Good morning friends, it is your pal BeefLoaf and we are just inside of 12 hours away from the meet up tonight at Baderbrau (2515 S. Wabash), with the host of my favorite White Sox podcast, The SouthSideSox podcast, Josh Nelson (@sss_joshnelson). I wanted to come at you with a quick hit. Baseball Prospectus came out with the White Sox top 10 2018 prospect list and I figured I would give my thoughts. No, I don’t know shit about scouting, and no I don’t make my own list, I leave that to the pros, but that doesn’t mean I can’t pull up a chair and give my opinions.
Here is the list!!!
Baseball Prospectus is usually the best at taking an actual stand on these things, they don’t give you the usual, where every starting pitcher profile is “reliever” because they are hedging their bets and every athletic player is “4th OF” or “Utility” player. They usually say something, so I was shocked at the following proclamations in the article.
Michael Kopech – OFP 70 – No. 2 Starter…..I know what you’ll say, ‘Loaf, wtf does all that mean? OFP = Overall Future Profile, it is basically the upside or high end view of their powers. I thought this is exceedingly conservative considering that most people would consider Mr. Kopech as the top pitching prospect in baseball. This stuff is graded on an 80 grade scale, so I would most definitely put an OFP 80 if I were the fine folks at BP. Also, I understand that the definition of “No. 1 Starter” doesn’t mean the top starter on a team in inner baseball circles, it usually means top 10-15 starters in the game based on time and place. Still, wouldn’t No. 1 Starter be the grade you HAVE to give your top pitching prospect in baseball (hell even your top couple)…..I dunno, seems a little conservative for my liking and for BP’s normal style.
Luis Robert at #5 on the Overall List above – There were 42 caveats and 17 footnotes to this ranking and a bunch of hand wringing as well. I understand the concerns, but if I’m BP, I’m throwing Luis Robert, at worst, at #3, and I probably rate him #2. No offense to Eloy, who I think will be terrific, but Luis Robert ceiling is either the highest or second highest next to Kopech given the tools and approach (did I use those terms right? I can never tell).
Jake Burger at #6 on the Overall List above – I have no clue if Jake Burger becomes the Jake Burger that is all over TV commercials in the local Chicagoland area, crushing booze and food up and down the viagra triangle and being an overall fun presence at Sox Park both personality-wise and on the field (crushing bombs and developing a killer bat flip). What I do know, at least from current MLB is that right handed, bat first, power mainly, no position (ie 1st base / Designated Hitter) types aren’t worth a whole hell of a lot. We could pass the hat around tonight at Baderbrau and scrounge up enough scratch to sign a Chris Carter and he led the NL in bombs a couple of years ago. Putting this profile at #6 in the White Sox loaded system seems criminal. Truth be told, if this is actually accurate, that’s not good for our White Sox. I’d slide him back, probably to #10, possibly off the list.
First sentence back handed shot at the White Sox overall depth – I look at the people that aren’t on the top 10 or even the next 10 and realize this is a hella deep team. When you consider that Yolmer Sanchez doesn’t even make their top 10 talents under 25 list, you know you have a pretty decent group of young players. I guess we’ll just have to see this play out, but there are a bunch of fireballing minor league pitchers that didn’t sniff the article, and that has me feeling plenty good.
Zack Collins at #9 on the Overall List above – Given the value of a catcher that hits and is at least meh defensively, I think Collins might even be a little underrated here…..but at a minimum the BP folks see the potential and the chance that he’s a real valuable player for a future White Sox team even if he only catches ~60 games a season or something of the #2 catcher / 1st base / dh guy.
Dane Dunning at #7 on the Overall List above – I think if the White Sox were a good team he’d be on the 25 man come March 29th and be slotted into a high leverage spot in the pen. As the White Sox are not a good team, there is no reason to rush the young man. Let him continue on the path to potentially being a starter with the big club or possibly a multi-inning weapon out of the pen.
All in all, BP does a great job with this sort of stuff. I particularly liked Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take for each player, as he interjects some fun into the writing, and if you know us 108ers, we prefer to be entertained when we are reading somethings.