The 2014 Futures Game is this afternoon and marks the beginning of the festivities in Minneapolis for the All-Star Game. The White Sox originally had two representatives for the game but RHP Frank Montas' knee surgery leaves just 2B Micah Johnson.
The 23-year-old is batting .297/.329/.382 in 178 plate appearances since his promotion to Charlotte. Hawk talks all the time about Johnson's stolen base exploits last season (91 stolen bases in 117 attempts over three levels) but he's found things a lot more difficult this season with just 16 steals in 27 attempts. And not everyone is as sold as Hawk is on Johnson's future value. From Baseball Prospectus' game preview:
While Johnson is posting strong statistics in the minor-league ranks, the tools don’t match the performance. Johnson is an excellent overall athlete, but needs to be able to consistently convert his raw athleticism into baseball athleticism. Johnson puts pressure on the defense with his legs, as he’s a double-plus runner from the left side. The 23-year-old doesn’t offer much else in the way of tools, but he should be able to carve out a role thanks to his speed and bat-to-ball skills.
The game is at 4pm central on MLB Network and MLB.com. Johnson isn't in the starting lineup.
The other opportunity this week to see White Sox minor leaguers in action is in the Triple-A All-Star Game. INF/OF Tyler Saladino won the fan vote as the International League's starting shortstop. C Josh Phegley can thank A.J. Pierzynski's cell phone for his roster spot, as he was added to the team after Christian Vazquez replaced Pierzynski in Boston. That game is also on MLB Network at 6pm central Wednesday.
- Interesting read on the Knights' Spanish radio broadcast, one of the very few in the minors.
- Courtney Hawkins' stay on the disabled due to a concussion was a short one. He came back Friday with RHP J.B. Wendelken going on the DL.
- SS Tim Anderson was #38 on Baseball Prospectus' mid-season Top 50 prospects list. 2014 draftees were not eligible (and he hadn't signed yet, anyway) but they suggested LHP Carlos Rodon would have been slotted somewhere between #27 and #33.
- Notable hitters from the AZL White Sox: C Jose Barraza, .314/.390/.429; RF Micker Adolfo, .222/.306/.407; OF Antonio Rodriguez, .227/.260/.485.