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South Side Sox Prospect Vote: Round 1

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Who is the best prospect in the White Sox system?

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox
Round 1: Management offers this shot, found in a search for “White Sox prospect,” so as not to sway voters.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Better late than never.

Wait, that’s how larry introduced his top five prospects in a post last week. But it applies here, too.

Many SB Nation sites do a crowdsourced top prospects list. It seems as if South Side Sox never has.

In the past [cough] there may have been good reason for this. After all, it is harder to pick a top 20 or 30 or 40 prospects when you don’t have 20, or 30, or 40 legitimate prospects in the system.

But that has now changed, people! We have prospects!

So let’s crowdsource a top prospects list. We’ll go to at least 25, but if we hit 25 and want to push another five or 10 or 15, we’ll do it. There’s no rules or precedent here.

If this proves to be like, something we want to keep doing, it would make sense to start it up a little bit earlier next season, somewhere within the preponderance of prospect list issuing that has become a rite of spring; February 1, 2019, let’s say.

We’ll list out the consensus top five prospects who have yet to be placed, so to begin with, that’s the consensus top-five White Sox prospects, period. Alphabetical order, no rankings attached, you wanna look those up and lemming your way through this thing, go on ahead.

You have 24 hours, South Side Sox fans.

Dylan Cease, SP

2018 Age: 22

2017 High Level: Kannapolis (A)

Overall 2017 stats: 22 starts ▪️ 93 13 IP ▪️ 3.28 ERA ▪️ 126 K ▪️ 44 BB ▪️ 1.27 WHIP

ZiPS MLB Projection: N/A

ZiPs Player Comp: N/A

Dylan Cease came to the White Sox along with Eloy Jimenez in the Jose Quintana trade and impressed during his Cactus League audition in 2018. Cease had Tommy John surgery in high school and got a slow start in his professional career, throwing just 24 innings in 2015, more than a year after he was drafted. In 2016, Cease threw 44 23 innings in the Northwest League, with 66 Ks and a 2.22 ERA. Last year he was dominant in low-A ball before being shut down with arm soreness. Cease will be in high-A Winston-Salem’s rotation to begin 2018, with advancement to Birmingham in the offing.

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Alec Hansen, SP

2018 Age: 23

2017 High Level: Birmingham (AA)

Overall 2017 stats: 26 starts ▪️ 141 13 IP ▪️ 2.80 ERA ▪️ 191 K ▪️ 51 BB ▪️ 1.17 WHIP

ZiPS MLB Projection: 146 13 IP ▪️ 4.61 ERA ▪️ 144 K ▪️ 64 BB ▪️ ERA+ 106 ▪️ WAR 1.6

ZiPs Player Comp: Ron Darling

Hansen fell to the White Sox at 49th overall after falling out of his college rotation at Oklahoma due to wildness (7.0 BB/9). After some adjustments to his mechanics, Hansen took off, with a 1.32 ERA at rookie and low-A ball. In 2017, Hansen burned through the White Sox system, starting in Kannapolis and ending up in Birmingham, to the tune of a 2.80 ERA and 12.2 K/9 rate. Forearm soreness has slowed the start of Hansen’s season, but he remains a larry favorite and has had nothing but success in the White Sox system.

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Eloy Jimenez, RF

2018 Age: 21

2017 High Level: Birmingham (AA)

Overall 2017 stats: 89 games ▪️ 19 HR ▪️ 65 RBI ▪️ .312/.379/.568

ZiPS MLB Projection: 454 PA ▪️ 23 HR ▪️ 61 RBI ▪️ .261/.313/.492 ▪️ OPS+ 118 ▪️ WAR 1.5

ZiPs Player Comp: Dwight Evans

Eloy Jimenez was signed by the Chicago Cubs at the same time as Gleyber Torres, in 2013, and in less than four years the Cubs had dealt away both players. Jimenez began his storm up the prospect charts in 2016, when he went .284/.328.418 in A ball and wowed everyone at the 2016 Futures Game. In 2017, Jimenez was advanced to high-A, and his trade from North to South Side teams made no difference, hitting .295/.370/.543. In 18 games at Birmingham at the end of the season, he continued to dominate despite being just 20 and four years younger than the average AA baller. Jimenez has better than average speed and fielding ability for a man his size. He has shown patience and ability to make adjustments as a hitter, making him more than a typical slugger-or-bust. He is on the fast track to the majors.

***

Michael Kopech, SP

2018 Age: 21

2017 High Level: Charlotte (AAA)

Overall 2017 stats: 25 starts ▪️ 134 13 IP ▪️ 2.88 ERA ▪️ 172 K ▪️ 65 BB ▪️ 1.17 WHIP

ZiPS MLB Projection: 133 23 IP ▪️ 4.44 ERA ▪️ 157 K ▪️ 80 BB ▪️ ERA+ 97 ▪️ WAR 1.7

ZiPs Player Comp: Ubaldo Jimenez

Like Jimenez, Kopech made his name with a standout 2016 season, when he threw 56 13 innings, with a 2.08 ERA and 86 Ks, then put up a 2.01 ERA in the Arizona Fall League. After his trade to the White Sox, Kopech was bumped up to Birmingham at just 20 years old, and he delivered, with a 2.87 ERA and increased control as the season went on. He earned three Charlotte starts at season’s end and he struck out 17 batters in 15 innings. When he proves he can throw a changeup that sets up his high-90s fastball and high-80s slider, Kopech will join the White Sox rotation.

***

Luis Robert, CF

2018 Age: 20

2017 High Level: Dominican Summer League (DSL)

Overall 2017 stats: 28 games ▪️ 3 HR ▪️ 17 RBI ▪️ 12 SB ▪️ .310/.491/.536

ZiPS MLB Projection: N/A

ZiPs Player Comp: N/A

Robert was the first big international signing from the White Sox since Jose Abreu, and the early returns indicate just as big a home run with this one. He’s shown a tendency to get banged up, however, and is currently sidelined with a thumb injury that keeps him out of action well into May, around the one-year anniversary of his signing. His early comp has pointed to a Vladimir Guerrero-type talent, although Robert projects to center field and is unlikely to golf home runs off a bounced pitch. Robert will be the primary Winston-Salem CF when he returns to action, with a promotion to Birmingham looming.

***

Poll

Who do you think is the best prospect in the White Sox system?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Dylan Cease
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    Alec Hansen
    (9 votes)
  • 70%
    Eloy Jimenez
    (315 votes)
  • 15%
    Michael Kopech
    (71 votes)
  • 11%
    Luis Robert
    (51 votes)
449 votes total Vote Now