Deep Dive: rookie league left-handed starters

Hidden diamond: Avery Weems struck out 74 and only walked 10 while pitching for the AZL Sox and Great Falls this year (@GFVoyagers).


“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the Chicago White Sox organization. Each position is broken into a five-part series:

  1. Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican through Great Falls)
  2. Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
  3. Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
  4. Under the Radar-type detail on one of the White Sox players at that position
  5. Free agent options at that position

While the list of southpaw starters who finished the 2019 season with White Sox rookie league affiliates isn’t very long, there are some pitchers to keep an eye on. They include the organization’s two top college hurler picks in 2019, not to mention a pitcher in the DSL who has one of the highest upsides of anyone in the system.

Ages below are as of April 1, 2020


Great Falls Voyagers

Avery Weems
6´2´´
205 pounds
Age: 22

Weems, a native of Flagstaff, Ariz., spent his first two years in college with Yavapai Community College before transferring to the University of Arizona. Used primarily as a swingman for the Wildcats, he pitched in far more games as a reliever during his junior and senior seasons (34) than as a starter (17).

Weems, despite showing better control during his senior season, was far more hittable and his numbers suffered for it. As a senior, he posted a 7.06 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in 25 games (eight starts) spanning 58 2/3 innings — relinquishing 80 hits (.316 OBA) and 16 walks while fanning 44 in the process. Being a likely option for an under-slot sign as a senior, Weems was an attractive target for the White Sox after they drafted varsity pitchers Matthew Thompson and Andrew Dalquist in the second and third rounds in 2019. Weems was chosen in the sixth round and ultimately signed for $10,000 ($286,400 less than slot value).

For what seemed to most fans as a throwaway pick, Weems actually surprised for the White Sox. He stayed close to home for his first four games (with the AZL White Sox), posting an otherworldly 0.69 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 13 innings as he surrendered just 10 hits (.217 OBA) and three walks (5.9%) while striking out 14 (27.5%). Weems then held his own in the more challenging Pioneer League, as he compiled a 2.47 ERA and 1.06 WHIP for Great Falls in 47 1/3 innings as he allowed just 43 hits (.239 OBA) and seven walks (3.7%) while fanning 60 (31.7%). While it’s true that Weems was older than the average Pioneer League player, it wasn’t by all that much (five months). Thus, his great results shouldn’t be taken too lightly.

Baseball America’s scouting report at the time of the draft, said that “he’s a pitchability southpaw who throws strikes.” Also according to BA, Weems features a low-90s fastball that touched 94 this year. The fastball is complemented with an average curveball and an infrequently-used changeup that comes in straight. Not exactly an enticing scouting report, but the White Sox must’ve seen something in him others did not. Perhaps with a few tweaks, Weems simply added more movement to his curve and change while adding more oomph to his fastball? Regardless, with the numbers he posted this year, Weems should be in line to begin the 2020 season with Kannapolis.

Dan Metzdorf
5´10´´
165 pounds
Age: 23

Unlike the aforementioned Weems, Metzdorf enjoyed a more successful senior season in 2019. For Boston College, Metzdorf posted a solid 2.58 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 11 starts. In 73 innings for the Eagles, he surrendered just 56 hits (.204 OBA) and 28 walks while striking out 65. Because of his diminutive size, and also because he doesn’t have top-notch stuff, Metzdorf was expected to be drafted much later. However, Metzdorf was selected in the fifth round of this year’s draft for the same reason Weems was selected in the sixth — signability. Metzdorf received a $10,000 signing bonus from the White Sox, which was around $384,000 less than slot value (which aided the Sox in signing Thompson and Dalquist).

Metzdorf, because of his better college credentials, started the season with Great Falls and acquitted himself quite nicely. In 14 starts spanning 40 innings (the White Sox don’t usually extend their starters too much in their first pro seasons) for the Voyagers, he posted a 3.60 ERA and 1.30 WHIP by ceding 44 hits (.286 OBA) and eight walks (4.8%) while striking out 36 (21.4%). Despite giving up some hits, Metzdorf limited the damage by keeping the ball down (55.1% ground ball rate) and throwing strikes.

Baseball America’s scouting report says “Metzdorf’s stuff isn’t huge, but he’s a solid strike thrower and has a fastball that sits 86-89 mostly, though he did ratchet that up to 93 late in the season. His slider and changeup are both fringe-average pitches at best.” Metzdorf is definitely undersized, so questions about his durability as a starter may persist for the next couple of years as a result. He’s also a year older than Weems, so if Metzdorf performs well at Kannapolis next year, he could earn a quick promotion to Winston-Salem.


AZL White Sox

Hector Acosta
6´4´´
200 pounds
Age: 21

Acosta, a Dominican native, was one of nine players who signed on 2016’s International Signing Day (along with notables Josue Guerrero, Anderson Comas, Luis Mieses, Anthony Coronado and Lenyn Sosa, to name just a few). While Acosta performed quite well for the DSL White Sox in 2017 and the beginning of 2018, he has struggled badly since his promotion to the team’s AZL squad in late June 2018.

This year for the AZL White Sox, Acosta appeared in 12 games (10 starts) and posted an unsightly 6.32 ERA and 1.96 WHIP in 47 innings, allowing 74 hits (.346 OBA) and 18 walks (7.6%) while striking out 23 (9.7%). Lefties hit him even more loudly (.368) than righties (.336) These numbers are so far short of Acosta’s DSL numbers, it seems to indicate he’s either battling through injuries and/or a lack of confidence in his new environment. This year, Acosta was about a half-year younger than the league average. If he does return to the organization, it likely would be for another AZL stint, and perhaps one last shot to prove himself.


DSL White Sox

Ronaldo Guzman
6´0´´
150 pounds
Age: 17

Guzman, a native of the Dominican Republic, received a $75,000 signing bonus on Oct. 29, 2018, which may turn out to be the best under-the-radar signing of an international pitcher ever for the White Sox. In his first taste of professional ball this year, Guzman posted a 4.53 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 14 outings (12 starts) spanning 51 2/3 innings. In those innings, he relinquished 43 hits (.221) and 29 walks (12.8%) while striking out a whopping 76 (33.5%). While those numbers are outstanding for someone who didn’t turn 17 until late August, Guzman’s numbers would’ve been even better if not for one bad relief outing; you throw that bad boy away and you get an 3.53 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Keep in mind, also, that Guzman was approximately 2.3 years younger than the DSL average. Certainly his walks were an issue, in addition to a low ground ball rate (37.9%). With his youth, however, Guzman has plenty of time to work on those things.

Ben Badler of Baseball America said this of Guzman prior to this season: “fastball that gets up to 89 mph with easy arm action and an athletic delivery that repeats well to throw strikes with an advanced changeup for his age.” As Guzman gets older, you’d expect him to gain more height and weight, which can only help with durability and velocity. Of the pitchers listed in this post, Guzman has easily the highest ceiling.

While it wouldn’t be a complete shock if Guzman returns to the DSL White Sox for the 2020 season due to his age, he seems a great bet to begin the season with the AZL affiliate instead.

 

White Sox Minor League Monthly Update: August/September

Reversal of fortune: Zack Collins headed down to Charlotte and mashed his way back up to Chicago. (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)


Charlotte Knights

Seby Zavala: .235 BA, 4 HR, 8 XBH, 9 R, 9 RBI, 8 BB, 20 K, 1 SB
Zack Collins: .310 BA, 10 HR, 14 XBH, 17 R, 22 RBI, 18 BB, 23 K **MVP of August**
Luis Robert: .264 BA, 10 HR, 18 XBH, 22 R, 24 RBI, 5 BB, 39 K, 2 SB
Yermín Mercedes: .317 BA, 7 HR, 13 XBH, 17 R, 18 RBI, 17 BB, 15 K
Nick Madrigal: .331 BA, 1 HR, 8 XBH, 26 R, 12 RBI, 13 BB, 5 K, 4 SB
Danny Mendick: .294 BA, 3 HR, 9 XBH, 13 R, 10 RBI, 13 BB, 22 K, 1 SB
Matt Foster: 14 IP, 5.20 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 5.14 BB/9
Hunter Schryver: 9 1/3 IP, 7.48 FIP, 12.54 K/9, 10.61 BB/9


Birmingham Barons

Gavin Sheets: .240 BA, 3 HR, 9 XBH, 9 R, 15 RBI, 14 BB, 21 K
Luis González: .260 BA, 2 HR, 7 XBH, 17 R, 10 RBI, 15 BB, 18 K, 7 SB
Luis Basabe: .244 BA, 1 HR, 7 XBH, 12 R, 10 RBI, 11 BB, 38 K, 2 SB
Blake Rutherford: .315 BA, 7 XBH, 12 R, 12 RBI, 17 BB, 20 K, 2 SB
Alec Hansen: 12 1/3 IP, 5.33 FIP, 8.76 K/9, 8.03 BB/9
Tyler Johnson: 14 1/3 IP, 4.14 FIP, 11.3 K/9, 1.88 BB/9
Codi Heuer: 12 1/3 IP, 2.41 FIP, 7.3 K/9, 2.19 BB/9
Kodi Medeiros: 14 1/3 IP, 5.18 FIP, 5.02 K/9, 5.02 BB/9
Blake Battenfield: 28 1/3 IP, 5.31 FIP, 6.67 K/9, 1.91 BB/9
Bernardo Flores: 28 IP, 3.33 FIP, 10.61 K/9, 1.61 BB/9
John Parke: 34 1/3 IP, 4.35 FIP, 3.93 K/9, 2.36 BB/9 **MVP of August**

Read the 2019 season recap.


Winston-Salem-Birmingham Shuttle

Bennett Sousa
Winston-Salem: 11 2/3 IP, 0.81 FIP, 13.89 K/9, 1.54 BB/9
Birmingham: 2 2/3 IP, 2.17 FIP, 10.13 K/9, 3.38 BB/9


Winston-Salem Dash

Steele Walker: .274 BA, 3 HR, 12 XBH, 20 R, 12 RBI, 14 BB, 16 K, 4 SB
Andrew Vaughn: .248 BA, 2 HR, 10 XBH, 15 R, 18 RBI, 15 BB, 17 K
Andrew Perez: 14 1/3 IP, 2.82 FIP, 10.05 K/9, 5.02 BB/9
Jacob Lindgren: 14 2/3 IP, 2.97 FIP, 9.2 K/9, 2.45 BB/9
Jonathan Stiever: 26 IP, 3.57 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 1.73 BB/9 **MVP of August**
Kade McClure: 10 IP, 9.08 FIP, 7.2 K/9, 4.5 BB/9
Konnor Pilkington: 31 IP, 3.12 FIP, 9.29 K/9, 2.61 BB/9

Read the 2019 season recap.


Kannapolis Intimidators

Ian Dawkins: .264 BA, 1 HR, 9 XBH, 15 R, 4 RBI, 14 BB, 24 K, 2 SB
Lenyn Sosa: .310 BA, 3 HR, 12 XBH, 18 R, 16 RBI, 8 BB, 23 K, 1 SB
Davis Martin: 31 IP, 2.42 FIP, 9.58 K/9, 2.32 BB/9 **MVP of August**
Jason Bilous: 27 IP, 5.45 FIP, 10.33 K/9, 6.33 B/9

Read the 2019 season recap.


Rookie League-Kannapolis Shuttle

Caleb Freeman
AZL: 4 IP, 0.77 FIP, 15.75 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Great Falls: 6 2/3 IP, 0.90 FIP, 16.2 K/9, 1.35 BB/9
Kannapolis: 4 1/3 IP, 6.26 FIP, 10.38 K/9, 4.15 BB.9


Great Falls Voyagers

Harvin Mendoza: .207 BA, 1 HR, 9 XBH, 10 R, 8 RBI, 10 BB, 22 K
Caberea Weaver: .284 BA, 1 HR, 11 XBH, 14 R, 9 RBI, 6 BB, 31 K, 5 SB
Lency Delgado: .230 BA, 4 XBH, 8 R, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 42 K
Luis Mieses: .190 BA, 5 XBH, 7 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 19 K
Karan Patel: 10 2/3 IP, 3.02 FIP, 10.12 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Avery Weems: 21 IP, 3.01 FIP, 10.71 K/9, 1.29 BB/9 **MVP of August**
Dan Metzdorf: 15 IP, 2.85 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9


AZL White Sox

DJ Gladney: .170 BA, 5 R, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 22 K
José Rodriguez: .279 BA, 3 HR, 6 XBH, 10 R, 12 RBI, 3 BB, 16 K, 3 SB **MVP of August**
Logan Glass: .333 BA, 1 HR, 4 XBH, 7 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 13 K
Micker Adolfo: .260 BA, 2 HR, 8 R, 3 RBI, 7 BB, 21 K
Matthew Thompson: 2 IP, 2.27 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Andrew Dalquist: 3 IP, 4.94 FIP, 6.0 K/9, 6.0 BB/9

Read the 2019 season recap.


DSL White Sox

Yolbert Sánchez: .309 BA, 1 HR, 5 XBH, 7 R, 4 RBI, 11 BB, 6 K, 2 SB
Benyamin Bailey: .250 BA, 1 HR, 6 XBH, 9 R, 5 RBI, 8 BB, 10 K
Johnabiell Laureano: .346 BA, 3 HR, 7 XBH, 13 R, 9 RBI, 7 BB, 11 K, 1 SB **MVP of August**
Ronaldo Guzman: 10 2/3 IP, 4.48 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 4.22 B/9

Read the 2019 season recap.

White Sox Minor League Weekly Update: Week 21

Mighty mite: Nick Madrigal hit nearly .400 in leading Charlotte’s charge toward a wild-card berth. (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)


Charlotte Knights — 1 GA in the IL Wild Card

Yermín Mercedes: .176 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K
Nick Madrigal: .385 BA, 6 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 SB **MVP of the Week**
Luis Robert: .280 BA, 3 HR, 5 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 9 K
Danny Mendick: .259 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K
Zack Collins: .182 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 BB, 2 K
Seby Zavala: .294 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 9 K
Matt Foster: 2 1/3 IP, 9.19 FIP, 11.57 K/9, 7.71 BB/9


Birmingham Barons — Eliminated from playoffs

Gavin Sheets: .250 BA, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Luis González: .400 BA, 5 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 SB
Laz Rivera: .321 BA, 2 HR, 6 R, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 SB **MVP of the Week**
Luis Basabe: .174 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 9 K
Blake Rutherford: .259 BA, 5 R, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K
Alec Hansen: 1 2/3 IP, 12.89 FIP, 0.0 K/9, 5.4 BB/9
Tyler Johnson: 3 IP, 5.62 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Codi Heuer: 2 1/3 IP, 2.43 FIP, 3.86 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Kodi Medeiros: 5 IP, 4.49 FIP, 5.4 K/9, 7.2 BB/9
Blake Battenfield: 5 IP, 6.09 FIP, 1.8 K/9, 1.8 B/9
Lincoln Henzman: 3 IP, 1.29 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Bernardo Flores: 12 IP, 2.20 FIP, 9.75 K/9, 0.0 BB/9


Winston-Salem Dash — 4 1/2 GA in the Carolina League “wild card” (but the wild card is not in effect)

Steele Walker: .200 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Andrew Vaughn: .136 BA, 1 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
Andrew Perez: 2 IP, 3.40 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 9.0 BB/9
Jacob Lindgren: 3 1/3 IP, 6.10 FIP, 0.0 K/9, 5.4 BB/9
Bennett Sousa: 3 IP, 0.07 FIP, 15.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Jonathan Stiever: 6 IP, 2.23 FIP, 7.5 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 **MVP of the Week**
Konnor Pilkington: 6 IP, 1.23 FIP, 12.0 K/9, 1.5 BB/9

Just a note here on the Dash’s playoff picture. As it stands right now, they are five games behind in their division, but 4 1/2 ahead in the “wild card.” However, for them to go to the playoffs with the wild card, they need the Down East Wood Ducks to win the second half division title. The Wood Ducks currently are second in the division by 1/2 a game.


Kannapolis Intimidators — Eliminated from playoffs

Ian Dawkins: .207 BA, 3 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Alex Destino: .308 BA, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K **MVP of the Week**
Lenyn Sosa: .333 BA, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Davis Martin: 11 IP, 1.67 FIP, 8.18 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Jason Bilous: 5 1/3 IP, 4.05 FIP, 5.06 K/9, 5.06 BB/9


Great Falls Voyagers — 7 1/2 GB in PL North Division

Harvin Mendoza: .167 BA, 2 R, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K
Caberea Weaver: .258 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 13 K, 2 SB
Luis Mieses: .148 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K
Karan Patel: 3 2/3 IP, 1.89 FIP, 9.82 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Avery Weems: 5 IP, 1.07 FIP, 16.2 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 **MVP of the Week**
Caleb Freeman: 3 2/3 IP, 2.16 FIP, 12.27 K/9, 2.45 BB/9


AZL White Sox — Season Over (22-34)

Read the 2019 season recap.

DJ Gladney: .286 BA, 3 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
José Rodriguez: .400 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 SB
Logan Glass: .556 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K **MVP of the Week**
Micker Adolfo: .333 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K
Matthew Thompson: 1 IP, 2.26 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Andrew Dalquist: 1 IP, 3.26 FIP, 18.0 K/9, 9.0 BB/9


DSL White Sox — Season Over (36-34)

Yolbert Sánchez: .588 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K **MVP of the Week**
Elijah Tatís: .200 BA, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 4 SB
Ronaldo Guzman: 1 IP, 2.64 FIP, 18.0 K/9, 9.0 BB/9

Read the 2019 season recap.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 27, 2019

Starting force: Tanner Banks threw seven strikeouts in just five innings, pacing Tuesday’s runaway win for the Barons. (Hannah Stone/Birmingham Barons)


Durham Bulls 10, Charlotte Knights 6

MVP
Zack Collins (DH) 3-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI (73), K (.297 BA, .897 OPS)

Runner-Up
Nick Madrigal (2B) 2-for-4, R, 2B (6), HBP, CS (3) (.316 BA, .822 OPS)

Notables
Luis Robert (CF) 1-for-4, R, RBI (36), K (.302 BA, .987 OPS)
Manny Bañuelos (SP) 4 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, BB, 2 K, 3 HR, L (0-1), HB, 53-of-82 strikes (15.75 ERA)
Yermín Mercedes (C) 0-for-2, RBI (55), BB (.290 BA, .978 OPS)

Very strange, what we have going on here in the stretch run to the IL playoffs. First, of course, neither Durham nor Charlotte want to seize control of the race. Second, each team is dominating on the other’s home field. The Knights were done no favors by a horrible outing from Bañuelos, as the Bulls were up 9-1 by mid-game. Collins did everything he could to keep the Knights in it, and Charlotte did rally for four in the eighth, courtesy of Collins and Robert singles, and a Mercedes sac fly. But the entire Knights pitching staff spit the bit tonight. Charlotte’s lead in the wild-card race is back down to just two games.


Birmingham Barons 11, Tennessee Smokies 3

MVP
Joel Booker (RF) 3-for-3, 2 R, 2 2B (10), 2 RBI (32), 2 BB (.254 BA, .643 OPS)

Runner-Up
Gavin Sheets (DH) 2-for-5, R, 2B (18), 2 RBI (81), BB, 2 K (.275 BA, .744 OPS)

Notables
Luis González (LF) 1-for-4, R, RBI (59), 2 BB, K (.253 BA, .686 OPS)
Tanner Banks (SP) 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R/2ER, BB, 7 K, W (4-7), 2 HB, 67-of-91 strikes (4.46 ERA)
Luis Basabe (CF) 2-for-5, R, 2 K, SB (8) (.235 BA, .645 OPS)
Alec Hansen (RP) 2 IP, 4 BB, 4 K, 25-of-51 strikes (5.73 ERA)

A nice laffer for the Barons, a team who has needed one all year. This win was sparked by Booker at the No. 9 slot, reaching base all five times in the game. Check out Hansen’s odd line, a hitless and scoreless outing, but, whoo boy, more balls than strikes thrown. Birmingham scored in every frame but the first, eighth and ninth, putting his one away early.


Salem Red Sox 5, Winston-Salem Dash 1

MVP
Craig Dedelow (RF) 1-for-4, R, RBI (60), HR (16) (.246 BA, .744 OPS)

Runner-Up
J.J. Muno (LF) 1-for-2, BB (.238 BA, .728 OPS)

Notable
Andrew Vaughn (1B) 1-for-4, K (.227 BA, .702 OPS)

Just a bad game … does it seem like the Dash have had an ugly stretch here, as they’re supposed to be making their playoff push? W-S drops to 30-33 in the second half, and its elimination number now stands at one.


Kannapolis Intimidators 5, Hagerstown Suns 4

MVP
Amado Nuñez (2B) 1-for-3, R, 2B (8), 2 RBI (33), K (.209 BA, .588 OPS)

Runner-Up
Austin Conway (RP) 1.2 IP, 2 K, Sv (11), 18-of-29 strikes (1.69 ERA)

Notables
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 2-for-4, 2 RBI (48), E (13) (.244 BA, .637 OPS)
Ian Dawkins (CF) 2-for-4 (.303 BA, .765 OPS)

Another big effort from the nine-spot in the order, with Nuñez doing damage for the I’s. He contributed a one-out, ground-rule double that drove in two and put Kannapolis up, 3-1, in the fourth. The Intimidators scored all they needed to in that fourth inning, with a crooked number that would hold up for the win. Conway pitched a superb eighth and ninth, walking the tightrope for his 11th save.


Great Falls Voyagers 4, Idaho Falls Chukars 3

MVP
Avery Weems (SP) 5 IP, 5 H, ER, 6 K, W (4-2), HB, 53-of-69 strikes (1.96 ERA)

Runner-Up
Sammy Peralta (RP) 2 IP, 4 K, Sv (3), 16-of-21 strikes (2.73 ERA)

Notables
Caberea Weaver (CF) 2-for-5, 2B (12), 3B (5), R, RBI (17), 2 K (.261 BA, .710 OPS)
Kelvin Maldonado (SS) 3-for-5, R, RBI (17), K (.270 BA, .635 OPS)

Hate to be hyperbolic, but the story of the 2019 draft to date for the White Sox has been Avery Weems. The sixth-rounder out of Arizona quickly earned a ticket from the AZL to the Pioneer League, and he’s been aces as a Voyager. I’ll have the numbers next month, but I wouldn’t be surprised if every one of his starts has earned him an MVP … amazing. Aside from Trey Jeans, the GFV pitching staff was killer tonight, with 13 Ks and no walks! I’d left the Voyagers for dead this season, looking at the crummy 28-36 overall record, but Great Falls improves to 13-14 in the second half and hold an elimination number of 3; closer to the postseason than Winston-Salem! This win moved the Voyagers ahead of the Chukars and out of last place overall in the Pioneer League South.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 21, 2019

Finishing kick: Steele Walker rides again, this time into a 10-game hitting streak! (Winston-Salem Dash)


Charlotte Knights 3, Durham Bulls 0

Nick Madrigal: 1-for-5, 0 BB, 0 K (.304 BA, .751 OPS)
Luis Robert: 1-for-3. 1 BB, 2 K (.310 BA, 1.029 OPS)
Seby Zavala: 2-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K (.232 BA, .811 OPS)
Danny Mendick: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 K (.281 BA, .826 OPS)
Odrisamer Despaigne: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K (3.45 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) **MVP**

Well, well, well, is Odrisamer Despaigne playing his way to a September promotion? He went six shutout innings in the 3-0 win for Charlotte. Though he was not all that sharp (four walks), Despaigne only allowed singles, so he kept any damage at a minimum. The bullpen, compromised of Hunter Schryver and José Ruiz tonight, were just as good — especially Ruiz. He faced five batters and retired four of them; he walked the other. Obviously, the offense did not need to do much for the win. Danny Mendick had the big hit of the night, with a solo homer. It was one of the eight hits for the Knights, and one of the three runs. Ramon Torres was responsible for the other two.


Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 7, Birmingham Barons 6 (10)

Luis González: 1-for-5, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 SB (.249 BA, .682 OPS)
Luis Basabe: 0-for-5, 0 BB, 1 K (.229 BA, .619 OPS)
Blake Rutherford: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (.263 BA, .672 OPS)
Laz Rivera: 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.251 BA, .610 OPS) **MVP**
Blake Battenfield: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (4.41 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)
Alec Hansen: 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (5.71 ERA, 1.99 WHIP)
Codi Heuer: 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (1.78 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)

A back-and-forth game found its way into extras, with the Barons falling short. Birmingham got on the board early, and with a flurry. Damek Tomscha was responsible for all three runs, a double in the first and a walk in the second. Blake Battenfield then got into some trouble of his own. He allowed four runs from innings 3-5 and was not sharp. Birmingham pitching in general was not sharp, and it could have been worse. By the time the game was tied in the ninth, the Barons had three double plays that saved a couple runs. Luis Martinez was the best of the pitchers in regulation, with two shutout innings, but Alec Hansen and Codi Heuer blew the lead. Hansen entered first, and his run allowed trimmed the Barons lead to one, and Heuer allowed a run off of his own error to tie the game in the ninth. Since extras start with a runner on second, the game-winning run was not earned, but Heuer still strand him, in a 10-inning loss.


Lynchburg Hillcats 4, Winston-Salem Dash 3

Steele Walker: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (.286 BA, .810 OPS) **MVP**
Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K (.235 BA, .723 OPS)
Jorgan Cavanerio: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (3.03 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)
Jacob Lindgren: 1 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (1.32 ERA, 1.17 WHIP)

Steele Walker pushed Winston-Salem into the lead in the fifth inning, but two late runs allowed doomed the Dash. Walker collected two hits on the day, including one big one. In the fifth inning with the Dash down by one, Walker hit his ninth home run of the season, giving W-S a 3-2 lead. Jorgan Cavanerio started the game and helped keep the Hillcats at bay long enough for the Dash to take a lead. He went five good innings and struck out six. Bennett Sousa came in for the next two, and all he did was throw two perfect innings. Lindgren did have trouble, seeing two runs cross the plate over the course of his four recorded outs. One was unearned, but it was a blown save and eventually a loss.


Kannapolis Intimidators 4, Rome Braves 2

Ian Dawkins: 1-for-5, 0 BB, 0 K (.306 BA, .775 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa: 1-for-5, 0 BB, 1 K (.238 BA, .625 OPS)
Cameron Simmons: 2-for-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 0 K (.242 BA, .691 OPS) **MVP**
Jason Bilous: 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K (3.54 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)

The I’s had control from the beginning in their 4-2 win over the Braves. Though the hitting was not great (just eight total hits and 1-for-7 with RISP), the extra-base hits came up big. Cameron Simmons put Kannapolis on the board in the second inning. He homered to right field, his second home run since arriving in Kannapolis. Corey Zangari came up with two on in the next inning, and went the other way for a two-run double.

Meanwhile, Jason Bilous was fantastic. He went five shutout innings, cruising through with a minimal pitch count. However, the sixth inning got him: He allowed two runs and was knocked out of the box after recording only one out. His final stat line looks merely OK, but Bilous was truly great for most of the outing. The bullpen came in and sealed the win for him. Devon Perez went 2 2/3 innings and was sharp, only allowing two runners on base. Austin Conway came in the ninth and shut down the Braves for his ninth save.


Great Falls Voyagers 11, Billings Mustangs 0

Caberea Weaver: 1-for-5, 3 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (.258 BA, .699 OPS)
Harvin Mendoza: 1-for-5, 1 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (.311 BA, .906 OPS)
Lency Delgado: 1-for-5, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K (.274 BA, .721 OPS)
Luis Mieses: 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.259 BA, .671 OPS)
Avery Weems: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K (1.98 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) **MVP**

Aaron Boone definitely would have wanted this one to end early in the 11-0 Voyagers rout of the Mustangs. The best thing about this blowout was that of the 13 hits Great Falls had, 11 of them were singles, and every Voyagers batter had at least one. Kelvin Maldonado led the way with three hits, and one of those for extra bases. He also scored three times. The pitching did not need all the runs though, led by Avery Weems. He went five innings, and struck out nine. He has been a huge surprise from the 2019 draft class and he keeps dominating even at the advanced rookie league. Karan Patel saw action after him and threw two perfect innings. Allan Beer came in for mop-up duty in the eighth and ninth to complete the win.


DSL White Sox 3, DSL Dbacks 2

Yolbert Sánchez: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (.291 BA, .803 OPS) **MVP**
Elijah Tatís: 0-for-3, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K (.194 BA, .524 OPS)
Oriel Castro: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K (4.73 ERA, 1.75 WHIP)

Yolbert Sánchez had a big home run to help the DSL Sox win their 36th game of the season. The homer came in the fourth inning, to tie the game at one; it was his second homer of the year. In the very next inning, after the Sox took a one run lead off of a wild pitch, Sanchez came up to the plate again and knocked in Elijah Tatís for the 3-1 lead. While the offense began to take control of the game, Oriel Castro was great. He went five innings and though he wasn’t sharp (who is in the DSL?), he got the job done. He went five innings and allowed just one run in what might be his last game of 2019. The bullpen was not perfect, but it got enough of the job done to win 3-2.