16. Jared Kelley, RHP (Previously 8, -8)
- Drafted 2nd Round (57th overall) in 2021
A nightmarish 2021 season that saw the former 2020 second round pick battle injuries and ineffectiveness was not the ideal debut season. The 20-year-old righty has been much improved in 2022, displaying some of the tools that saw the White Sox hand out a $3 million dollar bonus to secure his services. Through 17 starts, Kelley has thrown 61 innings with a 3.54 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 57 strikeouts and 35 walks. While the walks most certainly need to come down, Kelley is still displaying a fastball that ranges from 93-99 mph with a changeup that sits in the mid-80s with diving action. The slider that he’s been working on to combat left-handers has sat in the mid-to-upper 80s with sweeping action when slowed down and has shown flashes of average in his arsenal. Kelley will have to continue to work on his conditioning, control and command as he continues to progress through the system.
17. Wes Kath, 3B (Previous: 5, -12)
- Drafted 2nd Round (57th overall) in 2021
An 11-spot drop on a prospect list usually indicates trouble, but for Kath, it’s more a matter of multiple things converging at the same time. The ascension up the ranks by Davis Martin, Lenyn Sosa and Cristian Mena, as well as the arrival of newly drafted players such as Noah Schultz, Peyton Pallette and Jonathan Cannon, have pushed Kath to the background. It’s a good thing for the Sox system that it now has six new players in the top 15 compared to our last list, but it’s not great that Kath hasn’t been able to produce enough to keep a spot within said top 15.
The 20-year-old from Arizona had a rough pro debut in 2021, as he struggled in the Arizona Complex League as a teenager. He was placed in Kannapolis at the start of the 2022 season, and the results have been mixed. There is still a lot of whiff in his game as his 2022 season saw nearly a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. The former 2nd rounder did post a 109 wRC+ with 13 homers in Low-A however.
18. Yolbert Sanchez, 2B/SS (Previously 17, -1)
- Signed from Cuba in 2019
After excelling in the first two weeks of the Double-A season, Yolbert Sanchez was swiftly promoted to Charlotte and has remained there ever since. Since joining the Knights, Sanchez has displayed good bat to ball skills and a contact orientated approach at the plate. The majority of the infielder’s offensive value will be relative to batting average, as the power aspect of his game has dissipated as he only has 13 extra base hits in 331 at bats for Charlotte. Defensively, Sanchez has mostly been playing second base since joining the system while mixing in some reps at shortstop and third base. He’s a capable defender all around the dirt. The 25-year-old Cuban seems destined for a future as a utility infielder.
19. Tanner McDougal, RHP (No change)
- Drafted 5th Round in 2021
Despite not pitching at all this season due to undergoing Tommy John surgery in October of 2021, he is still ranked in the top 20 of the FutureSox Prospect Top 30. That’s how enticing his stuff is. He had some of the best pitch metrics in the draft of 2021, and Mike Shirley raved about his spin rate. He’ll be back on a mound in a few months, to show if all the superlatives have been worth it. McDougal should get a shot in full season ball to open the 2023 season.
20. Kohl Simas, RHP (New)
- Signed undrafted in 2021
Simas (SEE-miss) was an undrafted free agent signing following the 2021 draft class and he has caught the attention of evaluators from around the league. Following his time as a relief pitcher at San Diego State, Simas appeared in 10 games out of the bullpen for Low-A Kannapolis in 2021 and ended the year with a 1.50 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and 23 strikeouts across 18 innings.
The 22-year-old was placed in the Ballers starting rotation in 2022 and has turned heads in the White Sox organization due to his four-pitch mix, which includes a 55-graded fastball, slider and curveball. The fastball jumps out of his hand, topping out at 96 mph with arm-side run. Simas’ timeline includes a potential trip to advanced-A prior season’s end, with Double-A Birmingham on the horizon in 2023. The righty posted a 3.65 ERA while averaging over 11 K/9 in 61.2 innings with Kannapolis this year.
21. Carlos Pérez, C (New)
- Signed from Venezuela in 2014
Carlos Pérez, who has spent the entire 2022 season at Triple-A Charlotte, is on the cusp of reaching the big leagues for good. His bat, which trailed his defensive abilities by a considerable margin, finally caught up over the past two years. Pérez’s 17 home runs, 61 RBI and .453 slugging percentage all mark single-season highs, and he reached base in 15 consecutive games (.328/.427/.517) between June 18 – July 6. He is a well-regarded framer who knows how to handle a pitching staff, and has nabbed 36 percent of baserunners over the course of his minor-league career. The Venezuelan native, whom the White Sox signed for just $50,000 in March 2014, has a solid floor as a reliable, defensive-oriented backup catcher at the big-league level who makes enough contact at the plate. Jacob Stallings is a good player comparison.
22. Luis Mieses, OF (Previous: 24, +2)
- Signed from the Dominican Republic in 2016
The 2022 campaign marked another steady season of production for Dominican outfielder Luis Mieses, who eclipsed the 70-RBI mark for the second straight year. Mieses doesn’t possess massive in-game power, but his smooth swing from the left side should enable him to become a gap hitter at the Major League level. Notably, he reduced his strikeout rate in High-A from 20.5 percent to 16.2 percent. Mieses can handle a glove in the outfield, but will never be a leader in defensive runs saved (DRS) and is limited to a corner spot. The 22-year-old offers very little speed on the basepaths, which is somewhat surprising for a player with a solid 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame. There’s still plenty of room for growth here, and for all intents and purposes, Mieses has passed the test at Winston-Salem. Next year’s leap to Double-A Birmingham will be telling.
23. Jonathan Stiever, RHP (Previous: 16, -7)
- Drafted 5th Round in 2018
After a quick rise through the system and a couple of cups of coffee in the big leagues, Stiever suffered a season-ending lat injury on August 12, 2021. The injury and subsequent surgery have kept him on the shelf for all of 2022. He recently began throwing bullpen sessions at the White Sox spring training facility in Arizona and could make a late-season appearance at an affiliate.
Before being injured, Stiever endured a rough 2021 season at Triple-A Charlotte. In 17 starts covering 74 innings, he posted a WHIP of 1.459 to go with an ERA of 5.84. Scouting the numbers doesn’t give a complete picture. The eye test uncovered major-league stuff, including a fastball that sits 96, with plenty of movement. His breaking pitches are still a work in progress. Where he’ll be after the surgery could be answered sooner than later, but it’s wise not to make any sweeping conclusions until the 2023 season gets underway.
24. Jason Bilous, RHP (Previous: 18, -6)
- Drafted 13th Round in 2018
After being added to the 40-man roster this offseason, things were looking up for Bilious. The 2022 season hasn’t gone as hoped for the 25-year-old right-hander out of Coastal Carolina. In 83 innings at Double-A Birmingham this season, he’s posted an ERA of 5.27 and a WHIP of 1.59. Control issues continue to plague him. After showing an improvement in 2021, his BB/9 has ballooned to 6.1, and his strikeout rate has dipped from 3.31 in 2021 to 1.83 this season. Moving to Charlotte in early August hasn’t changed anything for the starter. In three starts, his ERA is at 6.55 with a WHIP of 1.81. His walk and strikeout rates have also regressed.
Bilous has above-average stuff dating back to his Coastal Carolina days. The Delaware native has been working his 60-grade fastball at 92-95, a low 80s 55-grade slider, an average curve and a change that flashes average. He’ll be looking to finish the season strong and come back with a solid 2023 season to maintain his 40-man spot.
25. Jordan Sprinkle, SS (New)
- Drafted in the 4th round in 2022
Drafted out of UC Santa Barbara in the fourth round of the 2022 Draft, Jordan Sprinkle is what you could conceivably call a ‘project’. Not defensively, though, as Sprinkle was an elite defender in college who turned heads wherever he took the field, whether it was the Big West Conference or the Cape Cod League. The 2021 All-American had a phenomenal season that year, as he hit .353/.402/.536 with a .938 OPS in 261 plate appearances. 27 of his hits were extra-base hits and he threw in 26 steals (31 attempts) for good measure. Combined with his elite defense at shortstop and a 39/14 K/BB ratio, Sprinkle went into the 2022 season as a potential first-rounder.
He ended up falling to the fourth round, for reasons not entirely clear. Sure, his offensive stats were not as good as his 2021 season (.285/.381/.416 with a .797 OPS), but he walked more than twice as much as he did in 2021, struck out only a few more times and stole another 25 bases, but his power disappeared. He only hit three home runs and 11 doubles, leading to scouts wondering if the power from 2021 was a mirage.
The White Sox liked him enough for the fourth round and added another shortstop to the system. They’re hoping they can unlock the five-tool potential some scouts saw in him in 2021. The defensive tools are there already, and they alone might be enough for Sprinkle to eventually make it to the major leagues. The hitting development will be the thing to watch towards 2023.
26. Andrew Dalquist, RHP (Previous: 11, -15)
- Drafted 3rd Round in 2019
Projected as a mid-rotation starter, Dalquist experienced a problematic 2021 debut season. Despite that underwhelming performance, he was promoted to High-A Winston-Salem at the onset of the 2022 season. His ERA ballooned from 4.99 in 2021 to 6.95 at the higher level. In what may be a small victory, his WHIP barely budged from 1.723 in 2021 to 1.754 this year. His strikeout rate dipped, and his walks have remained about the same. The 2023 campaign will be pivotal in determining Dalquist’s long-term value.
27. Erick Hernandez, OF (Previous: 25, -2)
- Signed from the Dominican Republic in 2022
Hernandez signed for $1 million out of the Dominican Republic during the most recent international class and the development was significant for an organization that doesn’t hand out those type of bonuses to teenagers often. The 17-year-old projected to have average or better tools across the board. The 6-0, 170 pounder possesses a quick left-handed swing with an advanced approach at the plate that could produce 20-25 home run potential in the future. He plays center field currently but likely ends up in an outfield corner in the long run. The White Sox love his energy and work habits as well. Hernandez has posted a 10% walk rate in the Dominican Summer League but he’s struggled by hitting just .227/.333/.291 with no homers in 38 games.
28. Luke Shilling, RHP (New)
- Drafted in the 15th Round in 2018
Luke Shilling’s story is pretty well established by now, but Cliff’s Notes: drafted in 2018, injured, released in 2020, re-signed, Tommy John surgery in 2021, minor league free agent, re-signed. The short stints during which Shilling was healthy and producing, his stuff was incredibly impressive (2.95 ERA with 27 K’s and only 8 walks in 18.0 innings in Winston-Salem in 2021), and the White Sox were hoping to move him up the ladder quickly before elbow troubles cut his ascension short.
Having only just returned from TJ, Shilling has struggled through his first 11 innings this season: 8 hits, 12 runs (8 earned), 14 walks and 17 strikeouts. The stuff is still there, evidenced by the high K-rate, but the control and command have yet to return following the surgery. There is no reason to think it won’t, but it’s impossible to judge the 24-year-old off of his current production. He will be the pitching prospect to watch in 2023, with a chance to make it to the big leagues before next season is over.
29. Loidel Chapelli, 2B/OF (New)
- Signed from Cuba in 2022
20-year-old Loidel Chapelli (Chap-Aye-ee) was a later addition to the 2022 international signing class and has torn up the Dominican Summer League (albeit while playing against younger competition), slashing .344/.448/.636 for a 1.084 OPS. Chapelli demonstrates solid command of the plate, good contact skills and solid pop in relation to his frame. An outfielder coming out of Cuba, Chapelli has average to above average speed and has made the shift to second base in the DSL. The Cuban could make the transition stick with his quick hands and average arm strength. Chapelli will venture stateside in 2023 to face more appropriate competition in a full season affiliate. He’s earned some comparisons to former Texas Rangers’ infielder Rougned Odor.
30. Ryan Burrowes, SS (New)
- Signed from Panama in 2022
Burrowes signed for $75,000 out of Panama in the most recent international class. The 18-year-old Panamanian shows a 6-2 projectable frame with an optimized right handed swing and a good feel for barreling the baseball consistently. The 170 pound infielder manages the strike zone well and displays high exit velocities. He could remain at shortstop and he’s gotten on base at a .393 clip in the Dominican Summer League while posting a 120 wRC+ and hitting three home runs as well. Burrowes should make it to Arizona for instructs and he could play full season next year at an A ball affiliate.