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White Sox Minor League Weekly Update: August 9-15

A lot of movement across the system, including the 2021 draftees, and wait — Norge Vera pitched too! What a week

MLB: Game Two-Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
Gavin Sheets is back in Charlotte and doing awesome, again.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Knights (32-57 - 25 GB)

Gavin Sheets .381 BA, 2 HR, 5 XBH, 4 R, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K

Blake Rutherford .360 BA, 1 HR, 5 XBH, 7 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
Jake Burger (injured, did not play last week)
Yermín Mercedes .348 BA, 2 HR, 3 XBH, 5 R, 6 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K
Micker Adolfo .273 BA, 3 XBH, 4 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K
Jonathan Stiever 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K
Jimmy Lambert 3 IP, 6.00 ERA, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K
Kade McClure 5 IP, 5.40 ERA, 5 H, 1 BB, 4 K
Zack Burdi 3 13 IP, 2.70 ERA, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K (designated for assignment on August 16)
Jace Fry 3 23 IP, 4.91 ERA, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K

Last year, and especially during the rebuild, Gavin Sheets would have earned a permanent spot in Chicago with a 110 wRC+. This year, the roster crunch and Sheets still having options means he was returned to Charlotte; it had nothing to do with his play on the field. So, now back in Triple-A after doing better-than-average against MLB pitchers, Sheets is kicking some butt. He slashed .381/.440/.810 last week, for a 213 wRC+. He probably won’t be that good all the time, but Sheets is clearly not a Triple-A player anymore. He could be on the White Sox next season, or he could take this time to continue to showcase himself if the Sox wanted to trade him. The September rosters only go up to 28 this year, but Sheets should be one of the call-ups.

Also, it may be time to say goodbye to Zack Burdi. The once-top relief prospect has been surpassed by too many relievers, and he is now waived off of the White Sox 40-man roster. He was DFA’ed with a 7.30 ERA in 24 23 Triple-A innings and a 6.00 ERA in nine innings with the Sox.

MVP Ranks

Gavin Sheets (75.2)
Jake Burger (70.3)
Tim Beckham (44.1)
Mike Wright Jr. (29.2)
Mikie Mahtook (27.9)
Marco Hernández (26.5)
Micker Adolfo (16.9)
Yermín Mercedes (16.4)
Luis Robert (15.1)
Adam Engel (12.1)

Cold Cat Ranks

Reynaldo López (-32.7)
Zack Burdi (-28.7)
Zach Remillard (-27.7)
Kodi Medeiros (-26.1)
Matt Tomshaw (-25.5)
Nate Nolan (-21.3)
Ofriedy Gómez (-20.6)
Jonathan Stiever (-19.9)
Danny Dopico (-17.6)
Connor Sadzeck (-16.8)

Birmingham Barons (48-40 - 3 GA)

Jameson Fisher .500 BA, 3 HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K

Romy González .333 BA, 3 HR, 4 XBH, 5 R, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 8 K
Yolbert Sánchez .125 BA, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Lenyn Sosa .250 BA, 2 XBH, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Caleb Freeman 1 IP, 9.00 ERA, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K

Finally, the long-awaited promotion is here for Kade McClure. He is leaving Birmingham with a 3.82 ERA and a much-improved K-rate (up about 7%) compared to his 2019 season, while keeping his walk rate low. McClure has a decent fastball and slider combo, with a curveball in there too. This is his age-25 season, drafted back in 2017, so without the pandemic, it could be McClure getting called up for spot starts or even a look in the MLB bullpen. Alas, it took awhile for him to get to Charlotte.

Since June 26, McClure has been lights-out over seven games started and 35 innings pitched. He as a 1.80 ERA, including a couple of quality starts — and especially this year, quality starts are hard to come by. McClure’s K-rate has been at 32% with a very low walk rate (6%) so he is really doing everything possible to have good games. His struggles earlier in the year were mostly contained to some outlier games, but this seven-game stretch clearly indicated that he deserved the promotion. McClure was able to get a game in Triple-A under his belt, and it was less than successful — ,but the command was still there at least.

MVP Ranks

Kade McClure (45.7)
Jameson Fisher (32.2)
Carlos Pérez (29.2)
Ti’quan Forbes (26.8)
Micker Adolfo (20.3)
Emilio Vargas (17.0)
Ofriedy Gómez (12.9)

Cold Cat Ranks

J.B. Olson (-45.8)
Ian Dawkins (-27.3)
Alec Hansen (-27.0)
JJ Muno (-23.6)
Luis Ledo (-19.8)
Peter Tago (-17.3)
Craig Dedelow (-14.5)
Xavier Fernández (-11.4)
Joel Booker (-10.3)
Jake Elliott (-10.2)

Winston-Salem Dash (33-57 - 30 GB)

José Rodríguez .333 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 8 K

Yoelqui Céspedes .263 BA, 1 HR, 5 XBH, 2 R, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 SB
Luis Mieses .095 BA, 1 XBH, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K
McKinley Moore 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 H, 0 BB, 4 K

Look who it is, José Rodríguez, and he is finally getting promoted after a pretty good season in Kannapolis. He left with an above-average wRC+ (110) while slashing .283/.328/.452. A nice season, but hopefully he improves as he moves up the ranks, as Rodríguez’s time in Kannapolis was a bit worse than in rookie ball back in 2019. Rodríguez really cut down on the strikeouts and it looked like he was showing better power early on, but that died down as the season went on. Still, he had a .170 ISO, which is pretty good for a middle infielder. Just by watching Rodríguez swing though, it certainly seems like he could get more power as he ages and moves up. The hit tool is already pretty good, with a .283 batting average, but the walks are what will hopefully increase. Rodríguez’s BB-rate has gone up each year so far, from 3.8% to 5.8%, and that is a good trend to see. Rodríguez did show and has shown decent speed, with four triples and 20 stolen bases. The one real knock on his game right now, beyond not walking a ton, is Rodríguez’s defense. Errors are not the end-all be-all for defense, but 21 errors in 71 games at shortstop is objectively not good. It will be awhile before Rodríguez sees time in Chicago, but at least he was one of the few success stories among the Cannon Ballers, and he had a pretty good week in his first week with the Dash.

MVP Ranks

Yolbert Sánchez (52.8)
Taylor Varnell (41.7)
Alex Destino (41.1)
Luis Curbelo (26.0)
Yoelqui Céspedes (25.3)
Lenyn Sosa (22.2)
Jason Bilous (19.6)
Jagger Rusconi (19.6)
Ian Dawkins (18.5)
Johan Dominguez (18.1)

Cold Cat Ranks

Kaleb Roper (-46.2)
Cooper Bradford (-40.9)
Wilber Perez (-36.6)
Edgar Navarro (-22.5)
Ryan Williamson (-21.4)
Duke Ellis (-19.3)
Declan Cronin (-18.7)
Sal Biasi (-14.7)
Bryce Bush (-12.2)
Isaiah Carranza (-10.5)

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (26-64 - 27 GB)

Misael González .235 BA, 2 HR, 3 XBH, 5 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K

James Beard: .176 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 BB, 8 K
Bryan Ramos .214 BA, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 SB
DJ Gladney .000 BA, 1 BB, 9 K
Chase Krogman .111 BA, 1 R, 4 BB, 10 K
Drew Dalquist 6 23 IP, 6.75 ERA, 9 H, 8 BB, 10 K
Jared Kelley (did not pitch)
Matthew Thompson 5 IP, 9.00 ERA, 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K

With José Rodríguez no longer in Kannapolis, it is time for two new hitters to take his place in Cannon Ballers fans’ minds. Misael González is one, and at the beginning of the season, you would be hard-pressed to find somebody who would have predicted this surge of power. In 36 games back in 2019, out of high school, González did not hit a home run — in fact, he only had five doubles. This season, in 26 games between the ACL and Low-A, González has hit seven homers and seven doubles, a real head-turning improvement. The best of the White Sox system is on the major league team and there is not much depth right now, so González should go from a non-Top 30 prospect to probably inside the Top 20 if he can continue this streak, or at least not plummet in the final month of games.

The second is a guy who has been there all along: Bryan Ramos. You would not know it because Rodríguez got the headlines, but Ramos has the same wRC+ (110) as Rodríguez did at the time of his promotion. Ramos just did it a bit differently. Ramos will take his walks with an 11% BB-rate, though he does strike out a bit too much (23.3%). Ramos shows some pop, with 19 non-homer extra-base hits and 10 homers, but the bat-to-ball skills are not as polished (.245 batting average). Ramos does not have much speed, though he does have 11 stolen bases, but that is probably more related to the new rules than anything. The most impressive thing is Ramos is doing this at 19, in full-season ball for the first time. That is usually the sign of a pretty good prospect, overperforming at a younger-than-average age.

MVP Ranks

José Rodríguez (104.7)
Luis Mieses (65.3)
Bryan Ramos (60.4)
Harvin Mendoza (27.6)
Samil Polanco (14.1)
DJ Gladney (13.2)
Caberea Weaver (12.4)

Cold Cat Ranks

Tyson Messer (-34.0)
Garvin Alston Jr. (-30.2)
Marcus Evey (-30.2)
Angel Acevedo (-29.1)
Yoelvin Silven (-28.0)
Ty Madrigal (-19.6)
Lency Delgado (-17.0)
Corey Stone (-15.7)
Anderson Comas (-14.6)
Drew Dalquist (-14.3)

ACL White Sox (13-21 - 12 1⁄2 GB)

Terrell Tatum .444 BA, 1 HR, 2 XBH, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K

Benyamin Bailey .273 BA, 1 XBH, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Wes Kath .294 BA, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K
Colson Montgomery .313 BA, 1 XBH, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
Jefferson Mendoza .286 BA, 1 XBH, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K
Logan Glass .273 BA, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
Ronaldo Guzman 2 13 IP, 15.43 ERA, 4 H, 5 BB, 4 K
Tanner McDougal 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K
Sean Burke 1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K
Cristian Mena 4 IP, 6.75 ERA, 4 H, 0 BB, 4 K

The 2021 draft has finally taken over the Arizona Complex League and all the top guys are there — and did well, oddly enough. Colson Montgomery hit better than .300, and Wes Kath hit his first professional homer. Tanner McDougal and Sean Burke debuted with shutout innings, and in McDougal’s case, he struck out every batter. However, no one could not compete with Terrell Tatum, the 16th round pick from the 2021 draft. In his first three games, Tatum has a 246 wRC+. It is three games so there is not much to see here, but it was a very impressive three games, capped off with his first professional homer.

MVP Ranks
Misael González (37.1)
Homer Cruz (13.5)
Wilber Sánchez (13.5)
Anderson Comas (12.9)
Wilfred Veras (12.1)
Rigo Fernández (11.7)
Dilmer Mejía (11.7)
Richard García (11.6)
Jefferson Mendoza (10.3)

Cold Cat Ranks

Elijah Tatís (-40.4)
Ronaldo Guzman (-24.3)
Brandon Jenkins (-13.7)
Cristian Mena (-12.8)
Deivi Diaz (-11.2)
Jacob Gilliland (-11.2)

DSL White Sox (11-14 - 7 GB)

Manuel Guariman .625 BA, 4 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 SB

Victor Quezada .353 BA, 2 XBH, 4 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 3 SB
Norge Vera 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K

MVP Ranks

Randel Mondesi (17.8)
Emerson Talavera (17.2)
Guillermo Cuevas (12.7)

Cold Cat Ranks

Arxy Hernández (-18.1)
Miguel Toribio (-13.1)
Alberto Bernal (-12.7)
Oriel Castro (-11.5)
Manuel Veloz (-10.9)
Carlos Jiménez (-10.0)
The Offense (-10.0)

White Sox Organizational All-Stars

Catcher Carlos Pérez, Birmingham Barons
First Base Gavin Sheets, Charlotte Knights
Second Base Yolbert Sánchez, Birmingham Barons
Third Base Jake Burger, Charlotte Knights
Shortstop José Rodríguez, Winston-Salem Dash (**Player MVP**)
Left Field Luis Mieses, Winston-Salem Dash
Center Field Misael González, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Right Field Alex Destino, Winston-Salem Dash
Designated Hitter Bryan Ramos, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Bench (SS/3B/1B) Tim Beckham, Charlotte Knights
Bench (RF) Micker Adolfo, Charlotte Knights
Bench (1B) Jameson Fisher, Birmingham Barons
Bench (1B-3B) Ti’quan Forbes, Charlotte Knights
Bench (OF) Mikie Mahtook, Charlotte Knights
Bench (2B) Jagger Rusconi, Winston-Salem Dash
Bench (2B) Marco Hernández, Charlotte Knights
Bench (3B) Luis Curbelo, Winston-Salem Dash
Bench (CF) Yoelqui Céspedes, Birmingham Barons
Bench (1B) Harvin Mendoza, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Left-Handed Starting Pitcher Taylor Varnell, Birmingham Barons (**Pitcher MVP**)
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Kade McClure, Charlotte Knights
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Mike Wright, Charlotte Knights
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Emilio Vargas, Birmingham Barons
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Johan Dominguez, Winston-Salem Dash

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher Emerson Talavera, DSL White Sox
Left-Handed Relief Pitcher Guillermo Cuevas, DSL White Sox

South Side Sox Writer Standings