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White Sox Minor League Update: June 25, 2019

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Steele Walker is hitting .405 with three home runs over his last 10 games and that, to me, is good

Walker of Steele: The center fielder went very yard on Tuesday, quite yard
Scott Kinser/@WSDashBaseball

Durham Bulls 5, Charlotte Knights 1

Hector Santiago: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Zach Thompson: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Thyago Vieira: 1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 E (L, 3-2)
Adam Engel (CF): 1-for-4, 1 RBI **MVP**
Paulo Orlando (RF): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Seby Zavala (DH): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Yermin Mercedes (C): 2-for-4, 1 K
Danny Mendick (2B): 0-for-2, 1 BB

Hector Santiago made his glorious return to the Chicago White Sox franchise with a fairly glorious pitching line. Santiago had signed with the New York Mets before spring training, then elected free agency after he was designated for assignment a few days ago. Although his ERA with Mets Triple-A affiliate Syracuse was just 3.35 in his eight starts with them, Santiago did walk 23 over 43 innings and his FIP was 4.96. In any event, he’s here, he’s back, and he threw five strong innings. Zach Thompson also threw well; after a rough April and a terrible May, he’s returned in June with 15 ⅓ innings over which he’s given up just two runs. Thyago Vieira, however, blew it in the ninth, hitting one with a pitch and giving up two singles and a home run.

The Knights picked up just five hits, two of them off the bat of Yermin Mercedes. Their lone run came in the seventh, Seby Zavala singling, Danny Mendick hit by a pitch, and Adam Engel singling Zavala in. Mendick ran himself out of the inning at third base on the throw, in what looks like was a rundown (unless third baseman-second baseman-shortstop-third baseman is a normal defensive maneuver these days).


Mobile BayBears 5, Birmingham Barons 4

Blake Battenfield: 3 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
Alec Hansen: 1 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K
Kodi Medeiros: 2 ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Codi Heuer: ⅓ IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (BS, 1)
Luis Robert (CF): 0-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 E, 1 HBP
Nick Madrigal (2B): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1 HBP
Gavin Sheets (1B): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP
Joel Booker (LF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB **MVP**
Laz Rivera (SS): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 E

Blake’s greatest Battenfield was himself on Tuesday, as he struggled to throw strikes and was removed in the fourth with a pitch count of 82 (48 strikes). The Barons bullpen gave up two crucial runs, one apiece in the eighth and ninth. Recently-promoted Codi Heuer, a 6´5´´ righty who throws 98 mph, gave up three straight singles in the eighth to tie the game. Then Mauricio Cabrera walked in the eventual winning run in the top of the ninth.

The Barons scored first on a sac fly by Joel Booker, who played in his fifth game since returning from a tough stint with Charlotte. Booker also drove in another run and reached on an error in the fourth. The team scored their last runs in the sixth, one on a bases-loaded Luis Robert walk and the next when Madrigal was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat. Blake Rutherford went 0-for-5, but his average only dropped to .248 (from .253).


Myrtle Beach Pelicans 4, Winston-Salem Dash 3

Kade McClure: 5 ⅔ IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (L, 1-1)
Kevin Escorcia: 2 ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Tyler Frost (RF): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
Mitch Roman (SS): 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI **MVP**
Jameson Fisher (1B): 1-for-4
Zach Remillard (3B): 1-for-4
Craig Dedelow (DH): 1-for-3, 1 K
JJ Muno (2B): 0-for-2, 1 BB, 2 K
Jordan George (LF): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 K

Kade McClure wasn’t terrible, but the Dash offense (aka Steele Walker) wasn’t able to generate more than three runs, so they fell to the 22-51 Myrtle Beach Pelicans. McClure has pitched very well in Winston since his promotion from Kannapolis a few weeks ago, and this was by far his worst start. In fact, he gave up more runs tonight than he had in his other three starts combined. Two home runs and a double were the only hard hits he gave up, but combined with a single, they were enough.

Walker did his best to oil the run machine in the first inning, after Tyler Frost singled and Mitch Roman walked to start things off. He went deep — very deep — to put the Dash up 3-0 early. Despite the strong start to the game, though, this was all the Dash were able to manage, and they only scrounged up seven hits total.


Greenville Drive 11, Kannapolis Intimidators 8 — Game 1 (nine innings)

Sam Long: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 WP
JB Olson: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-5, 1 K
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB
Alex Destino (DH): 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB
Bryce Bush (RF): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
Romy González (LF): 2-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB
Gunnar Troutwine (C): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Johan Cruz (3B): 1-for-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 E **MVP**
Ramón Beltre (2B): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI

Greenville Drive 12, Kannapolis Intimidators 3 — Game 2 (seven innings)

Davis Martin: 4 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 E (L, 4-7)
Austin Conway: 1 ⅓ IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Alex Destino (LF-P): ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K; 0-for-3
Ian Dawkins (CF): 0-for-3, 1 RBI
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 0-for-3, 1 K
Bryce Bush (RF): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K **MVP**
Corey Zangari (1B): 0-for-3, 1 RBI
Johan Cruz (3B): 1-for-3, 1 R
Amado Nuñez (2B): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 K, 2 E
Jhoandro Alfaro (C): 0-for-2, 1 RBI, 1 E

The Intimidators completed the game that was suspended in the second inning yesterday due to rain, and while it could have actually gone worse, like most things in this cruel world, it also could have gone better. Sam Long made his fourth start but 22nd appearance of the year — fourth straight start, actually — and pitched through the rain, but didn’t continue when the game did. That job went to Wyatt Burns, who started the year with the Dash and pitched well, was promoted to the Barons and did not pitch so well in very limited time, and then skipped a level in the wrong direction and was sent down to the Intimidators, where apart from today, he is again pitching well (again in limited time). Today, he gave up five runs over three innings, although only three were earned thanks to a Johan Cruz error. Tyler Watson, who pitched one inning for Charlotte last season, was hung with the loss, giving up four runs on a triple and a double in the eighth inning. JB Olson, who’s working his way back from Tommy John surgery, pitched two scoreless.

Greenville scored seven runs between the second and third innings, and four more in the eighth. In between, though, the Intimidators put together eight runs. Cruz supplied the big power, with a fifth inning two-run bomb. Ramón Beltre contributed a run-scoring double, and so did Romy González. Lenyn Sosa continues to constantly be on base yet maintain a .230ish average, and Bryce Bush nudged his average back above the Mendoza line with two hits.

Game 2 actually did go worse! Davis Martin had strung together a few good outings, but gave up at least one run in each of the four innings he pitched tonight (no walks, though). Similarly, Austin Conway had put together some good relief appearances, but gave up the cycle in the sixth, in addition to two wild pitches and a walk. Alex Destino, notably not actually a pitcher, replaced him from left field (Destino’s second appearance on the mound this season) and did not give up a run.

Bush garnered half of the Intimidators hits, including his fourth triple of the year, scoring on a Corey Zangari error-involved situation. Jhoandro Alfaro and Ian Dawkins also scored one apiece on ground balls.


Great Falls Voyagers 7, Idaho Chukars 5

Sean Thompson: 6 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 WP (W, 1-1)
Caberea Weaver (CF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 K
Kelvin Maldonado (SS): 1-for-3, 1 BB
Luis Curbelo (3B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
Luis Mieses (RF): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Sam Abbott (1B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 K
Anderson Comas (LF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 K **MVP**
Camilo Quintero (2B): 1-for-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 E

Great Falls evened their record at 5-5 and got at least one hit from eight of their nine starters in a 7-5 win over the Idaho Chukars, whatever those are. Starter Sean Thompson signed with the Sox as an undrafted free agent last summer and pitched fairly well, mostly as a starter but also appearing in relief. Thompson’s first start this year went … poorly, but Tuesday’s effort was much better, ending up just one run over the threshold for a quality start. Connor Reich (31st round) and Nick Johnson both had scoreless outings.

The Voyagers scored four runs in the first inning, highlighted by Caberea Weaver’s double and score on a groundout combined with a throwing error, and also by Anderson Comas reaching on an error that scored two runs. Comas was also a central figure in the sixth inning, when he hit his second triple of the year to score Sam Abbott from a single, then scored himself on a Camilo Quintero single. In the eighth, Luis Mieses hit a double, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored on a wild pitch. Truly, the wild west.


AZL White Sox 6, AZL Brewers Gold 4

Cooper Bradford: 3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 1 WP
Allen Beer: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Justin Friedman: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (W, 1-1)
James Beard (CF): 0-for-4, 1 BB, 3 K
DJ Gladney (3B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 K
Bryan Ramos (DH): 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI **MVP**
Jonathan Allen (RF): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS
Victor Torres (C): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K

Thirteenth-rounder Cooper Bradford made his second professional start and has now thrown six innings, giving up four earned runs in that span, but striking out seven. It looks like #TankForBeer finally worked, as the Sox signed undrafted free agent Allen Beer; he struck out three in his one inning of work, but did give up a run. Justin Friedman, 26th-rounder, pitched two scoreless and struck out four for the win, and was relieved by a cast of thousands.

It was a great day at the plate for two players specifically. Bryan Ramos and Jonathan Allen were clearly both seeing the ball well, as each picked up three hits. Ramos, who’s only 17, has had a slow start but quadrupled his hit total tonight and was a home run away from the cycle. Allen, 32nd-round pick, added two doubles to his team-leading total of four.


DSL Blue Jays 5, DSL White Sox 4 (rain-shortened)

Luis Rodriguez: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (L, 0-3)
Anthony Espinoza (SS): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
Johnabiell Laureano (CF): 3-for-4, 1 3B, 2 RBI **MVP**
Benyamin Bailey (LF): 1-for-2, 2 BB, 1 K
Luis Pineda (C): 2-for-3
Edwin Peralta (3B): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 CS, 1 HBP
Roberth Gutierrez (RF): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB

The DSL Sox took only five and a half innings to lose a rain-shortened game on Tuesday. Starter Luis Rodriguez walked 38 in 50 innings last season, but is on track for a much better result this year, with only five free passes through 22 innings after today’s start (that’s the difference between a 6.84 BB/9 and a 2.12 BB/9). Jesus Rondón has had some trouble keeping runners off the basepaths but not as much trouble keeping them off home plate, as was evidenced here.

Benyamin Bailey reached base three times, pushing his OBP above .500 and his average to .393 over 18 games. This, obviously, is quite good. Also good today was Johnabiell Laureano, who’s not so quietly also having a breakout season. Laureano’s 18 games have seen him slash .355/.452/.548, including a two-run triple in the fourth inning.