Results tagged ‘ ACE ’
Friday, June 20, 2014
White Sox vs. Twins at Target Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (2-5, 5.37) for the Sox, RHP Ricky Nolasco (4-5, 5.66) for Minnesota.
Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Beckham 2B, Gillaspie 3B, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, Ramirez SS, Viciedo RF, De Aza LF, Flowers C.
The White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) program got a huge boost this season with two of its products, Vanderbilt’s Ro Coleman and Louisville’s Corey Ray (both pictured above), making it to the College World Series with their respective teams. What makes it an even better story is that freshman outfielders Coleman and Ray are also close friends and former teammates at Simeon Career Academy.
While Louisville has been eliminated, Vandy is still very much alive and undefeated in the double-elimination tournament going into their game today with the University of Texas.
“It’s kind of surreal, like I’m actually living a dream.” Coleman told MLB.com. “Just a wonderful experience and I’m blessed to be here.”
Since its inception in 2007, the ACE program for inner-city youngsters has had numerous alumni drafted by professional teams with 85 players receiving athletic aid to play collegiate baseball. Last year’s graduating class included 13 players committed to collegiate institutions during the early signing period.
Three ACE players were drafted during the 2014 First-Year Player Draft–Darius Day by the Rangers and Anthony Justiniano and James Davison by the Sox. Davison, a Morgan Park High School grad, has chosen to postpone his pro career and attend Howard College in Big Spring, Tex. on an athletic scholarship (see story below).
Kevin Coe, the White Sox director of youth baseball initiatives who coached Coleman and Ray, traveled to Omaha with a group of about 50 current ACE players with the hope they could also make it some day to college baseball’s mecca.
“The kids really loved the trip. They were able to see in Ro and Corey, kids just like them, that if you dream and work toward a goal, you can make it happen,” Coe said. “During the trip, one of the 12-year-olds in our program came up to me, shook my hand and said, ‘Coach, I want to thank you for bringing us here. Now I know what all the work is for and what I’m working toward.’ And, of course, their parents were so grateful that their youngsters could experience all of it.”
Coe also talked about how Ray came by, spent time with the young players, talked to them individually and took pictures.
“This was what we set out to do at the beginning of the program–to teach them the fundamentals at a young age so when they get older, they’ll be prepared to do what Ro and Corey have done. This was just proof that we’re doing the right things.”
“We really could not be more proud of these two kids (Coleman and Ray),” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told MLB.com. “They’ve literally grown up as teammates in the White Sox ACE program, and to see them excel at the college level in their freshman seasons speaks to their skills, their work ethic and the baseball fundamentals taught to our ACE kids by our staff and coaches.”
More on James Davison
Plays of the Day
Jose Quintana rebounded from his subpar last start, allowing just two runs, six hits and a walk while striking out a half-dozen batters in last night’s loss to the Twins…Conor Gillaspie drove in a pair of runs with a single.
Sale Punks Carroll
Chicago White Sox Charities and the White Sox Wives will host the second annual variety show event, “Wild Pitches,” on Sunday, July 20 at Bub City in Chicago.
The evening of comedy, music and entertainment will be hosted by Chicago standup comedian Pat McGann and feature live music by the Rendition Band. The event also includes both live and silent auction packages.
In addition to last year’s star performers, Paul and Jennifer Konerko, participants will include Brittany and Gordon Beckham, John Danks and his wife, country singer Ashley Monroe, Katie and Adam Eaton, Nancy and Tyler Flowers and Lacy and Nate Jones. Manager Robin Ventura and his wife Stephanie also are participating. Tickets are available at whitesoxcharities.org.
Quote of the Day
Sox reliever Nate Jones has made enough progress in his rehab from micro discectomy surgery to correct back issues leading to hip pain that he’s traveling with the team on the current road trip. While there’s no timetable for his return, he feels optimistic.
“I feel part of the team again, getting to watch the team on the field instead of on TV. So that’s pretty awesome. I’m glad to get to this point because it means I’m throwing.
“We’re getting closer, that’s for sure. I’m still increasing my workload and the amount of new things I’m doing. So it’s really day to day. Increasing my exercises and see how I react the next day. If all goes good, we’re going to increase the workload.”
White Sox vs. Twins at Target Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: RHP Andre Rienzo (4-4, 5.67) for the Sox, RHP Kevin Correia (3-8, 5.29) for Minny.
Photo of the Day
Eaton has reached base safely in 14 consecutive games, hitting .327 with a .413 on-base percentage during that stretch. Over his last 11 games, he is batting .372 with six walks and a .449 on-base percentage.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Last night we celebrated what has become a favorite tradition around our organization – college signing day for our Amateur City Elite (ACE) youth baseball team.
It is one of my favorite days of the year. Talk about organization pride!
Thirteen young athletes in our ACE program saw their hard work pay off as they signed that dotted line, and it was just as exciting for the parents who get to see their child not only commit to a baseball team, but to a college education. Kids signed with a range of colleges and universities, including Northern Illinois, Michigan and baseball powerhouse Arizona.
As Jerry Reinsdorf has often said to me, “The baseball scholarships are great, but what really matters is the education.”
For those unfamiliar with our ACE program, it’s a White Sox initiative to offer rising stars in the inner-city baseball community the opportunity to play baseball against other highly competitive groups on a traveling team. Baseball has become an expensive sport for youngsters. The days of playing for your local Little League team have been largely replaced by travel teams who play other elite talent at tournaments across the country. This requires the financial means to play on these travel teams, with most professional scouts and college recruiters spending their valuable time at these suburban tournaments and showcases. The resource-challenged kids who often live in the inner city lose out. That’s where our ACE program steps in by funding competitive travel teams – coached by top-flight instructors and decked out in Sox uniforms – comes in. But it’s not just about teaching baseball and developing baseball players. Ultimately, it’s about developing character in young men on and off the field while allotting chances to be seen by scouts and recruiters.
White Sox pitcher Hector Santiago was nice enough to fly in to congratulate the guys and general manager Rick Hahn addressed the group and their families, giving them advice along with his best wishes.
Rick reminded them of their coach’s team motto, “TNDO,” or “Take No Days Off,” which the players couldn’t help but chuckle at a little, as it’s a phrase Coach Kevin Coe has probably said more often than they care to remember.
But Rick told them to take that attitude with them in everything they do moving forward, in the classroom, in the weight room and on the field – take no days off.
“No matter how hard you work on the field,” the ACE kids were told, “Work twice as hard in the classroom.”
Including last night’s 2014 class, 85 ACE players have now been awarded scholarships through the program, while 11 have been selected in the MLB draft. Just as important, 99% of ACE participants have graduated from high school.
As the players introduced themselves to the audience, each had their own personal message, but the same theme – the White Sox ACE program had changed their life. It is hard to envision a program with a more rewarding result than that.
The night ended with Troy White, a former ACE player who played at Northern Illinois, addressing the group in private. White was part of the first ACE team and is a perfect example of utilizing his skills to obtain a college education and from that, more opportunities.
Now he works as a sales intern for the White Sox and certainly followed the TNDO motto and implored his ACE successors to do the same – something they’ll never stop hearing.
Baseball Prospectus, a website (baseballprospectus.com) devoted to the analysis of baseball and various metrics, released its White Sox Top 10 Prospects list earlier this week, with RHP Erick Johnson ranked No. 1 (he was fourth last year).
Johnson is followed by SS Tim Anderson, OF Courtney Hawkins, RHP Chris Beck, RHP Tyler Danish, SS Marcus Semien, 2B Carlos Sanchez, 2B Micah Johnson, CR Trayce Thompson and RHP Francellis Montas.
Anderson, the club’s first-round pick from the June First-Year Player Draft, Danish (second round pick) and Montas (acquired from Boston as part of the three-team Jake Peavy trade) all made the list after joining the Sox organization during the season. Not on the list was recently signed Jose Abreu (for obvious reasons), while OF Micker Zapata and OF Jacob May were listed as prospects on the rise.
BP adds a few interesting comments …
“… their farm system is in much better shape than it was at this point one year ago,” BP writes, “and there is some talent at the big-league level that could be part of the next winning club on the South Side.”
“All told, the White Sox appear to be headed in the right direction as they try to get back on a winning track.”
And as a parting thought from BP …
“I’ve been highly critical of the White Sox in the past – both in terms of prospects and process – but I really like their 2013 drat and the international pursuits, and the system looks much better today than it did at this time last season.”
While it is a subscription-based website, I would definitely recommend baseballprospectus.com to any fan interested in sophisticated statistical analysis of baseball.
Hahn on Hot Stove
Rick Hahn got the chance to call into MLB Network’s Hot Stove this morning to talk about ACE signing day, the offseason strategy and Hawk’s Frick Award candidacy.
If you missed it, the video can be watched here: http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=31232467
Friday, April 12, 2013
Heath Joins Sox
Sox Notes of Note
Photo of the Day