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2024 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 59: Lucas Gordon

His “pitchability” should be seen as a fine asset for a system hungry for quality

Don’t dis Lucas Gordon being crafty, because the White Sox have had some success with such lefties.
| David Buono/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Lucas Gordon

Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
193 pounds
Age: 22
2023 High Level Kannapolis (Low-A)
Age relative to high level -0.6 years
SSS rank among all left-handed starting pitchers in the system 9
Overall 2023 NCAA stats 7-2 ⚾️ 19 games (17 starts) ⚾️ 102 2⁄3 IP ⚾️ 2.63 ERA ⚾️ 1.159 WHIP ⚾️ 103 K ⚾️ 34 BB

With the 179th overall pick in the 2023 MLB draft, the White Sox selected LHSP Lucas Gordon.

Just take a look at the fastball velocity and you can see why MLB Pipeline did not rank him. He seems to be a money-saving pick and Jim Callis, as the pick was announced, was not convinced he stays a starter. Maybe the White Sox agree and think Gordon’s fastball ticks up with an innings reduction that comes with a move to the bullpen. Of note, his best pitch is a change, so he might do really well in the lower levels of the minors and hit a brick wall in Double-A.

After a successful freshman season pitching out of the Texas bullpen, Gordon moved to the Longhorns rotation and put together two more good seasons utilizing a three-pitch arsenal — fastball, changeup and slider, while mixing in an occasional cutter.

In 2023, Gordon had 17 starts and appeared in 19 games for Texas over 102 2⁄3 innings. He doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, just barely more than one strikeout every inning (103). He walked 34 batters over that time span as well.

However, his changeup gave right-handed hitters fits all season, and they only hit .227/.304/.382 against Gordon. He does a nice job of killing velo and spin on the pitch, creating a 90th percentile velo disparity between it and his high-80s/low-90s fastball. With the pitch’s above-average movement metrics and Gordon’s command of the pitch, his changeup is the offering that likely attracted the Sox to make him a Top 200 pick.

Though not overpowering, Gordon’s fastball generates above-average vertical break, and he wasn’t afraid to use it at the top of the zone even at his well below-average velo. The pitch’s profile along with its pairing with his changeup allowed this plan to work well.

His slider has a Gyro shape, and Gordon doesn’t really have a feel to spin it at high rates, yet it got great results in 2023 likely to do its late-breaking nature. Gordon also avoids the heart of the strike zone well and generally has good command. One might call him a “pitchability lefty” to overgeneralize, and he should be able to provide upper-minors depth quickly.

The ratings — all better than average — seem to bear out Gordon’s expertise:

Gordon’s Baseball Cube player ratings
vs. Power 88
Hittable 88
Durability 82
Walks 73
K/BB 71
Strikeouts 51

Gordon threw more than 100 innings in college in spring, but nonetheless was sent right to Arizona after the draft; clearly, the White Sox have no reservations about challenging him. The southpaw ended up adding another 11 innings over seven games between the ACL and Low-A ball, to a 1.64 ERA.

Don’t read too much into Gordon relieving in five of his first seven pro games, however. This was a workload move, and the White Sox almost surely will give Lucas a chance to prove himself as a starter before sending him to the pen permanently.

With that said, Gordon’s age-appropriate level would be High-A, so expect him to start with or move quickly to the Dash in 2024.

2024 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

59. Lucas Gordon, LHSP
60. Andrew Pérez, LHRP
61. Javier Mogollon, 2B
62. Aldrin Batista, RHSP
63. Ryan Castillo, 1B
64. Bryce Willits, 3B
65. Colby Smelley, C
66. Wes Kath, 3B
67. Alsander Womack, 2B
68. Jordan Sprinkle, SS
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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