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Bringing back this classic rally helmet shot of Tommy Sommer, in honor of profiler Joe Resis.

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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 31: Tommy Sommer

Where the Top Prospect Vote and the Top 100 meet

Tommy Sommer

Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
220 pounds
Age: 24
2022 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 69
2023 SSS Top Prospect Vote Ranking 23
2022 High Level Winston-Salem (High-A)
Age relative to high level 0.0 years
SSS rank among all left-handed starting pitchers in the system 3
Overall 2022 stats 6-7 ⚾️ 24 games (23 starts) ⚾️ 123 IP ⚾️ 2.71 ERA ⚾️ 1.081 WHIP ⚾️ 129 K ⚾️ 41 BB

Athletic ability doesn’t often fall too far from the tree.

In Tommy Sommer’s case, his father Juergen was a goalkeeper for the Indiana University and part of their 1988 national championship team; he played for more than a decade in the professional ranks, ultimately concluding his career in 2004 with the New England Revolution. His mother was no slouch athletically, either, as she was a star high school softball player.

Sommer, a native of Carmel, Ind., pitched four years for his father’s alma mater. Primarily a starter in his first two years, as a junior he started four games and did quite well with a 2.61 ERA and 1.07 WHIP until the pandemic concluded the 2020 season prematurely.

He picked a bad time to have his worst season, but Sommer did just that in 2021. In 12 starts for the Hoosiers totaling 62 2⁄3 innings, he posted a 4.60 ERA and 1.48 WHIP by relinquishing 55 hits (.237 OBA) and 38 walks while fanning 69. His 5.5 BB/9 was more than two walks per game worse than his previous high of 3.4 set in his junior year, but he also reached his career high in K/9 at 9.9.

As a four-year senior who lacked leverage, the White Sox drafted Sommer in the 10th round and signed him to a $20,000 bonus — $123,600 under slot value. Because he had already pitched the most innings of his career while with Indiana, Sommer was kept to a tight pitch count during his pro debut in 2021 with the ACL Sox. Against competition about a year younger than he, Sommer performed exceptionally well by producing a 2.16 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in his eight outings (six) starts. In 25 innings, Sommer surrendered a measly 13 hits (.149 OBA) and seven walks (2.5 BB/9) while striking out 33 (11.9 K/9). Review of these results, however, suggest some future regression, as Sommer’s FIP was 4.23 and his ground ball rate was just 30.2%.

The left-handed pitcher who turned 24 in September had a great 2022 from an ERA perspective. Sommer had a 2.75 ERA in 75 1⁄3 innings in Low-A Kannapolis and a 2.64 ERA in 47 2⁄3 innings in High-A Winston-Salem. Batted ball luck was on his side, however, as opposing hitters’ BABIP was .289 in Low-A and .220 in High-A. As expected, his FIP (3.90 in Low-A, 4.14 in High-A) was much higher than his ERA.

Sommer will likely never be a flamethrower, as 92 mph is his fastball speed limit. Sommer exhibited decent control, averaging 3.00 BB/9 innings last year while striking out 9.44 per nine. Going forward, Sommer will need to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible. His ground ball rate in High-A dropped to 36.1%, and since he is not a power pitcher, he could be especially vulnerable to regression to the mean if that does not rise.

Sommer’s ratins are ALL well better than average:

Sommer’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Power 80
Hittable 80
Durability 71
K/BB 65
Strikeouts 62
Walks 61
Team Winning Percentage .555

Command will continue to be key for Sommer going forward, without a big-muscle fastball. As is necessary for someone with a heater that isn’t quite so hot, Sommer also features a complement of secondary offerings to keep hitters off-balance. His cutter cuts away from lefties but moves in on righties, which limits the quality of contact. His best offering is his changeup, which is often used as a put-away pitch. Finally, his fourth offering is a rudimentary curveball that is simply a show-me offering at this point.

Expect Sommer to begin the season with Winston-Salem, but an immediate assignment to Birmingham is not out of the question.

2023 South Side Sox Top 101 White Sox Prospects

31. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
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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