Starting spots for White Sox Top 30 Prospects

April 4th, 2019

With the 2019 Minor League Baseball season getting underway, here's a look at where the White Sox Top 30 prospects are starting the year. We also identify the prospect who just missed the Top 30 list, a player who didn't make the big league Opening Day roster but should make an impact this year, a prospect who is ready to break out in 2019 and the team's best defensive prospect.

  1. Eloy Jimenez (MLB No. 3), OF -- Chicago White Sox (MLB)
  2. Michael Kopech (MLB No. 18), RHP -- Chicago White Sox (MLB) -- IL
  3. Dylan Cease (MLB No. 21), RHP -- Charlotte Knights (AAA)
  4. Luis Robert (MLB No. 39), OF -- Winston-Salem Dash (A Adv)
  5. Nick Madrigal (MLB No. 46), 2B -- Winston-Salem Dash (A Adv)
  6. Dane Dunning, RHP -- Birmingham Barons (AA) -- IL
  7. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF -- Birmingham Barons (AA) -- IL
  8. Micker Adolfo, OF -- Birmingham Barons (AA)
  9. Blake Rutherford, OF -- Birmingham Barons (AA)
  10. Luis Gonzalez, OF -- Birmingham Barons (AA)
  11. Steele Walker, OF -- Kannapolis Intimidators (A)
  12. Zack Collins, C -- Charlotte Knights (AAA)
  13. Jake Burger, 3B -- Winston-Salem Dash (A Adv) -- IL
  14. Ian Hamilton, RHP -- Charlotte Knights (AAA)
  15. Alec Hansen, RHP -- Winston-Salem Dash (A Adv)
  16. Zack Burdi, RHP -- Charlotte Knights (AAA) -- IL
  17. Laz Rivera, SS -- Birmingham Barons (AA)
  18. Gavin Sheets, 1B -- Birmingham Barons (AA)
  19. Jimmy Lambert, RHP -- Birmingham Barons (AA)
  20. Konnor Pilkington, LHP -- Kannapolis Intimidators (A)
  21. Bryce Bush, 3B -- Kannapolis Intimidators (A)
  22. Seby Zavala, C -- Charlotte Knights (AAA)
  23. Jose Ruiz, RHP -- Charlotte Knights (AAA)
  24. Zach Thompson, RHP -- Charlotte Knights (AAA)
  25. Caleb Frare, LHP -- Chicago White Sox (MLB)
  26. Lincoln Henzman, RHP -- Winston-Salem Dash (A Adv)
  27. Jonathan Stiever, RHP -- Kannapolis Intimidators (A)
  28. Tyler Johnson, RHP -- Birmingham Barons (AA) -- IL
  29. Jordan Stephens, RHP -- Charlotte Knights (AAA)
  30. Ryan Burr, RHP -- Chicago White Sox (MLB)
    Complete list »

Just missed Top 30: Bernardo Flores
Flores didn't pitch much in three seasons at Southern California but has developed into one of the better lefties in the White Sox system since they made him a seventh-round pick in 2016. His solid changeup stands out in an otherwise average repertoire, helping him log a 2.65 ERA and 105/31 K/BB ratio in 156 innings between Class A Advanced and Double-A last season.

On the shelf
Two Top 100 Prospects, right-handers Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning will miss the 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Four other members of our White Sox Top 30 Prospects list also are on injured lists. Righty Zack Burdi (lat strain) is sidelined in Charlotte, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe (left hamate) and righty Tyler Johnson (lat strain) are out at Birmingham and third baseman Jake Burger is targeting a midseason return at Winston-Salem after rupturing his left Achilles tendon twice last year.

Impact prospect: Dylan Cease
Acquired from the Cubs with Eloy Jimenez in the July 2017 Jose Quintana trade, Cease garnered MLB Pipeline Pitcher of the Year honors last year after excelling in Double-A (1.72 ERA, 13.4 K/9 in 10 starts) and finishing fifth in the Minors in opponent average (.189) and eighth in strikeout rate (11.6 per nine innings).

Breakout prospect: Luis Robert
Robert's five-tool potential has never been questioned. However, his enticing skillset has hardly been on display as injuries have hampered his brief career. Robert missed time with minor injuries in 2017, then played only 50 games in '18 after injuring the ligaments in his thumb. Robert showed flashes of potential in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .324 with two homers, but again missed a few games with a minor injury. If Robert can stay healthy in 2019, there's a good chance he will post huge numbers.

Best defensive prospect: Nick Madrigal
The White Sox may try Madrigal at shortstop, because he has the hands and actions to thrive there, but his average arm makes him a better fit at second base. With his quickness and instincts, he could be a Gold Glove Award winner at the keystone, and he also rated as the best pure hitter in the 2018 Draft, where he went No. 4 overall.