Chicago White Sox Hitting Prospects: Two Toolsy Center Fielders in ChiSox Future


Seedlings to Stars heads to Chicago to continue our march through the 2012 minor-league “STAT-Scans” of each organization.  Today, it’s a look at the results of future South-Side heroes with the White Sox.

Each player is assigned a “Plate Skills Index,” which is based on the ability to “win plate appearances” (described in detail here), a “Production Index,” based on the ability to produce offense (described in detail here), and a “Composite Index,” which is a combination of the two.  Additional detail on “the three numbers,” with some examples, can be found here.

High Alert

Trayce Thompson

hopes to man center field for the Pale Hose in the near future. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Trayce Thompson, CF (S2S Top 115 #82) … Age: 21, Level: High-A, AA, AAA

Plate Skills: 79  Production: 101  Composite: 80

Thompson fits into our “beware of sluggers with poor plate skills” rule, except … he’s a center fielder, which makes a huge difference, and he had 21 steals and just 3 caught-stealing.   So Thompson brings a lot more to the table than a cludgy corner guy.  And, by the end of the year he was all the way up at AAA (he went 3-for-18 in six games), which was quite a climb for a 21-year-old.

That being said, it’s hard for any hitter to overcome a28.2% strikeout rate, so we’ll see.

On the Radar

Marcus Semien, SS/2b … Age: 21, Level: High-A

Plate Skills: 110  Production: 110  Composite: 120

As the numbers bear out, Semien had the best all-around season of any White Sox hitting prospect.  He had 31 doubles, 14 HR and 55 walks for a .273/.362/.471 line.  Reportedly, his defense is steady.  A middle infielder with a strong all-around bat is an extremely solid bet.

Andy Wilkins, 1b … Age: 23, Level: AA

Plate Skills: 122  Production: 109  Composite: 131

Lefty Wilkins was a 5th-round pick out of Arkansas in 2010.  He hasn’t raced up the ladder like some college hitters do, so he’s kind of an iffy prospect, but he collects extra-base hits and walks, and our system rewards that.

Distant Early Warning

Courtney Hawkins, CF (S2S Top 115 #52) … Age: 18, Level: Rookie, Low-A, High-A

Plate Skills: 56  Production: 94  Composite: 50

Well, here’s your prototype of the “raw, toolsy” guy.  He was pushed right on up the ladder (all the way to High-A at 18), and he produced (.480 overall SLG), but he was quite averse to taking bases on balls (thus the low Plate Skills score).  The upside, however, could be huge.

On the Whole

Thompson and Hawkins give the Pale Hose two very intriguing center fielders who have demonstrated major upside, but also with some “red flags.”  Outside of those two, however, the system is pretty thin, with only Semien putting up the kind of statistics that jump off the page.