Larry at South Side Sox rolled out his top 10 White Sox prospects list, and it's about what we all expected: thin.
Addison Reed and Nestor Molina stand as the two players with the best chance to impact the major league roster, with Reed slotting in to the 2012 bullpen and Molina hopefully joining the rotation in 2013.
There are a few interesting names past those top two guys. Tyler Saladino is one, Hector Santiago is the other. Saladino still has a long way to go and won't be a star in the majors -- if he makes it -- but if he turns out to be average, that'll provide nice value to a future Sox squad. And Santiago, who saw action in a pair of major-league games last summer, could be a useful back-end starter or long reliever.
Jake Petricka is another name to follow in 2012. He's slated by the organization to be a starter, but if he can't develop a third pitch, he'll probably move to the bullpen.
Other than that, the list doesn't feature the names of too many players who project as future regulars. Perhaps a trade of Carlos Quentin would add some depth to the system, and if some team caves on the Sox demands for John DanksGavin Floyd that'd be a big help as well.
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