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Back spasms and diminished velocity helped drop Rodon to the 16th round of the 2011 draft out of Holly Springs (N.C.) High, and he went to North Carolina State after turning down the Brewers' offer of more than $500,000. His velocity jumped in college thanks to an improved strength and conditioning program and better mechanics, and he hit 97 mph regularly en route to Freshman of the Year honors. He topped himself in 2013, leading the nation in strikeouts and powering the Wolfpack back to the College World Series . A dominating stint with USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team , made him the No. 1 prospect for the 2014 draft. But an inconsistent junior season and a high price tag dropped him to No. 3 overall, where the White Sox signed him for a club-record $6.582 million bonus. Rodon has one of the best sliders college baseball has seen in years, a 70-grade pitch (on the 20-80 scouting scale) he throws with power anywhere from 82-87 mph. He has feel for the pitch and can throw a harder, cut-fastball version of the pitch at up to 89 mph to get in on righthanders, or an 82-85 mph variety with serious depth and late tilt that gets swings and misses. Rodon lifted less and loosened up after signing , throwing more fastballs and changeups and fewer sliders in his 24-inning debut. The results included more 97s than he showed in the spring, when he often pitched in the 89-93 mph range. He lacks the fastball command to start at present, especially throwing strikes to his arm side . The White Sox are confident that increased flexibility will help Rodon finish out front in his delivery better, allowing him to throw the pitch for strikes. His changeup has flashed average if not a tick above, and he needs to throw it more than he did in college . Rodon's thick body and past back problems prompt scouts to question his overall athleticism, as do his spotty command, below-average defense and struggles to limit opposing basestealers. The White Sox trust their pitching development to help Rodon become a true three-pitch starter. He has an ace's swagger and mentality and needs the fastball command and reps with his changeup to make it a reality. He could begin 2015 in the Double-A Birmingham or Triple-A Charlotte rotation, then join the big league bullpen in the second half to get his feet wet and control his workload, all as a prelude for a 2016 rotation spot. Rodon has better stuff than Chris Sale at a similar stage, and if he throws more quality fastball strikes, he'll join Sale atop the Chicago rotation in short order.
Any team could have signed Anderson in the summer of 2012, when the junior-college freshman went undrafted and ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the Jayhawk League. Instead, he played his way into the 2013 first round with a fine sophomore season . Anderson's athleticism has allowed him to adjust to the speed of the pro game quickly. He's explosively quick and twitchy, with the burst and plus speed to steal bases and the strength to provide power to the gaps. He accepts instruction well and has the actions, above-average arm and range for shortstop, though his inexperience and rough footwork can lead to throwing errors. (His .897 fielding percentage was by far the worst in the Carolina League.) Some scouts see him as a better fit at second base or center field. Anderson has solid-average raw power and makes contact almost too readily, He'll tap into his power more with a more patient approach. He also tends to lose his timing at the plate, leaving his upper and lower halves out of sync and sapping his power. The White Sox rave about Anderson's aptitude and believe he can have a Brandon Phillips-type career, only at shortstop. With Alexei Ramirez signed for another year, Anderson will get another full minor league season, starting back at Double-A Birmingham.
A three-sport athlete who excelled in basketball as a high schooler, Adams was committed to Georgia but started to move up draft boards in the summer of 2013, when he shined at the Metropolitan Baseball Classic . Opposing clubs were as surprised as the White Sox when Adams fell to them with the third pick of the second round, and he signed for $1,282,700. Adams is the best athlete among the organization's pitchers, showing plus control and the aptitude to apply adjustments quickly. He doesn't need to change much, for he has premium, front-of-the-rotation stuff. His fastball has touched 96 mph and can sit 93-95 at times, and he has excellent control of the pitch even though it features excellent life, both with sink and bat-sawing action. His arm path is short and consistent, and his projectable frame makes it probable he'll maintain his present velocity . Adams' slider was one of the better breaking balls in the draft, a low-80s out pitch that also could be a consistent future plus pitch. He needs more experience changing speeds and using his changeup without slowing his arm when he throws it. The White Sox hadn't drafted a prep pitcher this high since Gio Gonzalez in 2004, and they believe Adams has similar upside. He'll start at low Class A Kannapolis and projects to have a No. 2 starter ceiling.
If he's not careful, Johnson will pick up the injury-prone tag. He missed much of his junior season at Indiana with arm surgery, then lit up pro ball in 2013, leading the minors with 84 stolen bases and earning MVP honors in the Double-A Southern League playoffs. Johnson then missed two stretches with left hamstring problems in 2014. In an organization long on athletes, Johnson still stands out for his explosiveness and burst. He's physical and strong, with surprising pull power that allows him to punish mistakes. He focuses more on being a top-of-the-order igniter, with double-plus speed and reasonable contact skills, as well as a discerning-enough eye for a leadoff man. Johnson doesn't always adjust on pitches away, and he has to keep improving his footwork around the bag to turn the double play effectively. With hard hands, he struggles to consistently field the ball cleanly. With his plus range, he must learn which plays he can make and which ones he can't. The White Sox traded Gordon Beckham in 2014, leaving second base an open competition between Johnson, Carlos Sanchez and Marcus Semien. Johnson might be the best bet, but if he needs more polish, he will head back to Triple-A Charlotte.
The White Sox believe in their ability to develop pitchers, and Montas may be the latest example. He spent two years in the Dominican Summer League and had a 5.70 ERA in his first full season in the Red Sox system when the White Sox acquired him in the three-team Jake Peavy deal. Even with two knee injuries interrupting his 2014 season, Montas reached Double-A Birmingham and hit 100 mph in the Arizona Fall League. Montas shares physical similarities with Bartolo Colon and Livan Hernandez as a big-bodied Latin American righthander. He has a long arm stroke but easy velocity, regularly pitching at 96-100 mph. He tends to lose velocity over five or six innings, but he's got plenty to spare. He has the hand speed to spin a slider that at times flashes 70 potential on the 20-80 scouting scale. His changeup has its moments as well and can be an average pitch. The White Sox have simplified Montas' delivery, but his direction to the plate still wanders, as does his release point, leading to below-average control and poor command. Montas has closer written all over him, and his delivery and velocity remind some scouts of Rafael Soriano. The White Sox want to see if he can start, though, so he should return to Birmingham to begin 2015.
Every "homegrown" Latin American player on the 2014 White Sox hailed either from Cuba or Brazil (Andre Rienzo), and Chicago hasn't featured true homegrown Latin American regulars since the days of Carlos Lee (Panama) and Magglio Ordonez (Venezuela). Adolfo, who was born in the Virgin Islands but trained in the Dominican Republic, is a $1.6 million investment in turning around an international program that was once criminally corrupt and unproductive under Dave Wilder. Adolfo has the long, lean look of an athlete and still draws physical comparisons with Michael Jordan. He has the right-field profile if he hits, with a plus arm that earns some double-plus grades, as well as plus raw power that helped him hit nine home runs in 16 games in instructional league. A long-strider, Adolfo is an above-average runner underway. He struggled to make contact in his first pro season due to long arms and a lack of an approach at the plate. The White Sox believe Adolfo grew from the difficulty and has learned what it takes to be a professional. While a long way from reaching his potential, Adolfo will be asked about in trades sooner than later thanks to his body, upside and power. The White Sox love to push prospects, but Adolfo would have to have a big spring to earn a full-season assignment and likely will head to Rookie-level Great Falls in 2015.
A year after signing for just over $1 million, Danish led the White Sox system with a 2.08 ERA, nearly a run better than any other qualifier, while reaching high Class A Winston-Salem in his first full season. It's a continuation of the success he had in high school, where he didn't give up a run as a prep senior. The White Sox love Danish's toughness and competitiveness on the mound, and his stuff ain't bad either. He's physically maxed out and pitches with a low arm slot that his present strength allows him to repeat while staying on top of the ball, driving it down in the strike zone. He gets extension out front that helps his 88-93 mph sinker and upper-70s slider have late life. He locates both pitches well, allowing him to rack up impressive groundball rates. His changeup, a below-average pitch as an amateur, now ranks as the best in the organization, flashing above-average. Danish is still learning to use it. He keeps the ball in the ballpark and attacks hitters aggressively, with no fear. Danish's ceiling is that of a back-of-therotation starter if not aggressive reliever. The White Sox believe he'll be a big leaguer, though, and his makeup ranks among the best in the organization. Danish is on the fast track and will jump to Double-A Birmingham as a 20-year-old in 2015.
A tight end on Jenks High's state championship team in 2013, Michalczewski was deemed the top prep prospect in Oklahoma and signed for $500,000 as a seventh-rounder. He finished 2014 at high Class A Winston-Salem, though he ran out of gas and hit just .225 in the last two months. Michalczewski in some ways is a typical White Sox draftee, for he's strong, athletic and somewhat raw. He stands out with his grinder mentality and offensive aptitude. His swing is sound from both sides of the plate, though he has more feel from the left side and more length from the right. He's confident enough to go deep in counts, and he has the average-to-plus power to profile for an infield corner. The White Sox believe in his ability at third base, and he has a solid-average arm that should be enough for the hot corner. He can get flat-footed at times, leading to some botched routine plays, but moves well for his size, and the White Sox believe he has the agility and hands to be an average defender. Other organizations aren't as confident in Michalczewski as a third baseman as farm director Buddy Bell, a former Gold Glover at the position. The White Sox believe Michalczewski can develop into a player similar to current third baseman Conor Gillaspie.
Hawkins became a draft star when he back-flipped on live TV after the White Sox drafted him in 2012. He signed for $2.475 million and immediately raked as a pro, finishing his debut season at high Class A Winston-Salem--but the game isn't that easy. Hawkins hit just .178 in a return engagement in 2013 and had a third stint with Winston-Salem in 2014. Hawkins showed a stubborn streak in his brutal 2013 campaign, but he lowered his hands in his setup and opened up a bit in his stance in 2014, helping him see the ball better and cover the outside corner more than he had previously. He always will strike out a lot and still must improve at identifying and laying off breaking balls, particularly against lefthanders (.174/.271/.273). He makes more contact now and has natural plus-plus power that plays when he does. He remains a fine athlete and an average runner with a solid-average arm. He played left field rather than center and right in 2014, and that may be his long-term home. Hawkins played the entire season as a 20-year-old, so it's way too early to write him off, and his adjustments and growing aptitude encouraged the White Sox. He has the power for a corner profile if he continues to mature at the plate. He's finally headed for Double-A Birmingham in 2015.
May has lofty bloodlines to live up to. His father Lee Jr. was a first-round pick in 1986 and reached Triple-A with the Mets, while his grandfather Lee Sr. hit 354 home runs in an 18-year major league career. His uncle Carlos, a first-round pick in 1966, also had a 10-year big league career. Jacob signed for $525,000 in 2013, played 66 games in his pro debut, then went straight to instructional league and the Australian Baseball League, where he played until January. Taking only one month off before 2014 spring training, he didn't have time to recharge. May's tremendous speed ticked down a grade in 2014 to double-plus, but he gets to top speed quickly, and he has the savvy for his speed to play on the bases and in center field. His belowaverage arm is playable but can be exploited. May's bat also backed up early at high Class A Winston-Salem in 2014, but he adjusted as the season went on. His swing had more length from the left side initially, but he closed up holes and made better contact. Scouts still prefer his righthanded swing. May has sneaky power and could hit 10-12 homers annually, although at times it suckers him into a more power-oriented approach, leading to the longer swing. If May hits, he profiles as a regular, earning Coco Crisp comparisons. He's headed to Double-A Birmingham to start 2015.
The offseason trades of righthanders Chris Bassitt and Andre Rienzo and non-tendering of lefty Scott Snodgress left Beck as the most experienced starter in the system. Strong and durable, he has taken every turn the last two years and finished strong at Triple-A Charlotte in 2014. He profiles at the back of a rotation, and because he's a creature of habit who struggles when he's out of his routine, the bullpen may not be an option. Beck's breaking ball has backed up since college, when he flashed a plus-plus slider with power and depth. He has lost the feel for the slider as well as the proper shape on the pitch, which lacks depth and now resembles a cutter. As a result, he lacks a strikeout pitch and has had to focus on getting weak contact. His fastball can sit 92-95 mph, more frequently sitting 90-93, but he doesn't command it or consistently sink it. His changeup has evolved into an average pitch with some sink, and he throws a loopy, early-count curveball. If his plus slider ever returns, he could be a mid-rotation factor. In the meantime, he's rotation insurance at Triple-A Charlotte.
A rare White Sox success story from Latin America, Sanchez finished 2012 at Triple-A Charlotte but stalled in 2013 after some offseason weight gain and a part-time move to shortstop. The trades of Gordon Beckham and Marcus Semien cleared two obstacles from Sanchez's path, and he got 100 at-bats as a September callup. Sanchez played shortstop again in 2014 but fits better at second base, where his range and above-average arm strength make him a plus defender. He's just fringe-average at short. He regained some quickness and burst in 2014 and has the above-average speed managers like to have on their bench. Sanchez's bat is sound from both sides of the plate but lacks explosiveness. His below-average power means he's unlikely to be more than a bottom-of-the-order option. Sanchez has the opportunity to earn the everyday second-base job in 2015 because he's more polished than Micah Johnson, but long-term Johnson has more tools and impact potential. Sanchez likely will compete with Tyler Saladino for a utility job.
A ninth-round pick in 2011 by the Athletics, Fry instead went to Oregon State, where he thrived as a freshman before requiring Tommy John surgery in June 2012. He returned in 2013 and was a key weekend pitcher for the Beavers, pitching 120 innings with a 1.80 ERA. That prompted the White Sox to draft him in the third round and sign him for $760,000. Fry wasn't completely healthy after signing and was used cautiously last year. When he did throw, though, he impressed, sitting at 90-92 mph with his fastball. Fry gets good sink on his fastball and locates it well. His average slider gives him a second pitch that helps him induce groundballs, and that's his game plan. His fringy curveball and changeup remain early-count offerings for strikes rather than putaway pitches. Fry has a chance to be a four-pitch, back-of-the-rotation lefty if he can stay healthy, and his ability to repeat his delivery bodes well for that long-term. He will be pushed to high Class A Winston-Salem for his full-season debut in 2015.
Davidson had one of the worst years in the White Sox organization in 2014, mixing bad timing with an inability to get out of a slump. Acquired after the 2013 season from the Diamondbacks for Addison Reed, Davidson entered the season with hopes of competing for the third-base job in Chicago. When Conor Gillaspie beat him out, Davidson went to Triple-A Charlotte, pressed and expanded his strike zone, piling up strikeouts and bad at-bats. Davidson never really got out of his funk, with family issues complicating his struggles. When he's right, Davidson remains strong and quick to the ball, with plus power particularly to his pull side but with authority to the opposite field as well. He defended better than the White Sox expected, with average range and arm strength and enough first-step quickness for the job. The organization intends to give Davidson a mulligan, and his power gives him a better profile than Gillaspie, who is a better hitter. They'll compete again in spring training, but now Gillaspie is the incumbent.
The White Sox haven't drafted and developed a big league catcher since they spent high draft picks in the early 1990s on Mark Johnson (1994, first round) and Josh Paul (1996, second), neither of whom hit enough to be true regulars. Smith has a similar ceiling, but his makeup might allow him to coax a bit more out of his tools. The former University of Pittsburgh quarterback started as a freshman but wound up focusing on baseball thanks in part to injuries. Smith has proved durable at baseball's most demanding position, with a big, physical frame and enough athleticism to turn himself into a solid-average defender. He threw out 33 percent of basestealers at Double-A Birmingham in 2014, with his quick transfer helping his average arm play up. His leadership skills translate well. He relies on strength and savvy over bat speed at the plate. He'll compete with Rob Brantly, Adrian Nieto and Tyler Flowers for playing time in Chicago but likely will start the year at Triple-A Charlotte.
The Red Sox originally signed Rondon and traded him, along with Francellis Montas, to the White Sox in the three-team Jake Peavy trade in 2013. Rondon's first full year in his new organization revealed him as its best infield defender, with a magician's sleight of hand with the glove and easy plus arm strength. Rondon has a youthful penchant for botching routine plays, seeming to needlessly increase his degree of difficulty. Improved focus should make him a plus defender, and he led the minors in 2014 in doubleplays (103) and total chances (648) while tying for the lead in assists (404). His offensive upside is less impressive. He has average speed and his hands do work at the plate. He has the bat control to make contact and no major swing issues, but he lacks power so his offensive impact will be low. A year at Double-A Birmingham will help reveal whether he hits enough to be a regular or is destined for a utility role.
Signed away from a Texas Tech scholarship offer for $400,000 in 2013, Lowry has the classic size and arm strength of a power pitcher. He was a high school catcher until his senior season, so he's raw. The White Sox were careful with Lowry's workload in his first full season, starting him in extended spring training before he reported to low Class A Kannapolis in May. He showed flashes of a three-pitch mix and threw a five-inning, rain-shortened no-hitter against West Virginia on June 3. His fastball sits around 90-94 mph with sink. His inconsistent but above-average slider comes from a similar release point with deception and bite. He has shown an average changeup with life. Lowry still needs work on his delivery to stay tall and create better angle on his pitches. His inexperience shows most in his lack of feel for his craft. He could start 2015 back at Kannapolis, though the White Sox generally prefer to push their players.
Thompson's basketball lineage includes his dad Mychal, the No. 1 pick in the 1978 NBA draft, and brother Klay, the star Golden State Warriors shooting guard. Trayce has similar upside in baseball, but his bat stands in his way. He's a graceful athlete and above-average defender in center field, a long-strider who gobbles up territory with plus range. His body and tools draw comparisons to Alex Rios, but Rios came to pro ball with a feel for hitting that Thompson never has exhibited. He has plus pull power that he doesn't get to consistently, instead flying open against soft stuff away. He lacks a consistent approach or offensive plan at the plate. He's an above-average runner who can steal a base and could fill a fourth outfielder role. Added to the 40-man roster in November, Thompson likely will move up to Triple-A Charlotte.
A San Diego prep product, Saladino was having a key bounceback season in 2014 at Triple-A Charlotte when he tore his ulnar collateral ligament on a throw home from left field and required season-ending surgery. Saladino remains athletic enough to play shortstop, with an above-average arm pre-injury, and good enough footwork and soft hands stay in the dirt at any spot. He played left field and first base to stay in the Charlotte lineup in 2014 and is an average runner. Saladino has a sound approach at the plate, regularly ranking among the top players in the system in walk rate, and has the power to punish mistakes, but he lacks the hitting ability to be a first-division regular. However, he could be a first-division utilityman and is on the 40-man roster, so he could earn that chance in Chicago in 2015.
The White Sox hired Marco Paddy to revamp their international scouting efforts in November 2011, and one of his first deals was signing was Martinez for $250,000. He hit 92 mph with his fastball but soon had elbow issues that led to Tommy John surgery in 2012. He finally made his pro debut in 2014, and he got better as he went along, never giving up more than a run while pitching at least five innings in each of his Pioneer League starts. Martinez has a good pitcher's body with long arms, and he has retained some looseness in his arm and delivery despite the surgery. He's raw in terms of repeating his delivery and in his consistency of preparation, but at his best he has a fastball up to 95 mph that sits in the 89-93 range. He's shown the ability to spin a breaking ball, alternately described as a curveball and slider, and has started to tinker with a changeup. Martinez looks ready to jump to low Class A Kannapolis for 2015.
Brennan was also a starting quarterback at Capistrano Valley High in Southern California, but he was better at baseball. He pitched in the 2009 Under Armour All-America Game and was a 40th-round pick of the Rockies in 2010. Brennan headed to Oregon instead, then transferred to Orange Coast (Calif.) JC. After the White Sox drafted him, he struggled to get going thanks to Tommy John surgery that ended his 2013 season in June. He returned to game action less than a year later and finished his breakout season at high Class A Winston-Salem in 2014. He combines size and athletic ability with easy velocity, sitting in the 92-94 mph range and touching 97. His slider is his best secondary pitch, though a wandering release point causes it to flatten out too often. It has late bite when he's on top of it and features solid low-80s power. Brennan's changeup is just a show-me pitch at this stage. He has the body and the plus fastball to develop as a starter but may lack the feel for pitching. If he winds up in the bullpen, he could move quickly. He's expected to start 2015 in the Double-A Birmingham rotation.
Trexler, already 24, will have to move quickly, and he has the arm to do it. He attended Florida State for two seasons and transferred to Gulf Coast (Fla.) CC for his redshirt sophomore season. He then spent two years at North Florida. The White Sox were excited to get him in the 17th round (for a $1,000 bonus), but they didn't expect him to come out throwing 92-96 mph in his pro debut. He gave up five home runs in 14 appearances but pitched aggressively off his power fastball, then kept throwing hard in instructional league. Trexler played off his four-seamer with a hard 12-to-6 curveball that also was better than it had been as an amateur. He throws a fringy changeup as well and has three pitches needed to start. It wouldn't be surprising if Trexler started 2015 at high Class A Winston-Salem or even Double-A Birmingham.
The White Sox have drafted a lot of toolsy outfielders of late, and most of them haven't hit enough to break through to the big leagues, including Engel. He has explosive athleticism and speed when he's at his best, though he missed time last year after he injured his right lat muscle. Engel combines size and strength along with an average arm and fly-catching skills in center field. His bat is his weakest tool. He has the strength to hit for power, but he has never shown the ability to tap into it. He has stiffness in his swing despite his athleticism, and it gets choppy. He struggled in the Australian Baseball League, hitting .185 while striking out 23 times in his first 92 at-bats, but was leading the league in stolen bases. Engel will head back to Winston-Salem in 2015, and if the bat ever clicks he has the tools to be a regular.
Peter was a surehanded second baseman at Creighton who also flashed mid-90s heat in limited pitching outings. Some scouts preferred him as a pitcher, but a tender elbow prompted him to stick to hitting as a junior. The White Sox signed him for a slot $203,800 bonus as a seventh-round pick in 2014 and pushed him to high Class A Winston-Salem to finish the year. Peter likely will prove to be the best hitter the White Sox drafted in a pitcher-heavy 2014 draft class. He is an average runner with a short, line-drive swing, with a polished approach that covers the plate well. He can pepper the gaps but has below-average home run power. He's a surehanded second baseman with a plus arm who excels turning the double play. He'll be the everyday second baseman at a Class A stop in 2015.
Dykstra's older brother Allan was a 2008 first-rounder by the Padres who has reached Triple-A. James played at Yavapai (Ariz.) JC and Louisiana State before finishing his career at NAIA Cal State San Marcos. An outfielder who converted to pitching while at Yavapai and pitched out of LSU's bullpen, Dykstra ranked second among all qualified minor league starters for lowest walk rate last year. He throws a ton of strikes and keeps the ball down and in the ballpark. He has to be fine because he has little life on a solidaverage 88-92 mph fastball and no true plus pitch. He works fast, throws a changeup with confidence that qualifies as his best pitch, and throws his curveball for strikes. He'll need to add a cutter or get more life on his fastball to be more than a fringe starter. He'll move up to Double-A Birmingham for 2015.
The White Sox loved Barnum's raw power and swing in the 2012 draft, signing him for $950,000 as the 48th overall pick. He stayed healthy enough to play every day in 2014 for high Class A Winston- Salem, but the White Sox believe they have yet to see the real Barnum. They drafted him thinking they had another Ryan Howard on their hands, and in some ways they do. Like Howard, Barnum has soft hands and solid footwork around the bag at first. He doesn't sniff lefthanded pitchers, and he strikes out in bunches (leading the Carolina League with 163 in 2014). But while Howard hits plenty of home runs, Barnum puts on a batting-practice show but has just 16 career homers, as he gets beat hard in and soft away. He's a baseclogger. Barnum needs to start figuring out how to get to his power more consistently.
Garcia shook up the 2011 draft, as the Cuban defector was made eligible for two days before Major League Baseball declared him ineligible again. He was back in the 2012 draft, and the Dodgers took him and signed him for $382,000. The physical lefthander finished his first full pro season in the majors with a September callup. It was a lost year in 2014, though, as he had setbacks from offseason left elbow surgery and then had left knee surgery in January 2014 to repair torn cartilage. The Dodgers tried to sneak him off their 40-man roster in November, and the White Sox claimed Garcia on waivers. At his best, Garcia shows a 93-95 mph fastball, touching 97, with below-average control. He has a power low-80s slider. Throwing strikes and staying healthy would make Garcia a useful lefty option in the White Sox's 2015 bullpen.
Ynoa was the most sought-after prospect on the 2008 international market and landed a $4.25 million bonus from the Athletics. Tommy John surgery and other ailments cost him the better part of three full years. The A's shifted him to the bullpen in 2014, then sent him to the White Sox as part of the deal headlined by Jeff Samardzija. Ynoa cuts loose his plus fastball in shorter stints, showing mid- to upper- 90s velocity from an easy delivery. He shifted his breaking ball from a curve to a slider and found some success with it. His changeup is useful as well, showing depth to go with good arm speed. Ynoa remains unrefined. He tends to become predictable with his fastball, allowing hitters to sit on it, and his command is below-average, thanks to a delivery he struggles to repeat. The White Sox hope their pitching-development program can unlock Ynoa's talent as he embarks on his third minor league option year in 2015.
The White Sox aren't waiting on Mitchell anymore. They've sent the former Louisiana State football player down to Double-A Birmingham in both 2013 and 2014 and removed him from the 40-man roster, and no one claimed him. Mitchell still has tools, with athleticism, strength and plus speed. He's a fair defender with an average arm and plays a passable center field, though he fits better in left. He'll always strike out a lot due to poor pitch recognition and a propensity to chase breaking balls. He showed more ability to adjust from at-bat to at-bat in 2014, with a career-best 19 home runs. He doesn't hit lefthanders well enough to be a regular, so his ceiling is that of a part-time player and reserve. He made enough progress to get called back up to Triple-A Charlotte in 2014, and he's likely headed there again for 2015.
Wilkins slammed 30 homers to lead the Triple-A International League last year and earned his first big league promotion, striking out in nearly half of his plate appearances with the White Sox. He has strength and a swing geared for loft power. He's short to the ball but lacks the bat speed to consistently keep up with premium velocity. Playing winter ball in Venezuela in 2013 helped him identify breaking stuff better, and he can punish mistakes to all parts of the park. He has some feel for hitting, but his defense and arm strength are below-average, and his speed is near the bottom of the scale. Wilkins should return to Triple-A Charlotte for 2015 as insurance, but he may need a new organization to get a big league opportunity.