Results tagged ‘ Southern League ’
Less than five months ago, infielder Carlos Sanchez was a 19-year-old gearing up for his first go-around in the Carolina League. Today, Sanchez, a year older and much more advanced as a baseball player, learned he has earned a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte for the first time.
Sanchez was on Winston-Salem’s opening day roster and thrived in the CL. In 92 games with the Dash, Sanchez hit .315 with 42 RBI and 58 runs scored. He still sits second to teammate Dan Black on this circuit in batting average.
One month ago yesterday, Sanchez jumped to Double-A Birmingham for the first time, and his 30 games in the Southern League could not have gone much better. The switch hitter hit .370 with 13 RBI and 17 runs scored for the Barons.
Between the CL and the SL, Sanchez hit .329, which is good for ninth among all minor league players who have appeared in at least 100 games thus far this season. In overall hits, Sanchez places fourth overall with 159, or 1.3 per game.
When Charlotte opens up a homestand with Pawtucket tomorrow night, Sanchez will suit up for the same franchise that his baseball hero, fellow Venezuelan Omar Vizquel, played for while with Cleveland in 1994. When Vizquel played a handful of games with Charlotte that year, Sanchez was two years old.
Incredibly, 18 years later, Sanchez is one step away from big league baseball, where Vizquel is still hanging around with a very legitimate Hall of Fame case. At 20 years old, Sanchez certainly has the chance to carve out quite a career, too. Today was a huge step in that process.
The Dash have not experienced too much turnover lately, but the White Sox did announce a pair of moves affecting Winston-Salem prior to today’s action.
One day after earning his seventh win in the Carolina League, Jon Bachanov is heading back to Birmingham for his second stint in the Double-A Southern League. In a corresponding move, southpaw Matt Wickswat is rejoining the Dash from Birmingham.
Bachanov is 7-2 with a 3.95 earned run average in 23 appearances (nine starts) with the Dash. The righty, who is one win shy of the Dash’s team lead, was with the Barons from June 29 to July 24 and went 0-1 with a 9.00 earned run average over five innings.
Wickswat returns to the Triad after spending much of his 2012 campaign with the Barons. The left-hander, who snapped one of the most bizarre streaks in minor league baseball earlier this year, was 1-7 with a 10.64 earned run average in 19 appearances (seven starts) with Birmingham. In his three-and-a-half week stint with the Dash earlier this half, Wickswat was 1-1 with a 6.55 earned run average.
For those who appreciate milestones, the Dash’s next roster move will be their 100th this season. Winston-Salem and Salem wrap up their three-game series tonight at 7:00 from BB&T Ballpark. Talk to you at 6:45 for the Pre-Game Dash.
Outfielder Trayce Thompson entered the season as the top position prospect in the White Sox system according to most outlets. After turning into the Carolina League’s most dangerous run producer, Thompson is now heading to Double-A Birmingham for the first time in his career.
Thompson earned his first promotion to the Southern League, the White Sox announced this morning. He exits the CL in a tie with former Frederick slugger Aaron Baker for the league lead with 22 home runs. Thompson sits alone atop the circuit with 90 RBI, which is the second-most in Dash history (2009-present). Only Ian Gac has driven in more runs in a single season in a Dash uniform (96 in 2011).
At the beginning of June, Thompson owned a .212 batting average. Then, the Ladera Ranch, Calif., native began to figure out High-A pitching. He hit .255 in June (8 HR, 24 RBI) and .283 in July (7 HR, 24 RBI) before posting a .356 mark in 11 August contests.
“He’s coming on strong at the end,” Dash skipper Tommy Thompson said. “He’s putting the ball in play more. He’s cutting down his strikeouts. He’s still hitting with power, but he’s hitting a lot of line drives and hard ground balls.”
“He’s hitting right now better than he has in the White Sox system”
Thompson also shined defensively, owning a team-best 54-game errorless streak which lasted until this past Tuesday. Plus, he stole 18 bases, which is just outside the top 10 in the Carolina League.
“He works very hard,” Tommy said. “At the end of this season, when he looks back…he’s had an exceptional year.”
Looking ahead, Trayce Thompson is gearing up for an introduction to Double-A, where he sits just two steps away from the big leagues. As for his step in Winston-Salem, it was incredibly fun to watch.
First off, thanks to everyone for their efforts yesterday. Unfortunately, Bolt could not slay the defending Mascot Madness champion–Webster University’s Gorlok. Still, Bolt is incredibly thankful for all of your support.
Believe it or not, the 2012 Carolina League season begins in nine days. To get you set for the action, we are debuting a new feature in advance of the season. It’s the “Carolina Countdown,” and it will preview all seven Carolina League opponents for the Dash this season.
To kick things off, we will begin with the newest entrant into the CL: the Carolina Mudcats.
CAROLINA COUNTDOWN: Carolina Mudcats
Introduction: After 21 years in the Double-A Southern League, the Mudcats are at the Advanced-A level here in the Carolina League. During the shuffle this past offseason, the Mudcats replaced the Kinston Indians as Cleveland’s Carolina League affiliate. The Mudcats had been Cincinnati’s Double-A stop, but now the Reds have the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
Last season: The Mudcats didn’t wrap up their Southern League run in style. Carolina stumbled to a 53-86 overall mark, which was the worst in the SL’s Southern Division. However, this record is completely irrelevant because of the affiliation switch.
Manager: Edwin Rodriguez enters his first season with the Indians’ system. His name may sound familiar to big baseball fans, because he was the manager of the Florida Marlins for 360 days. Rodriguez replaced Fredi Gonzalez June 23, 2010, and resigned June 18, 2011. Rodriguez’s resignation began the process that ultimately led to Ozzie Guillen’s job with the new-look Miami Marlins.
System: The Indians’ system took a hit last year when the organization shipped its top two pitching prospects–Drew Pomeranz and Alex White–to Colorado for Ubaldo Jimenez. That trade, plus the promotion of top hitting prospects Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall to the big leagues, has helped to water down the Tribe’s system.
However, if there is a glimmer of hope, it is in the lower level of the minor leagues. Per Tony Lastoria of Indians Prospect Insider, top prospect Francisco Lindor should join Luigi Rodriguez (fifth-best Indians prospect according to Baseball America) and Tony Wolters (seventh) in Low-A Lake County. This trio could make it up to Carolina by season’s end.
Best promotion: From June 8-10, Scooby Doo will be at Five County Stadium to hang out with Mudcats fans. Unfortunately, the Pelicans are coming to town that weekend, so I won’t be able to hang out with Scooby.
Fun fact: From short season to the big leagues, there are six teams in the Indians’ farm system, and all but Carolina are in the state of Ohio. Triple-A Columbus is a two-hour drive south of Cleveland. Double-A Akron is less than an hour away from Progressive Field. Low-A Lake County is about the same. And short-season Mahoning Valley is near the Pennsylvania border, but it is still less than a two-hour trip to C-town.
Travel to Carolina: This is a pretty easy trip for the team and for Dash fans. Head east on I-40 and you’re there in a little more than two hours. It’s a 131-mile journey to Zebulon, which is the Dash’s second-shortest trip in the Carolina League.
Mudcats in Winston-Salem: These two clubs will share Opening Day April 6 in Zebulon. One week later, the Mudcats make their first ever CL road trip April 13-15 here at BB&T Ballpark. The Mudcats also invade Winston May 25-27 and July 23-26.
Tomorrow: The Frederick Keys, who won last season’s Mills Cup.