Chicago White Sox Top 10 Prospects
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Moderator: Phil Rogers will begin taking your questions at 4 p.m. ET

 Q:  Randar from Chicago asks:
Phil, how are you doing? Why was Jon Rauch left off this list? Was this politics? I can't see ranking extremely unpolished guys like Chris Young and a 35 year old Japanese closer past his prime ahead of the former MLPOY, injury or not, just the chance of a return to health is enough in my opinion...
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hey, everybody. Hello from snowy Naperville. Thanks for checking this out. I'm getting lots of Jon Rauch questions, so I'll take the first from a whitesoxinteractive.com regular and then see where to go from there. Rauch hasn't fallen off the map but he has gone backward. I thought he should have been up last year but he seems to have fallen out of favor a little with the Sox. I think he's going to be a big-leaguer but I'm not sure he can have the impact. Young is a high-ceiling guy and on this list we tend to look to high ceilings. As for Takatsu, that's a special case. Because he's a sure big-leaguer, he seemed to fit in the top 10 somewhere.

 Q:  John from Memphis, Tenn asks:
A look at the statistics last year for Jeremy Reed show everything one would ever dream about for a leadoff hitter- High average, wonderful batting eye, speed and some pop. In other words, Johnny Damon if Damon developed as one would have hoped for. Is he truly the idea leadoff hitter and could one expect .300+, more walks than K's and 40+ steals in the majors?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello John. Reed may be a leadoff type guy but I wouldn't rule out him hitting lower in the order. He'll develop some more power and probably won't steal as many bases as he gets older. He's not a blazer but he is aggressive in every phase of the game. That's rare in a guy who also has strike-zone judgment. To me, he's like a young Rafael Palmeiro, maybe. He might not hit .300 as a rookie but his career average could be in that neighborhood.

 Q:  Phillip from Greenville, SC asks:
Do you see the Sox trading some of their centerfield prospects? Would Borchard have a better chance somewhere else?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello Phillip. Nice name. I don't see the Sox trading their center fielders. Don't forget that Borchard and Reed -- for that matter -- might be better off on the outfield corners. I don't think Borchard needs a change of scenery. I think he needs to give himself a fresh start and stop putting so pressure on himself. I'd look for him to reassert himself this season. At some point the White Sox might have to say this is a guy who is going to strike out a lot, but I've seen him take over games. I think he can be a productive player.

 Q:  Brendan from Boston asks:
Questions on 2 prospects. First, how much do you think having the winteer off will help Arnie Munoz? Also, what MLB CFer would Reed best compare to and where do his tools ranks on the 20-80 scouting scale? I've heard him described as not being 'Toolsy' but obviously he's doing something right.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello Brendan. Munoz did not take the whole winter off but he did pitch a lot less than last winter, when he virtually went from the Caribbean World Series to Tucson. There's no question the workload limited his effectiveness. He wasn't himself until June, maybe, and put up big numbers in the second half. He should be sharper this spring than he was in his two years in Jerry Manuel's camp. I'm not a scout, I'd guess Reed was probably 55-60 across the board in just about everything except hitting for average, where he's 70. He is a guy who seems to know how to use his skills.

 Q:  Kris from Burlington asks:
Hi Phil, with only Rowand,Harris and Borchard to beat out do you think Jeremy Reed has a legitimate shot to win the Centerfield job and how high is management on Reed? Thanks
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I'll take another Reed question because Kris was direct. I'll say this -- it's not Kenny Williams' plan to have Reed make the team this spring but it cannot be ruled out. It's Rowand's job to lose but Reed is almost certain to open eyes, assuming he is not bothered by the wrist he injured playing for Team USA.

 Q:  JP Drevline from Sheboygan Falls, WI asks:
When do you see the Sox calling up Kris Honel? 2005? That kid hasn't missed a beat from Providence HS to the minors. Thanks.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: It's hard to say when the Sox will call up Honel but he's making steady progress, no doubt. He's gone a step at a time, pulling Ryan Wing along with him. Both will start this year at Birmingham. The White Sox have called up starts from Birmingham before, so it's not out of the question that Honel or Wing could arrive in 2004. I'd say '05 is a lock for both if they're healthy.

 Q:  RJB from Chicago asks:
Phil, were Brandon McCarthy or Robert Valido bumped from the top 10 to slide Takatsu in there? What are your feelings on those 2 prospects? I heard from opposing players that Valido is the real deal.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I'd have to give RJB the prize, if I had one. Indeed, McCarthy was the poor guy who got bumped because of Takatsu. I felt rotten about that. There's a big difference between 10 and 11 in these rankings, in terms of exposure. Valido is another guy who was on the cusp of the top 10. I also had Brian Miller in the 10th spot at one time. Scouts seem to think he has a higher ceiling than McCarthy but I'm impressed by a guy who has led his league in innings and strikeouts two years in a row. On Valido, I've heard nothing but good things on him. He wouldn't have lasted as long as he did in the draft if other teams had projected him to hit like he did at Bristol. He looks like a complete player.

 Q:  Richard Smiley from Chicago, IL asks:
Phil -- Thanks for doing this chat! This fall the White Sox sent Ryan Hankins to the AFL in an atempt to convert him to a catcher? How successful was that experiment?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I think the Hankins experiment would be regarded as a semi-success, and I'd look for him to share the catching load at Charlotte. It could be his only way to the big leagues because he may not hit enough to make it as a corner infielder. Everybody is looking for versatile players.

 Q:  Dave from Soxville, Wis. asks:
I notice Enemencio Pacheco did not make your list despite his numbers last year. How do the Sox view him?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: First off, I can't believe the Rockies gave the Sox an arm like this for two months of Sandy Alomar Jr. That was a complete steal. The Sox are intrigued by Pacheco but want to see him show them that he can repeat the control he had at Birmingham. He falls somewhere around 15 on the final list of Sox prospects, which isn't bad. He gets a chance to open Ozzie Guillen's eyes in spring training. As with any player, it will be interesting to see how he handles the stress. There aren't many Mark Buehrles who can walk in there throwing strikes.

 Q:  Joe from New York asks:
I have been trying to find some information about Micah Schnurstein, any info you can provide would be great. Thanks!
 A: 

Phil Rogers: These are great questions. I loved Schnurstein at this time last winter but he did have a disappointing first full year as a pro. He opened in extended spring and hurt his wrist after going to Great Falls. The injury wasn't considered serious but did seem to keep him from driving the ball. The upside was the Sox liked his approach in dealing with adversity. He should spend 2004 at Kannapolis and is capable of doing big things.

 Q:  Kris from Burlington asks:
With the White Sox moderate to poor success with rushing their pitching prospects to the majors too soon do you see them taking a different and more cautious approach with Kris Honel? Thanks
 A: 

Phil Rogers: There's no doubt the Sox did not get great results with guys like Dan Wright and Jon Garland but I've never been one who blamed that on the aggressive advance through the minors. A lack of minor-league work certainly didn't hurt Mark Buehrle. Maybe we just hyped the other guys too much. With that said, I think Bob Fontaine convinced Ken Williams to slow down a little with pitchers. It will be interesting to see how things operate with Dave Wilder as farm director.

 Q:  Steve from Des Plaines, IL asks:
PLEASE ASSURE ME THAT JEREMY REED'S WRIST IS JUST SPRAINED AND WE WILL NOT NE LOOKING AT A SITUATION LIKE NICK JOHNSON'S! (where it took 2 years and many doctors, none whom could figure out what was the matter.)
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Don't panic, Steve. But the truth is I can't say for sure about Reed's wrist. The Sox haven't disclosed much about the situation. I've been told that they expect him to be fine for spring training but it's definitely something to watch with a young hitter. I'll be disappointed if he's not OK in spring training because I can't wait to see him against top pitchers.

 Q:  Jeremy from Dallas, TX asks:
How do rate the prospects the White Sox gave up in the Carl Everett trade? Will the trade come back to haunt the Sox in the future?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: How's Dallas, Jeremy. I miss it. Chicken-fried steaks, enchiladas, Lower Greenville ... I could go on and on but I'll get to your question. I think Josh Rupe is an absolute stud who could finish 2004 rated as one of the best -- if not the best -- pitching prospect in the Rangers' system. The Sox believe he corrected a mechanical problem last year and will have much better command in the future. He's always had good velocity and a nasty breaking pitch. Webster is your classic toolsy center fielder who would fit The Ballpark in Arlington well but is probably three years away.

 Q:  GoGoSox from Los Angeles asks:
What's the latest on Jason Stumm's health? If you still consider him a serious prospect, where does he rate in the Sox's system?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Stumm is quite the enigma, as you know. The Sox say that he is once again healthy but he has pitched so very little over the last three years -- especially in outings of more than one or two innings -- that how would you really know? If his velocity comes back, he'll have a chance but he has missed so much time that he is still a very long way away.

 Q:  Sammy Patel from Carol Stream, IL. asks:
Who do you think will make the biggest stride or move up the ladder among the White Sox top 30 prospects?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: My guy to watch out for is Fabio Castro, another small Dominican lefthander (out of the Arnie Munoz mold) who really seems to know how to pitch. He was 18 last year and pitched great at the end of the season in the Appalachian League. I think he'll open this year at Kannapolis and could end it in Winston-Salem, with an eye on being a young-big leaguer. The other guy is Todd Deininger, a right-handed pitcher from the Chicago area who went to Texas A&M. He's ready to make a move.

 Q:  Craig M from Fargo, ND asks:
My issue hasn't arrived yet, so I am curious, is Andy Gonzalez listed as the 2007 shortstop? Are the White Sox fairly high on him or are they looking to upgrade their SS depth in the sytem?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello, Fargo. Gonzalez is not the 2007 shortstop. Robert Valido jumped ahead of him. While Gonzalez is still a guy to keep his eye on, he went backwards last year and faces more internal competition than before. Mike Morse is another shortstop to keep an eye on, although there's a question of whether he'll stay there or move to third. I also kind of like Mike Myers, an older guy who is a shortstop by trade but really stepped up when there was a run of center field injuries in Great Falls.

 Q:  Fer from Wilmette, Ill. asks:
Who are the Sox top catching prospects? How serious are the Sox about Ryan Hankins' conversion to catcher?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Fer, are you a neighbor of Mr. Callis' by any chance? My sympathies if you are. Catcher is the weakest position in the Sox organization. I didn't rank a single one in the top 30. Their two best are Chris Stewart and Charles Lisk. Stewart hasn't hit and Lisk had a troubling run of five-passed ball games last year. This is a position the Sox have to draft heavily on in 2004, although they've ignored the need in previous years so maybe they will again. Meanwhile, Humberto Quintero (traded in the D'Angelo Jimenez deal) rises in the Padres' organization.

 Q:  Richard Smiley from Chicago, IL asks:
Did Clint King make your Top 30? How is his defense and where will he play in 2004?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Richard, King did not make the top 30 but he is a guy to watch. He is a pure power hitter who is considered suspect defensively. He hit well out of Southern Miss but the guy who got my attention was second baseman Antoin Gray, who played alongside Rickie Weeks at Southern. I think Gray is a definite guy to watch, although he didn't even get drafted as a junior.

 Q:  Dave from NJ asks:
Jeremy Reed seems to be similar to Hank Blalock statistacally with the bat. Is that a fair comparison?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Nice point.

 Q:  Kevin G. from Chicago asks:
When he was drafted- Jeremy Reed was compared with Dave Martinez... Before last year, Jeremy Reed was compared to Mark Kotsay... Now Phil Rogers would compare Jeremy Reed with...
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Kevin, see the previous response. There are similarities with Reed and Blalock, although I'd take the left-handed-hitting third baseman as a prospect any time. Reed also reminds of Raffy Palmeiro, who I covered when he was a kid. Palmeiro was a skinny kid and potential batting champ before he discovered the workout room. I'm not predicting 40-homer power for Reed but good hitters often learn how to become power hitters, too, especially left-handed hitters for some reason.

 Q:  Bill Hart from Chicago asks:
Will the Sox ever develop a middle infielder ?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Come on, Bill, give them a break. They found and developed Bucky Dent. Sure, he's the last homegrown regular at SS but they did it once, right? No, it's a good point. They've certainly tried with the likes of Caruso (although they stunted his development by jumping him from Class A) and Jason Dellaero. They do have some coming. Pedro Lopez is a good bet to reach the big leagues and could be a quality fielder and No. 2 hitter type. Valido, Morse and Gonzalez are coming, too. But Morse is the only one of these guys coming who will be at even Double-A this year, so the wait goes on.

 Q:  Richard Smiley from Chicago, IL asks:
Did Ross Gload make your list and does he have a chance of making the big the big club this year?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: While the Sox lack depth in the minors, they have enough to keep a 4-A type like Gload off this list. I think he has a good chance to win a bench job in spring training and could get a big role if the Dodgers or someone else will take Konerko's salary. I believe the Sox think he'd hit 15-20 homers and drive in 80 runs if he played.

 Q:  Christopher Heinzinger from Chicago asks:
Have there been any discussions among the Sox brass about Joe Borchard scrapping his switch-hitting and batting only from the left-side?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: N, Christopher, I haven't heard plans to drop Borchard's switch hitting. I think the main thing is to find a way to build up his confidence, and having him hit lefty-vs.-lefty wouldn't seem to me to be a good idea. I think Borchard might be one of those guys you want to tell "stop thinking and start hitting.''

 Q:  Richard Smiley from Chicago, IL asks:
Where would Royce Ring, Josh Rup, Tim Hummel, and Aaron Miles have placed in your rankings had the Sox not traded them?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I like these questions. While I would have had to argue with the Baseball America police (that is, those who value ceiling over projectability) I think Ring, Rupe and Miles all could have been in the top 10. I'm a huge Miles guy. I think he's going to have a very good year in Colorado, with a chance to score 100 runs if he beats out Damian Jackson to play every day. Rupe is a high-ceiling guy who took a big step forward in 2003. I've always like Hummel but he'd probably be a 20-30 guy as he's getting older. On Ring, I'd say he might have been five or six, which is about as high as a minor-league reliever could be in my book.

 Q:  GoGoSox from Los Angeles asks:
I'm surprised Ricardo Nanita wasn't in your Top 10. When the Sox drafted him, his rep. was that he was a great fielder, but his offense was questionable. Then, in his first year, he hit over .300 and stole 17 bases. How much upside does he have?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Nanita will be in the Prospect Handbook, for sure. You could argue for him against Young, for instance, but I think there's some question because he has done it for only a short time. The Pioneer League is a hitter's league, so you've got to be careful. But there's nothing not to like about him.

 Q:  Kevin from Springfield, MA asks:
Shouldn't there be some real concern about Reed's defense? I mean will he really be a major League centerfielder, because he doesn't look to have enough power to play a corner or return to 1st base?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: The reports I hear on Reed defensively are that he's all right. Those I talk to think he can be adequate in center and a plus on the corners. I don't think power is a prerequisite for the corners, not when you're talking about a pure hitter. The Sox have certainly had plenty of power in recent years but not enough pure hitting.

 Q:  Richard Smiley from Chicago, IL asks:
Did Antoin Gray make your Top 30? What are his prospects?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: As mentioned earlier, when asked about Clinton King, I love Gray. I do not know what scouts missed about him in college. He played third at Southern -- because Weeks was the second baseman -- so he might not have had as much value as he could have at second. He's very big for a second baseman but the Sox believe he can improve his fielding to stay there. If he does, he could be a Carlos Baerga type. Second basemen who can hit have value, and that is what it appears Gray can offer.

 Q:  Dave J. from Birmingham asks:
I know that there are few people with more knowledge of the Sox than you, but it strikes me as a little hard to believe that you would rate rapidly falling prospect Joe Borchard, over No. 1 pick Brian Anderson in the Sox rankings. If you asked a cross section of 10 GM'sScouts, do you really think they would take Borchard over Anderson based on potential and how likely it will be for them to achieve it?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: If I could, I'd get Kenny Williams to put Borchard, Anderson and Ryan Sweeney in a batting cage at the same time. That would be a good way to measure them. But, to answer this question, I'd say Anderson is hurt, Borchard isn't. We're told that Anderson will return from his wrist problems without any lasting effects but we'll have to see. I know that a lot of people are down on Borchard, and deservedly so. He's had back-to-back poor years. But, to me, there's something special about the guy. I don't see him just fading away. And if he gets it right, he's a switch hitter with power, speed and great presence.

 Q:  Bob Sagent from My Home Office asks:
Who do you think the Sox view as their biggest disappointment in the farm system? Rauch? Andy Gonzalez? Corwin Malone?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hey fellow home-officer. Even though I still like Borchard, he's looking like the biggest disappointment since Dellaero. Rauch, Gonzalez and Malone got their hype based off their play; Borchard goes his with the $5.3 million contract. That contract has been a big burden.

 Q:  Kevin from Springfield, MA asks:
Would the Sox consider making Munoz a starter, seems kind of a waste of his arm in the bullpen?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Good thought, Kevin. Down the line, I think the Sox have to look at Munoz as a starter. They are right to be careful about his arm now, but that will change as he ages. I think he could be like a young Kenny Rogers. He was used strictly as a reliever, in past because he was a smallish guy, but over time grew into starting. I don't see any reason that can't happen with Munoz.

 Q:  Brendan from Boston asks:
If you could pick one sleeper who's not in the top 10, who would it be? Thanks for the work!
 A: 

Phil Rogers: We've talked about a couple of guys already, Gray and Fabio Castro. But I'll give you another -- Ryan Meaux, the lefty the Sox got from SF in the Lofton deal. He will be in spring training and could make an immediate impression. He doesn't have eye-popping stuff but is a strike-throwing machine. He pitched some winter ball this year, doing fairly well, and adds to the bullpen depth the Sox have the port side.

 Q:  Jim Harlan from Chicago asks:
What happened to John Rauch. He went from being the minor league player of the year to not even making the top ten list?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: One more quick thought on Rauch: The Sox messed him up by giving him the fifth starter's job in 2002. He was coming off an injury and needed to be pitching in Double-A, not sitting in Jerry Manuel's bullpen. That was one of the worst decisions I've seen. I'm not sure why they didn't give him a look last season but I know people in the Sox organization who wonder if he'll have to go somewhere else to get a chance.

 Q:  Kevin from Springfield, MA asks:
Does Borchard have a higher cieling than Reed, even though he is less likely to reach it?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Borchard does have a higher ceiling, in my opinion. If he ever figures out how to swing at strikes and take balls, he'll be a 30-plus homer guy. But that's not to knock Reid. In my book, complete hitters are high-ceiling guys, too.

 Q:  Jon from Peru asks:
Has the organization started to run out of patience with Joe Borchard? And where would Brian West have ranked among the Top 30 prospects if he were still in the organization?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Peru, Ind., or Peru, South America? I'll picture you in the warmer of the two. West wouldn't have made the top 30 this year, I don't think. He seemed to be running out of chances and might have lost his spot on the 40-man roster. He just never seemed to do enough with his stuff.

 Q:  Stuart Phillips from Highland Park asks:
Is the Japanese pitcher the Sox just signed really a candidate to close? I have read a few skeptical reports. As a Sox fan, can you tell me why they simply don't make Marte the closer? He's got great stuff, and is much more consistent than Koch.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I'm not sure about Marte, to tell you the truth. I think one good trivia-type question is who has the most saves for the Sox over the last two years -- it's Marte. I think the Sox just want a proven type to go along with Marte but it would be easy to see Marte becoming the save guy and the bullpen still having plenty of situation lefties with Wunsch, Munoz, Sanders. Meaux or even Schoeneweis (who I probably would have axed to save money). I can't really say about Takatsu but the Sox are counting on him to help if Koch doesn't receive a miracle cure.

 Q:  David from Lincoln asks:
Phil, is Corwin Malone still a prospect? Also, why have the sox placed such an emphasis on acquiring outfielders? They need middle infielders and have for years!
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Sure, Corwin is still a prospect but this is a big year for him. He'll have to earn a starting job -- back at Birmingham again, I'd guess -- and needs to cut down his walks. I know, tell you something you don't know.

 Q:  Rex from Birmingham asks:
Two questions..... What do you think Jeff Bajenaru's chances of contributing at the Major League level will be in the coming years? And do you see Sox Minor Leaguers play often or do you rely more on scouting reports?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Congratulations, Rex. You hit on a sleeper I should mentioned earlier. Bajenaru could come quick. He's got the best velocity in the organization and seems to have recovered from the injury that had slowed him. That's a good name to put in the mix.

 Q:  Pete Walker from South Bend, IND asks:
I haven't gotten the AL Central issue yet. Who do you forecast the Sox closer will be in 2007?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Pete, sorry, first let me finish answering Rex. I don't get to see the Sox minor-leaguers very often. I wish they still had the Midwest League affiliate. I rely mostly on statistical analysis and input from others. I do try to spend time in the minor-league camp in spring training, though, and love watching the kids in big-league exhibitions ... I've got Marte as the closer.

 Q:  Ryan Baker from Cleveland, OH asks:
Phil, Is the reshuffling of the scouting and development team a result of the (thus far) failure of Borchard, West, Rauch, among others to truly develop? It seems like every year the Sox have 6-7 of the the top 10 turnover with the previous guys dropping down the list rather than graduating to the big league squad. Even the guys who have made it to the show have been disappointing except for Magglio, Beuhrle, and maybe Crede.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I wouldn't say there's been a reshuffling because of failure, Ryan. But the system has gone the wrong way, in part because of the Kenny Williams has traded away as well as the stalling of guys like Borchard, Malone and Rauch. I still really don't understand the reassignment of Doug Laumann. The drafts he ran look pretty good to me.

 Q:  Jim Harlan from Chicago asks:
Do the White Sox have a chance of being respectable or do I have to live my life in a Cub town, where every time Mark Prior burbs it make front page news.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Sure, the Sox can be good, but (tell you something you don't know, right?) they don't have the margin for error that the Cubs do. They've really got to be about drafting and developing the right people. That piece hasn't come through in a great way the last couple of years, which has left Williams making so many trades. They will have to live and die with their farm system unless they find a way to open up some Cubbie-like revenue streams. Maybe they can get kids to pay money to sit along the railroad tracks. (Not that I'm suggesting kids sit along those tracks, you understand).

 Q:  Brian Daniels from Birmingham Alabama asks:
Hey, who do you think will be here in Birmingham this year? We had the opportunity to see Reed play. WOW! he is truely a great athlete!
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Birmingham's going to have a strong pitching staff again, led by Kris Honel, Ryan Wing and maybe Brian Miller. Ruddy Yan, the speedster second baseman, should be ready to make the jump, along with shortstop Mike Morse. That could be quite an exciting middle infield combo, although neither are extremely projectable. Morse is learning to hit but pitchers still knock the bat out of Yan's hands. When he makes contact, he's a threat to turn groundouts into singles.

 Q:  Geoff King from Northbrook, Illinois asks:
Because the White Sox have a logjam of young outfielders coming off rookie-ball seasons, is it safe to assume that Briand Anderson and Ricardo Nanita will join Thomas Brice in the outfield in Winston-Salem?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I'm not sure how that logjam will work out but you could be right about Anderson and Nanita. Brice seems like the only guy who was at Kannapolis that's ready to move. That could mean that a guy like Chris Young or Clint King could get in the picture as well. I think Ryan Sweeney's going to start the year at Kannapolis.

 Q:  Brian from Ontario asks:
With a fairly succesfull first year under his belt how quickly do you see Brian Anderson getting to the majors?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Lightning round time: Hard to tell but he's the type who could move quick. Reed got to Birmingham in his first season; there's no reason Anderson cannot.

 Q:  John Schneider from Miami of Ohio asks:
Do you think it is reasonable to assume that Kannapolis will have a starting infield of Brandon Bounds at first, Antoin Gray at second, Robert Valido at short, and Micah Schnurstein at third? To me, those four guys are the best prospects at their respective positions in our system, but what do you think?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I thought Kannapolis was gonna be loaded last year and it didn't work out. I like Gray, Valido and Schnurstein but I'm not sure about Bounds. He was old for the Pioneer League but I do like that he played at UT-Arlington, near my old stomping grounds.

 Q:  ben from Ontario asks:
Who do you see the Sox targeting with their first round and supplemental picks?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Sorry, the crystal ball is foggy. I'm thinking college pitching but I really haven't looked at it yet.

 Q:  Paul Colbert from Bandon OR asks:
Does Chicago have the worst farm system in the AL Central? Minn, KC and Cleveland have above average systems and the Tigers seem to be getting much better.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I'm not the guy to answer the question about the others but believe you could be right at this moment. I think the Sox will rank ahead of Detroit in the rankings done for the Prospect Handbook but don't know for sure. The Tigers had a nice draft in 2002.

 Q:  Jim Hofman from Naperville IL asks:
Hi neighbor, thanks as always for doing the chat. Who are some of the sleeper prospects the organization is excited about? Maybe some of the guys we don't hear about often? Thanks Phil.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello neighbor. Love that Riverwalk. One more to mention is Daniel Haigwood, the Arkansas high-school lefthander from the 2002 draft. He didn't pitch last year because of an injury after doing great in the Rookie League. If he's healthy, he's got a chance to move fast because he seems to know how to pitch with average velocity.

 Q:  Kris from Burlington asks:
Takatsu throw a lot of junk, the Sox cant be serious about having him close not when they have Koch and the man who should be closing Damaso Marte. Is Takatsu Mark Eichorn or Byung Kim? Thanks
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Eichhorn? I like that. It reminds me of the time I gave Eichhorn a third-place vote for Rookie of the Year. If Takatsu is that good, he'll be a find even if he isn't the closer.

 Q:  Danny Gold from Tuscon, Arizona asks:
Outside of Brandon McCarthy and to a degree, Fraser Dizard, there were not many pitchers who did well last year for Great Falls. Who do you think are going to be the starters this year for Kannapolis? Where do you think Daniel Haigwood will start the year?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I think Brandon McCarthy and Fabio Castro will be the aces. Maybe Sean Tracey and Tim Tisch, too. It could be a pretty good staff.

 Q:  Samir Patel from Glendale Heights asks:
Do you see any legitimate prospects for the Sox come out of their Latin American program?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I just addressed this in an upcoming organization report. The White Sox haven't gotten a Dominican player they signed to the big leagues since Luis Andujar in 1994. The guys I really like are Pedro Lopez, Munoz and Fabio Castro. Two converted pitchers from the Dominican, Paulino Reynoso and Julio Castro, are coming, too. But the lack of a talent flow from the Dominican has been a problem.

 Q:  Ryan Baker from Cleveland, OH asks:
Should something be read into the lack of offseason moves by the Sox, not from a management standpoint, but from a player's perspective? As you mentioned, they dumped 8 prospects for a failed playoff run last year. Aside from the compensatory draft picks, all they have to show for it is Schoenweiss (who likely could've been had as a non-tender this winter). Is the word out about poor chemistry to the point that players won't choose to go to the south side? Do they fear that Ozzie Guillen is the latino Larry Bowa? What gives?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I just think Kenny Williams' hands were tied by the long-term contracts, many of which he handed out. There was little flexibility to get guys. With that said, it is harder for them to recruit free agent because the Reinsdorf regime is viewed as cheap. Players don't see the commitment to winning that you see in other teams from large markets.

 Q:  David from Lincoln asks:
Why don't most people regard Kris Honel as a future ace or even one of the top pitching prospects in the game? He has been so good at such a young age and he is yet to fill out his body (ditto Jon Garland). I think he can add velocity and become an ace
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I think Honel is regarded as a future ace. He doesn't make radar guns dance but he's never not been the best pitcher on his team. Until that's true, I'll continue to consider him a future ace.

 Q:  Kyle Roth from Chicago, Illinois asks:
I have been a diehard Sox fan for years, but really haven't followed much minor league ball until this past season. I was curious how you would rate the long-term potential of the four starters from Kannapolis last year: BJ Lamura, Paulino Reynoso, Brian Miller and Todd Deininger?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Miller has huge upside. He's one of the organization's top pitching prospects. Deininger was older so he should get to the big leagues quicker. I'm intrigued by Reynoso, a converted first baseman, and honestly don't know enough about LaMura.

 Q:  Jack Burton from Toronto asks:
Who has the better farm system? The White Sox or Cubs?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Easy: Cubs (I'd say so even if I didn't work for Team Tribune).

 Q:  jake from Anchoridge asks:
A question on prospect Ryan Sweeney. How good can he be and when do you think on a best case scenario he'll be in the majors? Thanks so much.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I think Sweeney is a great prospect. If he has a good first full year as a pro, he might immediately become the organization's top prospect and a guy who is raved about by publications like BA. He's a five-tool guy who can really hit. I can't wait to see what he does in a full year.

 Q:  Joe from Bridgeport asks:
Who do we have to pay to see a ReedRowand platoon in center this year? Am I wrong, or wouldn't you expect a .290.360.475 season out of that duo?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Wouldn't disagree with you. But I would say that Reed might be capable of that on his own. He hits lefties as well as righties. I wouldn't mind seeing a RowandBorchard platoon, however (either in center or in right after the inevitable Magglio trade).

 Q:  John Blake from Lindhurst, Ohio asks:
I've noticed the White Sox have a lot of interesting names at shortstop. Who has the most potential and who is most likely to reach the majors out of Mike Morse, Andy Gonzalez, and Robert Valido? Also, is Guillermo Reyes finished as a prospect or do you think he could bounce back?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Reyes is essentially finished. He just hasn't hit. I rate the other guys this rate: Valido, Morse and Gonzalez.

 Q:  Kris from Burlington asks:
Do the White Sox think that Ryan Meaux can be a set up man or is he destined to be another Matt Ginter?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hard to say until Meaux gets a chance. By the way, I'm not sure Ginter couldn't still be a big-league pitcher. He froze up at U.S. Cellular but still pitches solid in the minors.

 Q:  It's me again. from Rolling Meadows, IL asks:
Phil, does Sweeney really have a higher ceiling than Brian Anderson? Anderson had a tough Sophpomore year, but he's a terrific defensive CF'er and has above average tools across the board with + power potential. In Sweeney, I see a guy who may be more suited for 1st base, and may not develop the power you'd expect out of a RF'er... In short, what's the difference between the 2 causing the higher ranking for Sweeney... age?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: There was significant debate on which way to rank Anderson and Sweeney because everybody likes them both. In the end I went with Sweeney first for two reasons -- his age (that is, he's ahead of where Anderson was coming out of high school) and his health. Anderson has to answer questions about his wrist. Some do believe Anderson is already the best fielding outfielder in the Sox system and power-hitting center fielders are rare. Honestly, you couldn't go wrong either way, I don't think.

 Q:  R. Walker Bush from Fort Worth, TX asks:
Matt Nachreiner has been compared to such players as Derek Lowe and Mike McDougal(both tall, effective pitchers with boaring sinking fastballs). What is Mr. Nachreiner's ceiling? And will his degenrative condition cripple any potential progress?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: The Sox are watching Nachreiner's health closely after a disturbing performance out of the box at Great Falls. He shows why teams shy away from high school pitchers, especially those with health problems. High ceiling but a winding path to reach it.

 Q:  SoxPsychoPath from Chicago asks:
Jim Callis responded to 96 questions in the Cubs chat session - Sox fans had better be treated with respect. Is there any hope that Andy Gonzalez will mature into a major league caliber player?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Wow, 96 questions. Leave it to the Sox guys to count. Luckily, I'm having fun, too, so I'll give it a shot ... Sure there's a chance Gonzalez will develop. He has good toolsbut should have hit better than he did at Kannapolis. Keep in mind that he's still a kid. This will be a big season for him given the competition he faces.

 Q:  Kris from Burlington asks:
Is there any fear because of lack of velocity and command that Neal Cotts might be a "4A" pitcher? Thanks
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Tough crowd. Cotts was pitching in A ball a year ago. Sometimes we expect too much and that was the case with Cotts. There's no way his 2003 season should be looked on as anything but a huge success. He might need time at Triple-A but I think he will establish himself as a big-league starter in relatively short order.

 Q:  Ted Izewski from Phoenix, AZ asks:
Phil, I haven't heard anything about Daniel Haigwood this last year. I assume he was injured. Do you his status and how do you rate him as a prospect?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Haigwood was hurt -- a knee, I think. He was a definite sleeper in the 2002 draft after a great high school career in Arkansas. As a lefthander with command, I think he's got a great chance. It will be a good sign if he can earn a spot on the staff at Kannapolis out of the chute in 2004.

 Q:  David Malamut from Voice of A Season Ticket Holder-Kane County Cougars asks:
What is your opionin of Ross Gload, does he have a shot to get back to the majors, he hit well in the winter leagues in Mexico (328-12-51). Plus when will the Sox smarten up and just give the big cry baby at first his out right release and let Knoerko play
 A: 

Phil Rogers: David, do you have $17.5 million you don't need? If so, send it to Mr. Jerry Reinsdorf, and then he'll be happy to consider the proposition. The Sox aren't going to release a possible Hall of Famer when they owe him almost $20 million.

 Q:  RJ from Chicago asks:
I've heard small comparisons between Brandon McCarthy and Mark Prior. I know Mccarthy doesn't throw near as hard yet but I wanted to see if you had heard any thoughts along these lines in terms of pitches and other comparisons?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Well, they're both on the tall side and right-handed. Both are workhorses. But not only does McCarthy not throw as hard, he doesn't have as good of a curveball or command. Think of Mark Prior as Tiger Woods. That makes McCarthy either Matt Kuchar or Notah Begay III.

 Q:  CSweeney from Ontario,Ca asks:
The duo of Sean Tracey and Brandon McCarthy seemed to tear apart Pioneer League hitters, with the lack of pitching depth in the organization, where do these two pitchers rank in the organization and where do you see them playing this season? Thanks
 A: 

Phil Rogers: If my last reply made it seem differently, let me say again I like McCarthy a lot. Tracey is in the pack of guys who can assert themselves with a good 2004.

 Q:  Sam Pates from Genoa, IL. asks:
Who do you compare Brian Anderson to as far as a major league player and does he have a higher ceiling than Jeremy Reed?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Scouts would probably say Anderson has a higher ceiling but I'm gonna go with the guy who hit .400 for almost 70 games his first year in Double-A. And I'm not really sure who Anderson compares to. I can't wait to see more of him -- and, yes, I'm kicking myself for not going to U of Arizona games last spring.

 Q:  Ron Rucker from Des Moines, IA asks:
White Sox arms Tim Tisch and Orionny Lopez were both listed on BA's players to watch this summer. How do their ceilings rate? And where do they place on the overall list?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I think Tisch has the higher ceiling but both opened eyes last year. Both ranked in the 25-30 range although Tisch might have gotten cheated. His fastball jumped into the low-90s last year. If that's a preview of things to come, he's got a big upside. Lopez is an interesting pitcher. He doesn't have great velocity but gets strikeout. He seems skilled for such a young age.

 Q:  GoGoSox from Louisville asks:
What about Matt Ginter? He has a decent fastball and a plus slider. Manuel never seemed to have confidence in him. Can he help in the pen this season or have the sox written him off?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Ginter stuck on the 40-man, so they haven't given up on him. He could benefit from having a new manager judging him. I wouldn't be shocked if he landed a bullpen job this spring, especially if Rule 5 pick Jason Grilli doesn't click.

 Q:  Tom Jones from Chicago asks:
Man, Im so tired of everyone saying Joe Mauer is the best catcher ever. Olivo had some hype but didnt produce right away so I doubt Mauer will be able to. Would you bet money on Olivo have a much better year than Mauer? I sure would. What type of hitter would you compare Jeremy Reed to? Bernie Williams?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I like Olivo too but I don't see Mauer going into the long funks Olivo was in at times last year. With that said, I think Olivo will do much better in 2004. But look at Mauer's minor-league numbers. Olivo's weren't close to those.

 Q:  Lee Anne from Colorado asks:
Hi Phil: Have you heard anything about Ryan Meaux. His stats for the last 2 years have been excellent.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hello Lee Anne. I hear good things about Meaux. Unbelievable command, a good breaking pitch and a somewhat deceptive delivery. He doesn't throw hard but guys don't seem to get good swings off him. If he can throw strikes to big-league hitters, I think he can fit in. But the Sox do have a crowd of left-handed relievers.

 Q:  Dave from Stateline asks:
What are Ryan Meaux's and Byeon Hak An's long term prospects?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Nobody seems too excited about An. He does not throw hard but seems to get results. He's the kind of guy who will have to prove himself. It will be interesting to see if he can jump right to Charlotte after splitting last year between W-Salem and Birmingham.

 Q:  Mike from FutureSox.com asks:
Hey Phil! Over at FutureSox.com we do a bi-yearly Top 50 list, and I have a few questions. What do you think of Fabio Castro and Orionny Lopez? The staff here at FutureSox are very high on them, especially Castro.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I'd agree, especially on Castro. He seems gifted.

 Q:  Sam Sox fan from Carbondale, IL. asks:
What is wrong with Wyatt Allen's velocity will it ever come back to the mid to upper 90's velocity that he showed in College.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Allen hit the mid-90s at Tennessee but he never maintained it. The Sox knew they were drafting a project, because of his complicated mechanics, and it has turned out they are right. He's got a good arm, though, and will get a chance at Birmingham, which is a good place to pitch. No knock on anyone else in the organization, but Birmingham pitching coach Juan Nieves brings a nice set of eyes.

 Q:  Mike from FutureSox.com asks:
Hey Phil, I appreciate you giving us your time. The staff over at FutureSox is in absolute love with Ricardo Nanita. Is he simply overmatching younger kids a la Edgar Valera last year, or is he legit? Seems like he can rake.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Nanita was a college player going against some raw pitching, and that is a hitting league. But .384 does get your attention. He'll be tested this year, especially if he jumps to the Carolina League. Varela was drafted as a college senior, by the way. He and Reed were teammates.

 Q:  Jon from Royal Oak, MI asks:
Is there a school of thought as to why the Sox didn't call Rauch up last September? Is it reasonable to take this as a sign that he's a longshot for a spot on their staff this season?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: They were all business in September with that playoff spot in sight. I think they just didn't want any players around that couldn't help right now. I certainly wouldn't rule him out of the mix for the two openings in the rotation. It should be his time. If he doesn't win a job, I won't be surprised if he's traded to fill a need.

 Q:  Metan from Hanover Park, IL. asks:
When do you think Ruddy Yan will get a chance in the big leagues?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: When he learns how to get the ball out of the infield. The guy is as fast as Cool Papa Bell and he can't ever get a double? What's that about? I'm not sure the Sox needed to put him on the 40-man roster this winter. He's gonna be some kind of overmatched in a big-league camp.

 Q:  Brad Carlson from Plano, TX asks:
Just wanted to mention that I was on the Alaskan summerball team with Reed (along with Danny Garcia of the Mets). He's a great guy with all the tools that it takes to make it in the league. He wasn't the overpowering, all world player, but was the guy we knew would get the job done at ALL times. He went underestimated out of college and is now showing folks where he belongs. My question is, what is the main factor that will keep Reed out of the big leagues this year?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: The White Sox want to win, so I believe they'll give him a fair shot. They badly need left-handed hitting, which is in his favor. It could come down largely to whether he's healthy this spring and how he handles himself, both on the field and in the clubhouse. I think they're leaning toward having him open the year at Charlotte, so that's the way they'll go if he looks the least bit timid. If he has a good spring, and Aaron Rowand has a bad spring, he could be hitting high in the order on Opening Day.

 Q:  Jeffrey Zampanti from Kenosha, Wis. asks:
Hi Phil ... Can you please evaluate the depth at the catching position? The Sox certainly aren't the only organization in baseball that lack talent at that position, but it does seem awfully thin. Can you see recently signed minor league catcher Kevin Sullivan sticking at Birmingham this season? The former Northern League Rookie of the Year played the last two seasons in the Rockies' chain.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I don't know Sullivan but if he can catch and has a pulse he'll have a chance in the Sox organization. They have a major lack of catching.

 Q:  Pick To Click from Bloomington, Ind asks:
Phil, you're the best baseball guy in town. By far. Do the Sox have ANY catching prospects to get excited about (other than Olivo, of course)? And, if you had to pick one sleeper to make the squad in Tucson, whom would it be?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hey Pick, thanks a lot for the kind words. I don't think so. They liked Lisk but he's been a disaster behind the plate. Stewart bears some watching. He's a college catcher who has handled himself well. Carlos Maldonado, who is going to be in spring training, might be a sleeper candidate. But why they have four catchers on the 40-man is a mystery to me. I would have thought they'd let Michael Rivera back up Olivo but they re-signed Sandy Jr. (who is a great guy, by the way, so good for him). I have no idea why Chris Burke is on the 40-man roster.

 Q:  Sam from Valencia, California asks:
What happenned to Sox lefty Heath Phillips did he get injured is he going to pith in 2004?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Phillips had a series of nagging injuries last year and, I believe, should be OK for this year. I've always compared him as a mini-Buehrle. He's gotten results throughout his career.

 Q:  Louisville Lip from Louisville asks:
will ruddy yan ever hit enough to play a regular second base?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I've addressed Yan already but I want to say this -- as well as he runs, he wouldn't have to hit a whole lot. But his second year at Winston-Salem was a disappointment. It's hard to see him doing better in the Southern League, which is where he should play in 2004. Maybe he's got a future as the next Herb Washington.

 Q:  Michael Stern from Rochester NY asks:
How close was Robert Valido to the top 10?He had a great first season - named the #3 prospect in the Appy league at 18, and showing across the board hitting skills - average, power and speed. How high is his ceiling?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Very close. His ceiling will be determined by how he hits against better pitching. He is off to a great start because there seems little question he's a big-league fielder.

 Q:  Michael Stern from Rochester NY asks:
Shouldn't Brian Anderson have been rated higher, at least 3rd or 4th above Ryan Sweeney? He had a better year, shows 5 tools, is a polished hitter and is a better athlete (as you claim) and was a first round pick to Sweeney's 2nd round. Why ranked so low - was it the injuries?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Yes, it was the injury. And I think Sweeney could be a very big stud.

 Q:  Dan from Nashville asks:
Hey phil, the sox seem to have a wealth of lefthanded prospects for the bullpen. with those spots occupied by wunsch and marte, what will the sox do with guys like Arnie Munoz, David Sanders, Josh Stewart and Corwin Malone?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Don't forget Meaux, either. At some point the White Sox might have to trade one of two of those guys. But it's good to have that problem in at least one area, right?

 Q:  Jim Doyle from So.Cal asks:
Josh Fields has a great year in high A Winston Salem. How do the White Sox feel about him and where do you rate him on your list. Is there any chance that he will get a chance to go to Big League camp in the future?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Hey Jim. Dinner's calling but I'll hang in a little longer (trying to match Callis). Fields still counts as a sleeper. He is among the guys I considered but didn't put in the top 30. It's partly a bias against minor-league relievers. He not only had a great season but went 5-for-5 in saves during the playoffs. That's awesome. If he keeps getting results, he'll certainly get a chance, perhaps in the not-too-distant future.

 Q:  Charles Waggoner from Rockford, IL> asks:
Could you please give me an update on a young left-handed pitcher by the name of Ryan Rodriguez? Also what are the Sox focusing on in this year's draft. Thank you, this is getting me excited for the season to start
 A: 

Phil Rogers: The Sox like Rodriguez a lot. Like Haigwood, he missed 2003 but is expected to pitch this year. He rated even with McCarthy coming into last season.

 Q:  James from The Snowy Plains of Oklahoma asks:
Hello, Where do you project Brian Anderson and Ryan Sweeney, also what are their MLB ETA's? Thanks James
 A: 

Phil Rogers: For the sheer heck of it, let's call Anderson September, 2005, and Sweeney 2007.

 Q:  JT from Guthrie OK asks:
A few questions back you mentioned that Andy Gonzalez had taken a step back, can you give a few more details and what does he need to do to get back on the fast track? Thanks JT
 A: 

Phil Rogers: There was talk of the dreaded concentration lapses last season. The Sox will be watching his coachability and willingness to make adjustments. But they're aware he was young for a full-season league last year. He might just need to go back to Kannapolis and build some confidence.

 Q:  Kris from Burlington asks:
I heard reports that Corwin Malone was throwing the ball much better in the instructional league. Is this true and can he still be an effective lefty out of the pen if not the next CC Sabitha? Thanks
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Corwin did have a good Instructional League. If he throws more strikes, there's no reason he can't be a big-leaguer. The exhibition game he pitched at Pac Bell Park in 2002 was a thing of beauty.

 Q:  JT from Guthrie OK asks:
Phil. I've heard that Chris young is sorta a cross between Dee Brown on the low side and young Fred McGriff on the high side is this very accurate? Thanks James
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I'm not sure I see him as either. If I was picking an old Blue Jay, I'd say Devon White. Speed is his best tool but the ball jumps off his bat. He is a plus center fielder. He's very, very raw. Let's see what he looks like a year from now.

 Q:  Ajo Way from Tucson asks:
What are the chances that Arnie Munoz will be wearing a White Sox uniform and not a Charlotte Kights uniform to start the year or anytime during the year? I have seen him in Spring Training the past few years and have to say that he throws some pretty nasty stuff up there.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I think there's a good chance Munoz pitches this year -- probably not out of spring training but it could be very soon. He appears ready.

 Q:  Randar from Chicago asks:
How can Dellaero be considered a disappointment when everyone but Schueler knew he'd be there in round 3 if they really wanted him? Ron ignored all of his scouts on draft day and you now see what happens when a GM doesn't listen to his scouts.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Fair point, Randar, but I'm saying he was a disappointment for the money. The Sox sold him as a switch-hitting shortstop with power. Turns out they would have been better off making him a pitcher on Day One.

 Q:  JT from Guthrie OK asks:
Phil. Do Josh Stewart and Dennis Ulacia still have value? If so how much?? Thanks.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Stewart, yes; Ulacia, only if he has a good 2004. The question with Stewart is his health. If he gets the circulation problem worked out, he could put himself in the picture again. I'm surprised he wasn't picked in the Rule 5 draft.

 Q:  William Neilson from Athens, GA asks:
How is Brian West doing? Any chance of the majors in the next 2-3 years?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Only in the NFL. He played second-string linebacker for LSU this season after leaving Birmingham in midseason.

 Q:  Chris McVey from Aurora, IL asks:
Who do you think has greater potential for becoming a efficient pitcher in the Major Leagues?? Kris Honel or Ryan Wing???
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Honel has a slight edge because of his command but Wing is a lefty. It would make a good bet to say who will have the better career. Could go either way.

 Q:  Jan Stix from Springfield, Oregon asks:
Since McCarthy got bumped for Takatsu, what was your analysis of him?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: As a special thank you for your persistance, here is the capsule that was bumped off the page: Background: McCarthy is a blue-collar version of former White Sox star Jack McDowell. He stands tall, challenges hitters and wins games, going 25-8 over the last two seasons, including the 12-0 run at Lamar Community CC that drew the attention of Sox scouts Joe Butler and John Kazanas. In his two pro seasons, McCarthy led his leagues (Arizona rookie and Pioneer) in both innings and strikeouts. That's impressive. Strengths: McCarthy does not blow the ball past hitters, getting his fastball only up to about 91 mph, but has a hard curveball with diving action and an improving changeup. The best thing he does is throw strikes. He's averaged 10.3 strikeouts and 1.5 walks per nine innings as a pro. Manager Chris Cron says he has "a huge heart.'' Weaknesses: McCarthy doesn't get a lot of movement on his fastball. He allowed opponents to hit .263 last year. He needs to work on commanding the inside part of the plate as hitters sometimes get comfortable against him. The future: McCarthy should gain some velocity as he continues to fill out his frame. He'll probably advance a step to low-A Kannapolis but is polished enough to be considered for high-A Winston-Salem. He's a workhorse who could throw 175 innings as he moves into full-season leagues.

 Q:  neal from carbondale asks:
Thanks for the chat! Is Robert Valido going to move quick enough to succeed Jose Valentin or is there going to have to be a stop-gap?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Juan Uribe is the guy. Mike Morse can put himself into the picture with a strong 2004 at Birmingham.

 Q:  Ryan Baker from Cleveland, OH asks:
Can I not get a question answered because I'm an Indians fan? Could you do a quick comparison and contrast of Grady Sizemore and Jeremy Reed?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: The Indians? Yeah, I remember them. Goofy park with a giant scoreboard? Kind of a shaky downtown. Lots of hitters and not enough pitching. Good losers in the postseason ... Yep, that's the Indians. Seriously, I like Sizemore a lot but don't know that I know him well enough to compare and contrast. The Futures Game is the only time I've seen him. It seems most scouts think Reed will hit for a bigger average but both should be very good players. Sizemore is probably more of a true center fielder. Would you agree?

 Q:  Andrew from Tennessee asks:
The strength of the Sox farm system used to be pitching but now most of those prospects have either been traded or not lived up to the hype. Do you see the Sox using a lot of their picks in the '04 draft on pitching?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: This draft could be like the 1999 draft, heavy on pitchers. But the Sox aren't so well stocked wit hitters that they can turn up their noses.

 Q:  Chris McVey from Aurora, IL asks:
Do you think Carmen Pignatellio(Cubs AA) & Kris Honel(Sox AA) will ever get the chance to meet up in the Major Leagues, possibly putting two former high school teammates against one another from Providence Catholic H.S in New Lenox, IL?? Thank you!
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Chris, that would be a great game to cover for the Tribune, I know that. Pignatiello is climbing through the Cubs system but gets overshadowed by the other prospects. Honel has a clearer path to the big leagues. But maybe after Honel's been around a year or two, Pignatiello will join him.

 Q:  Craig from Oshkosh asks:
Phil, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us today. Which pitcher has the best chance to open the season at the major league level as the 4th or 5th starter? Is it Neal Cotts, Jon Rauch, Enemencio Pacheco, or 31 year old Francisco Campos? Or do you think Dan Wright or Scott Schoeneweis will win those jobs?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: My guess: Schoeneweis and Rauch. I do hope they take a look at Campos, who has dominated this winter, but he wasn't among the guys they invited to big-league camp. Dan Wright seems headed for the bullpen but I think the Sox should be careful in writing him off. I still see him as a 15-win, 200-inning guy.

 Q:  Kevin H from AntiochCA asks:
Wouldn't you say trading Aaron Miles for Uribe was a mistake. Why would they trade a guy like miles, who has been proving prototypical sizes don't matter for 3 years now for a guy who has proved he can't hit well in Colorado.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: No doubt Kenny Williams likes Willie Harris (who he traded for) more than Miles, who his minor-league people stole in the Rule 5 draft years ago. I'm a huge Miles guy. I would have loved to see him get a chance in Chicago but I believe he's gone to the perfect place for his game. I wish him well. This deal will look really bad if the Sox do not give Uribe a chance to play.

 Q:  Jim Hofman from Naperville IL asks:
Phil, what are your thoughts on Jim Bullard, the huge lefty who was in Birmingham? I'm told they've converted him to a sidearmer.
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I hadn't heard he was throwing sidearm.

 Q:  RJ Rucker from Fort Worth, TX asks:
PLEASE PLEASE TAKE MY QUESTION: Being the only White Soc's fan in my state I'd like your thoughts on a few guys: Matt Nachreiner, Jay Marshall, Tim Tisch, Orionny Lopez...What should we expect of these guys in the coming years? I will be forever greatful for your insight =)
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Marshall's the only guy I haven't touched on. He pitched well last year and bears watching. I wish we could talk about this over enchiladas and cerveza at Joe T. Garcia's.

 Q:  Dan Haren from West Covina, Ca asks:
My best friend is Jim Bullard and he doesnt seem to get much love from you guys, yet he puts up solid numbers each year and he is a 6'7 lefthander with good stuff. What do you think about him?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Dan, you're right. We haven't given Bullard much love. I think he's in that tier of prospects who just missed. I did see him pitch once, at the Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown in 2002. It seems like he was solid at Birmingham this year and should get a chance to open eyes at Charlotte. It's probably too bad for him that there are so many other lefties in the organization at this time. I will keep an eye out for him this spring.

 Q:  Randar from Chicago asks:
Phil, although leadoff is a gaping hole and has been since one-dog, I feel Reed is actually a prototypical 2-hitter. Good OBP, good speed, works counts, average power, great contact hitter. Agreedisagree?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: I do agree. I think Reed is the kind of guy you want coming up with somebody on because he's going to put the ball in play and put pressure on the other team to make a play. I see him as being as much of a run-producer as an igniter type. Like I said, I bet he develops some power and migrates to the middle of the order.

 Q:  Matt from Chicago asks:
Phil, do you get a raise now that the Trib has raised its price?
 A: 

Phil Rogers: Ah, Matt, good question to end this one on. I am due for a raise, now that you mention it, but I don't think it's related to the price of the paper or the Cubs' 2003 rise in the standings. It's just that time of year. Thanks to everyone for putting up with me so long. I hope I came near the Callis count. It was fun.

Moderator: Whoa. That all i can say. Whoa.

Thanks Phil for giving us nearly four hours of White Sox chat action. I'm pretty sure everyone participating can feel like an expert on the system.