For one week, the residents of Winston-Salem, N.C. were transported to Disneyland and found themselves right smack in the middle of Winston-Salem’s Wild Ride.
The Dash rattled off six consecutive victories, and through 11 games are putting on an old fashioned hit parade. The section immediately following this is littered with notable Winston-Salem performances, but one stood out from me because of its sheer insanity, if nothing else.
Tied in the bottom of the tenth on Thursday night, Winston-Salem OF Joel Booker found himself on third with nowhere else to go, and he ran home, stealing the base and walking it off for the Dash. Here is a short video of the rare event. It was the perfect play to describe the team with too many outfielders through the beginning of the 2018 season; electrifying.
To get a better sense of why the team is so successful, look no further than the slash lines of the OF (which is still without its best prospect in Luis Robert.) Micker Adolfo’s slash line is /395/.435/.651; Luis Alexander Basabe’s is .372/.426/.605, Booker is at .400/.472/.633 and Blake Rutherford is hitting a respectable .333/.378/.424. The only outfielder that's really struggling is Alex Call, who is hitting .115/.314./.192, but he missed most of the 2017 season.
The Dash are on fire to start the year, so let’s enjoy this wild ride as long as we can.
With that, here’s what you need to know this week.
Prospect performance highlights
Knights pitcher Michael Kopech made his season debut April 9 at Norfolk. He pitched 4 strong innings, giving up 2 hits, allowing 0 runs, while walking 2 and striking out 8. On his second outing on April 14th, Kopech pitched 6 innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs, while waking 2 and striking out 3. All reports say his command abandoned him for the night. Our own Clinton Cole spoke to Kopech after the game.
Birmingham 3B Trey Michalczewski went 2-3 April 9 with a walk and a strikeout April 9.
Winston-Salem OF Blake Rutherford went 3-4 April 9 with a double.
Winston-Salem OF Joel Booker was sensational April 10. He had a 3-5 day with a homerun and a strikeout. Battery mate OF Luis Alexander Basabe went 3-4 with a triple, a walk and a strikeout. 1B Gavin Sheets went 3-4 with a strikeout.
Birmingham P Spencer Adams was uncharacteristically wild April 11. His final line was 5.1 IP 6 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K.
OF Basabe’s hot bat made another appearance April 11, where he went 3-5 with a triple, it had an encore performance on the 13th, where he went 3-5 with a double and finally a curtain call April 14, where he went 2-4 with a home run and walk. This kid is fun.
Kannapolis 2B Laz Rivera went 3-4 with a double and a strikeout April 11.
OF Booker had a stunning steal of home in the 10th inning, to give Winston-Salem the walk off victory April 12.
Winston-Salem’s Dylan Cease had another solid outing April 13. He went 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB and 5 K.
Birmingham P Ian Clarkin had a magnificent showing April 15. He threw 7 strong innings, allowing 5 hits and a run. He had no walks and 6 strikeouts.
The Athletic’s James Fegan reported OF Eloy Jimenez played in an extended spring training game April 10. He is due to return to Birmingham sometime this month.
Winston-Salem OF Luis Robert has yet to begin his rehabilitation assignment, and is currently traveling with the Dash. His timeline is still May.
- The White Sox called up P Chris Volstad from AAA Charlotte.
- White Sox P Gregory Infante was optioned to Charlotte.
- Winston-Salem P Drew Hasler was promoted to Charlotte
- P Zach Lewis was assigned to Kannapolis from extend spring training.
Charlotte is 4-6. Birmingham and Kannapolis are 6-4. Winston-Salem is 7-4 to date. Great Falls opens its season in 60 days.
News and Links
- FutureSox is having a night at the ballpark and wants our readers to come out! The inaugural FutureSox Night will be June 13th at Guaranteed Rate Field, 7:10pm, against the Indians. Not only will readers get to enjoy a pregame buffet, but a portion of the ticket cost will go to support Baseball Miracles, a charity founded by White Sox scout John Tumminia. Here’s a link to tickets.
- FutureSox’s Julie Brady issued scouting reports from her time at White Sox spring training, while Editor-in-Chief Matt Cassidy filled in for Rob Young and broke down the best performances down on the farm for the last week.
- If you want a closer look at the prospects, FutureSox has a series of videos on YouTube from games in Kannapolis, Winston-Salem and Charlotte. Also subscribe to the channel for interviews with players and coaches. There will be a lot of feature articles coming from Matt now that he's back from the trip.
- Our own James Fox said the White Sox have been linked to Miguel Tejada Jr., but the international signing budget is still limited to $300k.
- MLB.com’s Scott Merkin spoke to Director of Amateur Scouting Nick Hostetler who said the Sox have narrowed the field down to 8 or 10 players, they feel will be the No. 4 pick in the 2018 draft.
- Dan Victor took a deep dive on Kannapolis 1B/3B Justin Yurchak.
- NBC Sports own Chuck Garfien recapped the wild-week in Winston-Salem.
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