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Nick Melotte's White Sox Top 20 Prospects

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The Pale Hosers' last two first round picks lead the way for the South Siders in a potential top of the rotation southpaw and a raw, but exciting short stop.

White Sox left handed pitcher and most recent first round pick, Carlos Rodon.
White Sox left handed pitcher and most recent first round pick, Carlos Rodon.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Want the recipe to my "secret sauce" of evaluating prospects? Give that mouse of yours a click right here for a detailed breakdown of the process.

The Grading System

My grading system will be familiar to those who keep up with college football recruiting or played the MLB2K video game series as I use a star rating system from one to five stars with half grades in between. An outline of what each level would represent looks like this, but remember these are examples and not definite.

5 star
The cream of the crop. A five star rating is reserved for the elite talents of the minor leagues. These players do not have a glaring weakness and if there is a blemish on their record, it is miniscule. Don't expect to see many of these, as this is reserved for players with the best chance to become super stars or top of the rotation stalwarts. Call this a 75-80 or A rating.

4.5 star
The rest of the elite. A 4.5 star rating encompasses players that are still elite, but not the potential mega stars a five star player would have. Receiving a 4.5 star rating means the player has all-star caliber potential with a good chance of being in a contending team's starting line up and have a long career. A 4.5 star pitcher could be generalized as a future #2 or 3 starter. Equal to 60-70 or A-/B+ type.

4 star
Garnering a four star rating means the player has the potential to be a productive major leaguer with an all-star season or two in his career. Four star players should develop into regulars in the lineup, dominant relief arms or a mid-rotation starters. This kind of player may have a true talent level higher but injuries may hold him back from reaching their full potential. Similar to a B/B- or 50-55 rated player.

3.5 star
A player receiving 3.5 stars projects to see time as starters in the majors, but more than likely on a team out of the playoff picture where a below-average season once in awhile won't kill them. Innings eating strike throwers would fall into this category, as would set up men and defensive-oriented starters. This would be a 45 or B-type of player.

3 star
Three star players are your 4th outfielders and relievers with live arms and control problems. Hitters who may lack enough tools to hold down a starting gig, futures as a platoon players, and swing men types capable of spot starting would be three star players. Recent IFA's with little or no track record usually are included here as well. A low 45/high 40 grade or C+/C type player would fall here.

2.5 star
Not every one gets to collect MLB paychecks, but some get them every once in awhile. 2.5 star players are your up and down guys who shuttle between the big leagues and AAA. September cups of coffee cielings fall here, as are the injury replacements and players riding the waiver wire. These players aren't expected to make any serious impact. 40 grade players and C type or lower organizational filler.

Anything below 2.5 stars is someone who doesn't project to be a major league player, therefore they are not mentioned.

Previous Team Ranks and #1 Prospects

Atlanta Braves - 2B Jose Peraza

Miami Marlins - RHP Tyler Kolek

New York Mets - RHP Noah Syndergaard

Philadelphia Phillies - SS JP Crawford

Washington Nationals - RHP Lucas Giolito

Baltimore Orioles - RHP Dylan Bundy

Boston Red Sox - 2B Yoan Moncada

New York Yankees - RHP Luis Severino

Tampa Bay Rays - SS Willy Adames

Toronto Blue Jays - RHP Aaron Sanchez

With the grading system and previous rankings out of the way now, we can crack open the AL Central and get things started with the Chicago White Sox. Here are the top 20 prospects in the White Sox organization for the 2015 season. All ages are how old they will be for the upcoming season and affiliates mentioned are where I expect them to begin the year.

Chicago White Sox

With Opening Day right around the corner, I'm facing a time crunch that won't allow me to do a breakdown for each player. If you have questions, comments, or concerns about any rankings or lack thereof, leave a comment.

4.5 star

1. LHSP Carlos Rodon - 22 years old, AAA Charlotte

Carlos Rodon

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Blumenfield//Getty Images

2014 Stats (R, A+, and AAA) -

W L SV G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO
0 0 0 9 7 24.2 20 9 8 0 13 38
ERA FIP WHIP BB% K% K/BB H9 BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
2.92 1.82 1.38 12.0 15.0 2.92 7.3 0.215 0.315 0.280 0.595 0.357

2015 Outlook -

As much as Rodon deserves to crack the rotation, there is a slim chance of that happening due to similar service time issues as another prospect from a Chicago team, Kris Bryant. Depending on how the Sox feel about Super 2 status, Rodon could be in the big leagues as soon as two weeks into the season. If they want to make sure he doesn't get an extra turn through arbitration, they could wait until June to promote him.

2. SS Tim Anderson - 22 years old, AA Birmingham

tim anderson

Photo courtesy of Jody Stewart/Winston-Salem Dash

2014 Stats (R, A+, and AA) -

PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO
362 345 57 104 21 7 9 40 10 5 9 82
G BB% SO% XBH BA OBP SLG OPS wRC+ wOBA ISO BABIP
83 2.5 22.7 37 0.301 0.327 0.481 0.808 113 0.344 0.180 0.371

2015 Outlook -

Anderson spent most of the 2014 campaign with A+ Winston-Salem and was so impressive the front office had him finish the year off with a 10 game stint at AA Birmingham. That's his likely jumping off point this year as he hit well in the Carolina League despite a hyper-aggressive approach. Let's all hope he cracks double digits in walks this year.

3. RHSP Spencer Adams - 19 years old, Low A Kannapolis

spencer adams

Photo courtesy of Brian Carter/3NOutSports

2014 Stats (R) -

W L SV G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO
3 3 0 10 9 41.2 49 22 17 4 4 59
ERA FIP WHIP BB% K% K/BB H9 BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
3.67 1.90 1.27 2.2 33.0 14.75 10.6 0.282 0.296 0.431 0.727 0.402

2015 Outlook -

Some weren't sure how well Adams would transition from small time high school ball to the pro ranks. He demolished the Arizona League and showed enough to jump the Pioneer League and start the year with Low A Kannapolis. I could see him taking a similar accelerated development path as Tyler Danish.

4 star

4. RHSP Francellis Montas - 22 years old, AA Birmingham

5. RHSP Tyler Danish - 20 years old, A+ Winston-Salem

6. 2B Micah Johnson - 24 years old, MLB Chicago

7. RHSP Chris Beck - 24 years old, MLB Chicago

8. 2B Carlos Sanchez - 23 years old, AAA Charlotte

3.5 star

9. 3B Trey Michalczewski - 20 years old, A+ Winston-Salem

10. RHSP David Trexler - 24 years old, Low A Kannapolis

11. LF Courtney Hawkins - 21 years old, AA Birmingham

12. RF Micker Adolfo - 18 years old, R+ Great Falls

13. LHSP Jace Fry - 21 years old, Low A Kannapolis

14. CF Jacob May - 23 years old, AA Birmingham

15. SS Tyler Saladino - 25 years old, AAA Charlotte

16. RHSP JB Wendelken - 22 years old, A+ Winston-Salem

17. LHSP Brian Clark - 22 years old, Low A Kannapolis

18. RHSP James Dykstra - 24 years old, AA Birmingham

19. CF Adam Engel - 23 years old, A+ Winston-Salem

20. LHSP Andre Wheeler - 23 years old, A+ Winston-Salem

Honorable Mentions (three star players, in no particular order) - RHP Luis Martinez, LHP Jordan Guerrero, LHP Chris Freudenberg, RHP Tanner Mendonca, RHP Tyler Barnette, RHP David Putman, LHP Devon Davis, RHP Nolan Sanburn, CF Trayce Thompson, RF Jason Coats, 3B Matt Davidson, SS Cleluis Rondon, 2B Jake Peter, 1B Keon Barnum, LF Antonio Rodriguez, SS Johan Cruz


Chicago White Sox Age Pos Team Stars
1 Carlos Rodon 22 LHSP AAA 4.5
2 Tim Anderson 22 SS AA 4.5
3 Spencer Adams 19 RHSP R 4.5
4 Francellis Montas 22 RHSP AA 4
5 Tyler Danish 20 RHSP A+ 4
6 Micah Johnson 24 2B AAA 4
7 Chris Beck 24 RHSP AAA 4
8 Carlos Sanchez 23 2B MLB 4
9 Trey Michalczewski 20 3B A+ 3.5
10 David Trexler 24 RHP R+ 3.5
11 Courtney Hawkins 21 LF A+ 3.5
12 Micker Adolfo 18 RF R 3.5
13 Jace Fry 21 LHSP R+ 3.5
14 Jacob May 23 CF A+ 3.5
15 Tyler Saladino 25 SS AAA 3.5
16 JB Wendelken 22 RHSP A+ 3.5
17 Brian Clark 22 LHSP R+ 3.5
18 James Dykstra 24 RHSP A+ 3.5
19 Adam Engel 23 CF A+ 3.5
20 Andre Wheeler 23 LHSP A 3.5

Team Codes: AAA - Charlotte Knights, AA - Birmingham Barons, A+ - Winston-Salem Dash, A - Kannapolis Intimidators, R+ - Great Falls Voyagers, R - Arizona League White Sox, DSL - Dominican Summer League White Sox, DNP - Did Not Play