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White Sox Minor League Weekly Update: Week 11

The promotions have begun, punctuating big weeks from Danny Mendick, Lincoln Henzman, Steele Walker and Corey Zangari

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago White Sox
Latest matriculation: Zack Collins is now a major leaguer.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Knights

Zack Collins: .150 BA, 4 R, 2 RBI, 7 BB, 10 K
Seby Zavala: .273 BA, 1 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K
Danny Mendick: .450 BA, 4 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB **MVP of the Week**
Daniel Palka: .348 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 SB
Matt Foster: 3 23 IP, 2.52 FIP, 12.27 K/9, 4.91 BB/9
Carson Fulmer: 1 IP, 12.61 FIP, 0.0 K/9, 27.0 BB/9
Dylan Cease: 5 IP, 5.61 FIP, 1.8 K/9, 5.4 BB/9

First off, congratulations on the promotion to the bigs, Zack Collins! I’m sure most of you know this already, but Collins is the truest three-outcome player the Sox have had in awhile. He has a .232 ISO, a 17.5% BB-rate, and a 32% K-rate. So yeah, he will be frustrating for some more old-school fans no matter what — but if Collins’ power and walks continue at the current rate, he should be just fine.

Now, to Charlotte’s MVP, Danny Mendick, who soon should be getting a promotion of his own. He still has been a slightly above-average hitter in Triple-A despite not being a true power hitter. He walks at a good rate, 12%, which would be a pro career high. Comparatively, Mendick does not strike out a lot, and he has been much better at stealing bases this season (14-of-16). There is not much else Mendick needs to prove at the Triple-A level, much like Collins. If Mendick continues his success, it will be hard to keep him in Charlotte.

Birmingham Barons

Gavin Sheets: .143 BA, 2 R, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 4 K
Nick Madrigal: .292 BA, 4 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 SB
Laz Rivera: .267 BA, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Luis Robert: .227 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K
Luis Gonzalez: .250 BA, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K
Luis Basabe: .190 BA, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 SB
Blake Rutherford: .208 BA, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K
Zack Burdi: 2 IP, 2.70 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 4.5 BB/9
Kodi Medeiros: 4 23 IP, 3.20 FIP, 11.57 K/9, 7.71 BB/9
Alec Hansen: 1 13 IP, 12.95 FIP, 6.75 K/9, 33.75 BB/9
Lincoln Henzman: 7 IP, 1.91 FIP, 7.72 K/9, 0.0 BB/9 **MVP of the Week**
Blake Battenfield: 5 IP, 2.00 FIP, 10.8 K/9, 3.6 BB/9

Henzman has been a curious case so far in Double-A. Though his most recent start was much better, he has a 7.13 ERA so far in 17 23 innings pitched. However, he has a 2.46 FIP and a 3.38 xFIP. The huge disparity between ERA and the more advanced statistics come from a .385 BABIP allowed, as well as phenomenal command. He has only walked two batters since being called up to Double-A, which is a rate of 2.5%. He also has not allowed a home run yet, so Henzman is not giving up much power, either. And finally, Henzman’s ground ball rate is at 50%, so batted balls just seem to go in the perfect place and it is killing Henzman,as indicated by that very high BABIP, Henzman only has a 46% left-on-base percentage, which is pretty atrocious. The BABIP will hopefully continue to fall and Henzman’s ERA will look better, but at least his command has been on point after a late start to his season due to injury.

Winston-Salem Dash

Steele Walker: .435 BA, 2 HR, 5 R, 9 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K **MVP of the Week**
Codi Heuer: 5 IP, 1.03 FIP, 10.8 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Konnor Pilkington: 6 IP, 2.10 FIP, 10.5 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
Kade McClure: 6 IP, 4.10 FIP, 6.0 K/9, 6.0 BB/9

What a way to win a very competitive MVP of the Week award from SSS by Steele Walker. Konnor Pilkington came close, with what was his best start as a member of the Dash, and Codi Heuer continues to mow down opposing batters with ease. But Walker won out. First, Walker hit for the cycle, as you can see the single above that clinched that feat. And Walker didn’t stop with a cycle, as he homered again for the second time of the week as well. Walker has been heating up the past couple weeks in Single-A+, with a much better 120 wRC+. He is starting to walk more often, as that rate has climbed to 11%, and is making more contact, as his K-rate continues to fall. Walker is behind a very crowded outfield in Birmingham, so Winston-Salem may be his only promotion of the season. But Walker should firmly be on promotion watch for the rest of the season.

Kannapolis Intimidators

Corey Zangari: .318 BA, 3 HR, 5 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K **MVP of the Week**
Luis Curbelo: .136 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K
Lenyn Sosa: .200 BA, 5 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K
Bryce Bush: .130 BA, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 11 K, 1 SB
Ian Dawkins: .261 BA, 3 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K
Andrew Perez: 3 IP, 1.87 FIP, 12.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
Bennett Sousa: 3 13 IP, 8.33 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Jason Bilous: 5 IP, 3.73 FIP, 16.2 K/9, 3.6 BB/9
Davis Martin: 5 IP, 2.73 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 3.6 BB/9
Jonathan Stiever: 8 IP, 3.41 FIP, 11.25 K/9, 1.13 BB/9

Three more actual promotions to announce, and you read it here first courtesy of SSS’s Dan Victor. Jonathan Stiever is on his way up. Like Henzman, Stiever’s FIP and xFIP are much better-looking than his ERA. He has a 3.90 FIP and has shown great command in Kannapolis with a 4.4% BB-rate. The strikeouts are considerably down from last season, so it seems like Stiever is generating more contact in favor of fewer walks.

Two relievers from the 2018 draft class are also on their way up, Andrew Perez and Bennett Sousa. Perez is a lefty who has vastly improved this year. His K-rate and BB-rate are at personal best marks and that has led to a 2.01 FIP. Bennett Sousa has also seen a best mark for walk rate this season, though his strikeouts are slightly down. He is an older right-handed pitcher, but has done very well in every MiLB stint so far and currently has a 2.98 FIP. Both of these promotions were long overdue.

Meanwhile, Corey Zangari had a great week, filled with his typical power stroke. It had been a slow start back from another injury for Zangari, but he’s put it together since May 28. He has hit four homers in that time span for an ISO at .314, which is just outrageous. He also has been walking near a 9% clip, but of course the strikeouts are very high at 33%. Those K’s do not diminish his wRC+ much, as it sits at 142 since May 28. Zangari seems to be getting more comfortable at the plate, but he still needs more at-bats after having several injuries after being selected in the sixth round back in 2015. The mashing first sacker still has a long ways to go, but it seems as if he has turned the corner.

Great Falls Voyagers

Great Falls opened up play last week but in order to give a week’s worth of stats, their weekly update will debut next go-round.

DSL White Sox

Alberto Bernal: .333 BA, 4 R, 4 BB, 4 K
Anthony Espinoza: .190 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Ronaldo Guzman: 4 IP, 2.28 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 4.5 BB/9
Luis Rodriguez: 4 IP, 2.28 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 2.25 BB/9 **MVP of the Week**