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South Side Sox Prospect Vote: Round 16

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Who is the 16th-best prospect in the White Sox system?

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Peoria Javelinas at Glendale Desert Dogs
Impact Bat: Zavala’s bat has thrust him into the 2020s catcher mix, right alongside the more highly-touted Zack Collins.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations, Gavin Sheets, you’re the 15th-best prospect in the SSS rankings!

Sheets took every other contender to the mattresses, earning 45% (59 of 132 ballots).

Next up is a backstop who has seemingly come out of nowhere to factor into the future catching mix for the White Sox.

South Side Sox Top White Sox Prospects for 2018

  1. Eloy Jimenez — 70% (Kopech 16%, Robert 11%, Hansen 2%, Cease 1%)
  2. Michael Kopech — 75% (Robert 18%, Hansen 4%, Cease 2%, Dunning 1%)
  3. Luis Robert — 63% (Hansen 24%, Cease 8%, Dunning 4%, Collins 1%)
  4. Alec Hansen — 64% (Cease 25%, Dunning 6%, Burger 2%, Collins 2%)
  5. Dylan Cease — 70% (Dunning 21%, Rutherford 4%, Burger 3%, Collins 2%)
  6. Dane Dunning — 68% (Burdi 14%, Collins 7%, Burger 6%, Rutherford 5%)
  7. Zack Burdi — 39% (Collins 30%, Rutherford 17%, Burger 14%, Sheets 1%) (+3 jump from consensus)
  8. Jake Burger — 29% (Rutherford 26%, Adams/Collins 21%, Sheets 3%) (-1 fall from consensus)
  9. Blake Rutherford — 31% (Collins 26%, Adolfo 20%, Adams 19%, Sheets 4%)
  10. Micker Adolfo — 39% (Collins 25%, Adams 22%, Clarkin 8%, Sheets 6%) (+2 jump from consensus)
  11. Luis Alexander Basabe — 47% (Collins 26%, Adams 16%, Sheets 6%, Clarkin 5%) (+4 jump from consensus)
  12. Zack Collins — 46% (Adams 22%, Clarkin 17%, Sheets 14%, Puckett 2%) (-4 fall from consensus)
  13. Spencer Adams — 38% (Clarkin 29%, Sheets 19%, Gonzalez 8%, Puckett 6%) (+1 jump from consensus)
  14. Ian Clarkin — 47% (Sheets 25%, Gonzalez 15%, Puckett 7%, Stephens 6%) (+2 jump from consensus)
  15. Gavin Sheets — 45% (Gonzalez 21%, Cordell 14%, Stephens 11%, Puckett 9%) (-4 fall from consensus)

Here are your choices for the 16th round of voting:

Ryan Cordell, OF

2018 Age: 26

2017 High Level: Colorado Springs (AAA)

Overall 2017 stats: 68 games ▪️ 10 HR ▪️ 45 RBI ▪️ 25 BB ▪️ 65 K ▪️ .284/.349/.506

For a second there, it looked like Ryan Cordell might be the White Sox’s Opening Day center fielder. After a hot start, Cordell came close to making the cut in spring, and things have taken a bad turn for him since. First, he got off to a godawful start in Charlotte, wildly striking out. Just a couple of days ago, he fractured his collarbone crashing into the outfield wall and will be sidelined for two months. Before being acquired by the White Sox in the Anthony Swarzak trade last year, Cordell went from the Texas Rangers to Milwaukee Brewers in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. Injury is nothing new to Cordell, as his back was injured when the White Sox traded for him and he didn’t play at all for Charlotte after the trade last summer. Considered an ideal fourth outfielder, Cordell has shown he might hang as a CF, with basestealing speed and some power to boot. He certainly made an impression with his bat on the White Sox in camp. He’s going to have to re-set himself while out with injury, and it seems Cordell’s track record in coming back from injury and other setbacks indicates he’ll do just that. Strikeouts aside, look for Cordell to arrive in Chicago at some point this season.


Luis Gonzalez, CF

2018 Age: 22

2017 High Level: Kannapolis (A)

Overall 2017 stats: 67 games ▪️ 2 HR ▪️ 15 RBI ▪️ 42 BB ▪️ 53 K ▪️ .236/.351/.348

A college pitcher/outfielder, Gonzalez is now a full-time outfielder with the White Sox, with a killer batting eye. He has extra-base power and boasts five tools. One big advantage Gonzalez has going forward in a crowded CF scenario is his plate discipline. MLB Pipeline has likened Gonzalez to Ender Inciarte, and you can bet the White Sox would love that outcome.


A.J. Puckett, SP

2018 Age: 23

2017 High Level: Winston-Salem (A+)

Overall 2017 stats: 25 starts ▪️ 135 23 IP ▪️ 3.98 ERA ▪️ 119 K ▪️ 51 BB ▪️ 1.42 WHIP

A.J. Puckett has one hell of a crazy origin story. A blue-chip prep quarterback, he was in a car accident and suffered an epidural hematoma while in high school in 2011, and spent weeks in a coma. The righty quit football and eventually starred on the diamond at Pepperdine, becoming a Kansas City Royals second-rounder (67th overall) in 2016 and ranking as the No. 5 prospect in the Royals system entering 2017 (per Baseball America). That might say a bit about the weakness of the Royals system, but still, he was a Carolina League All-Star in 2017 with a 7.9 strikeout rate. Despite the All-Star honor, Puckett dropped to No. 13 on K.C.’s prospect list by midseason (MLB Pipeline), perhaps explaining how he was acquired by the White Sox for the relatively low price of Melky Cabrera. Puckett’s fastball can hit 94, and he has great control. His curve needs work. But cutting against the grain and avoiding, in the words of larry, prospect trope, Puckett actually has a great changeup — BA called it the best in the White Sox system. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.


Jordan Stephens, SP

2018 Age: 25

2017 High Level: Birmingham (AA)

Overall 2017 stats: 16 starts ▪️ 91 23 IP ▪️ 3.14 ERA ▪️ 83 K ▪️ 35 BB ▪️ 1.30 WHIP

Hailing from Alvin High School, in the hometown of Nolan Ryan, Stephens starred for two seasons at nearby Rice University before tearing his UCL in 2014 and getting Tommy John surgery. Less than a year later, he finished his college career with 59 23 innings and added a smattering of outings in rookie ball after being drafted. The White Sox saw enough in Stephens that he jumped up to Winston-Salem in 2016, and he proved equal to the challenge, with a 3.45 ERA, 3.1 BB/9, 9.9 K/9 in 141 total innings. A forearm injury pushed Stephens’ 2017 season debut back to June, but handled Birmingham well in an abbreviated year. Stephens has a fastball that can get up to 95 mph, but his out pitch is a curve thrown at three-quarters.


Seby Zavala, C

2018 Age: 24

2017 High Level: Winston-Salem (A+)

Overall 2017 stats: 107 games ▪️ 21 HR ▪️ 72 RBI ▪️ 37 BB ▪️ 104 K ▪️ .282/.353/.499

Zavala is a relative latecomer to baseball, playing just two years as a prep. At San Diego State, he played outfield for his first two years, in the process tearing the UCL in his throwing arm. After Tommy John surgery, Zavala moved behind the plate for good. So essentially, prior to being drafted, Zavala had played only two years exclusively as a catcher. Offense has always been his calling card, and after the White Sox picked him in the 12th round in 2015, he crushed the AZL with a .326/.401/.628 slash line. At Kannapolis in 2016, Zavala’s numbers took a step back (.253/.330/.381) in a tough park. In his second run as in Intimidator in 2017, Zavala forced a promotion by putting up an .840 OPS with eight homers. At W-S to finish out the year, Zavala added 13 more dingers, and his 21 total led all White Sox minor leaguers. There seems to be a fair amount of criticism for Zavala’s defense, but he’s got a quick pop time and handles pitchers well.

Poll

Who is the 16th-most important prospect in the White Sox system?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Ryan Cordell
    (12 votes)
  • 16%
    Luis Gonzalez
    (15 votes)
  • 6%
    A.J. Puckett
    (6 votes)
  • 9%
    Jordan Stephens
    (9 votes)
  • 54%
    Seby Zavala
    (51 votes)
93 votes total Vote Now