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White Sox Minor League Update: August 6, 2019

Daniel is unPalkable (does that work??); Steele Walker on the season: .299/.376/.476; Troutwine trout-dines (on pitching); Benyamin Bailey etc etc

Steele Walker over his last 10: .432
Scott Kinser/@WSDashBaseball

Charlotte Knights 5, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 3

Kyle Kubat: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Kelvin Herrera: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Luis Robert (CF): 0-for-5, 1 R, 3 K
Nick Madrigal (2B): 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB
Daniel Palka (RF): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K **MVP**
Zack Collins (C): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HBP
Yermín Mercedes (DH): 0-for-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 HBP
Danny Mendick (SS): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 K
Trey Michalczewski (3B): 3-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Kyle Kubat showed encouraging signs of adjusting to an offense-heavy league, going five strong, striking out four, walked just one and allowing two runs, both solo dongs. Kelvin Herrera’s rehab assignment continues, and went far better today than his first try did (let’s just say that his ERA has been cut in half to 18.00). Matt Foster gave up a run on a solo shot in his inning of work. Colton Turner earned the win with two scoreless innings, giving up zero hits and walking one, and Juan Minaya pitched a perfect 10th for the save.

It was a quiet day for Luis Robert, who started the 10th inning automatically on second base, which seems a little unfair, but them’s the rules. Nick Madrigal, walk machine, drew a walk, then Daniel Palka’s single scored Robert for the eventual winning run. Zack Collins also drew a walk, and so did our boisterous son Yermín Mercedes to force in an insurance run. Elsewhere in this game, Zack Collins and Daniel Palka hit their 11th and 23rd home runs, respectively. Trey Michalczewski contributed an RBI single as part of a three-hit night.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans 10, Winston-Salem Dash 1

Zach Lewis: 3 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (L, 5-6)
Wyatt Burns: 1 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
JJ Muno: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB **MVP**
Andrew Vaughn (1B): 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Craig Dedelow (RF): 0-for-4, 1 K
Carlos Perez (C): 1-for-4, 1 K
Johan Cruz (SS): 1-for-4, 2 K, 1 E

You win some, you lose some, and the Dash can definitely throw this one into the “lose some” pile and never mention it again. Myrtle Beach scored five off starter Zach Lewis, who pitched well last time out but couldn’t keep it going today. Jake Elliott gave up four runs as he allowed two hits and three walks over two and two thirds innings. Wyatt Burns, newly promoted back to the Dash, pitched an inning and a third, allowing one unearned run on shortstop Johan Cruz’s error. JJ Muno, who played most of this game in left field, took the mound for his third Position Player Pitching appearance of the season, throwing a scoreless eighth. His ERA falls from 15.43 to 10.80.

Pelicans starter Brailyn Marquez, a 20-year-old flamethrowing lefty, threw five no-hit innings against the Dash, stretching his total no-hit streak to 13 ⅔ innings (it’s natural to get jealous of other good prospects even if your team has good prospects). They strategically waited until he was out of the game before making their move, which turned out to be Steele Walker hitting his 20th Dash double and Andrew Vaughn singling him in to score in the eighth. Vaughn and Walker both reached base twice, and not a whole lot else happened.

Lexington Legends 7, Kannapolis Intimidators 3

Kevin Folman: 3 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP (L, 0-4)
Johan Dominguez: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-5
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 1-for-5, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 E
Romy González (LF): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB
Corey Zangari (1B): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Amado Nuñez (2B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
Gunnar Troutwine (C): 2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K **MVP**

By the time the third inning closed, the Lexington Legends had scored seven runs, and that was more than enough to down the Intimidators on Tuesday afternoon. Kevin Folman, who signed last season as an undrafted free agent, has recently moved back to starting from the bullpen, and has had some trouble keeping runs from crossing the plate. In the second inning of today’s game, Folman allowed two singles, a double, a steal, and a walk for three runs; in the third, it was two home runs, an error, and a single for four. Johan Dominguez, who was an All-Star this season, pitched four excellent innings in relief, allowing just two hits. Justin O’Conner, a veteran minor league catcher turned pitcher, threw one scoreless inning; between the AZL and Kannapolis, he’s pitched seven innings, allowing two hits and one run (a home run), walking one and striking out 11. Declan Cronin, this year’s 36th-round pick, closed it out with one scoreless.

Gunnar Troutwine made the best use of his limited playing time by walking once and hitting two doubles, his 12th and 13th, knocking in runs in the sixth and eighth innings. Amado Nuñez drove in a run on a groundout in that sixth inning; in the eighth, he reached on an error and scored on Troutwine’s double. Romy González had a walk and three hits, including a double, and scored on Nuñez’s groundout. Ian Dawkins is batting .326 over his last 10 games played.

DSL Padres 11, DSL White Sox 8

Francisco Benitez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Anthony Espinoza (2B): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Yolbert Sánchez (SS): 0-for-5, 1 K
Benyamin Bailey (LF): 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS **MVP**
Jhoneiker Betancourt (C): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
Johnabiell Laureano (CF): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Ruben Benavides (DH): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

A five-run bottom of the first inning lifted the DSL Sox, but an eight-run top of the second inning sunk them for good. Anthony Espinoza singled to open the first, advanced on a Yolbert Sánchez groundout, then scored on Benyamin Bailey’s third triple of the year. Bailey scored on Jhoneiker Betancourt’s single, then eighteen-year-old Johnabiell Laureano homered for the second straight day, making it 4-0 Sox. Finally, Ruben Benavides hit his second home run of the season to make it 5-0. They added a few more here and there — a Betancourt RBI double scoring Bailey, Espinoza’s second single scoring Roberth Gutierrez, Benavides driving Laureano in with a sac fly — but, unfortunately, the Padres added more.

From the pitching perspective, this game worked backwards, with the pitcher throwing the most innings going last. To start, Francisco Benitez pitched one scoreless inning, and was the only Sox pitcher not tagged for runs. Ronaldo Guzman, appearing in relief after starting 10 games, gave up a whopping six runs over two thirds of an inning, allowing three singles, two walks, a wild pitch, and a home run before being relieved with the bases loaded by Cristopher Valdez, who failed to record an out at all but did walk in two runs (and all five batters he faced) and allowed three additional runs to score on three wild pitches. He was in turn relieved by Daneuris Lagrange, who mercifully induced a flyout on the first pitch for the last out of the second inning. Lagrange pitched two and one third innings, allowing two runs but just one earned, walking one. Erick Perez then came on and pitched the final five innings of this ballgame, allowing three hits, one run (a solo shot), walking one and striking out five.

Just for fun, some lines and even more parentheses. Catcher (and today’s DH) Ruben Benavides, who turns 18 on Friday, is batting .339/.403/.571 in 18 games (8 walks, 12 strikeouts). Catcher (and occasional DH/first baseman/third baseman) Jhoneiker Betancourt, 19, is hitting .366/.495/.500 in 25 games (13 walks, 14 strikeouts). Catcher Jefferson Mendoza (they have a lot of catchers but won’t pay for a second team so they can play them all), 18, is at .356/.448/.589 over 27 games (9 walks, 21 strikeouts). First baseman Matthew Mercedes is a little old at 20, but it’s still good to hit .350/.414/.490 over 30 games (11 walks, 9 strikeouts). Center fielder Johnabiell Laureano, 18, is hitting .376/.449/.573 over the majority of the season, 49 games, 24 walks and 36 strikeouts. This is right up there with the vaunted left fielder Benyamin Bailey, 17 for another month or so, who’s batting .350/.500/.488 over 48 games, and has drawn an incredible 45 walks against 35 strikeouts. Kids these days.