Tha Sports Junkies 101

Breaking Down The Chicago White Sox Top Prospects

Breaking Down The Chicago White Sox Top Prospects Tiffany Mendez via


The White Sox have acquired some new prospects in recent days, here’s how they stack up

The Chicago White Sox started the winter meetings off with a bang by trading five-time All-star pitcher Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox, and then followed up by trading Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals in exchange for more top prospects. The Chicago White Sox now have 6 of the top 100 prospects in baseball. With the rebuild now in full swing, the question for the White Sox is who might be traded next?

This article will break down the White Sox prospects in the top 100, give an overview of a few others, and then discuss how they may be able to impact the team in the future. Here is the list of the Chicago White Sox top prospects (according to

  1. Yoan Moncada
  2. Lucas Giolito
  3. Michael Kopech
  4. Reynaldo Lopez
  5. Carson Fulmer
  6. Zack Collins
  7. Zack Burdi

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada was traded to the Chicago White Sox in the Chris Sale deal, and Moncada is currently the number 1 prospect in all of baseball. Moncada is a 21-year-old switch hitter that can play both second base and third base. The Boston Red Sox signed Moncada to a $63 million deal, but the crazy part is that the Red Sox will pay the $31.2 million left on his contract.

Moncada spent most of the 2016 season in the minors putting up good numbers. In his 2016 minor league season he produced a batting line of .294 AVG/ .407 OBP/ .511 SLG. Moncada also finished with 62 RBIs, 15 home runs, 31 doubles, 6 triples and 45 stolen bases. Moncada also played 8 games with the Boston Red Sox at the end of the season.

Moncada’s 45 stolen bases and multiple scouting reports show that he has good speed. This is effective on the base-paths as well as in the field. At second base, he has good range and arm strength. Most scouts say that Moncada can play at any position in the infield. Try to picture the future of the White Sox starting lineup if Tim Anderson leads off and Yoan Moncada bats 2nd, that will add a lot of speed on the base paths.

Depending on how the rest of the off-season goes, expect for Moncada to play at either second base or third base at some point during the 2016 season. His speed and consistent hitting tied with his above average fielding will make him an extremely well-rounded player for the White Sox.

Lucas Giolito

Lucas Giolito was sent to the White Sox through another big trade by general manager Rick Hahn. Giolito is ranked 3rd on MLB’s top prospects list, and he is the top ranked right-handed pitching prospect.

Giolito has an elite fastball that can reach 99 mph, and a wicked 12-to-6 curveball that fools a lot of hitters. Giolito pitched in the futures game in 2015 throwing two scoreless innings and lighting up the radar gun with his fastball.

Lucas Giolito moved through the minors quickly last season with stops in Double-A, Triple-A, and eventually the majors. Giolito played most of the 2016 season in Double-A and Triple-A where he kept his ERA down and struck out lots of batters. In Triple-A, he pitched in seven games, giving him a 2.17 ERA with 40 strikeouts. In Double-A, Giolito pitched 14 games with a 3.17 ERA and 72 strikeouts.

Lucas Giolito needs to make a few improvements regarding the control of his fastball and the consistency of his change-up, and then he should be ready for the majors. Giolito is overflowing with talent, and is just about ready to make a splash in the big leagues. When Giolito is pitching at his highest level look for him to miss a lot of bats.

Michael Kopech 

Michael Kopech was also sent to the White Sox in the Chris Sale trade. Kopech is a 20-year-old right-hander that is ranked 30th on the top 100 prospects list. Kopech throws a sizzling fastball and a filthy slider that helped him dominate hitters last year in the minors.

In 2016 Kopech pitched in Class A producing a 4-1 record with a 2.25 ERA and 82 strikeouts over 52.0 innings pitched. Kopech reportedly hit 105 mph on his fastball during a pitching session. That speed puts Michael Kopech up there with the likes of Aroldis Chapman.

Kopech certainly has a lot of potential, but definitely needs more work in the minors. Look for him to move up to Double-A Birmingham next year. Kopech will need to focus on improving the command of his fastball and slider. Kopech looks to be a potential two or three starting pitcher in the future if he can continue to overpower hitters and work on improving his secondary pitches.

Scouts say that he is very athletic, and that should lead him to keep his pitching mechanics consistent. The White Sox will most likely continue to help him develop his pitch delivery next season.

Reynaldo Lopez

Reynaldo Lopez was traded to the White Sox in the Adam Eaton trade. Lopez is 22 years old and is a right-hander from the Dominican Republic. Lopez split time last year in the minors and the majors. He pitched 11 games last year in the majors producing a record of 5-3 with a 4.91 ERA and 42 strikeouts. Reynaldo Lopez throws a tough mid 90’s fastball that can occasionally make it to triple digits.

Last season, Reynaldo moved through the minors quickly with his overpowering fastball. An argument can be made that Reynaldo is ready for major league action. If the White Sox choose to put Reynaldo on the MLB roster, look for him to get some work out of the bullpen. The jury is out when it comes to Reynaldo’s best fit. Some scouts say that he would make an excellent reliever while others say he is making the right adjustments and should be on his way to becoming a quality starting pitcher.

Another plus for Reynaldo Lopez is his work ethic. The Nationals noticed Lopez was working hard last year and Lopez truly did a lot of developing last season. Washington noticed an impressive increase of control in his fastball and change-up. This development was enough for the Nationals to keep him on as a starter last year. Reynaldo will stride to make his delivery more consistent. Once he accomplishes that, his rise to the majors should be imminent.

The White Sox bullpen struggled tremendously last season, so when Reynaldo breaks into the big leagues, look for the White Sox to work him into becoming one of their top relief pitchers.

Carson Fulmer

Carson Fulmer is a 22-year-old right-hander and former Vanderbilt standout that the White Sox drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 draft. Fulmer worked his way through Triple-A Charlotte with a 2-1 record and a 3.94 ERA, and earned himself a spot in the White Sox bullpen last season.

Although Fulmer’s 2016 campaign in the bullpen was relatively disappointing, but he showed plenty of upside. Carson pitched 11 innings out of the pen and struck out 10 batters. His ERA was 8.49, but this was mostly due to a pair of home runs he had given up.

Fulmer was sent back down to Triple-A Charlotte near the end of last season, but his command has continued to improve and he is likely to battle for the number five-spot in the rotation come spring training. The White Sox have stated that they expect Fulmer to develop into a starter due to his incredible stamina on the mound.

Fulmer throws a fastball that reaches speeds from 93-97 mph, and he has a very effective curveball. Fulmer has continued to improve since being drafted in 2015, and might be able to be put in the starting rotation next season.

Zack Collins

Zack Collins

Bryan Green-Via-Flickr

Zack Collins is a 21-year-old catcher from the University of Miami. The Chicago White Sox selected him in the first round of the 2016 draft. Collins was one of the best hitters available in the 2016 draft and his stats in the Carolina league don’t refute that. Collins played 39 games in the Carolina league last year, producing a batting line of .258 AVG/ .396 OBP/ .435 SLG with 7 doubles.

The scouts have noted that Collins has lots of power and controls the strike zone extremely well. The White Sox noted his quick development in the minors and how his swing has been improving even with the limited time he spent in the minors last season.

Scouts are unsure, however, whether or not Zack will be able to stay behind the dish. Some scouts believe that he will need to be transitioned out to first base, but the White Sox believe that Collins will be able to stay at catcher.

Collins still has a lot of development ahead of him before he is ready for the big leagues, but according to the scouts his hitting has been improving. Collins may be able to be promoted to Double-A Birmingham at some point this year. Keep an eye out for Collins in the future.

Zack Burdi

Zack Burdi was drafted by the White Sox in the 1st round of the 2016 draft and has shredded through the minor leagues. Zack Burdi went to college at the University of Louisville and began to transition from a starter to a reliever.

Burdi throws a strong fastball that usually falls between 95-98 mph, but has occasionally reached 101 mph. Zack also throws a slider and change-up. Burdi has great control that shows his pitches are already developing quickly.

Burdi pitched 9 games with Triple-A Charlotte last year, finishing with a 2.25 ERA with one save and 22 strikeouts. He seems to be dominating hitters in the minor leagues.

Zack has been reported to have a smooth delivery that helps him control his pitches really well. Zack may work in Triple-A to start the 2017 season, but don’t be surprised if he does well in Spring Training and gets called up to the big league squad.