Despite Chris Getz and the rest of this front office insisting that they fully plan on putting together a competitive roster in 2024, it has become very clear that this year will act as more of a reset. With sights set more realistically on 2025, Sox fans can expect to see some brand-new faces throughout the season.
With holes existing on the current roster, and trade rumors surrounding several players on the roster, the Sox will have to rely on organizational depth to fill a complete roster this season. Because of this, several prospects in the White Sox system have a chance to make their MLB debuts, whether it be on opening day or at some point later this season.
It is hard to believe that the emergence of Colson Montgomery didn’t play a part in the decision to not pick up Tim Anderson’s club option. The consensus top prospect in the Sox organization, Montgomery is widely regarded as an elite prospect knocking on the door to the MLB roster.
It is becoming more common for elite prospects to be called up sooner rather than later, and while he has not reached the Triple-A level yet and has less than 200 plate appearances for Double-A Birmingham, his presence at the plate is more than advanced enough for him to handle the pitching. His stint in the Arizona Fall League allowed him to catch up on the time he lost due to injury, and it is becoming increasingly likely that he will be called upon as the franchise shortstop sometime in 2024.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 70%
With Jake Burger traded to Miami and Yoan Moncada being in the final guaranteed year of his contract, Bryan Ramos could be in line for a shot at playing time in 2024. After accumulating over 340 plate appearances at the Double-A level, he is expected to join the Triple-A Charlotte Knights in 2024.
With Moncada dealing with nagging injuries all last season, it has to at least be considered that the Sox will need an injury replacement at some point this season. Ramos figures to be the next man up, so it is more likely than not that we will see him in a Sox uniform at some point this season.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 60%
The headliner of the Lucas Giolito trade, Quero is a consensus top-100 prospect who the Sox think can join the team at some point this year. A patient approach should be taken with Quero, however, as he will be just turning 21 years old as the season kicks off. He was young for the Double-A level in 2023, and while he didn’t look overmatched, he also didn’t light up the stat sheet the way you would hope a top-100 prospect would.
It is clear he is capable of being the long-term solution at catcher for the Sox, however, a September promotion would be more fitting for where he is in his development.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 45%
Tatum was one of the big breakout candidates of the 2023 season for the White Sox minor league system and looks like he can be a future contributor as a fourth outfielder at some point in his career. While he was fantastic at the High-A level, his numbers dipped after his promotion to Double-A Birmingham, where his propensity to strike out caught up to him.
The 24-year-old still gets on base frequently and is electric in the field and on the basepaths, so there’s a path to him filling a role on the MLB club. He still has a lot to clean up at the plate, however, and 2025 should be a more realistic target.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 35%
In 2023, Wilfred Veras transformed himself from a DH only to a remotely competent outfielder with impact potential at the plate. He reached the Double-A level at just 20 years old and proved he belonged with a .300 batting average and solid power numbers. His approach at the plate still needs to be refined, as evidenced by his high strikeout and low walk rates, and the Sox left him off their 40-man roster despite his Rule 5 draft eligibility, so it does not appear they see him as a close to MLB-ready prospect. Still, with another big season and improving his patience at the plate, he could force the issue, even though 2025 is much more realistic.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 20%
The White Sox’s first-round pick in 2023, Jacob Gonzalez was one of the best college hitters in the entire draft class. He is viewed as a prospect who shouldn’t need too much time in the minors, although his numbers in his professional debut didn’t exactly put him firmly in the Sox 2024 plans. His long-term defensive position has also yet to be fully determined, so more time in the minor league levels will likely be required for Gonzalez.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 10%
The Sox couldn’t have asked for much more out of Nastrini after acquiring him for Lance Lynn at the trade deadline. With a 2.41 FIP and 31 strikeouts in 21.1 innings at the Double-A level after the trade, he received a deserved promotion to Triple-A Charlotte. The White Sox have both a short-term and long-term need for starting pitching, especially with a Dylan Cease trade appearing to be imminent, and Nastrini has put himself at the front of the line to contribute in 2024. He could very well be competing for an opening day rotation spot, but regardless it appears more likely than not that we will see him at some point in 2024.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 90%
The White Sox have been aggressive with Mena’s development every step of the way, and 2023 was no different. He began the season in Double-A as the second youngest pitcher at the level behind only Eury Perez, and was able to hold his own against older competition. He eventually joined Nastrini in being promoted to Triple-A, where he made 4 starts and held a 5.72 ERA (although his 3.72 FIP paints a better picture of his ability). He doesn’t have quite the ceiling as some other pitchers in the Sox system but appears on track to become an eventual mid-rotation starter at the MLB level. An opening day rotation spot isn’t likely, however with the status of this rotation in flux, an eventual call-up in 2024 is definitely in the cards.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 65%
Viewed as one of the most pro-ready pitchers in the 2022 draft, Cannon quickly ascended to the Double-A level in his first full professional season. While he got off to a slow start, he was able to string together a solid finish to the season. It is unclear if he will repeat at the Double-A level or be called up to the Triple-A rotation, however, he should not be counted out as a potential spot starter in the 2024 season.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 50%
Acquired for Jake Burger at the trade deadline, Eder’s season did not go according to plan after the trade. His 11.42 ERA in 17.1 innings with the Double-A Birmingham Barons does not paint the full picture of Eder’s future outlook, however, as the main accomplishment of his season was staying healthy after missing all of 2022 recovering from Tommy John Surgery. When fully healthy, Eder has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the Sox organization not named Noah Schultz, and if he can regain his 2021 success, he could be called on sooner rather than later.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 45%
Bush, who was acquired alongside Edgar Quero for Giolito, was viewed by the organization as close to MLB-ready when they made the trade, although his 2023 season left some to be desired. His 2022 performance is a better indicator of his upside as a back-of-the-rotation innings eater, where he pounded the strike zone and pitched efficiently through his starts. The 6’6 lefty could repeat at the Double-A level to begin 2024 but could be called upon as depth depending on how the season goes.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 40%
Keener, the Sox 2023 third-round draft pick, only reached Single-A Kannapolis this past season, so his inclusion on this list might seem odd. However, he was discussed as a fast mover among pitchers in this draft class, and was even mentioned by MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo identified him as one of the draft prospects who could be on the fast track to the MLB. 2024 is probably a bit too aggressive still, especially considering the options ahead of him. However, Keener is a pitcher who won’t need too much developmental time and could force the issue with a strong start to the season.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 25%
Despite what some writers will say to drive clicks, Noah Schultz is not ready to join the White Sox and won’t be for probably another two seasons. While he is the clear-cut top pitching prospect in the system and a consensus top-100 prospect, Schultz is just 19 years old and has only logged 27 minor league innings. While he was nearly unhittable in his limited time, patience must be preached with his development for him to reach his front-end starter ceiling. Never say never, but don’t get your hopes up on seeing Schultz on the south side anytime soon.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 5%
Another piece involved in the Lynn/Kelly trade, Jordan Leasure is one of the better relief pitching prospects in all of baseball with double-plus stuff and high leverage upside. The Sox promoted him to Triple-A upon acquiring him, and while his results could have been cleaner, his 15.5 strikeouts per 9 innings at the level are a clear indicator of his upside in an MLB bullpen. He doesn’t have much left to prove in the minors, so I would expect to see him called up pretty quickly, perhaps even on opening day.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 95%
A 6th round draft pick in 2022, Adler was viewed as one of the top relief pitchers in that entire draft class despite concerns about his ability to throw strikes. His double-plus stuff gives him high-leverage upside, and his walk rates, while still high, have been kept in check better than expected early in his minor league career. He may begin the 2024 season in Double-A, and as long as he doesn’t take a step back in his development, an MLB promotion this season isn’t overly far-fetched.
Chance of debuting in 2024: 50%
Follow us @SoxOn35th for more throughout the offseason!
Featured Image: MLB’s Arizona Fall League / Twitter