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White Sox Minor League Weekly Update: Week 10

Zack Collins gets back into the swing of things, power surges from Gavin Sheets and JJ Muno, and Jonathan Stiever beat the best team in Single-A and made it look easy

Baron necessities: Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal stay hot, but this time they are in the same lineup.
@BhamBarons

Charlotte Knights

Zack Collins: .348 BA, 1 HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K **MVP of the Week**
Seby Zavala: .278 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K
Danny Mendick: .235 BA, 3 R, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K, 2 SB
Daniel Palka: .138 BA, 3 HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K
Matt Foster: 2 13 IP, 9.60 FIP, 3.68 K/9, 3.86 BB/9
Jordan Stephens: 4 23 IP, 4.67 FIP, 3.86 K/9, 5.79 BB/9
Carson Fulmer: 4 IP, 0.60 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Dylan Cease: 5 23 IP, 6.77 FIP, 7.94 K/9, 7.94 BB/9

Since his return from the IL, Zack Collins had not been doing so well. From May 18 to June 2, Collins was not hitting well, at just .229 with a .143 ISO. However, with a near 22% walk rate, Collins was able to pull together a 100 wRC+ though slumping through those 12 games. Over the past seven games last week, Collins took a much different approach. He only walked in one game, for a 4.2% walk rate, while the K-rate still held near 30%. He just put the ball in play more often, and with a .467 BABIP, it really worked out well. Though Collins did hit a home run, the ISO was actually slightly less because of all the singles. But it does seem like Collins is ramping back up to pre-injury status — and maybe a promotion to the big leagues.


Birmingham Barons

Nick Madrigal: .667 BA, 3 R, 2 RBI, 0 K, 2 SB
Laz Rivera: .304 BA, 4 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
Gavin Sheets: .320 BA, 2 HR, 4 R, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K **MVP of the Week**
Luis Gonzalez: .192 BA, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
Luis Robert: .296 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 2 SB
Blake Rutherford: .458 BA, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 SB
Alec Hansen: 2 IP, 3.26 FIP, 0.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Zack Burdi: 2 IP, 0.26 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Kodi Medeiros: 3 23 IP, 6.26 FIP, 9.82 K/9, 4.91 BB/9
Jimmy Lambert: 6 IP, 9.43 FIP, 6.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
Lincoln Henzman: 5 IP, 3.66 FIP, 3.6 K/9, 3.6 BB/9
Blake Battenfield: 6 IP, 3.09 FIP, 10.5 K/9, 0.0 BB/9

Though Gavin Sheets started to heat up before Andrew Vaughn was drafted, one can’t ignore the recent rise of Sheets with the rumors and eventual selection of Vaughn joining the White Sox. In the month of June, Sheets is slashing .343/.368/.543 for a 162 wRC+. During that time span, he also passed his personal record for home runs in a professional season. Overall, the ISO still isn’t where it should be at .112, especially for a power hitter. He is not hitting as many non-home run extra-base hits as he did last season; more of them are landing for just singles instead of going over the fence. Sheets’s batted-ball profile is still around his MILB career norm of using the whole field (a pull rate at 40%). He also is only hitting 36% of his batted balls as fly balls, which really needs to improve — and it has over the past couple of weeks. But Sheets needs to keep this power gear in drive now that there is another first base prospect behind him, and Collins, who will probably move to first, keeps on hitting in Triple-A.


Winston-Salem Dash

Steele Walker: .222 BA, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K
JJ Muno: .250 BA, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K **MVP of the Week**
Codi Heuer: 2 IP, 0.45 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Kade McClure: Did not pitch last week.
Konnor Pilkington: 5 23 IP, 2.74 FIP, 12.71 K/9, 6.35 BB/9

With Nick Madrigal now in Birmingham, the Dash more and more devoid of top talent, though Walker and Pilkington are still there. But the best player over the last month, or one of in the case of Zach Remillard, has been JJ Muno. In 27 games with the Dash, Muno has the most surprising line out of any White Sox farmhand. Before this season, Muno had one home run, and he was drafted in 2017. So far with the Dash, he has four, including two this past week for a .231 ISO, his best mark by far since rookie ball. Also, for a player who has never had a BB rate in the double digits, Muno currently is at 12.8% BB-rate and is also striking out at a second-best career mark. Yes, he is 25 and 2.4 years older than the average Single-A+ player, but he has a 159 wRC+ over a month’s worth of games and looks like a completely different hitter right now.


Kannapolis Intimidators

Lenyn Sosa: .238 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K
Bryce Bush: .067 BA, 1 HR, 2 BB, 9 K
Ian Dawkins: .316 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Jason Bilous: 8 IP, 4.57 FIP, 11.25 K/9, 4.5 BB/9
Andrew Perez: 2 IP, 3.57 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 9.0 BB/9
Bennett Sousa: 2 IP, -0.43 FIP, 18.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Davis Martin: 6 IP, 1.90 FIP, 12.0 K/9, 1.5 BB/9
Jonathan Stiever: 7 IP, 1.57 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9 **MVP of the Week**

We have not talked about Jonathan Stiever much this season, not because he has been bad, he just hasn’t been great. Konnor Pilkington and some other hitters have outshined him in past weeks, but Stiever just had his best start of the season, against some very tough competition. The Delmarva Shorebirds, who currently have the best record in the SALLY at 46-16, got schooled by Stiever in seven shutout innings. That start put an end to a lackluster past few outings for Stiever, who has a 3.99 FIP in 66 innings in 2019. Now, I hesitate to use last year’s stats as a barometer for this one, mostly because in 13 starts in 2018 (one more than this season so far) Stiever only pitched 28 innings. But in those 28 innings, Stiever struck out quite a few more people per plate appearance, but in 2019, his overall command is better, resulting in 5.15 strikeouts per walk. Stiever does still have a healthy rate of Ks at 23%, but he has gotten a lot more help from balls in play. If Stiever can keep it going for another start or two before the draftees start coming, he could see himself in Winston-Salem for the rest of the season.


DSL White Sox

Luis Piñeda: .000 BA, 0 BB, 1 K
Benyamin Bailey: .474 BA, 3 R, 5 BB, 6 K, 2 SB **MVP of the Week**
Alberto Bernal: .063 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K
Anthony Espinoza: .269 BA, 9 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Ronaldo Guzman: 4 IP, 2.59 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 2.25 BB/9