Over the past two weeks, the MLB has been slowly releasing its prospect rankings by position, and on Saturday they released the overall Top 100.
It may be a Top 100 list, but the White Sox only needed it to go to 50. Luis Robert (3), Andrew Vaughn (16), Michael Kopech (20), and Nick Madrigal (40) all fell within the top half of that list.
They also come in second in total prospect points among all MLB teams going into the 2020 season.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) January 26, 2020
With the excitement around Sox Fest this weekend, now is as good a time as any to take a look at where the future White Sox fell within their individual position
To give a little context, here are the guidelines listed to be eligible for the prospects:
To be eligible for a list, a player must have rookie eligibility. To qualify for rookie status, a player must not have exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues, or accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the 25-player limit period, excluding time on the disabled list or in military service.
He comes in as the #1 outfield prospect, which comes as no surprise to White Sox fans. This is the exact reason that Rick Hahn pulled the trigger and already signed him to a deal without him even setting foot on a major league field. The guy is an absolute specimen and should have an immediate impact at the big league level. Of the outfielders, he is listed as having the highest ceiling, along with being a rookie of the year candidate.
Another prospect that comes in at #1 on his respective list. This is why the White Sox picked him at third overall in last year’s draft. What’s interesting about him being #1 on this list, is that 6 of the other Top 10 1B in the list are projected to make their debut in 2020. Vaughn probably won’t make it to the MLB this season barring injuries or him just completely lighting up the minors (which he very well could do), so there’s room for him to get even better and grace the top of this list with his presence once again next year. Of the first basemen, he is listed as having the top hit and power tools, while also having the highest ceiling and highest floor.
Fans already know Kopech since he’s already made his debut in the big leagues, but based on the criteria for this list, he still makes the cut as a prospect. He comes in as the #4 RHP. It will be interesting to see if he comes back stronger after his surgery, or if him cutting off the locks took any speed off that 100+ mph fastball. According to the rankings, his fastball is still pretty good. He has the highest rated fastball and slider among the top right handed pitchers.
Last but not least, the future second baseman who comes in at #2 in the position. Madrigal might be in the big leagues to start the season, but it will depend on how he performs in Spring Training, or how the Sox choose to handle his service time. He really doesn’t have a whole lot to prove anymore in the minors as he blew through them last season, reaching AAA in just his first full year and putting up some great numbers. He hit .311 last year with an OBP of .371. The dude can just hit. He only struck out in 3% of his plate appearances. He had 532 plate appearances. So yeah, he puts the bat on the ball. A lot. Of second baseman, he has the top hit tool and fielding rankings, along with the highest floor and rookie of the year potential.
There’s a lot of hype around the White Sox this year and it’s largely based on some of this talent panning out. Based on these most recent rankings, there’s no reason to think that they won’t.