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White Sox Weekly Minor League Update: May 24-30

The last week of May brought some familiar faces back, like Adam Engel and Jace Fry — and an actual promotion for Jason Bilous to Birmingham

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers
Adam Engel is back, rehabbing at Triple-A Charlotte, along with Jace Fry.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Knights (8-15)

Adam Engel .223 BA, 2 XBH, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 SB

Seby Zavala .182 BA, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Luis González .000 BA, 0 BB, 2 K
Gavin Sheets .438 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K
Blake Rutherford .280 BA, 3 XBH, 4 R, 1 BB, 6 K
Jake Burger .353 BA, 1 XBH, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K
Jonathan Stiever 2 IP, 18.00 ERA, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 K
Hunter Schryver 2 IP, 9.00 ERA, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K
Kodi Medeiros 1 13 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K
Tyler Johnson Did not pitch
Zack Burdi 1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K
Jimmy Lambert 3 IP, 3.00 ERA, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K
Reynaldo López 5 IP, 3.60 ERA, 7 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Jace Fry 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K

The rehabbers are back! Adam Engel got the MVP this week, showing some power, while Jace Fry came back and already has an 18.00 K/9. Both have looked good in Triple-A so far, but they are in different situations.

Right now, Adam Engel may not actually be on the MLB team with Jake Lamb doing well in his bench role, and Billy Hamilton without an option to be sent down. Engel may be back in Charlotte for the long haul, or until there is an injury. In four games, his walk and strikeout rates are pretty close to his time in the majors for the 2020 season, when he had a 122 wRC+. Engel’s plate discipline will be the most important thing to watch to find out if his 2020 month of games was legit, because his K-rate fell so much from 2019 (31.5%) to 2020 (20.4%).

Meanwhile, the major league bullpen is a bit of a mess, riddled with righthanders. Matt Foster, who has three options, and Evan Marshall, who has no options, are not pulling their weight right now, and Jace Fry could take either spot. Ryan Burr could also be on the outs, as Fry would have to be activated off the 60-day IL to clear a 40-man roster spot.

Whatever happens, both Engel and Fry have been doing very well in their rehab assignments.

MVP Ranks

Gavin Sheets (41.6)
Jake Burger (22.4)
Mike Wright (14.9)
Marco Hernández (12.7)
Blake Rutherford (11.2)
Adam Engel (10.4)
Brian Goodwin (5.8)

Cold Cat Ranks

Jacob Lindgren (-28.7)
Ryan Burr (-12.6)
Jonathan Stiever (-10.5)
Danny Dopico (-8.5)
Jimmy Lambert (-7.9)
Alex McRae (-7.7)
Will Carter (-6.6)

Birmingham Barons (16-8)

Kade McClure 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 4 H, 1 BB, 9 K

Micker Adolfo .182 BA, 2 XBH, 1 HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 12 K
Romy González .050 BA, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 11 K
Konnor Pilkington 5 IP, 3.60 ERA, 5 H, 0 BB, 3 K
Jason Bilous 7 IP, 2.57 ERA, 9 H, 0 BB, 7 K
Alec Hansen 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 K
Andrew Perez 3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K
Bennett Sousa 2 IP, 13.50 ERA, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K

Before we get to the first real promotion of the 2021 season, Kade McClure had a very good start this week. McClure’s season stats do not look great so far, but that is all because of May 19 start in which he allowed nine runs in 1 13 innings. That it also the reason why his xFIP (2.61) looks so much better. If you take out that game, McClure has 15 innings with a 1.80 ERA and 19 strikeouts. He is on the cusp of the Triple-A rotation, and with the Jason Bilous promotion there could soon be starter oversaturation in Birmingham.

Now to Bilous, though he was pulled after two innings in his last start for reasons unclear right now, he got the first deserved promotion (non-injury related) of the system. With the Dash, Bilous had a 0.51 FIP with a 46.4% K-rate and a miniscule 3.6% BB-rate. Both of those numbers are huge improvements compared to Bilous’ 2019 in Kannapolis, as he is throwing a lot more strikes overall. This is something to keep an eye on. The reason this is a big deal is that before the season, Chris Getz said that promotions were not going to be frequent — but after just three starts, Bilous already got one. In his seven Double-A innings, Bilous’ K-rate has gone down to normal, but he still doesn’t have a walk, so he is throwing a lot of strikes. He has a long way to go to deserve top attention in the Birmingham rotation, but Bilous has been amazing in his limited time this season.

MVP Ranks

Konnor Pilkington (19.8)
Blake Battenfield (13.6)
Kade McClure (13.5)
Ofriedy Gómez (12.7)
Zack Granite (10.0)
Jason Bilous (8.9)
Ti’quan Forbes (7.9)
Mitch Roman (7.1)

Cold Cat Ranks

Ian Dawkins (-32.7)
J.B. Olson (-14.6)
John Parke (-8.8)
Joel Booker (-8.6)
Peter Tago (-7.8)

Winston-Salem Dash (12-12)

Johan Dominguez 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 0 BB, 6 K

Yolbert Sánchez .211 BA, 1 XBH, 5 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 0 K, 1 SB
Luis Mieses .083 BA, 1 XBH, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K
Lenyn Sosa .227 BA, 1 XBH, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K
Luis Curbelo .238 BA, 1 HR, 3 XBH, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K
Bryce Bush Did not play (shoulder injury)
Caleb Freeman 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SV

Johan Dominguez is just a good pitcher, and he has been ever since he was acquired by the White Sox in 2018. He started out as a long reliever and was very good at it. Then he moved to a starting role, and has been just as good. Now this season, there is the caveat that Dominguez is 25 and starting in High-A baseball, but he has a 2.63 ERA in 24 innings this season. The K-rate is in the mid-20%, which is right where it usually is; however, his walks have fallen to a career low at the moment. In 2019, he had a great 8.5% BB-rate and he has improved that to 3.3%. I am not sure what Danny Farquhar is doing with his staff in Winston-Salem with Bilous and Dominguez having walk rates at 3%, but whatever he is doing it is working. Unfortunately for Dominguez, he is not a left-handed pitcher, so since he is a bit of a soft-tosser, he does not have handedness in his favor. But he is still productive. It should be noted that Bilous did get promoted over Dominguez, so the Sox are not as high on Johan.

MVP Ranks

Luis Curbelo (24.6)
Johan Dominguez (20.1)
Jason Bilous (19.6)
Davis Martin (19.0)
Taylor Varnell (15.9)
Alex Destino (8.6)
Evan Skoug (6.4)

Cold Cat Ranks

Lenyn Sosa (-17.5)
Daniel Millwee (-14.3)
Bryce Bush (-12.2)
Dilmer Mejía (-9.6)
Declan Cronin (-9.0)
Wilber Perez (-8.9)
Isaiah Carranza (-8.5)
Edgar Navarro (-7.9)
Lazaro Leal (-6.3)

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (2-22)

Caberea Weaver: .240 BA, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K

James Beard: .300 BA, 1 HR, 1 XBH, 2 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K
Chase Krogman HBP injury, currently sidelined
Bryan Ramos .381 BA, 2 HR, 3 XBH, 3 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 8 K, 2 SB
DJ Gladney .150 BA, 1 BB, 11 K
José Rodríguez .182 BA, 3 XBH, 1 HR, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 SB
Benyamin Bailey .059 BA, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K
Lency Delgado .400 BA, 2 HR, 3 R, 0 BB, 9 K
Andrew Dalquist 1 13 IP, 33.75 ERA, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 K
McKinley Moore 3 IP, 3.00 ERA, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K
Bailey Horn 2 IP, 9.00 ERA, 2 H, 1 BB, 6 K
Yoelvin Silven 2 13 IP, 23.14 ERA, 9 H, 0 BB, 4 K
Matthew Thompson 4 13 IP, 14.54 ERA, 6 H, 5 BB, 7 K
Jared Kelley Did not pitch

The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers are not doing much as a team, but Caberea Weaver had a much better final week of May. Weaver was drafted back in 2018 out of high school, in the seventh round as an over-slot pick. He took the AZL by storm in 2018, but ended the season on a down note that continued into 2019 with Great Falls. Overall this season, Weaver has not been doing particularly well, but he was not supposed to be on this team right away. Weaver has severe plate discipline issues that have gotten worse so far in 2021. His walk rate has continued to fall (though it is early) in his third promotion of his career, from 10% in the AZL to 7% with Great Falls to 3.1% right now with the Cannon Ballers. His strikeout rate has also risen with each promotion, and it is at an abysmal 43.1% right now. He is still young and a lost 2020 season for a high school draft pick probably means a bit more than say a guy like Gavin Sheets, but Weaver is not the Top 30 prospect he was heading into the 2019 season anymore. He still has a lot to prove, especially when Chase Krogman comes back and makes the Kanny outfield more crowded.

MVP Ranks

José Rodríguez (34.6)
DJ Gladney (17.3)
James Beard (11.6)
Matthew Thompson (11.2)
Caberea Weaver (9.6)
Bryan Ramos (8.3)
Brandon Jenkins (7.3)

Cold Cat Ranks

Garvin Alston Jr. (-13.4)
Yoelvin Silven (-12.8)
Jared Kelley (-10.2)
Marcus Evey (-9.4)
Martin Carrasco (-8.5)
Rigo Fernández (-8.5)
Daniel Millwee (-7.6)
Trey Jeans (-7.5)

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 Adam Engel, Charlotte Knights
Designated Hitter Jake Burger, Charlotte Knights
Bench (3B) DJ Gladney, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Bench (CF) Zack Granite, Birmingham Barons
Bench (CF) Caberea Weaver, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Bench (RF) Alex Destino, Winston-Salem Dash
Bench (2B) Bryan Ramos, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Bench (1B-3B) Ti’quan Forbes, Birmingham Barons

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Jason Bilous, Birmingham Barons (**Pitching MVP**)
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Johan Dominguez, Winston-Salem Dash
Left-Handed Starting Pitcher Konnor Pilkington, Birmingham Barons
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Davis Martin, Winston-Salem Dash
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Mike Wright, Charlotte Knights

Left-Handed Relief Pitcher Taylor Varnell, Winston-Salem Dash
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Blake Battenfield, Birmingham Barons
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Kade McClure, Birmingham Barons
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Ofriedy Gómez, Birmingham Barons
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Matthew Thompson, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Brandon Jenkins, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

South Side Sox Writer Standings