Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 8/22/12

The Chicago White Sox organization has done an outstanding job of squeezing every ounce of value out of its prospects this season.

Back in March, four prospect analysts/publications (FanGraphs, Baseball America, Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein) all agreed – in separate rankings of the 30 organizations in baseball – that the White Sox club was indeed the weakest in all of Major League Baseball in terms of prospects.

The perceived lack of quality hasn’t stopped the club from trotting out 12 rookies this season – for a combined value of 3.1 WAR. The majority of the contributions have come from the pitching side. Only outfielder Jordan Danks and infielder Eduardo Escobar – since traded to the Minnesota Twins for Francisco Liriano – have played the field for the White Sox. Danks has managed to provide 0.2 WAR, while Escobar was in the negative prior to his departure.

Ten pitchers have stood on the bump in Chicago this year, led by Jose Quintana who has provided a surprising 1.9 WAR during his rookie campaign. Despite the lack of prospect depth in the system the left-hander did not make any top prospect lists for the organization. Only Addison Reed has come close to matching Quintana’s impact with 1.1 WAR of his own. Other key rookie hurlers to help out in the bullpen include Nate Jones, Dylan Axelrod, and Hector Santiago.

In total, the Chicago White Sox organization has received 148 plate appearances and 284.1 innings of work from rookies in 2012. Those numbers are not too shabby for the worst-ranked organization in baseball in terms of the quality of its minor league system.

In comparison, let’s look at the Top 3 organizations that entered 2012 with the highest ranked minor league systems in terms of overall quality: the San Diego Padres, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Ranked No. 1, the Padres organization has received 945 plate appearances and 298 innings of work from rookie players. The offense has been led by first baseman Yonder Alonso (1.1 WAR) and catcher Yasmani Grandal – both of whom came to the organization in a pre-2012 trade with the Cincinnati Reds for young pitcher Mat Latos. Anthony Bass (0.8) and Dale Thayer (0.4) have championed the pitching staff. In total, San Diego has accumulated 2.7 WAR from 17 rookies.

In Toronto, which entered 2012 with the second-best system in baseball, a flurry of injuries to key players has resulted in 16 rookies finding their way to the 25-man roster. The first-year players have compiled 393 plate appearances and 144.1 innings of work. The injury issues have been so bad that leading rookie hurler Drew Hutchison (0.6 WAR) succumbed to Tommy John surgery mid-season. Toronto has also received a surprisingly solid bullpen performance from Aaron Loup who has also remained healthy thus far.

The hitting side of things has not been as promising with none of the five hitters providing a plus WAR. Both outfielder Anthony Gose and Moises Sierra have maintained neutral WARs, while spring training star Yan Gomes (a utility player and catcher) has been unable to recreate his March magic (-0.3 WAR). In total, Toronto rookies have accumulated a -0.5 WAR.

The third best minor league system entering 2012 belonged to the Tampa Bay Rays. That organization has utilized the talents of just 10 rookie players but they’ve combined for 2.6 WAR to date (Aug. 20, 2012). The key contribution has come from first-year hurler Matt Moore (1.8 WAR) who entered the year as the highest ranked rookie in baseball – followed by Washington’s Bryce Harper and LA’s Mike Trout.
Solid performances have also been enjoyed from fellow pitchers Jake McGee and Chris Archer, as well as catcher Jose Lobaton. In total, the Rays club has received 209 plate appearances and 211.1 innings of work from its rookies.

Chicago’s rookie performers like Quintana and Danks cannot boast anywhere near the future potential of the likes of Moore, Hutchison, and Alonso but the White Sox rookies have helped prove that even a weak minor league system – if used properly – can benefit a playoff caliber Major League Baseball club.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Favre felt 'bothered' by Green Bay's decision to trade him

Ned Yost explains Alex Rodriguez’s All-Star Game snub

Donovan McNabb arrested for DUI after rear-ending car

It is progress time for the Philadelphia 76ers

Andrew Luck talks Super Bowl hopes and Patriots

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rapper rips David West for taking pay cut to join Spurs

Report: Kevin Garnett will return for 21st NBA season

Packers plan to keep TE Andrew Quarless despite arrest

Russell Wilson: God spoke to me after Super Bowl-losing INT

Cam Newton training with Aussie rules football team

Jonathan Papelbon still wants out of Philly

Cardinals send rookies to Starbucks to pick up order

Mark Cuban fined for discussing Matthews and Jordan deals

Baseball's most productive low-authority hitters of all-time

USWNT's World Cup triumph four years in the making

Cubs announcer defends saying 'no-hitter' during game

MLB scout hiring and pay practices challenged in lawsuit

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

Bridgewater on Vikings: 'we’re not as good as what we think'

Floyd Mayweather officially stripped of welterweight title

Mo Williams signs 2-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers

Carli Lloyd had vision she would score four goals in World Cup Final

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

Report: Jordan was tired of Chris Paul

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.