Multiple White Sox 2022 draft picks are off to impressive starts in Low-A Kannapolis

White Sox prospect Jacob Burke
Jacob Burke (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

The Knights seemed to hit a bit of a wall as the first half of the season officially came to a close, so I hopped in the car and headed 29 miles north to Kannapolis to see a lot of the White Sox 2022 draft class in action.

And they didn’t disappoint.

On the offensive side, I was anxious to watch 11th round pick Jacob Burke out of Miami and Tim Elko, the 10th rounder from Ole Miss.  

Elko, who is 24 and projects to be a fast mover through the minors, has 17 home runs and a .556 slugging percentage through 66 low-A contests in 2023.

Burke, meanwhile, has been an on-base machine.  He has played in 35 games this year, and been on base in every one of them, breaking Colson Montgomery’s record of 32 straight games in Kanny a year ago. Montgomery, the Sox’ first-round pick in 2021, would continue the streak to 50 games after a promotion to Winston-Salem.

Burke is hitting .315, with an equally impressive .416 OBP in 142 plate appearances, with four homers, a triple, 11 doubles and 15 bases on balls.  He is also 9-12 in stolen bases.


The Sox took pitchers in six of the first seven rounds of the 2022 draft, and the success of these young guns will go a long way in determining if the Sox can rebuild sorely needed pitching depth in the minors.

First-round pick Noah Schultz did not debut until June 2 because of an injury, but it was worth the wait.  He’s made three starts to date for a total of seven innings, giving up just one hit while striking out 12.  

Schultz is shining bright in Kannapolis with an arsenal that includes both a two and four-seam, upper-90s fastball to go along with a wipeout slider and change-up.

The 6-foot-9 lefty will likely remain in Kannapolis for a while as the White Sox allow him to slowly build up his pitch count.  He was a late scratch this past Sunday due to illness, so my guess is his start this week will be another two-inning, 40-pitch effort.  As exciting as it will be to see him face high-A hitters, it may be some time until he gets the chance.

Earlier last week, I watched Peyton Pallette, the 2nd round pick, make his 11th start of the season.  His stats this year are solid: 35.1 IP against 25 hits, 20 walks and just 3 homers, for a 4.08 ERA, .199 BAA and 1.27 WHIP.

Pallette was considered a first-round talent until he had Tommy John surgery in January 2022.  So the White Sox are being understandably cautious with him, which explains just 35.1 innings despite 11 starts.

The start I saw on Sunday was not among his best.  His fastball was consistently 93 mph but a bit flat, while also struggling with command of his offspeed stuff.  

But he has an easy delivery and the pitcher we are seeing now is still a shadow of what he was or will likely be.  Another two ticks to his fastball, along with some ride, plus improved command of his breaking pitches, all of which he had as a stud college pitcher, and we’re talking about a big-time prospect.

By contrast, the Sox 5th round pick, Tyler Schweitzer, is pitching with far fewer restrictions, and has amassed 52.1 innings in 10 starts.  The 22-year-old lefty was Mid-Atlantic Conference pitcher of the year and has had some of the best success thusfar of all the Kanny starters.  

He profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter, in part because of his slight frame. Hopefully we’ll find out soon how his four-pitch arsenal plays against High-A hitters.  He had a livelier fastball, topping out at 95, and better control of his offspeed stuff than advertised, so the upside is there.

A shout-out as well to Mason Adams, the Sox 13-round pick last year.  Adams has been piggy-backing with Schultz, and has been extremely effective.  When Schultz was scratched on Sunday, Adams took the ball and tossed six innings of four-hit, one-run, five-strikeout ball.  Also pitching in Sunday’s game was Eric Adler, the Sox sixth-round pick in ’22, and he’s been a reliable arm out of the Kanny pen this year as well.

A few guys on my radar that I’ve yet to see are Shane Murphy, a 14th round pick in 2022 with a 2.84 ERA over 11 starts, and Tanner McDougal, a 5th round pick in 2021, with a 3.16 ERA in 11 starts.

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