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Luis Mieses provided the winning hit in a true Game of the Year in Birmingham on Saturday.
David Durochik/MLB Photos via Getty Images

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White Sox Minor League Update: July 15, 2023

An extraordinary back-and-forth win in Birmingham highlights a pretty fun day on the farm

Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to brettballantini@yahoo.com

It wasn’t something any of us foresaw: After a full career of relief over his first three years in the White Sox system, southpaw Sammy Peralta is now starting games, and not really as any sort of opener. And to his credit, now doubling his workload (Peralta averaged about two innings per game in 2022), he’s holding up OK in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Today’s 4-0 loss is illustrative of this, as Peralta got through four frames using just 53 pitches, and allowing just one earned run — dropping his ERA to 4.29. I’ll let smarter readers than I take a look at his pitch mix today to see if this is just a lark (or the traditional Knights rotation desperation), but perhaps there’s something developing with the 25-year-old bull outta Queens.

No XBH, no walks, even, so there’s not really a ton to report on the game, but look at the swing in the sixth inning: Down just 1-0, Sebastian Rivero smoked a game-high 404-foot, 10.1% WPA single to center to put runners on the corners, and things are looking up for the Knights. One batter later, Adam Haseley tapped into a double play and swung the WPA back 18.5% to the IronPigs.

In rehab news, Yoán Moncada played in a back-to-back and went 0-for-3 with two Ks in his second rehab start.

Poll

The Knights got whitewashed, but give us your MVP.

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Sammy Peralta: 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 K, 38-of-53 strikes, 7 HH, LOSS
    (30 votes)
  • 11%
    Declan Cronin: 2⁄3 IP, 5-of-7 strikes, HH
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    Sebastian Rivero: 1-for-3, 2 HH, 10.1% WPA single, 1-for-5 CS
    (1 vote)
35 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Not a great effort from Charlotte. Who was the Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Nicholas Padilla: IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, K, HH
    (13 votes)
  • 28%
    Lenyn Sosa: 0-for-4, 3 K
    (14 votes)
  • 44%
    Yoán Moncada: 0-for-3, 2 K
    (22 votes)
49 votes total Vote Now

What a wonderful game for the Barons, in a season without many. Birmingham flipped the script of the game at the midway point and ended up walking off a wild win, as Luis Mieses slammed a single to left to bring home José Rodríguez.

Of course, it was sloppy, with a blown save in Tristan Stivors’ Double-A debut. There were errors, pickoffs, web gems — absolute drama to burn. The defensive highlight of the game came from Yoelqui Céspedes:

Since we’ve been working in more win probability to the minors updates, I’ve never stopped short of sharing long lines of 10%+ WPA swings in a game, and this is a first:

That’s just the top 14 swings, and that didn’t cover it, as there were 16 total wild WPA swings in this game. In fact, if you scroll up to the WPA graph, I didn’t even include the marking for the top swing because it would obscure too much of the rollercoaster that was this game. Mieses walked it off on the 101st plate appearance of the game, and even in that, given the bottom of the 11th rally, the win was somewhat foregone. Mieses’ GWRBI tied for 25th-highest in the game at just 6.9%; his RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, helping to fuel Birmingham’s rally back into the game, ranked much higher.

In short, this was a game that, win or lose, you will always remember if you were there or watching. Birmingham hasn’t even gotten to 30 wins yet this season, but this one proves the Barons are going to fight every game.

It did not end up being much of a game factor, and in fact dug a bit of the hole Birmingham got into right off, but rising star starter Jonathan Cannon made his Double-A debut with the a four-inning, 80-pitch start.

Poll

Game of the Year of the Barons on Saturday, who was the top MVP of several MVPs?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Luis Mieses: 2-for-6, 2 RBI, 6.9% WPA GWRBI in 11th, K, 3 LOB
    (7 votes)
  • 28%
    José Rodríguez: 3-for-6, 3 R, 2 B, HR, 3 RBI, GW R, GIDP, 2 LOB
    (11 votes)
  • 47%
    Xavier Fernández: 4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, 1-for-2 CS, all on his birthday!
    (18 votes)
  • 0%
    Alsander Womack: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K, E, LOB
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Bryan Ramos: 2-for-4, R, RBI, SF, HBP, K, E
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Fraser Ellard: IP, K, 7-of-8 strikes
    (0 votes)
  • 5%
    Nick Gallagher: IP, BB, K, WP, WIN, 43.4% WPA
    (2 votes)
38 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was tonight’s Cold Cat in the walk-off win in Birmingham?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Yoelqui Céspedes: 1-for-5, 3 K, RF assist at home, 5 LOB
    (6 votes)
  • 3%
    Taylor Snyder: 1-for-5, R, 4 LOB
    (1 vote)
  • 6%
    Jonathan Cannon: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R/2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
    (2 votes)
  • 65%
    Yoelvín Silven: IP, 4 H, 3 ER, HR
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    Gil Luna: 1 2⁄3 IP, H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K, PO at 1B
    (0 votes)
  • 6%
    Tristan Stivors: 1 1⁄3 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 K, HB, BS
    (2 votes)
32 votes total Vote Now

Winston-Salem was suspended due to rain in Asheville, with Tim Elko batting. Darren Black will have the coverage of this game tomorrow, but it can already be told that Jacob Burke kept his on-base streak going with a single in the game.


Can you call a Noah Schultz start disappointing? Not really, but this one was labored. In front of our Tommy Barbee and family in Columbia, Schultz whiffed five but otherwise scuffled a bit, giving up four hits and a walk and running right past his pitch limit of 50 without escaping the third inning. Still, Schultz has now thrown 14 1⁄3 scoreless innings, which is approaching Norge Vera rookie DSL season levels. Schultz is also scaring the crap out of opposing hitters, having retired 21 of 43 batters by K so far this year. The most entertaining yet? Drool over this one:

There was no scoring at all in the game until the seventh, and for the entire game Kanny managed four runs on just five hits and one walk. One of the runs in the seventh scored on a wild pitch, but still, those numbers sure don’t seem to add up, especially when Columbia doubled the Cannon Ballers’ hit total.

Poll

A nice win for Kannapolis, on the road and in front of the Barbees. Who was the MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Bryce Willits: 1-for-2, R, 2 BB, LF assist at 2B
    (6 votes)
  • 14%
    Drake Logan: 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, K, 25.9% WPA, LOB
    (4 votes)
  • 33%
    Ben Beutel: 2 1⁄3 IP, 2 H, 2 K, 17.2% WPA, SAVE
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    Ethan Hammerberg: 2⁄3 IP, K, 5-of-7 strikes
    (0 votes)
  • 29%
    Yohemy Nolasco: 3 2⁄3 IP, 4 H, ER, 3 K, WIN
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Wilber Sánchez: 1-for-3, RBI, BB, SB
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Brooks Baldwin: 1-for-3, BB, K
    (0 votes)
27 votes total Vote Now

Poll

A nice win for Kannapolis, on the road and in front of the Barbees. Who was the Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Colby Smelley: 0-for-4, R, 2 K, 2 LOB, PB, 1-for-1 CS
    (1 vote)
  • 39%
    Jhoneiker Betancourt: 0-for-4, R, 2 K, GIDP, 5 LOB
    (9 votes)
  • 30%
    Mario Camilletti: 0-for-5, 3 LOB
    (7 votes)
  • 26%
    Chris Lanzilli: 0-for-4, K, 5 LOB
    (6 votes)
23 votes total Vote Now

Rather than discuss the ins and outs of another really bad loss for what appears to be, in pre-draft mode, a truly awful Complex Sox team, let’s look at two breakout players from the club.

Neither come as a surprise, as Ryan Burrowes and Ronny Hernández were both breakout stars on last years’ DSL club. Burrowes has continued to destroy pitching and torment batteries on the basepaths. It seems doubtful this is some sort of scientific survey, but Saturday’s ACL home page even featured Burrowes as the No. 2 prospect and top hitting prospect in all of the ACL.

The shortstop, likely the very best player on last year’s DSL club (Loidel Chapelli Jr. crushed it better, but he was also playing old for the level, while Burrowes was holding down shortstop at just 17 years old), has hardly missed a beat in his first Stateside experience. His slash numbers are all improvements on 2022 DSL (albeit in just short of half of the games, keep an eye out to see if fatigue kicks in): .280/.400/.453. His errors at shortstop unfortunately are still very high, but a lot can change — including a 6´2´´frame that yet may add size moving to a corner — in his teenage years.

Hernández, by no means a polished product behind the plate, is acquitting himself just fine, especially by White Sox catcher prospect standards. And his offense is topping even that of Burrowes, with big run production and terrific bat discipline (33 career walks, 42 Ks).

Both players were very late (spring) signs, just last year. Whether the White Sox simply got lucky or struck smart to find (arguably) their two best DSL players at the last minute, it’s working. The teammates have brought terrific production and bright futures now to the U.S., and sit as the two most promising rookie hitting prospects on the club — and frankly, that includes the 2023 draft class.

Poll

Who was the MVP of another Complex Sox loss on Saturday?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Ronny Hernández: 3-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B
    (17 votes)
  • 5%
    Ryan Burrowes: 2-for-5, R, SB, 2 K, LOB
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Guillermo Rodríguez: 1-for-3, 2 BB, K, 3 LOB, PO/CS
    (0 votes)
  • 5%
    José Rodríguez: IP, H, WP
    (1 vote)
19 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who’s rocking the Cold Cats tonight for the ACL?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Arnold Prado: 0-for-4, R, 2 K, 3 LOB
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Dario Borrero: 1-for-4, 2 RBI, 3 K, GIDP, LOB
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Layant Tapia: 1-for-4, RBI, 2B, 3 K
    (0 votes)
  • 40%
    Randel Mondesi: 0-for-4, 4 K, 2 LOB
    (6 votes)
  • 20%
    Frankeli Arias: 4 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, WP, HB
    (3 votes)
  • 40%
    Mark McLaughlin: 1⁄3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Brian Carrion: 1 2⁄3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, K
    (0 votes)
15 votes total Vote Now


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