Chicago White Sox prospects: Who's hot (and not)

It was quite an opening month for some. For others, not so much.

Keeping a close eye on prospects became a mandatory task for Chicago White Sox watchers last season, and the practice continues this year.

On Tuesday, the Sox announced their minor-league player and pitcher for April. Voting was done by media covering the White Sox.

High Class A Winston-Salem outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and AA Birmingham catcher Seby Zavala were named co-players of the month and AAA Charlotte right-hander Michael Kopech was voted pitcher of the month.

Here are my Top 3, along with another player and pitcher who got off to cold starts in April:

PLAYERS

1. Micker Adolfo

No offense to Basabe and Zavala, but Adolfo got my vote for player of the month.

An interesting prospect, the 21-year-old outfielder signed with the Sox in 2013 for $1.6 million. Compare that to last year’s big international signee Luis Robert, who banked a $26 million signing bonus.

Now in his fifth year in the Sox’s farm system, Adolfo came dangerously close to missing the entire season when he was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor tendon in spring training.

Tommy John surgery was the initial fear for Adolfo, but tests revealed he could swing the bat without doing further damage. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder has been doing just that at Winston-Salem as designated hitter.

Heading into May, Adolfo led the Carolina League with 21 RBI (in 24 games), was tied for first with 5 home runs, and he ranked 10th with a .308 batting average.

2. Basabe

Acquired from the Boston Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade, Basabe struggled at Winston-Salem last season, hitting .221/.320/320.

Back with the Dash this year, the 21-year-old outfielder is slashing .313/.400/.614 with 4 home runs and 17 RBI in 21 games. In 107 games with Winston-Salem last season. he had 5 homers and 36 RBI.

3. Zavala

Overshadowed by Zack Collins at Birmingham, Zavala is tied for the Southern League lead in home runs (6) and RBI (19) while batting .315.

Room to improve: Collins

The White Sox’s first-round draft pick in 2016 out of Miami (Florida), Collins’ potent college bat has been missing in the professional ranks.

After hitting a combined .224 with Winston-Salem and Birmingham last year, Collins’ average stands at .206 with Birmingham this season.

That’s not good, but on the positive side the left-handed hitting catcher is riding a seven-game hitting streak and is 11-for-26 with 1 home run and 6 RBI during the surge.

PITCHERS

1. Kopech

He turned 22 on Monday, but Kopech is still one of the youngest players in the International League.

The right-hander is 0-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 4 starts for Charlotte and he ranks fifth in the league with 29 strikeouts (in 21 innings).

2. Dane Dunning

Acquired in the Adam Eaton trade, the Washington Nationals’ former first-round draft pick was promoted to Birmingham after going 1-1 with a 2.59 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 30⅓ innings at Winston-Salem.

3. Kade McClure

A sixth-round pick out of Louisville and high school teammate of Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky, the 6-foot-7 McClure is 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 29 innings with low Class A Kannapolis.

Room to improve: Alec Hansen

Widely rated the White Sox’s No. 2 pitching prospect behind Kopech, Hansen has yet to pitch this season due to right forearm soreness.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said the injury is not serious and the team is just being cautious, but Hansen hasn’t pitched for nearly two months.

• Twitter: @scotgregor

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Source: Sports

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