The White Sox snared another prospect off the waiver wire on Friday. Several teams around the league are feeling the squeeze of the 40-man roster and the Twins lost Daniel Palka as they tried to slip him past the A.L. Central. Palka is listed as the Twins No. 22 prospect by MLB Pipeline.
#MNTwins lose OF Daniel Palka to the White Sox, per league source. Couldn't get him through waivers. 40-man purge underway.
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) November 3, 2017
Palka is a versatile lefty with some serious pop. A third-round draft pick by the Diamondbacks out of Georgia Tech, Palka was traded after the 2015 season to the Twins for Chris Herrman.
Palka has outstanding power and blasted 34 home runs in 2016 between Double-A and Triple-A, but the well was bare this past season. In 84 contests Palka only managed 12 long balls in a season shortened by a broken finger in May. Besides Palka’s power potential he has demonstrated the ability to drive runs in.
Daniel Palka is a 26yo lefty 1B/DH with plus raw power. Crushed AA as a 24yo. .274/.329/.431 in AAA last year but did reduce K rate
— James Fegan (@JRFegan) November 3, 2017
Besides Palka’s power potential he has demonstrated the ability to drive runs in. He drove in 90 runs in back-to-back seasons (2015,2016) while batting .280 and .254 respectively. There was concern about his strikeout rate while in High-A but he has scrubbed that blemish from his scouting report, sinking his strikeout rate to 22 percent — a dramatic improvement from his career high 38 percent the previous season. And let’s not forget that power hitters fan more frequently than contact guys.
Still, Palka’s seismic power and versatility around the diamond gives the White Sox plenty of cause to add him to the roster. He was played outfield exclusively last season and made seven appearances as the designated hitter.
This move could send a message to other players on the big league roster that the White Sox are still searching for depth to replace anticipated gaps. It is very unlikely that the South Siders deal Jose Abreu given the market for first-baseman but Avisail Garcia and Nicky Delmonico may need to take a few extra swings over the offseason. But above all else, Palka is a move to inject even more uncertainty into an already vicious competition for roster spots.