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Tim Elko blowing bubbles, probably after a homer.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

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White Sox Minor League Player of the Month (March/April): Tim Elko

The first base masher continued to show great power in Low-A last month

White Sox Minor League Player of the Month

Tim Elko .351/.407/.623 — 6 HR, 11 R, 25 RBI, 8 BB, 26 K

Tim Elko should probably get a promotion soon, Baseball-Reference has him 3.1 years older than his peers and, well, he’s just crushing the pitching he sees. So, not only does it make sense with his age, he put up the numbers to justify it, even this early.

At Ole Miss in 2022, he left with a .300/.407/.623 line, and take a look at what he did in April with Kannapolis — it is practically the same line. The power was really never in question, as he has a .273 ISO currently. What is questionable is the plate discipline, and a 30% K-rate doesn’t show enough improvement — yet. That is why Elko getting promoted to the Dash should happen today; make him prove it against better, more polished, pitching.

Charlotte Knights

Davis Martin 16 IP, 2.81 ERA, 7 BB, 20 K (currently on the IL)
Sean Burke 5 2⁄3 IP, 9.53 ERA, 6 BB, 5 K
Franklin German 11 1⁄3 IP, 7.15 ERA, 9 BB, 16 K
Nicholas Padilla 10 1⁄3 IP, 5.23 ERA, 8 BB, 13 K
Carlos Pérez .256/.312/.512, 6 HR, 10 R, 10 RBI, 7 BB, 11 K
Zach Remillard .293/.414/.476, 3 HR, 18 R, 12 RBI, 16 BB, 13 K, 6 SB

Zach Remillard was the best player last month for Charlotte. He had a 132 wRC+ with a fantastic walk rate (16.2%). He actually walked (16) more than he struck out (13), and while he’s not the only Sox minor-leaguer to do this, he’s the one who actually hit, as well. Remillard has been in this organization since 2016, and his last two season have been really good in Charlotte. If the White Sox do blow up their MLB roster, Remillard will probably get some time on the South Side.

On the prospect spotlight, Davis Martin pitched really well — when he was healthy. The strikeouts are great right now, closer to his Double-A numbers last year. The walks are high, and he needs to get them down, but Martin is actually getting batters out on batted balls right now. His BABIP in Triple-A in 2022 was .363, and right now it is way down to .235 after this first month. When healthy, Martin remains the sixth starter in the organization.

Birmingham Barons

Matt Thompson 19 1⁄3 IP, 4.19 ERA, 16 BB, 24 K
Cristian Mena 19 IP, 4.26 ERA, 6 BB, 31 K
Adam Hackenberg .216/.286/.275, 1 HR, 6 R, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 13 K, 1 SB
Bryan Ramos .225/.279/.375, 3 HR, 8 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 15 K (currently on the IL)
José Rodríguez .218/.279/.345, 2 HR,7 R, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K, 1 SB (currently on the IL)
Yoelqui Céspedes .231/.398/.354, 2 HR, 10 R, 7 RBI, 15 BB, 27 K, 3 SB
Luis Mieses .286/.310/.311, 7 R, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 23 K

On a team full of the injuried and underperforming, Yoelqui Céspedes separated himself enough to get the Double-A nod for best Barons player in April. He rode a staggering 18.1% BB-rate to a near-.400 OBP. The reason why that is staggering is because his 6.5% BB-rate in Low-A back in 2021 is his career high. Last season, over a bigger sample size, Céspedes walked just 5.7% of the time. However, 2023’s newfound patience is not helping his contact rate. Céspedes has a 32.5% K-rate, which would be a new professional high — and his power is lower compared to the last two seasons. Let’s hope he can put those last two items together the rest of the season; even if his walks fall, it would be a big boost to the extreme lack of outfield depth if in the organization.

Winston-Salem Dash

Jonathan Cannon 21 1⁄3 IP, 4.22 ERA, 7 BB, 18 K
Drew Dalquist 6 2⁄3 IP, 12.15 ERA, 2 BB, 9 K
Jared Kelley 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 2 K
Kohl Simas 13 IP, 2.77 ERA, 7 BB, 17 K
Norge Vera 1 1⁄3 IP, 13.50 ERA, 6 BB, 3 K (currently on the IL)
Tommy Sommer 12 IP, 0.75 ERA, 7 BB, 18 K
Loidel Chapelli Jr. .308/.419/.577, 2 HR, 13 R, 14 RBI, 9 BB, 16 K, 3 SB
Wes Kath .203/.254/.373, 2 HR, 9 R, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 28 K
Colson Montgomery IL all season
Wilfred Veras .307/.325/.533, 3 HR, 9 R, 13 RBI, 3 BB, 20 K, 4 SB
Terrell Tatum .300/.447/.533, 2 HR, 18 R, 14 RBI, 16 BB, 19 K, 9 SB

You might think hey, Loidel Chapelli Jr. and Wilfred Veras won the first two MiLB Player of the weeks, so one of them has to be the winner here in Winston-Salem. Nope.

It is pretty much a tie between Terrell Tatum and Tommy Sommer, two players who really never struggled week-to-week or start-to-start.

For Tatum, he is showing exactly what we wanted to see this season. His power is up, though more of that is gap power (six doubles and a triple mark almost equal his nine singles). Tatum’s walks are still high, which was not in question, but something we still want to see continue as he moves up the system. The strikeouts are down and his 24.1% rate right now would be a career low. Not sure when he gets a look at Double-A, as he did miss a lot of games after getting suspended last season. But Tatum is doing everything he needs to right now.

To a lesser “prospect” extent, Sommer is doing everything he should be as well, and if Elko had one or two fewer homers, maybe this southpaw is the Player of the Month. He only allowed one run over 12 innings in April, for a 0.75 ERA. That low ERA comes in large part to a near 40% K-rate, which is astronomical for him. The walks are high, pretty much double than last year right now, but Sommer is working out of any trouble because 93.8% of the runners on base are left there. Plus, a 52.4% opposite-field rate on batted balls shows a lack of quality contact so far. Sommer is one to keep an eye on if the strikeouts are anywhere near this level going forward. He should move to Double-A soon, as this is his second full professional season.

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Shane Murphy: 15 IP, 2.40 ERA, 2 BB, 19 K
Billy Seidl: 9 1⁄3 IP, 0.96 ERA, 5 BB, 14 K, 5 saves
Tanner McDougal: 9 1⁄3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 6 BB, 12 K
Peyton Pallette: 12 1⁄3 IP, 2.92 ERA, 6 BB, 10 K
Tyler Schweitzer: 15 IP, 3.60 ERA, 2 BB, 17 K
Noah Schultz: IL all season
Jordan Sprinkle: .254/.356/.365, 11 R, 8 RBI, 8 BB, 16 K, 3 SB
Tim Elko: Player of the Month

Others besides Elko who did well in Kannapolis? The pitching staff. The arms are why the Cannon Ballers got off to a good start (12-7). Shane Murphy is a big part of that, the 14th round selection in the 2022 draft is showing great command and great strikeout ability. The lefty has been one of the surprises so far in the system. Two other starters that have done really well are Tanner McDougal and Peyton Pallette. Both pitchers are coming off of injury-lost 2022 seasons and will be on a strict innings limit this year. They might not even record a quality start because of it. McDougal is pitching better overall, but both are showing their rust right now, with six walks each. Still, McDougal had not allowed a run and Pallette recorded a sub-3.00 ERA in April. You could ask for better command from this pair, but really could not ask for better overall results.


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