The White Sox began their spring training slate with a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch, with five of those six Los Angeles runs being charged to Nestor Molina. On the bright side, the Sox played fantastic defense and Addison Reed clowned Matt Kemp with a pair of sliders. Check out my thoughts here or peruse the box score andor AP recap.
Jim at South Side Sox noticed Alex Rios opened his stance a bit in Monday's game, which fits with the right fielder's comments earlier this spring.
The White Sox haven't hit a leadoff home run since Oct. 2, 2009, the longest current drought in the majors. Perhaps that'll change this year with Alejandro De Aza beginning games.
Around the division: Bruce Chen allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 1 23 innings against Texas, Justin Masterson was tagged by Cincinnati for six runs in 1 13 innings, Justin Verlander made his 2012 debut with two scoreless frames and Joe Mauer went 2-3 while Justin Morneau didn't reach base in both his trips to the plate.
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