The Major League (Rule 4) Draft took most of the attention this past week, and with good reason, especially for the rebuilding White Sox. But there was also a division clinch on the farm, the release of a prospect once highly considered, and more going on outside the war rooms. Let's dig in...
Draft completed, signings underway
The Draft was completed this past week, with the White Sox making one selection in each of 40 rounds. You can get a look at all the picks in our Draft Tracker, where we are also tracking signings and affiliate assignments. So you can go back to the Tracker for regular updates, all the way up to the signing deadline on July 15th.
Here are a few links and tidbits of interest from the draft:
- Detailed write-ups on each of the first four picks the White Sox made:
- As of this writing, 21 players have signed or tell us they will be signing very shortly, 5 are still playing and therefore cannot sign yet, two are not going to sign, and everyone else is some form of maybe or unknown.
- We will have a Podcast up soon with special guests from the White Sox to give us their view of this 2017 class.
For the Record
We are moving this section up a bit this week, and flipping the team order, as there are some significant items of note to report...
- The Great Falls Voyagers open Pioneer League play today, with a road series at Helena. The roster hasn't been officially released yet, but when it is, we'll have a season preview of the club posted soon after. They typically are populated with college draft picks and 2nd year teenage pros.
- The AZL White Sox open play in the Fire League a few days later, on June 24th. Similarly we will have a preview of that team up shortly after - their roster is usually populated with the younger, less polished rookie league prospects.
- The Kannapolis Intimidators won the South Atlantic League's Northern Division, clinching the first half title on Sunday and edging out the Lakewood BlueClaws by just a game. It's the first playoff berth for the I's since 2009, and will likely be the only first half title among White Sox full season affiliates this year. The performance is particularly impressive when considering that this club opened the season by losing seven of their first eight games. Kannapolis will be off the next few days for the South Atlantic League All Star Game, where five Intimidators (Alec Hansen, Jimmy Lambert, Seby Zavala, Joel Booker, Mitch Roman) will be playing.
- The Winston-Salem Dash ended their first half with a 4-3 week, which is better than most of the weeks they've posted so far. The Dash finished the first half with a disappointing 24-46 record, good for last in their division and league. There's a good chance they will get some reinforcements after the All Star break, which they sorely need. The Dash do have four representatives in the Carolina League All Star game - Zack Collins, Danny Mendick, Tanner Banks and Louis Silverio.
- The Birmingham Barons started their week with three straight wins, a streak they'd only accomplished one other time so far in 2017. Unfortunately they dropped the next 3 but recovered to win on Sunday to stay over .500 on the week. The Barons head into their mid-season break with a 25-43 record, good for last in their division and league as well. Like the Dash, the Barons are looking forward to starting anew in the 2nd half. They are sending RHP Michael Kopech and LHP Jordan Guerrero to the Southern League All Star Game.
- The Charlotte Knights went an even 3-3 in the last week, and with a 30-38 record are currently in 3rd (of 4 teams) in the International League South Division. Their roster has seen a lot of flux, with so many players being sent to the White Sox, injuries and rehab stints to work in. With the talent there, don't be surprised if the Knights go on a big run soon.
- RHP Jake Dunning disabled (retro to June 15th)
- RHP Juan Minaya was optioned from Chicago and activated
- OF Adam Engel was optioned from Chicago and activated
- INF Jose Vinicio was demoted to Birmingham
- To make room for Vinicio, the club released shortstop Cleuluis Rondon
- OF Courtney Hawkins moved up a level to the Dash as he continues his rehab assignment
- RHP Kelvis Valerio was demoted to Kannapolis
- OF Antonio Rodriguez was sent to Extended Spring Training
- OF Tyler Sullivan was returned to the Initimidators from Extended
In case you missed it
- Our Julie Brady took a look at the White Sox versions of 'Mr. Irrelevant', tracking what happened to the last pick the Sox made in each of the last 20 drafts.
- Jarrett Seidler of Baseball Prospectus tried to put some perspective on the struggles of Courtney Hawkins, attempting to glean lessons from the path he's taken as a prospect.
- Joe Weil of the Winston-Salem Dash wrote a blog post about the tough path and ascent of infielder Danny Mendick, who has played his way from minor league bench player to the edge of the prospect radar.
- Reynaldo Lopez missed a start during the week due to an undisclosed personal matter, but came back and pitched over the weekend and is healthy.
- Collin Whitchurch of BP-South Side took a different look at the 2017 draft class, finding at least one interesting nugget for each player selected from the 11th round on.
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