Four White Sox Among Top MLB Prospects

Friday, February 21, 2014

Today’s News

Young and Talented

There are four Sox players on Baseball America‘s 2014 Top 100 Prospects list. Here they are with the publication’s ranking and comments:

No. 29:  Jose Abreu, 1B/DH – Signed to a major league contract, Abreu has higher expectations than most on this list. The White Sox are counting on him to make the majors and hit in the middle of the lineup.

No. 63:  Erik Johnson, RHP — Listen to Don Cooper. Chicago’s major league pitching coach knows his stuff and should bring the most out of Johnson and his premium slider.

No. 72:  Matt Davidson, 3B (pictured below) — Davidson’s new organization gives him a shot at a big league job. 

No 91:   Marcus Semien, SS/2B/3B – Semien will battle Matt Davidson and Conor Gillaspie for the third-base job in Chicago, but he likely is headed to Triple-A to play all three infield spots and continue to show he has the bat to be more than a utilityman.

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Twig

White Sox advance scout Bryan Little (aka Twig) was the target of some good-natured ribbing recently.  One of the reasons Twig is in camp each spring is to work with our hitters on bunting (and was seen today working with Alejandro De Aza and Adam Eaton) a skill at which he excelled during his time in the big leagues. 

But while his bunting prowess was well-known and well-respected, Little wasn’t exactly a feared hitter overall. And the other day, the topic of Billy Martin and his riding of Twig many years ago came up in our clubhouse.

“Be careful,” Martin use to yell, teasingly, from the Yankee dugout.  “He might swing.”

Martin used to threaten to bunch all of his fielders around the mound when Twig came to the plate.

Long Walks

Pitching coach Don Cooper goes for long walks each morning in camp.  And what motivates him?

“I imagine having to take 10 trips to the mound during a game in Oakland,” Coop laughs.  “Because that’s the longest walk in the league.”

It can’t get tougher than that!

A Little Too Much Information

According to Robin, Avi Garcia was sidelined today and likely out tomorrow with an in-grown toenail. A relieved Garcia was showing off the sliver of nail (removed by a podiatrist) to anyone in camp who has the stomach to look. Most people thought it was gross.

Back in Action

Having been sidelined with a strained glute, a happy Nate Jones returned to the mound –albeit briefly — today and took part in several drills.

On the Rebound

John Danks drew attention today.

Johnny looked good today,” Ventura said, noting that both his velocity and strength were impressive. “Last year, I’m sure he came in here not as strong as he’d like to be. He’s in a better spot this year compared with last.”

Good Sports

White Sox pitchers and catchers began the process of signing baseballs, photos and jerseys for the club’s community relations efforts throughout the year. By getting the signings done in spring training, the club has a stockpile of items to donate to charity and for good causes while the players don’t need to worry about signing too much stuff once the season begins.

Quote of the Day

@CST_soxvan: Hit coach Steverson on Abreu’s swing: “He has a good path, ability to move barrel around zone. Inside, outside, down the middle…It has a nice shape to it. Pretty compact & he stays through ball pretty well. It’s all about approach to use swing & he has good approach”

Photo of the Day

No. 29 prospect Abreu taking BP.

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