|Bacon prepares for a helmet to the Bits|
Generally, whenever some publication like Baseball America comes out and ranks Major League teams by the strength of their farm systems, the White Sox are seldom near the top of the list. This is what tends to happen when, by and large, your franchise has been relatively successful for most of the last 20 years and you aren't drafting in the top ten every year.
There's a reason that teams like Tampa Bay and Kansas City are often home to some of the best farm systems in the league, and it's because they've had plenty of chances to draft top players.
Still, Kenny Williams has caught a lot of crap for the Sox lack of prospects in recent years, and some of it is deserved and some of it isn't. Kenny's modus operandi seems to be to browse the scrap heap of failed top picks from other franchises and try to fix them.
Names like Carlos Quentin, Matt Thornton and Phil Humber come to mind.
There is some good news for Kenny, though, as Mark Gonzalez found one anonymous scout who likes what he's done.
The scout, who has no ties to the Sox, pointed out that the Sox’s drafts haven’t been that terrible. In fact, he praises them for the fact that 2008 first-round pick Gordon Beckham and 2010 first pick Chris Sale reached the majors in less than one year after they signed out of college.
“And don’t forget the San Diego State kid,” said the scout, referring to reliever Addison Reed, who advanced from Class-A to the majors in 2011 after being selected in the third round of the 2010 draft by the Sox.
“They’re doing a lot better than we’re doing,” said the scout, no fan of his own scouting director.And it's true, the White Sox don't get enough credit for the picks of Beckham and Sale. Yes, Beckham has not lived up to the performance of his first season in Chicago, but there's still plenty of time for him to get his swing back, and he's been fantastic at second base.
Then there's Chris Sale, and I don't think any of us have any complaints about what he's done.
If Sale and Beckham were players that weren't ready for the Majors so quickly, and were still working their way through the minors, the Sox farm system would look a lot better.
Throw in the fact that the Sox also signed guys like Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo, and I do feel like the scouting department of the White Sox isn't always evaluated fairly.
Where I feel like Kenny makes the mistakes that hurt this team more than anything is his high-priced risks. Both Alex Rios and Jake Peavy have blown up in his face so far, and they're taking up a very large part of the payroll. I'm hoping Adam Dunn rebounds next season and doesn't join that group.