White Sox

Meet the Prospects: Gavin Sheets

Meet the Prospects: Gavin Sheets

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Gavin Sheets

Sheets, the 21-year-old first baseman, was the White Sox second-round pick in last year's draft.

A Maryland native, Sheets played his college ball at Wake Forest before being selected by the South Siders last summer. His father, Larry, had an eight-year major league career with the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners.

Sheets played 56 games of minor league ball after being drafted last season, all but four of those coming with Class A Kannapolis. In those 56 games, he slashed .279/.365/.397 with 12 doubles, four homers and 28 RBIs. He also showed a good amount of plate discipline, walking 23 times compared to 34 strikeouts.

Sheets earned that second-round draft pick with a solid 2017 season at Wake Forest, slashing .317/.424/.629 with 21 homers and an awesome 46-to-37 walk-to-strikeout ratio.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Sheets rated as the No. 15 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Sheets in the video above.

When They Were Prospects: Alex Fernandez

When They Were Prospects: Alex Fernandez

With such a strong focus on current White Sox prospects, we thought it’d be fun to take a look back at statistics and scouting reports of other South Side stars on their journey to the MLB. 

The White Sox run of first round draft picks from 1987-90 is one of the best four-year stretches in the history of the MLB Draft.

Jack McDowell (1987), Robin Ventura (1988), Frank Thomas (1989) and Alex Fernandez (1990). Hard to do better than that.

While Fernandez is the only one of the quartet never to receive All-Star honors, make no mistake about it, the White Sox 4th overall selection in the 1990 Draft was a solid choice.

[When They Were Prospects: Jose Abreu]

He was 1987 Gatorade Florida State Player of the Year at Monsignor Edward Pace High School. 

He transferred from the University of Miami to Miami-Dade South Community College in order to be draft eligible sooner, and ended up the 1990 Golden Spikes Award winner (awarded to the best amateur baseball player in the country). He was the first to win the award at a junior college; a feat unmatched until Bryce Harper did it 20 years later.

After the draft, Fernandez tuned up with eight minor league starts, putting up a sparkling 1.81 ERA (in 49.2 IP) including a 17-strikeout performance in A-ball. He was ready to go.

The hefty right-hander was the first player from the 1990 MLB Draft to reach the Majors -- he and Frank Thomas both made their MLB Debuts for the Sox in Game 1 of an Aug. 2, 1990 doubleheader in Milwaukee.

Fernandez pitched for the Southsiders through his age 26 season (1996), compiling a 3.78 ERA and 951 strikeouts in 1,346.2 innings during that time. It's a workload that only four pitchers since have been able to match through their age 26 season. 

Most innings through age 26 season (1990-present):

1620.1 - Felix Hernandez

1406.1 - CC Sabathia

1397.2 - Madison Bumgarner

1378.1 - Clayton Kershaw

1346.1 - Alex Fernandez

From 1991 through 1996 (with the exception of the 1994 strike-shortened season), Fernandez put up at least 180 innings every year. In 1995 and 1996, the Miami native started the White Sox season opener. He reached a career-high of 200 strikeouts in 1996 as he was ready to test free agency.

Fernandez signed a 5-year, $35M contract to pitch for his hometown beginning in 1997. He pitched well in his debut season with the Marlins, posting a 3.59 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 220.2 frames. A badly torn rotator cuff was diagnosed after a rough start in Atlanta in the NLCS. He was only 28 years old, but his shoulder would never be quite right again.

Daily White Sox prospects update: Eloy Jimenez debuts at Birmingham

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Daily White Sox prospects update: Eloy Jimenez debuts at Birmingham

Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.

Double-A Birmingham

Eloy Jimenez made his much-anticipated debut after working his way back from an injury to his pectoral muscle. The White Sox top-rated prospect didn't get a hit, going 0-for-3 in Birmingham's 8-3 loss, but he did have a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Zack Collins had two walks in the game. Jordan Guerrero gave up six runs on nine hits in three innings of work.

Class A Winston-Salem

Blake Rutherford followed up a three-double day Wednesday with four hits Thursday. He also drove in four runs and scored a run. Micker Adolfo homered, with the quartet of Adolfo, Rutherford, Luis Alexander Basabe (who walked three times) and Gavin Sheets combining for eight RBIs in a 9-5 win.

Class A Kannapolis

Luis Gonzalez and Evan Skoug each had a hit and a run scored and Gonzalez added a walk in Kannapolis' 8-3 win.