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White Sox Minor League Monthly Update: May 2019

Though some top prospects performed well, a few darkhorses reminded fans not to forget about them

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins
Smash! Daniel Palka seems to be back to his 2018 form after crushing AAA in May.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

White Sox — Charlotte Shuttle

Seby Zavala
Charlotte: .250 BA, 3 HR, 4 XBH, 4 R, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K
White Sox: .111 BA, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K

Thyago Vieira
White Sox: 4 13 IP, 2.45 FIP, 12.46 K/9, 6.23 BB/9
Charlotte: 9 13 IP, 5.48 FIP, 14.46 K/9, 6.75 BB/9

Caleb Frare
White Sox: 0 IP, 6.15 FIP, 0.0 K/9, 9.0 BB/9
Charlotte: 5 23 IP, 5.10 FIP, 11.12 K/9, 3.18 BB/9 (currently on the IL)

Carson Fulmer
White Sox: 1 23 IP, 15.75 FIP, 0.0 K/9, 37.8 BB/9
Charlotte: 10 23 IP, 3.75 FIP, 12.66 K/9, 5.06 BB/9


Charlotte Knights

Zack Collins: .204 BA, 2 HR, 4 XBH, 9 R, 12 RBI, 14 BB, 21 K
Daniel Palka: .280 BA, 9 HR, 12 XBH, 24 R, 19 RBI, 19 BB, 27 K **May MVP**
Danny Mendick: .288 BA, 4 HR, 7 XBH, 15 R, 13 RBI, 13 BB, 22 K, 7 SB
Joel Booker: .220 BA, 3 XBH, 6 R, 4 BB, 15 K, 1 SB
Ian Hamilton: 6 IP, 5.83 FIP, 12.0 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 (currently on the IL)
Zach Thompson: 13 13 IP, 5.98 FIP, 8.78 K/9, 4.05 BB/9
Matt Foster: 14 IP, 6.16 FIP, 10.29 K/9, 2.57 BB/9
Jordan Stephens: 5 IP, 10.69 FIP, 3.6 K/9. 0.0 BB/9 (rehab assignment in Winston-Salem)

It might be time for Daniel Palka’s second chance with the White Sox. Though most of his power numbers came in the beginning of the month, Palka just mashed the ball when he could. In May, he had a 146 wRC+, with a whopping .323 Isolated power. The most important aspect of May for Palka though was his walks. In any level of professional baseball and for any amount of time, he has never had a walk rate of better than 14%. Well, in May, he had a 17% walk rate, and currently has a 19% walk rate overall in Charlotte. Now, with the new ball and Palka’s hitting resurgence, his walks could be a product of safe pitching, or some pitchers still adjusting to using a different ball. However, if you pool everything together, it does seem like Palka is much more comfortable at the plate. His K-rate, though still at his usual high mark, has dipped 11%, again, some of that is just the weaker pitching at the Triple-A level, but it seems like Palka should be getting the call back to Chicago soon.


Birmingham Barons

Gavin Sheets: .265 BA, 3 HR, 4 XBH, 8 R, 16 RBI, 7 BB, 17 K, 1 SB
Laz Rivera: .256 BA, 7 XBH, 7 R, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 16 K, 3 SB
Luis Robert: .311 BA, 2 HR, 16 XBH, 16 R, 14 RBI, 6 BB, 23 K, 8 SB
Luis Gonzalez: .242 BA, 2 HR, 4 XBH, 12 R, 8 RBI, 7 BB, 17 K, 2 SB
Luis Basabe: .236 BA, 3 XBH, 10 R, 11 RBI, 11 BB, 25 K, 5 SB
Blake Rutherford: .216 BA, 1 HR, 6 XBH, 9 R, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 17 K
Hunter Schryver: 15 23 IP, 2.14 FIP, 6.32 K/9, 1.15 BB/9
Zack Burdi: 14 IP, 7.16 FIP, 11.57 K/9, 5.79 BB/9
Kyle Kubat: 39 IP, 2.23 FIP, 6.46 K/9, 1.38 BB/9 **May MVP**
Jimmy Lambert: 25 23 IP, 4.07 FIP, 11.57 K/9, 5.96 BB/9
Kodi Mederios: 24 13 IP, 5.54 FIP, 8.88 K/9, 4.07 BB/9
Bernardo Flores: 24 13 IP, 3.75 FIP, 6.66 K/9, 1.48 BB/9 (currently on the IL)

Out of all the talent that the Birmingham Barons have on the roster, Kyle Kubat takes the MVP in May. (As an aside, those offensive numbers, though not too great besides Luis Robert, are much improved from April’s.) Back to Kubat, the 26-year-old, kind-of prospect was on fire in May. He didn’t allow more than three runs in any start and lasted at least seven innings in four of the six starts. He still has not showed much strikeout potential, but his command of the zone is great (4% walk rate). On top of that, Kubat currently has a 50.5% ground ball rate to go along with a pull rate just less than 40%. That’s exactly how a soft-tossing pitcher goes on a hot streak: Do not walk batters often, and entice a lot of grounders. However, there should be some cause for disbelief, because Kubat is already 26 and has yet to use the MLB ball.


Birmingham — Winston-Salem shuttle

Alec Hansen
Winston-Salem: 2 IP, 5.51 FIP, 4.5 K/9, 9.0 BB/9
Birmingham: 8 23 IP, 4.31 FIP, 12.46 K/9, 6.23 BB/9

Blake Battenfield
Winston-Salem: 6 IP, 7.01 FIP, 6.0 K/9, 1.5 BB/9
Birmingham: 20 13 IP, 4.78 FIP, 7.97 K/9, 3.54 BB/9


Winston-Salem Dash

Nick Madrigal: .277 BA, 2 HR, 7 XBH, 13 R, 7 RBI, 7 BB, 2 K, 11 SB
Steele Walker: .229 BA, 2 HR, 5 XBH, 11 R, 11 RBI, 15 BB, 17 K, 4 SB
Zach Remillard: .375 BA, 2 HR, 10 XBH, 18 R, 19 RBI, 14 BB, 21 K , 2 SB **May MVP**
Codi Heuer: 14 13 IP, 3.00 FIP, 10.67 K/9, 3.77 BB/9
Lincoln Henzman: 29 IP, 5.27 FIP, 4.34 K/9, 2.48 BB/9 (promoted to Birmingham)

Another slight surprise for MVP in Winston-Salem, as 2018’s first three draft picks are now in Single-A+, but Zach Remillard outplayed all of them. He had a 190 wRC+ in May, though it was heavily BABIP-boosted (.477). Remillard was also showed improved plate discipline. The walk rate increased about 8% and his strikeout rate fell 2%. He also shown decent pop with .170 ISO, so Remillard was just much better in every facet of his offensive game in May. But the most amazing thing about his last month was that he reached base in every single game. Like Ian Dawkins in Kannapolis and Kubat in Birmingham, however, Remillard is also a bit old for SIngle-A+ at 25, and should hopefully be on his way up sooner rather than later.


Winston-Salem — Kannapolis shuttle

Konnor Pilkington
Kannapolis: 11 IP, 2.45 FIP, 11.45 K/9, 3.27 BB/9
Winston-Salem: 13 13 IP, 4.84 FIP, 12.83 K/9, 6.75 BB/9


Kannapolis Intimidators

Gunnar Troutwine: .250 BA, 3 XBH, 5 R, 2 BB, 19 K
Bryce Bush: .241 BA, 2 HR, 9 XBH, 4 R, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 21 K - Currently on the IL
Lenyn Sosa: .259 BA, 2 HR, 16 XBH, 16 R, 15 RBI, 4 BB, 20 K, 1 SB
Luis Curbelo: .176 BA, 2 HR, 7 XBH, 5 R, 10 RBI, 7 BB, 44 K
Ian Dawkins: .419 BA, 2 HR, 13 XBH, 24 R, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 19 K, 6 SB **May MVP**
Andrew Perez: 15 IP, 1.31 FIP, 13.2 K/9, 1.8 BB/9
Bennett Sousa: 14 IP, 3.43 FIP, 7.07 K/9, 1.29 BB/9
Jason Bilous: 17 23 IP, 4.59 FIP, 8.15 K/9, 6.11 BB/9
Kade McClure: 36 23 IP, 3.37 FIP, 8.58 K/9, 1.47 BB/9 (called up to Winston-Salem)
Jonathan Stiever: 35 IP, 4.23 FIP, 8.74 K/9, 1.54 BB/9

Normally, a Kade McClure- or a Bennett Sousa-type month would have been earned an MVP, but Ian Dawkins was just outrageous. Over a 31-game span, Dawkins hit better than .400 while showing much-improved power. Out of those 31 games, Dawkins went hitless in only two games. To close out May, he had a 15-game hitting streak. He had 13 extra-base hits for an ISO of .145, which is very good for him. With all of that production, Dawkins had a 198 wRC+. Dawkins is more of a high-average, doesn’t-strike-out-much player and hasn’t shown much pop, but maybe this is a turning point. What is known is that his time in Kannapolis should be numbered, not only because of his success but because he’ll turn 24 soon.