Who’ll be the next White Sox call-up?
That question depends on the farm system, which hasn’t exactly been a fount of talent.
Since 2010, when first-round pick Chris Sale jumped almost immediately to the majors, two other pitchers — Carlos Rodon (2014 draft) and Carson Fulmer (2015 draft) — have ascended quickly.
Rodon is in the rotation, and Fulmer has spent time with the major-league club this year.
The only other top pick to reach the majors is shortstop Tim Anderson, who was drafted in 2013.
The value of minor-league talent also plays out in trades, and the Sox were able to obtain Todd Frazier in a three-way deal in the offseason for right-hander Frankie Montas, infielder Micah Johnson and outfielder Trayce Thompson.
The Sox’ system entered the season ranked 20th overall by Baseball Prospectus, with pitchers such as Fulmer and right-hander Spencer Adams considered the most likely to advance soon behind Anderson.
It’s another indication that pitching remains the stronger part of the Sox’ system.
Here’s a look at the team’s best prospects:
† Zack Burdi. The 21-year-old right-handed pitcher is the latest first-round selection who might rise quickly. Drafted this June, he has thrown 16„ consecutive scoreless innings with Class AAA Charlotte and Class AA Birmingham.
† Adams. He was a second-round pick in 2014 and is pitching with Birmingham. He’s only 20 and was drafted out of high school, so time is on his side.
† Zack Collins. The Sox’ other first-round pick this June is considered among the top 10 catching prospects in baseball because of his hitting. He’s playing at advanced Class A Winston-Salem.
† Alec Hansen. The right-hander was a second-round pick this June, although he started his junior season at Oklahoma as a potential first-rounder. Hansen, 21, has gone 2-0 with a 1.19 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 37‰ innings between the Sox’ rookie-ball teams in Arizona and Great Falls. He also has posted a scoreless streak of 17 innings.
† Micker Adolfo. Only 19, he was considered the No. 2 prospect in the 2013-14 international signing period. He is considered to have the best raw power in the system with a strong arm in the outfield. He is rebounding from a fractured fibula he suffered late last season sliding into second base.
† Trey Michalczewski. A third baseman, Michalczewski, 21, has been one of the Sox’ better lower-round picks (seventh round, 2013). He’s a switch hitter who ranked second with 35 doubles and tied for third with 46 extra-base hits in the advanced Class A Carolina League last season.
† Charlie Tilson. The left-handed-hitting outfielder was acquired July 31 from the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Zach Duke, but he tore his left hamstring in his major-league debut Aug. 2 with the Sox and is out for the season. Tilson, 23, was a second-round pick of the Cardinals in 2011 and led the Class AA Texas League in hits (159), triples (nine) and steals (46) last season.
NOTE: Catcher Alex Avila, who has been sidelined with a strained right hamstring, began a rehab assignment Monday night with Charlotte. He is one of 10 Sox on the disabled list.
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