James Fegan at White Sox Observer has a nice look look at the question of trading Gordon Beckham, noting that the team would be selling low on the second baseman but, given his all-too-real struggles of the last two seasons, it may behoove the Sox to explore a deal.
That's a particularly jarring conclusion given Beckham was essentially an untouchable asset at this time two years ago. Trading Beckham is banking that he won't re-capture and build on his success of 2009.
Maybe a change of scenery -- either a new team or the new Sox coaching staff could count -- could get Beckham back on track. But his walk rate has fallen each year since 2009 while his strikeout rate has risen, two massive red flags for a 25-year-old entering his fourth season in the majors.
Beckham's game isn't without its pluses, though. Specifically, he plays good defense at second base and has shown the baseball acumen to improve there as he becomes more experienced.
My take: Beckham would be a nice piece for a team featuring an already-deep lineup. At the worst, his defense would provide some value, and any offensive outbreak is a bonus. But even though he's had issues the last two years, that good-hitting potential remains, and a team could very well wind up being set at second base for years to come. At the same time, trading Beckham is dangerous for the Sox because, hey, maybe Beckham will come around with Robin Ventura and Jeff Manto leading the hitting charge.
I say the Sox should hang on to him, although -- as James says -- it'd be pretty tough to condemn a trade of him.
What's your take? Is there enough hope in his game to keep Beckham? Or should the Sox trade him while they still can?
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