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BP Top Prospects: White Sox

Minors : : General
Jason Parks        
Published: Monday, November 18, 2013

Listed below are the top 5 prospects in the Chicago White Sox organization as ranked by Jason Parks and Baseball Prospectus. To view the full feature, please visit this link.

Prospect rankings primer
Last year's White Sox list

The Top Ten

  1. RHP Erik Johnson
  2. SS Tim Anderson
  3. RF Courtney Hawkins
  4. RHP Chris Beck
  5. RHP Tyler Danish
  6. SS Marcus Semien
  7. 2B Carlos Sanchez
  8. 2B Micah Johnson
  9. CF Trayce Thompson
  10. RHP Francellis Montas

1. Erik Johnson

Position: RHP
DOB: 12/30/1989
Height/Weight: 6’3” 235 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 2
nd round, 2011 draft, University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
Previous Ranking: #4 (Org)
2013 Stats: 3.25 ERA (27.2 IP, 32 H, 18 K, 11 BB) at major league level, 1.57 ERA (57.1 IP, 43 H, 57 K, 19 BB) at Triple-A Charlotte, 2.23 ERA (84.2 IP, 57 H, 74 K, 21 BB) at Double-A Birmingham
The Tools: 6 FB; 6 SL; 6 potential CH; 5 CB

What Happened in 2013: Johnson continued to take developmental steps forward in 2013, pitching his way across three levels, including five starts in the majors.

Strengths: Big, strong body; delivery has refined and works well; fastball works 91-93; can touch higher; thrown with good angle; can work it east/west; slider is a good, hard breaking ball in the mid-upper-80s; above-average offering; curveball good sightline/change of pace offering in the low 70s; changeup is average pitch; good strike thrower.

Weaknesses: Lacks high-end stuff; relies on location and changing speeds; doesn’t project to be a big bat misser; more pitch to contact; changeup is fourth offering; not a big weapon.

Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 3 starter

Realistic Role: High 5; no. 4 starter

Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; achieved major-league level

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: Johnson’s time is now, but as far as top prospects across organizations go, he’s one of the weakest from a fantasy perspective. In a more neutral park, his profile would be more attractive, but I wouldn’t expect him to be better than a SP4 while pitching half his games at U.S. Cellular. Think an ERA around 4.00 and a league-average strikeout rate.

The Year Ahead: After a taste of major-league action, Johnson is ready for a rotation spot in 2014. He has good but not great stuff, and with an improved delivery, the command has taken a good step forward and he can execute a four-pitch mix. The slider might become his out-pitch weapon, but the rest of his stuff is average to solid-average, so he will need to hit his spots and keep hitters off balance to find sustainable success. He should find his footing as a middle-of-the-rotation innings horse, with solid but not special outcomes.

Major league ETA: Debuted in 2013

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