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White Sox Weekly Minor League Update: July 4-10, 2022

The weekly MVPS: Zach Remillard, José Rodríguez, Cristian Mena, Andy Atwood, Yohemy Nolasco, and Loidel Chapelli Jr.

Colorado Rockies v Chicago White Sox
Zach Remillard is no longer just an org guy, as a huge wRC+ jump makes him a possible utilityman call-up in the MLB season’s second half.
Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Charlotte Knights

Romy González: (Did not play last week)
Micker Adolfo: .211/.318/.421 — 1 HR, 3 BB, 8 K, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB
Yolbert Sánchez: .294/.333/.294 — 1 BB, 4 K, 1 R
Carlos Pérez: .176/.263/.176 — 2 BB, 1 K
Zach Remillard: .316/.409/.632 — 1 HR, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB **Weekly MVP**
Lenyn Sosa: .100/.250/.100 — 2 BB, 4 K
Bennett Sousa: 2 IP, 22.50 ERA, 2 BB, 3 K
Kade McClure: 2 IP, 4.50 ERA, 0 BB, 3 K
Davis Martin: 4 IP, 4.50 ERA, 2 BB, 7 K

Zach Remillard is the prototypical career minor leaguer. He was drafted in 2016 and has steadily moved up the organization to Triple-A, where he now has a full season worth of games under his belt. He also usually struggles in his first go-around at a new level, and that happened with him last year in Charlotte. He has gone from a 72 wRC+ to a 112 right now. The strikeouts are down to a new low of 20.4%, and he is walking more than ever, too (12.5%). Better plate discipline always leads to a better year, which is why some fans wondered why Remillard wasn’t sent up in Lenyn Sosa’s place to avoid needlessly burning an option for a top prospect. Remillard is more of a contact hitter with a low ISO — a .126 in Charlotte is not very good, but the .282 batting average is decent, coupled with that increased walk rate. I am not sure if an MLB at-bat is ever in the cards, but Remillard is at least producing enough that he should at least be talked about as an option for short-term situations.

Birmingham Barons

José Rodríguez: .375/.400/.542 — 1 BB, 2 K, 3 R, 4 RBI, 3 SB **Weekly MVP**
Yoelqui Céspedes: .278/.409/.444 — 3 BB, 8 K, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 SB
Jason Bilous: 2 IP, 13.50 ERA, 5 BB, 1 K
Sean Burke: 3 13 IP, 13.50 ERA, 4 BB, 5 K
Caleb Freeman: (Did not pitch last week)

José Rodríguez earns the weekly MVP nod with another great week at the plate, this time with a couple more extra-base hits. He is still only working with that one homer on the season, way back on April 21, but his wRC+ has steadily climbed the past month and is at 81 on the year right now. He is not necessarily making up for the lack of power, but Rodríguez is using his legs to turn those singles to doubles at a pretty good clip, with 27 stolen bases in 33 chances. However, he is just supposed to be more than what he has shown this year, and even over the past few weeks. The bat is getting on the ball more often, but even that clip above features a double that is not a very inspiring. A 56.2% ground ball rate is not good, and the plurality of batted balls, like that double, heads to the opposite field, which is probably a big reason for the lack of homers. Maybe José’s wide batting stance is not working out as well against better pitching, and might need some retooling in the offseason.

Winston-Salem Dash

Oscar Colás: .368/.400/.421 — 2 BB, 3 K, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB (promoted to Double-A)
Bryan Ramos: .111/.273/.278 — 1 HR, 4 BB, 5 K, 2 R, 5 RBI
Colson Montgomery: .267/.455/.267 — 5 BB, 2 K, 3 R, 2 RBI
Luis Míeses: .368/.400/.526 — 1 BB, 5 K, 4 R, 3 RBI
Duke Ellis: .235/.364/.353 — 4 BB, 3 K, 5 R, 1 RBI, 3 SB
Drew Dalquist: 4 IP, 6.75 ERA, 1 BB, 2 K
Cristian Mena: 10 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 BB, 11 K **Weekly MVP**
Matthew Thompson: 4 IP, 11.25 ERA, 2 BB, 0 K

Cristian Mena has been the breakout star on the pitching side of White Sox prospects. His command and curveball put him on notice in Kannapolis, and helped get him his much-deserved promotion to Winston-Salem. Some of his command has faltered as the season goes on (a 3.5% increase in walks and 8.3% decrease in strikeouts), but the results are still there — two shutout outings this week, of five innings each. As a pitcher, you can live well spotting your fastball and getting good break on a curve or a slider, leading to the type of success that Mena has shown so far. As he moves up, that low-90s fastball and a below-average changeup might become an issue. It will remain to be seen how much velocity Mena can add to his fastball, but the command should improve overall. He is just 19 years old, after all, so he has some time to figure those two issues out.

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Wes Kath: .158/.273/.158 — 3 BB, 7 K, 3 R, 1 RBI
Andy Atwood: .455/.625/1.091 — 2 HR, 3 BB, 1 K, 3 R, 4 RBI, 1 SB **Weekly MVP**
Wilfred Veras: .150/.190/.450 — 2 HR, 0 BB, 12 K, 4 RBI
Jared Kelley: 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 2 K
Norge Vera: 3 23 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 8 K
Kohl Simas: 2 IP, 4.50 ERA, 2 BB, 2 K

Andy Atwood was signed about a week-and-a-half ago and did an immediate Tyler Neslony impressing, supplying some big hits for Kannapolis. He already has three homers in 10 games and has walked more (four) than struck out (three). Not sure which one is more impressive these days, three Ks or three homers in 10 games. Atwood is not a prospect, and he already is 25, but it is a nice story to see a guy come off the street and be successful right away.

ACL White Sox

Victor Quezada: .133/.222/.133 — 2 BB, 10 K, 1 R, 2 RBI
Manuel Guariman: 0-for-8, 0 BB, 0 K (two games played)
Dario Borrero: .389/.389/.444 — 0 BB, 4 K, 3 R
Yohemy Nolasco: 6 23 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 5 K **Weekly MVP**

DSL White Sox

Erick Hernández: .182/.231/.182 — 1 BB, 3 K, 1 R, 3 RBI
Loidel Chapelli Jr.: .211/.286/.526 — 2 HR, 2 BB, 4 K, 3 R, 4 RBI **Weekly MVP**
Guillermo Rodríguez: 0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 K (one game played)
Ryan Burrowes: .200/.273/.300 — 2 BB, 5 K, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB
Marcelo Valladares: (Did not pitch)