White Sox Top Pick Jacob Gonzalez Makes Key Adjustment


Jacob Gonzalez proved his mettle against Southeastern Conference pitching at Mississippi.

After helping the Rebels win a College World Series in 2022 and being selected 15th overall by the White Sox last year, a smooth transition to professional baseball was expected.

Instead, poor results and shaky scouting reports followed, and the 22-year-old shortstop is trying to show one bad month of baseball doesn’t define him.

“I kind of was using it as practice,” Gonzalez said of his time at Low-A Kannapolis last summer. “Obviously, I wanted to do good. And I wasn’t happy with not doing good.

“But I was also trying to fiddle with stuff last year, and then I got the offseason to work on it.”

Gonzalez’s touted plate discipline was on display last year when he drew 20 walks to 23 strikeouts in 30 games. But the pull-side power he showed in the SEC did not translate.

Gonzalez’s vulnerability on the outer half of the plate contributed to a .207/.329/.261 batting line in the Carolina League.

First-year White Sox farm director Paul Janish was an assistant coach at Rice during Gonzalez’s dominant college run. He saw nothing in Gonzalez’s pro debut to dint his high regard for him as a hitter, and nothing that wasn’t fixable.

“To his credit and our hitting department, they made some biomechanical adjustments over the offseason,” Janis said. “Honestly it looks like he’s in a better position pitch-to-pitch, at-bat-to-at-bat to make a move to the baseball.”

Gonzalez views the changes as directional. The lefthanded hitter felt he was leaning toward first base in his stance and pulling off the ball.

Now with a straighter line toward the pitcher and an offseason spent adding strength, Gonzalez feels he can put together competitive swings on the outer half with less effort.

The changes resulted in a more productive April at High-A Winston-Salem. Through 21 games, Gonzalez hit .259/.362/.370 with 12 walks and 10 strikeouts.


— Second-round righthander Grant Taylor is expected to be assigned to an affiliate in May. After missing his final season at LSU while recovering from Tommy John surgery, the 21-year-old Taylor was sitting 97-100 mph at the team complex in Arizona, according to Janish.

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