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White Sox craft plan for sustained success

Club stockpiles top prospects as part of rebuilding effort
MLB.com @scottmerkin

KANSAS CITY -- It was exactly one year ago when Rick Hahn uttered the phrase "mired in mediocrity" to describe the state of the White Sox, with the team standing at 46-49 and 10 1/2 games out in the American League Central.

Since that time, the general manager has moved Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Adam Eaton, Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson and Zach Duke as part of the rebuild, receiving 16 prospects in return, including Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Dane Dunning and Eloy Jimenez to name a few.

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KANSAS CITY -- It was exactly one year ago when Rick Hahn uttered the phrase "mired in mediocrity" to describe the state of the White Sox, with the team standing at 46-49 and 10 1/2 games out in the American League Central.

Since that time, the general manager has moved Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Adam Eaton, Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson and Zach Duke as part of the rebuild, receiving 16 prospects in return, including Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Dane Dunning and Eloy Jimenez to name a few.

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That list does not include the prospect bounty achieved through two successful Drafts under Nick Hostetler's guidance or the international free-agent signing of outfielder Luis Robert. The White Sox have chosen a definitive path toward future success, even if it means a step back in 2017 and probably '18 to get there.

"They are making the decisions for us to be better as a team, and you have to buy into it," first baseman Jose Abreu said through interpreter Billy Russo. "I am glad I'm here, and I'm glad the team is finally following a straight line to the path we want to go. It's part of the business."

"What it does is just establishes what's entirely going on. It allows us to continue to be constructive in the ways we are needing to be," infielder Tyler Saladino said. "In this sense, we are trying to be constructive to learn the things that it takes to win. Even if you take a step backward, you are able to continue to make the necessary adjustments after that. It's a constant progression."

Part of the progression becomes the top-ranked prospects arriving with the White Sox after taking the proper time to develop in the Minor Leagues. As Hahn has said many times, and manager Rick Renteria reiterated on Friday, these young players won't be rushed, but the good ones have a way of forcing their way into the picture.

Video: LAD@CWS: Moncada receives ovation, walks in '17 debut

See Moncada as an example, with the top-ranked prospect per MLBPipeline.com making his second of many starts at second in Friday's series opener against the Royals. The White Sox began the weekend with the third-worst record in baseball, so they no longer are mediocre. But they don't accept losing as their '17 fate, looking at it as more of the process toward sustained success.

"When we lose a ballgame, we want to know why, we want to identify why we didn't win it," Renteria said. "Did we not execute, did we fail to do a particular action? What were the things in the nine innings of baseball where we failed?

"If it was effort, if it was focus, what was it? We're still going through the process of making sure we continue to learn who we are, continue to learn the type of baseball and the type of brand of baseball that we want to play. These guys are getting it. Every single day we go out there and try to win a ballgame. It may not happen, but we go out there and try to win a ballgame."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox