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AZ Fall League: Peoria Javelinas at Salt River Rafters
Adam Hackenberg impressed White Sox brass enough as a backstop to earn an Arizona Fall League bid in 2022.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 34: Adam Hackenberg

In a system that needs backstops, his arm might point the way

Adam Hackenberg

225 pounds
Age: 23
2022 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 66
2022 High Level Birmingham (AA)
Age relative to high level -2.2 years
SSS rank among all catchers in the system 2
Overall 2022 stats 91 games ⚾️ 8 HR ⚾️ 30 RBI ⚾️ .223/.317/.332 ⚾️ 35 BB ⚾️ 84 K ⚾️ 41-of-129 (31.8%) CS

A Virginia native, Adam Hackenberg was selected by the Royals in the 39th round in 2018 but opted to honor his verbal commitment to Clemson University. After going through some freshman struggles, he picked up his game during his sophomore and junior campaigns. The 2021 season saw Hackenberg hit .258/.336/.392 in 120 at-bats for the Tigers with seven doubles, three homers, 17 RBIs, 13 walks (9.29%) and 27 strikeouts (19.29%).

It’s interesting to note his family’s athletic credentials:

  • His brother, Christian, was a Penn State quarterback who was a second round pick by the Jets.
  • His father played football at Virginia; his mother played volleyball at Lehigh.
  • His brother played soccer at Penn State and was taken in the first round of the 2020 draft.
  • His uncle played football at Army.

With a pedigree like that, it’s no surprise that Hackenberg would succeed at the pro level. Combined with the AZL White Sox and Kannapolis, he slashed .320/.382/.440 in 100 at-bats with seven doubles, one triple, one homer, eight walks (7.3%) and 16 strikeouts (14.6%). He also had a terrific debut as a defender, throwing out nearly 36% of attempted base stealers in 2021.

In fact, defense may end up being Hackenberg’s calling card, as he did not hit well in 2022 (to be fair, his promotion to Winston-Salem to start the season was on the aggressive side, and becoming part of Project Birmingham to end the summer most certainly was so. Still, in spite of just a .649 OPS, Hackenberg’s arm showed: Fighting the challenging rules changes that drastically favored baserunners in the minors, Hackenberg still nabbed almost a third of thieves.

Hackenberg’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Durability 59
RBIs 58
Contact 55
Hitting 54
Power 49
XBH 47
Speed 28
Runs 23
Team Winning Percentage .426

Given Hackenberg’s AFL assignment last year coupled with the Project Birmingham assignment, it’s clear that he is “next in line” for catching opportunities in the mid-to-high minors. Considering his age and tough 2022 with the bat, it’s plausible that Hackenberg spends a full year with the Barons in 2023.

2023 South Side Sox Top 101 White Sox Prospects

34. Adam Hackenberg, C
35. Tristan Stivors, RHRP
36. Andrew Pérez, LHRP
37. Duke Ellis, LF
38. Nicholas Padilla, RHRP
39. Dylan Burns, RHSP
40. Gil Luna Jr., LHRP
41. Eric Adler, RHRP
42. Garrett Schoenle, LHSP
43. Lane Ramsey, RHRP
44. Caleb Freeman, RHRP
45. Hunter Dollander, RHSP
46. Chase Solesky, RHSP
47. Godwin Bennett, RF
48. Wilber Sánchez, SS
49. Tyler Neslony, LF
50. Mario Camilletti, 2B
51. Sammy Peralta, LHRP
52. Jacob Burke, CF
53. Moisés Castillo, SS
54. Victor Quezada, 3B
55. Edgar Navarro, RHRP
56. Craig Dedelow, RF
57. Darío Borrero, 1B
58. Michael Turner, C
59. Tyler Osik, 1B
60. Haylen Green, LHRP
61. Mark McLaughlin, RHRP
62. Terrell Tatum, LF
63. Shawn Goosenberg, 2B
64. Randel Mondesí, LF
65. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
66. Declan Cronin, RHRP
67. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
68. Colby Smelley, C
69. Ethan Hammerberg, RHRP
70. Lincoln Henzman, RHRP
71. Vince Vannelle, RHRP
72. Brooks Baldwin, 3B-2B
73. James Beard, CF
74. Gabriel Rodríguez, RHSP
75. Ronny Hernandez, C
76. Troy Claunch, C
77. Brooks Gosswein, LHSP
78. Tim Elko, 1B
79. Yoelvín Silven, RHRP
80. Trey Jeans, LHRP
81. Jerry Burke, RHSP
82. Carlos Jiménez, 1B
83. Mason Adams, RHSP
84. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
85. Ernesto Jaquez, RHSP
86. Laz Rivera, 3B
87. Xavier Fernández, C
88. Álvaro Agüero, CF
89. Ben Norman, RF
90. Erick Bello, RHRP
91. Adisyn Coffey, RHRP
92. Arnold Prado, RF
93. Alsander Womack, 2B
94. Johan Domínguez, RHSP
95. Evan Skoug, C
96. Noah Owen, RHSP
97. Javier Mora, 2B
98. Will Kincanon, RHRP
99. Yohemy Nolasco, RHSP
100. Billy Seidl, RHRP
101. José Rodulfo, RHRP

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