Results tagged ‘ Kevan Smith ’
The Chicago White Sox announced a pair of roster moves today affecting the Winston-Salem Dash. Catcher Kevan Smith has been placed on the disabled list after suffering a concussion in last night’s loss to Lynchburg. Smith took a foul tip directly off the mask in the fourth inning and was replaced by Martin Medina.
So far this season, the University of Pittsburgh product is hitting .258 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs. His 36 RBIs are good for eighth-most in the Carolina League, and he paces all CL catchers in that category.
Because of his trip to the seven-day disabled list, Smith will not be eligible to return during the first half of the season. The first game he would be eligible for is the second half opener on June 21 at Lynchburg.
To replace Smith on the roster, Brent Tanner has been recalled from Low-A Kannapolis. Tanner started the season in Winston-Salem, but has bounced back and forth a few times between the Dash and the Intimidators.
During his previous stints here in the Triad, the former South Alabama Jaguar has hit .333 and driven in three runs in 13 games of action. In his time with Kannapolis, he hit .241 with four home runs and 14 RBIs in 20 games while splitting his playing time between first base and catcher.
Tanner’s recall has come at a good time because he has mashed against Lynchburg so far this season. The Lucedale, Miss., native is hitting .571 (8-for-14) against the Hillcats with five doubles and two of his three RBIs. He will likely split catching duties with Medina while Smith is on the shelf.
The Dash continue their three-game set with the Lynchburg Hillcats tonight at BB&T Ballpark, and our game preview is already available. Join Brian and I for the Pregame Dash here starting at 6:45. First pitch is set for 7. Talk to you tonight!
For most high school seniors, missing a morning class or two for breakfast with friends would not be a big deal. Kevan Smith was not like most high school seniors; he was a top quarterback prospect.
In his senior year, Smith threw for more than 1,500 passing yards along with eight touchdowns. As a junior, he only played in two games due to injury, but he threw for more than 600 passing yards to go along with seven touchdowns in those contests. Smith was rated as one of the nation’s top 50 quarterback prospects by Scout.
Therefore, Smith’s senior year brought with it plenty of attention from college football coaches. Smith was labeled as a pocket passer who had ability to make plays with his feet. He was being recruited most heavily by the University of Pittsburgh, Michigan State University and Penn State University. This decision would seem to be a difficult one, but things did not turn out that way thanks to a decision he made during his senior year.
“My buddy convinced me to skip instead of going to my morning classes,” Smith said. “What I didn’t know was that the offensive coordinator from Michigan State and Penn State were both coming to my school to visit me that morning.”
Skipping class was not something that Kevan had done before, but that day the peer pressure got the better of him. “I never missed school, and grades were always important to me,” Smith said. “It was ironic that the one day I skipped I had visitors.”
Smith’s father found out that he missed his meetings through a phone call from his football coach. “Even though I had been caught, I still tried to get out of it when my dad called,” Smith joked. “But we went to play tennis and my buddy was in the background screaming, ‘Eight serving two,’ so my attempt to talk my way out of it did not work.”
Still, Smith saw this turn of events as a sign.
“The way I look at it is that, if they really wanted me, then they would have come back,” Smith said. “Going to Michigan State or Penn State just was not meant to be, although I grew up a Penn State fan.”
Kevan believes that everything happens for a reason, and his time at Pittsburgh led him to a few starts as the Panthers quarterback. Later in his college career, Smith starred as a catcher, and that led him here to Winston-Salem within the White Sox farm system.
Quite a story for one of the Dash’s best players. Maybe it was a good thing he skipped that one day. Winston-Salem fans certainly are happy with how things turned out.
The first day of the Major League Baseball Draft is in the books, and the White Sox have a pair of new prospects, both of whom we will highlight later today in the blog.
For now, we let a few Dash players reflect on their draft day experiences. No two stories are alike, but every one of them came about because of hard work.
Winston-Salem and Wilmington open up a three-game series tonight at 7 from BB&T Ballpark. Stay tuned here for more MLB Draft coverage.
Since BB&T Ballpark opened on April 13, 2010, nearly one million fans have made their way through its gates. As we approach this milestone, we decided to take a look back at some of the best moments in this young park’s history.
The first fans make their way through BB&T Ballpark’s gates ahead of the first game in the park’s history.
Kenny Williams, the former White Sox GM and father of 2010 Dash alum Kenny Williams Jr., throws out the first pitch in BB&T Ballpark history.
Fans packed the seats and the left field berm for the park’s inaugural night with 7,111 in attendance.
The Dash and Myrtle Beach Pelicans played a 20-inning affair in the second game of a doubleheader on May 19, 2010, prevailing 4-3 when Ozzie Lewis scored the game winning run.
A tremendous crowd of 7,268 fans (the highest in the park’s history to that point) packed BB&T Ballpark on July 2, 2010 as Chris Sale made his professional debut. Sale is now shining in the big leagues.
Prior to the 2011 season, Winston-Salem entertained its parent club at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash bested the White Sox 3-0 in an exhibition game.
On July 5 and 6, 2011, Dash outfielder Nick Ciolli robbed a pair of home runs from Salem and Myrtle Beach, the latter of which would have been a grand slam. See both grabs here and here. (Photo via Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)
BB&T Ballpark was jam packed again for the All-Star Game between the California League and Carolina League on June 19, 2012. (Photo via Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)
Bolt got together with several of his friends to put on quite a show during last year’s All-Star festivities. (Photo via Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)
After the Carolina League finished thrashing the California League 9-1, fans enjoyed a great fireworks show to cap off the week’s festivities. (Photo via Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)
Dash fans came out in droves on July 4, 2012, setting a BB&T Ballpark record with 7,285 watching the Dash take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. (Photo via Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)
The Dash posted full-season Minor League Baseball’s top record in 2012, and Winston-Salem advanced all the way to the Mills Cup Finals. Kevan Smith clubbed a go-ahead homer in the Dash’s Game 2 win, and Daniel Wagner’s reaction in the middle said it all. (Photo via Dan Barber/W-S Dash).
Thank you to the best fans in Minor League Baseball for helping BB&T Ballpark become the fastest High-A facility to reach one million fans! Check back tomorrow for more BB&T Ballpark history.
If you follow the Dash on Twitter and Instagram (and if you don’t…what are you waiting for?), you already know that we have been counting down the days until Opening Day at BB&T Ballpark. Finally, that countdown has reached one, with Opening Day tomorrow night at 7 against Carolina. Here are some of the notable numbers from the countdown.
100: The countdown began with this picture on a fairly nice day in early January, 100 days from Opening Day.
88: At the 88 day mark, we highlighted last year’s Carolina League MVP Dan Black, who posted 88 RBIs for the Dash in 2012.
72: On July 4th, 2012, the Dash welcomed a single-game record 7,285 fans into BB&T Ballpark for their game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
55: Coming into this season, the Dash have posted a winning percentage of .554 (317-255) in the regular season and playoffs since they became the Dash prior to the 2009 season.
38: Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins played 38 games for the Bristol White Sox before earning a promotion to Kannapolis and later to Winston-Salem for the end of the regular season and Carolina League playoffs.
25: Twice in the last two seasons, the Dash have been 25 games above .500 at BB&T Ballpark. In 2010, they were 47-22, and last season the club went 48-23.
21: Last year, the Dash’s #21, Kevan Smith, hit two home runs in the Carolina League playoffs, including a grand slam in the deciding game of the SDCS against Myrtle Beach.
9: BB&T Ballpark has hosted nine playoff games since it opened in 2010. The Dash have a record of 6-3 in those games.
5: The Dash had five postseason Carolina League All-Stars last season; Dan Black, Michael Earley, Carlos Sanchez, Brady Shoemaker and Trayce Thompson.
1: We have the number one fans in Minor League Baseball. Since opening BB&T Ballpark, almost one million fans have seen a Dash game in the Triad. Our total attendance since 2010 is the tops in High-A baseball. Our final countdown went out to all of you.
Tomorrow night, BB&T Ballpark opens it gates for the first time in 2013 as the Dash take on the Carolina Mudcats at 7! But before we get to that, the Dash have one more in Frederick tonight. Join Brian for the Pregame Dash at 6:45 here.
After last night’s one-run loss, the Dash will try to avoid a sweep in Carolina this afternoon. Winston-Salem has not suffered one of those in a long time. That crazy stat, along with a few other notes, is included in a Sunday edition of the Dash Dots:
- During last season’s 87-51-1 season, the Dash did not suffer a sweep all season. In fact, dating back to 2011, the Dash have won their last seven games when facing a sweep. Winston-Salem’s last sweep came against Salem from July 9-11 of 2011.
- Winston-Salem is 0-2 to begin the season for the first time since 2008. This is the first time that the club has lost its first two contests since the nickname change to Dash in 2009. Winston has not kicked off a campaign with three straight defeats since 2005 when former Cleveland CL affiliate Kinston swept Winston-Salem from April 8-10 by only a combined seven runs.
- One year after Winston-Salem led the Carolina League in most offensive categories, the club is off to its slowest offensive start since 2005 when the Warthogs only mustered three runs in their first two games. The Dash also dropped to 0-1 when leading after seven innings. Last year, Winston was 75-5 in those situations.
- The Dash’s top four hitters have struggled in the early going in 2013. In the opener, Billy Rice, Joey DeMichele, Courtney Hawkins and Kevan Smith combined to go 1-for-16 with five strikeouts. In Saturday’s defeat, the group mustered just a 1-for-15 showing with six whiffs.
- Despite Winston-Salem’s struggles offensively in the first two games of 2013, first baseman Grant Buckner has turned in a pair of solid efforts. The former West Virginia Mountaineer is 3-for-6 with two doubles and a run scored thus far this season. He has reached in four of his seven plate appearances.
Today, righty Chris Beck, the fourth-best pitching prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America, will make his High-A debut. The Pregame Dash begins at 1:45 p.m., and you will hear from Buckner. Join me at this link. I’ll talk to you then.
The trip to Zebulon is complete, and the Dash are gearing up for their first batting practice of the season in moments. New skipper Ryan Newman has submitted his first starting lineup of the season, and it looks like this:
LF Billy Rice
2B Joey DiMichele
CF Courtney Hawkins
C Kevan Smith
DH Mark Tracy
RF Mark Haddow
1B Grant Buckner
3B Chris Curley
SS David Herbek
RHP Bryan Blough
Our pregame coverage begins with the Pregame Dash at 7 p.m., with first pitch 15 minutes later. The season is upon us! Enjoy following along all season long.
One of the final steps before the Dash’s season can begin is the release of the Opening Day roster, which happened today. Dash fans know about some of these 25 players, while others will suit up for Winston-Salem for the first time Friday at Carolina. Let’s take a look at all of these players and how they fit within the roster.
The top prospect:
OF Courtney Hawkins
No White Sox prospect will draw as much attention as Hawkins will during the 2013 season. Chicago’s first-round pick 10 months ago, Hawkins hit three homers and drove in seven runs in 12 High-A games last season. He will likely get a longer look at this level while trying to live up to the billing of being the Sox top prospect and one of the top 100 players in the minors.
The other ranked farmhands:
RHP Chris Beck, INF Joey DeMichele & C Kevan Smith
In addition to Hawkins’ place atop Baseball America’s White Sox prospect rankings, three other players who will open the season with Winston-Salem found themselves on the publication’s Top 30 list. Beck (10th) makes the jump from short-season Great Falls, while DeMichele (24th) is a player that many believe can climb the minor league ladder quickly. Most Dash fans remember Smith (27th) and his big grand slam in the SDCS-clinching win over Myrtle Beach last season. He will likely receive the majority of the playing time available behind the plate.
The returning hurlers:
RHP J.R. Ballinger, RHP Chris Bassitt, RHP Bryan Blough, RHP Justin Collop, RHP Terance Marin, LHP Max Peterson & RHP Steven Upchurch
The Dash’s pitching staff was one of the best in the Carolina League last season, and more than half of the Dash’s Opening Day pitchers suited up for Winston-Salem at some point last season. Pitching coach J.R. Perdew also returns after the tremendous 2012 season. All seven of these pitchers have had success at this level, which bodes well for the Dash in 2013.
The “prove it” player:
INF David Herbek
Herbek’s 2012 season was unique. He hit just .214 in 43 games with Low-A Kannapolis, but the White Sox moved him up to Winston-Salem in late June. The Virginia native responded by swinging at a .313 clip in 47 games. Herbek figures to see significant time with the Dash, so will he be closer to his Kannapolis form or his Winston-Salem self? You have to like his chances to be a scary hitter on this circuit like he was down the stretch a year ago.
The new White Sox:
RHP Jeremy Erben, OF Nick Giarraputo & INF Mark Tracy
Three men on the 25-man roster were not with the organization last season. The White Sox signed Erben in spring training, just a few days after Arizona released him. Giarraputo is back in affiliated baseball after three seasons on the independent circuit. Tracy joined the Sox organization following a trade with Colorado. Former Dash outfielder Kenny Williams, Jr., was shipped to the Rockies in that deal. This trio will be hungry to contribute early on as White Sox farmhands.
INF Chris Curley, OF Mark Haddow & OF Billy Rice
These three men all joined Winston-Salem at some point last season, but the threesome combined for only 11 regular season games with the Dash. Curley shined in the final week of the regular season before hitting .500 in the CL postseason, while Haddow and Rice struggled a bit in their limited at-bats after playing well for Low-A Kannapolis. How will these three swingers adjust to a prolonged stay in the Triad? That answer may dictate how effective the offense will be this season.
The Kannapolis kids:
INF Grant Buckner, LHP Jarrett Casey, INF Joe De Pinto & RHP Daniel Webb
These four players spent most or all of their 2012 seasons with Low-A Kannapolis. The jump from Low-A to High-A is not an easy one, but all four of these men will get the chance to do it following spring training.
The catching couple:
C Martin Medina & C Brent Tanner
With Smith in the fold, how will skipper Ryan Newman find playing time for these two backstops? Both Medina and Tanner have shown promise in the minors, but there is only so many at-bats to go around. Last season, the Dash rarely had three catchers on the roster, so this will be a challenge for Newman and hitting coach Rob Sasser.
The comeback candidate:
RHP Cody Winiarski
Winiarski missed all of last season with a back injury, and he only has 17 career minor league efforts under his belt. Last season, Kyle Bellamy returned from a season-long injury to shine with Winston before heading to Double-A. Winiarski will look to do the same for the Dash in 2013.
Hopefully this gives you some more insight on the first roster for the Dash in 2013. The season is three days away, and we will have plenty more coverage leading up to Friday’s season opener here on the Dash Board.
For many minor league players, spring training is an opportunity to get a taste of a big league atmosphere and pick the brains of those at higher levels. As camp progresses, some of these players are sent back to minor league camp for their own good (more at bats or innings to prepare for the season) and the team’s own good (big league players are gearing up for the season, too).
Today, the White Sox announced that five non-roster invitees to spring training, all of whom are Dash alums, have been reassigned to minor league camp: C Mike Blanke, RHP Jake Petricka, INF Tyler Saladino, C Kevan Smith and INF Andy Wilkins.
Here are their’ stats from big league spring training:
- Blanke: 3 games played, 0-for-1
- Petricka: 2 appearances, 2.0 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs
- Saladino: 6 games played, 2-for-6, 1 run, 1 RBI
- Smith: 2 games played, 1-for-1, 1 run
- Wilkins: 4 games played, 3-for-9, 2 runs, 3 RBI
Obviously, statistics from a small sample size during spring training are not incredibly important, but these Dash alums performed well with many White Sox decision makers watching them. Congratulations to them.
The White Sox made one other move today: LHP Charlie Leesman was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. Leesman, a 2010 Winston-Salem alum, did not appear in a game with Chicago in spring training.
The Sox still have 55 players remaining in big league camp, and many of them are Dash alums. We will keep you posted on any spring training transactions that take place.
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.