The Sky Is the Limit for White Sox Prospect Noah Schultz

Noah Schultz has all the talent in the world, but the White Sox have to focus on keeping him healthy and getting more innings under his belt.

A view of the draft board and stage as Noah Schultz is selected as the 26th pick by the Chicago White Sox during the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft at L.A. Live.
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17: A view of the draft board and stage as Noah Schultz is selected as the 26th pick by the Chicago White Sox during the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft at L.A. Live on Sunday, July 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Noah Schultz can feel the expectations that surround him as the top pitching prospect for the Chicago White Sox. However, the 20-year-old left-hander knows that after just 10 starts at Low-A last season, there is plenty that needs to be done before he can start living up to and fulfilling the high hopes that exist for him on Chicago’s South Side.

“I’m not worried about that,” Schultz said. “I’m worried about pitching. I’m worried about becoming the best pitcher I can.”

All that said, Schultz was pleased with the numbers he put up at Kannapolis in 2023, scattering 17 hits over 27 innings while striking out 38 and walking just six. With an ERA of 1.33 and a WHIP of 0.85, he laid a strong foundation during his first professional season.

Selected with the 26th overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft, the 6-foot-9 Schultz oozes confidence about his abilities on the mound.

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“I know what type of pitcher I am,” Schultz said.

The White Sox know what type of pitcher he is as well, but the South Siders are also focused on what it will take to keep Schultz healthy after he battled through a flexor strain and shoulder impingement in 2023.

“I’m working on sinker, slider and changeup, with changeup being the newest one, but I’m confident equally in all three of them,” Schultz said. “Guys say 1-2-3 pitches, but I say 1A, 1B and 1C. I’m confident in all of them when I need to throw them.”

“There are always things I can focus on,” Schultz added. “Always ways to get better every day. I wouldn’t say there are specific things I’m focused on. Command, staying healthy, location, just a little bit of everything.”

Schultz was able to throw around 20 pitches to live batters on the backfields at Camelback Ranch this past weekend. The flamethrower was sitting 97-98 mph with his fastball and occasionally mixed in the changeup he has been working on this offseason.

The fastball is truly the calling card for Schultz given the amount of run on it from his unique arm slot paired with sheer velocity. Being able to work all parts of the zone with the pitch like he did for short spurts last season in Kannapolis will make Schultz incredibly difficult to face.

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His slider has a lot of depth to it, and the way it plays in contrast with the sinker is reminiscent of former White Sox pitching prospect Chris Sale. The continued development of Schultz’s changeup will be worth monitoring this season, as he will need a steady third pitch as he rises through the farm system.

Putting attention towards his body and recovery is a point of emphasis for Schultz heading into the 2024 campaign. He’s working on his sleep and eating patterns as he looks to stay healthy for a full season in order to make pitching a priority.

For a player of his stature at such a young age, staying physically strong and having a dedicated recovery process will continue to be important.

Schultz is set to get into game action next week in Arizona, likely in a minor league camp scrimmage game. After throwing to live hitters, this is the logical next step in his progression.

With all the talent in the world, Schultz will take the 2024 season to get more innings under his belt and learn how to pitch every week. The organization will use extreme caution when it comes to the young southpaw, given his pedigree, but Schultz remains focused on the simple task of becoming a better pitcher.

Assuming full health in 2024, Schultz could become one of the best, if not the best, pitching prospects in baseball. He ranked as Just Baseball’s No. 9 pitching prospect at the end of the 2023 season, despite his limited innings. With as much potential as almost any pitching prospect, he’s a name for all baseball fans to watch.

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