Goal for this red-hot prospect? To be 'a great Major League player'

April 30th, 2023

CHICAGO -- Tim Elko is the most productive hitter in the White Sox organization through April.

The 10th-round pick in the 2022 Draft out of Mississippi has a slash line of .351/.407/.623 with six home runs, 25 RBIs and three doubles through 77 at-bats and 19 games for Single-A Kannapolis. Elko also has the sort of focus at the Minor League level that would fit in well with White Sox manager Pedro Grifol’s mindset.

“I’m hoping to be a great Major League player one day. That’s my goal,” Elko told MLB.com during a recent phone interview. “I believe that’s attainable.

“I don’t like to be the guy to look too far ahead. I like to stay in the present and focus on where I’m at and getting better here and develop into the player that I want to be. And hopefully, it will be in the big leagues.”

When asked if he was impressed by the individual numbers he has put up, Elko laughed and said he would be impressed if he keeps this production up for the entire year.

“Obviously, that’s great,” the 24-year-old said. “There are a lot of games to be played. I’m excited to keep it moving forward.

“Yeah, I mean, feeling good. Just trying to relax and see ball, hit ball, and not make it more than what it is. Just enjoy playing baseball.”

Elko finished with five home runs and 16 RBIs in his 2022 debut, with stops in the Arizona Complex League and with Kannapolis. His current play could earn him a promotion. But again, Elko is simply learning about life as a professional player as he goes through the development process.

“You are playing every single day,” Elko said. “That’s a little bit different from college. Just kind of learning how to deal with that, but I also liked that in a sense.

“It’s not like we’ll play three games and then have four days of just practice. Now, it’s getting to play every single day. So that’s enjoyable in its own aspect.”

Shortstop (sprained left knee) and infielder (strained left quad) will return from their Minor League injury rehab assignments with Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday against Minnesota, per Grifol. Left-handed reliever , who had Tommy John surgery prior to the start of the 2022 season, began his injury rehab Sunday with Double-A Birmingham.

Lane Ramsey, who recently entered the White Sox Top 30 Prospect list at No. 30 per MLB Pipeline, has three saves in four opportunities for the Knights. Ramsey has struck out 13 over 8 2/3 innings.

Cristian Mena, the White Sox No. 7 prospect, continues to respond to the advanced mound challenge with the Barons. The 20-year-old right-hander has fanned 31 over four starts and 19 innings, with just six walks.

High-A Winston-Salem
DJ Gladney, who prepped at Illiana Christian High School about 45 minutes away from Guaranteed Rate Field, has five homers and 22 RBIs for the Dash. Terrell Tatum, the White Sox No. 24 prospect, is hitting .309 with nine stolen bases and a 1.029 OPS.