White Sox

White Sox put top prospects on display at SoxFest

White Sox put top prospects on display at SoxFest

White Sox prospects received the kind of adoration normally reserved for longtime fan favorites over the weekend at SoxFest. 

With five of six top-100 MLBPipeline.com prospects in attendance at the Chicago Hilton, White Sox supporters showered the team's most highly-touted minor leaguers with heavy doses of praise. Excited by the franchise's youth movement, a group that included Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Carson Fulmer and Zack Collins, among others, was inundated by media requests, autograph seekers and fans hoping to snap a selfie.

While Kopech didn't expect the lavish attention, it shouldn't come as a surprise given the response of the fanbase since the club took its first steps toward a massive rebuild with the December trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton.

"These guys are coming up to me and telling me and Giolito when we were walking around together 'You guys are the future,' " Kopech said. "It's like, I haven't pitched an inning in Double-A yet. That's incredible to have fans that are that dedicated all the way through the system. 

"To be expected to be a part of this is extremely motivating."

Fans aren't the only ones excited.

While members of the front office were on hand to see Moncada and Collins at a hitters minicamp earlier in the month in Arizona, the weekend's event offered everyone an opportunity to get a glimpse at several newly acquired pitchers. White Sox player development director Chris Getz was impressed by the lineup of arms who participated in a bullpen session at the University of Illinois-Chicago, a group that also included Zack Burdi, the No. 26 overall pick of the 2016 draft. 

"Just to see the guys line up and it was one after the next getting on the bump and throwing their bullpen session," Getz said. "You've seen stuff like this before, but not this many guys and obviously they're newly acquired. And to think we're going to have these guys in our system, we're going to grow them and hopefully break them into the big leagues around the same time. And then for the future here, to have those guys part of our rotation, they're all frontline type starters. They're ones and twos. The tools grade out very well and most of these guys, the Giolitos and Kopechs, are physically imposing. Just when they stand on the mound there's going to be an intimidation factor there and then all of a sudden they're throwing their 70-to-80 graded-out fastballs and their sliders and curveballs and changeups. There's a reason why they're the top prospects in baseball."

[RELATED: Yoan Moncada very fond of Chicago after first trip]

The latest rankings from MLBPipeline.com suggest the White Sox possess six of the top 100 minor leaguers. Moncada is ranked No. 2 overall, Giolito is 12th, Kopech is 16th, Reynaldo Lopez is No. 46, Fulmer came in at 71 and Collins rounds out the group at 81.

Eager for the new team's new direction after they felt it was mired in mediocrity for too long, fans were supportive of players, prospects, staffers and coaches in seminars throughout the three-day event. The White Sox only hope to add to their young core with more trades in the future.

As he noted on Friday, general manager Rick Hahn said the White Sox are likely closer to the beginning of the rebuild than the end. Hahn promises there will be difficult times ahead as the team is patient in not only developing its prospects, but also in dealing away its remaining assets. But for now, fans were caught up in the team's new wave of potential stars.

"There's certainly a level of excitement, not just at the ballpark within the front office, but with some White Sox fans who have taken the time to either stop me on the street or leave voice mails at two in the morning," Hahn said. "There's an added level of excitement right now and anticipation."

Kopech felt that excitement throughout the weekend. First it was being recognized on the street shortly after he arrived on Thursday. Later he received a big round of applause during the team's opening ceremony. And it only continued on from there.

"It's kind of overwhelming," Kopech said. "I came in and I expected the fans to not pay too much attention to me and it's almost like I'm one of the main focuses here. The fans are unbelievable. Wherever you go, they are right there on your tail asking you questions. They are dedicated, very dedicated.

"It's what has been fun about all of this."

White Sox 2020 MLB schedule: 5 NL Central stars fans need to know

USA Today

White Sox 2020 MLB schedule: 5 NL Central stars fans need to know

MLB announced its unique, 60-game season schedule on Monday, making the first pitch feel that much closer.

What’s new this year: teams will only play opponents in their same region, so the White Sox will only face their divisional opponents, plus the teams in the N.L. Central.

We all know the heavy hitters and power pitchers within the A.L. Central (and probably the Cubs too due to proximity), but what about the big names from the opposite league?

These are the 5 N.L. Central players White Sox fans need to watch for during the 2020 season

2020 MLB season: White Sox opponents, schedule, format and odds

2020 MLB season: White Sox opponents, schedule, format and odds

Major League Baseball announced the White Sox 2020 schedule Monday. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming season.

When does the Major League Baseball season begin?

After a three-month layoff due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, teams are currently in the middle of a second round of spring training, branded “Summer Camp,” that will last roughly three weeks. Opening Day is set for July 23, when Major League Baseball will showcase games pitting the New York Yankees against the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers against the San Francisco Giants. The White Sox will open their season a day later, on July 24, with the start of a three-game series against the division-rival Minnesota Twins.

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How many games will be played this season?

Every team is scheduled to play 60 regular-season games over 66 days, with games being played at teams’ home ballparks. At the conclusion of the regular season on Sept. 27, the playoffs will begin and are scheduled to take place during the month of October, as usual. Though there was talk of an expanded playoff field including as many as 16 teams, more than half the league, the lack of an agreement between the league and the players’ union means the playoff field will be the same as usual: five teams from each league.

Which teams will the White Sox play this season?

Major League Baseball is using a geographic schedule this season, with the intent of minimizing travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The White Sox will play 10 games each against their AL Central rivals: the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers. They will play six games against the Crosstown-rival Cubs, and the remaining 14 games will be played against the other four teams from the NL Central: the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates.

RELATED: White Sox 2020 schedule: 5 key series during 60-game race for AL Central crown

2020 White Sox schedule

The White Sox open the season against the Twins on July 24 at Guaranteed Rate Field. They close the season with three games against the Crosstown-rival Cubs on the South Side. See the entire White Sox schedule here.

Updated odds to win the 2020 World Series

The Yankees are the favorite to win the World Series, at 3:1 odds. The White Sox have 40:1 odds. Seventeen teams have better odds.