The Future Of Our Franchise

With the whole Chicago White Sox fan base begging Williams and Ozzie to “blow it up!” I’ve been racking my brain with what options we have after we get rid of certain players on the team.

It’s no secret that this team is awful- just down right God awful, so I decided to check into our minor league system just to see what was available.

I turned to future White Sox 3rd baseman, Brent Morel, the other day to get his opinion. Tyler Flowers, Jordan Danks, Dayan Viciedo, Buck Coats were the guys he listed off to me as future prospects in Charlotte. Taking Brent’s list into consideration, when can we expect to see these guys actually helping out the franchise?

Tyler Flowers: Projected to be the “catcher of the future” for the White Sox, Flowers won’t be making an appearance any time soon according to White Sox insiders. Pierzynski, who has been struggling at the plate, has his 10 and 5 kick in on Monday. Friday night he was told by manager Ozzie Guillen that the Sox won’t be dealing him in a trade before then. Why? It most certainly has to do with Flower’s poor plate appearance (thanks greatly to Sox hitting coaches changing his swing approach). As of Sunday June 13th Flowers was hitting .230 with a .332 OBP. It’s clear that Flowers will have to step it up and cut down on his strikeouts before he is brought up to be a full-time catcher.

Dayan Viciedo: Signed by the White Sox in 2008 for 4 years and $10 million at the age of 19, at 21 he is a free swinging power hitter who could take over Konerko’s place at 1st base if and when Konerko leaves the organization. His only problem is his lack of patience at the plate which is not uncommon for a power hitter such as Dayan. His stellar career in AAA this far was something that Morel was sure to point out to me during our interview. “Viciedo is having a really strong year. I’m sure he could help out the franchise in the future” he commented to me.

Jordan Danks: Not unknown as “Little Danks” to White Sox fans, John’s little brother Jordan is a top prospect in the Sox organization. Unfortunately his season in AAA has been less than amazing. Putting up a .235 average, Little Danks’ major problem is his strike out’s which is at an alarming rate for the curve. Experts argue his defensive skills, but I don’t see him making it to the bigs any time soon unless he cuts down on his K’s.

Buck Coats: Joining Jordan Danks in the outfield in AAA, Buck shares the same first name as my favorite ballplayer of all time- Buck Weaver. Coats has put up a solid .284 average with a low 35 strikeout’s in 51 games for the 2010 season. Unfortunately only 18 of those games have been in AAA since being called up from Birmingham a few weeks ago. I hadn’t paid much attention to Coats who is a recent acquire for the White Sox but Morel’s opinion of him seemed to be high enough for me to check out.

Brent Morel: Morel was brought up from AA to Charlotte almost 2 weeks ago. With Teahen’s absense at 3rd, the Sox haven’t had much other choice than to play a rotation of the 43 year old Vizquel and should-be AAAer, Jayson Nix. It’s been clear for some time that Morel is the future third baseman for the White Sox, but why? Morel was named as the White Sox “Best Infield Arm.” It’s honestly at matter of at-bats in the minor leagues. He’s gotton a slow start in Charlotte but I’m sure will turn things around quickly. One thing that worries fans is that he’ll be rushed to the major’s too quickly. When I asked him if he felt the franchise was doing well to make sure he was ready fundamentally and not rushing him after his early promotion to Triple-A, he replied “Yes, I do. I have a lot of respect for Buddy Bell and all the Minor League coordinators and their decision process. They’ve been real open with me in what they expect from me. Going into this year they felt I was ready to play in the Big Leagues defensively. It was just getting enough at-bats in the minor leagues and developing my approach to hit at the major league level.”

Brent continued to add that he felt “as though the White Sox are based around pitching and defense, so it’s not all about hitting when you get to the big leagues. They want to make sure you can contribute in all aspects whether it’s bunting, defense, or base running.”

There are sure to be many changes in the Sox organization this year and I’m sure we all look forward to seeing what these kids do the rest of the season in the minors. I don’t see us bringing anyone up before the end of the season with the exception of Morel baring an incident at third base. I’ve always been a big fan of developing players in the minors before bringing them up and with these guys there’s no exception. However I think it’s safe to say that within the shambles of the White Sox farm system there seem to be a few shining lights on the field.

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