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White Sox Minor League Update: July 1, 2019

Some games go the right way, some don’t, all are close

Yer-win: Mercedes is an unstoppable extra-base hit machine
Laura Wolff/@KnightsBaseball

Charlotte Knights 4, Durham Bulls 3

Dylan Covey: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Jimmy Cordero: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (S, 3)
Adam Engel (CF): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1 HBP
Danny Mendick (2B): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
Yermin Mercedes (DH): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K **MVP**
Paulo Orlando (LF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K
Ryan Goins (SS): 3-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 E

Dylan Covey pitched pretty well in his rehab start, not allowing any baserunners but also not throwing 100% of his pitches for strikes, which is the standard that I’ve arbitrarily decided to hold him to. He struck out the side swinging in the first and added three more punchouts over the next three innings, two swinging and one looking. Total, he threw 52 pitches, 33 strikes. Matt Foster earned the win in relief with two one-run innings, and Thyago Vieira gave up two runs while striking out two over his inning of work. Jimmy Cordero continued to dominate out of the bullpen, allowing a hit and nothing else over two innings.

The Knights scored exactly one run in each of their first four innings. Danny Mendick’s 13th double, a Ryan Goins single, a Yermin Mercedes dong (his third, in just eight games played with Charlotte), and an Adam Engel single. Mercedes is now batting .429 in AAA with an OPS of 1.360. Of his 12 hits, seven are for extra bases (four doubles, three home runs).

Birmingham Barons 5, Tennessee Smokies 4

Tanner Banks: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Hunter Schryver: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K (H, 3)
Codi Heuer: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (S, 2)
Luis Robert (CF): 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
Nick Madrigal (2B): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB
Blake Rutherford (RF): 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 CS
Gavin Sheets (1B): 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 SB
Joel Booker (LF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K
Laz Rivera (SS): 2-for-4, 2 RBI **MVP**

It was pitching and hitting — together, what we call “baseball” — that won this one for the Barons. Luis Robert went 0-for-4 and still stole his 17th base. Nick Madrigal walked twice and hit an RBI single. Gavin Sheets is tied for the Southern League RBI lead with 52 after his first-inning single. Laz Rivera hit a huge two-run single in the eighth inning, securing the one-run victory. If you’re looking for a Blake Rutherford update, here it is: another multi-hit game stretches his hit streak to six, with four of those being multi-hit performances. He’s batting .422 over his last 10 played. On the season, he’s up to .262/.299/.365/.665.

Tanner Banks continued his consistency on the mound, and Jake Elliott made his Barons debut after being promoted from the Dash, throwing two innings of one-run ball. Hunter Schryver walked three but gave up no runs, and Codi Heuer has another scoreless inning at the level under his belt.

Down East Wood Ducks 2, Winston-Salem Dash 0

Konnor Pilkington: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 balk (L, 1-4) **MVP**
Kevin Escorcia: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Mitch Roman (SS): 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Steele Walker (CF): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS
Carlos Perez (C): 1-for-4
Craig Dedelow (LF): 1-for-3, 1 K
JJ Muno (2B): 1-for-3
Yeyson Yrizarri (3B): 1-for-3, 1 K, 1 E

Konnor Pilkington bounced back from a couple of rough outings with a strong seven innings, but the Dash couldn’t get anything going and were shut out by the Down East Wood Ducks (you know, from down east). One run scored in the fourth on a balk, and the other on a single off of Kevin Escorcia.

Yeyson Yrizarri made his 19th error of the year at third, and Jameson Fisher, normally unflappable at first, has now made two in his last four games for seven total. On the flip side, Steele Walker threw out a runner at second, and catcher Carlos Perez picked a runner off at first.

Mitch Roman was the only one who really got anything going at the plate, reaching three times, two singles and a walk. Nobody else reached base more than once. In a game with nine baserunners, two were caught stealing (Blackman and Walker).

Kannapolis Intimidators 1, Rome Braves 0

Taylor Varnell: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 PO, 1 HBP **MVP**
Lane Ramsey: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K (W, 3-4)
Austin Conway: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K (S, 5)
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-3, 1 K
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 0-for-4
Alex Destino (RF): 2-for-3, 1 BB
Bryce Bush (DH): 0-for-1, 3 BB
Romy González (LF): 0-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Corey Zangari (1B): 1-for-4, 2 K
Ramón Beltre (3B): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 E

Kannapolis scored one run in the eighth and that was all they needed to overthrow the Rome Braves. Taylor Varnell, the 29th-round pick from last summer who’s been carving up the South Atlantic League, continued to carve up the South Atlantic League. Lane Ramsey, another 20-something rounder from 2018 who’s having a great year, continued to have a great year. Austin Conway, who’s been injured and has had mixed results, pitched out of a precarious situation in the ninth, striking out two with the bases loaded for the win.

The lone Intimidators run came in true anticlimactic fashion. Ramón Beltre started the inning off with a bunt single, then ended up on third two outs later. Alex Destino walked, then Bryce Bush walked (for the third time that game!), then… Romy González walked, forcing in Beltre. Corey Zangari, who’s shaking off injuries and a slow start, struck out to end the threat; regardless, he’s batting over .300 in his last 10 games.

Billings Mustangs 9, Great Falls Voyagers 7

Dan Metzdorf: 3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (L, 0-1)
Camilo Quintero (2B): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
Kelvin Maldonado (SS): 1-for-5, 1 RBI, 2 K
Harvin Mendoza (1B): 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 E
Luis Mieses (CF): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K **MVP**
Ty Greene (C): 3-for-4, 2 R
Anderson Comas (RF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

The Voyagers faced two pitchers back-to-back whose only vowel in their name is “o.” They were luckless against Lodolo in his two innings, but scored five runs over four and a third by Conoropo, who still ended up with the win. Four of those came in the seventh, when the team attempted a comeback from an 8-1 deficit, failing but at least doing so admirably. Anderson Comas’ single and Camilo Quintero’s double supplied the first two runs, and Harvin Mendoza knocked in the final two with a single, then got himself thrown out at second on the throw. Luis Mieses added an eighth-inning home run, his first of the season.

Dan Metzdorf, this year’s fifth rounder, gave up more runs tonight than he had in his last two starts combined. Tenth-rounder Nate Pawelczyk was the only Voyager not tagged for any runs, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out one over one inning of work.

DSL White Sox 13, DSL Padres 9

Luis Rodriguez: 2 ⅓ IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 B, 1 K, 1 WP
Wilber Sánchez (2B): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
Benyamin Bailey (RF): 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SB **MVP**
Matthew Mercedes (DH): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB
Lazaro Leál (LF): 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI
Johnabiell Laureano (CF): 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E
Alberto Bernal (1B): 1-for-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Edwin Peralta (3B): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
Anthony Espinoza (SS): 1-for-5, 1 K, 1 CS

There’s finally proof that the White Sox have won the rebuild war against the Padres, and it’s this box score. The DSL Sox actually came back from a 9-4 hole after five innings to earn the win, and were 8-for-19 with runners in scoring position. The 6´6´´ Luis Rodriguez is in his second year in the league and gave up four runs in the second inning, not helped by a throwing error by catcher Jhoneiker Betancourt or a wild pitch. He gave up two more in the third, that inning opening up double-homer-double. Jesús Rondón, also 19 years old, was the only Sox pitcher not to give up any runs. In 11 ⅓ innings this season, he’s only given up two earned runs (nine earned tho!) and has struck out 11 (walked seven tho!!).

It was a good-to-very-good day at the plate for most of the lineup. Benyamin Bailey, who will be 17 years old until September, which I will die before I shut up about, continues to decimate DSL pitching. He hit a run-scoring double in the first and scored on an error, then picked up an RBI single and stole his seventh base in a four-run sixth. Lazaro Leál hit his first triple of the year, and so did Edwin Peralta.