David Holmberg was taken in 2nd round of the 2009 draft by the White Sox and is a former top prospect that the Sox sent to Arizona along with Daniel Hudson in the infamous Edwin Jackson trade. Holmberg never realized his potential and bounced around before landing back with the Sox this past off-season. It’s a cautionary tale, but also has a chance for redemption, as Holmberg has been pitching fairly well this season. On Tuesday he spun eight innings of one-run ball, striking out six and and only allowing four hits. Unfortunately for Holmberg and the Barons, one of those hits was a home run that proved to be the difference. Zack Burdi came on in relief of Holmberg and pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning. After a disastrous first outing with the Barons, Burdi has now had back-to-back scoreless appearances.
Despite the offense overall struggles, Adam Engel stayed red hot and went 2-4 with a walk and his 30th stolen base. Engel is hitting .370/.433/.593 in the month of July to raise his season batting average to .250 in Birmingham. Keon Barnum also had a nice game, going 2-3 with a double and a walk.
James Dykstra will take the mound on Wednesday as the series continues against Jacksonville.
Starter Jimmy Lambert‘s Kannapolis debut was spoiled by some sloppy defense and the Intimidators dropped the opening game of the series to the Lexington Legends. Lambert, the 2016 5th round pick, struck out five batters over three innings and allowed two unearned runs to cross the plate. Reliever Jack Charleston came on for Lambert and allowed one run over his three innings while striking out four. Ian Hamilton and Taylore Cherry finished the game with scoreless outings.
The Kannapolis offense only managed four hits and two of those came off of Antonio Rodriguez‘s bat. Rodriguez went 2-4 with a double and drove in both of the Intimidators runs.
Brannon Easterling will get the start on Wednesday against Lexington.
Nelson Acosta was an afterthought in the 2013 July 2nd international signing period, inking with the Sox as a 15 year-old out of Venezuela for $50,000. He pitched in the DSL in 2014 and 2015 with good results but high walk rates, which is extremely common. However, this year something has clicked for Acosta, and on Tuesday he struck out 10 batters over six shutout innings and did not issue a free pass. Acosta has basically eliminated walks from his outings and has a eye-popping 38 strikeouts to 2 walks over 33.2 innings. As an 18 year-old, Acosta seems ready to join the AZL team state-side and I would expect him to see him there at some point this summer.
Catcher Jhoandro Alfaro was signed with a bit more fanfare than Acosta, taking a $750,000 contract in 2014. Alfaro, the younger brother of top prospect Jorge Alfaro, went 2-5 with a double and an RBI on Tuesday and is hitting .243/.417/.378. Not fantastic numbers, but a stark improvement over his 2015 numbers in the DSL and Alfaro has the added weight of catching every day. Alfaro was ranked as the 15th best prospect in the White Sox system by MLB.com pre-season, so he is definitely someone to keep an eye on.
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Filed under: Daily Game Recaps