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White Sox Minor League Update: June 25, 2018

Michael Kopech gets back on track; Winston-Salem’s hitters put on a record-setting performance

Kopech bounces back: After a few starts where poor control got the better of him, Knights RHP Michael Kopech found his form with six shut out innings and nine strikeouts on Monday night.
(Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)

Leading off: Good article above on Birmingham OF Joel Booker who turned plenty of heads earlier this season at Winston-Salem and has emerged as one of the top prospects in a stacked farm system of outfielders.

Also, OF Trayce Thompson cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Charlotte.

Charlotte Knights 2, Durham Bulls 1

Jose Rondon (.264): 1-for-4, HR (5), 1 RBI

Eddy Alvarez (.297): 2-for-4

Mason Robbins (.268): 0-for-1, 1 R, 2 BB

Casey Gillaspie (.222): 1-for-3, 2B, 1 BB

Michael Kopech (4.66 ERA): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K ***MVP***

W: Jeanmar Gomez (4-0, 1.77 ERA), 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

S: Ian Hamilton (1, 0.00 ERA), 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Michael Kopech bounced back in a big way, dominating the Bulls for six innings and Jose Rondon’s solo home run in the ninth inning gave the Knights a win on Monday night. After a couple of rough, wild starts, Kopech found his control in hurling six shut out innings and allowing just four hits with nine strikeouts. Most importantly, he only walked two batters 95 pitches (only 32 for balls) and compiling a 73 game score. Kopech departed in line for the win with Charlotte nursing a 1-0 lead, but Jeanmar Gomez allowed Durham to tie the game in the seventh inning by giving up a solo home run. Gomez would then get credit for the win after Rondon rescued the squad. Closer Ian Hamilton continues to dominate regardless of level, tossing a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts for the save.

According to Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser on Twitter: “Michael Kopech is through four scoreless innings with two hits allowed, two walks and six strikeouts. He’s holding his fastball velo at 95-96, coming right after hitters and pounding the zone. Fastball is great. Slider remains wildly inconsistent, and he threw a maybe? CH at 91”

Montgomery Biscuits 7, Birmingham Barons 6 in 10 innings

Joel Booker (.455): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB

Luis Alexander Basabe (.250): 1-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB

Danny Mendick (.250): 1-for-4, HR (10), 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB (10) ***MVP***

Jameson Fisher (.234): 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB (1)

Dylan Cease (9.64 ERA): 4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

L: Matt Foster (0-1, 7.71 ERA), 1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

After Booker tied the game with a two-run double in the ninth inning, Danny Mendick crushed his 10th home run of the season to give the Barons a 7-5 lead in the 10th inning, but Matt Foster couldn’t close the door, giving up three runs in the bottom half of the 10th in a tough loss. Mendick joined the 10-10 club with the home run and his 10th stolen base of the season. Booker’s two-run double was part of a two-hit night as he remains red hot since his promotion from Winston-Salem. Basabe came through with a two-run triple in the fifth inning which briefly put Birmingham in a 3-3 tie. RHP Dylan Cease struggled in his Double-A debut, failing to make it out of the fifth inning while allowing five runs on seven hits. Cease walked a pair and struck out seven while throwing 97 pitches (63 for strikes).

Winston-Salem Dash 19, Frederick Keys 2

Luis Gonzalez (.462): 3-for-6, 2B, 1 RBI, 4 R

Luis Robert (.313): 1-for-2, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB

Blake Rutherford (.287): 1-for-6, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 R

Micker Adolfo (.281): 3-for-4, 2B, 4 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB ***CO-MVP***

Gavin Sheets (.255): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB

Ti’Quan Forbes (.269): 3-for-6, 1 RBI, 1 R

Yeyson Yrizarri (.250): 1-for-5, HR (4), 4 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB ***CO-MVP***

Nate Nolan (.171): 1-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB

Laz Rivera (.389): 5-for-5, HR (1), 2 2B, 2 RBI, 5 R ***CO-MVP***

W: Blake Battenfield (1-0, 2.25 ERA), 8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Dash bats exploded in this one, to the tune of 19 runs on 20 hits -- nine of those runs coming in the ninth inning with the game already lopsided at 10-2. Three Dash hitters had three-hit nights (Gonzalez, Adolfo and Forbes). Adolfo’s three hits led to four RBI making him one of the three co-MVPs. Laz Rivera had a perfect night at the plate with five hits in five at-bats, one home run (his first since being promoted), two doubles and five runs scored. Then there’s Yeyson Yrizarri, whose only hit of the game happened to be a grand slam. All the offensive fireworks overshadowed Blake Battenfield’s Winston-Salem debut, and all he did was pitch a career-high eight innings to earn the win. Battenfield struck out seven while allowing two runs on four hits.

Greensboro Grasshoppers 7, Kannapolis Intimidators 1 in 7 innings (Game shortened due to rain)

Craig Dedelow (.276): 2-for-3, 3B ***MVP***

Justin Yurchak (.256): 1-for-2, 2B, 1 R

Anthony Villa (.266): 1-for-3, 2B

Tyler Frost (.211): 1-for-3, 2B, 1 RBI

L: Luis Ledo (3-1, 5.65 ERA), 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

Kannapolis briefly held a lead in the second inning when Tyler Frost smacked an RBI double. but Greensboro answered in the bottom half of the inning then plated five runs in the third inning, putting the game out of reach. Rain rolled in during the seventh inning forcing the game to be called early. Craig Dedelow had two of the I’s six hits, including a triple, but was left stranded at third base. Starting pitcher Luis Ledo couldn’t get out of the third, allowing four runs (three earned) on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

Great Falls Voyagers 6, Billings Mustangs 4

Ian Dawkins (.273): 2-for-4, 3 R, 1 BB

Lenyn Sosa (.375): 1-for-5, 2 R

Logan Sowers (.355): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 R

Romy Gonzalez (.318): 2-for-4, 3 RBI, 2 SB (2)

Amado Nunez (.143): 1-for-4, 1 RBI

Jonathan Stiever (0.00 ERA): 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K ***MVP***

W: Michael McCormick (3-0, 3.38 ERA), 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

S: Bennett Sousa (1, 0.00 ERA), 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Starting pitcher Jonathan Stiever dominated again, pitching three innings of no-hit ball and still has a 0.00 ERA threw two starts with the Voyagers. Reliever Michael McCormick allowed just one hit in 2 1/3 innings to pick up his third victory of the young season. At the plate, Romy Gonzalez had two hits, drove in three and stole a couple of bags. Meanwhile, Ian Dawkins had a pair of hits and scored three runs.

AZL White Sox 7, AZL Reds 2

Kelvin Maldonado (.150): 1-for-2, 1 RBI

Micah Coffey (.217): 0-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB

Sam Abbott (.231): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 R ***MVP***

Gabriel Ortiz (.182): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB

Brayant Nova (.222): 1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB

W: Aaron Soto (1-0, 5.63 ERA), 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K

The AZL White Sox fell behind by two after the top of the first, answered in the bottom half of the inning then plated five runs over the following three innings and pitched eight innings of shut out ball to get the win on Monday. After a rough start, starting pitcher Aaron Soto calmed down to pitch four innings of scoreless ball after spotting the AZL Reds two runs early. 1B Sam Abbott led the AZL White Sox a the plate with three hits, including a pair of doubles, three RBI and a run scored. DH Brayant Nova doubled, drove in two, scored a run and got on base twice via walk.

DSL Reds 12, DSL White Sox 6

Edwin Peralta (.200): 0-for-1, 1 R, 4 BB

Jose Rodriguez (.324): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB

Jhoneiker Betancourt (.250): 2-for-5, 1 RBI ***MVP***

Jefferson Mendoza (.184): 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB

L: Edgar Navarro (0-3, 5.06 ERA), 4 IP, 3 H, 4 R (0 ER), 4 BB, 4 K

Another game where the DSL White Sox shot themselves in the foot with seven (7!!!) errors leading to seven (7!!!) unearned runs for the DSL Reds. The DSL White Sox had more errors than hits (5). 1B Jhoneiker Betancourt had a pair of hits and drove in a run. 3B Edwin Peralta went hitless but drew four walks and scored a run. 2B Jose Rodriguez continues to lead the team in hitting by a wide margin, adding a hit, RBI, run scored and walk to his season stats.