Results tagged ‘ Chicago White Sox ’
On Friday, we reviewed the first month of the season for the Dash (they did lead the Carolina League in ERA). Today, we will examine the rest of the Chicago White Sox system to see how their Aprils went, starting from the top:
Chicago White Sox (MLB): An offseason that saw the White Sox acquire RHPs Jeff Samardzija and David Robertson, LHP Zach Duke, 1B Adam LaRoche, OF Melky Cabrera and UTL Emilio Bonafacio led to some believing that Chicago would contend in the American League. However, the White Sox struggled in the season’s first month and the rumbling has already begun about rebuilding around this core for 2016.
That being said, the core is the envy of nearly every team in baseball. Jose Abreu has mashed to a 126 wRC+, while Avisail Garcia has been a surprise to match that production so far. Meanwhile, the White Sox lineup has seen LaRoche (87 wRC+), Cabrera (75 wRC+), Alexei Ramirez (46 wRC+) and Adam Eaton (36 wRC+) get off to slow starts, meaning this talented lineup should start to turn things around and get hot at any moment.
The same could be said about the Chicago pitching staff. Both Chris Sale and Jose Quintana have posted ERAs above 5.00, with Samardzija currently at 4.78. The White Sox have also brought up top prospect and former Dash LHP Carlos Rodon, who has pitched to a 2.76 ERA in 6.1 innings thus far.
Although the White Sox are currently 7.0 games behind the Tigers, nearly everything has gone wrong for them so far, and turnarounds from what was supposed to be one of the deepest lineups and best starting pitching trios in baseball could make Chicago a team that makes a run later in the year.
Charlotte Knights (AAA): April saw Charlotte storm to a 13-7 start to take the early lead in the International League South division. Former Dash INF Carlos Sanchez has put together one of the best performances in all of Minor League Baseball. The 10th-ranked prospect in the White Sox system according to MLB.com, Sanchez is batting .407/.432/.582 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs. Nearly half of those RBIs came in a May 2 game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, when Sanchez went 4-for-4 with two homers and a double to drive in seven runs. That capped a run that saw Sanchez reach base in 10 straight plate appearances, recording a hit in nine of those.
Former Dash OF Trayce Thompson, the No. 19 White Sox prospect, has raked to a .326/.365/.517 tune with three triples, two home runs and 11 RBIs thus far. On the mound, RHP Erik Johnson, who pitched for Winston-Salem in 2012, leads the club with a 3-1 record and 2.04 ERA, fanning 19 in 17.2 innings.
The flip of the calendar to May also saw the White Sox release OF Jared Mitchell. The 2010 first-round pick was batting just .050 this season for Charlotte and was a .205 hitter with 10 homers in 144 Triple-A games.
With a record of 14-9, the Knights are enjoying the perch of the division by one game over the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays).
Birmingham Barons (AA): Like the Dash, the Barons had an up-and-down opening month of the season, finishing an even 10-10. Former Dash INF Tim Anderson, who is now the top-ranked prospect in the Chicago system with Rodon in the bigs, has stolen 11 bases and batted .309 with 13 RBIs in the early going. Meanwhile, 2014 Dash members Jacob May (.337/.378/.424, 10 SB) and Jason Coats (.340/.354/.532, 9 2B) reinforced an offense that ranks in the top half of the league in both batting average and slugging percentage. Coats did earn a late-April bump to Charlotte thanks to his strong production.
In the rotation, Frankie Montas and Myles Jaye, who both pitched in Winston-Salem last year, have helped lead a pitching staff that is just four off the lead for most strikeouts in the Southern League. Montas has a 2.63 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 13.2 frames, while Jaye is 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA and 20 punchouts against six free passes in 20.1 innings.
The Barons are currently 2.5 games behind the Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs) in the Southern League’s North Division.
Kannapolis Intimidators (A): Former Dash manager Tommy Thompson and his Intimidators did not have a winning or losing streak of more than two games throughout April. LHP Jordan Guerrero (No. 29 White Sox prospect) has gotten off to a ridiculous start to the campaign. Guerrero has the sixth-best ERA (0.69) in all of Minor League Baseball, while his 0.77 WHIP ranks 18th. The southpaw is 3-0, has given up just 15 hits in 26.0 innings and fanned 26 against only five walks.
The Kannapolis offense has posted the third-best average and slugging percentage in the South Atlantic League. INF Chris Curley’s 20 RBIs lead the club, and he has hit .281/.326/.551 while smashing a team-high nine doubles and five roundtrippers. C Brett Austin, Rodon’s roommate at NC State, is batting .333/.453/.548 with three triples, and former Olympic silver medalist Eddy Alvarez has slashed .301/.396/.422 with six steals.
The Intimidators’ 10-13 record has them at the bottom of the SAL Northern Division, 6.0 games behind the Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers).
Stay tuned for our Dash game preview as they wrap up a four-game set Monday with the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
The 2014 season is in the books, and there were many great moments throughout the summer. Over the next few weeks, we will count down the Dash Top 10 of 2014.
Moment #6 – August 9
Danish holds Hillcats hitless over six sensational innings
The Dash turned in some tremendous pitching performances this season, but no hurler was as consistently dominant as right-hander Tyler Danish. In his 25 starts between Winston-Salem and Low-A Kannapolis, the 19-year-old finished 2014 with a 2.08 earned run average, which was eighth-lowest among full-season Minor League qualifiers.
Within the top 15 in that category, Danish was not only the youngest of the group. He was at least a full year younger than everyone else. Few pitchers enjoyed more success than Danish, no matter the age.
Many of his outings down the stretch were stellar, but one stands above the rest. The Dash began their first road trip of August in sole possession of first place in the Southern Division’s second half standings, with Danish winning the final game of the previous homestand.
However, Winston-Salem dropped the first four of this six-game swing to Potomac and Lynchburg. The Dash’s playoff hopes were dwindling, and the club desperately needed a momentum shift. Danish did everything he could to offer exactly that.
The former second-round pick, who became Winston’s ace after the All-Star break, buzzed through six no-hit innings. After a long fly out by Will Skinner to end the first, Lynchburg never mustered a hard-hit ball against Danish, let alone a knock.
Because of Danish’s youth, the White Sox put him on a six-inning limit during the final two months of the season, which is why he did not have a chance to continue his no-hit bid. Danish still accomplished his personal goal.
“Around the fourth or fifth inning, I looked up there and saw that I had no hits,” Danish said. “I knew I could only go six, so that was my goal–go six and give up no hits.”
Unfortunately, Danish’s departure doomed the Dash on that night. Lynchburg rallied with back-to-back two-run frames en route to a 4-1 win over Winston-Salem. It was one of the more deflating losses of the 2014 season, but a big reason for that was because Danish was so dominant.
The Dash could not come up with a big hit in this contest, but one of the biggest hits of the 2014 season is up next on our Dash Top 10. Hope you can join us for #5 on Thursday!
The newest member of the Dash summed up the news pretty well on Twitter.
2nd times a charm… 😉
— Terance Marin™ (@tero89) June 18, 2014
Indeed, right-hander Terance Marin is back with Winston-Salem, the White Sox announced Friday morning. Originally signed by Chicago as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, Marin was in the system until April 9 when he was released from the Dash’s roster. Less than three months later, Marin is back in the system and in the Dash’s rotation. He will start for Winston in its middle match against Salem on Friday.
Marin did not give up on his professional aspirations. The Newman, Calif., native signed with the Evansville Otters of the independent Frontier League, and he dominated to the tune of a 4-1 record and a 2.05 earned run average in six starts.
His short stint in Evansville was stellar. Check out some of these numbers, courtesy of Evansville broadcaster Mike Radomski:
- Marin took a no-hitter into the fifth inning in three of his six outings with the Otters.
- The righty whiffed 11 batters in back-to-back outings on May 24 and May 30.
- Marin averaged more than six and a half innings per start. His affiliated career high is 6.2 frames, though he did not start many games in the Minors.
With Marin’s addition, the Dash’s roster is at the Carolina League maximum of 25. He will be the 11th hurler to start a game for Winston-Salem this season.
Stay tuned for a full preview of Friday’s clash against Salem here on the Dash Board.
The Dash’s rotation will look a bit different moving forward. Right-hander Francellis Montas, who joined the White Sox organization via the Jake Peavy deal last July, has been activated from Low-A Kannapolis’ disabled list and promoted to Winston-Salem.
Montas will make his High-A debut on Monday night when the Dash kick off a three-game set with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at BB&T Ballpark. In a corresponding move, the White Sox released left-handed reliever Sean Bierman, who was 0-1 with a 3.38 earned run average in five appearances with Winston-Salem this season.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Montas split last season between the Red Sox and White Sox Low-A clubs in the South Atlantic League. He was 2-9 with a 5.70 ERA with the Greenville Drive before the deadline deal. The righty capped off the campaign with five strong starts in Kannapolis, going 3-2 with a 4.56 ERA.
In 49 outings with the Red Sox system, Montas went 3-18 with a 5.54 ERA. He amassed 181 strikeouts in 164 innings during that span. Baseball America tabbed Montas as the 20th-best prospect in the Gulf Coast League after the 2011 season.
Montas claims the rotation spot of Brad Goldberg, who returned to the bullpen after five starts to kick off the season. Montas’ High-A debut will not be easy. Myrtle Beach boasts the Carolina League’s best average at .276, which is 21 points better than second place.
We’ll have more on the first 2014 meeting between Winston and Myrtle here on the blog. Stay tuned.
The White Sox announced that Winston-Salem shortstop Tim Anderson has been placed on the seven-day disabled list, retroactive to Tuesday. According to manager Tommy Thompson, it is a left shoulder injury for Anderson, and it was suffered during the Dash’s 11-8 loss at Salem on Monday.
Anderson remained in the lineup throughout the Monday contest, but he was not in the Dash’s Tuesday lineup that was posted a few hours before the game was postponed due to rain in the Salem area.
The White Sox first-round pick last June, Anderson is off to a tremendous start in his High-A career. The Tuscaloosa, Ala., native is hitting .250 (23-for-92) with one home run and six RBIs. His four triples are tied for the most in the Carolina League, while he shares fifth place on the circuit with 11 extra-base hits.
Anderson will be eligible to return to the active roster on Tuesday when the Dash take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the middle match of their three-game set at BB&T Ballpark.
As a result, fellow infielder Justin Jirschele has been activated off the disabled list and will be eligible to play for the first time this season in the Dash’s homestand opener against Potomac on Thursday night. Jirschele hit .304 in 65 games with rookie-level Great Falls a year ago. He also played 15 games with Low-A Kannapolis, hitting .137 with six RBIs.
The Dash’s roster sits at 25 active players, along with three men on the disabled list. Stay tuned to the blog for a full preview of Thursday’s clash with Potomac.
When the Dash’s Opening Day roster went public, one of the biggest surprises was left-hander Jarrett Casey. Casey jumped from Winston-Salem to Double-A Birmingham in early August of last year and helped the Barons win the Southern League championship.
Casey did not let his assignment to Winston-Salem get him down. In fact, Casey was the Dash’s best reliever for the season’s first three weeks; therefore, he has returned to Birmingham, the White Sox announced Tuesday morning.
In six appearances spanning eight scoreless innings, the Indianapolis native scattered five hits and struck out 11. He also collected two of the Dash’s three saves thus far this season. Casey stranded a pair in the ninth inning of the Dash’s 4-2 win at Salem on April 9. Four days later, he finished off Winston’s only other win on its first road trip by inducing a double play off the bat of Cody Stubbs to escape a jam in a 1-0 victory.
Casey is one of three Carolina League hurlers with a 0.00 earned run average and at least eight innings of work. He anchored a Dash bullpen that boasts a 1.85 earned run average and almost 12 strikeouts per nine innings.
As a result, the Dash’s roster sits at 24 players. Winston-Salem has today off before kicking off a seven-game road trip Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Potomac.
Each team in the system is at least 10 games into the season, so let’s spin around the organization and see how each team is doing thus far this season.
MLB: Chicago White Sox (7-6)
Chris Sale improved to 3-0 this season after Friday’s outing against the Indians, but the White Sox bats played a big role in the outcome. Sale grinded through five innings, allowing three runs and six hits while striking out five. The ace spoke with the Chicago Sun-Times following his start.
Infielder Marcus Semien has played well of late, recording hits in nine of his last ten games. Among those was this solo homer on Sunday against Cleveland:
In this whitesox.com article, learn more about Erik Johnson’s standing in the Chicago pitching rotation. Plus, Semien takes part in Jackie Robinson Day festivities on Tuesday and who Sale credits for the development of his changeup:
Thanks to the season-ending shoulder injury to Avisail Garcia, outfielder Jordan Danks was called up from Triple-A Charlotte to help fill the void. The Dash alumnus spoke with CSN Chicago about the opportunity:
Triple-A: Charlotte Knights (6-6)
Catcher Josh Phegley is off to a solid start in 2014. His .286 batting average currently ranks second on the team among qualifying players, and he has scored four runs in eight games.
The Knights opened their sparkling new Uptown Charlotte facility, the second BB&T Ballpark, on Friday night against the Norfolk Tides. For a recap of their historic evening, click here.
Double-A: Birmingham Barons (5-5)
The defending Southern League champions won three of five games against the Jacksonville Suns to reach the .500 mark. The Barons were washed out at Mobile on Monday night, so a doubleheader is on tap this evening.
Former Dash outfielder Trayce Thompson was recently profiled on MiLB.com talking about some of the valuable lessons he learned during Spring Training with the White Sox.
Low-A: Kannapolis Intimidators (4-7)
The Intimidators were swept in a four-game series at Greenville this weekend, the last contest a heartbreaking 5-4 setback to the Drive in 14 innings. Kannapolis looks to regain its footing this week in Hickory. That series opener was also postponed, so the Intimidators and Crawdads will play two this evening.
Infielder Cleuluis Rondon continues his development at the Low-A level. The Venezuelan native, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Sunday, is batting .298 with six RBIs, three runs scored and three stolen bases in 11 games.
Stay tuned for a preview of tonight’s homestand opener against Frederick.
The rainy off-day for the Dash means that it’s a perfect time to scroll through the White Sox system to see how the teams and some former Dash players are doing.
Chicago White Sox (3-3):
Chris Sale dazzled in his start against the Royals on Sunday, tossing eight scoreless innings while striking out six. Following his outing, Sale told whitesox.com, “You know what you’re getting when you face a team like this and a starter like James (Shields). You’ve just got to bear down and give it everything you’ve got.” Sale is now 2-0 on the season with a 1.76 ERA on the young season.
Infielder Marcus Semien has started all six games, playing at second base and third base. With Gordon Beckham recovering from an oblique injury, the Chicago Sun-Times discussed Semien’s attempt to convince White Sox management to keep him in the lineup.
Erik Johnson struggled in his first start with the South Siders this year, allowing seven runs against the Royals on Friday. Fellow Dash alum Jake Petricka also pitched in that contest. Johnson spoke with the Chicago Tribune following his start, and you can read about that here.
Nate Jones, who pitched with Winston-Salem from 2008-10, allowed four runs in two outings and failed to retire a single batter. He was sent to the disabled list on Friday with a strained hip muscle, and could miss more than two weeks. Before he was placed on the DL, Jones told CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes about his discomfort.
Charlotte Knights (3-1):
Dylan Axelrod, who pitched for the Dash in 2009 and 2010, had a solid outing against Norfolk on Sunday, allowing just one run in five innings while striking out seven batters. The Knights won that game, 2-1.
Former White Sox slugger Jim Thome will be tossing the ceremonial first pitch at Charlotte’s home opener in their new ballpark on Friday, April 11 against Norfolk. Thome, who played with the Knights in 1993, spoke with charlotteknights.com about his time there.
Birmingham Barons (1-2):
The defending Southern League champions won their opener against Montgomery before losing two straight games. Following a rainout on Sunday, the Barons are playing a doubleheader against the Biscuits today to conclude their five-game opening series.
Former Dash infielder Micah Johnson is off to a hot start in Birmingham, hitting .462 with a home run, two RBIs and four runs scored in three games. Johnson was recently featured on al.com prior to Opening Day.
Kannapolis Intimidators (2-2):
The Intimidators split their opening weekend series with Greenville and return to Kannapolis for their scheduled home opener against Hickory tonight.
Tyler Danish, a second-round draft pick of the White Sox last year, shined for Kannapolis in their Friday night victory over Greenville. The 19-year-old pitcher struck out six over five innings while allowing no earned runs.
That’s your look around the White Sox system. The Dash will take the field again Tuesday night at Salem, trying to cool off a Red Sox team that started 2014 with a weekend sweep of Myrtle Beach. All three games of that series are scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. Join Brian Boesch for the Pregame Dash at 6:50!
Most outlets believe the White Sox farm system has improved significantly over the last couple of years. Even though a system is not completely defined by its top few players, boasting multiple top-flight prospects goes a long way in public perception.
Baseball America released its Top 100 Prospect List in advance of the 2014 season, and the White Sox claimed four of the players on the list. A year ago, Chicago only had one Top 100 farmhand (Courtney Hawkins at 55).
This year, a pair of Dash alumni represented the White Sox. Righty Erik Johnson, who is a favorite to corral a rotation spot in The Show, checks in at 63, while fellow Cal product Marcus Semien, a versatile infielder who had a monster 2013 season, is at 91.
Two newly-acquired prospects rounded out Chicago’s representatives. Free agent signing Jose Abreu, who figures into Chicago’s big league plans this year, was the top-ranked White Sox product on the list by collecting the 29 slot. Matt Davidson, who came over from Arizona in the Addison Reed trade during the offseason, is at 72.
For comparison, here is how the White Sox stacked up to other big league clubs represented in the Carolina League on the Top 100 Prospect List:
Atlanta (Lynchburg) – 2
Baltimore (Frederick) – 3
Boston (Salem) – 8
Cleveland (Carolina) – 3
Kansas City (Wilmington) – 4
Texas (Myrtle Beach) – 5
Washington (Potomac) – 1
Outside of Boston’s significant lead, the White Sox are right there, especially when you consider Texas had two of the last four players on the list. Regardless, the reality is that Chicago’s system is on the upswing, and the talent that could come through Winston-Salem in 2014 is impressive, too. Fans should not be surprised to see even more newcomers on this list from the White Sox system in 2015.
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.