Plenty still in pipeline for White Sox
Beckham, Morel and Sale in Majors, but more still to come
CHICAGO -- To get a look at how recent First-Year Player Drafts have helped the White Sox at the big-league level, simply take a look at the White Sox starting lineup for Wednesday's series finale against the Mariners.
There was Gordon Beckham, the team's top pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, stationed at second base. And there was Brent Morel, the team's third-round selection in that same Draft, over at third base.
And there appears to be more help along the way.
"You know, [Minor League Director] Buddy Bell and I spent a lot of time with each other over the last few days, and I'm very encouraged by what I see on video as well as what I'm hearing from Buddy and some of the coaches, so yeah," White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said. "And we've already got some guys that are here that kind of shot through the system. I think that's a testimony to our scouting with Beckham and Morel and also the player development."
MLB.com's Top 10 White Sox prospect list features one player acquired in a trade with another team, in seventh-ranked catcher Tyler Flowers, who was picked up in the Javier Vazquez deal from 2008. There also are free agent signees such as outfielder Dayan Viciedo, the organization's top prospect, infielder Eduardo Escobar (No. 2) and right-handed hurler Greg Infante (No. 4).
Draft prospects still are well represented. Jared Mitchell, the team's top pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, is ranked third, but the raw outfielder is still a few years away from the Majors after losing the 2010 season to an ankle injury. Jordan Danks, the brother of White Sox pitcher John Danks and a seventh round pick in the 2008 Draft, is considered the best defensive outfielder in the entire White Sox system and has experienced a bit of a resurgence with the bat this season.
Chris Sale, the team's top pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, reached the Majors just two months after his selection and has stayed there ever since. Right-handed pitcher Addison Reed, who also was part of that Draft in the third round, should contribute to the White Sox in the near future, as should ninth-rated prospect Jacob Petricka, with the right-handed pitcher taken in the second round last year.
Reed has 46 strikeouts over 34 1/3 innings during 2011 stops at Class A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem, with just five walks. Petricka is 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA over eight starts for Winston-Salem, fanning 48 over 41 2/3 innings.
White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann has worked with Bell for many years, and they function together in trying to make this system stronger.
"No question," Laumann said. "Everything we do, we talk to Buddy Bell. I have a great relationship with Buddy and player development and we try to supplement what we need with, at the same time, making sure we get guys that we think are impact type of players. When you put the two things together, I think we are doing a good job of that."