White Sox

White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

Paul Konerko's quote about the White Sox having a successful season without making the playoffs has led to some consternation (see the sidebar video), but it may be a little overblown. No, Konerko's comments weren't the best for PR, but he didn't make an inaccurate statement. If Gordon Beckham, Brent Morel, Addison Reed, Chris Sale, Tyler Flowers and Dayan Viciedo (plus a few prospects) all take steps forward, it could set the team up well for future contention. And it's not like Konerko said the Sox aren't trying to make the playoffs this year. He was just being realistic.

Speaking of the playoffs, Jerry Reinsdorf has some baseball history behind his "don't write us off" statement. Good stuff here by Chuck Garfien.

White Sox director of baseball operations Dan Fabian held a conference call with a few bloggers on Tuesday and discussed sabermetrics, scouting and a few other topics. Major hat-tip to MarkU-God at South Side Sox for the transcription.

Fabian was half of that conference call, actually. The other half was Brooks Boyer (more on his stuff regarding dynamic pricing today), who said the White Sox are working to get Big Hurt Beer to be sold at U.S. Cellular Field.

Two more takes on Dayan Viciedo's potential outfield shift, courtesy of Jim and James.

Around the division: Twins prospect and all-around good guy Kyle Gibson is being patient with his recovery from Tommy John surgery, Francisco Liriano drilled Danny Valencia in batting practice, Rick Porcello's ground balls are scrutinized, David Huff will start Cleveland's first spring training game (Saturday!) and Royals Review looks at the potential downside (with a jab at the White Sox of sorts) of the Salvador Perez deal.

Is Luis Robert so good that he'll start the season at Double-A?

Is Luis Robert so good that he'll start the season at Double-A?

Just how good is Luis Robert?

Well, that's the problem. Us on the outside, we don't know exactly.

The White Sox obviously love him, willing to give him big bucks to come play a starring role in the rebuild. Rick Renteria raved about Robert last month at the Winter Meetings, getting White Sox fans all excited by hyping Robert's speed, fielding skills and power.

But as good as the scouting reports sound, is Robert really so good that he'll go from never playing a game in the United States to the higher levels of minor league baseball right away?

That eyebrow-raising possibility was floated Tuesday.

Robert unsurprisingly has plenty of confidence in his own abilities and told The Athletic's James Fegan at the team's hitters' camp in Arizona that his goal is to make it to the big leagues sometime in 2018.

But perhaps the more interesting comment came from Chris Getz, the White Sox director of player development, who said Tuesday that Robert could potentially start the season at either of the White Sox two Class A affiliates, Kannapolis or Winston-Salem, or even at Double-A Birmingham.

Robert is just 20 years old, and he's yet to play a game of minor league baseball in the United States after spending his teenage years playing in Cuba. In fact, his only action since joining the White Sox has been 28 games in the Dominican Summer League. He did fare quite well in that handful of contests, slashing .310/.491/.536 with three homers, 14 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a sparkling 22-to-23 walk-to-strikeout ratio. But that's not really the point.

The White Sox are in no rush with Robert, or any of their highly touted prospects, for that matter. Not expected to compete for a championship in 2018, there doesn't appear to be any reason to elevate Robert to the highest levels of the minors so quickly without first getting him some experience in the lower levels.

Of course, Getz even mentioning the possibility of Robert starting the season at Birmingham should also show just how good the team thinks Robert is right now. So maybe Robert's major league dream for 2018 isn't as crazy as it sounds?

Meet the Prospects: Luis Alexander Basabe

Meet the Prospects: Luis Alexander Basabe

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Luis Alexander Basabe

Basabe, the 21-year-old outfielder, flew under the radar in the trade that sent Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox.

A native of Venezuela, Basabe was overshadowed by Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech in that deal with the Red Sox, but he's a promising piece of the future, as well.

A year before joining the White Sox organization, Basabe slashed .264/.328/.452 with 66 runs scored, 53 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 110 games with Boston's two Class A affiliates in Greenville and Salem.

Last season with Class A Winston-Salem, VBasabe played in 107 games, slashing .221/.320/.320 with 52 runs scored, 36 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Basabe rated as the No. 17 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Basabe in the video above.