Pitchface: The window to the soul

Ok, everyone, here it is, the White Sox prospect ranking you’ve all been waiting for. Pitching tools like fastball velocity and mechanics are overrated; we all know the best way to evaluate pitchers in the minor leagues is by the quality of their pitchface. What emotion are they putting forth? How funny do they look? Are they in pain? We tackle the big questions here.

11. Jordan Guerrero

Jordan Guerrero (MILB.com) had a rough outing in last yesterday's Birmingham loss.

(MILB.com)

We're easing into it. None of us could reasonably expect to look any more composed in this situation. The face is an important part of throwing a baseball, and the resigned grimace is understandable. This is a pretty typical pitchface, and we thank Jordan Guerrero for making it.

10. Michael Kopech

Michael Kopech pitches for the Barons (Ron Vesely)

Michael Kopech pitches for the Barons (Ron Vesely)

What really stands out about Kopech's pitchface is the composure. He doesn't look like someone about to throw 101 mph, but he is. Somehow, he just manages to look less dumb doing it than everyone else. Maybe that's just part of being a top prospect.

9. Jordan Stephens

Jordan Stephens (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Jordan Stephens (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

If Guerrero has a grimace and Kopech flashes the Blue Steel, here's a third variety of pitchface: cheeks-puffed-out-trepidation. Who among us cannot empathize? Stephens truly represents the everyman, at least here.

8. Tyler Danish

Tyler Danish (image via Michael Wade)

Tyler Danish (image via Michael Wade)

Tyler Danish hopes this ball goes where he wants it to go, and so do we.  The eyebrow arch may serve the purpose of intimidating it towards this end. This is a look of anticipation.

7. Ian Hamilton

Ian Hamilton delivers a pitch for Washington State (via WSU Athletic Communications)

Ian Hamilton delivers a pitch for Washington State (via WSU Athletic Communications)

Did Hamilton mean to throw this ball? Given the situation, we must assume that he did. But what a look. It's as if he stepped into an H.P. Lovecraft story and suddenly found himself eye-to-eye with a nameless, ageless horror and was forever changed by what he saw. Are there traces of regret? Panic? It's hard to say.

6. Dane Dunning

Dane Dunning delivers a pitch for the Dash (James Geiser/Winston-Salem Dash)

Dane Dunning delivers a pitch for the Dash (James Geiser/Winston-Salem Dash)

Here we have a cheeks-puffed remix. Perhaps blowing on the ball right after it leaves your fingertips adds that crucial 0.001 miles per hour needed for the whiff. Dunning's goggle specs also add to this. More players should wear glasses and we are not biased about this.

5. Carson Fulmer

Carson Fulmer struck out for in three innings of work on Friday. (Jody Stewart / Winston-Salem Dash)

(Jody Stewart / Winston-Salem Dash)

The specs! The intensity! The effort! The head tilt! It's possible that one day Dunning and Fulmer will pitch in the same game for the Sox, and it will be so hard to tell them apart by means other than context clues. Truly, a golden era awaits for glasses-wearing Sox fans. Pitchers. Glasses-wearing Sox pitchers.

4. Matt Purke

(MILB.com)

(MILB.com)

There's a lot going on here, and it's all good. The glasses awakening continues. The stache adds bravura and general atmosphere. The squint challenges you to swing, just try it. This is what baseball looked like in the days of the Wild West, probably.

3. Lucas Giolito

(Jim Mone/AP)

(Jim Mone/AP)

Giolito's had an up-and-down year, but one thing remains consistent. Also notable in this picture is his elbow. What's happening there? Does that just happen when people pitch? His skeleton is moving too fast for his skin to keep up. What a horrifying thought. Ok, we're deviating here.

2. Reynaldo Lopez

(Rick Nelson/MiLB.com)

(Rick Nelson/MiLB.com)

Chicago's potential next hot-ticket call-up could be this face, and it's easy to see why. That makes the Sox three for three when it comes to returns on the Adam Eaton trade; that crafty Hahn move netted the team several major-league ready pitchfaces in Dunning, Giolito, and Lopez. The Rickhahnaissance continues.

1. Alec Hansen

Alec Hansen's delivery and pearly whites, for Great Falls Voyagers, 2016 (photo provided to FutureSox by Michael Grennell)

Alec Hansen's delivery and pearly whites, for Great Falls Voyagers, 2016 (photo provided to FutureSox by Michael Grennell)

Could it be anyone else? Hansen is not only the top White Sox pitchface prospect, he's one of the elites of professional baseball. There's nothing I can add here. Just appreciate it. In fact, here are a few bonus pictures of Hansen...

Hansen impresses in first start with Kannapolis. Photo from AZL. (Kim Contreras / FutureSox)

Hansen impresses in first start with Kannapolis. Photo from AZL. (Kim Contreras / FutureSox)

Alec Hansen scream face delivery, for Great Falls Voyagers, 2016 (photo provided to FutureSox by Michael Grennell)

Alec Hansen scream face delivery, for Great Falls Voyagers, 2016 (photo provided to FutureSox by Michael Grennell)

Alec Hansen pitching for Great Falls Voyagers, 2016 (photo provided to FutureSox by Michael Grennell)

Alec Hansen pitching for Great Falls Voyagers, 2016 (photo provided to FutureSox by Michael Grennell)

Alec Hansen throws a biting breaking pitch for Great Falls Voyagers, 2016 (photo provided to FutureSox by Michael Grennell)

Alec Hansen throws a biting breaking pitch for Great Falls Voyagers, 2016 (photo provided to FutureSox by Michael Grennell)

***Note on the Hansen photos - they were taken by our own Kim Contreras, and friend of the site Michael Grennell. They can all be used elsewhere with our permission, as long as they are properly credited as you see above.

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Filed under: The Silo

Tags: Alec Hansen

Comments

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    They have been playing and writing about baseball for more than a hundred years and finally an article on pitchface. Hillarious. I've often wondered why they use those awful expressions for their profile picture. Sometimes they're downright scary. Alec Hanson and Carson Fulmer - Yikes! This is probably the best example of why sports writing from a women's perspective is like a comedian telling a joke about something we all know about but never talk about so when we hear it for the first time it's funny. Nice article.

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    I just remembered the one that might bug me the most - Victor Diaz. Look him up on MILB.com.

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