As we forge on through a slow-moving 2020-21 MLB offseason, an important date for a handful of White Sox prospects looms this week in the form of the deadline to provide protection to prospects from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the 40-man roster.
The White Sox have six players who would become Rule 5 eligible if they aren’t added to the 40-man roster by 7:00 pm (CT) on Friday, November 20.
Jake Burger (3B)
Burger, 24, has faced his share of challenges since being selected No. 11 overall in the 2017 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox. A pair of ruptured left Achilles landed him in a collegiate summer league this summer before being moved to the team’s alternate training site in Schaumburg in July.
Just this morning, Daniel Victor of South Side Hit Pen reported that Burger was seen as, “the best player out there,” by one prospect who was at the White Sox alternate site this summer.
For now, it seems that Burger is back on track after a turbulent few years. Burger is ranked No. 14 in the White Sox farm system by MLB Pipeline and is currently assigned to Double-A Birmingham.
Gavin Sheets (1B)
Sheets, 24, was taken by the White Sox in the second-round (No. 49) of the 2017 MLB Draft out of Wake Forest. The six-foot-five first-baseman has .766 OPS, 26 home runs, 58 doubles, and 172 RBI in 301 minor league games since being drafted by the White Sox.
After a slow start to his professional career that featured just 10 home runs in his first 641 at-bats (2017-18), Sheets had a bit of a resurgent season at Double-A Birmingham in 2019 when he slashed .280/.358/.408 with 16 home runs, 18 doubles, and 83 RBI for the Barons.
Sheets was given a non-roster invitation to Spring Training in 2020 before COVID-19 shut camp down in March. Sheets is ranked No. 10 in the White Sox farm system by MLB Pipeline and is currently assigned to Double-A Birmingham.
Tyler Johnson (RHP)
Johnson spent the summer in Schaumburg as well and has 85 minor league relief appearances under his belt since the start of the 2017 season. Johnson has actually been pretty impressive during that time, racking up 169 strikeouts, 45 walks, a 1.10 WHIP, 2.27 ERA, and an opposing batting average of just .197 in 115 innings of work.
Johnson is ranked No. 24 in the White Sox farm system by MLB Pipeline and is currently assigned to Double-A Birmingham.
Lenyn Sosa (SS)
Sosa, 20, was acquired by the White Sox in 2016 when he signed as an international free agent for $325,000. The Venezuelan native has played in 229 minor league games, most recently for High-A Winston-Salem in 2019 where he slashed .251/.292/.371 with seven home runs, 35 doubles, and 51 RBI for the Dash.
Sosa is ranked No. 25 in the White Sox farm system by MLB Pipeline and is currently assigned to Triple-A Charlotte.
Luis Mieses (RHP)
Mieses, 20, was also a member of the 2016 international class, signing a $428,000 contract out of the Dominican Republic. Mieses has a career .605 OPS in 166 games from 2017-19 and his highest level reached in the White Sox affiliate system was in 2019 when he played for Great Falls.
Mieses is ranked No. 28 in the White Sox farm system by MLB Pipeline and is currently assigned to Triple-A Charlotte.
Will Kincanon (RHP)
Kincanon, 25, is a local product hailing from Berwyn and has spent the last three years in the White Sox system. After posting a stingy 1.86 ERA in 46 relief appearances for the Winston-Salem Dash in 2019 Kincanon was issued a non-roster invitation to Spring Training in 2020.
In three Cactus League appearances, the Chicago-area native allowed no runs on just one base hit, while striking out three and walking none in his abbreviated taste of Major League Baseball down in Glendale.
I spoke with Kincanon for an interview back in April and despite his first taste of big league action being cut short, he valued his time in Glendale this spring, “being around those big-league guys really shows you how they go about their work, their routines, and things that make them successful. My mindset was to be myself anytime I got in the game, and just compete.”
Kincanon is ranked No. 29 in the White Sox farm system by MLB Pipeline and is currently assigned to Triple-A Charlotte.
Remember, players selected in the Rule 5 Draft by another organization must remain on their active major league roster for the duration of the 2021 season. With that being said, the only player on this list that could be in danger of being picked by another organization if not provided a spot on the Chicago 40-man roster would be right-handed pitcher, Tyler Johnson.
Johnson spent the summer at the team’s alternate training site in Schaumburg and is currently assigned to Double-A Birmingham (September 29). The 25-year-old right-hander has no major league experience but has 115 innings out of the bullpen down on the farm and a career 2.27 ERA with 169 strikeouts.