The Chicago White Sox have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, and they will put it on full display this fall as they send seven of their best prospects to the Arizona Fall League’s Glendale Desert Dogs.
The White Sox, who own the third overall pick in next year’s MLB Draft, are focused on building up that farm system as their rebuilding process continues, and the AFL will give them another opportunity to showcase that talent.
LHP Tanner Banks
A starting pitcher in the Sox organization, Banks had a 12-7 record and a 2.59 ERA in 23 starts this season, and struck out 100 batters in 146 innings of work.
He doesn’t have strong strikeout stuff, but according to Baseball America, he has a wicked curve ball that can induce weak contact, and he locates his fastball, sitting around 90 MPH, well.
OF Luis Alexander Basabe
A dual threat with his power and his speed, Basabe will be one of the most highly touted prospects taking the field in Arizona. Basabe had 15 home runs and 56 RBI this season in Birmingham and Winston-Salem, and he also stole 16 bases in 28 total attempts.
His batting average is a bit on the low side at .258, but he posted a respectable .354 on-base percentage and an .800 OPS this season.
RHP Zack Burdi
Burdi only appeared in seven games with the team’s Rookie League squad after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2017, but he looked sharp in those games, sporting a 2.84 ERA in seven appearances.
Burdi had made it up to Triple-A Charlotte prior to undergoing surgery, and the talented righty could find his way up to the big leagues next season if he has a good AFL campaign.
RHP Danny Dopico
The hurler made 33 appearances this season, including four starts, and posted a 2.98 ERA in games with Winston-Salem and Birmingham.
Dopico may get lost in the shuffle with some of the team’s other pitching prospects, but he’s got some serious upside, as he averaged 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings and registered five saves in Class-A.
INF Laz Rivera
A Class-A standout for the White Sox, Rivera hit 13 home runs in 515 plate appearances this season and also stole 17 bases.
His .314 batting average is definitely strong, but he will need to cut down on his strikeout rate, as he fanned 92 times in 462 at-bats.
OF Luis Robert
One of the team’s top prospects, Robert is still a little ways away from the big leagues, but he could certainly turn some heads in Arizona, as he averaged .269 with 17 RBI and 15 stolen bases this season.
Watching Robert at the minor league level this season, his speed was by far his biggest weapon, and he should get plenty of chances to steal some bases and showcase his defensive skills in the AFL.
RHP Zach Thompson
In 43 appearances this season, Thompson had a 6-1 record and an impressive 1.55 ERA, and struck out 76 batters in 75.1 innings of work.
He held opponents to a .218 batting average in those games, and at the age of 24 could be poised to make the jump to the big leagues as soon as next season.