With the White Sox drafting a number of high school players, the 2012 Bristol White Sox had a roster filled with more promise but less experience than in recent seasons. And it showed in the results. Bristol finished last in the Appalachian League West and their 19-46 record was easily the worst in the league.
While that may have been painful to watch for fans in Bristol, for development purposes the season was largely a success. Top pick Courtney Hawkins began his pro career with Bristol and was promoted to Kannapolis after batting .272/.314/.401 in 38 games. Another 2012 draftee, Joey DeMichele, tore up the league and quickly found himself promoted. While he had three years of collegiate experience, DeMichele's .348/.412/.696 in 12 games still exceeded all expectations for his offense. Another notable graduation was Euclides Leyer, who was repeating the level. The 19 year old Dominican showed significantly better command than in 2011 and at the time of his promotion led the league in strikeouts, an essential skill considering Bristol's spotty defense. Leyer's line was impressive: 7 GS, 40 IP, 41 H, 10 BB, 45 K.
Bristol provided a number of other young players with their first taste of professional baseball. For a lot of them, it was quite a bitter taste. 2012 draftees SS Nicholas Basto, C Jose Barraza and C Sammy Ayala all struggled on both sides of the ball but hopefully their experience in Bristol will make 2013 a much more productive year.
One notable sour point was 1B Keon Barnum. The 2012 first supplemental round pick had issues with his left shoulder and only played in thirteen games. In that small sample size, his offense was very good - .279/.347/.512 - as he took advantage of his home stadium's short porch in right field to hit each of his three home runs.
LHP Jefferson Olacio came to Bristol at the start of their season after spending the first couple months in Kannapolis. In 12 starts for Bristol: 59 IP, 57 H, 38 BB, 55 K, 4 WP. The big lefty continues to struggle with his command but the 18 year old's ceiling remains tantalizingly high.