The Top Prospect Report is a new weekly piece here at FutureSox highlighting the top prospects in the system. More specifically, it will cover the top 15 prospects as classified by their most recent FS ranking.
This can serve as your one-stop shop to see weekly and season stat lines for all the high-end talent growing on the farm. Most players will have a few notes about their recent performance, while others may have more in-depth blurbs. How much a prospect is featured in a given week will be dictated by performance or relevant narratives.
1. Yoan Moncada, 2B
Yoan Moncada introduced himself to Charlotte and White Sox fans alike with a 3-for-6 night, including a walk, in his opening game. Going straight from Double-A to a short MLB stint with the Boston Red Sox, Triple-A seems like the perfect home for him. Service time considerations will keep him down through at least mid-May, but otherwise, he wouldn’t be long for Charlotte. There’s still some swing-and-miss in his game, but overall he has been a hitting machine with twelve hits, including a double and a pair of home runs. He’s also shown just how dynamic of a player he is with a pair of stolen bags in two attempts. It’s Moncada time in Charlotte.
Last Week: .343/.410/.543 (.953 OPS), 12 H, 2B, 2 HR, 2 SB, 4 BB, 11 K, 39 PA
Season Line: .343/.410/.543 (.953 OPS), 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 11.4 BB%, 28.6 K%, 39 PA
2. Lucas Giolito, RHP
Giolito’s debut start was a mixed bag. He had sharp off-speed stuff, getting a strikeout on an 80-MPH change up and dropping in a few 12-6 curveballs but his control unraveled late. A Chance Sisco double tacked on two final runs to end his night. While he notched a couple strikeouts on his fastball, his velocity was only topping out at 91 MPH. The stadium gun may have been off by a couple ticks as velocity was suppressed across the board, but Giolito’s average range is 93-96 MPH, so he was still on the lower end even with the radar gun adjustment. Efficacy isn’t a huge issue as Giolito has enough off-speed stuff in his arsenal to stay afloat but for a pitcher who’s known to run it up to 98 on occasion, it is something to keep an eye on. He quelled concerns a bit in his second start, an away game, where a presumably more accurate gun had him at 92-94. Giolito has consistently said it’s just about synchronizing his mechanics and using his legs more. He looks to be getting into that rhythm. In his second start, he was hitting the corners with his fastball but wasn’t able to locate his breaking stuff early. His command improved as his velocity dipped later in the game and he got the change up working, according to multiple Baseball America writers who were at the game. He still ended the night surrendering three runs and four walks over four innings and 90 pitches.
Last Week: 0-1, 7.56 ERA, 6 BB, 8 K, 2 GS, 8.1 IP
Season Line: 0-1, 7.56 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 6.5 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, 2 GS, 8.1 IP
3. Michael Kopech, RHP
Michael Kopech shined in his Double-A debut, an aggressive assignment to be sure, but one rightfully earned on the heels of a strong spring training. Kopech lit up the radar gun and printed strikeouts over 4.1 innings of work. Ten of his thirteen outs came via the strikeout. He threw 77 pitches and Kopech’s ability to go deeper into games will be something to keep tabs on. Having never thrown more than 65 innings in a single season, untested durability will be a story for Kopech this season. Three hits and two earned runs is certainly a nice way to open the year though.
Last Week: 0-0, 4.15 ERA, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 GS, 4.1 IP
Season Line: 0-0, 4.15 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 20.8 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, 2.1 HR/9, 1 GS, 4.1 IP
4. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP
Lopez flashed his gaudy stuff in his first two starts with the Charlotte Knights. He’s racked up the strikeouts but poor control has led to plenty of free passes. His command has slipped at times, leading to some hard hit balls in his first two starts and three home runs over 8.1 IP on the season. He had better control and showed good breaking stuff early in his start against Durham, but got wild late. Notching his first double-digit strikeout game is the early highlight of his year.
Last Week: 0-1, 6.48 ERA, 7 BB, 15 K, 2 GS, 8.1 IP
Season Line: 0-1, 6.48 ERA, 7.69 FIP, 16.2 K/9, 7.6 B/9, 3.2 HR/9, 2 GS, 8.1 IP
5. Zack Collins, C
Zack Collins opened his season with a prototypical Collins game, a walk and two doubles the opposite way. As a power hitter who can mash to all fields, Collins has stayed true to form thus far. His patient eye has him sitting with as many walks as strikeouts (6) and his production hasn’t suffered with three doubles and a home run to his name. The White Sox have every intention of Collins sticking at catcher, and he looked to be ahead of schedule defensively in Arizona. He’s thrown out six of eight would be base stealers, doing his best to discredit an average grade on his arm.
Last Week: .333/.467/.583 (1.050 OPS), 8 H, 3 2B, HR, 6 BB, 6 K, 2 RBI
Season Line: .333/.467/.583 (1.050 OPS), 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 20.0 BB%, 20.0 K%, 26 PA
6. Carson Fulmer, RHP
Carson Fulmer pitched well in his first start of the season, carrying over some late success last year in Charlotte. He went six innings, giving up two runs on six hits while striking out five and walking just one. It was a different story in his second start, where he got hit hard but also wasn’t helped much by his defense. When the smoke cleared, he’d given up five earned runs over five frames on his way to his first loss of the season.
Last Week: 1-1, 5.73 ERA, 2 BB, 8 K, 2 GS, 11.0 IP
Season Line: 1-1, 5.73 ERA, 5.18 FIP, 6.6 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, 1.6 HR/9, 2 GS, 11.0 IP
7. Alec Hansen, RHP
The darling of the 2016 draft class, Alec Hansen had a rough first outing. He was erratic with five walks and 80 pitches over 3.2 innings. The Lakewood Blueclaws put up three runs on four hits before Hansen got the hook. He was much sharper in his second start for the Intimidators, flashing that oft-mentioned potential with nine strikeouts to just one walk over five innings. The Braves were only able to muster one run on five hits but late runs gave Hansen a no-decision.
Last Week: 0-1, 4.15 ERA, 6 BB, 12 K, 2 GS, 8.2 IP
Season Line: 0-1, 4.15 ERA, 3.07 FIP, 12.5 K/9, 6.2 BB/9, 0 HR/9, 2 GS, 8.2 IP
8. Zack Burdi, RHP
Zack Burdi touched triple digits multiple times over 2.2 innings this week. He’s also one-for-one in save opportunities. The Downers Grove, IL native isn’t long for Charlotte and should see Chicago as soon as injuries crop up or a trade goes down.
Last Week: 0-0, 2.45 ERA, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 SV, 3.2 IP
Season Line: 0-0, 2.45 ERA, 14.7 K/9, 4.9 BB/9, 1 SV, 3.2 IP
9. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
Basabe is off to a rough start in High-A Winston-Salem, albeit in just 18 plate appearances (he missed a few games with an oblique injury). The toolsy outfielder has fanned six times and walked just once over that small sample. He did showcase his speed with two triples and stolen a base.
Last Week: .176/.222/.412 (.634 OPS), 3 H, 2 3B, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 SB, 18 PA
Season Line: 176/.222/.412 (.634 OPS), 2 3B, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 0.5 BB%, 33.3 K%, .125 BABIP, 18 PA
10. Dane Dunning, RHP
Dane Dunning has endeared himself early to White Sox fans, pitching remarkably well for Low-A Kannapolis. His first night on the bump, he penned six innings of one run ball with eight strikeouts and no walks. That was setting a high bar, but he exceeded it in his second start. Dunning tossed eight innings, giving up just three hits and no earned runs. He threw 75 percent of his pitches for strikes. The stat of the night was his 13 strikeouts, which has given him an eye-popping total to start the season. More impressive was another night of no walks. Dunning has yet to let up a free pass in 2017.
Last Week: 0-0 0.64 ERA, 21 K, 0 BB, 2 GS, 14 IP
Season Line: 0-0, 0.64 ERA, 0.86 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 0 BB/9, 0 HR/9, 2 GS, 14 IP
11. Jordan Stephens, RHP
12. Alex Call, OF
Alex Call opened 2017 with a skid but he’s picked it up the last few days. He now has nine hits on the season, three of them going for extra-bases. The 2016 3rd-rounder has also swiped two bags in three attempts.
Last Week: .265/.306/.382 (.688 OPS), 9 H, 1 3B, 2 2B, 1 BB, 8 K, 2 SB, 36 PA
Season Line: .265/.306/.382 (.688 OPS), 1 3B, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 2.8 BB%, 22.2 K%, .346 BABIP, 36 PA
13. Spencer Adams, RHP
Spencer Adams had a nice first start for the Birmingham Barons. He’s always had immaculate control and stayed true to that with just one walk over 4.2 innings. He gave up a home run in the fourth inning and was saddled with a loss despite throwing good enough to get a win. He pitched even better in his encore start, giving up three runs over seven innings. He tallied four strikeouts to no walks.
2017 will be an interesting year for Adams as he’s been overshadowed by the power arms recently infused into the system. With a consistently declining strikeout ratio, Adam’s ceiling has edged lower but the control is still there for him to potentially serve as more than depth in Chicago. With a crowded pipeline, he’ll need to assert himself.
Last Week: 0-2, 3.86 ERA, 8 K, 1 BB, 2 GS, 11.2 IP
Season Line: 0-2, 3.86 ERA, 3.29 FIP, 6.2 K/9, 0.8 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9, 2 GS, 11.2 IP
14. Jameson Fisher, OF
Jameson Fisher has now moved on to Low-A ball, where he’s been solid over 37 plate appearances. He has nine hits and four walks to eight strikeouts. His surprising stolen base clip last year has returned, with Fisher 2-for-2 in the early going.
Last Week: .310/.389/.379 (.768 OPS), 9 H, 2 2B, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 SB, 37 PA
Season Line: .310/.389/.379 (.768 OPS), 2 2B, 5 RBI, 2 SB, 10.8 BB%, 21.6 K%, .391 BABIP, 37 PA
15. Luis Curbelo, SS
*In extended spring training*
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Filed under: Top Prospect Report
Tags: Alec Hansen, Alex Call, Birmingham Barons, Carson Fulmer, Charlotte Knights, Chicago White Sox, dane dunning, Jameson Fisher, Kannapolis Intimidators, lucas giolito, Luis Alexander Basabe, Michael Kopech, reynaldo lopez, Spencer Adams, Winston-Salem Dash, Yoan Moncada, Zack Burdi, Zack Collins