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South Side Sox Prospect Vote: Round 44

A second straight blowout poll, as Zach Thompson cruises to the No. 43 spot. Now, who is the 44th-best prospect in the White Sox system?

Fast track: Since converting to relief in 2018, Thompson has been moving quickly through the White Sox system.
Kim Contreras (@FireLeagueKim)/South Side Sox

As we count down the SSS Prospect Vote, we’ll be counting up the overall list of Top 100 Prospects, with the SSS poll vote counting as a voice in the order of our official SSS Top 100.

Here’s how last year’s prospect vote wrangled out — all 42 picks, with an archive of every article in the 2018 series.

A final note: All copy below the poll, unless otherwise noted, comes from wsm’s Deep Dive series. Credit due. YOTH is just running the numbers.

Sound cool? Now, get voting!


Voting results for Round 43

It’s another one that should have been called early, as Zach Thompson took 58 of 94 (62%) votes. Thompson was not ranked last year.


2019 South Side Sox Prospect Vote Winners


2019 South Side Sox Prospect Vote Top Right-Handed Relief Pitchers

More information on our polling.

Poll

Who is the 44th-best player in the White Sox system?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Tyler Frost
    (8 votes)
  • 1%
    Jacob Lindgren
    (1 vote)
  • 18%
    A.J. Puckett
    (10 votes)
  • 14%
    Camilo Quinteiro
    (8 votes)
  • 50%
    Yeyson Yrizarri
    (27 votes)
54 votes total Vote Now

Tyler Frost

Right Fielder
Age 23
2018 SSS poll ranking N/R
2018 High Level Kannapolis (A)
Overall 2018 stats 124 games ▪️ 18 HR ▪️ 65 RBI ▪️ .241/.324/.445 ▪️ 7-of-11 SB ▪️ 46 BB ▪️ 129 K

Frost hit fairly well, if unexceptionally, with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. His junior season largely paralleled his collegiate career, as he slashed .284/.372/.442 with five doubles, one triple, nine homers, 38 RBIs, two stolen bases, 25 walks (10.00%) and 39 strikeouts (15.60%) in 215 at-bats. While Frost was consistent at Gonzaga, he didn’t do anything especially well. As a result, he fell to the 15th round of the 2017 MLB draft. Frost reported to Great Falls after being drafted and slashed .261/.331/.465 in 142 at-bats, with seven doubles, five triples, four homers, 26 RBIs, 13 walks (8.13%) and 33 strikeouts (20.63%).

In 2018, Frost let things rip a bit with Kannapolis. In a tough place to hit, he provided decent power numbers by slashing .241/.324/.445 in 407 at-bats, with 21 doubles, four triples, 18 homers, 65 RBIs, seven stolen bases, 46 walks (9.91%) and 129 strikeouts (27.80%). It appears Frost sacrificed average and contact for power; that sacrifice may pay dividends in an hitting-friendly environment like Winston-Salem, but could come back to haunt him if he wins a promotion to Birmingham. Frost’s splits are fairly even (.244 vs. southpaws, .240 vs. righties), so a platoon doesn’t appear in his immediate future.

Frost has an above-average arm, as he threw out 13 baserunners this year. Expect a promotion to Winston-Salem for 2019.


Jacob Lindgren

Left-handed relief pitcher
Age 26
2018 SSS poll ranking N/R
2016 High Level Tampa (A+)
Overall 2016 stats 1-0 ▪️ 6 games ▪️ 1 save ▪️ 7 IP ▪️ 2.57 ERA ▪️ 8 K ▪️ 9 BB ▪️ 1.286 WHIP

After Lindgren was taken in the second round of the 2014 draft by the New York Yankees, he started his meteoric rise to the majors, making it all the way to AA in his draft year. In 2015, Lindgren started the year in AAA, and even made seven appearances in the majors. Unfortunately, his rise was cut short after his first Tommy John surgery in the 2016 season, and the southpaw missed all of 2017. Before the start of the 2018 season, Lindgren signed with the Braves, earning a spot on Atlanta’s 40-man roster. However, he got hurt again, and had his second Tommy John surgery, missing his second straight season.

According to FanGraphs, Lindgren has good 1-2 punch with his fastball and slider. He is supposed to have an above-average fastball (rated at 55) and what could be an elite slider, with a grade at 60. In his limited time in the majors with the Yankees in 2015, Lindgren’s fastball was in the low 90s, and the slider was in the mid-to-low 80s. In terms of value, for what the extremely small sample size was worth almost four years ago, Lindgren’s fastball was one of the worst pitches in MLB at -4.86, but his slider was all what it was supposed to be at 4.03 (per 100 pitches).

In all levels of professional baseball, Lindgren has pitched 61 innings and had 93 strikeouts, thanks to that slider. That type of success made Lindgren a calculated gamble by GM Rick Hahn this offseason, one with little risk and a lot of reward.

However, Lindgren does have a walk problem, free-passing 36 batters in those 61 innings. Again, these stats probably do not mean much because he’s essentially missed the past three seasons, but he’s just 26 — which leaves a lot of room for a breakout year.


A.J. Puckett

Right-handed starting pitcher
Age 23
2018 SSS poll ranking 20
2017 High Level Winston-Salem (A+)
Overall 2017 stats 10-7 ▪️ 25 starts ▪️ 135 23 IP ▪️ 4.44 ERA ▪️ 119 K ▪️ 51 BB ▪️ 1.423 WHIP

Puckett is an interesting story. He was a promising two-sport athlete in high school before a car accident left him in a medically-induced coma for two weeks to slow his blood loss. After that accident, he made a a full recovery and went to Pepperdine, where he was the West Coast Conference pitcher of the year in 2016 after fashioning the third-longest scoreless streak (45 2⁄3 innings) in NCAA Division I history. All Puckett did in his junior season was pitch 99 innings over 14 starts, posting an incredible 1.27 ERA and 0.92 WHIP; he allowed just 65 hits and 26 walks (2.36 BB/9) while fanning 95 batters (8.61 K/9). As a result of his efforts, the Kansas City Royals selected him in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft, signing him to a $1.2 million bonus.

For the AZL Royals and Lexington (Royals A-affiliate) immediately after the draft, Puckett held his own in 13 starts, with a combined 3.68 ERA and 1.11 WHIP and respectable .231 OBA and 2.30 BB/9, but his strikeouts were down (6.90 K/9). For the Royals A+ team (Wilmington) in 2017, he posted a 3.90 ERA and 1.41 WHIP through July 30 before being traded to the White Sox for outfielder Melky Cabrera. Puckett struggled a bit at hitter-friendly Winston-Salem in his five starts, as he posted a 4.28 ERA and 1.46 WHIP over 27 1⁄3 innings. In those innings, Puckett surrendered 35 hits (.327 OBA) and five walks (1.65 BB/9) while striking out 21 (6.91 K/9).

Puckett began 2018 season as the 23rd-ranked prospect in the White Sox system according to MLB Pipeline, and was slated to move up to Double-A Birmingham. However, due to an ailing elbow, Puckett missed the entire season (just like Andre Davis, the other player acquired in the Cabrera deal).

Puckett, like fellow prospect Spencer Adams, is more about pitchability than power. His best assets are his tumbling changeup, a legitimate plus pitch, and his advanced command. His fastball usually ranges from 90-94 mph with some run and sink, and his curveball can be an average third offering at times, but lacks consistency.

It is believed that Puckett had elbow surgery last month and will miss the 2019 season.


Camilo Quinteiro

Second Baseman
Age 21
2018 SSS poll ranking N/R
2018 High Level Great Falls (Rookie+)
Overall 2018 stats 48 games ▪️ 1 HR ▪️ 12 RBI ▪️ .280/.427/.313 ▪️ 11-of-13 SB ▪️ 36 BB ▪️ 42 K

Quinteiro, the latest of a long line of Cubans to sign with the White Sox, inked a minor league free agent contract in September 2018 for $300,000 — the max the White Sox could offer him. Prior to signing, Quintero played for Santiago de Cuba in Cuba’s 18U national league in 2015, where he batted .304/.439/.330 in 140 plate appearances. He skipped the DSL, instead producing similar stats for the AZL White Sox in 2018: .286/.426/.320 over 147 at-bats with one homer, 11 RBIs, 11-of-13 in stolen bases, 36 walks (18.95%) and 39 strikeouts (20.53%).

Quinteiro is said to be an above-average defender, and he committed only four errors in his 40 games (33 at second, six at shortstop, one at third). He has plus arm strength, so he could play more at short and third if/when needed. He has good speed coupled with solid instincts on the basepaths, as evidenced by his stolen base efficiency. Also, he’s got an excellent batter’s eye — an 18.95% walk rate is incredible for anyone, let alone a player in his first professional season in the States.

Quinteiro has got a line drive/ground ball approach, as he doesn’t hit too many balls in the air. In fact, his ground out/air out (GO/AO) rate is an incredibly high 3.18! Right now, Quinteiro seems to profile as a utility middle infielder, but it’s way too early to say; he could boost his standing by supplying more extra-base hits (Quinteiro had just three with the AZL Sox). He did have three at-bats with Great Falls at the end of the year, and that’s where he should play in 2019.


Yeyson Yrizzari

Shortstop
Age 22
2018 SSS poll ranking 26
2018 High Level Winston-Salem (A+)
Overall 2018 stats 101 games ▪️ 6 HR ▪️ 46 RBI ▪️ .247/.296/.363 ▪️ 16-of-23 SB ▪️ 18 BB ▪️ 75 K

Yrizarri received a whopping $1.35 million signing bonus with the Texas Rangers on International Signing Day of July 2, 2013, when he was just 16. As a Ranger, the Venezuelan had a reasonable amount of success, but was never quite ready to take that next step. He was playing for the Down East Ducks, the Texas’ A+ squad, when Yryzarri was traded to the White Sox for international bonus pool money on July 15, 2017. After the trade, Yryzarri slashed .295/.304/.330 with Winston-Salem with one homer, 11 RBIs, one stolen base, two walks (1.71%) and 21 strikeouts (17.95%) over 112 at-bats.

On his return to Winston-Salem in 2018, Yrizarri hit .247/.296/.363 in 372 at-bats, with six homers, 46 RBIs, 16 stolen bases, 18 walks (4.46%) and 75 strikeouts (18.56%). On the surface, the season was a disappointment. However, Yrizarri easily attained his career high in walks and improved his stolen base efficiency. His slash averages are only slightly below his five-year career of .261/.292/.368.

Yrizarri has an exceptional throwing arm, and if his hitting doesn’t take him further, he may end up having a future on the mound. He is still quite unrefined, but played last year against competition about 1.4 years older than he was. There’s still hope for him going forward. I expect Yrizarri to return to Winston-Salem to begin the 2019 season, but if he may move up fairly quickly if he gets on a bit of a hot streak.