The latest MLB Pipeline list was released this past weekend, and the Chicago White Sox had 4 Prospects on the list. #3 on the list is CF Luis Robert, 1B Andrew Vaughn came in at #16, just behind him is RHP Michael Kopech at #20, and around the middle of the list 2B Nick Madrigal at #40. All but Vaughn are expected to be in the majors in 2020 and will play pivotal roles for the organization in the coming months.
Cuban phenom OF prospect Luis Robert is a projected 5 tool player who just recently signed a 6-year $50 million deal, effectively making him the Sox starting CF at 35th and Shields on March 26th. Throughout 3 levels of MiLB, Robert had a 30/30 season and slashed .328/.376/.624 with a 1.001 OPS. Luis will enter the season as a legitimate contender for AL Rookie of the Year and will look to bolster the Pale Hose’s newly potent lineup.
2019 1st Rd draft pick 1B Andrew Vaughn was rated the best college hitter in the draft and also won the Golden Spikes award in 2018. He started in AZL Rookie Ball and made it to A+ Winston Salem, slashing .278/.384/.449 with a .839 OPS, 6 HRs, and 17 2Bs. Vaughn should either start the year back with the Dash or start with AA Birmingham. The White Sox resigned 1B Jose Abreu to a 3 year contract and brought in slugger DH Edwin Encarnacion on a 1 year deal so Vaughn will not be rushed to majors in 2020, but is still expected to be on a fast track given his advanced hitting ability.
A big name in the 2016 Chris Sale trade, RHP Michael Kopech is returning to the mound in 2020 after missing the entire ’19 season due to Tommy John surgery. Kopech will enter spring training in 2020 with no restrictions but may start the season at AAA Charlotte as he maybe eased in after not facing live hitters since Sept 2018. With a 5 man rotation of Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease, The Sox have the flexibility to let Kopech get seasoned in the minors to start 2020.
2018 1st Rd Draft pick Nick Madrigal has a unique contact skill and struck out at only a 3% clip in his 2 year minor league career. Across 3 levels of MiLB, Madrigal slashed .311/.377/.414 with a .792 OPS, 35 SBs and only 16 Ks in 473 ABs in 2019. Madrigal will enter spring training with fellow corner infielders Leury Garcia and Danny Mendick, all of whom will be vying for the starting 2B job opening day. The Sox can also decide to manipulate Madrigal’s service time by having him start the year in AAA Charlotte where he only played 25 games in 2019.
These 4 players will be key pieces for the White Sox goal of sustained success as their contention window looks to open in 2020.
Featured Photo: White Sox Twitter