Originally posted on Grab Some Bench  |  Last updated 6/22/13
In our first edition of the "Getting to know the future" series, we took a look at two Birmingham relievers. Though we're staying in AA with the Barons, we're now shifting to the starting rotation, where one 24 year-old and two 25 year-olds that you probably don't know much about are also finding success: Spencer Arroyo (pictured below), Nick McCully, and Stephen McCray. First, we should mention that these aren't guys you're likely going to see with the White Sox too soon. After all, there just aren't question marks in the starting rotation with young guys like Sale, Santiago, and Quintana aboard to go along with  veterans like Danks and Peavy under contract. But a main reason we're going to discuss this trio is because the bigger SP prospect names in the team's organization have disappointed so far in 2013. We're talking about the likes of Nestor Molina, Simon Castro, Andre Rienzo, and even Scott Snodgress. If even just a couple of those fellas were doing well right now, there would be absolutely no need to dive any further into this part of the ChiSox's farm system. But they're not, and heads are about to roll on the south side of Chicago, so we figure it's best to be fully informed about those throughout the organization that you may not, but oughta know. So let's take a look at today's three guys of focus ... Spencer Arroyo We'll start with the 24 year-old south paw who was drafted in the 31st round by the Philadelphia Phillies five years ago. After having two poor seasons in the Phillies organization, they had seen enough and the White Sox soon decided to give him a shot. He instantly did better after switching organizations, doing pretty well in rookie ball and low-A in 2010 and 2011. So in 2012, the team decided to promote him to Winston Salem and eventually Birmingham, where he was pretty mediocre with an 11-7 record and a 4.46 ERA. But this year, he's been better. His WHIP has dropped from 1.558 to 1.228 and in turn has seen his ERA drop over a full run to 3.49 through his first 14 starts for Birmingham. The 6'2 lanky lefty is impressing team officials this year, and could be in a position to move up to AAA late in this year or definitely in 2014. It's hard to say he'll have a spot on the big league team any time in the somewhat-near future, but given the team's past success with precision south paws and the great strides he's made, you should definitely add him to the growing list of interesting AA hurlers to monitor. At the very least, he's a great asset for the organization on the market in the coming months. Nick McCully As a reliever for the Kannapolis Intimidators in 2011 and the Winston Salem Dash in 2012, this somewhat small, 5'11 195 lb. righty found some success. But as a former ninth round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals, the White Sox seem uncertain as to how they want to use Nick McCully going forward throughout their organization. This year, he's made eight starts and seven relief appearances for the Birmingham Barons and has been very good as a starter. Overall this year, he's 6-1 with a 2.62 ERA, but as a starter he's 4-0 with about a 1.80 ERA. So it seems that's where he'll continue to be, at least for now, in AA. McCully is still only 24 years old and like the others in this piece, will quickly continue to shoot up White Sox minor league rankings if the bigger SP names in AAA don't get their acts together. Stephen McCray I'm sure by now you're seeing the trend with these guys. And it's going to continue with this 25 year-old righty of the Barons, Stephen McCray. Drafted in 2006, 2007, and finally in 2010 by the White Sox, this 6'3 230 lb. Georgian was obviously doing something right. And outside of a somewhat rocky 2011 for Great Falls of the Pioneer League, that's continued to be the case throughout his MiLB career. After being drafted in 2010, he first did well for Great Falls, posting a 6-2 record with a 2.48 ERA through 18 games (six starts). And after his rough '11 campaign, he was actually promoted, as he was sent to Kannapolis (A) and Winston Salem (A+) for all of 2012. There, he pitched in 31 total games making 18 starts and maintaining a nice 1.150 WHIP and 3.18 ERA. And like the two previous guys on this list, he's continued to do pretty well after a promotion to AA Birmingham. This year, he's got a 7-5 record through 14 starts with a 3.59 ERA, just above his lifetime MiLB mark of 3.45. None of his numbers really blow you away, though .  Again, it's just a case of a guy who has consistently put up solid numbers and looks plenty equipped to step in if the guys ahead of him in the organization don't step up and do what they're supposed to. No, this list of young arms isn't the most glamorous list of prospects, but it's certainly three guys you should familiarize yourself with. In the coming days, though, we will be taking a look at more prospects you should get to know. And these ones will be guys, like in the last piece, that you can say we should see in a White Sox uniform at some point in the somewhat near future.
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