Some newly acquired White Sox prospects are set to make their organizational debuts.
According to MiLB.com’s transactions, both catcher Korey Lee and right-handed pitcher Jordan Leasure have been assigned to the Triple-A Charlotte Knights and will be with the team beginning tonight. Separately, right-handed pitcher Nick Nastrini was assigned to the Double-A Birmingham Barons on July 28th and has since been on the team’s reserved list.
Lee, who is set to come off the injured list after an oblique strain, was the big return in Houston’s trade for reliever Kendall Graveman. The catching prospect is an intriguing one as was drafted ahead of projections in the first round in 2019 by the Astros. Since then, he appeared in 25 games for Houston in 2022 before getting sent down after struggling.
This year, Lee boasts a .734 OPS with five homers and 12 stolen bases in 68 Triple-A games. MLB Pipeline rates Lee’s power at the plate and arm strength as his plus characteristics. He previously ranked as the Astros’ 29th-best prospect in their system.
Baseball America gave a nice report of the 25-year-old behind the plate:
“Behind the plate, Lee is far more of a sure thing, with a variety of average-to-plus skills. He is a an average framer based on the team’s internal metrics, an above-average blocker and a true 80-grade thrower. Lee’s arm is a real weapon against the running game. He is able to nab basestealers at a high rate with powerful and accurate throws, consistently clocking elite pop times on throws to second base.”via Baseball America
Leasure, 24, has been a reliever throughout his career. Drafted by the Dodgers in the 14th round in 2021, Leasure finds himself dominating Double-A currently. In 35 innings this season, he has a 3.09 ERA with a 39.7% strikeout rate and an 11.3% walk rate. He is not ranked among the Dodgers’ top 30 prospects by Baseball America or MLB Pipeline, but with a 98 mph fastball and strong slider, it’s not because of his stuff. We will now get a chance to see what he can do at the Triple-A level.
Nastrini, 23, ranks as the Dodgers’ 10th-best prospect, per Baseball America. He has the ability to be a #4-type starter with a powerful fastball that sits 94-95 mph and touches 98 mph. He has advanced quickly through the Dodgers’ system, and in 73.2 innings this season, he has a 4.03 ERA with a 26.1% strikeout rate and 11.3% walk rate. This is a big upside play for the White Sox.
In other news, catching prospect Edgar Quero and right-hander Ky Bush, both acquired in the Lucas Giolito trade, have already seen action in Double-A Birmingham. Quero is 2-for-11 with a walk and RBI over his first three games, while Bush gave up 12 hits and seven earned runs in his first appearance. Both players will look to turn things around over the next few weeks.
We will continue to monitor the aforementioned prospects and provide updates throughout the remainder of the season.
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Featured Image: MLB Pipeline/Twitter