These White Sox pitching prospects are on the cusp of making an impact at the major league level. However, they still need more development in the minors.
2019 could be a special year for the White Sox. Of course, a lot of things would need to go right for the Sox. With the moves made by the front office to improve the team and many prospects that are ready to take the next step, 2019 could not only be a special year but an exciting year for fans.
If 2019 is going to indeed be a special year for the White Sox, it could be because of positive contributions from one or two pitching prospects. Similar to the small impact made by Michael Kopech late last season, there are two Sox pitching prospects that can make an impact late this upcoming season.
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Dylan Cease and Dane Dunning are two of the top pitching prospects in the Sox farm system. While Cease is closer to making his major league debut than Dunning, both pitchers can make an immediate impact with the Sox once promoted. Cease and Dunning were both acquired in separate trades and have been solid contributors in the minors since.
Cease, a sixth-round draft pick in 2014 by the Chicago Cubs, has dominated minor league hitters since being acquired in a trade that included Eloy Jimenez in exchange for Jose Quintana. In 23 total starts last season with High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, Cease compiled an impressive 12-2 record with a 2.40 ERA, 160 strikeouts and a 1.06 WHIP in 124 innings pitched.
The 23-year-old right-handed pitcher should make the jump to Triple-A out of Spring Training. If he can do that and have an impressive showing with the Charlotte Knights, Cease could be a candidate for a promotion to the Sox by the Summer. Much like other prospects, the Sox won’t rush Cease through the minors.
Dunning, much like Cease, was also dominant last season in the minors. However, his season was cut short due to injury. In 15 total starts with Winston-Salem and Birmingham, Dunning compiled a 6-3 record with a 2.71 ERA, 100 strikeouts and a 1.193 WHIP through 86.1 innings pitched. Similar to Cease, Dunning could be in line for a promotion to the Majors later this year.
If Cease and Dunning are both promoted to the Sox this upcoming season, they likely won’t be in the starting rotation right away. Promoting each player would make sense in September when rosters expand. Whatever the case may be for when Cease or Dunning get their shot to pitch in the major leagues, each player has the ability to make an immediate impact.