South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 55: Logan Glass

Rock, et: Glass impressed with his pro cameo in 2019. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)



Logan Glass
Right Fielder
6´4´´
215 pounds
Age: 18
SSHP rank among all right fielders in the system: 4
2020 SSS Top Prospect Vote ranking: 50

With his build, Logan Glass was quite the physical specimen for his Mustang H.S. (Okla.) varsity squad. According to Prep Baseball Report, he’s got a great arm and throws 92 mph from the mound, and his speed is better than average as he runs the 60-yard-dash in 6.65. Also, according to PBR, his exit velocity sits at 96 mph, which is quite impressive.

Glass was verbally committed to Kansas, so the White Sox had to pry him from out of it after selecting him in the 22nd round of the 2019 draft. In 17 games for the AZL squad, Glass slashed an impressive .284/.342/.403 with five doubles, one homer, nine RBIs, one stolen base, two walks (2.7%) and 23 strikeouts (31.5%). The low walk and high strikeout rates are slightly concerning but understandable considering he played against competition 16 months older than he, in addition to factoring in his acclimation to the speed of the game.

Glass likely will remain in the AZL to begin 2020, but should an early promotion to Great Falls if he gets off to a solid start.  

 

South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 56: Lency Delgado

Fast-moving delegation: Delgado, still very young, should get his first taste of full-season ball in 2020. (Phrake Photography/South Side Hit Pen)



Lency Delgado
Shortstop
6´3´´
215 pounds
Age: 20
SSHP rank among all shortstops in the system: 5
2019 South Side Sox Top Prospect Ranking: 35

Lency Delgado, a native of Miami, played his varsity ball with Doral Academy prior to being selected in the fourth round of the 2018 draft by the White Sox. After receiving an over-slot $525,000 bonus that pried him from his verbal commitment with Florida International, Delgado received his first taste of professional ball with the AZL White Sox later that season. Not surprisingly, he struggled with the speed of the game and slashed just .233/.309/.301 in 38 games with four doubles, one triple, one homer, 22 RBIs, four stolen bases, nine walks (6.0%) and 40 strikeouts (26.7%).

In 2019 with Great Falls, Delgado turned in a much better season as he slashed .274/.325/.377 in 57 games with 14 doubles, one triple, two homers, 32 RBIs, one stolen base, 14 walks (6.0%) and 87 strikeouts (37.5%). However, there are obvious concerns regarding his high strikeout totals. Many scouts believe that, in part because of his size, he makes a better fit as a third baseman. If he does end up switching positions, he’ll eventually need to tap into his above-average power. Delgado does have a long swing, so with extra work and a few adjustments, it is hoped that he could indeed become much closer to reaching his full potential — Delgado is still only 20, after all. It seems likely that he’ll begin next season with Kannapolis.

South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 57: Anderson Comas

Brief pause: Comas’ aggressive move up the ladder stalled last year in Great Falls. (Phrake Photography/South Side Hit Pen)



Anderson Comas
Left Fielder
6´3´´
185 pounds
Age: 20
SSHP rank among all left fielders in the system: 3
2019 South Side Sox Top Prospect Ranking: 50

Ranked as Baseball America’s 37th-best international prospect, the Dominican Republic’s Anderson Comas received a $450,000 signing bonus from the White Sox on July 2, 2016. He was highly-touted by Ben Badler of Baseball America, although Comas didn’t play ball for the DSL Sox until the 2017 season, when he slashed a respectable .291/.316/.329 in 63 games with five doubles, two triples, 17 RBIs, one stolen base, eight walks (3.2%) and 45 strikeouts (18.2%). He followed that up with an even better 2018 season with the AZL Sox in which he slashed .306/.339/.388 in 41 games with six doubles, two triples, one homer, 22 RBIs, five stolen bases, seven walks (4.1%) and 26 strikeouts (15.1%).

Unexpectedly, Comas struggled with Great Falls in 2019. In 54 games and 194 at-bats with the Voyagers, he slashed just .222/.251/.351 with seven doubles, six triples, two homers, 33 RBIs, seven walks (3.4%) and 58 strikeouts (28.6%). According to FanGraphs last year, Comas’ swing had gotten “disconcertingly long” which could explain his struggles. For someone as lanky as Comas is, that evaluation makes sense. Provided he can make adjustments, Comas has the potential to gradually move up the system. Because of his relatively limited range, he really profiles as a corner outfielder. He’d have to hit better in order to fit that profile, however, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to see him return to Great Falls to hone that swing a bit.      

South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 58: Blake Battenfield

Change up: Offspeed mastery may be all that separates Battenfield from Triple-A — or the majors. (Tiffany Wintz/South Side Hit Pen)



Blake Battenfield
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
6´3´´
220 pounds
Age: 25
SSHP rank among all right-handed starting pitchers in the system: 10
2019 South Side Sox Top Prospect Ranking: 59

Blake Battenfield, a resident of Tulsa, remained in his native state to play with the Oklahoma State Cowboys. His first three years were primarily spent in the bullpen, where Battenfield crafted a respectable 2.60 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over 97 innings. During that time, he allowed 86 hits while posting a mediocre K/BB ratio (1.47), with 45 walks and 66 strikeouts. He split time evenly with the Cowboys as a senior (2017) between the rotation and bullpen, posting middling results: 4.91 ERA and 1.49 WHIP over 69 ⅔ innings, while walking 31 and striking out 58.

These results obviously weren’t spectacular, which explains why Battenfield slipped all the way to the 17th round of the 2017 draft. Battenfield served exclusively out of the bullpen that year for Great Falls, where he posted mediocre ERA (4.88) and WHIP numbers over 31 ⅓ innings in the high altitude, but some of his peripherals stood out. Opposing hitters batted .271 against his offerings, but he punched out 40 hitters (28.6 K%) while walking only eight (5.7 BB%). Partly based on those numbers, the Sox decided to convert him to a starter for 2018.

Battenfield pitched outstandingly for Kannapolis in his 13 starts in 2018: 2.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 52 hits (.210 OBA), 16 walks (6.0 BB%), and 69 strikeouts (25.8 K%) over 67 innings, earning a promotion to Winston-Salem on June 21. As expected, Battenfield’s numbers declined a bit in nine starts (53 ⅓ innings) for the Dash, but were still respectable: 4.22 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 50 hits (.248 OBA), 13 walks (6.0 BB%), and 46 strikeouts (21.1%).

After a terrific six starts to begin the 2019 season with the Dash, Battenfield earned an early promotion to Birmingham and struggled with his command. In 19 starts for the Barons totaling 95 ⅔ innings, he posted a 4.52 ERA and 1.38 WHIP by allowing 107 hits (.287 OBA) and 25 walks (6.1%) while fanning 69 (16.9%). He especially labored against lefties (.299 OBA, 1.59 WHIP) in comparison to righties for Birmingham (.278 OBA, 1.23 WHIP). His 36.8% ground ball rate didn’t do him any favors, either.

Battenfield has an impressive repertoire that includes a natural sinking fastball, a rising four-seamer, an effective slider, a big-breaking curveball with good spin and depth, and a changeup that still needs work. He doesn’t appear to throw especially hard. I haven’t seen any projections, but we’re probably looking at the low 90s, as he was in the mid-80s as a varsity athlete according to Perfect Game and has gotten stronger since then. But the righthander’s movement and speed variations help his fastball play up. His changeup has yet to be mastered, as evidenced by the success Double-A lefties enjoyed against him this year. Success with the changeup may dictate how Battenfield will progress going forward.

Expect Battenfield to return to the Barons for the 2019 season, with an opportunity for midseason promotion if he does well.

 

South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 59: Kelvin Maldonado

Progression: Maldonado’s varied skills have found him moving through the system with his bat yet untracked. (Phrake Photography/South Side Hit Pen)



Kelvin Maldonado
Second Baseman
5´11´´
160 pounds
Age: 20
SSHP rank among all second basemen in the system: 3

Kelvin Maldonado played varsity ball in his native Puerto Rico, at the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. Upon being selected in the 11th round of the 2018 draft, he had major difficulties in adjusting to professional pitching. In 2018 with the White Sox AZL squad, Maldonado slashed just .150/.184/.167 in 38 games with one triple, four walks (3.1%) and 31 strikeouts (24.2%).

While Maldonado hit much better in 2019 with Great Falls, he still had difficulties with drawing walks. In 58 games totaling 229 at-bats with the Voyagers, he slashed .253/.288/.310 with 11 doubles, one triple, 17 RBIs, two stolen bases, nine walks (3.7%) and 55 strikeouts (22.8%). While Maldonado runs the 60-yard-dash in 6.54 seconds according to PerfectGame, his speed hasn’t yet translated to stolen bases. Defensively, it was noted by PerfectGame that he has light feet and smooth, balanced footwork, easy athletic actions, a quick release and the ability to makes accurate throws consistently. The site likes his potential, though he tends to get too mechanical with his swing.

Look for Maldonado to be in consideration for a promotion at some point in 2020 to Kannapolis.

South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 60: Elijah Tatís

Slow start: Tatís had a short pro debut but should still see the States in 2020. (@BenBadler)



Elijah Tatís
Second Baseman
5´11´´
155 pounds
Age: 18
SSHP rank among all second basemen in the system: 4

Elijah is the son of former major leaguer Fernando Tatís and the brother of former Sox farmhand Fernando Tatís Jr. According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, “Tatís possesses a strong and accurate arm and has impressed scouts with the way the ball jumps off his bat, as well as his ability to square up fastballs.” With that kind of ability, the White Sox were happy to sign him with a $500,000 bonus on 2019’s International Signing Day.

Tatís struggled out of the gate for the DSL White Sox this year, however, and only managed to slash .187/.300/.213 in 25 games with two doubles, 10 RBIs, five stolen bases, 13 walks (14.4%) and 16 strikeouts (17.8%). Largely because defensive wizard Yolbert Sánchez played shortstop for the DSL squad, Tatís actually played a bit more at second base this year than would’ve been expected. Eventually, as he gets older and bulks up, Tatís is expected to eventually have the power to be an everyday third baseman. Despite him actually having a lower OPS this year than the aforementioned Cesar Jiménez, expect Tatís to be promoted to the AZL squad for 2020 due to his much higher ceiling.

 

South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 61: Vince Arobio

Prime mover: No White Sox farmhand jumped more levels in 2019 than Arobio. (Phrake Photography/South Side Hit Pen)



Vince Arobio
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher
5´11´´
185 pounds
Age: 25
SSHP rank among all right-handed relief pitchers in the system: 9

Vince Arobio pretty much came out of nowhere last year — he wasn’t ranked among our Top 100 Prospects — and had an exciting run for most of the season. The righty started in Winston-Salem (2.68 ERA and 0.805 WHIP in 13 games) and was untouchable at Winston-Salem (no runs, four hits in six games, with 4.33 K/BB). Birmingham, his last stop on the season, slowed him down a bit (5.40 ERA). But he had a composite 3.80 ERA among the three levels, which was enough to earn him a shot at some of the better hitting prospects in Arizona, where he finished his season in the AFL.

Because of his Birmingham hiccup, expect Arobio to return to the Barons and have a shot at Charlotte Knights time by the end of the season.

 

South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 62: Kyle Kubat

Solid option: The Triple-A beach ball kicked Kubat’s hiney just as it did everyone else. He’s still on track to steal a spot start on the South Side in 2020. (Kim Contreras/South Side Hit Pen)



Kyle Kubat
Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
6´1´´
195 pounds
Age: 27
SSHP rank among all left-handed starting pitchers in the system: 6
2019 South Side Sox Top Prospect Rank: 88

Kyle Kubat ended his four-year career with the University of Nebraska on a high note, as he posted a superb 2.97 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 15 starts spanning 94 innings. However, because he only struck out 63 batters and he was a fourth-year senior, he wasn’t selected in the 2015 draft. He ultimately signed as a UDFA with the Kansas City Royals, and pitched well for the AZL Royals that year in 12 relief outings; he posted a spectacular 0.76 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in 35 ⅓ innings by surrendering 26 hits (.202 OBA) and just three walks (2.2%) while fanning 26 (19.4%). After another solid campaign in 2016 split between Low-A Lexington and High-A Wilmington, Kubat was traded in March 2017 to the White Sox for cash considerations.

Kubat split the 2017 season among three White Sox affiliates (Kannapolis, Winston-Salem and Birmingham) and excelled at each stop. In 35 outings (three starts) totaling 74 ⅔ innings, he surrendered just 50 hits (.184 OBA) and 12 walks (4.1%) while striking out 77 (26.5%) in posting a combined 1.69 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. Despite that work, Kubat returned to Winston-Salem in 2018 and basically pitched there the entire year and did quite well despite some regression (3.55 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, .279 OBA, 3.5 BB%, 20.7 K%).

The 2019 season was the first time Kubat started more than he relieved, and he acquitted himself exceptionally well. In four starts for the Dash spanning 22 innings, he posted a 1.23 ERA and 0.73 WHIP by relinquishing just 11 hits (.145 OBA) and five walks (6.0%) while striking out 19 (22.6%). He then started eight games for Birmingham, and in his 48 1/3 innings for the Barons, he compiled a 2.42 ERA and 1.03 WHIP by ceding 43 hits (.239 OBA) and seven walks (3.7%) while fanning 35 (18.4%). He did meet his match, however, due to the different baseball and the favorable hitting dimensions of BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte: Kubat posted a 5.63 ERA and 1.38 WHIP for the Knights in 12 starts totaling 56 innings, as he allowed 60 hits (.278 OBA) and 17 walks (7.1%) while striking out 35 (14.7%). All nine homers he served up this year were with the Knights.

Kubat succeeds despite not having exceptional stuff because he throws strikes, keeps the ball down (47% ground ball rate), and isn’t afraid to use any of his four pitches (upper-80s fastball, curveball, slider, changeup) at any given time. While he succeeded against righties as a whole, he dominated lefties so it’s possible to see him in something of a Hector Santiago role for the White Sox if given the opportunity. In the meantime, expect him to begin the 2020 season in Charlotte.

 

South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 63: Lincoln Henzman

Re-set for summer: Encountering some of his first pro setbacks in 2019, look for Henzman to right himself and see Charlotte soon. (Tiffany Wintz/South Side Hit Pen)



Lincoln Henzman
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
6´2´´
205 pounds
Age: 24
SSHP rank among all right-handed starting pitchers in the system: 11
2019 South Side Sox Top Prospect Rank: 32
2018 South Side Sox Top Prospect Rank: 23

With the exception of two starts in his freshman season, Lincoln Henzman was exclusively a reliever for the Louisville Cardinals. His best season was as a junior, when he pitched in 27 games (saving 16) totaling 37 ⅔ innings with a terrific 1.67 ERA and 0.85 WHIP — allowing just 22 hits (.169 OBA) and 10 walks (2.39 BB/9), striking out 37 (8.84 K/9). With those results, the White Sox drafted Henzman in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, with the intention of converting him into a starter. After receiving a signing bonus of $450,000, Henzman pitched for the AZL Sox and Great Falls. In 11 combined outings (seven starts), he maintained a respectable 3.86 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over 28 innings, allowing 27 hits (.262 OBA) and nine walks (2.89 BB/9) while striking out 17 (5.46 K/9).

Henzman went deeper into games in 2018 for Kannapolis, starting 13 and pitching 72 ⅔ innings, with better-than-expected results. For the Intimidators, Henzman posted a 2.23 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, and allowed just 68 hits (.241 OBA) and eight walks (3.0%) while striking out 60 hitters (20.4%). He was promoted to Winston-Salem on June 21, but was held to pitch counts as Henzman had already far exceeded his career high in innings. In 14 outings totaling 34 ⅔ innings for the Dash, he posted a 2.60 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, ceding 34 hits (.256 OBA) and 10 walks (6.8%) while striking out 20 (13.7%).

The 2019 season saw Henzman go through some struggles — particularly with putting hitters away. In nine starts spanning 41 innings for the Dash, he posted a 4.61 ERA and 1.37 WHIP as he relinquished 46 hits (.288 OBA) and 10 walks (5.8%) while fanning just 18 (10.4%). He did earn a promotion to Birmingham in early June, and struggled against his more advanced opponents. In 15 starts totaling 79 1/3 innings for the Barons, Henzman compiled a 5.56 ERA and 1.44 WHIP as he surrendered 96 hits (.301 OBA) and 18 walks (5.2%) while striking out 44 (12.7%). While he maintained his above-average control this year, his command was lacking as he didn’t miss many bats due to a high OBA and low strikeout rate. On the positive side, he finished his last three starts with a combined 1.76 ERA and 0.85 WHIP, so he may have figured some things out.

Henzman features a heavy sinking fastball that runs anywhere from 90-95 mph according to MLB Pipeline, and despite his struggles this year, still induced a 53% ground ball rate. He throws an upper-80s cutter, while also throwing an above-average changeup. That changeup has helped Henzman, as lefties have consistently hit him for a lower average than have righties during his young career. MLB Pipeline grades his fastball as 60, changeup at 55, and control and cutter at 50. Expect Henzman to return to Birmingham to begin the 2020 campaign.

South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 64: Laz Rivera

Bounce-back: It was a step back for Rivera in 2019, but there’s still a chance he regains true prospect status. (Tiffany Wintz/South Side Hit Pen)



Laz Rivera
Shortstop
6´1´´
185 pounds
Age: 25
SSHP rank among all shortstops in the system: 6
2019 South Side Sox Top Prospect Rank: 21
2018 South Side Sox Top Prospect Rank: 37

After a college career that spanned three years with different levels (University of Miami, Chipola JC and Div. II University of Tampa), Laz Rivera was selected by the White Sox in the 28th round of the 2017 draft. He was immediately inserted into the AZL lineup, where he slashed .296/.374/.446 in 47 games with 12 doubles, five triples, two homers, 24 RBIs, three stolen bases, eight walks (3.8%) and 26 strikeouts (12.2%).

Rivera enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2018. In his 63 games with Kannapolis, he slashed an impressive .346/.395/.502 with 15 doubles, two triples, six homers, 24 RBIs, seven stolen bases, six walks (2.3%) and 48 strikeouts (18.1%). While not as sensational, Rivera performed quite well for Winston-Salem in 61 games by slashing .280/.325/.458 with 15 doubles, two triples, seven homers, 37 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, seven walks and 44 strikeouts. Overall, Rivera finished 2018 with a terrific slash line of .314/.361/.481.

Baseball America said of him at the time, “He is part of the new breed of infield prospect who hits first and asks questions later, a la Brandon Lowe and Nick Solak with the Rays. He brings above-average bat speed and a short path to the ball, which he used to post excellent numbers at both Class A levels. He’s an aggressive hitter who crushes fastballs but needs to work on not chasing off-speed pitches. He played almost exclusively at shortstop, though his 40-grade arm profiles better at second base.”

Of course, as with nearly every Sox hitter not named Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal or Yermín Mercedes, Rivera struggled big time with Birmingham in 2019. In 121 games totaling 424 at-bats, Rivera slashed just .248/.287/.318 with 22 doubles, one triple, two homers, 39 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, 17 walks (3.7%) and 81 strikeouts (17.8%). A former organizational Top 30 prospect, he has fallen off most lists due to his lackluster offensive performance.

As of now, Rivera seems to be destined for a utility infield role going forward. However, barring the Sox signing a minor-league free agent for Triple-A next year, he could be slated for the much more hitting-friendly confines of Charlotte, where he can hopefully reclaim his prospect status.