This Week In White Sox Minor League Baseball

Charlie Leesman

This week:

Charlie Leesman came into the season as probably the system's top lefthander not named Chris Sale.  Of course, in the pitching thin White Sox system, that didn't mean all that much.  I, along with Baseball America, rated him the 11th best prospect, while Kevin Goldstein and John Sickels were less impressed, both ranking him 18th.  There wasn't much hope that he'd be a starter long-term, as he has a decent fastball and slider combination but no feel for a changeup.  But he looked like he could eventually be a bullpen arm with that arsenal.  He returned to Birmingham, where he has continued to start in the usual effort to give the best pitching prospects the most repetitions.  And he's been quite wild.

His BB/9 last season in a half season with the Barons was a very nice 2.8; this season, it's jumped to 5.6.  He's always been prone to hit batters and that's continued with 8 so far.  He also has 11 wild pitches, much more than in the past, though some of that probably can be attributed to having Josh Phegley, a catcher who can't catch, behind the plate.

Interestingly, when he does decide to go into the strike zone, he appears to still be able to avoid contact. His strikeout rate is still decent, at 7.2 per 9, and he's only giving up 7.6 hits per 9. 

Jim spoke to the Barons' broadcaster, Curt Bloom, a few weeks ago and he said that Leesman has good enough stuff but is prone to the big inning and "loses focus."  All indications are that the ability is there but a move to the bullpen sooner rather than later is warranted.

  • Speaking of Phegley, he got promoted to Charlotte. Pity the Knights pitchers.  And UT Tyler Kuhn was sent back down to Birmingham.
  • John Danks completed his two rehab starts with Charlotte without any issues: 9 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 6 K.  He'll be back with the White Sox on Wednesday.
  • Dayan Viciedo: .320/.370/.526.
  • RHP Lucas Harrell was picked up by Houston, compelling the White Sox to sign a pitcher to complete their fearsome AAA rotation of Freddy Dolsi, Matt Zaleski, Joe Bisenius and Dylan Axelrod.  Clearly noting the righty-heavy pitching staff, the club moved quickly to add Doug Davis.  This should assist in the effort to provide Charlotte fielders with the most repetitions possible.  Unbeknownst to the club, if they had only waited a couple more days, they could have brought back Charlie Haeger.  A Haeger-Phegley battery would have been absolutely hilarious.
  • CF Keenyn Walker isn't having much trouble adjusting to pro ball. In 6 games, .407/.407/.704 and he's 2 for 2 in stolen bases.  The lack of walks and 30% strikeout rate are as advertised.  
  • RHP Dan Remenowsky at AAA: 4 G, 6.2 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 5 K.  Looks like the guy with the career K/BB approaching 5.0 is finally facing a challenge.
  • Jacob Petricka at High A: 4 GS, 17 IP, 21 H, 8 BB, 12 K.

As a reminder, prospect highlights from each minor league game, as well as news and analysis, can always be found in the White Sox Minor League Update fanpost on the RR.

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