After the trades the White Sox completed at the deadline, their system is better, but it’s still in the bottom quartile of the league. Colson Montgomery is the top prospect, and he’s a high-floor player who lacks fantasy-friendly skills. Noah Shultz can’t stay healthy. I liked the trade for Nick Nastrini, but until he throws more strikes, he’s more of a number four starter instead of a top-of-the-rotation starter. Jacob Wilson, their first-round pick last July, is like Colson Montgomery. He should be able to hit, but I question how much power and speed he will have.
If you’re a White Sox fan, prepare for a drought, as I don’t see a lot of impact players in their system.
- Top Prospect: Colson Montgomery
- Biggest Mover: Noah Schultz
- Biggest Disappointment: Jacob Gonzalez
- Emerging Prospect: Abraham Nunez
1. Colson Montgomery (SS)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Middle Infielder or Top 15 2B/3B
- Tools Summary: He has a feel to hit with solid power potential. There will not be a ton of stolen bases.
Colson Montgomery was the White Sox’s first-round pick in 2021 and went through three levels in 2022. He missed the first half of the season in 2023 with a back strain, but when he returned, he picked up where he left off. He has a great understanding of the strike zone, walking as much as he’s striking out. He’s a big kid at 6-foot-3, and with his bat speed, I think you can project 15 to 20 home run pop, but he has yet to do that at any level. While he’s a good athlete, he’s a 50 runner and will likely slow as he fills out. Therefore, I don’t see stolen bases as a big part of the equation.
To sum it up, he’s a high-floor player that I think hits, with a chance for 15 to 20 home runs and limited stolen bases. If he stays at short, that’s likely a middle infielder, but a move to third or second will make him a Top 15 player at the position for fantasy baseball.
2. Noah Schultz (LHP)
- Highest Level: Low-A ETA: 2026+ Fantasy Ceiling: Wide-ranging from a Top-of-the-rotation arm to a kid who’s always hurt.
- Tools Summary: He’s tall and lanky with a chance to grow into velocity. The delivery is a lower three-quarter with effort.
Noah Schultz was the White Sox’s first-round pick in 2022 and began the season on the IL with a forearm strain. He also finished the season on the IL with a shoulder impingement.
In between, he looked good and overwhelmed Low-A hitters with his size and slinging delivery. At 6-foot-9, it’s encouraging that he’s throwing strikes, but the delivery is a lower three-quarter with some effort, so I’m not sure how he is able to repeat it, particularly given how young he is. He’s a physical projection kid and will likely build arm strength with a chance to move his low 90s fastball at least 2 or 3 MPH as he fills out.
To be provocative, there is some physical resemblance to Randy Johnson, and while I’ve heard some evaluators say that Schultz was a wasted #1 pick, many counted out Johnson as well. You should take away from this capsule that he’s intriguing, given his size and unique delivery, but he has a long way to go.
3. Jake Eder (LHP)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024-25 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 30 SP with risk
- Tools Summary: He’s back from TJ Surgery, and his stuff looks to be in pre-injury form. His control is spotty but should improve as he gets more comfortable.
Jake Eder is working his way back from his 2021 TJ Surgery and a broken foot that he suffered before the start of the 2023 season. He’s back in Double-A, and the stuff looks as good as ever. His fastball is sitting 93 to 95 MPH (T 96) with a wipeout slider with high spin. The change-up has improved from 2021 but still lags behind his other two pitches. He’s struggling with his control, which is totally normal. The upside before his injury was a number two starter, and I’m keeping that as his current ceiling. There’s a chance we see him in Chicago in 2024, but definitely in 2025.
4. Nick Nastrini (RHP)
- Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 50 SP with upside
- Tools Summary: It’s a quality arsenal with a simple delivery, but he doesn’t always throw strikes.
Nick Nastrini has a five-pitch arsenal, with his fastball sitting 93 to 95 (T96) and above-average spin (2250). His best secondary pitch is his change-up, which lacks a lot of fade, but gets plenty of whiffs and appears to be his primary out pitch. It’s swing-and-miss stuff, and he racked up over 11 strikeouts per nine across two organizations (White Sox and Dodgers) and two levels.
While he’s athletic and the delivery is simple, he walks too many hitters (4.5 BB/9). If he can correct, he’s at least a number three starter, maybe more. Until then, I must put his ceiling as a Top 50 starting pitcher.
5. Edgar Quero (C)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 Catcher
- Tools Summary: He performed ok as one of the youngest players in Double-A, showing an excellent understanding of the strike zone. He’ll get stronger, and 15+ home run power should emerge when he does.
The Angels were very aggressive with Edgar Quero in 2023, jumping him from Low to Double-A. When you consider that he was one of the youngest players in the league and a catcher at that, he performed ok. He walked nearly as much as he struck out and improved his game defensively. He also did not miss a beat after the trade and performed at the same level for the White Sox.
He showed little power, posting a SLG of .355 with six home runs. I think the power will emerge as he gets stronger and more physical. The upside is a Top 15 catcher with 15+ home runs with a well-above-average hit tool.
With his trade to the White Sox, he sits atop the depth chart in catching and should see Chicago sometime in 2025.
6. Bryan Ramos (3B)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 3B
- Tools Summary: He has elite bat speed with a feel to hit.
Bryan Ramos missed the season’s first month with a groin injury, and while it took him a while to get going, he wound up with a solid 2023 campaign. In 77 games in High-A, he slashed .271/.369/.457 with 14 home runs. He also struck out a reasonable 22% of the time while walking 11% of the time. The bat speed and exit velocities would suggest there is more pop in his bat, and if he can maintain his control of the strike zone, the ceiling is a full-time regular.
7. Jacob Gonzalez (SS, #15)
- Highest Level: Low-A ETA: 2025-26 Fantasy Ceiling: Middle Infielder
- Tools Summary: He should be able to hit for average, but stolen bases will be limited with questions on how much power he will eventually have.
Jacob Gonzalez is a plus defender with an excellent chance to stay at shortstop long-term despite lacking plus speed. He showed solid bat-to-ball skills in college, walking more than he struck out in his draft year. There is plenty of bat speed, but his swing is more geared for contact. Unless that changes, I’m unsure how much power he will develop. He is an average runner, so stolen bases will not be part of the profile.
If it all comes together, he could hit .280 with 70 points on top of that for OBP and 10 to 15 home runs. If he can make some changes to his swing to add leverage, there could be more future power.
8. Ky Bush (LHP)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 50 SP with risk
- Tools Summary: He has the size you want in a starter, but I would like to see him increase his fastball velo a grade and throw more strikes.
Ky Bush was the Angels’ second-round pick in 2021 and has yet to live up to his draft pedigree. He has the size at 6-foot-6 that you want and throws from the left side, but the stuff is not explosive, and he’s never been able to throw strikes. He does have a plus slider, and if he can get his fastball consistently back to the mid-90s, the ceiling could be a mid-rotation starter.
I like his chances to meet his ceiling after his trade to the White Sox. However, the White Sox must first get him to throw more strikes. At the same time, they need to get him to increase his velocity. That will likely occur over the off-season. That’s a lot to ask for, but 6-foot-6 lefties don’t grow on trees.
9. Jose Rodriguez (2B/SS)
- Highest Level: Majors ETA: 2023 Fantasy Ceiling: Middle Infielder
- Tools Summary: There is speed and power, but the approach is overly aggressive.
Jose Rodriguez has spent parts of the last three seasons in Double-A, continuing to show speed and power but also swinging at everything. He got a one-game promotion to the Big Leagues in June and finally got a promotion to Triple-A in September. So, I guess he’s progressing.
He did add loft to his swing and, as a result, added more over-the-fence production in 2023. If you squint, you can see 20-20 production, but walking once a week is a problem. Tim Anderson did it for years and was an All-Star until the wheels fell off. Could Rodriguez do the same?
He’s become a borderline guy for me, which is a shame as I had higher hopes for him earlier in his career.
10. Jonathan Cannon (RHP)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024-25 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 50 SP
- Tools Summary: Tall right-hander with an above-average arsenal and a delivery that suggests he should have solid control.
Jonathan Cannon was the White Sox’s third-round pick in 2022. He’s a big dude at 6-foot-6 and a listed 213 pounds (he looks bigger). Cannon throws various pitches; I counted five when I saw him with a sinker that will scrape the mid-90s, a nice-looking cutter, and the semblance of a change-up. He pitches more to contact and will likely post an 8 K/9 rate, instead of a strikeout an inning. The delivery has some effort but not enough to rule him out of starting. There is still plenty of projection left for him to add velo, and with his current arsenal, the ceiling is a number three starter.