Pro Debut Awaits White Sox First-Rounder Noah Schultz
Last July, Noah Schultz was thrilled to be drafted by the White Sox with the 26th overall pick.
"Best night of my life," he said. "It's always been a dream of mine to play in the major leagues. Being drafted by the hometown team, it was surreal."
An Aurora native, Schultz was rated the top draft prospect in Illinois last year even though he sat out most of his senior year at Oswego East High with mononucleosis.
The lefthander was able to stay active pitching in the Prospect League, and he showed his potential while pitching to an 0.93 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.
Now, Schultz looks to get his professional career rolling.
“I’m just excited to get back to work,” the 19-year-old said. “I’m just looking long-term. Whatever they have planned for me, I’m ready to do. And I imagine they have a great plan set up.”
The White Sox have no intention to push Schultz too fast, considering that he missed most of 2022 to mono and previously lost 2020 to the pandemic.
Schultz spent nearly two months in Arizona before spring training throwing bullpens at instructional league, and he got on the mound for five innings while appearing in four games. He will likely spend this season at Low-A Kannapolis.
“We’ve been pretty impressed with his whole approach to becoming a professional baseball player,” White Sox assistant general manager/director of player development Chris Getz said. “Just a very mature approach. Grounded, very focused on what’s in front of him.”
Standing 6-foot-9 and already armed with a fastball that runs up to 97 mph and an advanced slider, Schultz has the size and skill to quickly climb the organizational ladder.
"I'm very confident in all of my pitches,” said Schultz, who also throws a changeup. “I'm excited to see how they can take off and become the best they can in the future."
— Righthanded reliever Edgar Navarro's “power sinker” drew early raves from White Sox manager Pedro Grifol in spring training. In stints with High-A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte last year, Navarro recorded a 3.64 ERA with 69 strikeouts over 54.1 innings.
— In the mix for playing time at second base, Lenyn Sosa will likely open the season at Triple-A Charlotte after Chicago brought back free agent Elvis Andrus and moved him from shortstop to second.