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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 66: Emerson Talavera

Watch out for this righty, as he starts his first full season of pro ball

By any measure, Emerson Talavera is one of the most promising relievers in the White Sox system.

Emerson Talavera

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher
160 pounds
Age: 20
2022 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 86
2022 High Level Arizona (Rookie)
Age relative to high level -2.2 years
SSS rank among all right-handed relief pitchers in the system 12
Overall 2022 regular season stats 4-1 ⚾️ 17 games (11 finished) ⚾️ 26 innings ⚾️ 2.77 ERA ⚾️ 0.846 WHIP ⚾️ 36 K ⚾️ 4 BB

Emerson Talavera, a native of Venezuela, signed with the White Sox on March 4, 2020 but didn’t enter into any action until 2021 for the DSL Sox due to the pandemic.

In 17 appearances (five starts) totaling 51 innings in 2021, he posted an impressive 2.47 ERA and 1.14 WHIP by surrendering just 36 hits (.197 OBA) and 22 free passes (10.3%) while striking out 47 (22.1%). He was more effective in his 33 2⁄3 innings as a reliever (0.80 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, .164 OBA) than he was as a starter (5.71 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, .254 OBA). Most impressive, Talavera was younger than the average DSL player by more than six months.

In 2022, Talavera actually improved on his DSL peripherals. In 26 ACL innings, all in relief, he had a 2.77 ERA, and increased his strikeouts and decreased his walks from last season. It came out to a 35% strikeout rate, which is 13 points up from 2021, while his walks dropped to 4%. Now, 26 innings is a small sample, even for a reliever, but he deserves some eyes with peripheral numbers like this.

The Cube ratings love Talavera, and he is one of the few prospects so far to come out above-average in every category:

Talavera’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Durability 96
Hittable 86
vs. Power 86
Walks 75
K/BB 70
Strikeouts 57
Team Winning Percentage .441

Talavera has not shouldered a heavy pitching load in his first two pro seasons, but he is certain to play his first full season this summer, very likely starting in Kannapolis, with Winston-Salem very much in reach.

2023 South Side Sox Top 102 White Sox Prospects

66. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
67. Declan Cronin, RHRP
68. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
69. Colby Smelley, C
70. Ethan Hammerberg, RHRP
71. Lincoln Henzman, RHRP
72. Vince Vannelle, RHRP
73. Brooks Baldwin, 3B-2B
74. James Beard, CF
75. Gabriel Rodríguez, RHSP
76. Ronny Hernandez, C
77. Troy Claunch, C
78. Brooks Gosswein, LHSP
79. Tim Elko, 1B
80. Yoelvín Silven, RHRP
81. Trey Jeans, LHRP
82. Jerry Burke, RHSP
83. Carlos Jiménez, 1B
84. Mason Adams, RHSP
85. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
86. Ernesto Jaquez, RHSP
87. Laz Rivera, 3B
88. Xavier Fernández, C
89. Álvaro Agüero, CF
90. Ben Norman, RF
91. Erick Bello, RHRP
92. Adisyn Coffey, RHRP
93. Arnold Prado, RF
94. Alsander Womack, 2B
95. Johan Domínguez, RHSP
96. Evan Skoug, C
97. Noah Owen, RHSP
98. Javier Mora, 2B
99. Will Kincanon, RHRP
100. Yohemy Nolasco, RHSP
101. Billy Seidl, RHRP
102. José Rodulfo, RHRP