When play begins in the Arizona Fall League tomorrow there will be quite a few White Sox prospects on the roster of the Mesa Solar Sox. The team as a whole looks like it could be a good one but Sox fans know that players who look good on paper and players who play well are two different things. *coughAlexRioscough* *coughAdamDunncough*
23-year-old outfielder Brandon Short is a promising kid to say the least. Short hit .263 in one hundred thirty games for double-A Birmingham, driving in sixty runs with thirteen homers. In three hundred ninety-eight career minor league games, having played all three outfield positions, Short has only committed four errors. If he and Jared Mitchell pan out to their expectations we should have a good future outfield on our hands. I wouldn’t have any problem with a Mitchell-Short-Danks outfield a few years down the road. Short is definitely a player to circle on your list of prospects to watch in the AFL.
The Sox are sending a pair of catching prospects, 23-year-old Josh Phegley and 22-year-old Michael Blanke. Phegley split time between double- and triple-A, playing a total of one hundred sixteen games. With only nine home runs in four hundred eighty-four plate appearances he isn’t much of a power threat. With guys like Cole Armstrong and Tyler Flowers in our organization it’s easy to see why Phegley has been overlooked. Michael Blanke was at low- and high-A for a total of one hundred fifteen games, batting .246 with nine home runs and forty-six runs batted in. He committed twelve errors in sixty-seven games behind the plate. Minnesota catching prospect Chris Herrmann should get most of the playing time.
Rounding out the Sox position players is 22-year-old shortstop Tyler Saladino. The 5’11″, 180-pound righty spent one hundred two games at high-A Winston-Salem and played well. Tyler posted a .270 batting average with sixteen home runs and fifty-five runs batted in. With one hundred seven hits and ffty-one walks his .363 on-base percentage is the best amongst the kids we’re sending to the AFL. The fact that Saladino was at high-A this past season tells us that he still has a lot of developing to do before he becomes somebody to look at, but stats like these are impressive for a player at that level.
We’ll be keeping an eye on Short, Blanke, Phegley, Saladino, and the rest of the Mesa Solar Sox over the next month of Arizona Fall League baseball.