As the White Sox continue to win and move away from the rebuild stage, sometimes I lose track of what’s going in their minor leagues. For so many years, following White Sox prospects was a nightly affair for me. The big league club held a few key pieces to the White Sox future, but most of the star players we watch today were in the minors.
I even remember being as excited as any to watch Yermin Mercedes hit bomb after bomb in High-A Winston Salem even though he wasn’t a main prospect for the White Sox future. Now, with only a few high-end prospects to follow, I have my eye on some hot starts throughout the White Sox minor-league ranks.
Household Names Who Have Produced
Two guys who have caught my eye are teammates in Charlotte — Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger. Sheets got the call to the White Sox for a few days in early June but did not see any action before returning to Charlotte following Andrew Vaughn’s removal from the COVID-19 list. While in Charlotte, Sheets has slashed .286/.325/.454 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs.
Sheets has been only a first baseman in the White Sox system up until this year when he started playing the outfield corners. Sheets has some pop in his bat and has actually played well in the outfield. I believe we will end up seeing Sheets in Chicago for more than two days this season, and he’ll make the most of his opportunity like so many have this season.
Jake Burger on the other hand has stayed at his primary position third base. The White Sox 2017 first-round draft pick has performed well even though some think he might only be a first baseman in the big leagues.
Burger ended up playing his first minor league game since 2017 this season, and his numbers have not disappointed so far. He is slashing .268/.314/.518 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs. Burger could also make it to the bigs this year especially after the injury to Nick Madrigal. I wouldn’t be surprised if the White Sox try Burger at second base in Charlotte while they see what kind of production Danny Mendick and Leury Garcia offer in Madrigal’s absence.
Jake Burger fought back from two injuries and is my favorite story out of all of the White Sox prospects. I couldn’t imagine how he felt after his home run back.
One player who has stood out in Low-A Kannapolis is infielder Jose Rodriguez. Rodriguez is slashing .290/.340/.490 with five home runs, including this blast.
Rodriguez has been a name a lot of people have liked since he was signed in 2018. He should make his way to
High-A Winston Salem at some point this year and I know I’ll continue to watch him grow as a player.
Starting pitcher Jason Bilous started his season in Winston-Salem before receiving the call-up to AA Birmingham a few weeks ago. Bilous has a 3.16 ERA between both teams to go along with a stout 9.5 strikeout to walk ratio.
Bilous was a 13th-round pick out of Coastal Carolina by the White Sox in 2018 and he has already showed he can pitch in AA. Bilous should be regarded with Jarred Kelley, Matthew Thompson, and Andrew Dalquist as one of the promising young arms for the future if he keeps it up.
It’s been a fun year on the South Side of Chicago and I haven’t been able to follow the minors as much as I’d like. These are just four of the promising young players the White Sox have in the pipeline. They are four prospects I have especially been impressed with and have followed this year, along with a few others.
Even with a depleted system, there are bound to be more players who will catch my eye before the season ends. Yoelqui Cespedes and Elijah Tatis, both of whom are just beginning their seasons at extended Spring Training, are likely to appear on my radar in the near future. While the future of the White Sox core is bright and the primary focus is rightfully on the team at 35th/Shields, I still like where the White Sox stand as an organization upon reviewing the performances outlined above.