The Chicago White Sox have been called the “worst farm system in MLB” by many baseball analysts, but Baseball America released its “Best Tools” list for each league and had some future White Sox players on it. I’ve said time and time again that there is better talent in the White Sox’ system than people give them credit for. Not only have they used like 400 rookie pitchers this year, they have used four rookie position players. But here are the players that are on BA “Best Tools” list.
Second baseman Carlos Sanchez was named the Carolina League‘s best defensive second baseman. Between the A+ Winston-Salem Dash and the AA Birmingham Barons, Sanchez, 20, has played second base 57 times (.981 FD%), shortstop 55 (.959%) times and third base 2 times (1 E 5 Chances). The 2012 Futures’ Game representative has exploded onto the prospect scene this year both defensively and offensively hitting .329/.386/.410 for a .796 OPS with 20 doubles, 7 triples, 1 home run and 54 RBI to go with his 25 stolen bases. Sanchez has a great chance to be given a shot to win the second base job on the big league club next year in Spring Training.
Outfielder Trayce Thompson, son of former NBA star Mychal Thompson and brother of current NBA player Klay Thompson, was named the best power prospect in the Carolina league. Thompson, 21, plays excellent defense in center field and right field to go with his power potential. Thompson is currently hitting .254/..325/.486 for a .810 OPS with 28 doubles, 5 triples, 22 home runs and 90 RBI in 510 at bats for A+ Winston-Salem. He also has 18 stolen bases in 21 attempts. You should see him patrolling the outfield on the Southside of Chicago on opening day 2014 if everything goes right.
Infielder Tyler Saladino was named the Southern League’s best prospect with “strike zone judgement”. Saladino, 23, has played for both AA Birmingham and for the AAA Charlotte Knights in 2012. Between the two levels, Saladino has a .380 OBP with 77 walks compared to just 90 strike outs. He is mainly a shortstop, but has also played some second base when he was with Birmingham. Saladino has had somewhat of a down year in terms of production compared to last year, but is still a player to watch come next Spring Training if the Sox open up the competition at second base.
After hitting a walk off home run for the Sox on Friday night, outfielder Jordan Danks was optioned to AAA Charlotte to make room for a reliever. Manager Robin Ventura said that Danks did everything right and he expects him to be back with the team very soon.
Overall, it is a good sign that some of the White Sox’ prospects are getting some notice and should be helping the big league team in the near future.