Hahn on the White Sox Farm System

Monday, February 06, 2012

Several fans at SoxFest 2012 asked the panel of Rick Hahn, Buddy Bell and Doug Laumann about the perception that, according to some publications and their ratings, the White Sox farm system trails in terms of drafting, signing and developing top prospects. Here is Hahn’s answer from the SoxFest seminar:

“We don’t get too hung up on these ratings. I understand they are a big story right now, and obviously we prefer to show well as oppose to showing poorly. But that’s not the priority within our draft and within our minor league system. Our goal is to do two things with the minor league system; first, provide high impact assets for the major league club in Chicago. This year we have a potential impact starter in Chris Sale who was home grown, a potential impact back of the end bullpen guy in Addison Reed and a right fielder, an everyday position player, in Dayan Viciedo who we developed. So from that element, the farm system is doing what we need it to do.”

“The second thing a farm system needs to do is create trade assets that allow us out onto the market and acquire players to help us in Chicago. We have those available. Obviously, I’m not going to go deep down that list, but there are guys who people want who will allow us to go out and get big league help.”

“Now, the ratings system isn’t based upon other clubs’ opinions. It’s usually based upon a reporter’s opinion, as well as a handful of scouts who will talk to that reporter. In contrast to rating 30th, in 2001 we ranked 1st in Baseball America’s farm system and we had five guys in baseball’s Top 100. Jon Rauch was in the Top 5, Joe Borchard was in the Top 25, Joe Crede was in the 30s, Matt Ginter was in the 40s, and Danny Wright was in the 60s. One of those guys contributed to a championship in Chicago. One of the other four had himself a nice career but bounced around as a journeyman reliever. It’s incumbent upon us to know the players who are going to help us win a championship – players like Joe Crede – and who are the guys who the rating system has inflated or exaggerated a little bit? Those are the guys you trade for other assets, like we did with Carl Everett to help us win in 2005.”

“Over the past five seasons we have been able to draft talented players who have not needed much time in the minor leagues; guys like Chris Sale, Daniel Hudson, Addison Reed, Brent Morel and Gordon Beckham. Addison and Chris give the White Sox two pitchers who went from Class A ball to the major leagues in one season. That’s a tribute to them, to our scouts, to our development staff and to our entire organization. No other MLB team has had two pitchers move that quickly.”

“So if you have these players – guys who already are helping us win games at the big league level – follow a typical developmental path, they are still in the minor leagues. Add them into our Top 10 prospect list and I would guess we would certainly rank far higher than we do today.”

“Yes, we prefer to rank higher but it’s not the purpose of the farm system. It is right that in recent years we have not devoted as many assets to the draft. The fact of the matter is we have X dollars to spend and we made a decision that we were committed to win at the major league level. When you do that you have to make sacrifices elsewhere. I will tell you under our new collective bargaining agreement, our draft spending is going to increase dramatically. Our international spending is going to increase dramatically as well, and with Marco Paddy now representing the organization internationally, we are now ready to reinvest in Latin America. As a result, we are going to start showing up a little better in some of these rating systems. But at the end of the day, give me the Chris Sales, the Addison Reeds, the Dayan Viciedos, and give me the assets that we can move to help Chicago win another championship. That’s what we care about.”

10 Comments

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These are all great point of view touched by Rick Hann. The Farm system is in place to help The White Sox whether its a trade option or a promotion option to the Big Leagues. There are many fan’s and as well as media reports on how bad The Chicago White Sox Farm System is but when all of a sudden someone come up to The Southside and makes and Impact. All of a sudden there is no bad mouthing or trash talking going on it’s all prasing on a job well done. I myself Belive there’s a purpose for every move with in the Organization that may involve a trade or even an opportunity to help the team. Yes some trades and signings may have not worked as planned but those that have lived up to there contracts get the recognition they deserve. My dedication to The Chicago White Sox will always be a straight foward view of how the game is played and will respect it as well. I will take the good with the bad and the bad with the good.

Well, going cheap is a trend… I have cut out the cable and will follow only games on the free air waves, which means I will catch only 60 Sox games and 82 Cub games. I am an externality of a free rider, I follow your team, but refuse to pay the high cost of being a fan. I will not attend a game, nor will I pay for the lofty price of your concessions. I even cut out the commercials of your sponsor, so as not to be tempted to part with my money. I think it is only fair to say that you have priced me and most of your average fans out of your pockets, so let your corporate fans pay the freight of your expensive hobby. I will root for the home team, may it be the Cubs or the Sox, and when the corporate world crumbles, I will be like a cockroach and survive the whole ordeal and will help start the world over again, when finally Jerry, the other
1% ers, and corporate robber barons are swept out an era, which will appear to have been a passing fancy.
Occupy Wall Street Movement…. er 35th Street (which won’t go away)

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so whats with the “appreciate the game” line. seriously? boyer and his staff are worthless. id rather have no “tagline” than something that sounds like “appreciate coming and watching baseball even though our team stinks like ass”.

Baseball is here! Check out the Unofficial Guide to the Cactus League.

http://www.westsideculture.com/free-spring-training-guide/

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