Top White Sox Prospect Report, 5/5

Primer:

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.

Hitter of the week: Yoan Moncada
Pitcher of the week: Dane Dunning

1. Yoan Moncada, 2B

After a small rough patch last week, Moncada bounced back this week and then some. He posted big overall numbers but perhaps more importantly, he kept the strikeouts at bay, being rung up just 4 times in 26 PA. The date after which the White Sox can call up Moncada without burning a year of control, May 15th, is rapidly approaching and he’s getting hot at the right time. That said, the team isn’t in a huge rush to bring him up, and he may stay down a while longer to continue refining his defense and showing this kind of performance consistently.

Last Week: .478/.538/.652 (1.191 OPS), 11 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 4 K in 26 PA
Season Line: .340/.413/.536 (.949 OPS), 33 H, 2 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 6/8 SB/ATT, 11.3 BB%, 29.2 K%, .448 BABIP in 106 PA

2. Lucas Giolito, RHP

Giolito continues to struggle, particularly with his fastball in command and velocity. In his one start in the past week, he lasted just 4.1 innings and got hit around, including a pair of home runs. Watching the game on CSN, it appeared he was in the l0w 90’s with his fastball, but splitting the plate too often. The breaking pitches were somewhat effective. With revised mechanics, it is becoming clear that Giolito’s development is taking a longer road than originally hoped for, and patience will be required.

Last Week: 0-1, 4.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 HRA in 1 GS
Season Line: 0-4, 7.33 ERA, 6.37 FIP, 1.67 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, 5.4 BB/9, 2.3 HR/9 in 5 GS, 23.1 IP

3. Michael Kopech, RHP

Kopech didn’t have his best start this past week, giving up three runs. But he booked two key development milestones: he lasted 6 innings, and he kept the walks minimized. Those are key elements for him going forward. And yes, he also struck out another bunch of guys, as he keeps missing bats.

Last Week: 0-1, 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 HRA
Season Line: 1-2, 3.00 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 1.21 WHIP, 13.5 K/9, 6.0 BB/9, 0.80 HR/9 in 5 GS, 24.0 IP

4. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP

Reynaldo posted his strongest start of 2017 on April 30th, for his only appearance in the past week. He kept hitters at bay, missed bats and filled up the strike zone. Lopez appears to be getting closer to major league ready, though as with others, there is no rush here. If the White Sox have a need they are more likely to call up Carson Fulmer at this point, but Lopez may not be very far behind.

Last Week: 1-0, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K in 1 GS
Season Line: 2-1, 4.10 ERA, 5.29 FIP, 1.41 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 4.8 BB/9, 1.7 HR/9 in 5 GS, 26.1 IP

5. Zack Collins, C

Similar to Moncada, the second highest-ranked hitting prospect in the system bounced back from a rough patch quite nicely. He hit for average, showed some power, and kept the strikeouts down. Collins’ defense has been noticeably improved this season, and so far he’s thrown out half the runners attempting to steal (12-for-24). The fact that he has struggled at the plate at times shouldn’t be a huge concern, as the defense was the area where there was the most doubt. The bat is likely to come around, and the low BABIP value hints at that as well.

Last Week: .294/.400/.529 (.929 OPS), 5 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 4 K in 20 PA
Season Line: .200/.378/.347 (.724 OPS), 15 H, 5 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 22.4 BB%, 26.5 K%, .271 BABIP in 98 PA

6. Carson Fulmer, RHP

Fulmer made one start in the last seven days, and uncharacteristically struggled with control, walking five batters. But in that same start, he coaxed 10 ground balls versus 5 fly balls, and only allowed a pair of hits and the one earned run. Considering he’s having an overall strong campaign in Charlotte thus far, the fact that he battled through a start where he clearly wasn’t getting his pitches where he wanted can be interpreted positively as well as negatively. Chalk this up to “let’s see what happens next time”.

Last Week: 1-0, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 2 K in 1 GS
Season Line: 3-1, 3.18 ERA, 4.30 FIP, 1.24 WHIP, 6.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9 in 5 GS, 28.1 IP

7. Alec Hansen, RHP

Hansen’s start on the 30th was in some ways his most effective, though perhaps not the most dominant. He only allowed a hit and a walk, but he only whiffed three and have up 15 fly balls versus 3 on the ground. Jarret Seidler of Baseball Prospectus was at the game to witness the high wire act, and wrote up an in-depth report on it. The fact that Hansen looked as impressive as he did, despite the edgy results, is encouraging. Hansen isn’t likely to move up quickly like Dane Dunning did, as the team wants to slow-walk him through the system so that he can focus on consistency.

Last Week: 0-1, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Season Line: 1-1, 3.33 ERA, 2.87 FIP, 1.36 WHIP, 8.9 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 0.0 HR/9 in 5 GS, 24.1 IP

8. Zack Burdi, RHP

Burdi had another nearly flawless week, as he continues to make the case he may be ready for the bigs. Not only did he give up just the one hit and kept missing bats, he also didn’t walk anyone and hasn’t walked anyone in his last 7 innings of work. He has thrown 72% of his pitches for strikes in that period. With his velocity and movement, if he’s throwing strikes that consistently, then he’s likely an effective major league reliever right now.

Last Week: 0-0, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
Season Line: 0-1, 2.53 ERA, 1.55 FIP, 1.03 WHIP, 15.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 0.0 HR/9 in 9 G, 10.2 IP

9. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF

Basabe was effective in core results in the past week, raising his overall line for the season, but he also struck out at a pretty high rate. This very talented outfielder is challenged in High-A, and the team likely keeps him there unless or until he can make more consistent contact. Nevertheless, there are plenty of encouraging signs early on for Basabe.

Last Week: .292/.320/.417 (.737 OPS), 7 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 BB, 9 K in 26 PA
Season Line: .260/.329/.390 (.719 OPS), 20 H, 1 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4/5 SB/ATT, 9.2 BB%, 26.4 K%, .358 BABIP in 87 PA

10. Dane Dunning, RHP

Dunning is so hot right now. Dunning. Dane (as opposed to his brother Jake who is also in the system) was promoted to Winston-Salem after dominating the South Atlantic League, and didn’t skip a beat. In his first start against Carolina League hitters, he had pretty much the same result’s he’s been putting up previously. He hasn’t allowed an earned run since the first inning of his first game of 2017, a 30-inning stretch.

Last Week: 1-0, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K
Season Line: 3-0, 0.29 ERA, 1.63 FIP, 0.61 WHIP, 11.0 K/9, 0.9 BB/9, 0.0 HR/9 in 5 GS, 31 IP

11. Jordan Stephens, RHP
*Currently Injured*

12. Alex Call, OF
*Currently Injured – chest/rib area*

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 in 45 PA

13. Spencer Adams, RHP

Spencer’s one start this past week was in some ways a microcosm of who he is as a pitcher. He got hit a little bit and didn’t miss a ton of bats, but he pounded the strike zone, kept runs off the board and got the job done anyway. It seems clear at this point that Adams isn’t going back to the blazing velocity he once had, but he’s a more refined pitcher now who still gets outs in a League where he’s quite young (he just turned 21 in April).

Last Week: 1-0, 6 IP, 8 H, 0 ER (1 UER), 1 BB, 4 K
Season Line: 3-0, 2.93 ERA, 2.24 FIP, 1.24 WHIP, 7.0 K/9, 1.2 BB/9, 0.3 HR/9 in 5 GS, 30.2 IP

14. Jameson Fisher, OF

After a hot start, Fisher has been scuffling a bit in recent weeks. Interestingly though, he isn’t striking out much even as he struggles. It’s possible he had some bad BABIP luck, and there is plenty of reason to believe he will bounce back soon. In fact this week is already a pretty good step back up from last week. It would be a surprise to see Fisher staying in Kannapolis all year, unless he struggles pretty badly.

Last Week: .250/.423/.350 (.773 OPS), 5 H, 2 2B, 6 BB, 5 K in 26 PA
Season Line: .244/.343/.337 (.680 OPS), 21 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 2/3 SB/ATT, 11.7 BB%, 21.4 K%, .308 BABIP in 103 PA

15. Luis Curbelo, SS
*In extended spring training*

Bonus:

23. Eddy Alvarez, SS/2B

It was a bit of a surprise when Alvarez was assigned to AA Birmingham to open 2017, as he finished the previous year in AAA with Charlotte. Perhaps equally surprising, he hit just .158 in his first 16 games there and struck out an uncharacteristic 14 times in 70 PA. Since then though, he’s done a 180 and has been on a 10-game tear. He’s cut down the strikeouts pretty dramatically too, only doing so twice in the past week of play (26 PA). It’s hard to say where Alvarez fits in the puzzle for the White Sox, but if he continues hitting like this he’ll eventually play his way back to AAA and the doorstep of the majors.

Last Week: .478/.520/.609 (1.129 OPS), 4 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 BB, 2 K in 26 PA
Season Line: .250/.367/.348 (.715 OPS), 23 H, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 2/4 SB/ATT, 15. BB%, 17.9 K%, .278 BABIP in 106 PA

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