White Sox: Top 5 international signings in the amateur draft era

Alexei Ramirez, L, and Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Alexei Ramirez, L, and Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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White Sox
Magglio Ordonez of the Chicago White Sox (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

. RF. Chicago White Sox. Magglio Ordonez. 1. player. 128

Like teammate Carlos Lee, Magglio Ordonez just missed out on the World Series thrills in 2005, having left the team as a free agent after an injury-shortened 2004 campaign.

Ordonez signed with the Chicago White Sox as a 17-year-old in May 1991 and ground out five seasons in the minors before reading the big leagues in late August 1997. He started hitting almost immediately and kept right on hitting through eight seasons on the South Side.

The right-handed slugger posted four straight 30-homer seasons from 1999-2002 and just missed a fifth with 29 long bombs in 2003. He was also picked for four All-Star games during that span and, before his knees began to bother him, Ordonez stole 25 bases in 2001.

Ordonez never hit less than .282 with the White Sox, that coming in his official rookie season of 1998 before he embarked on a string of five straight seasons hitting .300 or better.

He became a free agent after the 2004 season and Chicago opted to let him walk after a knee injury limited him to just 52 games. It seemed like a good move at first, as injuries limited Ordonez to just 82 games in 2005, but he put together two more All-Star level seasons for the Detroit Tigers in 2006 and 2007.

In the latter of those seasons, Ordonez led the AL with a .363 average and 54 doubles while posting a career-high 139 RBI.

In eight seasons with the White Sox, Ordonez slashed .307/.364/.525 in 1,001 games, with 187 home runs, 703 RBI and just 431 strikeouts in 4,214 plate appearances. He also drew 333 walks and stole 82 bases.

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Ordonez spent seven seasons with the Tigers before retiring at age 37 following the 2011 season.