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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 56: Ryan Cordell

The lanky outfielder has begun his second audition with the big club

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians
Flair for the dramatic: After slamming a home run for his first major-league hit last September, Cordell’s first hit in 2019 was a towering shot at Cleveland on April 1.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Ryan Cordell
205 pounds
Bats: Right
Age: 27
SSS rank in 2018: 19
SSS rank among all center fielders in the system: 6

Ryan Cordell spent his three collegiate seasons with the Liberty Flames. He was selected in the 11th round of the 2013 MLB draft by the Texas Rangers after slashing .261/.310/.391 in his junior season, with six homers, 40 RBIs, 28 stolen bases, 19 walks and 40 strikeouts in 261 at-bats. Cordell remained in the Rangers organization until Sept. 5, 2016, when he was part of the Texas-Milwaukee Brewers trade involving Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress.

Cordell was doing well in the high altitude of (Brewers Triple-A) Colorado Springs until he suffered a lower back injury and was placed on the IL on June 30, 2017. Cordell would remain sidelined the rest of the season. For the year, he ended up at .284/.349/.506 with 18 doubles, five triples, 10 homers, 45 RBIs, nine stolen bases, 25 walks and 65 strikeouts in 261 at-bats.

The White Sox, impressed by Cordell’s talent, versatility (he’s played all positions except pitcher, catcher and second base) and history of success, traded reliever Anthony Swarzak for Cordell — despite his back injury — on July 26, 2017.

After a solid spring training in 2018 (slashing .317/.417/.512, with six extra-base hits, seven walks, eight RBIs and eight runs scored in 17 games) that nearly earned him a promotion to Chicago, Cordell was assigned to Charlotte to begin the season and was struggling horrifically (5-for-38) when he suffered a broken clavicle after crashing into an outfield wall. Cordell missed two months of valuable development time, not returning to the field for a rehab assignment until July 18. From that date through the end of August, Cordell was able to improve his minor league totals to a more respectable .246/.286/.374 in 203 at-bats, with a 10 doubles, two triples, four homers, 26 RBIs, eight stolen bases, 12 walks (5.45%) and 52 strikeouts (23.64%).

When Charlotte’s season ended, Cordell earned a promotion to Chicago, but struggled miserably: 4-for-37, with one double, one homer (his first career hit), no walks and 15 strikeouts.

Cordell may have deserved to break camp with the White Sox after an impressive spring training in 2018 but didn’t; this season, his spring was pedestrian, but he made the White Sox as their 25th man when Jon Jay was placed on the injured list on Opening Day. True to his dramatic form, he clubbed a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning at Cleveland on April Fools’ Day for his first hit of the season.

If and when Jay returns from injury, expect Cordell to see daily starts in center field and right field with the Knights.

Take a look!

2019 South Side Sox Top 100 Prospects

62. Tate Blackman, 2B
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.