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Bombs Away in Birmingham

They don’t boast the top prospects in the system, but that hasn’t stopped the Barons from putting on a show to start the 2021 season

Romy González has been crushing it out of the gate, in a ballpark not known for round-trippers.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

The Birmingham Barons may not be loaded with some of the top prospects in the Chicago White Sox system, but that hasn’t stopped them from putting on a show to start the 2021 season.

It’s been an electric start for them in Double-A South play, with a 7-3 record through their first 10 games. But what sticks out the most to their hot start is the number of home runs they’re putting up as a team.

The Barons lead the Double-A South Division, by a lot, with 21 home runs in 10 games. There are several teams tied for second, with just 15 homers.

And it’s not just one player for the Barons getting it done; they’ve spread the home run ball around, with four players having three or more home runs and seven players with multiple home runs already.

Shortstop Romy González leads the team with four bombs in nine games, to go along with a team-high 11 RBIs.

Outfielder Craig Dedelow, catcher Xavier Fernandez, and outfielder Zack Granite all have three home runs.

It’s truly amazing what the bats have done early, especially when Regions Field is known as one of the toughest minor league ballparks to slug in.

Barons: Zack Granite Named Double-A South Player of the Week

Speaking of great starts, 28-year-old outfielder Zack Granite was named the Double-A South Player of the Week after slashing .444/.442/.563 from May4-10, with 2 home runs and 21 total bases.

Granite was drafted in the 14th round in 2013 by the Minnesota Twins, out of Seton Hall.

He’s always been a very good hitter, with a career slash of .285/.346/.370 in parts of eight minor league seasons.

In 2017 he appeared in 40 games for the Twins and hit .237 with a home run — more walks than strikeouts.

If Granite played back in the 70’s, he’d probably be a starter at the big-league level right now, but he doesn’t give you a ton of power.

Still, the guy knows how to hit and is fun to watch for an old-school fan like me. It will be interesting to see how the White Sox utilize him going forward this season — especially with all their injuries in the outfield.