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TRACK RECORD: The White Sox signed Robert out of Cuba for $26 million, which went well past their previous franchise high for an amateur player. After spending his first pro season in the Dominican Summer League, Robert spent an inconsistent 2018 in the U.S. He opened eyes in spring training but a torn thumb ligament days before the season meant his debut didn't come until mid-June in the Rookie-level Arizona League. He re-injured the thumb with high Class A Winston-Salem later in the year, then dealt with nagging injuries in the Arizona Fall League as well. Robert then spent all of 2019 displaying strong signs of being a five-tool player once he reaches his peak. SCOUTING REPORT: Robert is the most tooled-up player the White Sox have had in their system in years. Robert's pure hitting ability might be his weakest tool because of the swing-and-miss in his game. He will chase pitches out of the zone, and scouts have noticed that he has the tendency to commit a bit early on breaking balls. Internally, the White Sox believe that trait appears in part because pitchers have learned to stay away from the juicy parts of the strike zone, which leads Robert to get impatient and try to do damage on pitcher's pitches. If pitchers do bring the ball in the zone, Robert can use his strong hands, muscular frame and elite bat speed to pummel pitches out to all parts of the park. That power was best displayed in 2019 on a home run in Birmingham that cleared the batter's eye in center field. On defense, Robert uses near-elite speed to chase balls down in center field. His arm is double-plus as well—he had seven outfield assists in 2019—which gives him a weapon not present in the skill sets of most center fielders. While the Astros' Kyle Tucker joined him in the 30-30 club, Robert is the first player since 2009 to finish a season with 30 home runs and 10 or more triples. THE FUTURE: Robert is likely to follow the typical path of the big league-ready super-prospect. On a team that in 2019 featured a pitcher who finished in the top three in the Cy Young voting and another who won the batting title, Robert has the tools and skills to become a true face of the franchise.
TRACK RECORD: Vaughn started to open evaluators' eyes after his sophomore season, when he earned a spot on USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team and won the Golden Spikes Award. He carried that momentum into his draft year, when he hit .374/.539/.704 for California. The White Sox drafted him with the third overall pick, signed him for a bonus of $7,221,200 and then let him get his feet wet as a pro at both levels of Class A. SCOUTING REPORT: The White Sox were drawn to Vaughn because of a simple, powerful swing that allowed his barrel to stay in the zone for a long time. Combined with excellent strength and bat speed, Vaughn projects as a classic masher who could produce average and power in the middle of an order. It's easy to envision him slotting into a lineup that includes Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez come 2021. If he succeeds, he'll have done his part to strip away the stigma associated with spending a high draft pick on a first baseman who both hits and throws righthanded. Vaughn is agile and has solid hands, so he should be a capable defender. THE FUTURE: Because of his advanced pedigree, Vaughn should make his debut in the upper levels in 2020. Though a return to high Class A Winston-Salem to start the year, like Robert and Nick Madrigal did in 2019, isn't out of the question.
TRACK RECORD: Kopech was a first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2014, then was dealt in the 2016 trade that sent Chris Sale to Boston. He impressed quickly over his first full season with his new organization, then made his big league debut on Aug. 21, 2018. His success in the majors gave the White Sox a peek at their bright future, but that optimism was scuttled when Kopech had Tommy John surgery. He spent all season recovering before returning in the fall instructional league. SCOUTING REPORT: When healthy, Kopech showed the makings of a dynamic pitch mix. His fastball sat in the 95-98 mph range and touched 102. He added a two-seam fastball while with Triple-A Charlotte as well. The velocity was amplified by improved command achieved through a more repeatable delivery. His slider has earned plus grades since he was in high school and has been his best offspeed pitch throughout his pro career. The key for Kopech's development was the much-improved changeup he showed before his big league debut. THE FUTURE: After rehabbing all season long, Kopech is likely to be ready to go for spring training and should quickly assume a place in Chicago's rapidly improving rotation.
TRACK RECORD: All Madrigal does is hit. That has been true at Oregon State—where he was part of the Beavers' 2018 College World Series winning team—in summer collegiate leagues and as a pro. Madrigal has maintained a .309 average over his first season and a half in the minors and has walked more times (51) than he's struck out (21). He made it to Triple-A Charlotte by the end of 2019 and looks like another enviable piece in a White Sox lineup that is becoming younger and more talented. SCOUTING REPORT: Madrigal's biggest strength is his ability to make contact, which he's done with aplomb. He has exceptional hand-eye coordination, which allows him to manipulate the barrel to any part of the strike zone with ease. After being an almost exclusively opposite-field hitter in his introduction to the minor leagues, Madrigal learned to pull the ball more in 2019 and produced an all-fields spray chart. He has shown almost no over-the-fence power as a pro or in college, with just 12 home runs over 1,240 combined at-bats. His last home run in 2019 stayed inside the park. After playing some shortstop in college, Madrigal has played exclusively second base as a pro and shows the hands, range and feet for the position, but there are scouts who question whether his arm is strong enough to turn double plays while a runner is bearing down on him. He is a plus runner. THE FUTURE: Madrigal likely will return to Triple-A Charlotte to begin the year but should make his big league debut in 2020. He has all the skills to hit at the top or bottom of a lineup and provide defensive value up the middle.
TRACK RECORD: Thompson had long been famous on the amateur circuit thanks to a 90-96 mph fastball, feel for spin and high-end athleticism. He showed all those characteristics during his senior season, but not as consistently as scouts would have wanted. Still, the White Sox were convinced that the pitcher they'd seen in previous seasons was the one they were going to get. He signed for $2.1 million instead of heading to Texas A&M. SCOUTING REPORT: Though his stuff was up and down in his high school finale, the White Sox saw Thompson when he was throwing 93-96 with carry through the zone. That further reinforced his status in their minds as someone worthy of a high draft pick. He paired the four-seam fastball with a twoseamer in the low 90s that showed strong armside run and sink. Thompson's curveball is a deep breaker that the White Sox believe could get to plus as it develops. His slider—a two-plane breaker in the mid-80s—could get there as well. His breaking balls blend with one another at times, which is common for pitchers coming out of the prep ranks. His changeup is his clear fourth pitch, though it has a chance to get to average if he tweaks the way he delivers the pitch to let his shoulders and arm get all the way through. A wrist wrap left some scouts concerned about his future control. THE FUTURE: Thompson's stuff, athleticism and projection give him the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter. He's likely to open 2020 in extended spring training before heading to Rookie-level Great Falls.
TRACK RECORD: After a nondescript pro debut in his draft year, Stiever was the organization's biggest breakout story in 2019. He dominated both levels of Class A and finished with 154 strikeouts, which ranked second in the system. He turned it on in particular when he got to high Class A Winston-Salem, where he went 6-4, 2.15 with 77 strikeouts in 71 innings. SCOUTING REPORT: Stiever's signature pitch is his fastball, which sears in at 92-97 mph with regularity. He backs it up with a pair of breaking balls that each have a chance to reach above-average with further consistency. His changeup is well behind his breaking balls but provides a bit of a wrinkle at times. The power associated with his arsenal also gives him a larger margin of error than is typically afforded to pitchers whose repertoire rely more on finesse. If he doesn't have his best command on a given day, he can rely on his fastball to simply blow hitters away. He controls his arsenal well despite a high-effort delivery that features a head-whack. THE FUTURE: Evaluators see a forked path ahead for Stiever. If one of his breaking pitches steps forward, he's got a good chance to a be a high-value starter. If not, he could provide value as a setup man who dominates hitters with his fastball. He'll head to Double-A Birmingham in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: The second of two high school arms the White Sox took in the first three rounds of the 2019 draft, Dalquist showed an impressive three-pitch mix as an amateur at Redondo Union HS. He was considered to be a tough sign away from his commitment to Arizona, but the White Sox got their man by offering a signing bonus of $2 million. The figure was the third-highest in the third round. Dalquist made three one-inning starts in the Rookie-level Arizona League and a few more outings in the fall instructional league. SCOUTING REPORT: Though his stuff isn't as explosive as Matthew Thompson, whom the White Sox took a round earlier, none of his pitches projects as worse than average, either. Dalquist starts his arsenal with a 90-94 mph fastball and combines it with a slider and a changeup that each could be average pitches. His changeup is farther along the developmental trail than the slider. Dalquist raised his profile in the eyes of the White Sox as the season progressed, and area scout Mike Baker stayed on him. He was impressed by the way he held his velocity through starts and the ease of operation in his delivery. THE FUTURE: Dalquist is likely to stay back in extended spring training to begin his season before moving to Rookie-level Great Falls in the second half. He has the ceiling of a No. 4 starter in the big leagues
TRACK RECORD: Just months after being drafted by the Nationals, Dunning was dealt to the White Sox with righties Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez as the price to bring outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington. He was impressive in his first two seasons with the White Sox but an elbow strain late in 2018 led to Tommy John surgery that cost him all of the 2019 season. SCOUTING REPORT: Before the surgery, Dunning had the makings of a classic sinker/slider starter. He worked his low-to-mid-90s heater toward the bottom of the zone—he'd been making special effort to max out his extension to maximize the pitch's effectiveness—and couples that with a mid-80s slider with 10-to-4 break. He moved to a spike grip on his curveball, which has above-average potential. He also throws a mid-80s slider that could be above-average if it reaches its potential. THE FUTURE: Dunning had Tommy John surgery in mid-March 2019, meaning he will likely miss the first part of the 2020 regular season. Dunning has returned to the mound, and was throwing at the team's complex in Glendale in November. If he returns to his pre-surgery form, he could nestle into the middle of a young, talented White Sox rotation.
TRACK RECORD: Rutherford was taken by the Yankees with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 2016 draft, then dealt to the White Sox a year later in a trade that returned Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to New York. He's spent the last two seasons trying to add enough strength to produce profile corner-outfield power from his sweet lefthanded swing. SCOUTING REPORT: As an amateur and a professional, Rutherford has gained a reputation as a professional hitter from the left side. As a pro, he's matched a walk rate of 7.9 percent with a strikeout rate of 20.4 percent and has shown the ability every season to spray hits from line to line. The projected power, however, has not shown up. He's never topped seven home runs in a season and his over-the-fence power has shown up exclusively to the pull side. Evaluators within the organization believe Rutherford entered the year showing the type of power they'd been looking for, but a long season in the humid Southern League masked any gains Rutherford had made. His slightly below-average footspeed makes him an emergency option in center field, and his below-average throwing arm limits him to left field. THE FUTURE: Rutherford will likely start 2020 back at Double-A Birmingham, but his power could spike once he gets to Triple-A Charlotte, where the cozy confines and the livelier MLB ball make for extremely hitter-friendly conditions. Until his power develops, Rutherford will continue to present a tricky profile problem.
TRACK RECORD: A two-way player at New Mexico, Gonzalez showed more potential as a hitter and the White Sox drafted him with their third-round pick in 2017. He put together a stellar first full season as a pro in 2018, when he cruised through both Class A levels while hitting for average and power. SCOUTING REPORT: After a strong turn at Class A, things got more difficult for Gonzalez at Double-A. Scouts saw a player who'd abandoned his approach and had begun trying to pull everything for power. He didn't strike out at a particularly high clip (16.6 percent) but showed a willingness to expand the zone nonetheless. He got better in the second half of the season when he reverted to the shorter, more balanced swing that had helped him do damage the year prior. Gonzalez has the plus speed to play center field but is more suited for right field because of a plus throwing arm. THE FUTURE: After a return to form in the second half, Gonzalez looks to be back on track. He'll return to Double-A in 2020 to keep working toward his ceiling as an everyday outfielder.
TRACK RECORD: The White Sox bet Adolfo would develop into massive power. After a slow track through the lower minors, he broke out in 2017. He socked 16 home runs that year and appeared to set expectations for what was to come. Adolfo mashed 11 more homers in 2018 at high Class A Winston- Salem, but his year was cut short by an elbow injury that eventually required Tommy John surgery. A setback in 2019 limited him to just 36 games before a stint in the Arizona Fall League. SCOUTING REPORT: Adolfo's value continues to be centered around his massive raw power. Multiple scouts outside the organization noted that Adolfo is the only player they've seen hit balls onto the carousel in deep right-center field at high Class A Winston-Salem's ballpark. Adolfo produces that power in part because of a massive frame that is strapped with strength and swing mechanics with significant leverage. The question now is whether he'll have enough plate discipline to get to that power often enough to be productive. His timing and pitch recognition were understandably askew in 2019 after such a long time on the injured list, and he struck out 39 percent of the time between the regular season and the AFL. His arm before the surgery was among the best in the minors, a true 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He was exclusively a DH during the season but mixed in a bit of right field in the AFL. He's an average runner. THE FUTURE: The 2020 season will be huge for Adolfo. If he can shake off the rust and get back on his track from 2018, he'll have a chance to regain some of his ceiling. If not, he might be destined for a role as a backup who can provide lightning in a bottle off the bench.
TRACK RECORD: Lambert, the older brother of Rockies righthander Peter Lambert, showed enough in his junior season at Fresno State to earn a fifth-round selection and a $325,000 bonus from the White Sox in 2016. He moved slowly through the White Sox's two Class A levels before a strong five-game stint at Double-A Birmingham put him on the map in 2018. He continued to show swing-and-miss characteristics in 2019 (10.6 strikeouts per nine innings) in a return to Birmingham but had his season cut short by Tommy John surgery. SCOUTING REPORT: Lambert's stuff doesn't jump off the page, but he gets hitters to swing through it nonetheless. His fastball typically works in the low 90s with flecks of 94 every now and then, but the riding action the pitch shows at the top part of the strike zone makes it play harder than its radar gun readings. He backs the fastball with a traditional complement of curveball, slider and changeup, and each of his three offspeed pitches projects as average if not a tick better. No one secondary pitch jumps out, but Lambert's ability to game plan and utilize opposition scouting reports helps him use each pitch in the optimal scenario. THE FUTURE: Lambert is working out at the White Sox's spring training complex in Glendale, Ariz. and could possibly make an appearance late in 2020. He's on the White Sox's 40-man roster and projects as a back-end starter.
TRACK RECORD: A seemingly firm commitment to Mississippi State kept most teams off of Bush during the 2018 draft, but the White Sox took a flier in the 33rd round and signed him for $290,000. He opened his pro career by demolishing the Rookie-level Arizona League and ranked as the No. 19 prospect in the Rookie-level Pioneer League. Drafted as a third baseman, Bush moved to right field in 2019 at low Class A Kannapolis but had his season truncated by foot injuries and bronchitis. SCOUTING REPORT: In his first full season as a pro, Bush showed tools without much production. He still has the top-end bat speed that earned him plaudits as an amateur and shows enough raw power to drive balls out to all sectors. He has exceptional bat control as well, which gives evaluators hope that he will eventually tap into his raw gifts. To do so, he needs to stay healthy and significantly improve his plate discipline and adopt a more level bat path to keep his barrel in the zone longer. He can murder fastballs but has a tendency to spin off of breaking pitches. Bush is understandably raw in right field, but the White Sox hope his athleticism and plus throwing arm will eventually translate into average defense. THE FUTURE: After injuries blunted his 2019 season, Bush is likely to return to Kannapolis to see if he can make the necessary improvements. He's a bit of a lottery ticket but has the ceiling of a powerful regular in right field.
TRACK RECORD: A campaign with 21 home runs in his junior season at Wake Forest led the White Sox to draft Sheets with their second-round pick in 2017. Sheets—the son of former big leaguer Larry Sheets—struggled to replicate that power in his first two years as a pro. He hit just six home runs in a full season at high Class A Winston-Salem, which plays its home games just minutes from Sheets' alma mater. Despite the park's inviting short porch in right field, just two of Sheets' 2018 home runs came at home. SCOUTING REPORT: Just as things were looking grim in his first season at Double-A, Sheets made an adjustment that unlocked the power he'll need to profile at first base. A suggestion from Birmingham hitting coach Charles Poe and White Sox hitting coordinator Mike Gellinger got Sheets to use his lower half more effectively in his swing, and the change produced stark results. His second-half OPS jumped 190 points, from .665 to .855, and helped him finish with more home runs (16) than he'd hit in the previous 641 at-bats over two seasons. Scouts are still somewhat skeptical because of an uppercut swing path and an all-or-nothing approach that might turn him into a one-trick pony, but the last two months of the season were just what Sheets needed to rebuild some of his prospect sheen. THE FUTURE: Sheets has the profile of a second-division regular with power as his calling card.
TRACK RECORD: Collins stood out at Miami for three seasons before the White Sox selected him with the 10th overall pick in 2016 and signed him for $3,386,000. He jumped almost immediately to high Class A Winston-Salem in his debut season and then spent another 101 games there in his first full season as a pro. Collins made his big league debut on June 19 and hit his first MLB home run two days later. SCOUTING REPORT: Collins has shown a classic three-true-outcomes skill set throughout his professional career—roughly half of his 1,533 minor league plate appearances have ended in either a strikeout, walk or home run. He has the best strike-zone discipline of any player in the system, but his willingness to work deep in counts leads to plenty of strikeouts as well. Collins has a timing mechanism in his swing that he counteracts with quick hands. He shows plus power to the opposite field. Collins is a well-below average defender behind the plate whose footwork and poor receiving get him in trouble. He has an above-average throwing arm, but his mechanics sometimes make it difficult to catch potential basestealers. THE FUTURE: After a breakout season from James McCann, the White Sox doubled down by adding free agent Yasmani Grandal on a four-year deal and placing fellow catcher Yermin Mercedes on their 40-man roster. Collins might need to get better at first base if he wants a long-term role in the big leagues.
TRACK RECORD: Basabe and his identical twin, Luis Alejandro, were each signed by the Red Sox in 2012. Luis Alexander came to Chicago as part of the Chris Sale trade in 2016 but has struggled to stay healthy since joining his new organization. He had knee surgery after the 2017 season to clean up a nagging injury, then performed respectably in a return to high Class A Winston-Salem the next season. Injuries to his hamstring, quadriceps and hamate bone limited Basabe in 2019, when he played just 74 games. SCOUTING REPORT: Basabe still has an impressive set of tools but needs to stay out of the trainer's room to reach his full potential. Scouts who saw Basabe when he was healthy in 2019 saw a player with contact skills, bat control and athleticism but not enough of any one tool to be particularly high-impact. At his best, he showed a potential five-tool skill set but needed to refine his hittability. That was particularly true against breaking pitches and changeups. There is some power in there, which he showed on the big stage in the 2018 Futures Game when he crushed a 102 mph fastball for a long home run. THE FUTURE: The tools are there for Basabe. Now he just needs to lock in the elusive sixth tool—health. He could begin 2020 back in Birmingham and has the ceiling of a quality backup outfielder.
TRACK RECORD: Pilkington put together three solid seasons at Mississippi State, an excellent 2016 season in the Cape Cod League and a 2.65 ERA for the 2017 Collegiate National Team. With the CNT, Pilkington played with a host of future White Sox system-mates, including Andrew Vaughn, Nick Madrigal and Steele Walker. The White Sox signed him for $650,000 as their 2018 third-round pick. SCOUTING REPORT: Pilkington spent his first season kicking off the rust, then set to work in the fall instructional league tweaking his arsenal. He adopted an approach that centered more on his four-seam fastball and an improved version of his curveball. An analysis of his curveball with the help of high-speed cameras and other software helped him get on top of the pitch better and find a more consistent 10-4 shape that allowed for deeper break. He improved his changeup as well and got roughly eight mph of separation from his low-90s fastball. He's got a slider in his pitch package, but it's behind his three other pitches. THE FUTURE: Even with the crisper stuff, Pilkington still doesn't have the knockout repertoire that evaluators would like to see in an impact starter. His body is somewhat maxed out, giving him less room for improvement. He'll move to Double-A in 2020 and has a ceiling as a No. 5 starter.
TRACK RECORD: The White Sox handed the top bonus of their 2019 international class to Sanchez, a 22-year-old shortstop from Cuba who was teammates with top White Sox prospect Luis Robert on their country's U18 World Cup squad. Also like Robert, Sanchez started his career in the Dominican Summer League despite being advanced for the level. SCOUTING REPORT: Sanchez has strong bat-to-ball skills thanks to an uncomplicated approach geared toward line drives. He's a hit-over-power player who projects to have an average hit tool with the possibility of 8-12 home runs per season. He could fit nicely at the bottom of a lineup. Sanchez is a solid defender at shortstop with the potential to be above-average, though other clubs believed he might be better suited for second base. He's a solid-average runner with the hands, feet and above-average arm strength required to play on the left side. THE FUTURE: Like Robert, Sanchez should start his first full season at low Class A Kannapolis and has a chance to move quickly through the system.
TRACK RECORD: Beard was the fastest player in a draft class that also included Jerrion Ealy, who opted to play running back at Mississippi rather than turn pro on the diamond. Beard added strength between his junior and senior seasons in high school and enough thump to hit 11 home runs. The White Sox bet on his solid swing and burner tool set in the fourth round and gave him $350,000 to sign. SCOUTING REPORT: Beard's carrying tool is his speed. He's a true 80 runner on the 20-to-80 scouting scale and has the best pure speed in the system. He swiped 25 bases in 26 tries in his draft year in high school and added nine more in 12 tries in the Rookie-level Arizona League upon turning pro. Scouts believe he has a sound enough swing with sufficient loft to project average hittability and perhaps 10-12 home runs. The elite speed, of course, will help him turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples. Beard's all-around game needs polish. His speed helps him overcome some circuitous routes in the outfield, and better instincts on the bases will turn him into a player who rarely gets caught trying to steal. He has the range and arm to stay in center field for the long term. THE FUTURE: The White Sox knew Beard was going to be a project and are willing to wait for him to develop into what they believe could be an elite table-setter in the big leagues. He's likely to return to the AZL in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Mieses was part of an impressive class of international outfielders the White Sox signed in 2016 that also included Anderson Comas and Josue Guerrero. Like his counterparts, Mieses was signed in part because of a projectable frame that offered offensive upside. He's yet to translate his tools into skills or production but still has plenty of time to grow and mature to unlock his potential. SCOUTING REPORT: Mieses showed evaluators a short, compact swing from the left side with strong hands and wrists. The swing doesn't have much lift to it, though, which partially explains why he hasn't hit for the power evaluators expected that he'd grow into when he was an amateur. The power is going to have to start showing up because he doesn't fit in center field. He's not a graceful runner and doesn't have the range to make the plays required at the position. THE FUTURE: Much like Comas, Mieses is going to need plenty of time to develop. If the White Sox want to be aggressive, they could push him to low Class A Kannapolis. If not, they could start him back at their Arizona complex before a return to Great Falls. He has the upside of a classic corner outfielder with lefty power.
TRACK RECORD: Ramos was a standout on Cuba's youth circuits, where he consistently hit for average and power. He signed with the White Sox for $300,000 in 2018 and quickly impressed the club with his blend of righthanded thump and improved defense at third. The club jumped him over the Dominican Summer League in 2019 and watched as he put up a solid season in the Rookie-level Arizona League. SCOUTING REPORT: Ramos already intrigues with his size and strength throughout his body and puts on impressive shows in batting practice. He stays inside the ball well, pulls the ball with authority and made a remarkable amount of contact for a player that young in his first taste of pro ball. Ramos has plus raw power and showed capability to hit for average and on-base skills in the AZL. He has some work to do defensively but shows good actions and an above-average arm at third base. Some evaluators believe he's best suited for a corner-outfield spot, but the White Sox have indicated they might try him at second base going forward to increase his defensive versatility. He's an average runner underway. THE FUTURE: Ramos is likely to return to the team's Arizona complex to start 2020 before moving to Rookie-level Great Falls. He has the ceiling of a mashing third baseman.
TRACK RECORD: The White Sox came away with one of the more promising sleepers of the 2018-19 international class in Bailey, a Panamanian outfielder they gave $35,000 in April. Bailey went to the Dominican Summer League and immediately raked as a 17-year-old, hitting .324/.477/.454 with more walks (52) than strikeouts (40) in 55 games.SCOUTING REPORT: Bailey, who turned 18 in September, is a physical 6-foot-5, 225 pounds and a power/ speed threat, with both tools grading out above-average. Bailey has a short swing for a bigger guy and is a patient hitter with a good eye for the strike zone, which helped him hit immediately when he got to the DSL and faced better pitching than he was used to seeing in Panama. He's a corner outfielder who moves well for his size, though he might slow down as he gets older. THE FUTURE: After a standout season in the DSL, Bailey should get his first stateside test in 2020 when he moves up to the Rookie-level AZL. He has a ceiling as an everyday corner outfielder with impact power.
TRACK RECORD: The White Sox inked Comas for $425,000, on the strength of a lanky, projectable frame. His .306 batting average in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2018 was fourth in the system, giving the organization hope that he might have gotten an early jump on translating his tools into skills. SCOUTING REPORT: Comas still oozes with projection but didn't make the strength gains the White Sox had expected. He had a much tougher go at Rookie-level Great Falls in 2019 than he did in the complex league a season ago. Scouts from outside the organization saw a player who still has an enviable frame and above-average raw power in batting practice that doesn't translate well in games. When the lights come on, he tends to eschew the power profile he should have and instead plays like a scrappy player who should be hitting at the top of a lineup. Part of the issue, scouts said, was due to down angle in his swing that simply doesn't allow for power. He also showed a well below-average exit velocity of 81 mph. He has above-average speed and defensive skills. THE FUTURE: Comas could move up to low Class A Kannapolis in 2020 but might be better served with more seasoning at the team's complex in Arizona. He has a corner outfielder's skills but needs to gain strength.
TRACK RECORD: Entering his 2019 season at Illiana Christian HS, Gladney had a reputation as more of a hitter than a masher. The White Sox had a previous relationship with Gladney, however, through their Amateur City Elite program, and believed Gladney's makeup would lead to further development. The power they expected showed up in their pre-draft workouts at U.S. Cellular Field, and the team decided to spend $225,000 in the 16th round to pull him away from a commitment to Eastern Kentucky. His eight home runs tied him for fifth in the Rookie-level Arizona League. SCOUTING REPORT: Gladney's power started growing once he got a better understanding of his body. Earlier in his high school career his swing had been more rotational and focused around his upper body. Once he started utilizing his lower half, balls started flying and the door was opened to potential aboveaverage power. He's going to have to shore up his plate discipline as well, as shown by 82 strikeouts in his first 220 plate appearances (37.2 percent). Gladney's defense at third base is a bit raw, and he's already begun dabbling at first base. He's got good enough hands to catch the ball at the hot corner, but there's work to be done on his transfers and the accuracy of his throws across the diamond. THE FUTURE: Raw power is going to be Gladney's calling card as he moves up the ladder, but he'll need to eliminate some of the swing-and-miss from his game for it to play at the highest level. He'll likely start 2020 back in the AZL before moving to the Pioneer League during the summer.
TRACK RECORD: Torres was one of the best Puerto Rican prospects available, and the White Sox spent $175,000 on him in the 11th round. He had an inconsistent debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League. SCOUTING REPORT: Torres was tabbed by the club as the best defensive player they selected in 2019. He earned that rep thanks to an advanced ability to handle a pitching staff and call his own games. He's quick behind the plate and has already shown a knack for controlling the running game. He caught 30.3 percent (10 of 33) of would-be basestealers in his pro debut but needs to work on handling balls in the lower part of the strike zone and blocking pitches in the dirt. That area for improvement showed up through 14 passed balls in 26 games, the worst mark in the AZL. The White Sox believe he has a chance to hit and will display solid bat-to-ball skills, but his body needs to fill out so he can handle the rigors of a full season. THE FUTURE: Torres will likely start 2020 in extended spring training before either a return to the AZL or a move to Rookie-level Great Falls. He has the ceiling of a defense-first backup catcher.
TRACK RECORD: Heuer was a Friday starter at Wichita State in his junior year and showed enough potential for the White Sox to spend a sixth-round pick and $260,000 on him in 2018. He lasted just one season as a starter before moving to the bullpen full-time in 2019, when he finished the season in Double-A. SCOUTING REPORT: Since moving to the bullpen, Heuer's fastball has jumped up the expected couple of ticks and now regularly bumps 96-97 mph. He comes at hitters from a low slot, which creates plenty of deception. His live arm also produces a slider that grades as potentially plus. That grade represents a marked improvement since his college days, when the slider was below-average. He has a changeup as well but is primarily a two-pitch reliever at this point. He finished the year with 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings. THE FUTURE: Heuer will likely return to Double-A Birmingham in 2020 before a move to the pitchingadverse conditions of Triple-A Charlotte. He has a ceiling as a middle-relief arm.
TRACK RECORD: Mendick found a bit of power in Double-A Birmingham in 2018 and then doubled down on that outburst in 2019 by socking 17 home runs before making his big league debut on Sept. 3. SCOUTING REPORT: Throughout his career, Mendick has utilized a short, quick swing to spray line drives all over the diamond and uses above-average speed to create a little bit of havoc on the basepaths. Mendick's bat was always going to be the key to his game, but he has enough defensive chops to play virtually anywhere on the diamond without creating a hole. He has enough hittability and power to do a bit of damage every now and then, but he's at his best when he doesn't let himself get too power-conscious and instead focuses on staying within himself. He can play shortstop but is best suited as a utility player. THE FUTURE: Mendick is the classic utility player who provides value on both sides of the ball.
TRACK RECORD: Rodriguez signed out of the Dominican Republic in February 2018 and club officials watched as he put up a solid debut in the Dominican Summer League. He followed it up with a very strong campaign in the Rookie-level Arizona League in which he finished tied for fourth in the league with nine home runs. SCOUTING REPORT: Rodriguez opened eyes with his play in the AZL. He showed evaluators a slightly over-aggressive approach, but his strong wrists and forearms translate into above-average raw power when he connects. He has average range and hands as well as solid footwork to go with a potentially plus arm. His fringe-average footspeed might fit better at second base in the long run if he has to move away from shortstop. He gets to average speed underway. THE FUTURE: Rodriguez might have to move level by level as he develops and is someone who might profile as a bat-first second baseman or utilityman.
TRACK RECORD: Hamilton racked up 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings in 2018 before earning his first big league callup. He went back to Triple-A for more seasoning in 2019 but found the new MLB ball didn't pair well with his game. Hamilton was struck in the face in the dugout by a line drive with enough force to cause multiple facial fractures and the loss of teeth. He had multiple surgeries to repair the injuries. SCOUTING REPORT: At his best, Hamilton coupled an upper-90s fastball that touched triple-digits with a hard slider in the low 90s that projected as plus. Hamilton has a changeup as well, but it's a distant third pitch compared to his fastball and slider. He had worked in 2018 to stay behind the fastball to improve command of the pitch and in 2019 had shown the same ability to get swings and misses as before the injury. He ran into problems, however, when hitters got the ball in the air. THE FUTURE: Once recovered, Hamilton will likely return to Triple-A Charlotte to try to rediscover the form that landed him in the big leagues. He has a future as a middle-innings reliever.
TRACK RECORD: Mendoza moved to the Dominican Summer League for his debut season but increased each of his three slash-line categories by better than 95 points in 2019. SCOUTING REPORT: Despite his age, Mendoza had plenty of catching experience when he signed. The extra reps showed up in an advanced defensive skill set that included excellent blocking and receiving abilities and a plus throwing arm. Despite the arm strength, Mendoza caught just 16 percent of runners trying to steal in 2019. Mendoza has a middle-of-the-field approach and a sturdy frame, and should develop average power. He is buoyed by an ability to be selective when it comes to finding pitches he can drive. THE FUTURE: Mendoza has the upside of a solid second-division catcher.
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