In advance of the midnight deadline to protect players in the Rule 5 Draft, the White Sox purchasd the contracts of two of their top prospects, center fielder Trayce Thompson and infielder Carlos Sanchez on Wednesday. The Sox also claimed versatile infielder Jake Elmore on waivers from the Houston Astros, bringing their 40-man roster to 39.
Elmore, 26, who batted .242 with two homers over 52 games with the Astros, played all nine positions for Houston in 2013. He played 20 games at shortstop, 12 at second base, nine in left field, two in center and one each at right field, third base, first base, catcher and pitcher.
On Aug. 19 he became the 14th player in history to to pitch and catch in the same game. He pitched a perfect eighth inning against the Rangers in Texas.
Neither Sanchez or Thompson stepped forward offensively last season, but both are considered to have high upsides and probably would have been taken by another team in the Rule 5 draft. Eligible players left off the 40-man roster can be selected.
Sanchez, 21, batted .241 at AAA Charlotte after making a fast climb through the minor-league system and being rated as the Sox’ No. 3 prospect by Baseball America going into the season. The publication also rated Sanchez as the best hitter for average and best defensive infielder in the organization.
Thompson, 22, was rated the No. 2 prospect in the organization. Highly thought of because of his blend of power and speed and center field defense, he spent the season at AA Birmingham and batted only .229 while hitting 15 homers with 73 RBI and 25 stolen bases.