ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Alexei Ramirez drove in two runs and the Chicago White Sox extended their winning streak to a season-high eight games with a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.Dayan Viciedo had a run-scoring single and Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly to help Chicago take a 3-1 lead in the third. Ramirez made it 4-1 with an RBI double in the fifth.Luke Scott and Carlos Pena homered for the Rays, who have lost nine of their last 13 games at home.White Sox starter Jose Quintana was ejected by plate umpire Mark Wegner with two outs in the fourth when he threw a pitch behind Ben Zobrist at knee level. Chicago manager Robin Ventura was also tossed by Wegner for arguing.Tampa Bay right-hander Alex Cobb (2-1) hit a pair of White Sox batters - Gordon Beckham during the first and A.J. Pierzynski in the third - during the game. Pierzynski was hit with a man on second and one out.Addison Reed worked out of trouble in the ninth for his sixth save. Pena drew a leadoff walk, with pinch runner Rich Thompson advancing to second on Matt Joyce's one-out single. Zobrist and Scott then both popped out to shallow left.Pena hit a two-run homer off Nate Jones (3-0) in the sixth.Alex Rios hit a first-inning RBI single. Tampa Bay tied it at 1 on Scott's opposite-field homer to left in the second.Cobb worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second. After Alejandro De Aza hit a grounder and Beckham struck out, Adam Dunn hit a fly to center that B.J. Upton caught on the warning track.Quintana allowed one run and one hit in 3 2-3 innings. Cobb gave up four runs and nine hits over five innings.De Aza left in the sixth when he was hit near the right knee by the ball while diving back to second on J.P. Howell's pick off attempt.NOTES: Tampa Bay DH-LF Hideki Matsui was out of the lineup one day after homering in his Rays' debut. He entered in the sixth and went 0 for 2. ... Matsui will earn 615,519 from his contract with the Rays if he stays on the 40-man roster for the rest of the season. Matsui was put on the 40-man roster Tuesday, meaning he will earn 128 days of major league pay from the 183-day season. His contract lists an 880,000 salary while in the majors and a 250,000 salary while in the minors. ... White Sox LHP John Danks (strained left shoulder) threw at 60 feet on level ground and could rejoin the rotation early next week. ... Chicago 3B Brent Morel (lower back strain) is set to start a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. ... Rays OF Desmond Jennings (sprained left knee) is scheduled to start playing in minor league rehab games Thursday.
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.
When I ranked baseball's top farm systems for @MLBNetwork for use during our last two @MLBazFallLeague broadcasts, I had the @Braves at No. 1. With Atlanta losing Kevin Maitan & Co., I would drop them to No. 2 behind the @whitesox.— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) November 21, 2017
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