Our new feature here at South Side Sox, Under the Radar, details players in the Chicago White Sox system who may have suffered setbacks, gotten lost in the shuffle, or just haven’t surfaced as significant prospects as of yet.
Next up in the series is Kyle Kubat, who just came off of a spot start on Friday that rang up 10 Ks in five shutout innings, lowering his ERA below 2.00.
Kyle Kubat (LHP) Winston-Salem Dash
Kubat was undrafted in 2015, but signed with the Kansas City Royals shortly afterward. The White Sox acquired him for cash prior to the 2017 season, and the six-foot-one, 195-pounder has been pretty much lights-out since.
Of course, with the caveat that ERA and WHIP don’t always tell the full story for a reliever, Kubat’s 2017 season spanning Kannapolis, Winston-Salem and Birmingham was nevertheless outstanding. In 74 2⁄3 innings over 35 games (three starts), Kubat allowed just 50 hits and 12 walks against 77 strikeouts for a 1.69 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 26.5 K%, while allowing just two home runs. When just focusing in on his seven-game stint in Birmingham last year, he enjoyed a 1.30/0.65/23.0 line by allowing just 10 hits and two walks while striking out 17 in 20 innings.
Kubat is so underrated that he began the 2018 season in Winston-Salem, not Birmingham. He’s posted solid numbers again this year for the Dash, although the 25-year-old hasn’t been quite as spectacular: 1.93 ERA/1.02 WHIP/24.77 K%, with 50 hits allowed and just seven walks over 56 innings. As evidenced by the number of innings he’s pitched in the White Sox organization, Kubat is definitely not a mere LOOGY. In fact, his numbers are nearly equally as good against righties as they are against lefties.
There are several southpaws currently blocking Kubat from advancement: Luis Avilan, Jace Fry, Xavier Cedeno, Aaron Bummer, Brian Clark and Colton Turner, among others. However, at least Avilán seems certain to no longer be with the White Sox by this time next year.
Due to his age, Kubat’s advancement pace should be accelerated if he continues to maintain his success level. At the very least, he should make it back up to Birmingham this year, with the possibility of beginning next year in Charlotte.