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2024 Preseason Top 30 White Sox Prospects: No. 1-10

by Michael Suareo

With Spring Training underway, we are officially unveiling our 2024 preseason White Sox Top 30 prospects list! This season, we have more White Sox prospects to highlight than we have in a while, so this week we will break down every prospect you need to know about heading into the 2024 season.

Finally, we have reached the top 10 prospects in the White Sox organization. These prospects are the ones who have the best chance to be impactful players for the White Sox, with some of them potentially providing that impact at some point during the 2024 season.

In case you missed it:

10. Wilfred Veras – RF

While he has been somewhat overlooked throughout his minor league career, Wilfred Veras has produced above expectations while being one of the youngest prospects at every level he has faced.

At just 20 years old, Veras spent the 2023 season splitting time between High-A and Double-A, where at both stops he produced consistent results at the plate while also transitioning into a passable defensive corner outfielder. In 162 plate appearances at Double-A Birmingham, Veras held a .879 OPS with six home runs and an additional six stolen bases.

While he hasn’t fully been able to tap into his plus raw power, Veras has been able to make consistent hard contact despite being younger than the average level of competition. His defensive home had been questioned for some time, but he seems to fully have transitioned to the corner outfield, where he is still a work in progress but has the arm and range to stick. It is his potential at the plate, however, that will carry him through the system.

9. Jonathan Cannon – RHP

The White Sox representative in the All-Star Futures Game, Jonathan Cannon has made a name for himself during the 2023 season. While he doesn’t possess overwhelming stuff, Cannon has excellent command of his pitches and projects to be a mid-to-back end starter at the major league level.

In 72.2 innings with High-A Winston Salem, Cannon held a 3.59 ERA and averaged just under a strikeout per inning. His strong showing led to a promotion to the Double-A level, where after a few rough starts was able to settle down and hold his own against the more advanced competition. The fastball has solid velocity and heavy sink, forcing plenty of weak contact. His cutter might be his best pitch, as he misses more bats with that than any of his other offerings.

Cannon was seen as a fast riser coming into the 2022 draft and could be ready to make his MLB debut in 2024.

8. Peyton Pallette – RHP

The second-round pick for the White Sox in 2022, Peyton Pallette made his professional debut in 2023 with the Kannapolis CannonBallers after he missed all of his 2022 Junior season recovering from Tommy John surgery. That injury hurt his draft stock. If not for the injury, he very likely could have been a first-round pick.

The eight-ranked prospect had an overall solid season in what should be considered a build-up year. Making 22 starts for Low-A Kannapolis, he held an ERA of 4.12 in 72 innings. He has 78 punchouts, although his 41 walks need to be improved as he develops. He averaged a little over three innings per start as he worked to rebuild his arm strength and velocity, but in 2024 he should be able to be stretched out a bit more as he moves further away from his injury.

The 22-year-old has drawn comparisons to Dodgers starter Walker Buehler as he features a fastball that can reach up to 99 miles per hour and a curveball, which can be labeled as his best pitch.

7. Jacob Gonzalez – SS

The 15th overall pick for the White Sox in 2023, Jacob Gonzalez got off to a bit of a slow start in his professional debut in 2023. Despite that, he has all the tools to develop into an impact bat moving forward. Gonzalez was touted in college for the combination of his over-the-fence power and his bat-to-ball skills. This combination has scouts predicting that he can develop into a hit 25+ home runs type of player.

There are some questions about whether he can stick at shortstop due to his athleticism, so he may profile better at either second or third base. As long as the bat develops as expected, though, he should profile at either spot with no problem. At just 22 years old, he could move through the minors relatively quickly as long as he gets back on track this season.

6. Jake Eder – LHP

One of the biggest surprises of the trade deadline was the White Sox’s decision to trade Jake Burger to the Miami Marlins. The return they received, however, has a chance to be incredibly impactful for the Sox’s future rotation.

Jake Eder, a 6’4″ lefty, has dealt with some injuries over the past couple of years, including Tommy John surgery in 2021. When healthy, though, he displays a plus fastball/slider combo that gives him number-two starter potential. He also has a changeup that has shown some promising development.

The 2023 season didn’t quite go as planned for Eder, although a lot of it is due to poor luck more than anything. After recovering from surgery, his start to the season was delayed due to a hairline fracture in his foot, and then once he finally got into a rhythm in the Marlins system he was traded.

Don’t pay much attention to his final stat line, as the main goal for Eder was to stay healthy, log innings on the mound, and get back to 100% for 2024. If he regains his stuff, he could be a name that receives top 100 consideration by mid-season.

5. Bryan Ramos – 3B

Bryan Ramos is an interesting evaluation. On one hand, many outlets have him just on the cusp of being a top 100 prospect, if not breaking into their lists. On the other, he has only been able to showcase his ceiling as an impact hitter in spurts. Part of this may be due to dealing with some injuries last season, however, it would still be beneficial if he could sustain his higher-end production for longer throughout the season.

Ramos’ 2023 season got off to a delayed start due to a groin injury, and it took him a bit of time to truly get rolling. He did eventually find his groove and finished the season with a very respectable .271/.369/.457 slash line and a 122 wRC+ with the Double-A Birmingham Barons. His discipline at the plate was on full display as well, logging an 11.1% walk rate and keeping his strikeout rate just under 22%.

Defensively, he is a better athlete than given credit for and has even shown in the past the ability to fill in at 2nd base. The hot corner is where he should stay, however, as he has a chance to be above average there defensively.

4. Nick Nastrini – RHP

The headliner in the trade that sent Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly to the Dodgers, Nick Nastrini has put himself firmly in the conversation to join the White Sox rotation at some point in the 2024 season. While Nastrini gets rave reviews for his fastball and slider, he also sports a very promising curveball and a changeup. His curveball is slowly becoming a secondary pitch for Nastrini; he just needs to throw it for strikes more.

After being acquired, Nastrini seemed to find a new gear with the Double-A Birmingham Barons as his K/9 rate jumped above 13, while his BB/9 stayed just below 3. Because of this impressive showing, he earned a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte where, despite his walk rate jumping a bit, continued to hold his own.

If he doesn’t earn a spot on the opening-day roster, it will just be a matter of time before he is called upon to make his MLB debut.

3. Edgar Quero – C

While the Sox brought in a plethora of new prospects at the deadline, Edgar Quero was the top prize that they were able to acquire. Coming in through the trade that sent Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to the Angels, Quero was one of the youngest players overall at the Double-A level in 2023. While that was due to an overly aggressive promotion stemming from his time with the Angels, he still was able to hold his own at the plate while improving defensively behind the plate.

While his power numbers took a dip in 2023, his overall production at the plate was solid. After the trade, Quero sported a .277/.366/.393 slash line and walked nearly at the same rate he struck out. He had 17 home runs in 2022 at a more age-appropriate level, so despite the dip in power this past year it’s easy to believe he still has plenty of pop in his bat.

Defensively, he has a strong arm and has received positive reviews for his ability to work with pitchers. As his actions continue to improve behind the plate, he shouldn’t have any issues sticking as a catcher long-term.

2. Noah Schultz – LHP

There is no debate about who the top pitching prospect in this organization is, as Noah Schultz broke out in 2023 as a potential future ace on the mound.

Taken with the 26th overall selection in the 2022 MLB draft, Schultz had to wait until June to make his professional debut. In doing so, he completely skipped rookie ball and went straight to full-season Low-A Kannapolis. Most high school draftees spend at least some time in Arizona to adjust to competing against other professional baseball players. However, Schultz proved that he was ready for the aggressive assignment.

While he doesn’t blow away opposing hitters with velocity, his low-to-mid 90s fastball has plenty of life and should be at least an above-average pitch. His slider is his calling card, clocking in the low 80s and possessing elite spin rates. It is a pitch that, combined with his lengthy low three-quarter delivery, is incredibly difficult for left-handed hitters to make contact with. He has also been working on his changeup, which is at least a usable third pitch.

The biggest concern for pitchers of Schultz’s size is keeping their bodies in sync. With so many moving parts, it is easy to lose your mechanics and end up with shaky control. That hasn’t been the case for Schultz yet, as his athleticism has allowed him to control his delivery and demonstrate impressive command of his pitches. Because of this, he has been ranked within the top 50 of many prospect lists, with some speculating that he can take another massive jump with a strong 2024 season.

Between his stuff, his control, and the deceptive nature of his delivery, he has all the tools to eventually develop into the ace of the White Sox pitching staff.

1. Colson Montgomery – SS

There is very little doubt about who the best prospect in the White Sox organization is right now, as Colson Montgomery has established himself as one of the premier prospects in all of baseball, coming in at ninth overall in MLB Pipeline’s most recent top 100 list.

After a delayed start to his season due to injuries, Montgomery joined the High-A Winston-Salem Dash in early July where he was too advanced despite just being 21 years old at the time. At that level, he had an eye-popping 198 wRC+ and walked in nearly 25% of his plate appearances. After a month he was finally called up to Double-A Birmingham to finish the season as the Baron’s starting shortstop. While his batting average at that level was only .249, he still showed an elite ability to draw walks and make extra-base contact, leading to an .827 OPS and a 129 wRC+.

Montgomery, who will be 22 when the 2024 season officially begins, has all the tools it takes to develop into an All-Star caliber player at the MLB level. He will begin the season in the minors, but do not be surprised if he forces the Sox’s hand and earns a promotion by the summer.

Follow us @SoxOn35th for more White Sox prospect content throughout the season!

Featured Image: MLB Pipeline/Twitter

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