Injuries have plagued the White Sox through much of the past two years when the Sox had hopes they could compete with the top teams in the American League and Major League Baseball as a whole. However, there are a number of promising young prospects within the Sox’ farm that provide a glimmer of hope for the future of the team. Despite the injuries that have faced some of these names, it is clear that they have the potential to make a difference on the South Side.
Here are seven names to keep an eye out for that are making noise within the Sox’ farm system:
(No. 1 White Sox prospect per MLB.com)
One of just two White Sox prospects in the top 100 in MLB, Montgomery made his 2023 debut Monday for the ACL White Sox after missing time due to an oblique injury and a mid-back strain.
“Colson is going to play today for Arizona and he’ll be there hopefully over the next two weeks playing regularly and then join an affiliate after that period of time. Definitely progress for Colson,” Rick Hahn told reporters Monday.
The White Sox’ 2021 first round pick went 1-4 in his debut with a triple and a run as the designated hitter. Montgomery will now look to return to the form he held through much of the 2022 season.
He excelled in Low-A Kannapolis by hitting .324 with a .901 OPS in 45 games before being brought up to High-A Winston-Salem. Despite his average dropping nearly 70 points, his OBP remained strong thanks to a nearly 16 percent walk rate.
After 37 games there, he made yet another jump to Double-A Birmingham, but hit a wall in his minimal action with the Barons. In 52 plate appearances across 14 games, Montgomery hit just .146 while recording a .292 slug along with a 28.8% strikeout rate.
Once Montgomery is able to put this injury spurt behind him, he can look to rebound in a big way and continue to climb the Sox’ system in the latter half of 2023.
(No. 2 White Sox prospect per MLB.com)
After climbing the ranks from High-A Winston-Salem to Triple-A Charlotte in 2022, Colas began 2023 on the White Sox’ opening day roster. He struggled in 25 games with Chicago as he posted a .541 OPS with just seven RBIs before being sent down to Charlotte.
Since then, Colas has flipped it around with a .758 OPS in 38 games in Triple-A. His numbers are not quite at where they were in his dominant 2022 campaign, but he has rebounded nicely from his time with Chicago.
If the White Sox are unable to turn things around in time for the trade deadline and are forced to be sellers, Colas has a chance to make another appearance in the big leagues with a chance at redemption.
(No. 3 White Sox prospect per MLB.com)
Another prospect that has faced injury issues, Ramos’ season debut had to wait until May 23 due to a groin issue. He recorded two hits in four games with Low-A Kannapolis upon return before being pulled up to Double-A Birmingham.
While Ramos’ numbers might not blow you away with just a .236 batting average in his 15 games in Double-A, his .354 OBP is a number to keep an eye on. A big part of that jump between batting average and OBP can be found in his 15.2 percent walk rate. Along with that, Ramos holds a .319 batting average on balls in play, but he has only done so in 47 of his 71 at bats.
Once Ramos is able to climb his way back to 100 percent health, there will be a better outlook on what he is able to do to make his way to the big leagues. However, there are plenty of encouraging numbers up to this point to give White Sox fans hope in the meantime.
(No. 4 White Sox prospect per MLB.com)
After being selected as the White Sox’ 2022 first round pick out of Oswego East High School in Illinois, Schultz just recently saw his first action with Low-A Kannapolis. Through his first three outings, he has not disappointed in the slightest.
“Noah has been outstanding. This is a very young kid. … He is extremely early in his career, but one that we certainly project to be very very promising. So far, so good,” Hahn told reporters Monday.
In seven innings of work, Schultz has allowed just two baserunners — a double in his first outing and a walk in his most recent — while striking out 12 of the 23 batters he has faced. He has only thrown 32 balls out of his 103 pitches — good for a 68.9 percent strike rate.
It is very early in the 19-year-old’s career, but he is showing early signs of why the Sox used their first round pick on him a year ago.
(No. 5 White Sox prospect per MLB.com)
Burke came into the season dealing with some shoulder soreness after spring training and it has clearly impacted him through the early months of the 2023 season. He has allowed four or more runs in five of his nine outings with a season ERA of 7.68.
However, Burke put together a strong 2022 campaign when he climbed from High-A to Triple-A and posted a 4.75 ERA — a number hurt by two rough outings in Triple-A to close out the season. He put together a 2.89 ERA in six appearances with High-A and a 4.81 ERA in Double-A. He peaked in August 2022 when allowed six runs while striking out 38 batters and walking seven across 21 innings of work.
Burke’s 2023 struggles have been evident, but his 2022 campaign and varied success this year are reasons to believe the White Sox’ No. 5 prospect could still make an impact in Chicago down the stretch this season and in the future.
(No. 9 White Sox prospect per MLB.com)
Pallette has been shining early on with Low-A Kannapolis through his first ten outings of the year. He features a three-pitch arsenal with a deadly curveball followed by a mid-90s fastball and a changeup.
Across 31 1/3 innings of work, Pallette holds a 3.45 ERA with just two outings in which he allowed more than two runs. Teams have struggled to put the ball in play of the righty as he boasts just a .177 batting average and .266 slug against through 134 batters faced.
If Pallette is able to bring his 1.72 strikeout/walk ratio a little closer to the MLB average of 2.8, he is showing plenty of promise to make an impact in the big leagues down the road.
(No. 19 White Sox prospect per MLB.com)
Outside of two outings, McDougal has been lights out for Low-A Kannapolis and he holds a 3.27 ERA across 33 innings of work this season. He features a four-pitch arsenal highlighted by a mid-90s fastball and an upper-70s curve.
Appearing in 10 games this season, McDougal has posted six shutout performances while only allowing more than two runs twice — a four-run outing against Lynchburg and a five-run outing against Augusta in which he walked six batters. Those walks have been an issue for him so far this year as he is averaging 2.8 per game compared to 4.5 strikeouts.
Despite that, he has avoided disaster by holding his opponents to just a .179 batting average and .286 slug. If he can focus on improving his pitch placement while continuing to limit solid contact, McDougal will be on his way to making an impact in Chicago.