White Sox Draft Countdown: Top 10 picks from past 25 years (#7)

The second current Chicago White Sox player is next up on our list.  To be honest, this was one of the toughest guys to rank for our top ten because he hasn’t necessarily been around the league that long.  But, for the year’s he has been in the majors, it is safe to say that he’s already established himself as one of the top pitchers in the game.

Coming in at number seven…..

#7 Chris Sale: 2010 1st rd pick (13th overall)

It may be hard to imagine a guy with less than three years of major league experience cracking our top ten (let alone number seven), but Chris Sale is just that good.  Drafted by Chicago in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft, Sale quickly rose up the ranks in the White Sox organization after only one full year in the minor leagues.  Sale played his college ball at Florida Gulf Coast University, and upon being drafted, he was immediately sent to Advanced A Winston-Salem—completely bypassing the first two levels in the system.  In 11 games total between Winston-Salem and AAA Charlotte (all out of relief), he threw 10 1/3 innings of three-run ball.  In a rare feat, he would actually make his big league debut only a few months after he was drafted (the first of his class to make the big leagues), as he was called up to pitch out of the bullpen September 1, 2010.  He would go on to pitch in 21 games over the course of the remainder of the season–appearing in 21 games with a sub-two ERA.  The following season, Sale thmade the White Sox Opening Day roster–once again as a reliever.  Over the course of 58 games that season, Sale would throw 71 innings and boast an ERA of 2.79.  His strikeout numbers were phenomenal, as the southpaw totaled 79 of them (10 K’s per nine innings).  It was clear after his rookie year, that Sale was not being used to his full potential, so to no one’s surprise in the spring of 2012 he was named to the rotation.  To say that the White Sox made the right call by making him a full-time starter is probably a huge understatement.  Sale dazzled opposing hitters last season by finishing up with a 17-8 record, a 3.05 ERA and 192 strikeouts.  He helped anchor a rejuvenated White Sox staff along with former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy and was also named to his first career all-star team.  Sale’s stellar season also earned him some recognition with voters for the American League’s top pitching honor, as he finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting.  Only four starting pitchers finished above the 23-year old in the voting: David Price, Justin Verlander, Jared Weaver and Felix Hernandez.  That’s not too bad for a guy in his first season as a major league starter.  This season, Sale has picked up right where he left off in 2012.  Through nine starts, the lefty sits at 5-2 with a 2.53 earned run average.  That 2.53 certainly looks good as we head into the month of June, but how about we look at it a little more closely.  Sale had a rough 4 1/3 innings outing on April 13 against Cleveland in which he allowed eight earned runs.  If you take away that start, he would be looking at an ERA of 1.51.  Sale also has only walked 15 batters in 64 innings—a rate of only 2.1 BB/9.  It is almost incredible to think about how much Chris Sale has already accomplished at such a young age.  At 24 years young, the future is looking bright for a kid that was just finishing up college ball less than three years ago.  He’s well on his way to another all-star appearance, and is under team control until 2019.  It is safe to say that when Chicago let their best pitcher in almost twenty years–Mark Buehrle–walk away after the 2011 season that they envisioned Chris Sale to take the reins and become the staff’s ace.  It appears that is exactly what he is doing–setting himself up for a long and successful career.

Tomorrow, we check in with the number six player on our list.

Top 10 White Sox draft picks from past 25 years

#10: Addison Reed

#9: James Baldwin

#8: Joe Crede

#7: Chris Sale

#6: MONDAY

#5: MONDAY

#4: TUESDAY

#3: TUESDAY

#2: WEDNESDAY

#1: THURSDAY (DRAFT DAY!)

Two ex-Voyagers power Knights

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AAA: Charlotte Knights

The bats came to life for Charlotte (22-33) last night against Toledo (17-38), as they were victorious 8-4–salvaging their four-game set with a series split.  Both teams would swap zeros for the first four innings, but then two ex-Voyagers would come up with some decisive hits for the Knights.  In the bottom half of the fifth inning, Gordon Beckham would drive home the game’s first run with a single.  Then, Brent Morel (2008) would belt his fourth homer of the year–a two run shot–and Charlotte would never look back.  Toledo would get two runs back in the following inning, but soon another former Voyager would show off his power in the bottom frame, as with the bases loaded, Jim Gallagher smacked a grand slam over the right field fence to give the Knights a 7-2 advantage.  Also in the sixth, Morel would once again prove to be productive as he knocked home his third run of the game thanks to a two-out double.  On the mound, Andre Rienzo (4-3) would pick up his second win in three starts, as he allowed just two runs (0 ER) over 5 1/3 innings.  Charlotte will finish up the month of May tonight, as they remain at home to begin their four -game set against Rochester.  First pitch is scheduled for 5:15, and Charles Leesman (0-0, 0.oo) will be making the start for the Knights.

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AA: Birmingham Barons

2010 Voyagers pitcher Spencer Arroyo and the Barons (33-20) were outmatched last night by Tennessee (28-24), as they dropped their second game in three days by the score of 5-1.  Arroyo (4-3) fell for the second time in three starts, as he allowed five runs and ten hits over 6 1/3 innings.  The Smokies picked up a run in the first inning and they would never trail from that point forward.  Ex-Voyager Mike Blanke (2010) would drive in Birmingham’s only run of the ballgame in the bottom half of the second on a single that scored Tyler Saladino.  After Arroyo was bounced in the seventh inning, 2010 hurler Taylor Thompson came on to finish the game.  The righty tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball to go with four strikeouts.  The Barons will be back at it tonight at 6:05 for the fourth game of this five-game series.   2011 Voyager Erik Johnson (4-2, 2.15) will get the nod for Birmingham, as he is coming off one of his strongest starts of 2013.  Last time out, Johnson went seven innings without allowing a run and striking out seven.

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High A: Winston-Salem Dash

For the second straight night, Winston-Salem (26-26) fell to Frederick (28-24) by the score of 8-6 in 11 innings.  The Dash trailed 6-3 heading into the bottom half of the ninth, but they then sparked a rally to send the game into extras.  Winston-Salem was down to their final out when they had runners at the corners with Joey DeMichele at the dish.  The second baseman would come through with an RBI double.  Then, Chris Curley would next deliver another two-bagger, which scored 2012 Voyager Yoandy Barroso and DeMichele to tie the game at six.  Terance Marin (3-4) would ultimately get the loss in his third inning of relief, as he allowed a three-run frame.  Despite the loss, ex-Voyager Kevan Smith (2011) knocked in his 28th RBI of the season in the bottom half of the fifth.  Winston-Salem has now lost two straight series, and they will look to get back to their winning ways tonight against Carolina.  Myles Jaye (2-0, 4.15) will get the nod for the Dash with first pitch scheduled for 5:00.

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Low A: Kannapolis Intimidators

The Intimidators (19-32) had an unconventional evening of baseball last night against Savannah (31-22), as they were set to complete a suspended game from May 3 and then play in their regularly scheduled game following the make up.  The two teams resumed play from the suspended game–which the Sand Gnats would win 8-2–in the top half of the fourth inning with Kannapolis leading 1-0.  Savannah would then score at least one run in every frame from there on out and the Intimidators would not be able to bounce back.  Adam Lopez (0-1) would get tabbed with the loss as he allowed four runs (1 ER) over 2 1/3 innings.  2012 Voyager Zach Isler would then come on to allow four runs of his own in two innings of work.  The second game of the night was only scheduled for the standard seven innings that all MILB doubleheaders follow, but Savannah and Kannapolis needed an extra four to complete the game, as the Intimidators walked off in extras with a 5-4 victory.  The Intimidators would jump out to an early 4-1 lead thanks to a four-run second inning.  During that frame, 2012 Voyagers Brent Tanner and Micah Johnson each contributed with an RBI.  Johnson would also continue to show off the jets on the base paths, as he stole his MILB-leading 47th base of the season.  Heading into the seventh inning, Kannapolis would still hold a 4-3 lead with 2012 Voyager Joe Dvorsky called into finish the game.  Dvorsky would surrender the lead– his first blown save of the season–as Savannah would tie it up at four (Eudy Pena solo homer).  He would then proceed to pitch three more innings, in which he would not allow a base runner.  Savannah would win it in the bottom half of the eleventh when Jake Brown would come through with a walk-off RBI single.  The Intimidators have now won three of their past four games, and they will be back in action tonight at 5:05 against the Sand Gnats.  Euclides Leyer (2-5, 4.71) will be making the start for Kannapolis.

Voyagers Alumni of the Night

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Jim Gallagher (2007)

3-4, GS HR (3), 2B, 4 RBI in last night’s 8-4 win over Toledo

White Sox Draft Countdown: Top 10 picks from past 25 years (#8)

The following player on our list was certainly a staple in the White Sox lineup for their “glory years” of the mid-2000s.  It is hard to measure exactly how much he brought to the table, for although his offensive numbers are some of the highest of any Chicago player during his playing time, it was this guy’s heart that really won fans over.

Without further adieu, here’s our first World Series champion to make the countdown…….

#8 Joe Crede: 1996 5th rd pick (137th overall)
joe_crede_05_world_seriesPerhaps one of  the biggest fan favorites over the past fifteen years to wear a White Sox uniform, Joe Crede manned the hot corner in the Windy City for almost a decade.  Drafted in the fifth round of the 1996 MLB Draft out of Fatima High School (MO), he spent five years in the minor leagues before finally getting the call up to the  big show on September 12, 2000.  Crede only played in seven games during his late September call up.  The third baseman would only total 70 games over the next two seasons, as he didn’t become the full-time starter until the 2003 campaign.  During that season, Crede would show off his power, as he hit 19 homers and drove in 75 runs.  In fact, his home run prowess was something White Sox fans would get used to during his time in Chicago.  From 2002-2008, Crede would launch 125 home runs.  Only Paul Konerko (214) and Jermaine Dye (137) would have more during that stretch.  Crede also ranks near the top of the list in producing runs in those seven seasons as well with his 412 RBI–he trails Konerko  (651) and A.J. Pierzynski (430).  During the magical 2005 season, Crede was a big contributor for the World Champions.  He posted 22 home runs and 62 RBI in the regular season, and really had a big part in helping the White Sox secure their first World Series title since 1917.  After getting only one hit in the ALDS, Crede stepped up big time in the ALCS against the Angels.  In 19 at bats, Crede went 7-19 (.368) with two homers and seven RBI.  One of the more memorable moments of the South Siders entire postseason run came during game 2, when Crede delivered a walk-off RBI single to bring the series even at one.  Crede’s success in the ALCS would carry over to the Fall Classic, as he would smack two more home runs and drive in three runs en route to a series sweep of the Houston Astros.  Following the 2005 championship season, Crede would then have his best statistical regular season in 2006–which incidentally was his last full season in Major League Baseball.  He would record career highs in home runs (30), RBI (94) and batting average (.283).  His stellar offensive performance would earn him his first—and only—Silver Slugger Award.  thAn injury-prone 2007 caused Crede to only play in 47 games, but he bounced back in 2008 to earn a spot on the American League all-star team.  Unfortunately, injuries would once again derail his season, as Crede would only play in 11 games following his appearance in the midsummer classic and miss out on the 2008 White Sox playoff run altogether.  He would then enter free agency following the 2008 season, and the White Sox would not resign him—ultimately ending his nine year White Sox career.  He would sign on with division rival Minnesota in 2009.  For the third staraight season, a nagging back injury would stand in the way of Crede playing a full season, but he still managed to hit .228 with 15 homers and 48 RBI.  That year would mark the final season Joe Crede would ever play in the Majors.  After taking a year off in 2010 to heal up, he was invited to spring training by the Colorado Rockies.  Crede never made it out their complex though, as he decided to retire in mid-February 2011.  Since his departure, the White Sox have yet to find Crede’s replacement, as no third baseman as logged more than 125 games.  It is near impossible to remember the 2000s White Sox–and especially that 2005 World Series team–without thinking of Joe Crede.  His bat helped cement a lineup that slugged its way to a championship that was 88 years in the making.  That alone will immortalize him for years to come in Chicago White Sox lore.

Tomorrow, we’ll check in with #7 on our countdown.

Top 10 White Sox draft picks from past 25 years

#10: Addison Reed

#9: James Baldwin

#8: Joe Crede

#7: TOMORROW

#6: MONDAY

#5: MONDAY

#4: TUESDAY

#3: TUESDAY

#2: WEDNESDAY

#1: THURSDAY (DRAFT DAY!)

Barons bounce back, Kannapolis wins again

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AAA: Charlotte Knights

After a victory on Tuesday, the Knights (21-33) were back in the loss column last night–falling to Toledo (17-37) 12-4.  The Mud Hens scored eight runs in the first four innings, and Charlotte was never able to bounce back, as they were defeated for the fourth time in seven days.  2008 Voyager Brent Morel was one of the few bright spots for the Knights, as he collected two hits and drove in a run.  The third baseman now ranks third on the club with 23 RBI on the season.  Zach Stewart (3-6) was bounced after three innings, which marked the first time all season that the righty didn’t throw at least five frames.  The Knights will look to salvage the four-game set tonight, as they go for a split at 5:15.  Andre Rienzo (3-3, 7.47) will be making the start for Charlotte, as he tries to bounce back from the loss he suffered last time out against Rochester.

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AA: Birmingham Barons 

Birmingham (33-19) was back to their winning ways last night with a 6-3 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (27-24).  2010-11 Voyager Stephen McCray (5-3) led the way for the Barons thanks to 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball.  The win marked the first time all month that the righty was victorious.  Ex-Voyager Andy Wilkins (2010) raised his season average closer to the .300 mark (.289) with a two-hit night.  Wilkins also scored in the ballgame courtesy of a Jared Mitchell RBI single.  It was another strong outing for the Barons bullpen, as two pitchers (including 2011 Voyagers Salvador Sanchez) combined to toss 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Game three of this five-game set will take place tonight at 5:05.  2010 Voyager Spencer Arroyo (4-2, 2.24) will be on the mound for Birmingham.  The southpaw will be looking to build off his last start, where he went five innings, allowed two earned and got the win over Jacksonville.

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High A: Winston-Salem Dash

After sweeping their doubleheader yesterday, Winston-Salem (26-25) fell to Frederick (27-24) 6-3 last night.  2009 Voyager Ryan Buch (0-2) lost for the second straight time, as he was roughed up for five runs in only four innings of work.  Offensively, it was another strong day at the plate for ex-Voyager Kevan Smith (2011).  The Winston-Salem backstop had himself a three-hit day and scored one of the three Dash runs despite the loss.  In his past four games, Smith is 9-18 (.500) with a homer and seven runs batted in.  Another member of that 2011 Great Falls team, Mark Haddow, extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one RBI to six thanks to a run-scoring single in the bottom half of the first inning.  The Dash and the Keys will close out this five-game series tonight at 5:00 at BB&T Ballpark.  Bryan Blough (2-4, 5.66) will get the nod for Winston-Salem.

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Low A: Kannapolis Intimidators

The Intimidators (18-31) picked up their first series win since May 9-12, as they edged out Lexington (26-27) 1-0 last night.  Kannapolis starter Jake Cose (4-3) dazzled by scattering only four hits over seven scoreless innings.  2011 Voyager Stew Brase then came on for a two inning save–his second of the season.  A member of last year’s Voyagers team, Micah Johnson, continued to pulverize opposing pitching.  The Intimidators second baseman clubbed two doubles and scored the game’s only run off a wild pitch in the sixth inning.  Johnson is hitting 18-40 (.450) in his past ten games with three home runs, seven RBI and seven stolen bases.  Kannapolis will look to keep the ball rolling tonight in Savannah.  The Intimidators and Sand Gnats had their game back on May 3 suspended to due inclement weather, so they will resume it at 3:05.  Following its completion, the two teams will play their regularly scheduled game—which is tentatively scheduled for 5:05.  Jefferson Olacio (1-7, 8.38) is slated to get the start for Kannapolis, as he goes for his first win since April 24.

Voyagers Alumni of the Night

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Micah Johnson (2012)

2-3, 2 2B, 1 R in last night’s 1-0 win over Lexington

White Sox Draft Countdown: Top 10 picks from past 25 years (#9)

The next guy on our list may be a familiar name for many of you Chicago fans who remember the “dark years” of the late 1990s.  From 1995-99, the Sox would only finish above .500 one time (’96) and fail to reach the playoffs each of those seasons.  This player was considered the ace of many of those teams in the latter part of the 20th century.  Coming in at number nine…

#9 James Baldwin: 1990 4th rd pick (105th overall)

BaldwinCWSDrafted by the White Sox in the fourth round of the 1990 MLB Draft out of Pinecrest High School (NC), James Baldwin would soon prove to have one of the more successful decades of any pitcher to don the black and white.  Baldwin’s career in Chicago spanned seven seasons, in which he tabbed a 69-53 record.  Only three White Sox pitchers recorded more wins than Baldwin during the 1990s (Jack McDowell, Alex Fernandez, and Wilson Alvarez), and his four seasons of double-digit wins in that stretch were only topped by one other pitcher (McDowell).  After five years in the minor leagues, Baldwin would finally get his shot with the big league club on April 30, 1995.  The righty would only total six appearances (four starts) that season, and it would mark the only time we would see him finish without 10+ wins until 2002.  Over the next six years, Baldwin would quickly solidify himself as the staff’s ace.  In 1996, he would start 28 games for Chicago and finish 11-6 record with an earned run average of 4.42.  With his first full-year under his belt, Baldwin would then return in 1997 and win 12 games, which tied Doug Drabek for the most on the season by a White Sox pitcher.  He would continue to be effective on the mound over the next two seasons, stringing together double-digit wins in 1998 (13) and 1999 (12).  It was the turn of the millennium that saw Baldwin’s best season of his 11-year career, as he compiled a 14-7 record with a 4.65 ERA.  The year 2000 marked a season of firsts for Baldwin—14 wins, an all-star game selection, and a start in the postseason (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER in ND against Seattle in ALDS).  These indeed would all be firsts and lasts for the then-28-year old, as injuries derailed the remainder of his career.  2001 was the last time Baldwin would pitch in a White Sox uniform, as he was traded to the Dodgers in July of 2001.  The former fourth-round draft pick would only record ten wins after leaving Chicago (three in ’01 and seven in ’02).  From 2001-05, Baldwin would pitch for six different teams, and he would fail to get a win in the final three seasons of his career.  James Baldwin retired in 2006 after he failed to make the Toronto Blue Jays roster.  He currently is the pitching coach for his alma mata–Pinecrest High School.  His son, James Baldwin III, followed in his father’s footsteps and was drafted right out of Pinecrest by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft.  He is currently playing in low-A ball with the Great Lakes Loons.  When it is all said and done, James Baldwin’s career numbers (79-74, 5.01 ERA) may not stick out in any record book, but the consistency he brought to a rebuilding Chicago team in the latter part of the the 1990s cannot be forgotten.

Tomorrow, at number eight, we will check in with our first hitter on the list.

Top 10 White Sox draft picks from past 25 years

#10: Addison Reed

#9: James Baldwin

#8: TOMORROW

#7: FRIDAY

#6: JUNE 3

#5: JUNE 3

#4: JUNE 4

#3: JUNE 4

#2: JUNE 5

#1: JUNE 6 (DRAFT DAY!)

White Sox affiliates go 4-1 on Tuesday

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AAA: Charlotte Knights

The Knights (21-32) won for the third time in five games, as they knocked off Toledo (16-37) 12-3.  2007 Voyager Jim Gallagher contributed an RBI in the Knights blowout win, and ex-Voyager Brent Morel (2008) doubled and scored.  Charlotte fell behind early 2-0, but then was lifted with a six-run fifth and sixth innings.  Knights starter Jason Berken (4-4) put up seven strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits.  2008 Voyager reliever Dan Remenowsky then would come on to toss two innings of one-run ball to secure the victory.  The Knights will be back in action tonight at 5:15 against the Mud Hens in the third game of a four-game set.  Zach Stewart (3-5, 4.31) is slated to get the  start for Charlotte.  The former Blue Jays top prospect has won three of his past four starts and is coming off an eight inning, two-run outing against Rochester.

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AA: Birmingham Barons

Oddly enough, the only White Sox affiliate to lose last night was the only team leading their respective division, as Birmingham (32-19) fell to Tennessee (27-23) 3-2.  The Barons did strike first in the bottom of the first inning thanks to an RBI double off of the bat of 2010 Voyager Andy Wilkins.  That would be the only noise the Barons would make from the plate until they entered the seventh inning trailing 3-1.  Marcus Semien would cut the deficit to one with an RBI single, but that would be all Birmingham would get for the rest of the game.  2011 Voyagers hurler Kevin Vance (2-2) would get credited with the loss, as he surrendered two runs in two innings after relieving Barons starter Nestor Molina.  The Barons and Smokies will resume their five-game series today at 11:30.  A starter from the 2010 and 2011 Great Falls teams, Stephen McCray (4-3, 3.12), will make the start for Birmingham.

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High A: Winston-Salem Dash

Winston-Salem (26-24) took both games of their doubleheader against Frederick (26-24) last night in two completely different fashions.  Game one saw the Dash tie a franchise record by putting up eight runs in the second inning en route to a 17-5 victory, whereas game two saw about as much great pitching as game two saw hitting–with Winston-Salem emerging with a 1-0 win.  In that record-setting second inning, former Voyager backstop Kevan Smith (2011) blasted a two-run homer for his fifth of the season.  Two other ex-Voyagers drove in runs in the second, as Yoandy Barroso had an RBI double and Joe De Pinto tacked on the eighth run of the inning with a single.  A member of last year’s pitching staff, Christopher Beck (4-6), picked up the win after allowing two runs over five innings.  Ex-Voyager Cody Winiarski (2011) then came on to allow three runs over two innings, but the performance would be more than enough to secure the win for the Dash.  The second game of the twin bill would see a huge decrease in offense, as 2011 Voyager Mark Haddow drove in the game’s only run–an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Two Winston-Salem pitchers combined to allow zero runs on three hits to give the Dash a sweep of the doubleheader.  These two teams will be back at it tonight at 5:00. as 2009 Voyagers righty Ryan Buch (0-1, 3.00) will get the nod for Winston-Salem.

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Low A: Kannapolis Intimidators

The bats certainly came to life for the Intimidators (17-31) last night, as they won for only the seventh time this month with  a 13-1 victory over Lexington (26-26).  Kannapolis benefited from a stellar start by 2012 Voyager Kyle Hansen (1-1).  The righty tossed six innings of scoreless baseball, only allowing one hit in the process.  Ex-Voyager Micah Johnson (2012) continued his tear at the plate, as he homered for the third straight game and drove in four runs.  Another member of last year’s Great Falls team, Michael Johnson, would also join the hitting party with his 22nd RBI of the season.  Also helping add to the scoreboard for the Intimidators were 2012 Voyagers Patrick Palmeiro (1-4, RBI. R) and Mike Marjama (1-2, 2 R).  Kannapolis will go for their first series win since May 9-12 this afternoon as they close out their three-game set against the Legends at 10:05.  Jake Cose will make the start for the Intimidators, as he looks to win back-to-back starts for the first time all season.

Voyagers Alumni of the Night

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Kyle Hansen (2012)

6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 6 K, 0 BB (W) in 13-1 win over Lexington last night

White Sox Draft Countdown: Top 10 picks from past 25 years (#10)

With the 2013 MLB First-Year Player’s Draft only ten days away, we here at Voyagers Vision decided to count down the top ten Chicago White Sox draft picks in the past 25 years.  Now, there is some criteria that must be met here to be eligible for these rankings.  Obviously, the player must have been drafted by the Sox in the past 25 years (that eliminates guys like Paul Konerko and Magglio Ordonez).  He also must have actually played for Chicago (that means no Gio Gonzalez or Mike Lowell).  Starting today and continuing everyday up until June 6 (draft day), we’ll count down the top ten–but before we get to number ten–let’s take a look at the players who just missed out on the rankings.

Honorable Mentions:

Gordon Beckham (’08-1st rd.): .246 hitter with 49 HR and 217 RBI in 5 seasons with the White Sox….currently on the disabled list

Chad Bradford (’94-34th rd.): side-winding righty spent first 3 years in Chicago (4.13 ERA in 48 IP); lifetime 3.26 ERA in 12 seasons)

Daniel Hudson (’08-5th rd.): 2-2 in 9 games for White Sox…traded to ARI in ’10 for Edwin Jackson…. career: 28-17 and 3.68 ERA

Boone Logan (’02-20th rd.): pitched 144 games in 3 seasons for White Sox (5.87 ERA, 92 K)…currently has 1.84 ERA and 18 K in 14 2/3 innings for Yankees

Brandon McCarthy (’02, 17th rd.): 7-9, 4.39 in 65 games with White Sox from 2005-06…traded to Texas for John Danks…currently with Arizona (39-42 career record)

Jon Rauch (’99, 3rd rd.): 3-2 record in two seasons with White Sox…currently with Miami and is tallest player in MLB…62 saves and lifetime 3.90 ERA in 11 seasons (7.2 K/9)

Clayton Richard (’05, 8th rd.): 6-8 record in 1 1/2 seasons with White Sox….traded to Padres for Jake Peavy…44-47 and 4.31 ERA in 6-year MLB career

Now that we have the honorable mentions out of the way, it is time to start the drum roll for number ten on our list……..

#10 Addison Reed: 2010 3rd rd pick (95th overall)

thA familiar face to the Great Falls area, the current White Sox closer comes in at number ten on our list.  Addison Reed was drafted by the White Sox in the third round of the 2010 MLB draft out of San Diego State and quickly climbed up the organizational ladder—becoming the team’s fireman in 2012.  Reed began his professional career the summer of 2010 with the Voyagers and notched a 1.80 ERA in 30 IP over 13 games.  The following year, Reed would find himself soaring up the White Sox system, as he pitched for Kannapolis, Winston-Salem, Birmingham AND Charlotte–en route to making his debut at the ripe age of 22 on September 4, 2011 for Chicago.  Reed made six appearances in the final month of the season–allowing ten hits and three runs over 7 1/3 innings.  Last season, Reed saw his first full season of work, and he certainly made the most of it.  The righty converted 29 of his 33 save opportunities, which was good enough for 7th in the American League.  He totaled 54 strikeouts in 55 innings of work (8.8 K/9) and set the White Sox rookie record for saves in a season.  About a third of the way through the 2013 season, there has been no evidence of a sophomore slump for Reed, who is currently second in the AL and third in all of MLB with 17 saves in 23 appearances.  When it comes to American League saves, Reed only trails all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera, who has 18.  Currently, Reed is on pace for about 56 saves.  If he were to reach this number, he would total the third highest single season save total in MLB history and become the second White Sox pitcher ever to convert 43+ saves (Bobby Thigpen’s 57 in 1990).  Reed is also well on his way to recording the most saves by a White Sox closer since 2001–when Keith Foulke had 42.  At 24 years old, Addison Reed is primed to have a very successful career, which may see its first all-star appearance this summer.  We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, but let’s put Reed’s 46 career saves in perspective.  The aforementioned Mariano Rivera did not record the first of his 626 saves until he turned 26.  Just saying.

Our top ten rankings will continue tomorrow with #9 on the list.

Top 10 White Sox draft picks from past 25 years

#10: Addison Reed

#9: TOMORROW

#8: THURSDAY

#7: FRIDAY

#6: JUNE 3

#5: JUNE 3

#4: JUNE 4

#3: JUNE 4

#2: JUNE 5

#1: JUNE 6 (DRAFT DAY!)

CWS Farm Report 5/28: Snodgress near unhittable

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AAA: Charlotte Knights

Charlotte (20-32) kicked off an eight-game homestand last night against Toledo (16-36), and in 11 innings the Mud Hens were victorious 6-5.  The Knights took a 5-1 lead into the top half of the ninth inning, but Toledo was able to put up a four-run frame off of reliever Deunte Heath to tie the game at five.  The two squads would then swap a scoreless tenth, before the Mud Hens would ultimately come out on top in the 11th.  In that inning, with Ben Guez up to the plate for Toledo, Jhan Martinez (2-3) would put runners at the corners with two outs.  After a stolen base by Toledo infielder Kevin Russo, Martinez would lose control and toss a wild pitch that scored the game’s go-ahead run.  The Knights have now lost five of their past eight games, and they will look to bounce back tonight in the second game of this four-game set.  First pitch from Knights Stadium is scheduled for 5:15.

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AA: Birmingham Barons

In case you missed it, the Barons (32-18) won for the third straight game yesterday in a matinee against Jacksonville (26-21) by the score of 4-1.  You can read up on their victory here (from Monday’s Farm Report).  Today the North Division leading Barons will return home for a big five-game series against second place Tennessee.  The Smokies enter Tuesday 5 1/2 games behind Birmingham.  The Barons, winners of four straight and six of their past eight, have been one of the hottest teams in the Southern League as of late.  They will look to keep the ball rolling tonight at Regions Field—with first pitch scheduled for 6:05.  The Birmingham website does not have a probable starter listed for tonight, but 2010 Voyager Stephen McCray would be in line to get the nod.  Last time out, the righty scattered six hits over five innings of three-run ball to record the no decision in a 5-3 loss to Jacksonville on May 23.

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High A: Winston-Salem Dash

Winston-Salem (24-24) began their five-game series against Frederick (26-22) on a sour note last night, as they fell 8-4.  The Dash started off strong with a two-run first inning, which included an RBI single from ex-Voyager Mark Haddow (2011).  The Keys would quickly respond with four runs in the top half of the second inning, and they would never look back.  Dash starter Chris Bassitt (5-2) would surrender seven runs over five innings en route to his second loss in three starts.  Two former Great Falls pitchers would then come on for four solid innings of relief, as Brandon Hardin (2012) and J.R. Ballinger (2009) combined to allow only one run (0 ER) and a hit over that stretch.  Winston-Salem has a twin bill set for this evening, as the Keys and Dash will make up their postponed game from May 7.  In game one, Christopher Beck (3-6, 2.86) will be making the start, as he goes for his second straight win.  First pitch from BB&T Ballpark is scheduled for 4:00.  Game two will follow directly after, with Jason Van Skike (2-1, 2.05) getting the nod.

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Low A: Kannapolis Intimidators

The Intimidators (16-31) fell for the 13th time in 16 games last night in Lexington (26-25), but that was not the headline following their 7-4 loss.  Legends designated hitter Raul Mondesi became the first player ever to hit for the cycle against Kannapolis, as he went 4-4 and drove in three runs.  2012 Voyager Brandon Brennan (1-8, 7.88) got credited for the loss for the eighth time in nine starts, as he tossed five innings and allowed five runs.  Despite the loss, there were some bright spots offensively for the Intimidators.  Another member of last year’s Great Falls team, Micah Johnson, made some noise from the plate, as he homered for the second straight day and the third time this season in the fifth inning.  Ex-Voyager Michael Johnson (2012) recorded two hits on the night–boosting his season average to .320.  Kannapolis will play game two of their three-game series against the Legends this evening at 5:05.  2012 Voyager Kyle Hansen (0-1, 7.88) will be making his fourth start of 2013.

Voyagers Alumni of the Night

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Scott Snodgress (2011)

7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 7 K in 4-1 win over Jacksonville last night

CWS Farm Report 5/27: Barons continue to roll

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AAA: Charlotte Knights

After dropping a 4-1 contest to Rochester (20-30) on Saturday night, the Knights (20-31) were able to bounce back thanks to some heroics by ex-Voyager Jim Gallagher (2007).  With his team down 2-1 in the top of the eighth, Gallagher slugged his third double of the season and drove in two runs in the process.  That would be enough for the Knights, as their ‘pen would preserve the 3-2 lead—resulting in a four-game series split.  Yesterday would end on a much lighter note than Saturday, where the Red Wings would score four runs in the first three innings off of starter Andre Rienzo (3-3) and never look back.  2008 Voyager Dan Remenowsky would come on in relief and toss two innings of scoreless ball, but the Charlotte bats were unable put more than one run on the board against Rochester pitching.  Another member of that 2008 Great Falls team, third baseman Brent Morel, would have a quiet two days from the plate—as he collected a hit in each game.  Charlotte now sits 11 games out of first place in the International League South Division, and they will be back at home tonight to begin a four-game series with Toledo (15-36).  First pitch is scheduled for 5:15 at Knights Stadium.  Simon Castro (0-6, 6.08) will be going for his first win of 2013.

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AA: Birmingham Barons 

After splitting the first two games of their five-game set against Jacksonville (26-21), the Barons (32-18) took a stronghold on the series by winning the final three games–including a 4-1 victory earlier this afternoon.  The Barons streak of 29 straight innings was finally snapped when Jacksonville picked up their only run of the game in the seventh.  2011 Voyager alumni Scott Snodgress (6-3) paved the way for Birmingham with seven innings two-hit, one-run ball to go along with seven strikeouts.  Ex-Voyager Keenyn Walker went yard for the first time this season in the top half of the fifth inning and collected a double in the win.   Taking a look back at Saturday, Birmingham was led by 2011 Voyager Erik Johnson (4-2), as he went seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball en route to the Barons 3-0 win.  The righty finished with seven strikeouts, which was the fourth time this season that he reached this mark.  Former Voyager first baseman Andy Wilkins (2010) drove in two runs, while 2009 Voyager Trayce Thompson belted home a run as well to pace Birmingham offensively.  Yesterday, we saw another strong pitching performance, as  four pitchers (including 2011 Voyagers Salvador Sanchez and Kevin Vance) combined for a three-hit shutout in the Barons 2-0 victory.  Thompson had another big showing at the plate, as he clubbed his 5th home run of the season in the fourth inning.  Birmingham now has a six-game lead over second place Tennessee in the Southern League’s North Division, and they will return home tomorrow to begin a five-game series with the Smokies.

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High A: Winston-Salem Dash

After seeing their five-game winning streak snapped on Friday, Winston-Salem (24-23) would lose 8-7 on Saturday night to Carolina (17-31) before bouncing back with a big 11-4 victory yesterday.  On Saturday, the Dash would fall behind 5-1, but then they would rack up five runs in the top of the eighth to take a 6-5 lead thanks in part to a three-run homer off the bat of 2011 Voyagers Kevan Smith.   The Dash bullpen would be unsuccessful in holding the lead though, as Terance Marin would surrender three runs in the bottom of the frame.  The Dash would put the go-ahead run up to the plate in the top half of the ninth, as Smith would double for the fifth time this year and later score on a single by ex-Voyager Mark Haddow (2011).  Yesterday afternoon, the Dash would win big, but the runs wouldn’t come until late in the game.  With the score tied at two heading into the seventh, Winston-Salem would bat around and bring home eight runs against Mudcat pitching.  Haddow and former Voyager Yoandy Barroso (2012) would drive in runs in the monster inning for the Dash.  The Dash currently sit in second place in the Carolina League’s Southern division.  They trail Myrtle Beach by 4 1/2 games.  Winston-Salem will be back in action today at 3:00 against Frederick.

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Low A: Kannapolis Intimidators

The Intimidators (16-30) continued their slide down the standings this weekend, as they fell Saturday 14-3 and Sunday 6-5 to Hickory (28-20).  On Saturday, starter Jefferson Olacio (1-7) was hammered for 12 runs (ten earned) on ten hits in 4 1/3 innings of work.  2012 Voyager Mike Marjama drove in one of the Intimidators three runs via a sacrafice fly, and his teammate in Great Falls last year, Brent Tanner, raised his average to .324 with a three-hit day.  Yesterday afternoon, we saw Kannapolis take a 5-3 victory into the seventh inning before they ultimately fell to the Crawdads.  Ex-Voyager Micah Johnson’s second homer of 2013 in the sixth inning would give the Intimidators their largest lead of the day, but it proved to not be enough for a Kannapolis team that has now lost 12 of their past 15 games.  Two former Voyagers would factor into the loss for Kannapolis, as Zach Isler (2012) would blow the lead in the 7th inning by allowing two runs on three hits, and Joe Dvorsky (0-2) would surrender the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth off of the bat of Nomar Mazara.  The Intimidators now find themselves dead last in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division—13 games behind first place Hagerstown.  They will stay on the road tonight at 5:05, as they begin a three-game set against Lexington.  A member of last year’s Great Falls pitching staff, Brandon Brennan (1-7, 7.14), will get the nod for Kannapolis.

Voyagers Alumni of the Night

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Erik Johnson (2011)

7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 0 BB (W) in 3-0 win over Jacksonville on Saturday night

Knights, Barons, Intimidators win; Dash streak snapped

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AAA: Charlotte Knights

The Knights (19-30) snapped a two-game skid last night in Rochester with a 4-2 win over Rochester (19-29).  Charlotte was paced by 2008 Voyager Brent Morel at the plate, as the Knights third baseman went 3/5 with two doubles and a solo homer in the third.  Morel drove in three runs in the winning effort.  Ex-Voyager Jim Gallagher (2007) did not get the start, but he would pinch hit in the seventh inning and later come around to score on Morel’s second double of the game and his 13th of the season.  On the mound, Zach Stewart (3-5) put together his longest outing of the season, allowing two earned runs and only five hits in eight innings of work.  The Knights and Red Wings will be back at it tonight with first pitch scheduled for 5:05.  Andre Rienzo (3-2, 7.33) will be making the start for Charlotte.

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AA: Birmingham Barons

After dropping the first game of a rare five-game set, Birmingham (29-18) bounced back to take the second game of the series from Jacksonville (26-18) by the score of 5-3.  2010 Voyager Spencer Arroyo (4-2) racked up his first win since May 3, as he tossed five innings of four-hit ball–surrendering two earned runs.  Another member of that 2010 Great Falls team, Taylor Thompson, would come on to convert the two inning save–his sixth of the season.  Ex-Voyager Trayce Thompson (2010) picked up two hits in the win, and he also belted his ninth double of the season.  Former Voyager outfielder Andy Wilkins (2010) contributed with an RBI single, which was his 26th run batted in for 2013.  A member of the 2011 Great Falls pitching staff, Erik Johnson (3-2, 2.44) will get the nod for the Barons tonight.  The righty is coming off a win in his last start over Jackson, where he threw 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball.  First pitch from Jacksonville is set for 5:05.

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High A: Winston-Salem Dash

Winston-Salem’s (23-22) five-game winning streak was snapped last night, as they fell to Carolina (16-30) 5-3.  The Dash would fall behind early and trailed 5-1 heading into the top half of the ninth inning.  They would pick up two runs to cut the deficit to two and send the tying run to the plate, but the comeback effort would fall short.  2009 Voyagers righty Ryan Buch would pick up the lost, as he only lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) en route to his first loss since joining the Dash earlier this month.  Ex-Voyager backstop Martin Medina (2011) would drive in a run despite the loss, and former Voyager Joe De Pinto (2011) would rack up two hits and his second double of the season.  Winston-Salem will look to bounce back tonight, as first pitch is tabbed for 4:00.  Bryan Blugh (2-4, 5.36) will be making the start for the Dash.

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Low A: Kannapolis Intimidators

Kannapolis (16-28) won for only the second time in ten games, as they were victorious over Hickory (26-20) 7-5.  A member of last year’s Voyagers club led the way offensively, as Micah Johnson went 4-4 with an RBI and his league leading 44th stolen base of 2013.  The Intimidators second baseman raised his season average to .320 thanks to his strong performance at the plate.  Johnson’s teammate in Great Falls last season, Michael Johnson, picked up a couple of hits (2-4)–bumping his season average to .330.  Ex-Voyager Brent Tanner (2012) also contributed with an RBI and his first stolen bag of the year in the Kannapolis win.  2011 Voyager Stew Brase came on in relief to pick up his first save, as he tossed 1 1/3 innings of one-run ball.  The Intimidators will try and win back to back games for the first time since May 9-10 today at 4:05 as they resume their series with the Crawdads.  Jefferson Olacio (1-6, 6.82) will get the nod for Kannapolis.

Voyagers Alumni of the Night

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Brent Morel (2008)

3-5, HR (3), 2 2B, 3 RBI, R in 4-2 win over Rochester