Chicago White Sox 2021 Top 50 Prospects

Graphic design by John Stewart, @jonance on Twitter

The 2021 prospect rankings represent a true conundrum for evaluators. Many of the 2019 draftees have little experience to draw upon while the 2020 picks have none at all. Through no fault of their own, most of these players have done very little to advance or diminish their prospect status. While some players have shared that they felt the Covid season allowed them to focus on wellness and preparation, I felt that one player offered a more realistic outlook. This player suggested there was no benefit from not being able to play games in 2020 and stated, “You can’t mimic live at bats… A machine only goes so far, and none of us are getting any younger.”

With this consideration in mind, I bring you my 2021 Chicago White Sox top 50 prospects.


Prospects 1500 Tiers:

Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster

 

Tier 1:

1. Andrew Vaughn, 1B
Age: 22
Highest level: A+ 
The 2019 third overall pick has an impact bat and advanced hitting approach. His prospect profile is nearly 100% driven by his game changing ability at the plate. Barring injury, he is likely to be a middle-of-the-order force for years to come. Vaughn’s lofty offensive profile should provide both a high floor and a high ceiling.


2. Michael Kopech, RHP
Age: 24
Highest level: MLB 

The fireballer sat out the 2019 season after Tommy John surgery but showed up for 2020 spring training throwing the same triple digit gas that made him a prospect darling. At his best, Kopech has the arsenal to be a top of the rotation starting pitcher. From a tools perspective the biggest potential obstacle for Kopech will be his command and control. If his control falters he still has all of the prerequisites necessary to succeed in a high leverage relief role. Although there are some makeup questions to be answered, Kopech’s work ethic is unparalleled.

3. Nick Madrigal, 2B
Age: 23
Highest level: MLB 

The 2018 third overall pick has displayed an uncanny ability to make contact and post high batting averages at every level he has played. The diminutive second basemen is unlikely to develop anything more than gap to gap power and his exit velocities have been cited as problematic, but his bat-to-ball skill puts him in rarified company. For context all-time great Tony Gwynn struck out ten times in his first 105 at bats, while Madrigal struck out only seven times in his first 103. Additionally, he has displayed a high baseball IQ to complement his plus speed and glove. He has a batting title in his future.

4. Garrett Crochet, LHP
Age: 21
Highest level: MLB 

The 2020 first rounder (11th overall) was the only player from his draft class to appear in the big leagues. The tall lanky left-hander who has elicited Chris Sale comps did nothing short of dominate in his eight innings of major league action. Crochet had the distinction of being the hardest throwing pitcher in the game with an average fastball velocity of 100.4 mph. His 45 (100+ mph pitches) finished second only to Brusdar Graterol’s 47 despite having pitched 14 fewer innings. With a true double-plus fastball and a slider that some scouts grade as a 70 it will be interesting to see whether the White Sox take him down a David Price or Aroldis Chapman development path. Crochet has All-Star potential in either role.

 

Tier 2

5. Jonathan Stiever, RHP
Age: 23
Highest level: MLB 
This workhorse pounds the strike zone with three potential plus pitches (FB, CB, SL). In 2019 he threw an elite 69% of his pitches for strikes. Don’t be dissuaded by the small major league sample. Stiever had never pitched above A+ when he strode to the mound to make his MLB debut in September. Predictably his command was off and his fastball lacked the same giddy-up it had displayed in the minors. Stiever’s ceiling is likely that of a mid-rotation starter.


6. Luis Gonzalez, OF
Age: 25
Highest level: MLB 

Gonzalez is an outstanding defensive outfielder with average to plus tools across the board. The lack of a true carrying tool limits his ceiling, but he offers a very high floor and is likely to be a solid performer in the MLB for years to come. The Southern League typically suppresses offensive numbers, look for Gonzalez to shine at AAA Charlotte. I’m predicting that Gonzalez launches a Jake Cronenworth-like assault on the International League and breaks out in 2021.

7. Micker Adolfo, OF
Age: 24
Highest level: AA 

Seemingly constant injuries have taken some of the luster away from Adolfo’s prospect status but there is still a lot to like. He possesses salivating tools with tremendous power and plus arm, packaged on a frame that would befit a Greek Demigod statue. His former minor league manager Omar Vizquel once comped him favorably to a young Manny Ramirez. There is a vulnerability in his profile when it comes to making consistent contact, particularly with quality breaking stuff. However, when he sees a cookie the only question becomes “how far is this ball going to fly?” Adolfo has perhaps the biggest deviation between floor and ceiling of anyone in the the system.


8. Jared Kelley, RHP
Age: 19
Highest level: Rookie

Kelley possesses a prototypical power pitcher’s build and background. He’s listed at 6’3″ 215-pounds and hails from Refugio, TX, the birthplace of Nolan Ryan. His arsenal includes a plus fastball and secondaries that also flash plus, the only thing he lacks is experience and refinement. Entering the draft he was viewed as the top high school pitcher in the nation. His prep resume displays nothing less than complete dominance (32-3, 0.43 ERA). Kelley is likely to move up these lists quickly when he sees action in his first full season campaign in 2021. There are always caveats with prep pitchers and time will tell us whether Kelley is the next Josh Beckett, or the next Tyler Kolek?

9. Gavin Sheets, 1B
Age: 24
Highest level: AA 

Unfortunately for Sheets, the White Sox roster the reigning MVP (Jose Abreu) along with one of the most prolific college hitters of all-time (Vaughn) who coincidentally play his same position. However, this hulking slugger is a prospect in his own right. In spite of his massive 6’5″ 245-pound frame, Sheets has exhibited solid bat-to-ball skills and an excellent hitting approach. Encouragingly, he has displayed an atypical development path showing improvement at every rung in the minors. Look for him to obliterate his career best home run total in 2021 when he is introduced to the major league baseball and cozy environs of AAA Charlotte. 

10.  Matthew Thompson, RHP
Age: 20
Highest level: Rookie

Thompson was a $2.1 million dollar bonus baby taken with a second-round draft pick in 2019. Another rocket armed Texan with a projectable 6’3″ 195-pound build. He will be making his full season debut in 2021 and has the potential to shoot up prospect lists with a good showing.

11. Norge Carlos Vera, RHP
Age: 20
Highest level: international signee

The 20-year-old hails from prominent baseball lineage. His father, the elder Norge Vera was a legendary pitcher in their native Cuba. The fireballing right-hander has a high-octane fastball, a projectable frame and athleticism that gives scouts reason to believe his ceiling is that of a top of the rotation starting pitcher. His proximity to the majors is at least a few years off, but his stateside minor league debut will be met with great expectations. 

12. Yoelqui Céspedes, OF
Age: 23
Highest level: international signee

This Cuban import was rated by pipeline as the #1 international prospect while Baseball America has him ranked at #12. Listed at 5’9″ 205-pounds, he possesses a sturdy powerful build on a small frame. As a half brother to Yoenis Céspedes, he has big league DNA running through his veins. With sparse game action on his resume since 2019, the White Sox development path for Céspedes is certain be a point of interest for fans.

13. Jake Burger, 3B
Age: 24
Highest level: A

Burger was a feel-good story for the White Sox in 2020 as he returned to the field after more than a two-year absence. He had become the forgotten man encountering numerous setbacks in an attempt to recover from an Achilles tear in 2018. This spring he will return to minor league action with a newly chiseled physique. The former first-rounder will begin 2021 attempting to build off of glowing reports from both the White Sox remote site and fall instructional league.

Tier 3

14. Blake Rutherford, OF
Age: 23
Highest level: AA 

The anticipated development arc hasn’t yet materialized for the 2016 Yankee first-round pick (18th overall). His power thus far has been gap to gap and even his doubles totals don’t suggest a breakout on the horizon. However, his first round pedigree and encouraging reports from the White Sox remote training site offer hope.

15. Benyamin Bailey, OF
Age: 19
Highest level: DSL

Bailey burst onto the White Sox prospect scene by authoring a .324/.477/.454 slash line as a 17-year-old in the Dominican Summer League in 2019. Additionally, the massively built 6’4″ 215-pound teenager collected more walks 52 than strikeouts 40. After being recognized as one of the top prospects in the DSL, Bailey will attempt to build on that success for a full season affiliate in 2021. 

16. Lenyn Sosa, SS
Age: 20
Highest level: A

Sosa is a slick fielding shortstop that has experienced success at every assignment the White Sox have given him. As a 19-year-old he displayed solid bat-to-ball skills posting a 19% K rate in A-ball. The average K rate in the South Atlantic League was 25% and Sosa was one of the youngest players in the circuit.  Further refinement in his approach will lead to higher OBP’s. He often found himself making outs by hitting a pitcher’s best offering rather than waiting for one he could drive. His August slash line .316/.360/.453 suggests he was making adjustments.


17. Tyler Johnson, RHP
Age: 25
Highest level: AA 

Johnson is a power armed reliever with high leverage potential. He lists team USA baseball twice on his resume and has not faltered at any point in his development. Johnson boasts a plus fastball that sits 94-96 and touches 98, to pair with a developing slider and fringy change. He has used that arsenal to post a 13.2 K/9 rate and 2.27 ERA in the minors. He is a health conscious, high-motored prospect with a cerebral approach to pitching and uncompromising work ethic.

18. Andrew Dalquist, RHP
Age: 20
Highest level: Rookie

Dalquist represents another bonus baby signed during the 2019 draft ($2 million as a third round pick). Like others from his draft class, the Covid pandemic has limited his experience. Listed at 6’1″ 175-pounds, he doesn’t possess a typical power pitcher’s build but his mechanics look clean and unlabored. It will be interesting to see how the experience of spending the 2020 season at the remote site affects the development of some of these youngsters (like Dalquist, Thompson, and Kelley) as they embark on their first full season assignments.

19. Seby Zavala, C
Age: 27
Highest level: MLB 

Zavala is the kind of gritty hard working catcher that coaches love. He is a gifted defender with an athletic build and he earns praise from his pitchers as a quality game caller. With the bat he exhibits plus power but his aggressive approach has generated low walk and high strikeout totals. I remain convinced he will be a solid backup catcher in the big leagues.

20. Yermin Mercedes, C
Age: 27
Highest level: MLB 

Mercedes boasts a track record of success as a minor league hitter with a career slash line of .302/.366/.491. He is a fun player to watch with his high leg kick, big swing and bubbling enthusiasm. Listed at 5’11” 235-pounds, Mercedes recently placed emphasis on improving his conditioning and posted pictures of his body transformation on social media. It will be interesting to see if these changes enhance his already stellar offensive statistics. The formerly portly slugger was earning attention with a huge offensive performance in spring training where he slashed .364/.417/.955 with four bombs in only 22 at bats.

21. Zack Burdi, RHP
Age: 25
Highest level: MLB 

In 2016 it was widely believed that Burdi would have one of the quickest ascensions from his draft class to the big leagues. As a power pitcher with a reliever profile and triple digit heater he looked the part of a future closer. Unfortunately a Tommy John procedure interrupted the promising right-hander’s development in 2017. In 2020 Burdi made his belated MLB debut and displayed an ability to miss bats, striking out 11 hitters in 7.1 innings. Although his average fastball velocity has dipped about two clicks it still registers plus, sitting comfortably in the upper nineties. If Burdi can harness his command,  his (FB, SL, CH) pitch mix will make a valuable bullpen asset.

22. Jimmy Lambert, RHP
Age: 26
Highest level: MLB

Despite being used exclusively as a starter in the minors, Lambert made two relief appearances for the Sox in 2020. His two scoreless innings were encouraging, but his season ended as quickly as it began when he was shut down in June. Barring setbacks he should be ready to roll in 2021.

 

Tier 4

23. Bernardo Flores Jr., LHP
Age: 25
Highest level: MLB

Flores made his White Sox debut last year due to the atypical circumstances of the Covid season. The left-hander has a track record of success at every stop in the minors. Flores emphasizes pitchability over raw stuff as he pitches to contact, pounds the zone and generates extreme ground ball rates.

24. Will Kincanon, RHP
Age: 25
Highest level: A+

In 2019 Kincanon experienced a breakout season. He earned recognition as a Carolina League all-star by striking out 11/9 IP and authoring a 1.86 ERA. He uses his prototypical 6’3″ 230-pound power pitcher’s build to throw a bowling ball sinker that he can get up to 97 mph. Thus far Kincanon has generated ground balls at an absurdly high rate approaching 58%. His put away slider works in the 83-86 range. After being left off the 60-man roster and exposed to the rule 5 draft Kincanon might have extra motivation stoking his competitive fire in 2021.

25. Jose Rodriguez, IF
Age: 19
Highest level: Rookie

Rodriguez raked as a teenager in both the DSL and the AZL. Listed at 5’11 175, he displayed impressive pop in Arizona mashing nine home runs as an 18-year-old. The caveat with Rodriguez lies with his aggressive approach and low (4%) walk rate. There is a saying in the Dominican Republic, “You have to hit your way off the island and walk your way past AAA.” This mantra often leads to a see-ball-hit-ball approach, a method that can succeed at lower levels, but often leads to decreasing OBPs and increasing strikeouts as players advance. The key for Rodriguez will be honing his approach against advanced pitching and finding a level of comfort defensively. Although he has played multiple infield positions, he will likely fit best at second base.

26. Bryce Bush, OF
Age: 21
Highest level: A 

Bush played extremely well in the rookie league in 2018. His combined slash .309/.396/.453 helped the slugger earn an accelerated promotion to full season Kannapolis as a 19-year-old. Unfortunately vision issues and injuries plagued his sophomore season, turning it into one he’d probably rather forget. Physically he offers athleticism, on a frame geared for power along with surprising straight line speed and a strong throwing arm. In 2019 he made a position change from third base to the outfield (which he prefers) and adjusted seamlessly. With the injuries behind him I maintain a bullish outlook and believe Bush will rebound in a huge way in 2021. His future is bright.


27. DJ Gladney, 3B
Age: 19
Highest level: Rookie

Gladney is a 6’3″ 204-pound man child that spent 2019 torching AZL pitchers as a 17-year-old. His prodigious power helped him notch eight home runs as one of the youngest players in the league, including one that traveled an estimated 456 feet. The homegrown Chicago prospect even drew attention from teammate Andrew Vaughn who shared, “He’s going to be something special, he’s got some special raw power.” His 37% rate is high, but should be taken in context given his youth and midwestern prep baseball roots. 

28. Bryan Ramos, OF
Age: 18
Highest level: Rookie

The Cuban teen thrived in 2019 skipping the DSL and heading directly to the rookie league. Ramos slash line .277/.353/.415  paired with a palatable 44:19 K/BB ratio suggest the foundation for a solid hit tool. Although he has several years of development ahead, the building blocks are in place and there are plenty of reasons for optimism about his long-term potential.

29. Jason Bilous, RHP
Age: 23
Highest level: A 

Bilous has electric stuff but elusive control. When he’s on, he looks like an ace. When he’s off he piles up high pitch counts and walks. In 2019 he threw 61% of his pitches for strikes allowing free passes in all but three of his 31 appearances. When Bilous operates in the zone he misses bats with a mid-nineties fastball complemented by a change and slider.  In 2019 he scrapped his windup opting to pitch exclusively from the stretch. Bilous spent the Covid season concentrating on arm care and retooling his windup. He felt that his approach of only utilizing the stretch sapped his velocity. His goal is to resurrect the consistent upper nineties fastball he had in college. Bilous is a very interesting prospect with a high ceiling if he can consistently find the strike zone.

30. Lane Ramsey, RHP
Age: 24
Highest level: A

I am much higher on Ramsey than many others. His 7.57 K/9 ratio doesn’t suggest overpowering stuff, but he truly has it. The right-hander stands at 6’9″ 245-pounds with long arms and legs that allow his mid-nineties heater to play up. His three-quarters arm slot offers extreme downhill plane and hitters have had a difficult time elevating his pitches (53% ground ball rate in 2019). Ramsey’s frame has plenty of room to accommodate good weight. His fastball frequently touches 97 with legitimate potential for triple figures. He learned a lot in 2019 and revamped his arsenal based on analytics suggesting he throw more four-seamers. During 2020, he added a splitter to his pitch mix with hopes of providing an additional weapon to deploy against lefties. Ramsey owned right-handed hitters striking them out at a 27% clip and limiting them to a .153 avg in 111 at bats. His future is bright.

31. Alex Destino, OF
Age: 25
Highest level: A+ 

Destino boasts a very accomplished amateur resume. As a flame throwing pitcher he helped the USA Baseball 18U team win a gold medal against Japan. He went on to play college ball in the SEC for the South Carolina Gamecocks. For reasons beyond his control, the White Sox chose a cautious development plan for Destino letting him languish in Rookie ball for two seasons before promoting him to A-ball in 2019. Although he is going to have to shake an “old-for-the-level” label, he is a legitimate prospect. In 2019, the left-handed hitting Destino was among the SAL leaders in batting average, home runs and RBI while displaying one of the best outfield throwing arms in the system. Showcasing his power, Destino had the distinction of hitting two bombs off the batter’s eye in Charleston in four games. This feat was accomplished only four times during the entire season. 

32. Andrew Perez, LHP
Age: 23
Highest level: A+

This hard throwing lefty reliever sits comfortably in the 93-94 mph range and touches 96. Perez is an extremely hard worker, gym rat, and high character kid. He dominated both A and A+ in 2019 striking out 11.5/9 IP. In 98.2 minor league innings, he’s allowed only one home run.

33. Bennett Sousa, LHP
Age: 25
Highest level: AA

Sousa is hard throwing left-handed reliever. He was fast-tracked in 2019 and pitched at three different levels. He has shown dominance in his minor league career posting a 2.06 ERA and striking out 10.4/9 IP. With his fastball, plus breaking stuff and elite 70% strike rate, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in a White Sox uniform soon.

34. Caleb Freeman, RHP
Age: 22
Highest level: A

Freeman is a hard-throwing right-hander with high leverage bullpen potential. His fastball sits in the mid-nineties but can touch 98 when he reaches back for extra. Another positive for Freeman is that his arm hasn’t been abused, he only threw 66.2 innings in college. He could be a fast mover.

35. Tyler Osik, C
Age: 24
Highest level: A

Osik was a huge surprise for the White Sox in 2019. After adjusting to minor league life, he found a groove in his last 22 games slashing .321/.380/.643. The Sox used fall instructs to transition him from outfield to catcher, a position his father Keith manned for ten big league seasons. Unfortunately, with the 2020 season being lost, he was unable to get the necessary reps to hone his defensive skills behind the dish. Osik is a high IQ player with an unquestionable work ethic. If he can provide adequate defense behind the plate, his bat should carry him. One to watch.

36. Kade McClure, RHP
Age: 24
Highest level: A+ 

McClure’s modus operandi on the mound emphasizes pitchability over raw stuff. His fastball velocity is middling but his 6’7″ 230-pound frame offers projection for more in the tank. He’s very athletic and his height paired with his arm slot offers downhill plane and extension. His breaking stuff is fringy but projects to be average. His profile suggests a swingman or middle relief role.

37. Isaiah Carranza, RHP
Age: 23
Highest level: College

Carranza was selected in the 12th round with the 348th pick of the 2018 Draft. At the time he was considered a great value as MLB Pipeline had him ranked as the 166th prospect. Due to Tommy John surgery, Carranza has yet to make his minor league debut. However, he received glowing reports from fall instructs for his ability to command four pitches while sitting in the 93-95 mph range. 

38. Chase Krogman, OF
Age: 19
Highest level: Rookie

Despite being drafted in the 34th round, Krogman received the sixth highest bonus among White Sox 2019 draftees $190K. With a two-way background as a prep, he possesses a strong outfield throwing arm. His teammates laud him for his intangibles, preparedness and tools. He displays a beautiful left-handed stroke and generates surprising power considering his age and size.

39. Lency Delgado, SS
Age: 21
Highest level: Rookie

Delgado’s 2021 prospect profile is very similar to Luis Curbelo’s entering 2019. The two players have similar builds, hit right-handed, play the same positions, attended high schools in Florida, and have thus far shown more tools than results. 2021 should see Delgado placed at Kannapolis for his first test at full season baseball.

40. Yolbert Sanchez, SS
Age: 23
Highest level: DSL

Sanchez was a high profile international signee, inking a $2.5 million dollar bonus in 2019. Given his advanced age for the DSL where he was 4.2 years older than par, his offensive performance was underwhelming .297/.386/.441. In Cuba he was lauded as very adept defensive shortstop. He will be assigned to a full season affiliate in 2021.

 

Tier 5

41. Tyler Frost, OF
Age: 25
Highest level: A+

As a prep pitcher Frost was Arizona state’s Gatorade Player of the Year recipient in 2014. In college he began as a two-way player before finding more success as an outfielder. He possesses surprising power given his size, along with one of the best outfield throwing arms in the White Sox system. He made an effort to change his pull heavy approach and hit to all fields in 2019. Frost will likely assume a role as a shuttle player, but he has some interesting tools.

42. James Beard, OF
Age: 20
Highest level: Rookie

Beard is known largely for possessing 80-grade speed on a Dee Gordon like frame. He’s very raw which will make him a slow mover through the system. Due to his elite speed, any competency with the bat should provide him with plenty of opportunities.

43. Alec Hansen, RHP
Age: 26
Highest level: AA

As late as 2017, Hansen looked every bit like a future MLB world-beater. The three years since have not been as kind. Hansen has walked 9/9 IP since recovering from injury in 2018 as his already questionable control completely disappeared (57% strike rate in 2019). At his best the massive 6’7″ 235-pound flame-thrower misses bats with a plus fastball and curve. If a pitching coach can help him regain consistency, he has the upside of a high-leverage reliever.

 

44. Corey Zangari, 1B
Age: 23
Highest level: A

Zangari was a ballyhooed draft pick in 2015 earning a $510K signing bonus as a sixth round pick. He possesses an excellent throwing arm due to his prep background as a high profile pitching prospect. He also displays surprising athleticism for a big 6’4″ 240-pound kid as he is able to do a full split while stretching out at first base. His raw power is among the best in the system and he puts on a show in batting practice. Zangari finds himself playing catch up right now as injuries have taken nearly two full seasons of his development.


45. Harvin Mendoza, 1B
Age: 21
Highest level: Rookie

Mendoza comes with the typical concerns of a first base only prospect. He’s going to have to hit a ton to garner attention. That said, he shows a track record of excellent plate discipline and high OBPs. His former Great Falls teammate Avery Weems shared, “I could trust him with any play behind me. Great hands, flexibility, patient and disciplined hitter that can get hits or score runs… good power. Overall great teammate.” He is likely to begin 2021 as the first baseman for Kannapolis where he will be age appropriate for the assignment. 

46. Elijah Tatis, SS
Age: 19
Highest level: DSL

For DNA alone Tatis warrants a ranking on this list. His brother Fernando is among the elite players in the game. Elijah’s father, Fernando Sr. once hit two grand slams in one inning off of Chan Ho Park. The 5’11” 155-pound, Tatis didn’t hit a lick in the DSL as a 17-year-old in 2019 .187/.300/.213. He’s a long way from the big leagues and only time will tell whether he’s a legitimate prospect or the next Craig Griffey. 

47. Konnor Pilkington, LHP
Age: 23
Highest level: A+

Pilkington is a prototypical crafty left-hander. His fastball sits 89-91 mph and he complements it with an average curveball, slider, and change pitch mix. His stuff has regressed since his college days at Mississippi State, but if he can find his way back into more consistent velo he has back of the rotation starter potential.

48. Jacob Lindgren, LHP
Age: 27
Highest level: MLB

Lindgren was once a promising reliever in the New York Yankees organization. After being drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft he tore through the minors, making his MLB debut as a 22-year-old in 2015. He joined the White Sox organization in 2019 following rehabilitation from two Tommy John surgeries and a three year absence from game action. It would be a great story if Lindgren’s perseverance helps him reach a big league pitching mound again.

49. Luis Mieses, OF
Age: 20
Highest level: Rookie

Mieses has considerable tools but limited statistical success. The lost 2020 season would have benefited players like Mieses the most, affording him much needed repetitions to develop his approach and advance his on base skills. 2021 might be a year of developmental bumps and bruises as he is likely to see an assignment to full season Kannapolis.

50. Taylor Varnell, LHP
Age: 25
Highest level: A+

Varnell is a true grinder, selected in the 29th round of the 2018 draft he has found success at every assignment the White Sox have given him. The 6’1″ 190-pound southpaw was last seen baffling hitters with his low nineties fastball paired with a “Zack Greinke-like” slow curve. Varnell spent the Covid off-season crushing gym workouts in an effort to reach his max physical projection and increase his fastball velocity. Varnell struck out Future’s Game MVP Sam Huff twice in one game in 2019; despite the platoon side advantage being against him.




About Dan Victor 2 Articles
Dan Victor grew up in the fandom of the White Sox and Cubs in a place commonly referred to as “da region.” He has been extensively covering and tweeting about the White Sox farm system since 2016. He currently resides in North Carolina within an hour and a half circle of three White Sox minor league affiliates (Kannapolis Cannonballers, Charlotte Knights and Winston-Salem Dash). In addition to writing about Sox prospects, Victor and his wife help support the minor leagues by serving as a host family for Kannapolis farmhands. He has written features for Notes from the Sally, South Side Sox, South Side Hit Pen (Sports Illustrated’s White Sox site), Future Sox, Ranger Ball, and Buc’s Dugout. In the past year he has interviewed Andrew Vaughn, Futures Game MVP Sam Huff, and Pittsburgh Pirates minor league player of the year Mason Martin.

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