Chicago White Sox Top 30 Prospects

February 15, 2024

The 2024 Preseason Top 30 lists are built around the idea of certainty and future Role. Similar to industry projection systems such as Future Value (FV), Overall Future Potential (OFP), and Grade, Role is a way to describe to what degree a player will add value to his organization at peak.

Our scale is a bit more conservative than other grading systems. We take into account recent seasonal performance, proximity to impact, metric/data analysis, and industry conversations to build a case for the most likely outcome for any given player.

It is important to note these Role labels are fluid and can change as a player moves up the developmental ladder. It is not uncommon for a player to change his role projection over even one month. Players jump from a Role 35 to a Role 40 quite quickly.

Things like mechanical adjustments and physical maturation can alter a player’s projection seemingly overnight. Players change. Keep that in mind.

Below is our Role chart used to place future projection on players.

20No organizational value. Non-prospect.
30Organizational value, filler. Likely peaks at Triple-A or below.
35Potential up-and-down, Quad-A prospect. Has some tools. Development necessary to secure prolonged MLB role.
40Back-up at MLB level. No. 5 starter on non-competitive team. Depth.
45Potential starter on contender. Bench player for championship-level team.
50Starter on a championship-level team. Lacks star ceiling. Steady. Potential No. 4 starting pitcher.
55Potential all-star. Some impact. Above average big-league regular. Mid-rotation starter on a contender.
60All-star level player. Impact. Middle-of-the-order bat. No. 2 starter on good team.
70Perennial all-star. Will contend for seasonal awards. Potential MVP/Cy Young upside. No. 1 starting pitcher. Ace.
80Hall of Fame upside. Generational. MVP/Cy Young Favorite some years. Organizational pillar who can carry an entire franchise at times.

You will not find players with a sub-50 Role on our Top 100 Prospect List. You are also unlikely to find any sub-35 Role players on a Top 30 board. Generally, organizations will have at least 30 players with big-league projection.

All rankings and roles by Joe Doyle
Player notes by Jason A. Churchill

The White Sox have done one thing consistently well the past four years and that’s rebuild the farm system. The big club has just one winning full season since 2010, but the foundation to get back to winning is in place for new GM Christ Getz.

There’s pitching depth near the majors and some up-the-middle talent with high ceilings making up what might be a top 10-12 system in baseball.

Trades have helped the Sox improve their collection of young talent, including multiple trades last summer and several over the offseason.

1Colson MontgomerySS60
2Noah SchultzLHP55
3Jake EderLHP50
4Nick NastriniRHP50
5Bryan Ramos3B50
6Edgar QueroC45
7Jacob GonzalezSS45
8Peyton PalletteRHP45
9Grant TaylorRHP45
10Dominic FletcherOF45

Montgomery has improved his ability to find the barrel consistently since Chicago took him in Round 1 in 2021, and continues to show he can handle shortstop despite being listed at 6-foot-3 and over 200 pounds.

He may end up with plus power and a plus hit tool, and while he has yet to flash much pop in games he did hit eight homers in 64 contests last season, including four in Double-A.

Montgomery is likely to start 2024 back in Birmingham, but it’s not out of the question he reaches the major late in the year.

Schultz, all 6-foot-9 of him, has one of the best sliders in the minors, a breaker that’s a nightmare for lefties but not all that much fun for right-handed hitters, either.

He projects to throw enough strikes, and his changeup is projectable, but keep an eye on his fastball velocity, too.

Eder was acquired from the Miami Marlins in exchange for Jake Burger at the deadline. He missed all of 2022 recovering from UCL surgery and flashed his old control and stuff in 14 starts.

It’s a plus fastball, up to 98 mph, and a swing-and-miss slider from the southpaw, who has a shot at an average changeup.

Eder will spend 2024 building back arm strength and endurance but he could pitch his way to Chicago this season.

Taylor was part of an elite rotation at LSU but missed the title run after going under the knife to repair his UCL. He’s yet to throw a pitch in pro ball, but there’s huge velocity and three average or better secondaries in here for the White Sox to go get.

Fletcher was acquired in exchange for Cristian Mena in February. His worst slash line is the .264/.314/.445 he posted in Double-A in 2021 at age 23, and that includes the 28-game, 102-PA showing in the majors last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He should make the 26-man roster out of spring training.

11Jonathan CannonRHP45
12Prelander BerroaRHP45
13Jordan LeasureRHP45
14Ky BushLHP40
15Sean BurkeRHP40
16George WolkowOF40
17Seth KeenerRHP40
18Tanner McDougalRHP40
19Jacob BurkeOF40
20Shane DrohanLHP40
21Braden ShewmakeSS40
22Matt ThompsonRHP40
23Christian OpporLHP35
24Mathias LaCombeRHP35
25Jose RodriguezSS35
26Javier Mogollon2B35
27Wilfred Veras1B/3B35
28Ryan BurrowesSS35
29Zach DeLoachOF35
30Terrell TatumOF35

Cannon was the club’s third-round pick in 2022 and worked his way to Double-A last summer. His control was sporadic, but he often hit the mid-90s with his fastball and generally featured two plus secondaries, topped by one of the best cutters in the minors and a curveball to offset the steady diet of hard stuff.

Cannon stays on top well, creating deception from his 6-foot-6 frame and three-quarter arm slot. All he needs is time.

Berroa was acquired from Seattle or reliever Gregory Santos and has a shot to replace his predecessor as early as this season. It’s an easy 97 mph with life up in the zone and some arm-side run, setting up a hard, short-breaking vertical slider that misses bats regularly.

Berroa must throw more strikes, but there’s zero question about the stuff.

The White Sox acquired Bush from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for right-handers Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito as the Sox prepared for the rebuild last summer.

Bush has been up to 97 mph but sits 91-94 with effective tail and life and commands his plus slider and solid-average changeup well. He also has a curveball that projects to big-league standards.

The left-hander reached Double-A last season despite some control issues, walking nearly 12% of the batters he faced, and struggling with the home run ball. it may be a reliever profile, but the arsenal is there for Bush to remain a starter.

Thompson wins with three average or better pitches in a fastball, curveball, and slider. He’s up to 96 mph, but pitches mostly 92-94.

His control is firmly below average and at times downright poor — 85 walks in 27 starts in Double-A last season — suggesting it’s the biggest obstacle for the right-hander entering 2024.

Joe Doyle
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