The Top Prospect Report is a weekly post 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. FS Writers Matt Cassidy and Rob Young caught a round of affiliates over the weekend and saw some of these names in the flesh. Here’s a report on Alec Hansen and one on some Charlotte bats, with plenty more content on the docket in the coming days.
*Stats may not reflect last night’s results*
1. Yoan Moncada, 2B
It’s probably best to hold off on buying that Yoan Moncada shirsey. Not because the crown jewel of the farm system isn’t absolutely tearing the cover off the ball, but rather because he’s likely cemented in Charlotte for the moment. Moncada had logged just 207 plate appearances above High-A ahead of 2017 and Rick Hahn’s public comments paint a picture of wanting to see more sustained success before he gets the call. He’s currently at 133 PAs in Charlotte, so even at a 200-PA threshold, that’s still about early June. The White Sox employed a develop-at-the-majors approach with Carlos Rodon, and expedited Tim Anderson and Carson Fulmer for immediate rather than long-term returns. Fulmer has since been demoted back to the minors, while Anderson’s plate discipline is indicating a little more time in the oven may have been worth it. Don’t look for Chicago to be anything but pragmatic with Moncada. Any shuttling between Chicago and Charlotte is the last thing the White Sox want. When he arrives, he’ll be there for good. For now Charlotte fans can be wide-eyed for a little longer, like when Moncada went 3-for-4 with a home run, double, and stolen bag against the Gwinnett Braves on Sunday.
Last Week: .350/.417/.550 (.967 OPS), 7 H, 2B, HR, 3 BB, 4 K, PA
Season Line: .342/.414/.538 (.952 OPS), 40 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 11 RBI, 10 SB, 11.3 BB%, 26.3 K%, .442 BABIP, 133 PA
2. Lucas Giolito, RHP
Gioltio is still seeking his first win of the season and wasn’t sharp enough to get it on Monday. He gave up four earned runs on seven hits over five frames, and walked more (4) than he sent to the bench (3). He escaped trouble after walking a pair in the first, posted his only clean inning in the third, but unraveled in the fifth. That inning was a microcosm of his season, where two free passes were followed by hard contact and resulted in a four-run inning. FutureSox spoke with Giolito about completely steamrolling his delivery after making flawed adjustments with the Nationals.. He’s working his way out of the rubble to gain consistency but his timeline is longer than initially anticipated. Look for that Giolito Q&A later this week.
Last Week: 0-1, 7.20 ERA, 3 K, 4 BB, 1 GS, 5.0 IP
Season Line: 0-5, 7.31 ERA, 6.04 FIP, 9.85 K/9, 5.72 BB/9, 1.91 HR/9, 6 GS, 28.1 IP
3. Michael Kopech, RHP
Kopech got the win and a quality start for the Barons in his only outing this week. He gave up just two hits over six innings, blanking Pensacola until an Adrian Nieto solo shot in the sixth. Kopech tallied one of his higher pitch totals of the year at 102 with 63 going for strikes, so improving control is still a focal point for Kopech. A 5.40 BB/9 is certainly high but the 12.60 K/9 has worked as a noble counter-punch thus far. A 2.70 ERA through 30 innings pitched in his first Double-A stint is as good as any could have reasonably expected for the fireballer.
Last Week: 1-0, 1.50 ERA, 6 K, 2 BB, 1 GS, 6.0 IP
Season Line: 2-2, 2.70 ERA, 3.64 FIP, 5.40 K/9, 12.60 BB/9, 0.90 HR/9, 6 GS, 30.0 IP
4. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP
Lopez took the bump twice last week and his starts were night and day. FutureSox was on hand for Lopez’s May 6th start and a write-up on that will be out soon. He racked up seven strikeouts and limited the hits to two over 5.2 innings, but also allowed five free passes. Two of those walks would come around to score on an RBI double. His second outing was much stronger, where he gave up just one earned run over six innings, while striking out four. It was really an inverse of his first outing, as this time he had no walks but gave up eight hits. With the quality start, he got his fourth win of the season and lowered his season ERA to 3.55.
Last Week: 2-0, 2.41 ERA, 11 K, 5 BB, 2 GS, 11.2 IP
Season Line: 4-1, 3.55 ERA, 5.07 FIP, 9.84 K/9, 5.34 BB/9, 1.41 HR/9, 7 GS, 38.0 IP
5. Zack Collins, C
Collins seems to be back on track and was a hit machine with five singles and a triple in 18 at-bats. While his OBP has been stable throughout the year, the slugging percentage has left more to be desired. He ended a near two-week home run drought last night and now has three on the season. Part of that could be not getting much to drive in a rather weak line up or it’s just a slow start. Either way, the natural power is there so it’s just a matter of seeing it play in-game, which it certainly did at Miami and in a short stint last year.
Last Week: .353/.429/.471 (.900 OPS), 6 H, 3B, HR, 2 BB, 2 K, 21 PA
Season Line: .228/.387/.370 (.757 OPS), 21 H, 5 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 0 SB, 20.2 BB%, 23.5 K%, .297 BABIP, 119 PA
6. Carson Fulmer, RHP
Fulmer went six strong innings in his sole start of the week, giving up one earned run on a solo shot. After showing sporadic control on his May 2nd start (5 walks), Fulmer rebounded with just one on Sunday. That’s a lot more in line with what he’s done this season and control is really the barometer to watch with Fulmer. A .247 BABIP against and 81.4% strand rate means Fulmer’s FIP isn’t quite the 2.88 ERA he’s posted, but he’s still been arguably the most consistent starter for the Knights.
Last Week: 1-0, 1.50 ERA, 4 K, 1 BB, 1 GS, 6.0 IP
Season Line: 4-1, 2.88 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 6.55 K/9, 2.88 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9, 6 GS, 34.1 IP
7. Alec Hansen, RHP
Two FS writers were in attendance for Hansen’s weekend start, where he tossed a quality outing, going 6.0 innings with three earned runs on five hits. The strikeouts were there and the control was in check with a 7/1 K/BB ratio on the evening. His stuff declined as the game went on but he showed sharp offerings at the outset. For a much more in-depth look you can read our own Matt Cassidy’s report here. He just missed another quality start last night, going 5.2 innings with two earned runs on four hits. He had four strikeouts to two walks and picked up his second win of the year.
Last Week: 1-1, 4.02 ERA, 11 K, 3 BB, 2 GS, 11.2 IP
Season Line: 2-3, 3.56 ERA, 2.84 FIP, 9.20 K/9, 3.56 BB/9, 0.00 7 HR/9, GS, 36.0 IP
8. Zack Burdi, RHP
Burdi lacked save opportunities this week, but still tossed two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and one walk. His ERA is now at 2.13 and he has a K/9 just under 15. He also has yet to surrender a home run. All things considered, Burdi isn’t long for Charlotte.
Last Week: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 K, 1 BB, 2.0 IP
Season Line: 0-1, 2.13 ERA, 1.60 FIP, 14.92 K/9, 2.84 BB/9, HR/9, 3 SV, 1 BS, 12.2 IP
9. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
Basabe had a nice week, propped up by his demonstration of a good eye (7 walks to 3 strikeouts). He notched two doubles, scored six runs, and swiped a base. His .366 OBP over the last month and 13.3 percent walk rate on the season are both promising metrics.
Last Week: .158/.385/.263 (. OPS), 3 H, 2 2B, 7 BB, 3 K, 26 PA
Season Line: .240/.342/.365 (.707 OPS), 23 H, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 SB, 13.3 BB%, 23.0 K%, .319 BABIP, 113 PA
10. Dane Dunning, RHP
Dunning got rocked for the first time this season. He gave up three runs on five hits over 2.2 innings, while walking three batters. Interestingly, six of the mere eight outs he registered came via the strikeout. He worked his way around some trouble to post two relatively clean innings, but his luck ran out in the third. Dunning gave up a single and walk before a three-run homer sunk him. He got a whiff for the second out of the inning but was subsequently lifted. He had already thrown 74 pitches at that point and it’s possible that the Dash dugout felt he just didn’t have it and gave him the early hook.
Last Week: 0-0, 10.13 ERA, 6 K, 3 BB, 1 GS, 2.2 IP
Low-A: 3-0, 0.35 ERA, 1.40 FIP, 11.42 K/9, 0.69 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9, 4 GS, 26.0 IP
High-A: 0-0, 3.52 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 12.91 K/9, 4.70 BB/9, 1.17 HR/9, 2 GS, 7.2 IP
11. Jordan Stephens, RHP
*Currently Injured, but now throwing in Extended Spring Training and should return soon*
12. Alex Call, OF
*Currently Injured – chest/rib area, no ETA on return*
Last Week: Did Not Play
Season Line: .244/.311/.366 (.677 OPS), 10 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, 6.7 BB%, 24.4 K%, .333 BABIP, 45 PA
13. Spencer Adams, RHP
Adams had a rough weekend outing for the Barons, as Mississippi plated five runs on nine hits over his 6.1 innings of work. Classic Adams didn’t walk anyone and got seven strikeouts but was uncharacteristically plagued by the long ball. He gave up two homers, which accounted for the bulk of the scoring. Adams got hit hard again in last night’s start, charged with four runs on seven hits over 4.2 frames. He gave up another home run, so it was really the week of the long ball for Adams.
Last Week: 0-1, 7.36 ERA, 9 K, 1 BB, 2 GS, 11.0 IP
Season Line: 1-5, 4.10 ERA, 2.75 FIP, 7.54 K/9, 0.97 BB/9, 0.73 HR/9, 7 GS, 41.2 IP
14. Jameson Fisher, OF
Fisher has been mired in a bit of a slump, slashing .221/.318/.351 over the last month. He had just three hits this week, although two of them went for extra bases. He’s just under that 25-percent K-rate threshold for the season, which is higher than you’d like to see in A-ball. He’s got decent plate discipline, so that’s something he should be able to curb as the season chugs along.
Last Week: .176/.263/.353 (.616 OPS), 3 H, 2B, 3B, 2 BB, 8 K, 19 PA
Season Line: .245/.339/.358 (.697 OPS), 26 H, 5 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 2 SB, 11.2 BB%, 24.8 K%, .329 BABIP, 125 PA
15. Luis Curbelo, SS
*In extended spring training*
21. Micker Adolfo, OF
Adolfo was signed for a team record $1.6 million bonus in the 2013 international signing period, signaling Chicago’s true re-entry as an international player. With all eyes on what the White Sox will do in regards to landing Luis Robert in this signing period, it’s easy to forget Adolfo one time carried quite a bit of hype himself. MLB Pipeline had him ranked the #2 talent in that period, just behind Eloy Jimenez and ahead of the likes of Gleyber Torres (#3) and Rafael Devers (#6). He’s developed on a slower track than his cohorts, but his high upside can’t be lost. Plagued by injuries, a broken leg in 2015 and a broken hamate bone in 2016, Adolfo hasn’t really had the luxury of getting into a groove.
That all appears to be changing. The outfielder with a veritable toolshed has put himself back on the map with a strong start to 2017. Featuring big-time power and a legitimately plus-arm, the question has surrounded his raw hit tool as his strikeout rate ballooned above 30-percent at Low-A Kannapolis last season. Repeating the level as a 20-year old, Adolfo has dropped his K-rate to 24.5%. His power is starting to play in games as well, as he’s totaled eight doubles, a triple, and a home run on the season. FutureSox’s Rob Young saw Adolfo this past week and thinks something’s clicked for the high-ceiling outfielder, citing a refined approach at the plate. Adolfo’s truly been on a tear as of late and has now pushed his hitting streak to 13 games. If Adolfo’s starting to scratch his ceiling, then the White Sox’s budding farm system just got that much more interesting.
Last Week: .429/.478/.667 (1.145 OPS), 10 H, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 BB, 5 K, 27 PA
Season Line: .319/.386/.451 (.837 OPS), 29 H, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 0 SB, 3.9 BB%, 24.5 K%, .431 BABIP, 102 PA
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