MLB Pipeline has been counting down its Top 10 farm systems this week, with the top three teams’ full Top 30 lists being released today. The syndicate of Jonathan Mayo, Mike Rosenbaum, and Jim Callis revealed this morning that the Chicago White Sox once again tout their third-ranked farm system, behind the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres, and ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Yankees.
Along with MLB Pipeline’s announcement comes this fairly unsurprising list of the 30 best White Sox prospects. Between MLB’s list and that of five other major publications, only 13 different players have appeared in the Sox’s top 10, and those are the first 13 players listed here. Beyond that, though, we get to see how MLB’s guys differ from the field in their evaluation of the system’s depth.
Charlie Tilson lives!
Most other outlets have completely discarded Charlie Tilson after his hamstring and foot issues. He hasn’t appeared on a single list before today, although FutureSox did put him in their list of honorable mentions outside the Top 30. MLB Pipeline must believe in a Tilson comeback, though, because they plopped him down at No. 16, in the company of players like Spencer Adams, Luis Alexander Basabe, and Ian Clarkin.
Luis Gonzalez turns another head
The Sox’s 2017 third-round pick has been granted sleeper status by a couple observers after a successful half-season in Kannapolis. It was a bit shocking to see Keith Law put him at No. 16 on his list, but here he’s not far behind, at No. 19. MLB seems to have taken notice of his advanced feel for hitting:
Gonzalez excels at controlling the strike zone, drawing 124 free passes against just 71 whiffs in three years of college and logging a 14 percent walk rate in his debut. With his sound left-handed swing, line-drive approach and plate discipline, he should be able to hit for average.
Casey Gillaspie is nowhere to be found
Conor’s brother was at No. 11 on the 2017 version of MLB’s list after being acquired from Tampa Bay last July. The fact that he now sits outside the Top 30 speaks to just how quickly his stock has fallen over the last two years. MLB’s is only the third list to go 30 deep, and it’s the first one where Gillaspie is missing, although Baseball America said he’s not a top-30 player in their minds, either.
Jordan Guerrero is snubbed again
New faces at the bottom
Evan Skoug (No. 24), Tyler Johnson (No. 27), Lincoln Henzman (No. 28) and Justin Yurchak (No. 30) are all 2017 draft picks that made the tail end of MLB’s list. This is the first time any of the three has been ranked, so it may just be by default, to hype the organization’s recent draftees.
With this new information, I’ve updated the Composite Top Prospects List accordingly. The new consensus White Sox Top 10 looks like this:
- Eloy Jimenez
- Michael Kopech
- Luis Robert
- Alec Hansen
- Dylan Cease
- Zack Collins (7)
- Dane Dunning (6)
- Jake Burger
- Blake Rutherford
- Zack Burdi
I’ve also added color coding for the 13 prospects who have appeared in at least one Top 10, so you can see where different players fall on different lists. It’s all fairly consistent, but doing so helps you more easily visualize each publication’s wackiest outlier:
- BA: Cease at #10
- BP: Cease at #4
- FanGraphs: Burdi at #5
- FutureSox: Collins at #5
- Keith Law: Collins at #10
- MLB Pipeline: None, really
- Sickels: Carson Fulmer at #8