This Month in White Sox Minor League Baseball

This month:

  • The pitchers who pitch in the various Winter Leagues are almost always relievers looking to get in a little extra work (and make a little extra money), usually for their hometown teams.  There isn't really a great deal to be learned from their numbers, considering the extremely small sample sizes and generally low level of competition, but it provides an opportunity to take a look at some of the guys who will be competing for the last couple of bullpen spots, including the most recent addition to the White Sox.
  • RHP Gregory Infante, who Baseball America recently rated as the 6th best prospect in the organization, is playing for Tiburones de La Guaira in Venezuela.  He's appeared in 7 games, throwing 6 innings.  He's had a bit of trouble with control, as he's walked 9, against 4 strikeouts, and has also hit 2 batters and thrown a wild pitch.  Lack of control of his mid-90s fastball is often his problem, and we can safely assume that's the issue here, but he certainly has the stuff to be a set-up man.
  • RHP Jhonny Nunez, who appeared for the White Sox in 2009, is with Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Republic.  2010 was a bit of a lost season for him, as he was sent to Birmingham to build up his innings and work on his changeup as a starter, and then moved up to Charlotte where he was inconsistent as a reliever and didn't merit a September call-up, though his peripherals were better than his results.  He's experiencing a bounce back winter campaign, appearing in 11 games for 11 innings and has struck out 14 while walking only 2.  His raw stuff isn't as good as Infante's - his fastball sits in the low 90s - and his ceiling isn't as high, but his slider and, to a lesser extent, changeup give him more advanced secondary offerings for the time being.
  • RHP Freddy Dolsi was claimed off waivers from the Tigers last offseason but never appeared for the White Sox.  He's still sitting on the 40 man roster, though, so apparently someone still likes him.  He's got decent enough stuff to be a low leverage reliever but he walks too many and doesn't strike out enough.  Still, a mid-90s fastball will get you a lot of chances, even if you're 28.  He's also with Licey and has pitched in 10 games, going 9.1 innings, and has walked 6 against 4 strikeouts.
  • LHP Hector Santiago is a personal favorite.  Other than hearing that his stuff isn't anything special, I don't have a scouting report.  But he's gotten strikeouts at every level so far (career 10.3 per 9 innings) and, upon repeating at Winston-Salem this year, dropped his walk rate below 3 per 9 IP.  He'll be turning 23 next month.  The reason he's on the radar is because, by default, he's probably the third best lefty in the minors.  He's pitching for Gigantes de Carolina in Puerto Rico and has appeared in 14 games, one inning apiece, and has 14 strikeouts versus 7 walks.
  • RHP Waldis Joaquin was picked up earlier this week off of waivers from San Francisco.  It's easy to see why the White Sox would love him as he's a pure power arm, with a four seamer that sits in the mid to upper 90s, and a two seamer that's a few ticks below.  He also has a hard slider that flashes as a plus pitch.  As is usual, control of those pitches is his primary issue and he tends to fall in love with his fastball, resulting in a predictable pitch pattern.  He's with Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican but has only pitched 2 innings so far, giving up 7 hits, walking 1 and striking out 3.  He'll be 24 next month.  I bet he'll get a long look in spring training. [update 11/28: Joaquin rejected the claim and declared free agency].
  • You can follow these, and all the other White Sox in winter ball, here.
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