On Tuesday afternoon I had the opportunity to join a conference call with Chicago White Sox Director of Player Development Chris Getz. He joined a few members of the Chicago sports media including myself for about 15 minutes to talk to us about prospects, and we got some great and well thought out answers from him. Here is what we learned.
We learned that the Birmingham rotation will consist of Jordan Stephens, A.J. Puckett, Spencer Adams, Ian Clarkin, Jordan Guerrero. We will also see Alec Hansen join this group later, but currently, he is going through a throwing program for his injury. It will be interesting to see where they ship someone else.
We also learned that Dane Dunning will start in Winston Salem. Dunning had a strong spring training in my eyes, so I am interested in if they decide to bump him up if the opportunity presents itself.
Positional Player Prospects
Luis Robert will start rehabbing in Winston-Salem, but will go to Arizona to prepare to play. He is getting checked out by a doctor today. We learned that when Robert is ready to go, he will be the priority center fielder for them. We also learned that Blake Rutherford will be at Winston Salem, so it will be interesting to see what they do with both of them, along with Luis Alexander Basabe and Alex Call who can also play out there.
Robert’s sliding was brought up during this conversation, and Getz talked about how he cringes when he sees Robert slide head first. He brought up though, that Robert needs more time to get used to the game. They’re trying to teach feet first sliding unless necessary to slide differently, but it will take some game time for Robert to get used to doing this kind of thing. Hopefully, the thumb gets fixed up quickly and we will see him sliding feet first in Winston-Salem soon.
I finished the conference call by asking Getz about Eloy Jimenez, and what he would need to do to get to the Majors this year and he told me that, “If Eloy continues to hit the way he’s been hitting, who knows, the sky is limit with this guy, He’s done nothing but hit since he’s become a White Sox.”
He did bring up that he needs at-bats. He mentioned how he only had roughly 60 at-bats at Birmingham to close 2017, so that is going to be a key level for him.
Getz’s final comment was, “I expect Eloy continues to do what he’s been doing, and who knows where he ends up. He’s still a young kid, obviously very mature in a lot of different ways. I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes steps forward to another level at some point.”
You could tell by the sound of Getz’s voice that he is very excited about him. Of course, the entire fan-base is excited about him, but when you can get someone like Getz so excited about a prospect like Eloy, you know they think he is as special as we all do.