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Fan favorite DJ Gladney does not pass up an opportunity to sign any shirsey sightings in the crowd.
Salina Rae Silver/South Side Sox

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2024 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 47: DJ Gladney

Power still evident, now with fewer Ks!

D.J. Gladney

Left Fielder
195 pounds
Age: 22
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking: 29
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 24
2022 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 36
2023 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 32
2023 High Level Winston-Salem (High-A)
Age relative to high level -1.2 years
SSS rank among all left fielders in the system 1
Overall 2023 stats 96 games ⚾️ 19 HR ⚾️ 63 RBI ⚾️ .243/.308/.475 ⚾️ 12-of-14 (85.7%) SB ⚾️ 27 BB ⚾️ 114 K

DJ Gladney, a native of Matteson, Ill., played varsity ball with Illiana Christian Academy (Lansing, Ill.). As a product of the White Sox ACE program, Gladney caught the attention of White Sox scout J.J. Lally at the Area Code Games in 2018, as he told South Side Sox: “My initial thoughts were that he showed excellent bat speed but was a raw talent.”

The White Sox gladly selected Gladney in the 16th round in 2019, and after eschewing his verbal commitment to Eastern Kentucky University by accepting an over-slot $225,000 bonus, Gladney immediately began paying dividends.

Though the third-sacker struggled making contact in 2019 with the AZL White Sox, he still slashed a solid .264/.309/.428 in 50 games with five doubles, two triples, eight homers, 25 RBIs, one stolen base, 10 walks (4.5%) and 82 strikeouts (37.2%). Unfortunately, Gladney missed an important year of development time in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Perhaps better suited to play the 2021 season with Great Falls, that option was sadly removed due to minor league contraction. Thus, Gladney spent his 2021 season with Kannapolis, and against stiffer competition more than two years older, he seemed to take a step back at the dish. In 71 games with the Cannon Ballers totaling 294 at-bats, Gladney slashed .191/.293/.324 with 11 doubles, seven homers, 28 RBIs, 31 walks (10.5%) and 124 strikeouts (42.2%). As evidenced by his increased walk and strikeout rates, he saw more pitches per appearance this year, which can only aid his development in the long run. This is vital, as his pitch-recognition skills are still in their nascent stages.

The 2022 season was a step forward overall, although some of Gladney’s persistent issues remain. With a lot of swing-and-miss, the young hitter solidified his slugger status with impressive run production (19 homers, 70 RBI with an all-or-nothing .418 SLG). While Gladney has a promising power profile somewhat undermined by a high strikeout rate and poor fielding, his .219 ISO is tantalizing.

In 2023, Gladney returned to Winston-Salem after the late-2022 Project Birmingham experiment, and mostly excelled. He clocked 19 homers for the second straight season, saw his slugging numbers grow into something (.475) making him seem less a three true outcomes hitter, and continued with some sneaky-quicks on the basepaths (12 steals, twice caught, now a career 25-of-28). Perhaps most significantly, Gladney cut down his Ks significantly; while 114 in 96 games is still rough, it’s more than a nine-point drop, to a workable 28.29%. Couple that with a BB rate that “jumped” five points to 6.7%, and there’s some stuff to dream on.

Gladney’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Power 83 (+3 from last season)
Durability 78 (-1)
XBH 71 (+8)
RBIs 62 (+8)
Runs 51 (+13)
Speed 45 (+8)
Hitting 43 (+3)
Contact 14 (+6)

Gladney, still quite young for his level, should matriculate back to Birmingham to break camp in 2024, and maintaining power and holding the line on that K-BB discrepancy at around 20% would do wonders for his South Side prospects.

And if he has a start in 2024 like he did 2023 (.321/.349/.667 in 21 April games), it could be a quick jump to Charlotte for Gladney.

[Note: The makeup of the White Sox minors changes over the long course of this project, shifting ratings. The February 3 trades with Seattle and Arizona have added three highly-rated prospects to our list, sliding players down. The list below represents our updated rankings, although the stories they link to will retain original rankings (example, No. 56 Troy Claunch originally was our No. 55 prospect).]

2024 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

47. DJ Gladney, LF
48. Eddie Park, CF
49. Yoelqui Céspedes, CF
50. Christian Oppor, LHSP
51. Michael Turner, C
52. Tristan Stivors, RHRP
53. Caleb Freeman, RHRP
54. Jake Peppers, RHSP
55. Shane Murphy, LHRP
56. Troy Claunch, C
57. Edrick Felix, 2B
58. Gabriel Rodríguez, RHSP
59. Edgar Navarro, RHRP
60. Lucas Gordon, LHSP
61. Andrew Pérez, LHRP
62. Javier Mogollon, 2B
63. Aldrin Batista, RHSP
64. Ryan Castillo, 1B
65. Bryce Willits, 3B
66. Colby Smelley, C
67. Wes Kath, 3B
68. Alsander Womack, 2B
69. Jordan Sprinkle, SS
70. Connor McCullough, RHSP
71. Luis Rodriguez, RHRP
72. Jonah Scolaro, LHRP
73. Ben Beutel, LHRP
74. Stiven Flores, C
75. Adrian Gil, 1B
76. Yohemy Nolasco, RHRP
77. Ben Norman, LF
78. Josimar Cousín, RHSP
79. Juan Gonzalez, C
80. Chris Lanzilli, LF
81. Alex Speas, RHRP
82. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
83. Garrett Wright, RHRP
84. Duke Ellis, CF
85. Mathias LaCombe, RHRP
86. Godwin Bennett, RF
87. Rikuu Nishida, LF
88. Caden Connor, LF
89. Zach Franklin, RHRP
90. Jeremy González, LHSP
91. Jerry Burke, RHRP
92. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
93. Mikey Kane, 3B
94. Carlton Perkins, RHSP
95. Tyler Neslony, LF
96. Drew Dalquist, RHSP
97. Jason Matthews, SS
98. Jonathan Stiever, RHSP
99. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
100. Daniel González, LHRP

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