For White Sox fans, Carlos Rodon can’t get to U.S. Cellular Field fast enough.
The White Sox first-round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft continued his quick ascent through the team’s farm system when he was called up to Triple-A Charlotte on August 16. Since his promotion, the left-hander has started twice for the Charlotte Knights and hasn’t disappointed. In his two appearances combined, the former NC State star has only given up two hits and two earned runs over seven innings with 11 strikeouts and five walks.
One of the people who has noticed Rodon’s immediate success has been White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, who said he’s been impressed with the talented pitcher so far.
“He threw the ball real well,” Hahn said of Rodon’s last outing. “He actually got better as the game went on. It was a good developmental outing for him. He scuffled a little bit early with his fastball command. He made an adjustment, I believe, between the second and third inning and really locked into it his last couple of innings of work.”
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Outfielder Adam Eaton, who recently had a rehab assignment with the Knights, noticed Rodon’s potential in his recent outing.
“Good stuff,” Eaton said. “He competes his butt off. I talked to him quite a bit about the game and just talking the game out with him, and it seems like he has a very good understanding of what he needs to do. As a college junior being signed, he’s a lot more knowledgeable at the game than I was at that time. I think fans should be very excited for the future.”
As the number of great outings increases so does the hype. The White Sox know they can’t shield their star prospect from all the attention but Hahn feels Rodon’s mental makeup is equipped to handle this kind of spotlight.
“He’s an extremely even keeled kid,” Hahn said. “He’s a competitor. He has a good head on his shoulders. He wants to learn. He knows how good he can be and he wants to do everything in his power to get there.”
For White Sox fans, the date to circle is September 1. That’s when rosters expand from 25 to 40 players, giving prospects like Rodon a shot at coming up to the big leagues.
Hahn, however, wants to be careful with his prized southpaw and has the big picture in mind.
“I understand the thought behind the question, but we simply can’t lose sight of the fact that he is in the infancy of his professional career and what he is doing right now, while impressive, is part of his development and any decision about his future where his next start will or won’t be is based strictly on the long term view of getting him to Chicago ultimately to stay and contribute at the front end of our rotation for a long time,” Hahn said. “We aren’t going to rush that process.”