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White Sox Weekly Minor League Update: Week 16

Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal keep raking, and DJ Gladney keeps on surprising down in Arizona.

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Pantera power: Luis Robert kept doing Luis Robert things last week, as he continues to mash in Charlotte.
Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Charlotte Knights

Yermin Mercedes: .233 BA, 2 HR, 5 R, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 9 K
Zack Collins: .154 BA, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K
Seby Zavala: .261 BA, 3 HR, 6 R, 2 BB, 13 K
Danny Mendick: .333 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 4 RBI, 6 BB, 9 K, 1 SB
Luis Robert: .326 BA, 5 HR, 11 R, 11 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K, 3 SB ***MVP of the Week***
Matt Foster: 4 IP, 1.39 FIP, 13.5 K/9, 2.25 BB/9
Carson Fulmer: 3 2/3 IP, 6.09 FIP, 12.27 K/9, 4.91 BB/9

Robert is pretty good, eh? Since his promotion to Triple-A, he has a 173 wRC+, and his swing meeting the MLB balls did not disappoint, to the tune of five home runs already. There was some speculation that Robert may get called up after Eloy Jiménez went on the IL, which was a bit absurd knowing the history of this franchise. However, one player who should be getting MLB looks and he has been pretty good all season; that guy is Danny Mendick. Whether you are tired of seeing José Rondón and his -0.6 fWAR and 46 wRC+; Yolmer Sánchez and his 0.5 fWAR and his ever-decreasing wRC+; or even Ryan Goins, the player promoted ahead of Mendick just last week; there isn’t anybody that is blocking Mendick right now. Now, Goins was having a much better season than Mendick. Goins had a 139 wRC+ in Charlotte, but Goins already tried to stick in the majors and could not, with a -0.5 career fWAR (it is now up to -0.2 after four games with the Sox) — and he is 31. It is true, Mendick is older than most prospects at 25 (26 at the end of September) so he definitely is not a top prospect, but he still deserves a shot over any of the above players. Mendick has a 106 wRC+ right now, which puts him at 15th among qualified second baseman and shortstops in Triple-A (out of 35), so even among his Triple-A peers he is above average. Will he be better than any of the middle infielders the Sox currently are sending out there? Maybe not, but nobody knows until Mendick gets a shot.

Birmingham Barons

Gavin Sheets: .286 BA, 1 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K
Nick Madrigal: .333 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 BB, 1 K ***MVP of the Week***
Luis Gonzalez: .083 BA, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 SB
Luis Basabe: .273 BA, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Blake Rutherford: .125 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 SB
Alec Hansen: 2/3 IP, 1.82 FIP, 27.0 K/9, 13.5 BB/9
Codi Heuer: 2 IP, 1.32 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Kodi Medeiros: 1 IP, 4.32 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 9.0 BB/9
Blake Battenfield: 5 IP, 0.92 FIP, 10.8 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Lincoln Henzman: Did not pitch

Nick Madrigal has been as advertised since his promotion to Double-A. With the struggles that much of the rest of the roster had to begin the season with the Barons, two top prospects (Robert and Madrigal) mashing from the start of their Birmingham tenures is a breath of fresh air. Since his promotion a little more than a month ago, Madrigal is slashing .370/.437/.488 for a 172 wRC+. That batting average is the best in Double-A (min. 140 plate appearances) as well as his 2.8% K-rate, which is 4% better than second place. To put how great Madrigal’s bat-to-ball and plate discipline has been, here is this wonder of a stat: Madrigal has a 3.25 BB/K, which is tops in Double-A. The second-place player has a 1.39 BB/K, a 1.86 BB/K difference, and that difference would still be in second. Quite a few fans were wondering why Madrigal was a top pick last season, and some still wondered even at the beginning of this season, but he has quelled any type of negativity towards him in Birmingham. Madrigal still does not show much power, but he has elite bat-to-ball skills that should do a little more power damage once he gets to the MLB ball used in Charlotte.

Winston-Salem Dash

Steele Walker: .280 BA, 5 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K
Andrew Perez: 2 IP, 5.40 FIP, 18.0 K/9, 18.0 BB/9
Tyler Johnson: 2 IP, -1.60 FIP, 22.5 K/9, 0.0 BB/9 (promoted to Birmingham)
Bennett Sousa: 2 IP, 15.40 FIP, 4.5 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Jonathan Stiever: 7 IP, 1.26 FIP, 11.57 K/9, 0.0 BB/9 ***MVP of the Week***
Konnor Pilkington: 6 IP, 6.57 FIP, 7.5 K/9, 1.5 BB/9
Kade McClure: 11 IP, 3.13 FIP, 6.55 K/9, 0.0 BB/9

The Winston-Salem Dash have quietly become a hub for pitching prospects of all kinds. They have the system’s top reliever arm in Tyler Johnson currently on their roster (though I do not believe he will finish the year there), and multiple other top arms. Andrew Perez and Bennett Sousa continue to look the part, as the lefties sport a 2.08 ERA and a 2.13 ERA respectively. Though Konnor Pilkington has struggled of late, especially with command, his FIP and xFIP are still positive overall since his promotion. But the real standouts have been Jonathan Stiever and Kade McClure. McClure is just dominating, with a 2.32 ERA. His command has looked great, with a BB/9 just under two, and but it seems to be a little deceiving. The strikeouts have gone down while the fly ball rate has gone up, not that those are terrible developments (this is the highest level he has ever pitched) but it is something to keep an eye on. Meanwhile, Stiever is just out of this world right now. In all six of his starts with the Dash, he has earned a quality start. His fastball and curve look like a fantastic one-two punch, as his stuff just seems overwhelming to High-A hitters. I highly doubt Stiever will get a second promotion this season, but with a 2.08 ERA and a strikeout rate at 30% with a 5.4% walk rate, he does deserve one.

Kannapolis Intimidators

Andrew Vaughn: .174 BA, 5 R, 1 RBI, 6 BB, 6 K
Camilo Quinteiro: .263 BA, 5 R, 7 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Ian Dawkins: .300 BA, 4 R, 1 BB, 6 K
Alex Destino: .348 BA, 2 HR, 4 R, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K ***MVP of the Week***
Jacob Lindgren: 2 1/3 IP, 2.67 FIP, 3.86 K/9, 0.0 BB/9 (Promoted to Winston-Salem)
Davis Martin: 13 IP, 4.30 FIP, 9.69 K/9, 2.08 BB/9
Jason Bilous: 4 1/3 IP, 4.68 FIP, 4.15 K/9, 6.23 BB/9

With much of the top end for the 2018 draft class on the up, there’s now enough time for some other prospects to take their place and show out. Alex Destino is one of those players who has been good all season, but is getting a bit more exposure now. He is 23, which is older than a typical Low-A ball player (drafted in 2017), so he has been slow-climbing as well. However, he has really set himself up for intrigue in the future with what he his doing right now. He is slashing .317/.392/.516 for a 159 wRC+. He did have an unsuccessful cameo Winston-Salem but it was more of a fill-in for injury more than an actual promotion. At this point, Destino will probably be on the Dash to begin the season in 2020, but he is somebody just to keep an eye on down the stretch.

Great Falls Voyagers

Harvin Mendoza: .235 BA, 1 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K
Caberea Weaver: .227 BA, 4 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 2 SB
Lency Delgado: .214 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K
Luis Mieses: .211 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K
Anderson Comas: .133 BA, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Dan Metzdorf: 3 IP, 4.25 FIP, 0.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Karan Patel: 2 IP, 2.25 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Avery Weems: 11 1/3 IP, 2.66 FIP, 11.91 K/9, 3.18 BB/9 ***MVP of the Week***

AZL White Sox

DJ Gladney: .423 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K ***MVP of the Week***
Bryan Ramos: .150 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K
José Rodriguez: .294 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
James Beard: .227 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K, 2 SB
Chase Krogman: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (organizational Debut)
Logan Glass: 2-for-10, 3 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K (organizational Debut)
Caleb Freeman: 2 2/3 IP, 6.32 FIP, 6.75 K/9, 3.37 BB/9
Luis Rodriguez: 7 IP, 6.30 FIP, 11.57 K/9, 7.71 BB/9

DSL White Sox

Benyamin Bailey: .353 BA, 8 R, 2 RBI, 8 BB, 3 K, 2 SB ***MVP of the Week***
Yolbert Sánchez : .409 BA, 6 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
Elijah Tatís : .250 BA, 6 R, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K
Anthony Espinoza: .214 BA, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K
Ronaldo Guzman: 5 IP, 3.50 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 5.4 BB/9