Here are the White Sox 2020 Top 30 Prospects

February 28th, 2020

A three-year rebuilding process looks like it's about to pay off for the White Sox, who are coming off their worst three-year stretch since 1968-70 and have posted seven straight losing seasons.

In a reversal of recent offseasons, Chicago committed $201.5 million to free agents, re-signing Jose Abreu and bringing Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, Edwin Encarnacion, Steve Cishek and Gio Gonzalez into the fold. It even traded a prospect (Steele Walker) for a veteran (Nomar Mazara).

Those additions will bolster a young nucleus that includes Lucas Giolito, Eloy Jiménez and Yoán Moncada -- the centerpieces in prospect packages received for Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana and Chris Sale -- and former first-round pick Tim Anderson, who led the Majors in hitting last year at .335. Dylan Cease, another part of the Quintana deal, showed swing-and-miss stuff as a rookie last year but also a need for more polish. The White Sox also plan on adding three of baseball's best prospects to their big league mix this season.

Coming off a 30-30 season during which he topped the Minor Leagues with 314 total bases, Luis Robert will start in center field and is a leading Rookie of the Year candidate. Nick Madrigal, the best contact hitter in the Minors, is the favorite to win the second-base job and also should contend for rookie honors. Right-hander Michael Kopech, who's coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2018, has electric stuff and should work his way into the rotation before too long.

If Chicago hadn't signed Abreu and Encarnacion, its fourth Top 100 Prospect might have made his way to the big leagues a year after going No. 3 overall in the 2019 Draft. First baseman Andrew Vaughn has the tools to become the organization's biggest homegrown offensive force since Frank Thomas.

Robert, Vaughn, Kopech and Madrigal all rank among the game's 40 best prospects, though the talent in the system falls off quickly behind them. There's not another obvious quality big league regular down on the farm, and Jonathan Stiever is the only other mid-rotation starter who's fully healthy and has pitched above rookie ball.

Here's a look at the White Sox's top prospects

  1. Luis Robert, OF (No. 3 on Top 100)
  2. Andrew Vaughn, 1B (No. 16)
  3. Michael Kopech, RHP (No. 20)
  4. Nick Madrigal, 2B (No. 40)
  5. Jonathan Stiever, RHP
    Complete Top 30 list »

Biggest jump/fall
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2019 preseason list to the 2020 preseason list:

Jump: Jonathan Stiever, RHP (2019: 27 | 2020: 5) -- The 2018 fifth-rounder became the White Sox best healthy pitching prospect last year, showing a pair of plus pitches in a lively 92-98 mph fastball and an upper-70s spike curveball.
Fall: Alec Hansen, RHP (2019: 15 | 2020: NR) -- His stuff has declined and his mechanics and control have deteriorated since he led the Minors with 191 strikeouts in 2017.

Best tools
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 have the same grade.

Hit: 70 -- Madrigal
Power: 65 -- Robert
Run: 80 -- James Beard
Arm: 70 -- Micker Adolfo
Defense: 60 -- Madrigal (Yolbert Sanchez)
Fastball: 80 -- Kopech (Zack Burdi)
Curveball: 60 -- Stiever
Slider: 65 -- Kopech
Changeup: 55 -- Bernardo Flores (Zack Burdi, Dane Dunning, Matt Foster, Konnor Pilkington)
Control: 60 -- Flores

How they were built
Draft: 20 | International: 5 | Trade: 4 | Rule 5: 1

Breakdown by ETA
2020: 13 | 2021: 9 | 2022: 3 | 2023: 3 | 2024: 2

Breakdown by position
C: 3 | 1B: 2 | 2B: 2 | 3B: 1 | SS: 2 | OF: 7 | RHP: 11 | LHP: 2