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White Sox Minor League Weekly Update: May 2 - 8

Carlos Pérez, Lenyn Sosa, Harvin Mendoza, and DJ Gladney get the MVPs of the week as Davis Martin and Sean Burke both get promoted.

@TiffW96

Charlotte Knights

Romy González: (Did not play last week, on IL)
Seby Zavala: .400/.429/.700 — 1 HR, 1 BB, 9 K, 4 R, 3 RBI
Micker Adolfo: .143/.143/.357 — 1 HR, 0 BB, 8 K, 2 R, 4 RBI
Yolbert Sánchez: .318/.318/.364 - 0 BB, 4 K, 2 R, 2 RBI
Yermín Mercedes: .250/.357/.250 — 1 BB, 4 K, 2 R, 2 RBI
Carlos Pérez: .333/.368/.778 - 2 HR, 1 BB, 1 K, 4 R, 6 RBI **Weekly MVP*
Emilio Vargas: 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0 BB, 5 K
Kade McClure: 4 23 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 3 K
Davis Martin: 6 IP, 3.00 ERA, 1 BB, 4 K
Johnny Cueto: 3 23 IP, 9.82 ERA, 1 BB, 3 K

It was a promotion kind of week last week and two Barons are now up in Charlotte. First was Lincoln Henzman, who we won’t spend a lot of time on, but he is a converted starter turned late-inning reliever this year. He has a 1.64 ERA at the time of his promotion to Double-A with two saves. The guy we will spend some time with is Davis Martin, who is still kicking it as a starting pitcher.

He had his first start in Triple-A last week and was pretty good in it. He did allow a couple of homers though but they were solo shots. That is something to keep an eye on, but his command has been good this year so far so he hasn’t been burned yet with men on base. He left Double-A with a good jump in strikeouts, 32.4%, and a BB rate similar to pre-pandemic. So he seems to be back on that groove after the 2020 hiatus.

There’s a glut of Sox pitchers that probably are not Major Leaguers but the depth just is not there if the Sox lose another SP for a long period of time, it could be that Martin can put himself into that conversation along with Kade McClure, and Emilio Vargas.


Birmingham Barons

José Rodríguez: .267/.313/.333 — 1 BB, 1 K, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB
Lenyn Sosa: .423/.464/.808 — 2 HR, 1 BB, 3 K, 7 R, 7 RBI **Weekly MVP**
Yoelqui Céspedes: .143/.143/.143 — 0 BB, 2 K, 1 R, 1 RBI
Jason Bilous: 8 IP, 7.88 ERA, 4 BB, 8 K
Caleb Freeman: 2 IP, 4.50 ERA, 5 BB, 3 K

Lenyn Sosa had quite the week and has had quite the start to his 2022 campaign. He has a 167 wRC+ right now and is showing aspects in his game we have not seen until this season. As the video above states, he already has five homers in just 26 games played. He does have the same amount of doubles and triples as he does homers, so that .204 is really homer dependent and a 15.6% HR per fly ball rate is high, especially for him, so take it with a grain of salt right now. But it is a trend this year that he is just having better at-bats than ever before.

The walks are still up and at a healthy rate for any kind of player (9.2%) but the K-rate is what is the most exciting. His 14.2% strikeout rate is his best since Rookie-Ball so he is clearly very comfortable at the plate right now. All of that should lead to better contact and more homers and you can see that in the increase in pull rate to 44.3% to go along with that high ISO. In sum, he is hitting the ball hard, it is going far, and he’s seeing the ball really well right now in general.


Winston-Salem Dash

Oscar Colás: (Did not play last week)
Bryan Ramos: .385/.448/.692 — 2 HR, 3 BB, 3 K, 6 R, 6 RBI
Luis Míeses: .158/.200/.211 — 1 BB, 1 K, 2 R, 2 RBI
Adam Hackenberg: .364/.462/.636 — 1 HR, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 R, 2 RBI
Harvin Mendoza: .429/.467/.786 - 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 K, 4 R, 2 RBI **Weekly MVP**
Drew Dalquist: 2 23 IP, 16.87 ERA, 3 BB, 2 K
Matthew Thompson: 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0 BB, 4 K
Sean Burke: 4 23 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 BB, 4 K

Sean Burke went out and threw 4 23 shutout innings on Sunday, and immediately got the promotion, sounds like a pretty good day. He is steadily rising up the prospect ranks and the minor league system after he was drafted last year with great play at each level. When the mid-season rankings come around, he may even be the highest-rated White Sox starting pitcher. In 28 High-A innings, Burke had great results with a 2.89 ERA but there were still some concerning things and FIP caught on to that.

First, strikeouts are down, but he only pitched 17 innings last year so it is hard to compare. The walk rate at 10.6% is a little high, but it is actually down from last year. The most concerning thing is the fly ball percentage which is over 50% compared to a ground ball rate at around 30%.

That batted ball profile does not scream success but it still led to a good ERA. He will be up against much better competition in Birmingham, though, so he will need to get batted balls on the ground to be good, or he will run into trouble quickly.


Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Misael González: .200/.333/.533 — 1 HR, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB
Colson Montgomery: (Did not play last week)
Wes Kath: .381/.435/.571 — 1 BB, 7 K, 4 R, 3 RBI
Wilfred Veras: .250/.294/.250 — 1 BB, 5 K, 3 R, 2 RBI
DJ Gladney: .333/.385/.708 - 2 HR, 2 BB, 8 K, 5 R, 8 RBI **Weekly MVP**
Jared Kelley: 2 23 IP, 10.12 ERA, 4 BB, 2 K
Cristian Mena: 4 23 IP, 3.86 ERA, 3 BB, 9 K

DJ Gladney has had a bit of an odd year, with very high highs this entire season and that happened again last week as he rode two good games to the weekly MVP. Really, he had eight hits over seven days but all eight came in just two of the six games played. Unfortunately, that will happen for a player that strikes out 34.5% of the time which he is doing right now. That has improved from last year, but he will need to get better bat-to-ball skills if he wants to be consistent, and being consistent separates good players from the not-so-good.

He is showing more power right now and at 6’3” and 195 pounds, he certainly has even more untapped raw power. Though he could do to hit some more fly balls, he is hitting more grounders right now, when he actually hits a pitch. Still, improvement is still an improvement, and being a high school draft pick that missed an entire season sure can stunt development. Hopefully, he can figure it out.