Kopech, Robert heading to White Sox camp

Chicago announces 16 non-roster invitees to MLB Spring Training

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | January 22, 2018 2:05 PM

White Sox No. 2 prospect Michael Kopech was among 16 Minor Leaguers invited to Spring Training on Monday afternoon.

Kopech, a 21-year-old right-hander, No. 3 prospect Luis Robert and No. 5 prospect Dylan Cease were among the biggest names on Chicago's list, which the team revealed on Twitter. Right-handers Chris Beck, Tyler Danish, Dane Dunning, Alec Hansen, Jordan Stephens and Connor Walsh will join lefties Brian Clark and Jordan Guerrero, catchers Zack Collins, Alfredo Gonzalez and Seby Zavala, infielder Jake Burger and outfielder Jacob May at Camelback Ranch-Glendale next month.

Kopech, Robert, Cease and Hansen were all among MLB.com's Top-100 prospects to end 2017. Collins and Dunning were 2016 first-round Draft picks.

The White Sox also announced they'd agreed to Minor League deals with six free agents, including former Rays prospect Patrick Leonard, a 25-year-old third baseman who was a fifth-round pick in 2011.

Tweet from @whitesox: We have agreed to terms on @MiLB contracts with 6 free agents: RHPs Rob Scahill, Chris Volstad & Michael Ynoa, LHP T.J. House and INFs Patrick Leonard & Matt Skole. All 6, in addition to 16 others from the organization, have received non-roster invites to Spring Training: pic.twitter.com/1g98KZeXK6

Kopech appeared in three games for the White Sox last spring, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings. He started two games and struck out 11. The 6-foot-3 righty then split the regular season between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, going 9-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 134 1/3 innings over 25 starts, mostly in the Southern League. He struck out 172 and walked 65 in his fourth Minor League season and first since being traded from Boston in December 2016 in the Chris Sale deal.

Robert, 20, scored a $26 million bonus from Chicago last May when he signed out of Cuba. He hit .310 with three homers, 14 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 28 Dominican Summer League games last year and finished the season ranked as the No. 23 prospect in baseball.

Hansen, 23, was Chicago's second-round pick in 2016. He went 11-8 with a 2.80 ERA in 26 starts last year across three levels, reaching Double-A and finishing the year with 191 strikeouts and 51 walks in 141 1/3 frames. His fastball has been clocked as high as 99 mph.

Collins finished 2017 ranked as the No. 6 catching prospect in baseball. The 22-year-old out of Miami showed plenty of power last year, hitting 19 homers and driving in 53 runs, but finished with a .224 average and 129 strikeouts in 113 games for Class A Advanced Winston Salem and Birmingham.

Dunning, 23, put up nice numbers in his first full season since leaving Florida. He went 8-8 with a 2.94 ERA last year, striking out 168 while only walking 38 batters in 144 innings over 26 starts.

Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow his MLBlog column, Minoring in Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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