CHICAGO -- Take a look at MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list for 2018, as revealed on MLB Network Saturday night, for an example of the truly deep White Sox system.
Players such as second baseman Yoan Moncada and right-handed pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer have graduated to the Majors, but the White Sox still placed seven in the top 100. That total leaves the White Sox tied for second with the Padres, only trailing the Braves' total of eight.
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And to think there was a time a few years ago when the White Sox were pushing to get one player in the lower half of the top 100.
"We had that first wave of prospects at the end of last year, and now transitioning into this year, some of the guys will be up pretty soon as well," Giolito said. "And then with [White Sox manager] Ricky [Renteria] at the helm, it's a really, really good environment."
The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo 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 2018 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.
Outfielder Eloy Jimenez leads the White Sox group at No. 4, falling in behind the Angels' Shohei Ohtani, the Braves' Ronald Acuna and the Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. White Sox right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech ranks No. 10, followed by outfielder Luis Robert at No. 28.
Right-handed hurlers Alec Hansen, Dylan Cease and Dane Dunning check in at Nos. 54, 61 and 92, respectively. Outfielder Blake Rutherford completes the White Sox seven at No. 99.
Kopech should reach the Majors at some point in 2018 if he continues to build off of a '17 campaign where he fanned 172 over 134 1/3 innings between stops at Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, while posting a 2.88 ERA in 25 starts. Jimenez reached a high-level mark of 68 at-bats for Birmingham last season, but he could also force the big league issue in '18 after hitting .312 with 19 home runs and 65 RBIs in '17.