Just like in 2010, the year Chris Sale fell to the 13th pick in the draft, the White Sox selected another potential collegiate ace in Carlos Rodon, potentially giving the franchise a potent one-two punch at the top of the rotation for years to come.
Hard-throwing right-hander Francellis Montas has been on a mission in high Class A this season (8.65 K/ 9 and 1.94 BB/9). Both Courtney Hawkins and Tim Anderson have rebounded after subpar showings last year. And despite several promotions – Jose Abreu, Marcus Semien, and Erik Johnson – GM Rick Hahn has the farm system trending in the right direction.
For a look at the club’s Top 10 Prospects heading into the year click HERE.
1. Carlos Rodon, LHP, Age: 21
The #1 player on my collegiate big board heading into the draft, Rodon, nonetheless, fell to the third pick where the Sox wisely snapped him up. Even if he never develops into a true ace – his final year at N.C. State was marred by inconsistency – a rotation fronted by Chris Sale and Rodon should win plenty of games in the very near future. Chicago’s no stranger to pushing its top prospects aggressively through the system – see: Courtney Hawkins, Sale, etc… – so Rodon could be in the big leagues by some point early next season. For his full pre-draft analysis click HERE.
2. Francellis Montas, RHP, Age: 21
In my book, The 2014 Prospect Digest Annual, I ranked Montas among the most likely breakout prospects heading into the year, as well as the club’s fifth overall prospect. Well, the hard-throwing right-hander has rewarded my faith this year: 51.0 IP, 49 K, 11 BB, and a 2.69 FIP. Pay attention. Front-of-the-rotation type ceiling.
3. Matt Davidson, 3B, Age: 23
There’s lost and then there’s Davidson’s numbers in Class AAA this year. Through his first 61 games the slugging third baseman is hitting a pitiful .180/.252/.356 while striking out at an alarming rate (34.6%). Solid power/patience guy, but, developmentally speaking, he’s dug himself in a pretty large hole.
4. Courtney Hawkins, CF, Age: 20
Absolutely overmatched in high Class A last season (.178/.249/.384), Hawkins has fared much better the second time though, hitting .252/.341/.457 with 15 doubles, one triple, 10 homeruns, and six stolen bases. Very toolsy, but eerily reminiscent of Jared Mitchell, another highly talented former White Sox pick.
5. Tim Anderson, SS, Age: 21
I’ve been pretty tough on the former JuCo shortstop, ranking him as the club’s 13th best prospect heading into the season. He’s a flawed prospect – last year he showed little pop and this year he’s barely walking – and I just don’t think there’s enough in the tank to develop into a league average everyday player.
6. Tyler Danish, RHP, Age: 19
Just another example of the organization’s aggressive nature, Danish, who was drafted in the second round last season, has split his time between low Class A and high Class A this season – at the ripe ol’ age of 19. Solid or better control, but his ability to miss bats leaves a little to be desired as of now.
7. Spencer Adams, RHP, Age: 18
A massive 6-foot-5 right-hander with room to fill out thanks to his rail-thin 180 pound frame. Big time fastball with the potential to add a few more ticks.
8. Trayce Thompson, CF/RF, Age: 23
Two years in Class AA and Thompson has posted consecutive OPSs of .704 and .670. Blessed with a good eye and promising power, but it’s now likely the former second round pick never sniffs the big leagues – at least for long periods.
9. Jace Fry, LHP, Age: 20
10. Carlos Sanchez, IF, Age: 22
Back in Class AAA for the third season, Sanchez is finally showing a little bit of pop for the first time in his five-year career. The switch-hitting middle infielder is topping the league average production by 22%. Solid role player.
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