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2024 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 87: Caden Connor

Another contact-conscious outfielder — but one who flashed some college pop

After a poor summer playing for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox above, Caden Connor had a monster season for Cal-Fullerton in 2023 that earned him a selection in the 19th round.
| Ron Schloerb/Cape Cod Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

Caden Connor

Left Fielder
200 pounds
Age: 23
2022 High Level ACL White Sox (Rookie)
Age relative to high level +2.2 years
SSS rank among all left fielders in the system 5
Overall 2023 NCAA stats 56 games ⚾️ 5 HR ⚾️ 45 RBI ⚾️ .330/.417/.505 ⚾️ 32 BB ⚾️ 36 K

After an abbreviated freshman spring in 2020, Caden Connor put together three productive seasons at Cal State Fullerton where he walked more than he struck out, improving his wRC+ from 114 to 119 to 120 last season.

The lefthander only hit 10 homers over those 3 1⁄2 seasons in college, but he did cut his ground ball rate each year and clubbed 20 doubles in 2023. Also last summer, he finished with well above-average hard-hit rates and a 51st percentile SweetSpot%. The White Sox likely see an opportunity to continue to raise Connor’s launch angles and generate more barrels with that solid contact. The frequency of contact and discipline was there, too, especially on breaking balls, where he was very good at making in-zone contact and not chasing out of the zone.

Watching Connor hit, he looks to have a solid approach at the plate, and this can be seen by looking closer at his 20 doubles. He got to his pull-side power when he had count leverage, but also oftentimes sprayed line drives to left and left-center with two strikes. As was the case with the balance of the 2023 draft class, hand-eye and barrel control skills are present with Connor.

Connor’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Contact 86
Durability 74
Hitting 57
Speed 35
RBIs 34
XBH 33
Power 29
Runs 22
Team Winning Percentage .338

Connor came to college appearing mostly in the outfield, but as he matured, almost all of his starts were at first base. In 2023, it was all his starts. In the ACL, Connor played left field in seven games and over in right for two, appearing at first base only once. Obviously the time is now to see if Connor — not quite fleet of foot — can adjust to a more valuable corner outfield spot; his bat as it has mostly appeared in the collegiate ranks will not play at first base.

Given his age, Connor is a cinch to see substantial time in Kannapolis this season, likely to start the season.

2024 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

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. Elier Gil, C

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