Paul Konerkos wrist surgery and recovery has gone so well hes a little frustrated he didnt have it done earlier.
The White Sox slugger, who begins his 15th season with the club, said Friday his surgically repaired left wrist hasnt hindered an offseason hitting program that began earlier this month. Konerko feels lucky because he knew almost immediately hed heal quickly, enough to where he played golf within two weeks of the Oct. 4 procedure.
Had he known how easily the procedure was, Konerko --- who hit .298 with 26 homers and 75 RBIs in 144 games last season --- thinks he might have had it performed earlier. The first basemandesignated hitter contemplated having the surgery done the previous offseason and said it bothered him for a week in June until he had a minor procedure.
There was no way of knowing that until we went in there and got it out, Konerko said. But within 10-12 days after the surgery, I felt like I could have played in a game. So that was frustrating in one sense. I wish I would have done it earlier, which was probably my own fault.
"But there was no way of knowing what was going to happen when they went in. It could have been three months. Had to dig in there for what they were looking. It is what it is. Its done. I havent had any discomfort or pain, other than at the beginning with the actual scar under the skin that had to heal up.
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