Injuries to top White Sox prospects made for an underwhelming regular season on the farm, but at least it makes the Arizona Fall League more fun to follow.
The AFL rosters were released on Friday, and five of the eight White Sox representatives on the Glendale Desert Dogs rate as prospects worth following.
Colson Montgomery: He only accrued 294 plate appearances due to the back and oblique issues that kept him out until mid-June, and he went 9-for-25 with three extra-base hits and more walks than strikeouts over Birmingham’s final six-game series in Chattanooga, so more everyday play should benefit him.
Bryan Ramos: After playing in at least 115 games and racking up 500-plus plate appearances in each of his first two years, he was limited to 81 games and 359 PA due to a season-opening groin issue. He also ended the season on a roll.
Jacob Burke: Burke ended up in Ramos territory — 85 games, 385 plate appearances — but he appeared to hit a bit of a wall over his last month in Winston-Salem. That’s understandable, considering it was the most baseball he’d ever played, but he didn’t strike me as a natural AFL candidate because of that. We’ll see if he plays every day, or if he’s relegated to taxi status and this is more about exposure.
Jake Eder: Eder disappointed in his five starts for the Barons, posting an 11.42 ERA with peripherals to match (27 hits, 15 walks against 22 strikeouts over 17⅓ innings). He pitched just 56⅔ innings overall in his return from Tommy John surgery, so it’s still a little early to issue a verdict on the trade despite Jake Burger’s success in Miami. The White Sox ended his Double-A season a little early in preparation for the AFL.
Jordan Leasure: Leasure continued racking up strikeouts after jumping from Double-A Tulsa to Triple-A Charlotte after coming to the White Sox in the Lance Lynn/Joe Kelly trade, but he also paid for his mistakes. He has the kind arm that could make him part of the 2024 White Sox bullpen, and the White Sox will probably try to use their Arizona facilities in a similar fashion in hopes of accelerating his timetable.
Josimar Cousin: The White Sox signed him out of Cuba well into the international signing period, so he debuted in June and didn’t start making regular start-like appearances until July. He threw just 55 innings in his age-25 season as a result, so there’s more of a time pressure to make up ground here.
- José Rodríguez went 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.
- Adam Hackenberg was 2-for-5 with a homer and a strikeout.
- Yoelqui Céspedes, 0-for-5.
- Jordan Leasure: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K