The tank is now in full throttle, White Sox fans, as Ricky’s boys are now 30 games under with a record of 57-87. This past week, the organization announced that ace Carlos Rodon will be shut down for the rest of the season due to “shoulder stiffness.” With Rodon’s injury history, the news is a bit concerning. On the bright side, it sounds like he avoided serious injury and should be full-go by spring training.
This team looks much different than it did at the start of this season. Many talented prospects have been called up throughout the year, and have shown a ton of promise. Giolito, Lopez, Moncada, and Delmonico all have shown White Sox fans why we are so excited about the near future.
The White Sox are currently in position to have the third overall pick in the draft next year. Both the Phillies (55-89) and Giants (57-90) have a worse record, but apparently not by much. Considering the White Sox already have the MLB’s No. 1 farm system, a top-three overall pick in the upcoming draft is just icing on the cake.
With an almost guaranteed top-three pick on the horizon, these are some names to watch for come draft day that could be added to the stacked rebuild of the White Sox:
BRADY SINGER (RHP, FLORIDA)
I know what you’re thinking, the White Sox are in need of hitting more than pitching. However, an unwritten rule of any professional sports draft is to take the best talent available, regardless of specific need. In this case, if Singer is still on the board by the time the White Sox are on the clock, their hands will most likely be tied. Standing at 6’5, 195 lbs. with a long, lean frame, Singer has the makeup to be a dominant pitcher in the MLB. He features a mid-90’s fastball that has significant run, along with a devastating slider that misses bats regularly. He is also developing his change-up, which still needs some work. The key factor that puts Singer at the top of this list is his excellent command of the strike zone. Pitchers that throw strikes are have a good shot to be successful in the big leagues. Singer is projected to be the first overall pick.
JARRED KELENIC (OF, WAUKESHA WEST HS (WI))
At 18 years old with a 6’1, 196 lb. frame, Kelenic features all the potential to be a five-tool player in the MLB. According to perfectgame.org, Kelenic has a very strong athletic build, along with excellent range to pair with a very strong, accurate arm in the outfield. A left-handed hitter, Kelenic has “excellent raw bat speed with a low tension swing and loose hands. The ball flies off his barrel, and has big power when he turns on it.” However, at just 18 years old and already verbally committed to Louisville, drafting Kelenic comes with risk. The White Sox are already loaded with talent at the OF position in the farm system (see Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, and Blake Rutherford). With that said, Kelenic is most certainly an option because of his raw talent, but I’d guess the White Sox will go in a different direction with their top pick.
BRICE TURANG (SS, SANTIAGO HS (CA))
Another potential five-tool player, Turang possesses all the qualities you could want in a major league shortstop. Being compared to Marlins star Christian Yelich, Turang can straight-up hit the ball. He consistently makes hard contact and struck out just ONCE his entire junior year. Turang is just 17 years old, standing at 6’1, 165 lbs. Scouts have only had rave reviews for Turang, praising how polished he is at shortstop at such a young age. His range, soft hands, and foot speed are all at an advanced level, according to evaluators. Tim Anderson had a promising rookie year in 2016, but took a big step back in 2017, putting together a pretty disappointing year both at the plate and in the field. The White Sox could add the No. 1 rated high school player at the moment to solidify the shortstop position and perhaps light a fire under Anderson.
SETH BEER (1B, CLEMSON)
The slugger behind the White Sox fans’ trending Twitter hashtag “#TankForBeer,” Seth Beer is arguably the best power hitter available in the draft. Rick Hahn could choose to go in that direction again, even after selecting power bats in Jake Burger and Gavin Sheets in this past draft. At 6’3, 205 lbs., Beer is a left-handed hitter with a tall stance and very good bat speed. A former outfielder, Beer projects as a first baseman in the pros because of his limited speed and range, according to Baseball America. With Jose Abreu likely moving to DH in the coming years, first base is certainly not locked up for the future. The White Sox are could use more power in their lineup considering they are 22nd in the league with a total of 168 home runs this season. However, given that he is a bat-first player, I don’t see Beer being a top choice for the White Sox.
KUMAR ROCKER (RHP, NORTH OCONEE HS (GA))
A verbal commitment to Vanderbilt, Rocker is ranked the No. 1 player in this class, according to perfectgame.org. With his 6’5, 250 lb. frame, Rocker is physically intimidating on the mound. He averages a mid-90’s fastball that has hit 98 with big running action at times. He is able to locate his fastball well to both sides of the plate. Scouts believe he could also reach triple digits, which is common in the White Sox system at the moment (Kopech, Burdi, etc.). His slider flashes sharpness, and his change up is in development, but has sinking action to it, according to scouts. The White Sox seem to be stocked with talented right-handed pitching, but Rocker’s dominant characteristics might be too much for Chicago to pass up on draft day, should he be available.
Since the White Sox are almost certain to have a top-three pick in the draft, you can expect one of these players to be added to the plethora of talent that they already possess. I can’t reiterate this enough; it’s a good time to be a White Sox fan.