White Sox Top Prospect Report, 6/16

Primer:

The Top Prospect Report is a weekly post here at FutureSox highlighting performances of the top prospects in the system. More specifically, it will cover the top 15 prospects (plus an occasional bonus or two) 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.

*Stats may not reflect last night’s results*

Hitter of the week: C Zack Collins
Pitcher of the week: RHP Spencer Adams

1. Yoan Moncada, 2B (Triple-A Charlotte)

Moncada was a walk machine this week, taking a free base in each contest, including a three-walk effort on June 9th. He hit a home run in that game as well and added a double later in the week to make two out of his three hits go for extra bases. That’s how you wind up with a .918 OPS over a week span while hitting just .188. Nine walks to six strikeouts is always a good sign and while the K-rate is still creeping near 30 percent, a 14.0 percent walk rate in a fairly deep Charlotte line up can’t be overlooked.

Last Week: .188/.480/.438 (.913 OPS), 3 H, 2B, HR, 9 BB, 6 K, 25 PA
Season Line: .275/.374/.430 (.804 OPS), 57 H, 7 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 19 RBI, 13 SB, 14.0 BB%, 28.4 K%, .376 BABIP, 243 PA

2. Lucas Giolito, RHP (Triple-A Charlotte)

Giolito just missed a quality start when he took the bump against the Gwinnett Braves. He didn’t give up a hit until the 3rd inning and then got into some trouble with back to back walks. He got out of it with a double play and cruised through the sixth. A rough 7th inning skewed an otherwise solid outing, where he gave up all three of his runs and walked his fourth batter. While he didn’t finish the frame, it was nice to see Giolito go deep into the game. It was just the second time all season he made it into the 7th and 103 pitches marks one of his highest totals.

Last Week: 0-1, 4.05 ERA, 5 K, 4 BB, 1 GS, 6.2 IP
Season Line: 2-6, 4.86 ERA, 4.86 FIP, 8.86 K/9, 4.43 BB/9, 1.29 HR/9, 12 GS, 63.0 IP

3. Michael Kopech, RHP (Double-A Birmingham)

It was an abridged outing for Kopech in his lone start this week, where the righty went just 3.2 innings. He ran into control problems early, walking four batters and racking up plenty of pitches. 91 pitches in the 4th underscores the inefficiency but he still managed to give up just one earned run on three hits. The stuff is beyond excellent, and a 12.1 K/9 helps the fireballer get away with fringe control but a 5.81 BB/9 is troubling even with context. Kopech is just 21 years-old and already in Double-A, so he certainly has time on his side. That said, the BB/9 will continue to be the focal point metric because it’s really all that’s standing between Kopech and even further acceleration up the system.

Last Week: 0-0, 2.45 ERA, 3 K, 4 BB, 1 GS, 3.2 IP
Season Line: 4-3, 2.90 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 12.1 K/9, 5.8 BB/9, 0.7 HR/9, 12 GS, 62.0 IP

4. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP (Triple-A Charlotte)

Two rehab starts for James Shields (June 8th and June 13th) and a rehab assignment for Carlos Rodon (June 11th) pushed Lopez back to the 14th, where he was then a late scratch due to an undisclosed personal matter. Assuming everything is all good with the righty, he’s expected to make a start either this weekend or early next week.

Last Week: Did not pitch 
Season Line: 5-3, 3.82 ERA, 4.44 FIP, 8.32 K/9, 3.82 BB/9, 1.09 HR/9, 12 GS, 66.0 IP

5. Zack Collins, C (High-A Winston-Salem)

Have yourself a week Zack Collins. Save for an 0-5, three strikeout blip against the Salem Red Sox, Collins raked last week. His standout game was on Tuesday when he went 2-for-3 with a walk, double, and home run. His four walks to six strikeouts is more around the norm for Collins, who is still battling a high K-rate. The .229 average may be worrisome at face value, but it’s suppressed a bit by a .288 BABIP. Collins’ main priority is to get on base and hit for power, which he’s done successfully (.390 OBP and .234 ISO). With improving defense, Collins doesn’t have to hit .280 to be a very valuable piece, although he has the hit tool to improve to such as mark.

Last Week: .278/.409/.667 (1.076 OPS), 5 H, 2B, 2 HR, 4 BB, 6 K, 22 PA
Season Line: .229/.390/.464 (.854 OPS), 44 H, 11 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 29 RBI, 0 SB, 20.0 BB%, 27.6 K%, .288 BABIP, 246 PA

6. Carson Fulmer, RHP (Triple-A Charlotte)

Fulmer put together a good outing against Gwinnett, going five scoreless innings and walking just one batter. He surrendered four hits and a triple was really the only hard contact against him. Some of that new goodwill dissipated with his start last night when his struggles resurfaced. He only lasted four innings and was tagged with three runs. He walked two and wasn’t able to generate a strikeout, which limited his ability to get out of early jams. So a mixed week for Fulmer in what’s become a very mixed season.

Last Week: 1-0, 3.00 ERA, 2 K, 3 BB, 2 GS, 9.0 IP
Season Line: 6-3, 4.43 ERA, 5.46 FIP, 6.54 K/9, 3.98 BB/9, 1.42 HR/9, 13 GS, 67.1 IP

7. Alec Hansen, RHP (Low-A Kannapolis)

Another day, another quality start for Alec Hansen who shut out Delmarva over six innings. He struck out eight hitters and only allowed one free pass, while throwing 70 percent of his 97 pitches for strikes. Not only did he get the win but he continues to go deep into games, which was an initial concern back when his profile was sprinkled with poor control questions from college. He retired ten straight batters from the third into the sixth and has been straight-up dominant for now-first-place Kannapolis. That was true in last night’s start as well, another gem from Hansen, where he spun six innings of two hit ball with ten strikeouts and just one walk. The only blemish was a home run by the second hitter of the game but it was lights out from there. The White Sox want to continue to build confidence in him after such a demoralizing junior season at Oklahoma, so they’re likely comfortable with him outweighing the competition. However, expect them to challenge Hansen relatively soon as he’s proving to be a true mismatch in Low-A.

Last Week: 2-0, 0.75 ERA, 18 K, 2 BB, 2 GS, 12.0 IP
Season Line: 6-3, 2.49 ERA, 2.58 FIP, 11.07 K/9, 2.97 BB/9, 0.27 HR/9, 13 GS, 72.2 IP

8. Zack Burdi, RHP (Triple-A Charlotte)

Burdi once again got a look in a non-save situation when he pitched a scoreless eighth with a 5-0 lead. A walk, strikeout, and two quick grounders gave him a nice bounce back outing after rough back-to-back appearances last week. Then last night he got a five-out save, retiring three batters via the strikeout. Fun fact: Burdi has yet to allow a home run over 23.1 innings this year.

Last Week: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4 K, 2 BB, 1 SV, 2 G, 2.2 IP
Season Line: 0-4, 5.01 ERA, 2.49 FIP, 13.11 K/9, 5.01 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9, 6 SV, 2 BS, 21 G, 23.1 IP

9. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF (High-A Winston-Salem)

Signs of life for Luis Alexander Basabe, who delivered his first good week in quite some time. He collected six hits over six games, including his third home run of the season. The formula: putting the ball in play more as he had an even K/BB ratio for the week. Also, talk about beating up your old club; Basabe reached base in seven of his 16 plate appearances against the Salem Red Sox.

Last Week: .300/.417/.450 (.867 OPS), 6 H, HR, SB, 4 BB, 4 K, 24 PA
Season Line: .223/.327/.318 (.644 OPS), 47 H, 5 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 11 SB, 11.7 BB%, 25.4 K%, .301 BABIP, 248 PA

10. Dane Dunning, RHP (High-A Winston-Salem)

Dunning gave up five hits in 5.2 innings of work against the Salem Red Sox. The real trouble came in the fifth inning when Dunning gave up a double, single, and home run consecutively. He gave up a pair of singles in the 6th and a walk ended his outing. All told he gave up three runs, walked a trio of hitters and struck out five. Dunning now has a 4.02 ERA in Winston-Salem and the peripherals generally back that up. The strikeouts are still piling up but he’ll need to get his control back to replicate his early season success.

Last Week: 0-1, 4.76 ERA, 5 K, 3 BB, 1 GS, 5.2 IP
Season Line:
Low-A:
 2-0, 0.35 ERA, 1.41 FIP, 11.42 K/9, 0.69 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9, 4 GS, 26.0 IP
High-A: 2-2, 4.02 ERA, 4.29 FIP, 10.91 K/9, 4.02 BB/9, 1.15 HR/9, 7 GS, 31.1 IP

11. Jordan Stephens, RHP (Double-A Birmingham)

Stephens’ encore start wasn’t as strong as his debut last week but he still tossed a scoreless quality outing. He gave up five hits over six innings with five strikeouts to two walks. Last night’s appearance on the bump ended his immaculate 0.00 season ERA, but was another six inning effort. He lost some crispness in the 7th and gave up a pair of doubles along with a walk, but was nearly flawless through his first six frames. Stephens has a minuscule 0.95 ERA through his first three outings, which is about as good as his 2017 could possibly have started, post-injury.

Last Week: 0-0, 1.49 ERA, 15 K, 3 BB, 2 GS, 12.1 IP
Season Line: 0-1, 0.95 ERA, 2.34 FIP, 8.25 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9, 3 GS, 18.1 IP

12. Alex Call, OF (High-A Winston-Salem)
*Currently Injured – intercostal muscle injury, took BP in May at least, but return timeline is unknown*

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 (Double-A Birmingham)

Spencer Adams started off the week with a bang. He threw a “Maddux” against Mobile, dealing nine shutout innings and doing so with just 96 pitches. He notched eight strikeouts, his second highest total of the season. Wednesday’s start was a little underwhelming compared to his June 9th outing, but he still made it into the 7th and just missed a quality start. Adams surrendered four earned runs on seven hits and struck out four. He issued three free passes, a rarity for Adams, which is also the most walks he’s allowed in a start this year.

Last Week: 2-0, 2.35 ERA, 12 K, 4 BB, 2 GS, 15.1 IP
Season Line: 5-6, 3.64 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 6.83 K/9, 1.21 BB/9, 0.88 HR/9, 13 GS, 81.2 IP

14. Jameson Fisher, OF (Low-A Kannapolis)

Jameson Fisher had a solid week but it was mostly propped up by his 5-for-5 showing on June 9th, which included a home run, two runs scored, and three RBIs. Fisher went hitless over his next four games before a 2-for-4 night closed out his week. He walked twice, struck out four times, and has now raised his season OPS to just above .800.

Last Week: .269/.321/.423 (.745 OPS), 7 H, 2B, HR, 2 BB, 4 K, 28 PA
Season Line: .279/.370/.438 (.808 OPS), 58 H, 14 2B, 5 3B, 3 HR, 33 RBI, 2 SB, 11.0 BB%, 22.9 K%, .362 BABIP, 245 PA

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

Bonus:

27. Seby Zavala, C (Low-A Kannapolis)

The White Sox system hasn’t been one where catchers jump off the page, at least not until recently. Zack Collins, international signee Jhoandro Alfaro, and current White Sox Kevan Smith were and currently are some of the brighter names. Omar Narvaez worked his way up the system as a contact hitter and Chicago did just draft TCU’s catcher Evan Skoug in what may stand as one of the better steals of the draft’s second day, but lost in all this smoke is incumbent Seby Zavala.

A 12th rounder in 2015, he’s a diamond in the rough and was arguably the most intriguing backstop in the system until Collins was drafted. He had a strong showing in Rookie Ball (AZL) in his draft season, and put up solid numbers last year despite playing through an injured leg. He’s got a nice compact swing, an athletic build, and has been passable defensively behind the dish.

2017 looked to provide more data on Zavala and serve as his chance to show he had staying power in an improving system. He’s definitely remained on my radar and deservedly so. He showed some serious pop at SDSU his junior year and that’s starting to translate into pro ball. Zavala has a .235 ISO, seven doubles and eleven home runs in 170 at-bats this year. His 25.9 percent K-rate is high for A-Ball but he’s been able to take a walk (6.3 BB%). It’s definitely a profile that will be buoyed by OBP skills and power output but that’s always playable behind the plate if the defense is there. He has a slugging heavy line at .247/.310/.482 but it’s been dragged down by a .279 BABIP and there’s a decent hit tool here.

Over the last month Zavala has really turned it on, slashing .284/.344/.580 (.925 OPS). Even more recently, he’s coming off a particularly strong week in which he collected a home run and trio of doubles. With a stick this hot, Zavala could work his way up to Winston-Salem but that would likely require Zack Collins to be promoted himself, which is still a ways off.

With the myriad of top names throughout the system, Zavala’s doing his best to stay on the map.

Last Week: .333/.400/.667 (1.067 OPS), 6 H, 3 2B, HR, BB, K, PA
Season Line: .247/.310/.482 (.793 OPS), 42 H, 7 2B, 0 3B, 11 HR, 27 RBI, 0 SB, 6.3 BB%, 25.9 K%, .279 BABIP, 189 PA

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