This Week in White Sox Minor League Baseball

This week:

  • Superficially, when one looks at his .288/.377/.525 line, one thinks Jordan Danks is on the fast track to the big leagues.  Add in his defensive reputation at a premium position and one might think he's a blue chip prospect.  But there's one massive red flag and it isn't anything new for readers of this space.  Jordan Danks strikes out.  A lot.  His MiLB career rate is about 27% and his 30.5% rate this season at Charlotte is right in line.  It's difficult to find precedent for a player with his number of strikeouts and with his skill set that was successful in the majors.  The fact that he does have some good non-hitting skills - defense and speed - gives him a better chance.  But it's unlikely that he'll ever be an overall average player if he can't get his K-rate below 25%.
  • Now that I've depressed you, how about some good news?  2009 second round pick Trayce Thompson recently came out of extended spring training to join the Intimidators and has looked like a whole new player from the one we saw struggle in rookie ball, putting up a .345/.424/.759 triple slash in 33 PA.  Kevin Goldstein observes: "the quickness of adjustments has been nothing short of astounding, as he’s shown up this year with a much better idea at the plate and a significantly shorter and smoother swing. With home runs in two of his last three games, the changes are paying immediate dividends, and Thompson has big time explosive potential."  While I was bullish on him, I didn't expect the raw 19 year old to break out this season.  Here's an audio interview with him.
  • Tyler Flowers: .310/.431/.595.
  • So let's get back to depressing.  Dayan Viciedo simply doesn't have a clue.  Due to the White Sox inexplicably promoting him to Charlotte, the optimists can still cite age for league in his defense.  However, for a guy whose primary issue is laying off the breaking ball, going to AAA - where he sees even more and better breaking balls - without first mastering AA probably isn't going to help.  And since he's now at 1B, he really needs to consider hitting for some semblance of power. His line is .218/.234/.309 so far this season and that brings his career MiLB OPS below .700.  That barely works for a slick-fielding shortstop.
  • C.J. Retherford: .255/.333/.431.
  • Last week's poll was about rebound candidates.  John Shelby led the poll with 40% of the vote.  Shelby has had a very good start to the season hitting-wise in his return spell with the Barons.  However, he has only taken a single walk in 58 plate appearances, resulting in a .316/.317/.509 line.  While his offensive numbers were down last season, in no small part thanks to some bad BABIP luck, he did increase his walk rate, which provided a glimmer of hope.  The failure to capitalize on that progress is worrying.  The next-highest-vote-getter-who-is-currently-playing was Jon Gilmore.  Gilmore has been hitting well (.375/.400/.469), too, but the power one expects from a 3B is still lacking, producing just 4 doubles, 1 triple and no homers in 64 AB for the Dash.  Unlike the 24 year old Shelby, Gilmore, at 21, still has age on his side.
  • Daniel Hudson: 3 GS, 15.1 IP, 17 H, 7 BB, 16 K.
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