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White Sox Weekly Minor League Update: May 17-23

A lot of familiar names did well this week, as Jake Burger continues his surprising year

Jake Burger’s all-around game is pointing him directly to the major leagues.
Sean Williams/South Side Sox

Charlotte Knights (7-11)

Jake Burger .333 BA, 6 XBH, 3 HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K

Seby Zavala .105 BA, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K
Luis González .227 BA, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K
Gavin Sheets .143 BA, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K
Blake Rutherford .348 BA, 1 XBH, 4 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 7 K
Jonathan Stiever 1 IP, 9.00 ERA, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K
Hunter Schryver 1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K
Kodi Medeiros 6 IP, 6.00 ERA, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K
Tyler Johnson Did not pitch
Zack Burdi 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 3 BB, 4 K
Jimmy Lambert 3 IP, 3.00 ERA, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K
Reynaldo López 1 IP, 36.00 ERA, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 K

He is just having a silly season so far: Jake Burger is slashing .259/.306/.655 in 14 games so far this year. All of the comes out to a 143 wRC+. He is hitting the cover off of the ball, as most of his hits are extra-base hits, five doubles and six homers. His ground ball rate is well shy of 50%, and he is pulling the ball at a rate that proves he is hitting the ball hard. This is what happens when Burger actually hits the ball, but he is still understandably shaking off some rust. He is striking out in a fourth of his at-bats and isn’t taking walks. Though he has had some highlight defensive plays, he does have a couple of errors; though those aren’t the end-all defensive stat, he would be on pace for about 25 errors in a 162-game season. It is still really early to find out if Burger is back to his old self, and it may take awhile to figure it out, but it is clear that when he hits the ball, he will hit it hard and far. The fact that he has a .397 ISO is beyond a success. Should a call-up be looming? Probably not yet.

MVP Ranks

Gavin Sheets (30.1)
Jake Burger (16.1)
Mike Wright (13.8)
Blake Rutherford (10.1)
Marco Hernández (9.3)
Mikie Mahtook (5.1)

Cold Cat Ranks

Jacob Lindgren (-12.2)
Ryan Burr (-9.8)
Tim Beckham (-9.5)
Jimmy Lambert (-7.9)
Nate Nolan (-7.2)
Danny Dopico (-6.2)
Zack Burdi (-5.6)
Joe DeCarlo (-5.6)

Birmingham Barons (12-6)

Micker Adolfo .444 BA, 4 XBH, 2 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K

Romy González .273 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Konnor Pilkington 5 IP, 3.60 ERA, 6 H, 3 BB, 5 K
Kade McClure 1 13 IP, 60.75 ERA, 9 H, 2 BB, 1 K
Alec Hansen 2 23 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 4 BB, 4 K
Andrew Perez 1 13 IP, 6.75 ERA, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K
Bennett Sousa 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K

Another often-injured, former top prospect had a great week in the minors, Micker Adolfo. It was his best stretch of games this season, as he now has a .293 ISO to go with a 139 wRC+. This start is encouraging, because his placement in Double-A to start the season seemed to indicate the White Sox didn’t think he was particularly close to the majors. As of now he is not walking a ton, which is a concern (half as often compared to 2019); however, Adolfo’s strikeout rate has fallen as well. It is just 15 games but those are things to keep an eye on if those rates hold. It could show that while Adolfo was not playing, he worked on his plate approach and has decided to swing earlier, or he could be getting better at seeing pitches he can drive. Those “little” things could mean a lot, it is just a bit too early to know. Though Adolfo did not miss as much time hitting compared to Burger, short of brief appearances in 2019’s Fall League Adolfo has not played in the field since 2017. He has been out in right field for 10 games this year, and already has an assist.

MVP Ranks

Blake Battenfield (20.0)
Konnor Pilkington (17.4)
Micker Adolfo (12.7) (swung from top Cold Cat to third in the MVP race, in one week)
Ti’quan Forbes (10.5)
Zack Granite (8.5)
Ofriedy Gómez (8.2)
Romy González (6.3)

Cold Cat Ranks

Ian Dawkins (-26.5)
J.B. Olson (-14.6)
Peter Tago (-9.3)
Joel Booker (-8.6) (demoted from Charlotte, but these are just Birmingham votes)
Alec Hansen (-7.9)
Anderson Severino (-6.8)

Winston-Salem Dash (9-9)

Davis Martin 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 0 BB, 5 K

Yolbert Sánchez .125 BA, 1 XBH, 1 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K
Luis Mieses .158 BA, 2 XBH, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
Lenyn Sosa .150 BA, 2 XBH, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K
Luis Curbelo .250 BA, 2 XBH, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 8 K
Bryce Bush .000 BA, 0 BB, 3 K, played in one game (shoulder injury)
Caleb Freeman 1 13 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K
Jason Bilous 5 IP, 3.60 ERA, 5 H, 1 BB, 8 K

When you throw a perfect five innings you’ll win the MVP of the week, and that’s what Davis Martin did. So far this season in 16 innings pitched, Martin has a 3.38 ERA and a 1.79 FIP. That has been the story for most of his MiLB career, a FIP that is usually better than his ERA. Most of that is because batters actually get hits against him — his BABIP against is normally near .330, which should indicate that he is unlucky. However, the high BABIP happens year after year, so maybe he is just an easier guy to get hits off of. However, looking at his strikeout and walk profile, it sort of disproves the notion Martin is easy to hit off of. Right now, he has a 33.9% K-rate, but it has normally been at 25%, and his walk rates have been about 6%. In my personal opinion, Martin is an org arm, but I want to see him in the bullpen at some point. He may be able to take that strikeout rate to a new level if he pitches only at an inning or two at a time.

MVP Ranks

Luis Curbelo (25.5)
Jason Bilous (19.6)
Taylor Varnell (15.9)
Johan Dominguez (12.1)
Davis Martin (11.4)
Evan Skoug (6.7)

Cold Cat Ranks

Lenyn Sosa (-20.6)
Bryce Bush (-12.2)
Dilmer Mejía (-9.6)
Wilber Perez (-8.9)
Declan Cronin (-8.3)
Duke Ellis (-7.3)
Dan Metzdorf (-6.0)
Johan Cruz (-5.5)
Yolbert Sánchez (-5.1)

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (2-16)

James Beard: .150 BA, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 SB

Chase Krogman HBP injury, currently sidelined
Bryan Ramos .182 BA, 1 XBH, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 9 K
DJ Gladney .211 BA, 3 XBH, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 11 K
José Rodríguez .333 BA, 4 XBH, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Benyamin Bailey .333 BA, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K
Andrew Dalquist 3 IP, 6.00 ERA, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K
McKinley Moore 1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Bailey Horn 1 IP, 27.00 ERA, 4 H, 1 BB, 0 K
Yoelvin Silven 3 23 IP, 4.91 ERA, 4 H, 4 BB, 3 K
Matthew Thompson 4 13 IP, 4.15 ERA, 8 H, 2 BB, 4 K
Jared Kelley 3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K

Not sure what the voters were doing this week to get James Beard the MVP. I think we should do an audit, because a few other guys actually did have bounce-back weeks. Benyamin Bailey finally hit the ball well enough to get on base. He didn’t do much else besides hit eight singles, but it was a vast improvement compared to earlier. He still has a lot left to prove and the power needs to come. DJ Gladney did not have a stellar batting average this week, but showed some pop with a couple of homers. He needs to start hitting in general because he has a very Yasmani-Grandal slash line of .176/.344/.373 — nobody wants that for a Low-A prospect. Jared Kelley also had his best start of the early season. His command was much better and thanks to his start last week, he now has more strikeouts than walks, you know, which is an improvement. It was a big jump from high school to Low-A ball, but hopefully this is the start of Kelley looking like the best prospect in the system for the rest of the season.

MVP Ranks

José Rodríguez (29.5)
Matthew Thompson (12.9)
James Beard (10.2)
DJ Gladney (9.5)
Brandon Jenkins (7.3)

Cold Cat Ranks

Garvin Alston Jr. (-10.8)
Jared Kelley (-10.2)
Marcus Evey (-9.4)
Martin Carrasco (-8.5)
Daniel Millwee (-7.6)
Trey Jeans (-7.5)
Lency Delgado (-5.7)
Sammy Peralta (-5.2)
Dan Metzdorf (-5.0)

White Sox Organizational All-Stars

Catcher Evan Skoug, Winston-Salem Dash
First Base Gavin Sheets, Charlotte Knights (**Offensive MVP**)
Second Base Marco Hernández, Charlotte Knights
Third Base Luis Curbelo, Winston-Salem Dash
Shortstop José Rodríguez, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Left Field Blake Rutherford, Charlotte Knights
Center Field James Beard, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Right Field Micker Adolfo, Birmingham Barons
Designated Hitter Jake Burger, Charlotte Knights
Bench (1B-3B) Ti’quan Forbes, Birmingham Barons
Bench (3B) DJ Gladney, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Bench (CF) Zack Granite, Birmingham Barons
Bench (SS-2B) Romy González, Birmingham Barons
Bench (OF) Mikie Mahtook, Charlotte Knights

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Blake Battenfield, Birmingham Barons (**Pitching MVP**)
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Jason Bilous, Winston-Salem Dash
Left-Handed Starting Pitcher Konnor Pilkington, Birmingham Barons
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Mike Wright, Charlotte Knights
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Matthew Thompson, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Left-Handed Relief Pitcher Taylor Varnell, Winston-Salem Dash
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Johan Dominguez, Winston-Salem Dash
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Davis Martin, Winston-Salem Dash
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Ofriedy Gómez, Birmingham Barons
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Brandon Jenkins, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

It’s early, so no full All-Star roster yet.
Voting tallies based on SSS voting in nightly Minor League Updates.