White Sox Minor League Recap 7/7/2015: So many contenders!

White Sox affiliates played eight games Tuesday and nearly swept the day, with only Birmingham losing. Also worth nothing the number of affiliates right in the thick of their first or second half post-season races, something we haven’t seen much of the last few years. Lots to report, from a Knights blow-out to some excellent pitching performances…

Charlotte 17, Durham 6

The Knights walloped five home runs including two grand slams en route to laugher that kept them just a half game out of first place (1st half nearly over) in their division. Micah Johnson sent a message to Chicago as he went 4-for-6 with a home run and his 17th stolen base while pushing his OPS past the .800 mark. Jason Coats (2-4, HR, BB, SF) and Matt Davidson (1-3, HR, 3 BB, K) went back-to-back in the 3rd inning, while Tyler Saladino (2-5, HR, 2B, BB) and Chris Marrero (3-5, HR, BB) added grand slams in a massive 5-home run barrage. The team drew eight walks and were further assisted by Durham’s absurd seven errors, making the 17 runs almost seem low.

Junior Guerra continues to do well in AAA as he transitions to a starting role, giving up a pair of runs on a pair of hits and three walks, striking out nine in just five innings. He’s taken the rotation slot of Erik Johnson, who multiple sources (Dan Hayes of Comcast Sports Net and Pat James of the Charlotte Observer) report is essentially taking a break as they monitor his workload (one would think, for a shot in Chicago later this year). Johnson is set to pitch short innings Friday, then in the AAA All Star Game a few days later.

Tennessee 3, Birmingham 1

The Barons were the only Sox affiliate to lose on this day, but are still in 1st place in the second half despite the loss. Tony Bucciferro continued to walk the tightrope in his start, giving up 9 hits in 5 innings striking out 2, but only giving up 2 runs. Tim Anderson was 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout, stole a base but was also caught stealing. Joey DeMichele‘s double (1-4, K) was Birmingham’s only extra base hit.

Winston-Salem 3, Myrtle Beach 1

The Dash kept themselves in first place in the Southern division of the Carolina League thanks to Jeremy Dowdy‘s 2-run single in the 9th inning. Brandon Brennan was effective in his 5-inning, 1-run start, while Brian Clark and Peter Tago added four scorless with 6 K’s. Jake Peter had a 3-4 day, and Trey Michalczewski had a double and a walk in four plate appearances.

Kannapolis 3, Augusta 1 (F/7)

On the front end of a double-header sweep, the Intimidators rode one of Spencer Adams‘s better starts of the year (5.2 IP, 1 UER, 8 H, 0 BB, 6 K) to the win. David Lee (@David11Lee), an amateur scouting type and Baseball Prospectus contributor, happened to be at the game and reported Adams’ fastball ranging mostly from 89 to 93, touching 94. Louis Silverio‘s 2-3 day was the best from the lineup.

Kannapolis 4, Augusta 3 (F/10)

On the back end of a long day, what was supposed to be a seven inning contest stretched to ten with an Eddy Alvarez triple and a Mason Robbins sacrifice fly finally allowing the affair to come to an end. Nick Basto and Ryan Leonards each booked a pair of singles, with Basto adding a stolen base. The I’s nearly ran themselves out of this one, being caught stealing three times. Yelmison Peralta had a so-so day in the start, but it was just enough as Kanny returned to .500 for the full season.

Great Falls 7, Idaho Falls 3

The Voyagers just keep hitting, as their seven runs put them back in first place as well. Johan Cruz went 4-5 with a double, and his current .396/.418/.453 line is quite impressive for the 19-year old (even in the Pioneer). Everyone other than leadoff man Landon Lassiter recorded at least one hit, with catcher Joxelier Garcia having the other multi-hit day (2-4, 2B) and Victor Velazquez hitting his first home run. Evin Einhardt was effective in his six innings of work, allowing 2 unearned runs on three hits and a walk, striking out four and generating 13 ground-outs versus just 1 fly-out.

AZL White Sox 6, AZL Brewers 2

Starter Yosmer Solorzano continues to impress. Despite turning 18 this year, in four starts he’s got a 2.45 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 16:5 K:BB ratio and a whopping 44:4 GO:FO ratio across 22 innings. In an oddity, the AZL squad scored six runs but recorded only two RBI’s, and both of those were on outs (sacrifice flies). Tyler Sullivan and Felix Mercedes recorded 2-hit days, with one of the former’s being a double. The 14th round pick this year by the White Sox, Sullivan so far has a .378/.455/.489 line with more walks (7) than strikeouts (4) in his first 12 games of pro ball. The AZL squad is in first place in the AZL’s central division.

DSL White Sox 3, DSL Blue Jays 2

Maiker Feliz: 1-4, K. Carlos Perez: 2-4. Nelson Acosta: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.

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