The Top Left-Handed Pitching Prospect in Baseball: Noah Schultz

Chicago White Sox prospect Noah Schultz is turning heads around baseball, as he was the top ranked left-handed pitcher in our top 100 update.

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)

Noah Schultz has not been a professional for long, but he has already established himself as a big piece in the future plans for the White Sox. The 6-foot-9 20-year-old is arguably the best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball and could be a star once he reaches the majors.


Schultz was born in Oswego, Illinois, which is just outside of Chicago. He attended Oswego East High School, but only threw four innings in his senior year after contracting mono. He made up for the missed time following his graduation by pitching in the Prospect League in the summer of 2022.

Starting nine games for the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp, Schultz dominated his way to a 0.93 ERA. He struck out 37 batters in 19 1/3 innings while allowing just eight hits. His performance fully established his status as a top prospect.

Heading into the draft, Schultz was committed to Vanderbilt, one of the top college baseball programs in the nation. Still, the White Sox drafted Schultz with the 26th overall pick, and were able to sign him away from his commitment with a $2.8 million bonus.

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Schultz did not appear in any official games the year he was drafted. After missing the first two months due to injury, he reported to Single-A for his professional debut in June 2023. He made 10 starts for the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers and posted a 1.33 ERA and 36.5% strikeout rate.

The White Sox sent Schultz to High-A to begin 2024, and he only made seven starts at the level before earning a promotion to Double-A. Across 13 total starts this year, Schultz has a 1.95 FIP, 36.2% strikeout rate and 5.0% walk rate.


Schultz’s pitch mix mostly consists of a two-seam fastball (43%), slider (30%), changeup (8%) and cutter (5%).

The best pitch for Schultz is his slider, which is one of the best in the minor leagues. Its 73% strike rate is the highest of any of his pitches, and opposing batters have a .356 OPS against it.

The pitch is more of a sweeper than the bullet slider many pitchers are throwing today, averaging 82.7 mph with 13.1 inches of horizontal break.

Schultz has a lower release point for his 6-foot-9 frame which helps the deceptiveness of his slider. It also helps with his fastball, which is a quality pitch as well. It sits around 94-96 mph while topping out at 98, and it averages a large amount of arm-side run at 17.6 inches.

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His two-seam is not a swing and miss pitch, but he uses it effectively in early counts. Opposing batters have a 52% ground ball rate against Schultz’s two-seam. While it’s his most thrown pitch overall, he throws it just 19% of the time with two strikes, opting to his secondary stuff to get swings and misses in deep counts.

Schultz’s changeup and cutter are not used as much but provide other looks to mix it up occasionally. His changeup works well as a two-strike pitch against right-handers, although Schultz is also comfortable throwing his excellent slider in those matchups.


For a prep pitcher with the physical profile that Schultz has, it is a wonder that he has shown such good command so far as a pro. His 5% walk rate this year is a very encouraging sign that finding the zone may not be a problem for the young left-hander.

There is often high reliever and health risk for pitchers as tall and young as Schultz. He turns 21 in August and has done a nice job mitigating the reliever risk so far. However, his health may still be an area to keep an eye on.

He has added muscle and weight since turning pro, but Schultz sustained two separate injuries that limited his action in 2023. He had a forearm strain in the spring, causing his late start, and then he was shut down in August with a shoulder issue.

Schultz has stayed healthy through 50 innings in 2024 and he has performed excellent. His repertoire and 67% overall strike rate are encouraging signs of a future as a front-line starting pitcher. However, the White Sox will have to manage his health and durability to reach those heights.

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With his production in the minors this year, it is hard to dispute that Schultz has a potential front of the rotation ceiling. He was named as the No. 32 prospect in Just Baseball’s most recent top 100 update, the highest rank of any left-handed pitcher.

If everything stays on track with his health, Schultz could reach the White Sox sometime in 2025. He is currently on a limit of about four innings or 75 pitches maximum per outing. If he can build up to around 100 innings this year, he would be set up to pursue a full workload and potential debut next season.

If health still does eventually become an issue, Schultz could seamlessly move to a relief role and be simply dominant there. It would not be the ideal outcome for him and the White Sox, but it shows that Schultz has a high likelihood of being a quality Major League contributor in some capacity.

The White Sox have to feel great that they got Schultz in the late first round just two years ago, as he is turning into a potential ace on the South Side of Chicago.