White Sox

Tim Anderson headlines Baseball America's White Sox prospect rankings

tim-anderson-ba-top-10-2016-sox-prospects-slide.png

Tim Anderson headlines Baseball America's White Sox prospect rankings

Tim Anderson has climbed to the top of the White Sox farm system as Baseball America named him the club’s top prospect on Monday.

The shortstop and 2013 first-round pick tops a revamped list, one altered by last month’s trade for third baseman Todd Frazier.

[RELATED - Report: White Sox want to sign Gordon/Cespedes for three years or less]

Last year’s first-rounder Carson Fulmer is ranked second while Spencer Adams moved up to third when Frankie Montas was included in the three-team Frazier deal. Baseball America originally had Trayce Thompson ranked fifth and Micah Johnson at No. 8 until they also went to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of the deal for Frazier, a two-time All-Star.

The 17th pick of the 2013 draft, Anderson produced a .312/.350/.429 slash line with five home runs, 46 RBI and 49 stolen bases at Double-A Birmingham last season.

He also continues to make defensive strides. One National League scout who didn’t see Anderson until late in the season after having seen him in spring training was impressed by the strides the third-year pro had made.

Back in spring, Anderson showed a flair for making spectacular plays and impressed the White Sox coaching staff in big league camp. The White Sox think Anderson is on the cusp of the majors and he’s expected to be at big league camp again in February. But the team also wants to give Anderson — who was drafted out of community college and is considered baseball young — time to further hone his approach and refine his defense. Last season, Anderson, whom Baseball America had rated as the No. 92 prospect in baseball, struck out 114 times and walked 24. He also committed 25 errors.

While he’s close, Anderson is expected to start the season at Triple-A Charlotte. But general manager Rick Hahn has said Anderson could force the issue with a strong start to 2016.

[MORE: White Sox reportedly continue to pursue Alex Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes]

Whereas last year’s top prospect Carlos Rodon was in the majors by the third week of April, Fulmer isn’t likely to follow the same path. Drafted eighth overall out of Vanderbilt, the right-hander excelled in 10 minor league appearances. He finished with a 2.08 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 26 innings, including a three-inning performance against Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League playoffs. But the White Sox intend to take their time and allow Fulmer to develop.

Adams excelled in his second season after a strong debut in 2014. The 6-foot-3 right-hander went 12-5 with a 2.99 ERA in 24 starts between Single-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. A year after he posted a 59:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the Arizona Rookie League, Adams struck out 96 batters and walked 18 in 129 1/3 innings.

Trey Michalczewski, Jacob May, Tyler Danish, Adam Engel, Jordan Guerrero, Courtney Hawkins and Corey Zangari round out the rest of the club’s Top 10.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

astrosasg.png
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

With the White Sox in the middle of a rebuild, Chuck Garfien spoke with 3 Houston Astros All-Stars who explained how they went from a rebuilding team to World Series champions. Jose Altuve, George Springer and Alex Bregman talk about how they dealt with losing, how they learned how to win, the importance of adding veterans to the young core, and how they kept hope alive during the rebuild.  Then later, Chuck spoke with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain trying to understand how he dominated the White Sox for so many years.

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

0717-jose-abreu.jpg
USA TODAY

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jose Abreu didn’t come to the White Sox to be a leader. But that’s what he is as he took his spot among the best in baseball at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

Abreu is the face of the South Side baseball club and he’s had a stellar-enough first four and a half seasons in Major League Baseball to earn the distinction of a starter in the Midsummer Classic. But Abreu, unsurprisingly, doesn’t look at himself as one of the best in the game. He looks as himself as a hard-worker.

“I don’t believe that I’m the best,” Abreu said through a team translator on Monday. “I’m just a person who likes to work hard every day and try to do my best.”

That humility is nothing new to folks who follow the White Sox on a regular basis. And neither is talk of Abreu’s work ethic, the admiration of everyone involved with the team and a constant talking point from Rick Hahn, Rick Renteria and all Abreu’s teammates.

Abreu has become as important for his off-the-field roles as he has for his on-the-field production for this rebuilding White Sox team. He’s been described as a role model for all the young players in the organization, whether they’re on the big league roster right now or coming up through the system.

“None of them have told me that yet,” Abreu joked. “But I know that. It’s definitely a compliment, and I take it as something that makes you feel good, something that makes you keep moving forward and to keep trying to help the guys to improve and get better as a team. You feel like that is a big honor, that people think that way of you.”

As good as he feels to be held in such esteem, Abreu didn’t set out to be one of this team’s leaders when he came to the United States. And to be honest, he might not be in his current position if it weren’t for the team’s rebuilding effort. Abreu is one of the few veterans on this team.

“That was something that happened. I didn’t look for it,” Abreu said. “I was always trying to help people and trying to give advice to help people to improve. But I never tried to be a leader. If people say that because of what I do, that’s good, but that’s not something that I’m trying to force or something that I say, ‘I want to be a leader.’ No, that’s not who I am. I am just the kind of person who likes to help people, who likes to give advice.”

Abreu is seemingly the definition of what the White Sox want their next winning roster to be full of. And whether it’s the special relationship he has with fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada or the role-model status he holds in the eyes of his other teammates, both current and future, he’s helping the White Sox develop those kinds of players.

Oh, and he’s generally — though this season has seen an extended slump and atypical numbers — one of the most consistently productive hitters in the game.

Who wouldn’t want all that as the face of the franchise?

“It’s all a blessing. I can’t ask for anything else,” Abreu said. “I’m a true believer that if you work hard, good things are going to happen. That’s why I work hard every day, I try to do my best, I try to improve every day and just to be a better person. Not just a better player, but a better person.”