Gordon Beckham

The White Sox might end up seeing a lot of Gordon Beckham in 2019

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AP

The White Sox might end up seeing a lot of Gordon Beckham in 2019

If things play out a certain way, the White Sox could be seeing a lot of Gordon Beckham in 2019.

Yes, the guy the White Sox took with the No. 8 pick in the 2008 draft could end up a division rival, as he is among the non-roster invitees to Detroit Tigers spring training.

As a minor league free agent, Beckham will have to earn his way onto the Tigers, a team embarking on its own rebuilding effort in the Motor City.

Beckham spent seven years on the South Side, slashing .242/.304/.674 in 839 games before becoming a journeyman of sorts. He's spent time with the Los Angeles Angels, the Atlanta Braves, the San Francisco Giants and most recently the Seattle Mariners. He got into 33 big league games with the M's in 2017 and 2018 while spending most of his time at Triple-A Tacoma. In those 33 games, Beckham slashed .180/.242/.197, but at Triple-A last season he was quite productive, slashing .302/.400/.458 with more walks (57) than strikeouts (52) in his 94 games.

Beckham's time on the South Side went down as a disappointment given the hype that surrounded him when he was drafted out of Georgia and during the short amount of time he spent in the White Sox farm system. He was rated as a top-30 prospect in the game in 2009 by Baseball Prospectus.

Now he could be a division rival. The White Sox take on the Tigers 19 times during the 2019 season. Will Beckham be a part of the first meeting April 18 in Motown?

For those wondering, Beckham has played in only two games against the White Sox. He fared very well, going 4-for-8 with a homer and a walk.

So maybe seeing a lot of Beckham in 2019 wouldn't be such a good thing for the White Sox. But here's hoping that in a possible return to the South Side, we once again get to hear one of the best walk-up songs ever: "Josie's on a vacation far away ..."

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The White Sox all-time prospect team is sick

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AP

The White Sox all-time prospect team is sick

You know all about the current crop of White Sox prospects. Baseball America has five in its top 100. MLB Pipeline has seven.

But did you realize how many White Sox greats from the past three decades were rated as top-100 prospects?

Baseball Twitter had some fun earlier this week looking back at Baseball America's all-time top-100 prospect lists, the site's top-100 prospects for every year going back to 1990, and assembling all-time prospect squads for big league teams.

Well, I took a crack at assembling a 25-man roster for the White Sox, and it is very, very good.

Pre-2005 stars are well represented in this conversation, with guys like Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee and Ray Durham as no-doubt starters. But world champs like Tadahito Iguchi, Bobby Jenks and Jon Garland also made the cut. So too did a Hall of Famer in Frank Thomas and active players like Chris Sale, Jose Abreu and even Gio Gonzalez, who never pitched for the White Sox but had multiple stints in their farm system.

The choices were limited to guys who were ranked as top-100 prospects when they part of the White Sox organization. That, for example, is why you won't see Paul Konerko, who was a top-100 prospect (four times!) when he was part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

Oh, and I also decided to leave off current prospects like Michael Kopech and Eloy Jimenez because there's no knowing what they'll be just yet. They might one day dominate this list. Though I did include current catching prospect Zack Collins backing up Tyler Flowers because those were the only two White Sox catchers on the lists.

Here's my 25-man team, and let me know if I left someone off you would've included. The full lists are right here. Just Ctrl+F "White Sox" — or any other team you choose — to zoom down the lists.

Pitchers

James Baldwin
John Danks
Jon Garland
Gio Gonzalez
Roberto Hernandez
Daniel Hudson
Bobby Jenks
Brandon McCarthy
Jon Rauch
Addison Reed
Carlos Rodon
Chris Sale

Catchers

Zack Collins
Tyler Flowers

Infielders

Jose Abreu
Gordon Beckham
Joe Crede
Ray Durham
Tadahito Iguchi
Robin Ventura

Outfielders

Mike Cameron
Carlos Lee
Magglio Ordonez
Ryan Sweeney

Designated hitter

Frank Thomas

And if I was forced to play manager and write up a starting lineup ...

1. Ray Durham, 2B
2. Mike Cameron, CF
3. Jose Abreu, 1B
4. Frank Thomas, DH
5. Magglio Ordonez, RF
6. Robin Ventura, 3B
7. Carlos Lee, LF
8. Gordon Beckham, SS
9. Tyler Flowers, C

Chris Sale, SP

Ex-teammates glad White Sox set to retire Mark Buehrle's number

Ex-teammates glad White Sox set to retire Mark Buehrle's number

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — He didn't like seeing Mark Buerhle go in the first place, but Paul Konerko is glad his former teammate is coming back.

The legendary White Sox slugger said Monday night he's very happy for Buehrle that the club has opted to retire his No. 56 on June 24. Were the decision up to either player, Buehrle never would have signed a four-year deal with Miami after the 2011 season. The left-hander wanted to remain with the White Sox, but was allowed to leave for a $58 million deal. Never one to question moves by the front office, Konerko said at a charity event Monday night that the choice to allow Buehrle to leave still doesn't sit well with him. 

"Any time I ever saw him in a different uniform, it just didn't look right," Konerko said. "I've said it before that I felt like my time with the White Sox, there's a lot of moves they can make, up top they have to make moves to see the big picture and as a player you get paid to play the game, not to question their moves.

"But the one with Mark not being there throughout his career, considering what he did when he went out after he played with us, that one I'll always not be OK with that."

Konerko and several other former teammates praised Buehrle on Monday before they participated in former All-Star reliever Jesse Crain's Swing into Spring golfing event to benefit Autism Now and Arizona RBI Baseball. Jim Thome, who played with Buehrle from 2007-09, loved playing alongside his fellow left-hander.

"He's kind of the epitome of what a true teammate is," Thome said. "He really is. He's a guy that I know if you ask a ton of his teammates, guys that know him, there's no way he will ever change. It's a credit to his mom and dad, his family and the fact that he's just as real as it gets."

Gordon Beckham said Buehrle was just as popular with his teammates as he was with the White Sox fanbase. One of the main reasons why Buehrle was beloved by his peers is because of the way he handled himself in good times and in bad.

"Usually the guys that don't take themselves so seriously are the guys that are usually liked by their teammates," Beckham said. "He was that guy. He never wanted to talk about himself. He wanted to talk about deer hunting or talk about something else besides himself.

"All he wanted to do is go out there and put his innings up and help the team win and past that, he didn't take things too hard and he didn't take them too soft. Stayed even keeled. Baseball is a game of failure he managed that really well."

Konerko, who had his number retired in 2015, would have loved if he and Buehrle had finished their careers together. The first baseman arrived a season ahead of Buehrle and they played together from 2000-11. Though Buehrle was willing to stay, the White Sox opted to extend John Danks, who was six years younger than the veteran workhouse. 

Buehrle initially signed with Miami and was traded the next offseason to Toronto. That set up a series of awkward showdowns between himself and Konerko. While there was an attempt to make them fun, Konerko never enjoyed facing his old friend.

"I think if it was up to Mark, he would have finished his whole career playing with just the White Sox," Konerko said. "He would have stayed. He wanted to stay. I'm glad that he was there long enough. He deserves (the number retired). You look at the numbers — we all know Mark is a great guy and teammate — but if you look at the numbers, he deserves it."