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White Sox Minor League Monthly Update: April 2019

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Prospect stars like Luis Robert, Zack Collins, and Steele Walker took their leagues by storm

Fast mover: Luis Robert showed all five of his tools in April and earned his way to a promotion to AA.
@WSDashBaseball

The results are in!


Time in MLB and MILB (April)

Daniel Palka
MLB: .029 BA, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 15 K
Triple-A: .229 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 11 BB, 12 K

Ryan Cordell
Triple-A: .323 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 6 RBI, 5 XBH, 1 BB, 10 K
MLB: .250 BA, 2 HR, 6 R, 6 RBI, 4 XBH, 5 BB, 11 K, 1 SB

Nicky Delmonico
Triple-A: .286 BA, 3 HR, 13 R, 10 RBI, 10 XBH, 10 BB, 12 K, 1 SB
MLB: .200 BA, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 XBH, 1 BB, 3 K

Dylan Covey
MLB: 1 13 IP, 7.62 FIP, 0.0 K/9, 13.5 BB/9
Triple-A: 14 13 IP, 5.35 FIP, 8.16 K/9, 1.88 BB/9

Caleb Frare
MLB: 2 23 IP, 9.12 FIP, 10.13 K/9, 10.13 BB/9
Triple-A: 7 23 IP, 2.77 FIP, 15.26 K/9, 7.04 BB/9

Carson Fulmer
Triple-A: 7 IP, 2.39 FIP, 14.14 K/9, 5.14 BB/9
MLB: 8 23 IP, 4.51 FIP, 11.42 K/9, 4.15 BB/9

Aaron Bummer
Triple-A: 7 23 IP, 3.42 FIP, 7.04 K/9, 2.35 BB/9
MLB: 1 IP, 4.12 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 9.0 BB/9

Thyago Vieira
Triple-A: 9 IP, 3.59 FIP, 7.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
MLB: He was promoted to MLB didn’t appear in an April game.


Charlotte Knights

Seby Zavala: .203 BA, 3 HR, 12 R, 9 RBI, 9 XBH, 2 BB, 23 K
Zack Collins: .275 BA, 6 HR, 16 R, 21 RBI, 11 XBH, 14 BB, 27 K ***Triple-A April MVP***
Danny Mendick: .222 BA, 4 HR, 18 R, 19 RBI, 7 XBH, 13 BB, 18 K,4 SB
Ian Hamilton: 9 13 IP, 4.89 FIP, 10.61 K/9, 1.93 BB/9
Juan Minaya: 13 13 IP, 5.54 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 4.73 BB/9
Spencer Adams: 18 IP, 7.09 FIP, 5.0 K/9, 4.0 BB/9
Jordan Stephens: 26 13 IP, 6.05 FIP, 7.18 K/9, 3.42 BB/9
Dylan Cease: 24 13 IP, 3.43 FIP, 11.10 K/9, 2.59 BB/9

Joel Booker
Double-A: .351 BA, 1 HR, 7 R, 9 RBI, 5 XBH, 4 BB, 16 K, 8 SB ***Double-A April MVP***
Triple-A: .083 BA, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 SB

Zach Thompson
Double-A: 5 13 IP, 1.61 FIP, 10.13 K/9, 1.69 BB/9
Triple-A: 9 23 IP, 4.77 FIP, 12.10 K/9, 1.86 BB/9

Matt Foster
Double-A: 9 23 IP, 1.43 FIP, 11.17 K/9, 1.86 BB/9
Triple-A: 2 IP, 2.81 FIP, 4.50 K/9, 0.0 BB/9

As everybody knows, Triple-A started using the MLB ball this season, and home runs have increased mightily. Zack Collins has taken advantage of that fact with six home runs through 19 games and an ISO at .354. He is still walking at a high rate of 17.1%, although that would (barely) qualify as a career low. On the downside, Collins is striking out at an even higher rate than normal, at 31.7%. Basically, Collins is the perfect three true outcome hitter. However, his batting average is much higher than one would expect, especially since he has routinely hit in the .220 - .230 range in his career. Right now, Collins is hitting .275 with a BABIP at .333, though it is heavily HR/FB rate related because 35.5% of his fly balls leave the park. Then again, with the change in the ball and what seems to be very good contact for Collins, maybe Collins can sustain a batting average 30-40 points higher than normal. Right now, he has a career low in ground ball rate ( 26.8%) because of an increased line drive rate ( 31.7%). That, along with a pull rate that’s low (42.9%) and a center rate at 35.7%, seems to show a lot of quality contact. Sure, maybe it’s the ball, but it is the same one used in MLB, and it is possible that is all Collins needed.


Birmingham Barons

Yermin Mercedes: .442 BA, 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, 5 XBH, 4 BB, 8 K
Gavin Sheets: .207 BA, 2 HR, 9 R, 10 RBI, 3 XBH, 9 BB, 23 K
Laz Rivera: .195 BA, 9 R, 4 RBI, 2 XBH, 5 BB, 11 K, 2 SB
Micker Adolfo: .205 BA, 5 R, 9 RBI, 7 XBH, 14 BB, 36 K
Luis Gonzalez: .216 BA, 1 HR, 10 R, 14 RBI, 5 XBH, 9 BB, 20 K, 2 SB
Blake Rutherford: .156 BA, 2 HR, 9 R, 5 RBI, 3 XBH, 5 BB, 24 K, 1 SB
Hunter Schryver: 11 IP, 3.11 FIP, 8.18 K/9, 4.91 BB/9
Bernardo Flores: 26 IP, 4.10 FIP, 6.23 K/9, 2.08 BB/9
Jimmy Lambert: 27 23 IP, 4.13 FIP, 10.73 K/9, 2.6 BB/9
Kodi Medeiros: 12 23 IP, 5.66 FIP, 7.82 K/9, 8.53 BB/9

Luis Basabe
Single-A: .300 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 XBH, 4 BB, 7 K, 1 SB
Double-A: .125 BA, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K

Luis Robert
Single-A+: .453 BA, 8 HR, 21 R, 24 RBI, 16 XBH, 4 BB, 20 K, 8 SB ***Single-A+ April MVP***
Double-A: He was promoted but did not appear in an April game

Zack Burdi
Single-A: 3 IP, 0.63 FIP, 18.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
Double-A: He was promoted but did not appear in an April game

Who would have thought, out of all the outfielders in the White Sox system, the 22nd round pick in 2016 gets the first crack at Triple-A. Joel Booker, before his Triple-A promotion, had a slash line of .351/.400/.446 for a wRC+ at 149, so he was definitely worthy of that promotion. There are some concerns for regression, though. Booker had a .439 BABIP and a ground ball rate at 45.6%. It also does not help that half of the fly balls he hit didn’t leave the infield. One of Booker’s specialties is his speed, so a high BABIP can be expected — just not a .439 BABIP. Booker has never been a power hitter, as he has only had an ISO above .100 once, but with the MLB ball, there should be more pop. On the speed side, Booker was 8-of-10 in steals in Double-A and is currently 1-for-1 in Triple-A. To help matters in terms of a promotion to MLB, Booker has played multiple games at each outfield spot, though left field has been his primary spot.


Winston-Salem Dash

Nick Madrigal: .282 BA, 6 R, 18 RBI, 9 BB, 4 K
Alec Hansen: 10 23 IP, 1.31 FIP, 16.88 K/9, 4.22 BB/9
Codi Heuer: 15 IP, 2.07 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 1.2 BB/9
Blake Battenfield: 29 IP, 3.60 FIP, 6.52 K/9, 2.48 BB/9
Lincoln Henzman: 12 IP, 3.75 FIP, 3.0 K/9, 1.5 BB/9

Steele Walker
Single-A: .365 BA, 6 R, 11 RBI, 13 XBH, 8 BB, 15 K, 4 SB ***Single-A April MVP***
Single-A+: 1-for-5, 1 R, 0 BB (only one game in Winston-Salem in April)

The most impressive player so far this season in the minors has been Luis Robert. With the Dash, Robert had a 290 wRC+ with a 1.432 OPS in 19 games. Robert had the highest batting average (.453), home runs (8), RBI (24), ISO (.467), and really any other stat in all of high-A ball. How did he do this? Well, he hit the crap out of the ball. Already, Robert swings at mostly anything, as he does not walk at that high a clip, and that extra contact came in handy. Some 55.6% of his batted balls are fly balls, and only 20% of them stay in the infield. Even better, Robert’s pull rate was at 49.1%, which is a lot of fly balls getting hit well. Robert has looked very good on the bases, too. He has three triples and is 8-for-10 in stolen bases. Now, let’s see if he can do it in Birmingham.


Kannapolis Intimidators

Gunnar Troutwine: .308 BA, 1 HR, 9 R, 4 RBI, 4 XBH, 11 BB, 16 K, 1 SB
Corey Zangari: 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (only played one game in Kannapolis in April)
Luis Curbelo: .209 BA, 2 HR, 9 R, 18 RBI, 9 XBH, 4 BB, 34 K
Romy Gonzalez: 3-for-5, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K (only played one game in Kannapolis in April)
Bryce Bush: .213 BA, 10 R, 10 RBI, 10 BB, 28 K, 3 SB
Lenyn Sosa: .185 BA, 12 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 25 K, 2 SB
Bennett Sousa: 12 IP, 2.05 FIP, 12.75 K/9, 3.75 BB/9
Andrew Perez: 12 13 IP, 3.54 FIP, 11.68 K/9, 4.38 BB/9
Jason Bilous: 10 23 IP, 7.00 FIP, 10.13 K/9, 3.38 BB/9
Wilber Perez: 9 13 IP, 4.38 FIP, 11.57 K/9, 5.79 BB/9
Jonathan Stiever: 24 IP, 4.51 FIP, 9.75 K/9, 2.63 BB/9
Konnor Pilkington: 22 13 IP, 3.63 FIP, 11.28 K/9, 2.82 BB/9
Kade McClure: 18 23 IP, 3.15 FIP, 7.23 K/9, 2.89 BB/9
Davis Martin: 26 13 IP, 6.28 FIP, 10.59 K/9, 1.37 BB/9

To stick with the outfield trend this April, Steele Walker took the I’s by storm and earned himself a promotion to Winston-Salem. Though Walker did not record a home run, he still had 13 extra-base hits in just 20 games. His ISO was .216, which is very impressive without a homer, and his plate discipline looked better in his first April as a professional. He walked at a healthy 9.2% and his K-rate was at a good 17.2%. As you saw in the video above, Walker has gap power, especially on a line, and that happened pretty frequently. His 31.7% line drive rate coupled with a decreased fly ball rate explains where those 13 non-home run extra-base hits came from. Power did not seem to be Walker’s strength coming out of college, but it has been better than expected in his limited time in MLB. Hopefully Walker can step in and fill that Luis Robert-sized hole for the Dash.