Could relief prospect Ian Hamilton join the White Sox this season?


The White Sox have one of the highest rated farm systems in the game and a number of positions appear to have plenty of prospects to fill those spots for years to come. The bullpen is not one of those areas.

The only young reliever on the current White Sox bullpen having success is Jace Fry. In the minors, Zack Burdi is a highly-regarded prospect and potential closer of the future, but he hasn't pitched in nearly a year due to Tommy John surgery.

Ian Hamilton is a name that White Sox fans may not be familiar with unless they follow the farm system somewhat closely, but he could be pitching in the majors this year.

He was drafted in the 11th round in 2016, but even then was dubbed a potential sleeper pick. Hamilton spent his first two years at Washington State as a closer and left the Cougars as the program's all-time saves leader. He moved to the rotation and struggled, which led to his draft stock falling.

The White Sox snapped him up and put him back in the bullpen. Since then he has done but get guys out while moving quickly through the minors. After posting a 1.78 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings in Double-A Birmingham this season, Hamilton was included in the mass promotions the Sox had at the halfway point of the minor league season.

On Wednesday, Hamilton, the 19th-ranked White Sox prospect by MLB Pipeline, picked up his third save in three tries for Triple-A Charlotte. It's early, but the 23-year-old hasn't given up a run for the Knights yet. In 5 2/3 innings he has nine strikeouts while allowing just one hit and one walk.

The right-hander features a mid-90s fastball and a slider. He could be showcasing that stuff on the South Side this year with the likes of Joakim Soria and other relievers potentially on the trading block. If Hamilton continues to pitch well for Charlotte he could be one of the names to fill in after the trade deadline.

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