I realize that neither of these players I’m going to chat about here are what you would call “up and coming prospects.” One, in fact, is not even technically a White Sox player anymore but rather a six-year free agent (the other is not on the six-year FA list but he’s also not on the club’s 40-man roster anymore so it’s possible that he has re-signed with them but I can’t find anything official on it anywhere so I’ll try to track that down and follow it up).
But hey, my blog, my rules. These are the guys I want to talk about that weren’t in my org review so here you go.
Infielder/outfielder Jason Bourgeois was called up from Triple-A Charlotte and made his big league debut this September and that was cause for one of my patented (but never videotaped) happy dances. As you’ll learn if you click that link, I have followed his career since my Scout School days of 2002. He’s the kind of guy teams love to have … he can play any position, he can run, he can come off the bench and he’s a real team leader.
While the Sox did not keep him active on their post-season roster, they offered him the chance to stay with the team through however long their playoff chase when, for the experience and camaraderie and he accepted it (not all of the young players offered that chance did and frankly, unless they were getting married that week or something, I cannot fathom why anyone would turn it down). I loved seeing the occasional glimpse of him on TV. It was like “Where’s Waldo” … “THERE’S BOOJ!!!!”
At Charlotte this year, he stole 30 bases, second in the organization, hitting .286 with nine homers and 48 RBIs. In the bigs, in his limited time, he hit .333 in six games with a double.
The other Jason is reliever Jason Childers who is a six-year free agent but I cannot imagine that he will go unsigned, not after the numbers he put up at Charlotte in 2008. The veteran right-hander collected 17 saves in as many chances and a 1.22 ERA in 50 games, striking out 61 batters while walking 12 in 59 innings and limiting International League hitters to a .167 average, sixth among all Minor League relievers.
Childers will turn 34 in January but in his 12 years of service as a pitcher, he’s only appeared in six big league games, all of which came with Tampa Bay in 2006.
Given the state of some big league bullpens right now, coupled with his marked success against Triple-A hitters, I would like to believe that not only will Childers get signed by a team but it will come with a non-roster invitation to big league spring training.
And what would be even cooler would be if his younger brother Matt, who is also a six-year free agent, got signed as well. He had 20 saves and a 3.78 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year (and the team only won 55 games so that’s a pretty impressive percentage of saves).