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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 21: Tanner McDougal

Before injury, a promising start in Arizona.

We’ll miss him in 2022, but Tanner McDougal is already back throwing after TJS last fall.

Tanner McDougal
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
185 pounds
Age: 18
SSS rank among all right-handed starting pitchers in the system: 8

In 16 innings as a senior for Silverado H.S. in Las Vegas, Tanner McDougal fanned 33 in 16 innings while walking just three on his way to a 0.88 ERA and .109 OBA. Yet, it was difficult for scouts to gauge just how good he was based upon the fact that coaches would limit him to two innings per outing through his junior year so his young body could catch up to the velocity of his arm.

With a fastball running in the low 90s and touching 96 according to MLB Pipeline, McDougal’s age and size indicated he’s capable of even more. McDougal’s heater sat at 2500 RPM with big ride, according to Prospects Live. He averaged close to 19 inches of induced vertical break over 132 pitches at last June’s MLB draft combine. He showed good repeatability, rhythm and balance on the mound, which isn’t exactly common in pitchers his size — just ask Alec Hansen.

The curveball and changeup are McDougal’s primary secondaries, and they’re both pretty impressive. The bender is a super high-efficiency breaking ball with some hard sweeping action. He rips through it at more than 3000 RPM and generates -11.7 inches of induced vertical break. This curveball shape mirroring off the reasonably efficient fastball shape can be a nightmare for hitters, and runs mid-70s per MLB Pipeline. You’re talking about a two-pitch mix with serious tunneling, and a 30-inch and 20 mph differential!

McDougal’s changeup is also a really good offering. He kills spin really well, imposing 1500 RPM regularly. This pitch is however, in its nascent stage, as he never really needed to deploy it against his prep competitors. His release is highly-efficient, destroying lift: 5.22 inches of induced vertical break is already above average, but when you couple that off 19 inches of induced vertical break on the fastball, it fits into a killer quartet of pitches — so long as he can deploy them in any count. Let’s not forget the slider, which also topped 3000 rpm at the combine. The arsenal is kind of similar to someone like Zack Greinke, according to ProspectsLive.

Due to his lack of experience, and a strong commitment with the University of Oregon, McDougal slid to the fifth round where the White Sox gladly snatched him up. McDougal, the son of former minor leaguer Mike McDougal who reached as high as Triple-A Rochester in 2000, signed an over-slot bonus with the Sox for $850,000.

The White Sox took it easy on him, and McDougal thrived in his first three outings, where he produced a combined 3.60 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in a combined five innings with one walk and 10 strikeouts. He was roughed up in his fourth start, as he surrendered six runs via three hits and three walks in 1 1⁄3 innings. McDougal allowed four hits and two earned runs in three innings in his penultimate start, and sadly faced only one batter in his final September start to close the year. That last outing proved ominous, as it turned out he needed Tommy John surgery, which will mean he won’t be pitching until the 2023 season.

Due to his struggles in his last three starts, McDougal’s year-end totals ballooned to an 9.31 ERA and 1.55 WHIP, as he allowed 10 hits and five walks while fanning an incredible 17 hitters over 9 2⁄3 innings. MLB Pipeline currently ranks him 16th among Sox prospects, and gives him a 60 grade for fastball, with other good grades for his curveball (55) and slider (50). His changeup, due to its rudimentary nature, is graded at 45, while his control is also graded at 45. McDougal’s reputation is that he’s more of a control than command guy, which essentially means that while he throws strikes consistently, he doesn’t always pitch to the catcher’s mitt as frequently as one would like. This hopefully will come with age and experience.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

21. Tanner McDougal, RHSP
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