While tonight's big story was Erik Johnson's first major league start with the White Sox, tonight is also going to be Marcus Semien's first major league start too. While much of the season's focus in the minors has been the disappointing seasons for Trayce Thompson and Carlos Sanchez, amongst others, 22 year old Marcus Semien quietly put together an excellent season, culminating in a promotion to Charlotte and winning the Southern League MVP.
While most of us are familiar with Semien as a second baseman and shortstop, his first major league start is at third base. Prior to this season, this might have been a questionable decision, but he started working on third in Spring Training. With 19 home runs this season in the minors, he just might have the power necessary to be a major league third baseman. In addition to his new found power, Semien can do something most of our hitters can't. He can draw a walk. His 98 total walks is the most in the White Sox organization. In Birmingham, he drew 84 walks compared to 66 strikeouts. While he didn't walk as often at Charlotte, he still walked in over 10% of his plate appearances. While it is still early to say the Sox are looking at Semien to play third base next year, Jeff Keppinger and Conor Gillaspie may have just been put on notice.