Deep Dive: White Sox rookie league second basemen

Huge jump: Kelvin Maldonado, the 11th round pick in last year’s MLB draft, improved his batting average by 103 points this year with the Great Falls Voyagers. (@KelvinJ_34)


“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 there is some decent talent at Great Falls, Arizona and the Dominican, nobody is firmly established enough yet to be a surefire lock for full-season ball in 2020.

(age as of April 1, 2020)


Great Falls Voyagers

Joshua Rivera
5´11´´
180 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Third base, Shortstop
Age: 21

Rivera, a native of Puerto Rico, played varsity baseball with the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy. He spent his freshman year with Miami-Dade J.C. before transferring to Chipola College (Marianna, Fla.) for his sophomore campaign. This season with Chipola, he slashed .317/.410/.481 in 54 games with eight doubles, four triples, five homers, 31 RBIs, 25 walks and 48 strikeouts. The White Sox liked Rivera enough to select him in the 19th round of this year’s draft.

Rivera spent his entire professional season with Great Falls, where he slashed .221/.309/.361 in 41 games. In 122 official at-bats, he produced three doubles, four triples, two homers, 14 RBIs, 12 walks (8.6%) and 43 strikeouts (30.9%). Defensively, he played second base 71.7%, while 16% was played at third. Rivera seems to have the offensive profile of a middle infielder, particularly second base because he doesn’t have blazing speed. Like the next player on this list, it’s unclear as to whether Rivera will begin next season at Great Falls or Kannapolis.

Kelvin Maldonado
5´11´´
160 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Shortstop
Age: 20

Like Rivera above, Maldonado played varsity ball in his native Puerto Rico; however, Maldonado played his ball instead with the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. Upon being selected in the 11th round of the 2018 draft, he had major difficulties in adjusting to professional pitching. Last year with the White Sox AZL squad, Maldonado slashed just .150/.184/.167 in 38 games with one triple, four walks (3.1%) and 31 strikeouts (24.2%).

While Maldonado hit much better in 2019 with Great Falls, he still had difficulties with drawing walks. In 58 games totaling 229 at-bats with the Voyagers, he slashed .253/.288/.310 with 11 doubles, one triple, 17 RBIs, two stolen bases, nine walks (3.7%) and 55 strikeouts (22.8%). While Maldonado runs the 60-yard-dash in 6.54 seconds according to PerfectGame, his speed hasn’t yet translated to stolen bases. Defensively, it was noted by PerfectGame that he has light feet and smooth, balanced footwork, easy athletic actions, a quick release and the ability to makes accurate throws consistently. The site likes his potential, though he tends to get too mechanical with his swing. Like Rivera above, Maldonado will be in consideration for a promotion at some point in 2020 to Kannapolis.

Tom Archer
5´9´´
175 pounds
B/T: R/R
Age: 23

After playing his first two years of college ball with Hofstra, Archer spent his final two years with Division II Lynn University (Boca Raton, Fla.). While his junior season was actually quite good (.326/.403/.497), he scuffled during his senior campaign. In 48 games totaling 189 at-bats for the Fighting Knights, he slashed just .233/.305/.333 with six doubles, two triples, three homers, 17 RBIs, eight stolen bases, 17 walks (8.1%) and 20 strikeouts (9.6%). Largely due to his collegiate struggles, he slipped to the White Sox in the 39th round of this year’s draft.

Based on this year’s collegiate numbers, it wasn’t totally surprising to see Archer scuffle in the White Sox system. Of course, part of his struggles may have been due to a lack of significant playing time. In a combined 18 games with the AZL squad and Great Falls, Archer combined to slash just .196/.224/.268 with two doubles, a triple, seven RBIs, two walks (3.6%) and three strikeouts (5.4%). If he returns to the Sox organization in 2020, it likely would be at Great Falls.


AZL White Sox

Samil Polanco
6´0´´
160 pounds
B/T: S/R
Other positions played: Shortstop
Age: 20

Polanco, a native of the Dominican Republic, signed with the White Sox organization just a week before the 2018 DSL season began. In the two years that he’s been in the organization, Polanco already has proven to be one of the best (and most consistent) of our young second basemen. Playing in 55 games for the DSL White Sox last year, he slashed .274/.314/.371 with six doubles, five triples, a homer, 16 RBIs, 12 stolen bases, 10 walks (7.6%) and 31 strikeouts (14.8%).

This year with the AZL squad, Polanco slashed .290/.313/.369 in 40 games as he produced seven doubles, two triples, a homer, 12 RBIs, 11 stolen bases, five walks (2.7%) and 35 strikeouts (19.1%). He hit well from both sides of the plate, .311 against southpaws and .282 versus righties. Defensively, Polanco spent 61% of his time at second with the remainder at shortstop. After committing 17 errors last year in the Dominican League, he reduced that total to seven this year. If Polanco can coax a few more walks here and there, he could starting moving up the prospect rankings. As it is, expect to see him in Great Falls for 2020.

Harold Diaz
5´10´´
170 pounds
B/T: R/R
Age: 20

Diaz, a native of Havana, received a $300,000 signing bonus from the White Sox during last year’s International Signing Day. Unlike most prospects who sign on that date, however, Diaz opted to play immediately and actually did quite well. Last year for the DSL squad in 18 games, he slashed .290/.388/.406 with four doubles, two triples, seven RBIs, six stolen bases, seven walks (8.8%) and nine strikeouts (11.3%).

This year, however, Diaz struggled with his transition Stateside. In 19 games for the AZL White Sox spanning 65 at-bats, he slashed just .215/.278/.338 with three doubles, a triple, a homer, six RBIs, one stolen base, four walks (5.6%) and 17 strikeouts (23.6%). As opposed to last year, when he split much of his time also at shortstop and the hot corner, Diaz spent this year exclusively at second base and did relatively well. However, with his struggles offensively this year, expect to see him return to the AZL for 2020.


DSL White Sox

Anthony Espinoza
5´10´´
160 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Third base, Shortstop
Age: 18

Like Diaz, Espinoza also signed with the White Sox on International Signing Day last year. Unlike Diaz, however, Espinoza is a native Venezuelan and began professional ball this year instead. While his numbers weren’t terrific this year, they were actually better than the next two guys on this list, who have much higher pedigrees. In 55 games totaling 190 at-bats for the DSL squad, Espinoza slashed .263/.347/.332 with six doubles, two triples, one homer, 32 RBIs, seven stolen bases, 20 walks (9.0%) and 25 strikeouts (11.2%). Espinoza spent 46% of his time at second this year, while also spending a decent amount of time at third (33.6%) and short (20.4%). He will likely be promoted to the AZL squad for 2020, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Espinoza play more shortstop there.

Cesar Jiménez
5´10´´
160 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Third base
Age: 19

Cesar (the player formerly known as Enoy) Jiménez signed with the White Sox last October with significant fanfare as a result of his being the brother of Sox outfielder Eloy. Cesar, who is obviously much smaller than his big brother, spent the vast majority of his time defensively this year (91.8%) at second base and did a respectable job there. However, concerns abound regarding his hitting skills. In his first professional year with the DSL Sox, the Dominican native slashed just .208/.282/.247 in 29 games with three doubles, six RBIs, four stolen bases, eight walks and 15 strikeouts. A return to the DSL for 2020 seems likely for the young man.

Elijah Tatís
5´11´´
155 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Shortstop
Age: 18

Probably the biggest name on this list, Elijah is the son of former major leaguer Fernando Tatis and the brother of former Sox farmhand Fernando Tatís Jr. According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, “Tatís possesses a strong and accurate arm and has impressed scouts with the way the ball jumps off his bat, as well as his ability to square up fastballs.” With that kind of ability, the White Sox were happy to sign him with a $500,000 bonus on this year’s International Signing Day.

Tatís struggled out of the gate for the DSL White Sox this year, however, and only managed to slash .187/.300/.213 in 25 games with two doubles, 10 RBIs, five stolen bases, 13 walks (14.4%) and 16 strikeouts (17.8%). Largely because defensive wizard Yolbert Sánchez played shortstop for the DSL squad, Tatís actually played a bit more at second base this year than would’ve been expected. Eventually, as he gets older and bulks up, Tatís is expected to eventually have the power to be an everyday third baseman. Despite him actually having a lower OPS this year than the aforementioned Cesar Jiménez, expect Tatís to be promoted to the AZL squad for 2020 due to his much higher ceiling.


Deep Dive: White Sox rookie league first basemen

Starvin for Harvin: Mendoza enjoyed the best OPS (.819) of all White Sox first basemen who finished this season in the rookie leagues. (@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

This article delves into the first basemen who finished the year with Great Falls, along with the Arizona and Dominican League affiliates. While there’s nobody here that is a Top 30 organizational prospect as of yet, there are a couple of interesting bats worth watching here — especially with Great Falls.

(age as of April 1, 2020)


Great Falls Voyagers

Harvin Mendoza
6´2´´
175 pounds
B/T: L/L
Age: 21

Mendoza was one of four players signed on International Signing Day in 2015, along with infielder Brayant Nova, Franklin Reyes and some guy named Fernando Tatís Jr. At the time of the signing, Ben Badler of Baseball America said, “Mendoza is limited to an outfield corner, but there were scouts who liked his left-handed swing, ability to use the opposite field and hang in well for his against left-handed pitching.”

Mendoza spent his first two seasons (2016-17) in the DSL where he posted good numbers but with little power, as he combined to slash .281/.389/.358 with two homers, 61 RBIs, 78 walks (17.7%) and 76 strikeouts (17.2%) in a combined 125 games.

The Venezuela native appeared stateside with the AZL White Sox for the 2018 season, and produced slightly better numbers in 39 games by slashing .314/.381/.409 with no homers, 23 RBIs, 12 walks (7.7%) and 12 strikeouts.

This year with Great Falls, he sacrificed strikeouts for power and produced a .278/.362/.457 slash line with 17 doubles, three triples, six homers, 29 RBIs, 27 walks (10.4%) and 48 strikeouts (18.5%) in 62 games. His numbers were terrific in the first half of the season (.311/.393/.538) but slipped in the second (.243/.328/.360). He hit righties well this year (.301/.373/.519), but struggled against southpaws (.191/.321/.213). Mendoza has the projectable size to hit more homers going forward, as he is quite a bit larger than his official 175 pounds. Expect him to begin next season with Kannapolis.

Sam Abbott
6´4´´
225 pounds
B/T: L/R
Age: 20

A three-time state MVP in water polo at Curtis High School in University Place, Wash., Abbott had a partial scholarship to stay on that path at Long Beach State. But in the spring of 2017 — the spring he thought would be his last for competitive baseball — he batted .438 (21-for-61) with eight doubles, two home runs and 18 RBIs to earn an eighth round draft selection by the White Sox. That year with the AZL White Sox, he got off to a good start and showed good patience at the plate. However, he struggled making contact, which caused him to slash just .225/.344/.275 with 17 walks (13.8%) and 38 strikeouts (30.9%) in 102 at-bats.

Abbott got off to an extremely difficult start with the AZL White Sox in 2018, but salvaged his season somewhat as he found his power late in the season. Overall, though, Abbott slashed just .139/.347/.306 in 72 at-bats with three doubles, three homers, nine RBIs, 18 walks (18.9%) and 33 strikeouts (34.7%) in 72 at-bats.

In 2019 with Great Falls, Abbott still fanned far too frequently but started making harder contact. In 58 games and 181 at-bats with the Voyagers, he slashed .238/.355/.459 while producing 13 doubles, nine homers, 27 RBIs, 26 walks (12.0%) and 79 strikeouts (36.4%). He hit .212/.350/.455 against lefties and fared a bit better versus righties (.243/.356/.450). Abbott does have a great degree of patience for someone so young as he’s walked 14% of the time during his professional career; however, that patience has also led to a seriously high strikeout rate of 34.5%.

With Tyler Osik likely to begin the 2020 season with Kannapolis, it may be between Mendoza and Abbott as to who could join him for 1B/DH duties. While Abbott has the better power potential, Mendoza is more likely to win that promotion due to being a more polished hitter. Even though Abbott may return to Great Falls to begin the 2020 season, he likely will end the year with Kannapolis.

Franklin Reyes
6´4´´
225 pounds
B/T: R/R
Age: 21

Reyes, like Mendoza, was an outfielder when the White Sox gave him a $1.5 million signing bonus in 2015. Reyes, a Dominican native whose brother Franmil played for the Padres and Indians this year, was actually given a 70 grade for power — higher than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at the time. Unfortunately, Reyes also came with a 30 grade hit tool per MLB, while Baseball America described his approach as being “aggressive, raw, with a lot of swing-and-miss, especially against breaking pitches” and they called his swing “long and loopy.”

His first professional season (2016) saw him slash just .171/.189/.251 in 217 at-bats with the AZL White Sox as he hit 10 doubles, two triples, one homer, and 16 RBIs while walking just five times (2.3%) and striking out 71 (32.7%). Reyes played in Great Falls the following year, and although his stats did improve, he still produced disappointing results: .249/.270/.361 in 241 at-bats with 12 doubles five homers, 34 RBIs, five walks (2.0%) and 68 strikeouts (27.2%).

Reyes has missed the past two seasons due to back injuries. If he’s healthy in 2020, expect Reyes to return to Great Falls and hopefully tap into his immense potential.


AZL White Sox

Sidney Pimentel
6´1´´
160 pounds
B/T: S/R
Other positions played: Second base, Shortstop, Third base
Age: 19

Pimentel, a native of the Dominican Republic, signed with the White Sox on International Signing Day in 2017. The Dominican Prospect League said of him at the time, “Pimentel has the length and range for SS and possesses soft hands that allow him to field grounders and get rid of the ball without wasted movement.” They also note that Pimentel is built to be a leadoff hitter that “sprays balls into the gaps.”

Unfortunately, Pimentel hasn’t done much with the bat yet. In 2018 for the DSL White Sox in 17 games, he slashed just .167/.219/.300 with two doubles, two homers, seven RBIs, two stolen bases, four walks (6.3%) and 18 strikeouts (28.1%). This year for the AZL White Sox, Pimentel slashed .181/.271/.219 in 27 games as he produced four doubles, eight RBIs, 10 walks (8.5%) and 40 strikeouts (33.9%).

His best attribute to date has been his defensive versatility, as he played all four infield positions while committing just four errors. Pimentel, with his size, essentially played out of position this year, as he’s better suited for a middle-infield slot.


DSL White Sox

Matthew Mercedes
6´1´´
195 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Left field
Age: 21

Mercedes, the son of baseball scout Edgar Mercedes, signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates during 2016’s International Signing Day as a soon-to-be 18-year-old. He didn’t get into his first professional action until the following year, when he scuffled a bit by slashing .237/.323/.297 in 39 games with seven doubles, 11 RBIs, 10 walks (7.5%) and 18 strikeouts (13.4%). Mercedes improved with the DSL Pirates in 2018, as he slashed .257/.359/.440 in 39 games with five doubles, five homers, 28 RBIs, 13 walks (10.2%) and just 10 strikeouts (7.8%). However, despite his improved numbers, the Pirates released him at season’s end. The White Sox signed him as an international free agent less than three months later.

Mercedes returned to the DSL for a third season and enjoyed his best season to date: .328/.400/.440 in 40 games with 10 doubles, one triple, one homer, 30 RBIs, 16 walks (10.3%) and 14 strikeouts (9.0%). Mercedes played against opponents more than two years younger on average this year, so his results can be taken with a grain of salt. Walking more than he has struck out in each of the past two years, Mercedes should be a good fit for the AZL White Sox in 2020. How far he progresses will likely depend upon his ability to hit the ball over the fence, because he plays a premier power position.

Alberto Bernal
6´1´´
215 pounds
B/T: R/R
Age: 17

Bernal, a native of Cuba, received a $250,000 signing bonus as he was selected by the White Sox on 2018’s International Signing Day. Recognized as a young man with power potential, he received his first game action this year but scuffled. Bernal was young (even by DSL standards) this year, and slashed .167/.361/.270 in 43 games with five doubles, a triple, two homers, 16 RBIs, 33 walks (19.4%) and 55 strikeouts (32.4%). His high walk rate indicates a promising degree of patience for someone so young. Expect Bernal to return to the DSL for the 2020 season, where his stats should improve significantly.


Deep Dive: White Sox rookie league catchers

The bat plays: Ivan Gonzalez slashed an impressive .459/.545/.568 with the AZL White Sox before earning a promotion to Great Falls. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)


“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

Rookie leagues often carry a multitude of catchers, as they are not restricted to 25-man active rosters. Unfortunately, because the White Sox have just three rookie league squads while many other teams have four, each catcher gets relatively little playing time to show what they can do. The best prospects in this group, at least offensively, seem to have finished with the DSL White Sox.

Ages below are as of April 1, 2020


Great Falls Voyagers

Ty Greene
6´0´´
185 pounds
Age: 22
Bats/Throws: L/R

A former teammate of Andrew Vaughn‘s at the University of California, Greene enjoyed a solid three-year run for the Golden Bears. His final season was arguably his best, as he slashed .320/.414/.393 in 219 at-bats with three homers. Defensively, he threw out 38% of attempted basestealers that year while limiting his passed balls to just three. As a result of his Bears career, the White Sox selected him in the 16th round of the 2018 draft. In 128 at-bats for the AZL White Sox last year, Greene maintained his hitting prowess by slashing .313/.403/.367 with seven doubles, 11 RBIs, 17 walks (11.4%) and just 14 strikeouts (9.4%).

Greene played the entire 2019 season with Great Falls, and continued to hit for average despite relatively limited playing time. In 23 games totaling 77 at-bats, he slashed .325/.381/.403 with four doubles, one triple, six RBIs, five walks (6.0%) and just five strikeouts (6.0%). He hit southpaws (.316/.381/.368) nearly as well as he hit righties (.328/.381/.414). Greene only caught in 17 games for the Voyagers, but he held his own defensively by throwing out 29% of attempted basestealers, while only having just one passed ball. Baseball America said of him, “He has good bat-to-ball skills with an unorthodox swing, and he’s athletic enough to make it work — as evidenced by his statistical performance. He has a chance to be an average defender with an average throwing arm.” Greene has a great chance to begin the 2020 season with Kannapolis.

Ivan Gonzalez
5´9´´
190 pounds
Age: 23
Bats/Throws: R/R

Gonzalez, although having a reputation in his own right as a decent hitting catcher with no power a la Greene, was considered more of a defensive specialist coming out of college. In four years with the University of West Virginia, Gonzalez slashed .305/.374/.410; his senior season was a microcosm of his career (.294/.397/.407) as he walked 35 times while striking out 36 (13.6%) in 214 at-bats (14.0%). As a four-year senior was strongly considered for the Johnny Bench Award for defensive prowess (he threw out 45% of attempted basestealers), Gonzalez was selected in the eighth round of this year’s MLB draft.

Gonzalez destroyed AZL pitching in 10 games, as he slashed .459/.545/.568 in ten games. However, he struggled with Great Falls, as he slashed just .213/.263/.340 in his 22 games. Combined with both teams, Gonzalez still managed to slash a respectable .295/.363/.348 in 112 at-bats with six doubles, 12 RBIs, 10 walks (7.9%) and 18 strikeouts (14.3%). In 31 games this year behind the plate, he committed two passed balls and threw out 28% of attempted basestealers. Based on his struggles for the Voyagers, Gonzalez may be a borderline pick to begin the 2020 season with Kannapolis.

Kleyder Sanchez
5´10´´
170 pounds
Age: 20
Bats/Throws: R/R

Sanchez was part of the massive 2016 class that signed on International Signing Day, a class that included Josue Guerrero, Luis Mieses, Lenyn Sosa and Anderson Comas among others. A former outfield prospect, Sanchez was converted to catcher just prior to 2016 and was recognized by Baseball America as having good hands, quick feet, and an accurate arm. Sanchez enjoyed a terrific campaign with the DSL White Sox in 2017, as he slashed .342/.383/.381 over 155 at-bats with six doubles, 14 RBIs, five walks (3.0%) and 24 strikeouts (14.4%).

Sanchez, a resident of Venezuela, struggled badly with the AZL White Sox in 2018 in part due to diminished playing time: .094/.197/.132 in 53 at-bats with two doubles, six RBIs, five walks (7.9%) and eight strikeouts (12.7%). This year with Great Falls, Sanchez’s stats were basically a split between his 2016 and 2017 numbers. In 78 at-bats for the Voyagers, Sanchez slashed .218/.250/.269 with four doubles, 10 RBIs, four walks (4.8%) and 25 strikeouts (29.8%). Though he did strike out more frequently, Sanchez finished the year strongly as he slashed .400/.400/.467 in August. Sanchez significantly improved his ability to control the running game this year, as he threw out potential basestealers at a 40.0% rate this year compared to 5.3% the year before.

While there’s a possibility he begins with Kannapolis next year, Sanchez seems a better bet to return to Great Falls; after all, he was about 18 months younger this year than the average Pioneer League player.


AZL White Sox

Daniel Millwee
5´10´´
205 pounds
Age: 24
Bats/Throws: R/R
Other positions: First base

Millwee, a transfer from Pitt C.C. in Greenville, N.C., transferred to High Point for the final two seasons of his college career. He enjoyed a solid senior season offensively with the Panthers as he slashed .293/.374/.468 in 205 at-bats with 12 doubles, eight homers, 35 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, 25 walks (10.6%) and 35 strikeouts (14.9%). Unfortunately, Millwee struggled to curtail the running game, as he gunned down just nine of 55 stolen base attempts (16.4%). With that said, his bat was intriguing enough for the White Sox to select him in this year’s 30th round.

As a member of the AZL White Sox, Millwee didn’t get into many games despite playing fairly well. In 12 games totaling 39 at-bats, he slashed a respectable .256/.408/.333 with three doubles, four RBIs, one stolen base, eight walks (16.0%) and 10 strikeouts (20.0%). Millwee did throw out 29.4% of attempted basestealers but committed two passed balls in his eight games behind the plate. He played four games at first base flawlessly, so it seems the team considers him as an offensive catcher with the ability to play other positions.

Jakob Goldfarb
6´1´´
196 pounds
Age: 23
Bats/Throws: L/R
Other positions: Left field

As a fifth-year Oregon senior, Goldfarb enjoyed a solid season although it wasn’t quite as good as the year before. He’s suffered his share of injuries while with the Ducks, including a broken foot that sidelined him for the entire 2017 season. As Goldfarb split duties between catcher and outfield, he slashed .306/415/..435 in 124 at-bats with 10 doubles, two homers, 20 RBIs, three stolen bases, 18 walks (12.2%) and 31 strikeouts (20.9%). Defensively, he was successful in thwarting 33% of stolen base attempts. As a result, he was selected in the 26th round of this year’s MLB draft.

Goldfarb struggled with Great Falls in 39 at-bats, as he slashed just .154/.353/.256 with a homer and three RBIs. As a result he was demoted to the AZL White Sox, where he righted the ship a bit with a .250/.348/.550 slash line. Combined with both teams, Goldfarb slashed .186/.351/.356 in 59 at-bats with one double, three homers, 11 RBIs, two stolen bases, 11 walks (14.9%) and 20 strikeouts (27.0%). He was only successful in throwing out a combined 3-of-32 stolen base attempts (9.4%). Baseball America referred to Goldfarb as having a plus arm in right, while also stating that he has plus power. There’s a possibility he’ll spend more time in the outfield next year, as Goldfarb only played one game at left this year.

Gabriel Ortiz
6´0´´
210 pounds
Age: 20
Bats/Throws: L/R

Ortiz, a little-known catcher from Puerto Rico, was selected in the 19th round of the 2018 draft primarily because of his defense. In 17 games for the AZL White Sox last year totaling 42 at-bats, he hit just .214/.267/.238 with a double, five RBIs, three walks (6.7%) and six strikeouts (13.3%).

Ortiz returned to the AZL squad this year, but played in even fewer games although he was a bit more productive offensively. In seven games spanning 29 at-bats, Ortiz slashed .276/.276/.319 with a double, no walks and six strikeouts (20.7%). It’s hard to judge his progress with such sporadic playing time, but Ortiz did relatively well. In his seven games behind the plate, he gunned down 5-of-17 potential basestealers (29.4%). Ortiz did commit four passed balls, an incredible amount over seven games. It’s possible that had more to do with rust than with his actual defensive ability.

Victor Torres
6´0´´
180 pounds
Age: 19
Bats/Throws: R/R

Torres, a native of Puerto Rico, was selected in the 11th round of this year’s MLB draft, primarily because of his athleticism and defense. According to Perfect Game in their 2018 National Showcase, he ran the 60-yard-dash in 6.56 seconds and possesses an amazing pop time of 1.81 seconds. Also, according to Perfect Game, Torres “has good arm strength and repeats his mechanics well.”

Torres struggled on both sides of the ball for the AZL White Sox this year. Offensively, he slashed just .219/.240/.240 in 96 at-bats as he hit just two doubles and walked thrice (3.0%) while striking out 28 times (28.0%). Defensively Torres had 14 passed balls (and eight errors) in just 26 games, although he did cut down 10-of-33 stolen base attempts for a respectable 30.3% rate. For Torres, his struggles may simply have resulted in trying to get used to the speed of the game. Torres likely will return to the AZL White Sox for the 2020 season.


DSL White Sox

Ruben Benavides
6´1´´
178 pounds
Age: 18
Bats/Throws: R/R

About a month after the 2018 DSL season was over, Venezuela native Benavides signed an international contract with the White Sox. Because the DSL White Sox actually had five catchers on its roster this year, that meant they had relatively little playing time behind the plate. However, because of Benavides’ bat, he played in another 10 games as DH. Overall, in 22 games this year totaling 66 at-bats, Benavides slashed an impressive .348/.425/.606 with eight doubles, three triples, 12 RBIs, two stolen bases, nine walks (11.3%) and 14 strikeouts (17.5%). In his 12 games behind the dish, he threw out 4-of-14 attempted basestealers (28.6%) but had four passed balls. It will be interesting to see if he can carry that offense over to Stateside.

Jefferson Mendoza
6´0´´
170 pounds
Age: 19
Bats/Throws: R/R

Another catcher from Venezuela, Mendoza signed with the White Sox on International Signing Day on July 2, 2017. International Scouting Director Marco Paddy said of him at the time, “Jefferson is a plus defensive catcher with an excellent frame for the position. His abilities to handle a pitching staff and call a game should help him develop quickly.” Mendoza struggled through his first season with the DSL White Sox last year, as he slashed just .207/.289/.289 in 121 at-bats by hitting seven doubles, one homer, 15 RBIs, one stolen base, 12 walks (8.9%) and 26 strikeouts (19.3%).

With a year under his belt, Mendoza picked up his offensive game this year in his return to the DSL. In 33 games encompassing 95 at-bats, he slashed .305/.391/.484 with eight doubles, three homers, 21 RBIs, one stolen base, 10 walks (9.1%) and 28 strikeouts (25.5%). Unlike last year where he curtailed the running game by thwarting 46.2% of stolen base attempts, Mendoza was only successful doing so 16.3% of the time in 2019. On the plus side, after 12 passed balls in 2018, he allowed nary a one in 2019. Mendoza should begin the 2020 season in the AZL White Sox, but with so many catchers there, it’ll be interesting to see where he will play.

Jhoneiker Betancourt
6´1´´
174 pounds
Age: 19
Bats/Throws: R/R
Other positions played: Third Base, Second Base

Surprise, surprise. Betancourt’s another native of Venezuela and signed his international contract with the White Sox in 2016, but didn’t get into any game action until the following season. After doing reasonably well in his first DSL season in 2017 with a .268/.328/.321 slash line in just 56 at-bats, Betancourt struggled in his return season by slashing just .213/.271/.277 in 205 at-bats.

Betancourt picked up his game in 2019, however, in his third DSL season. He slashed .314/.442/.429 in 105 at-bats by hitting seven doubles, one triple, one homer, 16 RBIs and 14 walks (10.9%) while striking out 19 times (14.7%). He was successful 10-of-28 (35.7%) at gunning down potential basestealers. Betancourt spent 67% of his defensive time behind the plate, while also proving his versatility by playing third (32.3%) and second (0.7%). It’s hard to tell if his improvements had to do with physical maturity or simply because he was over a year older than his competition. Like the two players above, Betancourt deserves a mention for the expected AZL catching logjam for 2020.

Richard Garcia
6´1´´
185 pounds
Age: 21
Bats/Throws: R/R

What do you know, another Venezuelan catcher! Garcia signed an international contract with the White Sox about a month after the 2016 DSL season ended. He struggled badly in 2017, as he slashed just .115/.193/.192 in 52 at-bats. Garcia played more and with better results the following season, but still struggled to the tune of a .195/.255/.285 slash line in 123 at-bats as he hit four doubles, two triples, a homer with nine walks (6.6%) and 26 strikeouts (19.0%).

Garcia had easily his best season this year, but he was about 2.3 years older than his competition. He slashed .278/.386/.333 in 72 at-bats as he hit a double and a homer in his limited opportunities while walking 11 times (12.5%) and fanning 13 (14.8%). On defense, he threw out 11-of-55 attempted basestealers (20.0%). At 21, it’s unlikely he’ll return to the DSL squad for a fourth season. If Garcia remains in the organization in 2020, which would be a big “if,” it would be conceivable that he could bypass the AZL and begin the year with Great Falls due to his age.

Luis Pineda
6´1´´
209 pounds
Age: 18
Bats/Throws: R/R

Pineda, another Venezuelan catcher, was recognized as a hard-hitting backstop by Jesse Sanchez of MLB when he signed with the White Sox on International Signing Day on July 2, 2018. Unfortunately, Pineda struggled offensively as he had difficulty making contact on a regular basis. In 24 games totaling 81 at-bats this year, Pineda slashed just .185/.275/.333 with four doubles, a triple, two homers, 12 RBIs and nine walks (9.9%) while striking out 33 times (36.3%). He did show some defensive chops, however, as he curtailed 19-of-43 stolen base attempts (44.2%). Pineda should return to the DSL squad next year, a squad which will also include recent signee Ricardo Aguilar.


 

Under the Radar: Tyler Osik

Killer finishing kick: Osik came on strong at the end of his first professional season. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)


Part of the pleasure of covering minor league baseball is being able to share with the members of White Sox Nation, information about “who’s next” in the pipeline of talent between the Arizona Rookie League and Guaranteed Rate Field. There are players whose names are well-known throughout the fan base long before they make their debut on West 35th Street, and others who emerge seemingly out of nowhere.

One of these under-the-radar prospects who is likely to receive far more attention in 2020 is Kannapolis Intimidators outfielder Tyler Osik.

Although he is a young man at 22 years old, it has been a long path for Osik to traverse into the minor league ranks. He began his college baseball career at D-2 Coker College in 2015 before transferring to JUCO baseball powerhouse Chipola (Fla.) for his sophomore season in 2016. He missed all of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery before redshirting his junior year at his third school, the D-1 University of Central Florida.

Osik was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 40th round of the 2018 draft, but instead opted to return to school as a fifth-year senior before being taken by the White Sox. (Osik to the White Sox may have been meant to be, according to Osik: “The day before the draft my girlfriend Emily was wearing all black and white and jokingly said that it was a sign and I was going to be with the White Sox, so it was crazy when I got drafted by them.”)

Drafted in the 27th round of the 2019 draft, Tyler is the son of 10-year major league veteran Keith Osik. As a typical senior signee with no negotiating leverage, he was inked to a modest $2,500 signing bonus. He quickly reported to the AZL White Sox, where he received his introduction to minor league life before finishing the season with the Low-A Kannapolis Intimidators.

Although many players wear down in their first exposure to professional baseball due to the culture shock of the schedule, travel, and dog day weather, Osik finished his season firing on all cylinders. As others were hitting the proverbial “rookie wall,” Tyler was hitting home runs (five in his last 12 games after hitting none in his first 45 games).

Osik recognized the impact of the Intimidators hitting coach and shared with South Side Hit Pen, “Cole Armstrong taught me a couple of cues to practice with my swing every day that helped me get to where I needed to be for games.”

Armstrong’s advice coupled with Osik getting comfortable in his new environs seemed to be the magic elixir, as the right-handed hitting outfielder appeared to have enabled cheat codes for his last 22 games in slashing an impressive .321/.380/1.020 OPS over that span.

Although it’s far too early in the young outfielder’s development to discuss platoon options, it is worth noting the way he laid waste to left-handed pitching. In a small sample size of 54 at-bats, Osik hit .370, with all five of his home runs coming against southpaws. Of the tools baseball scouts look for, Osik stands out in his potential to hit for both average and power. It’s also noteworthy that along with his statistical prowess during the season’s last 22 games even his outs were generally of the “loud” variety; he hit numerous balls to the warning track while also displaying a penchant for generating exceptional exit velocities.

Osik notes that one of the biggest differences between the college and pro game is the “consistent velocity you see in minor league baseball,” adding that he prepares for this aspect of the game by taking batting practice against an 85 mph pitching machine from 45 feet. (To put that in perspective, the equivalent speed from a major league 60´6´´ pitcher’s mound would be an Aroldis Chapman-like 105 mph.)

Some of baseball’s biggest brightest stars and prospects are the progeny of former professional players; Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Bo Bichette, Vlad Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatís Jr. and Bobby Witt Jr. are some of the names that quickly come to mind. Of course, possessing big league DNA often comes coupled with great expectations.

“Growing up with my dad playing was a blessing,” he says. “I have a lot of great memories being around the ballpark with him. I had the opportunity to take ground balls with Pokey Reese and hit in the cages with guys like Scott Podsednik, Jason Kendall and Brian Giles.” Osik also fondly shared a childhood memory of running in the sausage race at Miller Park while his dad was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers (side note: he didn’t win).

Rather than grumble about the pressure of being the son of a major leaguer, Osik praises his father for helping him become the player he is. “Having a dad who played has helped me so much,” he says. “He has put in countless hours helping me improve my swing since I was a little kid, and still to this day.”

In the offseason, Osik’s daily hitting routine consists of tee work, front toss and batting practice. During the season, the Osiks speak on a daily basis, with Tyler discussing his games and minor league life in general while seeking advice from his father about how to continuously improve.

During the White Sox recent instructs, the team began experimenting with Tyler at catcher, the position his father manned for a decade in the big leagues. “I have been learning to catch, so having a former catcher as a dad is a blessing,” Osik says. “He is always helping me by showing me drills and getting me where I need to be. He has been a great role model, not only in baseball, but also as the type of man and father I aspire to be in the future. He always tells me to push myself and to work my hardest on and off the field, as well as to be a good teammate.”

Tyler’s father seems to embrace the catching experiment and offers, “Tyler has always hit. If he can get the catching down, the sky is the limit. I can see him catching and driving in runs at the big-league level.”

As a hitter, Osik says that he isn’t really into the analytics of launch angle or swing path. Instead, he takes his cues from watching video of the best hitters in the game. He utilizes small-bat drills such as top hand/bottom hand to ingrain a tight, connected swing while maximizing the amount of time he keeps the barrel in the hitting zone. One of the adjustments he has made is to look to do damage with every swing he takes and avoid being passive when he’s in a favorable count. Osik expounds: “The defense will continue to get better as you move up levels, so it is important to not get cheated when I’m in a hitter’s count.”

With the current state of the White Sox system there appears to be a glut of outfield talent, with Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert likely to be stalwarts at the major league level for the foreseeable future and several high-profile prospects waiting on the periphery. The White Sox catching situation is similar, with the system’s top three catching prospects all spending significant time at Triple-A Charlotte in 2019. Having the positional versatility of being able to catch, play first base or man a corner outfield spot can only enhance Osik’s development, as it will afford his manager options to keep his potent bat in the lineup.

Another intangible in Osik’s skill set that may not be getting the credit it warrants is his even demeanor, as he seems to possess the innate ability to avoid getting caught up in the gravity of any particular situation. Having grown up around pro ball players might be some of the reason that Osik seemingly can rise to the occasion without being affected by the pressure.

In 2018, Osik’s UCF baseball team knocked off the Florida Gators, who were ranked #1 in the nation. In front of a sold-out home crowd, Tyler went 4-for-5 with four RBIs, leading the Knights to a 9-7 win.

He also displayed this trait late in the Intimidators season when facing off against one of the Washington Nationals top prospects, 2019 first round pick Jackson Rutledge. Rutledge, a 6´8´´ righthander, has the stuff to be a top-of-the-rotation ace and displays a very impressive, three-pitch arsenal (fastball, slider, curveball), with a fastball that sits comfortably in the 94-96 mph range and touches 99. When facing Rutledge, Osik showed absolutely no problem handling the fireballer’s exceptional velocity as he was able to square up a two-strike, 95-mph offering and send it deep to his pull side warning track. It was an out, but only because it was struck with too much launch angle; the hang time on this fly ball was awe-inspiring and would have made Oakland Raiders Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy envious. Later in the same game, Osik broke a 1-1 tie by launching relief pitcher Alex Troop’s offering for a two-run homer, as the hometown Intimidators went on to win, 3-1.

In the field, the 5´10´´, 203-pound, well-muscled Osik is not a burner, so he tries to maximize his defensive ability by getting good reads on fly balls and taking efficient routes when tracking them down. He spent the 2019 season alternating between designated hitter, first base, and left field.

During this offseason Osik plans to continue to work in the weight room to get stronger and faster. After the lengthy combined college and professional season, he understands the importance of his conditioning in maintaining both health and stamina. He has always been a hard worker in the weight room, but credits his friends (fellow minor leaguers Bowden Francis and Junior Harding) for helping him take his training to the next level when they played together at Chipola College.

When asked about his goals for 2020 Osik succinctly states, “I don’t make statistical goals or focus on promotions. I genuinely love playing baseball so I just try and work my hardest and be a good teammate. When I step in between the white lines I just compete as hard as I can and let whatever happens happen.”

Although 27th round draft picks signed to happy meal budget bonuses aren’t the kind of players who typically make it to the show, White Sox fans have multiple reasons to be excited about Osik. He possesses a special bat, high motor, positional flexibility and major league genetics. After all, as a similarly-drafted 24th rounder, Tyler’s father Keith was able to grind his way into a 10-year big league career.

The early results suggest this apple didn’t fall far from the tree.


Hot Seat Questions

Favorite baseball movie The Sandlot

Are you a gamer? “I’m a big Call of Duty player, the new one is coming out this month so I’m pumped up for that.”

What are you watching on Netflix these days? Dave Chappelle standup specials.

If the Intimidators locker room turns into a dance battle, who wins? Ramon Beltre or Lenyn Sosa.

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Teleportation, so I could go wherever I want, whenever I want.

You grew up a son of a pro ballplayer, so do you have any cool baseball memorabilia? I have some signed balls from guys like Jim Thome, Pudge [Ivan Rodriguez], [Albert] Pujols, and a signed jersey from Pedro Martinez.

Who are the guys you played with that White Sox fans should be excited about? In the AZL, two guys who stood out were DJ Gladney and Jose Rodriguez. I really like the way they swing the bat with power, as well as how they are super athletic. Once I got to Kannapolis, Alex Destino, Ian Dawkins and Lenyn Sosa really stood out to me. They are great all-around players. They hit, field and play the game hard every day.

What song is the guilty pleasure on your playlist? “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith.

Best part of being a minor league player Getting to travel the country and do what I love every day.

Worst part of being a minor league player Being away from my family and loved ones for several months of the year, which can seem like forever.

Toughest pitcher you faced: Grayson Rodriguez, he had some electric stuff with good command as well.

Deep Dive: rookie league left-handed relievers

Fast mover: Sammy Peralta, seen here pitching for the University of Tampa, dominated for both the AZL White Sox and Great Falls after being selected in the 18th round this year. (@Sammyfp16)


“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

Rookie leagues often carry a multitude of pitchers, as they are not restricted to 25-man active rosters. That’s why you’ll see four left-handed relief pitchers with Great Falls and three with the DSL squad. These relievers, especially those with the Great Falls and AZL affiliates, definitely showed some promise in 2019 and it’ll be interesting to see how they progress through the system.

Ages below are as of April 1, 2020


Great Falls Voyagers

Sammy Peralta
6´2´´
205 pounds
Age: 21

Peralta, a native of Queens, was a well-traveled collegian who pitched for San Jacinto CC, Palm Beach State College and Division II powerhouse University of Tampa. Other than a high walk total that caused his ERA and WHIP to balloon a bit, he supplied his Spartans enough strikeouts to entice the White Sox to select him in the 18th round of this year’s draft. In 2019 for Tampa, Peralta posted a 4.93 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 22 appearances (42 innings) by allowing 33 hits and 25 walks (13.2%) while striking out 74 (38.9%). Excluding his first four outings, he was terrific over his final 34 1/3 innings, posting a 2.62 ERA and 1.08 WHIP during that span.

After four outstanding appearances for the AZL White Sox this year, in which he allowed just three hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings while striking out 13, Peralta was promoted to Great Falls on July 4. Peralta continued his mastery of rookie league hitters with the Voyagers, as he kept his walks and hits down while striking out 45 hitters in just more than 30 innings. Combined with both teams in 18 outings spanning 36 2/3 innings, Peralta compiled a 1.96 ERA and 0.95 WHIP by relinquishing just 25 hits (.182 OBA) and 10 walks (6.7%) while fanning 58 (38.7%). When hitters made contact off him, they hit grounders over 43% of the time. While lefties hit Peralta at a .250 clip this year, he held righties to a .165 average.

In addition to a fastball which he uses to set up hitters, Peralta features a wipe-out curveball and changeup to help put them away. Peralta is likely to begin the 2020 season with Kannapolis.

Trey Jeans
5´10´´
195 pounds
Age: 24

Like the aforementioned Peralta, Jeans was also a well-traveled collegian as he attended the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Seminole State College and the University of Louisiana-Monroe. He posted his best season with Louisiana-Monroe this year as a senior, compiling a 3.76 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 15 starts. In his 79 innings for the Warhawks, Jeans surrendered 61 hits (.213 OBA) and 37 walks (11.0%) while striking out 69 (20.5%). As a result of his efforts, Jeans was selected in the 33rd round of this year’s draft.

Jeans sailed through the AZL season in 18 relief outings, while he pitched his final three games for Great Falls. In a total of 27 2/3 combined innings, he allowed 28 hits (.252 OBA) and just five walks (4.2%) while fanning an eye-popping 43 (36.4%). Righties (.253) and lefties (.250) hit Jeans at about the same rate this year.

Like Peralta, Jeans offers a three-pitch repertoire including a fastball, curveball (his plus pitch) and changeup. Although he only pitched three games at Great Falls, Jeans is also likely to begin the 2020 season with Kannapolis due to his age. It’s unclear, however, if he’ll be a starter or reliever at the next level. Based on his results this year, it seems that Jeans may be better suited out of the pen.

Rigo Fernandez
6´0´´
190 pounds
Age: 22

Fernandez suffered through a difficult three seasons with Cal State-Dominguez Hills — especially with his control. In 12 starts totaling 57 2/3 innings during his junior year for the Toros, he posted a 4.99 ERA and 1.72 WHIP as he ceded 47 hits (.229 OBA) and 52 walks (19.0%) while striking out 80 (29.3%). However, in part because Fernandez is a lefty and also because he struck out his fair share of hitters, the White Sox selected him in the 24th round of the 2018 draft. Later that year for the AZL White Sox and Great Falls, he actually posted solid numbers in 18 combined games. In a total of 38 innings, Fernandez had a solid 2.13 ERA and 1.11 WHIP by relinquishing 27 hits (.199 OBA) and 15 walks (9.5%) while striking out 40 (25.3%).

This year for the Voyagers, Fernandez posted a 4.91 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 19 games spanning 33 innings as he allowed 28 hits (.228 OBA) and 20 walks (13.5%) while fanning 45 (30.4%). Much of the damage against him came in one June game; in a perfect world where that was treated as a mulligan, his ERA and WHIP would’ve been just 3.09 and 1.22.

Baseball America lists Fernandez as featuring a fastball that runs from 86 to 91 mph, while he also features a solid curve and change to help him put hitters away. Righties hit just .222 against Fernandez’s offerings while lefties hit .244 against him. With a combined 2.16 ERA for the months of July and August, Fernandez has also made his case to begin the 2020 season on the Kannapolis roster.

Greg Minier
6´4´´
235 pounds
Age: 24

Minier is another southpaw who pitched for multiple schools during his career. After pitching for Bethune-Cookman and Ventura Junior College during his freshman and sophomore seasons, he spent his final two college seasons with the University of Washington. In 33 relief outings (43 innings) for the Huskies during his senior season, Minier posted a 3.53 ERA and 1.43 WHIP by allowing 48 hits (.296 OBA) and 14 walks (7.4%) while striking out 41 (21.8%). The White Sox liked him enough, after that season, to select him in the 32nd round of the 2017 draft. Later that year for the AZL White Sox, Minier succeeded by throwing strikes. In 15 games spanning 17 2/3 innings, Minier compiled a 1.53 ERA and 1.30 WHIP by surrendering 21 hits (.304 OBA) and just two walks (2.8%) while fanning 16 (22.5%).

After struggling in eight appearances with an 8.05 ERA and 1.68 WHIP, he didn’t pitch the last several weeks of the Voyagers season in 2018 — presumably due to injury. Minier was assigned to extended spring training on June 11 of this year, but never actually pitched in a real game. This could be the end for Minier, but if not, he likely would return to the Voyagers for the 2020 campaign.


AZL White Sox

Garvin Alston Jr.
6´4´´
175 pounds
Age: 23

Alston is the son of long-time respected pitching and bullpen coach Garvin Alston, so he’s had baseball in his veins since birth. After strugging in two seasons as a reliever with Arizona State University, Alston transferred to the University of South Carolina-Aiken for his junior and senior seasons. As a senior this year, Alston was converted to the Pacers rotation and fared reasonably well despite a serious lack of control. In 16 appearances spanning 70 innings, he allowed 78 hits (.276 OBA) and 53 walks (15.3%) while striking out 63 (18.2%). The White Sox liked Alston, though, enough to select him in the 37th round of this year’s draft. Ironically, he was drafted in that exact same round four years ago by the White Sox, when he opted for Arizona State.

Alston seemed like a new pitcher with the AZL White Sox. In 13 relief outings totaling 18 innings, he compiled a solid 3.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP by ceding 18 hits (.254 OBA) and just four walks (5.3%) while striking out 22 (28.9%). Lefties hit just .238 against his offerings this year, while righties fared a bit better at .260. When hitters made contact against Alston, they hit grounders at a frequent 51.1% clip. A limited repertoire presently of a fastball and curveball may mean he’ll be a reliever going forward, but that’s likely Alston’s best opportunity to ascend the ranks anyway. Look for him to begin the 2020 season with Great Falls, with perhaps a late promotion to Kannapolis if all goes well.


DSL White Sox

Jorge Ferrer
6´3´´
180 pounds
Age: 19

Shortly after signing an international contract with the White Sox as a native of the Dominican Republic, Ferrer pitched two games and allowed nary an earned run before being socked with a 72-game suspension for using Stanozolol, a steroid and performance-enhancing drug. This suspension essentially ended his 2018 season.

Ferrer was slowly worked into the DSL bullpen for the 2019, and for all intents and purposes, performed surprisingly well despite his rust. In seven outings totaling 9 2/3 innings, he posted a 2.79 ERA and 1.34 WHIP by allowing nine hits (.243 OBA) and four walks (9.5%) while striking out 10 (23.8%). Hitters grounded the ball against him 48.1% of the time this year, and lefties hit just .167 against him in an albeit small sample size. It’s possible Ferrer merits a promotion to the AZL squad based on his production during two very abbreviated seasons; it wouldn’t be a surprise, however, to see him return to the DSL for 2020.

Oriel Castro
6´0´´
175 pounds
Age: 18

Castro, a native of Panama, signed an international contract with the White Sox on January 2018 as a 16-year-old. In his first season in the organization, he unsurprisingly struggled in his 12 appearances with a 5.23 ERA and 1.74 WHIP for the DSL Sox. In his 10 1/3 innings last year, Castro allowed just five hits (.143 OBA) and 13 walks (26.0%) while striking out 14 (28.0%).

In a much more expanded role this year, Castro continued to struggle with his control. Over 15 appearances (six starts) encompassing 40 innings, he compiled a 4.73 ERA and 1.75 WHIP by relinquishing 30 hits (.216 OBA) and an unsightly 40 walks (21.7%) while fanning 38 (20.7%). Lefties hit .250 against Castro’s offerings this year while righties fared much worse, at .202. However, it won’t mean a thing until Castro throws more strikes. As a result, expect him to return to the DSL next year.

Jose Jimenez
6´3´´
195 pounds
Age: 17

Jimenez, no relation to Eloy, signed an international contract with the White Sox as a 16-year-old just a month before the DSL season began. He didn’t enter many games, but in the games he did pitch in, he struggled immensely. He’s fairly big for someone so young, so mechanics (in addition to confidence) may be the culprit. In five games this year totaling 5 2/3 innings, Jimenez posted a 12.71 ERA and 2.29 WHIP as he allowed seven hits (.292 OBA) and six walks while striking out five. While it’s way too early to give up on him, Jimenez seems a virtual lock to return to the DSL White Sox for the 2020 season.


Deep Dive: rookie league right-handed relievers

Suddenly closed: Seen here pitching for the Indiana Hoosiers, Pauly Milto had a 1.88 ERA and five saves for the Great Falls Voyagers in 2019 (Missy Minear/Indiana Athletics).


“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

Rookie leagues often carry a multitude of pitchers, as they are not restricted to 25-man active rosters. That’s the main reason why each of these rosters carried more than five right-handed relievers at the end of this season. In order to condense this post, the spotlight will only be focused on the top five relievers (based on ERA) who ended the season with each team.

Ages below are as of April 1, 2020


Great Falls Voyagers

Pauly Milto
6´3´´
245 pounds
Age: 23

Milto, a native of Greenwood, Ind., stayed close to home to pitch for Indiana University. He gradually evolved from reliever to starter for the Hoosiers, capping his college career with an 8-5 record, 3.51 ERA and 1.11 WHIP for his senior season. In 14 starts totaling 95 innings, he surrendered just 89 hits (.265 OBA) and 16 walks (3.6%) while striking out 94 (21.0%). As a result, he was selected in the 23rd round of the 2019 draft. It has now become a nearly annual occurrence for Hoosiers to be drafted by the White Sox, as recent selections have also included Craig Dedelow, Jonathan Stiever and Logan Sowers.

The Hoosier alumnus quickly made a great impression with the Great Falls Voyagers, as he posted an incredible 1.88 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and five saves in 19 relief outings. In those innings. Milto relinquished just 22 hits and seven walks while fanning 26. What helped Milto was keeping the ball down in the high Montana altitude, as grounders were hit against his offerings at an incredible 63.2% rate.

According to Indiana University, Milto’s fastball peaks around 92 mph; other offerings include a two-seam fastball, wipeout slider and changeup. He succeeds by keeping the ball down, throwing strikes and changing speeds. It’s unclear if the White Sox envision Milto as a starter or reliever going forward; it’s entirely possible he played the relief role to spare his arm after a long collegiate senior season. Regardless, he seems to be a lock for the Kannapolis pitching staff for 2020.

Felix Mercedes
6´2´´
185 pounds
Age: 23

When the White Sox signed the 17-year-old Mercedes to a $250,000 bonus on International Signing Day in 2014, they thought they had found a potential outfielder of the future. After spending two seasons with the DSL White Sox and another with the AZL White Sox in 2017, Mercedes was only producing middling results, with just a combined four homers and three stolen bases. It was then determined to try to convert Mercedes’ strong arm into a potential reliever.

While Mercedes held his own in 11 outings last year with a 3.18 ERA and 1.59 WHIP, he did even better this year despite having difficulties finding the plate. In five outings totaling eight innings, Mercedes allowed just two hits (.080 OBA) but eight walks (22.2%) while fanning five (13.9%) in posting a 1.13 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. It’s unclear why he didn’t pitch the last two months, as rookie league squads don’t often report “injured list’ status due to their extended rosters. In two seasons, Mercedes has pitched only a combined 19 1/3 innings, so his durability is certainly in question. Expect a return to Great Falls for 2020, unless the team simply feels Mercedes’ shoulder can’t stand the stress of pitching.

Ramon Pineda
6´3´´
200 pounds
Age: 22

Ramon, a native of the Dominican Republic, happens to be the younger brother of Twins starter Michael Pineda. He signed an international contract with the White Sox in October 2016 and promptly pitched for the DSL White Sox the next summer. He had a solid year in the Dominican in 2017, when he posted a 3.74 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 67 innings as he surrendered 64 hits (.257 OBA) and 18 walks (6.5%) while striking out 46 (16.7%). Pineda struggled badly in four relief outings for the AZL White Sox the following year, however, and ended the season prematurely due to an apparent injury.

Pineda bounced back this year for Great Falls, compiling a 2.22 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 17 relief outings totaling 24 1/3 innings. In those innings, he relinquished just 17 hits (.193 OBA) and eight walks (7.8%) while fanning 23 (22.8%). While possessing a decent fastball, his best pitch may well be a changeup based on a weak .118 batting average from lefties against his offerings. Pineda helps his cause by throwing strikes and keeping the ball down (43.1% ground ball rate). With his combination of success and pedigree, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Pineda begin the 2020 season with Kannapolis.

Kaleb Roper
6´0´´
193 pounds
Age: 24

Roper was quite the well-traveled collegian, as he pitched for the University of Arizona his freshman year, San Jacinto Community College his sophomore season, and Tulane University for his junior and senior years. In his senior season for the Green Wave, Roper posted a 4.60 ERA and 1.33 WHIP but provided decent peripherals: 86 hits (.258 OBA), 31 walks (8.1%) and 90 strikeouts (23.6%). The White Sox, through diligent scouting, lassoed Roper in the 29th round of this year’s MLB draft.

For Great Falls this year in 14 appearances (two starts) spanning 34 innings, Roper relinquished only 22 hits (.193 OBA) and 12 walks (9.4%) while striking out 43 (33.6%). He apparently boasts an above-average changeup, as lefties only hit .088 against his offerings as opposed to righties’ .238. He did keep the ball down, as Pioneer League hitters hit grounders 50% of the time off him.

Perfect Game listed Roper’s fastball at 90 mph four years ago, so it’s likely he’s added some velocity since then. Roper also features a curveball as a solid third offering. As in Milto’s case, it’s unclear if Roper will be a starter or reliever going forward. And just like Milto, Roper should see a promotion to Kannapolis next season regardless.

Karan Patel
6´0´´
215 pounds
Age: 23

Patel improved in each of his four years for the University of Texas-San Antonio. This year for the Roadrunners in 14 starts spanning 89 innings, Patel provided the Roadrunners with a rock-solid 2.82 ERA and 1.24 WHIP by relinquishing just 78 hits and 33 walks while striking out a school-record 102. Patel made history when the White Sox selected him in the seventh round of this year’s MLB draft, as he became the first player of Indian origin (and perhaps the only drafted player who happens to be a national-team level cricket player) to ever be drafted.

In 18 appearances for Great Falls totaling 32 1/3 innings, Patel allowed 34 hits (.264 OBA) and just seven walks (5.0%) while striking out 38 (27.0%) in compiling a 3.90 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. Opponents hit grounders 36.7% of the time off his offerings, and he pitched in some bad luck as his FIP was a terrific 2.85. Patel’s fastball presently peaks at 94 mph per Baseball America, and he features an above-average curveball as well. Like Milto and Roper, it’s possible Patel could begin next year in the rotation — especially if he offers another plus pitch in his arsenal. Patel should be a lock to be a part of next year’s Kannapolis pitching staff.

Other right-handed relievers who finished with Great Falls (ERA and WHIP in parentheses):

Yoelvin Silven (3.88, 1.28)
Nate Pawelczyk (4.50, 1.46)
McKinley Moore (4.84, 1.79)
Brayan Herrera (5.27, 1.46)
Connor Reich (5.89, 1.53)
Allan Beer (6.23, 1.39)
Nick Johnson (9.49, 2.39).


AZL White Sox

Mac Welsh
6´4´´
202 pounds
Age: 24

Welsh, the son of former major league pitcher and current Reds broadcaster Chris Welsh, signed as an undrafted free agent on Jan. 18, 2019. It’s hard to believe, but in his four years with the Louisville Cardinals, Walsh entered just one game. However, he somehow landed on the radar of the White Sox scouting department, and that due diligence certainly paid off this year.

Welsh didn’t pitch in his first AZL game until July 20. In 12 games for the AZL White Sox from there, all Welsh did in 12 1/3 innings was allow nine hits (.196 OBA) and two walks (4.2%) while striking out a whopping 19 hitters (39.6%) for a tidy 0.00 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. When hitters made contact off Welsh, they hit grounders at an incredible 65.4% rate.

An old high school scouting report by Perfect Game in 2014 revealed his repertoire included a low-80s fastball, curveball and changeup. Of course, five years and 20 pounds later, Welsh’s velocity has certainly gone up. Due to his success and age, he should bypass Great Falls for 2020 and begin instead with Kannapolis, where he’ll still be older than the average South Atlantic League player.

Joseph Jarneski
6´0´´
170 pounds
Age: 20

Jarneski, a Hawaii native, was selected in the 12th round of the 2017 draft by the Texas Rangers. He struggled a bit in limited duty for the Rangers that year, and eventually underwent Tommy John surgery, missing the entire 2018 season. This year in his return for the Rangers AZL squad, Jarneski was off to a terrific start with a 1.62 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 10 outings totaling 16 2/3 innings, as he ceded just eight hits (.151 OBA) but 11 walks (16.7%) while striking out 16 (24.2%).

After Jarneski was traded to the White Sox along with Ray Castro for Nate Jones and international bonus pool money, he struggled in his new digs. Many players struggle in such situations, so it’s unsurprising when this happens to a teenager. For the AZL White Sox in eight games spanning 9 2/3 innings, Jarneski allowed nine hits (.243 OBA), 10 walks (20.4%) and six strikeouts (12.2%) in posting an inflated 7.45 ERA and 1.97 WHIP.

At the time he was drafted, Baseball America stated Jarneski’s fastball peaked at 92 mph. He likely will return to the AZL White Sox for 2020, with an opportunity for promotion to Great Falls if his control improves.

Nick Silva
6´2´´
205 pounds
Age: 23

Silva, a nephew of retired slugger Alex Rodriguez, pitched four seasons of college ball with the University of Maine. He struggled in all four years, primarily due to a lack of control. In Silva’s senior season in 15 outings (13 starts) totaling 66 2/3 innings, he compiled a 5.40 ERA and 1.41 WHIP while relinquishing 60 hits (.245 OBA) and 34 walks (11.0%) but striking out 54 (18.0%). As a result of his struggles, Silva wasn’t selected until the 40th and final round by the White Sox in 2019.

This year for the AZL White Sox, Silva posted a 3.96 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in 19 relief outings. In his 25 innings, he surrendered 29 hits (.293 OBA) and 13 walks (11.1%) as opposed to 23 strikeouts (19.7%).

According to Baseball Draft Report, Silva’s fastball can run up to 95 mph, but his off-speed pitches (low-80s changeup and low-70s curveball) are still works in progress. A promotion seems possible to Great Falls for 2020, but it would take significant improvement with his control and command of his off-speed pitches if he wants to advance further.

Vlad Nuñez Jr.
6´2´´
240 pounds
Age: 23

As is the case of several pitchers who finished the year for the AZL White Sox, Vlad has solid bloodlines. Nuñez Jr.’s dad, Vlad Sr., pitched in the majors for parts of nine innings. The younger Nuñez pitched two years for the State College of Florida prior to transferring to Stetson for his junior and senior seasons. This year for the Hatters in 27 outings totaling 48 innings, Nuñez Jr. posted a 4.50 ERA and 1.52 WHIP by allowing 47 hits (.254 OBA) and 26 walks (11.6%) while striking out 53 (23.6%). The White Sox signed him on June 14 as an undrafted free agent.

This year for the AZL White Sox, Nuñez Jr. possessed better control than expected but was hit fairly hard. In 15 games encompassing 29 innings, he provided his squad with a 4.97 ERA and 1.62 WHIP as he surrendered 36 hits (.305 OBA) and 11 walks (8.4%) while striking out 35 (26.7%). He did provide a decent ground ball rate at 46.4%, but will likely need to work on a good off-speed pitch to lefties, as they hit .389 against his offerings compared to righties’ .268. Nuñez Jr. flashed a decent enough strikeout rate to be mildly intriguing, so expect him to begin the 2020 season with Great Falls.

Justin Friedman
6´2´´
200 pounds
Age: 22

It’s nearly impossible to have a more traveled college career than Friedman enjoyed. George Washington University was his team during his freshman season, while subsequent years featured appearances for Ventura College, University of San Diego, and Hope International University. Friedman struggled in his senior season for Division II Hope International in 11 games (nine starts), as he compiled a 5.44 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 48 innings as he ceded 46 hits (.250 OBA), 25 walks and 53 strikeouts. The White Sox liked him enough, however, to select him in the 26th round of this year’s MLB draft.

In 13 outings (five starts) for the AZL White Sox totaling 47 innings, Friedman relinquished 59 hits (.294 OBA) and only nine walks (4.3%) while striking out 51 (24.2%). Opponents hit grounders at a whopping 54.8% rate against him this year, so with a solid 5.7 K/BB ratio and the ability to keep the ball down, there are things to like here. He was much more effective out of the bullpen (3.24 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .222 OBA) than he was as a starter (7.36 ERA, 1.86 WHIP, .363 OBA).

Baseball America said this of Friedman prior to the draft, “At his best, Friedman brings a fastball that sits 90-93 mph with sink and life. His breaking ball is a swing and miss pitch when he locates it, but his control of it is inconsistent.” It may behoove Friedman to develop an effective changeup as well, as lefties hit .338 against him while righties hit just .264. Friedman also will likely be given an opportunity to pitch for Great Falls in 2020.

Other right-handed relievers that finished the year with the AZL White Sox included:

Tyson Messer (13.78 ERA, 2.94 WHIP)
Former Illini Luke Shilling, who’s missed the past two seasons due to injury


DSL White Sox

Manuel Veloz
6´2´´
185 pounds
Age: 19

Veloz, a native Venezuelan, not only enjoyed the best year of any reliever for the DSL White Sox this year, but may have actually posted the best year of any White Sox reliever in 2020. He actually signed an international contract with the White Sox just a couple weeks before the DSL season started. In 15 outings (one start), he posted an incredible 0.91 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in 39 2/3 innings. In those frames, he allowed just 25 hits (.179 OBA) and seven walks (4.7%) while striking out 42 (28.2%).

According to Baseball-Reference, Veloz was 0.3 years younger than the average Dominican League player, so he wasn’t pitching against competition much younger than he. Not much is known about him presently, but if he continues to pitch this well next year, Veloz could move up the ladder relatively quickly. Assuming he’s got a decent fastball based on his above-average strikeout rate, he’s shown excellent control and kept the ball down (64.5% ground ball rate) — those are terrific ingredients for success. Expect Veloz to begin the 2020 season with the AZL White Sox.

Erick Perez
6´1´´
175 pounds
Age: 21

Like Veloz, Perez is a native of Venezuela. Unlike Veloz, however, Perez signed with the White Sox in August 2016 and just completed his third season for the DSL White Sox. After two lackluster seasons in which he posted a 6.75 and 4.70 ERA in 2017 and 2018 respectively, with a WHIP barely under 2.00 for each of those two seasons, Perez needed a big year this year to avoid being released. Fortunately for Perez, he posted a season worthy of promotion. This year in 23 outings totaling 51 2/3 innings, Perez compiled a 1.92 ERA and 1.16 WHIP by surrendering 36 hits (.202 OBA) and 24 walks (11.5%) while fanning 59 (28.2%). Although his walk rate is quite a high, it was a significant improvement from the previous year (20.4%)

Perez pitched against opponents who were more than 18 months younger, so his results can be taken with some grains of salt. His ground ball rate improved to 41.3% for in 2019, and if he can continue improving his control, he still may have a future in the organization. Perez is likely to ascend to the AZL next season, and how quickly he advances from there will depend upon how well he throws strikes.

Jesus Rondon
6´3´´
178 pounds
Age: 20

Rondon, yet another Venezuela native, signed an international contract with the White Sox in February 2018. His initial season with the DSL White Sox didn’t turn out as well as he’d hoped however, as he supplied his team with a 5.63 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 24 innings as he relinquished just 17 hits (.200 OBA) but issued an exorbitant 23 walks (20.7%) while striking out 27 (24.3%).

Rondon enjoyed a much better 2019, although he still allowed too many free passes. In 22 appearances spanning 34 1/3 innings this year, he compiled a 3.67 ERA and 1.54 WHIP by relinquishing 28 hits (.219 OBA) and 25 walks (15.6%) while fanning 39 (24.4%). He’s a fly ball pitcher (30.3% ground ball rate), but lefties hit him about the same as righties. It’s a coin flip whether Rondon earns a promotion to the AZL, but I believe he stays in the DSL due to his lingering control issues. He may just have one more year to prove he’s worthy of a trip Stateside, as Rondon was nearly a year older than the league’s average in 2019.

Daneuris Lagrange
6´3´´
175 pounds
Age: 21

Lagrange, a Dominican native, signed with the White Sox organization just two months before the DSL started last year. At the time he signed last year, Lagrange was already older than the league’s average, so he was already a bit behind the proverbial 8-ball. It didn’t help matters for him when he struggled last year to the tune of a 4.86 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 37 innings, as he allowed 44 hits (.299 OBA) and 14 walks (8.4%) while striking out 38 (22.9%).

Lagrange missed more than 1 1/2 months of the already-abbreviated DSL season due to an undisclosed injury, but his numbers were actually quite respectable. In 11 games totaling 15 2/3 innings, Lagrange posted a 4.02 ERA and 1.21 WHIP by ceding 13 hits (.210 OBA) and six walks (8.6%) while fanning 18 (25.7%). For the past two seasons, his FIP has been significantly better than his ERA. Although Lagrange had a higher ERA this year than the aforementioned Rendon, all other peripherals indicate Lagrange is actually the better pitcher. Lagrange will likely begin the 2020 season with the AZL White Sox, with a chance for early promotion to Great Falls if he gets off to a great start.

Edgar Navarro
6´1´´
180 pounds
Age: 22

Like many other pitchers for the DSL White Sox, Navarro is a native Venezuelan. He was already old (20) for an international prospect when he signed with the organization in March of last year. He suffered through a difficult 2018 when he posted a 6.36 ERA and 1.74 WHIP in 24 games totaling 58 innings, as he allowed 70 hits (.289 OBA) and 31 walks (10.7%) while fanning 60 (20.8%).

Despite serving up a large number of hits, Navarro’s numbers improved in 2019 — which should be expected for someone 2.7 years older than the league average. Navarro posted a 4.20 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 23 outings totaling 55 2/3 innings, as he relinquished 65 hits (.295 OBA) and 18 walks (7.3%) while striking out 68 (27.6%). It appears that Navarro’s pitched in some incredibly bad luck, as his FIP was 3.65 in 2018 and 3.06 in 2019. He did post a nice 3.78 K/BB ratio this year, and his strikeout numbers look good. It’s not likely that Navarro returns to the DSL White Sox due to his age, so if he remains in the organization, it would likely via promotion to a more age-appropriate team like Great Falls where his 68.7% ground ball rate would come in quite handy.

Other right-handed relievers who finished the season with the DSL, with the ERA and WHIP in parentheses:

Frander Veras (4.32, 1.71)
Carlos Mola (5.31, 1.02)
Cristopher Valdez (11.57, 2.57)
Jendersson Caraballo (12.71, 2.65)


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.

 

Deep Dive: White Sox right-handed rookie league starters

No. 2 in your hearts: Matthew Thompson is ranked 14th among White Sox prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)


“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 most of the top right-handed starting pitching prospects finished the season with Winston-Salem or higher, there are some intriguing arms in the rookie levels as well — especially in the AZL. The players’ ages listed below are as of April 1, 2020.


Great Falls Voyagers

Jason Morgan
6´5´´
175 pounds
Age: 24

Morgan had the ill fortune of missing the entire 2018 season, both collegiately and professionally, due to injury. His stats were consistent for the North Carolina Tar Heels up to that point, averaging a 4.01 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 9.7 BB% and 15.4 K%. Those relatively modest numbers, along with his injury, caused Morgan to fall to the 35th round of the 2018 draft.

Once healthy, Morgan had the unenvious task of beginning his professional career in 2019 at hitting-friendly Great Falls, but held his own despite not possessing overpowering stuff. In 14 starts totaling 75 innings, Morgan posted a 4.68 ERA and 1.37 WHIP by allowing 83 hits (.285 OBA), 20 walks (6.3%) and 33 strikeouts (10.3%). While allowing many hits and inducing few strikeouts, Morgan limited the damage against him by keeping the ball down (54.5% ground ball rate) and allowing few free passes. Baseball Draft Report in 2017 listed Morgan’s arsenal as including a low 90s fastball, good firm changeup (83-87 mph) and two average off-speed pitches — a 75-81 mph curveball and low-80s cut slider. Based on the fact that lefties hit him far better (.327) than had righties (.262), Morgan’s changeup may need more work.

So Morgan didn’t have a bad initial campaign, especially considering he hadn’t pitched in 2018. However, he will need to find a way to miss more bats in order to succeed in the full-season leagues.

Chase Solesky
6´3´´
201 pounds
Age: 22

Solesky struggled in his sophomore season at Tulane, as he tried to rush back from Grade 1 spinal spondylolisthesis — a slipping of vertebra that occurs most commonly at the base of the spine. As a result, Solesky’s results tanked. While Solesky enjoyed a better junior season, it still wasn’t as good as he had hoped because he was trying to alter his delivery. But a 5.05 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, to go along with 66 strikeouts in his 67 2/3 innings in the Green Waves rotation, was enough to convince the White Sox to select him in the 21st round of the 2019 draft.

A first look at Solesky’s numbers with Great Falls (6.17 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) would tell you there’s not much to get excited about. However, when looking at his strikeout and walk totals, there may be something there after all. With 45 strikeouts (24.6%) and just 12 walks (6.6%) over just 42 1/3 innings, Solesky managed a nifty 3.75 K/BB ratio. He’s clearly got the stuff and control, but he obviously needs the command to limit damage. It may also help to have a little good luck as well, as Solesky vastly underperformed his 4.77 FIP.

With more repetition using his new delivery, Solesky should attain far better results in 2020. Solesky was about five months younger than the average Pioneer League player this year, so a return to Great Falls for next year wouldn’t be out of the question. With that said, expect to see him pitch for Kannapolis before 2020’s end.

Sean Thompson
6´3´´
190 pounds
Age: 24

Despite having solid and consistent numbers (each season saw his ERA in the low threes) for all four years, Sean Thompson was undrafted as a senior from Virginia Commonwealth. The White Sox signed him as an undrafted free agent (UDFA), and he performed well in 2018 for the AZL Sox (3.68 ERA and 1.34 WHIP) despite peripherals showing a much bleaker picture.

Though many of Thompson’s peripherals were eerily similar to last year’s, his 2019 results have been far less pleasing. In 14 starts spanning 80 innings, Thompson posted a 6.08 ERA and 1.45 WHIP while surrendering 101 hits (.301 OBA) and 15 walks (4.2%) as opposed to 66 strikeouts (18.6%). Thompson’s FIP was just 4.51, so he likely pitched in bad luck (the Great Falls defense this year was atrocious). Thompson’s repertoire features an upper-80s fastball and a power curveball with a 12-6 break according to Baseball Draft Report. To succeed in the future, Thompson will need to find a way to neutralize lefties as they hit him at a .321 clip.

He was 17 months older than league average this year, so it’s difficult to imagine Thompson returning to Great Falls for 2020. The best he could hope for would be a promotion to Kannapolis 2020, with a likely switch to a long-relief role.

Carter Love
6´6´´
225 pounds
Age: 24

Like the aforementioned Thompson, Love was also an UDFA last year — in Love’s case, a graduate of the College of Charleston. This was a bit surprising, since as a senior in 2018, Love posted an incredible 1.38 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 71 2/3 innings of relief as he surrendered just 54 hits and nine walks while fanning 57. More than likely, the reason was that Love’s fastball rarely exceeded 92 mph although it was complemented with an above-average changeup and curveball. Love enjoyed a terrific year (primarily with the AZL Sox) in 2018, surrendering 51 hits (.254 OBA) and just five walks (2.4%) while fanning 62 (29.8%) as he compiled a superb 2.66 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over 50 2/3 innings.

This year was a different story, though, as Love posted a sky-high 7.92 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in just four starts at Great Falls totaling 13 2/3 innings. In those innings, he ceded 22 hits (.361 OBA) and two walks (3.1%) while striking out 13 (20.3%). His last outing was on July 3, and since Love finished the year on the active roster, it’s assumed he was injured for the last two months of the season. (Players in the rookie leagues don’t get placed on the injured list because they have have expanded rosters that could easily absorb the loss.)

Anyway, an injury would explain Love’s struggles this year. With his age and ability to throw strikes, Love could have the future of an organizational swingman or long reliever going forward — provided he remains healthy.


AZL White Sox

Matthew Thompson
6´3´´
195 pounds
Age: 19

Thompson, a graduate of Cypress Ranch High School in Houston, certainly dominated in his senior year. Dominated, you say? Try this: He was 13-0 in 15 starts with a 0.87 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over 72 2/3 innings, allowing just 23 hits (.095 OBA) while fanning 124 (42.6%). The only real blemish against Thompson this year was his high walk total of 41 (14.1%). To sign an over-slot bonus with the White Sox after being selected in the second round, Thompson eschewed his verbal commitment to Texas A&M.

The White Sox are treading carefully with this young arm, and have thereby limited his work on the professional level. In two starts totaling just two innings, Thompson relinquished two hits and no walks while fanning two — not much to go on. It’s likely that he’ll be given extended spring training before earning a call-up to Kannapolis by either May or June next year, in order to limit his innings. With the high elevation at Great Falls, it’s unlikely Thompson will be sent there and suffer through unnecessary lumps.

Thompson’s fastball currently tops out at 96 mph according to MLB Pipeline, but typically runs in the low-to-mid 90s. There’s not much movement to it, however, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Thompson develop a two-seam fastball to complement it. He possesses an easy, fluid delivery, throws from a high three-quarter slot with electric arm speed that provides a bit of deception to an otherwise straight fastball, and shows great feel to spin the baseball.

Thompson throws a low-80s slider that has hard, late break and two-plane action that routinely draws whiffs and causes batters to expand the zone. He also showed some feel for a solid, 76-79 mph curveball with 11-to-5 break, according to Baseball America. Many scouts consider the curveball Thompson’s best pitch thanks to its tight spin, good power and depth, and his ability to throw it for strikes. The curveball is a knee-buckler and is especially devastating to right-handed batters. MLB Pipeline grades Thompson’s fastball at 60, curveball at 55 and changeup at 50. His changeup is still in the rudimentary stage, as he really hasn’t had to throw it much against his lesser prep competition.

Despite his high walk total in high school, Thompson has solid command for his age — graded 50 by MLB Pipeline. Speaking of MLB Pipeline, Thompson is currently ranked 14th among its Top 30 White Sox prospects.

Andrew Dalquist
6´1´´
175 pounds
Age: 19

Dalquist’s 2019 prep stats for Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, Calif. are difficult to come by. His junior stats were nice (1.55 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 25.8 K%), but that was when he possessed a slightly above-average fastball. It’s likely those numbers improved greatly during his senior season, however, not just because Dalquist was another year older but because his fastball velocity jumped to 91-95 mph during offseason tournaments and varsity competition. Dalquist was verbally committed to the University of Arizona, but reneged on it to sign an extremely over-slot deal with the White Sox as the team’s third-round selection in this year’s MLB draft.

Like the aforementioned Thompson, Dalquist was handled delicately by the Sox organization. In three starts totaling the same number of innings for the AZL squad, Dalquist allowed nary an earned run as he surrendered just two hits and two walks while striking out two. He likely will begin next season with Kannapolis, but probably won’t begin work there until May or June in order to protect his arm.

Dalquist’s repertoire features both the four-seam and two-seam fastballs, and while his fastball doesn’t have elite velocity at this time, the extension on his delivery is deceptive enough to seemingly add a bit more oomph on the fastball. His mid-70s curveball, like his fastball, is graded at 55 by MLB Pipeline thanks to its depth. He also features a 50-grade changeup and slider, which should only get better with increased usage at the professional level. Like Thompson, Dalquist’s command also grades at 50, which isn’t a surprise due to his youth.

Nevertheless, it seems Dalquist has an above-average arsenal from which to work on. He just needs the experience to harness his repertoire effectively. MLB Pipeline currently ranks him 15th among White Sox prospects.

Jeremiah Burke
6´2´´
195 pounds
Age: 21

As a freshman at Georgetown, Burke struggled mightily out of the bullpen with a 10.12 ERA and 2.53 WHIP. However, he elevated his game as a swingman during his sophomore campaign and enjoyed a solid junior season for the Hoyas in 2019 with a 4.66 ERA and 1.27 WHIP as he relinquished 83 hits and 25 walks while fanning 86 during his 85 innings. This earned him the notice of the White Sox, who selected him in the 17th round of this year’s MLB draft.

Burke’s overall numbers were decent but unexceptional. In his 12 games for the AZL Sox (eight starts), he posted a 4.33 ERA and 1.50 WHIP by ceding 63 hits (.288 OBA) and 18 walks (7.5%) while striking out 42 (17.4%). The numbers can be taken with a grain of salt, however, as Burke’s 139 combined collegiate and professional innings nearly tripled his combined totals of his freshman and sophomore years. With that said, his best monthly numbers came in August, when he posted a 2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 18 strikeouts during his 20 innings.

Lefties hit him especially hard (.311), while righties held their own against him, at 2.76. His starting stats (3.31 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) easily bested his relief work (6.27 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) for the AZL squad, which essentially echoes his work at Georgetown. Burke, with his strong finish, should be a strong candidate to begin next season with Kannapolis.

Cooper Bradford
5´11´´
180 pounds
Age: 21

Bradford had some of the most underwhelming college stats in this year’s White Sox draft class. While his freshman year with North Florida was actually quite respectable (2.79 ERA, 1.51 WHIP), Bradford slipped badly in his sophomore season to a 6.41 ERA and 1.78 WHIP as he allowed 48 hits and 25 walks while fanning 35 over his 39 innings.

Bradford transferred to Florida Southern for his junior season, where his numbers again disappointed despite healthy strikeout totals: 5.58 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over 80 2/3 innings while relinquishing 78 hits and 57 walks in striking out 89. Sox scouts saw enough in Bradford, however, to select him in the 13th round of this year’s draft.

For the AZL Sox, Bradford actually outperformed his college stats — especially with his control. In eight starts totaling 30 innings, Bradford posted a 4.80 ERA and 1.53 WHIP by surrendering 37 hits (.303 OBA) and just nine walks (6.8%) as opposed to 35 strikeouts (26.5%). His control certainly improved as evidenced by his reduced walk total, although command still needs work as shown by his high OBA. In looking closer at Bradford’s numbers, his OBA and WHIP were actually quite good with nobody on (.253 and 1.18 respectively). However, with runners on base, his OBA and WHIP soared to .383 and 2.00. Thus, in order to improve his future results, Bradford will need to focus on perhaps improving his mechanics while in the stretch. This also means he’s best suited as a starter for the time being. Expect him to begin next season with Great Falls, although a return trip to the AZL Sox certainly wouldn’t be out of the question.

Luis Rodriguez
6´6´´
220 pounds
Age: 19

Rodriguez, a native Venezuelan, signed an international contract with the White Sox on June 1, 2018 and promptly found his way to that year’s DSL squad. Unsurprisingly, for someone of his combination of youth and size, Rodriguez struggled with his control in his first professional season. In 16 games (10 starts) encompassing 50 innings, he relinquished just 44 hits (.238 OBA) but walked 38 (16.5%) while fanning 48 (20.9%).

In seven outings this year for the DSL squad spanning 30 innings, Rodriguez’s numbers improved greatly, to the tune of a 4.34 ERA and 1.34 WHIP, as he allowed 30 hits (.256 OBA) and just nine walks (7.0%) while striking out 29 (22.5%). He earned a promotion to the AZL Sox on July 8, but struggled with a 6.54 ERA and 1.83 WHIP over 31 2/3 innings. In those AZL innings, Rodriguez surrendered 39 hits (.300 OBA) and 19 walks (12.5%) while striking out 24 (15.8%). Rodriguez actually held his own against lefties (.250 OBA), but struggled immensely against righties (.322 OBA).

It’s difficult to learn a new culture and language at midseason, and it’s possible that impacted Rodriguez’s results somewhat. Based on the numbers, he’s got good stuff but it’ll be his ability to command that stuff will impact what he can achieve. Rodriguez likely will return to the AZL Sox for 2020.

Honorable Mentions:
Isaiah Carranza did not pitch in 2019 due to injury, which is the second year he’s missed since being selected in the 12th round of the 2018 draft.


DSL White Sox

Ray Castro
6´3´´
165 pounds
Age: 22

Since signing a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers prior to the 2016 season, Venezuela native Castro has done nothing but excel in the Dominican League in both relief and starting roles. After enjoying a sensational 1.25 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 43 1/3 innings for the DSL Rangers in 2016, he began the 2018 season with the AZL Rangers. After a rocky three outings, he returned to their DSL squad where he continued to excel with an ERA hovering around 2.02. Then, on July 31, Castro was traded to the White Sox along with Joseph Jarneski for veteran reliever Nate Jones.

In three outings for the DSL White Sox, of which two were starts, Castro dazzled with a 2.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, allowing just seven hits and two walks while fanning 13 in nine innings. His combined stats with the DSL Rangers and White Sox were a 2.01 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 12 games spanning 44 2/3 innings, allowing just 30 hits (.183 OBA) and 17 walks (9.2%) while striking out 45 (24.5%). Castro really hasn’t pitched many innings in his career, which may speak more to the depth of the Rangers DSL squad than anything else. That depth may explain why Castro was given so little leash in 2018, when he got off to a sluggish three-game start.

Due to his age, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Castro begin the 2020 season in Kannapolis as a reliever. He’d be way too old to begin next year with the AZL Sox, and Great Falls wouldn’t be beneficial to a pitcher whose ground out rate was less than 30% last year. Since he’s pitched less than 111 combined innings over his four-year professional career, it’d make the most sense to have Castro begin next year in a relief role.

Homer Cruz
6´0´´
175 pounds
Age: 20

Cruz, a native of the Dominican Republic, signed with the White Sox in October 2018. Cruz acquitted himself relatively well this year in his first season of professional ball, as he posted a respectable 3.86 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in his 63 innings. During that span, he allowed just 57 hits (.237 OBA) and 25 walks (9.3%) while striking out 65 (24.1%). Lefties were his bugaboo as they hit .278 against Cruz’s offerings; righties, however, hit just .208 against him. While his control wasn’t great, it was decent enough for his first year. At 53.6%, Cruz’s ground out rate was particularly impressive. Cruz should begin next season with the AZL White Sox.

Dionicio Jimenez
6´4´´
190 pounds
Age: 19

Jimenez didn’t have an especially great year, but he improved in nearly all areas from his difficult initial 2018 campaign. That year, Jimenez posted a 6.81 ERA and 2.12 WHIP over 39 2/3 innings as he relinquished 35 hits (.235 OBA) and a whopping 49 walks (23.7%) while fanning 46 (22.2%). This year, Jimenez improved to a 4.82 ERA and 1.45 WHIP as he surrendered 39 hits (.273 OBA) and 15 walks (9.2%) while striking out 30 (18.4%). Also, his ground out rate improved from 45.0% to 51.9% this year. By sacrificing a few more hits and fewer strikeouts, Jimenez improved his game by simply throwing the ball over the plate. It’s likely he’ll return to the DSL White Sox for 2020, but he could earn a promotion to the AZL White Sox later in the season if he continues to progress.

Francisco Benitez
6´2´´
187 pounds
Age: 19

While the aforementioned Jimenez improved from a difficult rookie campaign of 2018, the same cannot be said of Benitez. Last year, Benitez attained a 6.10 ERA and 1.80 WHIP over 38 1/3 innings by ceding 26 hits (.200 OBA) and 43 walks (22.9%) while striking out 43 as well (22.9%). For 2019, Benitez suffered through an even worse 8.06 ERA and 1.79 WHIP over 22 1/3 innings by allowing 19 hits (.238 OBA) and 21 walks (19.3%) while fanning just 14 (12.8%). What’s more, his ground out rate worsened from an already low 46.3% to an abysmal 26.7%. Benitez finished the season on the restricted list for undisclosed reasons, and if he returns to the organization in 2020, it’d likely be with the DSL White Sox for a third year.

Cristian Mena
6´3´´
180 pounds
Age: 17

Mena, who won’t turn 17 until December, could be next year’s right-handed version of Ronaldo Guzman for the DSL White Sox. Mena didn’t pitch for the DSL Sox this year, but should join the rotation in 2020. He struck out six of the 11 batters he faced at the Mejia Top 10 Showcase in Las Vegas, and threw 86-88 mph at the event with a devastating curveball, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.

Honorable Mentions:
Erick Bello like Mena, signed with the White Sox in International Signing Day on July 1, 2019 and didn’t pitch for the organization. Little information is availabe about the 5´11´´, 170-pound Dominican native.

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.