6/21/2014 5:57 P.M. ET
Bell hopes to get top pick Rodon signed soon
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- White Sox assistant general manager Buddy Bell has an old-school recommendation for Carlos Rodon, the talented first-round pick of the White Sox in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and the No. 3 selection overall.
The sooner the left-hander from North Carolina State signs, the better it could be for his high-level career path.
"I'm sort of old school on this, that it is what it is," said Bell, sitting in the visitors' dugout on Saturday at Target Field. "You want to get started sooner than later. You are losing out.
"But I just think the sooner you sign and with his ability and how I see him, this kid is going to be in the big leagues soon. It just seems to me if money is the issue, he's going to make a helluva lot more getting it started than not."
Rodon, who has Scott Boras as a family advisor, is slotted at $5,721,500 at No. 3. According to MLB.com's Jim Callis, the White Sox have $6,107,100 left for Rodon in their overall signing bonus pool and it might take it all to get Rodon into the fold.
As Bell mentioned, Rodon is advanced enough that he could follow the Chris Sale path from 2010 in that he could be working out of the White Sox bullpen within months of his selection. But the days Rodon is not with the team slows that potential development.
"This kid is a tough, big, solid big leaguer," said Bell of Rodon, who could opt to return to college if he doesn't sign by the July 18 deadline, leaving the White Sox the No. 4 pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. "I just hope he gets in going sooner than later."
Davidson benefits from time with Thome
MINNEAPOLIS -- When Matt Davidson was acquired from the D-backs for closer Addison Reed during this past offseason, the White Sox looked as if they had their third baseman of the future. That future looked to be a little more in the distance with the 23-year-old hitting .191 and having struck out 87 times in 241 at-bats for Triple-A Charlotte.
But assistant general manager Buddy Bell reports progress with Davidson, especially after Jim Thome, the former big league slugger and special assistant to White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, spent time with the club's No. 1 prospect last week.
"I think Jimmy is really good at just making you feel better about yourself. Sometimes that's all you really need," said Bell of Thome's work with Davidson. "Just the energy Jimmy gives a player is more important than any mechanical change.
"Matty just got himself in a situation where like a lot of other Triple-A guys, they just want to get to the big leagues so bad that you start doing some things that are kind of out of character on a mechanical basis. He's doing well defensively and he's starting to get to a fastball. If you can't hit a fastball, you can't play in the big leagues. He's going much better with that."
Davidson has gone 4-for-7 over his last two games and has knocked out 11 homers with 24 RBIs on the season.
White Sox confident in Alexei despite RBI drought
MINNEAPOLIS -- Although Alexei Ramirez has not driven in a run since May 26, the shortstop has stayed in the middle of Robin Ventura's order. The White Sox manager has not lost confidence in Ramirez's run-producing ability, despite a drought of 91 plate appearances without a RBI.
"Everybody is going to go through their period of it doesn't happen," said Ventura of Ramirez, who went 0-for-4 in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Twins. "He's been a big part of where we are at right now of being able to drive in runs. So you have to live through it and be able to come out on the other side. Just hitting it hard and good at-bats will take care of that."
"Obviously I haven't gotten the results that I wanted to, but I feel good," said Ramirez, through interpreter and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "I like that responsibility. I like the responsibility of bringing runs in and also getting on base for the other guys playing behind me."
Ramirez has hit third, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth for the White Sox this season. But he doesn't necessarily feel any more comfortable hitting in a later spot as opposed to hitting second in the past.
"Any position," Ramirez said. "Whatever they put me in the lineup, I make the adjustments to do the best I have to do for that particular spot in the lineup."
Third to first
• Despite Conor Gillaspie hitting into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the ninth inning of Friday's 5-4 loss, Ventura didn't feel the need to talk to Gillaspie about the tough at-bat and great play by the Twins' infield.
"That's part of just playing. That's just playing," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I think you take him up there in most opportunities and he's going to get it done. That's going to happen every once in a while. I'd take my chances with him going to the plate that he's going to knock in the runs."
Gillaspie tripled and scored on Jose Abreu's single in the first inning of Saturday's contest.
• The White Sox Arizona Rookie League squad made its 2014 season debut on Friday with a 10-8 loss to the Mariners. Former White Sox assistant hitting coach Mike Gellinger serves as the team's manager.