With the first month of the minor league season in the books, this week we take our first look at what some of the important prospects in the White Sox organization have done, as well as the once-and-future major leaguers waiting for the next White Sox injury or ineffectiveness.
Tim Anderson injured his left (non-throwing) shoulder last Monday and was placed on the 7-day DL. It doesn't sound serious. The 20-year-old's approach and adjustments at the plate have been praised by scouts but his defense at shortstop has been poor. An assignment with the Dash for a very raw player is a typically White Sox move and he's the 14th youngest player in the Carolina League. While he's struggled at the plate, it certainly hasn't been Hawkinsesque. He's drawn just two walks in 97 PA and, with 27 strikeouts, the swing-and-miss is still there. Anderson has taken advantage of his friendly home park, where he's slugging .526, boosting his overall line to .250/.278/.435.
Speaking of Courtney Hawkins, it probably comes as a surprise to some that in his second tour with the Dash, he's the 9th youngest player in the league. It's probably a combination of experience and his new batting set-up that's resulted in good production so far: .289/.358/.602. The 20-year-old's splits so far aren't out of whack. The swing-and-miss in his game is still present - 26.3% strikeout rate - though his 9.8% walk rate makes that somewhat more tolerable. An interesting development has been his move to left field. Hawkins wrapped up a three game suspension last night for inciting a bench-clearing standoff.
Jacob May is probably seeing the effects of an extraordinarily long 2013 season that wrapped up in early February 2014. The 21-year-old center fielder is batting just .149/.238/.245 and he's looked less energetic than in the past - though that could just be the lack of production.
Frank Francisco is leading the veteran segment of the White Sox minor leagues. It's hard to believe that it was more than a decade ago that the White Sox traded him to Texas in the deal for Carl Everett. A few teams and one folding chair to the head of a fan later, the righty is trying to get his career back on track. He's currently utterly over-matching Triple-A hitters. In six innings over four games, he's struck out almost half of the batters he's faced and walked just one. The Dominican doesn't fit the profile of a groundball pitcher but, at this point, the White Sox just want guys who can get outs and Francisco has done that in the past.
Jim already covered the rehab contingent, the trio of Jeff Keppinger, Felipe Paulino and Conor Gillaspie.