White Sox

Previewing 2012 SoxFest

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Previewing 2012 SoxFest

When SoxFest will kick off Friday at 4 p.m. with the opening ceremonies (streamed LIVE on Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com) under much different circumstances than a year ago. Gone are longtime figures Ozzie Guillen and Mark Buehrle. Gone are key pieces in Sergio Santos and Carlos Quentin. And, judging by the general mood of supporters, gone is the optimism of the fanbase.

But, with all of those people and feelings gone, an opportunity to win back some goodwill presents itself. Robin Ventura has his first real chance to interact with fans. Adam Dunn and the Sox made a smart move to make him available at SoxFest, where he's sure to face some tough questions.

Kenny Williams will be hit with questions regarding the team's direction -- rebuilding, retooling, or contenting? Jake Peavy will entertain comments about his health, while Gordon Beckham will be asked about his progress in putting the last two years behind him.

Everybody will be asked about Guillen, which hopefully will stand as the last time any of the players has to answer a question regarding their former manager. And everybody will be asked about Prince Fielder, perhaps to the extent of whether the Sox should even bother to play baseball this year.

Some questions will be fair, and plenty will be unfair. That's the nature of these things.

It'll be great to see some members of the 2005 World Series team making an appearance, from Joe Crede and Frank Thomas to Neal Cotts, Pablo Ozuna, Cliff Politte and Chris Widger. While plenty of panels should leave fans feeling pleased, none will accomplish that more than the '05 World Series memories ones.

There probably won't be any major announcements, like a free agent signing or a trade. There really aren't any free agents the Sox could easily announce -- maybe Yoenis Cespedes, although that's a longshot -- and a fan convention is no time to announce a trade of your presumptive closer or mid-rotation starter for prospects.

The Sox generally put on a good event, and I know I'll enjoy milling around, thinking about baseball during the end of January.

Stay with White Sox Talk on CSNChicago.com and Comcast SportsNet for complete coverage of all of this weekend's activities from the Palmer House Hilton.

Meet the Prospects: Thyago Vieira

Meet the Prospects: Thyago Vieira

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Thyago Vieira

Vieira, the 24-year-old right-handed hurler, has just one inning of big league ball under his belt.

A native of Brazil, Vieira made his major league debut last season for the Seattle Mariners, pitching one scorless inning — and striking out one batter — in an Aug. 14 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. He's since joined the White Sox rebuild, acquired in a November trade that sent international bonus slot money back to the Pacific Northwest.

In the minors last season, Vieira split time between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma, combining for a 4.00 ERA in 54 innings of 41 appearances. He struck out 46 hitters and walked 22. In previous minor league seasons, he showed a good ability to strike out opposing hitters, posting a 10.8 K/9 with Class A Bakersfield in 2016.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Vieira rated as the No. 20 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Vieira in the video above.

How Baseball America envisions the White Sox starting lineup of the future

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USA TODAY

How Baseball America envisions the White Sox starting lineup of the future

The White Sox rebuild is going just swimmingly, according to the fine folks at Baseball America.

The publication does its own rankings of each organization's top prospects every offseason, and their top 10 rankings of the players in the White Sox farm system is unexpectedly impressive, what with how general manager Rick Hahn has acquired so much minor league talent over the past year-plus.

But one of the fun things Baseball America also does is project a starting lineup for a few years down the road. That's been a favorite pastime of South Side baseball fans ever since Hahn kicked off the rebuild with those trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton more than a year ago. Now you can see how your fantasy future White Sox lineup matches up with Baseball America's.

They flash forward all the way to 2021, a year past when most White Sox fans have been dreaming about as the apex of the rebuild and when the South Siders start becoming perennial contenders. Notably, Baseball America also expects the White Sox to give long-term deals to Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia — not bad moves by any stretch — who are both currently under team control only through the end of the 2019 season.

Here's how Baseball America sees Rick Renteria's starting nine in 2021:

Of course, Baseball America goes a little more in depth than that, ranking the top 10 prospects in each farm system and laying out their picks for which players have the best tools in each organization.

Here are those respective lists for the White Sox:

Get ready, White Sox fans. The future's coming.