Rodon heads list of White Sox prospects out to make impact

Talented hurler may be given early opportunity out of bullpen; Johnson, Sanchez to vie for 2B

Rodon heads list of White Sox prospects out to make impact

CHICAGO -- The White Sox currently feature numerous viable prospects capable of helping the Major League roster. Some could help in 2015, while other arrival dates target more into the future.

To general manager Rick Hahn's credit, he was able to significantly upgrade the big league roster this offseason without giving up much from the ranks of his top young talent. In Part 3 of's Spring Training preview series, here's a look at those White Sox prospects to watch.

LHP Carlos Rodon: The club's No. 1 prospect per and No. 14 overall among the Top 100 Prospects has a distinct chance to break camp with the team, even after being selected third overall in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. Rodon could start the '15 season in the White Sox bullpen, a path followed in the past by successful White Sox starters Chris Sale, Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland. He also could be added as a starter during the course of the campaign. Either way, Rodon has impact addition written all over him, the sort of impact made without giving up any player in return.

Rodon looks ahead to 2015

2B Micah Johnson: Second base stands as the featured everyday position player battle to be settled during Cactus League action, and a healthy Johnson hopes to win that job. The fleet-footed No. 4 White Sox prospect is just two years removed from swiping 84 bases and has incorporated yoga into his offseason routine to help his flexibility.

2B Carlos Sanchez: Don't discount Sanchez, the switch-hitting, No. 10 White Sox prospect, in the second base competition. The 22-year-old hit .250 over 104 plate appearances for the White Sox last season and stands ahead of Johnson defensively at second.

White Sox on Montas' development

RHP Francelis Montas: Trading Jake Peavy at the 2013 non-waiver Trade Deadline brought the White Sox back right fielder Avisail Garcia and began their reshaping process. It also yielded the hard-throwing, No. 3 White Sox prospect, who could conceivably help in '15 in relief. Some thought Montas, ranked 91st overall by, eventually could become the team's closer before David Robertson was added.

RHP Tyler Danish: Frequently compared to Peavy, the 20-year-old right-hander is moving fast toward the Majors as a starter and will be part of big league camp for the first time. The No. 7 White Sox prospect posted an 8-3 record with a 2.08 ERA over 25 Minor League starts last season.

Top Prospects: Anderson, CWS

SS Tim Anderson: Rumors swirled during the offseason that the White Sox No. 2 prospect could be part of the Jeff Samardzija trade with Oakland. But the White Sox acquired the frontline starter without giving up the No. 76 overall prospect. While Anderson still is a bit raw defensively, he could replace Alexei Ramirez at shortstop in the next couple of seasons.

OF Courtney Hawkins: The power-packed outfielder and No. 5 White Sox prospect just recently turned 21, so there's no rush to the Majors for the team's top pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Hawkins had 19 home runs and 84 RBIs during his second stint with Class A Winston-Salem, after the White Sox tested his high level of talent in the Carolina League during the 2013 season.

RHP Spencer Adams: As the team's second-round pick and 44th selection overall, Adams could be one of the under-the-radar success stories of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. The 18-year-old, No. 6 White Sox prospect fanned 59 and walked only four during his short stint with the Arizona Rookie League team last season.

3B Matt Davidson: After coming off his worst season as a professional, the White Sox and Davidson have confidence the team's No. 8 prospect can bounce back in '15.

Pleskoff on Thompson

OF Trayce Thompson: The White Sox No. 14 prospect begins his seventh season in the system and should compete for the final White Sox bench spot.

OF Micker Adolfo: Much like Adams, the 18-year-old Adolfo is a talented young player with time to develop in the White Sox system. Adolfo impressed the White Sox by hitting .218 with five homers and 21 RBIs for the Arizona Rookie League team at just 17 years of age.

3B Trey Michalczewski: Add the soon-to-be 20-year-old switch-hitter into the group of more far-ranging prospects. Michalczewski, the No. 9 White Sox prospect, earned comparisons to Chipper Jones before being selected in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.