The potential was what kept the White Sox interested for so long.
No team in any sport gives up on a prized investment very early on in that player’s career. However, things work differently in baseball due to the farm system. Some players never make it out of the minors and never get a chance to showcase their talent at the big league level.
This wasn’t the case for Rodon, who was actually more the exact opposite. Rodon came through the minors very quickly, only appearing in nine games in the 2014 season. He was clearly seen as a close to MLB ready-prospect by the White Sox. He made his White Sox debut in late April of 2015 and his first season was met with optimism.
He finished his rookie season with a 9-6 record over 23 starts. He had a very solid ERA of 3.75 which was the only time he finished with an ERA below four. He had 139 strikeouts and a K/9 of nine. Rodon never really topped his rookie year after that.
Year after year, Sox fans were left clinging to the hope of Rodon working out with the team. No one ever wants to see a high draft pick for your favorite team fail but it will always be a possibility. When the Sox entered a full-blown rebuild after the 2016 season, it started becoming clear that the timelines of Rodon and where the Sox were going was never going to match up unless he put it all together.