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White Sox Weekly Minor League Update: Week 16

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The top guys are back on top after a fun week in the minors

Back With a Vengeance: After returning from injury, Eloy Jiménez has raised his batting average to better than .350 and OPS over 1.000 in AAA.
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Charlotte Knights

Eloy Jimenez: .429 BA, 3 HR, 6 R, 6 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K ***MVP of the Week***

Michael Kopech: 6 IP, 0.83 FIP, 13.50 K/9, 1.50 BB/9

Jordan Stephens: 5 23 IP, 2.45 FIP, 11.12 K/9, 3.18 BB/9

Carson Fulmer: 4 13 IP, 3.55 FIP, 8.31 K/9, 6.23 BB/9

Spencer Adams: 6 IP, 3.66 FIP, 3.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9

Jordan Guerrero: 11 IP, 5.69 FIP, 3.27 K/9, 5.73 BB/9

Thyago Vieira: 2 13 IP, 2.04 FIP, 11.57 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, 1 save

Ian Hamilton: 4 23 IP, 2.68 FIP, 5.79 K/9, 1.93 BB/9

On July 13, Carson Fulmer made his transition to the bullpen. Quite frankly, that’s where he should stay. Since that move, Fulmer has a 7.11 K/9, 4.26 BB/9, and a 3.16 FIP off the backs of a .200 batting average against. He is not missing bats like he should, nor is he keeping guys off base via walks, but it is an improvement. However, the biggest notable change is that batting average against. As a starter in AAA, it was at .288, and has dropped 88 points as a reliever. There is not a way to tell if his ground ball rate is commensurate with the fall in batting average against, but Fulmer does seem to be hitting his spots more often. His BB/9 has fallen by 2.00, and for the first time in AAA this year, he had multiple consecutive outings without a wild pitch. This is indeed a low bar, but Fulmer has the stuff to be a back-end bullpen option. It is time to see whether he can hone his skills as a full-time bullpener.


Birmingham Barons

Joel Booker: .250 BA, 4 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 SB

Luis Basabe: .278 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 8 K, 1 SB

Alex Call: .300 BA, 3 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

Zack Collins .211 BA, 2 R, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 8 K

Alec Hansen: 3 IP, 5.85 FIP, 5.40 K/9, 10.80 BB/9

Bernardo Flores: 5 IP, 2.73 FIP, 5.14 K/9, 1.29 BB/9

Dylan Cease: 5 IP, 5.05 FIP, 12.60 K/9, 5.40 BB/9

Matt Foster: 3 2⁄3 IP IP, 2.33 FIP, 12.27 K/9, 4.91 BB/9 ***MVP of the Week***

Matt Foster has sprinted through the White Sox system since being taken in the 20th round in 2016. However, Foster is finally meeting some adversity in his first few appearances in Birmingham, and it is of his own making. Since Foster’s promotion, his BB/9 has more than doubled, to 5.40, while his K/9 has fallen to what would be a new career low, at 8.78. His ERA may indicate a fine season, at 2.70, but FIP illustrates his command struggles (4.27). This past week was an improvement for Foster, but his walks are still too high for a high-leverage reliever. Of his 10 games pitched, he has walked a batter in six. He has been better than his draft position up to this point in his career, but Foster must find the strike zone and keep runners off base to stand out in a loaded reliever prospect crowd.


Winston-Salem Dash

Luis Gonzalez: .269 BA, 4 R, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K

Laz Rivera: .500 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 7 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K, 3 SB ***MVP of the Week***

Gavin Sheets: .320 BA, 4 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K

Ti’Quan Forbes: .273 BA, 3 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K

Blake Rutherford: .320 BA, 7 R, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 3 SB

Blake Battenfield: 6 IP, 2.24 FIP, 7.50 K/9, 1.50 BB/9

Tyler Johnson: 3 IP, 1.75 FIP, 12.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9

Lincoln Henzman: 5 IP, 1.42 FIP, 9.00 K/9, 0.00 BB/9

Ian Clarkin: 4 IP, 3.41 FIP, 6.75 K/9, 4.50 BB/9

A walk-off grand-slam is impressive, but so is hitting .500 for the week — and Laz Rivera did both. He is now riding a six-game hitting streak coming into this next week, and continues to showcase his power and speed. Rivera has 10 home runs and is 14-for-20 on stolen base attempts in 2018. Now, there are some concerning aspects to Rivera’s game, albeit slight. He is sporting a high BABIP (.349) in Winston-Salem, and while on the surface that is concerning, the batted ball data indicates that Rivera is just getting good and hard contact. His ground ball rate is at a low 38.4%, but he has the same amount of ground balls as fly balls. To go along with that, his line drive rate is at 23.3%, so 61.7% of his balls hit are in the air. Rivera does have a high infield fly ball rate, but it is actually at a career-low 18.2%. That means 51% of his batted balls have left the infield, in the air. He is also squaring up the ball and timing pitches better in A+ than at any other level, with 31.2% of those batted balls being hit to the center of the diamond. Yes, Rivera has a high BABIP, but it is best to always look deeper than that number.


Kannapolis Intimidators

Ian Dawkins: .400 BA, 4 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K

Evan Skoug: .353 BA, 2 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K

Luis Curbelo: .231 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K

Justin Yurchak: .231 BA, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K

Andrew Perez: 3 IP, 4.81 FIP, 3.00 K/9, 6.00 BB/9

Bennett Sousa: 3 23 IP, 1.02 FIP, 14.73 K/9, 2.45 BB/9

Kannapolis now features four 2018 round picks with Ian Dawkins, Andrew Perez, Bennett Sousa, and our MVP of the week, Nick Madrigal. It is too early to make any conclusions on Madrigal’s career (with 40 plate appearances in 10 games) but he has not disappointed. In those 40 PAs, Madrigal still has not struck out.

For a farm system that features high strikeout totals, Madrigal’s start has been encouraging, to say the least. He is also not shy about taking outside pitches to the opposite field. Madrigal has put the ball to right field more than 40% of the time, so his plate coverage seems to be just as advertised in college. For a defensive update, Madrigal has spent the majority of the time and second base. He did start one game at shortstop, where he committed his only error so far.


Great falls Voyagers

Lenyn Sosa: .429 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K ***MVP of the Week***

Logan Sowers: .364 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 8 K, 1 SB

Romy Gonzalez: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K

Gunnar Troutwine: 0-for-9, 0 BB, 2 K

Steele Walker: .455 BA, 1 BB, 1 K

Ramon Beltre: .353 BA, 5 R, 0 BB, 4 K

Jason Bilous: 3 IP, 8.14 FIP, 6.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9

Jonathan Stiever: 2 IP, 2.14 FIP, 9.00 K/9, 0.00 BB/9

Codi Heuer: 3 IP, 8.14 FIP, 6.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9


AZL White Sox

Bryce Bush: .444 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K ***MVP of the Week***

Camilo Quinteiro: .143 BA, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 SB

Luis Mieses: .111 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K

Cabera Weaver: .250 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB

Ryan Cordell: .267 BA, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K

Anderson Comas: .375 BA, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 SB

Brayan Herrera: 3 23 IP, 5.32 FIP, 2.45 K/9, 4.91 BB/9

Konnor Pilkington: 1 IP, 4.23 FIP, 0.00 K/9, 0.00 BB/9

Davis Martin: 3 IP, 4.56 FIP, 3.00 K/9, 0.00 BB/9

Hunter Kiel: 2 IP, 8.73 FIP, 13.50 K/9, 22.50 BB/9


DSL White Sox

Jefferson Mendoza: .000 BA, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K

Jose Rodriguez: .400 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 SB ***MVP of the Week***

Francisco Benitez: 0 IP, 18.51 FIP, 0.00 K/9, 36.00 BB/9

Luis Rodriguez: 5 IP, 2.91 FIP, 10.80 K/9, 3.60 BB/9