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White Sox Monthly Minor League Update: July 2019

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The top prospects stay on top, as Luis Robert, Gavin Sheets, and Jonathan Stiever continue their great seasons

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Fast track: Nick Madrigal was in Birmingham for little more than a month — now he’s in Charlotte, as the promotions keep coming.
Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

White Sox — Charlotte shuttle

Zack Collins
White Sox: .100 BA, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K
Charlotte: .349 BA, 6 XBH, 6 R, 13 RBI, 8 BB, 9 K

Carson Fulmer
White Sox: 1 IP, 4.23 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 9.0 BB/9
Charlotte: 9 13 IP, 3.00 FIP, 16.39 K/9, 4.82 BB/9

Dylan Cease
White Sox: 21 IP, 5.56 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 5.14 BB/9
Charlotte: 21 IP, 1-3, 6.86 ERA, 1.619 WHIP


Charlotte Knights

Seby Zavala: .154 BA, 4 HR, 6 XBH, 8 R, 4 RBI, 7 BB, 33 K
Yermin Mercedes: .259 BA, 8 HR, 10 XBH, 14 R, 26 RBI, 5 BB, 24 K
Danny Mendick: .308 BA, 4 HR, 12 XBH, 14 R, 13 RBI, 14 BB, 17 K, 3 SB
Matt Foster: 12 IP, 1.89 FIP, 11.25 K/9, 2.25 BB/9

Well, well, well, Luis Robert just keeps raking wherever he goes. He also keeps showing his elite speed, and pretty good defense and arm, as all the tools are shining at every single level. So, will he be promoted to the big club this season? He probably won’t, because the Sox gamed service time just a year ago with Eloy Jiménez. But this should be a different case, and not just because Robert is raking in Charlotte. We saw how poorly Jiménez started out against MLB pitching, and odds are it will happen with Robert as well. That is why at least making him a September call-up is the best decision. The 2020 season, as evidenced by the Sox at least being willing to spend on Manny Machado (though they deserve no credit for that circus and ineptitude) and the fact they did not trade any of their under-contract players this July, signifies that the team feels its contention window is soon. If Robert is going to struggle as he adjusts to MLB pitching, might was well have it be this September. It didn’t make sense, but at least made more sense to keep Eloy down from a front office standpoint, as 2019 did not shape up to be a contention year. But 2020 is now a realistic start to the playoff contention timeframe. Robert is slashing .349/.405/.638 with 22 home runs and 34 stolen bases at all levels in 2019. He is clearly too good to be in the minors. But it is not up to fans; we will have to wait and see what Rick Hahn and Co. do.


Birmingham - Charlotte shuttle

Luis Robert
Birmingham: .250 BA, 1 HR, 2 XBH, 6 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 5 SB
Charlotte: .351 BA, 6 HR, 13 XBH, 22 R, 15 RBI, 6 BB, 16 K, 5 SB **MVP of July**

Hunter Schryver
Birmingham: 7 IP, 2.41 FIP, 11.57 K/9, 5.14 BB/9
Charlotte: 4 13 IP, -0.29 FIP, 20.77 K/9, 2.08 BB/9


Birmingham Barons

Nick Madrigal: .314 BA, 1 HR, 9 XBH, 14 R, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 3 K, 5 SB (Promoted to Charlotte)
Gavin Sheets: .315 BA, 4 HR, 10 XBH, 12 R, 17 RBI, 11 BB, 24 K, 2 SB **MVP of July**
Luis Gonzalez: .253 BA, 2 HR, 7 XBH, 12 R, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 17 K, 3 SB
Luis Basabe: .298 BA, 1 HR, 2 XBH, 8 R, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 14 K, 1 SB
Blake Rutherford: .231 BA, 3 HR, 4 XBH, 11 R, 11 RBI, 6 BB, 31 K, 2 SB
Alec Hansen: 10 23 IP, 4.67 FIP, 11.81 K/9, 8.44 BB/9
Kodi Medeiros: 10 13 IP, 4.52 FIP, 7.84 K/9, 4.35 BB/9
Codi Heuer: 10 23 IP, 2.23 FIP, 5.91 K/9, 0.84 BB/9
Blake Battenfield: 28 23 IP, 4.31 FIP, 4.71 K/9, 1.57 BB/9
Lincoln Henzman: 26 IP, 5.73 FIP, 3.81 K/9, 2.08 BB/9

As some streaks have come back to earth in the minors, Nick Madrigal and Gavin Sheets keep chugging along. That has led to another Madrigal promotion. But it’s curious that Sheets has not earned a promoted yet either, especially coming off of his best month of the year and a fantastic two-month stretch. Over the past 51 games, Sheets has a 160 wRC+ and a .190 ISO, which are numbers that more align with his scouting report out of college. The lefty first baseman has Andrew Vaughn on his heels and it seems like Zack Collins is basically a first baseman at this point, but it does not seem like Double-A is a challenge for Sheets any longer. Over that two-month stretch, Sheets slashed.310/.390/.500 with eight home runs. On top of that, he only has a K-rate at 17.8% for a .63 BB/K rate, both pretty good numbers that indicate how terrific his approach at the plate is. Now, it’s true, Sheets is kind of blocked in Triple-A. Yermín Mercedes, Seby Zavala, and Collins need those 1B/DH at-bats, but maybe it is time for one of them to be in MLB as well. Whatever the case is, on a Barons team with a lot of underperformers, Sheets has risen up at a very important time in his professional career.


Andrew Vaughn Shuttle

Andrew Vaughn
AZL: .600, 1 HR, 3 XBH, 3 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K
Kannapolis: .253 BA, 2 HR, 9 XBH, 14 R, 11 RBI, 14 BB, 18 K
Winston-Salem: 1-for-2, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K


Winston-Salem Dash

Steele Walker: .242 BA, 2 HR, 11 XBH, 15 R, 12 RBI, 9 BB, 19 K
Andrew Perez: 11 IP, 2.93 FIP, 10.64 K/9, 4.91 BB/9
Bennett Sousa: 12 23 IP, 5.05 FIP, 8.53 K/9, 0.71 BB/9
Jonathan Stiever: 32 IP, 3.02 FIP, 10.69 K/9, 0.84 BB/9 **MVP of July**
Kade McClure: 26 23 IP, 3.36 FIP, 7.09 K/9, 1.35 BB/9
Konnor Pilkington: 30 23 IP, 3.91 FIP, 6.75 K/9, 3.23 BB/9

The second-biggest breakout story this season has been in Winston-Salem for awhile now, and just keeps on proving one of the better pitching prospects in the Sox system. That guy is Jonathan Stiever, the fifth round pick from the 2018 draft. Since Stiever has been so good for such a long period of time, there really is not much more to say about him, so let’s give some fun facts. He is now rated the eighth-best prospect for the White Sox per MLB Pipeline. They grade his fastball and curveball, which you can see in action above, as 60s. The slider and control are rated 55s, and the changeup is “becoming more effective” at 50 on the scouting scale. In all seven of his High-A starts, Stiever has earned a quality start. With a minimum of 40 innings pitched, Stiever has the 11th-best FIP in the Carolina League, the fourth-best K/BB, and the 10th-best K%. So yeah, Stiever has been pretty good.


Kannapolis Intimidators

Corey Zangari: .189 BA, 5 HR, 10 XBH, 11 R, 10 RBI, 15 BB, 33 K
Lenyn Sosa: .224 BA, 4 XBH, 11 R, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 13 K, 1 SB
Bryce Bush: .128 BA, 2 XBH, 3 R, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 12 K
Alex Destino: .385 BA, 6 HR, 9 XBH, 16 R, 24 RBI, 13 BB, 20 K **MVP of July**
Ian Dawkins: .275 BA, 7 XBH, 14 R, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 20 K, 3 SB
Davis Martin: 28 23 IP, 3.96 FIP, 10.36 K/9, 1.88 BB/9
Jason Bilous: 26 13 IP, 4.42 FIP, 8.54 K/9, 4.44 BB/9


Great Falls - Kannapolis Shuttle

Camilo Quinteiro
Great Falls: 2-for-5, 1 XBH, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K
Kannapolis: .229 BA, 2 XBH, 7 R, 4 RBI, 12 BB, 13 K, 2 SB


Great Falls Voyagers

Harvin Mendoza: .362 BA, 3 HR, 12 XBH, 17 R, 14 RBI, 9 BB, 15 K
Lency Delgado: .326 BA, 2 HR, 10 XBH, 11 R, 17 RBI, 8 BB, 30 K, 1 SB
Luis Mieses: .242 BA, 4 HR, 10 XBH, 12 R, 15 RBI, 2 BB, 21 K
Caberea Weaver: .236 BA, 1 HR, 5 XBH, 10 R, 7 RBI, 6 BB, 28 K, 5 SB
Anderson Comas: .209 BA, 1 HR, 7 XBH, 8 R, 17 RBI, 4 BB, 21 K
Dan Metzdorf: 20 IP, 4.83 FIP, 6.75 K/9, 1.8 BB/9
Karan Patel: 15 IP, 3.28 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9


AZL- Great Falls Shuttle

Avery Weems
AZL: 2 IP, 1.94 FIP, 18.0 K/9, 4.5 BB/9
Great Falls: 26 13 IP, 2.08 FIP, 11.96 K/9, 1.37 BB/9 **MVP of July**


AZL White Sox

DJ Gladney: .310 BA, 6 HR, 9 XBH, 16 R, 14 RBI, 3 BB, 40 K, 1 SB **MVP of July**
Bryan Ramos: .256 BA, 2 HR, 9 XBH, 14 R, 11 RBI, 6 BB, 19 K, 2 SB
José Rodriguez: .288 BA, 3 HR, 7 XBH, 9 R, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 18 K, 3 SB
James Beard: .189 BA, 2 HR, 3 XBH, 9 R, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 34 K, 5 SB
Logan Glass: .200 BA, 2 XBH, 6 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 10 K, 1 SB
Chase Krogman: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
Caleb Freeman: 9 23 IP, 5.36 FIP, 13.03 K/9, 5.59 BB/9

I have seen multiple times that DJ Gladney is the new Bryce Bush because of how well he has done so far in the AZL. But let’s put some things in perspective. Over just 14 games in the AZL, Bush had a 221 wRC+; for Gladney, his first 14 games saw a 150 wRC+. That is still a very good number, but not quite at the Bush level, really not that close at all. While Bush had a 15.4% BB-rate and a 7.7% K-rate in those games, Gladney’s first 14 saw just a 3% BB-rate and a 33.8% K-rate. Again, clearly, advantage Bush, and this is no knock on Gladney. Gladney is so young, plate discipline issues should be expected, but they have started to take a toll: In July, Gladney only walked three times and struck out 40. Let’s pump the brakes.


DSL White Sox

Benyamin Bailey: .319 BA, 1 HR, 6 XBH, 25 R, 8 RBI, 24 BB, 16 K, 4 SB
Yolbert Sanchez: .286 BA, 1 HR, 6 XBH, 12 R, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 SB
Elijah Tatis: .196 BA, 1 XBH, 9 R, 6 RBI, 9 BB, 9 K, 1 SB
Ronaldo Guzman: 23 IP, 2.35 FIP, 13.7 K/9, 5.09 BB/9 **MVP of July**

Usually I say the DSL does not matter that much, but Ronaldo Guzman has been so great, he’s forcing some early attention noticeable. Before the season, Baseball America noted Guzman’s 89 mph fastball and advanced changeup. Normally, that shouldn’t excite anybody, but Guzman won’t turn 17 until late August. That 89 mph fastball is good for his age, and an already advanced changeup is almost unheard of for a teenager. Guzman has been dominating DSL batters just as well as Benyamin Bailey has crushed pitchers. Keep on eye on Guzman, particularly where he is placed next season.


MiLB Rehabs

Tyler Johnson
Winston-Salem: 8 IP, 3.14 FIP, 13.5 K.9, 3.38 BB/9
Birmingham: 4 IP, 3.01 FIP, 11.25 K/9, 6.75 BB/9

Jacob Lindgren
AZL: 3 13 IP, 7.44 FIP, 8.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9
Kannapolis: 3 13 IP, 2.61 FIP, 8.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9
Winston-Salem: 3 IP, 2.06 FIP, 6.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9

Bernardo Flores
Great Falls: 12 IP, 4.68 FIP, 9.75 K/9, 0.75 BB/9