White Sox

Strasburg impressed by Reed's confidence, performance

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Strasburg impressed by Reed's confidence, performance

KANSAS CITY -- Stephen Strasburg knows how Addison Reed handled his first trying situation and figured hed have no issues becoming a major league closer.

Back when the two were San Diego State Aztecs together from 2008-09, Strasburg, now a National League All-Star for the Washington Nationals, counseled the current White Sox closer.

Reed arrived at San Diego State in 2008, one year after Strasburg. Just like Strasburg experienced the previous season, Reed, a starting pitcher in high school, was thrust into the bullpen and unsure of his role.

The two became fast friends -- Reed is a groomsmen in Strasburgs upcoming wedding -- and excelled on the field. Strasburg went 8-3 with a 1.57 ERA and established himself as college baseballs premier prospect in 2008 while Reed posted a 2.73 ERA in 24 games. While Strasburgs 13 wins in 2009 elevated him into a media darling and helped him become the top pick of the amateur draft that June, Reed posted a 0.65 ERA and converted all 20 of his save attempts.

I had already went through it, Strasburg said. I kind of took him under my wing a little bit and talked to him about the whole closing process and he just excelled in that role and it really just became a part of him. (Tough situations) dont faze him.

Reed returned to the rotation as a junior in 2011 and flourished, going 8-2 with a 2.50 ERA for the Aztecs in 11 starts.

But Strasburg isnt surprised his friend and former teammate wound up back in the bullpen. Nor by how Reed, a third-round pick by the White Sox in 2010, rose from Single-A all the way to the majors within his first full professional season in 2011.

Reed is 13-for-14 in save situations this season for the White Sox.

He has such great short-term memory, Strasburg said. If he goes out and pitches poorly, he wont even remember it the next day. So youre getting a fresh guy with the same confidence every single day. It was great just seeing him tear it up his first year and make it to the big leagues. Hes really worked hard for it.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

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.

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

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USA TODAY

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

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