Where the White Sox top prospects rank on MLB Pipeline's new top-100 list

Vinnie Duber
NBC Sports Chicago

Where the White Sox top prospects rank on MLB Pipeline's new top-100 list originally appeared on nbcsportschicago.com

You know the White Sox have a loaded farm system. You know they have a bunch of highly rated prospects. But if you were busy attending SoxFest or following all the happenings at the Hilton Chicago, you might've missed MLB Pipeline unveiling its preseason list of the top 100 prospects in the game.

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Well, six White Sox prospects landed on the list, so let's update where they all rank.

Eloy Jimenez, the top-ranked prospect in the White Sox system, is still the No. 3 prospect in baseball, ranking behind only Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays and Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres. Jimenez is expected to bring his incredible bat to the big leagues within the first few weeks of the 2019 season, and he'll likely be jousting with Guerrero all season for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Tatis, of course, is the former White Sox prospect traded in the James Shields deal in 2016, something Rick Hahn revisited with some colorful commentary during SoxFest.

The next White Sox prospect on the list is Michael Kopech at No. 18. Kopech made his major league debut last summer, but he'll miss the entire 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. That means he'll hang onto that top-prospects status until 2020, when he rejoins the White Sox rotation.

Dylan Cease is the No. 21 prospect in baseball thanks to his remarkable 2018 campaign that ended with him being named MLB Pipeline's minor league pitcher of the year. He's ticketed to begin 2019 at Triple-A Charlotte, and he's expected to be on the same track Kopech was last season. If he pitches well and avoids the bumps in the road Kopech did in the middle of last season, Cease could arrive earlier in the calendar.

Outfielder Luis Robert ranks No. 40 on the list. While he's got incredible talent and is deserving of the hype, he's probably further away from the majors than some of the other highest-rated prospects in the organization. White Sox fans have been hearing about Robert for a long time, as he was signed in May 2017, but it's important to remember he doesn't have much minor league experience at all. He didn't play his first minor league game in the United States until last June, and he ended up playing in only 50 games in 2018 while battling thumb injuries.

The fifth top-50 player in the White Sox organization is Nick Madrigal, last year's first-round draft pick out of Oregon State, ranked at No. 47. Madrigal's arrival date is unknown at this point, as he has yet to play above Class A, but it is interesting because he could be moving rapidly through the system. After joining the organization following a College World Series championship, he played at three different levels. He was touted as the best all-around player in college baseball when the White Sox drafted him.

Dane Dunning won't be coming to big league spring training, getting eased in after an elbow injury last season. He'll start the season at Double-A Birmingham, and he'll be doing it as the No. 80 prospect in baseball. He was outstanding last season before the injury, posting a 2.71 ERA.

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