White Sox boast Top 3 farm system again
The first wave of young talent acquired via White Sox general manager Rick Hahn's wheeling and dealing arrived in Chicago in 2017. Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito provided glimpses as to why they were once regarded as the best position prospect and pitching prospect in all of baseball. Reynaldo Lopez recorded five quality starts in eight tries after coming up in August.
• MLB's Top 10 farm systems | White Sox Top 30 Prospects list
That's just the beginning, which is why Chicago sits near the top of MLB Pipeline's farm system rankings for a third straight time, at No. 3. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez (the headliner in last July's Jose Quintana deal with the Cubs) and right-hander Michael Kopech (along with Moncada, part of the four-prospect package for Chris Sale from the Red Sox in December 2016) are the best hitter/pitcher prospect in the game, and they should make their presence felt at Guarantee Rate Field. Right behind them are right-handers Dane Dunning (the third prospect, after Giolito and Lopez, in December 2016's Adam Eaton trade with the Nationals) and Dylan Cease (Quintana deal) and outfielder Blake Rutherford (the highlight of a four-prospect bundle in exchange for Todd Frazier, Player Page for David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from the Yankees last July).
:: Team Top 30 Prospects lists ::
Chicago also has high expectations for its most recent first-round picks -- right-hander Carson Fulmer (2015), catcher Zack Collins ('16), righty Zack Burdi ('16), third baseman Jake Burger ('17) -- though Burdi is recovering from Tommy John surgery and Burger ruptured his left Achilles tendon during Spring Training. Righty Alec Hansen, a second-rounder from 2016, may be better than all of them and led the Minors with 191 strikeouts in his first full pro season. The White Sox also also may have grabbed the outfield version of Moncada in Cuban defector Luis Robert, signed for $26 million (plus an equal amount in penalty tax) last May before the international rules changed.
:: Top 10 Farm Systems ::
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2017 preseason list to the 2018 preseason list.
Jump: Ian Hamilton, RHP (2017: NR | 2018: 21)
Fall: Alex Call, OF (2017: 14 | 2018: NR)
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses also have the same grade.
Hit: 60 -- Eloy Jimenez
Power: 70 -- Eloy Jimenez
Run: 65 -- Luis Robert (Charlie Tilson)
Arm: 70 -- Micker Adolfo
Defense: 55 -- Luis Alexander Basabe (Ryan Cordell, Luis Gonzalez, Luis Robert, Charlie Tilson)
Fastball: 80 -- Michael Kopech (Zack Burdi, Thyago Vieira)
Curveball: 65 -- Dylan Cease
Slider: 65 -- Michael Kopech
Changeup: 60 -- A.J. Puckett
Control: 60 -- Dane Dunning
How they were built
Breakdown by ETA
Breakdown by position