Results tagged ‘ Keenyn Walker ’
The Dash cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Frederick Keys Wednesday night at Harry Grove Stadium, but the story was White Sox top prospect Courtney Hawkins. Hawkins crushed a two-run blast in both the first and third innings to propel the Dash to their second win in a row. Here are a few notes on Hawkins’ big night:
- Hawkins became the 21st player in Dash history to record a multi-home run game. The last two-homer game for a Dash swinger also came in Frederick when fellow outfield prospect Keenyn Walker hit two against Kevin Gausman, one of the Orioles’ top farmhands, on August 18, 2012.
- There have now been 29 multi-homer games in Dash history, which dates back to the 2009 season.
- No Dash player has ever hit three homers in a single game. The last Winston-Salem hitter to accomplish that feat was John Shelby III. He blasted three long balls against Wilmington on May 3, 2008, which was the final season of the Warthogs era.
- Before Wednesday night, Hawkins was 1-for-10 with six strikeouts. Hawkins whiffed three times in each of the first two games of the season after only posting one three-whiff effort last year in his first professional season.
- This is Hawkins’ first multi-homer effort of his professional career. The Corpus Christi, Texas, native now has 10 long balls in 63 minor league games (12 homers in 70 games if you count the playoffs).
- Entering play today, Winston-Salem was tied for last in the CL with two homers.
In other words, Hawkins is pretty good at baseball. That is all.
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.
I’ve had a blast coming up with the daily countdown to the 2013 season. Every number from 100 to 53 has been represented, and we went through some of them a few weeks back.
If you have missed any, 100-86 can be found here, and 85-53 is available below:
85 – In ’85, Winston-Salem won the CL title despite a regular season record of just 58-81. (Still counts!)
84 – This past season, right-handed pitching prospect Jake Petricka struck out 84 men while with the Dash.
83 – 1983 was the final year of the Winston-Salem Red Sox, the team with the most wins (1635) & Carolina League titles (5) in Winston-Salem history.
82 – Five years after playing in Winston-Salem, Hall of Famer Wade Boggs made his MLB debut in 1982.
81 – Mike Blanke, who earned a non-roster invite to spring training, had 81 hits a year ago in Winston.
80 – In the Dash’s 80th PA of the game, Chase Blackwood’s RBI single gave the Dash a 4-3, 20-inning win on May 19, 2010, against Myrtle Beach.
79 – Bill Slack, the winningest manager in W-S and CL history, was the 1979 Manager of the Year.
78 – Winston-Salem hit a league-best .278 in 2012.
77 – 2011 first rounder Keenyn Walker has 77 stolen bases in just 165 minor league games.
76 – The Dash played 76 total games at beautiful BB&T Ballpark last season.
75 – Chris Bassitt struck out 75 in his 91 innings last season in Winston-Salem.
74 – Fan-favorite Dan Black led the Dash with 74 hits at BB&T Ballpark in his MVP season.
73 – All-Star Michael Earley drove in 73 runs with the Dash in 2012 (T-4th in the CL).
72 – On July 4th, 2012, a single-game record 7,285 fans enjoyed a Dash game at BB&T Ballpark.
71 – MLB Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson started 71 games in 1956, the final season of his amazing 10-year career (this was the fact on January 31, Robinson’s birthday).
70 – In 70 innings pitched with the White Sox last year, rookie Hector Santiago posted a 3.33 ERA.
69 – In game 69 of 2012, the Dash clinched the 1st-half title with a 9-5 win at Wilmington June 16.
68 – On July 17, 1968, Ed Phillips tossed the first perfect game in CL history. It is still Winston-Salem’s only perfecto in franchise history.
67 – In 67 innings in Winston-Salem last season, Terance Marin recorded an impressive 2.42 earned run average.
66 – Reliever Kevin Vance boasted a 1.66 ERA in 11 outings with Winston-Salem in 2012.
65 – Winston-Salem was 65-23 when hitting at least one home run in 2012. This record was the best on the circuit.
64 – If you attended every regular season game at BB&T Ballpark in 2012, you watched an even 640 innings of baseball!
63 – Winston-Salem’s single-season batting average record is .363, set by 8-year MLB vet Ray Jablonski in 1951.
62 – All-Star Matt Heidenreich whiffed 62 batters with the Dash before a July trade to the Houston organization.
61 – Winston led the Carolina League with a 61-22 mark when scoring first in 2012.
60 – In 1960, Ed Olivares hit 35 home runs for Winston-Salem, which still remains a single-season franchise record
59 – Both Marcus Semien and Brady Shoemaker drove in 59 runs for Winston-Salem last season.
58 – Carlos Sanchez, who is currently in big league camp with the White Sox, scored 58 times for the Dash in ’12.
57 – 57 different players suited up for the Dash in 2012, and they posted full-season Minor League Baseball’s best mark (87-51)!
56 – Outfielder Keenyn Walker led all White Sox farmhands with a combined 56 stolen bases between Low-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem last year.
55 – Since becoming the Dash prior to the ’09 season, Winston boasts a .554 winning percentage (317-255). This includes regular season and postseason games.
54 – Trayce Thompson hit .254 with CL-bests in homers (22) and RBI (90) with the Dash a year ago.
53 – The Dash boasted 5 year-end All-Stars (Dan Black, Michael Earley, Carlos Sanchez, Brady Shoemaker and Trayce Thompson) and 3 midseason All-Stars (Earley, Shoemaker and Matt Heidenreich).
Pitchers and catchers may not report for a couple of weeks, and the spring training opener follows toward the end of February. However, tomorrow is the true beginning of spring training.
Tomorrow afternoon, the White Sox equipment truck departs for Glendale, Ariz.
Sure, this event is not quite the same as team workouts or exhibition games, but this 1,800-mile journey signals that baseball is not just a distant memory. It is on the horizon.
However, baseball is a 12-month responsibility for the players, and many Dash alums have been preparing since the fall. Here are some spring training-related tweets from the last few weeks.
— Courtney Hawkins (@CHawkins10) January 12, 2013
1 month away! Spring training cannot come any sooner! I’m dyin to get back on the field! #Ambition
— Keenyn Walker (@Keenyn_Walker) January 19, 2013
Anxious to see everyone at spring training…if I go by the tweets a lot of guys supposedly look like bodybuilders
— Michael Earley (@MoneyMikeEarley) January 23, 2013
— Cyle Hankerd (@hankerd) January 24, 2013
Last years struggles are paying off in big ways. Crazy how you gotta take 1 step back to go 2 steps forward. Pumped for 2013.
— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) January 27, 2013
The players have been gearing up to use the equipment that will begin the trip to spring training tomorrow. It’s a bit of a stretch, but baseball fans are happy about any signs that our national pastime is almost here. We’ll take it!
The talented folks at FutureSox.com released their preseason Top 25 White Sox prospect list, and 16 of these prospects have played for Winston-Salem at some point.
Among the 16 Winston-Salem alums, 10 of them played with the Dash last season. The notable trend within this group is a significant improvement between the 2012 midseason list and the 2013 preseason ranking.
Here’s why: eight of the 10 Dash alums on this list either remained in the same spot or climbed the rankings since the midway point of last season. Take a look at the list:
#1 – OF Courtney Hawkins (Midseason: 1)
#2 – OF Trayce Thompson (Midseason: 7)
#4 - RHP Erik Johnson (Midseason: 18)
#5 – INF Carlos Sanchez (Midseason: 10)
#7 – RHP Andre Rienzo (Midseason: 15)
#8 – OF Keenyn Walker (Midseason: 8)
#9 – LHP Scott Snodgress (Midseason: 38)
#16 – INF Marcus Semien (Midseason: 34)
#22 – RHP Jake Petricka (Midseason: 16)
#25 – C Kevan Smith (Midseason: 24)
Improvement is the goal, and the Dash saw plenty of it from the 2012 crop of players who dominated the Carolina League en route to full-season Minor League Baseball’s best record.
Congratulations to all of the players on this list. Standing out in the minors is not easy, but these players have done just that.
The White Sox announced their non-roster invitees to spring training yesterday, and 13 of the 20 players heading to Glendale are former Dash players.
Of those 13 players, nine contributed to the Dash’s 2012 run to full-season minor league baseball’s best record and a Mills Cup Championship Series appearance.
It is an honor for these players to receive an invitation to spring training, and the goal is to impress while with the “big boys.” However, it is important to note that highly-touted prospects who go to spring training are not normally true contenders to make a roster unless they have significant experience in Double-A or Triple-A.
The flurry of invitations still bring about a question: can any of these 2012 Dash alums wow the Sox enough to break camp with the big league squad?
First off, any player who ended the season with the Dash would need to make a three-level jump in order to crack the roster, which means C Mike Blanke, RHP Erik Johnson, SS Marcus Semien, C Kevan Smith, LHP Scott Snodgress and OF Keenyn Walker will be long shots.
This leaves three other 2012 Dash alums: RHP Jake Petricka, INF Carlos Sanchez and OF Trayce Thompson.
Petricka has been a highly-ranked prospect in the White Sox system for the last few years, but he did struggle a bit with both Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. The Minnesota native has plenty of potential, but additional minor league seasoning is almost certainly necessary.
Thompson has all the tools, but he has taken some time to adjust to every level. In 2011, the former second-round pick started crushing Low-A pitching, and his ascension to the top of the home run and RBI totem poles in the Carolina League this season stemmed from his surge after the All-Star break.
While Thompson reached Triple-A for the postseason, he still likely needs some time in the International League to figure out how to hit at that level. Thompson will be in the big leagues at some point, but Opening Day 2013 seems a bit too early.
This leaves Sanchez, who jumped up prospect rankings with a tremendous 2012 showing. The 20-year-old led the CL in batting average among qualifiers before going to Birmingham, where he hit .370 in 30 games. This prompted a late-season bump to Charlotte.
In 18 games with the Knights (regular season and playoffs), Sanchez hit .237 (14-for-59) with seven runs scored. These numbers are not eye-popping, but the Venezuelan most certainly held his own at the minors’ highest level.
Sanchez’s name even came up in Scott Merkin’s story about the non-roster invitees on whitesox.com yesterday.
“Carlos Sanchez also could be a long shot in consideration for that utility infield job. But with the 20-year-old phenom having just two years of professional experience and 991 Minor League at-bats to his credit, the White Sox goal is to get Sanchez a full season of at-bats at Triple-A Charlotte during the 2013 campaign. He topped all White Sox Minor Leaguers with a .323 average and 169 hits in 2012.”
A “goal” can always be changed, and Sanchez certainly has plenty of momentum from last season. He is an underdog in the race for one of the elusive 25 spots on Robin Ventura’s Opening Day roster, but he appears to be in the running.
You never know. A great spring could open the door for a 2012 Dash alum to reach The Show in 2013. Good luck to Carlos and the rest of the former Dash players heading to Arizona next month.
Alabama won the BCS National Championship Game last night in Miami, and many Dash alums had strong opinions about the game. A pair of 2012 All-Stars–Michael Earley and Brady Shoemaker–are diehard Notre Dame fans, while other Dash players wanted the Tide to roll. Here is some game analysis (and some jokes) from Winston-Salem’s boys of summer.
— Greg Paiml (@GP_3) January 7, 2013
— Michael Earley (@MoneyMikeEarley) January 7, 2013
Here come the Irish. Lets go! Time to prove people wrong.
— brady shoemaker (@this_is_BS21) January 7, 2013
— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) January 7, 2013
— Kevin Vance (@SorryBoutIt10) January 8, 2013
whos ready for the national championship? Go Irish!
— Dan Black (@THE_DANBLACK) January 7, 2013
Prediction:Bama 27ND 13
— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) January 7, 2013
Here we go, snow outside, but every light is on in houses all over indiana..#Irish
— Michael Earley (@MoneyMikeEarley) January 8, 2013
Game over… #BAMA won
— Terance Marin™ (@tero89) January 8, 2013
Ballgame.. Sorry ND but y’all just aren’t built to comeback from 14, esp not vs bama
— Kyle Bellamy (@KyleBellamy_U) January 8, 2013
— Keenyn Walker (@Keenyn_Walker) January 8, 2013
All I’m gonna say is TOLD YOU SO ND FANS. I won’t say anything from here on out but told you so.
— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) January 8, 2013
ND through and through. I believe in what they stand for and always will! Keep hatin but I will always follow a true team. #family
— brady shoemaker (@this_is_BS21) January 8, 2013
Thanks to these players and the rest of Twitter for making last night’s game more entertaining. Congrats to Alabama on the big win.
No, I’m not talking about Tim Allen’s “Tool Time” show in the Home Improvement series.
The Dash shined in Baseball America’s top 10 White Sox prospects countdown, which we broke down yesterday. However, the publication went beyond the top 10 list.
The annual countdown includes a look at the top prospect in Chicago’s system based on various tools, and seven 2012 Dash alumni earned at least one spot on this list:
Best Hitter for Average – Carlos Sanchez
Best Power Hitter – Courtney Hawkins
Fastest Baserunner – Keenyn Walker
Best Athlete – Courtney Hawkins
Best Curveball – Kevin Vance
Best Slider – Erik Johnson
Best Defensive Catcher – Miguel Gonzalez
Best Defensive Infielder – Carlos Sanchez
Best Infield Arm – Juan Silverio
Congrats to Sanchez and Hawkins, who both took home a pair of these “tools awards.”
You can read more about these players and the rest of Baseball America’s countdown here.
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 less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving, but there are plenty of news and notes to discuss from the last few days.
- Former Dash hurler Brandon Kloess is now a member of the Padres’ organization. The White Sox traded Kloess, who was 3-4 with a 3.70 ERA in Winston-Salem between 2010 and 2011, to San Diego for outfielder Blake Tekotte, who has played a combined 30 games in the big leagues over the last two seasons. Tekotte should figure into the outfielder mix in spring training with the Sox.
- Another Dash alum is heading out of the White Sox organization. Former Warthogs pitching coach Juan Nieves, who was Chicago’s bullpen coach for the last five seasons, is heading to Boston to become the Red Sox pitching coach. He will join new Boston skipper John Farrell, who was recently hired from Toronto.
- Baseball America’s annual list of the top 10 prospects in each organization is underway, and the White Sox will learn about their top farmhands Monday. I would anticipate that the list will be outfielder-heavy.
- Here is my guess (in no particular order) of the top 10: Keon Barnum, Courtney Hawkins, Erik Johnson, Charlie Leesman, Nestor Molina, Jake Petricka, Carlos Sanchez, Scott Snodgress, Trayce Thompson, and Keenyn Walker.
- For a comparison, MLB.com has its top 20 available here. It is great to see so many players who have come through Winston-Salem.
- Finally, I had a chance to return to my alma mater Ohio University for a couple of days this week. My time in Athens made me who I am today, and it was great to see some familiar faces and take in a football game. If you are looking at colleges, you can’t go wrong with Ohio.
Have a great weekend, and we’ll talk to you next week when the Baseball America rankings are released.