The Major League All-Star break is upon us, which also signifies the Futures Game. Dayan Viciedo was the only White Sox representative to play and he went 1-4. The Cuban could be in the Majors soon, but first he will make another All-Star appearance. Tonight Viciedo will take part in the AAA All-Star Game alongside Charlotte teammate Shane Lindsay. This week three of Viciedo’s teammates are featured.
Hot Hitter: Tyler Flowers, C, AAA
Stats: .538/.571/1.077 with 1 BB and 5 K in 13 AB
Flowers just received a spot on the Major League roster after Ramon Castro’s injury and the timing is quite good. The 25-year-old was on a six-game hitting streak at the time of the promotion and has an OPS of 1.179 in July. He has been a solid offensive force for the Knights all season. Each month he has posted an OPS of .830 or higher, but he has 84 strikeouts on the year. He’ll probably only play once or twice a week behind A.J. Pierzynski, but there should be concern how his hitting will hold up against stronger competition given all those strikeouts. Honorable mentions: Michael Earley (.522/.593/.826), Joe De Pinto (.400/.500/.700), Brady Shoemaker (.524/.615/.571) and Jared Mitchell (.364/.462/.636).
Cold Hitter: Tyler Kuhn, OF, AAA
Stats: .150/.143/.150 with 0 BB and 3 K in 20 AB
Kuhn was a bit of a revelation this year in Birmingham, but he’s struggled since his promotion to Charlotte. He’s just 3-24 with the Knights with no walks or extra base hits. On the positive side, he has only three strikeouts so you’d expect the average to turn around fairly quickly. “Honorable” mentions: Jeffer Patino (.167/.286/.167), Kenny Williams Jr. (.118/.158/.294) and Mike Blanke (.125/.300/.125).
Hot Pitcher: Dylan Axelrod, SP, AAA
Stats: 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 6 K, 1 BB, 2 H
Axelrod had just one start this week and it was only five innings, but Axelrod has been great this year and deserves some attention. In five starts with Charlotte the 25-year-old has a 1.76 ERA with fantastic control (5 BB in 30.2 IP). Ever since joining the organization from San Diego as a free agent late in 2009, Axelrod has been a standout. He posted a sub 2 ERA with the Dash between 2009 and 2010 and has continued that success at the higher levels. With the Sox starting pitching situation unclear down the road, Axelrod could figure into the plans if he keeps pitching like this. Honorable mentions: Matt Zaleski (7 IP, 0 R, 4 K, 1 BB, 2 H), Addison Reed (3.1 IP, 0 R, 5 K, 0 BB, 2 H) and Cameron Bayne (7.2 IP, 2.35 ERA, 4 K, 1 BB, 7 H).
Cold Pitcher: Jacob Petricka, SP, High-A
Stats: 4 IP, 11.25 ERA, 2 K, 3 BB, 7 H
It’s a bit unfair to stick Petricka in this spot considering he is coming off an injury while adjusting to a new level at the same time. The 23-year-old was dominant with Kannapolis before an injury in mid-May kept him out for about a month. He seemed ready for a promotion before the injury, but now he is doing it while being on a pitch count in his starts. Not to hold it against him, but his first three starts with the Dash haven’t been good (6.35 ERA in 11.1 IP). Hopefully he can get back to form by the end of the season to position himself to start 2012 in AA. “Honorable” mentions: Justin Edwards (5 IP, 16.2 ERA, 1 K, 3 BB, 9 H), Dexter Carter (4.1 IP, 12.46 ERA, 3 K, 2 BB, 7 H) and Joe Serafin (11.2 IP, 7.71 ERA, 3 K, 4 BB, 23 H).