Results tagged ‘ Erik Johnson ’
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.
MLB released its Top 100 prospects Thursday night, and a pair of White Sox prospects qualified for the list.
Right-hander Erik Johnson placed 70th on the list, while newly-acquired infielder Matt Davidson slotted 80th. Last season’s lone White Sox qualifier, outfielder Courtney Hawkins, did not make this year’s Top 100.
At the end of the 2012 season, Johnson was Winston-Salem’s ace, posting a 2.74 earned run average in eight starts down the stretch. Last year, the former California Golden Bear dominated between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte to the tune of a 12-3 record and a 1.96 ERA.
Johnson earned a September promotion to Chicago, where he went 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA in five impressive starts. He will not be a prospect for long because “Puma” has a great chance to be in the Sox rotation on Opening Day.
And hey, if this baseball thing does not work out for Johnson, he could always go into sales. Check out the great video below of Johnson and former Dash shortstop Marcus Semien making sales calls for the White Sox, courtesy of whitesox.com.
The White Sox acquired Davidson from Arizona for former Winston-Salem flamethrower Addison Reed. Davidson also figures to play in Chicago for some or all of the 2014 season. He hit .237 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 31 games with the Diamondbacks late last year.
MLB.com’s Top 20 White Sox prospect list is available here (which does not jive with the Top 100 countdown, as Davidson tops the group). An impressive 12 players on this list have played in the Triad at some point in their minor league journeys.
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.
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.
October is a time for reflection in the baseball world. Fans and organizations can look back at what happened this past season and how the system looks moving forward.
The 2013 season was a productive one for many White Sox prospects, and MiLB.com honored some of these players on their Organizational All-Star team. One player represented each position, and five of them played in Winston-Salem for part or all of this season:
Catcher – Kevan Smith
Second baseman – Micah Johnson
Third baseman – Chris Curley
Outfielder (1 of 3) – Adam Heisler
Relief pitcher – Daniel Webb
Four other alumni appeared on the All-Star team:
First baseman – Dan Black
Shortstop – Marcus Semien
Left-handed starter – Spencer Arroyo
Right-handed starter – Erik Johnson
In other words, nine of the 12 players on this All-Star team have played in Winston-Salem, and two of the remaining three thrived at lower levels and are on track to play at BB&T Ballpark soon.
So, what did the 2013 season do for these All-Stars and others in Chicago’s system? TopProspectAlert.com released their offseason Top 20 White Sox prospect list, and half of them have played in Winston-Salem during their professional careers.
Erik Johnson headlines this list as the Sox top prospect, and he joins Micah Johnson (3), Courtney Hawkins (4), Marcus Semien (5) and Scott Snodgress (6) as a Dash alumni quintet in the top six. Only Tim Anderson, the White Sox first-round selection this year and a player on the Dash’s radar for 2014, is among the six best prospects in the system without a trip to Winston.
You can view the entire list here, which features six Dash alumni in the top 10.
More prospect rankings will be published throughout the offseason, but it is always fun to take a look as they are released.
Moment #4 – September 3
Four alumni promoted to big leagues
At times, cheering for a Minor League Baseball team can be frustrating. Many players advance to a higher level once they become fan favorites due to their production. However, this fandom frustration goes away whenever one of this temporary favorites jump to the highest level.
The 2013 season was a great one for Dash alumni. In early July, Josh Phegley became the 13th Dash alum to play in Major League Baseball, and he began the pipeline from Winston to the bigs. Andre Rienzo followed suit later that month.
However, with respect to these four men and their incredible accomplishments, the biggest day in terms of big league promotions came the day after the Dash concluded their 2013 season. It’s one thing to see four alumni climb to baseball’s grandest stage during the course of the season. It’s much different to hear four former players moving to the big leagues on one day, which is something the White Sox strongly hinted a few days before the official transactions.
Locker stalls up for Erik Johnson, Marcus Semien, Miguel Gonzalez and Daniel Webb in clubhouse
— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) September 2, 2013
Because of Chicago’s rare rough season, the front office aimed to get some young players a taste of the Majors. Miguel Gonzalez, Erik Johnson, Marcus Semien and Daniel Webb benefited from this opportunity with a month of big league experience.
All four players flashed the potential that Winston-Salem fans witnessed over the last few years. Here are their numbers after earning promotions:
- Gonzalez: .222 (2-for-9) in 5 games
- Johnson: 3-2, 3.25 ERA, 27.2 IP, 18 K in 5 starts
- Semien: .261 (18-for-69), 2 HR, 7 RBI in 21 games
- Webb: 0-0, 3.18 ERA, 11.1 IP, 10 K in 9 appearances
The Winston-to-Chicago pipeline had never been busier than it was in 2013, and never was that fact more evident than immediately after the regular season came to an end in the minors. Four men who suited up for the Dash in either 2012 or 2013 were big leaguers. It does not get much better than that.
Only three more moments remain in our Dash Top 10. What will number three be? Find out tomorrow.
Thanks to four White Sox promotions, the Dash made some history Tuesday night. Four Dash alumni–catcher Miguel Gonzalez, right-hander Erik Johnson, infielder Marcus Semien and righty Daniel Webb–earned their first career promotions to The Show.
None of these newcomers saw the field in their first MLB game, but Johnson will be on the bump tonight in New York against former Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia and the Yankees.
With the Sox out of the playoff chase, attention turns to the prospects, and Johnson is arguably the top farmhand in Chicago’s system. Fans are understandably excited for his debut tonight.
Pretty excited to watch Erik Johnson pitch tomorrow night.
— Mike (@MikeSox56) September 3, 2013
Erik Johnson gets the start tomorrow against a revitalized Yankees team. Nice slider and will pound strike zone. Anxious to see what he does
— Rich Wilson (@RichWilsonFSG) September 3, 2013
Good morning, . @whitesox fans. Welcome to the ErikJohnson Era!
— SoxNerd (@SoxNerd) September 4, 2013
@DanHayesCSN is it wrong to be so pumped by the arrival of Erik Johnson?????
— j (@jimturano22) September 3, 2013
— MLB Jersey Numbers (@NumbersMLB) September 3, 2013
— SoxNerd (@SoxNerd) September 3, 2013
A year ago tomorrow, Johnson started Game 1 of the Southern Division Championship Series for the Dash. At 7:05 p.m., Puma will be making his MLB debut against one of baseball’s best pitchers over the last decade. This is quite a climb for a great pitcher and a great guy.
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.
Six current members of the Dash qualified for the list, with outfielder Courtney Hawkins leading that group at number four. Here’s how the six Dash players did, along with their 2013 stats with Winston-Salem:
4. OF Courtney Hawkins – .191, 15 HR, 42 RBIs, 56 games
9. RHP Chris Beck – 8-8, 3.08 ERA, 87.2 IP, 46 K, 16 starts
12. INF Micah Johnson – .294, 3 RBIs, 4 R, 2 SB, 8 games
20. INF Joey DeMichele – .237, 4 HR, 34 RBIs, 62 R, 87 games
23. RHP Myles Jaye – 5-3, 4.45 ERA, 64.2 IP, 49 K, 11 starts
24. INF Rangel Ravelo – .321, 3 HR, 43 RBIs, 53 games
Overall, 17 of the 25 players on this list have played in Winston-Salem at some point in their minor league journey, This includes new top prospect Erik Johnson, a right-handed starter who may not be in the minors for long.
Stay tuned for a preview of tonight’s Dash-Pelicans preview, which will be up later this afternoon.
Even though he has never pitched in a big league game, 2012 Dash alum Erik Johnson is already on the White Sox radar for a rotation spot next season.
Johnson, who is currently on Triple-A Charlotte’s disabled list, has already been penciled into the Sox 2014 rotation as of now. This is according to White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn, who spoke with reporters Wednesday. Sox beat writer Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald had this to say:
Make that Sale, Danks, Quintana, Erik Johnson and Peavy/Santiago for White Sox 2014 rotation
— Scot Gregor (@scotgregor) July 10, 2013
Johnson hasn’t pitched since he left his July 3 start after three innings with a right groin strain. The right-hander has pitched well at both Double-A and Triple-A this year with a combined record of 9-2 and and a 2.24 ERA. Chicago’s top pitching prospect per Baseball America, Johnson is also a prime candidate to make his major league debut later in the season.
With MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline less than three weeks away, the rumor mill is turning at full force. When we covered some options for White Sox that could be on the block a few weeks ago, one name we didn’t mention was staff ace Chris Sale.
Sale signed an extension during spring training, so the general consensus was that he would anchor Chicago’s staff for the next several seasons. However, as Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal notes, the 24-year-old southpaw could and maybe should be made available by first-year White Sox GM Rick Hahn.
Rosenthal argues that with the market for front-line starting pitching not very strong leading up to this year’s deadline, the White Sox should consider dealing the 2010 Dash alum in order to help replenish the farm system.
With the lefty not even a year into an extension that includes options which would keep him under club control through the 2019 season, Sale could bring quite a package of prospects in return as teams would be getting more than just a partial season rental like they would for someone like the Cubs’ Matt Garza.
Whether or not Hahn will make his ace available is unknown, but you can bet if he is made available, contenders will be lining up to bid on the two-time All-Star and 2010 Dash alum.
PEAVY TO START FOR BIRMINGHAM
Righty Jake Peavy, who has been on the disabled list since June 6 with a fractured rib, will make a rehab start for Double-A Birmingham on Sunday at Huntsville. The former Cy Young winner has been talked about as a possible trade candidate for contenders looking to bolster their rotation. If all goes well Sunday, he will likely rejoin the South Siders’ rotation shortly after next week’s All-Star break.
PHEGLEY DOES IT AGAIN
With the White Sox wrapping up a three-game set this afternoon at Comerica Park in Detroit, Josh Phegley has continued his impressive first week in The Show. With Chicago trailing 3-1 in the top of the sixth, Phegley took Tigers’ right-hander Anibal Sanchez deep for his first career grand slam to put the Sox in front. The 2010 Winston-Salem alum now has three home runs and eight RBIs since his July 5 promotion from Charlotte.
The Dash and Potomac Nationals wrap up their four-game series tonight at BB&T Ballpark. Check back later for our preview for the series finale as Winston-Salem goes for the series win.