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Connor McCullough surrendered some big hits in High-A, but has proven he can carry a major workload.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

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2024 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 69: Connor McCullough

Repeat last May, and this righty is right back on the South Side radar

Connor McCullough

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
185 pounds
Age: 20
2023 High Level Winston-Salem (High-A)
Age relative to high level -0.1 years
SSS rank among all right-handed starters in the system 17
Overall 2023 stats 8-8 ⚾️ 23 starts (1 CG) ⚾️ 113 1⁄3 IP ⚾️ 4.29 ERA ⚾️ 1.068 WHIP ⚾️ 130 K ⚾️ 25 BB

Connor McCullough went undrafted out of Kansas State University, and it’s a bit mystifying as to why. No, his numbers weren’t electric (career 10-9, 4.63 ERA, 1.389 WHIP) but he took the ball regularly as a junior and senior, pitching in the Big 12. It seems that every year we see players selected on more of a hunch than that.

At any rate, less than two weeks after the draft, the White Sox had snapped up McCullough and got him an inning of work in Arizona — where the lifetime starter earned a save in his pro debut.

It was a tale of two seasons in 2023 for McCullough, which can often be the case with a midseason promotion.

The good was his outstanding seven-start run against younger (1.4 years) competition at Kannapolis, which included a remarkable seven-inning no-hitter that highlighted his great May. Throughout that month, he logged 24 innings with a stellar 1.13 ERA, demonstrating consistent effectiveness on the mound. McCullough’s control and command were evident from his low walk totals; that month, he issued just two walks over the 24 innings pitched. McCullough displayed an impressive strikeout ability as well. He recorded 27 strikeouts in May as well, showcasing his knack for generating swings-and-misses, with a strikeout rate of 31.7%

Following his miracle month, McCullough was promoted on May 31 to the Dash. In his first start with them, he pitched four innings and allowed four runs. Looking at McCullough’s performance in Low-A overall and why he earned that promotion: He maintained an impressive 2.17 ERA. That 31.7% K-rate was coupled with a miniscule 5% BB-rate: A 26.6% rate difference was definitely a clear sign Low-A was a little too easy for him.

The righty did struggle overall against age-appropriate competition in High-A, with a propensity to give up big hits while still maintaining reasonable walk and hit totals. Another factor in McCullough’s favor in spite of a scary 5.33 ERA is his ability to shoulder a heavy workload: He threw no fewer than 59 pitches in any Dash outing and went at least four innings (for some arms, the MAX that would be allowed them) in all but two of 16 High-A starts.

McCullough’s Baseball Cube player ratings
K/BB 71
Walks 69
Durability 60
vsPower 59
Hittable 59
Strikeouts 57

McCullough’s age and ability to carry a load would merit a move to Birmingham straight out of the box in 2024, but there’s also a chance he could repeat his rhythm from 2023 and take a cup of coffee at High-A, “master” it, and move up. With a lot of AAAA arms at Charlotte (not all of whom will break camp with the rotation-depleted White Sox), there may not be a desperate need for McCullough to break camp a Baron.

2024 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

69. Connor McCullough, RHSP
70. Luis Rodriguez, RHRP
71. Jonah Scolaro, LHRP
72. Ben Beutel, LHRP
73. Stiven Flores, C
74. Adrian Gil, 1B
75. Yohemy Nolasco, RHRP
76. Ben Norman, LF
77. Josimar Cousín, RHSP
78. Juan Gonzalez, C
79. Chris Lanzilli, LF
80. Alex Speas, RHRP
81. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
82. Garrett Wright, RHRP
83. Duke Ellis, CF
84. Mathias LaCombe, RHRP
85. Godwin Bennett, RF
86. Rikuu Nishida, LF
87. Caden Connor, LF
88. Zach Franklin, RHRP
89. Jeremy González, LHSP
90. Jerry Burke, RHRP
91. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
92. Mikey Kane, 3B
93. Carlton Perkins, RHSP
94. Tyler Neslony, LF
95. Drew Dalquist, RHSP
96. Jason Matthews, SS
97. Jonathan Stiever, RHSP
98. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
99. Daniel González, LHRP
100. Eduardo Herrera, 3B

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