White Sox Minor League News and Notes, 4/16 to 4/22

Think back to the 2012 draft, when the White Sox picked 13th. The first round selection was a young, unpolished prep outfielder, 6’2” and 210 pounds.

His selection was accompanied with an ample amount of hype, and he was invited to and attended the MLB draft. After being selected by the White Sox and donning the pinstripes and a cap, he introduced himself to the general baseball public by pulling off a backflip.

Attributing the backflip to the excitement felt of being drafted, the cautionary tale of Courtney Hawkins began on June 4, 2012, and came to a close last Wednesday, April 18.

In between was a story all too familiar of failed development. He burst onto the season in 2012, putting up respectable batting averages numbers at rookie ball, low-A and high A. Little did we know, his introduction to affiliated ball would be the most notable moment of his career. He failed to make consistent contact, much less tap into the often hyped, never fully realized power. Then, after playing a career high 122 games in 2014, his development was derailed by multiple injuries, and an inability to break into AAA during his seven year career.

His April 18 release clears the way for OF Eloy Jimenez, to begin putting the final touches on what looks to be a much more polished and well-rounded version of Courtney Hawkins. As for the now 24-year-old Hawkins, his career encapsultates just how difficult it is to succeed in this game.

With that, here’s what you need to know this week.

Prospect performance highlights

  • Winston-Salem OF Micker Adolfo nabbed the Carolina League’s first player-of-the-week honors for the week of April 5 to April 15. During that stretch he hit .395, with five doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs.
  • Charlotte SS Jose Rondon went 3-4 with a home run and a walk April 18.
  • Kannapolis 3B Justin Yurchak had himself a night April 17. He was 2-3 with 2 walks, much to the delight of the FutureSox twitter.
  • Birmingham C Seby Zavala went 2-3 with a double and a walk April 18.
  • Winston-Salem had three standout performances April 18. OF Blake Rutherford had three doubles, a walk and a strikeout April 18, complemented by the hot bat of OF Micker Adolfo, who went 3-6 with a double and two Ks. 2B Mitch Roman was equally impressive going 3-4 with a double, a home run, a walk and a strikeout.
  • Charlotte OF Jacob May went 3-5 with a double April 18. SS Eddy Alvarez went 2-2 with a double and a walk.
  • Kannapolis 2B Laz Rivera went 3-4 with 2 doubles April 19.
  • Birmingham OF Eloy Jimenez walked and struck out, going 0-3 in his season debut April 19.
  • Winston-Salem OF Blake Rutherford’s bat stayed hot going 4-5 April 19.
  • Charlotte P Michael Kopech threw 5 innings April 20. He gave up 6 hits and 3 runs, striking out 10 and walking 1.
  • Winston-Salem OF Joel Booker had a 3-4 performance with a triple and a strikeout April 20.
  • Charlotte OF Daniel Palka went 3-4 with 2 doubles and a walk April 22.  
  • Winston-Salem OF Joel Booker continues to hit, going 4-5, April 22.

Injuries

Charlotte P Robbie Ross Jr. was placed on the 7-day disabled list, retroactive to April 17.

SS Eddy Alvarez was activated from the 7-day disabled list, while OF Ryan Cordell was placed on the disabled list April 17. Cordell is expected to miss at least 8 weeks after he broke his clavicle, per NBC Sports Chicago’s Chuck Garfien.

OF Eloy Jimenez was activated from the 7-day disabled list, joining the Barons April 19.

Fangraphs Eric Longenhagen said P Alec Hansen is still at extended spring training. He said, “it’s going to be a while before he even gets on a mound.”

Winston-Salem OF Micker Adolfo is still dealing with a sprained UCL and flexor tendon in his right elbow that he injured during spring training. He will have a second follow-up MRI, but will continue playing as long as he continues to report no problems with the elbow.

Transactions

Recalled

  • The White Sox recalled Charlotte relief pitcher Gregory Infante.

Optioned

  • The Sox activated C Kevan Smith from the DL and optioned him to Charlotte.

Assigned

  • Birmingham P Jace Fry was activated from the DL and assigned to Charlotte.
  • Winston-Salem P Ricardo Pinto was assigned to Charlotte.
  • RHP Drew Hasler was assigned to Winston-Salem.
  • Dominican Summer League P Jose Nin was assigned to Kannapolis.

Released

  • Birmingham OF Courtney Hawkins to make room for OF Eloy Jimenez.

Signed

Team Performances

  • Charlotte posted a 3-3 week (7-9 overall, 2 games back). P Dylan Covey went 1-1 for his two start week. He had command issues for both starts walking 5 in each. The offense was on display April 18, where after scoring 1 run in the first, 2 in the second and 3 in the third, the team finished with 9 on the night, giving 28-year-old Donn Roach had a respectable 6 inning outing his second win of the season. The Knights play three at Louisville before returning home to play three against Norfolk.
  • Birmingham went 1-5 for the week (7-9 overall 1st half, 6.5 games back). P Jordan Stephens was hit a bit on his April 18 start, but a combined 6 fielding errors, with only a single run didn’t help his cause, leading to an 8-1 defeat at the hand of the Jackson Generals. The Generals had the Barons’ number all week, taking the complete five game series from them.
  • Winston-Salem had a 2-5 week (10-8 overall 1st half, 2 games back). The wins came on 14-4 and 9-5 thrillers against the Down East Wood Ducks. OF Micker Adolfo and OF Blake Rutherford went 3-6 and 3-5, respectively April 18. But C Nate Nolan busted the game open with his 5 RBI performance.
  • Kannapolis compiled a 5-2 week (11-6 overall 1st half, 1 game back). The Intimidators are riding a 4-game winning streak as they go to Delmarva and Lakewood for seven straight. An 11-1 victory over the Greenville Drive April 22 was the top performance of the homestand, with 2B Tate Blackman deserving player of the game honors for his 3-4, 2 RBI performance, although OF Craig Dedelow was equally impressive with his 2-5, 3 RBI showing.

News and Links

  • Our own Kevin Gabinski broke down the performance of the top prospects over the last week.
  • Episode three of the FutureSox podcast dropped with host Clinton Cole talking with P Tyler Danish and Chuck Garfien of NBC Sports.
  • Editor-in-Chief Matt Cassidy analyzed the prospects that’ll most likely to be heading to Chicago sometime this season. (and offered a glimpse at, what’s hopefully, greener pastures.) He also took a look at the outfielder logjam in Winston-Salem, filled in for another week of the prospect hot list and filed a scouting report on Kannapolis P Kade McClure, and on Winston-Salem P Dylan Cease.
  • Julie Brady took a deep dive on Winston-Salem’s roster looking back at the barren cupboards of the past, and the overflowing shelves of the present.
  • Baseball America’s Ben Badler shared his thoughts on the White Sox other international signings from 2018. The ones not named Luis Robert
  • FutureSox is having a night at the ballpark and wants our readers to come out! The inaugural FutureSox Night will be 7:10 p.m. June 13th at Guaranteed Rate Field against the Indians. Not only will readers get to enjoy a pregame buffet, but a portion of the ticket will go to support Baseball Miracles, a charity founded by White Sox scout John Tumminia. Here’s a link to tickets.
  • Lastly, keep White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar in your thoughts as he recovers from a brain hemorrhage. All reports make him seem like a sensational human, with a wife and three kids. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.

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