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Updated 2024 Preseason Top 30 White Sox Prospects Post-Dylan Cease Trade

by Michael Suareo

In the aftermath of the trading of Dylan Cease to the San Diego Padres, the White Sox have further bolstered their farm system with three additional players with intriguing upside. With all three of these prospects easily cracking the Top 30 prospects for the Chicago White Sox, we are refreshing our list to include these new names. Here is our newly refreshed full top White Sox prospects list!

If you missed the pre-Cease trade rankings, you can check them out below:

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.

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.

3. Drew Thorpe – RHP

The 2023 minor league pitcher of the year has been the centerpiece of two blockbuster trades this offseason but now appears to be firmly cemented in the White Sox’s long-term plans. A second-round pick of the Yankees in 2022, Thorpe didn’t make his professional debut until the beginning of the 2023 season. He produced results right out of the gate, however, going straight to the High-A level and dominating the competition. After 100+ innings, he kept his ERA below 3.00 and generated an extremely favorable K/BB rate of 8.8. As a result, he earned a well-deserved promotion to Doube-A and somehow got even better.

While Thorpe’s fastball won’t blow opposing hitters away, he was able to add a little bit of velocity since his college days and commands the pitch extremely well. His changeup is his calling card, sitting in the low 80s and causing a ton of deception, leaving hitters off balance, and producing a lot of strikeouts. He also throws an average slider, but again maximizes its effectiveness with his ability to command and locate it, and will occasionally throw in a curveball and a cutter.

Despite a lack of elite velocity or movement on his fastball and breaking pitches, Thorpe was able to dominate the competition in 2023, keeping his ERA below 3 and leading all of the MiLB in strikeouts while maintaining incredibly low walk rates. His plus control, paired with one of the best changeups in all of minor league baseball, makes him a dangerous pitcher to go against. His athleticism allows him to repeat his delivery well, and his advanced ability to pitch should allow him to crack the MLB roster sooner rather than later.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Jairo Iriarte – RHP

An under-the-radar international signing out of Venezuela in 2018, Jairo Iriarte has developed into a legitimate starting pitching prospect with the Padres over the last several years. In 2023, he put up elite strikeout numbers, although he also battled some command issues which led to an inflated walk rate. Between High-A and Double-A, he held a 3.49 ERA through 90.1 innings at just 21 years old.

Iriarte has a dangerous arsenal at his disposal, headlined by a fastball that hits the upper 90s and has plenty of life. Both his slider and changeup are above-average offerings as well, with the slider specifically generating plenty of movement. As previously mentioned, command of his pitches is what could hold Iriarte back in the long run. Throughout his minor league career, he has allowed way too many free-base runners, and if he is unable to improve in that area he may be destined for a bullpen role. If he can improve his command, however, he has a lot of upside as a starter.

8. Samuel Zavala – OF

Savala was a highly sought-after international prospect in the 2021 class, inking a $1.2 million signing bonus to join the Padre’s organization. Throughout his minor league career, Zavala has displayed both power potential and elite on-base ability, despite having some holes in his swing that he is still working out. In 2023, he was among the league leaders at the Single-A level in walks and on-base percentage while slugging 14 home runs and showcasing an ability to handle center field competently.

Zavala’s vision and discipline at the plate allow him to currently maximize his results while working out some issues with his hit tool. He hit a snag in his production after an aggressive call-up to High-A at just 18 years old but has been very productive at every other stop he has faced in his minor league career. Zavala brings average or better tools across the board, with the potential to be a 20/20 type of player who can also hold their own defensively. His hit tool is what will ultimately determine if he can reach that ceiling, but at his age, he has already shown enough to get White Sox fans excited about his future in the organization.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

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

13. 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.

14. George Wolkow

A 6’7 outfielder, George Wolkow was selected in the seventh round in the 2023 draft at just 17 years old and signed for a $1 million signing bonus (equivalent to second-round value). Wolkow has experience playing both right and center field, but projects to the corner spot long-term. Due to his size and raw power, he has drawn comparisons to Giancarlo, although those are rather lofty expectations to put on him at this point. Wolkow is a left-handed hitter who, due to his size, raises some concerns about having a longer swing. He would’ve most likely been a first-round pick in the 2024 draft but decided to reclassify to get a head start on the competition.

Wolkow has natural power at his size, and as he develops should begin turning that into in-game over-the-fence production. He has one of the highest ceilings in the system right now due to his age and massive raw power, and will certainly be an exciting prospect to follow heading into next year.

15. Grant Taylor

Before sustaining an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery, Grant Taylor was generating first-round buzz heading into the 2023 collegiate season for LSU. Instead, the White Sox snagged him in the second round, where they believe they drafted a premium arm.

Although he spent the bulk of his collegiate career as a reliever, Taylor pitched extremely well as a starting pitcher at the Cape Cod league, firmly putting himself on the map in the eyes of scouts. When healthy, he throws a mid-upper 90’s fastball with life, and a curveball that generates elite spin rates. He also mixes in a slider and changeup that are at least average, and he throws from a high three-quarter arm slot.

16. Dominic Fletcher

Acquired from the Diamondbacks in exchange for pitching prospect Cristian Mena, Dominic Fletcher became the favorite to be the opening-day right fielder for the Sox as soon as the trade was made official. He had a solid stint at the MLB level for the D-Backs last season, slashing .301/.350/.441 in 28 games, although there are signs that luck was on his side.

His calling card is his defense, where he reads the ball well, has plenty of range, and possesses a very strong arm to be an asset in the outfield. That alone could make him an above-replacement-level player, but if he can be at least average at the plate, he should provide solid regular play for a club that hasn’t had consistency in right field for quite some time.

17. Seth Keener

The White Sox selected Seth Keener in the 3rd round of the 2023 draft. The 21-year-old has a three-pitch mix which highlights his slider as his best pitch. He also has a fastball ranging from 91-97 miles per hour and a changeup that he mainly uses against left-handed hitters. He was dominant in 6 innings at the Arizona Complex League and finished the season throwing another 6.2 innings for Low-A Kannapolis, where his 7.11 ERA could be excused due to some bad luck, which a 3.42 xFIP can back up.

Keener’s ability to keep his WHIP low was one of the main standouts for him in college at Wake Forest. Keener has all of the ability to develop into a big-league starter but will need to work on building up his arm to go deeper into games. If he were to make a move to the bullpen, his slider should allow him to be an effective one.

18. Ryan Burrowes

Ryan Burrowes was a surprise breakout star in the White Sox organization last year, generating many fans in scouting circles during his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League. While he didn’t break out quite as many were hoping, there is still plenty of reason to be excited about what he could develop into. A 6’2 shortstop, Burrowes is a fantastic athlete who is dangerous on the basepaths and has solid range defensively. He is a patient hitter who is willing to draw walks and wait for his pitch, although his strikeout numbers spiked this past season. While he has only produced minimal power numbers, he has very good bat speed and a frame that can easily add strength to give him 20 home run power at his peak. He has also been praised as a high-character player and teammate and has the mental makeup to work toward honing his craft.

19. Tanner McDougal

Despite being drafted back in 2021, Tanner McDougal was pitching in his first full professional season in 2023, as he missed most of 2021 and all of 2022 due to an injury that required Tommy John Surgery. While his results this past year were inconsistent, the most important thing is that he was pitching on a regular starter’s schedule.

At his best, McDougal sits in the mid-90s with his fastball and posts elite spin rates with his breaking pitches. Even with the 2023 season being a build-up year, he still posted impressive strikeout numbers, with a K/9 rate over 10. This year will be the true testament to where McDougal is as a prospect, but for now, at just 20 years old he is still one of the more intriguing arms in the White Sox organization.

20. Terrell Tatum

Terrell Tatum has looked like a steal since the Sox took him in the 16th round in 2021. Last season, he showed the ability to impact the game at the plate, in the outfield, and on the basepaths. He was excellent in High-A Winston Salem, producing a 143 wRC+ largely due to his incredible 21% walk rate. His on-base abilities have also allowed him to showcase his plus speed, swiping 32 bases at the High-A level in 2023. His speed also gives him plenty of range in center field.

He was productive enough to force the White Sox’s hand in giving him a promotion to Double-A Birmingham, where he ran into some struggles but still held his own. Entering the 2024 season at 24 years old, Tatum needs to prove he can continue his production in the upper levels to have a future as a starter in the MLB. However, his ability to get on base plus his dynamic athleticism still projects him to at least fill a role as a backup outfielder who can be used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement.

21. Prelander Berroa

Berroa was acquired in a trade along with Zach DeLoach that sent reliever Gregory Santos to the Mariners. While he has lacked control throughout his minor league career, he possesses elite stuff with a fastball that can hit triple digits and a wipeout slider. This past season, he held a strikeout rate of nearly 14 K/9, although he also walked 39 batters in just 65.1 innings. He had two appearances at the major league level, where he didn’t allow a run and fanned 3 batters in 1.2 innings, although he walked the same amount of hitters during that brief stretch. He will have a chance to earn a spot in the bullpen shortly during the 2024 season.

22. Ky Bush

At 6’6 240 lbs, Ky Bush is an imposing presence on the mound. Acquired alongside Edgar Quero in the Lucas Giolito trade, Bush is a polished left-handed pitcher who could very well be in the White Sox starting rotation sometime in 2024. While he isn’t expected to be a front-line starter, he can be a very effective backend pitcher who eats innings and keeps games winnable.

Bush has a full arsenal of usable pitches, with his fastball consistently sitting in the 92-94 range. His best pitch is his slider, which at its best can be a true out pitch. He also uses a curveball and a changeup effectively. While his control has been a bit shakier as of late, he is generally very good at pounding the strike zone and attacking hitters head-on. After an inconsistent 2023, the 24-year-old lefty will look to get back on track in 2024.

23. Jose Rodriguez

Jose Rodriguez made his MLB debut in 2023 but didn’t receive an at-bat. He did, however, score a run during his time with the White Sox. Rodriguez has been in the White Sox system since 2018 and has produced at pretty much every level, despite being younger than the average at each stop.

After a slow start, Rodriguez went on a dominant stretch at the plate for the Birmingham Barons before his cup of coffee at the MLB level. He eventually moved up to Triple-A Charlotte, where he unfortunately couldn’t keep up quite the same results. Still just 22 years old, Rodriguez should be back in Charlotte this season, where he could be called upon as depth if he adjusts to the more advanced pitching.

24. Eduardo Herrera, 3B

Eduardo Herrera headlines the White Sox 2024 international signing period class, as the power-hitting third baseman was signed out of Venezuela for $1.8 million. He was MLB Pipeline’s 11th-ranked international prospect overall and was the only one to receive a 60 grade on his power. He has drawn comparisons to a young Albert Pujols based on his frame and his power potential, while this comparison should be taken with a grain of salt, Herrera has impact bat potential and will be fun to follow as his minor league career takes off.

25. Sean Burke, RHP

A third-round pick back in 2021, Sean Burke’s once-promising minor league career was derailed by injuries in 2023. After being elevated to Triple-A in his first full minor league season back in 2022, Burke was only able to pitch 36.2 innings in 2023 due to shoulder inflammation, and it was clear he wasn’t fully healthy when he was on the mound.

When healthy, he has the ceiling of a mid-rotation pitcher with an explosive fastball and solid secondary offerings.

26. Javier Mogollon, 2B/SS

Javier Mogollon seemingly came out of nowhere to put up a monster debut season with the DSL White Sox. Signing for just $35,000 in January of 2023, the middle infielder hit over .300 and slugged 10 home runs while also walking almost as often as he struck out. On top of that, he showed off his base-stealing prowess with 11 swipes on the season. He split time between second base and shortstop, although he may project better at second long term.

If his bat continues to play as he rises up the minor league ranks, however, it won’t matter where he ends up defensively.

27. Zach DeLoach, OF

A former second-round pick, Zach DeLoach was acquired in a trade that sent Gregory Santos to the Mariners in February. His minor league career so far has been solid, if not unspectacular. However, he did find something in 2023 that allowed him to tap into his raw power, slugging 23 home runs at the Triple-A level.

While he isn’t considered an elite defensive outfielder, he is capable of manning all three spots at a respectable level. There’s no question can be a fourth outfielder and left-handed platoon player at the MLB level.

28. Jordan Leasure, RHP

The second pitching prospect acquired in the Lynn-Kelly deal with the Dodgers was right-hander Jordan Leasure. Leasure is purely a reliever, albeit with high-leverage upside. He utilizes both a fastball and a slider, with MLB Pipeline giving an 80 grade on the fastball, making it his best pitch. His slider, however, is not far behind with elite spin rates and movement.

He was pitching well for the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate before receiving a promotion to Triple-A upon being traded to the Sox. He ran into some struggles after the deal, but maintained an elite strikeout rate, fanning  23 batters in just 13.1 innings.

29. Shane Drohan, LHP

The White Sox acquired Shane Drohan from the Red Sox through the Rule-5 Draft this offseason, and if he didn’t require shoulder surgery, he would have been given a chance to earn a spot in the rotation. He was lights out at the Double-A level last season, however, ran into command issues after a promotion to the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate. If he can regain that command, he can be a back-end starter at the MLB level.

30. Abraham Nunez, OF

Abraham Nunez tied with Luis Reyes for the largest signing bonus commanded in the White Sox most 2023 international class. While Reyes was ranked higher by most outlets, Nunez was the one who broke out in the 2023 season in the Dominican Summer League before cooling off a bit. Still, the 18-year-old outfielder maintained a batting average just a hair below .300 with a 136 wRC+ and walked more often than he struck out. He also has the athleticism to be a threat on the base paths, although he could slow down a tick as he matures.

With his five-tool ability and his advanced approach at the plate, Nunez’s stateside debut will be one to watch in 2024.

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

Featured Image: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

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