South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 64: Laz Rivera

Bounce-back: It was a step back for Rivera in 2019, but there’s still a chance he regains true prospect status. (Tiffany Wintz/South Side Hit Pen)



Laz Rivera
Shortstop
6´1´´
185 pounds
Age: 25
SSHP rank among all shortstops in the system: 6
2019 South Side Sox Top Prospect Rank: 21
2018 South Side Sox Top Prospect Rank: 37

After a college career that spanned three years with different levels (University of Miami, Chipola JC and Div. II University of Tampa), Laz Rivera was selected by the White Sox in the 28th round of the 2017 draft. He was immediately inserted into the AZL lineup, where he slashed .296/.374/.446 in 47 games with 12 doubles, five triples, two homers, 24 RBIs, three stolen bases, eight walks (3.8%) and 26 strikeouts (12.2%).

Rivera enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2018. In his 63 games with Kannapolis, he slashed an impressive .346/.395/.502 with 15 doubles, two triples, six homers, 24 RBIs, seven stolen bases, six walks (2.3%) and 48 strikeouts (18.1%). While not as sensational, Rivera performed quite well for Winston-Salem in 61 games by slashing .280/.325/.458 with 15 doubles, two triples, seven homers, 37 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, seven walks and 44 strikeouts. Overall, Rivera finished 2018 with a terrific slash line of .314/.361/.481.

Baseball America said of him at the time, “He is part of the new breed of infield prospect who hits first and asks questions later, a la Brandon Lowe and Nick Solak with the Rays. He brings above-average bat speed and a short path to the ball, which he used to post excellent numbers at both Class A levels. He’s an aggressive hitter who crushes fastballs but needs to work on not chasing off-speed pitches. He played almost exclusively at shortstop, though his 40-grade arm profiles better at second base.”

Of course, as with nearly every Sox hitter not named Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal or Yermín Mercedes, Rivera struggled big time with Birmingham in 2019. In 121 games totaling 424 at-bats, Rivera slashed just .248/.287/.318 with 22 doubles, one triple, two homers, 39 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, 17 walks (3.7%) and 81 strikeouts (17.8%). A former organizational Top 30 prospect, he has fallen off most lists due to his lackluster offensive performance.

As of now, Rivera seems to be destined for a utility infield role going forward. However, barring the Sox signing a minor-league free agent for Triple-A next year, he could be slated for the much more hitting-friendly confines of Charlotte, where he can hopefully reclaim his prospect status.

Deep Dive: Charlotte and Birmingham shortstops

Rivera 2020: After a terrific 2018, Laz crashed to earth with Birmingham in 2019. Will he be able to bounce back? (@BhamBarons)


“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

All three shortstops at the upper levels seem to fit the bill of utilityman profiles, but don’t have the upside of a Lenyn Sosa, Lency Delgado or Yolbert Sánchez.

(age as of April 1, 2020)


Charlotte Knights

Ramon Torres
5´11´´
190 pounds
B/T: S/R
Other positions played: Second base, Third base, Left field, Right Field, First base
Age: 27

Torres, a native of the Dominican Republic, signed with the Kansas City Royals as a 17-year-old. He ever-so-slowly worked his way through their system, and finally made it to the majors in 2017 where he slashed .243/.291/.284 in 33 games. He spent much of the 2018 season in Triple-A Omaha, though he did play nine games for the Royals but struggled with a .179/.207/.214 slash line.

Last year saw Torres play 58 games for Birmingham, and when fellow ex-Royal Alcides Escobar was released in Charlotte, was promoted to the Knights for his final 21 games. While his results were mediocre with the Barons (.210/.244/.318), the switch-hitter was absolutely fire with the Knights as he slashed .343/.352/.612 in the more friendly hitting environment. For the year combined with both teams, he slashed .250/.277/.406 with 15 doubles, four triples, four homers, 25 RBIs, eight walks (3.4%) and 38 strikeouts (16.0%).

Torres is now a minor-league free agent, so he can sign with any team of his choosing. If he opts to return to the White Sox, he would likely begin the 2020 season with Charlotte.


Birmingham Barons

Laz Rivera
6´1´´
185 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Second base
Age: 25

After a college career that spanned three years with different levels (University of Miami, Chipola JC and Div. II University of Tampa, Rivera was selected by the White Sox in the 28th round of the 2017 draft. He was immediately inserted into the AZL lineup, where he slashed .296/.374/.446 in 47 games with 12 doubles, five triples, two homers, 24 RBIs, three stolen bases, eight walks (3.8%) and 26 strikeouts (12.2%).

Rivera enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2018. In his 63 games with Kannapolis, he slashed an impressive .346/.395/.502 with 15 doubles, two triples, six homers, 24 RBIs, seven stolen bases, six walks (2.3%) and 48 strikeouts (18.1%). While not as sensational, Rivera performed quite well for Winston-Salem in 61 games by slashing .280/.325/.458 with 15 doubles, two triples, seven homers, 37 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, seven walks and 44 strikeouts. Overall, Rivera finished with a terrific slash line of .314/.361/.481.

Baseball America said of him at the end of the season, “He is part of the new breed of infield prospect who hits first and asks questions later, a la Brandon Lowe and Nick Solak with the Rays. He brings above-average bat speed and a short path to the ball, which he used to post excellent numbers at both Class A levels. He’s an aggressive hitter who crushes fastballs but needs to work on not chasing offspeed pitches. He played almost exclusively at shortstop, though his 40-grade arm profiles better at second base.”

Of course, as with nearly every Sox hitter not named Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal or Yermín Mercedes, Rivera struggled bigtime with Birmingham in 2019. In 121 games totaling 424 at-bats, Rivera slashed just .248/.287/.318 with 22 doubles, one triple, two homers, 39 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, 17 walks (3.7%) and 81 strikeouts (17.8%). A former organizational Top 30 prospect, he has fallen off most lists due to his lackluster offensive performance.

As of now, Rivera seems to be destined for a utility infield role going forward. However, barring the Sox signing a minor-league free agent for Triple-A next year, he could be slated for the much more hitting-friendly confines of Charlotte, where he can hopefully reclaim his prospect status.

Zach Remillard
6´1´´
200 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Third base, First base, Right field, Second base
Age: 26

Remillard was a four-year starter for Coastal Carolina, but it wasn’t until his senior year when he really boosted his profile. That year for the Chanticleers, he slashed .345/.392.617 in 72 games with 17 doubles, two triples, 19 homers, 72 RBIs, 15 stolen bases, 19 walks (6.0%)and 81 strikeouts (25.4%). As a result of his efforts, Remillard was selected by the White Sox in the 10th round of the 2016 draft.

After splitting time in 2016 with the AZL Sox and Kannapolis, Remillard played the entire 2017 season with the Intimidators and slashed .246/.281/.353 in 133 games with 27 doubles, two triples, seven homers, 50 RBIs, four stolen bases, 19 walks (3.6%) and 124 strikeouts (23.4%). Last year was spent exclusively with Winston-Salem, where Remillard played all positions aside from the battery and slashed .250/.316/.395 in 110 games with 16 doubles, three triples, 11 homers, 52 RBIs, eight stolen bases, 30 walks (7.2%) and 103 strikeouts (24.6%).

Remillard got off to a great start with Winston-Salem in 2019, ultimately slashing .289/.358/.378 in 95 games with 15 doubles, one triple, five homers, 37 RBIs, six stolen bases, 33 walks (8.2%) and 89 strikeouts (22.2%). However, he did struggle in 27 games after his promotion to Birmingham as he slashed .232/.321/.326 for the Barons in 27 games with three doubles and two homers.

While it doesn’t look like he’ll ever fulfill the power potential shown during his senior season, he has still proven to be a valuable player nonetheless. Remillard is an athletic infielder with a plus arm, soft hands and good raw power. He has defensive versatility all infield positions, as well as the corner outfield spots in a pinch. Remillard will be eligible for the upcoming Rule 5 draft. If undrafted, he likely will begin the season with Birmingham but it wouldn’t be surprising if he finds his way to Charlotte by year’s end.


2019 Birmingham Barons season recap

Two top position players in the system: One team. (@BhamBarons)


To start the year, the Birmingham Barons were the most talented team in the Chicago White Sox system. They had top prospects up and down the roster, but they all fell flat for the first month (or, for some, the entire season).

Because the Barons were underperforming for at least the first month, their record was awful, at 27-42. Once some prospects got going in May, and reinforcements came up from the lower levels, the second half was much better, at 37-30.

Like the Winston-Salem Dash, the Barons also have a managerial prospect: Omar Vizquel. From fans, he seems to be the favorite in the clubhouse to takeover for Rick Renteria. Vizquel was one of the many interviewees for the Angels’ opening for manager that eventually went to Brad Ausmus. Though he did not get the gig, Vizquel seemed to enjoy being considered — but there was some cause for Sox fans to be concerned. He stated on the Talk Beisbol podcast that MLB.com transcribed, “I was surprised by a lot of the questions they asked me. There were a lot of sabermetrics involved in all of their questions. They’re apparently going far beyond what it means to be responsible and wise about the moves that you can make. They want someone who is very interested in the numbers and can weigh the percentages.” This apparent old-school approach is not a glowing look for Vizquel, but hopefully he took this as a learning experience to put to use with the Barons.

But it’s player time, and there are a lot of good ones who came through Birmingham.

Once Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal got to Birmingham, it was the talk of the White Sox prospect world because of how well both did. Robert was not as good as his High-A stint — it was almost impossible to be that good — but he still clobbered Double-A pitching. Robert slashed .314/.362/.518, for a 155 wRC+. He of course showed off a lot of power but also flashed speed, stealing 21 bases in 27 chances in Birmingham.

For Madrigal, his Double-A stint was what got some detractors to switch sides and support him as the South Side’s future second baseman. He hit .341, leading the team, and reached base in 40% of his plate appearances. Madrigal’s K-rate didn’t even increase, so his bat-to-ball skills are out of this world.

There were a couple other promotions for hitters, one good and one bad. Yermín Mercedes was the good one. He crushed in Birmingham, with a 157 wRC+, and fans started to clamor for a more fast-paced promotion schedule (didn’t happen). There was also no improvement on his defensive side, so Mercedes is kind of on the outside looking in as a prospect.

Joel Booker was the second promotion. For about a month, Booker hit .351 for the Barons and was looking like he could make it to Chicago. However, he was very bad with the Charlotte Knights, with just a 49 wRC+, and even lost playing time. Booker was eventually demoted back to Birmingham, but he was unable to save his season.

On the pitching side, there was not much movement, but a few arms of note did get a quick taste of Double-A before going to Charlotte. Three of those were relievers in Zach Thompson, Matt Foster, and Hunter Schryver. All three were great in Double-A, with Foster not even allowing a run in his six games and Thompson only allowing one in four games. Schyver was in Alabama a bit longer (30 appearances) and left a 2.77 ERA.

Kyle Kubat is the lone starter who got to Birmingham, after a promotion from High-A. He only needed eight starts to show he should be in Charlotte with his very good command/limited strikeout ability. As you will see in the Charlotte recap, the new ball took a toll on all of Birmingham’s arms when they reached the Knights. Now, on to the guys that finished with the Barons, and there were a lot.


Barons Bats

Because it took so long for Barons bats to get going, this one is a little different. First we take a look at Gavin Sheets, the only batter to end the year with the Barons and have a wRC+ of more than 100.

Sheets had a horrible April, but was able to come back enough to salvage his season; he also seemed to get quite motivated after the White Sox selected fellow first baseman Andrew Vaughn in the draft. Sheets ended the year with a 122 wRC+, and though his batting average was lower than last season, his power was better. Sheets hit 16 home runs, and 19 more extra-base hits. Those doubles he had last season basically turned to homers in 2019. He still doesn’t hit enough fly balls, but Sheets’ approach at the plate hasn’t changed. He still uses all fields and has a walk rate at 10%, with a better than average K-rate. Once Sheets gets a hold of the MLB ball, his power should skyrocket.

Second, here are the players that started out so bad that even much better play later in the year couldn’t eight their seasons. We start with Blake Rutherford.

Rutherford was awful for the first two months of the season, but his bat-to-ball skills helped lead him to a good finish. From June until the end of the season, Rutherford slashed .307/.364/.404 for a 122 WRC+. He really relied on a lot of singles, as his ISO was just .098, but Rutherford still got hits and got on base. The walk rate was decent (9%) over that stretch, but a 24% K-rate in Double-A when you’re hot is concerning. Rutherford will be in the AFL this season, to hopefully back up his good play in the last few months at Birmingham.

Luis González was also not looking the way he was supposed to for the first month. He did recover some, but it was an overall uninspiring year for the outfielder. Again, his best stretch started in June, but his success was not as good as Rutherford’s. González only had a 109 wRC+ from June until the end of the season … but there are some things that look better compared to Rutherford. González walked at about the same rate but he struck out far less, which is a good sign. González also did show some more power.

Luis Basabe had a tough year on the field and with his health. He only played in 74 games this season between rehab games and with the Barons. His power was down, plate discipline was worse and he only hit .246. Whenever Basabe looked like he was figuring it all out again, he would get hurt or slump. He finished the year with a 95 wRC+, which is not bad, but it was not the step fans and the organization wanted. Maybe it was because of the injuries, but 74 games is still a solid sample size to show something. This was Basabe’s second stint in Double-A, and a drop in production is concerning.

Then there was the outright poor seasons as Laz Rivera and Joel Booker floundered at a time to tell if they were real prospects or not. Booker actually started out very well as he hit .351 before being promoted to Triple-A. However, that was the high point, as Booker’s season tanked from there. He ended up losing his starting job in Charlotte and was eventually demoted. Unfortunately, Booker’s woes continued, and he could not get out of his rut.

Rivera was in Double-A the entire year, and was not inspiring. After hitting very well last season in both Single-A leagues, Southern League pitching seemed too good for the middle infielder. The power and batting average went down, and Rivera’s defense was not spectacular (14 errors in 102 games at shortstop).


Barons Pitching

Let’s just get the real bad out of the way here, the serious injuries! Dane Dunning was slated to be with the Barons but he had Tommy John surgery in the spring. Jimmy Lambert did actually pitch during the season before he too went under the knife for Tommy John. He was not all that great, but that could also be his injury talking. Zack Burdi was going through his TJS rehab process, but needed surgery again when he arrived with the Barons. This time the injury was not directly related to the arm; it was a torn tendon in his knee. Burdi was not very good before that, though, coming off time last season where his fastball velocity was way down. Burdi finished with a 6.75 ERA in 2019.

To the better news, kind of. Bernardo Flores did finish the season pitching, but he missed a huge chunk of it because of injury. That missed time probably prohibited him from reaching Triple-A to find out what he can do with a juiced ball. In 78 1/3 innings, Flores had his typical good ERA at 3.33. The strikeouts were up compared to last season (about a 7% rise) while the walks stayed near 4.5%. So it was a more impressive a season than 2018, but the injury really bit Flores and his development arc.

Lincoln Henzman had a down year compared to last season, but he also had injury troubles, though not as severe. He missed a few starts in April that set him back, and it took awhile for him to reach his 2018 level in High-A. Henzman’s last three starts at W-S were superb, but once he was promoted to Birmingham, those struggles resurfaced. Henzman will always have a low K and BB rate, so he will heavily rely on BABIP, and it was not kind in 2019. He had a .331 BABIP in Double-A, and that basically doomed him because Henzman does not have an out pitch. FIP and xFIP like him more because he has low home run, walk, and fly ball rates. However, in this case, ERA is more important, and Henzman’s was 5.56 to end the year.

Blake Battenfield and John Parke are the other starters to keep an eye on, though they do not have the prospect hype of Flores. Battenfield and Parke both started in High-A and earned their way to Birmingham. Parke was much better than Battenfield. He had a 2.59 ERA compared to Battenfield’s 4.52. Both will be in their age 25 seasons next year, so that is cause for concern because they are going up against younger talent. I cannot really make any sort of judgement on either player without them using the MLB ball. So next season in Triple-A will be big. Hopefully these older arms perform much better than, say, a Jordan Stephens.

The Barons actually had quite the interesting set of relief pitchers. Again, let’s get the bad out of the way first. Alec Hansen continued his struggles in Double-A, as his prospect capital just keep falling. He had a 5.45 ERA, with an 8.39 BB/9 — better than last season, but still awful.

Tyler Johnson did not have a bad season; he was just out for most of it because of a lat injury. He very well could have been in MLB at this point without the injury, but alas, he will settle for the AFL. Johnson finished his season with just 31 1/3 innings pitched for a 2.59 ERA (with the Barons, it was just 18 1/3 innings for a 3.44 ERA). Vince Arobio had a fantastic season, up until his final promotion to the Barons. Arobio had a 6.11 ERA in 28 Double-A innings after what was a breakout iILB season.

Now, to the much better and healthier years.

Codi Heuer, Bennett Sousa, and Kodi Mederios did their jobs, even if it came in a roundabout way in Double-A. Heuer was the most conventional. After his promotion to the Barons, he more or less served as Birmingham’s closer. He had a 1.84 ERA with nine saves in 13 chances. He has really risen up the iILB ranks quickly, after he was selected just last season in the sixth round. He has good command, but his strikeouts did fall drastically between High-A and Double-A — something to keep an eye on in 2020.

Sousa only pitched two games with the Barons, and didn’t allow a run. He will probably start 2020 in Birmingham, though he could be fast-tracked to the Sox if they do not have confidence in their other lefty relief options.

Finally, Medeiros. He started out the year in the rotation, and that did not work out at all. In 40 2/3 innings as a starter, Medeiros had a 7.75 ERA, with a whopping .333 batting average against. When he was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers last season, some theorized Medeiros will end up in the pen eventually, and he did this season to great success. In 42 1/3 innings in relief, Medeiros had a 2.55 ERA and a much better .164 batting average against, in fact, that is a fantastic number. On a more progressive team than the White Sox, Medeiros could easily be an opener option. With the three-batter minimum coming, a lefty that can go longer like Medeiros could be a welcome sight.


The Barons unfortunately will have a lot more retreads from their 2019 team for 2020. For some, 2020 might be a last gasp to capitalize on what prospect hype they have left, but the Barons should be a team everyone will be watching again. Hopefully it will not be with horror ,like it was for much of this season.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 31, 2019

Much-needed win: Odrisamer Despaigne pitched seven quality innings for the Knights, who now take a one-game lead over the Durham Bulls with two games remaining. (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)

Charlotte Knights 5, Norfolk Tides 2

Odrisamer Despaigne (SP) W (8-6), QS, 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, HR (3.47 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)
Jose Ruiz (RP) SV (7), 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (0.69 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Luis Robert (CF) 2-for-5, R, CS (3) (.302 BA, .977 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B) 2-for-3, 2 R, BB (.303 BA, .783 OPS)
Yermin Mercedes (DH) 2-for-4, R, 2B (10), HR (16), 3 RBI (58) (.300 BA, 1.001 OPS) **MVP**
Zack Collins (C) 0-for-2, RBI (74), BB, E (7) (.289 BA, .969 OPS)
Danny Mendick (SS) 2-for-4, 2B (25), RBI (64), K (.281 BA, .819 OPS)
Seby Zavala (1B) 0-for-4, K (.222 BA, .774 OPS)
Charlie Tilson (RF) 1-for-4 (.289 BA, .752 OPS)
Trey Michalczewski (3B) 0-for-2, BB, K (.232 BA, .715 OPS)
Ramon Torres (PR-SS) 0-for-1, R (.355 BA, 1.009 OPS)

After a one-out single by future White Sox second sacker Nick Madrigal, Yermín Mercedes ripped a double down the left-field line, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead in the first inning of this pivotal International League contest. Austin Hays of the Tides tied the game with a solo shot off Odrisamer Despaigne in the second. The game wouldn’t stay tied for long, however, as Mercedes hit a clothesline just over the left-field fence with Madrigal aboard to give the Knights a much-needed 3-1 cushion.

After a Jack Reinhemer sac fly tightened the score to 3-2, both starters knuckled down as the Knights maintained their slim, one-run margin until the top of the seventh. With Trey Michalczewski and Luis Robert leading off the inning with a walk and single respectively, Madrigal did the Sox-ish thing by sacrificing them over to scoring position. After the Tides walked the scalding-hot Mercedes to load the bases, Zack Collins grounded into an run-scoring fielder’s choice at second to give the Knights an important insurance run. Danny Mendick supplied yet another insurance run to give the Knights a 6-3 cushion, although Collins was gunned down at the plate trying to add a seventh run. Despaigne left the game after this seventh frame, but not without providing the Knights with a much-needed quality start and three-run lead.

José Ruiz pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and began the final frame by getting the first two hitters out — including former White Sox José Rondón. However, Ruiz loaded the bases by allowing the next three hitters to get on via two singles and a walk. Ruiz was able to induce Mason Williams to fly out to Robert, securing his seventh Knight save, and a tense one at that!

With a Knights victory and an extra-inning loss by the Durham Bulls, the Knights take a one-game lead in the International League standings with two games remaining. Several players came up huge in this game: Despaigne with his seven clutch innings, Madrigal getting on base three times via two singles and a walk (not to mention a pivotal sac bunt), Robert with two hits and a run scored and Ruiz. Mercedes merits the MVP for this game, however, thanks to his two extra-base hits and three RBIs which set the tone for this game. As an interesting side note, Mercedes now has 58 RBIs in just 51 games for Charlotte this season. The Knights stemmed the Tides by snapping their six-game losing streak, improving to 75-62. Norfolk dipped to 58-79 with their defeat.


Birmingham Barons 6, Biloxi Shuckers 5 (12 innings)

Blake Battenfield (SP) 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR (4.52 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
Alec Hansen (RP) 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (5.45 ERA, 2.02 WHIP)
Mauricio Cabrera (RP) 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (4.60 ERA, 2.04 WHIP)
Codi Heuer (RP) 2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (1.84 ERA, 1.09 WHIP)
Luis Martinez (RP) W (5-2) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (4.26 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
Luis Gonzalez (CF) 0-for-3 (.251 BA, .682 OPS)
Luis Basabe (LF) 2-for-5, R, RBI (29), BB, 2 K (.247 BA, .667 OPS)
Blake Rutherford (DH) 2-for-4, R, 2 BB, 2 K (.265 BA, .682 OPS)
Gavin Sheets (1B) 0-for-4, RBI (83), BB, K (.268 BA, .760 OPS)
Joel Booker (RF) 1-for-5, R (.254 BA, .642 OPS)
Laz Rivera (2B) 3-for-5, 2B (22), 2 RBI (39), K (.252 BA, .615 OPS) **MVP**
Zach Remillard (3B) 1-for-5, R, 2B (2), 2 K (.227 BA, .635 OPS)
Alfredo Gonzalez (C) 1-for-5, R, K (.238 BA, .636 OPS)
Luis Valenzuela (SS) 1-for-5, R (.199 BA, .511 OPS)

This game started out as a pitching duel between Blake Battenfield and Brewer prospect Dylan File. That is until the third, when Luis Basabe pulled a single to right, scoring Alfredo Gonzalez with the first run of the game.

After the teams swapped runs in the fourth inning and went scoreless in the fifth, the Shuckers ended Battenfield’s evening with a triple and double to initiate the sixth frame. Control-challenged Alec Hansen entered the game tied 2-2 and promptly loaded the bases with a couple of walks. With the bases loaded and nobody out, things certainly didn’t look good for the home team. Hansen looked like he’d pull a Houdini act by fanning the next two batters, but his inability to find the plate cost him on a bases-loaded walk. An Alfredo Gonzalez passed ball proceeded to give Biloxi a 4-2 lead.

The game remained 4-2 until the bottom of the eighth, when Basabe scored on a wild pitch to slice the deficit in half. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Zach Remillard (who opened the inning with a leadoff double) eventually scored a run thanks to a botched grounder hit by Luis Valenzuela. Thanks to those two gifts by the Shuckers (along with solid bullpen work by Hansen and Mauricio Cabrera in the seventh and eighth), the game went into extras.

After a scoreless 10th frame, Codi Heuer allowed a run without courtesy of a hit in the 11th.: The opening runner on second advanced to third on a ground out, and subsequently scored on a meek RBI ground out to Ti’Quan Forbes, giving Biloxi the 5-4 advantage.

Would this be the end for the Barons on this night? Not if Omar Vizquel’s squad had anything to say about it! Laz Rivera promptly scored designated runner Joel Booker with a double to begin the inning, tying the game 5-5. The Barons were unable to tack on the winning run that inning, however, so the game remained 5-5 after 11.

After a stellar 1-2-3 12th inning by Luis Martinez to keep the game deadlocked, Gavin Sheets came up with the bases loaded and one out, and came through with a clutch, game-winning sac fly to finally conclude this marathon with a 6-5 victory!

As is typical for a comeback win, this was certainly a team effort. The bullpen pitched a whopping seven innings allowing nary an earned run, but their work was so evenly split it was difficult to come up with a decisive winner. Thus the winner would have to come from the offensive side in the name of Rivera, who collected three hits and knocked in two runs —including the game-tying double in the 11th. The Barons improved to 63-71, while the Shuckers slipped to an impressive 81-56.


Lynchburg Hillcats 6, Winston-Salem Dash 1

Zach Lewis (SP) L (6-8) 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (5.83 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)
Jake Elliott (RP) 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (4.83 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
Steele Walker (CF) 0-for-4, R (.269 BA, .768 OPS)
Mitch Roman (SS) 0-for-4, E (11) (.275 BA, .670 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn (1B) 0-for-3, BB, K (.240 BA, .733 OPS)
Craig Dedelow (RF) 1-for-3, 3B (10), RBI (63), BB, K (.246 BA, .755 OPS) **MVP**
Carlos Perez (DH) 1-for-4, K (.260 BA, .633 OPS)
Jameson Fisher (LF) 0-for-4, E (.238 BA, .711 OPS)

The Dash drew first blood in this game, as extra-base machine Craig Dedelow slugged an RBI triple, plating Steele Walker in the top of the first. Not only does Dedelow lead the Carolina League in triples this year with 10, he’s also clubbed 21 doubles and 18 homers. The Dash retained their tenuous 1-0 lead until the bottom of the third, when the Cleveland affiliate mounted a two-out run rally to give them a 2-1 lead off Dash starter Zach Lewis.

The bottom of the fourth started ominously for Lewis, as the first three hitters got on base via a single, double and hit-by-pitch. It didn’t finish well for Lewis, either, as the Hillcats tacked on three runs that inning which extended the Dash deficit to 5-1. Aside from an unearned run allowed by Jake Elliott in the eighth, there was very little offense in the last five frames. This was especially true of the Dash, as a Carlos Perez single was the only hit aside from Dedelow’s first-inning triple in this game. It’s never a good thing to have as many errors as hits.

Nobody really stood out in this game for the Dash, so Dedelow wins the MVP of this game for the Dash with his RBI triple and walk. The Dash fell to 70-61 with the defeat, while the Hillcats improved their record to 62-71.


Delmarva Shorebirds 4, Kannapolis Intimidators 3

Jason Bilous (SP) L (6-10) 2.2 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 4 K (3.70 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)
Declan Cronin (RP) 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (3.70 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)
J.B. Olson (RP) 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (5.83 ERA, 1.58 WHIP)
Ian Dawkins (CF) 2-for-5, R, K (.299 BA, .756 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 2-for-4, 2 R, HR (6), RBI (49), 2 K (.252 BA, .662 OPS) **MVP**
Alex Destino (RF) 1-for-4, RBI (61), 2 K (.294 BA, .840 OPS)
Tyler Osik (DH) 1-for-3, 2B (10), RBI (18), BB, K (.273 BA, .899 OPS)
Amado Nuñez (2B) 0-for-3, BB, K (.205 BA, .579 OPS)
Gunnar Troutwine (C) 1-for-3, BB, K (.244 BA, .692 OPS)

With one out and nobody on in the first, Lenyn Sosa hammered his sixth homer of the season, giving the Intimidators an early 1-0 lead. Sosa’s enjoyed an above-average ending to his 2019 season, as his slash line was .307/.357/.421 prior to this game since the calendar flipped to August. Jason Bilous’ control evaporated in the bottom of the third, as four walks and a single among the first six batters is always a foreboding sign. Alas, a fifth walk in the inning plated the third Shorebirds run of the frame and presented the opportunity for Bilous to take an early shower. Somehow, throwing just 24-of-59 pitches for strikes doesn’t often get the job done. Fortunately, 36th-round pick Declan Cronin extinguished the fire and kept the score at a manageable 3-1.

Aside from a run in the fourth, Cronin did a yeoman’s job in keeping the Intimidators in the game. Unfortunately, his offense was nonexistent, as it couldn’t even tally a run in the seventh when the Shorebirds graciously handed them three free passes.

After a scoreless eighth inning thrown by J.B. Olson, the Intimidators went to work in the bottom half. Three singles and a double to begin the inning reduced the deficit to 4-3, with runners on scoring position and nobody out. However, strikeouts to Corey Zangari, Cameron Simmons and Amado Nuñez ignominiously ended the inning without any further damage.

Olson returned for the eighth, and held Delmarva scoreless with another solid inning of work. Each of the three hitters fanned in the ninth, however, as the Intimidators lost a tough one at 4-3, their hitters finishing the game with six strikeouts. Bilous’ wildness in the third inning, along with the inability to get the clutch hits in the seventh and eighth frames, provided the demise of Kannapolis in this contest. Cronin and Olson were excellent out of the bullpen this evening, but Sosa was the MVP of this one with his two hits (including his sixth homer of the year). The Shorebirds soared to an incredible 89-47 record, while the Intimidators fell to 10 games under at 63-73.


Great Falls Voyagers 8, Billings Mustangs 7

Dan Metzdorf (SP) 2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (3.55 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
Kaleb Roper (RP) 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (2.81 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Nate Pawelczyk (RP) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (3.96 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)
Karan Patel (RP) 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (4.02 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)
Sammy Peralta (RP) 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (2.63 ERA, 1.10 WHIP)
Caberea Weaver (CF) 0-for-4, R, K (.248 BA, .680 OPS)
Luis Curbelo (DH) 4-for-5, 4 R (.259 BA, .741 OPS) **MVP**
Luis Mieses (RF) 0-for-5, 2 R, K (.238 BA, .617 OPS)
Lency Delgado (3B) 2-for-4, R, 3 RBI (31), K, E (15) (.282 BA, .731 OPS)
Sam Abbott (1B) 1-for-4, 2 RBI (27), BB, K, E (6) (.231 BA, .806 OPS)
Ivan Gonzalez (C) 1-for-3, 2 RBI (3), K, E (3) (.233 BA, .559 OPS)
Anderson Comas (LF) 2-for-4, RBI (33), 2 K (.240 BA, .651 OPS)

The normally reliable Dan Metzdorf got off to a rocky start in this one, as he relinquished three runs in the opening frame thanks to a single, three doubles and a walk. The Voyagers, however, got back two of those runs courtesy of a two-run single by Lency Delgado. Metdorf was unable to stifle the Mustangs in the second, however, as a two-out single increased the Billings lead to 4-2. Billings added an insurance in the fourth off Kaleb Roper, increasing their lead to three runs. The Voyagers narrowed the deficit to 5-4, however, as Ivan Gonzalez clubbed a two-run single in the bottom of that frame.

Kaleb Roper relinquished a run in the fourth, but it wasn’t entirely his fault as Gonzalez committed a throwing error trying to gun down a runner at third on a stolen base attempt. Aside from that minor blemish, Roper did a terrific job keeping the Voyagers within fighting distance. In the meantime, Great Falls evened the score at 6-6 during the bottom half of the fifth thanks to an RBI ground out and an RBI single by Anderson Comas.

Billings, seemingly offended by Great Falls tying the game up, immediately scored a run in the sixth off Nate Pawelczyk to regain the advantage. Thanks to some solid bullpen work by both teams, the game remained that way until two outs in the ninth inning, when Lency Delgado blooped a clutch RBI single to plate Caberea Weaver with the game-tying run. Not to be outdone, Sam Abbott pulled a single to right, which scored Luis Curbelo with the game-winner!

What an exciting win for a team that’s had more ups than downs this season. As mentioned in the Birmingham game, it’s usually a team effort when a team achieves a come-from-behind victory like this one. The bullpen (all selected in this year’s MLB draft) certainly deserves kudos for keeping the team in the game, while Delgado and Abbott contributed clutch hits in the final frame. The true MVP of this game is Curbelo, however, with four hits and an equal number of runs scored, including the game-winner. He’s certainly had a difficult 2019, but here’s hoping that a great finish this year could lead to a resurgent 2020 for the young man. Honorable mention goes to Delgado with two hits and 3 RBI., including the game-tying run in the ninth.

White Sox Minor League Weekly Update: Week 21

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


Charlotte Knights — 1 GA in the IL Wild Card

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


Birmingham Barons — Eliminated from playoffs

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


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

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

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


Kannapolis Intimidators — Eliminated from playoffs

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


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

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


AZL White Sox — Season Over (22-34)

Read the 2019 season recap.

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


DSL White Sox — Season Over (36-34)

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

Read the 2019 season recap.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 21, 2019

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


Charlotte Knights 3, Durham Bulls 0

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

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


Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 7, Birmingham Barons 6 (10)

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

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


Lynchburg Hillcats 4, Winston-Salem Dash 3

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

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


Kannapolis Intimidators 4, Rome Braves 2

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

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

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


Great Falls Voyagers 11, Billings Mustangs 0

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

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


DSL White Sox 3, DSL Dbacks 2

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

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

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.