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White Sox Weekly Minor League Update: Week 11

Michael Kopech continued his struggles, but the Winston-Salem Dash earned a playoff spot and Dane Dunning, Luis Basabe and Luis Robert had successful weeks

Tough Start: Alec Hansen disappointed in his season debut, giving up five earned runs.
Birmingham Barons

Charlotte Knights

Avisail Garcia: .353 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K ***MVP of the Week***

Matt Skole: .304 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K

Dustin Garneau: .313 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

Casey Gillaspie: .190 BA, 1 R, 4 BB, 5 K

Michael Kopech: 3 IP, 11.98 FIP, 6.00 K/9, 24.00 BB/9

Jordan Stephens: 10 IP, 2.82, 9.00 K/9, 4.50 BB/9

Carson Fulmer: 5 13 IP, 6.32 FIP, 1.69 K/9, 10.13 BB/9

Spencer Adams: 7 IP, 8.75 FIP, 0.00 K/9, 3.86 BB/9

Thyago Vieira: 2 IP, 1.32 FIP, 9.00 K/9, 0.00 BB/9

Tyler Danish: 3 13 IP, 2.42 FIP, 8.10 K/9, 2.70 BB/9

Aaron Bummer: 3 IP, 5.65 FIP, 3.00 K/9, 9.00 BB/9

Since May 6, Michael Kopech is sporting a 5.36 FIP (bad) with 11.97 K/9 (good) and 8.41 BB/9 (very bad). He has a batting average against at .208, so his stuff is good enough to keep batters from getting hits, but his command has been abysmal in this stretch. In his last eight starts, he has walked at least two batters in every game; in six out of the eight starts, he has walked four or more. Because of his command issues, in four of his last eight starts, Kopech was relieved before 3 23 innings pitched. There are also concerns, albeit slight, with the type of contact Kopech is giving up: His home run per fly ball is at a career-high 7.1%, and his fly ball rate is up as well. However, his fly ball rate jump of 6.9% is almost the same as his infield fly ball rate jump at 6%. His pull percentage is also up this year (48%), and anything over 40% is an indicator of solid contact given up. Now, this is not time to panic. There is no pitch type data available, so Kopech could just be using his breaking and off-speed pitches more often. That would indicate Kopech still needs to work on those pitches, but that does not mean he is any less of a prospect at just 22.

Birmingham Barons

Eloy Jimenez: .286 BA, 4 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K

Jameson Fisher: .118 BA, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K

Seby Zavala: .333 BA, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K

Zack Collins .235 BA,2 R, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K

Matt Rose: .071 BA, 1 R, 0 BB, 9 K

Dane Dunning: 8 IP, 0.96 FIP, 11.25 K/9, 0.00 BB/9 ***MVP of the Week***

Jordan Guerrero: 6 IP, 6.96 FIP, 6.00 K/9, 1.50 BB/9

Alec Hansen: 4 23 IP, 5.18 FIP, 7.71 K/9, 1.93 BB/9

Ian Hamilton: 2 IP, 3.46 FIP, 13.50 K/9, 9.00 BB/9, 2 saves

From a struggling top prospect in Kopech to the hottest: Dane Dunning is exceeding all expectations this year. So far in Birmingham, Dunning has a 2.37 FIP with 10.03 K/9 and 2.93 BB/9. The walks would be a career high for Dunning, but it is a number Sox fans should be happy about. His batting average against is slightly high, at .235, but he has not allowed a home run yet in AA. In his last four starts, Dunning as been almost unbeatable. He has two starts without a walk and only four walks total in the last 26 23 innings. In that span, he is lowering his batting average against with a .204, and a 1.36 FIP. He’s a stark contrast to Kopech right now — but Dunning is a much different pitcher, with a lower ceiling.

Winston-Salem Dash

Joel Booker: .412 BA, 3 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 SB

Micker Adolfo: .240 BA, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K

Alex Call: .267 BA, 3 R, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 SB

Gavin Sheets: .208 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K

Luis Alexander Basabe: .353 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 SB ***MVP of the Week***

Blake Rutherford: .250 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 SB

Dylan Cease: 8 IP, 3.53 FIP, 4.50 K/9, 2.25 BB/9

Bernardo Flores: 7 IP, 2.83 FIP, 6.43 K/9, 2.57 BB/9

Jimmy Lambert: 14 IP, 2.76 FIP, 7.71 K/9, 1.93 BB/9

Matt Foster: 2 IP, -.60 FIP, 18.00 K/9, 0 BB/9, 1 save

After a hot month of April, Luis Basabe is back on track this week. He was an integral part of the playoff-bound Dash, just as he hopefully will be for Birmingham in the second half. Basabe ended the first half with a .266/.370/.502 slash line, for a 145 wRC+. All of those numbers are his best since rookie ball in 2014. He also has a career high in ISO, at .237, while being on pace to smash his previous home run high with nine. Basabe’s speed, or at least basestealing ability, has fallen off slightly. I do not remember any reports of added muscle, but that could be a reason why he is showing more power while being seven-of-15 on stolen bases. The last time his stealing percentage was less than 50% was a short rookie-ball stint in 2014. His hit tool was never his strong suit, so if Basabe keeps up a .260 average with power, it would be a quick and unexpected improvement.

Kannapolis Intimidators

Tate Blackman: .263 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K

Craig Dedelow: .143 BA, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K

Laz Rivera: .300 BA, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K

Evan Skoug: .273 BA, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K

Luis Curbelo: .105 BA, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K

Luis Robert: .273 BA, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 3 SB ***MVP of the Week***

Lincoln Henzman: 13 IP, 3.04 FIP, 7.52 K/9, .69 BB/9

Blake Battenfield: 5IP, 3.50 FIP, 5.4 K/9, 3.6 BB/9

Tyler Johnson: 2 IP, 2.00 FIP, 13.5K/9, 4.5 BB/9

Luis Robert has played 13 games this season, which isn’t exactly enough time to make some conclusions. But Robert’s two weeks in Kannapolis were successful. He will leave Kannapolis with a 119 wRC+ and a .289/.360/.400 slash line. He just wasn’t enough to help clinch a playoff berth for the I’s.

Robert’s speed and smoothness on the basepaths is fun to watch. He was four-of-six on stolen base attempts, but was safe on all his last three. In the small amount of batted-ball data, Robert was spraying the ball wherever the pitch was thrown. He hit the ball 36.4% of the time to the opposite field, which may indicate weaker contact. However, he pulled the ball 45.5%, of the time so it seems Robert was putting balls in play based on where the pitch was in the strike zone. He still has a long way to go, but early signs are positive.

DSL White Sox

Jefferson Mendoza: .077 BA, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K

Omar Martinez: .071 BA, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K

Jose Rodriguez: .350 BA, 2 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K, 3 SB ***MVP of the Week***

Hector Acosta: 9 IP, 4.00 ERA, 3 BB, 9 K

Francisco Benitez: 3 23 IP, 0.00 ERA, 4 BB, 4 K

Great Falls Voyagers

Just got underway, so we’ll look at their entire season to date in next week’s report.