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Bryce Willits had a massive week, getting on base more than 50% of the time.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

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White Sox Minor League Player of the Week (May 9-15): Bryce Willits

An unheralded prospect got on base more than 50% of the time — that’s going to earn a weekly MVP

Around the System

Last week was a really heavy Charlotte week, and this week was no different. Garrett Crochet is now in Charlotte on a rehab assignment, while Jake Burger finished his. Lenyn Sosa is back with the Knights as well as Alex Colomé and Carlos Pérez. Meanwhile, Jake Marisnick is with the big club along with Nicholas Padilla. Bryan Shaw is now in Triple-A as well, with Lincoln Henzman demoted to Double-A.

Also in Birmingham is Victor Torres. He takes the place of Tyler Osik, who was released.

Kade Mechals got a promotion from Kannapolis to the Dash, in High-A’s only move of the week.

Low-A was a bit busier, with some movement between Arizona and full-season ball. Jhoneiker Betancourt is with the team because Torres is in Double-A. Yohemy Nolasco got the call-up from Arizona as well. Layant Tapia was a roster-crunch loss, though, and is back in Arizona. From the IL, Eric Adler is back from the injured list, and a guy to keep an eye on, Jacob Burke, is back on the active roster.

White Sox Minor League Player of the Week

Bryce Willits .444/.545/.778, 1 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 SB

Bryce Willits, an 18th round selection in last year’s draft, has been having quite the season. He is splitting time at third base and first, and that bat is playing exactly how you want a corner infielder to do. Willits has a 154 wRC+, thanks to a healthy ISO (.200) and pretty good plate discipline in general. The 10% walk rate is good, not otherworldly, but it looks much better against a 16% K-rate. Willits is old for Low-A and he did receive one of the lower amounts in bonus pool from the ’22 draft, but like many other bats from this latest class, is showing well. This past week was no different, demonstrating a good ability to get on base (four walks) and driving the ball well with three extra-base hits, including that homer.

Charlotte Knights

Davis Martin IL
Sean Burke 3 1⁄3 IP, 10.80 ERA, 5 BB, 2 K
Jesse Scholtens 11 2⁄3 IP, 3.86 ERA, 2 BB, 8 K
Tanner Banks 3 IP, 12.00 ERA, 0 BB, 3 K
Sammy Peralta 2 1⁄3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 4 K
Lenyn Sosa .200/.200/.500, 1 HR, 0 BB, 3 K
Oscar Colás .391/.400/.696, 1 HR, 4 R, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 SB

Oscar Colás is seemingly putting up a good fight to call him a Quad-A type player. He was pretty awful in his month of MLB plate appearances, but is back to his old MiLB ways with lots of great contact. He is actually pulling the ball and driving batted balls to keep them off the ground. Colás’ pull rate is up about 8%, and his ground ball rate is way down (near 60% in MLB down to just a bit more than 40% in Triple-A). His issues in MLB were not necessarily his plate discipline; a 6% walk rate and 23.8% aren’t great, but that is workable. Colás’ issue was quality contact, and his .066 ISO pretty much explains it. He left Chicago with just three extra base hits in 25 games, and already has 10 in just 11 Triple-A games. Hopefully, this is a sign of improvement, instead of him just going up against bad pitchers now that he is in the minors again.

Birmingham Barons

Matt Thompson 3 1⁄3 IP, 10.80 ERA, 3 BB, 2 K
Cristian Mena 2 2⁄3 IP, 10.12 ERA, 1 BB, 4 K
Caleb Freeman 2 1⁄3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 3 BB, 3 K
Adam Hackenberg .308/.438/.615, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
Bryan Ramos IL
José Rodríguez .077/.077/.115, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 9 K, 2 SB
Yoelqui Céspedes .211/.400/.316, 2 R, 5 BB, 5 K
Luis Mieses .200/.200/.200, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 K

The Barons had a really bad week, losing all of their games, including a 22-6 blowout. Taylor Snyder is probably the player that had the best week, he hit a couple homers, but time to get back on the Caleb Freeman train. This week is as good as any, with this bad of a week for the Double-A team. Freeman did not have great command this past week, but still put up zeroes in the run column. This is Freeman’s first healthy season since the beginning of 2021, and he is looking much better this year compared to last so far. The walks are more or less right around his professional numbers while healthy. That is the good. The bad is that his strikeouts are quite a bit down. In Double-A back in ’21, Freeman’s K-rate was 31.4% in 16 2⁄3 innings. In 12 innings this season, it is down to 23.6%. That’s something to keep an eye on, because the Sox bullpen is in shambles and prior to his injuries, Freeman looked like a late-inning option in the pen in MLB.

Winston-Salem Dash

Jonathan Cannon 7 IP, 1.29 ERA, 1 BB, 2 K
Drew Dalquist 1 2⁄3 IP, 27.00 ERA, 2 BB, 2 K
Jared Kelley 3 2⁄3 IP, 2.45 ERA, 4 BB, 3 K
Kohl Simas 5 IP, 3.60 ERA, 2 BB, 8 K
Norge Vera IL
Loidel Chapelli Jr. .211/.375/.421, 1 HR 5 R, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
Wes Kath .273/.273/.364, 3 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 10 K
Colson Montgomery IL
Wilfred Veras .286/.348/.429, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K, 2 SB
Terrell Tatum .286/.444/.429, 7 R, 5 RBI, 6 BB, 6 K, 5 SB
DJ Gladney .333/.400/.722, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K

DJ Gladney is back to mashing this past week. Sure, it was just one homer, but he had a four extra-base hit week, with a couple of doubles and a triple added to that homer. Quite frankly, that homer was a pure bomb as well. Gladney is well on his way to breaking his personal best of 18 homers in a season, just last year. The ISO keeps going up, from .300 to .333 with the extra-base heavy week. It certainly seems past time for Gladney to get back to Double-A to prove what he is doing is real. This is his first time in High-A, but he did spend about a season and two-thirds in Low-A from 2021-22, and was in Project Birmingham to end his ’22 campaign. Gladney should get the promotion on the level of contact he is making alone. Hopefully it comes soon.

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Shane Murphy 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 3 K
Tanner McDougal 2 IP, 4.50 ERA, 5 BB, 1 K
Peyton Pallette 4 IP, 2.25 ERA, 2 BB, 5 K
Tyler Schweitzer 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 BB, 6 K
Jordan Sprinkle .050/.208/.050, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 7 K
Brooks Baldwin .217/.357/.435, 1 HR, 4 R, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K, 4 SB
Bryce Willits Weekly MVP
Jacob Burke .182/.308/.273, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K

Writer Standings

Darren holds the top spot, while Kristina and Joe leapfrog Brett, on a five-game losing streak.

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