White Sox fans will get an early look at some of the system's most exciting prospects in Spring Training this season.
Recently acquired right-hander Michael Kopech and 2016 first-round pick Zack Collins led a group of 19 non-roster players receiving invites to the White Sox big league training camp Monday. The pair rank as Chicago's third- and sixth-ranked prospects. Righties Spencer Adams (No. 7) and Zack Burdi (No. 8), outfielder Courtney Hawkins (No. 20) and left-hander Brian Clark (No. 22) round out the club's six top-30 prospects.
Kopech, who recently went viral after recording a 110-mph throw in a workout, is the most touted member of the group. Traded to the White Sox from Boston in December's deal for Chris Sale, the 20-year-old totes a fastball capable of reaching up to 105. He racked up 82 strikeouts and posted a 2.25 ERA over 52 innings with Class A Advanced Salem in the Red Sox system last season, despite missing much of the first half after sustaining a hand injury in a fight with a teammate during Spring Training. MLB.com pegs Kopech as the No. 30 overall prospect in baseball.
Collins was the top White Sox pick, No. 10 overall, in the 2016 Draft out of the University of Miami. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound catcher made just 39 appearances in his first season with the club due to a concussion sustained in July, but still managed a .258/.418/.467 slash line with six homers and 18 RBIs over 120 at-bats at Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.
"I'm kind of just here to trust the process and do whatever they tell me," Collins told MLB.com. "In reality, I'm just trying to make it to the big leagues and help the team out there. Whatever they think is best for me, that's what I'm going to do."
Adams and Burdi stand as Chicago's fifth- and sixth-ranked pitching prospects. Adams finished last season at Double-A Birmingham with a 10-12 record, a 3.98 ERA and 100 strikeouts over 163 innings across two levels. Burdi, club's other first-round pick in last year's Draft, amassed a 1-0 record with a save, sporting a 3.32 ERA in 38 frames over four levels, topping out at Triple-A Charlotte.
The rest of the invitees include lefties Aaron Bummer, Jace Fry, Matt Purke, David Holmberg and Cory Luebke; righties Blake Smith and Anthony Swarzak; infielders Nicky Delmonico, Danny Hayes, Cody Asche and Everth Cabrera; and catchers Geovany Soto and Roberto Pena.