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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 69: Tommy Sommer

The 2022 season will be a true test, but last year’s early returns with the southpaw are encouraging.


Tommy Sommer

Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
220 pounds
Age: 23
SSS rank among all left-handed starting pitchers in the system: 4

Athletic ability doesn’t often fall too far from the tree.

In Tommy Sommer’s case, his father Juergen was a goalkeeper for the Indiana University and part of their 1988 national championship team; he played for more than a decade in the professional ranks, ultimately concluding his career in 2004 with the New England Revolution. His mother was no slouch athletically, either, as she was a star high school softball player.

Sommer, a native of Carmel, Ind., pitched four years for his father’s alma mater. Primarily a starter in his first two years, as a junior he started four games and did quite well with a 2.61 ERA and 1.07 WHIP until the pandemic concluded the 2020 season prematurely.

He picked a bad time to have his worst season, but Sommer did just that in 2021. In 12 starts for the Hoosiers totaling 62 2⁄3 innings, he posted a 4.60 ERA and 1.48 WHIP by relinquishing 55 hits (.237 OBA) and 38 walks while fanning 69. His 5.5 BB/9 was more than two walks per game worse than his previous high of 3.4 set in his junior year, but he also reached his career high in K/9 at 9.9.

As a four-year senior who lacked leverage, the White Sox drafted Sommer in the 10th round and signed him to a $20,000 bonus — $123,600 under slot value. Because he had already pitched the most innings of his career while with Indiana, Sommer was kept to a tight pitch count while with the ACL Sox. Against competition about a year younger than he, Sommer performed exceptionally well by producing a 2.16 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in his eight outings (six) starts. In 25 innings, Sommer surrendered a measly 13 hits (.149 OBA) and seven walks (2.5 BB/9) while striking out 33 (11.9 K/9). Review of these results, however, suggest some future regression, as Sommer’s FIP was 4.23 and his ground ball rate was just 30.2%.

Most importantly for Sommer, though, is that he stayed healthy last year while finishing the year with good control. Command will be key for him going forward, as his four-seamer typically runs 88-92 mph. As is necessary for someone with a heater that isn’t quite so hot, Sommer also features a complement of secondary offerings to keep hitters off-balance. His cutter cuts away from lefties but moves in on righties, which limits the quality of contact. His best offering is his changeup, which is often used as a put-away pitch. Finally, his fourth offering is a rudimentary curveball that is simply a show-me offering at this point.

With his size, control, senior-year struggles, velocity and repertoire, Sommer’s profile is similar to that of former Sox farmhand Konnor Pilkington. Expect Sommer to begin the season with Kannapolis, but there’s a chance he could begin the 2022 season in Winston-Salem.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

69. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
70. Randel Mondesi, RF
71. Shawn Goosenberg, 2B
72. Zack Muckenhirn, LHRP
73. Cameron Butler, CF
74. Godwin Bennett, RF
75. Logan Glass, CF
76. Dario Borrero, 1B
77. Craig Dedelow, RF
78. Carlos Hinestroza, RHRP
79. Gunnar Troutwine, C
80. Kade Mechals, RHSP
81: Caberea Weaver, CF
82. Layant Tapia, SS
83. Homer Cruz, RHRP
84. Kaleb Roper, RHSP
85. Jerry Burke, RHSP
86. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
87. Isaiah Carranza, RHSP
88. Davis Martin, RHSP
89. Tyler Osik, 1B
90. Samil Polanco, 3B
91. Manuel Veloz, RHRP
92. Pauly Milto, RHRP
93. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
94. Colby Smelley, C
95. Manuel Guariman, C
96. Everhett Hazelwood, RHRP
97. Garrett Schoenle, LHRP
98. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
99. Anderson Comas, RF
100. Jake Elliott, RHRP