Results tagged ‘ Carlos Sanchez ’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Former 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:
Catfish investigations taking place right meow
— Jason Van Skike (@Jason_Nation25) February 17, 2013
Went to Ruby Tuesday on a Tuesday #yolo
— Jason Van Skike (@Jason_Nation25) February 27, 2013
So you play for the White Sox? Yes. So do you live in Chicago? No I play in the minor leagues. Oh so are you in Triple A? No …
— Jason Van Skike (@Jason_Nation25) February 28, 2013
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
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!)
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.
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).
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.
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).
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:
Snodgress and johnson made favorable impressions on Cooper in first pens
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) February 12, 2013
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.
2 days left.. Arizona see you soon.!!
— Carlos Sanchez (@CarlosSan29) February 13, 2013
— Courtney Hawkins (@CHawkins10) February 13, 2013
— brady shoemaker (@this_is_BS21) February 13, 2013
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.
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.
The talented folks at FutureSox.com released their preseason Top 25 White Sox prospect list, and 16 of these prospects have played for Winston-Salem at some point.
Among the 16 Winston-Salem alums, 10 of them played with the Dash last season. The notable trend within this group is a significant improvement between the 2012 midseason list and the 2013 preseason ranking.
Here’s why: eight of the 10 Dash alums on this list either remained in the same spot or climbed the rankings since the midway point of last season. Take a look at the list:
#1 – OF Courtney Hawkins (Midseason: 1)
#2 – OF Trayce Thompson (Midseason: 7)
#4 - RHP Erik Johnson (Midseason: 18)
#5 – INF Carlos Sanchez (Midseason: 10)
#7 – RHP Andre Rienzo (Midseason: 15)
#8 – OF Keenyn Walker (Midseason: 8)
#9 – LHP Scott Snodgress (Midseason: 38)
#16 – INF Marcus Semien (Midseason: 34)
#22 – RHP Jake Petricka (Midseason: 16)
#25 – C Kevan Smith (Midseason: 24)
Improvement is the goal, and the Dash saw plenty of it from the 2012 crop of players who dominated the Carolina League en route to full-season Minor League Baseball’s best record.
Congratulations to all of the players on this list. Standing out in the minors is not easy, but these players have done just that.
If you follow our social media accounts (especially our new Instagram feed), you have probably noticed that we have begun a countdown in advance of the Dash’s home opener Friday, April 12. We are now 86 days away from the first game at BB&T Ballpark in 2013.
We have spun each day in the countdown to something in Winston-Salem baseball history. Occasionally on the blog, we will rehash the recent numbers, and here is our first look back at the countdown.
100 – Instead of a stat, we provided the picture below (and here on Instagram).
99 – After missing the 2011 campaign due to injury, Kyle Bellamy returned to Winston-Salem at the beginning of 2012. Opponents hit just .182 against Bellamy in 99 at bats.
98 – Scott Snodgress dominated the Carolina League after a July promotion from Low-A Kannapolis. He posted a 4-0 record and a 1.50 ERA to go along with a 0.98 WHIP.
97 – Carlos Lee is one of two Winston-Salem alums who is both currently in the big leagues and has made an All-Star Game (Chris Sale is the other). Lee played with the Warthogs in 1997.
96 – In his MVP season of 2011, Ian Gac drove in 96 runs for the Dash.
95 – In 1995, the Winston-Salem franchise became the “Warthogs,” a nickname that stuck until the team became the Dash in 2009.
94 – All-Star Brady Shoemaker notched 94 hits in Winston-Salem before his midseason promotion to Double-A Birmingham.
93 – The Winston-Salem Spirits won the Carolina League title in 1993.
92 – From last season’s team, the only player who was born in 1992 was Carlos Sanchez, who proved to be one of the CL’s top prospects.
91 – The Carolina League rolled the
Carolina California League 9-1 in the 2012 Midsummer Classic at BB&T Ballpark.
90 – Speaking of scores, the Dash took the deciding Game 3 of the Southern Division Championship Series 9-0 against Myrtle Beach.
89 – Brent Morel, who returned to Winston-Salem for a rehab assignment this season, wore number 8 while with the Dash in 2009.
88 – The CL’s MVP this season, Dash first baseman Dan Black, drove in 88 runs.
87 – Winston-Salem posted the best record in full-season minor league baseball last year (87-51).
86 – Cyle Hankerd mustered 86 hits in just 71 games with the Dash this past season.
Those are 15 of our Dash-themed numbers. Do you have any ideas for numbers 85 to 1? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter. Baseball will be back before you know 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.
The Dash claimed the first-half and second-half division championships in the Carolina League’s Southern Division, and a few contributors to those crowns finished up another division title run last night.
The Salt River Rafters, a club that has featured seven former Winston-Salem stars, claimed the Arizona Fall League’s East Division title with a 6-4 win over Peoria yesterday.
As a result, the Rafters, who wrap up their regular season this afternoon, will play in the AFL Championship Game Saturday at 3 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on MLB Network, and live stats will be available here.
Congrats to Andre Rienzo, Santos Rodriguez, Carlos Sanchez, Salvador Sanchez, Taylor Thompson, Trayce Thompson and Andy Wilkins, all of whom contributed to the Rafters’ run. Every member of this group will be in uniform except for Rienzo, who left the team to pitch for Team Brazil in a World Baseball Classic qualifier.
We’ll have a full recap of all seven players’ efforts in the AFL on the blog in the coming days. Dash fans are Rafters fans this weekend!
No, I’m not talking about Tim Allen’s “Tool Time” show in the Home Improvement series.
The Dash shined in Baseball America’s top 10 White Sox prospects countdown, which we broke down yesterday. However, the publication went beyond the top 10 list.
The annual countdown includes a look at the top prospect in Chicago’s system based on various tools, and seven 2012 Dash alumni earned at least one spot on this list:
Best Hitter for Average – Carlos Sanchez
Best Power Hitter – Courtney Hawkins
Fastest Baserunner – Keenyn Walker
Best Athlete – Courtney Hawkins
Best Curveball – Kevin Vance
Best Slider – Erik Johnson
Best Defensive Catcher – Miguel Gonzalez
Best Defensive Infielder – Carlos Sanchez
Best Infield Arm – Juan Silverio
Congrats to Sanchez and Hawkins, who both took home a pair of these “tools awards.”
You can read more about these players and the rest of Baseball America’s countdown here.