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.
NOTE: Work on our new Midseason Top 30 list is getting underway, to be published the first week of August.
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*
- Yoan Moncada, 2B (Triple-A Charlotte)
Yoan Moncada isn’t long for this list as he’s quickly encroaching on the fragile divide between tooled-up prospect and young big league talent. With his call up to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, Moncada is a mere ~100 or so ABs away from shedding his prospect status. What harvest time means for Moncada is that he’ll immediately go from the top crop on the farm right to the pedestal at the county fair. The hype for Moncada’s debut was palpable, not just in the ensuing a media circus, but among the fanbase as well. He’s the symbol of a new era beginning as the rest of Chicago’s roster remains a skeleton of a downtrodden half decade. Moncada parlayed a standing ovation into his first career walk as a member of the White Sox. His 28.3 percent strikeout rate at Charlotte gives him a directive on what to work on at the MLB level, and Moncada cooled the narrative with a 9-pitch at-bat where he spoiled some out-pitches and notched a free pass. He hit the ball hard his other two times up, including a hard line out to center and what might be one of the more hyped foul balls in team history – a scorcher down the line that showcased his quick bat speed and knack for pure contact. This was a preview, a tease of sorts and the Moncada show certainly appears worth watching.
Last Week: .208/.269/.333 (.603 OPS), 5 H, HR, SB, 2 BB, 8 K, 26 PA
Season Line: .282/.377/.477 (.823 OPS), 87 H, 9 2B, 3 3B, 12 HR, 36 RBI, 17 SB, 13.6 BB%, 28.3 K%, .379 BABIP, 361 PA
- Lucas Giolito, RHP (Triple-A Charlotte)
Gioltio opened the week with a mediocre outing against the Gwinnett Braves, where he went five innings and gave up a hit per frame. It certainly wasn’t a burner, as hard contact was limited until a pair of back-to-back doubles ended his outing in the sixth. For Giolito, the trouble was more in free passes as his four walks were his highest total since June 16th. The righty still got his share of strikeouts, including whiffing Ronald Acuna, one of the hotter prospects in the league. The wheels fell off for Giolito in his second outing though, where he was lit up for five earned runs on five hits in 1.2 IP. His first inning was clean save for a double, but he walked three batters and sandwiched two of those walks between a single and triple in the second. That was enough for Charlotte manager Mark Grudzielanek and he was pulled with 56 pitches.
Last Week: 0-1, 11.61 ERA, 9 K, 7 BB, 2 GS, 6.2 IP
Season Line: 3-8, 5.38 ERA, 4.80 FIP, 9.72 K/9, 4.25 BB/9, 1.42 HR/9, 19 GS, 96.3 IP
- Michael Kopech, RHP (Double-A Birmingham)
Kopech was good for a quality start against Biloxi, where he gave up just four hits over six innings. He did a nice job getting out of trouble as he opened both the first and third frames with a walk but left unscathed. The only real blemish was a solo shot in the fourth, which is just the sixth long ball Kopech’s given up this season. Overall, a solid night for Kopech who struck out five and threw 63 percent of his 97 pitches for strikes. Last night’s outing was a milestone for Kopech as it was his first appearance all year without issuing a walk. Oh and he did it over eight innings of scoreless work in which he threw 72 percent of his pitches for strikes. Kopech retired the last nine batters he faced and totaled eight strikeouts for good measure. Had Lopez not put on a show versus a good Gwinnett line up, the fireballer would easily take home pitcher of the week honors.
Last Week: 2-0, 0.64 ERA, 13 K, 2 BB, 2 GS, 14.0 IP
Season Line: 5-6, 3.51 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 11.31 K/9, 5.87 BB/9, 0.64 HR/9, 18 GS, 92.1 IP
- Reynaldo Lopez, RHP (Triple-A Charlotte)
Reynaldo Lopez is letting the ball do all the talking in his effort to convince the White Sox brain trust that he’s ready for the bright lights of Chicago. What better way to send a message than his start against Gwinnett, where Lopez breezed through seven innings, allowed just two hits, and dotted the scorecard with twelve strikeouts. He shutdown seven of the first nine hitters via the strikeout in what is not an easy Gwinnett line up. His only hardship came in the seventh, when he walked a pair of batters and former Chicago farmhand Micah Johnson scored on a wild pitch. Other than that, it was a near flawless outing where Lopez went deep with an efficient pitch count (99). It was his fourth consecutive quality start and he’s more than put his rough June behind him. With Jose Quintana being shipped out, it’s almost criminal for Mike Pelfrey to be getting the ball every fifth day in lieu of Lopez. The righty now has three workable pitches, two that are above average to plus, and enough command to survive. His stuff is finally translating into strikeouts and there’s no reason further polish can’t be accomplished in the Windy City rather than Charlotte.
Last Week: 0-0, 1.29 ERA, 12 K, 2 BB, 1 GS, 7.0 IP
Season Line: 6-5, 3.78 ERA, FIP, 9.09 K/9, 3.51 BB/9, 1.08 HR/9, 18 GS, 100.0 IP
- Zack Collins, C (High-A Winston-Salem)
Collins played in just four contests this week, collecting a double and home run. Collins has posted a .924 OPS in July, although it’s a smaller playing sample due to his participation in the Futures Game. Either way, it’s good to see him try to erase the dismal .170/.298/.318 line he produced in June. That skewed the trajectory a bit for Collins who has overall had an uneven season. One thing to note is a split disparity, where his .638 OPS versus LHPs belies compared to his .856 OPS against right handers. It’s something to watch moving forward, as his hitch may not enable him to square up southpaws, as his power has played lower against same-sided pitching. He’s also pulling the ball almost 50 percent of the time, 10 points higher than his mark last season. Thus, his batting average has been hurt by the shift as well, which explains the low BABIP. Collins’ bread and butter is hitting to all fields, especially with power, so once he gets back to that he’ll see the numbers improve.
Last Week: 2-for-15, 2B, HR, 2 BB, 3 K, 18 PA
Season Line: .218/.366/.417 (.783 OPS), 59 H, 14 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 38 RBI, 0 SB, 18.5 BB%, 27.0 K%, .276 BABIP, 341 PA
- Carson Fulmer, RHP (Triple-A Charlotte)
Fulmer’s July (5.21 ERA) hasn’t been markedly better than his June (6.85 ERA), or his May for that matter (5.93 ERA). His start against Gwinnett was flooded with the control problems that have plagued him (4.56 BB/9) all year, as he had four walks in six innings. He didn’t mitigate it with the strikeout either (2) and was tagged for four runs on four hits, including a double and triple. Fulmer’s second start against Rochester was better at face value, and actually qualified as a quality start. Fulmer only gave up a trio of hits over six frames but two of them left the yard, which inflated his HR/9 to 1.33 and raised his HR/FB percentage to 15.2. His 4/2 BB/K was a photocopy of his first start, which gives him 3+ walks in four of his last six starts.
Last Week: 0-1, 4.50 ERA, 4 K, 8 BB, 2 GS, 12.0 IP
Season Line: 6-6, 5.42 ERA, 5.61 FIP, 6.27 K/9, 4.56 BB/9, 1.33 HR/9, 19 GS, 94.2 IP
- Alec Hansen, RHP (High-A Winston-Salem)
Hansen twirled a gem against Lynchburg in his only start this week, spinning 5.2 innings of scoreless ball. He opened the game by striking out the side and took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in a shortened game due to the double header. Had Hansen hung on for four more outs, he would have been the second White Sox pitcher to throw a 7-inning no-hitter this season, joining Lucas Giolito. Another encouraging sign was that Hansen had his control in check again, allowing just two free passes and sending eight to the bench via the strikeout. Hansen is now approaching a sub-three ERA at Winston-Salem and now has a cool 10.27 K/9.
Last Week: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 K, 2 BB, 1 GS, 5.2 IP
Low-A: 7-3, 2.48 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 11.39 K/9, 2.85 BB/9, 0.37 HR/9, 13 GS, 72.2 IP
High A: 1-2, 3.04 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 10.27 K/9, 4.18 BB/9, 0.76 HR/9, 5 GS, 23.2 IP
- Zack Burdi, RHP (Triple-A Charlotte)
Like his older brother Nick, Zack Burdi is likely headed for Tommy John Surgery after a discouraging MRI revealed a torn UCL. Burdi will go for a second opinion but all signs point to him being inactive through the 2018 season. It’s a tough blow for Burdi, who with the David Robertson trade was the consensus heir to the closer role in Chicago. Tommy John Surgery isn’t a death sentence by any means, but there’s always risk involved. The upshot is that some pitchers actually gain velocity after the procedure, which is an intriguing proposition for Burdi who can already touch 102 MPH.
Last Week: Did Not Play
Season Line: 0-4, 4.05 ERA, 2.89 FIP, 13.77 K/9, 4.59 BB/9, 0.54 HR/9, 7 SV, 2 BS, 29 G, 33.1 IP
- Luis Alexander Basabe, OF (High-A Winston-Salem)
Basabe only had fourteen at-bats this week and had just three hits. After starting July hot, his OPS for the month has slipped to .727. He tallied his 15th stolen base of the season, which gives him an 83 percent success rate in eighteen attempts. His speed playing has been about the only bright spot for Basabe who has all the tools but has scuffled production wise.
Last Week: 3-for-14, 3 H, 2B, 1 BB, 2 K, 14 PA
Season Line: .212/.311/.315 (.626 OPS), 66 H, 10 2B, 5 3B, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 15 SB, 11.1 BB%, 24.4 K%, .282 BABIP, 361 PA
- Dane Dunning, RHP (High-A Winston-Salem)
Dunning walked the tightrope a bit in his start against Myrtle Beach. He gave up eight hits over five innings, but only issued three runs, two of them earned. A Toby Thomas error in the fourth didn’t help him out and an ensuing run would score on a HBP, his second of the game. Despite a home run, there wasn’t a ton of other hard contact and the saving grace for Dunning was that he didn’t walk a single batter. That’s what kept this start from getting away from him. The most impressive thing about Dunning this season has been his ability to generate ground balls, as the righty carries a 52.6 percent GB-rate across two levels.
Last Week: 0-0, 3.60 ERA, 4 K, 0 BB, 1 GS, 5.0 IP
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: 3-4, 3.07 ERA, 4.02 FIP, 10.02 K/9, 3.34 BB/9, 0.94 HR/9, 13 GS, 67.1 IP
- Jordan Stephens, RHP (Double-A Birmingham)
Stephens saw a little BABIP regression in his outing against the Generals (.462) and gave up six hits over 4.2 innings. A double play in the third, limited walks, and timely strikeouts enabled him to turn in a scoreless effort. A 6-to-1 K/BB ratio certainly helped.
Last Week: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 6 K, 1 BB, 1 GS, 4.2 IP
Season Line: 0-0, 1.33 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 7.04 K/9, 2.28 BB/9, 0.19 HR/9, 8 GS, 47.1 IP
- Alex Call, OF (High-A Winston-Salem)
Call completed his tune up in the AZL and stumbled into Kannapolis, joining the club last night. As a result he only played in four games this week. It’s hard to really put Call’s season under a lens because it’s been ravaged by injuries, so the next month or so will enable Call to get into a groove and improve his stock. It will be interesting to see how long Call stays in Kannapolis, as something will have to give. With Blake Rutherford now at Kanny, there would appear to be an odd man out in Low-A with Adolfo, Gonzalez, and Schnurbusch all biding for time there. Winston-Salem is where Call deserves to be but bumping him up would cause complications with the Dash’s own outfield logjam. It’s possible newly acquired Eloy Jimenez could be bumped up to Birmingham to alleviate the back up at both levels.
Last Week: 1-for-16, 3 BB, 3 K, 3 BB, 19 PA
Season Line: .244/.311/.366 (.677 OPS), 13 H, 4 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 3 SB, 6.7 BB%, 24.4 K%, .333 BABIP, 45 PA
- Spencer Adams, RHP (Double-A Birmingham)
Adams had one of his more bearish outings of the season over the weekend. He hardly missed any bats as he gave up nine hits in just 4.2 frames and was good for just one strikeout. Four runs would cross the plate as most of the contact was of the hard variety, including a pair of home runs and doubles. It could have been worse too as Adams and the Barons worked as a magician to turn three double plays. After pitching his best outing of the year last week, Adams followed that up with arguably his worst showing of the season. Here’s to bouncing back to close out the month.
Last Week: 0-0, 7.71 ERA, 1 K, 2 BB, 1 GS, 4.2 IP
Season Line: 7-8, 3.80 ERA, 3.38 FIP, 7.28 K/9, 1.62 BB/9, 0.89 HR/9, 18 GS, 111.1 IP
- Jameson Fisher, OF (High-A Winston Salem)
Fisher had a hit in each game of Tuesday’s double header, including his 22nd double of the season. It’s only 88 at-bats, but Fisher is actually posting a lower K-rate (17.6%) at High-A than he did with Kannapolis. It’s more in line with the type of profile he showed in college and during the debut of his pro career.
Last Week: .333/.467/.417 (.883 OPS), 4 H, 2B, 2 BB, 3 K, 16 PA
Low-A: .269/.365/.417 (.782 OPS), 60 H, 14 2B, 5 3B, 3 HR, 36 RBI, 2 SB, 11.7 BB%, 22.3 K%, .345 BABIP, 265 PA
High A: .250/.347/.409 (.756 OPS), 22 H, 8 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, 9.8 BB%, 17.6 K%, .294 BABIP, 102 PA
- Luis Curbelo, SS (Great Falls – Rookie Ball)
*Curbelo is currently in Arizona getting examined for a knee issue. Timetable unknown*
Last Week: Did Not Play
Season Line: 6-for-17, 2B, HR 1 BB, 4 K, 17 PA (3 games)
Deadline Acquisition: Eloy Jimenez, OF
The White Sox added another consensus top ten prospect in baseball from across town in Eloy Jimenez, who is oozing with tools from his electric bat speed to raw power and plus arm. You can read a deeper write-up and access video from FutureSox’s trade breakdown here.
Jimenez has quickly become acclimated to the White Sox system at High-A Winston-Salem. He’s walked more than he’s struck out (4 BB/3 K) and put on a show in last night’s game against the Salem Red Sox. Jimenez went 3-for-5 with a moonshot home run and a pair of doubles, one of which was off the top of the wall. The moral of the story is, when one dynamic bat graduates to the majors, another is there to take his respective place.
Last Week: .385/.529/.462 (.991 OPS), 8 H, 3 2B, HR, 4 BB, 3 K, 22 PA
Cubs High-A: .271/.351/.490 (.841 OPS), 42 H, 6 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 0 SB, 10.3 BB%, 20.1 K%, .304 BABIP, 174 PA
White Sox High-A: .353/.476/.412 (.888 OPS), 9 H, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB, 19.0 BB%, 14.3 K%, .429 BABIP, 26 PA
Want to know right away when we publish a new article? Type your email address in the box on the right-side bar (or at the bottom, if on a mobile device) and click the “create subscription” button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.