Results tagged ‘ Scott Snodgress ’

Johnson’s catch, Sale’s start and much more

The White Sox are already two weeks into their exhibition slate in Arizona, and some former Dash players are doing their best to impress the big club.

Infielder Micah Johnson is not only batting .455 and leading the team in runs scored this spring, but the 2013 Dash alum is also turning some heads with his defense. Johnson made this spectacular diving catch against the Brewers on Monday:

That catch made SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays at #4. Pretty impressive stuff.

A few former Winston-Salem hurlers are throwing well in Glendale. Southpaw Charlie Leesman has posted a 1.69 ERA in 4 Cactus League appearances, tossing 5.1 innings while striking out 5 batters. Despite those numbers, the 2010 Dash alum was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday, possibly because he has minor league options remaining on his contract. However, the strong spring showing should keep Leesman on the White Sox radar for the future.

Righty Erik Johnson has thrived in two starts this spring, garnering a 2.57 ERA while striking out 7 batters in 7.0 innings. The 2012 Dash standout is making a bid to join the White Sox rotation in 2014, and manager Robin Ventura has taken notice. “With what he did last year and so far what you see, you like what you see,” Ventura recently told CSN Chicago.

Johnson is also getting some attention for his demeanor off the mound. Check out this recent Chicago Sun-Times article for more on that, which includes comments from fellow White Sox prospect and former Dash teammate Marcus Semien.

Four years ago, Chris Sale was in Winston-Salem. On Opening Day2014 , he will be on the hill for the White Sox.

Four years ago, Chris Sale was in Winston-Salem. On Opening Day, he will be on the hill for the White Sox.

Finally, here are a few roster notes. First, the Sox have tabbed Chris Sale as their Opening Day starter for a second straight year. The 25-year-old, who made his professional debut with the Dash in 2010, says he appreciates the opportunity, per this whitesox.com article: “As much as you sit here and say ‘Treat it like another start,’ it’s the first one of the year and you are obviously going to be amped up for it and excited for it.”

The White Sox also made several roster moves on Wednesday involving Dash alumni. Outfielders Jared Mitchell and Trayce Thompson were optioned to Double-A Birmingham, while catcher Miguel Gonzalez, pitcher Scott Snodgress and outfielder Keenyn Walker were reassigned to minor league camp. This is common during Spring Training, as youngsters get a chance to work with the big club. Here’s hoping these men use their experience well while continuing to climb the minor league ladder in 2014.

- Dave

Spring (training) is in the air

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

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

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

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

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

- Brian

FutureSox releases prospect list

Two weeks ago, Baseball America released its Top 10 White Sox prospect list. While this list is one of the most well-regarded compilations nationally, our friends at FutureSox put together the best list on the internet among White Sox-only sites. FutureSox’s preseason Top 25 is out, and the Dash are well represented.

Of Chicago’s 25 best prospects, a whopping 13 have played in Winston-Salem at some point in their minor league career. This number includes eight alums in the Top 12.

I encourage you to check out the entire list, which includes justification for the top 10 players. Here is the placement of the 13 former Dash players:

2. RHP Erik Johnson
4. INF Marcus Semien
6. OF Courtney Hawkins
7. RHP Chris Beck
9. INF Micah Johnson
10. OF Trayce Thompson
11. RHP Daniel Webb
12. INF Carlos Sanchez
15. RHP Jake Petricka
16. LHP Scott Snodgress
18. RHP Chris Bassitt
21. INF Rangel Ravelo
23. RHP Myles Jaye

A few notes from this list:

  • If it weren’t for the signing of Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, Erik Johnson would be the top prospect. The exciting thing for White Sox fans is that both should be in Chicago in April.
  • It has been quite a 12-month period for Marcus Semien. At this point last year, he was coming off a solid season in Winston-Salem. Very few people could have predicted his quick rise near the top of the Sox prospect rankings, but he was one of the hardest workers I have seen in my two seasons here in Winston-Salem. I’m thrilled for him.
  • This time last year, Carlos Sanchez was the hot prospect. Sure, he did not wow in 2013, but the Venezuela native is still only 21 years old. He is still a legitimate prospect in the system despite coming back to earth a bit in 2013.
  • I’m happy to see Chris Bassitt appear on a prospect list. I think people were waiting to see if his strong end to the 2012 season as a starting pitcher would carry over into last season, and it certainly did. He should also appear on Baseball America’s Top 30 rankings, which will come out later this offseason.
  • Do not be surprised to see both Rangel Ravelo and Myles Jaye continue to climb from the low 20s. Both had strong efforts in 2013, and if they can find similar success in Double-A, they will garner even more praise.

As always, thanks to the guys at FutureSox. Matt Cassidy, one of the site’s main writers, visited Winston-Salem late last season and compiled some great videos. They do a great job with their coverage, and I encourage you to check out all their content here.

The first 2014 White Sox prospect list

Micah Johnson is one of six newcomers on Baseball America's White Sox Top 10 Prospects list (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

Speedster Micah Johnson is one of six newcomers on Baseball America’s White Sox Top 10 Prospects list (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

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.

- Brian

Prospect All-Stars, Top 20 rankings

Adam Heisler and four Dash teammates from 2013 on the Organizational All-Star roster (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Adam Heisler and four Dash teammates from 2013 appeared on the White Sox Organizational All-Star roster (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

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.

- Brian

Three Dash players among Sox top 20 prospects

Courtney Hawkins has retained the top spot in MLB's rankings in his first full season in pro ball (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Courtney Hawkins has retained the top spot in MLB’s White Sox rankings (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

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.

- Rob

Rienzo tosses no-hitter; big leagues next?

2011 and 2012 Dash alum Andre Rienzo no-hit the Indianapolis Indians last night (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dash alum Andre Rienzo tossed a no-hitter in game one of a doubleheader for Charlotte (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Just three nights after Scott Snodgress took a no-hitter into the ninth inning, fellow Dash alum Andre Rienzo no-hit the Indianapolis Indians last night in the front end of a doubleheader for Triple-A Charlotte.

The Knights took both seven-inning contests, but the nightcap was overshadowed by the Brazilian right-hander’s dazzling performance in the double dip opener on Christmas in July night down in Fort Mill, S.C.

Rienzo struck out a career-high 11 while tossing the seventh complete game of his career. He has been on fire this month for the Knights, going 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in four starts with two complete games. After struggling at the start of the season and posting a 7.71 ERA in April, the Dash alum has lowered his earned run average by at least a full run each month since.

It has been a whirlwind month for Rienzo, as he added a scoreless inning of work in the Sirius-XM All-Star Futures Game a few weeks back in New York to go with his dominance for the Knights. Could his phenomenal month end with his first promotion to the big leagues? ESPN Chicago’s Doug Padilla shared this thoughts on the matter last night:

A few Winston-Salem alums chimed in as well, offering their congratulations to the Brazilian righty:

Congratulations to Andre on the no-no, and best of luck to him whether his next outing is in the big leagues or his next turn in Charlotte’s rotation.

Winston-Salem and Carolina continue their four-game series tonight at BB&T Ballpark. Check back later today for our preview.

- Rob

Snodgress takes no-hitter into ninth inning

Scott Snodgress dominated the Carolina League in the second half of 2012 (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Scott Snodgress dominated the Carolina League in the second half of 2012 (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

On Monday night in Alabama, former Winston-Salem southpaw Scott Snodgress was working on something pretty special. Snodgress took a no-hitter into the ninth inning of Double-A Birmingham’s 7-0 win over Chattanooga.

Matt Wallach laced a sharp single to right-center with one down in the ninth to snap the no-hit bid, which would have been the first nine-inning no-no for a Birmingham starter since 1995.

“It was a lot of fun,” Snodgress said in his postgame radio interview. “I’m disappointed that I couldn’t finish it off, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Birmingham’s roster consists of many players who contributed to a historic season in Winston-Salem last season. In 2012, Snodgress was 4-0 with a 1.50 earned run average in his eight starts with the Dash, a club that had an incredible camaraderie last season en route to full-season Minor League Baseball’s best regular season record. According to Snodgress, that attitude has rolled over to Birmingham this season.

“We all come out and play our hearts out to win,” he continued. “It’s not an individual thing. Everyone’s pulling for the other guys. That’s something you don’t see on some teams. I think that’s part of what makes it so special.”

Players showed their support for Snodgress immediately after the Lookouts’ lone hit last night. They also applauded him last night on Twitter.

Snodgress was very appreciative of the support.

Congrats to Scott, a great pitcher and an even better guy. It was fun getting to know him briefly in 2012. He now leads the Southern League with 10 wins. What an outing.

- Brian

8 Dash alums named SL All-Stars (EDIT: Now 9)

Dan Black and seven other Dash alums are Southern League All-Stars (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dan Black and eight other Dash alums are Southern League All-Stars (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

UPDATE (2 p.m. Wednesday): Birmingham closer Taylor Thompson was added as a replacement to the roster, so the Barons now have nine Southern League All-Stars, all of whom played in Winston-Salem. Thompson, who suited up for the Dash from 2010 to 2012, is 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA and 11 saves in 28 appearances. The rest of the post from Tuesday is below.

Propelled by plenty of Winston-Salem alums, Double-A Birmingham rolled to a first-half Southern League North Division title.

Eight men who contributed to that postseason run, all of whom donned the Dash purple prior to their climb to Double-A, have been named SL All-Stars, the league’s office announced Tuesday afternoon.

Here are the players, followed by their year(s) with the Dash and their 2013 numbers with the Barons:

1B Dan Black (2012): .283, 8 HR, 52 RBIs in 78 games
C Mike Blanke (2012): .257, 5 HR, 33 RBIs in 52 games
RHP Erik Johnson (2012): 8-2, 2.23 ERA, 74 Ks in 14 appearances (all starts)
RHP Ryan Kussmaul (2010-11): 2-1, 2.20 ERA, 33 Ks in 19 appearances
RHP Nick McCully (2012): 7-2, 2.63 ERA, 45 Ks in 17 appearances (10 starts)
SS Marcus Semien (2012): .263, 7 HR, 29 RBIs in 80 games
LHP Scott Snodgress (2012): 8-7, 4.97 ERA in 16 appearances (all starts)
1B Andy Wilkins (2011): .288, 10 HR, 49 RBIs in 67 games

Both Johnson and Wilkins will not participate in the Southern League All-Star Game because they have been recently promoted to Triple-A Charlotte.

The 2013 Southern League All-Star Game will be played on July 17 at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, home of the Jacksonville Suns.

- Brian

Still plenty of positives

Dan Black is shining for Double-A Birmingham after a tremendous 2012 in the Triad (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dan Black is shining for Double-A Birmingham after a tremendous 2012 in the Triad (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Even though the Dash have dropped three in a row, there are plenty of positive notes to hit on during this Tuesday afternoon. How about an optimistic set of Dash Dots? Last time we did that, Winston-Salem mustered a sweep at Frederick (proof here). Here’s hoping for a similar result.

DASH DOTS:

  • Dating back to last season, Winston-Salem outfielder Adam Heisler has reached base in 34 straight games, which is tied for the second-longest current streak in Minor League Baseball. High Desert’s Jamal Austin has reached safely in 38 straight games, while Nashville’s Scooter Gennett also has a 34-game run.
  • Heisler made his way aboard in the final three contests of 2012 with rookie-level Great Falls before finding his way on base in all 31 games thus far this season (19 with Low-A Kannapolis and 12 with Winston-Salem). Heisler has hit safely in 27 of these 34 games, and he owns a .303 (40-for-132) average with 15 RBIs and 23 runs scored during this streak.
  • Winston-Salem leads the Carolina League in fielding percentage (.976), and the Dash are tied with Potomac for the fewest errors on the circuit (28). The Dash stumbled out of the gates defensively, amassing 10 errors in the first four games and 21 in the first 14. Since then, though, the Dash have only made seven defensive miscues in their last 17 games.
  • Dash alum Jordan Danks hit a game-winning home run in the eleventh inning against Kansas City Monday, helping the White Sox avoid a sweep against the surging Royals. It was Danks’ first homer of the season.
  • In that ballgame, Addison Reed, who shined with Winston in 2011, earned his 11th save. He also has a win, which means that Reed has had some factor in the decision in 12 of the White Sox first 13 wins.
  • How about the start for Double-A Birmingham? The Barons are a Southern League-best 20-10 on the season, including a 13-2 record at home. Birmingham just wrapped up a five-game sweep of Chattanooga over the weekend with a thrilling 16-14 win Sunday afternoon.
  • Multiple 2012 Dash alums are at or near the top of the SL in a handful of offensive categories. Dan Black is currently leading in batting average (.340) and RBIs (25) and sits second in hits (35). He is only two behind fellow Baron and former Winston-Salem player Marcus Semien, who tops the league in hits with 37. Trayce Thompson also has the second-most runs (24) on the circuit.
  • On the pitching side, Steve McCray and Scott Snodgress are two of five pitchers in the SL who have won four games this season, while Erik Johnson (third, 1.30) and Spencer Arroyo (ninth, 2.36) are in the top 10 on the circuit in earned run average. Taylor Thompson is tied for third with five saves thus far this season, too.
  • Vine is one of the newest social media platforms, and both Dash players and Dash fans are having fun with it. Check out Courtney Hawkins’ clips from the Dash’s MVP Education Day at BB&T Ballpark last Saturday. Plus, Dash fan Eric Martinez sums up a Saturday night game here.

The Dash try to avoid losing their fourth straight home game, something they have only done once in BB&T Ballpark history, tonight at 7 against Frederick. Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 here.

- Erika, Rob and Brian

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