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White Sox Minor League Weekly Update: Week 13

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You can’t beat two pitchers in Kannapolis, Jason Bilous and Taylor Varnell, throwing back-to-back, six no-hit inning games

Immediate click: Jonathan Stiever was one of the many promotions before the All-Star break, and he already fits in nicely with the Dash.
@WSDashBaseball

Charlotte Knights

Yermin Mercedes: .563 BA, 2 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K **MVP of the Week**
Seby Zavala: .267 BA, 2 HR, 5 R, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 9 K
Danny Mendick: .160 BA, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 SB
Dylan Cease: 1 IP, 4.61 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 9.0 BB/9
Matt Foster: 2 IP, 1.11 FIP, 18.0 K/9, 4.5 BB/9
Zach Thompson: 2 IP, 1.61 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Kyle Kubat: 7 IP, 4.61 FIP, 3.86 K/9, 0.0 BB/9

Yermin Mercedes can hit. He has hit at every level, and he is continuing to hit in Charlotte, with the MLB ball. In seven games with the Knights, Mercedes has a 244 wRC+ while slashing .458/.500/.875 and a .417 ISO. That is otherworldly and obviously will not continue, but it is a fun, small sample nonetheless. Mercedes may not have a real defensive position, but if the Sox ever need a bat. Mercedes would be their guy. In his MiLB career, he has never had a below-average wRC+ season at any level. In 2019, he started to set himself above the rest, in Double-A. While Luis Robert was doing his thing, Mercedes was also crushing the ball. He had a .886 OPS in 42 games, while finally getting his BB-rate above 10%. His K-rate has also steadily decreased since 2017. Right now in Triple-A, it is at 11.5%, which is very low in this era of baseball. He is already 26 so Mercedes is not in the right age group to be considered as a top prospect, but if Daniel Palka does not improve or an injury happens, Mercedes should get his chance in MLB.


Birmingham Barons

Gavin Sheets: .361 BA, 2 HR, 11 R, 11 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K
Laz Rivera: .194 BA, 6 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Nick Madrigal: .333 BA, 9 R, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 1 K, 4 SB
Luis Robert: .372 BA, 3 HR, 13 R, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 14 K, 6 SB **MVP of the Week**
Luis Gonzalez: .310 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 7 K, 3 SB
Blake Rutherford: .383 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 15 K
Alec Hansen: 2 23 IP, 4.02 FIP, 6.75 K/9, 6.75 BB/9
Blake Battenfield: 7 13 IP, 4.77 FIP, 2.45 K/9, 4.91 BB/9
Lincoln Henzman: 11 23 IP, 3.61 FIP, 3.09 K/9, 1.54 BB/9
Kodi Medeiros: 9 13 IP, 4.45 FIP, 9.64 K/9, 5.79 BB/9
Codi Heuer: 6 13 IP, 3.11 FIP, 7.11 K/9, 4.26 BB/9

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Luis Robert is good. But youu know who people didn’t think was good a couple months ago? Blake Rutherford. Now, he seems to be back to how he looked last season. Rutherford was, well, atrocious from April to May. He had a 49 wRC+ and a .518 OPS in the first two months. In June, Rutherford had a 156 wRC+ for an .871 OPS. It was a vast improvement, though it was really just BABIP -elated. His BABIP from April to May was at .234 and that has more than doubled in June to .481. The ISO is the exact same at .106. He is actually walking ever so slightly more and is striking out about 2% less. Really, the major improvement came in the amount of singles. In his first 42 games, Rutherford had 28 hits total. Not so gouda. Meanwhile, this past month, Rutherford had 31 singles alone. Now, that could be changing. This past week, he had three of his seven extra-base hits in June, for a .194 ISO. Even if the batting average falls but that ISO can stay at least in the high .100s, then we should start to see Rutherford’s June success as more “real” and a true sign of development than purely singles-based.


Winston-Salem Dash

Steele Walker: .356 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Konnor Pilkington: 9 IP, 4.31 FIP, 7.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
Kade McClure: 17 23 IP, 3.99 FIP, 5.6 K/9, 1.02 BB/9
Andrew Perez: 6 IP, 3.26 FIP, 7.5 K/9, 4.5 BB/9
Tyler Johnson: 2 IP, 1.92 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 4.5 BB/9
Bennett Sousa: 5 23 IP, 6.07 FIP, 3.18 K/9, 3.18 BB/9
Jonathan Stiever: 13 IP, 2.58 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 3.46 BB/9 **MVP of the Week**

Stiever balled out in Kannapolis and is already making his mark for the Dash. The 2018 fifth round pick starred in his first two Single-A+ starts, as his stuff looked dominant in both. The fastball, now that it can be seen on video more often, looks exactly as advertised, in the upper-mid-upper 90s. The curveball looks like an excellent foil to the fastball as it can dive quickly, but only time will tell if Steiver can get his changeup command up to speed. He had a home run problem in Kannapolis while having superb command, and at least through 13 innings, the home run problem hasn’t been there. Stiever did run into some command trouble in his last Dash outing but was able to work through it, which is why the walk rate looks a little high, for him, in the early going. Steiver signed for full slot value out of college and has looked the part so far in his young professional career.


Kannapolis Intimidators

Corey Zangari: .308 BA, 1 HR, 7 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 8 K, 1 SB
Lenyn Sosa: .270 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 4 RBI, 6 BB, 9 K, 1 SB
Bryce Bush: .279 BA, 8 R, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 11 K
Ian Dawkins: .209 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 2 SB
Davis Martin: 17 IP, 2.94 FIP, 8.47 K/9, 1.06 BB/9
Jason Bilous: 10 IP, 3.63 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 6.30 BB/9 **Co-MVP of the Week**
Taylor Varnell: 10 IP, 3.13 FIP, 7.2 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 **Co-MVP of the Week**

It is not every day a pitcher goes six no-hit innings. Unless, you’re on the Kannapolis Intimidators staff, as two pitchers no-hit their opponent in two straight days. Sure, Jason Bilous and Taylor Varnell were both lifted after six innings pitched, but it was still very impressive. Bilous has been fantastic as a starter so far, and that was no different this week. In 10 innings, he only allowed two earned runs, neither of which came in his six no-hit inning performance. It should also not be a surprise why Bilous was pulled even with a no-hitter: It was the first time he had gone six innings all year, as he is still being stretched out. Varnell also got pulled after six no-hit innings, and that shouldn’t surprise anybody either. He was coming off a long hiatus and pitched in just four innings the previous start — four shutout innings. If only either pitcher had been stretched out, those no-hit bids could have been fun. Both pitchers are ticketed for Winston-Salem, hopefully soon.


Great Falls Voyagers

Harvin Mendoza: .176 BA, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Lency Delgado: .364 BA, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K
Luis Curbelo: .400 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K **MVP of the Week**
Kelvin Maldonado: .455 BA, 1 BB, 3 K
Camilo Quinteiro: .571 BA, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Luis Mieses: .333 BA, 3 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
Caberea Weaver: .118 BA, 1 R, 2 BB, 11 K
Anderson Comas: .250 BA, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
Karan Patel: 2 IP, 3.47 FIP, 18.0 K/9, 4.5 BB/9
Brayan Herrera: 1 IP, 15.47 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9


AZL White Sox

Andrew Vaughn: 2-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K
DJ Gladney: .273 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K
Bryan Ramos: .545 BA, 1 HR, 7 R, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K **MVP of the Week**
José Rodriguez: .286 BA, 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 SB
James Beard: .190 BA, 3 4, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 11 K, 1 SB
Avery Weems: 8 IP, 4.14 FIP, 6.75 K/9, 2.25 BB/9
Tyson Messer: 2 13 IP, 3.23 FIP, 23.14 K/9, 7.71 BB/9
Jacob Lindgren: 2 23 IP, 4.14 FIP, 6.75 K/9, 3.37 BB/9


DSL White Sox

Jefferson Mendoza: .667 BA, 2 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K **MVP of the Week**
Benyamin Bailey: .333 BA, 3 R, 1 RBI, 8 BB, 2 K, 2 SB
Alberto Bernal: 0.77 BA, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K
Anthony Espinoza: .150 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K
Ronaldo Guzman: 3 23 IP, 2.95 FIP, 14.73 K/9, 7.36 BB/9
Luis Rodriguez: 5 IP, 1.97 FIP, 10.8 K/9, 1.8 BB/9