After Trade Deadline, Development is Main Objective For White Sox
White Sox player development will be key for sustained success in the future. South Siders have a bevy of talented young prospects after recent trades.
The most wonderful time of the year is just about over for the White Sox and general manager Rick Hahn. The offseason that will forever be remembered for the start of the all-promising rebuild and now the passing of the MLB Trade Deadline.
Starting this past offseason, the White Sox have traded Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle, Anthony Swarzak, Dan Jennings, and Melky Cabrera in exchange for 18 total prospects. In return the White Sox received seven of their top eight prospects, accumulating 13 of their top 30 prospects, the No. 1 farm system according to MLB Pipeline, and the No. 2 farm system according to Baseball America.
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The White Sox received the best prospect in baseball in Yoan Moncada, as well as five of MLB Pipeline’s top 45 prospects, eight total on both MLB Pipeline’s and Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects. At one point, the Sox even had 10 of the top 68 prospects in all of baseball.
Outside of those Top 100 lists, the White Sox have acquired what seems like an entire lineup and starting rotation of young studs and star power level talent. Players like C Zack Collins (2016 draft), 3B Jake Burger (2017 draft), 1B Casey Gillaspie (Jennings trade), OF Ryan Cordell (Swarzak trade), and RHP Ian Clarkin (Robertson/Frazier/Kahnle trade).
But now that the trade deadline has come and gone, the Sox are left with only prospects, journeymen, Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia. The Sox have sent their two aces, nearly their entire healthy bullpen and received an incredible return of prospects. The Sox remain with players who they feel can either help this rebuilding process with leadership and mentoring or will either be a part of the finished product. The rest of the players on the roster either did not have enough value to be dealt or are only on the team because they still need nine guys to play every day.
Most – if not all – of the pieces are in place for the future, so with all of the team’s assets shipped off for prospects and the trade deadline gone, the Sox are now dealt with the most important task of this rebuild: development.
With the ChiSox 26 games below .500 at 41-67, possibly more in the next upcoming weeks, their season is now officially over. Their season just about ended after the trade of four bullpen pitchers, but this is now actually a very crucial time for the Sox. There’s nothing left to play for except for the development of players they feel are Major League ready or close to it. And it was evident in their decision to call up Moncada, then Nicky Delmonico.
Moncada is still developing and now is the time for him to work out all the kinks in his game at the highest level. The same can be said for Tim Anderson, Matt Davidson, Delmonico and other young players. The more playing time they receive, the better feel they get for the game physically and mentally.
Most of the players the Sox are depending on to win games in the future are already on the team at every level of the organization. The rest of the impact players – veterans, big-time free agents – will be acquired some time later down the line. But as of right now, the Sox already have most of the talent they wanted and will need for the future.
It was one task to acquire them all, but it’s going to be another to develop them into players that can have a major impact at the Major League level. Scouts have seen that players like Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Michael Kopech have something special to their game. It’s up to the White Sox development and coaching staff to harness their skills into something more than just an average, every day major league talent. That’s if the Sox want to win more than just a few games over the next four seasons.
And because the Sox have dealt just about everyone with any trade value, this is just about what the Sox will look like for at least the next year. Hahn has done his job – fantastically, but now it’s up to the Sox Director of Player Development Chris Getz, Amateur Scouting Director Nick Hotstetler, and all the minor league managers from Single-A to Triple-A to get these players tactically, physically, and mentally ready for the majors.
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It’s very exciting for the organization, the players and the fans, but the success of the White Sox is not set in stone. There was a tremendous risk taken by the Sox but if they can bring out the best in these young players, it is going to be special. Nevertheless, all of the triumph and elation waiting for the organization in 2020 depends on the development that will take place the rest of this year and next year. Whether that’s on the Southside with the White Sox, with the Knights, the Barons, the Dash, the Intimidators or the Voyagers.