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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