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This Week in White Sox Minor League Baseball

Ozzie Martinez
Ozzie Martinez

This week:

  • With the games just getting started, there isn't much of substance to report. One thing that is at least interesting is that Osvaldo Martinez continued his poor performance from spring training into the regular season. Martinez probably was the favorite to win the utility infielder role. Then he put up a .000/.091/.000 line in 11 plate appearances, watched Eduardo Escobar hit like a superstar and quickly found himself re-assigned to minor league camp. Martinez was 0 for 20 with 1 BB and 1 HBP - and thus matching his .000/.091/.000 spring line - going into last night's game between Charlotte and Norfolk. He got off the schneid in his first plate appearance with a bunt single. He's a very BABIP dependent hitter. In 2008 and 2010 he put up BABIPs just above .330 and had fine seasons. In 2009 and 2011, he put up BABIPs right around .285 and had poor seasons. If he keeps to form, I guess this should be a decent season for him.
  • People love sleeper prospects and I'm going to continue pushing SS/2B Carlos Sanchez. The 19 year old is the third youngest player in the Carolina League. While he's similar to his Venezuelan compatriot Escobar in many ways, he separates himself offensively in an important category: plate discipline. He does a very good job of controlling the strike zone and taking walks, particularly for a guy without much power. Because he's not nearly the defender Escobar is - which is certainly not an insult considering how good Escobar is - he'll need to continue to be at least acceptable offensively if he hopes to be a major league player. I am very interested to see how he adapts to a challenging level for a player of his age. So far, so good: .280/.455/.360.
  • Another guy who is the third youngest in his league is LHP Jefferson Olacio. I wrote in my season preview that sending the raw 18 year old to the South Atlantic League could be a train wreck. The train hasn't crashed but it has been a very bumpy ride so far: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 5 BB, 6 K, 2 HBP, 1 WP.
  • With the Barons set to open their new ballpark in 2013, the only remaining White Sox affiliate with stadium issues is the Knights. Their quest to build a new ballpark in Charlotte proper has been a long one. But it appears that maybe it's close to finally coming to fruition with the latest proposal set to be considered by the city this month. Of course, the guy who has already filed five lawsuits against the new stadium - part of the reason the Knights don't already have a stadium - has filed another one. While attendance doesn't have much of an impact on the on-field product in the minors (and all we care about is player development), it is a bit embarrassing for the Knights to always draw the fewest fans in the International League. A new stadium in Charlotte should help that. Of course, so would some elite prospects. That quest is also still ongoing.
  • If you're a glutton for punishment (a/k/a White Sox prospect discussions) and have 45 minutes to kill, you can listen to my long-winded answers regarding the prospects to watch, whether the White Sox minor leagues are as bad as everyone says, as well as my thoughts on the big league club so far, on this podcast.