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White Sox Weekly Minor League Update: July 5-11

Last week featured rehab assignments as Eloy, Matthew Thompson, and Jared Kelley are back playing games, while Yermín Mercedes and José Rodríguez both hit a couple of homers

Eloy Jiménez made his return last week, hit a homer — and is already back in Charlotte.
Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

Charlotte Knights (25-33 - 15 GB)

MVP
Yermín Mercedes .300 BA, 2 HR, 3 XBH, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K

Luis González .300 BA, 1 HR, 4 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Blake Rutherford .259 BA, 1 HR, 4 XBH, 4 R, 6 RBI, 0 BB, 8 K
Hunter Schryver 1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 2 BB, 2 K
Kodi Medeiros 1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K
Jonathan Stiever 5 IP, 3.60 ERA, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K
Jimmy Lambert 5 IP, 5.40 ERA, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K
Reynaldo López 6 IP, 1.50 ERA, 3 H, 1 BB, 8 K
Tyler Johnson 1 IP, 9.00 ERA, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K

Look who is back: Yermín Mercedes! He had a pretty good week in his first action in Triple-A. It is definitely not where he wants to be, but at least his batting numbers look good for the first time since May. He had a couple of homers last week in just five games, and even added a couple walks. Mercedes needs to prove that he can hit again, and consistently. He had a few good weeks, and then just tanked after the league figured him out. In June with the White Sox, Mercedes had an 18 wRC+ (sheesh, terrible) with no homers in 68 plate appearances. Compared to his phenomenal April, Mercedes’ K-rate was about 7% up and ISO was 200 points down. With the strikeouts, Mercedes was swinging and missing at more strikes and making far less contact on pitches inside the zone. He just could not get the bat on the ball. Mercedes can still turn it around, and with the White Sox injury history this season, he could be needed again. But right now, the demotion was a good call.

MVP Ranks

Jake Burger (60.5)
Gavin Sheets (54.8)
Tim Beckham (44.1)
Mike Wright (24.4)
Mikie Mahtook (19.3)
Marco Hernández (18.8)
Jimmy Lambert (12.7)
Adam Engel (12.1)
Tanner Banks (11.4)

Cold Cat Ranks

Reynaldo López (-32.7)
Matt Tomshaw (-23.6)
Blake Rutherford (-18.9)
Nate Nolan (-18.1)
Jonathan Stiever (-15.9)
Seby Zavala (-15.0)
Félix Paulino (-12.8)
Ryan Burr (-12.6)
Kodi Medeiros (-10.0)


Birmingham Barons (31-28 - 2 GB)

MVP
Romy González .346 BA, 1 HR, 2 XBH, 5 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 SB

Micker Adolfo .333 BA, 1 HR, 2 XBH, 3 R, 6 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K
Kade McClure 5 IP, 3.60 ERA, 5 H, 0 BB, 3 K
Konnor Pilkington 5 IP, 1.50 ERA, 1 H, 2 BB, 6 K
Jason Bilous 3 23 IP, 9.82 ERA, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 K
Andrew Perez 1 13 IP, 6.75 ERA, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 K
Bennett Sousa 2 13 IP, 7.71 ERA, 1 H, 4 BB, 4 K

Romy González has had a great season at the plate so far, and he did last week as well. He is slashing .255/.351/.462 and has shown some pop with a .207 ISO. He uses all fields and even has 13 stolen bases to go along with the bat. He has been a more three-true-outcome hitter this season, too. González is walking 2% more compared to Low-A in 2019, but he is striking out more, too, as his rate nears 29%. González’s power is also kind of perplexing. He has 16 extra-base hits on the season and 11 are homers. It is not all that often a player’s second-most common hit on the season is a homer. There is a reason for it, though. González is a ground ball hitter (54.1% of batted balls on the ground). His fly ball rate has dropped too, down to 27.9%, but just about a third of them are homers. Eloy Jiménez had a similar batted-ball profile but we do not get the same hard-hit rate.

MVP Ranks

Kade McClure (36.0)
Konnor Pilkington (28.7)
Ti’quan Forbes (26.8)
Blake Battenfield (16.9)
Carlos Pérez (14.8)
Ofriedy Gómez (12.9)
Micker Adolfo (11.7)

Cold Cat Ranks

Ian Dawkins (-32.7)
J.B. Olson (-30.6)
Xavier Fernández (-20.0)
Alec Hansen (-19.0)
Craig Dedelow (-18.3)
JJ Muno (-16.1)


Winston-Salem Dash (26-34 - 13 GB)

MVP
Eloy Jiménez 3-for-7, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K

Lenyn Sosa .280 BA, 1 HR, 2 XBH, 5 R, 7 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K
Yoelqui Céspedes .214 BA, 2 XBH, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
Yolbert Sánchez .182 BA, 1 XBH, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 SB
Bryce Bush Did not play (shoulder injury)
Bailey Horn 10 23 IP, 10.12 ERA, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K
Caleb Freeman 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K

He’s back! Eloy Jiménez is back from his torn pec, already has a homer, and already was promoted up to Charlotte. Last season, he had a 140 wRC+ and showed a lot of power. He had a .263 ISO with 14 homers, and all the Statcast data on hard hits showed he was in the top 10% of baseball. It will be hard to top that coming off of a serious injury but the projections think Jiménez can come close. He just needs to stay healthy — and needs to play DH for the season. In one of his two games in Winston-Salem, Eloy played in left and succeeded at not getting hurt — but did commit an error. Andrew Vaughn is much better in left, anyway.

MVP Ranks

Taylor Varnell (46.4)
Yolbert Sánchez (31.4)
Luis Curbelo (20.1)
Jason Bilous (19.6)
Ian Dawkins (19.4)
Johan Dominguez (17.2)
Alex Destino (16.5)
Evan Skoug (15.6)
Davis Martin (14.8)
Eloy Jiménez (13.1)

Cold Cat Ranks

Duke Ellis (-22.5)
Wilber Perez (-22.3)
Lázaro Leal (-21.8)
Isaiah Carranza (-17.2)
Cooper Bradford (-15.9)
Kaleb Roper (-15.0)
Bryce Bush (-12.2)
Bailey Horn (-12.0)
Edgar Navarro (-12.0)
Caleb Freeman (-10.3)


Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (19-40 - 15 GB)

MVP
José Rodríguez .370 BA, 2 HR, 3 XBH, 6 R, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 4 SB

James Beard: .000 BA, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K
Bryan Ramos .250 BA, 1 HR, 3 XBH, 5 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K
Luis Mieses .280 BA, 1 HR, 3 XBH, 4 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K
DJ Gladney .300 BA, 1 HR, 2 XBH, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K
Chase Krogman .150 BA, 4 R, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 13 K, 1 SB
Lency Delgado .273 BA, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K
Harvin Mendoza .318 BA, 2 XBH, 5 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K
Drew Dalquist 4 23 IP, 3.86 ERA, 2 H, 4 BB, 1 K
McKinley Moore 3 13 IP, 8.10 ERA, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K
Yoelvin Silven (Has not pitched since June 9)

Rodríguez was back to hitting homers last week, and even went 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts. He is closing in on a 10-homer, 20-stolen base season as he continues to show real improvement from 2019 in the AZL. Rodríguez continues to lower his K-rate, with just a two strikeout week, to 17.4% on the season. It is just a but more than 5% lower than 2019, and Rodríguez is walking slightly more. A 0.6% increase may be negligible, but it is a pattern from his 2018 time in the DSL, with his walk rate going slightly up each season. Rodríguez is still hitting more ground balls than 2019, but it is more in line with how he hit in 2018. It is too early to know what type of hitter Rodríguez is, but his gap power could become home run power easily; he is just 20 so he still has a lot to learn and a long way to go until he is MLB-ready.

MVP Ranks

José Rodríguez (65.4)
Luis Mieses (36.4)
Bryan Ramos (30.4)
Caberea Weaver (18.2)
Bailey Horn (14.8)
DJ Gladney (14.7)

Cold Cat Ranks

Marcus Evey (-30.2)
Garvin Alston Jr. (-22.8)
Angel Acevedo (-17.9)
Tyson Messer (-17.0)
Yoelvin Silven (-15.2)
Martin Carrasco (-10.6)
Jared Kelley (-10.2)
Ty Madrigal (-10.1)


ACL White Sox (3-6 4 12 GB)

MVP
Wilber Sánchez .273 BA, 1 XBH, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K

Benyamin Bailey .214 BA, 2 XBH, 4 R, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K
Jefferson Mendoza .000 BA, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K
Logan Glass .083 BA, 1 XBH, 2 BB, 5 K
Ronaldo Guzman 6 IP, 10.50 ERA, 7 H, 5 BB, 7 K
Cristian Mena 2 23 IP, 13.50 ERA, 5 H, 3 BB, 0 K
Matthew Thompson 2 IP, 9.00 ERA, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K (On a rehab assignment)
Jared Kelley 23 IP, 40.50 ERA, 2 H, 3 BB, 0 K (On a rehab assignment)

It will take awhile for the ACL White Sox to have enough data to go off of. Most guys do not play every day — and if you are a catcher like Jefferson Mendoza, you only played two games last week. On top of that, instead of pretending that they recorded balls and strikes, the ACL has stopped doing that completely — so there is even less pitching data than usual. Oh yeah, these guys are mostly teenagers, too, so they are not even close to the player they will be or hopefully will be in three years. With that in mind, it is still good to see Matthew Thompson and Jared Kelley pitching again. Neither did particularly well in their rehab starts; it may be awhile until either get back to Kannapolis, but they are active again.

MVP Ranks
Richard García (11.6)
Wilber Sánchez (9.6)
Jagger Rusconi (7.3)
Homer Cruz (5.9)
Benyamin Bailey (5.3)
The Lightning (5.3)

Cold Cat Ranks

Elijah Tatís (-27.3)
Jared Kelley (-8.1)
Johanbiell Laureano (-6.3)
Vince Arobio (-5.7)
Jacob Gilliland (-5.5)
Karan Patel (-5.4)


White Sox Organizational All-Stars

Catcher Evan Skoug, Winston-Salem Dash
First Base Gavin Sheets, Charlotte Knights
Second Base Yolbert Sánchez, Winston-Salem Dash
Third Base Jake Burger, Charlotte Knights
Shortstop José Rodríguez, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (**Player MVP**)
Left Field Caberea Weaver, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Center Field Mikie Mahtook, Charlotte Knights
Right Field Luis Mieses, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Designated Hitter Tim Beckham, Charlotte Knights

Bench (2B) Bryan Ramos, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Bench (1B-3B) Ti’quan Forbes, Charlotte Knights
Bench (3B) Luis Curbelo, Winston-Salem Dash
Bench (2B) Marco Hernández, Charlotte Knights
Bench (OF) Alex Destino, Winston-Salem Dash
Bench (C) Carlos Pérez, Birmingham Barons
Bench (3B) DJ Gladney, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Bench (LF) Eloy Jiménez, Charlotte Knights
Bench (CF) Adam Engel, Charlotte Knights

Left-Handed Starting Pitcher Taylor Varnell, Winston-Salem Dash (**Pitcher MVP**)
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Kade McClure, Birmingham Barons
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Jason Bilous, Birmingham Barons
Left-Handed Starting Pitcher Konnor Pilkington, Birmingham Barons
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Mike Wright, Charlotte Knights

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Johan Dominguez, Winston-Salem Dash
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Blake Battenfield, Birmingham Barons
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Davis Martin, Winston-Salem Dash
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Jimmy Lambert, Charlotte Knights


South Side Sox Writer Standings