White Sox invite 21 to big league camp

CHICAGO -- With 25 days to go before pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Arizona, the Chicago White Sox announced 21 invitees to big league camp.

Dylan Axelrod, Brian Omogrosso and Hector Gimenez, all of whom played for the White Sox in 2013, will return this year on minor-league contracts.

Axelrod started the season strong as a member of the starting rotation, before fading badly later in the year. He went 4-11 in 2013 with a 5.68 ERA while making 20 starts among his 30 appearances. Omogrosso made 12 appearances with an ERA over 9.00, while Gimenez had two home runs and 10 RBIs in 68 at-bats.

Other players on minor-league contracts to be invited to big-league camp were pitchers Parker Frazier, Omar Poveda, Zach Putnam, David Purcey, Mauricio Robles, infielder Alex Liddi and outfielder Denis Phipps.

The invite list also included 11 prospects from the White Sox’s system. Pitching prospects were Chris Bassitt, Chris Beck, Cody Winiarski and Scott Snodgress. Invited infielders included Micah Johnson, Mike McDade and Andy Wilkins, along with outfielders Blake Tekotte and Keenyn Walker. Extra camp catchers included Miguel Gonzalez and Kevan Smith.

Bassitt, 24, had a breakthrough season in 2013. The right-hander combined to go 11-4 with a 3.08 ERA over 26 starts between Single-A Winston Salem and Double-A Birmingham. He led the system with 138 strikeouts, was fourth in ERA and tied for fifth in victories.

Beck, ranked by Baseball America as the No. 9 prospect in the organization, went 13-10 with a 3.07 ERA between Winston-Salem and Birmingham last year. Bassitt and Beck both went 2-0 with ERAs under 1.00 in the Southern League playoffs while leading Birmingham to the title.

Johnson, 23, will enter the year as the No. 6 prospect in the organization. He not only led all minor leaguers with 84 steals, he was the MVP of the South Atlantic League All-Star Game and helped Birmingham in the playoffs with a .368 postseason batting average.

While White Sox pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 15, position players are slated to report Feb. 20.