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This Week in White Sox Minor League Baseball

Futures Game today

Andre Rienzo
Andre Rienzo

This week:

The big event in Prospectdom is the Futures Game, which is on ESPN 2 and this afternoon at 1pm (central). This game is the single best collection of prospects you'll see anywhere, bringing more than 50 players together in a USA versus the World format. The polish of the players varies pretty widely, with players from Single-A up to Triple-A playing, but the field will be oozing with tools. With the call-up of Josh Phegley, Andre Rienzo is the White Sox' only representative. He'll pitch no more than an inning but, given that he's the only representative from Brazil, it's a good chance that he'll get a full inning.

The alumni list from this game is a who's who of current elite major leaguers. This season's rosters will surely produce a similar crop. On the World Team, the (probable) future monster of the AL Central, 3B Miguel Sano of the Twins, will be showcasing his ridiculous power - the 20-year-old is what the White Sox can only hope their big power, big swing-and-miss prospects will emulate. Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox won't be staying long-term at shortstop but he's got plus power and plus hit skills that will play anywhere.

The USA roster probably has more refined players. Unfortunately for the other AL Central teams, another (probable) future star is Twins' Byron Buxton, a literal five-tool center fielder. The Mariners' Taijuan Walker may well be the best pitcher to come out of the game, with the big right-hander projected as a top of the rotation starter.

In more White Sox-centric news, the Dominican Summer League is halfway through its season. For the first time, there are actually players to care about so let's check-in on their progress.

The youngest player on the roster is Hanleth Otano, who the White Sox signed for $550,000 last year. The 16-year-old has mostly been playing left field. As one would expect, he's struggling offensively - .197/.244/.315 - with a hefty 33.3% strikeout rate.

Johan Cruz is 17-years-old and has struggled even more. The White Sox spent $450,000 on the shortstop last year and he's put up a .103/.175/.119 line. He was expected to be a long-term project on offense and I guess it's heartening to see an 8% walk rate and a 21% strikeout rate.

Antonio Rodriguez, as was rumored, began the season stateside with Bristol. But after a .120/.154/.160 start, the outfielder quickly returned to the DSL. The $400,000 signing has had no trouble with the lower-level of opposition - in 23 plate appearances, .316/.435/.368 - but there's a lot of swing-and-miss in the 18-year-old's game.

Roger Ramos was a much cheaper signing - $85,000. The 18-year-old center fielder is getting better results in his second tour of the DSL - .254/.347/.429 - though, like nearly all Dominicans, his 35% strikeout rate is a concern.

Victor Done is the only major pitching signing who is playing. The 17-year-old right-hander is having a typical first season for a Dominican pitcher - few innings, lots of strikeouts, lots of walks and lots of hits. The $225,000 signing has thrown 9.2 innings, giving up 17 hits and 11 walks while striking out 11.