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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 22: Jason Bilous

Whether in the rotation or pen, this is not an arm to sleep on.

Chicago White Sox Photo Day
Jason Bilous: A live arm, for a flexible role.
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Jason Bilous
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
185 pounds
Age: 24
2019 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 79
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking: 51
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 42
SSS rank among all right-handed starting pitchers in the system: 9

Jason Bilous was ranked among the Top 200 draft prospects by MLB Pipeline prior to the 2018 draft, but slipped to the 13th round due to concerns about his control. His fastball was graded 65, slider 55, changeup 50 and control 40 by MLB Pipeline at the time.

In his junior season with Coastal Carolina, Bilous fanned a whopping 103 hitters but walked an incredibly-high 66; his 7.13 BB/9 rate in 2018 for the Chanticleers was nearly identical to his overall college rate of 7.12. Upon being drafted, he was immediately inserted into the High-Rookie Great Falls rotation, where he suffered through a 7.81 ERA and 1.95 WHIP, with 46 hits (.324 OBA) and 24 walks (5.54 BB/9) while striking out 31 (7.15 K/9) in 39 innings.

The 2019 season was kinder to Bilous, as his ERA and WHIP improved to 3.70 and 1.39 in his 31 appearances (17 starts) spanning 104 2⁄3 innings for Kannapolis. Opponents hit just .220 against Bilous that year, while he improved his strikeout rate to 9.72 K/9. His walk rate did improve a bit, but was still way too high at 5.25 BB/9.

After the year layoff in 2020 due to the pandemic, Bilous began the 2021 season with Winston-Salem and got off to a great three-game start. In 14 2⁄3 innings for the Dash, he posted a 2.45 ERA and 0.89 WHIP as he surrendered just nine hits (.208 OBA) and two walks (1.23 BB/9) while striking out 26 (15.95 K/9)!

Obviously, the organization was cognizant of those results and immediately promoted him to Birmingham. Against competition roughly 18 months older, Bilous struggled in 17 starts, with a 6.51 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. During his 65 innings for the Barons, he relinquished 71 hits (.278 OBA) and 30 walks (4.15 BB/9) while fanning 80 (11.08 K/9). His numbers got progressively worse in the final months, as he posted a bleak 10.02 ERA and 2.32 during his final six starts.

Nevertheless, he was one of just two prospects (joining reliever Bennett Sousa) protected from the Rule 5 draft and added to the 40-man roster this past November.

While Bilous did pitch in the upper-90s in the Cape Cod League in short stints back in 2016, his heater now typically runs 92-95 mph. His low-80s slider offers solid movement and speed variance with his fastball, and is considered a plus pitch by MLB Pipeline. Also according to that site, Bilous’ repertoire includes a changeup that neutralizes lefties, and also a curve. MLB Pipeline grades his heater and slider at 55, while his curve and change are graded at 50. As expected, they grade his biggest weakness as control with a 45, in part caused by a long arm action in the back of his delivery that hampers him from repeating his release point and keeping his mechanics in sync.

When the White Sox added Bilous to the 40-man roster, they clearly overlooked his ERA and WHIP while focusing on his soaring strikeout numbers and improved control numbers. It is believed that Bilous’ heater can tick up 2-3 mph in shorter spurts when he’s not worrying about going deeper into games.

Thus, beginning in 2022, he’s likely to be a high-leverage reliever with either Birmingham or Charlotte.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

22. Jason Bilous, RHSP
23. Wilfred Veras, 1B
24. Lenyn Sosa, SS
25. Jonathan Stiever, RHSP
26. Brooks Gosswein, LHSP
27. Misael González, RF
28. Terrell Tatum, CF
29. Carlos Pérez, C
30. Bennett Sousa, LHRP
31. Luis Basabe, RF
32. McKinley Moore, RHRP
33. Emilio Vargas, RHSP
34. Blake Rutherford, LF
35. Anderson Severino, LHRP
36. DJ Gladney, 3B
37. Luke Shilling, RHRP
38. Chase Krogman, LF
39. Cristian Mena, RHSP
40. Benyamín Bailey, LF
41. Tyler Johnson, RHRP
42. Andrew Perez, LHRP
43. Tyler Neslony, LF
44. Theo Denlinger, RHRP
45. Hunter Schryver, LHRP
46. Jefferson Mendoza, C
47. Harvin Mendoza, 1B
48. Gil Luna Jr. LHRP
49. John Parke, LHSP
50. Victor Quezada, 3B
51. Haylen Green, LHRP
52. Sammy Peralta, LHRP
53. Yoelvin Silven, RHRP
54. Taylor Broadway, RHRP
55. Noah Owen, RHRP
56. Luis Curbelo, 3B
57. Bryce Bush, RF
58. James Beard, CF
59. Xavier Fernández, C
60. Wilber Sánchez, SS
61. Kohl Simas, RHRP
62. Johan Dominguez, RHSP
63. Jagger Rusconi, 2B
64. Ronaldo Guzman, LHSP
65. Laz Rivera, 3B
66. Adam Hackenberg, C
67. Will Kincanon, RHRP
68. Lane Ramsey, RHRP
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