Top 10 prospects (AL Central)


I've once again expanded my ranking of the top 10 prospects in each organization. The criteria for organizing these lists are the same as ever, but I've included a little more explanation of the state of the system, and discuss any prospects (top 10 and beyond) who might help the major league team this year.

In addition to at least one "sleeper" prospect for each organization, I've also identified one player with each club whose prospect stock has taken a serious hit in the past year, and attempted to explain why.

As with the top 100, I use the 20-80 scouting scale to describe players' tools.



Chicago White Sox
Org rank: 27

Farm system overview

Although its overall rank is low, the White Sox's system is in the best shape of its life -- or at least since I started compiling these rankings. They've taken a more open approach to the draft recently, mixing in more high-ceiling candidates early without eschewing probability, and finding some athletes on whom they could gamble after the first few rounds.

Courtney Hawkins, their first-rounder two years ago, was pushed too aggressively to high Class A and struggled to make contact, but at 19 he was just too young and raw for that level, and the tools that made him a top 100 prospect before 2013 -- the power, the arm, the speed -- are all still there. Repeating the Carolina League won't be the worst thing in the world for him, and he'll need to focus on using the whole field and being less pull-conscious.

Micah Johnson opened a lot of eyes in the Arizona Fall League with his speed, although he'll need a lot of work at second and may end up in center field. Tim Anderson was the team's first-round pick in 2013, and their third-rounder, Andrew Mitchell, was misused at TCU as a reliever, but projects as a starter with a possible three- or four-pitch mix. Their second-rounder, right-hander Tyler Danish, has a brutal arm action, but what comes out is mid-90s velocity and he could move quickly as a reliever. (I didn't, and still don't, like Chris Sale's arm action, but the White Sox have done pretty well with that one.)

The No. 11 prospect in the system is Scott Snodgress, a left-handed starter whose results in the rotation haven't been good enough to keep him there, but who has the potential three-pitch arsenal to be a reliever who's more than just a one-batter specialist.

2014 impact

Johnson will be one of the top rookies in the American League in 2014, with a rotation spot in hand and the body and delivery to make 30-plus starts at a league-average level. Matt Davidson appears to be in line for the everyday third-base job, a potential .250-260 hitter this year with 15-20 homers and plenty of doubles.

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