South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 33: Drew Dalquist

Mar 26, 2023 - 12:19 AM
Despite a watchful eye over him, Drew Dalquist continues to struggle to find traction as a pro. | Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

Drew Dalquist
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
175 pounds
Age: 22
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking 13
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 10
2022 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 12
2022 High Level Birmingham (AA)
Age relative to high level -2.2 years
SSS rank among all right-handed starting pitchers in the system 11
Overall 2022 stats 3-11 ⚾️ 26 starts ⚾️ 104 IP ⚾️ 6.49 ERA ⚾️ 1.740 WHIP ⚾️ 80 K ⚾️ 64 BB

Drew Dalquist’s 2019 prep stats for Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, Calif. were quite impressive, with a 9-0 record, 1.78 ERA and 103 strikeouts. His junior stats were equally impressive (1.55 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 25.8 K%), but his results may have gone under the radar if not for an uptick in velocity during his senior season that saw his heater jump from 91 to 95 mph during offseason tournaments and varsity competition. He was verbally committed to the University of Arizona, but reneged on it to sign an extreme over-slot deal ($2 million; the slot value was $755,300) with the White Sox as the team’s third-round selection in the 2019 MLB draft.

Dalquist was handled delicately by the Sox organization in 2019. In three starts totaling the same number of innings for the AZL squad in 2019, he allowed nary an earned run as he surrendered just two hits and two walks while striking out two. Of course, he missed a precious year of development time in 2020 due to the pandemic shutdown.

The 2021 season was a difficult transition for Dalquist to full-season baseball, as while he struggled with command, he uncharacteristically had more difficulties with his control. In 23 starts totaling 86 innings, he posted a 4.99 ERA and 1.72 WHIP by relinquishing 87 hits (.269 OBA) and 56 walks (6.07 BB/9) while fanning 79 (8.57%). There were signs of a good changeup, as lefties hit just .215 against him, as opposed to righties hitting .307. Thus, perhaps a more consistent two-seam fastball running in on righties may be the answer to that problem. Dalquist did keep the ball down, as opponents hit grounders at a 42% rate.

While fellow young arms from late last decade Jared Kelley and Matthew Thompson flashed some signs of consistency, if not turning the corner, Dalquist continued to flag in 2022 — and that’s in spite of matriculating all the way up to Double-A (Project Birmingham, based on status more than merit, let’s be frank). His control continued to elude him, as the K-rate sagged. In Birmingham, Dalquist put strung together two starts as good as any he had in Winston-Salem earlier in the year; if you squint hard, that’s a promising sign.

Need any further sign of how far behind Dalquist has been, in spite of aggressive promotion in his career? Look at how hard the Cube is:

Dalquist’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Durability 70
Hittable 26
vs. Power 26
Walks 22
Strikeouts 21
K/BB 13
Team Winning Percentage .354

Dalquist is on the smallish size but has an athletic frame. While Dalquist’s four-seam fastball touches 95-96 mph, he more consistently sits 92-93 with it. He hasn’t mastered the movement on his two-seam fastball yet, as instead of running in to righties, it ends up tailing toward the middle of the plate. His mid-70s curveball actually does offer good break against righties. Its sharp depth gives it life and forces whiffs. A low-to-mid-80s slider is his second complementary offering, but needs just a bit more refinement as it lacks consistent horizontal depth. Finally, Dalquist offers a low-80s changeup that helps keep hitters at bay, although it was in its nascent stages before the season began.

MLB Pipeline has given Dalquist 55 grades for his curveball and slider, with 50 grades for his changeup, fastball and control. With his high walk total and respectable OBA, it seems like Dalquist is a command over control pitcher, although his ability to turn the corner with either is currently in doubt.

It’s a true puzzle whether Dalquist will begin his season in Birmingham, or return to the Dash to solve High-A first. A safe move would be a start at W-S that could trigger an early promotion is progress is shown.

2023 South Side Sox Top 101 White Sox Prospects

33. Drew Dalquist, RHSP
34. Adam Hackenberg, C
35. Tristan Stivors, RHRP
36. Andrew Pérez, LHRP
37. Duke Ellis, LF
38. Nicholas Padilla, RHRP
39. Dylan Burns, RHSP
40. Gil Luna Jr., LHRP
41. Eric Adler, RHRP
42. Garrett Schoenle, LHSP
43. Lane Ramsey, RHRP
44. Caleb Freeman, RHRP
45. Hunter Dollander, RHSP
46. Chase Solesky, RHSP
47. Godwin Bennett, RF
48. Wilber Sánchez, SS
49. Tyler Neslony, LF
50. Mario Camilletti, 2B
51. Sammy Peralta, LHRP
52. Jacob Burke, CF
53. Moisés Castillo, SS
54. Victor Quezada, 3B
55. Edgar Navarro, RHRP
56. Craig Dedelow, RF
57. Darío Borrero, 1B
58. Michael Turner, C
59. Tyler Osik, 1B
60. Haylen Green, LHRP
61. Mark McLaughlin, RHRP
62. Terrell Tatum, LF
63. Shawn Goosenberg, 2B
64. Randel Mondesí, LF
65. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
66. Declan Cronin, RHRP
67. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
68. Colby Smelley, C
69. Ethan Hammerberg, RHRP
70. Lincoln Henzman, RHRP
71. Vince Vannelle, RHRP
72. Brooks Baldwin, 3B-2B
73. James Beard, CF
74. Gabriel Rodríguez, RHSP
75. Ronny Hernandez, C
76. Troy Claunch, C
77. Brooks Gosswein, LHSP
78. Tim Elko, 1B
79. Yoelvín Silven, RHRP
80. Trey Jeans, LHRP
81. Jerry Burke, RHSP
82. Carlos Jiménez, 1B
83. Mason Adams, RHSP
84. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
85. Ernesto Jaquez, RHSP
86. Laz Rivera, 3B
87. Xavier Fernández, C
88. Álvaro Agüero, CF
89. Ben Norman, RF
90. Erick Bello, RHRP
91. Adisyn Coffey, RHRP
92. Arnold Prado, RF
93. Alsander Womack, 2B
94. Johan Domínguez, RHSP
95. Evan Skoug, C
96. Noah Owen, RHSP
97. Javier Mora, 2B
98. Will Kincanon, RHRP
99. Yohemy Nolasco, RHSP
100. Billy Seidl, RHRP
101. José Rodulfo, RHRP

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