2011 Top 10 Prospects: Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers

Chicago White Sox: Top 10 Prospects

1. Chris Sale / SP/RP / Sale is a tenacious competitor who belongs in the rotation long term. He displays great movement and strong command of an impressive three-pitch mix. He is far and away Chicago’s best prospect.
2. Eduardo Escobar / SS / Escobar is an underrated prospect in most circles. His glove will carry him to the majors, but his bat has improved, too. He doesn’t project to have much power or base stealing ability, although his speed will give him a chance. He could be a tough out one day who produces a good batting average from the shortstop position.
3. Tyler Flowers / C/1B/OF / Flowers’ swing looked long and slow this year. He still managed to generate good power and his fair share of walks, but his strikeout rate is cringe-worthy and his batting average won’t pass, even at catcher. Which brings us to his defense at catcher. It’s looking likely that he will have to be moved.
4. Brent Morel / 3B / Morel’s bat did not take the step forward everyone was looking for in 2010, yet Chicago’s farm system is so weak that he finds a prominent spot in their top ten. Judging by his track record, he should hit for a solid average and plenty of doubles in the majors, which could make him a regular, but little else.
5. Jared Mitchell / OF / Ankle surgery prevented Mitchell from playing regular season ball, and his Arizona Fall League performance has been less than inspiring, too. Just based on his tools, he seemed to be an overdraft last year, and that opinion still stands.
6. Andre Rienzo / SP/RP / Rienzo was a bit on the old side for the Sally League, but produced a strong season due to his mid-90s fastball. His secondary stuff needs a lot of work, however, and he has inconsistent movement on everything he throws.
7. Addison Reed / SP/RP / With the somewhat surprising development of Reed’s slider and change-up, he has a decent shot to remain as a starter. There is no doubt, though, that he would make a bigger impact in the majors as a reliever.
8. Josh Phegley / C / It has been a very small sample size for Phegley since being drafted, but his power may turn out better than expected. His approach at the plate and behind it needs serious refinement, however.
9. Brandon Short / OF / Short’s power was inflated this year, but it was good to see someone in this system have a solid year. He doesn’t have the glove for center field and his skill set says he doesn’t have the bat for a corner outfield position. I have been wrong before on this type of prospect, though, so we’ll let his power surge do the talking for now.
10. Jacob Petricka / RP/SP / Petricka has some polish, experience as a starter, and a mid-90s heater, but little in the way of secondary offerings, which will likely force him to the bullpen.

Chicago White Sox: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)

1. Gordon Beckham / 2B
2. John Danks / SP
3. Chris Sale / SP/RP
4. Dayan Viciedo / 1B/OF/3B
5. Eduardo Escobar / SS
6. Tyler Flowers / C/1B/OF
7. Brent Morel / 3B
8. Jared Mitchell / OF
9. Andre Rienzo / SP/RP
10. Addison Reed / SP/RP

Detroit Tigers: Top 10 Prospects

1. Jacob Turner / SP / Turner had a good debut, including a consistent mid-90s fastball, occasionally devastating curveball, and better command than many anticipated. He is the saving grace of an otherwise suspect farm system.
2. Andrew Oliver / SP / Oliver posted a nice showing in 2010, apart from a rocky major league debut. Detroit was much more aggressive with him than anyone anticipated, and he responded with little more than his bread-and-butter fastball. What is most intriguing is that his change-up and slider have oodles of potential.
3. Nick Castellanos / 3B / Castellanos shows a refined approach at the plate for his age and good raw power. Detroit went crazy with his signing bonus, but star potential is there.
4. Charles Furbush / SP / Furbush has been on prospect mavens’ radar screens since being drafted in 2007, but Tommy John surgery dampened expectations. He more than reestablished himself in 2010 with the impressive command he has of an above-average three-pitch mix.
5. Casey Crosby / SP/RP / Crosby’s elbow gave him problems again in 2010, which ended up being another lost season. He has the stuff but hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He has more upcoming chances to prove himself, however.
6. Daniel Schlereth / RP / Schlereth has big-time velocity and a wicked curveball, but his command has flat-lined. If he ever figures out the strike zone, he could be a good closer.
7. Brayan Villarreal / SP/RP / Villarreal has posted some eye-popping strikeout numbers the past two years, backed by his plus slider. His slight frame and lack of a third pitch will hinder his bid to become a major league starter, but he has proven everyone wrong so far.
8. Daniel Fields / OF / Fields is a toolsy prospect who has plenty to figure out. The best one can say about him right now is he is drawing a nice walk rate, which is an excellent sign of maturity.
9. Adam Wilk / SP/RP / Wilk has the look of a junk-baller sometimes, but it’s difficult not to be impressed by his 2010 statline. His walk rate is among the best in the minor leagues. His curveball has the best potential to halt the junk-baller label.
10. Francisco Martinez / 3B / Martinez has decent tools across the board, but it has been his plate approach that has stood out so far offensively, while his defense at the hot corner is the best asset he has right now.

Detroit Tigers: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)

1. Rick Porcello / SP
2. Jacob Turner / SP
3. Austin Jackson / OF
4. Andrew Oliver / SP
5. Alex Avila / C
6. Nick Castellanos / 3B
7. Charles Furbush / SP
8. Brennan Boesch / OF
9. Casey Crosby / SP/RP
10. Ryan Perry / RP

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Ed Buskirk Jr.
12 years ago

Wow, I knew the Tigers were pitching-heavy, but that’s ridiculous. They really need to find some middle-infielders.

12 years ago

Ed – Don’t you know that all you need is young pitchers and a rag-tag lineup and you can win a world series?

12 years ago

Ed, being a Tigers fan, I agree.  No shortstops in the pipeline which is why we have to rely on a sub-standard Peralta, maybe for two years or [shudder] more; and if our 2B of the future Scott Sizemore is not considered one of the top ten, then we have some issues here.

Unless they plan on surrounding their pitching staff with good and excellent free agents and trades, it looks like a future of 3-2 wins, 2-1 losses and 78-win seasons in the near- and mid-term.

Matt Hagen
12 years ago

Chuck… I still believe in Sizemore a bit. He is too old for the under 26 list though. If he qualified for the list he would have been #7, bumping down Furbush, Boesch, etc.

12 years ago

In regards to Morel, I don’t know too many people who were unhappy with his .839 OPS in the minors.

12 years ago

How is Mitchell an overdraft based on tools? If anything he was an overdraft based on rawness (and I don’t think he was an overdraft). At the 23rd pick in the draft, Mitchell was a great pick. After his first season in the minors, people were calling him a steal. Seems like you guys don’t really understand his skill-set at all. Legitimate power to all fields, great eye at the plate, good defender, solid arm. The only thing he was weak at was strikeouts, which is partially due to his splitting time between football and baseball. No one in their right mind would pick Escobar over Mitchell.

12 years ago

Don’t get too upset with the analysis.  Hagen and the other “experts” (like those at Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus) are just middlemen who recycle old and new information they hear from scouts and regurgitate as their own. 

Try John Klima at Baseball Beginnings if you want first-rate, first-person analysis. Also, an article he wrote about the MLB Scout Development Program (kind of the MBA program for scouting analysis) was fascinating.

12 years ago

This Sox list seems poorly researched.

Phegley missed substantial time because he has a sometimes-debilitating condition called ITP, which made it impossible for him to play consistently.  This casts big doubt on his future (which sucks for the kid), and I think he doesn’t belong on any Top 10 lists, even in a weak Sox system.

Flowers came into the Sox system from Atlanta seen as needing work defensively, and possibly a future move to 1B or elsewhere.  But that info is far out of date.  2009 he was voted by the coaches in the Southern League as best defensive catcher, and scouts have indicated he’s improved.  He also played a small bit in the bigs this year, and looked pretty comfortable.  He’s still very much a catcher.

Morel wasn’t really expected to take big steps forward in 2010, but as it turns out he did by most measures.  The power wasn’t there, but he was otherwise successful despite going from AA to AAA to the majors in one season.  So I’m not sure where the idea comes from that he didn’t take a step forward.

And I agree with Dan on the toolset for Mitchell, most publications seem to have seen him as a solid draft.  His injury was unfortunate though.

12 years ago

Viciedo over Morel??

One of these will stick at 3B and play the position very well and one will be a 1B/DH hacker.

I get the ball jumps of Dayan’s bat, but first he has to hit it.

David Wade
12 years ago

Is Ryan Strieby too old, or too one-dimensional to crack the Tigers’ top-ten?  He’s gotta be their best raw-power hitter.

12 years ago

What do you mean Brent Morel’s bat didn’t take a step forward?

12 years ago

(DAN) Ya, im a Tiger fan and about Jared Mitchell, he was hurt all yr! So i agree with you buddy. Cant even form an opinion on the kid yet? Guy was hurt! 34 games and the verdict out? Hell no. But ya Tigers got some great young arms (thank you Boras and Ilitch for over paying!) But i will take it! Castellanos gonna be astud at 3rd also! And yes we can finally a guy at the corner that can hit his wieght!! THANK GOD!! GREAT ARM OR FIELDER, DOTN CARE! If cant hit weight? Or take a ball of the your tri with bases loaded in game 163 agaisn the Twins, with the bases loaded!! Your a chump Inge and cant wait till your gone!! Season tix right by him. God 2 or 3 more yrs of him? HURRY UP CASTELLANOS!!!!

9 years ago

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