***EDIT 13:59 CT: AZL White Sox not yet eliminated from playoffs, that section has been updated***
For months now, White Sox fans have been clamoring for the major league debuts of the two uber-prospects steaming through AAA competition. Finally last week, the dam broke for one. Flame-throwing right-hander Michael Kopech made his Major League Debut on August 21st to much fanfare. It ended up being a rain-shortened affair, but in 2 innings he shook off whatever jitters may have been present and allowed no runs.
Now with two major league starts under his belt, Kopech has done this: 8 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. That'll work.
Will Eloy come up this year? It's not clear if even Rick Hahn really knows for sure. Meanwhile, the key happenings around the farm in the last week...
Prospect performance highlights
- Eloy Jimenez has posted a hilarious .560/.577/.720 line in the past week, highlighted by four multi-hit games. Like he says (see the News Links below), he's ready.
- Seby Zavala seems to be heating up for the Knights too, with three multi-hit games in that same week-long span.
- Outfielder and 2018 2nd round pick Steele Walker has hit three home runs in the last seven days, including one as part of a 3-hit day on the 25th for Kannapolis.
- Right-hander Luis Martinez posted a very nice start on the 25th: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. That also marked his second 9-strikeout performance in a row for the Dash.
- 3B Ti'Quan Forbes had a big day on the 24th, going 3-for-5 with a double and added a walk for Winston-Salem.
- August 23rd was just a plain old fun day on the White Sox farm, highlighted by:
- Dylan Cease making what turns out to be his last start of 2018 (reached innings limit)
- Shortstop Luis Curbelo had a flawless day at the plate, going 3-3 with a double and adding a walk. He hit .393 on the week for the Intimidators.
- Outfielder and 2018 draftee Cabera Weaver has the rare double-triple, with the two three-baggers as part of a 4-hit day for the AZL.
- Lefthander and recent Sox addition Kodi Medeiros threw 5.2 innings of 1-run ball with six strikeouts for the Barons.
- Drafted as a second baseman but currently playing the outfield for the Voyagers, 21-year-old Romy Gonzalez had a four-hit day with a pair of home runs on the 21st. He's posted a .917 SLG (not OPS - just Slugging) in the last week with four long balls.
- Third baseman and surprise 2018 draft signee Bryce Bush had three multi-hit games on the week for Great Falls. As an 18-year-old, combined across both rookie affiliates thus far, he's posted a .354/.438/.531 line with nearly as many walks (15) as strikeouts (18).
- INF Jose Rondon was called up to the White Sox on 8/22
- RHP Ryan Burr was called up to the White Sox on 8/22
- OF Ryan LaMarre was called up to the White Sox on 8/21
- RHP Michael Kopech was called up to the White Sox on 8/21
- RHP Mauricio Cabrera was activated from the DL for Birmingham on 8/25
- RHP Jake Johansen was activated from the DL for Birmingham on 8/24
- OF Nolan Brown was activated from the DL for Winston-Salem on 8/23
- RHP Felix Paulino (recently acquired) was assigned to Birmingham on 8/25
- RHP Brandon Brennan was promoted from Birmingham to Charlotte on 8/25
- INF Bryant Flete was promoted from Birmingham to Charlotte on 8/22
- LHP Colton Turner was promoted from Birmingham to Charlotte on 8/22
- RHP Tyler Danish was sent back to Charlotte on 8/21
- SS Yeyson Yrizarri was placed on the DL (for Winston-Salem) on 8/23
Team Performances (and postseason statuses)
- Charlotte posted a 4-4 week (60-71 overall, 13 games back). The Knights have been playing somewhat better in the 2nd half, but they've been eliminated from the post-season at this point. Like the rest of the full season teams as you will see below, doubleheaders were prominent in their week.
- Birmingham went 5-3 for the week (31-32 2nd half, 6 games back). An improved second half put the Barons in contention for a postseason spot, but at this point they are 6 games back with 7 to play so their chances at a playoff spot are quite slim.
- Winston-Salem had a 4-3 week (38-22 2nd half, 1st place). The Dash are 79-51 on the full season. They won their division in the first half thus clinching a playoff berth, and are now in 1st for the 2nd half as well. Their overall record is tied for the third best in all of full season MiLB. This has been a fun team all year, and the playoffs should only continue that trend.
- Kannapolis compiled a 5-4 week (31-31 2nd half, 9.5 games back, 70-59 overall). The Intimidators played not one, not two, but three double-headers in the last week of action. And they've shown pretty well given the exhaustion that likely has set in around late August anyway, let alone playing that many games. Kannapolis cannot win the division but the DO hold the lead for the Wild Card by 2 games over West Virginia with 8 games left to play. So they've got a good shot at going to the postseason.
- Great Falls had a 3-3 week (9-18 2nd half, 8.5 games back, 31-34 overall). The Voyagers have been slowly improving after scuffling to open the 2nd half. They've already clinched a playoff spot, but aren't currently playing like a playoff team. They have 11 games remaining to get back on track.
- AZL White Sox had a 2-3 week (16-11 2nd half, t-2nd place, 1 game back). ***UPDATED: AZL White Sox might actually be in the playoffs as a wildcard, but it is not yet clear if that is the case. We should know by end of day today.*** But in the end, their season was encouraging, especially as it was a much younger squad than the Sox typically have in this league.
- DSL White Sox went 0-6 during the last week of their 2018 season, finishing an abysmal 18-54, 30 games back in their division. They posted the worst W-L record in the full league, and may end up with the worst winning percentage of any affiliate in any league. Why, you might ask? A combination of 2 years without any high-bonus talent (with the team on signing restrictions due to the Luis Robert overage), and the team's aggressive assignment of key 17- and 18-year-old prospects directly to the AZL meant a huge drain of talent on the island for the Sox.
News and Links
- Everyone around the White Sox and their fan base had seemingly expressed their two cents about whether or not Eloy Jimenez is ready for the majors. So why wouldn't Eloy himself? And in the Players' Tribune no less? You really need to read this one.
- Our own Ken Sawilchik checked in with the three catchers currently playing in Kannapolis. It's an unusual arrangement, but all three backstops are prospects worth monitoring, even if none of them are among the team's current Top 30.
- John Calvagno of Scouting the Sally got a longer look at Luis Robert, and wrote up what he saw from him.
- The White Sox traded away another major league piece for another prospect, this time acquiring a new arm from the Phillies. Get all the details on the team's newest prospect, Felix Paulino, in this write-up.
- 2080 Baseball did a scouting report on Alec Hansen, as he stood on August 23rd. It's not a fun read for Sox fans, but it does shoe the reality of where he stands today. He's been much better before and certainly could be again.
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