It's that always exciting time of baseball preseason's preseason when we get to learn about all the players who have received non-roster invitations to Spring Training!
The list, as always, consists of prospects not yet on the 40-man roster who the team wants to get a closer look at, as well as some retreads and guys who are desperately hanging on to their major league dream.
You know the big names (Tim Anderson, Carson Fulmer, etc.) Booooringgggg. Nope, this post is dedicated to the also-rans who will enter camp with a fleeting hope of impressing coaches and executives just enough to make the cut, Every so often, that happens. So let's take a look at who the White Sox have invited this year:
Phillippe Aumont — Aumont, a 6-foot-7 left-handed pitcher, was taken 11th overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 2007 draft out of high school and became the prize of the trade that sent Cliff Lee from the Phillies to Seattle in 2009. He's spent his career since then in the Philadelphia organization and was never able to stick at the major league level, throwing a combined 43.2 innings from 2012-15 and issuing 34 walks with a 6.80 ERA.
Colin Kleven — Kleven's first mistake is that he spells his first name incorrectly. In reality, he's a 6-foot-5 right-hander who the Phillies took in the 33rd round of the 2009 draft who has never pitched above Double-A. He elected for free agency after the 2015 season and the White Sox scooped him up.
Matt Lollis — Lollis is a 6-foot-9(!) right-hander who the San Diego Padres took in the 15th round of the 2009 draft when he was just 18 years old. A career minor-leaguer, he was part of the seven-player deal two years ago that sent Logan Forsythe to the Rays and Jesse Hahn to the Padres. He has a lifetime 4.53 ERA at the minor-league level, including a 3.53 ERA in 63.2 Double-A innings a year ago.
Josh Wall — The older brother of Washington Wizards guard John Wall (OK, I made that up), Wall is a well-traveled 29-year-old most recently found in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, where he had a 2.70 ERA in 36.2 IP at Triple-A Indianapolis a year ago. A second-round pick by the Dodgers in 2005, Wall has also spent time with the Angels and Marlins, and has thrown 13.2 big league innings (in parts of 2012, 2013 and 2014).
Matt Purke — He's just a kid from Nagocdoches, Texas who could... ah, never mind. Purke, a 6-foot-4 left, is the only guy on this list to once rate as a Top 100 prospect (nope, not even Aumont), rating No. 91 by Baseball Prospectus prior to the 2012 season. He was a taken 14th overall by the Texas Rangers in the 2009 draft, opted to attend TCU instead of signing, and fell to the 3rd round in 2012, this time drafted by the Washington Nationals. Now 25, Purke has spent his entire career in the Washington organization, never rising above Double-A.
Nik Turley — Turley is so old that he was drafted in a round that doesn't even exist anymore! A 50th rounder in the 2008 draft, he's still hanging around, having spent the last year in the San Francisco Giants' organization after floating around with the Yankees for the prior six years. The 6-foot-4 left-hander made 19 starts for Triple-A Sacramento last year with a 4.56 ERA. He is 26 years old.
Hector Sanchez — Hey, a guy we might have kinda heard of! Sanchez is a 26-year-old catcher the White Sox signed back in December after he spent the last five seasons with the San Francisco Giants, compiling 637 plate appearances from 2011-15 while backing up Buster Posey. He's even got postseason experience, going 1-for-11 during the Giants' 2012 World Series run. His career line at the plate is .240/.274/.345.
Steve Lombardozzi — Another somewhat familiar name, Lombardozzi has bounced around as a utility infielder since breaking into the majors in 2011. He was part of the trade that sent Doug Fister to the Nationals in 2013 and was traded from Detroit to Baltimore in 2014 for the corpse of Alex Gonzalez. He can maybe kinda play three infield positions but hasn't seen regular time in the majors since 2013 with Washington, where he put together a .259/.278/.338 line in 307 plate appearances. He was most recently seen with Pittsburgh, where he got all of 11 plate appearances at the major league level in 2015.
Andy Parrino — Our last hang-er on-er is Parrino, another guy who can kinda maybe play all over the diamond and has spent time in the majors with both Oakland and San Diego. Now 30 years old, Parrino has accumulated 288 plate appearances across parts of five seasons with a career .175/.280/.244 line.