Results tagged ‘ Jared Mitchell ’
While the Dash cruised to a 15-6 blowout over Lynchburg last night, the news was not all good for Winston-Salem. White Sox top prospect Courtney Hawkins made a diving catch in left center field to end the third inning. He was slow to get up, but the 19-year-old jogged off the field and into the Dash’s dugout.
However, David Herbek pinch hit for Hawkins in the top of the fourth. The White Sox have not disclosed Hawkins’ injury, but he has been placed on the seven-day disabled list, the team announced this afternoon.
In 23 games with Winston-Salem thus far this season, Hawkins is hitting .177 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. His seven homers are one shy of the Carolina League’s lead. However, the former first-round pick leads Minor League Baseball with 45 strikeouts. Hawkins had been improving on his strikeout rate, though. He only whiffed four times in his last five games.
The Dash’s roster only contains two players who have been in the outfield for the majority of their minor league careers–Mark Haddow and Adam Heisler. For the time being, Dash fans should expect to see Grant Buckner, who has played 35 of his 174 minor league games in left field, shift from the infield to the outfield.
TWO MORE ROSTER MOVES:
The White Sox also announced that Brent Tanner has been assigned to Low-A Kannapolis in a move that will likely yield the Mississippi native some more at-bats. In eight games with the Dash this year, Tanner hit .417 (10-for-24) with three RBIs. Of his 10 hits, five of them were doubles. The former 32nd round pick had four multi-hit games in his seven starts, including a career-high tying four knocks last night.
Infielder Rangel Ravelo takes Tanner’s spot on the roster. Ravelo comes to the Dash from Kannapolis, where he hit .226 in 17 games before landing on the disabled list. A year ago, Ravelo was one of four Intimidators to make the midseason All-Star Team in the South Atlantic League.
The Miami, Fla. native was drafted by Chicago in the sixth round in 2010 out of Hialeah High School (FL). Born in Cuba, Ravelo has played both corner infield positions throughout his minor league career.
DASH ALUMS IN THE NEWS:
- Chris Sale picked up his third win of the campaign as helped the White Sox snap a three-game skid last night, giving up just two runs in seven innings of work against Texas. The southpaw struck out seven on the night, tying a season-high. Sale has now gone at least seven innings in all but one of his six starts in 2013.
- Despite the recent struggles of the Chicago bullpen, closer Addison Reed has just kept on rolling. After picking up the save last night, he is now a perfect nine for nine in save opportunities and his ERA is down to just 1.50.
- Dylan Axelrod continues to pitch well and have nothing to show for it. Back on Sunday, Axelrod turned in his third consecutive quality start for the South Siders, but he did not factor into the decision and the White Sox fell to the Tampa Bay Rays. Despite giving up three runs or less in four of his five starts, the righty has yet to earn a victory this season.
- After winning Carolina League MVP honors in 2012, Dan Black has picked up right where he left off this season for Double-A Birmingham. As a team, the Barons are leading the Southern League in batting average, and a big reason is Black, who sits fourth in the league with a .312 mark. Marcus Semien is not too far behind, currently sixth in the league in average at .303. In addition, Black leads the circuit in RBIs with 21 and Semien leads in hits with 30.
- The pitching staff has also been very good for Birmingham. The staff has been led by Baseball America’s number four prospect in the organization, Erik Johnson. The righty sits fifth in the league in ERA at 1.44 and is tied for second in the Southern League in strikeouts with 32. Another pair of Dash alums, Stephen McCray and Scott Snodgress, are tied for the circuit’s lead in wins with four apiece.
- Also, Jared Mitchell did this last week week for the Barons:
- While he hasn’t made it to Winston-Salem yet, Low-A Kannapolis right-hander Myles Jaye could soon be making his way to the Triad. Jaye is one of just nine starting pitchers in all of Minor League Baseball to sport an ERA under 1.00. Through five starts, he is 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 30 innings of work.
The Dash are set to return to BB&T Ballpark for a six-game homestand tomorrow night, but first they wrap up their seven game road swing tonight as they go for a series split against the Lynchburg Hillcats at 6:05. Join Brian here for the Pregame Dash starting at 5:50.
- Brian and Rob
One day after the White Sox tweaked the Dash’s outfield with a promotion and a release, another outfielder is on the move to Double-A. Joe De Pinto is heading to Birmingham for the first time in his minor league career because Dash alum Jared Mitchell has been placed on the disabled list.
De Pinto hit .158 with seven runs scored in 10 games with Winston-Salem in 2013. He hit in the leadoff hole for much of his time with the Dash. The Sunland, Calif., native is a career .256 hitter in 157 career minor league games.
De Pinto is the second player from the Dash here in 2013 to earn a promotion to Birmingham. The first was right-handed reliever J.R. Ballinger, who made his Double-A debut last night against Montgomery. Before he traveled south, Curt Lestan had a chance to go inside Ballinger’s transition to a submarine pitcher.
Ballinger’s thoughts, along with comments from pitching coach J.R. Perdew and catcher Martin Medina, are included below.
The Dash made an overnight trip to Wilmington, Del., for the first of three against the Blue Rocks. Join me at 6:50 p.m. for the Pregame Dash from Frawley Stadium right here. Talk to you then!
As we near the halfway point of spring training, many Dash alums are grabbing the headlines at White Sox camp in Glendale, Ariz.
Sale dominates in first outing since signing extension: Late last week, Chris Sale signed a $32.5 million contract extension that will keep him with the White Sox until at least 2017 and includes team options for 2018 and 2019. Sale followed that up with a win in his second outing of the spring Monday against Colorado.
The southpaw was efficient, allowing just one run on three hits, while needing only 58 pitches to get through five plus innings. The longest at-bat of the day was a seven pitch duel with catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who hit the seventh pitch out of the yard. Despite the home run, Torrealba had a lot of praise for the young lefty, telling MLB.com’s Scott Merkin:
“He throws almost sidearm, and his delivery is kind of weird, too. You’ve got to give credit to the guy. He’s got a good changeup and a nasty slider. The ball’s moving a lot, especially when he goes away to righties. It seems the ball keeps running away.”
Through two starts this spring, Sale is now 1-0 with a 1.23 earned run average.
White Sox make 10 roster moves on busy Monday: Following yesterday’s 3-1 win over Colorado, the White Sox made 10 roster moves. Among the moves, Winston-Salem alums Stefan Gartrell, Erik Johnson, Seth Loman, Marcus Semien, Scott Snodgress, Trayce Thompson and Keenyn Walker were all reassigned to minor league camp. Here are their stats with the White Sox in spring training:
- Gartrell: 3-13 (.231), 1 HR, 3RBIs
- Johnson: 3 outings, 6.1 IP,4 Ks, 8.53 ERA
- Loman: 7-20 (.350), 2 HRs, 9 RBIs
- Semien: 5-11 (.455), 1 HR, 4RBIs
- Snodgress: 3 outings, 5.0 IP, 3 Ks, 5.40 ERA
- Thompson: 0-14 (.000), 1 RBI, 1 SB
- Walker: 5-20 (.250), 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 SB
The White Sox also optioned RHP Nestor Molina to Double-A Birmingham and RHP Simon Castro and LHP Santos Rodriguez to Triple-A Charlotte. Rodriguez, a member of the Dash in both 2010 and 2011, appeared in four games and tossed two and two-thirds innings for the White Sox this spring.
Mitchell standing out for White Sox: In 11 games for the White Sox this spring, outfielder Jared Mitchell is hitting .393 with one home run and five RBIs. His speed his also been a major weapon, notes White Sox insider Dan Hayes:
Jared Mitchell with a triple. He ended last inning with a diving catch. #WhiteSox have liked what they’ve seen from his this spring.
— Dan Hayes (@DanHayesCSN) March 9, 2013
Despite his impressive play this spring, Mitchell will be starting the season with Triple-A Charlotte, according to new White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn. Hahn did tell CBS Chicago’s Adam Hoge he doesn’t believe Mitchell’s time is too far away:
“The key for him will be when he gets to Charlotte to keep doing what he’s doing here. And if he’s able to put together a solid first half, it’s conceivable he could help us in the second half of this year and certainly he’s on track to help us in 2014.”
Whether or not Mitchell does make it to the South Side this summer, it certainly will not be too long before the Dash can count him among their big league alums.
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.
Baseball America is regarded as the go-to spot for Minor League Baseball analysis, so its prospect rankings are always interesting. Yesterday, the publication released its top 10 White Sox prospects entering the 2013 season.
Winston-Salem enjoyed a banner year on the field, so it should not be surprising that many members of this list donned the Dash purple at some point this season. However, even the most optimistic Dash fans have to be excited to see that the organization’s top seven prospects contributed to Winston’s surge to the Mills Cup Finals.
You can read the entire piece from Baseball America here. Check out the list of the top 10 players, which includes details of their work in 2012:
1. OF Courtney Hawkins
Chicago’s first-round pick in June, Hawkins began his White Sox tenure with short-season Bristol before August promotions to Low-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. With the Dash, Hawkins was 5-for-17 in five regular season games before hitting a pair of homers in the club’s postseason run.
2. OF Trayce Thompson
Thompson spent most of the 2012 season in the Carolina League, and he finished atop the circuit with 90 RBI. He then played 14 games with Double-A Birmingham before joining Triple-A Charlotte for its playoff journey. Currently, Thompson is hitting .200 with two homers and seven RBI in 15 games in the Arizona Fall League.
3. INF Carlos Sanchez
One of the high risers on the White Sox farm, Sanchez shined in 92 games with the Dash. He finished with the CL’s top batting average (.315) before hitting .370 in 30 Double-A games. Sanchez finished the campaign in Triple-A Charlotte and is now thriving in the AFL (.312 average and 16 RBI in 20 games).
4. RHP Erik Johnson
Johnson joined the Dash’s rotation in late July and immediately became one of the circuit’s best hurlers. Seven of his eight starts in Winston-Salem were quality starts, and both of his playoff starts showed flashes of dominance.
5. OF Keenyn Walker
The White Sox minor league system is loaded with outfield talent, and Walker’s compliments the likes of Hawkins and Thompson with his speed. Walker finished in the top 10 in the minors with 56 combined swipes between Kannapolis and Winston-Salem.
6. LHP Scott Snodgress
Snodgress joined Johnson in Winston-Salem halfway through the second half, and the duo helped the Dash seize the top record in full-season minor league baseball. Despite pitching out of the bullpen in college, Snodgress joined the rotation and boasted a 1.50 ERA in eight efforts.
7. RHP Andre Rienzo
Rienzo overcame a 50-game suspension to record one of the best seasons by a White Sox pitching prospect in 2012. The Brazilian crushed CL competition in the first month and eventually made his way to Triple-A Charlotte. He could be a factor for the Sox in spring training.
8. INF Keon Barnum
Barnum was the White Sox second pick in this year’s draft, and he hit .279 in 13 games with short-season Bristol. The 19-year-old could make his way to Winston-Salem with a strong showing in the offseason and throughout the first half of the 2013 season.
9. OF Jared Mitchell
Mitchell is yet another solid outfield prospect within the White Sox system. He struggled with strikeouts last year in the Carolina League, but a bump to Birmingham helped him immensely. He does not have a great batting average in his minor league career (.237 in 293 games), but the potential is certainly there.
10. RHP Chris Beck
The White Sox pegged Beck in the second round of this year’s draft, and the righty turned in a 4-3 record and a 4.69 ERA in 15 appearances (six starts) with rookie-level Great Falls. He should see some time in Winston-Salem in 2013.
Tomorrow, we will go over some of the other superlatives Baseball America bestowed on some former Dash stars.
We are at the halfway point of the first half of the Carolina League season. Rain has disrupted the schedule to the point where teams have played anywhere from 33 to 36 games. With the Dash set to play games 35 and 36 on the schedule tonight, this edition of Dashing Around Baseball will primarily be a first-half report card, with my predictions for the first-half season champions thrown in. Of course, a look around the White Sox system is in here as well.
The Northern Division has shaken out into a distinct hierarchy. Lynchburg has a 6.5 game lead over second place in the division with the three other teams sitting below .500. Here’s how it looks for each team at the midway point.
Lynchburg- The Hillcats have a potent offense and sit behind only the Dash in runs scored, hits, home runs and RBI in the Carolina League. First baseman Nick Garcia is hitting .359 on the season with 23 RBI and three home runs. He made his mark on Winston-Salem pitching when the teams met last weekend, batting .455 with a home run and four RBI in the series.
Wilmington- The Blue Rocks have a 15-21 record, and that is good enough for second place in the division. Wilmington has the pieces to put together a run in the second half, but the team’s talent lies in its youth. If starting pitcher Yordano Ventura can replicate triple-digit radar gun outings and the offense starts hitting, the Blue Rocks will mount a run.
Potomac- The Nationals have been dealt a brutal hand with the injuries to its core players. Prodigious infielder Anthony Rendon has been out since injuring his ankle in the second game of the season. There appears to be a discrepancy between Rendon and the Nationals organization but one definite is that he will not be back for the rest of the first half of the season. Potomac certainly would have been a division favorite with Rendon in the fold.
Frederick- The Keys are seventh in the league in team batting and pitching (Potomac is last in both). To make up an 8.5 game deficit in 35 games is certainly doable, but Frederick has only had one stretch where it has won more than two games in a row all season, and that occurred during the first week of the season.
PREDICTION: Wilmington puts it together and challenges Lynchburg, but the Hillcats offense and favorable schedule (9 games against Frederick in the first two weeks of June) carries them to the first-half division title.
The Dash are the class of this division so far, but an extremely competitive division has kept all four teams in contention of winning the crown at the halfway point. Here’s a look at Winston-Salem’s challengers.
Salem-The Red Sox (1.5 games back of the Dash) offense has explosive capability led by Jackie Bradley Jr., who leads the Carolina League in batting average and on-base percentage. Salem’s Travis Shaw is second in the league with a .366 average. Matt Barnes, Boston’s top pick in 2011 made his High-A debut against the Dash on May 5. It went pretty well. How long Barnes stays with Salem is unknown, but he has the potential to grab a win every time he makes a start. The Red Sox and Dash play seven more games before the first half of the season comes to an end, with all of these games taking place in Salem.
Carolina- Even after losing Clayton Cook to the DL and T.J House to Double-A Akron, the Mudcats pitching staff contends with Myrtle Beach as the best pitching staff in the league. Carolina is 2.5 games out of the division lead, but starters Francisco Jimenez and Mike Rayl are in the top five of the league for lowest ERA. Closer Jose Flores has six saves to lead all active pitchers.
Myrtle Beach-The Pelicans can pitch, but they can’t hit. Cody Buckel has the lowest ERA and most strikeouts in the league. He anchors a Myrtle Beach rotation that has a team ERA of 3.o4, also the best mark in the league. With four games against the Dash this week, we’ll find out if the Pelicans are built to contend for the division.
PREDICTION: The division stays close until the end, when the Dash hang on for the crown due to seven games against Potomac and Wilmington to end the first-half of the season. Carolina and Salem each finish within two games of the title.
AROUND THE FARM
- Adam Dunn might be on his way to AL Comeback Player of the Year. It’s still early in the season, but Dunn already has hit 12 home runs, one more than he hit all of last season. 2010 Dash alum Addison Reed picked up his third save of the season in the 7-5 win.
- The Knights had a marathon evening last Wednesday night. Charlotte had two walk-off wins in a double-header, including a game one contest that went 14 innings.
- 2011 Dash alums Tyler Saladino and Jared Mitchell have led Birmingham to a 21-18 record, two games back of division-leading Jackson. Mitchell leads the Southern League in triples, while Saladino is batting .258 with 15 RBI and a league-leading 28 runs scored.
- Kannapolis has struggled this season, falling 10.5 games back of first-place Greensboro. White Sox 2011 top draft pick Keenyn Walker hit his first career home run Saturday night in a 2-1 win.
A bit of a lengthy recap, but thanks for Dashing Around Baseball today. The Dash play two tonight, starting at 6 against Myrtle Beach. Join us for the Pregame Dash starting at 5:45.
Before we take our weekly look around the Carolina League and the White Sox system, there is one important note about Dan Black. The first baseman was profiled in a story on MiLB and the Carolina League websites about his hot start to the season. Black leads active members of the Carolina League with 7 home runs, is tied for first for the most hits in the league (38), and has played in every game this season for the Dash.
Black and the Dash are scheduled to play their first twin bill of the season Thursday in Frederick. Winston-Salem also has not played an extra-inning game this year, and for all parties involved, it’s best if the status quo remains the same on Thursday.
Why do I bring this up today? Tuesday night the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Low-A, San Diego) and Dayton Dragons (Low-A, Cincinnati) played 16 innings in GAME 1 of a double-header. Game 2 started around 11 p.m. but mercifully ended in seven innings. It also happened to be getaway day for the TinCaps who arrived back in Fort Wayne at 3:30 in the morning…oh, and they have an 11 a.m. game today.
Southern Division Dominance-Nearly halfway through the first-half of the season, the Carolina League divisions have shown distinct shifts in the balance of power in the league. The Southern Division is clearly the better division (and I’m not just saying that because the Dash are leading that division) with three teams above .500 and Myrtle Beach with a 15-15 record. That parity should make for an exciting end to the first half of the season for the Dash.
Meanwhile, only Lynchburg has a winning record in the Northern Division. The Hillcats are a comfortable four games up on the division and are chugging along even after losing Evan Gattis to Double-A Mississippi last week.
Constant Consistency-The Dash’s Marcus Semien is on a 14-game hit streak, the longest in the Carolina League this season. There are two active hit streaks in minor league baseball that are longer. The longest streak in Minor League baseball goes to Paul Hoilman of the Peoria Chiefs. Hoilman’s streak currently sits at 21 after he kept it alive in his final at-bat Tuesday night. Elsewhere, the Texas Rangers highly-touted shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar is on a 19-game run for the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders.
Around the Farm
- The White Sox are in the midst of a 15-game stretch against division foes. Chicago has only won 3 games out of the 9 played so far but received big contributions from Dash alums in a 3-2 win over the Tigers on Saturday. 2010 Dash member Nate Jones picked up his first Major League win, and 2011 alum Addison Reed recorded his first Major League save. Jones joked about splitting the game ball in half, but Reed opted to give it to the winning pitcher.
- In fact, Reed recorded his second save Tuesday, a 5-3 extra-inning affair that saw veteran Dash member Hector Santiago pick up his first Major League win of his career.
- 2011 Dash alum Jared Mitchell was profiled on the Southern League website after his torrid start to the 2012 season for Birmingham. Mitchell is batting .310 and leads the Southern League with six triples and 24 RBI.
- Ross Wilson has found his power in Kannapolis. His .613 slugging percentage ranks third best in the South Atlantic League. Wilson is batting .306 with 4 home runs and 16 RBI in 17 games with the Intimidators.
After a rainout last night, the Dash are back in action tonight at 7:00 p.m. against Frederick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:45 p.m. Be sure to tune in Thursday morning as well when the Dash play a double-header against the Keys. First pitch is set for 11:00 a.m.
The baseball season is officially a month old next week, but the changing of the calendar serves as a good marker to take stock of a team’s progression through the season. In edition to highlighting the significant news in the Carolina League and White Sox system, this edition of Dashing Around Baseball will analyze the seven other Carolina League teams and offer a quick prediction for how they will fare this month.
Call-up Season-Minor league teams evolve throughout the season with the inevitable rise and fall of players through their organizations. We have hit the point where early season performers are being rewarded with promotions.
Lynchburg’s Evan Gattis was leading the Carolina League in batting average, home runs, RBI, hits and extra base hits before being called up to Double-A Mississippi Monday.
Gattis also had a slugging percentage of .821, (anything in the .600 range is considered elite). We had already started engraving his name in the Home Run Derby Trophy for the California-Carolina League All-Star Game, alas he likely will not be in Winston-Salem come June 19th.
Myrtle Beach lost reliever Chad Bell to Double-A Frisco after the left-hander compiled a 1-0 record and 1.59 ERA in four appearances with the Pelicans. Bell struck out 12 batters in 11.1 innings.
The Mudcats also lost one of their best arms when southpaw T.J. House was bumped up to Double-A Akron. House went 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in four starts with Carolina, striking out 26 batters in 25 innings. He is scheduled to debut tonight (Tuesday) for the Aeros.
May Musings-As the month progresses, Brian and I will delve more into first-half division championship contenders and give input on players who will be critical to their team’s chances. For now, here is a quick breakdown of each team:
- Carolina-At the start of the year, the Mudcats had one of the best pitching staffs in the league with Clayton Cook, Mike Rayl and House. Now, Cook is on the DL and House is in Double-A. Center fielder Tyler Holt is hitting .347 and has a league-leading three triples to anchor the Carolina offense.
- Frederick-The defending Mills Cup champions have struggled to emerge from the departure of a core of stars to Double-A. Salvation could arrive in the form of top prospect Dylan Bundy, who has pitched to near perfection at the Low-A level.
- Lynchburg-The Hillcats are tied with the Dash for the fewest losses in the league thanks to a five-game win streak to open the season. Lynchburg has a gaping hole in production with the departure of Gattis, but the middle infield combo of Nick Ahmed and Tommy LaStella have the bats to keep the offense afloat.
- Myrtle Beach-Arguably, the Pelicans have the best rotation in the Carolina League. The Pelicans 3.14 ERA is the lowest in the league. Cody Buckel, following in the form of best friend Trevor Bauer, has compiled a 2-1 record and 1.65 ERA in five starts. The Pelicans offense has talent, but is extremely young and has struggled so far at the plate.
- Potomac-The Nationals are struggling but injuries have stripped this team of its best players. Anthony Rendon was the best player in the league before suffering an ankle injury, while highly touted pitchers Matt Purke and Robbie Ray are rehabbing prior injuries in extended spring training. When healthy, Potomac could be dangerous.
- Salem-The rotation received a huge boost with the recent arrival of Matt Barnes. The Red Sox top pick in 2011 posted a 0.34 ERA in five starts with Low-A Greenville. Barnes also has laser-like control with 42 strikeouts to just four walks in 26.2 innings.
- Wilmington-The Blue Rocks were inept at the plate for most of the month with one of the lowest slugging percentages in all of Minor League Baseball. But Wilmington put together a four-game win streak to climb into second in the Northern Division. The lineup has the ability to break out of its slow start.
Around the Farm
- MLB’s White Sox beat writer Scott Merkin provides a comprehensive recap of the first month of the season for the White Sox. Jake Peavy’s dominance has led a reliable Chicago rotation. Peavy turned in back-to-back complete games in his last two outings and is holding batters to a .162 average.
- The Knights have made the biggest news off the field as the proposed stadium in uptown Charlotte is becoming a near reality. The Knights recently announced a founding partner and naming rights deal for the ballpark.
- Jared Mitchell is in the midst of a breakout season for Double-A Birmingham. The former White Sox top draft pick has a league-leading 20 RBI in 24 games. He also leads the league with a .471 on-base percentage and five triples.
- Kannapolis recently lost seven-straight games and has fallen six games back of first in its division. One bright spot is Ross Wilson. The infielder is batting .341 with four home runs and and 13 RBI’s in 11 games with the Intimidators. Wilson also had a career night on Friday, hitting three home runs and driving in eight of the nine Intimidator runs in a 9-5 win.
Thanks for taking the time to Dash Around the Baseball. Keep checking the blog for updates on the Dash’s eight-game win streak. Tune into the Pregame Dash at 6:50 tonight to see if the Dash can continue their streak.
I’m sure you followed our coverage all weekend and know that the Dash are 1-2 after the opening weekend with a three game set in Frederick starting tomorrow. But, there were plenty of highlights around the Carolina League and in the White Sox system. Each week I’ll recap the noteworthy news going on in the league and on the farm.
Lynchburg Perfection-The Hillcats are the lone unbeaten in the league after a sweep of Potomac. Tommy LaStella, one of the top prospects in the Braves organization, drove in all three runs Sunday in Lynchburg’s 3-2 win. He’s batting a pretty solid .556, with 7 RBI and a homer after three games.
Potomac Panic-Potomac lost Saturday night’s game but experienced a much more jarring scare when Anthony Rendon left the game with a sprained ankle. Injuries plagued Rendon’s spectacular collegiate accomplishments throughout his three seasons at Rice.
He was named Freshman of the Year in 2009, followed by College Player of the Year in 2010. But Rendon tore ligaments in his right ankle in 2009 and broke the same ankle the next season. The Nationals were wowed by Rendon in big league camp at spring training but will proceed with caution after this setback. If healthy, the Dash will see him and Potomac for the first time April 23 at BB&T Ballpark.
Frederick Reloads-The defending Mills Cup Champions lost a number of emerging superstars to the Double-A level but plenty of talent remains with the Keys. Frederick won two of three from Salem behind superb performances from the mound Saturday and Sunday. Scott Copeland threw five shutout innings Saturday, and highly-touted prospect Mike Wright made his Advanced-A debut Sunday and surrendered only three hits over six scoreless innings.
Stocked in Salem-The Sox are 1-2 after the opening weekend, but expect the wins to pile up as a young offense adjusts to Advanced-A pitching. Salem is loaded because three of the top 10 prospects in the Red Sox organization all playing for the first time in the Carolina League. Number two prospect Xander Bogaerts is only 19, but has shown off the charts potential. He opened 2-for-5 with an RBI on Friday but did not get a hit the rest of the series. Outfielders Brandon Jacobs and Jackie Bradley struggled at the plate but are known for their defensive ability to cover all the green in the outfield.
Around the Farm
- The White Sox lost two of three to the defending AL Champion Texas Rangers, but former Dash players played prominent roles in the series. Hector Santiago picked up his first major league save, locking down a 4-3 win Saturday.
- 2010 Dash member Eduardo Escobar was one of the final roster spots named to the White Sox roster. He made his first appearance of the season Sunday night at shortstop with a 1-4 outing, the one hit being a triple.
- Nate Jones, the surprise nod on the final roster, made his major league debut Sunday night. Jones pitched the seventh inning, walking two Rangers before inducing a double play. He struck out 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton to end the inning.
- The Birmingham Barons got their first win of the season Sunday with a 9-2 throttling of the Jackson Generals. 2011 Dash members provided the highlights. Andy Wilkins hit his first home run of the season, Jared Mitchell had an RBI triple and Tyler Saladino also had an RBI. The Barons roughed up Generals starter Danny Hultzen, the #2 overall draft pick in 2011.
- The most exciting game in the organization Sunday occurred in Kannapolis, where the Intimidators rallied from down five runs to walk-off for their first win of the season. 2011 top draft pick Keenyn Walker went 2-6 with an RBI and scored the game tying run in the ninth.
That’s a look back at some of the highlights from opening weekend around baseball. In addition to our daily updates, I’ll be here with a comprehensive look around the league and the White Sox organization every Monday.
What does minor league baseball mean today? That is a question that Matt and Carolyn LaWell will try to answer this season. “A Minor League Season” is a project that Matt came up with ten years ago while still in college. Beginning April 5 in Jacksonville, Fla., this married couple will drive around the country and attend a game at every full-season minor league park in the United States.
I urge you to check out their website here. Be sure to read the piece entitled “What do the minors mean today?” It is featured on the home page. Matt, who is a friend of mine, tells a great story about minor league baseball’s rise and (near) fall more than 50 years ago.
The adventurous and dedicated duo will be in Winston-Salem in early July to take in a game at BB&T Ballpark, and there should be plenty of great content on the site before then. It gets the “Dash Board” stamp of approval.
Here are a few notes on this Tuesday afternoon.
- Former Dash hurler Jake Petricka is quite critical of himself. In this feature from MiLB.com, Petricka graded his three pitches. The righty gave his two-seam fastball a 50-55, but he saddled his slider and changeup with 40 grades. On the 20-80 scale, 50 is considered a big league average. I wonder if scouts agree about these values. I’m guessing his stock may be a little higher in scouts’ eyes.
- The White Sox “cut” 14 players yesterday, which simply means that they are no longer competing for a spot on the 25-man roster to open the season. Among the group were Dash alum Jared Mitchell and future Dash member Trayce Thompson. According to this piece by JJ Stankevitz of CSN Chicago, Mitchell and Thompson “had good showings in big league camp, impressing both at the plate and in the field.” Ultimately, an impressive showing is the goal for these younger players, and it seems Mitchell and Thompson did just that.
- Don’t forget to vote for Bolt in “Mascot Madness” today. He currently has an early lead over Wilbur, the University of Arizona’s mascot. You can vote here, so please support everyone’s favorite mascot!
- Why should Bolt win this contest? Here is a reason–Bolt’s weather report. Be sure to check it out, and thanks to WXII for having Bolt visit and update his resume reel!
- Today is the first day of spring, which means baseball is right around the corner. The Dash open up the 2012 slate in 17 days at Carolina. And, the Home Opener is in 24 days: April 13. I can’t wait.
- Thanks to the good people in the Yadkinville Rotary Club for allowing me to visit this morning. It was my first official speech as a member of the Dash, and everyone was very friendly and interested in our organization.
- Finally, I apologize for the lack of posts this weekend. I was completing my move to Winston-Salem, and I needed to head back home to grab some furniture. I also had the chance to watch my Ohio Bobcats make it to the Sweet 16, which means the ‘Cats get to play this team from around here. UNC, I think it is? Maybe you’ve heard of the Tar Heels. I’m thinking upset Friday night, but many others around the office disagree.
We’ll talk again tomorrow.