Let’s take a look at another player who could be coming through the white Sox system in the coming year, Dylan Cease. Dylan was brought to the White Sox in the same trade as Eloy Jimenez, who was featured in a look ahead article here. Before a partial tear in his UCL (Ulnar collateral ligament, the ligament that tears and results in Tommy John surgery) MLB.com had him ranked as a first round pick in the 2014 draft. Dylan left a game in early March of 2014, his high school senior year season. A few months after the after the doctors confirmed it was a Tommy John injury, Dylan fell all the way to the sixth round to the Cubs.
2015 was his first season into pro ball. After he returned from Tommy John Surgery, he was ranked by Baseball America as the second best pitcher in the Arizona league.
In 2016 Cease pitched for the low A Cubs, starting 12 games and pitching 44.2 innings, allowing only 27 hits and 25 walks. The performance proved he could stay healthy and the Cubs allowed him to work deeper into games in 2017. He started 13 games and pitched 51.2 innings, once again flashing big strikeout potential with a 12.9 strikeout per nine rate. Then on July 13th he was traded to the Sox, who assigned him to their single A team in Kannapolis, where he posted an 11.2 strikeout per nine rate while walking only 18.
The White Sox had him split the 2018 campaign between Winston Salem (A+) and Birmingham (AA). His time between the two teams he made 23 starts and pitched a career high 124 innings. The strikeout power and command resulted in a 3.2 strikeout to walk ratio and a career low 1.06 WHIP rate. Cease represented the White Sox in the 2018 futures game and has jumped up to be the third ranked prospect in the White Sox system, and 25th overall in the MLB. his 2018 campaign got him the award for the MLB Pipeline Pitcher of the year. He was added to the White Sox 40 man roster after the 2018 season.
I would expect Cease to follow a very similar track to the majors as Michael Kopech. In 2017 Kopech pitched a career high 134.1 innings, the next year he was promoted to the majors after spending the first 4 and a half months in Charlotte (AAA). August seems to be the month where Hahn and company like to bring up their pitching prospects, Giolito (22nd), Lopez (11th), and Kopech (21st) all making their debuts then.
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