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White Sox Minor League Weekly Update: May 16-22

Yolbert Sánchez and Lenyn Sosa earn MVP nods as they look to push a promotion, while Terrell Tatum hits .750 for the Dash and Colson Montgomery continues his great season.

When will Yolbert Sánchez get his chance in Chicago?
Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

Charlotte Knights

Romy González: (Did not play last week)
Seby Zavala: .222/.333/.611 — 2 HR, 3 BB, 11 K, 5 R
Danny Mendick: .222/.333/.444 - 1 HR, 2 BB, 9 K, 5 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB
Micker Adolfo: .313/.313/.563 — 0 BB, 7 K, 2 R, 1 RBI
Yolbert Sánchez: .429/.478/.667 - 1 HR, 2 BB, 4 K, 6 R, 6 RBI **Weekly MVP**
Yermín Mercedes: .091/.294/.667 — 3 BB, 1 K
Carlos Pérez: .250/.318/.400 - 1 HR, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 R, 4 RBI
Jake Burger: .143/.182/.429 - 2 HR, 1 BB, 7 K, 5 RBI
Kade McClure: 4 23 IP, 9.00 ERA, 1 BB, 3 K
Jimmy Lambert: 1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 BB, 0 K
Davis Martin: MLB: 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 1 BB, 7 K ... AAA: 3 IP, 18.00 ERA, 2 BB, 4 K

Welcome to the It’s Past Time These Players Get Promoted edition of the weekly update.

Concidentally, the Charlotte MVP, Yolbert Sánchez, is the guy that should be promoted. First, he would be taking at-bats away from Josh Harrison (64 wRC+) and Leury García (41 wRC+), so that alone should be an improvement.

But beyond replacing replacement players in the majors, for what Sánchez is actually doing this year though, he certainly deserves his chance. At the time of his promotion to Charlotte, Sánchez had a 157 wRC+ in Double-A, and that has dipped a bit with the Knights to 121 wRC+. Nevertheless, he is still producing numbers in typical Sánchez fashion. He is reliant on batted balls, and he has a .385 BABIP right now off the back of singles, 21 compared to just five extra-base hits. He is striking out more in Triple-A (16.5%) but is still walking at a decent clip (for him), a 7.7% BB-rate. MLB could end up being overwhelming for Sánchez, but he has to be better than Harrison and García, right?

Birmingham Barons

José Rodríguez: .292/.370/.333 — 3 BB, 6 K, 4 R, 2 RBI, 4 SB
Lenyn Sosa: .444/.444/.815 — 3 HR, 0 BB, 3 K, 4 R, 9 RBI **Weekly MVP**
Yoelqui Céspedes: .350/.250/.438 — 1 HR, 0 BB, 6 K, 2 R, 1 SB
Jason Bilous: 4 IP, 15.75 ERA, 2 BB, 4 K
Sean Burke: 5 IP, 3.60, 2 BB, 8 K
Caleb Freeman: (Did not pitch last week)

Charlotte has enough infielders that they could weather Yolbert Sánchez being called up, but Lenyn Sosa should be the first guy up regardless, as he earns another weekly MVP — and this time packing a bit more power. He hit three of his nine homers this past week, to bump up his ISO to .226 and his wRC+ to 171 for the year. In every respect, this is a breakout season for Sosa. The power is at career highs, and the walk and strikeout rates are bests since rookie ball. The plate approach is the big difference that explains how Sosa has become a great hitter in 38 games, but he is also driving the ball more. Sosa’s home run power will probably decrease, as those homers peter into doubles, but that should not diminish what he has become. Sosa is a prospect to watch, and a guy that might earn a shot at MLB if he continues this pace when he is eventually promoted to the Knights.

Winston-Salem Dash

Oscar Colás: .214/.290/.429 - 1 HR, 3 BB, 6 K, 3 R, 5 RBI
Bryan Ramos: .278/.316/.333 — 1 BB, 2 K, 2 R, 5 RBI
Luis Míeses: .423/.464/.538 — 2 BB, 4 K, 3 R, 4 RBI
Terrell Tatum: .750/.800/1.250 - 1 HR, 3 BB, 1 K, 6 R, 8 RBI, 1 SB **Weekly MVP**
Duke Ellis: .333/.462/.476 - 1 HR, 4 BB, 5 K, 9 R, 4 RBI, 5
Adam Hackenberg: .235/.278/.294 — 0 BB, 4 K, 1 RBI
Drew Dalquist: 8 IP, 3.38 ERA, 7 BB, 8 K
Matthew Thompson: 4 13 IP, 10.38 ERA, 3 BB, 4 K

Of the bunch in Winston-Salem, Oscar Colás is probably the most likely to get promoted, but he is not the MVP this week. That belongs to Terrell Tatum. He started out in Kannapolis and was promoted after 10 great games (179 wRC+). He is pretty much doing the same thing in Winston-Salem (170 wRC+) after his outstanding week. He is a high-walk and high-strikeout player, and that will be key going forward. A strikeout rate of more than 30%, on its face, is not good, but the current 18% BB-rate Tatum is sporting does mitigate how bad the Ks look. It is one of the three things to keep an eye on as Tatum looks to keep his hot streak going. But there are some others factors to keep a close eye on. A BABIP better than .500 is just plain unsustainable, made even more so as Tatum’s ground ball rate is near 60%. He also is not pulling the ball in Winston-Salem, with a 45.5% oppo rate — that also indicates he is getting lucky. Tatum’s offensive numbers are going to come down, so the question is by how much, and will his power come around as well.

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Misael González: .000/.231/.000 — 2 BB, 7 K, 2 R, 2 SB
Colson Montgomery: .318/.464/.545 - 1 HR, 5 BB, 6 K, 4 R, 4 RBI **Weekly MVP**
Wes Kath: .286/.333/.429 — 1 HR, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 R, 3 RBI
Wilfred Veras: .364/.391/.409 — 1 BB, 7 K, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB
Jared Kelley: 1 13 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 1 K
Cristian Mena: 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 BB, 8 K
Kohl Simas: 6 IP, 1.50 ERA, 1 BB, 6 K

Promotions for Low-A are probably not around the corner, even for top prospects, though a pitcher like Kohl Simas could see some time in Winston-Salem sooner than others. Hitting-wise, promotions are probably not happening even with Colson Montgomery’s stats indicating he would deserve one. The 2021 first round draft pick has a 139 wRC+ for the season after a week in which he hit his second professional homer. Montgomery’s plate approach is still great, with a 13% BB-rate and a 22% K-rate; the strikeouts maybe are a little high, but that is really assuming the K-rate goes up as he gets promoted. If it stays right at or around 22% and Montgomery is in Double-A, that is a-OK. He is still a gap power player and that should improve as Montgomery ages, as his 6´4´´, 205-pound frame certainly indicates that his ISO should be more than .161. But he is just 20, so he has a long way to go to reach his potential.

A quick note on Cristian Mena: His six shutout innings last week lowered his ERA to 1.97 on the year.