Speaking of the draft, check out the job Kenny Williams has done building the White Sox
Yankees GM Brian Cashman has tried to make the First-Year Player Draft the most significant single thing the franchise does. Cashman isn’t going to apologize for having the most money to spend, but he believes good organizations are built from the ground up. Homegrown players are the most important currency a franchise has. If a team does a good job in the draft, it has a much better chance of keeping its payroll manageable. In addition, if a contender needs to add a player at the trading deadline, it’s the club with the most gifted young players who are more likely to make a smart deal.
And that’s one of many reasons Kenny Williams has done a fantastic job with the White Sox. In this 14-2 run, the White have gone from 4 1/2 games out to a 2 1/2-game lead in the American League Central. Homegrown players have played a significant role. At the moment, the White Sox have eight players either originally drafted or signed by them: Gordon Beckham (2008), Nate Jones (2007), Addison Reed (2010), Chris Sale (2010) and Hector Santiago (2006) were draft picks. Eduardo Escobar (2006), Alexei Ramirez (2008) and Dayan Viciedo (2008) were signed as free agents.
The White Sox have spent the last 13 days in place. That’s nine more days that they spent in first place in 2011 and the same number they spent atop the division in 2009. They led the AL Central 33 days in 2010. In the last 19 games, the White Sox lead the Major Leagues in runs (6.6 per game), home runs, batting average and batting with runners in scoring position (.335). The White Sox have a +40 run differential, third-largest in MLB behind the Rangers (+69) and Cardinals (+48). The Sox have allowed just nine unearned runs, fewest in MLB.