Player development key to White Sox’ rebuild

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Lucas Giolito, right, warms up with other pitchers at the White Sox baseball spring training facility Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox have strengthened their farm system dramatically with two trades that reeled in seven prospects, five of whom are in their top 10.

Four of them are listed among’s top-100 list.

Now comes the important part: developing them.

It’s a responsibility that starts with first-year director of player development Chris Getz.

“To bring in this type of talent and to be a part of it, help to develop them into championship-type players, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do,’’ Getz said.

Getz, 33, a former Sox infielder, spent the last two seasons as a baseball operations assistant in player development with the Royals. The key to getting it right is treating no two players the same.

“First of all, we’re dealing with individuals,’’ Getz said. “The key is getting to know the individual’s strengths and weaknesses and putting a plan together for that player.

“Where people fall in trouble is when they try to blanket and monopolize the whole deal. You can have your organizational philosophies, but within that, we are dealing with human beings here, and everyone needs to be treated differently. Buttons have to be pressed differently, so you have to be creative with teaching and coaching.’’

Here are the Sox’ 10 top prospects, according to Follow them closely in 2017. How they develop will define the success of the Sox’ rebuilding plan:

1. Yoan Moncada, 2B-3B

Age 21, signed out of Cuba, acquired in Chris Sale trade, hit .294/.407/.511 with 15 home runs, 45 steals between high Class A and AA. No.   2 prospect in baseball, switch hitter with power, speed. Likely 2017 start in Class AAA, ETA: 2017.

2. Lucas Giolito, RHP

Age 22, Nationals first-rounder in 2012, came in Adam Eaton deal. Had 2.97 ERA in 115 Class AA, AAA innings but saw velocity drop and control issues rise. Big curveball. Ranked 11th by Likely start in Class AAA, ETA: ’17.

3. Michael Kopech, RHP

Age 20, Red Sox 2014 first-rounder came in Sale trade. Upper-90s fastball, touched 105. Hard slider, too. Reminds of Noah Syndergaard. Ranked 16th by Had 2.25 ERA in 52 innings in low Class A. Likely start in Class AA, ETA: ’18.

4. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP

Age 22, signed by Nats out of Dominican Republic, came in Eaton deal. Six inches shorter than Giolito, but some scouts prefer him to Giolito. Has touched 100 mph. Had 3.21 ERA in 109 Class AA-AAA IP. Ranked 46th by Likely start in Class AAA, ETA: ’17.

5. Carson Fulmer, RHP

Age 23, drafted eighth overall by Sox in 2015 from Vanderbilt. Had 4.63 ERA in 103 innings in Class AA and AAA and struggled in brief stint in majors. Sox like his four-pitch mix and makeup. Likely start in Class AAA, ETA: ’17.

6. Zack Collins, C

Age 21, Sox first-rounder in ’16 from Miami. Lefty with power, plate discipline hit .258/.418/.467 with six homers in 120 Class A at-bats. Better receiver than thrower, must prove he’s catcher. Likely start in high Class A, ETA: late ’18.

7. Spencer Adams, RHP

Age 20, Sox 2014 second-rounder out of high school had 3.98 ERA in 163 innings between high Class A and AA. Fastball 88-92 but good command. Scouts like loose, repeatable delivery. Likely start in Class AA, ETA: late ’18.

8. Zack Burdi, RHP

Age 21, Sox first-rounder in ’16 from Louisville profiles as future closer with 96-100 mph fastball, plus slider and changeup. Likely start in Class AAA, ETA: ’17.

9. Luis Alexander Basabe, CF

Age 20, Venezuelan came in Sale trade. Five-tool potential, switch hitter with instincts on bases hit .264/.328/.452 in Class A. Strong arm and power. Likely start in high Class A, ETA: ’19 or ’20.

10. Dane Dunning, RHP

Age 22, Nats first-rounder in ’16 from Florida, came in Eaton trade. Had 2.02 ERA in rookie ball. Relieved mostly in college but looks like starter with 90-94 sinking fastball, plus slider and changeup. Likely start in Class A, ETA: ’19.

Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.


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