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White Sox Minor League Monthly Update: July 2022

Mark Payton, Oscar Colás, Ben Norman, Jared Kelley, Dario Borrero, and Loidel Chapelli Jr. earn MVPs

Jared Kelley (center-right) has stepped out of the pack of young, promising White Sox pitchers with a phenomenal July.

Charlotte Knights

Romy González: (did not play last month, begins ACL rehab in August)
Micker Adolfo: .244/.333/.444 — 2 HR, 6 BB, 15 K, 5 R, 5 RBI, 4 SB
Yolbert Sánchez: .237/.275/.329 — 2 HR, 4 BB, 17 K, 5 R, 5 RBI, 3 SB
Carlos Pérez: .188/.250/.338 — 4 HR, 4 BB, 8 K, 9 R, 11 RBI, 1 SB
Mark Payton: .322/.354/.578 — 4 HR, 4 BB, 15 K, 15 R, 16 RBI, 2 SB **Monthly MVP**
Jaker Burger: .263/.333/.263 - 2 BB, 4 K
Lenyn Sosa: .224/.259/.303 — 3 BB, 20 K, 6 R, 5 RBI, 2 SB
Bennett Sousa: 7 23 IP, 8.22 ERA, 1 BB, 11 K
Kade McClure: 10 13 IP, 4.35 ERA, 3 BB, 14 K

Yes, Mark Payton is the Charlotte MVP for the month of July, but let’s be honest here, that is more because this team is devoid of much talent. The top prospects here are Lenyn Sosa and Yolbert Sánchez. Jake Burger is also here, so that gives them an OK top three in the lineup. After that, it is a lot of career minor leaguers and then some guys, like Payton, who got a cup of coffee in MLB but probably should not get back there.

On the pitching side, Charlotte is pretty bad, with very few players there that deserve to get a chance to the majors. That is why the White Sox went out and signed more UDFAs than most of the league. They need younger talent, and they need to try and find some hope. In total, they drafted 12 pitchers and signed six more, for an influx of 18 arms into their system. The lower minors do have some guys on the mound to watch out for, but none are in Charlotte, with the closest being in Birmingham in Sean Burke. They will still need to work on position players, but pitching was the pressing need — and you do not need to look any further than the Charlotte staff to see that.

Birmingham Barons

José Rodríguez: .309/.387/.468 — 1 HR, 12 BB, 12 K, 21 R, 17 RBI, 16 SB
Yoelqui Céspedes: .272/.392/.457 — 2 HR, 11 BB, 28 K, 13 R, 13 RBI, 10 SB
Oscar Colás: Double-A: .390/.468/.805 — 5 HR, 4 BB, 11 K, 12 R, 11 RBI **Monthly MVP** (High-A: .296/.387/.333 - 3 BB, 6 K, 3 R, 4 RBI, 1 SB)
Jason Bilous: 18 IP, 4.50 ERA, 11 BB, 21 K (promoted to Charlotte at end of July)
Sean Burke: 18 23 IP, 7.71 ERA, 11 BB, 27 K
Caleb Freeman: (started rehab assignment in the ACL on July 29)

It took a while for Oscar Colás to get that promotion to Double-A, and he seemed to indicate it took far too long. When he finally got there on July 12, Colás looked like he belonged Triple-A. In his first few weeks with the Barons, he has a 228 wRC+ thanks to a .415 ISO — very Luis Robert of him. That will come down, as he is not going to hit five homers every 11 games, and he does have a .440 BABIP right now, too. So, watch Colás’ plate discipline, because that is always most important. His K-rate steadily fell as the season went on in High-A, and it is a bit up right now in a small sample. As long as it stays near his High-A rate, 8.2% BB-rate and 20.1 % K-rate, it will be a good sign that Colás is ready for something more. Whether he gets to Triple-A or MLB this year, Colás at least is looking like a top prospect right now, and the Sox need that in their outfield.

In addition to Colás, José Rodríguez and Yoelqui Céspedes were pretty good last month. Rodríguez showed better gap power, and Céspedes walked a good deal more than he normally does.

Winston-Salem Dash

Bryan Ramos: .284/.359/.494 — 5 HR, 8 BB, 20 K, 16 R, 20 RBI
Colson Montgomery: .265/.414/.368 — 2 HR, 15 BB, 13 K, 11 R, 5 RBI, 1 SB
Luis Míeses: .299/.337/.494 — 3 HR, 5 BB, 20 K, 14 R, 16 RBI
Duke Ellis: .211/.378/.289 — 17 BB, 28 K, 16 R, 3 RBI, 12 SB
Ben Norman: .342/.390/.658 - 7 HR, 6 BB, 23 K, 14 R, 18 RBI, 1 SB **Monthly MVP**
Drew Dalquist: 418 13 IP, 9.33 ERA, 11 BB, 11 K
Cristian Mena: 22 IP, 5.32 ERA, 13 BB, 25 K
Matthew Thompson: 20 IP, 4.95 ERA, 6 BB, 13 K

Ben Norman has been a nice addition to the minor leagues for the Sox. He was signed in the offseason after a really good stint in independent ball with Great Falls, the Pioneer League team that used to be a rookie league team in the White Sox organization. Norman started in the ACL and got the call-up right to the Dash and has just been awesome, especially in July, where Norman has hit seven homers and has an ISO of .260 in just 26 games. Now, he is older, he was not drafted and really wasn’t an undrafted free agent either since he was signed in November — so calling Norman a true prospect to watch might be getting ahead of ourselves. But still, it was a fun month for him. With the 2022 draft class getting into the organization, maybe Norman gets a shot in Double-A before the year is out.

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Wes Kath: .224/.330/.289 — 13 BB, 28 K, 12 R, 6 RBI
Wilfred Veras: .280/.306/.484 — 6 HR, 2 BB, 27 K, 15 R, 17 RBI, 2 SB
Jared Kelley: 22 23 IP, 1.99 ERA, 10 BB, 21 K **Monthly MVP**
Norge Vera: 14 IP, 1.29 ERA, 9 BB, 25 K
Kohl Simas: 9 IP, 4.00 ERA, 3 BB, 8 K

Well, well, well, just go and look at Drew Dalquist’s and Matthew Thompson’s July stats and compare them to Jared Kelley. It is clear which pitcher should be getting everybody’s eyes going forward. Last month, Kelley had quite a few starts that would be categorized as the best starts of his career — until the next time he went out to set a new pro high! His walks are still high, as an 11.2% walk rate is not fantastic but much better than where he was at. Same with his 23.6% K-rate in July; that is up, but not where it needs to be. After last season, the bar was very low for Kelley, but he has shown improvement with command and isn’t allowing hits. He has a .165 batting average against, so even though he is not striking opposing batters out like he should, the job is still getting done. The last two months will be key for Kelley going forward, although a promotion probably is not happening in 2022.

ACL White Sox

Victor Quezada: .161/.254/.161 — 8 BB, 34 K, 4 R, 2 RBI
Manuel Guariman: .111/.138/.111 — 0 BB, 6 K, 2 RBI
Dario Borrero: .284/.333/.343 — 3 BB, 18 K, 6 R, 4 RBI **Monthly MVP**
Yohemy Nolasco: 15 23 IP, 5.74 ERA, 4 BB, 10 K

DSL White Sox

Erick Hernández: .180/.271/.197 — 4 BB, 20 K, 5 R, 5 RBI, 1 SB
Loidel Chapelli Jr.: .355/.467/.790 — 4 HR, 12 BB, 8 K, 18 R, 16 RBI, 4 SB **Monthly MVP**
Guillermo Rodríguez: .235/.288/.324 — 4 BB, 14 K, 7 R, 5 RBI, 2 SB
Ryan Burrowes: .262/.377/.431 — 2 HR, 11 BB, 14 K, 15 R, 7 RBI, 5 SB
Marcelo Valladares: 1 IP, 18.00 ERA, 0 BB, 1 K