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White Sox Weekly Minor League Update: June 28-July 4

A few promotions last week, including Jake Burger to the majors, going from homering in Charlotte to tripling in Detroit

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers
Jake Burger is in the majors, and he is going in swinging.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Knights (21-31 - 14 12 GB)

Jake Burger MLB 4-for-11, 2 XBH, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K (Triple-A 6-for-8, 1 HR, 3 XBH, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 0 K)

Luis González .211 BA, 1 HR, 2 XBH, 2 R, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 7 K
Blake Rutherford .316 BA, 1 XBH, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K
Yermín Mercedes Triple-A 2-for-8, 1 XBH, 0 BB, 4 K (MLB .000 BA, 2 R, 2 BB, 0 K, demoted)
Ti’Quan Forbes Triple-A 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K (Double-A .375 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, promoted)
Hunter Schryver 2 13 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K
Kodi Medeiros 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K
Jonathan Stiever 4 IP, 6.75 ERA, 6 H, 1 BB, 8 K
Jimmy Lambert 5 23 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 3 BB, 8 K
Reynaldo López 3 13 IP, 13.50 ERA, 5 H, 4 BB, 4 K
Tyler Johnson 2 IP, 13.50 ERA, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 K

Jake Burger, what a story and what an accomplishment to be in the majors after all he had to do to get there! He left Charlotte with a 150 wRC+, and was just hitting the cover off the baseball. He had a .275 ISO and 26 extra-base hits, including 10 homers. He really could not have done much better in his first full season back in competitive baseball. The Triple-A assignment clearly was not as aggressive as many thought before the season. I figured it would be a gradual road back, but he pushed the issue. Burger’s plate discipline is still not great, but it was improving a couple weeks prior to his promotion. From June 14-30, his walk rate was near 8%, while the strikeout rate was about 8% lower than his season average (16.7%). So far in the very early start to his MLB career, the plate discipline is actually very similar to his 2021 Triple-A line, which would actually be pretty good if it can hold; obviously, MLB pitchers will adjust much easier and faster to Burger at the plate. He got his first MLB hit, and even a triple; the next step is that home run, and hopefully it comes soon.

MVP Ranks

Jake Burger (60.5)
Gavin Sheets (54.8)
Tim Beckham (44.1)
Mike Wright (26.8)
Marco Hernández (17.7)
Matt Reynolds (15.4)
Mikie Mahtook (14.2)
Adam Engel (12.1)
Jimmy Lambert (12.0)

Cold Cat Ranks

Reynaldo López (-37.7)
Matt Tomshaw (-24.6)
Blake Rutherford (-22.6)
Jonathan Stiever (-17.2)
Zach Remillard (-15.3)
Seby Zavala (-15.0)
Félix Paulino (-12.8)
Ryan Burr (-12.6)
Nate Nolan (-11.0)
Zack Burdi (-10.9)

Birmingham Barons (28-25 - 3 GB)

Kade McClure 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 H, 1 BB, 8 K

Romy González .278 BA, 1 R, 5 RBI, 13 BB, 28 K, 8 SB
Micker Adolfo .190 BA, 1 BB, 10 K
Konnor Pilkington 3 23 IP, 14.73 ERA, 5 H, 4 BB, 4 K
Jason Bilous 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 1 BB, 6 K
Andrew Perez 3 IP, 3.00 ERA, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K
Bennett Sousa 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 K

It has not been the best season for Kade McClure and his 4.57 ERA, but some underlying numbers look good, and he now has put together back-to-back outing of five scoreless innings. Where the numbers look good start with strikeouts. McClure has his best K-rate since 2017 in Kannapolis, while keeping a 7.7% walk rate. Where he gets into trouble is when batters actually hit the ball. He has a .269 batting average against, with a .336 BABIP. That BABIP coupled with the fact he had a 50% ground ball rate seems to indicate he is getting a bit unlucky, but it still is not good to have a .269 BAA in Double-A. Since there is not any (or, very little) data on pitches in the minors, it is difficult to pinpoint why McClure is being hit so well while still striking out a good amount of hitters without having a walk problem. My guess is hitters are having a decent time against his fastball early in the count while not doing well against the breaking pitches, but there is no way to truly know right now based on the data provided.

MVP Ranks

Kade McClure (36.4)
Ti’quan Forbes (26.8)
Konnor Pilkington (20.8)
Jason Bilous (13.9)
Ofriedy Gómez (12.9)
Blake Battenfield (11.9)
Jameson Fisher (10.7)
Zack Granite (10.4)

Cold Cat Ranks

Ian Dawkins (-32.7)
J.B. Olson (-30.6)
Alec Hansen (-19.0)
JJ Muno (-16.1)
Craig Dedelow (-15.5)
Romy González (-13.6)

Winston-Salem Dash (24-30 - 11 GB)

Yolbert Sánchez .360 BA, 1 HR, 2 XBH, 5 R, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K

Lenyn Sosa .231 BA, 2 HR, 4 XBH, 3 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K
Yoelqui Céspedes .360 BA, 3 HR, 8 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K, 2 SB
Bryce Bush Did not play (shoulder injury)
Bailey Horn 13 IP, 189.00 ERA, 5 H, 1 BB, 0 K (Promoted to the Dash)
Caleb Freeman 2 IP, 4.50 ERA, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K

Yolbert Sánchez, remember him? Well, he is having a pretty good season so far in Winston-Salem — though there is always the caveat that, at 21, he is playing against younger competition. He is slashing .296/.357/.391, for a 112 wRC+. He is getting there with a good .338 BABIP — that may be a little too high, but it sounds right where it should be for Sánchez. He is not hitting many fly balls compared to his time in rookie ball in 2019, but that could also just be a situation where the batted-ball information is not great. Whatever the case is, Sánchez is hitting more line drives, which is what he should probably be doing anyway given his .095 ISO. He is hitting to all fields, basically a straight split among left, center, and right, so he is showing off some polished bat-to-ball skills. The walks are down from 2019, and a 15% K-rate is good in general but a 6% increase from 2019 is a worrying trend. Sánchez should be a candidate for promotion whenever the next wave of those are.

MVP Ranks

Taylor Varnell (47.3)
Yolbert Sánchez (29.9)
Luis Curbelo (21.2)
Jason Bilous (19.6)
Ian Dawkins (19.4)
Johan Dominguez (17.2)
Evan Skoug (15.6)
Alex Destino (10.9)
Travis Moniot (10.1)

Cold Cat Ranks

Duke Ellis (-26.3)
Lázaro Leal (-21.8)
Cooper Bradford (-17.9)
Wilber Perez (-17.1)
Bryce Bush (-12.2)
Edgar Navarro (-12.0)
Caleb Freeman (-10.3)

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (16-37 - 14 GB)

Bryan Ramos .280 BA, 3 XBH, 3 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K

James Beard: .250 BA, 1 R, 4 BB, 3 K
José Rodríguez .259 BA, 1 HR, 4 XBH, 6 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K
Luis Mieses .292 BA, 4 R, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K
DJ Gladney .313 BA, 1 XBH, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K
Chase Krogman .250 BA, 2 HR, 3 XBH, 3 R, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K
Lency Delgado .000 BA, 0 BB, 7 K
Harvin Mendoza .318 BA, 2 HR, 4 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K
Andrew Dalquist 2 23 IP, 16.87 ERA, 8 H, 2 BB, 3 K
McKinley Moore 1 13 IP, 6.75 ERA, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K
Yoelvin Silven (Has not pitched since June 9)
Matthew Thompson (Has not pitched since June 12)
Jared Kelley Did not pitch (on the IL)

José Rodríguez gets all the attention in Kannapolis, but Bryan Ramos has been just as good, if not a bit better. He has a 121 wRC+ in his age-19 season and is showing a bit of everything. He is 9-for-9 in stolen bases, and had eight homers to go along with that. The area where he is lacking is bat-on-ball skills right now. He only has a .247 batting average, but a 12% walk rate helps the OBP look better, and when Ramos does hit the ball, he hits it hard. Even with the eight homers, he has 13 other extra-base hits and he is pulling the ball at a good clip. Ramos does go opposite field though about a quarter of the time, so he is not an extreme pull hitter. His BABIP is at .308, so you cannot say Ramos is getting unlucky, but if he can improve his K-rate (25.3%), maybe his batting average can increase. Regardless, it is not an issue, yet, but something to keep an eye on as he is promoted to go against more polished pitching.

MVP Ranks

José Rodríguez (52.7)
Luis Mieses (30.0)
Bryan Ramos (28.2)
Caberea Weaver (16.8)
Bailey Horn (14.8)
DJ Gladney (14.4)
Harvin Mendoza (11.8)
Chase Krogman (10.1)

Cold Cat Ranks

Marcus Evey (-30.6)
Angel Acevedo (-17.9)
Lency Delgado (-16.7)
Tyson Messer (-16.5)
Martin Carrasco (-16.4)
Yoelvin Silven (-15.2)
Garvin Alston Jr. (-13.8)
Ty Madrigal (-11.3)
Jared Kelley (-10.2)

ACL White Sox (2-2 1 12 GB)

Richard García .667 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Benyamin Bailey .250 BA, 1 R, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 SB
Jefferson Mendoza .500 BA, 1 XBH, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K
Logan Glass .100 BA, 1 XBH, 1 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K
Ronaldo Guzman 3 23 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1 H, 5 BB, 3 K
Cristian Mena 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 3 H, 0 BB, 8

The new-look Arizona Complex League (formally the Arizona Rookie League) is back in action. There is not a lot of information to go off of, so Sean Williams’ writeup is a pretty good place to go. For right now, just keep in mind that the players in the rookie league here are very young, and there probably will not be a lot of promotions from this level. The MLB draft is coming up soon, so the team will get some reinforcements. It will be interesting to see what the White Sox will do with some of the older college players currently in the ACL with regards to where they will be placed, without an advanced rookie team in Great Falls.

MVP Ranks

Richard García (8.8)
Cristian Mena (7.8)
Dilmer Mejía (5.3)
Anderson Comas (5.1)

Cold Cat Ranks

Elijah Tatís (-13.9)
Jacob Gilliland (-8.5)
Johanbiell Laureano (-5.8)
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 (**Player MVP**)
Shortstop José Rodríguez, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Left Field Mikie Mahtook, Charlotte Knights
Center Field Caberea Weaver, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Right Field Luis Mieses, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Designated Hitter Tim Beckham, Charlotte Knights

Bench (1B-3B) Ti’quan Forbes, Charlotte Knights
Bench (2B) Bryan Ramos, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Bench (3B) Luis Curbelo, Winston-Salem Dash
Bench (2B) Marco Hernández, Charlotte Knights
Bench (SS) Matt Reynolds, Charlotte Knights
Bench (3B) DJ Gladney, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Bench (CF) Adam Engel, Charlotte Knights
Bench (OF) Alex Destino, Winston-Salem Dash

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
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Mike Wright, Charlotte Knights
Left-Handed Starting Pitcher Konnor Pilkington, Birmingham Barons

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Johan Dominguez, Winston-Salem Dash
Left-Handed Relief Pitcher Bailey Horn, Winston-Salem Dash
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Ofriedy Gómez, Charlotte Knights
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Jimmy Lambert, Charlotte Knights
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Blake Battenfield, Birmingham Barons

South Side Sox Writer Standings