2018 Great Falls Voyagers preview

Roster for White Sox Pioneer League affiliate full of international signings and recent draft picks

The Great Falls Voyagers begin play tonight, and the start of the Pioneer League season answer questions like, “That [high school pick]/[international player] signed two years ago — where did end up?” Or, “Did [draft pick] sign?”

The Voyagers’ official roster isn’t yet listed on the team’s page where rosters usually are, but they released it in the form of a PDF, and it answers most of the above questions. Let’s go through it.

Pitchers

Pitchers comprise half of the Voyagers’ 30-strong roster, so some of these guys will likely be on the disabled list. Without knowing which ones are activ, it’s best to focus on the recent draft picks of note. Stiever (fifth round) logged 100 innings for Indiana, so he may not be starting in the traditional sense for Great Falls. Bilous signed for well over the third-day max:

Some of that money came from Heuer, who signed for $30,000 below slot as the Sox’ sixth-round pick. He has “future reliever” tags, but it’ll be hard to tell after coming off 79 innings at Wichita State, which was his first full season of starting.

Perez, who ascended to South Florida’s closer role, seems definitely set for relief work. The same can be said for Sousa, a senior sign out of Virginia. Both are lefties.

You can read fuller scouting reports on the Day 2 and Day 3 draft recaps.

Catchers

Alfaro is the name of note. The brother of Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro, Jhoandro signed for $750,000 out of Colombia in 2014. He hit .220/.324/.264 as a 19-year-old making his stateside debut for the AZL White Sox last year, but he cut down on his passed balls and threw out 39 percent of basestealers. He’s somebody whose body changed dramatically in his first year with the Sox, as he grew five inches yet lost 20 pounds from his original height and weight. He’s now listed at 6’1″ and 180 pounds, so he hasn’t gotten larger.

Troutwine was a senior signing out of Wichita State in the ninth round, a catcher the Sox saw plenty while scouting Shockers teammates Heuer and Alec Bohm. Keith Law kinda likes him, saying Troutwine is “rough behind the plate but has some pop and not a bad swing.” McGinnis is 23, and I’m guessing he’s a floating organizational catcher who plugs gaps when injuries arise.

Infielders

Moniot (17th round, Arizona) and Galusky (20th round, West Virginia) were picked up in the recent draft. They’ll take a back seat to a bevy of international signings.

Sosa, who signed for $325,000 in 2016, handled himself well as a 17-year-old in the Arizona Rookie League last season. He hit .270/.330/.358 with just 24 strikeouts over 180 plate appearances. His time was divided evenly between second and short with Laz Rivera, who is currently lighting up Kannapolis. Sosa’s error rates look fairly encouraging for a player so young, as he only committed nine of them over 42 games.

Feliz signed for $450,000 back in 2013 (Micker Adolfo‘s class), and he’s always shown good plate discipline, but other skills have been slow to come around, including his defense. However, he hit .295/.377/.492 in 18 AZL games last year and has only played third base stateside, so I’m a little intrigued by him.

Nunez leads this roster’s international group in signing bonus ($900,000 in 2014) and advancement (he’s repeating Great Falls). He hit just .183/.247/.246 while moving from shortstop to third, so I’m curious which 20-year-old will get the bulk of the starts at the hot corner this time around. Beltre, 21, has been a jack-of-all trades who ended up at third for the AZL White Sox after 3½ productive seasons in the Dominican Summer League.

Zangari will probably have first base all to himself. He didn’t play at all last year due to Tommy John surgery, which cost him a needed year of development since the big prep prospect was a massive project. The White Sox signed him for over-slot money in the sixth round of the 2015 draft, and he had a nice 53 games for Great Falls as a 19-year-old in 2016 (.257/.330/.426).

Outfielders

  • Ian Dawkins
  • Alex Destino
  • Jay Estes
  • Romy Gonzalez
  • Logan Sowers

Great Falls is usually where one random, recently drafted college outfielder goes off — see Craig Dedelow and Aaron Schnurbusch — so Dawkins (27th round, Sacramento State) and Sowers (28th round, Indiana) will be vying for that title this year. Destino was a 14th-rounder in 2017, and Estes is an undrafted free agent.

Gonzalez makes the outfield an all-college affair, but he signed for the maximum allowed third-day bonus …

… and Nick Hostetler has also singled out Gonzalez as a third-day pick of note.

There could be other changes for Great Falls, as second-round pick Steele Walker isn’t yet in the fold, and third-round pick Konnor Pilkington is still playing in the College World Series. (So is Nick Madrigal, but he seems ticketed for Winston-Salem).

The Arizona League seems like it’ll be the landing spot for the bulk of the players acquired in the last big pre-Luis Robert international signing classJosue Guerrero, Luis Mieses, Anderson Comas, etc.

With Luis Curbelo in Kannapolis and Zangari on this roster, Sam Abbott, who the White Sox signed out of a water-polo scholarship last year, is the only notable high school signing from previous years who is unaccounted for. The AZL season starts Monday.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Patrick Nolan

Keith Law will like anyone who reminds him of Mike Trout in some way.

mikeyb

Dammit, where’s Hunter Kiel? I miss that beautiful 97 mph fastball that was more likely to end up behind a batter than hitting the catcher’s mitt.

armchairGM

anyone know why they cut anthony herron and logan taylor? i know they were late round picks last year but i’m surprised they aren’t on great falls or the AZL roster

Smclean09

Very apt username.