CHICAGO -- Six White Sox players placed in MLB Pipeline's Top 100 preseason prospect list for 2019, as announced on MLB Network Saturday night, topped by outfielder Eloy Jimenez checking in at No. 3.Jimenez trails the Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr., who originally was
CHICAGO -- Six White Sox players placed in MLB Pipeline's Top 100 preseason prospect list for 2019, as announced on MLB Network Saturday night, topped by outfielder Eloy Jimenez checking in at No. 3.
Jimenez trails the Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr., who originally was signed by the White Sox and then traded for James Shields on June 4, 2016.
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"I've been working on my defense," said Jimenez during this weekend's SoxFest in Chicago and before the Top 100 list was announced. "I want to be a complete player, like not just hitting. I want to play defense, too."
The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLB Pipeline Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams.
Only players with rookie status entering the 2019 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 25 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
Other White Sox prospects joining Jimenez in the Top 100 are right-hander Michael Kopech at No. 18, right-hander Dylan Cease at No. 21, outfielder Luis Robert at No. 40, infielder Nick Madrigal at No. 47 and right-hander Dane Dunning at No. 80. Everyone but Dunning is attending the sold-out SoxFest event this weekend at the Hilton Chicago, creating a buzz well beyond fans' hopes to hear of a Manny Machado or Bryce Harper free-agent signing.
• Kopech aims to get better during injury rehab
Dunning also will be the only one of these six not to be part of White Sox big league camp, beginning on Feb. 13 when pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz. The right-hander is coming off a moderate elbow sprain ending his '18 season with Double-A Birmingham on June 23 but has progressed nicely with his most recent work coming during instructional league action.
With the White Sox knowing Dunning will start the 2019 season at Double-A Birmingham, a point general manager Rick Hahn made this weekend, they felt the Minor League mini-camp represents the best environment and pace for him to progress toward Opening Day.
The White Sox system ranks third at 397 prospect points with that total arising from each prospect on the list being assigned a point value beginning with 100 for No. 1, 99 for No. 2 and right on down the line. Their six prospects ranked in the Top 100 leave them tied with the Rays and Astros for third. San Diego checks in with 10 at No. 1, followed by the Braves with eight.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.