The Chicago White Sox made a sneaky, good move on Monday by claiming Erik Surkamp off waivers from the San Francisco Giants. The tall lefty didn’t fair well in his only major league action in 2013 (7 runs on 9 hits in just 2 2/3 innings), but at 26 he still has time to grow. Originally selected by the Giants in the sixth round of the 2008 MLB draft, the North Carolina State product sports a spiffy career 2.84 ERA in 484 2/3 big league innings.
According to MLB.com, Surkamp now becomes the 11th best prospect in the Sox farm system. He had Tommy John surgery in 2012, but has a fastball that still sits in the high 80’s. He has nice command of his off-speed pitches, the best of which is the changeup. Many scouts agree he doesn’t have the highest ceiling in the world, but does maintain the skill set of a #4 starter.
It seems likely that the Ohio native will immediately be in the discussion for the fifth starter spot entering spring training this year. Chris Sale, John Danks, Carlos Quintana, and the recently acquired Felipe Paulino are set 1 through 4. That leaves Surkamp, Erik Johnson, and Andre Rienzo to battle it out for the last spot in the rotation. Johnson would seem to be the favorite as he is a higher ranked prospect at this point. The righty also posted a respectable 3.25 ERA over 5 games started late last year.
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