The White Sox signed Alex Liddi, the first born and bred Italian to reach the majors. As larry of South Side Sox noted earlier today, while there are no reported terms as of yet, the 25 year-old Liddi would need to be placed on the 40-man roster to have protection from the Rule 5 draft.
All Liddi has gotten in the majors is 188 plate appearances over three seasons, where he’s posted a .208/.266/.370 triple-slash with the Mariners. That line indicates some interesting power, especially consider he’s been a right-handed hitter playing in Safeco Field, but it doesn’t include the 38.8% strikeout rate that has discouraged longer looks.
Beyond it simply never being a bad idea to have some MLB-talent stalking around in Triple-A, the primary reason to be intrigued by Liddi is that he’s a right-handed adult male who has familiarity with third base. He doesn’t play a particularly well-regarded third base, but a career 96 wRC+ against left-handed pitching means he could be a part of blah-hitting third base platoon with Conor Gillaspie.
If he ever got the chance.
Jeff Keppinger has two years left on his contract and a virtual vice grip on this role.
Oh, this again
After watching him annihilate younger pitchers for a 1.005 OPS in all of 20 games in the Arizona Fall League and holding that strikeout rate just under 20% while doing it, Buddy Bell is back on the Jared Mitchell bandwagon!
Just kidding y’all, he was hiding in one of the overhead bins the last time the wagon was swept for survivors.
“There’s a shot for him to possibly help us in the big leagues next year at some point,” Bell said. “I don’t know if we would have felt that had he just gone home.”
25 year-old Jared Mitchell annihilating the Arizona Fall League is certainly better than him not annihilating the Arizona Fall League, or posting a 40% strikeout rate, or getting injured, but this small sample dominance in a crazy offensive environment against younger competition checks all the boxes for misleading prospect data.
Until Mitchell can post a sub-25% strikeout rate in Double-A, or come close to holding his own in Triple-A, this is not a conversation worth having.
BPro Top-10 list notes
Jason Parks & Co. made a lot of noise this year when Zach Mortimer called Courtney Hawkins an org-player midway through his nightmarish 2013 season. The fully-formed top-10 list hit the internet today, and despite the expected repeated implications that full frontal male nudity is integral to both playing and analyzing baseball, this was an production lacking in any message board-rant fodder.
It’s behind a paywall, but here are some takeaways:
-Erik Johnson, being ticketed for a major league rotation 2014, is obviously the top prospect, with his ceiling being raised to ‘No. 3 starter’ after being tagged as a No. 4 before his terrific 2013.
-The BPro crew is especially high on shortstop Tim Anderson, with surprisingly generous praise for his potential to hit for both power and average, while acknowledging the long developmental path for both.
-Sympathy after poor 2013 campaigns is in ample supply for both Hawkins and Carlos Sanchez as both were playing above their heads against older competition. Hawkins’ potential to bust is clear, but is still given credit for being a 20 year-old with tremendous raw power. Sanchez is seen as an eventual major leaguer, even if it winds up that he’s a marginal one.
-Parks openly loves the right-handed side-arming Tyler Danish, while opening conceding that it may be for make-up reasons rather than his raw stuff’s capabilities.
-RHP Francellis Montas snuck into the top-10. Pay attention to those major trade throw-ins.
In sum, the list is filled with guys with potential to be major league regulars, albeit average ones, when it previously was filled with reserves and relievers. There need to be more future stars, but this is better. Things get better.
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan