The Chicago Cubs starting lineup of failed prospects was a major let down, so let’s see how the White Sox faired in their quest for talent.
James Baldwin RHP – Let’s start with this guy because he somehow managed to stay in the big leagues for 11 years and, in a ridiculous turn of fate, made the 2000 All-Star team. Baldwin was supposed to be one of the ridiculously talented pitchers of the 1990′s White Sox, teaming up with Black Jack McDowell, Wilson Alvarez, Jason Bere and Bobby Thigpen. Instead, Baldwin managed to not have one single season with an ERA under 4.42, ending his career with a career ERA of 5.01.
Danny Wright RHP – Once the 61st ranked prospect, Wright quickly became a name Sox fans would love to forget. From 2001 to 2004 Wright threw for a 5.65 ERA and actually started in 64 games. Even more amazing, Danny Wright had more run support than any other starting pitcher in 2002 and had 14 wins to his 12 losses.
Scott Ruffcorn RHP – There’s a name. 1995′s 23rd ranked prospect. The Great Hope of the White Sox farm system in the year after Jack McDowell was alienated by Jerry Reinsdorf and shipped off to the Yankees for bread and water. Ruffcorn did not manage to get one single win in the majors and ended a once promising career with an 8.57 ERA over 70.1 innings pitched. Ouch!
Chris Snopek 3B – Also a name you heard a lot about in the 90′s, Snopek was the #52 prospect in 1996. After putting up great numbers in 1995 and 96, Snopek failed to ever hit over .259 in any league and was gone by 1999.
Joe Borchard RF – 2001′s big name for the Sox, Borchard was called up in autumn 2002, and again in 2003, then he played in 63 games in 2004, then the Sox somehow got the Blue Jays to take him off their hands. His major league batting average was .205 in 716 at bats for 5 teams.
Brian Anderson OF – Tough luck Brian, suck it up. The White Sox former first-rounder came up to the majors on the heels of he 2005 World Series sweep. Center Fielder Aaron Rowand was shipped off to Philly in the Jim Thome trade and Brian Anderson was his successor. If Anderson had been able to handle a failure and bounce back from it, he would probably still be in the big leagues today. His skill patrolling the outfield was incredible but he just couldn’t get on base. Yes, there was a little Willie Mays-Hayes in there, with that speed he should be hitting the ball on the ground and trying to leg it out.
* Note: Anderson is currently trying again to ressurect his outfielding career after a failed minor league pitching experiment
Josh Fields 3B/2B – This guy is a sad story. The first-rounder was the #4 White Sox prospect in 2005. He had an outstanding minor-league career and his very first plate appearance in the majors was a homerun. Even if this guy did nothing else of consequence in the big leagues, he will always be remembered by Mark Buehrle for his assistance in Buehrle’s perfect game, knocking out the game-winning homerun and catching the last out. The thing about Fields is, he wasn’t that bad, he just didn’t make it.
White Sox active major league roster personnel Tyler Flowers and Gordon Beckham
Flowers C – Atlanta Braves prospect turned White Sox prosect, the catcher is the absolute steakiest hitter in all of basebll. Every time you think he’s finally coming around he slumps. Yes, he is still in the lineup because first-round draft pick Josh Phegley can’t hit any better and doesn’t seem to want out of the bullpen duties.
Beckham 2B – Gordon Beckham had one good season. He was 2009′s Rookie of the Year. He is tough as nails and plays hurt. He still failed miserably considering his draft and prospect status. 2008′s eighth pick overall, Beckham was promoted to the majors exactly 364 days later. After an amazing season, Beckham has dropped off completely, managing career stats of only .244 BA and 200 walks to his 483 strikeouts.
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