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White Sox Weekly Minor League Update: Week 18

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Eloy and Kopech are getting closer to the South Side, Cease keeps dominating in AA, and Burdi is back

Changing of the Guard? By the end of this week, Dylan Cease may be the best player left in the White Sox minors.
Birmingham Barons

Charlotte Knights

Charlie Tilson: 3-for-8, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K

Ryan Cordell: .273 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K

Eloy Jimenez: .333 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K

Seby Zavala: .154 BA, 0 BB, 2 K

Michael Kopech: 14 IP, 3.17 FIP, 10.93 K/9, 1.29 BB/9 ***MVP of the Week***

Carson Fulmer: 1 IP, 14.30 FIP, 9.00 K/9, 0.00 BB/9

Spencer Adams: 6 IP, 7.30 FIP, 3.00 K/9, 7.50 BB/9

Jordan Guerrero: 5 IP, 5.30 FIP, 10.80 K/9, 5.40 BB/9

Ryan Burr: 2 IP, 1.30 FIP, 9.00 K/9, 0.00 BB/9

Ian Hamilton: 2 IP, 9.80 FIP, 0.00 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, 1 Save

Since Zack Burdi is on his way back to the Knights, let’s take a look at Ryan Burr, the third-best relief prospect with the Knights. He was acquired last year from the Arizona Diamondbacks for, you guessed it, international bonus pool money, and he has shot up the farm system since. Burr started in A+ — and is now in AAA in less than a calendar year. All the while, he has kept a K/9 nine or better at each stop. Burr does have some command issues, but they have improved at every level. He also has had a batting average against of less than .200 since his days in A-. With the Sox, Burr has had a pull percentage drastically less than 40% at each level, and most balls batted are to the opposite field. Both of those stats indicate weaker contact and hitters not being able to pick up Burr’s pitches well/reacting late. In AA this year, Burr only had a 34.3% fly ball rate, compared to a 49.1% ground ball rate. Those are not outstanding numbers, but they proved effective. And that is what Burr has been: effective out of the bullpen.


Birmingham Barons

Joel Booker: .091 BA, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 9 K, 2 SB

Luis Basabe: .000 BA, 0 BB, 8 K

Alex Call: .192 BA, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 K

Zack Collins .130 BA, 2 BB, 9 K

Bernardo Flores: 6 IP, 2.27 FIP, 7.50 K/9, 1.50 BB/9

Dylan Cease: 12 IP, 1.27 FIP, 12.00 K/9, 1.50 BB/9 ***MVP of the Week***

Kodi Medeiros: 7 23 IP, 6.44 FIP, 8.22 K/9, 8.22 BB/9

Matt Foster: 4 IP, 2.69 FIP, 6.75 K/9, 2.25 BB/9

Jose Ruiz: 2 IP, 4.44 FIP, 9.00 K/9, 9.00 BB/9, 1 Save

Jose Ruiz is the highest rated relief pitcher in Birmingham (though I am pretty high on Matt Foster as well). Ruiz was a waiver claim from the San Diego Padres, but his story is quite the tale. He has only been pitching since 2016, after he failed as a catcher. On top of that, he currently has only pitched 109 23 innings (one of which was in MLB with the Padres) in his entire life, and yet, he is in MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 White Sox prospects. He has been able to to strike out batters at a good rate. Currently in AA, he has an 11.53 K/9 along with a 3.41 BB/9. However, he does have a .214 batting average against, which allows too many batters to get on base, and he has not been successful from keeping runners from scoring. He has only been able to keep 63.1% of runners on base. He also has a pull percentage at 48.2%, and his ground ball rate is only 1.2% higher than his fly ball rate. So, unlike Burr, Ruiz seems to be getting hit harder. But there is a reason why Ruiz is among the better relief prospects: He has only allowed one home run in AA and has a .321 BABIP, which is slightly high, along with a 36.7% infield fly rate. That is why he has a 2.48 FIP in 34 13 innings in Birmingham.


Winston-Salem Dash

Luis Gonzalez: .133 BA, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K

Nick Madrigal: .417 BA, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB

Laz Rivera: .467 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K ***MVP of the Week***

Gavin Sheets: .357 BA, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Blake Rutherford: .300 BA, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

Blake Battenfield: 6 IP, 3.73 FIP, 3.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9

Tyler Johnson: 2 IP, 0.89 FIP, 18.00 K/9, 4.50 BB/9

Lincoln Henzman: 2 23 IP, 4.52 FIP, 10.12 K/9, 10.12 BB/9

Tyler Johnson is rated as the third- or fourth-best Sox reliever in the system, and he has a chance to be the best of them. His worst FIP at any level was rookie ball, when it was 3.63. At every level, his FIP and xFIP has fallen, to where it is now 1.84 and 1.86, respectively. Johnson’s walks have also dramatically improved. They were once more than 6 BB/9, verging on 7 BB/9; this season in Winston-Salem, it has fallen to 2.33 BB/9. And to go with the improved walk rate, Johnson’s batting average against is at a career-best .162. He seems to be getting hit a little harder with the Dash, but that is expected, not egregious. Johnson still issues more ground balls than fly balls, and his line drive rate is only 16.2%. Johnson’s fastball can reach 100 mph, but it is not consistently that high. Johnson does have an above-average slider to go along with the fastball. If he can reach high 90s more often, he will be scary to hit against, as his control is already ahead of schedule.


Kannapolis Intimidators

Ian Dawkins: .158 BA, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K

Steele Walker: .100 BA, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Evan Skoug: .167 BA, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Luis Curbelo: .158 BA, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K

Justin Yurchak: .100 BA, 1 BB, 2 K

Andrew Perez: 1 IP, 0.46 FIP, 27.00 K/9, 9.00 BB/9

Bennett Sousa: 2 IP, 1.96 FIP, 13.50 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, 1 Save ***MVP of the Week***


Great Falls Voyagers

Lenyn Sosa: .222 BA, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 SB

Logan Sowers: .310 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K

Romy Gonzalez: .235 BA, 3 R, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 SB

Gunnar Troutwine: .417 BA, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Bryce Bush: .333 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 SB ***MVP of the Week***

Jason Bilous: 3 IP, 4.01 FIP, 6.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9

Konnor Pilkington: 2 IP, 4.85 FIP, 4.50 K/9, 4.50 BB/9

Davis Martin: 1 IP, 18.35 FIP, 9.00 K/9, 9.00 BB/9

Jonathan Stiever: 4 IP, 5.85 FIP, 11.25 K/9, 0.00 BB/9

Codi Heuer: 3 IP, 4.01 FIP, 6.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9


AZL White Sox

Kelvin Maldonado: .214 BA, 3 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K

Luis Mieses: .067 BA, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 SB

Cabera Weaver: .214 BA, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K

Luis Robert: .389 BA, 5 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K, 3 SB ***MVP of the Week***

Brayan Herrera: 8 IP, 4.02 FIP, 7.88 K/9, 4.50 BB/9

Zack Burdi: 23 IP, 5.74 FIP, 13.50 K/9, 13.50 BB/9

Hunter Kiel: 23 IP, 10.27 FIP, 13.50 K/9, 27.00 BB/9


DSL White Sox

Jose Rodriguez: .381 BA, 4 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K

Harold Diaz: .280 BA, 3 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K

Francisco Benitez: 2 IP, 9.52 FIP, 13.50 K/9, 18.00 BB/9

Luis Rodriguez: 3 23 IP, 4.34 FIP, 7.36 K/9, 7.36 BB/9

Cristofer Melendez: 10 IP, 1.12 FIP, 16.20 K/9, 3.60 BB/9 ***MVP of the Week***

Wilber Perez: 6IP, 4.02 FIP, 4.50 K/9, 4.50 BB/9