Zack Burdi

Zack Burdi is pitching off a mound again

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USA TODAY

Zack Burdi is pitching off a mound again

Zack Burdi was thought of as a college pitcher who could make the major leagues quickly after he was drafted in 2016.

The White Sox drafted him 26th overall that year and it appeared his quick rise through the minors was going to come true. Burdi reached Triple-A Charlotte by the end of 2016 and had a 2.25 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 16 innings with the Knights.

However, he had Tommy John surgery in July and hasn't pitched in more than 11 months. The 23-year-old from Downers Grove is nearing his return and had video proof.

That's Burdi throwing off a mound, which means a rehab stint might not be far behind. Burdi may not getting into the full swing of things before the minor league season ends in early September, but this is a good sign for him being ready to go for spring training in 2019.

Before going on the disabled list, Burdi had a 4.05 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 17 walks in 33 1/3 innings with the Knights in 2017.

Here's where your favorite White Sox prospects are starting the 2018 season

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AP

Here's where your favorite White Sox prospects are starting the 2018 season

The Major League Baseball season is a week old. But Opening Day in the minors comes Thursday.

In the White Sox loaded farm system, there are highly touted prospects scattered across the organization. With their campaigns getting underway Thursday, here's where each of your favorite White Sox prospects are starting the 2018 campaign.

Winston-Salem Dash (Class A)

Dylan Cease: The "other guy" acquired in that midseason trade with the Cubs last summer, Cease had a great spring, pitching 6.1 shutout innings in three Cactus League appearances.

Dane Dunning: Things didn't go so well this spring, with Dunning posting a 7.00 ERA (seven runs in nine innings) during Cactus League play, but he was good at Winston-Salem last year, with a 3.51 ERA in 118 innings.

Gavin Sheets: Last year's second-round draft pick (after the White Sox took Burger in the first round), Sheets slashed .266/.346/.365 in 52 games with Kannapolis last season.

Micker Adolfo: Adolfo's health status will be of great interest this season after he hurt his elbow during the spring, but he's playing through it as the White Sox hope he can avoid surgery.

Luis Alexander Basabe: A pretty good spring flew under the radar, with Basabe slashing .273/.333/.545 in 22 at-bats in Cactus League play.

​Luis Robert: He'll be out for a significant stretch as he recovers from a torn ligament in his thumb, suffered while sliding into second during a Cactus League game — the same game he later homered in.

Blake Rutherford: Acquired in that seven-player trade with the New York Yankees, Rutherford went hitless in seven Cactus League at-bats after slashing a disappointing .213/.289/.254 in 30 games at Kannapolis in 2017.

Birmingham Barons (Double-A)

Spencer Adams: Adams will be back at Birmingham after posting a 4.42 ERA in 152.2 innings there last season.

Ian Clarkin: Three outings and 5.2 innings are all Clarkin got during the spring, though he didn't allow a single run. He'll move up to Double-A after making just three starts with Winston-Salem last season.

Alec Hansen: He made just one appearance during Cactus League play, giving up three runs in 1.2 innings, but that won't dampen the excitement after he struck out 191 hitters between three minor league levels last year. He'll be here eventually after getting completely healthy in Arizona.

Zack Collins: There wasn't much success to be had in just 11 spring at-bats for Collins, and he'll get a more lengthy crack at Double-A after playing just 12 games there in 2017.

Seby Zavala: What a catching tandem it'll be in Birmingham when Collins gets paired with Zavala, who slashed .282/.353/.499 between two levels of Class A last season.

​Eloy Jimenez: Though he seemed ready to pick up where he left off in the spring — two homers and a triple in seven at-bats — a strained pec will keep Jimenez out of action as the season begins.

Charlotte Knights (Triple-A)

Zack Burdi: He'll stay sidelined as he battles back from surgery last season.

Michael Kopech: The star of the show down at Charlotte, the White Sox top-ranked pitching prospect will have plenty to work on after a mixed bag of a spring that featured an 11.57 ERA in seven innings.

Thyago Vieira: A flamethrower picked up in a trade with the Seattle Mariners, Vieira was a trendy pick to make the big league bullpen, but he'll start at Charlotte after giving up four runs and getting just three outs during spring training.

Casey Gillaspie: He had a rough spring, hitting just .189 in 37 at-bats.

Ryan Cordell: Another popular pick to make the Opening Day roster, Cordell had a great spring, slashing .317/.417/.512 with eight RBIs and eight runs scored in 41 at-bats.

Charlie Tilson: Injured ever since joining the White Sox organization in 2016, a finally healthy Tilson picked up just three hits in 18 spring at-bats.

MLB Pipeline ranks White Sox farm system third in baseball: Here are their top 30 Sox prospects

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USA TODAY

MLB Pipeline ranks White Sox farm system third in baseball: Here are their top 30 Sox prospects

MLB Pipeline is often the go-to when it comes to each team's top prospect lists.

Well, after ranking the White Sox farm system as the third best in the game, the site revealed its preseason picks for the organization's top 30 prospects.

The top seven appeared on MLB Pipeline's list of the top 100 prospects in baseball in January: outfielder Eloy Jimenez (4), pitcher Michael Kopech (10), outfielder Luis Robert (28), pitcher Alec Hansen (54), pitcher Dylan Cease (61), pitcher Dane Dunning (92) and outfielder Blake Rutherford (99).

Every one of those guys, by the way, were acquired in the last 14 months. Same goes for the No. 8 prospect, third baseman Jake Burger, the team's first-round draft pick in 2017.

But considering the incredible amount of talent the White Sox have injected into their system in the last year-plus, the entire top 30 should be of great interest to fans. Here's the full list. Click on the players' names to Meet the Prospects.

1. Eloy Jimenez, OF
2. Michael Kopech, P
3. Luis Robert, OF
4. Alec Hansen, P
5. Dylan Cease, P
6. Dane Dunning, P
7. Blake Rutherford, OF
8. Jake Burger, 3B
9. Zack Collins, C
10. Carson Fulmer, P
11. Micker Adolfo, OF
12. Gavin Sheets, 1B
13. Zack Burdi, P
14. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
15. Spencer Adams, P
16. Charlie Tilson, OF
17. Ian Clarkin, P
18. Ryan Cordell, OF
19. Luis Gonzalez, OF
20. Aaron Bummer, P
21. Ian Hamilton, P
22. Jordan Stephens, P
23. Seby Zavala, C
24. Evan Skoug, C
25. Luis Curbelo, SS
26. A.J. Puckett, P
27. Tyler Johnson, P
28. Lincoln Henzman, P
29. Thyago Vieira, P
30. Justin Yurchak, 1B/3B

And remember, that doesn't include guys who graduated from prospect status just last year and have yet to play their first full season in the majors, guys like Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, who were all at or near the top of this list last year.

Get excited, White Sox fans.