Results tagged ‘ Carlos Sanchez ’

FutureSox releases prospect list

Two weeks ago, Baseball America released its Top 10 White Sox prospect list. While this list is one of the most well-regarded compilations nationally, our friends at FutureSox put together the best list on the internet among White Sox-only sites. FutureSox’s preseason Top 25 is out, and the Dash are well represented.

Of Chicago’s 25 best prospects, a whopping 13 have played in Winston-Salem at some point in their minor league career. This number includes eight alums in the Top 12.

I encourage you to check out the entire list, which includes justification for the top 10 players. Here is the placement of the 13 former Dash players:

2. RHP Erik Johnson
4. INF Marcus Semien
6. OF Courtney Hawkins
7. RHP Chris Beck
9. INF Micah Johnson
10. OF Trayce Thompson
11. RHP Daniel Webb
12. INF Carlos Sanchez
15. RHP Jake Petricka
16. LHP Scott Snodgress
18. RHP Chris Bassitt
21. INF Rangel Ravelo
23. RHP Myles Jaye

A few notes from this list:

  • If it weren’t for the signing of Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, Erik Johnson would be the top prospect. The exciting thing for White Sox fans is that both should be in Chicago in April.
  • It has been quite a 12-month period for Marcus Semien. At this point last year, he was coming off a solid season in Winston-Salem. Very few people could have predicted his quick rise near the top of the Sox prospect rankings, but he was one of the hardest workers I have seen in my two seasons here in Winston-Salem. I’m thrilled for him.
  • This time last year, Carlos Sanchez was the hot prospect. Sure, he did not wow in 2013, but the Venezuela native is still only 21 years old. He is still a legitimate prospect in the system despite coming back to earth a bit in 2013.
  • I’m happy to see Chris Bassitt appear on a prospect list. I think people were waiting to see if his strong end to the 2012 season as a starting pitcher would carry over into last season, and it certainly did. He should also appear on Baseball America’s Top 30 rankings, which will come out later this offseason.
  • Do not be surprised to see both Rangel Ravelo and Myles Jaye continue to climb from the low 20s. Both had strong efforts in 2013, and if they can find similar success in Double-A, they will garner even more praise.

As always, thanks to the guys at FutureSox. Matt Cassidy, one of the site’s main writers, visited Winston-Salem late last season and compiled some great videos. They do a great job with their coverage, and I encourage you to check out all their content here.

The first 2014 White Sox prospect list

Micah Johnson is one of six newcomers on Baseball America's White Sox Top 10 Prospects list (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

Speedster Micah Johnson is one of six newcomers on Baseball America’s White Sox Top 10 Prospects list (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

Baseball America is, in many ways, the bible of baseball prospects. Few publications examine Minor League Baseball more thoroughly than Baseball America, which has released its 2014 White Sox Top 10 Prospect list.

Over the last few seasons, Baseball America has been critical of the White Sox system, but the publication believes that the system is making significant progress:

For the first time since at least 2000, when the White Sox had the game’s No. 2 farm system, the organization has prospect depth.

How can one best illustrate this depth? Let’s take a look at Baseball America’s Top 10 list from this time last year and compare it to this year’s.

2013 White Sox Top 10:
1. OF Courtney Hawkins
2. OF Trayce Thompson
3. INF Carlos Sanchez
4. RHP Erik Johnson
5. OF Keenyn Walker
6. LHP Scott Snodgress
7. RHP Andre Rienzo
8. INF Keon Barnum
9. OF Jared Mitchell
10. RHP Chris Beck

2014 White Sox Top 10:
1. INF Jose Abreu
2. RHP Erik Johnson
3. INF Tim Anderson
4. INF Matt Davidson
5. INF Marcus Semien
6. INF Micah Johnson
7. OF Courtney Hawkins
8. OF Trayce Thompson
9. RHP Chris Beck
10. OF Jacob May

Only four members of the 2013 list appear on this year’s edition. This reflects the benefits of the transactions the White Sox have made much more than the struggles of a few of these players over the last 12 months.

Not only have these players impressed the White Sox and other baseball people, but many of them have produced at or near the top of the organization. Three of the current Top 10 have played in the big leagues, with Jose Abreu likely to play much of next season on the South Side. Excluding Abreu, only Tim Anderson and Jacob May have yet to play in High-A, and both could start in Winston-Salem in 2014.

Beyond the Top 10 rankings, Baseball America’s “Best Tools” and “Top 15 Players 25 and Under” lists, which can also be viewed here, feature more of Chicago’s minor league depth.

The White Sox had a tough 2013 in The Show, but the farm system should instill plenty of hope in the fan base for 2014 and beyond.

- Brian

Sanchez, Thompson added to 40-man roster

Highly-touted prospect Trayce Thompson is now on the Sox 40-man roster (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Highly-touted prospect Trayce Thompson is now on the Sox 40-man roster (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Two Dash alumni have joined the White Sox 40-man roster. Infielder Carlos Sanchez and Trayce Thompson, key contributors during the Dash’s magical 2012 season, have joined the top group in Chicago’s organization.

For those who are unclear why this is so important, only the 40 players in this group can appear in the big leagues. Inclusion on a 40-man roster also promises a higher salary.

Sanchez spent his 2013 campaign with Triple-A Charlotte after a breakout 2012 throughout three levels of the system. The Venezuela native hit .241 with 28 RBIs, 50 runs scored and 16 stolen bases with the Knights. A year ago, Sanchez helped the Dash win a first-half division crown while finishing with the best qualifying batting average in the Carolina League.

Thompson was an everyday outfielder on Double-A Birmingham’s championship team this year. The former second-round pick posted a .229 average to go along with 15 homers and 73 RBIs with the Barons. He shared the CL’s home run lead (24) while spending much of the 2012 season in Winston-Salem.

Both prospects have participated in the Venezuelan Winter League with Tiburones de La Guaira this offseason, and Sanchez has been one of the club’s best hitters.

Congratulations to both Carlos and Trayce on the accomplishment! Both will be on the White Sox radar in the coming years, and this is an important step in that process.

- Brian

Three Dash players among Sox top 20 prospects

Courtney Hawkins has retained the top spot in MLB's rankings in his first full season in pro ball (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Courtney Hawkins has retained the top spot in MLB’s White Sox rankings (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

With the season roughly three-quarters of the way complete, MLBPipeline.com released its updated top 20 Chicago White Sox prospects yesterday. Three current Winston-Salem players are among the Top 20:

1. OF Courtney Hawkins - .191, 18 HR, 51 RBI, 69 games
6. RHP Chris Beck – 9-8, 3.01 ERA, 101.2 IP, 50 K, 18 starts
16. INF Micah Johnson - .326, 6 RBIs, 12 R, 10 SB, 21 games

The list also includes 10 former Winston-Salem players. This includes RHP Daniel Webb (#18), who started the year in the Triad before quickly ascending all the way to Triple-A Charlotte by mid-June.

MLBPipeline.com’s rankings also feature seven players from the 2012 version of the Dash that posted the best record in all of full-season Minor League Baseball. Those seven are RHP Erik Johnson (#2), OF Trayce Thompson (#4), INF Marcus Semien (#9), INF Carlos Sanchez (#10), LHP Scott Snodgress (#12), OF Keenyn Walker (#14) and RHP Andre Rienzo (#17).  Rienzo, who fired a no-hitter earlier this week, also spent his entire 2011 campaign with Winston-Salem.

In addition to Rienzo, the 2011 version of the Dash have another alum in the top 20, with OF Jared Mitchell (#11), who is currently with Double-A Birmingham, making the list.

The first Dash team to play at BB&T Ballpark (2010) has one member on the list in C Josh Phegley (#5). Earlier this month, Phegley became the 13th Dash alum to make it to the big leagues.

The Dash and Carolina Mudcats conclude their series tonight at 7. Check back later for a preview of this evening’s contest.

- Rob

The trade deadline’s possible ramifications

Will the White Sox become sellers as the trade deadline approaches?

Will the White Sox become sellers as the trade deadline approaches?

After contending through the 2012 season, the Chicago White Sox had reason to believe that they could again be in the hunt in 2013 without significant changes. So far, however, things have not gone as planned for the South Siders. They enter Tuesday with a five-game losing streak, dropping them to a record of 32-47, which is the worst in the American League Central Division.

As a result, many have labeled Chicago as sellers as the MLB non-waiver trade deadline approaches at the end of the month. Over the next several weeks, we will see a whirlwind of rumors floating around regarding the Sox and the trade deadline, which is 4 p.m. EST on July 31. We decided to check in on the White Sox to see who has been rumored to be available and how that could affect the whole organization.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIP: OF Alex Rios 

Background: Rios had a career year in 2012, hitting .304 with 25 home runs and 91 RBIs. While he has not had quite the same year this year, he has still been one of the most consistent hitters in a lineup that ranks near the bottom of the league in most major offensive categories. The 32-year-old would also be attractive to suitors because his contract has him locked in until the end of next season and also includes a club option for the 2015 season. Rios does have a limited no-trade clause that could hamper a deal, but, per ESPNChicago’s Bruce Levine, he would likely wave it to move to a contender.

What a deal could meanWith the extra years of team control that Rios offers, Chicago could net themselves a much better haul of prospects than they would have if Rios was just a rental whose contract expired at the end of the season. With the White Sox farm system ranked 29th by Baseball America, a few prime prospects here could help replenish some talent throughout the minor leagues. At the major league level, a Rios deal could mean everyday playing time for young Jordan Danks, who has been used mostly as the team’s fourth outfielder since he was promoted in late April.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIP: RHP Jake Peavy

Background: While Peavy is currently recovering from a broken rib and has not pitched in nearly a month, the righty had been one of the best pitchers on the staff outside of ace Chris Sale before landing on the shelf. While he almost definitely won’t get traded while on the disabled list, if he can come back shortly after the All-Star break like the White Sox are hoping he can and pitches well, he would be an attractive starter for many contenders.

2012 alum Erik Johnson has been excellent at Double-A and Triple-A this year, making him a candidate for a promotion to Chicago soon (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

2012 alum Erik Johnson has been excellent at Double-A and Triple-A this year, making him a candidate for a promotion to Chicago (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

What a deal could meanLike Rios, Peavy is under team control for at least the 2014 season and has a player option for the 2015 season. Front end starters don’t hit the market often, especially with multiple years still on their contract, and the former Cy Young Award winner could bring back some high-end talent should he be moved. If this trade goes down, a possible candidate for Peavy’s spot in the rotation is 2012 Dash alum Erik Johnson. The former second round pick was recently moved up from Double-A Birmingham to Triple-A Charlotte and is a combined 9-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 97.2 innings with the Barons and Knights this season. The way he has pitched this year, he certainly deserves a chance at the big league level at some point this season, especially if a member of the rotation is traded to a contender.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIP: RHP Jesse Crain 

Background: The right-hander has easily been one of the best relievers in all of baseball in 2013, sporting a microscopic 0.74 ERA as the primary set up man in front of closer and Dash alum Addison Reed. The veteran is a free agent at season’s end, and it makes little sense to keep him on board when several contending teams could use another arm to solidify their bullpen.

Daniel Webb started the year in Winston-Salem but now is coming out of the bullpen for Triple-A Charlotte (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Daniel Webb started the year in Winston-Salem but now is coming out of the bullpen for Triple-A Charlotte (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

What a deal could meanWhile trading him may not necessarily fetch a bunch of highly regarded prospects, dealing Crain would open up a spot at the back of the bullpen where the White Sox could end up trying Dash alum Nate Jones in higher leverage innings in front of Reed. The second-year righty struggled at the beginning of the season but has been much better of late with six straight scoreless outings. With a bullpen spot open, maybe 2013 Dash alum Daniel Webb could earn a look? Webb has been solid throughout much of the season after beginning here in the Carolina League. Either way, someone would earn the jump to the big leagues, and there are plenty of notable Dash alums in Birmingham and Charlotte’s bullpen who could have a chance.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIP: SS Alexei Ramirez

Background: While Ramirez hasn’t shown the power the last few seasons that he showed in his first few seasons with the White Sox, he is hitting .280 this season while still playing shortstop at a high level. Quality starting shortstops seem to be among the rarest available commodities come trade season, which could mean good things for the South Siders if they decide to shop Ramirez.

Carlos Sanchez could be called up to the majors if Alexei Ramirez is traded this month (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Carlos Sanchez could be called up to the majors if Alexei Ramirez is traded this month (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

What a deal could mean: As we mentioned with Rios and Peavy, the Cuba native offers multiple years of team control, with an option as far out as 2016. A few good prospects could come Chicago’s way in a deal here, and it could mean the major league debut for Carlos Sanchez. However, Sanchez has struggled a bit in 2013, hitting only .237 for Triple-A Charlotte. However, he was on the fast track to the big leagues last season, and he is bound for a turnaround.

Whatever moves the White Sox do decide to make, if any, over the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see what impact they will have not only on their roster but throughout the rest of the organization, especially on some Dash-turned-Barons or Dash-turned-Knights.

Stay tuned for the preview of today’s middle match of the Dash’s series with Potomac, coming up later this afternoon.

- Rob

One day away

If you follow the Dash on Twitter and Instagram (and if you don’t…what are you waiting for?), you already know that we have been counting down the days until Opening Day at BB&T Ballpark. Finally, that countdown has reached one, with Opening Day tomorrow night at 7 against Carolina. Here are some of the notable numbers from the countdown.

100: The countdown began with this picture on a fairly nice day in early January, 100 days from Opening Day.

100

88: At the 88 day mark, we highlighted last year’s Carolina League MVP Dan Black, who posted 88 RBIs for the Dash in 2012.

Dash fans set a single-game attendance record for BB&T Ballpark on July 4, 2012.

Dash fans set a single-game attendance record for BB&T Ballpark on July 4, 2012.

72: On July 4th, 2012, the Dash welcomed a single-game record 7,285 fans into BB&T Ballpark for their game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

55: Coming into this season, the Dash have posted a winning percentage of .554 (317-255) in the regular season and playoffs since they became the Dash prior to the 2009 season.

38: Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins played 38 games for the Bristol White Sox before earning a promotion to Kannapolis and later to Winston-Salem for the end of the regular season and Carolina League playoffs.

25: Twice in the last two seasons, the Dash have been 25 games above .500 at BB&T Ballpark. In 2010, they were 47-22, and last season the club went 48-23.

Kevan Smith hit two huge home runs in the 2012 CL playoffs (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

Kevan Smith hit two huge home runs in the 2012 CL playoffs (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

21: Last year, the Dash’s #21, Kevan Smith, hit two home runs in the Carolina League playoffs, including a grand slam in the deciding game of the SDCS against Myrtle Beach.

9: BB&T Ballpark has hosted nine playoff games since it opened in 2010. The Dash have a record of 6-3 in those games.

5: The Dash had five postseason Carolina League All-Stars last season; Dan Black, Michael Earley, Carlos Sanchez, Brady Shoemaker and Trayce Thompson.

1: We have the number one fans in Minor League Baseball. Since opening BB&T Ballpark, almost one million fans have seen a Dash game in the Triad. Our total attendance since 2010 is the tops in High-A baseball. Our final countdown went out to all of you.

Tomorrow night, BB&T Ballpark opens it gates for the first time in 2013 as the Dash take on the Carolina Mudcats at 7! But before we get to that, the Dash have one more in Frederick tonight. Join Brian for the Pregame Dash at 6:45 here.

- Rob

Marching through Spring Training

February comes to an end in a few hours, and White Sox spring training is heating up in Glendale, Ariz. Here are some news and notes from the last few days.

Sanchez earns spring training starts: We’ve talked about Carlos Sanchez plenty on this blog, and White Sox fans are slowly but surely learning about the 20-year-old star. Sanchez started at second base for the Sox Monday and Wednesday, and he is 1-for-6 with a run scored in those games.

blogFormer Dash skipper Joe McEwing, who works with infielders in addition to his role as Chicago’s third base coach, has been incredibly impressed, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune:

“That’s what we tend to forget, that he’s only 20 years old. I think back at 20 years old to where we were, and to be in Triple A at 20 and be knocking on the door and possibly playing in the big leagues at 20 is very special.

Sanchez won the Carolina League batting title last year, and he impressed in brief stops with Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte down the stretch in 2012. He also received plenty of praise in this recent story on MiLB.com from Andrew Pentis.

Semien sets sights on Birmingham: Infielder Marcus Semien was one of the most consistent members of the Dash a year ago, and he is now spending time in big league spring training. In another piece from Pentis, Semien talks about some of his goals for 2013, including a chance in Double-A.

“First goal is to make the [Double-A] Birmingham team. Secondly, just cut down the errors wherever I can [24 in 107 games in '12] and make sure that my pitchers feel very confident with me behind them. Offensively, I want to continue what I did in the second half, drive the ball more.”

Semien hit .273 with 14 homers and 59 RBI in 107 Carolina League games. The former California Golden Bear improved greatly from a defensive perspective as the season progressed, and he remained healthy down the stretch to finish strongly. It would be an upset to see the sixth-round pick from 2011 anywhere but Birmingham on Opening Day.

Candidate for funniest tweeter?: Baseball players are always interesting to follow on Twitter. Some of them are pretty interesting, like Jason Van Skike. Van Skike could find himself in Winston-Salem this season, but whether or not he dons the Dash purple, he is most certainly worth a Twitter follow. Here are a few examples:

 

 

You can follow Van Skike here. I highly recommend it.

Don’t count out the Sox: One of baseball’s best writers, FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, believes the White Sox can be a legitimate factor in the American League Central this season.

Fresh off a trip to the Fall Classic, the Tigers are the heavy favorites in the division. Both Cleveland and Kansas City filled holes through free agency this season. The White Sox, though, remained fairly quiet throughout the winter. Because of last season’s success, baseball fans should not forget about Robin Ventura’s crew. Rosenthal certainly isn’t.

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday. The Dash’s season begins five weeks from tomorrow!

- Brian and Erika

More Countdown Fun

I’ve had a blast coming up with the daily countdown to the 2013 season. Every number from 100 to 53 has been represented, and we went through some of them a few weeks back.

If you have missed any, 100-86 can be found here, and 85-53 is available below:

85 – In ’85, Winston-Salem won the CL title despite a regular season record of just 58-81. (Still counts!)

Keenyn Walker is a speedster with some gaudy stolen base numbers.

Keenyn Walker is a speedster with some gaudy stolen base numbers.

84 – This past season, right-handed pitching prospect Jake Petricka struck out 84 men while with the Dash.

83 – 1983 was the final year of the Winston-Salem Red Sox, the team with the most wins (1635) & Carolina League titles (5) in Winston-Salem history.

82 – Five years after playing in Winston-Salem, Hall of Famer Wade Boggs made his MLB debut in 1982.

81 – Mike Blanke, who earned a non-roster invite to spring training, had 81 hits a year ago in Winston.

80 – In the Dash’s 80th PA of the game, Chase Blackwood’s RBI single gave the Dash a 4-3, 20-inning win on May 19, 2010, against Myrtle Beach.

79 – Bill Slack, the winningest manager in W-S and CL history, was the 1979 Manager of the Year.

78 – Winston-Salem hit a league-best .278 in 2012.

77 – 2011 first rounder Keenyn Walker has 77 stolen bases in just 165 minor league games.

The Dash played 76 games on this beautiful field last year.

The Dash played 76 games on this beautiful field last year.

76 – The Dash played 76 total games at beautiful BB&T Ballpark last season.

75 – Chris Bassitt struck out 75 in his 91 innings last season in Winston-Salem.

74 – Fan-favorite Dan Black led the Dash with 74 hits at BB&T Ballpark in his MVP season.

73 – All-Star Michael Earley drove in 73 runs with the Dash in 2012 (T-4th in the CL).

72 – On July 4th, 2012, a single-game record 7,285 fans enjoyed a Dash game at BB&T Ballpark.

71 – MLB Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson started 71 games in 1956, the final season of his amazing 10-year career (this was the fact on January 31, Robinson’s birthday).

BB&T Ballpark hosted a record crowd on July 4 of last season.

BB&T Ballpark hosted a record crowd on July 4 of last season.

70 – In 70 innings pitched with the White Sox last year, rookie Hector Santiago posted a 3.33 ERA.

69 – In game 69 of 2012, the Dash clinched the 1st-half title with a 9-5 win at Wilmington June 16.

68 – On July 17, 1968, Ed Phillips tossed the first perfect game in CL history. It is still Winston-Salem’s only perfecto in franchise history.

67 – In 67 innings in Winston-Salem last season, Terance Marin recorded an impressive 2.42 earned run average.

66 – Reliever Kevin Vance boasted a 1.66 ERA in 11 outings with Winston-Salem in 2012.

65 – Winston-Salem was 65-23 when hitting at least one home run in 2012. This record was the best on the circuit.

64 – If you attended every regular season game at BB&T Ballpark in 2012, you watched an even 640 innings of baseball!

63 – Winston-Salem’s single-season batting average record is .363, set by 8-year MLB vet Ray Jablonski in 1951.

62 – All-Star Matt Heidenreich whiffed 62 batters with the Dash before a July trade to the Houston organization.

The Dash's offense did plenty of this in 2012.

The Dash’s offense did plenty of this in 2012.

61 – Winston led the Carolina League with a 61-22 mark when scoring first in 2012.

60 – In 1960, Ed Olivares hit 35 home runs for Winston-Salem, which still remains a single-season franchise record

59 – Both Marcus Semien and Brady Shoemaker drove in 59 runs for Winston-Salem last season.

58 – Carlos Sanchez, who is currently in big league camp with the White Sox, scored 58 times for the Dash in ’12.

57 – 57 different players suited up for the Dash in 2012, and they posted full-season Minor League Baseball’s best mark (87-51)!

56 – Outfielder Keenyn Walker led all White Sox farmhands with a combined 56 stolen bases between Low-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem last year.

55 – Since becoming the Dash prior to the ’09 season, Winston boasts a .554 winning percentage (317-255). This includes regular season and postseason games.

54 – Trayce Thompson hit .254 with CL-bests in homers (22) and RBI (90) with the Dash a year ago.

53 – The Dash boasted 5 year-end All-Stars (Dan Black, Michael Earley, Carlos Sanchez, Brady Shoemaker and Trayce Thompson) and 3 midseason All-Stars (Earley, Shoemaker and Matt Heidenreich).

That’s another installment of “Countdown Catch-Up.” Stay tuned to our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for the rest of our daily countdowns. The home opener is only 52 days away!

- Brian

Spring Training Updates

Andre Rienzo and a few other former Dash hurlers are getting a longer look in spring training (Kevin Hartley/W-S Dash).

Andre Rienzo and a few other former Dash hurlers are getting a longer look in spring training (Kevin Hartley/W-S Dash).

Baseball is certainly in the air. Single-game tickets for the Dash’s 2013 season went on sale today, and White Sox pitchers and catchers have made their way to spring training, with position players slowly trickling in each day.

Here are a few stories of interest for White Sox and Dash fans coming out of Glendale, Ariz.:

Extended look for Dash pitching alums: Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune wrote about White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper’s plan to space out the work of the club’s rotation early on in spring training. Former Winston-Salem southpaw Chris Sale will make his first spring start March 1, which is six days after the Sox first exhibition affair. As a result, a few Winston-Salem alums will benefit, per Gonzales:

The planned delay allows Cooper and the Sox staff to take a longer look at prospects Erik Johnson, Scott Snodgress, Andre Rienzo and Simon Castro, as well as left-hander Hector Santiago, who currently is being viewed as more of a reliever but could start if Danks isn’t ready.

Gonzales also tweeted this about Johnson and Snodgress Tuesday:

It certainly is great to see a handful of former Winston-Salem arms receive some praise and attention in big league camp.

Mitchell likely ticketed for Triple-A: According to Scott Merkin of MLB.com, former Dash outfielder Jared Mitchell will probably begin the season in Triple-A Charlotte. However, the former first-round pick has improved with the offensive side of his game, and White Sox officials have noticed. Still, it looks like a return to the International League is in store for Mitchell:

“Stranger things have happened, but I don’t see us taking him come the end of spring,” said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, who agreed with Mitchell in that simple repetition at the plate has helped him improve. “Instead, he’ll be playing on an everyday basis at [Triple-A] Charlotte, pushing us to hopefully bring him up based on his performance as the season goes on.”

Mitchell’s batting average climbed a bit over the last two seasons. He hit .222 in 129 games with Winston-Salem in 2011, while the LSU product mustered a .237 mark in 130 games between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte in 2012.

Gearing up for Arizona: A few other familiar faces to Dash fans are ready for their trip to spring training.

The season opens in exactly 50 days in Zebulon, with the home opener seven days later. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Enjoy your time with that special someone.

- Brian

Scout-Turned-Writer Likes Sanchez

Carlos Sanchez is a highly-regarded prospect in the Sox system (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

Carlos Sanchez is a highly-regarded prospect in the Sox system (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

One perk of my job is having the opportunity to chat with scouts throughout the summer. At least a few scouts attend every Dash game, and all big league teams keep an eye on the minor leaguers in their competitors’ system.

Bernie Pleskoff, who is a great baseball follow on Twitter, has spent time as a scout for the Astros and Mariners. Pleskoff now writes for MLB.com, and he wrote a long feature on 2012 Dash alum Carlos Sanchez.

Sanchez, who will fight for an infield spot in spring training, had a banner year last season. The 20-year-old led the Carolina League with a .315 batting average before shining in Double-A Birmingham (.370 in 30 games). This late-season surge earned Sanchez a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte, where he held his own (.256 in 11 games).

I encourage you to read the full article from Pleskoff, which is available here. Here are a few snippets that caught my attention:

On Sanchez’s spot in a big league infield:

I have no doubt Sanchez can play either third base or shortstop. But the club may want more power from their third baseman. As a shortstop, Sanchez would succeed, but he really fits well at second. As noted above, his range is good, but it may be better at second than shortstop.

On Sanchez’s ceiling and floor as a player:

As I look ahead at his future, I see a versatile infielder capable of playing as an everyday regular. In the worst case, Sanchez could come off the bench as a utility player. But I project him beyond that limited role.

On Sanchez’s defensive strengths:

I particularly liked his movements making the double play. His footwork was virtually flawless. He fed the shortstop with throws that were accurate and easy to handle. He has enough arm strength and accuracy to make plays from behind the bag at second, or from anywhere he plays on the infield. His soft hands play well.

Why Sanchez will surprise some White Sox fans:

While he may be known for his dependable defense, Sanchez will likely surprise with his ability to hit for a high average and move runners along.

It is obvious that Pleskoff likes Sanchez’s game. Scouts (and former scouts) are as honest as anyone in sports, so this scouting report bodes well for the former Dash infielder.

The full squad reports in 10 days, and that is when Sanchez will try to live up to these beliefs. It will be fascinating to watch the youthful, aggressive Sanchez vie for a spot on a Central Division contender.

- Brian

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