01/14/10 5:25 PM ET
White Sox top prospects invited
Morel, Mitchell, Jordan Danks to taste big league camp
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
The South Siders announced Thursday that they have invited 15 non-roster players to Spring Training, including some of the team's more prominent prospects -- outfielder Jordan Danks, 2009 first-round Draft pick Jared Mitchell and infielders Brent Morel and C.J. Retherford.Danks, 24, is the brother of White Sox pitcher John Danks. The outfielder batted .266 with nine home runs and 41 RBIs in 103 games between Double-A Birmingham and Class A Winston-Salem. A seventh-round pick of the Chicago in the June 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Danks is currently ranked by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in the organization. The White Sox coaching staff will also get a chance to look at another rising outfielder in Mitchell. The 22-year-old, currently ranked as the club's top prospect by Baseball America, hit .296 (34-for-115) with 12 doubles, two triples and 10 RBIs in 34 games during his first professional season at Class A Kannapolis in 2009. Morel, 22, earned the Arizona Fall League batting title after hitting .435 in 16 games for Peoria. That came after the third baseman batted .281 with 16 home runs and 79 RBIs in 128 games with Winston-Salem during the season. Retherford has garnered notice as one of the scrappier players in the organization. The 24-year-old infielder batted .297 with 10 homers and 76 RBIs in 128 games for Birmingham last season. His 46 doubles led all of the Minor Leagues and he was named to the Southern League's midseason and postseason All-Star teams. "I think it will be a great experience," Retherford said recently about receiving a non-roster invite. "Joey Cora is a great infield coach and Omar Vizquel is one of the best defensive shortstops ever. There's a lot of experience to gain if you go to big league camp. You have to be open-minded and learn from the others guys and people who have been there. I feel I can compete at that level, but this is more about what can I learn for my career." Catchers Miguel Gonzalez, Donny Lucy and Josh Phegley, outfielder Josh Kroegar, left-handed pitcher Charlie Leesman and right-handed pitcher Ryan Braun join Danks, Mitchell, Morel and Retherford as the 10 non-roster invitees who were already in the White Sox Minor League system. Five other players agreed to Minor League deals with the White Sox and received non-roster invites. They are right-handed pitchers Greg Aquino and Daniel Cabrera, left-handed pitcher Erick Threets, infielder Freddie Bynum and outfielder Jason Botts. White Sox pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Sunday, Feb. 21 and the first full-squad workout will take place Friday, Feb. 26.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.