Saturday, March 9, 2019

Winston Salem Dash 2019 Prospect Preview


The good news for White Sox fans is that they have a very good farm system.  In the MLB organizational rankings, the White Sox are rated fourth.  The bad news for Winston Salem Dash fans and Carolina League prospect watchers is that very few of the White Sox top prospects are likely to be playing for the Dash.  Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal are two headliners who could begin the year in the Winston Salem, but they will likely be in Birmingham very soon, especially if they get off to good starts.  This is a very top heavy system with few interesting prospects outside of the top 15.





Name
Luis Robert
Age
8/3/97 (21)
Height and Weight
6'3" 185 lbs
Acquired
2016-2017 international signing
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
40
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
3
MLB Org Ranking
4
Chances of being in the Carolina League
It is possible Robert begins the year for the Dash, but he is likely to spend the majority of the season in Birmingham.


The White Sox invested over fifty million dollars in signing Robert between his bonus and luxury taxes. He was the last major signing under the old collective bargaining agreement.  Robert missed a lot of time in 2018 due to a thumb injury.  He did play 32 games for the Dash.  Robert was impressive in the Arizona Fall League.  Tremendous athlete, with great power and speed potential.  His hit tool will determine how successful of a career Robert has.



Name
Nick Madrigal
Age
3/5/97 (22)
Height and Weight
5'7" 165 lbs
Acquired
1st round 2018
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
15 overall by baseballprospectus.com
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
4
MLB Org Ranking
5
Chances of being in the Carolina League
It is possible Madrigal begins the year for the Dash, but he is likely to spend the majority of the season in Birmingham.

Jose Altuve paved the way for short hitters and Madrigal was the fourth overall pick in the 2018 draft.   He is an extremely advanced hitter who went over 50 at bats in his pro career before striking out. One question is whether he is a second basemen or shortstop.  Whether Madrigal develops power will determine if he is a good or great major league player.




Name
Alec Hansen
Age
10/10/94 (24)
Height and Weight
6'7" 235 lbs
Acquired
Round 2 in 2016
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
51 on imaginarybrickwall.com
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
11
MLB Org Ranking
10
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Hansen won't be in the Carolina League long if he regains his 2017 form.  

Hansen graduated from the Carolina League after a very strong 2017 season which he ended with two starts in Birmingham.  Going into 2018 Hansen was a consensus top 100 prospect (54 on MLB, 40 on baseball Prospectus and 57 on Baseball America).  However, 2018 was a lost season for Hansen with injuries and control issues. In August he was demoted from Birmingham to Winston Salem where he walked 17 batters in 15.2 innings.




Name
Steele Walker
Age
7/30/96 (22)
Height and Weight
5'11" 190 lbs
Acquired
2nd round 2018 
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
314 by dynastyguru.com
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
15
MLB Org Ranking
11
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Likely but may start in Kannapolis

Walker is the best White Sox prospect that figures to spend the bulk of the season in Winston Salem. Walker was an good hitter at University of Oklahoma with an advanced hit tool, but struggled in 44 games as a pro.  Walker is a well rounded player but the hit tool is the only potential standout skill.




Name
Jake Burger
Age
4/10/96 (23)
Height and Weight
6'2" 210 lbs
Acquired
1st round in 2017
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
142 by faketeams.com
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
13
MLB Org Ranking
14
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Best case is Burger gets to Winston Salem for the 2nd half


Burger lost all of 2018 to an achilles injury which he actually tore in March 2018 running the bases and again in May while rehabbing.  Burger is a stocky, hit first 3rd basemen who the White Sox took with the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft.  It was always questionable whether he was going to stick at 3rd base and the injury is not going to help. It is projected that Burger will be ready for games around June 1st, likely in Kannapolis.




Name
Konnor Pilkington 
Age
9/12/97 (22) 
Height and Weight
6'3" 225 lbs
Acquired
3rd round in 2018
Pre Season Prospect Ranking

Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
16
MLB Org Ranking
20
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Either Kannipolis or Winston Salem to start.   Should eventually be on the Dash.

Pilkington is a big strong left handed pitcher who had success in college in the SEC. Like Alec Hansen, Pilkington was much better as a Sophomore than a Junior. He also reportedly was throwing up to the mid nineties at a Sophomore and only in the low nineties as a Junior. The White Sox took it easy with Pilkington after the college season, pitching mostly two inning starts in the Pioneer League.   



Name
Jonathan Stiever
Age
5/12/97 (21)
Height and Weight
6'2" 205 lbs
Acquired
5th round of 2018 draft
Pre Season Prospect Ranking

Prospectslive.com Org Ranking

MLB Org Ranking
27
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Likely to start in Kannapolis, but should be in Winston Salem by the second half. 

Like Pilkington, Stiever was a college pitcher who the White Sox picked in the 2018 draft. At Indiana, Stiever improved in each of his three seasons.   The White Sox eased Stiever into pro ball with short starts for Great Falls in the Pioneer League.



Name
Luis Curbelo
Age
11/10/97 (200
Height and Weight
6'3" 185 lbs 
Acquired
6th round 2016
Pre Season Prospect Ranking

Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
30
MLB Org Ranking

Chances of being in the Carolina League
Will likely begin in Kannapolis but should be up to Winston Salem with any success

Curbelo missed all but three games in 2017 with a leg injury so the assignment to Kannapolis was aggressive.  He struggled both offensively and defensively. Needs to cut down on strikeouts and errors but still very young.




Name
Tyler Frost
Age
11/21/95 (23)
Height and Weight
5'10" 183 lbs
Acquired
15th round in 2017
Pre Season Prospect Ranking

Prospectslive.com Org Ranking

MLB Org Ranking

Chances of being in the Carolina League
Likely

Frost is not much of a prospect, but a good bet to be on the Dash from day one in 2019.  He played his college ball at Gonzaga and had a solid season in 2018 with Kannapolis with 18 homers.


Future Carolina League Prospects

Byrce Bush (3B) - 33rd round draft choice because he was expected to go to Mississippi State but signed with the White Sox.  He hit .442 games in the AZL for 14 games and held his own for 24 games with Great Falls in the Pioneer League as an 18 year old.

Lenyn Sosa (SS) - had a solid year as an 18 year old in the Pioneer League with Great Falls.  Should form a nice left side of the infield the infield tandem with Bush at Kannapolis.

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