CHICAGO -- Each time general manager Rick Hahn has talked to the media over approximately the last month, the same question is asked in some form.When will White Sox fans see outfielder Eloy Jimenez, the organization's No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and Michael Kopech, the organization's No. 2 prospect?"Well,
CHICAGO -- Each time general manager Rick Hahn has talked to the media over approximately the last month, the same question is asked in some form.
When will White Sox fans see outfielder Eloy Jimenez, the organization's No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and Michael Kopech, the organization's No. 2 prospect?
"Well, they are available at Charlotte and Birmingham," said Hahn with a broad smile during Tuesday's media session.
After the brief dose of Hahn's sharp humor, he provided certainties amid uncertainties in regard to this duo's immediate Major League future.
"We don't have answers to that right now," Hahn said. "There continues to be various developmental matters that each of them are working on. All I can say is, we are trying to put them in the best position to have long-term success.
"As thrilling as it would be to potentially have one or both, or other enticing prospects up here tonight, just because that would be interesting and exciting, and perhaps even show some level of advancement in this rebuild, what happens here is going to have nothing to do with when these players arrive. It's going to be based strictly upon their own development and when they are ready for the next challenges presented by the big league level. Eventually, they will tend to force that issue."
Hahn mentioned Kopech's work on his changeup as one targeted box to check off, but he wasn't about to break down the right-hander's entire checklist. Basically, Kopech is getting closer, coming off of a 10-strikeout performance against Lehigh Valley on Friday, but he's not there yet.
There also will be a stop at Triple-A Charlotte for Jimenez, 21, who is hitting .321 with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs for Double-A Birmingham. The promotions had nothing to do with Super 2 arbitration status, per Hahn.
"They could come here and survive right now, especially if we wanted to drop them in the 'pen and use them for one or two innings every so often," said Hahn, referring more specifically to Kopech. "That's not what we are trying to do. We are trying to develop a front-end starter in Michael's instance."
"He's going to be a pretty special young man on the mound," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria of Kopech. "We're looking forward to seeing him somewhere in the near future."
Positive injury news
• Alec Hansen, the White Sox No. 4 prospect per MLB Pipeline, will make his first 2018 start with Double-A Birmingham this weekend. The Minor League strikeout leader in '17 has been working his way back from forearm soreness, which began in Spring Training.
• Outfielder Avisail Garcia, out of action since April 23 with a right hamstring strain, will begin a rehab assignment with Charlotte on Tuesday. He's going to need at least one week to 10 days of regular action to get his timing back.
"It's more getting into baseball shape at this point than anything physical with the hamstring," Hahn said.
• Outfielder Micker Adolfo, the No. 10 White Sox prospect, had a follow-up X-ray on his right elbow, allowing him to begin a throwing program with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, with the goal being to get him back in the outfield at some point this season and avoid surgery. Adolfo had been working as a designated hitter after enduring a sprained UCL and a strained flexor tendon during Spring Training.
• Luis Robert, the team's No. 3 prospect, figures to move to Winston-Salem from Class A Kannapolis in the next 10 days. Robert is hitting .304 over 23 at-bats since returning from a sprained ligament in his left thumb.
White Sox solid up the middle
Development within the White Sox rebuild is taking place at the Major League level, as well, with second baseman Yoan Moncada and shortstop Tim Anderson standing as prime examples. Moncada had to deal with some close calls not going his way on balls and strikes during this past road trip, which is all part of the adjustments.
"Moncada had some tough ABs over the course of this road trip in terms of balls and strikes," Hahn said. "The challenge for him, the developmental element for him just this week, is making sure he remains true to his approach, as opposed to overreacting to some perhaps bad strike-three calls over the course of the last week.
"That's the kind of thing he has to experience up here, the pressure he feels here, the expectations he feels here. He has responded very well. It's unfortunate he had the hamstring injury. He was really rolling before that happened. He hasn't quite gotten back to that level of consistency he had before, but he'll get there."
Anderson continues developing on a path "where you can very reasonably project him to be a shortstop on a championship club," according to Hahn.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.