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White Sox Minor League Monthly Update: August 2021

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Quite a few top prospects earned promotions last month, but Romy González led them all as he went from Double-A to MLB in a month, joining Gavin Sheets for the stretch run.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Milwaukee Brewers
Gavin Sheets is back up in MLB to punctuate is breakout year.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Knights (38-63 - 27 GB)

MVP
Gavin Sheets .303 BA, 4 HR, 11 XBH, 13 R, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 20 K (called up to the White Sox)

Jake Burger .191 BA, 4 HR, 7 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 15 K
Blake Rutherford .283 BA, 5 HR, 14 XBH, 17 R, 15 RBI, 3 BB, 22 K
Romy González Triple-A .344 BA, 3 HR, 7 XBH, 6 R, 10 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K (Double-A .315 BA, 5 HR, 8 XBH, 9 R, 7 RBI, 7 BB, 19 K) (called up to the White Sox)
Zack Collins .375 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K
Yermín Mercedes .244 BA, 4 HR, 6 XBH, 11 R, 11 RBI, 4 BB, 16 K
Micker Adolfo .320 BA, 2 HR, 7 XBH, 9 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 18 K
Jimmy Lambert 15 13 IP, 5.28 ERA, 10 H, 5 BB, 18 K
Kade McClure 17 IP, 9.00 ERA, 21 H, 7 BB, 16 K
Jace Fry 12 23 IP, 2.13 ERA, 6 H, 3 BB, 17 K

Gavin Sheets is back up in the majors after continuing to crush the ball wherever he is. The player who had a lot of raw power now has a lot of game power — whether he is in Charlotte or Chicago, Sheets is hitting dingers everywhere. Before 2021, Sheets’ highest ISO was .147 and a career high of 16 homers in Birmingham, which is where offense goes to die (well, at least before 2021). But Sheets just did not show enough power — the best skill he was supposed to have. Now he is sporting a .211 ISO in Charlotte and a .315 ISO in the majors, for a new career high of 19 homers with a month of games left to go. Sheets has even learned a new position, and for all of that, he deserved to be called up at the expense of Jake Lamb. Maybe the Sox have a guy who can be here awhile.

But Sheets wasn’t the only promotion of a player who can be here for awhile. Romy González had two promotions this month, and now, improbably, he is in the majors. Coming into this year, González was a prospect to watch, and continued to prove why he was throughout the year. He also changed positions this year, to shortstop, and has slotted in there just fine as he gets ready to become a super-utility player. But the biggest reason González is up with the White Sox is because of the bat. He has shown power in the past, like in 2018 at rookie ball but it has been much more impressive this season because that power is coming in Double-A and Triple-A. González has 23 homers on the year and has even added 22 stolen bases. He may not be on the playoff roster, but he could force the issue over Danny Mendick or Leury García if he does well enough in the final month for the Sox.

Both of these players, Sheets and González, should be on the White Sox roster for Opening Day in 2022.


Birmingham Barons (54-47 - 2 12 GA)

MVP
Yolbert Sánchez .280 BA, 4 HR, 6 R, 10 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 SB

Yoelqui Céspedes Double-A .267 BA, 3 XBH, 6 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K, 3 SB (High-A .324 BA, 2 HR, 9 XBH, 7 R, 7 RBI, 7 BB, 10 K, 2 SB)
Lenyn Sosa Double-A .190 BA, 5 XBH, 4 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 17 K (High-A .429 BA, 1 HR, 4 XBH, 7 R, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 0 K)
Caleb Freeman 11 IP, 1.64 ERA, 7 H, 3 BB, 17 K

Another player with a promotion this year in the MVP column is Yolbert Sánchez, who is now up in Birmingham and continues to hit well. Sánchez is at .345, and has added four homers to his season total. He is making a lot more contact in Double-A than he was with Winston-Salem. His walk rate is down about 4% and the K-rate is down about 3% as well, so more balls are in play and they are leading to more hits. Sánchez is pulling the ball a bit more, which would indicate better contact, but it should be noted that ground balls have gone slightly up, too, because he is not getting much gap power. His hits are mostly singles, with seven extra-base hits sprinkled in. That does not usually spell a sustainable streak, but this is the player Sánchez should be if he makes it to majors, a guy with a lot of contact but not much power, who plays good defense. Sánchez’s offensive prowess is BABIP dependent.


Winston-Salem Dash (38-63 - 30 12 GB)

MVP
Luis Mieses .293 BA, 5 HR, 16 XBH, 16 R, 19 RBI, 5 BB, 20 K

José Rodríguez .353 BA, 3 HR, 4 XBH, 10 R, 12 RBI, 4 BB, 11 K, 5 SB (Low-A .348 BA, 4 XBH, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K)
McKinley Moore 9 IP, 1.00 ERA, 6 H, 3 BB, 15 K

Luis Mieses also won the weekly MVP, so not much else to add besides reiterating that he is much better than he was at the beginning of the season. To note somebody else, McKinley Moore did pretty well in August. The 2019 14th round pick has struggled to keep runs off the board in both A-ball levels, with an ERA of more than 4.00. This month, he was much better with command and he has not had difficulty with strikeouts in the past. Moore has a long way to go and still a lot to prove, as he must keep his hits allowed down, but a K-rate near 35% is eye-popping and he is one relief prospect to watch going forward. The Sox have used him as a closer in both Kannapolis and with the Dash, so they view him as a potential late-inning option.


Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (27-69 - 32 GB)

MVP
Bryan Ramos .256 BA, 2 HR, 7 XBH, 5 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K

James Beard: .185 BA, 2 HR, 4 XBH, 10 R, 4 RBI, 12 BB, 39 K
Misael González .193 BA, 2 HR, 4 XBH, 9 R, 6 RBI, 6 BB, 21 K
Chase Krogman .161 BA, 3 HR, 4 XBH, 11 BB, 30 K, 1 SB
Drew Dalquist 21 IP, 3.00 ERA, 19 H, 16 BB, 27 K
Jared Kelley 8 IP, 4.50 ERA, 5 H, 7 BB, 8 K (Injured)
Sean Burke Low-A 2 IP, 4.50 ERA, 0 H, 3 BB, 4 K (ACL 3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K)
Matthew Thompson 22 IP, 6.14 ERA, 25 H, 10 BB, 24 K


ACL White Sox (18-27 - 14 GB)

MVP
Wilfred Veras .286 BA, 2 HR, 13 XBH, 9 R, 15 RBI, 10 BB, 18 K, 2 SB

Wes Kath .232 BA, 2 HR, 10 R, 11 RBI, 4 BB, 26 K
Benyamin Bailey .244 BA, 1 HR, 2 XBH, 7 R, 2 RBI, 11 BB, 12 K
Colson Montgomery .233 BA, 5 XBH, 13 R, 1 RBI, 10 BB, 14 K
Tanner McDougal 5 IP, 3.60 ERA, 3 H, 1 BB, 10 K
Cristian Mena 15 IP, 6.00 ERA, 20 H, 6 BB, 15 K


DSL White Sox (15-20 - 11 12 GB)

MVP
Emerson Talavera 16 13 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 H, 4 BB, 17 K

Manuel Guariman .354 BA, 1 XBH, 9 R, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
Victor Quezada .327 BA, 2 HR, 8 XBH, 13 R, 8 RBI, 12 BB, 13 K, 7 SB
Norge Vera 5 23 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 2 BB, 10 K