FutureSox Prospects of the Month: July 2012

It's the better late than never edition of Prospects of the Month. The trade deadline has passed, which means the final stretch of the minor league season is upon us. Who's heading towards the final month of the season on a roll?

Three White Sox affiliates are headed for the playoffs. Charlotte (15-13 in July) leads by eight games in the International League South Division. Winston-Salem (18-10 in July) and Great Falls (18-11) both won first half division titles. Birmingham (13-15) is in the running for a second half crown, but Kannapolis (10-18) and Bristol (7-17) are well off the pace.

Hitter of the Month: Eric Grabe
Stats: .345/.446/.548, 14 RBI, 17 R, 7 2B, 2 HR with 15 BB and 18 K in 84 AB

Grabe has been a bright spot for a Bristol offense that has really struggled. With young guns Keon Barnum and Courtney Hawkins missing some games with injuries and a few other talents not performing with the bat, Grabe has carried the BriSox. Grabe was taken in the 24th round out of the University of Tampa in June and jumped right into pro ball like it was nothing. The infielder turned 23 last week and rookie ball is always an inconsistent predictor, but Grabe is worth tracking next season.

Honorable mentions
Dan Black (High-A): .367/.435/.468 with 11 BB and 13 K in 79 AB
Kale Kiser (Rk): .293/.416/.524 with 2 HR, 12 BB and 14 K in 82 AB
Kyle Robinson (Rk/Low-A): .352/.427/.521 with 1 HR, 9 BB and 3 K in 71 AB

Kiser has joined Grabe as a solid bat at the top of the Bristol lineup. The Nebraska product was taken one round ahead of Grabe. Robinson proved to be too good for Great Falls in his return season to rookie ball, but has struggled (.402 OPS in 32 AB) since joining Kannapolis. Black has been solid all season for Winston-Salem and will be a key part in their postseason run.

Pitcher of the Month: Scott Snodgress
Stats: 1.13 ERA, 31 K, 12 BB, 25 H in 32 IP

Earn a promotion and do better? That's what Snodgress (and also Erik Johnson) has done for the Dash. He finished his time with Kannapolis on a role and his July numbers are an even split between Kannapolis and Winston-Salem, but Snodgress is upping his stock with a strong second half. The 2011 fifth round pick walked 49 in 99 innings with Kannapolis this season, but has 26 K against 7 BB in 23.2 IP for the Dash. That'll work.

Honorable mentions
Charlie Shirek (AAA): 30.1 IP, 3.26 ERA, 24 K, 3 BB, 35 H
Terance Marin (High-A): 19 IP, 2.37 ERA, 18 K, 1 BB, 18 H
Todd Kibby (Rk): 32 IP, 2.81 ERA, 31 K, 9 BB, 27 H

Shirek has been on a good run lately. He has been a key starter for Charlotte, but he's behind quite a few pitchers on the big club's depth chart. Speaking of good runs, Marin has had a season-long good run. After earning a promotion to Winston-Salem Marin has struck out 58 and walked just eight. That's dominance. He's about to turn 23 and could be a legit relief prospect. Meanwhile, Kibby isn't getting looks as a prospect yet, but he's putting together a fine season for Bristol as the ace of that staff.

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    Thank you for your kind words regarding my son. He is at Instrutionals now and having a great time out in Arizona. We hope to see him on a roster in the Carolinas next season.

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