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2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Jake Eder has huge upside, more than you’d expect given the cost was only Jake Burger.

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Meet the New Guy: Jake Eder

The White Sox flip Jake Burger at the trade deadline for Marlins top pitching prospect

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the White Sox turned a player from their underperforming offense into a college lefty with promise.

Jake Eder is the latest addition to a newly-revitalized White Sox farm system that has aspirations of producing the talent that will make the Sox competitive in 2024.

Eder, Miami’s No. 4 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is a 6´4´´ lefty with a big fastball and promising off-speed offerings. His slider is arguably his best pitch, and it plays well off of his mid-to-high 90s fastball from the left side, and displays above-average sweeping break. He’s developing a slow changeup with steep vertical drop that, if commanded properly, could give the young lefthander a three-pitch mix that can play in the majors.

So far in the minors, Eder has pitched to an effective 2.60 ERA with 147 strikeouts across 110 innings. While this sample would be encouraging by itself, it’s important to note that Eder is outperforming his college numbers at Vanderbilt by a significant margin in a comparable sample. In 92 college innings, the big lefty held an even 4.00 ERA and 105 strikeouts in that span, good for a K/9 of 10.2, which is nearly two full points lower than his minor league rate of 12.0.

If there’s one question mark with Eder’s game, however, it’s his command. Though he’s enjoyed scaling success as his strikeout rate, velocity, and movement have increased, he’s also shown a tendency to give up the free pass with potentially alarming regularity. While his minor league walk rate of 3.9 BB/9 is a serviceable mark for a young starter developing his feel for secondary offerings in a relatively low stress environment, it could prove unsustainable in a competing rotation with playoff aspirations. It’s worth noting that, since going under the knife for Tommy John surgery in 2021, Eder’s walk rate has ballooned to nearly 5.0 — his highest recorded rate since his freshman year at Vandy.

Eder has pitched exclusively as a starter in the Marlins system to this point. If he’s unable to rectify his command, however, it’s entirely possible that he transitions to a long relief role in a decimated White Sox bullpen. Such a change would take advantage of Eder’s rising strikeout numbers and could allow him to simplify his arsenal to his two effective primary pitches.

White Sox fans will hope this trend of Eder’s performance scaling up as his competition hardens will translate to the majors given his estimated arrival of 2024 with the big league club. Though, in order for that to happen, he will need to show improved command across the Double-A and Triple-A levels as he continues his arduous return from Tommy John surgery.

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