When the Chicago White Sox traded Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan to Atlanta last night, it forced an update of my two-day-old White Sox top 5 prospect list.
In return for Vazquez and Logan, the White Sox received prospects Tyler Flowers, Brent Lillibridge, Jon Gilmore, and Santos Rodriguez.
Flowers, a 22-year-old catcher, becomes the No. 3 prospect for the White Sox, behind Gordon Beckham and Aaron Poreda.
Flowers was a popular breakout candidate before the season and fulfilled those expectations.
He spent 2008 with Myrtle Beach of the High-A Carolina League. In 413 at bats (122 games), he hit .288 with 32 doubles, a triple, and 17 home runs.
He picked up league-leading 98 walks to go along with 102 strikeouts, a .427 OBP and a .494 SLG. The OBP ranked second in the league while the SLG ranked fifth.
Flowers further improved his stock with an outstanding showing in the Arizona Fall League, where he slugged 12 homers in only 75 AB while hitting .387.
The downside to Flowers is that he's not a strong bet to stay behind the plate. He's 6'4"/245 lbs and is more likely to end up at first base down the road.
Look for Flowers to begin 2009 with AA-Birmingham.
None of the other prospects Chicago received would crack the top five, but Lillibridge, 25, would likely make the list if it was expanded to ten.
He had a miserable season last year, posting a .638 OPS in 355 AB for AAA-Richmond and he hit .220 in 80 AB for Atlanta.
He's better than what he showed last year and should compete with Chris Getz, Jayson Nix, and Wilson Betemit for the second base job. Lillibridge can play short as well.
UPDATED WHITE SOX TOP 5 PROSPECT LIST
1. Gordon Beckham
2. Aaron Poreda
3. Tyler Flowers
4. Dayan Viciedo
5. Brandon Allen
Getz drops off the top five.
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