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This Week In White Sox Minor League Baseball

Santos Rodriguez
Santos Rodriguez

This week:

  • Let's just get this out of the way first. Dayan Viciedo: .324/.369/.538.  I questioned prior to the season whether there was anything more he could actually learn/develop offensively with more time in the minors.  But I recognized that he was learning a new position so a few months in the minors was probably appropriate, particularly since there wasn't an obvious place in the White Sox starting lineup for him and Viciedo is not the sort of player you sit on the bench five days a week.  But now it's mid-June.  The line for the White Sox leftfielder is .255/.318/.298.  The DH is .185/.329/.341.  Dunn is trending upwards and is the most likely to actually perform going forward. However, he isn't particularly good against lefties.  Guess who Viciedo mashes?  Pierre is hitting like Pierre hits.  Unfortunately, he isn't stealing bases like Pierre steals bases.  And he also is playing bad defense.  That means Pierre has no redeeming value on a baseball field.  Thus, there is no way Viciedo isn't a superior performer.  The Dodgers had the cojones to bench Pierre.  It's time to show how all-in the White Sox are.
  • RHP Addison Reed is this year's fast-tracked reliever, reaching Birmingham after less than a year as a pro.  He's been spectacular at three levels this season, combining for a 40.1 IP, 26 H, 8 BB, 54 K line.  Reed has the repertoire of a closer: an excellent mid to upper 90s fastball with a plus-potential slider.  AA and, if he gets there, AAA will be a test for Reed, who won't be quite so able to simply blow hitters away with his fastball at those levels.
  • 1B Andy Wilkins: .248/.332/.424.  A 2010 5th round pick, Wilkins made a little bit of noise by raking in the Pioneer League last season.  Of course, anytime a three-year collegiate does that, the salt should be brought out.  The White Sox correctly were aggressive by skipping a level and sending him to the Dash.  He's held his own so far, hitting better than the league average.  Of course, offense-first prospects need to do more than that.  He's going to have to start raking soon to live up to the preseason expectations some placed on him.
  • Brandon Short: .309/.355/.487.
  • LHP Santos Rodriguez was one of the additional pieces in the Vazquez for Lillibridge blockbuster.  He was extremely raw and hadn't pitched above short season rookie ball.  He matched gaudy strikeout rates with gaudy walk rates.  This continued through his first two years in the White Sox organization, culminating in a 13.2 K/9 and 7.1 BB/9 last season for the Dash.  In his return engagement with the Dash this season, the walk rate has remained high - 5.5 per 9 - but his strikeout rate has collapsed to just 6.6 per 9.  He's also giving up hits at an alarming rate of almost 10.3 per 9 innings, more than 4 hits more than last season's rate.  Rodriguez was one of the great hopes for a system starved for lefties.  His age 23 season hasn't turned out to be the breakout that was hoped for.