The Houston Astros are the new champions of the baseball world. Finally.
The Astros won Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers to capture the franchise's first championship.
Of course, it helps that they weren't playing the White Sox.
This year's Fall Classic was just the second ever to feature the Astros, the first being the 2005 World Series, a four-game sweep by the White Sox.
This time around, the Astros weren't so dominated by opposing pitching, joining with the Dodgers to club more homers than in any World Series prior. Back in '05, White Sox pitching did very well against the Astros, with the quartet of Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland and Freddy Garcia allowing just nine earned runs in 28 innings across the four games.
This October (and one night in November) featured star-making performances from the likes of George Springer, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Charlie Morton and others. They now join the likes of Paul Konerko, Scott Podsednik, Geoff Blum, Jermaine Dye and Juan Uribe as postseason legends.
Congrats to the fans of Houston and their newly minted world champs. But who knows if they would've been lifting the trophy if they had to play the White Sox again? Count your lucky stars, 'Stros. Hopefully ESPN won't forget about you.
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