FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. That’s a bit better than expected for the worst-rated system. Especially at the top there are some useful parts.

    It seems better than other recent-vintage bottom-dwellers, but I may be mis-remembering.

    Comment by Eric — November 5, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

  2. A lot of their ranking is based on the lack of depth in the system… there are definitely some interesting player. I like Petricka’s potential and have really warmed on Escobar.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — November 5, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

  3. Thanks for responding. That makes sense. It already seems they fall off a bit in the lower half of the *top* ten.

    How would you compare this group to other 30th ranked organizations of recent years? This group seems a little better to me (I’m a White Sox dis-liker, so I won’t be broken-hearted if my recollection is wrong).

    Comment by Eric — November 5, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

  4. Sorry if this has been hashed out in some other comment string, but I find the “peak WAR” and “likelihood to reach” stats sort of confusing. If that is the absolute peak WAR you’d ever expect from someone, wouldn’t by definition there be a very small chance that they’d make it? That is, if there’s something like a 50% chance they’ll reach their “peak WAR”, isn’t there some smaller chance that they’ll be even better?

    It seems by varying the chance they’ll acheive their peak, you’re redefining what the “peak” is for each player. Why not just make the peak, say, 50% likely for each player so the standard of comparison is the same?

    Comment by Luke in MN — November 5, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

  5. Maybe a “likely average WAR in their prime” stat would be even easier to understand. Just a thought.

    Comment by Luke in MN — November 5, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

  6. I’m dissappointed but not surprised to find the White Sox sitting dead last. People want to get rid of KW for the trades he makes but they really don’t bother me. He rarely gives away anything useful and often picks up servicable or better players.

    If you are going to make an argument to fire Kenny, the minor league system si the one to make. The top ain’t so great and the depth is just awful.

    Comment by MikeS — November 5, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

  7. No mention of Leesman who was covered by the Chicago Tribune/ recently. But maybe the White Sox are just trying to boost his trade value.,0,4617074.story

    Comment by James — November 5, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

  8. Leesman came in around 11 or 12 on my mock list and was briefly considered for the Top 10.

    Comment by marc hulet — November 5, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

  9. The whole Peak WAR thing is a bit silly.

    Comment by Max — November 5, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

  10. Their system will never be deep, but their system is one of the most productive ones in the majors. They seem to graduate a starting caliber player every year such as Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham, Viciedo, and Sale just the last couple of years. They do trade some of their young players for more established ones, but they also grab guys like Danks, Jenks, Floyd, and Jackson in trades for prospects.

    What I’m trying to say is that KW is unfairly criticized for a system that does what systems are supposed to do, HELP THE BIG LEAGUE TEAM.

    Comment by CesarV — November 5, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

  11. It’s clear that for the Sox to be a constant threat to contend for the AL pennant (which is what I expect of them year in and year out, while probably unrealistic) they have to continue to have an influx of low-cost, serviceable players to complement the solid core pieces they have. We’ve seen this improve in recent years, with Sale and Beckham. I know many detractors will say Beckham is not a top level young talent based on his poor 2010 season, I however believe he is still a guy capable of a .350 wOBA and solid defense at 2B. My hope is Mitchell can recover from his injury and continue to develop his raw skills. There is some hope, but overall the depth has to be improved.

    Comment by Sox27 — November 5, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

  12. On Phegley, you say, “the probability of remission is estimated at 20-40%.” Do you indeed mean *remission* there — which is to say, that the probability of his condition going away is just 20-40% — or do you mean *recurrence* — i.e., that there’s an estimated 20-40% chance that his disease will come back?

    Comment by The Ancient Mariner — November 6, 2010 @ 12:28 am

  13. one issue with leesman, who is indeed a favorite within the organization, is his fastball. sure, we saw it get into the mid-90s in spring training out of the bullpen like the article says. but he’s pitching in the AFL right now, also out of the bullpen, and he’s only occasionally getting to 91 and more often sits at 88-89. which is the reality going forward? lefties who barely crack 90 don’t make good bullpen arms. and there’s serious questions about his ability to stick as a starter.

    Comment by larry — November 6, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

  14. I personally like the concept of a peak WAR. It is useful to know what an informed person think a prospects ceiling is.

    On the other hand, not that I think it is a poor idea, but I am having problems wrapping my head around the percentage to reach the peak WAR. As said earlier, it seems like a percentage for a prospect to reach their ceiling should be much lower.

    Comment by Ben — November 7, 2010 @ 12:21 am

  15. We’re definitely still feeling out the WAR peak/likelihood to reach, etc. so welcome feedback.

    As for Phegley, I did in fact mean remission. From what I’ve read, and according to a lengthy study on the disease, it’s not likely to go away altogether.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — November 7, 2010 @ 9:56 am

  16. “What I’m trying to say is that KW is unfairly criticized for a system that does what systems are supposed to do, HELP THE BIG LEAGUE TEAM.”

    These pieces are slowly becoming WHAT’S LEFT OF MOST OF THE BIG LEAGUE TEAM. While Kenny has kept the team in contention over the last several years, he has done this at the ultimate cost of a long term future.

    Hopes of being a competitive organization post 2013 seem grim, and this should be the last year of working to assemble a “highly” competitive ball club. Although the starting rotation is full and nicely talented going into the 2011 season, being able to save its core while transitioning through the loss of each over the next 3 years is very slim. It looks like the W Sox missed the boat for extending E Jackson (FA 2011) and J Danks (FA 2013). Chris Sale is really all they have at this moment as a replacement. With E Jackson and Buehrle (FA 2011) maybe heading out as early as July, I hope Sale starts the year as a SP in the minors, even if Gavin Floyd (FA 2013) is traded away for a hitter before the start of the season. I imagine Peavy (FA 2013?) will demand to be shipped out, if the W Sox loose their competitive edge.

    While there are definitely players that appear to be ready to slide in and fill holes throughout the lineup, expecting all, if any to be prepared enough to produce at a playoff contending caliber at this point is unrealistic. None of the hitting prospects seem to be the type guys you can count on building a future lineup with unless you can get your hands on at least a long-term legitimate #3 type hitter to balance expectations. For 2011 and on your legitimate regulars might be…

    2B Gordon Beckham
    SS Alexi Ramirez (FA 2014?)
    3B Brent Morel
    LF Jared Mitchell (still a ways away)
    RF Alex Rios (FA 2015?)
    DH Carlos Quentin (FA 2013) / Dayan Viciedo / Tyler Flowers

    (I owuld be surprised to see the W Sox start a rookie behind the plate for 2011 with this particular starting rotation unless it’s the only option)

    Kenny may rip apart the MILB system (again) if he wants to assemble a lineup that can score just enough to make one last run at a WS championship, and I think he’ll be tempted to go all in (just as he typically does). Either way, I can’t see anything but a loose loose situation. The W Sox have missed out time and time again with their 1st and 2nd round amateur draft selections, and the resulting emptiness may start showing it’s face as early as May-July of 2011.

    One thing is for sure… there’s no way of knowing what Kenny will do. He always seems to surprise with trades and under the radar signings that get lots of production out of players and prospects that have fallen out of favor with other organizations. But as the organization’s overall value keeps declining, sooner or later the W Sox be left with pieces that aren’t enough to make the usual Kenny Williams-esque recovery.

    Comment by baty — November 7, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

  17. True, KW hasnt really given up any prospects that have turned out to be studs in his deals, although for about 6 months it looked like he screwed the pooch on Chris Young, Gio Gonzalez seems to be looking ok, and the Jackson/Hudson deal is a head scratcher.

    The problem I have is that he makes too many deals. When you do that, you eventually make a deal that gets you hamstrung when the player gets hurt and you have to pay him anyway (peavy) or you just give up too many trade chips for too little in return (peavy, pierre). Maybe none of the young players he gave will turn out to be any good, but they were obviously worth something in a trade which could have been spent in better ways. Now that the farm is pretty bare, you are going to start to see more “lesser of two evil” calls being made like what we are likely to see when KW has to decide between an old and declining AJ or a young and stock dropping prospect in Tyler Flowers.

    Comment by max 2 — November 8, 2010 @ 9:33 am

  18. This looks to be one of my places to comment. White Sox are my adopted mistress to my baseball wife who treats me cruelly The Mets. Simlarities are profound aren’t they? Also have effection for the Toronto Blue Jays but they’re Canadian so they can’t quite crack the Top 2.

    Anyway back on task. There seems to be a trend of rushing top prospect Starters to the Majors and stashing them in the bullpen. This is seen in Chris Sale. Let him develop his 3rd pitch in the minors. Getting a relief pitcher to catch lighting in a bottle is a lot easier than a starter. Most great relievers are failed starters anyway. Hope the White Sox let Sale develop for at least half a season in AAA. Mitchell and Robinson are both very raw

    Kenny Williams is a more successful GM version of Jeff Francoeur. Nice guy, means well but doesn’t get the entire concept of building a team for the short term and long term. Got to give him props for aggressiveness though.

    Comment by Roger A — November 8, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  19. I think that a “trend” would be illustrated by more than one example. Sale making the ML roster was part of his signing agreement, and a large part of how the WSox were able to “steal” him at 17, and sign him relatively cheaply.

    From all I’ve read, the WSox will give him every opportunity to develop as a starter, and he might even make it back to the majors this season, although, if they resign sweaty Freddie, or reasonable facsimile, he could go to spring of 2012.

    Comment by johng — November 9, 2010 @ 11:03 am

  20. Marc,

    A lot of fans and bloggers put a lot of emphasis on the minor league system but you should do a study on how much it really matters. A couple things you could measure are:

    1. Look at the top 10 teams in 2010 and see what percentage of their players came up through their own minor league system.

    2. Look at the top minor league system 4,5,6 years ago. Are those same teams tops at the major league level today? If not, than who cares how good their minor league system is.

    3. Look at the top 100 prospects over the past 6 years. What percentage of those players are on a major league roster? What percentage of those players had a positive WAR in 2010? What percentage of those players made the all star team?

    I think it’s good to have a productive minor league system but it doesn’t necessarily translate to success later at the major league level.

    Kenny Williams might not be able to develop talent but he sure can scout it from other teams (Jenks, Thornton, Floyd, Danks, Quentin, Rios).

    Comment by striker — December 8, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

  21. “lefties who barely crack 90 don’t make good bullpen arms. and there’s serious questions about his ability to stick as a starter”

    God that makes me appreciate what Mark Beuhrle has somehow done over his career.

    Comment by Kris — October 26, 2011 @ 1:39 am

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