Fangraphs System Profile (Jan 2019); or, The State of the System

nvalvo

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
16,208
Rogers Park
I found this Fangraphs writeup of the Sox farm system by Longenhangen and McDaniel very interesting, and wanted to solicit people's thoughts here.

As in many bad farm systems, the best players are years away. Near-term impact looks like Chavis (likely in trade), Lakins, Feltman, Poyner, and Hernandez in the bullpen, and maybe Shawaryn as rotation depth. But much more so than in a few years, this system feels like it could rocket up the charts if a few things go well. There are a few high-ceiling players who have barely played due to injury. If guys like Groome, Decker, and Casas have good first halves in 2019, this starts looking like much more of a farm system. (If that doesn't happen, though...).

So it feels to me like we might be at an inflection point with the farm system. Thoughts?
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,023
The wrong side of the bridge....
Yeah, I agree, fascinating piece. Two things especially struck me:
  • Hernandez at #2 in the system. This follows SoxProspects' promotion of him to #4 recently. Obviously there's a buzz about him now in the wake of his dominating performances since being moved to the pen late this year. One thing to note about Darwinzon, in addition to the high K rates, is the big-time power suppression--exactly 1 HR allowed in 117 IP this year. When I search Play Index for lefthanded relievers with >10 K/9, >4 BB/9, and <0.5 HR/9, one name comes up. And Hernandez happens to be the same age Aroldis Chapman was when the Reds brought him up for a cup of coffee in 2010. Just sayin'.
  • The emergence of three recent draftees who seem to have the potential to outperform their draft position: Decker, Duran, and Howlett. In each case, the FG piece notes that the Sox saw past conventional wisdom, picked up on something other teams had missed, or made a small tweak with immediate dividends. This is the kind of scouting/developmental competence that it's going to take for a good team to stay good despite drafting late every year.
 
Last edited:

bosox79

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
9,799
T
Yeah, I agree, fascinating piece. Two things especially struck me:
  • Hernandez at #2 in the system. This follows SoxProspects' promotion of him to #4 recently. Obviously there's a buzz about him now in the wake of his dominating performances since being moved to the pen late this year. One thing to note about Darwinzon, in addition to the high K rates, is the big-time power suppression--exactly 1 HR allowed in 117 IP this year. When I search Play Index for lefthanded relievers with >10 K/9, >4 BB/9, and <0.5 HR/9, one name comes up. And Hernandez happens to be the same age Aroldis Chapman was when the Reds brought him up for a cup of coffee in 2010. Just sayin'.
  • The emergence of three recent draftees who seem to have the potential to outperform their draft position: Decker, Duran, and Howlett. In each case, the FG piece notes that the Sox saw past conventional wisdom, picked up on something other teams had missed, or made a small tweak with immediate dividends. This is the kind of scouting/developmental competence that it's going to take for a good team to stay good despite drafting late every year.
I'm not sure Darwinzon has moved to the pen permanently. He didn't make a relief appearance until being promoted to Portland, where it may have been more about limiting his workload to close the year. He totally crushed the AFL but his control is terrible. I think he's not close to ready but we may find out. Moving to the pen full time may help his control issues for all I know. It would definitely speed up his arrival to the majors.

I also think this is a really big year for Dalbec and think he could potentially make the majors this year or totally suck.

And on a side note, the difference between an average farm system and a bottom one is maybe 2 players, one if that player is a top 5-10. If things go well for any team, they could rocket up the charts.

I like seeing Denyi Reyes getting some love too. It'll be interesting to see what he does when he reaches Portland. His stuff is pretty meh but he has pin point control. If that point control carries over to AA and AAA, he could be a huge overachiever.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 2, 2007
4,422
seattle
www.podiumcafe.com
Related: Baseball Prospectus has its top 101 out today:

https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/46653/2019-prospects-the-top-101/

No Sox on the list at all. Which would be depressing if we hadn't graduated our top guys into a championship-winning team. But I think the "top guys" rankings are less important for that reason, that system depth will matter when we need more reinforcements in a couple years.