White Sox

Why Teague is a fit for the Bulls

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Why Teague is a fit for the Bulls

I'm not going to try to sell you on a rookie point guard who only spent one year in college and was selected 29th overall in last week's NBA Draft. But what I will tell you is Marquis Teague is not a 'waste of a pick' or a player who can't help the Bulls right now. But it might take some convincing for coach Tom Thibodeau to give this kid a fair shake in practice, considering Thibs isn't exactly a fan of inexperience, especially at the point guard position. But if we can get past our preconceived notions of what a traditional rotation looks like, Teague may play a worthy role here.
First, let's start with the fact that the Bulls, at one point this past season, carried three backup point guards to Derrick Rose, none of whom seemed to be able to carry the load in the end when it mattered most. I've seen enough of the veteran combination of C.J. Watson and John Lucas III in the playoffs to realize that sometimes experience doesn't mean much in crucial situations. I've also seen enough of Kirk Hinrich when he was with the Bulls and elsewhere to shrug at the thought of bringing him back. (I apologize to Hinrich lovers everywhere, but I just don't see it.) So call me crazy, but I actually think Teague is going to play a role next year. He might not be the starting point guard on Opening Night, as the Bulls seem intent on signing a veteran, but he may play himself into a role at some point given the uncertainty of Rose's return date.
Secondly, Teague has talent. It may be somewhat raw right now, but it can be honed and molded into what the Bulls need. I don't see this strictly as a future project. Had Teague stayed in school, he'd be a top ten pick in the draft next year. The way I look at it, Teague is a bargain at No. 29.
Teague's older brother, Jeff, who plays for the Atlanta Hawks, has proven to be a worthy opponent for the Bulls, giving Rose and company fits in the second round of the 2011 Playoffs. Marquis played with his brother many times growing up and, according to their mother Carol, the basketball court is the one place the two get ultra competitive with each other, otherwise they are 'very close.' Marquis has no doubt learned a lot from Jeff, just like he's sure to learn a lot from Rose. Both Teague and Rose were coached by John Calapari. Both have an aggressive, attacking style of play and competitive spirit.
Something tells me they may work well together.
In talking to Thibodeau at the Bulls press conference introducing Teague, I asked him if he sees the game changing, moving away from a traditional style of rotation where you have two guards, two forwards and a center. Could he envision Teague and Rose playing together?
"Absolutely," answered Thibodeau. "You see teams playing two point guards all the time. We may be in a situation where Rose and Teague are on the floor at the same time. The game is changing in that way."
I know what you're thinking. This isn't LeBron and Wade. Rose and Teague are too small to matchup well against bigger opposing lineups. Then again, I sat and watched Jrue Holliday and Lou Williams light up the Bulls in this year's Playoffs while playing at the same time, and those two are fairly undersized. Whatever works at any given time.
The point is, with coaching and development, Teague may be useful to the Bulls next season. He's already following in Rose's footsteps as far as doing what he needs to do to prepare for life in the NBA. His mother tells me that Marquis' older brother Shawn Jr. is going to move in with the Bulls rookie in Chicago to help him adjust to being on his own in a league that can eat you alive if you don't know what you're doing. Much like Derrick's older brother Reggie Rose, Teague will have some one looking out for his best interests so he can focus on improving his game. Being from Indianapolis, Marquis looked up to Rose (Jeff used to play against Derrick in AAU ball) and I have a feeling Rose will embrace the role of mentor well.
While Carol Teague says watching Marquis and Jeff play against each other in the NBA will be "the greatest moment of all," I say watching Rose show Teague the ropes in Chicago may make for some pretty interesting moments as well.
So, keep expectations tempered of course, but don't count Teague out just yet.
My instinct tells me the kid can play.

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

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AP

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

Coming to you from Washington DC, we speak with Dylan Cease who competed in the MLB Futures Game along with his Birmingham Barons teammate Luis Basabe. 

Cease talks about the White Sox loaded farm system, what players have impressed him the most, where he gets his composure on the mound and more. 

Check out the entire podcast here:

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fernando Tatis, Jr. is one of the brightest future stars in the game. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball, one spot behind Eloy Jimenez.

He’s a five-tool shortstop slashing .289/.359/.509 at Double-A San Antonio with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 85 games. He’s bilingual, charismatic, the kind of guy who could be a face of a franchise.

And two years ago, he was property of the White Sox.

That was until they traded Tatis, who was only 17 at the time, to the Padres for James Shields. Tatis had yet to play a single game in the White Sox farm system, so it was tough to predict his future. However, speaking with Tatis before he competed in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday, the trade was definitely a shock to him.

“I was surprised. It was weird. For a kid that young to get traded, I had never heard of it. When they told me that, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’” Tatis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

No front office is going to bat 1.000, and when it comes to Tatis, this is a trade the White Sox would love to have back.

But first, more perspective.

In June of 2016, six months before the White Sox started their rebuild, they were 29-26, a game and a half out of first place. With Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and a healthy Carlos Rodon anchoring their rotation, they felt that with the addition of Shields, they could compete for the division.

Unfortunately, perception didn’t meet reality. Shields struggled on the mound with the White Sox in 2016 and 2017. His numbers have improved considerably, and he could return the White Sox another prospect if he’s dealt before the trade deadline. However, it’s unlikely they’ll receive a player with the potential that Tatis has right now.

“(The trade) was about getting a good starter so they could get to the playoffs. I understood. I know this game is a business,” Tatis said.

Before the trade occurred, Tatis looked into his future and saw a day when he’d be the White Sox starting shortstop.

“Yeah, that was my goal when (White Sox director of international scouting) Marco Paddy signed me,” Tatis said. “We talked about it when I started and that was the goal.”

His goal now is to make it to the major leagues with the Padres.

“I’m pretty close. I want to keep working. When they decide to call me up, I’ll be ready.”

As for his former team, he’s impressed with the talent the White Sox have assembled.

“They’re building something special. They have really good prospects. I wish the best for them.”

You can’t help but wonder what the rebuild would look like if Tatis was along for the ride. He’s the one who got away.