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White Sox Minor League Weekly Update: Week 14

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First base power continues to show from Sheets, Zangari, and Vaughn — but 17-year-old Bryan Ramos probably had the best week of all

Movin’ on up: Luis Robert gets his second promotion of the year, joining Charlotte for the second half.
@whitesox

Charlotte Knights

Yermin Mercedes: .200 BA, 3 HR, 4 R, 11 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K
Seby Zavala: .105 BA, 1 BB, 10 K
Danny Mendick: .300 BA, 1 R, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K
Matt Foster: 3 IP, 2.63 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
Zach Thompson: 4 IP, 13.63 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 6.75 BB/9
Kyle Kubat: 1 IP, 17.63 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 9.0 BB/9
Dylan Covey: 8 IP, 1.76 FIP, 10.13 K/9, 1.13 BB/9 ***MVP of the Week***

Covey looks to be ready to pitch in MLB again, as his rehab assignment has gone very well in Charlotte. There was a report, from Covey himself, that his fastball was reaching 98 mph, though that is probably max velocity. He has gone 10 rehab innings in Triple-A and struck out 12, walked two, and only allowed one run. There were also three unearned runs during those 10 innings so it could have been worse, but Covey has looked very good in his return. With a 4.50 ERA as a starter, Covey is third-best among Sox starters (openers not included). Covey obviously does not have more talent than Lucas Giolito or Dylan Cease, but his return is much-needed for a team with lackluster starting pitching. Daniel Palka was optioned after this weekend back to Charlotte, so it’s possible that Covey could take his spot.


Birmingham Barons

Gavin Sheets: .400 BA, 2 HR, 5 R, 9 RBI, 0 BB, 8 K, 2 SB ***MVP of the Week***
Laz Rivera: .296 BA, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K
Nick Madrigal: .474 BA, 5 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 0 K, 2 SB
Luis Robert: .250 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 5 SB (promoted to Charlotte)
Luis Gonzalez: .167 BA, 5 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K
Blake Rutherford: .345 BA, 1 HR, 4 R, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 SB
Alec Hansen: 3 IP, 5.28 FIP, 15.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
Blake Battenfield: 5 IP, 8.68 FIP, 1.8 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Lincoln Henzman: 11 13 IP, 3.72 FIP, 5.56 K/9, 1.59 B/9
Kodi Medeiros: 2 IP, 2.28 FIP, 4.5 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Codi Heuer: 3 23 IP, 2.74 FIP, 2.45 K/0, 0.0 BB/9

Gavin Sheets keeps humming along, as his power finally is looking as advertised. If this success continues, he should be in Charlotte in no time; there he would join Luis Robert, who will get his shot at going against less than stellar pitching with the MLB ball. After absolutely crushing in Winston-Salem and Birmingham, Robert has earned another promotion after successfully beating Double-A. Robert leaves with a .314/.362/.518 slash line and 156 wRC+ with the Barons. The power also continued to show, with a .204 ISO and eight more home runs. The speed, well, was also on display. He was 21-for-27 in stolen base attempts, to go along with three triples, countless infield singles, and singles turned into doubles. Rick Hahn did bring up a good point that Robert still needs to refine his approach, as a 5.3% BB-rate in Double-A is not very good, especially combined with 22.1% K-rate. That is basically the only improvement left for Robert, as he has flown through the system and in most prospect rankings after the first half of the season.


Winston-Salem Dash

Steele Walker: .182 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K
Tyler Frost: .241 BA, 3 HR, 6 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K, 1 SB ***MVP of the Week***
Konnor Pilkington: 11 IP, 3.14 FIP, 7.36 K/9, 4.09 BB/9
Kade McClure: 5 IP, 1.61 FIP, 10.8 K/9, 1.8 BB/9
Andrew Perez: 3 IP, 2.41 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
Tyler Johnson: 3 IP, 6.41 FIP, 6.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Bennett Sousa: 3 IP, 0.74 FIP, 12.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9
Jonathan Stiever: 6 IP, 5.08 FIP, 12.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9

With Robert moving up to Charlotte, somebody from Winston-Salem will most likely take his place in Birmingham. Fortunately, there are three outfielders who are doing well enough for a promotion. First is the MVP of this week, Tyler Frost. He mainly plays in right field, and has been pretty good with the bat so far. Frost has a 120 wRC+, as he shows above-average pop. He has a .177 ISO and 10 home runs with the Dash this season. Frost does have a bit of a strikeout problem, with his K-rate near 30%, but the power and a walk rate near 10% do help alleviate the strikeout risk. Craig Dedelow is also having a pretty decent season, with a 119 wRC+. He also has some strikeout risk, but it is about 6% less than Frost, while also walking less. Both players show about the same power. Dedelow also has 10 homers, with a .186 ISO and a batting average about 10 points higher than Frost. If the Sox want to keep their Double-A outfield top prospect-heavy, then Steele Walker is the guy. Now, Walker already has been promoted once this season, so another promotion here is not a slam dunk, but he has been pretty good. The 124 wRC+ is slightly the best number of the three but Walker has a much better approach at the plate. A 9.7% BB-rate and 14.2% K-rate are much better, and are a huge improvement from last season. If the Sox think that Walker can’t learn anything else with the Dash, then it probably is time to really test him in Double-A.


Kannapolis Intimidators

Andrew Vaughn
AZL White Sox: .636 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K
Kannapolis: .200 BA, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K

Corey Zangari: .273 BA, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 10 K ***MVP of the Week***
Lenyn Sosa: .290 BA, 4 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
Bryce Bush: .174 BA, 2 R. 6 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K
Ian Dawkins: .346 BA, 6 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 SB
Davis Martin: 5 23 IP, 2.30 FIP, 12.71 K/9, 1.59 BB/9
Jason Bilous: 6 IP, 6.70 FIP, 12.0 K/9, 4.5 BB/9

Corey Zangari keeps mashing, even when Andrew Vaughn, another top first base prospect, has passed him on the Sox fan interest list. Zangari currently has a 121 wRC+ but a .233 batting average, so he is a bit of a mixed bag at this point. What is saving Zangari’s wRC+ is the premium power and a good enough walk rate. He currently has a .233 ISO and eight homers in just 42 games. The walks are at a healthy 10.5% rate, but Zangari’s strikeouts are concerning for Single-A. His K-rate is currently at 32.6%, which is either a big improvement from a small sample in 2017, or a big drop-off from an even smaller sample in 2018. If not for multiple injuries since he was drafted in 2015, Zangari would probably be much higher farther along in the organization.


Great Falls Voyagers

Harvin Mendoza: .381 BA, 1 HR, 4 R, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Lency Delgado: .368 BA, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 SB
Luis Mieses: .227 BA, 1 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K
Caberea Weaver: .389 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, 3 SB
Anderson Comas: .350 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 9 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K ***MVP of the Week***
Karan Patel: 1 IP, 6.34 FIP, 18.0 K/9, 18.0 BB/9


AZL White Sox

DJ Gladney: .450 BA, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K
Bryan Ramos: .538 BA, 1 HR, 5 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB ***MVP of the Week***
José Rodriguez: .200 BA, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K
James Beard: .250 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 SB
Avery Weems: 2 IP, 1.87 FIP, 18.0 K/9, 4.5 BB/9
Tyson Messer: 1 IP, 24.37 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 27.0 BB/9
Jacob Lindgren: 1 13 IP, 14.87 FIP, 6.75 K/9, 6.75 BB/9


DSL White Sox

Benyamin Bailey: .421 BA, 1 HR, 6 R, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 SB ***MVP of the Week***
Alberto Bernal: .273 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
Anthony Espinoza: .238 BA, 1 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K, 4 SB
Ronaldo Guzman: 5 IP, 1.55 FIP, 12.6 K/9, 1.8 BB/9
Luis Rodriguez: 7 IP, 6.18 FIP, 5.14 K/9, 5.14 BB/9