Chicago White Sox 2020 Midseason Top 30 Prospects Update
To see every team's Top 30 prospects list, click here.
STATE OF THE SYSTEM
Though the White Sox do not have the deepest farm system in the game, their Top 10 is tremendous. That would be expected for any team with the No. 2 overall player (OF Luis Robert) plus three more who rank no worse than No. 51 (1B Andrew Vaughn, RHP Michael Kopech, 2B Nick Madrigal). Their depth is still lacking, but the back of the system still has some potential upside plays.
1. Luis Robert, OF
The No. 2 prospect in the game, Robert is gifted with an otherworldly blend of explosive tools, including plus defense and double-plus marks for his speed, throwing arm and power. He signed a six-year big league contract in the offseason and was slated to make his big league debut on Opening Day.
2. Andrew Vaughn, 1B
The third overall pick in 2019, Vaughn boasts potentially plus hitting and power tools, which should make him a classic masher at first base. He was solid in his pro debut after coming off a lengthy college season and will try to get as much development as possible at the team’s alternate training site in Schaumburg, Ill.
3. Michael Kopech, RHP
The 2020 season, truncated as it may be, was slated to be the year when Kopech made his triumphant return after recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2018. Instead, out of an abundance of caution during the coronavirus pandemic, Kopech has opted out of the season and will retain his prospect eligibility into 2021.
4. Nick Madrigal, 2B
One of the minor leagues’ foremost contact artists, Madrigal is on the verge of the big leagues. He reached Triple-A in 2020 and continued to establish his reputation as one of the hardest players to strike out. He should make his big league debut in 2020, though it might not be immediately out of the gate.
5. Garrett Crochet, LHP
Because of his arsenal and low-slot delivery, Crochet, the White Sox’s first-round pick, draws many comparisons to former Chicago ace Chris Sale. Crochet brings a huge fastball and wipeout slider, but a history of injuries and inconsistency gives an element of volatility to his future.
6. Jared Kelley, RHP
The White Sox pulled off a coup in the 2020 draft by landing two of the top 15 players available. Kelley was their second-round choice and ranked No. 12 overall in the class. He boasts the best fastball available among prep players and couples it with a nasty changeup. The development of his breaking ball will be key to his development.
7. Matthew Thompson, RHP
Chicago’s second-round selection in 2019 got his feet wet in the Rookie-level Arizona League but was looking to get his first extended test in 2020. With the minor league season canceled, that will have to wait. At his best, Thompson boasts three potentially plus pitches (fastball, curveball and slider) and is extremely athletic.
8. Jonathan Stiever, RHP
Stiever was the White Sox’s biggest breakout prospect in 2019, when he blew through hitters at both levels of Class A with a plus fastball and a pair of above-average breaking balls. He needs to sharpen his changeup to solidify his chances of landing as a rotation piece.
9. Andrew Dalquist, RHP
Dalquist was the team’s third-rounder in 2019 and operates with an arsenal of three potentially average or better pitches but none which rank as plus or better. He got just three innings in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2019 and was not included in the 60-man player pool.
10. Dane Dunning, RHP
Like Michael Kopech, Dunning had Tommy John surgery in 2018 and missed all of 2019. He is fully recovered now and could play a part in the 2020 season. Before the surgery, Dunning operated with a mix of a sinking fastball, two potentially above-average or better breaking balls and a changeup which could get to above average as well.
11. Blake Rutherford, OF
12. Luis Gonzalez, OF
13. Micker Adolfo, OF
14. Jimmy Lambert, RHP
15. Bryce Bush, OF
16. Gavin Sheets, 1B
17. Zack Collins, C
18. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
19. Konnor Pilkington, LHP
20. Yolbert Sanchez, SS
21. James Beard, OF
22. Luis Mieses, OF
23. Bryan Ramos, 3B
24. Benyamin Bailey, OF
25. Codi Heuer, RHP
26. Anderson Comas, OF
27. DJ Gladney, 3B
28. Victor Torres, C
29. Danny Mendick, 2B
30. Ian Hamilton, RHP
Combining Kopech with the collection of pitching talent the White Sox have acquired over the past few years gives them an excellent, balanced pool of arms to draw from both now and in the coming years. Dane Dunning, Jonathan Stiever, Jimmy Lambert and possibly 2020 draftee Garrett Crochet could be of service this year, while RHPs Matthew Thompson, Andrew Dalquist and 2020 second-rounder Jared Kelley could impact the club down the line.
The White Sox’s system is not particularly deep. As mentioned earlier, the top of the system is magnificent. It drops off quickly, however. There are a few players—OF Benyamin Bailey and 3B Bryan Ramos, for instance—who could make big jumps once things return to normal, but will have to wait to show that they can tap into their talent and achieve their potential.
PLAYER POOL TIDBITS
RHP Michael Kopech opted out of the season, but the White Sox have two more Tommy John surgery returnees—RHPs Dane Dunning and Jimmy Lambert—who were included among the team’s 60-man player pool. Lambert made his big league debut in the season’s first weekend.