Weekly White Sox farm update, 11/21

Welcome back to our coverage of all things White Sox minors, in one convenient article. This week we cover 40-man roster moves, winter league updates, minor league signings and more.

Arizona Fall League

The AFL season has ended, and we’ll have a recap post covering White Sox prospect performances from that league. But for now, a few quick hits…

Hitters

Zack Collins (.227/.393/.500, 2 HR, 6 BB, 8 K over 28 PA)
Courtney Hawkins (.219/.266/.329, 1 HR, 5 BB, 23 K over 79 PA)
Trey Michalczewski (.185/.323/.259, 10 BB, 17 K over 66 PA)
Danny Hayes (.161/.232/.210, 1 HR, 6 BB, 20 K over 69 PA)

It wasn’t a very good Fall for White Sox hitting prospects, though Collins did put together a decent super-small-sample-size showing on the taxi squad. Considering it was his draft year, it’s hard not to call his offensive showing a success. The rest of the contingent was pretty barren for highlights.

Pitchers

Louie Lechich (0.71 ERA, 12.2 IP, 7 K, 5 BB, 7 H)
Brian Clark (2.08 ERA, 13 IP, 13 K, 6 BB, 12 H)
Nolan Sanburn (4.81 ERA, 24.1 IP, 18 K, 12 BB, 23 H)
Colton Turner (5.06 ERA, 10.2 IP, 10 K, 4 BB, 13 H)

Well, it was going to happen at some point – Louie gave up a run. After 5 scoreless IP in the AZL, 10 more in Kannapolis, then 10 more in the AFL, he allowed one earned run on a hit and a walk in his final fall league appearance. Yes, ERA is a poor evaluator for relievers (especially in the minors), but it’s still pretty remarkable for someone to transition from the outfield to pitching mid-season and not allow an earned run in their first 25 innings of professional work.

As for the rest of the pitchers, Clark did typically Clark things, Sanburn was typically enigmatic, and Turner got hit a bit. More detail in the upcoming AFL recap article.

Caribbean Winter Leagues

Venezuela

Alfredo Gonzalez (.200/.286/.240 in 13 games)
Cleuluis Rondon (.103/.133/.172 in 13 games)
Gerson Montilla (.083/.313/.083 in 6 games)

Gonzalez was the only one of these three who played last week, and he was only a defensive sub. The other two appear to be done for the winter season.

Mexico

Jason Bourgeois (.354/.391/.400 in 16 games)
K.C. Hobson (.125/.125/.500 in 2 games)

Bourgeois is having little trouble with the Mexican League pitching, which shouldn’t be a surprise for a prototypical 4-A player. Hobson hasn’t played since very early in the season, around the time he signed with the White Sox.

Puerto Rico

Wilfredo Rodriguez (.071/.235/.071 in 5 games)

Dominican Republic

Rymer Liriano (.290/.389/.371 in 15 games)

Liriano is certainly the player to watch among White Sox farm hands playing in the Caribbean this year. You’d expect him to hit well in the DR, but it’s reassuring he’s doing so and he certainly has a shot at a job with the big club come spring (especially if the team elects to rebuild).

Transactions

  • Friday was the deadline for adding players to the 40-man roster for protection from the Rule 5 Draft. The White Sox elected to add outfielders Adam Engel and Jacob May, along with right-handed reliever Brad Goldberg. They also designated Brandon Brennan for assignment to the minors to make room for one of those slots. This left a couple prospects exposed who might be selected in the Rule 5, which we will preview shortly before the event (which is on December 8th).
  • Among the 21 minor leaguers from the Sox farm in 2016 who elected free agency, Peter Tago was probably the only one rightly labeled a “prospect”. No surprise then that he was quickly snatched up, in this case by the Seattle Mariners. You can read our prospect profile on Tago if you want to get a more detailed idea of what the team may have lost.
  • Signed: Catcher Austin Crutcher. A Bellarmine product who was playing indy ball in the United Shore Professional League, the 23-year old is getting his first shot at affiliated ball.
  • Signed: Shortstop Jose Vinicio, who was in the Boston organization. The 23-year old has just 25 games above A-ball and is a defensive specialist, playing both middle infield positions and profiling similarly to Cleuluis Rondon.

Links and Notes

  • The White Sox made a broad announcement of changes to the managing, coaching and player development staff positions all over the farm. We’ll cover the changes in more detail in a separate article this week, so keep an eye out for that.
  • 2080 Ball posted another video of a White Sox prospect on YouTube. This time it’s top prospect Zack Collins.
  • Right-handed pitching prospect Blake Hickman wrote his second guest post for us, providing an update on the last stages of his rehab and preparations to return to the mound come spring. It’s not often you can get a true 1st person view from a player’s perspective, so big thanks to Blake for giving us that.
  • Our newest writer, Julie Brady, made her FutureSox debut last week. She chose to write about the post-Crede history of White Sox third baseman at the AAA level. The journey was a little spooky, but she made it fun and you should definitely read it if you haven’t already.
  • The City of Kannapolis seems serious about a new minor league ballpark being part of the revitalization of their “downtown” area. The Intimidators’ PDC is up in 2018, so it seems likely that the city, the Intimidators and the White Sox would all benefit from some clarity in 2017. We’ll keep tracking this story.

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