The White Sox announced today that they are sending six prospects to participate in the Arizona Fall League which begins in October. The six prospects chosen to represent the White Sox are Luis Robert, Luis Alexander Basabe, Zack Burdi, Laz Rivera, Tanner Banks, and Zach Thompson. These prospects will play for the Glendale Desert Dogs, a roster that is shared by the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees.
OFs Luis Basabe and Luis Robert, INF Laz Rivera, RHPs Zack Burdi and Zach Thompson and LHP Tanner Banks will play for the Glendale Desert Dogs in the 2018 Arizona Fall League. pic.twitter.com/8qIcBO2dFt
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 30, 2018
The headliner of the prospects participating is Luis Robert, who will get some extra game action after being placed on the disabled list twice with a sprained thumb. He has spent this season with both the Kannapolis Intimidators and the Winston-Salem Dash, with the latter being his current affiliate. Robert is currently slashing .235/.304/.294 with four doubles, one triple, and 11 RBIs in 27 games for the Dash. Participating in the Arizona Fall League will give Luis Robert the opportunity to face a higher level of pitching as most of the participants in the league come from affiliates above High-A. It also gives him the opportunity to participate in more games since he missed a lot of time this season with the aforementioned thumb injury.
It should come as no surprise to White Sox fans seeing Zack Burdi‘s name on the list of participants. After having Tommy John surgery during the 2017 season, Burdi spent countless hours recovering and rehabbing to get back out on the mound this season. He began a rehab assignment with the Arizona League affiliate, posting a 2.84 ERA with seven strikeouts and four walks in 6.1 innings for the AZL White Sox. For Burdi, it’s all about getting him as many opportunities to pitch without wearing him down since he missed a years worth of development. The Arizona Fall League will be a great opportunity for him to throw some extra innings and face a greater challenge than AZL hitters.
The most interesting name on the list of White Sox participants is Luis Alexander Basabe. Once considered a “throw-in” prospect in the Chris Sale trade, Basabe has developed into a very exciting prospect with plenty of tools that he brings to the organization. He has spent time with Winston-Salem and Birmingham this season. Between both affiliates, he is slashing .262/.356/.453 with 15 home runs, eight triples, 20 doubles, and 56 RBIs in 115 total games. Luis Alexander Basabe is getting to the point where a promotion to Triple-A is likely going to happen sooner rather than later and we should see him in Charlotte next season. Participating in the Arizona Fall League will give the White Sox front office an extended look at him as he gets ready for the next stage in his development.
Laz Rivera is another interesting name that will be participating in the Arizona Fall League. Rivera was a 28th round selection in 2017 MLB Draft and since then, he has risen up to being rated as the 28th overall prospect in the White Sox farm system according to MLB Pipeline. This is Rivera’s first full professional season and he has split time between Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. Between the two affiliates, Laz Rivera is slashing .315/.358/.481 with 12 home runs, 30 doubles, and 57 RBIs in 119 total games. Similar to Basabe, participating in the Arizona Fall League gives Rivera an opportunity to face a higher level of competition. He has had not trouble hitting in Single-A, so it’s time to find out what he can do when facing pitchers from a higher level of competition.
Rounding out the White Sox participants are Tanner Banks and Zach Thompson. Banks is a starting pitcher who has seen action at Winston-Salem and Birmingham. He has seen a lot of success this season, posting a combined 2.65 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 32 walks in 139.0 innings. His combined ERA is the best he has posted since playing in rookie level baseball. Thompson is a bullpen arm who has also spent time at Winston-Salem and Birmingham this season. He has been very effective out of the bullpen this season, posting a combined 1.63 ERA with 74 strikeouts and 28 walks in 71.2 innings. His combined ERA this season is a career high for the right-hander.
The Glendale Desert Dogs will have a very intriguing team this season and a big reason for that is the group of prospects the White Sox are having participate. You can view the rest of the Glendale Desert Dogs roster right here.
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