Who has been swinging the hot bats in the White Sox minors this past week? Which pitchers are mowing down opposing hitters? Let's highlight the top performances on the farm in the last seven games, regardless of ranking or prospect "stock". And there are certainly plenty of highlights...
The hitters who did the most damage for the Knights in the past week are all infielders. Uber-utility man Patrick Leonard is not technically a prospect anymore, but he's showing he's ready to help the Sox if needed. His 7-day numbers: .389/.476/.667. Jose Rondon, who is strong defensively up the middle, hit .333/.412/.600 with as many walks as strikeouts (2). Eddy Alvarez returned from the disabled list, and he's only played in three games but is 4-for-9 with a home run and a double, drawing three walks versus two strikeouts.
On the pitching side, Michael Kopech's start in Indianapolis was not his best showing in terms of stuff, but he still whiffed 10 batters while walking just 1 in five innings. Tyler Danish has excelled in a relief role recently: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K in the last week of action.
Danny Mendick is probably relieved. After starting the season struggling at the plate, he's suddenly turned it around, hitting .333 with 3 HR (!!!) and a double in just a week. Seby Zavala (.280/.357/.560) and Trey Michalczewski (.300/.333/.550) hit the ball hard as well, but in their cases they've been doing it all month.
Lefty Matt Tomshaw was really too advanced for AA and it showed, resulting in his recent promotion to AAA Charlotte. In his one start last week he threw six innings of 1-run ball with 5 K and 0 BB. Jordan Stephens had a tough luck start with some porous defense behind him in one of his two games. Despite that, in 2 starts he struck out 9 against 2 walks in 12 innings and posted an even 3.00 ERA.
For a second straight week, I won't even try to paragraph the Dash offense because there were just too many big performances. So here's a bullet list, including an infielder hitting over .500:
- Mitch Roman: .538/.647/.846, HR, 2B, SB
- Zach Remillard: .438/.500/.688, 2 2B, 3B
- Luis Alexander Basabe: .231/.474/.692, HR, 3B, 2B
- Joel Booker: .421/.476/.579, 3B, 2B, 2 SB
- Blake Rutherford: .409/.440/.591, 4 2B, SB
- Yermin Mercedes: .333/.385/.583, HR
The pitching side in Winston-Salem hasn't been as dominant as the hitting, but there have still been some stand-out performances. Dane Dunning continues to show he's ready to move up a level, as in his most recent start he did this: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (including a home run to lead off the game). Reliever Kyle Kubat appears similarly to be too mature for the level, tossing four innings of one-hit, no-run ball, walking no one and striking out six.
The Intimidators are 12-6 to open the 2018 campaign, tied for first in the SAL North Division, having won five straight games. No surprise then that there are plenty of highlights. Tyler Frost had probably the biggest week of any hitter anywhere in the system. The outfielder taken in the 15th round of last year's draft not only hit .400, but hit a whopping four home runs (with a double and a triple for seasoning) in seven games, resulting in a ridiculous 1.150 slugging percentage (not OPS - just SLG). Infielder Laz Rivera (.385/.407/.577) and outfielder Luis Gonzalez (.321/.406/.571) also showed offensive prowess only overshadowed due to Frost's monster week.
But the most prolific area of success has been from the pitching staff. Like we did for the Dash hitters, let's bullet out some pitching highlights for the Intimidators:
- Blake Battenfield, who last year worked solely in relief but is now starting, did this across two very strong starts in the past week: 9 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 12 K
- Kade McClure continues to impress (see our recent write-up for deeper detail), and here is his one start in the last seven days: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K
- Parker Rigler, yet another 2017 draft pick, was nearly unhittable in his start: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K
- Reliever Jake Elliott: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K
- Reliever Kevin Escorcia: 4 IP, 2 H, o R, 3 BB, 7 K
This year's Kannapolis ballcub is a lot of fun to watch.
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