There is more optimism with this farm system heading into 2023 than there was a year ago. While the depth of the organization as a whole has some room for growth, the White Sox saw several breakout performances from their home-grown talent to bolster the overall strength of their farm system.
The group of prospects that headline the back half of the White Sox’ Top 30 is primarily comprised of high-upside players who possess the chance to shoot up the rankings with improved 2023 seasons, while the rest of those included here could be ready to fill roles on the MLB roster this season. While it is fair to question the depth of the organization’s farm system, the prospects on this portion of the list could quiet those concerns through their 2023 performance.
30. Arnold Prado, OF (Prev. NR)
The White Sox saw several success stories this past season with their international signings, however, the one that has gone under the radar is Arnold Prado. In his first season with the White Sox, the 17-year-old Venezuelan proved to be more than capable at the plate with a .345 batting average and a 155 wRC+ in 105 plate appearances. He also showed an advanced approach at the plate with a 15.2% walk rate, having a clear knack for getting on base.
Prado should make his stateside debut this season in Arizona, where he will look to build on a promising first season.
29. Adam Hackenberg, C (Prev. 25)
Hackenberg had a hot start to the 2022 season, however, he drastically cooled off after April and put up mediocre stats the rest of the season, leading to an underwhelming 89 wRC+ in High-A Winston Salem. The Sox still seemed to like Hackenberg enough to promote him to Double-A for Project Birmingham, although he struggled with that assignment. Hackett still shows a patient approach at the plate and is more than capable defensively, so he still has the tools to become a backup catcher at the MLB level.
28. Franklin German, RP (Prev. NR)
German was acquired by the Red Sox in a trade in early February to compete for a spot in the White Sox bullpen in 2023. He has little left to prove at the minor league level, sporting a 2.72 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 49.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A last season, and made his major league debut in September. He is a fastball/slider pitcher, making him a logical Ethan Katz project.
27. Eric Adler, RP (Prev. 27)
When he can command his pitches, Adler possesses the potential to be a high-leverage (maybe even closer) option at the major league level. He has a high 90s fastball with life and two-plus breaking pitches at his disposal, giving him the ability to strike out virtually anyone who comes up to the plate. The issue Adler has to overcome is his ability to keep the ball over the strike zone, as he walked 9 batters in the 4.2 innings he pitched in his brief minor league debut. This was a concern with him as a prospect when the Sox drafted him in the sixth round, but the Sox seem optimistic that they can develop him.
26. Gregory Santos, RP (Prev. NR)
Acquired in a trade with the Giants, Santos will add to the competition for a spot in the bullpen this season and probably possesses as much upside as any reliever in the White Sox organization. The right-handed pitcher can hit triple digits with his fastball on a regular basis to go along with a plus slider. He has struggled with control to this point in his career, and he needs to work on utilizing his plus stuff to miss more bats, but much like German, he is the exact type of prospect that Ethan Katz tries to develop.
25. Yolbert Sanchez, INF (Prev. 15)
Sanchez has likely already reached his ceiling as a prospect and is ready to contribute off the bench at the major league level. While he possesses minimal power with his bat, he does have above-average bat-to-ball skills and is useful on the basepaths. He is also regarded as an above-average defender, with some believing he had a major league-ready glove when the Sox initially signed him back in 2019.
He is unlikely to be a preferred starter, however, he can provide valuable depth in the infield to a contending team.
24. Wilfred Veras, 1B/3B (Prev. NR)
Power is the name of Veras’s game, as the corner infielder hammered 20 home runs in the 2022 season. He had a very respectable season in Low-A Kannapolis, but opened eyes when he held his own in an aggressive promotion to Double-A.
While he had a successful season, it was still limited by an aggressive approach at the plate that led to too many strikeouts and few walks. It is unclear if he will stay in Birmingham or begin at High-A Winston Salem, but Veras has plenty to build on either way.
23. Ryan Burrowes, SS (Prev. NR)
There may not have been a bigger surprise breakout for the Sox in 2022 than Burrowes. After signing for $70,000 out of Panama in 2022, he made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League and immediately showcased his ability. An athletic 6’3″ shortstop, he finished the season with a 120 wRC+ and showed an impressive approach at the plate, walking at a 12.8% rate and striking out only 17.3%. He was dangerous on the base paths as well and has plenty of room to add strength, so while the power isn’t there quite yet, it is easy to project more home runs in his future.
22. Loidel Chapelli, 2B (Prev. 30)
Chapelli spent the 2022 season in the Dominican Summer League despite being significantly older than the competition. That led to an absolutely dominating performance from the 21-year-old, where he held a 1.084 OPS and a 181 wRC+. He showed some power with eight home runs and impressed with his approach at the plate, striking out less often than his 14.8% walk rate.
The White Sox moved Chapelli to second after he served mainly as an outfielder in Cuba, but he seems to have handled the transition well and looks to stick there long-term. Expect him to make his full-season debut in 2023, where he will face a more even level of competition.
21. Tanner McDougal, SP (Prev. 23)
Tanner McDougal spent the entire 2022 season recovering from Tommy John surgery and appears to be on track to begin the 2023 season healthy. A fifth-round draft pick in 2021, McDougal had some of the most impressive spin rates in his class coming out of high school. He hasn’t been able to pitch many innings since being drafted due to injury but still has some of the most impressive pitching upside in the organization.
20. Erick Hernandez, OF (Prev. 21)
Hernandez was a welcomed change of approach signing for the White Sox, landing for $1 million as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic. His first season in the system ended up being a bit underwhelming, although that can be attributed to a knee injury. He ended the season with a .227 batting average and an 81 wRC+ with no home runs and four stolen bases. He appears to be on track to begin the 2023 season healthy, and will most likely make his stateside debut in the Arizona Complex League.
19. Jordan Sprinkle, SS (Prev. 19)
The White Sox fourth-round pick in 2022, Sprinkle’s carrying tools are his speed and his defensive abilities. He had some initial success at the plate in Arizona but struggled after a promotion to Low-A Kannapolis. He showed a much better ability at the plate earlier on in college, and if he can recapture some of that, he has the tools to be a starting middle infielder in the MLB. If not, his defense and athleticism could still allow him to find a role off the bench.
18. Carlos Perez, C (Prev. 18)
Perez doesn’t appear to have a glaring hole in his game. He can make contact, hit for power, and shows competence behind the plate. In 2022, he hit 21 home runs in Triple-A Charlotte, while keeping his strikeout rate to an impressive 8.6%. Pitchers seem to like having him as their backstop as well, adding to his well-rounded game.
The 26-year-old has already made his MLB debut and probably doesn’t have much left to prove at the minor league level. He could give Seby Zavala some competition to be the backup catcher on the big league roster very quickly.
17. Jared Kelley, SP (Prev. 17)
While Kelley’s 2022 stats aren’t jaw-dropping, he did complete one significant milestone: staying healthy. He pitched a total of 76.2 innings, more than tripling his injury-shortened 2021 season.
On the year, Kelley’s 8.33 K/9 could be improved upon, and while he did hold a 3.52 ERA, his 5.19 FIP suggests that it was a bit deceiving. His biggest struggle at the moment is control, as evidenced by his 5.52 BB/9. He still has a mid-to-upper 90s fastball and a plus changeup at his disposal and will be fully healthy heading into the 2023 season. A bounce-back year is absolutely not out of the question.
16. Kohl Simas, SP (Prev. 20)
Simas looks like an absolute steal of a signing by this front office. Inked as an undrafted free agent in 2021, he has made a successful transition from college relief pitcher to minor league starter, showcasing impressive strikeout totals. In Low-A Kannapolis, he held a 3.65 ERA with 11.09 K/9 through 61.2 innings. He got a bit banged up in a brief Double-A stint, so it’s expected that he will spend at least the first half of the season in High-A Winston Salem.
We’ll reveal our top 15 prospects on Friday! In case you missed it, look below for the prospects that just missed our top 30!
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