Results tagged ‘ Trayce Thompson ’

Game #24 Preview – Dash at Frederick

Game #24 – Away Game #14
Winston-Salem Dash (10-13) at Frederick Keys (7-16)
Sunday, May 1 – 2 p.m.
Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium (Frederick, MD)


Trailing 7-2 through seven innings, Winston-Salem sent 11 men to the plate and scored seven times in the eighth en route to a shocking 9-8 victory in Frederick on Saturday afternoon at NYMEO Field. The Dash go for their first sweep of the year and a season-high fourth straight win.



Marcus Davis capped a seven-run eighth with a 2-run double in Winston-Salem’s 9-7 win on Saturday at Frederick (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Mason Robbins – LF
Brett Austin – C
Louie Lechich – RF
Danny Mendick – SS
Jordan Stephens – RHP


  • The Dash’s seven-run frame was one shy of the club’s best single-inning performance of the year (eight in the 13th at Lynchburg on April 7) and two shy of the Dash-era record (nine in the 7th at Frederick on May 7, 2015). Mason Robbins’ two-run double and Grant Massey’s two-run single set up Montilla and Davis’ heroics. Thanks to this eighth-inning surge, the Dash mustered their biggest come-from-behind win since erasing a six-run hole to stun Salem 9-8 on June 1, 2015.
  • Winston-Salem continues its strong play away from BB&T Ballpark. The Dash boast an 8-5 road record, including wins in seven of their last eight. This matches the franchise’s best eight-game road stretch since the nickname change in 2009. The other two instances of a 7-1 surge on the road came during the first half of Winston-Salem’s 81-win season of 2010. Since 2012, the Dash possess a 30-16 (.652) record in Frederick.
  • The Dash’s offense is second in the league in batting average, and several key cogs delivered in Saturday’s win. Davis snapped an 0-for-8 funk with the game-winning double. With two more hits, Montilla is hitting .386 (17-for-44) in his last 11 games. Robbins is 11-for-25 (.440) over the last six contests, including 3-for-5 on Saturday.
  • With another three-hit showing, already his seventh in 2016, Nick Basto jumped back atop the hits leaderboard in Minor League Baseball with 39. He enjoys a single-hit advantage over Stockton’s James Harris for the top spot, while no other Minor Leaguer has more than 33 knocks. Basto’s .433 average trails only Fort Wayne’s Austin Allen (.460) among qualifiers, while his 1.147 OPS is fifth-best in the Minors.
  • The former fifth-round pick is riding a nine-game hitting streak, the longest from a Dash hitter in 2016 and the fourth-longest active run in the Carolina League. During this surge, Basto is hitting .538 (21-for-39) with three homers and eight RBIs. Overall on the circuit, Basto leads the way in average by .073, on-base percentage by .030, hits by seven and total bases by one. Basto did see his three-game home run streak, the first of its kind by a Winston hitter since July of 2012 (Trayce Thompson), come to an end.
  • Following this series finale, the final game for the Dash in Frederick in the first half, the club returns to BB&T Ballpark for three against Myrtle Beach and four against Salem. Against those two teams on their first homestand, the Dash went 1-6, tied for their worst multi-set homestand in BB&T Ballpark history.
  • Hunter Jones leads the CL in games (23) and at-bats (95).


Sunday’s game will be broadcast live on and the TuneIn Radio App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 1:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 2 p.m.


Game #23 Preview – Dash at Frederick

Game #23 – Away Game #13
Winston-Salem Dash (9-13) at Frederick Keys (7-15)
Saturday, April 30 – 2 p.m.
Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium (Frederick, MD)


One of Minor League Baseball’s most prolific hitters delivered the game-winning knock Friday night. Nick Basto’s leadoff homer in the ninth thrust the Dash past the Frederick Keys 3-2 in the first of three at NYMEO Field. The Dash look for their third straight win on Saturday, which would match their longest winning streak of the season.



Thad Lowry searches for his first win of the season on Saturday against Frederick (Jody Stewart / W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Danny Mendick – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Louis Silverio – RF
Mason Robbins – LF
Grant Massey – SS
Thad Lowry – RHP


  •  Basto’s ninth-inning home run gives him 36 hits for the season. He is tied with Stockton’s James Harris for the Minor League lead in hits, though Basto would have been alone at 37 if not for a scoring change after the game turned a sixth-inning single into an error on Frederick shortstop Anthony Caronia. Basto’s .424 average trails only Fort Wayne’s Austin Allen (.460) among qualifiers. Thanks to his homer, Basto’s OPS jumped to 1.167, which is second to Tacoma’s Mike Zunino (1.220) in the Minors.
  • The former fifth-round pick is riding an eight-game hitting streak, tied for the longest by a Winston-Salem hitter this season. During this run, Basto is hitting .529 (18-for-34).  Also, Basto has gone deep in three consecutive games for the first time in his professional career. He is the first Dash slugger to accomplish this feat since Trayce Thompson did it from July 24-26, 2012.
  • Thanks to all of this great work, Basto’s name is splattered throughout the CL’s leaderboard. Basto enjoys a lead of .068 in batting average, six in hits and .010 in on-base percentage atop the CL. He also stands tied for first in total bases (58), second in slugging percentage (.682) and fourth in extra-base hits (12).
  • Dash right-hander Matt Cooper bested a career-high he set six days prior with a seven-inning gem on Friday in Frederick. During this outing, Cooper struck out eight, including three in a 10-pitch sixth inning, to push his 2016 total to 35. He is second in all of Minor League Baseball in whiffs, trailing only Atlanta prospect Lucas Sims. Sims has struck out 42 between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett. Cooper, who has logged 17 strikeouts in his last two outings, is the only High-A hurler with more than 32 strikeouts on the season.
  • The Dash’s 2-8 home start is the franchise’s worst since moving into BB&T Ballpark in 2010, but the club is staying close to .500 due to its great work on the road. Winston-Salem is 7-5 away from the Triad, with three of those wins coming in its last at-bat. The Dash have claimed six of their last seven road games. Since 2012, Winston-Salem boasts a 29-16 (.644) record in Frederick. Remarkably, no team in the CL has a road record worse than a game below .500.
  • Over the last eight days, Winston-Salem has recorded two cycles: Montilla on Friday at Salem and Mason Robbins on Wednesday at home against Lynchburg. Montilla’s cycle was the franchise’s first since May 14, 2008 (Brandon Allen), a 2,900-day wait. Five days later, Robbins earned the first cycle for a Dash hitter in BB&T Ballpark history. Winston-Salem boasts two of the three cycles in Minor League Baseball this year, with Indianapolis’ Josh Bell (April 22 vs. Louisville) owning the other one.
  • Kleven had given up a run in six of his first seven outings with the Dash before tossing two scoreless innings Friday.
  • Grant Massey went 1-for-3 in his High-A debut (started at shortstop).
  • Gerson Montilla is hitting .375 (15-for-40) with 9 RBIs and 12 runs in his last 10 games.


Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on and the TuneIn Radio App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 1:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 2 p.m.


Game #116 Preview – Dash at Potomac

Game #116 – Road Game #56
Winston-Salem Dash (29-16, 59-56) at Potomac Nationals (19-25, 52-62)
Wednesday, August 12 – 7:05 p.m.
Pfitzner Stadium (Woodbridge, Va.)


Both Winston-Salem and Potomac claimed a victory during Tuesday’s makeshift doubleheader at Pfitzner Stadium. The Nationals rallied for an 8-5 victory in the continuation of the suspended contest from July 13 at BB&T Ballpark. However, the Dash did rebound in the seven-inning finale for a 1-0 win. The series continues Wednesday from Pfitzner Stadium.

Keon Barnum leads the Minors in RBIs since July 1 with 38. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Keon Barnum leads the Minors in RBIs since July 1 with 38. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)


Adam Engel – CF
Eddy Alvarez – SS
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Nick Basto – LF
Omar Narvaez – C
T.J. Williams – DH
Nolan Earley – RF
Yency Almonte – RHP


  • Even though Potomac clinched the 8-5 win on Tuesday, the game is recorded as if everything happened on July 13 when the contest began. Thus, the Dash’s win streak is intact, and the 1-0 victory in the finale pushed it to five. Winston-Salem has outscored its opposition 20-6 during these five contests. The Dash are one triumph shy of their longest winning streak of 2015. Winston won six in a row from July 26-31.
  • Not only has Winston-Salem permitted just six runs in its last five games, but Dash hurlers have limited their opponents to a .193 average (28-for-145).
  • The Dash’s 3.27 team earned run average trails only Myrtle Beach (3.02) on the eight-team circuit. In the second half, Winston’s staff boasts a 2.70 ERA, which is 0.92 lower than its mark in half one (3.62).
  • In the bullpen, Winston-Salem has taken care of business. Brad Goldberg pushed the Dash’s successful save conversion streak to 15, which dates back to July 1. The bullpen has cashed in on 24 of its last 25 save chances (32-for-40 overall this year).
  • Andre Wheeler (4 IP), Jake Cose (2 IP) and Goldberg (1 IP) combined for the Dash’s league-leading 12th shutout. The Dash now lead Salem and Potomac by one blanking for the CL’s top spot, while Winston trails only FSL clubs Palm Beach (17) and Charlotte (17) in all of High-A.
  • On June 30, Dash first baseman Keon Barnum was hitting just .235 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 44 games. Since then, Barnum has been one of the most productive hitters in Minor League Baseball. Barnum’s 38 RBIs since July 1 lead all Minor League hitters, while he is a .269 hitter with four home runs and 12 runs scored. This surge has propelled Barnum into a share of fourth place in the CL in RBIs (61). Teammate Trey Michalczewski is third with 63.
  • Barnum and Michalczewski have enjoyed many RBI chances thanks to the work of the men hitting above them. Within the CL, Adam Engel is first in runs (77) and second in hits (114), while Jake Peter is fourth in runs (68) and third in hits (112). Since joining Winston-Salem in late July, no CL hitter has a better average than Eddy Alvarez (.393). Engel (52) and Alvarez (49) are also fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Minor Leagues in stolen bases.
  • The White Sox blanked the Angels on Tuesday thanks to a career-high 11 whiffs from Carlos Rodon and the first MLB home run from Trayce Thompson, both of whom are Dash alumni.


Wednesday’s game will be available on, along with the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

– Brian

Around the White Sox system – April

On Friday, we reviewed the first month of the season for the Dash (they did lead the Carolina League in ERA). Today, we will examine the rest of the Chicago White Sox system to see how their Aprils went, starting from the top:

Chicago White Sox (MLB): An offseason that saw the White Sox acquire RHPs Jeff Samardzija and David Robertson, LHP Zach Duke, 1B Adam LaRoche, OF Melky Cabrera and UTL Emilio Bonafacio led to some believing that Chicago would contend in the American League. However, the White Sox struggled in the season’s first month and the rumbling has already begun about rebuilding around this core for 2016.

Jose Abreu has crushed five homers this season.  (Jesse Johnson/USA Today Sports)

Jose Abreu has crushed five homers this season. (Jesse Johnson/USA Today Sports)

That being said, the core is the envy of nearly every team in baseball. Jose Abreu has mashed to a 126 wRC+, while Avisail Garcia has been a surprise to match that production so far. Meanwhile, the White Sox lineup has seen LaRoche (87 wRC+), Cabrera (75 wRC+), Alexei Ramirez (46 wRC+) and Adam Eaton (36 wRC+) get off to slow starts, meaning this talented lineup should start to turn things around and get hot at any moment.

The same could be said about the Chicago pitching staff. Both Chris Sale and Jose Quintana have posted ERAs above 5.00, with Samardzija currently at 4.78. The White Sox have also brought up top prospect and former Dash LHP Carlos Rodon, who has pitched to a 2.76 ERA in 6.1 innings thus far.

Although the White Sox are currently 7.0 games behind the Tigers, nearly everything has gone wrong for them so far, and turnarounds from what was supposed to be one of the deepest lineups and best starting pitching trios in baseball could make Chicago a team that makes a run later in the year.

Carlos Sanchez is off to a torrid start in 2015. (Buren Foster/Charlotte Knights)

Carlos Sanchez is off to a torrid start in 2015. (Buren Foster/Charlotte Knights)

Charlotte Knights (AAA): April saw Charlotte storm to a 13-7 start to take the early lead in the International League South division. Former Dash INF Carlos Sanchez has put together one of the best performances in all of Minor League Baseball. The 10th-ranked prospect in the White Sox system according to, Sanchez is batting .407/.432/.582 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs. Nearly half of those RBIs came in a May 2 game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, when Sanchez went 4-for-4 with two homers and a double to drive in seven runs. That capped a run that saw Sanchez reach base in 10 straight plate appearances, recording a hit in nine of those.

Former Dash OF Trayce Thompson, the No. 19 White Sox prospect, has raked to a .326/.365/.517 tune with three triples, two home runs and 11 RBIs thus far. On the mound, RHP Erik Johnson, who pitched for Winston-Salem in 2012, leads the club with a 3-1 record and 2.04 ERA, fanning 19 in 17.2 innings.

The flip of the calendar to May also saw the White Sox release OF Jared Mitchell. The 2010 first-round pick was batting just .050 this season for Charlotte and was a .205 hitter with 10 homers in 144 Triple-A games.

With a record of 14-9, the Knights are enjoying the perch of the division by one game over the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays).

Tim Anderson has stolen the most bases in the Southern League. (Buren Foster)

Tim Anderson has stolen the most bases in the Southern League. (Buren Foster)

Birmingham Barons (AA): Like the Dash, the Barons had an up-and-down opening month of the season, finishing an even 10-10. Former Dash INF Tim Anderson, who is now the top-ranked prospect in the Chicago system with Rodon in the bigs, has stolen 11 bases and batted .309 with 13 RBIs in the early going. Meanwhile, 2014 Dash members Jacob May (.337/.378/.424, 10 SB) and Jason Coats (.340/.354/.532, 9 2B) reinforced an offense that ranks in the top half of the league in both batting average and slugging percentage. Coats did earn a late-April bump to Charlotte thanks to his strong production.

In the rotation, Frankie Montas and Myles Jaye, who both pitched in Winston-Salem last year, have helped lead a pitching staff that is just four off the lead for most strikeouts in the Southern League. Montas has a 2.63 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 13.2 frames, while Jaye is 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA and 20 punchouts against six free passes in 20.1 innings.

The Barons are currently 2.5 games behind the Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs) in the Southern League’s North Division.

Jordan Guerrero's 0.69 ERA is the sixth-best in MiLB. (Ray Marsden/Kannapolis Intimidators)

Jordan Guerrero’s 0.69 ERA is the sixth-best in MiLB. (Ray Marsden/Kannapolis Intimidators)

Kannapolis Intimidators (A): Former Dash manager Tommy Thompson and his Intimidators did not have a winning or losing streak of more than two games throughout April. LHP Jordan Guerrero (No. 29 White Sox prospect) has gotten off to a ridiculous start to the campaign. Guerrero has the sixth-best ERA (0.69) in all of Minor League Baseball, while his 0.77 WHIP ranks 18th. The southpaw is 3-0, has given up just 15 hits in 26.0 innings and fanned 26 against only five walks.

The Kannapolis offense has posted the third-best average and slugging percentage in the South Atlantic League. INF Chris Curley’s 20 RBIs lead the club, and he has hit .281/.326/.551 while smashing a team-high nine doubles and five roundtrippers. C Brett Austin, Rodon’s roommate at NC State, is batting .333/.453/.548 with three triples, and former Olympic silver medalist Eddy Alvarez has slashed .301/.396/.422 with six steals.

The Intimidators’ 10-13 record has them at the bottom of the SAL Northern Division, 6.0 games behind the Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers).

Stay tuned for our Dash game preview as they wrap up a four-game set Monday with the Wilmington Blue Rocks.


FutureSox recognizes 18 former Dash stars

Carlos Rodon is the White Sox top prospect, per (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Carlos Rodon is the White Sox top prospect, per (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

With Spring Training quickly approaching, the writers at FutureSox have compiled their Top 30 White Sox prospects, 18 of whom have played in Winston-Salem at some point.

The 2014 version of the Dash boasted 11 of the top 30, including four of the Sox five best prospects, per FutureSox. The full countdown and a description of each farmhand are available here (1-15) and here (16-30).

Here are the 18 Dash alumni on the list, with the members of the 2014 roster in italics.

1. LHP Carlos Rodon
2. INF Tim Anderson
3. RHP Frank Montas
5. RHP Tyler Danish
6. INF Micah Johnson
7. OF Courtney Hawkins
8. INF Carlos Sanchez
9. INF Trey Michalczewski
11. RHP Chris Beck
14. OF Jacob May
15. INF Cleuluis Rondon
16. INF Tyler Saladino
17. OF Trayce Thompson
20. INF Keon Barnum
21. C Kevan Smith
24. OF Adam Engel
27. INF Andy Wilkins
28. RHP Mike Recchia

A few thoughts:

  • It should come as no surprise that Rodon checks in as the top prospect. He will almost certainly be atop every White Sox prospect list in advance of the 2015 season. Last week, named Rodon the second-best southpaw prospect in the Minors.
  • This time last season, both Danish and Montas were viewed as prospects, but not as the elite-level Minor League arms that they became in 2014. In Winston-Salem last year, the duo combined to go 9-3 with a 2.23 earned run average in 28 starts. There are still doubters, but both men continue to climb the Minor League ladder and collect more believers.
  • Michalczewski figures to be the highest-ranked prospect to begin the 2015 season with the Dash. After enjoying significant success in Low-A Kannapolis, the White Sox sent the 19-year-old to Winston-Salem. Michalczewski hit just .194 in 19 games, but he did show some flashes of his noticeable talent, including his three-hit, three-RBI showing in that playoff-like final home Friday game against Carolina.
  • Another likely returnee is Rondon, who continues to wow people with his glove. He held his own at the plate in Winston-Salem (.247) over 53 games, the majority of which featured him in the two-hole.
  • It is great to see someone like Recchia on this list. The former Minor League free agent zoomed through CL offenses before jumping to Double-A Birmingham, where he performed well. His story is fascinating. His personality is great. Now, his status as a true prospect in the system is starting to show.

The Dash’s 2015 season begins in exactly 70 days. Stay tuned for more information as Opening Day approaches.

– Brian

A look around the White Sox system

Each team in the system is at least 10 games into the season, so let’s spin around the organization and see how each team is doing thus far this season.

MLB: Chicago White Sox (7-6)

Former Dash star Jordan Danks (right) is ready to fill in for Avisail Garcia in the White Sox outfield (photo via

Former Dash star Jordan Danks (right) is ready to fill in for Avisail Garcia in the White Sox outfield (photo via

Chris Sale improved to 3-0 this season after Friday’s outing against the Indians, but the White Sox bats played a big role in the outcome. Sale grinded through five innings, allowing three runs and six hits while striking out five. The ace spoke with the Chicago Sun-Times following his start.

Infielder Marcus Semien has played well of late, recording hits in nine of his last ten games. Among those was this solo homer on Sunday against Cleveland:

In this article, learn more about Erik Johnson’s standing in the Chicago pitching rotation. Plus, Semien takes part in Jackie Robinson Day festivities on Tuesday and who Sale credits for the development of his changeup:

Thanks to the season-ending shoulder injury to Avisail Garcia, outfielder Jordan Danks was called up from Triple-A Charlotte to help fill the void. The Dash alumnus spoke with CSN Chicago about the opportunity:

Triple-A: Charlotte Knights (6-6)

Catcher Josh Phegley is off to a solid start in 2014. His .286 batting average currently ranks second on the team among qualifying players, and he has scored four runs in eight games.

The other BB&T Ballpark looks pretty darn good, too (photo via Charlotte Knights).

The other BB&T Ballpark looks pretty darn good, too (photo via Charlotte Knights).

The Knights opened their sparkling new Uptown Charlotte facility, the second BB&T Ballpark, on Friday night against the Norfolk Tides. For a recap of their historic evening, click here.

Double-A: Birmingham Barons (5-5)

The defending Southern League champions won three of five games against the Jacksonville Suns to reach the .500 mark. The Barons were washed out at Mobile on Monday night, so a doubleheader is on tap this evening.

Former Dash outfielder Trayce Thompson was recently profiled on talking about some of the valuable lessons he learned during Spring Training with the White Sox.

Low-A: Kannapolis Intimidators (4-7)

The Intimidators were swept in a four-game series at Greenville this weekend, the last contest a heartbreaking 5-4 setback to the Drive in 14 innings. Kannapolis looks to regain its footing this week in Hickory. That series opener was also postponed, so the Intimidators and Crawdads will play two this evening.

Infielder Cleuluis Rondon continues his development at the Low-A level. The Venezuelan native, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Sunday, is batting .298 with six RBIs, three runs scored and three stolen bases in 11 games.

Stay tuned for a preview of tonight’s homestand opener against Frederick.

– Dave

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 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

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

Sanchez, Thompson added to 40-man roster

Highly-touted prospect Trayce Thompson is now on the Sox 40-man roster (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Highly-touted prospect Trayce Thompson is now on the Sox 40-man roster (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Two Dash alumni have joined the White Sox 40-man roster. Infielder Carlos Sanchez and Trayce Thompson, key contributors during the Dash’s magical 2012 season, have joined the top group in Chicago’s organization.

For those who are unclear why this is so important, only the 40 players in this group can appear in the big leagues. Inclusion on a 40-man roster also promises a higher salary.

Sanchez spent his 2013 campaign with Triple-A Charlotte after a breakout 2012 throughout three levels of the system. The Venezuela native hit .241 with 28 RBIs, 50 runs scored and 16 stolen bases with the Knights. A year ago, Sanchez helped the Dash win a first-half division crown while finishing with the best qualifying batting average in the Carolina League.

Thompson was an everyday outfielder on Double-A Birmingham’s championship team this year. The former second-round pick posted a .229 average to go along with 15 homers and 73 RBIs with the Barons. He shared the CL’s home run lead (24) while spending much of the 2012 season in Winston-Salem.

Both prospects have participated in the Venezuelan Winter League with Tiburones de La Guaira this offseason, and Sanchez has been one of the club’s best hitters.

Congratulations to both Carlos and Trayce on the accomplishment! Both will be on the White Sox radar in the coming years, and this is an important step in that process.

– Brian