Prospect Watch: Chicago White Sox

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RHP Carlos Rodon

Age: 22

On Friday, the White Sox official website reported that the team had officially signed Carlos Rodon to a minor league contract with the help of a $6,582,000 signing bonus. At 22 years of age, the former collegiate prospect is perceived to be major league ready and on the verge of taking the same short journey to the big leagues that current White Sox ace, Chris Sale, took in 2010. Scott Merkin, reporting on the signing, wrote that Rick Hahn describes Carlos Rodon as a “Premium front-end starter with the ability to help us in Chicago at some point in the not-too-distant future.” Whether that means he will be pitching for the Sox in September or sooner is still unknown.

“Hahn said Rodon will work primarily out of the bullpen as he starts in the minor leagues.”

Hahn’s view of Rodon gives the impression that he is hoping to plug the ace into the rotation as soon as possible. The caveat will be how Rodon’s arm feels after being shut down for longer than expected due to the extended contract negotiations. Personally, after how many innings the prospect threw in three years at NC State, I’m glad his arm had some time to rest. The rest, though, will require the team to ease Rodon back into action to avoid injury.

Colleen Kane from the Chicago Tribune reported that, “He will join Class-A Winston-Salem this week to work out and build up arm strength, but he will not be on an active roster until after July 18. Hahn said Rodon will work primarily out of the bullpen as he starts in the minor leagues.” If that’s the case, and Rodon’s career in the minors does mirror Sale’s, then we could see Rodon make the jump from Winston-Salem to Charlotte in August. Assuming all goes well there, the Sox could have him pitching out of the bullpen by September.

Judging by his 2.24 career ERA in college and 436 K’s in 346 innings, according to The Baseball Cube, whenever he does make it to majors, he’s going to put on quite a show.