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Five top prospects among White Sox camp invitees

Five top prospects among White Sox camp invitees play video for Five top prospects among White Sox camp invitees
CHICAGO -- Five of MLB.com's Top 10 White Sox prospects earned a non-roster invitation to big league Spring Training camp in Glendale, Ariz., as announced by the team on Thursday as part of 20 non-roster invitations overall.

Top prospect Trayce Thompson, who was a non-roster invitee in 2012, will be joined by outfielder Keenyn Walker (No. 5), left-handed pitcher Scott Snodgress (No. 6), infielder Carlos Sanchez (No. 7) and right-handed pitcher Erik Johnson (No. 8) on the Major League side at Camelback Ranch.

Outfielder Courtney Hawkins (No. 2) and first baseman Keon Barnum (No. 10) stand as the only two prospects in MLB.com's White Sox Top 10 who won't be part of big league camp, and they were the team's top two picks out of high school in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

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Lefty Charlie Leesman (No. 3), righty Nestor Molina (No. 4) and outfielder Jared Mitchell (No. 9) are on the White Sox 40-man roster.

Others from within the system on the non-roster invite list are right-handed pitcher Jacob Petricka; left-handed pitcher Daniel Moskos; catchers Michael Blanke and Kevan Smith; and infielders Seth Loman, Tyler Saladino, Marcus Semien and Andy Wilkins. The White Sox also agreed to Minor League contracts with right-handed pitchers Jeff Gray and Ramon Troncoso; left-handed pitcher David Purcey; catcher Brian Anderson; infielders Josh Bell and Steve Tolleson; and outfielder Stefan Gartrell, extending non-roster invites to all seven.

Seven of the 20 non-roster invites have Major League experience, with Gray, Anderson, Tolleson and Bell all seeing big league time in 2012. Gray, who posted a 5.71 ERA over 52 innings for the Twins last season, worked 13 1/3 innings for the White Sox in 2011. Gartrell was selected by the White Sox in the 31st round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft but was traded to the Braves organization in 2011.

Tolleson, 29, figures to compete with Angel Sanchez for the White Sox utility infield spot.

Carlos Sanchez also could be a long shot in consideration for that utility infield job. But with the 20-year-old phenom having just two years of professional experience and 991 Minor League at-bats to his credit, the White Sox goal is to get Sanchez a full season of at-bats at Triple-A Charlotte during the 2013 campaign. He topped all White Sox Minor Leaguers with a .323 average and 169 hits in 2012.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Thompson topped the Carolina League last season with 90 RBIs and 55 extra-base hits, while tying for the league lead with 22 home runs. Thompson was taken by the White Sox in the second round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, and his brother, Klay, currently plays in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors. His father, Mychal, was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the No. 1 pick in the 1978 NBA Draft and won NBA titles with the Lakers in 1987 and 1988.

Walker was the White Sox first pick and 47th selection overall in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and made major strides during the 2012 season. Walker, 22, hit .267 with 22 doubles, six triples, four homers, 55 RBIs and 56 stolen bases over 111 games between Class A Kannapolis and Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. Those 56 stolen bases were the most by a White Sox Minor Leaguer since 2003.

Johnson, 23, posted a 2.53 ERA and fanned 87 in 92 1/3 innings last season. The second-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft finished 6-5 while pitching for Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. Snodgress, 23, was No. 1 among all White Sox Minor Leaguers with his 128 strikeouts over 27 starts.

White Sox pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Tuesday, Feb. 12, with physicals and a workout scheduled for the same day. Position players report and undergo physicals on Sunday, Feb. 17. The first full-squad workout also will take place on that day.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["prospect" ,"spring_training" ] }
{"event":["prospect" ,"spring_training" ] }