Results tagged ‘ Chris Bassitt ’

Opening Day roster breakdown

The Dash just released their 2015 Opening Day roster, so let’s delve a little deeper into some of the names to know for the upcoming season:

CJ Beatty was with Winston-Salem for a brief time in 2014 (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

CJ Beatty was with Winston-Salem for a brief time in 2014 (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Winston-Salem Natives:
OF C.J. Beatty & INF Chris Jacobs

Last season, Beatty became the first Winston-Salem native to suit up for the club in the Dash era. The outgoing Beatty is back for more at BB&T Ballpark this summer, and he will be joined by Jacobs, another Winston-Salem native.

Both players have taken a winding road to get to this point. Beatty was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals back in 2009 before being released by the organization following the 2010 season. The North Carolina A&T product spent four seasons in various independent leagues before hooking on with the Chicago White Sox in 2014. Meanwhile, Jacobs was a 2007 selection of the Los Angeles Dodgers and played seven seasons in their system before getting released this winter and signing with the White Sox.

The Corner Mashers:
INF Keon Barnum & INF Trey Michalczewski

Two of the Dash’s main power sources in 2015 figure to come from the corners of their infield. Both Barnum (supplemental first round, 2012) and Michalczewski (7th, 2013) were highly drafted by the White Sox coming out of high school. The Dash are hoping each player can build off their 2014 campaign, when the pair combined to drive in 135 runs. The switch-hitting Michalczewski was ranked by as the eighth-best prospect in the White Sox organization, while the lefty-swinging Barnum is 29th.

Returning Relievers:
RHP Brad Goldberg, LHP Sean Hagan, RHP Zach Isler, LHP Jefferson Olacio

Dash pitchers fanned the most opposing batters (1,087) in the Carolina League last season, and at least four of them will be back with the club in a bullpen role in 2015. Pitching coach J.R. Perdew also returns for a fourth consecutive season. Since Perdew rejoined Winston-Salem for his third tenure with the franchise in 2012, the club possesses a team earned run average of 3.85, which is third-best in the Carolina League during that span.

Why Walk?
RHP Tony Bucciferro & RHP James Dykstra

Speaking of returning pitchers, both Bucciferro and Dykstra come back to the Dash in 2015. If either right-hander is on the mound, expect opponents to try to swing away; the duo combined for 140 strikeouts against just 22 walks last year with Winston-Salem. The ability of each to pound the strike zone and pitch efficiently should help rest the bullpen and keep arms fresh throughout the year.

A 2012 Bounce-back?
LHP Matt Heidenreich & OF Keenyn Walker

Both Heidenreich and Walker turned in promising seasons for the Dash back in 2012. The pair are hoping that starting the 2015 campaign in Winston-Salem can help both them and the club rekindle the magic of 2012, when the Dash went 87-51 and finished 13.5 games better than any other team in the Carolina League. Heidenreich, a 2009 fourth-round pick, and Walker, a 2011 supplemental first rounder, both have the talent to make it happen.

The 2014 Draft Class:
LHP Brian ClarkLHP Jace Fry INF Jake Peter

Three members of the White Sox 2014 draft class will open the season with a full-season club for the first time. Clark and Fry figure to be critical on the pitching side, while Peter should open the year as the Dash’s starting second baseman. How the trio adjusts to the rigors of a 140-game schedule will be key to how much success Winston-Salem enjoys in 2015.

The Brother:
RHP Robinson Leyer

Euclides Leyer pitched in 34 games for the Dash a year ago, but in 2015, it’s up to his brother Robinson to carry on the family name in a Winston-Salem uniform. When you might see the name “Leyer” on the back of the Dash uniforms, however, may be slightly different this season. Euclides worked only as a reliever with the Dash, while Robinson has been a starter throughout his professional career, something that will continue with the Dash in 2015.

The New Guy:
RHP Michael Ynoa

One of the newest members in the entire White Sox organization is Ynoa, who was packaged along with big league RHP Jeff Samardzija in the December trade that sent Dash alums INF Marcus Semien, RHP Chris Bassitt, C Josh Phegley and INF Rangel Ravelo from Chicago to Oakland. Ynoa received the largest contract the A’s had ever given out ($4.25 million) in 2008 and was ranked a top 100 prospect twice before injuries derailed his career. Maybe a fresh start in a new organization is what it takes to get the talented right-hander back on track.

Familiar Fielding Faces:
OF Nick Basto, OF Adam Engel, INF Justin Jirschele & INF Cleuluis Rondon

This group helps makes up nine of the 10 infielders and outfielders on the Dash’s Opening Day roster who played for the club last season. How they are able to use their past experience in the Carolina League will be crucial to determining if the Dash can return to the postseason.

The Catching Duo:
C Omar Narvaez & C Jeremy Dowdy

The 2014 Dash Opening Day roster featured three backstops, so playing time for both Narvaez and Dowdy should be easier to find than the 2014 trio had last year. It will be interesting to see how much manager Tim Esmay platoons the pair if they are both able to get ample rest, as Narvaez bats from the left side while Dowdy is a right-handed hitter.

The Intriguing Southpaw:
LHP Andre Wheeler

Wheeler didn’t pitch full-time until his final year at Texas Tech in 2013 but has steadily put up impressive numbers in his first two professional seasons. Originally drafted as an outfielder by the Dodgers out of high school, Wheeler can be a crucial part of the 2015 Dash if he continues to build on his success pounding the strike zone with his high-voltage stuff.

The Tall Guys:
RHP Jose Brito & LHP Jefferson Olacio

At six-foot-seven, both Brito and Olacio share the distinction of being the tallest players on the Opening Day roster. The height of both hurlers may be the same, but how they pitch is completely different. The 210-pound Brito is a finesse pitcher, hoping to lure opponents into chopping the ball into the ground, while the 295-pound Olacio tries to overpower opposing batters.

Stay tuned for a preview of the season opener in Frederick on Thursday!

– Scott

The other side of the Samardzija trade

Most White Sox fans are thrilled about the proceedings at the Winter Meetings. The Sox have been the “it” team of the week thus far by signing Yankees closer David Robertson and trading for Oakland righty Jeff Samardzija.

Within the latter of those two transactions, the White Sox had to surrender some significant talent. On behalf of the entire Dash organization, I would like to wish good luck to the four players included in the blockbuster deal: right-handed pitcher Chris Bassitt, catcher Josh Phegley and infielders Rangel Ravelo and Marcus Semien.

All four of these players spent a significant amount of time in Winston-Salem and were tremendous both on and off the field. Even though they are no longer members of the White Sox system, I hope Dash and Sox fans continue to root for them in Oakland.

Here are some thoughts from Twitter as this deal came to be:

Some players in the White Sox system weighed in as well:

Indeed, good luck to those who are now Athletics. Winston-Salem fans will be tracking your careers.

– Brian

Game #137 Preview – Dash at Carolina

Game #137 – Road Game #68
Winston-Salem Dash (29-38, 59-77) at Carolina Mudcats (32-34, 61-72)
Saturday, August 30 – 6 p.m.
Five County Stadium (Zebulon, NC)


The Dash were eliminated from postseason contention with an 8-2 loss at Myrtle Beach on Friday night. Winston-Salem begins its final series of the year at Carolina this evening.

Courtney Hawkins delivered his Carolina League-leading 83rd RBI on Friday. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Courtney Hawkins drove in his league-leading 83rd RBI on Friday. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)


Adam Engel – DH
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Nick Basto – RF
Jake Peter – 2B
Omar Narvaez – C
Keenyn Walker – CF
Brandon Brennan – RHP


• The Dash could play spoilers this weekend against Carolina. The Mudcats are one game behind Salem for the final Southern Division playoff spot. The Red Sox play a doubleheader against Northern Division postseason contender Wilmington this evening.

Zach Voight went 2-for-2 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored on Friday. The Texas native has now driven in a run in his last three games played.

• Outfielder Courtney Hawkins went 1-for-4 with a single and an RBI. The 20-year-old has at least one hit in 10 of his last 11 games and leads the Carolina League in RBIs with 83.

• Right-hander Nick Blount struggled in his first career start against Myrtle Beach, allowing five runs, five hits, a walk and a hit batter in one inning. As a result, the Georgia native’s ERA ballooned from 2.25 to 7.00 in four appearances (two starts) with the Dash.

• Former Winston-Salem pitcher Chris Bassitt has been promoted to the White Sox and will start the second game of a doubleheader against Detroit at 7:10 tonight. The 25-year-old becomes the 23rd Dash alumni to reach the Major Leagues. Read more about him here.

• The Dash have lost 12 of 17 games against Carolina this year, including seven of the last eight matchups. The Mudcats managed the first-ever four-game sweep of the Dash at BB&T Ballpark from August 22-25.

• Right-hander Brandon Brennan will make his final start of 2014 tonight. During his most recent outing against Carolina on Monday, the California native surrendered two runs and six hits in four and two-third innings. He finished with a no-decision in the 6-5 setback against the Mudcats in 12 innings.

• In five starts with the Dash, Brennan is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 25 innings of work. The 23-year-old has not pitched beyond the sixth inning in any of his outings with Winston-Salem.


Tonight’s game is available live on The Pregame Dash begins at 5:45 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 6.

– Dave

Game #33 Preview – Dash at Frederick

Game #33 – Road Game #15
Winston-Salem Dash (12-20) at Frederick Keys (14-18)
Saturday, May 10 – 6 p.m.
Harry Grove Stadium (Frederick, Md.)


The Dash were dealt a 4-0 setback in the second of a four-game series at Frederick Friday night. J.B. Wendelken struck out 10 batters in six innings while suffering the loss.

Michael Marjama will start behind the plate for the Dash on Saturday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Michael Marjama will start behind the plate for the Dash on Saturday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).


Adam Heisler – RF
Jacob May – CF
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Nick Basto – 3B
Joey DeMichele – 2B
Justin Jirschele – DH
Michael Marjama – C
Michael Johnson – SS
Francellis Montas – RHP


  • Friday marked the first time a Winston-Salem team was shut out at Frederick since the Warthogs were blanked 5-0 by the Keys on May 21, 2008.
  • The Dash have been shut out five times in 32 games this season, the most in the Carolina League. No other team in the circuit has been blanked more than three times. During the last three years, however, Winston-Salem has suffered the fewest shutouts in the league (15).
  • Pitcher J.B. Wendelken became the first Dash hurler to record a double-digit strikeout total since Chris Bassitt fanned 10 at Frederick on June 29, 2013.  The Dash-era record for a single game belongs to Hector Santiago, who struck out 11 Kinston Indians on April 16, 2011.
  • With his first inning single on Friday, outfielder Adam Heisler now boasts the longest hitting streak by a Dash player this season. His current nine-game stretch surpasses the eight-game streak that Courtney Hawkins had to begin the 2014 campaign (April 3-11).
  • With his 2-for-4 performance on Friday, third baseman Nick Basto now has at least one hit in five straight games. During that stretch, the 20-year-old Florida native is batting .333 (7-for-21).
  • Catcher Martin Medina tallied two hits on Friday, and he now has six multi-hit games in 18 contests this season. Last year with the Dash, the California native had six games with two-or-more hits during the entire season (55 games played).
  • Reliever Kyle Hansen tossed two scoreless innings on Friday, marking three straight appearances without allowing a run (5.2 innings). During that stretch, the 23-year-old has lowered his season ERA from 3.18 to 2.12.
  • Probable starting pitcher Francellis Montas is slated to make his second start of the season. In his High-A debut on Monday against Myrtle Beach, the 21-year-old gave up one run and three hits in five innings. Montas ended up with a no-decision in the 3-2 Dash victory over the Pelicans.


Tonight’s game is available live on The Pregame Dash begins at 5:45 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.

– Dave

Scary weather near MiLB cities

A powerful weather patter has affected much of the country over the last few days, and the thunderstorms are slowly moving east. Last night, the White Sox Double-A affiliate was in the path of a dangerous supercell that prompted a tornado warning.

As a result, the Barons’ game in Chattanooga was suspended in the seventh inning, during which Birmingham scored four runs. Chris Bassitt summed it up well.

Unfortunately, Chattanooga was not the only Minor League city in the way of these crazy storms. A massive, rotating thunderstorm was bearing down on Birmingham.

The storm did dissipate before reaching the downtown area, which was a huge break for the downtown area. Storms with tornadic motion normally have a “hook” at the bottom of the cell. The tweet below shows the weakening of the cell just before hitting downtown Birmingham.

The home city of another Southern League city was not so lucky. Pearl, Miss., where the Mississippi Braves play, was hit hard by a tornado. The images are horrifying.

This storm system will continue its slow trek to the east, and folks throughout the Carolina League should heed former Dash All-Star Chris Beck’s words.

The forecast calls for the most dangerous weather over the next few days to be south of Winston-Salem. Still, it is not a storm to take lightly, and severe weather is likely over the next 36-48 hours.

Our thoughts go out to all those who were affected by these powerful storms. Stay safe the rest of the week.

– Brian

Spring (training) is in the air

Josh Phegley has some work to do to be Chicago's Opening Day catcher (Saul McSween/W-S Dash).

Josh Phegley has some work to do to be Chicago’s Opening Day catcher (Saul McSween/W-S Dash).

While we gear up for another temperature dip in Winston-Salem, the White Sox are chugging along in warm Glendale, Ariz., with their first spring training game just three days away. Here are some news and notes from an exciting time of the baseball calendar.

  • The White Sox first spring training game is Friday against the Dodgers, but the club will suit up for an intrasquad game later today. While many fans will pay attention to Jose Abreu’s first trip to the plate as a member of the organization, Dash fans should keep their eyes on the men throwing the pitches. Per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago, Winston-Salem alumni Chris Bassitt, Chris Beck, Andre Rienzo and Scott Snodgress will pitch two innings Tuesday. Charlie Leesman, Brian Omogrosso and Jake Petricka are also expected to pitch in the game.
  • Speaking of Bassitt, Grantland’s Jonah Keri (one of the best baseball writers out there) offered up one non-roster spring invitee for each American League organization who intrigued him, and the 2013 Carolina League All-Star was the White Sox prospect. I encourage you to check out the full article here, but here was the most interesting line: The Sox hope Bassitt has the repertoire to eventually become a back-of-the-rotation starter, and at some point this season we could see his nasty sinker in the majors.”
  • Hayes also penned a story regarding the White Sox catching situation, and Tyler Flowers has the early advantage over 2010 Dash alum Josh Phegley. Phegley, in essence, replaced Flowers as the Sox catcher after thriving with Triple-A Charlotte during last season’s first half. However, Phegley did not light it up, and Flowers is likely to get the chance to bounce back from a tough 2013.
  • Micah Johnson led Minor League Baseball in stolen bases during his three-stop 2013 in Winston-Salem, Birmingham and Kannapolis, and Scott Merkin of chatted with the likable infield prospect about the art of stealing a base. The best line? Johnson said this: “Really, it’s an art form, and it’s something you are born with. It’s an instinct you have.”
  • The Dash’s season begins in just 37 days! The schedule is set for every home and road game (along with first pitch times). I encourage you to check out our schedule downloads page, where you can equip yourself with our schedule for 2014.

We will keep you posted on the White Sox all spring long. Baseball is almost here!

– Brian

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 sun has set in Arizona

Stephen McCray shined in six starts during the AFL season (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

Stephen McCray shined in six starts during the AFL season (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

The Arizona Fall League came to an end over the weekend, and many Dash alumni performed well during the six-week prospect showcase. Eight White Sox prospects helped the Glendale Desert Dogs to a 13-16-2 record, and seven of them have called Winston-Salem home at some point during their minor league career.

Here are those seven players’ stats from the AFL:

RHP Chris Bassitt:
1-0, 0.90 ERA, 10.0 IP, 1 R/ER, 9 K in 10 appearances

INF Micah Johnson:
.320, 6 RBI, 6 R, 3 SB in 6 games (injured in middle of season)

LHP Charlie Leesman:
0-1, 1.74 ERA, 10.1 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 K in 7 appearances (1 start)

RHP Stephen McCray:
2-2, 2.57 ERA, 21.0 IP, 10 R, 6 ER, 9 K in 6 starts

OF Jared Mitchell:
.304, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 12 R, 6 SB, 1.005 OPS in 20 games

INF Marcus Semien:
.156, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 9 R in 21 games

RHP Kevin Vance:
0-0, 2.13 ERA, 12.2 IP, 3R/ER, 13 K in 10 appearances

A few of these players weighed in on Twitter after wrapping up the 2013 season about two months after most minor leaguers.

It was quite a showing for the White Sox in the AFL. Now, the countdown to the 2014 season has begun for everyone in baseball. We will keep you posted on all of it as winter approaches. Stay tuned.

– Brian

All-Stars, big signing, Halloween uniforms

The World Series may come to an end tonight, but there is still plenty of news in the baseball world. Here are some of the top stories.


Marcus Semien's tremendous 2013 continued with a spot in the XXXX (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Marcus Semien’s tremendous 2013 continued with a spot in the Fall Stars Game (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Minor League Baseball holds many All-Star Games each year, but none are more exclusive than the Arizona Fall League’s showcase. The AFL itself is an exclusive collection of the game’s top prospects. Thus, the annual “Fall Stars Game” features the best of the best within the minor leagues.

Both Chris Bassitt and Marcus Semien will represent the White Sox in this prestigious exhibition, which can be seen Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT on MLB Network. Earlier this week, we discussed the success of former Winston-Salem players in the AFL. Bassitt and Semien have been two of the breakout White Sox prospects of 2013, so it is fitting that they receive this opportunity.

Bassitt has surrendered just one run in six relief appearances this fall. The former Akron Zip was a starter throughout the minor league season, amassing an 11-4 record with a 3.08 earned run average. He was a Carolina League All-Star and a Southern League champion.

Semien had a similar level of success at the top of the Chicago organization. Following a strong 2012 showing in Winston-Salem, Semien hit .290 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs en route to the Southern League’s Most Valuable Player Award while with Double-A Birmingham. He also earned promotions to Triple-A and the big leagues, where he held his own against the game’s best competition.


The White Sox front office stated that they were going to reload the big league roster following the club’s disappointing season. Before the true free agency period, the Sox have already added a huge piece to the present and the future.

Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu has joined the White Sox thanks to a six-year, $68 million deal, the club announced Tuesday. Abreu shined in the World Baseball Classic earlier this year and in Cuba since 2007, but fans should be most excited about executive vice president Ken Williams’ quote about the 26-year-old.

“Well, he’s the only player that I’ve seen work out and then play in a game that I wanted to give a standing ovation to.”

Williams expounded upon these comments in that same piece from

“It was the most professional exhibition of hitting and really defensive work the way he went about things. It was professional. It was focused. It was geared to not just impress, but impress the right way,” Williams said. “One of the things that we did not want to entertain was a guy who was just one dimensional. This guy is a hitter.”

The White Sox have a long way to go to rebound from a 99-loss campaign, but this is an important first step.


– San Diego State University’s baseball team played an exhibition game in Halloween costumes, and many national outlets picked up the story. Check out the crazy video, which includes Buddy the Elf with a plus glove at third base.

– The Cardinals had some trouble getting to Boston yesterday in advance of Game 6 of the World Series. A mechanical issue on the team’s plane brought about a seven-hour delay; therefore, the Cards arrived at their hotel around midnight EDT.

You can read the entire account of the long travel day, including some funny tweets and comments from team members, here.

The Dash’s 2014 schedule has been released, and we will break down some of the biggest games of the season tomorrow on the blog. Talk to you then.

– Brian

Fun in the sun for Dash alums

Stephen McCray is the reigning Pitcher of the Week in the AFL (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Stephen McCray is the reigning Pitcher of the Week in the AFL (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

The Arizona Fall League is in full swing, and the White Sox are having a very strong showing. Eight Chicago farmhands, seven of whom have played in Winston-Salem at some point in their minor league careers, are in the AFL, and most of them boast strong numbers for the Glendale Desert Dogs, who are a half-game out of first place 14 games into the season.

Reigning AFL Pitcher of the Week Stephen McCray has been one of the breakout performers on the showcase circuit. Through three starts, the former Tennessee Volunteer has yet to allow a run over 10 and two-thirds innings. He has only surrendered three hits and issued four walks.

The rest of the Dash-turned-Desert Dog contingent has also thrived in Arizona. Check out these stats:

Chris Bassitt – 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 K
Micah Johnson – .320, 6 RBI, 6 R, 3 SB, .899 OPS
Charlie Leesman – 0-1, 2.08 ERA, 4.1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 K
Stephen McCray – 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 10.2 IP, 3 H, 5 K
Jared Mitchell – .308, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R, 1.011 OPS
Marcus Semien – .156, 3 RBI, 3 R, 5 BB
Kevin Vance – 0-0, 1.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 6 K

The only former Winston-Salem player to struggle so far in Arizona has been Semien, who was arguably the biggest breakout performer within the White Sox farm system in 2013. In other words, Semien will be just fine, and Chicago’s front office should be thrilled about the results thus far.

Fans can follow along with these players and the rest of the highly-touted prospects in the AFL here.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the World Series. It is incredible to think that Xander Bogaerts was in Winston-Salem for the All-Star Game 16 months ago. Should be quite a series.

– Brian