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DJ Gladney’s prodigious power saw him wearing the home-run medallion 19 times last year.
Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 32: DJ Gladney

Massive power — but significant swing-and-miss

D.J. Gladney

First Baseman
195 pounds
Age: 21
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking: 29
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 24
2022 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 36
2022 High Level Birmingham (AA)
Age relative to high level -4.2 years
SSS rank among all first basemen in the system 2
Overall 2022 stats 122 games ⚾️ 19 HR ⚾️ 70 RBI ⚾️ .237/.309/.418 ⚾️ 11-of-12 (91.7%) SB ⚾️ 45 BB ⚾️ 173 K

DJ Gladney, a native of Matteson, Ill., played varsity ball with Illiana Christian Academy (Lansing, Ill.). As a product of the White Sox ACE program, Gladney caught the attention of White Sox scout J.J. Lally at the Area Code Games in 2018, as he told South Side Sox: “My initial thoughts were that he showed excellent bat speed but was a raw talent.”

The White Sox gladly selected Gladney in the 16th round in 2019, and after eschewing his verbal commitment to Eastern Kentucky University by accepting an over-slot $225,000 bonus, Gladney immediately began paying dividends.

Though the third-sacker struggled making contact in 2019 with the AZL White Sox, he still slashed a solid .264/.309/.428 in 50 games with five doubles, two triples, eight homers, 25 RBIs, one stolen base, 10 walks (4.5%) and 82 strikeouts (37.2%). Unfortunately, Gladney missed an important year of development time in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Perhaps better suited to play the 2021 season with Great Falls, that option was sadly removed due to minor league contraction. Thus, Gladney spent his 2021 season with Kannapolis, and against stiffer competition more than two years older, he seemed to take a step back at the dish. In 71 games with the Cannon Ballers totaling 294 at-bats, Gladney slashed .191/.293/.324 with 11 doubles, seven homers, 28 RBIs, 31 walks (10.5%) and 124 strikeouts (42.2%). As evidenced by his increased walk and strikeout rates, he saw more pitches per appearance this year, which can only aid his development in the long run. This is vital, as his pitch-recognition skills are still in their nascent stages.

The 2022 season was a step forward overall, although some of Gladney’s persistent issues remain. With a lot of swing-and-miss, the young hitter solidified his slugger status with impressive run production (19 homers, 70 RBI with an all-or-nothing .418 SLG). While Gladney has a promising power profile somewhat undermined by a high strikeout rate and poor fielding, his .219 ISO is tantalizing.

The swing-and-miss assessment is harsh? The Cube doesn’t think so:

Gladney’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Power 80
Durability 79
XBH 63
RBIs 54
Hitting 40
Runs 38
Speed 37
Contact 8
Team Winning Percentage .354

Gladney, along with Drew Dalquist ranked right behind him on our Top 101, was a puzzling choice to matriculate to Project Birmingham straight from Kannapolis. Rather than simply putting him through drills and maybe getting into a Sunday getaway contest, Gladney played in 16 Double-A games and got murdered. He’s not ready for Birmingham, so the smart move this season is a first half of High-A in Winston-Salem, with perhaps a promotion in the offing.

2023 South Side Sox Top 101 White Sox Prospects

32. DJ Gladney, 1B
33. Drew Dalquist, RHSP
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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