are welcome to use any manifestations of WSO-inspired silliness by my hand or keyboard stroke heretofore or in the future, hither or yon, immediately forthwith (my attempt at legalspeak). However, while that Marco Polo map might be public domain, someone somewhere probably wants a usage fee for that leprechaun, if you're concerned about such things.

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    Your legal speak harkens back to an earlier time...when courts were a lot more racist.

  • Racist? I'm not sure how, but I'm sorry if I gave that impression. It was a stupid comment written hastily about rights-managed artwork, and a poor attempt at humor. One of a series of off the cuff remarks I have made on your blog lately. In the future I'll show more restraint.

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    Oh no, not at all. I'm very sorry, I gave you the wrong impression entirely. I was just making a joke. Like whenever says something like "the good old days" or "the greatest generation", I always think "Yeah, but everyone was a lot more racist then!" So I was just making a joke about old times, but made it sound like I was directing at you, which I didn't mean all. You're fine, your comments are great. Please, continue.

    My apologies.

  • In reply to James Fegan:


    It's true, racism was more fashionable back in the day. It's funny. Sorry for acting dense and confused and paranoid. More than usual anyway.

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