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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 57: Joel Booker

Stop overlooking this guy — he’s on pace to become the first true #NextSox to make the majors

Robert heading to Birmingham? Not until Booker hustles his way to Charlotte.
Kim Contreras/South Side Sox

Joel Booker
190 pounds
Bats: Right
Age: 25
SSS rank among all left fielders in the system: 3

After two years dominating Indian Hills C.C. (Centerville, Iowa), Booker transferred to the Iowa Hawkeyes for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He struggled a bit during his junior season; however, Booker’s senior season was much better. In 235 at-bats that year, he slashed .370/.421/.532 with 19 doubles, two triples, five homers, 37 RBIs, 23-of-25 stolen bases, 16 walks (6.06%) and 29 strikeouts (10.98).

Despite those numbers, Booker fell to the White Sox in the 22nd round of the 2016 draft. For the AZL White Sox and Great Falls in 2016, Booker capped off a sensational season by slashing .312/.403/.404, with 16 doubles, one triple, two homers, 31 RBIs, 41-of-44 stolen bases, 13 HBP, 27 walks (8.94%) and 49 strikeouts (16.23%).

As expected for 2017, his numbers fell off a bit but were still solid. For the year combined with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem, he slashed .274/.329/.349 in 475 at-bats, with 17 doubles, two triples, five homers, 44 RBIs, 23-for-31 stolen bases, 27 walks (5.1%) and 107 strikeouts (20.23). Because he struggled at Winston-Salem, Booker returned to begin the 2018 season there, where he did much better. He hit .279/.360/.399, with 26 doubles, four triples, seven homers, 38 RBIs, 26 stolen bases, 44 walks (8.35%) and 119 strikeouts. (22.58%). He was one of the most exciting players in the White Sox organization, even stealing home to win a game for the Dash!

While Booker does need to limit his strikeouts and improve his stolen base efficiency (60.5% in 2018), he certainly started making a name for himself in 2018. Defensively, he played well in all three outfield positions. He committed five errors and had 12 assists, and appears best suited for left or center.

Booker starts the 2019 season in Birmingham, where he has arguably been the best Baron out of the gate: .386/417/.509 in 15 games. If the massive call to have Luis Robert promoted to Birmingham is heeded, that move would likely push Booker up to Charlotte.

Take a look!

Video courtesy of our friends at 2080 Baseball.

Video courtesy of Zoarc Fitness.

2019 South Side Sox Top 100 Prospects

57. Joel Booker, LF
58. Bennett Sousa, LHRP
59. Blake Battenfield, RHSP
60. Caberea Weaver, CF
61. Matt Foster, RHRP
62. Tate Blackman, 2B
63. Hunter Schryver, LHRP
64. Romy González, CF
65. Carlos Perez, C
66. Trey Michalczewski, 3B
67. Taylor Varnell, LHSP
68. John Parke, LHSP
69. Mike Morrison, RHRP
70. Zach Remillard, 3B
71. Luis Martinez, RHSP
72. Zach Lewis, RHSP
73. José Nin, RHRP
74. Colton Turner, LHSP
75. Jhoandro Alfonso, C
76. Ramon Beltre, 2B
77. Charlie Tilson, CF
78. Hunter Kiel, RHRP
79. Jason Bilous, RHSP
80. Nick Johnson, RHRP
81. Danny Dopico, RHRP
82. Harvin Mendoza, 1B
83. Logan Sowers, RF
84. Maiker Feliz, 3B
85. Brayan Herrera, RHSP
86. Craig Dedelow, LF
87. Wilber Pérez, RHSP
88. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
89. Johan Dominguez, RHRP
90. Mitch Roman, 2B
91. Ty Greene, C
92. Tanner Banks, LHSP
93. Jake Elliott, RHRP
94. Kevin Escorcia, LHRP
95. Luis Rodriguez, RHSP
96. Ian Dawkins, LF
97. Victor Diaz, RHRP
98. Travis Moniot, LF
99. Will Kincanon, RHRP
100. Brian Clark, LHRP

More information on South Side Top Prospects.