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2024 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 44: Riley Gowens

Local boy makes good (over five games), comes home to resume his march to the majors

With a local pedigree (Libertyville High School, University of Illinois), it just fits that Riley Gowens is now in a Chicago organization.
| @Riley_Gowens/Instagram
Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to brettballantini@yahoo.com

Riley Gowens
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
6´4´´
225 pounds
Age: 24
2023 High Level August (Low-A)
Age relative to high level +1.4 years
SSS rank among all right-handed starters in the system 14
Overall 2023 stats 1-0 ⚾️ 5 games (3 starts) ⚾️ 15 2⁄3 IP ⚾️ 1.15 ERA ⚾️ 0.957 WHIP ⚾️ 22 K ⚾️ 6 BB

Riley Gowens is a righty starter taken in the ninth round by the Atlanta Braves in last summer’s draft. But let’s not bury the lede here, he like this author is a Libertyville High product, and if the ascendant career of Evan Skoug tells you anything, it’s that Wildcats don’t disappoint. That he went on to play at the University of Illinois makes Gowens’ drafting by Atlanta no more than an anomaly: Riley was born to be in the White Sox system, and there really was no choice but to include him in Chris Getz’s first big trade as club GM.

But seriously, Gowens has some stuff, getting his feet wet in five games in ACL and Low-A ball and crushing his younger (~two years) competition (1.15 ERA, 0.957 WHIP). Proving that scouting is not just about the numbers, however, Gowens wasn’t quite a star at the U of I, with a 5.69 ERA and 1.384 WHIP during his time in Champaign.

As if proving the point, Gowens’ player ratings are all well above average:

Gowens’ Baseball Cube player ratings
Durability 81
Strikeouts 81
K/BB 76
Hittable 67
vsPower 67
Walks 65

On one hand, Gowens has hardly gotten his feet wet in the pros. On the other, he was old for Low-A last year. It’s a coin flip over which A-ball club he jumps in with in 2024, but Gowens should rent, not buy, if he’s slated for Kanny.


[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

44. Riley Gowens, RHSP
45. Jared Kelley, RHRP
46. Ryan Galanie, 1B
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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