FutureSox Podcast ft. Ian Eskridge of White Sox Daily: What does the Chicago White Sox farm system look like today?

Mike Rankin and James Fox welcomed on Ian Eskridge of White Sox Daily to get his opinions on the state of Chicago’s farm system. Ian offered his thoughts on the draft selection of shortstop Jacob Gonzalez and later went in depth on Colson Montgomery and Bryan Ramos’ scouting reports. The show also discussed allocation of international funds and how the top 30 stacks up against the rest of the league.

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Why the Matt Thompson hate? In the episode, James used Matt Thompson as an example of why picking college pitchers instead of HS pitchers on day two is better—even with Dalquist and Kelley hanging out as examples. And MLB Pipeline puts Thompson at 24th in this mediocre system.

I’m not suggesting he should be flying up boards, but Thompson has had a solid year. The BB% is still too high, but over the season he’s at a respectible 4.83 ERA. Since the start of June, the ERA is at 3.74. The K% is strong and Thompson has always gotten rave reviews on his athleticism. He’s also shown he can be dominant when under control (see, for example, his starts on 6/23 and 6/25). On top of all this, he’s one of the few prospects in this system who’ll go 5+ IP with regularity.

I’ll conclude all this by saying I’m only stat scouting here. It’s all I can do. Maybe there are concerns about his stuff or mechanics or whatever. Clearly, Thompson is not a finished product and if he doesn’t figure out the control he won’t hang—but that applies to most pitchers in the Sox system. In Thompson’s case, he’s one of the best combinations of age-level-performance for Sox pitching prospects but he’s getting dinged by evaluators. Can someone help me out?


Dalquist should have been the pitcher mentioned, IMO. Thompson did get the “tacky ball” to start the year in AA though. So maybe the stats are being discounted due to that.

Kelley also has the stikeout numbers, so some may see more from him. But I agree Thompson looks to be the top of the 3 so far.


Fair enough. I originally dismissed the tacky ball because Thompson’s been a lot better since June 1st than he was before June 1st. But I just checked and his best stretch comes between June 1st and July 14th (the end of the tacky ball). The switched ball might help explain some of the struggles since, too, though, since his highest BB total of the season was the start after they switched back to a normal ball.

And to be clear: I don’t love Matt Thompson. There are several more interesting pitching prospects in the system. But I do wonder if there’s some prospect fatigue driving down his stock. He’s been around forever. But at 23 he’s younger than Nastrini, Ky Bush, and Jake Eder—and barely older than Jonathan Cannon. I still like those guys better than Thompson, but I don’t think the gap should be as wide as some Sox fans / MLB Pipeline seem to think. UNLESS, again, there’s something going on with his stuff I don’t know about or his velocity has dropped or something. Which may be the case.


he’s one of the best combinations of age-level-performance for Sox pitching prospects but he’s getting dinged by evaluators.”.

I think this might be a case of paying a lot of attention to Sox prospects but not to prospects around the league. Sox prospect pitchers have been awful for 4 years, with next to no positive developments, and still very poor in the years before that. Being a good Sox pitching prospect != good overall league pitching prospect.


You’ve missed the point. I’m not asking why Thompson is getting dinged relative to other MLB prospects (whatever that would even look like), but why he’s getting dinged relative to other White Sox pitching prospects. That’s why I cited exclusively Sox prospects and his ranking on the Sox top 30 list.


I think the issue is per 9 numbers as opposed to percentages as well as missing league context. Average southern league K/9 is 10.2 and K% is 25.4. BB% is 11.6%.
Here are some numbers since June 1.
22.4% K 13.5% BB K-BB% 8.9
25.7 14.1 11.5
27 13.2 13.7
25 11 14
27.9 10.9 17.1

So the K% since June 1 has not been strong. It’s been below average. The walk rate has also been below average and the worst of the guys you mentioned. As a result, he’s had the worst K-BB% in the Birmingham rotation since June 1.

The main thing he’s had going for him during that run has been homerun suppression and a lower BABIP than the other guys. And maybe the homerun suppression is a real skill. He’s had some success with that over his minor league career. But I don’t think there’s any evidence to suggest he’s a low BABIP guy.


I missed that you mentioned Cannon. Since getting promoted, Cannon has been
17.8K% 8.9BB% 8.9K-BB% (same as Thompson)


I very much liked this podcast crossover.