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Kannapolis Cannon Ballers Pitcher Noah Schultz
Noah Schultz is the No. 4-ranked prospect in the White Sox org.

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All aboard the Noah Schultz hype train!

A short but stellar start on Saturday showed a glimmer of what is to come

COLUMBIA, S.C. — No one on the Kansas City Royals Single-A affiliate Columbia Fireflies is a stud with the bat. The team has nearly as many stolen bases (166) as RBIs (253), so they’re in the habit of struggling against even moderate talent.

Even so, from the moment Kannapolis Cannon Ballers starter Noah Schultz took the mound during warmups, there was something about his presence that made everyone in the crowd take notice.

For those unfamiliar, Schultz is a 19-year-old selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round of last year’s draft out of Oswego East H.S.. A lefty standing at 6´9´´ and 220 pounds, the comparisons to Randy Johnson are expected, albeit unfair. He has a fastball that touches 97 mph and an incredibly elusive slider that makes lefties, in particular, look silly.

On Saturday, Schultz extended his streak to six starts without giving up a run, and while he gave up four hits against the Fireflies, they were predominantly soft-hit grounders that found their way through the infield. Honestly, the southpaw seemed way more annoyed by the Fireflies’ relentless attempts to steal bases once they made it on base. Schultz also tended to nibble at the corners to get hitters to chase.

Schultz didn’t need to worry about being so fine, because the velocity difference in his fastball-changeup combo was enough to make up almost half of his strikeouts for the evening. His slider was equally up to the task when the change didn’t do the trick.

With 21 Ks in 14 1⁄3 innings pitched, Schultz might not be long for Low-A ball, and with his dismissal after only 53 pitches, the White Sox organization is handling its prized pitcher appropriately, with kid gloves.

There’s palpable excitement around Noah Schultz, and after seeing him start last night, it’s apparent why. Fingers crossed, he can continue flourishing and don a White Sox jersey as a starter in a few years.

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