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This Week in White Sox Minor League Baseball

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Courtney Hawkins
Courtney Hawkins

This week:

  • There were promotions galore. INF Carlos Sanchez got promoted to Birmingham. In Baseball America's mid-season report, Sanchez was the fifth youngest player in the Carolina League; he's now the second youngest player in the Southern League. In his debut last night, he kept on doing what he's done: 3 for 4, all singles.
  • Joining Sanchez on the Barons is RHP Jake Petricka. The 24 year old had a spot start for Birmingham a couple months ago that didn't go particularly well: 5 IP, 3 H, 7 BB, 6 K. While that number of walks was certainly an outlier, they have been a problem again after it looked like he'd made some strides in control in 2011. For Winston-Salem this season, his BB/9 was back above 5 per 9 innings and his BB% was above 12%.
  • While the Dash lost a couple interesting prospects, they also gained a couple interesting prospects. Most notably, 2011 first supplemental round pick CF Keenyn Walker made the short drive to Winston-Salem. Walker hasn't hurt his prospect status though he hasn't helped it much, either. The 21 year old is a switch-hitter but he still hasn't shown much of an ability to hit left-handed pitchers. In 2012 for Kannapolis: .235/.303/.309. It does seem like he's become a better base-stealer (39 for 50), with a noticeable increase in success rate versus last year. While he's brought the strikeout rate down some, it still hovers around 30%. He's currently deferring center field to Trayce Thompson; in 4 games for the Dash, he's split between right field and left field.
  • Joining Walker is 2011 second round pick RHP Erik Johnson. After coming out of extended spring training, the 22 year old was decent for the Intimidators: 39 IP, 36 H, 18 BB, 35 K. The walks are certainly a concern. In his debut last night: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 1 K.
  • In injury news, 2012 first supplemental round pick 1B Keon Barnum has now been out almost a month with a sore left shoulder. He reportedly was hitting off of a tee this week but still no indication of when he'll return. RHP Andre Rienzo left his start on Friday after just two batters when he pulled a hamstring while fielding a bunt.
  • Baseball America released their mid-season Top 50 and, no surprise, there weren't any White Sox on it. The Baseball America Twitter account (unknown which writer was manning it at the time) did give an updated top five for the organization: 1) Courtney Hawkins, 2) Carlos Sanchez, 3) Jared Mitchell, 4) Trayce Thompson, and 5) Jake Petricka. Considering the lack of high quality prospects, it's hard to argue with just about any order after Hawkins, who I think is the clear #1.
  • Tyler Saladino: .261/.390/.367 and 33 for 40 in stolen bases. He's hit for some decent power this month and, although it is of course a small sample size, this is the first time this season he's hit for power even in a small sample size.