Cease, the No. 63 prospect in the Majors per MLBPipeline.com, ranks No. 9 among the plethora of White Sox prospects during the team's ongoing rebuild. He joins Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Carson Fulmer, Reynaldo Lopez and current Major Leaguer Carlos Rodon as names targeted as part of the future of the rotation.
It was a hectic few days for Cease after the trade. But that comfort level came back when the 21-year-old returned to the mound Monday, allowing two earned runs, with four strikeouts and one walk, over five innings during his debut with Class A Kannapolis.
Cease hasn't been completely satisfied with his execution this season, but it has been a strong learning experience for the right-hander.
"Definitely fastball command is always No. 1. I felt good with it this year," said Cease, who has a 2.86 ERA over 14 starts, with 78 strikeouts over 56 2/3 innings. "I'll go through stretches where I kind of lose it a little bit.
"Changeup, offspeed, is something I'm just working on getting a feel for. I felt pretty good with my curveball this year. Trying to keep on a fastball plane, and not letting it get too loopy. Just little things like that."
Outfielder Eloy Jimenez, the Majors' No. 8 prospect and the club's No. 2, also came to the White Sox as part of the trade. Cease calls him "one of the most talented players I've ever seen."
As for moving from the Cubs to the White Sox, Cease said it doesn't really matter at the end of the day.
"All that matters is what I'm doing to keep learning, and keep getting better, and hopefully make it and be part of something special," Cease said. "Obviously what the Cubs are doing is great, but I obviously didn't have anything to do with that.
"It's exciting to be in a system like this. It's one where there are so many talented guys, and the potential to do something great is there."