Chicago White Sox 2020 Top 10 MLB Prospects Chat

Image credit: Andrew Vaughn (Photo by Zach Lucy/Four Seam Images)



Josh Norris: It’s White Sox chat time, which means it’s time to chat about White Sox.

Chauncey (Centennial):

     Where does the White Sox farm system rank?

Josh Norris: We have not done our overhauled farm system rankings yet. At midseason we pegged them as No. 3, and they’ve only graduated Dylan Cease since then. They’ll probably be in the Top 5.

MikeR (Lockport, NY):

     Does Bryce Bush make the book?

Josh Norris: Yes he does.

MIchael Stern (Rochester NY):

     Do Robert and Madrigal start the season with the big club or do they head back to AAA for the obligatory “service time” requirement?

Josh Norris: If they sign a contract like Eloy Jimenez did before the 2019 season, then they’ll start in the big leagues. Otherwise, I’d expect them to be back in Triple-A.

Tom (Chicago):

     Thoughts on Bryce Bush and DJ Gladney. Which do you see having more upside?

Josh Norris: I like Bush better of these two. He’s got a long way to go but scouts are really intrigued by his tool set.

Eric (Virginia Beach, Va):

     Alec Hansen seems to have the stuff to be a top of the rotation guy, what adjustments do you think he needs to make to unlock his full potential.

Josh Norris: He needs to be able to repeat his mechanics more consistently and increase his focus on the mound. The stuff is there, but it doesn’t show up as often as the team would like. It’s hard to find scouts who still believe in him.

Ben (CA):

     Thanks so much for answering questions! I’m curious about your thoughts on Seby Zavala. Would it be accurate to say he seems likely to end up as an above average offensive catcher who’s defense limits him to a back up role?

Josh Norris: No. I’d say that’s the opposite of what is likely to happen with him. His defense is better than his offense, and his ceiling is probably as a third-string catcher on a championship level club.

Neal (Columbia, SC):

     How is Jake Burger coming along in his rehab? He was very unlucky and hopefully he has gotten some good news.

Josh Norris: At midseason, the team had hoped he would participate in the instructional league. He had a heel bruise as well and was not listed on the White Sox’s instructional league roster. Hopefully he’s ready for spring training.

Mike (Highland Park):

     Do you know if the organization or Lou Bob has plans on correcting the impatience at the plate? Sounds like the inverse problem of Moncada and there was a gigantic up tick in production when he took a more aggressive approach.

Josh Norris: I would assume that will be something both Robert and the organization will work on as he continues to develop. He’s got immense potential, and improved strike zone discipline can only help him reach his ceiling.

Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware):

     Will any of these low A fellows make it to the majors in your opinion: Alex Destino, Lane Ramsey (all 6’8″ of him), and Austin Conway?

Josh Norris: If I had to pick one of them, I’d take Ramsey, who throws very hard. Otherwise, I can’t see it.

Justin (Tucson, AZ):

     Are there any current teams with 3-4-5 hitters as feared as what Chicago could have with Robert, Jimenez and Vaughn? Any historical comps to this lineups potential?

Josh Norris: I mean, Stanton/Judge/Sanchez is pretty good when healthy. So is some combo of Altuve/Bregman/Correa/Alvarez. Two of the three players you mentioned haven’t seen a pitch in the big leagues, and one hasn’t played above A-ball. It may be a bit early for “historical comps”

Zane (NC):

     Is Zach Collins a fair return for Starling Marte? Would there need to be other pieces one way or the other?

Josh Norris: If I’m Pittsburgh, I’d probably want a bit more than that. Yes, Collins is young and controllable, but his chance to catch every day is pretty slim and there are definite questions about the hit tool as well. Big power and an excellent eye, though.

James (Chicago):

     The Sox added two high school pitchers last draft, both in your top 10. Might this be the start of a trend?

Josh Norris: It’s a cop out, but it’s hard to say. They have a new scouting director in place, and the general logic surrounding the draft involves taking the best player available rather than drafting for need. If HS arms are among the best available in the early rounds next year, then the White Sox could continue the trend.

Michael Stern (Rochester NY):

     Haven’t heard much about Kopech’s rehab over the last year, how has he been progressing? Do you think he starts the season in Chicago rotation or does he head back to AAA for more work? Thanks for the chat!

Josh Norris: He pitched some in the instructional league and he touched 100 with his fastball and showed his signature sharp slider. Command was understandably rusty but the stuff was there. If he shows well in spring, I’d have no problem throwing him in the rotation from the get-go.

Dan C (Naperville, IL):

     Zack Burdi, still the closer of the future? Or is it Tyler Johnson?

Josh Norris: Although he’s still got time to stick as a starter, I think Jonathan Stiever has a better shot at being the org’s closer of the future than either Burdi or Johnson.

Mike (Indiana):

     How is Craig Dedelow viewed in the organization?

Josh Norris: He just turned 25 and will get his first test at Double-A this year, plus he has Andrew Vaughn ahead of him. Probably just an org guy at this point.

Jeff (Chicago):

     When do you see Vaughn coming up? This year?

Josh Norris: 2021 is more likely. Let him get a full year at the upper levels.

Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware):

     That muscular Grand Junction 1st baseman – Harvin Mendoza – what are your thoughts on him?

Josh Norris: Muscular though he may be, eight home runs in four seasons (none at full-season ball) is problematic for a first baseman.

Zac (NYC):

     If the power comes, as predicted in his write-up, is it possible to see Rutherford in the majors this year? Is he destined to be a fourth outfielder?

Josh Norris: He could make his big league debut this year, yes, especially if he does show the power. He’ll get a boost once he hits Triple-A Charlotte’s gorgeous launching pad (though he may start back in Double-A) and (I can’t believe I have to write this) a lot of his power output will depend on what type of baseballs are in play in Triple-A this year. Beyond the power, he’ll also need to do a way better job against lefthanders.

Alex (Chicago):

     Thanks for chatting with us today Josh. Micker Adolfo started to translate his high end tools in production in 2018. 2019 was supposed to be the year he continued to become the prospect the White Sox expected when he was signed as the #2 prospect (behind org mate Eloy Jimenez). Is Micker in the #11-15 range and still has hope to become a everyday major leaguer?

Josh Norris: He is indeed in that range of the Handbook. As for his big league regular hope, it’s dimmed a little bit because of the poor approach he showed this year, but players with his type of power (much like pitchers with a 100 mph fastball) will get plenty of chances.

Dan (Aurora, IL):

     Alec Hansen…lost cause/wildcard trade chip or give him another year?

Josh Norris: The results aren’t great, but as I’ve said before: Pitchers with stuff like Hansen’s will get a lot of chances. Dellin Betances made eight Handbooks while he developed. Hansen has similar raw stuff and is built roughly the same way. I’d be very, very patient with his type of arm.

Andrew Vaughn (Best Case Scenario):

     Is Paul Goldschmidt my best outcome? Do scouts attribute to my pedestrian debut from coming off a long college season and getting acclimated to pro ball? Do you think I take the Luis Robert route and start the year at HiA with a promotion to AA and then performance dedicating if I end there year at AAA?

Josh Norris: Some of the struggles can be attributed to a long college season and whirlwind tour through the minor leagues, but the White Sox were encouraged by the amount of balls Vaughn hit very hard. As for the second part of the question: Yeah, that path through the minors wouldn’t surprise me.

Josh Norris: Thanks for the questions, all. Back to the Handbook bunker for me. I’ll next emerge when it’s time for Giants Chat.

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