Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra took exception with Mark Parent's comments from a seminar Sunday at SoxFest in which the new White Sox bench coach said "You hit our guy, well hit your guy."
In a vacuum, I don't blame Calcaterra for his disdain at the comment and fan reaction (applause). But in reality, White Sox pitchers haven't done much to protect their hitters in recent years under Ozzie Guillen.
Jim over at South Side Sox outlined that issue in a two-part series back in September after Indians' reliever Josh Judy hit Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham in a Sept. 20 appearance. The whole discourse is well worth a read (or re-read), but the astonishing point I took away is that Judy hit one batter in over 50 innings at Triple-A ... and then hit four White Sox batters in 4 23 innings last season.
Maybe none of those were intentional, but as Jim writes, Judy was probably told that the inside corner was there for the taking since Sox pitchers weren't expected to retaliate. And when a young, wound-up guy is told to throw inside, inevitably, he's going to hit some people.
Back to Parent's comment. It wasn't made to start a beanball war between division opponents, or predict a bevy of future brouhahas. In reality, perhaps the Sox coaching staff will make it a point to make it harder for teams to freely throw inside in the coming seasons.
27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.
The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.
In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.
Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.
Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.
But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.
While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:
4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen