The last White Sox affiliate to start it’s 2011 season is also the first to finish. Bristol has struggled for years while receiving the youngest White Sox minor leaguers and that continued this season. The BriSox went 24-44, tying for the worst record int he Appalachian League. They got off to a fair start, but losing 16 of 17 in early August doomed the season. Let’s take a look at how some of the individuals performed.
Offense (team ranks out of 10 teams)
Team stats: .243 avg (10th), .697 OPS (9th), 4.79 runs per game (t-6th)
Top hitters: Kevan Smith (.396/.482/.740), Rangel Ravelo (.384/.410/.507), Collin Kuhn (.260/.417/.490)
The offense did ok at first, but each of the team’s top three hitters (listed above) got promoted in mid or late July, which helps to explain the team’s August slump. Smith is on fire in Great Falls and looking like a serious prospect at catcher. Ravelo and Kuhn went to Kannapolis. Ravelo, 19, has held his own, but Kuhn has really struggled. The two other regular hitters with an OPS over .700 were Grant Buckner (.852) and Michael Johnson (.777). Well-rated high school catcher Bryce Mosier (.235/.333/.294) got some at-bats after signing for over slot in the 33th round.
Team stats: 5.47 ERA (10th), 546 strikeouts (6th), 233 walks (t-5th), 6.19 runs per game (9th)
Top pitchers: Jason Van Skike (2.03 ERA, 45 K, 7 BB in 31 IP), Todd Kibby (3.38 ERA, 36 K, 12 BB in 37.1 IP), Keegan Linza (3.57 ERA, 22 K, 5 BB in 22.2 IP)
While the hitting waited until the end of the season to slump, the pitching never had much to get excited about. Van Skike, an undrafted free agent, Kibby, a 37th round pick, and Linza, 38th rounder, gave the bullpen some good arms but none of the somewhat promising starting pitchers performed. Foreign prospects Darwin Matos (4.89 ERA), Euclides Leyer (6.38 ERA) and Jean Duque (6.32 ERA) couldn’t really hack it in the Bristol rotation. Reliever Chris Bassitt had a positive short stint before earning a promotion to Kannapolis.
There wasn’t a lot to get excited on this roster about before the season, but a few of the intriguing pitchers disappointed and there were only a couple surprises on the good side. Bristol is the lowest affiliate in the organization playing in a league that has a few teams that have more experienced players and higher draft picks. That has shown in the results in recent years with this season as no exception.