It’s an amazing time of year, as pitchers and catchers have reported and spring training games are right around the corner. Ahead of my trip to Arizona (Feb. 28 – March 3) to catch some spring training action, I thought it would be fun to look at what I’m watching for among the White Sox prospects who will report to Camelback Ranch:
PROSPECTS ON ACTIVE ROSTER:
Dylan Covey – RHP
Covey was a Rule-5 pick from Oakland this offseason. Will be watching his pitch-mix and strikeout ability to see if he’s a potential back-end rotation sleeper
Tyler Danish – RHP
Watching to see if Danish has developed his curveball into a pitch that can get swinging strikes.
Carson Fulmer – RHP
What role will the Pale Hose use Fulmer in? I’m interested to see if he can stick as a starter, or if the club decides to develop him as a relief arm.
Lucas Giolito – RHP
Other then being excited to see his big-time talent on display, I’m watching Giolito’s movement on his breaking pitches. Can he be more than his fastball?
Reynaldo Lopez – RHP
I’m interested to see how much Lopez can force the issue to be considered for a back-end starting spot. I’ll be watching his control, which elevated to 4.5 BB/9 in 44 innings with the Nationals last summer.
Matt Davidson – 3B
I’m watching Davidson’s foot. All signs point that it’s healed-up from the unlucky fracture he suffered rounding first base on a single last summer. Apparently Davidson was “crushing the ball” in January mini-camp.
Because we are rebuilding, I assume the White Sox want to hold off on Moncada’s debut with the big club. However, I’m watching to see how much Moncada is going to force the issue. If he goes wild this spring, it’s going to be hard to have him start the season in Charlotte.
Adam Engel – CF
I’m watching Engel’s plate-approach and glove to see if he can be a top of the order guy for the big club in 2017. It sounds like Charlie Tilson has the inside lane to the CF job, but anything is possible in spring training.
Rymer Liriano – LF
He was once a promising prospect, but he missed all of last season after getting hit in the face with a baseball. I’m watching to see how he has bounced back to see if he’s a potential wildcard to see some playing time with the big club this season.
Jacob May – CF
Can May get on base? I’ll be watching his plus speed on the basepaths, but the big question is whether he can change his approach to get on base consistently enough to use that speed.
Charlie Tilson – CF
I’m watching to see if he really looks like a big-league centerfielder. Rick Hahn has said the club wants to see what he can do as an everyday player in CF. The starting job might be his to lose this spring.
Spencer Adams – RHP
Can he strike out big league hitters? Adams has projectable skills, but he didn’t bring the strikeouts to High-A Winston-Salem (6.2 K/9) or AA Birmingham (4.2 K/9) last season.
Aaron Bummer – LHP
I’m interested to see if this lanky lefty can develop into a left-handed specialist for the bullpen
Zack Burdi – RHP
Our projected future-closer. I think Burdi will be up with the big club sooner than later. I’ll be watching his control as he can be wild at times.
Michael Kopech – RHP
Looking for triple-digit heat!
Zack Collins – C
The question with Collins is where will he play. I think he already has the ability to hit in the bigs. Lots of talk about him developing his receiving skills this offseason. Let’s see if it translates to games (I have my doubts).
Nicky Delmonico – 3B
Rumor has it that Delmonico has a shot at seeing some at-bats at DH for the White Sox this season. Yes, I just wrote that sentence. It’s going to be a long season on the South Side. Anyway, let’s see if this kid can hit.
Courtney Hawkins – LF
I’m hoping to see Hawkins flash his power-potential this spring. He’s only 23, so I’m rooting for a turn-around, even though I’m not optimistic he will be anything more than a bust. Or maybe he will be converted to a reliever, as suggested by Future Sox.