Only four weeks have passed since left-hander Carlos Rodon, the third overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, made his professional debut for the Rookie-level White Sox in the Arizona League. In that time, Rodon has pitched in six games at two levels, throwing 12 2/3 innings.
Now, the White Sox believe Rodon is ready for Triple-A. Chicago promoted Rodon from Class A Advanced Winston Salem to Charlotte on Saturday, and he will make his Triple-A debut as the Knights host Gwinnett on Tuesday. The game can be seen on MiLB.TV at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Scouts knew Rodon, ranked No. 22 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, was one of the most advanced players in this year's Draft class. And now, with Rodon already one step away from the Major Leagues, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said it is possible he could be called up when rosters expand in September.
"If he's doing well enough to come up here, yeah," Ventura said. "We're trying to help us win. If he's available and he's ready to go, he's ready to go. I would like to see it, but he's got to be ready to go."
First, Rodon will have to prove himself with Charlotte. Chicago's top-ranked prospect has pitched well at the outset of his professional career, striking out 20 batters while allowing five runs (four earned) on 11 hits and five walks. But now Rodon will be facing older, more experienced hitters. The average age of batters in the International League is 26.9 years, according to Baseball-Reference. Rodon is 21, making him the second-youngest pitcher in the circuit, older than only Buffalo left-hander Daniel Norris, the Blue Jays' No. 1 prospect.
Injuries kept the two best position player prospects out of the series opener and may do so again Tuesday. Gwinnett catcher Christian Bethancourt, the Braves' No. 3 prospect and No. 80 on the Top 100, hasn't played since getting hit in the hand by a foul ball Saturday. Charlotte second baseman Micah Johnson, the White Sox No. 4 prospect, left Sunday's game after injuring his knee.
Though Bethancourt and Johnson were out Monday, there was plenty of offense. Charlotte scored 17 runs on 21 hits, while Gwinnett scored four times on 10 hits. And there's still some prospect flavor to both teams. Gwinnett features outfielder Todd Cunningham, the Braves' No. 18 prospect. Charlotte's infield includes No. 8 prospect Matt Davidson at third base and No. 10 prospect Carlos Sanchez at second base.
In addition to Rodon, several other pitchers ranked in the Top 100 are scheduled to start Tuesday, including Kohl Stewart (No. 24), Aaron Nola (No. 46), C.J. Edwards (No. 56), Sean Manaea (No. 69) and Anthony Ranaudo (No. 78). Fans can watch Edwards, Manaea and Ranaudo on MiLB.TV, beginning with Ranaudo and Triple-A Pawtucket hosting Lehigh Valley and Phillies' No. 3 prospect Maikel Franco.
Top prospect probables
Tyler Anderson (Rockies' No. 12), Tulsa at Arkansas
Paul Blackburn (Cubs' No. 17), Kane County vs. Burlington
Parker Bridwell (Orioles' No. 12), Frederick at Carolina
Cody Dickson (Pirates' No. 20), West Virginia vs. Lakewood
Edwards (Cubs' No. 6), Tennessee at Montgomery
Brian Flynn (Marlins' No. 10), New Orleans vs. Reno
Alec Grosser (Braves' No. 15), Danville vs. Pulaski
Josh Hader (Astros' No. 10), Corpus Christi at Midland
John Lamb (Royals' No. 20), Omaha vs. Las Vegas
Ben Lively (Reds' No. 6), Pensacola at Jacksonville
Manaea (Royals' No. 3), Wilmington at Myrtle Beach
Cory Mazzoni (Mets' No. 14), Las Vegas at Omaha
Adalberto Mejia (Giants' No. 4), Richmond at New Britain
Nola (Phillies' No. 2), Reading at Bowie
Sean Nolin (Blue Jays' No. 11), Buffalo vs. Rochester
Wes Parsons (Braves' No. 8), Lynchburg vs. Potomac
Ranaudo (Red Sox's No. 5), Pawtucket vs. Lehigh Valley
Chris Reed (Dodgers' No. 8), Albuquerque vs. Nashville
Carlos Rodon (White Sox No. 1), Charlotte vs. Gwinnett
Sal Romano (Reds' No. 16), Dayton at South Bend
Enny Romero (Rays' No. 6), Durham vs. Norfolk
Antonio Senzatela (Rockies' No. 20), Asheville at Kannapolis
Stewart (Twins' No. 3), Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities
Blake Treinen (Nationals' No. 9), Syracuse vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Luis Ysla (Giants' No. 11), Augusta vs. Hickory