GLENDALE, Ariz. — Six months of sterling additions has catapulted the White Sox farm system to near the top of the rankings.
Previously graded in the lower third of all franchises, the White Sox have been ranked between third and sixth in three separate farm system rankings recently released. Bolstered by 12 new prospects, the White Sox were named the third-best farm in baseball by MLBPipeline.com on Friday. The team has six prospects ranked among MLB's top 100.
"We don't spend a ton of time focused on prospect ratings," general manager Rick Hahn said. "At the same time, it's nice that outside analysts who are perhaps more objective than we are seeing the same things our scouts initially saw and our player development people are seeing ever since we got down here."
It has been a long time since the White Sox have possessed a highly-regarded farm system.
But they followed up what is considered to be a strong showing in the amateur draft by acquiring seven highly-touted prospects in the trades for Chris Sale and Adam Eaton.
The series of additions has resulted in plenty of acclaim for the White Sox, who also have been ranked fifth overall by Baseball America and sixth by Baseball Prospectus.
There's no telling how high the White Sox can go. Of MLB.com's top 15 White Sox prospects, 11 have been added since last June with many more likely on the way. With Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Jose Abreu, Melky Cabrera and more still on the roster, the White Sox could give themselves an absurd amount of depth in the near future.
"We've made it clear we're still early in this process, so having a well-regarded farm system is nice," Hahn said. "We hope that's something we're going to be able to continue here over the coming months and years as we continue this process. Ultimately we know having a good farm system is great, but what we need is wins at the big-league level. And hopefully that's the next step in this process after we build up that system."