South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 72: Dan Metzdorf

Overlooked: Small in stature, southpaw Metzdorf put up nice results in his first taste of pro ball. (Boston College)



Dan Metzdorf
Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
5´10´´
165 pounds
Age: 23
SSHP rank among all left-handed starting pitchers in the system: 7

Dan Metzdorf enjoyed a successful senior season in 2019 for Boston College, posting 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 Avery 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 Matthew Thompson and Andrew 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.

Deep Dive: rookie league left-handed starters

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


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

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

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

Ages below are as of April 1, 2020


Great Falls Voyagers

Avery Weems
6´2´´
205 pounds
Age: 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


AZL White Sox

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

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

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


DSL White Sox

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

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

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

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

 

White Sox Minor League Update: August 25, 2019

Clutch bat: Gavin Sheets leads the Southern League with 76 RBIs, adding one in Birmingham’s loss today. (Hannah Stone/Birmingham Barons)


Norfolk Tides 8, Charlotte Knights 1

MVP
Charlie Tilson (LF) 2-for-4, 2B (12), K (.294 BA, .767 OPS)

Runner-Up
Zach Thompson (RP) 1.2 IP, H, K, 12-of-17 strikes (4.93 ERA)

Notables
Luis Robert (CF) 1-for-4 (.302 BA, 1.005 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B) 1-for-5, R, 2B (5), SB (4) (.311 BA, .810 OPS)
Yermín Mercedes (DH) 1-for-3, BB, K (.293 BA, .988 OPS)
Seby Zavala (C) 1-for-4, 2 K (.228 BA, .797 OPS)
Justin Nicolino (SP) 4.1 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, BB, 3 K, HR, L (8-7) 51-of-70 strikes (6.12 ERA)

It was not a good outing for Nicolino, who has been pretty poor all told for the Knights this season. But the utter lack of Charlotte offense (seven hits, and of them, just two doubles as XBH) helped none in this crucial stretch game. The good news? The Durham Bulls also lost tonight, so the Knights remain four games ahead in the IL wild card race.


Tennessee Smokies 4, Birmingham Barons 2

MVP
Luis Martinez (RP) 2.2 IP, 2 H, 3 K, 26-of-38 strikes (4.40 ERA)

Runner-Up
Gavin Sheets (1B) 2-for-4, RBI (76) (.273 BA, .759 OPS)

Notables
John Parke (SP) 6.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R/3 ER, 3 BB, K, L (3-4), 50-of-85 strikes (2.74 ERA)
Blake Rutherford (DH) 1-for-4, RBI (46) (.261 BA, .667 OPS)

Once again, not a very impressive ballgame for Birmingham. Just two runs on six hits for the offense, with both runs from RBI singles from Sheets and Rutherford in the eighth. Sheets’ single put runners on the corners with two outs, but Damek Tomscha struck out to end the rally. Parke pitched a decent game, not quite up to his standard in Birmingham but well enough to earn a win or at least a no-decision. Martinez had a bullish outing, holding the Smokies down as the Barons tried to rally. Birmingham’s record drops to a very disappointing 59-70.


Potomac Nationals 4, Winston-Salem Dash 0

MVP
Craig Dedelow (DH) 2-for-4, K (.248 BA, .743 OPS)

Runner-Up
Bennett Sousa (RP) IP, 2 K, 8-of-11 strikes (2.70 ERA)

Notables
Taylor Varnell (SP) 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, HR, HB, L (1-2), 53-of-87 strikes (4.02 ERA)
Andrew Vaughn (1B) 0-for-4, K, (.235 BA, .728 OPS)

Just six hits, against 10 Ks, in a must-win game vs. a lesser opponent. The Dash’s late playoff run suffered a blow on Sunday with this whitewash at Potomac. Now in fourth place in the Carolina League South, W-S’s elimination number stands at 5.


Kannapolis Intimidators 5, Charleston RiverDogs 2

MVP
Davis Martin (SP) 7 IP, 6 H, ER, 7 K, W (8-9) 60-of-87 strikes (5.06 ERA)

Runner-Up
Gunnar Troutwine (C) 2-for-2, 2B (15) 2 RBI (14), 2 BB, pickoff at 1B (.251 BA, .711 OPS)

Notables
Ian Dawkins (CF) 2-for-5, R, 2 2B (37), K (.303 BA, .765 OPS)
Alex Destino (DH) 2-for-5, R, HR (16), 2 RBI (60), 2 K (.300 BA, .863 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 2-for-4, R, RBI, BB, K (46), CS (6) (.242 BA, .634 OPS)
J.B. Olson (RP) 1 IP, H, 2 K, 9-of-11 strikes (6.28 ERA)

It’s been a disappointing season for Kannapolis (this win pushes them up to just 59-71), but a nice win on Sunday. Davis Martin has been a hot-and-cold starter all season, but this effort was as hot as it gets, with seven Ks over seven innings. Alex Destino had a killer clout out for his 16th homer, just the fourth time a player has hit the batter’s eye in center field at Charleston — and Destino’s done it twice in 2019!


Great Falls Voyagers 4, Missoula Osprey 2 (Game 1)

MVP
Dan Metzdorf (SP) 4 IP, 3 H, BB, 5 K, 37-of-59 strikes (3.00 ERA)

Runner-Up
Anderson Comas (LF) 2-for-3, RBI (27) (.237 BA, .646 OPS)

Notables
Luis Curbelo (3B) 1-for-4, R, HR (6), 2 RBI (19), K, E (9) (.251 BA, .731 OPS)
Caleb Freeman (RP) 1.1 IP, H, BB, K, Sv (2), 19-of-32 strikes (0.00 ERA)

Curbelo’s two-run homer before an out had been recorded (driving in Caberea Weaver, who singled to lead off the game) set a sweet doubleheader in motion for GFV, who led 3-0 after one. Metzdorf was pitch-counted down to just four innings and thus was denied a win, but was exquisite today. Trivia time: As this was a makeup game from an earlier rainout in Missoula, Great Falls played as the visitors in the opener, despite the game being in their own, Centene Stadium.

Great Falls Voyagers 10, Missoula Osprey 1 (Game 2)

MVP
Kaleb Roper (SP) 5 IP, H, 5 K, W (3-0), 42-of-62 strikes (2.79 ERA)

Runner-Up
Anderson Comas (LF) 3-for-4, R, HR (2), 3 RBI (30), K (.250 BA, .686 OPS)

Notables
Joshua Rivera (3B) 2-for-2, 3 R, RBI (12), 3B (4), 2 BB (.218 BA, .686 OPS)
Luis Curbelo (DH) 2-for-4, 3 R, RBI (20), 3B (5), 2 K, (.257 BA, .748 OPS)
Nate Pawelczyk (RP) IP, H, (3.75 ERA)

Great Falls kept up the early-jump theme of the day with four runs in the first inning and a 7-0 lead through three, in a true (and rare this season for the Voyagers) laffer. Three triples in a game! Check out Comas, getting runner-up treatment twice today, in service both times of stellar starting pitching.


AZL Padres2 16, AZL White Sox 11

MVP
Jose Rodriguez (SS) 5-for-6, 2 R, 4 RBI (31), 2 2B (7), K, SB (7), E (14) (.293 BA, .833 OPS)

Runner-Up
James Beard (CF) 3-for-5, 3 R, 2B (4), 3B (1), BB, SB (9) (.213 BA, .577 OPS)

Notables
Bryan Ramos (3B) 3-for-4, 3 RBI (26), 2B (10), E (7) (.277 BA, .768 OPS)
Micker Adolfo (DH) 1-for-5, 2 R, BB, 2 K, (.260 BA, .842 OPS)
Josue Guerrero (LF) 3-for-5, R, RBI, 2 K (.240 BA, .711 OPS)

The AZL Sox offense went out with a bang tonight, although the youngsters dropped their AZL finale. Whoa: 18-of-46 is a .391 average for the game, and still it wasn’t close, taking a flurry of eight runs in the final three frames to turn the game from a 16-3 early vacation to 16-11 respectability. All in all, this was a nasty game, in 103-degree heat. After a pretty horrible, 22-34 season, let’s bring on the Fall League and the Glendale Desert Dogs!

White Sox Minor League Update: August 20, 2019

Monster effort: Luis Robert, barely able to raise his arms for high-fives in the dugout after hitting his 13th homer this week, is gonna go full Rumpelstiltskin “any day now.” (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)


Charlotte Knights 9, Durham Bulls 3

Luis Robert (CF): 2-for-4, HR (13), 1 RBI (32), 3 R, 1 BB (.310 BA, 1.025 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 3-for-5, 2B (3), 2 R, 0 K (.311 BA, .733 OPS)
Yoán Moncada (3B): 3-for-5, 2B (1), 1 RBI (6), 3 R, 0 K (.409 BA, 1.136 OPS)
Daniel Palka (RF): 1-for-2, HR (26), 3 RBI (69, nice), 3 BB, 0 K (.274 BA, .942 OPS) *MVP*
Justin Nicolino (SP): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (W, 8-6)

In a shocking turn of events, fatigued center fielder Luis Robert was able to overcome the need of a fainting couch and hit another danged homer over that sweet LED Monster in Left Field out in Durham. The top three hitters of Madrigal, Moncada, and Pantera (aka the first-inning batting order of the next White Sox championship team) combined to go 8-for-14 with 2 2B, 2 HR (YoYo is ret-to-go), and eight runs scored. It’s a damn shame the weary burdens of dominating Triple-A weigh heavy on the bodies and minds of our prospects, cheating Sox fans of … hmm … I feel I’ve lost track of the narrative.

Oh, yes! MVP honors go to Palkamania because he mashed a tasty three-run tater and reached base three times via the free pass. Also, because the poor guy needs it, dammit. The Knights are 71-56, control their destiny in the IL wild card chase, and at this point are a slight underdog in a straight-up matchup with Ricky’s Boys.

(South Side Hit Pen has confirmed where Luis Robert’s Home Run from Monday landed, seen here in this undoctored photo. Can you imagine if Robert wasn’t so fatigued!)


Birmingham Barons 9, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 3

Laz Rivera (2B): 3-for-4, 2 HR (2), 4 RBI (36), 3 R, 1 SB (9) (.259 BA, .605 OPS) *MVP*
Blake Rutherford (DH): 2-for-4, 2B (13), 2 R (.263 BA, .669 OPS)
Damek Tomscha (LF): 3-for-4, 2B (5), 1 RBI (24) (.287 BA, .767 OPS)
John Parke (SP): 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (2.55 ERA)

Just like their Triple-A compadres, the Barons defeated their opponent 9-3, sautéing the Jumbo Shrimp in butter, lemon juice, and some parsley. That’s about all the interesting bits, but MVP honors go to Laz Rivera, who is no longer listed as missing on the side of a milk carton, with two dingers and four ribbies tonight. 57-67 is the Barons record and [Forrest Gump voice] that’s all I have to say about that.


Winston-Salem Dash 5, Lynchburg Hillcats 2

Steele Walker (DH): 1-for-4, 2B (24), 1 BB (.284 BA, .802 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn (1B): 0-for-5, 1 RBI (15) (.250 BA, .765 OPS)
Zach Lewis (SP): 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (W, 6-6, 5.85 ERA) *MVP*

The Dash didn’t have to do much offensively (see: five hits) to maximize their run efficiency, with five runs in their victory over the Hillcats. A big thank-you to Hillcat Jodd Carter (yes, that’s his name, no matter how hard autocorrect wants to make it Jody) for the throwing error leading to the rare two-run sac fly, giving the Dash a 2-1 lead. A lead that Zach Lewis would hold up, only getting touched for two unearned runs in six innings, with six Ks. The Dash are 66-54.


Rome Braves 14, Kannapolis Intimidators 4

Ramon Beltre (3B,P[!]): 2-for-4, 2 RBI (33) (.218 BA, .577 OPS); .1 IP, 1 H (0.00 ERA) *MVP*
Alex Destino (RF): 2-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K (.302 BA, .861 OPS)
Davis Martin (SP): 4 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (L, 7-9, 5.26 ERA)

Not much slugging from the Intimidators bats tonight, as 12 hits equaled just 13 total bases. Starter Davis Martin (already worthy of a wary eye as a Two Last Names guy) didn’t have it, nor received much help, with two errors behind him. Ramon Beltre gets begrudging MVP honors for knocking in 50% of Kanny’s four runs and committing 50% of its four errors, while also pitching (!) one out of the game. The Intimidators record slip-slides down to 55-70.


Billings Mustangs 10, Great Falls Voyagers 6

Caberea Weaver (CF): 2-for-5, HR (2), 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 K (.260 BA, .707 OPS)
Joshua Rivera (2B): 1-for-4, HR (2), 3 RBI (3), 1 R (.200 BA, .603 OPS)
Dan Metzdorf (SP): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K (3.38 ERA) *MVP*

Things started off swimmingly for the Voyagers, as they scored five runs in the second inning, highlighted by a three-run homer by Joshua Rivera! Ramon Pineda pitched the fourth inning with a 5-0 cushion and boy howdy, did those wheels came off in a hurry.

A leadoff error by SS Lency Delgado set an ominous tone for the rest of Pineda’s outing, as he loaded the bases on walks and a HBP. A sac fly cut the lead to 4-1, and Pineda would have gotten away with minimal damage if it weren’t for that meddling Connor Reich who, coming in after Pineda left with the bases loaded, promptly unloaded three more runs on his bill by giving up a first-pitch grand slam to Renal Ozuna. A five-run lead suddenly became a brand-new ballgame.

Caberea Weaver gave the Voyagers a brief reclaiming of the lead in the fifth inning with a solo homer, but Great Falls’ bullpen would continue the leakage by giving up five more runs, and the Voyagers record fell to 23-33.


AZL White Sox 8, AZL Brewers (Gold) 7

Micker Adolfo (DH): 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (.306 BA, 1.016 OPS)
Logan Glass (CF): 3-for-4, 2B (4), 1 RBI, 1 R (.226 BA, .583 OPS)
Mac Welsh (P): 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K (SV 3, 0.00 ERA) *MVP*

Down 7-1 after four innings of ungood pitching from starter Luis Rodriguez, the AZL Sox chipped away at the deficit until busting thru in the sixth inning with five straight two-out hits. That added up to four runs and a 8-7 lead, a lead that held up thanks to four scoreless innings from the Sox bullpen (one hit, five Ks). I’m giving MVP honors to Mac for getting 2 Ks in the ninth with the tying run on for the save! Bless those baby Chisox hearts, as the win shoots their record up to a scintillating 14-37.


DSL White Sox 8, DSL Orioles 3

Yolbert Sánchez (SS) *Co-MVP* – 5-for-5, 2B (13), 1 RBI, 1 R (.283 BA, .766 OPS)
Richard García (C) – 2-for-2, 2 RBI (11) (.286 BA, .724 OPS)
Elijah Tatís (SS): 2-for-4, 2 R (.203 BA, .545 OPS)
Homer Cruz (SP): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K (W, 5-4, 3.86 ERA) *Co-MVP*

The DSL Sox jumped out to a first-inning, three-run lead over the Orioles in a way that would make the 1906 “Hitless Wonders” White Sox blush with pride, scoring three runs without the benefit of a batter striking a ball with his bat so that it lands in fair territory that is not the result of an error or fielder’s choice … otherwise known as a hit!  OK, Yolbert got a single, but the runs came in the forms of an RBI groundout, throwing error on a stolen base attempt, and some #wildpitchoffense!

Starter Homer Cruz was dominant, with six strikeouts in five innings of shutout ball. He certainly did not live up to his first namesake down in the DSL today.