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Chicago White Sox: Relief Prospects thriving at every level

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The White Sox have a strong relief core in the making

Robert Hill/Winston-Salem Dash

Typically when you think of top prospects, you think of future aces, middle-of-the-order hitters, or just about any player who you would expect to make a big impact in the future.

Most of the time, relief pitching doesn't come to mind.

Who’s to blame? There isn't nearly as much exciting about a relief pitcher as there is a position player or starting pitching.

However, relief pitchers are just as vital to building a winning team as any other position.

It looks like the Chicago White Sox have done a great job of building a strong future relief core brimming with upside. Most of these guys aren't top-20 prospects or high draft picks. Despite being overlooked, they've done everything possible in 2018 to ensure that they'll be a big part of the Chicago White Sox future.

Triple-A Charlotte:

Ian Hamilton ( #16):

The highest-ranked reliever in the White Sox system, Ian Hamilton has had a huge 2018 season. Hamilton is a combined 3-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 48.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. With 59 strikeouts in those innings as a result of an upper-90s fastball and plus slider, Hamilton looks like the set-up man of the future on the South Side.

Colton Turner (Unranked):

Acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2016 Dioner Navarro trade, lefty Colton Turner was purely un-hittable in Double-A, going 7-2 with a 0.86 ERA in 27 appearances (42 innings). After being demoted to Double-A in May, Turner is ready for another trial before a potential call-up to the majors next season.

Caleb Frare (Unranked):

Acquired last month from the New York Yankees in exchange for International Bonus Pool Money, situational lefty Caleb Frare has been lights-out in 2018, going 5-1 with a 0.81 ERA in 41 appearances across two levels with two teams. Frare is a candidate to be among the White Sox call-ups once the rosters expand on September 1st.

Double-A Birmingham:

Jose Ruiz ( #24):

Claimed off of waivers from the San Diego Padres last winter, Jose Ruiz is looking like a serious diamond in the rough for the White Sox. Across High-A and Double-A, Ruiz is 3-1 with a 2.96 ERA, striking out 75 in 54.2 innings, while saving 15 games.

Ryan Burr (Unranked):

Acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for international bonus pool money last summer, Ryan Burr has also emerged as a potential future piece of the ‘pen. In 37 appearances across Double-A and Triple-A, Burr was 4-3 with a 2.45 ERA, earning himself a call up to the majors on Wednesday. Burr struck out two in 1.1 hitless innings in relief in his debut on Thursday.

High-A Winston-Salem Dash:

Mike Morrison (Unranked):

Drafted in the 27th round in the 2016 draft out of Coastal Carolina, where he served as the closer on their National Championship team, Mike Morrison has put together a great season in High-A, going 5-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 36 appearances. Morrison has held opponents to an impressive .195 average on the season.

Hunter Schryver:

Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays at the trade deadline in exchange for international bonus pool money, Hunter Schryver has had a great debut professional season after being drafted in the seventh round out of Villanova last season. In 37 appearances, Schryver is 1-4 with a 2.03 ERA, striking out 71 in 57.2 innings.

Tyler Johnson ( #23):

Tyler Johnson has had easily the most impressive season out of all of the White Sox relief prospects. The 2017 fifth-rounder is 8-0 with a 1.36 ERA in 53 innings between Low-A and High-A. Johnson has saved 11 games, while striking out 84 in those 53 innings. Johnson has allowed just two home runs, while his WHIP sits at a stunning 0.8