White Sox Prospect Hot List, 6/19

There's a lot of transition going on in the White Sox system, with 30+ new draftees either having just joined the system and starting play on Friday (Great Falls) or Monday (AZL). Then there are the A, A+ and AA All Star Games today, and the wave of promotions that will be coming within a day or two after.

Meanwhile, the players who've been in the system for some time, still had games to play. The new guys won't make this list yet because they've only played a few, if any, games - look for them in the next episode. Let's look in on the full season players and who was running hot in the past week...

CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS (AAA)

Eddy Alvarez celebrating in the Knights dugout, 2018 (Clinton Cole / FutureSox)

Eddy Alvarez celebrating in the Knights dugout, 2018 (Clinton Cole / FutureSox)

As 2018 opened, some wondered if Eddy Alvarez would get a cup of coffee in September as a reward for his hard work and the notable achievement of winning an Olympic medal in one sport (speed skating), then later reaching the major leagues in another (baseball). Lately, he's been making a strong enough case that maybe he belongs in Chicago regardless of his back story. In the last week he's at .286/.375/.476, but he's been hot for longer than that - in 15 June games he's put up a .375/.464/.565 line with 9 doubles while playing all over the infield.

Jordan Stephens seems to be settling in at AAA pretty effectively. In a pair of starts this past week, his combined line looks like this: 10 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 10 K. Donn Roach may not technically be a prospect, but he continues to be the anchor of the Knights rotation, and his last start may have been his best yet. He threw seven scoreless frames, allowing five hits and a walk, striking out nine. Tyler Danish was effective again from the pen, tossing 1.1 scoreless innings, striking out three.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS (AA)

Keon Barnum connects for a home run in Cactus League action (Daniel Shapiro / Future Sox)

Keon Barnum connects for a home run in Cactus League action (Daniel Shapiro / Future Sox)

First baseman Keon Barnum faces an uncertain future when the wave of roster moves hits this week, but it's worth noting that after struggling with Southern League pitching for over two years, he's been showing signs of life recently. The big man has hit .412 in the past week with two home runs and, perhaps most importantly, only two strikeouts. Seby Zavala seems to have broken out of a recent mini-slump, hitting .389 on the week. Bryant Flete had a scorching week now that he's back healthy, posting a 1.005 OPS.

Dane Dunning had not only his best start at AA, but one of his best pro starts overall. The line says it all: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K. Then there's the well-armed bullpen duo of Ian Hamilton and Ryan Burr, the dueling arms combining for five 2-hit innings with eight punch-outs.

WINSTON-SALEM DASH (A+)

Joel Booker, Winston-Salem Dash, 2018 (Clinton Cole / FutureSox)

Joel Booker, Winston-Salem Dash, 2018 (Clinton Cole / FutureSox)

Joel Booker seems one of the most obvious candidates to be promoted a level in the coming days, and he just keeps making his case loudly. He led the farm over the last seven days in AVG (.462), OBP (.563), OPS (1.332), doubles (4), and stuck out just once in 16 PA. There were other hot bats who helped the Dash win their division's first half crown, though. Yermin Mercedes (1.196 OPS, 5:1 BB:K), Luis Alexander Basabe (.983 OPS), and Alex Call (also .983 OPS) all did plenty of damage recently, with all three being considerations for promotion too.

Bernardo Flores (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K) and Jimmy Lambert (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) each threw gems to contribute to the Dash's run to the postseason. But their bullpen as a unit was the difference-maker. Their combined numbers? 1.72 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 3 BB, 16 K in 15.2 IP.

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS (A)

Lincoln Henzman, Kannapolis Intimidators (Clinton Cole / FutureSox)

Lincoln Henzman, Kannapolis Intimidators (Clinton Cole / FutureSox)

As has often been the case, this year, the Intimidators' primary middle infielders led the offensive charge for the lineup. Laz Rivera (.300/.417/.500) and Tate Blackman (.263/.440/.474) were hot lately but have been strong all year, with both bucking for potential promotion, with both being 23 years old and doing quite well in the South Atlantic League. Unfortunately, their efforts weren't enough to win the first half division title they were chasing.

Lincoln Henzman was just plain filthy in his two starts during the last seven days. In 13 combined innings he allowed just one run, walked just one, struck out 11, and generated 19 ground balls. He's been very successful for the entire season to date.

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    I hope Ian Hamilton doesn't throw away his shot. He really should avoid duels of all kinds.

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