This Week in White Sox Minor League Baseball

This week:

  • RHP Steven Upchurch has progressed slowly through the minor leagues so far.  A 12th round pick in 2008 out of Alabama high school, he spent his first three pro seasons in short-season rookie ball.  As a 21 year old, the White Sox finally gave him a taste of full season ball with Kannapolis this season.  In a usual course of action, for the first couple months the organization sought to keep his innings down by generally using him out of the bullpen (his highest innings total for a season was the 85.2 IP he threw in 2010 for Great Falls, though one should keep in mind that pitchers are throwing in "live" games in extended spring training prior to starting their official seasons).  He's now transitioning back to starting.  He's been quite effective this season: 35.2 IP, 29 H, 6 BB, 34 K.  That gaudy strikeout rate likely will decline some as his outings go from 2 or 3 innings stints to 5 or 6 innings.  But he's always shown good control.  Once he gets his innings up this season, his climb up the ladder may be accelerated.
  • Dayan Viciedo:.297/.345/.505.
  • Mark Teahen completed his rehab assignment with Charlotte with a walk-off single in the 12th inning of last night's game (which you can watch here).  In 30 PA, he had 4 hits (all singles), 7 walks and 8 strikeouts.
  • LHP Hector Santiago has been a personal favorite for awhile.  He always had a nice strikeout rate and, in the last couple years, had shown some nice improvement in limiting walks.  But, most importantly, he was left-handed.  One might have thought such things would have put him on a fast track.  But the White Sox didn't agree, leaving him in Winston-Salem for two seasons as a reliever and sending him back there to open 2011.  This season, though, he was shifted to starter.  I found this to be a curious move and couldn't tell whether this was another confirmation that he was viewed simply as an organizational arm.  He again put up very nice numbers for the Dash, essentially replicating his stats as a reliever, which is always a good sign: 44 IP, 38 H, 14 BB, 43 K.  He earned a promotion to the Barons and has continued to throw well in his two starts there.  One of the reasons for his shift to starter, as well as continued success, has apparently been the addition of a screwball.  Rarely thrown these days (I'm not aware of any current major leaguer throwing one now that Daniel Ray Herrera is back in the minors), it breaks from right to left when thrown by a lefty such as Santiago.  With the White Sox adequately stocked with bullpen lefties for the first time in a long time, Santiago and Barons rotation mate Charlie Leesman both should be given the time to develop as starters.  But both are likely eventually destined for the bullpen.
  • The MLB amateur draft starts Monday.  The White Sox won't make a pick until #47, after surrendering their first round pick to the Nationals as compensation for signing Adam Dunn.  Handicapping who will be available that late is difficult.  But there are plenty who try.  Around SBNation, good sources for draft coverage include John Sickels and MLB Bonus Baby.
  • In case you missed it, Jim took in a Knights game against Syracuse and took plenty of video and photos.  Go here for video of Jordan Danks and Viciedo.  Go here for the game recap and tons of photos.
  • Tyler Flowers: .266/.386/.461.
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