I like this White Sox club *dodges tomato*. Geez, that one wasn’t even ripe! Harsh. Seriously though. Hear me out. You’ve got the anchor at first with Abreu. That’s a solid middle infield of Moncada and Anderson. And you’ve got three decent arms to build around in Rodon, Lopez, and Giolito. If Kopech weren’t recovering from Tommy John, he’d have been a good bet to join them (spoiler: he”ll still rank somewhere on this list). But Mike, that’s only like six players. That’s true my over-the-internet-friend-holding-an-unripened-kumquat. But this is where our prospect list comes into play. The reinforcements are on the move, and right now this system has arguably the best outfield prospect in baseball scheduled to arrive in early 2019. Am I predicting they win the Central? Nah, I still think that’ll go to the Tribe. But I’ll bet Chicago leapfrogs the Twins and Tigers and puts together a winning record.
1. Eloy Jimenez, OF | Age: 21 | ETA: 2019
It only took about five or six team previews to reach our first truly elite prospect. Consider Jimenez to be in a tier of his own. Double-plus power paired with a plus hit tool is a recipe for quick success as a fantasy prospect. Service time nonsense aside, Jimenez should be up early and a 20-homer season (or more) wouldn’t shock me one bit. The only question is how high he’ll go in redrafts.
2. Dylan Cease, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2019
Kopech was supposed to slide into the rotation this year, but since he’s out with TJS, perhaps Cease can fill that role. The righty pairs a double-plus heater with a wipeout curve, which could play as a starter (SP2/3 ceiling) or a high-leverage reliever. He logged about 50 innings in Double-A in 2018, so he’ll need some time in the upper minors, but there should be an opportunity for him at some point this season with the big league club.
3. Luis Robert, OF | Age: 21 | ETA: 2020
Robert’s AFL performance has buoyed his ranking a bit, and it feels awkward to rank somebody in this tier after they put up a goose egg in homers. But Robert pairs plus speed with above-average power and a solid hit tool to form one of those complete players that ends up being really useful in fantasy. He gets comped as an outfield version of Moncada, trading some speed for power over time.
4. Michael Kopech, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2020
Kopech’s ranking is taking a hit this year simply because he won’t throw a pitch in 2019 after Tommy John surgery. His best pitch is his 80-grade fastball that sits in the upper nineties. When he eventually comes back around, it’s going to be fantasy candy with massive strikeout potential.
5. Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS | Age: 21 | ETA: 2020
Five…five Grade A specs! Ha, ha, ha! Madrigal gets the nod in this tier for his pure hitting ability. That, along with his plus speed, make him a prototypical leadoff hitter. Worst case scenario (aka floor) he becomes a super-utility infielder that’s fantasy relevant for his bat.
6. Blake Rutherford, OF| Age: 21 | ETA: 2020
When I left Razzball in 2016 to pursue a career as a dog food taster, Rutherford was a hot commodity. He came to the Sox in the Frazier/Robertson deal, and since then hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire the way he did then. 2018 was solid though. He put together a 7/15/.293 season in High-A and continued success in the upper majors should keep his stock heading back in the right direction. I’d actually consider him more of a B+.
7. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2020
When you get to the middle of the pack, you start to see a lot of these speedy, defense-oriented outfield prospects with suspect power and hit tools. Basabe has some pop though. He split time between High-A and Double-A in 2018 and paired 15 homers with 16 steals. There’s probably a 20/20 player in there, but the approach/average looks a tad suspicious.
8. Zack Collins, C | Age: 23 | ETA: 2019
Catching prospects, etc. etc. Mainly etc. (h/t Ben Finegold). Collins has some above-average pop and if it weren’t for the substandard hit tool we’d be more excited. He hit .234 with 15 bombs and stole five bags in Double-A this past season. That 15-homer mark is about where I’d mark his power ceiling in the majors. I’m also not sold he’ll stay a catcher, so he’ll be left with his offense to carry him.
9. Micker Adolfo, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2020
Adolfo’s best tool is his arm, but there should be enough raw power to get to 18/20 homers if everything clicks. He hit .282 with eleven bombs at High-A as a 22-year-old in 2018. He’s coming off TJS and entering the upper minors in 2019, so his stock should see a decent swing in one direction or another. I’ll bet on it rising.
10. Luis Gonzalez, OF | Age: 23 | ETA: 2020
I like Gonzalez’s profile as a lefty with average tools and a good approach. He hit .307 with 14 homers and ten steals across two levels in 2018. Those numbers are a bit deceiving since he’s a tad old for High-A, but this looks like a solid real-life fourth outfielder who could contribute offensively in deep formats.
Oh man, just saw you are back, hell yea, welcome back
Solid writing Mike. Pale hose have some nice specs.
I did trade Cease and the kid MI from the Rockies for mcCullers before we knew of the TJS.
It is a dynasty so I feel I’ll still get value from McCullers sometime in 2020.
Thanks…seems solid for you.
4 person keeper league, who would you keep out of these players.
Turner, Acuna, Correa, Story, K.Davis, Eloy.
Love the site Thanks
I’d go Turner, Davis, Acuna, Story as my four…all great keepers so def try to flip the other two for picks or something
Does Madrigal have the stuff to go 1.1 for a 1st-year player draft?
He seems like a nice high-floor prospect, and I’d be happy to draft him, but is there anything that says he’s a no doubt top pick this year?
In fact, is there anyone who fits that bill? Victor Victor Mesa Mesa….meh. Bohm….problems. Any pitcher…no thanks.
It’s just my luck to have the first pick in a year of Toyota Camrys.
Nothing wrong with that. He’s got the hard part (hitting a baseball) figured out.
Next AL powerhouse when they sign Sale back in 2020
For dynasty purposes. Do Eloy and VG2 look like future 1st base slash DH types?
I’d say both have a chance to end up there given the below-average fielding grades.
Hey Mikey so glad your back buddy! Miss you big time hope life is going well. Man it makes me so sad to see two former Cubs prospects up there on the top of the list. Sure yeah quinntana was worth that.
Thanks Count…good to be back. Yeah Eloy could be a monster.
Great article but I gotta say as a white sox fan it’s a bit odd not seeing Dunning on this list. Dont expect him up any time soon? Or are you more worried about the late injury? If healthy he has an electric sinker with good control. Has posted awesome stats with good strike out numbers at every stop.
Yes, you’re right. I’d rank him B-. I decided to highlight a couple bats instead. He looks like a low-ceiling/high-floor mid rotation type to me but that is certainly useful.
@Mike: thats exactly what I thought your thoguht process was, and honestly i appreciate you admiring/looking into a few more bats. Most people don’t it was refreshing. Thanks!
…and yes the elbow thing could be no bueno.
a. Well, at least they’re improving. But man, that Luis Gonzalez blurb! You should be his agent.
b. Little-known factoid about Chad for November 14
The Arabic word for donkey is homar, pronounced Omar with an ‘h’ in front and you have to roll the r at the end.
The Arabic word for donkey cart is karo, pronounced car with an ‘o’ at the end. Again, roll the r please.
What’s another word for karo? Put Homar and Mercedes (like your average Chadian would pronounce it – Marcedes) together Homar +Marcedes…Homarcedes! Life in Chad is pretty boring, as you can see.
b. I’m going to start calling the F1 Merc team the “donkeykarts”.
@Mike: Roll the “R” ?
Fire in Spanish, is stop, drop and roll the R
Fancy meeting you here sailor!
And you’re being mean. Roll the r, please!
I’m no sailor, I’m dressed like Mr. Salty
The job search continues. To wit,
a. Was rejected for the second job I recently applied for with the pharma giant Merck.
b. On the plus side (the name of Kirstie Alley’s sex tape), I have applied for the job of consultant for various organizations. If I can land a consultancy somewhere and string 3 of them together in one year, that would be my ceiling. The floor is where I’m at now!
c. Going to back to ‘a’ above, I applied for 100 jobs that I saw on the job board at the Hospital for Sick Children in downtown Toronto. The hospital was right next to the campus of University of Toronto so easy site to hit. I got a job. How? The person who had to review job applications got fed up with seeing my CV everywhere and flat out said if she gave me a job would I stop sending my CV!! True story! To which I said sure and got my first job – Personnel Assistant. I was the only guy among 35 other women in the human resources department of the Hospital for Sick Children in TO. I have stories to tell, but that’ll be for another day if you’ll have me.
@Ante Galic: Grey!!
My God, I just re-read by post – in particular ‘c’ above. That was how I got my FIRST job some 35 years ago.
A. Damn, sorry man… Merck’s a bunch of jercks!
B. Haha, hoping for you!
C. Of course, always will have you! Just not Yu Darvish
Thanks, just got your double entendre in ‘c’ above! You and me and dog named boo!
Don’t you mean, ‘me, you and Jimmy Stewart’s dog named Beau’
@Grey: Nice! I wish I were bidingual.
Thanks for the write up, I’ll be sure to track these White Sox prospects! Oh and did you just namedrop a chess player?
No problem. Indeed! I’m a big fan.
@Mike: Only on Razzball will you find a writer who casually quotes a chess player and used to “test dog food” in a former life, whatever that means! ;)
Straight out of one of Grey’s books!
ha! I aim to please. BTW Ol’ Roy is criminally underrated in the flavor department.
@Mike: I’ll trust the gourmet connoisseur!
I’m a very mediocre chess player just blitz and bullet on chess.com or lichess, hovering at around 1400 or 1500), but I’ve become addicted to chess streams and YouTube videos too, lately. Mostly John Batholomew, but also ChessNetwork. Are you following the world championship? Boring so far.