April was a month to forget for the White Sox organization, but May was much better. The big league club put together a winning month (16-13) as did three of the minor league affiliates. Birmingham and Winston-Salem came in at 15-13 in May while Charlotte went 14-13. Kannapolis had the only losing record of the month at 13-14, but still holds the best record in the organization at 27-23. Individually, our hitter of the month is knocking on the door to get back to the Majors while the top pitcher is probably a new name to a lot of fans.
Hitter of the Month: Dayan Viciedo
Stats: .349/.410/.615, 27 RBI, 19 R, 11 2B, 6 HR with 9 BB and 17 K in 109 AB
Viciedo is doing everything he can to get himself back to the Cell. After another slow start to the season, the Cuban has been pounding the ball. The best part about his May numbers are the nine walks. It’s still not a great walk rate, or even good for that matter, but it’s passable. Viciedo is notorious for not taking walks so any sort of discipline from him is huge. There’s no question he can hit the ball and hit it hard. The question now is where can the Sox play him to get him regular at-bats? The 22-year-old will have to keep crushing AAA pitching until he gets that call.
Christian Marrero (AA): .348/.406/.609 with 12 BB and 20 K in 115 AB
Nick Ciolli (High-A): .292/.325/.625 with 4 BB and 23 K in 72 AB
Jordan Danks (AAA): .286/.336/.582 with 8 BB and 21 K in 98 AB
Marrero is the new version of David Cook. He’s 24, younger than Cook when he was pounding the ball with Birmingham, but is in his third year with the Barons. He’s been somewhat successful in each stint, but is setting the Southern League on fire this year. He’s sixth in the Southern League in OPS and ranks in the top ten of a few other categories. The first baseman deserves a shot at AAA some point in 2011. Ciolli and Danks were both entering non-prospect territory with continued struggles to start this year, but have given fans hope, especially with Danks.
Pitcher of the Month: Hector Santiago
Stats: 4-1, 2.06 ERA, 33 K, 9 BB, 26 H in 39.1 IP
Santiago wasn’t even on the radar entering this year. The 23-year-old lefty moved from the bullpen to the rotation this year and has been a revelation in the system. He spent 2009 and 2010 in the Dash bullpen with decent results, but after just eight starts the Sox moved him up to AA. In his second start with the Barons he allowed just one hit in eight innings, his second one-hitter of the month. So who is this guy? Milb.com profiled him, saying he learned a screwball in the Puerto Rican Winter League. That gives him four pitches with his fastball, slider and a change. The lack of quality left-handed starters in the system makes Santiago’s development fantastic for the Sox. Given his age and early success in AA, he certainly appears to be a legitimate prospect. (Photo credit: Carl Kline/MiLB.com)
Addison Reed (High-A): 2.08 ERA, 24 K, 2 BB, 15 H in 17.1 IP
Ryan Buch (Low-A/High-A): 3-1, 1.88 ERA, 29 K, 15 BB, 20 H in 28.2 IP
Brian Bruney (AAA): 1-0, 4 SV, 2.19 ERA, 20 K, 3 BB, 10 H in 12.1 IP
It’s more of the same from Addison Reed. The 2010 third round pick has been dominant in A ball. He has handled the move to the Dash like nothing, which you can see from his nasty strikeout and walk numbers. AA could be in the cards this year. Buch moved to Winston-Salem more recently, but has also done fairly well there despite some control issues. Bruney’s success earned him a spot in the White Sox bullpen, though that may not last for long.