White Sox Minor League News and Notes, 5/14 to 5/20

Look up shaky and inconsistent in the dictionary and Carson Fulmer’s goggled face will be there to greet you.

The White Sox first round 2015 pick is proving some talent evaluators right, as he continues to struggle as a starting pitcher in the majors. The inherent value of starting pitching and the lack of a competitive White Sox team will give the Vandy product all the chances he needs to prove he can start at the highest level, but when will enough be enough?

From Vandy to the White Sox, Fulmer has showcased phenomenal stuff. However, he compliments that stuff with a shaky, violent and inconsistent delivery, sometimes accompanied by questionable control. The coveted “first round pick status” affords a player a lot of liberties, but it seems more and more that Fulmer should hang his starting cleats up and look to become a dominant reliever, where his stuff will flourish and concerns about his delivery and command might matter less.

At 24, the book isn’t closed on Fulmer, but the sooner the chapter on starting pitching comes to a close, the better the White Sox will be.

Carson Fulmer delivers a pitch for the Knights, 2017 (Matt Cassidy / FutureSox)

Carson Fulmer delivers a pitch for the Knights, 2017 (Matt Cassidy / FutureSox)

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

Prospect performance highlights

  • OF Alex Call was phenomenal in a four game series against the Wood Ducks. He hit .438 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs.
  • Kannapolis RHP Blake Battenfield was named the South Atlantic League’s pitcher of the week for May 7 to May 13.
  • Winston-Salem LHP Tanner Banks threw 7 strong innings, giving up 5 hits and striking out 5, while giving up no runs or walks.
  • Birmingham infielder Trey Michalczewski was 3-5 with a double and a triple May 27.
  • Charlotte RHP Michael Kopech posted a great outing. He threw 7 strong innings of 2 hit shutout ball. He walked 2 and struck out 9. Not to be outshined, Winston-Salem RHP Dylan Cease threw 6 strong innings of shutout ball, giving up 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6, on the same night.
  • The hype train is rocketing down the rails for Winston-Salem OF Luis Gonzalez. After hitting only .220 through his first 10 games, he now has a slash line of .333/.388.542 with an OPS of .929.
  • In his first rehab appearance, White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon went 5 innings. He gave up 3 hits and a run, while striking out 6 and walking one. He’ll be making a start for Charlotte, May 24.
  • Birmingham OF Eloy Jimenez was 4-4 with two doubles May 19.

Injuries

  • Charlotte placed LHP Colton Turner on the 7-day disabled list, effective May 16
  • Birmingham placed 2B Johnny Giavotella on the 7-day disabled list May 18
  • Kannapolis placed LHP Kevin Esorcia on the 7-day disabled list, effective May 16 and RHP Kade McClure, effective May 14. McClure sprained his knee fielding a ball, The Athletic reports.
  • C Seby Zavala went on the disabled list for Birmingham on 5/21, reason not yet known
  • The Daily Herald’s Scot Gregor reported OF Luis Robert would join Winston-Salem in early June. Throw another outfielder on the fire.

Transactions

Signed

  • OF Michael Saunders, and he was assigned to Charlotte

Activated

  • Charlotte activated RHP Ricardo Pinto from the 7-day disabled list
  • Birmingham activated OF Tito Polo from the 7-day disabled list
  • Birmingham activated C Casey Schroeder from the 7-day disabled list

Optioned

  • White Sox RHP Carson Fulmer was optioned to Charlotte

Assigned

  • LHP Robbie Ross Jr. was demoted from Charlotte to Kannapolis (rehab assignment really)
  • LHP Matt Tomshaw was demoted from Charlotte to Birmingham
  • RHP Jordan Stephens was promoted from Birmingham to Charlotte
  • LHP Jhoan Quijada was promoted to Kannapolis from Great Falls (Ext ST)

Recalled

  • The White Sox recalled RHP Dylan Covey and 2B Jose Rondon (who was optioned to Charlotte earlier in the week)

Released

Inactivated

  • 1B Casey Gillaspie was placed on the Temporary Inactive List, reason not yet known

Team Performances

  • Charlotte posted a 1-5 week (16-26 overall, 10.5 games back). Kopech’s gem was the lone highlight of the week, and it almost didn’t even happen. The last place Knights are back home this week. They have four against Norfolk and four against Indianapolis (with the series concluding Monday.)
  • Birmingham went 1-5 for the week (19-24 overall 1st half, 8.5 games back). It was a bad week for the Barons as well, the lone win coming in a 12-11 slugfest against Montgomery. They finish a five game series against Montgomery tonight before going to Jackson for five.
  • Winston-Salem had a 2-3 week (23-19 overall 1st half, 1.5 games back). Blame the rain for Winston-Salem’s poor showing. The team closed its week losing both games of a double header. However, a 6-0 shutout of the Down East Wood Ducks May 18, featuring a stellar performance from Dylan Cease, should be widely celebrated as a sign of things to come. The Dash have five against Buies Creek at home before beginning a four game series at Potomac.
  • Kannapolis compiled a 3-2 week (27-14 overall 1st half, 0 GB). The first place Intimidators are riding a two game winning streak, as they go to Greensboro for four and West Virginia for four. The team will look to stay hot and hold onto their narrow lead.

News and Links

  • FutureSox’s Julie Brady has a couple ideas on how to fix the White Sox (and baseball in that manner).
  • Guest of the site and Scouting the Sally’s own Dan Victor wrote a piece on Kannapolis P Tyler Johnson.  
  • FutureSox Editor-in-Chief Matt Cassidy covered the White Sox Prospect Hot List for the week, he also took a deep dive on Winston-Salem 1B Gavin Sheets.
  • Our draft preview series continued with a piece on Florida P Brady Singer.
  • The Athletic’s James Fegan profiled Birmingham’s Dynamic Duo, C Seby Zavala and C Zack Collins, who want to hold that title all the way to the White Sox.
  • Winston-Salem released another episode of the Dash of Everything Podcast. This time speaking with OF/DH Micker Adolfo.
  • Winston-Salem’s hot start made executives at NBC Sports Chicago pay notice. The network will broadcast seven Winston-Salem games this year.
  • FutureSox is having a night at the ballpark and wants our readers to come. 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.

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