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White Sox Minor League Update: July 5, 2019

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Several strong pitching performances on the farm, not all with a win but they all make you feel good, you know?

Laz-o-matic: Laz Rivera put together a three-hit game for the Barons
Michael Wade/@BhamBarons

Charlotte Knights/Norfolk Tides — suspended (rain)


Birmingham Barons 7, Pensacola Blue Wahoos 3

Blake Battenfield: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
Vince Arobio: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (W, 1-0)
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 HBP **MVP**
Nick Madrigal (DH): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B
Blake Rutherford (RF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Gavin Sheets (1B): 1-for-4, 1 R
Luis González (LF): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Laz Rivera (SS): 3-for-4, 1 RBI, 2 CS
Ramón Torres (2B): 1-for-2, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB

It was one of those fun days for the Birmingham Barons and their group of super-prospects. Luis Robert is still incredibly good and hit his eighth home run of the season with the Barons, 16th overall. He was also hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in another run. Luis González hit his fourth triple of the year, scoring Ti’Quan Forbes from his walk. Nick Madrigal hit his sixth Baron double and scored on Blake Rutherford’s line drive single. Laz Rivera had three hits, including an RBI bunt single that scored Rutherford. Gavin Sheets also singled and scored a run. He’s now hitting a perfectly acceptable .273/.339/.406, although, still, it would be nice to see him gather some extra-base hits beyond the nine doubles and 10 home runs he’s amassed already.

Blake Battenfield has been with Birmingham since mid-May, and has had a fairly tough time with it. He’s had a couple of very good starts, and then a few decent ones, of which this was one. The takeaway here is that Battenfield walked zero batters, and all three runs he gave up were on two home runs in the fourth inning.

Vince Arobio continues to be a revelation in 2019. He’s very new to Birmingham — this was his third appearance at the level — and got only one out NOT via strikeout. His ERA on the year, spanning three levels now, is 2.06 over 39 ⅓ innings, with just nine walks against 52 (!!) strikeouts. Kodi Medeiros also threw two scoreless innings out of the ‘pen, giving up one hit and walking none.


Fayetteville Woodpeckers 3, Winston-Salem Dash 1

Kade McClure: 5 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K **MVP**
Tyler Johnson: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (L, 0-1)
Will Kincanon: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP
Tyler Frost (RF): 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
Mitch Roman (3B): 1-for-4, 2 K, 1 E
Steele Walker (CF): 0-for-4
Jameson Fisher (1B): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 E

The Dash went with barely a whimper, managing just two hits against Fayetteville on Friday night, wrapping things up as a light rain fell. Steele Walker went hitless but also did not strike out. Mitch Roman and Jameson Fisher were the only Dash with hits. The sole Winston run (Tyler Frost, reached on fielder’s choice) scored on an error in the sixth. This game, offensively, was the embodiment of the word “womp.”

Things went much better on the mound, though not quite so well they didn’t give up any runs, which they definitely did. Both of those were allowed by still-rehabbing Tyler Johnson after an error, double, and single in the sixth. Starter Kade McClure went five scoreless and, while he finished with a pitch count of 90, he only gave up six hits while walking one and striking out six. Will Kincanon also pitched, giving up one run on a wild pitch in the ninth, but striking out four and walking none.


Kannapolis Intimidators 5, Augusta GreenJackets 0

Davis Martin: 5 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K, 2 HBP (W, 5-7)
Lane Ramsey: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB
Andrew Vaughn (1B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 3 K
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB **MVP**
Romy González (LF): 1-for-4, 1 RBI
Michael Hickman (C): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 PB
Amado Nuñez (2B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K

The Intimidators won their seventh game of their last 10 behind strong pitching from Davis Martin, Tyler Watson, and Lane Ramsey. Martin, last year’s 14th round draft pick, has shown flashes of brilliance but overall doesn’t have the best numbers with Kannapolis this season. Tonight, though, he had one of his best starts all year, striking out eight and allowing only two hits while completing nearly six full innings. Tyler Watson, signed as a minor league free agent this offseason, was assigned to the Dash in April but never pitched for them, then assigned to the I’s on the last day of May, where he’s now made nine appearances. Two of those have gone very poorly, so his ERA is scary, but he’s been working it down, and his scoreless inning and a third here help with that. Lane Ramsey has been a force out of the bullpen all season, and was a force again tonight.

The big news of today’s game was Andrew Vaughn, who escaped the bounds of the AZL and made it all the way across the country for his Low-A debut. He played first base and batted third, in a show of respect for a bat that by most accounts is more advanced than Low-A. Vaughn picked up one hit, a sixth-inning line drive single, and scored on Alex Destino’s ninth home run. He also struck out three times though, so it’s like, why did we even draft this guy?

Destino, now that you’ve brought him up, has been on fire lately, the owner of a .375 10-game average and an Intimidators slash line of .298/.375/.498 over 63 games played. He’s hit nine home runs, two triples, and 14 doubles. Other top performers today were Lenyn Sosa, whose 10-game average is up to .279 as he keeps quietly collecting multi-hit games, Michael Hickman, who hit his sixth double of the season, and Romy González, who singled in Sosa for the final Kannapolis run in the eighth.


Great Falls Voyagers 3, Billings Mustangs 2

Chase Solesky: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 WP
Rigo Fernandez: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1 E (W, 1-0)
Nate Pawelczyk: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (S, 1)
Lency Delgado (SS): 2-for-4, 2 K
Luis Mieses (RF): 0-for-4, 1 K
Sam Abbott (DH): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI **MVP**
Caberea Weaver (CF): 1-for-4, 1 K, 1 SB
Jakob Goldfarb (C): 1-for-1, 1 R, 2 BB
Cameron Simmons (LF): 1-for-3, 1 RBI

The Voyagers squeaked out a one-run win over the Billings Mustangs late Friday night. Chase Solesky, this year’s 21st-round draft pick, bounced back from a five-run outing with today’s very nice one-run one, walking none. Kaleb Roper and Nate Pawelczyk both threw two scoreless innings, Roper walking one but allowing no hits and Pawelczyk allowing one hit and walking none. Rigo Fernandez is working his ERA back down, and he’s doing it well, striking out three and making his own error for his one run given up to be unearned.

Sam Abbott, water polo star turned White Sox low minor leaguer, had a hot start to the season but has since cooled off a little. He’s back today, though, leading off the fifth inning with his second dong of the year. He also singled to kick off a two-run seventh. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, then scored on Cameron Simmons’ line drive single. In between those two events, Jakob Goldfarb walked, and he advanced on Simmons’ single and scored on a wild pitch.


AZL Royals 3, AZL White Sox 2

Cooper Bradford: 4 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Hansen Butler: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Yoelvin Silven: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Garvin Alston: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
James Beard (CF): 0-for-3, 2 K, 1 E
José Rodriguez (2B): 0-for-4, 1 K
DJ Gladney (3B): 0-for-3, 3 K
Bryan Ramos (DH): 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 K **MVP**
Tyler Osik (1B): 0-for-3, 1 RBI

It was an even quieter day at the plate for the AZL White Sox than it was for the Winston-Salem Dash. Both teams got only two hits, but for the AZL squad, both belonged to the same player, Bryan Ramos. The 17-year-old (!!!) hit two doubles, scoring on both, and is batting .354/.439/.563 over his 14 games on the season. He’s struck out 15 times and has walked seven. Ramos signed with the Sox on last season’s international signing day in early July, and this is the first time he’s played for an actual affiliate. He scored on a wild pitch in the second inning of today’s game and on a Tyler Osik groundout in the fifth.

It wasn’t a terrible start from 13th-rounder Cooper Bradford, but it wasn’t enough to win, either. In another example of strong bullpen pitching from today, Hansen Butler (23rd round), Yoelvin Silven (international free agent), and Garvin Alston (37th round) combined for four scoreless innings, giving up two hits, walking one, and striking out five.


DSL Diamondbacks 4, DSL White Sox 2

Oriel Castro: 1 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 1 balk (L, 0-2)
Luis Rodriguez: 4 ⅔ IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
Benyamin Bailey (RF): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Jhoneiker Betancourt (C): 0-for-4, 1 K, 2 E, 1 PB
Lazaro Leál (LF): 1-for-4, 1 K
Edwin Peralta (3B): 0-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 E **MVP**
Anthony Espinoza (2B): 1-for-3, 2 SB, 1 HBP

The DSL White Sox were able to find only two hits over their 27 outs, walking five times and making four errors in their 4-2 loss to the AZL D-backs on Friday. Oriel Castro, 18 years old, has been generally good out of the bullpen for the team, and started for the first time with results that aren’t great but aren’t awful either. Luis Rodriguez, who’s 6´6´´ and 19 years old in his second professional season, threw almost five scoreless innings; as the yin to Castro’s yang, today was his first pitching appearance that WASN’T a start. The other pitchers used, both with a scoreless inning, were Jesus Rondón and Erick Perez, both of whom are having good years apart from walking ten thousand batters apiece.

Obviously, there wasn’t a lot going on at the plate for the DSL Sox. Edwin Peralta didn’t have one of their two hits — that honor goes to Lazaro Leál and Anthony Espinoza — but he was the only Sox to reach twice, both times on walks. The first run scored in typical DSL fashion, after a Richard García walk, a passed ball, a sac fly, and a Wilber Sánchez groundout to score García. Similarly, the second run came in the seventh after Peralta walked, advanced to second when Anthony Espinoza was hit by a pitch, executed a double steal with Espinoza, then scored on a wild pitch. Like the parent club, the DSL Sox are currently hanging out two games under .500.