“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the Chicago White Sox organization. Each position is broken into a five-part series:
- Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican and Arizona)
- Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
- Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
- Under the Radar-type detail on a White Sox player
- Free agent options
The White Sox system has four right-handed relievers among its MLB Pipeline list of Top 30 prospects, but none are presently ranked higher than 21st and each finished 2021 in full-season leagues. Three are found in Single-A, but there is plenty more talent here that could make a serious impact in 2022.
Due to the huge number of right-handed relievers in the system, and in order to conserve time for our readers, Deep Dives will be provided for just five relievers on each squad. Plus, both Single-A teams have been separated for this position.
Ages below are as of April 1, 2022
2020 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 67
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 58
With the name of McKinley, you would expect a mountain of a man, and at 6´6´´ and 225 pounds, that’s basically what Moore is. Born in Houston, he was a two-sport star at Keller H.S. (Keller, Texas) where he also served as a three-year tight end. He crossed state lines to pay collegiate ball for the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, but massively struggled in his three years. In a career 43 appearances totaling 48 2⁄3 innings, he posted a 7.95 ERA and 2.22 WHIP by allowing 44 hits and a whopping 61 walks (23.9%) while striking out 47 (18.4%). He posted similar results for Green Bay Bullfrogs of the Northwoods League and Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod League.
Yet, drafting more on projection than results in the 14th round of the 2019 MLB draft, the White Sox took a leap of faith and pried Moore away from the Trojans with a $100,000 signing bonus.
After two successful appearances with the AZL Sox to begin the 2019 season, in which he allowed just two hits while punching out five in three innings, Moore reverted somewhat to his previous struggles after a promotion to Great Falls. In 20 games for the Voyagers totaling 19 1⁄3 innings, he posted a 5.59 ERA and 1.97 WHIP by relinquishing 21 hits (.276 OBA), 17 walks (7.91%) and 27 strikeouts (12.57%). How much of this was reverting to old form, and how much was fatigue due to the the long season (college, Cape Cod League and professional ball) wasn’t easily determined. Moore was well rested in 2020, however, as he didn’t pitch that year due to the pandemic.
Somewhat surprisingly, Moore began 2021 on the team’s Top 30 prospect list, a ranking seemingly based more on potential than performance. After getting off to a rough start in his first five appearances with Kannapolis (8.44 ERA and 2.06 WHIP), Moore produced far better results. In fact, as of July 22 when he was promoted to Winston-Salem, his numbers had improved to a 4.37 ERA and 1.41 WHIP over 22 outings. In his 22 1⁄3 innings for the Cannon Ballers, he surrendered 18 hits (.209 OBA), 14 walks (13.9%) and 35 strikeouts (34.7%).
In his final 10 weeks of the year with Winston-Salem, Moore gave up a few more hits but limited his free passes considerably. In 18 games for the Dash totaling the same number of innings, he produced a 4.00 ERA and 1.44 WHIP by ceding 19 hits (.264 OBA) and just seven walks (8.8%) while striking out 24 (30.0%). In addition to his impressive strikeouts, he kept the ball down consistently at both Kannapolis (50.0%) and Winston-Salem (39.6%). Moore concluded his season with the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League, and held his own in that hitting-friendly environment by generating a 4.22 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 10 2⁄3 innings by allowing 11 hits and five walks while inducing nine strikeouts.
Currently ranked 25th among White Sox prospects by MLB Pipeline, his highest grade (65) is unsurprisingly given to his upper-90s heater which tops around 98 mph. A mid-80s slider is given a good ‘55’ grade. Like most lower-leverage relievers, he doesn’t possess a consistent third option. His control is unsurprisingly his weakest tool at ‘40’, but as evidenced by his work at Winston-Salem, that phase of his game seems to be improving. Expect Moore to begin the 2022 season with Birmingham.
Shilling, a native of Clarkston, Mich., grew up loving baseball, as his dad played for Eastern Michigan University from 1981-84. He was drafted in the 20th round in 2015 by the Texas Rangers, but adhered to his verbal commitment to pitch for the University of Illinois. He entered three games as a reliever as a freshman in 2016, and started seven games a year later. Despite his high-octane stuff, his results were lacking, as he combined to post a 7.25 ERA and 2.12 WHIP in 31 2⁄3 innings 26 hits and a whopping 41 walks while striking out 31. Like McKinley Moore a year later, Shilling was drafted (16th round in 2018) with the belief that his potential was a better indicator of his future than his past results.
This is where things get tough, as I have to go back a bit. Shilling ‘s injury history is such that Jake Burger’s and even Charlie Tilson’s injuries seem relatively tame by comparison. As a freshman with the Illini, Shilling and the team thought they were dealing with a subluxation of his right shoulder, a partial dislocation that would heal with time. As a sophomore, when 29 innings with a 7.14 ERA and 37 walks constituted his most extensive college game action, Shilling dealt with a strain of the lat, which in retrospect reads as an early warning sign. His junior season was nixed by a broken hand, but all of these were just highlights of a consistent feeling.
Just nine days after being selected in the draft, as he stated to James Fegan of The Athletic, “I threw a bullpen, a live outing. And then my second live outing, before I even finished the first hitter, my lat tore off the bone, completely torn off the bone. They think it was still hanging on by a thread at that point for quite some time. And then that was finally the one that tore it completely off, and then ended up sliding down into my side.” This was similar to the Jake Peavy injury with the White Sox a decade earlier, and caused Shilling to miss the 2019 season. To add insult to injury, Shilling was released on May 21, 2020, during the pandemic.
After extensive, grueling rehab work brought him into game shape, Shilling re-signed a minor league contract with the White Sox on Jan. 18, 2021. Less than four months later, he was inserted into game action for the first time in a professional uniform. He got off to a terrific start out of the pen for Winston-Salem. Through June 29, Shilling posted a 2.95 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 16 appearances. In his 18 1⁄3 innings for the Dash, he surrendered 16 hits (.235 OBA) and eight walks (10.0% while fanning an impressive 27 hitters (36.3%). Plus, to show Shilling’s comeback was a success, MLB Pipeline added him to its midseason Top 30 rankings of White Sox prospects.
Unfortunately for Shilling, his back luck bit him again. He was added to the 60-day injured list, ultimately needing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Not only did he miss the final months of 2021, he will likely miss most if not all of his 2022 season as well.
Shilling currently ranks 29th among Sox prospects according to MLB Pipeline, and his highest grade is for his fastball (65) which typically runs mid-90s but peaks at 98. His upper-80s cutter/slider is graded 55, while an inconsistent curve has graded at 50. His control, unsurprisingly, is graded at 40.
It’s easy to pull for Shilling, as with all the setbacks he’s endured to date, he still maintains a positive attitude and continues to work feverishly on his injury rehabilitation. When he is able to return, it likely would be with the Birmingham Barons.
2020 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 70
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 52
Silven began with the DSL White Sox in 2018 and was a hard-luck hurler, finishing 1-8 during an infamously bad 18-54 season for the team. It was his stellar 3.66 ERA, along with his age, that got Silven a Stateside assignment the next year.
In 2019, Silven was younger than league average for Arizona, but rocked a 3.48 ERA in 15 games in the AZL. In a short (three games) cup of coffee with Great Falls in High-Rookie that year, the youngster was roughed up a bit, to the tune of five earned runs and a 6.43 ERA. But that was an aggressive advance for him, placing Silven a full year-and-a-half younger than Pioneer League average. Perhaps more importantly, Silven’s control had been stellar at every level as a pro. His 5.65 strikeouts per walk put him in the 93rd percentile among his peers per Baseball Cube.
Pitching for three teams in 2021, Silven struggled at the outset for Kannapolis, with a 6.68 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in 13 appearances for Kannapolis. He did receive a call-up to Winston-Salem, however, and fared quite well there with a 2.77 ERA and 0.85 WHIP in seven relief outings. He spent the final couple months of the season shuttling back and forth between Winston-Salem and Birmingham, but with the Barons, Silven struggled in a small (four-game) sample size with a 7.71 ERA and 2.12 WHIP. Combined with all three teams, he compiled a 5.73 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 24 appearances (two starts). In his 48 2⁄3 innings this year, he surrendered 58 hits (.284 OBA) and 14 walks (6.3%) while striking out 46 (20.7%).
While at Kannapolis this year, lefties hit Silven at a .354 clip while righties hit .276 against him. This disparity is representative of his splits from his two previous years, so Silven needs to find a way to better stifle lefties. MLB Pipeline ranks him 30th among Sox prospects in large part due to his control, While his control was indeed good this year, Silven’s command was not, as hitters took advantage of many mistakes he made in the middle of the plate. In addition to his control, a 92-94 mph heater that occasionally reaches 96 also grades at 55. Silven also received 50 grades for his curveball, slider and changeup, but it’s that changeup he especially needs to improve in order to secure better chances of success in the future.
Silven’s results certainly weren’t what he’d hoped they’d be in 2021, but to be fair, he was younger that his competition at all three stops this year — at Birmingham, he was about 30 months younger. He got pushed so rapidly partly because the organization wanted to see if he was worthy of protection for the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft. The Sox opted not to protect him, and the lockout saw the MLB Rule 5 cancelled anyhow. It seems a fairly safe bet that Silven will return to Birmingham to begin the 2022 season.
Broadway, a Houston native and son of professional bowler Danny, spent his first year of college ball with Tyler CC (Tyler, Texas). To say he merely spent his first year with Tyler would be a gross understatement, as he earned the distinction of national champion, and MVP in the DIII NJCAA World Series, after a tremendous postseason run in 2017. He was a multidimensional player as both a pitcher and hitter, with a .362 batting average in the year leading up to the World Series, as well as just one run allowed through 13 innings with no walks and 16 strikeouts on the mound . He was also named the 2017 NJCAA DIII Player of the Year, as well as First Team All-American and Academic All-American. Broadway’s sophomore season was somewhat anticlimactic, as he hit .294 with nine home runs while posting a 3.47 ERA in 23 1⁄3 innings.
Broadway struggled as a junior after transferring to the University of Mississippi, but figured things out as a senior in 2020 with an impressive 0.56 ERA in 16 innings before the season was shut down due to the pandemic. Choosing to return to Old Miss in 2021 as a second-year senior, he posted a solid 3.44 ERA and 1.11 WHIP as he allowed 46 hits (.242 OBA) and nine walks (4.4%) while striking out 66 (32.5%) in 49 2⁄3 innings. He entered 30 games, and was used for multiple innings on numerous occasions. Broadway finished second in the NCAA this year with 16 saves. As a result of his efforts, he was selected by the White Sox in the sixth round.
With an inning under his belt with the ACL Sox, Broadway earned a quick promotion to Kannapolis on August 9. After a successful five-game stint with the Cannon Ballers, Broadway finished the season with Winston-Salem, where he posted a 4.50 ERA but 0.83 WHIP in a small six-inning sample size. Combined with all three teams, he compiled an impressive 2.13 ERA and 0.63 WHIP in 12 appearances. In his 12 2⁄3 innings, he relinquished just six hits (.130 OBA) and two walks (4.2%) while striking out 15 (31.3%). While some stats can be taken with a grain of salt because of his age, Broadway was only about six months older than the average competition while at Winston-Salem.
For a reliever, Broadway has impeccable control and boasts many of the same emotional mannerisms as current Sox closer Liam Hendriks. His repertoire includes a mid-90s fastball with carry, in addition to a couple curveballs with varying speeds. His career trajectory seems similar to that of another former SEC pitcher now in the White Sox system, Caleb Freeman. The biggest differences are that Broadway’s a bit older and has historically pitched with better control.
Because of his combination of success and age, Broadway likely will begin the 2022 season with Birmingham, and could begin moving up some prospect boards.
Milto, a native of Greenwood, Ind., stayed close to home to pitch for Indiana University. He gradually evolved from reliever to starter for the Hoosiers, capping his college career with an 8-5 record, 3.51 ERA and 1.11 WHIP as a senior. In 14 starts totaling 95 innings, he surrendered just 89 hits (.265 OBA) and 16 walks (3.6%) while striking out 94 (21.0%). As a result, the White Sox selected Milto in the 23rd round of the 2019 draft. It has now become a nearly annual occurrence for Hoosiers to be drafted by the White Sox, as recent selections have also included Craig Dedelow, Jonathan Stiever, Logan Sowers and Tommy Sommer.
The Indiana alumnus quickly made a great impression with the Great Falls Voyagers in 2019, as he posted an incredible 1.88 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and five saves in 19 relief outings. In those innings. Milto relinquished just 22 hits and seven walks while fanning 26. What helped Milto was keeping the ball down in the high Montana altitude, as grounders were hit against his offerings at an incredible 63.2% rate.
After losing 2020 to the pandemic, Milto spent the first two weeks of 2021 with Winston-Salem, but after three relief outings for the Dash totaling five innings he was placed on the injured list. He returned on July 3 to begin a rehab assignment with the ACL White Sox, before wending his way to Kannapolis. Despite posting good results in both places, things still weren’t quite right for the big righty, and he ended his season with a two-inning relief with the Cannon Ballers on July 25. In nine appearances this year totaling 14 2⁄3 innings, Milto managed to compile a respectable 3.07 ERA and 1.16 WHIP by allowing 11 hits (.208 OBA) and six walks (10.0%) while fanning 20 (33.3%).
Milto’s repertoire includes a 94-95 mph heater, a two-seam fastball, wipeout slider and changeup. He succeeds by keeping the ball down, throwing strikes and changing speeds. In the last two years, he’s combined for fewer than 15 innings of work. He will turn 25 next March, so it seems his best option to advance beyond Double-A would be as a reliever despite his loaded arsenal. If healthy enough, Milto likely will begin the 2022 season with Birmingham.
Vincenzo Aiello (27 years old): Aiello entered four games in relief this year and did quite well. Unfortunately he was unable to pitch beyond May 16 due to injury.
Jordan Mikel (23): The Plainfield native combined with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem to post a 4.50 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 40 innings this year.
Karan Patel (25): Patel compiled a 6.58 ERA and 1.72 WHIP for three separate teams, but missed most of 2021 due to injury.
Wilber Perez (24): Perez struggled badly with Winston-Salem, as he posted a 6.83 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 59 1⁄3 innings this year.
Kevin Folman (27): The North Dakota State alum combined with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem to post a 6.92 ERA and 1.71 WHIP.
Cooper Bradford (23): Bradford posted a 7.93 ERA and 1.85 WHIP for the Dash in 34 appearances.
Edgar Navarro (24): The Venezuela native produced an 8.45 ERA and 1.83 WHIP for Winston-Salem in 35 relief outings.
Hansen Butler (26): The former Tar Heel posted a 9.00 ERA and 3.00 WHIP in four relief appearances this year, but missed much time due to injury.