Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 5 White Sox Corner Infield Prospects

stated earlier this year, that the catcher position might be the weakest position in the organization.  However, I think the corner infield positions may be worse.  Only the top prospect on this list, Keon Barnum, is in the top 25 overall.  I usually do a top 5 list, but I could only find four real prospects even worth noting.  Also, Carlos Sanchez isn't on this list because I have him as a second baseman.  Anyway, here is the list:

1. Keon Barnum (1B) - As a 6'5/225 19-year old, Barnum has been appropriately described by ESPN as a "man-child".  Barnum was taken 48th overall in 2012 by the White Sox out of King HS in Tampa, FL.  As a left-handed batter, Barnum's immense raw power and strength is his greatest asset according to scouts.

In 49 PAs with Bristol last year, he had hit .279/.347/.512 with an OPS of .859, 3 HR, and 8 RBI. Barnum's biggest problem is his lack of contact, which is typical with power hitters.  Last year, he struck out 13 times compared to walking 5 times.  Barnum is still very young and I'm sure the White Sox will make that a point of emphasis in his development.

Barnum's 2012 was cut short due to a shoulder injury.  However, his raw power makes him one of the top prospects in the White Sox system.

2. Juan Silverio (3B) - There is quite the gap between Barnum and the rest of the list.  I spent a lot of time debating who belongs in this spot between Silverio and Wilkins.  While Silverio has been in the Sox system since 2008 (compared to 3 years for Wilkins), Silverio is 3 years younger than Wilkins and I believe, has a bigger upside than Wilkins.

Silverio has been inconsistent since being signed by the White Sox.  Silverio had a great year in 2009 (.913 SLG as an 18 year old), but has been up and down since.  In 2011, he had a line of .285/.335/.543, but regressed in 2012 with a .243/.285/.433 line.  Although his power did increase in 2012 with over a .020 increase in ISO.  However, like many Sox prospects, Silverio strikes out a ton (23.5 K%).

Silverio is teetering on the edge of being an actual prospect as he has been in the system for a while.  However, people forget he is only 21 and maybe something clicks for him in the future.

3. Andy Wilkins - (1B) - Wilkins had a line of .239/.335/.425 last year with Birmingham along with 17 HRs and a .760 OPS.  Wilkins became a more known prospect after being selected to play in the Arizona Fall League in 2012.  He got off to a real hot start for Salt River, but struggled down the stretch and ended with a nice .270/.327/.416 line.  What sticks out with his AFL stats is his .323 BABIP, a .057 increase from his season with the Barons.

4. Luis Castillo - (3B) - Never heard of Castillo?  Well that is because he hasn't played in the White Sox system yet.  Castillo, a 16-year old from the Dominican Republic, was signed by the White Sox for $450 million back in the summer.  Castillo has been described as a "man child" at 6'3/200+ (remember, he is 16).  Castillo hopefully (and probably) will end up being a better prospect than Silverio and Wilkins, but he has to at least have an AB as a part of the White Sox before I rank them ahead of those two.  Baseball Prospect Nation ranked Castillo as a top 15 prospect in their list for 2013.  Here is a video of Castillo.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jared Mitchell Scouting Report

Position:  OF
Height/Weight:  6'0/205
Bats/Throws:  Left/Left
Birthday:  October 13th, 1988
Hometown/School:  New Iberia, LA - LSU

Mitchell was drafted 23rd overall in the 2009 Draft by the White Sox.  Since joining the White Sox, he has mostly been regarded as a top 10 prospect in the organization.  However, an injury in 2010 has slowed down his growth.

Mitchell is extremely athletic and has been named Baseball America's best athlete in the White Sox organization for the past three years.  Mitchell also played football at LSU where he was a receiver.   Coming out of college, Mitchell had plus-plus speed, but has lost a step after his injury according to reports.  However, he still figures to be a great threat to steal bases in the big leagues and still stole 21 last year.  Mitchell also possesses some raw power which doubled with his speed, should lead to many doubles and triples.

Hitting-wise, Mitchell has struggled since his injury.  In 2009 he batted pretty well, .296/.417/.435.  After the injury, he batted .222/.304/.377 (A+) in 2011 and .237/.358/.420 (AA and AAA) last year.  What may be more troubling is his K%, which has been well over 30% in the past two years.  If Mitchell can cut down on his K%, he can return to his old form especially considering he had a really high BABIP of .397 last year (although you can expect that to go down next year).

Mitchell's raw athleticism and relatively high ceiling keeps him as a top 10 prospect in the White Sox system on many lists.  Mitchell has struggled in the last two years with the bat, but as mentioned above, can really improve his numbers if he makes more contact.

Completely different player than scouted in 2009 and has changed again since last year. More of a low-average, power-oriented player than the speedy up-the-middle type that was drafted. Potential as fourth outfielder with pop and ability to handle all three outfield positions. Better defender on the corners long term. Contact issues are a major problem and could keep him from a consistent bench role in the big leagues. Should be a big leaguer but more in the .250-255, 15-18 homer mold.
The White Sox first round pick out of LSU, outfielder Jared Mitchell is a fully-equipped toolbox on high-performance legs. A plus-plus runner with great instincts on the basepaths, he's also a developing bat with the type of body that could grow into significant power. His first look at high-A in 2011 didn't go so well (.222/.304/.377) but he's still young and will get another crack at it after a restful winter. There's still some question about his polish in the outfield, but he'll have a couple of years to develop the skills necessary to patrol the South Side lawn.
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Simon Castro Scouting Report

Position:  RHP
Height/Weight:  6'5/230
Bats/Throws:  Right/Right
Birthday:  April 9th, 1988
Hometown/School:  San Jose de los Llanos, Dominican Republic


Castro was acquired by the White Sox in December of 2011 as part of the Carlos Quentin trade.  The 24-year was one of the best prospects in the Padres system at the time and one of the best RHP prospects in baseball.  Although he has fallen off of Baseball America's top 100, he is still a top prospect in the White Sox system.

After a disappointing 2011 season, Castro bounced back in 2012 with the White Sox.  Last year, with 3 teams combined (Bristol, Charlotte, and Birmingham), Castro started 21 games, going 7-5 with an ERA of 3.85, and a WHIP of 1.291.  He spent most of his time last year (15 starts) with Birmingham where he put up his best numbers of the year.

 Castro primarily uses a fastball/slider combination.  According to reports, Castro's 4-seam fastball is in the low 90s (can reach mid-90s) and has nice movement.  His slider is major league average right now, but can become more effective with a little more command.  He also works in 83-85 MPH changeup.

There is some question to what his role in the big leagues will be.  Some see him as a back-end starter, some see him as high as a #2, and some see him as a reliever.  Below are some excerpt from various scouting reports.

Scouting Book (although the 99 MPH fastball isn't correct):
A huge, daunting figure who can touch 99mph with his heater, White Sox righthander Simon Castro is one of the most promising pitchers in a system that's not especially deep in pitching to begin with. Castro's slider is probably his best pitch, and when he's locating the fastball at the same time, he's nearly unhittable. Some scouts see a closer in Castro, but for now the Sox will follow the path the Padres started, and keep pushing him as a rotation member. One thing is sure: he's got the frame necessary to carry 200 innings, so they're probably wise to squeeze him into the rotation if possible.

Baseball Instinct:
Castro was a top prospect of the Padres a couple of years ago. He has the stuff to be a mid rotation arm, with a power fastball in the low 90s that can at times touch 95. His slider is his best pitch when he’s in line and a changeup is there, though is still not refined. He’ll move up the ladder and could be another 3-4 starter type. But in short stints he could be dangerous. I’ve seen him as a power bullpen arm and have for a few years now.

Project Prospect:
Castro has room to improve his command, but I saw him show a feel for three pitches that could be average or better in the bigs. The big righty pitched with a purpose. He wasn't just throwing the heck out of the ball every time, instead opting to aim for corners and keeping hitters off-balance with thought-out pitch sequences and locations.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Scott Snodgress Scouting Report

Position:  LHP
Height/Weight:  6'5/210
Bats/Throws:  Left/Left
Birthday:  September 20th, 1989
Hometown/School:  Yucaipa, CA - Stanford

Snodgress was drafted in the 5th round out of Stanford in 2011 where he had a "spotty" career according to John Sickels.  At Stanford, Snodgress was a reliever pitched out of the bullpen, but the White Sox gave Snodgress a chance to start.  So far that decision has really worked out as Snodgress has exploded up the rankings within the organization (#6 in Baseball America's rankings).

In 2011, Snodgress had a record of 3-3 with an ERA of 3.34 and a WHIP of 1.315.  He improved those numbers last year with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem, going 7-3 with an ERA of 3.00 and a WHIP of 1.248.  An area of concern is Snodgres is his walks.  His BB/9 increased in 2012 by 1.5 while his SO/9 decreased by 2.1 from last year.

According to reports, his fastball is in the low 90s.  He also has a developed breaking ball which may be the biggest reason for his early success.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Angel Sanchez Selected By White Sox In Rule 5 Draft

The White Sox have picked Angel Sanchez, an infielder, today in the Rule 5 Draft.  The 29-year old was acquired by the Angels back in October after spending 2012 with the Astros.  Sanchez is expected to compete for a utility infield spot next season.  Sanchez has spent time in the majors with the Astros, Red Sox, and Royals since 2006.  Last year with AAA Oklahoma City, he batted .320/.390/.407 and homered five times.

The Sox drafted him for $50,000, but he can be returned to the Los Angeles Angels for $25,000 if he doesn't stay with the Sox the entire 2013 season.
Now that the White Sox have added a utility infielder, prospect Carlos Sanchez won't be starting the season with Pale Hose in 2013.

Also, the Red Sox have selected Jon Bachanov from the White Sox.  In 2012, Bachanov pitched with Winston-Salem and Birmingham where he went 7-3 with a 4.82 ERA.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

White Sox Land Jeff Keppinger

Today at the Winter Meetings, Rick Hahn and the White Sox signed infielder Jeff Keppinger to play third next year.  The deal lasts 3 years and is worth $12 million.

Keppinger spent 2012 with Tampa Bay where he batted .325/.367.439 and also hit 9 HRs in 115 games.  For his career, Keppinger has an incredibly low strikeout percentage at only 6.4%.  Only Juan Pierre has struck out less in recent years than Jeff Keppinger according to FanGraphs.

This won't be a signing that will have the rest of the baseball world buzzing, but it is an intelligent, smart, cost-effective signing.  As South Side Sox points out:
This is by no means a sexy signing, but it's a relatively safe one that makes a good deal of sense for what the Sox are trying to accomplish. Keppinger only needs to be worth about 2.1 WAR over the next three seasons to earn his contract. If used properly, that shouldn't be a problem.
With third base now solved (although expect Keppinger to be platooned), Rick Hahn now has more flexibility with what he can get in return if he chooses to deal Gavin Floyd.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top 5 White Sox Outfield Propsects

Courtney Hawkins (

1. Courtney Hawkins - Considered by most to be the top prospect in the entire organization (working on my list), Hawkins tops the list in a position where some of the top White Sox prospects play.  Drafted 13th overall last year, Hawkins batted .284/.324/.480 combined with Bristol, Kannapolis, and Winston-Salem last year.  Also, Hawkins had 8 HRs, 33 RBIs, and 11 SBs.  Hawkins rapidly moved through the ranks last year, spending time with three different teams in his first year.  Hawkins finished the year with a .983 OPS in Kanny and then a .882 OPS in a brief stint with Winston-Salem before the season ended.

The 18-year old is very athletic and raw.  Hawkins possesses a MLB body right now, excellent speed for a big guy, plus power, and a great arm.  Hawkins also pitched in high school where he had a low-90s fastball and an ERA below 1.  His arm will definitely be a great asset in the outfield where he can either play right or center (scouts are divided whether he can play CF).

2. Trayce Thompson - Thompson is another prospect with immense power.  Last year, he smashed 25 homers and drove in 96.  He, like Hawkins, is also athletic enough to be a threat on the bases as he successfully stole 21 bases last year (only thrown out 3 times).  Overall, Thompson batted .253/.328/.482 and had an OPS north of .800.

Thompson and Hawkins are similar players.  Both players are athletic, raw, and have a very high ceiling.  For Thompson, like many other prospects like him, he needs to improve his plate discipline.  In the Arizona Fall League this past month, Thompson drew just as many walks as strikeouts which is encouraging.

3. Keenyn Walker - Walker's greatest asset is his elite speed (some scouts give him an 80 on the 20-80 scale).  Last year, with Kanny and Winston-Salem, Walker swiped 56 bases and was named the fastest baserunner in the organization for the second consecutive year by Baseball America.  According to scouts, Walker has some untapped power which should lead to many doubles and triples in the future.  Walker batted .267/.378/.379 last year and can better that line with improved plate discipline.  He had a K% of around 29% last year and had a high BABIP.

4. Jared Mitchell - Mitchell was drafted in the 1st round in 2009 out of LSU.  He missed the entire 2010 season after an ankle injury.  Mitchell is a speedster, but lost some of it after the injury.  He started off hot, but ended the year with a line of .237/.358/.420 between Birmingham and Charlotte.  He also hit 11 HRs and stole 21 bases too.

I was very tempted to put Shoemaker ahead of Mitchell, but Mitchell's upside is much, much higher than Shoemaker's.  Mitchell needs to improve his horrendous K% (approaching Adam Dunn level) if he ever wants to make the big leagues.

5. Brady Shoemaker - Shoemaker batted .300/.416/.486 and had an OPS of .902 combined with Birmingham and Winston-Salem last year.  He also hit 17 HRs and had 85 RBI.  Shoemaker is old (25), but he did end the year in Birmingham.  You can knock the age, but he has been tearing up the minors throughout his career (above an .850 OPS in each of his four years in the minors).

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tyler Saladino Scouting Report

Tyler Saladino celebrated his 22nd birthday Wednesday with his 13th home run.

Position:  SS
Height/Weight:  6'0/190
Bats/Throws:  Right/Right
Birthday:  July 20th, 1989
Hometown/School:  San Diego, CA - Oral Roberts

Tyler Saladino was taken in the 7th round in 2010 MLB Draft.  After solid 2010 and 2011 seasons that moved him up the rankings in the system, Saladino fell back down after 2012.  In 2011, the then 23-year old batted .270/.363/.501 and 16 HRs (A+) and then .236/.353/.315 (AA and AAA) and 4 HRs in 2012.  Obviously, Saladino really struggled with the promotions to AA and AAA.

Shockingly, despite the struggles, Saladino actually improved his plate discipline last year with Birmingham as his K% was down and he was drawing more walks.  This is just another indicator of how much Saladino struggled with the bat last year.  Also, according to reports, his defense was improved.  Below is an excerpt from one of the only reports on Saladino after this year and not prior to 2012.

John Sickels had a great report on him after this season.

So here we have a guy who lost all of his power despite gaining some patience. What do we make of it? To tell the truth, I'm not sure. Scouting opinion regarding his bat in 2011 was mixed: his production in A-ball was certainly respected, but some scouts felt his swing was too long and that he wouldn't produce as much against advanced pitching. Those worries seem borne out, although given the fact that he maintained some command of the strike zone, I wouldn't give up on him just yet.
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Juan Silverio Scouting Report

Position:  3B
Height/Weight:  6'1/175
Bats/Throws:  Right/Right
Birthday:  April 18th, 1991
Hometown/School:  Santiago, Dominican Republic

Silverio was signed by the White Sox in 2007 as a free agent.  Once ranked as a top 10 player in the organization, Silverio hasn't lived up to the hype and has been somewhat forgotten.  Despite being in the minors since 2008, Silverio is still young at the age of 21.

Silverio has been up and down, promoted and demoted throughout the years.  He had a good year in 2009 and the beginning of 2010, but struggled later in 2010 after he was promoted to Kanny as he batted .200/.237/.336.  He then had a bounce-back year in 2011, batting .285/.335./.453 combined with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem.  After it looked like he turned his career around, he batted .243/.285/.443 in 2012.

As mentioned above, he is still young, but he is teetering on the edge of being an actual prospect and 2013 may be a make or break year.

Silverio was once a shortstop, but after gaining some weight, he was moved to third.  He has alright power, hitting 8 bombs last year in 78 games last year.  He has had strikeout problems with a K% above 20% every year of his career and a relatively low walk-rate.  Defensively, Baseball America in their 2013 White Sox prospect list, gave him the award of the best infield arm.

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Trevor Reckling Signs With White Sox

Late last night, the White Sox signed minor league free-agent LHP Trevor Reckling.  Reckling was once LA's top pitching prospect and #3 overall in the system.  He also pitched in the 2009 Futures Game.  However, after a dismal start to 2012, the Angels let him go.  In 2012, in A+ ball, he gave up 14 earned runs in only 6.2 innings.

Below is an excellent report from Scott Allen of
T-Rex enters 2012 as a relatively forgotten prospect, which just goes to show exactly how quickly the minor league world will forget about you.  After a brilliant 2008 and 2009 campaign, Reckling was shelled in AAA in 2010 as a 21 year old.  He returned to AA in 2011 and was solid enough to earn his way back to AAA for 2012.  Now the trick is to show scouts he’s ready to make that jump back into the plans of a major league team.  He has the talent to do it too.  Despite such an unorthodox delivery, Reckling’s doesn’t require a great deal of effort.  He’s getting better at repeating it every year, which has led to better control.  Reckling’s fastball won’t impress anyone at 89 mph, but because of his delivery it really jumps on hitters.  As his body fills out and he finds the right workout routine, it’s possible Reckling could hit the low-90’swith his heater, which with his mechanics would actually make it a plus pitch.  His best two pitches however are his curve and changeup though, both of which grade out as above average pitches.

Many people believe that Reckling's struggles affected his head.  Hopefully, by changing organizations, Reckling can get a fresh start and rediscover his talent which made him a top prospect with the Angels.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Top 5 White Sox Catcher Prospects

Josh Phegley (
This list, only five players, took me hours to make.  Catcher may be the weakest/thinnest position in the entire White Sox system.  Only the top two have really proven anything in the minors and the third has barely played.  Agree or disagree?  Comment below.

1. Josh Phegley - Opinions seem to be unanimous that Phegley is the top catcher in the White Sox system.  The 24-year has spent four years in the minors after being drafted 38th overall in 2009 out of Indiana University.  Phegley improved on his 2011 campaign and batted .266/.306/.373 last year while driving in 48 RBIs in 102 games.  Another positive sign is Phegley has reduced his strikeout percentage through the years and different levels.  However, his BB% in 2012 was the lowest of his career.  Also, Phegley lacks power as he has only hit 8 homers in 124 games in his AAA career.

Phegley is pretty good defensively.  Last year, he had a CS% (caught stealing) of 46% which helped him earn a MiLB Gold Glove last year.

If Hahn and the White Sox don't sign A.J. Pierzynski or another catcher, Phegley could be the backup next year.

2. Kevan Smith - Also 24-years old, Smith was taken in the 7th round in 2011 out of Pitt.  In 2011, Smith absolutely dominated rookie ball, batting .355/.448/.626 combined with Great Falls and Bristol.  Last year, he came back down to Earth, but still batted .281/.338/.434 in A and A+ ball.  Defensively, Smith had a CS% of 33% last year.  He was named a South Atlantic League All-Star last year.  While those rookie league numbers are impressive, he was 23 years old at the time.  He is still somewhat old for A+ ball.

3. Sammy Ayala - There is really no reason besides faith to put Ayala here.  Despite being drafted in the 500s in 2012 by the White Sox, Baseball America listed him as a top 200 prospect.  Ayala, 18, is obviously very raw.  Hopefully, Baseball America is right and Ayala can become a solid prospect in the future.

4. Martin Medina - Medina plays a little bit of everything.  Last year, he played first, third, and DH, but spent most of his time (54 games) at catcher.  With Kanny last year, he batted .252/.318/.332 and had a CS% of 40%.  Medina had a high strikeout percentage in 2012 at 23.7%.

5. Miguel Gonzalez - This last spot was truly a toss up (was going to go with Michael Blake for awhile).  While Gonzalez has struggled recently batting, he has been named Baseball America's 
best defensive catcher for the past four years.  He is also three years younger than Blake which gives him the nod over him.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jhan Marinez Scouting Report

Position:  RHP
Height/Weight:  6'1/200
Bats/Throws:  Right/Right
Birthday:  August 12th, 1988
Hometown/School:  Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Marinez was signed by the Marlins as a amateur free agent back in 2006 and spent the next six years with the organization.  He was acquired by the White Sox as compensation from the Marlins for Ozzie Guillen.

Marinez's greatest asset is his fastball which is in the mid-90s and it also has nice movement according to scouts.  Baseball America named it the best fastball in the Marlins system in 2010 and 2011.  In 2011, he earned a trip to play in the Futures Game.

As with a lot of big fastball pitchers, Marinez has had a history of control issues.  In 2011, he was walking 6.5 batters per 9 innings.  His control improved last year (4.3 BB/9), but his strikeout rate declined.

Marinez appeared in a pair of games late in the season last year for the White Sox (2.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 K).

Below are a couple other scouting reports (they are from last year and haven't been updated for this year yet).

A Dominican who will probably be most-remembered for being one of the prospects traded for new Miami manager Ozzie Guillen, Jhan Marinez is a bit of an under-the-radar sleeper prospect now in the White Sox system who doesn't get as much attention as he probably deserves, despite his appearance in the Futures Game last season. Marinez is a slight player with a power fastball that can touch 98, but he has more success with his two-seamer, a 92mph offering with exceptional movement. His change and slider still need to improve before they're ready for the big stage, but he has so much raw talent that he's bound to make it sooner or later.

Marinez is your typical White Sox pitcher in the sense that he’s a hard thrower… but doesn’t always know where the ball is going. He had a breakout season in 2010 but took a step back in ’11 when his control deserted him and he posted a walk rate of 6.52 BB/9. He has the potential to be an eighth-inning stalwart.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

AFL Review: The Pitchers

Andre Rienzo
Rienzo solidified himself as a top White Sox pitching prospect after a good AFL season.  There were some concerns entering the fall whether he could come close to repeating the numbers he was putting up early in the season before testing positive for PEDs.  

At first glance, Rienzo's stats aren't anything to get excited about (1-1 record with a 4.74 ERA), but if it wasn't for one disastrous inning against Peoria earlier in the month (6 ER in bottom of the the 4th), his numbers would be much, much better.  That inning accounted for almost half of the total earned runs he would allow in 24.2 innings.  Rienzo was Salt River's workhorse as he led the team in innings pitched and was second on the team in strikeouts.  According to reports, Rienzo's fastball is still very impressive and he still needs to develop a second pitch to be a big league starter.

Salvador Sanchez
Sanchez, statistically, had a great AFL season.  Sanchez appeared in 11 games, pitching 11.2 innings, and only giving up 3 ERs.  His ERA was the second-lowest on the Rafters pitching staff.  However, he still had a WHIP of 1.80 mostly because of the amount (12) of walks he gave up.  This is somewhat expected considering he is still making the change to being a pitcher.

Taylor Thompson
Thompson posted a record of 1-0 and an ERA of 3.38 in his 10 relief appearance.  Thompson struck out 10 and only walked 4 this fall which is encouraging.

Santos Rodriguez
Rodriguez and Salvador Sanchez had similar seasons.  Both had 0-1 records, both had WHIPS around 1.80, and both had control issues.  Rodriguez did strike out 13 in 11.1 innings, but did walk 10 which was the second-most for a reliever behind Sanchez.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

AFL Review: The Hitters

Trayce Thompson

Trayce Thompson - OF
The most important thing White Sox fans wanted to see was Thompson improve his plate discipline.  He drew just as many walks (17) as he did strikeouts this fall which is encouraging.  His strikeout percentage went down a little bit from 28% this year in the minors to 25% in the AFL.  

With the increased walks came a higher OBP which was .424, much higher than the .328 mark in the minors last year.  However, his AVG, SLG, and OPS were all down in the fall.  He had 10 hits,  2 HRs, and knocked in 7.  A stat that is a little concerning is that Thomspon was caught stealing 3 times compared to his 2 SBs.  In the minors this year, he was caught stealing 3 times in 24 attempts.  Something worth noting.

Overall it was an average fall for Thompson.  The walks were up which is probably the most important thing to take away from his season in the AFL, but the majority of his other stats were down.

Carlos Sanchez - 2B
Sanchez continued his great 2012 year with a solid performance in the AFL.  His stats were pretty much the same as his year in the minors as he batted .299/.367/.368.  He had 26 hits, 4 doubles, a triple, and 16 RBIs.

Going into the AFL, I knew that Sanchez had great speed, but I was worried at the rate at which he was being caught at.  He improved on that as he led the AFL in stolen bases this year (11) and was only thrown out 3 times.

It was a very productive fall for Sanchez and it opened some eyes nationally.  He solidifies himself as one of the top prospects in the White Sox's system and will likely make his MLB debut sometime in 2013.

Andy Wilkins - 1B
Wilkins, who was a little bit under the radar coming into the AFL season, had an alright year.  He hit for a .239 in the minors this year and improved it by .31 points in the fall.  Wilkins got off to a very, very hot start but slowed down as the year winded down.  In his last 10 games, Wilkins only batted .171/.261/.293.  In the beginning of the season, Wilkins was as hot as anyone and was one of the top hitters in the league.  Although it had a disappointing end, it was still a nice year for Wilkins and something to build on as he heads into 2013.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 11/18

Salvador Sanchez (Chicago Tribune)
The 2012 Arizona Fall League wrapped up on Saturday.  In the championship, the Peoria Javelinas beat the Salt River Rafters by a score of 4-3.  Below is how the White Sox prospects fared in the game.

Carlos Sanchez, 2B, was 2 for 4 with a strikeout.
Andy Wilkins struck out in a pinch-hit appearance.
Santos Rodriguez pitched 1.1 innings in relief, giving up 2 hits, a walk, and also striking out one.

Throughout the next week or so, I'll be recapping each prospect's performance this year in the Arizona Fall League.  Make sure to check back for that.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Keenyn Walker Scouting Report

Position:  OF
Height/Weight:  6'3/195  
Bats/Throws:  Both/Right
Birthday:  August 12th, 1990
Hometown/School:  Salt Lake City - Central Arizona CC

Walker was selected by the White Sox in the supplemental first round (47th overall) in 2011.  Keenyn Walker's biggest strength is speed.  Keith Law and others have given him an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale.  Last year, Walker successfully stole 56 bases on 71 attempts.  Baseball America has named Walker as the White Sox's fastest baserunner in the past two years.

Walker is still very raw and has some untapped power that should give him many doubles and triples over the next seasons.  However, he still suffers from a large strikeout-rate which is the biggest reason for concern surrounding him.  As a projected leadoff hitter, this obviously needs to change.  Here are a couple opinions and reports on Walker:

A young, tools-heavy outfielder picked up in the 2011's A-round, White Sox prospect Keenyn Walker broke out quickly at Rookie-level Great Falls, slashing .333/.441/.483 and looking like a loaded weapon with eleven steals in only fifteen games. He struggled hard when moved up to low-A ball, however, squeezing out only a .228/.296/.259 line while looking overmatched by even average breaking pitches. 
But, and you know how this part goes: he's young, and has a lot to learn and a lot of time to learn it. Still only 20 years old, his plus plus speed should manifest itself into better defense and better on-basery in the years to come, and some good guidance and coaching should help him get there. He won't ever develop massive power, but he should be capable enough of doubles and triples, once he learns to swing at the right pitches. He's several years away from MLB useful.

John Sickels:
Drafted in the supplemental first round last year out of Central Arizona Junior College, Walker is a switch-hitter with top shelf speed (at least 70 on the 20-80 scale), premium athleticism, and a strong throwing arm. He has some power potential as well, although he hasn't tapped into that yet. Main worry here is contact: he fans more than once per game, but he'll take a walk too.

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 11/16

The Rafters played their last game before Saturday's AFL Championship Game against Peoria.  Salt River beat Surprise by a score of 7-3 yesterday.  Also, Andre Rienzo started for the Brazilian National Team in a World Baseball Championship Qualifier.

Andy Wilkins, 1B, went 0 for 3 with a K and BB.
Carlos Sanchez, 2B, went 2 for 5.
Salvador Sanchez went an inning, striking out one and giving up a walk.

Andre Rienzo pitched 3.2 innings in the qualifier, giving up 1 ER on 4 hits and 5 walks.  He also struck out one and didn't get a decision.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 11/14


The Rafters fell 16-6 to Scottsdale in AFL play yesterday.  They are now 15-13 on the year.

Andy Wilkins, 1B, was 1 for 5 with a HR and 2 RBIs.
Carlos Sanchez, 2B, had a rough day going 0 for 5 with 2 Ks.
Salvador Sanchez went 1.1 innings, giving up a run on 3 hits and a walk.  He struck out a pair.
Taylor Thompson went 2 innings, allowing a run on 2 hits.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 11/12

Courtney Hawkins

Baseball America released their 2013 Top 10 White Sox prospects list today.  Here is the list:

1.  Courtney Hawkins
2.  Trayce Thompson
3.  Carlos Sanchez
4.  Erik Johnson
5.  Keenyn Walker
6.  Scott Snodgress
7.  Andre Rienzo
8.  Keon Barnum
9.  Jared Mitchell
10.  Chris Beck

Also, the Arizona Fall League continued as the Rafters, behind Carlos Sanchez, beat Mesa by a score of 8-4.

Carlos Sanchez, 2B, had a great day going 2 for 4 with 4 RBI.
Trayce Thompson, LF, went 0 for 2 with 2 strikeouts and 2 walks.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Daily White Sox Report - 11/11

The Rafters beat Phoenix 11-5 yesterday with Andre Rienzo picking up the win for Salt River.

Andy Wilkins, 1B, was 0-4 including a K, also walked once.
Andre Rienzo pitched 5 innings, giving 2 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks.  He struck out 4.
Santos Rodriguez had a rough inning in relief, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk.  He struck out 1.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 11/9

Taylor Thompson (
In the past two days, the Rafters have dropped both of their games.  Below are the stats of the White Sox prospects participating in the games.

Thursday's game:
Andy Wilkins, 1B, went 1 for 4 with a strikeout.
Carlos Sanchez, 2B, also went 1 for 4 with a K.
Trayce Thompson, LF, went 2 for 3 with a walk.
Salvador Sanchez went an inning, only giving up a hit.

Friday's game:
Carlos Sanchez, 2B, had a tough day, going 0 for 4 with 3 Ks.
Taylor Thompson pitched 2 innings, giving up a hit, walking one, and striking out a pair.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

White Sox Trade For OF Blake Tekotte

The White Sox have traded RHP Brandon Kloess for OF Blake Tekotte.  By reading different sources, it seems like Tekotte is a decent prospect (top 20 in the San Diego's system), but injuries have slowed down his career.  Tekotte can play all three outfield positions and has good speed as he stole 36 bases in 2011.  Below are a couple different excerpts on Tekotte.

20) Blake Tekotte – Tekotte remains an extremely interesting power/speed option in the outfield, but injuries have limited his availability this season.  He can provide a lot of value as a bench player to a contending team as Tekotte is able to play all three outfield spots. 

Tekotte, 25, has hit .163/.226/.224 in 55 plate appearances for the Padres over the last two years. He's a .269/.355/.445 career hitter at the minor league level. Baseball America ranked Tekotte as San Diego's 15th best prospect before the season in their Prospect Handbook, saying he "makes enough contact against lefties and fields well enough to remain relevant as a potential center-field regular"
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Daily White Sox Farm Report - 11/7

Pitching wasn't a strength yesterday as the Rafters beat Scottsdale by a score of 14-12.  Thankfully, no White Sox prospects pitched last night.

Carlos Sanchez, 2B, went 5 for 5 including a double, and scored each time hey got on base.
Andy Wilkins, 1B, went 1 for 5 with a pair of RBIs.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Keon Barnum Scouting Report

Position:  1B
Height/Weight:  6'5/225
Bats/Throws:  Left/Left
Birthday:  January 16, 1993
Hometown/School:  Tampa, FL - King HS

The White Sox spent their second-round pick in 2012 on Keon Barnum.  Barnum's biggest asset is his strength and power.  The player that Barnum is often compared to is Ryan Howard.  Below are scouting reports from different sources.

Barnum is a man-child at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds and generates good bat speed and big power from the left side of the plate. The swing path, which creates good loft, is natural, suggesting he’ll hit for power, but he has problems making consistent contact. He's committed to Miami, but he has a chance to go in the first 100 selections to a team that believes they can teach him to hit for average. 

In a draft class generally devoid of 1st baseman, Barnum is the prototypical slugger that normally comes in droves. He brings unquestioned left-handed power to the table and his raw power is certainly the center of his appeal for most teams. He is a big, physically imposing presence at the plate and is a threat to put a charge into a ball any time he steps into the box. His swing generates well above-average bat speed that shows in games and BP. His pure hitting tool, however, is well behind in development and despite good pitch recognition and discipline, he struggles to make consistent hard contact. When he does, though, the ball absolutely flies.
A pure hitter drafted 48th overall by the White Sox in 2012, Florida native Keon Barnum is already capable of putting on tentpole exhibitions in batting practice. With a big, strong bat from the left side with a stroke that might be a bit too long, we see a lot of longballs and an even larger number of strikeouts in his future. Chicago is a good place to showcase those skills.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 11/5

Taylor Thompson (

Andre Rienzo has probably been the White Sox's best performer this year in the Arizona Fall League.  However, he was roughed up in the bottom of the fourth today as the Rafters suffer a 10-7 loss to Peoria.

Carlos Sanchez, 2B, went 1 for 3 with a BB.
Trayce Thompson, LF, went 0 for 3 with a K.
Andre Rienzo pitched 3 innings, giving up 6 ER on 6 hits.  He struck out 3 and gave up a pair of walks.
Salvador Sanchez pitched an inning, giving up a hit and a walk.
Taylor Thompson also pitched one inning, giving up a run on a pair of hits.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 10/31

I've been busy lately, so I haven't been able to post updates on what is going on down in Arizona.  Instead of going through every game I missed, I posted the stats of the prospects representing the White Sox.  The first set is the hitters.

Click to enlarge.

Andy Wilkins is having a monster year as you can see.  This is surprising considering he was the the least talked about hitter going into the AFL season.  Carlos Sanchez is having a decent season in the AFL.  What pops out the most concerning Sanchez is his 8 stolen bases.  Trayce Thompson is struggling, only batting .188.  The positive is Thompson has improved his plate discipline as he has 10 strikeouts compared to 9 walks.

The big story here is Andre Rienzo.  Rienzo has been the best pitcher on the team through his first four starts.  He is also second on the team with 17 strikeouts.  He has been the talk of the minor league system in the month of October.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jake Peavy and the White Sox Agree to Two-Year Extension

Jake Peavy Jake Peavy #44 of the Chicago White Sox delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning on June 25, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The White Sox have reached agreement with Jake Peavy as they have given him a two-year extension worth $29 million.  Also, there is a $15 million dollar player option for 2015 if he meets certain incentives.

Jake Peavy expressed desire in the past to stay with the White Sox and he took a cut to stay in the Windy City.

This is Rick Hahn's first move as the new GM of the Chicago White Sox and this is what he had to say about him:
"Jake Peavy showed again last season why he is capable of being one of the top pitchers in the American League."
Consider me happy.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weighing in on Alex Rodriguez to the White Sox Rumors

What do you think about this guy wearing a White Sox uniform next year? (
Well, I'm a little late to the party on this one.  As you probably know, Alex Rodriguez was absolutely dreadful for the Bronx Bombers in the playoffs which led to him being benched.  Now the New York media and Yankee fans are wanting A-Rod to be shipped out of town.  Miami, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Chicago have all been mentioned as a possible landing for A-Rod.  So here is my late take on whether A-Rod would fit well with the White Sox.

In the beginning, I didn't even want the White Sox to consider it.  I was absolutely against it.  The man is aging and his production is rapidly dropping.  His contract is huge and even if the Yanks ate most of it, the White Sox will stay be paying a lot.

However, I began to think it through.

The White Sox have very limited options with who they can play at third next year.  The White Sox will have to either work out a deal with Kevin Youkilis, play Brent Morel (God, please no), or sign someone in the offseason like Alex Rodriguez.  

While A-Rod is aging and his numbers are falling (his OPS was 1.067 in 2007 and it has consistently fallen and is now at .823), I think moving away from New York would benefit him.  In New York, A-Rod will never live up to that contract and while he can't anywhere, there will be a lot less pressure in another city.  

He has stated that he would like to join a team in a major market and Chicago somewhat fits the bill.  Of course Chicago is a major market, but let's face it, the White Sox play second fiddle to the Cubs.  With that being said, I'm not sure A-Rod would want to play for the Pale Hose.  If he does get out of New York, I think it will give him a breath of fresh air and allow him to have better years.  So I believe that there is definitely some benefit if A-Rod was to land in Chicago. 

Now let's compare A-Rod and Youk's stats from this year.  Click to enlarge.

So you can see that even after Youk's excellent first month in a White Sox uniform, he still had a mediocre year.  But, A-Rod wasn't drastically better than him.  Still, given the choice, you would probably want A-Rod over Youk if you didn't factor in money.

So let's factor in the money and other factors.  We all know that A-Rod's contract is huge.  For 2014, he will be owed $28 million next year and it reduces down to $20 million by the end of his contract in 2017.  For the White Sox to even consider this deal, the Yankees will have to eat a large portion of his contract, like enough so the White Sox are only paying him around $8 million or so.  If the Yankees are going to do that, the White Sox will need to give up a lot in return.   Viciedo, Quintana, and other top prospects would likely be part of the deal.  That's too much in my opinion.

I definitely see the benefits of Alex Rodriguez playing on the White Sox.  The team would be a better one with him at third and as stated above, I think he can somewhat revive his career in another city.  However, I'm hoping that Rick Hahn is different than Kenny Williams and doesn't give up some of the future for a year or two from an aging Rodriguez, who is clearly in decline.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 10/19

Andre Rienzo (
I've been away from here for a while.  Here are the stats from every player for the past five days.


Andy Wilkins: 2-7, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K, 2 BB, 1 SB
Carlos Sanchez: 2-11, 2B, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB, 1 CS
Trayce Thompson: 1-9, 1 BB, 3 K

Besides Andy Wilkins, who I named Prospect of the Week last week, White Sox hitters have combined to go 3-18 with 7 strikeouts and no runs driven in.

Andre Rienzo: Rienzo started on Thursday and went 4 innings, striking out 5 while only giving up a single walk, and gave up a run on 2 hits.
Taylor Thompson: Thompson pitched 2 innings on Wednesday, giving up 3 hits and no runs.  He struck out 1 and didn't walk any.
Santos Rodriguez: Pitched an inning and recorded a K.
Salvador Sanchez: Went an inning, walked one, struck out one.

Rienzo has been really impressive so far.

Monday, October 15, 2012

White Sox Prospect of the Week: Andy Wilkins

Andy Wilkins (Winston-Salem Journal)

Well, the first week of the Arizona Fall League is now complete.  Andy Wilkins is off to a great start for the Salt River Rafters with impressive stats (I know, I know, it has only been a week).  In the 13 ABs he got this week, he has 6 hits including a double and homer, 3 RBIs, a .462 average, a .769 SLG, and a 1.231 OPS.  Wilkins, who isn't highly regarded in the White Sox farm system, can climb up the organizational rankings if he can continue his hot hitting throughout the rest of the AFL season.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 10/13

Andre Rienzo

Since the last time I did a daily update, the Rafters have completed a pair of games.  After starting the season 3-0, the Rafters lost both of the last two games.  Andre Rienzo, the White Sox's only starter in the AFL this year, started for the Rafters on Friday.  Here is how everyone did starting with last night's game.

Andre Rienzo pitched 3 innings, not giving up any runs only allowing two hits.  In only 3 innings, Rienzo struck out 5.
Santos Rodriguez went an inning and picked up the loss.  He gave up two runs by allowing a pair of hits, walking two, and committing an error.
Carlos Sanchez, 2B, went 0-4 including striking out once.

Today's game (10-2 loss to Surprise):

Andy Wilkins, 1B, went 2-4 including a double.
Trayce Thompson, CF, went 0-3 with a pair of Ks.
Salvador Sanchez went .2 innings, had a K, and gave up a hit.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 10/12

 Andy Wilkins (
The Rafters won again yesterday, improving to 3-0 as they beat the Scottsdale Fighting Paul Konerkos (or the Scorpions) 6-5.

Carlos Sanchez, 2B, went 3 for 4 with an RBI.
Andy Wilkins, 1B, was 3 for 5 with a pair of RBIs.  Wilkins won the game for the Rafters in the bottom of the 9th with his 3rd hit.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 10/11

Trayce Thompson (
The second day of the Arizona Fall League ended with another Rafters win as they improve to 2-0.  Three White Sox prospects participated in the 11-3 over Mesa.  Overall, the pitching had a nice day after Santos Rodriguez had a rough start to the AFL season on Tuesday.  Here's how the prospects did:

Trayce Thompson, 2B, went 0-3 with a pair of walks along with a K.
Salvador Sanchez pitched 1.1 innings, only giving up a single hit and walked two.
Taylor Thompson went an inning, struck out two, and walked one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Daily White Sox Farm Report - 10/10

Salt River Rafters
The Arizona Fall League kicked off yesterday.  The Salt River Rafters (who are affiliated with the White Sox along with the Rockies, Blue Jays, Nationals, and Dbacks) defeated Mesa in their first game last night.  It was a nice start to the season for White Sox batters.

Carlos Sanchez, 2B, was 1-3 with a walk.
Trayce Thompson, LF, was 1-2 with 2 RBIs and 2 walks.
Andy Wilkins, 1B, was 1-4 with a solo HR.
Santons Rodriguez had a tough outing.  He walked a pair on his way to giving up 2 runs in .2 of an inning.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

AFL Preview: Andre Rienzo

Position:  Starting Pitcher
Height/Weight:  6'3/160
Throws/Bats:  Right/Right
Age:  24

Reviewing 2012:  2012 will definitely be a memorable one for Rienzo, both positively and negatively.  The 24-year old Brazilian started off the season by going 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in over 25 innings and 31 Ks for Winston-Salem.  However, he was suspended 50 games after that for testing positive for PEDs (he says he never knowingly took it).  When he came back from suspension, Rienzo posted a 4-3 record with a 3.27 ERA in 71.2 innings for Birmingham.

Rienzo's greatest strength is his fastball which he fires in the 94 MPH range according to Mark Gonzales.  According to reports, he has great control over it and it also has nice movement.

Arizona Fall League Preview:  Obviously the biggest thing the White Sox and us fans want to see is whether Rienzo's talent is real or the result of PEDs.  Mark Gonzales believes he is a decent chance at making the majors, but if he really struggles in the AFL you have to wonder about his future with the White Sox.  Another thing that will determine the future of Rienzo is whether he can develop a decent secondary, off-speed pitch.  If not, expect him to move from a starter's role to the bullpen.

Friday, October 5, 2012

AFL Preview: Carlos Sanchez

Position:  Infield
Height/Weight:  5'11/175
Throws/Bats:  Right/Both
Age:  20

Reviewing 2012:  Sanchez wasn't talked about much heading into the season, but thanks to an incredible season by the 20-year old, he is probably the top INF prospect in the White Sox system right now.  Sanchez went through the farm system extremely fast.  He started the last season in rookie ball and worked his way all the way to AAA Charlotte before the 2012 season ended.  He was the youngest player to play for Charlotte since 2000.  Sanchez put up his best numbers when he spent 30 games in AA with the Barons (.370/.424/.462).  Overall, Sanchez batted 323./378/.403 in 133 games with three different teams this year.  Pretty amazing for a 20-year old.  Another thing that stands out is the fact that he drew 41 walks which shows he has discipline which is a rarity for young, Latin players.

Arizona Fall League Preview:  If Sanchez can have a decent year in the AFL, he could pose a serious threat for the 2B job sometime next year if Gordon Beckham struggles.  Beckham won't have competition entering the season, but if his struggles continue, I would be surprised, but not shocked if Sanchez gets the call-up to the majors.

The biggest knock on Sanchez is his power.  This year he only had a single homer in 588 PAs.  Keep in mind, he is only 20 years old and hopefully the power will come with age.  Another question mark surrounding Sanchez is his speed and base-stealing ability.  He stole 26 bases this year, but was also thrown out 15 times.  It will be interesting to see how Sanchez does stealing bases in the AFL.

It seems that Sanchez's defensive ability is unclear.  I've read some saying that he is a below average defender while others insist that he is actually a decent fielder.  Hopefully this can clear up when there will be more attention on him in the AFL.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

AFL Preview: Trayce Thompson

Position:  Outfield
Height/Weight:  6'3/195
Throws/Bats:  Right/Right
Age:  21

Reviewing 2012:  Thompson spent 116 of his 136 games this year in High-A with Winston-Salem.  Thompson had his best year in his career this year as he batted .254/.325/.486 with the Dash.  Thompson enjoyed even more success after being called up to AA Birmingham where he batted .280/.379/.520 in 50 ABs with the Barons.  His hot streak ended when he was called up to AAA Charlotte in limited ABs (18).  Still, this was an excellent year for Thompson.  He showed off his raw strength and athleticism he is known for  by belting 25 HRs and stealing 21 bases this year.

Arizona Fall League Preview:  White Sox fans will hope that Thompson can continue his career year in the offseason.  The thing Thompson needs to work on most is reducing strikeouts and improving his plate discipline.  Thompson is very raw and also has a long swing.  Although Thompson had a great year hitting the ball, he still had a high K% at around 28% and only had a BB% around 9%.  Hopefully Thompson can steadily keep reducing his amount of strikeouts in the AFL.