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Acquired from the Cubs last summer as the centerpiece of the deal that sent lefthander Jose Quintana from the South Side to the North Side, Jimenez has done little to dampen his reputation as one of the game’s very best prospects. He’s as pure a hitter as they come, with a smooth righthanded stroke capable of producing both average and huge power, with the potential to hit 40 home runs or more in a season. His below-average arm relegates him to left field, but his bat is enough to make him a star regardless of position.
Kopech spent the first part of the summer racking up the most strikeouts in the International League. He still sports a 95-100 mph fasbtall and a dynamic slider but has also added a low-80s curveball to his mix as well. He’s working to refine all of his offspeed offerings, especially his well below-average changeup, but the most important thing is finding control of his offspeed pitches in order to lower his 5.5 BB/9 rate.
The 5-foot-7 Madrigal was arguably the best pure hitter in the draft class and answered enough questions about his size for the White Sox to make him the fourth pick in the 2018 Draft. He signed for just over $6.4 million after helping Oregon State to the College World Series title, Madrigal lacks power, but he has all the other tools to be a standout. He projects as an athletic second baseman with a polished bat who could move quickly through the system.
Robert, the White Sox’s $26 million international signee last year, is abounding with tools but can’t stay on the field. He’s played just 21 games this season because of a pair of injuries to his left thumb and hit .293/.372/.373 in limited action. Robert still earns plus grades for his arm and power, and his speed is double-plus, but he hasn’t had a chance to really show them off.
Cease always had tantalizing raw ingredients. Now, in his first full season with the White Sox, he’s starting to put everything together and show monster potential. He’s held his upper-90s fastball velocity deep into his starts and continues to get swings and misses with his big curveball. He’s working on refining his slider and changeup, which hold the key to his future in a starting rotation.
The White Sox briefly returned Dunning to high Class A Winston-Salem to begin the year. Part of that decision involved a numbers game at Double-A, but another was to have him continue to work with pitching coach Matt Zaleski before Dunning moved up. He added a curveball this year and, like last year, was continuing to work on staying on top of his sinker in order to gain its maximum effect before a strained right elbow at midseason put him out of action for what the team believes will be between 4-8 weeks.
Collins continues to be one of the most divisive prospects in the system. His boosters see a potential average catcher with big power and one of the best batting eyes in the games. His detractors agree on the offense, but see a player who needs to seriously refine his defense—his receiving in particular—to stick behind the plate. He’s still produced big power this year—a .192 ISO, to be precise—but has struck out at a career-worst rate of 29 percent.
One of four players the White Sox pried from Boston in exchange for Chris Sale in 2016, Basabe has looked rejuvenated after surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He shows above-average defense with a strong arm in center field as well as sneaky power at the plate. The White Sox have worked with Basabe to make his bat path more efficient to better unlock his offensive potential.
The questions with Rutherford have long revolved around his ability to add muscle and power as he’s gotten older. He equaled his career total with six homers in the first half with high Class A Winston-Salem, but five of those longballs have come at his cozy home park. Scouts point to his ability to make consistent hard contact as a reason to believe he’ll eventually develop enough power to profile in a corner outfield spot, likely left field due to a below-average arm.
The opening to Hansen’s season was delayed by a right forearm strain, and he didn’t pitch in a game outside of the team’s spring training complex until June 16. Command has long been an issue for Hansen, and the team has continued to work with him to stay in rhythm and over the rubber as long as possible to allow his arsenal of above-average or better pitches to work to their potential. It hasn’t been good so far, with Hansen 0-4, 6.23 with nearly as many walks (26) as strikeouts (27) in seven starts.
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