On a day where the baseball world was watching, two Birmingham Barons made it known their prospect status is more than justified.
Birmingham OF Luis Alexander Basabe and RHP Dylan Cease played in the annual Futures Game. Basabe for Team World and Cease for Team USA. Basabe clobbered a two-run homer in his second at bat leading off for Team World, while Cease pitched out of the pen, throwing 0.2 perfect innings for Team USA in the ninth.
Basbae has struggled somewhat since getting promoted to Winston-Salem, but at 21, to see him already at AA is beyond promising. His season slash line is .256/.356/.447. He has 45 walks to 93 strike outs. There's even an unexpected amount of power. And by the way, that home run was hit off a 102 mph fastball.
Cease, on the other hand, is showing off why he used to be the Cubs’ top pitching prospect. He's sporting a 2.95 ERA through 16 starts. Although he’s only thrown 16.2 innings for Birmingham, in the three games he has started, he’s only given up six runs (3.24 ERA).
Cease also earned a sparkling compliment from Baseball Prospectus’ Craig Goldstein on his Future's game performance.
Dylan Cease looked real good for two batters. 97-98, plus looking curve at 78. Also flashed a slider.
— Craig Goldstein (@cdgoldstein) July 15, 2018
Cease may have been a pitcher coming off an injury when the White Sox traded for him, but his 2018 season should put a smile on the face of any White Sox fan.
With that, here’s what you need to know this week.
Prospect performance highlights
- Winston-Salem hit a whopping 10 doubles July 9 in a 7-3 win. 1B Gavin Sheets had three of them, OF Blake Rutherford and SS Laz Rivera had two each. Rutherford was a perfect 3-3 July 14 with two triples and a walk. Not to be outdone, Sheets was a perfect 4-4 July 15.
- Birmingham pitcher Jimmy Lambert threw seven one-run innings in a Barons win July 9. He gave up seven hits but struck out nine. Lambert was phenomenal his next start too. He threw seven shutout innings, striking out 10 on one hit and two walks.
- Great Falls 1B Corey Zangari hit two long balls July 10 in Great Falls 6-1 win. Then on Friday he outdid himself, smashing three long balls in a single game. After missing 2017 because of injury, he has come back with a vengeance.
- Charlotte OF Jacob May went a perfect 4-4 in the Knights’ July 12 win. He notably had two doubles and a walk. LHP Jordan Guerrero threw 6.2 innings of shutout ball to compliment May’s performance. Guerrero gave up two hits and a walk but struck out seven.
- White Sox OF Nicky Delmonico was perfect for the Knights July 13 as his rehab continues. He went 3-3 with a double and a walk.
- Charlotte fire-baller Michael Kopech threw six one-run innings July 14. He gave up four hits and walked one, all-while striking out 11.
Winston Salem 1B Micker Adolfo was placed on the disabled list July 14. He’ll miss the rest of the season after getting Tommy John surgery, according to MLB.com. The good news is hitters recover at a faster rate than pitchers. He is expected to play in May 2019.
Kannapolis RHP Aron McRee was placed on the 7-day disabled list, retroactive to July 14.
- Charlotte activated OF Eloy Jimenez July 15
- White Sox OF Nicky Delmonico was sent to Charlotte for a rehab assignment July 13
- Charlotte OF Ryan Brett was demoted to Birmingham
- Winston-Salem LHP Tanner Banks was promoted to Birmingham, allowing Cease to skip a start to be ready for that Futures Game appearance
- Great Falls hurler Bennett Sousa was promoted to Kannapolis
- AZL White Sox SS Nick Madrigal is being promoted to Kannapolis today
- 2018 draft pick 3B Bryce Bush was assigned to the AZL White Sox
- The White Sox selected RHP Jeanmar Gomez
- White Sox reliever Bruce Rondon was outrighted to Charlotte. He declined the assignment and is now a free agent.
- Charlotte posted a 2-5 week (42-51 overall, 11.5 games back). The All Star break offered the Knights a brief respite from the rigmarole of the minor league season, and as the second half returned, so did OF Eloy Jimenez, who returned to greet the Charlotte masses with plenty of long balls. The Knights are home all week with four against Pawtucket and three against Indianapolis.
- Birmingham went 4-3 for the week (13-11 overall 2nd half, 1 game back). The quest for the second half championship continues, as the Barons vie to separate themselves from the incredibly crowded Southern League North division. They end their series with Tennessee tomorrow before coming home for a five game series against Jackson.
- Winston-Salem had a 5-1 week (16-8 overall 2nd half, 1st place). Can we start the petition to televise all of Winston-Salem’s games? The Dash are doing everything they can to capture the second half championship ater already winning the division in the first half. They end a series at home against Buies Creek Monday, before going to Carolina for three and Myrtle Beach for three.
- Kannapolis compiled a 3-3 week (11-12 overall 2nd half, 2.5 games back). It was another .500 week for the Intimidators. A 2-1 win July 12 featuring Dan Harrington throwing seven shutout innings was the highlight of the week. The Intimidators play two at home against Hagerstown before starting a four game series against Hickory.
- Great Falls had a 5-1 week (18-12 overall, 1st). As Arrow would say, the Voyagers were Hot, Hot, Hot! No performance was more notable than July 13’s 15-11 slobberknocker between the Voyagers and the Owlz. Great Falls will try to stay atop the standings with one at home against Grand Junction, three on the road against the Owlz and four in Grand Junction.
- AZL White Sox enjoyed a 2-3 week. (12-10 overall).
- DSL White Sox posted a 0-5 week (5-31, 19 games back).
News and Links
- Julie Brady made sure everybody caught their breath and remembered some reasons to smile through the recent wave of injuries that devastated the minor league ranks.
- Sean Williams recapped the AZL White Sox July 12th loss to the AZL Diamondbacks. Williams also covered the July 8th win against the AZL Mariners.
- 2080 Baseball issued a scouting report on Winston-Salem OF Blake Rutherford. Speaking of Rutherford, the Dash of Everything Podcast featured the young outfielder.
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