Results tagged ‘ Arizona ’
Prior to Sunday’s sweep chance of Carolina, the Dash received an offensive boost. Outfielder Courtney Hawkins, the top prospect in the White Sox system according to multiple outlets, has been activated from the disabled list. He will be in the Dash’s lineup Sunday as the center fielder and five-hole hitter.
Hawkins hurt his left shoulder while making a diving catch in Lynchburg on May 1, and he was on the disabled list for exactly one month. The Corpus Christi, Texas, native spent the majority of his recovery time with the club, but he did head to Arizona to play in a few extended spring training games over the last week.
In our pregame chat with Hawkins, he discussed the injury and its silver lining. The 19-year-old also chatted about the Dash’s playoff push, his productivity while on the bench and a new mentor.
Prior to his injury, Hawkins was hitting .177 (14-for-79) with seven homers and 17 RBIs. He was leading the minors in strikeouts (45) through the season’s first month, but he had only struck out four times in his last five games.
To make room for Hawkins, fellow outfielder Yoandy Barroso has been placed on the disabled list. Thus, the roster sits at the league maximum of 25.
Winston-Salem and Carolina conclude their three-game series this afternoon at 2. Pregame coverage begins at 1:45 here. Talk to you then.
Pitchers and catchers may not report for a couple of weeks, and the spring training opener follows toward the end of February. However, tomorrow is the true beginning of spring training.
Tomorrow afternoon, the White Sox equipment truck departs for Glendale, Ariz.
Sure, this event is not quite the same as team workouts or exhibition games, but this 1,800-mile journey signals that baseball is not just a distant memory. It is on the horizon.
However, baseball is a 12-month responsibility for the players, and many Dash alums have been preparing since the fall. Here are some spring training-related tweets from the last few weeks.
— Courtney Hawkins (@CHawkins10) January 12, 2013
1 month away! Spring training cannot come any sooner! I’m dyin to get back on the field! #Ambition
— Keenyn Walker (@Keenyn_Walker) January 19, 2013
Anxious to see everyone at spring training…if I go by the tweets a lot of guys supposedly look like bodybuilders
— Michael Earley (@MoneyMikeEarley) January 23, 2013
— Cyle Hankerd (@hankerd) January 24, 2013
Last years struggles are paying off in big ways. Crazy how you gotta take 1 step back to go 2 steps forward. Pumped for 2013.
— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) January 27, 2013
The players have been gearing up to use the equipment that will begin the trip to spring training tomorrow. It’s a bit of a stretch, but baseball fans are happy about any signs that our national pastime is almost here. We’ll take it!
The White Sox announced their non-roster invitees to spring training yesterday, and 13 of the 20 players heading to Glendale are former Dash players.
Of those 13 players, nine contributed to the Dash’s 2012 run to full-season minor league baseball’s best record and a Mills Cup Championship Series appearance.
It is an honor for these players to receive an invitation to spring training, and the goal is to impress while with the “big boys.” However, it is important to note that highly-touted prospects who go to spring training are not normally true contenders to make a roster unless they have significant experience in Double-A or Triple-A.
The flurry of invitations still bring about a question: can any of these 2012 Dash alums wow the Sox enough to break camp with the big league squad?
First off, any player who ended the season with the Dash would need to make a three-level jump in order to crack the roster, which means C Mike Blanke, RHP Erik Johnson, SS Marcus Semien, C Kevan Smith, LHP Scott Snodgress and OF Keenyn Walker will be long shots.
This leaves three other 2012 Dash alums: RHP Jake Petricka, INF Carlos Sanchez and OF Trayce Thompson.
Petricka has been a highly-ranked prospect in the White Sox system for the last few years, but he did struggle a bit with both Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. The Minnesota native has plenty of potential, but additional minor league seasoning is almost certainly necessary.
Thompson has all the tools, but he has taken some time to adjust to every level. In 2011, the former second-round pick started crushing Low-A pitching, and his ascension to the top of the home run and RBI totem poles in the Carolina League this season stemmed from his surge after the All-Star break.
While Thompson reached Triple-A for the postseason, he still likely needs some time in the International League to figure out how to hit at that level. Thompson will be in the big leagues at some point, but Opening Day 2013 seems a bit too early.
This leaves Sanchez, who jumped up prospect rankings with a tremendous 2012 showing. The 20-year-old led the CL in batting average among qualifiers before going to Birmingham, where he hit .370 in 30 games. This prompted a late-season bump to Charlotte.
In 18 games with the Knights (regular season and playoffs), Sanchez hit .237 (14-for-59) with seven runs scored. These numbers are not eye-popping, but the Venezuelan most certainly held his own at the minors’ highest level.
Sanchez’s name even came up in Scott Merkin’s story about the non-roster invitees on whitesox.com yesterday.
“Carlos Sanchez also could be a long shot in consideration for that utility infield job. But with the 20-year-old phenom having just two years of professional experience and 991 Minor League at-bats to his credit, the White Sox goal is to get Sanchez a full season of at-bats at Triple-A Charlotte during the 2013 campaign. He topped all White Sox Minor Leaguers with a .323 average and 169 hits in 2012.”
A “goal” can always be changed, and Sanchez certainly has plenty of momentum from last season. He is an underdog in the race for one of the elusive 25 spots on Robin Ventura’s Opening Day roster, but he appears to be in the running.
You never know. A great spring could open the door for a 2012 Dash alum to reach The Show in 2013. Good luck to Carlos and the rest of the former Dash players heading to Arizona next month.