Podcast: 2018 Top White Sox Prospects

Podcast: 2018 Top White Sox Prospects

Presented by SeatGeek. Save $20 off your first order using promo code SOXMACHINE when buying tickets.

Guest: Jim Callis, MLB.com

On this week’s episode, we take a deep dive look at the Chicago White Sox top prospects and where they rank on major publications Top 100 lists. We have thoughts from ESPN’s Keith Law and an interview with Jim Callis from MLB.com. 

Plus, your questions in P.O. Sox and the continued off-season drama between players and the league as many free agents have yet to sign.

P.O. Sox question:

For our Patreon supporters, you get 16 additional minutes on the show as Jim Callis shares insight backstory on Chris Sale’s draft day. To get more from the podcast and Sox Machine in general, sign up to be a Patreon supporter at patreon.com/soxmachine.

To listen, click play below:

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Patrick Nolan
Editor
milkohol
Member
milkohol

Appreciate the Mountain Goats line in the preview.

https://youtu.be/1SMM04BFmYA

PauliePaulie
Member
PauliePaulie

The early returns from the Hostetler era have been very underwhelming.

Red_Hair_White_Sox
Member
Red_Hair_White_Sox

You’re judging prospects on a 2 year time line?  That is a recipe for dissapointment

Patrick Nolan
Editor

Well, he did say “early returns”.

Plus, it’s hard to argue that Collins or Burger look like inspired choices at this point.

Red_Hair_White_Sox
Member
Red_Hair_White_Sox

Early returns are nice, but expecting them is foolhardy.

Collins did not have an amazing season but he is still a catcher in AA who is underage for the level and had a few months of “crushing it”

Burger had loft issues to be sure, but of all issues this as proven to be quickly correctable over a large percentage of the league last year.

Not saying they are going to be anything or deserve to be on 100 lists, but dinging Hostetler for a lack of returns over 2 drafts in the back half of the top 10 is harsh

Reindeer Games
Member
Reindeer Games

I’m starting to get real tired of your fat kid slander, pnoles!

PauliePaulie
Member
PauliePaulie

RHWS

1) Early returns.

2) Hostetler was also responsible for all picks from ’15 not named Carson Fulmer.

35Shields
Member
35Shields

The earliest pick the Sox had in 2015 besides Fulmer was #112 overall.

I’d say Stephens, Seby and Mendick are pretty decent early returns for draft picks that usually amount to nothing.

Trooper Galactus
Member

If Seby has a repeat of his 2017 at a higher level, he’s liable to wind up in a lot of top-100 lists.  Especially if he looks like he can stick at catcher.

jorgefabregas
Member

He has Hansen and not much else. But Hansen was a good pull.

Edit: agree it’s early, but the fact that it’s mostly college guys means we shouldn’t expect too many radical transformations.

35Shields
Member
35Shields

Burdi was looking phenomenal before his injury

Smclean09
Member
Smclean09

I think he has leaned safe so far, but in a couple years if 2 of Collins, sheets or burger are contributing ML’ers, Hansen is in the middle of the rotation, and Burdi is a high leverage arm. You might have trouble finding more value from any other team’s first couple rounds that missed out on drafting in a top 2 or 3 spot.

Obviously there are some ifs there but at least some evals see potential in some/all of those guys. Its not like Rutherford looks a ton better a couple years later when they missed him for collins.

GrinnellSteve
Member
GrinnellSteve

People have been laughing at me for predicting a division title this year, but Callis hints that it wouldn’t be a complete shock. I think things are going to coalesce faster than almost anyone expects. Come September it will feel like it was obvious all along, and we all should have seen it.

Patrick Nolan
Editor

It would be a complete shock. It would be one of the single greatest shocks in baseball over the past 100 years.

One of the P.O. Sox questions above:

Who starts the opener? Shields, MiGo, or Lucas?

Think that says enough right there.

gooch
Member
gooch

And now Fangraphs Top 100 is out.  Nearly 3 in the top 20.

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2018-top-100-prospects/

LeftistLefty-Righty
Member
LeftistLefty-Righty

Now that is a weird list

Greg Nix
Editor

No kidding. I guess they must have weighted KATOH and scouting reports or something? Lots of re-ordering of the top pitching prospects, and I did a double-take when I got to Burdi.

35Shields
Member
35Shields

Like he points out in the intro paragraph, there’s not much difference when you get to the end of the list. So there’ll be plenty of variation at the end of these lists, even if the different publications have pretty similar evaluations for those players.

Glover Not a Fighter
Member
Glover Not a Fighter

Jim and Josh’s whole “collusion-with-no-evidence” conspiracy theories are just the latest of insipid, I-read-Howard-Zinn socialism.

Come on guys–you’re better than that. The same ownership group/apparatus that cannot enforce the most minor of speed-up the game rules and refuses (in the case of the Steinbrenner and Angelos dynamic) to trade players to one another got together to ensure reduced free agent signings?! This is an overvalued (from the agent/player perspective) class that comes just before perhaps the greatest free agent class–EVER!

Reindeer Games
Member
Reindeer Games

I’ll be sure to forward your concerns to them at our next “The good guys actually wear red” communist baseball meeting.

LeftistLefty-Righty
Member
LeftistLefty-Righty

Still haven’t gotten my invite to one of those yet

Glover Not a Fighter
Member
Glover Not a Fighter

I do admit to liking the red-pinstripe throwbacks from a few years’ back… Sale didn’t eviscerate them either. Bonus.

MrTopaz
Member
MrTopaz

While I’m less inclined to buy the collusion argument than some, this is nonsense. Baseball enjoys antitrust exemptions, and the most recent CBA gives the owners more or less free rein to do what would’ve required collusion in a more evenly balanced labor environment. That’s not the free market at work. Or, it is, but not the sort of free market you want to be subjected to. It’s not pop-socialism to say that the situation is f-ed up, and the players are getting screwed.

Glover Not a Fighter
Member
Glover Not a Fighter

MLB’s anti-trust exemption has absolutely no impact on the intra-league valuation of free agents. Baseball’s exclusion from (utterly inane and ineffective) anti-trust legislation and regs only gives an albeit unfair advantage to MLB as a combination of sorts preventing competing leagues.

MrTopaz
Member
MrTopaz

The anti-trust rules effect the owners in as much as it helps keep them in an advantageous position in overall labor relations. And I don’t have a problem with you not being convinced by collusion arguments, given I’m not totally sold on them myself. It’s the Zinn comment’s implication that anyone who looks at this aberrant offseason and thinks “collusion” must be doing so out of some under-grad-dorm-room level of naïveté that I find objectionable.

Glover Not a Fighter
Member
Glover Not a Fighter

Again, your argument would only apply if the players had some extra, i.e. other, league recourse.

Also, you should not be convinced of collusion because aside from fanciful whims, there’s no evidence of it.

Don’t be so easily offended.

MrTopaz
Member
MrTopaz

Why don’t players have another league?

Patrick Nolan
Editor

Eric Hosmer’s apparent demands aren’t doing the standstill any favors.

There’s enough factors at work here that the standstill could be easily justified even without any sort of collusion on the part of owners.

The other reason I’m not convinced on collusion is that Lorenzo Cain did pretty well for himself not too long ago, so if something like that really was going on, there wouldn’t be any reason for an exception to be made for Lorenzo Cain.

Reindeer Games
Member
Reindeer Games

That’s it guys.  Pnoles is officially kicked out of the communist baseball club.  Out him to Brandon McCarthy.

lil jimmy
Member
lil jimmy

Next thing you know, he will dub this the “Cain Mutiny” If he starts ranting about strawberries, he gets the boot.

Glover Not a Fighter
Member
Glover Not a Fighter

Also, Tony Clark and aggrieved agents can shout and bluster all they want: If there is labor unrest–which I doubt will occur even in 2021 after $400 million contracts are given out–the fans will blame the players.

Glover Not a Fighter
Member
Glover Not a Fighter
35Shields
Member
35Shields

I think this year’s market is a combination of things:

– A weak free agent class (Fivethirtyeight calculated that this is the worst FA class since at least 2007)

– The headliners of that weak free agent class making unrealistic demands despite their significant flaws (Darvish’s injury history, Arrieta’s declining velo, Hosmer being replacement level every other year)

– Shifting age curves and a class of GMs that are conscious of this

– A league where most of the rich teams have already locked up their divisions and the poor teams are rebuilding

– The new luxury tax penalties

– Potentially the greatest FA class of all time next year

Any thoughts on other causes or what the order of importance for these would be?

lil jimmy
Member
lil jimmy

Even a player like Todd Frazier, who is caught in this slow FA market has banked over 26 million.

A better way to make the owners share is for the Union to reach down to the developing players. Use some of the TV money, branding dollars.

Players on the 40 man do OK, the rest are semi- slaves. Subsidize players 100 deep. Not on the 40, you still get full family insurance, a $401 K. Maybe 4000 per year plus full matching. Housing help. A basic year round weekly pay.

If the Union stands up for those guys, verses ignoring them. Increase your numbers, and raise the tide for all boats.

Patrick Nolan
Editor

I’m in agreement with that. The minor leaguers are getting the worst of the MLB compensation structure. Not to mention, there could be real baseball reasons for improving their quality of life, so it might be a positive EV investment.

PauliePaulie
Member
PauliePaulie

Speaking of, Mets 2/17.

35Shields
Member
35Shields

Now that’s one of the first deals that I’ve felt is completely insane. Dude’s projected to put up like 3 WAR this year. That’s worth more than $17m alone

Trooper Galactus
Member

I thought he’d get at least 3/$36.

mikeyb
Member
mikeyb

None of this really matters too much in the long-run though; the number of teams who have no interest in competing is going to absolutely decimate the casual MLB fanbase. If you have half your league intentionally trying to lose, it’s going to be bad for the game. Owners should really be thinking about the long-term support for a game that is already lagging behind NFL and NBA in terms of growing fan support.

Greg Nix
Editor

Definitely in favor of higher minimums, especially for minor leaguers.

I haven’t seen much discussion around restricted free agency, which may be a good compromise. Open players up to the market after year three or four, set a max length and some kind of salary scale, and give their original clubs the right to match any offer within those constraints.

I think this is probably the best (maybe only good) thing about the NBA’s labor agreement, as it walks the line between players getting paid close to why they’re worth while allowing small market clubs to keep their best guys.

Trooper Galactus
Member

Lots of interesting ideas bandied about here.  Ones I would like to see the MLBPA fighting for in the next CBA:

1 – Higher minimum salary; double what it is now.  Given the value of every team and every game, no reason even the 25th man on a roster shouldn’t be making a million for a season.  This would cost most clubs maybe $10-15 million at most, and that’s generally the ones tanking and filling their rosters with young players.

2 -Fewer control years with restricted free agency.  Mitigates the potential damage to smaller market teams while still allowing players to cash in on their prime years.  gnix’s suggestion of limitations on contract length/terms might be a concession they have to make to ownership to get it done.

3 – Bring the minor league players into the MLBPA fold.  The majority of minor leaguers are being paid peanuts and don’t have big signing bonuses to tide them or their families over.  I’ve never understood the benefit of forcing prized young assets to scrape by and potentially live unhealthy lifestyles.  This should be a win for both parties, really.

Lurker Laura
Member
Lurker Laura

I’ve really enjoyed this thread. Some great ideas throughout on how to best serve the players and the game. And even the economic theory and political philosophy digressions were entertaining. (Mostly because it wasn’t me arguing with my in-laws.)